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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

About this Blog: “Inspiration, etc…”


Sometimes I take notes in French,
sometimes in English, sometimes I mix both.

I am very interested in seeing exhibitions in San Diego and, when I can, in L.A. I need to see what is going on in contemporary art. I need to see what the artists create here and now and I want to see as much as I can. I am always interested in talking to an artist whose work interests me. I am excited by discovering new artists and new works. They inspire me. I do not create in a vacuum; I am influenced by all sorts of things, people and places. And I like to write about what I see (even if writing in English is a challenge for me!).

If I were still living in Paris I would not do the same work I am doing now. Today I live in southern California, it means a different weather, a different language, different habits, different borders. It means another culture, another angle to look at art history.

By going to see exhibitions, by writing about them in my blog, I am also supporting the art community here and this is very important to me.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Territories Series


Territories Series: Occupied Territories, 2008,
mixed media on wood panel, 12"x12"



Territories Series: Land of Exile, 2008,
mixed media on wood panel, 12"x12"



Territories Series: Asylum Land, 2008,
mixed media on wood panel, 12"x12"


It is always question of land in the news, in novels, in the personal story of everybody.

Being displaced by a natural disaster: a tornado, a hurricane, an earthquake, an eruption of a volcano, because the desert is widening and I is not possible to cultivate anything anymore.

Being obliged to leave a land because of a war or a conflict, because a country is suddenly divided, because one is accused of being a political danger. Being a refugee.

Staying where we are born by choice or deciding to live that place, coming back or not. Leaving behind family and friends. Being an expatriate.

I am very interested in continuing to work on that.

The three paintings are part of my exhibition
"Here it's Peace", actually at the San Diego Art Institute.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Art Tapout at Agitprop on YouTube


Kevin Freitas, Art Tapout at Agitprop, Saturday, June 14

(read Ray at Night part one first! 3 posts below!)

Thursday morning, I am posting my videos of the Art Tapout on YouTube. It is a first for me. Of course my videos are too long to be posted as they are. I have to slice them. Thank you Carol for your help! You can check them out at:


Round 1: Sandra Doore - part 1


Round 1: Sandra Doore - part 2


Round 2: Joe Yorty - part 1


Round 2: Joe Yorty - part 2


Round 3: Zuri Waters - part 1


Round 3: Zuri Waters - part 2

See more about Zuri Waters:
Round 3: Zuri Waters - part 3
Round 3: Zuri Waters - part 4
Round 3: Zuri Waters - part 5
Round 3: Zuri Waters - part 2

Poetry Slam at the San Diego Art Institute


Michael Klam and Hank Gross


Wednesday night I decide to go to the
Poetry Slam.
The Poetry Slam is a competitive event in which poets perform their work and are judged by members of the audience. Typically, the host or another organizer selects the judges, who are instructed to give numerical scores (on a zero to 10 or one to 10 scale) based on the poets' content and performance.”

I know some artists of the SDAI will be there, my show is on, I may meet someone interesting. I talk to Michael Klam, the organizer, it’s been a while since I have seen him. He is, as always, extremely nice. I am surprised to see Zuri Waters there. We talk for a while, I show him my exhibition. We do not have much time before the Slam starts but he takes the time and watches carefully. I tell him how much I enjoyed the Art Tapout at Agitprop and that I took some videos. He asks me if I put them on YouTube. I say I do not think they are very good, but he tells me to do it anyway because there are not many of them posted and that could be interesting.

Then I understand that he is here to play his saxophone, to introduce the night – and to play between the performances. It’s really beautiful, free, intense. I drink a glass of wine and talk with some artists friends: Anna Zappoli Jenkins, Dan Adams and Hank Gross. They all participate in the poetry slam. There is, I believe, 18 people/performances in total. I should have participated! I did not think about it! But it is nice to be here anyway.

