I’m the King of Jubilee Jumbles

artist Nayland Blake natters on about art and other things

Posts Tagged ‘Thor

Splish Splash..

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So Mike has been in town and yesterday he, I, his friend Karen, and Lolita took ourselves off to five hours of liquid satisfaction at Spa Castle. Bliss is a well placed jet of water. If you’re a New York resident or planning a visit, make your host take you there: it’s like a civilized water park with immaculate saunas and a decent food court thrown in. You can get baked eggs. One note though: bring a change of clothes, because you end up so clean that putting your old duds on at the end of it can be a bit of a let down.

We also had two fantastic meals: before we submerged ourselves we had a very civilized brunch with Thor at good. And on the way home we joined Jason and Sue at SriPraPhai (sorry Dan, I know we should have called you), which has expanded and remodeled and yet was still as delicious as ever. Then J was so very kind as to offer Mike and I a ride back to my place, where a not too disgruntled Lehigh awaited her evening walk. There was a little canoodling, and then the Sandman showed up for a three-way.

You could say I was satisfied.

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Written by naylandblake

May 31, 2009 at 11:01 am

Softee is as Softee does…

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So yesterday Thor came over to help me contend with the forces of It-which-must-not-be-named (the laundry), which caused us to have many trips into the sunshine of my neighborhood. He was a valiant Wash Warrior. And then, at the very moment that we were bringing in the last folded loads, we heard the tinkle of the ice cream truck a block away. I’m not lying when I say that I saw six-year old Thor pop out when I assured him that yes the truck was coming and yes we could have ice cream. So determined was he that I walked the clothes upstairs while he waited in the street below, looking down the block to make sure the truck didn’t swerve around the corner at the last minute. When I came back downstairs Mister Softee was just pulling up and Thor bought me a cola float and himself the weird Spongebob treat he’s holding here. We sat out on the stoop and chatted with my neighbors for a bit while cooling down. Afterward, Thor reminded me of his touching entry where he wrote about how important the ice cream truck was for him growing up. Reading it again made me understand his determination, and reminded me of how lucky I am to know him.

Written by naylandblake

May 26, 2009 at 12:30 pm

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Thor…

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A thoughtful, caring man.
A friend of deepest loyalty.
Mentor, gourmand, gleeful corrupter.

The world’s a better place with you in it.

Happy Birthday,

Written by naylandblake

July 31, 2008 at 7:22 am

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Five more questions – courtesy of Thor

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What, if anything, have you learned from your students, and/or the process of teaching?

Teaching continually confronts me with the dilemmas in my own process. When I talk to my students about their difficulties, their stopping places and moments of fear, I am able to see the similarities in my own situation. So from listening to the ways my students talk about what they do I have become a better reader of work. I’ve also learned not to spend a lot of time worrying about whether or not they like me. When I first started teaching I wanted to be every student’s best pal. That’s as bad as your parents trying to hang around with you all the time. Now I have better boundries around it all and it makes it easier for ervery one to relax.

What don’t you like about the art world? Are there frauds? Name names.

1. I don’t like the generalization “art world” as it lumps together many people who don’t neccisarily belong together : artists, certain writers, dealers, collectors, museum people, some notion of a public. We don’t talk about the “baseball world”. That being said, for purposes of answering the question I’ll talk about the group of people around the New York art market.
2. I don’t like assumed concensus, people who come to opinions without thinking about them. One of the galling things about being in the market is the unspoken assumption that everyone is on the same side.
3. I don’t like openings, which are really about people demonstrating to you that they showed up rather than anyone looking at the work in any real way. I go to very few, and when I have them I try to find some way to subvert them by doing a performance or something similar.
4. I don’t like the proliferation of prizes, art fairs and Biennials, for the same reason I dislike circuit parties.
5. I dislike the cult of youth that pervades the art world these days. It messes up my students, and it’s fair to say that art making is one of the things that you get better at the longer you do it. Do we want every field to have the emotional pitch of women’s gymnastics?

