31 October 2007

Photographs for Esli jewellery

Last Monday Ilse Versluijs and I photographed Nayeli Peregrino for Ilse's invitation to ArtCube. Here is the result:

It was a satisfying evening.

29 October 2007

Art exhibition about Benoordenhout

click here for the photo presentation.
November 30 until december 9 2007

Buildings and impressions of Benoordenhout. Different techniques. Artists: Gerard Beulink, Marjolijn den Boer, Jack de Deugd, Wieteke van Dort, Harmen van Dijk, Klaus Hofmann, Marisa Polin, José Raayman, Isabel Sixt, Ton Sluijter, Philip Vencken. At Kunstenaars Ateliers 228

The last two photo's are mine: Esso Building (known as red elephant) 2002 and the buildings of the Province of South Holland and the Ministry of Water 2007 both in Benoordenhout.

Letter to Cullen Coates

Dear Cullen,
I am very happy you found me on Internet. I would have never thought by your name that we are both descendants of the same Swiss immigrant who traveled to the USA in the 19th century. I know thanks to you that he fought at the American Civil War. Martin Polin served only one year to the army but nearly fifty years after, in 1912, he wrote a long long description of that very impressive year. Thank you for sending me the transcript and bringing to life the name of my great great father. Your mother and my grandfather were first cousins, and by the brief exchange we had we can fill some gaps of the knowledge we have over the Polin's. I want to go further and I would like to know how was their life in Switzerland.

For many years I had been trying to imagine with more detail the history and the story behind Martin Polin and his son Joe. I am confident you would help me to know more. I know it is a huge puzzle with most of the pieces already lost but I would be happy with whatever pieces I find.

Here Martin's letter, one of the bibles he brought from Zillis CH written in Romanesque and a photo of Cullen Coates. All photographs by C. Coates.

28 October 2007

Art as food

Delicious, the exhibition at the Gemeente Museum in The Hague of the Royal Painting Prize. You don't see often such a coherent group exhibition, no theme just a selection from the sent artwork. Of course a good selection and well curated. In the aesthetic unity there was also a lot of differentiation of styles and expression. The colors, the textures, the imagination... all of it to be enjoyed. Many new fresh images. The exhibition is a 5 star recommendation.
I was surprised that most of the paintings were oil paint and very, very few acrylic paint. Until some years it would have been a half/half situation. I also noticed that was a lot of masking tape used to reach the bold edges between color, I haven't seen so much masking tape since decades and also in very organic paintings. One of the typical masking tape examples is: Malin Persson.

There is also a public prize, where we were asked to choose our favorite painting, I had to go two extra rounds before I made op my mind. I think my own final choice is not going to win, but the more flowery, pinkie and decorative work of Danielle van Broekhoven.
Any way I voted for a work I would love to have at home, by Tamme de Boer.
The other three I was also tempted to vote for are:

Sebastian Verhees, Bonnie Severien and Jaring Lockhorst.
Another good reason to go now to the Gemeente Museum is to see Michael Kirkhams paintings, kinky, sad and lonely and very much Kirkham.

On the other hand the exhibition at Gem Museum, just next to the Gemeente museum, of Daniel Richter it just confirmed me that I don't like his work, in a way it annoys me, I don't feel him as a sincere artist, but what bothers me the most is the feeling I get of wanting to change things in his paintings. I am not saying he is over rated, I just don't like him and I can't get at all exited by his paintings.
Enjoy the feeding art.

24 October 2007

Day of the Dead

Mexican Celebration in NL and BE
In 18 years in The Netherlands I had never received so many invitations for my most favorite Mexican celebration. Does it mean we are a lot more Mexicans in the Benelux? Or does it mean that the community is more creative? Does it mean that it is easier to invite via mail and Internet? I think all of them, but also an acceptance from the Dutch an Belgian community of the certainty of the death.
Probably the 'skull' fashion of this last season is of big importance in the acceptance. We will see next year...
Here some of the different celebrations:

