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.

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:


Those are some good 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.

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:

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.

more post-easter death and resurrection fun

Saturday, April 14th, 2007

The Easter-related resurrection shenanigans keep on resurrecting…

Pops Woff emailed a couple more photos from Easter. These aren’t staged–they’re just typically surreal moments in the Wofford clan’s lives. We were seeing off the last of family on Sunday afternoon (Easter was at Mere and Pere Woff’s this year), when I decided to sprawl out on the warm walkway and balance a lemon on my face.



What’s interesting about the photo Mom Woff took is not the large citrus on my face, but the uncanny resemblance her composition takes to one of my favorite Edouard Manet paintings, “Dead Toreador“:


Now what makes this even weirder is that I sent (or so I thought) a few of my nurse drawings off to a show in Hawaii that my friend Trisha Lagaso Goldberg curated. I had emailed her jpegs of the work in advance. The one that she just chose for the postcard invite without telling me was this:




…which of course, was my “homage to Manet” toreador nurse.

Now, here’s where we get into the whole “death and resurrection” portion of today’s entertainment:

The person responsible for transporting all of my drawings from SF to Hawaii LOST them.

They’re gone.

Said person has very graciously offered to pay for all lost drawings, but this doesn’t resolve the dilemma that the image being used for the show postcard was one of the lost drawings…

Needless to say, Trisha and the unnamed messenger are aghast and apologetic, I’m dismayed and distressed. It’s a curator’s and an artist’s worst nightmare, but luckily we are friends and can deal with this appropriately, and the person responsible is actually taking responsibility. Considering the things I’ve lost in my lifetime, I am as compelled to be understanding as I can be: there but for the grace of God go I (dang, this is a hella biblical post!).

The main pain is that I now have to re-generate, or rather more appropriately, resurrect, the missing toreador nurse. It’s a damn good thing I had a digital file of it to use as a reference: it feels weird to re-make an identical image, but in many ways, I have such a long-standing sentimental attachment to this nurse, and her source material, that it just seems right to re-do it.

Next year, it’s all about Passover instead…

Fermata: pause, or…period?

Sunday, April 8th, 2007

A fermata (or hold or pause) is an element of musical notation indicating that the note should be sustained for longer than its value would indicate.

OK, as we continue to creep ever closer to Fermata, our MFA Exhibition, comedy material keeps falling in our laps here at Berkeley…please appreciate the design qualities of the official invite to the reception for Fermata, which was just emailed to us on Friday:


And now, please appreciate the design qualities that a wonderful member of our program (who shall remain nameless) has added to said invite:


It’s got wings!

All kidding aside, it’s exciting to be moving closer and closer to the official event. The BAM staff has been nothing but supportive, from helping us draft our brochure texts, to keeping us on track with other deadlines so that our big-time debut is a professional affair. Now that I’ve got that final group crit out of the way (which went swimmingly, BTW, thanks for asking), there are only a few hurdles left…whee!