Sunday, December 16, 2012

Brick City Project!!

Hi all....stopping by to wish the current studio residents mucho love on their artist journey this season.

Also, Brick City Project makes an appearance in Metro 29 art show still goin on now for all who havent seen.  Stay tuned for more photos as i get closer and closer to completing the 1st installation of BCP....(super excited).....stayed tuned also for future  appearances by other bricks as the momentum gains.  Newark Museum and a few Nyc galleries are jus the appetizers  for this artistic cuisine. There are big, BIG plans in the making so keep your fingers crossed and your hearts open for whats to come.  Peace and Blessings....Malik

Friday, December 7, 2012

Art from the Outside Looking In

I would not consider myself someone who knows a lot about art. I love museums and galleries and frequent them often and I’ve taken an art history course in college (and loved it), but I don’t have extensive knowledge or a strong contextual art background to legitimize the way art speaks to me amongst the art community. But do I have to? I might not get it. I might see something and say, why? But isn’t that what is most important? That the artwork in front of me is making me think? While walking around the current show installed at Gallery Aferro, there was art that I “got” under my own pretenses, and there was other works that were, perplexing. Nonetheless, the space is beautiful and the show as a whole, was provoking and inclusive to all types of art. There is something for everyone. I think that art is a personal experience and that everyone has their own individual connection or misconnection to each piece.

I wouldn’t consider myself necessarily as a visual person. When I see things, I don’t necessarily feel things. The pieces that spoke to me the most had words and sounds, had an actual voice I could hear and read. As a media studies major, one of the most thought-provoking pieces was located on the floor in a black basket on the second story. Shani Peter’s Reagan, The Revolution, and Me explored her own personal “socialization and understanding of blackness and family through references to media and imagery I absorbed as a child.” Her piece exposed how the black family was translated through media, and it was eye opening. It struck a chord within me. I don’t necessarily know what chord that was, but do I really have to? It made me feel.

So who am I and what is this post all about and why are you reading it? My name is Brady Smith, a senior at NJIT in Newark and Gallery Aferro’s new social media intern! I’m excited to join this great group of people and learn in this new world of art that I’ve only topically explored. So if you see me around the gallery, feel free and say hi, or tweet me at @smithbradym (shameless social media plug). 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Mana Contemporary

I had time on Sunday to take a trip to Mana Contemporary for their open studios.  One of my neighbors (Frank Gavere) from Parkway Studios in Bloomfield now has a space in this Jersey City oasis.  

The first floor was holding a small Keith Haring exhibition.  He is an artist that I have not given a great deal of thought, but being able to see a body of work up close and personal helped give me a new appreciation.  The first floor also houses an area where an artist can have crates made for their shipping needs.

I believe there are six floors to the building, but I only took a look on the 4th where it seems most of the artists have their studios.  The elevator opens up to a gourmet cafe.  There was a great Allison Schulnick painting hanging in the hallway.  

The artists' studios varied in size with some of the bigger names having huge spaces.  One artist had the biggest printers I've ever seen.  There was a dance studio as well where a demonstration was taking place.  

Mana is an impressive space and has every amenity an artist can imagine.  I don't know if all of it is necessary, however, to do good work.  It is worth a visit though;

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Anne Q. McKeown

Besides doing her own great work, Anne is the Master Paper Maker at the Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions. Here is an article about her recent collaboration with El Anatsui.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


     The project I've been working on at Aferro has been ruminating in my mind for a couple years. 
     The springboard for this piece came from looking at Chuck Close's 'Big Self-Portrait'.  I did a smaller version which was to serve as a template for the final work, but didn't have the space until now to see it through.  The small version was in included in a group show, 'Nonsense', curated by Jill Wickenheisser at Seton Hall Law.    
     As an artist, I sometimes struggle with the idea of 'am I good enough?'  The attitude Close conveys in his work embodies confidence and defiance at a time when Clement Greenberg had said there's only one thing an artist can't do any more and that's paint a portrait.  While I would like to channel more of Close's self-assurance in my process, the image I wanted to create with this piece was one of naive wonder.  The image comes from my class portrait sometime around 2nd or 3rd grade, with these colorful cellular blobs making their way in from previous paintings.  The eyes I incorporated were Spongebob's; being that I have two young sons, and that seemed to be all that was on our tv for awhile.

