When Cathy Ward posted this vintage image of your humble blogger from that summer in Banff 30 years ago, I actually thought it was Sly Stallone as Cobra. At least one of us has gone on to sell a few paintings!
Like Rocky, most of Stallone’s paintings contain a restless, pent-up energy.
"Please Help!" 2019, Peformance, costume, LA-Z-Boy chair, live electronic processing of 30- minute stretched version of Solomon Linda's 1939 recording "Mbube"
as experienced at
Wealth Management hosted by Jeffrey Vallance
May 16, 2019
The second annual Financial Instrument™ group exhibition/art performance/noise music pop-up at Go Build Business in the bucolic Old West town of Chatsworth near the historic Santa Susana Pass nestled in California’s San Fernando Valley.
View, exhibit, and BUY experimental art of all genres and persuasions. Each participating artist will have their own corporate boardroom table for dynamic display of their visual art. A professional sound system will be available for experimental, liturgical, Cajun, and noise music. Live multimedia creations of investment-grade art will be continually projected on a large-scale theatrical screen. Well-heeled art consultants will head up embedded workshops on art acquisition, liquidation, and flipping.
Pathetic Art theory and practice, the abject, the sublime, the equine, the renegade, and the post-liminal will be foregrounded in presentations and discussions. Broaden your artistic girth and social network marketing skills and access creativity management tools! Our corporate staging platform will feature extreme performance artists and obscure polytheistic rituals. Experience Financial Instrument’s corporate slogan equation: ART + PEOPLE = MONEY. Again, join us for an evening of intervention and infiltration into the Corporate Global Art Economy.
Cover, Jeffrey Vallance’s reprinted edition of Blinky the Friendly Hen.
Eighties nostalgia is a sad and sick thing. In Dazed and Confused, Richard Linklater’s early-’90s exercise in ’70s nostalgia, the character Cynthia (played by Beck’s future wife!) explains her Every Other Decade theory thusly: “The ’50s were boring. The ’60s rocked. The ’70s, my God, they obviously suck. So maybe the ’80s will be like, radical. I figure we’ll be in our 20s and hey, it can’t get any worse.” This was a joke directed at those who actually lived through the ’80s, which sucked in ways Cynthia could have never dreamed of.
But there was another ’80s—an ’80s that sought to continue the legacy of the beat/hippie/punk countercultural continuum of idiosyncratic DIY creativity, and—although its structure was appropriately rhizomatic and globally dispersed—much of whose most compelling content emerged from California...
We won't be able to make the opening, but if anyone's jonesing to see a couple of M.A. Peers' classic giant dogs on found upholstery paintings (Princess of Silverlake Adjacent above & Collie below) and/or my previously unexhibited Dark Fudd Rising bottom, Molly Barnes has put them in the faculty show at West LA College Gallery opening tonight (Thursday April 11). Michael Arata apparently has an amazing piece - not sure if Gary Willoughby, Scott Davis, David DiMichele are in or not?
Here's my latest Artillery column which coincidentally starts with a shoutout to Tony Conrad, who would've turned 79 today. HBD Schmaltzy!
In Branden W. Joseph’s book, Beyond the Dream Syndicate: Tony Conrad and the Arts After Cage, Joseph precipitates his excursion into the minutiae of the early ’60s New York City avant-garde on Mike Kelley’s concept-like-thing of Minor Histories—a sort of counter-canonical reportage bringing to light overlooked moments in cultural history when long-lost underground communities crackled with oppositional synergy—often to the direct benefit of a handful of derivative but ambitious followers.
While Kelley’s Los Angeles Free Music Society (LAFMS) buddies have been given some serious attention along these lines, another LA art/experimental music collective was almost completely lost from the historical record until last year. World Imitation Productions (AKA WImP) are best known as the breeding ground of the cognoscenti’s favorite LA post-punk band Monitor—themselves almost forgotten until the 2013 re-release on the Superior Viaduct label of their sole self-titled 1981 LP. But the WImP collective initially flourished in an even more obscure subculture—that of quirky anonymous fliers, chapbooks, zines and mail-art communications.