Michael is looking for judges in the public and after a while I decide to be one! I have to be really concentrated though: I am French and I am judging live American poetry! I melt when Dan says a poem about Anna, or when Anna reads a page of her diary written in Italian. I am trying to be impartial but it is difficult!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Ray at night (part 2): Acamonchi at Rubber Rose



"Finesse, Darling Finesse", a show by Gerardo Yepiz (aka Acamonchi)
at Rubber Rose Gallery

I arrive at the Rubber Rose gallery and it is full of people. The gallery has dark wood paneled walls and Acamonchi’s artwork contrasts nicely on them. He presents a series of “tres chic works”, as he named them.

I saw Acamonchi the first time in 2006 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla, on the occasion of the exhibition: “Strange New World: Art and Design From Tijuana”. I loved the exhibition for its energy and its creativity. But the most exciting thing was that Acamonchi came to the family day that month!


Gerardo Yepiz, Family day, june 2006
at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCASD), La Jolla

The family day is a very interesting event organized on an irregular basis at the museum. Children and their parents can enjoy activities related to the ongoing exhibition. Acamonchi came with his sprays paint cans, his stencils, brushes, markers and made a t-shirt to all the kids who came that day – then the kids could also make a t-shirt on their own. It was great to see him working, using all sorts of different techniques, and doing it fast. I really appreciate that he came. The program is always nice but it is extremely rare that an artist participating in the ongoing exhibition at the MCASD comes to the family day. I do not forget that day, I still have the t-shirts of course and some nice pictures.

I visited his website many times. And he was one of the first artists I got as a “friend” on MySpace. He is very active on his page and posts all sorts of pictures and bulletins. So I knew about the exhibition at the Rubber Rose. I sent him an invitation for my exhibition at the SDAI.


Me and Gerardo!

I see him in the gallery, talking to people, very nice, very cool. I enjoy staying and looking at each piece. I really like the pieces on floating paper. His work is generous, full of “stuff”: cat, nurses, paint sprays, outlines, brush strokes, road signs, cars, patterns, structures, tools and much more. I take some pictures. Then I decide to go see him. He recognizes me (I wonder how – may be the little self-portrait on MySpace page) and we talk for a while. I tell him I am very enthusiastic about his work!

When I go back home I google all the names of the artists participating in the Art Tapout at Agitprop and I really find Zuri Water’s work very interesting. I add his website to my list of links!

Excellent night!

Ray at night (part one): Art Tapout at Agitprop


Agitprop - the entrance

Saturday. I am going to Ray at night. I want to see Art Tapout at Agitprop. It is a live critic: 5 artists, 5 art pieces and Kevin Freitas as the art critic. Inside it is very small and kind of dark. A fight ring has been prepared: 2 high stools, 2 buckets filled with water, a sponge in each of them. On one side, a white dry wall pierced with a nail or two: the place where the art will hang in a few minutes. I am early, I am waiting outside. A huge Hummer-limo parks right at the entrance. I wonder if it is part of the event! 2 guys come towards me on the sidewalk to smoke a cigarette. One of them asks me:
- is it your limo?
- no!
We laugh.
– you’re a painter
- Yes
- I can tell: your t-shirt.
- I like to paint them
- Cool. I have a pair of leather paints, they are so full of paint, they are painful to wear! Is there someone inside the limo?
- No, I saw the driver, he parked the limo and left.
He kind of kisses the windows of the limo several times and now the once immaculate windows have blurry stains all over…
Laughs.

It is time to go inside, there are a lot of people in that tiny place. The art critic starts with Sandra Doore in “the cage”, the music of “Rocky” is on. Kevin Freitas wears a flashy pair of jeans, a black t-shirt where one can read “Death is certain, Life is not”, and a bright yellow cap with the US post office logo. It is the first time I see him, he seems a little bit nervous and concentrated, his has piercing eyes. He has some impressive tattoos, one is a beautiful snake wrapped around his neck. The referee, David White, wearing a striped black and white t-shirt introduces Sandra Doore. The art piece is hanged on the wall. It is the first round, Kevin Freitas is warming up. I take a short video with my camera.


