Monday, March 31, 2008

I fly west to Seattle on Wednesday morning. The following week, I head south to San Francisco. I will return to NYC just before the middle of the month. I don't expect to be posting any new content while I am gone.

I leave you all with this profound tidbit, clipped from NewScientist magazine.

"In August, radio astronomers announced that they had found an enormous hole in the universe. Nearly a billion light years across, the void lies in the constellation Eridanus and has far fewer stars, gas and galaxies than usual. It is bigger than anyone imagined possible and is beyond the present understanding of cosmology. What could cause such a gaping hole? One team of physicists has a breathtaking explanation: 'It is the unmistakable imprint of another universe beyond the edge of our own,' says Laura Mersini-Houghton of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill."

The claim made by Mersini-Houghton is controversial, and totally without mathematical support. All the same, it seems to have turned a number of astrophysicist heads.

I find it oddly comforting that our universe might be pressed up against another, like a bowl of so many water balloons. After all, what are water balloons for?

Photo credit: "Calvin & Hobbes," by Bill Watterson

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Christy Rupp; Bioephemera follow-up

In mid-February, I reviewed Christy Rupp's exhibition, "Extinct Birds Previously Consumed by Humans (From the Brink of Extinction to the Supermarket)," at Frederieke Taylor. Last week, one of my favorite bloggers, Jessica Palmer, of Bioephemera, responded to both Rupp's work and my assertion that the work, though admirable, is a victim of its own intent. Jessica is a gifted, clear writer and intelligent person; her thoughts are always worth a read.

Monday, March 24, 2008

More small (art) world updates

- Jenny Kendler, the artist I was paired with (by Molly Schafer) for Dan Halm's "And So On..." blog curatorial experiment, introduced herself to me last night, via email. I'm glad she did; it turns out that we share more than Molly's approval.

Jenny recently started a very promising blog of her own, Wunderkammer. The name alone makes for an ostentatious start, and Kendler's content so far is excellent. I've added Wunderkammer to my blog roll, and plan on making it a regular stop.

- Well, sort of regular. My blogging activity - reading and writing both - has waned greatly of late...because my studio activity has picked up. I'm hard at work on a video, two paintings and a number of drawings, and I have four (hopefully exciting) paintings gestating.

I have a number of studio visits planned for the next month and, if all goes well, I'll soon announce three (or more) upcoming shows. At least two group shows are official, but a west coast solo show and other NYC group shows are additional possiblities. When it rains, it often pours, they say. Indeed.

- I hope all you readers are flourishing, too. Perhaps I'll see some of you soon and, for those friends living in Seattle and San Francisco, in a week or so, on the Olympic Peninsula and San Francisco Bay!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Top Soil and Red Ink

Raymond Meeks
"January 9, 2008 2:14 p.m."
Gelatin-silver print

I edit compulsively, reflexively.

Reading a recent issue of The New Yorker, I came upon a poem by W.S. Merwin, entitled "Near Field." In it, I found much that I liked...and much I felt unnecessary, even distracting.

Last night, as I prepared to toss the issue into my recycling bin, I revisited my edit. Ridiculous though it may be to flense the words of another, I do find my version more dream-like and ambiguous, and therefore more haunting.

Every writer or poet needs an editor; keep the red pen handy.

"Near Field"

This is not something new or kept secret
the tilled ground unsown in late spring
the dead are not separate from the living
each has one foot in the unknown
and cannot speak for the other

the field tells none of its turned story
it lies under its low cloud like a waiting river
the dead made this out of their hunger
out of what they had been told
out of
the pains and shadows
and bowels of animals
out of turning and
coming back singing
about another time

-W.S. Merwin (edited by Christopher Reiger)

Photo credit: Raymond Meeks photograph ripped from Candace Dwan Gallery site

Monday, March 17, 2008

Thursday, March 13, 2008

"And So On...": Amy Talluto and Josh Keyes

My "And So On..." picks are posted. For more information on Dan Halm's blog curatorial conceit, link here or read my earlier post.

