11/6/11

 QUILT
sewn fabric, oil paint, staples on stretcher bars
30x30cm

GOLD
Oil, pencil & turmeric on linen 
30x30cm

SCREEN
Oil, canvas, thread, eye hooks, stretcher bars
30x30cm


POINTS
Oil, chalk, charcoal on canvas
30x30cm


---
I've been quiet for a while, toying around with new ideas.


It's a slight departure, more towards a kind of "non painting."  I'm interested in designing the painting as a kind of object, and it seems a natural segue to abstraction.  I think it relates.  Work that looks experimental and not quite finished is always going to be what attracts me.

Note: GOLD was hard to photograph correctly, but the colors are more or less correct.  In POINTS, the square of the canvas contains another square tracing the actual stretcher bars using chalk.  It's hard to see in the photograph.

10/3/11

I figured out a wonderful new Japanese VPN for those living in China called Packetix.net, which is from a Japanese university.  I think they should have a Chinese website to help out citizens here who need a free internet.  Instructions for installation are here.  I struggled with paid and free services, and now that I got  to work, it's very fast and efficient.  Thank you Japan!

9/12/11

Our friend Emilie is visiting from Austria and, at the same time, Ariel's father Nelson is here as well.  The house is busy and alive and it feels wonderful.  Even Beijing's unseasonal cold and gray skies don't seem to affect it.  Pictures to follow.

Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of September 11th, and Story Corps created these extremely beautiful, sad animations that deserve to be watched.

9/5/11

untitled, oil on canvas, 20x30cm

---
Based on a 70s horror movie poster.  Faceless star explosion children.
Indian lemon pickles
---

A lovely, easy pickle that comes about from some experimenting.  This can be made with limes, but add an additional week.


6 lemons
1 1/2 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric

Cut each lemon into eight wedges, then halve these, making 16 equal pieces.  Add along with any juices to a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.  Add turmeric and salt directly to jar, cover and shake well until pieces are coated.  Set on windowsill and let sit for ten days, shaking each day.  

Lemons will extrude juices, which in turn marinate the skin and the mixture will darken over time.  After ten days, try a piece.  It should be completely edible and fairly soft.  The next step will be adding spices.

1 tablespoon red chili powder
1 tablespoon fenugreek seed, whole
1 teaspoon black mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
1 tablespoon palm sugar (jaggery)
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Add a tablespoon of oil to a small pan and fry whole spices and asafoetida until mustard pops.  Remove from heat and lightly crush in a mortar and pestle along with jaggery.  Add mixture along with chili and oil directly to lemons.  Cover and shake well.  Pickles can be eaten next day, although will be more mature in another week.  Eat with curd rice for something really delicious.


LET'S HEAR IT FOR RICHARD TUTTLE

(An example of someone I wasn't aware that I like as much as I do.  I played the documentary "Herb and Dorothy" for my class this morning, and they had some choice examples of his drawings and paintings.)

9/3/11

~Me, by Ariel. Taken a couple of weeks ago.~

8/27/11

untitled (Coral)
30x40cm
acrylic and oil on canvas
---



When my brother and I were young, our mom had a room installation in the house with neon abstract paintings, cut out images and wooden carnival animal heads.  It completely took over the entire space.  I'd love to recreate that feeling, but with a less skilled, more childish feel.

I know, this is a departure.  I've been working on several messy, bright paintings like the one above this week while listening to Maria Minerva.  I'm not 100% sure how I feel about this particular painting, but I really enjoy falling out of my very controlled zone.
Besides the fluorescent palette, I let technique go and replaced it with garishness.  Stippling, a technique I never use, has created piles of oil paint, making the surface very textural in a way I usually dislike.  The overall effect is a little Lisa Frank, drowning.  Or drunken Key West art walk.  Or Dade-County Youth fair. At best, maybe a Floridan Andreas Golder?

Thoughts?

8/25/11

I had a successful dinner party a couple of nights ago and wanted to share a recipe I've created.  The style of cooking is related to the Sichuanese stir fried chili and chicken cubes ( 辣子鸡丁), but with a distinctive Indonesian feel. Stir-fried dishes are really about timing, so pay attention to proper heat and cutting before you start cooking.  This is not an exact science, so play with the recipe a bit.
--- 


Stir fried chicken cubes in peanut sambal 
~you'll need~

* four chicken legs with attached thigh 
* 1/2 oil for frying
* About 4 heaping tablespoons of peanut sambal paste (try for a Thai or Indonesian brand at an Asian grocery.  Dry cakes are best.  Should contain such ingredients as lime leaves, chili, shallot, palm sugar) 

* teaspoon salt
* pinch of MSG (optional, but don't knock it!  It's magic with fried food) 

* 3/4 cup unsalted peanuts
* Two fistfuls asian shallot
* 1" piece of ginger, diced
* bit of green onion, green part, sliced in long pieces 
* 2 fresh Thai red chilis, split lengthwise


Using a sharp cleaver, break the chicken legs and thighs into bite sized pieces.  Most pieces will have a small bit of bone and meat attached: this is correct. Discard any bits of bone or skin that has come loose.  Do not add salt at this point, as it will dry out the meat.  

