29 August 2011

Engage the Imagination.

She gets it.

Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Grace Jones, Annie Lennox, Bjork, and--to some extent--Madonna get it. They understand the visualization I spoke about in my earlier post.

The idea of a video is to capture the music visually . . . So, at the Video Music Awards where they celebrate the music video, why not take it all the way? Make it campy, creative, costume-y, fun! It's the embodiment of a character, it's role-playing. I enjoy celebrating the spectacle, being unique, making the visual element the focus. And, the artists I've mentioned above are inspiring budding costumers and visual artists everywhere by being adventurous.

Engage the imagination.
I certainly look forward to seeing more, more, more!

27 August 2011

I want my MTV.

I have a slight addiction to watching music videos. It started when I was 7 or 8 years old.

I would sit for hours watching MTV. At friend's houses, mind-you, as my parents refused to get cable: they were worried I might watch too much music television, interfering with my homework. Yes, well . . .

I'm almost positive that my infatuation with the visualization of music came when I saw Annie Lennox perform Sweet Dreams as half of the Eurythmics on the Grammys. (I'm watching it again now, and still I am so mesmerized!!) I remember Herbie Hancock, too, with his crazy kicking robotic legs. My dad was trying out the old VHS to see if we could--in fact--record things. And, it worked!!

So, I would sit in front of our television and fast-forward/rewind to all of the performances. Watching and re-watching the same things for hours. I did this with the American Music Awards and the Grammy's every year . . . When I got older, I turned to watching the Video Music Awards (the best show being when Arsenio Hall hosted, and Bel Biv DeVoe performed--I was in 10th grade, and watched it at my friend Katherine's house).

I mention all of this because I believe my obsession with these live performances is ultimately what peaked my interest in music videos.

Our family would go to my grandparent's house in Mineral Wells, Texas and I would go into the middle bedroom, close the door, and watch videos. Adam Curry and Martha Quinn directed my viewing. (I think about this now in horror, knowing that I could have been spending quality time with my grandparents.) On ski trips with my parents and family friends, I would be dressed in ski clothes--at least 6 layers--parked in front of the television begging for one more video before hitting the slopes. I believe it was in 8th grade that I moved all of the furniture in our den and supervised my friends as we recreated a New Kids On The Block video.

So when YouTube came around, everything was free and it was GLORIOUS!! I could watch whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. And, it's gotten pretty nuts . . . I only watch music videos and the occasional dance video. I don't watch cats doing things or babies or whatever else.

Last year during graduate school, stress would hit and I would calm myself by watching Beyonce, Diddy, Rihanna, New Boyz, Madonna, Annie Lennox, Lady Gaga, and Jay-Z; repeatedly, sometimes the same video back-to-back.

It's kind of weird: I go through phases. Right now? I'm totally into Chris Brown. And, morally, I'm not okay with that. But, man is he a great dancer. So, I indulge. I've also been watching a lot of Kreayshawn, out of sheer curiosity. I still watch Beyonce on occasion, but her most recent effort includes crying . . . And, I'm more of a dance girl. Give me lots of movement, bright colors, and big eventful happenings!! I want to see fireworks!!

My question is: where does this come from? The repeats, the studying, the want to memorize . . . Are some of us just attracted to certain things more than others? Or is it because I'm an artist and the visuality of a music video interests me? I have no idea.

Will this ever end? Highly doubtful.

And so I continue on . . . Search. Watch. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

26 August 2011

Beaded and pink.

My friend Kelly bought the most amazing belly dancing belt today! Amazing for lot's of reasons, but mainly because it's a sequined-filled, beaded pink goodness . . . I shimmied all about her house this evening, as I played with Milo and listened to new music! Friday night fun just got a little more sparkly . . .

22 August 2011

Next Steps.

At the end of July, I did a hand-sewing workshop at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for 15 students participating in the Next Steps program. Each of the students chose an image of a sculpture as seen on Vanderbilt's campus, composed it first on paper as a sketch, then translated their sketch into a fabric piece. Finally, we collaged all of the students work together to create a wall hanging for the Next Steps office. It's amazing what color can do for a space!!

Horn to Hoot.

WARNING: leaving anything at my house for too long might possibly result in some sort of felt or glitter covered craziness. While I am not a bedazzler by any stretch, I do like felt cozies for cold electronic things. My sewing machine is currently broken so this was hand-stitched; which was nice and much more relaxing than using the machine. Originally planned to be a trumpet, somehow it turned into an owl. So there ya have it: horn to hoot. I suppose at some point I have to send this jazz-and-blues-filled iPod back to its rightful owner. Until then, I will continue listening to Joe Williams, Aretha Franklin, and Bobby Bland.

18 August 2011

Leaning on Friends: Megan, Cale, & Wes.

Megan Kelly came to my rescue like a badass superhero about 3 weeks ago. After days of weeding my father's backyard (about 4 acres), I was sunburned and beat. And I needed a new project. ReachNash had contacted Megan about painting some bins and making a recycled chandelier/hanging sculpture for Toyota Prius. And, she generously contacted me to be involved. We worked with her roommates Stephen and Corey, completing the chandelier in just under 7 days. Like all art endeavors, it was a bigger undertaking than any of us thought it would be. But it turned out beautifully! And, you can see day-by-day accounts of the process here. (There was lots and lots of laughing . . . )

It's really the most amazing thing to hang out with someone you haven't seen in 15 years. Cale Montgomery and I dated briefly towards the early part of my Austin days, way back. I'm talking 1996 way back. (I was 22, see below.) Over the course of these past years, we popped up in each others lives at random: I mailed him a letter when I first moved back to Austin in 2006. And, we bumped into each other once at Longhorn Po-Boys. And now--of course--on Facebook. But, we hadn't hung out at all. We needed this, it was time. And now we are both older, both recently out of graduate school, and both potentially wiser (he probably more-so than I). And still, he is so very kind. He is soft-spoken and a fabulous trumpet player, who just happens to be an architect and now holds both an MBA and MSIS degree from Boston University. The weekend ended up being the most relaxing weekend I have had in a really long time, and it went by far too quickly. I got to reconnect with an old friend. Magic. (Now if he could just conveniently forget that he left his iPod touch here, that would be awesome.)

I was sad to leave Texas for lots of reasons. But, one of the most important reasons was my friend and muse, Wes Holloway. Wes and I met in Michael Mogavero's painting class in the Fall of 2007. And, it was love at first sight. He was a beautiful painter, he listened to rap, and he loved the crap out of some fun colors like I did. We were on the same wavelength about everything: trends and styles, artists we both liked. It was amazing. So, naturally, after I left Texas, we knocked around the idea of doing a show together. Well now, ladies and gentlemen, it has happened. Wes Holloway and I will be combining our styles and loves in an installation being featured during September and October at D!verseWorks in Houston, TX. I can't tell you how excited I am to be a part of this show and to be making work with Wes!! Tell the masses, stop traffic, everyone come to Houston!

Oh, and did I mention that I made a hat? And, put something on the side of a building for the Tomato Art Festival? Or, how about my new playscape installation based on Marfa that will appear at Gallery F sometime soon? Um, the planning of the curriculum for the Nashville Peace & Justice Center's Leadership Training? Or how about my application for a second Masters, in teaching . . . I think it's safe to say, I'm stayin' kinda busy.

Many, many goings-on.
Stay tuned, friends!!