December 29, 2005


I'm hanging out with Joel at his Press.

What's on the walls? A few shots below the fold...

Andr? B?tzer, leader of the kommando, the most well known of Guido's crew.
Andr? started with an image of a cat, and with each print he morphed it into an abstraction with the "cat-ness" still in the print kinda like the Cheshire Cat.

He busted it down fast... of course, it's good to have a farm of motifs corraled in your head. B?tzer will be here in ChinaTown in January. More to come.

Gerald Davis, litho plate, edition of 12. He caught the mistake of a double reverse and made a virtue out of it. Classic Black Dragon stuff (his gallery) and he will have a September show at John Connolly in NYC.

Andrew Hahn's with his poster for his video that will come out soon. I don't know what the video is about. Joel was about to show me a drawer full of a collaboration between Henry Taylor, Jason Meadows, and Andrew too. But, not now...

Dave Deany. Thsi was one of the first rpints they did together. Dave used all these different processes to draw what I think of as latter day Poe imagery... but as a stumbling searching into a printer's world, it turned out great. Dave is good to work with becasue he's intense and casual, he pushes the process in a good natured way.

Mario Carrera. Print in process. Mario will hand color this later. Five in the edition. He may make a big portfolio book of ten prints spanning a few years.

Posted by Dennis at 10:23 PM | Comments (0)

December 24, 2005


Happy holidays, everyone!

We flew to Michigan to spend xmas with our nephew and niece and family.

As you might have noticed by the previous blogpost, my blogjam is slightly broken. I've realized that maintaining a blog like this one is best done with a DSL service in-studio. It was natural when my studio was cheek by jowl with our house as it was recently in Texas and Spain. Now, abode and workplace are in separate locations, Echo Park and ChinaTown where we only have broadband service at the former location.. I guess it's best to make it natural again by pipelining broadband into my studio instead of nomadically roving for nearby wifi. The trouble is that there has been some trouble getting SBC telephone and DSL Extreme together, a stream of snafus have cropped up in the past month. But I've untangled the worst of the obstacles already... but I've come to expect a few more suprises before it's all over.

Ademas... I've noticed another wrinkle in the path towards fluid blogging here in LA. If discretion is the better part of valor, then it's tough to maintain a valorous character, weeding out all of the sensitive information I come across along the way. I mean, if I could rip loose it would make an insane blog, but I could also do a lot of damage to myself and my friends... and ultimately to this blog itself since telling everything I know would be scortchy and therefore I would lose all capacity for confidentiality. From business (mine and others) to gossip (tons of it, much of it inescapable since gossip is mixed in with business intelligence)... to simple reportage which would eventually be indistinguishable from indiscretion. Our artworld is not an innocent fairytale utopia. It's a Wild Wild West full of clueless sheep, a few shepards, vicious wolves, and characters of indeterminate character in between. Lawless. That's just the way it is, I'm afraid. That particular story is extrememly rich.... but impossible to recount in real time -a fact obvious to everyone but the innocent flock out there.

I guess that's what memoirs are for.

If you haven't noticed already, my strategy here is to keep my eye on the ball, which is the artwork itself. That's why you don't see links to fine stuff like this (a reverential hat tip to the Ministry of Minor Perfidy), there are plenty of websites about that kind of thing as it is. There is another issue I have with protecting the dignity of the people I blog about. I would like to maintain my promise to use this here blog for "good and not evil" as I had vowed to do so long ago, so I try to avoid trashing people despite ocassional surging temptation. All blog entries are selected for relevance toward the work coming out of the studio... more or less

...more because I believe that all previouis experience is is scribed in everything we touch, from potentially great works of art to the rim of an emptied coffee cup.

...less... because, well, it is possible to get too arcane anyway.

So there you go.

More blogorrea to come.

Posted by Dennis at 6:13 PM | Comments (0)

Broken Bone and Chocolate Mountain

It was an unusually good night for drinking. I'm not a drinker (true) but I am not entirely unfamiliar with the state of intoxication. All the fellas were belly-up to the countertop -the magnificent seven of ChinaTown, each a soldier in the artworld -dudes all- guys working as if their lives depended on it. Grizzled vets well past the first tour.

