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Scott Stulen
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Old 02-23-2009, 12:17 PM
  #1  
Exclamation Documenting Culture
Elizabeth Peyton aims to capture people at "that particular moment when they're about to become what they'll become" Is she giving us a glimpse of a world rarely seen by outsiders? Writer and longtime music critic Jim Walsh, photographer Xavier Tavera, artist Melba Price, and documentary filmmaker/journalist Chuck Olsen talk about their work, the people and cultures they cover, and why the public is so interested in these subjects.

We invite you, fellow mnartist participants, to join our discussion about the Elizabeth Peyton exhibition Live Forever and the magnetism that draws artists to paint, photograph, or write to their subject. Our esteemed panelists will weigh in from time to time. On Thursday March 12th we take the discussion off-line for a live panel discussion at 7pm in the Walker Cinema. Admission to the event is free and tickets will be available starting at 6pm. Take it away!


About the panelists:

Xavier Tavera

After moving from Mexico City to the United States, Xavier Tavera learned what it felt like to be part of a subculture- the immigrant community. Subjected to alienation has transformed the focus of his photos to sharing the lives of those who are marginalized. Images have offered insight into the diversity of numerous communities and given a voice to those who are often invisible. Tavera has shown his work extensively in the Twin Cities, nationally and internationally including Chile and China. His work is part of the collections of the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Weisman Art Museum. He is a recipient of the McKnight fellowship, Jerome Travel award, State Arts Board, and Bronica scholarship. Tavera also makes time to give back to the art community and to young people. He co-founded the local arts group, Grupo Soap del Corazon which has held more than 11 exhibitions in the past seven years. In addition, he has served on the board of InProgress, a nonprofit that exposes underrepresented children across Minnesota to art; taught for Kulture Klub, an organization providing art to homeless teens; and presented workshops to the Walker's WACTAC connecting teenagers to contemporary art.

Melba Price

Is an acclaimed St. Paul painter whose current exhibition RAPTURE is on display at Midway Contemporary until March 21st. Price is a recipient of both the Bush and McKnight Foundation fellowships and has widely exhibited throughout the United States.

Chuck Olson

Chuck Olsen is the founder of Minnesota Stories and is a founding member of the video-based networked journalism project The Uptake. He is also the producer-director of Blogumentary, a story about the rise of political and personal blogs, and was featured in the New York Times in 2005.

Jim Walsh

Jim Walsh is a native Minneapolitan. He has been writing articles, stories, essays, columns, and songs for most of his life--for the Minnesota Daily, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, City Pages, Spin, Rolling Stone, the Village Voice, the L.A. Weekly, and various other publications. His essay "Baptism By Bruce" was included in the DaCapo Best Music Writing 2001 collection. In 2002-2003, he was the recipient of a John S. Knight Fellowship from Stanford University. He joined City Pages in 2003 as a general columnist, and lives in Minneapolis with his wife Jean and their kids, Henry and Helen.


The mission of mnartists.org is to improve the lives of Minnesota artists and to provide access to and engagement with Minnesota's arts community
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:13 PM
  #2  
Default It's Written All Over Your Face
Artist Ruben Nusz reflects on the very different sorts of inspiration and poetry gleaned from the human face by two artists, Elizabeth Peyton and Melba Price, each of whom has a new exhibition of painted portraiture on view. Check out the review now up on mnartists.org here.


The mission of mnartists.org is to improve the lives of Minnesota artists and to provide access to and engagement with Minnesota's arts community
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coyote
Old 02-26-2009, 12:09 PM
  #3  
Default giggle giggle giggle
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Stulen View Post
Artist Ruben Nusz reflects on the very different sorts of inspiration and poetry gleaned from the human face by two artists, Elizabeth Peyton and Melba Price, each of whom has a new exhibition of painted portraiture on view. Check out the review now up on mnartists.org here.
Yo Scott, did you you ever do any home work?

Using the forums to drive readers to front page articles only illustrate how lame the "Editor's View" is.

You are losing readers because artists are part of the greater economy and it is more important than the pathetic careers of yesterday's salon-ites.

You really need to reform this site; make it about Artists News.

You stick to "career fluffing" and COYOTE will bite your useless "fanny" and demand your resignation. You can "BUSH" while the Art World crumbles. You have moral responsibility to "journalize" about the problems and cover the news-
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Scott Stulen
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Old 02-26-2009, 01:20 PM
  #4  
Default Exhibition Reaction
For a bit more background to this discussion here is the link to Roberta Smith's review the Elizabeth Peyton exhibition at the New Museum in New York (which is the same exhibition currently on view at the Walker).

I am curious to hear from anyone who was seen the exhibition and/or has seen Melba Price's current exhibition at Midway Contemporary? Any thoughts?


