Archive for:March, 2011

Art of the Day: Raymond Pettibon, “No title (A look. A …)”, 2010 and Art of the Day Break

March 28th, 2011

       (click to enlarge)

       Raymond Pettibon, No title (A look. A …), 2010, pen, ink, and gouache on paper

 
 
 
 
    First, just a note to readers that I’m taking a week’s break from Art of the Day to concentrate on another writing project.
    In the meantime, hope you love this extraordinary piece by an artist I’ve long admired, Raymond Pettibon. This is a fine example of his relatively recent incorporation of color into his process. The maroons, muds and bricks heighten the dark magic of what’s going on between the text and the visual. There’s so much character in the insect’s color: the jaunt upcurl of its right set of legs, the humanlike eye, the fiery & complicated maw. We are regarded with scorn, anger, supplication, confusion, curiosity, superciliousness.
     I think of the film District 9 & of course Mr. Gregor Samsa, howling inside his chitin, but also all the roaches we smash underfoot daily. I think of the universal OK we all feel we have to pinch out the lives of insects and vermin at will; I thin of the way we even use their existence as insults (“You insect,” “You worm,” “You rat”). Despite all evidence of human progress & tolerance & insight & enlightenment we are partly, at core, animals acting within pecking order, taking out daily frustrations and irritations and stresses on whatever smaller things we can, settling often on the tiniest things, bugs, because they’re the un-Disneyfiable, un-Hallmarkable Other, nothing like us at all and all the more dismissable (& threatening) for it.
     Sure we could be like the Jainists (Jainism: Ultrapacifist Indian religion originating sometime between the 9th & 6th centuries BCE) and try and filter our water vessels with screens to keep from swallowing invisible critters, or sweep walkways ahead of our steps with brooms to shoo them away. But this is fruitless — even if we don’t want to we squash the tiniest things, from mite to microflora, by the mere fact of our existence, through our simplest daily actions: the food & drink we consume, the cars we drive, showers we take, stairs we climb, streets we cross. Better to come to terms with honor & understanding & grace that a lived life is inseparable from other things dying and, having done that, try as hard as possible not to kill without provocation or necessity.
     The creature in Pettibon’s “No title” understands all of this and laughs at me for writing it. It’s sure of itself, not scared of me or my shoe. It knows its kind will survive our every diligent effort to exhaust & destroy our planet and render it uninhabitable. It senses every dark tiny dark green stain of guilt we feel & have ever felt upon killing for no reason other than unnameable fear some centipede, beetle, roach, spider. It senses these soul-stains with its antennae. It’s ready.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Please check out more of Pettibon’s work at www.raypettibon.com

 
 
All writing © copyright C. Way / Snailcrow.com 2011

[posted by: C Way at 7:10 PM]

[file under: ABOUT ART ||| ART OF THE DAY ||| Non-fiction & Essays]
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Art of the Day: Bob Arihood, “Snow?”, 2011

March 26th, 2011

       (click to enlarge)

       Bob Arihood, Snow?, 2011

 
 
 
 
     Found this at nadieseconoce.blogspot.com, a terrific site run by one Bob Arihood that photo-chronicles the Lower East Side & Tompkins Square Park areas and their inhabitants. No glam shots of young/rich/pretty LES condo kids. Think Mars Bar, folks who just got out of jail, & tons of little street scenes & details — from grim to perplexing to cute — that the average nyc-photographer misses. In the mood of his shots, his unsentimental (but still humane & engaged) focus on nightscenes and what some might call the seedier side of streetlife, he reminds me of Bressai.
     As for the above — I’m glad someone else finds the sight of a gunk-caked berm of NYC snow compelling. One of my favorite parts of winter here is watching these monstrous sludgy beasts develop over the unthawed weeks, gathering debris, piss, shit, newspapers & hundreds of other decomposed uncatalogueables. All of it sealed and re-sealed over by dirt & oil and traffic chem & god knows what else.
     The photo above perfectly showcases this species of nyc snowbeast at its finest. The lighting is so eerie and right on, feels like I just woke up from sleepwalking onto the set of a movie or police investigation. The little curb of white snow & the glossy sharp way the light hits the right side of the heap gives the whole piece balance, what with the left side sunken into matte shadow & that little black car in the background providing further blackening. Been meaning to post this terrific creep-out shot since the mega-snowdays of earlier in the year, and I’m happy to be finally getting around to it now.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Photo Source: nadieseconoce.blogspot.com/2011/02/snow.html