A roll call:

Parker, the gallery director... a big guy in many ways who is unusually at ease in Vegas. Phil, a tough-as-nails painter who has no patience for poseurs in the studio -none get in. Joel, an artist who has mastered the widest definition of pan genre art, slewing with ease from painting to gallerist to publishing and beyond and back to painting again. Seth, a mystery man possessing superior street smarts and an utter lack of pretense, he came out of nowhere to collect emerging art at the highest level. Dan, a gallerist who has the courage to walk his own path -maybe it s because his grandfather was a figure we studied in art history. Bart, a painter who has the admiration and support of most of LA's artworld and yet he works as if he is hanging off a cliff by his fingernails. Henry, a painter who is too good to let his head swell when he was hailed as "...the best painter in LA..." as he was that night at the bar.

I've seen this kind of constellation before. And because it happens so rarely, I knew enough to savor the moment: the first crew on my ship when I was a (kid) sailor, a circle of young architects in undergraduate school, and now here in Los Angeles' ChinaTown. In a grandiose way, this has happened in history: Pericles' Athens, the Medeci's Florence. In a much smaller way (much, much, much smaller), I look for it in my life. I try to pay attention when it does.

(A gender note: I do, in fact, enjoy the company of the guys but not exclusively so. Call it a "guy thing" to savor the clap on the back and sharp exchange. Fellowship. It's called camaraderie, but even within and between each gender, there is a special type of comradeship specific to each gender combination. This is merely the specific circumstance of this particular story.)

The fellas were feeling good. Dan and Joel were ripping into each other, it was something about a deal they were arranging, a question of who was besting who. A stranger would think that they were at war but sometimes mutual affection is hard to detect. Thick skins were needed to get into the piste, thrust and parry without rest. A social lubrication that continuously lowers inhibition, toasts were hoisted repeatedly and drinks drained fast. The other guys would be hauled into the conversation to testify as witnesses, impromptu bemused referees.

I was still engaged with a painting in progress and I had promised myself that I would be out for one drink and back to the studio I would go. Henry arrived late and the bar roared to a higher energy level. He too planned to drink once and bounce back into the studio. He ordered a beer and Dan immediately bought him a shot of whisky, a subversive challenge. "Now Dan, you know I am a weak man." Henry said with a smile, and after a beat or two, he riffed into fierce scat talk, the only intelligible parts being: " know what I'm sayin'?" The bar was in fine form. I was just about finished with my Jameson on the rocks as I stepped back into the alley from the bar. It was time to evaluate my situation.

My cell phone rang.

Stephanie was at home. This week was packed with a series of parties from her workplace, a sure sign that her team was enjoying a special type of camaraderie of their own. But after two of four parties, it was time for her to settle down and stay put... before the fourth party hit. I had planned to sit the third party out myself... I like her workmates, sure enough... but my studio was hot and I some paintings to attend to. Stephanie is pretty cool about my monomaniacal studio habits, and we had preplanned separate evenings beforehand anyway. But still, "squandering" a night in the bar was expensive for the painting-in-progress... even if was much, much less so (or nearly non-existant) for my marital relationship.

I heard a ring.

I flipped open my cell.

Stephanie was crying! "Dennis! I'm hurt! , Oh, Dennis!, I'm hurt!"

Adrenaline gushed, I could feel my jugulars dilate, my eyes popped wide as a menu of possible disaster scenarios scrolled in my head. "Oh Baby, HOLD ON! I'm coming right now!" I don't remember what I did with the drink, I busted out running through the bar, headed for my scooter at the studio. Emotionally, I was cascading. Cell phone to my ear at full gallop, I asked her the basic questions. She told me what had happened through her sobs, but I couldn't understand her. It tore my heart out. I wanted to be with her instantly but I was at least fifteen minutes away. She said she had fallen, so at least it wasn't a break in and some foolishness with a ladron. "Are you bleeding?" She said no. Well, that route of first aid protocol was out of the picture. "Are your bones broken?" I couldn't tell how bad it was... she couldn't either. By this time I was at the door of my studio. It was time to get off the phone so I could mount the bike and race home.

"Hold on, I'll be there soon!"

