Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It's Official.

Let's get weird!
This blog has been goin for a year starting tomorrow and we did great! 17,000 views in the first year, 12,000 in the last four months, and our best month ever at 4,500+ views in January. Thanks everyone for reading...more views means happy dan...and everyone likes a happy dan better than a sad one.

Face Facts

 I hate to draw it or believe it...
But we might just have to face the facts...

NatGeo Photo Contest

I could sit here and write about photography and it's worth and how great it is and blah blah blah...but it's National Geographic...Photography is what they do and no half-baked paragraph from me will prove its worth better than just taking a look. Check out the 2011 NatGeo Photo Contest.

I also was going to pick out my favs...but there are simply 40 stunning photos...and all deserve an equally devoted look.


Happy Birthday MKE

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MILWAUKEE. Apparently you are 166 this year....and that's old.

Let's all make sure to make #166 the best yet...or something cheesy like that

Ferrous House

Check out this awesome local house and review by HypeMKE. Nice photos (wish there was more), good design, awesome architecture...http://hypemke.com/ferrous-house

Just think how great a big ol painting would look one of those dark reddish-brown walls (or at least that's what I think of when I see it.)...i'd be OK with any of the following from the collection of me....

This could be an awesome piece of sculpture full size...

The Year I Became a Liar

I'm a big fan of this piece so far...but it's got a bit of a ways to go still. I want more color and darkness to peak through the white, leaving more depth, detail, and texture, but I also want the white to largely sit above most everything, almost like a blanket. I want it to appear there is something yearning to get out, to end up on top, yet it's being stifled by the thick white sheet above it. The title refers to the method as well as the subject. To create the aesthetic, you lay down a layer of color, then cover it with white. Then more color. Then more white. As you go, you don't quite cover up everything, you smear, you mix, you remove, you miss...all resulting in a surface that is always moving, always working to keep the action at bay, always tense as it remains in constant flux. In result, instead of having a vibrant and colorful abstract piece that blasts you away with energy and emotion, you get a piece which draws you in and pulses at constant odds with itself...reserved and subdued in it's captivity, yet boundless and explosive in it's constant back-and-forth tension.

Something New In Saudi Arabia

Visitors to the contemporary show "We Need to Talk" believe they witnessed the birth of a new movement in Saudi art and some critics agree. It may just be a first step with many obstacles ahead, but it's a first step for a culture which has restricted even the smallest advances and freedoms for artists...

The 40 Worst Rob Liefeld Drawings

Thank god Leifeld had nothing to do with the Renaissance. 
Comic book art went through a little bit of a rough stretch in the 90's. The Laws of nature have never been that big a part of comics, but at least at one point, illustrators usually stuck to somewhat realistic anatomy and physics...Not in the 90s. Comics turned their back on reality and decided powers and fictional stories weren't enough. They needed more muscles, less clothes, less accuracy, and a whole bunch of weird shit that just can't really be explained. Thus, I present a comprehensive discussion on the 40 worst drawings by one of the eras most egregious offenders, Rob Liefeld...

2nd Place!

It's not quite first, but it's the next best thing (literally). 

Thanks to all who voted for me. It was a close race and I came in second. Congrats to Dena Nord (who I actually know and have shown with before) on getting first! Thanks for everyone who took an interest. I'll probably sit out this next one as email blasting and egregious over-posting is not my favorite thing to be doing...but maybe down the road we'll try this out with some new stuff!

Thanks again...and enjoy some recycled detail shots...

Interactive Art

What would make you interact with a piece of art? I don't mean a print of a Van Gogh that you can color on...I don't mean a digital Picasso that you can move around...I don't mean a big coloring book page with some crayola markers attached...I mean a real piece of art.

If you walked into a gallery to large blank canvas, a string with a pencil, and instructions to draw one object, would you do it? If there was a notepad asking for ideas or thoughts, would you write one down? If someone documented the making of a piece on Twitter through pictures, posting thoughts, and posting details, would you join in on a critique? Would you answer their call for ideas?

Or would you look, read, and keep walking?

The worst thing about making art, for me, is the distance that appears between the viewer and the piece. Like the piece is some sort of definitive statement that should not be spoken back to, that CANNOT be disrespected...and while it does hold value, especially to the artist, it's just a piece of art. What would bring a piece to a comfortable level? What would make it personable instead of intimidating? What would make it engaging instead of confusing? What would make you interested in interaction, instead of feeling like it's some deified object? We aren't gazing at the Mona Lisa and showing reverence to the greatest artists of all time and what they mean to history, you're looking at a piece I made in my living room. Loosen up! What would make you comfortable to put in your two sense, get your hands dirty, or at the very least, get out and meet the people around you creating this stuff? What makes art easy for you?

While Milwaukee's done some great things, I think that is the next great step between having an arts community, and having art become a part of THE community.

To Connect or Divide

Surprisingly, this isn't a political question...at first. It actually refers to a pretty big issue with Great Lakes & Mississippi conservationists, city planners, businessmen and environmentalists across the Chicagoland area.

