Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Endless Lunch With Picasso

Think you've seen enough Picassos?  Not a chance. You are not permitted to leave the table...expect a couple of books, films and souvenirs to emerge following the recent find of nearly 300 previously unknown works by the 20th century master. And thanks to a retired electrician and his wife, Pierre Le Guennec.

But the heirs are not pleased and a giant legal battle is on its way.  One of the delicious quotes coming out:

"When Picasso made just a little drawing on a metro ticket, he would keep it," said Jean-Jacques Neuer, a lawyer for Picasso's estate. "To think he could have given 271 works of art to somebody who isn't even known among his friends is of course absurd."

Read the full story here.

Caption from AP: This photo provided Monday Nov. 29, 2010 by the Succession Picasso shows an artwork "Papier colle pipe et bouteille" by Picasso. 

A retired French electrician and his wife have come forward with 271 undocumented, never-before-seen works by Pablo Picasso estimated to be worth at least euro 60 million ($79.35 million), an administrator of the artist's estate said Monday.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Barack Obama: Official Birth Certificate

Well here it is, finally, Barack Obama's Official Hawaiian birth certificate.

And, it's also now on the Internets, so people can all take a close look at it, send to other people via e mail, and even print it out for their own personal copy.

Sound cool?  Great. Now we can all go out for a beer.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Danielle Voirin's view is always unusual, interesting, and leaves you wanting to see a bit more.  Sometimes this American photographer gives you an arm de plus, sometimes it's a minimalist view of a wall – and spider.

She took the series of Zen/Bathtub images of me some years ago on assignment to feature artists working in their studios.  After 50 or so photos of me drawing, I said, "Dani, let me run the tub." One of those images is my profile shot here, another is used as the header on my blog.

Her photos, though, always tell a story. Seldom are they snapshots of the like we see endlessly on FaceBook.

And Dani told the story of the small calf destined to become a meal, Carole, for the global project, A Book About Death.

Here is her "Rain." Click on it to enlarge and see the reflections – the real subject of this photograph.

On her blog she plays the narrator and protagonist in an endless struggle against spiders, moths, and mice. Her self-portraits in black and white are funny and moving and beautifully made. She has documented the lives of artists at the Paris Squat at 59 Rue de Rivoli. And she's gone back and forth to South America for a number of portrait projects.

More work from the Paris-based photographer: http://www.daniellevoirin.com/blog/

And here is Dani's professional site: http://www.daniellevoirin.com/

Friday, November 26, 2010


Paper Girl, the inventive art-giving project that launched in Berlin in 2006, has spread like kudzu across the planet with (mostly) girls delivering art free to the masses via their two-wheelers. 

The artworks are usually rolled up and delivered by handing them out to people on the street.  Several thousand artworks have been delivered already, and the submissions have been sent in from thousands of artists all over the world.

The concept has spawned a growing interest in bikes, art, and a rolling Fluxus activity. Videos are posted, exhibitions organized, articles written.  The idea of putting art in the hands of people who would not otherwise see it (or own it) is very appealing, apparently to just about everybody.

Above, an article on the phenomenon in Manchester, UK.  Other Paper Girl cities include Albany, New York City, Brasov Romania, Bucharest, Cape Town, Charlotte NC, Kelowna Canada, North Hampton Massachusetts, San Franciso California, São Paulo Brazil and Portland Oregon among other spots on the planet.

Papergirl Berlin explains the concept in this Video"The basic idea with the project is to bring art to the public in a different way from normal; to surprise people and bring them into contact with art in their everyday life.

"The initial impulse for this project came with the tightening of a law, in 2005, equating sticking up posters in public places with graffiti-spraying. But the idea of distributing art by bike came more from the search for new ways to bring art straight to society, and have more fun doing so, than out of fear of possible punishment. Papergirl is, in short: participatory, analogue, non-commercial and impulsive."

