I like to find art and write poems and read magazines and listen to my iPod and daydream and walk my neighbor's dog - that one's my favorite

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Hmm... Factor: a few photos from Micheal Neff's portfolio

Aurora Village, Shoreline, Washington. 2007

Barrow at Greenwich, New York, New York. 2006

West 11th Street, New York, New York. 2007

What I'm assuming Neff's done here is trace the shadow quickly at a certain time of day, then solidified it with a large piece of chalk and returned to the same spot the next day at exactly the same time. I think it's genius, really, in its simplicity. An art class in elementary school could doe this - but he thought it up, and it looks simply... magical. It's a neat play on the phrase "every cloud has a silver lining," because here they have blue, pink, orange and green linings. To me, it's as though there were some sort of light behind the solid form of the shadow, a light that peeks out from behind and winks at us (in the form of chalk). There's clearly a comment on adulthood and childhood - the child's toy (chalk) is marking the world of the adult (the city streets). Is the light that peeks out from behind the shadows the child in all of us, so to speak? There are no humans in any of the pictures except for those cloaked in cars, so the city landscape is slightly hostile and desolate. I think Neff was trying to make a modern Atlantis with this series, e.g. a magical world where humans can't really exist.


The quizzical world of Damien Weighill

Hair, Damien Weighill

R2D2, Damien Weighill

Toys, Damien Weighill

Peace, Damien Weighill

Zebra, Damien Weighill

Carrot, Damien Weighill

I'm already cursing myself for not including more of Weighill's work here, but you can visit his site if you like. He's funny, and there's a crispness to the way he draws that I really like. He uses a thick, simple line that is both child-like and very sophisticated. Who else can draw R2D2 that well and make it look so easy? He's really an amazing artist, and, fortunately for us, designs t-shirts as well at Super Superficial, and amazing t-shirt site I've just now discovered! Worth looking at if you like arty, ironic tees.


Lorin Brown's monsters are out from under the bed: and they're adorable!

Color Series, Lorin Brown

Color Series, Lorin Brown

West US, Lorin Brown

East US, Lorin Brown

Gun, Lorin Brown

I just can't stand to give simply one example of an artist's work, since it's all so incredible, usually! I found Lorin Brown through Lost at E Minor (see Internet Adventures links), and I can't help but fall in love with her cartoon cloisonee every time I look at it! The little monsters that make up the geometric blocks of vibrant color are happy, weird, and invite the viewer to take a second, third and fourth look. In the world of Brown's artwork, there seems to be an underlying silly beauty to everything (even guns!), which she reveals with ease and grace. Lovely!


Nature can be weirdly captivating







The first photograph was taken by my older sister, Katie, right here in Nebraska, and is an amazing picture to say the least - you almost can't even tell what it is. It's a photograph but it almost looks like a painting! The rest of the pictures were taken from National Geographic magazines a long time ago when I was working on a website on Geocities, and I wanted all the backgrounds to be these breathtaking landscapes, which are a dime a dozen in NG.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

David Shrigley art: pictures with something to SAY

Executioner, David Shrigley
Today my heart is filled with such joy, David Shrigley

Art Lover, David Shrigley

Buddha is carried off by ants, David Shrigley

Who's Underneath?, David Shrigley

What I Learned

Boring Nature, David Shrigley

Water Soluble, David Shrigley

All of this is real, David Shrigley


Parts of the fist, David Shrigley

If my skull were found by primitive peoples, David Shrigley

As you can see, I'm really impressed by this artist, David Shringley. This is just the tip of the iceberg of his huge amount of work, all very funny and thoughtful (from what I've seen so far). I love that he's eliminated color, and the connection between text and picture is not only essential, but makes both the text and the picture more powerful. The simplicity is childlike, and recalls a nand-drawn comic book, and I wonder if there's not a sort of argument regarding "graphic novels" like those by Daniel Clowes, Jeff Smith, Charles Burns, Marjane Satrapi, David B., and so on. The works by these authors unifies drawing and text beautifully and creatively, often with an odd humor like Shringley exudes here. It also recalls the one panel comics from the internet like Suicide Bunny and Toothpaste for Dinner.com (see my other blog entries!), which is a sort of funny vernacular for serious art. Any way you slice it, it's strange and intriguing and I really like it.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Now, Apocalypse Now


Cue orchestra.
Burn sun.


