Friday, March 21, 2008

I am going through a Jean-Michel Basquiat period

Artistic-photolytic image of Jean-Michel Basquiat by artist Paul Grant (follower of Basho)

A artistic-photolytic of Jean-Michel Basquiat by Paul Grant (follower of Basho)

I am going through a Basquiat period right now. I am reading about him in a new book from Yale University Press :: Ambition & Love in Modern American Art by Jonathan Weinberg. Then follwed up with the only Biography I coud find of him byPhoeb Hoban : Basquiat - A quick Killing in Art.

I have never really liked Basquiat's work. I first read about him in Andy Warhol's diaries and had the suspicion that Warhol had a sexual crush on the young black man.

Basquiat was a bi-sexual. His first sexual encounters were gay, and as a teenager he ofter worked as a gay street hustler. Though later in his life he had many famous and infamous relations with woman, including Maddona.

Andy Warhol was a closeted homosexual.

Warhol chose to partner up with Basquiat over Keith Harring among other up and comming artist. Harring who was also in the Warhol circle at the time - but was openly gay.

The two, Warhol and Basquiat did a series of painting together. Warhol started, usually with a corporate logo, and Basquiat would paint on top of Warhol's work. Apparently Basquiat would have to encourage Warhol to add more to the collaboration. The essay in the book talks about how Basquiat was used not only by Warhol but also by the artist Schnabel who was a contemporary and who would make a movie about (and titled) Basquiat. (A movie a I enjoyed).

Basquiat, filmed in 1986

Jean-Michel Basquiat SAMO tagging period
The SAMO `tagging' period of Basquiat life

In 1977, when he was 17, Basquiat and his friend Al Diaz started spray-painting graffiti art on slum buildings in lower Manhattan, adding the infamous signature of "SAMO" or "SAMO shit" (i.e., "same ol' shit"). The graphics were pithy messages such as "Plush safe he think; SAMO" and "SAMO is an escape clause". In December 1978, the Village Voice published an article about the writings.[1] The SAMO project ended with the epitaph SAMO IS DEAD written on the walls of SoHo buildings.

SAMO as a neo art form.

SAMO as an end to to mindwash religion, nowhere politics and bogus philosophy.

SAMO as an escape clause.

SAMO as an end to playing art.

SAMO as an end to bogus pseudo intellectual. My mouth, therefore an error. Plush safe.. he think.

SAMO as an alternative 2 playing art with the 'radical chic' sect on Daddy's $ funds.

Jean-Michel Basquiat Qoutes:

* "Every single line means something."

* "Since I was seventeen I thought I might be a star. I'd think about all my heroes, Charlie Parker, Jimi Hendrix… I had a romantic feeling about how these people became famous."

* "I don't think about art when I'm working. I try to think about life."

* "Believe it or not, I can actually draw."

* "I don't listen to what art critics say. I don't know anybody who needs a critic to find out what art is."

* I wanted to be a star, not a gallery mascot.

+ I start a picture and I finish it. I don't think about art while I work. I try to think about life.

+ I thought I was going to be a bum the rest of my life.

+ I was a really lousy artist as a kid. Too abstract expressionist, or I'd draw a ram's head, really messy. I'd never win painting contests. I remember losing to a guy who did a perfect spiderman.

+ I had some money, I made the best paintings ever. I was completely reclusive, worked a lot, took a lot of drugs. I was awful to people.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mexican Artist : Nicolás de Jesús



Rick Bayless the famous Chicago Chef and expert on Mexican cuisine writes:

Nicolás de Jesús was born and raised in a small Nauha village in central Guerrero named Amayaltepec.

At a young age he learned how to paint on amate bark paper from his father Pablo de Jesús—one of the first artisans in all of Mexico (he started in 1962) to produce the type of work that is now mass-produced and sold at tourist destinations. By the time the well respected art activist Felipe Ehrenberg started to teach Nicolás etching and other printing techniques, the young artist had already adopted the traditional amate composition with many whimsical and detailed characters and a great empty space atop the page to suggest a great distance.

