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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mood: Kick Ass

Rebelle Boutique:
Rochelle - Claire de Lune - faux watch
"The top is made of fabric and felt, embrodered
with lots of pearl beads and carefully hand stitched
and enhanced with appliqué motifs"

She studied art in la Sorbonne in Paris, travelled and moved a lot, she now lives in San Diego and she is the designer behind "Rebelle et Tais-toi". She creates "a collection of
one of a kind art-clothing" with vintage fabrics, threads, beads, paper, recycled object and materials... On her Etsy website she gives poetic names to each item and describes them with humor, using French and English in a savory mix:
La Neige- Sweet Homy - Felt Pin Broche
La citrouille - Pumpink Home - Felt Pin Broche
Sac a commissions - ACE of club - Tote bag - Green Vegan Shoping bag

In an interesting post I read in Pretty Little Love Objects, she describes her work: "Conceptually, I am playing with opposites "fashion clichés" like glamour and bad taste, sexy and naïve, old and new, pure and rococo, chic and vulgar, classic and kitsch, tradition and avant-garde and create designs that push the style up to the edge. I like the insecurity that this mix of styles and influences stimulates and makes the result move back and forth between different styles. I am finding my inspiration in the huge catalogue of art history as well as in the street or inTV pop culture."

I was lucky enough the other day to see her collection "for real": I visited her in her home, and I loved what I saw. After we talked for a while about her latest creations, I was excited to ask for a custom order, as she really encourages people interested in her creations to do so. In a few weeks I will discover the object she created for me!
I bought the blue faux-watch and wore it right away. I no longer wear a watch but this one of course is very special - and unique!

Mood: Kick Ass

When I left, she proposed me to choose a "mood pin" within her collection. I don't remember all the different moods, but when I saw "Kick Ass" I knew that was the one I wanted! We laughed. It's on my favorite jacket now.

Bravo Rebelle et bonne route (c'est bien parti on dirait)!

Rebelle Boutique on Etsy

Don't Fake

Spenser Little, "Don't Fake"

I picked up "Don't Fake", the small piece by Spenser Little I bought at Rubber Rose Gallery's last opening night. I love it. It is also a nice memory of a good gallery which, unfortunately, is closing, and of an excellent night.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What will you put in yours?

Dario Robleto, "Jar activity center"

At the MCASD downtown (1001 Kettner blvd), there is a "Response Space" to "Human/Nature" in the Donah Fayman Gallery on the first floor. In that space 3 of the 8 artists participating to the exhibition propose some tools to respond to it. One of them is "Jar activity Center". "This activity was developped in collaboration with exhibition artist Dario Robleto who utilizes an artistic process of combining and recontextualizing materials embedded with layers of history and meaning, visitors are encouraged to select and mix ingredients of their choice to create their own alchemical configuration."

A cart is filled with jars containing all sorts of things:
Lavender, dandelion root, Chamomile flower, White Willow bark, Rose hips, Mistletoe, Dead Sea Salt, Pink Red Roses, Mount St Helen Ash...

There are some more strange names like "Symphony awaits your arrival mix"...

Some of the jars are filled with pieces of tapes and one can read on the labels: "voices of world's oldest married couples", "Endangered Whales Songs"...

On the cart is a tape recording machine. The person who is there to help explains that you can record your own heartbeat, she will then give you the piece of magnetic tape, and you can put it in your own jar. In your jar you can add as many things as you want, chosen from the jars on the cart.

I never recorded my own heartbeat. I never made a mix like that. I look at all the labels, some names are very evocative, some are extremely mysterious and very attractive to me, like "The Melancholic Refuses to surrender Mix". The whole thing reminds me being in the wild "Vallee des Merveilles" in the south of France, surrounded by mysterious engravings: a strong - and strange - feeling of deep connection with nature and past civilizations.
I am happy I am with dear friends at the museum, we all make a mix, and we leave with our precious jars.

The jar I brought back from the beautiful mind of Dario Robleto...

