Archive for December, 2013


Friday, December 27th, 2013

— I have been keeping a journal of stuff I’ve read. I never remember, so I have been writing it down since 1973 when I was an art student. In 1974 I scrawled across two pages “IT’S GOT TO BE INTERESTING AND REAL!”. I still put stuff in it to this day, though it has completely fallen to pieces and burst at the seams.

I have been looking through it lately because David Chandler phoned me out of the blue—I haven’t spoken to him for twenty-five years. He wrote the original intro to Looking for Love, and is writing a new text for a forthcoming book, Inside Looking for Love.

Tom Wood was born in 1951, in County Mayo in the west of Ireland. He lived and worked on Merseyside between 1978 and 2003 before he moved to his current home in North Wales. Wood has published numerous books, including LOOKING FOR LOVE, ALL ZONES OFF PEAK, PHOTIEMAN, and MEN AND WOMEN. He has had solo and group exhibitions worldwide and his work is represented in the collections of major international museums.


Friday, December 27th, 2013

— I was born in the suburbs of Chicago and before I was three years old, moved to the San Fernando Valley outside of Los Angeles, perhaps the ultimate west coast suburbia, and then moved again to the deep suburbs of San Diego, itself acting as a kind of a large scale suburb to the larger and more Cosmopolitan Los Angles. I stayed in San Diego until I left for college (in the woods of Vermont) but even within that time frame, moved several more times, each move, seemingly further into the depths of new-build suburbia.

My father once came home drunk and accidentally entered a different house, owing to the fact that there were only three, maybe four house models in our tract, and they repeated themselves endlessly in mirror images of each other, carpeting the hills as far as the eye could see.

The towns we lived in all had idyllic, even mythical sounding names,  i.e. Woodland Hills, Del Mar, Leucadia, Encinitas, etc,. but were in fact masses of faux Spanish, beige stucco boxes that had been glopped onto Chaparral hillsides. I would commonly wake in the middle of the night to the solitary cries of the coyotes that our “communities” had unseated, and would peer out my bedroom window to see bands of them slowly meandering through the automatic sprinklers in the eucalyptus groves  and artificially green common areas that punctuated the otherwise uninterrupted blocks.

Both my parents had been raised in small Midwestern towns, but I think my mother, (an artist manqué), resisted suburbia most of all, in whatever small ways she could, mostly, I believe, related to the decoration of, aforementioned Spanish, stucco, spilt-levels. This must be how I got my hands and eyes on what I now consider to be the foundational text for me; Terence Conran’s THE HOUSE BOOK (and subsequently The Bedroom Book ,The Bathroom Book, The Kitchen Book, as well as any number of the many books that aped the House Book’s distinctive square format and casual style in the seventies and eighties.)

My Family is very small, and over the course of my youth we never lived in any one neighborhood or house long enough for it to become really imprinted on my mind as a “home”. This in combination with the fact that I was a fairly solitary/unhappy young person, spending the majority of my time alone in my room, made The House Book a kind of bible, a portal to other worlds, worlds consisting of the cluttered, bohemian, food and art filled interiors of city and country houses, with nary a suburban cul-de-sac in site.

The House Book was for sure the first place I ever saw the work of David Hockney, Frank Stella and the Bauhaus. The life depicted in the House Book was a veritable siren-song for me, promising a modicum of control through style and aesthetics, in a time when I felt especially powerless. It promised that at the end of the long beige tunnel of suburbia, shaggy bohemians awaited, sitting around long dining tables covered in psychedelically striped table cloths eating baguettes and drinking wine. Everywhere were exotic textiles, warm colored, wood filled kitchens, sunken living rooms, raised platform beds, supergraphic adorned walls, striped curtains, glorious messes and minimal pleasure domes. They residents of this magical land lounged on flokati covered daybeds in the nooks of A-Frames, they drank a lot, all of their stuff had specific (often color-coded) compartments or was spilled out in beautiful piles all over the floor, they loved stripes, they liked to sleep on the floor or way up high, THEY LOVED PLANTS! The kids and the adults were always hanging out together and they were all extremely mellow, colors complemented but more often than not, clashed, patterns (and styles) jousted loudly with each other, there were lots of ladders and secret compartments, most of the WORK spaces seemed created mostly to make ART, form and function seemed to melt into each other by way of play and relaxation, and the light was always warm and promising.