Chuck Close's 'Big Self-Portrait'

My painting in the early stages

Friday, November 16, 2012

First Time Around

Walking into Gallery Aferro for the first time, well technically the second, I was intrigued. The awkward green floors, large white walls filled with color, and warehouse ceilings somehow made it an incredibly charming space.

I wanted to explore everything- so I did. Once I took a lap of the first floor, I needed to see what was up the gray staircase that had caught my eye the moment I walked inside.  The upstairs was just as funky and charming as I had hoped. It had soft lighting, and was very intimate. The art felt like it was encompassing the room; it felt like a space you could lose track of time in.

After walking through both gallery floors, I continued onwards and upwards to the studio space. Being a painter, I thought the studio space was amazing. The character of building paired with all of the art being created was inspirational, to say the least.  I felt like every space in this building was holding a little something new, and unexpected. 

...By the way, I am the new curatorial intern at the gallery! I'm a painter, and hoping to gain some great experiences here. I'm looking forward to working at Gallery Aferro and meeting everyone!

EFA Open Studios Visit

This post was delayed due to Hurricane Sandy. Hope you and everyone you know braved the storm well!

Maybe it's my own negativity, but I think we've all been guilty of this: Cynicism, when going to view art. We go to the galleries expecting to see a lot of crap, a good amount of decent work, and every once in a while something that you really connect with. A few weeks back, during my visit to the Elizabeth Foundations Open Studios my cynicism was turned on it's head. I can't overstate this, everything I saw was good. Maybe I just had an easy going day, maybe my mind wasn't in criticism mode, regardless, all the work I saw there was beautiful and moving. Another form of cynicism (especially when going to view work in Manhattan) is the tendency to expect the studio/gallery sitter to not really care about your existence. It always seems like such a painful task to ask the gallery attendants in Chelsea for an artist statement if the pile of print-outs has ran out. As I walked in to the studios I was consistently greeted by the artist or sitter and they wanted nothing more than to inform me about the work and enjoyed talking to me about the pieces in detail. It felt like I was at Aferro where we all know each other and when you walk into the other person's studio it feels more like a conversation with an old friend about their art than someone I've only known for a few months.

Now, there was a few artists I would like to talk about specifically but I wrote that opening paragraph because I want to applaud and thank the EFA for not only choosing such great and friendly artists to give studios to, but also for putting together such a great open studios that was nothing but enjoyable. 

So thanks, guys!

There were two artists that I knew before hand and were excited to see, Bryan Whitney and J.C. Lenochan. 

J.C. is a great guy and his work is just as awesome (and is pretty well known in the Aferro world). He has a large installation at the Mason Gross Galleries in New Brunswick right now at 33 Livingston Avenue. Although I haven't made it over to New Brunswick yet, I'm planning on going soon and you should do the same. Here's a link to his work and info about the show at Mason Gross:

Bryan Whitney was a teacher of mine at Mason Gross. He taught me 4x5 and digital processing. He was really a great teacher to me and it was so nice seeing him. I know it's not at all fair to only talk about people I know (my favorite work of the day was someone I had never heard of) but Bryan's negative images of cell phone towers are just fantastic. The quality of his prints can't be overstated, and the idea of the negative is something I've been thinking a lot about lately (especially due to Geoffrey Batchen's guest blogging at The work is stunning, surgical, abstract but still representational. Just great, and any fan of the Becher's will be immediately drawn to his work. His website has the still frames but he also had on display a few stop motion videos of the cell phone towers and they were absolutely stunning. They're hard to describe exactly, tiny motions of the shadows, stark white stillness of the towers, and the fluid grazing of the clouds made for a hypnotic experience. His work can be found at:

So, enough about the people I know. If all the art was so good as I said it was, I should of discovered a plethora of great work, right? 

Right. Quite a few artists either didn't have a card for me to take away or were too busy talking to other people for me to really interact, so I apologize to all the artists who's work I enjoyed but I can't point out specifically. 

