Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Blind Photographer's Work is "visionary"

Check out this blind photographer's work...pretty darn cool, plus that headline in the article made me laugh a whole lot.

Echoes and Specters

I know I already posted this, but I took a much better photo of the thing this morning that isn't blurry and has the real colors! Crazy huh!

Clyfford Still Finally Opening in Denver

After three decades, over 2,000 pieces by the artist Clyfford Still will finally go on display for the first time in the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver. Due to his distrust of the art world, collectors and museums, Still's work has largely been left unseen as the artist was extremely specific and strict on who could buy his work, where it could be shown, how it could be shown, where it could be donated and even what it meant and what people said about him as an artist. It resulted in him completely pulling away from the mainstream art scene, only allowing 3 major exhibitions of his work while he was alive. Still was so specific that he said no piece should leave the museum and that-
My work in its entirety is like a symphony in which each painting has its part
While it may have annoyed art critics and collectors at the time, it now sets the stage for a very anticipated museum and work that may have, in fact, never been seen by anyone other than the artist and his wife. Seems like yet another reason for me to go to Colorado.

Check out the article below.
The new museum opened November 18th.’s-wishes-are-strictly-honoured/25020

Get in There Nice and Deep-like

Sexual-reference aside I've always found the apprehension most people have to get close to art amusing, especially after the artist himself gives them permission to get close or even touch the piece. I understand it. I don't touch other people's art without permission and probably wouldn't bring it up if I wanted to...but I do tend to get my face right up next to the surface to see the texture and figure out part of the process. The detail has always been an interesting aspect of art to me and I think it's lost on many people. Whenever I'm making art around others I encourage, even force some people to take a closer look.

You want to know the materials? well get up here with me and I'll show them to you...You like the texture? well wait till you aren't standing five feet away. You like that mark? Well it's even better to touch! (this is getting inappropriate)..Anyways...If anyone sees me painting live, feel free to get right up there and take a look, you only get part of the impact looking at the whole thing from far back...

Aaron Rodger's on What's Behind His Great Season

This is a REALLY good article for anyone really interested in the NFL. Sure it's great that Rodgers is the guy...but in all honesty it's super interesting none-the-less. Great insight into Quarterbacking in the NFL...seems a little harder than Madden...

Art Milwaukee & Young Milwaukee Holiday Gala

I will once again be painting live at this months jamboree "The 2nd Annual Holiday Gala" event at the Intercontinental for Art MIlwaukee and Young Milwaukee. Not sure exactly where in the building I'll be but I'll bring some good stuff for buying and a big piece for working on. You can get more info and tickets below...
and also check out the event page

The event will raise money and collect toys to benefit the Zilber Neighborhood Initiative and hundreds of children in need and provide great entertainment and fun for the attendees. Check it out now and hope to see you there.

Are The Packers Undefeated?


Artists Making Art for Artists.

 I really do enjoy spending time talking to other artists, seeing what they are working on, what they are thinking, what they believe to be important ideas...but it really bugs me how often things like that (gatherings or artists starting groups) become artists just high-fiving each other and talking about how awesome art and themselves, by making it, are. It might be the long day and me not sleeping great last night, but I'm sorry, Art, by itself, is nothing spectacular and nothing to be high-and-mighty about. It doesn't make you better, it doesn't make you smarter, it doesn't make you more important and it doesn't make you more thoughtful. It's nothing that makes you better than anyone else and buttering yourself and other artists up doesn't really do anything at all....

I've always sought to get art out there. To make a difference for other people with it. To get people that weren't originally interested thinking and talking about art. I want to get art out into the public in both the physical and mental idea of it. I want people to talk about art, see art, own art, and know art. If another artist likes my stuff then great...awesome. Thanks, you made me feel better about myself and I'm glad. But if the only people that like it are artists...what am I really helping? I'm simply regurgitating ideas to create more art for artists to further regurgitate toward other becomes an endless cycle of artists patting each other on the back, promoting each other, and making each other feel good...and I just find it totally worthless.

Yes it's great to get praise from your peers, but to stop at that and see that as the end point destroys the reason for creating work in the first place. Maybe I'm just perceiving situations badly and maybe I'm clueless at this point...I don't know. I'm just wary of an artist run art artist dictated, artist oriented art community that fails to recognize the needs of the general public. We may be creating things that many people cannot, but that doesn't mean they aren't interested, that they can't understand, they can't contribute or that they themselves can't help. Art is great and all and I love it...but making it without a thought of the rest of the world, being content with using it as an automatic pat on the back, excluding the people around you because "they don't get your work" is a disservice to art and it's importance in the community, as well as a disservice to the community itself. Artists making art for other artists in the same community is not the same as artists working with the community to create a better art community, and I think that's a massively important distinction.

