Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Buildings Look Better With Monsters On Them

Look really far back in my albums on facebook and you'll find some very strange, surreal line drawings that I made about a year or two ago, part of a big break I took from painting my sophomore or junior year.

3rd Ward Parking Structure

The Building with Hanson Dodge Creative in it.

That break, paired with a printmaking course a year later, really set the stage for the aesthetic I've been working with lately. I'll post some of those drawings tomorrow, but looking back now, it's funny how doodles and cartoons I did while trying to relax from art ended up becoming an integral step in getting where I am today with my work.

Shoppin the MAM

I like the Calatrava. I think it's very pretty. But sometimes, I just am annoyed with how damn white the thing is.

It's hard to really criticize a something that is a one-of-a-kind, building sized work of art that is so dear and near to the city...and one that I really don't have any negative feelings toward...but sometimes, I just wish it had some color to it. Either in the inside side hallways, the atrium, or the side panel on the outside.

I think it could be very striking and intriguing to see some kind of temporary rotating mural or banner hung in that space, connecting to a show inside the museum or some kind of theme for the city....

Reginald Baylor Studio: Art meets App

Check out the new app from the Reginald Baylor Studio ( combining art and app in a fun, coloring-book-sorta way. Take Baylor's iconic painting and change the colors to fit your aesthetic. A cool way to get art into the everyday...

New Ferrari Claims "Fastest Street Car" Crown

The new Ferrari F12 claims the top spot as the fastest street car in the world, clocking a top speed of 310 mph, among other new features that boast enhanced performance and power in a saturated supercar market. Check it out.

On the Seas with Miro

Did some thinking about this piece and I think it's a direct reaction to a Miro I saw at the MAM, a piece I don't ever remember seeing before.

It doesn't really look like the piece at all...but I remember being awestruck by the piece when I saw it. I've always been a fan of Miro, especially recently, and I think this most recent piece was an attempt at accomplishing some of the gorgeous simplicity that Miro has. While much of my work has been packed to the brim with mark-making, Miro is much more decisive, much more abrupt. I don't think I quite got there with the bottom work, but it's on the way.

Don't get me wrong, I still like the bottom piece..,I think it goes very well with the work I've been doing while also providing a slight calm, at least in comparison to recent work. I would like to see it taken a step further though, a step closer to simplicity...

I guess that's the good thing about being a young artist...everything's a process, everything's a step toward your can continue to push yourself to try new things and you don't have to be disappointed if it doesn't quite work.

Shopped Again

Here's a couple more quick mural photoshop things I made.

It's not that I think every blank wall needs a mural...I don't. That would look ridiculous and your eyes would probably start bleeding from the overstimulation...BUT I do think there are a lot of opportunities where murals would greatly enhance the community and bring art to a more "regular" level. The art community and the general community will always be separate if art is only seen in the galleries.

Occupiers Take On Whitney Biennial.

Check out Mary Louise Schumacher's article on a recent call from "Occupy" to end the Whitney Biennial, largely considered the most important US showcase of contemporary art.

Now...I think I've made it pretty clear that I don't exactly like the occupy movement. I think, generally, it lacks focus and any type of attainable goal, let alone a path to achieve that.

I don't like thsi new idea for the simple reason it does nothing to actually help artists. If you read the letter, it basically says "it's really hard to be an artist or art worker in today's economy...and since you aren't directly giving artists money, we want you to close." It addresses a problem, and instead of providing answers, it says "close your doors."

While the idea behind it is solid, instead of actually doing something that benefits the people they feel are being slighted, they want to hurt those that are benefitting. The artists aren't directly getting rich, so the people putting on the show should lose money! Instead of saying "give the artists a portion of the ticket sales, give them a stipend, or maybe have prizes including shows at other galleries," they want to cancel the show altogether.