The mission of mnartists.org is to improve the lives of Minnesota artists and to provide access to and engagement with Minnesota's arts community
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coyote
Old 03-02-2009, 01:09 PM
  #5  
Default chuckle, chuckle, wee, wee
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Stulen View Post
For a bit more background to this discussion here is the link to Roberta Smith's review the Elizabeth Peyton exhibition at the New Museum in New York (which is the same exhibition currently on view at the Walker).

I am curious to hear from anyone who was seen the exhibition and/or has seen Melba Price's current exhibition at Midway Contemporary? Any thoughts?
Com'on Scotty, we are slipping by the minute into a global economic depression and you really want to have anyone here chatter about a tired out old esthetic? If American Art is to still exist in the 21rst century we need a little "critical" leadership to drive the tired and depressed artists to greater effort. The market in ____ism work is petered out. But if you follow headlines you will notice the brisk and growing market in old masterpieces--the coyote has always tried to get you whiners to understand the historic market in Art is always in the masterpiece and not in the "body of work of a career"- when are ya gonna git it cous'?

The failing of the mnartists.org venture is it gave "art welfare" to a few "cheerleaders of the whine" and never got around to any critical thinking,...yo sonny boy have you noticed how many "real journalists" are unemployed out there? It would be a good idea to have them ghost write "criticism" under nom de plumes- say Luxie Loonie- SS Death Squad- anything but more of the "vacum heads" ( the image still breaks me up) but image if you really crank up the "critical writing" -people might actually read your articles!!!( that would be really good for your career-don't sink with ship capt" or you be noting but ol' bon's)

You need to do a real service to the general art community = many are out there in real dumbfounded pain- they need some distraction that allows them to get back to the reality of the pursuit of ART. Open these forums and let's get the anx' out'a the blood. We need to start healing the fear with a little good ole rage at the fools----.

Start getting the real news writers to write criticism of the arts and see what happens-send your friends to "NYC"----hell I'll even give them a giant jar of Pace Picante Sauce- but also write about the 3.8 billion short in NYC and what it will mean to the "vibrant, vital life of the art scene there". Stop treating the "artists" of mnartists.org as magazine boobs- start writing real news and intelligent opinions and the "readers" will come.

coyote "blond"-sharping his fangs-danger-danger wil robinson,.....(old tv series- worth understanding the inference)
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Scott Stulen
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Old 03-03-2009, 02:23 PM
  #6  
Default More questions...
The interest in assembling this panel and having the discussion on the forums came out of the Elizabeth Peyton's work. Peyton primarily paints her friends and other people within her social circle. Most of them also happen to be famous. One of the interesting questions which arise from the exhibition is the relationship of the artist to the subject and weather it is important or not. Would Peyton's work be different if she was painting, as panelist Melba Price is in her current exhibition RAPTURE, random figures from an anonymous photo archive? Would we be interested in Peyton if she was from St. Cloud and painted her friends? What is the relationship in the case of an artist like Xavier Tavera, who often photographs people as his subject in that the artist directly interacts with the subject?

This can be expanded to artists working in other disciplines, including the media. I am eager to ask long-time music writer Jim Walsh about his role within the Minnesota scene. As a critic he walks a strange line between the need to achieve both knowledge and access of the culture you are documenting yet remain enough removed to retain a critical voice.

The talk on the forums is often centered on artists and their relationship to current events, politics and responsibilities of artists to the local community. I think these issues are also related to these topics as well. Any thoughts…


The mission of mnartists.org is to improve the lives of Minnesota artists and to provide access to and engagement with Minnesota's arts community
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Michael Fallon
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:14 AM
  #7  
Default
Christina Schmid has some interesting things to say about Peyton's work in relation to celebrity in her recent post on the Thousandth Word blog. Check out her essay "Gorgeous Infamy: Peyton's Provincial Pop."

On a very special side-note, it turns out this piece will be the very last Thousandth Word posting. Another victim of the current economy, the Secret of the City site announced yesterday it can no longer pay its writers for their work. The Thousandth Word blog, which was formed in late May last year, contributed exactly 50 pieces of original writing -- reviews, essays, features, interviews, and opinion pieces on local art -- in its nine-month run.

Thanks to all of you who read. If anyone has thoughts about how the local arts community can support and sustain the arts writers who in turn support your work, we'd love to hear from you: thousandthword@gmail.com.
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Scott Stulen
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Old 03-04-2009, 10:17 AM
  #8  
Default Thousandth Word
I am very sad to hear the news about the Thousandth Word blog. It was a wonderful outlet for writers, artists and arts appreciators. I loved the variety of pieces in the blog and nice mix of writers.


