Thursday, June 26, 2008
So Elian Gonzalez has been in the news recently again. Remember Elian Gonzalez , he was the little boy who was in a boating accident which he survived but his mother did not, and then there was that hole debate regarding keeping him in the country o sending him back to Cuba. Well he got back sent to Cuba and has been there since, now 14, hes making headlines in the USA again. First I have a fascination with Elian's story in the fact that it is a perfect example on how multicultural issues affect us as Americans greatly and more so than we take into consideration. I mean Elian Gonzalez story is as American as OJ Simpson's trial, Brangelina, or even dare I say Tabasco. These things influence our culture and we never really stop to think how something of a multicultural theme , influence, makes such a big impact on our American culture.
So now 14 Elian has joined the Cuban Youth of Communist League and has vowed to never let down the Castro boys. Well I really don't know what to say about that too much. I mean I'm sure Elian holds a pretty big opinion on the US, I mean just look at the picture above were hes having a screaming contest with the guy with the gun pointed at him. Also there is talk over how Obama's campaign could be influenced in Florida by Cubans regarding the fact that two advisers of Obama were involved in the whole s ending Elian back to Cuba deal. Thats not that plausible of a argument in my opinion. I mean almost everyone has been involved in some sort of rejection, and in our society we applaud those with power to reject not those who get rejected. I'm going on and on now so I say check out some of my favorite photos of Elian above and my work called Untitled (Remembering Elian) 2008. It's Cast Resin with powdered Graphite and Gold Dust. Inspired by the one and only Elian Gonzalez and his influence on our passive intake of multicultural material within our America. Also the second photo is eEian now 14 at the Communist Youth conference.
So tonight at 4 or 5 pm the opening at A & D Gallery for the show Busted Amp curated by Anchor Graphics will be opening. So i forgot to mention on my last post regarding the fact that at 6.30pm tonight there will be a discussion sorrounding the show led by Duncan McKenzie. So everyone coem down and support the Arts and A & D and he asweomnes that is me and of course the show.
A & D Gallery
619 S . Wabash
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
For the last week or so I been sitting at the desk at A & D Gallery watching artist come and go , screen printing this crazy and amazing collage of images on the walls. It looks like some sort of controlled , uncontrolled, chaos o' art.It's all for A & D Gallery's new show ; "Busted Amp" . The show was curated by Anchor Graphics.I took pictures to show you guys a little bit of the process in action but since my bag full o' stuff of mine got stolen at Ohare few weeks back I just realized all my camera stuff was in there, sooooooooooooo I cant upload any photos. But it looks amazing. tomorrow we finish the installation of all the works and everyone should come check out the show at the opening on Thursday night, like in two days. it really is a great show and you get to see me , Yay! Ill be working my first opening at A & D so would be nice for some peeps to come show support. Like I said I'm really happy to be working for some non for profits recently who seem to be doing things for the love of the art a little more than my past experience in commercial gallery hell. I am very thankful for my past opportunities and experience but it is a whole different ballgame when you get to work amongst people with drive and true interest in the art and artist involved. Woman made Gallery has also been a great boost of support. Anyways, seriously check out the show, there will be something in NewCity regarding the show and there is an ad in Works on Paper magazine and PRINT.
A & D Gallery
619 S. Wabash
Opening reception for Busted Amp
Thursday , June, 26
4pm to 8pm
As I shared recently I've begun working with the wonderful women at Women Made Gallery and this past weekend i assisted in put up their new show "Drawing on Experience".
The energy at this gallery is really great and I couldn't have worked with more wonderful people. The show has a lot great work all surrounding a drawing approach. I've attached a few of my favorite pieces in the show. The opening is this Friday and if anyone is around the area should check it out. Its really a great space and the show is really great. Really this gallery is huge and the people who work there really are motivated about what they are doing. I love how i could overhear conversations regarding in dept views on art and politics. This space is one to definitely check out. Show your support.
Reception: Friday, June 27 / 4-7 p.m.
685 N MILWAUKEE AVE
CHICAGO IL 60622
TEL: 312 738 040
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
So Check out Chris Kerr's show this weekend. To better describe the show I will allow my and his good friend and Art Historian Amanda Ferris McKenzie to elaborate and explain in more detail:
Four months ago Chris Kerr, 34, had an epiphany - this led to his most recent sculpture "Trouble at the Strip Club". His experience was similar to one Conway Twitty had at the age of 31. Both men had come to the realization that it was time to stop playing Rock and Roll music for the kids and time to get down to business with Country music for the grown ups. Although the mediums are different, the intent is the same.