Let's make the art community great without forgetting about the rest of the community.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Echoes & Specters

This is a piece i'm pretty excited about. There's a little bit of work left, but the complexity of the image is very interesting to me.

Much like the previous profile portrait (Dreaming the Heat of the fields) this piece started as something totally different and slowly built up to the level it's currently at. Along with that, the face did not appear until very late in the process, lending to the indistinct nature of the object. the piece is very hectic (like most of my stuff recently) but the face seems serene...the title "echoes & specters" refers to the jumbled background portraying the overlapping and intertwined ideas, thoughts and planes that may be present at any given time. The title refers to the idea of multiple planes of existence, all coming together at a certain point, all lending to the reality of the moment depicted.

The Left-Hand Path

This piece began as a very abstract landscape that I did in 2005 or 2006 which provided the background and basic colors for the piece. I knew I wanted a large hand but really had no meaning or reason behind it till I started doing some research on what side I wanted to use...

Basically, I found that, although the "left" is often associated with the devil or evil, the real literal symbolism is simply "different" or "out of the ordinary." It symbolizes a difference between the subject and the mainstream, and idea that may seem strange, a lifestyle not always accepted, a personality not quite understood. It signifies the decision to take a different road, to explore on your own, to learn for yourself.

While I set out to simply decide which hand to use, I ended up creating an iconic piece that symbolizes individuality as a whole...and the acceptance of that, whatever if might be.

Suh Suspended 2 games w/o Pay

Right Suh, that's the worst attempt at removing yourself from the situation that i've ever seen.
If you didn't see the stomping incident on Thanksgiving Day football...well, you have a life outside of mainstream America and congrats for that...for the rest of us, we knew punishment was coming, the question was how much. 

Well today the league announced that Suh will be suspended for two games without pay, and to me, it's a pretty fair punishment. I wouldn't have opposed or been surprised by a bigger penalty, but I don't think this is too small in any way. Let's get this straight, I deplore what he did. Anyone defending him needs their head checked. It's not sports, it's dangerous and can't be allowed on the football field. That said, the NFL season is 16 games and he already essentially guaranteed his team one loss when he got kicked from the last game.  Getting suspended 2 more games in the NFL is equivalent to 10 games in the NBA, and 20 in MLB. I know 2 seems like a pretty small number, but with so few games, the importance of each game, and the fact that the Lions are on the edge of the PO picture, these two games could end up having a pretty huge negative impact.

Pair in the fact that he makes 80k per that's 160K in fines as well as not being able to help your team at an extremely important part of the season...

So overall, the crime was bad, the denial was idiotic, and the apology was half-hearted. The punishment may not be as harsh as many people call for, but with the Saints coming up next week, Suh being gone could derail the Lions once-hopeful season, dealing a punishment worse than any fine for competitors...the end of the sporting year.

Yao-za! That's Good Wine!

Yao Ming (en-smalled to decrease texture)

Yao Ming, recently retired Basketball player, is joining the ranks of many ex-pro-athletes in the wine business opening Yao family Wines in a California outpost, bent on targeting the Chinese market. Unfortunately for most of us, Yao's first wine is priced at $289 per bottle, with his next batches set to be even higher...

Not that I'm a huge wine fan or connoisseur (Franzia would be the first brand out of my mouth in a "categories" game) but I do wish I could just yell YAO-ZA! THATS A GOOD WINE once in my life...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Gallery 218

Looking for something to do this Friday Dec. 2nd? Come check out Gallery 218 and some great work for this weekends "Marshall Building Holiday Open House." I'll have two pieces showing along with usual members (up to five now!) and we'll have some food and refreshments and the artists ready for you to talk with. I believe it is the last event before Xmas and a great opportunity to get some work for anyone needing a good present...soo come on down to the Marshall Building this Friday Dec. 2nd, and take in  some great local art.

Why People Hate Tebow

So I found this little nugget of "why people hate Tebow" and my reaction is...You hate Tebow because of his beliefs? You want to advertise this?

Oh you only hate him because he thinks God looks out for him and his success? Isn't that still a belief? Isn't that still faith? Doesn't everyone who believes in God thinks that he looks out for them? If not, why the hell do they pray to him? So he prays after he least he takes it more seriously than a point to the sky. At least he actually seems to live out his beliefs while other guys thank God, give God credit when they win and then go to a strip club to celebrate. I mean comes down to the fact that you hate that he openly displays his religion. Ndomikong Suh said that the only people's perception of him that he cares about is his mom's and "the man upstairs." Why isn't their so much hate toward him? He obviously thinks his "Jesus" pays specific attention to him and how he acts on the football field...

