Thursday, December 24, 2009

elias from brasil (as shared per vandalog 12.24.09)

brasil just keeps doing it + doing it up.

scouting trip/slow down tiger...

location, location, location.  

today i finally made it over to monument valley on a scouting trip.  i've a friend at work whose family has a stand along the main, paved road into monument valley.  but as i was driving there, there we 3 kiosks all within a half mile of each other on the road that intersects with the monument valley road.  and they had "the" backdrop in mind that'd i'd pictured for an image there.  my friend's kiosk is under construction still, made of particle board (which i really, really don't like), and sunken down off the road such that the dramatic "wow!, that's monument valley" factor doesn't resonate as strongly.  anyway, i have an idea now of what's out there (and what's not).

my afternoon started in shonto at the home of singer, fred laughter.  i saw him and his wife, rose, as patients today.  they were accompanied by their grandson, bryan.  mr. and mrs. laughter recognized me and volunteered to bryan that i'd been to their hogan to get a ceremony performed by mr. laughter.  (and these are old, old, navajo speaking only people, mr. + mrs. laughter.)

i knew i wanted to photograph them.  i asked bryan if he'd seen any of my work around.  he had not knowing it was mine.  he said his favorite piece is the recurring theme of the lamb + kid.  cool.  

bryan said mrs. laughter said that she was finishing a tsumac basket and wondered if i'd be interested in buying it.  seeing this as an opportunity to go hang with them this afternoon and take photos (which they'd already told bryan it'd be cool to do), for potential use in the wheat pasting project, i said "...yeah, i'd be interested in buying it (sight unseen).  

so, my afternoon started in a very, very hot prefab (warmed with a woodstove burning wood and coal kicking it nonstop).  the che was stretched out on a mattress on the floor.  mrs. laughter was sitting nearby working the final pieces of the straw into the basket.

i started shooting film.

rose laughter's basket

snowman in shonto

josey's wedding in snow

sizing up a kiosk wall (auto protrait).

wow!  monument valley.

the "slow down tiger" reference is in the cycle i see myself in getting way too excited about the possibility of a relationship with someone who will only break my heart if i'm given the chance to be in that relationship.  otherwise, i get stopped at the door before anything can jump off.

slow down tiger.  you don't have to go down this road again.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

when it's cold outside, go inside...

nigerian soldier, absolute bikes men's loo
flagstaff, az  12.19.09

absolute bikes with jamaal

faye with pierre + money

pierre, money + me

steph, puppy love
absolute bikes, 12.19.09

puppy love
grandon's gallery 12.19.09


Sunday, December 13, 2009

last night in flagstaff

 south african girls in snow

jocko in snow.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

ruminations on wheat pasting and letting go. ...

I've written about this before, but it's still relevant.  I'm still learning from this story.

It was in 1991 that I had an opportunity to attend my first and only sand painting ceremony.  The singer's patient was a patient of mine - a beautiful 2 year old girl named Adrienne who'd had a seizure when her temperature rose quickly.  I identified the source of the infection causing the seizure, obtained the appropriate blood work and started her on antibiotics.  She wasn't admitted for new onset seizure disorder since we had a cause.

A few days later her parents took her to see a traditional medicine (singer) in Tuba City.  They arranged for a sand painting ceremony to be performed to help Adrienne once again walk in beauty.   The ceremony began some time Saturday night.  I didn't arrive until around 7:00 a.m. Sunday morning, which was the time the family told me to arrive.

As a friend and I walked into the traditional female hogan, on the earthen floor in front of us was the singer, on his knees working with his daughter completing a most elaborate and colorful yeibechee sand painting.  The singer was easily in his 80s.  His daughter was in her 50s.  Together labored to complete the healing painting.  Adrienne, her mom and dad were the only other people in the hogan.  Though energized, they'd been up all night.

Upon completing the sand painting, the singer sang a prayer in Navajo.  He then told Adrienne's parents to undress her and to place her in the middle of the sand painting.  This was my first wake up call.  Here the singer and his daughter had labored all night creating this multicolored 8 feet by 10 feet sand painting on the earthen floor of the hogan only to have a 2 year old sit in the middle of it.

Adrienne's fascination with sitting amidst colored sand overtook her as she began moving her legs in and out from side to side as she swished her hands in a similar playful pattern.  She was in kiddie heaven.  The singer attempted to get her to swallow herbs he'd made into a tea.  She refused so he covered her in the medicine gently patting her nude body down with it.  Adrienne continued to play in the sand.  The singer sang a prayer.  Adrienne was removed from the sand as the singer and his daughter began collecting and separating the sand by color.  The painting had served it's purpose and was being erased as Adrienne began her journey to wholeness.

In a way, the wheat pasting project is about letting go in a similar way.  Time and energy go in to attempting to create a work of beauty in an effort to help restore balance and then I let go.  Though I'm emotionally and sentimentally attached to the pieces and appreciate an energy they have on my kitchen floor as I cut them out and bond with them as they're wheat pasted to the sides of structures outdoors, I have to breath and let them go once they're up.  The healing for me is in the letting go.

Monday, December 7, 2009

pastings in snow

Saturday, December 5, 2009

wheat pasting during the winter

so there i was with the thermometer reading 40 degrees.  i wore rubber gloves which helped a bit with cold but not much.  the wheat paste never really dried.  it just froze (once the temperature dropped a bit more).

it was interesting sharing images from the wheat pasting project with friends last night.  what i realized in running through the images was how earnest the project was at its inception.  i had no idea of what i was doing yet filling the wheat pasted space with an image made for striking visuals.  i especially liked the boldness and rawness of jimmy black on the wall of cca and the images chosen for the cca.  i came away from the evening with the realization to keep it simple.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

art 21 - on how the show is done

"Looking backwards and re-purposing earlier projects is something that many artists are doing today, and we try to harness that artist-driven strategy to tell a broader story about process and precursors whenever it's interesting to do so."

i love this quote from an art 21 program director describing how cindy sherman is approaching her new work.

return of shade

a few years ago while in phoenix i stumbled upon a cool, local art publication called "shade."  i found it either at haus (at the original, downtown location on central), or red.  it focuses on the contemporary/urban/street art scene.  you know what i mean.  i tried to subscribe.  i did this by sending them a check for the amount they indicated on the subscription form.  in fact, i like the zine so much that i'm sure i did this twice.  it never came.  no shade.

but because i held on to an old issue, i was able to find them online and am happy to know they're still publishing.  i found the following quote in memory of deceased artist pedro alvarez "...artists see the world in a special way.  that is their truth, and a good artist is the one who can share that truth with us." - marilyn a. zeitlin, director and chief curator arizona state university art museum.

apparently pedro was in unbearable anguish as he took his own life.  this came as a surprise to all around him.  he could no longer turn his anguish into art.

and then it occurred to me - it's 10:10 a.m. and 25 degrees in the shade.  the high today and tomorrow is supposed to be in the mid 30s. (it's a veritable heat wave i tell you!)  i have images ready to be wheat pasted but the weather isn't cooperating.  so hmmm, i think i should celebrate art basel in miami by going pasting in phoenix this weekend.  hmmm... for pedro.