Friday, February 29, 2008


Acrylic on paper
22 x 21 inches

Study for a new stencil.

I was thinking about some imagery I have seen around by MBW rehashing pop=culture images, and sometimes doing a mash-up of them. I enjoy them for the instant associations I have to the imagery, but I personally find it more interesting and challenging to create images that are personal and try to make them images of popular culture.

Hence this stencil, and more to come of images from my life that I have interacted with, and have aged. As part of a consumer society I buy mostly mass produced items, so in a sense they are part of popular culture, but through their use and decay they have been transformed.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Banksy and Kara Walker

I have seen a lot of new Banksy work popping up on the web, and the first thing I thought when I saw it was that he has been looking at Kara Walker. When I was in London in November there was a large installation of her work, and I can not imagine that he has not seen her work before. I think it is actually very interesting this new choice of image making for him, as it simplifies the message even more and allows him to clarify his message. One thing that seems to come through in the new work is a interest in childhood, as it relates to modern society, the little Bo Peep character and the children on their hands and knees painting.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Monday, February 25, 2008

Lucien Freud
Woman with an Arm Tattoo, 1996
Sheet:27 9/16" x 36 1/8 "

Lucien Freud was a HUGE influence on me when I was in school. Back in 1994 the Metropolitan Museum staged a retrospective of his work. If you love the figure, and you want to see a fellow that in his late eighties can still blow your mind check out his etching show at MoMA.

Rackstraw Downes

A great display of landscape painting. Read the Times Review.

LEMON HOUND: Elbowtoe - Ad Hoc Poetry

LEMON HOUND: Elbowtoe - Ad Hoc Poetry


You need to really see this in person to get the full effect, but let me say it borders on the extraordinary. This older man lives here, I assume by himself, and I have seen him out placing things twice now. A lot gets lost in the snow, but it does simplify it somewhat, as the ground is covered with tokens. 

This space reminds me of the African power sculptures, and the space really does have the feeling of possession. It the case of the sculptures, items are inserted to appease and ward off spirits. What really has me curious is what sparked this creativity(madness), and what was the first item that acted as a seed for the rest of this to compliment, and what is the significance of each of these pieces to the larger puzzle.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

For the birds

Though I have some repetitive stress disorder there are a few woodcuts that have to be carved. This is the first step in the process, the charcoal drawings on wood.


Stencil on craft paper
27 x 72 inches

The New Pop-Art

So I went and saw the latest show at Jonathan Levine Gallery the other night and it got me thinking about what it is he's showing there, and what it is that Juxtapoz champions. I find it hard to think of this as Pop Art (Pop-Art was using items of popular culture to address larger conceptual issues), but it does draw from and is influenced by popular media.

Thinking back about the Pop Art movement of the 1960's the artists seemed to be affected by the graphic quality of advertising and graphic design, and the comics of the era. What is so interesting about this Neo Pop movement is the fact that it champions illustration and stylization. There is something about this that does not feel like an embrace of popular culture, and I can't imagine this as lowbrow art, as I have heard it termed. The work seems too crafted for that.

What is interesting is that it takes all the craft of illustration, and removes the narration for the most part, rather presenting settings. The images of Jeff Soto come to mind.

I am not sure exactly where I am going with this except for the fact that I found it very interesting. I am not sure I feel about this movement, and I feel like a lot of street art is tied to it. I hope there is a way for all of this to transcend style and really address substance.


ELC in group painting and installation show opening this saturday....

see pictures
Ad Nauseam Lyceum presents
a collaborative installation project
Reception Sat Feb 23 from 5 - 8 PM
Sat, Feb 23 & Sun, Feb 24: 12 - 8 PM
chashama on 119th
159 West 119th Street @ Adam Clayton Powell Blvd.
Ad Nauseam Lyceum is proud to present BIG WHITE INSTITUTIONALIZED BOX! a collaborative installation project at chashama on 119th on Saturday, February 23 and Sunday, February 24, 2008.
Ad Nauseam Lyceum has been granted a chashama residency for the month of February at a defunct storefront on 119th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd.  Instead of curating a traditional group show as we have done in the past, Ad Nauseam Lyceum will use this unique opportunity to explore new territory as an organization and to utilize the distinct talents and interests of our community of artists.  BIG WHITE INSTITUTIONALIZED BOX! is a collaborative art installation created by Brent Birnbaum, Matthew Broach, Celso and the Endless Love Crew, Ryan Frank, Scott Goodman, David Herman, Peter Lester, David Ort, Joan Pamboukes, Tara Parsons, Jake Scharbach, Deena Selenow, Rory Sheridan, Adam Parker Smith and Kyle Walters.
Ad Nauseam Lyceum will present a large scale collaborative installation that reflects the distinct connections and conflicts between various artistic mediums, styles, and processes in which artists are working today.  By engaging with the space in alternative and experimental ways, Ad Nauseam Lyceum and its collaborators aim to explore and expose how different types of work can relate to each other through the context of the exhibition display.   With some artists working independently and others in collaboration, this ambitious project will present work in a setting that resembles the sanctuary of the artist's studio and outside the confines of a commercial gallery.   Created through the communal efforts of over fifteen artists, BIG WHITE INSTITUTIONALIZED BOX! will be an alternative to the traditional group exhibition and exist as an experimentation in curatorial practice. 
Ad Nauseam Lyceum is an artist run organization committed to showcasing multi-disciplinary work by emerging artists in New York . The group aims to give young artists an opportunity to collaborate, present work, and have a creative dialogue outside the traditional art market.  Founded in 2006 by Ryan Frank, Deena Selenow, and Rory Sheridan , the group has hosted previous events at Ephemeroptera Art Space, chashama, 717 Studio, and EXPLOSIVO! and has collectively shown the work of over 50 visual and performing artists.  Dedicated to blurring the lines between various artistic genres, Ad Nauseam Lyceum is a platform for a new generation of artists working in performance, visual art, and digital media.
chashama is a non-profit New York City arts organization with a nine-year history of supporting artists of all genres and experience levels by offering them access to space and major support resources.  chashama provides opportunities for artists by transforming vacant real estate into multi-arts complexes and animating them with innovative and challenging art. Through low and no-cost admissions, chashama provides more opportunities for audiences as well as artists.
will be open for a final presentation on February 23rd and 24th from 12-8pm,
with an opening reception on Saturday, February 23rd from 5-8pm.
Ad Nauseam Lyceum