When I revisit the House Book as an adult (as I ritually do) I immediately feel the aura and energy of the intense scrutiny and desire that I invested into each spread, each image, even into the beautifully duotone, sans serif, table of contents. I find that I’ve secretly (or not) held it dear as an internal model for the development of my taste, aesthetics, (morals?) and even happiness.


Friday, December 27th, 2013

Milton Avery, Greenwich Villagers, 1946, Oil on canvas, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
Emperor Justinian and Retinue (detail), c. 547 CE, mosaic, Ravenna, Italy.
St. Pareskevi, Novogordian work of the early fifteenth century, Russian Icons, 1963.
Dress of a Young Woman, Vyškova, Moravia, Plate 24, National Costumes, 1939.
Young Buják Girl, Hungary, Plate 19, National Costumes, 1939.
Henri Matisse, Blouse Roumaine, Fond Rouge et Bleu, 1937,
With Apparent Ease… Henri Matisse, 1988.

The Mobile Sleeve, The Vogue Sewing Book, 1975.
Patricia Treib, The Mobile Sleeve (gray), 2013, Pastel on paper, 15 5/8 x 11 5/8 in.
Patricia Treib, Correspondence, 2012, Oil on paper mounted to panel, 15 3/8 x 11 3/8 in.

Patricia Treib was born in 1979 in Saginaw, Michigan, and lives and works in Brooklyn. She received an MFA from Columbia University in 2006 and a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2001. Solo exhibitions have been held at, Wallspace (2013), Tibor de Nagy Gallery (2012) and John Connelly Presents (2008). Selected group exhibitions include, MODERN TALKING, Cluj Museum, Cluj, Romania (2012); EXPANDED PAINTING, Prague Biennale 5, Prague, Czech Republic (2011); BESIDES, WITH, AGAINST, AND YET: ABSTRACTION AND THE READY-MADE GESTURE–curated by Debra Singer, The Kitchen (2009). Treib was a 2013 MacDowell Colony Fellow and a Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation grantee in 2007.


Friday, December 27th, 2013

— When I was younger I rode horses in Marin County, where I grew up. From about the age of 15-19 I worked and lived on my own in a trailer, on and off, at a horse ranch in Nicasio, CA. I consider those years an untouched golden era dedicated to freedom and youth, something completely unattainable later at any other time in a life.

Ruby Neri was born 1970, San Francisco, CA, she lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Her work was seen recently in Made in L.A. 2012, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; American Exuberance, Rubell Family Collection, Miami; and At Home/Not at Home: Works from the Collection of Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.


Friday, December 27th, 2013


Lodge Kerrigan lives in New York City. His films include CLEAN, SHAVEN, CLAIRE DOLAN, KEANE, and REBECCA H. (RETURN TO THE DOGS).


Friday, December 27th, 2013


— Just out of high school in ’69, my mother found a summer job waitressing at Claudia Sanders’ Dinner House in Shelbyville, Kentucky. There she would frequently see Claudia’s spouse Colonel Sanders, the man behind the lucrative Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise. My mother was “just a tiny thing” and as part of her job she would carry a huge tray with 7 or more large serving bowls, quite awkwardly and in full view of Claudia and the Colonel. Mother recalls one of her sisters coming to the restaurant to visit her with my two cousins, who were only 3 and 5 years old at the time. The children saw Colonel Sanders and asked if they could meet the white-bearded American icon, but were told that he was too busy. Apparently the Colonel overheard and made his way over to meet them saying, “I’m never too busy to talk to children.” A few years later, another cousin of mine worked for Colonel Sanders as his bodyguard; rumor has it that he got this job because his mother, my uncle’s wife, was somehow related to the man.

