Sunday, February 27, 2011

Oscars are painful, look at these drawings instead.

Good Lord are the Oscars worse than ever!

Anne Hathaway is getting the over zealous nerd-jock role down pat, James Franco is just seeming invisible. We caught a glimpse of Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin dancing together but the Academy switched screens to focus on Penelope Cruz for a super long shot. And lastly, everyone is kissing the Academy's ass.

What happened to the days of a native woman saying Marlon Brando cannot accept this award.

Man, people do something interesting!!!

Look at Roger Moore, how the hell was anyone to believe he was James Bond? he has no idea idea what to do, what a lame duck.

As a result, here we are loading some pictures onto my blog, the Oscars are just too painful, where the hell is Ricky Gervais? He should have been flown in to save the day after the painful opening scene.

Billy Crystal came out for a bit and you could hear the collective sigh of relief, everyone could at least have a few laughs.

So here is a couple of sketches from some work that is on the sketchbook at the moment.

As you can see with the above image, it plays off of Goya's print, Wonderful Heroism! Against Dead Men! from his series, Disasters of War. I was thinking about heroism and the ideas of manhood. As with previous work, I am using the GI Joe dolls of the 1970s as a representation of the aging adult male. Contrasted to this paragon of self doubt are female characters drawn from Penthouse magazines from the same era, I have quite a stack of mint issues from the early to late 70s.

Anyways, here is the print from the Disasters of War by Goya, this series is powerful and macabre as, well really, most of his later work. I am reading Robert Hughes book on him right now.

This a version by those tools, the chapman brothers. These 2 Brits are called bad boys, but bad only if you consider making horribly obvious work that beats you over the head and makes you think Oliver Stone is subtle. Then these to ponces are radical. They made this stupid sculpture back in the late 1990s which was dreadful and I was so happy to read it was consumed in a fire when a warehouse belonging to Saatchi went up. Good riddance!

These watercolours sketches are studies for my upcoming show at Loop Gallery with Larry Eisenstein, the amazing artist. Right now I'm working out the details of this imagery.

Man, I look up at the Oscars, it bombs full stop!

By the way, here is the website of Sacheen Littlefeather, the woman who spoke on Brando's behalf. No one knows what happened to that Oscar award by the way.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Clothing, Despots and really really good Villians are always British

Sure, when you think of Die Hard the late 80s action film opus, you think of the last of the archetype villain who is German, Hans Gruber.

Within a year, Lethal Weapon 2 would be released and the villains were no longer Germans, our post war animosities were put to rest and now it was the South Africans, with Apartheid, who were the baddies, trading Krugerrands on the streets of LA.

Of course what made Die Hard villain so devilish was Alan Rickman's acting, a classic Brit. He is suave, the first wave of Euro trash we see in Hollywood and this suaveness is shown by his talk of clothes, he mentions how Yasser Arafat has 2 shirts from Brooks Brothers himself. Man, is this guy evil, he knows what a former terrorist wears.

Yasser had a far better idea of how to dress than Gaddafi, like Castro, he decided never to stray from his initial fashion success and stayed with the military olive drab by and large. Why did he not call Muammar up and lecture him on his outlandish fashion sense, I'll never know. Anyways, what is done is done, Gaddafi needs to dress like he is a friend of Diane Keaton, making his own dresses for the red carpet on Oscar night.

Here is the Tyrant who brought us the rumble in the Jungle and his fashion sense:

On the other hand, have a look at these jackets, this is Military influenced fashion that is bang on the money

You can tell these styling of these jackets are just perfect. Many come from a now defunct place in NYC called Operations. These paintings are from my series on Jan's Jackets, and at about 12 Watercolour and Ink, that is pretty much the whole run that I will do of them.

The original idea came from some jackets of mine that were destroyed and I worked on repairing them, then from there, I started painting images of them but abandoned the project. The title came to me in a flash at the time, Battle Dress, as my clothing was often military styled or a military jacket and appeared to have gone through the wars, I will not elaborate.

Here is one of those paintings from about 2 years ago, soon I'll post some more as they are completed.

Lastly, as those who know me, you will remember my Lethal Weapon 2 phase last year where I could not stop making references to it, Alma Varda...9 o'clock. Like that.

Anyways, back when we all sat in a car watching LW2 back in 1989 at a drive-in we all laughed at the scene where the evil South African Diplomat shoots Riggs (Mel) and then shouts "Diplomatic Immunity" as a defence.

Well of course, Murtagh was gonna waste him!

But yet again, proving that life is stranger than that thing that Hollywood claims is art, is the recent news that a US diplomat shot and killed 2 men in Pakistan, he may be a CIA operative and the US says that Pakistan has no right to hold him as he has diplomatic immunity!

here is the BBC article

Monday, February 21, 2011

Libya, Gaddafi and the passage of time

You know, this guy has always been a piece of work, not the least reason being that it appears that his form of plastic surgery/botox was some treatment where they hold a blow torch to your face, Yowzers Kaddafi (as he was called in the 1970s) burst on to the scene in the 1970s and looked relatively normal

This would be exhibit A if you will, contrast that to this footage, it looks like he is wearing a skin mask that he got a la Silence of the Lambs.

