Saturday, December 13, 2003

Born 1971 Indianapolis, Indiana
Lives and works in Long Island City, New York

2006 School of Visual Arts, MFA, New York, New York
1999 American Academy of Art, BFA, Chicago, Illinois

The Ape Machine
Lyons Wier Ortt Gallery, Manhattan, New York


Always Stuck With Leaving
, Lisa Boyle Gallery, Chicago, Illinois

The Plague Idiots, ARC Gallery, Chicago, Illinois

Married to the Sea, ARC Gallery, Chicago, Illinois


Never Can Say Goodbye, Never Records Installation, Former Tower Records store, New York, New York, curated by Ted Riederer

Timeless: The Art of Drawing, Morris Museum, Morristown, New Jersey, curated by Ann Aptaker
Nightmares and Dreamscapes, Alberto Peola Gallery, Turin

A Drawing Show, Lisa Boyle Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
Transformation, Carbon County Cultural Project, Jim Thorpe, PA

New York Narrarives: Works on Paper, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan
Art 212, Step (1) Booth, New York, New York
A Delicate Arrangement by Dan Cameron, David Zwirner, New York, New York
P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Throughout the Building, New York, New York
Scope New York, Step (1) Booth, New York, New York
Baditude by Bob Nickas, Visual Arts Gallery, New York, New York

Sixty-Seven Gallery, The Sasquatch Society, New York, New York
Studio Place Arts, Group Show, Barre, Vermont
Lisa Boyle Gallery, Group Show, Chicago, Illinois

Lisa Boyle Gallery, New Works on Paper, Chicago, Illinois
Fort Wayne Museum of Art, 2004 Biennial, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Zg Gallery, As Small As Possible, Chicago, Illinois

Carrie Secrist Gallery, Amused: Humor in Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois

2002 Community Arts Assistance Program (CAAP Grant), Chicago, Illinois

Vision Magazine, Bejing, China, September 2009

Time Out Chicago, Lauren Weinberg, August 2007

Art Letter, Paul Klein, September 2006
ArtInfo, Magdalene Perez, July 2006
A Delicate Arrangement catalog, Dan Cameron (David Zwirner Gallery), June 2006

2004 Biennial Catalog, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, July 2004

Amused: Humor in Contemporary Art, Carrie Secrist Gallery, September 2001

I wish I could figure out how to personalize the look of this page. I just don't get the java/latte/html stuff. In fact, most of this webstuff is totally beyond my grasp. Odd, considering I make my money as a graphic designer. (Not really, considering I don't have a lick of design training.) I'd really like to have a website where I could post my drawings and give a listing of upcoming exhibitions. The only person I'd trust to design me a website is the Queen of Ropes. And, seeing as I don't trust her any more than I trust a seagull, I guess wouldn't trust her to make my website.

Walked to and from the Landmark theatre today to see "Carnage" in the bitter gray cold. Great, great movie. I am totally in love with the little epileptic girl in the movie. She's so amazingly precious. And I mean that in a good way. And the woman who plays Juanita's mom. An unbelievably sexy older woman. However, on both the to and from walks I was amazed by the sheer hostility and aggressiveness just floating around on a Saturday afternoon. All of the curses and horn blats and middle fingers. The Landmark is smack in the cold black heart of Lincoln Park. So I am tempted to attribute the anger to the whole attitude that pervades the denizens of that neighborhood--aggressive, competitive, goal-oriented, proactive young professionals. Ever since my stint with the Lincoln Park Trixie Society, I've been trying to dismantle all of that judgmental crap. But I can't help it. I am better than they are.

Speaking of older women...I've always wanted to have an affair with an older woman. I have two in mind, two in my life right now, that I would love to pounce upon. But they're both married. Not that the Queen wasn't married. But still. She wasn't older either.

Decided to revive the scrapbook today...a year after I stopped doing it. Also decided to make myself post something substantial here a few times a week. Mostly, both are an effort to capture the mundane everyday details that so rapidly slip away...movies I saw, good meals I ate, things I found on the sidewalk, etc. For instance: yesterday left work at noon due to a free half day given to us for the holidays. I took the mythical Purple line to Howard. On a whim, I decided to hop off the train and walk home from there. Howard is a weird street...a little creepy, seems to have been stricken with a touch of the urban blight. Lots of weird little crap stores with handmade signs. Walked straight along Howard to the lake, to Howard Beach...this tiny, steep little patch of sand no wider than a city block. Maybe even half of that size. Spent a few minutes combing the icy beach and collect some utterly sexy ovoid rocks. Continued the walk back, alternating between Sheridan Road and the lakefront when it was accessible to the public. Down Sheridan past Loyola to Edgewater where Sheridan becomes a canyon wedged between high rises of questionable taste. Some of the buildings there have that pastel, wedding-cakey look that's prevalent with a lot of hotel architecture along the southeastern seaboard--the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida. Seems deeply incongruous when it's 20 degrees out and your hands are numb. Stopped off at lunch at Thai Binh, my favorite Vietnamese restaurant. Had some spring rolls and the crispy duck, and finished up this week's New Yorker. Then a slight backtrack to Foremost Liquors for a bottle of voddy and some vermouth for this weekend allotment of gibsons. Then the walk home.

