Monday, January 28, 2013

Fortunate Mail

It’s time for another Round of Geo Graphic Mail Art.  The latest series is a sort of Chinese mix, or perhaps one should say Chinoiserie as it’s all a bit fake.  Start with some 1970’s postcards that grandma brought back from the P.R.C., mix in some maps and add this odd bit of graphics that I think references those period-piece Chinese soap operas you can stumble upon while channel surfing.  Finish it off with fortunes saved from fortune cookies.  It’s not just mail art, but mail that brings you a fortune…

More Geo Graphic Mail at

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Farm Life in Photos

I really can’t claim any rural heritage. It’s been many generations since any of my family was back on the farm.  I’ve lived in cities most of my life. Yet, I have always had this fascination with farming.  Even as a kid, I always loved those times when we visited farms or went to a rural country fair.  Nowadays, I make my annual pilgrimage to Sacramento for the State Fair.  I think I am one of only a handful of San Franciscans that go.  For most urban and suburban dwellers, there is often a real disconnect with rural life, particular agricultural life.  More and more of my neighbors are shopping at farmer’s markets – and yet many of them to have little sense of the world their oranges and lettuce come from.  By no means, do I even come close to understanding what it’s like to live on a farm, but at least I have an inkling that they are out there.

The current exhibit at the California Historical Society is titled I See Beauty in this Life.  It features about 150 photographs of rural California life.  It includes 100 years old images pulled from the archives, photos of California Native Americans reprinted from early 20th Century negatives, snapshots from different eras and contemporary work form photographer/curator Lisa Hamilton.  It’s, as it should be, history meets art.   The above image from the CHS website just gives you a sneak peak.  But take a little trip downtown and go “to the country.”  You enter the building on Mission Street and leave a busy neighborhood of office buildings and luxury hotels and enter a world of that “other” California.  Reminding us that we live in the biggest agricultural state in the country.  The show runs through March 24, 2013.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

MUNI Mandala

MUNI Mandala, mixed media on canvas, 8”x8”, 2013

I am not the only artist hoarding and collecting old MUNI Fast Passes in San Francisco.  The printed version no longer exists and they have become a rarity.  Two years ago as I began the 2011 Project I almost immediately did a piece that was An Homage to the Fast Pass.  Here is my latest Fast Pass inspired piece.  Today all those holographic foil bits were sparkling in the sun as it dried (see below).

And yes, you can get prints of this piece from Society 6 or even have it as a case on your phone.     

Saturday, January 19, 2013

One Last Look

Today was Member for a Day where Bay Area Museum members get reciprocal admission at pretty much all the other local art museums.  A day they really need to do more than once a year.  We took advantage of the opportunity to visit the SFMOMA one last time before it closes for three years of construction and expansion. 

I finally got to see Bob Arneson’s legendary and controversial bust of Mayor George Moscone.  We also got to “operate” the radio in Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s installation Frequency and Volume.  The kid who felt the need to dance along made it even better.  Art doesn’t need to be taken so seriously.  The next time I probably see the lobby, it will be quite different after the renovations.  Currently it is filled with Wenda Gu’s installation.

As always at the SFMOMA, sometimes the museum visitors are more of a show than the art itself.  For example, these folks (seen below) taking in the Logan Collection.  The outfit to match Tracey Emin’s Pysco Slut was a particular favorite. 

If you want one last look at the current (and rather new “old”) SFMOMA, you have until June 2nd.  Then it closes for three years.  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


As San Francisco plans to vote on renaming our airport to honor Harvey Milk, I have to wonder, if we will still put SFO on the luggage tags or MILK?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I Had the Craziest Dream

I Had the Craziest Dream, mixed media on canvas, 10”x10”

As I continue to expand on ideas and materials used in the 2011 Project, it’s time to works some more with old sheet music.  I repeated a pattern I started using with old maps in 2009.  The pattern is inspired by the yosegi pattern in Japanese textiles.  I then used the pattern in postcard pieces in 2012.  This time, using vintage, 1940’s sheet music I also captured the distinct color palette used in printed material in that era.  Much of my collage work is textile-inspired.  I did not plan for it, but I couldn’t help noticing that this piece has the feel of 1940’s fabric. This is the first small experiment, more to come….

In the meantime, a clip of Helen Forrest singing I Had the Craziest Dream from the move Springtime in the Rockies can be found here.  

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Hoppering into the New Year

Edward Hopper is one of my favorite artists and it’s time to send out some Hopper postcards for the Geo Graphic Mail Project.  The Cape Cod one is obvious, but why not sailing somewhere off of Nova Scotia or deciding that the rooms by the sea are in Brazil.  And as we move south the western motel finds itself somewhere in Argentina.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 – The First Piece

The year begins with this little piece (4.5 x6”) being sent back to Canada.  Marie-Claude LeClerc sent me this nice card plus additional bits of material to be repurposed into a new piece and mailed back for a project.  The instructions in French were a bit enigmatic, so hopefully my card with my own work and other repurposed bits of postcards is what she had in mind.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 - A Year of Mail

Back in November 2011 I put out a call for postcards.  I wanted to use everything I received to make the first piece for 2012.  The only problem was that some were too good to cut up.  I used them by making color copies and cutting them up.  But that was the not the end of it.  I continued to get more mail art.  I kept sending pieces out, and more came back.  Then I started the Millennia Mail Art Project.  About 200 starter pieces were sent out with one completed layer, each piece needed an additional 4-5 layers added.  They are still in circulation and so far 34 completed pieced have made it back.  Another on going series is the Geo Graphic Mail Art Project – art postcards modified with maps, stamps and more.  There are more projects on the horizon for 2013.  The image above just shows some of the amazing work I received in 2012.   Unfortunately I have not efficiently scanned and posted each individual piece, put some of the contributing artists shown above include:

If you want to get on my list for future mail art, send me something cool to:

P.O. Box 170681
San Francisco, CA 94117 USA