The mission of mnartists.org is to improve the lives of Minnesota artists and to provide access to and engagement with Minnesota's arts community
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Susannah Schouweiler
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Old 03-04-2009, 02:05 PM
  #9  
Default Everything's personal in the end, isn't it?
First: I'm so sorry to hear Thousandth Word is ceasing publication. I've been a regular reader (as is true, I bet, of many here). Christina Schmid's most recent excellent post was just the latest in a long succession of fine pieces published over the last nine months. I suspect, even with the small payment received, it has always been a labor of love for members of the Vicious Circle--thank you to all who contributed their words there. I've enjoyed your insights and your elegant writing immensely.

On to the topic at hand: It strikes me that anyone who serves as a lens through which we may see another is assuming, of necessity, a strangely proprietary intimacy with their subject. And that's true whether you're talking about a critic who offers a reading of an painter's work for the public, or a documentary filimmaker presenting a visual narrative of someone's life, or an artist rendering the likeness of a face (whether familiar to them or unknown). They have to, in some sense stake a claim on their subject, presume some privileged knowledge, in order to translate what they see confidently for someone else.

Is anyone's gaze wholly objective? When one person attempts to document another's experience, or essence, or artistic creation, how can the documentarian not leave a bit of themselves behind? Such evidence is in the elements chosen for special note as well as the things left out altogether; it's in how the story's told, what expression is lit affectionately, where the line is left harsh. Portraits of others are inescapably tinged with the documentarian's private affections and enmities, their aspirations and anxieties, the baggage of personal history and eccentricities of taste.

I'm inclined to think that every biography contains a touch of memoir, as well; that every picture of someone else hides a self-portrait, whether you know them or not. The documentarian isn't revealing their subject so much as how they see their subject, and in some cases, themselves.

But I'm curious about whose stories, which portraits the art-going public is most interested in seeing. It would be foolish to think that the sensational subjects behind Peyton's work aren't, in large measure, behind her rise to public notice.

I'm curious: what is it that draws us to some "portraits" more than others? Isn't what we're talking about here just plain old storytelling, as filtered through different disciplines and media?


Susannah Schouweiler, editor for mnartists.org and access+ENGAGE
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Old 03-04-2009, 02:13 PM
  #10  
Default I digress from the very topic of this forum, but needed none the less
Quote:
Originally Posted by coyote View Post
Yo Scott, did you you ever do any home work?

Using the forums to drive readers to front page articles only illustrate how lame the "Editor's View" is.

You are losing readers because artists are part of the greater economy and it is more important than the pathetic careers of yesterday's salon-ites.

You really need to reform this site; make it about Artists News.

You stick to "career fluffing" and COYOTE will bite your useless "fanny" and demand your resignation. You can "BUSH" while the Art World crumbles. You have moral responsibility to "journalize" about the problems and cover the news-
I apologize for digressing from the very topic of this forum, but I feel that this needs to be noted. As an individual who firmly believes in all that mnartists.org offers to the MN art community at large (the artists, art appreciators, critics, etc.) I do not feel that it is in our place to criticize this site that is FREE for all to enjoy and explore. And I would like to add that I dig the recent changes that have been made to the layout of the homepage! I find it draws me in and refuses to let go. I look forward to other changes that are no doubt still to come under the new Project Director!

I see nothing wrong with directing people back to the homepage to read a review. Let's take a moment to consider that perhaps people opened this site and went directly to the forums before they perhaps even glanced at the homepage, let alone clicked on anything to further explore. OR perhaps they overlooked this particular review as they quickly got caught up in other things mentioned on the homepage and found themselves further and further entangled within the web of this site until they forgot all about the other things mentioned within the opening page.

If people within the art world are interested about remaining within this subculture of ours, I don't think that current economic situation will drive them away from a site that is first of all FREE, and still offers them a valuable resource to post their work, learn about other artists, as well as upcoming opportunities within the MN art culture. FREE IS A GREAT THING IN TIMES LIKE THESE! Yes, maybe it would be nice to have more "news" regarding the economy and the arts, but let us not forget their is a forum now up regarding just that! So if you have anything of interest to contribute to the rest of us regarding such topics, why not post it there? I know I would appreciate reading about/contributing to further discussion on such issues and so far enjoyed reading what has been said there. Overall though, this site is about so much more than just "Artists news" and let us not forget that.

One last thing I must add, as an individual who as studied the HISTORY of art, as well as the practice, I don't see the harm in bringing up the so called "pathetic careers of yesterday's salon-ites" History is crucial in understanding where we have come from and where we can possibly go. Everyone looks back on history in some manner or another and is influenced by it all, the good, the bad, the in between. And let us not forget, what one person finds "pathetic" another may find inspirational and encouraging. While this particular artist does not care for Peyton's work, there is still some value to be gathered within the detail of her paintings and her style when you take the time look beyond her role as a friend/painter of the celebrities.
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