Thursday, November 13, 2008

Alfred Kubin at the Neue Gallerie

I recently went to see Alfred Kubin: Drawings, 1897-1909 at the Neue Gallerie, and all I can say is - go see it! I might not bring the little kids to this one, folks, because there is some REALLY dark subject matter, and disturbing images - but boy are they cool! 

The show is mostly comprised of small drawings and prints from early in his career, and as you look at them you see that this was a man haunted by the notion of death, and driven to compulsively describe, in meticulous detail, his nightmarish visions. The work, influenced by the likes of Goya and Munch, is beautifully executed by an obviously brilliant man. The show is up until January 26, and is a rare chance to see this artist's work in the U.S. 

Wunderkammer: A Century of Curiosities

I made it to the Wunderkammer show at MoMA a couple of weeks ago (sorry guys, it's ended now) but I wanted to make a quick note about it, because it was a really interesting, different sort of show.

Wunderkammern means 'cabinets of curiosities' and the show certainly embodied that idea; odd little drawings, sculptures, prints, etc, which combined elements from nature with science and machinery (sort of pre-Steam Punk esque, I suppose). 

Anyways, it was fascinating!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ree Treweek and The Tale of How

I stumbled upon this amazing artist while browsing through my new favorite site, Charley Parker has written much better articles than I can about this artist and her work, so check it out here if you are interested.

Most of all, I want everyone to see the video, The Tale of How, which was created in collaboration with Jannes Hendrik and Markus Smit, some seriously talented, seriously young people, who make me want to march to my drafting table and step up my game. Also on this site: other fabulous work, along with a making-of video and some great prints.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Things to See

Last night, Owen and I went to the Original Art show at the Society of Illustrators, NY, which is the annual best-of-children's-book-art show. Um, amazing! The variety of styles, and level of talent just can't be beat. Go see this show if you love children's books. Go see this show if you love narrative art. Go see this show if you love art. Go see this show if you need inspiration.

There were some familiar names, and some that I was very glad to be introduced to. Some artists that were new to me that I am excited to see more of: Nicoletta Ceccoli, Arthur Geisert, Kelly Murphy, Laura Stutzman, and Eric Velasquez. William Steig received a lifetime achievment award - I never get tired of that guy. It also reminded me that I still have a little drawing of his of an old lady strangling a lion that needs a visit to the art conservation doctor - someone pasted it onto a board with rubber cement (aka paper-eater)!

It is so special to see these works in person, and a really rare opportunity, given that they usually live in the artists' homes, or in private collections.

Also, something I want to see: Wunderkammer: A Century of Curiosities at MoMA. The website alone is pretty awesome, and might be better than the exhibit itself.

OK, so, go see art!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Steam Punk Weekend!

Steampunk Exhibition of Art and Design

I went to a show in the Hamptons this weekend that completely blew my mind! Titled "Steam Punk" the show features a number of artists working around a similar concept of fusing a sort of Victorian elegance with modern machinery and a little bit (or a big bit) of the bizarre. That said, go see it if you can, it's one of the best shows I have seen. If you can't go see it, check out the following links to see some of my favorite artists, and go here to see Irene Gallo's write-up about it on

Sam Van Olffen . . . awesome!

Eric Freitas...freaking AMAZING working clocks!
Art Donovan...some of the coolest light/art pieces I've seen!

Look and enjoy, folks, and this is only a sampling of the truly wonderful, high quality work on display.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Open Mic Night at Walz Astoria

Last night my friend Kat McGivern and I attended the weekly Open Mic night at the Waltz Astoria, a wine/dessert/coffee bar and performance/art space in Astoria. I highly recommend checking this place out! It was a wonderful night full of lots of ridiculously talented people, really great coffee, cake, and watermelon ices. The atmosphere in there is warm, inviting and comfortable. Very familial, with a lot of performers returning week after week. Go there. Introduce yourself to Song (the appropriately named manager of the Waltz), order a drink from Song's adorable mother, have a chat with Pedro, and listen to some great music. They are also planning a series of visual art shows, with 4-6 artists or so at a time - small works only, priced $250 and under. Go hang out at the Walz and learn about it. Also, there is a great lineup of performers that are brought in on weekends, so check out the calender online at

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Look at this now!

This is Eric Orchard's piece for the Totoro Forest Project. This might be one of my favorite things. Ever.

