Saturday, July 30, 2011

Picked HONNA: My Precious

by Keikichi Honna

For house inspection required to refinance, my land lord asked us inmates to clean up entire house. This once in a life time effort brought some interesting find.

A pair of metal thingys I bought at a flea Market in Paris 5 or 6 years ago. Some sort of molds made of iron came along with softer metal female molds. The seller had 5 or 6 more of them - much larger, but I couldn't afford. I had no idea what they were for, nor could I understand what she was explaining about them. They were just beautiful and precious looking metal thing, I had to buy.
Do anyone know what is this?

The inspection was over without any incident, and a thank you note was left by the landlord. Our house is still in good shape.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Picked RAW: New Contemporaries IV

from the press release

SD Art Prize 2011 Award Announced and
New Contemporaries IV: San Diego Emerging Artists

San Diego Visual Arts Network is announcing that two established artist awarded the 2011 San Diego Art Prize in its fifth year, Jay S. Johnson and Rubén Ortiz-Torres have made their choices of emerging artists to exhibit with and mentor. Jay S. Johnson has chosen Adam Belt.   Rubén Ortiz-Torres has chosen Tristan ShoneSan  Diego Art Prize in it’s fifth year will show with their choice of emerging artists at Art San Diego Contemporary Art Fair September 1 - 4, 2011 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Hotel.

We are also delighted to announce the fourth year of the New Contemporaries exhibition to be held at Alexander Salazar Fine Art in downtown San Diego from August 1 – 31, 2011.
Mely Barragan nominated by Einar and Jamex de la Torre, artists
Adam Belt nominated by Karen McGuire, William D. Cannon Art Gallery Director
Susannah Bielak nominated by Ann Berchtold, Art San Diego Fair Director
Fred Briscoe nominated by Alexander Salazar, Alexander Salazar Fine Art Director
Isaias Crow nominated by Alessandra Moctezuma, SD Mesa College Art Gallery Director
Shay Davis nominated by Debra Poteet , art collector
Damian Gastellum nominated by Julio Orozco, artist
Gretchen Mercedes nominated by Lauren Buscemi, art writer
Han Nguyen nominated by Robert Pincus, art critic
Jaime Ruiz Otis nominated by Heriberto Yepez, art writer
Lee Puffer nominated by Gail Roberts, artist
Chris Puzio nominated by David Adey, artist
Cheryl Sorg nominated by Patricia Frischer, San Diego Visual Arts Network coordinator

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

One of our own: Jen Trute passes away

from Dennis Paul Batt

Jennifer "Jen" Trute, an American fine artist, who was known for her environmentally conscientious oil paintings, passed away at the age of 51 on Saturday, July 23.  Born May 22, 1960 in Springfield, Massachusetts, she followed an innate artistic vision throughout her life. As a child, her love of nature and fascination with its beauty inspired steady practice of drawing and painting. Educated at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, from 1978-1983, she majored in painting and graphic design. She freelanced as a graphic designer and illustrator in Boston and San Francisco until 1989 when she started specializing in storyboard and comp advertising illustration. While living in New York, Seattle and then El Cajon, she worked for various ad agencies in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, and Orange County.

For the past 12 years, Jen dedicated her focus on creating a series of detailed oil paintings on linen and canvas using traditional techniques with multiple layers of glazing, velaturas, scumbling, and transparent optics. Her art combines elements of classical and surreal styles creating luminous visual narratives of the current state of our society and environment in an edgy, often darkly humorous way.

Jen's paintings earned numerous awards throughout San Diego and were exhibited in many galleries and museums, notably the Oceanside Museum of Art, San Diego Art Institute's Museum of the Living Artist, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Noel- Baza Gallery, Cannon Art Gallery, and the San Diego Natural History Museum. Her work was also published in many newspapers, magazines, and catalogs notably in a feature article in the San Diego Union, December 27, 2007.

Her fascination with natural sciences, art history, sociopolitical issues, and concern over environmental degradation fueled a voracious reading habit, and enriched the depth of her art. Jen loved hiking, music, the company of cats, and discussing the mysteries of life with friends. Her dry humor, keen observation skills, and intelligence made for great conversation.
Jen was preceded in death by her parents, Alice and David Trute of Wilbraham, Massachusetts, and is survived by a brother and sister - Mary Trute and David Trute.

A memorial exhibition will be held at the Noel Baza Gallery, 2165 India St. San Diego, CA. The opening will be on Saturday, September 3rd from 2:00pm - 7:00pm. The exhibition will run through September 24th.

