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Los Angeles
GEOslant Blog
Counting on Art

Statistics can get under your skin.  If you had asked me a while ago "Do you like statistics?" I would have responded with an emphatic "No."  How wrong I would have been.

ArtSlant.com is a stat-machine.  We are continuously gathering, cataloguing, cross-referencing and cross-polinating statistical information on the art world.  In fact, we are in the midst of making this architecture much more accessible on the ArtSlant site - take note of our newly designed Profile, Venue and Exhibition pages.  These now pull in all kinds of stat-tidbits.  It's a who-did-what-with-whom without the gossip.

So to celebrate our first-year anniversary (which just zipped by almost without our having noticed it) we've developed a few interesting little charts to share with the community.  It's a kind of stat-extravaganza.

We hope you enjoy this bird's eye view, and remember we're always Counting on Art...

- georgia

 

These stats cover the following timeframe:

Los Angeles:  February 8, 2007 - December 31, 2007

New York:  April 1, 2007 - December 31, 2007

Venues by Type

Los Angeles

New York

 

 

 

Gallery

277

388

Museum

36

17

Alternative

85

69

TOTAL

582

474

Exhibitions by Venue Type

Los Angeles

New York

 

 

 

Gallery

2174

2204

Museum

313

132

Alternative

124

317

TOTAL

2611

2653

Events Types Other Than Exhibitions

Los Angeles

New York

 

 

 

Artist Talk

56

39

Closing

30

6

Lecture

94

67

Opening

1841

1513

Performance

193

58

Reading

9

11

Screening

104

47

Tour

29

26

Workshop

21

10

Other Event

124

50

TOTAL

2501

1827

Profiles by Type

 Number

 

 

Artist

8397

Curator

900

Arts Professional

57

Writer

47

Arts Org

189

Art Lover

10

TOTAL

9600

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by ArtSlant Team on 2/25/08




Chinatown Float

It poured Thursday for the gala opening of ART LA, the New Los Angeles International Contemporary Art Fair at the Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica (that’s a mouth full…).  Truly a downpour.  So it was puddle jumping in high heels and running for cover from the torrent that marked the start of the fair.

 

ART LA has been slow to peak; in fact, the Los Angeles art community has been pushing it up the mountain for a while.  And yet – by all accounts – this year is a breakthrough.  Light can be seen and kudos should go to Director, Tim Fleming, this year’s advisory committee, the Hammer, and lots of others as well as…

 

Last evening, Friday night, was the Chinatown float.  Parties and openings and performances and red paper lanterns holding sway.  A night of art buzz and art looking.  Despite the broil of the campaigners, and the roil of the market, the art crowd was out in the crisp night – seeing and seen.

 

- georgia


At The Happy Lion, the dark fantasies of Christof Mascher caught a lot of attention.  Coming from Hannover, Germany, this is Mascher's first show in the US.  From his exquisite small drawings to the large fantastical night scapes of mountains and mayhem, Mascher brings a Wagnerian touch to the Chinatown scene (with Tristan und Isolde and The Ring coming to LA's opera, Wagner seems to be setting the tone for at least part of our cultural experience.)

 

A few doors down at Peres Projects, Amie Dicke's installation, "Infinitely suffering thing," had a big crowd.  Where Mascher's work suggests, Dicke's forces.  I found myself wanting to turn away from the pig's legs and bagged woman but the impulse was overidden by the force of Dicke's imagery.  Tthe empty chair with the trailing sugar cubes and the just-stepped-out-of black heels was with me this morning - haunting. 

I moved with the crowd down the alley to Chung King Project.  François Ghebaly's new space is corner-perfect,  and the Dan Bayles work that has been on view since December 1 has been well recevied.

Across the way at Mary Goldman Gallery, I ran into Amir Fallah, whose camo-fort of Love and Prickly Tenderness, radiates against the back wall of the gallery.  Welcome to the love healing center  - we can all use a little of that.

And speaking of love, I experienced a strange mechanical kind of love (or at least a groping towards connection) with Meridith Pingree's sculptures at Fringe Exhibitions.  Comprised of many motion sensors, these objects clumsily but delicately shift and reform in reaction to motion around them.  A subtle kind of "you move me..."

 

From there, I wandered to Fifth Floor (a new gallery-boutique next to Fringe that was swamped on its first night ever...good luck to Robert!)  Then I stopped in at Bonelli Contemporary, which has taken up new digs on Hill, took the tour of the Urquhart show at Jack Hanley, and gazed in at Mountain Bar.  Last stop was David Salow Gallery, where I got this lovely pic of David's gallery glowing in the Chinatown float.

(Photos from top to bottom: The Happy Lion gallery through the windows; François Ghebaly in his office at Chung King Project; Amir Fallah at Mary GoldmanGallery; Meridith Pingree at Fringe Exhibitions; David Salow Gallery.)

 

Posted by ArtSlant Team on 1/26/08

Dsc_0240 EXCELLENT PRESENTATION
THIS ARTICLE IS VERY INFORMATIVE. IT SURELY HELP THE ART COMMUNITY TO KNOW THE HAPPENINGS AROUND THE WORLD. PREM www.cnprem.com/



Late Fall Cafes

A good café is a dream factory.  I've found café dreams often come true.

 

It was two years ago at exactly this time.  Art Basel Miami was cranking up the bass beat and I was in Verona on a cold sunny morning with that clear sharp light of late fall covering everything and my hands wrapped around a hot cappuccino.  Veneto-style with foam that never dies.

