Word on the street is Portland is gearing up for its first art fair (AFFAIR) in a couple of weekends. Note to self, PDX is only a three hour car ride, what’s stopping you? A little bird told me to keep an eye out for the October issue of Art News for more Portland insight and watch Aaron Brown’s show on CNN sept 28th to see an interview with Jeff Jahn.

I find it fascinating how some towns appear to keep the stream of enthusiasm for the arts up in the air continuously while others kind of just let it happen over their back shoulder.

I was in Sacramento this weekend and tried to do a little sleuthing on the mysterious Fools Foundation. Myself and an accomplice trespassed the building they are located in, only to find a small little sign– stating their name. FF is definitely keeping a low profile at the moment, even though their first exhibit is slated to open next month.
I have a crew keeping an eye on them.


I think Washington, DC Art News runs one of the most gracious services around, which is the posting of opportunities for artists.
As a gallery I see they also offer seminars for emerging artists “on many areas not covered by any art school curriculum that we know of“. What a great thing.

When I think about pre-Internet days, which wasn’t that long ago, finding out about opportunities for exhibits, grants etc. was really kind of a sleuthing experience. I remember spending hours at our public library because someone there saw to receiving and filing such information for public consumption.

Yes, luckily there has always been the organizations like NYFA and [like I mentioned a few days ago] here on the other side of the woods Artist Trust that have really excelled in using the Internet, but it is nice to see someone catching those one offs that might not be known otherwise.

Here is my shortlist [undoubtedly W. coast heavy]:

a-z art
art access bulletin
art deadlines list
artist resource 
artist resource network
artist trust-late breaking
art space
betty bowen
calls for entry-p.n. art
nsf antarctic artists program 
office of arts and cult. affairs
seattle artists
seattle pub library-informed artist
volunteers in parks
wla- arts legal clinic


February 7, 2004


Christian Marclay is awesome! That is my one second intellectual review.

I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit Seattle Art Museum has up right now hosting a mid-career survey of Marclay’s wide ranging out put, spanning his sculptures , video collages and found object pieces. I had seen Marclay’s work at the previous Whitney Biennial and thought his exaggerated musical instrument sculptures werehilarious (and those are all in the exhibit ) but it was also good to find the meat of his inspiration which consists of noise, thrift store records and basically rock aspiration as a fetish.

Marclay in his video collages displays an amazing obsessive compulsive eye for editing film snippets together to create a seamless work, the subject matter always sound. The highlight of the exhibit for myself was viewing the endlessly repeated screening of Video Quartet. It is a simultaneous projection of 4 DVDs that becomes one mesmerizing arrangement, containing a multitude of images playing off each other. It is beautiful, involving, and held my attention for the endurance. That endorsement comes from someone who typically hates walking into those cordoned off black rooms to view some unknown [God knows what] in the dark with strangers bumping into you blindly.

The beauty of any career survey is the ability to see how someone has gnawed on ideas over time, and examined them over and over again. Hopefully you become as engaged as they have. In this case I very much enjoyed the world that Marclay immerses himself in and was pleased with SAM for mounting the exhibit.

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That being said I am always on the hunt for painting. I went up to the fourth floor of the museum to view a show gathered from the permanent collection titled: International Abstraction: Making Painting Real . While there was nothing here earth shattering, it was a nice for my brain to sit in a roomful of painting for a bit.

There is this strange little and uncharacteristic Agnes Martin on display titled “Winter Yellow” , a small postcard size bi-morphic work in ochre-brown-and orange. A note on the wall says the Canadian had actually studied in Bellingham, Washington for awhile before moving to New York and had destroyed most of her work from that era.

The exhibit ends in a room devoted to Minimalism, which as much as I have tried to change my mind over the years, still absolutely dislike most of it. The vein of painting generated by Ellsworth Kellyalways gets a vile reaction from me, which is stupid, because: who cares. I do for instance really appreciate Robert Ryman, and have warmed up to Martin’s later work, which was also in the room. For the most part though I made a quick exit.

The museum was nicely quiet yesterday afternoon with the exception of a beastly loud German couple persistently debating every piece and my personal favorite, taking calls from a booming cell phone. I am convinced these sorts of people are actually undercover guards hired by museums, this experience being so prevalent at every one I visit!


february 6, 2004

Late-breaking news: Conner Brothers tonight at 911 Media Arts! !

This Sunday is an event supporting the best resource Seattle has that supports the arts- The Artist TRUST benefit auction.

Artist TRUST is a nonprofit that provides access to resources, holds grant writing workshops, lists job and exhibit opportunities, and most importantly hand out grants to individuals to keep the work making process lubricated. I’m impressed they are still going strong. Yours truly here is hoping to contribute to the cause.

Today I see another Seattle resource geared towards visual artists is having a changing of the guard, Victoria Josslin is stepping down from running artdish.

And lastly, before I make myself insane with all this talk of Regionalism, I have to pull a quote out of the very interesting articleThe Seattle Weekly ran this week about the victory of Slatemagazine:

“The magazine never integrated itself into the local intellectual culture. With the exception of publisher Krohn, who is a member of the Washington News Council, Slatesters haven’t mixed much with local journalists or political figures. In fact, says Shafer, who for a long time served as Kinsley’s deputy editor, “it was always the plan that Mike and I would move back. . . . There is something about working in Seattle that’s akin to floating in an archipelago out in the Pacific. You are several days behind the latest news and gossip coming over the mojo.” In 2000, Shafer returned to D.C. More surprising is that Kinsley became a Northwest convert and stayed. “

Ah shucks.

