Update on the Copyright Czar

It looks as tho Wired predicts that the Prez will veto the Copyright bill that the senate has passed. According to the latest article on Wired, "But the Bush administration also doesn't want a copyright czar, a position on par with the nation's drug czar Congress created in 1982 to wage the War on Drugs. Lawmakers, however, sent him the package anyway."
No doubt, the mood on the hill is pretty gnarly. Bush is drowning in economy woes, the war on terror, the war on drugs. Apparently the war on copyright is just not in their scope.

Read more here on Wired.

Nora Aslan - May you live in interesting times

Nora Aslan
Stuff, 2008
Collage , 40 x 60 inches

The following is a press release from Pavel Zoubok Gallery concerning an upcoming exhibit of collage works by Nora Aslan, a Latin American artist.

Nora Aslan
Nora Aslan: Tiempos Interesantes

October 10 - November 8, 2008
PAVEL ZOUBOK GALLERY is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of new work by Argentine artist NORA ASLAN. Please join us for the opening reception on Friday, October 10, from 6-8pm, or during the run of the exhibition, which continues through November 8.

The gallery is located at: 533 West 23rd Street (between 10th & 11th Avenues)
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10am-6pm

May you live in interesting times - so goes the ancient Chinese proverb and curse. In
NORA ASLAN’s newest series of richly patterned photo-based collages, bubble-like clusters float precariously over densely packed expanses of image fragments forming imaginary topographies that point metaphorically to an uncertain future. Through a complex interplay of decorative and documentary imagery, her collages testify to the instability and collective suffering of our global society - one plagued by war, environmental and economic turmoil. Working from a background in both architecture and textile design, Aslan has developed a unique visual language that combines elements of photomontage and painting. The artist’s third solo exhibition at Pavel Zoubok Gallery features two new collages on paper and eight large-scale works on canvas that continue her exploration into the complex relationship between art and mass culture.

The works from this series explore our collective state of anxiety in a year of enormous political, social and economic change. And while the state of Aslan’s native Argentina would certainly provide ample inspiration, her work maintains a distinctly international point of view. Using a combination of circular and rectangular forms, she draws the viewer into a series of rhythmic grids and vortices. The confluence of Aslan’s opulent structures and violent imagery forces us to question the very nature of decoration. Her liberal use of pattern is quickly subverted to reveal a dark, sinister presence of death and decay. Critic Edward M. Gomez observes: “As Aslan’s ‘pictures’ literally come into focus, formally and thematically, their socially conscious meanings and allusions emerge like mists that wrap inquisitive viewers in their embrace – and keep pulling them back for deeper, ever-more revealing inspections.” Like the chorus in a Greek tragedy, Nora Aslan’s work guides us through these exciting, agitated and contradictory "interesting times."

Nora Aslan has exhibited in numerous galleries and museums across Latin America and Europe including the National Museum of Fine Arts (Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes), Buenos Aires, Museum of Modern Art, Vienna, Museum of Modern Art, Sarajevo and has participated in Biennial exhibitions in Havana, Cuba, Porto Alegre, Brasil and Buenos Aires. She lives and works in Buenos Aires.

For additional information and images please contact Maggie Seidel at (212) 675 7490 or maggie@pavelzoubok.com


Reign of the Copyright Czar!!

Copyright Czar? Yes, it appears as tho we will have our very own copyright czar to put an entirely new spin on our copyright issues.
According to Wired, while congress was being bullied by our president to sign a bill of massive proportions to bale out Wall street and their minds were distracted, a lesser publicized bill passed on the senate floor regarding copyright. The Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act will please the Big Content folks in Hollywood. "This still remains a bill that has one purpose: to protect an obsolete business model, rather than letting more innovative models proliferate" says Techdirt. What the future holds as far as copyright is concerned is anyone's guess. The house will no doubt pass this bill. What is next??
I worry about it. The idea of having any one person "in control" makes me so nervous. We humans have a greedy streak, there's no doubt about it, (right! just look at Wall St.!!) and to have another high profile position of power to corrupt and lobby, well I guess it's bizness as usual!

Rotten Apple Tea Party - But How do I Frame It?