I chose paintings by Amy Talluto and Josh Keyes. The two artists embrace very different aesthetic vocabularies, but their concerns are similar. Both are students of the contemporary cultural landscape; Keyes' illustrative images are allegorical, and function as a sort of coat of arms, alternately wry or melancholy (but always handsome), while Talluto's painterly pictures yearn to root the viewer in the landscape, either "pristine wilderness" - a will-o'-the-wisp if there ever was one - or that already marked by our kind.

Now Dan will ask Amy and Josh to choose two picks of their own. I'm curious to see who they each tag.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Elephant art?

No, I'm not referring to art incorporating elephant dung.

Bioephemera considers the claim that some animal species - elephants, chimpanzees, and others - are producing artwork. Her perspective is well presented, but the verdict is open to interpretation; like most "arty" debates, this one is fuzzy.

A few floaters:
What distinguishes the trained elephant from the trained violinist (performing a composer's opus)? Elephant X might use a more fluid stroke than Elephant Y; is that the makings of style? And what, really, is the role of ego in art? Is self-consciousness the fulcrum in this conversation?

Read the post here.

Friday, March 07, 2008

And So On...

One of my 2007 paintings, "a cruel and beautiful faraway place," was selected by artist Molly Schafer for inclusion in Dan Halm's blog-based curatorial experiment, "And So On..." As Halm describes it,
"I got to thinking about if there is any correlation between inspiration and the network of artists who we choose to associate ourselves with. Which got me thinking about networking, which then reminded me of that old Breck shampoo TV commercial where 'she tells two friends, and so on and so on...'"

Indeed, I am familiar with many of the names so far selected, and know several of the artists personally. (I chatted with Felix Esquivel over a couple of beers just last night.) The art world is a network - which, depending on my mood, may be very good or very bad - but all those rubbing shoulders are bound to produce sparks.

Speaking of shared impulses, Molly Schafer has begun her own (HH) artist blog, Harpia harpyja. Molly names her blog after the impressive Harpy Eagle, a bird I've only had the privilege of seeing once, in the coastal rain forest of Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula, where I worked as a trail maintainer one summer after high school. They are large, powerful raptors, though not as handsome, I think, as the Ornate Hawk-eagle (Spizaetus ornatus), a bird that swept low through the dense rain forest and landed on a branch not twenty yards from where I sat at the base of a massive fig. It cocked its head, crest bobbing gently, and stared at me. I sat, gaping. After a long moment, the bird dropped forward and silently glided through the humid understory.

That Osa rainforest, part of Corcovado National Park, has figured prominently in my (still limited) understanding of rainforest ecology; it also appears in some paintings, including another 2007 work, "between meaning and material (h.H.R.)."

Anyway, thanks to Molly for selecting me. More about Halm's project when my two picks are posted.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Opossum Guided Estate Tour

Tomorrow afternoon (March 6th), at 12:30 PM, Deborah Simon - painter, sculptor, friend and zoological database - will be giving a Opossum Guided Estate Tour in conjunction with Fritz Haeg's "Animal Estates" installation, part of this year's Whitney Biennial. Deborah will discuss the opossum's physiology, habits and history, and will display her own opossum sculpture (see above) for reference.

Entrance to the Whitney's sculpture court is free. No reservation is required.

To learn more about Deborah's work, visit her website or read my thoughts on her painting here.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Posting Notice

While I will try to keep posting HH reviews relatively regularly, it appears as though the spring and summer of '08 will belong to my painting and drawing. Pending confirmation, I'll have some exciting news to announce before long, news that will require me to produce A LOT of new work. So, 'Yay!'....but throw in some 'Holy f*ck!,' too.

I should still have at least one review/response appearing in ArtCal Zine every month, and I've also been floating some artist profile ideas to a number of print magazines. If any of them bite, I'll be sure to post the information here.

In any event, tidbit posts, like the preceding one, will be regular.

I hope that everyone is well.