Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Harold Hollingsworth video profile

Harold Hollingsworth from P. O'Brien | G. Miller on Vimeo.

Harold Hollingsworth is one of my many internet artist friends whom I haven't met yet, but whose work I admire. This video was made for a Seattle art program called "Artzone" that will air this Friday. More of Harold's paintings can be seen here: Works by Harold Hollingsworth

Sunday, September 26, 2010

When Life Gets in the Way of Art -

When Life Gets in the Way of Art -

It was revealed recently that Ernest C. Withers, who photographed images of the Little Rock integration battle, the Emmett Till trial, and many more scenes from the civil rights era, was a paid informant for the FBI.

This article brings up issues regarding artistic intent and integrity related to Withers, artist Larry Rivers and joaquin Phoenix and Casey Affleck.

From what I've read about the Withers revelations, a lot of people are shocked and feel betrayed by what he did. On the other hand, do his actions as a paid informant change the work itself? Do his photographs now lose any artistic revelance because of his personal dealings with the government? I don't think so. A good photograph is still a good photograph, regardless of the circumstances. As documents of a social movement, however, they are now recast in another light altogether-that of evidence of a betrayal of trust.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Here’s an idea. If you want the art you should pay for it. Promptly | The Art Newspaper

Here’s an idea. If you want the art you should pay for it. Promptly | The Art Newspaper

Late payments from collectors have an unfortunate domino effect...

"Here’s an unhappy scenario: a young gallery, with nearly empty coffers, hasn’t collected payment on six of the seven sales the dealer closed at a June satellite art fair in Basel. The dealer—who paid all fair-related expenses months ago—needs to cover his rent and overheads. He can’t pay the artist, who needs money for his own bills plus materials for an autumn show. To make matters worse, the dealer must remain calm and detached, while trying to extract payment. “It’s this old-school gentleman thing,” the dealer told me. “You don’t want to appear desperate.”"

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Studio 9.23.10

Studio: 9.23.10

The Radiant Child-go see it

Studio: 9.22.10

I went to see the Tamra Davis documentary about painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, "The Radiant Child" last Friday. I definitely recommend seeing this film, if you have any interest in Basquiat's work or just to get a glimpse of how the New York art scene in the '80's developed. The film itself is formed around an interview Davis did with Basquiat in 1986, when he was a rising star in the art world. Davis shelved the footage she had until fairly recently. "The Radiant Child" consists of the interview Tamra Davis did interspersed with archive footage of Basquiat at work, photos, and interviews with a number of poeple who were close friends, collectors and dealers. It charts Basquiat's meteroric rise to international art star and just as quick fall. There is a lot of footage of Basquiat that has not been seen before, especially of him talking, working, dancing, and being himself in the studio and out. Some of the anger that he felt towards how he was treated comes through, as well. He got recognition, but didn't feel respected enough as a person and artist. 

Through the film, you get a good sense of the pressures Basquiat had to deal with being the African-American male art superstar of the time. He wanted fame and got it, but not without serious consequences for someone who was ill-prepared for dealing with the world he was thrust into and didn't seem to have a significant personal support system in New York. What you don't get with "The Radiant Child" is a hard look at how the people in the art world used him and how he used others to get what he wanted, but that doesn't seem to be Davis' objective here. She's more interested in humanizing the image of Basquiat as celebrity artist while casting a hard eye on the culture of celebrity. So, yes, go see it. 

Like most docs about artists whose work I like, it was good to hear his own take on what was happening around him and with his work at the time. I'm glad that Tamra Davis chose to share this footage and was able to get this film made. I was only obliquely aware of what was going on in the New York art world duirng the 80's. I was in high school during the first half, just learning about art via European Old Master and Impressionism. I had very little clue about what was going on with contemporary art at the time and didn't really get a lot of it. 

I remember reading about the crazy amounts of money that people were spending on art and a few names stood out like Basquiat, Julian Schnabel, Francesco Clememte, Jeff Koons, and a few other 'big names',  but there was little of what I saw of contemporary art that I liked at the time. That was because of a lack of understanding, on my part, of much art past Post-Impressionism at the time. I remember knowing about some of the social issues surrounding the art world in the 80's because those same issues, like the underrepresentation of blacks and women in top corporate positions, to name one, were a fact of life on the news and in the streets. I remember thinking that it was cool that a black male visual artist had made it in the art world to the point of being an international art star, a rare thing in those days. Not only that, but that Basquiat had been a street artist who 'made it'. It seemed that everyone except white males were considered as being underrepresented in big-name galleries and museums.  With all of that, I didn't really appreciate the depth of Basquiat's work until the mid-90's, once the noise of the 80's began to fade and I was casting a wider net during a time of personal growth as a painter. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hard work needs dirty music

What does one listen to on a rainy evening while stretching canvases? Why Sonic Youth's 'Dirty', of course. The best thing that I listened to tonight that made the process seem to go faster.

Sonic Youth-'100%' (live, 1992)

Thursday, September 09, 2010


I caught sight of David Foss from outside of the LGTripp Gallery this afternoon. He was touching up one of his pieces in preparation for his solo show, Exits and Entrances. There is an opening reception this Saturday, September 11th from 5-7pm. 

Restlessness seems to be something that figures into my working process quite often. No matter what I'm working on or where I am in the evolution of a series or what-have-you, there's always this point (or several) where a certain restlessness starts pushing forward and working its way outward. This is when I start the questioning and pushing in order to make sure that the work is staying vital and alive to me.

This is going on more more than I probably realize it, but for some reason I had one of those moments today. A moment where I was able to identify something that's ingrained in me and the way I work, one of many somethings that I take for granted because they just are.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Bouquet on the wall

Bouquet, 2010, acrylic and digital reproduction on panel, 24" x 30"

'Bouquet', a recent painting, on the wall of my studio.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

More of the best is yet to come

Kevin Finklea has work in a new group show at Pentimenti Gallery in Old City, Philadelphia. 

'More of the best is yet to come' runs from September 7-October 23, 2010
First Friday reception: Friday, September 3, 2010 6-8pm
Artists Reception: Saturday, September 11, 2010, 4-6pm