When’s the last time you loved your museum?

Posted: January 20th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on When’s the last time you loved your museum?

One of the things I love best about living in my neighborhood is how close I am to the “arts district” here. Once a month for years I would roam in and out of every gallery and see the new works. Some I absolutely loved, a lot I was indifferent to, but the newness of it, the chance to see a new expression is what always kept me coming back.

Conversely, while I love the Phoenix Art Museum for what it tries to be, it’s more metaphor than brick-and-mortar to me. Hell, it looks like a citadel of art on the corner of a major intersection that I pass by twice a day during my commute. In my adult life I’ve been to the museum a half-dozen times, but haven’t gone to a show there in years.

Why? Because the shows they stage look better on a banner than they do inside. Not to say they are curated poorly, just that the formula of finding a big name (or semi-big name) artist to show, then hoisting their work up and expecting us to come stare at it like a bunch of yokels, isn’t working out as way of engaging me.

And it’s not just our museum. During my trips abroad this year, I’ve loved the opportunity to see world-class art up close at the V&A Museum, the National Gallery, the Tate Modern, and almost the Louvre (who closes on Tuesdays? seriously!) Some of these places knocked my f***ing socks off. All of them were great to see once, some of them I could see myself wanting to go back several times. But if I put myself in the place of a regular citizen, how often would I really enjoy them as a public resource?

With anything that represents age and establishment and order, the opportunity to grow stale and remain rigid is always present. Even with art, the subject that’s supposed to make us stay our most human, we find ourselves mired in governing boards, big named sponsors, and outdated standards.

Today I came across an opinion piece by one of my art-world heroes, Marc Schiller:

“For us, it has more to do with the fact that as time goes on, more and more of our museums fail to live up to the ideals that we have for them. We want, and expect, museums to defend our free speech. We want, and expect, museums to provide a home for provocative thought. We want, and expect, museums to provoke and inspire debate. What we should not want is for museums to be so constrained and commercial that they add very little to the public debate.”

(full piece here)

I do not have a problem with the concept of only accepting classics, or works that will persevere, but at the same time, I can tell you I’ve gone into a museum 20x more often than any of my friends, and I’ve gone into a gallery 100x more often than I’ve gone into a museum. So what’s that say about everyone else.

Let’s not allow art to turn into Nascar.

Monday Morning Affirmation

Posted: June 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Monday Morning Affirmation

Seen on the street of Dublin (via Wooster Collective)

Amazing stuff from Berlin

Posted: June 11th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | Comments Off on Amazing stuff from Berlin

Very Cool Project

Posted: June 11th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Very Cool Project

Came across this gem while reading Wooster Collective.

Great Street Art project by Mister12Gage in Portland:

I’ve always thought it was strange to see large images of celebrities, models and news anchors on walls, billboards, and buses. I’ve wondered why these people are adorning our walls and public spaces instead of the individuals that make up our community. This project serves as a physical representation of the city of Portland through drawings of it’s inhabitants.

Everyone pictured is completely unknowing and chosen at random. Whether your reaction is positive or negative, please let me know by  emailing me at pasteyourfaceproject@gmail.com. I’d like to hear your initial reaction, as well as what you think now that you know what this is all about.

I’m sorry or you’re welcome, depending on how you feel about this.

Phoenix Recognized for our worst possible contribution.

Posted: June 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Phoenix Recognized for our worst possible contribution.

I’ve written multiple times about my love for Street Art and how much I dig Wooster Collective.

Not too long ago Phoenix artists Mac & Kofie was featured on Wooster for this piece, as documented by Light Rail Blogger.

So imagine my surprise, when, as I was writing last week piece “Something else we need in Phoenix“, I noticed that Wooster had featured the horrible PBR mural that was put up on Roosevelt, only a few feet from the Mac & Kofie piece.

