Sunday, January 23, 2011

LA Art Show Mash Up

The LA Art Show ended today at 5pm. It was a full five days of visiting galleries and artists from all over the world. The best part was viewing work I wouldn't necessarily would have seen otherwise.

Meeting Tao Dong Dong was a personal highlight for me. He lives in Beijing, so I thought it was treat

Some performance art took place. This artist rolled around in a potato sack.

Believe it or not this is not a live person. She is literally a piece of art.

Me chatting it up with Magnolo Bulgarin, Gallery Director at Pyo Gallery in dowtown LA.

My mother and sister came to the art show. That was the best time of all!

First Nation Art

Native American, AKA First Nation, art has been around, well, before the United States became the second nation. Native Americans have been the subject for many artists (check out the Andy Warhal piece above). Their lives continue to inspire, and serve as a constant reminder of injustices committed against indigenous people.

There were many pieces at the show. Not surprisingly, galleries from the Southwest featured the lion's share of Native American Art. Yes, there were traditional renderings of American Indian life (above); however, there were newer, more abstract pieces, like the ones by Native American artist Tony Abeyta (below).

Saturday, January 22, 2011

What the Hell Is That? Thinking in Abstract.

There was a time when I thought that abstracts were bunk. I needed to see defined images with obvious content. Then I began to appreciate color for color's sake. What is on the canvas, is open for interpretation.

Last year, I was at a gallery and was awed by an abstract. There was something about it that "spoke to me," if you will. The artist was there and began explaining it to me. The painting was called Pain, and it was a piece he had done when his lover passed from AIDS. Having done AIDS work for 20 years, I understood what the artist was doing. He captured an emotional state that I was familiar with. What do you see?

Exploring the Female Nude

What is it about the female nude that is so tempting to capture? The male nude is also beautiful, but the painting, photographing, sculpting of a woman's nude body is just different somehow. The curves, the peaks of the breasts, the grooves of a ribcage is truly awesome.

Here are some images from the LA Art Show.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Seeing Monty and Other Dead Celebrities

I was walking around at the LA Art Show, admiring the work. I turned a corner, and I lost my breath. As many of you know, I am a HUGE Montgomery Clift fan. You can imagine how I felt when I saw his face in a painting!

There are certain icons who continue to inspire way after their death. Indeed, it's their demise--often at a much too young age--that contribute to their legend.

China, Loud and Clear

Unless you've been living in a cave, you may have noticed China's emergence in global discussions: politics, economics, sports (they whupped ass in the Olympics). But there's always been that not-so great record on human rights. For obvious reasons, divisive political art in China is frowned upon, however, there are creative Chinese voices coming through loud and clear. It was evident at the LA Art Show.

Freedom of expression seems to be tolerated, as long as its charming. There was no work recalling Tianemen or demanding freedom for Tibet. Gallerists probably chose the pieces at the artshow, thinking they'd best appeal to westerners. It certainly appealed to me. The work displayed was incredible. Large, colorful pieces overwhelmed walls, as if to say that the Chinese voice is truly THIS BIG. Playful and melancholy were sentiments that I took away from the work exhibited.

For some of the galleries, this was their first time showing in the US.

It was refreshing to see work by Chinese women at the art show. Artist Hao Li in front of her painting. She's exhibited all over the world.

My childhood came rushing back when I saw this piece!

An artist that I hyperventilated over meeting was Tao Dong Dong. His visions of seeing his subjects through water has awed me for quite some time. I was thrilled to do this impromptu vid of him.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Art in 3-D

For those of us who like to walk among or around our art (or simply want the work to jut out at us) there were some really interesting sculptures and installations at the show. I'm certainly guilty of paying too much attention to the oils and acrylics. However, there were other pieces there that were amazing.

These skateboards made to look like Polynesian artifacts just tickled me.

There's something about crushed art that I love, like this mounted piece of broken cups and saucers. It looks like one mean party or one mean divorce just happened.
This intallation rocked! It's interactive, so you could step on the broken plates and glass.

The Los Angeles Art Show

With what is going on in the world--floods in Australia, broken government in Tunisia, and the Tucson shootings--it was nice to attend the LA Art Show and be overwhelmed with creativity. It was an eclectic exhibit with galleries and artists from all over the world.

I'll be blogging about it all weekend, so stay tuned.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

"Faces of Hope" Book Sales Soar

From Publishers Lunch:

Arizona Tragedy Highlights Book of 9/11 Babies

The death of nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green in the Arizona shootings has brought national attention to a previously-overlooked 2002 book from HCI, FACES OF HOPE. The title presents pictures of 50 babies born on 9/11/2001, one from each state, along with messages of hope for their future, with Green's baby picture representing Arizona.

For anyone who missed the first wave of attention for the book, President Obama cited it again in last night's nationally-televised speech: "As has already been mentioned, Christina was given to us on September 11th, 2001, one of 50 babies born that day to be pictured in a book called Faces of Hope. On either side of her photo in that book were simple wishes for a child's life. "I hope you help those in need," read one. "I hope you know all the words to the National Anthem and sing it with your hand over your heart." "I hope you jump in rain puddles." If there are rain puddles in Heaven, Christina is jumping in them today."

HCI director of communications Kim Weiss tells us they were already receiving reorders for the book--including a sizable order from Ingram--prior to last night's speech, and demand has only increased. The company, which prints its own books, will be back on press later today for "a significant number" of new copies that is still being determined, and Weiss expects it will take them two days to turn around the new books. They have a modest number of books still in their warehouse heading out today, with demand hitting online first but now expected to spread to bookstores. In-store stock was light, since the book had sold modestly after its 10,000-copy printing in 2002. While they did discuss a modest revision to the book in light of recent events, Weiss says they "decided not to."

Friday, January 07, 2011

Notes from the Front Lines

I ran into Marisela Norte a few months ago. (Read previous post about Gronk at MOCA) She was upbeat, and we talked writing and creativity. I had no idea she was laid off. Then again, I'm not sure what "laid off" looks like. With all the news of the economic downturn, I'd always known that no one knows the pain of unemployment or job rejection like artists. It is something we've known from the gate. During this time, artists feel the sting even more. I know a painter who hasn't sold a painting since the market went bad in 2008. I know many writers who haven't sold a book in awhile--including me!

Here is an article of an artist making do. It was quite refreshing to read. As artists, we are resilient souls. Let's show the world how creative people live creatively!

Article here.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

2011 is all about Creative Success

This is a picture of me dressed as an angel from the 1980's German movie Wings of Desire. It was taken at an art installation that the Hammer Museum had on Halloween. The installation was a house that was made in a way that caused one to question gravity. Indeed, it looks like I truly am testing my wings and preparing for flight.

I think this picture encapsulates my 2011 goals. I'm going to focus on Creative Success. This means many things to me. Yes, there's the money aspect of creativity--I do hope to make a few dollars as a writer. However, it also means growth.

You may have gathered from earlier posts, that I've been engaging in painting. At the time of this writing, I've taken two painting workshops with respected artist Margaret Garcia. I'll continue to take more.

I'm working on a new performance piece.

I'm going to complete my next novel.

I'm going to put more art into good homes via Art Rescue by Noel. Thus far, I'd put over 40 pieces of art into worthy hands.

I want to teach writing again--something I haven't done in a couple of years.

2011--watch out!