It's just a step in no direction at all. Instead of helping artists, there's one less cultural event in the US. Instead of promoting arts in all it's forms, we should shut down the show so artists don't feel used Instead of awarding artists a HUGE showcase opportunity, you should just continue with your normal exhibits and tell the emerging artists to figure it out themselves.

I liken it to hungry people being angry that they can't afford bread from a bakery. Instead of asking the bakery to lower prices, working to pool money together or  starting their own bakery, they immediately choose to burn down the bakery. Now no one has bread, the ingredients were wasted, the owner's finances are devastated, and the community still is hungry with no next move. It just doesn't help anything.

Instead of closing down any exhibit that benefits trustees, collectors, or corporations (pretty much any major exhibit would fall into this category), why doesn't the occupy movement, with it's hundreds of thousands in donations, propose putting on their own show which WOULD benefit the artists? Why don't they push an agenda which actually directly helps artists, in the way they say the Whitney Biennial doesn't. It's just another thing we can complain about, something we can pat ourselves on the back and say "way to stand up to those evil rich guys" without ever actually lifting a finger in any real attempt to fix the problem.

Hundreds of Burials Discovered in 'Hades' Cave

A cave used 5000-7000 years ago for burial rituals, and once almost becoming a major tourist trap, may have been the basis for the Hades myth, Scientists say. The next big step will be excavating the area around the cave, in hopes of understanding it's uses and the people of the area more thoroughly.

Saving Owls With Guns and Chainsaws

Even after the Northern Spotted Owl was placed on the endangered species list in the 90s, greatly reducing the amount of logging from their habitat, the animal has continued to see a  fairly drastic decline in its numbers year after year. Now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has formally proposed a few plans they think will help the owl out...and many people don't agree.

One proposal includes limited logging, thinning forests that have been over-grown and have high risk for fires, and the other calls for shooting the Spotted Owls biggest and most intrusive enemy, the Barred Owl. And though the proposals are backed up by the FWS, others are afraid that not enough research was done on the ideas and that smaller scale experiments should be carried out first. Take a look...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Amelia Earhart's Final Resting Place Found

According to researchers on the project, the final resting place of Amelia Earhart has been found, putting to rest the age-old mystery of the famous female aviator.

While they haven't found bodies or direct links to Earhart or her navigator, the volume of evidence they have found points to an emergency landing in a small coral atol called Nikumaroro. Researchers say they have found a woman's shoe, an empty bottle and historical reports of "signs of habitation," things that are not normal on islands deemed "uninhabited."

Not to mention a partial skeleton that was found in the 40's, met physical specifications of european females, yet was unfortunately lost to history...


Sometimes Dolphins swim in groups numbering in the thousands. Sometimes, those groups can get scared by loud noises. Sometimes those groups stampede, and sometimes those stampedes get caught on camera....

Well That's One Big Penguin

Fun fact of the day: There was once a penguin that stood around 5 feet tall and weighed 130 lbs, nearly 1.5x the height of the tallest penguins today. Awesome...

Apps for Apes

I think I posted about this a few months ago, but it's a pretty cool program. They give Ipads to Orangutans so that they can continue interacting with each other throughout the winter months spent indoors at zoos. Experts say the long months indoors can stunt social growth, and the Ipods allow the Orangutans to communicate with each other, as well as take on activities like painting....check it out.

The only question I have is, if I get an Ipad, can I Skype with an Orangutan? Cuz that would be cool.

The 1% Evil Banker is...A Hoax

The Web was abuzz last week when a blog posted a supposed receipt showing a 1% tip on a $133.54 bill with the words "get a real job" directed toward the waiter/waitress. Well after publishing a story, featuring the story on their show, and receiving millions of hits, comments, and beratement toward the supposed banker, Trending Now reveals that the receipt was a hoax, backed up by the real receipt from the restaurant and insistence that no one on their staff had done it.

Now it's not that big of a deal. It's nothing to get too worked up about...and there's nothing to really feel sorry for if you were one of the thousands jumping on the bandwagon against this made-up banker.

