Category Archives: art

‘Volcadas con Silla’ by Courtney Brown

Courtney Brown performs 'Volcadas con Silla' at provocative.objects

suSi Sie { showReeL }

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ha ha

from Signs of Our Times | Mobius | Katie Nadworny [ 124 ]

i smell an art rat tra la la tarrrrr

rat

play

play

a new crown of laughter

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this photograph examines the close-up details — the textural crunchy interior — from my ridiculously nonsensical piece new crown from American Dream: the introspection

like the fashion photographer from Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1966 film Blow-Up, i keep looking at images from my past with a tighter and tighter cropping

i’m looking for clues

searching for meaning

meaning that might not even be there

i know that my subconscious is far more powerful than this waking state we’re all doomed to live out

since re-opening the case i’ve been trying to re-examine everything i do through the lens of the laughterLife — through my own personal life-long history with humor, laughter and the areas in-between

and so now this interesting re-look back at new crown surfaces a lot more than the textural magnificence of these objects i so dearly love quite improvisationally arranged inside of this kick drum carry case

i’ll get into the nitty gritty in a follow-up post, but i’d love for you to look at this particular image — this mess of pinecones and autumnleaves, twigs and chicken lobster with christmas lights … all of these things were supposed to ceremoniously represent my own personal crown of thorns, a rather cheesy homage to the crucifixion and my own suffering with technology and information — at least that was my unspoken intent and my retrospective analysis when looking at all of this through the lens of cyberSurrealism 

but now it all feels a little eerily different when looking through the lens of laughter

stain of remembrace

saltRust

the stain of remembrance, 2013, salt, rust, photo imprint, pencil on paper, 26 x 40 inches

check out this amazing series of drawings by the fascinating interdisciplinary artist Sara Jimenez out on her Cargo portfolio site

she’s done a lot of amazing, inspiring work that i’m sure you’ll enjoy it

prince n’est plus mort

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well — about 4 years after The Artist formerly know as Prince officially declared to the world:

The internet’s completely over. I don’t see why
I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else.

— Prince, 2010 in an interview with the Daily Mirror

it seems as if his Purple Badness went all twisty turvy in the entirely opposite direction

with his new resigned / reworked business relationship back with Warner Brothers Prince is slated to release 2 new albums on September 30th, 2014 — he’s releasing the long-awaited Plectrum Electrum under the project name 3rdEyeGirl, which is a far more gritty rawk outfit with a live an’ trippy sense of delivery and performance, as well as the old school all-Prince album Art Official Age done up in the every instrument done up by Prince studio-style that the master musician grew to fame

you can go pre-order both albums up on the 2 official websites as: CDs with MP3s; MP3s; or as WAVs from the site and you can also pre-order up via iTunes and Amazon as well — and, not to mention all the social mediatized hype His Royal Badness put up on the interwebz like some sort of messianic 5 foot 2 inch purple yoda Obama mad on the ultra-webbified campaign trail, live streaming concert footage with 3rdEyeGirl up on LiveStream { the account is now interestingly deleted, hmmmm }, single pre-release samples up on various sites via SoundCloud, live clips of 3rdEyeGirl via Dr. Funkenberry via SoundCloud sounding’ all stripped down ‘n funkyCool, there’s literally been a strange Prince Revolution brewin’ an’ in the works now for over a year that’s been building such fervor and excitement for the fan-base — its truly incredible

i’m obviously really lookin’ forward to the new tracks i got comin’ in the mail an’ via the webz ;]

‘sGonna be so, so good

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my artwork, part i

hand as drapery

forgive me, my friends, if i take a shortish blogPost to talk about the evolution of my artwork as if — in some delusional way — i were some famous, well-known artist

you see, unlike many of the brave folks i happen to know out in the performance art and music circuit in and around Boston, i did not delve into what i consider to be my original, innate passion and expressive gift for art as my core creative activity — and i’m not sure if that’s necessarily a good or bad thing for me in any way — at the tender age of 45 i think i’ve come to realize that there is not just ‘one way’ to pursue expressive, personal, creative work as a means to be ‘an artist,’ but there are potentials to take many, varied paths, and i appreciate now, after occasionally struggling with some internal philosophical and lifestyle-based concepts — or personal hang-ups — around what it might mean ‘to be an artist,‘ i think i’ve finally let go of those heavy sandbag preconceptions pertaining to my own previous beliefs and inner conjecture around what exactly qualifies an individual to official claim he / she actually is an artist