La Embajada de México y el Centro de Estudios Mexicanos de la Universidad de Groningen les extienden una invitación para participar en la celebración del día de los muertos.
El Mtro. Faustino Peñaloza, escultor Mexicano, instalará unTzompantli”, en donde se presentarán las ofrendas para nuestros seres queridos que ya no están con nosotros. Habrá también una instalación de luz, fotografía y grabado, además de música mexicana.
1 de noviembre 18.00 hrs.
Embajada de México, Nassauplein 28, 2585 ec La Haya

CASA DE MEXICO invita a la comunidad mexicana residente en Países Bajos a que asistan a la fiesta de día de muertos.
2 de noviembre a partir de las 20.00 hrs.
Bar DP, Witte de withstraat 96 en Rótterdam

On the 3rd of November at 22:30 and 24:00 at the Oude Kerk www.oudekerk.nl you are welcome to come and see the Performance: Dodenaltaar Ofrenda (between other happenings).

El grupo de mariachi tierra caliente ofrecerá una selección de piezas relativas a la celebración del día de los muertos. El evento se llevará a cabo en el Tropentheater, Amsterdam el 2 de noviembre.
Para celebrar el tradicional día de los santos difuntos, la artista mexicana Adelina Reyes, llevara a cabo una exposición de fotografía con el tema de la muerte y presentará, asimismo, un altar de muertos. La exposición estará abierta al público a partir del 25 octubre hasta el 21 noviembre de 2007. Galerie De Stoker, Amsterdam.
Remember them.

My You Tube account

There is so much happening on Internet, every day fascinates me more and more. It is amazing that people find your web log or your films, I still don't know how could they be found between the millions of download films. So I started testing, and yes they are being 'viewed', by very modest numbers but even without letting any one that I put them there. Now I let you know.
Well, if you want to check them here is my You Tube account.

23 October 2007

Marisa Polin on Chris Crocker

After observing the phenomena Chris Crocker and also some other super fast You Tube mega stars I decided I wanted to give it a try on the "copying of". I was going to do it as I had the right background curtains for the re-interpretation "a la Warhol". It had to be Chris and no one else of the speed stars.

Here you see me and the "real" Chris Crocker.

More perforations

This photo comes from an e-flux news letter and I don't know the author.
I like how subtleit is the hole and the light.

Wedding Dress Victory

This was in the summer, but I still smile when I see her happiness.

20 October 2007


I used the puncher on some of my works of like 5 years ago. In the first photo I transformed parts of printed portraits in this case with the puncher.

Later I used the little paper circles (instead of the holes) to use them on collages in my drawings (no example), what finally evolved into small painted circles to build up the paintings.

Now the points are so transformed on my portraits that only because I remind me of that is that the origin comes into place.
The work of artist Dorien de Wit has holes made by a paper puncher, it is a very small work. Maybe he means snow as it is some mountain view from the 40's or 50's. I don't know how this photo fits into the rest of his art work.

But Ricardo Rendon uses the concept of hole making to a far away distance. His first example has a direct relation to the Wit's work. The other photographs let us see the pad he is following. It is worth looking at his site. I think he has a strong concept and clear use of materials.

The next photo belongs to a previous series of him.

15 October 2007

Nothing new under the sun?

The last months I had been paying attention to artists whose work has alike looks. Now is my turn, Marjolijn den Boer, found that Julian Rosefeldt work matches one of the series I am working on.

My series ID igital has a very different purpose than his' but the physical results have astonishing similarities.
You can read the text about ID igital on my blog of 2 September 2007.

Here is a text about his work:
Julian Rosefeldt’s Global Soap project is a vast collection of soap opera images archiving housewives’ favourites from all over the globe. Highlighting the TV template of formulaic plot lines and fluency in the universal language of schmaltz, Rosefeldt’s Soap photos present multiple panels of characters playing out identikit roles. Cropped to the format of actor’s publicity shots, the groupings of Rosefeldt’s subjects read like multi-national casting calls for archetypal villains and victims.
Within Rosefeldt’s project issues of racial and national difference give way to the fashion of globalised sameness. The perception of ‘other’ is removed from ethnic preconception with each figure identified through their familiar dramatic parts rather than their outward appearance. As rows of characters shake fingers and scowl, wave hands with indignation, or gesture in false modesty, Rosefeldt trades the habits of cultural assumption for the altogether more alluring indulgence in titillation and melodrama.

