Saturday, December 29, 2007

quiet. plus more Fugazi.

it's been snowing quite often lately; seems like more than usual for a midwestern december. we have a rabbit we've seen grow from a little one, and i nicknamed it Fiver - named after my favorite rabbit from the book Watership Down. Fiver was hanging out the other night at about 10:00. it was snowing heavily, and everything was a blanket of white under what seemed to be a full moon. actually, it was christmas. it was christmas, late, i was alone, and little Fiver was hanging out eating some grass in the moonlight. for some ridiculous reason, that struck a bittersweet chord within me.

not much on the art front to post. An old friend Jessica Benjamin has a show up soon at the McLean County Arts Center. Here's her main site here. I still have yet to talk to Tim about his almost-done-with-MFA work (when that phone call happens, I'll probably post some pics if it's cool with him).

here's some Fugazi. "Shut The Door." ...have you ever been free?

by the way, I honestly love brendan tons... but if i ever had a chance to talk to him near his drum set, i think i might drop kick that fucking cowbell into some alternate universe where he could never touch it again.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Finished New One

I finished up tonight, and thought I'd post the update. Studio lights make a world of difference with color down in my studio. here's the main site again:

click on the image below for a larger view.

gold staying (1)
oil on canvas
36 x 36 inches
© matt pulford

Monday, December 17, 2007

new painting soon

an unfinished piece, untitled as of yet. all images © matt pulford.
click on images for a larger view.

detail of piece

if you're a friend and/or happen to follow my work, a new painting will be on the artist site soon. since i've started on this new piece, i've felt so-so about it. however, the process has been extremely fulfilling. i haven't sat and painted like this in a long time - taking my time, pensively thinking and truly looking a lot. paying attention to wetness/dryness. screwing up, re-working, and screwing up again. it's very humbling, and that's good.

aside from the care i'm giving this time around, it's still very loose, like the pushing around of a thin monotype / litho ink. i guess my love of JMW Turner still shines through, even after 10 years of this subject matter and style of mine. ah well. i love the guy.

hopefully i'll be "finished-ly" happy with this in a week or so.

tim emailed a bunch of work from his 3rd year of grad school up at the university of minnesota. if i get his okay, i'll post some pics of a large installation he did in the grad crit space. he's unsure about it; i think it's really progressed a lot since his undergrad days (and even back then his work was interesting).

Thursday, December 13, 2007


-breast cancer. full mastectomy.
-partial hysterectomy
-another biopsy means a partial mastectomy on the other.
-"slight" stroke some time when i'm in college (she kept me in the dark on this one)
-falls in the middle of the night while getting up to go to the bathroom, busts her nose and head. ambulance workers can't get nose to stop bleeding, emergency room.
-has allergic reaction to new medication that contains sulfas. heart races, sweats, and what-not. ambulance to emergency room.
-falls off of a school bus during a field trip. breaks arm.
-while shopping at a major department store, a clothing rack falls on her, which in turn knocks her over into another display that also falls on top of her. bruised up, but nothing broken.
-bad depression for most of her 40s and 50s - pretty much all of my K-12 schooling plus college years. (in a way i could talk about for hours, but don't speak a second of, this probably shaped me as a person more than anything else in my entire life.)
-a "tuck further up inside her" surgery on her bladder and other womanly parts.
-further removal of some organs
-gallbladder removed
-spinal operation for some herniated discs in her neck. gets a partial fusion on (i think)c4 and c5, plus some "cadaver bone" to help strengthen things.

and now the latest...
-another ambulance trip and 2 nights in the hospital due to bad abdominal pains. possibly has liver damage due to prescription for tylenol being to high for her age.

This is the life of my mother.

i want a good stretch of time.

even just a few years with nothing to worry about.

a free pass for my dad's aching heart.

warm smiles and grandkids and no worries.

music: golden smog (jeff tweedy's songwriting and performance).
video: someone else. thank you.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

i've been listening to a lot of buddy holly again as of late. out of all the 50s rock and roll, he's my guy. i love the sound of carl perkins, elvis, jerry lee lewis, and johnny cash all together as the "million dollar quartet," but buddy holly always made me think about white t-shirts with cigarette packs rolled up in the sleeves and fast cars with big fins. even though he played clean through a strat, he had a raw, unveiled emotion about him (even if it came across as something held back). but every time you sit and listen to 50s rock(abilly), you can't help but be smacked over the head with the overt sounds of a blues song structure and gospel lyrical cadences. and every time i think of that, i think of Sister Rosetta Tharpe. hell... even the hand-clapping punk rock of The (Young) Pioneers —one of my favorite punk bands, 50 years later — borrows from Rosetta.

watch these videos.

watch her wail on the guitar during her solos.

shit, man... if i were 18 years old in the late 50s, i think i'd want to adopt her as a surrogate grandmother. she's so damn amazing.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Romney. Huckabee. Religion. America.

i'm not a skilled writer of politics. forgive me for writing only a tad on this personally, and then linking to a bunch of other sites, where far more intelligent words were typed.

so... Romney gave his speech yesterday. and the extremely religious right of america continues to scare the shit out of me. Mitt - a 2008 presidential candidate - said ""Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone." here is the entire transcript of the speech if you'd like to read more.

here's another quote: "The founders proscribed the establishment of a state religion, but they did not countenance the elimination of religion from the public square. We are a nation 'Under God' and in God, we do indeed trust."

and another: "Americans acknowledge that liberty is a gift of God, not an indulgence of government.

you get the point. it's the same ol' rhetoric that makes you humorously think about the moronic "go back to Russia, you commie, atheist pinko!" or "there are no atheists in foxholes!" but there is a obviously less funny side to this type of mindset. these types of right-wingers use this nuanced theocratric-speak quite often, and it's listened to en masse. (tis' the season for hearing talking heads go on and on about a fabricated "war on christmas" by the "liberal god-haters." who cares if the reality is that "Happy Holidays” isn’t about eliminating Jesus from public ears, and is simply the all-encompassing greeting during the season when more than one religious holiday is celebrated... the thing is, people EAT THAT STUFF UP. "let's hate some nonbelievers!")

day in, day out, i hear and read news items that show a segment of america creeping closer and closer to a complete distrust and sometimes disgust at agnostics, doubters, and atheists. sometimes it's subtle and comes from sleek politicians, and other times it's in crudely spelled out by some backwards rube; but it always scares me, because i smell a very slippery slope.

so anyways, i'm going to interject other authors' words here, to say some things more eloquently than i can at this moment.
have a good weekend.

