Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Nocturnes, nightmare.

I haven't been around lately cos my mum was in hospital for maintenance, but in the meantime life outside went right on.
The "Nocturnes" exhibition at the Ciao Gallery, Wyoming happened as planned. I was told that viewers "enjoyed my work very much", and one of my paintings was even featured in a local newspaper, representing the entire exhibition! It's only a small local newspaper, but I ain't complaining! :)
Here's the article, the page and the front page. I thought the adverts next to the article were just hilarious!











While that was great news, a lot of other things didn't go quite so well. First of all, I had to ask the good people of the BECA Gallery in New Orleans to send over the two paintings they still held. They were very helpful and professional, and arranged for UPS to send them over. However, Ciao didn't give the full address (it was Jackson Hole instead of just Jackson)and the paintings arrived after 5 days instead of the supposed 2 days, hence missing the delivery deadline. I emailed but never got any reply whether they made it in to the show at all. In fact, Ciao never replied to any of my emails. The exhibition finished on the 7th and I still don't know if any of my paintings have sold. Neither did I get any reply when I asked to have the works returned, if they were unsold...
Now, I must admit I was never 100% happy with the paintings, and wanted to repaint them in a much larger format anyway, so I don't even mind if I never get them back. As far as I'm concerned, they could be like grown children who've left the house and are living their own lives now. But for a gallery to behave like that is just not on, and I am very disappointed. I'll keep trying to establish contact with the black hole, but I can't do much else, after all, I'm on the other side of the world. Meanwhile, all you people out there beware! Don't let this happen to you!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Vanity Flair

I must say Yahoo Answers is a good thing.
I just had to find out about this weird Gallery Gora in Montreal, but google only came up with heaps of promotional material. The space does look very nice, bright and spacey, and satellite maps do show it just a block or so away from the Musee d'Art Contemporain of Montreal, but the fees............
I mean, I don't have much practice at exhibiting, but these fees just seemed extraordinary! And on top of that, when I wrote back to ask where they saw my work and which pieces they were interested in, it took them about two weeks to answer. This time the email was only a one-liner compared to the previous 6 page long email with contract details, agreements, forms to sign and whatnots, with bad English AND "artsalant" instead of Artslant...
So I chucked my question up on web, and back came some rather alarming information that confirmed my doubts. Of course, I never wrote back again.

http://www.atelier-rc.com/Atelier.RC/Art_Alarm.html

So I learned the term "vanity gallery". That's fine though, if someone just wants a space to exhibit, and is willing and able to pay for it, there's nothing wrong with that, it's personal liberty. But for a gallery to be commercial to the point that it actually goes out and contacts unsuspecting "fresher" artists, luring them with the bait of exposure then demanding horrendous fees for next to no services is just outrageous! Unfortunately, most artists do struggle financially, and they do need every possible exposure they can get. New coming artists, especially, cannot afford to be too discriminative when opportunities present themselves, this combination makes us voulnerable to such scams. If I were naive enough and desperate enough I might just have fallen for it! And to prey on that is just despicable.

This goes to show, once more, how important it is to be "street wise" in the art world, just as much as in any other field, perhaps even more, because we don't have well structured unions, meticulously drafted rules and regulations, or powerful organisations to execute them, because art is free. And unfortunately, there will always be "baddies" out there who are looking for opportunities to make some easy money by any unscrupulous means. So please, if you read this, pass on the info to your friends and your friends' friends, let's not give the vultures an easy ride!

Monday, 10 August 2009

Big Sea

So the day after I posted the last blog saying I'd probably not be selected, I got an email saying that I WAS in! And that I should send ALL my proposed paintings! Imagine how pleased I was to hear that! So today I wrapped up the three paintings that I have here and entrusted them to my beloved to send tomorrow, hopefully the paint is dry enough not to go funny on the way...
I don't know much about the gallery they'll be shown in but that it is in Wyoming (mid-west they call it?), so probably can't be anything extravagant (?), but I'm well chuffed to have two exhibitions going down in less than six months, you've got to start somewhere! :)
The same day I received the "you're in" email, I also received another email from a gallery in Montreal, saying they saw my work and would like to invite me to exhibit in 2010/11. My initial reaction was "this must be a scam!". But the email was very legit, the website proper, and when I googled it lots of stuff came up; friends I consulted also said it looked real. It's a place called "Gallery Gora" in Montreal, "situated in the heart of the cultural district, adjacent to the Musee d'Art Contomporain"...
I got so nervous I was shaking! Of course if it's all for real I would LOVE to exhibit there, I pretty much jump at any chance of exposure, and just down the road from the local contemporary art museum as well! But there had to be a catch. The cost of a solo exhibition is $2500 plus $700 deposit (for WHAT!?); and the cost for joining a group exhibition is $250 for the first painting, and $150 for every additional piece, plus 20% deposit. Paintings larger than 3 feet across are considered as two paintings!! Now that, for me, is some serious money that I don't have.
Now my question is, is this normal practice? Or is this just a rich kids' club gallery? Would it really be worth it? I've always believed that good things don't come easy, so I'm finding it difficult to believe that something coming so easy coul be any good. Plus they didn't even say where they saw my work and which pieces they are interested in. So if you, kind reader, know anything about this gallery, or you know anyone who might do, please tell me! I'd be very grateful.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Trial and Error

For the last two weeks, I've been working on a series of paintings for a juried exhibition, they said the result would be out by Aug. 3rd, and I haven't heard from them yet, so I'm probably not in, but that's fine.
The paintings are basically reworked images of photographs I took before. I find it much more involving to alter the images and intensify the colours etc. by painting them, rather than fiddling around with the computer. I'm not that digital a person. Needless to say the texture and feel of the paint is a completely different animal from that of photography.

