Sunday, November 30, 2008

painting of the day

irish painter - ciaran murphy

floating stick

he's hit or miss, but when he's hit, chang

Monday, November 24, 2008

adult contemporary

Photoshop CS: 110 by 72 inches, 300 DPI, RGB, square pixels, default gradient "Spectrum", mousedown y=1098 x=1749.9, mouse up y=0 x=4160

one of my favorite artists, cory arcangel just opened his new show @ team gallery (one of my favorite galleries) check it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Great plains, graffiti, American history, animals, plant life and colored pencils. Howdy, Michael Krueger!

1. Michael, tell us a bit about Chief Red Cloud's feathered beaver hide top hat?

Chief Red Cloud was a Sioux Indian Chief during the downfall of the Sioux empire and the ultimate relocation to the reservations in South Dakota. In 1871 Chief Red Cloud visited Washington DC to meet with President Ulysses S. Grant to negotiate violations of the Treaty of 1868. Red Cloud was a seminal figure in the Sioux Indian resistance. He upheld the belief that ‘the land’ did not belong to anyone, that the land was a living spirit and was not to be owned, sold or violated in anyway. Red Cloud is, (for me) an inspirational anti-hero from American history. There is a lot more to be said about Red Cloud but you asked about his hat. Red Cloud had a beaver hide top hat complete with a bloom of eagle feathers crafted for his visit to Washington DC.

When I was a student at the University of South Dakota, one summer I worked for the University Museum and was charged with retrieving certain Indian artifacts from Pine Ridge Indian Reservation for an exhibition. One of the artifacts that I retrieved was Chief Red Clouds Hat. The shear power of this simple elegant object has stayed with me for all these years and a hold out to one of the most influential experiences in shaping my social and political view of the world.

As I drove back from the dismal dry land of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation with a van full of artifacts I passed through town of Fort Randall and over the Fort Randall Dam. Red Cloud’s hat beamed with energy and conjured a quiet and gentle euphoria in me. It was a truly beautiful and powerful object. As I passed through Fort Randall I experienced the most entrancing sunset. It was as if I was inside the sunset and I was fully enveloped by the color and clouds of the setting of the sun. It’s really one of those experiences that defy description. I stopped the van and sat in awe until I was consumed by the darkness of the prairie. Years later I made a drawing of Red Cloud and the hat and I have continued to make drawings about American history and my own personal history. Being a visual person and someone who appreciates the power of objects, Red Clouds hat facilitated a deeper understanding of American history and lead me to become passionate about resurrecting and reshaping our understanding of history and my own personal history.

2. There is a definite kind of dust bowl/great plains/ westward expansion/ ol' timey feel to your work. And you have lived in the midwest your whole life. How did this geography and its history find it's way into what you are doing? What are some other influences/ parts integrated into your work?

Living in the Midwest, the vastness of the prairie has a penetrating impact on your consciences. I have great love and appreciation for the prairie and I know it has influenced my work, along with all of the rich and bizarre histories of this region. The outlaws and anti-heroes have always fascinated me.

Also, I have the fondest memories of visiting places like Boot Hill Cemetery in Deadwood and trudging through the lush rock terrain of the Black Hills, or soaking up the humidity in the Wisconsin Dells.

Other influences are pretty diverse – everything from Goya to Norman Rockwell and from Bob Dylan to Dan Deacon. Consuming contemporary art is a passion, I am of the belief that artists today should be hyper aware of what is going on right now. Some of the artists that I am following include; Sam Durant, Amy Cutler, Chris Johanson, Jo Jackson, Enrique Chagoya, Don Ed Hardy, Carl Fudge, Travis Millard, Scott Teplin, Alex Kvares, Kathryn Spence, Jenny Schmid, Daniel Guzman, Collier Schorr, Cary Leibowitz, the list goes on and on. The work that influences me is also often work that confirms the value of my own work, that there is something in the air that constitutes a movement or rather simultaneity of thought.

Aside from contemporary sources I do look at great deal artists from the past. Goya has without a doubt had a profound influence on my work. I am also influenced by a lot of non-art sources such as the things that I collect, personal experiences, relationships, and revisionist history. I have been collecting stuff for years. Stuff like my record collection and album cover art has as much weight, for me, as any other sources of inspiration.

3. So you went through the bfa - mfa routine. what was your work like back then in comparison to now, how did that progression play out.