 

The ArtSlant team had been at an Italian spa in the Dolomites regrouping after a hectic summer.  Taking the seaweed treatments, so to speak.  Actually it was more of a once-in-a-lifetime extravaganza than a necessary experience.  Yoga in Italian – now that’s relaxing.

 

Having been without caffeine for a week, we raced down the mountains to Verona and landed in front of Borsalino to remedy the pounding headaches.  The piazza was filled with the murmurs of morning musings and we spent the next few hours dreaming about the ArtSlant website and re-acquainting with the jolt of a good Italian roast.  (Of course, at that time the ArtSlant name was still unknown).

 

Here it is two years later and the Miami is up again – how many fairs?  24? Something like that.  That clear sharp light of late fall is covering everything in Los Angeles and ArtSlant is a reality, a thriving reality. 

 

We're covering Los Angeles and New York, getting ready to open San Francisco and Chicago, and having lots more dreams in lots more cafes.  The ArtSlant community of artists and art professionals grows everyday and our writing teams keep the words flowing.  All in all, Mr. Toad, a glorious ride.

 

spent yesterday dropping into a few shows.  Everything was so  nice and quiet.  Kristin Dickson, ArtSlant's director in LA, came with.

 

We saw the beautiful new Honor Fraser space on La Cienega and toured the Gardar Eide Einarsson exhibit.  We had a fun-filled visit with Kim Light before she left for Miami, and stopped by Cardwell Jimmerson and Susanne Vielmetter.  And for a perfect end, we watched Slater Bradley singing in the rain at Blum and Poe while the sun held forth outside.  It was all wrapped up with a strong café con leche, Cuban-style with a bass beat that just won't quit.  (photo: Slater Bradley, installation view, courtesy the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles; @ Joshua White)

 

Tip for the Week:  Using Your Blog

 

For those of us who decided not to do the Miami, we need those blog reports to make us feel a part of!  Isn’t the world a better place with all the bloggers typing away?

 

If you haven’t done so already, take advantage of your personal blog attached to your ArtSlant Profile.  Simply go into Edit and enter your blog title in the required field down at the bottom of the ad form.  A Blog Title distinguishes you and makes your blog public on ArtSlant.

 

Then go into Add a Blog Article in your Profile Actions Box and start blogging.  Please be sure to leave the date in the date box.  Apparently, there could problems if you remove the date.  Blogs are time-based.

 

Thanks for all the good art you bring to us!

 

- georgia

Posted by ArtSlant Team on 12/6/07




London Bridges

What’s better than a heated argument over a piece of art! 

 

It’s passionate, it’s challenging but no one’s going hungry, well except perhaps the artist.

 

When was the first art argument?  The very first time someone said: “That’s not art!”  And someone else said “It is so!”   Was it in the cave?

 

I was just party to one of these exchanges. 

 

I was back in London last week to visit with friends and we went to the Tate Modern to see the Doris Salcedo installation entitled Shibboleth.  I had already been but wanted to see it again.  Salcedo’s installation is a huge crack that runs through the Tate’s Turbine Hall (the ground floor.) 

 

While we walked along the length of the piece, one of the people in my group relayed a short tale of a couple who had come to the exhibition and were very upset with it.  They had made sarcastic and condescending jokes about the technical qualities of the piece and the absurdity of the concept.  “That’s not art!” might have actually been uttered.  Clearly, Salcedo’s crack had elicited some strong reactions.

 

“But why do people get so offended?” asked one of us as we looked at the crack.  That’s when I started thinking about art and its capacity to elicit these strong divisions – the art argument.

 

I’ve had and seen a bunch of these art arguments - at parties or dinners or right in the middle of a gallery.  People arguing about art.

 

These arguments seem to center around three areas: meaning, value, technique.  Either the art is too hard to understand and that infuriates people.  Or its value seems outrageous in comparison with the function.  Or my 5-year old/my monkey could have made it.  All of these conditions can make people mad as hell.

 

And when you get down to site-specific installation, like Salcedo’s piece, where the “art” is not only challenging conceptually but it is transient as well, then watch out.

 

Our conversation veered from people’s fears of not being in the know, to the ways in which taste and class intersect, to, as Craig Owens suggests in his article “The Allegorical Impulse: Towards a Theory of Postmodernism,” the memento mori (remember you will die) quality of site-specific installation.

 

Throughout, we talked about the meaning of Shibboleth – an “in-crowd” figure of speech or cultural practice that serves to distinguish one group of people from those outside the group.  It’s a secret code handshake, or an open-sesame that puts me in or out.  Talking about the sorts of lines that divide us becomes a very big discussion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then we stopped and realized what was happening around us.  Everywhere people were engaging with this piece – playing with it in creative and fanciful ways.  Here’s a few of the things I saw:

 

People skipping across the crack

People kissing over the crack

People crawling over the crack

People sticking their hand, foot, arm.. into the crack

People sticking their cell phone into the crack

People bending and peering into the crack

People photographing the crack

People walking along the crack

People jumping over the crack

People sitting beside the crack

People laughing at the crack

People talking about the crack

And yes, people making cracks about the crack.

 

All of this in just a few minutes.  Now that’s art!

 

- georgia

 

 

Posted by ArtSlant Team on 11/7/07

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That's one energetic crack!



Art Take: Paris

It’s good to dream about art.  It feels like something special happened. 

 

I am constantly in search of that feeling.  That something special feeling.  Once you’ve had it, it’s hard to go back to just getting by. 

