Portraits

Pictures of people, from the archives:


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Recent Pictures

Photos from wonderful weekends in the Berkshires and the Adirondacks.

more photos here.

Interview with Raul Gonzalez on NAP Blog

Raul Gonzalez, Wake up Call (On My Last Nerve), 2011 | Ink and Bic pen, 45 by 65 inches acrylic. Courtesy the artist and Carroll & Sons Gallery, Boston.

An excerpt of my interview with Raul Gonzalez on the New American Paintings blog:

ADJ: How do you develop a character?
RG: When I was a kid, I would always get upset because I was in high school and the top shows wereBeverly Hills 90210 and Friends. I would look at these shows and think, “You know, there’s nothing about me or my friends that’s being represented in these shows.” I would go to a movie and the only Latino character would be a maid or a gangbanger, and it really upset me. Iit made me feel like I wasn’t a complete human being. A while ago, my brother wrote a comic book called,The Pretend Humans, and I worked on the illustrations for it.

So when I started working on this series here with the Indian heads and the buffalo and all of that, I based it on how illustrators since the 1800s and into the 1900s would draw those people who were considered to be less than human: Black people, Native Americans, Mexican-Americans. Just a simple circle, bulging eyes—that’s what those characters are. If you look at them one next to another, they’re all basically copies of each other, and that’s how I developed it.

read the whole interview here.

Some new photos from LA

Spent a couple days in LA in January, here’s what I got:

(more photos here)

and some more random new ones:

new photos

Take a look (also these)

Old Weird America at the Decordova

Its raining pretty steadily today so I decided to head out to the Decordova to see this show that looked interesting called “The Old, Weird,  America” I go to the Decordova every so often because its a pretty low-key environment and they generally have pretty decent shows, but nothing that blows your socks off. So I was expecting more of the same.

Well, I has happily surprised. The show took up every gallery space in the museum, a sprawling, well spaced show with some bigger names (Kara Walker) with some that I was unfamiliar with. The conceptual basis of the show was folk in contemporary art, a liberally applied theme that tied together the work nicely.

The work was, on the whole very strong. Margaret Kilgallen’s installation was great, as was Matthew Day Jackson’s, and though I didn’t stay for the whole Kara Walker video, I’m sure it was great as well. Special mention, though, must be made for the painting in the show. Aaron Morse’s colorful wilderness/hunting scenes (reminiscent of Aimee Belanger) were outstanding. As were Barnaby Furnas’ takes on Civil War battles, again with outstanding color. And Eric Beltz’s luscious pencil drawings of unfortunate scenes of the founders of the USA.

I have to admit, I’m kind of a sucker for this type of work that combines whimsy, lyrical, and humourous subject matter and visuals, with an undertone of serious, “important,” material. But then again, who isn’t. I kind of felt like I was in Williamsburg, with all these hipsterish oldtimey/new works. It  left me with just the slightest hint of, I’ve seen this before. But let me stress that it could have been done so much worse and fallen over into art school kitch so easily.

I was all smiles leaving on the way home, only to realize, upon reading the material that the show was actually put together by the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. I knew it was too good to be true. Nonetheless, I think it was an incredibly successful show and everyone should go see it, certainly a coup for the Decordova.

Unfurled

was just poking through some poems I wrote several months ago and found this:

A rippled river unfurled
a series of misinformed decisions
of the rudimentary kind
of the prosthetics used

We sat there wordless you and I
a brick barrier staged
the talking was all wrong
not in words
but crickets

A taunted oligarchy
a prurient mister
Harriet the shrew
and often times the Blackness

I woke to find my window half cracked
ugly malady
fortified wine makes the mind go
ghostly