the BROOKLYN COMICS and GRAPHICS FESTIVAL is !! moving up on the calendar to: SAT NOV 10, 2012 / 12-7 PM !!
SO – SAVE THE DATE !!
it used to happen . . . in the first week of DEC – when the field was wide open, as everyone in the NYC art world (per se !!) – decamped to MIAMI, for the MIAMI BASEL ART FAIR.
you know what they say: when the cat’s away – the mice will PLAY !! and play they did !!
only in its 4th year – the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Fest – is NOW big enough to take on the BIG boys – SO, come on over !! and, see what took over a big slice of your art world pie !!
and you thought you had it locked down – ARTFORUM style. ha.
and, yeah it’s in . . . BROOKLYN !!
GABE FOWLER, of DESERT ISLAND one of the festival’s founders, along with DAN NADEL of PICTUREBOX, and BILL KARTALOPOULOS . . . confirmed this to me – when I dropped by the store earlier – this week.
he gave me some NEW BUZZ TO POST, as well:
it’s just been confirmed, YES !! comic book artist . . . CHRIS WARE will be doing the festival’s signature poster this year !! it will be a long format, commercially printed poster, going for about $20. as Chris will be in the ‘house’ – you can get him to sign it, too.
if you know CHRIS WARE’S work – you are jumping up and down our of your mind – right now !!
if not, here’s a good place to start: artlovers – SPX 2012 & CHRIS WARE POSTER !!
in fact, that appears to be CHRIS WARE’S illustration, that just popped up – on the: BROOKLYN COMICS & GRAPHICS FESTIVAL – WEBSITE !!
ILLUSTRATION BY CHRIS WARE – COURTESY: BROOKLYN COMICS & GRAPHICS FESTIVAL
‘MONOPOLY’ meets SCI FI head-on !! – anybody else out there – get it ?!!
ha. I even see a little MOEBIUS in there too. RIGHT ON !!
BROOKLYN COMICS & GRAPHICS FESTIVAL 2012 – CARD DESIGN BY: JOEL SPEASMAKER.
PLUS: just to show how cutting edge these guys – REALLY are !!
LEAVE IT TO – the comics and graphics fest artists – to really SCRAMBLE – an INFORMATION GRAPHICS aka INFOGRAPHICS !! – FESTIVAL BUSINESS CARD.
ha. ha, so friggin there – as they say in BROOKLYN.
here’s how it appears, below, actual size (2 x 3-1/2 in.) . . . yep, there’s magic in them there FONTS !! and COLORS !! and COM-POSITION !!
ha. read that !!
THERE is always something new, and FRESH OFF THE BLOCK OF SOMEONE’S MIND !! and way outta the BOX – just around the very next table – at this fair.
yep, it is my VERY fave fair – in NYC ? . . . . in the world !!
I haven’t missed one, and I ain’t gonna miss this one either, though I bet it’s gonna be as crowded as hell – so get there early !!
scroll down & check out the posts starting with: ‘HEY, JUST BECAUSE . . .’ on the left-hand navigator/archive .. on this homepage, for: DEC 2011 & catch . . . last year’s PHOTOS & coverage !!
the highlight FIND of last year was – J.T. YOST: talk about (your !!) great bleeding edge graphics, and hilarious narrative – inside and out.
visuals . . . and content. right on & beyond . . . !!
see: artlovers – J.T YOST – ‘IT’S DREAM TIME, SNOOP DOGGY DOG’ !! – DEC 2011
J.T. YOST – free handout ‘bookmark’ – BROOKLYN COMICS & GRAPHICS FESTIVAL 2011.
see: birdcage bottom books
where they are featuring a new anthology: ‘DIGESTATE’ – (!!) – 288 pages of comics by 55 artists – that looks to be a RIOT …
they also seem to have ‘tweaked’ their birdcage bottom books – logo !!
damn I liked the first one . . .
well nothing is written in stone – esp in the comic book – world. or the digital world, either, for that matter.
hurray. for CHANGE !! SECOND CHANCES & FREE-DOM !!
SHOUT OUT !! to my JOSH HARRIS / PSEUDO PALS – on that one.
P.S. got something special for you guys . . . COMING UP this weekend . . . for whoever is still reading, listening ? all the way down here . . . HEADS UP !!
‘TOTALLY WIRED’ is a book, no ?
and this is NYC ART BOOK WEEKEND – so, YOU are up next !!
wonder if anybody in the NY ART BOOK FAIR is cool enough to be stocking it ?