Locks opened, I scrambled to my gear on, stuffing my bag so I could slam myself out onto the scooter. Jacket, bag, laptop, helmet. I tried to slow myself down, trying to remember to gather the important stuff. Another mental track paralleled. Where was the hospital? Clambering up the ladder to the loft, I forced myself to slow down, slaking the adrenaline off as best I could. We couldn't afford a second accident tonight. Door, locks, bike. I've had trouble with the bike recently, bad gasoline had clogged up the tiny injection ports in the little Taiwanese motor... this was no time to mess around with the kick start. I held that thought in check. Flying down Broadway, I repeatedly reminded myself to slow down as I broke traffic laws all along the way.

She had struggled up onto the bed when I had arrived. She was cradling her right arm and her right knee was blackened in a bruise. She told me she had fallen inside the house. Our floors are new and the heater grates were problematic, requiring a special fabrication that would take too much time. As Stephanie adjusted the dimmer switches near the front door, she stepped to the side to check out the lighting levels and her foot fit neatly into the opening cut into the hardwood floor. She fell vertically in a dead drop, her torso pivoting forward at the waist as her other leg behind her in the air like a Degas dancer. The only thing stopping her fall was her right arm. The muscles and ligaments that enable us to push against our stomach was the only muscle group that broke her fall... the strain pulled the lesser tubercle (?) off the humerus. Essentially, a small chunk of bone was pulled off her arm.

Stephanie and the model.

The lesser tubercle is the knob nearest the armpit. You can see the huge mass of ligament that latches onto the bone.

The break is hard to see in this angle. They had to shoot many angles to get the right shot.

You can see the tubercle flipped up in the guitar-pick-shaped bone at the top of this picture.

Kaiser emergency was not too bad. We got medical attention within 45 minutes and after two follow ups and several x-rays, surgery was scheduled for the middle of next week. The strategy is to reattach the tubercle to the humerus with either a screw or sutures. Physical therapy follows of course.

After the recent passing of our fathers, we've developed a skeptical view of our medical system. That frame of mind might keep us healthier than sheer blind trust. But so far, so good with our doctors (knocking on wood). I only wish we could get into surgery sooner than later.

Meanwhile, I get to learn the fine points of bathing protocol for ladies, blow drying hair, donning clothing, stuff like that.

Good stuff, actually.


And what of the painting in progress? Lucky for me that it was in the finishing touches stage.

I was thinking of a work on paper that I painted last year in Tossa.

It's not often that I scratch out a prepratory drawing. While I like to anticipate the approach to each painting, most times, hard thoughts of what I will encounter interfere with what I might discover along the way.

In this case, I was thinking of that work on paper, so figural it was ( and is). It was appealing to me to think of figures in blue somersaulting in the picture plane. I think of those old renaissance motifs of figure in battle. I remember when I was young, drawing something like sea gods in a melee, writhing in knee high water so appealing to a kid because all the hard to draw feet are concealed in the surf.

I thought of blue and how the color key of the painting could be dominated by that color. This, against the green of the previous painting and of the red/black of the one before.

I thought of my old navy days and how we used to train in full scale mock exercises, blue team and gold task forces trying to encircle one another within imaginary cartographic se/landscapes mapped over open ocean. These exercises are set up with elaborate back stories that mirror contemporary geopolitical struggles. One fictional landform stuck in my mind: Chocolate Mountain. Blue and gold forces in a tussle over Chocolate Mountain.

There it is folks, the full mental monte. Don't hold me to it though. It's a start, and that's all we need in the studio- a way to get it on.

And for all you abstraction purists out there grumbling about the representational imagery: relajate, hombres. I personally don't think that you can divorce one from the other anyway.


Posted by Dennis at 6:10 AM | Comments (0)

December 16, 2005


Closer here, and here.

Posted by Dennis at 3:59 AM | Comments (0)

December 12, 2005



Posted by Dennis at 9:17 PM | Comments (0)

Between Bandwidths

Bart's gallery Black Dragon Society put this poster together for the recent Miami/Basel Art Fair.

Bart Exposito

Ry Rocklin

A little background:

Shortly before the fair, Black Dragon Society put together this poster to float Bart's and Ry's names in the air so people might tune into their installation. What elevates this ad campaign above filthy lucre is a precious bubble of inspiration. As Bart tells me, Parker Jones (the director of Black Dragon) and he were talking about Ry Rocklin's sculpture and Bart had focused on the position of the dial on the radio. They talked about the connections.

