Thursday, March 20, 2008

oskar's thought

What if the water that came out of the shower was treated with a chemical that responded to a combination of things, like your heartbeat, and your body temperature, and your brain waves, so that your skin changed color according to your mood? If you were extremely excited your skin would turn green, and if you were angry you'd turn red, obviously, and if you felt like shiitake you'd turn brown, and if you were blue you'd turn blue.

Everyone could know what everyone else felt, and we could be more careful with each other, because you'd never want to tell a person whose skin was purple that you're angry at her for being late, just like you would want to pat a pink person on the back and tell him, "Congratulations!"

Another reason it would be a good invention is that there are so many times when you know you're feeling a lot of something, but you don't know what the something is. Am I frustrated? Am I actually just panicky? And that confusion changes your mood, it becomes your mood, and you become a confused, gray person. But with the special water, you could look at your orange hands and think, I'm happy! That whole time I was actually happy! What a relief!

--My favorite excerpt from Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

THE scrapbook to end all scrapbooks

THIS box was waiting for me in the lobby of my building when I got home from work today. Ohhhhhh, boy! A box this size doesn't often land on my doorstep, so I was thrilled to get it inside and rip it open.I had an inkling it was from my Aunt Joycie, who wrote me a couple of weeks ago and asked if I'd be interested in her grandmother's scrapbook. Now, when someone offers me anything from their grandmother (or grandfather or old uncle or great-relative...), I jump at the chance of being the receiver of goods! Joycie told me she and her mother used to sit down together and spend hours looking through the book, turning each page carefully and talking bout what the stories might be behind each piece saved.
I carefully peeled back the cardboard edges and, I don't know if it was on purpose or not, when I opened the box, the first thing I saw, almost like it was sneaking out to say 'hello' was this tin-type photo.
I need to ask Joycie if one of these three women is her grandmother. I only own two tin-type photos, so I will add this to my tiny collection of "most important" things. On continuing to open the box, I came to the prize itself. This is the cover of what I'm now calling 'the original scrapbook' scrapbook. This woman didn't just save things and toss them between pages. She lovingly pasted stories together.
I couldn't stop taking photos of the pages, but knew I had to....So, here's a few to start with...

I'm actually quite speechless about the whole thing. If you're a paper lover like me, this is something you search for at every estate sale, flea market or antique store you go to...and here it is, page after page, filled with these old german cut out cards, and fur-lined dresses on women, and old soap ads that are actually photos turned into postcards....

I've got hours ahead of me to spend peering into these pages. And, all the while, I'll be thinking about Joycie's grandmother, too.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

small world, big work

It's really fantastic, this flickr thing and blogger and etsy, all of it available to the whole world. But, it's a whole 'nother thing keeping up with it all! I'm really wrapping my head around an etsy shop (coming soon) but need to take really good photos of my work. In the meantime, I've just completed the feat of putting photos up on flickr. Not a huge task, but one i'm glad i've got under my belt for today!

I never did blog about the solo show I had at Candystore, A Certain Destiny...but some of my friends did... Thank you Ashley, Thank you Danica!

It was a wonderful experience, a really great night, a super turn out, a family-affair, and I sold a whole lot of work that night and thru that month. So, I figured, a picture is worth a thousand words, I'll leave it at that. You can see photos here.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Bloomin' Excellent!

To whom it may concern:
It is springtime. It is late afternoon.

--Kurt Vonnegut

I've recently pulled out my cannon AE1 (thank you, pop!) and started shooting again. The weight of the camera, the loud click when a photo snaps, looking through the lens and actually setting up what you're seeing to capture it just the way you'd makes it all worth it. Here are some fruits of my (enjoyable) labor. Click on any of the photos to see them bigger in another window.

And you can see more photos from my spring fling in good ole SF, here.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Mira y Recuerdo

I was riding the bus this week and just behind the driver, sat another driver riding as a passenger. A little boy got on the bus and was being totally belligerent to his mother (who really was letting herself be walked all over like a doormat). This bus-driver-as-passenger watched this kid, aghast, tearing apart bits and pieces of the bus. When it was time for them to exit the bus, the kid stood adamantly in the door screaming bloody murder for a "libelo" (well, that's what it sounded like to me). The bus driver, very good natured, kept trying to figure out what he wanted--a rubber band? a coin? another ride? what?! He finally held out a transfer/ticket to the kid and the hysterical crying stopped on a dime. Transfer in hand, he happily exited the bus and those of us who'd been waiting it out, well, we were finally on our way.

