Friday, December 31, 2010

2010, In Memoriam: Bill Binzen and Corinne Day

Two photographers passed away this year. I never met either of them, but loved their work.

Bill Binzen wasn't one of those people who know what they want to be when they grow up since childhood. He and photography did not find each other until he was in his forties, but by then he was ready for it. He became a prominent figure in advertising during the sixties, and enjoyed a long and successful career. He published a few small paperback photo books of his personal work back in the day, one of which I own.

Here's some of Bill's work:


Her Mother ran a brothel. She was raised by her grandmother, "Nan". A failure at school, she took a job as a courier, flying around the world routinely. On a flight, a photographer suggested she become a model, and she did, appearing in ads and magazine covers in places as far as Japan and Australia, where she met her lifetime SO, Mark Szaszy, who would expose and train her in one of his prime interests, photography. Corinne Day thus made the switch from one side of the camera to the other. She began by photographing the models off the runway, in their tattoos, old personal clothes, and cheap, tiny apartments. Phil Bicker, editor of The Face, saw something in her portfolio and hired her.

At a time when fashion photography was surreally perfect (Think Family of Man), Ms. Day took her insider knowledge of the model trade and dared to show its Shadow side. She discovered Kate Moss, who reminded her of her subjects in Milan and got her a cover in 1990. Moss was 16, and she appeared topless and in other pictures the implication was that she was naked. The fashion world had been using younger models and Moss was unlike the others. Corinne Day got her work, used her native attitude, and refused to have her pictures retouched, something unheard of at the time. She and a stylist named Melanie Ward created the waif look, brought grunge into fashion, and later the controversial "heroin chic", which for her was quasi-documentary reality, acknowledging the stressed, drug-laced reality of modeling and her life at the time.

In 1996, when she went to the hospital where she was diagnosed with the brain tumor that would take her life fourteen years later, she asked Szaszy to bring a camera and directed him in taking pictures of her.

She kept working as long as she could, doing fashion and commissions for the National Portrait gallery,  Victoria and Albert Museum, Science and Design, Tate Modern, Saatchi and others. The medical costs of treating her disease in the US were staggering. Her friends and Kate Moss raised more than 100,000 pounds by selling prints on her behalf, but the tumor finally killed what could die of Corinne Day on August of this year.

Vogue's editor, Alexandra Shulman, described Corinne Day as "one of the most influential photographers of her generation".



--- Luis

Thursday, December 30, 2010

This New Year's Weekend: Dec. 31st, 2010 - Jan 2, 2011

Art Taco would like to wish everyone a Happy (and safe) New Year's.

The Last Hurrah @ The Old Dali Museum - As the year ends, say goodbye to the Dali by visiting one last time this weekend. It will be open Friday Dec 31st, 10 AM - 4 PM, Saturday Jan 1, Noon - 6 PM, Sunday Jan 2, Noon to unspecified closing time. That's it until the new one opens. $17 admission for adults, $10 for children 10+ yrs old $4 for kids 5-9. 1000 Third Street South St. Petersburg, FL. The new museum opens on January 11th.

Free Day @ Glazer Children's Museum - Tuesday, Jan 4th, is the 2nd tuesday, free day at the Glazer Children's Museum. Take advantage of this Target sponsored opportunity to take your kids and inner child to the Museum. 110 W. Gasparilla Plaza Tampa

Adios, Kodachrome.

Today was the last day that rolls of Kodachrome were accepted for processing at Dwayne's lab, in Parsons, Kansas. After the last batch is processed, the K-14 machines will be sold for scrap, and an era in Photography comes to an end. Kodachrome, specially the K64, in my opinion, (and I shot thousands of rolls of it) was not truthful, simple, honest nor sentimental. It was the first film for photographing in a hyperreal color mode.

