Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

on street art and gentrification in brief

a beautiful swoon piece that i've seen the past couple months while strolling through my respective hood.

however as beautiful and refreshing it is to see images that are not of the standard saturation of glamorized anglo-american stick figures; its hard to refute that once art goes up in a neighborhood without the consent of the community [or at the very least keeping the struggles of that community in mind] the art has a tendency  to turn the wheels of gentrification in that direction. prime examples: williamsburg, bushwick, lower east side, china town, etc.

still on the fence as to what i think about it tho. in spite of the consequences of putting work up in mid-low income neighborhoods; everyone deserves to see well crafted and stunning images without having to go and throw down money in some bullshit museum. we should all be so lucky to be caught off guard by an image so striking on the way to the bus.

more on this later.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

on 'feminist art'

so it's another one of those perfectly good saturday nights, where i'm not out frolicking pantsless along the fdr drive. i am in fact a bit ill, literally without a voice; so i'm content to stay in and muse about some things that have crossed my mind recently.

last tuesday, yours truly was convinced by the sweltering heat to don a pair of hot pants. not really a big deal i thought, but it seemed to upset the order of things for quite a few male patrons on the subway. one particular scumbag (pictured right) saw fit to hiss like a lunatic and follow me around the platform spasmodically flickering his eyelid.
i hate when this fucking shit happens. it goes on all too much for my taste, but isn't usually this aggressive or perpetrated by more than one person at once. in any event, he didn't seem to understand english, or the nonverbal cues i was giving him to leave me the fuck alone; but for whatever reason ceased harassing me after we boarded the train.

shortly following this pain in the ass reminder that even in my own train station, i have no recourse for staving off despicable lunatic men.. i looked up and saw an ad describing kiki smith's work as part of a 'feminist art' exhibit sponsored by target. chh..

it's pretty nice of these major art institutions that have nothing new or interesting to say, to finally recognize that women are capable of making art, but its super annoying that they have this compulsive need to indiscriminately label them 'feminist artists'. by this logic it would be safe to assert that all artwork created by male-bodied individuals is inherently patriarchal and oppressive. while this is a tendency exhibited by most male artists in any event, i prefer not to generalize an entire group of people and would rather let the art speak for itself.
in any case, i'm just really at a loss as to how they figure biology can automatically give rise to a politic. just because these women have finally been legitimized through capitalist and institutional standards, their patience hardly makes them feminists.

feminism is supposed to speak to strength and liberation for everyone. it doesn't passively wait in the sidelines and it certainly doesn't apologize. as such, i just don't see it in these works they're so quick to say sport a feminist flare. besides, its absolutely infuriating to see women 'make it' in the art world, only to be relegated into these neat little packages that are made to turn their work into something totally docile and quaint instead of giving it the chance to take up the space men have occupied for so so sooo damned long.

it's also possible i'm being the asshole here, because i truthfully don't know where these artists align themselves and how they identify their work.. but purely as a spectator with a halfway decent eye, i retain that there is no correlation between feminism and the art adorning these spaces (maybe with the exception of the judy chicago piece with all the ceramic vaginas of women throughout history; but even that is a bit of an unimaginative stretch).
what i do see however, is that the directors and administrators of these programs saw an opportunity to prop up a group they have otherwise marginalized in order to turn a profit for a little while.. while effectively labeling them, confining them into a neat little box (pun), and eventually knocking them aside so they can return to the status quo in a couple months.

it would be ideal to have truly egalitarian throngs of cultural producers that can advocate for themselves and don't need the crutch of these bullshit labels to divide and speak for them. it would be equally as nice to be treated like a human being when waiting for the train, but it would appear as though both are a long ways off.

