[introduction drafted in Hung Far Low's Restaurant & Lounge, 05 Aug 2004]
The Pre-Game Show...
It occurs to me that if I continue to part from my normal 1st Thursday patterns, then said "normal" patterns will cease to be.
It also occurs to me that this is a Good Thing.
Today, I'm hungry and feel the urge to drink before hitting the galleries. I'm a cheap date. Should only take a couple shots to close the deal. My original Beer & Pizza plan has gone awry, so my new dinner venue is the infamous Hung Far Low's. My choices end up as Crab Puffs, Pan-Fried Noodles, and Tequila. Mmm... Tequila... *drools*
Since I'm in quasi-costume today (I'm dressed as gonzo-journalist Spider Jerusalem from the comic book "Transmetropolitan"... my apologies to Big Ethel), I'm thinking the liquor will encourage me to really play the part. Heh...
Coincidentally, my attire seems appropriate given one of the shows is two artists working in the comic book field. I'm sure they'll be less than amused.
Unwittingly fulfilling the roles of my Filthy Assistants are friends Teressa and Ilima. Unwitting since I didn't really tell them what I was up to. So, they'll be looking AT art, while I'm looking to BE art. Performance art, on the move. Powered by TEQUILA! Which, since I've started drinking on an empty stomach is already kicking my ass... RE: Cheap Date = Kaebel. Whee!
Speaking of which, how can I, with any justice, describe the amusement I get drinking in an establishment where Buddhist and Shinto icons keep watch over a fully stocked bar. I don't think I... OOO! FOOD!
Oh. My. [Insert Deity]. Am I full or what? Right then. On to the ART!
After playing phone tag with both Ilima and Teressa, we agree to meet at Pepper Gallery to start with. Tonight, Danyel is featuring an experimental film by artist Barry Winfield, entitled "The Puzzle." An unusual piece, the underlying theme being our interconnectivity to others and a cautionary reminder that we should be looking out for one another. Lots of symbollic imagery: filmed in B&W, the lead actors were female & male/white & black (respectively), the titular puzzle being reflective, like a mirror, etc. Not exactly a piece that allows itself to be summarized in written form, and especially not by me. But I did like it, and the message. Idealistic as it may have been. But then, that's what we need isn't it? People with idealistic visions that also truly believe that we are capable of achieving them as a whole. I know I need such people in the world. They counterbalance those who see the world as so much shit, and add to it through apathy and indifference.
Ilima and her friend/art model Steven met me just as the film was about to start, so we got to watch that together. Teressa was running late, so I stuck around while they checked out the rest of the galleries. By the time they'd returned, T was still a no-show, and Ilima had to run off to network at another gallery interested in her work. I made conversation with Danyel and Barry for awhile before moving on to my next stop.
I knew that before I continued on, I had to stop at Pause for the comic art show. Comic geeks will recognize the names I bandy about. Non-geeks... I apologize. Skip ahead if you want.
Drew Johnson and Matthew Clark were the artists on display. Drew is currently working on DC's "Wonder Woman" title, and Matthew does "The Adventures of Superman." Both work with writer Greg Rucka (also on hand); Greg writes both titles, as well as a Batman title.
Now, while I enjoy superheroes, and have grown up on a steady diet of comics, I am not the avid reader that I used to be. Mostly because I suffer from the same nostalgia sickness that many other older comic fans do, and therefore I bitch and moan when people fuck with my childhood heroes. However, I also play the Devil's Advocate here, in that I preach that Change is the only constant in the Universe, and to impede change or to dwell in the past is to go against the nature of existance. Which means that after I'm done bitching and moaning, I have to adapt.
That said, I must state that change, while inevitable, doesn't necessarily mean that it will be something I like. Which is kinda how I feel about Rucka's writing. He's a capable, prolific writer. He likes to play around with real world concepts within the realm of comic book unreality. But I don't like it. There is an arrogance in his writing that just puts me off. I've met him once before, and he seems to be like his writing. I don't dislike him, but I just don't like how he writes my heroes.
Sorry. I know that's off-topic. Sort of. Just needed to get that bias out in the open.
Most of the work presented are inked pages from both Drew and Matthew's career. Which I find unfortunate. Pencillers and Inkers are usually two different artists. A good Inker can occasionally save (or at least hide) a poor Penciller. Conversely, a bad Inker can completely bury quality pencils. Most of the time, you end up somewhere in the middle. Based on the few pencils-only pieces, I can see that both pencillers are highly stylized yet quite good. Personally, I like Drew's work better. I don't think either of them is better than the other, I just happen to like styles that Drew's pencils are similar to. The one thing I can say about both of them is that I'm not fond of there inkers. At best, they seem average. It's a personal bias, being a penciller myself.
While at Pause, I run into Rachel, an acquiantance, and we catch up for a bit. She introduces me to Jessie, the curator of Pause. Afterwards, Teressa finally catches up to me, so we head out. My plan is to come back and talk to the artists before the galleries close. Normally, not a problem. Tonight though, I might not make it. It's already quarter to eight, and because of my chatting with people, I discover that I'm not making it around like I usually do. WTF? When did I become the social butterfly?
The next gallery over, I find my friend Chris Herring (the one who invited me to the Flying Dream show). He's friends of the artist, Dan Cohen (of Burning Bush Studio). Unfortunately for all of you reading this, Dan's site doesn't have any photos of his Dieterle show. Unfortunate because his shit was amazing! What I keyed into immediately was his blending of world mythology, the ancient and the modern: The Eye of Ra, Thoth, DNA strands, processing chips, silicon wafers, skin, Kabbalah, electrical wiring and yoga stances. I Ching symbology, fractal patterns, kitsunes, snakes and microprocessors. Way cool stuff. Pieces went beyond paint-on-canvas, becoming more sculptural, layered. There was meaning in the form of the piece, rather than just in the content.
If I can find a link to Dieterle's website (if they have one...), I'll be sure to share it.
...More to come...