Rotten Apple Tea Party
Originally uploaded by misphit
I made another attempt to work on canvas this week. It's a challenge to work with different materials and I like to challenge myself.... I wanted to force myself to paint with the acrylics and try to see what I could do. I ended up hating the acrylic texture and spray painted over it with a stencil. I cheated once again. However, I am liking the canvas...at least I like the ridigity of the substrate. I am used to 140 lb. watercolor paper. The thickness is appreciated.

Since I am on a roll using these canvases, I have a new problem. The framing of the canvas collage.
How do you frame a canvas collage work?
If it's an oil or acrylic, the painting needs no matte, and in fact, it needs no glass for protection.
But this is a collage, with layers of papers and photos....
I really don't know about putting a matte AND a canvas in a frame. Is that what would be appropriate? I did some pieces a few years ago also on canvas and I framed them direct with the glass hitting the canvas. This posed potential problems with the images adhering to the glass, and I didn't like this at all. I have since removed these pieces from the glass for their own protection.
I am looking for other ideas. Does anyone else out there work on canvas?? What do you do to frame these works for display???


Free Play

Copyright issues are always at the forefront of a collagists mind. (or they should be, anyhow) The legality of our chosen profession is questionable, and it also limits the creativity of collage and places boundaries on what can be done.
And so it was with great interest when this morning, in my Rhizome News, I learned about a great radical new flash game that illustrates the current dynamics in copyright. Italian artists Molleindustria offer up The Free Culture Game, for your pleasure, which is playable in your browser if you have flash.
I love it when art finds a way to successfully poke at culture.


Graffiti and collage - Grimer

My favorite combo. There's nothing like a little spray paint along with some layers to tickle my collage fancy. I found this sweet little progression by Grimer on flickr.

F L U X H I B I T I O N # 2

Fluxus. It's hard to define. But according to wiki
1. it's an attitude, not a movement or style
2. it's intermedia. Using a conglomerate of sound image idea text as art.
3. it's very simple. to the point
4. it's got humour.
(note: on this wiki page, there is an extensive list of flux artists and most of them link!)

Fluxus artists are gathering together their art for a Fluxhibition, the second of it's kind.

INTERNATIONAL FLUXHIBITION #2 - NEW AND IMPROVED FLUXUS ARTIFACTS: Classic and Contemporary Scores, Instructions & Artifacts by Fluxus Artists From the FLUXmUSeum’s Permanent Collection - including works by: Marchel Duchamp, Yoko One, Dick Higgins, Ken Friedman, John Lennon, Cecil Touchon, George Brecht, Madawg, Larry Miller, Neil Horsky, Reid Wood, Gregory Steel, Tomas Schmit, Keith Buchholz, John, M. Bennett, Luc Fierens, Reed Altemus, Marco Giovenale, Brad Brace, Sheila Murphy, Don Boyd and others.

The Deadline for submission was September 10th, 2008. The exhibition will be held during the month of October 2008 at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center – Fort Worth, Texas USA.

Fluxvision glasses - Cecil Touchon - 2008
Vintage glasses with original case with lenses sanded down so that,
when worn the center of one's vision is blinded leaving only peripheral vision.
Instruction: Use to look at an art exhibition

More info can be found online at the flux museum.

Collage from Canada - Gabriele Maurus

I am appreciating the work of Canadian collagist Gabriele Maurus today. She has a series of works displayed online that she has done using the gelatin monoprint technique. I have tried this once, and it was very unpredictable and fascinating. I am enjoying seeing it done along with collage. She also is doing some of these on YUPO< which is not paper, but synthetic and a nice substrate alternative.
The piece Loreleileilei below is a nice example of her work on canvas. The rich texture of the painterly background appeals to me, and the contrast of the type tidbits also makes me happy. There's more to feast the eye on here at her website.



Mother Nature looked at what she had done and saw that it was good

Collage on canvas.
I usually don't use canvas. I get all seized up inside arguing with myself that I am not a good enough painter! I can use watercolors, but acrylics and oils, they are not my forté and I feel that pain every single time I try to use canvas. But I had this large looming canvas in the corner of the studio and I needed something ultra wide, for the landscape I wanted to use on this piece, so I grabbed it and used it.
I was planning to paint monotoned swirls in the background, and I sketched lightly an outline for them. But when the time came to paint them, my confidence level went south, and I decided to cheat and use spray paint and stencils for texture. It worked nicely, but still --I didn't challenge myself much.
It's a new look for me, lots of open space....