It blew the doors of perception off the hinges. It didn't even attempt forensically faithful reproduction. Anyone who owned a Macbeth chart can tell you this. What was unique about it, and set it apart from every other photon-embracing medium (except for the Lumiere dyed potato starch grain process) was that it was designed by artists, the Leopolds Mannes & Godowsky, not just scientists or technicians. Kodachrome, dripping with character, poetic in nature and almost able to sense the invisible was an extraordinary palette, a work of art in itself. Literally, an art film, not in the sense that it conferred "instant art" status (what does?), but if you allowed the right light and vision to rain down on it , Kodachrome would sing in your hands as nothing else does.

So long, Kodachrome. Rest in peace.

--- Luis

You give us those nice bright colors
You give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world's a sunny day, oh yeah!
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So Mama, don't take my Kodachrome away

                               --- Paul Simon, Kodachrome.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Pure Truth: Photorealism at Tampa Museum of Art.

Realism has taken many forms in Art. In the modern context, it is philosophically derived from Locke and Des Cartes & originated by Thomas Reid, a Scottish "Common Sense" philosopher who replaced no less than Adam Smith at Glasgow. Artistically, Realism arises in 1850's France as a reaction to Romanticism. Championed by Courbet, as a way to get closer to the Truth (and further away from Romanticism), with such works as "Bon Jour Monsieur Courbet" . Photography had already been invented and announced to the world by Daguerre in 1839.

Photorealism began around 1969, derived from Pop Art and partly in reaction to the spontaneous, unplanned brush strokes Abstract Expressionism, the term coined by NYC art dealer Louis K. Meisel, who defined it thusly:

1. The Photo-Realist uses the camera and photograph to gather information.
2. The Photo-Realist uses a mechanical or semimechanical means to transfer the information to the canvas.

[This was usually done by projecting slides]

3. The Photo-Realist must have the technical ability to make the finished work appear photographic.
4. The artist must have exhibited work as a Photo-Realist by 1972 to be considered one of the central Photo-Realists.
5. The artist must have devoted at least five years to the development and exhibition of Photo-Realist work.

  It was first used institutionally the next year in a show at the Whitney called "Twenty-Two Realists". It was also called Super-Realism, New Realism, Sharp Focus Realism, or Hyper Realism at the beginning. The first Photorealists were Richard Estes, Ralph Goings, Chuck Close, Charles Bell, Audrey Flack, Don Eddy, Robert Bechtle and Tom Blackwell.

At this site, you can see the work of ten photo-realist painters.Here's the results for a Google search for Photorealist images.

There were also Photorealist sculptors ("Verists"), the most famous of which is Duane Hanson.

Photorealism continues to this day, but has shifted from a mainly American movement, to a European one.

The pay-off for this rigid way of working was a kind of objectivity, a Pure Truth expressed in paint, not the photographic print. Estes and others took this in different directions. One thing Estes did was to explore the origins of Impressionism via light, space and subjects. Like much Pop Art, Photorealism is concerned with banal, consumerist subjects and everyday scenes.

There is much, much more to Photorealism than this little article, which is meant as a primer for Museum goers to the TMA show to experience the fullness of the work.

Realism: Selections from the Martin Z. Margulies Collection. November 20, 2010 - July 17, 2011 @ Tampa Museum of Art, 120 W. Gasparilla Plaza. Admission $10.00. Museum hours: Mon, Tues, Wed, and Fri from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Thurs from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; and Sat and Sun from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
--- Luis

Friday, December 24, 2010

This Weekend: Dec. 24th - 26th

Wishing you and your loved ones a very  Merry Christmas from Art Taco.

Boxing Day Incident @ Cafe Hey - A WMNF event featuring live music and visual arts at this jewel of an intimate venue.
5-9 PM Sunday, Dec. 26th, 1540 N. Franklin Ave., Tampa. 813.221.5150.

Realism: Selections from the Martin Z. Margulies Collection @ Tampa Museum of Art (TMA) - This is an exhibit resulting from the partnership between the Margulies Collection in Miami and TMA. Fidelity to a real or conceptual referent and its apparent veracity is one of the core issues in the Visual Arts.
Tampa Museum of Art, 120 W. Gasparilla Plaza Tampa. Through July 17th.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dear Santa...

