Monday, December 26, 2011

A+ Art Blog: Is La Jolla coming back as a center for the visual arts in San Diego?

La Jolla is known as an upscale shopping community with lots of sales art galleries, but not that much art street cred. I had high hopes when I planned my recent trip there to see three new galleries. I was most impressed with the beautiful white Scott White space showing Ross Bleckner. On Jan 14th there will be a community "art walk" in La Jolla and Scott White Contemporary Art will unveil the gallery's second show in this new location having moved from Little Italy. Stranger Than Paradise is a retrospective of photographs by Stefanie Schneider that have been hand-picked by White himself. Although her work has been showcased in collections and museums around the world, this is Schneider's 1st solo show in San Diego. You can also still see the William Glen Crooks exhibition.
Thumbprint Gallery does not have street level windows and neither it nor Alexander Salazar Fine Art were open for business on the day I visited. Neither appeared to show work different from their other gallery spaces in North Park and downtown. But both will be open in the evening on Jan 14. ASFA (6-9 pm) will show paintings by Erik Skoldberg from San Diego and sculptures by Kevin Barrett from New York. Thumbprint (5-10 pm) invented Works of Wisdom, works by an eclectic mix of artists using famous quotes as their stimulus.
I used this opportunity to drop into Quint Contemporary to see the stunning minimal back painted glass works by Thór Vigfússon. These works do not read in photographs but have such a quiet power. Also close by is RB Stevenson and I discovered the work of John Rogers, which blew me away. This local professor at San Diego State is another hidden SD treasure. The show at the end of December was sparse because many of the works were sold, but that made the space ever more open and elegant.
The Kathleen Marshall: Still in Paris gouache paintings at the Athenaeum Art and Music Library were almost photographic the technique was so perfect but it was the way that they drew you into the scene and made you believe, for the moment at least, that you could be living in one of these rooms and about to step into the sun dappled garden that is their true charm.

I visited The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego to see the Phenomenal: California Light Space and Surface. I knew the works of most of these artists and was surprised to be most taken with the completely black room by Eric Orr called Zero Mass. I entered the room with trepidation and left after a few minutes. But something prompted me to ask a guard if I had missed anything. He kindly took me back into the room and gave me the confidence to stay long enough for my eyes to become accustomed to the very low light. The room was not a deprivation experience but an experiment in light and space after all.
Do I think that La Jolla is coming back as a center for the visual arts in San Diego? No, three new gallery spaces will not make that much difference. What I do think we are seeing is the re-bounding of the international art market being reflected in these galleries’ quest for a bit of that succulent pie. I hope that Thumbprint and Salazar have not put more on their plates than they can digest as I sincerely wish that they will succeed.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Full roster at OMA

Oceanside Museum of Art has a full roster of shows right now. You are greeted by 4 huge window creatures with marvelous colors that are repeated in the new striped wall of the foyer which is showing We Can Work It Out: Becky Guttin until Jan 29. The large red carpet which proclaims, “my house is my house” is a theme continued in the large mobile of little wood outlined houses that Guttin has become known for. It is a wonderful way to convert the space into a joyful and welcoming entry.

Turn to the left and for a further riot of color in the show It's Not My Fault: The Art of Everett Peck until Feb 12. Everett Peck who is now in his sixties took up painting just a decade ago after a full life as the creator of Duckman. You will see a reproduction of his workspace and the fantasy dining room table with fully painted furniture and displaying a charming miniature burning log cabin with stone chimney complete with flames. This cartoonist is starting to make some seriously good paintings on view here for the first time.

