Thursday, April 28, 2016

Last week in Santa Fe

I’ve been visiting New Mexico for 20+ years and have reached a point where it feels like a second home to me.  Most trips include some time in Santa Fe to catch up with old friends and see some art.  My Santa Fe is not the one of jewelry shops and galleries catering to high-end tourists.  My Santa Fe is about visiting artists I know and enjoying one of the best collections of museums anywhere on the planet.  And of course some great green chili-smothered food. 

Last week’s trip included a return to the Museum of International Folk Art (a perennial favorite).  The current special exhibits, particularly Flamenco: From Spain to New Mexico are excellent.

One of the best parts of my trip was going to the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts.  Forward, an exhibit/installation of Eliza Naranjo Morse’s work (see above) is something I could like form a purely aesthetic point of view.  But, when an artist’s work is set in a context of family tradition and it reflects the role we all play in the continuum of time, well that makes it magical and a goal I strive towards myself as an artist. Or in her own words:
“Perhaps we yearn to make our lives good and find balance because even when we are completely challenged there is the unrelenting proof in each of us that we are survivors, that we are the result of our ancestors histories and that eventually we will become ancestors.”

Seeking out Eliza Naranjo Morse’s work will always be on my agenda for future trips to New Mexico. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Exchanges and Returns

Mail art goes out and mail art comes in.  Quite a few responses have been arriving in recent weeks, including these:
  1. Jemma Pine completed a mail art exchange form New Zealand.
  2. Some collage fish and colored fibers on a piece from Meral Agar in Istanbul.
  3. A photo collage from Marina Salmaso in Denmark.
  4. Pia Zaragoza sent a piece that features a Michael Jackson and Priscilla Presley rubber stamp.
  5. Jane Gravois is participating in a global “heart exchange.”
  6. Dean Marks (aka Artist-in-Seine) feels sorry for getting carried away.  There is no need to apologize for too much art.
  7. A piece from my Remove-and-Pass series went around the world.  First to Greece and then to Taiwan where William Mellott added an envelope of collage fodder and some nice ATCs before sending it all back to me in San Francisco.
  8. And finally, R.F. Côté participated in my Remove-and-Pass series and returned a piece.  I can’t wait to finds out where the rest of it went.

Thanks for all the fun stuff, soon more mail art will be on its way out.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Creeks and Dunes 16

Last Friday a friend and I took a little drive to Pescadero and back. I love how you can get just minutes south of Pacifica on Route 1 and quickly feel like you have driven hours and hours away from a big city.  Pescadero has always been a favorite quick escape. The purpose of this trip was some photography or an ongoing project.   In the meantime I could not resist another quick series of 16 4”x4” paintings using the photos.  They include places like San Gregorio Creek and Pescadero Marsh.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

April Mail

It’s been a college-o-rama in recent days arriving in my PO Box.  Here are some of the latest arrivals:
  1. Returns have been coming back from my Remove-and-Pass series, Jennifer Utter’s was the first to arrive.
  2. Angelique Evan’s spring greeting incorporated a peep – you can never go wrong with peep-art. 
  3. Kerosene’s sturdy piece made its way across the continent from Québec.
  4. Diane Keys sent a new add-n-pass as well as this piece featuring the windy meats.
  5. Leap Year Mail from Dean Marks the Artist-in-Seine.  It’s always a challenge to find the actual postage stamp that was used for this piece.
  6. Angela Behrendt responded to my Remove-and-Pass series with some beer and, are those hops-based costumes, dancers.
  7. Bad Wolf Mail Art from Amy Barstow.
  8. Julie Crossman sent a postcard about her art installation at the Exploratorium in San Francisco.
  9. Brooke Cooks sent some mail art about Greg and a dog.
  10. Carol Thomas sent an envelope full of goodies that included a response to the  Remove-and-Pass series on one side and a fish with a hidden fortune on the other side. 
  11. Designer Cliff Roxburgh sent some one of his mini-polaroid postcards featuring some “public art I found in NYC” with the hope I would have a way to improve on it.
  12. And finally, Robin Sparrow sent a postcard from New Zealand.  It included a slide of some vintage Kiwi school kids.  Is one of them Robin?  After it got dark I realized the postage stamp featuring a glowworm cave – glows in the dark! Just another reason why New Zealand is awesome!

Thank you everyone for the mail, more going out soon….

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Collected Letters at the Asian Art Museum

San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum is celebrating its 50th Anniversary with events and exhibits.  The highlight so far has to be the new piece they acquired by the Chinese artist Liu Jianhua. The work is titled Collected Letters and is an installation of porcelain letters from the Latin alphabet as well as Chinese characters.  The letters are suspended in an alcove on the second floor loggia.  They are adjacent to cases of Chinese porcelain from various periods.  The loggia is one of the areas in the museum that most retains the feel of the public library that was the original purpose of the building.  The upper walls have literary quotes carved into the stonework.  Above Collected Letters there is a proverb from the King James Bible: “A soft answer turneth away wrath but grievous words stir up anger.”  On it’s own, Collected Letters is a great piece, but this particular placement in the museum might be the first time when the  Asian Art Museum has truly installed a work that bridges the gap between an early 20th Century library and a museum dedicated to Asian art.