Still sick. So terribly sick of being sick. You know what “blog” sounds like to me? It sounds like a really good descriptive word for the stuff coming out of my nose today. ”Wow, that is some major gooey blog you got there!”
So that would be the bad kind of blog. Here’s the good kind! Chronicle blogged a bit about the Limited Edition version of my upcoming book, and you can read all about it right here. You can even pre-order a copy (and save $100).
The wrap-around artwork for the LE box
A few extra tidbits of info, if anybody’s interested. The print is being produced by Urban Digital Color, who’ve earned a reputation as one of the country’s foremost printing presses (they were one of the first companies to produce digital prints for artists and photographers). The paper for this particular print will be super gorgeous 100% cotton rag Hahnemühle paper. Founded in 1584, Hahnemühle is the oldest German paper mill still producing papers for traditional and digital art. Hot diggity! Should be maximally fabulous. (Not that I’m biased or anything.)
You can also pre-order the de-lovely and delightful regular edition of the book right here, (and when I say “regular,” you should know it is quite keen and includes some very special things like a “lift the flap” reveal of a painting in progress among other goodies) and the accompanying postcard book stuffed with 30 full color images right here! That’s a lot of excitement for one email. And now I’ve got a hot date with a big pot of tea and a box of Kleenex….
I love a good assumption scene. The glowing heavenly lights, the chubby cherubs lofting someone worthy upwards, the puffy clouds and beaming beatific faces. Most assumption paintings are of the Virgin Mary (and they’re meant to depict a “living assumption” — someone who’s super extra special gets to go straight to heaven, no more muss and fuss, without even dying). I’m partial to Mary Magdelene assumption paintings. As you probably know, one of the things she’s known for was bathing Jesus’ feet with her tears so she’s often depicted crying or with red eyes. (Fun fact: the word “maudlin,” which means effusively or tearfully sentimental, comes from her name.) Here’s a great one, much less static and stately than usual, with some real movement and action (and check out the creepy putti that are just flying heads.)
The Assumption of Mary Magdalene Into Heaven by Domenichino
My first TV tray painting was an assumption scene (sadly you can see in this little pic that the cherubs are straining and popping hernias — Elvis was a corpulent corpse):
The Assumption of Elvis
And today Michael Nordstrom blogged about my latest assumption scene on his Garamania blog.
Zip right on over and gaze at all things Garamon and Pygmon — the depth and breadth of stuff here is stunning and delightful.
Don't even try to read this tiny version, just go there!
This painting is currently on display in Miami as part of the Kaiju Monster Invasion show at Harold Golen gallery.
Posted in Things To Check Out
Tagged assumption scenes, cherubs, Elvis, Garamania, Harold Golen Gallery, Kaiju, Kaiju Monster Invasion, lowbrow art, Pigmon, pop surrealism, Pygmon, PYGMON RULES!, TV trays, ultraman
Well it’s official — the book just showed up on Chronicle Books’ site and print catalog and it looks a little something like this –
Hot diggity! I’ve been fondling the color proofs, which are gorgeous, and the proofs for the special endpapers printed with nifty metallic inks, and all the other goodies and special bits. It’s coming, folks, it’s coming! (Hit the link to read the full description and to see this page bigger than a match book.)
Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read. ~Groucho Marx
So where the heck have I been, huh? Well since you asked — I’ve been working on my book. Yup, that’s right. If you could hop in a time machine and set it for next spring, you could hold a copy in your hands right now. (For those of you without a temporal device, I’m afraid you have to wait — the book doesn’t exist yet.)
This is not “The Book.” The Book is being published by Chronicle Books and will be, you know, bigger and nicer and probably have a picture on the front. This is my little notebook where I’ve been scribbling ideas for The Book, like some cover ideas (my preferred medium here is color copies and the gold foil wrappers from premium chocolate bars)…
…and all kinds of crazy things we can’t do because of something called “a budget.” So while there wont be pop-ups and cut-aways and real gold leaf, there will be lots and lots of beautiful pictures — and I’m not just talking about the paintings. When I look at art books I often find myself wishing there were pictures of the artist’s studio — I want to see where they work, how things get made, what kind of things they have kicking around, I want some visual flavor and background. So we’re including snaps of drawings and paintings in progress and some really groovy pictures of the studio by amazing photographer Bart Nagel.
His pictures are so fab and so numerous I wish I could just make an entire book out of them. Plus he’s just an incredibly swell guy.
And this is the blank model of the book. Holding this thing, even though it’s blank, electrifies me. I am giddy-over-the-moon excited and everyone at Chronicle Books has been outstanding — Alan, Beth, Bridget, and Cat (who’s technically freelance). They seem as excited as I am, which is always a nice feeling in one’s publishers. In addition to the book, there will be a postcard book and a deluxe Limited Edition of the book with a special goodie. Did I mention giddy-over-the-moon? I did? Well I still am.