I was very taken by the show Vantage Point: UCSD Visual Dialogues until Jan 15 because the attempt was to show the establish artists who are faculty member with their selection of emerging artists students. This is a formula that has worked so well for the SD Art Prize and which I would like to see taken up more often. Putting the works in the context of each other was ultimately the most successfully with the collaborative work by Brian Zimmerman and his professor. Anya Gallaccio. The precarious setting of her boulder on his delicate wooden structure was intriguing with so many possible interpretations (for example: her female strength and his male frailty, her lofty and mature ideas and his growing ambition). Marvelous to see this video presentation by Louis Hock with its frosted rectangle moving mysteriously about desert and sea scapes with just a hint of something not quite identifiable and always reminding us of the hand of the artist. Hock has a site specific video cinemural for the Pacific Standard Time Exhibition at the Getty Center in LA right now. The student’s work left me a bit baffled with a very expensive presentation but somehow lacking the punch of holograms that it is depicting. Alida Cervantes shows with Ruben Ortiz-Torres and threatens to overcome the master in this particular painterly figurative style. Her work has developed wonderfully over the years since she was an emerging artist in one of our New Contemporaries exhibitions and now reminds me of Paula Rego, a wonderful Portuguese artist now living in London. It is always a joy to see new works by Ernest Silva and these don’t disappoint. They have his recognizable style but they are more complicated, which is so hard to achieve and still maintain their direct simple charm. The relationship to his student Chris Kardambikis is vague but Kardambikis’ work is a nice distillation of a landscape on newsprint.

Also on view is Parallel Visions: Transitional Youth Academy until Dec 18 and A Matter of Space: Cathy Breslaw showing at the Parker Gallery until Jan 5. (watch the video of her gallery talk.)TheWilliam Glen Crooks exibition begins in mid-December.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Art as a Weapon

An original documentary about art, politics, religion and war. Everything that makes us human. -Jeff Durkin / Director

"Art as a weapon" will look at the connection between street Art, Buddhism and the struggle for Democracy by using the closed country of Burma as a case study. The film will follow a Buddhist monk poet who's building a library, artist Shepard Fairey painting a 30' tall mural, and a elementary school art class learning how to use spray paint- giving the audience a peek into the the lives of artists and how art has the power to move people. Interviews include Shepard Fairey and Nobel peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi.

This will be a “connections film” looking at the collision between the big forces that shape humanity- Art, Politics, and religion in both the eastern and western worlds. By combining beautiful cinematography, with Buddhist philosophy the project will illustrate the power Art has in the bloody fight for Democracy. Part art film, part political film, the goal is to continue spreading the word by using art as a weapon for peace in Burma.

2 simple ways you can help. 1. Donate to the film while your here on the kickstarter page (tax-deductible) 2. Spread the word on facebook, twitter, blogs and to your network. Just use this link

This is more than just a movie, it's a movement that will help MILLIONS of people.....and be seen by MILLIONS of people worldwide. Below is a video of how this unique project began.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A+ Art Blog: Audience Engagement