Kevin Freitas next to "500 couches" by Joe Yorty

The second round with Joe Yorty is definitely getting really interesting. The piece is a large print made of tiny pictures of 500 free couches taken from the Craig’s List around the U.S. I like the idea more than the result but the conversation between Yorty and Freitas shows that something happens when the artist actually talks about what he wanted to do.


Zuri Waters next to his piece: "Untitled (dead boy)"

I love the third round with Zuri Waters – He was the guy talking to me outside. His piece is very strange! The thing is, I would have certainly not even notice his piece in an exhibition. It makes me wonder about the power of the discourse over the power of the art itself. Here’s some of their exchange:

Kevin Freitas: - A lot of people probably saw your show last October. And actually I had a tough time with that show. I’ve seen later works by Zuri what he calls the cutouts, which are flat panels and these figurines, they are brightly colored, really dissected, and I mean there is everything, there is life, I don’t know, sex, love, war, everything in those pieces. And for me those cutouts seem to be the smartest that work in your work, according to me. I think, the sculptures, they start loosing some of that power and intensity. I think they become too lovely, too chaotic, too sporadic…
Zuri Waters: - lovely…
KF- I know, it’s cute. I love the holes. I don’t know. Am I wrong, am I right?
ZW- we don’t have the cutouts here for comparison. This one is more totemic, it’s more like African-“masky”, which I was trying to get away from with the cutouts, trying to get away from the obvious Picasso-mask look of a face but I am happy with the mask.
I feel vacant. It’s a vacant time, you know. I feel like completely empty, I feel like everything is happening and I am completely aware of it and yet I am empty. And masks for me are completely appropriate for that.

This is a dead boy. And I was afraid when I made it that it was a dead African American boy because I gave it a flat top and a sort of creamy coffee complexion, completely unwillingly. And it has nothing to do with that. It has been shot by a paint gun but it has nothing to do with that.
KF:- Did you…
ZW:- No, I carved those, but it looks like it’s been shot with a paint gun.
KF:- So dead boy, dead boy because…
ZW:- This happens to be a dead boy.
…The back side is awesome. The backside is cool.
It was supposed to be like this, against the wall, initially, no construction at all, just like that. I like it free standing, like that.
I like the illusion on the front, the work on the back.

(Intervention of two people)

ZW:- It’s untitled – parenthesis - dead boy. But it is untitled.
KF: - That’s always confused me.
Someone: - I think that was his intent!
Laughs
KF: - it’s like not taking responsibility for it, it’s like “untitled” so open to interpretation…
ZW: - I looked at it and the first thing I think is a dead boy. That’s all I could think of. My first thought about this piece is a dead boy. It’s a sad piece. I felt sad when I made it and it represents that.
Someone: - how did he die?
ZW: - he got shot with paint gun.
Someone: - where?
ZW: - all over his body!
Someone: - what happened to his arms and legs?
ZW: - He never had them! He is just an art object.
KF: - But There is always a certain amount of detachment you tried to put into the work, you know, “I don’t care, whatever”, “it’s colorful”, “it’s this, it’s that”, “it’s breakable, replaceable”. I mean, at some point, don’t you think you have some sort of responsibility? How do you think the viewer is taking out the work?
ZW: - I don’t know. How the viewer is taking the work?
KF: - Or understanding the work?
someone else talks and the question gets lost.


Kevin Freitas and "Untitled (dead boy)"

I take some videos. I wish I could shoot the whole “round”. It is really entertaining and more than that. A live critic is so rare, I cannot remember something as interesting since I was in my art school.

Too bad I cannot stay for the following 2 rounds. But I want to see “Finesse, Darling, finesse” the new work by Gerardo Yepiz (aka Acamonchi) at Rubber Rose Gallery, afew blocks away. It is already 9pm .

Agitprop Gallery
2837 University Avenue - North Park
San Diego, CA
619.384.7989
agitprop.events@gmail.com

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

To build a fire


Kyle read to me “To build a fire”. It takes place on the Yukon trail where a man travels with his dog on an extremely cold day. The man, trying to dry his wet clothes, makes a terrible mistake by lighting a fire under a spruce tree covered with snow. The dog knows it is too cold to travel, it can see the foolishness of the man but it follows him anyway.