The theme of the juried call for entry was "Nocturnes", a subject that I can easily relate to as I spend a lot of my days at night. What's more, I had recently painted two pieces that were shown at a gallery in New Orleans which just happened to be of the night.













The images for the "Nocturnes" project were also square, so I decided to use the canvases left from this previous project. It wasn't long before it became obvious though that the format was far too small (12"x12") for the images to realise their potentials or make any proper impact, by this point, however, there was no longer enough time to order larger canvases (everything is ready made here, and you only get a very limited range, anything even slightly out of the ordinary has to be ordered... ) and repaint them. Given that there was not much that could be done, I proceded with the small canvases regardless, and they don't look so bad after all. I emailed them out along with the two previous paintings.


Now, even if I never hear from this gallery
again, it will have been a good excercise, I've learnt a lesson and I think I might just repaint them in the right format when the time comes, and develop this theme and method further.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Beginning

I've been thinking about this project for some time now, and finally started it last night. Actually there are other more urgent things that I ought to be doing, but this one's been sitting around for so long, I just had to do something about it.
Basically this project is about gender. It's not quite apparent yet, but hopefully you will be able to see when the whole thing comes together. I decided to start with the easy part to get things rolling, so here is the pink rabbit, it belongs to the little girl in the project. They have a very close relationship.
Now, that's all I'm going to say at this point. It should be the images talking and not me ;)
Meanwhile, I'm going to get a move on another two projects that are screaming for my attention...

Thursday, 16 July 2009

I have too much beer in the house

Alright, I AM a little drunk, but I just had this idea - why couldn't I have an exhibition in my own house? What says that if I have a good range of work, nicely presented, and gather a crowd, it doesn't qualify as an exhibition!?

After about five years of nothing, I'm eager to get my work seen. The exhibition in New Orleans just closed earlier this month, and I'm working on a new project for a gallery in the UK, and two juried exhibitions in the US, but it's always tough to get your work out there, leave alone all the fees when you're already skint! So what should stop me from having my very own "private view" of my newest work? Sure, it's not a "professional" crowd as would be at a gallery, but so what? Not everyone who goes to gallery private views knows how to analyse a painting. And those who would come to my show would be even more "select"!
I've already drilled a douzen holes in the wall to put up frames, shelves and other support, the canvases and found materials are queuing up, so what are we waiting for!
Let's have a party!! :D

Monday, 13 July 2009

Spongebob gone mad!

I've long been friends with Spongebob, so when I saw these brilliant drawings by Robert Ryan Cory, I just had to post them on here!

Robert Ryan Cory « PICDIT

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Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Dream

Last night I dreamt that I was shopping for clothes for warm weather (in Israel I think?), but then stumbled upon the sales and bought a beautiful cream coat for 89 quid and a grey green shirt dress or something, can't remember. So typical. They were both way too warm for me to wear in any climate that I am currently residing. I'm never gonna wear them... But they were beautiful...

I also dreamt that I could see my friendly therapist again, for free! I was so happy, he helped me a lot even though he never seemed to be doing anything. I miss answering his questions and finding myself in tears.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Edgy Toad

I've been thinking about making this toad for over a month now. I had the idea when I had this weird job with those two weird people at their weird company. They were setting up their very bland IKEA et al. office (I think they thought it looked very modern/western), and since they liked money very much, I thought the office needed a lucky toad mascot-thing, like those traditional "money toads" that Chinese people like to have around their money making places. Too bad they fired me before I could even get started on it.

Of course, surely I wasn't going to make just another traditional toad, those are a dime a douzen on the night markets. I had in mind a toad with much more personality, and a much greater appetite as well. One that wouldn't be content with mere coins, but stacks and stacks of bank notes!

Now, with this ready image in my head, I suddenly remembered while watching some rerun, that I have a big box of Lego sitting right in front of me (yes, I need to remember things that are right in my face, problem?), so I started building a 3D sketch to get a feel of things.
In case you're wondering, it's white because it's imaginary plaster.
(Hmm... not very good for sketching is it... Lego...)

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Intro

It's been more than one and a half years since I've "returned" to Taiwan from the UK. I say "returned" because I've been out and about for so long (14 years?), I actually feel quite alienated in this place that I used to consider home. The fact that I hardly look local also doesn't help.

It's also been a few years since I've been actively "arting". Did two MA courses in between (because...?) and a lot of tedious translation work for pocket money. Unfortunately, I'm really not a words' person and my brain hurts everytime I have to work with words, so I've decided to give the arting another go. Hence this blog.

So, although it's not gonig to be a wordy one, as long as the words and I manage to get along, I will be recording ideas, thoughts, observations, and the occasional rant on here. It's a blog for the future, not for the past.

Please also be generous with your comments! :)

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

First monologue

Right.
Now that I've spend a stupid amount of time setting this thing up, I've forgotten what I was going to write. In fact, I almost only opened this account because I wanted to see how those fancy "buttons" would look on a webpage! I'm a rather low-tech kind of person, and to be able to do something like that excites me, haha!