a sculpture

Jefferson Woods #22: a strange thing, remember. a bathroom.
mixed media, 4 in. x 1.75 in. x 4.25 in.



a drawing/collage

a backyard birdhouse
pen, foam, acrylic and pencil on paper, 38 in. x 30 in.



a sculpture

I will tell you, no matter. Listen.
mixed media, 3.25 in. x 3 in. x 3.5 in.


Dass and Witt @ Les Yeux Du Monde

(Please pardon my bad photos)

At Les Yeux du Monde, a small commercial space here in Charlottesville, Dean Dass and Clay Witt are showing individual and collaborative pieces.

Dass earlier showed a wonderful group of landscape paintings here (I wrote about them here), but this work is much crazier. He layers printed images (inkjet images, so they're off a computer) with raw hand-made marks and bits of collage, including what looks like slivers of stone.

The work looks at times like collections of things - catagorized bits of beauty in some sort of alchemical combination. I'm starting to use some digital processes in my own work, and its good to see him embrace those tools while keeping the work aggressively human.

Witts pieces are more comtemplative, though I wouldn't call them calm. They seem like pieces of a landcape, chunks of sand or rock or air melted down and swabbed onto the wall. I also kept thinking of bronze age heroes and fossilized helmets.

Their collaborations were interesting and fun and did tread the ground between the two solo bodies of work - Dass' collections and Witts chunks grind together to form new bits of the world.


Artists interview artists

Here's an interview with me as part of Thinking About Art's Artists interview artists project. I answered 5 questions from DC artist John Adams.


A curious mystery

I looked ta my studio wall thi smorning and found this small drawing taped to it among a bunch of other stuff I'm working on. I DIDN'T DRAW IT! Either my drawings somehow gave birth or multiplied, or yesterday my Dad, was visiting, snuck up here... He does draw a lot, and is very sneaky...


GRACE show pix

Originally uploaded by wcraghead.

I put all the GRACE show pix on Flickr here. All the non-me work is by Art-Warrior Adam Grossi. Look closely for bloggers J.T. and Gwydion.


99 Ways To Tell A Story

I've been a Matt Madden fan for years (since we did 24-hour comics together in Austin) and just got a book he published a couple years ago - 99 Ways To Tell A Story: Exercises in Style. Originally I saw parts of it on his website (you can see some here) but seeing all 99 together is something else entirely.

The book is basically this - he starts with a basic one page comic, telling a simple story of a guy (Madden) getting up from working, answering a question from his girlfriend upstairs, then staring into the refrigerator wondering what he was looking for. Madden then tells this story 99 different ways, all in comics or semi-comcs form.

The idea from this comes from the French author Raymond Queneau, who told a simple story 99 different written ways - so one version from all possible tenses, then all possible forms (poetry, song, etc.) and on and on.

Madden, who shows truly strong drawing skills here, stretches the comics telling of the story every way he can. He goes through genres (superhero, fantasy, horror etc) he goes through form changes (all vertical panels, all horizontal panels etc). He does some truly amazing things - my two favorites are one where he disassembles and collages together all the visual elements of the story making a crazy-quilt mash-up that is wonderful. My other more sentimental fave is the Calligram, a picture made from words and pioneered by one of my heroes, the French poet Guillaume Apollinaire. The map version is also great:

In the introduction Madden makes a point that this project shows that form and content aren't at odds, but inescapably linked. I agree, and I think it also shows, and not just for comics, that artists and authors make all sorts of decisions, each of which make an impact on the final product.

Madden says he realized that the basic "template" version itself is full of stylistic and artistic decisions - that no way of telling a story (or of making an image) is free of "style". Again, I agree - and it's in the interrogation of those styles, those assumed points and givens, that an artist can find and create something new.


what happened?

I do know that Miki Liszt Dance Company kicked ass. Really good. I know nothing about modern dance, but I know good art when I see it. I saw the whole thing twice Friday night and wasn't bored once. I know I'm biased because wife is in the company, but it really was good.

But how did Kirkland do at Red Door? How was Second Street? What about the pieces of me at Plant Zero?

I did see Dean Dass having really good stuff at Les Yeux Du Monde here in C'ville - images soon.

PS ANABA has a pic of J.T.'s Dad, who I met once and like.



Miki Liszt Dance Company (featuring wife!) here in Charlottesville. ^pm, 7pm and tomorrow at 3pm at McGuffey.


Fred Stonehouse


Susan Jamison

At Second Street Gallery, opening tonight.


and over in Richmond, J.T. Kirkland at Red Door and me and others at Plant Zero.

Go! Look!



I zipped over to Richmond at lunch today and:

- Saw J.T. installing his show at Red Door Gallery. The work looks really good, and there's two pieces that are especially kickass. I'll post pictures when J.T. posts them.

- Saw a great Sally Mann show at Reynolds. At first I was a little bored by the big face photos, but after looking for a while they started working on me. There's one of a half-erased face, super-big, that is really haunting. Another one of a dark landscape with scratches too.

- Went by ADA and saw some more good stuff - Jered Sprecher, Jenny Laden and Chris Norris. It turns out I'm in a show ADA is organzing at Plant Zero there in Richmond, ("Salon Selectives: Excerpts from ADA Gallery Past" curated by John Pollard) opening tomorrow night! Yahoo!