I read it in French a long time ago. To hear it in English is a new experience, I find it very intense, the description of the unforgiving cold is terribly beautiful, the presence of the silent (but thinking) dog, haunting.

“He was a newcomer in the land, a chechaquo, and this was his first winter. The trouble with him was that he was without imagination. He was quick and alert in the things of life, but only in the things, and not in the significance. Fifty degrees below zero meant eighty-odd degrees of frost. Such fact impressed him as being cold and uncomfortable, and that was all. It did not lead him to meditate upon his frailty as a creature of temperature, and upon man’s frailty in general, able only to live within certain narrow limits of heat and cold; and from there on it did not lead him to the conjectural field of immortality and man’s place in the universe. Fifty degrees below zero stood for a bit of frost that hurt and that must be guarded against by the use of mittens, ear flaps, warm moccasins, and thick socks. Fifty degrees below zero was to him just precisely fifty degrees below zero. That there should be anything more to it than that was a thought that never entered his head.”

Jack London – To Build a fire

Territories: Desert


"Territories: Desert
", 2008, acrylic on canvas, 12”x12
(part of the exhibition Here it's Peace)

One day on the radio, a soldier who had returned from Iraq was talking about the beauty of the desert. Despite the fact that danger could come from anywhere, some mornings he enjoyed the landscape, almost as if there were no war going on.

Here it’s Peace: opening reception


Friday, June 13th, at the SDAI

A lot of people came to the opening, that’s great (but unfortunately I do not have a lot of photos)! The space feels open, the paintings and the prints go well together, there is a good energy. A lot of people seemed interested in the digital pieces. It is really nice to see all the pieces together on the wall.

I am going to the exhibition again and spend some time by myself to see if I notice things I did not before. It is a good opportunity to really take my time looking at the work while it is in a visually calm environment.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Masking tape, grass, paper and telephone


My children are working on “something” on the deck behind the house. They are using a lot of masking tape. Not a long time ago, my mother asked me what she could send for a birthday present to one of the boys. I said: “Rolls of masking tape in different colors, I am not kidding, they love it – and they use a lot of it”.

This morning, before to leave the house, Harper went to the recycling bin in the kitchen and grabbed a plastic container for strawberries and an empty bottle. "It's for the sculpture I want to make today at school".

On our way to school (Harper has a letter-size recycled paper in his hands):
- Mom, do you know how to make a telephone with a piece of paper?
- Hmm, I never tried.
- it is very easy. You want to know how?
- of course!
- look! You have to look (we are walking, we stop). You take a piece of paper, you fold it here, and here and here, and look, you have a telephone! (He puts the phone on his ear, his face is illuminated, we laugh together.)

The New Children’s Museum / downtown San Diego



The New Children’s Museum

We went back to the New Children’s Museum and this time we got in and it was not crowded at all. The architecture is very open, on three levels. There is a lot of space and a beautiful natural light coming from everywhere. Immense doors are open on outside patios: the space feels great.


The children are like in a candy store. Suspended vacuum cleaners play harmonica, one can run here and write on walls, paint and build things, play with clay and make bubbles, climb walls, listen to the rain falling on a roof, have a party (for one or two) in a Porta-Party. Each activity has been conceived by one or more contemporary artist, 19 in total, some are established, some are emerging. I would love to participate to a project like that!

One of the places the children prefer is the pillow fight room, covered with mattresses and filled with tires-like pillows. The children pile up the tires, disappear inside crumbling towers of tires head first, bury themselves, scream, run, fall and never seem to get enough! The climbing wall covered with graffiti is a real success too.
But soon it is 4:00 and the museum closes. We still have a lot to discover. When we leave I get the membership for the family. We will be back soon.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

UCSD / University Art Gallery / MFA 2008



I really wanted to go to the opening of MFA 2008 at the Gallery of UCSD, because I wanted to see Iana Quesnell’s work, which fascinates me.

I am surprised because the gallery changed completely since I came to see “In the Beginning”. It starts with a corridor and then one enters a daedal of small rooms.


