May 29, 2011

Work on Paper

So Far
wop 12-11


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Work on Paper

Dancing School
wop 11-11


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Greater LA: the T-Shirt

Matt Chambers is an old friend who I first met in ChinaTown Los Angeles when he was just graduating from Art Center. We are both showing work in the the Greater LA show in New York, and it was fun to be together during the install in the days before the opening in mid-May.

As is his regular practice, Matt loves to whip out a screen printed t-shirt now and then. This seemed to be a perfect occasion, so he walked over to the local art store and bought a bag of the requisite materials: two screens, ink, a squeegee, t-shirts). He asked me if I wanted to help, of course I would. We haggled for which side of the shirt which one of us would take on. I got the front with the requisite responsibility of finding an appropriate image to herald the show, Matt had the back with the task of listing all the names of the fifty or so participating artists. I joked along the way of rendering the image of our former governor, Schwarzenegger, whose divorce was impending and the ultimate desultory dimensions of it was still a mystery. I took my time with the logo of the show to play for time whilst I figured out that the best image to render was exactly the subject of the jokes that we were cracking. So I googled an image, found the former governor and his soon to be former wife, Maria Shriver, and splashed out the best representation I could with the resist fluid and brush.

During the opening, young Ansel Combs modeled the finished product for us. Co-incidentally, he honored us by wearing his terminator t-shirt for the occasion, thus validating the choice for the full frontal image. Thanks, Ansel!!

As of this blogpost, there are a little more than ten days left in the exhibition (it closes June 10th), and I hope that if you are in Manhattan, that you might stop by and take in the artwork of my compadres in LA. The location is at 483 Broadway, just south of Broome in SoHo.

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Fil R?ting and Merle

Mans best Pal d.gif
(Fil is an artist who is part of the collective WPA, click on the link and you can find his work there. This animated gif was shot during his visit to Henry Taylor's studio.)

I wrote Fil to get his blessing for this post, and he replied:
no problem,
spasmatically hilarious
the funny thing is Merle (Red Healer) is an epileptic and we look like were both having seizures
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LA DriveBy / E.P. Frame

This is a view of Echo Park from the top of a hill at Reservoir Street. Finally, my long abiding idea about how to frame the presence of the community of Echo Park will be able to be expressed within the platform of this weblog, all due to an errand to El Rancho Market, the one stop source for all your Mexican cuisine needs off Sunset Boulevard. Due to the tricky access to the market's parking lot, I had to circle back onto Reservoir Street before I could ride back towards Echo Park Avenue back home in the hills of Elysian Heights. At the top of Reservoir Street, I stopped and snapped this pic so as to share my idea for an Echo Park Urban Frame.

A pipe dream, a message in a bottle, from my mouth to G-d's ear.

A train of pics and plans follow below the fold....

OK, so here's the deal: Sunset Boulevard starts downtown at Olivera Street and travels quite a distance west to the ocean. Shortly after the beginning of the east end, Sunset turns twice to frame the community of Echo Park, my home in Los Angeles. What I would like to propose is to plant two rows of jacaranda trees, notable for their beautiful purple flowers that bloom every spring. A slice of Wikipedia seems appropriate:

Jacaranda (usually pronounced /ˌdʒ?kəˈr?ndə/ in English) is a genus of 49 species of flowering plants in the family Bignoniaceae, native to tropical and subtropical regions of South America (especially Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay), Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. It is found throughout the Americas and Caribbean, and has been introduced to Australia, New Zealand, India, Fiji and parts of Africa. The genus name is also used as the common name.

The species are shrubs to large trees ranging in size from 2 to 30 m (6.6 to 98 ft) tall. The leaves are bipinnate in most species, pinnate or simple in a few species. The flowers are produced in conspicuous large panicles, each flower with a five-lobed blue to purple-blue corolla; a few species have white flowers. The fruit is an oblong to oval flattened capsule containing numerous slender seeds. The genus differs from other genera in the Bignoniaceae in having a staminode that is longer than the stamens, tricolpate pollen, and a chromosome number of 18.