The reoccurring theme in Amayaltepec amates is everyday village life—it’s celebrations and beliefs. After moving to Chicago in the 1980’s, de Jesús additionally started to depict urban life in U.S. barrios in the same manner.

Both of the prints on display at Frontera Grill are prime examples of Nicolás de Jesús’s work. The compositions and perspectives are a direct reference to his father’s self-taught, naive background. Although Nicolás’s work is clearly more refined, one can still recognize his strong popular art roots. As is true in the work of many mestizo (Spanish and indigenous) artists, the notions of everyday life, work and traditions is juxtaposed with a spiritual reality in de Jesús’s work. Secular and sacred go hand in hand to complete life’s big picture. In Campesinos we see a detailed nostalgic scene of work in the fields of a Nauha community, while El Regreso depicts the ardent faith in the annual return of one’s dearly departed souls every November 1st and 2nd.

The extremes of social inequality which he and his family experienced in their native village of Amayaltepec, located in the arid province of Guerrero, Mexico, continue to inform and pervade his work. Nicolas says that he is “an engraver, a defender of the rights of indigenous peoples and anti-clerical.” Using wit and satire, Nicolas is a printmaker and muralist whose career has developed from its beginnings as the son of one of the founders of the Amate School of Mexican folk artists from Guerrero, through a period in Chicago in the 1990’s, to international standing, with exhibitions throughout Mexico, the United States, France, England, Japan and Holland. Drawing on his life experiences living with a Nahua community, Nicolas explains that to create, one must explore one’s internal memories. Those memories, such as the celebrations of his town and how the elders prepared for those ceremonies, resurface in his etchings and paintings.

His career began in 1982 with the painter Felipe Ehrenberg, from whom he learned the techniques of printmaking. Nicolas is best known for his works on amate ­ bark paper, a traditional product of trees local to the San Pablito, Puebla region, pre-dating the arrival of the Spanish in Central America. But Nicolas De Jesus is also a prolific illustrator and muralist, his work adorning books with the text in Nahuatl and which have been translated into English and French.

See also

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Firefox is looking for a T-shirt Design

My choice of web browsing is looking for some participation from their client base for a new T-shirt design announcing the arrival of their programs third addition. People from around the world have submitted more than 3,000 entries. They are an education in `global-image thinking' and can be seen at Flicker here (join the group to view.)

Here is my submission.

Firefox deatails

Mozilla Firefox (abbreviated officially as Fx, but also unofficially as FF) is a web browser descended from the Mozilla Application Suite, managed by the Mozilla Corporation. Firefox had about 15% of the recorded usage share of Web browsers as of January 2008 making Firefox the second-most popular browser in current use worldwide after Internet Explorer[1]. Firefox has been considered a "rival" to Internet Explorer.[2]

Firefox uses the open-source Gecko layout engine, which implements some current Web standards plus a few features which are intended to anticipate likely additions to the standards.

Firefox includes tabbed browsing, a spell checker, incremental find, live bookmarking, a download manager, and a search system that uses Google. Functions can be added through more than 2,000 add-ons created by third party developers;[3] the most popular include NoScript (script blocker), FoxyTunes (controls music players), Adblock Plus (ad blocker), StumbleUpon (website discovery), DownThemAll! (download functions) and Web Developer (web tools).[4]

Firefox runs on various versions of Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and many other Unix-like operating systems. Its current stable release is version, released on February 7, 2008.[5] Firefox's source code is free software, released under a tri-license GPL/LGPL/MPL.[6]

Monday, March 03, 2008

Staring back Photographs of Kevin Connolly

Kevin Connolly is a photographer. In this series Connolly attempts to see the world fro fresh eyes - the eyes that are observing him.

Connolly leveraged his perspective on life as a legless guy who gets around on a skateboard into a compelling series of photos of people staring at him.

See presentation HERE
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