Monday, April 5, 2010

hello all.
again, apologies for my regrettable absence from this dear blog of mine. i got laid off from my stupid job not too long ago, so i've had some time to do things i like again. it's been majorly refreshing and i feel like i'm in a place where i can re-evaluate what it is i want to do with myself and what i'm good at/know.

while i was pretty grateful for some of the things that i got from working at the art store (a list will make an appearance soon); i don't miss being on my feet 40 hours a week, and having to put up with the most miserable and petty person i've ever had the misfortune of working with.

non-objective landscape no. 4; colored pen on lined paper. march, 2010

nice stuff that came out of working at the art store:
- i got a 20% discount off of stuff, and boy did i take advantage of that shit
- free drying racks for my screen printing set up
- mad samples from all the companies the store carried (for example, i'll never need blue or yellow acrylic paint again)
- first dibs on the closeout super marked down/discontinued shit
- got a free fancy-ass prosciutto sandwich from a customer on that crazy snow day
- another time a dude came in and just dropped all these sweet jazz cds on the counter and left
- made some good connections to some worthwhile folks
- i also used to switch out normal coins for all of the crazy foreign change and old school pennies and shit like that from the the register. built up a pretty solid collection.

but then again; working retail is the mother-fucking worst - am i rite? or am i rite?
it was tolerable for the first month or two, but then shit just got really unbearable, really fast.

i'll spare you my theories (nay, ramblings) of what i deem to be a generation of impotent over-qualified but mostly lazy youth being stuck in these benign and meaningless positions in a wasteland of exploitation ridden work environments.

in any event. the timing perhaps could not have been better. i headed out to queens today to pay my respects and my near-extinct money to victory factory. i got nearly everything i was in dire need of in order to get my screen printing studio to be functional. it's pretty damn exciting to be so close to using it, i must say.

if i can figure out the whole tax id / street vendor license bullshit; i'll probably try to set up camp in union square and sell shit on the day to day. i'm a little apprehensive about it because i've heard that folks get mad territorial and shit and sabotage one another any chance they get. something i'd prefer to avoid if its true, but we'll see i suppose.

then outside of all of this selfish art stuff, i'm gonna be getting into some other exciting projects as well. i joined the food co-op the other day. instead of working a regular shift at the store, i'll be doing organizing for the brooklyn food coalition in sunset park. food justice is something that is a pretty new horizon for me; but i acknowledge it as something pretty critical in tearing down the walls of systematic classism and racism that is still all too real for far too many people in this city.

then another project that i've been into and vaguely associated with is the peoples transportation program. the most i've done so far has been to swipe random people into the train stations as i'm getting out, while i still have my unlimited metro card. well, in truth i do that anyway; but i found out that its an activity they promote and is not something that'll get a person in trouble. after learning that, i started doing it with way more tenacity and regularity.

it'll be nice to have time to make real commitments to these projects that i find to be pretty crucially important. i'm nothing short of totally stoked on all fronts.

otherwise, it's been a busy fucking week. and that my friends is the way it should be.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

non objective landscape no. 1: colored pen on squared paper: january 2010

the upkeep of this blog has been negligible at best. there hasn't been a terrible lot going on; but enough to merit an update i suppose. since my last post i lost my job > was unemployed for two months > finally received unemployment checks a whole week before starting a new job > new job > new bad-a apt. > rent > scary hospital bills > student loan bills > other bills > got a sweet library card from the nypl > etc.

so yes. i started working at a semi-obscure art supply store a little before christmas. it's nice.
i like knowing what i'm doing. it's just a little comical is all. when i was in between jobs i had no money, but all the time in the world. now i've got no time, and essentially no money either. jaja. what a riot.

in any case. i have mad projects swirling around in my head. it's a good time for a list:

a. paintings/prints of all the reference photos i've taken/collected since graduating college.
b. semi-auto-biographic graphic novel
c. mystery portrait series
d. more photos

then handi-work/money needing projects:
1. screenprinting set up (exposure unit, and printing/drying space)
2. need new inkjet printer (the one i inherited sucks and is also out to knock down the last leg my brave little desktop is standing on)
3. renting 0r getting access to an etching studio

misc. other intents:
• creating an installation with the work i've made
• working in a garden
• liberation

yea. i have my work cut out for me. now to nurse my paper cuts and so on.