- Unfortunately, I didn't get by Art Basel Stuffy's. Argh.


Kirkland @ Red Door, Samoheyl @ Second Street

I want to quickly mention 2 shows - one coming up, one just down - that I would really recommend.

J.T. Kirkland (of Thinking About Art fame) is having a show - Nature|Nurture - opening this Friday at Red Door Gallery in Richmond. He and I are pals (I wrote about his earlier shows here and here), but even with that bias that I can say this will be a great show. The opening reception will be on Friday, 12/1 from 6-10pm.

Sean Samoheyl just had a show here in Charlottesville at Second Street Gallery and I'm sorry my being swamped with work got in the way of writing about it while it was up. He had a ton of crazy figures, some new prints that cut-out into puppets and even a giant wood head. I even bought a piece - one I'll write about later because its a gift for a reader of this blog. Sean has also become a pal, but I really like his stuff long before meeting him.


Barrelhouse #3 and a Pushcart nomination

So this is the big news...

Issue three of the Washington D.C.-based literary magazine BARRELHOUSE is out and features a 20-page story, "The Only Child", written by Erin Pringle and visually adapted by me (you can read the text online here). The piece has also been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, an award that sets the standard of excellence for small literary journals. The Pushcart is a pretty big thing in the literary world, and we're both floored just to be nominated.

You can hear an NPR interview with us on KUT (Austin TX) here.


BARRELHOUSE is a print journal featuring fiction, poetry, interviews, and essays about music, art, and the detritus of popular culture. You can purchase BARRELHOUSE via their site store.


The Pushcart Prize - Best of the Small Presses series, published every year since 1976, is the most honored literary project in America. Hundreds of presses and thousands of writers of short stories, poetry and essays have been represented in the pages of their annual collections.


Here's a couple more pages:


Fitts talk @ Second Street

Yesterday at Second Street Gallery I went to a "Forum" featuring Michael Fitts. It's a new thing the Gallery is doing for memebers - having a lunch and conversation with an artists. Fitts is open and engaging and we all sat around talking about his work.

I have seen some of his paintings around - they're very realistic things painted in the center of a piece of scrap metal. I never knew what to think about them. There's mileage in rusted metal, there's a wow factor in the well done photo-style paint and the centered composition makes anything he places there feel special and holy.

His answers about content were about intuition and following his instincts, and he denied any specific agenda. To me the work is about spotlighting the everyday, making the mundane holy. He spoke about Warhol and Schwitters, and those fit right in.

UPDATE: Two things - First, there's been some trouble commenting on this post. I have not been deleting any comment - I think Blogger ate tham. Try again and maybe it'll work.

Second, in re-reading this post I want to make it clear that I like Fitts' work - I think he's a good artist and the questions he asks himself are the ones I ask myself. I've been under a crazy deadline recently so I'm blogging lightly, and writing quickly when I do post, so I don't think my opinion of his work got though clearly.


AMLS update week 4

The GRACE show and the Creative Research Laboratory shows featuring a mmap's little spell are now down, so I'll be adding to the site less frequently - probably a few times a week. Here's the past week's daily updates:

leche (thanks to M.M.)

I'm thinking of you guys

ha ha ha


and a complete book:

Fakes Ache (and Real Shakes)


the sticks

J.T. wrote a few days ago about visiting his alma mater out in Kentucky and seeing the students work there which made him start wondering about artists who live away from art centers.

Despite living in various cities (Richmond, Austin, St. Louis, NYC and Albany) I now live in Charlottesville, 1 hour from a minor art center (Richmond) and 2.5 hours from a more major one, D.C. So can I really participate in the art world form here?

In one sense, no. I can't get to openings, I can't pal around with folks and I have to depend on the internet and magazines for a lot of info. This became really clear for me when I did got to D.C. and saw the Kehinde Wiley show a couple years ago. In Art in america and online his work looked really good, but in person it blew - good idea but just terribly executed. Without being there I wouldn't have been able to see that.

On the other hand, I CAN participate from here - mags help somewhat but the internet especially can keep one involved. I have internet art pals, some I make collaborations with from far away (hello and hello). And although there aren't hordes of art folks here, there are some - I think it helps that C'ville has the University of Virginia here and lots of money/horsey folk around. Thats another thing - these small places DO have good work happening and showing. (Hello and hello and hello...)

Without trying, I've even fooled people into thinking I lived in D.C. - a gallerist contacted me once and was surprised I lived so far off. There's a story about John Baldessari from when he was a baby artist - He lived in LA but flew in every month or so to NYC for openings. Many people he knew there thought he lived in NYC beause they'd see him around and it helped him to not get labelled a west coast artist. In a way living away can help - when I lived in NYC I was a dime-a-dozen and its easy for artists to just get lost there.

On J.T.'s post I would be disqualified because I have lived in big city centers, so maybe that has helped me to stay involved from way out here - and with a little princess to amuse, 2.5 hours IS way way away from D.C.


Utermohlen's Alzheimer self-portraits

Top image from 1967, bottom from 2000.

When he learned in 1995 that he had Alzheimer’s disease, William Utermohlen, an American artist in London, responded in characteristic fashion.

“From that moment on, he began to try to understand it by painting himself,” said his wife, Patricia Utermohlen, a professor of art history.