I was glad to see the James Irvine Foundation publication Getting in on the Act as they made a very good case for the value of the policies at SDVAN. They reported that building support for the arts in the future depends on encouraging more participation from our audiences.
The study identifies three main types of involvement; curatorial where the public makes decision about the content or direction of the project; public co-producing with the collaboration of professional artists; and finally when the public is asked to create their own works of art.
We have found that SD audiences want to meet the artists and love to sit down for a meal with them and even share in the process of making the work. We know that art gives people a way to identify their community, take pride in it and thus protect and improve it.
SDVAN continues in its efforts to gain more and more participation from our community. During the Art Meets Fashion 2011 public launch in April of this year, we invited the public to strut their stuff on our catwalk with fashions made by them or their friends. This popular part of the program helped to build the number who attended this event to 1000 and it was one of the most well attended events of the NTC Liberty Station complex.
Hats Off to Life is a project where we will be going into retirement communities and basing hat constructions on the life of some of the residents. We hope to hold a hat making workshop for them as well. We will strive to introduce participatory components into the DNA of Creativity project in the next two years.
However, having spent 6 weeks looking at art in London with very little personal participation, I can testify that this was an immensely satisfying experience. Not all art needs to be displayed with a participation element although a little education is never amiss for those who might want it. The new show at the SDMA, Mexican Modern Painting from The Andrés Blaisten Collection (through Feb 19, 2012), is wonderful to see just for the varied styles and high quality of the work on display. There are two educational rooms within the show space. One has a time line with four ways to listen and interact with the information presented. The other has specially commissioned drawing benches with a chance to create right there.
For SDVAN, not having our own brick and mortar venue has become one of our strongest strategies. We do not consider this a disadvantage or even something to strive for in our future plans. As we work alternatively online, in loaned spaces and even work to get into people homes, we see this as a cost effective and innovative way to go forward.
Today’s artists are collaborating, remixing and repurposing not just with their materials but with their cultural views. At SDVAN we encourage that and try hard to do it internally within the organization. We are a 100% volunteer organization with no salaries or building cost to cover. All our donations go into the funding of projects for the community. This is an alternative way of running a non-profit and one which has grown out of the needs of those we serve.
I was astounded when I first came to SD to see the hundreds of art association that exist here. Although they have not perhaps been very proactive in creating an art market, they have certainly been responsible for supporting the many cultural resources of our neighborhoods. The SD region has this incredibly rich pool of amateur and part time artists and their impact is underestimated, I believe. It is heartening to learn that a total of 33% of all adults create and attend art events. Add to that 17% who attend and 12% who make art but don’t attend and you get a whooping 62% of American engaged in creative processes.
Here are a few examples of visual arts project mentioned in the study that I thought you might enjoy:
  • The Art Gallery of Ontario’s In Your Face was an open-submission art exhibit featuring 17,000 portraits collected from the public
  • The Davis Art Center’s Junk2Genius program celebrates the community’s commitment to reduce, reuse and recycle. This annual competition features 15 teams of community members competing in a timed sculpt-off using recycled materials

Friday, November 18, 2011

Converstations on Beauty at the Mingei and Raymond Elstad at SD Dance Place, SAF Blank to Beauty

Conversations on Beauty: Uniting Matter & Spirit, Creating a Whole Student, presented by the Ilan-Lael Foundation, is an ongoing discussion forum that examines the concept of beauty and the role it plays in shaping our society and our world. On Tuesday, November 15 the Mingei International Museum hosted the panelists moderated by Dirk Sutro.

Christine Brady - Founder, Colegio La Esperanza pushed hard to create a building designed by James Hubbell to house her school in Tijuana. Her clever idea was to create something so wonderful that it would get wide support with little chance of it ever being destroyed. She and Hubbell succeeded.

Maestro Jung Ho Pak - Orchestra Nova seconded this idea that we have to produce to an excellent level to make the case for the value of the arts. I loved his description of the role of the arts to connect us to what life is about like a “spiritual equivalent of the slow food movement.”

John Eger, J.D. - Professor of Communications and Public Policy, SDSU, once again reminded us of the need for arts being added to the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) movement to make it STEAM. He uses stealth marketing to trick the UCSD administration into thinking he is just teaching a communication class. He is actually teaching creativity and wants to “rehydrate” the arts with a sense of urgency to help our economy.

James Hubbell - artist, environmentalist, humanitarian was the professor emeritus of this group and I hung on his every word as he has a way of going right to the heart of each question. As an architect he sees the role of buildings not as shelter but as a way to arrange the world so people bump into each other. He spoke of not only eliminating the silos separating those in our society, but the need not to think in terms of left and right brain or the truth of science and mystery of the arts. Collaboration does not need these divisions. It is the role of the artists in each of us, to actually influence the rhythms of the world. He urges a little less control and a lot less isolation.

I thought everyone on the panel was caught off guard a bit by the question from the audience, "What can we do?” I am happy to refer people to the article we posted on the SDVAN site which was edited from “The Arts. Ask For More” Children’s Arts Campaign by Americans for the Arts. We have condensed it into Ten Simple Ways Parents Can Get More Art in Their Kids’ Lives with suggestions for projects at home and in the general community.