Heat oil in a wok on high heat.   Once oil is hot, add chicken in 4-6 small batches with a large slotted spoon. Chicken should cause the oil to "flare up" on contact.  Stir and fry until mostly cooked through, around 2-3 minutes per batch and set aside. Continue until all chicken is cooked. Remove oil from heat but keep in wok because you will refry soon.

Mix salt, msg and sambal paste in small bowl and set aside.  Peel and slice shallots, ginger and chili.

Once chicken has sat for at least five minutes, reheat the oil on high heat.  Refry all piece in small batches again.  The chicken fat from the previous frying that is in the wok will make the chicken pieces crispy.  Remove when chicken is cooked golden brown and yummy.  Next, fry peanuts until cooked and set aside.  Remove and reserve oil.

 Make sure all your cutting is done.  Heat one tablespoon of reserved oil on high heat in wok.  Stir fry shallots very quickly until they start to brown.  Add sambal mixture and cook in the oil.  Next, add ginger then splash in a 1/4 cup water to hot wok to prevent sticking and to bring up the flavors.  Then, add chicken and mix well with sauce, careful not to allow mixture to stick to bottom.  Add a tiny bit more water if needed.  Lastly, add peanuts and heat them up with the whole mixure.  Once water evaporates and sambal thickens, remove from heat and turn over on large serving tray.  Top with chopped green onions and lengthwise sliced chili.  Serve with rice and salad. 





NOTES
* do not substitute chicken breasts in this recipe, unless you enjoy bone dry little morsels!
* Strain out reserved chicken fat using a thin mesh strainer and save in fridge.  This is delicious when making stirfry and beats plain oil any day.

8/20/11

blue crystals
oil on canvas
60x50cm
--

Shiny, glittery, nonrepresentational.  I finished this in a few hours, giving it a choppy, effortless, thick-lined feel.

I'm not sure about how I'm titling these latest paintings.  Maybe I shouldn't just say what they should physically represent but rather allow it to be an abstraction?  "Untitled" is a bit harsh.  Ideas?

8/17/11


*~~* 
I made this tote bag from the pair of leftover wool trousers legs and a really cute hand held manual sewing machine.  Simple and a bit wonky, but functional.

8/15/11

artificial wood grain
chalk on primed canvas
30x30cm
---
Textural drawing, inspired in part by Chinese false wood grain ceramic pillows I'd seen at the national museum.

8/12/11

 feathers, lace, fur
oil and marker on canvas
60x50cm
---

This is a much larger, much more freely painted piece than I usually do.  It started off about two months ago as a more contained and realistic illustration based on a collage from Vogue magazine clippings.  However, I think this abstracted, monstrous result, finished in around two hours while listening to extra loud John Maus, is far more appealing.

8/11/11



Attn: Catalina

I made the suit pants into short shorts, as we planned.  Why am I so shocked?  Perhaps it was the 90 cent fee and high quality outcome.  Or perhaps it's just my milk white thighs. Hmmm...

8/10/11

Song Dong's bed frame maze, which spilled into another room
 HOTO, a tremendous pagoda bejeweled with gem-like LED counters

"Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust," in the main hall

 Ariel giving me peace signs, eerily

--
There is a very good show up at Ullen's that Ariel and I went to see featuring two very accomplished sculptors.

Song Dong is the current Chinese art world darling, and for good reason.  His large scale installations and sculptures made up of broken down Communist-era furniture are just so completely topical.  The unfortunately titled "Wisdom of the Poor" contains carefully arranged flotsam that is so evocative of the traditional Beijing hutong; arranged round bricks of coal, neat piles of spare wood, a carefully leaning piece of discarded furniture, which all lead to a maze like room composed of carefully stacked wooden frame beds.  A vitrine of soap cakes, artfully arranged in colorful, building block patterns, saved and appreciated, is every bit about poverty.

Japanese artist Tatsuo Miyajima had several aggressive LCD light pieces, the most affecting being another poorly titled piece, ("Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust") which was a large room simply covered in blinking counting down lights.  As they count down to one, they disappear, but seem to reappear twice elsewhere.  This adds up until a "critical mass" of lights is created, and they suddenly completely shut off plunging the entire room into darkness.  An affecting, spiritual piece.

8/5/11

This French collaborative piece features a metal ball that, when touched, enables the user to be "played" like a musical instrument when others then touch the user.  It encourages contact.

