Category Archives: Art

Lee Bontacou–RIP at age 91

Lee Bontecou, Untitled, 1966, welded steel, canvas, epoxy, leather, and wire and light, © MCA Chicago, © Lee Bontecou

I fell in love with Bontacou’s work in 2004 when I saw a retrospective at MOMA. She died yesterday at age 91. What a life she had. Some quotes from a couple of nice articles about her below.

And though, Bontecou’s art may have directly referenced the world as she saw it around her, she never wanted to strictly define what it was about. That was up to the viewer. As she told the Chicago Reader when asked, “Do people ever ask you, ‘What does this mean?’ What do you say?”, she coolly replied, “I don’t answer at all. It’s what you see in it. What I see in it is something else. I don’t get caught up in that.”
Although Bontecou generally avoided discussing the meaning of her images, in a rare statement for the catalogue of the Museum of Modern Art exhibition “Americans 1963,” she suggested that her goal was to “build things that express our relation to this countryto other coun­triesto this world-to other worlds-in terms of myself.”5 The precise meaning of this relationship was explained only years later when Bontecou admitted that the iconography of these early projects was in part political, a response to the menacing specter of war and global destruction that she felt in the early ’60s.6

Some Comics Printing Advice from Chip Zdarsky

My early comics, like Monster Cops, were black & white, which was an easier thing to manage. There was a period where I printed the FCBD books for the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, which was a nightmare, because they were in full colour and have multiple cartoonists submitting work. But the biggest things I learned were:

  • Lettering should be 100% black, no extra colours or it’ll get fuzzy. You want lettering to be crisp and readable.

  • If the lettering is on top of a colour, make sure the lettering is set to overprint. That means the colour will be laid behind it and the black will be printed on top of it. Otherwise it’ll print the colour with white knocked out where the lettering goes and you run the risk of white halo around the lettering.

  • Your total ink value should never exceed 300%. Like, say I have a rich black colour that’s made up of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. If I make all those values at 100% of those colours, the ink load will be 400% and that’s just gonna soak the paper.

  • Adding Batman will increase your comic’s sales by 65%.

You’ll have to scroll down past all the royals crap, but the relevent stuff is above.

From his newsletter.

Arnica

A series about mothers by Massachusetts-born, New York-based photographer Rosemary Haynes. Drawn to the way photographs entangle the personal archive and the “present moment,” Haynes creates images that explore ideas of lore and memory. In this particular project, Haynes takes on the theme of family, coming-of-age, and missing our mothers. As she states, it’s a project about how social reproductive labor is nothing without birth, and how birth leads to death, sometimes more quickly than other times:

“This series can be described as a ballad which my late stepmother, Heather, didn’t have the chance to finish. A storybook for my brother, of the mother he longs to know. A family album for us all, where our present can find abundance with the past. Arnica explores notions of maternal labor and care, the imperfections in showing up, and a family motto, never don’t swim. Submerged in the security and uncertainty of water, much like a womb.”

See more images from “Arnica” below.

Sean Scully, Painter Poet by Donald Kuspit

I think the key to Scully’s art are the 13 etchings he made to accompany James Joyce’s Pomes Penyeach, 1993 and his 10 Etchings for Frederico Garcia Lorca, 2003, along with Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, which, as Scully said, “made a lasting impression on him.”  Joyce and Beckett are Irish, as Scully is, and Lorca was Spanish.  The homosexual and republican Lorca was a misfit in Franco’s fascist Spain; he was murdered by it.  Joyce and Beckett were alienated from Irish society; Scully was what might be called a natural born alien and outsider in it because he was an Irish Traveler, “a traditionally peripatetic ethno-cultural group originating in Ireland,” sometimes mistaken for or confused with Gypsies, “generally found in Eastern Europe.”  They are two distinct cultures and societies, with different languages.  In 2011 there were around 29,500 Irish Travelers in the Irish Republic, and they are generally regarded as inferior whites, as the scholar Michal Wolniak notes, and as such marginalized, and perceived as “mad, primitive others,” as he writes.  Sean Scully, born in Dublin, Ireland in 1945 to working class Irish Traveler family, could not help but have an inferiority complex. 

Luxuriant Tufted Portraits by Artist Simone Saunders Exude Black Joy | Colossal

I celebrate the wins. I know the darkness in this world, so do you. It can drag us down. And when I post, positive messaging is key for me. To share light and love and to look at the world as vibrant and colourful as it can be….It’s reflected in my textiles, to uplift narratives often tethered to dark undertones, with the gift of bright hues. I’m not asking anyone to “smile”, because life will hurt. But hold onto your light… keep grasp of your love.

Samuel R. Delany’s Atlantis: Model 1924 and the Origins of Blackness

“Atlantis: Model 1924” belongs among the most important fiction in Samuel R. Delany’s vast bibliography, precisely because it distills so much of what makes this black, gay Harlemite science fiction writer such a unique figure in American letters—including his family’s history, his thinking on race, sexuality, and gender, his artistic methods as a writer, and his creative approach to literary criticism. “Atlantis: Model 1924” follows the life of a 17-year-old black kid named Sam on his journey from North Carolina to Harlem in the fall of 1923. The character is based on the author’s father, and the storyline is based on Delany’s family history. Two of the fictional Sam’s siblings — Elsie and Corey in the novella — are based upon the famous Delany sisters, Sarah (Sadie) Delany and A. Elizabeth (Bessie) Delany, who became internationally known centenarians with their bestselling book Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years (1993).