Monday, March 29, 2010

Negotiating Balance

Click any image for larger view.

Click any image for larger view.

Click any image for larger view.

Ward Shelley and Alex Schweder, 24 hours a day during the first week of an exhibition. In counterpoint to its name, Stability is a piece in which balance was designed to be a matter of negotiation.

Like a see-saw, this 25 foot structure is a house balanced on a central pivot with the two artists living at either end. When occupied the two bodies will need to move in the space in relation to one another to keep the structure straight. Visually separated by a kitchen and bathroom in the center, the occupying bodies will sense each other through displacement of weight. Activities will naturally change (willingly or not) as the house shifts.
Shelley and Schweder met each other during a year-long residency at the American Academy in Rome, and connected over their shared interest in working at the intersection of art and architecture.
The following year they collaborated on a project at New York’s Sculpture Center called Flatland which combined radical architecture and 6 live bodies in an intensive 3 week occupation. While living in this work they came to understand buildings as actions as well as objects, and how architecture initiates a feedback loop of influences between subject and object. Winston Churchill once said, “First we shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us.”
Read more here.

Collaboration by Ward Shelley and Alex Schweder
Lawrimore Project, Seattle,
March, 2009.

Friday, March 26, 2010

It's a Bic!

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Click on any image for larger view.

Click on any image for larger view.

MATERIALS USED IN ART-MAKING HAVE ALWAYS ranged from the traditional to the unusual to the everyday. The self-taught artist James Castle used fireplace soot and his own saliva to make a kind of black ink, eschewing pens and paper that his family tried to give him.

The above drawings were drawn by Spanish artist Juan Francisco Casas, who uses up to four ballpoint pens to create his stunningly photo-realistic drawings, some measuring up to 10 ft. (3 meters) high. These images are courtesy Bored Panda here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The World is a Strange Place

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THE WORLD IS A STRANGE PLACE. He Pingping, 73 cm tall (2 feet 5 inch), of China looks up at Sultan Kosen, 246.5 cm tall (8 feet 1 inch), of Turkey in Istanbul on January 14, 2010. (REUTERS/Osman Orsal)

Via here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Quirky Mind Stuff

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AM READERS. I FOUND A VERY INTERESTING SITE CALLED “RICHARD WISEMAN BLOG.” It’s all about debunking urban myths, presenting mind-bending illusions, questioning things that people purport to be as “true,” and looking at things that can baffle us.

Take the photo above of the levitating man. Amazing how a stain on the concrete can make our minds play tricks.

Richard Wiseman is a professor, psychologist, magician and author who posts daily on quirky mind stuff. I give this site the Accidental Mysteries “
me likey” award for cool blog!

Go to Richard Wiseman’s blog by clicking here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fess Parker Dies: Icon of the 50s and 60s

FESS PARKER (August 16, 1924 – March 18, 2010), 6’6” GENTLE GIANT OF BABY BOOMER TELEVISION, was not only a hero of mine but to millions of boys of the 1950’s and 60’s. Beginning with playing Davey Crockett in the Disney film by the same name, it was that movie that popularized the coonskin cap, selling millions of the furry toppers to boys all over America. Caps, lunch boxes, trading cards, you name it— Crockett fever had swept America. More than that, Fess Parker’s father-figure, rifle-toting persona made most of our real dads look pretty ordinary. And while I may have resisted memorizing and remembering facts and dates in school, the theme song to Davey Crockett (sung by Parker himself) was absolutely burned into my mind:

Born on a mountaintop in Tennessee
Greenest state in the land of the free
Raised in the woods so’s he knew every tree
Kilt him a b’ar when he was only 3
Daa-vy, Davy Crockett
King of the wild frontier

While the movie Davey Crockett may have made Fess Parker a household name, it was his portrayal of another frontiersman, Daniel Boone, that locked Fess Parker in the minds of any kid growing up in the early to mid-1960s.

