Archive for April, 2007

reason #2,765,432 why I ride a motorcycle

Monday, April 30th, 2007


Because there is NO way in hell I’ll be able to get in and out of SF this week with my sanity intact, otherwise…

This is INSANE!!!

And not far from home!!!

Thank goodness I knows the backroads of West Oakland!!

Thank goodness Evel Knievel trained me in the art of jumping over missing freeway sections!!!!

Thank goodness I’m mostly still unemployed and stuck in the East Bay!!

And thank goodness no one died, and that my mom (who normally has to drive this thing for work each day) is on vacation for the next couple of weeks…






and no, Mom’s not a truck driver.

That’s Uncle Bryce.

But he didn’t do this.



for some reason, this section looks like a big, gray, fruit roll-up.

couple more paintings…

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

…from the boatload I’m working on for my MFA Thesis Exhibition. In light of Sunday’s New York Times article on the matter (see previous post), I should probably let you know that the work I’ve been focused on and that I’ll be showing is about Filipina nurses, immigration narratives, and alienation. This doesn’t really explain the suspiciously lumpy clouds, the nuclear cooling tower or the monstrous, oracular durian. Hm. We’ll get back to that later.





A Good Provider Is One Who Leaves

Sunday, April 22nd, 2007

Today’s New York Times Magazine had a long, amazing article on Filipino migrant workers: I think without being a member of Times Select, you can only access this link for a week, so read away, or save a Word copy to read, later. (No longer available: If you missed it, lemme know and I’ll email you my pdf of it.)


A Good Provider Is One Who Leaves

Published: April 22, 2007




Rosalie Comodas Villanueva, a native of Manila, is a nurse at Al Rahba Hospital in Abu Dhabi. She makes $24,000 a year ”” compared to the $1,200 she made while working in her homeland ”” $4,800 of which she sends home. Two of her children have lived with her parents in the Philippines for years.



Emmet and Tita Comodas, with their granddaughter Precious Lara

…Deprived of their father while sustained by his wages, the Comodas children spent their early lives studying Emmet’s example. Now they have copied it. All five of them, including Rowena, grew up to become overseas workers. Four are still working abroad. And the middle child, Rosalie ”” a nurse in Abu Dhabi ”” faces a parallel to her father’s life that she finds all too exact. She has an 18-month-old back in the Philippines who views her as a stranger and resists her touch. What started as Emmet’s act of desperation has become his children’s way of life: leaving in order to live.

About 200 million migrants from different countries are scattered across the globe, supporting a population back home that is as big if not bigger. Were these half-billion or so people to constitute a state ”” migration nation ”” it would rank as the world’s third-largest. While some migrants go abroad with Ph.D.’s, most travel as Emmet did, with modest skills but fearsome motivation. The risks migrants face are widely known, including the risk of death, but the amounts they secure for their families have just recently come into view.

this american brain remedy

Saturday, April 21st, 2007

The brain parasite has started kicking in again, making it very hard to work in the studio without getting cranky, bored, antsy, or just plain old anxious. I’ve heard legends about these enchanted artists who drift into their studios, and blithely enter a dream-state in which reality is blocked out, and creation occurs, unimpeded. It is certain that this enchantment escaped me: I honestly think I’d be willing to make more art if I didn’t brood the whole time I’m in the studio. It’s as if the minute I start getting into production-mode, I am trapped on a giant, rotating mental hamster-wheel of brooding, saturnine, curmudgeonliness that I can’t get off of: anything I can worry about, or get cranky about, takes over my brain. And it never has anything to do with the art I’m working on, either! It’s not like this is an angsty, I hate my art, I hate myself, thing. It’s more of a Walter Matthau, Grumpy Old Men, thing. I become a grumpy old man.

Solution: This American Life. Since, as is my pattern, I only very recently got the memo about This American Life, I’m yet again making up for lost time. I have discovered the TAL Archive, and am presently working my way through TEN YEARS worth of free, archived episodes online that I can listen to while I’m working, keeping my brain busy while my hands tend to their business. For the moment, I’m saved. When I run out of episodes, though, I’ll be open to suggestions.

I’ve listened to tons already, but here are a few faves that I got to this week:

The Cruelty of Children
My Pen Pal

And here are a couple of the things I’ve been working on this week:



So maybe something’s still kind of funny with my brain.

In any case, these are just a few of the interlinked images that I’m working on. Sigmund Freud, eat your heart out.

Overmapped closes April 25th…

Saturday, April 21st, 2007

…so if you haven’t gotten to it yet, here’s the info again:

SomArts Main Gallery

934 Brannan Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
exhibition: April 5-25



Congrats again to Rico Reyes for organizing this exhibition!
Rumor has it, the show may travel to a couple of other US cities…fingers crossed!


Friday, April 20th, 2007

Misleading, perhaps. There is neither fried rice*, nor fried egg*, but if there were, we would need a LOT of both to serve alongside this enormous, cuddly, walking hot dog** that appeared, like a vision of the Madonna herself, outside the door to our USF Worlds In Collision class a few weeks ago:


Like any good omen, or harbinger of carnivorous delight, the ambulatory wiener appeared just before Mike Arcega and Lordy Rodriguez gave presentations to our class on their amazing artwork (Mike actually took this photo for us). Beyond the Jesuit glow of the University, and the presence of two gifted artists, we felt extra-blessed by this hot dog today!

Teaching college is fun. No one told me about the prevalence of walking luncheon meats as part of a university education.