I have to give it to Slate for their encouragement of visual art coverage while, as it is rightly stated in a contrast/comparison drawn against to alleged rival Salon, there is no competition in that corner [search for recent visual arts articles on Salon turned up this news from 1999]. At any rate, enough blathering!

february 5, 2004

mg I can’t help myself, everyday I have to look to see what smart ass thing is sitting on Mat’s Live Journal, or as he names it The Life between Art & Lines . Mat is pretty funny in stand alone form, but it becomes gratifying to know he punches out Coagula every other month, the beautiful and most sardonic publication that must possibly come out of Los Angeles [about art anyway]. Yes, the Live Journal as a continuum possibly contains a little too much information, but who told me to look any way.
I find a book titled: 
Most Art Sucks: Five Years of Coagula hard to resist as well. 

Matthew Barney haters and student loan payer backers will like this nibble. You kind of can’t help but feel MG standing there, snickering behind your back.

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Tonight is First Thursday, which is shorthand for the fact that art venues in Seattle are open free and late tonight. I was actually thinking of braving the crowds , but after reading this big thumbs down and feeling extra tired tonight ,I think I will save it. I do have to get down to that cda gallery though and the one caveat with them is they hold no weekend hours.

february 4, 2004


Hell, I’d take their money! Big tobacco takes mercy on the Seattle art scene and forks it over. Lucky Strike was the proud sponsor of the newly anointed Genius Awards as well, and really what comes around goes around. How many art school all nighters do you think were supplied by the youth potion of cigarettes and coffee?

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Sometimes the world of blogging takes on the odd qualities of say A Wrinkle In Time or maybe a Twilight Zone episode, where you feel the world is very abbreviated. Hence the feeling I got from downloading Hinke’s site today and noticing a small crayon drawing floating under her 2.03 entry. 
Hinke is really great. She emailed me a couple of years ago and asked me why I was not making art. I can’t remember the context or how the source of topic arose or even better yet what response I gave, but now it is nice to say, never mind!

february 3, 2004


A big hello to MAN readers and a big thank you to Tyler for his gracious recommendation to visit us here.

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Catching up on my reading last night I was leafing through the latest issue of Artweek and came across an article by Christopher Miles questioning the need of the larger California museums to skirt provincial typecasting by ignoring regional artists exhibits:

“…if these museums weren’t so concerned with avoiding the appearance of provincialism and asserting their internationalism, that they might be able to strike a better balance and give some truly great local artists the attention that they deserve. Instead, by insisting on devoting clearly the bulk of their energy and space to importing culture from elsewhere, the museums send the signal that in fact they are provincial and in need of imported culture. They also send the message that their local artists are not great artists but provincial artists not worth exporting or even fully appreciating locally. Luckily, in recent years, the marketplace and the smaller museums and exhibition venues have shown they know better.'”

There in lies the rub of living here on the West coast. It is double edge sword, because true there are many people making art out here so why is there the constant reference to looking over our shoulder to the East.
In the same token, I am really glad that occasionally without getting on an airplane I know I can look forward to seeing art that I’ve maybe read about in those other magazines. For instance I am very much looking forward to seeing Christian Marclay’s show that is opening this Thursday at Seattle Art Museum.

I guess balance is the key word. All of this nicely dovetails with yesterdays OGIC‘s discussion about living and working in Chicago versus New York which I very much appreciated, as that topic has been sitting on the forefront of my mind lately.

By the way Artweek is the only magazine that is dedicated to covering the West Coast art world. They are not filled with glossy pictures or ads either so you actually have to read the copy. When I lived on the other coast I truly thought they had gone out of business as I never once found a issue for sale in any newsstand or book store, so add that sad fact to the rest of the list. I am so glad they are still around bringing coverage to the full West Coast, exhibit listings and opportunity listings too.

february 2, 2004



I have had the book Francis Bacon- Anatomy of an Enigma sitting on my shelves for a long time, and finally the time is ripe to settle in. So far it is keeping my attention.

Here are my Cliff Notes if I need them. The painting technique link is interesting to boot.


When I had the opportunity to see his paintings in person I really appreciated them, actually really loved them. When I saw the movie about his life Love is the Devil, I absolutely detested it, thinking it was the biggest pretentious load of crap. I hope the book stays the course. At least it has actual reproductions of his work unlike the movie, which I think was mired in the problem of making a film about a painter with out the ability to show his work.


february 1, 2004

I saw a Carroll Dunham drawing show once in one of those tiny little mouse hole spaces on Broadway back when galleries were still prevalent in Soho[ pre Chelsea decamp, and no it wasn’t Metro Pictures].

At any rate the show was all drawings done in crayon. I was so taken by them I found myself walking the additional 5 blocks upon exiting the gallery space straight to Pearl Paint, and purchasing myself the Crayola set of 96 Brilliant colors [the smell of that collective bundle of wax is amazing].

Years later, I still have most of them in tact and today contemplated making a batch of drawings about color.
Crayons while alluring and vivid in the box are the most unforgiving medium once actually sitting on paper. At least that’s what was going on today. I had half a mind to go get the iron and melt them all into a big smear. I wish I could see those Dunham drawings again to see what he was up to.