Thursday, April 1, 2010

Olay is in all creators.

Take a moment and watch this moving, insightful, talk by author Elizabeth Gilbert. It can change your perspective as an artist, and should change 500 years of thinking.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Let Your Heart Lead Your Texting

This interactive installation helps the homeless in New York City. What a great idea.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Patti Smith's Just Kids

Just finished reading Patti Smith's Just Kids. A MUST read. Writing this post to keep from crying over the last chapter. It was one of those books that I looked forward to reading every day and did not want it to end. Why? Patti Smith is so human- her love for Mapplethorpe so honestly related. They are beacons for all of us trying to keep the mystery of art alive in our souls and in the world.

Mingwei Builds Art Around Trust and Friends Who are Strangers

The Mending Project, 2009
Courtey of the artist and Lombard Freid Projects, New York
Photo: Anita Kan
Collection of R.Tzeng, Taipei. Taiwan.

New York artist Lee Mingwei confronts many stereotypes about modern life in the big city. Lee builds his art around gift giving and the kindness of strangers. Not your standard Type A operating procedure in the Big Apple. In the Mending Project Mingwei accepted and hand sewed damaged clothing given him by visitors to Lombard-Freid Projects. Each mended piece of clothing was tied into the gallery via string then returned to the owner at the completion.

Lee's website statement that he " has continually focused on themes of trust and self-awareness in projects that create a potential for active exchange."

What a fresh, open, and inclusive way to make art. Maybe Migwei is pointing us all toward a new postmodern way of interacting.

The Mending Project will reappear at the Liverpool Biennale in September of 2010.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

100 Faces of War and One Artist

Artist Mat Mitchell is doing a brave thing; looking straight into the face of war. He is currently working on a project that will have him painting 100 faces of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Mitchell is using the wide window of art to capture the multilayered and expansive thoughts and feelings on the experience of war - one face at a time.

Monday, February 1, 2010

They Can't Turn Off The Lights Now

HitRecord is a new site that invites creative collaboration between individuals. Here is a video that shows the power. Being that it is Feb. 1, the 50th Anniversary of the Site Ins at Woolworths in Greensboro, it seems only fitting to share this important voice.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

We see the world anew through the artists' eyes

Check out the beautiful abstractions made by Hiroshit Sugimoto using electricity and film.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Now this is what I am talking about! Talking Side Walks is a literary magazine filled with the stories and photos of people who have experienced homelessness in the Chapel Hill area. Found this quote on the back of most recent issue:

" I've been a very arrogant and elitist man in my life and got swatted like a bug until there were only pieces of me left, and I perhaps would like to redeem myself by giving a voice to people that have no voice. It reminds me of the title of one of the old science fiction novels, called 'I have no mouth but I must scream.' For those that have no voice, I would like to do some of the screaming, and I do." - Phillip Rodney Personette

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Patti Smith Interview

In case you missed it, Patti Smith just gave an interview on Fresh Air with Terry Gross. I just watched her documentary and respect her life as an artist activist, poet, and rocker.

Voices in the Tunnels Updates Book

I just finished reading Jennifer Toth's 1993 book The Mole People. It is a moving account of her brave investigation of life beneath the streets of New York City. Toth, a young Columbia University student, pushed past her fear and the warnings of friends and family to uncover the people and places that many thought of as urban legends only. What most surprised me was that the people she discovered lived within tight communities with their own set of rules. Not without violence, these groups did in fact offer support, even love to its members who could not fit within the paradyms of society aboveground. This book raises as many questions about how we treat each other above ground as it does below. I also found the way Toth became personally invested in helping the people she met as being common among artist activist, myself included, who include the marginalized in their work. Toth's involvement ended with a scare but others have picked up where she left off. A new documentary Voices in the Tunnel has revisited the places and people Toth wrote about in the 90's. I recommend seeing the documentary and reading the book.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Konrad Zoll's Small Drawings of AT better than Avatar

I have heard some people are complaining of depression after seeing Avatar- because they cannot live in that world. Maybe rather than take a anti-depressant they should pick up a pencil and paper like Konrad Zoll and really SEE the reality that we have been given.

I had just finished taking a brisk walk in the real world, cold and snowy as it was in the lovely hamlet of Damascus, VA and had just stepped into a warm coffee shop when I came upon a collection of drawings by Konrad Zoll of Durham, NC. Konrad has hiked sections of the AT through Graceland Highlands but unlike most he has also taken time to stop and draw the beauty that so many race past. Konrad is currently working on a new series of drawings from the AT. He does not have a website dedicated to his art but you can friend him on Facebook. Thanks Konrad for reminding us all to stop and really take in the reality that lies before us.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Too Many Heros

This is a touching, sad, song for our times. The sounds quality is not perfect on this video but the writing is superb. Maybe you can find a clearer version if you like it.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Where do we find hope?

Where do we find hope for a better world when the news paints such a dismal picture; failed states sending explosive underwear bombers out to kill, two wars with more brewing, and on and on. I watched tonight's news with a heavy heart. Soon after hope rang; I received a phone call from friends (Muslims) wanting to plan a big party to bring Muslims and non-Muslims together to get past the head lines. We dreamt of who to invite, and how to proceed. After a half an hour of laughing and sharing ideas I hung up with a feather weight heart. Maybe it is a sin, like the Egyptians believed, to live a life that would give you a heavy heart.

I find hope from friends who remind me to act.

I am also reading a great book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee and Walker Evans. It is a window into the world of the American South of 1936. Let me tell you- things HAVE gotten better.

I find hope in change.

James Agee wrote: " Above all else; in God's name don't think of it as Art. Every fury on earth has been absorbed in time, as art, or as religion, or as authority in one form or another. The deadliest blow the enemy of the human soul can strike is to do fury honor. Swift, Blake, Beethoven, Christ, Joyce, Kafka, name me a one who has not been thus castrated. Official acceptance is the one unmistakeable symptom that salvation is beaten again, and is the one surest sign of fatal misunderstanding, and is the kiss of Judas."

I find hope in the fury of life.