BUT it's a bit of a depressing symbol of our eagerness to be angry about something, our need to prove that we are better than others, even when we have no idea who that other person is or if what that person did really happened.

I guess I just find it funny...A media outlet publishes a story, the government releases some data, or some big company releases a study and millions upon millions immediately declare it's fake, untrue, a lie, or meant to make money for the big-wigs and politicians. Yet, some random guy posts a receipt on a blog and it's immediately the biggest "call-to-arms" the 99% could hope for, with no question as to it's validity, even by something like Trending Now.

Let's try to view all stories with the same skepticism, especially if it supports your ideas. After all, you're much more likely to believe something if you agree with it, despite what you know or don't know about the actual information.

City Hall Jamboree and "The Scaffolding" Project

Everyone should plan on attending the Art Milwaukee Jamboree at City Hall this March 9th from 7-11...

I will be doing a live painting/collaboration project, "The Scaffolding", which everyone's welcome to join in. I'll be doing a piece along the lines of this...

and alongside will be a series of prompt questions which you can answer through word, symbol, drawing...or I guess whatever way you want to answer...on scraps of tracing paper. The scraps will be periodically added to the piece; within the lines, on top of the structure, underneath paint...all will be integrated into the piece, literally building an image of the future of arts in the city. The linework from me will provide the scaffolding, the layered paper will provide the skin...and through the night we will build up an image of arts in our city, personal to each of our desires.

Come on over to take part in another great event from Art Milwaukee, and I hope you take a few minutes to help me build a picture of our art's future.

Work From The Weekend

Here are the three pieces I worked on over the weekend. Wish there was more, but for once i actually planned some fun stuff that didn't include art.

At least one of these is out in the city today (the first one)...with another to possibly follow if I get up the motivation to carry around a 2x4' sheet of wood for a bit...but I'm pretty OK with this work. Nothing really blows me out of the water quite yet,...and I really like parts of them...but I think they need a bit more work...a bit of a spark to set them off.

The Prado Mona Lisa on Display

The first known copy of the Mona Lisa, made side-by-side with the original, is now on display after  the blitz of news from the newly discovered piece.

The piece itself isn't new, but our understand is. When a later-added black overpainting was discovered and removed, the brilliant background landscape livened up the piece and made it obvious to experts that this copy was more than just a normal, run-of the mill was made in the same studio as the original, made at the same time as the original, and used the best products of the time. On top of showing us a great reproduction of the original, this fully restored version, being that it was made in such close proximity to Leonardo's, shows us what the original probably looked like as it left the studio. Something we have long since only speculated, given the decrepit state of the Louvre's original, and the fact that, due to its importance, it will not be seriously cleaned for a long, long time.  Take a look...’s-copy-of-the-Mona-Lisa-gives-up-more-of-her-secrets/25699

Institutional Blue.

Another piece from Sunday. I was thinking of actually putting this one somewhere around the city. I've been liking the scratching aesthetic, and though you don't have the control I think it creates some very interesting relationships between positive and negative mark-making.

Actually, that lack of control might be something that I really like about the's creates linework that was not totally intended, and so, creates objects that may not even mean what I intended. It's furthering the idea that the artwork is not given power by me, the artist, but by the interaction between the piece and the viewer...

 The Title, as of now, "Institutional Blue" can connect to a number of things. The color, which resembles a pale blue often associated with clinics, mental hospitals...and then the scratching brings forth a more primal, instinctual mark-making.

Sea Scrolls

A new piece I did on Sunday. This piece was actually thought up in a dream, and while i haven't quite figured out exactly what it means, I like it. I think it's a bit more relaxed that much of my recent work...more simplified in color palette, mark, and symbol, and that's a bit of a change....and a good one. As an artist, you shouldn't need to automatically fill every canvas you make and you shouldn't always saturate everything. It may be an easy way to get a piece to appear interesting, bold and powerful, but after doing it too much, it becomes static, unoriginal, and sometimes...a gimmick...

