Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter = Egg Posts (the tradition around here)

In pairs we follow...

Carole Itter, Raw Egg Costume 1974

Carole Itter, Chicken Box #9, 1974

Urs Fischer, Innocent Problem, 2013

Urs Fischer, Half a Problem, 2013

Jonathan Blaustein, One Dollar's Worth of Chicken Eggs from a Factory Farm in Texas

Jonathan Blaustein, One Dollar's Worth of Local Duck Egg from the Farmer's Market

Josef Sudek, Composition Glass Egg Still Life, 1950-54


Josef Sudek, Eggshells on Plate, 1950s

Friday, April 11, 2014

"Devoted" by Randy Twaddle

For the past several months, Randy Twaddle's Daily Devotionals appeared in my Instagram feed. Today, all 71 of them can be found on a tumblr account. I truly admire artists that start their day in the studio with a repetitive practice.

Randy states: "I came to think of these simple, uni-ball pen drawings in a domestic context, akin to other "busywork" like needlepoint or crochet. Those Victorian alphabet samplers one sees at flea markets were on my mind a lot, as was the realization that traditionally, almost all of that work was done by women. So here I was at the kitchen table spending significant parts of my days and nights doing an equivalent of needlepoint. And happily so."

All images are from Randy Twaddle's Devoted, 2014

I am especially fond of the last one as Randy reassesses the most overused phrase (AKA my least favorite one) that makes me cringe each and every time I hear it. I may have quoted this devotional to the last person I heard say it. I may have considered this as my first tattoo. I may have wished this was available as a t-shirt.

Be sure to check out the rest!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hate-Hate Relationships with the Rubik's Cube

I knew 2014 marked the 40th anniversary of the Rubik's Cube (due to last year's visit to Hungary, home of the inventor, Ernő Rubik), yet I unintentionally overlooked the exact day (28 March). I was first inspired to post this when discovering the photograph below a couple year's ago.

Andrew B. Myers, Buyer's Remorse

Nothing is perfect: the off center presentation, the chipped paint on the pedestal, and the inability to solve each side. The hint of red fingernail polish and blue sleeve mimic the color on the right of the puzzle. Thank you, Andrew B. Myers, for making the best photograph of a Rubik's Cube, simultaneously summing up my hate-hate relationship with the object, yet infusing humor into the situation.

David Gibson, London, 2003

Somehow Gibson's depiction of the object is palatable because it is photographed in black-and-white and I spend more time comparing patterns in the tie than looking at the game.

Scilla Klenyanszki, From A Mug's Game

Klenyanszki's cube looks nightmarish but I rest easily because of the deformity in the bottom right (relishing any opportunity to bash the color orange). The brown square draws attention to the studio set-up, allowing me to believe nothing is what it seems, despite showing the viewer a hint of the process of taking the photograph.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Portrait of Javy Russell 1992 - 1996

I created my latest self-published book to remember a small box of cassette tapes that I threw away one month ago. In addition, it was a gift for my brother's birthday in January (three parts: this book, a gift card to Everyday Music, and a mixed CD = nearly obsolete). The action of photographing the objects before they were thrown away fits the series, Autobiography, but in reality, this project is about someone else (therefore it is not my personal history).

From the text above:

In 2004, while living in a Portland, Oregon rental, the basement flooded. I lost several of the mixed tapes Javy made me from the mid 1990s. They revealed his ingenuity in titling and compiling songs - one reason why they were saved long past having the means to play them. Here are the twenty-five that remain. They are not only a document of an era but the life of a 16-20 year old growing up in Boise, Idaho.

Side note: my brother hates cucumbers.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Magnets Visited

It occurred to me the other day after writing the Washington, D.C. post that I have visited all the places represented on my refrigerator magnets (travel accomplishment #912 - 9999 more to go).

I am still annoyed that my favorite one featuring Crater Lake was stolen during a party in Houston, Texas. Its ghost is represented above.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

29 Reasons Why Everyone Should Participate in the Postcard Collective

I received some of the best postcards from the Winter 2014 round. Here they are (though two arrived within the last week and are not pictured):

Two of my favorite parts were the introduction to Judith Baumann's artwork and my reacquaintance with Jon Feinstein's photographs. Their websites are highly worth perusing.

"Migration" by Jacqueline Suskin

A few months ago, I struggled with how much money one gives Poem Store's Jacqueline Suskin when she states, "your subject your price." I agonized over this for weeks despite the best intention of requesting a poem quickly. One Sunday afternoon, I devised a plan: empty my wallet of all paper money (no matter what it is) and send it with the accompanying (inarticulate) text:

"This is something I think about all the time and would love to know what you would write: That intense longing and sadness that comes from seeing birds migrate through, knowing you can't follow them to the warm in the winter and the cool in the summer (but someday you will die trying)."

Last week, Jacqueline sent the far more eloquent poem below:

It now resides in my wallet next to the found $2 from Clemson, South Carolina, a Metro card with Nick Cave's Sound Suits, and a "ticket out of Indiana" from my father.

