Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Droughtscapes

Droughtscapes (approx. 5"x4" each)

The droughtscapes are my latest series of mail art.  They are going out today.  Over the last few years I have been looking for ways to make my own collage material.  With these new pieces I used different types of black paper and painted them with bleach.   Until I got started, I was not sure how the paper would react due to the different dyes that are used in paper manufacturing, etc.  I like the effect and was immediately reminded of an aerial view of a dry landscape.  Right now in California this relentless drought becomes a grim inspiration.

I also owe a big thanks to the artist Dorothy Yuki who showed us examples of this bleach technique at this month’s Correspondence Coop meeting. 
                  

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Mail Update

More mail landing in the P.O. Box as the month of June comes to an end.  I already received a few pieces for the Pink Mail Art Call (more of those coming in future posts).  And some of the other mail includes:
  1. Some Greek, summer time-time mail from Katerina Nikoltou.
  2. Peggy Eigler sent a little snack food inspired booklet from New Mexico that arrived in a vintage Dairy Queen ice cream sandwich envelope. 
  3. Mark Dean (aka Artist in Seine) sent an insane card from France completely covered with cancelled stamps from all over the world on both sides.  I can’t tell if he actually added any new postage to this or if he pulled a fast one on the French postal service.
  4. Virgo sent a collection of arrow filled pieces inspired by my own Transcontinental Arrows series.  The one card is scented with pine oil on the back – the smell of the summer forests?  I think this might the first scented piece of mail art I received.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Call for Pink Mail Art



Pink Postcards for Pink Week
In celebration of the 22nd Annual Pink Week this year’s event will include a Pink Mail Art Show.  Work will be exhibited at the Warehouse Artist Lofts (WAL) in Sacramento, California 
From October 31 to November 29, 2015

Pink is a color, not a cause.
Learn more about Pink Week at pinkweek.org

Specifications:
  • Theme: Open, but the dominant color should be pink.
  • Size: All pieces must be postcard size, (i.e. A6), maximum 4.25” x 6” (10.15 cm x 15.25 cm)
  • All works must be sent in the mail as a postcard (no envelopes)
  • No fees, no jury, no return, limit one per artist
  • Please be sure to label your work with your name and address
  • Keep in mind the venue is a public, family friendly space.  Any work deemed inappropriate will not be exhibited. 
  • Deadline: All work must be received by September 30, 2015
  • Send your mail art to:
    Pink Mail Art
    c/o Tofu
    P.O. Box 170681
    San Francisco, CA 94117 USA

Chinese 28 at the Asian Art Museum


Chinese 28 a new exhibit of 28 Chinese contemporary artists opened at this weekend in San Francisco at the Asian Art Museum.   The Asian has stayed true to its reputation and continues to show some of the best contemporary art (from anywhere) that gets shown in San Francisco.


Before even starting to look, we had a seat in He Xianyu’s installation The Man in the Chair.  Comfortable, high backed, wooden chairs fashioned from old, wooden aqueducts. 


In the first gallery you could smell Zhu Jinshi’s Black and White Summer Palace – Black before you saw it.   An epic, large, oil painting that has not finished drying (it was created in 2007).  I was impressed by nearly every piece in this room.


The highlight of the second gallery was Huang Wei’s installation of three pieces of series called Buying Everything on You – where as the name suggests, he approached strangers on the street and offered to buy everything, everything on them at that moment.  For each person there is a platform with all of the clothing they wore and items they carried carefully laid out.  The effect is like a creepy time capsule and I can only hope he continues. 


One of the open lobby spaces is dominated by Zhu Jinshi’s installation Boat.  Constructed from 8000 sheets of Chinese calligraphy paper, it’s quite magical and was extra special on a quiet afternoon when I got to have the boat to myself for a few minutes (as it should be). 


On the upper levels of the museum there are additional pieces integrated in with the permanent collection.  No show of contemporary, Chinese art would be complete without a contribution from art superstar Ai Weiwei.  Mr. Weiwei does not disappoint with his offering Ton of Tea.  A big, massive block of pure, conceptual bullshit, er I mean a block of pu’er tea.  It actually is pretty cool in that way that conceptual art can be sometimes.  I noticed a little damage at a bottom corner, and can only hope it is a sign of mice nibbling away at the tea in the middle of the night.  I’ll check back on my next visit and see how they’re doing.


The show is opened until August 16, 2015 and I’ll be heading back for a second and maybe a third look before the show closes.