Thursday, September 30, 2010

15 Artists, 15 Minutes

A friend tagged me in this meme on Facebook, but I thought it would be interesting to see how our GCVA community responds.

The Rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen Artists who've influenced you and that will ALWAYS STICK WITH YOU. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes.

1. Paula Santiago
2. Judy Chicago
3. Marc Chagall
4. Caravaggio
5. Kiki Smith
6. Frida Kahlo
7. Gina Pane
8. Orlan
9. J.M.W. Turner
10. Andy Warhol
11. Helen Frankenthaler
12. Richard Serra
13. Jose Clemente Orozco
14. Marina Abramovic
15. Teresa Margolles

If you're reading this, consider yourself tagged. List your 15 in the comments section. Hit it!

Image: Paula Santiago, Ch’ulel, 2000, rice paper, hair, blood, wax, marble

Notes from the Field: How to Write an Essay

For this post, I am offering "Notes from the Field". Here, I intend to provide a resource for aspiring art historians and students of art history in general. For the first of these "notes" entries, I offer some thoughts on essay writing. And, to simplify, I've provided an acronym to help you with your essay construction. If it's art history....make it sexy! See below.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

79 Short Essays

One of my favorite books I read over the summer was 79 Short Essays on Design by Michael Bierut. The book is exactly as advertised, and available now at the LRC in the new book section.

You might recognize Bierut from his part in the Helvetica documentary. He's the guy who says, "Drink Coke, period." However, you may not know this (yet), but he's also a partner at Pentagram, a major design firm, as well as a founding member of Design Observer, a fantastic blog featuring essays and ideas on design. In fact, 79 Short Essays is a collection of his writings posted on Design Observer over the years.

The essays cover a wide array of topics and ideas, from Massimo Vignelli's New York Subway Map to why he hates the ITC Garamond font. Each one is pretty short too, so their quick and easy to read. And for a type nerd like myself, I enjoy that each essay is set in a different typeface, sometimes for specific, content-related reasons.

So if you get a chance, hurry over to the LRC and check it out. (Yes, literally and figuratively.) And in the meantime, hear a word from Michael, himself.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Martjin at ArtPrize

Martijn van Wagtendonk was one of my favorite professors at UGA.  

He does amazingwork, take 90 seconds to see what he is up to in 

Grand Rapids Michigan.  

For those who went on the trip 2 years ago to clemson, SCAD, 

and UGA this was the guy who did the boat with all the pecking birds.


SmART Phones

In light of some recent discussions about new uses of technology, an article in the May-June issue of Museum, journal of the American Association of Museums, caught my eye.  The article concerns smart phones--cell phones with web access--being used more and more as a gallery tool.  The educational opportunities are exciting as are the "tracking" capabilities of such applications.  Marketing and visitor services departments, among others, can quickly receive demographic  and behavioral study information previously very difficult to acquire.  

But what about the "swoon" a few recent blogs have suggested; will it be lost in the midst of touch screens and their graphics, YouTube videos, and personalized sound effects? I understand visitors might want immediate information/gratification of THEIR choosing and that museum staff like the idea of visits being more interactive and social.  However, I mourn the potential loss of quiet contemplation, if that's what I want to experience, not to mention browsing the glossy gift shop catalog essays (and buying them if I am truly swept away), reading the curatorial insights on the wall labels, even glancing at the "old-fashioned" guest book comments to see what others might have written.  It is the "swoon" experience of the actual object(s), not the app., that I have come to expect from great museums.  It's the art I want to see and "feel", not my cell phone!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Opportunity: Workshop

Yuko-en on the Elkhorn, just up the street in Georgetown, are presenting a modest 2nd Annual Kiku Matsuri Festival Workshop on October 9th. Kiku Matsuri is the fall Chrysanthemum Festival in Japan, celebrating the season, as is the Spring Cherry Blossom Festival or Hana Matsuri. I went to it last year -- it was wonderful!

The little tree

Trees are interesting creatures. The sever the own leaves off to survive from water freezing in winter. The move to find sunlight.  Among other amazing things they can do, they consume stuff.
   I have always found this attribute amazing and quite scary.  We have this tree in our front yard that was was planted the same time as every other tree in our neighborhood and we have always wondered why i was growing so slow and why it is not as big as the others on our street.  Yesterday Holly (my wife) may have found a reason.
What you are looking at is a piece of string sticking out of the tree. You can see the mark on the left where a string was tied all the way around the tree and the tree had to grow around it.  Now this normally is not a big deal like in the following picture where a tree is growing through a fence.