This is funny because one of my students just asked me the other day what my art was like in graduate school. I told him about a piece that I made that grew out of an addiction to collecting cameras and a fascination with Joseph Bueys and alchemy. I set up a dozen or so cameras on and around a swamp and in the dead of night I proceeded to trudge around the swamp like a delusional shaman. The camera, with shutters open, recorded my ghostly presence. I was also making sculpture, prints and some encaustic paintings. The work that I make now and works from the past, including the swamp piece, are about sorting out a connection with the land, memory, history and the dispossessed experience that we have with the natural world and our history on the earth.

Both of my degrees in art were ultimately very important to my development as an artist. Mostly because I was fortunate to have exceptional and compassionate professors and because I had time to make things, fail, try again and wander around in swamps.

4. Another reason your work stands out to me is the use of and choice of the medium. You seem halfway between tight and loose, and most your drawings are very elaborate. How do you see your technique and imagery relating? Also, your color palette is really weird, why the color choices? Do you just us colored pencil?

Oddly enough, I think that my current colored pencil drawings are informed by years of making etchings and lithographs. They have a very print quality to them, even down to the way that I pierce the paper with the line. I made a very aggressive return to drawing about 6 years ago partly because my ideas were coming so fast that I could not be slowed down by other more process oriented media. Right now I am just using colored pencils, for me there is a kind of punk naive quality to the colored pencils drawings while also having a ninetieth century Courier and Ives vibe. The color in someway supports the narrative psychologically and emotively, I can’t really describe how I choose the palette it just gets sorted out in the ‘making’.

5. So your drawings kind of break down into some different categories per se, you have your portraiture, your text based landscape stuff and your more kind of narrative-esque pieces. Are you more partial to a particular series? Do you see them as a singular body of work or do they operate more individually?

I have embraced different modes of making these drawings but really I see them as all very related and each building on the next pieces or the next series. I work somewhat in a series with the drawings but most recently I feel like I am wandering and folding together the things that I have learned from past pieces.

6. You are a very busy guy. Family man, professor, exhibiting and making work, curating, etc.... how do you find time to do everything well? Also, i find a lot of artists that i am into are also teachers and a lot of them aren't. How does teaching affect you personal artistic endeavors?

Being a father is easy, because you just love your child so much that it doesn’t seem like work, but of course it does take a lot of energy. I must say that I can’t imagine not being a parent and I know that there is nothing else in my life that has brought more to my creative practices than being a father. Simply because caring for someone else and having a parental bond with another human opens ones heart and mind to the world in a way that nothing else will ever do.. is that sappy enough for you? As for teaching and being an artist, this is a really balancing act. I have always tried to maintain rigorous studio practices, I know that I am a better teacher because I am fully committed to my own work and that I push myself to be out there with my work. If you are going to survive in academia you have to figure out pretty quickly how to get into your studio and conjure the kind of creative intensity that you need to make stuff at a moments notice.

For me my creative life needs to include a variety of activities, making contributions to the greater community of artists through conferences, lectures, panels, demonstrations, curating and ‘just sharing’ is very important to me. This kind of engagement is copasetic with academia, but of course there is tedium to institutions that can be pretty annoying.

7. You work a lot with OSP how did you get shacked up with those folks? Tell a little bit about the group show you are in right now, Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll.

I got involved with the Steven Zevitas Gallery through his publication New American Painting. He put my drawing of Thomas Jefferson on the cover and later contacted me about showing in his gallery. Steven has really been great to work with, you couldn’t ask for a more honest genuine person to handle your precious artworks. He has been amp’ing up his curatorial projects and recently put together a kick ass show called “Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll”. Peregrine Honig, John Copeland, Allison Schlunik, Wes Lang and a handful of other likeminded artists are in the show.

8. So word has it that this Thomas Jefferson piece found it's way to Monticello? How'd that happen?

A few years ago I had a show in Charlottesville Virginia. I made a few pieces that dealt with early American history and Thomas Jefferson. I made a drawing of Jefferson pushing a shopping cart; he was of course a shop’aholic. The gallery liked this image so much that they commissioned an etching based on the drawing. A copy of the etching was acquired by Monticello. I got to meet the recently hired curator and get a behind the scenes tour of Monticello. The curator had just published a book with revisionist recounts of Jefferson, one of which made the assertion that he had a problem with shopping. And he was, and in many ways a model of how we live today, in debt, beyond our means at the expense of others.

9. Name drop list…

There is a great music scene in and around Lawrence Kansas, so going to see live music has been influential and inspiring, recently I have seen Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Casitone for the Painfully Alone, Emperor Moth, Drakkar Sauna, Charlie Parr, Man Man, Jolie Holland and Animal Collective, among others.

