Monday, November 9, 2009


There really was nothing that could have prepared me for the city. I have seen photos and painting for as long as I remember. My mother is obsessed with the country and has been trying to get me to go for decades. I was completely struck by the buildings and streets. I took a lot of picture but it comes nowhere near to the feeling of size and power that being there has, I almost didnt want to take a photo because it made no sense. But of course I had to.
But besides that, I was there for the opening at the MACRO where I had 2 pieces hanging. I met a few great people, all whom are quite talented and super sweet. The food was amazing amazing amazing amazing......Now I am back in Berlin with shin splints from trying to see so much in 3 days. Today is the 20 year anniversary of the coming down of the wall. I will suffer my splints and go into the town to celebrate.
I am adding this link for my photos from Italy.

One more week and its homeward..

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Art 21 Koln 2009

I just got back into Berlin after a week long in Koln for the art fair. Marcus and I took the train in together 4 days early to install the tower/arrows installation. It took us a bit more than 40 hours with minimal breaks. Tired and sore, we got it done and then spent 5 days at the fair, yuking it up with the staff and other artists. Loads of Strychnin Gallery folks, Ansgar, Madeline, Daniel, Raf, Wee, Jan, Marina..the crew..Cookie, Graham, Iris..and of course the man who put us up for the week, Tobias.. A real life saver and all around awesome guy. The fair was, well as art fairs go, pretty fun. A lot of familiar faces at the booths and it was fantastic to hook up with old friends and make a ton of new ones. I always enjoy getting to see some new paintings and sculpture and what have you. A lot of fun and the Gallery did great! beer is good. food is meaty. The Dom is ominous and beautiful. I love Koln.
to see all the pictures I took during the trip, please visit

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Review in Die Welt newspaper!

WhooHOoo! A sparkling review in the International edition of Die Welt! Its online as well and is pretty funny when you put it through one of those online free translators. Yippie!


I finally get to go to Italy. Ive been waiting for the chance! Thanks to Yasha of Strychnin Gallery, I now I get to show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in a group show..sheesh. I just cant wait to eat everything in sight!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Opening Night in Berlin

There was much fun to be had at the opening night. After an hour and a half of nail biting and beer chugging, people started to file in and see the work. It was good to see some familiar faces, friends and lots of new faces. I was pleased that Kim of Vermilion Lies asked to come and play a short ukulele set for us. All in all, a fun night, I am pleased with the way the show looks and It is quite gratifying to see all the work hanging together after the past years efforts to create them. Now I prepare for the tower installation "At the Gates" in Cologne. I hope you enjoy these images from the show. Thank you Iris Bitter for all these photos.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Garden of The Dispossessed

I am writing this from a room in Berlin which the Strychnin gallery lends out to their traveling artists. It’s a modest sized room filled with art and drawings on the wall of the previously visiting artists. Its my 4th stay here, I haven’t been here since last October and its getting chock full of art and memories. There is a small fridge for all the goodies one can get at the amazing Farmers market around the corner on Sundays and a work bench which I grown to miss since the first week I spent finishing my first show here in October 2006. It’s a perfect dose of solitude and inspiration to be here in Berlin, an amazing city at an exciting time to be in this living city. Not to say Manhattan is not alive, it’s different. It’s hard to pinpoint and explain, and hell, right now I want to tell about the show that I am here finishing up.
It’s titled "Garden of the Dispossessed". I got the title from what my good friend and long time collaborator Nicole Belvedere said in describing a piece I made with her in 2004.
The older work has little to do at all with the show I made but the title transcends into the new work.
For me, the meanings of the works revealed themselves as the body grew. I found myself making more and more city landscapes, towers and clusters of buildings. I spent the majority of the year at home, in the studio in Manhattan surrounded by the people and structures, which inspired and penetrated the works. I am not sure if I was smothered or enamored by the city, which I fell in love with as a child, constant movement and unnatural sounds.
I also felt a strong desire to return to the roots of what spawned the works I create which is photography, straight up black and white silver prints. I love working in the darkroom, although after 19 years, I have developed allergic reactions to the chemicals involved. I seem to be the only on in the rent a darkroom who dresses like Darth Vader with my gloves and respirator mask. Anyhoo, despite the formal wear, I love to be there in the dark.
So I spent a lot of time this year with in the darkroom, rekindling my romance with the medium, being very attentive to the fine print method, then bringing it back to the studio, and abusing the paper to all hell but holding on more than before to the essence of the print. I still scratch and carve and scribe onto the work but I held back on transforming the original print too much, allowing the original landscapes on the negative to remain.
But that’s not to say that my desire for color and super saturated imagery had disappeared, I was still working on pieces of multicolored and layered images. The challenge for me was to discover the thread that ran through the two approaches of technique. I certainly wasn’t trying to make them fit, or even feel like they need to. But I knew somehow the works were off shoots of one another, referenced each other and would continue a narrative when mingled.
What I have here now are the works I created from some of the images I shoot this past year. A lot of things happened, as always, in the world and my personal life. Emotions flourished and some things have come to pass and died. Ideas had for certain images transformed and revealed themselves as different over time. The story throughout the works now is unstressed and fluid. And although there is quite a bit of text in the works, I feel the real tale is that of a visual language and deeply personal, offering also to the viewer to interpret for themselves, to use for their own. I would love to hear your take on them. I would love your feedback

