Anagnorisis Fine Arts


Babble Report II by Binnorie

Take a look at the latest posts that Samantha Levin has published up on the Creep Machine blog in the past few weeks.

Or, to satiate those of you with a lower attention span, please visit Samantha’s sublime Tumblr blog.

Creep Machine:
Molly Crabapple and the 99%

Miz Molly Crabapple is a fancy burlesque delight, but is also politically active as fuck.  Living near Wall Street in NYC gave her 24 hour access to Occupy Wall Street.  To lend support, she did what she does best: draw.  As a continuation of The Creep’s initial post on OWS, I published some of what Molly did to support the uprising.

Read more…

Creep Machine:
Calma’s New Asceticism at Jonathan Levine

Brazilian artist Stephan Doitschenoff (aka Calma) recently installed his newest collection of artworks at Jonathan Levine gallery.  Just a quick peek here about this extremely worldly artist…more to come in the future!

Read more…

Creep Machine:
The Conjurer: JL Schnabel’s Mystical Collaboration

Hi Fructose journalist JL Schnabel collaborated with Paul Romano and photographer Christina Brown to put together a look book for her jewelry line, Blood Milk.  Entitled, The Conjurer, it is an impressive work of art on its own.

Read more…

Creep Machine:
David Hochbaum Offering Limited Edition Book Sets

New York artist David Hochbaum is selling precious limited edition book sets of his multi-media works and photographs.  These three books, signed by the artist, come in a hand-made box with a one-of-a-kind silkscreened print.  This is a great opportunity to collect this artist’s work for an affordable price.  Pics on the post!

Read more…



Babble Report I by Binnorie

Do to take a peek at the most recent posts Anagnorisis’s Samantha Levin has up on the Beinart Surreal Art Collective and the Creep Machine:

Or, to satiate those with a lower attention span, please visit Samantha’s sublime Tumblr blog.

Beinart:
Martin Wittfooth’s Dark Water

Dark Water contains paintings from many artists whose work frequently explores these depths, curator included.  Remarkable about the dark nature of such art, is its quality for redemption, relief or realization.  Furthermore, each of these work’s unique elements of beauty can be simultaneously stunning and soothing, offering solace for the heavy subject matter they symbolize.

Read more…

Beinart:
The Indispensable Import of the Cute & Creepy

This exhibition of sweet and sticky macabre art represents curator Carrie Ann Baade‘s efforts to act as ambassador between the contemporary grotesque and the academic environment.

Read more…

Creep Machine:
Paul Komoda // The Thing Comes to Life

The artist talks a bit about his creature concepts for the movie and his experiences working on the movie.  Exclusive peeks at the monsters he designed for the film!

Read more…

Creep Machine:
Travis Louie’s Curious Pets

A mini sneak peek into Mr. Louie’s latest solo exhibition on the west coast.  Opening this weekend!

Read more…



To Stitch is To Heal | Erin Endicott’s Healing Sutras by Binnorie
September 20, 2010, 4:36 pm
Filed under: Art Shows, interview, White Rabbit

God enters through the wound” -CG Jung

Healing Sutra 13

Anagnorisis is proud to invite you to view our next solo exhibit taking place at the White Rabbit, The Healing Sutras: the exquisite painterly embroidery of Erin Endicott.

A unique breed of soft sculpture, Erin utilizes stitching and ink to “draw” on found objects – things that hold power because of their age and anthropomorphic wisdom.  Erin’s Healing Sutras tell stories of pain remembered and solace found.  They indicate hope and speak of feminine patience evidenced by the painstakingly small stitches that create flowing abstract shapes.

Erin spent time in Scotland studying textile design and finished her fine art education in Philadelphia where she currently resides.  An art teacher for many years, she recently decided to take time off to focus her attention completely on her art career.

So intrigued by her work, I asked her about the meaning behind the title she chose for the exhibit.  I was wondering what these intimate objects heal and where their sources lie.

Erin Endicott: To stitch; a thread or line that holds things together – this is the literal translation of the ancient Sanskrit word “sutra”. The “Healing Sutras” grew out of years of work examining psychological wounds (mainly my own), their origins and how they insinuate themselves into our lives. I’m particularly intrigued by the concept of inherited wounds, specific patterns, behaviors, reactions, that we are born with – already seeded into our psyche at birth. So I imagine that this little “seed” attracts negativity (like attracts like), sort of a little pearl slowly growing until we end up with a dense area of negative energy built up in our physical bodies. By bringing these dark areas into the light, by making them visible, I think we can heal these wounds. Some people talk through their issues to bring healing, some write them out to shed light on them , I choose to make them into visible, visceral objects.

All of the “Healing Sutras” are on vintage fabric that has been passed down from women in my family. My history is literally woven into these garments. The initial marks of the “wounds” are created by staining the fabric with walnut ink. I love using this natural dye for the subtle color variations and the warm earthy tones. Ink on fabric has a mind of it’s own – it takes the control away from me and does it’s own thing. It is magical to drop the ink onto damp fabric and literally watch the “wound” grow and take shape before my eyes. This has been difficult for me – the letting go of the outcome and trusting in the process – it’s quite the opposite of the degree of control I have over the stitching. The organic shapes created by the walnut ink are a sort of map for me, the variations of tone and shape  setting the tone for the piece.

The stitching, the meditative process of it, is where i think the real healing comes in for me. I come from a more “Fine Art” background- drawing always being a real passion –  but I was never able to truly capture the essence of what I was trying to say until I began exploring this really process oriented work. To me these are a type of drawing – REALLY slow, deliberate drawings!

I could go on forever about the symbolism of the marks – the vein/roots, the cellular/seed shapes, the metaphor of the dress as skin, etc… There are so many layers of meaning in this work. I can’t even keep it all straight in my own mind let alone verbalize it! So it comes down to the stitches. One stitch at a time, hour after hour… this is where the healing lies.

SL: In my own artwork, I like to use objects I’ve found in various places.  Many of them were found in the homes of my family members and hold strong sentimental value.  Many people ask me how I could part with such a thing should I sell a work of art that has roots in my family.  How would you answer that question?

EE: I feel as if I am giving these vintage fabrics new life, a sort of re-birth as a piece of art. Most of the women in my family (including me) have “stashes” – that is, boxes and boxes of fabric we have collected over the years – hiding under beds and in closets. I remember looking through boxes of beautiful cloth that was stored under my Grandmother’s bed and I remember plenty of trips to the fabric store to buy more!! I inherited the love of textiles and have been collecting interesting fabrics and vintage linens since I was a teenager, and most of them are packed away in boxes, never to see the light of day! And just as my stitching brings my “wounds” to life, my stitching brings new life to beautiful pieces of cloth. I think it is important to share our knowledge and treasures with the world, and if someone is so moved by my work that they would like to own it, then I can with good conscience give up one of my “babies”! It still pulls at my heart to let a piece go, but maybe this is the final step in the “healing” work of these pieces?!

