Adventures of Hoogrrl!

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

Browsing Posts published in August, 2008

An artist I like a lot Stella Lai is opening a show in Beijing at the end of September called “Fat Children Ruined My Life” at the F2 Gallery. If you happen to be in L.A. on Saturday, September 6, from 11 AM to 4 PM, you can preview Stella’s newest work before she ships it off to China by stopping in at her open studio located at 742 N Broadway (2nd Floor).

How did I learn about Stella Lai’s work? A couple years ago, I was meandering haphazardly around one of the art fairs in New York when a colorful, detailed piece of art at the Nathan Larramendy Gallery booth caught my eye. I stopped to ask Nathan a few questions about the work and learned that Stella paints Asian women who lighten their skin, color their hair, and do surgical procedures to make themselves appear more western looking. I liked it! Then I learned that Stella was a good friend of and had shown with another one of my favorite artists iona rozeal brown! Iona’s work merges Japanese and African-American hip-hop culture and references Japanese kids who paint their skin browner so they can resemble their favorite hip-hop artists. Sold!

Jessica Lange interviews Iona in the June/July 2008 issue of New American Paintings.

If anyone’s in town and needs a giggle tonight, check out Improvapalooza @ The Source

When: Saturday 8.30 from 5PM-12AM (doors open at 4:30)
Where: Source | 1835 14 St NW
How much: $10 at the door

Matt Ravenstahl, right, slaps Jefferson Pinder repeatedly in their effective video “Passive Resistance,” which is steeped in racial politics. (By Jefferson Pinder)

Eh. You can’t get great reviews all the time. But just getting noticed is important too! Today’s Washington Post gallery review slaps down (sorry Matt and Jefferson) Picturing Politics 2008: Artists Speak to Power at the Arlington Art Center. You really ought to see this exhibition. Sure a couple pieces hit you over the head (sorry again guys) with some left-leaning politics, but I don’t think those particular works are meant to be subtle. It’s not exactly a subtle year for politics. But much of the show is complex, humorous, raw, poetic. See here for more about the exhibit and, most importantly, check it out and decide for yourself.

Another review from John James Anderson.

I saw this performance last week and really recommend you stop by tonight to see it performed again!

J.J. McCracken
Living Sculpture

August 21 – September 11
Friday, August 29
7:30 pm
@ Project 4 Gallery
903 U Street, NW

Car art!

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Art meets politics again. I love these bumper stickers designed by artists for a car art contest sponsored by Infectious. Mostly support for Obama. Yay Obama!

Taffety Punk Theatre Company
“The Rape of Lucrece”
by William Shakespeare

Monday, September 1
8:00 pm
Kennedy Center, Family Theatre

Featuring company members: Lise Bruneau, Kimberly Gilbert and Marcus Kyd.
Music and live sound design by Sean Peoples.

A great article by Roberta Smith in Sunday’s New York Times about the resurgence of great public art, of which we need a lot more.

A few works that she especially likes:

Some recent successes have included Rachel Whiteread’s 1993 “House,” a concrete cast of the interior of a London terrace house; Mark Wallinger’s 1999 “Ecce Homo,” a life-size figure of Jesus crowned with thorns, hands bound, standing amid the din of Trafalgar Square in London; Takashi Murakami’s wicked aluminum and platinum leaf Buddha shown in the atrium of the IBM Building in New York in the spring; and Anish Kapoor’s abstract “Cloud Gate,” nicknamed the Bean, at Millennium Park in Chicago. Freely mixing elements of Pop, Minimalism, conceptual art and realism, these pieces also often benefit from new technologies and materials that make them dynamic and provocative.

Smith seems particularly enamored with one of my favorite artists:

No one has been more important to the revival of public art than Jeff Koons, contemporary sculpture’s genius lightweight, whose up-and-down, hellbent-on-perfection career is the subject of an illuminating if rather crowded survey at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. It was Mr. Koons’s giant “Puppy” — a West Highland terrier covered with dirt, planted densely with flowers and first shown 16 years ago — that broadcast most loudly and clearly that public sculpture was neither an exhausted form nor necessarily a dumbed-down one.

“Puppy” was well placed and well timed. It stood in the courtyard of a handsome, mustard-colored Baroque palace that framed it perfectly. It was June 1992, and a few miles away, in the German city of Kassel, the international megashow “Documenta 9” was opening. Scores of art-world denizens made the short schlep to Arolsen to see what Mr. Koons was up to.

What they found was a shocking simplicity, accessibility and pleasure. “Puppy” was intensely lovable, triggering a laugh-out-loud delight that expanded your sense of the human capacity for joy. It was a familiar, sentimental cliché revived with an extravagant purity, not with enduring materials like marble or bronze but with nature at its most colorful and fragile. The flowery semblance of fur made “Puppy” almost living flesh, like us.

Peter Wynn Thompson for The New York Times

Arlington Art Center’s next show “Picturing Politics” features some of my favorite DC-based artists: Alberto and Victoria Gaitan, Lisa Blas, Mary Coble, Jefferson Pinder. Really great demonstration of how art and politics go together. Glad this show is already getting some excellent, well-deserved press.

Giant beach toys on the beach in Rimini. So cute! See more here.

A fundraiser to support The New Orleans Kid Camera Project, an organization created to address the psychological and emotional impact of Hurricane Katrina on children returning home to New Orleans. Please come! It’s going to be a great party, plus you get to preview Civilian’s next show Way Down In New Orleans.

Thursday, September 4
7 – 10 pm
@ Civilian Art Projects
406 7th Street, NW
$30 in advance
$40 at the door