The tree has enough living tissue elsewhere to compensate it nutritionally loss. But in the case of a simple string around the ENTIRE tree it cuts off almost all growth of a tree.  If you cut 1/4in deep around a tree it would die. The only real living tissue on a tree is the viscous film underneath the bark. This material is what changes the trees nutrients into new growth and eventually into heart wood (the colored center of trees) if this film is broken then the tree will stop growing. Lucky for our tree since the string was absorbent it allowed for the films continued growth and transportation of nutrients. The scar tissue that remains continues to chart directional growth of the bark.  
If you find this stuff interesting make sure to take my furniture class in the spring.  
   Now the reason this is scary is you never know sometime what is inside a tree.  This is a huge safety concern for woodworkers.  This is why Georgetown College owns a handheld metal detector for woodworking.  Because 50 years ago someone could have nailed a sign up on a tree with a nail and over  the years the nail is now part of the tree and can get hit by a tool and cause harm to the worker and the tool.  
    Now some species of trees like the mahogany family will choke out other species underground to steal their light and nutrients. It is crazy to think about these slow moving combatants waging a super slow war beneath our feet. These super slow creatures wage war on sidewalks, houses, fences among other occupants made be people. It is sad to see them get removed when they have worked so hard to get to where they are.  It has always been a mixed emotion for to cut down trees. It is not a habit I like to take part in.  But  I love to work with them after they are removed from the ground.  I (like many other woodworkers) still see the wood as living after it is harvested.  It breaths and moves and has its own will that you cant stop.  It is just awesome to be part of the conversation and collaboration with what a tree wants to become.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Boris’s 5th: Terminus

Opportunities: Position listings VA & NY

Alumni and soon-to-graduate-seniors take note:

Leah Noce, mailto:Lnoce@MOUNTVERNON.ORG> Mount Vernon, George Washington's Estate is seeking a Special Events Assistant within the Office of Special Events; Interpretation & Events Division. Please forward a resume, cover letter and salary history/requirement by email to:, by fax to 703.780.8320 or by US Mail to POB 110, Mount Vernon, VA 22121.

Linda Norris, mailto:linda@RIVERHILLPARTNERS.COM, The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, New York, is seeking a *Curator of Education and Public Programs* to develop and implement the institution’s educational goals and initiatives. The key areas of responsibility include the interpretation of the Museum’s historic building, Hyde House, the permanent collection, and changing exhibitions; overseeing an active Museum docent program and community engagement efforts; and other interpretive and educational efforts for all ages and target audiences. The position reports to the Director of Curatorial Affairs and Programming.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Opportunities: Art, Poetry, and Jewelry

Some great opportunities to get involved! Interested? Contact:

October 2- 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. I am doing a community arts activity - “A Drive-Thru Art Show” at the Spot Light Festival (Triangle Park). I need volunteers to help supervise as the kids paint on banners that will eventually be hung downtown. I also need help getting the participants to answer a question about art, document their answer and take their picture. October 16- 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Museum Go Round. I will be offering a free children’s activity at museum go round (downtown). Volunteers will assist children in making a craft.October 22, 28 and 29- Isaac Murphy- Everybody reads project 10 a.m. – 1ish. I am working with 3rd, 4th and 5th graders from Booker T. Washington. The children will be coming out to the Museum for visual and literary arts activities. I need a few volunteers to assist myself and another leader in conducting the activities. October 30- Fall Festival- 1 p.m. - We are having a fall festival on the Museum ground that is free to the public. Activities include a Trunk-or-Treat, face painting, pumpkin bedazzling, bean bag toss, costume contests and much more. We would love any volunteers to help with set up, helping run a particular activity during the festival and break down. If you are available for all or any of the time let me know. November 6, 13 & 20- Jewelry Workshops- 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. I will be teaching jewelry workshops to 15 and older (usually adults) If you consider yourself any bit crafty then this is for you! I will teach you the projects (they are simple, I promise) and then you will teach a group of about 6 on the day of the workshop.- you get to take home your projects from the practice day and the day of the workshop- about $40 of jewelry!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I Dont cards for grooms

When it comes to marriage, it's good to set the tone from the start. This card is for all the grooms out there that are looking to send a note to their future wife on their special day. Check out more from the Paper Plate Press HERE and if you are liking letterpress these days just talk to Darrell of Daniel about the ImPrint show coming to Georgetown and our new Proofing press for letterpress and relief prints.

