June 18, 2010

S X . b o n f i r e

to celebrate our second week of success and to facilitate the sharing of more stories about the sunset district, a weekend bonfire. family and friends, reveling in the sublime, warming by the hob, eating, drinking, and spinning a yarn.

June 16, 2010

S X . i n s t a l l a t i o n

last minute building, lifting, truck lending, sign painting, vacuuming, and coconut drinking brought a month and a half of planning to an end: this weekend we installed and opened our show, the SANDWICH EXCHANGE, at the carville annex

facilitated by the upper left ethnography project, an initiative spearheaded by alexis petty, sarah fontaine and lana porcello, the SANDWICH EXCHANGE aligns their interests in examining place and portraiture, the sunset district and the people who live in it  — but i'll go into the details of the operation later. 

let me take this opportunity to thank alexis, sarah and lana, for their trust and good faith, thoughtfulness, support and generosity; tireless brett macfadden without whom nothing would be built or designed or aesthetically perfect; and, most dear, endlessly patient erin klenow, without whom there would be nothing to exchange, no sandwiches, and no adventure. thanks!

thanks to leigh anna for the photos!

June 13, 2010

s a l a d . d a y s . r e v i s i t e d

recently, at the end of a longish day at pixar, i decided to go outside and photograph a painting by my friend christian robinson.

about a month ago i threw a party around the theme of salad days, referring to that time in our lives full of youthful enthusiasm,  naiveté, idealism, innocence, indiscretion and inexperience. i'd opened an invitation to make work - artwork, music, food and activity - hopeful my friends would each interpret the theme in a surprising, personal way. i'd love now to share some details of christian's contribution.

christian - a talented young illustrator whom i met in pixar's art department - came back with our invitation: a cocktail party with dashing emu, garlic queen and bat wings! in a few weeks we twisted and hung streamers and installed a long table runner and vase, in which we set tiny white blossoms on long, thin stems. christian's subject had shifted to the nautical and earthly, bridging the boundaries of our party, city, state and material world. corals sat beside gulls and pineapples, butterflies and sea-foam hourglasses, suggesting bright other-places: somewhere to go to? to come from? some bright beachside eden? anyway, more of the fruits of christian's salad day labors — i hope you like them.

also, i strongly encourage you to visit weird vegetables, where katrina has written a thoughtful, detailed account of the evening's meal and shared some reflection on the meaning of the phrase salad days: when we are green in judgement, cold in blood...

June 08, 2010

i n . t h e . m i s s i o n

louis de la taille, this post is for you.

these pages were inspired by my friend richard haines. a very talented fashion illustrator, he's taken the model of bloggers like the sartorialist and other street photographers and extended it to drawing. a teacher at parsons, and once designer for bill blass, calvin klein and perry ellis, he takes a catch-as-catch-can approach to sketching, working mostly from life but also from his own photography. wherever he is - on the street or subway, at a show or event, or hanging out at home - richard manages to pinpoint the details and elements of personality that inspire him. he's a model draughtsman in his deeply sincere love of seeing.

san francisco can be a very fashionable city, depending on where you're strolling. the above drawings are from an extended coffee break at four barrel coffee in the mission district. it's one of a few spots nearby where one can see the new new thing although, as always, it's difficult to draw; i certainly need to practice.

meet the wonderful richard haines at his blog, what i saw today, and watch him draw and talk about his practice here \\\\\\\\\\ .

June 02, 2010

l o s . a n g e l e s

the hammer

on our trip to the a+d opening, we visited the hammer museum at the university of california, LA —  a charged afternoon. we saw the stunningly evocative architectural photographs of luisa lambri, daria martin's beautiful and richly layered film, minotaur, and the appealingly molded paintings of jonas wood — but headlining the whole experience were the workbook drawings of celebrated british artist rachel whiteread.

the shows converged on the intersection of memory and form or, as evinced by whiteread's sculptural work and personal collections, "poignant notions of presence and absence." full of work that was as sharply and decisively crafted as it was ambiguous, poetic, and displaced, these shows offered the patron a means to reflect not only on intimate subjects, but on the way that we recall them. what made these four shows notable was their lack of muscular ego — their focus on the quiet and everyday.

1 2 3 4

rachel whiteread casts spaces in concrete and resin, rendering them just as she disables them: her childhood closet, a house that has been torn down, the underside of chairs, water towers in new york. this show focused on her personal working drawings, sketchbook pages and collections: shoe molds and twigs, miniature furniture, glass baubles, and light switches — small, natural and manufactured castings of daily life.

luisa lambri photographs modernist buildings, in this case the architecture of john lautner. here too, the focus strays from the monumental or even descriptive, lingering on views through his building's windows — dark, lacy lattices and blindingly interposed exposures of light; an uncommon method of documenting architectural space. her formal strategies, though seemingly restrained, show an effusive interest in the meeting of man made space and the natural environments in which they're situated.

likewise, daria martin draws distinct forms together. through subtle sound, careful, patient but anxious photography, delicate-rough choreography, and decisive, unpredictable editing, martin's short film, minotaur, presents us with an incredibly vibrant combination of dance, sculpture, photography, and film. there is a blending of mediums and functions as the camera draws slowly across the surface of rodin's sculptures as if in a slow dance; as performers, in their extended movement and monumental staging, mimic the physicality of sculpture, giving it life and human scale; and as static photos affect an active yearning: an elderly woman flips through a book, remembering, dreaming?

jonas wood rounded out the trip with his straight depictions of potted plants. working from memory, vernacular experience and collage, these large, bright paintings simultaneously evoke both the specialized modernist sculptures of history and common tabletop dressings. lingering on the small, familiar, and homely and its relationship with the larger trajectory of art, wood presents quiet, appealing portraits of the evanescent as enduring pseudo-monuments.

anyway. the next time you're in LA, visit the hammer;
you might get lucky \\\\\