Keep on trying new things people!

Slow Blog...

It's been an interesting last few days. I had a GREAT time celebrating Valentine's Day at County Clare Friday, had a GREAT time checking out the "Accidental Genius" show for a second time Saturday(still don't agree with the name of the exhibit or concept of "outsider art" too much, but LOVED the show). Had a lovely relaxing day on Sunday doing pretty much nothing but art and movies...and then followed up that glorious weekend on Monday by throwing up for about 12 hours, mixing in some cold-sweats, and a headache..

You can't have it your way all the time...sorry Burger King....

Anyways, so I've been MIA the last few days and not posting anything, but have some good stuff to get up on the blog, some new work to post, some new ideas to get going and a few interesting happenings going take a listen to "Slow Country" by Gorillaz, take a look at some art from last week, and let's get on with the next one...

Homes We've Forgotten

The newest placement piece, just thrown out this morning, "Homes We've Forgotten" is a harkening back to childhood drawings. Not that the work I do isn't usually some simplified drawing or symbol, looking somewhat childish, this piece just takes it a little farther. This house is in no way similar to what the home of my childhood looked like, but I've always found it interesting the commonality between "house" drawings of many children. The triangle roof, the little square window, the square bodyof the house...Usually a tree or garage next door.

I guess I'm hoping this piece is comfort...something that most everyone can look at and at least get the idea of home...

The County Clare

If you're ever looking for a nice, one-night stay inside Milwaukee, just to get away for a bit, I strongly recommend The County Clare Irish Inn and Pub. Me and my special lady decided to treat ourselves to a Valentine's Day getaway, and were not disappointed. It was far cheaper than any of the big fancy hotels downtown (with the Friday Night Special) , was just as nice if not nicer, had a whirlpool, was bigger than my apartment AND we got two free drinks and two free breakfasts. We only stayed a night, but it was more than enough time away from the everyday apartment and a good switch of pace to make for a great start to the weekend.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Shop...with a Grandma

Some more "murals"...this time with a lovely old lady walking by...

Stranger On This Road We Are On

Finished the top piece last night and LOVE how it turned out. I think making a scratch-piece on a large scale could be just fantastic.

This second piece is over a minimal piece from around a year ago...and i have no time to explain so enjoy the images!!!

Why You Shouldn't Lose Your Lipstick Over Lead.

There's been a bit of hysteria over a report that lead in lipstick is extremely dangerous for your health...take a look and see the reality behind the report...and the reality behind the science that found the lead...and at the very least, why you shouldn't be worried...

Is Eight Hours of Sleep Really Natural?

We've all grown up hearing that eight hours is a good nights rest, and any less can lead to grogginess, crabbiness, and the dreaded "nodding off in a meeting." it true? Is it natural or healthy to sleep for eight straight hours every night or have humans, over time, developed sleeping habits and sleeping myths at odds with the natural order?


I've always wanted a big mural to be here...Come on Tory Folliard, give me a phone call.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Voyage with No Path or Destination

The last clay-board piece I've been working on...and still have a bit to go...

I just love the linework that comes from the scratching...such a great lack of control...

here are the previous two...for comparison...



and this is the only link i can find! AHHHHHHHHHHH!

And now there's an actual link to a news site...


This is a placement I did yesterday and it's still standing (or sitting) today in the third ward. At the very basis of things, I think this ongoing project is simply "real surrealism". Creating an unexpected situation in a subtle way in a regular place...Creating something that stands out, that doesn't force itself...but simply "effects" our everyday life by existing in a rather unexpected way...

I just wish I had more time to walk around with a bunch of painted rocks to put around the city.

But I Won't Probably Get Very Far.

Newest piece! Two nights work so far...

