Sunday, January 29, 2012

New York 2012

Yes, it was freezing. Yes, there were line ups galore in front of every major art gallery or Museum but, New York is still a great time.

My friend Alan and I started with a coffee.

Yup, even in the sweaty subway people were all bundled up. I drew this sketch while overhearing some heinous teens talking. I think if you grew up in NYC you would be a sleazier more foul version of yourself....just a thought.

At the Guggenheim- the Maurizo Cattelan retrospective, ALL.

You can see the herds of people in line that you are trying to avoid at all costs, it was an amazing thing to take in but at the end of it all, I am no longer sure what I think of the artist- it was a lot of one liners, winks and leg pulling. Not much gravitas when you have a minature Hitler floating by a cord, sizzle si!, but any substantial steak....????

I caught the JFK piece about a year and a half ago at the New Museum in NYC, you went around a corner, its dark, and boom, a dead man in a coffin- and it is JFK! This was not just all denouement seeing it again, it also made you see how things looked silly and just too pop-shebang-fizz (to borrow from Gainsbourg)

The New Museum now? Forget about it! about a 3 hour wait in the -9 told me to move on.

But you can look at the mammoth undertaking it was for the museum to install a slide in the gallery, they cut a hole in the floor:

I stopped at the Sperone Westwater, just down the street in the Bowery. A show of sculptural work, old and new, not much of a focus but it was interesting stuff and the building is a massive structure which has work in the elevator on display. Most apartments could fit in this elevator mind you.

A sort of Gorilla John the Baptist with rubber gloves and disposable cups, all made out of marble, an ironic tour de force I suppose.

By evening fall, it was even colder, I slipped into this bar not far Chinatown, called Home sweet Home. Loud, but warm! I relaxed and drew some of the characters.

This was before it got too packed.

Also, dropped in on Caroline Falby, she is an ex-pat who is working on her Masters at Hunter College in city. Her studio is close to Times Square, it is this massive building which just feels like an old art building.

You can check out some her work here

She is working on some new stuff at the moment- she seems very interested in the War of 1812 and what it means to Canada and the United States. In the meantime, you can see her multi referential work which employs a breezy technique to inject joy and a seemingly carefree element to the work.

I drew this double drawing of the bartender while having a boozey afternoon, at the back of this place called Bread.

I really did leave the canal/chinatown area!

The Neue gallerie had some beautiful Egon Schiele drawings on display, more than you see if you go to the Albertina drawing gallery in Vienna ( but that was based on my trip in the early 90s, might have been one of those things when you go and everything is closed), so that was a treat.

If you go to NYC soon, you have to go to the Neue Gallerie, its focus is Austrian/German work -- amazing stuff. Also, have a coffee in the Cafe Sabarsky, it is a highly regarded dinner spot. I was there on Saturday and the lineups to eat were astounding.

A little sketch I made about a year and half ago while drinking a $6 Viennese coffee, it was good but six dollars? I know, I know, its New York baby.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sketching with the Wacom Inkling

Since I was in the states, I was able to snap up one of Wacom's much talked about but super late released, Inkling. This device allows you to draw in your sketchbook ( with their ink) and a digital record will be created of the drawing. Furthermore, you can add layers while drawings and convert it into vectors....yowzers, it is exciting.
I am pretty happy with this test, clearly I did not heed do not sketch within 2cm of the reader, poor Omar has lost his head here, I was happy with that part- and Luke's head is clipped too. But a cool start. Here is to the device on Wacom's website The thing has already sold out of, and they don't ship to Canada.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Drawing based on old photos

Here is another example of photograph I picked up at Gadabout.

The inscription on the back identifies the boat as the S.S.Briarwood, which saw action in WW2, damaged but was not sunk. This picture was taken en route to England in 1938.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Jan 21st, 2011 out for Colwyn's Birthday

I did not do a drawing of Colwyn, the Toronto based artist and recipient of multiple art awards from various government bodies.

But I did catch this old coot who was wearing a jaunty angled bow tie and was playing a mean game of pool.

I did not mean for Joe and Ilka to look so serious, they were not, maybe it just came out that way as they were leaving early.

Whereas this is one of the bartenders explaining last call was over.

Here is a link to Colwyn's WORK

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sketches based on Goya and Gillray

OK, what can you say about Goya that has not been said? His etchings are incredible, its even hard to experience them first hand because as an artist you have seen them reproduced hundreds of times before you can examine them in real life.

