Adventures of Hoogrrl!

A person who appears to be ambling aimlessly, but is secretly in search of adventure.

Browsing Posts published in April, 2007

My buddy Don emailed me this yesterday about last Saturday’s Press Play party:

So I’m tending bar Sunday, lamenting as usual the deplorably banal state of DC art and performance when an old and dear (and authoritatively creative) customer relates a tale of animation, amplification and a haircut involving a pink Vespa and restraints that went on the previous night around 14th & P. Anything to add?



I helped curate a show called No Representation: Abstraction in the Capital, which will hang at the Warehouse during artDC, Washington’s first contemporary art fair. The exhibit highlights that fact that residents of DC do not have representation in Congress. Doesn’t sound much like democracy, now does it? All the participating artists live and/or work in DC.

Please come to the opening reception and support great Washington-based artists and enjoy music and wine!

Warehouse Gallery Arts Complex
1021 7th Street, NW
(across the street from the convention center)

Saturday, April 28
6 pm until whenever

Curator’s Office and artDC are
Rolling Out the Red Carpet For YOU!

Join us for an art-filled evening unlike any in Washington, DC! 
On Thursday, April 26, 2007 we’ll celebrate the first annual
artDC Art Fair at the new Convention Center with an extraordinary
 ”Hollywood-style” performance by one of the District’s own emerging artists,
Kathryn Cornelius.

Don your finest evening wear (semi-formal attire is suggested and highly encouraged!),
walk the red carpet, sip complimentary champagne,
receive full star treatment while previewing the fair.

The celebration continues with the official kick-off of the

live performance RECOGNITION at 8pm.

We hope you will join us for this exciting event –
it will rival any Hollywood premiere!

This event is made possible in part by the following sponsors and contributors:


art dc logo                  art dc logo     surroundart  

artDC logo                        pink line logo                        SIGHTLINE

Planet Vox   |   BV Consulting   |   Urban Style Lab

Eat Well DC   |   DJ Services   |   Untitled

Furious Sound Productions

The Painted Lady Performance Project made a spectacular appearance at the Press Play party on Saturday night. The ladies stunned the crowd with silky, and dramatic costumes set off by skin painted luminescent bronze. Their deliberately slow, regal movements and elegant, statuesque poses struck awe all around. For several hours, they never left character, even when leading the way to the after-party across busy 14th Street at Viridian. Four volunteers hoisted a blanket above their heads to protect them from the rain as cabs swerved to miss the slow-moving procession.

whitehot | April 07, WM Issue # 2: Nelson Loskamp Interview

Loskamp at work

The Electric Chair Cut

Nelson Loskamp

In conversation with

Joe Heaps Nelson

“Yeah I have boxes and boxes of people’s hair. I guess I roughed somebody up a little too much and they said that I needed sensitivity training. Maybe I should be my own victim some time and see what it’s like.”

I reckon I have known Nelson Loskamp for about nine years. In the 20th century, we both used to try and hang around American Fine Arts on

Wooster Street

, which was, at the time, the coolest gallery in New York . In those days, everybody knew Nelson, but nobody knew his last name. He was strictly a one-name guy, like Cher . He was low-key, but not necessarily low-profile, and “the Electric Chaircut” was really, well, how do you say? Downtown.

We got to know each other better when we were neighbors in DUMBO. His studio was crammed with paintings. Just about all of them were paintings of a head. Day after day, Nelson painted these mysterious heads, with lopsided, searching eyes. He was a big time palette knife man. I remember asking him then what he was up to, and Nelson replied, very humbly, “Oh, I just come in here and move paint around until this guy just kind of… shows up.” Every so often he would wrestle some giant tree stump out on the fire escape and molest it with a chainsaw until it became truly odd. He is a triple threat – painter, sculptor, and… electric chaircutter!

Besides being an artist/superhero, Nelson works as a hairstylist. He grew up in L.A., then lived in San Francisco for a long time before he moved to New York . That California vibe is a major feature of his personality. He’s remarkably gentle. We met at his studio on

Classon Avenue

in Brooklyn , where I was surprised to encounter a new set of paintings that were, for Nelson anyway, nearly serene .


Joe Heaps Nelson: It seems like you used to work in a style where you were describing an internal state.

Nelson Loskamp: Yeah, exorcising demons. Now, I’m actually trying to paint pretty ladies.

Heaps: You’re painting more realistically.

Loskamp: Yeah, I’m looking at things, referencing the real world. I wasn’t very interested in that before but I thought I might as well do something different.

Heaps: There’s still an expressionistic quality.

Loskamp: Oh, definitely. They are figurative, they’re expressionistic. They have a little more suggestion of the outside world.

I like the outside, I like trees, I like hammocks, I like my wife. (pause)

They’re weird, right?

Heaps: Your paintings have some kind of funky special effects. What kind of medium do you use?