Parker lived his later years owning his own hotel and winery in California, was married and had two children, Fess Elisha Parker III and Ashley Parker-Ashley. He passed away on the birthday of his wife of 50 years. Rest in peace, old friend.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Collage Maker

HERE’S A FUN SITE where you can upload your own pics and create a family collage or any other idea you may want to try. It is a beta site, still under trials and the maker is asking for participation. If you want to check it out, just click here.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

American Figural Cane

AMERICAN FIGURAL CANE, Enigmatic figure above a coiled rattle snake; late 19th/early 20th c., black walnut; 28 inches.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kate MccGwire

Above: Sluice 2009: Site specific installation, pigeon feathers, felt, glue and polystyrene. 4.5 x 2.5 x 5m. Click image for larger view.

Above: Rile 2009: Site specific installation, pigeon feathers, felt, glue and museum cabinet. 180 x 60 x 60. Click image for larger view.

Above: Rile 2009: Detail. Click image for larger view.

Above: Wrest 2009: Mixed media with pigeon feathers. 85 x 60 x 60. Click image for larger view.

Above: Stifle 2009: Mixed media with dove, white pigeon feathers in antique white dome. 71 x 71 x 37cm. Click image for larger view.

Above: Vice 2009: Mixed media with pigeon feathers in antique museum cabinets. 183 x 64 x 48. Click image for larger view.

Above: Vex 2008: Pigeon feathers, polystyrene, felt, glue and museum cabinet. 183 x 110 x 61. Click image for larger view.

Above: Vex 2008: Detail. Click image for larger view.

Above: Brood, 2008: 23,000 chicken wishbones. 540 x 700 cm. Click image for larger view.

Above: Brood, 2008: Kate at work. Click image for larger view.

Above: Brood, 2008: Detail. Click image for larger view.

Above: Brood, 2008: Detail. Click image for larger view.

KATE MCCGWIRE IS AN ARTIST WHOSE NATURAL, RECYCLED ANIMAL PARTS (feathers, chicken bones, etc.) are reconstructed into new forms. I like them. Having just seen the movie Avatar 3D, her round soft feathered pieces remind of some new life form—a sleeping bird of some kind—ready to unfurl itself and rise up. Her chicken bone wall pieces however, at first glance bordering on simple decorative pattern, reveal something more dark—like an arranged killing field. Bones always signify death, no matter how you arrange them.

Read more on her Web site here.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

An Incredible Find

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Click any image for larger view.

HERE’S AN INCREDIBLE 19th CENTURY, POLYCHROMED, carved life size anatomy study model of a torso. The maker is anonymous, and is thought to be made in the tradition of the French master model maker Dr. Louis Auzoux (1797-1880). There was possibly a cover but, according to art dealer James Caswell there appears to be no fastening devices. Despite a few small repairable breaks on the left shoulder area, this medical display is in original and well-preserved condition. The size is 29 x 16 x 10 inches.

See this and more at James Caswell Historia here.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Brendan Lee Satish Tang

BRENDAN LEE SATISH TANG was born in Dublin, Ireland of Trinidadian parents, and is a naturalized citizen of Canada. Tang has exhibited in juried and invitational shows in Canada and the U.S., including at the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Ottawa Art Gallery, and the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft. His professional practice has taken him to India, Japan and Trinidad, and he has lectured at conferences and academic institutions across Canada. Tang’s work has been featured in printed publications such as Hi-Fructose and FUSE, and prominent blogs like Boing Boing and now, Accidental Mysteries.

His amazing ceramics borrows from ancient Chinese Ming dynasty vessels, techno-Pop Art, robotic mechanization, Japanese anime, and Manga (the beloved comics and picture novels of Japan). What Brendan is doing right now in contemporary ceramics is unique and important. If you collect or curate contemporary art—remember this name: Brendan Lee Satish Tang.

His education includes the Master of Fine Arts degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Brendan currently resides in Kamloops, British Columbia.

See his Web site here.

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