Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Year in Comics

 Kalicorp Art Mysteries #5 (front and back cover)

One of the collaborations that Seeking Kali worked on over the last year is a series of five comic books; the Kalicorp Art Mysteries.  These along with other works will be shown at our summer exhibition in Bayshore, N.Y. at the Firehouse Gallery. Information on this show can be found at the Seeking Kali website.

Graphic novels may seem a strange departure since our previous colabs tended to be a bit more serious.  The fact is that since our collaborations are experiments in long distance art making we are constantly testing new forms that are workable for our group. Ria Vanden Eynde, Susan Shulman and myself have experimented with video,  print editions, performance, net centric work and artist books over the past two plus years. Ideas that are carried forward are reached by discussions on G+ or chats in our Facebook group.

Initially a comic seemed like a fun and quirky way to send out a bit of PR to people and to put exhibition information, our web pages and current projects in as advertisements.  We never intended to make more than one until we got to the last page and threw in the “To Be Continued.” 
 Kalicorp Art Mysteries #1 last panel detail

We found that they were fun to produce and we could base it on a back story that almost all artists share; What the hell is the art world all about and why is it so damn difficult to get anywhere?  With photography and Photoshop we could easily work out scenes, story-lines and most importantly share files in our virtual studio. Note to new readers...I work in Connecticut, Susan from Montreal and Ria from Belgium.

   Artist Joan Harrison is woven into a scene concerning the Soethby's Art Handler strike.

Along the way we started to include some of our artist friends and art world notables in various roles.   We began our collectives journey after discussing the various iconography surrounding the Hindu goddess Kali. This  led to other historical explorations as well as sparking conversation concerning myth, contemporary art making and cultural mores. We find plenty of art world controversy and drama to weave into each story. So while we are not above a cheap laugh, at the heart of each comic are real issues that effect us as players on the contemporary art stage.

In issue #6 Kalicorp tackles unpaid internships and artspeak.

Examples from the Seeking Kali virtual studio collaborations as well as the comics and art from them will be on display at Long Island's Firehouse Gallery, 17 Second Ave., Bayshore, N.Y.  Opening reception August 4th from 6 - 8pm. Gallery is open Saturdays during August from 12 - 4pm.

Many thanks to our two most recent advertisers, artists Mara Thompson and Bibiana Padilla Maltos for their financial support. 
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