Do you swoon?

What happens to you when you look at great works of art? Okay, let me rephrase the question: does anything happen to you when you look at art at all? I feel amazingly refreshed and excited when I am in the presence of very good art; I feel something when I am in the presence of art, period.

There's an historical precedent for an exagerrated version of this phenomenon. It's called "Stendhal Syndrome" as noted in this article from London's Telegraph. The term is rooted in the eponymous author's feeling or rush from seeing Renaissance masters when he visited Florence in 1817. Consider that the 19th century had no shortage of light, feeble, and consumptive personalities --- many who contributed richly to the fabric of the humanities, particularly the fine arts and literature of the time. It makes complete sense that the condition would be named after one such character, Monsieur Marie-Henrie Beyle, also known as Stendhal.

Those suffering from Stendhal Syndrome are known to evidence "rapid heartbeat, fainting, confusion and even hallucinations...[when] exposed to extraordinary artistic achievement, whether it is paintings or sculptures." Clearly, this is not a harmful condition, however, the effects "are serious enough for [subjects] to require treatment in hospital and even antidepressants."

Researchers this summer performed tests to root the existence of this condition and its effects. I'd be interested to know their findings. It doesn't take another researcher to tell me how I feel in front of art. I deeply recall a specific moment of awe: I was sitting in the Print Room at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford and gazing upon Raphael's self-portrait. In all of my life, I had never seen (and likely will never again see) a more beautiful and expressive work. This is one of my "art moments" where I very likely may have swooned! How about you? I am interested in hearing from our art friends. How does art make you feel? Do you swoon in the presence of a master's work?

Side note: I find it frustrating and altogether abhorrent that Stendhal Syndrome has been said only to exist in the presence of painting or sculpture. What about other art forms? To me, there is nothing more palpable than an installation. Take a gander at Joyce Ogden's work. Exquisitely charted and expertly displayed, it's "swoon-worthy." If you've not seen it in person, she's got 53.93 on view in Louisville.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Opportunity: Graphic Design/Digital Internship Possibility

From Jessica Shields, the college's web coordinator: Bluegrass Stallions (professional basketball team) is looking for a couple of student interns to start working as soon as possible. This would involve doing print pieces as well as some web design. Possibility for internship and possibility for pay. Interested? Contact Jessica asap:

KY.7 Biennial @ LAL

The second in a series, KY.7 Biennial is a regional survey of contemporary art produced in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and its seven contiguous states: Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Artwork selected is innovative in concept and execution, is culturally relevant, and addresses issues important to contemporary life. The show is juried by John Begley (Gallery Director and Coordinator of Critical and Curatorial Studies at the Hite Art Institute), Jason Franz (Executive Director and Chief Curator at Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center) and Becky Alley (LAL Exhibitions and Programs Director).

The reason I mention this is that I have the fortunate opportunity to be showing work in the exhibition. I have a small series of photographs depicting somewhat disintegrated U.S. currency with all the graphic structures and political undercurrents that go along with them.

There are also a few related events...

Show Dates: September 11-October 23
Reception: Friday, September 24, 6-9 PM
Artist Talk (I'll be speaking): Thursday, Oct. 14, 7-8 PM
Closing Reception: Friday, October 22, 6-9 PM

Hope you can make it to see the work.

Prof. Darrell Kincer

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Exquisite Conversations, Anyone?

In her recent blog, Come Curious: The Artists Look, Katia Zavistovski refers to a 1976 essay titled “Art as a Cultural System,” by anthropologist Clifford Geertz.  According to Zavistovski, Geertz states that 'the perception of something important in either particular works or in the arts generally moves people to talk (and write) about them incessantly.' In previous blogs, I have encouraged conversations about art experiences happening right in our own (back) yard.  

My experience of art this weekend in my neck of the woods included a well attended reception where I encountered many individuals I knew; I engaged in people watching, grazing the buffet line, etcetera.  I also spent time looking at the works on view, especially what appeared to be giant, bronze sculptures from the street (attractive to me because of my recent dealings with a lot of heavy metal), but which upon closer examination I discovered were actually created from foam. (Talk about patina!) But by far the best part of the evening was talking about art, especially with the artists who made the work.

