(noun) nonchalant absurdity with a dash of embarrassment.

(verb) to be shark bitten.

(adverb) in a manner that is nonchalantly absurd and embarrassing.

28 January 2011

Inspired by the Little Mermaid

Snow Day Art Bunny Extraordinaires

Yesterday was funny; one of those days where a dull moment does not exist. I woke up to massive amounts of snow, yet again, and went right back to bed. When I awoke for the second time I realized brunch sounded like a great idea. I called up Anne and we met at Five Leaves. Post brunch bliss, I decided today was the day to see George Condo at the New Museum so I gave Gub a ring and she said she’d join me.

We enter the 4th floor where Condo’s works, dating back to the early 80s, were hung salon style in a dimly lit room, where the only lights available were those that were highlighting the paintings. I liked the ambience. I felt warm and the colors used in the paintings evoked a feeling of comfort and happiness regardless of the grotesque beings depicted on the wall before me.
I happened to look over at the bench and noticed that it was Jerry Saltz, art critic of New York Magazine and one of my favorite writers, sitting down with the exhibition catalog next to him. Naturally, I approached him and asked if I can see the book. We then went on to exchange names and began chatting about the works––Gabby was soon to join the conversation, which then became practically an entire museum visit with our new friend.

This is what I got out of the show: I relate to Condo’s work because of his recurring motif of the abstracted female body; an element of art history that I have always loved. Condo is not afraid to borrow ideas and stylistic elements from his predecessors (i.e. Francis Bacon, Picasso, Matisse, de Kooning, and other Old Masters), and, perhaps, this is why some may find his art boring. He’s practically been painting the same subject matter since he started, except now it seems he has the luxury of making larger works because he can afford space at this point of his career. I prefer his earlier works, from the 80s and 90s, over those created in the last few years. Evocative and satirical in nature, Condo’s work is a visual representation of the comedy that is playing within his mind and the pictures that he paints for us are tragically beautiful, nonetheless.
In popular culture most are able to identify with Condo (if they are able to recognize his work at all) through the work he did for Kanye West’s album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, a title that is fitting to Condo’s oeuvre. Is Condo, an 80’s NYC LES art scenester, the ultimate art star because of his collaboration with the ultimate contemporary cultural icon, that is Mr. Kanye West? This is the question I left the museum asking myself yesterday.

After the museum we headed over to Chelsea to see Pema Rinzin at Joshua Liner Gallery and after that our group grew each stop we made (Kenny Scharf at Paul Kasmin and then the Mark Seliger book signing at Steven Kasher Gallery––where fresh air did not exist and it was too crowded to move, but I did run into PunkRockJoe). All the while I could not stop thinking about how hungry I was. I was not content until we ended up at Panna–the quirky, small, tacky Indian restaurant in the East Village. Gub danced with the Uncle Fester like doorman to the cheesy Happy Birthday tune, wine was had, and lame cell phone photos were taken. Sounds like a good day to me.

25 January 2011

Shark?, the band.

Harmonix by shark [band]

Jared Leto's Twitter Pic

Does this mean he is a sharkbite?
I mean Terry Richardson is following him.
He's gotta have some street cred?

travels and mental vomit.

I wrote this months ago after I came back from visiting Robin in Portland in August 2010. I was chatting with Mel about his upcoming trip there and this simple text conversation reminded me that this piece existed. The last paragraph is a new part of this piece, just added today.

It’s funny how people come in and out of your life. Less than two weeks ago I was walking along the streets of Portland, Oregon talking to Todd, a 49-year-old Deadhead, wearing a long sleeved tye-dye shirt and a purple backpack. I was lost and, clearly, he could see this. He asked where I needed to go. When I told him he said he would walk with me to my said destination. Along this 15 minute walk I learned that he was a chef at P.F. Chang’s in Los Angeles and has been clean for two years. You see, working in a restaurant exposed him to massive amounts of cocaine and since then he hasn’t touched it. He told me how he used to sleep on the beach, but now he is in Portland--begging for change and making enough to stay in a motel every night. He told me he is a clean, respectable guy who can’t find work, but he showers almost every day. I can’t quite remember how I responded. He asked a few questions, but was more concerned with telling me his entire life story; so, I saw it in my best interest to just listen. He moved up to Portland to mend his relationship with his mother. Alright, I can respect that. I arrive at my destination and he (as much as he hated to do this) asks me politely, “Do you have any coinage?” I’m sorry, Todd; I had to decline. It’s not that my heart was cold, I literally had no coinage.

