17 December 2007

...and we're back!

"Creative New Zealand will host the official presence at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009, the world's oldest and most prestigious international forum for contemporary visual art."

Top news!

16 December 2007

Wine with your art?

Tis the season of frequent drinking, and to mark this occasion, One Moment Caller is publishing the results of its brief and informal ongoing survey into the drinking culture of our art institutions, particularly at opening time.
  • City Gallery: White and Red wine, withheld until after speeches, limited to foyer.
  • Adam Art Gallery: White, red, freely available, some space limits.
  • Te Manawa: White, red, beer, freely available, limited to foyer and one gallery space.
  • Sarjeant Gallery: White, red, beer, withheld until after speeches, no space limits.
  • Govett-Brewster Art Gallery: White, beer, freely available, no space limits.
It would seem that if you're after a good time, head to the provinces.
Pic: Hannes Broecker, Drink away the art.
Discovered on Swiss Miss, via Visual Streak, via Coolhunter... There should really be a one-step-removed links policy applied to the interweb - it's just getting silly, but then I suppose it is the season.

14 December 2007

And the winner is...

So the competition below was just judged. Seems I'll be getting a spanky new custom built Cotic Roadrat some time in the new year. I'd like to thank...

You'll be able to follow the complete build online on Vorb, should you be into that sort of thing.

And I really would like to thank Paul, Tama, Cy, and Mrs Ogle, formerly of Hawera High School, now of Tawhiti Museum. Stay in school, kids.

Did I mention it's $5,500 worth?

13 December 2007


A couple of months ago I entered a competition run by Vorb and Essence to win a custom specced Cotic bike, up to the value of $5,500. Yes. $5,500.

The contest required an explanation of how you'd build the bike up and why. I had a bit of fun, wrote a few different builds, and a few different stories to justify them, submitted the one I liked best at the time, and promptly forgot all about it.

Until this morning, when I was gently informed my entry has been short listed to the top 8, which is a little exciting, and potentially somewhat useful considering I've just this week sold 2 of my 3 bikes.

High school English. Who would have thought?

Surface tension

As much as it pains me to pimp Microsoft products, the Surface takes the iPod Touch 'the screen is your destiny' approach to a whole new level.

03 December 2007


It's not been a particularly good year for art and cultural objects - a truck load of works went up in smoke, a number of works walked out of Auckland University's care, a Hammond leapt off the wall to a disputed death, and that's just what's made it to the media's otherwise eagle-like attention.

But the worst, I think, is the tragic theft of 9 Victoria Cross and a handful of other medals from Waiouru Army Museum - a building that looks like a fortress, but it would seem doesn't act like one.

At a time when there are fewer and fewer veterans remaining, bigger and bigger turnouts at ANZAC ceremonies every year, and a growing search for national identity, this comes across as particularly shameful.

Pic: Corporal Leslie Wilton Andrew, awarded the VC for attacks on two machine gun posts at La Basses-Ville, France, 1917.

26 November 2007

Tips for speakers at gallery openings

  1. Never use the word housekeeping in your speech. There are other, better ways of telling people where the loos are or what they can do with their wine.
  2. Coordinate speeches. Three different overviews of the show is fine. Having them even remotely consistent is better.
  3. Coordinate speakers. Don't have three overviews of the show.
  4. Never make a joke about how long you've been talking. This is the only thing people will remember.
  5. Rehearse. Then rehearse again. Getting the name of the exhibition correct shouldn't be too much to ask.
  6. List all the messages you want to get across, then eleminate all but the top three.
  7. If it's your first speech at an institution, show that you have a vision for that institution. This is the only chance you'll get.
  8. Thank your staff - they're not doing this for the money - and your sponsors, who are.
  9. Be brief. Over half your guests are really only there for the wine.
  10. Think takeaways. Your audience will take away one thing from your 4 minutes of fame - if you're lucky. Be brave and make that one thing matter.
  11. Make love to the mike. It's just like Karaoke...