Antique fabrics, clothing and linens
My dowry passed down through generations
My history woven into this cloth
A fine cotton tablecloth
Lovingly mended by my great-grandmother
Becomes a little girl’s dress

Delicate cloth
Beautifully worn and threadbare
Stained by an artist’s hand
Walnut ink flowing into complex organic shapes
Subtleties of value, depth
Bringing the wound to life

Lost in the meditation of stitching
Repetition, contemplation
From within the fabric
Memories reveal themselves

Stitches, like words
The story grows
Lines graceful, unfurling
Drawing with thread
The Healing begins

You can view Erin’s work online here, and visit the work in person at the White Rabbit starting October 1st.  Please join us for the opening reception on Friday October 1, 7-10pm.  Details below.

White Rabbit Lounge
145 East Houston
between Forsyth and Eldridge
October 1 – November 2
Opening reception: October 1, 7-10pm
Video art by Daniella Bertol
Music by DJ Frankie Teardrop



The Pervasive Fingers of the Grotesque by Binnorie
September 19, 2010, 7:37 pm
Filed under: Announcement, Art Shows, interview

Meat Cake by Ava Klinger

Anagnorisis is very proud to announce that Dr. Nancy Hightower, Instructor in the Program for Writing and Rhetoric at the University of Colorado, Boulder, will be conducting a talk in conjunction with Another Roadside Attraction, Anagnorisis’ group exhibit exploring a newly dubbed genre of art, the Neo-Grotesque.

If I’m understanding Nancy correctly, in her teachings, the grotesque does not define a single genre, but is instead a catalyst that can contribute greatly to paradigm shift. It is part of what defines the threshold where cultural meanings clash and collide, creating sublime dissonance (a meaty tug of war) that is constantly reshaping cultural points of view.

The term ‘Neo-Grotesque’ was coined recently, and tends to include work by artists who are considered to be a part of the Pop Surreal, (aka, the New Contemporary) genre. Nancy argues that the term Neo-Grotesque, seemingly meant to differentiate the darker Pop Surreal artwork from the entire movement of wide-eyed women and iterations of limited edition toys, may be extraneous.

To whet your appetite for her talk on November 20th at the Ise Cultural Foundation, I’ve asked Nancy some questions about her background and viewpoints on the visual arts.

Samantha Levin: Can you give a short definition of the grotesque?

Nancy Hightower:  There’s no easy, “catch all” definition for the grotesque, which is why, in one sense, scholars love to debate it, and in another, why it still remains mostly under the radar as a true research field. However, I would say that the grotesque in art, literature, film, etc. must always include some kind of juxtaposition of humor, horror, and beauty, and that these tensions must be equally in play so that the audience is taken, somewhat unawares, by the shock of such pathos. The grotesque does not exist merely to be shocking, but, as Geoffrey Galt Harpham argues in his book On the Grotesque, this aesthetic serves as the place for a paradigm shift to occur.

SL:  Tell me a bit about your interest in the visual arts. Your background is primarily in literature, right?

NH:  Yes, my graduate work was primarily in 19th century literature, with a focus on Henry James. But my teaching was focused on world literature, so I was teaching the strangest short stories by Franz Kafka, Rabelais, Flannery O’Connor, Octavio Paz, Carlos Fuentes, etc. It was in my secondary research on these authors that I happened upon the theory of the grotesque, and then began including art with the literature. So now if we read Rabelais, I also show the class some paintings by Arcimboldo, Bosch, Bruegel. We analyze how the rhetoric of the grotesque works throughout both literary and visual texts.

Photo by Jonathan Wolf

SL: I hear the projects you have your students do can be quite impressive and uncomfortable in the best ways. Can you describe a couple of them for me (and do you have pictures)?

NH: I have my students create a grotesque scene that questions a “truth” in American culture. I try to steer them away from clichéd topics to look more at how the truth came about. So, for instance, one woman wanted to think about what it was that made marriages fail, and so through some pre-writing, came up with the thesis that our consumer culture drives us to consume each other. Her photograph was of the most beautiful wedding cake made of raw meat (see title image at the top of this post by Ava Klinger).   Another student worked in an assisted living facility, and he wanted to jolt us into knowing how often we bury alive our elderly. He took pictures of his grandmother wearing a body bag. He wasn’t a photographer, but the look he captured on her face reminded me of Diane Arbus’ photographs—the tragic and comic simultaneously working upon us (see photo above by Jonathan Wolf).

SL: Is the photo of the cake a photoshopped thing, or did she really make a cake with meat in it?

NH:  She made the cake!! I don’t allow Photoshop to be used in this assignment. So everything is very, very real.

Nancy Hightower is “a neurotic college teacher by day and insomniac fantasy writer by night…,” who has written short fiction for artists such as Christian Hahn and Beate Engl.  She has also written a stunning essay called Relevatory Monsters for Cute and Creepy, a very ambitious exhibit curated by Carrie Ann Baade that will be on view in Florida next year (more information to come on that as soon as we have it!!).

Please join us for her talk on the grotesque in art and literature,

with a focus on the artwork in Another Roadside Attraction on:

Saturday, November 20, 2010
6-8pm 5-7pm

ISE Cultural Foundation
555 Broadway
New York, NY 10012
T:212-925-1649

To RSVP for this event, please visit our Facebook event page here.

A gallery of work that will be included in Another Roadside Attraction can be found here and the event page for the opening can found here.



A Journey with Tun Myaing by Binnorie
July 24, 2010, 2:13 pm
Filed under: Announcement, Art Shows, interview, White Rabbit

Tun Myaing | Hallway Study VII | acrylic and oil on paper | 8 x 11"

Burmese artist Tun Myaing creates the work of the introvert. Seemingly extroverted himself, his works seek out those who hide within their thoughts; sad and pensive are his subjects. Yet, his paintings are vibrant with color and contrast, teeming with fights between shadow and light: in one there is hope and in the other there is despair. Such is the confusion he experienced first while growing up and then after arriving in the United States as a teen:

“In my work I try to convey the sense of desperation and claustrophobia that overwhelmed me as I grew up in a country under dictatorial rule, and then feeling the same oppression through the racial and social rejection I experienced when I arrived in America.”

