December 14, 2007

Tri-State Travel Weekend

Our friend Maureen had her MFA thesis show this past weekend at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, S.U.N.Y. We left Philadelphia around 3pm, expecting to be there by 6pm, but after battling Philly, Central Jersey, and New York Thruway Traffic, we didn't arrive until 8pm. We missed the formal reception which was a bummer, but Maureen and friends were able to give us a personal tour of the studios that night, as well as the gallery and her exhibit the following day. Inside the SDMA Exhibit.

That night we enjoyed the nightlife of the rural, new age, main street of the town. We stuffed ourselves at the Mexican Restaurant on the strip, followed by dancing at the jiggy hip-hop spot across the street. This lasted until about 3am when we migrated to another bar, where a jam band was playing old hardcore covers. We did a few shots of Lime SoCo's and called it quits when SLAKR deceivingly caught mean streak tags on the bar's Chalkboard.
A branch of our syndicate hunting for breakfast, New Paltz, NY.

The next morning we ate bagels, toured the SDMA, hung out in the courtyard, then said goodbyes to our hosts as well as to our friends who also came, by way of Boston and NYC. We were planning to visit the Dia: Museum in nearby Beacon, but we were running very late, so we skipped that move. Dia:Beacon

We headed back south and once again got caught in a nightmare of traffic and wrong turns in Central Jersey. The recurring bit of advice that highlighted the trip was "You should get GPS...." I know. Well we finally made it to Philly for the Gigantic Miniature Holiday Extravaganza Art show put on by the folks at Dutchman Studios.Dutchman Studios, South Philly

There was some great work done by local Philly and nearby New Jersey artists, with a percentage of the sales donated to AIDS research. It was a great turnout and there was also musical performances by Digs Darklighter and others.
Work by Curve TGE, 2007

At some point in the night I left to go watch the Hatton-Mayweather Fight, a fight I had been wanting to see for the past 2 and a half years now. For full effect we watched the fight in a Center City Irish Pub crowded with Brittish Hatton fans. Needless to say Hatton got his ass handed to him, losing the scorecards before getting K.T.F.O in the 10th round. Ricky Hatton, with girlfriend, after receiving an MBE honor from the Queen of England.

The next morning more travel involved a trip to Hoboken, New Jersey. We met up with friends from Jersey and New York in hopes of seeing the Patriots lose to the Steelers, only to see the opposite happen in dramatic fashion. At least the beer and food was great. That and seeing old pals, and filling out the potential of what a 2 and a half day span can hold, is what a good weekend is about. *posted by Jaguarman

December 9, 2007

Everything Lost: The Latin American Notebook of William S. Burroughs

People who are really into William S. Burroughs, in my experience, have either been heavy drug users or the type of people who seemingly have used heavy drugs for quite some time but do not do drugs and do not drink alcohol either (for the most part). Like drugs though, Burroughs has the ability to bring people together who are worlds apart who might not otherwise communicate with one another.
With the passing of Burroughs in the summer of 1997, I felt as if I would not see any work from him unless someone got all up in his shit and dug something out. I was ecstatic about the release of “Last Words,” which was his journal the last couple years of his long life. There have been books about Burroughs, but not by Burroughs.
That time has arrived with “Everything Lost: The Latin American Notebook of William S. Burroughs.”
I have had the opportunity to talk with Prof. Oliver Harris, of Keele University, in England, about the book. Harris is a true Burroughs scholar, editing the 50th anniversary edition of “Junky,” working on the Burroughs/Allen Ginsberg collaboration “The Yage Letters Redux,” and quite a number of impressive others. He is even working on the 50th anniversary edition of essays regarding “Naked Lunch,” an anniversary edition of “Queer” as well as a new book of letters. The dude knows what’s up.
We discussed how diaries/notebooks allow the reader to get close to the artist we admire. I am a huge fan of reading the diaries or notebooks of artists/authors. They permit you to “get inside” the artist and see what was going on inside their head during a specific period, or see some works or sketches that may have not been published in a collection previously, or that evolved into something else later on. They allow us, the reader, to see something “outside” of their writing, as Harris put it, and we both absolutely agreed upon.
I am very anxious to get my copy of the book delivered, as its set to be released in about a week or so. I am not sure what to expect from it, being Burroughs. His favorite book of mine though is a collection of essays, collected in “The Adding Machine.” He goes an about the process of teaching creative writing, to essays on books/writers that have influenced him, to discussing what the Johnson code is all about, something I know people reading this will be, and actually probably are, practicing already.
And so the book is coming out soon, compiled by a man who knows exactly what he is doing and is one of the most educated people in the world on Burroughs. Get it.
edit: I have learned some more about this book, and would like to add that the book is like no other Burroughs book that has been published; being this was never meant to be published at all. The original notebook is put side-by-side with the transcription. I have seen some of the handwriting and it is not easy to decipher what it states, in fact, it is quite easy to misinterpret what the handwriting says. Having a thorough knowledge of Burroguhs, as Harris does, qualifies him to correctly lay out some precious work for us to enjoy.
*posted by Dan

