Friday, February 27, 2009

New Works: Rumble in the Jungle

These new works continue my interest in employing 'prizefighters' as metaphors for the struggle and victories in the arena of mind, body, spirit, culture, economics and history.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Route 66 road trip

"I gotta go to the bank,...You wanna ride with to Chandler? I asked.
"yeah, man,... sure,...let's roll.." he replied.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Wrestling With Angels

I was emptying the car of paintings from the trip to Chicago, when my long time neighbor Jim came waving across the street, reaching for his smokes. "How was the show in Chicago?"

We shook hands and I shared my visit with Judy Saslow in her gallery, I told him of my discovery of the work of Nancy Pascke. We talked about the meditative time of driving 12 hours straight, of the health issues of a couple patrons of the Chicago art scene, and through winding paths of rabbit trails and free-flow trains of thought, we came to me showing him the artist proof of my book, Wrestling With Angels: A True Story Based On A Lie, Part One. I knew that he had studied theology, and was a poet, so I led him to the chapter Morning pages: proverbs and poems, and left him to read as I returned to unloading the car.

Here were his immediate thoughts...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Posting new stuff this week

I've been in Chicago (Obamalandia) this weekend visiting friends and making the gallery scene, but I'll be posting again this week. There's snow, dirty slush and brutal cold of course...The cops are still posted next to the blast barriers in front of the Obama house on 51st street... Checked the INTUIT gallery show of outsider art, visited with Judy Saslow in her gallery on Superior (one of her favorite Bulls players has been traded to the OKC Thunder), got my fill of Jamaican Jerk catfish, rice and beans, plantains and Ting sodas...stayed in the studio of artist Arlene Turner-Crawford and enjoyed her art, her collection of jazz, and her hospitality. Back through Red State Amerika Sunday afternoon...Outreach presentations for The Oklahoma City Museum of Art next some point a brother is actually going to get back in the studio and do what he do....

Friday, February 6, 2009

One of my favorite pictures

My youngest brother's daughter, my niece. Blessed with a sweet beauty, Brains, and a strength of will for such a slender girl, that blows me away.
Whatcha' say?,..Gotta be somewhere in there amongst The One-Thousand Most Beautiful People In The World, don't ya think?
I think of her and I'm grateful for a time after returning from Thailand, when my Brother, Kevin and his beautiful wife, my sister Richinda put me up for a while along the road of 'Skip's Artist Trip'.
I slept on the russet red sleeper sofa that my former girlfriend had given them years earlier when they were honeymooners.
There in the den amongst the kid's toys, K.Hill's athletic trophies, the ping-pong table, on the mattress where she and I once lay and kissed and dreamed and made love. Today, I thank God,.. and you,... for a place to stay, to rest my head on a worn pillow and suffer inside for a while after her and Asia. A place to pray and yearn for the direction and purpose for my life. The time in Thailand had challenged my religious upbringing and so I was reluctant to go back to the church, though my brother's family attended faithfully. I missed Bangkok, I smoked cigarettes ("Why are you standing outside in the cold, Uncle Skip?") and I taught Art at my high school alma mater, but mostly dealt with the kids' challenging personal issues, which I carried around in my pocket like charms.
I don't recall making any art at the time, which pretty much tells you where my spirit was.
Squatting on my knees at the wobbly plastic table, she and I had a tea party. I remember how she kept me acutely involved in making the tea just right, getting the cups and saucers right, making sure we had plenty of sugar and she's giving me instructions at age, what?.. five? four?
I imagine I gave her a choice of Orange Pekoe or Earl Grey and she responded quickly and sure...
So, the morsel in this post is this; the midst of my inner struggle and spiritual wandering, I'm looking at this intelligent, beautiful child Kayla, with her almond eyes, and I remember thinking,... "Wow, I flew halfway 'cross the world for... just... this.... moment...!
On this day so full of promise, I think of that day.
Orange Pekoe tea and the company of a beautiful young lady.
Success in school,
stay focused, Girl,
Love, Uncle Skip

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Transcend @ Living Artspace Tulsa

Did I mention that we're having a group show this Friday?

In Studio

The work table, or better yet, 'clutter magnet'...repository of car keys, cologne, business cards, cd's, magazines, books, notes and the items of creative inspiration.