Here are a couple of photos from the opening reception for Portrait of a Horse: The Exquisite Equine exhibition in the Wilson Gallery.  
 the artist Yvonne Todd speaking with friends

 artists Gretchen Grossardt and Shary B. Akers with Gretchen's husband
To my mind, conversations about art and exhibitions with the artists who created the works on view are often one of the most rewarding aspects of attending opening (and closing) receptions.     

Monday, September 20, 2010

Opportunities: Color, Money, and Video

Competition by Pantone deadline 10/13/2010
Grad student Ph.D. competition --> consult Dr. Allen immediately!
Competition to submit a video that shows off your city

What to do or be?

So being Holly Olive and I have been held up in the house all weekend due to some sickness going around that we all ended up with. Holly has been sick all week and somehow it got to me this weekend.  When I get sick I sleep and if I am not sleeping I am not so nice to be around. I am like a sad rain cloud.  
While our sickness had claimed out weekend, we did one fun thing.  Holly and I took a personality assessment test (myers briggs) and didn’t really learn anything new but cemented some previous theories. We are looking to do it again but take the test for one another and see if we get the same results.  Holly started off by saying “I don’t think you will learn anything new, they are just going to tell you that you are nice guy with ADD”.  The test told me that I was Extroverted (who saw that coming) amongst other things. But the real fun was the assessment tells you possible career fields that people with the same personality types are successful in and or enjoy.  The one on the top of my list that kept coming up was working in the restaurant industry.  (way below is the full list) I just thought the results were so interesting.  None of these were what I thought I wanted to do when I was in high school. Minus derivatives of some like construction work and manual labor, and minus art and teaching, none of these have ever interested me or I have done in my life thus far.  My parents didn’t even think I would go to college, I wanted to be a snow mountain rescue person, a massage therapist, a veterinarian, a civil engineer,  or a wildlife researcher.  
      This is all funny because this summer my mom gave me a box with every report card from kindergarten till college in it. Along with a number of book reports and class projects, while sifting through this box I came across a piece of paper shown below (click image for larger view).  That I made in the 2nd grade.  I think it is funny that from the beginning I knew what I wanted to do, but apparently I forgot for a number of  years till college, where I took my first art class, and somehow felt like I had wandered into a place a belonged and had been before. I guess in some way I had been there before. 
(you have to love the teachers encouraging note that contains a hint of "sure you will" sarcasm, the "lovely story" part just cracks me up, Holly has suggested that I try and find the teacher I had and send her a copy of my current resume and portfolio. What do you think? Should I and why?)
List of recommended career fields:  
sales, food services, restaurant work, office management, entertainment, consulting, school administration, theater, construction work, politics, social science, psychology, art, theater work, entertainment, counseling, writing, acting, photography, teaching (especially for younger children), religious work, nursing, counseling, office machine operations, writing, restaurant work, social science, manual labor and entertainment

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Art for Lunch: Thursday 9/24/2010 noon--art building

It's the return of ART FOR LUNCH, our monthly gathering around lunch and art. Join art faculty for a discussion of the article by Matt Richtel (August 24, 2010 New York Times). Bring your lunch at noon and join the conversation about digital overload (not necessarily an "art only" topic, but something that the faculty have been discussing of late).
If you'd like, you're welcome to bring a friend and a snack to share, too. The conversation will begin around 12:00 and we'll chat until about 12:30 or so. Hope to see you there!

An 'Impression' of Impressionism

Mary Cassatt, Little Girl in a Blue Armchair, 1878

We've spent the last two weeks in my Modern class discussing the Impressionists. We read Richard Shiff's essay "Defining 'Impressionism' and the 'Impression'" and have thoroughly discussed (read: beat to death) the idea of the artist's impression of the world, their vision, and their subsequent translation of that vision to the viewer.

One of the things I (and everyone else) love about Mary Cassatt is her ability to capture a moment. Whether it's a moment of tenderness, of intimacy, or even of sheer boredom, her vision of the world was such that it allowed her to translate and give to the viewer these glimpses into the smallest instance of true expression.