 

It’s Thursday morning and I am feeling that way right now.  I’m back in Paris, it feels special, and yes I did dream about art (well a bunch of paintings actually) a few nights ago.  It is probably because I have seen so much art lately.

 

I spent last Sunday at FIAC 2007 at the Grand Palais in Paris.  It’s the big French art fair in the big, glass-roofed palace.  The Grand Palais was built for a World Expo in 1900, and according to Wikipedia there is a whole Police force housed downstairs to watch over the art.

 

Leaving the Jardin des Plantes (where Catherine and I were staying), you can take the 63 bus down the left side of the Seine,  get off at Invalides, and walk across the Pont Alexandre III bridge.  It’s a great trip.

 

The weather was autumnal, or as my friend Alison says, authentic.  Shiny bright and crispy cold.  The crowds were swarming, literally, and everyone was in a good mood.  At least everyone I could see.  Perhaps there were stressed-out gallerists around but I didn’t see them. 

 

(I forgot my camera so could only take snaps with my Razr.)

 

While wandering through the Grand Palais, trying to pull my gaze off the ceiling and back to the art at hand, I found myself thinking about how great I felt.  It’s these art fairs.  I’ve been to a few lately. 

 

I know they are considered crass displays of commercialism – in fact, you almost expect a barker to pop out of a gallery booth and yell “Get your Rothko’s right here.”   I’d like to shout: “I’ll take 5!  And could you have them delivered?”

 

And I know there is this notion that Art is supposed to be somehow free from the sales pitch (although a few carefully crafted anecdotes go nicely).  (photo: Afga Rose by Michael Blazy at Art:Concept) 

 

But still… despite all of that, I realized there in the middle of the Grand Palais that I like being in a large crowd of people who love art.  There is some sort of ecstatic communion that takes place as we all sigh over this painting, or take photos of that sculpture, or huddle around a darkened cubicle to watch the latest in high video.  And when you notice that the man with the white sign outside is really a performance artist, or that the noises you are hearing are coming from a sound installation and not some car backfiring, there is this sense of being IN – capitalized.

 

I guess some people get this experience with sports teams (and Paris has been awash with rugby enthusiasts walking around in white and red costumes.)  Or they get it from other things like hot rod clubs or religious stuff or square dancing.  I get it from art.  Especially when it is in another language, like French for instance. 

 

So at Fiac I was yelling go-team-go deep inside of me.

 

And the question of what sticks?  Here are the things I most remember from my visit:

 

1.  The sound created by a huge sculptural machine by Jean Tinguely (Untitled, 1986, at Hans Meyer Gallery).  It was made of wood and all sorts of things turned and rotated.  Creaks and moans and pops and shudders emanated from the piece.  Listening to it, I felt like I was on some Spanish galleon bound for the New World.  I can still hear it.

 

2.  The elfin sculptures of Kiki Smith.  Small, white women, part fish or sprite of some kind, almost real but deep down magical.

 

3.  Photos of water by Roni Horn, from the series, From Some Thames (Hauser & Wirth).  Absolutely exquisite.  Greens and dark blues with bands of waves moving underneath the surface.  Actually I was reading The Waves by Virginia Woolf, and it begins with this beautiful passage of the morning rising over the ocean.  These photos brought that back.

 

4.  Fiona Rae’s painting, Don’t Let the Sky Fall Down, 2007 at Galerie Nathalie Obadia.  While I was staring at it, trying to memorize every curl and teddy bear, I was vaguely aware of a conversation between the gallery owner (?) and a prospective buyer.  I so wanted to be him.

 

5.  Christo’s sculpture, Packed Supermarket Cart, 1963, at Annely Juda.  How many pictures have I seen of this?  I don’t even know if this was the one I’ve seen so many times – did he make more than one of these wrapped shopping carts?  But I will say that this one was small and endearing.  The cart was so little, the wrapping so clumsy, the whole thing was nostalgic.  And for an interesting read, check out the Common Errors section of Christo and Jean-Claude’s website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then there was the frightening piece by Ed Kienholz,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 and the Julian Opie's again and again at Lisson Gallery.

 

- georgia

 

 

 

Posted by ArtSlant Team on 10/25/07 | tags: art-fair FIAC




London Look See

Call me crazy but there is a certain kind of energy at big art events that I just love.

 

The work, the people, the glasses.  Have you ever noticed what great shoes the art crowd tends to wear?  I just eat it up.

 

So here I sit in the Russell Hotel in London recovering from the art fair whirlwind.  My friend, Mary, calls this hotel a grand old dame.  There's a song in Cats about it.  It is looming and glooming with Victoriana weight and there are lots of Virginia Woolf ghosts drifting about.

 

I’ve taken up drifting as well (actually being from Los Angeles I guess I would call it cruising.)  At the fairs, I glide along the halls and glance to and fro at the work.  If something really catches my eye, I’ll pull over for a look.  Otherwise I just let it all sort of stream past.  Anything else is too heartbreaking -there is just too much to see.  When it’s all over I like to see what sticks, what's caught my drift so to speak.

 

I’ve been to PulseZoo and Frieze, as well as the Tate Modern, and I went out for Indian and coffee in Russell Square and a few cabbie rides.