Jean Christensen

Décembre, 37 x 30cm, 2007

I met Jean Christensen on a Myspace art group called WAN. His collages are amazing and he’s a very nice and insightful guy. I’d love to meet him in person, especially because that would most likely involve a trip to France, where Jean has lived since 1971. His collages are most often landscapes and portraits made up of tiny bits of ‘supermarket junk mail’.

Prague - 1957, 39 x 29cm, 2008

L'Osme, 61 x 81cm, 2005

Here’s an excerpt of an interview I did with him for WAN:
Q-Could you briefly describe your work?
A. My visual work can be put into the figurative category. So, in that sense, it's based on illusion. I choose pictures of things, more often food, and arrange them in such a way as to give the illusion of something else – trees, humans, whatever. The finished product may seem "original", but I don't really consider it as very creative – more like a craft. The same goes for my music.
The only art form I practice with any creativity is writing (but nobody's interested in that).

Q. Who influences you as an artist?
A. As a teen-age painter, I was strongly influenced by the Impressionists and Fauves. Now I'm just inspired by nature. As a writer, I'm particularly interested in psychology and human nature. There, my only remote stylistic influences are Boris Vian and Richard Brautigan.

Q. What is involved in your creative process?
A. My "creative process" is mostly based on observation and the desire to render this. I'm particularly attentive to light/shadow in trees and clouds and also trying to figure out the perspective of reflections on water. Nothing really creative there.
The technical aspect of my collages involves preparing the support (3mm artist's cardboard glued on 3/8 " plywood), choosing a subject and drawing it as precisely as possible, sorting out raw materials according to color and texture from cubic meters of supermarket junk mail and TV guides, cutting and gluing hundreds or thousands of pieces of paper, cleaning then varnishing the finished product. The final phase consists of showing the finished piece to a few friends then hanging it on my wall where it stays forever.

Q. What are you trying say with your art?
A. Apart from my surrealistic stuff which usually contains a certain degree of subversive social critique, I don't have much of a message, as I'm basically trying to transmit a feeling. But the underlying "message" could be that there's a difference between what we see and what we perceive. Art critics, gallery owners and people who intellectualize about art often add their own perceptions, explanations, context to a work. My approach is removing context from things, reducing them to something strictly visual. Once an oyster is only an arrangement of varying shades of green, gray and brown it can become a tree, a flower or a rock, for example.

Pause Pose, 54 x 40cm, 2006

Jean on talentdatabase.com


I love Etsy!

I haven't been doing any collage work lately. I've been occupied with other things. However, I have been on on Etsy.com a lot lately and they have lots of collage there. You have to do some digging, but you can really find some treasures. I thought I'd share some of my favorite listings.

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

If I could afford it I would buy them all. So, maybe just one or two, for now. ;)


Swamp Shapeshifter

Swamp Shapeshifter
Originally uploaded by misphit
While working on this collage I had a few discoveries regarding the archival inkjet prints that I am using off of my Epson 2200. For this particular piece, I wanted to use these super pukish green spring thaw pix that I took with my 35mm. They are some of my ultra faves, so when it came time to use them, I couldn't do it. I ended up scanning them in and making prints to use in the artwork. Still craving the gloss, I used some glossy paper stock and hoped to achieve the same results without using the photo.
I have found that the inkjet prints are quite delicate and sensitive, especially to wet media. It sucks to be working so carefully and even so, a driplet of collage medium landing on the wrong spot and UGH, you have yourself a ruined piece.
I tried using Krylon on a sample inkjet print, and that didn't work well at all. The obnoxious fumes filled the air and for 2 hours I was annoyed at myself. On this piece, I painted on the inkjets with acrylic, and thankfully it didn't smear my prints.
I prefer to cut up the actual photos and use them, their durability is enviable. I wish I had an enlarger--enlarging the prints costs big bucks. Damn cheap artist that I am, I'll have to settle for the handspun inkjets for now.



Originally uploaded by misphit
Then, a collage.

Purple Island

Purple Island
Originally uploaded by misphit
First, a watercolor.


