Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Fantagraphics Gets Sued!

Fantagraphics is getting sued by notoriously cranky sci fi writer Harlan Ellison. According to thier site:

"He is (basically) suing us over two issues:First, in the history-of-Fantagraphics book WE TOLD YOU SO: COMICS AS ART that we serialized on the Comics Journal blog last year, Gary told two brief anecdotes about Ellison’s conduct during the infamous Michael Fleisher trial. We are defending ourselves by arguing the content of these anecdotes are a) opinion and b) true (and for that matter have been circulated for over a decade unchallenged including on Ellison’s own website in the context of the notoriously one-sided Gauntlet article), Ellison has now elected to allege that they were libelous. When we were apprised by Ellison’s attorney initially that Ellison was unhappy with these comments, we offered him space in our book to rebut these comments or offer his own counter-narrative, but he rejected these options and chose to file suit instead.

Second, we reprinted the Ellison interview that caused the Fleisher suit in our COMICS JOURNAL LIBRARY collection THE WRITERS. Ellison is not suing over this –in fact, he’s admitted in public that we own the interview and have the right to reprint it—but is claiming instead that it is illegal to use his name on the cover (along with the names of the other writers we interviewed).
We have argued to the court that both claims are absurd and the suit frivolous and meritless. In our opinion, it is merely designed to harass us, bully us, hurt us financially, and chill public criticism of Ellison generally. Notwithstanding Ellison’s own denials (embedded in the text of his rambling lawsuit), we consider this suit to be a petty and malicious effort to trample our 1st Amendment rights to truthfully relate the history of our company, and to cost us money and time."

I have just found out about this (via Boing Boing) but have yet to read all about it. It sounds pretty lame though. Fantagraphics is one of Seattle's jewels and they've been active in the support of artists having thier First Amendments rights squashed.
More to come...

Joe Shlichta

I normally don't care for abstract art, but I've known Seattle artist Joe Shlichtafor a long time- and in fact showed him at Roq la Rue when he was painting dark dreamy images of corroding and rusting bridges. So I know he has incredible chops. Lately he's changed tack and is now painting dreamy abstract paintings that have a hint ofDarren Waterston about them (one of the few non figurative painters I adore) and strangely are oddly reminicent of Joe Sorren as well. They are really great- they look better in person than online! He shows at Ballard Fetherston Feb 7th- March 3rd.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Eyes Have It

It's no secret Mark Ryden is at the top of the Pop Surrealism heap in terms of popularity and being able to command (and get) breath-taking prices for his gorgeous paintings. Next month Ryden unveils a new series of paintings with a woodland theme at the blue chip Michael Kohn Gallery in L.A. This is his first full show since the tiny "Blood" series he showed years ago. (If you missed the "Wondertoonel" retrospective at the missed something special). Don't bother asking to be on the waiting list unless you are prepared to expose the contents of your bank account and you already have a blue chip art collection. Along with the Clayton Brothers, Ryden is one of the few Pop Sur artists to be making the transition from the insular Pop Surrealism movement to the contemporary art scene in general and it will be interesting to see the reception he gets. I'll be heading to the preview next month and will blog all the fabulous art dirt for you here.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Bag It

Seattle artist Chris Crites has a show opening on March 1st at Some Space gallery. Chris paints beautifully done portraits on paper bags. His work is rediculously affordable as well so all you budding collectors would do well to check it out!

Banksy aint God ,or When Did Wooster lose the plot

I am a fan of the street art of Banksy, a Bristol artist who has been doing some meaningful street artwork across the globe. In the past couple of years though his popularity has skyrocketed through his high profile art pranks. He pranked everybodys most hated Celebutante Paris Hilton, removing her cd from stores and replacing them with his reworked version. He Put a Gitmo detainee in the Magic kingdom.He hung his work in some of the worlds finest museums and filmed himself doing it. And his greatest prank to date, well he sold art to Brangelina. Now all of this is good and fine but the suckers at Wooster seem to have bought the hype and are now creditingBanksy with the global art boom that has inflated the prices of almost every artists work who has been seen in magazines like Juxtapoz or Swindle. Seriously... How are you gonna discount the Hard work that these artists put in, the years of dedication, and give all the credit to a prank. It's an impressive prank but all the same Banksy is pulling a huge joke on the greedy auctioneers who are profiteering and the folk who hate art but smell money. "Banksy" is not the cause of the Inflated prices he is a result of them. More power to you Banksy, and Wooster get a clue understand the proud history of the art and Shaddup.
banksy video:



Saturday, February 24, 2007

Ask Mat!

Special guest blogger Mat Gleason has been slogging in the art trenches for inumerable years (not that he's like, OLD or anything), wrote "Most Art Sucks", and is the driving force behind Coagula art magazine out of L.A. He has a column called "Ask Mat" where he breaks the art world down for artists. He graciously agreed to hook us up...gotta question? Ask Mat!

Dear Mat,
I am an artist. I feel I am ready for a gallery show, but I have never exhibited before. When I talk to galleries they seem snobby. What can I do?

Bathing and proper hygiene are the first order of business. After that,
looking good and being rich cannot hurt too much either. But the reason they
seem snobby to you is that you do not know them anymore than they know you.
Get to know each other. Get to know the art world. A gallery owner is not
going to go with an unknown quantity. It is like asking a shopkeeper to
devote ten percent of his or her store to selling your new invention. The
shopkeeper is not going to even know if there is a market for your
invention, let alone how that would affect the business that has already
been built up selling other products. Until you are a known entity in the art
world on an at least an interpersonal level, you may as well be the
manufacturer of invisible horse carriages. Nobody but Cinderella will need or
want or know about what you make. And, by the way, waiting around for
Cinderella to find you is like waiting for your fairy godmother to find you
as well. Get out, get known, make great art and let people that you know see
that great art.

Gratuitous plug: LISTEN TO Mat Gleason on Artscene Visual Radio, where his monthly show THE MAT GLEASON SEVEN keeps you up to date on the art world's most important developments. Seriously.

Ladies Only!

If your in Vancouver in March, check out Jem Gallery's "Ladies Only" show. Opening night is Friday, March 9th 7-11, and the show runs until April 2nd. There's quite an impressive list of female artists, including our local favorites, Lisa PetrucciVictoria Renard (pictured here is her gorgeous photo of Neko Case), and Yumiko Kayukawa. And the event is co-sponsored by Sin In Linen, a Seattle based company owned and operated by the fabulous Sandy Glaze.