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Brody Neuenschwander’s two dimensional work is cool, but it’s in the same vain as Laura Wait’s – something you might find on a psychiatrist’s or dentist’s wall.  It incorporates text you can’t really read set against a background that is usually neutral and might match with anything.  He has a few examples not so boring but not many.  But I guess there has to be a market for this type of work.  What does impress is his installation work.  The giant signature looking letters set up on stakes in the grass – kind of like a miniature Hollywood sign – is quite nice.  His typography is very smooth and flowing.

The Pillow Book’s whole subject matter is based on Japanese calligraphy painted on the body.  I imagine it would feel like a form of massage.  A light brush massage.  The cooling paint would be an interesting feeling.  How you make an entire movie out of this would be a daunting task.  I guess that’s why the writer put in the underlying sexual theme.  This form of body painting reminds me of the more popular art of Henna tattooing.

I really like Louie Lemoine’s typography work…especially his ‘101 Ways to Create Magic’ lettering.  He utilizes the dramatic white on black technique which is very effective.  I also like the way he takes a duplicate of his actual lettering and uses it as a shadow behind the text to make it stand out more.  Very stylish.  His work at Disneyland is impressive also.  When you’re walking through the amusement park you forget that every work of signage or sculpture you see has been painstakingly created by an artist putting their most effort into the piece.  I’m sure Disneyland is picky about what it puts up in its park so this is quite an accomplishment on Lemoine’s part.  It’s good for his portfolio as well.

I can see how doing a Zentangle can be very cathartic.  Even people who aren’t practicing artists can benefit from this.  The Zentangle Kit seems like it would be a good birthday or Christmas gift.  It seems like it is more geared toward females.

Laura Wait is a good artist.  Her work is very nice in its proportionality.  The only thing I don’t like about it is the way it looks.  It reminds me of something that I have seen in a doctor’s office or model home.  Not that that’s a bad thing.  I’m sure she sells a lot of her works to those types of places.  The paintings are very abstract yet clean and sometimes rustic.  It is good for the people buying them because these people don’t really have to commit to a certain subject matter.  Someone who likes art but doesn’t know much about it would buy her paintings.  Her artist books are somewhat similar.  You might find these books in a Rancho Bernardo trophy wife’s home.  The books are physically done very well, but I am just not attracted to the subject matter.

The first thing I noticed when watching the video about Swoon was that she used the word “like” a lot when answering questions.  To me this is a sign of a true artist.  Someone who cannot speak well in interviews is usually someone who devotes all their time to their work and speaks through their work.  She started painting when she was 10 years old in Florida then moved to New York city when she was 19 because it was the “biggest, loudest, most intense city there is.”  Once there she started doing street paste up art all around the city.  This is nothing new, but many artists that have started this way are now quite famous and sought after.  New York is one of the few places where paste up art is easy to do and get away with.  She started a collective with other artists and musicians and they had the idea of making rafts out of scavenged materials which they rode down the Mississippi river, stopping along the way and doing performances on shore.  I’ve never heard of that before and found it interesting.  The collective did many more of these river raft shows thereafter.  I like Swoon’s work and am glad she finally gained notoriety.  MOMA bought some of her prints which she was “totally stoked” on.  She says that it’s an “odd paradox when artists become public.”  I agree, but you have share your art with the world some other way than just pasting it on buildings.

   

I think the 1000 Journals is a great idea.  The fact that anyone can put anything they want inside is quite interesting.  I wonder how many pages of the journals are actually read by the creator.  In the documentary it seemed like he just skimmed them quickly and was more interested in the journal as a whole entity.  It was interesting that out of 1000 there was only 20 accounted for.  It seems a small number but I suppose when the journals are spread over the entire world, most of them will never be seen again.  Many of them will probably be lost or thrown away or even kept as a souvenir.  I found the part of the documentary interesting when the publishing company is talking about how to market the artwork.  They say the cover has to be eye catching and not too artsy or else it won’t sell.  It’s ironic that you have to package something so personal with that in mind.  The contents are the thoughts and ideas of regular people and many times the entries are not totally pleasing to the eye.  These are not professional artists who contribute to the journals. I’m surprised that 1000 Journals has been in effect since 2000.  12 years have passed and they are still being passed around.  The passing will probably continue well into the future.

Josh Agle, better known as Shag (a contraction between the last two letters of his first name and first two letters of his last name) is an artist living in Los Angeles, CA.  He is an illustrator, designer, and painter.  Initially he wanted to be an illustrator-for-hire, but eventually started creating original paintings after they gained notoriety among collectors and museums.  His paintings are in the graphic or illustrative style with very smooth sharp lines and bright colors.  The works mostly consist of narratives, with each character in the painting reacting to something else whether it be another person or outside event.  This makes for a very interesting story that each painting conveys which the viewer has to figure out for himself.  His paintings are very fun to look at.  Since his first solo show in 1997 he has had many more successful shows in Europe, Japan, and Australia.  I like Shag’s work because of the clean cut graphic style he gets from a liquid medium.  He uses acrylic and I like acrylic.  His methods involve a lot of taping off areas to get a clean line.  I like the way he doesn’t use a lot of black outlines, but instead just solid color meeting at the edges.  It creates a neat effect.  I like how his pieces are painted in all hot colors or all cold colors.  Most of all I like his subject matter.  It’s light and fun usually depicting people having a good time drinking and dancing.  He also has pieces that convey a sense of happy adventure.