I bet not !! FUCK ‘EM, we are taking over, no matter what !!
gonna hi-jack the ‘art book fair’ weekend . . . PSEUDO – STYLE !! – just like back in the . . good ole glory days.
just you watch – and see !!
yep, that’s what I did at PSEUDO – it’s called: art world P.R. …. hijack !!
GUERILLA ADVERTISING, anybody ?
we did it – before the formal ‘term’ – existed !!
and the next thing you know – from PSEUDO . . . I was heading up a top ‘event’ column – at artnet.
and so it goes.
so, PSEUDO you, NYC !!
PSEUDO is BACK !! in a BOOK !! – BIG TIME !!
hey, we already did . . . the movie.
GET IT: ‘TOTALLY WIRED .. ON THE TRAIL of the GREAT DOT-COM SWINDLE’ – by ANDREW SMITH – on AMAZON.
AND NOTE: yep, that’s a 5 STAR – CUSTOMER REVIEW !!
CHRIS WATTS – ‘AMERICAN GODS’
SEPT 1 – OCT 4, 2012
GENOME GALLERY – 120 BREVARD COURT – CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
“a mixture of photographic elements and paint on large-scale canvases along with similar workings on paper. WATTS remixes vintage originals form LIFE, Ebony, and Jet magazines in such a way as to comment on socio-political issues that are both SINGULAR and UNIVERSAL.” ~ gallery website
for more info on the show: CHRIS WATTS at GENOME
‘PEDEGOGE OF YOUNG GODS’ – by CHRIS WATTS – IMAGE COURTESY: GENOME GALLERY
plus, dig that GENOME GALLERY – LOGO !!
the card for the show:
image: ‘Psychic Color Pour’, single-channel vidoe, 6:39 (looped)
ALAN and MICHAEL FLEMING – ‘GAME ON’ at THE ACTIVE SPACE
SEPT 14 – OCT 12, 2012
OMG – IS IT JUST ME GOING CRAZY – AFTER A BIG, BIG NIGHT OUT DRINKING at BROOKLYN BOWL, or what ?!!
with some ole PSEUDO / JOSH HARRIS pals – more on that this weekend !! ‘TOTALLY WIRED’ – RIGHT ON !!
but I swear, I do detect an heart-felt echo (!!) of all-American, magazine glossy illustrator – NORMAN ROCKWELL, in that card . . . image or what !!
and I don’t mean, just cause it’s 2 guys !!
something . . . about the matter-of-fact, yet warm hyper realism, and classic composition ?
it really hit home, when I posted the CHRIS WATTS – magazine referenced painting – above post !!
which although it uses actual ‘original’ source magazine illustrations – has a more ‘street art’ feel.
whatever . . . yeah it was a big NIGHT OUT !!
NORMAN ROCKWELL, ‘TATTOO ARTIST’.
ALAN and MICHAEL FLEMING, frame from: ‘Psychic Color Pour’.
ALAN and MICHAEL FLEMING frame from: ‘Psychic Color Pour’.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH. BROOKLYN, NY, SEPT 14, 2012
ALAN and MICHAEL FLEMING – ‘GAME ON’ – ‘THE ACTIVE SPACE’ – BUSHWICK, BROOKLYN, N.Y.
SEPT 14 – OCT 12, 2012
SOME PIX FROM THE OPENING:
MICHAEL (left) and ALAN FLEMING.
to see more of their work, their subway clip is featured on the homepage !! & their bio, hit: spatialinterventions.com
LUCY SMITH (left), the show;s curator – with ASHLEY ZELLINSKIE, THE ACTIVE SPACE studio Director.
for more on: THE ACTIVE SPACE
KYLIE KLEVEN, left knitting – and STEVE MAY.
They just came back from ten days in ICELAND (!!) with STEPHEN WEST (!!) – checking out the local crafts, and stockpiling Icelandic LOPI WOOL – which Kylie is knitting with above.
if you don’t know who STEPHEN WEST is: check him out !!
STEFANI, a girl after my own heart: she doesn’t like to be photographed – BUT, SHE DOES LIKE – TO GET AROUND !!
the last time we caught up with her – was just about a year ago, at JOCKO WEYLAND’S ‘ELK’ PARTY/ZINE/ART SHOW – at FAR ROCKAWAY !!
at that time she was doing some kind of gig or residency at EYEBEAM, in TRIBECA. now she’s the Education Director at 3RD WARD !!
see: 3RD WARD
on the right: YULIA TOPCHIY of CoWorker Projects.
with her, at left: SEYHAN. and that’s Yulia’s son – ANTON.
fashion photographer JANIRA MARTINEZ.
see: JANIRA MARTINEZ PHOTOGRAPHY
NICHOLAS STEINDORF . . also in the MASTERS STUDIO PROGRAM at YALE.
we first met him when CoWorker presented a selection of his video clips at ENTWINE.
check out: NICHOLAS STEINDORF – he’s changed the site up – since we last checked in !!