Ry's dail sits between bandwidths, playing a hiss between stations. Being in between places in history, between future and past, between abstraction and representatation... Between-ness. Between music and sound.

Writer Michael Ned Holte

Michael seems to be cocked and ready to go. He busted this text piece that employs an endless text in the form of a M?bius strip. Between-ness again. Text becomes object, can this be what is called concrete poetry? The text is between the work of both artists too. The part I can read off the wall goes like this*:

...before that I pried gentlyinto the shallowest relief. The line becomes a plane becoems a complex form, not unlike a wide, flat noodle submerged in a boiling water for 7 to 10m minutes & tossed onto the growing pile. Suddenly, while staring at the nestled contours of this peuliar accumulation, we find ourselves between here & there, curling, centrifugally , around the cloverleaf sublime at the (not...

Designer: Gretchen Larsen of the local Department of Graphic Sciences

I heard that Gretchen turned this project around in a week. It had the feeling of grace, everything fell into place. That -is a blast. Fun, fast, empathic, like a ten milligram smart bomb hit betwixt the eyes.

(Whoops, I had just transcribed a bit of Michael's text. I got a little woozy.)

M?bius Strip.

Gretchen even placed a sweet little diagram on the back with visual instructions for the assembly of the M?bius strip. Bart was all in to the product design of cartons and cardboard assembled 3-d objects a few years ago.

So Gretchen tuned Bart in too.

I haven't met Ry Rocklin yet. This is the first I've seen of his work. But I'm intrigued by the title:

"I know you are but what am I?"

*Did you think I would take the poster off the wall to match the M?bius strip together? No way, man. Anyway, there's no way to reproduce it in the blog...

...unless I cross link two pop-ups...


...well... nah.



Posted by Dennis at 9:15 PM | Comments (0)

Shakedown Crit

A quick note regarding the recent Woodbury critique:

A caveat for the faint hearted:

-Pics of students here are not specific to the critique that follows. I didn't take fotos systematically for this blogpost, so there is no correlation of the students in the pics with the critique in this post. The images here are meant to give the reader a general feel for how the projects looked.

-This post might read like a tough review -it's really par for the course... Silence is the worst critique and the fact that one exists is a positive thing. A critic/studio instructor has a responsibility to be honest. These kids (young adults, really) are on average, sharp and occassionally brilliant. They are on a journey and such adventures might require a switchback and reorientation from time to time. Tough love is still love after all.

The project was in the middle of its schedule with the final crit scheduled for the Spring. So, the kids needed a shakedown review so they can have a chance to rethink their approaches. I should have anticipated this, but instead of the intense chiropractic adjustments that a project of this nature would need, most of the kids punted.


Here's a few of those adjustments:
-Dealing with the troubled history of the Levant, a heavy load, even or especially for senior level university students...
-The hazardous assumptions regarding the nature of their client population (the moral infrastructure I had mentioned earlier),
-Maintaining a critical yet not (knee jerk) skeptical position regarding the RAND study that prefigures their project. Why is the singular swath necessary? Should we just drop a 21st century transportation system into a culture that is struggling to grow into modernity? What and where is the Palestinian voice in this project?


One factor that I had missed in the last blogpost was that the prime pedagogical instrument was an annual steel competition, another spinning plate in this circus. Students are expected to compete to win the prize for the best expression in steel design. This entails a peacock strut of architecture design and drawing within a rigid format of four boards in silent presentation. So, there are at least three major layers that the students have to thread as they wrangle this beast of a project, not to mention mastering the cumulative learning modules entailed in architectural education: research, parti, structures, resolution to design detail, relation to urban design issues, stuff like that.


The big picture: the kids are simultaneously in over their heads and too sophisticated at the same time. Predictably, they glossed over the heavy lifting involved in this project (the chiropractic adjustments noted above). And (sadly) predictably, they are all sporting glossy, splashy, professional looking -yet ultimately vacuous designs that do not (yet) do justice to either their virtual clients or to the totality of the curriculum at Woodbury University. Ouch.