*note: for those not (yet) filipino-aligned, hot/si/log is short for hotdog/sinangag (rice)/itlog (egg), aka Filipino breakfast. One may substitute “hot-” for any number of other complementary breakfast meats, such as tap- (beef tapa), bang- (bangus/fish), ad- (adobo), long- (longanisa sausage), or, of course, chick-(chicken) silog.

**The Vision of the Saintly Wiener came to us from an earthly source, as it turns out: the cool, relatively new San Francisco art space Frankenart Mart, which has some serious marketing geniuses working with them. Also, they’re friends with my friend and fellow UC grad, Kara, which immediately makes them even cooler.

Rhymes with shmokshinz

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

Actually, that’s not a word. But I couldn’t find anything that rhymed with:

Auctions. I can’t get enough of ‘em! (Well, actually, I can: as I discussed in that earlier post about auctions, I have indeed hit my wall on donating for the year.) But Southern Exposure is the organization nearest and dearest to my he(art), and I would pretty much do anything for them. They’ve nurtured me since I was a wee pup back in my SFAI undergrad days, and I am ever-grateful.

In any case, if you’re not sick to death of this image already, here it is, yet again…

The Entertaining! Original! Unadorned! Hand-drawn! Line! Art! For!
The 2007 Monster Drawing Rally! Postcard!


The original line art was scanned and colored in Photoshop, as I revealed in that other post, long ago.
For the new Auction, I decided to return to the original with a little light ink work, and deepen some shadows just a bit.
Voila: the drawers, in their raw, un-digitally-manipulated state!

April 28, 2007 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Southern Exposure’s Annual Spring Fundraiser and Art Auction
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Location: SomArts, Main Gallery, 934 Brannan Street

Main Event: 7:30 – 11:00 PM
VIP Reception: 6:00 ”“ 7:30 PM
Doors open to the public: 7:30 PM
Silent Auction: 7:30-10:30 PM
Live Auction: 8:30-9:00 PM

Saturday, April 28, 2007
6:00 ”“ 7:30 PM at SomArts
Fine cuisine courtesy of Fork & Spoon Productions
Beverages courtesy of Gin 209
Live music by Joshua Churchill and Ven Voisey
This pre-party reception offers auction guests an opportunity
to preview the auction and place first bids on artwork.

State of Emergency

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007

I have nooo idea what state my brain will be in by the afternoon of April 26 (given my final MFA Review earlier that day), but I am sooo excited about this lecture being given at 4:00 that day, that hopefully I’ll be sentient and sober by the time of Evelyne Jouanno’s presentation:


Dang. Those are some gooood questions.

It’s so ironic that this presentation is happening outside of the Art Practice Department, on effectively my Art Practice Judgment Day. The subject of her lecture is precisely the kind of conversation I’d hoped to hear more of during my time in my department, but, for various reasons, didn’t.

The Hou Hanru lecture on campus earlier this spring was a godsend, for similar reasons: I deeply hope that more of these conversations start deepening here in the Bay Area art community, and elsewhere. It’s long past time.

STATE OF EMERGENCY: The Place and Function of Contemporary Art in Society
A Lecture by Evelyne Jouanno
691 Barrows Hall
UC Berkeley

Barrows Hall is on the edge of campus, just off Bancroft Way between Bowditch and Telegraph.
It’s a modern-ish looking gray and blue building with hella cracks on it.
campus map:

If you’re in or around Irvine…

Monday, April 16th, 2007

…and you aren’t already Gina Osterloh (or her MFA cohort), then by all means catch her/their UC Irvine MFA Thesis Exhibition, which opens April 26!

I didn’t know Gina’s work super-well until recently, but I’ve absolutely loved what I’ve seen in the past year. You can find her work on Uber, that site I wrote about a couple of posts ago. Gina is part of the Galleon Trade barkada, of course, a-a-and (dun-da-da-dunn) was just awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to the Philippines! Congrats, Gina!

(Mua-ha. That’s one less MFA to compete with for those waitressing jobs, come June…)

See, she’s so happy:02_osterloh_untitledturquoiseroom2.jpg
Untitled (Turquoise Room)2, 2006/07

The 2007 UC Irvine MFA Thesis Exhibition
MFA Thesis Exhibition Group 1 (Gina’s group!)
April 26 – May 11, 2007
Reception: Thursday, April 26, 6-9 pm

MFA Thesis Exhibition Group 2
May 17 – June 1, 2007
Reception: Thursday, May 17, 6-9 pm

University Art Gallery, UC Irvine
712 Arts Plaza
Irvine, CA 92697”“2775 35
Gallery Hours: Tues”“Sat 12”“5 pm
ph. 949-824-9854

Fun Home

Sunday, April 15th, 2007

My advisor Anne Walsh lent me her copy of Alison Bechdel‘s Fun Home, a graphic novel/memoir that came out last year. I’ve had it for some weeks now, but only just sat down to read it in earnest this weekend.

funhomecover.jpg I got up this morning, made my coffee, and decided to get back into bed and start reading a little of it again.

I couldn’t get up until I’d finished the whole thing.

It’s absolutely marvelous: one of the most satisfying reads of any sort that I’ve encountered in a really, really long time.

Having not even heard of it until Anne lent it to me (she left it in my UC mailbox, with nothing more than a post-it on the cover, saying “I love this book.”), I had no idea what a phenomenon Fun Home was: it was one of the runaway successes of 2006, hitting best-seller lists and winning awards.

Since I’ve basically just finished it a few minutes ago, I’m in no position to offer anything resembling objective analysis or critical feedback: I’m just basking in the afterglow of a great, great book.

Go get a copy. It’s amazing.