We at Picked RAW mourn the loss of Jen Trute.  She will be missed dearly.

Daily ART Nag: Art and culture in San Diego Really?

from Mark Jesinoski and Art Speaks Now

Art in Culture: San Diego

There is some truth to the idea that to get people to pay attention to art in San Diego, you basically have to throw a party. In the longest Facebook comment string I have ever seen, several people involved in the SD art scene took great offense to a City Beat "Sight on Scene" blurb that (in addition to other things) basically insinuated that the San Diego art scene is watered down with parties and feel-good events. Although the blurb itself was irresponsible journalism, the point I want to focus on here was the defensiveness that emerged in reaction to the allusion that, to get people to pay attention to art in San Diego you must add the key ingredients of a DJ and a case of wine. Based on private conversations I have had with my artist friends there seems to be some truth to this idea.

Do you agree?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Picked RAW: Athenaeum 20th Annual Juried Exhibition

Opening reception: Friday, August 5th, 6:30-8:30pm

Athenaeum Music & Arts Library
1008 Wall Street
La Jolla, CA 92037

Monday, July 25, 2011

A+ Art Blog: Too Brave to Fail

One of the suggestions for a DNA of Creativity project that was generated in our June meeting was Super Heroes, the DNA of our future selves. Comic Con, host to all things with super powers, came to town in mid July close to the same time I was invited to a SD Foundation visioning exercise for the future of SD. Join them all together and that train of thought dumped me into the subject of power and how it is used in a successful community and what we expect from our leaders.

In my own limited case, power is not a goal in itself. But I seem to have accrued some power as a by-product of various projects that I had a passion to complete. For example, my phone calls or emails are answered, I am asked to make job recommendations, our events draw a crowd and we can fund some projects because of the money we have raised. I have the power to get things done especially for others and I try my best to be a force for the good in the community.

Leaders are known to hold power and leaders have affected our past, affect our present and have a huge responsibility to affect our future. To see that future calls for imagination and a fearless attitude towards charge. No matter how much we might like things to stand still, the world turns and courage is called for to make sure we are traveling in the right directions. My husband Darwin coined a phrase, “too brave to fail.” It refers to risk takers who aren’t afraid to have new ideas and make them public. These leaders are responsible enough to know that failure is not acceptable. Everyone who has an imagination and is willing to use it is a leader in my book. I just wish these leaders were the ones who held the power.

Patricia Frischer, coordinator of SDVAN writes these occasional blogs and welcome comments.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Picked RAW Peeled: Fabric-Free Fashion

by Angela Babb Timmons

Fabric-Free Fashion at Visions Art Museum is featuring an exhibit of garments and fashion accessories made of non-traditional materials. The exhibit will be on display through July 24, 2011 running Tuesday - Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Contact Beth Smith at 619-546-4872 for questions. Also on display in the Art Meets Fashion room is the work of Team Evolution Transformed.

Gum wrappers and garbage sacks revitalized into a sexy little dress; plastic forks find new life in an ethereal winged getup that one could imagine flouncing down the red carpet on some flashy mega-star; and lottery tickets - 425 to be exact - turned into a sizzling tangerine gown for someone feeling lucky.
That’s the kind of magic that happens when 20-local fashion designers are unleashed from the confines of fabric. It’s called Fabric-Free Fashion and these designers have turned the mundane into magnificent and brought to life some glam designs even Vogue would be proud to have on the cover.

At first glance, many of the garments on display hold the illusion of fabric. The textures flow, the colors pop and shimmer and the material cinches in all the right places. But after a closer look the senses start to awaken to discover ordinary items repurposed into not so ordinary frocks – none of which are fabric.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Spiral Jetty" lease, anyone?

from Jen Graves and the SLOG, Tyler Green and Modern Art Notes

"End of the line?" photo: K. Freitas

As reported by Tyler Green on his Modern Art Notes blog, Robert Smithson's iconic Spiral Jetty's lease is up and open to potential takers of which (at the time of this writing) there were three.  A quick glance at Green's blog just now reveals that DIA Foundation, the Jetty's owner, is "poised to retain Spiral Jetty- site lease" after apparently, missing a deadline to renew it earlier this year.  The three potential candidates were the DIA (the original lease holder), Greg Allen, "an art collector and former investment banker"; and Herbert Steiner, a "retired Seattle schoolteacher and arts-funder".