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH. BUSHWICK, BROOKLYN, NY. SEPT 14, 2012
WITH ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY: KATE CERIGO
ALAN and MICHAEL FLEMING – ‘GAME ON’ – THE ACTIVE SPACE – in BUSHWICK, BROOKLYN. NY.
SEPT 14 – OCT 12, 2012
gallery hrs: FRI-SUN 1-6PM /or by appointment
OMG: talking bout . . . BROOKLYN and BUSHWICK !! . . . . . BREAKING NEWS !!!!!!!!
BILL and HILARY went to ROBERTA’S for pizza over the weekend !! . . ha. so there !!
see: the Gothamist
BUT BACK TO – THE SHOW !!
the first thing you notice right off, is that though the work looks super serious – it’s also got a real wicked fun streak !! running all the way through it.
case in point, this cardboard box – that was sent out as a huge jpeg file on the press release. turns out, in fact – to be quite small. yes, I cracked up right away.
scale is such a funny thing. esp with digital imagery.
as NORA EPHRON said so rightly: fact can be so much funnier than – fiction !!
see: the initial artlovers post based on the ‘GAME ON’ press release – with an updated photo on the NEW YORK CITY SUBWAY: “If you see something, say something” – ‘parcel’. no doubt, it all adds up to – something !! intention, or NOT !!
the piece is titled, ‘A Sea Shanty’, 2011.
cardboard box, accumulated postage. 6″ x 6″ x 6″.
“An empty box mailed back & forth between the artists during the year that they were living apart.”
the first time I saw this work was in their smallish studio – during the BUSHWICK OPEN STUDIO WEEKEND of SUMMER 2012.
so it was great to see it all laid out with room to breathe – and displayed in such a professional space.
it was also clear that the installation took a deliberate direction that utilized the space well, esp by displaying a few of the 3D or sculptural pieces – down the center. with the other work, displayed in alcoves that jut out of the walls.
down with the white box !! – while maintaining the best aspects of it – clarity !!
NEW YORK CITY: the ‘break-down the box’ mindset – had this framed set hanging – in an alcove – instead of being conventionally hung on the wall.
ALAN and MICHAEL FLEMING – ‘Correspondence’, 2011.
set of 4 double-sided framed pairs of postcards and Polaroids. 11 x 17 in. each
“A series of postcards with prompts for an action accompanying by a Polaroid documenting that action.”
here’s the reverse.
apart from loving all things ‘souvenir’ – I also really relished – how the conceptual aspects of the work were hand-in-hand with the visuals. strong, smart, clean, to the point !!
original to the max.
the ‘GAME-ON’ referred to in the title – is the interplay that developed between these twins when they were separated for a year, one staying in Chicago, and the other heading out . . . for our lovely city !!
you start to realize, that one: it’s all about ‘socialization’ and ‘bio’ dynamics – in the truest sense . . . but of course, it’s also site specific !!
each project is different, yet each has a ‘deep heart’ and speaks to a ‘super personal bio bond’. the conceptualizations twist and turn – and ultimately belie their magazine glossy, ‘information graphics’ – hyper realism.
it’s a nice tension, a visual/conceptual tension – that’s at play here, too. GAME-ON.
CHICAGO’S reverse !!
it’s a nice contrast: NEW YORK CITY vs CHICAGO.
I bet a hand-writing expert could go to town, here . . big time, TOO. the writing samples look pretty close, except one twin presses down harder – on the page.
here’s a view of that project – looking out from the shallow alcove into the main space.
this ‘handcrafted’ piece . . . contrasted with the purely pictorial sets, and (nicely) broke up the exhibition space – towards the back.
ALAN and MICHAEL FLEMING, ‘Conjoined Chairs’, 2011
wooden chairs, 36 x 24 x 24 in.
