Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Go-About: Riverside 2: Raymond Pettibon

Well there *we* [*strangers, Artillery Magazine, friends and museum workers* (this order has no bearing on the importance of these people)] all were on the roof of the Riverside Art Museum (RAM) a couple of weekends ago on Friday January 18th.

Knowing that it would be COLD, I dressed accordingly. With gloves on hands I managed to take a few blurry and non-blurry images of Raymond Pettibon's live-drawing session during the night's slow moving audio accompaniment by Mike Watt.

It was my understanding that the education department did a bunch of hard work coordinating the event, but Pettibon stated, "I thought this was some hair-brained idea by someone at the museum, but the whole thing was Watt's idea".

Then Pettibon got settled and the first art was this:

As he held it up for us he said something like
"Either this makes me a master or a charlatan."

Some mediums/tools of choice or provided for Pettibon:
Liquitex Basics brand acrylics, Sponge-tip applicators, regular paint brushes, collage papers, watercolor tubes and Challenge Butter tubs for rinsing water, a big table, some stark lighting and an overhead mirror. There was also a rack that was rigged up with clothes pins, for pinning and allowing live-art to dry, but Pettibon just put stuff on the floor.

For the next hour and a half (!)Watt "noodled" away at his bass while Pettibon drew and painted. If any of you play bass, then you will know what noodling is - for those of you who do not, it means hitting notes in a poetic, creative free associative sort of way.
We all watched eagerly awaiting for the masterpieces to be made.

People respectfully enjoyed themselves listening and watching - at least up front where I was.
I was really trying to get into this night, but alas, the tempo was just too slow for my mood that day. I was really looking forward to a bit more of an adrenalin rush - some loud sounds, some paint flying, gestural drawings, more chortle and banter, of which there was some, albeit very hard to hear, as Pettibon did not have a microphone.
All the while I was wondering, "Man, isn't Mike Watt FREEZING?" he was wearing a very zen blue cotton shorts/short sleeve outfit that looked like it was made out of Japanese Indigo Ikat fabric similar to this:
and black flip flops.

Toward the end, Pettibon started drawing something more like what I was hoping to see. Something a bit recognizeable and what he is noted for. To me, it was kind of like going to see a really great band and you want to hear your favorite song to make it all worth while for the evening.
RAM is hoping that a piece/s from this night will be gifted to the museum collection - I think they should be too.
His final words turning to Watt,
"You tell me when you're done tuning your bass and I'll stop cleaning my brushes." (thanks Alaska)
Incidentally, back in 2004, RAM showed Gallery Revisited artists, Davis and Davis.
It was a solo show of their "Childish Things" series.
Currently in the Back Room Salon at the gallery:
HEIDI and TEETER TOT 11" x 14" artists proofs:

AND, RAM will be showing Berry McGee this Spring!!
Here is an image from his 2005 Deitch Projects installation...will be exciting to see
what is in store for his Riverside exhibit.

Thanks to Micah the RAM Marketing Coordinator for getting me + one on the list.
I am used to the masses of people that go to larger museum events here in Los Angeles proper, so I was pleasantly relieved to arrive on the roof and not have my riot fears kick in. Not to mention the sea of free parking available all around.
I do feel like I am on a little sojourn whenever I go to Riverside.
Next time I will take a train.

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