Tun’s moving artist statement inspired me to ask him about his past and how it makes up the basis of his work:

Samantha Levin: Your work is about your experiences growing up exploring your emotional experiences with racism in the US and the dictatorial leadership in Burma. Is your work politically charged at all, or are they more personal and cathartic?

Tun Myaing:  I just want to make abundantly clear that my work is not political at all.  The problem is that the mention of Burma is directly associated with what people hear on the news and what has been going on there for decades: an Orwellian state of affairs.  I can’t help the fact that I grew up there so just because I’m from that country does not mean my work is automatically political.

My work is really about the internal universe of my personal experiences from my entire life thus far, and that includes everything from growing up in Asia to love affairs, and other ordinary things like getting inspired by good literature or movies.  I mention Burma and my discovery of racism in the states only because they have a big influence on my life.

So, yes my work is highly personal, but is more of an emotional reflection of a variety of things I’ve experienced.  The images are not to be read literally; they are metaphors of emotional essays based on my personal life. They are in that sense very cathartic.

My hope is that the images contain within them their own life, and speak to everyone on a visceral level.  I want people to trust their own gut reaction to the paintings rather than try to intellectualize it.  If I am successful at my job something will click within the viewer, and through free association their subconscious will bring up a past personal experience they’ve had that translates into the painting in front of them.  That is why my work and their titles will remain vague because I want people to connect to the paintings without being told what they are about.  They do have loose narratives, but that is only to provide an easily accessible doorway that people can enter from.

You don’t have to know what a song is about to enjoy it, just as long as it moves you.  That’s all an artist can ask for.

Tun Myaing | Stairway Study 2 | acrylic and oil on paper | 8.5 x 9.5"

SL: It’s that doorway that pulls your viewers into the works’ deeper meanings.  Your works are very voyeuristic to me. How do you feel about that?

TM: I’m a quiet observer and like to look at things objectively from a safe distance without getting involved.  It comes from growing up learning to avoid confrontations, and having a mistrustful attitude towards things and people in general.  When I come up with compositions for my paintings I’m doing this subconsciously, but the results are always the same: voyeuristic.
It does create a sense of mystery, which I like because most of the time you have no idea what is going on and it is always open for interpretation. I’m also a big fan of David Lynch and the way he handles his shots and angles in his movies. So I’m influenced by a lot of dark noir movies, and gravitate towards anything with a single light source and mass shadow areas.

SL: Tell me about your experience at the New York Academy? Were things too stringent or do you feel like you’ve received the education you needed?

TM: The New York Academy was the best thing that has happened to me but it was also one of the most challenging; artistically. Truthfully, I was not prepared for it, mentally, academically or technically. There were a lot of things I did not know, and I had to catch up a lot with so many things that I felt absolutely lost in it all.

There was so much information that was being crammed in the first year that it was totally frustrating, but good. I wish I could do it again but at an easier pace so I could hone my technical abilities more.

As for the direction the academy was going at the time it was definitely more about traditional values and ascetics so it was a bit too tight about it’s creative output. Things are definitely different now because they are more open to things which I think is great and the talent is getting better and better every year.

**

The title of Tun’s solo exhibit, Journey to the End of the Night, is derived from the French novelist and nihilist Louis-Ferdinand Céline’s first book Voyage au Bout de la Nuit. I have never read it, but I feel this quote from the book  gives interesting insights into Tun’s visual poetry:

“…I cannot refrain from doubting that there exist any genuine realizations of our deepest character except war and illness, those two infinities of nightmare” ~ Voyage au Bout de la Nuit, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, 1932

Please join us for the opening reception – I promise that while the works are indeed somber, we will keep you entertained! DJ Redboy will be returning to spin for us and the White Rabbit will on happy hour duty (tip your bartenders John and David really well because we love them)! Details:

Friday, August 6, from 7-10pm
White Rabbit Lounge
145 East Houston (between Forsyth and Eldridge)

Tun’s work will be on view starting Friday August 6th through to the end of the month.

A gallery of work available for sale at this show can be viewed here.



Angelic Possession by Binnorie


Portrait of Carrie Ann Baade

Anagnorisis Fine Arts is proud to present Angelic Possession, a solo exhibit of portraits by emerging artist, Buddy Nestor, taking place at the White Rabbit Lounge in New York City from July 2 through August 3.  See below for more details.

Buddy Nestor is an abstract painter. Not too long ago, he struck a strange new chord with portraiture, turning the beautiful faces of female artists into grotesque, distorted creatures, their features uncomfortably recognizable within melting forms, slashes and swirls of Buddy’s abstraction. Belying Buddy’s intention of removing beauty, he has paradoxically enhanced it by use of pleasing shapes and muted colors. His distortions are indeed symbolic of the more difficult sides of our realities; in their beauty they make us look and think.

Samantha Levin: You started painting while you were in the armed forces, correct? What specifically inspired you to pick up the brush while out there?

Buddy Nestor: I started drawing daily when I was old enough to hold a pencil. I did a few paintings in high school art classes, and made a few for gifts in my early twenties, but that was about it. In 1997, during my stint in the Navy, I witnessed my wife give birth to our son Blake. That event made me want to have amazing things to teach him, so I had to up my game in anything that interested me in the past, like juggling, guitar, painting, sports…etc. During that time, I painted for five or six hours a day. It kept me from losing my mind. I had a much better understanding of the medium when I returned home six months later. Making art has been a constant in my life since then.

SL: Five to six hours a day is what all artists should be able to dedicate to their work. I know nothing about the armed forces, so I’m surprised you had the time to do that. Care to comment?

BN: On the aircraft carrier, we worked 12 hour shifts everyday. I was in the same metal room, with the same people, with airplanes being shot off with a catapult one level above my shop. It sounded like a bomb going off. When my shift ended, I’d break out my supplies, put on my headphones and escape inward.

I certainly do not get 6 hours of painting in everyday. Life is not that generous. I get it in whenever I can. Normally, I begin working when the family lays down for the night, when the distractions are minimized. On the weekends, I pack in as much studio time as can.


Portrait of Danielle Ezzo

SL: Your previous work has been very abstract. What kicked off the change?

BN: Representational art led me to drill down into total abstraction and experimentation with different mediums and materials. After a few years, I found that all of the artists that I was drawn to were representational artists. So, I decided to take the abstract techniques that I had developed and apply them into portraits. I began working from photographs. I borrow the values from the photographs to give each piece some dimension, but I treat each area of the head as a separate abstract piece. The resulting images allow the viewer to see them through their own psychological baggage. It’s really my feelings that are projected onto each subject, because I don’t know them very well. I’m attempting to lift the mask off each person and show what it really feels like to be a human, stuck to the Earth, while it floats around in space. There are short moments of satisfaction, but life is a rough ride for everyone.

