Satellite radio is a luxury that I’ve found I can not live without. I was hooked during a free preview when I purchased my current car, but it wasn’t until someone donated a Sirius radio to the non-profit where I currently work that solidified my obsession. Today on my current favorite channel -The Loft- they played Romeo and Juliet by the Dire Straits.
I have a bit of a complicated relationship with the Dire Straits. My first exposure to their music was ‘Money For Nothing’ which became the second song ever, in the history of Beth that I ever actively hated. (The first was Joan Jett’s ‘I love Rock & Roll’- ironic) (The rest of the list includes Old Time Rock & Roll, Walking in Memphis and Life is a Highway). I’ve come around on I Love Rock & Roll and I suppose my intense dislike is because I associate it with an emotional event at a roller skating rink, because, you know….the eighties….
So today I was thinking while Romeo and Juliet played just how fucking perfect it is. You know the expression ‘bad artists imitate, great artists steal’? He stole one of the most famous titles in all of literature (although you can’t copyright titles, bee-tee-dubs) and made something his own story. And not only that- borrows from OTHER bits of music and theatre and creates this incredible, unique narrative. A snippet of West Side Story -which admittedly isn’t a stretch from R&J but Mark Knopfler’s light hand using all these borrowed elements doesn’t feel schlocky. It feels fresh and painful and wonderful and not unlike falling in and out of love itself.
Today on the Facebook, this was making the rounds amongst some friends because, as you enter your forties, you might have a tendency to look at others definitions of ‘punk’ when you know yours is the only, true, authority. Now, really…I was probably always more indie rock than punk, choosing the likes of Superchunk and waiting patiently for my K catalogs than thrashing in a pit, but look….I know my way around a Propaghandi tape and an Avail record so simmer down….
Before I begin with my objections, first let me say- I think the Ramones make perfectly fine music for kids to listen to. Blondie? Yes. I was carrying around my AM radio that came with a pair of Buster Brown shoes to catch The Tide is High whenever it came on when I was 5 years old.
But let’s look at the invites. Any old rocker worth their salt would know that this step should be photocopied. Ideally at a Kinko’s at 2:30 am after you’ve stayed up too late nursing all the coffee your bladder can hold at the Denny’s.
The next thing I’m entirely unclear on- the decorations. Martha shows what look to be award ribbons made out of various patterns of tartans…..each adorned with a kilt pin so…..maybe Martha thinks Punk = Scottish? Then she should have a few mentions of The Skids or even Josef K.
Then, of course we go into hair colors and fake tattoos- although curiously enough, no mention of Manic Panic which is what everyone’s first forray into pink/blue/purple/green hair after their first visit to Zipperhead. So that I have no problem with….the next part however….
When we get to punk’n crafts. and food…I know it’s October but aside from the Misfits, halloween and punk don’t have a *whole* lot of crossover…I mean, i guess there are skulls….in both? But then why not make it look like the Misfits logo
And then we’re back to music…which…great. Actually. I think kids should be listening to that kind of stuff as opposed to Wiggles-y crap. It’s a win-win for everyone….EXCEPT…..look at those delicious fondant-covered cupcakes….FIrst….WHAT FOUR YEAR OLD LIKES FONDANT? No one likes fondant. No one. And to say nothing of the lyrics which appear to be of an Earth Wind and Fire song on one of them which…..Martha…..They’re funk….not punk….
While using whatever is around you as an artist is nothing new, every once in a while I see something that makes me go…..whoa…..
Kara Walker’s installation at the Domino factory is, as always, laser-sharp in its message and materials (using sugar to create ‘Subtlety’ an enormous Mammy-Sphinx) to never let us forget the dehumanizing suffering that generations of people have had to endure at the success and growing wealth of others. I’m not going to be able to get up to NYC to see it in person, but I have seen numerous photographs which I am sure do not do justice to the scale of the piece but the message is clear and it is humbling and thought provoking. Unfortunately it’s not that way for many as evidenced by some snaps on Instagram. This post on the sheer disrespect and general avoidance of the true issues at heart is the best I’ve read.
On the other end of the spectrum, there is this mosaic created from Rubik’s Cubes. I almost don’t want to put these two examples together but in both cases, to me, artists have taken an item from the every-day and given it a new voice and experience for people who see both works which I am sure, will lead to people never seeing sugar or a simple puzzle toy in the same way again.
I don’t know who is behind this, but I would like to hang out with them. And the pandas.
May is always one of my favorite months- mostly because of the weather, the flowers, the smells, the everything!
This month I have a number of things lined up! This weekend, I will be at the DC Meet Market in Logan circle. If you came out last month during the ridiculous winds, the 3rd might be considered a good make-up day! Here’s a bit of trivia about myself- I hate wind. It’s my least favorite element. I think it’s the unpredictability of it. At least with rain, there’s usually a clue and some minutes before it hits you! Anyway…. Meet Market is a lovely little market organized in part by the fabulous Virginia Arrisueno of Denada Designs. If you don’t know her work or everything she’s up to…well then, I don’t know what to tell you….
Saturday May 10, I will be at my full time job at Art Enables for our annual spring show where you can pick up some truly incredible one-of-a-kind birdhouses AND we will be opening Wild Ocean in the Off-Rhode Gallery.
Sunday May 11 I will be in my usual spot at Eastern Market, as long as it isn’t raining terribly!
Saturday May 17, I will be leading a tour at noon for the Mid-City Artists. We will be touring the studios of Gary Fisher, Glenn Frye, Betto Ortiz and Robert Wiener.
Sunday May 18, I will be in Baltimore and collaborating with the fabulous Mary England on something we’re calling the Happiness Experience. I’ve been thinking a lot about the connection between art and happiness and we’re going to have balloon artists, a compliment booth, laughing yoga and more!
Hope you can make it out to one of these events!
Viva la May!
Every wednesday, I am going to talk about a piece from my (albeit pretty small) art collection and encourage other people to do the same.
I’m going to start out with a print that I bought two and a half years ago at one of my favorite galleries in Chicago- Rotofugi. When they moved to their current location on Lincoln Avenue they more than doubled both their exhibition space and sales space for (in my opinion) one of the best selections of designer and artist vinyl toys (my other favorite being Toy Tokyo in New York).
One of my favorite things about Rotofugi is that they have an excellent selection of artists work, both prints and originals, from their gallery shows. I have a few pieces from my trips to Chicago. I grabbed a Jeremiah Ketner about 6 years ago after stalking, er, I mean admiring his work on line a few years before that. And most recently I purchased a print from the Little Friends of Printmaking back in 2012
It’s not hard to put my finger on why I like this piece. It’s a successful combination of positive and negative space, a sophisticated palette played up with metallic inks and interest enough to continue to find new things in it- even 2 years later. Little Friends of Printmaking also wisely size their pieces to readily fit into existing Ikea frames, which makes them a great place to start with buying unframed art if you find the framing counters at some places seem daunting.
I think I actually bought my frame from a Target but it fits just fine.
What’s on your walls?