Tag Archives: art

Contemporary Cave Art

16 Dec

I happened upon this story on Facebook and was so wowed by this man and his work. Ra Paulette digs out the most inspired, beautiful caves and hand carves the walls with gorgeous, organic patterns and textures. What an artist!

I dream of retiring in northern New Mexico, it’s so alluring with the vast landscape and sky. Knowing these caves exist over there makes me want to move there now and live in art cave. This is a must see in my life.

Watch the YouTube link:

http://www.racavedigger.com

Ra Paulettecave Ra Paulette

 

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Artist as Celeb:14 minutes with Marina Abramovic

10 Aug

I know the insinuation of the title is that I maybe spoke with Marina Abramovic, but what happened was that I spent 14-ish minutes in the same general area as her.

I went to the Marina Abramoic show, 512 Hours, at the Serpentine Gallery. Marina is basically the big art-star/art-celeb right now &  I found myself sucked into her fame vortex because I waited in line for 40 minutes to see the show. I wanted to see what all the hoopla was about.

Admittedly, I don’t know her work besides the famous MOMA peformance, The Artist Is Here, and also her video with Jay-Z (read my commentary in the July 13 archive ).

When you walk into the gallery you are asked to put away sunglasses & mobile phones (anything distracting) in a locker provided. No talking.

The first room is a locker room. I put my stuff away and didn’t know what to do next. People were sitting on the benches. I thought we were going to be led into the other rooms in groups (I was let in as part of a group). Then I noticed there was a lady whispering to someone. It was Marina herself and she looks just like the picture you see of her as you’re standing in line for 40 minutes. I sat down thinking maybe she’ll come over and whisper something to me.  I thought we could talk about art & life! After a few minutes I realized everyone was probably thinking this same thing. It was like once when I was shopping at Barneys in Beverly Hills and I saw Victoria Beckham a few feet from me. I wanted her to look over and smile at me or say something frivolous about my cute outfit- but she just walked away. Attention from a celeb would be so validating in a totally fucked up way. I hated that feeling, so I walked into the next room.

In the rest of the gallery you need to wear noise canceling headphones. I walk into the center room with my noise canceling headphones and it was a pretty cool experience. People were sitting or walking around and there was no noise. It felt like a scene in an artsy film ala Spike Jones-ish. In the center of the room were small square platforms and people were gathering in a circle with their eyes closed. Is this a meditation room? Do they meditate at home or are they only doing this so they can be filmed by Marina (there’s info as you enter that alerts you to the filming in process). I sat down and watched people – I’m a people watcher. These gallery goers were partaking in some un-discussed ritual-ish, contemplative-ish performance. Is this was Marina wanted? It felt really contrived…very, “Let me stand in meditation to the art gods”. Forced. Artsy. Maybe I’m too jaded.

There are 2 rooms off to each side. I walked into the room on the left. It was filled with cots and people were napping. Ok, that’s nice. Resourceful for those tired tourists walking all day. Then I walked to the room on the right – I passed Marina talking to a young girl holding her hand. Is Marina just super nice and holds your hand? Not if she’s British (she’s not). I kinda still wanted to have her come talk to me and hold my hand so I could have a story to tell my art school friends, like when Robert Rauchenberg drunkenly flirted with me.

The second side room was filled with school desks. On the desk was a pile of lentils and rice next to a piece of paper and pencil. The gallery attendant apparently had permission to talk and told me that I’m supposed to separate the rice & lentils and count how many are in each. What bitch? Do I get a free t-shirt if I do it? I sat there for a moment and realized everyone was doing it. Stupid. I felt like I was in an undergrad performance project circa 1994. She lost me in this room.

I was done. As I walked out I saw this cute girl that had on a really cool black and white stripped skirt…very chic, especially because she had on an old yellow tank with it. It totally clashed and I loved that, so I mouthed the words “cute skirt” and I waved my hands over me like I had a skirt on too. That was the most exciting part of the show for me because the girl looked at me like “Shh! Why is this gay guy talking to me about my skirt?”. It was my mini rebellious action to this sterile-robotic environment.

Overall I liked the idea of the show. Was it about the a Universal consciousness? or maybe how we we need stillness in this crazy world? or maybe how stupid our society is for counting rice grains and lentil beans in hopes of being in the video that is being filmed? I’m totally reaching. Whatever it is it came out really contrived, but she’s famous and I totally caught her looking over at me once – maybe it will be a moment in her film; I was validated. My official 512 Hours souvenir

Did you see Jeff Koons on Late Night TV

15 Jul

Seth Meyers, the host of Late Night, had artist Jeff Koons as guest on his show. I found it really interesting and refreshing to have a contemporary artist on mainstream TV. The dialogue is so different than the normal celebrity guest. Koons is currently having a retrospective at the Whitney & they chatted about the flower sculpture Seth (or Andy Cohen) can see from his office. It’s nice to see Seth Meyers throwing the American public a little diversity & culture. I wonder if Jeff Koons brought Seth a gift of one of those balloon dogs on a plate like you get at the museum gift shops. I want one signed by all 120 of Koon’s assistants (fantasy example shown).

