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...