Friday, August 29, 2008

a new chapter

fenario's turning a big corner this month. steven lopez got into town last night with his amazing show. i'm hoping no one noticed, but as we moved the canvases into the gallery (at a ghostly hour, the city asleep) i couldn't wipe the grin off my face. it felt like christmas.

i carried a piece entitled "if you were a huntress, i would be your bow" into the space, and when i get it down and got a good look at it i was moved to tears (again, hoping no one saw that). you should have seen my face when i heard the title (full title: "if you were a huntress, i'd be your bow. for your silver arrows, to seek out his heart."). hottest title EVER. it immediately reminded me of mos def's verse on the jill scott "love rain" remix, which i've always said is the sexiest piece of spoken word i've ever heard.

this show means so much to myself, and the gallery. i can't say too much, but the quality of the work lopez brought in is so high, that i am finally over any nerves that i had stemming from the possibility that i had gushed too much, and i'd end up on my face. my mom always says "the proof is in the puddin'" and let me tell you: this puddin' tastes DELICIOUS. 

Sade- Paradise from on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


music lovers take note!

friday september 12th fenario gallery will be having a show with east coast impressionistic jazz trio jacob fred jazz trio

jfjo has been playing together since 1994, and have created quite a following for themselves. the group is signed to hyena records, same label that our friends the bridge call home, which i'm rapidly beginning to trust as a source of cutting edge, non-derivative music (a drink of cool water in a desert of sandy, head-ache inducing "pop" music - side note: didn't the pop music genre once include acts like the beatles and elvis costello? what caused such a drastic syntactical landslide in the past thirty years, and who can i kick in the shins for allowing it?). 

jfjo's stop at the fenario should be a good chance for eugenians to get hip to that which the eastern seaboard has already been slathering over for over a decade. sometimes i have difficulty describing music. i find myself describing it as i would a painting, even lofting into art historical terms and making tenuous, snobby sounding allusions to a given song's homage to an ingres odalisque or something obscure and obtuse. but with jfjo, my sometimes misaligned dialect seems to work. i don't call them "impressionistic" because i hear their music and see seurat, i call it impressionistic because their musical landscapes have the en-plein-air quality of art that doesn't bother with stuffy, established aesthetic norms. if i could make tangible their sound, i would put it in my "menace to propriety" show. 

i'm not entirely sure what to expect of their show on the 12th. from what i've gathered on youtube their performances seem singular and uncanny. they have an eerily psychic musical communication on stage, and perhaps some of that energy is transfered to the audience. maybe an esp-high is the cause of their fans' devotion ;) i'll look forward to experiencing it for myself, hope that you join us. 

myspace and the great internet beyond

i think i've made it fairly obvious at this point that i'm not techno-savvy. i'm hoping that someone might be able to help me. this blog is maintained partly for my own sanity, but also in part to get the word out about the progress and events of fenario gallery. i want to make this blog the official myspace blog of the fenario page, but i'm not sure how to master that. is there a way to link the two?

i could repost all of the entries that i write on party like an art star on the myspace blog, but it sure would be time consuming! any suggestions?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

dulac and rackham's bedtime stories

dulac, the princess and the pea, 1911

today i was reading roq la rue owner kristen anderson's blog right some good and read a post she wrote about a beautiful painting by thai artist deang buasan. she mentioned that she found the painting while browsing dalihouse art blog, which posted a very interesting article about the paintings stylistic similarities to early 20th century illustrator edmund dulac. i wouldn't have known the name if she hadn't said that she often confuses his work for that of illustrator arthur rackham, who is our framer braxton's favorite illustrator. we have a print from braxton's personal collection of rackham's hey diddle, diddle, the cat and the fiddle hanging in the front window of the gallery. i was immediately drawn to the princess and the pea image from dulac's body of work, it has a beautiful, hazy almost batiked quality to the paint, and i love that the color palette manages to be saturated and jewel-like without being flashy. i've always enjoyed my conversations with braxton about rackham and his peers because i have been a collector of children's books for years. 