Owen Mundi: Self portrait/Target (photo lab) & Self portrait/Target (fight deck)

A first, quick tour tells me that there are lots of videos. Going around again, I stop to see Owen Mundy’s self-portraits. They are pencil, acrylic and bullet holes on tar paper. The holes are the only element in contrast with the rest of each picture: through the holes one can see the white of the wall. It is a discreet and violent work.


Iana Quesnell’s video: The Making of “Limites Difusos”



In the next room, I am attracted by Iana Quesnell’s video: The Making of “Limites Difusos”, 2008 (8mn 25sec.).
We see Iana starting covering a white wall with graphite lines. The gesture is extremely fast, the walls are huge. It is hard to understand how much time it took to her and her assistants to completely cover the walls but the task seems gigantic! After using big graphite pens for a while, she switches to normal pens to work more in details. The wall is more and more grey, the graphite makes it shine a little: it has a silvery look. I really like when the video is a close up on her hand working and covered of graphite.

A circle of the wall has been left untouched and now Iana works that white surface inside it very meticulously: it is the earth and she draws the continents, grey on white.

She then covers a long table with a white paper on which she has drawn plates, glasses, and silverware. She wears white gloves. Then it is the opening with people around the table, surrounded by the wall covered with graphite with the earth in the middle. I cannot help thinking of the ending of “2001, Space Odyssey” -- the strange quiet dinner in the large empty white house somewhere in space.

Her work was done in situ in the Centro Cultural de Tijuana. I like the fact that it is temporary. It is something I am really interested in. Something is done, documented, and then it is gone.

Limites Difusos is on exhibit during the month of June at the Centro Cultural de Tijuana (from Monday to Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m).


Katherine Sweetman: “Video Blogging for video bloggers”

Next to Iana Quesnell’s video are Katherine Sweetman’s video and paintings “Video Blogging for video bloggers”. I sit down and watch entirely the almost 20mn long video. I learn something tonight: people video-blog on YouTube. And some of them are famous in the video blogger community. A world opens up. Katherine Sweetman’s video is divided into two spaces: on the left a blogger she chose on YouTube, on the right the painting she creates as the blogger talks. Six bloggers/six paintings (acrylic on canvas). It is fascinating.

Geriatric1927 already posted 125 videos on YouTube, and he is very popular (some of them have been seen more than 2,000,000 times). Daxflame is a young man, and apparently people are fascinated by him because they wonder if he is a very good actor or if his tantrums are real. In the video she chose he says he wishes to be taxidermied after he dies. He says, “If you think it’s weird, don’t post a comment, I’ll block you!” Daxflame posted 145 videos on YouTube - some of them have been seen more than 200,000 times. TheAmazingAtheist talks about the death of his father (he makes the video as he just came back from the hospital). He gives details, he cries, he claims he will not post for a while. The commentary of Sweetman says he posted a video less than 24 hours after.


“Video Blogging for video bloggers”: Lemonette

Then there is Lemonette, the woman who blogs in her car, looking at the road and at the camera above the dashboard! She is a famous video blogger, and she makes almost all her videos while driving. The video we are watching is a response to another video posted by Doug, who she knows: “I love you Doug, but don’t mess with the Southerners!” I cannot believe what I see and hear.
Katherine Sweetman posted her video back on you tube.

I cannot watch all the videos in the exhibition, I may come back. It is already a lot of information!

MFA 2008
University Art Gallery / UCSD
Mandeville Center
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0327
(858) 534 - 2107
uag@ucsd.edu

Monday, June 9, 2008

Space



There are places here, almost right in town, where there are very few people. Places where it is possible to connect with nature. Soothing, inspiring, uplifting, energizing places.
I enjoy spending time by myself, working on my images. I think that a high concentration of people, like in Paris, is no longer something I could easily accommodate. I know it is a luxury but I need space. There is certainly a link between the fact that the paintings I’ve done in Paris are very crowded and that all my new work here is much more “open”, with fewer elements.

