Sunday, July 12, 2009

I'll Doro Your Dango...

Just when you thought that you had too many artsy hobbies, here comes a mud ball out of left field. Dorodango is the Japanese art of making balls out of mud and then polishing them. Wikipedia describes this as being very popular with Japanese children. I find this particularly funny since playing in the mud is also a common pastime for American kids---except when they play in the dirt, you end up with a big, freaking mess and ringworm.

Dorodango is well known in Japan but is definitely under the radar here in the US. It sounds like tremendous fun, though and a good opportunity to obsess over something. The Dorodango balls are gorgeous when they are done. They have a high polish and are colored according to the soil from which they originated, so you can get some interesting effects. You know you want to try it! Just think of cocktail party conversation potential!!

A dirty site with pics and instructions:

So Sue Me: The Art of the Copyright

Everyone knows that copyright is a big deal, especially in art, where we are banking on the ownership of our creations in order to extract all possible value and buy groceries. And let's be honest, having someone steal your images and pass them off as their own is like winning the lottery. Not only would you be able to prosecute and make some money, but if you spin it right, you could generate some more cash off the publicity. On the other hand, if you change something substantially, it should be yours home free and is even covered Constitutionally as free speech (just be prepared to fess up to the fact that you used something/someone else as a starting point).

Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans is a great illustration of this perspective. Obviously he was banking on the iconic nature of an object and it's originator while modifying the 'can' enough that it is an entirely unique and original item. I don't think this could have been made today without a pretty big law suit going down. There are many instances of appropriation with owned images and icons, but the minuet that the piece gets some monetary attention, the lawyers are called out (I am now thinking of a Mr. Burns type, "release the hounds"). A sad truth that does not seem to stop many artists in their 'borrowed' creations. Besides, that 'illegal' factor adds some mystique to the whole 'art' thing and can serve as the conceptual justification for some people in their art making. Personally, I do enjoy a bit of smart-ass and liability in art periodically.

For a chuckle:

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Christie's Art Handler's Farewell Email. A True Classic.

One of my all-time favorite virals from one of my all-time favorite


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

When is MoMA going to get a clue? The year Nineteen-Ninety-NEVER?

Whenever I go to MoMA, I get so fucking angry.  And not just because I'm cheap and there is a $20 entrance fee (even though I'm a member and get in free, I am irked by the audacity of those ticket prices).  I'm mainly angry because all I see is work by big famous male artists and a few hot naked women.  Isn't the old joke about how the only way for women to get into museums is by posing nude getting  a little old?

Jerry Saltz recently called MoMA out for this on facebook.  Paris's Centre Pompidou has started promoting art by women with it's "elles" project. The Brooklyn Museum has got it's Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art.  So when is MoMA gonna get a fucking clue?  Though I'd really love for major museums begin to make serious changes with regards to female artists rather than launching NEW! (and separate) projects, at least such projects are a start.

NY Magazine calls it like they see it:
Remeber when the Guerrilla Girls mentioned those shocking artworld stats years ago? Not much has changed:

Sticking Together: The Glue Society

If you have been checking out fellowship and prize listings, I am sure that you will have noticed how many of these programs are geared toward promoting international collaborations and the transmission of ideas and culture. I blame the Internet, what with it's connecting the globe and whatnot. Anyway, I came across this group called The Glue Society. It is comprised of artists, writers, directors and everything in between from New York and Sydney. What really sets this group apart is the quality of the work they generate and are affiliated with. They did a melting ice cream truck that was pretty delicious. Check it:

The West is Just Gorges

I took the train from Portland, OR to Seattle, WA and it was one of the best rides I have ever been on. The train takes you up though the Columbia River Gorge before running along the Puget Sound up to Seattle. It was just freaking gorgeous... there is not much else to say. I would describe the Northwest, as Hudson River School aesthetic on steroids. I grew up in the Northeast and I can affirm that while the scenery is quite lovely, all those artists of the Hudson were exaggerating just a bit. But out here, I am constantly seeing things that I could not imagine in my wildest flights of fancy. In the pictures above, the left is a photo I snapped in the Gorge and the one on the right is a painting by Thomas Cole called The Oxbow.

You would think that the area would be filthy with landscape painters, but there really aren't many. Actually, I have not seen any great, contemporary landscape paintings (or photography for that matter) in any galleries or shows out here. I am not sure why that is. If I had to guess, I would think that landscape painting has more of a classic or academic feel, while most NW art has more crafty, indie slant to it.

But seriously, if you are a landscape artist, I suggest that you make a trip out here. You might not leave, especially when you realize that Oregon has no sales tax and Washington has no property tax. And let's not forget the granola...

Monday, July 6, 2009