Friday, March 30, 2012

The Art World is a Funny Place

So why isn't there a comic book about it?  Well, there is.  The Seeking Kali Collective has been publishing Kalicorp Art Mysteries since November 2011 and judging from readers reactions to our latest issue, we're achieving our desired results. 

I like to think of our comic as a slow motion blog. We publish one every other month and they combine our art lives; the art making, trying to snag exhibition space, getting press, getting grants and making a few dollars with current events and controversy in the larger art world.

Issue #4 Panel detail page 2

For instance, remember Damien Hirst's world wide exhibitions of Spot Paintings?  Issue #4 details our efforts to stop seeing spots.  Or last Fall; the controversy surrounding forged Abstract Expressionist paintings?

Issue #2 Panel detail page 1

Since  my two collaborators, Susan Shulman (Canada) and Ria Vanden Eynde (Belgium) and I live  live too far apart for hands on collaboration the fast pace of putting out a timely graphic novel suits the nature of our "virtual studios".  We can work independently on different panels or the story line itself and assemble the comic over the web.  The actual printing is done from my studio in Connecticut on an Epson 3800 with pigment inks.

Putting the story line together does present problems, we'll often wake to a request for a off the wall picture or pose to help move the story...everything stops and scavenger hunts for a wheelbarrow, limo, bicycle built for two etc ensue.

Issue #2 Panel detail page 5

During the MOCA gala fundraiser Marina Abramovic's human centerpieces raised eyebrows in the art world.

Naturally we worked it into our story line.

We use many of our friends in cameo appearances and although their artist personalities are usually not the same as portrayed in the comic, they all are significant artists and our readers can find links to their web portfolios on the back cover of each issue.

Issue #2 Panel detail page 6

Even as the information age reaches overload the Art World remains largely an impenetrable confusing mystery that Kalicorp is dedicated to shed light on. 

Issue #4 Panel detail page 12

As Ria says. "pack your bags"...we're in for a long journey.

More information on the Kalicorp Art Mysteries and other projects by the Seeking Kali Arist Collective can be found on our website, seeking (where they are also available for purchase)

Thanks also to new advertiser Bibiana Padilla Maltos for support and to artist Keith Buchholz for placing our graphic novel in the archives of The Art Institute of Chicago, The Getty, Yale and MoMA.

Kalicorp Art Mysteries is also now carried Down Under at Sticky Institute.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Forgotten Memory

I wanted to share a wonder story written by a lovely Poetess and friend from India, Abha Iyengar. Depending on your privacy settings Facebook notifies friends of upcoming birthdays. Mine recently passed and I had changed my profile picture to a grainy black and white photo of myself from 1958 as a six year old sitting at home staring at a cake.

The artist at six - Moravia, New York 1958

Abha, who has created several poems for the Seeking Kali blog that I co-curate, saw the photograph and asked if she could write a story based on the image. I thought "what serendipity" because I have no memory of what I might have been thinking or wishing for with my eyes closed and about to blow out the candles.

This is the story of my forgotten memory by Abha Iyengar 

Cakes, Candles and A Bird Story
Bill looked at the candles and the cake and he smiled. He was smiling because he was thinking about the bird story. What bird story?
 The one his grandmother told him the night before his birthday. Of how when he turned six, which was in a few hours time, the big bird would come down from the mountians so very far away and flap its wings in front of Bill.
And ask Bill to sit on its back and take a ride far far away, into the land of dreams.
“This only happens to some children, the few chosen ones, the ones who listen carefully to grandmother’s stories.”
Bill had understood.
“I have informed the big bird about your seriousness regarding stories. Perhaps he will come.”
Bill had looked at his grandmother and given her the sweetest of smiles. He had been unable to sleep, the excitement had been too much for him.
He was wide awake now, sittting in front of the cake and wondering whether he could blow the candles, eat the cake, ride on the big bird, go to the land of dreams and still be back for school?
Grandmother had not told him anything more in the night. He would just have to wait and find out.
He sat there watching the candles and waiting for his mother and grandmother to come with the plates from the kitchen and wished for something that he really wanted.
He heard the doorbell ring. Birds did not ring doorbells, did they?
He sat quietly, not breathing, not moving.
From the corner of his eye he saw someone walk in. He recognized a pair of shoes. He must be dreaming. He closed his eyes, and there it was, the big bird in front of his eyes. It was flapping its wings.
When Bill opened his eyes, his father stood there, his arms open for him to run into them. They were big and wide, just like a bird’s wings.
Since then, Bill knows grandmother stories are all that the world needs to believe in. He was a special boy at six, the one who believed and still does.
© Abha Iyengar, March 2012
A birthday gift to Bill
 More of Abha Iyengar's poetry and short stories can be found at: