Thursday, December 30, 2010

The End of 2010

The End of 2010
A temporal piece in 62 parts

Today I mailed 62 small pieces of art. Each piece is a component of one, single large temporal work of art. The recipients have been instructed to place the work inside of a book and stick it on a bookshelf for an indeterminate amount of time.

My definition of “Temporal Art”
The general definition of temporal art usually describes art that is temporary. And while temporary art may be temporal, temporal art does not necessarily have to be temporary or short term. Temporal art can be a work where time is an element of the piece. That span of time may be brief but it also may be quite long. And a permanent piece of art that is intended to change over time may also be defined as temporal art.

The small pieces of art I distributed are not temporal art in themselves. But what the recipients are instructed to do with the piece of art will change the nature of the piece and transform it into temporal art.

My Inspiration
When I was five, my family moved into a Victorian house with a large wall of bookcases. I come from a family of readers, but at that point my parents had still not accumulated enough books to fill all the shelves. My dad bought tons of old books on the cheap at places like the Goodwill. Leather bound volumes of old novels, almanacs, encyclopedias, etc. Eventually I discovered the joy of paging through those old books looking for hidden “treasure.” There is something magical about a pressed flower or leaf that has been hidden for nearly 100 years. Occasionally I found the odd photo, letter, postage stamp, calling card, etc. Those discoveries are still a joy to me. I myself am always leaving something in books. Now I have grown old enough to be amused when I find something I tucked away over 20 years ago.

When you find something hidden in a book, it is like a small time capsule. Often those things are clearly from another point in time. The dated ticket stub is obvious, but even the envelope from ukulele strings seems appropriate when found in a 1925 yearbook. Recently I received a thirty year old atlas. Inside I found a hand written note with someone’s social security number. Clearly the note was from an era before we had terms like identity theft.

Below are the instructions sent along with each small piece of art.

You have received one of a series of 62 pieces of art created during the final week of 2010. The mailing envelopes were sealed and mixed before they were addressed. The piece you were sent was selected at random.

1. Take the enclosed piece of art and keep it in the glassine envelope.
2. Place the envelope between the pages of one of your books.
3. Stick the book back on the shelf and forget about it.
4. Discard and/or recycle the enclosed instructions.

At some point in the future you may find this piece of art again. Years from now it might bring you back to the point when you placed it in a book. Or perhaps someone else will find it and wonder, what does it mean and why is it in the book?

The pieces
There is a map element in much of my work. For this piece I created 62 mixed media collages on vintage nautical charts. The charts are dated 1945. I purposely chose nautical charts as their use requires a keen sense of space and time. Each piece also has a postage stamp size image affixed to it. There were six different images used. Each generated during my 2010 trip to the Southwest. The images are also reflective of time and space. They include the remains of an 800 year old structure to measure time and a radio telescope.

The Next Phase
It’s hard to predict when and if ever these pieces will re-emerge. In the meantime I envision making additional pieces of this nature. The next step might be a collaborative work where a number of artists created small pieces to be swapped and then placed in books.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My best Christmas present

Yesterday I received this swell little piece of folk art. I love it. If it doesn’t use old maps, you always need to use old postage stamps. At first I thought it was made by some crafty, hipster up in Portland. But it gets better — It’s “souvenir” folk art made by Franciscan nuns in Québec. The images of Queen Elizabeth on the stamps look 1960’s but there is no date. No signature, only the initials “RL” for the artist and “FMM” for Franciscaines Missionaires De Marie.

I am looking for more information online about this stamp collage. Folk art, if anyone has any leads….

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The H Sale

I will participating in the "H" Sale on December 11th at Roots Division on 17th Street in the Mission (more details below).

All the work in the sale will be priced under $100. Actually, I will be bringing a small pieces including some brand new ones. Almost everything I'll have will be under $50 with a lot of small works in the $20-$25 range.

3175 17th Street (at S. Van Ness)
San Francisco, CA 94110


Date: Saturday, December 11th, 4-8 pm

This is not your mothers holiday sale, although she might really like it. Some of the Bay Area's finest local artisans and emerging artists are coming together for a one night only sale. Items for sale include unique drawings, paintings & photographs, handmade jewelry, fairtrade clothing, knitwear made from recycled yarn, and much more!

And here's the best part: no one item will be over $100. We're taking the heartache out of holiday gift giving. After all, 'H' also stands for handiwork, homegrown, harmless, heroics, hyeanas, and hadeas corpus, all great reasons to celebrat. So come by, grab a cheap cocktail, listen to some beats, and be inspired to buy yourself something! And, if you really want to, we'll let you take care of everyone else on that list too.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

VIVO: Days of the Dead 2010

The Oakland Museum consistently puts on a great, annual show for the Day of the Dead.
This year's show is no exception. There is a mix of pieces from community groups, students and professional artists. Every year there are a handful of pieces that are outstanding. This year there is an installation of an ofrenda by local artist Ana Teresa Fernández that stands out. It is three illuminated figures of girls made from glass shards. There is an interview with artist here. The show is up until December 5 and worth checking out.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Little Things 10

I just got a card for a show up in Portland called Little Things 10. It's at the Guardino Gallery (see link for details). The show includes work from Dan Pillers. I know Dan from his days in San Francisco and he is missed down here. Check out his work if you're up in Portland.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

5th Annual Artist Trading Card Exhibition

Some of my small work is going to be in a show up in British Columbia. Some of the 2.5" x 3.5" cards I sent up are above.

5th Annual Artist Trading Card Exhibition
November 26, 2010 – January 22, 2011

The Richmond Art Gallery's 5th Annual Artist Trading Card Exhibition is a display of Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) from local, national, and international participants. Artist Trading Cards are miniature works of original art measuring 2.5 x 3.5" that are made to trade. This international art movement is intended to be a non-commercial, non-hierarchical, non-judgemental avenue for artistic exchange. All entries received that follow the Entry Guidelines will be exhibited and then traded on the Closing Celebration.

Richmond Art Gallery
7700 Minoru Gate
Richmond BC, V6Y 1R9, Canada

An interview with curator Kathy Tycholis is here.

Some of the cards that I got traded back to me in return can be seen here.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Queerart on Etsy

I've been doing an inventory, organizing and cataloging my artwork better. After 14 years of being a "professional" it really needs doing. To that end, I've put up a little site on etsy with some of the queer, erotic work. There is a lot of small, inexpensive pieces that it's time to get out there.
Feel free to pass this on if you know anyone who might need a bit of tasteful smut in their life.

Monday, October 11, 2010

4400+ Hometowns to be shown in Salinas for Dia de los Muertos

4400+ Hometowns, my piece memorializing American service men and women killed in the Iraq War, is going to be shown later this month in Salinas.
The show is part of a Day of the Dead Show sponsored by Artists United-Artistas Unidos.
Details are below:

Bailando con la Muerte:
a Multicultural Community Celebration of Art and Culture

Hartnell College Gallery
Salinas, California
October 25 - November 6, 2010

The reception is on Tuesday, November 2, Dia de los Muertos, from 5-8 p.m.
The celebration in Salinas includes a procession from the gallery to the Steinbeck Center.

Some event details are here.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Trouble with Fort Gay

In case you missed the story earlier this week, an online gamer had his account suspended by Microsoft because they thought he was being offensive when he listed where he lived in his profile. He lives in Fort Gay, West Virginia. When he contacted Microsoft he was unable to convince tech support to just google the town's zip code and see Fort Gay was a real place.

Microsoft has since admitted their mistake, but this brings up a bigger issue. It is shocking how pervasive the gay agenda has worked its way into place names all over America. I made a quick little collage, couldn't resist using extra glitter and found places from Wanker's Corner, Oregon to Fort Dick, California onto the Big Wood River in Larry Craig's Idaho. Just what goes on at the Flaming Gorge in Wyoming? Gay Hill, Texas, Gay, Michigan, Gay, North Carolina, Gays, Illinois and Gay Mills, Wisconsin. I've never been to Bruceville, Indiana, but safe to say they're light in the loafers in that town. And not far from Fort Gay, West Virginia there is Pounding Mill in Virginia and the Pretty Boy Reservoir in Maryland. It's no surprise in the shamefully shaped Florida there is a town called Reddick.

When will the teabaggers do something about this and get rid of all these offensive names? Perhaps they can rename all these salacious towns with names like Reaganville, Reagantown, etc.? At least our children are safe for the moment, as nothing even remotely resembling geography is taught in American schools.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Zine Fest 2010

This weekend's Zine Fest was a great alternative space to find some new art and reminds me why I always looks beyond conventional galleries.

I got a couple of copies of Jesse Reklaw's little book applicant. In his own description: "See what no one was supposed to see again: pictures of hopeful students, accompanied by unflattering, behind-doors quotes from their professors and employers. Distills the essence of a bygone era from a dumpstered stash of confidential biology applicant files circa 1965-1975." Also found some groovy little buttons made out of old MUNI Fast Passes. Was very tempted, and really need to get one of Oakland artist Benjamin Chan's cityscapes.

The next event to watch for is A.P.E. (Alternative Press Expo) coming up in October.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Mapworks: the Map as Art

I have two pieces in a show this month up in Sonoma County.
I will be showing the new piece titled "Surf." This will be the first time this piece will be exhibited.

Mapworks: the Map as Art
Sebastopol Center for the Arts
6780 Depot Street Sebastopol, CA 95472
SCA is located at 6780 Depot Street, one short block north of Hwy. 12, and 2 blocks east of Petaluma Ave.

Exhibition Dates: Sept. 16 – Oct. 23, 2010
Sept. 16. Thursday, 6 – 7:30 pm. Opening Reception

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Old Oak Street Fire Station

Today I was walking by and was invited in to look around. The officer from the Sheriff's Office told me if the doors are open, you're welcome to come on in. The building is being restored and eventually will be the HQ for the new Guardians of City Museum which will cover Police, Fire and Sheriff's Dept. History etc. I'm glad this building is being restored and staying in public hands. There are some old fire engines inside, it's pretty cool. The building is in relatively good shape as a new roof was put on some years back, but it prevented a lot of water damage.

The location of the main museum is yet to be determined in either a new or existing structure, probably downtown. Imagine keeping it in the neighborhood though? The tow truck garage on Fell behind the fire station perhaps? Maybe the Harding Theatre? Or imagine a museum where the ARCO station is on Fell and Divisadero.

The old station is across the street from the oldest house (still standing) in San Francisco. Today I learned that house caught fire after the 1906 Earthquake and was saved by the crew from the station. Which also probably saved the neighborhood from fire as well.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

From Old Maps to Aviation Charts

Ten years ago I started creating collages made completely from old maps. Eventually I started including nautical charts as well. Now my latest work is incorporating old Jeppesen Aviation Charts.

When I look at the completed piece, I wonder if it more than a coincidence that it's August and the Dahlia Garden in Golden Gate Park is now in full bloom.

Spring 2010: There is now a set of inexpensive art postcards for sale from this series.

Monday, August 9, 2010

When art meets theatre

Yesterday was the 7th Annual San Francisco Theatre Festival. This is becoming one of my favorite local events. It can be a bit overwhelming with so many stages/venues and so many things to choose from. One has to do a bit of research beforehand and figure out what to see in order to have some focus. I arrived about an hour before the plays I wanted to see were scheduled. I knew if I wandered around I'd find a few more things.

For me the day's gem was from a work in progress called Paris Portraits performed by Laura Sheppard from the Mechanic's Institute. Currently it's a one woman show where the author Harriet L. Levy is recalling her experiences in Paris in 1907 with Alice B. Toklas. Levy and Toklas where right in the middle of the Paris art world, meeting Matisse, Picasso, etc. I immediately found myself pulled right into the story. And this was no easy task, it was a crowded space with a lot of background noise on the first floor of SPUR. The modern space also wasn't the best setting. But no matter. I sat their imaging this performance done for select audiences of about 20 in smart Victorian living rooms around San Francisco. I also wanted to be sitting on a divan in the Legion of Honor listening to this story. I think the next time I want to be wearing a period costume.