The hypocrisy here is staggering. You have a guy that is the most outspoken serious public religious figure since the pope and you hate him because he openly states and displays his beliefs, yet your family thanking God at the dinner table is fine, Suh saying that God knows what he really did is fine, and every other player and their grandma throwing up props to God after every good play doesn't matter. If anything, Tebow is the most legit person here. Not only does he stand by what he says and does, but he seems to live the things he believes without throwing scorn or judgement onto the people berating him every week. Suh just stomped a guy as he lay on the ground and then went on to lie about it, saying that "only him and the man upstairs know what really happened." How is Tebow giving thanks after success worse than Suh claiming God agrees that his "stomping" was A-OK?

Im not a Tebow fan. I'm not even sure what I believe anymore. Haven't watched a single entire game he's ever played, haven't been to church in around four years...but be real people. You hate him because he is open, steadfast, and honest with his beliefs. Who cares if he thinks God helped him in his life to get where he is...Do you think God really put your thanksgiving meal on the table? Do you hate your Grandma if she thanks God for safely bringing the family together? For getting you a good Turkey? I mean there are 6.8 billion people on the planet, you think he gives 2 shits about your middle-class american families' thanksgiving dinner?

If you are going to hate a guy because he is not a good QB that's one thing. But if you are going to hate him because of what he believes then that's just sad, pathetic, bigoted and an internet meme does nothing to help your cause. Go ahead and mock him...but just as your meme says God doesnt care about his TDs, I'm sure Tebow cares just as little about what you think about his faith.  And through all this,  he still is the one who refrains from mocking you, criticizing you or your faith, or forcing his beliefs upon you...who's the better person here?

Taking The Left Hand

There is a ton of symbolism associated with hands and the right/leftness of them. For the most part, the right hand is the good side, the left is the bad...but it goes a little deeper than that. At first, the left-hand path as it's called, was attributed to the people that took a path of life away from God...a path opposed to the "sitting at the right hand of God" idea. However, as people and society evolved, the differences between the two became much less obvious or telling. From a figurative sense, the left hand meant following the devil, but in all reality, the literal idea was that the left hand was simply a "different" path than the widely accepted religious ideals. Today, that "left-hand path" could be seen as any number of life paths. If looked at this way, it falls from the "evil" symbolism and becomes a much more universal symbol of individuality...something symbolizing our freedoms to choose a unique path. The piece has a bit more work to be done on it...and a title needs to be chosen, but that's the overall idea behind this piece.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Great Expanse, A Shallow Pool

This piece is brand new and gave me some good ideas for a large piece. I like the general confusion of the piece. You can't really tell if you are looking at something endless and expansive or shallow and small. It could be flower petals on a pond or red stars in the black sky...the immensity of the endless universe or the intimate reality of a short-lived "after-rain" puddle. Is it important or incidental? Everlasting or a blink? Everything or nothing at all? The idea that either can appear to be the same is an interesting one that needs further investigation...good job little've given rise to something greater...

what's stopped us from meeting our greatest challenges...

This article is about a month old but it holds some very good points and quotes. While the overall article is is compeltely negative toward anything Obama, which will alienate many into dismissing the article as part of the righty-bible-thumpers rhetoric, it still brings up some very good ideas...If you really like democrats for the fact that they are liberal and hate republicans for the reason they are conservative or vice versa, this article is not for you, you will not be swayed, and I'm not sure there's a solution for you at all anyway...but if you, like Obama said in his 2008 speech and quoted in this article, think that...
"what's stopped us from meeting our greatest challenges is, "the failure of leadership, the smallness of our politics -- the ease with which we are distracted by the petty and the trivial, our chronic avoidance of tough decisions, our preference for scoring cheap political points instead of rolling up our sleeves and building a working consensus to tackle big problems."
...then you might enjoy this.

Rolling Stone names top 100 guitar players...

You can probably guess who won...he's a pretty popular guy in terms of guitar playing...but check out the rest of the list and read up on some of your favs...

PVC Pipes Killing Millions of Birds in Nevada

Used for old mining claims, the PVC pipes sticking out of the ground were never expected to become deathtraps...but a new law pushed forward by a bird conservation looks to stop the problem.

The pipes look like perfect nesting areas for birds...a small hole sticking out of the ground in the middle of a desert, just big enough for a bird to fly in...the problem is that the pipes are only big enough for that. Once inside, the birds cannot extend their wings to fly out, and the pipes are often to smooth for the birds to claw their way to the top. The result is estimations that rise above one million bird deaths.

Check out the story...