 

 Pulse was first.  They were housed in the historic Mary Ward Center in Bloomsbury.  It was a bit of a warren’s nest but the staff was extremely helpful in pointing out all the nooks.  I saw Walter Maciel and Bank from Los Angeles and felt right at home.  I got snagged by the work of Oliver Kropf, a young Austrian painter at Galerie Brunnhofer.  Enigmatic, glowering landscapes filled with burning buildings, dead trees and Hang ‘Em High loners on horseback.  Between the dark Austrian thing and the bad-boy western motif I am surprised I liked these paintings – but they were spectacular.  (photo: Oliver Kropf)

 

Next day I went to Zoo and lined up with the waiting crowd.  There was an audible hummm as we willed the doors to open.   Zoo has relocated to a great spot just behind the Royal Academy of Art.  Surrounded by  Picadilly and Saville Row, it has everything - art, clothes, eateries and lots of Londony lookers in black on black.  No where does it black like London.

 

At Zoo, I chatted with Chung King Project and fette (from fette's gallery) and Cherry and Martin and Happy Lion.  Everyone was swamped with visitors and rearranging.  Elad Lassry at Cherry and Martin and David Ellis at Roebling Hall were causing quite a stir – in fact both won prizes.  I took a few pictures and wished I had more time.  I met Kavi Gupta from Chicago who is a dynamo!

 

From there I made it up to the big top - Frieze in Regent’s Park.  It was nice to get in amongst the greenery, and as usual, Frieze was anything but freezing.  Body heat and art frenzy.  I stopped by Acme, we talked about the Monique Prieto and Allison Miller work, and I said out loud that I love abstract painting.  (In fact I decided that Cy Twombly is my new favorite oldie.)    I saw so much and only just caught the tip of the iceberg.

 

Lastly, I raced down to the Tate Modern to see the Doris Salcedo installation, the giant crack running and splintering throughout the main floor.  It made me miss L.A.

 

Now my eyes are red and I’m asking myself just how much art one can consume in a couple of days.   I have to wait and see what sticks.

 

Bye for now - georgia

 

(Matthew, Francois, Fette at Chung King Project) 

Posted by ArtSlant Team on 10/16/07 | tags: art-fairs zoo frieze pulse




September Rush in L.A.

A hundred miles per hour.  That’s how fast I’m going. 

Doing this, doing that, going here, going there, packing and planning and Paris here I come.  Then to Frieze and Pulse and Zoo and chunneling back again.  A lot of stuff on this rocket ride!

 

And yes we did it.  ArtSlant just released Version 2.  A whole new look and lots of good vibes as well.  I’ve been doing some close inspection and find galleries from Belgium and Amsterdam and all over getting into ArtSlant… (Smiley Face Here).

 

Speaking of galleries --

I’ve been in Los Angeles (home again) and trying to get in as much art as possible between the redesign and a little pool time.  September rush is on and L.A. is swimmin' with art.  Did I tell you about Sean Landers at China Art Objects or Manuel Ocampo at Lizabeth Oliveria or the Andrew Shoultz project room at Roberts & Tilton?  From huffing to puffing to I’ll blow your house down.  And that’s just the tip of the sunberg (LA speak). 

 

And then there was that day of really good rain which made it seem like fall.  But back to ArtSlant--

 

Here's some useful tips I wanted to pass on.

 

Get your Show on our Homepage!

Put an image in the slideshow on your Exhibit or Event listing so you can get in the bouncy filmstrip or the Big Black Openings Box (ArtSlant speak).

 

Add Your Gallery!

We’ve made it much easier to do this.  Just go to Add Content and Add a Venue.

 

Fix Up Your Blog!

ArtSlant blogs are now featured on our Community Page.  So get writing.

 

That’s it for now.  Where’s the closest gas station?

 

-georgia

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by ArtSlant Team on 9/28/07




art take: s.f.

 

Making choices.  I'm getting better at this part of life.

 

I was in San Francisco last week on a rush trip – just enough time to drive up the coast, see some family, and catch a little art.

 

It was hard deciding what art to see.  I wanted to go everywhere, of course, and had that feeling that I was going to miss out.

 

But then I remembered: the art of deciding is deciding.

 

So I chose the Hiroshi Sugimoto exhibit at the de Young Museum followed by lunch on the patio in back.  The weather was perfection and the show was good.  My mother lingered over her coffee while I wandered around the sculpture garden.

 

And then I found the James Turrell Skyscape.  It is buried under a grassy mound at the far end of the plaza.  I almost missed it but didn't.

 

I ducked into the chamber for a meditative moment.  Looking up at the hole in the roof, I watched the clouds moving through the sky.  I was entranced.  Never had the sky looked so beautiful.  I hurried out and got my mother.  By the time she sat down the clouds were gone and in their place was a patch of pure, intense blue.

 

“How big is the sky?” asked a boy who was also admiring the blue through the skyhole.  It’s a good question - especially when you can only get an oval-shaped peek at its immensity.  I looked up and thought: Does he mean wide or deep?  Suffice to say I had no answer for him but I liked thinking about it.

 

 

The thing about the Skyscape is that it presents a contradiction: the restriction imposed by the skyhole actually allowed me to see more.

 

I guess, in a similar way, I am learning that choosing is not an act of limitation but rather an opening into greater freedom.

 

And now I sit back at artslant HQ considering the dazzle of the September openings!  I browse through them, want to see everything, but make my choices using the Refine search options.  It’s like my own Skyhole – where I can study the brightness one patch at a time.

 

Here's to good viewing...

 

-georgia

 

Posted by ArtSlant Team on 9/4/07

Myspace_profile_link5 you rock back
see you in london..luvgeo
Placeholder70x70-2 You Rock
Sitting in Clevland after a long day of travel from Boise . . . how sweet to read your note about the sky hole at the de Young, and think of you and Mom looking up. Luvchas



art take: rio

Have you seen it?