SL: What are your artistic aspirations?

BN: Painting is my moving meditation. It keeps my life balanced. I work in a way that is fairly minimal and simple. I’ve purposefully created a style that is fun from start to finish. Viewers can easily see how I get my effects and hopefully it inspires some of the younger kids to start painting. I’ve certainly stood in awe of work by artists like Eric White and Alex Grey, but that type of work seems so overwhelmingly difficult it makes me want to quit. Having the opportunity lately, to show my work alongside my peers and artistic heroes is an honor. Ultimately, of course, I would love to be able to paint all day, every day.

SL: Who are some of your favorite artists? What about them influences you?

BN: The Surrealists sparked my interest in art. Magritte, Dali, Matta, and Tanguay most heavily influenced me from that realm. Francis Bacon made me pick up the brush and continues to be my heaviest influence to this day. Scott Cranmer is the most dedicated painter I know. Daily discussions with him help me fight off my TV laziness and keep me in the studio. Paul Romano-Due to his proficiency with any medium and seemingly endless vision. Others include Jenny Saville, Stephen Kasner, Dan Quintana, Jeremy Clark (Hush), Lucian Freud, Jeff Soto, Josh Keyes, Duchamp, Alex Pardee, Doze Green, Kuksi, Giacometti, Shawn Barber, Chet Zar, Oliver Vernon, Pollock, David Hochbaum, Peter Adamyan, Josh Graham, Chris Mars, Charlie Immer, Cam de Leon, JL Schnabel, Picasso, Chuck Close, Erin Endicott, Cliff Wallace, David Stoupakis, Esao Andrews, Joseph Albers, Travis Louie, Mathew Barney, Genevive Zacconi, Judy Chicago, Damon Soule, H.R. Giger, Nicole Boitos, Ekundayo, Christian Rex van Minnen, Katie Perdue, Carrie Ann Baade, JoKa, Eric White, Frank Hyder, John Kolbek, Dan Harding, Naoto Hattori, Dan Barry, Fred Harper, Peggy Wauters, Mathew Ritchie, Robert Williams, and Edith Lebeau. I love their work for very different reasons, but they are all equally inspiring.

SL: Got any videos of you juggling?

BN: There are no videos of me juggling.

SL: So sad.

**

The opening for Angelic Possession will be particularly wild!  Buddy has invited three additional Philly artists, Katie Perdue, Nicole Boitos and Scott Cranmer, to paint live.  Video artist Josh Graham, visual mastermind behind metal band Neurosis, and leader of band A Storm of Light has cooked up some mesmerizing visuals for the night.

Opening reception:

July 2, 7pm-10pm
White Rabbit Lounge
145 East Houston (btwn Forsyth and Eldridge)

A gallery of artwork for sale has been started here.  Sign up for our mailing list to receive updates quickest!


Portrait of Nicole Boitos



Petrified by Binnorie


Medusa; pencil on paper

Multifaceted artist, Dan Ouellette, is an explorer. His creative work delves into the psyche exposing truths and ideas, uncomfortable to some, about commonly held perceptions. Viewing his work renders you a voyeur staring into the private lives of deviants, who dare you to confront uncomfortable truths about yourself. His creatures, often mutated, hermaphroditic or impossible, explore ideas of sexuality, reality, and the control we believe we have over such things. Possibly contrary to this is that his primary interest is beauty; and it is this beauty, and the familiarity of it, that draws us in.

Having directed music videos for Android Lust and The Birthday Massacre, as well as working with Floria Sigismundi on David Bowie’s Dead Man Walking video, Dan has amassed a dedicated team of people who are more than excited to work for him to realize his projects. He is currently in pre-production for his film, Dreams From a Petrified Head and, while he has a good amount of dough with which to get started, his producer has initiated a Kickstarter campaign to help with post-production costs.

Dan and I chatted about his work, past and present:

Samantha Levin You self-describe your artwork as being psychosexual in nature. That term, psychosexual, most familiar in psychoanalytical circles, fits the conceptual side of your work quite well. When you’re creating your work, how much does concept drive you over form and beauty; or are they completely intertwined?

Dan Ouellette That’s a tough question.

I’d have to say I often start with the desire to make something very beautiful, which leads me into exploring forms I’ve studied extensively over the years. I sometimes feel like the prototypical “mad scientist” attempting to manufacture some new idealized object, which might be used for pleasurable, but ultimately self-destructive purposes. So the search for subject matter from which to extract some hidden previously unknown beauty is clearly a regular starting point. But very often, as I delve into the hidden forms of beauty, I enter into an even more complex psychological playground.

And then along the way I run into pre-established aesthetic modes, social mores, sexual preconceptions and political flash points. These suggestions are powerful and cannot be ignored. If an idea has a relationship or a likeness to visual material that automatically engenders viewer reaction, this needs to be addressed. It brings to mind Dali’s clocks or Warhol’s soup can; so my work can easily slip into the conceptual arena. It is quite amazing how prevalent the psychosexual is embedded within all manner of shapes and forms in our collective mind’s eyes throughout human history.

So whenever I start my conceptual research for something I am drawn to the process of recognition. This often bleeds over into my film scripts. I began to realize so much of art hovers around that threshold of recognition. As a viewer we recognize in ourselves, or some part of ourselves, some emotional well, some forgotten experience, played out before our eyes. The effect is uncanny and draws us in almost against our will.

SL Speaking of your films, I am very excited about your script Dreams From a Petrified Head. You have received a good amount of funding to direct this script – Congratulations! What inspired you to write this intelligent, mind-bending scifi story?

DO Two strong inspirations for me are J.G. Ballard and Harold Pinter. I like how Pinter’s plays are all about distraction, with none of the characters admitting, or wanting to admit, what is really happening. It is all polite social facade masking a rather lurid aggressive underbelly. And then as the masks slip, the narrative moves into a surrealism, but uncannily familiar.

With Ballard I am so taken by the comfort of his language that yields a strange torpor within his scenarios. These aren’t stories with a racing urgency, as we so commonly see in the sci-fi genre, but a kind of languid mélange of unreal settings and characters with odd ambiguous yearnings.

Knowing that there are always budget limitations, the script became a kind of personal challenge. Could I write a sufficiently sci-fi-esque story in one set with a depth of meaning?

Synopsis:  “Dreams From a Petrified Head is the story of a man, Jeremy, whose job is to re-write the seditious media of a woman, Amanda Sage. She is a dissident whose anti-government speeches remain accessible to the public well after her death. Working to comprehend her lectures and alter them effectively, he decides to dump her stored memory into a robot made in her likeness. This brings him dangerously close to her and her message.”