When I saw this image of my new niece, Natalie, I immediately thought of the Cassatt painting above. I was, again, struck by the kind of truthfulness that she captures in her paintings. And the idea of "truthfulness" took me back to Shiff, who identifies the "impression" as the theoretical means by which the late-19th century artist arrived at a sense of "truth" or "knowledge." According to Shiff, developments in positivistic thinking, optics, and psychology led to a greater recognition that the idea of "absolute truth," or the ability to completely know a subject, was gradually replaced by an emphasis on individual experience and perceptions that rendered "truth" a more relative experience. Hence, the Impressionists presented their experiences or "impressions" of their own truth, that spoke not just of the world around them, but of how they understood the world around them. Or, as Shiff states: "Whatever truth or reality is represented must relate to the artist himself [or herself] as well as to nature. Indeed, one might say that the artist paints a 'self' on the pretext of painting 'nature.'"

I wonder, then, if it's not this balance of the natural world and the self that makes us value the Impressionists the way that we do. Inundated by commercial reprints, innumerable blockbuster exhibitions, and countless commercial products, Impressionist works remain some of the most recognized and enjoyed examples of Western art. Perhaps it's because Impressionism represents a specific moment in time, before more esoteric versions of Modernism, when art maintained a delicate balance between a connection to the natural world, innovative techniques, and a dedication to the "self." But when I look at Cassatt's Little Girl in a Blue Armchair next to the photo of Natalie, I can't help but think that it's not only the artist's "self" that is on display here. I see the "truth" of knowing and loving a precocious 3-year-old girl and that has given me a renewed interest and a greater appreciation of the Cassatt painting. As a spectator, I see something of my own world and, in the end, it's my own "self" that Cassatt has captured in the painting.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Field Trip: A Gift From the Desert

This is, actually, a field trip report. Today Jamie Ratliff's survey class and several of my students (from curatorial and senior thesis classes) toured the fascinating exhibition at the Horse Park. If you have not already seen this exhibition, you might want to make a visit before WEG officially kicks off. One of the prized items on view is the Standard of Ur, a "standard" (pun intended) at the British Museum. This hollow box decorated with shell, red limestone and lapis was created more than 4500 years ago; its purpose is unknown. Its two faces depict war scenes and peace scenes. Interestingly, the side greeting visitors was that of war. We spent a good while looking at this object, but I personally could have stayed there for several more minutes. Think of all of the art historical terms that you know that you could use to discuss this object (register, relief, narrative, figurative, hieratic). Special thanks to Jamie, Greg, and Dr. Emerick for accompanying our group. A special shout out goes to Daniel Ware and superstar Nate for joining us. Hope you enjoyed it, too!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Read all about it (online)!

Read senior art history student Cortney Thorn's article on fellow art historian Hannah Snider's upcoming curatorial project in this week's issue of The Georgetonian.

Also, Caliesha Comely and Victoria Engelhardt tell you how to "immerse yourself in the arts" on campus, and Jonathan Balmer takes on the new Ke$ha album.

Check it all out at the link below:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Opportunity: Show Your Equine Art--deadline 9/28; event 10/6

During the World Equestrian Games Brumfield Hay & Grain will host a local equine artist showcase. The event will be held on Weds. October 6th from 6-8 pm. This is a great opportunity for everyone to get an exhibition under their belt. This information came from Senior art major, Ryleyanne. Thanks a bunch, Ryleyanne. Students, show your work! For more information, email

Opportunity: Free Materials

from Prof. Jamie Ratliff: Free materials for artists! Zero Landfill is an up-cycling event in Louisville. We "pollinate" a site with materials (tile, stone, glass, fabric, etc) & then anyone "harvests" the materials so they don't go to a landfill. Pick up dates: 9/24, 3-7pm, 9/25, 9am-1pm, 10/1, 3-7pm. 257 Quartermaster Court, Jeffersonville, IN. It's all free...!!! IIDA Louisville/Lexington (International Interior Design Association) Thanks, Jamie, for sending this on...

An Asterisk

An asterisk alerts the reader to additional material. For example, early books on connoisseurship contain an asterisk or two along the side of the page, thereby performing the function of a footnote and inviting the reader to gloss material elsewhere on the page (marginalia or footer content). While this is a very helpful (and neutral) function performed by the asterisk, more often than not, this symbol connotes a fall from grace. The little character deposited above the "8" key on your computer has maimed the records of baseball legends as much as it has destroyed the credibility of celebrated artists. Here, I am thinking of Mark McGwire and Pete Rose as well as Shepard Fairey and Damien Hirst. Now, the New York Times wants to add Ernest Withers to that list of notorious figures with an * next to their names.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lexington Gallery Hop This Friday

Gallery Hop this Friday from approx. 5-9 PM in downtown Lexington. See art, eat free food, and become a hipster. Nexus Flex credit, anyone?