 So you're shopping locally this year. I know I haven't been er...maximally good, perhaps edging into the gray teflon slope of naughty at times. You were probably watching that night at the Refractory show at the Armature Works, weren't you? Remember, I believed in you long after my friends stopped. Maybe too long. Anyway, deserving or not, here's my list for 2010, in no particular order.

1) It's way too big for my house -- or the chimney --, and one can only imagine how much money it would cost to get (or have made) a plexiglass box to fit over it to keep the dust out, but Kim Radatz' "Wishful Thinking"  has been on my mind for some time since I first saw it at C. Emerson's Sapience show.

2) Diane Ding had a suite of four paintings at Mindy Solomon's Tranformative Influences show, and I simply can't bear the cruel thought of separating them, Santa, so all four should stay together -- and on my walls. Here's one.

3) One of Carolina Cleere's paintings of crows, any of them, though the one with the birthday candles below it may be my favorite.

4) A signed book of Orlando poetess Rachel Leona Kapitan's poetry, with the extraordinary poem "Gardener" in it, along with a DVD of her performing it. Or getting to see her "reading" it again.

5) Santa, can you er..."liberate" paintings from private collections? Collections that were here at the St Pete Fine Arts Museum in 2010? You see, there's this painting by Botero, that he kept for himself, and I'm normally not a Botero fan, but there's one in which he depicted himself dressed in drag, which at first appears to be self-mocking... and it took me several visits before realizing one small but significant thing that shifted the entire meaning of the painting: The watch he is wearing in drag looked familiar. Eventually I realized it was exactly the same watch his mother was wearing in another painting. His mother's watch. Maybe it's because my own mother died earlier this year. Or maybe I would have reacted just the same. I don't know, but the title "Melancholy" became scintillatingly clear, and I would love to have it.

6) Nancy Cervenka makes sculptures out of film, yes, film. See here and here . Santa, I could live with any of them.

7) Donna Gordon, the owner of the gallery of the same name creates beautiful, provocative small sculptures. I want one, preferably one where one can see inside the figure.

8) I went to the Car Show this year, and this came across as a work of art, so if there's room in the bag, a light of these. Just leave it in the driveway and the keys in my mailbox, thank you.

9)  Theo Wujcik's Imperial Jade Quarter Pounder  With Cheese [Link] is my kind of take-out, Santa.

10) "Flat Tire" by Mernet Larsen, from the Morean Show, is one of those artworks that has lingered on my mind for months. You know what to do, Santa...

Ok, I'll stop for now...thanks, Santa!

--- Luis

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mernet Larsen: Utility and Beauty @ Mindy Solomon Gallery

I could begin by telling you about Mernet Larsen's distinguished 35-year career at USF until retiring. In between, lecturing  at places like Yale and RISD. Or that some of her students went on to become prominent artists in the area and elsewhere, the distinguished panels in first-rate schools, 25 solo and over 70 group exhibits, or the NEA grant, international stints, but none of it would prepare you for the Larsen paintings being currently shown at Mindy Solomon Gallery.

Take "Ballerina", painted in 2006. The perspective that defines your viewpoint isn't there. Instead, regarding the ballerina and the stage, you're above and to the left. The expressionless couple, who are in an unsustainable pose before the stage, are also to your right, and in front of you, but their seats are almost below you. Notice the receding front of the stage is getting bigger, not smaller, as it gets further away from the viewer. The light is surreal: There are no shadows, but there is slight modeling. We can see no other audience members. Everyone is in their own perspective and space.

In "Walk on a Windy Day", There's two people walking along the window of an eatery. Each seems encapsulated in their own world, and the eatery is empty. It's a little like "nighthawks", except during daytime  The lighting is mildly directional from the restaurant window. Notice the light shadowing around the man's and woman's jawline and arms, yet they cast no shadows. The sidewalk, the figures and the seats of the restaurant booths have a somewhat coherent perspective (about 45-degrees from the viewer), but the floor is at 90 deg or seen from overhead. The "shadows" cast by the booth benches have little to do with the rest of the light direction, and extend the vertical perspective.