from about the age of 3 or 4 my passion for drawing filtered the way i looked at and learned about the world we live in

the drawing above from 1991 i titled ‘the hand as drapery

i think that — after completely dropping my daily practice or drawing { or almost ‘completely’ dropping it } by about 10th grade, at least as an official class in public high school — along with the physical act of drawing as a performative act, my rather playful nomenclature for the work i started up again through my own more lone, personal pursuit extra-curricular course work and eventually as part of my return to practicing visual art at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, started to exude a less introspective and shy aspect of who i was becoming as both an artist and a young person

my reference to drapery in the title of this hand-drawn study of my own hand surely derived from studying the Pre-Renaissance art of Giotto as his mini-mountainous, diorama-like landscape backdrops for the religious setting of his painted storytelling gave off this wonderful sense of undulating folds of fabric, very similar to what we might see when children sometimes build little tents in the livingroom with blankets, chairs, tv trays and pillows — the reading and research into a more classic style of painting definite influenced and touched me in a manner that i wanted to at least reference back in homage to these greater works through my somewhat encrypted and silly nomenclature

henryMiller

this portrait of Henry Miller — painted in only red, white, black and blue oil paint and medium — was one of my many beginnings for potential serial sequences of work, what i now call streams of subConscia, that evolve or at least sometimes fit a theme

i originally intended to paint many more of these primarily red, white and blue portraits of famous literary and art-related people and call the body of paintings something along the lines of ‘The Great American Portrait Series‘ — hopefully keeping this rather liquid, shadowy, shape-based sense of movement throughout the entire collection { of course, somewhat influenced by Thomas Hart Benton and also highly influenced by a profound affinity with anything and everything visually ( or otherwise ) Surrealiste }

a bit more on the evolution of my personal life with art after these messages …

a little game

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my art can sometimes feel a little ‘all over the place’

i don’t like to limit myself too, too much when it comes to my vehicles of expressive delivery — that combined with my natural tendency toward a scattered but exciting sense of ADHD plus my rather lengthy and continually-expanding collection of influences and inspirations makes for a rather eclectic body of work that i sometimes try to organize into threads or streams of my work

in my design thesis from Dynamic Media Institute, ‘confounded: future fetish design performance for human advocacy,’ i purposely chose the term ‘streams‘ for a few reasons:

  1. i feel like my subconscious is a far more present and powerful force in my creatively expressive, personal work;
  2. i enjoy following my subconscious — my streams of subconscious — to archeologically mine for the deeper, personally-symbolic inner significance that i’ve accumulated like a patina over the course of my life;
  3. i know that i naturally tend to bury certain emotions, memories and stories in the strange style that a chipmunk saves away little morsels for the long winter ahead — these might be feelings that are far too shocking and powerful for me to handle in any conscious manner in the current moments i am living in, and i am almost certain, for the most part, that a significant amount of people partake in this similar activity as a mere means of surviving the ‘day to day‘ dysfunction and chaos we all encounter along our life’s journeys;
  4. i also tend to hide away from time to time, sometimes for large spans of time, greatly depending upon my mood and certain life events — i can nicely attribute this behavior, to sort of tuck myself away inside my shell, to being born under the sign of Cancer — the symbol for Cancer, of course, is the crab — and after spending many an afternoon tide pooling with my wife and son, flipping rocks along the shallow shoreline out at Lynch Park in Beverly among other beautiful Atlantic coastline seaside retreats, i’ve developed an observational understanding of not only the ‘tough, outer exterior’ of the crab and the notion of ‘crabbiness’ that might be somewhat symbolically mapped to the drastic shift in moodswings i experience on a fairly regular cycle, but i also now better ‘get‘ how these little pinchy critters live — tucking themselves away, a bit under the sand or between the rocks as the tide ebbs and flows — its an interesting lifestyle to study and reflect upon, especially knowing that there are definitely some similarities between my own behavior and that of these amazing little moody crustacea;
  5. i guess i’ve veered away from exploring why the term ‘streams‘ so nicely captures the nature of my work and certain categories of recurring episodes in my work — this last enumerated bullet point, to get back to the concept of these streams of subconscia, pertains to the rather interesting evolution within certain streams of my work — as i tend to, at times, act more like a chess player than an artist, as i move and follow both the journey of certain objects and installations from literally geopolitical ‘place to place’ as well as the state of its existence into the next, and sometimes even beyond itself out into the metaphorical afterlife of the piece or its sub-componenture

