28 December 2009


I am as free as nature first made man,
Ere the base laws of servitude began,
When wild in woods the noble savage ran.
-John Dryden

27 December 2009

Play for Keeps Exhibition at Tribute Gallery

Group Exhibition — New Works On Paper

January 7th through January 30th, 2010

Opening Reception January 7th, 2010 6pm-9pm

Tribute Gallery presents Play for Keeps, a group exhibit of new works on paper by a dynamic group of national artists. An opening reception will be held January 7th from 6pm – 9pm featuring live music provided by beloved local DJ Chris Chase. The show runs through January 31, 2010.

lay for Keeps was designed by guest curators Elizabeth Lamb and Chloe Gallagher to explore the often underrated importance of play. 

Featured artists include Jon MacNair from Baltimore, MD whose playful yet eerie works of ink on paper have earned him a national following. Joshua Witten, hailing from Fort Collins, IN, works in a variety of media and possesses an impressive mastery of his bold, graphic style. Mixed media artist Patrick Haemmerlein from Los Angeles builds arresting urban images from the ground up using his own photography and source material. Ashley Sloan, a local Portland artist, will be exhibiting clever, thought-provoking graphite works. And, Max Kauffman, hailing from Denver, CO, whose colorful, folkloric works have been exhibited at a number of prominent national galleries, will also be featured. The exhibit will also include works by Brett Anderson, Huy Nguyen, Garric Simonsen, Angela Dawn, Breanne Rupp, Megan Marie Myers, Brian Costello, Jackie Bos, Karri Dieken, Stephan Ferreira, Mark Colman, Heidi Elise Wirz, Coco Papy, Sally Gilmore, Mark Olwick, Louise Krampien and Cara Tomlinson.

Tribute Gallery is located at 328 NW Broadway #117 Portland, OR 97209 and will be open Saturdays in January from 11am to 3pm and by appointment.

For additional information about the gallery email TheTributeGallery@gmail.com and for updates follow http://Twitter.com/TributeGallery 

26 December 2009

Noisettes (occasionally written as NOISEttes)

Noisettes (occasionally written as NOISEttes) are an indie rock band from London comprising singer and bassist Shingai Shoniwa, guitarist Dan Smith, and drummer Jamie Morrison. The band first achieved commercial success and nationwide recognition with the second single of their second album, "Don't Upset the Rhythm (Go Baby Go)" which reached number two on the UK Singles Chart in Spring 2009.

25 December 2009

Christmas is a special time in...

Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood

Mr. Robinson.....Eddie Murphy

[ Mr. Robinson enters his apartment dressed as Santa Claus ]

Mr. Robinson: [ singing ]
"It's a beautiful day in the neigborhood
A beautiful day for a neighbor.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won't you be my neighbor?"

Hello, boys and girls! You know, Christmas is a special time in Mr. Robinson's neighborhood. It's a time for giving, and look what Mr. Landlord gave me - it's an eviction notice. Well, that's why Mr. Robinson has to wear this Santa Claus suit to sneak in and out of his building. But it just isn't a disguise, boys and girls. Because, when I add this little pail here, and when I have this little bell, it becomes a small business. [ rings the bell ] Yes, Christmas is a season for giving,
and for taking! And with this little operation, I figure I'll be taking on about $300-400 a day! Oh, why oh why, must Christmas come but once a year?

[ puts his stuff away ]

You know, another reason why Mr. Robinson likes Christmas so much, boys and girls, is because I have so much in common with Santa Claus. We both like to sneak into your house late at night. Only Mr. Santa Claus likes to
leave things. Mr. Robinson prefers totake a few things every now and then. Let's see what I have for Christmas today. [ reaches into his sack ] Oh, look.. a little doll baby! Isn't it so cute, boys and girls? It's not worth a lot right now, but, through the miracles of modern science.. [ pulls off the head, and replaces it with a cabbage ] ..Cabbage Patch doll! Now they're worth a lotof cabbage! I could sell these to little stupid kids for about $50 each! $50 each! Can you believe that! That's why I love Christmas! And that's today's word, boys and girls. [ walks over to the word board, which has "X-MAS" written on it ] "Christ-mas". You know any other words that start with "X", boys and girls? How about.. [ flips card over to show word "X-CON" ] ..Ex-con"? [ a knock is heard at the door ] Who could that be, boys and girls?

Voice At Door: Robinson! Are you the guy that sold my kid a head of lettuce with a dress on it?!