18 November 2007

Credit where credit is due?

Art world breakfast spot Floriditas has unveiled their new staff uniform - a t-shirt bearing the inscription, in elaborate flowing script, "We only serve what you deserve," followed by the inevitable fine-print "(c) tomkreisler.com"

16 November 2007

Would you buy a used car from this man?

"The 16th Biennale of Sydney will include historical and contemporary works of art and explore the notion of 'revolutions' through artworks, texts, an evolving online venue, conversations and other events. The concept plays out our desire for change, emotional experience, pleasure and freedom in our ever more uniform and standardised universe. It will explore rotating, turning upside down, shifting points of view, revolving, mirroring and reversing as literal and formal devices, as well as chartingtheir broader aesthetic, psychological, psychoanalytic, radical and political perspectives."
Words: Benefactor pack for the 08 Biennale of Sydney
Pic: Jimmie Durham, Maquette for work in 04 Biennale of Sydney (in lieu of finding a decent image of someone shooting themselves in the foot.)

15 November 2007

20 Questions

Should I be at all concerned that Wellington is being left behind Auckland in the arts race (as evidenced by both Herald and SST features in the last fortnight) when the only place I've found the Michael Parekowhai book available for sale in Wellington is at a cosmetics store?

How refreshing is it, in this day of rampant charity art auctions, that a fundraising auction for a major art museum featured only one work of art, and even then it was a late entry that didn't make the catalogue?

How long will it take for the Dominion to sync its 'Diabolical' Sudoku with Saturdays again, so I can do one in its natural context, and not on a ripped out square of old news?

Fame and wealth

Nothing perpetuates the art as investment hopes of the masses like, well, art as investment.

Hugh Grant has flogged the Andy Warhol portrait of Liz Taylor he bought in 2001 for $3.6m for $21m. That's 97% p.a. return.

Closer to home, a McCahon bought for $250 from Peter McLeavey in 1979 sold yesterday for a little over 500% p.a. return.

08 November 2007

Walking back to happiness

Wellington has the annual Big Look See, which I think missed the mark a bit (or at least appealed to a demographic other than mine).
Auckland has had its Walk of Art for some time now - evidenced here, in hotel/motel pamphlet racks and in occasional small ads in the entertainment section of the Herald over the last few years.

Portland Oregon has an annual trawl of its art galleries as part of the quite good Portland Art Focus programme/marketing cartel.

But this Saturday, if you happen to be sifting around New York, head over to the Bond No. 9 New York Boutique, and jump on board the Passport to the Arts tour. Not only do you get a handy excuse/motivation to visit all those galleries you never manage to get to on the few hours they're open on Saturdays (which seems to be becoming more popular in Wellington than the Moore Wilson's cold meats section), but you get your very own passport full of tiny little artist editions in the forms of stamps. How's that for incentive?

07 November 2007


Pregnancy stresses new dads
Herald Sun Australia November 05, 2007

FIRST-time expectant fathers are almost four times more stressed than other men. While many new mums struggle emotionally after their baby is born, dads-to-be are more likely to feel anxious during their partner's pregnancy. The prospect of fatherhood and the changes it may bring causes much more concern to blokes than the real thing, according to a new Australian study. It says men worry about having to become more responsible financially and being unprepared for the practicalities of caring for an infant. The study, recently published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, found 18.6 per cent of dads showed high levels of psychological distress.