Loskamp: Well they’re oil. I painted on wood for a long time and I used a knife, and I recently switched to canvas. I’m using brush, and some knife, but I prep the canvas with a lot of matte medium so it retains the raw canvas color, but it’s a smooth surface. I put on a lot of coats and sand it down so I can use a knife on it.
I use some medium in there, thin it down, use some varnish, it’s all different. It goes from really flat black thinned down black, to heavy, knived in black and purple.Some of the actual canvas shows through. It’s a combination of knife and brush work. When I was younger I really hated brushstrokes. That’s why I started painting with a knife. I’ve loosened up on that. Now brushstrokes are OK. But I don’t want anything to be consistently the same all the way across the painting. I like to break it up.


Loskamp: I like to carve wood – figurative stuff. I whittle some, chain saw some. I haven’t done any in a while. I’d like to, but my space is a little small.

Heaps: Well now the weather is getting nicer maybe you can work outside.

Loskamp: Maybe. We’ll see what happens.

Heaps: Tell me about the sculpture that was in “Dead Kids Do Nothing” at 31 Grand.

Loskamp: Oh, Mr. Shiv’d. I’ll describe it. There’s a large, carved, animal-like head on a table, with hair wrapped around it, presented like the head of John the Baptist or something, and a bouquet of knives stuck into the top of the head. I found the bouquet of shivs, and I had them in my studio, and the hole presented itself to me, and I stuck ‘em in there, and it just worked.

Heaps: So you found the knives on the street, already taped together?

Loskamp: Yeah, already taped together. Somebody was throwing them away. Yeah, I just stuck ‘em in the hole in the top of the head and it was perfect.


Heaps: What’s an electric chaircut like?

Loskamp: It’s a haircutting performance. I’ll select my victims from the audience – they volunteer – I tape them in the chair and I cut their hair.

Heaps: Yeah but you also blindfold ‘em.

Loskamp: I do.

Heaps: Did any of your electric chaircut victims ever get really mad?

Loskamp: Get really mad? Not really. I have found some notes, after the fact.

I’ve had people request to have their hair back, on occasion.

Heaps: I should mention that Nelson keeps some of the hair, after he cuts it off, as part of the documentation of the project.

Loskamp: Yeah I have boxes and boxes of people’s hair. I guess I roughed somebody up a little too much and they said that I needed sensitivity training. Maybe I should be my own victim some time and see what it’s like. People generally like it. I had one guy tell me I made him look like Elvis. He didn’t like that. I had to re-cut his hair. It’s difficult because you have to judge what a person wants in a matter of seconds.

I thought you just kind of did what you want.

Loskamp: I try to do what people want.

Heaps: But you never ask anybody what they want.

Loskamp: Oh yeah!

Heaps: You do?

Loskamp: I do. I didn’t ask you? I think you said, do whatever.

Heaps: Oh, I thought that was just how it went.

Loskamp: I can’t cut holes in people’s heads, and expect them to like it.

Heaps: Yeah, but you could say, I’m the artist, and this is my vision!

Loskamp: It takes the right person for that.

Heaps: Explain the technical apparatus.

Loskamp: My scissors and implements are prepared. The sound is amplified. I wear a practice amp on my back, some pedal effects and I can change it up a little bit. Sometimes I have somebody mix live. My friend John Blue does that. While I’m doing it, he’ll take the sound, re-sample it and project it out. I do have another piece I have been working on called a “Scissor Symphony” where I have 7 people cutting hair all at the same time, all with amplified scissors. The sound is a little different on each scissors. I hope to do that here. I did it in Peekskill at the Peekskill Project last year. I got the beauty school kids doing it, and I amplified their haircuts and got video footage. That was scissor symphony #1, and #2 is coming soon!

To find out more about Nelson Loskamp,

whitehot gallery images, click a thumbnail.

Joe Heaps Nelson is an
artist and writer in
New York City.

Painterly Visions: A Night To Remember

Do you have any idea what is happening here? You would if you were at the hippest party in town last night. Press Play was a huge success – over 500 people attended! It felt like the beginning of an art revolution in DC.

Oliver Vernon: Macro/Micro
Paintings and On-site Sculpture
April 14 – May 19

Opening Reception with the Artist: Sat. April 14, 6-8 PM
Preview Day: Friday, April 13

Oliver Vernon’s paintings present new visualizations of our interdependent organic and humanly constructed environments. Using multiple layers and planes of space, his paintings capture both macro and micro views of worlds in convergence: a viewer may imagine simultaneously the inconceivably vast spaces of the cosmos, the invisible and infinitesimally small spaces revealed in electron microscope images, and maps of data and information zooming in through networks or laser beams. Vernon achieves this fusion of macro and micro with his own original architecture of space and composition. Planes of space overlap and interconnect, and we see all at once a new visualization of the structures of the city combined with the fluid rhizomes of interconnected organic forms.

Drawing from his roots in the Brooklyn street art and music DJ scenes, Oliver Vernon also combines bold graphic elements that quote graffiti styles fused with meditative and reflective symbols. His work represents a bold and confident fusion of many trajectories in contemporary painting never before combined in one coherent vision: post-pop surrealism and visionary art, high-tech science fiction, figural abstraction, street and graffiti art, and the multi-layered, complex visualizations of artists like Matthew Ritchie, Julie Mehretu, Fred Tomaselli, and Ryan McGinness.