Saturday, April 30, 2011

Gettin it on

Rough flyer design for the First Friday show. Just emailed DJ's - performers are next. Maybe when I get home from work. (It's proving to be a very long day.)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Oh hello, a fire show!

Above is a video just released - the performance was last June - that I and a few of my friends took part in as part of Serafina Fire for the 2010 University of Pennsylvania Health System Magnet Gala.

I'm featured in the video hooping, then dancing with palm torches, then fire fans. The whole performance was full of extremely professional, easy to work with performers - if I recall correctly we threw together the entire performance within only a couple of practices. I LOVE IT when whoever is organizing the performance or number knows EXACTLY what they want. Having to come up with or argue about choreography as we're practicing is so annoying. If I'm not the one developing it, then just tell me what to do and where to stand. Thanks.

I don't have anything else art related to post about at the moment, but this is good, too. It's a beautiful day! Enjoy it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Figment NYC / A new secret project

Alex and I donated a couple of our linoleum prints to Figment NY, a group that I guess would be best described as an arts collective, but with more impact. The pieces went to their Groundbreaking 2011 Silent Auction.

Here is a quote from their website:


FIGMENT is a forum for the creation and display of participatory and interactive art by emerging artists across disciplines. FIGMENT began in July 2007 as a free, one-day participatory arts event on Governors Island in New York Harbor with over 2,600 participants. Since then, FIGMENT has grown significantly each year?in number of projects, duration, participants, volunteers, fundraising capability, exhibitions, locations, overall level of commitment and participation, and public support.

Anyway, both the pieces sold, so we're happy! Here is the page they were featured on (I like to google myself occasionally, more so recently attempting all these marketing strategies for my work) and the only thing I regret was not sending a better picture of both of the prints. It was a last minute thing that I had no idea about, and I had already taken these (to be intentionally not awesome, just to show a friend to have her choose from the two) and I had to send something A.S.A.P. - so, unfortunately the online photos don't look too great, but yes, yay, they sold, and they helped out a great organization in the public arts run by some fantastic people. (Yea, pretty sure they're burners.) Why is it that the only art organizations out there that aren't corrupt or completely lacking funding (public schools, city/state arts initiatives) are probably run by hippies or burners? Are they the only ones that genuinely care? Everything else about it seems so money driven, or like there are a few artists/galleries making all the money off of us - the ones making the work - and don't seem to otherwise do shit?

Ah well. That said, Alex (my marketing strategist/aka husband) and I are embarking on a project that will be perfect for internet googling and blogging. And I expect reader participation. It will involve a letter, and a stone, and reader enthusiasm. In the works, my friends.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Group show June 3rd with Kristin Scholz @ O'Reillys Pub

Just confirmed!

The lovely and talented Kristin Scholz and I will be having a show together of our work at O'Reillys Pub in Fishtown. The opening party is set to be June 3rd, which is First Friday. This most exciting event will feature a whole mess of paintings from both her and I and possibly a collaborative piece (just started talking about it, so we'll see how it pans out - probably a large scale painting) and we're working on trying to book performers, DJ's and musicians to entertain our art-show attendees for the evening. The idea is that it will be a destination First Friday spot instead of just one that people walk through and check out for 5 minutes.

Luscious warrior babe (not the official title) by Kristin Scholz

Kristin is one of the most talented artists I know. She specializes in screen printing (on paper and fabric) and is a painter/illustrator as well. I am in love with her female figures, which always seem to have the most detailed, ridiculous flowing hair in that duo-shaded style (like the piece above.) Her work is also usually pretty dark and creepy, which is an aesthetic I am attracted to even though it has a completely different aura and atmosphere than my own work. I think juxtaposing our paintings will work, somehow; I can at least rest assured the quality will be top notch. I've always wanted her to design a tattoo for me - and was always amazed how she could sketch anything (figures, animals, anything) off the top of her head without any reference. I'm the first one to have to paint from a picture or life, otherwise the image just doesn't manifest itself correctly in my brain.

We first met in 2001, both of us starting out as freshman at MICA, where we were neighbors in the freshman dorms. We soon became friends and spent most of the rest of our Baltimore years as roommates. It's not often you can find someone to live with for that long that you don't want to murder (we were fine.) Now we both live in Philadelphia and have been quietly and patiently creating artwork with all of our training and discipline while we work jobs that are just there to help pay the bills.

It's extremely exciting to be participating in a show with Miss Kristin (I sometimes like to call her X-tin - haha, get it?) and we will most definitely kick some art scene ass. Without a doubt it'll at least be a fun party - it's at a bar for christ's sake. Drink and be merry! Look at some art! And hopefully since it's scheduled for June it will finally, finally be nice outside and we can utilize O'Reilly's sweet patio space.

Friday, April 15, 2011

You know, those "Creative" types

I attempted to read an article today in Scientific American - alas, it is an online article, and I lack a subscription, and therefore cannot read more than the first page. However, it had this nice little summary on the side which I thought I would share here, since it's so relevant and all.

(Truthfully, I am just itching to read the rest. I think my in-laws have a subscription to that magazine. And if I'm wrong, I'm sure somewhere else on the internet they will either re-summarize it or re-post it eventually.)