Before Todd I met Brian from San Francisco and before Brian it was Raul from Barcelona. Can’t forget crazy James, the guy who sped all over Portland with me in his 500E Mercedes-Benz. I have a new respect for cars. Everyone had their own crazy story and I was willing to listen. All the while back in New York there was this one particular person I had met a week prior to all of these fascinating people en route to and in Portland. I thought he had a beautiful soul, but it was all fake love.

These type of people are what Chuck Klosterman refer to as those who you fall in “fake love” with. Klosterman goes on to say: “We all convince ourselves of...fictionalized portrayals of romance that happen to hit us in the right place, at the right time.” It’s like a storybook with a predictable ending. Rather than a happy ending it always turns out the same. An unsuccessful fulfillment of a relationship that you never wanted from the get-go. Fake love is a very powerful thing. Fake lovers are no different from people you meet everyday. Everyone has a story. Everyone has their idiosyncrasies. Everyone has beautiful elements to share and a few ugly characteristics as well. What is the purpose of life? Is it to be loved? Is it to be rich? Is it to be successful? Or is it to be happy? You tell me.

It's funny to look back on this writing several months later.I wonder if Todd is still roaming the streets of Portland? I hope Mel finds him with his purple backpack while he's out there. I wonder if he ever mended the relationship with his mother? A lot of crazy shit has happened betwixt and between this trip. A lot of death: Heath is gone, Robin is moving back to New York (THANK GAWD!) and the aforementioned "fake lover" is no longer with us as well. Perhaps, that trip was a curse, some strange Karma bullshit--maybe I was never meant to go out there. I hate Portland, the coast is beautiful, but I hated that city. I should have taken Danielle's words more wisely; those that she said before I left: "Why are you going to Portland? Isn't that where hipsters go to die?"


FROM NEW MUSEUM WEBSITE: George Condo has been a singular voice in American and European art for almost three decades. Born in 1957 in New Hampshire, he studied art history and music theory at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell. In 1980 he arrived in New York, where he quickly became part of the burgeoning East Village art scene. Exhibiting at the Pat Hearn Gallery along with painters such as Mary Heilmann and Philip Taaffe, and becoming close friends with artists like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Condo developed a unique painting style, employing the virtuoso draftsmanship and paint handling of the old masters to depict subject matter that sprang largely from his imagination.

In the context of early 1980s New York, Condo’s paintings—which he called “fake old masters”—displayed a provocative untimeliness. While many artists at the time borrowed specific imagery from historical sources, Condo instead adopted the styles, techniques, and methods of earlier painters and applied them to subjects distinctly his own. Over the next two decades, he went on to explore an astonishing variety of aesthetic territories, from Mannerist ornamentalism to Picasso-esque Cubism, drawing from Diego Velázquez to Looney Tunes. Possessed of an enormous memory bank of art historical references, Condo synthesized these past pictorial languages and motifs to create, as he put it, “composites of various psychological states painted in different ways.”

Condo is exceptionally prolific and has produced an enormous body of work since the beginning of the 1980s. The bulk of it has been portraiture, not of living individuals but of invented characters. Many early portraits, while often fantastical, evoke complex and precarious mental states. Over the past decade, Condo has introduced a range of distinctly contemporary types: figures that despite their apparently commonplace social roles seem to belong to the furthest extremes of the human psyche. In paintings like these, which in his words, “reflect the madness of everyday life,” meticulous attention to naturalistic detail is coupled with elements of the grotesque and the absurd.

“George Condo: Mental States” presents what the artist has called a “conceptual survey” of work over the past thirty years. Divided into four sections, each of which examines a particular theme or genre central to his work, the exhibition reveals his tragicomic vision. It demonstrates that no matter how varied his artistic language or strategy, Condo’s paintings and sculptures create a singular view—dystopic, humorous, empathetic, and critical—of our post-humanist age.

Pema Rinzin "COMPASSION TRANSFORMED" at Joshua Liner Gallery: OPENING: Thursday, January 27th 6-9 PM

Joshua Liner Gallery is pleased to present Compassion Transformed, an exhibition of new paintings by the New York-based Tibetan artist Pema Rinzin. Making his solo debut in New York, this is Rinzin’s first one-man exhibition at Joshua Liner Gallery.

