Monday, November 5, 2012

Let there be LIGHT!

'America' 


Hurricane Sandy has come and gone. She's left a lot of debris and taken with her some of the east coast. Not everyone in Manhattan has electricity back on yet, but we're close to getting back on track. During this time of darkness, Glenn Ligon can shed some light for us. Neon light, that is.

Many months ago I saw the Glenn Ligon retrospective at the Whitney and expressed my utter shock about not having known about him sooner. Well, now I know, and thanks to the extent of the exhibit I attended, I know where he's coming from and what he's about.

Glenn Ligon is an African American contemporary multi media artist whos work heavily reflects issues of race, sexuality and language. His pieces range from silkscreen, painting, photography, sculpture, installation and many incorporate cultural references and text, including but not limited to historical figures like Malcolm X as well as popular comedian Richard Pryor.

Luhring Augustine Gallery is home to Glenn Ligons show NEON for the next month, up until Dec 8th. Probably one of the more ironic shows to have up during a blackout, it consists exclusively of Ligons neon text pieces, some of which are familiar from the Whitney, others I am seeing for the first time.



"Negro Sunshine" 
A neon light painted black on the front, with the back exposed to give off light on the wall behind. 
What the artist calls a 'black light'.

'The Moon Belongs To The People III'



'Ssssllluuurrr'



'If I can't have love, I'll take sunshine'



Each piece, powerful in its phrasing, has its own personality. The handwriting and size of the text, the color of the light emitted and even the wattage of the bulb seem to change from wall to wall. Different voices, but all speaking from the same group. The wires hanging from the installations are reminiscent of the spray paint drips that come off of heavy-handed graffiti. The faint humming of the bulbs that ebbs and flows as one walks about creates and other-worldly feeling, adding a built-in sound installation to the space.

Once mass transit is back on track and our eyes become less light-sensitive I recommend seeing this show. Preferably on a cloudy, overcast afternoon, to fully amplify the glow of these haunting sculptures. We could all use a little more light this week.





Saturday, October 6, 2012

Cat Gotye Tongue


I recently was lucky enough to see the insatiable break-up-anthem band Gotye LIVE and in the flesh. Any person with ears knows that song 'Somebody that I used to know' but not everyone knows that yes, there are other songs on that album. REALLY good ones, BTW. Never to be a single release lover only I am a fan of the EP in its entirety.


Though even I must admit I can be kind of a snob when it comes to seeing a band live for the first time whos songs are sO played out on my iTunes and Grooveshark that I know them all by heart. I just don't want to be disappointed by a less than amazing performance- and having lived with an audio engineer for years I am highly aware of the magic of the studio and what ProTools can do to someones voice/synth/drums/guitar etc. Gotye, thank you for delivering ten times over and adding yourself to my list of 'Bands that are even better LIVE' which has been steadily growing my whole life.


The visual effects were nothing short of stunning. Each song was accompanied with a full color animation projected behind it. Not just colors and shapes like the Mac Visualizer (which, don't get me wrong, totally create a kind of ambiance) but a cohesive story with a conclusion relating to the lyrics. It was all so thought out and perfectly executed without being too in your face. Here are some examples of the awesome I speak of:

video



Speaking of in your face, unless you've been living under a rock the past 6 months, this is a still from the music video. The only thing these singers are wearing is a coat of very precise paint. I love the triangles and prisms and earth tones and camouflage- really, everything about it. It strikes a nostalgic nerve in me because ever since I was young (and I'm not being ironic about being in my 20s and saying 'was young', I'm talking like six, seven years old tops) I drew these triangles. 


Yes, every triangle is the same kind, anyone who's ever drawn a three sided shape has drawn the triangle I speak of. But this method border-lined on obsessive compulsive tendencies.  (>>>SPOILER ALERT<<< Next post will be on the compulsive Queen, Yayoi Kusama!) Start with random dots on the page. Spaced however you like, not too equidistant but not too random is usually how I like it. Connect these dots to make ONLY triangles. If you mess up and get a square, fine, connect two of those dots, you've got a triangle. If you end up with any other shape, you're terrible at this and should forfeit now. What you get is a crystal shaped form on the page. Now make a single dot in the very center of each of those triangles. Connect the dot you just made to the corners of your triangles, creating three more triangles within that one. Now you've got triangles squared. This is what that looks like. 



I added the circles because I was extra bored. This is on a table top at the bar Flight 151. It's a pretty good time killer. Especially if fine point magic markers are provided and the tips are still intact and not all f*#ed up because the establishment you're in does not admit children inside. Yes!



My trademark stage shot. Spotlights. Water bottles. Cables. Pedals. I just LOVE this imagery. Such an ADD afflicted child at heart. Shiny shiny shiny lights lights lights colors colors colors!!!


 I supposed triangle illustrations are a trademark of Australia's. Here is an illustration by Dean Mitchell from 'Folk Tales of Australia' 1965. Last but not least, here is a video clip of everyone's once favorite song. The girl singer is not Kimbra, but the opening act girl. I could go through the trouble of looking up her name but she was unimpressive as an act on her own so I will not. Here's Gotye, enjoy!



video



Friday, August 24, 2012

Blogging is SO last spring


My very sparse (non-existent) blog posts this Summer are due to a soap opera level of amnesia I evidently encountered upon returning to the states in February, totally forgetting I started this blog.

 My apologies, few but loyal and appreciated readers. I could go on for another 6 months making up excuses as to why I totally let this little blog of mine fall off the face of the earth but I think I can narrow it down to two pretty big reasons:

APATHY 
and 
INSTAGRAM

All Summer long I've been taking silly little phone photos and posting them thinking I'm blogging but really, I just stopped caring. A lot. About everything and anything. I'm in what parents and teachers call a "schlump" but my friends are calling "you just graduated, take it easy for a while".