Some I can point out specifically is the work of Saya Woolfalk ( She has shown at the Newark Museum (she was also an artist-in-residence at the Newark Museum) and currently has a solo show up at the Montclair Art Museum. Noah Klersfeld's ( video installations were absolutely entrancing. I must of spent 10 minutes just staring at each video. One of the videos, with the wire fence and the red background, was really beautiful, I mean, stunning. Hypnotic, abstract, graphic, mundane AND exciting (all at the same time). Noa Charuvi ( was another great one. Her work was very socially and politically charged but didn't scream in your face (and the way she paints is fantastic). The work is powerful and beautiful at face value, and once I spoke with her and understood her thought process, it just got better and better.

Now for the big reveal, my favorite work of the day. Morgan O'Hara ( Her work absolutely blew me away. Maybe she has an unfair advantage in my books because I love gesture drawings so much, and her series on John Cage is so relatable to me since I'm also a musician, and that she also did drawings of photographers. It's hard to put in words and I like it that way. Her work is just so moving to me, it's not about what I think about it, it's what I feel about it. I see the musician moving their hands, the photographers focusing their lenses. I can imagine the music and the feeling of playing the notes. She articulates the aura of the music, the experience. It's not photographic in its documentation, it's guttural, ephemeral, intense yet subtle, ultra specific yet unrepresentative. The work is everything you want out of heady conceptual work while fulfilling the want of simple, unadulterated beauty. Sorry Bryan, sorry J.C., sorry everyone else at EFA, Morgan takes the cake in my book. Before leaving I had spoken to her about drawing someone working with a 4x5 camera (as opposed to the paparazzi type photographers she had previously drawn) and I hope that I might have sparked some inspiration in her. I would love to see how she depicts the much slower and delicate process of 4x5 photography and look forward to following her work in general, 4x5 drawings or not.

So, all in all, I was overly impressed with the work, more than excited to see Bryan and J.C. and absolutely stunned by Morgan O'Hara, as well as the other artists I mentioned. Next year, I'll bring my camera, and take notes, and hopefully I've convinced everyone reading this to go next year as well!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Kyle's First Masterpiece

At the recent open studios at Gallery Aferro, my nephew Kyle was very excited to walk around and see what was going on. At a certain point, he got fidgety needed a little something to do. So imagine that, let's create a painting, what better place. It was great to see him get all riled about it. He started with using some marker, although I think that was old hat. But when I squeezed out some burnt siena, his eyes lit up. He wanted me to help, but he was more than happy to keep going on his own.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

color by numbers

Color is a proposition that I dabbled into from time to time.  It’s not because it’s an insignificant aspect of what I’m doing, but because it’s the opposite.  Questions about color – formal, historical, conceptual- are matters that are grave, crucial and utterly comprehensive.  Color is an aspect so serious and confident in its own position in all practices that it doesn’t flinch in discomfort when it’s the subject of conversations that depreciate it.  There have been many writings in the past that dismiss it for its light and flippant nature.  Yes, color is light, but I cannot stand by the flippant part. 

That said, perhaps light and flippant are a good place to start a certain thinking about color.  And what better embodiment of both words that to do this in the form of lists.  Lists are casual and inconsequential. Lists are fun!  Lists are tyrannical.  And Umberto Eco said that lists are primitive, they create culture, and we like it for the assumption that it has no limits.  He said we like it because we don’t want to die.

So how about we do the list in an equally unlimited form: in numbers!  But for now here’s a short one:

7 - the number of spectral hues that light was split into when passed through a prism, as discovered by English scientist Sir Isaac Newton

6 - the number of spectral hues that Newton may have actually discovered, according to some claims.  One claim is because he's linked to Mysticism, he might have chosen 7 because of the mystical properties tied to the number.  Another claim is that 7 corresponded to the musical notes of the diatonic scale.

1704 - the year that Newton's Opticks was published, a manuscript notebook where Newton suggests a correlation between the color spectrum and the musical scale.  