Mr. Robinson: That reminds me of another word, boys and girls, that begins with "X" - "Ex-scape"! [ grabs his bag ] Well, I'll see you later. And remember: "Tomorrow, tomorrow, I'll visit you tomorrow when you're sound asleep.." [ jumps out window ] Goodbye, boys and girls!

[ title fades in, then out to black ]

24 December 2009

21 December 2009

the grey album

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
To all the ladies in the place with style and grace
Allow me to lace these lyrical douches, in your bushes
Who rock grooves and make moves with all the mommies
The back of the club, sippin Moet, is where you'll find me

19 December 2009

Artlink Regional Exhibition Reviewed

Artlink Regional Exhibition

Every two years, Artlink presents an exhibition highlighting three of the region's most active and vibrant artists. Last year at the Artlink Biennial Regional Exhibition, Joshua Witten, Wendy Norton, and Andrew Lemmon were awarded $500 and the opportunity to be a part of a three person exhibition. "Regional Award Winners" is the culmination of work over the last year for those three artists.

This exhibition is always a favorite because it gives a larger view of each artists’ development and their over-arching bodies of work. While Fort Wayne is still notoriously lacking solo exhibitions, the "Regional Award Winners" exhibition is very close, given that these three artists have a 2,000 square foot gallery to fill.

While their work does not share many similarities, this exhibition offers a very fresh perspective, offering viewers the opportunity to examine these three contemporary artists working within the Greater Fort Wayne area, and see how they are truly beginning to hone their work into a consistent form. For instance, Joshua Witten, who has exhibited various times with Artlink, delivers a knock out body of drawings, paintings, and mixed media pieces. Through this exhibition, Fort Wayne is getting its first chance to see the repetitive formal and conceptual mechanics in Witten's work.

In pieces like " Hesperideve," "Prometheus," and "The Conversation," Witten's work takes on a deliberate anachronistic turn, comparing mythological and ancient historical concepts with popular cultural references. "Hesperdeve" is an especially poignant image, a female images holding a floating Apple (think, ipod) logo in the palm of her hand, stylized bite mark facing her, with her profile mimicking its own. "Hesperideve," which would be implied to be the name of the woman depicted, seems to be either a personification of the Greek Triadic nymphs, the Hesperides, or a combination of the that word with the name of the West's other famous garden dweller, Eve. Either way, the conflation of terms and concepts make this rather small, intimate drawing a conceptual vortex. Both of the mythological women were the possessors of apples, and the latter, the Biblical Eve, is the one whose notorious bite is possibly being depicted. This conflation of female characters, and addition of the present day, pop-ish, Apple logo create an end result of a beautiful mystery.

In addition to this addictive drawing, Witten continues to puzzle and seduce the viewer with a long stream of structured, elegant, and sophisticated pieces. With a strong range of off the radar pop culture icons like "Mouse on a Motorcycle," "Sony Aibo ERS-220," "March Hare," and "Return of the Fly," to the pair of subtle, incendiary portraits with "Frida Kahlo," and "Malcolm X,” one could literally write volumes about Joshua Witten's pieces.

Wendi Norton, also working two-dimensionally, presents an extremely cohesive body of work which transitions thoughtfully from piece to piece. Norton's mixed media watercolors on paper exude elegiac imagery and references, combining loss and memory into a final object that is steeped in complex design and high craftsmanship. Her work shows off her formal curiosities, and becomes a description of time, through process, in the same way that her content is a depiction of it. "Rooted," a vertical landscape, is a highlight of Norton's work, with its mid and low tone color scheme and surreal collage of objective naturalism in the depiction of a house being paired with a fading and muffled crimson red fleur de lis pattern filling up the majority of the lower half of the image. While the overall concept of the image being a sort of permanence and historical connection to a home, the piece comes off as honest in its simplicity. Norton's other key pieces, like "Microfilm #1," "Little Daughters," and "Unknown" all extend this idea of an anxiety associated with history and old objects, however they reference psychology of the family and femininity more than the commitment to a place which is brought up in "Rooted."

While Wendi Norton and Joshua Witten constructed deeper bodies of work that can be read piece by piece, Andrew Lemmon's two large pieces must be seen through a far more gestalt lense. Lemmon's large scale, mixed media wooden sculptures, because of their relationships to their viewers and the space around them, become something closer to installations. "Sanctuary" especially, takes a very active role with its environment because of the way it forces the viewer to change perspective numerous ways while taking in the whole piece. This very tall anchored and stilted structure takes on a folk feeling through its "stick build" construction, with its many similarities to bird houses and other animal shelters.

