“Eyes will bankrupt you”

The Japanese are weird. Case in point, these ball-and-joint dolls (BJDs) that are supposed to be the latest craze. These hand-sculpted, hand-painted, anatomically correct and eerily lifelike dolls are huge in Japan and South Korea and are gaining popularity here in the US with those weirdo doll collectors. BJDs are super hot right now because they are totally customizable: wigs, hands, feet, uh . . chest size, and eyes. I quote this NPR article: “Eyes will bankrupt you . . . anywhere from $30 to $100.” What about these things bankrupting your SOUL!! Dolls are scary enough without having customizable genitalia. Ick.

BTW, doesn’t this thing look like one of the creatures from the Dark Crystal!? Total heebie jeebies right now.

The Art of Failure

I just watched a great art documentary on HBO called The Art of Failure: Chuck Connelly Not for Sale. It follows the rise and fall of a major art talent from the 1980s art world. Connelly was a contemporary of Julian Schnabel and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Though he was extremely talented with a profitable collection of work, he ended up alienating every collector and gallery owner he worked with. The documentary was shot over the course of six years and explores a painter’s passion for his work, despite being his own worst enemy.

One of the parts that I found most interesting was how Connelly rages against what he sees as profit-hungry tactics of dealers and gallery owners, who buy paintings in bulk to get the greatest return on their investment. With over 3,000 paintings in storage, Connelly could be paid a huge sum to clear out his studio and sell his entire collection. Though this would make him rich, Connelly would never agree to sell in bulk because each individual painting would be priced "dirt cheap."

The documentary also touches on how Martin Scorsese was looking for an artist who could be a model for his film, New York Stories: Life Lessons. (1989)The artist played by Nick Nolte was based on Connelly and all of the artwork shown in the film was his own works. I think that will be added to my Netflix queue quite soon.

Chuck Connelly, Self Portrait 2008, oil on canvas, 30 x 24 inches.

Spindle for Sale

Ok, not sure how many of you remember this, from “Wayne’s World,” but the Spindle is now for sale on eBay. The Berywyn landmark is located in Cermak Plaza and features cars from the 60s, 70s and 80s skewered on a metal spike. It was originally created by artist Dustin Shuler in 1989.

I read that Berwyn residents are divided on what to do with the structure, which is covered with rust and pigeon poop. (Gross!) It was supposed to be dismantled last year to make way for a Walgreens or something, but now preservation groups have formed and protested. My favorite one is www.savethespindle.com I think that I might have to get a t-shirt!

Good-bye JJ

Well, it took me the day before the show closed, but I was able to go see the Jasper Johns show at the MMOCA yesterday. It was a great exhibit, showing about 100 prints spanning from Johns start in the 60’s until today. It was very interesting to see his thought process evolve with several of his major themes, such as targets, flags, and numbers/colors as well as experimentation with the printing medium. I personally liked this part the best. It had a much more textural feel and you could see how Johns was riffing on a subject. I feel like it would have complemented the Gray show that is currently at MOMA in NY. All in all, a great way to spend a blustery afternoon.


If you have time, please check out this online version of MOMA’s current exhibit “Color Chart: Reinventing Color 1950 to Today”. It has some great works shown as well as an interesting time line of how the use of color has changed in contemporary art.

I truly enjoy the genres of abstract expressionism and color field and feel that sometimes it is not always fully represented. So, it was great to see some different works than just the usual Pollocks and Rothkos. Let me know what you think.

We got some JJ going on.

Watch out NYC and Chicago, Madison is moving on up.

Jasper Johns has a show Jasper Johns: Gray that recently started at the Art Institute of Chicago that has now moved to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Now, I am not a huge JJ fan, at least not of his most well known targets and flags, but I would have loved to have seen this show, which deals more with colorist ideas, alphabets and maps. I was sorry to have missed the chance, or so I thought! Well, it might not be the same show, but the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is having a exhibition of his prints. Jasper Johns: The Prints runs through April 13, 2008. I can’t wait to go check it out. Anyone want to join me?

Jasper Johns, Savarin, 1977. Lithograph, 45 x 35 inches. Co-copyright Jasper Johns and Universal Limited Art Editions, 1977. Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY


Tonight I went to a preview showing for an art exhibition that the GHMC Arts Council is sponsoring. We are judging a pumpkin carving contest tomorrow at the event. It has been so long since I have been to a show and it was fantastic. I was so inspired by the works and the people. I just wish that I would be able to take advantage of the creative juices that are flowing. I am thinking that maybe I can get the sketchbook out to maybe capture some ideas that I am having. I just wish that I had a space to put them into action..

Another great thing going on is that we received some initial sketches for the house yesterday. Shawn and I went over them on the phone and also talked with our realtor about them. We have decided on the basic floor plan and now the contractor can start drawing up some more detailed plans for us. So excited that we are finally getting somewhere! Now all we have to do is sell the house.