Wednesday, December 30, 2009

this year needs to end.

So I end my year of realizing I've been way too busy, and promise myself as a new years resolution to do LESS with MORE!

here's today's day in a nutshell:
Number of times I saw people's studios for the first time: 3
Number of shows I retrieved work from: 4
Number of shows I made money from in the month: 3
Number of shows I participated in, in the month: 6
Number of Works of art de-installed / picked up: 33
Number of boxes of recyclables we took care of: 4
Number of phone calls regarding picking up a queens size bed: 7
Number of elevators taken (up or down): 3
Number of times I went into my studio: 3
Number of meals cooked: 0
Number of friends we haven't seen in months: 3
Number of times I sat down and ate a meal with someone: 2
Number of great ideas I got that I can use in my art practice: 1
Number of things that I was reminded of that I need to finish: 7
Number of times I wish I was doing something else: 0
Number of times Rachel was right: 2 out of 2
Number of hours slept: 7
Number of promises broken: 0
Number of times I physically worked on my own art: 0
Number of hours in my day (so far): 13
Number of photographs taken of bread: 14
Number of art pieces given via art trades: 4
Number of Works possibly sold: 3
Number of Checks cashed to balance my checkbook: 3
Number of Checks dropped off to pay for rent etc.: 3
Number of People I've made smile (including Rachel): 10
Number of boxes I used to move stuff around: 8
Number of People I've made laugh: 3
Number of People I probably pissed off today: 2
Number of hours spent on the computer: 1
Number of hours spent driving: 2
Number of hours on the phone: 1
Number of different locations I stopped by for errands: 8
Number of children I have: 0
Number of house chores finished: 0
Number of art pieces I put up in the house: 5
Number of DVDs watched about how to use your new appliance: 1
Number of to-do lists compiled into one: 3

Craziest Wednesday all year, 12-30-09

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

So far in Arizona...

I was writing a really fun blog post but it got deleted when my computer overheated, so this is a dry boring version just to get it all down before I go to bed. sorry.

Travelling always helps me be in a good mind space for plotting art. I finally got to check out the contemporary galleries around Scottsdale and the people watching the galleries that I met were so nice and accommodating! We hit the galleries late so we only got to about 4 galleries, but that's a lot to some people.

We first stopped by the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art because well,  they do a great job of having multiple exhibitions that look like they took a long time to install, that's always something to look forward to, but I was a little sad that I missed Nick Cave's Sound Suits.

First stop was passing a lot of terrible paintings of horses (sorry, I only drool over realistic paintings of clouds and nature) and checking out Gebert Contemporary which was very pretty inside, but mostly I liked this piece. And the person in the gallery at the time told me that the best place for good contemporary art was to head over to Marshall Way.

Art One Gallery was one of the most inspirational galleries I had ever seen, just because their mission of educating students on how to make a career via the galleries was done on their terms. My mom thought it reminded her of the Neutral Zone in Ann Arbor, but I felt like it had a lot of tough love due to how realistically grounded it was in the art market. Not to mention they had an exhibit of neon work. Get this, in this area they have the ONLY high school in the world that has a neon light art class, chalk that up with the other thousands of things I believe Detroit should have in my naive jealous mindset.

Lisa Sette Gallery had the most memorable work, I absolutely loved Mayme Kratz's work. I want to be her assistant to help her make large sculptures and to sand resin to a smooth polish. I was about to buy her book but it was missing like 4 or my favorite works of hers, so I guess I'll just have to wait. I also really liked Carrie Marill's works made with gouache which reminded me of when my fiber friend Sheila was telling me that in the world of high fashion you're expected to be able to master rendering your designs in gouache, a lost art in the states. And that conversation reminds me of watching Gommora, which reminded me of City of God...  Oh yeah, and they represent Julie Heffernan, awesome.

We had just enough time to see work in the Bentley gallery, which I was bummed to have missed seeing Pat Steir's installation, but they were awesome and told me where to find these magnets that they were using to hold up some artwork and I was surprised with the range of work that was in the gallery. Maybe I've just never seen graffiti collaboration in the same gallery as large glazed porcelain wall pieces.

Usually the best part of travelling is actually travelling, you know, moving. We are almost an hour away from where my brother lives so there's quite a bit of highway driving. It's great, gives me time to talk with Dad and think about my art. We somehow got to talking about diversity after discussing if we thought that immigrants from 3rd world countries ever thought about if our country being in a recession really matters or not. Really the link was that we were agreeing that one of the best parts of America is its inherent diversity because of immigration. I can't help but think of that diversity in terms of land too as we drove through the cool desert night as opposed to slushy snow in Michigan. He was saying one good example was the immigrants that came to the US because it could offer the best education in the world. I can't help but think that could it also be that it was the best education in the world BECAUSE of the immigrants themselves? But I guess that gets into a what came first, the chicken or the egg kind of discussion.