I wanted to ask a question of the panel but there was not time, so I have decided to ask it here. The James Irwin Foundation is funding projects with an audience engagement element. They urge that the survival of art support depends on active participation by the public defined as: 1. curatorial, 2. collaborative with existing artists, and 3. the public becoming creators of art themselves. This was part of the party line at the panel. However, it seems to me that the act of contemplative looking at art of excellence could be undermined by this participation emphasis. How do we achieve the balance for both things to occur?

Raymond Elstad is the professional seducer in his show of dance photography at Mandell Weiss Gallery of the SD Dance Place at the NTC Promenade of Liberty Station running the entire month of November. Jean Isaacs San Diego Dance Theater was the sponsor of Seduced by Dance but you will see dancers from all the companies resident in this facility. Elstad uses all his skill to compose dynamic images that leap off the page like a dancer’s jeté.

Synergy Art Foundation’s fundraiser From Blanks To Beauty was a fantastic evening with high energy, lots of laughter and fun. Over seventy local artists participated creating over 150 ten inch square canvases. These were displayed at the Mosaic Wine Bar in a silent auction format. A real steal for collectors with the opening bid at $50! The bargain of the night was a James Hubbell watercolor acquired for only $250. All monies raised will benefit Synergy's Emergency Artists' Support League (SD-EASL), which continues to help visual artists in our county through major crises.


Saturday, November 5, 2011


Extraction: San Diego Art World Insiders


Extraction_Episode Two Promo

Episode Two Starring:
Starring Seth Combs, Dennis Paul Batt, Ian Ashley, & Anjela Piccard

Daily Art Nag: REQUIRED VIEWING - "The Curse of the Mona Lisa"

Friday, November 4, 2011

Ambush Event

We are pleased to see the coverage that the SDVAN sponsored Ambush Event received in the press after the October event held at Horton Plaza.

It seems to be agreed that Antoinette Ransom who brought this show down from LA and added lots of local talent, is to be commended.

We especially like the participation aspect of the evening. Antengo were teaching the guests how to download the "Exhibit Ambush" app for free. They had artists painting live and teaching the importance of color theory and creativity and they had a catering company that made the appetizers to resemble the Amazon Rain forest theme and gave out a booklet on how to make them at home.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A+ Art Blog: LONDON 2011 - PART TWO by Patricia Frischer

The link to this PDF
includes news of

  • Frieze Art Fair
  • Exhibitions at Tate Modern (Gerhand Richter top)
  • Degas at the Royal Academy
  • Frank Stella at the Haunch of Venizen
  • Raqib Shaw at White Cube (above bottom)
  • Grayson Perry at the British Museum
  • more news of the design shows at the Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Pipilotti Rist at the Hayward Gallery (above middle)
  • Turner Prize show at the Baltic in Gateshead

  • and much more totaling 12 illustrated pages of coverage of October 2011 in London and Newcastle

    I hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed attending these exhibitions.
    Patricia Frischer, coordinator, SDVAN

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Picked RAW Peeled - 2011 Art of Photography Show

by Angela Babb Timmons

Sometimes a moment just grips you. It lures you in and seduces you and makes your head feel all warm and dizzy like a good buzz from a strong martini. You feel alive, excited, tingly, almost giddy. Unexpected laughter slips from your lips, or a tear streaks down your cheek; your heart races, you flush with color. You’re weightless. You could float away and drift like a delicate feather. It’s intoxicating. Scary. Like falling in love, or locking eyes with a stranger, or feeling the zing of sugar when it first hits your tongue. It jolts you awake.

And with a burst of light and snap of the shutter, the moment is gone. Click goes the camera. And it vanishes. Yet captured forever. No words. No sound. Just raw emotion.

That’s what a photograph does to me. It latches onto my heart, pokes and prods and nudges, until I ache to know the rest of the story. Why is that delicate paw wrapped in a gauzy bandage? What lurks in the corner of that empty room, cold and desolate, filled with nothing but a rusted cash register? What tragedy befell that beautiful man with blue eyes and charred skin? Like a voyeur spying through a tiny peephole, a photograph gives only a small sliver of the story, a tasty crumb, delicious and addictive, and makes you crave more.