SL You have a strong team of professionals working with you, essentially for free, to whom you’ve entrusted the entire script. Doesn’t that worry you? A certain science fiction movie on which you had a large influence has hit the big theaters without giving you proper credit. I’ve seen this sort of thing happen more times than I can count. What are your feelings about this sort of loss?

DO The process of collaboration is a necessity in many kinds of filmmaking. And while I have thought long and hard about escaping that collaborative process in favor of a Brothers Quay type of DIY filmmaking, I must admit I enjoy the collaborative process. I’ve had many many successful collaborative experiences, a few not so successful and a few litigious ones.

I made a film in college called Alexandra’s Closet, which was beautifully written by my sister. The actresses agreed to be in the movie to a large extent because of the script. I somehow also managed to assemble a very enthusiastic crew, all of them still close friends now. I had, for the first time, the very odd realization in the editing room that I had not made the film. The film suddenly was bigger and better than anything I could have made myself and I had to admit it was because everyone involved had actually made it. This was important because it helped me realize what a true creative collaboration can feel like when it works. Part of the mixed emotion was a sadness, because, truth be told, as an artist I think one is prone to concept of sole authorship.

SL I think this respect for your team is the reason why you make very high-quality films with very little money. How do your ideas behind your films and your other artworks influence each other?

DO They’re all woven together in terms of my creative process. And they are all progressing simultaneously in my life.

Admittedly I am addressing other aims when working on a film than I would be working on a drawing or a mask design. Each of the different forms work on the audience in unique ways, so I need to adjust how I use my tools accordingly. I’m primarily a visual artist but of course filmmaking is more than just visual. Films have that wonderful power whereby all the elements can come together and form a kind of symphony. This effect, when it is done well, can be overwhelming. Whereas the drawings are a fixed image and so I must work very hard to create a doorway, which perhaps awakens something in the viewer far more complex than the immediate image.

SL Tell me a little bit about your obsession with masks.

DO Well, here is a good example of how woven together the different forms are for me. The mask work really began as a prop for a video called Queen & Drones: The Hospital Footage (see inset). Around the same time Matthew Barney was exhibiting the props from his short films at the Guggenheim.

But before this I had become fascinated with the human tendency to see a face in something. Watch the Muppets for two minutes and you’ll see what I mean. They say that this works because of the eyes; their full creative attention is devoted to this aspect because it is the primary way we see a face. But I noticed that we can very easily read something as a face without any eyes and I wanted to figure out where that threshold was… where we still see a face where there is none.

There is the added quality in these masks that has to do with surface qualities. We have a reaction, a relationship to glassy smooth surfaces, for instance, that is quite different to say, vinyl or fabric. These surface qualities in themselves evoke their own tangible sense of recognition in us. I’ve been working towards what I call a “manufactured” surface that has a very forbidding tone to it.

This led to a bunch of sketches and design plans for a series of masks. Unfortunately this also demanded a whole new creative process of sculpting and casting which is unbelievably complex and challenging to learn.

**

Dan’s mask sculpture, Sex Mask for Religious People, as well as some of his drawings are available for purchase through Anagnorisis. If you are interested in helping with Dreams From a Petrified Head in any way, please visit the Kickstarter page or contact Dan’s film producer, Jason Goldman at Pharmacy Films.



Rainbow Blight – New Work by Christian van Minnen by Binnorie


My Love For You, Oil on Canvas, 28 x 22”

Out of sublimely beautiful grotesque forms come super-clean rainbows, stars and hearts, reminiscent of Lucky Charms cereal and My Little Pony toys. In this new exhibit of Christian van Minnen’s work entitled “Rainbow Blight”, which opened at Bert Green Fine Arts on Wednesday, May 12th, he seems to have transported himself deeper into the Pop Surreal while staying firmly put in the Neo-Grotesque.

I’m not used to seeing imagery reminiscent of children’s toys (design remnants of 70s culture) in van Minnen’s work. His usual style is seemingly derivative of emotive oil paintings from our history’s master painters (Arcimboldo or Rembrandt to name a couple out of many). These aspects of his work still preside, but have been newly punctuated with a very modern twist.

If you’re on the west coast and can see this show, Bert Green Fine Arts is located at 102 West 5th Street in Los Angeles.  The show will run until June 26.

I had the chance to talk with van Minnen about his work, past and present, as well as ask him about his recent sabbatical in Mexico City:

Samantha Levin: These new works you’ve created have some surprising elements to them – things I’m not used to seeing often in your work, the Mickey Mouse hat in Abstract Figurative Series 2.3 being the only exception I know of. These new elements (stars, rainbows, hearts, etc.) are much more Pop Surreal than your earlier work, and contrast wildly with your usual nod to master oil paintings of eras past. What inspired this new direction?

Christian Rex van Minnen: That’s funny you mentioned my little pony and lucky charms; early 80s cartoons and advertising campaigns like these (I would also add care bears, rainbow bright, maybe he-man) are certainly a part of the headwaters of inspiration for this latest evolution, I think. Before leaving for mexico city and during my three months there i began scrapbooking these elements from litter and used newsweek, teen magazines, etc. These graphic elements, representing Abstractions of natural phenomenon, and hybridization of those natural phenomenon with human virtues, values, notions of divinity, etc, began to appeal to me as forms and ambiguous objects. Those things (shooting rainbows, stars, hearts, etc) are a certain kind of form, at once organic and ‘real’ and also capable of transcending their iterations throughout recent pop-cultural history. In my previous works it was through the chimerical juxtaposition of flora and fauna, representational or preternatural, that seemed to carve out that space to allow a certain tension and harmony between beauty and horror to exist. In thinking about that polarity, I began to think of expanding the scope of form and concept to include other elements from our 21st century lives. These graphic abstractions, usually overlooked or seen as a supporting cast for the product or message, when removed from their original context can provide a parallax view of the commonly understood pairs of opposites: beauty/horror, light/dark, love/hate, joy/fear, abstract/figurative. Black and white becomes more of an ambivalent Seussian gray goo.


Still Life 1.6, Oil on Canvas, 23.5 x 20”

SL: As a person who watched too many Saturday morning cartoons back in the 80s, I have to correct your spelling of Rainbow Brite (I make no apologies to anyone who clicks that link). Not sure why their wise marketing teams decided to spell it wrong, but it certainly stuck in my confused head all these years. But, yes, these new elements bring up almost a synesthetic response in me that tastes and smells of chewy candy, feels like smooth plastic and probably sounds a bit like the Brady Bunch theme song. Juxtaposed against your more lush and grotesque imagery, I experience a strong parallax shift and my visual language is altered. This is one of the things I enjoy most about visual art.

