14 December 2009

Dear Santa

Buying a house and having a baby have mercifully conspired to deter me from whipping out my credit card whenever I get madly inspired by things online. In the last 18 months there have been no Amazon, international bicycle store (or even domestic for that matter), obscure toy shop, gallery or other online trader packages brighten our door while simultaneously darkening the Visa bill.

But all that came very very close to crashing down today when I stumbled across this via Coolhunting.

It's artists. On bicycles.

A new one every month for a WHOLE YEAR!

As you can imagine it ticks a couple of pretty big boxes at OneMomentCaller. I'm thinking of sending a copy to everyone I know who recently broke themselves on their new bikes (would seem to be the season), but they already have new bikes to console them, and a calendar with artists riding bikes would seem rather crap in comparison.

You can pick up a copy at the Swiss Institute of Contempoary Art New York here.

Pic: Lukas Wassmann shoots Cindy Sherman and David Byrne in December.

10 November 2009

Art by bicycle

Four favourite things collide: art, Portland Oregon, bicycles, doing stuff.

Papergirl Portland from abraham ingle on Vimeo. Via f-letter,

Take that, public art!

Len Lye's Wind Wand. Off for some 'spit and polish' as the local council put it.

09 November 2009

Hi, I'm Zach

I've been mulling over a post investigating the art collection habits of the in-house toddler for a few months now, but just haven't quite got round to it.

The aim was to counter the endless mass-media articles about 3-year-olds painting expressionist works (ah, but can they do realism?) that invariably get taken to art dealers who are nervous to dispel the work in case the media are trickign them into dissing a long-lost Monet.
Surely we need to look into where the next generation are vesting their interest from a collector and not just artist perspective if we're to keep the art industry afloat.

Observations based on the domestic subject over the last few weeks since we shifted house would indicate that current hot buttons are:
  • Anything with an animal in it, unless it's a fish.
    Current favourite is Matt Couper's Healthy Specimen, but that might be prompted by its location near the dining table.

  • Small bright abstracts.
    Showing his Taranaki roots it's not uncommon to find him standing under Peter Peryer's Mandala, pointing and chanting "uuh, uuh, uuh." I know exactly how he feels.

  • Eyes.
    Peter Stitchbury for the win, though how could you not fall deeply into those big eyes, with their infinite stories. On that, I was browsing through Vimeo co-founder and general cool-guy Zach Klein's Flickr channel, as you do, and came across this compelling tale of stardom, portraiture, small town connections and big-town art fairs.

Pic: Peter Stitchbury, Zach Klein

07 September 2009

Welcome back.

BBQs on decks watching the sun go down. What summer is all about.

20 July 2009

Sale of the Century

I've lost count of the number of times I've seen an exhibition at a public gallery and developed a burning desire to have one, some or even all of the works on exhibit. Apart from a curious 'emerging artist showcase' in the foyer of City's last Prospect, following up tends to be a bit laborious, with the delay in being able to get to the right dealer usually dowsing any sense of urgency to acquire work that the show may have created.

In most cases even the book of the exhibition is still months off, and a postcard just doesn't seem to cut it. The ability to walk out with more than a mental picture or stolen out-of-focus camera-phone shot is limited to the programme or invitation, and even then I've noted a worrying trend away from images.

Not so with one of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery's current exhibitions. Ever the innovators, the GBAG has DVD copies of Mieke Gerritzen's A Beautiful World on sale at the front counter for the low low price of $25.00. Join the Friends of the Gallery while you're there, and it's even cheaper.

Who said contemporary art was exclusive.

15 June 2009

Thinly veiled excuse

Puddle Finishing School, Part IV Church Protocol from Momentum Studios on Vimeo.

One of the many 'projects' that have conspired to keep me from the blog of late, this year's 48Hours effort has made it to the Interweb. As you'll see, a slightly greater role this year than last, when I just lined up the location. A fun way to spend a weekend, good excuse to drink way too much V and hang out in a stunning old church, and fantastic to work with people who actually knew what they were doing. And we even made the regional finals.