Check back here for progress reports, maybe I can sneak out some preview pages as production rolls along. And now that I’ve finally delivered all the artwork to Chronicle I’ll try to post more regularly!
So I was out in the garden trying to track down the snails/slugs that are eating all my damn strawberries (DIE SLIMEY FRUIT SUCKERS, DIE!) happily plugged into my iPod when I realized I was singing out loud. At stadium volume. To Billy Idol. “Rebel Yell” — which is pretty good for raining hell down on slugs and is seriously hard not to sing along to. (There’s a fun description of Billy’s early days with Gen X here). When I dialed down the volume I realized my next door neighbor was just on the other side of the fence, but you know what? If that’s the most embarrassing thing I do this week (heck, this month), then I’m doing okay.
Other things thing I find really embarrassing — listening to my voice on the answering machine, or worse, seeing myself on film. I still haven’t been able to watch “The Lowdown on Lowbrow” (even though I’m really interested in seeing what the filmmaker put together) because I’m in it and I don’t want to see myself. I’ve seen the preview clip on YouTube and it’s ten times worse than hearing my voice on the answering machine.
It seems like everyone else got interviewed in a nice, clean studio environment with a powdered nose and lighting and I got caught stumbling out of a gallery opening, three sheets to the wind. I look like a total loon! (Note to self — no more cocktails before the camera rolls.)
I wonder if this is similar to the reaction a friend had when she posed for a painting — when she saw the finished piece she said “I will pose for you anytime, I loved it, but I cannot look at that painting.” I was kind of crushed but the more I think about it, the more I understand.
What’s not so bad is re-reading stuff you casually, conversationally wrote or said — which is the entire body of a recent article in the fledgling art mag Stretching Canvas. Issue #82 has a big (BIG) article about my work, which takes the form of an email back-n-forth between myself and writer Sherri Cullison. The thing is twelve pages long! To be honest, while I’ve looked at the pretty pictures (including a snap of the goldfinch outside my window who later became a star in the painting “Song of the Goldfinch”), I can’t read it yet. Because it’s just me nattering away it sort of has a little bit of the same effect for me as hearing my voice on the answering machine. I think I’m worried I’ve said something completely idiotic. Twelve pages is a lot of ink — chances are pretty good I said something fairly goony in there at some point.
But you can go and pick up the mag and see for yourself.
Happy Cinco de Mayo! I know what you’re thinking — “This year I really want to celebrate the victory of Mexican Genereal Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin over the French in the Battle of Puebla by attending an arts lecture.” Well aren’t YOU in luck!
A free all-star panel will be part of the Indy Arts DIY Workshop series tonight, featuring cultural impresarios of considerable gravity and renown.
Local independent-culture icons V. Vale, “Papa Ronzoni” Ron Turner and John Law will be present with stories, ideas, advice, and open ears for
BE SURE TO RSVP!
“Art wrestles Pop Culture and Wins”
Presented by Independent Arts & Media, Lilycat. com and Access SF
Monday, May 5 (that’s tonight, slackers!)
7 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Posted in Things To See N' Do
Tagged Access SF, Head Trip, Indy Arts, John Law, Last Gasp, lowbrow art, Pop Culture, Re/Search, Ron Turner, Search and Destroy, V. Vale
There’s a new art mag on the racks — have you seen it? The folks at International Tattoo Art have just rolled out Stretching Canvas. “From the ateliers to the alleys, artists of all walks are breathing new life into the art scene, and we’ve been there to capture it in print within the pages of International Tattoo Art. The response to our monthly Stretching Canvas sections was so great that we decided to take Stretching Canvas to a new level — a street level. Art is a free spirit in an anything-goes way. From pop surrealists to underground champions, from garages to galleries, Stretching Canvas captures that spirit.”
The first issue has features on Joey Remmers, Rachel Bess, Shaunna Peterson, Daniel Martin Diaz, and others along with book and gallery reviews, tasty swag and loads of other good stuff. Ever seen Chris Sickels’ work? He makes and photographs these crazy little dioramas. He’s in there too.
They were also kind enough to feature a few of my paintings from my Monster Ballads show in their premiere issue, and in #2, Editor in Chief Sherri Cullison and I will have a big, multi-day-spanning email chat that gets re-printed for your amusement, with pictures. Should be more fun than a barrel of herring so check it out!
Sherri, btw, is super cool. She’s not just the hard working editor of a spiffy new art mag, she’s a roller derby gal!