Now Playing in the LRC

Subscribing to Netflix has its benefits. Something I have enjoyed are Instant movies, the ability to stream videos and watch them at my convenience. Not only that, but Netflix makes recommendations based on my interests.

Luckily, Netflix suggested four movies that I greatly enjoyed, not only for entertainment, but also for inspiration, education, and enlightenment. But if you don't subscribe to Netlix, don't worry. All four are now available in the LRC. And here they are in no particular order.

Although you may not know who Milton Glaser is, you certainly know his work. Most recognizable is the "I (heart) NY" logo. I first heard about him by watching Helvetica when Paula Scher talks about how she admired his work at Push Pin Studios. Glaser is a classic designer—it's certainly worth knowing about his work, ideas, and influence.

Before I was an art major, I took a trip to NYC with my college's art department. Along the way, we went through Philly and stopped to see the Barnes Foundation. Little did I know about all of the politics and battles going on for this incredible, formerly private, collection. Art history majors, this one goes out to you.

This movie is somewhat like Helvetica, but more about advertising campaigns. And not just ordinary ads, but the most memorable ones of all time. The idea is that finally someone came to the conclusion that they should put the writers together with the artists to better design campaigns. Some memorable ones: Volkswagen Beetle, Nike's Just Do It, Apple Macintosh, Reagan's re-election TV commercial.

Lastly, if you're familiar with the Steinway Concert D that was donated to the college and if you like woodworking, I think you'll enjoy this documentary about the process of handcrafting one of the most classic instruments of our time. The subject is approached from a number of angles: from the people who craft it to the ones who play them. I believe we're quite fortunate to have ours, and it's fascinating to see how they come into being.

Prof. Darrell Kincer

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Be Exquisite

New, cool art exhibitions opening this week include Portrait of a Horse: The Exquisite Equine in Georgetown College's own Anne Wright Wilson Fine Arts Gallery.  That's happening Thursday evening. 

Friday evening, if you're up for a road trip, check out Cincinnati's Weston Art Gallery opening reception for Ascending Horizons by Cedric Michael Cox  Cedric's a friend who has worked very hard to become recognized as an emerging painting presence on the regional scene.   

Monday, September 13, 2010

Old Friends

    There is a odd occurrence in the art world that I never get used to.  It is getting work back from shows that have been up or traveling for some time.  This in combination with the natural tenancy for us as people to fill spaces complicates life sometimes. 
    I remember being in between college and Graduate school and having these same feeling about all of my belongings. I graduated in the Fall after staying an extra semester so I sent out my graduate applications and moved to Washington DC from Florida. 
Not knowing where or if I would be going to graduate school, I loaded everything I owned into a

Friday, September 10, 2010

Boris’s 4th Liverpool Biennial, 2010

Here is the bigger picture of the Biennial. It is the largest and one of the most exciting contemporary visual arts events in UK. Within the time frame of September - November, Liverpool sees hundreds of thousands visitors, and with 960,000 visits last time around in 2008, it makes one of the best-attended art events in the world. Some of the highlights consist of The Internationals, (, The New Contemporaries (, The John Moores Painting Prize (, The Independents (, amidst many others other fringe events throughout the city. For me, this city is the perfect host for such an event: Mersey River, the coast, the music, the past, but especially the people. Since I flew-in yesterday, everyone at View Two has been wonderful. I can’t thank them enough, from Chris Boyd (his dad in particular) for hard work and treating my work with utmost care to James&co for hospitality, I have thoroughly enjoyed it. Even with fast paced artists’ ins-and-outs at the last night’s VJ performances/screenings (as well as during project’s preparation), I had a chance to spend time and talk to most of the artists involved. And I was also glad to have roved around the Liverpool galleries with Masahiro Tomioka today, as he is off to Japan tomorrow. In fact, most of us will scatter this weekend, so I did manage to record some thoughts for the Culture Pool Artist talks and I will try to make myself available in the future, technology permitting. Somewhere still between jetlag and the newness of it all, I am excited to be part of this gutsy, magnetic as well as fluid group of artists here. Cheers from Liverpool--

