Friday, August 27, 2010

How this happened Pt 2

The first person I thought of for the show was Craig Atkinson. He's a great and prolific drawer and runs Cafe Royal where he has published and distributed lots of the kinds of books and zines I was thinking of.

In the past Craig made more traditional painting but a few years ago he stopped and started over with scratchy, simple and sketchy drawings and collages. He quickly began to publish that work in little zines and books (one of my favorites is one where he documents both why and how he made that big aesthetic switch).

In his drawing I admire and enjoy how close the work seems to his life - he draws electronic equipment he wants, celebrities and politician he sees. His lines range from crude to subtle but he seems to be always searching around, looking for things, finding unexpected images. Craig and I have been secretly working on a collaborative books for a few years and in our back and forth drawing volleys I can see him riffing and finding.

He has a great collection of his sketchbooks online and he uses raw material from those in a variety of projects.  Looking through them one can see bits of images that are later used in other books, drawings and collages. He seems to cultivate an attitude of letting work flow all over. That attitude goes into his books as well where he publishes things that seem random and strange but still interesting to him - there's a book of photographs napkins he got while on holiday in Spain and another of doorways in China.

He also publishes and distributes other artists work under the Cafe Royal Books imprint. Lately he's focussing more on photography (esp with the fantastic Field Trip Magazine - all analog photography), but he still has a bunch of  drawing based books in his arsenal. We'll have a bunch of books to sell and hopefully some of his original work to hang up, but I wanted to find a way to highlight the sheer energy of what Craig and Cafe royal have done over the past few years.

I thought of Cafe Royal Magazine, a series of books he published featuring work from a variety of artists from all over - I had a piece in the first issue (numbered "issue zero"). For Leaf and Signal I've gotten a ton of pages that were published in CR Magazine and plan to hang them in a huge wall of paper in The Bridge. I'm hoping it's a drawing OVERLOAD when one stands in front of it.

Next - who else to add to this tornado...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

pics of The Bridge

Look here for some idea of what the inside of The Bridge looks like.  There's a long room and a smaller square one.  White walls, wood ceiling. I'm hoping to coat the walls with drawn things and have a table with bookmaking supplies in the middle. See a ton more images of their projects here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How this happened pt. 1

Last year Greg Kelly of The Bridge asked me to curate a show.  I had worked with Pedro Moura on a show at another Cville gallery and it seemed to go pretty well so I said ok.

I wanted to think of something that both interested me and was along the lines of community-based art that The Bridge tries to foster. I really like how they show a lot of weird and sometimes challenging work but try to also include most everyone in Cville in it.  Buzzwords - outreach, community etc. Elsewhere I've seen this kind of thing turn out bland and lame but somehow they keep it strange and crazy.

So I came up with an idea to show "lo-fi" art publishing - basically art-zines, published both in print and online. Good work by artists I respect that is also generous, democratic and, at least as a side effect, intent on getting out into the world.  So much "outreach" work is bloodless but the stuff I saw people publishing in weird booklets and online wasn't. So I started making a list of folks.

Images: Andre LemosCraig Atkinson F. Einspruch

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

a tree for a book

I bought Mr. East an atlas, he drew me a tree and sent it to me. It's part of his trees for books scheme and it's a lovely drawing.

Monday, August 23, 2010

minus 39 days

 The show opens Oct 1 - only 39 days! AAAAA! Things are moving ok though.  I have files and work from a few artists (that's Andre's package above - obrigado for the quick work) and expect more in a few days. I'm starting to design the catalog, which is really more a companion book/zine and I've made some cheap posters to put up - I'll post images once I hang a few.  I have to get a postcard together too.

This is a really busy time for me to work on a show but I'm really excited to see The Bridge filled with paper and books and craziness.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Bridge

The show will be at The Bridge, "an accessible and dynamic venue for the exploration of the creative process, supporting the work of  artists and the greater community – working to bring people together through collaborative practices and programming in the art."


"AT A GLANCE; The Bridge is a small-scale non-profit arts organization housed in a 1200 sq. ft, brick building on the corner of Graves and Monticello in the neighborhood of Belmont, just south of downtown Charlottesville. As one local put it: “That big brick of chocolate adorned with a silver ribbon of smoke.”"

I've always really liked the crazy shows they have there and when the Executive Director Greg Kelly approached me last fall about curating a show I wanted to do something that fit both things that I was interested in and the mission of The Bridge. 

Here's a ton more images of shows and the space.  Also,

Andre painted a big crazy mural on the side of the building when he was here last year. See more and more.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Introductions and Ahoy

I'm setting this blog up for the upcoming show and will be posting about the artists participating and the process of getting the show together and up.  I'll write a bit more about everyone (including The Bridge) in the coming days but as a quick intro, here's who is participating:

Café Royal Books with Craig Atkinson (Southport, UK)
Craig who runs Café Royal, a zine and art books publishing and distribution company. Craig will be showing some original work along with lots and lots of pages from lots and lots of artists who have published in his Café Royal magazine.

Oliver East (Manchester, UK)
Oliver has published a comics/art book series “Trains are….Mint” along with other books, prints and drawings.

Franklin Einspruch (Boston, USA)
Franklin is a painter, writer and comics-maker and has published online a great series of poem-comics, “The Moon Fell On Me.”

Little Paper Planes (San Francisco, USA)
LPP is an artist-run online store and publishing venture run by Kelly Lynn Jones and some pals. We'll will have some of their LPP published prints and books from a variety of artists featured. (Image is from Jonathan Ryan Storm)

Opuntia Books with André Lemos (Lisbon, Portugal)
Lemos publishes his own and other artists work.  André was in a show a couple years ago here in Charlottesville and painted a mural on the side of The Bridge (he also drew tons with my kids).

I'm opening up posting to the artists showing, so feel free to post whatever you want whether or not it's directly related to the show. Thanks!