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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Review: The Pilgrim's Progress

I wrote up a review of a good show in San Francisco, Ben Peterson's "The Pilgrim's Progress," for the Shotgun Review. It's an intriguing collection of drawings -- read the full review here.

Unacceptable Art in Iraq

The above statue, a tribute the Iraqi journalist and shoe-thrower Muntazer al-Zaidi, was removed from the site of an orphanage by Iraqi police. The AP story is here.

Al-Zaidi is currently in jail, awaiting trial -- evidently, he was able to vote in the Jan. 28 elections.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Feeling Pixilated

On her blog, Becca recently posted a video of some animation experimentation she's doing, using her own face as the puppet. Which seems like a good excuse to mention the art of Pixilation -- which is the name for the technique she's using. ("Pixilation" itself, as a word, lives in the funny zone between being "pixilated," which means being drunk, and being "pixelated," which means being broken up into boxy lo-res squares).

Wikipedia has a page on Pixilation here, which is a good starting point for hunting down examples of the technique -- probably the two most famous animators who have used it are Jan Svankmajer and Norman McLaren. McLaren won an Oscar for his pixilated short "Neighbors," posted below:

"Neighbors" is actually one of my least favorite of the McLaren films I've seen -- once you know where it's going (which is pretty early into the film), the rest seems a foregone conclusion -- though there are some nice bits of whimsy strewn along the way. A smaller (but better quality) version of "Neighbors" is posted up on the National Film Board of Canada's website -- their animation section has posted up many of the animated films they produced over the years -- it's an amazing collection of work, now up for web viewing, and any enthusiast of animation owes it to themselves to spend some time browsing.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Moment of Zen

Click on the above image for a web page that keeps getting better and better the more you scroll down.

Monday, January 19, 2009


BFA is a not to miss opportunity to show your work!

"The 2009 event is a painting and printmaking competition."

"There will be five printmaking and five painting awards given for the 2009 competition.  Over $10,000 in awards and scholarships will be give to award winners, and all 10 artists will participate in a 1-week exhibition program during the summer in New York City. 'Students will work live and work together in a workshop environment to design, construct, hang, and ope their own show.  Each award winner will be provided travel expenses, room and board, the cost of shipping artwork to the event site.  At the conclusion of the show, BFA Now will host a rooftop party with 360 degree views of New York City.' "


Monday, January 12, 2009

"Red Colored Elegy" Review in The Believer

The new issue of The Believer has my short review of Seiichi Hayashi's "Red Colored Elegy," an amazing comic first serialized in Japan in 1970-71, and receiving its first english translation late last year. Formally experimental and emotionally wise, it's easily one of the best comics I've read in the last few years.

The first two paragraphs of the review are posted online - for the whole thing you need to hit the magazine stands.