Panicles and corollas, nice words.

Here is the aerial shot, diagrammed for your conceptual convenience. The only drawback is that this design only speaks once a year... maybe a serpentine trellis of bougainvillea. The only drawback is that the City of LA would have to pay for a serpentine trellis, and I would imagine that it's far easier to get my fair city to pay for thirty or forty trees instead. Here we are, as always, with the vicissitudes of design.

One way or another, one could plant a colorful shock of plants at these two locations. The objective is to frame, to underscore and enhance the existence of the physical community of Echo Park, like a little bit urban eyeliner. At Reservoir Street, there is a sleight of hand as Sunset Boulevard veers west past the Citibank tower (it has a nice helipad), Taix restaurant, the Edendale library (why isn't it called Echo Park Library?) and finally Alvarado street. Drive on en passant.

Here is a tilt-up drawing to emphasize the hill-ness of the situation. It makes for a nice urban bracket.

And on the other side, the east turn of Sunset Boulevard, the legendary street veers away again from another tilt-up elevation at a street called.... Lilac Terrace. How appropriate! It was almost as if this design was meant to be.

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May 27, 2011

Work on Paper

People, Humans, Mankind.
WOP 10-11


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GRLA in NY Observer


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May 19, 2011

Table Show


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Kris Chatterson visited the Greater LA and posted a report on his blog with a stream of photos that does a pretty good job of documenting the work in the show. Check out his online activities in the following sites:

Progress Report
Kris Chatterson

As a painter, Kris is pursuing a line of investigation that splits the difference between a wide range of media and practices: printing, photoshop shenanigans, graffiti, classical ab ex, self conscious media feedback looper, he seems to be a part of a growing movement of artists who have yet to be named, collectively. If to be modern is to reconcile the life one is living with the things one is making, then this movement would be on the forefront of folding our collective online life into the stream of experience in our offline studio life.

I'm taking a stab at a name for this perspective: Confluence Art. Any other ideas?

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May 17, 2011

My Favorite from Two Coats of Paint

TwoCoats GRLA.png
I was delighted to meet Sharon Butler at the Greater LA opening. I'm looking forward to hanging out with her again when next I return to New York. It's an honor to be mentioned in her blog, a news source that I rely on daily.

Two Coats of Paint.

Posted by Dennis at 7:08 PM | Comments (0)

May 14, 2011

Greater LA PreShow

(View from 483 Broadway.)

I stopped by the show site at Greater LA, located on the second floor of a four story building whose current redeeming factor is the abiding presence of a street level store at its base called "Yellow Rat Bastard". Apropos of nearly nothing, a quick google search led me to Wikipedia and the following tidbit: "The idea for the store came from a Frank Miller comic book called "Sin City"; it had an issue entitled 'That Yellow Bastard'." If you think this is yet another typical Dennis Hollingsworth digression, consider that this May 17 will auger the release of L.A. Noire.

Just sayin'.

(I'm so excited!)


Back to the show.

Greater LA will open tomorrow. The space has been lashed from one end to the other with artwork, and with the final installation of the bar (simultaneously dispensable and indispensable), the doors will open Sunday May 15th at five in the afternoon to nine in the evening and the libations and casual/not-so-casual chatter will flow.

Directions: Navigate to SoHo and a few doors south of Broome Street on Broadway, just to the right of Yellow Rat Bastard, take the elevator to the second floor and there you are. (Hot tip: the bar is deep, deep in the back of the exhibition space.) Or you can click here if my directions don't make much sense to you.

What follows are a series of ridiculously horizontal fotos (enlarge your browser window to the full screen of your computer display, it's that large) taken exclusively with my iPhone foto App, 360Panorama. My usual workhorse camera is broke. Don't ask why.














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"Even if you encounter opposition, have conviction and finish what you start. In the end, people will understand."