Joe Conason, from salon dot com, December 7, 2007:

Phonies like Huckabee and Romney complain constantly about the supposed religious intolerance of secular liberals. But the truth is that liberals -- including agnostics and atheists -- have long been far more tolerant of religious believers in office than the other way around. They helped elect a Southern Baptist named Jimmy Carter to the presidency in 1976, and today they support a Mormon named Harry Reid who is the Senate majority leader -- which makes him the highest-ranking Mormon officeholder in American history. Nobody in the Democratic Party has displayed the slightest prejudice about Reid's religion.

Liberals and progressives have no apologies to make, or at least no more than libertarians and conservatives do. Cherishing the freedoms protected by a secular society need not imply any disrespect for religion. But when candidates like Romney and Huckabee press the boundaries of the Constitution to promote themselves as candidates of faith, it is time to push back.

entire article is here

Kevin Drum, from Washington Monthly, December 6th, 2007:

I can't tell you how much this pisses me off. I'm well aware that this is par for the course among Republican politicians these days, and Romney is doing nothing more than engaging in what's become routine conservative disparagement of those of us who aren't religious. But the cowardice and pandering here is just phenomenal. Not only does Romney not have the guts to toss in even a single passing phrase about the nonreligious, as JFK did, he went out of his way to insist that "freedom requires religion," that no movement of conscience is possible without religion, and that judges had better respect our "foundation of faith" lest our country's entire greatness disappear. And that was just the warmup.

I know, I know. He's just doing what he has to do. Evangelical base and all that. But I'm not religious, and yet, mirabile dictu, I still manage to support freedom, have a conscience, and understand the law. I'm tired of people implying otherwise.

(entire article is here )

and one last one - Joan Walsh, from Salon dot com, December 6, 2007:

I'm with Walter Shapiro on this one: The big headline on Mitt Romney's momentous speech Thursday morning has to be "Freedom requires religion, just as religion requires freedom ... Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone." I happen to be a believer, and I found those words appalling.

Everyone knew Romney couldn't give a "John F. Kennedy speech" because Kennedy made a passionate, historic argument that the separation of church and state should be "absolute." No one quite knew that Romney's speech would represent an "obliteration of the separation of church and state," in the words of the Washington Post's Sally Quinn on MSNBC afterward (a remarkably critical statement from Quinn, given that she's a driving force behind the paper's "On Faith" project). As she noted, Romney's speech laid out a vision of America with no place for atheists, doubters or nonbelievers, and it chilled me.

(entire article is here )

Monday, December 3, 2007


i just realized i've never placed an AVAIL video on here. so... here we go. "scuffletown." the song is 9 years old, but i'm guessing the video is recent since they really seem to slow the song down (and beau beau is not completely skin and bones).

there's kepone in the river
But the river's still flowing east
ethyl dozed the planet
in an attempt to keep the downtown clean
still... it's a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful day
and the sun is still shining, shining, shining, shining over the James

oregon hill is at end time
V.C.U. crept up and lit the torch
ha - west avenue honkeys,
don't forget that trains still run north
still... it's a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful day
and the sun is still shining, shining, shining, shining over the James

third per-capita...
third per-capita...
third per-capita...
next year, number one!

Bed Jump, part two.

Chad, Coach and I went to B-N a couple weekends back for the 11th annual coach and jeremy birthday bash. we bedjumped with my halloween costume, and we got on the site again. click here for the official site or just check out the images below. coach is the jumper in the blue side of blinky. i'm the red-sided one. when trying to get a good final shot, i flew forward off the bed and slammed my head into the wall. i couldn't move to get out of the suit, and i guess my feet kicked and kicked. the mental image makes me laugh a bit, but the real thing made chad laugh so much that he actually had to leave the room because he almost shit his pants.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

rise above.

black flag, 1984. first song, "rise above." second song, "american waste." have a good weekend.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


(The italicized verses thrown in amongst my words below are excerpts from the poem "Prairie" by Carl Sandburg, taken from his 1918 collection "Cornhuskers.")

I was born on the prairie and the milk of its wheat, the red of its clover, the eyes of its women, gave me a song and a slogan.

yours truly. sister's farm, summer of 2004

i have a great affinity for the midwest. i've traveled all over the lower 48 — the pacific northwest, the desert of the southwest, the badlands of the dakotas, the heart of texas, our nation's capital, and so on — but it's the prairie lands of illinois and iowa that hold my heart. there's a Romantic tie that i have to the land. see, my brother and sister are iowa farmers, and i spent a lot of time on their land when i was younger. there's something very comforting about being out in the middle of a field, alone with the sound of the grass in the wind. as funny as it sounds, it's almost womb-like. there's a serenity here that i haven't found anywhere else on my travels outside of the midwest.

and i'm not alone.

despite the "brain drain" still happening (the exodus of recent graduates from Iowa higher educational institutes), it seems that the tide is turning in many areas around here. we've seen many iowa cities go through downtown revitalizations for the larger part of the last decade. world-class museums have popped up. downtown parks have been beautified. here in our stretch of mississippi river towns, an immense amount of cleanup has happened, and long bike paths with public art abound. the quality of life has risen, and all over iowa, there are 20- and 30-somethings who have decided to either never leave their home state, or to move back home after college or a hiatus of some sort. (i have gone through this myself - from the quad cities, to college, to chicago, and back home again, and i have seen this route personally in my circles of friends, and second-handedly on blog sites & news articles).

so, what is it about this that shocks people? why do people on the coasts seem to have such negative opinions about the midwestern lifestyle? what exactly do they picture going on here?

Here the water went down, the icebergs slid with gravel, the gaps and the valleys hissed, and the black loam came, and the yellow sandy loam.

Here between the sheds of the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachians, here now a morning star fixes a fire sign over the timber claims and cow pastures, the corn belt, the cotton belt, the cattle ranches.

Here the gray geese go five hundred miles and back with a wind under their wings honking the cry for a new home.

Here I know I will hanker after nothing so much as one more sunrise or a sky moon of fire doubled to a river moon of water.