December 6, 2007

George Catlin 1796-1872

I was reading some history books when I happened to come across quite an interesting 19th Century painter by the name of George Catlin. His story intrigued me....He was a lawyer from Philadelphia in the 1800s who decided to quit his practice to become a full time artist and documentor. He had a fascination with the 'Vanishing Race' of the North American Indians, after visiting an American Indian delegation in Philly, and set out to record the appearance and customs of these native people.
So he traveled all over North America, searching for remote tribes not yet discovered by European settlers, accompaning General William Clark(of Lewis and Clark fame) up and down the Mississippi, the Missouri, Arkansas, and Red Rivers, also to Florida and the Great Lakes up North, basically all over. He did this adventure and travel for years, making peace with Indians and painting their life and culture.
He then travelled all over Europe exhibiting over 600 paintings in a traveling Indian Gallery where he'd deliver public lectures in places like London, Brussels, and Paris. The nearly complete surviving set of Catlin’s first Indian Gallery painted in the 1830s is now part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum's collection. Some 700 sketches are in the American Museum of Natural History, New York City. I also stumbled upon a dozen or so of his paintings in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. They're pretty detailed and amazing. But did I happen to mention the best part? Aside from Living in Philadelphia to Practice law, he was born and raised in our hometown of Wilkes-Barre, PA, the town of Luzerne, to be exact. Shouldn't there at least be a statue or plaque in his honor? Is there one I don't know about? *posted by Jaguarman

December 4, 2007

Darien St. Christmas Special

The kids at Darien St. Studios have been putting up some pretty fun parties and art shows. This weekend will be a group show similar to the Good Money show they had back in August, which was a real fun-filled event featuring many tri-state area graff writers and music acts. This time around the theme focuses on many of the same artists but with smaller and more affordable works, perfect for the holidays (give that special gift of a hand-crafted painting!) as well as AIDS awareness month. Works by kids like Distort, Ntel, Dutch and the Jersey AIDS crew, Tacoe, Gage, Curve, Dever, Niser, Dan Zomack, Melissa Enders, etc. and Performances by DIGS Darklighter and others. Proceeds to help benefit AIDS related charities. 1414 Darien Street, Philly. *posted by Jaguarman*

December 3, 2007


Alfred Stieglitz Icy Night, 1907

Stieglitz was an important photographer that helped solidify Photography as an art form in the late 19th to mid 20th century. There is an ongoing exhibit at the Perelman building highlighting some of his work. It's easy to relate to him in that it appeared he likes to take alot of pictures of the city and city life, as well as quiet photos from the countryside. He lived in New York City and retired to peaceful Lake George in Upstate New York. Georgia O'Keefe Summer Days 1936

Stieglitz was married to a famous painter many are familiar with by the name of Georgia O'Keefe.
Dorothy Norman, Luise Rainer, Woods Hole 1945

Once Georgia O'keefe got famous she spent much of her time living in New Mexico. While she was gone Stieglitz had an affair with, and took many photos of Dorothy Norman, a noted Poet, Writer, and Photographer. (The above photo isn't her, its a photo she took of her friend Luise Rainer). These are some things I learned at the Pereleman Building. *posted by Jaguarman