Also, I have been obsessively checking out documentaries from library. Some really great ones that I have seen recently are “Gimme Shelter”, “Sir, No Sir”, “Burden of Dreams”, “The War Tapes”, “Homecoming”, “Salesman”, and “Hell House”.

10. Anything noteworthy/mentionable coming up in the future for you??

One of my prints is in the Nov./Dec. Art On Paper, included as part of the “New Prints Review” issue. Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop in New York published the print. It is from an on-going series of prints that appropriate notes, images, tardy slips and other ephemera from my high school notebooks, with new images inserted. These works are a strange collaboration with my past self and reflect on the history of my youth, namely growing up in the wake of the Vietnam War.

The art auction season seems to be in full bloom, I have donated work to the WFMU radio station auction to be held at Printed Matter (New York, NY) and the International Print Center of New York auction. In February I am going to Honolulu to give a printmaking workshop and jury a show for the Honolulu Printmaking Society. In March I will have work in two shows in Chicago in conjunction with the Southern Graphic Council Conference hosted by Columbia College. In the fall I have a solo show at Steven Zevitas Gallery, Boston and a residence at Djerassi Resident Artists Program in Woodside, CA (outside of San Francisco).

What I am most excited about is my upcoming sabbatical from teaching next semester and the new studio that we rented, (me, my wife and son all have space in the studio to make work). I plan to draw every day!

11. Invent something right now, what is it?

I would like to invent a machine that would allow me to put pen to paper on one letter while simultaneously creating a duplicate letter.

the new dark ages

just got this in the mail
ben jones always brings the ruckus

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

screenprint for the day

mirror friends


sumi ink club

ARH lecture tonight

DePaul University Department of Art, Media & Design presents:
Amanda Ross-Ho visiting artist presentation
Thursday, November 13, 2008 6pm
DePaul Art Museum
2350 N. Kenmore
Chicago, IL 60614

This event is co-sponsored by Asian American Studies and Women's and Gender Studies

Amanda Ross-Ho received her BFA in 1998 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2006, she received her MFA from the University of Southern California. Her work has been seen in recent exhibitions such as the 2008 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York) and the Depositions at Galerie Francesca Pia (Zurich). Upcoming exhibitions include the 2008 California Biennial at the Orange Country Museum of Art (Newport Beach, CA); the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (Atlanta); Mitchell-Innes and Nash (New York) and the Approach (London). She shows locally with Western Exhibitions.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

new drawing #1

i have some new drawings, here is one.

10.5 x 15in
where poison come from
pencil on paper

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

c-print of the day

When Right is Left 2005
4" x 6" c-print

Siebren Versteeg

Monday, November 10, 2008

sculpture of the day

sterling ruby

seriously, what the fuck is going on in this guys head?

for your HEALTH

if you have nothing to do wednesday evening come join me @ AV-aerie 2000 w. fulton for an evening with HEALTH, oakeater, & soloing over alanis morrisette.

click here for quick chat i did with HEALTH

Saturday, November 8, 2008

one minute and ten seconds of your time please

you have a conscience right? please take a minute (probably less than) to aid our fellow brothers and sisters on the west side. all you need to do is sign! repeal prop 8



photos off the tv - kathy grayson

collage of the day

hisham bharoocha (see show below) photography and collage by former black dice and lightning bolt member

Friday, November 7, 2008

Polymathic Persons

michael krueger

please visit

check back soon for interview and other interactions

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

painting of the day

poetry slam
eric lebofsky
8x 10 gouache on panel

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

fly lo

thirtyfive minute mix by flying lotus. Free!

carl baratta interview

The Faithful Protector (After Nick Englebert)
Egg Tempera On Clay Board
30"x30" – 2008

Greasy triangles, weird space, Japan, palette theft, and a touch of insight on his new series of paintings that compose Light up and Be Wonderful, his first solo endeavor with WX. Meet Carl Baratta.
(click on images for large view)

Sail Into Your Bones
Egg Tempera On Clay Board
30"x30" - 2008

1. Hello Carl, tell us a little about yourself. What's your story?

I moved to Chicago about 5 years ago from Philly to go to The School of The Art Institute of Chicago for grad school. I didn't know if I'd stick here afterwards but I ended up meeting a bunch of awesome people and got hooked into the local art scene. Plus this town makes a mean sandwich. The pizza is terrible. I'll take a greasy triangle over anything Chicago says is pizza. I mean what's up with squares? Out of all the shapes I imagine squares to be the second least appetizing.