My Objections are this:

  1. 25-cent beer should sell itself
  2. The owner the building this is painted on also ripped all the street art and posters off the front of the building, while allowing this billboard to go up
  3. Roosevelt Row is clearly the “Arts District”, so placing this faux-mural here has only one purpose, to mis-appropriate the slowly growing reputation that so many legitimate artists have toiled to build here over the last two decades.
  4. It took weeks to do and looks like crap.

I agree completely with the tagger.

Also, to point out a quote from LRB:

“..tagging work by respected artists is a no-no in the world of vandalism.”

Guess what, hack; that checklist means nobody respects your billboard.

I am Doofus.

Posted: April 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on I am Doofus.

It’s 100% true.

Though in many past instances I have referred to myself alternately as “clever”, “brilliant”, a “genius”, and one or twice even “not just a hat rack”, it turns out I was over-estimating.

As you may know, I help monitor Twitter traffic for my employer, and so during the day I have the work-related feeds and my personal feed on screen.  Oftentimes, links will be included in a tweet, and I’ll just favorite it to review later when I’m at home.

Never know what someone will link to, after all.

…and yes, this means that you will never know that someone you admire has linked to your blog.

….and sometimes because you don’t know all of this is happening, you respond to the words in their tweet without clicking the link, trying to sound like a joiner-in’er, a little “hey, look at me, I’m also interested in the topic you’re talking about, please loop me in”, and instead only end up sounding like a doofus.

It’s rewarding to see that so many people have connected with essay I wrote about passion on the Wooster site: http://bit.ly/c8Wn89
9:41 AM Apr 28th
from @MarcDSchiller

@MarcDSchiller really dig the “Passion” essay. quoted it a bit on my blog the other day.
9:45 AM Apr 28th
via TweetDeck in reply to MarcDSchiller

Yes, you doofus, he already knows you wrote about it.  He linked the damn thing.

Way to be a doofus, Ryan.

Knowing is half the battle.

P.S. Thanks for the link Marc.  I’ll be less dumb next time.


Posted: April 27th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Passion

The other day I was checking up on my favorite Street Art site, Wooster Collective, and found something unexpected.  Instead of great, inspirational art, there was a page-long dissertation on the subject of “Passion”, and why we do what we do.

For a long time, Sara and I have been struggling with the fact that for us, the Wooster Collective website is still a very small and personal blog with no agenda other than to use it as a way to share with our friends the things that inspire us. Some of those friends we know very, very well. We meet each week face-to-face in New York to talk about art, family, New York, etc. Other “friends” we have never met, but we know from the emails that we receive that we share with them a common view of the world and the way we wish to live in it. The blog is a way for us to learn about new things, meet new types of people, and to take us out of our comfort zone so we can achieve new goals. It’s 100% a passion project and a passion project only.

…..To be honest, we’re not sure how long we can do the website. We have no intention of stopping it, but one of the joys of the site is that we can end it tomorrow if we wanted to. Since it’s not a business, the only ties we have to keep it going is our true passion.

While Marc Schiller wrote this message referring to his extremely popular site, I think it can apply to a lot of what each of us does everyday.

Don’t we often get involved in things we are passionate about, then end up making concessions and deviating from our original intent?

What are you passionate about?
What should you do today to make that passion more personal and more effective?

Shepard Fairey speaks

Posted: April 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Shepard Fairey speaks

From Wooster Collective, a great interview of Shepard putting up another massive new piece discussing New York, life, why Street Art is relevant and “Exit Through the Gift Shop”.

New stuff from Best Ever

Posted: April 18th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | Comments Off on New stuff from Best Ever

courtesy of WoosterCollective.com

New stuff from Best Ever.  I’m continually blown away by the quality of work here. Remember folks, this is on a wall, not a canvas.  Think about the typical street art you see, and they look at the details here.  It’s amazing.

Street Art Being Made

Posted: March 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | Comments Off on Street Art Being Made

Works by The London Police in Miami, courtesy of Wooster Collective: