Thursday, April 30, 2009

Two cool projects worth knowing:

Contemporary art is viewed as an international field, but usually the reference is to the billions of biennials or art fairs around the globe, or the amount of travel an artist may do in one year getting to all these events. But reading in yesterday's about Ross Bleckner being nominated as the UN Goodwill ambassodor, following in the heals of Angelina Jolie and Mia Farrow among others, I was pleased about seeing a painter who could be said to define the 1980s art market gold rush tackling serious global crises. Bleckner traveled to Uganda and worked with children who have been victims of rape, war, disease, etc., giving them materials to paint and draw. The drawings will be auctioned at a benefit dinner in NYC to raise money to continue the project. I know Angelina did a lot to raise awareness to war crimes and poverty and one or two lucky kids now have Brad Pitt as a dad (pretty sweet for them), but this project seems really hands-on, perhaps providing a small source of therapy for these young kids.

Later in the day yesterday I read about an exhibition titled "Human/Nature: Artists Respond to a Changing World," developed by The Contemporary Art Museum in San Diego and the UC Berkeley Art Musuem which invited contemporary artists to make a project in response to a World Heritage Site. Similar to the Bleckner project, Xu Bing, an important Chinese artist, visited the Mount Keyna National Park in Kenya, and decided to do a project about the fragile eco-system and asked the children from the area to create drawings about the trees and de-forestation that also incoporated the use of chinese lettering and symbols. He then created a website,, proceeds of which go back to the national park.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Charles Riva Collection

If you are in Brussels this weekend...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

unusual monuments

Paris is full of monuments as we well know-particularly and most prominently are the war memorials. It seems you can turn a corner and see some stone or (or bronze) faced "hero" on their horse or in strapping pose reminding us of some war "well fought." Napoleon and WWII monuments seem to be the most prevalent, but after living here for awhile now I have to confess I barely pay attention anymore. However this smallish bronze pedestal that I cam across in St. Ouen, a small "suburb" just outside the north of Paris, near the flea markets of St. Ouen, grabbed my attention. I was on my way to see M's new atelier and was kind of taking in the area when I saw it tucked into a small park full of blooming cherry blossom trees, the only sign of beauty in what seemed to be a rather gray, industrial town. The monument is dedicated to a small convoy of French citizens who were deported to Auschwitz, but I don't think the only French victims of this horror? Why here in this tiny little park just off of nowhere? Was it because it was a road leading outside of Paris? Maybe the small convoy they mention in the plaque were of people who once lived in this area which now, coincidentally I guess, seems to be a very Arab neighborhood. I couldn't grasp it from the text here, but in any case found it all quite strange and interesting.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

color color

Springtime-my favorite flower store and nouveauties chez Yoming,

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Trash to Treasure

Today in the New York Times: House & Home section is an article about an artist/contractor, Randy Palombo's house in Joshua Tree, CA. It's "green architecture," done DIY.