I describe many things that I have seen.  Do you?  Some things are easy to imagine - there is a point of reference that can quickly be found.  Other things are beyond words.  I like both seeing and describing, pictures and words.  Especially when accompanied by music.

In my last days in Buenos Aires I went to Notorious, a music store in Palermo Soho, epicenter of trendy boutiques and designery redo’s.  I bought lots of tango electronica to accompany me on my trip up to Rio de Janeiro.  Nothing like tango to set a mood.

 

Flying into Rio, it was winter and the clouds swirled around Sugarloaf.  Unlike Buenos Aires, Rio felt small and intimate.  Of course, it’s not, but it felt that way.  There is a softness to the air and the language and the people that is simply seductive. 

 

Our friend, Jaime, sent Julio to pick us up from the airport.  Julio (pronounced with a soft J like jewlio…) became our taxi driver extraordinaire.  On the ride into town, we discussed everything from surfing to architecture to the dot com world (he called it “point com.”)  Thank you Julio for making it smooth.

 

I had a couple of definites to accomplish in Rio: a studio visit with Iole de Freitas, whose work I had seen at documenta, and a trip to Corcovado just because it is the thing to do.  Both came off with ease.

 

First was the mountain.  It was Wednesday morning and the clouds had lifted.  Jaime called and said “Corcovado – now.”  Off we went and his timing could not have been better.

 

We caught the train in Cosme Velho and swayed through the rainforest to the sounds of a samba band.  Straight up we went.  From there, we took an elevator and finally some stairs to reach the peak. 

 

And then I saw it – icon of icons - Christ the Redeemer stretching out across the skies.  Completed in 1931, this 105-foot example of art deco statuary is without a doubt one of the most jaw-dropping pieces of public art anywhere.  Did you know it was chosen as one of the NEW 7 Wonders of the World in a global Internet vote this year?

 

All around me people fell to their knees or laid full out in homage to this marvel.  And the form of their reverence?  The digital camera.  It was pure performance.  Kneeling and clicking, splaying and clicking.  Catherine, Jaime and I laughed and looked and snapped and stood staring up absolutely transfixed.

 

 

Now, to me, the thing that makes this piece of public art worthy of 7 Wonder status is the location, location, location.  It would be commanding in the center of a city or next to a ball park, but on the top of Corcovado mountain with the gorgeousness of Rio surrounding it, this sculpture takes on a depth of meaning that is profound.  So profound that I easily overcame the idealogical and political demands of this symbol and just basked in the beauty of such a wonder.

 

 

How does this relate to Artslant?  Well, it’s this notion of visibility.  Letting the world see.

 

Whether permanent or temporal, on the corner of such-and-such or in the middle of a major museum, we want all interested parties, and even those who aren't aware they are interested, to know about the art in our city.  This is why we created the ADD feature on Artslant - so everyone can get their Corcovado in our calendar, or that performance on a rooftop, or even a little installation in the alley behind the bookstore that no one knows exists.  All of it should be seen.

 

So may I suggest - Add It.

- georgia



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




Posted by ArtSlant Team on 8/16/07




notes from buenos aires

“Anything can happen on Avenue Corrientes,” the man said as he sipped his cappuccino.  

 

I was sitting in Café Tortoni on Avenida de Mayo when I overheard that line.  “What a great way to begin a story,” I thought.

 

Of course, he was referring to Avenida Corrientes in Buenos Aires, the street that never sleeps.  Not only the main artery of the theater district, Corrientes is also the scene of many of the city’s labor strikes, demonstrations and marches - with theater and politics mixed on one street, there's bound to be a lot of drama! 

 

Large and elegant, intellectual and sensual, Buenos Aires is a city of many voices.  It takes a while to hold this town in your mind, but once grasped, it lingers.  It is a literary city; a dancer’s city.  A city of public outcry; and a city of tarnished hopes.  I was here to soak it in without much of an agenda or need to do anything but look.

 

I finished my cappuccino and grabbed a cab.  The cabbies here are superstitious.  Each one has some sort of talisman hanging from their rear view mirror.  Red ribbons, crosses, rosary beads and such.  I wondered if the style of driving in BA had anything to do with it – lanes were definitely optional.  On this day, my cabbie had a crocheted owl jauntily bouncing from his mirror.  I wanted to ask about it but couldn’t find the words.

 

I headed to the northern barrios of Palermo and Recoleta, where many of the city’s museums and parks can be found.  I wanted to see some art. 

 

First stop, Floralis Generica, a  giant steel and aluminum flower in the Plaza Naciones Unidos.  Designed by architect Eduardo Catalano and built by Lockheed, this iconic flower opens and closes its petals with the rise and fall of the sun.  It reminded me of some mechanical flytrap or perhaps a docking station for alien spacecraft.  The vast sky reflects in its metallic surfaces as its cavernous maw waits for something to finally enter.

 

The bookend to this sculpture is Fernando Botero's, Male Torso.  A mammoth and muscled chest of bronze arises from the ground, headless and armless.  It stops the viewer by its surprising awkwardness and deformity.

 

A strange pair I thought!

 

Next I was off to Malba, the gorgeous Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires.  A four-tiered building, beautifully lit by an entire wall of steel and glass, this museum features the Costantini collection of 19th and 20th century Latin American art.  A must see.

 

I fell in love with the surrealist landscapes of Mexican artist, Miguel Covarrubias, and became reacquainted with Argentine painter, Guillermo Kuitca (they pronounce the double L as J).  I enjoyed the work by Ernesto Deira AND Antonio Berni.  I found that Pop Art, Minimalism and Conceptual Art look much the same in South America.  I checked out the beautiful bookstore on the ground floor and gazed at the people in the sunken cafe.