In other news, I just found my old copy of Sleeping Beauty, as retold by Jane Yolen, a wonderful writer who has worked with one of my favorite Professors (and illustrator) Dennis Nolan.

The illustrations are by Ruth Sanderson, and, though I was only three years old when this book was given to me by my grandparents, I can vividly remember loving these pictures! It is a truly beautiful book, and I am so excited to have re-discovered it!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Bunny vs. iPod

Anyone who owns a bunny will surely know this, but for those of you who don't, a word of caution: bunnies are destroyers of ipod headphones and cases.

My bunny has chewed through THREE sets of ipod earbuds, and yesterday I found her on the kitchen table (where she knows she's not allowed) happily munching away at the armband that my ipod lives in when I go for a jog.

Some may call this carelessness on my part. I shouldn't leave my ipod anywhere that there is the remotest chance that the bunny might get to it., but I swear, she would find it anyway. To her, chewing on an ipod is pure joy. She freakin' loves it, and she's so darn cute when she's happy, I can't even get mad at her! So, what to do?

This is an appeal to the inventors out there: Please make bunny-resistant ipod gear! Especially the headphone cords - one bite and those skinny cords are done for (my current headphones have tape in three places, holding the wires together)!

The same goes for cell phone chargers.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Guest speaker at Columbia?

So, I have been asked to be a guest speaker in a class at the Teachers College at CU.

Pretty cool!

It all started when I hung a bunch of my photographs in the office (mainly photos of windows, because my office has no windows) and one of the professors thought it would be good to have me come give a talk about Women and Photography (broad much?) in a social studies class about women of the world. Luckily this is sort of an artist's perspective thing, because I am certainly no historian - but I should brush up on my photo knowledge anyway.

If anyone has suggestions for this little talk, or wants to contribute photos for my slideshow (I will give you credit) I'll gladly take them.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Whitney Biennial

I finally made it to the Whitney Biennial this past weekend while my sister was visiting. I had gone to the last one two years ago with friends Zach and Heather, both of whom 'get this stuff' better than I do. Being an Illustrator, I generally gravitate toward the realist painters, rarely leaning toward the extremely abstract. But I try. I like knowing what is out there, what's being done. It helps to have someone along who can explain the more confounding (to me) works of art in a contemporary art show like the Biennial. For example, why is that ginormous foam boulder with wax and resin dripped all over it something that I should look at? - A guard had to explain to me that the artist, Jedediah Caesar, wanted to bring an actual boulder of some sort into the museum, but it was going to be too heavy, so he created one, and the dripping of the wax and resin create an eroded effect - Thanks man!

The last time I visited this show my friends and a professor were my guides. This time I had to be the guide!! I did my best to understand and appreciate the work, and of course some were easier to get than others, but the ones that struck me most were all videos. Something about that medium just sucks you right in. One in particular has stuck with me, and I've thought about it many times over the last few days - a video by Javier Tellez titled "Letter on the Blind for the Use of Those Who See". Shot in black and white, and set in the basin of a huge, old, empty swimming pool in Brooklyn, the film documents six blind people as one at a time they come face to face with an elephant for the first time in their lives. They tap their way across the concrete, sensing where the elephant is, reaching out tentatively at first, and then exploring the elephant with their hands, coming to an understanding of what the size, shape, and texture of an elephant really is. Watching each of them come to this giant animal, watching them investigate with such a gentle touch and intense concentration, and realizing that until this point they have not had a true sense of what an elephant looks like, was just incredibly moving to me. It may be obvious - of course a blind person wouldn't really know what an elephant looks like - but to me it came as a surprise. And then I was surprised at my own surprise! But then to see their reaction to meeting this creature, and to see the way they 'see' with their other senses, was just fascinating! I tried to put myself in their place. What if I could only explore the world with my ears, nose, taste and touch? What if the only way for me to really understand the massive size and ragged texture of an elephant was to meet one face to face? No photos would have aided me in my knowledge, only descriptions, and maybe an inaccurate plastic or stuffed toy. What would that be like? It's hard to imagine, but it made me think about the senses, and how we navigate the world.

I am glad we visited the Biennial this year - it won't be back for another two years, and if I'm able to go again, I surely will.

Later that day, my sister and I walked over the Williamsburg Bridge on a whim, but that's another story.