Thursday, November 25, 2010


THE HISTORY OF FLUXUS, 2010. Collage on paper. From the series, Where Does It Itch? Each 30 x 20.5 cm. 125 €, includes shipping.

See more artworks for sale.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Cool Hunting Video: Kim Rugg

Kim Rugg from Cool Hunting on Vimeo.


From Cool Hunting: "Some people like taking their time," says artist Kim Rugg, whose artistic achievements are measured in millimeters, used X-ACTO blades and picas. We spent the afternoon with Rugg in her London home and studio talking about her work re-imagining newspapers, comics, stamps and cereal boxes using their existing form while rearranging their content. Kim finds inspiration from the mundane and common objects around us. Her wicked knife skills and tenacious attention to detail have created a body of work that is as impressive as it is curious."

Prints & Posters & Prints & Posters

Check out the Posters And Print Blog, a daily offering of new print and poster releases.  This image: Shepard Fairey's Roy Lichtenstein-inspired Pop piece on power, "OBEY POWER."  The print is about the empowerment of street art, the enduring power of Pop and of course, appropriation.

The Posters & Prints Blog covers it all, though.  Tons of Hello Kitty interpretations, great theater and film posters, and some curiously wonderful pieces culled from the net, like, Saelee Oh's Infinite Path, a laser cut piece that is truly astonishing.

These very nice people also recently posted about my ANGLAIS print offered by Keep Calm Gallery.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Subway Windows: Keith Haring

World's most celebrated vandal at work, Keith Haring, circa: 1978, NYC Subway, New York.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sarah de Teliga At Home: Crushed Cans, Painted Chops & Vibrating Landscapes


Painting has never been the simple application of color on surface in order to reproduce reality – objective or not. Any successful painter has rendered reality in a way that endures beyond its own time. And in that process lies the poetic struggle of vision and the talent to pull it off, the result of which is a signature, the hard fought engraved reason for living an aesthetic life in a world overrun with quite a few ugly things.

"Landscape is a vehicle to coax us into a transcendental state," de Sarah de Teliga tells me, implying that a transcendental state is a goal, and a temporary one at that.

The expatriate Australian living in Paris expresses that goal that in pretty much every stroke of paint on her varied surfaces. As she prepares for an exhibition at Damien Minton Gallery in Sydney, finishing up some 20 small landscapes on board, 25 paintings on found crushed cans, and six small "pill" pieces on scraps of metal, I had the opportunity to meet with her and talk about what painting is, can be and the effort to get beyond reality to arrive at a nearer truth – in paint.

Store Front Windows: As your show At Home in at Damien Minton Gallery Australia readies to open and you prepare for the trip, what sorts of aesthetic thinking will you be bringing from Paris with you?

Sarah de Teliga: These past few years I saw and drank in an enormous amount of painting particularly Holbein, Memling, David Hockney, and Gauguin – and Gaugin through Peter Doig’s eyes. Gaugin, with the fabulous exhibition at the Tate in London, is an interesting point of departure. He was always trying to create a perfect world in his paintings – trying to remake even 19th and early 20th century Tahiti. When Gaugin arrived there he saw that it was so impure, so Westernized…he immediately set about creating an island dream.  Earlier he went to Brittany and sought out ancient folkloric imagery that no longer existed and tried to recast it through landscapes, nostalgia and paint.

SFW: And what is that for you…as a painter working at the onset of the 21st century?

SdT: I accept the ongoing contamination of culture… But my beautiful trees in a forest come with a fence and a rubbish bin. I see the constraints of nature, and part of what I do is show we no longer have a pure natural state, but only an aesthetic state.  I've always included those elements of modernity into the landscape; in nature – when we immerse ourselves – I think we are sidestepping the venal aspects of the world.  I'm in a cage trying to create a world with massive landscapes in it. I know it's a fiction, but a desire nonetheless.

SFW: In your show at Damien Minton, we see landscapes and seascapes from France and England, mountains and seasides. Where's "At Home" for you?

