Friday, June 29, 2012

Over-expansion: The Cultural Death Sentence

Most everyone wants to see museums do well. We want culture to be readily available. We want our public to be educated. We want a new wave of thinkers to be inspired by the geniuses of the past. But most of all, we want these institutions to stay around.

The problem is that, in our quest to improve these institutions, we often overlook the very important aspect of feasibility. Getting an expansion is great, until the museum is bankrupt from paying for it, for example. Take a look at this article, where a new study shows that expansion, while an avenue for increased success, is a big risk and, many times, detrimental to the general well being of the institution.

I think this is a great point. We always hear about building building building to improve the culture of a city. Big public art, big purchases by museums, big buildings...all are supposed to improve a city's culture...but no one seems to stop as say "is this sustainable? Does this make sense?" Is there a more practical way to go about it?

To use a religious analogy, the building doesn't matter, it's what's being done by the people that makes religion work. If you build the fanciest cathedral in the world and use it to scam people out of money, you're not doing anything better than the guy down the road who's got nothing but a rosary...

Sometimes a huge addition is great and works just as you planned. But sometimes you need to take a step back, and instead of asking what you want, ask what the most basic need is. If the answer is "art-education" or "improving cultural heritage", you're solution doesn't require a $40 million dollar could work...but it shouldn't be your first step.

We'd Forgotten One Another. The What

A simple but meaningful message behind this piece...another flower related piece, this is representative of a reunion, a nostalgia...realizing that something you once had is now gone...and the flowers are a representation of the intention to fix that.

Weird Thing Of The Day: The "Living Rock"

Check out this weird ocean dweller....Pyura Chilensis, the living rock.

and a little more in-depth...

The Everyday Shuffle. The What

The Everyday Shuffle,  made with footprints, pastel and pencil on black paper, is a representation of the everyday shuffle, the grind of the average day, the dance you perform to fulfill your duties. You make moves, you take steps, you reverse, move forward, you erase, you practice. At the end the day its indistinguishable...a mashup of moments, memories, happenings and a whole lot of blurs and the forgotten...but a layered, textured and unique day nonetheless. Start enjoying you're everyday shuffle.

Assange Remains Defiant Over UK Request

In case you've forgotten about this story, Julian Assange, founder of wiki-leaks, has been holed up in Ecuador's Embassy, fighting rape charges in Sweden and saying that he will not leave until they guarantee him that he will not be extradited to the US to face inquiry for releasing confidential US documents. Assange breached his bail, forfeiting the supporter-donated funds, when he claimed asylum in the embassy, and has repeatedly refused UK requests to surrender. Take a look.

It's important to note that Assange has denied the rape charges and says he is refusing to leave out of fear of being extradited to the US, where he could face charges that are punishable by death. He is in trouble with the US for releasing secret diplomatic cables on his wiki-leaks page.

Do Good Roads Endanger the Sleepy?

We all hate construction, but when it's done there's no debating how nice it is to drive down a smooth road. But do smooth, good roads actually add a potential danger, especially with a sleepy driver?

Saturn's Moon Titan May Have Ice-Locked Ocean

*Not actual size

New observations give the best evidence so far that Titan harbors Ice-Locked oceans, putting into an elite status of water-possible moons, and increasing the liklihood of life somewhere out in the universe...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dinosaurs May Not Have Been Cold-Blooded

New research suggests that one of the most direct pieces of evidence linking dinosaurs with the theory of being cold-blooded has been shot down, raising doubts and questions for the long-held belief. Take a look.
Dinosaur cold-blood theory in doubt

Obama's Good and Bad News

The overwhelmingly good news for Obama is that his Health Reform has been deemed constitutional and may save his presidency. The bad news is that Judge Roberts, the conservative justice who surprisingly sided with the reform, basically pointed out that the only reason it is constitutional is that it can be called a tax...and people don't like when president's raise taxes after saying they will not.
"I'm sure they'll nail us on taxes and I'm sure it will work," said a senior White House official speaking on condition of anonymity. "But, given the alternative, that's a bitter pill I'm ready to swallow."
If you want the health care reform, you have to hope a majority of other people are as willing to say they'll take a tax hike over no health reform as this white house official is....