Coalescing in the San Fernando Valley—Ground Zero of the festering suburban carnivalesque—WImP scavenged amongst the thrift stores, theme parks, UFO cult headquarters and record and bookstore bargain bins, collecting and recombining the semiotic DNA of sitcom reality into rich and strange mashups—not only in their Xeroxed collage publications, cobbled together from vintage magazine ads, obsolete civics schoolbooks, fallout shelter instruction pamphlets, religious tracts and so on but in Situationist anthropological expeditions to Disneyland, curatorial projects including exhibits of lost pet posters, thrift-shop art and the infamous “Fix-It-Up” show at LACE...
continue reading Under the Radar: Minor History Needs More Mining at Artillery or ATJ
Interior images from Afraid of Modern Living: World Imitation & Monitor, 1977–1982, by Antonio Beecroft https://soundsonpaper.com/
"A bona fide miracle occurred at the opening (on February 2, 2019) of the Blinky Exhibition at CSUN Gallery. An artwork by Erika Ostrander of the "Shroud of Blinky" was found weeping at the Blinky Show. The Shroud was profusely weeping directly onto a painting by Doug Harvey. The liquid later congealed, looking very much like dried blood stains. Some believe that it was the exhaled breath of gallery goers that condensed on the cloth shroud, the liquid building up until it started to drip. Others, like myself, felt that it was no coincidence that of all objects in the show it was the Blinky Shroud that was weeping."
See my brand new painting Nigel Poupee-Bothaugm, Whippet Detective, Persists Doggedly in his Investigation of the Mysterious Circumstances Surrounding the Death of Blinky the Friendly Hen, Yea Even Unto Beyond the Rainbow Bridge (2019), acrylic and enamel on canvas, as part of Free Range in memoriam of the 40th anniversary of Blinky the Friendly Hen's demise, alongside the most comprehensive exhibition on Jeffrey Vallance's signature artwork yet!
I don’t remember where I first ran across Phyllis Green’s artwork in Los Angeles -- but I remember the first time I included it in a show I was curating. It was at Chinatown’s INMO Gallery in 2001, and the show had the punning title Between Representation -- the main point being the fact that none of the artists, for various reasons, were currently part of a commercial gallery stable. Galleries come and go, and Phyllis was one of several firmly established art world figures I was able to include.
I was familiar with some of her then-recent work like the Turkish Bath series (1993 - 1996), which flirted shamelessly with ostentatious decoration and a hybridized sculptural materialism that introduced hi-tech polymers and flocking into a vocabulary ostensibly rooted in clay vessels.
I wasn’t quite prepared for the remarkable, ambitious piece that she installed -- a multi-component sculpture that conflated retail display and tonsorial vernacular in a seamless mashup interweaving art historical interrogation (Duchamp studies in particular), feminism, and her own sumptuous Postmodern formalism.
L12 (Duchamp Party) (2001) was basically a scaled-up steel replica of Duchamp’s 1914 Bottle Rack readymade -- the first true, unmodified readymade, consisting of a store-bought skeletal cast iron structure designed for drying recycled wine bottles after washing -- with flat clear acrylic discs mounted as platforms on the upright spokes of the drier.
On each of these was set one of Green’s then-current Spinning Head 360-degree hairdo sculptures -- featureless, inversely panoramic coiffures sometimes based on notable tonsorial models like aviatrix Amelia Earhart or the cartoon character Little Lulu, but in this case a “generic mid-length ‘do” cast in clay with graphically abstracted brown and black glazes (mimicking the colors and faux-wood assemblage of Duchamp’s 1912 painting Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 and related works) in an edition of 12.
The default interpretation of Duchamp’s Bottle Rack -- in light of the complex mechanically thwarted eroticism of his subsequent major works -- has been to see it as a sort of phallus tree, perpetually awaiting the arrival of its moist vaginal wine-bottle counterparts (I am not making this up!).
Though it didn’t occur to me at the time, I realized that Green’s configuration -- with the plastic discs forming a barrier between the rack prongs and the inverted wig vessels -- clearly echoes the prophylactic narrative of Duchamp’s masterpiece The Large Glass (1923) with its bride and bachelors locked in a perpetually frustrated choreography of amorous pursuit and ill communication...
Continue reading at Border Crossings (retitled The Contrarian’s Engagement: Current Figurations in the Art of Phyllis Green!) or at Phyllis' UL
It’s been getting harder to tell the difference between weird and normal lately. Case in point: the current flurry of activity documenting the burgeoning interest in an obscure sub-genre of lounge music, known as “Library” or “Production” music. In many ways, the music is about as “normal” as it gets—deliberately derivative, consummately professional, frequently anonymous, and generated in a pragmatic corporate context that in no way overlapped with the contemporaneous cult of artistic authenticity that plagued the recording industry from the ’60s to the ’80s.
In those days, serious popular musicians were expected to have an auteur-like sensibility that eschewed—or at least deprioritized—commercial formulas for idiosyncratic self-expression, often taking months to burnish their masterpieces to a suitable level of artistic perfection. The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper album is probably the prime exemplar of this aesthetic ideological position.
Library Music is the opposite. An explicitly commercial enterprise initiated by music publishing businesses, Library Music was generated by myriad (mostly European) companies who hired composers and musicians on a piecework basis to create prefab soundtrack music to be pressed onto very limited-edition sampler LPs (like 200 copies) which would be sent to film, television, radio and advertising companies who wanted bargain basement scores for their low-budget productions.