This weekends intake so far: tonight's two vodka gibsons. Nothing to drink last night and I slept a full eight hours. Which is rare for me under any conditions.

Friday, December 12, 2003

Another day squeaked out pushing pixels and formatting copy for some academic test in Florida...the FCAT or something. Someday, I hope to get a job that I'm remotely interested. No, wait, stop. We all want that. That and a prehensile tail.

Wrapped up my drawing class tonight at the Foundation. (That sounds a bit ominous in a James Bond kind of way, no? My boss's name at the Foundation isn't Auric and he doesn't carry a golden gun. It's Antonia and she carries a brass crossbow.) I can honestly say this is the first class I taught where I didn't know all of the kids name. Blame all of it on a fairly nagging disinterest in teaching this term. Man, there were some punks in this class. Nothing but a distillation of all of that junk culture they're consuming--the WWF, Grand Theft Auto, hip hop shit. All attitude and nothing with which to back it up. Now, now...I know they're just wee tots trying to find themselves in these turbulent times we call Now. But, really, the bright kids stand out. They're still part of that pop culture consumption...they've begun to question it and move away from the center. But I digress.

I love how the kids just get locked up when it comes to making marks on the page. They freeze like a loogie on the sidewalk in winter. So concerned about getting the image right, getting everything to look exactly like it's supposed to look. "But I don't know how to draw a horse," they say. Or a tiger, or a human hand, or a car, or just about anything else I've asked them to draw over the course of the term. I've drawn my whole life, and with particular enthusiasm for the past eight years, and it's suprisingly difficult to gather together your technique into something fearsome and then loosen it up just enough to balance expression with technical precision. So I understand their trepidation. My training was wholly academic, with hours in front on the nude model every week, with anatomy classes, gesture drawings, copying the Masters, etc. Five years after graduation, I've just now lost some self-consciousness about technique. And I just want to throttle the kids and tell them to ENJOY the fact that they're just making marks on paper.

See, I'm convinced that--due to the ubiquity of cartoon/comic books/children's television--we all share this common visual language, a kind of universal consciousness that we can all tap in to. (Don't get on my case here: I know I'm pinching this from some art theory guy, and Jung, so don't bother telling me that these aren't original thoughts.) So I just wanted to tip the kids into that. Some of them seemed to miss it entirely, others understood it immediately. And, oddly and encouragingly enough, it was the kids who moped and whined and said they didn't know how to draw that could really draw just about anything I asked them to. I'd say, "Alright you little rugrats [again, because I couldn't remember their names] draw me a horse." After much bitching, they would and your could sure as hell tell it was a horse. I mean, it was a fucked up, totally psychotic and disproportionate horse...but it was a horse. I then had to sell them on the charms of their it's very oddness is what made it some compelling. But sometime, these kids are hard sells.

On Thursdays I leave work about 20 minutes, 3:10, early to make it down into Chicago for aforementioned class. Which means a whole new set of regulars on the Purple Line. (My Afternoon Lovely Train Crush Girl rides the 3:30--and she's not the same one as the Morning Lovely Train Crush Girl--but that's another post.) I've noticed this one older gentleman. He's probably pushing his upper sixties and he's a bit pink and jowly with watery blue eyes. I imagine him to be a lonely man but kindly. Perhaps a widower with no children. Or children gone off to other states and climes. I like to call him Paul. In my mind, he's a Korean War vet, and I've tried to imagine him with a pet. (A cat? No. A dog? Hmm. I can't tell. Perhaps. A stolid terrier? An arthritic shepherd mixed mutt? Probably not.) Anyway, I've noticed Paul has a bit of a shake about him, seems to be constantly nodding to himself. Most of the time he wears a brown baseball cap. But there've been a few times when he hasn't worn the hat. His head is bald with a horseshoe of wispy white hair around the sides and back. But the top of his head is all smooth, glossy white scar tissue. Not rough, lumpy scar tissue but just smooth and polished almost. There's a disturbing kind of beauty to it because it it contrasts so strongly with his otherwise baby-pink features. And the delineation between the pink and white is razor sharp. I always wonder how he got those scars...was it something that happened during the war? A car accident? Is it reason for his tremors? Is he self conscious about it, or did it happen so long ago that he doesn't even think about it?

