Thursday, May 20, 2010

Arty arty art art on Washington

I know you've been waiting for the exciting conclusion to my blog post from the other day.  What's that you say?  What post from the other day?  Why, the post about me getting out to galleries last weekend.  This post!

After leaving the Cherokee Street galleries, I headed to midtown to see Urban Alchemy, the Gordon Matta-Clark show at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts.  Which I've been meaning to see for, like, ever.  Why didn't I go before now?  I'm a dummy, that's why.  Don't make the same mistake I did!

I don't know how to explain the show well but I can pluck a phrase from the Pulitzer's site about it that I think captures it nicely: "lost interventions".   It's films and photographs -- and, perhaps most strikingly, pieces -- of buildings that are decaying, in the process of being demolished.  Which now, of course, are long gone (Matta-Clark died in the 1970s).  It's really moving and beautiful.  It closes on June 6.  Please don't miss it!

The Pulitzer did quite a bit of outreach related to the exhibit.  One related project is an exhibit across the street from the Pulitzer, at the Bruno David Gallery --THEASTER GATES: Dry Bones and Other Parables from the North.  Go see it!  I mean it this time!

Again, I don't really have an extensive art vocabulary, but it's just a wonderful show.  Paintings that are so familiar, somehow, even though I'd never seen them before (see especially "hopeful commerce, mixed use dwelling").  The exhibit was curated by Juan William Chavez, of Boots Contemporary Art Space, on Cherokee.

The Theaster Gates show closes on June 5.  Hurry!   

Finally, crossed back to the other side of the street to the Contemporary Art Museum, to take a look at the Great Rivers Biennial show, featuring work by Martin Brief, Sarah Frost, and Cameron Fuller: Super interesting and provocative (in the best way) and beautifully displayed.  

I had never been to the Contemporary before.  It was Free Family Day, and kids were making instruments from recycled materials and print making and running around and generally having a grand time.  The Great Rivers Biennial is open for a couple more months, but come on, just visit all three galleries in one afternoon, and soon!  Simply a wonderful way to spend the day.

Couldn't take photos in any of the above places, but did take one of the courtyard of the Contemporary.  Doesn't that look like a perfect place to sit and think (or not think)?

Monday, May 17, 2010

"Right this instant" event this Sunday at Urban Eats

Yesterday I knocked over what seemed like an entire bucket of salsa in my refrigerator—what a great opportunity to clean out the fridge! (Sometimes I need a little salsa crisis to spur me into action.)

What worried me the most about this was the stockpile of Polaroid film I've got chillin' like Bob Dylan in there.

Polaroid Corporation stopped manufacturing film several years ago, so as each type that I use was being phased out, I bought up as much as I could. I try to save it mostly for things that I know will be well-suited for the medium—some of the colors of one type really lend themselves to intense skies, for instance. And type 669 is used for Polaroid transfers (see example above. See more about the process here.)

I think I got the Polaroid boxes cleaned up quickly enough that there will be no lasting salsa scars, but I was a little wistful when I saw how small my pile of Polaroid film is getting. It won't last forever, even in the refrigerator, so I put some of it to use recently in preparation for my current show at Urban Eats, "Right this instant." I've got traditional Polaroid photos in the show, as well as Polaroid transfers and emulsion lifts, and Holgaroids, photos made with a Holga camera with a Polaroid back.

The show is hanging up throughout May, and I'll be at Urban Eats this Sunday, May 23, from 11:00 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Come say "hi"! (There will be food and drinks for sale in the cafe. And while you're at it, see work from Angie Griffith, Naomi Silver, Thomas Shepherd and the PPRC Photography ProjectYou can download a flyer with more information on all the artists here.)

Hope to see you Sunday!

Urban Eats Cafe (enter Urban Arts Collective through the cafe)
St Louis, MO 63118

PS. There is a company that is trying to revive some Polaroid film. Learn more about it here.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Arty arty art art on Cherokee

I don't get out enough—despite trying to keep track of art-related goings-on on Cherokee Street for my other blog, one project or obligation or another always seems to get in the way of my actually going to the goings-on.

But today I was all "to hell with it, I'm going to go look at art."  Lucky for me Snowflake was open this afternoon, so I got to see the super show there right now, which is recent work by Clint Baclawski (photographs) and Caleb Taylor. (Along with Gabriel Slavitt's installation at Drive-By.

