January 31, 2014

Naked in Boots

There are many layers of reference in the title of this painting, a painting I made more than a year ago while still living in Austin.  Now I’m in Denver, a month in, and it hangs on a new wall, with new light.   

At the time I was writing titles for the body of work this painting came out of, I was finding images to share with the students of a figure drawing class I was teaching.  There is a drawing I love by Larry Rivers of Frank O’Hara standing naked in his boots.  It’s a study, I presume, for the famous painting that graces one of the poet’s book covers and also hung at the MOMA while O’Hara was a curator there.

While looking at this drawing I was reminded of a time when I posed nude in boots in the snow by polaroid during my first stint as a resident of Colorado.  I was so moved by the poetic quality of the falling snow that I needed, not just wanted, but needed to be naked in it.  (Much later I wrote a poem about this experience and how I couldn’t live with the photographs whole, so I cut them up and moved them around with me in an envelope.  Someday perhaps the poem will surface.  The cut up polaroids surfaced while packing to move here, and although it was only a month ago, I honestly can’t remember if I kept them or not.)

Something about the color of the silver paint and the snowy earthy canvas and the shapes that they create together as they spill off the edge, reminded me of that night I stood naked in my boots in the snow.   Funny how the body sometimes finds her way into the work by way of title.    

By one of those brilliant moments of alignment, around the same time, maybe even the same day that I was researching images for my drawing class, I came across an interview by Jeremy Sigler with the poet, Eileen Myles.  In the interview they talk about the painting of O’Hara and the idea of the poet standing naked in his or her boots.  Sigler tenderly proposes that the poet naked in his or her boots is the poet “without anything.”  He believes it is an image that says “that all a poet really needs for survival is a pair of boots.”

At the time I made this painting, survival was the only thing on my mind, really, and the interview by Sigler with Myles, and the path of poetry and words it lead me down, knocked me over the head and woke me up.  For that, I am very thankful.

I am now just realizing that at the time I started to taper off with dime and honey (consciously, I thought, for the summer, and then unintentionally, for the rest of the year, and now as I wrap it up here in this note), was at the same time that I started to allow myself to imagine migrating once again to this expansive land of rock and sky.   Now that I am home, I again stand naked in my boots.  This time, for real.

May 28, 2013

Summer Break

Dime and Honey is going on vacation.
Wishing you a beautiful, relaxing, spacious summer!

May 11, 2013

Diverse Space Dance Theater Gala Performance Tomorrow!

Diverse Space Dance Theater, Toni Bravo's baby, is performing tomorrow night to raise money for their young dancers who have been invited to participate in the Youth Dance Festival in Dublin this summer!  This is a perfect opportunity to see Toni's magic in action AND to support the travel and study dreams of these young artists!
Ballet Austin, Sunday, Mother's Day, 6:45pm, $10 admission.

May 10, 2013

Light and Suicide

Tala Madani makes some of the funniest, saddest and most beautiful paintings I've ever seen.  She is currently showing work that she made during a residency at Artpace in San Antonio entitled Light and Suicide Paintings

She talks of deskilling, yet her handling of the paint is a study in confidence.  It is that confidence that allows the viewer to move beyond the material presence of the work, albeit stunning, and open up to the uncomfortable crossroads of humor and pain gracing these pictures.  

Her animations, which there is one of in the show at Artpace, are also gross and fantastic.   

Last chance to see it!  It closes on May 19.   

April 24, 2013

Save the Last Dance for Me

"A song tells a whole story and the music fills in the atmosphere 
where this embarrassing content unfolds."  

April 16, 2013

New Work Waiting

Weather Rolling In

I am having technical difficulty this week.  There is a little hack in my website, and my heroine Sarah is working hard on cleaning it up.  In the meantime, here is a glimpse of new work waiting to go out into the world.  Fingers crossed my site will be healthy again before I know it so I can add the work I lost and new work too.

March 31, 2013

Toni Bravo and Company

Toni Bravo in a still moment before movement.

Toni's dancers in the park.

