Friday, March 13, 2009

For the Love of Cirque


So, by now I am guessing that you have figured out that this is not a ‘daily’ BLOG and that I am having a tough time committing to write every day…so I need to change my page title and try harder to get into the swing of writing about my day…

Today while I was doing some research on-line I came across that infamous list – the one listing the 100 most influential art collectors in the world published by the Guardian in October 2006 – I found the list very interesting and not much has changed since 2006 on this list – perhaps the order, but the players are mostly the same. The thing that shocks me most about this list is that there is was only one Canadian art collector/artist on the list – Jeff Wall –a Canadian photographer who played a key role in establishing photography as a contemporary art form. He is best known for his large-scale back-lit cibachrome photographs and art-historical writing. Although I did not know much about Jeff Wall until I read this article, I have come to admire and appreciate the complexity and depth of his work and am proud that this fellow Canadian from Vancouver, not far from where I was born and grew up, has become such an important player in influencing the arts internationally.

You can read more about the 100 most influential art collectors here... http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2006/oct/14/arts.artsnews1
So, it seems that the centres of the art world are still New York and London and now Beijing is coming on strong.

This brings me to my LOVE of Cirque Du Soleil (French for ‘Circus of the Sun’). Cirque is a highly original and uber-creative entertainment group originated and based in Montreal, Quebec. This group of traditional acrobats, aerialists, contortionists, gymnasts, singers, dancers, musicians….and so on…puts on a ‘circus’ show like no other. I first fell in love with Cirque when I was in Las Vegas in 2006 and bought a ticket to their water themed show ‘O’ at The Bellagio. The show brought out every single emotion one could expect and not expect to experience – I cried, laughed, gasped, wiped my brow and applauded with admiration. What I took away from my experience was a new outlook on life and loads of inspiration; it was like these people had seen inside my heart and my head and put it on stage. I feel such a strong connection to Cirque and it has inspired a few of my recent paintings. I was thrilled when I heard that Cirque had been chosen to design and select visual and performing artists to represent Canada at the 2010 Shanghai Expo Canadian Pavilion – in my mind, no better creative group to create an inspiring experience showcasing Canada’s contribution to the arts in China…stay tuned ;-) More to come on my 'not so daily BLOG'

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

...in a place where everything flows...and it's raining out too!


It's drab and gray out my window today and I am glad for the carpet of green grass in the field below as without, it would be a black and white photo....ahhh, a perfect day to sit down with a canvas and some vibrant colors, listen to The Beatles and dance the day away. Starting to think I need more than a PT manager as I am getting about 5-10 opportunities across my desk everyday and not enough time to properly deal with them all...
The current economy and stories of gloom and doom have chased some of my fellow artists away, but I see this time as a cleansing for the Art World and the world in general...often these periods in past history have shown a drop-off in hobbyists, heavily marketed art and shock art and have brought us some important work by some important artists dedicated to their vision.
I feel a deeper need to create work as a response to the current changes in environment, government and social situations...maybe this is why I find myself re-discovering the music of The Beatles and The Who - looking forward to seeing how this effects the direction of my work.
Hope you are having an inspiring day...wherever it may lead you.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Coffee, Music and Flicks...


OK, so I have titled this BLOG as a 'daily' BLOG but until I get the hang of this, it will be, let's call it my 'quasi'-daily BLOG...
it's been an interesting few days...I got a phone call from a friend that is passionate about, coffee and live 'grass roots' music - he asked if I would be interested in providing cover art for a new CD he is producing highlighting the music of some talented local musicians, I said, 'sounds cool' ...it's a theme that I have been meaning to work on developing for a while. I listen to music while I paint every day and find it inspires my works in so many ways, even some I do not realize until the end of a painting. While my love affair with painting continues to develop and explode, my love for music and for immersing myself in the lyrics, the beats and the rhythms, continues to grow right alongside....
I have a piece called 'Bubbly Toes' inspired by the Jack Johnson tune 'Bubble Toes' an inspiring song with a run that tests your breathing and timing...yes, I gotta sing along and get it just right, memorize all the words and the timing...
With my current immersion in the great tunes of the Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Who and even a little Pink Floyd...I find myself wanting to create as series of work, maybe conceptual, maybe Neo-Pop or Idealistic in nature...I want to take some of the iconic songs which strike a nerve in all of us and translate them with my paintbrush...so I will embark on this journey tomorrow and I am really excited that I am finally going to realize my ideas.
Flicks....well, as mentioned, there would be the odd reference to some of my many addictions...one being films. This weekend I snuggled up with two flicks - a documentary by Bill Maher called 'Religulous' and another film by Oliver Stone called 'W.' about George Bush.
Religulous was an interesting exploration into people's belief in GOD and across several religions...the film was OK, not as funny or as well edited or hard-hitting as I would have expected from Maher, but it did leave me with one impression...there are a lot of crazy people out there and when confronted with common sense - they completely go blank, ignore and walk away in dis-belief...it kinda freaked me out. No matter what your beliefs you have, this film is worth a look...even if it just to examine what your own reactions are to the questions and points that Maher raises.
W. - a film about George W. Bush - it came out a few months before the end of the Bush reign and I have to say that I was truly BLOWN AWAY by Josh Brolin's depiction of Bush and truly believe that this film did not get it's due recognition this past year. The film was good, not great but certainly gave Stone's perspective as he is so well known for in his films....definitely worthwhile seeing, especially now that we are into the Obama era.

Ciao for now...