However humorous and innocent his work may appear, there is an underlying sadness and vulnerability. His Southern Baptist upbringing can be seen throughout his work and effects his choice of medium, stylistic traits, and political commentary. In "Touch the hand of the man that made you a Robot", emotion and complexity is shown by combining traditional painting styles with more modern airbrushing techniques. Comparisons can be drawn between Kerr's body of work and the sideshow attractions at a carnival. As viewers, we want to look in amazement and chuckle with amusement, but the melancholy at the root of these displays cannot be ignored.
Neo-Country is Kerr's solo movement, a culmination of those conflicting ideas brought together by his own exploration of self. Using contradictory visuals, titles, and at times speech bubbles, Kerr forces the viewer to reflect on today's issues and way of life. Kerr's Neo-Country work is indeed a visual reflection of country music per se, deeply routed in his past, fighting for his present and future. Comparing this movement with Conway Twitty once more, Kerr's work resembles Twitty City, an amusement park created by Twitty for his fans, complete with rides and gift shops. After giving country music a real voice, Twitty also gave it a home. Neo-Country is Kerr's Twitty City, nestled in southern roots, living in the Midwest, thinking outside the ordinary.
Amanda Ferris McKenzie
Check out Kerr's website
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
So I should share that as off last week and this week I am working with the A & D Gallery in the South Loop and Woman Made Gallery in West Town. They both are some really great spaces showing some great artist. The next show at A & D is Busted Amp opening the 26th at 4pm. Everyone should come check it out. Also a great thing is that both spaces are non for profit which gives me a big change in environment . It's good to be getting some new experience. So if you stroll by these places come in and say hi, and support the spaces themselves by coming out to check out their shows. Thank you very much to Juliana Cuevas, Jennifer Murray, and Beate C. Minkovski for giving me the great opportunity to work with them.
Woman Made Gallery Site
A & D Gallery Site
Really I have no idea what to say. This past weekend i attended an art show in Logan Square for my friend Vincent Finazzo. the gathering was great, just local artist having a good time enjoying art and the evening. I left the opening early for I had another engagement across town. Later that evening , from what I have understood, Brendan Scanlon also known by his graf name SOLVE got into a fight and was killed by being stabbed on Palmer. This is insane. Why is this necessary? I had only met him once before but many of my friends new him well. It's insulting our culture has nothing better to do than kill each other. This makes me so angry. We should all stop this. I've attached a photo of an impromptu memorial that went up for SOLVE. May his death not be taken in vain and may this even not repeat itself. Theres too much beauty in life for anything this insipid. My thoughts go to those close to Brendan. RIP Brendan Scanlon.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
For this artist interview i caught up with an old friend of mine from high school Kristina Smith. Me and Kris did the whole high school art thing together and I've been a big fan of her work for a long time now. Her paintings are executed with such perfect technique and i must say I find it so alluring that her paintings depict beautiful scenes of abandonment and time. She paints these scenes of discarded furnishings in alleys, streets, and creates such aesthetically pleasing images of scenes we would typically walk right past in everyday life. I have a strong appeal to the fact that she speaks of the American Culture, in contrast to my work, and that there is a lot of bricks in her work as well. Kris Smiths works always reminds me how important beauty is in our society and often the things we last think are beautiful are the most poetic and beautiful things of all. below we discuss American culture, MILFS, DILFS, and the politics of aesthetics. Enjoy!
I've included some of her work above and a photo of her working in her studio. Also there is a great photo of her in which I believe she is wearing a Novem Studios hoodie. Novem Studios are great friends of mine as well.
Emanuel Aguilar: Hello Ms. Smith thank you for agreeing to an interview with me. For the record please state your name and title.
Kristina Smith: I am Kris Smith and I am an oil painter and draftsperson
EA: Nice. So Kris. What would you say dominates your practice.
KS: Images of thrown out and abandoned furniture.
EA: I been familiar with your work long enough to have seen a great deal of change in direction. You used to do a lot more portraiture and the sort, what interest shifted your direction
KS: It kind of happened on accident. i have always preferred working in detail and in realism, and when i found the proper subject, it just stuck.
EA: I must say your skill is quite impressive, it always has been.
KS: You're too kind
EA: In recent times theres been a long debate on the death of painting and such, but i can tell you based on last years Venice Biannale and what i been seeing around that painting is very much in. What would you say on the matter
KS: It can be debated whether or not painting is contemporary enough a medium for these times, but i feel it's one of those aspects of art that will never die. its come this far, and its still a popular major in schools. if it were a truly dying medium, i feel schools would not continue teaching traditionally. And paintings are still widely exhibited in popular galleries.