01 November 2007

A bullet pointed list of magazines that I or members of my household have accumulated at one point or another (in no particular order):
  • National Geographic (1960s and 1970s)
  • Popular Mechanics
  • National Geographic
  • Time
  • Paris Match
  • Surfer
  • Surfing
  • Thrasher
  • Transworld Skateboarding
  • Wallpaper
  • Sky (UK club culture unrelated to the TV netowrk)
  • NME
  • Elle Decoration (UK edition)
  • Stuff
  • Home and Building/Home and Entertaining/Home
  • Urbis
  • Staple
  • Art New Zealand
  • Art News
  • Art + Object
  • Cuisine
  • Sea Spray
  • National Business Review
  • Ray Gun
  • Spoke
  • Mountain Bike
  • The Face
  • Love and Rockets
  • Gen 13x
  • Commando
  • 2000AD
  • Living Etc
  • Pavement
  • Heavy Metal
  • Solider of Fortune
  • Auto Trader
  • Car
  • Pulp
  • Life (1950s and 60s)
  • Planet
  • Art and Australia
  • Mad
  • Colours
  • Beach Culture
  • Loaded
  • Probably something to do with military planes of the early 80s
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Manual
  • Scope
  • iDN
  • Vice
  • Architecture New Zealand
  • Object
  • Choice (pending)

30 October 2007

Alarming fact.

Alarming fact: I have more art dealers saved in my internet banking than I do utilities.

23 October 2007


Stolen Items Returned
Press Release by University of Auckland at 10:31 am, 23 Oct 2007

Three items stolen from The University of Auckland during the Christmas period have been returned to the University.

The items are a Charles Goldie portrait of Hori Pokai, a set of seven poems by Colin McCahon and an Oxford lectern bible.

The painting and the manuscripts are in good condition and will be back on display in the near future. The Oxford Lectern Bible suffered some damage and will be repaired before being returned to display.

Following the theft, the University instituted some immediate steps to increase security on significant art works and other valuable items in its collections. A more extended review is due for completion shortly. New policies resulting from the review will enable the University to protect its collections while enabling access to them by the University community and visitors.

16 October 2007

Fun while it lasted

Hamilton City Council CEO Michael Redman has announced the separation of City Libraries and Waikato Museum into stand-alone entities.

The libraries and museum have been operationally joined in the Arts and Culture Unit of the Council for more than ten years. The restructure will see the disestablishment of the Arts and Culture Unit.

The merger has been the subject of long-standing and strong opposition from within the arts community over the years with claims that it devalued the unique character and role of the individual facilities.

Mr Redman says there is also a much bigger view about the part Council plays in ensuring the city has a strong cultural feel. He says the notion that arts and culture should be delivered through just one Council unit was an outdated one.

"You can't throw a blanket over these facilities and treat them as one. Council's new Creativity and Identity Strategy gives impetus and meaning as to how we can advance the city's creative and cultural experience. We are preparing for a dynamic period in this sector," says Mr Redman.

Press release: Hamilton City Council

A suitable likeness

What Kind of Blogger Are You?

15 October 2007

Tip for home renovators

Just because you have over 10 years of Wallpaper magazine, organised in date order, doesn't automatically mean you're good at installing actual wallpaper. If anyone knows which issue had tips for getting wallpaper glue out of one's hair, please let me know.

11 October 2007

Artist asked to explain actions

The whole Venice/RWC analogy/contrast could be taken a whole step further, but probably shouldn't.

Img: Matt Couper Blondie, 2002

08 October 2007

So sad.

An inquiry has today been launched into the performance of New Zealand's representatives at the Venice Biennale in response to the team's inability to win the Grand Prize.

"While we are still very much mourning this tragic loss, it is important that we find somebody to blame," said a spokesperson.

"Though we had the best team, the best artists, the best site, the coolest posters, and the best collateral programme, we may not have had the best judge."

Being unable to install the exhibition while wearing a black jersey is also being cited as a key factor in the shock loss.

Key figures behind the team's loss are expected to fall on their swords any day now, though the overall effectiveness of the campaign is yet to be judged on the final tally of visitor numbers.

"I had tickets booked to spend six weeks in Europe, travelling around, and attending the Biennale because I love et als' work so much. Now that we're eliminated from winning the Grand Prize I'm not sure I can go. It's just soo heartbreaking," exlaimed a devastated Mavis Stimpson of Remuera, between sobs, to an audience supposed to feel sorry for her.