SdT: Home is somewhere I put my mind, where I can paint until the temporal details fade and delicate poetry emerge and where I can focus, meditate, worship. I wonder, is it a form of animism? It can be rock pools in Sydney, megaliths (standing stones) in Cumbria, England, or along the Mediterranean coast in France. All of those outdoor spaces – the sea, the mountains, the forests – connect with me as a child, from my early life in Australia. 

For instance, when the first painters came to Australia, they continued to paint that country side as if it were a European landscape. In a way, I'm always looking for the eucalyptus!  In the process, I find that I can swim out as far as I like and won't be taken by a shark. But there's always a shark lurking. Key the music for "Jaws!"   

SFW: In this exhibition you've put together an incredible series of works on flattened, rusted cans and tins… There are "chops" and "landscapes" and "megaliths" and "madonnas" and "animals." They are so unusual and strange. What is the genesis of this series?

SdT: The crushed can series perhaps grow from my interest in  artists such as  Rauschenberg, using the found, used. An object with a long but contemporary history imprinted in them – their sophisticated engineering, their printing, the finest our culture produces then promptly discards. That they are found and abused reflects back on the culture we live in… "throw away." My pleasure is to place something timeless on them – a landscape or a woman in a burqa or an animal that is so far from the idea of garbage. I have to admit, I love the surfaces and the scale and the limitations; you can only do so much on these pieces. They have to be clear.  Using that surface, I allow the subject matter to generate new and different meanings. The iron age megaliths like Io Pan, which shows a number of wind generators behind the large  standing rock, is like a message in a bottle… but rather a can. I found this on my street run over a thousand times by trucks and buses and cars. There's also a link back to painters who worked on cigar boxes, that impoverished supports, a kind of arte povera of my own.

SFW: The pieces with the women in burqas are unusual, and my guess, political…

SdT: The paintings of women in burqas are both on Coke cans.  Given the animosity between the two prevailing Western and Middle Eastern cultures, it seemed that the corporate giant – Coca-Cola – is a logical support for this kind of work.  I understand there is even a competing cola brand out of the Middle East – Mecca Cola.  But I don't think they make cans… if they did, perhaps I'd paint an American serviceman or  make a reference to the poverty-stricken sharecroppers in 1930s on one. That would be fair, don't you think? But it's not judging so much as posing questions.

: And the chops?

SdT: Meat is such a rich and delicious subject.  In Australian culture the barbecue and the chop is kind of an icon, a sign of abundance, fun.  My husband bought a pair of chops for me to work with here in Paris as models, then we ate the still life!  All one has to do is look back at 500 years of still life painting - Rembrandt, Chardin, Soutine, Francis Bacon – and we find a compelling narrative of our own history.  Painting raw meat is a great sensual pleasure.

SFW: Your landscapes on boards are so different from these pieces on twisted and crushed metal, how do they relate?

SdT: The landscapes are always plein air, they are real places that alter as I work, as thoughts drip into the landscape unbidden.  Technically, they are more demanding  I find myself reaching towards a brand of realism, but not so much that they are closed spaces. I think people project themselves into these spaces – even though they are quite small – whether it's a seaside or mountain range or forest.  For example, one of the Mediterranean series with its rock formations had one psychiatrist friend of mine telling me she saw legs and arms, a "muscular sensuality" in them. They are windows onto the “marvelous.”  In making them I hope for a certain percentage of the actual landscape filtering back into the work without my control,  becoming a distillation of my own aspirations and psychological moods and nourishing beauty of the natural world. The image has an ability to hold memory in layers, like a piece of amber; my thoughts are something like insects embedded within. The landscapes become symbolic echoes of the spiritual world, feeble little attempts using the certainty of paint to illuminate the spirit. Adjusting the temperature of the natural world to nuances of my feelings.

SFW: Have you always made landscapes?

