Alive, Dead & Reanimated Taxidermy

UPDATED:  On display at the Oakwilde Ranch & Sculpture Park Spring Exhibition, March 31st – May 11th, 2012, near Valley Springs, CA.

Special thanks to Pat Sanchez for finding me a great serpentine gourd to work with and to IF for hardware critique/metals intel.  Cleaned, sanded, polished, dyed, waxed, cut apart and articulated the lil’ beast with handmade aluminum brackets.

A mixed-media assemblage, with a narrative exploring the Scientific specimen as cyborg/cyberpunk obscura. This is a theme I’ve been riffing on for several years… the alchemy of the New World Order: part toy – part tool – part relic. All the rage with the antique chic oddities cult.

Specimen #912.78 – 2012

mixed-media assemblage: gourd, wood, dye, graphite, wax, steel, aluminum, found objects

31”H x 18”W x 14”D – 6 lbs.


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Ceramics Annual of America – Exhibition Review

Pick up the January 2012 issue of Ceramics Monthly for a feature on the recent Ceramics Annual of America ( reviewed by IF.  This huge combo exhibition/art fair, in its second incarnation, was held in San Francisco as national survey of ceramic sculptors. It was great to see the work of Bill Abright, Ryan Hurst and Bruce Cadman included… all artists I’ve enjoyed working with. Ilena wrote a valuable review that will help propel the vision and efforts of CAA to a highly respected international exposition.

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From Budapest to the Valley

UPDATED 01/11/12:  From Budapest to the Valley –  Stephen Gyermek Retrospective Catalogs have been delivered and they are beautiful!  The catalog is a significant documentation of Stephen’s life and work and highly collectible.  We worked hard to keep the price low, developed only as an expense recovery project.

This complex project includes contributions by the Co-Curators (me & Miguel), Artists/Arts Educators – Bruce Duke & Jim Lewis, Director of The Haggin Museum – Tod Ruhstaller, Photographer – Richard Beebe and more.  This first edition is limited to 500 total copies, with 50 copies to be signed and numbered by Stephen.  Art Direction by Ilena Finocchi and printed by Modern Postcard.  A highly limited number of Complimentary Promotional Copies will be distributed to exhibition patrons and project supports.

Retail pricing announced:  450 Standard Limited Edition Copies, $12 + tax / 50 Artist Signed & Numbered Limited Edition Copies, $18 + tax – available January 28th, 2012 by mail order and at the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts.  Here’s a sneak peek of the cover:

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What the world needs now…

… is another Concrete Blonde concert!

UPDATED: Last evening’s cold raining bluster in Sac City fueled a raging hot show! WOW!  Leading off with Rosalie and into an incredible mix including Beds Are Burning, Days And Days, 100 Games of Solitaire, Damage I Have Done, When I Was A Fool, Take Me Home, Caroline, Everybody Knows, Mexican Moon, Tomorrow Wendy, Bloodletting… and on! The Blonde is angry, loving, loud, giving, and so damn good!  Solo performer Jim Bianco also deserves high recognition for an energetic, clever and funny opening set. A legendary night of professional musicianship that crushed the lame policies (rude door men, forcing patrons to stand across the street in the rain, designated drinking areas, etc.) of the club, uniting a packed house…

It’s been an amazing week of music news… first the Afghan Whigs announce a couple festival reunion shows and now dear friends/collaborators Johnette & Jim are scheduled to kick off a run of shows in Sacramento in early 2012.  Catch ’em if you can; life will be better immediately!

They have released a new limited edition 7″ and it’s also available for download:

Tours dates/info:

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Red Listed: The Western Black Rhino is Extinct

The news is racing across the globe as the Western Black Rhino (Diceros bicornis longipes), the rarest and most endangered rhinoceros subspecies (with only 10 surviving in 2003), has finally been red-listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

On July 8, 2006 the subspecies was declared to be extinct after extensive searches in the last enclaves of Cameroon yielded no evidence of surviving rhino. However, local unverified reports of sightings have persisted in Congo (South Sudan), but with no protection measures in place, the IUCN and leading field specialists now hold no hope. On Thursday, November 10th D.b.longpipes was officially added to the annual list of endangered, threatened and extinct plants and animals. The nearly 62,000 species and subspecies include an estimated 25% of the planet’s mammals.

Save a Rhino, Kill a PoacherThis is particularly discouraging news as the Vietnamese Javan Rhino was declared extinct in October and the Northern White Rhino has been declared probable for extinction in wild population outside of captivity.  In addition there has been a surge rhinoceros artifact thefts, global poaching, and extraordinary sales in the secondary and black markets.  As the live populations dwindle, there’s intent to hoard antique horns from estate sales, auctions and animal markets.  In several high profile incidents, Asian agents and buyers have been at the core of these activities as the superstitions of medicinal uses of rhino horn sadly persist.

Reading the news wire reports this Veteran’s Day morning brought back bittersweet memories of working with international Artist & Musician, S. Nzante Spee (Mbem, 1953 – Stockton, CA, USA May 25, 2005). Before Nzante became ill, He and Brother Aloy spoke with me about wild rhinos in Cameroon.  He assured that when I visited Africa for the first time, he would take me out into the villages where rhino still roamed hidden in the forest… safe and mysterious. Spee went on to profess that great knowledge of nature, of life, could be found in such places, and that while I could not travel there by myself, he would escort me to these spiritual grounds.