“On the same day, at the same time each artist went to a thrift shop in their respective neighborhoods and bought a wooden chair. Each chair was cut down the middle, swapped and then reassembled.”
well at least they were the same height – seat-wise !!
and both are wooden, could have been you know: modern faux leatherette vs. Victorian shabby chic !!
a lot of the ‘GAME-ON’ projects tried to see how psychic – the Bros were, long distance.
back in their studio, they had told me that when they were growing up, they used to come down for breakfast dressed in the same shirt, and then proceed to fight over who would get to wear it.
turns out, they are NOT so psychic – but the pictorials express a lock-step – that beats words.
their subway clip – looped in another ‘alcove’ area.
where they also sometimes spontaneously jumped into – ‘game-on’ mode !!
aka performance art.
the little bit of gossip that was circulating in the room, was that one bro was a better dancer than the other !!
so funnie !! apparently ALAN, at left – knows all the hip hop moves, and studied dance.
but hey, it takes two – to tango, you always need the straight guy too.
the eternal wisdom of all great entertaining duos – BOB HOPE & BING CROSBY – spring to mind, I don’t know why, I’m not that old !! maybe it’s their “ON THE ROAD” schtick – playing out here, too.
the big YIN YANG / BIO DYNAMIC – site specific-ized !!
it’s actually when you see them, side by side, that you realize just how in lock-step – they are !!
ALAN and MICHAEL FLEMING, natural-born artist/performers – at play !!
always – questioning – the bio bond.
. . . it was only when I dwelled recently on KELIE BOWMAN and her CINDERS/FLA futuristic fantastic take . . . on self-portrait photography, while highlighting specific locales – site specific is the functional word – albeit with masks and many hand-made elements, that I realized . . these guys are coming from the same place, just in a different ‘style’.
both spectrums speak to ‘pairings’ or social human bonding.
both: are both the ‘subjects’ – and the ‘photographers’, themselves . . . who take the pix.
check: staged or narrative photography.
both are making statements about the ‘physical’ environment, which they have chosen, to comment upon it, and draw our attention to it – by their photo ‘capture’.
both say: look at me, I’m swinging through the world habitat or city – in this great questioning act of creativity.
while KELIE and company are more about: primitive, handcrafted shamanistic poetry, the FLEMING BROS. are more ‘informational’ graphics & pictorial – more obvious about defining the rules of the game. but both are games of BIO ADAPTABILITY – heading into the unknown.
PIX – OF SOME THE PEOPLE AT THE OPENING – WILL POST TOMORROW – SEPT 25, 2012.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH. BUSHWICK, BROOKLYN, SEPT 14, 2012.
WITH INITIAL REPORTING BY: KATE CERIGO
actually, another CINDERS artist . . . is off and running !!
ARTWORK BY – ALLYSON MELLBERG, COURTESY: CINDERS BLOG
that would be ALLYSON MELLBERG who has a solo show up in Paris right now.
titled, ‘ENDOGENUS’ it runs SEPT 6 – OCT 13, 2012
GALERIE LJ – 12 rue Commines – PARIS
dig that title: ‘Endogenus’ – !!
well, first off the google translation – is way off !!
as far OFF as you can get !!
ALLYSON MELLBERG – is a SHE !! not a he !! and no, as far as I know – SHE hasn’t MUTATED EITHER !!
and the gallery slideshow of the exhibition, installation shots, doesn’t do her work – any justice.
she’s a great artist. I would say if KELIE BOWMAN is an artist/shaman/observer (!!) . . . ALLYSON MELLBERG is like an artist/shaman/biologist !!
both, Kelie and Allyson are futurists, for sure.
but Kelie is more site specific – looking at OUR world, for example taking photos of herself, usually in social situations – as with a partner/artist or artists – that presents a commentary of some kind, both on her locale – and the cultural/political ‘temp’ – i.e. ‘temperature’. more often than not, hitting a hidden nerve that vibrates both backwards – and into the future.
nod to the next generation: FLEMING TWINS for making this more ‘apparent’. remember their recent summer photo of themselves with their heads buried in the sand ? GAME ON – DUDES !!
as well Kelie makes art, drawings, watercolors, silkscreens – that transform into illustrations which have a narrative that reflects the cultural discussion – and moves it, on. usually in a very soft, but still haunting, totally metaphorical way . . . even though she is ‘addressing’ – the BIG questions !!
Allyson is more of a solitary animal. she makes works depicting single humans: male, female, child. she addresses society as a whole – through her renderings of life – as is, as imagined, and as in: degrading – the sure as hell – natural BIO degrading of our ‘habitat’.
this show in Paris, my observations based only on the galerie ‘slideshow’ images, duh !! – I didn’t leave my body and go there aurally !! – astral projection, dudes !! – NOT !!
though the word, astral projection (!!) does to come mind, hand-in-hand . . . with the (internet) web !!
but back to show:
is kind of what happens when a foreign body attacks us, except in this case – it is not attacking, but liking, which can some time amount to the same thing, if you know what I mean, reproducing, sharing . . . that is killing us off !!