This is a very textural piece...and it's very natural feeling to me, something I've REALLY been searching for in my work.. Much of the marks were made while looking elsewhere in an attempt to see subconscious or accidental groupings or composition...and it really gave the piece a very fluid aesthetic that differs a bit from work I've been doing...similar...but not quite the same...and that's always a good thing.

iSpy: A Camera Phone Photography Exhibit

Check out iSpy: Camera Phone Photography, a book from The Kiernan Gallery celebrating the the camera phone and its ability to capture traditional photography as well as a unique view of the world, made possible by it's "take-me-anywhere" nature. Featuring work from artists around the country, check out a 15 page preview on the site, and get a copy for your home today!

'Chinese Pompeii' Discovered

In 79 CE, Mt. Vesuvius erupted, sending a 4 to 6 meter blanket of ash over the Roman town of Pompeii, sealing it from history for over 1600 years, and preserving a wealth of knowledge and archeological insight in spectacular condition. Since it's accidental re-discovery in the late 1700s, it has grown to one of the largest archeological tourist attractions on the planet, drawing around 2.5 million people per year.

Now, scientists say they've discovered a 'Chinese Pompeii'. It's not a city, and it's far older than Pompeii (300 million compared to 2,000) the comparison isn;t dead-on, but the preservation and insight into the time-period is unprecedented, just as Pompeii was a few hundred years ago.

Faster Than Light Particles? Maybe Not.

A few months ago, word got out that scientists had found a particle that seemed to travel faster than the speed of light. A finding that would have pretty much blown up countless theories on how the universe works. Now, though, scientists say they've found some problems. A few misconnections between cables cast doubt on the findings and now, scientists doubt the legitimacy of the measurements and conclusions...a bit discoveries are fun, but at least now we don't have to doubt our entire understanding of the existence.

What's the Deal With GMO Labeling.

A lot's been made about the call to require any GMO product to require labeling outlining exactly what genes are in the food we are buying at the grocery store. Sounds like a reasonable request. If someone's been tinkering with the plants that make up my food, I think I have the right to know. But what many people don't seem to realize is that while GMO crops are genetically modified, pretty much every other crop is inundated with countless unknown genes on a daily basis, and we don't seem to care about those. They aren't touched by science...they don't carry the still negative connotation of the phrase "genetically modified." But, is there any real difference between a GMO crop and a crop grown using the billions of naturally occurring "foreign" genes that cover our "regular" crops? Take a look...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Shop

I think the most frustrating thing for me as an artist right now, other than not being spectacularly famous and wealthy, is that many of the ideas you come up with simply aren't feasible. Whether it's scale, funding, opportunity, or physical ability, I always seem to have more ideas, more ambition than I can truthfully turn into least for now...

SO, instead of resigning my artistic ambition to the back burner when I run into, say, reality, I've decided to use photoshop from now on! Hooray for fakes!

Photoshop...not really there unfortunately. 

If We Outlaw Abortions, Why Not Vasectomies?

A Georgia Democrat has proposed a bill that would set limitations on the ability of men to get vasectomies, limiting the procedure to men who need the operation for health risks. Rep. Yasmin Neal says she has no personal problem with vasectomies, but that if we are setting restrictions on women's ability to control reproduction, we should set equal restrictions on men. The bill was proposed as a response to an anti-abortion bill that would outlaw abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, and even takes some of its language directly from the anti-abortion bill.

Some representatives say that the bill isn't serious and makes light of a very real concern, something they criticize. But proponents say that, while the bill was never meant to pass, they want it to bring up the issue  that women have as much right as a man to decide what happens to their body.

iSpy Camera Phone Photo Exhibit.

Check out the new ArtDoze post for the "iSpy Camera Phone Photo Online Exhibit" hosted by the Kiernan Gallery. Featuring work made with phones instead of a traditional camera, the show features seventy works, some which displays traditional photography, some exploring the unique ways the camera phone can be used.
Check it out.

