Monday, July 31, 2006

Arturo O'Farrill 's Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra

The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra played in Santa Fe last weekend. Led by Arturo O' Farrill, the son of the famous composer Chico o'Farrill, the group is made up of 18 soloists from the Latin Jazz scene in New York. They played the classics of the Afro Latin jazz tradition as well as some new material composed by Arturo. This was definitely the tightest 18 piece group I have ever seen.

Hare Krishnas on the Beach

To round out my trip to the Midwest I joined the Hare Krishnas on the beach for some music and delicious vegetarian food while the sun set. The music had an eastern feel, they were singing along with a harmonium, drums and finger cymbals. Many of them have been doing this their whole life and displayed great talent with music and cooking.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Gris Gris in Chicago

The San Francisco, psychedelic band the Gris Gris played at the Wicker Park Street Festival in Chicago. The outdoor setting gave the experience a different feel. The sound was good and the band was great as always. They tour like crazy so go see them, you won't be disappointed.

The Pizazz/ Human Eye at the Northern Lights Lounge

Two of Detroit's up and coming bands played together last Saturday. The Pizazz opened up and sounded great. The Pizazz have catchy songs, using elements of new wave and 70's punk, it's fun and interesting music. After the Pizazz came Human Eye, a group that I play the drums in. Human Eye plays alien punk mixed with rock n roll and psychedelic, progressive music. There is a Human Eye 45 coming out soon on Ypsilanti records.

Chris Turner at the Bohemian National Home

I caught the end of the Chris Turner show last weekend, these are a couple of the pieces that were still there. Turner has been working on paintings like these for a while. Working with text and stencils on long horizontal panels, Turner fills his compositions with an overload of content. The larger canvases are more expressive, with looser painting and broader composition. Chris Turner paintings are full of repetition and surprises as well. Turner is also a great sculptor, you can see his work all over Detroit.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Jacque Liu: Sight Lines

Jacque Liu's show is at the Lemberg Gallery in Ferndale, MI. Jacque uses folded pieces of mylar over shapes of colored paper. Mylar is semi-transparent but foggy creating a mystery about the color underneath. When a color is present the question arises, is it paint? Paper is the chosen medium that fits the artist's sensibilities. Jacque Liu has been working with paper for some time, drawing but also folding to create value supporting the lines. The folded lines are clearly read in natural light. The installation also includes drawing on the walls next to the framed work reflecting precise spatial relationships. There are also well crafted, functional chairs made with wood and memory foam. After sitting an impression was left on the chair, then it slowly returned to its flat surface. The installation is one to experience first hand. If you are in Michigan, don't miss Jacque Liu: Sight Lines, a thoughtful presentation of high quality work.

Friday, July 28, 2006

John Azoni at MIA and MONA

The Museum of New Art and the Michigan Institute of Arts are both showing the paintings of John Azoni. John is a prolific young painter with a lot of large work. John's painting process appears to be fast and intuitive in the classic expressionist style. The work floats between abstract and representational. The plethora of paintings allow viewers to see development and experimentation. It's great to see so much work from one artist on view as a big solo show.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Motor City Show

Here are some pictures from my show from last Wednesday. I made these about seven feet tall and luckily the top of the wall was right around seven feet. This made for a quick installation. The half walls worked out, I also liked the size of the room. The work is big, yet portable. These roll up and fit in my carry on bag nicely. It was nice to go back to Detroit and see some friends. Now I am in New Mexico again and making some larger paintings. I have a few new body's of work ready for larger size spaces when the opportunity comes.

Frustrations/Functional Blackouts/Sneaky Pinks

Sneaky Pinks

Functional Blackouts

Last week I spent my Tuesday night at the Painted Lady to get a much needed dose of crazy punk rock music. The Sneaky Pinks from Arizona opened and they weren't wearing pants. They played some high energy, fun and fast music. The Functional Blackouts really impressed me, their drummer played some creative rhythms on the toms pushing the band into more interesting territory. The Functional Blackouts from Chicago are getting better every time I see them. Closing were the Frustrations from Detroit. Another exciting young band with a great drummer. This music is taking punk to different places in a good way. It's still unhealthy and sick but the music is more developed with different influences showing.

Brad Ogan

Brad Ogan is an accomplished figurative draftsman and stone sculptor who recently transitioned into the realm of color field painting. Brad's figurative work is sensitive with line. After looking at the figurative work I wish he could find a place to incorporate line in his new color work but I know that doesn't happen so easily. Brad may be better off doing what he's doing, applying a loose approach like Frankenthaler or Lewis. I always get excited for an artist who follows his or her interests to new places. Living and working in central Illinois, Brad is somewhat isolated in his studio. I am sure he would appreciate any comments left about his work.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

New Work

Here are two of my new oil paintings. These paintings are wider with fourteen, four and a half inch bars of color across(90"x 64" each). Symmetrical compositions that aren't so symmetrical. These paintings won't fit on the plane but I am showing some smaller new work this Wednesday at the Motor City Brewery in Detroit.

Site Santa Fe Biennial

Jennifer Bartlett

The Site Santa Fe Biennial opened last week. The Site Santa Fe space is very large and impressive. The biennial had a great variety of work from photography, installation, sound, video, performance, and painting. Some of the highlights of the show were Jennifer Bartlett's colorful paintings, Wolfgang Laib, Catherine Opie's portraits, Stephen Dean's dartboards, Robert Grosvenor and the Christina Iglesias installation. The exhibit doesn't allow photography but there is a
2006 biennial official website with the artist's images and information on the curator Klaus Ottmann. Site Santa Fe is free to the public every Friday. I will probably return once or twice before it's over in January. This is the kind of show that takes some time to absorb due to the wide range of ideas presented.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Frederick Hammersley

Frederick Hammersley is showing at Charlotte Jackson Fine Art in Santa Fe. The show, subtitled "Hard Edge," is a retrospective of Hammersley's work, showcasing work from the fifties, sixties, and seventies. Hammersley experimented a great deal not only with abstraction but with the new technology of computers, (in particular the 14000 CORE IBM from the University of New Mexico's main frame). In the late sixties the computer was a new and exciting medium and it is interesting to see a large installation of primitive computer compositions. The hard edged oil paintings of the seventies are the strongest works in the show but the small works on paper from the fifties are more experimental and varied.
There is a good collection of artwork to satisfy one's interest in color and space. "Hard Edge" runs until July 30th. Don't miss this fine exhibit which spans Frederick Hammersley's career.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Mexican Modern

Maria Izquiardo
Diego Rivera

I snuck a couple of pictures at the Mexican Modern exhibit. Overall the show had some very emotional portraits and lots of symbolism. There were well known artists like Diego Rivera, and Frida Kahlo but for me it was an introduction to some of the lesser known and very interesting Mexican artists. Maria Izquiardo was one of the most impressive artists in the show.