As for frauds; first let me say that I think it’s heartening that folks still worry about this. It means that on a deep level people want something important from art, given the way we have come to accept fraud in so many other fields as a matter of course. But in this case I think it’s hard to define fraud. On the part of artists I would say that there are failures, failures of nerve, imagination, growth, feeling. When someone tries to present these as not being faliures then I suppose you have a situation of fraud. For example, I think that for many years now David Salle has been treading water. His most recent show at Gagosian in New York was accompanied by an article in the New York Times that was full of praise for the development of the work. This I suppose was fradulent, in that it was intellectually dishonest. But when you try to talk about this as legal fraud you run up against a problem: who has been injured? The people who bought the pictures? The people who came to look at them? Also let me say that even if we could talk about fraud here the biggest art fraud in history could have gotten away with less in a life time than a VP at Enron could make off with in a week.
Here’s a clearer case: Thomas Kinkaide – the self proclaimed painter of light. Here is someone who has set up a huge business that traffics in asserted, simplified emotionality. It seems to me to be at its heart cynical and manipulitive of its audience on a level that Jeff Koons could only pretend to.

“me and my work”
“the types of work I enjoy”
“in terms of work”
“making work and seeing others make work”
Why not:
“me and my art”
“the types of art I enjoy”
“in terms of art”
“making art and seeing others make art”
Why this choice of words? Is this simply the vernacular from the “art world” that you’ve absorbed? What would Freud have to say about this? Discuss.

Two reasons: when I use “art” people tend to think only of my visual stuff, whereas I think of everything I do; sculpting, writing, teaching, lecturing, DJing, publishing, etc. as all being part of the same thing :”making work”. Secondly, “my art” just sounds too naff. I make things that make sense to me and then hopefully they will be useful for other folks as well. To the extent that they are then they become art.

Name some things that you personally “find really useful in a cultural sense.”
The plays of Richard Foreman – the books of Kathy Acker, Djuna Barnes, Samuel Delaney and Charles Dickens – the films of John Waters, Jack Smith and Terry Gilliam – the Music of Sun Ra, Patty Smith and the Velvet Underground – notebooks of Hokousai – the tattoos of Don Ed Hardy – the sock money – as a sculptor I wish I had invented it, and I still aspire to come up with something like it: a sculpture that just about anyone can make, that is ubiquitous and anonymous.

Who put the ram in the ramalamadingdong?

You know you did, dude.

Written by naylandblake

November 30, 2003 at 10:18 am

I am now 30% beef…

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I was going to write all about this but Thor ( http://www.livejournal.com/users/thornyc ) has done a much better job than I could have. Suffice to say I was at my first Beefsteak, and for those of you who know me , you can imagine how I felt to be at an event where waiters bring endless platters of food, that you are encouraged to wolf down using your hands. Everything served was admirable. To top it off, Thor and I were drunkely mistaken for brothers who were professional wrestlers. This by a guy who actually had wrestled in college and who was so attractive that I would have said that I was secretary of state had he wanted me to. As you can imagine testosterone ran high in the room. The one thing that irked me was the way that a number of attendees wouldn’t shut up for a second during our hosts’ brief and jovial remarks. It smacked to me of the blase, “I’m too important for any place I find myself” vibe that is the worst aspect of New Yorkers. I mean, if you were coming to an event like this, then get into the spirit of it, or don’t come. Yes I shoveled beef into my face with my hands. Towards the end of the evening, stuffed with meat and flushed with beer, I actually had to stop after a single bite of chocolate cake. It was a ludicrus, privileged, american moment that left me exhilerated and abashed.
Afterwards, the misty walk down Fifth Avenue reminded me of late nights in San Francisco, and also of the thing that I love about New York: the feeling that one is a tiny part of it, and yet the owner of it.

Written by naylandblake

November 5, 2003 at 4:28 pm

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