SdT: Yes, for decades. The first few years after art school I produced interior landscapes, but always with a window. I painted chairs, radiators, and objects we often look at but ignore – cables, electrical outlets, the backs of televisions. Slowly I looked more and more out the window. When I lived opposite the Cimetière du Montparnasse I produced landscapes looking out the window. Then, over the past few years I just walked into these spaces and painted everything around me. There is a spiritual aspect to them, but the smallness of these pieces also makes them objects, totems, ex-votos. They are worldly links to dreams, to love and belief.

SFW: You have an obsession with detail.  I'm looking at some of the newer can pieces, the still-lifes, they seem to be details of draperies, a nod to Cézanne?

SdT: Well in fact there are a few pieces that salute Cézanne, like the paint can top of draperies.  Here in France for some reason my attention is drawn to the folds of fabric, the chips in walls, the miniature parks between the pavement cracks, the patterns in the gutter of cigarette butts outside a school, details in paintings, all sorts of things that we need to overlook.  Adding something of value – a detail of an elegant life – to stuff in the gutter, becomes a time capsule.  I'm doubling up the time capsule with references.  In a way, because I live in Paris, maybe it's how I see the French seeing themselves.  In a fin de siècle dream, they seem to admire a reality that is quite different from the actual– trash in the gutter.  There's a gorgeous irony to that.

Sarah de Teliga : At Home Ici Bas
Damien Minton Gallery, Sydney, Australia

Opening: November 30, 2010.  Thru: December 18, 2010.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Alan Riding: Life in Nazi Occupied Paris

Alan Riding's new book on Paris during the Nazi occupation has just been published.  Riding was European culture correspondent for the New York Times for 12 years; he is based in Paris. His book details the lives and contributions of artists and writers during this critical moment in 20th century history.

Order or read more here.

From the publisher: On June 14, 1940, German tanks rolled into a silent and deserted Paris. Eight days later, a humbled France accepted defeat along with foreign occupation. The only consolation was that, while the swastika now flew over Paris, the City of Light was undamaged. Soon, a peculiar kind of normality returned as theaters, opera houses, movie theaters and nightclubs reopened for business. 

This suited both conquerors and vanquished: the Germans wanted Parisians to be distracted, while the French could show that, culturally at least, they had not been defeated. Over the next four years, the artistic life of Paris flourished with as much verve as in peacetime. Only a handful of writers and intellectuals asked if this was an appropriate response to the horrors of a world war. 

See the book web site for And The Show Went On.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Artists Protest At Ray Johnson & A Book About Death Exhibition On Long Island

Several artists were seen protesting at the recent opening of Ray Johnson & A Book About Death, the most recent in a series of exhibitions on the subject of death at CW Post College on Long Island. 

The protestors, including so-called "collage artist" Honey Millmann, carried signs that said "PROTEST."  When asked what she was protesting, Millmann explained: "NOTHING."  Ray Johnson, the artist who is acknowledged as the "father of mail art," made many "nothings" in the form of drawings, photocopy prints and performances.  He has also a large body of work featuring the word "nothing" backwards: "gnihton."

Later in the evening Honey Millmann switched signs.  This one "ABAD IDEA" uses the acronym for the A Book About Death exhibitions.  Here she is seen with a coffin, reportedly filled with "nothing" specially shipped in for the opening. Millmann works with Viv Maudlin to document exhibitions, as well. Her work can be seen here: ABAD NYC and RJ&ABAD.

The protesters were met with other artists without signs posing as a Madonna and Child.

See more here: http://rayjohnsonandabookaboutdeath.blogspot.com/

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Control A Woman : New & Improved

Waiting for the remote for men to come out.  Click image to enlarge (and read the buttons).

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ron English: Camoflage Deer

The brilliant Ron English never sleeps. His participation in Underbelly, a street art project in an abandoned NYC subway station took place when the city that never sleeps took a nap. Click here to see a  Video of the project. Above, his painting Camo Deer.  See more from his Popaganda site.

Visit the Underbelly Project.