In 1979 I am born in Minnesota and a year later Colonel Sanders dies in Louisville, Kentucky, where I frequently travel as a child to visit my mother’s family.

In 1999 I go to Nepal for the first time and then every year thereafter, living there years to months at a time. Thanks to my involvement in the Sensory Ethnography Lab, I begin making films in Nepal in 2006. In 2009 I shoot As Long As There’s Breath, which is comprised of a series of vignettes of my adopted Nepali family alternately lounging and gossiping at home or working in the fields as day laborers. These scenes are loosely organized around brief conversations or references to the family’s teenage son who left home to join the Youth Community League, a militant political group. This son, Kamal, never appears in the film, although we see his younger brother, Lakshe, making a bed in the first scene.

That same year KFC becomes the first foreign fast food franchise to open in Kathmandu on Durbar Marg, a relatively wide street running in front of the former kings’ palace.

Not long after I complete As Long As There’s Breath, I learn that the older son Kamal has left the Youth Communist League to look for work in India. Whenever I ask what Kamal is doing, they say he’s found work as a security guard, although for what company and where no one seems to know. The family wishes they could have sent him to the Middle East where he might have gotten a cushy indoor job at a grocery store or restaurant.

To better my Nepali, I read newspapers in my spare time and peruse the want ads, where I frequently find calls for employment opportunities at KFC restaurants in the Middle East. Here are a couple examples:

While the first claims it will provide employees with “Free Ticket! Free Ticket!!” the second says, “Free visa! Free food!! Free housing!!!” The final interviews for the “Free visa! Free food!! Free housing!!!” KFC opportunity are to be held on April 5th, 2012.

This very day I invite Bindu and her son Lakshe to Pokhara. I rent a boat and shoot Bindu as she attempts to paddle while seated at the stern. She talks about her domestic troubles and increasing concerns about her two sons. We hear the female Nyāuli bird singing its mournful song in the Rani Ban, or the Queen’s Forest, along the edge of the lake. Bindu tells me that in their previous lives, Nyāuli females were young brides who died not long after their wedding day, before they could return to visit their mother and father’s village. Forever separated from their childhood home and their beloved, they are doomed to cry out in longing for them deep within the forest.


Last I heard, Lakshe too had gone to India and is now likely somewhere in Bombay. The family doesn’t seem to know what kind of work he has found.

I have never been to the Kentucky Fried Chicken in Kathmandu, but know that shortly after I returned to the States from Nepal in 2012 that it was closed temporarily because employees had threatened to kill the manager.

Stephanie Spray is a filmmaker, anthropologist, and occasional phonographer. She has been working and teaching in the Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard University since 2006. Her most recent film MANAKAMANA (co-directed with Pacho Velez) won first prize in competition at the 2013 Locarno Film Festival and led to a nomination for an Independent Spirit Award.


Friday, December 27th, 2013

In 1989, when I was ten years old, my thumb was crushed in an amusement park accident. The digit was unrecoverable. In a subsequent surgery the great toe from my right foot was removed and grafted onto my hand.

Lucas Blalock was born in 1978 in Asheville, North Carolina and lives and works in Los Angeles and New York. Recent exhibitions include, ID, ED, AD, OD, Ramiken Crucible (2013); NEW PICTURES OF COMMON OBJECTS at MoMA PS1, New York (2013); SECOND NATURE: ABSTRACT PHOTOGRAPHY THEN AND NOW, at DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA (2012-13); and TOWARDS A WARM MATH, curated by Chris Wiley, On Stellar Rays, New York (2012). WINDOWS MIRRORS TABLETOPS was recently published by Morel books.