Monday, March 31, 2014

National Gallery of Art & Few Random D.C. Photographs

Contemplating the cat's presence in Hendrik Goltzius's The Fall of Man, 1616. From the National Gallery's website: "The cat, representing the unjust judge, solemnly reminds viewers not to enjoy what they should condemn, lest they too cause more harm than good."

The back of Leonardo da Vinci's Ginevra de' Benci, c. 1474/1478 ("Beauty adorns virtue").

An unexpected surprise: the Garry Winogrand exhibition at the National Gallery. I viewed many works reminding me of the days spent working at the Center for Creative Photography where his archive is housed. In addition to old favorites (Fort Worth stock yards, Bronx Zoo, streets of Los Angeles) and postmortem prints, I was struck by the objects: contact sheets, Guggenheim letters of recommendation and astonishingly, a letter from his ex-wife outlining his ineptitude with finances.

My favorite painting at the National Gallery: a trompe l'oeil detail of Cornelis Norbetus Gijsbrechts's Hanging Wall Pouch from 1647.

An unfortunate crop of a Sol LeWitt sculpture outside the National Gallery (the sunshine is deceiving as it was 20 degrees).

My great intentions to skip a sliver of Camden Hardy's concrete block in the Reflection Pool were thwarted.

I could not help but feel as if I walked into several dozen Hollywood films when wandering around the Lincoln Memorial, halfway expecting Matt Damon to jump out of a limousine.

I pressed it (with gloves on) and it didn't do anything.

The beauty of spending Spring Break away from the Midwest is seeing the third showing of Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel while staying in Washington, D.C. The Royal Tenenbaums is my highest Wes Anderson standard and this film was the closest to meeting it (though Moonrise Kingdom gives it a run for its money). This slideshow of the model from The New York Times was reminiscent of all the window displays I saw in Prague last summer (on a lesser scale). I am looking forward to watching it again (keeping an eye out for all the strategically placed artwork).

With this, I am officially caught up with Spring Break posts. Thirty days until "summer vacation" (in quotes because it snowed yesterday and it is very difficult to fathom that it is finally spring).

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

"Damage Control" at the Hirshhorn Museum

In January, I briefly mentioned reading the book Damage Control: Art and Destruction Since 1950. Imagine my surprise when it was on view at the Hirshhorn Museum over Spring Break. It featured some of my favorite video pieces including:

Steve McQueen, Dead Pan, 1997

Pipilotti Rist, Ever is Over All, 1997

Bruce Conner, A Movie, 1958 [finally available online = wish that happened when I taught Art and Its Relationship to New Technology]

Robert Rauschenberg's Erased de Kooning Drawing, 1958

I am fairly certain I have seen this Rauschenberg on half a dozen occasions. It is featured in any exhibition that includes aggression (also Target Practice: Painting Under Attack, 1949 - 1978) and suddenly, its presence is expected. I would like to be surprised the next time it makes an appearance - perhaps curated into a show focusing on exercise or meditative actions.

There were some terrific Ed Ruscha works including The Royal Road Test and Los Angeles County Museum on Fire. I was also able to spend time with John Baldessari's Cremation Project and was reacquainted with how often nuclear bombs are featured in artwork. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

American Visionary Art Museum - Baltimore, MD

The American Visionary Art Museum was the number one place to visit on my Baltimore list. While living in Houston, I frequented this, this and also this and looked forward to seeing how the AVAM compared. It did not disappoint.

I am not sure who made this piece (apologies for the lack of attribution). Since I am collecting notebooks, I was intrigued by this object which is now a sculpture made to look like a functional conduit for electricity.

Kenny Irwin Jr., Have yourself a happy little robotmas, 2013 (above and two below)

Irwin's installation (part of the Human, Soul and Machine: The Coming Singularity! exhibition) floored me as I have never seen anything quite like it and most likely never will. The pseudo mountain lion heads looked like the bases in taxidermy with attached antlers but it could be the color that is throwing me off. In any case, all the animals emerged from toilets...

lead by this man who resembled a deteriorating Santa Claus...

...complete with a one-eyed snowman holding a femur. More of Irwin's work can be seen here.

Everyone was correct when they informed me that the AVAM had the best gift shop ever, leading to this purchase.

Jacinda Russell, souvenir pin from AVAM

The AVAM is one fine reason to visit Baltimore and if ever I return to the city, there is a pair of silver sunglasses in the shape of pistols with my name on them.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Material Message at Kenyon College

Material Message at Kenyon College opens next week featuring:

Jacinda Russell, Art Historian, 2011-2013

Thursday, March 20, 2014

One of My Favorite Photos from SPE

Paulina Dominguez and Jacinda Russell (image via).

Unfortunately, the Postcard Collective/Candle Heist group shots and the recreation of Nate Larson's wedding guest list were not posted on the link above.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Clear Water Sample Addition: Ocracoke Island, Outer Banks, North Carolina

Searching for the end of the road in Muncie.

Finding it and collecting a clear water sample on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina.