Art Festival weekend

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Me (in the tan hat) with some of my family.

Been spending the weekend at the Coconut Grove Arts Festival and the St. Stephen’s Art Show, which is right next door. It’s a yearly event each February. The whole town comes out, then some. There’s so much art, people watching, food and drinking.

It starts out with breakfast at a gallery and then we all start toward the festivals, it’s two festivals right next to each other. Friends and family sort of separate, then at the festival we may meet up, some people may drop out, others may add themselves to the group. It’s  a fun weekend. It runs Saturday, Sunday and Monday, which is President’s Day.

 

Supporting Eaten Fish

In 2013 a 21 year old Iranian cartoonist named Ali arrived in Australia The Australian government put him in a detention camp. He’s been in a detention camp ever since.

Ali cartoons under the name Eaten Fish. Cartoonists, starting in Australia, and now all over the world have been drawing fish cartoons and posting them on social media in the hopes of drawing attention to the detention.

Australia detains people who seek asylum if they arrive by boat. Talk about wet foot, dry foot. Ali is detained on Manus Island. Ali’s health is failing and people all over the world are asking for his freedom.

I have collected some of the EatenFish comics that have been making the rounds.

Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI) writes: “It is with profound alarm and sadness that [we] learn that our friend and colleague, cartoonist Mr. Eaten Fish, currently held in an Australian refugee rendition camp in Papua New Guinea has decided to undertake a hunger strike. He is a man who has given up hope, cannot struggle any longer, cannot face the future that is being forced on him, and he would rather die than submit to the indignities of further inhuman treatment.”

The Australian government has been petitioned many times both from within Australia and internationally asking that Eaten Fish be brought to Australia for medical treatment.

Cartoonists feel that they can bring awareness to the issue with a media campaign by posting images of fish with the hashtags “AddAFish #EatenFish

More in this issue here.

Rare films of the Old Masters

I forgot a lot of the times that so many of our great masters were alive 100 years ago or less. A French actor and director named Sacha Guitry took home movies in 1915 of some our greatest artists like Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Auguste Rodin and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

I have to laugh when seeing Monet, the coloring and the way his beard looks makes him look like he’s sticking his tongue out. The short film shows him painting in his garden in Giverny. Amazing.

Degas is shown in 1915 walking down a Paris street in a very short film, really just seconds, sort of snapping a quick pic of someone famous today as they walk by.

Rodin is shown on the street and also sculpting in his studio in 1915, two years before his death.

Renoir is filmed in 1919 at his home, smoking, a lot, and painting.

John Hall posted these on his YouTube page.

The logo game

When I was in my teens and maybe early 20s, I used to design logos. I think I charged $89.00 for a logo. I worked at a community newspaper and they would run the ad for me in the classified section. It was a small black box, about an inch square and it said “Logos” very large and then my phone number. This is before email or I would have put the email address in the ad.

I would prepare a few designs and the person would buy one and I would make it into a black and white contact sheet and that was there logo. No EPS files or PDF files or vector files, just a black and white piece to work from.

In the village where I live, there was a shoe store that had my logo on their window, for so many years. It was called “Coconuts” and the “T” was a palm tree. And every time I passed I was proud to say, “I did that.” That was years ago, ironically, I just ate at that location, it’s a restaurant now.

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The whole subject comes up because I read that Pepsi changed their logo from the one on the left to the one on the right. And guess what? They paid $1 million to Arnell Associates to create the new logo for them.

I would say I’m in the wrong business, maybe I should go back to it. It’s like you create logos and if you’re fortunate, you get one huge account, do the job and retire.

The art bazaar in NOLA

I’m in New Orleans for the weekend. Always love it here and I’m always finding something new. Yesterday I came across this art bazaar or bizarre as they call it there. It’s an empty lot in the middle of the block, on 1200 block of Decauter Street. For some reason, it looks like something you would see in Brooklyn, but I’m sure this is all originally NOLA.

There was an artist named Jason working on something and during weekends, there is more than one artists present and it’s like a little flea market then. It’s funny, with one artist it feels like a gallery, with more, a flea market.

I like the dinosaur, but how would I get it home?

Shattered sculptures thanks to FedEx

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If you’re planning on sending something made of glass via FedEx or UPS, beware, your item may not end up in one piece, but this is the hopes of one artist. Los Angeles-based Walead Beshty has sent glass pieces for nine years, from 2005 to 2014, via FedEx, using their standard shipping boxes and the pieces of glass invariably crack in transit.

This is his goal. The cracked pieces are now art to Walead. It was his goal for the pieces to break. He calls them “FedEx Works.” The pieces are the size and shape of the boxes.

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The pieces that are delivered to the galleries, are then taken out, pieces back together and displayed on top of their shipping boxes. This is the art.

From Wikipedia: “Beshty earned a Bachelor of Arts from Bard College in 1999, and a Master of Fine Arts from Yale University School of Art in 2002. He is an Associate Professor in the Graduate Art Department at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, and has taught at numerous schools including University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, Irvine; the California Institute of the Arts; School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and the MFA Program at Bard College. Beshty has exhibited widely in numerous institutions and galleries around the world.”

Walead discusses his art here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WffqBKryxk

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George Herriman and the Southwest

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A piece that George Herriman drew for his friends the Wetherills with that incredible Southwestern background.

I’m enjoying the George Herriman biography. It’s draggy in parts but quite good. He had an interesting life and was right at the height of cartooning when newspapers were basically the only source of news and read by everyone daily. He was a humble man and a rich one. He made a lot of money producing Krazy Kat.

I enjoy the parts where he visits Arizona, which is often. That landscape became such a big part of the Krazy Kat comic strip as he played with the vistas and the light in each comic. He loved it there, even though he lived in New York and Los Angeles for most of his life. He was born in New Orleans.

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George Herriman

There was a couple near Flagstaff, Arizona, the Wetherills, John and Louisa, who hosted George and friends in the real Coconino County. They sort of ran a guest house, something like that. George enjoyed visiting them and spending long dinners at a long table at their house with fellow cartoonists who traveled with him including Rudolph Dirks, originator of the Katzenjammer Kids, and cartoonist and artist Jimmy Swinnerton, who moved to Arizona with his wife in 1906 for health reasons.

George Herriman would do a few Krazy Kat comics and submit them and then take the train to Arizona. He would also draw there between day trips around Arizona with the others and mail in the strips to King Features Syndicate. He visited New Mexico and Utah, too.

I like so much of his lifestyle. I enjoy the aspect of traveling and cartooning along the way, that’s one reason I gave up my Wacom Cintiq for a Surface Pro, so that I could draw on my travels.

Oddly enough, I’ve always been drawn to the Southwest even though I have never been. I like the idea of being in Arizona and New Mexico and when I was a child I used to pretend that my bedroom was a trailer out in the desert somewhere. I don’t know why, but that always intrigued me. I used to like the tv show “Alice” because it took place in Phoenix and I got hooked on “Breaking Bad” right away when I saw the trailer out in the desert for the first time. Did I live there in another life? Who knows, but I like that I have that in common with George Herriman.