For example, the use of the hijab for design inspiration. What is the history of the hijab? Is this best expression (significantly iconic) of the Palestinian people? What does modesty mean for them and how does this vary in the many kinds of Muslim communities around the world? If the hijab corresponds to the skin of the rail stations, as many of the projects have employed, what does this mean for the interior reality, the implied function of chasitity in the building program? If this is to make a distinction between public/private realities, are there then further public/private distinctions in the civic realm? I am soooooo dissapointed when students take deep subjects and treat them shallowly.

But this is the mid review, after all.


Quick notes (if the students are reading this):

Become chiropractors, people! Critically assess the assumptions that configure your assignment. Don't be sheep! I know that the history of the region requires deep research and too much time to absorb the intricate historical context of the region... sadly, our schools do little to prepare students for what should be university level work in this regard. It is all overwhelming to be sure... but all design contexts are intense and intricate (even though this one goes over the top) and the task is to be able to wade through the thicket and chart your way through it all. That's the job as an architect (this is what makes architecture uniquely suited for the 21st century info age, to immerse oneself into the phantasmagoria and emerge well oriented)... and increasingly, this condition will be our lives collectively as we free fall into an accelerating future (modernity itself).

There were too many representations of souqs that were simplistic tents in barren and underdefined plazas. Check out the wikipedia link and you will see that the foto of a souq in Marrakech, Morocco is anything but simplistic and peasant-like.

Too many times, students have swallowed the RAND study lock stock and barrel: a singular rail line in a necklace of cities. Are there no alternatives? Too often, simplistic parti's are expanded without elaboration (when instead, the parti should be derived after an analysis of multiple design factors and a design solution is configured... not the mindless inflation of a knee jerk cartoon of "train station".

Kind of like this.

The result is that too many projects looked like gigantic parti's, thin and abstract, rudely reified notions lacking substantial humanity. The students are generally going through the motions, delivering what looks like a design... but with (not much of) a deeper look. It falls apart. Kind of like a ghost, the projects wisp away when you try to grasp them.


The fix: explore the nature of the cities in which you are siting your stations. What is Jenin like? What will/can it be be like, how should it grow in the future and how can the siting of a rail station serve it? Transportation systems should be fugal, possessing several scales of public transport from the largest (this regional RAND plan) to the smallest: air/seaports to regional rail (passenger and cargo) to inter-urban (between cities) to intra-urban to buses to autos to trollies to taxis to jeepneys (my favorite pet project) to bicycles, to scooters (go scooters!), to pedestrian scaled urbanism and the transducing function of parking that makes it all happen.... lots of issues that will ultimately enrich the design.

The saving grace is that this is par for the course, they have a big chance to catch themselves... and Gerry is a damn fine teacher and architect. Five months until their final presentation in the Spring can be a long time.


Posted by Dennis at 9:03 PM | Comments (0)

December 9, 2005

Arch Crit

This week, I got this email message:


Back in LA!

Listen....PLEASE come to the final review of my studio at the Wedge Gallery in the Burbank campus on Friday Dec. 9th, 10AM-1:00PM. It's a design competition for a transportation system for the West Bank and Gaza. It's gonna be good and it would be great to have your feet touch Woodbury Soil again.

(The images above are from the RAND Corporation's study "The Arc -A Formal Structure for a Palestinian State"

That was from Gerard (Gerry) Smulevich, a good friend and fellow teacher(former -I taught architecture studio from '91 to '99, so fun it was).
We had a lot of fun with the architectural studios where one could simultaneously minister the principles of architecture and explore various topics within a short period of time, a university quarter.

It was a blast. (a pun to be intended.)

He and I had once taught a studio where the assignment was a visitor center and museum of the Cold War. The site was a Nevada Nuclear test Site Bomb Crater. It was a studio in the third year where the ideas and ramifications of long span structures are presented. We took the opportunity to span the 20th century too.

The wonderful thing about teaching architecture is that one is really bringing out what the students already know innately: structural ideas, the nature of habitation, how we live in cities. Teaching was like reminding people what they already knew all along. I love that moment when the light bulb goes off in a students eyes.

