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We’re now a month (plus a day) away from the opening reception for Anicomically Correct, which runs from July 9 through August 6 at Distinction Gallery & Artist Studios in Escondido, California. This is going to be a really fun show! Why? Let’s see…

  • There are a bunch of really great artists participating in the show…
  • The title of the exhibition is one of the best I can recall in recent memory…
  • The show coincides with Comic Con and will have a special reception on the 23rd for all those out-of-towners venturing out of the Gaslamp to see what else San Diego has to offer in the way of super cool art…
  • I’ll have a brand new photo on display…  AND…
  • My photo is featured on the exhibition postcard!!  Yay!

Front of the exhibition card

Over the past several days I’ve been blogging about the new photo and the video animation I created for the piece, so I won’t bore you with yet another posting of the image. However, I will give you a peek at the show postcard, which you can see over there, to the right.

Details for the exhibition look like this:

Anicomically Correct

Distinction Gallery & Artist Studios

July 9 through August 6

Opening Reception July 9, 6 to 10 PM

Second Reception July 23, 7 to 10 PM

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Once upon the time, while running late for a movie and standing stuck behind a pair of large sedentary  teens on an escalator at the mall, I planned on writing a book with the above title.  In the many years that have passed, and constant observations that support the title, I have yet to pen word-one of my cynical (but true!) worldview.

So I’m starting a blog instead.

This is my blog.

It’s not just about teens intellectually lost in a world of consumerism and  illiterate text messages, I’ll also be writing about more engaging topics like art, music, books, film, and awesome toys.  I’ll also be posting about my own creative pursuits, like fine art photography and writing projects.

So there you go!  It’s my first blog entry, so I intentionally set the bar extremely low — curb level for my first step.

Next time, I may even post a picture or two.

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Taking a quick break from all the hype, er, focus around my exhibit at the Pannikin, I’ve added a new painting to my collection… my very first Shag! Pictured above is “The Mentalist,” one of the new pieces that will be on display at Shag’s upcoming show at Billy Shire Fine Arts. The exhibit —  “Conspicuous Consumption” — opens this coming Saturday with a reception from 7 to 10 PM, and includes over 100 small 6” by 6” paintings of many of the motifs and characters Shag has developed throughout the year. Monkeys, tikis, shriners, willowy babes…they’re all there to be gleefully consumed.

“The Mentalist” is one of six large paintings that will anchor the show (this one is 17” by 30”), and I absolutely love the imagery of a suave 1960’s illusionist performing bar tricks in a swanky cocktail lounge. A fine addition to my home… and now appearing for everyone’s viewing pleasure in the collection section of my site.

And now… back to the focus, er, hype, er, shameless self-promotion.

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Vinyl Mysteries of the Caffeine Alphabet opened at the Pannikin in La Jolla this past Saturday night on one of the absolute hottest nights of the summer. In spite of the sweltering heat, I had a great time chatting with the folks who came by to see my first solo show, and I spent most of the night psychoanalyzing my own work (which is oddly therapeutic). Thank you to everyone who dropped by — especially my friends Dawn and Mike who travelled all the way from Los Angeles to provide support. Dawn was extra prepared by bringing a video camera. Early in the afternoon, before the evening reception, I took them on a rambling, stumbling tour of the exhibit, which is captured for posterity on video tape. If I get some good footage I’ll see about posting it here so that more people can laugh at my bad socks.

Amanda and Renee, the owners of the Pannikin were really great, giving me free reign of the gallery space to sort of transform their coffee shop into a retro-inspired vinyl wonderland of LP covers, tin robots and wooden blocks. You can see pictures of the framed pieces and the installation here. But just in case you don’t want to bother with a link, how about a couple of quick snapshots?

Lorraine leaps upon the red carpet to get her first delicious taste of paparazzi fame at the 1959 Grammies

Okay, this gives you a nice, general idea of how the show was setup. Oh! But first, allow me to thank my fine assistants — Lin, Jo Anna, Vince and Gunnar — all of whom helped me get everything hung on Friday night (when the temperature threatened to melt the tin from around the sturdy bodies of my robot brigade). Kudos, gold stars and much appreciated thanks for their role in making my show look really great!

On to a little “Gallery Setup Analysis,” so I can point out a few things about how the show was hung. First, in the upper right corner of the above photo you get a peek at the installation that rimmed the main room of the Pannikin (and throughout). The inside of Pannikin is an old, converted bungalow, and the main room is the original living room of the house, featuring a book rail that hangs a foot or so from the low ceiling. Normally, the rail is packed with old books, games, and assorted coffee pots and antique collectables. All the books and games were taken down so that I could line the shelves with vintage, cheesecake-ish, record albums from the 50’s and 60’s, though I chose to leave the coffee pots on one side of the gallery because I thought they complemented the installation quite well. In front of the records I set up robots and wooden blocks, which were used to spell various phrases.