207 - the number of years after Newton's published Opticks, when Russian painter and art theorist Wassily Kandinsky published his Concerning The Spiritual in Art.  For Kandinsky, the correlation between sound and color was a lifetime preoccupation.  

30 - the age when Kandinsky gave up a career teaching law and economics to become a painter

3F2207, FFFF93, FFD556, FFFEB, FF90000 - number ID's of the 5 colors in the palette that resulted when an oil painting titled Odessa Port was uploaded to the web app, The Color Hunter.  Kandinsky made this painting in 1898, at age 32.  

3,361 - the number of likes for The Color Hunter page in Facebook (as of today's date)

13,809 - the number of likes for The Color Purple book/musical page in Facebook (as of today's date)

1,227,980 - the number of likes for The Color Purple film page in Facebook (as of today's date)

1,921,298 - the number of likes for Clockwork Orange film page in Facebook (as of today's date)

3,914,941 - the number of likes for United Colors of Benetton page in Facebook (as of today's date)

897 - the number of likes for The Green Party political ideology page in Facebook (as of today's date)

700AD - the first recorded use of the word green as a color term in Old English

200 - number of years later in China, when Mi Se was being produced and reserved for only the Emperor to see -let alone use.  It was speculated to be a kind of porcelain with a shade of green.  Mi Se means "secret color." Speculation went on until 1987, when a secret chamber was discovered in the ruins of a collapsed tower, that scholars were able to identify some genuine examples of the legendary porcelain.  They had been locked away for 11 centuries 

1701 - the year French baroque painter Hyacinthe Rigaud painted a portrait of Louis XIV wearing coronation robes and a pair of red-heeled shoes.  It was a period when red heels were worn only by the nobility.   

1911 – the year that French painter Henri Matisse painted The Red Studio, and saying about it: “ Where I got the color red –to be sure, I don’t know.” 

1949 – the year that Russian-American painter Mark Rothko stood in front of Matisse’s The Red Studio everyday for months following it’s acquisition by the museum of Modern Art. He remarked at the red field of color, ‘you became that color.’  

No. 21 -  the title given to one of Rothko’s paintings in the same year that was presumed to have been made under the influence of Matisse’s The Red Studio.  Not long after, he will make the painting titled Homage to Matisse

22,416,000 – amount in dollars in Nov 2005 that Christie’s set as realized auction price for Rothko’s Homage toMatisse

80 - the number of metric tons of the color red that was shipped to Spain in 1575 from the New World.  It became known as the cochineal fleet.  In addition to finding gold and silver in the New World, this was another treasure the Europeans found. It is a particular intense red -carmine- made from the blood of crushed female cochineal beetles.  A demand for it was born in Europe: for cosmetic fashion, carpets, fabrics.  

70,000 - the number of female cochineal beetles needed to make 1 pound of carmine dye.

E120 - ID number of color additive to Cherry Coke.  It is carmine dye from the same cochineal beetle.

3/2012 - month and year it was published at the Washington Post that Starbucks uses cochineal beetles as food coloring in their Strawberry Frapuccinos

1000CE - earliest estimated date of the cultivation and use of cochineal beetles inthe Toltec era of archaeological Mesoamerican culture. 

20 - number in the millions, in tons of indigo are produced annually for the purpose of traditionally dyeing blue jeans

3 - number of years in duration of Picasso's Blue Period, taking place between 1901 through 1904.  During this period his subject matter consisted of the poor and outcasts, primarily painted in shades of blue and blue-green, and it is recorded he suffered bouts of depression.

3 - number of years in duration of Der Blaue Reiter, formed in 1911 in Munich as a loose association of painters led by Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc.  Kandinsky wrote that the name isderived from Marc's enthusiasm for horses and Kandinsky's love of riders,combined with both love of the color blue. For Kandinsky, blue is the color of spirituality: the darker the blue, the more it awakens human desire for the eternal 

1873 - the year when Hermann Wilhelm Vogel produced the first orthochromatic films, sensitive only to blue light.