So, true to form, Gerry has assigned a provocative client and supercharged context for his 4th year urban design studio. While the kids get to wrestle with the aspects of urban design (circulation, use, the nature of community, etc.), they also get to wrap their heads around quantum -extra-spicy geopolitics.

It's going to be a blast (a pun not intended).

(image source: CIA Factbook)

Now, I have a few thoughts prior to going into the fray of the critique tomorrow:

-This project must assume that a precondition to building this physical infrastructure is the building a mental infrastructure in the fledgling Palestinian state. Tribal warlordism has to be vanquished and freedom/democracy has to take root (for example: will Hamas disappear or at least transform into a benign and democratic agency?).

The only alternative to a democratic precondition is a sick-cum-artful fantasy of an atavistic design (urbanism)... fascist architecture, a no-go.

-One cannot design without the capacity of empathy. Therefore, the first question to the students should be: who are the Palestinians? Will the students know their clients enough to describe them? How can I know that they (the students) know?

-What about Israel? What will their position regarding this connection be? What are all the possible positions?

(image Source: CIA Factbook.)

-The scale of the project is so immense. How big is this region? Will the students anticipate and investigate this issue? How does the student avoid the pitfalls of the giant mark on the landscape, the arrogant urban drawing, the conceit of the single design stroke?

Or is the alternative to the arrogant singularity a design-in-evolution like a SimCity? Is the design better a set of principles or goals or even urban schemata such as a Wrightian Broadacre City<>/a> or Ebenezer Howard's Garden City? Is there an appropriate heuristic approach to regional urban planning?

-What about the scale of time? Will the students anticipate trends in transportation technology, will they research futurist predictive efforts? For example, how will we live in cities now that commerce goes online and goods will be moved (shipped to us) rather than people to goods.

Posted by Dennis at 5:55 PM | Comments (0)

December 6, 2005

Admin/Mail Call/Jim Murray

Jim Murray sends his regards:

O..sweet..i dig the scraped off italian-fresoco-pink parts! of the>.{green} and the photoes....d-liscious!!..i
feel my inner is scabbing some great feelings about color from ur pics..!.

>blockquote> is a groove that u are fiddling with word/
green..i started some stuff more than a year ago..and hopefully I can get
some ckind of a baseboard heater in the old school ho?se or im shot cuz by
mid december all the paint and freeze up and im shot till a few weeks past
groundhog day when the THAW I wuz sayin..i staretd these
things where the launchthoughtboard was a poem abo?t from carl
snadbergs poem that its a beautiful da? made a song called white bird I
started a "white one"..then a got some from penn warren...then a bunch from
a fine peot (born in iowa) amy clampitt shes outasite..a great when I se ur bit this p.m. I sez "massive
groove", gotta share this with the color-gush-meister denny!!!

from a review of amys book ..

Clampitt's gravely luminous fifth volume of poems dwells, with an
extraordinary certainty of language, on the uncertain texture of living.
Color suffuses an evocative sequence of poems: in "White," that color of
"the mirror-haunch of / pronghorn" leads next, in "Green," to the
"half-membranous / sheen of birth" and then, in "Thinking Red," to "the
clotted winter melancholy / of the sumac; hawthorn encrimsoned, / dogwood
beaded." Finally, in "Nondescript," even the lack of color approaches an
"in-betweenness, this process that's less / an advent than it is a wandering

Later, gotta get some 7th grade posters over to the count? conservation
board for the annual some good ones this year , kids oughta win
ps..finally getting some nice cold single digit weather and some snow as
well..i love it..the color of the left over ,unharvested corn is solid
flesh!..against the deeper periwinkle winter sky..would make old harbinger
of modern something rubens gush...ha
later, jimmy murray from hog heaven...

(I Google Amy Clampitt.)

Thanks for the Amy C. tip, Jim!

The great thing about color is that it resists theory, and so it takes a lot of words to try to lasso them down. Color is free.

Its kind of like the Spanish language in that while the vocabulary is smaller than English, Spanish wordsmiths have a great time wrapping and rewrapping palabras around experience. A short paragraph in English when translated might take pages in Spanish to convey the same thought. Good for nuance, not so good for science perhaps. ( This, a pet theory of mine, unconfirmed as yet.)

Hog Heaven sounds like a nice place to live.
Thanks for the note and all the best to your 7th graders at the couty contest!