So we were still driving and my mind was wandering to why do I emphasis diversity less than I used to? I really want to get back to one of my first artist statements I ever wrote, about how interested I was in diversity, and how I feel like I have an eye for it and want to help others to be able to appreciate it as well. I think that it really influences the way I curate shows, I always want to see work that fits, but comes from many different thought processes (which inexplicably somehow creates shows where the work relates to one another better the more you try to achieve the widest range of work). I also feel like it comes back to how I love using multiple mediums in a single work and I never seem to be able to do the same painting twice. The work I liked the most in Scottsdale were pieces that seemed new and bold, but at the same time it seems to come back to diversity because I appreciated such a wide range of works that seemed to come from earnest investigations, work that avoided looking like other work.

So thinking about diversity I've been turning these questions over and over in my mind:

Is diversity a privilege?
Has anyone studied if diversity has a monetary or other value?
Can diversity hurt?
Can diversity be created? (and not the kind where you Photoshop ethnic faces on white people's bodies)

Friday, December 11, 2009

How I would like to introduce myself...

At the Creative Capital Workshop we did this thing where we said one-liners about our work, I liked Dread Scott's usually, Hi my name is Dread Scott, I make revolutionary art to propel history forward, and he said another artists' version, Hi my name is Dread Scott and I blow minds for a living" Wasn't that Jello Biafra?

So I'm going through peoples' comments about my work, and a lot of them tell me that they like my work a lot and that it's not often that they ever say that, so I want to say this to when I introduce myself to a group

"My name is Cedric Tai, and I make paintings for people with high expectations."

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Upcoming Art Shows --> Re:View Gallery, Roy G Biv, D.I.P., Pure Detroit, 4731, & The Bureau of Urban Living

Click the link if you need directions, or just want to know more about the event.
  1. [currently up] My work is still up at Re:View gallery! I think that one of the pieces sold, so there should be a couple left. It's located on the same street as Avalon bakery in the first floor of those lofts on Willis (in Detroit). The work is going to remain there in the store part of Re:View after the exhibition comes down.

  2. [currently up] I secretly made small mock-ups for larger sculptural paintings I plan to make and they are for sale at the Roy G Biv gallery in Columbus OH. I'm actually hoping they sell even though I kindof need them, just so that I don't necessarily have to drive back down.

  3. [currently up] New paintings that I really like are for sale at the Detroit Industrial Projects, which plans to be open for sure, when MONA also has it's Jeanne-Claude and Christo show.

  4. [Friday - December 11th] Then there's a quick show at the Magic Stick with the "Pure 11" Pure Detroit's Anniversary Bash where they are not taking any commission so the prices will not have to include any gallery cut! (scarlet oaks is playing, I believe it's $11 for 11 bands)

  5. [Saturday - December 12th] The Ben Franklin Project, all the work is $100, I made 2 new paintings (one is pictured below) and put in 3 older pieces. Goes from 7-11 at 4731 Grand River, hosted by the one and only Bryant Tillmans.

  6. [Friday - December 18th] My exclusive paintings for the Bureau of Urban Living will be unveiled in conjunction with a late night Trunk Sale at City Bird! It runs from 5-8, I will probably try to drop by at 5 to talk with people, but then I have a potluck at our house that I need to get back to!

and I'm excitingly finally working towards 5 goals that I've been planning for way too long and not actually getting on: collaborating with another artist for a two person show in about a year, getting a very nice table saw, learning how to make molds, learning internet language to build a interactive website/artwork, and finally taking a well deserved break!

Rach and I are celebrating our successes with a free trip to Hawaii the last two weeks of February!! (I bartered a 4' x 8' painting to stay in a big house on the big island, being an artist is sweet.) She's going to be done with her thesis and will finally take a break after... what is it... 13 years straight of school? And it will be perfectly time before she transitions into looking for jobs and what else she really wants to do in Detroit, and I will use it as an opportunity to congratulate myself on two hard years of work that got me to where I am today. So if you've ever been to Hawaii and have got an idea of something that we absolutely have to do while we're there, please leave a comment.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

How can I do something positive?

I just realized Christianity has 2 good quotes:
"The road to hell is paved with good intentions" and
"Do unto others as you would do unto yourself"
That's possibly all that is redeemable about that religion.

I've been having some nice conversations with Rachel about lessons we've learned in our paths of what we do. I realized that I would like to teach students somehow about how in life there are two important concepts that are both real and can possibly crash into each other head on and so require a kind of attention and awareness.

The first concept is that in order to find peace and happiness with ourselves, it is really important to be goal-oriented, work at uncovering what is true to ourselves, and to practice those things that we need to do for ourselves (to remind ourselves how we are important), to become passionate, fearless.