 
 
All writing © copyright C. Way / Snailcrow.com 2011

[posted by: C Way at 12:31 PM]

[file under: ABOUT ART ||| ART OF THE DAY]
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Art of the Day: Jenny Holzer’s “SURVIVAL, 1983-1985″ & Aurel Schmidt’s “Spider Eyes” (2006)

March 25th, 2011

       (click to enlarge)

       Aurel Schmidt, Spider Eyes, 2006

 

SURVIVAL, 1983-1985

 
 

YOU ARE TRAPPED ON THE EARTH SO YOU WILL EXPLODE

WHAT URGE WILL SAVE US NOW THAT SEX WON’T?

PUT FOOD OUT IN THE SAME PLACE EVERY DAY AND TALK TO THE PEOPLE WHO COME TO EAT AND ORGANIZE THEM

SAVOR KINDNESS BECAUSE CRUELTY IS ALWAYS POSSIBLE LATER

DANCE ON DOWN TO THE GOVERNMENT AND TELL THEM YOU’RE EAGER TO RULE BECAUSE YOU KNOW WHAT’S GOOD FOR YOU

THE BREAKDOWN COMES WHEN YOU STOP CONTROLLING YOURSELF AND WANT THE RELEASE OF A BLOODBATH

SPIT ALL OVER SOMEONE WITH A MOUTHFUL OF MILK IF YOU WANT TO FIND OUT SOMETHING ABOUT HIS PERSONALITY FAST

MOTHERS WITH REASONS TO SOB SHOULD DO IT IN GROUPS IN PUBLIC AND WAIT FOR OFFERS

OUTER SPACE IS WHERE YOU DISCOVER WONDER AND WHERE YOU FIGHT AND NEVER HURT EARTH IF YOU STOP BELIEVING THIS YOUR MOOD TURNS UGLY

DIE FAST AND QUIET WHEN THEY INTERROGATE YOU OR LIVE SO LONG THAT THEY ARE ASHAMED TO HURT YOU ANYMORE

IF YOU HAD BEHAVED NICELY THE COMMUNISTS WOULDN’T EXIST

TRUST VISIONS THAT DON’T FEATURE BUCKETS OF BLOOD

IN A DREAM YOU SAW A WAY TO SURVIVE AND YOU WERE FULL OF JOY

IF YOU’RE CONSIDERED USELESS NO ONE WILL FEED YOU ANYMORE

WHEN YOU EXPECT FAIR PLAY YOU CREATE AN INFECTIOUS BUBBLE OF MADNESS AROUND YOU

YOU ARE SO COMPLEX THAT YOU DON’T ALWAYS RESPOND TO DANGER

MEN DON’T PROTECT YOU ANYMORE

WITH ALL THE HOLES IN YOU ALREADY THERE’S NO REASON TO DEFINE THE OUTSIDE ENVIRONMENT AS ALIEN

WHEN SOMEONE BEATS YOU WITH A FLASHLIGHT YOU MAKE LIGHT SHINE IN ALL DIRECTIONS

FINDING EXTREME PLEASURE WILL MAKE YOU A BETTER PERSON IF YOU’RE CAREFUL ABOUT WHAT THRILLS YOU

USE A STUN GUN WHEN THE PERSON COMING AT YOU HAS A GOOD EXCUSE

IT IS IN YOUR SELF-INTEREST TO FIND A WAY TO BE VERY TENDER

THE BEGINNING OF THE WAR WILL BE SECRET

THE CONVERSATION ALWAYS TURNS TO LIVING LONG ENOUGH TO HAVE FUN

WHAT COUNTRY SHOULD YOU ADOPT IF YOU HATE POOR PEOPLE?