Easy come, easy go... here's what I've been up to
 in bullet points.


APRIL


Got one decent job
.
Worked other jobs
Worked everyday
Worked every night
Worked weekends
.
Party Party Party




MAY


Worked like mad
.
Took a lovely weekend road trip
.
Graduated from SVA
.
Worked more
.





JUNE


Went to Scotland for a wedding
.
Saw long lost friends
Ate food
Drank drinks
.
Worked some nights
Worked some weekends
.
.
Got into biking
Got back into reading
.
Saw the Jacksons
.




JULY


Saw Tenacious D
Saw fireworks
Saw the Terracotta Army
.
.
Worked a little
.
Biked from Harlem to Prospect Park
Swam in a friends pool in LI
.
Saw The Killers 




AUGUST


Went to Puerto Rico
Did loads of things there
.
Never should have left
.
Was featured in NYLON Japan
for doing nothing at all
.
That's kind of it


I have not, I am sorry to say, made it to many museums or galleries in NYC since I left SVA. I'm so turned off of the art scene right now it makes me nauseous to even think of attending an opening of any kind LET ALONE start working on projects again.  Some of us are meant to be artists and some of us are not, and it's only since I was handed a degree in Fine Arts that I questioned which side I was on. Only time will tell I suppose. 

Now I'm very aware that I'm living in the moment of 'young people purgatory', the very small window of time after college before the real world (also known as the last days of August) where I get to twiddle my thumbs and think hard 'so what do I want to DO?'

Pretty big cross roads I'm at, and I don't have my permit yet. Which actually says a lot about my position in life right now. But hey, today is the first day of the rest of my blah blah blah. Blogging again even if it's just to whine a little is one step in some kind of direction.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Paris Part II



I am not fully over this trip. Seeing how posting about it has stretched over a month, with more still to come, I get to relive it a little bit each time I put up some pics. I may be beating a dead horse with the cliche photos and all the Hipstamatics of delicious food, but I don't care. Vive le France. Over and over. 

Here's the sequel to Paris, and coming up next,
 Glasgow, Scotland! Stay tuned fellow wanderlusters. 






 The little alley way near where we stayed 
that the night before was lined with legally drunk 18 year olds


The BEST damn breakfast I have EVER had. Holy cow.




Some really fantastic graffiti, why can't vandals in the eastern time zone be this creative?
Get on that please!


 


Some totally not tacky tourist poses.









The BEST lunch I have EVER had. The potatoes were crafted by French Gods. I merde you not.

The subway system was surprisingly navigable. Not too hard at all. 
UNLIKE London. THAT is a MESS.

Some very happy seats, eager to hold our derrières. 






To take us to Montmartre. Where Amelie lives.









The first time I ever tried creme brulee!

 Does anyone remember that epic scene from the movie
 that took place in the restroom?
I do.








 Farewell, city of lights. 



Tuesday, March 20, 2012

We'll Always Have Paris


Here are many highlights of my trip to Paris, France earlier this month. I am thoroughly in love with that city, and finally understand all the cliché movies, shows, songs, books, poems, about the city of lights. Who can visit this incredible place and NOT fall in love? Maybe it's the romantic in me, or the 8 years of art history under my belt, but everything about this city is amazing. Check it out.


On google maps the walk form our hotel to Notre Dame was an estimated 10 min walk. There must be an exchange rate, or the general French population just having smaller feet, because this was around the corner from where we were staying. We just strolled around the block and BOOM! We're at Notre Dame. I suddenly knew how all those people looking at the Empire State building feel as I brisk past them into the subway station, rushing like mad to get OUT of midtown.



 The Cathedral is about to celebrate its 850th birthday next year. One thing that came rushing back to me was the film I was shown in 6th or 7th grade about the construction of cathedrals, and how multiple generations toil over the construction of a single church and never see it through from beginning to end completely. How insane is that? These things take literally hundreds of year to just BUILD. 
No wonder it's turning 850, it's built to last!


 We met up with some very good friends from New York who just happened to be in Paris on the very same days as us. Which just by happenstance and principal is probably the coolest thing ever.

This is the first Parisian meal I had; moules et des frites
(on the left is spaghetti carbonara!)

With only a short time to see the city, I decided with a heavy heart to not go into the Louvre, and to only walk around it and its beautiful grounds, because it would take a week to see that whole museum.

Besides, all of Paris is like a museum anyway! 
These gorgeous sculptures are everywhere!
 In fact, everything is artfully prepared.

The Arc de Triumph is in the center of a huge roundabout, which has no lanes nor crosswalks... Or instructions as to how to get across. My friends and I were about 11 seconds away from dashing into 10 lanes of rush hour traffic and dodging cars and speeding vespas, when one of us spotted the tunnel.
 There was a tunnel to get across! Like into New Jersey or Brooklyn, but it went underground for about a hundred feet and there we were, under the Arc. No problem!

We all then took a very cramped Metro ride. Honestly, if we didn't happen to know each other on this commute would we just be spooning total strangers like this? 

Eiffel Tower. The base of this massive structure is just a regular, run of the mill park. There were kids riding bikes, people walking dogs, just chilling. Under the Eiffel Tower. No big thing. 

 Paris at nighttime. I could see all the huge landmarks from the day lit up on the horizon. 


 This is the view from only the 2nd level of the tower, above and below.


 A much needed refueling of wine and bread with our friends after Tour de Eiffel.

Followed by some very cool Paris graffiti.

 Departing on opposite Metro platforms.
 

 What a wonderful time- and the best part is it's only half over! 
Stay tuned for the next Paris post coming soon! Promise!