November 21, 2007

Luigi Serafini

In June we visited the Contemporary Museum of Modern Art in Milan, and the ongoing exhibit they had showcased there was for someone who I was unfamiliar with but went by the name of SERAFINI in huge, bright, bold, majectic letters. I actually didn't see these letters presented as how I just described--they were really just small letters on a small sign, but by the time I left the museum this name left a grandeur impression as such. And that is exactly what his work was to me: grandiose and eye-popping. What we found inside were huge paintings filling up several rooms that depicted the most unusual scenes: a couple picnicing on fake grass amidst machine guns and dead Santa Clauses, Jesus playing crochet with a skullhead while a dragon sleeps in the background and a woman bathes in a checkered tub, zookeepers feeding buckets of pills to a room full of blue wind-up alligators.....i can keep going. These works were so large and finely detailed, but not just limited to canvas. Sculptures, installations, and things I don't even know what to call, all displayed this similar monster-scaled fashion. Even his smaller drawings filled entire hallways and had enough material to pack several books. This guy must have been an unimaginal workhorse, a beast to put it lightly. I was quite lucky to stumble upon his exhibit, and months later I investigated him on the web and came across a few bios. The following is from an ironically small site dedicated to Serafini which can be found here. "Luigi Serafini, globetrotter and architect, historian and gastronomer, set and costume designer, a man who has opened a laboratory of ceramics on the border between art and craft, an industrial designer, a painter, and a writer of stories and articles.
Serafini was born in Rome in 1949. In the 1970's, he commenced his career as a globetrotter and then as an architect.
Subsequently he created the "Codex Seraphinianus" (published by Franco Maria Ricci, Milan 1981), which has now reached its sixth edition, and "Pulcinellopedia (piccola)" (published by Longanesi, Milan 1983), which is dedicated to industrial design.
The extraordinary "Codex Seraphinianus" is a book of 400 pages in the form of an encyclopedia -- graphical letters, signs, animals and plants, anatomy and chemistry -- creating a book to view and to admire. Its writing, completely invented, could never be deciphered even with the most technologically advanced machine, but it can be intuited, loaded with emotional meaning that washes over the eyes.
He has published stories in Bompiani and in Archinto, and has written articles for several magazines and newspapers.
He is an architect and designer. He has created scenery, lighting and costumes for il Teatro alla Scala and the Piccolo Teatro di Milano. He has done set designs for RAI, television acronyms/logos in computer graphics, and a talk-show program for Radio Three.He collaborated with Federico Fellini on his final film, "La voce della luna" (The Voice of the Moon), for which he developed preliminary designs.
He has been a visiting artist at the Banff Center in Alberta, Canada, and has had exhibitions at the Fondazione Mudima di Milano, the XIII Quadriennale, and the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna (National Gallery of Modern Art) in Rome.
He has opened a laboratory of ceramics in Umbria, operating between art and craft, he does personal exhibitions, especially in Holland, and participates in numerous collectives.
At the moment he paints paintings and he writes in the "Passeggiate Romane" ("Roman Walks") and "il Messaggero" ("The Messenger") and is occupied with gastronomy.
He lives between Rome and Milan, in an imaginary city where the paths of the culverts surface in Piazza Cordusio." -jaguarman

November 19, 2007

Rescue Dawn: On DVD Tuesday

The title sure does sound like an ad, and it is sort of. Blogs are information tools and one of the my favorite posts of this blog concerns the man, Werner Herzog. I did not go see Rescue Dawn in the movie theater like I wanted to. I was on that whole, "Yes, I want to go see it," when it was in the movies but I just did not get around to doing it. (That seems to happen with most movies and me. I would not and did not let it happen with The Darjeeling Limited, however.) So last week I was saying to a friend, I want to see Rescue Dawn and then three days or so later, there's a television commercial telling me it's coming out Tuesday on DVD. And now I'm telling you. ---Dan