 

I walked over to the Centro Cultural Recoleta, where I saw Antoni Muntadas’ Stadium XIII, a large and consuming installation of video and photography.  I then went next door to the famous Cementerio de la Recoleta and  wandered the tiled streets of crypts and mausoleums.  I'm not a big fan of funerary architecture but understand the Recoleta cemetary ranks among the top 3 along with the Staglieno in Genoa and Pere-Lachaise in Paris.  Among the angels and flowers and cats - lots of them, live ones, skulking about - I found Eva Peron and kept thinking of Pompeii.

 

Dying for lunch (cheap shot), I left the Recoleta park and walked down Avenida Alvear in search of some place to land.  Alvear is all elegance.  Designer stores, grand hotels, dog walkers for the small pooch, and the larger breeds.  The marble tiles in the sidewalk clicked and clacked as I stepped on loose ones here and there.  I liked the sound.

 

I came upon Galeria Rubbers and went in.  They were showing the late works of Mario Grinbaum, a Buenos Aires painter who had recently died.  Stark, urban landscapes, Grinbaum overlays everything with a grid-like mesh.  I thought of the tiled sidewalks just outside.  Although elegant and sumptuous, what faced me was a world that has been ruptured and torn, a world of landslides, fissures, and gaping sink holes.  A bit apocalyptic.

 

Finished for the day, I went across the street to Celetta, a perfectly gorgeous Italian cafe, and dawdled over Caesar salad, agua minerale con gaz and a much needed cappuccino.  Watching the well-heeled residents of Recoleta walk by (click, clack), I could have been in Milan or Florence or Paris or New York.  The world is so big but so small.

 

- georgia

 

Posted by ArtSlant Team on 8/2/07




reflections

 

 My mind is like a giant mirror reflecting the world back to me

Reminds me of the Sky Mirror at Art Basel .  A great big topsy turvy world.  The reflection was inside out or upside down or somehow reality in an altered sense.  It's true, the mirror, like the mind, can play some interesting tricks.

This is the beauty of distance.  Sometimes I can see better from afar. 

So it was nice being in France and Switzerland and Germany and seeing all that art and meeting all those people and doing all those things.  Art Basel and documenta12- ying and yang.  It felt rich and empty, artful and thoughtful, vibrant and somber.  The gamut.

Back in Los Angeles - I can say it is nice to be here - although I was dispirited by the look of things driving home from the airport.  So much trash everywhere.  I thought we were picking it up?  Maybe that's just a reflection of the fast lane.  Easy come, easy go out the window.  But let's exit from that train of thought.

I was going through my drawings from the trip, and my photos, and had that pang of loss that always comes after one of these big trips.  It is as if I want to go back and relive all the moments, see everything again, and this time really look.  I want more material for the memories, a closer inspection to feed my reflections.  But a few sketches and quick pics will have to do for now.  Here are some samples, chosen for no reason other than the lighting wasn't too bad, or maybe because of something deeper.  Reflections I guess.

Oh yeah - the giant mirror drawing was from a room in a Rhine castle where I stayed after Kassel.  Mirror, mirror on the wall...

Off to South America.  Will send snaps from there.

- georgia

(Descriptions top-bottom: Art Basel courtyard; , Wolfgang Laib; Julie Roberts; Robert Indiana; Albert Oehlen; Zilla Leutenegger; me at Museum Fridericianum in Kassel; Iole de Freitas)

 

 

  

 

  

 

 

 

Posted by ArtSlant Team on 6/30/07




Basel-side Chat

Chats make a life.  When I think of all the chats I have had, from short to long, profound to silly, and all the people and places with whom and with which these chats have happened, I realize my infinity.

Being that I am in Basel, Switzerland, at the Art Basel fair, I thought it would be nice to call this my Basel-side Chat.  I guess it is the weather, cool and occasional rain,  that prompted the desire for coziness.

Or perhaps it was the need to counteract all the looking with a few words.  My eyes feel overloaded.  So here it goes--

First impressions:  Art Basel is fancier than Frieze is better than the Armory is more organized than Fiac is bigger than  Basel Miami (but not really with all the fairs rolled into one) and is definitely not for the young collector.

Languages based on evesdropping: Swiss, French, Italian, German, English, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Eastern-Euro.  In that order.

Sounds other than words:  Laughter, kissing, cell phones, jewelry jingling, smoking, murmurs, yelps, whispers, exclamations!

Things I said: Excuse me, coffee please, may I?, is this seat empty?, pardon me, coffee please, how are you, sandwich please, nice to meet you, hello, thank you, I love that, salad please, coffee please, water please, excuse me... 

Second - a story.

The thunder cracked through the evening skies as a torrential downpour sent all the Art Basel art goers running for cover.  But the wet did not dampen spirits, nor did it do much to alter Paul McCarthy’s giant Santa with Butt Plug looming over the platz in front of the fair halls.  If anything, Santa and his plug seemed to shine just a bit more in the rain.

 

Down at the other end of the plaza, Anish Kapoor’s Sky Mirror V tracked the black clouds as they let loose with the deluge.  The Kapoor sculpture reflected a down-the-rabbit-hole image of the world turned wondrously inside out. 

 

Alice meet Santa.