Cost of Occupy

The movement's quieted down a bit recently, at least as far as media attention goes, and this article points out one reason why I don't think the simple protest route is really gonna have any affect....the fact that it's actually costing the very people it's claiming to represent through city spending. While some of the larger cities seem to plan for things like this, putting millions aside in the budget for unexpected events that cause  overtime, extra police and cleanup, other towns are really feeling the pinch, especially in a year that, once again finds our economy slow, budgets extremely tight, and political tension rising...


I started this the other day and due to the holiday, haven't had a ton of time to work on it, though I like where it's heading. It's done on top of "Man Made the Mountain" which, while i liked the effect the design created,  did not represent the work that I really do and believe in. This piece is meant to signify the idea of "erosion." Not so much in the geological sense,but the idea that anything, no matter how strong, will eventually change do to the billions of tiny things that affect it over time. from the monuments of ancient times to natural canyons to the buildings of today, even stone will eventually wear down to sand through the passage of time and I believe, the same can be said of ideas, beliefs, and the people which hold onto those.

The piece is meant to represent the slow deterioration of the pillars of beliefs and ideas that we build our lives around, yet fall into disarray as we move through time and change with the world around us. A monument in itself perhaps that will follow the same fate...

There's a lot more work to do here so It;s nothing close to complete...but It's on it's way.

Diego Stocco

I remember running into the "Bassoforte" video a while back and it was awesome...but I just realized the guy has a ton of really cool videos exploring the creation process of music in all its forms. In just the few I've seen he's created instruments, found instruments, used regular objects, and everyday sounds to make some very interesting compositions and songs. The videos really do make a difference in respecting the entire process he goes through and really are essential to get the entire idea across. As he says at the end of the laundromat video "I know it's funny but that's the whole idea. You can really make music out of everything."

Check him out. It's guys like this that really prove there's still a lot of really interesting music and art going on today...

China's Camo Man

There's a lot of artists recently that have done body painting in some form or another to create illusions...One that's been on MSN alot is the lady that paints people so that they look like expressionistic paintings themselves...and this guy paints himself to blend into his background. While i think it calls for more of a "cool" factor than an actual meaningful response, the technique and thought required for this is pretty amazing, as is the ending effect. Check out the short gallery of the guy here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Kohl's parodies "Friday" for Black Friday.
It's not spectacular but it made me laugh and is better than most of what Kohl's puts out. I thought it was a funny jab at an extremely popular song and is better than  most every other clothes commercial out there...

I don't really get the guy's rant. it's supposed to be funny but it kinda just doesn't make any sense.  He really could have written this about anything and it wouldn't have mattered. You don;'t even need to watch the video as his post really has nothing to do with it.

I think he used the equation "find black friday commerical+one sentence on said commerical+zany reactions in defiance of consumerism in place of legitimately humorous criticisms=comedy gold"

If he really had opinions about the thing he'd have put the effort into writing a funny review, not just write a completely random, unrelated paragraph of crazy things he's gonna do because he saw it...what exactly was so bad about it?

Corporate profits rise while average wages fall

This article doesn't do the best job of "spreading the blame" and pretty much pins it all on Obama, which I don't think is right...but also isn't completely wrong. Many of the problems were inherited and the economy was falling anyways, but the fact that nothing has improved and, in fact, the disparity has gotten worse, Is not exactly a good sign....I don't think all the blame should fall on Obama, but he definitely hasn't lived up to many of his promises to help the middle class.

Ai WeiWei Answers Reader's Questions

Check out Ai WeiWei's views on art and the future of China in an Q&A of readers questions to the artist...

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Little Book

I got a book of little pieces of canvas and it makes for a really good little doodle-book for pastels. I have always liked the look and texture of bare canvas...especially with pastel

I don;t know if I'm keeping them as a book...though I like it now...but I really like how the pieces are developing. They are very simply, but very striking in my opinion. I find a lot of power with these.

The Sigur Ros Experience.

This is combination set I got...only $40 for three vinyl, 2CDs, and 1DVD

Check out the packaging from the new release "INNI" from Sigur Ros. I have to say, it's stunning. Everything from the inside Vinyl wraps to the ticket coupons you got at the admission to the screening to the simplicity of the title sequence, they really have some great artists and designers working to provide not only a great looking product, but  a real, quality addition to the Sigur Ros library and listening experience. If all you've ever done is listen to Sigur Ros, you've really only gone on a fraction of the trip...really, at least take a look at the packaging photos of the various combinations you can get, and then try checking out some videos, images, artwork, CD artwork and apparel...some really great art...and that's art in general, not just album art.

Here's some videos to check out if you're too lazy to do it yourself (and there's nothing wrong with that).

