Friday, February 27, 2009

i love america and america loves me

i love america and america loves me - part 2
oil & coyote on canvas, 2008

i love america and america loves me - part 4
oil & coyote on canvas, 2008

More Marc Séguin here!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

post-modern molly!

One of the latest Molly Norris cartoons. I'm just such a fan of her style (and wit).

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Wall of the Possible Future

Redemption Riley

I was talking to an artist friend a while back and they mentioned they hadn't ever worked in an office. At first I was envious (I've almost always had an office day job and wondered if the grass was greener) but at the end of the day, I really enjoy working in an office. (Well, maybe not at the end of the day because usually by then I'm wishing I was at a happy hour with friends.)

I can be pretty social so for me, the most fun part of my day is getting to talk to my co-workers. Unfortunately, this Friday is the last day for a lot of them. We found out in December that they're closing the Seattle office. I have until June (someone has to turn out the lights).

Some people are understandably nervous about what they'll do next in this economy. My ever helpful co-workers put up this wall chock full of career suggestions and dubbed it the "Wall of the Possible Future."

You might have to click/enlarge to read them, but here are some practical ones: plasma donator (not just a donor), game show host, perfume/cologne maker, private dancer, smoothie pushcart or perhaps the old reliable position of pachinko parlor operator.

My job is going to be way less fun without them.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Couple by Shohei
WOW! I randomly came across this painter, Shohei, around a week ago on Flickr. I keep coming back to these pieces. His paintings are really beautiful and intense. Shohei lives in Japan.
Couple by Shohei

Smile by Shohei

He seems to have a few different styles. Some paintings project a subdued violence. Others feel electric with mania. Even his landscapes burst with energy. One thing they're not is calm.

Where Are We Are by Storm Tharp (via PDX)

The first time I saw the portraits, they reminded me of Storm Tharp. I love those paintings of his!

Friday, February 20, 2009

La Especial Norte 3

Hey you guys! La Especial Norte 3 will start hitting the streets today.

In this issue: Drew Daly and I sit down and chat about his art. Debra Baxter continues her article from La Norte 2. Jeffry Mitchell does a great review on Roy McMakin's Purplish show (and supplies a "Venus de Bear" drawing for Deb's piece). Plus lots more! Find a copy and check out the awesome zine that Matthew Offenbacher edits and publishes.

I expect you'll be able to find them at the same places as before: "Howard House (should have copies today), James Harris Gallery, Lawrimore Project, Crawl Space, SOIL, The Hideout, Western Bridge, or at the Henry Art Gallery (over by the lockers)..."

La Especiale Norte has included Dan Webb, Heide Hinrichs, Debra Baxter, Adrian Piper, Matthew Offenbacher, Eli Hansen, Gretchen Bennett, Joseph Park, Robert Smithson, Jeffry Mitchell, Emily Ann Pothast, Jean Tinguely, Susan Robb and myself! Norte 1, Norte 2 and more!
If you haven't had a chance to see what it's all about yet, here's Matt talking about the zine in an interview we did last year.

"It's the first time I've tried to publish something. It's totally inspired by this environment and the artist community here. There are so many smart people and good conversations going on. In studios and bars and coffee shops. I wanted to try to get some of it down on paper. My hope is that the zine can become a place to hone some of these ideas, and then project them back out into the world, to stimulate more conversation between artists, and also help guide the public conversation about the meaning of our art."

Say hello to Drew Daly

It began with a chair…

I've been wanting to chat with Drew Daly about his work for a while now. I've always thought of him as a "working class" artist (in the best sense), whose ideas find their footing in common materials and objects. After an evening of Rainier tall-boys, I walked away thinking Drew might have more in common with the Donald Judds of the world than the Richard Serras.

(Photo by J Veltkamp)

You're probably best known for your fusion of chairs. They are beautiful objects, and while that beauty is an intended by-product, you've said before that it's not the point. What is the point then?

