Sunday, March 2, 2014

writing for SFAQ, one year and running...what i see.

This month marks my one year anniversary of writing for San Francisco Arts Quarterly (SFAQ).
Sometimes when I go to art openings, or sit with artists and colleagues I hear complaints about criticism, "sustainable art journalism", the status of the "SF artworld" in general and the lack of art writing "out there." For me, my job as an art writer is not necessarily to state a negative, or "critical" opinion if there is an exhibition that I think falls short in some way. I feel like this approach does more damage than good to the artist, the gallery and, if we must go there - the "SF art scene." Criticism's current primary definition is basically: "negative opinion", to find fault with something. But the less popular definition is to analyze, to weigh both merits and faults objectively. I go to see and write about  art so that I can offer more to the reader than what meets the eye. True, it is my perspective, but I don't call myself an art critic - I call myself an art writer.
I write about what I see and what the art makes me think about...

To read my most recent archives, visit the SFAQ archive.

A hand selected list of reviews can also be found on my website.

And for your viewing pleasure, a few of my picks for the year:


 Ben Barretto
Above: (L) Tear Away, 2013. polyester and lycra athletic trainer pants. 61cm x 91.5cm.
(R) Three on Three, 2013. polyester and lycra athletic trainer pants. 61cm x 76cm
Image courtesy of the artist and The Popular Workshop
Below: desert, 2013. retired rock climbing ropes. 111.5 x 140cm
Image courtesy of the artist and The Popular Workshop


 Above: Your Motion Says You Are In the Mood, 2013. wood, paint, floor padding, misc. 
approx. 96" x 84", Photo by Kristine Eudey.
Below: Untitled sculpture from "your motion says you are in the mood" at n/a gallery, Oakland, 2013. wood, resin, fern, balloon, misc., approx. 108" x 84". Photo by Kristine Eudey.


Above: Interior view of Oculus by Kate Short. 
Foreground, Chris Duncan, Everything All At Once, live performance.  
Oculus, approx. 10' diameter x 8" tall comprised of speakers. Photo by Leora Lutz.


Above: Installation view of "Tonight, Tonight" by Facundo Arganaraz. 
Image courtesy of the artist and Highlight Gallery.
Below: Passenger III, automobile paint, direct to substrate print, brass fitting on aluminum composite panel, 60" x 48". Image courtesy of the artist and Highlight Gallery.
(*Please cite responsibly and accordingly if you happen upon these for your own "research," pinterest, PR or whatever: include all artist's information, artwork specifics and photographer courtesies.)



Thursday, August 15, 2013

Christopher Russell at The Hammer Museum 2009 and now

The last I heard Christopher Russell was represented by Mark Moore Gallery in Los Angeles Check out his artist page on their site.

Christopher also recently had a beautiful show at [2nd floor projects] in San Francisco. You can read a review that I wrote on that show in San Francisco Arts Quarterly.

From the archives, originally published in January, 2009:
I went to a Hammer Projects Artist Talk presented by the artist himself, Christopher Russell.

Curated by Darin Klein.
Until April 13th.

These are details of a couple of pieces in the show.
Go there to see them big and in person.

You can hear the talk and view some of the work on The Hammer Museum archive page for the exhibition.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

dilution and risk

Let's see what they think of this:

"What is the biggest threat?"


The biggest threat is dilution. There is a delicate balance that needs to be maintained between the needs of the public, the board and the vision of a place. Now is not the time to compromise on quality – it is the time to give more of it, not to dilute it down to quick and simple ideas, but to actually become more complex. I strongly believe it is the duty of art to educate, stimulate, impart deep impressions and to create sustainable memories as well as sustainable business models.

"What is the opportunity?"

The biggest opportunity is risk. Wise, risky, gutsy projects, decisions and creative leaps are an invitation for positive response.


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Lawrence Weiner on peoples' dreams

Lawrence Weiner on:

Making art is about objectifying desire. You have to make it (life, artistic practice) "A" happiness, instead of "The" happiness.

The reason you place something in the world is because of the sensuality and the relationship of human beings with objects.

Art is about f*ing up peoples' dreams.
Everything they thought the way the world is you're not happy about, so  you show them another way that the world could be. And it works - they're stuck. Because they can no longer go back. You've changed their logic and the way they see themselves in relation to the world.


(An existential hero is): Someone who is able to ignore - literally ignore - the structure of the confines they [heed?] and get away with it. And that could be absolutely anybody. You don't have to be special and you don't have to be smart - you just need to know that really and truly you don't approve of the structure that's being presented to you. 

It comes to a point where you just have to say "no".

I really thought the whole point was to dream about things you don't know about - that when you wake up in the morning it was not "that way" - that you have to make it "that way".

Perhaps this quote could also be read in the present tense.


This is an excerpted, transcribed text from an artists' talk in Antwerp, 2009.
It is from Part 1 of 5 total taped discussions with Lawrence Weiner.

ARTIST TALK: LAWRENCE WEINER at NICC
in collaboration with Extra City.
18-03-2009 Tulpstraat 79, 2060 Antwerp, Belgium.
www.nicc.be / www.extracity.org