1976 - year Umberto Eco wrote an essay Lumbar Thought where he covered blue jeans. He wrote: “Well, with my new jeans my life was entirely exterior: I thought about the relationship between me and my pants, and the relationship between my pants and me and the society we lived in. I had achieved heteroconsciousness, that is to say, an epidermic self-awareness.”

1963 - the year Joseph Albers' book Interaction of Color was first published

2000 - the year David Batchelor's book Chromophobia was published

2009 – year Springer publishes a coffee table book Why Do Architects Wear Black?  One of the answers: “ ‘they are mourning their many unrealised projects.’ arno brandlhuber, berlin.”

2012 – year when a painting from Rothko’s “Black on Maroon” sequence was defaced at the Tate Modern in London. 

77AD – year Pliny the Elder wrote his encyclopedic Natural History.  It contains the basis of the Western classical legend that the first paint was black, and the first artist a female from the town on Corinth in Greece. Victoria Finlay ruminated on this on page 71 of her book Color

Feel free to add/edit on to the list if you're feeling Eco's thoughts.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Ah Um

 Go ahead, laugh. You're among friends. You can put on the well balanced, well behaved face later. I don't know about you, but sometimes it helps to put on the other, groaning, laughing, cursing face. Depends on the day.

Monday, October 1, 2012

What do we think about when we are in our studios?

Whether we're making a painting, a drawing, shooting a photograph, a video, scripting a performance, writing a talk, engineering an intervention, planning out a collaborative project, or mapping out a place for a site specific installation - what's going on in our thoughts while we do what we do?

Monday, September 24, 2012

punching the clock

Studio time has ebbs and flows. Sometimes it's pretty steady and sometimes it fluctuates wildly. I'm trying to get into a more standard routine this fall and so far it's going pretty good. I've been thinking about it more since I did a project for the College Art Association's career development pages. They just put up a podcast of it called Hybrid Careers: the work of balancing your work.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Starting Out

To warm up at Aferro, I'm creating some works on canvas tarp with house paint and large brushes.  Experimenting with black and white only, will give me insight into lights and darks. Since I don't have live models and my work references pop culture, most of my references are figures from magazines and newspapers. They run the gamut from football players to fashion models. Hopefully I will be able to snag some of the other artists to model for me when they are around the studio. To view more of my work, visit

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Dam Breach

During this “damming” venture I found it necessary to step back to distance myself from the activity because at some point “damming” became too exhilarating, too satisfying, too slick, too stylish and seemingly beyond reproach.  And so it’s a good time to find its weak points.  In the realm of actual dam construction, this point must be of utmost importance, where the catastrophic possibility of a breach is perhaps what drives civil engineers to intensely scrutinize every possible aspect of the dam: its design, structural integrity, safety, problems of seepage, corrosion and erosion, etc.  
“Damming” activity in painting and drawing - the term may be drawn from the functional constructed water barrier, but in painting and drawing, none of the practical imperatives mentioned above are pursued.  No lives, revenue or property are at stake, except for an aesthetic attitude.  Sharing the same term, linked by analogy- it seems there’s little else to tie together the activity of building an actual dam and constructing the "dam" for painting and drawing.  Regardless, the latter is equally subject to scrutiny as the former because every meaningful activity -whether it’s practical, theoretical, aesthetic or religious- harbors its meaningfulness in its transparency.
And so while utilizing it in drawing and painting I was able to find a weak point in the “dam.” This one is a tricky since the breach lies on the very intention the “dam” has been utilized for: “damming” is for strengthening the drawing, and making the forms, boundaries and categories clear.  But “dams” also fixate, establish and enforce them.  On that note, then the enforcement by “damming” gives no room for doubt when a particular boundary or category is false.  The falsehood is then set in place, fixated, and walled in by the “dam.”  This is merely one place where its faults fissure through.  