But Lemmon's second piece, "A Consequence of Gravity," is certainly his strongest, with its impeccable construction, selection of materials, and greater conceptual force. This near human sized hollowed coned, tethered to the ceiling by an elastic band, sits deliberately hiding itself from the viewer. Upon a further inspection, one notices the many beautifully jointed slats of wood which create a tapered, curved form — in itself an impressive feat — which leads you into the round opening, bisected by a brace, and with radial interior bracing along the side. The small "prize" is found by truly scouring the object and finding the resin encased corn chaff tip. Throughout this whole experience, it is impossible to not compare and contrast Lemmon's work to Martin Puryear, the master craftsman and artist whose small and large scale sculpture can be found in most museum collections around the Unites States. Puryear, like Lemmon, used formal concepts to carry his work and add a slight mystery to the work, which usually carry narrative or concrete titles and concepts despite their almost complete physical abstraction.

Through more exhibitions like "Regional Award Winners," Fort Wayne area artists will be able to not only engage with the larger art viewing public in a stronger way, but begin to develop their work in relation to itself. This is a very important step for any artist, so that they can construct stronger thematic structures in their work, and ultimately, to gain the attention of the more established art markets around the country and world.

"Regional Award Winners" at Artlink, is open from December 11, 2009-January 13th, 2010. Also check out Don Artamas' collection of work, "Yearnings", which is currently displayed in Artlink's Push Pin gallery.

18 December 2009

the simple life

Nouveau Riche

Nouveau Riche is a Philadelphia based music group [1] led by Dice Raw, who is associated with the rap group The Roots and Nikki Jean, known for her contributions on Lupe Fiasco's chart-topping album Lupe Fiasco's The Cool [2]
An EP was released in 2008, called the Nouveau Riche Longtail EP, downloadable for free on the group's official Myspace page, and has managed to obtain considerable success all over the Internet.[3]
The band was also nominated for the 2007 Okayplayer Music Awards in the Rookie of the Year Category but lost to Gym Class Heroes. [4]
After releasing a 2nd EP for free through their Myspace page in 2008 which was titled "Free Money EP", the band announced that they'd break up and that "Nouveau Rich is no more".

12 December 2009

What's the rumpus?

Miller's Crossing (1990)

Director: Joel Coen

From Time Out Film Guide

Like Blood Simple and Raising Arizona, this works both as a crime thriller and as an ironic commentary on that genre. With fast, sharp, witty dialogue and Byzantine plotting, it charts the gang war between Leo (Finney) and Caspar (Polito) in an American city during Prohibition. Tom (Byrne), Leo's loyal right-hand man, is the lover of Leo's mistress (Harden), whose brother (Turturro) Caspar wants killed. Exactly how this and other complications are sorted out forms the hugely inventive, enjoyable narrative core of the film. But it is also a tribute to the crime literature (notably Hammett) and movies of the '30s, artfully poised between 'realism' and a subtle acknowledgment of its own artifice. And there's yet another level, since it is composed - visually, verbally and structurally - as a series of variations on the themes of 'Friendship, character, ethics'. At times the criss-crossing of abstract motifs recalls the formal complexity of a Greenaway film. It's arguably the US mainstream's first art movie since Days of Heaven; and quite wonderful.

10 December 2009

Elephant Abstraction

At this point, both the elephants and their mahouts approach the blank canvas with an innocent eye. The canon of elephant art is still in its embryonic stages--there are no firm guidelines and few preconceptions as to what an elephant painting is supposed to look like. Moreover, very few elephants or mahouts have ever set foot inside an art museum and, at least for the moment, most remain art-world outsiders. Indeed, elephant painting is the ultimate Outsider Art, reinvigorating a moribund art scene and resolving the fin-de-si cle "crisis in painting" with a bold and uninhibited return to gestural abstraction.

09 December 2009


I’m in the hall already, on the wall already
I’m a work of art, I'm a Warhol already

a day in the life : give it to me

02 December 2009

The Award Winners Exhibition

Award Winners from the 7th Regional Exhibition

December 11, 2009 – January 13, 2010

Andrew Lemmon, Wendi Norton and Joshua Witten were the three award winners from last year’s 7th Regional Exhibition. Now the three artists will fill the gallery with their work. Be sure to check out Andrew Lemmon’s conceptual sculptural works. Wendi Norton will display watercolor paintings which demonstrate her ability to create distinct moods through color and environment. Joshua Witten demonstrates his eloquent techniques in printmaking, drawing, mixed media and painting. Witten’s draftsmanship and use of line add to the underlying message of his work.

Opening reception: December 11, 6-9pm at

occam's razor sketchbook page 14

click on image to enlarge

occam's razor sketchbook page 13

click on image to enlarge