10 July, 2010

8 July - Clayton Porter Opening at LAUNCHPROJECTS

LAUNCHPROJECTS - The reception for Clayton Porter's exhibition Deer Hart, Dog Dick was packed with friends, collectors, and peers to see his latest body of work. Porter's focus and dedication, in combination with extraordinary skill, culminated in four breathtaking paintings. Working for Bruce Nauman has furthered Porter's conviction not to cater to audience expectations, a fickle market, or external trends. The show received previews and mentions in Art in America, the Santa Fean Magazine, and Adobe Airstream and we look forward to more press to come. It is inspiring to witness Porter's evolution as he continues to challenge himself, his audience, and surpass all of our expectations.

08 July, 2010

7 July - SOFA West and Madame Butterfly

LAUNCHPROJECTS - Attended the opening preview for SOFA - the International Exposition of Sculpture Objects and Functional Art. Works at the fair ranged from incredible glass pieces Italian artist Silvia Levenson at Bullseye Gallery to Beth Cavener Sticher's goat at Garth Clark Gallery. Having followed Sticher's career for years I regret not buying her work earlier. She is truly a remarkable and luscious talent. (Sticher goat pictured above, along with friends Yon Hudson, New Mexico Museum of Arts Director Mary Kershaw, Ben Lincoln, Alex Hanna, and Mihail Lari).

Following the SOFA reception, we stopped into the Compound Restaurant for a quick bite and then on to the Santa Fe Opera to see Puccini's Madame Butterfly. A stunning performance by soprano Kelly Kaduce.

07 July, 2010


LAUNCHPROJECTS - Kicking off the 2010 Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, John and Iris Vasquez hosted an extraordinary Cuban dinner and concert at their home. The Havana-based band TradiSon flew in specifically for the party and weekend of Folk Art events, their US debut. The night proceeded with incredible music, mojitos, cigars, and dinner prepared by no less than our Cuban-born Cabinet Secretary for the Department of Cultural Affairs, Stuart Ashman (pictured in John's kitchen frying plantains).

John and Iris first encountered TradiSon while on a cultural tour of Cuba earlier this year led by Ashman in preparation for the 2011 Havana Biennial. TradiSon is the house band at La Bodeguita del Medio, a restaurant in Havana famous for mojitos, music, and a legendary clientele including Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Neruda. The Havana Biennial is high on LAUNCHPROJECTS list for 2011.

05 July, 2010

5 July - James Franco in Los Angeles

LAUNCHPROJECTS - I am not in the habit of blogging events we do not attend, but following my interaction with James Franco last week I had to mention his latest performance on Thursday at LA MOCA.

SOAP MOCA was the live taping of a special episode of ABC’s General Hospital on the occasion of the return of character Franco the artist, played by artist and actor James Franco. From MOCA's press release: In this special episode, Franco, James Franco’s character from General Hospital, will be having an exhibition at MOCA Pacific Design Center, during which time Jeffrey Deitch, the new director of MOCA, and the characters from Port Charles from General Hospital wil be making their West Coast debut. “Soap at MOCA is an attempt to both blur and define the lines between different disciplines, between life and art, between art and popular culture, and between representations of the self as both performative character and as non-performative self,” commented James Franco.

As the event was described by Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer and Jeff Hassay on the
ArtForum Diary "The art crowd's barely concealed confusion and skepticism were palpable in the frequency of raised eyebrows, worried looks, and sarcastic offhand remarks mumbled through sighs. Since the LA art community has been anticipating Deitch's arrival at the helm of the city's preeminent contemporary art institution with a fair dose of apprehension, "Soap at MoCA" was watched closely and cautiously as his first act in office. (Several invitees purportedly chose not to come in protest of spectacle.)

Trepidations aside, the exhilarating highlight of the night was the stunningly simple but gasp-worthy stunt in which first-time stuntman and Franco body double Brad Standley threw himself over the side of the three-story building to his presumptive death below. For one climactic moment, the three divergent spectator groups merged, boundaries dissolved, and suspicions relaxed; extras, artists, and soapies all looked up together as one seriously captivated audience. "Don't kill me! I know where the baby is!" Franco exclaimed dramatically at one point during the shooting. Interrupting the hushed silence that followed, someone near the fifty-foot projection of his laughing face could be heard asking, "Is this art?" The moment was so perfect and perfectly ridiculous that it didn't even matter whether it was or wasn't, but if we had to answer, we'd say yes, because who could say no to that face?"