The prairie sings to me in the forenoon and I know in the night I rest easy in the prairie arms, on the prairie heart.

two from the essentials series. lambda print mounted to plexi. 2004. artist: me.

so, here we are. a place that some people fly over on their way to NYC or LA, look out the window, and perhaps give an inward laugh, thinking "what a vast amount of... nothing."


i've had close friends leave the quad cities permanently. they now reside in rapid city (south dakota), seattle, and tempe, and another plans to leave for minneapolis in a few months. some didn't want to go, but followed great schooling; some had an urge to leave that was more strong than any other yearning they had ever felt. and i certainly understand how each of them came to their decisions to leave. as much as i abhorred my 5+ years in chicago, i know the positives of big city life. but i can't understand the slight, nuanced statements i hear from them sometimes. these jabs are always innocuous, as they're coming from the closest friends in my life. but there's always some sort of a misunderstanding on their part — a buying into some stereotypes about the political climate here (it's not staunchly bible-thumping conservative), the "nightlife" (our downtowns have some pretty damn good food and drink establishments, as well as other entertainment), and the overall sense of the people back in their hometown area. even though we all got a kick out of the once-in-a-very-blue moon headline that read Two pigs on the Loose Captured in Downtown Davenport, i hope they understand things are pretty damn nice here.

Omaha and Kansas City, Minneapolis and St. Paul, sisters in a house together, throwing slang, growing up.

Towns in the Ozarks, Dakota wheat towns, Wichita, Peoria, Buffalo, sisters throwing slang, growing up.

a photo of the Quad City Swing baseball team, playing at John O'Donnell Stadium in downtown Davenport, Iowa. credit: Corey Lenger, taken from

a before & after shot of the Crescent Macaroni Building in downtown Davenport, Iowa. The building now features some very nice rentals (some possibly condos) in that exposed-ceiling loft feel. credit: Chris "QCI" at Quad City images. for more compairson photos like this, go here.

a somewhat recent image of downtown Davenport, Iowa at night. credit to an unknown photographer, taken from the Absolute DSM forums

but enough about my friends' stories; they hold no true ill will. as i stated, i understand matters of personal taste in choosing one's living environment/locale. but there is a more acute, deliberate mocking of the midwest out there, and like anything of that nature, it's pretty sophomoric.

why do people think we don't have a liberal/progressive bone in our collective body? why are our cities pictured as dead, boring, and decrepit? why do farmers get portrayed as such backwards people in popular culture? i'm not trying to answer the question "is this heaven?" with the response "no... this is iowa" because there are some backwards folks, some shitty sections of town, and some nights where i wish there were more "culture" here. but you know what? you'll find a bit of those things anywhere.

in my iowa, there are atheist gatherings spawned by local groups. there are $5 punk rock shows put on by 16 year old kids. there's a mortgage that doesn't kill me. there's a work commute is now 10 minutes instead of 2 hours (yes... that was one-way, people). there's a professional-class outdoor skate and bmx park. there are professional artists who have lived all over the country, yet settled here. you can drive for 10 minutes and suddenly be in the middle of the beautiful, midwestern prairie.

the list goes on and on.

so... to hell with the naysayers. let them poke fun. the joke's on them.

O prairie mother, I am one of your boys.
I have loved the prairie as a man with a heart shot full of pain over love.
Here I know I will hanker after nothing so much as one more sunrise or a sky moon of fire doubled to a river moon of water.
. . .
I speak of new cities and new people.
I tell you the past is a bucket of ashes.
I tell you yesterday is a wind gone down,
a sun dropped in the west.
I tell you there is nothing in the world
only an ocean of to-morrows,
a sky of to-morrows.
I am a brother of the cornhuskers who say
at sundown:
To-morrow is a day.

an arial view of downtown Iowa City, home of the University of Iowa. credit to an unknown photographer, taken from the Absolute DSM forums

the best front yard in the world - i help my nephew build a swingset, circa 1999.

downtown Dubuque, Iowa. credit to an unknown photographer, taken from the Absolute DSM forums

not a bad way to grow up. my niece and nephew collect walking sticks, praying manti, and other bugs to give me a biology show.

A Quick One

I'm working on a long post that has been brewing for a while, and it should be up sometime in the next couple days. The content deals with the negative perceptions of the Midwest at large, especially Iowa. The impetus for the post stems from a wide variety of places/reasons, from the nonsense you hear day in and day out due to the upcoming Iowa caucus, to a recent quad city transplant/local blogger dishing out a negative, unneccessary diss to the very music/theatre scene she aims to garner work from. I can understand people's qualms with the Midwest at large. and i can identify with frustrations about local art/music/theatre scenes. but the criticism is seldom erudite. the things you hear about the Midwest, iowa, farmers, etcetera... they really get to be laughably inane.

so... some writing about that type of thing is coming up.

in the meantime, i wanted to post a rather interesting site. my old college chums matt and melissa (now married) are travelling in India, and it's been a wild ride for them. for some amazing pictures and commentary, check out matt's site.

and one other quick thing - i had a dream about Kevin Battles last night. he was alive. he was limping because he ended up losing his full leg (he died from complications due to diabetes). he walked towards me in the hallway of a crowded school and gave me a huge hug. i miss that duder.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Holy shit, Fuel is finally on youtube. It's actually difficult to bring these guys up to people when talking about music. They're one of my favorite bands, but long after they disbanded, a far more ubiquitous, major-label group became famous with the same band name. And also, this and other bands like Rites of Spring was the epitome of that "emo" sound in the late 80s and early 90s; but nowadays "emo" has something to do with the goth kids that have metrosexual hair tendencies and black fingernails. I'm not sure how that happened.

but anyways, Fuel. dueling guitars and vocals. if you love Fugazi but have never heard of these guys, go buy all of their records NOW. amazing stuff. i'm so stoked to find this online.

Above: "The Name Is..."
thanks for sharing that remark with me. (i've got a name for that). thanks for sharing that joke with me. (i've got a name for that). where do you find the humor in that? (i'd really like to know). i won't get mad at ignorance; won't let my anger show. the name is... hatred for what you don't even understand. the name is... fear of what you can't even comprehend. the urge to put you in your place grows strong from time to time, but to shit on you would be a crime. i'd love to bring you down 'cause you think you're fucking cool, but i don't want to be like you. i want to... cut you down cut you down cut you down. but i won't... put you in your place.

Above: "Some Gods"
some gods tell me to bow down before them. some gods ask me to love thy neighbor. which one are you going to choose? and is there room for reason? and is there room for reason? i don't need an excuse. i don't need a reason. you provide the proof. i call it spiritual treason. i just don't know how to show that there's me and you. redemption, forgiveness; turn the other cheek. theology means nothing; actions speak to me. my respect, you wil never have gained. abandon the institutions which you helped create. what about you... YOU... smiling, self-righteously? do you concede spirituality?