Making the Penny Practical

 The penny costs 2.4 cents to produce, and at a value of  1 cent, it doesn't take a mathematician, or even a high school education, to realize that something's wrong in that process. A nickel takes 11 cents to make with a pay off of 5 cents...again...not too hard of a concept here.You don't trade a $100 bill for a $10 bill....well at least I don' what do we do to make the penny and nickel practical again?

How "The Simpsons" Stole Prime Time

The Simpson's, nowadays, is TV royalty, but it wasn't always that way. Check out the story behind the episode which put The Simpsons ahead of the Olympics and the Cosby Show for a night and onto the main stage of American TV entertainment history.

Memory Cards

If you're going to stay up really late working on a few new pieces so that you can take good photos and post them on a blog the next day, you should really make sure there's a memory card in the camera BEFORE you take fifty photos and leave for work...angry face...

and so, here's an 82 year old woman trying pop rocks for the first time. the best is from 0:40-1:15

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pfister Names Next Artist In Residence

The Pfister has named New York Fiber Artist Timothy Westbrook their next Artist in Residence.

So congrats to him. He has some very unique work and I'm sure the drastic change in medium and art-form in general will draw a very different crowd from the past artists.

However, I can't hide a bit of disappointment. Sure, the person I voted for didn't win, so there's that, but I'm more stuck on the "New York Artist" part of the winner. You have to go with what you think is best, so I can't fault the Pfister there, but I really thought the idea of the residency was more community based, an attempt to offer an area artist a huge stage where they already have a concrete connection, and where viewers could come to appreciate the talent from the area and feel a commonality between them and the person working. Awarding an artist from outside the area, and one from New York, which isn't void of opportunity itself, stands directly at odds with the local art scene....and while I'm more disappointed than upset, I can definitely see where some people may be more of the latter. Mix that in with that the fact that the winner of the public vote got almost twice the votes of the second place vote-getter, yet still was not picked.

I guess it's just a bit "blah" for me now. I liked the residency because it was something I could aspire to, something within grasp for area artists. And not that it isn't that anymore, not that they've changed the philosophy of the residency, but it doesn't have that "local" draw right now. It doesn't feel like it's the city's residency, but more a random exhibit. Something with no roots, something in passing...soemthing I have nothing to do with other than observation. Will he stay to help move the art scene of milwaukee forward once his time is up or will he grab the money and go back to New York, with Milwaukee just a line on his resume?

I'm not questioning or even commenting on the artist's quality. That will come later. I think he has some good talent and I'll definitely check in to see what he's doing. But really, my excitement about this years AIR plummeted with this announcement, and I think that's a big loss for the city.

The Pfister has done what they felt was best for the residency and that's all you can ask for from a company offering such a great prize. BUT, We have some top quality here....some really really great artists that are working for the future of the art in the city in unique and interesting ways...and I guess it's just a big disappointment that one of the biggest opportunities for artists we have here was given to someone outside of the community so many have worked so hard to foster.

Jeremy Allen Sailing

Jeremy Allen Sailing is the, or one of the wonderful people who brought "The Big Ol Art Show" to Madison a month or so ago, and now he's finally decided to share his fantastic photography talent with us on Flickr. Take a look, you'll be glad you did.

"It's so watery, yet there's a smack of Earth to it."

A quote from Buster Bluthe kicks off this newest planetary discovery, a planet scientists say "is unlike any other." It's over 2 times the size of earth, yet less than half the density and with a steamy atmosphere, it's believed that this planet is mostly made up of water.

Scientists say that this planet may contain super-fluid water or hot ice, natural phenomenons made possibly by the high pressure, but that it once may have harbored more Earth-like temperatures as it was drawn closer and closer to it's orbited star.

Given that i seem to be posting new news about planets every other week, I'm gonna throw a guess out that this won't be the last planet "unlike any other" that we'll find in our lifetime.