Above: P-H-O-T-O  A-T-O-M-I-C  S-H-A-K-E-D-O-W-N. All told, I think there are around 300 or so blocks in the exhibit.

First up… how about those frames? As always, every piece in the show was matched with a custom frame chosen to fit the mood and style of the photo. In this case, it’s a gleaming gold frame with an inward cast to emphasize the glitz of a Hollywood awards show. Framing costs for the show set me into bankruptcy, but what price art, ya know?  Above the frame you see a pair of wooden blocks “13” which match up to the titles and prices on the art works sheet for the exhibit. We went through a lot of putty Friday night… which I hope holds up under the hot month of September! Over the weekend I stopped into the gallery a couple of times and none of the blocks had fallen off the wall and into someone’s latte, but I still took the opportunity to press them all firmly into place.

To the right of each piece we mounted the show title cards, which were custom made for the exhibit. The tags are mounted onto recordable CDs that mimic retro vinyl records — grooves and everything! (Thanks to Kristy D. for the tip on finding these specialized boutique recordable CDs.)

I prepared a set of “coffee robots” for the exhibit that were placed in various places standing guard over the artful proceedings.  Here’s a close up of the coffee robot in the above picture, along with a tower of blocks.

I liked the image of tin robots emerging from a cup of coffee beans, an element featured in the title piece for the show, and repeated with these simple miniature sculptures.

I provided pretty simple “opening reception dining fare” for all my guests — wine, water, juice and chocolate — served from atop and within vintage record players.

Yum! There were also stickers on hand with images of the featured piece — The magnificent minds of medicine gather round to examine Nastasscia from the inside out — which (in a spectacular stacked frame) was definitely the hit of the evening!

Hmmm… actually, on second thought, the most popular hit of the evening were my business cards. So good that no one could take just one. With nine different designs and each a mini work of art, most people opted for a generous collection, and I was very happy to oblige.

I hope you have a chance to visit the Pannikin to take in the show in person, sit down, have a bite to eat and enjoy their fabulous coffee. The exhibit will be up through the month of September. Have fun!!

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Left to right: Marion Peck, Mark Ryden, Gary Baseman, Long Gone John, Todd Schorr, Camille Rose Garcia, Tim Biskup

This past weekend I attended the opening reception for The Treasures of Long Gone John exhibit at the Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana. A mere sliver of John’s art collection is on display in a jam packed gallery space, which also includes a nice sampling of the objets de desir he has come to collect through the years. Quite a few artists were in attendance, as you can see above standing in front of the massive 6’ x 8’ masterpiece by Todd Schorr.

Also on display was the first public viewing of Pictures of the Gone World, the 20 minute short I’m executive producing that will be included on the DVD release of The Treasures of Long Gone John. The film was running on a loop within the gallery as an installation and gives a sweeping, fly-through view of the collections throughout John’s house. Very, very cool, and it was exciting to get my first glimpse at the fresh footage.

I snapped pictures here and there, so who am I not to share?

A portion of the front window containing various dolls, anime characters and several “Sympathy” paintings. The one at the top, in the back, is the Rob Clayton painting that appears on the Sympathy For The Record Industry home page.

A row of S-Y-M-P-A-T-H-Y Keane dolls from the front window.

 The giant Jeep statue that usually lives in John’s living room. On the wall are paintings by Camille Rose Garcia, a Ghost World drawing from Daniel Clowes, and a nice little sketch from Nara, which was quite cool.

“Snow White” by Mark Ryden consumed most of the back wall, with a glass cabinet filled with vintage dolls just below.  There were also bronze castings of the various figures produced by Necessaries Toy Foundation appearing here and there throughout the room. Four Camille Rose Garcia figures stand atop the glass cabinet. On the walls you see paintings from Donald Roller Wilson, Shag, the Clayton Brothers, Lori Early, and the corner of a pretty darn big Robert Williams piece.

This small wall features more amazing art work. At the top is a wonderful piece from Marion Peck, with another Peck painting on the right side of the shot. The bottom left features a stunning Sas Christian piece, and tucked away in the lower right hand corner is an Andy Warhol. If you get a chance to see the Treasures documentary you’ll discover that the Warhol normally hangs in John’s “cat bathroom.” If you’re going to have pets, they should be cultured too!

Every owner of an independent record label should have a trio of psychedelic composers, wouldn’t you agree?

A peek into the glass cabinet of dolls….

One last picture of the Todd Schorr piece, this time with an admirer (Inger Lorre, by the way) in the foreground.

The exhibit will be running through March 18th, so I encourage everyone to attend!

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