November 16, 2007

Getting "Gonzo" With Hunter S. Thomspon

Most people come to know of/about Hunter S. Thompson through “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” either through the cult classic book or the film adaptation of the book. It is my experience that just about every single person who reads the book, instantly falls in love with and becomes enamored with HST.
Perhaps that person goes out and obtains his first book, “Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga” or they want to read his essays in “The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time.” There is even “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72,” which is the second book I read by HST.
I did not have any real interest in politics before reading the book that covered the 1972 Presidential election. He got close to George McGovern and tore into Richard Nixon whenever he could, always stoned, drunk and fearless. He also never strayed away from the virtues of that election year that he found littered on that campaign trail that criss-crossed America. I received more of an education on politics in that book than I have ever received anywhere else.
That’s the thing about HST, many people detract from his work because he indulged in copious amounts of drugs, and admits the drugs made him the writer who he is. This is also an essence of HST that attracts many readers to him.
It is fair to say HST has a large following. He was one of the leaders of New Journalism, a harsh critic of unfair laws whether it was locally in hometown of Boulder, Colo. or federal laws. When he wrote about American politics, everyone read it – from the hippies to college kids to his peer journalists to the political folks who ran the country.
There is a term which too many people believe HST coined, “Gonzo.” Doug Brinley, who worked closely with HST compiling his essays and letters, stated that the term comes from a 1960 song called “Gonzo,” by James Booker. HST friend Bill Cardoso came by HST’s place one night bringing over a cassette of the tune, which they played all night long. As the night dragged on into morning, Cardoso referred to HST as the “Gonzo man.” Cardoso later sent a note to HST in response to an article he wrote about the Kentucky Derby, calling it “pure Gonzo journalism.”
This information can be found in a recently published book, “Gonzo: The Life and Times of Hunter S. Thompson,” by Jann Wenner and Corey Seymour. Wenner is the founder of Rolling Stone magazine. The book is a must have. I am not here writing about this book though, I am here to dote on another recently published book, simple titled, “Gonzo.”
If you are a dedicated Hunter S. Thompson aficionado, this book is fucking perfect. It is one of those books when you have no cash you put on your credit card that is near its limit already. It is one of those books you steal from Barnes and Noble or Borders because fuck them, you WANT this book.
It covers his life but after going through it a few times, you’ll want more, you'll NEED more.
The book is a collection of never before published personal photographs, notes, bumper stickers, drawings, manuscripts, certifications and so much more. There has not ever been anything else published that permitted the public to get beyond just the words of HST. This book opens that door.
The section on the mythic “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” contains notes he made on napkins, booklets on the dangers of narcotics from the national policemen’s drug conference he attended, copies of bills and flight receipts and new photos. Amazing!
One particular thing I loved was seeing the actual election booth button – a photo of the actually button that you would select when going into the voting booth – when he ran for Pitkin County Sheriff in Colorado in 1970. This book allows us the opportunity to actually step into HST’s world like we never have before.
There are awesome photos of the Hell’s Angels, a pic of him next to a huge marlin he caught while in Hawaii composing “The Curse of Lono” and Polaroid photos that Ralph Steadman drew on. His Air Force certificate is shown as well as his Doctor of Divinity certificate among many other personal documents. Readers can finally get into the mind, life and times of Hunter S. Thompson by reviewing the artifacts he has left us.
There are hardcover books you leave out so other people can see them and this is one of them.
For more information about "Gonzo," visit the publisher’s Web site at *posted by Dan

Raymond G. Perelman Building

Just thought I'd throw a reminder that the new Perelman addition to the Phila Art Museum is finally open and free to the public up until Christmas thanks to a donation from a kind altruist. Its located right across the street from the main museum. The place is really facinating and much more of a modern vibe than its sibling on the other side of the street. I think after the free period is up, it'll be something like $26 a head for admission, so hop to it! There's a Euro-inspired cafe inside and the exhibits being offered are really interesting. From the Philamuseum website: "Across from the Museum's main building and behind an exquisitely preserved Art Deco facade is the newly renovated and expanded Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, the first phase of a major plan to dramatically enhance and modernize the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Visitors from all over the region, across the country, and abroad are at last able to experience the Museum's collections—some of which are being placed on view for the first time—in these extraordinary new gallery spaces, as well as enjoy state-of-the-art visitor amenities, study centers, and educational resources like never before."

November 13, 2007

More from CMOG...

The Glass Collection Galleries explore Near Eastern, Asian, European, and American glass and glassmaking from antiquity through present day.

They tell the story of glass creation, from a full-scale model of an Egyptian furnace to the grand factories of Europe, and, then America, and finally, to the small-scale furnaces that fueled the Studio Glass movement that began in America in the 1960s.

The galleries contain objects representing every country and historical period in which glassmaking has been practiced.

Conceived of as an accredited educational institution and founded in 1950 by the Corning Glass Works (now Corning Incorporated), the Museum has never been a showcase for the company or its products, but rather exists as a non-profit institution that preserves and expands the world's understanding of glass.

When the Museum officially opened to the public in 1951, it contained a significant collection of glass and glass-related books and documents: there were 2,000 objects, two staff members, and a research library, housed in a low, glass-walled building designed by Harrison & Abramowitz.

Under its first director, Thomas Buechner, the Museum continued to assemble a comprehensive collection of glass, and its library acquired rare books related to the history of glassmaking. When Buechner accepted the directorship of the Brooklyn Museum, he was succeeded by Paul Perrot, who continued the expansion of the collection and the staff.

*photos by Jaguarman and text courtesy of the Corning Museum of Glass.

