Friday, December 31, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Hey folks – I finally took the plunge whilst snowed in over the last few days and I opened an etsy.com online shop. I think it’s a good way to feature original small-scale works from my private collection and studio.
While these paintings are usually from a different body of work that I exhibit in gallery shows, they are all artworks that I am quite fond of and they make excellent works for beginner collectors or for those looking for an original Sprouse, but not quite ready to commit to a higher-end price. Because of the smaller size, the prices are kept lower – making them quite affordable.
So, in honor of the new online shop and the end of 2010 and the start of 2011, I’ve created a MASSIVE Year End/New Year Original Fine Art SALE! If you've ever longed to own an original Sprouse - here's the perfect opportunity to do so!
These are great prices on recent, colorful, smaller works that will fit perfectly in your collection or on that overlooked wall that so desperately longs for that extra sparkle in your home!
Proud ownership of an ORIGINAL SPROUSE can be yours, but act now, as these will only be available a these prices for a few short weeks. You can visit the Sprouseart Etsy.com shop by following this link: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Sprouseart?ref=pr_shop
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Did you get a great deal on holiday gifts this season from your local Target store? Did you save room in your cart for homophobia?
It seems that the late last summer/early fall’s brouhaha stemming from the revelation that the ever so chic discount shopping mega-chain Target had been throwing money into the campaigns of some very outspoken right wing and anti-gay politicians did nothing to stop them from continuing with the same bad behavior.
Though Target’s Chairman, President and CEO Gregg Steinhafel released a statement in which he apologized for how the company's decision had affected many "in a way I did not anticipate" , the chain has still funneled money into the campaigns of these politicians. In fact, After Steinhafel's August 5 letter, Target's Political Action Committee, helmed by the former right hand of Senator Thune, Matt Zabel, recorded $41,200 in federal election activity. Of that total, $31,200 went to anti-gay rights politicians or PACs supporting those candidates!
Hold on one second, is this the same Target whose commercials look as if they were created and produced by some sun streaked blonde, sparkly-eyed, 20 something design student with a Martha Stewart complex and her two best gay friends?! Why, yes, that’s the one…
I think it’s time for all of us to reveal the ugly and hypocritical face of Target and stay out of their stores until their support of homophobic and anti-gay inspired politicians ends!
And, on a more personal note, I also want to know why they feel the need to continue with this action and why they felt the need to do so in the first place? Who behind the corporation is so fueled by this hatred that they green light that out of the $41,200 recorded (meaning only that which they have allowed us to be aware of) dollars of contributions given to politicians that almost 85 per cent of that go to the homophobes?
What possible good could that do for them? And in doing so, why continue with the obviously gay friendly advertising campaign that we all know so well?
Really, Target WTF? The eye-opening article can be found here - http://www.theawl.com/2010/12/the-anti-gay-donations-that-target-apologized-for-they-never-stopped
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Am I the only one confused by the imminent FCC rules concerning net neutrality? This article in the NYTimes begins with “The Federal Communications Commission appears poised to pass a controversial set of rules that broadly create two classes of Internet access, one for fixed-line providers and the other for the wireless Net.”
This doesn't seem like good news, though it does seem to stop the evil Comcast from blocking access to sites and applications. But, on the other hand, it does allow wireless companies more latitude in putting limits on access to services and applications. And therein lies the issue.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
The chairman of the F.C.C., Julius Genachowski, introduced his net neutrality proposal at the beginning of the month.
According to Senator Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota and a personal favorite of mine, said over the weekend that the F.C.C. was effectively allowing discrimination on the mobile Net, a fast-growing sector. “Maybe you like Google Maps. Well, tough,” Mr. Franken said on Saturday on the Senate floor. “If the F.C.C. passes this weak rule, Verizon will be able to cut off access to the Google Maps app on your phone and force you to use their own mapping program, Verizon Navigator, even if it is not as good. And even if they charge money, when Google Maps is free.”