The exhibition is open


Quiet time on the deck, watching the fire. The exhibition is open at the San Diego Art Institute. All in all it is an interesting experience. It is a chance for me to see a fairly large body of my work together on the wall.

Michele Guieu: Here it's Peace
paintings and digital prints
San Diego Art Institute
June 5 - July 13, 2008
Artist's reception: Friday, June 13, 6 - 8pm.
Artist's talk: Tuesday, July 8, 6pm.
hours: Tuesday - Saturday 10 - 4pm.
Sunday noon - 4pm. Closed Monday.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Another Day in L.A. (part three):
Culver City Art Walk


Along La Cienega Blvd

We finally reach La Cienega Blvd and head left to an area highly concentrated in galleries. I do not remember everything we saw, it is impossible! But along the way I was really interested by some of the works.


Takashi
Murakami: Davy Jones’ Tear, at Blum and Poe

At Blum and Poe I was surprised to see Takashi Murakami’s exhibition: Davy Jones’ Tear, installations of large very large prints. I love his work for its crazy richness, its use of new technologies mixed with the ancient Japanese culture, an amazing talent to juxtapose colors and a very personal sense of the construction of space.

Kim Light/ Light Box presents Sharon Ryan and Yvette Gellis. Ryan's Project Room is a series of delicate and “dense black filigree” on postcards. “These are tourist postcards collected during the artist’s frequent road trips – often to see particular rocks bands perform”. I have to get so close to the work to see it, it is very intimate.

The smallness of Ryan’s works contrasts with the large “loud” new paintings by Yvette Gellis in the adjacent room. Los Angeles cityscapes Los Angeles meeting heavy loads of thick paint: two universes fuse on the canvas. Strange mix, but it works. The colors are fresh, the energy is powerful.

At Walter Maciel we see “Overlook”, an exhibition by Andrea Cohen. Dragon's Joy Garden attracts me. I do not know what I am looking at, I have no reference. I like that. I cannot say: it looks like this or like that because it does not look like anything I know. I cannot name it. It is different. The list of material is as interesting as the piece: styrofoam, wood, branches, foam, plastic string, pipe cleaners, plastic, origami paper, vinyl, popsicle sticks and acrylic.


Michele Lopez "The year we made contact", at LAXART


At LAXART, we see “The year we made contact” by Michele Lopez. I like that title! Same impression as when I saw “Overlook”: what is it, what am I looking at? Is it a feeling of freshness or is it that I am not familiar with that type of work? As the press releases put it: “An interesting amalgam of synthetic processes and organic growth, the works reflect the cross-evolution of natural and fictitious worlds”.

LA Contemporary presents “LA Style II”, a group show with Chase, Defer, Heaven, Joex2, Kofie and Hashim Thomas. Special guest Artists: Bansky and Ron English. A super energetic and colorful display, full of emblematic figures, acid colors, street signs and sprinkled with a good dose of humor. Ron English’s “Camo Tramp Boy” stops me with his shouting colors and the sweet figure of the young boy in full soldier gear composed on a camo background.

I am definitely attracted by art which talks about here and now, which I find connected with the world we live in. I feel connected to those artists because they did not withdraw from the world.


Collin Chillag at Angstrom Gallery



At Angstrom Gallery, “A Graphic Display of Quantitative Information”, a series of large canvases (approximately 100x100”) by Colin Chillag. The artist uses acrylic and graphite. The pieces are extremely detailed, with graphs, portraits, explanations, quotes, much like an old encyplopedia but with a lot of humor.

After that, we walk back to the car to try to arrive on time at Wonderful World Art Gallery. On our way we ask someone to take a picture of us. After a visit to the gallery we have dinner next door at Tender Greens (delicious salads!) on the patio, with one of the newly featured artists of the gallery, Cathy McCavitt, friend of Molly.

We finally head back to San Diego at sunset, I am a little bit dizzy with all the images I saw. Great day!

Another Day in L.A. (part two):
Culver City Art Walk


Visiting Studio II - Washington Blvd.