02 June 2009

Benefit of doubt

This billboard has recently appeared on the New Plymouth Fire Station, part of their nationwide campaign to cut back on the number of cooking-related fires. I'm at odds as to whether it's a shocking indictment on the state of spelling and grammar in current-day New Zealand or quite brilliant advertising creativity.

Of all the billboards and signs in and around town at the moment (and as anyone who has driven into New Plymouth from the airport recently can attest, there a an awful lot of them), it's the only one that anyone can remember, and certainly the only one that I've had cause to discuss with more than a few people (even if most of those discussions start for the wrong reasons).

I'm keen to run the 'thing of brilliance' line, as I'd imagine the Fire Service has a fairly limited advertising budget, and redoing signs is an expense they don't need.

Will be interesting to see if it gets amended any time soon.

20 May 2009

Lego does Wright!

In what might just be the coolest news of the year so far the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation have licensed Lego to recreate classic Wright buildings, namely the Guggenheim and Fallingwater in those loveable bumpy little plastic blocks.

I have a horrible suspicion though that they'll go the way of a lot of recent Lego products and pre-create more parts than they challenge kids to make out of square blocks. I mean little Lego drinking cups? Honestly. The initial packaging pics look like there are plenty of imagination fostering blocks though. Here's hoping.

Interestingly, the Architecture series ups Lego's standard age rating of 7+ to 10+. Maybe the extra 3 years fosters a level of appreciation of the medium that means these sets won't be bastardised and turned into multicolour random houses, or the ends chewed when bricks are stuck too tightly together.

According to the press release: Builders of all ages can now collect and construct their favorite worldwide architectural sites through these artistic replicas.

Well, maybe not all ages. Either way Jasper's going to have a long wait before he gets to enjoy his Christmas present this year.

Having children: proving crap for collecting art, but a brilliant excuse to buy cool toys.

Via Notcot

14 May 2009

On fire

In the spirit of NZ Music month, I present the inimitable Head Like A Hole.

Shot in downtown Wellington on a sunny morning back in the day, by a band whose bassist I used to play bike tag in deserted carpark buildings with, shot atop a building across the road from a school I spent years trying to get into, and would later live around the corner from.

A whole new take on Springsteen while beautifully mocking both U2's then recent LA rooftop video and a record industry intent on handing them a bunch of cash to make a music video.

Rock and roll? Quite.

02 May 2009


The return of Dorothy Vallens

Like most small town boys, I grew up totally enamored with David Lynch's brilliantly surreal film Blue Velvet. On my daily walks across a field to school I could almost have been Jeffrey Beaumont. I never did find that severed ear, though not for lack of trying.

I must also thank Isabella Rossellini for introducing me to the alluring notion of the femme fatale through her creepily cool character of Dorothy Vallens.

I've just discovered Rossellini revisiting that shimmering role as a praying mantis, amongst others, in a fantastic series on the mating and other rituals of insects: Green Porno which I had to share. Running on the Sundance Channel, it fuses Lynchian theatrics with scientific accuracy using education as the excuse. So brilliant it's almost worth getting Sky for.

And to come back full circle, there's a scene early on in Blue Velvet where a pristine small town lawn is put under the microscope, revealing a grotesque world crawling with insects. Nice.

Hat tip: Cakehead Loves Evil

21 April 2009

20 April 2009

A little tiny death

The iBook recently took up stagediving in its spare time, resulting in this almost lovely screen grab. Sadly the prognosis is terminal, and I now have to figure out how to transfer 6 years worth of data without the use of a screen. So long little friend.


Sigh. The weather's always like this, the locals assured me.

05 April 2009

Pop quiz

James Earl Jones does the alphabet, from vintage Sesame Street (via SwissMiss).

Do you think if I were to loop this on a monitor in Jasper's bedroom he'd grow up being able to jump and/or dance in a way that his father can't?