The first two are from my series: ID igital en the other two are Rosefeldt's work.

12 October 2007

Being proud

A few months ago I was invited to participate at a work group of Museum Beelden aan Zee (Sculptures at the Sea) in Scheveningen, The Hague. They wanted to reach a larger and broader public. I was very honored and happy to be invited to do something for the arts in my city and specially for such a beautiful museum with one of the most special locations.

Personally, even thought I had been living here for years one day I literally bumped into the museum. I didn't know about its existence. Once inside I discovered the light, the peace and the space that are the best surroundings for the special sculpture exhibitions that they have. And it is just a few meters from the North Sea...
I knew then that they work as a private museum meaning no subsidy from any governmental institution or local authority, that for some countries may be normal but in The Netherlands nearly the only exception, specially at this large scale.

Two days ago we gave a party at the museum inviting many of our friends to share and let them know about it. Actually, many of them, even being assiduous art fanatics had never been here before. It was also for the BaZIS ambassadors' group, as they called us at the museum, our maiden event. I was as nervous as any host can be: a lot!
Around 150 (new) visitors enjoyed music, food, theater, friends, art, artists talking about their art at their exhibition rooms and the opportunity of visiting the non public areas of the museum open for one night for everybody.
We were very happy that all went well and also very proud of "our" museum. Hopefully it will be the good start for a wave of new visitors to Museum Beelden aan Zee.
We reached a full page of the local newspaper: Haagse Courant. At these photographs some of the BaZIS members (from a total of 13 "ambassadors") and also the artistic and financial directors of the museum. Photography: Jos van Leeuwen, the second is mine. There is also another page at Den Haag Centraal, with their regular 'ironic tone'.

Sculpture Club. 

11 October 2007

Letter to Mauricio Castillo

Those eyes.

Dear Mauricio,
Do you remember? We couldn't pronounce his name. It was just simply to difficult and strange, just as his eyes were. We had no idea he was Dutch. I could have believed he was kind of out of space just as his character in the movie, but I just didn't believe in beings from out of space.
I remember that afternoon when we gathered all at my home, and someone brought a loaned VCR. A friend of mine had managed a copy of Blade Runner. We were all there, you and your gang of "comedian" friends'. At that moment we were all serious, we were going to watch Blade Runner at home. For all of us it was a myth, a cult. "The film". Just as the other big one at that moment: Rumble Fish.
The lights went off, the TV-VCR was on and we just saw a nearly black screen with some sound. Permanent. We tried to improve it but after a few minutes we all new, it was a bloody bad copy of the film, so bad that there was nothing to see.
They all blamed me, why didn't I check the video before, but I just didn't have the VCR.
Who would have thought that the so admired, frightening and weird looking actor with the impossible spelling would I see him once in real life?

I did, at the premiere of Anton Corbijn's film Control, this week. I passed just a few centimeters next to him, who still had a lot of his charming hair and strong features. I was next to the man: Rutger Hauer. I observed his over the 60 skin and looked into his eyes and I felt the nostalgia of being a teenager and not knowing what would be happening in my future, not knowing that one day I would be seeing the unreachable, the "far away person" from such a small distance.

Speed Icon

MP on Chris Crocker.

Watching the video I realized Chris Crocker* reminded me of someone, but whom? And it came into my mind: Andy Warhol in his young years. Fascinating, irreverent, self conscious with a touch of insecurity. But also his androgyny has similarities. This 19 year old boy-man is already getting more than the Warhol's predicted 15 minutes.

*This is the original video.

08 October 2007

Self portrait with a head scarf?

Yes, I thought the same, strange... Strange that four people have told me that they saw the painting with the head scarf as a self portrait. Even someone sent me a letter with that assumption. How many people thought of that and didn't tell me?
It is not me, and for me so obvious. But on the other hand, it is not a bad idea...