arthur rackham, hey diddle, diddle, 1913

when i was young i was a voracious reader. the first book i learned to read was william joyce's a day at wilbur robinson's and i still take it out every year or so and corner some unsuspecting friend for a few bedtime stories. my parents bought me dozens of gorgeously illustrated children's books when i was young, and when i got older and started getting really into art (and couldn't afford the full color plate tomes that i would pour over in the back rooms of bookstores for hours) i realized that my wall of picture books was an impressive, nostalgic art library. i now have several illustrators who's works i collect, and my mother picks out a new title for me every year at christmas and my birthday. two years ago it was life doesn't frighten me, a poem by maya angelou along side works by jean-michel basquiat. i loved it so much that i got a copy for miah, my former partner's four year old son (the cuddliest, most empathetic tot of all time). unfortunately miah isn't a basquiat fan (yet) and did some serious editing (aka tearing) of most of the pages. 

maurice denis

saintes femems au tombeau, 1894

apres-midi dans les bois, 1900

Annunciation, 1912

the muses, 1893

april, 1892

visitation, 1894

Friday, August 15, 2008

give me your creepy, your offensive and your weird

(creepy) basking shark

dear readers (if you're out there):

i am trying to find interesting places to post my call to artists for the upcoming menace to propriety show. i really want as many artists as possible to know about the opportunity. if you know any good art networking sites, or the like where a lot of talented artists would be exposed to the proposal please let me know. or if you know anyone who's work fits the description "menace to propriety" give me a shout. 

soviet cross-country ski (offensive)

(weird) beard, popular WAKY DJ 1966-71

glitter in my eye

i'm honestly having a hard time getting over jamie vasta's work.

i'm like a freakin' magpie to a lost barrette. 

i first read about jamie's work on meighan's blog. meighan always has impeccable taste, but what i love most about her choices is that she seems to gravitate towards artists with a truly unique aesthetic or process. if you can believe it jamie's work is made entirely of glitter, and if you were expecting motifs that match glitter as a material you're going to be pleasantly surprised (or unpleasantly unsettled, depending on what you like). i would include some images, but i've yet to email jamie, when i get to it i'll edit the post and include a couple of my favorites. until then run don't walk to her site to see her incredible creations. 

i heart the internets

i've spent pretty much all of my free time over the past few days madly searching out art on the internet. while my sensory organs are satiated, my tan is fading fast. i feel like a myopic albino, violently blinking at the sun like some unwelcome aggressor. yet another reason that i'm excited for my trip: i'll be able to take in art in an active/interactive fashion rather than leaning on the googles like a crutch.

however bad for my vitamin k levels the internet may be, i LOVE the internet. i was never that girl until i had my baby (aka got my laptop). the beauty of it is the ease with which i can run full tilt through the labyrinthine thought tunnels my hamster wheel of a brain creates. i've mentioned before how spastically and hyperactively my brain works. my brain works at a frenetic pace, which is not always conducive to logical thinking, but which seems to suit a creative life style just fine. 

what i'm really learning to appreciate about the art history education that i received is how it can create an instant star chart of inspirations in my mind when i see a new work of art. i find a new artist and almost imposed over what i see with my eyes is a mind's eye constellation network of works and movements that i can identify with the work. i really appreciate outsider art and folk art and the likes, so i never assume that the artist themselves has the art history nerd inspirations that i impose on them, but they help shape my personal connection to a piece and it helps retain my fascination with art's history and trajectory. history repeats, in wars and in art. it speaks to the organicism of art, that the same themes, characters, and stories crop up generation after generation. when i see a tale told in a contemporary work of art that i have seen told in older works from all over the world it hammers home how similar we all are, over cultures, distance and time. 

one of the ideas that i developed over the past couple AV Lab-ish days is a Peter Max style 60s phunkadelic group show. i love the psychadelic, raver color palette of artists like mr. pinky, martin head, and oliver hibert

plus all the old hippies will trip out reliving their yellow submarine days. and i'll love watching them trip out ('cause i love old hippies, they're cuddly).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

baltimore here i come

next week i'm taking a much needed vacation from the left coast. 

i'll be north west till i die, there's no doubting that, but there are times when the strident politics and grandeous self-righteousness of the average left coaster ware me out. 

its time for some right coast bad attitude. i love the surly, fuck-off attitudes of east coasters, at least it's honest.