This has been a fascinating story to follow, not to mention an important one, and I thank Green for his informative and exhaustive coverage.  I had the opportunity to visit the Jetty a few years back.  Its indelible stain on my psyche, art knowledge, and general well-being has never washed away.  I've followed the Jetty's trials and tribulations ever since it came under attack (shortly after my visit) as a possible site for future offshore oil drilling.  I've been an advocate and supporter ever since.  I highly recommend visiting the Spiral Jetty as one thing you must do before you make a final pass through life.  You will not regret it.

You can read more of Green's reporting here and here.

You can also read about my visit to the Jetty here

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Picked HONNA: Nadeshiko Standing Tall, Hope Solo Not Withstanding

by Keikichi Honna

Yamato Nadeshiko (大和撫子?) is a Japanese term meaning "personification of an idealized Japanese woman", "ideal" in the historical context of the patriarchal, traditional culture of Japan. This floral metaphor, combining Yamato, an ancient name for Japan and nadeshiko "Dianthus superbus, Large Pink", or frilled pink carnation, literally translated as "Japanese Dianthus".  From Wiki

Japanese ladies looked like children.  Their average height is merely 5'4"   It's as if tiny light weight Zeroes fought against larger Hellcats.  Like WWII air battles, there were always more than two Americans against a Japanese who owned the ball.  They shot 4 or 5 times in the first 10 minutes.  My hope got so low, and Japanese couldn't even threaten the goalie Hope Solo, a megan fox of Team USA.  Somehow USA failed to score - they could have scored 3 in the first half.  Japan had a little luck besides abilities and persistence.  It was ice hockey final at Lake Placid between USA and USSR.   Japanese has never won USA.  0-22-3 and the very first win was the World Cup Gold?  That's more than "fucking awesome."  Band of Sisters beautifully delivered hope and joy, which  Japanese politicians have miserably failed to deliver.  Hey Naoto Kan, don't you even bother to call the Nadeshikoes to congratulate.

P.S.  I recently found that my childhood friend became an adviser for Naoto Kan.   The level of disgust is somewhere in between "my childhood friend is an adviser for Sarah Palin" and "my childhood friend is Karl Rove."

Monday, July 18, 2011

Picked HONNA: Chi, chi, chi, Chihuahua!

by Keikichi Honna

Here is a peculiar image I found in Mexico.  Usually a man would wear a wolf's head, or at the very least, a coyote.  Either the chihuahua is humongous, or this man has a tiny brain. 

In the meantime, bitches are about to start kicking a ball
I'm ready to scream my guts out. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Picked RAW Peeled: Drawing Expanse

by Kevin Freitas

Drawing Expanse, San Diego Space 4 Art’s first open-call exhibition, showcases a very broad and loose definition of drawing within contemporary art practice today, despite how limiting and restrictive that just might be. There have been some odd and curious selections made by the show’s two jurors, David White (founder of Agitprop in North Park) and Karen McGuire (Director of William D. Cannon Art Gallery in Carlsbad) who themselves make for an equally odd pairing of expertise in view of their politics and ambitions.
For the most part, Drawing Expanse is a solid exhibition with a wide range of good work and a few surprises. Those surprises are the “must-see” pieces but not so much for “the myriad ways in which drawing continues to influence and affect us” as the jurors state, but for the artists' unabashed frankness and pride in tackling their individual subject matter with such gusto, refinement, and a certain delicacy, delightfulness, and joy.

First, here’s a brief overview of what was not working in Drawing Expanse. For example, Sandra Doore’s Fragments, a large wall sculpture covered in eggplant-colored vinyl stitched and pieced together, its seams have been hand-sewn shut as if to try to keep what’s inside from breaking through the exoskeleton. Doore is known for these types of works and has in the past exhibited much more compelling pieces than what she has on display here. Is it a sculpture or a drawing is of no importance? The work’s incongruity in the context of the show and lack of presence already puts it at odds with the viewer.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Marianela de la Hoz

from the LA Art Dairy

It's getting harder and harder to do assemblage/found objects art, in a shadow box format without looking like you are only taking half a step away from Joseph Cornell or George Herms. Marianela De La Hoz does this well by incorporating tiny egg tempura paintings and pencil drawings. They add real impact to each piece, with their elegant craftsmanship and their sly social commentary.