I guess it doesn't matter, really. But I've kind of developed an odd affection for Paul. I hope he's not as lonely as I imagine him to be. But, then again, I think everyone is lonely at the rich, nougaty core of Self.

I like riding the train sometime. There's a cast of about ten regulars about whom I've made up all kinds of back stories. I really do like riding the train sometimes. Until Antonia comes after me with her brass crossbow for stealing the R-Ray gun from the Foundation and selling it to the Eskimos. Then it's just plain ugly.

I mentioned the walk down to the lake today, yes? I forgot to mention the horizon on these choppy says and how--instead of being perfectly flat--it rough and jumbled like the serrated edge of a bread knife. A disturbing sight.

....I've decided to write this blog as if I were writing directly to the Queen of Ropes. I've always been most inspired when waxing verbose to her, I've always been the most on my toes with the Queen, literarily speaking. So I guess this is really for her. But, sincerely, it's for me.

Muttonchops are doing well, thanks for asking. Just call me Choppy.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

It's bright today. Crystalline sunshine and lacerating cold, in the lower 20s. So, of course, I wore my heavy socks today in anticipation of missing the Purple line again and having to stand in the cold. (I missed the train, of course.) At lunch, I went for a walk across the Northwestern campus and had a nice sit by the lake. (I like to look at the young co-ed foreign exchange students.) It's windy today so the lake is choppy. The sediments near the shore are all stirred up creating big (for a lake) latte colored waves which pound the limestone blocks that line the shore. (Man, nothing clears out the bone dome like fifteen or twenty minutes of just staring at the lake in action. Hypnotic. I always feel refreshed after a good wave stare--like I've taken a nap. But without the resulting grogginess. Or the pillow face.) Anyway, I've been back at my desk for the better part or an hour now and, shit, these are some hot socks. I mean, really, they're uncomfortable. It's like my feet are in hell and the rest of me is lounging in purgatory.

No sign of the Lovely Train Crush Girl today. Only six more days, my delicate jar of guava chutney.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

What a lousy gray day today. Cold, windy, and...misty. Not really rainy but just a super saturated atmosphere. It's like God had one of those spray bottles that you used to keep the cats of the couch. (Cats are stupid.) Only, rather than setting in on "stream", he set it on "mist" and just misted the hell out of everything. These conditions are deceptive. It doesn't really feel like it's raining...but ten minutes outside and you've got water draining through your hair and dripping off the tip of your nose.

Still working on the mutton chops. Not sure if they're working for me...but I secretly kind of like them. I think I can pull it off. I like them better than the beard, however. Less itchy...but certainly more maintenance. But, really, I kind of like resembling and extra from "Master and Commander"

Another battle with the CTA today and the much maligned, nearly urban-mythologied Purple Line/Evanston Express train. I take the Brown line into the Belmont station, cross up and over the platform to catch the train. (I work in Evanston. Der.) It NEVER fails that just as the Brown line is pulling into the station, the Purple Line is pulling away. Which means at least fifteen minutes of standing in the cold/snow/hail/rain/swarm of voracious locusts that stands in for Chicago weather most of the time. Early on--when I would stand and sadly watch the mocking ass of the Purple line recede in the distance--I would think, sagely, "Leave the house ten minutes earlier tomorrow." Makes sense, no? No. Because then, having left ten minutes earlier, I would still watch the Purple line pull away as I drew in to the station. And for this transgression, I now had to wait twenty minutes of swatting droning locusts away from my head holes. Now I just leave whenever and I am brace myself for the quarter hour of inclement weather I'm going to have to cope with. (As head hole protection from locusts, I've taken to placing a plastic bag over my head. Usually, the rumbling approach of the el trains arouses me from my asphyxia. Or the hobos eating the pistachios out of my pockets.)

So I know the chance are slim but, Lovely Train Crush Girl, if you're reading this, I think you should approach me. You of the nurses scrubs who gets on at the Paulina stop and always in the second car because that's the one that drops you closest to the crossing-over stairs on the Belmont stop; you, too, ride up to Evanston with me, Lovely Train Crush Girl. You with the wavy, shoulder length hair and the big brown eyes like a Virgin Mary's peepers from a Northern Renaissance painting. And who sometimes eats bananas to torture me. You, to me, look like one of the lovely. fecund women from One Hundred Years of Solitude; I could see you walking barefoot across a sunlight courtyard in a weak-blue cotton dress, eating a mango. You know who I am, my Remedios the Beautiful. You're caught me giving you a squint every now and then. I'm the guy with the curly hair and the enormous mutton chops who's always quietly cursing the elusive Purple Line. Yeah, that's me. You should say hello sometime.

Only seven more days until my contract runs out at my current job. So, Lovely Train Crush Girl, it better be soon.

No drinking today. But I did write a long email to the Queen of Ropes. I don't feel bad about it. But I don't feel good, either.