26 March 2006

Saturday morning art tour

Three shows well worth checking out on the dealer gallery circuit at the moment:

Yvonne Todd@ Peter McLeavey
I've always been hauntingly attracted to the clinical cool and hinted alternate lives of Yvonne Todd's photographed subjects. The subjects of her flawlessly photographed and printed portraits are flawlessly composed and made up, yet each minutely flawed. Whether it be fading love bite hidden under an inch of makeup or a pregnant stomach undermining an austere almost bretheran outfit, the subtext of each work has me hooked to her work.
The current show at Peter McLeaveys reinserts that hook. The series of 8 or so works, ranging in size, subject, and price, features a handful of equally powerful - though in some cases a little too staged - portraits, multi-elemented still lifes, and even a landscape.
Great stuff, and at a surprisingly good price. And again flawlessly delivered. Go and buy one now.

Gregory O'Brien @ Bowen Galleries
A wise man I know once said "there is education in observation" and it's kind of stuck. Gregory O'Brien's exhibition in the redeveloped Bowen Galleries is a good example - engrossing and ultimately educating the viewer through O'Briens many observations.
Essentially transcribed and simply illustrated poems and observations, the works are easily accessible, as evidenced by the number of people in the gallery. They draw on a simple palette, and are cleanly and minimally executed, drawing the viewer along a path defined by the writted word and littered with observations.
The works tell stories, sing songs, and ultimately generate new thoughts. What more could you ask for?

J.S. Parker @ Tinakori Gallery
There's a great argument around the death of painting, the future of 'new media', and the credibility of photography. McCahon stated you can't kill something that doesn't live, and Charles Saatchi has done a lot to keep the pulse of painting ticking over in global contemporary practice.
So at a time where our art schools are jettisoning painting tutors and teachers and national awards are shying away from painting, it's great to see a good - some would say old fashioned - painting show. And that's exactly the breath of fresh air delivered by JS Parker at Tinakori Gallery.
From the moment you step into the gallery you subscribe to the white box theory. The works are well spaced, with plenty of room to move between them. A a wholistic space it just feels good. And then you get close to the works themselves. Paint so thick you want to lick the knife. Application so consistent and precise it belies the artist's hand that is so clearly at cause. And the smell - that rich intoxicating aroma of fresh oil paint. It reignites a familiar space through asaulting all the senses. Like fresh ground coffee this smell completes an internal monologue that can only brighten a day.

15 March 2006

A whirling good time

I was about to write that I wandered down to watch Len Lye's Water Whirler at Frank Kitts last night (which ws quite lovely) but was instead remided of the only poem I know by heart. I think it's by Spike Milligan:

I wandered lonely as a cloud,
that floats aloft o'er dale and hills
When all at once I came across
my dog being sick on the daffodils.

There. Isn't that much more interesting than some lengthy pseudo-intellectual rant about the values of kinetic art?

Actually, I think there may be a parallel. I may have just stumbled upon the topic of my thesis. Hurrah!

13 March 2006

Metrosexual Woman

There was a lot of talk last year about the metro sexual man - a kind of gaystraight man who knows how to iron a pink shirt, shop for fruit, and which way to angle the quiff in his hair in any given situation. I got the impression that the countless articles were proposing this sub-species as an antidote to the Sex in the City inspired assertive predatory women that were taking up all the column inches at the time.

But now, extensive research and rogue hypothosizing, by myself, has uncovered a new sub-species, right here in central Wellington. The Metro-Sexual Female.

Unlike the assertive predatory woman (Carrius-Bradshawus-Wannabeus) the Metro-Sexual Female is most often seen in a pair of bright white running shoes, seemingly at odds with the general business attire. Typically carrying a purse in one hand and a plastic supermarket or shopping bag in the other hand (initial research indicates that these bags often contain a nutritionally balanced packed lunch), with additional brightly coloured storage packs on their back (understood to contain gym gear).

A particularly interesting characteristic about the Metro-Sexual Female is the absolute reliance on the sipper bottle. Research to date suggests Metro-Sexual Females are generally non-aggressive, unless separated from gym equipment or said sipper bottle.

06 March 2006

Yay Sarah (again)!

Any time you take off from the pack is a bit of a bold move. Moreso when you're a handful of laps into a 124km cycle race. It'd be pretty lonely out there, without the buffer of another rider to give you soem respite from the Wellington wind, or to push each other further.

But Sarah did this in the Women's World Cup race yesterday, no doubt calling on years of heartfelt solo track experience, to take the win by over 4 minutes. In doing so she became NZ's first World Cup stage winner, stimulated possibly hundreds of Wellington women to investigate getting into road cycling, and cemented her place at the top table of New Zealand cyclists, sportspeople, and kiwi icons.

Nice work, eh?

03 March 2006

Yay Sarah!

Sarah Ulmer just won the Tour of Wellington - the prequel to the Women's World Cup Race this Sunday. I'm quite thrilled by that, as Sarah is teh roxxor (which is apparently young geek speak for Rocks!!). Oh yes - I can be jiggy with the homies.

The cool thing about Sarah beating the world class field in the tour is that she seems to be nailing the transition to road racing. Not that there was any doubt - I rode with her in the Round Taranaki race once, and after we had a brief chat she just took off. I think trying to keep up with her was the closest I've come to a heart attack.

So I'll be out on Sunday, having walked to somewhere around the beehive, to watch the race.
A world class road race almost going past my house. And it has Sarah Ulmer and Robyn Wong in it. How cool is that?

02 March 2006

Art not porn.

Unknown Maori Female 4,
Lambda print
Aimee Ratana (Ngai Tuhoe).

Currently showing in Tinakori Gallery.
And then touring somewhere closer to home.

01 March 2006

History, boys.

Somewhat by chance we scored last minute tickets to the History Boys as part of the Festival last night, and it was stunningly good.
  • Online reminder to go to the theatre more often.