EA: yes well i think theres a lot more debate within school regarding the teaching of painting. In a sense many schools stray from it . I think in a sense the times began to see a lot more technologies and mediums so it influenced over art production a lot. Andy Warhol once sad to Francesco Clemente that painting wasn't dead it was the sense of a master piece that had died
KS: This is true, there are many mediums and directions in which art can go, but so much can be done with each of those mediums and one can paint in various styles and ways. i know some kids that paint in photo shop, but is that not painting? Even so, i may not even be a painter my entire career. i am open to all media.
EA: True what is painting if not just paint moved around and arrange upon a surface.
EA: The reason I brought that up was because your work in a sense can read more contemporary than the painting is dead era, there is so much attention to technique which is something that has been overlooked so much in past times, but your work reads of contemporary subjects and approach. I mean the furniture and the architecture and street all speaks of a time and place and yet it could be timeless and it could speak of today. I enjoy that very much in your work, the idea of captured beauty in time.
KS: Thanks! I was hoping they would be viewed in such ways! the idea also speaks for America's throwaway society, and although it can be an aesthetic piece, the paintings also try to make a statement., however the statement is more subtle than the colors and aesthetics of it all. especially when all that detail is involved.
EA: I mean aesthetic in a way is the strongest statement of our Culture. Were such beauty obsessed.
KS: For sure
EA:We throw out the old because we want nothing but new and pretty. Since i mentioned Andy Warhol earlier, he once also said "pretty gets you pretty far"
KS: That's so true.you can definitely school me on some Warhol philosophy.
EA: Ha I wish I could , I think thats as much as I know of him. No you haven't, do please
KS: What u know is useful
EA: Thank you
KS: It's called "America the comfortable"
EA: Ha ha Its sad its so true.
KS: Of course a take on the phrase America the beautiful.And what with this furniture that was once loved and enjoyed being thrown out for something better and cozier. Among other meanings.
EA: Poor Furniture. I personally like things a little worn in and with some history
KS:: I can understand it can be hard to part with things, perhaps these owners are reluctant but feel that new furniture is necessary.
EA: In contrast to when i spent some time in Italy, men adore older women there the older the better. Its such a great aspect of Italian culture an appreciation for experience and good aging.
KS: Wow! Yeah, you hear some pretty creepy things about American men and their obsession with the younger of the opposite sex, but then you hear about this "milf" obsession where older women are viewed as sexy and more appreciated.
EA: Well I think MILF surrounds and older woman who resembles more of a younger one.
KS: Ahh true
EA: But the MILF term always reminds me of Milk I don't know why which doesn't translate well to me in terms of allure.
KS: But doesn't the age add to their appeal? but perhaps what your saying is in Italy the women show that age, whereas a MILF does'nt show their true age as much? Yeah true.
EA: Exactly. Ha. And we all know what the term DILF reminds me and thats not ok either.
EA: So miss Smith what do have planned for the long term.
KS: Indeed, well, I can't wait to return to school. I want to expand my artistic horizons and learn to work successfully in other mediums. Even if its just to experiment, if it becomes the new direction of my art.Then I want to instruct art at an institution while being a working artist as well. I enjoy sharing the knowledge of my passions.
EA: Sounds great. Yeah I cant wait for grad school either. I'm ready to move forward as well. Experimentation is a great thing in art. Most great discoveries happen by accident . I think the most important thing is to always remain focused on what drives you be it your subject matter, your influence, or your medium of choice.That sounds great, you'd be a great teacher!
KS: Thank you! Yeah, art can be a very flexible path if you want it to be.
EA:Yeah I definitely agree. I think its important that Artist gain more of an influence in society and culture.
KS: Have you had a chance to check out more grad schools since our NY failed attempts?
EA: Ha yes i was just in NY two weeks ago. I got some great info. we should discuss some time. Well miss Kris I think you have a lot to share with the world with your work. Any upcoming shows you'd like to let anyone know about.
KS: Awesome, look forward to the convo! ... but yes i am working hard t complete enough pieces for my first solo show opening on July 20th 2008. It's in Beverly shores Indiana from 1140am-330pm in the afternoon. In the train terminal area. s if one wants to go, the south shore train from downtown drops you off right there.
EA: Great . I'll be there and everyone should check out your work. Well Miss Smith thank you very much for a great interview. Any final words of wisdom, thoughts you'd like to share?
KS: The pleasure was all mine! Words of wisdom? Umm....Keep reading Eman's blog if you're looking for some great perspective on today's art community! I'm bad with on the spot wisdom....
EA: Ha Ha, Thank you very much. We should add a disclaimer that I didn't for this great PR. Greatly appreciated, I'm glad to bring great artist work to everyone out there.
KS: Oh but artist should always keep looking at what's out there. Keep up with the competition.
EA: Agreed. And Scene.