The AGO has tried to help you! They present a folio of the "Los Caprichos which has been hand tinted by a collector, seriously? WTF. This is just silly. It chromatically works better with Gillray but that is not the idea here. The work is changed and it is hard to appreciate the fine line work and Aquatints when they are presented like Ted Turner has caca'd all over the damn things.

Gillray's work is really terrific, he shows you the other side of how the United Kingdom saw the narrative of the French Revolution, instead of the shirking off the oppression of the Monarchy, you have a sense of the fear of the reign of terror.

And then there is Larry the mensch, beset by demons on all sides.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bartender at Bread, circa 2012

I have a drawing in my 2010 grouping of a male bartender at the front of this restaurant, this is at the back. We were having some afternoon drinks.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Alan Chan, Jan 14th 2012.

After a late night and a cold walk, we stopped at this place on Prince street cafe for a coffee.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Raymond Pettibon

I love this mad man

He has said some keen things about the war in the Persian Gulf

He has a wide variety in his work

His work is intense and honest

I came across a show of his a few years ago at the Bergamot station in Santa Monica, he had just left, apparently he was unhappy with his framed prints so he pulled out a sharpie marker and added phrases in the white space, the gallery was a bit bowled over, some of the work had already sold and they had to sell work with stuff which could be just rubbed off, you know it would go all as part of the schtick, but that hadn't smoothed that out yet.

Hey its a long video, but if you have a few minutes and don't know about this artist, have a look:

Watch Humor on PBS. See more from ART:21.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Japanese influences

As you may have spotted before, I love Japanese prints, especially those of the style called Ukiyo-e, which I think is the Meiji period after the Edo like at the end of the Samurai, very Last Samurai without Tom Cruise faffing about- actually he was ok in that film.

Personally I love the prints which are a historical record of the Sino-Japanese and the Russo-Japanese wars.

Japanese compositions are so dynamic and this time period is fascinating as the imagery is a mixture of eastern and western influences.

Also, Japanese visual culture seems so inventive even 120 years ago, check out these two images!

I think this is just marvelous, the medical treatment of a damaged ship!

And this is right out of Macbeth, look at how the Tsar Nicholas awakes to see this nightmare of damaged armaments before him

The two below are from the Russian conflict, the upper image has old school Ninja types sabotaging Russia's major advantage, the train.

The lower image: the horrific results.

Well, having looked at all this, I'm not sure you can draw a direct line to my work but it is a mystic talisman that I gravitate to on some level. My sketchbook uses more of this narrative.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

New Studies

I have been working a little bit in the studio and to get back in the groove and loosen up the arm, I started doing these conte sketches from an old photo album.

A friend of mine loaned me this album, I need to get it back to him, but I just fall in love with these images every time I open it up. I need to do some scans so he can get some prints done.

These pictures are like 100 years old, it is just amazing.

Looking at old pictures is so much fun, there is a world in each image.

I have some old pictures I bought on Queen East, at Gadabout and I just love how when you don't know anyone in the picture, you can look at the picture more objectively and just appreciate them for their beauty.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

quick sketch

I'm thinking that i'll upload sketches for the days that I do them on. This was a sketch I did at Jet Fuel using conte with this awesome pen tool/holder my brother got me in Spain in 1992 at the Seville Expo.

This guys was on the phone with his hoodie.

As far as the Expo 1992 goes, you can find more here yup, it was to be a celebration of the 500 years since Columbus 'discovered' the Americas and all the fun that has ensued, they took a more upbeat look on it, when I say upbeat, I mean they glossed over what indigenous people of the Americas have endured.

But it was the 90s you might say.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

An image from Lake Cecebe

Here is an image I took this summer, still playing around with these negatives.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Paintings from this summer

Forgot all about these three 12x12 inch paintings from the AWOL square foot show.

Yes the work in that things ranges from artwork to insane crap, but hey, it was nice to have a deadline.

This centaur seems to keep resurfacing in this body of work, he is something of my totem animal- a mascot but also something that is a representation of the animalistic desires within people.

There is a certain sense of innocence that I was playing with here, somewhere between Darger and Disney.

Here is a little Darger, not a Dzama

But you can see how much Marcel Dzama studied the decrepit borderline pedo.

I just googled images of Disney and everything that came up for about 17 pages was computer generated, the images look so dead, not surprising I guess- but poor Ariel, she must so disheartened with nothing but her Dinglehopper to console her.

I have been using the image of trees and cameos. I feel that cameos are such an ancient and potent image of women. There is something so special about that.

Trees: old trees, trees of knowledge- what that knowledge means and do you really want that knowledge? Perhaps leaving well enough alone may be in our best interests at times.