Two dour, if not grim-faced young men enter a space carrying large packages in "Shoppers". In a post-9/11 world this is worrisome, or cause for concern. What is concealed in those wrapped packages? Are we right to worry, or are we being paranoid? They are stepping out of a textured, very dark triangle/floor. Note that the man closer to the viewer is seen from above, and the second man who is further away is larger, when he should be smaller, visually, and he is being seen from a low point of view. We can see below the chin of the latter, and not so the former, though we can see the top of his head. On the closer man, the light is coming from his left. On the other one, from the front, and slightly to his right. Again, there are no shadows cast by the figures. Each of the two men are in their own world.

In her artist's statement, Ms. Larsen speaks of her art as "...essences of ordinary events made tangible". Also as "filtered through wry detachment", memory "turned into an object, monumentalized." Unlike many artists who strive to conceal the traces of process in their work, she is at ease with artificiality. The geometry, perspective and the other qualities of the figures and space are deftly used to create tensions and alignments with the events depicted, and in every image, there is a systemic unity between all these aspects in the work.

In spite of the artificiality, the visible components, like tracing paper painted over with acrylics and pasted on to the canvas, these paintings ultimately have a strong gestalt. The effect of the multiple perspectives, at first jarring because the viewer's perception and artistic consciousness are tuned to that we've had since the Renaissance, dislocates one of the viewer's dearest "givens". These paintings change our inner visual language. After you've spent some time with them, they make sense, and their unusual logic becomes clearer.

One of the things that makes a Mindy Solomon Gallery opening is the contact and accessibility of the artists after they talk. At this opening, thanks to the proximity with Thanksgiving, the usual standing-room-only arts crowd was sparse. This gave me a golden opportunity to converse with Ms. Larsen. The amount and depth of research, study, passion and preparation that goes into these paintings is vast, yet only a springboard to her transformative creativity. She is very cognizant of issues in Art History and explores some very esoteric things with which she is fluent: A parody and critique of Renaissance narrative painting. Chinese landscape. El Lissiztky (hints of Suprematism and Proun). Temporary overnight cloth forts used in Uidapur, India transformed into what looks like a coffin in "Icon". During our talk I mention that the isolation of the figures brings to mind Hopper. She smiles, and says that Hopper was on her mind during some of the paintings, pointing to "Walk on a Windy Day". We talk about the perspective, the vertiginous spaces, and I say something about how these tensions create a higher-order tuning-fork resonance(s), something akin to music. All the time, Mernet is transparent, friendly, openly sharing her love of art, interfacing, finding common ground, while gently leading and educating as well.

 A special note of thanks to Mernet Larsen for kindly taking time to talk and to Mindy Solomon for making all this possible.

I'll end by telling you this: Make time to see this one. I'll be going back to see it again.

--- Luis

At Mindy Solomon Gallery. Runs through Dec. 31st. 124 2nd Ave NE, St Petersburg. 727.502.0852

Understanding Conceptual Art: Sol Le Witt

This is a good primer on understanding Conceptual Art:

Sentences on Conceptual Art

by Sol Lewitt

  1. Conceptual artists are mystics rather than rationalists. They leap to conclusions that logic cannot reach.
  2. Rational judgements repeat rational judgements.
  3. Irrational judgements lead to new experience.
  4. Formal art is essentially rational.
  5. Irrational thoughts should be followed absolutely and logically.
  6. If the artist changes his mind midway through the execution of the piece he compromises the result and repeats past results.
  7. The artist's will is secondary to the process he initiates from idea to completion. His wilfulness may only be ego.
  8. When words such as painting and sculpture are used, they connote a whole tradition and imply a consequent acceptance of this tradition, thus placing limitations on the artist who would be reluctant to make art that goes beyond the limitations.
  9. The concept and idea are different. The former implies a general direction while the latter is the component. Ideas implement the concept.
  10. Ideas can be works of art; they are in a chain of development that may eventually find some form. All ideas need not be made physical.
  11. Ideas do not necessarily proceed in logical order. They may set one off in unexpected directions, but an idea must necessarily be completed in the mind before the next one is formed.
  12. For each work of art that becomes physical there are many variations that do not.
  13. A work of art may be understood as a conductor from the artist's mind to the viewer's. But it may never reach the viewer, or it may never leave the artist's mind.
  14. The words of one artist to another may induce an idea chain, if they share the same concept.
  15. Since no form is intrinsically superior to another, the artist may use any form, from an expression of words (written or spoken) to physical reality, equally.
  16. If words are used, and they proceed from ideas about art, then they are art and not literature; numbers are not mathematics.
  17. All ideas are art if they are concerned with art and fall within the conventions of art.
  18. One usually understands the art of the past by applying the convention of the present, thus misunderstanding the art of the past.
  19. The conventions of art are altered by works of art.
  20. Successful art changes our understanding of the conventions by altering our perceptions.
  21. Perception of ideas leads to new ideas.
  22. The artist cannot imagine his art, and cannot perceive it until it is complete.
  23. The artist may misperceive (understand it differently from the artist) a work of art but still be set off in his own chain of thought by that misconstrual.
  24. Perception is subjective.
  25. The artist may not necessarily understand his own art. His perception is neither better nor worse than that of others.
  26. An artist may perceive the art of others better than his own.
  27. The concept of a work of art may involve the matter of the piece or the process in which it is made.
  28. Once the idea of the piece is established in the artist's mind and the final form is decided, the process is carried out blindly. There are many side effects that the artist cannot imagine. These may be used as ideas for new works.
  29. The process is mechanical and should not be tampered with. It should run its course.
  30. There are many elements involved in a work of art. The most important are the most obvious.
  31. If an artist uses the same form in a group of works, and changes the material, one would assume the artist's concept involved the material.
  32. Banal ideas cannot be rescued by beautiful execution.
  33. It is difficult to bungle a good idea.
  34. When an artist learns his craft too well he makes slick art.
  35. These sentences comment on art, but are not art.

First published in 0-9 (New York), 1969, and Art-Language (England), May 1969

Friday, December 17, 2010

This Weekend: Dec. 17th - 19th

Christmas seems to have blitzed in this year. I hear people saying they're done with their shopping, and each time it sends a flurry of little panics through me. Eight shopping days left (ack!).

Closing for "Fused" @ Silver Meteor Gallery - This is a great exhibit based on a simple idea of artists making work on a musical theme from one piece of music. AT was there at opening night. Each artist created their work within the confines of a box of the same size, which goes to show that inside the box is not all bad. Next to the work is a headset so you can hear the music the work is based on. Great show, beautifully curated, and The Silver Meteor is a great venue.

Silver Meteor Gallery. 6-9 PM Sunday, 2213 E. Sixth Ave. Ybor City Tampa. Free.

Small Works @ Clayton Gallery - 27 artists offering works that measure 24 inches or less in several kinds of media. Clayton Galleries, 4105 S. MacDill Ave. Tampa. Free admission. 10 AM - 5PM Tue. through Friday. Closes January 22.

Craft Fest @ Artpool -  An outdoor arts & crafts sale that is a great last chance to buy an unusual, hand-made gift for someone on your list as the Big Day approaches. AT will be there doing last-minute shopping. Be sure to go inside Art Pool and check out the art & clothes there, too.
Art Pool, 919 1st Ave N., St Petersburg. 10 AM - 4PM.

Gulfport Art Walk - Arts, Crafts, Antiques, Glass and more at the Gulfport Art Walk. Sidewalk exhibitors line the downtown street. Beach Blvd, Gulfport, Saturday 6-8 PM.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Eyes Have It: The Mona Lisa Code

A book printed fifty years ago mentioned that in The Mona Lisa painting, there are symbols and characters painted inside the figure's eyes. The book was recently rediscoevered and the existence of the characters confirmed by Italy's National Committee for Cultural Heritage.