Pic: 'Cry no more' US patent issued in 2000.

29 September 2007

Photos out of aeroplane windows 3

Ruapehu, on the way to Rotorua to go mountain biking, sit in hot pools, and talking to people about stuff (and stalk Art + Object, apparently). And before you ask, carbon emissions offset through Makara Peak.

25 September 2007

Everywhere you want to be

I have to applaud Art and Object: they seem to be everywhere in a way that no auction house or gallery - even the public institutions with their existent marketing budgets - has ever managed. Take the above photo, for instance, from the car park of a mountain bike park in Rotorua last weekend. See: everywhere.

And they keep sending me great catalogues. Contemporary Art and Objects arrived last night. If the level of editorial keeps rising at the current rate, I suspect they'll be giving the 'proper' NZ art magazines a real run for their money before too long. Still lacking a lifestyle section though...

24 September 2007

Made to be broken

There's something all cavalier and sexy about breaking rules - particularly when the rule is something stupid and self-imposed - like not buying any more art for a while.

To be fair there were several months where we didn't get anything at all, and oddly didn't die, although I did develop a lingering and annoying cough.

So welcome to Mssrs Torres, Dashper, McLeod, and Parker. Thank you for fuelling the addiction.

Tip for collectors (seems the done thing)- if you don't want to buy art, don't go to art galleries.

Pic: Ed Ruscha. 2005 American Pavillion representative at Venice.

12 September 2007

Photos out of aeroplane windows 2

Mahia Peninsula en route to launch a website promoting Gisborne's burgeoning arts community.

I'm such a tourist.

10 September 2007

Presence and absence #347765

"Two new shows that dramatize the photographer as absent presence in images of candor and intrusiveness open this week..."

Foundation course

What could only be described as a steel plinth has been installed on the pavement outside Hamish McKay and Bowen Galleries. I suspect it's the base of some stunning new sculpture, but since they've relaxed the fencing around it, it makes a nice wee launch ramp for the bike.

Multi-faceted art. Nice.

08 September 2007

Retail therapy

The New York Times this week picked up on Andy Freeberg's Sentry photos - front desks of Chelsea dealer galleries. While the work's not entirely new - I've featured it before, as has Over the Net - but the Times have added this great quote from one of the dealers represented:

“He sent me an e-mail,” Mr. Freeberg said. “He was really upset. He said he thought the work showed a lack of engagement with the subject.”

Funny that.

The series, rather than the quote, serves as a nice link into Martha's bold move into retail, soon to feature an incredible front counter, if the sketches are anything to go by.

29 August 2007

Performance edition

There's been a lot of talk of editions lately, but even the general cost-effectiveness of an artist's multiple isn't much good when you're in the midst of a self-imposed moratorium on buying new art.

Or so I thought, until I rediscovered Manual in a box of bookmarks I was going through. It's multiples for the performance art set, from the good folk at E-flux.

Today I performed my very own Christian Marclay (Newspaper version) and if the weather's half decent tomorrow I'm going to acquire a Tacita Dean (directions to any fields full of clover appreciated).

And this summer I will be installing my very own Paul McCarthy work (digging a continuous trench), though maybe not in the apartment.

Getting a Felix Gonzalez-Torres edition could present a slightly bigger, though not insurmountable, challenge - 180lb of wrapped local candy in the corner of the room. One for the office maybe.

Collecting art just got a whole bunch more interesting.

(The above image, by US collective Chicks on Speed, should be printed out billboard size (high-res image available on request) and plastered wherever billboard space is available. In a slightly more sedate local parallel, a range of artist's billboards have recently emerged around Wellington - including a Paul Hartigan above Tulsi in Cuba Mall.)

28 August 2007

Photos out of aeroplane windows 1

Somewhere over the Tasman Sea, en route to learn more about an art gallery that hasn't been built yet.

A premonition of sorts

20 August 2007

What gives?