The "beautiful object" aspect of my work is sort of funny to me. For a long time I didn't know what the piece would look like when I was finished. Usually I would figure out a process that I could apply to an object as my starting point and would just have to put faith in the process, submit to the process, and hope that I would end up with something interesting. It was always a huge surprise at the last moment when I would finally get all of the pieces back together and see what I had been working on.

Subject: Chair (Photo via Drew Daly)

What's an example of something that surprised you in the end?

Probably the best example is when I sanded a chair down until I couldn't sand any longer if the chair was to remain able to stand. When I began, I thought I'd sand the chair to play with the idea of time and erosion, essentially erasing an object. There was no way for me to know what I would end up with. I just kept sanding and sanding and finally had to stop. I actually thought the thing was sort of ugly because of the tedious nature of the process. It took a long time for me to see beyond that and recognize how the piece appeared. Everyone kept telling me that they thought the piece was beautiful and how it was like a skeleton of a chair.

Mirror Merge (Photo via Drew Daly)

Mirror Merge, the ring of chairs, was a similar experience. I was working with this idea of things meeting in a symmetrical intersection, more or less a mirror symmetry. So I took one mirror and put a chair against it. This only could go so far so I took a second mirror and started reflecting the reflection, this led to figuring out the ring of chairs. As much as I enjoy where the piece ended up I still don't think it's beautiful, it's just the visual representation of an equation or system.

Trace (" a splintered table reassembled;
the lines created by the shards of wood were
traced with wire creating a map of the linear
configuration of the cracks in the table.")

A friend described my work as the space between. I think this is pretty accurate. My work is the space between the process I set up and the piece that comes out the other side. In a sense the piece is the by-product of the system and process employed to make it. Another friend said that my work was the evidence of invention. I'm sure that wasn't his line, but it again goes to the heart of how I make my work. The piece isn't something I decide to construct, it is something that results from sort of an experiment.

(Photo by Eric Eley)

I had thought your work was either about destruction or creation and it's interesting to find out it's not that binary. It makes me think of Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty, where he spirals in towards disintegration -- although it seems like your work spirals outwards, towards reintegration. What role does entropy play in your work?

Entropy deals with order and disorder and the transformation of different states of a given thing. I think that the idea of transformation is really popular right now. I hope that my take on transformation is different then most other artists. I'm not using something as a building block: piling Styrofoam cups into a landscape, like Tara Donavan, or using toothpicks to construct something, like Tom Friedman. I am taking an object and altering the order of its material. The object that I use is the building block.

Division: Adirondack (Photo via Drew Daly)
Up to this point, I have used furniture, turning it into the material that it is made from and re-ordering that material. We all know that a chair is made from something, but it is not something we usually consider because the material has been formed into a useful object. I reform the object using the original material characteristics, revealing something that has always been there. So when you ask about Robert Smithson I would have to say that I consider his take on entropy as materials in a constant state of flux, while I am thinking about material in terms of materials already organized into objects.

Division: Adirondack (detail)
In the beginning, the material was the focus. At some point, the material become secondary to the process. And now, for your next show, you've been thinking of doing without material objects at all. This third generation isn't merely an incremental advance, it's a leap into a new realm! What took you in this direction?
It's really difficult to talk about work before it has been made, shown and considered without sounding wildly random. I worked on a series of altered photographs, self-portraits, for a few years. At first these were sort of a two-dimensional experiment with what I was doing with the sculptures. Gradually the ideas I was discovering began to become more pressing then the sculptures. I had a professor in graduate school that would always say that a photograph is a fiction, it isn't real. While I never knew specifically what she was trying to say, it made me begin to consider moments of time and how an isolated moment can be something beyond itself when viewed, scrutinized, and overly considered.

Grid 1 (Photo via Drew Daly)
Some of my earlier sculptures dealt with the idea of time; others played with the space one object inhabits; and obviously I have dealt with ready-made objects. This is where I start sounding random. Now I am trying to apply the idea of a moment of time in relation to space, object and motion. All four elements are connected and even bound by the Theory of Relativity, so I keep thinking about if one element is altered what results? It is a similar exploration as trying to make the reflection in the mirror, only way harder.

