Thursday, January 12, 2012


For example, it would feel totally counter productive to add any text to this "idea" of Motherwell's

But this one seems to inspire commentary

Saturday, January 7, 2012

new dynamic design

Trying out the new dynamic design template by Blogger. The default page for now is the magazine format. There are seven choices on the dark gray band: classic, flipcard, magazine, mosaic, sidebar, snapshot and timeslide. Will be trying the other templates as default from time to time. Just so you know.

To find all the artist video interviews go to Flipcard > Label > 'artist interviews'. The 'exhibit videos' don't have the artist talking.

Blackfish artists who signed up can post by going to
Sign in with your email address and password and click on the 'new post' button.
You can edit your post later by clicking on the pencil icon next to your post title.

UPDATE, Jan 19, 2012
Changing blog template back to something simpler today. Keeping this post for now in case we go back to the dynamic template.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The secret life of Objects

I belonged to the cooperative gallery Blackfish a while ago and this month I rejoined its membership. It’s somewhat unusual to be a writer in the gallery but I always felt at home among visual artists. When I was a teenager, I used to go to Menucha in the Columbia Gorge and I’d write among the artists at their easels. It was the only time in my life I enjoyed writing in public and I can still conjure that studio with its stringent smell of oil, the palettes dotted with colors like miniature abstract expressionist works, the broad, desirable light flooding the studio, which had once been a green house. I was inspired by the work and the workers. Visual artists just seemed so much more industrious than us writers, maybe because the ideas were physicalized. I always felt their aesthetic concerns matched my own, trying to put elements together in a beautiful, expressive, cohesive fashion that left room for the self and left room for an outside eye.

Now that I am a new member I have to produce something. The problem, of course, is that I am not an object maker. When I belonged before, I concentrated on poetry. Like I did a piece on Eliot’s “correlative objective.” I think I was hiding a little, as if poetry had more rights to the objects than fiction (think Keats urn etc.) But I have a feeling it’s going to be different this time around. The first object I’ve produced—for a group show on influences—is a marked up Janson’s “History of Art.” I call it Prepared Janson’s because, I did prepare it and also John Cage was a big influence on me and he coined the term (and the object, and the idea) “prepared piano.” I also listed as an influence “an ugly thing that contains a beautiful thing” because, man, a marked up book is an ugly thing. And I really marked it up, too, underlining, angry accusations, lots of exclamation points (so true!!!!!) and such. I also put in funny stuff, cryptic things, scholarly items. I seriously doubt anyone will read it but I felt compelled to make it as if I had to stand behind every statement. As I sat there for hours with my pencil sharpener and my highlighter, I also had hours to think about art and commentary, and how powerful pictures make us want to talk about them. I feel kind of bad making something ugly for my return but I’m hoping there is nowhere to go but up. I think I’m going to be the member that starts conversations, like little fires among the artists that illuminate, not consume their works.