Monday, November 19, 2007

This American Life

This past week's This American Life is an absolute must-listen-to. MUST. the last story, in particular.

seriously, you have to download it and listen to it. If you don't have much time, only hit the first and the last acts. if you have even less time that that, give 19 minutes to the last act, called "Birthday Gift." Russell Banks is an amazing storyteller, and I'm definitely putting the book on my xmas wish list.

This American Life: Birthdays, Anniversaries, and Milestones.

Friday, November 16, 2007

punk rock grandpa(s)

NoMeansNo, punk rock grandpas. sure, their "funk factor" isn't my favorite sound by any means, but when i saw them with a round of close friends in austin texas several years back, it was pure euphoria. every time i think of them, i smile. punk rock grandpas.

when i was 17 and first starting listening to indie/punk/(original) emo music, or even a couple years later when i played in a hardcore band, i never really understood what drew me to the music. well, let me rephrase that... i had an honest liking of the music (there was no self-imposed "scene cred" pressure to fit in by not fitting in) and i had always listened to stuff that wasn't really played on your everyday radio station. but i never really thought about punk music in terms of a larger context. and i don't mean the occasional early-twenties thoughts that were hilariously hyperbolic (these songs are going to save the world!!!). so here i am at 32, and i honestly think i'll still be buying these types of records when i'm a grandparent. i think i've come full-circle, back to something that is much more simple than any of that youthful idealism. but even though its simple, it's hard to write about concisely. so, what is it?...

• it's small DIY venues instead of large corporate arenas.
• it's $5 for four bands, and it's $3 dollar t-shirts.
• it's, at 24, meeting your favorite band at the time and going cliff diving with them in the middle of the black hills, south dakota, only to sprain your ankle and needing them basically carry you out of a gulch before the show starts later that night.
• it's SHARP skinheads, emo kids, and tough guy hardcore peeps dancing our asses off at a Gangster Fun ska show. in IOWA.
• it's... well, fuck... i could go on and on about memories.

i'm cracking up at how silly this sounds, but hey - i can't help it. i guess what i'm getting at is it's more personal. more attainable. more intimate. more tangible. more real. it's that simple.

for the very few people who read this blog - i'll probably edit this in a couple days. it doesn't sound quite right yet. we're off for a weekend getaway. toodaloo.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Back in the Saddle

some art news that's actually on the home front again - through one of those "small world" means, I now have access to a print shop. the Black Catfish Press at Saint Ambrose University just offered me a nice working relationship that allows me to get back into making intaglio prints, monotypes, and lithographs. i have a feeling it's going to work quite well; the personnel seem very cool, and the small amount of shop upkeep & undergrad student assistance i will perform in trade for the open use of the facilities is really a labor of love.

stay tuned this winter for new works on paper.
it's been seven years:

Rest in Peace, Kevin Battles

this past monday, i received an email from an old coworker, stating that a friend (another ex-coworker) had passed away. after one full week of waiting for an official death notice in either the chicago tribune or the chicago sun-times, i still haven't seen anything, and that makes me almost as sad as i had been when i heard the news of his passing.

kevin was our Adler mailroom clerk. everyone knew the guy and loved the guy. he was put through a lot of shit in his role - surrounded by some people who treated him like a peon - but he remained a class act and worked his ass off while making lots of his coworkers laugh.

every morning kevin would come into my office and catch up with me. every day he made me laugh... the guy had the best smile and laugh.

i was an iowa kid whose brother and sister were farmers, but grew up to be a "punk rocker" artist; you were the south side cubs fan who loved to get away from shit by watching a baseball game or occasionally going fishing. no wonder we got along so well. so here you go, kev. we all loved you tons. i miss you, buddy.

Monday, November 5, 2007

David Rathman at Figge

" I Threw Away the Rose "

" You Do Hold Onto Your Misery, Don't You? "

Minneapolis artist David Rathman has a solo show up at the Figge right now, and i highly suggest seeing it. i had not heard of the gentleman before seeing his work yesterday, but upon doing some research i see he had a two-person show with Amy Cutler at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. very nice. but who cares about credentials and scene cred; let the work speak for itself, right?

The show consists of about 30 pieces that i'm pretty sure were all watercolor on paper - none larger than say 30 x 40 inches (most were about 18 x 24). he works in a monochromatic tone of a dark sepia color. hell, maybe these were ink drawings of some kind; i'm not sure. the content? sad cowboys. postmodern ennui meets western flicks. evidently, he takes polaroids of cowboy movies off of his television and uses that as a starting point for the imagery. and also, i've read he gets inspiration for the titles (or titles/quotes within) for the pieces from anywhere from the same movie genre, to philosophy writings, to the playwright Beckett. not unlike someone like Mark Tansey's modus operandi, but still... pretty sweet stuff. and always underhandedly funny.

I found a description of a piece that i'm pretty sure is not on view at the Figge, and it may describe what might be my favorite piece in the show, if included. a gun fighter is featured front-and-center. underneath the silhouetted form reads, "Today's Schedule." then:

11:00 a.m. Get up
11:00-11:30 Sober up
11:30-Noon Eat
Noon-10:00 p.m. Work like hell
10 p.m.-3 a.m. Get drunk
3 a.m.-3:15 Beat hell out of them that's got it coming
3:20 Go to bed

heh heh. excellent.
by far my favorite show i've seen at the figge. kudos, michelle robinson.

Tonia lands a sweet gig

I received an email from Tonia Bonnel today - she's up at the Women's Studio Workshop in New York state. I keep plugging her because she's an old friend and i love her work. if you're equally interested, help support a great artist by sharing her site with friends. or hell, buy a piece. printmaking is the "blue collar" of the art-making shirt. prices aren't ridiculous.

here's the workshop site.
click on her name in the "current artists" section on the right.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

print press? + new piece up

today a new exhibit opened up at the figge art museum - a show that features figge faculty members' work. i have a piece up - a couple-year old painting that i still think is very strong. the funny thing is, if you happen to go check it out, be prepared to laugh a bit. here's a pic of the piece:

see the slight "halo" around the dates? yeah, the extra paint that's around that section... it's um... it's shrank over time. i need to "plaster" some more paint in there to get an even coat again. ah well; i got a good chuckle out of it and i really don't mind much.