Anyway, here we go - IN BRIEF:

In Brief

  • People who are highly creative often have odd thoughts and behaviors—and vice versa.
  • Both creativity and eccentricity may be the result of genetic variations that increase cognitive disinhibition—the brain’s failure to filter out extraneous information.
  • When unfiltered information reaches conscious awareness in the brains of people who are highly intelligent and can process this information without being overwhelmed, it may lead to exceptional insights and sensations.
You know, those "creative" types.
(Actually this was at Burning Man, but I couldn't find anything else more
appropriate to display my/my friends wackiness.
Photo courtesy of Laura Schetzsle.)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Green Tara Buddha, normalcy, + some booty

"Green Tara Buddha", acrylic on gessoboard, 12" x 12"
(private collection, Miami Florida)

I received a digital file recently of one of the "Lost Buddhas." It wasn't actually lost, I knew exactly where it was and could have asked my dear friend who it was for to take a picture any time. She even has the exact same camera as I, so I knew it would be pretty good. Whenever I thought about it I kept forgetting to get in touch with her - finally I just did a few in the same day via Facebook and should be receiving other pictures soon, too. (Also, I love being able to write "private collection" on my work like that. Like it's so coveted, private rich people own it - except instead of those people being private and rich, they're just poor and my friends and I loved them enough to paint them something.)

I googled myself recently, and my website came up FOURTH! And one of my paintings came up 6th in the image search. That said, I thought I should have something more .... attractive and compelling on the home page of my website. Right now it's this boring part of a flyer with a quote from my artist's statement. Too dark, too boring. I was thinking of one of these:

If anyone is reading this and has any particular thoughts
about which one I should use, please comment on this post!

One is obviously a graphic I made with pictures of me - I do have my performance stuff as part of my art website, and will soon have a gallery of pictures of me spinning fire and performing and such - but there is also some part of me that feels like I should have a more anonymous web presence. I don't know what I expect - for people to google my name and only my work comes up? That's not exactly what I want, either. I want to be "known", however I end up being known, for all the awesome and crazy things I do, not just one.

Unlike some people, it hasn't really crossed my mind that some part of my life is so "professional" that I have to censor the burlesque stuff and the dancing and fire. Really, any sort of "professional" life I may have ... I'm pretty sure no one cares, and if they do, I probably don't need to be involved in whatever it is they're doing.

When I quit my job at Penn, in a sense, I gave up the losing battle to look, feel, and be this conventional "normal" that I thought was synonymous with success and happiness. Of course neither of these are true, and those of you that know me I hear piping up with "But, Xtina - how could you have ever thought you'd ever be 'normal' and blend in? You've had dreadlocks down to your ass for 10 years, and you're covered with tattoos and piercings." And I don't have a very good answer. I know that the way I look and the way I am is me and I've always been pushing buttons and doing whatever I damn well please - and it's probably cost me some jobs and some looks and whatever. I'm older now, my hair isn't pink anymore (but oh boy, I found some seriously awesome actual photographs from that era the other day) and I've tried the office job thing and stuck out like a sore thumb - even though I wasn't the only one with piercings, tattoos, or funny hair. But I was white, and young, and didn't have kids - so that made me more different (to them) than my appearance ever could.

I was just thinking about how my naked ass was on the cover of the City Paper here in Philly and NO ONE in my office noticed. Guess they don't read it. Still, my butt was plastered about the city and no one that I didn't tell about it even looked twice. (I couldn't find the exact article on a whim, but here is a blog post about the article and with the picture.)

Also, mayyyybe this wasn't a scam - maaaayybbbe I would have sold some work and it would have been worth it - but how bout a nice big middle finger to Mac Worthington Gallery in Columbus, Ohio, for being disappointed that I could not fork over $600+ to have my work shown there. Sorry dudes, I can barely pay my rent. I need to renew my fire insurance. I need to pay my student loan. And that leaves no money for you.

That's ok - looks like Friday June 3rd will be my next show - collaborating this time with my dear friend and amazing Philly artist Kristin Scholz. It's so nice to be reassured that I can hang my work all around the city for free and gain exposure without forking over hundreds of dollars.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Honeycomb Merkaba

Shot of my studio with the "Honeycomb Merkaba",
the commissioned piece I've been working on for a few months.

The painting above is still very much in progress. I'm just starting to put oil paint on the canvas - before I was mainly drawing with paint markers and pencils, trying to figure out the composition. I've also spent a lot of time making the stencils for all these shapes, and as usual, staring at it with a puzzled look on my face. It's actually a little bit further along at this point than it is in the picture. More oranges, yellows and greens have been added into the intricate geometric patterns along the bottom left. I am absolutely having a fantastic time with this painting, figuring out where it's going as I work. Since I'm good friends with the couple that this piece is for, I keep intermittently showing them progress pictures. (I normally probably would not do this with a client I don't know very well.) I'm not entirely sure of the title either, but that is what I called one of the sketches that was the plan/inspiration for the painting.

In other news, I took down the show of my work last week at The Lola Bean. It was amazing to have my work displayed in a great local cafe, and I received tons of interest and good feedback although no paintings were sold. I'm looking into creating an Etsy site for selling prints and paintings, as opposed to having prices on the pieces on my website. I spent part of this weekend and the past two days (although I have been mostly out of commission for yesterday and today due to a seriously crippling monster headache) and it is looking better with a new gallery section and this blog embedded into one of the tabs. (Yay!) Check it out and let me know what you think.
The headache is *almost* gone, although I'm still experiencing residual pain and general achey-ness. (Tis the life of a dancer? Still getting used to calling myself that.)

Other than that, working on some REALLY exciting performances for PEX Summer Festival 2011. (Get your tickets soon, before they run out!) The best way to spend your 4th of July weekend.