Fermented Fashion, Wearable Wine.

A textile artist and scientist have joined forces to create a rather interesting fashion statement...wearable wine. Check it out...

Crucible. The Close-ups.

Paint and pastel on glass with frame.

The crucible of civilization...the basis of society...

Feeling The Heat. The Details

Here is my recent piece,  Feeling The Heat On A Mid-Western Summer's Day, with some details and also a view of the back, showing off the collaging of the canvases to create the blue head and the partitions in the surface...Enjoy!

Beyond The Decision

There's reaction in the form of scholarly essays down to 'this shit's wak' tweets, all putting forth there own relatively predictable take on the health care decision. The sentiments are either "how is giving 30 million people health-insurance bad" or "What will the government force us to buy next?"

But what about the conversation of, "why is this plan so divisive and what could we do that is better?"

Stocks Go For Wild Ride After Ruling...

Stocks for insurers, hospitals, and medicaid companies had a bit of a wild ride this morning as news began to trickle out about the Obamacare ruling. Insurance stocks are tumbling while medicaid companies have seen a big rally since initially incorrect reports. Take a look...

Health Care Law Upheld this just happened.

and reactions from important political people on twitter.

Once again, everyone hates each other. Awesome.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

No One Around To Stop You

No One Around To Stop whatever colors you like.

We Welcome the Rain

We Welcome the Rain is a piece about just that...The lower right features three figures with arms outstretched, an object above them as if to capture and funnel the rain in. These days, we tend to equate rain and storms with negativity. Rain equals gloom. It wrecks your day. 

But I don't see it that way. Even here in the last week, Milwaukee could use a good rain. Across the globe thousands of towns are desperate for water, and droughts strangle local communities across the nation and the globe. For many, rain is a godsend. 

I welcome a good rain...

Sidney Hih Poised for Demolition

After some great coverage from Mary-Louise Schumacher and a fantastic amount of discussion on the building, a committee voted 4:1 in favor of lifting the historic designation of the Sidney Hih building, paving the way (pun intended) to be demolished in the coming weeks.

I guess my take on the building (and i have no personal connection to it, only being in Milwaukee for the last 6 years) is that it is simply time for this to happen. I found two points in the article very interesting. A proponent for preservation said that all they wanted was a little more time to find possible options. Yet a few lines later...
"We have let this situation go entirely too long,” Wade said, referring to the long period of deterioration.
So I guess my question is "which is it?"

Why hasn't this been a public discussion until now if it's so vital to the public? Why have preservationists not been so proactive until now? If it's really that important, shouldn't we have cared about it when it first became vacant and a possibility for demolition? I realize that a lot of ideas have been put forth and, unfortunately, none have come to fruition, but there has to be a point when you say that it's time to face the facts that nothing is going to happen.

Maybe I'm wrong and there's been a grassroots movement for this whole time searching for donations, investors and developers...trying as hard as possible to save the building...but if so, I haven't seen it and it still hasn't come up with any real plan after all this time.

It's very broken down. It would take a LOT to fix it up..and that would affect who could then afford to use the space...and I simply think it's probably a better and more effective idea to put our efforts into a more feasible project to preserve and restore culture. Not that I know what that is, but pumping million upon millions into more condos probably isn't the way to do it.