USE WHAT IS DOMINANT IN A CULTURE TO CHANGE IT QUICKLY

PROTECT ME FROM WHAT I WANT

YOU ARE CAUGHT THINKING ABOUT KILLING ANYONE YOU WANT

IT’S HARD TO KNOW IF YOU’RE CRAZY IF YOU FEEL YOU’RE IN DANGER ALL THE TIME NOW

YOU CAN’T REACH THE PEOPLE WHO CAN KILL YOU ANY TIME SO YOU HAVE TO GO HOME AND THINK ABOUT WHAT TO DO

THE FUTURE IS STUPID

HIDE UNDER WATER OR ANYWHERE SO UNDISTURBED YOU FEEL THE JERK OF PLEASURE WHEN AN IDEA COMES

SOMEONE ELSE’S BODY IS A PLACE FOR YOUR MIND TO GO

WHEN THERE’S NO SAFE PLACE TO SLEEP YOU’RE TIRED FROM WALKING ALL DAY AND EXHAUSTED FROM THE NIGHT BECAUSE IT’S TWICE AS DANGEROUS THEN

IT’S EASY TO GET MILLIONS OF PEOPLE ON EVERY CONTINENT TO PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO EATING AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY

GO WHERE PEOPLE SLEEP AND SEE IF THEY’RE SAFE

HANDS ON YOUR BREAST CAN KEEP YOUR HEART BEATING

TURN SOFT AND LOVELY ANY TIME YOU HAVE A CHANCE

IT IS FUN TO WALK CARELESSLY IN A DEATH ZONE

YOU LIVE THE SURPRISE RESULTS OF OLD PLANS

LET YOUR HAND WANDER ON THE FLESH TO MAKE POSSIBILITY MULTIPLY

IT IS EMBARRASSING TO BE CAUGHT AND KILLED FOR STUPID REASONS

SHOOT INTO INFINITE SPACE TO HIT A TARGET IN TIME AND CALL IT INEVITABLE

YOU HOVER NEAR LOVELY UNCONSCIOUS LIFE-FORMS THAT OFFER NO IMMEDIATE RESISTANCE

PEOPLE LOOK LIKE THEY ARE DANCING BEFORE THEY LOVE

BODIES LIE IN THE BRIGHT GRASS AND SOME ARE MURDERED AND SOME ARE PICNICKING

SILLY HOLES IN PEOPLE ARE FOR BREEDING OR ARE FROM SHOOTING

YOUR MODERN FACE SCANS THE SURPRISE ENDING

 

 

 
– Jenny Holzer

 

 

 
Scairt? Confused? Set yr face to glowy grin. & let the night rush in.

 

 

 
                           Holzer Source: mosssleeper.tumblr.com

                           More of Holzer at jennyholzer.com

                           More of Schmidt’s art over at Saatchi Gallery and fecalface.com

 

 

[posted by: C Way at 9:58 AM]

[file under: ART OF THE DAY]
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Art of the Day: Gavin Turk, “Ruvig Tank”, 2010

March 24th, 2011


       Gavin Turk, Ruvig Tank, 2010, clay

 
 
 
 
 
 
 Please check out more of Turk’s art here at gavinturk.com.

 
 
All writing © copyright C. Way / Snailcrow.com 2011

[posted by: C Way at 11:18 PM]

[file under: ABOUT ART ||| ART OF THE DAY ||| Ekphrasis]
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Art of the Day: John Wesley, “Bulls and Bed”, 1986

March 23rd, 2011


       John Wesley, Bulls and Bed, 1986, acrylic on canvas

 
 
 
 Please learn more about Wesley & check out more of his art here at this NYTimes article from ’09.

 
 
All writing © copyright C. Way / Snailcrow.com 2011

[posted by: C Way at 8:20 PM]

[file under: ABOUT ART ||| ART OF THE DAY ||| Ekphrasis]
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