DON’T get me wrong. I’m all for the sharing – but this was kind of a small-minded effort on behalf of the gallerist – in the way they hung the show and/or the photos by which they represent it. just compare this huge photo file image, below, from the CINDERS blog (the originating source gallery) to what the Paris galerie puts forth, digitally. there is a big drop in communication – skills.
it’s not the GROUPING – that is important in Allyson’s work – it’s the single image.
although obviously – any sharing of this work is great – and I’m thrilled to see Allyson’s work in PARIS !!
it might just be the difference between an artist-run space, check F.L.A. – Kelie Bowman’s new artist-run space !! post below – vs. a more conservative-type space. or maybe it’s just the difference in getting your ‘graphics’- up to speed ?
but . . . bottomline: as long as they are supporting the real art & the REAL artists – that’s great . . . but, do we miss CINDERS, in a physical space – or what ?!!
first off, the work was FRESH off the line – so you could buy in, for not much !!
yeah, most def !! I scored a great ALLYSON MELLBERG drawing, and a pretty decent-sized one, too – for like $60, unframed and with just . . . a little bit of haggling !!
two: the Cinders crew were all artists, so the shows they put up were all done from an artists’ point of view. (ditto this ‘blog’.) either they had some kind of accessory ‘scenery’, designed and produced by Kelie or Sto, or they were huge salon type hangings with HUGE energy – anything to BREAK DOWN that damn white box.
as opposed in short: to the way this galerie above . . . boxes in Allyson.
and plus, CINDERS put up great one-off photos – on the web, to telly transport for all.
three: there was a dynamic context provided in the background, in that just behind the front exhibition space – was a zine bookstore (!!) – so all these ideas and cutting edge conversations – that informed the (often) purely ‘pictorial’ art on the walls in front – was there, backed in, in ‘verbal’ format, to be freely flipped though. and the nascent ideas, bounced back and forth – between the art and the zines. and vice versa.
vice – nice word.
I think we’ll end there – because that’s what Allyson’s work is all about, despite its pretty aspects. innocence vs. vice.
trying to maintain the natural gene flow – into the changing environment aka progress. as we impact it in ways we don’t even fully understand, yet.
ALLYSON MELLBERG, left, with CINDERS co-founder, artist & musician, STO.
at the opening of Allyson’s solo show at CINDERS, BROOKLYN, ‘AN UNEARTHLY CHILD’, SEPT 12, 2010.
ALLYSON MELLBERG (b. 1977) is originally from RACINE, WISCONSIN – but has been CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA based for quite some time now.
PHOTO: NANCY SMITH
ALLYSON MELLBERG – work on paper. she uses only colors which she makes herself – organically. like from walnut shells.
check: Peruvian weaving – and how wonderful their ancient color dye knowledge was/is, just saying. full prism spectrum.
no disrespect to Allyson – her hues mark the spot, she inhabits . . . right on !!
PHOTO: NANCY SMITH, ALLYSON MELLBERG, ‘An Unearthly Child’, CINDERS, BROOKLYN. SEPT 12, 2010.
ALLYSON MELLBERG also makes sculptures, though I prefer her drawings, because they are so mysterious by about 1,000 to one. I put this photo up – mostly so you can get a sense of the scale of her drawings, my bad !! I know.
and so you can see – what a CINDERS installation – looked like. box, NOT !!
PHOTO: NANCY SMITH, ALLYSON MELLBERG, ‘An Unearthly Child’, CINDERS, BROOKLYN. SEPT 12, 2010.
‘REWILDING FLA’ – the inaugural show of F.L.A. GALLERY – a new collaborative project between KELIE BOWMAN and JOHN ORTH – OPENS TODAY, SEPT 22, 2012
the show runs thru OCT 20, 2012
the start-up project features the work of the two founding artists, KELIE BOWMAN, recently based in Brooklyn, (though I believe she originally hails from Florida) and JOHN ORTH, of GAINESVILLE – and guest artist SERRA VICTORIA BOTHWELL FELS.