but anyways, the highlight of the night was talking to a few cohorts about our needs for making some new intaglio/monotype work. they're all equally interested, and we're ready to really start hunting to find out who has these presses. I did get invited down to Western Illinois University to be an informal visiting artist who shares his work with students and then gets to use the studio, but obviously i want to find a good press here in town. we're going to hit up saint ambrose first. someone knows someone there, and my fingers are crossed that this will work out.

i've got a new painting up on the web site.

here's a pic:

I don't feel particularly strong about it. i actually might start all over on it. but it was fun to lay some wet latex paint in on top of some other latex paint in a loose drawing style. it was tremendously hard to photograph, so i'll cue you in – it's a ceiling fan with gnarly antlers coming out of it. the witching hour. maybe the halloween season got the best of me, because while i sometimes feel like i can pull off good stuff in this vein, i normally fall short of those expectations. want to see good stuff like this? google the artist Banks Violette. it's only somewhat similar, but here are some pics of his work:

Friday, November 2, 2007

Bob Jones - Art Show

Bobby Freedom gets reviewed in New City Chicago . Congrats, Bob. Drive down to I-80, face West, and hold a High Life to the air. I'll do the same to the East. Cheers.

Eye Exam
End Times
by Jason Foumberg

Bob Jones makes little nothings. His current exhibition features five objects and one painting. With the exception of the painting, which cannot get away from the fact that it is art because of its traditional right-angled support, the objects verge on being junk. Are the handmade concrete rock and the stick covered in plaster really necessary objects? No, but they are necessarily inadequate objects, made to express a defect—a shortcoming and an escape. They are complex objects not because of their contextual status as art, but because they are so preciously anti-precious. The lack of force in these objects proves that Jones has nothing to gain from feigning ideological concern, cultural or otherwise, yet they are wasteful objects, purposefully unresponsive. Sometimes they are literally composed of the waste of other artworks in process.

All this is to say that the byproduct is more telling or more representative of our varied crises than intentional strides at doing the right thing. Contemporary art is a byproduct of culture—no, is a symptom of the common awfulness that is mass-market hysteria for something meaningful. If we wallow in it, rather than celebrate it, then we’ll really know what it means and how it feels.

Bob Jones shows at 65GRAND, 1378 West Grand, (312)719-4325, through November 10.

Bob's web site

Also, some pictures from the exhibition:

Hank's ass.

There's a new "Billboard from God" up in davenport. i see it every morning on my way to work. it's the same simple white text on a black background. it reads,
"Life is short. Eternity Isn't. -God"
once again, ladies and gentleman, thumper christianity in all its glory. a supposed all-knowing creator of everything, who made all of us predestined to sin, loves us no matter what, yet upon not asking forgiveness to his son that he sent here over 2000 years ago, you will burn in hell for ever. huzzah? no. something smells like horseshit.

this is olllld, old old old and over-referenced. But still good.

"Hi! I'm John, and this is Mary."
Mary: "Hi! We're here to invite you to come kiss Hank's ass with us."
Me: "Pardon me?! What are you talking about? Who's Hank, and why would I want to kiss His ass?"
John: "If you kiss Hank's ass, He'll give you a million dollars; and if you don't, He'll kick the shit out of you."
Me: "What? Is this some sort of bizarre mob shake-down?"
John: "Hank is a billionaire philanthropist. Hank built this town. Hank owns this town. He can do whatever He wants, and what He wants is to give you a million dollars, but He can't until you kiss His ass."
Me: "That doesn't make any sense. Why..."
Mary: "Who are you to question Hank's gift? Don't you want a million dollars? Isn't it worth a little kiss on the ass?"
Me: "Well maybe, if it's legit, but..."
John: "Then come kiss Hank's ass with us."
Me: "Do you kiss Hank's ass often?"
Mary: "Oh yes, all the time..."
Me: "And has He given you a million dollars?"
John: "Well no. You don't actually get the money until you leave town."
Me: "So why don't you just leave town now?"
Mary: "You can't leave until Hank tells you to, or you don't get the money, and He kicks the shit out of you."
Me: "Do you know anyone who kissed Hank's ass, left town, and got the million dollars?"
John: "My mother kissed Hank's ass for years. She left town last year, and I'm sure she got the money."
Me: "Haven't you talked to her since then?"
John: "Of course not, Hank doesn't allow it."
Me: "So what makes you think He'll actually give you the money if you've never talked to anyone who got the money?"
Mary: "Well, He gives you a little bit before you leave. Maybe you'll get a raise, maybe you'll win a small lotto, maybe you'll just find a twenty-dollar bill on the street."
Me: "What's that got to do with Hank?"
John: "Hank has certain 'connections.'"
Me: "I'm sorry, but this sounds like some sort of bizarre con game."
John: "But it's a million dollars, can you really take the chance? And remember, if you don't kiss Hank's ass He'll kick the shit out of you."
Me: "Maybe if I could see Hank, talk to Him, get the details straight from Him..."
Mary: "No one sees Hank, no one talks to Hank."
Me: "Then how do you kiss His ass?"
John: "Sometimes we just blow Him a kiss, and think of His ass. Other times we kiss Karl's ass, and he passes it on."
Me: "Who's Karl?"
Mary: "A friend of ours. He's the one who taught us all about kissing Hank's ass. All we had to do was take him out to dinner a few times."
Me: "And you just took his word for it when he said there was a Hank, that Hank wanted you to kiss His ass, and that Hank would reward you?"
John: "Oh no! Karl has a letter he got from Hank years ago explaining the whole thing. Here's a copy; see for yourself."

From the Desk of Karl
• Kiss Hank's ass and He'll give you a million dollars when you leave town.
• Use alcohol in moderation.
• Kick the shit out of people who aren't like you.
• Eat right.
• Hank dictated this list Himself.
• The moon is made of green cheese.
• Everything Hank says is right.
• Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.
• Don't use alcohol.
• Eat your wieners on buns, no condiments.
• Kiss Hank's ass or He'll kick the shit out of you.