Green palms sway
notes of music
for napalm to play
Violet smoke swells
crescendo, decrescendo.
Helicopters appear.


Blades twirl
clear smoke away
clearing throats.
Song arises
from descending fire.
Dance in three
steps: bomb,
forest, song.


Gown dark, sultry,
fluttering, winking
smoke, shadow
stirs breeze
and fabric spins around legs,
the twirl of helicopter blades
lilting purple silk

four walls, ceiling
fan, blades, motor mutter
chant –
breeze ruffles hair
and naked bed sheets
like palm leaves.


Jump Fall

Lizard climb
tightwire through
drifts canopy
along cloak river;

gasp hangs
air audience
tingle breath
no clap yet.

Balance fitted
costume sparkle
scales sequins
sweat along wire

lizard through
breath watched
air tight
wire hangs
audience drift
along sweat.

Frog laugh
canopy crooked
croak tongue dirt
eyes poisoning
tight spectacle
loose wire

hands claws
dive smooth
spotlight scales
danger shimmer

costume eyes
croak hands
spectacle gasp
smooth hangs lizard
scales sequins
audience claws.

Body Orbit

Gallant slime wraps
like veins around
the rainbow arc of the bow
on the boat

and its red
is a thirsty tongue
with an invisible cut of acid
flowing through
the wet body.

Undulating lilac
water playfully grapples
the fingers stretching
muscles, they scratch

a twilight game
in ripples reflects
the knuckled steel
nails and hands
are mast, deck.

Gliding orange-slice sky
glows hot,
palmed and plucked
for acid juice

by the pulping hands
wreathed in slime glory,
hungry body thumps,

River mouth
ready to swallow,
to gulp the sweet
and mellow gait,

the fluid stride
is blue glass of dessert wine
to slurp along
the red tongue
and glittering
starlight teeth.


Shock spray in technicolored sparks
fleet through the black midnight dome

sky, not sure if it’s night or day or if
it’s just forgetful combination.

Flash of sprinkled rocket light, memories
bright one second illuminate

the huge brain sky with no horizon line
to rest on, just swampy shadow mist

and firework rememberings, who explode
then tun ash, cloud,

lazily crumble gray through mind’s
labyrinth air and flutter daintily

as embers now on red sand shore
where clattering jungle fires once seemed

as though they’d burn forever on in war,
embers pulse with thought of fires

they once were, still glow electric orange
and wait for a brave man to step

lightly over them in an exotic performance
of confused nostalgic pain and pleasure.

Footprints overlap other forgetting footprints
and form prisms that refract the firework light

into grand magician color scarves
which are wishful ways of looking back,

tricks, performances to add surreal cartoon crayons
to black imploding chaos reality

or the memory of it.

Fireworks in celebration of grand acrobatic war,
troupe, uniform, march,

a lipstick kiss and giggling perfume spray on embroidered kerchief
to remember someone by –

kerchief in magician’s pocket,
never ending illusion rainbow spectacle

and a promise of beautiful fireworks
at the end of the show.....


stepping of the boat
onto hot sand
we see the jewels of the hell
we’re entering

ground turns
in daylight grasping
lightning cooked sand
slipping between
our question mark

beams of light
twist like cylinder

ground spins
but in place

we look
to one
another only
mirrors of ourselves

irises revolve
like planet
the pupil stays center
rainbow skeletons
of light

femurs are diamonds
to cut each other
ribs are sapphires
in a stew
little finger bones
as jewelry
skin tossed on
sand for the lightning
to bleed away

Untitled 1

Forgetting who you are
is easy when faces are strobe candles
flashing instead of talking
as they discuss the muted way you wring your hands,
because everyone wrings their hands,
sweats behind bars, steals glances,
and to be everyone is really
to be no one
especially beneath a sun
so tricky as to form a morse code with you
in order to truly melt
silly little
wandering mine-field minds
like the one you lay claim to
but have no claim to - ah,
was that a sip of coffee
you so vividly imagined that it neither seemed real nor was real
but was real enough inside
the thought of tastebuds to wake you up
with cream?
with sugar? and a clap of teeth
against fine china,
against your hot tongue that thirsts to form a sentence
in clear opposition
but cannot help but daintily to