And he’s right, and Verizon does suck. And, Google Maps is better then Verizon Navigator (I have used both) and it is free. One day, in the not too distant future, I will be free from the evil claws of incompetency, greed, and apathy that is Verizon. Until then however, the Android operating system, which I have yet to purchase, is featured in several of their phones and was created by Google. The Android OS used in many phones available via Verizon features as an app – you guessed it – Google Maps. And thus the headache of confusion. The article is here for you to figure out. Let me know if you do…
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Here’s the story on CNN - Pythagoras, a math genius? Not by Babylonian standards
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
(Photo credit: By Dennis Brack-Pool/Getty Images)
Am I happy about Obama’s compromise with the greed driven Republicans, no. But, I do feel like I understand the logistics with a bit more clarity thanks to Ezra Klein’s explanatory article in the Washington Post. . .
Saturday, December 04, 2010
I had the distinct pleasure last night of watching a brilliant modern film noir French classic that I streamed via the praise worthy Netflix entitled “Ascenseur Pour L'Echafaud” (English translation – “Elevator to the Gallows”).
This was the feature-film debut of famed director Louis Malle (amazingly only 24 at the time) staring the stunning Jeanne Moreau (this is film that launched her into stardom) and Maurice Ronet.
Jeanne Moreau in the opening scene from “Ascenseur Pour L'Echafaud”
The film is majestically scored by Miles Davis and it has been described by jazz critic Phil Johnson as "the loneliest trumpet sound you will ever hear, and the model for sad-core music ever since. Hear it and weep."
Netflix describes the film as such, “When the bewitching Florence (Jeanne Moreau) and her lover, Julien (Maurice Ronet), plot to kill Florence's unsuspecting husband (Jean Wall), they don't count on a technical glitch -- a broken elevator -- getting in the way of the perfect murder. Louis Malle directs this haunting French thriller in his feature film debut, an impressive achievement heightened by the film's memorable improvisational score composed by jazz legend Miles Davis.”
While the description is valid, it is only a whispered hint of the many dramatic twists and turns in the storyline of this prodigious thriller.
Visually, the film is simply stunning as cinematographer Henri Decae makes extensive use of Paris at night, giving the film the feel of claustrophobia and desperation reminiscent of the classic noir films.
The following scene offers a perfect example of the film’s power visual impact. Here, Florence (unaware that her lover Julien is trapped in an elevator and suspecting that he may have abandoned both their murderous plot and her) has been desperately walking the streets of Paris for hours searching his favorite night spots in the hopes of finding him.
The astonishing actress Jeanne Moreau plays the role perfectly. She is lost in a somber and dark world of paranoia and anguish stumbling through the rain slickened streets like a zombie searching for the clarity that can only be found in the embracing arms of her lover.
Pay attention to the way she walks directly into the path of an oncoming car in the scene (and again into the traffic at the end) – astounding! No special effects here – just a very brave actress dedicated to her art.
Despite the fact that this film is close to 55 years old, the visuals still seem fresh and contemporary and the artistic echos of the imagery from this classic can still be found today in film, fashion, music video and more.
While I know that this film is available via Netflix (both as a DVD and streaming) you may also be able to find it in your public library or the foreign section of your local video store (if you still have any in your area, I no longer do). Or, consult with the local Art Cinema house, museum, or university (again, some of you may not have access to such) and inquire about adding this film to the line-up.
Friday, December 03, 2010
Here's another video of the trio performing Deck The Halls. It's surprisingly sultry (especially with the sexiness of the hot blond - who seems particular titillated by the fact that Santa has a "brand new bag" which she breathlessly mentions at the very end of the video).
Thursday, December 02, 2010
I would like to thank my friend Natasha Reatig for alerting me via Facebook to an insightful and pressing article written by Blake Gopnik for the Washinton Post (article linked here: Museums shouldn't bow to censorship of any kind). As an artist, a gay man, and a fellow Washingtonian, I find this kowtowing to the bullying of the culturally antiquated and puritanical Catholic League and "various conservatives" atrocious and inane.