A master in the art of Thangka painting, Pema Rinzin has adapted the techniques and mystical motifs of this centuries-old Buddhist tradition to create spellbinding abstract works of contemporary art. Originally used in scrolls that depict the life of the Buddha, other deities, and religious figures, traditional Thangka featured the use of ground mineral pigments and gold applied to paper or silk cloth, as well as works in embroidery. Thangkas were objects of meditation, stimulation and religious education. The imagery is characterized by great intricacy in decorative pattern and brilliant color, which serve to advance the spiritual objectives of enlightenment and transcendence, while also conveying the artistic vision of individual master painters through unique expressions of style and composition.

In his stunning abstractions, Rinzin demonstrates how the individual artist can place his own stamp on a traditional form—he both transforms and transcends classical Thangka, while preserving its ancient artmaking techniques. His Peace and Energy series includes four large works on canvas that present a compelling image for contemplation: in each, a dynamic embolus of layered “handkerchief” forms hums at the center of each picture against a traditional monochromatic background of bright orange, purple, white, or yellow. The fluttering, interlocking forms are thoroughly contemporary, but each carries a unique pattern derived from the ancient Buddhist traditions, and the whole is shot through with pulsing striped flames of blue, white, black, and gold.

In Rinzin’s Water series of four large works, these flames become an intricate network of liquid-like wave forms. This design is oriented vertically to carry upward an interpenetrating pattern of elaborate decoration, itself suggesting both sea foam and the blossoming of cherry trees. Rinzin’s Lost Portraits, however, take an entirely different tack. This series of three large works foregrounds the contemporary in hard-edged abstractions of classic Buddhist figures, each rendered in hot colors and spattered with sumi ink. Up close, the shattered facets comprising the figures reveal delicate patterns from both traditional Thangka and contemporary design. Compassion Transformed will also feature a variety of smaller works on paper.

As a young painter growing up in Dharamsala, India, Rinzin studied with Kalsang Oshoe, Khepa Gonpo, Rigdzin Paljor, and other master artists, but his work is equally inspired by Western art history, including such influences as Gustav Klimt, Wassily Kandinsky, and William Blake. During his residency at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York, Rinzin gained notice with his inclusion in the Rubin’s 2010 group exhibition Tradition Transformed, the city’s first museum exhibition of contemporary Tibetan artists.

“After moving to New York, I was immediately exposed to street- and former graffiti artists,” says Rinzin. “They inspired me in their works with everyday life and raw emotion. Now, my art is really about my own life journey, which I strongly express in my compositions and abstract forms.”

Born in 1966 in Tibet and raised in India, Pema Rinzin received a degree in Tibetan Traditional Thangka Painting and Fine Art from Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) Painting School in Dharamsala, India (where he also taught) and was twice honored “Best Tibetan Thangka Painter” (1979 and 1981); he currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Solo exhibitions of his work include: Tibetan Fine Art Exhibition, Villa Dessauer, Bamberg, Germany (2005); Photo and Color Exhibition, Tibetan Art and Color Studio, Wurzburg, Germany (2001); Tibetan Fine Art Exhibition, Hobbit Theatre, Wurzburg, Germany (1999); and First Tibetan Fine Art Exhibition, Alexander-Schroeder-Haus, Wurzburg, Germany (1996). Selected group exhibitions include: Tradition Transformed, Rubin Museum of Art, New York and The Barnstormers, Joshua Liner Gallery, New York (2010); and Big! Himalayan Art, Crow Collection of Asian Art, Dallas, TX (2008) and Rubin Museum of Art, New York (2007). His Sixteen Giant Paintings are on permanent display at the Shoko-ji Cultural Research Institute, Nagano, Japan. From 2005 to 2008, Rinzin was artist-in-residence at the Rubin Museum of Art, and in 2007 he founded the New York Tibetan Art Studio, the only studio in the Western Hemisphere dedicated to the teaching and preservation of Tibetan art in both traditional and contemporary forms.

bumblebee. xx.


post art show euphoria moto surfing son of a b.
photo by gub.

bumblebee. xx.

Ezri Headband by Coco&&Breezy

I want this headband badly.
I wonder how comfortable it is?
It's handmade with tangled wire and individual beading.

check out more of their stuff at: COCOANDBREEZY

bumblebee. xx.

24 January 2011

metro shark steez.

chomp, chomp.
kiss, kiss, kill.
photo by gub.