Decynicalize Here II

5947761953_d3e89af88e_oTwo is too few to call it a Canuck jag, so hold your horses.

Troy Lovegates/Other (Derek Mehaffey) belongs in here so much I can’t believe we haven’t posted him before. Lovegates does trains and he does galleries (despite finding indoors work “a bit pretentious and limited to an audience that is already interested in art hidden behind some walls out of reach.”) Also there is a book, thanks to what is surely the last era of the Canada Council funding this sort of thing for a while, until the electoral system is overhauled or more voters realize they care about this sort of thing or more of those who care about it start to vote dammit.

He’s been at it since 1988, in so many locations that he may not even count towards a Canuck jag (I joke). This “rainbow shoeshine box cover” is the only painting among Lovegates’ recent sales funding his travel from Europe to his first NYC opening this fall. It is painted on found wood. The rest of the marvelous offering comprised drawings and a limited edition linoleum print. He sold these direct out of his flickr without even a Tiny Showcase or 20×20 or Little Paper Planes, at prices nearly anyone could afford. In other words, one of life’s cynicism antidotes.

troy-lovegates on flickr

Decynicalize Here the original on EML

She Can Say What She Likes

Recently I lapsed into an old conversational tic I’d thought extinct in my language: emphatic declaration. Specifically, I declared as bullshit the declaring of Patti Smith’s work as bullshit. The irony pierced me instantly, and I retreated into bemused introspection for a couple of sips.

The experience improved my reading of this interview with Katharina Grosse. Whose work I deeply dig. (…could have selected an image featuring materials other than soil…could have left out “dig”……….)

Katharina Grosse.

Salad Days


Today I spent some time looking at this, and thinking about playing cards, and my parents, and patterns, and paranoia. My parents recently introduced me to a board game that involves playing cards, but not in the way I was used to.  Instead of trying to make patterns with the cards you are dealt, you try to make patterns on the board using the cards you are dealt. Believe it or not, this absence of any requirement to make patterns of the cards themselves struck me as daft at first.

~Hopefully I haven’t made you think of the phrase “outside the box”, like I just made myself think, and then made myself think of another phrase I instantly wished I hadn’t, the threadbare “throw up in my mouth a little”. ~

Anyway, I’d reminisced, during the game, about my childhood experience of “face” cards as quietly beguiling, with their intricate, colourful, expressive illustrations of archetypal characters. I encountered Fernando Chamarelli’s work in Flickr a few days after my playing card meditation, and I saw it as I’d seen face cards when I was a child.  This launched one of my loops of wondering about connection, pattern, significance, absurdity, insanity, vanity, haste, frivolity, reality and pointlessness.

Never mind all of that. Fernando Chamarelli! Young Brazilian painter, illustrator, and graphic designer, showing internationally and producing for names like Rolling Stone and Umbro. Still maintaining a Flickr account. Still unassuming in interviews.

The Sweet Spirit


Acknowledging that there is very little new under the internet sun, we do still avoid insta-reblog, particularly from heavy traffic sites like Wooster. Unless forced. And forced we are, by the captivating garden installations of Julio Costa. Feel the delight! Then visit his Flickr, which contains much much more, like painting with light, just plain painting, toy art, straight up graffiti, and social work. While you are visiting there, we will be hatching a plan to visit his gardens…

Flickr: julio costa graffitis Photostream.



Chinoiserie, oil and acrylic on canvas, 2007

I’ve read some interesting texts on representation lately. One of them was the thoughts of Mark Tansey, from at least eighteen years ago, in Arthur Danto’s Mark Tansey: Visions and Revisions. The other was by Alicia Paz, on her website, linked below. Paz says that her current practice is about exploring the tension between illusion and process. You probably get a sense of the illusion side of that battle from the image above. It’s not like any place you’ve been before, admit it. For a better sense of the process side, click it and you should have a slightly better view of the assembly that’s deliberately on display.

Alicia Paz.

Job To Know

This is a sister post to  Curiosity Killed Some Time, on Till Gerhard (also seen on our #1 Webcrush Booooooom!). It’s not a twin sister, as I’m not going to be doing any digging on this – you’re on your own this time. But it is a sister in terms of rhetorical inquiry. This one being “how is he incorporating so much video game aesthetic without crossing over to Heavy Metal?” Job to know, as they say, but if you have time to contemplate this, you may also have time to read this interesting essay on Games as Art. Then you can come back here to the comments and lay it all down. Then you will be making us look at you as a potential Webcrush.


Curiosity Killed Some Time

Dawn, 2005, oil on canvas

Imma dig deeper on this, but you might as well be looking at it while I do so. Just clicked around a bit after seeing this on sweet Booooooom! and didn’t find much, at least not instantly. Part of my problem will be that I am seeking not just biographical information, but commentary on ideas like “how is he incorporating so much death and doom imagery without invoking goth?” Will tweet any progress.


Progress! And sure you don’t all tweet, didn’t mean to sound coercive, so here’s the 411: Saatchi has a selection of Gerhard’s works online, each with enjoyable and thought provoking commentary. The Loyal still has a 2008 show up with a statement. And if you travel back in web time to 2006, David Marcus will answer all of your questions in a most satisfying piece for The Brooklyn Rail.

Till Gerhard online at The Saatchi Gallery

Mansion on the Hill at LOYAL

David Marcus on Gerhard in The Brooklyn Rail