The festival ended for me catching the tail end of the Thrillpeddler's Pearls Over Shanghai. That was in the Forum space at Yerba Buena. I have seen the show twice and I must say it never sounded better. The acoustics in that space are perfect. I wish I could see the whole show there.

Friday, July 16, 2010

My cool new T-Shirt from Oaklandish

Got my cool new BART Tree T-shirt from Oaklandish today.
Oaklandish is a great organization celebrating their 10th anniversary. They exhibited my Map of San Francisco back in 2004.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Americana - Tangent Gallery

Photos from the opening of the Americana Show at Tangent Gallery in Sacramento.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

4400+ Hometowns to be shown in Sacramento

In March of 2004 I began this piece to memorialize the American servicemen and women killed in Iraq. Each of the fallen has been represented by his or her hometown cut out from a map. It is still a work in progress with over 4,400 hometowns. There are big cities and small towns and everything in between. Communities from all over the United States have been represented in the piece. Many communities have lost more than one person in Iraq. Those cities and towns are represented multiple times.

During July, Starting on July 10 this piece will be included in the Americana show at Tangent Gallery in Sacramento, California.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Treasures in the attic

After a trip to the East Coast it's time to sort out the mystery art found in the attic. This 1930's etching of the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, Italy. is one of the finds. I still can't make out the signature of the artist.

Then there was this landscape by the Brazilian painter Reynaldo Manzke. When I took apart the frame there was the mystery, unsigned painting behind it. German expressionism?

In November 2011 a reproduction of this piece appeared in my 2011 Project.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

American Jesus Horse

My latest work. How can you best recycle a bunch of maps of the Bible Belt? Make them into a Jesus Horse of course. This piece is 10" x 10" on canvas.
You also can get a print of this piece at Society 6.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

New Art on Valencia Street

The first art installation was the man walking up the street balancing a tray on his head filled with bobblehead dogs. The dogs were for sale all nodding as the man walked up street on a sunny 90° day. Alas, I did not have the camera.

A stop at Michael Rosenthal lead to the discovery of Amy Casey. Is Post-Burchfield Great Lakes School a recognized genre? If you know the urban landscape of Great Lakes cities, you'll immediately recognize it in her work. Casey has managed to capture a world where industry has been dying for decades and communities have seen tough times for over 40 years without making it look grim and depressing.

Further down the street at Artzone 461 two new shows opened today. Susan Danis' work is comprised of old socks, hair, dentures and old toys. At first glance it's all very cheerful and colorful reminiscent of last year's Soundsuits show by Nick Cave at Yerba Buena. But look a little closer, there a harder edge behind the feather boas.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Celebrity Junk Drawer

Jason Mecier's new show Celebrity Junk Drawer is one of the coolest things happening downtown these days.
It's up until July 10 at 5 Claude Lane. Amazing portraits of celebrities including Chris Rock, Rue McClanahan, Tori Spelling, Donald Trump and Stevie Nicks. The Stevie Nicks portrait is made of old 8 Tracks and used nicotine patch wrappers among other items.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The 2010 Globe

Here is is, the new globe for 2010. I made one of these in 2005, I need to make more globes. I really like these.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

New Mural in the Lower Haight

A new mural is being installed by San Francisco artist Marina Perez-Wong on Fell and Scott (updates to follow).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

An odd window installation at ATA

I just don't know what to make of this one. Even visiting the link on ATA's website leaves me a bit befuddled.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dan Pillers at Guardino Gallery

San Francisco artist Dan Pillers is back living in Portland. He has a show opening this week at the Guardino Gallery. It runs from May 27 through June 20.

Re-) Claim at SOMArts

Caught a nice show at SOMArts this afternoon that is closing on May 28. The show is collaboration with APICC part of the annual United States of Asian America Festival.

The "official" description is below. I especially recommend checking out Vickie Lew's Mandala (l) and Truong Tran's 900 Cootie Catchers.

Of course I am especially partial to any contemporary work involving a mandala theme.