Spee said these rhino are there Brother Williamz – I swear it! – in a place away from the guns and away from the cameras of men.  White men, outsiders and hunters have never seen them. We miss you Brother Spee and I hope you’re are right… that somewhere in the forest the longpipes still stand.

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New Content : Bone Hole History

By request the Bone Hole history page has been significantly updated with old photos and flyers. The Scarlet Picnic pic is a true classic! Thanks for all the kinds words and let me know if you have anything relevant from back in the day you’d like added to the page. I still have a few old articles and audio clips to dig out as well.

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Season of the Dead

As Halloween/Samhain is approaching…

IF has released a batch of custom masks suitable for your fiend feast, carnival consortium or secret society soiree.  All priced nice at $22 and available here:

I like this one; who can go wrong with a giant sexy red sniffy!?!

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The Hatchery : East of Fresno

Artist & Friend Anné M. Klint is co-curating the next visual and spatial explorations at The Hatchery ( This former compound in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains is being transformed into a provocative project for contemporary artists including a residency program.  The new international exhibition features dozens artists selected by a team of four curators working in a variety of media including installation.

Anné asks, “Do know of anyone, be they students or otherwise, who might be interested in volunteering for any number of things having to do with this grand production?  We’ll have over 40 artists in the show, some of them are traveling from Europe to be here and exhibit in the now-derelict former Synanon building in Badger, CA (foothills east of Fresno).  We can use help in every aspect, ranging from picking up artists at the airport, hanging the show, helping with signage to day-of support in terms of snack management, guest sign-in, general facilitation.  If anyone you know is interested in the behind the scenes curatorial process, this would be an excellent show to be a part of.  Unfortunately, we are mostly self-funding the show (and with the gracious help from our IndieGoGo supporters, too!) so we can’t offer a stipend.  This truly is a for-the-love-of-art exhibition!”

Media Release including contact info and Poster below:

The Hatchery EOF Media Release

The Hatchery EPF Poster

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Graves Country

Media Release and Announcement are now available for the upcoming exhibition Graves Country – The Folk Art Collection of ol Roff opening the 5th Anniversary 2011-12 Season at the Grand.

UPDATED:  eFlyers with additional featured works added for the exhibition and Gallery Talk/Reception with Mr. Graves.

UPDATED:  Thanks to everyone who came out over Anniversary Weekend.  It was wonderful to have Roff and Arlene in the galleries Saturday morning.  We had over 1,100 visitors and many were moved, inspired and intrigued by the works of artists including Rev. Howard Finster, Steven Chandler, Juanita Leonard, Rev. W.C. Rice, Kelly Moore, Buddy Snipes, Shane Campbell, Bernice Sims, etc.  In addition the memory crock and face jugs were largely noticed and discussed throughout the entire weekend.

GC Media eRelease

GC Exhibition eAnnouncement

GC eFlyer

GC GT eFlyer

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Summer Stew

Things simmering in the summer hot pot:

The 5th Anniversary 2011-12 Exhibition Season at the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts opens in September with the venerable Graves Country – The Folk Art Collection of ol Roff.  I’m super excited about this as I’ve been working behind the scenes to make this happen for over a year.  Roff is officially in deep with over 50 antique and contemporary outsider and folk art works by 30+ artists, and the show is gonna rock.  Media Release and details coming later this week.

Also related to the Grand… our new flatbed press will be shipping this month.  A significant addition to the studios with the ability to print etchings, reliefs and monotypes.  I’ll be setting up the lab, training instructors and probably teaching the initial offering of printmaking classes/workshops in the fall.

Me, IF and special guests – my parents – recently visited the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. The modern and spacious new building is a huge step forward giving Sacto a legitimate contemporary museum and generous galleries for both the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions.  The admissions staff was helpful and knowledgeable making for a warm welcome.  The addition of the ceramic pottery collection is almost overwhelming [let’s hope do something incredibly brave and give equal attention to ceramic sculpture as time goes on] and tribal/primitive works are powerful in their installation.  One glaring error though in the Crocker’s new opz; local and regional programming is resigned to the less-than-adequate-&-professional basement of the mansion building. This seems like such a disappointing oversight given the great job being done elsewhere in the new complex.

Our vacation pack made the rounds and enjoyed a few really decent antique shops in Sutter Creek and Jackson.  An excursion recommended to all interested in the natural world, the awesome Bone Room in Berkeley.  A ritualistic visit to the truly unique Gothic Rose Antiques and the Cosmic Cafe in Placerville.

In the studio, I’m getting back to the paintings of the Tornado Series, working up a few prototypes for an upcoming toy/figurine series, constructing more wooden blocks, and considering a timely additions to the Rhinoceros/Revenge Series.  Sobering and sad news from the conservation front and a June visit to the San Diego Zoo has reminded me that the work never ends.  Stop killing rhinos.

In blog news, now that a new scanner has been secured, there will be several updates coming to the site.  Notably with the Curiou$ities, Bone Hole History and Visual Vault pages.

Posted in Curatorial, Educational Resource, Instruction, Painting, Printmaking, Prototype/Work In Progress, Rhino Links, Tornado | Tagged | Leave a comment