The second concept is that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. We inhabit a constantly changing world of luck and chance where there is a time and place for everything to explode or become stagnant regardless of intentions.
In addition to this, often we do not take the time to recognize our habits. For example, eating when we're nervous can not only make us obese, but the types of food we eat could very well be tied to a system of food production that is destructive when there are a vast number of people over consuming.

These are life lessons because they take a lifetime to work on, and it's how we define life. When shit happens or life's unfair we say well that's life. When you're surprised that you're able to work on your dream project? We say, "that's what life's made of!"

It's not about what's in between those two concepts, about walking a thin line or keeping them as far away from each other as possible, but rather, those who make the kind of difference they want to make in the world are always listening to themselves and everything around them, seemingly calm, alert and ready. To make a positive difference, one must be considerate.

I'm just thinking about all of this before I go into an interesting self-made residency...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Vacation was very good for me

I think I can now finally do some strategic planning... thanks to going to Chicago!

Here's where all the inspiration came from:

The new modern wing of the Art Institute of Chicago was amazing, reminded me of having the potential of being a mini-Tate museum at one point I walked into a room that had 3 of my favorite painters in one room, Sigmar Polke, Albert Oehlen and Ellen Gallagher, almost crapped my pants. Highlights for me were reading about the meaning behind Robert Gober's pieces, reading about the meaning behind Philip Guston's individual pieces, seeing a whole room dedicated to Gerhard Richter, a gorgeous gigantic tree by Charles Ray that was hand carved out of Cedar by japanese workers based an actual decaying tree that was removed and cast that this artist found in the woods one day.

I fell in love with the color transitions in Claude Monet's Branch of the Seine near Giverny, every time I saw a circle in Max Ernst's work, The cracks in Harold Sohlberg's Fisherman's Cottage, Gino Severini's Centrifrugal Expansion of Color, Matta's Psychological Morphology and I'm totally going to make these stools Konstantin Grcic made out of two tires and a circular piece of wood, and attempt to make his water/wine glasses (you just flip them over to change which one it is) they were totally what minimalist dreams are made of. Also memorable for me were Hella Jongerius embroidered tablecloth and staring at sketches by Louis H. Sullivan. Dear Art Institute of Chicago, please make postcards of all of these pieces, I would buy them right now, I have cash.

Saw a picture of the marble statues made by maurizio cattelan, loved it.

although still a little upset that I missed Cy Twombly, Olafur Eliasson, and Matthew Barney...

Watched the movie 2012 and Red Cliff on the big screen, both movies involved filling up a cup of tea way too much and then explaining a moral lesson while doing so. It reminded me that there's a bare bones screenplay I want to look at again and I really want to exercise daily in order to be able to fight for my life better when the time comes, I'd hate to be one of those people that die just because they weren't constantly fighting for other people to survive.

Visited galleries in the West Loop of Chicago, the best stuff I saw was Casey Riordan Millard's forgettable shark, Ann Worthing's untitled turtle, everything by John Delk in the Robertello Gallery, Deborah Dancy's abstract paintings in G.R. N'namdi and Frank Connet's resist's in the beautifully hidden Douglas Dawson gallery. I also enjoyed a postcard thingy I picked up of Zach Taylor's work from the Linda Warren gallery, and a postcard thingy of Ruijun Shen and Tom Van Eynde, so a word to galleries, you should keep all of your postcards out! Oddly, there were about 5 galleries that weren't even open... it was 3 o'clock on a Saturday, shouldn't they be open? For some reason seeing John Delk's work really struck a chord with me, the gallery reminded me of a place that would show Mike Smith's work, and the gallery owner explained how even very conceptual work is sold, however with a much slower process. He also explained that all the work had the underlying theme of how in this day and age of information, the more information over time, the more everything just kind of greys out, and he also described how John Delk worked in some kind of archiving for Jasper Johns and it probably informed his body of work. For seemingly no good reason, it just hit me that rather than thinking about what the ideal theme of my work would be, I would need to look inward unabashedly about what I actually do most of the time when I make art, not what is the statement I want to make, but where do I come from that informs my art making? It hit me on the ride back home on the Megabus. My work comes down to reacting and collecting... knowing that I can distill my practice to those two words make me so confident, I can't even explain...