Marianela de la Hoz at Oceanside Museum of Art

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lucid Dreams in Little Italy by John Purlia

We are delighted to see this review of the exhibition curated by Mark Murphy about his show Lucid Dreams now showing at the Noel Baza Gallery in Little Italy.
Last night I attended the opening reception of Lucid Dreams, the tremendous new group show curated by local art impresario and all around good guy, Mark Murphy. You’ll remember Mark as the driving force behind last summer’s Survey Select exhibition and event at the Wonder Bread Factory in the East Village. This year, Mark has invited many of the same artists, plus an influx of bright new talent to take on the subject of “lucid dreams” (wonderful dichotomy there!), and has moved the venue to Noel-Baza Fine Art in Little Italy.
While Mark curated the show around a specific theme, there’s lots of additional work on hand from the fine stable of artists who show regularly at Noel-Baza. These pieces mix with great cohesion, as there is definitely a shared aesthetic between the gallery and the show’s primary theme. Even better, the quality of the work from piece-to-piece is maintained and heightened by the eclectic mix.

I was at the gallery for several hours chatting with artists, collectors, and gallery folks, and observed a constant flow of people moving through the space, most staying for quite some time to admire the art and socialize. What I noticed, though—and this is important for anyone out there thinking of curating their own art shows or opening their own gallery—the focus was entirely on the art, with refreshments and other distractions kept out of the way and at a minimum. The art on the walls was easily approachable, invited discussion, and throughout the evening I noticed that most of the people in the gallery were actually facing the walls and looking at the art. Isn’t that what an exhibition of art is supposed to be an about? Well, yeah, duh! Kudos, San Diego art lovers!

::: ranting lecture mode to San Diego gallery owners ON :::

Many of the art openings I attend in San Diego (especially the small galleries that should be promoting upcoming artists) seem to lose sight of the purpose of exhibiting art. That being, showing and promoting art and artists to people who enjoy, buy and collect art. That may seem obvious, but… all too often it seems as though the opening reception is really just an excuse to throw a party, with the art nothing more than wall decor behind the bar, hors d’oerves, or live band. How do you expect a collector with a big fat patron-sized wallet to get close enough to connect to a piece he or she may want to take home; thereby supporting the success of the gallery, the artist, and the San Diego art scene?!?!

::: ranting lecture mode to San Diego gallery owners OFF :::
In any case, the event at Noel-Baza was first rate, and there was a constant flow of people moving through the gallery all evening with several red dots popping up on the walls beside worthy pieces of art. And one of those red dots belonged to me, as I purchased a super cool painting by Chilean artist Jorge Catoni. Take a look!

To read the full report and see illustrations check out John's Wind-Up Dreams & Vinyl Nightmares blog site.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Picked RAW Peeled: Allan Morrow - Drawings to Constructions

by Patricia Frischer

It is always a joy when yet another artist of talent is discovered hiding in plain site in San Diego. I had no knowledge of the work of Allan Morrow before Friday when we attended the opening of his one man exhibition at Perry Meyer Fine Art on Kettner as part of Kettner nights.

A glance at Mr. Morrow's resume reveals an extensive exhibition history and a BA in Painting and Printmaking from San Diego State University in 1979 and then in  2002, an AA in Graphic Design from San Diego City College. His first one-man show was in 1981 and he has also been exhibited at the Pacific Beach Library Gallery. With more than 70 group shows and a recent write up by Robert Pincus in 2010, he is just the sort of artist that we need to support with sales to make it possible for galleries like Perry Myers Fine Art to exist. The work is first class, extremely reasonably priced for someone with his track record and deserves a larger audience and buyers. We understand that Mr. Morrow is now retired and able to dedicate even more of his time to his art.  If this new direction is any sign, we can't wait to see more.

Median Right

Middle Town

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Picked RIPE: Why soup? A theory unfolds

from Christopher Knight and the LA Times

Digital Image / The Museum of Modern Art

Why did Andy Warhol paint pictures of Campbell's soup cans?

Why not, say, cans of Chef Boyardee ravioli? Or B&M baked beans? Why not Alpo, one of the first commercially available canned dog foods? Alpo was manufactured in
Allentown, Pa., across the state from Pittsburgh, Warhol's hometown.

Supermarkets stocked lots of canned goods, circa 1960. Any one of them could have signified the ubiquity of commercial imagery in contemporary American life. Any one of them could epitomize modern mass production at its most banal. Those are the usual reasons given for Warhol's full-bore move into Pop imagery, which began in 1961-62 with "Campbell's Soup Cans."