A terrific source blog, loaded with fantastical and bizarrical elements....BibliOdyssey culls fascinating graphic finds from the internet, and creates mini-web exhibits. This is a terrific source of online material. I go here often, and I am always amazed at the things that are displayed. Whilst probing about on the blog today, I clicked the link to the BibliOdyssey book, a hardcover book that is based on 880+ posts from the blog. It's available on Amazon, and I love the blog/book correlation. Great idea!


PHRESH work by Gordon Magnin

collages by Gordon Magnin
I have love for these fresh collage works done by Gordon Magnin... Hannah Hoch would have been proud. It is hard for me personally to warp out faces. I work on a piece and start identifying with the character and I end up getting super anal about the facial choice...this person has to have the right Look! I think nothing, however, of using 13 pieces to compose a body, but the face becomes sacred somehow. Therefore, I enjoy a good face job, like these fine pieces that Gordon does. It isn't easy to do well, and these are really warped out. I also find them especially interesting because of the way that Gordon creates geometric shapes with his cuts. It's unusual. I like this treatment and don't see it often. His site holds several pieces from the past few years, go check it out.

collage by Hannah Hoch, courtesy of Kansai Scene

All Cut up — Roebling Hall

Damn, we are in show season people.
Another great show is guaranteed in the Big Apple at Roebling Hall. Several collage artists will be featured in a show curated by Rita de Alencar Pinto. Participating artists include:
This show is not a theme show, but is a mirror of collage itself, with artists chosen because of their variations, not their commonalities. Sounds interesting. Certainly I would take a gander over to see this one.

Roebling Hall
606 West 26th Street, New York, NY 10001
(corner of 11th avenue)
tel: 212 929 8180 fax: 212 929 8182

On a side note, Amy Ross, my friend at Naturemorph, will be exhibiting her collage au natural at the All Cut UP show ... She also has another show happening at the same time in NYC, called Animus Botanica and it will be held at Denise Bibro Fine Art, 529 W. 20th St., 4W, New York City. This is a small show featuring Boyce Cummings, Christopher Reiger, and Amy Ross, but so artworthy!!!!

GMSH in San Fran — Russian Reduction

Every now and then an event will come up that is totally and completely irresistible....and the Goldmine Shithouse residency at McCaig Welles and Rosenthal in San Fran is exactly one of these events. How fantastic must it be to create collaboratively with wild and crazy abandon in a gallery setting with these guys! The very prolific and dynamic Mr. David Hochbaum, the eloquent Mr. Travis Lindquist and the linocut master himself, Mr. Colin Burns comprise the lively collaborative adventure called Goldmine Shithouse. These active guys have beat all the odds and kept their loosely formed group together for a few years now, spreading creative wonder in cities throughout the US and even Europe.

The GMSH is currently serving time at McCaig Welles Rosenthal in a show called Russian Reduction. The title honors a Russian friend of the group that predicted a short life span for the collaborative. I thought, however, that the title was an extremely appropriate one, given the US and it's current political attitude towards Russia....Surely it is a timely title. The group will live, work (and play) at the gallery for 2 weeks up until the opening of this much anticipated show.

And really, why does Collage Clearinghouse gush all mushy all over the GMSH's work??? Because I can't get enough of the spontaneity that these guys provide. Because their work is so fresh and full of texture. Because they put on silk screen parties!!! Because they work so utterly collaboratively!!! I know how cool it feels when the creativity is flowing and things are going well when you are in the studio alone. Can you just imagine the buzz you get when 3 people (and more) are all flowing creatively everywhere together all at once??? It must be like a fine bottle of Patron....tastes good, feels good, with a wondrous afterglow.

They have posted some videos on the GMSH myspace, one of which I just had to post here on CC. This little vid shows the boys working on a canvas together. Ya gotta love this art love!!!

And if you are lucky enough to go, here's the schedule down-lo:
• On THIS Saturday September 6, 2008 the much-anticipated bring-your-own-shit- to-be-silk-screened party will take place from 7 to 10 pm. Come and enjoy and make sure to bring some garments to get inky.
• Then, on September 13th the culmination of hard work will be exhibited at the opening exhibition and reception, 7PM to 10PM
IF you are a west coaster, or just in the San Fran hood for a visit, this is something to see!!!
McCaig Welles and Rosenthal
365 Valencia Street, San Francisco, bet. 14th and 15th

___A place to find all kinds of information about collage.