MCASD: "Human/Nature"
1100 & 1001 Kettner Blvd.
858 454 3541
San Diego, CA 92101

MCASD "Human/Nature: Artists respond to a changing planet"

Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle
El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve (the Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaíno)

Baja California

"Human/Nature: Artists respond to a changing planet"
Mark Dion / Komodo National Park, Indonesia
Ann Hamilton / Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle/
El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve, Mexico
Marcos Ramírez ERRE /
Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas, China
Rigo 23 /
Atlantic Forest South-East Reserves, Brazil
Dario Robleto /
Waterton Glacier International Peace Park, U.S. and Canada
Diana Thater /
iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa
Xu Bing /
Mount Kenya National Park, Kenya

MCASD Downtown
Jacobs Building
and 1001 Kettner Blvd

August 17 - February 1, 2009

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Un Jour Une Oeuvre: Jean & Julia

"Jean & Julia", 2008, mixed media, 24x36 inches

A few weeks ago I learned about a new blog: "Un Jour Une Oeuvre" (in French) through Ivan Sigg's blog. Ivan was very enthusiastic about it, I found the project very interesting - and of a gigantic scale (the very first idea was to numerize and regroup at the same place ALL the art ever made!). Here's the idea: Alexis Monville posts the photo of an art piece each day (it can be a painting, a sculpture, an installation, a print, a photo - any period of time, any place...). Comments are welcome. Ivan proposed a grid to analyze the art pieces and already wrote three texts:
Ivan finally met Alexis a few days ago in Paris and they talked about how to develop the project. I read "Un Jour une Oeuvre" regularly. I sent some comments to Alexis: in response to Edward Hopper's Nighthawks, I posted a link to Bansky's.

I guess Alexis visited my website and a few days ago he asked me if he could post a photo of one of my paintings, "Jean & Julia", on "Un jour une Oeuvre." I was surprised and touched!

I painted "Jean & Julia"at the beginning of this year. I am particularly attached to that painting. It has a story: I made it for my friend Julia. At the beginning it was a painting her husband (and a dear friend of mine too) asked me to make for her, and not for a particularly occasion. It is the second time someone asks me something similar and each time it is quite an emotional adventure.
I asked Jean to give me some photos of them together and also some texts she specially likes. I saw Jean several times, it was always interesting to have his input. As I was working on the painting I realized that it had to be a gift from me.
I will never forget that Julia bought the first paintings I sold since I moved to California. She bought them because she likes them. Sincerely. I am very grateful about the trust she puts in my work. It means a lot to me.

"Jean & Julia" (first version), 2008, mixed media, 24x36 inches

I painted a first version of "Jean &Julia" which I like very much but which is darker and I was not sure that Julia would like to see it every day. I decided to paint another one, and this time I knew that Julia would find herself in it.

The day Jean and I gave the painting to Julia there was a lot of emotion (and some confusion about who started the idea of the portrait!). In the end, it is a gift from Jean and I: I love the idea.

"Jean & Julia" was part of my solo show at the San Diego Art Institute in June/July 2008.

link to "Jean & Julia" in "Un jour, Une Oeuvre"

Art Produce Gallery: "Buy Art Now"

Art Produce Gallery
3139 University Ave.
San Diego, CA 92104
phone 619-584-4448

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Jack Kerouac Ringtones!

I cannot believe this: as I was checking the visitor location / clustrmaps on my blog, I found this add! I guess the tool which secretly analyzes my blog every day (and always finds "relevant" adds to display next to the map - usually art related) picked up enough times the word "Kerouac" in my posts, to come up with a "Kerouac Ringtones add". Quite surrealistic!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Device: Fantastic Contraption

I went to Device Gallery in La Jolla with my friend Karen. We missed the opening, too bad, apparently Wayne Martin Belger (see below) did some demonstration with his strange handmade cameras.

"Fantastic Contraption" is the first show of the gallery Device, and presents the work of 18 artists, no less: Ashley Wood, Christopher Conte, D. Hwang, Eduard Anikonov, Eric Joyner, Gregory Brotherton, H.R. Giger, Joey Vaiasuso, John U. Abrahamson, Kazuhiko Nakamura, Mike Libby, Nemo Gould, Stéphane Halleux, Theo Kamecke, Viktor Keon, Wayne Martin Belger, William B. Hand and Zoran Milivojevic.

Paintings by Eduard Anikonov

From Mike Libby's engineered insects to Stephane Halleux's between-dream-and-nightmare sculptures via the sleek images printed from different artists including visionary artist H.R.Giger, everything here is perfect and super controlled.
Suddenly I am thinking: I would have love to notice some goo coming down from the ceiling onto the floor - may be Alien is around? I would have love to enter the gallery and find things not so well arranged and under some dust... Something, anything, which reunites the art pieces and the world the art is talking about. May be a dim light, may be some sounds...

