Monday, October 20, 2008


I caught the Rob Wynne show at Locks Gallery (top floor). The downstairs show was a complete snore-fest, but I dug a lot of Wynne's work. The show was all over the place, consisting of sculpture, photography, embroidery, books... you get the idea... but In general, it kind of felt like an Illinois era Sufjan Stevens -- Baroque sensibility, kind of poppy, riding the line between sentimentality and irony. I especially loved the drawings of butterflies and octopi that combined girly beading with lovely little line work. The drawings on vellum thing has been getting kind of old, but I still liked 'em.

I'm not feeling very coherent today, so I guess I'm done.

Friday, October 17, 2008

My First Art-Love

My first art-love was classical music. After starting out on piano (duh, I'm Korean) I moved on to violin (duh, I'm still Korean). Even though I wasn't that great, I was good enough to get into youth orchestras and was perfectly happy hacking away in the back of the 2nd violin section. For a while, all I listened to was classical music. Yes, I know. It's hard to believe that I was that cool.

Classical music was my first introduction to having a real and deep relationship with art, and also an introduction to how art can really transport you. It also taught me how art can help validate being human, how creating is an invaluable, life-affirming human trait. You listen to Beethoven, and you're like, "Yeah! We can do it!" Ugh, that sounds lame, but whatever.

Anyways, I'm realizing more and more how important this experience was for me as an artist. Classical music is essentially abstract music, from the abstract notation that you have to learn to read, to the abstract structures like symphonies, fugues, etc -- even "sound" itself seems so abstract. And yet through such abstract materials people like Bach and Beethoven were able to create something so specific in terms of how it sounds and how it emotes.

I guess I'm just realizing through my work and through thinking that I'm way more interested in the abstraction of music than I am the history of Western Modernist abstraction, and I think the work is starting to reflect it more and more.

The "Grosse Fugue" from Beethoven's 13th String Quartet is one of my "desert island" pieces. Sorry that it gets chopped up.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Dusty Rock from SoCal

The Golden Animals's debut album Free Your Mind and Win a Pony has been in constant rotation on my playlist this month. It's got this great dusty swagger to it -- like it's some long lost album that you would find in your Dad's closet along with his baggy linen shirts, hemp necklaces, and pictures with his girlfriend named Aurora Moonbeam Hope. Well, not my dad, but, you know, "dads" in general.

Anyways, the album is really really good. I was starting to get worried because I haven't heard a good album this year since the Fleet Foxes and Girl Talk albums.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Waiting for Superman

He may or may not save us.

Waitin for Superman - The Flaming Lips


Lisa and I saw the Philly Orchestra on Thursday night. It was the first show with Charles Dutoit as the new chief conductor, but more importantly they had Martha Argerich playing Shostakovich's 1st Piano Concerto!!! For those that don't know, Shostakovich is in my Holy Trinity of composers (Bach, Beethoven, Shostakovich). Obviously, I would love a guy who said "When listeners laugh at a concert of my symphonic music, I am not in the least bit shocked. In fact, I am pleased.” His music is almost schizophrenic, going from hilarious to grotesque to heartbreaking to tender and lyrical.

The 1st concerto is a lighter piece, filled with wonderful moments of laugh-out-loud hilarity and an almost hysterical and uncontrollable forward motion. Argerich was perfect -- completely destroying the piano during the more aggressive parts and snap-changing into a lyrical and subtle sound when it called for it. Awesome, awesome stuff. Here's Argerich playing the 1st movement, which is a good little snap-shot of the whole piece.

They also played Prokofiev's 1st piano concerto, which he wrote while still at Conservatory. I really liked the piece -- it definitely felt like early Prokofiev and he still hadn't gotten some of the kinks out yet. But the piece was a ton of fun and really showcased Argerich's virtuosity.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


First, a disclaimer: I suck at evaluating photography and have huge gaps in my knowledge of the history of photography. I can spot a Gursky when I see one, but that's about it.

That being said, I loved Paul Salveson's work in WYSIWG, the group show up at Jenny Jaskey Gallery right now. Obviously, I loved the fun little formal tricks in the work and I also loved the low-fi zine quality of the work. "WYSIWG" is kind of a nod to an era of 14.4baud modems, Windows 3.11, and dot matrix printers, so I thought that Salveson's work fit in perfectly with the title.