Wednesday, January 30, 2013

folk art on the Rock

Last weekend temperatures in the Yukon dipped back down into the -30s, relegating our little household indoors once again. We turned on the good old CBC and found a great piece on Newfoundland folk artist, Ben Ploughman.

What a treat. Down to earth and without artifice, it's a good reminder that one need not hold a PhD in artspeak or be a NYC gallery art-star in order to create work that is current, relevant, engaging and political. Better the opposite, to be true!

A few samples of Ben's work. Stop by his website and see more. Read about his encounter with former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson.

Fort MacMurray or Bust by Ben Ploughman

Grand Banks Yesterday and Today, Ben Ploughman

Up at the Cabin, Ben Ploughman

Monday, January 28, 2013

death and the artist

San Francisco MOMA is having a (posthumous, of course) exhibition of Garry Winogrand photography. Read about it here. Winogrand, considered one of the pre-eminent street photographers of the 20th century, died in 1984, leaving behind thousands of rolls of undeveloped film and thousands more unedited images. SFMOMA has selected some 300 images to print for its upcoming exhibit. I admire Winogrand's work greatly and of course I understand the excitement and enthusiasm about bringing some of these "lost" treasures to light for public exhibition. But I have to wonder, is it right? Now I have no idea what instructions if any Winogrand may have left with regard to his work. Perhaps there are those out there who are well positioned to make educated guesses as to his artistic intent - which images he himself might have chosen, how he would have wanted them printed, sequenced and exhibited. It just doesn't quite sit right with me. Sometimes maybe we just have to be satisfied with the gift of the works produced when an artist was alive. That there are fragments or embryos of works frozen in time is perhaps just part of the great bittersweet tragicomedy of life and art.

London Bus Stop from Women are Beautiful, 1967 Garry Winogrand

Sunday, January 27, 2013

mmmmm MOMA

Before I made the jump from Luddite to Luddite with an iPhone, I didn't have very many charitable things to say about all those damn Instagram photos on FB and the like. "If I wanted a Polaroid effect, I'd use my Polaroid camera," I was wont to complain. Well... I've since changed my tune. Instagram is pretty great. I'm someone who usually works with sets and staged images so it's kind of fun to take a break from that and practice some spontaneity. Plus I don't have to lug around my heavy beast of a camera.

Here are some images from our visit(s) to MOMA last fall. A very different experience this go 'round avec kids than it was years ago sans, let me tell you. If they look blurry, it's because I was pretty much running through the galleries. Oy vey.

gone (back to) the blogs

Once upon a time I used to blog pretty regularly in my "favourite things compendium", campaign to end neuro-muscular chauvinism. I used it to keep track of interesting discoveries, favourite artists etc. For the most part, I kept my own stuff out of it and used my website as my online portfolio.

Nowadays I find myself with an ancient website in need of an overhaul and an ever expanding collection of instagram images and works in progress with no place to go. So I've started this shiny new blog as a virtual artist's notebook to plunk down some of my own works in progress as well as tidbits of inspiration I come across.

Blogging seems downright retro these days but, retro seems to suit me. So there you have it. Stop by from time to time. Say hello if you're so inclined.

Here's a peek into my backyard. I'm staring at pretty much this same view right now, minus the sun. The temperature is hovering around -25C here in the Yukon this morning.