"Fantastic Contraption", the catalog

I am amazed to see that there is a catalog for the exhibition ($20) and it is not a small one: It has 138 pages! Inside one can find much more works than the ones presented in the exhibition.

There is a print
of a female creature by H.R. Giger which brings me back to the time when I was reading The Necronomicon and was looking for everything Giger was publishing. I was under the spell of the world of Alien and fascinated by the technique Giger uses (I guess I still am). At the same time I was also reading all the stories of decaying worlds always at war by french science fiction author Philippe Druillet.

Belger's work takes the largest space: he presents 4 different installations with the very special cameras he makes (one for each project) and the pictures he takes with them.

Wayne Martin elger

Belger: "Yama", the camera (detail of the installation above):
aluminium, titanium, copper, brass, steel, silver, pure gold,
turquoise, sapphires, opals, inlayed in a 500 year old Tibetan Skull.
"Designed for the study of exodus and for the research
of modern incarnations of historical iconic figures".

Belger: "Yemaha", underwater pinhole camera
(aluminium, acryilic, brass, sea creatures, pearls).

"An Altar to the Santeria the goddess of the ocean,

Yemaha, is inside the back ofthe camera".

Belger: 3 portraits of HIV positive people taken with the camera in the middle.

Belger: "Untouchable": the camera in which
HIV positive blood circulates when Belger takes pictures
of HIV positive people. "Designed to shoot a geographic
comparison of people suffering from HIV


Belger: "Deer" (detail from the installation above): camera (steel, bronze, copper, old antlers, old ivory), "designed to study the core ritual of the hunt, and man's arrogant separation from nature".

Halleux's work reminds me instantly of Jean-Pierre Jeunet's movies (Delicatessen,
The Bunker of the Last Gunshots, The City of Lost Children) and Tim Burton's imaginary. I can see how Halleux's creatures could evolve in a dark and poetic world, talking and interacting.

Stephane Halleux

Stephane Halleux: Cosmonaut

Stephane Halleux: Flying Civil Servant

The exhibition is on display until September 2.

7881 Drury Lane

(on the corner of Prospect and Drury Lane)
La Jolla
contact: Colleen Gibbs

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ray at Night: Agitprop/4 walls/Art Produce/The Rubber Rose

On Park Blvd

Guillaume Cherel - Big G - as he calls himself, left this morning. I took him to the Greyhound Station downtown San Diego. He went to L.A., the town he does not like (Kerouac did not like it either).

Big G at the entrance of Zuri Waters and Chris Warr's show

Saturday night Kyle, Guillaume and I went to Ray at Night (I did not want Guillaume to miss it!), we are meeting Kevin Freitas there. As we are driving in North Park, we see Hank Gross and Richard ChauDavis walking in the street and they decide to take us to Cafe One Three on Park Blvd to see Hank's brightly colored, twisted (and expensive, wow!) paintings and then we head back to Ray area, to Agitprop gallery where we meet Kevin. The title of the show "If I can't see you can't be you" (which still puzzles me) is taped on the green wall at the entrance. The small gallery - which looks forever unfinished - is filled with artworks from Zuri Waters and Chris Warr (I did not find a website of Chris' work), "the fruits of our almost two year collaboration and friendship come to harvest in this tightly packed exploration of personal yet symbiotic ideas".

Zuri Waters and Chris Warr's sculptures/installations

It is a funny mess (I would say "joyeux bordel" in French), I can feel a lot of energy. A lot of different materials are used to make all the sculptures and installations. A few paintings and some drawings are on display too. There are no labels and the pieces from both artists are mixed so if one is not really familiar with the work, it is difficult to tell what belongs to who... I talk briefly to Zuri and introduced him to Kyle and to Crazy Guillaume.

From left to right: David White, the director of Agitprop, Chris Warr, artist, Guillaume Cherel, cyber-beat poet and writer, Kevin Freitas, inspired writer of one of my favorite blogs on Earth, Zuri Waters, artist and saxophone wizard, The man with the Hat (I don't know who he is!), and Kyle Forbes (with the light color shirt), my extraordinary partner.

I decide to take a group photo for Big Guillaume's Libeblog - and for mine! I wish I were in this group photo, mais c'est la vie!