This post is in praise of visionaries.

Read the article: How one Japanese village defied the tsunami.

(Bonus hint: the image above is an Easter egg so that you might see the nature of the landform and its particular susceptibility to tsunamis.)

Remember Kotaku Wamura.

Time to build the space elevator and then space based solar power.*
And global free internet.
And asteroid wrangling/mining.

That is all.

* I yet don't have faith that terrestrial based solar power will be technologically capable in the near future, or even in our lifetime. Only one barrier exists for the elevator and that is the creation of carbon nanotube cables. To temper my optimism and to follow a mirror view, read this. There is a reason for the other name of this kind of technological dream: 'unobtainium'.

Posted by Dennis at 8:25 PM | Comments (0)

Greater LA, the install

There's only enough time to throw up this image, more to come laters.

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David Adamo at Unt/tled

Here are a few photos of David Adamo's show, the afternoon reception at Unt/tled.

At the entrance, Adamo built what I call a wailing wall. That's my nomination, not his. The stones draw a line into the plenum of a main space of Untitled's gallery. It's a great move, simple and it overcomes the strange limitation of having to squeeze past the narrows of a reception before one finally arrives at the presentation space proper.

Adamo wails at hunks of wood with one of two adze in his possession. An adze is a tool that is kind of like an axe but with a cupped blade at right angles to the handle. It's an ancient tool used for shaping wood (therefore the canoe forms in Adamo's show), a tool that's wielded by swinging the dangerous end of the tool between one's legs.

Adamo kindly left evidence of his capacity for careful woodcarving: one of the hunks of wood has a violin's neck and scroll protruding from it. Meanwhile in the rest of the gallery is all nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom.

More panoramics after the fold....




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May 12, 2011

Work on Paper

Silent Testimony
(wop #9-11)


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Work on Paper

(wop #8-11)


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May 11, 2011

Greater LA

In New York City. May 15th, 2011.


I'm in good company.

Greater LA.

A clickable link for all the names is here.


Posted by Dennis at 3:52 AM | Comments (0)

Leaving LA 4 GLA in NYC

This is a foto from last week, when two lads with a Penske truck collected the work from fifty something artists from Los Angeles and drove the cargo to New York for a survey show in New York City that will open next Sunday at 483 Broadway, SoHo.

The show is called Greater LA. The title recalls the twice a decade survey show called Greater New York and GLA apparently (at least to me) reflects a quiet merger between Los Angeles and New York that is currently underway. The top end of the art world has migrated (Deitch at MOCA) or set up a satellite galleries (Gagosian, L&M, etc.) or bought out controlling interest in various galleries (my lips are sealed) in Los Angeles... I've come to calling LA "the new Williamsburg", with more seriousness than amusement. I know that in art world terms, LA is no equivalent for New York. New York is huge. It has the best high level museums, it has the biggest art market bar none, and it is filled to the brim with brilliant type "A" folks, the best in the world. LA is puny in comparison within these parameters.... but LA does have the advantage of being a magnet for young artists from all over the country.

Why would I match the former with an ante of the latter? Well, I would say that art history turns with a generational, Oedipal shift, with the process of modernization being each generation's need to define the terms of their expression, to reconcile the things they are making with the life they are living. Los Angeles has art schools such as UCLA, CalArts, ArtCenter, USC, Claremont, UCLB, UCR, Otis Parsons (probably an incomplete list) as well as a significant number of grads from art schools across the country who choose to settle into SoCal in order to start their careers (my theory as to why: as one of the few true metropolises with relatively cheap rent, an artist has to find time to make their work outside of market pressures.... remember that time does equal money). Such is my low end theory of art in Los Angeles. At the best of the high, high end, New York is unmatched. At the best of the low end, LA is unmatched. Greater Los Angeles in New York seems to be a match made in heaven.

I'm enroute to Manhattan at the moment, wondering what the coming week will bring.