A century ago, Chicago decided to tear down the natural barrier between the Great Lakes and The Mississippi so that they could ship their sewage straight to the Gulf by barge. But, that canal created a route for invasive species, such as Asian Carp, to find their way into the Great Lakes, jeopardizing it's natural ecosystem.

Some conservationists have called for rebuilding the barrier, saying it will save the Great Lakes against increased threat from invasive species...Opponents say that it is too expensive, would cause too many other changes to shipping and business needs, and would not address the number of other canals that enter Lake Michigan...

Read the story below.

48 Dead in Cold Front

Temperatures dipped to minus 23 C this week in the Capital city of Kiev, Ukraine, causing officials to begin opening shelters, offering warm tea, and searching abandoned buildings for the homeless. 18 people have died from freezing to death in the streets, while 30 have died from hypothermia and nearly 500 have reported to hospitals and clinics with frostbite. There have been reports of deaths from Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey, and officials expect the cold to continue...

Check out the story here....

Monday, January 30, 2012

Best Month and One Year Down!

SOOOOOOO....we are one year, 1,000 posts, 17,000 views, and coming off our best month ever (fourth month in a row)! We will end the month almost 1500 views higher than the last month, and, over the last five months, have seen the monthly views skyrocket from around 1,000 to over 4,000. JUST AWESOME.

I mean really, I don't know what else to say. I started the blog because my brain doesn't stick to one thing at a time, I'm a bit spaztic, and I felt like art needs to be more accessible to people...and thankfully, that mixed with somewhat witty writing, random news stories, and a general lack of shittiness has helped the blog reach a ton of people...

Thanks for reading, viewing, spreading the word, checking in, and making all the work involved worth it...It's been a great first year...and we'll see where the next one takes us. Thanks!

The Week In Art

Busy week...but I suppose if it's not busy, I'm doing enough art...

New Panther's Logo

The NFL saw another thing canned in this late stage of the season, but this time it wasn't a coach, player or GM, it was the Panther's oh-so 90's logo. Basically they wanted to streamline the panther and modernize the lettering...

So fortunately, the NFL loses the last vestige of 90's era scratch-action lettering. Oh how we'll miss you hair-metal-esque title font...without you, I guess we'll just have to assume the team is ravenous and wild...

The Year I Became a Liar

My newest in progress piece is well on it's way. Layering and detail and covering up and detail and detail and paint and layers and detail....it's a wonderful process of putting down marks, covering 75% of them up, and putting down more...

Pixar Kills Fish

Alright, well that's a bit overboard on the title, but I got your attention huh? It's not totally untrue, sort of, either. Pixar is rereleasing Finding Nemo in 3D soon, and while that's all great for little kids and animation lovers alike, it's may not be so good for the clown fish.

Conservationists reported that, following the original release of the movie, some populations of clownfish in certain reefs decreased by 75% to feed the demand for the attractive little dudes. Many people didn't realize that tropical fish need more than the simple bowl, and thus a large percentage of those fish died or were rereleased into the wild, some in the wrong ecosystems. Basically, the interest in the fish boomed and resulted in tons of fish dying, many ecosystems being hurt by the lack of fish or tactics used to get them, and many ecosystems being raided by the rereleased, non-native species...
Take a read...

Sun's Gone Dim

In this piece, the final texture actually becomes the subject. The coverage of white is meant to seem like a veil or blanket, covering all else with an overall pan of grey. "The Sun's Gone Dim" refers to the "life" being taken out of the image, falling away from the world.

It's a mess of shape, object, shading and frenzy, yet nothing stands out...everything is contained under an immense grey fog; all at once exploding within a frenzied mind yet reserved to acceptance that the "light" is gone forever.

SEN Video

Check out our video promo for Social Express Network. Filmed and directed by Kurt Raether, the short video promotes our new service "Social Express Network" which seeks to make social networking work for your small business...Thanks to everyone who helped and to the Wicked Hop for providing us the space to shoot the video.


Abstract Form: The Union Art Gallery UWM

Check out the AV Clubs review of "Abstract Form" at the Union Art Gallery...Looks pretty cool.

Restricting Half-Dome

New regulations being considered by Yosemite National Park would greatly restrict tourist access to "half-dome", the parks most famous and frequented landmark. Proposals include removing the steel cables that tourists now use to hoist themselves the final 400 feet at 45 degrees, a move that would basically make the peak inaccessible to all but experienced rock climbers. Concerns have been raised about the amount of people ascending and the effect it's having on the "naturalness" of the park, the experience of the tourist in the park, and about what wear and tear could do to the mountain for future generations.

Other's say that people looking for seclusion and beauty should simply use the other 12,000 square miles of the park.

Making Rain

I did this piece on Saturday and actually hated it through about 90% of the process, but the last few steps really brought it home. It's supposed to be a piece about frenzy, almost like a long-exposure photo of a downtown area on a rainy day; with people running from place to place, patches of vibrant color, and a constant movement, I think the piece catches the situation pretty well...