August 29, 2007

Admin: Hang in There

Blogging has been tough since Stepanie has been back, an avalanche of fun have-to-do's have broken my monkish damn from the studio of hidden depths.

More to come, the blogsac is pretty full.

We will be back in LA next week, a whirlwind it will be...

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August 25, 2007

Paintings, Summer 2007



"Pay Attention, Son"
120 x 115 cm


115 x 120 cm

"Internal Exile"
115 x 120 cm

"Knowing the Night to Come Will Be Crumpled"
120 x 115 cm

"Double Down"
120 x 115 cm

"Diamonds and Whorls"
120 x 115 cm

"Mala Mar"
120 x 115 cm


Admin: FYI, I had switched the data for the uploaded image files for #'s 277 and 278, so that if you drag the image off the blog, it will have switched numbers that are wrong, 278 and 277 respectively. The name/number that you see here are correct, but the tags on those images are not.


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August 24, 2007

Admin: Loose Ends and Tales of Woe

I don't mean to instigate a pity party, but things have been a bit of an obstacle course over here in land.

(cue the litany of woe...)

-My main browser (Safari) has bit the dust, I suspect something has become corrupted in the code of my operating system and I have to wait until I get back to the states to chase the problem down.

-Resorting to Firefox hasn't helped much since it has been freezing up, usually in the middle of something important and invested with much time. Now I'm back with the old Explorer, creaky and wobbly. So far, so good I guess.

-Time crunches are down with the division of the summer's work between two galleries and all the ship prep that goes with it. My carpenter Ramon is on the job, preparing a crate. The catalogue work is underway. A blogpost discussing what happened is coming soon.

-My barber, the wig wearing Juanco, had chopped waaaaay too much off the top as he chatted up the local passers by on the street, all swivel necked and goggle eyed. Aaaaaay yi yi.

-Stephanie is back and this has unleashed a fury of partying and drinking and walking the streets of Barcelona and cooking under the sun that has been hiding peek-a-boo with thunder storms that has been bumming Europe out this summer.

-I've been in the water with Kiko and Alberto, logging in almost four hours in three dives within 24 hours. Supercool, but my feet are shredded (I need booties but I'm old skool when it comes to flippers) and my inner ear still thinks I'm hanging onto rocks in pounding surf.

Still, I smile.


-Now my Explorer is freezing up. My eyes roll into the sockets....

Posted by Dennis at 10:27 AM | Comments (0)



(Note to Jacques: I plucketh out mine own eye if it offendeth thee... but then again, our friend Joel has been there long before the two of us.)


Posted by Dennis at 10:02 AM | Comments (0)

August 18, 2007


I've been pushing hard in the studio so I can create a bubble of time to frolic with my wife Stephanie, who will be arriving tonight from Los Angeles. (That's why the posts have been thin lately.) We'll be together here in Tossa for the last two weeks of the summer and we will return together to LA in the first few days of September.

As far as the work in the studio goes, top speed for seven weeks gives me 8 paintings and 6 works on paper. I can't make sausage faster than that. This confirms my planning rule of thumb of a painting per week, the ocassional snorkel and drink with Kiko and Alberto notwithstanding. I'll have to prep the work for shipping both to Barcelona (Miguel Marcos) and Haarlem (Tanya Rumpff). That might get tricky.

Please stay tuned, more blogposts to come.

Posted by Dennis at 12:27 AM | Comments (0)

August 14, 2007

Night Dive Round Cap Tossa

Earlier in the day, Kiko suggested that we go out for a night snorkel. Cool. We've done it before and I was looking forward to it again this summer. Young Alberto was interested to do it too, but he was apprehensive. Naturally. It was his first time. He is actually a very good swimmer, but he has had little experience with snorkeling.

By eleven, we got together but the sky was darkening, a storm was coming into town. The wind was gusting, getting fiercer by the minute. You could see the lightning in the dark clouds to the south over the sea. Restauranteurs were wrapping up their umbrellas and awnings, tourists were taking cover back to their hotels and pensions, leaving the streets to the gust and rain. The apprehension was building and the option to put off the swim was on the table. "Valley, ok. Let's go to Codolar to see how the sea is..." Off we trooped to the edge of the castle wall and the sky was looking for all the world like scenes from the Wizard of Oz. The waves were kicking up and the sea was a bit dirty as the wave action churned up the debris. The wind was blustering in a way that began to remind me of those long ago Navy days I spent on the ship into the storms of the Pacific and thereabouts.

