Sunday, July 27, 2008


Friday was Matmos at the Warhol. Jon and I drove in the worst Pirates game traffic which meant, of course, that there was no street parking on the north side. BTW, if you go to the Warhol lot and they ask you, "Ball Game?" and you say "Nope, trying to go to the Warhol", you only pay $6 instead of the $12 event parking price.

Another wonderful highlight of the drive into the city was getting rear ended by a guy with "Rebel Pride" on his SUV. There was no damage.

Jon and I walked around the galleries before the show. Piet Mondrian's pieces from what I will call his "transitional" phase are definitely my favorite. His earlier work is completely reminiscent of Van Gogh with his use of color and natural- light filled subjects. He started to move towards abstraction, influenced by cubism. It is this inbetween step before he settles on his more recognizable flat primary colored panels that I truly enjoy. He finds a way to use simpler lines and shapes to convey natural forms and utilizes not only his paint in thick (most likely applied with palette knife) swatches but also the canvas for color and texture. In his earlier paintings, you could almost see the evolution of form and value in the layers of oil paint. I appreciate modern, abstract, minimalist art, but it does not hold my attention for very long. I like to get up close to artwork and try and understand the choices artists make, the drama they create in contrast, texture, color and form. It is a definite choice to say, "I want a lack of texture. I want a lack of color. I want to limit the form to it's most basic" but I can't help if I don't prefer it. Below are three examples of Mondrian's artistic transformation.

Don't ask my opinion on Andy Warhol. I don't like his work. I think he is a hack who had a knack of making people buy into his bullshit. His mother did all of the whimsical calligraphy on his illustrations (which come close to agreeable to me). He had aids do his screenprinting. Andy Warhol was a lot of hype. I envy him for his ability to become so successful. I think of him as more of a cultural figure and less of an artist.

The other artist showing at the Warhol was Glenn Kaino. I hate when galleries have highbrow explanations of artist's work. It reminds me of high school trying to appease my art teacher Mrs. Narey with lofty meanings to my artwork. Art should have meaning. Art should be the artist's commentary on their world- however explicit or implicit, basic or extreme. I don't think there should be placards in galleries telling people what the artist may or may not be saying. Isn't a major part of art the subjective audience and the meaning they derive through their personal experience? Have placards that give enough info to place the seed of what the artist's original goals were, but don't shove it down our throats in ways that make us beg the question, was said meaning ascribed after the fact by some art critic? Nevertheless, I enjoyed Kaino's work. Many were absurdist (sometimes the only way to make people realize how absurd life truly is) and others were slightly more direct- such as his machine that effectively stopped the sands of time, sands from silicon, texas, and israel. Jon and I especially enjoyed his Rube Goldberg machine featuring a tiny paper crane, giant lower jaws, and a jackalope.

here's Glenn Kaino's website-

So, there was some drama that Friday night. Jes decided not to go to Matmos. I don't really know what was going on. Jon said she left a note saying "have fun with Maggie" which makes me worried that she's upset Jon and I have been hanging out together a lot. Honestly, we are together so much because we don't really have that many other friends in Canonsburg and we don't have her to hang out with. I hope that she isn't upset for that reason. I know Jes. I know how she reacts to things and I feel like I can say that I understand her pretty well. I'm not mad at her in anyway, I just hope that things blow over soon enough.

Because Jes didn't want to go, her ticket was up for sale. Sanchez (aka Justin) said that he'd buy it and come in. Everyone was under the impression that it was sold out. Well, we called Justin about fifteen minutes before the show and he said he wasn't coming. Well, we found out soon enough that the show WAS NOT sold out and all we could do was give the ticket back to the Warhol sans refund. Jon said he'd pay Jes back.

Leprechaun Catering, the band that opened for Matmos was meh. An improv noise group, they were definitely Dada in their song titles and performance but lacked luster. I'm not sure if the drummer could actually keep a beat. The one thing I had to give to them was that they had some awesome instruments. One guy was playing a rubber band. That is just awesome. I told Jon that we should go on tour after seeing them.

Matmos was sublime. Their videos were impeccably matched to the music and you could just tell that they were in their element having fun. They played a song from a long forgotten lp called "The West" using looped acoustic guitar. Even though synths were "their thing" as they joked, I love the old stuff. I love the new stuff. I don't know what more to say other than, if you like Matmos, seeing them live is like adding the missing link.

After the show we went up to the Ruxton house to chill for a little while. Steph, Andy, Emily and I were talking about getting this magazine idea underway. I'm really excited to know they are all about it as well. Well, talk is just talk and I want to walk the walk, and I think they do too... we just have to step off. Talking with them about creating a creative community makes me wonder about my future or more precisely, where I'll be in the future. They make me want to be in Pittsburgh, but I don't know if I will be. I have to get an internship next summer and Pittsburgh isn't exactly the publishing hotspot. Then I wonder if my college career is actually worth something when all I think about career wise does not really involve Latin America. I always make concessions to include it. Who the fuck knows what I am doing with my life. I just know that Things have to fall into place eventually and I'm pretty confident in myself that I won't settle for something I'm not 100% about. I don't know. I think if you follow your passions and listen to your guts/heart, good things happen. I've been pretty lucky so far.

1 comment:

  1. "Honestly, we are together so much because we don't really have that many other friends in Canonsburg and we don't have her to hang out with. I hope that she isn't upset for that reason."

    i'm not, i was upset because i never get to see jon hardly ever anymore, and i told you no for thursday night but you came over anyways. i really and honestly don't even want to hang out unless its the weekend anymore. my schedule is so hectic i don't even know how i'm doing it. hang out with him as much as you want, just not on my time when i need it.

    and you guys were supposed to take justin with you, which is the whole reason he didn't go, because he didn't have a ride.

    communication is key.