Continue reading UNDER THE RADAR: Library Music: More Weird, More Normal at Artillery or ATJ
Announcing the second of two new major interconnected FLASH FUDD art pieces debuting in separate LA group shows this month. I know I said three before, but the third show got garbled.*
Flash Fudd: Black Box (2018) is a prototype for a non-linear collage graphic narrative publication, presented in wall-mounted configuration as a work in progress, compiling approximately 80 of the book's 128 33 X 7 inch pages, each composed of acrylic, mixed media and collage on paper -- the trimmings from Daniel Hawkins'Desert Lighthouse investment certificate etching, with a prototype "binding" in the form of a handcrafted wooden case by Erik Knutzen and finished with aerosol rubber paint. FF:BB is included in Defining Detritusan exhibition curated by China Adams, who asked collage artists to create ultra-regional work using paper detritus they find in their homes, studios, and the Los Angeles neighborhoods where they live.
Opening night reception Saturday Sept 8 from 6-9pm. Show runs through October 6 at Arena 1 Gallery, 3026 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90405 310-397-7456
Gallery hours: Wed-Sat 12-6pm
Participating artists: Sandy de Lissovoy, Renée Fox, Jane Handel, Jacci Den Hartog, Doug Harvey, Seonna Hong, Jason Ellenburg Jones, Bernard Leibov (Boxo), John Luckett, Lilah Lutes, Nuttaphol Ma, Constance Mallinson, Marisa Mandler, David McDonald, Angela Stage, Don Suggs, Young Y. Summers, Jake Townsend, Ozzy Trujillo, Joan Weinzettle, Ewa Wojciak, Joan Wulf, HK Zamani, and Alexis Zoto
*The first piece is a sculptural assemblage with soundtrack called Dark Fudd Oracle, included in Dialectic of Being & Becoming: Realization of Fullness at Highways Performance Space @ 18th St. Arts Center, 1651 18th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404 through October 21, 2018 Keep an eye peeled, I may find an alternate venue for the third piece, Fudd Full Circle.
is included in Dialectic of Being & Becoming: Realization of Fullness
Curated by Khang Bao Nguyen
Highways Performance Space @ 18th St. Arts Center, 1651 18th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404
OPENING RECEPTION: August 18, Saturday, 5:30 - 8:00 pm
PERFORMANCE by MANNLICHER CARCANO 6:00 - 6:30 This exhibition and performance event investigate two perspectives on the realization of fullness: 1) maintaining a temporal self in order to Become consummate in the future, and 2) deconstructing the perceived self so as to realize the fullness of Being in the primordial now.
I've recently got my slide scanner up and running (for a forthcoming Moldy Slide project) and have been doing some rough & ready archiving of my own and others' olde documentation.Here's Jeffrey Vallance's little-known 1988 series of gold frames around cut-away rectangles of wall, exposing the backrooms and interstitial spaces of the old LACE gallery this one's called "Elevator Shaft" and according to JV you could actually see the elevator moving up and down through the frame! I think I have a couple more of these in the mounds, so I'll add them if I come across them...
I figured since that documentary's all the rage (and my Post Office has sold out of his stamp TWICE) this was a good time to revive this Skipping Formalities column from 1998
So when I did a google search to see if I'd put it on my website yet, I found out it's been cited in two grown-up books about Mr. Rogers in the last couple of years. Cool! Can I have tenure now?
"As I was becoming a connoisseur of the subtleties of the goings-on in this filigreed anarchist utopia, I began paying more attention to the bracketing segments of each episode; the parts where Mr. Rogers actually appears, setting up the thematic pins for the puppets to knock down, then clearing them away afterwards. I noticed the non-linearity of his thoughts- “A dream of being with your mom on the beach can give you a warm feeling inside BUT a dream of a monster is just a thought in your head, and not real” A reassuringly logical sounding sentence, but with a strange subtext: you can choose your reality from what you can imagine. I found myself wishing I had been exposed to this kind of programming in my infancy: ‘You are special. There’s only one person in the world exactly like you. People can love you just the way you are.’ It surely beats the tape loops most of us inherit..."
from "Zen and the Art of Make-Believe: A Date with Mister Rogers" Art issues. 52
"I first heard about Temporary Services when—under the aegis of the Outpost for Contemporary Art—they occupied a vacant lot at the corner of Sunset and Alvarado in 2005, building a proto-selfie-museum from shopping carts, perfectly good headboards and other curbside scavengings; holding potlucks, DJ sets, urban foraging workshops, film-screenings, and giveaways of their zines. At that point their publishing output must have been around 60-something titles, and their most recent items left a big impression: Framing the Artists—an extensive, incisive and deadpan compendium of depictions of artists and art in movies and TV; Public Phenomena: Informal Modifications of Shared Spaces—the second in an ongoing series compiling documentation of homemade basketball hoops, parking space savers, roadside memorials and other vernacular art and engineering projects; and a poster iteration of what is possibly still their most famous anthropological study, Prisoners’ Inventions, a simultaneous celebration of human ingenuity and indictment of the prison-industrial complex. (All of these are out of print but available as free PDF downloads at temporaryservices.org).