It probably goes without saying that photographic work gets my attention, and Clint Baclawski's lightbox photos are really exceptional.  Make time to go see these if you can. All three artists have done some impressive work. The show is up until June 6. Snowflake has open hours on Saturdays from 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Location information below. Drive-By is on view 24-7, so you've got no excuses!



Then I hopped across the street because I noticed that Fort Gondo was open. There I found "Marks of Absence," works by Lily Cox-Richard and Lori Larusso (Caleb Cole has a companion exhibition at Good Citizen Gallery on Gravois.) More information on all three artists and their work can be found here.

I lucked out seeing this show—both artists at Fort Gondo really put up fabulous pieces.  I'll have to try to make it by Good Citizen to see Caleb Cole's work soon. (Sculptures are Lily Cox-Richard's and shaped panel acrylic paintings are by Lori Larusso.) Go see these! This show will also be up until June 6. Fort Gondo will be open Saturdays from noon-5, so you can make an afternoon of it with a visit to Snowflake. (And have lunch or dinner or snacks or drinks at Tower Taco, also right in this little stretch of Cherokee. Yum.)  

 Fort Gondo

And then, and then! I headed across town for a few more galleries and an unexpected visit with an old friend, but that post will have to wait for another day.

Location: 3156 Cherokee Street (at Compton) • St. Louis, Missouri 63118
(Drive-By is on the side of the building, on Compton)

Fort Gondo
3151 Cherokee St., St. Louis, MO  63118

(All of the exhibits at both galleries have received support from The Santo Foundation. Check it out!)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Soulard Art Market Photography Invitational 2 -- Opening this Friday

Have you been to Soulard Art Market?  If you haven't (or heck, even if you have), you should totally go.

Affordable art, a diverse collection of artists and styles and media represented.  Catty-corner from McGurk's.  What else could you ever want from a place?

This Friday is the opening party for Soulard Art Market & Contemporary Art Gallery's Photography Invitational II.  I was super surprised and excited to be invited to participate -- I'm in some great company!  -- and can't wait to see everyone's work hanging.

Wanna come?

Here are the details, as provided by Soulard Art Market.  Hope to see you Friday!:

May is National Photography Month, so to celebrate we invited over 15 of the area's top photographers to display a selection of their works. Artists in the exhibit include:

- Ariana Bauer
- Hilary Hitchcock
- Bob Crowe
- Jane Linders
- Thomas Shepherd
- Scott Ernst
- Greg Kluempers
- Tony Schanuel
- Mark Fisher
- Greg Barth
- Jennifer Roberts
- Laura Filiatreau
- Holly Schroeder
- Melissa Schramm
- Ferd

Opening Reception (public invited):
Friday, May 14, 2010 - 7 to 10 pm
Exhibition: Through Friday, June 4, 2010

Admission is free.
Refreshments will be provided, featuring Schlafly beer

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

'Roid Week + 'Roid Month


Over the weekend I put up my new show at Urban Eats, "Right this instant," which features images I've made with Polaroid film.

You might have heard that Polaroid film has been discontinued. It has been, for the most part, although Fuji still manufactures some instant film, and there is a new project that is bringing back some of the integral Polaroid films.

Unfortunately there don't seem to be any plans to revive Type 89 film, which was just about my favorite. Its vivid colors are a great match for the wacky Holga camera—when they're paired together there's no telling what they'll come up with. The photo above was taken with my Holgaroid (as the Frankenstein-ish combination of the Holga with a Polaroid back is affectionately known.) I've got a little bit of the film left, stored in my fridge a vault under heavy surveillance.

I only get it out for special projects now, onaccounta I don't have much left. When I decided to do the Urban Eats shows, I knew I had to get a photo of this building with the Holgaroid. I pass it every day on my way to work and always mean to snap a photo. It's so so so blue. Finally on a day that the skies were looking extra sky-ish I remembered to pack the Holgaroid and took this.

It was hanging in Urban Eats in my last show ("Sign Language") and it's still there (although not in a starring role) for the May show. 


We are in the midst of 'Roid Week 2010. This is an unofficial celebration of Polaroid film on Flickr (and elsewhere? not sure), so I'm busting out some recent Polaroids, which are on my mind due to working with them a lot in the past few weeks for "Right this instant."

My artist's reception for "Right this instant" is Sunday, May 23, 11:00 a.m.–2:30 p.m.  Come grab a bite to eat and say hi!