"In the right eye appear to be the letters LV which could well stand for his name Leonardo Da Vinci while in the left eye there are also symbols but they are not as defined.
He said: "It is very difficult to make them out clearly but they appear to be the letters CE or it could be the letter B - you have to remember the picture is almost 500 years old so it is not as sharp and clear as when first painted.
"While in the arch of the bridge in the background the number 72 can be seen, or it could be an L and the number 2."

See here: [Link]

--- Luis

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Midtown Through Our Eyes @ Cafe Kahwah

I first saw a larger version of this show at Studio @ 620 back in Oct 2010. A smaller version of it (apparently without the poetry readings) is presently hanging at Cafe Kahwah, one of my favorite Sunday morning haunts -- and where I am presently typing this from). I have re-posted part of my Oct. review here. If you missed this earlier, be sure to see it this time.

[Normally, Journalism is not the province of Art Taco, but in this case, I'm making an exception. The Journeys in Journalism Program summer camp in Midtown is doing something extraordinary.]

Midtown is a 5 and-a-half square-mile area. Forgotten by the city for years, it languished with minimal services of the kind that other St. Petersburg neighborhoods fully enjoyed. Mayor Baker decided to bring change and there has been some and development in the area in the last five years. There were many snags, such as when the USPS refused to locate a Post Office in MidTown. They relented a year and a half later. New businesses and developments are now part of the scene in Midtown.

The Journeys in Journalism Program summer camp in Midtown brought together 44 students from three schools, Melrose Elementary, John Hopkins Middle School, and Lakewood High Schools. The camp runs for about three weeks at each school. The students learn photography, writing, and basic journalistic skills, and it's not just theory, but hands-on practice, and lots of it. The result is the professional-caliber Midtown Magazine, a traveling exhibit of over 100 photographs, and poetry the Journalists have written.

Journalism does much more than that which it does best: report life. It is also current local history, being laid down, a record of a time, place, and people. In this case, by those living it, telling their story as no one else can. Congratulations to Journeys in Journalism, for the excellent training, alighting on imaginations and hearts, with positive consequences reaching far into the future.

  At the first Kahwah Cafe, 204 2nd Ave. South. St Petersburg from the 2nd week of December.  No one at the cafe seems to know the closing date (!) .

Holiday Schedule and Fine Art Sale @ C. Emerson Fine Arts

C. Emerson Fine Arts is welcome back from a successful week at Aqua in Miami (Congratulations!) and is wrapping up 2010 with a Holiday Fine Art Sale.  I see lots of great buys here...

Special Holiday Hours:
Saturday December 11th 11AM to 8 PM
Tuesday December 14 - Friday December 17 11AM-4PM
Saturday December 18th 11AM-8PM
Monday December 20 - Thursday December 23 11AM- 4PM

Closed for Holiday vacation December 24 - January 14th

or shop online....[Link]

--- Luis

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ybor Art Colony Open House

Ybor Art Colony [Link] is a group of artist's studios located on Seventh Avenue, on the 1500 block on the 2nd floor. Art Taco used to go there during the Ybor Art Walks to see work and the artists in their open studios. A month ago, the Colony had its first Open House in a long time. The Colony hallways are now clear, the floors sparkling, sparkling and the walls newly painted. It has a new director, Hance Clay [Link].

Hance's roomy studio [Link] has surfboards leaning against the wall, along with this work, paintings in the form of a wide variety of portraits, figures, landscapes [Link], florals [Link] and abstracts. The work has a distinctive color palette, spirituality, intensity and at times, it reflects Hance's sense of humor.

At the top of the stairs that connect the Ybor Art Colony to Seventh Avenue in Ybor is Jason Shiver's studio. Jason works in different media including paint, pencil, pastels, charcoal and a welding torch. His talents became apparent early, as in this painting, "Mother and Child", he made when he was eleven years old [Link].
There are portraits [Link], commissioned and uncommissioned, of people -- and pets. There are several ecologically-themed paintings and sculptures in his body of work [Link]. There are the representational works, in which Jason departs from realism and his imagination takes flight [Link]. From the way Jason paints and sculpts fish, he must have spent lots of time on or in the water. AT had the pleasure of speaking with Moira Shiver, Jason's charming wife and most enthusiastic supporter.