Circle 2
(Photo via Drew Daly)
[This interview was originally published in La Especial Norte 3, edited & published by Matthew Offenbacher.]

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"Your brain lights up with happiness."

Cover by Daniel Carrillo
As much time as I spend reading The Stranger, you'd think there'd be a lot more posts about them. I know I made a big production about not reading Slog (it can get pretty toxic) in the new year, but it's as irresistible as cake!
I've enjoyed the increase of local artists on the cover. It was just two weeks ago that Justin Colt Beckman's "Black Bear" was the cover. Tonight, I saw that Daniel Carrillo's "Mr Kardinal" (after artist Shaun Kardinal -- who will be in a great show called "Dearly, Madly" opening Feb 26 at Howard House. It's curated by Robert Yoder. I've loved the previous curatorial efforts by Gretchen Bennett and Matt Offenbacher!) is on the front of this week's Stranger. Congrats to Daniel (and kudos to The Stranger for its inclusion).

Ethereal songstress, Jamie Spiess (photo via ?)
AND Eric Grandy sits down with the talented Jamie Spiess (shown above indulging in another passion -- baking cakes!). Here is an excerpt from the interview:
"Spiess says her songs are more "like little tales," and while there's nothing wrong with her guitar playing or her winsome voice, her lyrics are by far their most arresting feature. Her stark songs are teeming with ghosts—of her friends, of her horse, of imagined and yearned for babies—and image-rich details: walnut shells, apple trees, blackberries, bassinets, cold hands, empty apartments, selfish mouths, lifted skirts." - Eric Grandy
And lastly, Jen Graves' article on the SAAM show, "Garden and Cosmos" finally got me excited enought to want to go see it! How can you deny going to a show about which she says, "Your brain lights up with happiness."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Galley 4Culture 2009-2010

Gallery 4Culture has announced their 2009-2010 gallery line-up. The 3 person panel has selected the following:
Alicia Basinger - sculpture
Evan Blackwell - sculpture
Nicholas Brown - works on paper/linocut
Jennifer Campbell - video
Jesse Delira - photography
Molly Epstein - sculpture
Eryon Franklin– works on paper/drawing
Sol Hashimi – photography/installation
Peter Nelson - video
Sarah Osebold / Vaughn Bell (two person show)
Kinu Watanabe –ceramic sculpture
Alternates: Buddy Bunting and Eugene Parnell

Those selected have lots to be proud of -- the original pool was comprised of 178 applicants. Can't wait to see what they create! And thanks again to 4Culture for all your contributions to the Northwest arts!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Spaceman @ Chop Suey

Don't forget! Spaceman headlines his first show tomorrow.

Friday, February 13th
Where: Chop Suey 1325 E Madison St.
Time: Doors at 8:00pm
Cost: $8.00 All Ages 21 + w/ id

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Western Bridge

Every Building on the Sunset Strip by Ed Ruscha, 1966
I went to Western Bridge a while back because a friend hadn't seen the Claire Cowie or Mary Temple pieces (both AMAZING!). They've mixed things up a bit this quarter and have been adding/removing various pieces to create new shows. The current iteration is Untitled (A Brink of Infinity).

One room is devoted to an Ed Ruscha book. Apparently, it's rare to see in its elongated state. It's also quite lovely to get walk up and down the strip in 1966.

Middlebury (detail) by Dawn Clements, 2000
It's a perfect complement to the piece directly above it. Dawn Clement's Middlebury wraps a sumi ink painting of her apartment around the entire upstairs room. It's amazing.

click to enlarge
Western Bridge is constantly turning me on to new artists. Seattle owes a big thank you to Eric and the Trues for keeping us in the loop with all this fantastic art.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Congrats Linda!

Linda's first bar, Linda's Tavern, turns 15 years old today!
She's promising 1994 prices on beers and cheeseburges ($2.99).
If you're one of the first 100 in the door, you score an anniversary tshirt!
Congratulations, Linda!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Friday at The Henry

Last night Yann Novak and Jamie Drouin performed for the opening of +room-room.