Thursday, August 30, 2012

 More Bricks for your viewing pleasure.  Stay tuned for more on "Brick City Project"!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012


The meter rules around the studio keep changing. I was talking to Bud about parking and it was so complicated to explain so I thought I'd make a little map. This is to the best of my knowledge, but maybe you know something different? Please share. Anyway I thought I'd post it. Also Evonne knows of a lot that's $5/day. I think it's near Hobbys? Maybe this can be the first step of an Aferro neighborhood guide.  Other welcome additions would be good coffee within walking distance, what's open in terms of food on Sundays, who delivers, etc.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"Brick City Project" is my vision of the beauty of Newark.  As a Newark resident my goal here is to show the world and remind our citizens of the beauty that Newark has to offer.  Growing up in this city i was blessed to witness its many positive wonders and every day miracles as opposed to the publicized negativity.  Each brick expresses a certain perspective of Newark and places together gives a never before seen look at the city and its inner workings.
I was excited about doing my residency at Aferro because it seems appropriate as a stepping stone for my installation.  During my time here i have learned so much, met so many people, gotten so many positive reviews (learned how to, made many connections and the list goes on.  The most difficult part was plain ole time management for me.....basically setting time aside to go to the gallery and work....but once i got into the swing of it the ball rolled along smoothly.  One of the most important things i learned  was from Evonne who told me that as an artist i needed to be spending the same amount of time "marketing myself as an artist as i do creating the art"....that made so much sense to me....(thanx Evonne).

So with the residency over now what?  Good question....the painting continues....more bricks will be made and then comes the arts shows.   Stayed tuned for more photos and info on the  "Brick City Project"

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

invoking Deleuze

from Gilles Deleuze's "Control and Becoming," Negotiations; New York; Columbia University Press, 1995; page 174

Monday, August 20, 2012


Damming.  This is the highlight of my studio this summer.  It’s a verbal alternative - an analogically appropriate one- to the procedural term “masking” in drawing and painting.  I drew out the word from a review by a writer who used it to describe a particular aspect in the work of a fellow painter colleague and mentor Timothy App - an aspect I’ve also been starting to  use in my own work.  

As a method “damming” consists of taping, tracing, slicing, making templates so that a particular area of the drawing or painting is secured, bound, extracted and made specific.  This sectioning off of areas privileges each area in a way that the hierarchies previously set between the different parts of the work are eradicated.  As I “dam” this area and that area, the form of each area becomes thoroughly specific and attains a status of equal importance or equal unimportance.

As the form of each area attain clarity through the “dam,” each area then becomes their own reality: a reality that is distinct -but not completely removed- from the reality of the bound area adjacent to it, and other bound areas in the work.  The resulting totality is a growth, a development, and a patchwork construction consisting of multiple constructed realities where each possesses their own particular set of internal dialogues, and whose clearly defined boundaries are the very spine that holds together the complex totality of the drawing or painting.    

This is not to insist that “damming” is the ultimate method to achieve this holding potential.  It is merely one of possible methods, all of which are equally potentiated to a particular goal.  But in the case of what I’m doing, “damming” works:  it clarifies categories;  it interferes with expectations; it’s a reprieve from the power of subjectivity; it checks and limits persuasiveness and fluency; it questions habits; it is doubt circumnavigating to make me unsure.  

Monday, August 13, 2012

CLUI does the Meadowlands

 The Center for Land Use Interpretation did a report/talk presenting their survey of the Meadowlands. It was interesting (weird, too?) to see the familiar examined by an outsider. They have put together a great interactive map and also a great print map (available at the Vince Lombardi Rest Stop) which includes the Smithson grave not far from Medieval Times in Lyndhurst. Matthew Coolidge, director of CLUI also talked about the unfinished Nancy Holt's Sky Mound which now houses that dirt mountain of solar panels near 15W. I love solar, but wish there were methane flares to look at when I drive home from the studio.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Inspiration for a drawing-in-progress
I can't believe the six months is almost over! It really has flown by and I'm feeling pressure from myself to complete one more thing before I leave. I had a ghost drawing sit on my desk for literally a month before it was time to make some tangible marks. I would just work on other drawings around it, on it, next to it, but couldn't quite bring myself to 'begin' 'it'. I think I psyched myself out. Had just finished another fairly large drawing and was afraid to do it again, only better. Finally, I made my moves and I'll be scratching away at the surface over these next few weeks trying to get somewhere.

Looking forward to meeting with everyone this week. We keep such different schedules, so it'll be nice to all be in the same place at the same time. I'm excited to see what everyone has been up to!