30 March 2009

The Secret.

"Water is just a collection of 1960s patterns and different sections of swirls. Once I found that out, painting it was easy."

From Sculptor works on the edge, Daily News 28 March.

24 March 2009


An ongoing subtext to the merry dance of the open homes is an insight into people's art collecting habits.

In Wellington it was a rarity to see much more than mass wedding photos in the homes in our price range, though we did chance upon the occasional Tom Kreisler print (twice in Thorndon), a handful of aged City Gallery exibition posters (go Brodsky and Utkin), and a terrifying number of faded impressionist prints, usually above the toilet.

Taranaki fares slightly better. There's a common theme of either a Michael Smither or Peter Lambert edition in almost every lounge in the province it would seem, but still a terrifying level of what would appear to be DIY decorative art, usually in houses freshly painted 'contemporary beige' (gotta love those quick and cheap home improvement shows).

And then we chanced upon this homage to Peter Peryer and went weak at the knees:

23 March 2009

Walk the Lion

While the rest of Taranaki were standing in line to see a lion in Opunake Jasper and I went on a 150 minute time-killing adventure in Stratford. By the time we joined the queue it was worthy of a one-day sculpture project in its own right, though perhaps more anthropoligical than artistic
The camera on the phone inexplicably added a sort of faded blue filter to all shots taken in Stratford. Go figure.
(Title stolen from Wanda Harland)

27 February 2009

Worse than first thought...

The worst of the global financial situation was felt today when the Herald launched it's graphic and tagline for the occasion.

On one hand I'm pleased to see the media are cutting costs - in this case on design and copywriting. On the other I'm thinking 'self fulfilling prophecy' and that things are eveidently going to get a whole lot uglier.

22 February 2009

Somewhere near Te Kuiti

An aspect of parenthood I'd not considered until Sunday is the sudden need to break lengthy car trips for reasons other than espresso, galleries, the occasional studio visit, or bike trails.

Not saying it's a bad thing - just one I've got out of the habit of. 

17 February 2009


In the burgeoning market sector of animal art, it's good to know that the lower budget collector is catered for, with this new series of editions at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery.

Pic: Chester Carlson, xerography inventor.

28 January 2009

Song about Ping Pong

In what can only be considered an obviously deliberate omission, contemporary art on the whole tends to avoid sports as a subject matter. Sure there's the occasional Koons basketball, Gordon/Parreno epic, or Artspace multiple but beyond that not an awful lot.

Except, it would seem, when it comes to ping pong. Over_the_net has shown a commitment, as has the Goethe Institute, and at least one Wellington dealer is a fan. But now it has gone global: this from Artinfo.com:

"On Wednesday January 28, the New York exhibition space Nyehaus will present its first-ever invitational table-tennis tournament in conjunction with its current exhibition, Rirkrit Tiravanija: Reflection, on view through February 21.

Celebrities of the ping-pong world, including Marty Reisman, the U.S. men’s singles champion in 1958 and ’60, and the identical twins Brad & Brandon Belle, will play matches against one other and with spectators on Tiravanija’s mirrored, regulation-sized table, Untitled (The Future will be Chrome) (2008).

Should you choose to come and see the match, you'll be joined by art-worlders Phillipe Parreno, Pierre Huyghe, Liam Gillick, and Hans Ulrich Obrist — puppet versions of whom appear on a grandstand installation surrounding the table.

In addition to Wednesday night's event, Filipino table tennis star Ernesto Ebuen will be available for private or group lessons for the duration of the exhibit.

If ever a touring exhibition had City Gallery written all over it...

Pic: Rirkrit Tiravanija, "Untitled (The Future will be Chrome)" (2008)

14 January 2009

Open home

We went to an open home where we had to take our shoes off, and the back lawn left prickles in my feet.

We put in an offer to save the soles of others, but we didn't want to negotiate as much as the vendor did, and it was rejected.