Last year, after seeing Pina in the theater, I became obsessed with modern dance.  The stunningly beautiful documentary by Wim Wenders looks at the life work of Pina Bausch, a German choreographer who explored the depths of the human soul through the movement of the body.  Pina died unexpectedly during the making of the film, and it organically became a kind of memorial with emotional snapshots of the dancers in her company talking about memories of her and performing in honor of her.  As I watched, completely moved, I had one thought: I want to be a dancer in my next life. 

In the meantime I decided to find a class that I could take, just for me, without any expectations or goals.  It took me several months to find the right class and to find the guts to show up, but I finally did.  Who I found was Toni Bravo, and I fell in love.  Toni teaches an obscene number of classes at Ballet Austin, including the modern dance class that I try to show up to as often as possible.  Her classes are for both experienced dancers and complete amateurs, like myself.  She is a tireless and inspired teacher.  I always have a ridiculous smile on my face for the first half of class because what we are doing is so liberating and unusual in the use of my own body, and that smile inevitably turns into dazed confusion in the second half of class as my brain tries to keep up with my body, and vice versa.  Modern dance is freaking hard.  But, I love it.

At the last class Toni explained a particular series of movements as drawings in space. Drawings of straight lines and drawings of curves, from here to there with the hand and here to there with the foot.  That's when I knew for sure I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

Last Sunday evening I attended a performance in Stacy Park choreographed by Toni called One + One + One & Aspects of Shen.  It was a suite of dance: some performed by kids, some by adult dancers, and two performed by Toni solo.  To be outside in the chilly evening air to experience these dances was such a pleasure.  They could have perhaps all been performed on a stage inside, but the green plane of grass and the surrounding trees united the dancers and the viewers in a way that doesn't often happen in a traditional theater.  In All in Time, the first piece of the evening performed by Toni, the viewers surrounded her as she moved within a sea of fabric, a parachute, that enveloped her like a dress and eventually swallowed her whole as the perimeter was lifted up by attached ropes that were draped over the branches of a beautiful old live oak.  But, before the swallowing, Toni's calibrated and exquisite movement of straight line and curved line drawings in space could be seen both through and above the billowing fabric in a way that slowed down time to present.     

March 14, 2013

The Punk Singer Rocks

For my one and only film of SXSW this year I saw The Punk Singer, a documentary about the legendary riot grrrl, Kathleen Hanna, by filmmaker and performance poet, Sini Anderson.  It was rad. It was emotional.  It was fucking inspiring.  Fingers crossed they get distribution soon!

Wall Space

New hand-painted mural going up on the side of Hillside Farmacy 
by brother and sister duo 
Joe Swec and the very prolific Jana Swec!

March 11, 2013

A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

I don't know who took this, but it's awesome.   
I pulled it from acwlp's twitter feed.
You can see Shea's reflection in his perpetual motion.
(update: photo by Virginia Rutledge)

The Texas Biennial is hosting a truly engaging event in the spirit of intellectual public discourse called A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, a nod to a little bit of Austin art history, referencing the short-lived gallery by the same name that was a Dave Hickey project here in 1967.  The performance happening at an open street level space on Congress is a chance for the Biennial to kick off its 2013 season with SXSW presence.  Artists, writers and curators are reading texts of their choice in a little glass box with high end recording equipment and talented operators who are sending their voices and faces out into the world via the internet while art folks and supporters mingle about outside listening to the live readings and sipping on cocktails.  It's like the perfect college classroom.  

I had the honor of reading two texts by Agnes Martin yesterday: Reflections and The Current of the River of Life Moves Us.  What's interesting to me is that so many people are reading texts that I love and connect with, like a letter from Sol Lewitt to Eva Hesse and Italo Calvino's Six Memos for the Next Millennium.  And, of course, Dave Hickey.  

Virginia Rutledge and Shea Little are the brains behind this operation, with lots of volunteer help as well.  They will be out there again tonight until midnight and again tomorrow night from 6pm to midnight.  Stop by, read, listen, tune in!