Saturday, July 28, 2012


I especially like #8.
Click image to enlarge.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Notes from a conversation on the future of independent publishing and artists books at the MoMA library:

Idea > Experiment > Product

What is the point?

  • of online publishing
  • object/self publishing
  • data/idea sharing
  • autonomy
  • language vs. image
  • language vs. object
Image</>= to object

Book as alternative space
Media Tools
Why object/book vs. web platform   (objects do not need maintenance)(or ask for "comments")
web platform is "open"
Object is closed and finished
web platform is open
object is purchased and owned
everything web is in progress


  • buckets
  • channels
  • containers
this is about moving and manipulating

Living in the book:

  • ideas
  • object
  • commitment
  • sentiment
  • emotion
this is about feeling and traditional

Intimacy > Objects > Weight > Heavy

Show Paper = 10,000 copies (weight)

Process?          Online = the bastard step child?    

Art In America vs. Art In America Online!

Is this about cost?     What cost are apparent and what costs are hidden?

How do we occupy the space of the internet? vs Occupying the space of the page of an object/book.

The function of print.

Art > Sustainability > Profit

PM 100 - 1000

Economics of publishing

Community > Art making can be a very solitary thing, is that different or changing in the publishing community?

People seeking out the weird.
Why do people buy art books? Because they are fetishized? Cheaper than most art objects?
How effective is your consumption of information online?

Us, we as cultural creative workers have a very different idea about what online consumption is and can be vs the "average" data consumer?

mp3 vs. vinyl vs. live music < (The person most sensitive is the musician - not the consumer)

Information vs. Idea vs. Object

Comics > Collectable > Sharing/Trading   (Cannot separate comics from print)
Object Sharing - Community       (What else cannot be separated?)

(It's orange and blue and it's sooooo nice.)

Conceptual (comics) vs. narrative thread.
Artist writing vs, fiction
Narrative vs. sentiment
Zines = underground publishing
Zines vs. artist book

(I don't think any genre of literature is sacred anymore.)(Lord Byron would agree!)

What is the content?
What is the purpose? - To draw attention to something under recognized? Could it be something other than a book? Then why is it a book? C

Creative practice.
The linear.
The materials:

  • paper
  • thread
  • tape
  • ink

Monday, June 25, 2012

New Work

I just finished my new Video Series in which the first video ("Irrelevant") was shot at Gallery Aferro.  To watch the videos please go to this link:

Sunday, June 24, 2012

studio visits

looking forward to open studio conversations with everyone per Malik....Just had Latoya Ruby Frazier in the studio on saturday catchin up...She had great things to say bout everyone"s practice in Aferro studios...
Just finished Toure' book "who's afraid of post blackness", its one for the shelf...anyone else on that?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Human-power projects

There are several projects occupying my space and mind these days, the largest and most pressing is S*OIL.  This week I will be setting up the planters for final measurements for the fabricator and making adjustments to the electronic system.  This project is a three-planter installation with an electronically controlled irrigation system powered by humans using a railway handcar.  The photo is of the prototype at another location. Though I may not have it set up as such here at Aferro, I will be working on finalizing all the components.

The second project I am currently working on is Mobilis, another human-powered mechanism but this time it is in the form of a convertible car.  I've been working with a programmer (Slava Balasanov) to develop a mobile and web application that will communicate with each other via an online server.  The user will be able to virtually navigate through wilderness parks and the adjacent industrial sites using an iPad.  To view these sites the user must pedal the car (it will have a bicycle chain drive) to power the screen (windshield) that project these two images side by side. Below is an image of the Grand Canyon and the adjacent uranium waste sites. By scrolling their finger on the iPad glass, the user can navigate in the sites, like one would in Google Earth with their mouse.