Friday, December 27th, 2013

For me the most significant moment in my life occurred as a boy, in my home town of Lucca, Italy, when the Allied forces bombed my home and village. It is certainly the defining influence on my artistic vision. Here is a poem I wrote in 2006 about this event.

Click to view.

I also did some watercolors, while under Nazi occupation. At 14 I painted one of my mother, the church in my neighborhood and the farmers working with the wheat. These works survived the war and I was reunited with them in 2003 when my cousin gave me a shirt box full of my early works.

MOTHER, 1944 (during Nazi Occupation), watercolor on paper.
Courtesy of the artist and James Cohan Gallery.

Aldo Tambellini was born in Syracuse, NY in 1930. He lives and works in in Boston, MA. Tambellini was among the first artists in the early 1960s to explore new technologies as an art medium. Tambellini combined slide projections, film, performance, and music into sensorial experiences that he aptly called ELECTROMEDIA. His BALCK FILM SERIES has been recently restored by Harvard Film Archive.


Friday, December 27th, 2013

Paris, le 10 octobre 2013 – J’ai tout mis sur la table…*

* Work in progress : project for Karma edition – New York


Bernard Piffaretti is based in Paris. Exhibitions in 2013 include: Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles; Klemm’s, Berlin; Frank Elbaz, Paris; Herald St, London; Krinzinger, Vienna.


Friday, December 20th, 2013

— Like many, I was saved by music as a child. It lifted me out of a bullied and tremulous adolescence, connecting me for the first time to like-minded souls. Through music, I discovered joy, community, and hope, not to mention an identity and the power of fashion! But I could neither strum a guitar, nor carry a tune, so I pursued art instead. Though art does some good in this world, it does it for so few. Music is the more powerful force. It’s easily available, infinitely portable, deeply memorable, and far more democratic.

In my travels across the city where I live, New York, I frequently encounter buskers. Stationed on dingy subway platforms, they tear me, willingly, from the all-business activity of getting from point A to point B. Last week I left a folksinger with a sign reading “HUNGRY, POOR, & SEXY” the four dollars in my pocket after initially passing him by in the long, lonely subway tunnel between 6th and 7th avenues. As I dashed the other way, fighting against the tide, I heard him yell, after fumbling his song, “That made me so happy, I forgot what I was doing!”.

I’ve heard Jesse Cohen perform on the platform many times. He’s always stirring, a big man with a tattered guitar and his eyes closed, playing unlikely, and possibly unprofitable numbers like Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You”.

When I was a teenager in the 80’s, my father would talk about a wonderful singer he enjoyed on Saturday afternoons while passing through Harvard Square. We lived in New Hampshire. My dad worked long hours as a plumber, but he had a passion for Tae Kwon Do. Every weekend he went to Cambridge to study with his friend and mentor Sukjong Chung. There he discovered a young woman, playing on the streets, who so transfixed him, he was often late for class. In 1989 while my twin sister and I were watching the Grammies he exclaimed, “that’s HER”. There was his busker, standing alone on center stage, finding her courage to get through a performance of “Fast Car”.

Today I’m vivified by the music of the people I love, like my husband Cheyney Thompson, and our friend, Sean McBride. They are Epee Du Bois and Martial Canterel.

Eileen Quinlan was born in 1972, in Boston MA, she lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Quinlan has participated in numerous group and solo shows, some of which include; CURTAINS, Miguel Abreu Gallery, NY (2013); TWIN PEAKS, Campoli Presti, London (2012); NEW PHOTOGRAPHY, MoMA (2012); LENS DRAWINGS, Marian Goodman Gallery, Paris (2013); THE CAT SHOW, White Columns, NY (2013); BLIND CUT, Marlborough Gallery, NY (2012); ACCROCHAGE, Miguel Abreu Gallery, NY (2012); SECOND NATURE: ABSTRACT PHOTOGRAPHY THEN AND NOW, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, MA (2012); PRINTED, Mai 36in, Zurich (2012).