The 2011 Art of Photography Show runs through Sunday, October 23rd at the Lyceum Theatre.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Daily Art Nag for October 6, 2011: Gerhard Richter

from Reuters

Prized painter Richter calls art market "daft"

Gerhard Richter is one of the world's most prized living artists, and one of his famous "Candle" series is expected to fetch 6-9 million pounds ($9-14 million) at auction in London next week.

That is the highest price expected for a single work at the upcoming series of contemporary art sales, yet the man behind the image said he found such figures bewildering.

"It's just as absurd as the banking crisis," said the 79-year-old German, speaking to reporters on Tuesday at the press launch of a major retrospective of his work opening at London's Tate Modern.

Read more.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Picked RAW Peeled: University Heights Arts Open

by Angela Babb Timmons

I had been staring at a blank page for weeks, cursing the paper and typewriter keys – where are the words, where are the words, I kept asking. The infinite white space scared me. I had convinced myself that I needed a concrete direction or at least the smallest grain of a story before I could allow myself to type a single word. I was so afraid of the empty page that I actually stopped writing and decided I would just wait for the muse to find me.

Several days passed and I soon realized the muse never comes knocking; she doesn’t even tap lightly. The muse prefers to be courted, flirted with, seduced. She’s a prissy little thing and she was not interested in the likes of me.

It was Sunday and the University Heights Arts Open was happening. I decided if I couldn’t make art, I would at least go out and observe it. As I walked out the front door, I paused for a moment and asked the muse for the smallest of favors – please teach me something.


My London Trip is Sept 15 to Oct 31, 2011 and I am sharing my art adventures this year on the A* Art Blog. This covers Sept 15 to Sept 26.

This is the
beginning of my exploration of the London Design Festival 2011 and there are 200 participants and over 280 events in 25 different design areas. I have plans to go to about a dozen of them as it is quite overwhelming but fascinating. Evidently this is the largest design festival in the world. Hold on to your hats as what follows is just the first day.
I started with a lecture by Murray Moss at V&A about digital 3-D printing and examples are scattered through out the Victoria and Albert Museum so it was like a scavenger hunt to see them all, but brilliant and he is one cool old dude. He curated this collection from existing and commissions works and each is set for a reason in its space. It reminds me of what Ruben Ortiz-Torres says he is doing for the Long Beach Museum for Pacific Standard Time. By juxtaposing art works, you provoke new meaning on both. Displaying works of art in a relationships which are not time lined or regional but has to do with the influences is more historical but Moss envisions museums that could be science oriented one day and economic the next. . Moss was very interested in the way that nature can be mathamatised and how that could teach us things about structure in design. New architecture is not so much a referral to older styles (the variation on the box) but wide open to new materials construction in brand new ways. Some of the objects on view could not have been any other way but by 3-D printing.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Picked HONNA: Decade and a Day Ago

by Keikichi Honna

Because of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 there was nothing to watch other than tribute programs. So I was watching cinemas and somehow ended up with cinemas of angry teenagers. Kristen Stewart showed her usual fuck-you-I-don't-give-a-shit attitude. I don't dislike her. On the contrary, I rather like her, but she's so one trick pony that I call her the Kevin Spacy of teenage anguish. (has he ever played any character except an arrogant ass with "I'm smarter than you" attitude?) Anyway, on one scene, she was walking on a bridge, which looked awfully familiar. Indeed it was a bridge on Olentangy River under I-71. I could even see familiar buildings afar. Which brought me back to some memories on that fateful day.

When I saw the second plane hit another tower, I knew it was deliberate. But I was so shocked that it was much later to realize that we had to abandon our plan. We - I and Wiley, had started talking about another Pearl Harbor just a few weeks prior. Well, not exactly another Pearl Harbor attack we were planning, but some event/installation on Dec 7th, which would have been called "Food Fight." Wiley, as an American, would represent allies - allies of wheat, beef, and ketchup. and I, as a Japanese, represent axis - axis of rice, fish, and soy. I might have needed assistance of fermented beverage on "event" part, but I had been fermenting some idea for installation.