i'm getting on a plane on monday to head to baltimore, md. it'll be my first time in the city that birthed my boss and several of my raddest friends. i've heard mixed reviews (some jokester from baltimore gave me the first season of the wire to prepare me, thanks bud, i'm traumatized by violence - that show for me is like a sugar IV for a diabetic), but i'm ready to make my own opinion. since i'm naturally attracted to decrepancy, so i'm looking forward to seeing the seedier side of baltimore, sans violence of course. 

i'm going to hit up the aquarium, the american museum of visionary art, and the baltimore museum of art. i get to see my friends the bridge play a residency set at the 8x10, which is a venue that i've been wanting to see for a long time now. my boss will be there. it'll be refreshing to see him out of the workplace, to get to kick back a beer 3,000 miles away from the gallery (we love the gallery obviously, but its nice to get a break from anything that occupies that much of your time). i am very, very excited for this trip. 

Friday, August 8, 2008

october show

breeze, 6"x6", pen and ink on paper

i am getting over the moon excited about yellena james' show in october. the more i look at her art the more personal connection i find to the work. its like the style of hip, sumptuous, smart, lush drawing i'd always hoped would someday come off my pen if i kept doodling long enough (sadly, this never came to fruition, so far i've mastered bubbles though i have been told they look like pokemon). 

i've often said that my favorite kind of art is that which says something. i've argued up and down that the art that we exhibit at the gallery should go beyond merely decorative and should have a voice, it should comment in some way on the world, on the human condition. this has often caused mention of abstract work, which is hard to say has any particular story to tell, and whether or not my need for discursiveness invalidates the importance of abstract, or purely visual work. yellena's work is certainly subtle and soft-spoken, it may not defame the presidency or draw attention to the global famine crisis, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have heart. each intimate world that she creates has its own ethos, its own special ability to radiate an emotional range that most anyone can relate to. 

i can't wait to transform the gallery into her world. 

flare, 11x16", pen and ink on paper

it's good to remember

yesterday when you were young 
everything you needed done was done for you
now you do it on your own
but you find you're all alone, what can you do?

you and me walk on, walk on, walk on 
'cause you can't go back now

you know there will be days
when you're so tired
that you can't take another step
the night will have no stars
and you'll think you've gone as far 
as you will ever get

you and me walk on, walk on, walk on
'cause you can't go back now

and yeah, yeah, yeah you go where you want to go
yeah, yeah be what you want to be
if you ever turn around, you'll see me

i can't really say
why everybody wishes they were somewhere else
but in the end, the only steps that matter
are the ones you take all by yourself

you and me walk on, walk on, walk on
yeah, you and me walk on, walk on, walk on
'cause you can't go back now
walk on, walk on, walk on
you can't go back now

the weepies, "can't go back now" from the album "hideaway"

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

press pass

steven lopez, i focus, i want this

chuck adams at the eugene weekly will be running a cover story about steven lopez and the upcoming exhibit this coming thursday. i'm really happy  to see that the local press is interested in the story, i think that steven is very interesting and i want as many people as possible to hear about his work. 

i'm also trying very hard to get my head wrapped around every little minute detail that goes into putting on an art exhibit. a lot of the shows i've been involved in thus far at fenario have been relatively easy to set-up, but as i work on developing my position i want to attain the kind of skills and connections necessary to produce a fairly complicated affair. i want to have personal working knowledge of each aspect of the process: fund-raising, press releases, promotional distribution, hanging, etc. i hope to within a year, be perfectly capable of personally taking care of each aspect of the preparation for an art exhibit, so that i can handle with confidence the needs and expectations of any artist (and their work) that comes my way. i've felt so very blessed these past few months to have my first few shows with artists who are understanding and patient but have the professionalism and respect for their own work to be firm and critical when need be: it helps me learn new skills, and how to rectify a situation that may not be perfect with candor and grace. 

i've received comments in the past from friends (mostly those not in the art business) about how demanding they perceive some of my clients to be. i just don't see it that way. i see the entire process of developing and hanging a show to be an integral part to its overall impact. therefor i can easily understand why an artist would want to have their hand in the steps leading up to an opening. it may be crude to say but being someone's bitch for a couple weeks is just part of my job, but the reward is that both myself and my client get the pride of seeing an immaculate final result.