CvM: Oh, ‘brite’, good to know, sort of. In what circumstance would you use ‘nite’ or ‘lite’? Yeah, it reminds me of the smell of new toys, cigarette smoke and cat piss.

SL: Glad to provide some enlightenment to your day.  In an earlier interview that you did with My Love For You is a Stampede of Horses you said this about the symbolism in your work, “i have started to be more open to mixing representational images into compositions that are also inhabited by forms derived from abstraction. it makes the believability of the latter more accessible. … i am not being didactic in painting; there is no symbolism here.” It’s hard to think that this is still the case with Rainbow Blight. Perhaps it’s the title of the exhibition that’s steering my perception this way. Can you tell me a little more about your stream of consciousness style and how it worked with these new paintings? What has changed or grown?

CvM: Interesting question. I would still say that I am not utilizing symbolism. Ideally, the essence of these forms transcends any symbolic reading into them. That’s certainly true of the flora and fauna. Because the context of the advertisement that utilizes the stars and hearts and rainbows sort fills these ambiguous forms with meaning (for example flat butterflies and stars and flowers in a feminine hygiene ad gives those forms a certain aire of cleanliness, innocence and purity) an interesting thing occurs when they are born into something more ambiguous and horrible. The term ‘rainbow blight’ is something I thought of to describe the new works, not necessarily to define them. To anyone raised in 1980s visual culture, the play on “rainbow bright” is obvious. You bring up interesting questions though that I haven’t considered until now: are these stars, hearts, rainbows symbols or icons? Their meaning is ambiguous and transitory within the context of advertisement or entertainment but their essential meaning is more iconic, transcendent, abstract and perhaps suggestive of divinity within us and outside of us. Just throw a rainbow of that sausage, see what happens. Curious little things.

SL: While your paintings aren’t intended to make statements, do stories or ideas come to mind as the imagery evolves?

CvM: Sure, but only post-rationally, like coming up with a title. I get certain feelings, or I should say I will follow a certain feeling, usually an uncomfortable one. It’s kind of gross, and beautiful. The only message I can conclusively put out there is this notion of oneness of beauty and horror. Accepting this, I believe, gives one a certain grace in life. Not saying I’m enlightened or anything, but I do recognize it as an essential truth.


Pear With Stars, oil on canvas, 11 x 14″

SL: I’ve been using the term Neo-Grotesque frequently lately to describe the work of several artists including you, Dan Ouellette, Scott Holloway, Carrie Ann Baade and Kris Kuksi amongst others. How do you feel about this term? Is it too limiting or could it be helpful?

CvM: I’ve thought about that a lot since we began using the term. It definitely can be limiting owing to the fact that the definition of the term can be fuzzy and calcified, like a tooth collecting flocking under a couch. The first ‘grotesque’ artwork done in early roman ‘grottos’ was decorative and chimerical and i don’t think they would’ve used the term to describe their artworks, so not sure about the “neo” part either. If one understands grotesque as a synonymous with ‘chimerical’, then I would say that it’s an accurate description of my work. The problem with most contemporary usage of the term grotesque is that we link it with ‘disgusting’ or ‘gross.’ This happens to be very revealing about our contemporary notion of what is beautiful. While ‘chimerical’ is a more objective and descriptive term, grotesque in it’s subjectivity and history helps to understand the conceptual aspect of my works. Anyway, sure, call it neo grotesque.

SL: The scrapbooking you mentioned earlier – is that purely used as reference material or is there a bit of art-making going on there as well?

CvM: Not really an art object but I like to show it around. I will definitely keep doing it, but I will have my wife buy me the teen girl mags so I don’t get arrested or something.


Marketplace, oil on canvas, 24 x 36″

SL: Tell me about this long trip you and your wife made to Mexico City recently. I’ve heard that it is both an inspiring and dangerous place. What initially brought you there and what did you find during your stay?

CvM: We were in Mexico City for a little more than three months. I’ve known and worked with mexico city based artist Rodrigo Cifuentes for a while and he helped me to find a studio there, as well as showing me around the city, introducing me to a great group of artists there, and sharing his favorite al pastor tortas place with me. We lived in Coyoacan, a small little ‘colonia’ engulfed in the insanity that is Mexico city. My studio was also in coyoacan, not to far from Frida Kahlo‘s blue house and Trotskys house. It was on the fifth floor across the street from an overpass and would actually sway, not shake, but sway, making detail work an interesting challenge. The visual environment can be overwhelming there, but fertile nonetheless. It seemed that the graphic design culture was a bit more elemental and colorful and this just set me off. It was perfect, serendipitous timing for the evolution of my work. It’s definitely still with me.

SL: The trip sounds wonderful – an experience that every artist should have. I am a huge fan of Cifuentes’ work and am not surprised that you know him. His paintings are phenomenal – I hope to get the chance to see them in person some day. Did you do any kind of collaborative work or are you more comfortable with working on your own?

CvM: I am ok with collaboration if it works. I am doing some collaboration with My friend Ray Young Chu right now. We work really well together and laugh a lot which is rare.

SL: Thank you very much for the interview, Christian! I wish I could be out on the west coast to see your work up close!!  Good luck with the exhibit.



Tales of Passion and Woe – The Cathartic Art of Carrie Ann Baade by Binnorie
March 4, 2010, 10:52 am
Filed under: Announcement, Art Shows, interview


The Afterlife of the Honey Bees, gouache and ink mixed media on paper

Abundant with symbolism, both familiar and newly invented (her work includes “the gods, rulers, and demons [and more] as metaphors for the complexity of absolute states of the human condition”), Carrie Ann Baade’s paintings speak with intelligence and love to the collective unconscious. The stories that Carrie tells are dramatic and explore social issues both personal and societal. To boot (and perhaps this is more important to note), her works are intensely beautiful to behold and speak with a strong feminine voice.  As if to soften their blow, they are often punctuated with a strong sense of humor (sometimes sardonic) that, in my opinion, elevates her work to the highest degree… because where would we be as humans without the ability to laugh at ourselves every once in a while?

**

On her way up to Philly for the opening of her solo exhibit, “Tales of Passion and Woe” at Rosenfeld Gallery in Philadelphia (details at the bottom), we had a little chat:

SL: I often hear you say that your work is very cathartic for you. It’s very cathartic to view as well; I can relate to some of the stories your paintings seem to tell, whether or not I understand them in the exact way you meant. What is it you offer to viewers who explore the myriad symbols in your work?