Our humble plan was postponed indefinitely, and Wiley exiled to an appendix of Europe. (No, not Italy)

Other angry teens I saw: Tracy Fragment: Admirable acting of Ellen Page made otherwise almost cinematic disaster watchable.  She was bullied, teased, and even called "no tits." No tits!  Had she gone to Columbine, I wouldn't have accused her. Wendy and Lucy: Michelle Williams' presence was sooo real and her troubles were sooo real in this non-drama drama. During the movie I was afraid that something worse would happen on top of all the trouble she'd already had. I wish I could give her hug or cash, or both.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

You Saw Art Where? The Dark

by Andrew Printer

One day last week I sat down to gather my pile of promotional material and my thoughts in order to write my weekly arts column when all of a sudden my fan stopped fanning and my computer went kaput. “Perfect!”  I bemoaned and started bitching about the humidity, my puny bedroom air-conditioner (which presumably caused the outage) and my absent boyfriend who typically deals with anything electrical.  When I finally accepted the fact that said boyfriend was in San Francisco I went outside to take care of the problem myself only to realize that it was not a circuit of my house that had blown but the circuit for all of southern California and northern Baja. 

As neighbors flocked to the street to find comfort in numbers I dug into my earthquake preparedness kit (formerly known as the Y2K kit), found my wind-up solar radio (impressive, right?) and learned from LaDona at KoGo of all stations that the power outage could last for hours, perhaps even days. This was my first thought: “But tonight’s Big Brother eviction night! How can this happen?” Subsequent thoughts went like this: “I better find a flashlight because it’s going to get dark soon” and “I should cook things in the fridge that might spoil”, this followed by a whole lot of media fueled alarmism involving looters and terrorism, fear and mayhem.

Daily Art Nag: Richard Hamilton RIP

from the Guardian and Jonathan Jones

Richard Hamilton, the original pop artist, dies at 89
Driven by intellect and political belief, Hamilton created undying icons of the modern world

Richard Hamilton, the most influential British artist of the 20th century, has died aged 89.  In his long, productive life he created the most important and enduring works of any British modern painter.

This may sound a surprising claim. We have our national icons and our pop celebrities. But neither Francis Bacon nor Lucian Freud nor Damien Hirst has shaped modern art as Hamilton did when he put a lolly with the word POP on it in the hand of a muscleman in his 1956 collage, Just What is it that Makes Today's Homes So Different, So Appealing?

Hamilton has a serious claim to be the inventor of pop art: this collage is a visionary, yet ironic, manifesto for a new art that would be at home in the modern world. For him, in a postwar Britain of austerity measures, pop was a utopian ideal. Big, fast cars were the metal angels of a smooth, beautiful future.

Read more

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lois Stecker Leaves a Huge Hole in Our Lives

Our own sweet Lois Stecker died this month and she will be so missed. We know she is resting in peace after a fall and short illness. Born in 1919 she was at every event and intrepid to the very end. This is a very sad passing for the SD Visual Arts world.

Picked RAW: "Decade" - Marilyn Mitchell at the Garage

from the press release

Detail from “American”

works considering our culture since the events of 9/11

@ The Garage Gallery
9/3/11 – 9/30/11

4141 Alabama St.
San Diego, CA 92104
By appointment - please call Larry Caveney @ 619.549.9687

Twin Towers

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Picked HONNA: Power of K

by Keikichi Honna

Kim Kardashian married.  That's old news.  My guess is that I have to suffer mass media's Kim K over saturation, at least for next 1 year or 2.  I can see koming headlines of tabloids at grocery stores.

Kim K Wedding!
Kim K Honeymoon!
Kim K Pregnant!
Kim K First Baby!
Kim K divorce!