'Deserve to Die' Posters Getting Attention, Causing Confusion

So...this is an interesting poster campaign that's popping up around the country saying that "(Insert group of people) Deserves To Die." Hipsters, cat lovers, crazy appears that almost everyone "deserves to die" and while the website at the bottom points out that 160k people die every year from some mystery disease, it doesn't say what this killer is and leaves you with a countdown to finding out. Take a look...'s obviously supposed to rile people up, get buzz, and create interest...and it does. I guess my biggest problem is that I have no clue what the hell it's about from looking at the posters, and I don't care enough to whip out my phone and check...maybe that's just me, but a shocking headline isn't exactly the craziest thing you come across in your everyday life and I would really doubt this would shock me to the point I say "Man, I need to figure out what that means, and then check back in a week when that countdown is over."

But then again...maybe getting internet buzz leading to the site is all they need...

Hopefully the rest of the world is more curious than me though.

UPDATE: Looks like the countdown is over and a whole bunch of facts and info talks about the stigma of lung cancer...that the people who get it "deserve it" for something they once smoking. That message is fantastic and poignant and I actually like the campaign a whole lot more now. Still, if I saw the poster on the street, that is not the message I'd get...and I don't know if I'd check the website....Let's hope this keeps getting some interweb interest so that the real message is expressed...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Technology. About.

This is a piece from last week but I didn't really delve too far into it. I suppose the imagery was driven by the surface, a broken old computer screen. the image is painted on the screen, almost looking like a screen image, and meant to comment on the relationship between the real and illusion.

You can view anything on a computer screen, yet it's not really ever there. Furthermore, you can see this image on the screen, but also realize that it's a physical 2-D image, more real than any photo you could ever download. Even further, the image is a depiction of nature on technology...the absence or opposite of nature....and therefore more real than an actual image of nature if it was on the screen. Confused yet?

Basically it's an imitation of nature on technology which could show you a real photo of nature, which would still be less real than the image you currently see.

Basic idea, you're computer can't create gives the illusion of that. Get out and do something real.

Do Aliens Destroy Religion?

OK. So if aliens invaded earth and enslaved us all, religion would probly be a bit worse off. But what if we simply discovered other life somewhere else? Would that destroy the foundations of religion enough that it couldn't weather the storm?

MDW FAIR Call For Proposals

I know there's some collectives, galleries, groups and such that would probably find this opportunity interesting...anyone wanna make a proposal?

Leonardo Self Portrait In Critical Condition

The famed portrait of one of the most famous people in all of history is in critical condition, enough so that restoration may be out of the question. Take a look...

Ancient Road Found Under Greek Subway

While doing construction on a subway system in a Greek town, workers uncovered a large stretch of ancient road that once served as the main transportation route through the ancient city. The road contains carriage wheel impressions as well as a etched children's game, and officials plan to raise the road for public viewing after construction. Take a look...

A Wild Scene

HA! you thought this was a nice, pretty picture of poppies in the field...WRONG, it's a massacre of little critters beneath the canopy of petals, some shouting and throwing spears, some bleeding as they lay on the ground. A snake winds through the stalks and underbrush. Originally titled Snake in the Grass (see last photo), this piece is about creating a flower picture that is far from "just a painting of flowers"....for you to enjoy, A Wild Scene.

Edvard Munch: Beyond 'The Scream'

When Edvard Munch's world-reknowned masterpiece "The Scream" sold a few months ago at auction, it's record breaking price made headlines around the world. It's an icon of despair and grief, and the go-to piece for  people interested in Edvard Munch.'s not the only thing he did. A new exhibition asks us to look beyond "the Scream" and see the real man behind the art.

High On Science

The stereotypes of hallucinogens opening your mind are far more convincing than any factual evidence to support the claim, if there really even is any. But that hasn't stopped a number of scientists from experimenting with the stuff anyways. Check out a few of history's best voyagers of the mind, who also happened to have an affinity for drugs...

Monday, June 25, 2012


Holy Buckets yo...600 views today...BY FAR the most ever. Thanks for reading!

so, what the hell is everyone reading?