Link to show clip below:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/10/seth-meyers-jeff-koons_n_5575797.html?utm_hp_ref=arts

Jeff Koons Balloon Dog on a Plate w/ fake signature of his assistants

Jeff Koons – watch him on Late Night w/ Seth Meyers

 

 

Thank a Teacher : The Crucified Luke Skywalker Story

6 Jul


bracelet

I believe in acknowledging & appreciating the journey it takes to get to this day in my life. Today I saw a Facebook post about my old Metals professor Rachelle Thiewes, who is retiring from my undergrad alma mater, the University of Texas at El Paso. I am so grateful for her effect on my creative life.

My first personal-statement-art-work I made was in a metalsmithing class circa 1989-90ish. The assignment was to use anodized titanium in a piece. I wanted to do something really radical; I was going to make a “gay” piece. I was just accepting myself as gay and influenced by the AIDS crisis which had hit with friends and family. My titanium piece was a cross made out of pink triangles (very Silence=Death) that I crucified a Luke Skywalker figure upon (my symbol for childhood, identity, masculinity, etc).

In all honesty, the piece came out a bit shoddy. It was hard to get titanium to turn pink evenly and my Luke Skywalker was my readymade, and just didn’t fit quite well. Critique time came & I was nervous. This was my big art-school coming out moment, although I was already “out”, I hadn’t really incorporated it so blatantly in my art work & 99% of my classes were straights. Ok, it was only about 12 other students but I felt very vulnerable (obviously because I still remember this 25 years later). What happened was I didn’t say much about the piece… I wussed out. What also happened was that my professor, Rachelle Thiewes, made some sort of acknowledgement that she “got it”. I don’t remember what, but I remember feeling relieved, happy & empowered that I was able to communicate my message.

I had some truly great instructors at UTEP who went above & beyond the requirements of an average education (like my painting prof. Jim Quinnan- shout out), but Rachelle and I became friends & keep in contact. A few years back she even invited me to speak to her class a few times. I was able to share how art is still part of my life even if it’s not in a gallery. To give a talk at my alma mater has been a great symbol of achievement & gratitude in my life.

Rachelle’s influence on me in art school was impactful. She was the first person I knew to actually wear cool designers like Besty Johnson (which was big time in 1990 El Paso), and to be an “adult” with pink hair made her all the more cool. Her art is not only beautiful, it’s absolutely brilliant… & wearable. Today I thank my teacher Rachelle Thiewes & wish her well in retirement.

Take a look at a recent article on her:

http://theartave.com/?p=3943&fb_action_ids=10203135489087192&fb_action_types=og.likes

Rachelle

Dia de los Muertos Inspired Craft Art

29 Oct

I love Dia de los Muertos, maybe because I’m a Mexi, but also because I love the acknowledgement of the Spirit of our loved ones that have passed on. Just a few days away, DDLM has inspired me to create some amazing handmade hoodies & also pillows. These are my “art”. I love the process of making them: finding fabric, making patterns, embroidering, and even beading. They aren’t just for DDLM, but in appreciation for Spirit that is with us everyday, so are these created for the everyday…and Christmas is just around the corner, so order now! Happy Halloween & Dia de los Muertos!

You can see more at my website: http://www.NanoHernandez.com

Tea Box Art

25 Oct

I love finding art in the most unexpected places. When I was on my tour of newly remodeled downtown LA, my friend Sandeep took me into his local grocery store, Urban Radish. It’s what I imagine Whole Foods was like when it was just a new concept store. Everything looks interesting because there are no big name products & everything looks fun & artsy & it’s organized with the impeccable aesthetic of the Barney’s shoe department. Sandeep suddenly notices this shelf of tea that were just gorgeous & we instantly went into a rave art critique of the exquisite boxes. We were in awe. They are handcrafted & each one is unique with images of giraffes, boating, bicycling through the village, collecting coconuts, etc. It’s called Ajiri Tea & the boxes are made by the women of the Kisii community of Kenya. The company empowers the local women by giving them jobs in the creation & design of this tea & its packaging. These artisans blow away some of the people I went to art school with. The designs are images of everyday life in this little African community and are made from banana tree bark. Proceeds go back into the community by the hiring of the local women and education of orphans. I have my box of tea on display in my kitchen. I spent $9 and got a great piece of art (& great tea too). You can buy online: ck the link below.

http://www.ajiritea.com/

http://www.urban-radish.com/

Contemporary Murals in LA

24 Oct

Los Angeles has long been known for its murals which stem from early Chicano street art & gang graffiti. On my recent, and too short, trip to the city of angels, I was downtown visiting a friend and discovered a plethora of amazing & beautiful murals. Downtown has blossomed and it’s decorated in an equally exuberant manner. Unfortunately I was in a rush and some photos I took from the car window as I quickly passed.

I am also including a wonderful piece that is actually a sort of a mural in its own right (since it also functions as the back wall of the store). The giant curtain painting, done by artist Sandeep Mukherjee, is the centerpiece of a new clothing store called Guerilla Atelier. I was photographing a mural across the street & the stores large garage-door entrance attracted me. As you walk in the store you can’t help but see this giant mesmerizing abstract painting that not only dwarfs the racks of hip clothes, but it frames them as if they are miniatures in a diorama. The curtain is black burlap and Sandeep used bleach as paint to get the effect of his flowing gesture that vibrates behind the stillness of the racks of denim jeans and wool dresses. It’s definitely worth a look for the fashion and art if you’re in the neighborhood.