 

Third - some headlines from The Art Newspaper, the fair's daily edition:

Murakami to launch Basel fair next year (Geisai fair featuring new artists)

New Art Basel director announced today (best kept secret)

Terence Koh shows the Swiss how to party (black plastic, strobes and Hermes perfume)

$200M collection of British contemporary art for Texas (Kenny Goss & George Michael)

European buyers reclaim market from Americans (green backs stay home)

No Wrong Gallery for Freize this year (Ali Subotnick to the Hammer)

Has Art Basel lost out to Venice and Documenta? (museums go intellectual)

La MoCa director’s return to fair (except Moca and Lacma, who go Basel)

Death heads for the fair (skulls and bones throughout)

Where have the Chinese stars gone? (not to Basel)

Museums squeezed by the market (art crisis for the institutions)

 

And that's all for chatting at this time.  More from documenta...georgia

 

 

 

 (Photos:  Paul McCarthy, Anish Kapoor)

 

Posted by ArtSlant Team on 6/16/07




Smooth Sailing

Distractions can take you far away from your home port.  Jump on a good distraction, pull up anchor and let the current take you to a wholly new place.

 

In my life I have had periods of being easily distracted.  Times where my attention has strayed infuriatingly far from my intention.  And by contrast, I have had those moments where a distraction has grown into great obsession and nothing can come between me and my intention.  This feels invigorating for a while but then it becomes too much, too bright, too too.  That wired/tired feeling of staying up, forgetting to eat and thinking endlessly gets old.

 

From one side to the other, to and fro, the drift between these two shores has been a continual challenge.  It’s the search for that smooth sailing in the middle.  That balanced keel – is that proper to say?  A little distraction; a little obsession; a wholly integrated spectrum.  (This is sounding familiar – have I written about this before or just thought about it repeatedly?)

 

As of late, the obsession/distraction seesaw has played between home and travel, artslant in the local sense and artslant in the global tense.  Thinking, planning, dreaming, forgetting, ignoring, rushing, preparing and shoving that last jacket into the suitcase.  From San Francisco for the Java One conference and then to Portland for the RailsConf, the artslant boat has been plying the techie waters.  Next we set sail for France, Switzerland, Germany, Argentina and Brazil in search of exhibits, fairs and meetups.

 

Needless to say, all of this moving around has been accompanied by some changes behind the scenes as well.  Artslant is revamping our deployment systems and instituting email reminders for data and feature updates.  And we are gathering plugs for the upcoming summer whirlwind (working from the road takes a lot of plugs!!) as well as lists of galleries to go to and art to see.  Plugs and lists. 

 

Actually, getting away and then reconsidering is so illuminating - I am definitely looking forward to the Ahas! that will result.

 

Which Reminds Me:  One thing I have found helpful lately is to save my data when I am entering an exhibit or an artist page.  Then I re-open the add-form using the Edit Bar and continue to work on it anew.  This saving and editing seems to help alot with the Rich Text features.  Try it - especially if you've run aground. 

 

Of Special Interest:  For those of you who are documenta-bound, here’s a juicy bit of behind the scenes from Artworld Salon…check it out! (click here)

 

Off we go…georgia

Posted by ArtSlant Team on 5/23/07




on the way to the rackroom

Where art meets audience.

 

That’s how the Wikiped defines art exhibition.  (Did I tell you that I once had a job in which I read the dictionary all day?  Better than filing.)

 

Have there been exhibitions where art does not meet audience?  Go to a room and there is nothing?

 

I know for a fact that was done in 2005 at the Venice Biennale because I was in that room.  The German pavilion.  Thomas Scheibitz and Tino Sehgal.  Instead of art there were questions and a song and a little skipping.  In that room I met the thought of art.

  

What about an online exhibition?  Reproduction meets audience - does that qualify?

 

Perhaps it makes one want to see the real thing so badly that you get out of the house, into the car and go…or in some cities the metro or bus or moto or bicycle or…  But I write from los angeles so naturally it is the car I envision.

 

One thing about going is that there is a returning and then a reflection.  It is a process.  And during the being-there part, a definite meeting between it and me.  This leads to the thought: Where does this meeting begin and end really?  When I first get the idea to go?  With the last time I think about having been?  Time warp – I’m still at the Biennale!

 

But let me return to artslant and the reason for this rattle.

 

our rackroom

Here at artslant we wanted an exhibition space of sorts, but something other than that because, of course, we can only give you the repro – a placeholder.  Therefore, we came up with the rackroom. 

 

The rackroom name alludes to the back room in a gallery where the work is kept in racks.  Often in that back room, people talk about art and maybe take a peek at some art and consider how it might look once hung or placed.  So the rackroom is a place of wanting art. 

 

Getting There

Our rackroom shows change every two or three weeks.  You can find our rackroom announcements on our homepage in the Community area.

 

To go to our rackroom you don’t need to leave the house.  Just click twice: once on Community in our main menu; once on Rackroom in our sub-menu.  No wind or rain or scorching sun required.

 

Being There

In our rackroom we feature emerging and early-stage artists and we try to connect with exhibits they are having at the moment.  In addition to a full slideshow of their work, we showcase the artist through an interview and sometimes photos of them and their studio.  This becomes a meeting of artist and audience once removed.

 

end of story – or maybe the beginning

The final experience is a thing of beauty: I want to be meeting artist and art. 

 

I like this idea so much.  This is artslant.

- georgia

Posted by ArtSlant Team on 3/27/07 | tags: rackroom




the ballet of beta

Practicing.  It is astounding how much of life is about practice.  I guess all of it really.  Perfection?  Not sure.  I think I breathe perfectly, then find out I am breathing too shallowly.  I think I walk perfectly, then find out I list towards one side.  So even those things which I have done forever are not perfected yet.

