Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Handful of Random LA Photographs

The night before leaving.

Terry Allen (sculptor) and Philip Levine (poet), Corporate Head, 1991 at 725 S. Figueroa Street

They said
I had a head
for business.
The said
to get ahead
I had to lose
my head.
They said
be concrete
& I became
They said
go, my son,
divide, conquer.
I did my best.

Contradictions in the United Airline flight magazine.

Another passenger's box of Voodoo Doughnuts on the flight from Denver to Dayton (oh PDX how I miss you).

Person I most wish I was swimming at the heated pool in the Marriott Hotel.

Pigeon guards for humans on 7th Street.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Visiting Artist Io Palmer

Io Palmer is appearing at Ball State tomorrow to lecture on her latest series/one person exhibition at Wabash College. I am excited to see her talk about her work as she has always been one of my favorite artists in graduate school. I still drink out of a teacup she made that is oversized and covered with chickens.

Los Angeles Posts Coming Soon in the Meantime... It's John Baldessari's "This is Not To Be Looked At"

From the Museum of Contemporary Art's Permanent Collection.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hello Sunshine

Lauren Greenfield, Contestants in the Fitness America Competition pose for a photograph, Redondo Beach, California, 1995-2002

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cats Encore

I'm fairly certain I could take photographs of these cats in new ways every day for a month and still feel intrigued by the subject matter. Today was copy stand day rather than scanning - all the images that were too large for the scanner were photographed (namely calendars and posters). Nearly done with one box but there is still one more to go plus a lot to do in between which features points beyond the Midwest.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Perhaps it started with Errol Morris' Believing is Seeing where he deconstructs Arthur Rothstein's cow skull photograph (above). Since I am making the seniors read this book in the coming weeks, I plan to post a little more about it as it has also been my favorite read on photography in a very long time. In any case, I've noticed a lot of cows in art lately (and I'm not talking about cow parades).

Rodrigo de Filippis, National Interference, 2010 (Digital collage)

Vik Muniz, Two Cows, 1994

Anonymous, Hazel Bauer, 1960s from The Art of the American Snapshot 1888-1978

Anonymous from 1920s (source same as above)

I still entertain the thought of having a cow on a pole as seen in front of old butcher stores on top of a house I will buy someday. I am still not sure why that visual has always appealed to me - large animals suspended in the sky. I'm not even that interested in these animals (they may have the same amount of letters as "cats" but they aren't the same) but perhaps it is one way of saving one from a butcher shop.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Brief Cincinnati Field Trip

I tagged along with the video classes on their field trip to Cincinnati Friday. We visited the Contemporary Art Center and saw remnants of Shepard Fairey's retrospective in the main lobby:

I enjoyed seeing Is This Thing On? though I wish the rest of the galleries were open/installed with the next exhibitions. The most mesmerizing piece in the museum was Eva and Franco Mattes's Re-enactment of Marina Abramovic and Ulay's Impoderabilia:

Why? It dominated the room in scale. It didn't look like anything else in the show. I love the original Imponderabilia and this piece makes a little more sense to re-do rather than the version with models in Abramovic's retrospective at MOMA in 2010.

Afterward, we stepped across the street to the Weston Art Gallery to see Material Witness. Some highlights include Terry Berlier's Perfect Lovers, 2010:

Peter Haberkorn's Pool House Flurries:

... that took place inside this structure:

and Matthew Flegle's Bewilderness from 2010:

Other than that I saw some bookends I wanted but they look like I can make them for far cheaper:

Here's to getting out of town on a sunny day! Feels like a long time since the Columbus, Ohio road trip.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012

161 Cat Scans Later...

Tonight I learned that it takes 2 hours and 45 minutes to scan every single cat in the July 2011 issue of Cat Fancy while stationed next to the darkroom answering questions about print quality. 161 jpegs later. I think it might take all lab days this semester to scan the rest of that box but here's to trying.

Also of note, I forgot I had tossed a few other pieces of my past in with the cats shipped back from the YMCA last summer including the exhibition announcement above next to the keyboard from a 1995 two-person exhibition with my father...

... several "best of" images from contact sheets from the New Zealand trip with Li Rader in the summer of 1994 that were featured in our exhibition Finding Stewart in the Lionel Rombach Gallery on the University of Arizona campus. My brother is also featured in some of the images.... exhibition announcement for a two-person exhibition of Cheryl Shurtleff-Young and my father from approximately 1988 (it's always been a reference for what an eye-catching exhibition card could look like and it's 8.5" x 11")...

... and for some inexplicable reason I kept this (c. 1982).

More fascinating encounters with my scanning activities coming soon.

Plugging Away

It's that residency application time of year again. I've been researching these and have a list of five to apply for this month and next.

On a slow lab day in Photo 4, I managed to scan 141 pages of cats (I don't know how many that totals because some have only one and others have dozens). I foresee another mass scanning session tonight in Photo 1.