Me: "This appears to be written on Karl's letterhead."
Mary: "Hank didn't have any paper."
Me: "I have a hunch that if we checked we'd find this is Karl's handwriting."
John: "Of course, Hank dictated it."
Me: "I thought you said no one gets to see Hank?"
Mary: "Not now, but years ago He would talk to some people."
Me: "I thought you said He was a philanthropist. What sort of philanthropist kicks the shit out of people just because they're different?"
Mary: "It's what Hank wants, and Hank's always right."
Me: "How do you figure that?"
Mary: "Item 7 says 'Everything Hank says is right.' That's good enough for me!"
Me: "Maybe your friend Karl just made the whole thing up."
John: "No way! Item 5 says 'Hank dictated this list himself.' Besides, item 2 says 'Use alcohol in moderation,' Item 4 says 'Eat right,' and item 8 says 'Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.' Everyone knows those things are right, so the rest must be true, too."
Me: "But 9 says 'Don't use alcohol.' which doesn't quite go with item 2, and 6 says 'The moon is made of green cheese,' which is just plain wrong."
John: "There's no contradiction between 9 and 2, 9 just clarifies 2. As far as 6 goes, you've never been to the moon, so you can't say for sure."
Me: "Scientists have pretty firmly established that the moon is made of rock..."
Mary: "But they don't know if the rock came from the Earth, or from out of space, so it could just as easily be green cheese."
Me: "I'm not really an expert, but I think the theory that the Moon was somehow 'captured' by the Earth has been discounted*. Besides, not knowing where the rock came from doesn't make it cheese."
John: "Ha! You just admitted that scientists make mistakes, but we know Hank is always right!"
Me: "We do?"
Mary: "Of course we do, Item 7 says so."
Me: "You're saying Hank's always right because the list says so, the list is right because Hank dictated it, and we know that Hank dictated it because the list says so. That's circular logic, no different than saying 'Hank's right because He says He's right.'"
John: "Now you're getting it! It's so rewarding to see someone come around to Hank's way of thinking."
Me: "But...oh, never mind. What's the deal with wieners?"
Mary: She blushes.
John: "Wieners, in buns, no condiments. It's Hank's way. Anything else is wrong."
Me: "What if I don't have a bun?"
John: "No bun, no wiener. A wiener without a bun is wrong."
Me: "No relish? No Mustard?"
Mary: She looks positively stricken.
John: He's shouting. "There's no need for such language! Condiments of any kind are wrong!"
Me: "So a big pile of sauerkraut with some wieners chopped up in it would be out of the question?"
Mary: Sticks her fingers in her ears."I am not listening to this. La la la, la la, la la la."
John: "That's disgusting. Only some sort of evil deviant would eat that..."
Me: "It's good! I eat it all the time."
Mary: She faints.
John: He catches Mary. "Well, if I'd known you were one of those I wouldn't have wasted my time. When Hank kicks the shit out of you I'll be there, counting my money and laughing. I'll kiss Hank's ass for you, you bunless cut-wienered kraut-eater."
With this, John dragged Mary to their waiting car, and sped off.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Freaks Come Out

thanks tons to everyone who came over and partied. it was much more fun than we had even hoped. seriously - thanks. the food, drinks, and laughs were all superb. i can't decide which pic i like more:

it's official, i'm hungover.


a few attendees forwarded more pics. here's a couple other faves...

and also, while talking about the party today, we think we're going to try and get back on bed jump dot com . I was thinking it might be a good idea to bring my Blinky costume to Bloomington-Normal for the 11th Annual Coach and Jeremy Birthday Bash. If I could manage to get some decent air on a bed, it could make a good photo for the site. We'll see if it works. If you want to see the first time we made it on the site, click here.

Friday, October 26, 2007

art exhibit: "...and i am blue..."

the McLean County Art Center has an interesting opening tonight from 5 until 7 - "...and i am blue..."
works in the show don't exceed 15 inches in any dimension, and all content relates to the title of the show. other medium-sized town art centers could try this and i'd be rather uninterested, but the caliber or artists in and around bloomington-normal, with the ISU and IWU communities, should make for a great show. tons of old friends are in this.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

and so it goes

every year when autumn comes, i get more active in the studio. for the last five nights in a row, most of my time has been spent down there, working on several things at once. but it never fails. everything i began last week has gradually turned to shit.

for the last couple years, i honestly think i've made maybe one or two interesting works of art. this is something i can't seem to shake, and it's downright maddening. i literally smacked my head into a wall down there the other night, out of an intense frustration and need for a release. it just ain't happening, and it sucks.

regardless, it feels good to work and work and work at getting things right. a friend of mine and fellow artist once likened the relationship he has with his work to one similar to some bizarre addiction - you keep working and working at it, no matter how brutally it drains you. see the little red item on the floor? this might end up working very soon. stay tuned for details.

oh, and i might ad, i think it interesting to say there's no doubt i've been listening to tons of Thoughts of Ionesco while down there.
very suiting.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Black Hawk College Car Show 2007

I've told a few people I was thinking about posting pics of my favorite cars from the Quad City's Vintage Rods show a few weekends back. I've always been partial to 55, 56, & 57 chevys and 60s-era chevelles, but as i've hit my early 30s, more and more streed rods have caught my eye. As always, click on these images for a larger view. Here you go...

A very clean and well-done 39 Ford:

I believe this is a '41 Willys (not sure about the year). After our '56 chevy was done for many years, my dad always wanted one of these as a project car. We never got around to it because of his multiple back surgeries:

a '67 Chevelle SS with a narrowed rear end underneath. If I have this correctly, this car was garaged in a home right by my friend Kevin's house - not far from where I grew up. I could be wrong, but I think the father died, and a guy my age took the car on as a project in his dad's memory.

A nice '67 Chevelle SS. I don't know the history of this car.

Just a simple, clean '66 Nova I liked. I'm more into the 67 design, but the two years are very similar. When I first downloaded this image off my camera, I laughed out loud. Look just above the roof. It looks like there's a mini-me version of my dad mounted to it, but he's just in the background wondering where his hotdog is.

It's gotta be Steve Doye's '55:

And finally, this rod. like i said, i'm not well-versed in early 30s cars. this must be a '32 or so, 5-window ford coupe, with what looks like a stretched front end. if anyone knows better, let me know. regardless to say, it blew a lot of people away. wow:

Friday, October 12, 2007

Tonia Bonnell + Print Conference Reunion

This past weekend my wife and I went back to Bloomington-Normal for the tail end of "Frontiers in Printmaking" - Illinois State University & Normal Editions Workshop's first attempt at an internation print conference that I know of. I was part of an alumni exhibition, so we hit that first. Damn... tons of old friends from even up to 10 years ago... it rocked. Very fun. And my friend Tonia Bonnell , who lives in Denver now, and I traded art. I got hooked up with this very nice piece:

Syncopated Movements (var. 5)
engraving, chine colle

I had to adjust the levels of the image in Photoshop to make things stand out more online (the actual piece looks more nuanced and subtle). it's pretty damn nice. like her work? here's a really good write-up from a few years back that explains where she's coming from, figuratively and literally:


Artist Tonia Bonnell’s rural upbringing makes its voice heard in Enunciated Murmurs

It was two years ago that I first met Tonia Bonnell; she was assigned to be my teaching assistant in a fine arts course. I immediately sensed that there was a sense of a different culture about her—yet she had no accent besides a slight American twang from her home state of Illinois. She looked like every other fine arts graduate student in her uniform of blue jeans and baggy T-shirts. And yet, I could not get over the feeling that there was something exotic about her, as if she had come from a different world. “Perhaps she dropped into Edmonton on a tornado, like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz,” I mused. “After all, Illinois and Kansas are not that far apart.” But despite my subtle prodding, I could not discover anything in her background that would stand out as unusual—nothing, that is, until we met again to speak about her graduating exhibition Enunciated Murmurs, currently on display in the Fine Arts Building Gallery, a show that is her final visual presentation for her Master of Fine Arts degree.