today’s update on the information kiosk i purchased from Border’s Bookstores prior to the closing of the bookseller chain brings us just a few yards away from where it previously resided over the last 6 to 9 months or so — i don’t think this will be its final destination, by any means, however, i can see an interesting new stage in the piece’s evolution coming together in my mind’s eye

i original purchased the kiosk to build out a prototype for my Laugh Observation Library back at DMI @ MassArt — the LOL included a bookcase collection of 100 bottles containing a variety laughter samples per bottle along with this oddly orange information booth housing a laughScan Station to actually activate each sample for further faux-scientific research into humor and the human phenomena behind laughter

the original and only installation of the Laugh Observation Library appeared in The Pooka Lounge in Bakalar Gallery at MassArt as part of forensicEvidence — the name of my final showcase of work in the 2011 MassArt Thesis Show from my DMI @ MassArt experience

in retrospect the statement that my micro-installment made perfectly fit the bill regarding my discoveries around both MassArt and gallery exhibition in general — and this particular piece, although not exactly aesthetically matching the clinically sterile environment of a traditional scientific laboratory setting, especially that of a forensic investigation crime lab, really seemed to appropriately comment on my personal feelings regarding what Brian O’Doherty describes as the ‘white cube‘ controlled context of the gallery space associated with High Art

in fact, this installation and my personal aesthetic not only provided a silent and polite, subtle sociological commentary on both Art and Science as rather haughty professions, but the rather organic, make-shift style of my work also appropriately mocked the institutionalized aspects of high formality associated with not only Art and Science, but even with Design itself for encouraging a somewhat exclusive attitude within its highest of the high socio-professional, pseudo-political circles

the pieces i presented in forensicEvidence were the dead remains from my work at MassArt — the physical evidence of my work, but also of the pretend criminal activity i either partook in or witnessed while researching and working on my art at MassArt — now, of course, art-making is not exactly a criminal activity, although sometimes it can feel like such an endeavor when living and working outside of the inner protected sanctum of academia and its related artedness, but in some ways i felt like i definitely witnessed what i came to call ‘Crimes Against Creativity‘ — i won’t elaborate too, too much here on these crimes i witnessed, but i definitely felt a bit disappointed in some of the people and vibes i encountered while working toward my graduate degree at MassArt and unfortunately these were events, policies and behaviors that i will not soon forget and nor would i ever expect an institution of higher learning to simply grin and bear without pursuing some follow-up activity to properly set the record straight and rectify unacceptable, malicious and ignorant behavior

… anyhow …

following forensicEvidence — the kiosk remained in the back of my truck, nicely sheltered from the elements, but definitely getting in the way of any sane semblance of life

a month or so after i took the information booth out of my truck and left it at the head of my driveway — although a bit silly-looking in its now more ‘natural’ surroundings in this highly wooded area of Boxford, i actually loved seeing this ugly, orange desk-like fixture from a typically highly-corporate retail environment now planted in the midst of trees and lush, green ferns and other fertile elements of the great outdoors — and i was extremely happy not to have followed my original bad instinct to just leave the kiosk in a nearby cemetery { after, of course, taking some choice photodocumentation of this potentially-strange, satiric gravestone tribute to The Information Age — which would’ve certainly been bound to be an entirely illegal but hilarious act of vandalism or refuse disposal in the eyes of the court, i’m sure }

but now, many months later, after surviving an Autumn, Winter and Springtime out in the driveway, i decided to drag the information kiosk up the steps into our backyard and set it out just at the edge of our deck

here i hope to festively decorate the kiosk with some simple crushed stone around its base — maybe arranging some beautiful potted plants on the tabletop and around its stable and heavy periphery — perhaps this Summer and into the Fall, this will be our funerary preparations for the kiosk before finally allowing myself to emotionally let go of a piece that never quite got beyond the prototypic stage — this might be a truly wonderful way to commemorate the short lifespan of this mysterious object that i’ve carried around with me from place to place, an object that has come to symbolize the weight of the personal information we carry around with us in life

its time for me to prepare

these are the last few months i will live with this bizarre physical manifestation of my memories, feelings and unnecessarily burdensome set of heavy experiences i still find myself hanging onto

i will be certain to document these last arrangements i make with the kiosk — i hope to focus on growing something positive and beautiful on, around and through the information booth — to evolve some of the confounded emotions and energies that remain into / toward a blossoming garden of new vegetal information for further maturation and growth and positive seed for the future