This weekend marks the 49th anniversary of their controversial public debut. Warhol's renowned suite of 32 small canvases was shown for the first time at a Los Angeles gallery, the only gallery willing to take a chance on the virtually unknown New York artist. The mundane commercial subject matter bewildered an art world more used to avant-garde abstraction, not to mention a public already skeptical of Modern art. Bemused, a neighboring gallery stacked a pyramid of actual soup cans in its window, along with a sign that boasted, "Get the real thing for only 29 cents a can."

Read more

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Picked RAW Peeled: From El Greco to Dali

by Patricia Frischer

Great Spanish Masters from the Pérez Simón Collection at the San Diego Museum of Art July 09, 2011 through November 06, 2011. 

The San Diego Museum of Art is rightly proud to be the only U.S. museum to show this survey of Spanish master artworks from the 16th century to the 1970s with 64 works out of a collection of approximately 2000 owned by the Pérez Simón Foundation. The collection, normally housed in the private estates of Juan Antonio Pérez Simón in Mexico City, Spain and San Diego, was started in 1970 and has already traveled to Paris and Quebec on loan.  The actual show covers over five centuries of art as we travel chronologically through religious themes to court paintings, Impressionism, Symbolism and ends with the Surrealist and Minimalist movements.  In this report, I would like to concentrate on the tiny shining stars of the show before the blockbusters.

There was only one El Greco but it is a sweetheart miniature of the head of Christ. See in real life and do not judge it by the reproduction here. The light in back of the head and the gleam in the eyes is luminous. The whole world of religion belief is caught in this tiny rectangle of oil on paper.

Domenikos Theotokopoulos, Called El Greco
Head of Christ
Oil on paper, mounted on wood /10.5 × 8.6 cm

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

RIP: Cy Twombly

from Randy Kennedy and the New York Times

Ferragosto IV, 1961, Rome*
© Cy Twombly

Cy Twombly, Idiosyncratic Painter, Dies at 83

Cy Twombly, whose spare childlike scribbles and poetic engagement with antiquity left him stubbornly out of step with the movements of postwar American art even as he became one of the era’s most important painters, died in Rome Tuesday. He was 83.

The cause was not immediately known, although Mr. Twombly had suffered from cancer. His death was announced by the Gagosian Gallery, which represents his work.

In a career that slyly subverted Abstract Expressionism, toyed briefly with Minimalism, seemed barely to acknowledge Pop Art and anticipated some of the concerns of Conceptualism, Mr. Twombly was a divisive artist almost from the start. The curator Kirk Varnedoe, on the occasion of a 1994 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, wrote that his work was “influential among artists, discomfiting to many critics and truculently difficult not just for a broad public, but for sophisticated initiates of postwar art as well.” The critic Robert Hughes called him “the Third Man, a shadowy figure, beside that vivid duumvirate of his friends Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg.”

Read more.

* All images, where subject to copyright, are used purely for illustrative purposes and on the assumption that their reproduction at a lower resolution than the originals satifies the requirements for fair use and neither competes nor conflicts with the copyright holder's use of the original material.  Cy Twombly is represented by Gagosian Gallery.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Picked Honna: Souvenir from Mexico

by Keikichi Honna

So, this is it. Balls of twine.

1 3/4" or 40mm in diameter. One of the worst hand crafted stuff I've ever seen. The quality is so poor that it's almost crime to put a price and sell them. 6 pesos each (like $0.5), or 60 pesos for a dozen. Hadn't they been placed among toys, I couldn't have guessed they were intended for children. Nor had they had dark colored strings for decoration, I couldn't have told that they were supposed to be soccer balls. I was laughing, and of course bought a couple.

They don't bounce, they are not round enough. I was laughing at their quality and thought that bundled up rubber bands would work much better as balls. Then, I'd think "oh, you can't waste rubber bands. They are expensive." I realized the desperation of those who made them - they couldn't use better materials, and those who would buy them - that's the best they could afford.
This is the poorest hand crafted stuff I've ever seen. However, this is also the most honest product I've ever seen. There is no deception, no over-decoration - you pay for exactly what you see, and you get what you pay for - nothing more, nothing less.  For only 6 pesos, you can buy the poorest quality yet the most honest hand crafted products. That's fucking steal!

I was thinking to make them myself. I can make better looking ones for sure. Probably I can even sell them for $6.00 each on ebay! But I can never duplicate the desperation and honesty of the original.  Bought them as a joke. Now they remind me of (my lack of) honesty.

Email: Keikichi Honna
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