Pre-show reception: Come have drinks and enjoy artworks from 7:00 - 8:00pm! Performances begin at 8:00pm! As part of our Bob Baker Marionette Theater 'Schoolhouse Rocks' Program, we are excited to announce that F will be performing their first live set of 2018 as "F for Un" at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater in Echo Park Los Angeles on Saturday June 9th at 7 PM. The night will open with a performance by Bob Baker's Marionettes followed by F’s improvisational noise performance. This all ages event will feature marionettes, colorful projections, and special surprises. Also at the theater will be a one-night-only exhibition and reception featuring artworks by the members of F. If you've never been to the Bob Baker’s Marionette Theater to see the amazing things they do, this is an incredible chance to see this historical Los Angeles landmark! F is a Los Angeles art-rock supergroup whose motto is "Simplicity Through Noise" and who have developed a practice rooted in improvisational ensemble playing using electric guitars (played with rubber mallets and other extended as well as traditional techniques), percussion, and vintage synthesizers, in various combinations. F are Marnie Weber, Doug Harvey, Daniel Hawkins, and Kane Lafia.
**************************************************************** MARNIE WEBER’s multidisciplinary practice encompasses performance, film, video, sculpture, collage, music and costuming. Weber’s early years were grounded in performance art, before moving into filmmaking and later large-scale installations, all the while continuing a practice of collage, creating limited edition records as an art form, and performing and recording music. www.marnieweber.com DOUG HARVEY is an artist, writer and critic, independent curator, experimental musician, and educator who lives and works in Los Angeles. His activities may be monitored online at www.dougharvey.blogspot.com and www.dougharvey.la. DANIEL HAWKINS is a Los Angeles based multi-media artist and experimental musician. Most recently he has built a full-size functioning lighthouse in the Mojave Desert. For more information visit www.danielhawkins.info and www.desertlighthouse.org KANE LAFIA is a musician, multidisciplinary artist, mobile venue operator, and an occasional organizer of happenings based in Los Angeles. He is taking a break from internet presence right now. ***************************************************************
Since 1963, the Bob Baker Marionette Theater has been part of the Angelino Community; since then, imagination and fantasy continue to thrive in Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Landmark #958. With over 200 performances a year, utilizing over 2000 handcrafted puppets, the organization caters to birthday parties, school groups, weddings, and community functions of all sorts. Today, their mission is to provide unique theatrical experiences; to educate, celebrate and rejuvenate puppetry and the allied arts.
**************************************************************** Pre-show reception: Come have drinks and enjoy artworks from 7:00 - 8:00pm! Performances begin at 8:00pm! See you there, with puppets and paintbrushes in our hearts!
See you there, with puppets and paintbrushes in our hearts!
The Photographic Arts Council Los Angeles presents
"Doug Harvey - Return of the Moldy Slides"
Tuesday May 15, 8 PM - 10 PM
Los Angeles Valley College, Art 103
5800 Fulton Ave, Valley Glen, Los Angeles 91401
After a five-year hiatus, Doug Harvey returns to his archive of found moldy slides to curate his first new presentation since Rhizomatic Transmissions, which screened at The Museum of Jurassic Technology, Hammer Museum, UCLA, Echo Park Film Center, and various other Los Angeles and West Coast venues.
Compiled from a collection of several thousand 35 mm photographic transparencies found in the detritus excavated from a local hoarder's house during an apparent intervention, the slides had been subjected to flooding and grown various types and degrees of fungal layers, altering the pictorial content of the emulsion -- sometimes slightly, sometimes transforming the image into a total abstraction.
Harvey describes the resulting (washed and stabilized) artifacts as " a stochastically linked collaboration between the original vacation photographer, crazy hoarder dude, the mold, and me – plus the found and improvised soundtrack elements, and finally the audience.”
Los Angeles critic Shana Nys Dambrot describes the found moldy slides as "flat-out gorgeous... and just as fascinating on a conceptual/semantic level, introducing issues of authorship, truth, transcendence, intention, control, chaos, narrative, meaning, and analog physicality into a larger conversation about photography in the digital era."
Return of the Moldy Slides will consist of a new selection of the actual original slides using vintage Kodak carousel projectors, and will be accompanied by a live performance of improvised music by The Friendliness Happening.