Saturday, February 18, 2012

Not-A-Gallery, Continued...

A while back I wrote some posts that named several alternatives to galleries as a result of my frustration with the limited parameters of the traditional art market. At Bad At Sports, a down-to-Earth hipsto-blog about art, Nicholas O'Brien wrote about online galleries and what they are like, who they show and why, and how the spaces could be used. The comments are worth reading (!) at this google+ thread.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Portrait, Jan. 26

Yo Yo Guy. I saw this man in the park messing with a yo yo. He's a red-head so the amazing hair and mustache you see were bright pale orange. I considered asking him if I could draw his portrait but as usual I was chicken-shit, so I sat a few benches down and he immediately prepared to leave. I got a good look at him before he scooter-ed off and this is him, to the best of my recollection, finished with his yo-yo-ing business and pausing to squint into the sunset before revving the scooter engine. [Image: head and neck of a white man with curly hair and large handlebar mustache wearing glasses and squinting into the distance, lit from the side. He's drawn in black & white charcoal, realistic.]

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Female Voice

 Flavia Dzodan at TigerBeatDown posted an essay about Lana Del Ray and how she embodies the phase in most girls' lives when they yearn to be that pretty cool girl. Dzodan argues that despite criticism Del Ray has garnered from male music writers about her gender performance, there is nothing anti-feminist about expressing those feelings. I enjoyed the post as I always enjoy Dzodan's writing but I'm not wild about the trend of young feminist bloggers who go pour over pop music videos to extract potentially feminist "messages" for analysis. I'm all for analyzing pop culture but bloggers seem afraid to admit that when big producers pluck a youth from obscurity and spend thousands on a video of her writhing angrily in a couture onesie mouthing sexy lyrics to a song produced by men, there is no feminist message. "But her onesie has punk spikes on it! Her hair is in a faux-hawk! But now it's pin-up retro! She was just writhing around on a cross! What does it mean?" Nothing. It means some rich guy said to some other rich guy, "this will make us money." The feminist analysis could be better spent on how the public receives the video, on changing trends, industry shakeups, who gets ignored and why, that sort of thing.

But I digress.

What Flavia's post made me think is that people all have the same complaint about new pop singers on the scene: "She can't even sing." I seem to be squarely in the minority (as always) in enjoying unusual or raw female voices like Bjork, Missy Eliot, and Kim Deal while unable to appreciate Celine Dion, whose voice is like nails on a chalkboard. I don't usually hear this complaint about male singers, particularly with rock and hip-hop (Kanye West? can't sing. Jack White? can't sing. Not like American Idols, anyway. But I've never heard any complaints.). By the time the full weight of The Industry instructs the public to like a certain singer, they will like her. But the public isn't comfortable with that awkward in-between time when the rookie singer herself is saying, "like me." But that's not my main point either:

A male singer's voice symbolizes his expression, his intentions, his words. A woman's voice symbolizes her appearance. That's why a woman's voice must fit in the narrow box of pretty-sounding performance. She must be "a natural." She must preserve The Voice as she ages and not sound gravelly. The Voice must have a showy feminine range and look good naked sound perfect in a live acoustic performance. If she can't belt it out with the voluptuous strength of Christina Aguilera she may opt to emulate a pre-adolescent voice like Britney Spears (kinky!) or a lithe slender whisper like... well, Brandy is the most recent one to come to mind.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Portrait, Jan. 24

Husband driving at night. This was drawn in the dark in a moving vehicle. [Image: pen drawing, mostly contour, of the head ad shoulders of a man driving in profile on the left half of the page; on the right side is the steering wheel and dash board.]

Portrait, Jan. 23

My friend's cat, Jazz. Drawn while he was 'hunting.' [image: black & white pen drawing of the head and shoulders of a crouching cat sniffing a toy mouse. Somewhat realistic, thin dense lines.]

Friday, February 10, 2012

Oh yeah, I have a blog.

Sorry for the dearth of posts lately. I don't intend for this blog to become a diary of my daily feelings-- thank God-- but I'm feeling kind of down lately. Nothing bad happened, I just feel like something bad happened. Anyway, there's a backlog of daily portraits to post-- even though, not even halfway through the first month, I failed at my daily portrait resolution for 2012, I still did them most days and am working on making up those I missed. I'm drinking plenty of water and leaving the house at least once per day (the backyard counts right?), so I should be better and back blogging again soon.