The Medicine Man

This piece came as a bit of a just wasnt working out very well and I thought it a very weak piece after the first session working on it. It seemed more like a doodle than anything with a point, direction, or plan...and that doesn't usually bode well for the piece to stay in the state its in.
And it may still not be's not one that immediately hits me quite yet. But it's on it's way. I sat down and decided to make some major changes that created a face out of the large "object." I think a bit more focus on the piece will help. I'd like it to absorb a more primal quality with the colors a little less vibrant, the lines more blurred, the surface looking more worn. I want that subtle "scratching" aesthetic of the peach on the background to be more integrated into the face a bit...I think right now the face looks a bit un-emotional, a bit ageless...I'd like to see a much more weathered and wise face staring back. I spose this piece would be at about step 3 if we were to lay down a 5 step plan...It's got all the main players, just needs some specifics to really get it past the "Oh that's nice" reaction and up to "awesome" status.

Avoid The Night

This piece is titled "avoid the night" and it is a painting of sailboats at night, but has more to do with the isolation and separation created than the actual sailing representation. The piece is meant to get across the isolation of night on the water...the danger that lurks, how separated you are, even from that which is directly around you...The stark difference between the still quiet and the action of the unseen. I think the large, abstract and broad strokes mix interestingly with the scribbles and small scratches...though both the same color, each has a very different and visually impactful emotion. The spears of light and color become objects in foreground despite them being a simple lack of paint on the surface...they seem to float as a sail would at night...This piece is small (16x20) so I am interested in trying the "separation methods" of the large and small strokes on a large scale...

A-Rodge Photobombin

Apparently the best QB in the league photobombs as well as the best...and he has a website dedicated to it.

Sued for Rolling Own Cigarettes...

I can see how they could come down on the stores allowing the high number rolling machines if they change the law a bit, but I don't see how they can sue them now. Technically they are following the law, even if the law is written poorly. It's a fairly frightening sign to me. They are going to continue to find loopholes that benefit the consumer and they will continue to re-write the law so that those loopholes are stopped until it's basically unaffordable to smoke. While that may save lives and is good an all, I don't think the gov. should have that much control over what we decide to do with our own health.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Riiiiiiiiiight PETA....

Apparently that anti-mario ad was a joke...except they only said it after everyone realized how stupid and trivial they can be...Truthfully, if they really meant it as "tongue-in-cheek" they would have said that it was a "funny way to assess a real problem" at the outset....

Designers...a revolution perhaps?

This is pretty funny and completely true (don't tell your clients)

The Man with the Yellow Wallpaper

I had my rents bring this old guy back to me last weekend. It's always been one of my favorite pieces ever since I did it back in 2005...that'd make meeeeeeee 16? ish? and just getting started in my serious painting. I  think I had started painting extensively about a year early and this was one of my first pieces that still sticks out as successful even all these years later.
There's obviously things I would probably do differently now. I think the background could have been much more patterned and, given my recent work, would find itself insanely detailed had I done the piece now, but I still like stark separation of the man and the background, mostly through color. The "fuzziness" around his lips and nose are definitely my least favorite parts, but if I remember how my old self worked, control wasn't always my strong suit. I'm torn between adding a couple things and just leaving it as the "original piece."

HS Turns Down Vikes LBs 20K Donation

Two Vikings Brothers, who are also two of the teams LBs, tried to donate 20K to their small HS in Baltimore so that they could replace the scoreboard which had fallen into disrepair. The problem? They wanted their name on the board...Apparently it's against the law for a public building to name ANYTHING after ANYONE...and so the school declined the proposition. What I'm sure they didn't expect was the call from the brothers for their money back.

Now there's two things you can say...
1.How dumb can a school be to turn down 20K in these times?
or 2. What happened to selfless donation?

The worst part is that the brother's were planning on giving additional money that included improving the field and facilities, but now that plan's been scrapped saying the decision was "like a slap in the face".

I see both sides. I don't think that taking the money back is in the "spirit of giving" but I also see how they feel disrespected that the school just turned down the proposition outright. I don't see simply getting a name on something as bragging like some people might, but taking that money back doesn't exactly make you seem as generous as when you first donated the money.

As for the school, I really find it difficult to see the point of a rule like that. Sure I bet its about not putting up companies names or avoiding controversy, but when it stands in the way of a huge donation, you should probably look at the specifics of the rule. It lessens the chance of someone donating money while maybe stopping a controversial name to go up once every 20 years. I would rather get the money and deal with the very occasional controversy.

I'm not sure who's really at fault here...I don't think they should be taking the money back, but at the same time it's their donation and they have the right to have a say in it's implementation. On the other side, I think the school is really hurting itself by the strictness of the rule and giving a very legitimate reason for the brothers to withdraw the donation. You shouldn't need something in return for a donation, but you also should be aware of financial situations and take advantage of generosity when it comes your way...sometimes that includes honoring the person who made the donation.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Obama Assassination Attempt

Did anyone else completely miss this?