It was only then that I realized that the mystery of her background had been right in front of my eyes all along. It was simple: unlike most of us who were bred, born and raised among the cement walls of urban centres, Bonnell grew up on the open prairie. “I have always been surrounded by open fields and sky,” Bonnell says. “The town I lived in had 250 people. I knew everybody.” That was it! I thought. Bonnell radiates that same mysterious composure that I’ve often observed in farmers and other rural people who are used to treating others like human beings and not life support systems for wallets. These are people who are used to working themselves to the bone and then waiting and unwearyingly watching for clouds of rain to form across the horizon.

Only for Bonnell’s community, those clouds took a particularly ominous turn. “Where I am from, you always get tornado warnings,” she recalls stoically. “We aren’t afraid of them; we look for funnels in the sky. They seldom happen.” Bonnell spent a lot of time out on those fields looking at the sky. Her grandparents, who were farmers on both sides of the family, often took her along when they worked. “Driving up and down these roads takes so long, but you do it all day, dawn to dusk,” she recalls. “Depending on the weather, they have to get it done.”

Growing up in that rural community taught Bonnell a different way of looking at the world. “[In farming] there is no sense of building up to a climax and ending,” she explains. “There is just continuous repetition.” This was a lesson she incorporated right into her art; Bonnell’s prints are built up out of thousands of repeated marks that take her days, hours and sometimes months to accomplish. “It strains certain parts of the body,” she says without a trace of complaint. “I think that the repetitive mark-making allows me to block out some of the information-loaded society.”

Out of this myriad of abstracted marks emerge atmospheric images that drift across a white page like grey rain drifting against the wide expanse of a clear sky. But viewed from another angle, they seem more like gusts of wind, drifts of snow or quickly approaching clouds. Bonnell’s images are gentle, ethereal, but their delicacy seems to disguise a hidden power—like sunny days that either warm seeds into sprouting or slowly, relentlessly desiccate fields. “You know clouds are intangible, yet they can visually cover a big mountain,” Bonnell explains. In some of the prints, Bonnell’s gently billowing “clouds” take on clear signs of their supreme power: they form the foreboding shape of a grey funnel.

Although Bonnell has come far from her rural, mostly blue-collar community into the intellectual ferment of one of North America’s best printmaking departments, she hasn’t lost the sense of her roots. “Eventually I would love to return to a rural community,” she says. But that may not be possible now that she is a few days short of getting her MVA degree, which will allow her to teach at a university. Whatever happens, she says, she will always return to nature. But wherever she ends up, I doubt she will ever forget the lesson she learned on her grandparents’ farm as she watched the sky for signs of funnel clouds and felt part of something larger than herself. “As a human being, you can’t always control it,” she explains with the composure of a seasoned farmer. “We don’t always know it’s coming.” V

taken from

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Whose House?

yes. what you just watched was indeed Run DMC on Reading Rainbow.
hahahahaha. that's so damn fresh. hilarious.

seriously though... why did rap music and hip hop in general take a nose dive towards "dissin' hos" and gangbangin' and shit like that? man... depressing. i can't get enough of the stuff i grew up with in the 80s. Run DMC rules.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Figge classes, more Rothko quotes, some self-doubt

I've been busy writing up some art studio class proposals for the Figge lately. Staff there always wants good hands-on studio courses, so I'm currently trying to come up with a comprehensive plan to revive their printmaking facilities. I'm also thinking up some drawing courses for children - classes with a comtemporary spin, but still "for the kids." One will draw on my experience helping to organize the travelling exhibit post-hypnotic, and get them looking at and thinking about the fun, second wave of op-art that resurfaced in the late 90s. But the real interest I have in working with such museums is talking about the art on the walls, discussing art-making and art history. And this proves to be a more challenging yet fulfilling task.

I hope I come up with a good idea for a course.

This undertaking has lead me to my collegiate art history books, and some wonderful quotes – some of which I actually think a few of the "powers that be" here in the Quad City art scene need to understand...

Mark Rothko and Alfred Gottleib, an excerpt from "Statement," 1943:

It is a widely accepted notion among painters that it does not matter what one paints as long as it is well painted. This is the essence of academicism. There is no such thing as good painting about nothing. We assert that the subject is crucial and only that subject matter is valid which is tragic and timeless. That is why we profess spiritual kinship with primitive and archaic art.

Consequently, if our work embodies those beliefs it must insult anyone who is spiritually attuned to interior decoration; pictures of the home; pictures over the mantle; pictures of the American scene; social pictures, purity in art; prize-winning pot-boilers; the National Academy; the Whitney Academy; the Corn Belt Academy; buckeyes; trite tripe, etcetera.

Orange, Gold, and Red 1957

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I caught this special on PBS last night:

it was very, very powerful and moving. i'd highly recommend watching it if you catch a rerun; it's beautiful and horrific at the same time. the bond these shunned women form at the Unicef hospital in southern Congo is amazing to watch unfold. the songs they sing, the way they overcome their horrific rapes, the way the interact with newborn children. my mind was going a million miles a minute as i watched. with guns... fuck this world of men and guns.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

long walk to freedom

as i occasionally say, i never wanted this to turn into a journal-ish blog. but here's a rant for you... in the last four days, i went on a wild horse ride that scared the hell out of me, and left me with some marks on my forehead from smacking two trees at full canter speed (my glasses were knocked off and lost on the trail, but luckily recovered later). i woke up to a flat tire, which means i've shelled out yet more hundreds of dollars on car/truck repair this month. and now, my home computer is pretty much dead. aside from these three major things, there are many smaller problems right now too. when it rains it pours.

but this brightens the mood:

if you want to see a really powerful piece by Mambazo, check this link out:

Ladysmith live at Austin City Limits

long way... long walk... a long walk to freedom
long way... long walk... a long walk to freedom
long way... long walk... a long walk to freedom
long way... long walk... a long walk to freedom

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

busy busy busy busy

it's been go time this week and last. getting things straight for a faculty exhibit at The Figge. trying to get this Sophisticated Traveler + Friends show rolling somewhere in rock island this december. busy busy. i can't decide if this comes off as hippy-dippy or erudite:

Teaching Philosophy
I’d have to say one of the most important aspects of teaching is being a good listener. Whether it be simple craft classes with young children in a studio setting or advanced art theory seminars at the university level, the best art dialogue happens when the “teacher” listens to the questions, opinions, and reservations of the “student.” A student’s questioning of “why?” or “why not?” is the catalyst that spawns critical thinking and a truly interesting dialogue on the creation of and discussion of art.

Our experiences with the arts —being moved by a painting, listening to the most touching music, or seeing an incredible theatrical piece — are the places where we feel the most free and autonomous. A studio instructor can teach the ways of a finely honed skill, but he or she should always remember to never stifle a student’s creative journey with absolutes such as “this is wrong.”

ah well. it will suffice for the show. shout out to chad, because no one else reads this!

here's some Limp Wrist. straight edge queer-core. i met Martin (singer) back in the Los Crudos days. nicest guy in the world.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Anti-Racist Action in Knoxville + Fugazi video

This is pretty funny. I originally saw the news on Digby, but she heard it through the grapevine. I'm not sure of the original source. Here's some of Digby's post:

White Flour!
by digby

(Via Perlstein, here's a hilarious story about a Klan rally. For real.)

Saturday May 26th the VNN Vanguard Nazi/KKK group attempted to host a hate rally to try to take advantage of the brutal murder of a white couple for media and recruitment purposes.
Unfortunately for them the 100th ARA (Anti Racist Action) clown block came and handed them their asses by making them appear like the asses they were.
Alex Linder the founder of VNN and the lead organizer of the rally kicked off events by rushing the clowns in a fit of rage, and was promptly arrested by 4 Knoxville police officers who dropped him to the ground when he resisted and dragged him off past the red shiny shoes of the clowns.
“White Power!” the Nazi’s shouted, “White Flour?” the clowns yelled back running in circles throwing flour in the air and raising separate letters which spelt “White Flour”.
“White Power!” the Nazi’s angrily shouted once more, “White flowers?” the clowns cheers and threw white flowers in the air and danced about merrily.
“White Power!” the Nazi’s tried once again in a doomed and somewhat funny attempt to clarify their message, “ohhhhhh!” the clowns yelled “Tight Shower!” and held a solar shower in the air and all tried to crowd under to get clean as per the Klan’s directions.

Like I said, here is the whole link, with some pictures.
Hilarious, ¿no?
The punk band AVAIL was the first means I ever heard about ARA. That was wayyyyy back in the day. Sounds like a decent group.

Now, here's some Fugazi. "Facet Squared." Why do a ton of the Youtube videographers who are into Fugazi focus on Ian al the time? The guy is the least interesting member of the band. Ah well. Enjoy. One of my favorite-of-all-time songs by them.

Pride no longer has definition
Everybody wears it, it always fits
A state invoked for the lack of position

Strength is the bait that keeps us so busy
If it's perforated, then I tear it to bits
All sense lost in the frenzy

They should never touch the ground

Irony is the refuge of the educated
Always complaining but they never quit
Cool's eternal, but it always dated

They should never touch the ground

It's not worth, it's the investment
That keeps us tied up in all these strings
We draw lines and stand behind them
That's why flags are such ugly things

They should never touch the ground

Saturday, September 1, 2007


The world-traveling public art exhibition Coexistence opened up in Davenport this past Thursday night. Many people I've spoke with are considering it a special honor - we're the smallest metro area the show has gone to since its inception 6 years ago. Think about it - Jerusalem... Sarajevo... Cape Town... Quad Cities. Pretty cool. I was particularly looking forward to seeing it because I have a huge interest in peoples' shyness towards modern and contemporary art. If you didn't know, there is a bit of local apprehension about the show. Try as we might, the "cultural barometer" of this area means some aren't always ready for stuff like this. Even if the exhibit is not dangerously graphic or provocative, it still seems to have intimidated some people and caused a bit of fear or anger due to differing opinions or a lack of understanding. Or... well, hell, I suppose I'll go off here... or some people are just being moronic about it. Some local commentators in our online newspapers wrote acerbic rants about "liberal, elitist so-called 'art'" this-and-that. I can understand opinionated commentary on the artwork, or even talking about an over-the-top idealism, but frankly, I think some of these comments come from chicken shit knee-jerk reactions from close minded naysayers. If you have a problem with the "politics" of this show, come on... you've gotta write more eloquently about your stance.

So, enough about that. My wife and I checked the panels out this morning. I actually had a small part in setting up the signs, so I had seen all of them before the official unveiling, but wanted to really take my time looking at things while together, with her, on a non-work day. We both came away with the same thoughts... some panels' artwork was quite poor, some was quite strong. Same thing with the text panels beneath the art - some strong, some poor, and some seemingly placed without any contextual tie to the artwork. So, sometimes things paired up nicely, sometimes poorly. Regardless, we both had a strong emotional reaction to the show as a whole. The people with power around the world have to start understanding we all come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, and not everyone worships your god, likes your economic model, agrees with your stance on abortion, etcetera.

Here's some pictures and a few of the quotes from the text panels below the art. Enjoy. Click on images for a larger view. And I have a feeling not many local bloggers read this, but if you come across this via a comment of mine on QCI or Cruiser or somewhere else, please feel free to drop your $.02.

"You know what the trouble with peace is? No organization. And when do you get organization? In a war. Peace is one big waste of equipment. Anything goes, no one gives a damn … I've been in places where they haven't had a war for seventy years and you know what? The people haven't even been given names. They don't know who they are! It takes a war to fix that. In a war, everyone registers."
- Bertold Brecht

"If the heart could think, it would stand still."
-Fernando Pessoa

"The time will come when the sun will shine only upon a world of free men who recognize no master except their reason; when tyrants and slaves, priests, and their stupid or hypocritical tools, will no longer exist except in works of history or on the stage"
- Condorcet