CAB: It is difficult to calculate what the viewer will take away from a work. Sometimes I can be made uncomfortable by how deeply moved someone might be by something that is utterly autobiographical and deeply personal. It was a huge revelation for me to find that if I make work that truly poured my heart and soul out, that others would feel it. As a young artist, one goes through the activity of making dangerously bathetic, deeply felt work so over-handed as to perhaps be a little embarrassing. This is the danger of sentimental work…there is no way to say, “just kidding!” I think the big jump here is the language; I am using an archaic language that is rooted in religious painting and illustration. The visual devices of narrative painting utilize symbols and attributes to elucidate allegories, myths, parables, and fables. It is the visual story telling language. I have been disappointed and relieved that no one can read my thoughts or the real life behind my work. I would not wish to have anything more personal out in the world, like being a writer…is a fantasy and nightmare of mine. There used to a time that I felt I needed to control what the viewer specifically took away from the work and I think I am trusting myself more and the painting itself to do the work.

SL: You used to paint frequently on copper, then moved away from it to work on canvas. Some of your newer work is on panel. What are the differences between all these surfaces to your individual style and needs? Are your choices simply practical or do the differences in materials actually alter how you paint?

CAB: My students all know: I hate canvas. I love the stability of panel; it feels real. Canvas is like painting on drum that is aching to have something ruin it (for example). I do like the texture of linen and would sometimes affix this to panel…but it has been awhile. I am passionate about substrates and will sometimes have my students turn their work around in the course of a critique to show off a superior surface to their classmates. One’s choice of substrate definitely affects the painted image. It is an affinity and a calculated choice. Historically artists who were using egg tempera used panels. This medium demanded a smooth surface, and created tight, overwrought imagery. Panel is heavy and was more costly. The advent of oil painting permitted artists to paint bigger and their works to be lighter. The warp and weft [of canvas] affect how the paint is dragged across the surface in such paintings as Velasquez’s. In 2002, the book “Copper As Canvas” was published through the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. This book sang the praises of the metallic substrate for it’s inability to take on humidity and thus warp or expand and contract with the changes in humidity therefore leaving the work less affected by time. There is a tradition among painters to create lasting objects and part of my attraction [to copper] has been durability and longevity. I gave up copper for a time, because, while luxurious, it is truly expensive and heavy, but also because I was cultivating a version of the [Ernst] Fuchs’s school of painting: the Mische technique. Amanda Sage, a student of Fuchs’s who teaches workshops in the Mische technique, and I have spoken and we agree, I am doing the “Bastard Mische Technique.” What this requires is a panel covered with true chalk gesso (hide glue and calcium carbonate) similar to the ones used for egg tempera where I create a fully rendered ink drawing and then I layer the painting with traditional indirect oil painting methods. I skip some steps from the Mische…but I have been really excited about what the tight underdrawing has done for my work. Now that I have a handle on this, I will be returning to copper and a process that is a little more like 17th c. Dutch processes as opposed to the more 15-16th c. Flemish.

SL: Your painting method seems to have remained very consistent over the years. You start out creating a collage from bits of art history, your own photographs and newspapers. When the collage is ready, you paint it in a trompe l’oeil fashion, playing with the edges of the cut paper in the collage to “…suggest the complexity of the individual’s psychologies – their exposed masks and their concealed secrets.” How did this method develop and do you see yourself moving away from it in the future?

CAB: My process is something that I continue to be dedicated to. It is also problematic because my work appears to vacillate in subject because I am partially working from found imagery. While having conflicted feelings about retiring collage elements that I feel attached to, like the second eyes, I found that the way I generate work keeps it authentic and fresh for myself. There are no plans at this time to diverge from my working methods…I will just continue to stoke the huge piles of imagery with new fragments and see what happens.  I paint from a variety of themes that are unpacking themselves over years rather than being resolved in a given body of work.


A Caterpillar Explains the Female Orgasm, Oil on Panel

SL: Would you ever consider displaying the collages?

CAB: Ugh. (sigh) This is one of those topics that I have not really resolved, yet. While there is a prestigious history of collage making, Hanna Hoch and Max Ernst are two of my favorites, I have not been able to view my own collages as art. Every once in a while there is a collage that is actually better than the finished painting which is so hard to bear. Jerome Witkin once told me that I was “…a chicken-shit painter who painted to please…” and that I should stop painting and become a collage artist. I was so dedicated to oil paint and “being a real painter” that I sort of told him off and said he should quit teaching…which was probably a little stupid of me…since he was really excited about the collages. The collage is an element that I require to paint the painting, but I destroy them as I work. Even if I work to resolve elements of the composition for 20 hours in the collage, they are just a means to an end that wind up getting pulled apart as I work. The collages are reduced to their original fragments, which get rolled over in my chair and trampled underfoot as they fall to the floor of my studio. So, while I do save the collage…you must understand they are little like sentimental road-kill. So far they have never been exhibited and their little fragments are all interred lovingly in portfolios for me-me-me.

SL: I’m largely intrigued by semiotics: subtle and obvious symbols that create depth of meaning in a work of art. Your paintings, filled with both familiar archetypes and self-made symbols, often make me think of Jan van Eyck’s The Marriage of Arnolfini (or whatever title you may want to attribute to it). Even though van Eyck’s Arnolfini painting is a less emotional work than yours tend to be, its symbolism makes it intriguing in similar ways. I’m curious as to what your viewpoint of that might be. Can you relate?

CAB: The title to a work is a little like a Buddhist koan awaking the viewer to the artist state of mind. A great title can unlock the painting and literally turn a painting on. In undergrad I was so flipped out to realize historic artists, prior to 1850, didn’t really title their work, that these were more conventions of the art historian. For example, Parmigianino didn’t name “The Madonna of the Long Neck”…some art historian did. I felt like a title was something that the artist failed to do, that this was a way to make up for what the painting lacked. However, we live in a world that is so tense with precedent and meaning we, as visual experts, require a thread to pull open the meaning of the work. I think it is far too much to expect the artist to “get it” without a clue.

Beyond the title…I am very interested in pictorial semiotics and how they relate to art history and theory. I find it interesting to build my own symbols and references within my own work and play this against the accepted readings of symbols. By building upon accepted readings I attempt to recreate meta-narratives where I tell stories through stories making the fragments behave as doorways to prior painting. Beyond this…I am sure I would have to go back to college to figure it out.

SL: What are your predictions for the future of the pop surreal – what do you think will happen as we recover from this recession?