See Art: art exhibitions in the area

September 12 opening in Louisville: Geometria/Uranometria
September 15 opening at Transy: The Illustrious Horse
Ongoing: Galleries in Lexington (call or check websites for info)

2010 Communication Arts Design Annual Results

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Self Control

      When weeding through my old emails, I came across this sent to me from Darrell in april 2009.  If you need to have some self control or if your attention wanderings get the best of should check this out. SelfControl is an OS X application which blocks access to incoming and/or outgoing mail servers and websites for a predetermined period of time. For example, you could block access to your email, facebook, and twitter for 90 minutes, but still have access to the rest of the web. Once started, it can not be undone by the application, by deleting the application, or by restarting the computer – you must wait for the timer to run out.  Click HERE to check it out.

Critical Issues: Post-WWII Repatriation

Students have commented that art history is dead! In other words, because it deals with objects from the past, primarily, it may seem that the study of it lacks relevance. I disagree, certainly. To substantiate this claim, I offer one example: repatriation -- and, specifically, post-WWII repatriation.

Litigation concerning Egon Schiele's

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

2010…or 1984?

I don't know if you think about technology much, but I have become mildly obsessed with what I would consider our contemporary "digital revolution" (as compared to say, the industrial revolution). I think that perhaps we are in a time of change to human society that is difficult to see or understand because of our proximity to it. But at least I have enough years under my belt to know what it was like to carry a quarter in case I needed to call my parents from a pay phone. I wonder if in 50 or 100 years the world will look back at this time to critique or perhaps even reconsider the ideas and notions that we are muddling through now in terms of technology and access to information.

Something on my radar recently is the new Arcade Fire video, The Wilderness Downtown. I had heard about its use of new HTML 5 web coding technology. What I didn't suspect is how seductive, yet creepy the "film" would be. Try it for yourself and see what you think (using Chrome or Safari). Is it cool, or are you a little scared?

Oh, "Brother"!

Prof. Darrell Kincer

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I read a review of a new book I plan to check out:  The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution by Dennis Dutton.  (Bloomsbury, 2010  According to Rick Eden's review, Dutton inquires about the human behavior we have collectively defined as "art."  According to Dutton, there are twelve characteristics that art might have, including providing pleasure.  I have long been fascinated in physical or scientifically testable reactions to great art, and apparently, Dutton's investigation looks at evidence that points to common responses across cultures, suggesting that there may be something about art that is instinctual. Hunger is instinctual as well, and if you are hungry to talk about art, there are a couple of opportunities this week:  

(Today) Tuesday, 12:15-12:45 in the Jacobs Gallery--1st meeting of Art Tigers!  

Friday, 11:00 a.m. "Tour & Pour" Event at Prometheus Farm and Foundry (groups leaving the Wilson Bldg at 10:30).

Monday, September 6, 2010

Houdini and Superman.

       Some of the most interesting personal research I have been into recently has been revolving around western expansion and the effects of current construction of american housing. But in and amongst all of that I just finished a spectacular book "The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero" available Here.  I am a sucker for story telling and biographies. This put a whole new twist on a historic character I have loved for a long time. I recommend it to everyone.  It ranges from well known events in the history of Illusions as well as Houdini being a spy for multiple governments, being a spiritualist debunker and being one of the first aviators on the planet.  Truly interesting. 
      The links to his mass fame and superhero status were attributed to his advertising wit and genuine hard efforts. But I cant help to cast a parallel relationship to a beautiful documentary I just viewed called "Confessions of a Superhero" Available for free viewing HERE.  Defiantly worth the time to watch. The film tracks 4 "actors" that make a living posing as famous superheroes. They walk Hollywood Boulevard posing for pictures with tourists working on tips alone.  It is incredibly interesting and at the same time a bit sad. But it forced an interesting comparison of defining "work", especially within the entertainment industry. I am always amazed at the salary of movie entertainers working 3 months a year and I have no doubts that if Houdini ran into the Hollywood Boulevard superhero it would not end well for the superhero in a costume.  The more I have read about Houdini the more I respect his efforts (separate from his personal life) and the more I think about the characters on Hollywood Boulevard the more I am saddened by their choices.
        I once had a student go abroad and bring me back a gift, it was a quote from a local shop that sold hand made goods. It translated as "I earn my living".  I thought it was a beautiful line.  I believe both Houdini and the Hollywood Boulevard superheroes would argue that they do just that.  But I would bet they would disagree with each others definition of earn.