November 12, 2007

CMOG in Corning, New York

We visited the Corning Museum of Glass in Upstate New York this past weekend. To put it short it was an amazing experience...."The Museum is home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of glass--more than 45,000 glass objects, spanning 3,500 years of glassmaking history. Visitors can also explore the science and technology of glass in a hands-on exhibit area, see live narrated glassmaking demonstrations and try their hand at glassworking in short daily workshops.
Located in the Finger Lakes region, in one of the most prominent glassmaking towns in America, the Museum is an educational institution, dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of the art, history and science of glass." *posted by Jaguarman

October 29, 2007

We added our friend Kiji's blog to our links. He's got some great playlists that he updates frequently for all to enjoy. *posted by Jaguarman

October 26, 2007

Pittsburgh Trip Part 3 of 4

The Cathedral of Learning, a historic landmark, is the second-tallest education building in the world—42 stories and 535 feet tall. It is also the geographic and traditional heart of the campus.

Begun by Chancellor John Bowman in 1926 and dedicated in 1937, the building was realized with the help of contributions from men, women, and children throughout the region and the world. During the peak of the Depression, when funding for the project became especially challenging, school children were encouraged to contribute a dime to "buy a brick."

In addition to the magnificent three-story "Commons Room" at ground level, the Cathedral of Learning also contains classrooms (including the internationally renowned Nationality Classrooms), the University's administrative offices, libraries, a computer center, a restaurant, and offices and classrooms for many liberal arts departments.

Instructor's view inside one of the Nationality Rooms.

Exterior shot at the base of the Cathedral

Resting, with time to kill, on the foothills of the Cathedral Lawn.

All Cathedral photos by Jaguarman with the exception of the First photo
In Part 4 I will sum up the trip with some photos from the Modern Formations Gallery Treez Group Show along with a few other snapshots from that weekend. The Treez show ends with a closing reception tonight 5:30-7:30pm.

October 24, 2007

Werner Herzog in conversation with Paul Holdengraber: Was the 20th Century a Mistake?

We attended the sold-out venue for the latest Herzog documentary, Encounters at the End of the World, with great enthusiasm, and the film definately gratified most of our expectations. In our opinion, the movie existed as a humorously new Herzog meeting a classic Herzog. The series continues today, as Werner himself makes his appearance in Philadelphia.
Was the 20th Century a Mistake?
Wednesday, October 24, 5:00 pm
B-1 Meyerson Hall, University of Pennsylvania

September Trip to Pittsburgh, Part Two

Continuing a mini photo-journal of the trip to Steel City at the end of last month.

Above: A shot through one of the many tunnels through the Allegheny Mountains. Traveling from the Pocono Area to Western PA can be a sightful drive through rural backroads and mountainous small towns. The trip from Philadelphia to Western PA, on the other hand, is a dreary 5-hour ride through colorless highways and humdrum flatlands.
Below: Arriving in Pittsburgh with almost 6 hours to kill, I visit old buildings where I used to attend class more than a decade ago. I stop to use the restroom in one of these buildings and notice I've never seen toilets like this on the Eastern side of Pennsylvania, reminding me of how Western PA always felt like the other side of the country, with much different architecture and other random details such as this.

This photo below is one of the many "Nationality" classrooms on the Ground Floor of the Cathedral of Learning. The Cathedral of Learning is a architectural symbol of the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, offering a great place of study for the University of Pittsburgh students. I will be posting more on this building in Part 3 of the trip.

October 23, 2007

Special Screening: Encounters at the End of the World

More events scheduled this week for one of our favorite modern filmakers, Werner Herzog. See list of events on the Cinema Studies Website HERE for more info.

There is a hidden society at the end of the world. One thousand men and women live together under unbelievably close quarters in Antarctica, risking their lives and sanity in search of cutting-edge science.
Now, for the first time, an outsider has been admitted. In his first documentary since GRIZZLY MAN, Werner Herzog, accompanied only by his camerman, traveled to Antarctica, with rare access to the raw beauty and raw humanity of the ultimate Down Under.
ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD, Herzog’s latest meditation on nature, explores this land of Fire, Ice and corrosive Solitude. Special Screening today at the UPENN International House, 3701 Chestnut St. Philadelphia, PA. 7pm *posted by Jaguarman

October 22, 2007

First day at the new studio

Yesterday was the first day at the new studio. The studio used to be the hay room for a carriage house.

*posted by parker