CAB: Curious that the rise of Pop Surrealism coincided with the greatest economic hardship of this era…  There is amazing art occurring in this pseudo movement from great individuals whom I am so fortunate to get to show and hang out with. Like any movement, I think we will see a few succeed when there were just a bacterial amounts of new artists. My prediction is that the recession will act as agent-aggressive antiseptic. Only the best artists and businessmen will succeed; it is clear to me that at least two are thriving while everyone else is hurting. Travis Louie and Kris Kuksi are hard at work… so hard, they deserve their success. As to the sustaining or maintaining of the genre, I believe we shall see these fortunate few graduate from the title that marginalizes their singular identity. They will continue on to the halls of Valhalla and become art gods in the greater pantheon. To paraphrase Mr. Louie, “Monet wanted to be Monet, not one of the Impressionists.”

SL: What do you have planned for your upcoming solo show at Rosenfeld Gallery in Philly?

CAB: This new body of work seeks to exploit the language of illustration. It is so easy to get a chip on one’s shoulder when one is doing a style of work that is out of fashion, but I think that the new era of illustration or representation narrative work has arrived for the enjoyment of most. It is part of what makes Pop surrealism so palatable. In the past, it was ok to dismiss a work as being illustrative, but I also saw the degradation of representational art suffer in the after affects of Modernism until Vermeer, the god of painting, was reduced to this pejorative of “illustration.” Pulling from the medieval book of days, Persian illuminated manuscripts, Indian paintings, and the rich history of Western book illustration…this body of work liberally exploits this language and it’s visual devices in what I like to call superlative ILLUSTRATION!~ (insert maniacal laughter here).

**

Carrie is currently an assistant professor of painting at Florida State University. She graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Delaware, and studied, for a time, at the Florence Academy of Art in Italy.

“Tales of Passion and Woe” can be seen at Rosenfeld Gallery, located at 113 Arch Street, Philadelphia.  If you’re nowhere nearby, you can visit Billy Shire Fine Arts/La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles or POP Gallery in Sante Fe, NM and ask the gallery to show you their inventory.



The Horseman, Demon, And Dave Tree by dezzoster
February 24, 2010, 1:22 am
Filed under: interview, White Rabbit | Tags: , , , ,

I’d heard about Dave Tree’s work from other artists for ages, and eventually had the pleasure of meeting the man in person about two years ago at an art opening in the east village. He’s a friendly yet rumbustious character, seemingly always ready for a good old fashion art debate. He has an unwavering loyalty to tradition with a flexibility to approach and process. This juxtaposition of old and new has always fascinated me especially seeing how that translates in an artist as versed as Tree. Aside from painting, he enjoys a myriad of other artistic pursuits from singing to silk screening. That night, he bestowed upon me a beautiful necklace with one of his images screened onto it. There are two images outlined scenes that appropriately display some past moment lost in time. I thought I’d start off this interview with that in mind:

DE – Your work often references a medieval era. Where does that come from?
DT – I always loved wood cuts from the dark ages and their ideas on what Hell would look like. I’ve been huge fan of Hieronymous Bosch since I was a kid so its always been an influence. I also grew up a hardcore Irish Catholic in Boston, so I had the iron clad boot of the church pressed against my neck.

DE – There seems to be an underlying narrative… What are your clad horsemen and demon soul thinking about?
DT – The Horseman and Demon think only on devouring your soul.

DE – Do you have a mentor?
DT – I had not been making art on a regular basis and had concentrated on my band TREE, but when it finally broke I needed to make art again. Its a great way to lift one’s spirits. Cynthia Von Bueller had me in a show in NYC where I hooked up with my old SMFA buddies Travis Lindquinst and David Hochbaum. I don’t know if I’d call them mentors but they whipped me into shape, trained me in process, made me stand on my own art literally, and really helped me think like an artist again so I owe a lot to them.

DE – You also sing in a band. How does that, if at all, affect your artwork?
DT – Singing in a band helps with my art to a great extent, I make pieces about my songs, I make songs about my pieces, it all works together really well. Singing/screaming in a band is also a great therapeutic outlet,  art can be frustrating at times so I get to scream my blues away and start with a new slate the next day.

DE – Tell us a little about the process of art making for you…
DT – Sometimes I just see the image in my head and go for it, once in a while the final product looks like the image in my end or completely different, either way I got new art. Sometimes I make one piece and see a series in it so out comes a series. Why make one piece when I can make 10 that all correspond. Mistakes are my friends.

DE – Many of your paintings are on wood panels instead of canvas. Why?
DT – I really like wood as a material, it doesn’t “Bounce” like canvas, it is unyielding and has historic significance, the very texture of the wood and its grain can add to the work.I do a ton of trash pick dumpster diving and I raise recycling to an artform, so more wood get thrown away that canvases but I do find plenty of canvas too and started working more with it.

DE – What do you think about the contemporary art world now in relation to the economy and the advancements in social networking, etc?
DT – Online networking really helps get the word out, I still flyer shows but I feel archaic,  but I’m a creature of habit and I still believe the person to person contact works best for me. The economy hasn’t hurt me at all, but then again I operate underground and I champion the barter system like a motherfucker. I can make something from nothing and get something for it. Contemporary artists need to exploit social networks, get their art up on line and make their prices affordable. I make art in 3 different price tiers so that  my art is available for all the people not just the ones that have a big bank accounts.

DE – You live in Boston now, but often show in New York. What’s that like? Have you ever thought of relocating?
DT – I love NYC and Boston, I’ve made a conscious  effort to get to NYC as much as possible because the art scene  is by far superior to Boston’s scene but in Boston I have space to work that in NYC would cost a fortune. In an ideal world I  will build a reputation as an artist from Boston and  move to NYC or Brooklyn when I could afford to live their. I think it would really help to be in NYC for the art.

DE – Tell us a little about your silk screening parties, and how they started…
DT – I have been silkscreening for 20 years, I to a GoldmineShithouse party at David Hochbaum’s house/studio and I helped print and saw how they had it going on so I stole their idea. I brought it to Boston and would do parties in my studio.I then got a solo show at McCaig Welles and I had a silkscreen closing party to help get some eyes on my art and maybe some sales. It worked so well the gallery asked me to do one for all their shows, so I got to have a print party in Brooklyn every month for a year. I really enjoy printing for people live and have to thank the GoldmineShithouse guys for the idea.

DE – What do you procrastinate most with?
DT – writing down the unwritten word

DE – I agree, sometimes it’s hard to get into the habit of doing something. Regardless, how much you enjoy it. On that note, what’s your motto?
DT – The more you get done. The more you get done. The people and the land are one, and the people and land will not be divided.

Click on the show card above to see an online gallery of works Dave will have on exhibit for us in March.