World Loses Lonesome George and His Species

Lonesome George, the famed Pinta Island Tortoise who stood as the only member of his species left in the world, died Sunday in his habitat, taking his species' existence with him. The cause of death is unknown, but the tortoise was thought to be over 100 years old and had become a celebrity icon of conservation and preservation since his discovery 40 years ago. Rest in peace George...

30 Coolest Alternative Movie Posters

I used to design posters for movies, bands, albums...pretty much anything...back in college whenever I was bored during class (sorry teachers), but take a look at this list of alternative move posters with some really cool concepts on the imagery...

Some of them are obviously minimal or a bit goofy and would probably not  work as a poster (other than in this after-the-fact everyone's-seen-it-already tongue-in-cheek kinda way) but overall I think the list is fun to look at, even if it doesn't live up to the "coolest ever" title. Don't get me wrong...I don't really think anything here is groundbreaking...and many are simply funny takes on the imagery and really don't tell you much of anything about the movie (some reflect a very different atmosphere), but I's an alternative poster, so who cares. Coolest ever? Far from it, but definitely a couple clever ideas and some good images.

PS. Although I enjoy some of these, why, every time I look at "alternative" movie posters, do I feel like we are looking at a collection of people who wish they could just screenprint posters for indie bands for their jobs? Is that really what all designers, other than me, dream of?

Snakes in the Grass. Unfinished.

Snakes in the Grass. Unfinished.

Why is a painting of flowers "just flowers?" I mean...sure, that's fine if that's actually what it is...but it's almost a prerequisite in most people's minds. If you show a painting like this, many people will first say, "How pretty," some people will say "it's lovely" and some will say "nice flowers." But almost no one asks what it means...what is symbolizes...what it's concept is....and being that that is usually a first question for a good deal of my other art...I just wonder why? I know's a pretty subject, a subject that's been meaningless a billion times over...and one that's frankly, usually, accompanied by old ladies, frilly table cloths and floral patterned couches (Not that any of those are bad). But come can be so many things. They represent life and beauty, and with that, can represent the opposite. They have color and vibrance, and thus, create a great juxtaposition with the other side. They are so beautiful on the surface that the second look can be shocking or unexpected.

It's such an obvious object, but so much can be done because of that.

So...maybe it's not the object that's boring...maybe it's not the viewer that isn't looking....maybe us artists simply need to get our act together. A painting of flowers CAN be boring, expected and rehashed...but I suppose that's up to the artist...

Flowers, in my opinion, can be as strong and meaningful as even the most powerful's just up to the artist to give the subject the time and thought it deserves.

When Common Sense Isn't Common

A sunscreen ban which, surprisingly, actually affects 49 states, is being challenged after two children were severely burned at a school event. The kids, one of which suffers from a form of albinism, came home with burns that included welts and blisters, and the mom decided that she had had enough...

Now, if you read the ban, it's a little easier to understand. They don't want teachers rubbing sunscreen on kids for obvious reasons (Sandusky anyone?) and they don't want kids rubbing it on each other...but then there's a part where even the kid can't put sunscreen on themselves without a note from a doctor. OFFICIALLY sunscreen is an OTC drug and needs regulation...but come on...are we this stupid and worthless with our own responsibility that schools need to ban sunscreen?

I'd also like to ad that I believe over-reaching and general policies like this are put in place for a reason...and it's because parents will sue schools for pretty much anything. I understand that the rule is probably simply there to protect the school against parents who will blame the school for any idiotic thing their kids do...and that's not OK either. The fact that sunscreen is banned is ridiculous...but the fact that it needed to be included in a policy like this is just proof of how ridiculous the people school's deal with are. If only we could all just be responsible.

Homeless Daniel

Ok, I'm not really homeless, but "gallery-less" Daniel sounds far less dire...

Last Friday, I picked up my  last couple pieces from Gallery 218 in the Marshall Building, ending a two year stint with the co-op which saw much of my major development since graduating. It was a great two years, learned a lot, showed a lot, met a ton of people...and now it's time to move onto the next big and special thing.