A white guy being her husband is a kind of surprise.  But his name is Kris.  Maybe that's the sole reason she married him.  (her sisters - Kloe, Kourtney, Kendal, and Kylie.  Her mom is also Kris)

I didn't know K's attraktion was this strong.  But this klan is a disgrace of a whole kongregation of K's.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Drink, Mate, Art

by Patricia Frischer

I am sure everyone has noticed how well attended the events aimed at the younger demographic group are when art is added to the entertainment. TNT at MCASD, Cocktails and Culture at SDMA, A-List at the Athenaeum and Art After Dark at the Oceanside Museum of Art, as well as the numerous vodka companies that hold launches at art gallery, are all opportunities for young adults to mix and mingle.

The really big question is how do we get that same audience to start buying art after they have attended an art show to eat, drink and mate? Suggesting education might be too big of a leap for those addled by alcohol. But the idea is to get them to start looking more closely at the art to develop some sort of choices that might lead to a desire to acquire. Here are two strategies to consider:
  • Roll playing: Hand out oodles of fake money and ask the guests to make choices about what art they would buy. A case of vodka goes to anyone who brings out the real thing and makes a purchase.
  • Match Making: ask couples to choose art for each other. This would entailed some work in figuring out the what and why. A bottle of vodka goes to the artist whose work is most chosen.
We need every trick in the book to build a healthier art world and that means where events are not only well attended but artists are supported hopefully in a monetary way.

Read another view on this subject from Kevin Freitas

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Picked HONNA: Peace on Earth

by Keikichi Honna

I was enjoying reading a book I bought a few weeks back. Silence of a hot summer afternoon was suddenly broken by 3, 4, maybe 5 police cruisers.

Momentarily put the book aside, and eyed on outside. The cruisers were gone, but after a few minutes or so a police helicopter flew in with a loud speaker. Circling around over my place, and called residents' attention. "... a Hispanic male, wearing a white T-shirt and black pants..." Such a precise and exact description - it could be anybody, and everybody. We the inmates burst in laugh "Every Hispanic male wears white T and black pants!" All the resident enjoyed quiet afternoon since there was no one in white T and black pants on the street.

I finished the book. Another peaceful day.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Picked Raw Peeled July: La Jolla Fashion Film Festival

La Jolla Fashion Film Festival by Patricia Frischer

The Fashion Film Festival held for its second year in La Jolla in July 2011 is the brainchild of Fred Sweet who also owns SD Model Management and is a fashion entrepreneur. He certainly should be given credit for recognizing this new genre of film which is still in the birthing process. There was soft porn without any real eroticism. It appears models don’t mind baring breast for art’s sake. There was narrative in the form of film noire, one line jokes, and even poetry. Sometimes we simply saw the kaleidoscope of images which thrills as a psychedelic color fest. At its lowest, some films were self indulgent and corny, but there were a number of highs.

Although none of the films we viewed were blatantly commercial, product placement was certainly apparent. Costume design in traditional theater and cinema gives credit to fashion designers. And in almost all cinema and TV, product placement is riff, working its insidious way into the plot. The best of these films started with a plot and the worst seemed to be looking for one.

One of my dear friends GB Feld is a film critic in Los Angeles. I always remember his criteria for judging film” Did the film have something to say? Did the film maker say it well? Was it worth saying? Too many of these films used Art to create the lie of fashion desirability as the only subject of the film thus begging the question, was it worth saying.

This was a wonderful opportunity for directors from all over the world to meet and exchange ideas. Hearing some of the speak about the delights of being in La Jolla and getting this attention for their efforts was very heartening.
My top 4 picks from about 40 films:

Move by Dominique Palombo - sheer beauty of movement and rhythm

In Search of Light by Miguel Angel – an artist struggling for his vision and the best use of fashion as a subject equally weighted with the performers.

To the Top by Heidi Hartwig – a model’s revenge

Precious by Monica Menez – pizza as a tool of subversion

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