Apparently a gunman fired two shots at the White House last week, cracking one of the windows in the living quarters. Luckily the President and his family were away at the time (wouldn't you think you should know that if you were planning an assassination?) and no one was injured...The man was taken into custody later in the week in Pennsylvania and will face charges soon. The man had been reported missing by his family on OCT. 31 and authorities said he was "obsessed with Obama."

How did I miss that story last week!?

Buying Hirst for 7$

I can't tell if this is a cool idea or completely exploitative of people interested in "owning" a piece from a famous artist, meant to make already successful artists richer. Given that the last story I heard about Damien Hirst was that he decided to de-authenticate a large number of boxed pieces, retroactively saying that the pieces all had to be included together in order for the piece to be sold as an original Hirst, I have my doubts that this will be as care-free as it seems here.

The general idea is that you can buy a piece of digital art for your phone, computer or tablet that is numbered and comes with a signed certificate from the artist. The pieces are said to run between 5-500 pounds. I guess the certificate makes it official, I just hesitate to pay for something that you don't actually get to put your hands on (especially art). When you buy a print, you are paying for the edition that it comes in. The fact that only so many were physically made dictates the price and provides the insurance that you aren't paying more money for something that can simply be made a 100,000 more times and continually numbered. There is an edition number that will not be exceeded. The problem here is that the work is completely re-producable in the digital format. While the sellers may be completely honest in numbering and distributing the art, the people who buy it have every ability to post, print, or hand-out to any number of people, creating what I could see as a HUGE problem authenticating the works if you ever did want to sell them.

I suppose it's about the idea of spreading art around to everyone so I can't disagree with just boggles my mind that people would spend hundreds of dollars on a digital file of a piece of art...especially when you can get an actual piece for the same price from most local artists (i realize the name is a big part of it)...I think it would be even cooler if it was an open call for artists to take part so that it not only spreads art to consumers, but actually helps working artists as well. I'd be interested in reading the fine print about what is and isn't allowed in terms of using the pieces after you have received them. I guess Im just not one of those people that wants everything digitized...

And if anyone is interested in this idea, I have real physical or digital art that you can buy for your home for good prices....and they're bigger than an Iphone screen.£7.50/25100

UN-Hate Ad Campaign angers US and Vatican

A recent ad campaign called "unhate" from the clothing company Benetton which features prominent political and religious leaders smooching has drawn wide criticism from both the White House and the Vatican over the use and perceived message of the ads. The Vatican said the ads were:

a clear demonstration of how publicity can violate the basic rules of respect for people by attracting attention with provocation

First of all, it's a fairly unhelpful and blase message that all of us already know we should probably do. Seeing a poster of two leaders kissing really doesn't "flip a switch" in my head at all other that "what the F is that for?" For the people that do hold religious or political hate within, I doubt a campaign with the people they dislike kissing the people they support will do anything but make them more angry. Secondly, I think less "un-hate" more "awkward" when I see these. Partly because, while they are decently photoshopped, they definitely don't look natural or comfortable. Perhaps it is the US. concept of a kiss as more a sign of love than a general "acquaintance hello" type message...but with the US pres being in a bunch you'd think they'd have thought of that. Not that love doesn't counteract hate, but more that kissing on the lips, in my mind, links directly to romance..( I know that's not true around the world but it's worth bringing up as to whether or not its a successful ad campaign)

I dunno. I'm not offended, i just don't know if "tolerance" is really the message I get here...

I get a very strong pro-homosexuality message (sans the identity of the leaders) which is no problem at all, I just don't think  that's what they were going for... I dunno it's hard to dislike ads like this since the message is good...I just think there could have been a more creative, new, and less offensive (to other people) way to carry it out...You don't want to express tolerance in a way that induces hate and causes some people to take offense.,,

The Update says they've pulled the pope ads due to legal action from the Vatican, and also that the White house has expressed its displeasure with the use of the president's image.

and the story:

The Planet is Cool

and it's things like this "ghost mountain range" hidden under miles of ice that just make it amazing to think what else could and is going on. Take a read...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Glen Small

I watched this documentary the other day with no knowledge of the guy, his work, or really what the thing was even about other than this guy was an architect. Turned out to be a really good movie. First of all, the guy had some awesome and very different and revolutionary ideas in the 60's. He was thinking about how to conserve space, conserve the environment, and integrate architecture into nature in an unobtrusive way. Some of his designs share similarities to some more famous guys like Frank Gehry (MoMA) and Santiago Calatrava (MAM) but they really stand on their did the guy himself.

