Here is some cool art I've come across surfin' the net these past few days.

Bolin explores humanity's fundamental alienation from the animal instinct that equips other organisms with the ability to survive.

Sweet UK-based illustrator with a really nice, whimsical eye.

I especially recommend checking out what he's scanned from his sketchbook, so lovely.

Rad stuff coming from this SF/Seattle illustrator, striking images of a strange folktale past.

I'm really digging this guy's most recent drawings-- monochromatic little renderings finely wrought on Post-It notes. They're very Edward Gorey-esque, not quite as unsettling but still a bit dark and certainly just as peculiar.


Finally got around to scanning some new art.
My first piece in a while, "Samson's Revenge". Kindly refer to the Biblical myth of Samson and Delilah:
(Click image to view larger)
Stained the paper with coffee and tea, used some Prismacolor pencils for the hand, and got to experiment with a nice Staedler pencil set, my first time working with a wide variety of degrees in terms of my pencil use. I wish I hadn't used that inky black pen to line the hand, or that I'd at least used one with a finer point, but overall I'm happy with it.

Otherwise, I've been experimenting with watercolor in my moleskine, just painting random images and then going over them with a Micron pen.
This one's vaguely based on an old comic book panel I found online, it's alright.

Here's one I did looking at an old shot of Sylvie Vartan, all about the summer vibes.

This is my favorite of the bunch. Just a couple of choir boys. I was listening to Department of Eagles while I made it, which I thought was rather appropriate.

Anyways, many apologies for the shitty scan quality, the colors aren't quite as vibrant on a screen as they are in person. There are one or two other old, oooold sketches from my moleskine that I scanned as well -- you can see them on my flickr.


Within the past couple weeks I've seen a lot of neat art.

Ever impressive are the newest works by the terrific Alexis McKenzie, which I had the pleasure of viewing up close and personal at Park Life Gallery (where I also happen to intern). I've been a big fan of Alexis' work ever since coming across her artist interview on Fecal Face.

Alexis' collage pieces serve a curious blend of images of Victorian restraint and those of unfettered flora and fauna, creating these wonderfully fantastical surrealist dreamscapes where lovely women grow fish tails and seashells sprout from their skulls. This show was especially interesting in that it was almost entirely text-reliant. Save for one larger piece, all of the collages spelled out different phrases -- "Never Be Sad", "True Love", "Just This Once"... Not only were the works a marvel to look at just in terms of the precision and attention of detail used to clip out each image, but it was super fun to try and decipher what the words spelled out.


I also stopped by 49 Geary Galleries a little over a week ago.
Fraenkel Gallery has usually got some pretty great work but I was more impressed by the photos in the backroom, namely a couple of Diane Arbus shots and 3 E.J. Bellocq prints that were so interesting to see in person. Having those scratched out faces but a few inches away from my own was really powerful.

Jack Fischer Gallery was showing some interesting work by Lora Fosberg. I was especially intrigued by her colorful sound wave spectrums, full of idioms and expressions familiar and alien, sad and funny, contrived and painfully sincere. Lora states in her artist's statement that "The work is attempting to bring the viewer into a place where I am able to disarm them with imagery allowing them to regress back to a particular memory; a specific moment forever embedded in the brain......whether it be truth or a complete fabrication of the subconscious, the memory has created it nonetheless."

My favorite work currently being shown at 49 Geary would have to be Kathryn Spence's wonderful installations at the Stephen Wirtz Gallery.

Kathryn makes these incredible models of animals out of random found materials -- things like newspaper, beanie baby bits, and fabric scraps from used clothing. Her pieces raise interesting questions about the relation between the man-made and the organic. They are also adorable. I took some photos of them on my Olympus which I hope will turn out well.


Finally, I visited SFMOMA to check out the recently opened Richard Avedon retrospective as well as Robert Frank's "The Americans".
Avedon's work is outstanding. He had a magical way of using the portrait to capture both artifice and frankness. Even the most posed of his portraits can be totally telling of the subject's character, the way he or she wanted to construct his or her image saying just as much as a more candid shot would.
As much as I love Avedon, however, I left the exhibit feeling slightly underwhelmed. My main problem was not so much with Avedon's work as it was with MOMA's presentation of it. I'd already seen the grand majority of the photos in person during a visit to another Avedon exhibit in Paris last summer, and I feel the Parisian curators definitely had a keener sense of how to present the images powerfully. For instance, in Paris, Avedon's photos of working class Americans were shown in a room painted completely black from floor to ceiling, these massive, striking, black-and-white images illuminated on the walls surrounding, totally spellbinding you, whereas the MOMA exhibit just sort of had a winding labyrinth of overall white-wall gallery space. In any case, the MOMA visit was beneficial in that I did see a handful of shots I'd never seen before, and I was happy to give second thought to some of the images previously viewed in Paris. The image below in particular struck a new chord with me, James Story, coal miner, looking to me almost like a blue-collar Jesus -- the way coal had mixed with sweat to form blood-like trickles on his forehead, all he was missing was a barbed-wire crown.

While I may have had a few misgivings about the Avedon exhibit, I was completely floored by Frank's "Americans".
Frank did a brilliant job at organizing his sprawling photo essay on Americana into several pointed critiques on contemporary America's icons and values, unmasking the disparities in American society and the hypocrisy of its leaders. I can only imagine what kind of uproar this would've caused at the time of the book's release, and I'm totally tickled at the thought of it. The sequencing of the exhibit was super powerful, juxtapositions of images often producing more compelling results than the singular photos themselves. I highly recommend a visit.

That's about it for this long-winded blog entry. Go check out these galleries and exhibits for yourself!


"He is much better off without me … I wouldn’t make a good wife for anybody"
On May 1, 1947, 21 year old Evelyn McHale plunged to her death, leaping off the Empire State Building and leaving these words scrawled, and then crossed out, on her suicide letter. 86 stories and four minutes later, photographer student Robert Wiles snapped this photograph of her lifeless corpse. There is no blood, there are no mangled limbs. Her nylons are ripped and lace her ankles together in dancerly contortion, her face is made up and her fingers daintily gloved, as her immobile body lies cradled in a bed of glossy black limousine.

"Dying is an art, like everything else." - Sylvia Plath


Truly pathetic how long I've gone without writing in this, but having just turned a year older (but probably not a year wiser) I hereby pledge to become more engaged in this darn blog! In any case, expect a hodgepodge of different things inspiring me at the moment, a patchwork of varying creative stimuli if you will. I've also made a new drawing but don't have a scanner so that'll have to wait... but it's on its way!

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