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14 August 2007

"I hate artists that paint Jesus"

Parked out front of Parliament this week is the Real Art Roadshow. Essentially, it's a truck, full of art, that turns into an art gallery. A bit like a Transformer!
There are 64 works included, almost all painting, and covering the last 40 or so years, and a good range of artists. All courtesy of a trust that is driving it round schools. At 400-odd secondary schools it's no small undertaking. It's also kind of fun to time a visit with a class of kids, if only for the comments - see title.
Check it out, live this week or online: Real Art Roadshow

01 August 2007

Don't touch the art

Peter Peryer, currently on location in the deep south, recently posted this photo of his work Tecomanthe in New Plymouth's new mall. I've heard from a couple of people that it looks stunning - but I'm totally amused by the hurricane fencing around it. Or perhaps that should be tornado fencing. Either way, it's good to see safety being put first.

31 July 2007

The art of war

Archives NZ today launched the War Art Online collection - a digitisation project of war art held in the Archives collection. So far 600 works of the 1500 work collection are available, with more coming online over time.

Interestingly, the site embraces user interaction by offering user contributed comments and tags.

Also interesting is the archive Newsreel clips of war artists (scroll to bottom of page) -Weekly Review No. 133 is particularly good: it's a fascinating snapshot of NZ's attitude towards artists in the 40s.

Pic: Goya: The Disasters of War.

Edit: Best-of-3's far more qualified analysis here

30 July 2007

Provincial uprising (now in its 4th decade)

Congratulations to the GBAG for winning the Best Art Gallery section of the Listener's latest NZ's Best poll. But the whole "Who'd have thought it of Taranaki" line is getting a bit tired, particularly given that it's been there for 37 years.

Expanding foam

There was a watershed moment in hardware stores nationwide about 15 years ago when expanding foam filler became publicly available. I, along with most other budding artist types of the day, rushed out and bought cans, convinced by Selley's marketing material that we'd be creating entire walls of polystyrene from a single aerosol can of the stuff.

Sadly the reality was't quite so flash - it didn't quite have the expansive properties I'd hoped for (though maybe that's not such a bad thing given the size of my flat on the Terrace), was awful to work with, and pretty much impossible to get out of your hair.

But a whole heap of artists persisted with it, and we've seen some mixed results. Peter Robinson springs to mind. As does Judy Darragh. But the best outcome I've come across has to be Hany Armanious' show at City that closed yesterday. Entire sculptures were formed from expanding foam - which I'm hoping for the artist's sake has got a lot easier to deal with.

Oddly though, it was the non-foam based works that had the greatest impact - particularly the substantial Mud Brick Pool Cue work. Quite brilliant.

How's that for a lengthy and painful segue into an incredibly brief review.
Left pic: Peter Robinson @ DPAG
Right pic: Hany Armanious @ Roslyn Oxley

24 July 2007

There goes the inheritance

Dozens of "unique and irreplacable" paintings by leading New Zealand artists have been destroyed in a courier truck fire: NZ Herald story

The apparent cause was an arcing battery on a mobility scooter, also in the truck. Not content with terrorising able bodied pedestrians, it would seem the scooters have now turned on art.

23 July 2007

Please, no tongue.

Reported in the Dominion Post today:

Charges have been brought against a woman who allegedly kissed a painting by American artist Cy Twombly, smudging the bone-white canvas with her lipstick, French judicial officials said at the weekend. Police arrested the woman after she kissed the work on Friday. She is to be tried in an Avignon court on August 16 for "damage to a work of art"


Thirty-nine people reading or working at a library in southwest China have been poisoned after breathing in carbon dioxide leaking from a fire-extinguisher.

Take that anyone who thinks the arts are not a contact sport!

Pic: Cy Twombley, from Quattro Stagioni (A Painting in Four Parts), Quattro Stagioni: Inverno 1993-4, Collection of the Tate.

Big things 3: Eltham's Cheese

It's a water tank. Painted to look like cheese. Really puts Eltham on the map.

