Thursday, January 31, 2008

My current art show at Fleisher

Here I am in front of two paintings -- Horizon Event on the left, and Hero Meets Leander on the right.

The show is called Myth and Landscape, and it runs until February 9, 2008, at the Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial, 719 Catharine Street, Philadelphia, PA. The gallery is on the second floor. For hours and directions you can call 215-922-3456

Here's a photo taken at the opening. On the left is Allison Whittenberg, and on the right is Barbara Torode, two Philadelphia poets.

Here is my wife, the painter Lynne Campbell, at my show.

Both my and my wife's art can be viewed at

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Art of Michael Carr

                                                                         Beach Radio by Michael Carr

Sunday, November 11, 2007 Saw the Absolutely Abstract 2007 show at The Philadelphia Sketch Club, where Don Brewer won first prize for his photograph of a concrete sidewalk/patio. Bill Scott and Barbara Zucker juried. While Bill Scott is an abstract artist, Barbara Zucker paints landscapes. Each of the artists picked 50 pieces separately, and Don’s was the one and only overlap.

Mike Carr explained his beautiful piece, vertical, green, clean. It looks like the new Comcast building, but is divided into a frequency, like waves coming to shore, as seen from an airplane. It is about some giant wave in Fiji that kills surfers, or did, until surfboard technology caught up to it somehow. The wave in question has an explosive forward blow that knocks surfers over. Here the new surfboard is an orange rectangle dipped deep into the painting. In little squares at the top there is a gray and white sampling of storm clouds, and squares sampling shore buildings. It is symbolic, sculptural neo-cubism, related closely to hip-hop or Dj inspired sampling, as well as to Pop Romanticism of life in the new age, as well as a kind of futurism – one which displays a faith in the minimal yet colored architecture we are beginning to see in the city.

He seems to be saying that an activity like surfing, or an experience like hearing the radio at the beach (the beach radio painting of a couple years ago) is as constructed and mighty a purpose as the tallest building built. This indicates how buildings are an outgrowth of some primal life-force all human activity shares in, or originates, and not something lowered into our midst that makes everyday recreations and reveries less important. He takes the large for something large-living in us. And he is the template of all these celebrations he shows us. Like a writer writing what he knows, he shows us a painter painting what he knows and how deeply he knows it is present and of its time. He shows how the human spirit – which he has in abundance – creates all the manifestations of these times. He elevates what most would regard as the lesser epics of life (an hour, six hours, of surfing) to the status and statues of, corporate and civic life. No one else has this civilization so clearly marked out in its best terms, nor so well understood as an almost Mediterranean ideal, although here the civilizing sea is either the Atlantic or Pacific. Shouldn’t this work come to be understood and appreciated quickly in California and the islands of Hawaii? No less so right here.