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




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May 7, 2011

Schrodingers Cat Bin Laden

It took ten years to track down Osama bin Laden and the full force of the armed forces of the United States came down to a few milliseconds where members of a SEAL team made the decision to put two rounds in his head.

Or so we are told.

Every knows not to trust initial media reports, especially in such a scenario where a fugitive of the dimensions of OBL is concerned. Was he executed? I don't think so, but then from my experience of the military, I don't see evidence of that, especially at such an attenuated level of the military personnel involved. It must be admitted that fugitives of the rank of bin Laden have an extremely narrow opportunity to display the signals that would convey a surrender status. But there have been a flurry of different reports of what happened on the bedroom floor of his compound, and with the likelihood that such details will remain top secret, we will probably not know. So, like the fabled Schrodinger's Cat, even though Al Qaeda has confirmed his death, we don't know exactly in what circumstances he died. And despite the argument that the photographic proof should be withheld in order not to provide the world with another image of a martyr, the world will fill in the blank with several images anyway, all probably much more vivid than the actual video probably recorded by the commando's headsets, much less than the usual forensic fotos that this kind of thing would render. I guess this would be the argument to publish them.

One thought, by the way: I've once considered that we had needed actors like Humphrey Bogart during WWII to evoke the kind of mentality needed to fight a war, to do the ugly things that needed to be done in a time of armed conflict. What a surprise that this today was expressed in the figure of President Obama, whose Chicago legacy writ large and clear the spirit of prohibition era hard knuckled decisiveness in his attack on Al Qaeda. Predator drones are still on the hunt, meting out death sentences by executive order.

As for the vividness of the public's imagination, said imagination was probably led by our entertainment industry. It's curious to connect one of the initial reports of Bin Laden's last moments depicting him as using one of his wives as a human shield, receiving a head wound for his trouble, with a scenario first imagined by Call of Duty, Black Ops. Above, please watch one of the opening scenes for what might be the animating imagery for the wife-as-human-shield fantasy, which in turn was superseded by another report that bin Laden first evaded the first shot at him as he poked his head out of a bedroom doorway, to be double tapped inside shortly thereafter.

Decide for yourself which account is true. Regardless, for much of the world, he will be both alive and dead for a long time to come.

Posted by Dennis at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

Anatomy of Melancholy

In Our Time has just released their podcast on The Origins of Islamic Law and Melvyn Bragg announced in closing the upcoming episode on Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholia. Here is Wikipedia's overview:

Burton's book consists mostly of a collection of opinions of a multitude of writers, grouped under quaint and old-fashioned divisions; in a solemn tone Burton endeavoured to prove indisputable facts by weighty quotations. The subjects discussed and determined by Burton ranged from the doctrines of religion to military discipline, from inland navigation to the morality of dancing-schools.

On its surface, the book is presented as a medical[citation needed] textbook in which Burton applies his vast and varied learning,[citation needed] in the scholastic manner, to the subject of melancholia (which includes what is now termed clinical depression). Though presented as a medical text, The Anatomy of Melancholy is as much a sui generis work of literature as it is a scientific or philosophical text, and Burton addresses far more than his stated subject. In fact, the Anatomy uses melancholy as the lens through which all human emotion and thought may be scrutinized, and virtually the entire contents of a 17th-century library are marshalled into service of this goal.

In his satirical preface to the reader, Burton's persona Democritus Junior explains, "I write of melancholy by being busy to avoid melancholy." The Anatomy is a wide-ranging document, containing digressions and commentary. Whatever its strengths as a medical text or as a historical document, it is the Anatomy's vast breadth ? addressing topics such as digestion, goblins, the geography of America, and others ? and the particularly characteristic voice of its author that are most commonly cited by its admirers as the main sources of its appeal. Both satirical and serious in tone, the Anatomy is "vitalized by (Burton's) pervading humour", and Burton's digressive and inclusive style, often verging on a stream of consciousness, consistently informs and animates the text.


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