Sara Krajewski introducing the show.
"The performance in conjunction with the exhibition +ROOM-ROOM will be a conversation in sound between Yann Novak and Jamie Drouin. Like the exhibition, this presentation will showcase their distinct approaches to utilizing the ambient recordings they create and manipulate." via

Yann Novak + Jamie Drouin, 2/6/2009

It's a sweet reunion for Yann and Jamie at The Henry. They performed a live 30 minute set.

There are 2 adjacent rooms, separated by a hallway. One room (+room) utlizes Yann's approach of adding to the ambient noise. The room opposite (-room) is follows Jamie's approach of reduction. There is a simple wood bench, with a speaker in each corner. The lighting mimics a religious epiphany. People were really responding well to the pieces and seemed very engaged.

William Kentridge's stereoscope.

The William Kentridge exhibition also opened up. It was really good. Some amazing animations, beautiful drawings, video, stereoscopes and more. I can't wait to go back to spend more time with both exhibits. Great job, Liz Brown and Sara Krajewski.

approach to Skyspace
One thing that never fails to interest me is the James Turrell Skyspace. All alone, on a night like last night, it's especially peaceful.

The rich woods and they way they completely cradle you and direct your view upward. It just makes you feel very protected.

And the colors are so calming, at a certain point you get lost and forget if it's artificial light or the prettiest night sky ever.

sound magazine

My buddy Devon has an article in the latest issue of Sound Magazine. It's about his label, Sportin' Life Records, and its artists.

Fatal Lucciauno is on the cover. I haven't gotten to read the article but it's great to see his label getting such nice press lately. He's a great guy and this is long overdue.
You can download the new Spaceman song here.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Thank you!

Aw! Thanks so much to all of you that packed into Fancy last night for cupcakes, beer and art! It was a really fun opening, with lots of our favorite people. Opening party pics.

Some folks asked where the show title came from. It's a lyric from an old Leon Russell song. It's very over the top schmaltzy (it's been covered by Cher, The Carpenters, Celine Dion, Joe Cocker, and Tuck & Patti to give you an idea). But Gretchen and I have a sentimental streak a mile wide and we both loved it and it just felt like a great title for the show.

I love you in a place where there's no space or time
I love you for my life, you are a friend of mine
And when my life is over, remember when we were together
We were alone and I was singing this song for you

Also, thanks to these folks for all the sweet recommendations to go see the show:
Jen Graves said, "...tonight's Artwalk, flowing with free, free wine should be attended by you and yours...What should not be missed: Ben Beres at Davidson, Joshua Weintraub at Traver, Claudia Valdes at Lawrimore, Gretchen Bennett and Joey Veltkamp at Fancy + Pants, Mike Simi at 4Culture, After-Sought at SOIL..."
And Betsey Brock said, "Gretchen Bennett and Joey Veltkamp are two of Seattle’s finest. By that, I do not mean they are cops. They are talented artists with generous spirits. I can’t wait to see what kind of magic they spin together."
You can't ask for anything nicer than that!!
If you're in Seattle tonight, you won't want to miss +room-room.
And if you're in the southend, please don't forget about Amy Johnson's new installation opening tonight!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

It's happy hour again: Vermillion

I haven't mentioned Vermillion in days! Dave and I stopped in for a beverage tonight. Dinner and drinks are always cheap (and delicious)!

Dave got the baked potato -- $5! I got Diana's homemade mac 'n' cheese (plus meatballs)! Yum. Swing by for a great happy hour.

fancy birds

I was at Fancy tonight installing the show for tomorrow. There were a lot of these wire birds. Every time I see them, I remember how much I love them. Shelli Markee makes them (in addition to being a great silversmith).

She'll be having a show at Fancy in March. Yippee!

one pot + pomona walk

"The Walk"? - a 32 mile trek through Los Angeles culiminating with dinner on I-5.

My buddy Michael Hebb just completed the walk with 3 other individuals. It was part of his on-going Corridor Project.

Alex Van Buren wrote a piece for Gourmet about the experience here.