For right now, my art is homeless, just squatting in my living room and bedroom, but I have some fun things in the works that will hopefully get it back up and in view before too long. Till then, let me know if you want to come take a look at's pretty rare that there's this much in one place and that's always a danger for repainting in my studio...

I want to extend a personal "Thanks" to Judith Hooks and the gallery for everything she's done, and also to all of the other artists that have joined since I first started putting up work in the gallery. It's been a fun and interesting couple of years, seeing what everyone is working on, and seeing all the new work go up for gallery nights. While I treasure and value my time there, it's simply time to move on to something else...

Some maybe's..

there's talk of a Marion studio in the works! (that's like a physical BLOG!)
Public Art-togethers (we need a better pun)
and a new concept called The Weekend Project....

SO! make sure to keep checking out Gallery 218 on the second floor of the Marshall building. They've always got some good stuff and have a few new artists putting up work these days. And also make sure to keep an eye out for the next development...hopefully it won't be too far off.

Political Science's Big Fail

Political scientists are paid to analyze, predict, forecast, and overall, help us understand the political climate of the world of present and future. They give suggestions, make guesses, and fill the ears of our most powerful people to, hopefully, make the right decisions for the future. So why then did the house vote to cut the funding of grants for them?

It turns out, political scientists seem to have a knack for getting things wrong...and though there's history to back this up, political scientists across the board are on the defensive. Take a look at this article, arguing to continue political science research, but not if it is for the purpose of predicting the future...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

In The Fields On A Hot Mid-Western Summer's Day.

This is a painting about feeling the heat...and no, the canvas is not square...and yes, that's on purpose.

Last week sucked. I'll just throw it out there. We were busy at work, it was too hot to sleep well, and I was simply stressed out. This painting, I suppose, is a reflection of all that. The representation of the bull, on one hand powerful, here looks awkward and strange. Weak and a bit unsteady. The ticks and marks on the background expressing the constant annoyance of flies, sweat, discomfort....where nothing is horrible, it just seems that everything is on your nerves....The physical distortion of the canvas, displaying the skewed mental state...the sharp edge of decency you straddle, any sound or smell a thorn in your foot...and then the absolute lack of setting. The room? doesn't matter. Inside or outside? Doesn't matter. With friends? doesn't matter...the only subject...the only setting...the only thought is the heat...

Art From Friday

I spent some time doing art last night (I know...hard to believe huh?) and came out with a few good pieces...and one pretty different one.

These two small ones, Arches and This Must Be the Place, are about 12x12 on panel, and are individually simplistic in their construction. Arches is, simply put, a contact print of a painting I was working on. The black and red weren't really doing it for me on the large piece, and so I figured I'd see what the texture looked like on a smaller surface...
I just like the simplicity of the images origin and the ambiguity of the piece. It could very well be abstract splatters, a detail of a larger piece, abstracted people, beings, or forms...the narrative is endless and very short all at the same time....and I think that is the main feeling i get from both these smaller works.

This second piece, This Must Be the Place,  is similarly simple and complex. The piece and image was made by arbitrary and random scratching, hammering, slicing, stabbing, and scraping...followed by one purposeful circular shape near the top center. I've struggled as to what this is. A head...or a balloon...maybe both. Either way, I believe it has a similar message of self-realization or acceptance.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Playing with Light

As I was prepping the computer screen for the Technology piece, I noticed a really neat reflection peeking through the blinds and scattering across the appeared for split-seconds before it disappeared again, only emerging, it seemed, immediately after I had relaxed my readiness to snap the shot.

Art is everywhere...even in things as mundane as a reflection.

Massive Giant Wombat Grave Found

In case that headline was confusing, scientists have discovered a large grave with over 50 skeletons of rhino-sized wombats which walked the Earth only 25,000 years ago. They hope that the find will shed light on the extinction of the giant, which doesn't follow the same path as most human-intervention related extinctions...Take a look...I want one.