I was having my doubts and I knew Kiko was too. But Kiko was playing a bit as he is wont to do. Lurdes, his girlfriend was lobbying to stand down and Alberto was agitating too. A bit of a smile curled the edge of his mouth as Kiko gauged the situation with sidelong glances. Kiko proffered: "Let's wait a bit at my house, and have a galss of cava. Let's see if the sea will calm down enough for us to go out." And so as we sat around sipping Catalan champaign. Kiko was playing the situation like a drum, teasing in a low key manner. Alberto pushed for reassurance: "You're not going to let us get hurt, are you Dennis?" "Of course not, Alberto. The biggest problem is being tossed up onto the rocks and getting roughed up a bit. Of course you could hit your head or take in too much water and drown. We'll return immediately if the situation gets out of hand." I knew how he felt, a first night dive is pretty nervy. I also think Alberto wanted to be scared. Kiko and I obliged. It makes for a vivid experience. I'm developing a theory about how the Spainards' national character is the type that likes to go to the edge and play there a bit. Be that as it may, the first swim surely gins up the pucker factor. It feels pretty nutty to get out there at the edge of a dark briny Mediterranean with little on but your skivvies and a knife.

And a trident.

Last year we actually caught enough fish to eat them on the grill straight away. But I wasn't too keen on making a kill that night. Taking videos was the only fish I wanted to catch, so a camera was all I was going to hang on to. But there is something ancient about floating about with a trident, very Neptuno, very battle of the sea gods and all that.


00:10 Alberto makes his appearance.
00:45 Kiko and Alberto side by side.
00:47 Lightning flash.
00:55 I surface to take a look at Codolar as we depart.
01:16 Kiko shouts for us to follow.
01:20 Alberto talks into his snorkel, marveling.
01:38 Kiko spots a fish, a "lubina".
02:12 We surface, "?Que bien, eh?" Alberto warns about the rocks.
02:35 I get washed up on the rocks, high and "dry". I tumble.
03:00 Powering out of the situation, I see Kiko's light.
03:15 "Let's get out of here."
03:23 Alberto waves to you.


00:03 I track Alberto's dive to the surface.
00:30 Alberto hop scotches under me to Kiko.
00:53 Kiko at the rocks.
01:12 Spotting fish asleep in the crevices (barely discerable to the camera).
01:51 Kiko at the rocks.
02:08 Very nice visuals with the flashlight turned up into the froth.
02:29 "Kiko, donde esta?" "He's always beside the rocks, joder."
02:42 I unsuccessfully try to catch an image of the lighthouse at Cap Tossa above at the point.
03:11 A VERY NICE LIGHTNING STRIKE. Alberto still tries to talk into his snorkel. "?Woo hoo, hoo hoo hoo hoo!"
03:24 "?Que tal, como estas?" "Be."
03:27 Whoops and shouts of joy. Laughter. "?Que miedo!"


00:18 Yours truly.
00:44 Kiko capitalizes on the camera, knowing that this video will end up in the blog, sending this message to his girlfriend Lurdes: "?Cari?o, te quiero!". Capitan Kiko directs the expedition into a large crevice into the side of the cliff that descends deep into the sea. The water is sheltered from the waves here where fish like to sleep at night.
01:48 A fish makes his appearance. A lubina, a fish that is probably too sleepy to know I am there despite the noise and the light . I almost bump into it with the camera.
02:42 A small school of fish streak by, hitting us in the face.

What the camera could not capture was the moment when as we returned enroute to the beach, we shut off our flashlights to see the phosphorescence. Diamonds and whorls of what looks like fireflies shook off our bodies. The rain pelted our necks, the lightning lit up the clouds. And under the surface of the sea we were effervescing, boiling with a cool, almost astronomical light. It was amazing. I dove and shook my fists to make a glow that was bright enough to see a little better into the inky darkness. It was a pity to switch the flashlights on again.

Back on the beach, Nacho stood watch under an umbrella, bundled with our towels. He said he could hear the whoops in the distance and he knew we were doing fine.


Photo: Emili Armengol "El Codolar" Tossa 1934 Godes
ART 1934 Vol.II. Num.1 Octubre $ Pessetes
Reproduida de l'original propietat de RAMON AR?S
i reeditada per l'Ajuntament de Tossa de Mar el 1998
amb motiu de la Festa Major de Sant Pere

(Admin: I thought I was pretty clever with the time marks and all that. But now I notice that the YouTube player counts DOWN.

And now I have to probably rejigger the numbers.

Don't hold your breath.

Posted by Dennis at 2:13 PM | Comments (0)


Context here.


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August 9, 2007

Scrape Off

Not a good week for me so far.

Time to double down.

More blogging afterwards.

Posted by Dennis at 3:02 AM | Comments (0)

August 7, 2007

Codolar by Berta

Alberto has been trying to convey the special charm of our own pocket beach, Codolar Cove. Since the arrival of the disco/sandwich bar/whiskey bar complex at Rockamar, the surrounding bars have livened up and the chiringuito at Codolar beach has been given permision to stay open until 1am.