Posted by Dennis at 3:46 AM | Comments (0)

December 5, 2005

another blink

...more details... ...and a little more

Posted by Dennis at 7:37 PM | Comments (0)



Posted by Dennis at 7:27 PM | Comments (0)


After a scrape off and a another subequent shift in strategy, this painting is done.

Come on in and let's take a look...

Light touches.

Lots of green.

This is the third green painting I've done.
(...that I can remember right now.)

I'm starting to track in color dominated paintings, several in red, and now in green. Color as a subject, is that what I am doing? (rhetorical)

In the past, I would have led a blogpost with close-ups.
I figured that the details of the nature of paint gets to the heart of the matter.

But I noticed that people tended to confuse the details for the overall image of the painting. So, now I lead with the long view.


Posted by Dennis at 7:14 PM | Comments (0)

December 3, 2005

Press Restart

After five days of knashing, I finally scraped off the painting.

I'm starting over again.

I feel pretty hammered.

But, I'm still hammering away.

(Maybe that's the problem, too many hammers?)

Posted by Dennis at 5:18 PM | Comments (0)

December 1, 2005


This is still in effect:

The Comments are still out of commission for the meantime, that's alright by me. I don't miss the insidiously neccessary despamming chores. People chime in via email (the address is to your left in the margin), and that's been working out fine. The comment function will be restored soon enough, reliant as I am for the help of a good friend for this fix. I told him no worries, to do it as his own pace, and I meant it.

This announcement has become boilerplate... such is my current state of maintaining my situation over here. I expect things to... boil down a bit over the Winter holidays. Then, I might be able to cleanse this blog of the chiggers (the vile blogspam in the comment section) and try to understand why the comments are busted. But right now, I've got a few "fires" to attend to in the studio and a few lingering gotta-do's at the house.

After perhaps too much delay, I've decided to get DSL serviced at the studio. My plan to rove and tap into the free wifi signals near the studio isn't blog-flowing as well as I had hoped. (One of the local cafes has a busted system) Finally, if I regard this blog to be the "bibliography" of my paintings, then I had better tend the garden better than this. Frugal austerity aside, it seems that buying studio broadband time should be nearer the category of buying paint and canvas.

Posted by Dennis at 4:58 PM | Comments (0)

Fela Kuti, Thanks to Henry

Henry Taylor played Fela Kuti's "Coffin for Head of State" on my first visit to his Ali Baba Cave of a studio. I downloaded it immediately after into my iTunes.

I tend to listen to a specific song repeatedly and mine it for gold. Here, I'm thinking about the influence of James Brown's "the one" beat and Coltrane type ecstatic riffs of abandon and the hard thread between musical form and content. This song is -for me- a possible key between the two.

Lyrics in music is quite an advantage that can blast content down hard. Unless a painter is actually writing on a canvas (Twombly, for example) or devoting the title to a cause as in Motherwell's Elegy... all we have is an intended correspondance between paint-as-form and intention-as-thought.

Maybe, that's enough.

Talking Drum provides a few more notes:

Coffin for Head of State- Explanation??A criticism of arbitrary/artificial religious & ethnic boundaries, and of religious hypocrisy- people who invoke god, but then commit atrocities, including Obasanjo (General) & Y?aradua (Leiutentent Colonel), two of Fela?s attackers.??The poor live in squalor while the pastor lives in luxury. Fela walks (waka), & sees the unhappiness of his people,and the corruption & greed of the colonial-influenced Nigerian government. Colonial culture confuses the African people.??In 1979, when Fela?s mother (a government official & activist) dies from injuries inflicted by the Army during an attack on Fela?s compound, Fela and his Movement of the People Carry his mother?s coffin to the barracks of two noted Fela enemies, Gen. Obasanjo & Lt.Crnl. Y?aradua. As a protest, Fela & MOP put the coffin down, and force the army to take it. Obasanjo & Yaradua eventually help to carry it (out of respect for the dead, and fear of angering ancestoral spirits). ?It remains there. ?
Posted by Dennis at 4:50 PM | Comments (0)


"Kind of Red" off to Miami.

UPS got it there in less than 24 hours.


Posted by Dennis at 4:28 PM | Comments (0)