Otherwise, I'm looking forward to seeing the sun next week in LA and a field trip to Cincinnati tomorrow with the Video classes to see this show curated by my acquaintance Jordan Tate of i like this art.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A new and improved "David C. Nolan and Marilyn Monroe" Artist Statement

This is a portrait of David C. Nolan whose name and address is stamped across Marilyn Monroe’s body in every image. Until recently, these photographs were stored in my family’s safety deposit box, acquired for $5 at an antique store in the 1980s. The dealer was a friend of my father’s who revealed a man brought them to the shop after discovering them at a recycling center in Boise, Idaho.

The story behind the man who owned them is unknown, though for several years, it was believed that Nolan was the photographer, but the true creators are Earl Theisen, Bert Riesfeld, and countless others who photographed films like The Seven Year Itch for publicity. Others are convinced Nolan was a publicist, as the backs of the images contain quotes and vital information, although, these are not typical statements and remain unattributed.

After editing and combining both sides of the photographs, I noticed details that were not apparent earlier. (DEAD) is written by a man who has aged significantly and has become unsteady. There are small, penciled dots along the back margins enabling Nolan to write in a straight line. Despite the perfection he strives to maintain, there are several spelling and grammatical errors.

In July 2011, I visited 104 Webster Street. It is now divided into a duplex and is one of the shabbiest houses surrounded by gentrification. I have since learned that Nolan owned roughly 300,000 photographs of women in various states of undress. He retreated to his basement where he labeled his collection, wrote captions on each photograph, and stored them in thousands of file drawers. After his death, his wife, horrified at this trove, gave them away to the first person that would remove them from the house. The images gradually circulated along the West Coast and 29 ended up in my family’s hands.

I am currently creating a counterpart to David C. Nolan’s photographs where I explore one woman’s collection of meticulously cutout cats (3,770 total) in the form of a giant scrapbook created in the 1940s. I am interested in the differences between one man and one woman’s fascination with the printed image and their obsessive methods of archiving and organization.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Two David C. Nolan & Marilyn Monroe prints made it into the Lust exhibition at the Jennifer Schwartz Gallery!

A Tale of Obsession: David C. Nolan and Marilyn Monroe 10

A Tale of Obsession: David C. Nolan and Marilyn Monroe 15

Now comes the fun part... matting, framing and shipping all before Spring Break. I'm happy that David C. Nolan will be in the company of other artists whose work I admire namely Mary Ellen Bartley who works primarily with rephotographing books:

Mary Ellen Bartley, From the series Artists and Models

Saturday, February 11, 2012

More Marilyn photographs

While trying to find a high resolution image of Vik Muniz's Two Cows for a lecture this evening, I found this.

From the link above: "'It’s my favorite photograph!' says Muniz, whose work often incorporates strange materials (jelly, thread, Bosco). 'And the credits of The Misfits, one of my favorite movies, use puzzle pieces. This uses ten puzzles, with the image rotated at odd angles—like 37 degrees, 48 degrees, clockwise, and counterclockwise— relating the material and the idea.'"

I find John Baldessari's image to be a bit more engaging: "Like many of Baldessari’s recent works of subtraction, Marilyn Monroe: Partially Erased is 'about disturbing the hierarchy of vision: You usually look at the face first, and if you’re blocked out, you’re going to look at other things—the way they’re standing, like that. [But] the mole would be there. She never had it removed, so I didn’t either.'”

Mike Kelley RIP

It's been exactly nine days since I heard about Mike Kelley's death. I have been thinking about how influential he is, not only in the art world but how often I referred to him in many of the classes I teach. I was always drawn to his mixed media approach - he was certainly an object maker of the highest order but I was equally interested in his photographs. Some of my favorite Mike Kelley pieces follow:

Mike Kelley, Color and Form, 1999

Mike Kelley, Chinatown, 1999

Mike Kelley, Ahh Youth, 1991

Mike Kelley, Dustballs, 1994

So sad that he is gone yet I do look forward to seeing his work in the Whitney Biennial next month.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Adam Davis's "Mantra / Repeat Ten Times"

Adam "created this piece through time-lapse video captured at Joshua Tree National Park in California. Throughout the duration of the video, a line from Madonna's Lucky Star is repeated ten times. In its new context, Madonna's voice has been removed and the line is now articulated through an electronic voice synthesizer pattern made famous by the eighties educational toy Speak & Spell. This vocal pattern is also commonly associated with and interpreted as the voice of theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking."

Friday, February 3, 2012

Postcard Collective Winter 2012 Submission

This season's theme was "32" as the postcard rate for stamps was recently raised to 32 cents. Since I've been all about counting these days, it seemed appropriate to start the cat project after Aline's giant 1940s scrapbook. It would also give me the incentive to finally start the counterpart to David C. Nolan. The above image is the front featuring 32 cats.

The back is self-explanatory but I wanted to give a nod to the original source.

I accidentally made 48 instead of 38 so what you see above is 1536 cats. Aiee!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Shawn is here!

Braved the Super Bowl City to pick up Shawn Records at the airport tonight. He is in town to talk to the photo area seniors and give a public lecture about his artwork tomorrow. The above image is from his series Owner of this World though I may be partial to his inflatable pool below.