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Just a quick note to say that that was the best goddamn concert I’ve been to in my fucking life. Thank you, Cure :)  It’s been 11 years and a lifetime since the first time I saw them and they’ve done nothing but gotten better (and Robert looks the best he’s looked in more than  a decade, I think). We also met a few cool people at the show (much nicer than the avg US gig). See the next paragraph you all:

Paivi will be posting her pics soon and I’ll have video up in a week or two (I cant edit the clips here in Hong Kong and I have Virgin Festival to hit pretty much right after we get back in town – so it’ll have to be after that).  I’ll make a note here when those things happen.

Art Notes:

I did a couple of sketches on the plane to Hong Kong I’ll post later. If I had done them anywhere else, I wouldnt bother – theyre not that cool. But when you realize that I’m 6’5+ and did them in that cramped seat on a bumpy flight, you might go “ah cool” like I did. Or not – they’re just sketches. :)

I also have some silly posts to make here later about pretentious art bars.

Also, I’ll be doing a writeup of my own Wall Mountables Exhibit (vs the review of the whole thing).

All that and I need to catch up with my travbuddy blog which has been a casualty of our pace of life the past few days.

Off to sleep so I can actually make it to Macau tomorrow

I meant to write this up for Lynne (aka theartmonkey on artdc.org) for a DCist piece she was doing, but travel preparations got in the way.

Basically, it’s great. Opening night was the fist time I’ve been to an art opening where I felt relaxed, amused, was around friendly and happy people, felt the show was well run, and really liked the art – all at the same time. Other events have been fun, but stressful, Some have had great art but made me want to pull my teeth out and use them to self-mutilate my skin out of raging boredom.

When Flux happened, it was called an Art Sensory Overload – and it was! It was fantastic. The in your face flood of input was perfect and was what most shows lack. But it was in a big space. There were big pieces.  There were bands. This is all great and I freaking love it, but those types of salon events aren’t –relaxing-. And the Wall Mountables show definitely is.

Just in case you doubt the objectivity of my own reactions to it, though (I mean, I am participating in it), I bring to your attention my 16 year old sister. Previously, we had brought this 4.x GPA local soccer star to the Modernism exhibit at the Corcoran. She had little to say to that and actually ended up falling asleep. Her friends took her to the Air and Space museum, but they couldn’t take it and ended up spending most of their time in the café there. When, however, she walked into the DCAC show, she positively beamed. And it didn’t stop there. As more and more people came in twice, three, even four times her age, the smile got even larger. She slowly walked the room, taking in each artist’s pieces one by one – individually. A number of times, I caught her staring intently at pieces with her mouth slightly open. It took her a good 30 minutes to make it through the entire room. By way of comparison, it only took us an hour to go through the entire Modernism exhibit. The difference was night and day.  Later on, shes surprised me with some remarkable answers when I asked her which pieces she enjoyed the most.

What was different? What caused this…this…honest enjoyment of an art show? Obviously, the artists deserve a lot of the credit. Much of the work at the show is fun to look at and really well done. But, let’s be honest – “Bodies”, this is not.  There was little “cutting edge” material (whether you define that in content, technique, or process terms). The DCAC also were a large part of the enjoyable atmosphere and overall experience – they really seemed to have their shit together. What I also think contributed (and Im showing my biases here) was the small venue with floor to ceiling art. If they had tripled or doubles the size of the venue, but kept the same amount of art, the effect just wouldn’t be the same.  This is a concept I often have trouble communicating to others. I believe that an art show/opening is a production. It’s a piece of art in and of itself. I honestly don’t remember the names of any of the artists there whom I didn’t already know (including the participant who really loved my work), but I remember the feel of the whole show as a single experience. And venue selection is a huge, huge part of making that work.

Some will say that to really get a good art experience, it needs to be curated. I disagree. If you create the appropriate presentation vehicle (building feel, size, locations, advertising, artists’ callouts, press), then a salon-style art event like Wall Mountables will always catch the soul and human joy of art that constantly seems to get lost at more…clinically designed shows. In one case, you make 16 year old girls smile and laugh and talk about art. In the other, you attract commodities traders and inspire kids to be accountants.

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I have some stuff to post about the Wall Mountables show I’m in, my trip, 0 Project, etc. but I can write that post on the plane tomorrow or in HK the next day.  I just wanted to point out the RSS feed in the right side column. That goes to my travbuddy.com blog where I’ll be writing about the trip. I also want to throw an entry into a travel writing column. More later.

Sometimes we all need a break from what we’ve been doing. Me more so than some. In fact, the staccato-like nature of my attention span dictates that those breaks are an integral of my daily life. That said, I usually come back around and so here we are again.

 Second Life has finally taken its appropriate place in the back seat of my day to day world and I’m back making more traditional art. While my intellect really appreciated the digital endeavors (and they are still ongoing), I just don’t get the same deep in-my-soul satisfaction from that stuff as I do from working with my hands on a tangible piece. As I’ve said before here, I like bits of material laying around afterwards. I enjoy looking over the scorched earth of my workspace when the piece is done. I enjoy the art equivalent of the satisfaction you get from manual labour. 

 That all said, here are the two new charcoals. One is an interpretation of an artdc.org member, jron, who posted a number of facial-gestured focused self portraits in the thread. The second if of my wife. Neither is intended to be a literal interpretation of the individuals being drawn. I just wanted to use them has jumping off points for how I felt at the moment. Over time, I’ve gotten much better technically at reproducing proportion, form and using color, but I lost a bit of the soul in my early (teen) works. In these, and probably for the known future, Im consciously working at combining my old sketch-technique focused drawing style and the focused, specific approach to images that I learned/aquired as time went on. I think these are both good examples of the combination Im talking about.

jron from artdc.org  My Wife Paivi

The picture of my wife (and a few other, older pieces) will be on display at the Wall Mountables show in Adams Morgan (Washington, DC):

DCAC Wall Mountables Show
July 20 – Sept 7th, 2007
The opening reception is July 20th from 7-9pm

District of Columbia Arts Center
2438 18th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009
www.dcartscenter.org

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