I've said it before and I'll say it again - "Art ain't for sissies". Gopnik states it best in the article with this: "In America no one group - and certainly no single religion - gets to declare what the rest of us should see and hear and think about. Aren't those kinds of declarations just what extremist imams get up to, in countries with less freedom?"
This is still America is it not? It is by far time for anyone who does not fall into the homogenized clone state of existence offered by the likes of the religious right-wing and their political allies to arise from their apathetic coma and stand up against these outrages before you find yourself assimilating into an artless existence ruled by religious zealots motivated by fear, greed and lust for power.
If you think it can't happen - put down the remote and pick up a history book. It's happening now. Make your voice heard!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
I have long thought that a time when digitally created virtual actors will fill the screen and eventually replace their human counterparts in film and television is just around the corner. For example, if you want to watch the 1967 film classic, “Bonnie and Clyde” with Marilyn Monroe in the role of Bonnie rather than Faye Dunaway, a few click of the mouse or the remote will allow that casting change to occur in mere moments.
Does it sound far fetched? The following article (linked at bottom of this post) discussing how digital special effects artist were able to present Jeff Bridges in the film “Tron” looking as he did 30 years ago sans make-up and lighting, proves that we are much closer than I thought. . .
(above – a digitally created Jeff Bridges playing himself 30 something years younger than he is in reality for the soon to be released “Tron”)
Saturday, November 27, 2010
I had forgotten about this intriguing work created by artist Jim Sanborn in 1990, in which he placed cyphered messages within the sculpture's 2,000 alphabetic letters.
I’ve never seen this work, though if I happen to find myself near the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, Virginia, I may venture in to view it in person.
Though I have no deep seated desire to crack the code, I am thrilled by art that incorporates textual elements (I’ve been doing it myself for years) and the fact that there are messages encoded within the work adds extra sparkle to the brilliance.
Read more about it here: 'Kryptos' sculptor inspires hope in weary code-breakers - CNN.com
Monday, November 22, 2010
Albert Aublet (1851 Paris, France - 1938 Paris, France ) completed his artistic training under the history and genre painter Claude Jacquand (1804 – 1878) between 1870 and 1874.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
I was speaking with my partner the other day about the holidays and we both mentioned how it was impossible not to notice that with each passing year, the celebration of the holidays, or at least, the presence of the oncoming holidays via the increase in marketing and merchandising among retailers. seemed to arrive earlier and earlier.
We both acknowledged that we had heard others speak of the same awareness, and that that subject of conversation amongst peers had also increased with each passing season.
Suddenly, during the discussion, a new wave of understanding about the subject came upon me. . . So what if the marketing of the holidays creeps closer every year?! Is it really so affrontive to find a bit of joy with the recognition of the upcoming holiday season?
Now, before I get 1000 emails cursing the commerciality of it all, understand that I am fully aware of that aspect of the issue. It’s a non-discussion point for me. But understand that just because the retailers throw up the décor the moment late August and September come about doesn’t mean that someone has to rush blindly into the shops with credit cards and cash in hand to pick up every bag of bite size snickers or blinking tree lights. Unless they want to of course – and that’s fine too.
But what someone can do is to simply just enjoy seeing the decorations, listening to the music, feeling the excitement of the coming joy of the holidays. Rather than a bah humbug tinted cynical reproach of the ever closer moving approach of the holiday marketing, what’s wrong with getting excited, indeed happy, about the holiday season?
I have always been a fan of the terms “Happy Holidays” and “Season’s Greetings”. When you think about it, each month between September and February contain one major holiday – Halloween,Thanksgiving, Christmas/Hanukkah/Winter Solstice, and New Year’s Eve – . Indeed, in my book, that makes a Holiday Season.
Our country is traveling through some extremely rough terrain now. Personally, I welcome any opportunity to feel happy and am more than ready to welcome in the joy of the seasons. if I have 4 months to do so – all the better!
Happy Holidays all!
Friday, November 19, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
CANstruction is designed to raise hunger awareness during the Thanksgiving season and there are some pretty impressive photos to go along with this artistically and seasonally inspiring story - especially when you realize that the cans cannot be bound with glue or adhesives and designers are not allowed to color the cans.