The (very) small Zuri's drawing I like is the one next to my hand

There is a small drawing glued on a piece of wood by Zuri that I really like and I ask him what the text means. He says with a smile "You don't want to know!". I would like to buy it. I am really thinking that any little effort to buy some art could help the community, especially after I read Kevin's article about the closing of Rubber Rose Gallery. Sad news.
I feel responsible, as everybody should. If no one buys art, the galleries like Rubber Rose cannot keep up. But at the same time I cannot spend a lot of money!
"We did not think about selling anything in the show you know..."
"You mean you do not want to sell or you just did not think about it?"
"We could sell but we did not think about it."
"How much would you sell the drawing, the one I don't understand?"
"I don't know, is $20 ok?"
"$20 does not seem enough to me!"
"$50 then."

Then we leave to go to 4 Walls where we see Les LeVeque: Unsung Algorithms and Musicals. A sharp contrast with what we saw before, using the latest technology. The first room with the 3 screens is almost difficult to stay in because the images vibrate so much. I am thinking one could get an epileptic attack watching this long enough! I cannot tell what the images are about. At the same time the presentation is extremely elegant and clean.

the images revealed...or... may be I should not have done that

One interesting thing is that when I get home I see the picture I took from the screens and suddenly I can see what it is (click on the image to see it bigger)!

"Buttoned Up", new work by Dina Rubiolo at Art Produce

Grand Cheyenne and Kevin Freitas

We go to Art Produce before it closes. There we see "Buttoned Up", new work by Dina Rubiolo, a nostalgic look at a close past through the use of tons of slides attached to each other to form 2 large curtains which can be seen from the inside or the outside of the gallery. And little lighted boxes are displayed on the wall, each of them proposing an image made of 2 superposed slides. We meet the artist briefly, but I do not understand why she did this. I think this is a very clever use of vintage material but what does it tell me about the artist's vision of the world she lives in now and here? May be I missed something.

Guillaume talks about Jack Kerouac and the beatniks to Richards Gleaves whom I am very happy (and, yes, impressed) to meet for the first time.

We go now to The Rubber Rose, the one which is about to close - this is their last show: "Remember when having a mohawk meant something", new work by Spenser Little. The gallery is packed with people and artwork. Too much stuff I guess but I love the work. Wired, philosophical,
sexual, dark, light. Some pieces are animated, some are not. Words and images intertwined. I would like to buy something, the pieces I like are too expensive for me, but after a second tour of the show, I see a little piece above a door I really like right away. It has 2 faces, and, in between, one can read "Don't Fake". I decide to buy it.
I do not have any pictures because I forgot to take some.

I am happy to know that in a month or so, I will bring back to my house (which is almost already full!) two small pieces of art I will have the pleasure to see every day!

But I am sad that The Rubber Rose is closing.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Guillaume Cherel on the Road - back to San Diego

French writer Guillaume Cherel was back from Mexico City last Sunday. He is spending the week with us in San Diego before to go back to Los Angeles. Then he will go to New Orleans and New York, the end of his 3 months trip "on the road again", 5o years after Jack Kerouac. His book about his trip should be published next year in France.

Guillaume Cherel's notebooks

Nice week, nice evenings, lot of wine, margaritas and good food. And of course endless conversations about Guillaume's trip, his impressions of the United States and Mexico. He showed us his little notebooks with super heroes on the cover.

We took him to the "wall" which separates the U.S and Mexico in Tijuana Estuary - border field state park. The border patrol was there: helicopters hovering above the area, cars, trucks. vigils are on the hills, standing for hours. From where we park, it takes 15 mn walking to go to the wall. It is a road but one cannot drive on it. It is reserved for the border patrol. It is a strange walk, we were watched, that's for sure. We went to the wall, made of rusted corrugated metal. It is not impressive, neither thick nor tall, but it is there and it is a very strange and disturbing sight.
The empty U.S. side with the state park contrasts with Tijuana's side where the houses touch the wall: Tijuana is right there.

Guillaume with Milo and Harper

Guillaume brought back from Mexico brightly colored Luchadors' masks and toys Luchadors for the kids, I love them! I took some pictures and I want to do a painting or may be a series, we'll see.

Tomorrow Kyle takes Guillaume sailing all day on his friend's boat, it is a cool race to Coronado's Islands, in Mexico, just a few hours South - and back.