Some of Jason's latest paintings are still works in progress in his studio, and concern current economic and political conditions. They're in the same passionate vein as his ecologically themed works. 
At the very back of that hallway is the  Fashion Design Studio of Elizabeth Carson Racker, who is a native of Tampa. At age twelve she attended an Ebony Fashion Fair show. Years later, after lots of work and a bachelor's degree at Savannah College of Art and Design, she began working with the Ebony Fashion Fair and her senior collection was purchased and featured in the Ebony Fashion Fair's 2006-2007 Stylishly Hot Fashion Show. Her designs were also featured in the 2007-2008 Glam Odyssey Fashion Show and other shows from Tampa to NYC since.  At the opening a month ago, the hallways were lined with people and photographers eager to see Ms. Racker's elegant formal evening wear designs, which you can see here [Link]

  Adjacent to Hance Clay's studio is a smaller one practically wallpapered with multi-hued figures and spaces occupying every square inch of the canvases. In medieval paintings this kind of density is known as horrovacuity. Greg Latch's prolific output covers the walls of his studio. Greg is one of those people that one feels a kind of instant intimacy with. He's very friendly, funny, smiles beautifully, and, like his paintings, is full of life. [Link]

From his biography on his site:

"I drew all the time, no video games back then and no art in the schools. The only art classes I had was at bible school. After I got older I drew for the church, I think mainly because no one else wanted to."

His art is varied, eclectic and intensely human. [Link], [Link], [Link].


Treat yourself to the Ybor Arts Colony Open House this Saturday, Dec 11th at 1521 1/2 Seventh Avenue, from 5-9 PM. The quality and variety of the work, the reasonable prices, delightful, talented, creative and skilled people make for an enchanted  evening.

--- Luis

This Weekend, Dec 10th - 12th.

Ybor Art Colony Open House - This gem of a cluster of artists' studios holds an open house Saturday @ 5 PM Free. Ybor Art Association, 1521 1/2 E. Seventh Ave. Tampa. 813.495.4649. (see associated article above)

Art T-Shirts @ Tempus - Fourteen artists. including Suzanne Camp Crosby, exhibit their t-shirts at the Tempus Garage Gallery. All for $15 dollars or less. You select your choice, and they print it there while you wait. There will be a video by Rob Fladry and Aaron Hutchinson showing in the courtyard. Friday, Dec 10th @ 5132 N. Florida Avenue. AT recommended food segue: The Taco Bus.

Work @ West Tampa Center for The Arts - 75 new works from 30 emerging USF artists. This is their first one. Get there early for a crack at the hors d'oeuvres and prizes. 7-11PM, Friday Dec 10th, at West Tampa Center for The Arts, 1906 N. Armenia Ave Tampa FL. $3 suggested donation. 813.453.4381

Roser Park Arts & Crafts Show - The show is good, but the location is extraordinary. One of the most beautiful areas in St. Pete hosts a sidewalk art show. AT finds this a great way to spend a golden afternoon with a friend. Tours of Homes offered this year, too. Historic Roser Park, 500 Roser Park Drive, St. Petersburg. Saturday and Sunday Dec 11th & 12th. Parking available free at the Bayfront Medical Center. 727.772.3860

 Invisible in The City @ 620 - Human Rights Day @ Studio 620. Stories, Music, and more. Friday and Saturday Dec. 10-11th. Free. Studio @ 620, 620 1st Ave S. St Petersburg. 813.558.5841 Call for hours.

St Pete Downtown Artwalk - Galleries and studios open up to the public at night. Get a list of locations and map by going to:  [Link].  Starts Saturday, Dec 11th, @ 5:30 PM.


The Jemseks @ Craftsman House - Enjoy S'mores at the fire with the artists and demonstrations of working methods as they celebrate their 5 yr anniversary. Saturday, Dec 11th, @ Craftsman House, 2955 Central Ave, St Petersburg. Free. Starts @ 5 PM.