All of the cans used in the contest will be donated to City Harvest for distribution to programs that feed impoverished New Yorkers. Link below.
Friday, November 12, 2010
A dear friend of mine reminded that today is Neil Young’s 65th birthday. . .
Oh what a far better world we live in because of your presence within it. Your music, sir, has touched and stirred my soul on countless occasions. You are a master of your art and I can not overstate the joy that your craft has brought to my life over the years.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Today marks the 35th anniversary of the sinking of the Bulk Carrier SS Edmund Fitzgerald. I was just a ten year old boy at the time, but Gordon Lightfoot’s haunting and mesmerizing ballad (released almost one year to the date after the tragedy) still causes my mind to drift when I hear it as it fills my thoughts with aqueous imagery and misted memories. It has become a timeless classic and an artistic documentation of a tragic yet historic event.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
I have a feeling her witch hat may be a bit tattered after the last few weeks. The hat above is so much more appealing and, frankly, so much more appropriate. It would look utterly smashing on her during debates.
Especially in such debates where she freely allows her idiocy to shine through, such as the one held earlier today before an audience of legal scholars and law students at Widener University Law School in which she seemed genuinely surprised that the principle of separation of church and state derives from the First Amendment. . .
It borders on amazing really. But, if only she had worn this appropriate hat during the debate, she could have had at least something to blame for her gibberish other than her own ignorance of the Constitution of The United States.
Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. . . and she with Senatorial aspirations. . .
But alas, for you know what they say, if it speaks like a dunce, sounds like a dunce, and debates like a dunce. . . .
Sunday, October 17, 2010
I came across this outstanding and inspirational work that produces a sublime combination of graffiti art, found art, sculpture, and performance into one mind-boggling video animation. Imagine how many individual wall paintings must have been created for this project! The video was directed and animated by an artist that goes by the name of Blu (www.blublu.org) who is a member of an Italian artist collective called Studiocromie. The video is just short of 10 minutes. Click on the image to go to the site to view the video which is best when viewed full-screen.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Sadly, this amazing and exquisite ancient Roman helmet,unearthed in May of this year by a metal detector enthusiast in Crosby Garrett, near Kirkby Stephen in Cumbria, England, was sold to a private collector at auction by Christie's recently for a little over 3.5 million dollars. A such, it is almost certain that the public will never see the helmet now that it is part of someone's private collection. For more information, follow this link.
The battle for Cumbria's Roman helmet | Jonathan Jones | Art and design | guardian.co.uk
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
Here’s a very intriguing find today courtesy of www.revelinnewyork.com. It’s a short film by discussing the art of duo Peter McGough and David McDermott who have spent the last 30 years living life as if it were the end of the 19th century as sort of an ongoing living art work. Fascinating, slightly bizarre, and vaguely unsettling.
Monday, October 04, 2010
I came across an intriguing article in the New York Times entitled, “When Life Gets In The Way Of Art” that ponders, if an artist lies, does it change how we see their work.
It’s a highly worthwhile read and an issue that I’ve come across before in discussion with other artists, collectors, and admirers. Though, these discussions weren’t actually related to the truthfulness of particular artists (the NYTIMES article discusses such examples as the famed civil rights era photographer Ernest C. Withers and the recent revelation that he was a paid FBI informant, and Casey Affleck’s film, “I’m Still Here” documentary – now mockumentary - of the unsightly celebrity disintegration of the actor Joaquin Phoenix, now revealed as a hoax), as much as they were about whether it was possible or not to still admire the work of a great artist after discovering something disagreeable about them. For example, Edward Hopper’s mental and physical abuse of his wife Jo or Clint Eastwood’s conservative politics.