Magic Bloodbath
Water Based Media On Paper
22" x 30" - 2005

2. Okay, I've seen a selection of you work ranging from 2005 up until now. First the five solo shows thing, then the split show with Iva last year, and then some newer images. Could you talk a little about how the work has changed since then?

I think with each show I try to show a different angle on the work. Like this time around I'm focusing more on who and where my source material comes from. The biggest shift from the earlier work to now is how I'm thinking about color as it relates to the subject matter. Before I looked towards the blushing colors in Indian Miniatures to run a sort of counter point to the weird and sometimes gory imagery I tend to gravitate to. Now I'm thinking more along the lines of color as light. And I want it moody and dark to compliment the imagery.

Untitled Gold, Look Back In Anger
Water Based Media On Paper
16" x 21.5" - 2006

3. You had a solo show in Japan. How was that experience professionally and non?

Tokyo was awesome. One of my best friends, JJ Pakola, an awesome painter BTW, lived there with his wife Mayumi and let me crash there while the show was going on. I met a bunch of local artists that went to Tokyo Gaidai, which is the school that people like Nara, Mariko Mori and Takashi Murakami came out of. In fact, their mentor/ teacher showed up to my opening as well. He's a dead serious guy and I think he thought I was a goof ball. But he seemed to like the work. No one really wanted to talk about giant monsters (unless we were out drinking sake) everyone wanted to yap about color. It was great. I also met a Sumo wrestler.

'Straw Hands Thread Fingers Pitch'
Egg Tempera On Clay Board
30"x30" – 2008

4. How do you go about creating these paintings? Where do you draw your ideas from, what inspires these pieces?

I'll use anything I can get my hands on to make paintings I want to see in the world. I love a wide range of stuff and I write a bit too. But some of my influences specifically are Glam Rock, Kung-Fu movies, Miniature painting (Persian & Moghul are my favorites), Mid West visionary art in a wide range of materials, Alchemy prints, Ultraman.......... anything in front of my face... and especially my friends! I try and use things in ways they haven't been used. You'll never see my super creeps acting ironic or goofy.

'Shine On Forever! 2'
Egg Tempera On Clay Board
32"x24" – 2008

5. The narrative aspect of these images is really bizarre, as is the color and spatial aspects. How did these characteristics arrive in the work?

I think it's important to research why certain images have one type of spatial convention and another has an entirely different one. There are several reasons I've found but the big one for me is a space's social implications. As a viewer I like having the freedom to let my eye wander. Persian miniatures, as an example, let you do just that. You can see the whole story at once. The space is paper-thin; a person couldn't possibly enter it. We're not meant to because it's a mythological space; it's a place for story telling. It's as every much as 'real' a way to experience story telling as, say, Albrecht Dürer's camera lucida. Standing in one specific spot to watch the world unfold is weird, over baring and too controlling for me. Weird tumbly spaces help keep everything active and like you said, bizarre. As for color, I totally steal palettes from paintings I think look awesome. To me it's another layer of referencing. It's another way of giving shout outs to all the great paintings and drawings I see.

6. What are your thoughts on Chicago comparatively to everywhere else you've experienced?

I've been coast-to-coast and abroad and the best thing about Chicago artists is that, compared to anywhere else, they aren't afraid to let it all hang out. What I'm saying is we're badass.

Forgotten Hills
Water Based Media On Board Mounted on a Frame
48"x48" - 2007

Forgotten Hills
Water Based Media On Board Mounted on a Frame
48"x48" - 2007

7. What's Light Up and Be Wonderful all about?

It's a smash up of Mick Ronson and David Bowie lyrics. It's not about smoking weed.

8. Things you consider grand right now?

Favorite contemporary band is definitely Frog Eyes. Favorite all time band ties with T-Rex and early Bowie.

I have a painter crush on Jim Lutes' work. People to keep an eye/ ear out for in no particular order: Isak Applin, Jeremy Somer, Bob Reinard, Deb Sokolow, Justin Cooper, David Ingenthron, Iva Gueorguieva, Phil Welcome, Amy Mayfield, Dan Schank, JJ Pakola, Dave Snyder, Adam Eckberg, Jenny Kendler, Todd Chilton, Ruth Cook and Ollie Southgate.

Painters. Writers. Sculptors. Photographers. Performance Wizards. Mad men.

Failed out of Autumn
Water Based Media On Paper
26"x30" – 2007

Light Up and Be Wonderful opens October 17th @ Western Exhibitions