Residue of a San Biagio Langhe Rosso Janin; ripe blackcurrants, plums, spices and leather dominate, a polished palate with velvety tanins, nice fruit and a long elegant finish.

In frame, Suki 2003, inks on vellum 8.5"w x11"h from the Harem Series. Drawing by the artist.
lower left corner is 2006 Margret M. Dabney Visual Arts Award from BLAC inc.
lower right is Haiku Zenji, a collage on tile piece by from 2005.

ready to be packed for Chicago.
foreground: Bruised But Not Broken
2008 acrylic, collage on wood.
background: Ukiyo Mami
2008 acrylic, collage and metallic inks.

LeRoi (der Koning van het straat)
Neo Soul, the dog

detail: Kabuki Jones 2008
acrylic, collage and metallic inks on wood panel.

Gulfstream (for winslow homer) 2008
mixed media on wood

This unfinished painting was started initially
as a donation to the Oklahoma City Museum of Art
for their annual fundraiser. This year's theme is the Harlem Renaissance and of course Jazz... as much as i dislike rehashing the tired motif of 'jazz musician' that is so pervasive in a lot of African-American art. Rather than put my self out on that path, I decided it need some more work. I found a substitute that the museum was thrilled to receive.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Dramatic Super Bowl Finish

There were times during this game that felt as though it had been scripted for a Disney movie, with the the miracle comeback written in for that "feel good" happy ending we Americans love. Staying true to form as the fifth most penalized team in the NFL this year, the Cardinals were flagged at several crucial drives in the game, killing any momentum they had manage to build.
When Arizona Cardinals All-Pro franchise player Larry Fitzgerald caught a pass in stride for 64 yards right up the middle of the field for the touchdown with 2:37 left to play, you felt the favor swing, and I suspect a lot of viewers started pulling for the underdogs to pull the upset again.
Fitzgerald had been well contained all night by the Steelers' secondary. But you knew at some point he would make the play that would change the dynamics of the game.

With time running out, the Cardinals celebrate the come from behind score and an apparent victory.
But the Pittsburgh Steelers had been in this situation before, having played the toughest schedule of the season. With thirty-four seconds before the end of the game, Steeler's quarterback Ben Rothlisberger threw a six yard strike in the endzone where receiver Santonio Holmes made a brilliant catch for the game-winning score, clinching the championship.

Santonio Holmes- from drug dealer in the streets of South Florida

Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner leaves the field for perhaps the last time.

Mike Tomlin, youngest head coach in NFL history to win a Super Bowl.

Kisses from Heaven

Even if you don't give a damn about football, this was worth watching, hearing,..feeling. Like a voice of light calling from out of the darkness, just before dawn.

Transcend @Living Artspace Tulsa Preview

1/31/09: Road trip to Tulsa to deliver my share of the upcoming exhibition, 'Transcend: Contemporary Black Oklahoma' at Living Artspace.

Nathan Lee of Visual Realms Studio curates the show and was on the phone making arrangements for some media play with the local TV station, when I came in.
While he was distracted, I took some shots to give you a peep.

Left: Where Nathan Lee's iconic series of biomorphic human trees were as slender as calligraphy strokes, Lee's new sculptures probe the artist's representation of raw human emotion by adding volume to the mix. You'll want to touch them.

Cherry Ledbetter's brightly painted sculptures of women who defy easy racial identity, are elevated craft with a folk-inspired flavor that calls to mind India, Africa, Latin America and the American Southwest.

Actor, performer and photographer Rory Ledbetter dares to go there in intimate but stark erotic black and white imagery of Black gay males that hearken back to Robert Mapplethorpe.

Suzanne Thomas' iconic Guardians Series' of 3-D paintings honoring powerful women from history, stand watch at the entrance of the gallery

A detail of Skip Hill's unfinished diptych 'Der Ubermensch' Captain America.
4'x8' mixed-media.

I have taken to abstracting elements of Pop, the social-political climate, African and Asian motifs, graffiti and jacking them up a notch.

Opening night I will complete the painting as a performance piece during the Artist Reception.

Artist/Curator Nathan Lee

Transcend: @Living Artspace February 6-19th, 2009

308 S. Kenosha Avenue, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Artist Reception Friday
February 6, 7-10pm

Today's Sunday School Lesson