Thinking about artists I like

I was looking through art links and found this:
If I had it my way, I'd educate students so that the list looked like this:
1. Replace Picasso with Duchamp
2. Vincent Van Gogh
3. Leonardo da Vinci
4. Henri Matisse
5. Claude Monet
6. Salvador Dali
7. Georgia O'Keeffe
8. Andy Warhol
9. Michelangelo
10. Replace Rembrandt with Helen Frankenthaler
11. Replace Alfred Stieglitz with Louise Bourgeois
12. Replace Peter Paul Rubens with Basquiat

13. Wassily Kandinsky
14. Replace Cezanne with Hiroshi Sugimoto
15. Replace Jackson Pollock with Cy Twombly

16. Joan Miro
17. Piet Mondrian
18. Rene Magritte
19. Replace Raphael with Mel Chin
20. Replace Renoir with Sigmar Polke
21. Goya
22. Edgar Degas
23. Albrecht Durer
24. Paul Klee
25. Marc Chagall
26. Replace Titian with Maurizio Cattelan
27. M.C. Escher
28. Edward Hopper
29. Frida Kahlo
30. Caravaggio

who would you replace?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

woah, did I just get my first gallery representation?

I think I just did, but I can't believe it! And now onto a pre-thanksgiving feast!

Checkout Re:Collect 2009, opening December 5th, 5pm - 10 pm

Re:Collect is Re:View Contemporary’s special end-of-year group exhibit showcasing works by 21 Detroit area artists. The works, which observe a size limit of 12" x 12" x 12", include painting, sculpture, and mixed media.This event also marks the celebration of the gallery’s first year anniversary and grand opening of its new extended spaces: a NEW Exhibitions Gallery and a NEW Design Store, showcasing art and functional items by local designers.

Thursday, 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Friday, 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Saturday, noon - 6 p.m.
or by appointment.

Re:View Contemporary Gallery
444 W. Willis Street, Unit 111
Detroit, MI 48201

Tel: 313.833.9000

Friday, November 20, 2009

Maybe the trick isn't giving up, but getting a bigger dream.

I am stuck, hit a wall, part of me is still winded from being awarded the fellowship, anxiety gripping me from doing what I said I would be interested in doing. At first I thought that I need to break this mental block about how I need to make even better work than I've ever done before, and in order to do that, in a way... I need to give something up, like I need to give up my belief in doing what has proven to work, or give up in my pursuit of an impossible goal, or give up on believing that I have to know what I'm doing... but after listening to NPR, an episode about people who really did things in big ways, I want to be doing the opposite. I need inspiration right now on overdrive, I need to be hungry again. I want to be dreaming bigger, thinking bigger.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

crap it started and I didn't even think about it.

so I guess now I'm blogging regularly. if I think about it long enough, it kindof sucks. Mostly, because everyone will know how much time I actually waste, there's a time signature attached to these things... I get sick for four days and next thing I know I'm making a blog, imagining a better blog, updating my bloated webpage with new thumbnails, adding new pictures of work on deviantart, creating a 2nd clean looking portfolio through deviantart, trying to get another recommendation on linked in, figuring out how to make everything get posted through tumblr to show up on facebook, getting confused about how many new programs there are and thinking to myself how to download a podcast or how to use wordpress, finding out what new gadgets the internet has to offer because people keep moving from one thing to another within 3 months, staring at other artists' webpages to dream about a world where I could literally steal how their website looks and is formatted by pressing command + F4... all because I'm avoiding doing the strategic planning workbook from the creative capital workshop... what was I supposed to do today again?
ok, I'm already bored and discouraged with how this blog looks, I'm moving on to tumblr... I still don't know what the hell rss feeds are on any of this, but I'm going to get something that looks cleaner, similar to how vimeo has overtaken youtube as being the best way to post artistic videos

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Grad Schools

Grad schools I will be looking into shortly to pair down to just a list of 8... if you have any suggestions let me know!

Carnegie Melon
Duke University
Glasgow School of Art
Goldsmiths School of Art
Maryland Institute College of Art
Minneapolis School of Art & Design
Nova Scotia College of Art and Design
Ohio State
Rhode Island School of Design (thanks ian)
Roman Institute
Royal College of Art, London
Temple University (PA)
Tisch ITP
University of New South Wales, Australia
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Virginia Commonwealth University

Finally figured out how to update my webpage easier... by not updating my webpage.

Testing testing.

Very proud of myself lately, talked myself out of buying the Fein Multi-master because I just thought it would be fun to use, not because it's actually practical for what I need to do...

My new form of to-do lists makes me actually think I'm being more productive while probably actually doing less, but more directed... If anyone wants to hear about it, e-mail me, it's a culmination of 3 different people's advice mishmashed into one clean document!

Um, also there's a couple shows coming up if anyone finds this blog in time. (I swear, I never give ample time to let people know about my shows...) anyways, there's one at Re:View gallery, I'm trying to mull over having work at the Magic Stick, because although Pure Detroit likes my art, it is going to be shown on a pool table...

Also, while in the midst of being really sick, I quickly curated a show that will take place at the Ladybug Gallery!

And finally! I'm looking forward to a secret group show. With amazing secret artists! See you there when it's officially announced?