Sunday, November 21, 2010


amy davis in a still from Pig Death Machine


I'm looking forward to seeing PIG DEATH MACHINE, a new Jon Moritsugu + Amy Davis feature movie that has been shot and will be out in 2011. 

It's a psychological horror screwball comedy-- and I'll get to see my name in the credits! They partially funded the project through small contributions, and some of the contributors will get an on-screen thank you. I purchased a tiny amount of fame for a tiny amount of money. I would have supported this anyway, though.

I am a longtime fan of Jon's punk rock aesthetic and totally independent approach to film.  I was fortunate enough to meet him years ago through his sister, the excellent painter Alison Moritsugu (one of my first artist-friends when I moved to NYC in 1990).

Previous films by Jon, or Jon + Amy include:

2002 Scumrock  [Best Feature / New York Underground Film Festival]
1997 Fame Whore  [Best Feature / New York Underground Film Festival]
more Jon + Amy's info at IMDb here

#15, Branca:

Glenn Branca debuted his Symphony # 15 / Running Through the World Like an Open Razor at Le Poisson Rouge last night.  

Michele and I were there early and were seated front and center by the low stage. As it turned out I was less than two feet away from the back of Branca's black coattails as he conducted.  I had the pleasure of looking over his shoulder at the hand-penciled pages of the score and notes on the pedestal in front of him and at his feet. 

The stage was crowded with musicians, and even more so with the jumble of multiple instruments each would play during the piece.  Among the players was Reg Bloor (whose fantastic experimental group Paranoid Critical Revolution will perform at Kent Place this spring).

Each movement was a differently shaped large open field of sound.  The opening, cymbal-based section, like some of the later guitar-oriented ones, developed into a huge wave of mounting intensity.  These sections evolved with nuance and subtlety, but I never lost sight of the whole washing over me.  This was in keeping with my experience hearing Branca's guitar pieces in the past, a feeling of powerful insistent frontality, singularity and strong emotion.

Movements that incorporated strange and varied instruments and toys, especially when chance operations came into play (instrumentalists rolling dice or consulting the I-Ching before sounding a harmonica or rattling sticks), evoked a landscape flecked with countless colors, textures and little absurdities.  I pictured Bosch or Bruegel paintings, like Bruegel's 'Childrens Games', where there is a beauty and largeness of conception, a seemingly comprehensive world view, but populated and punctuated and by tiny playful acts of lovely futility.  

To me the whole sustained a fantastic tension: a forceful forward movement, an expansiveness, crucially kept at bay by a humor of sardonic negativity.

children's games, jan bruegel, 1560
click image to enlarge

Monday, November 15, 2010


I was recently interviewed on the fantastic LA- based blog 
You Have Been Here Sometime
To read the full text, 

Go here.


An excerpt:
Your work blurs the line between sculpture and painting. The work you so graciously donated to the LACE auction could be viewed from the front and back. I found myself wanting others to see it from both sides. Do you work both sides of the canvas and supports on purpose, or is this a byproduct of the design? Have you ever considered showing your works so that your audience can see both sides?

Since I deal with the real space of painting, people seem to wonder about the relationship to sculpture. Sometimes I do allow the both sides of the painting to be seen in some way. Like in the paintings 153 (c & a), or 163 (d & g), the painting is paired with another part that, in a way, shows what is hidden, or almost shows it. But it remains about painting, not sculpture.

For me it all comes out of the given aspects of painting as a tradition, as a medium and as a set of conventions. Paintings are generally, normally considered one-sided, visual, they have parts meant to be seen (the colored paint, seen from the front) and parts not meant to be seen (the back of the linen or canvas, the staples, the wood stretchers, etc.) Things I’m doing seem to work in relation to that. It’s not that I want to emphasize the idea of the importance of painting, or celebrate the tradition (I find that boring). It’s more that it’s just this medium and set of conventions I’m intimate with. I’ve looked at paintings and made paintings for a while now, and I can use that familiarity to create kind of suspended or unresolved situations. Seeing the back of a painting or being denied access to an image or part of an image in a painting is one thing. If I was making sculpture it wouldn’t be the same since we know that all sides of sculpture are usually intended to be seen, and there are always parts of it that can’t be seen from a particular view. I think my paintings would be boring as sculptures; the element of wrongness would be taken away.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Preview update:

179 (twnR - detail)
Ken Weathersby
click image to enlarge

I'll be showing new paintings (like the one above) with Pierogi Gallery at SEVEN - Miami 
Nov. 30 - Dec. 5, 2010

Pierogi Gallery, Hales Gallery, Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, BravinLee Programs, Postmasters Gallery, P.P.O.W and Winkleman Gallery will present a special exhibition in the Wynwood District during the art fair week in Miami.

2214 North Miami Ave. Wynwood District
Miami, FL 33217