Tour De Clay - The third annual Tour de Clay opens six pottery artists' studios to the general public, offering freshly-made clay goods straight out of the kiln for purchase.

Pottery Boys Clay Studios, 30 Bogie Lane, Palm Harbor. Kiln @ 9:00 AM

Clay and Paper Studio, 110 Peterson Lane, Palm Harbor. Kiln @ 10:00 AM

Rising Sun Pottery, 1112 W Carmen St, Tampa. Kiln @ noon.

Wellman and Welsh Pottery 17202 Whirley Road, Lutz. Kiln @ 2 PM

Hidden Lake Pottery, 16705 Hutchinson Road, Odessa. Kiln @ 3 PM

San Antonio Pottery, 11903 Curley Road, San Antonio. Kiln @ 5 PM

 Hours: 9 AM to 5 PM. Saturday Dec 11th, and 11 AM to 4 PM Sunday, Dec 12th. A party will be held at the last opening on Saturday.

Friday, December 3, 2010

"REGENERATION", Cassia Kite @ Cafe Bohemia

Sometimes you run into art by accident. Wednesday evening Art Taco went to Cafe Bohemia, one of our favorite hangouts, to see Alex, grab a sandwich and watch Oliver Stone's South America movie and friends at Electric Voodoo Tattoos just a few doors down.

Hanging on the Cafe Bohemia walls was new work by Cassia Kite, from her series "REGENERATION". Cassia's artists' statement says about this work: "...Constructs can be based on observations or experiences and can be used to organize, interpret, and approach their existing presence and their nostalgia of the past."

Several of them were pallid mid-western landscapes reduced to basic, still-recognizable lines with organic splashes of paint, some looking amorphous, others stormy or like portents. There were many variations on the theme. Without any accessible links to connect the AT reader to the work, I'll stop here and say that this is an exhibit well worth seeing.

Cafe Bohemia's Wednesday Movie Nights are delightful, intimate, extraordinary events. The movies tend to be of a political nature, but all are first-rate. Wear something warm, bring a blanket and a folding chair (there's often more people than chairs) indulge yourself  with a hot chocolate, a sandwich and/or the falafels and cozy up.

Cafe Bohemia, 937 Central Avenue St. Petersburg, FL 33705-1646 (727) 895-4495 has Movie Nights every Wednesday. Admission is free, and the experience is like what movies used to be a long time ago, not the distanced multiplex isolation. Very refreshing. Next week is Michael Moore's take on Capitalism. Cafe Bohemia is closed Monday nights and does open mike on Thursday evenings, also free admission.

Cassia Kite's work will be on exhibit until Dec. 19th when a closing reception will be held.

--- Luis

Thursday, December 2, 2010

This Weekend: Dec 3rd - 5th

[Next Tuesday] Free Day @ Glazer Museum - The first Tuesday of every month, 4-8 PM. 110 W. Gasparilla Place, Tampa. 813.443.3861

Sight & Sound: Fused @ Silver Meteor Gallery - An art exhibit at this extraordinarily cool multi-use space in Ybor, combined with live music. The artists will visually interpret the music being played (!). Saturday, Dec 4th, 8-11 PM, 2213 E. Sixth Ave, Ybor City. $2 Admission. Runs through Dec 19th, when a closing party will be held. After the opening, gallery open by appointment only. 813.300.3585

15th Annual Holiday Show & Sale @ Clay Company - Big sale of clay items. Saturday, Dec. 4th., 10AM - 5 PM, Sunday, Dec. 6th Noon - 5 PM. Free admission. Demonstrations. St. Petersburg Clay Company, 420 22nd St. S., St Petersburg. 727.896.2529

Palm Harbor Fine Arts and Crafts Festival - Saturday Dec. 4th, 10AM - 5 PM, Sunday, Dec 5th 10AM to 4 PM. Free.

Visual Unity II @ Polk Museum of Art - Eight sets of pairs of collaborating artists and one threesome constitute this interesting exhibit. Polk Museum of Art, 800 E. Palmetto St, Lakeland.