You stroke the cheek of your face
as a cat might use its paw
to clean its whiskers, then its ears,
and scoop away the sandman’s sleep
that lingers in the fleshy corners
of their eyes, such wooden eyes with undisclosed
dissatisfaction sizzling here and there
among the constantly mutating pupils
that seem both to absorb the flaying sunlight
they love and also to shield against it
in a curious combination
of adoring and hatred, which,
for some reason,
always seem closest when at odds,
and are never not at odds
and, you think, what an interesting phrase
as if odds were a place you could be at,
and perhaps is not just an unattainable theoretical place
but a present state
that you’re in,
and how you’ve gotten here is surely
what’s on everyone’s minds as they watch
the squirming creature
that signs your name, speaks your voice, runs its
hand across your unshaven face
and asks your questions with your lips,
"Are the bars of the cage really the hours
melting with the moon somewhere
between my eyelashes and my liquid
Or are the bars my eyelashes?"

Untitled 2

Gazing at the stars I think
they’re really words and shouts
in the yawning breath of night
and the orbit of earth and moon
are carefully drawn lines of thought
conversing with each other and the ocean,
which is just a yarn of ripples
stitching themselves into waves or monsoons
to cleanse the earth’s body and mine
with salts that are covered in life forms,
microscope Atlantises thriving
from a clean and simple structure
of very descriptive language - streets made
from complete sentences,
public parks from paragraphs,
little fire hydrants from commas and the gleaming
capitol a polished page of poems
and the style is something reminiscent
of an author whose name escapes me
but wrote as though he were preparing a dessert
out of tart and velvety pieces
of dictionary, the fragrant dough
and sweet frosting
beginning as a lovely sludge
to dip our fingers in and delight in overeating.


Found yourself let go in a weird, dim maze
made up of his voice and your thoughts dancing grotesquely across
the little ashen typewriter, his merciless fingerprints
pressed over those things that make up words like mini labyrinths
with mini minotaurs, waiting in the dust for victims, sacrifices of beautiful myth,
no power in being written down but when spoken
will travel over thousands of years or miles to ears that hear and remember.

Is this a cave, you wonder, as you lift his manuscript from the chamber
reserved for his brain, his last breath gliding out
like the music of ink on massive stack of yellowing paper,
or just a buzz from a radio, you remember, and your assignment "will not be easy,"
but was easier than you thought –
don’t lose yourself in the shadowy discourse that remains fixed between your ears,
it can be easy to stumble on the path that begins with a moment in a neuron’s chemical structure,
leaps over an abyss of simple nonexistence to end
in something that occupies neither time nor space,
but thought
which can always be a tricky, flirty thing to capture at the end of the maze
and only when your trail of breadcrumbs has all been snatched up by birds or blown away
and you’re left to trust the walls around you and your burning instincts
and us, your dedicated audience, who eagerly await denouement
to your compelling story, but not before you
speak a few meaningful words that weren’t in the script,
and just under your breath so we must lean off our seats to hear you,
float towards your lips with our ears
to find the journey in ourselves, in between
sighs and applause or just the sound of your face fading into black,
which isn’t a sound at all, I suppose,
but creates for me a scene that is easy to picture –
the darkness of a theater
and the step between though and action
seem endless, but never are,
and the sounds those come between are my shoes treading the carpet
as I throw away my candy box and leave behind me
an empty seat in an empty room,
the potential for which is magically endless and yet restrained
like a brain and thoughts that yield to it
or a voice and the whispers that lurk within the noises one can make,
leaving trails on the long, flashing reel in a movie
I plan to see again.

All poems by John Tilley, 2008.

What cereal box character would you most want to be for Halloween?

Daffodils Grow where the Fun People Go

My photo
The thing about blogging is that it has now become the new tool by which the world is changed. Politics, fashion, art, television – you name it, we got it. It's not just the Internet anymore: it's YOUR Internet, it's OUR Internet. You can put your whole life online, and people will actually look at it, read it, feel it as if they almost knew you. Maybe that article you uploaded just for fun and because you thought it was cool will be discovered by a magazine editor who happens to be a blog junkie, or maybe that geeky little film you made at film camp will be watched by Wes Anderson – and even if he doesn't call you up and “discover you,” it's still really cool that he saw your video. When thinking about the Internet, I think of the ocean (and this metaphor is purely because I live in the Midwest): It's always there, it affects the weather, it affects the moon, it affects our lives even in Nebraska. Same with the Internet. It's there, it just affects different things.And you can't just yank out a big plug and BOOM, there goes the Internet. So this is my contribution to the huge ocean of Internet, the gigantic voice that we can all use.