Tuesday, February 15, 2011

sorry, we closed

A national controversy erupted in the mid 1990’s over the proposed use of Ebonics (African
American Vernacular English) in public schools in California.  The issue fomented interesting debate from linguists, and virulent diatribes from racists. 

At the time, I had a classic sign posted in my studio that read “Sorry, We’re Closed”.  In solidarity with the pro-Ebonics movement, I blacked out the contraction “We’re” to read “We”, and in late 2009 I made a painting of that sign.  Sorry, We Closed.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

gabriela trzebinskis' calendars

My good friend Gabriela Trzebinski keeps a desktop calendar to manage her Lymes medications, record her symptoms (which she then has to report to her doctors), and schedule related appointments.  She has systems for color-coding texts and round stickers that correspond to her symptoms, and pictographs (fire, brains, hands, airplanes, fleas, etc) that are a form of visual shorthand.  She can look at any calendar entry from past 11 months and report exactly what was going on with her body and mind on that day. 

Gabriela didn’t begin the calendar as a form of art making, but she has increasingly recognized it as an intrinsic form of visual expression that has become an art form.  In this way, the painting that I made (above) of a section of one of her pages is collaborative.  It is the first large-scaled painting that I have made of diaristic material that is not my own.

This painting is a recreation of a section, and I hope that when translated into painting at an amplified scale, the correlation is made between effort and subject matter, and there is equity.

The original calendar pages are complete and amazing works unto themselves, and you can see them at:  www.gabrielatrzebinski.org