(Re-) Claim presents the work of Mark Baugh-Sasaki; Kathy Fuji-Oka; Su-Chen Hung; Christina Mazza; Judy Shintani and Truong Tran in a critical investigation into the discarded objects of the everyday or what gets left behind and the redemptive process that renders an object “fundamentally new.” How does detritus reveal the imprint of its locality and the residue of human lives? This exhibition locates the self in poetic, imaginary as well as ecological modes and gives voice to moments personal and historical by re-framing the present. In a time of frugality and perceived scarcity- the impetus that nothing shall be discarded also includes stories, history, memory and ultimately, our deep interconnections.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Audio Tour is a Bad Idea

The much hyped Birth of Impressionism opens at the de Young tomorrow. I went to the member's preview today. Timed tickets and it was still impossibly crowded. I'd like to actually see the show. I have to try on a week day first thing in the morning and might have better luck. Adding to the difficulty is the audio tour. I didn't have one, but everyone who did is locked in earphone land and stands there completely unaware of other visitors to the museum. Crammed exhibits and audio tours don't mix.

The best part of the trip was the quiet Fisher Gallery upstairs displaying some older works of Ed Ruscha and a great 1983 photo collage from David Hockney.

SF Fine Art Fair - Why?

Last night I attended opening preview for the SF Fine Art Fair. It was a lovely evening down at Fort Mason with beautiful light. It's always nice taking a trip down there. That alone made it worth going.

As for the Art Fair, I have to ask what was the point of this event? The opening was a well attended benefit, but I am not sure who will be attending over the weekend.

There were about 80 galleries represented, half of the galleries were Bay Area galleries with about 25 being right in San Francisco. Many were the familiar Union Square galleries. For out-of-town collectors, this was a good opportunity to get a survey of the local, high-end gallery scene. Are collectors really traveling to San Francisco for this art fair though?

For locals, there is a chance to get a preview of some "off the beaten path" galleries in San Francisco. For example Art Zone 461 has a booth as does Gallery 16. It was also good to see some nearby galleries represented from places like Oakland and Jay Jay in Sacramento.

There was no representation of local arts organizations (as was done in the previous art fair about 10 years ago). The fair organizers clearly made no provision for local non-profits like ArtSpan and Visual Aid. Of course the galleries paid dearly to have booths. The booths were maxed out and full in an attempt to show as much art as possible. Think craft show, but where most everything is over $1,000. It would have been good to see some space dedicated to showcasing new work. Sadly, there was little to see at the Art Fair to get excited about.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Surf Shop

Check out The Surf Shop. It's the current show at New People World in Japantown. The show is up until June 16. If you miss it, you'll have to make a trip to Tokyo.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A show that makes me want to visit NYC

Stumbled across a link for a Show called Dead or Alive at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.

"Dead or Alive will showcase the work of over 30 international artists who transform organic materials and objects that were once produced by or part of living organisms-insects, feathers, bones, silkworm cocoons, plant materials, and hair-to create intricately crafted and designed installations and sculptures."

Work by Nick Cave is enough of an enticement to go, this show is reminding me a I need a New York visit.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Vintage Paper Fairs

Today is another one of Hal Lutsky's Vintage Paper Fairs. I love these things and always find good things to work with. Last year I was so inspired that I ended up creating a series of handmade postcard booklets.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Alan Streets in the Lower Haight

When it comes to out-of-town artists, all the hype in San Francisco has been surrounding Banksy. But there is another visitor working in the streets these days. I keep seeing Alan Streets working in the Lower Haight. Check out his work, it's great.

Millard Sheets show ends May 30

A few years I "discovered" the Pasadena Museum of California Art. Since them I usually find a reason to visit on every Southern California trip.
I saw Millard Sheets: the Early Years this spring. It ends this month and is well worth getting a look at if you're in the L.A. Area. Sheets is a great, yet under recognized American artist in the spirit of Thomas Hart Benton and Edward Hopper.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Three Heads Six Arms at Civic Center

Got a peak this weekend of Zhang Huan's "Three Heads Six Arms" which is now in the Civic Center Plaza. The public dedication is this week. See