 

I was on the phone the other day talking with someone (who shall remain nameless but her name starts with “D”) about the frustrating learning curve involved in using computers.  It does seem that the promise of the computer is Instantaneity.   

 

In other words: The Big Now.  Presto Done. 

 

Then the reality of the learning curve takes hold and I want to throw the machine into the swimming pool (a los angeles impulse).

 

Patience is the quality that comes to mind.  Patience and practice.  The two P’s.  Like poverty and prosperity; or purpose and porpoise.  Neither patience nor practice are big on my list.  I am erratic and frenzied – I tend toward dabbling and brainstorming.

 

It brings me to the drawings.  I made them while waiting in the Waiting Room at the doctor’s office.  I drew them with my sketch book partially inside my purse so no one would see.  People feel invaded if you sit there drawing them – even if it is only their shoe.  Did you know that Van Gogh used to have his sketch book in his pocket and he would draw blind?  I wonder if that is true or just a romantic story…

 

Anyway, the one-leg drawing reminds me of my crowd when I was young.  They all took ballet; I took piano.  Announcing our practice schedule was common.  We all had to practice.  I envied them because it seemed as though they got to practice together and I had to practice alone.  Thus began my hatred of practicing (time to let go).

 

But the real reason I find it difficult to accept this basic principle in life is because I am anxious about, and for, The End.  I cannot relax into the process of practicing easily.  I have to get my attention off the finish line and into the experience.  The quality that comes to mind is wonder.  Wonder and wisdom.  The two W’s.  Like weeping and wailing, or widget and wicket.

 

So with artslant there is a thing called beta - you'll see our beta icon next to our logo.  It relates to all of this.

 

Artslant Beta

Our techie told me that beta, in software release, is when a product is given to a group for testing.  The features are complete and debugging starts.  It used to be done in private with non-disclosure agreements and all of that.  Now there are public betas where products are released for testing by the public.  Artslant is in public beta.

 

The Beauty of Beta

I was talking to a gallery owner last night (who shall remain nameless but his name starts with “D”) and he said “the beauty of beta is that you can get feedback from the community and make changes based on their experience.”  Actually, he was talking about the learning curve in artslant.  There really is a lot to learn and we need to make it easy and accessible.

 

Help!!

We’ve created some tools in artslant to help with the learning curve.  One is called, surprisingly, Help.  It is on the top right of our Banner.  Click there and you can find all sorts of explanations.

 

Then there are the Our Slant blog articles with tips and tricks.  If you go to the bottom of this article and click on artslant founders you will get to our spotlight page where you can access our blog.  Or you can go to About on the bottom of each page, and link to our spotlight from there.  The Our Slant articles have lots of helpful hints.

 

And last but not least, send us emails and we will be sure to respond.

 

Perpetual Beta

With web 2.0, another morph on the beta process is taking place:  Perpetual Beta.  The idea is that it is never done.  The suggestion box remains open and active.  Everyone gets to participate in making it better forever.  What a beautiful world!  No end goal, no finish line, no anxiety.  It is just one long practice session – playing.

 

That’s it for now.  Happy playing. - georgia

 

Posted by ArtSlant Team on 3/17/07 | tags: beta perpetual-beta help tips learning-curve




pick a name, any name
I’ve been an avid dog watcher for years. 

 

That’s not to say I want a dog – I move around too much for that - but I love the outpouring of enthusiasm that comes with our canine friends.

 

Enthusiasm is a fantastic quality, don’t you think?  Since I am kind of a wordy I looked it up.  It derives from the Greek, entheos (enthousiasmos), meaning “having the god within.”  Religion aside, it’s still an interesting tidbit.  I guess it goes to the (d-o-g) spelled backwards thing.

 

The reason I’m on this dog jag is the drawing of course.  Notice the two names?  I like that part – the ambiguity.  Obviously, Toto is Dorothy’s dog and Bobby is this dog but somehow I got confused and wrote Toto first and then had to amend it.  Now I call this Toto Bobby.  By the by, I met Toto Bobby while staying in a house in Portugal that was owned by a man who looked just like Austin Powers.  But that’s another mystery…

 

Like Toto Bobby, I can lay claim to a number of names.  Do you have that too?  Lots of names?  Right now, I can count 5 names I am called regularly and that’s not including things like honey and darling and lots of others like miss and excuse-me and and - - - And the funny part is that I haven’t actually chosen most of these names!  Interesting.

 

In fact as I write this I am realizing that everyone I know has many names and that this one name-one person notion is not true at all.  No wonder it’s been hard to get a handle on my identity, much less decide what to wear.  Turns out I’ve got a whole bunch of identities and they’ve mostly been ID’d by You.  Unsettling.

 

Here on artslant there are chances for names also.  (And don’t be concerned, you can always adopt new ones if at first you don’t succeed.)  

 

User ID

When you register you get to pick a User ID.  This is your special name for most of the site.  It is your sign in name and the name that will go on your recommendations, reviews, groups, and blog.

 

Spotlight Name

Probably for your spotlight page, you will use your professional or business name.

 

Blog Name

When you open your spotlight page, you can name your blog.  The default is “my blog.”  Lots of people have just used this title but its going to get messy in the future.  Oh well.

 

So who was it that said a rose is a rose…?

 

-georgia

Posted by ArtSlant Team on 3/13/07 | tags: spotlight User-ID names





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