The Daily Draw 2.24.08

It is interesting to draw people once they become aware of you but at the same time feign ignorance. The shifting of the posture becomes stiffer with occasional flashes of the eyes acknowledging that you've been caught.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Daily Draw 2.22.08

People seemed a little slower on the trains today, you could really sense the cold settling in to people's bones. I knew sitting down that it would be interesting to focus on hands today, they really say so much.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Daily Draw 2.21.08

I generally draw on the subway anyways, but as a motivation I am going to post a drawing daily. Perhaps some notes, just a little insight into the process, etc.

So this was a woman reading on the subway. I was really struck by her mouth and the way that it related to her nose, this strong vertical against this collapsing horizontal.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Street Art and Decay

I have been looking at these piles of bricks for the better part of half a year, and over the past 2 weeks someone organized them into a structure leading up the wall. Blows my mind. Reminds me of Anselm Kiefer, particularly what he did with concrete slabs that is now at Mass MoCA.

I find this to be one of the most impressive street art pieces I have seen in a LONG time. A couple of things that are particularly striking are the use of materials that were already present in the location, and the fact that they could be cleaned up at any particular moment by the owners of the premesis. 

This second point I find particularly of interest, and it really struck me the other day as something I had not really completely formulated until I saw a decaying Swoon piece on Flickr. For some people it is the getting up that matters. Some people are drawn in by how clever the concept can be. For myself it is the decay. And what the decay signifies - particularly in a city like New York.  I see street art as a fast track to antiquity.

Bear with me. 

There is a quality that ancient artifacts have, a magnetism, that in the best moments happens to street art. This can be cause by elements, by attempted removal, by other people going over it; there are limitless possibilities. When the street art decays, it gains a life lived. And as most people do not want it on their structures, or the materials that made it are not archival, this is bound to happen, in a relatively short amount of time. And there is something really gained by this. (On this same pin I present that the images presented by street artists in galleries fail to a great degree because this real unpredictability is truly lacking, and can only be imitated at best).

I thought of this the other day when I saw a recent photo of a version of Oedipus that was installed in London, but it didn't really stick in my head yet. The piece is roughly 17 feet tall and is a facsimile of a woodcut that has been enlarged on a architects xerox. The piece has been up for the better part of 4 months now, and it is falling apart. most of an arm is gone, large tatters of paper are falling off. It is starting to look like shit. But I can see if a few things happen it could become truly mystical. If a little more falls off the bottom, someone is going to walk by this massive partial head floating 14 feet up a wall, and it will be left to the participants imagination as to what the hell have they come across.

I think that this is the type of power that resonates in sites like Mesa Verde in the southwest, or even a shell of a cabin one finds in the woods. This is the same astonishment I had a few weeks back when I came across this impromptu sculpture.

Poets of the Paste

It's a way off but...
Poets of the Paste
Elbowtoe, Gaia, Armsrock & Imminent Disaster
June 13th - July 13th, 2008
Opening Reception: Friday, June 13th, 2008


A brief interview with ELBOW-TOE

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Identity Matters


What really struck me about this advertisement is how a brand attempts to market itself as an identity. I know that this is nothing new, I worked in advertising for years, but it is the attempt here to show this sense of being counter-culture since 1966 that I just found rather ironic. An advertisement for anti-authority, that probably cost a lot of money to produce.

Washington Project for the Arts

A Strange Feather for the Disheveled Bed, Acrylic and oil paint on linen mounted on found wood, pillow and sheet. 44 x 76 inches.

Delivered the piece today. This piece will be auctioned of next month in a benefit for Washington Project for the Arts.


Starting a stencil of the blogger Gammablog. Been getting repetitive stress disorder from woodcarving, so this seemed like a good solution. The original drawing is acrylic on ledger bond and is about 72 x 27 inches.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Wagging the Dog

"Wagging the Dog" 2008  Cut paper and acrylic on blue dyed maple.  12 x 24 inches.


 I have spent so much time this political season listening to every single candidate find their "voice", mostly through flip flopping on issues, and each claims that the rival is pandering for votes. At the base of all the movements pulses a steady stream of ambition. That is what I have gathered more than anything from all this. They talk about "issues" but it still feels like they are presenting versions of the hope we want to hear, and not real assessments of the way things really are, and what the real chances are that something or anything can be done to correct it.

Working on a new series of collages. The current target of the portraits are of people in positions of power, or seeking power. They have been dropping like flies so it is down to four at this point. The approach technically is pretty straight forward. Comb Flickr for a fair grouping of images from different angles and emotional points of view, all of the same person that the portrait is based upon. Then take a cubist like approach to constructing the head. Trying to give a truthful expression of the individual, but not a direct photographic, perfect image of them. Finding that they almost feel like masks that have been pulled off. 

For this group of politicians their eyes have ben covered with a white bar; ostensibly removing them. The eyes are the window to the soul.