Sunday, July 5, 2009


One of the first artists work I recall becoming familiar with as a child is Pieter Bruegel the Elder. My mother had this coffee table type book of his work that I would skim through from time to time. I must have been about 9 the first time I saw “The Triumph of Death”.

For some reason, I found the piece to be erotic. Not that it turned me on or anything, but I associated the images of some of skeletons that seemed to still have penises, to sex.

I also remember Bruegel’s Towers of Babel. The stout tower,tiny houses in the landscape, with a clouds scraping the topside of it, very fantastic and eerie.
These images never left me.

For the past few years, I have delved deep into my obsession with the image of the tower. First, in 2005, I brought the idea to the table of my collaborative group, Goldmine Shithouse, to make a painting of the tower. It was totally inspired by the Bruegel piece and it was large.

I was thinking about doing a large-scale work of the tower for some time but for some reason I was afraid to do any large works that were not like the large photographic work I have been up to for over 15 years. I think I was locked into my habits and found it difficult to allow myself to explore. The GMSH has always been the best place to bring ideas to be hammered out. Working with Colin and Travis has really freed my inhibitions and taught me to open myself up to considering other media as a part of my processes.
Well the piece came out great and that just opened the floodgates for me to harp on the image and concept of the tower in different landscapes and forms. I can’t say exactly how many different types of cities or pieces of cities I have made since then, there are hundreds. Some are paintings, collages, silkscreen, drawings, and so on.

The cities I created began to consume the works and me. The portraits I photograph of people now seem to be residents of the cities and towns and the towers themselves are like maps or globes.

The latest project I am involved with is an installation to be presented in Cologne, Germany at the Art 21 fair this October. It is to be approximately 11 foot by 11 foot tower made of hand crafted, wooden houses.

It is to be like an extension of the works I have been making of these claustrophobic cities and looming towers. I am only one third into the construction and I am not totally sure how it will look but it is starting to take form at the base.

Some if the houses will be inserted in the roofs of others and it will stack up the ceiling of the foyer of the building that the fair is in.

This is the 2nd year in a row that I have been invited to do the foyer; last year I hung 1,111 black birds.

I was a bit shocked that I would be asked to do another piece but as soon as I was asked I said yes without thinking twice. I had no Idea what I would do when I agreed but it did not take more than a few hours to realize what to do. The 11-foot tower with 700 arrows in an inward moving spiral hanging around the tower.

Lets break down some of this number business. 11 is my favorite number and I thought 700 is better than 1,111 again (because that means over 2,000 squat thrusts in order to hang them). Plus I need to work with some new numbers here.
All the surfaces of the houses, inside and out, will be painted or silkscreened or layered with photographs. The pictures I am using are from the large collection of prints I have left over from the past 10 years or so. Some are images that never made it to apiece and some are extra work prints or bad exposures. The photos on the sides of the houses make me think of the possible lives lived in those houses, past and present.
The tower is starting to become a testament to my past accomplishments and folly. The weathered wood, scribbled on text, fragments of old photos, it is all starting to reveal its purpose for me to be making this huge sculpture. And for all I know, it will be installed once, shown for 5 days, and then either stored or broken apart, sold for scrap so to speak. Truth is I would not even mind if it were its only time to be seen. It wouldn’t be the first time I have gone through all the days of work and hundreds of dollars to make something to be destroyed. It is a release for me.
That is where the arrows come in. I now see them, hovering around the tower, threatening to hit, but not necessarily to destroy it, but to penetrate it and release the tension inside, all this history of images and work of my past. Kind of an erotic image, no? Not quite a sexy skeleton like but an erotic theme in an unexpected place.