Big things 2: Manaia's Loaf of Bread

Bread Capital might be a bit of a bold claim, but at 9am on a midwinter's Sunday morning, when you're thawing out from 2 hours in the surf and 20 minutes walk back across the fields to your car at Green Meadows, warm fresh bread from Yarrows is mighty fine indeed.

Big things 1: Hawera's Cow

To be honest I'm always a little underwhelmed by this one - I always remember it being bigger than it is - though it does mark New Zealand's first revolving restaurant (based on a milking shed platform) which has since closed, along with the associated dairy museum (featuring a simulated tanker experience)!

Desk Jockeys

A concept I've always found interesting is cost of entry. Essentially, it's the set of barriers, real or perceived, that people encounter in that split second when they decide to enter (or not) a business. A decision to go into Hugo Boss or Hallensteins, for example, is based on a complex matrix of perceptions and designs - how much money do I want to spend, will the staff be rude to me because I'm not wearing a bunch of labels, does the signage draw me in, can I get in without confrontation that will make me feel bad for just looking...

In the case of dealer galleries, there's an even more complex set of factors that go into justifying the cost of entry. Does the gallery look open (I've been standing in open galleries when people have walked in and asked that), do I have to understand the art, will people laugh at me because I don't wear a black turtleneck, my child/cat/self could do that, are they taking the piss with their $30,000 price tags, I'm scared of the empty white box...

Consequently, with the shifting of most of the Wellington dealer galleries in the last couple of years, it's been really interesting to look at how the spaces have been designed, and in particular how the dealer's desks have been configured - whether they confront, invite, or ignore the viewer, how they're placed in relation to the works, where they sit in the flow of the room (little known fact that NZ viewers always move to the left in a new retail environment - unless dissuaded from doing so - which is why supermarkets always have you entering at the right), how much they show or hide from the customer - both papers and the dealer themselves.

New York photographer Andy Freeberg captures a range of gallery desks in the burgeoning dealer market in Chelsea that I find fascinating - clearly there's not too much concern about high costs of entry presented by the dehumanised white box, or the perception - wrong or otherwise - that contemporary art is elitist and impersonal.

19 July 2007

So sad.

After many years of mostly faithful service, the wee iBook has reached a critical state of health, with all manner of memory overloading issues, despite culling hundreds of files. It seems elaborate plans to take over the world eat a lot of memory, particularly when made with InDesign.

17 July 2007


Apparently the above image nicely sums up business (the stock exchange), networking (boatshed), and the pool of great ideas that is inherent in Wellington business communications (the sleepy lagoon). At least that's what the people looking to purchase the image to use on their new website are saying. The internet. Used for commerce. Fascinating.

12 July 2007

The new currency

This whole new job/new skills thing has resulted in an interesting tradeoff - coffee for information. It seems a fairer trade if I ply people with coffee while picking their brain.

As a result, my caffeine consumption has skyrocketed of late. Not that'd you'd notice by my lack of posting here. One day I'll get round to setting these knowledge cafe things up for the arts and biking advocacy communities...

30 June 2007

Shocking realisation (terracotta)

It's just occurred to me that the exteriors of both the building I live in, and the building I start work in on Monday, can best be described as being predominantly terracotta in colour. Curious.

Carry-on luggage

I'm quite excited about the opportunities for self generated product design that accessible laser cutters and rapid manufacturing technologies have enabled. Ponoko is a cool (and local!) example of this - at the recent Craft 2.0 they exhibited a range of stunning laser-cut designs -Dan Emery's flat pack table was a particular favourite. I love that it's taking kitset furniture to a whole new level, and embracing that it's made up of a bunch of small pieces, rather than trying to look overly solid and permanent like other kitset furniture does.
The flat-pack nature is also pretty cool - more portability, flexibility, and easier storage. So this morning's discovery over at AT was doubly exciting - a flat pack, laser cut plywood house by Gregg Fleishman.
Now if they could only develop that in interlocking, insulated, and self supporting concrete slabs...

