Etel Adnan On Painting

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Lebanese painter, poet and journalist Etel Adnan with one of her works

“I think of my paintings as one surface after another, each calling for a new decision consistent with what’s actually there. I paint in a state that is half-awake and half-asleep, deeply engrossed within my own mind. Trusting your own instincts is key. You trust that what you’re doing is not just colors and shapes but the construction of something that transcends them. Painting, like music, is its own language, so you trust it and let go.”
Full interview with Dylan Kerr here.

Etel Adnan On Painting

No. Just No.

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Jackson Pollock’s Number 11, 1952, also known as Blue Poles

Liberal Senator James Paterson reckons that the National Gallery of Australia should sell one of it’s best-loved paintings – Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles.  Bought in 1973 for the then record price of $1.3 million, the painting is now estimated to be worth around $350 million. “It’s not appropriate for the Federal Government to own a single piece of art worth $350 million, particularly given that money could be much better used elsewhere,” says Paterson in the Herald Sun (of course..).  And what should that money be used for? “Given our gross national debt of $470 billion as of this month, my preference would be to use every dollar of the proceeds from selling Blue Poles to pay down debt.”  No words… (More here).

No. Just No.

80 Tonnes of Shit for the City of Zurich

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Working drawing for Mike Bouchet’s installation The Zurich Load 2016

Mike Bouchet has taken a novel approach to this year’s Manifesta 11 theme – ‘What People Do for Money: Joint Ventures’ by re-routing and transforming the city’s waste.  His work The Zurich Load 2016, which is in its final stages of production, consists of 80,000 kilos of human faeces – the equivalent of a day’s worth of sewerage production in the city.  The artist has been working with a local sewerage plant and conservator to transform the waste (using lime and cement) into a series of monumental, hand formed bricks, produced at the rate of about fifty per day.  Poking fun at the stereotypes of the ‘clean’ Swiss, Bouchet’s is keen for participants to get up close and personal with their waste.  He says; “With this work I like the idea of people being comfortable around it. There is reason why there’s a taboo about waste that has built up over the ages.”  The completed work, which can only be shown indoors, (and smells INTENSE by all accounts), will sit in one of the largest exhibition spaces in the city, the first floor of the Migros Museum from June 11th – September 18th before being destroyed.

80 Tonnes of Shit for the City of Zurich

Life Drawing with Iggy (and Ruth)

Iggy reclines
Iggy reclines at Brooklyn Museum

Brooklyn Museum recently hosted a life drawing session with a twist.  Organised by artist Jeremy Deller, the subject was Iggy Pop.  On the 21st of February a diverse group of arts students including retirees, undergrads, postgrads and practising artists aged 19-80 assembled at the Museum to draw the leathery one.  The resulting works will be exhibited as part of the gallery’s Autumn exhibition program.  Describing his choice of subject Deller said: ““For me it makes perfect sense for Iggy Pop to be the subject of a life class; his body is central to an understanding of rock music and its place within American culture. His body has witnessed much and should be documented.”

Hand drawn poster by Ruth O'Leary
Hand drawn poster by Ruth O’Leary

And if you’re in Melbourne and fancy attending a life drawing session sans Iggy check out Life Drawing Brunswick, run by artist Ruth O’Leary (who creates rad posters like the one above for each session).  From 6:30pm every Tuesday night, 33 Tinning Street, Brunswick.

Life Drawing with Iggy (and Ruth)

Introducing the Basquiat Burger

The late artist munching on a more reasonably priced burger (probably)
The late artist munching on a more reasonably priced burger (probably)

What better way to commemorate a dead artist than with an overpriced burger?  Philadelphia-based burger joint PYT Burger is setting up shop in the Bowery in NYC, just around the corner from Basquiat’s old digs at 57 Great Jones Street so they’ve decided to add the ‘Basquiat Prime Beef Burger’ to their menu.  The artist’s old haunt is now occupied by an organisation called Japan Premium Beef Inc. PYT staffer Malcolm said: “The guys at JPB made this beef especially for us.  The meat itself costs about fifty-something dollars per pound, and the spices used on that is very high end. It’s like butter, it’s so soft.”  Accordingly, the Basquiat Prime Beef Burger will set you back – wait for it – USD$64.00.  A whole lot cheaper than the artist’s paintings I guess.

Introducing the Basquiat Burger