In exhibit B, the footage, he exhibits all the traits of a dictator as described by Norman Mailer in "When we were Kings" something to the effect of Ugly, brutal and a ridiculous panache for dressing themselves- I am liberally lifting from what I remember but hey, i saw the film once in 1996 so cut me some slack.

Part of my lament for passage of time that this fool has been around, is that I remember a Saturday Night Live skit they did for a Gaddafi line of clothing " for when you are on the way to an execution" but I cannot track it down, I think it had Bill Murray walking around modeling the clothes around a Jeep.

To think he has been in power that long and able to keep fooling the world, blowing up the plane over Lockerbie Scotland, and then having the audacity to call the protesters "terrorists" by that turn he should be loving them. Not to mention his making nice with the US and the West in general by or is that buy giving 1.5 billion dollars as compensation for the country's collusion with terrorist, which of course they deny but just wanted the US sanctions to end. It is rather hilarious in a mad way. Now of course, no longer a terrorist, Libya took the role of representing the human rights chair at the UN, its true, as Mordechai Richler said, the need for a satirist is over, every day is satire.

So this may not directly relate to the arts, but is more on the reflections on culture; and in closing-

In the spirit of SNL, this is my David Spade tribute:

"Hey Mo Mar!
Guinan called from Star Trek Next Generation, she says she wants her clothes back, Pronto!"

Sunday, February 20, 2011


In Buenos Aires, near the Chacaritta cemetary, there is this crazy warehouse that is absolutely loaded to the rafters (I should know, i was in the rafters) with Wallpaper. When you hear about this, you picture ancient beautiful Argentinian wallpaper, loaded with toxic chemicals but vintage and yet the reality ? The place has thousands and thousands of remaindered rolls from the USA in the 70s and 80s. There were rolls from Wisconsin and as far as some made in Canada which have been shipped to this place.
Why? Who knows.

The place as you can see from this simple phone pic, is a real mess. It is an Insurance collection waiting to happen. The place has rolls and borders everwhere, but we came out that way so we had to grab something.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

February 19th, 2011

Not sure where this was drawn....

Friday, February 18, 2011

February 18th, 2011

A live band at the milonga

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

More sketches from Buenos Aires...Tango.

These are a few sketches of the very popular tango scenes down here, I liked watching all the people on the sidelines- a real interesting assortment of Lautrec to Bruegel types if you catch my drift.

These dance halls are interesting as you have some ancient creepy cronies and young people, a real mix.

I didn't think it was too fair to sit near the front, it would afford me the best view but would block people from the subtle head and eye movements that say whether or not a dance is on.

This Milonga, was set up like a high school dance, wallflowers against the long walls, men to one side, women to the other.

The lady in the middle of the above painting had crazy collagen implants on her lips that seemed to have gone sideways or something, blobs above and below her lips, it was hard to portray that.

More to the left, the woman in the red skirt is Christine, an Australian woman who is staying in the same place as us, soon after this picture was completed she danced with a guy who stomped on her toe and ripped the nail off, yikes.

Monday, February 14, 2011

working sketches

working in the sketchbook on some ideas for an upcoming show at Loop. Here are just a few of the things I'm playing with at the moment.

These sketches are my thoughts and creating the type of short hand that my new work will come out of in the next few weeks. With these pictures, I was thinking of British-Portuguese artist, Paula Rego. Her work about childhood and her handling of materials is always an inspiration.

On a totally different note, when I was in the market on Sunday I painted a few small sketches in watercolour of people, this is one of them. This guy gives a tango show, I won't bore you with the details, but he starts the music people all come together and then nothing happens for awhile and everyone leaves, or sometimes he dances, hard to figure out the reason.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Quick Sketches at a Milonga

These are fast moving people so its a tough gig, let me tell you!

Friday, February 11, 2011


I was thinking maybe sung to the tune of Victoria by the Kinks, at least that is the song I think it is. I hear that guy from the Kinks singing it anyways.

Well, while I'm up I thought, why not post a few more pictures, indeed.

As with my previous if ancient post, I was working on this jacket project, I have finally completed those 12 paintings, thanks to Myles for his generosity in lending me these beautiful and truly precious jackets (coats? I am not 100% sure, i still have a hard time figuring out if something is a skirt or a dress)

I digress, the point I was trying to make was that these belonged to Jan and they are great articles of clothing which say a few things about her, her style and personality. I hope some of these paintings capture those qualities.

This is a great jacket, the cut and line make it ideal to paint. These are not my favorite of the series, but somewheres in the middle. Near the end, I hit my stride and really got somethings that I was really trying to do with this small series. I will get to the post some of those in about a week. They are a little less technicolor and more graphic me thinks.

Well with the other jacket from my previous post you get the idea of what the work looks like. For me, it was great to have something to really focus on after getting the studio re-organized this winter, laid down some new flooring and put mostly everything on wheels- mobile and nimble to accommodate whatever is going on. This is good to as I have to hit high production for my next show with Loop gallery in a few months with Larry Eisenstein, an amazing thoughtful and challenging artist.

Here is a link to Larry's postings he does with ARTPOST, its a interesting blog that is divided up into different artists, Larry is one of them, worth a peruse. Larry's is the top left corner.

BTW, I looked at the lyrics to Victoria, pretty odd, not surprising I guess.
Here is a link to the video.

The guy is frickin' flippin his lid up on stage.


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Tuesday, February 01, 2011