In an effort to use young Berta's photographic skills, I tasked her to document the evening.

It still doesn't capture the night, but there you go. That's what keeps the artists on their toes.


Posted by Dennis at 1:55 PM | Comments (0)

Works on Paper



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Works on Paper



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Works on Paper



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August 5, 2007

Rebuild Them

Keep the structure and form, redesign the internal volumes to accomodate a memorial and a better urbanism for that part of Manhattan.

Posted by Dennis at 12:28 PM | Comments (0)

Pandora and the Flying Dutchman

Concept movie poster for a 2009 remake of Pandora and the Flying Dutchman.

In the event that Angelina Jolie wants to steer off the course of the femme fatal, the quest is on for the new generation. How about Alba? It's not a perfect fit, the thinking so far is along box office lines (for example, is there a "male" casting possibility? Straight or gay?). But she doesn't seem to be a perpetrator the way Jolie or Gardner is/was.

But then if I was really thinking box office, it'd be best to go with this.

(Image Source.)

Posted by Dennis at 12:16 PM | Comments (0)

Old Hat


Posted by Dennis at 11:33 AM | Comments (0)

August 4, 2007

Kiko and Joan

When the studio permits, I take my lunch with Kiko at Joan Pol's restaurant near Codolar Cove. Joan And Kiko have been planning a fishing trip ever since I got here in June. Joan has made his own "palanca", a fishing rig that promises to lay out 500 batied hooks on a line that we will suspend over a rock outcropping somewhere out into sea, far enough to see the lighthouses at Cap Tossa and Barcelona at the same time.

That's far.

We'll be out past midnight to lay out the line and we should return by sunrise. JUST LIKE REAL SAILORS DO. Yea. Like back in the day. Except my ship was a 500 foot long nuclear powered cruiser.

I wonder if I'll get green along the way? The date has been moved ahead for weeks now. Next Monday is the currently planned date.

Posted by Dennis at 1:34 PM | Comments (0)




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August 2, 2007

Kiko's Apartment For Sale by Owner

Kiko wants to sell his spacious apartment in Tossa and we had this crazy idea that it might be an interesting longshot to post an advert/blogpost to help him move things along.

As you might guess, I'm bullish on Tossa and the Costa Brava. If you're a New Yorker priced out of the Hamptons, this place might be a better summer getaway alternative for you. If you're a crazy Angeleno...

I think that as far as Mediterranean beachfront goes, this place is Europe's best kept secret. An hour and fifteen north of Barcelona, an hour from the French border, the nearby city of Girona being another rail and air hub, a bullet train to Paris to come soon, Catalan culture, human scaled old pueblo life, the Costa Brava beaches and forests, skiing in nearby Andorra... I mean come on now!

Check out this 2005 blogpost that describes his place, then for rent, when he decided to move back to his abuela's old house near Codolar Cove. The place is perfect for a family. Nicely put together, private pools, great neighbors, groceries and markets nearby, hiking trails next door, check it out.

Stay tuned to this post, as I think we should update it with a video or two to provide more details...


Posted by Dennis at 3:38 AM | Comments (0)

Desperate People

Painting by Numbers
Gustave Courbet and the making of a master.
by Peter Schjeldahl

The last two paragraphs from Schjeldahl's latest:

Courbet ?paved the way for modernism in art,? Chu writes in the last sentence of her book. The praise is fully justified but remarkably uninspiring, in the sordid light that Chu?s critical approach casts on the emergence of modern sensibility. Her Courbet ?opened a perspective on a new culture in the art world in which the public?s approval was valued higher than that of the government or an official ?lite, and money was seen as a more legitimate gauge of artistic success than official honors.? He ?demonstrated that controversy need not be harmful to an artist?s reputation, as it was just another form of publicity.?

Hooray? Variations on those terms, often employing the shorthand ?hype and fashion,? pop up perennially both in conservative denunciations of new wrinkles in art and in leftish critiques of capitalist culture. Baudelaire had entertained no illusions about art?s new social dispensation, writing with bitter resignation in the prologue, ?To the Bourgeois,? of his ?Salon of 1846?: ?You are the majority, in number and intelligence; therefore you are power; and power is justice.? Setting his own sights elsewhere??Anywhere out of this world!? he specified in a poem?he saw that the fate of true artists would henceforth involve forms of internal exile, even in bright circles of cosmopolitan fame. That sort of compunction was lost on Courbet, and it is hard to imagine, let alone detect, in the conduct of the art world today. It is a virtue that, on the evidence of disenthralled art-historical work like Chu?s, no longer enjoins the tribute of lip service. Dirty laundry has become the emperor?s new clothes. ?

Internal Exile. Yeah.

Posted by Dennis at 3:29 AM | Comments (0)