Once we arrive at Culver City for the art walk, we park next to CafĂ© Surfas on Washington Blvd. We decide to eat before to start visiting the galleries. It is difficult to choose between the “Redefined Sandwiches”, the “Reinvented Salads” and the “Renowned Cheese”… We wait a long time in line but it is worth it: I get a tasty Roasted Tomato Panini loaded with Talegio Cheese and balsamic marinated figs… with a refreshing pomegranate/lime juice. Everybody takes something different and we also have some little finger food to share: we are spoiled!

After that we start our walk along Washington Blvd, and we visit a dozen of spaces and galleries including Studio II and the MODAA.

Studio Two presents “Converging gestures of lines and texture”, the work of four artists. The space reminds me of my first studio in Paris where I shared a warehouse with other artists: we had no windows, only the zenithal light from the partially glass covered roof. I remember the feeling of claustrophobia I had then. I remember one of my neighbors, a very sweet and soft spoken young Japanese artist, was working with tons of dried tiny fish, his own feces (which he sealed in blocks of resin), and other strange material.




Michael Kalish at MODAA

At the MODAA, we see an exhibition by Michael Kalish. Apparently Kalish is known for his portraits of iconic American personalities. Here, he presents a large series of big flowers made of recycled auto parts. I find it intriguing, much more than his portraits (some of them are in the show). I find the idea of the oversized flowers made of a very sturdy piece of modern trash an interesting idea.

At Koplin Del Rio we see an exhibition by D.J.Hall: “Full Circle”. The large square painting “Gigle”, representing two middle age woman, is my favorite. After reading the artist’s resume I am even more interested in her work. “The paintings investigate how time and memory (stimulated by seeing a particular cast of light/shadow, or feeling a summer breeze carrying a blossom's scent) can immediately and viscerally project us back to someone and somewhere we once knew.”

(part three is coming!)

Another Day in L.A. (part one):
Forum Gallery and Gagosian



Tula Tulfair at Forum Gallery

Today we are going to Culver City Art walk with a group of artists friends: Maura, Jane, Carol and Molly. This time we optimized carpooling by having 5 in a car!

First Molly wants to take us to the Forum Gallery to see Tula Telfair’s work on Beverly Boulevard. It is my first time there. Tula’s paintings are large, impressive and extremely well crafted. It is a series of “perfect landscapes”, each of the paintings is one-quarter land and three-quarters sky. Many of the skies are tormented and beautifully lighted. The frames are large and golden. Overall I am stunned by the technique but not really moved by the work. I find that artists who chose to extract themselves from the reality of the world we live in do not interest me as much as those who decide to talk about the world as it is, with all its imperfections. That said, it is always interesting to see a beautiful work.


Beverly Boulevard - the contrast is interesting between
what is going on inside and outside the Forum gallery...


Gregory Crewdson at Gagosian - Beverly Hills

We head to Gagosian on Camden Drive. Beautiful space. Gregory Crewdson’s prints have an unbelievable perfection. There is a series of 19 huge prints (approximately 64x94”). All the works are untitled but on the list each print gets a “name”: Untitled (secret liaison), Untitled (The Madison), Untitled (Trailer Park)…

Trailer Park is actually the first photo I see when I enter the main space. The print is stunning, there is an incredible atmosphere, the light is haunting, I can see a rain curtain that is, I am sure, impossible to detect if the photo is printed in a book: it is so light and almost invisible. The magic of that work is to discover each detail, even expressions, on the faces that are no bigger than a nail.

There is of course the very intriguing “Untitled (Shane)”: the boy under a bridge, who is looking up, in what seems to be one of these abandoned places, right in the middle of a town, where almost no one would dare to go. I saw the image on Gagosian’s website and now I can see some people I did not notice before. There is a group of young men behind Shane, in the fog.

In almost all the photos, I am asking myself “What is going on here?” Snowy urban landscapes, decaying suburbs, trailers, old cars, lonely people… Everything is so bleak and worn out. It is like there is almost no hope, except may be the light. The light is heavenly. “What are those people waiting for?”: the question will haunt me all day.