25 June 2007

Alive and well.

"Painting is dead" they cried, as Elam rebranded all multi-media, as auction houses had shows of photography exhibitions, and as scores of new collectors rushed out to buy anything that hadn't been tarnished with a brush. Turns out, though, that painting was only sleeping, as a bunch of good painting shows have demonstrated.

Adam's Four Times Painting heralds the start of a mighty comeback - I was particularly taken with Simon Ingram's lego painting machines.

Pataka sits on the fence a bit more, despite their recent really good Japanese painting show, with New Painting: Digital Age. Less curated statement than collection of dealer shows, it still makes for a nice wander - Tim Thatcher and Andrew McLeod's particularly.

Mahara out in Waikanae Shopping Mall recently showcased the Real Art Roadshow - a rapidly developed yet fascinating collection of paintings that will be touring schools in the back of a truck - taking Tony de Lautour's drug imagery to the nation's 9-year-olds. It's a pretty bold investment in painting - privately funded no less.

In the dealer realm, Peter McLeavey's current show by John Reynolds is a stunner - as Peter himself stated one of the top 12 shows he's ever hosted. Pretty high praise indeed.

New job, new car

The rule always used to be new job = new bike, but given that my riding hasn't moved beyond getting to and from work for weeks now, I can't really justify a new bike. So it was somewhat timely that some work needed doing on our aging car.
We're going German this time round (balancing my lifelong car ownership totals at 2 French and 2 German - 2.5 French if you count rusting hulks), so there'll undoubtedly be some readjustment as I unlearn the tinny urgency of the highly strung but beautifully road-holding Peugeot and relearn the solid sensibility of the Golf.
Sadly in 7 years I never got round to joining the Peugeot club, though I did write an article for their newsletter once. Outgoing car posed in front of Murali's sports centre, Rotorua, above.

13 June 2007

29 May 2007

1 > 18

I'm in the throes of forgoing my 18 speed road bike for a single speed, possibly fixed gear, track bike to get to and from work and around town on. The few people I've let on on this little anti-technology project have had mixed responses - from support to calls of suicide, namely due to fixed gear bikes lack of brakes.

There's a great article, and the cool picture above, on the appeal and infinite cool of fixed-gearers on the New York Time site

Why thank you citizen modern.

So the story goes

The shelves of Unity et al are littered with the stories and histories of artists – the great, the good, and the not so good. We can read what they wrote to their friends, where they lived, how they lived, and what they created. Even what they liked to cook.

But there’s a whole other story about New Zealand art that I’d love to read – one that’s glimpsed through the artist’s books, but only fleetingly.

It’s the story of the 18 year old who attends his first exhibition opening and is instantly hooked; the 30 year old suburban couple who forgo a new car, shoes, plasma tv, and instead choose to support a handful of artists whose company and ideas they enjoy; the pensioner who is putting off downsizing their home because the thought of shifting the 50 year collection is too much to bear.

It’s the stories of the dealers, the collectors, the patrons, and the advocates who have helped make NZ art so interesting, have been integral to its becoming so accessible, and have enabled the artists to focus on doing what they do best.

Names that spring to mind are Elva Bett, Helen Hitchings, Peter McLeavey, Les and Milly Paris, Jim Fraser, the Barrs, Hamish McKay…but there are countless others. The history of the quite remarkable Monica Brewster, for example, is currently being researched from the sunny hills above Oakura. It’s a brilliant place to start.

Pic: Hamish McKay's editioned book from the Auckland Art Fair, slected to mark the occasion of the opening of his new gallery space.

28 May 2007

Cat, meet pigeons.

So a return to working in the arts may not be so far off after all. Be afraid - oftentimes I am. (okay, so 'oftentimes' is not the right word in that context, but I'm just getting my hand back in, as it were, by using a regular art essay term, even though I'm not entirely convinced it's even a real word...).
Image courtesy of threadless.com