The movie ends up being as much about him and his architecture as it is about his family-life (or lack there of) and how such a "genius" has become forgotten and "wasted" as the architect himself puts it. The movie paints a picture of a man who was obsessed with changing architecture, obsessed with the perfection of his design, yet he let his desire to be in control destroy any possibility he had for making a real difference.

One part of the movie describes the man and his reason for failure fairly well. He is introducing some greats of architecture to his classroom of students for a panel discussion. But instead of announcing the names and leaving the floor to the architects, he introduces each by name and then mocks their "selling-out" their "fakeness" and their, in his mind, undeserved success...Even in a panel discussion with the men that ruled his profession, he couldn't stop himself from burning bridges.

It was a very good movie; a sobering story of talent wasted, a sobering look into the life of someone who always viewed himself and his ideas on an untouchable pedestal, only now realizing that he is the main reason for his perceived failure.

Check out some of his stuff:

His website:

and the movie!

What I learn as an artist volume 9

#17. Never assume that a lid is on tight, that the bucket can balance "just for a sec" or that your "pinky can hold the weight if you hurry."

It's most likely never the case

Aww...still not aliens

So those lines in the middle of a China desert are not alien landing spots after all. Apparently they are satellite calibration devices on which satellites focus on to orient themselves in space...Not as interesting as aliens...but maybe that's just what they WANT us to think.

Resetting Occupy

I'm glad to hear that some of the protestors realize that the encampment was NOT actually what the movement was about and realize that the eviction didn't really hamper the movement. It's good to know that SOME of the people actually might realize that what has been going on is really doing a lot of nothing other than making news...but there's one idea highlighted in this article that bothers me.

the movement is about people getting together and collecting ideas

I really hope that that's not what it's about. I've always been behind the fact that there is too many loopholes, greed, and laws that help the rich while hurting the poor, but my whole disconnect with the movement is the fact that there is no plan, action, strategy or solution..and the fact that they don't seem to care that they lack these things. I am not going to back a bunch of people that are simply interested in discussing problems, camping out, or getting together. I can do that with my friends in the backyard and it accomplishes about the same amount. If any of these people actually are interested in changing anything, they need to realize that "being there" isn't going to change a thing. It's this "laissez faire" attitude that just showing support is going to change things. It's the thought that "liking" something on facebook is actually valuable. It's the thought that tweeting how much you care can substitute for doing...

Being in a book club doesn't make you a writer and protesting is not the same as instituting change.

Reefer Madness pay-what-you-can night

It's Pay-what-you-can night at Carte Blanche Studios tonight for their show "Reefer Madness." Get out and support the great local theater and do while enjoying a hilarious musical about the evil's of America's deadliest threat...POT. I can barely stop myself from committing crimes just for thinking about it!

And this Is why Peta isn't taken seriously.

No, the turkey-dog thing isn't's the fact they are protesting the Raccoon suit from Mario. Apparently the raccoon suit promotes violence.

Not the frogger jumping through traffic
Not the gorilla throwing barrels
Not the ability to shoot dogs in Call of Duty
Not mario jumping on turtles
Not mario shooting fire at animals
Not running over pedestrians in GTA
Not fishing games where the point is...FISHING

Not hunting games where the point is...HUNTING
No, it's Mario wearing a raccoon suit that is telling our kids that violence is OK.

To tell you the truth, this is the first time I have ever thought of it relating to the skin of a real animal anyways...I mean, it makes you fly, not sift through garbage. You get it after capturing a leaf, not an animal.

Peta, this is why no one takes anything you do need a manager who can logically look at the issues you are attacking and let you know when it's just ridiculous.

The plight of Raccoon dogs and their unfair treatment is real. Saying that Mario promotes it does nothing but make the real cause look like a joke.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Controversial Anti Co-Sleeping Ad

This one comes right out of Milwaukee...Apparently this city has a HORRIBLE infant mortality rate compared to the rest of the country and even some under-developed countries. (First point, before you freak out about the "Lower than under-developed countries" thing, realize that the US and 3rd world countries do NOT report IMRs [or health in general] the same. the US counts every baby, some don't count babies that are stillborn, some don't count deaths during the first 24 hrs, some are just horribly inaccurate due to lack of reporting and accountability. Is Milwaukee bad? I'm sure, but the same thing happens when you compare our health care and other countries...we always look worse because we have very strict guidelines that are not always followed by other countries.) I don't exactly know the dangers so I find it hard to have too much of an opinion, but i feel iffy about the campaign.

Now, I realize that co-sleeping can have dangers, but so can leaving your kid in a room alone. So can letting your kid play with small toys. So can letting your kid play on a playground. I suppose I'd like to know more. How much does the risk of infant mortality rise? Is that higher than any other normal activity? Is co-sleeping a reason for the high Milwaukee rates or is it just a possibility?

It's the same problem I have with the "don't eat cheese" ad from a while it a contributor to a problem? Yes, but is this the best way to express the dangers and get a logical response from parents? I'm not a parent so who knows what I'll think at that point, but I just feel iffy about the campaign. I realize it's a problem, I am just hesitant to tell people that sleeping with their kids in general is going to kill them when it's probably an extremely low percentage of cases...

Do You Believe in a City of Gold?

Am I on a spirituality kick or what. This piece, which we will call the acronym DYBIACOG (whole title in title), was done over the weekend at Open Canvas and I am very pleased with it. I knew I wanted to do something that related to Pyramid and the spirituality connected with their purpose.

You can look at this piece a few ways. Do you believe in a life after death, as that is the purpose for building such extravagant tombs...Do you believe in a higher plane (of consciousness, of existence, of thought)? As the pharaohs believed they could be elevated to godlike status through death. Do you believe in a better world? A more metaphorical "City of Gold"? Do you believe in enlightenment?

The piece is meant to display this pinnacle, this greatness, this power and forcing you to decide if you believe it's real. Do you think it's possible. Is this beauty just paint on a canvas, scripture dictated by the priests of old, fabled stories passed through generations or is it something we can achieve through our own actions? It's not asking if you believe in the fabled city of gold, it's asking if you believe true enlightenment can really exist...

ALIEN Grids in China!

Well not really but still interesting. Some people looking through satalite maps recently found some perplexing and very large grid systems in remote areas of China. The grids, made up of large, straight white-ish lines cover the ground in a variety of patterns, some including what looks like structures and planes...NO one has come forward to say what exactly they are and guesses range from fakes to mining operations to housing plots to space weapon testing areas...and yes, aliens.

I have no clue what they are...the perfection of the width and straightness, along with how the features of the land come through the lines makes them look a bit fake to me...but they could also very well be military targets for pretty normal bombing wouldn't be that strange of a thing...Either way, if you just scroll around the area on google map theres a bunch of weird stuff like this so I would assume it's not supposed to be very secret as they aren't hiding it very well...

Orioles go Retro

I LOVE retro logos for the most part and love this move by the orioles. Instead of their normal static silhouette of an oriole, the club decided to revert back to it's old-style cartoon logo for the upcoming season. It's a welcome site. With all the italics, lighting bolts, "action" letters and "dynamic" animals, logos really have lost a lot of creativity and especially, personality.
...Now if only the Brewers will make the switch.

Peta wants Turkey-less Thanksgiving.

Really peta? I think Peta should ask themselves "should we have killed 85% of the "rescued" animals that we have taken in since 1998?" Not to mention it's pretty funny that there's a chicken broth advertisement on the left of the page with the article...

OK, I have no problem with vegans or not eating meat. Personally, I don't eat it a whole lot. Didn't grow up eating it, didn't have a steak until two years ago (it was good but much harder to eat than I expected) , and I rarely make it for myself...I just like veggies better...but I've always had a problem with Peta. First of all, they have MANY MANY MANY questionable practices including the euthanasia of over 17000 animals since 1998, (, and supporting radical animal-rights groups. Plus the fact that meat and animal products are an essential part of a HUGE percentage of people's diets, including an important part in the development of kids. I've always had an aversion to advertising against things that are completely normal and healthy parts of diets.

Also, I've always thought that directing advertisements that contain political messages towards kids is lazy, problematic and a little immoral. You are advertising to people that are very impressionable for the sole purpose of making them agree with you because of that...they are playing off the naivety of kids and that is a bit despicable. Tell them that eating turkeys is the same as killing their family pet and they will listen...reminds me of when our priest used to come to class and say that if we didn't tell our parents to take us to church, we were all going to hell...

If you are against the practices used in animal raising then that's one thing, protest that...but using a shock tactic to frighten kids into hating meat is a bit over the top to me.

The Weapons of Warmth

Told ya I had an idea...
Once again, somewhat based on the song "Vesuvius" by Sufjan Stevens. The Weapons of Warmth refers to the volcano as the subject. It's meant to convey the flip-sides of pretty much anything. At one point, it's positive, the volcano brings life, it keeps the planet's a sign that the Earth is healthy. On the other side, it is destructive, deadly and devastating. The Weapon which tears the Earth apart and destroys that which covers the land. The piece is meant to cover both sides...the simultaneous beauty and horror of every situation..that which tears at you throughout life to make the right be able to look at the larger picture. Would you shut down that which may be destructive now, only to push the ultimate pain to another place or person? Would you choose to take the brunt of negativity for the greater good?