F.L.A. GALLERY – 10 N. Main St – GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
from the CINDERS BLOG – POSTED SEPT 7, 2012:
For the inaugural show, artists KELIE BOWMAN, JOHN ORTH and SERRA VICTORIA BOTHWELL FELS . . . “create new wilds inspired by the Florida landscape. The state’s visual vocabulary includes: oaks dripping Spanish moss, sandy sunny days, shell strewn beaches, palmettos, cypress knees, loud and flashing thunderstorms . . . “
JOHN ORTH showed several times at CINDERS GALLERY, when it was located in an actual physical storefront on Havemeyer St. in Williamsburg. his work is very hands-on, no industrial fabricators here !! . . . usually using wood and very on edge. like they say: GAME ON.
see: ‘UNSUNG’ – George Ferrandi & JOHN ORTH, NOV 4 – DEC 28, 2008 – Cinders Archive
we most recently caught up with KELIE – at the BOATEL LAUNCH PARTY, ROCKAWAY – MAY 31, 2012. where she decorated the SEA WOLF.
see: BOATEL LAUNCH PARTY – artlovers archive – MAY 31, 2012
ALL IMAGES – COURTESY: F.L.A.
one last post: DIAMOND LEAVES: Brilliant artist books from around the World
SEPT 18 – OCT 28, 2012 – CFCA ART MUSEUM, BEIJING, CHINA
curated by MARSHALL WEBER (of BROOKLYN), and XU BING – and including a selection of almost 40 handmade artist books or ‘zines’ – from CINDERS of BROOKLYN, founded by KELIE BOWMAN and STO.
inside the new CFCA Art Museum – designed by Japanese architect ARATA ISOZAKI, BEIJING, P.R. CHINA, see: CFCA/overview – architecture
front cover – ‘Overflowing Fullness’ – by KELIE BOWMAN
a samll handmade book or zine produced in the summer of 2009 in an edition of 55. it sold originally for $6.
I don’t know if this particular handmade book by Cinders co-founder KELIE BOWMAN is in the ‘Diamond Leaves’ exhibit – but it is one of my faves. a slight slip of book, with a light-handed approach that belies it’s true grit guts – it still takes on some heavy issues – it’s the stenciled cover art – that really send me – ecstatic !!
talk about snowflake prism diamond American folk art meets new world and flies . . free !!
this ‘artist book’ cover . . . is a folded sheet of ordinary, mid-grade weight, brown wrapping paper – with 2 staples through the center fold/spine – to bind the inner pages together. each cover was stenciled individually so each ‘book’ is unique, though of pretty much the same spray paint/stencil elements.
no two were exactly alike – this is number 4 out of an edition of 55.
inside: ‘Overflowing Fullness by KELIE BOWMAN.
“best friends forever” . . & . . “dating pool, I mean tree . . . ”
the book is quite diminutive in scale and feather-light. and so are the line drawing illustrations inside, and though the sentiments it addresses are – well, ‘heavy’. in the social sense. the questioning is more poetic, than finger-pointingly head-on.
folded, the little book is 4-1/4 in. wide x by almost 6 in. in height. open: almost 9 in. x almost 6 in.
inside are 16 pages of black line drawings, printed on yellow paper.
‘Overflowing Fullness’ by KELIE BOWMAN: “She was desperate to start something.”
I think that’s what the ‘Diamond Leaves’ co-curators MARSHALL WEBER and XU BING – mean by: ‘brilliant’.
“RAINY DAY PROJECT: 1. couch 2. lamp 3. table 4. t.v. 5. grandma 7. book”
omg – what happened to … 6 ?
an error like that: that’s called the hand of god !! proof that we are human, and NOT gods !!
a ‘pattern’ error, a ‘skip’ or ‘slip’ – like that – is considered a ‘tangible’ sign of god’s blessing on the ‘weaver’. or in this case – the ‘tale – spinner’.
it is considered an actual divine ‘intervention’, god’s hand in the work.
in ancient native weaving lore across the globe, or even American colonial quilt making, you can find this profound ‘abstract’ thought intertwined with basic hands-on handiwork. . . I guess, it was also a way not to make these detail-oriented intricate craftspeople go crazy – when a tiny s error showed up – to keep them from having to rip up the piece and start all over !!
but serious, the Amish and Mennonite colonial quiltmakers are recorded as having deliberately, reversing a block – to show that they were human, and had ‘awe’ in the face of God – because to be ‘perfect’ – was sinful pride.
so in it’s small, un-deliberate way, this tiny handcrafted book follows in a great global craft-making tradition.
this book is: PROFOUND. simply put it finds truth through its craftsmanshio. not its physical scale or art world ‘seriousness’.
and I think – that’s also what the curators of this show – ‘Diamomd Leaves’ – meant by ‘Brilliant’.
of course, as well, this being a book by KELIE BOWMAN, an artist who looks inward with eyes outward, if you can follow the ‘thread’ – there is NO escaping some commentary on contemporary society . . . and its woes: “FORECLOSURE”, “ISOLATION of AGING”, “lack of respect” & “loss of SKILLS re: home crafts”.
aka ‘the red dust’ aka earthly troubles, attachment . . . . . . in the ancient eastern world !!