I came to the conclusion that, as a general rule, it is better to judge the work rather than the artist who created it. Of course, there are extreme exceptions to the rule – Hitler, John Wayne Gacy come to mind – and I have personally met artists who were such complete nincompoops that I basically dismissed them and their work in one fell swoop, but overall, I prefer to remain neutral. If there are idiosyncrasies of an artist that merit some form of eyebrow raising attention or scorn, history, or sometimes even the work itself, often has a way of revealing them.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Despite having a rather active social schedule during my last 3 day visit to my DC studio - as well as a 1.5 day power outage - , I did manage to find some time to actually create some art. This acrylic and vintage photographic and print ephemera collage work is titled “It Was True”. It measures 9” x 12”.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I’m not sure what is more impressive – the fact that Mickey Rooney, icon of American film and stage, turns 90 today, or the fact that he is still working! Congrats!
In case you were unaware, in his youth, MR was the Tom Cruise (as in younger Tom Cruise) of his generation. . .
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
In today’s The Independent is a fascinating article discussing the current hysteria surrounding photographic imagery of children and it’s effects on the contemporary art community in general. This article is of particular interest to photographers, digital artists, and gallery curators. The brilliant and controversial work of Sally Mann features prominently in the article.
The article may be found here: http://tinyurl.com/26o6w8w
Saturday, September 11, 2010
I’ve read quite a bit of buzz about this film/documentary called “Catfish”. I intend to see it, though, I made the mistake of reading about the film on Wikipedia and now know the ending. Nevertheless, I think the concept behind it sounds intriguing to say the least.
You can read more about the film on their official website here: http://www.iamrogue.com/catfish .
Thursday, September 09, 2010
Saffron may be the world's most expensive spice, but I adore the color of paint that shares its name. It also make for a great color to paint the walls of your studio should they need perking up as did mine. I wanted a color that fell somewhere between warm candle light mixed with early autumn sunset gold and a touch of ancient, yellowed parchment. I think I found the perfect match. . .
Thursday, September 02, 2010
I’ve been very busy over the last few weeks setting up my new live-in studio in Washington, DC. It’s been several years since I’ve had my studio in the city that I love so and that I called home for so many years. I am ecstatic with the space! I’ll be splitting my time frequently between the studio and the beach creating work for next year’s upcoming exhibitions.
Friends have been asking to see photos of the studio, and even though, I’m not quite finished tweaking the space, I'm posting some now to visually document the process. It’s everything that I was hoping for – intimate, secure, and located in a truly phenomenal neighborhood in the District. It’s the perfect realm to unleash the creative process!
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I was in one of the local grocery stores the other day and noticed that Yoplait® Light Thick & Creamy was on sale for only 35 cents a container. I’ve seen the clever ads where an office worker is drooling over an entire Strawberry Cheesecake in the office kitchen fridge and, as we discover as we are able to hear her thoughts, she attempts to justify devouring a slab of it for lunch. Moments before she succumbs to her decadent desire, a stunningly beautiful co-worker walks in and swiftly plucks one of these yogurts from the same fridge proclaiming their excellence. The new cheesecake addict on the cubicle notices that the yogurt lover has lost weight and tells her so. . . you get the scene.
At 35 cents, I decided to try a few and see if they really were as satisfying as they claim allowing me to forget entirely about actual cheesecake, or brownies, or pies forever more.
I purchased two Blueberry Pie flavored containers as well as two Cinnamon Bun and two Red Velvet Cake. Last night after dinner, my partner and I each tried one. I tried the Blueberry Pie and he the Cinnamon Bun. I also, just to ensure my experience, tried the Red Velvet Cake this morning.
Let me tell you, regardless of what the ads and the web sites may say – these taste identical to each other and if I had been wearing a blindfold, I would have been hard pressed to distinguish one “flavor” from another.
Truth be told, they all tasted like uber-artificially sweetened glitch. The only difference that I noticed was the pastel-hued color of the glitch. In fact, the Red Velvet Cake was hued somewhere along the line of Pumice-Cream. Ick.
Perhaps one must be a 20-something fashion model posing as an office worker to enjoy these, or wildly gullible, or both. My suggestion would be to have a small slice of the cheesecake and take the stairs a few times rather than the elevator.