"man..." said the observer-driver-as-passenger

"I know, man, it's the clientele! When I have to psyche myself up to come to work, it's not because of the job, man, it's the clientele!" said the driver

"Well, sitting back here watching it all, it becomes very's the clientele!" said the driver-passenger

They threw that idea back and forth for awhile longer, much to my amusement. I agree!, I wanted to shout out to them, it's always the clientele!

Everywhere you go, as long as you are very, very observant, you start to realize it's not always the experience itself, but it's the people around you, who you're having that experience with, that makes it what it is.

photo taken from here.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Hare and The Hounds

We got down to bid-ness last weekend with the Hare and Hounds show. It was a perfect day for a gallery, art-scavenger hunt. Curated by two very clever local boys, mike and dave, this was a show for the masses. 50 different artists created a piece of work to hang on one wall of the gallery. This piece was to show the public what kind of work you generally do. Then, we each made another piece of work to hang somewhere in the Mission District, in public, and devised a map to go along with it. Whoever decided they wanted to find that second piece of art, bought the map and went a-hunting for it! The hunt started at noon, and I got there at noon-o-two, i think, and my map was gone! I was thrilled, of course, but we all waited with baited breath...wondering who bought it, what he'd think, would he follow all the instructions?

I made a map that was like a little book with two sleeves inside. The book cover I used was called "The Hunting of the Snark" (so i decided to call my "public" piece of artwork 'the snark'). It came with a polaroid camera and the buyer was instructed to have photos taken of themselves along the way. I "hid" my piece just two doors down from the gallery, in the corner bodega, that's owned by this really fantastic family.

I had gone in to the bodega that morning to ask Mohammed if it would be okay for him to be part of this. His job was simple: in a few hours or so, someone, a man or woman, would come in and show him a card that says, "thats for me" and he would hand them the piece of artwork. The person then had to take his/her photo with them. He was into it. The plan was set!

So, even though my piece was close to the gallery, I wanted my map buyer to have an adventure. Get to know the city a little better. So, I sent them on a many-stopped tour of about six blocks and rounded them back to where they started.
Here are some highlights from the map I made:
the inside of the book had one pocket with the instructions, and another pocket with a tie, to store all the polaroids, once they were shot

(you can click on any of the photos and see them bigger)
He had to go into Candystore on 16th street and give them a ticket, and they handed him an old jack of diamonds card clothespined to a little velum envelope, inside that, I'd typed on an old journal page: 'in the game of hearts, jack of diamonds is a really, really good card'
when he went to Adobe bookstore, he had to find a certain book, open it to page 88...where he found this note (below) tucked inside

I truly lucked out with my 'art patron', who's name is Dave. When I met him at the end of his hunt, with art piece, map/book, and polaroid camera in hand, he was smiling from ear to ear. And so was I. It was really thrilling to hear him tell me about his trip and how he'd never been in Adobe Bookstore before & loved it. And how, at one point in my instructions, he was to write his name in chalk on the sidewalk (but I'd forgotten to include chalk!) and he looked down and there was a tiny piece of chalk on the ground...he picked it up and wrote, dave was here. He showed me all his photos and then turned the map/book, and piece of work back into the gallery.

You, too, can enjoy the fruits of others labor: All work will be hanging in the gallery thru the 22nd of March.

*The polaroids above are just a sampling from my day, not shots from Dave's hunt. But I hope to get to the gallery and take photos of all the great work there!*

Thursday, March 13, 2008

happily ever after...

It was RK's birthday last week and I wanted to make him something, because there's really nothing I could buy for him that he couln't buy for himself. That makes mass-consumption-goods not quite as exciting. So, I had been given this little metal bike by my friend mike and he told me I absolutely had to make something with it. I knew right away I'd make a box piece for RK.

Bikes play a pretty big part in our relationship.
In NY, I used to ride my bike over to his work on a weekly basis and always felt like an explorer as I set out on my adventures to talk to the boy I crushed on. When we were dating, we'd spend most weekends riding around the city, with no real destination, just the wind blowing through our hair. There's a series of photos, somewhere, that we took of each other while riding. We look so young, so carefree. And when RK came over to my apartment for the first time we made dinner together, he walked into my living room and saw this huge bike painting and he thought he was either being set up by the FBI (we had too many beautiful things in common for it to be real, it seemed) or that he'd just met the woman he was going to marry. Lucky for me, the FBI fear faded quickly, and the marriage wasn't far off.

So, for his birthday this year, I made him this:

it says, "this is a story of a boy and a girl, who fell in love because of a bicycle"
and you turn the scroll to reveal the bike...
you turn the scroll again (it's a two handed kind of thing) and it says, "...and they lived happily ever after"

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Fair, Inc.

I found this little scrap of paper on the floor of one of my fourth grade classrooms. It was too good to pass up. A simple question deserves a simple answer.