ARTWORK: DIGITAL COLLAGE BANNER – by NANCY SMITH
TITLE: ‘as a red plastic dog . . . is to 18TH CENTURY PEKING GLASS !! – SO 21ST CENTURY ZINE . . is to book’.
p.s. love how the colors in Kelie’s book cover . . . echo the ‘JUBILATION/RUMINATION’ card from the recent AMERICAN FOLK ART MUSEUM SHOW – ghostly !!
like a diamond refracts light, and creates many sparks and rays of different colored light – I guess that’s what the curators had in mind – when they titled this show. what a beautiful title, what a beautiful thought . . that something so small and fragile (vs. JEFF KOONS !!) and handmade, could be compared to the hardest of the hard: the diamond.
the brilliance being its thoughts, its infinite visual spectrum, tiny gems of human creation – in a nutshell.
a prism of the human mind. in the humblest form: paper. paper as . . . as ‘diamond’.
it’s interesting how the Chinese language is so absolutely and fundamentally different from ours, but the translations are such literal ‘occasions’. and yet, a gross misuse re: American function. you know, double happiness tissue paper !!
love it – don’t ever change it.
it’s what allowed an exhibit of zines to be called: ‘Diamond Leaves ‘ – how precious, in and of itself. but then we go to . . . “Brilliant”.
words fail me. right on ?
so funny, since we started the ‘thread’ of September 2012 with ‘FAMILY JEWELS’ & the (brilliant craftsmanship) of the IMPERIAL RUSSIAN FABERGE !!
of course, the title of KELIE’S ZINE, discussed above, ‘Overflowing Fullness’ (!!) fits perfectly into this ‘literal’ language conversation, or what !!
the other irony . . . is that DIAMOND, as in DIAMOND PATH (VAJRAYANA) is the common term for TIBETAN BUDDHISM – repressed so viciously by the Chinese regimes. VAJRAYANA.
VAJRA means DIAMOND. YANA means PATH.
VAJRA is SANSKRIT for diamond – it translates: indestructible (!!).
it is considered the highest or purest, hence diamond – form or path to enlightenment. as opposed to the ‘middle ground’ r paths.
now, YANA or ‘PATH’ . . . is very interesting, too.
it is connected to tantra – a word too infinite in scope to define simply – but basically comes down to the rituals, beliefs, texts, pratices, yoga – one follows on the ‘path’.
now, TANTRA is sanskrit for: weaving !!
weaving as a metaphor, a totally divine one at that – and a very basic one too – that all can understand in all its implications. which gets us back, full circle to the ‘hand of god’ . . . in a weaving pattern error, or even a zine !!
so ‘Diamond’, or what !!
and yep, from the FABERGE JEWELS of the IMPERIAL RUSSIAN FAMILY, we did diverge, scroll down, see artlovers SEPT 2012 post history – right on into – the vintage weavings of PERU !!
coats of many colors – diamond prisms, in and of themselves, think on it.
TIBETAN BUDDHISTS SAY: “KEEP THE VAJRA VIEW – the “DIAMOND” PATH.
which means: “enter into the the natural sphere of unwavering attentiveness.”
CHINA: take a note – a leaf from the page of a NYC artist/blogger (!!) – who just like all the other artist/ziners, Kelie Bowman included, doesn’t come without her ‘laundry’, message, history – and outward look: you can NOT talk about artistic creativity and use the word: DIAMOND – and not get TIBET – thrown back at ya !!
the world, getting smaller and more global, as we get more technically advanced, day by day. Brooklyn, WILLIAMSBURG !! zines in China, who woulda thought, in a museum designed by a Japanese architect – no less (!!).
and yet conversely, the more technically, wirelessly advanced we get – the more attuned to individual, from-the-ground-up, hands-on, grass roots-up ‘handiwork’ we get: whether contemporary ‘Diamond’ zines, in this case. or craftsmanship, in general. whether high-end precious metal and gems FABERGE, or local native traditional weavings in PERU, their colors derived from ancient plant recipes – !!
the very yin yang irony of the internet web – is that the ‘value’ of hands-on handmade product & individual, as in unique – as opposed to mass produced and industrially scaled (think KOONS) – is more appreciated.
case in point, this show, in a nutshell.
and, if the internet web ain’t that big huge ole ;weaving’ in the sky – I don’t know . . . what is !!