Mobilis, Google Earth images of Grand Canyon area

S*OIL prototype #2
Posted by: Maria Michails

Monday, May 7, 2012

I think art making is like any other mental/physical activity in the sense that it requires some amount of exercise or practice. I started drawing when I was really young. Like most children who like to draw, I began with copying magazine images, tracing, drawing anything and everything that was in front of me. My art education was pretty formal with some old school teachers who still thought silver point on gesso was a medium. I appreciate learning this way...but only so now I can break all the rules! It has been YEARS since I've had any reason or desire to draw anything representational. I'm more interested now in abstraction in drawing. In the line and mark and layers of erasure. But it's funny how you always return to where you started. My love for representational drawing never left...I just stopped exercising the muscle. I came to Gallery Aferro not knowing exactly where to begin. So I began at the beginning. With a pencil. I'm all warmed up and stretched now...and have since returned back to non representational imagery to begin some laps..

This drawing and an in-progress non representational piece (still in progress) will be in an exhibition at the Brooklyn Academy of Music opening on May 17th.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

brodsky fellowship

great to be out of a small bedroom and into a real space....beginning preliminary sketches for brodsky print...working with Randy @ Rutgers on concept...also focused on new book sculptures and school desk and works on paper for a few upcoming exhibits in new york and Delaware..looking forward to working with Andrew on video projects...Peace jc

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Finally I got my studio ready to begin my first project which is a video series, one of the videos was shot in my studio at Gallery Aferro.  I had to make the studio mimic a gallery which meant plastering, painting the walls and the floor.  Even though it looked as if I did no or little work, it was a lot of work to make the space resemble a white box.  It was exhausting but it was nice to get my hands dirty and I told myself I'll never become an art handler.

Photos of the video shoot to come!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I am currently reading Keith Haring: Journals, it is amazing and inspiring. Keith got so much done in his short life and changed so much about the art world. One of his journal entries (I'm not sure what he is responding to), "I don't believe art is propaganda; it should be something that liberates the soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further. It celebrates humanity instead of manipulating it."

I have also highly recommend David Wojnarowicz, Waterfront Journals.

What do you recommend?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Come to Gallery Aferro!

Andrew, one of the interns, was talking about how there is a lot of stuff going on the Gallery now... and hes Right!

Gallery Aferro started up again a few weeks ago and we welcome anyone to come experience 3 new exhibitions on display. Admission is always free and we are opened Thursday-Saturday 12-6PM.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Feminist Performance Art

Best Cheerleaders Ever

I came across Perform Feminism while doing teaching prep tonight. Pretty amazing resource.
They also have a blog by thematic category.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

from north

2x2 collective will be exhibiting this March in the main gallery. They are currently in residence at Sculpture Space in Utica NY creating work for the show. When I think about collectives I think about some of the better commentary I read about the traditions and grammar of OWS. Someone pointed out that some of the language and gestures are from much older resistance culture, but that through OWS younger people learned them.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


These drawings have accumulated and gathered in my studio.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sidewalk Alchemy News

I wanted to give an update as to the current state of the Sidewalk Alchemy series that I had begun while in residence last year. I’ve continued to work on and develop this project for close to a year after the residency has ended and the images below show various large and smaller scale iterations of the project, which involves using photography to document random patterns created by chewing gum on Newark’s sidewalks, re-examining familiar and overlooked relationships between social interactions and physical spaces. Gold leaf has been applied by hand, to each print, bringing attention to the less visible chewing gum remnants—memorializing these varied and complex examples of collective mark-making.

Also I wanted to share a link to an art related radio show broadcast on WVKR, the radio station out of Vassar College. I had an opportunity to meet up The Dead Hare Radio Hour co-hosts Chris Albert and Matthew Slaats, during the taping of episodes 27 and 29, to discuss some of the ideas behind the Sidewalk Alchemy Project begun at Gallery Aferro. Podcast episodes can be accessed online at:

Chewing gum patterns, horizontal sidewalk joints, and gold leaf. 5 feet x 10 feet

Chewing gum patterns, vertical sidewalk joints, and gold leaf. 5 feet x 10 feet

Chewing gum patterns, diagonal sidewalk joints, and gold leaf. 5 feet x 10 feet

Framed series with diagonals. 22 inches x 55 inches

Framed series with horizontals and verticals. 22 inches x 55 inches

An installation detail.

An installation shot from my studio in Beacon.