It’s that time of year again, time for the Pro Arts Gallery Box Art Auction and show. I made a piece for the third year in a row. Here are some photos of the work in progress. I’ll post a pic of the final piece later. It’s called “Veneer.”
The preview of the show starts tomorrow at Pro Arts Gallery. The auction is Friday night.
Lately I’ve been making small stickers, using images I cut out of an architectural desk calendar and words from the New Yorker. I love how evocative a few words can be.
Did that title make you want to read this post? Probably not. What the hell is it going to be about? Why should I care? Why can’t she just think up a title?
I hate it when art is called “Untitled.” Such a cop out. Come on! I know there are ideas behind this thing you’ve created. Why hide them? Titles like “Water Series #13″ are equally lame.
I don’t find titling easy, but I think it’s important. Michael Atavar, in his brilliant book How to be an Artist, concurs. He writes “Never call your project “Untitled” or “Work in Progress.” What does that really say about you–that you have no ideas yet? Give your piece a vivid, memorable title. Drop in a colour. Make the name twenty words long. Grab their attention right from the very first line.”
Even crazy, nonsensical titles are better than nothing at all. They make people think. They make people force connections between the title and the work. They add another level of meaning and complexity to your art.
In his poem “Why I Am Not a Painter” Frank O’Hara is thinking of the color orange. He writes about it, but then
is finished and I haven't mentioned
orange yet. It's twelve poems, I call
Note: the real title of this post is: “I never saw it, but it happened.” The title of the photograph is “That’s When I Knew.”
I saw this fabulous mural driving around today. It’s composed of text. I couldn’t read most of it, but inside the “L” I can read Temescal, Chinatown, Jingle Town and Lower Bottoms; all Oakland neighborhoods. What can you find in it?
It reminds me of Islamic text art I saw in Istanbul, which I just discovered is called a calligram: calligraphy pictogram. This one is simpler than the ones I saw.
Since Islam forbids figurative art, this seems like cheating to me, even if the text does praise Allah. Beautiful though.
I did my first ever art bomb this weekend! (Look for the white squares in the photos.) I know it’s supposed to be anonymous so I’m debating over how much detail to reveal.
The venue was an art fair and the funnest part for me was walking around looking like your average art fair patron yet surreptitiously posting my art haiku on various surfaces. I’ll bet I don’t look like the art bomber type, but I don’t know what that would be, so I could be wrong about that.
I looked up “art bombing” on Google and found a definition that’s definitely not what I’m talking about: “Photographing the superimposition of real objects or people into a work of art, typically for amusement.” What I mean is what yarn bombers do. They install knitted pieces in public places for the delight of discovering it.
Sometimes that’s called street art, but what if you don’t do it on the street? Anyway, back to the story. I wrote haiku about experiencing art. Thoughts that might go through your mind. Or things that people write about art. Here’s one:
What color is that?
I like the line, over here
It just works for me
People like art for all different reasons; that’s what I wanted to address. But my reason for art bombing was so that people could discover something interesting that wasn’t on the “menu.” I have nothing against the art establishment. I just love the idea of discovering something that not everyone knows about, something that is partly hidden. Something that you might not even see unless you were open to truly seeing what’s around you, and not just the official artwork.
I just found out today that one of my photos was chosen for the High Desert Test Sites postcard series this year! They picked 12 images out of 284 submitted. Woo hoo!
I have not been out to HDTS, which is based in Joshua Tree. It was started by Andrea Zittel (among others), who’s work I fell in love with when I saw her wonderful vintage/future style travel trailer at SFMOMA. It’s on my short list of places to visit in the desert.
Others are the Spiral Jetty and Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels and, of course, the fabled Roden Crater. I’ve been to the Lightning Field and the Very Large Array (not technically an artwork, but awe inspiring nonetheless). Plus, just going to the desert is always on my short list.
Okay, so here’s the image. Legendary Palace is a restaurant in Oakland’s Chinatown. I haven’t eaten there. I only care about the sign. At night.
I was biking home on a miserably cold day (I think I’ll wimp out and wait for better weather to bicycle) and stopped by the new cathedral on Lake Merritt. I didn’t go inside (some other day) but found this lovely fountain on the plaza (which is bigger than it looks from the street).
The sprays are very fine and close together so it creates a little cloud of suspended water that’s completely opaque in the center. Just lovely.