VAJRAYANA – the DIAMOND PATH: “enter into the natural sphere (translate: web) of unwavering attentiveness”
check: google & networking.
big ideas from little books – ‘Diamond Leaves: Brilliant Artist Books from around the World’ – in CHINA.
continues . . .
yep, for sure I have my own little collection of handmade zines from CINDERS.
esp those made by CINDERS co-founder KELIE BOWMAN. I’m sure many of them are among those exhibited in the DIAMOND LEAVES show in CHINA, and in fact I’m willing to bet, this one – ‘HAIRY DAYS’ – produced in September of 2007, in a limited edition of 42 – is among the many “brilliant” gems currently on display.
hey, when’s the last time anything YOU (!!) bought for $10 – ended up in a museum show – and, one half around the world . . . at that !!
the zine cover is ‘hard-ish’ card stock folded over to make a book cover. the 19 paper & a few thin tissue insert pages are held in place by that slightly ragged, machine sewn binding edge – about 1 inch in from the left hand edge.
the price, $10 at the time – is still visible in faint pencil, on the top right hand corner.
open the book – and you can see the zine cover is maybe made from the re-cycled outtakes of a screen print ?
yes, she signed it for me: Kelie B.
Hairy Days by Kelie Bowman
the third page in – is a tissue insert with a hand drawn tree outlining or echoing the following page. it is done in brown marker and looks to be unique to each edition. that is, it is drawn by hand into each separate edition, while the rest of the book / zine seems printed, digitally, or silkscreened ? . . . in fine black ink ?
the marker gestures: the hand … of the hand … in the handmade book.
the following page: and we get to the ‘root’ of the matter.
trees/nature vs. people/nature
male vs. female
yin and yang – the endless circle of life. conflict – at play ? at rest ?
but wait her hair . . . is covering his face – doesn’t that mean something, too ?
are we at war ? and don’t even know it ?
make me – do me ?
make me – perform ? make me obey ? make me – fight ? make me – confront you.
Make My Day ?
Make My magic ?
“STOP THE WAR”.
all zines want to say something. all artists want to say – something.
from the inside (magic) – going straight . . . out (the world).
hairy days . . what was happening in 2007 ? couldn’t be any worse than what’s happening today, SEPT 2012, the world seems to be on fire. set ablaze by the eternal yin yang, 2 halves of global civilization clashing head on – the western civilization vs. the muslim civilization . . . and the web itself is the arrow – YouTube !! being the arrow that shoots through – and sets an electricity, cursing through the global Tower of Babel.
tell me, is YouTube – handmade, or what ?
freedom of expression – is a zine. and when it speaks, with power and poetry: that is Brilliance, leave it to the Chinese to be upfront with great words, like that.
another hand drawn insert of tissue, and marker.
this zine is kind of contrary. it is very peaceful outwardly, but takes on the BIG issues.
it covers a lot of ground for a very small book.
oh yeah, it is approx 8-1/2 x 5-1/2 inches (!!)
the book is also about: the self.
the organic growing self. the rings of age, experience.
the portals – that allow others – to enter.
this is one of Kelie’s signature images. the tree head – on the top of the woman . . amongst the mountains.
it’s a great metaphor for ‘the’ artist, like Kelie – who looks out, and sees all, and stores much, and has even more to say. nature/nuture/communicate. house. store. open door – walk in. communicate. preserve the knowledge of the world. hitch hike through the mountains.
through the mind.
it’s a great metaphor for an artist/blogger. who sees much and stores more and communicates in trails of smoke.
puffs of smoke.
something sad going on there, I can relate.
the last page: “don’t fall.”
okay, I’ll try not too.
world says: me too.
‘Diamond Leaves: Brilliant Artist Books from around the World’ . . . an ambitious international exhibit opening tomorrow, TUES SEPT 18, 2012 at the state-of-the-art CAFA ART MUSEUM in Beijing . . . will include (nearly) 40 handmade books – from the CINDERS COLLECTION.
way to go, KELIE BOWMAN & STO !!!
the show is co-curated by BROOKLYN’S MARSHALL WEBER . . . and, XU BING.
this cutting edge survey exhibit will run thru OCT 28, 2012 – so if you find yourself in CHINA, you know where to go !!
more about the exhibit: DIAMOND LEAVES – CAFA
see: CAFA ART MUSEUM – BEIJING, P.R. CHINA / overview & history
CAFA ART MUSEUM – BEIJING, P.R. CHINA