Spiraling powdered Styrofoam in an enclosed chamber, a la MSG Newness

--

The day after I got back to Beijing, I saw the electrifying Translife New Media art triennial at the China National Art Museum.  The work was so varied and is impressive that it's hard to describe it all.  Touch sensitive fiber optic sculpture, a deprivation chamber, music created by "reading" Amazonian electric fish, eerie windmills made of sand filled plastic bottles, moldy lemons that produce poetry.  I had this feeling of confused wonder that reminded me of when I used to visit the Miami Museum of Science as a kid.  Some pieces created a sort of mad scientist environment, complete with test tubes and dry ice.  (I saw a Korean artist at Pin gallery in 798 that had a similar but more "end of the world" feel with chipped scientific glass and metal equipment attached to wooden pulleys.)  This is really worth checking out.

7/23/11

lace patterns
marker and acrylic on wood

10"x10"
--


I made this in the Hollywood house while Chad and Cat's new doors were being installed.  It's based on old lace pattern drawings, which, out of context, form slightly generic, flowery, amorphous shapes.  I'm finding myself interested in this kind of abstraction.  Chad said it reminded him of a spice rack from the early 60s, made more complete with "marjoram" in cursive. 


7/20/11

video
Adoration of the Facades opening credits, 2005

---

I stumbled on this video on Chad's hard drive, which is something I did for some MSG project that was left uncompleted.  I barely remember doing it, but I kind of like it's potential.  It feels mean without tiring, conspicuous irony.

7/18/11

Felix Gonzalez-Torres mint

7/15/11


*~双~*
VISITS

  • Silvia came and left
  • So did Chelsea
  • Saw Daniel again
  • Cousins and aunt are down now
  • Chao, beyond all rational explanation, is coming to Miami
  • Also, the weather is beautiful

7/8/11

Witchcraft.  Inside I found a container of lamb fat that smelled just like Beijing.

Sizing up a discarded Haagen-Das freezer. Didn't take it.

 Well made dirty martini on C&C's porch.

Picking mangoes with mom. We got nearly thirty.

Tri-rail headed downtown.

Leif's lego camera.

Clean fishies.

Fried fishies.

 Strangely powdery cafe con leche at La Carreta.
 
Ariel's sandy shoulder.

Both at once?

Platanos maduros cooking in cast iron.

Redundancy in blue on Hollywood Beach

1856 with a filled, circular window
--



SOUTH FLORIDA is great, but summers are rainy.  America itself is quiet, poor and recession-y.  Miami is, as usual, love-hate.  I miss Beijing, mostly for it's ease of getting around and food, but the weather here is tropical, sticky beautiful-ness.  I've been reading, cooking, family-ing, playing with Leif, talking, perfecting martinis, fattening up, meeting friends and biking (when I get the chance).

7/6/11

Who wants to join me in an ashram in Kerala?  Costs are incredibly cheap, around $10-15 a day.  Maybe this upcoming winter?

6/20/11








Taken yesterday morning on my walk around Hollywood Florida

6/19/11

I'm in FLORIDA seeing family and trying to rest.  It's nice to talk to and be around artists.


Oh, but that Beijing feeling.  I already miss that crowded, everyday-on-top-of-everyone-else type of necessary communication in China, contrasted with football field length parking lots of lonely commuting.


Outside the house are house upon house.  Territorial.

6/16/11

diamonds
oil, glitter, rhinestones on canvas
30x30cm

6/5/11

paisley
oil on fabric
20x20cm


I've been attracted to paisley recently and have been trying patterned painting on pre-existing fabric.  (Like previous paintings "Pastoral" and "French Roses.")  Ariel said this painting is very Peter Max, but it's probably just because it's paisley.  The colors may be brighter than appear on screen.

After some thought, I'm just not feeling the last painting I posted.  I love the idea of "Franch Style"; a portmanteau of a noun and adjective, close but incorrect enough to be uncomfortable, but I want to try again for a more successful result.

5/30/11

franch style faguo fengge
acrylic, marker, oil and graphite on canvas
20x40cm

---
As I move into more messy, more aggressive and more graphic painting, I still feel that the work fits into the same context of other pieces I've created this year.  This painting, along with previous works like Pastoral and LV, are like failed luxury.  The bottom phrase Faguo fengge is the Chinese romanization of 法国风格, which means "French style," unlike the intentionally incorrect "Franch."

This weekend I saw a solo show from Spanish duo Bestue Vives in Magician Space in 798.  The work had a great, simultaneously clever and dumb humor that was completely infectious.  Above is a Dada art-asshole comedic piece, Acciones en Casa, which is well worth watching.

5/25/11

LV
gouache and marker on canvas
20x20cm

 paisley
Acrylic, marker and oil on fabric
30x30cm

torn checkerboard
oil and glitter on canvas
20x20

---
Three new paintings.  I've been looking at patterns, aggressive color combinations and design.