Taking a moment to post here from the recording studio at Foothill. It's a slow day -- I'm here as a "volunteer of record," vetted as someone mature and responsible enough to keep sure the studio stays in reasonably good shape, microphones aren't stolen or flung carelessly onto the ground, and so forth while people convert performances into Pro Tools sessions. The artist who was going to be recorded today didn't show up, so the student engineer cut out early, leaving me to be responsible by myself.
Muzzy-headed from allergies today. Is it preferable to have your head full of cotton wool, your mood low and somnolent, your stomach aching, and your throat froggy than to simply have your eyes streaming while you sneeze so many time that you can't stop to type? It's a tough call, though right now the sneezing almost seems preferable. If you're too logy and dragged out to think, freedom from sneezing doesn't buy you much. Thank heaven I'm not taking choir classes lately -- I'd be clearing my throat every other note. Also, without a brain I'm a shitty conversationalist, no fun to hang out with; Sudafed's all that keeps me close to normal.
But I'm doing art, taking care of business. This last Thursday in the T-shirt & garment printing class, the instructor brought in a guest teacher, a man named Mikey (missed his last name) who reportedly worked with Warhol and Basquiat. Looking at him, you could believe it. Imagine Mickey Rourke from The Wrestler as a working artist, running around a table full of students set to work using his old silkscreens, barking at them to throw on another shirt Right Now, saying "that's not the right color" and literally grabbing hunks of ink out of the container to mix on the screen with his hands. The regular instructor pinned samples of Mikey's work to the walls for us to enjoy; it's a lot of hand-cut stencils and big, throbbing images, inspirational in their huge gestures. Makes me feel a bit prissy for usually admiring fine lines and clean details in my own work. Okay, we'll see how Going Big works for me.
Friday night I went to the Billboard Liberation Front/Mission Muralismo event at the DeYoung Museum
. Interesting mixture of groups there. On the one hand, the Marcus Shelby Quartet performed while slides of stencils flashed past on walls overhead. To the right, a line of tables full of traditional-style quilters, not really art quilters as such, fielding questions about their respective quilt guilds while they stitched. Away to the left, an adults/kids table where children either colored or tried cutting stencils. And in front of the auditorium where Rigo and the Billboard Liberation Front were speaking, stencil artists gave demos and spoke about their work. Here are a picture of the artist Eclair talking about her work and another of two of her stencils:
Inside the auditorium, Rigo introduced the BLF and clicked through some examples of his own work (for example, the "Extinct" mural shown below). The members of the BLF wore masks reminiscent of commedia dell'arte when they spoke, subtly blending centuries of cultural work. Nevertheless, the warmth and darkness in the auditorium nearly knocked me out. At least I've seen members of the BLF speak in the last few years, so the mini-naps didn't lose me much.
Afterwards, a trip to see Iron Man 2 with friends, which gave a chance to compare Mickey Rourke more closely to Mikey the Visiting Artist. Yep, a lot of the same demented energy. If you bleached Rourke's hair blonde and gave him wide, dark sunglasses and a Hawaiian shirt, you'd have a reasonable picture of this guy. Weird, the way all these artistic streams want to cross.