My first attempt at getting people to send in art has been a complete success: four entries as of press time. You have to start out small. Two weeks ago I asked people to send in images of bird art. It was partly an effort to interact with readers, and partly a need to know whether other people like photos of, or artwork about, birds as much as I do. Call me crazy. Arlaina Ash sent in an abstract piece she made of birds standing over a nest of eggs; very cave art. Gina Yates contributed a painting of owls reading with some other owls looking on from outdoors. She says people often find hidden meaning when they see this piece, like the reading owls represent the elite of society. Crazy stuff. Deanna L. Nichols sent in some lovely images of cranes, owls, herons and other birds she took, sharper than a Hanzo sword. Kent R. Swanson offered up some linoleum cuts of Bosque birds on paper. Thanks, guys. The art will be posted on alibi.com as a blog (”Give ’Em the Bird”) on Thursday. I want to make this a regular thing. For next week, I’m requesting velvet pop art. I keep seeing these paintings, mostly because there are at least three hanging in the Alibi office: Elvis, a Pink Panther and a weird poodle. I’ve also seen a Snoopy in recent weeks. If you have any of these old velvet paintings laying around, please, send some pictures of them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Extra points for paintings of The King or some of that ’70s black power themed stuff.
I have seen a lot of amazing, non-conventional art marker-bombed on gallery walls and pasted on the sides of buildings during the past few weeks. It’s been part of 516’s STREET ARTS: A Celebration of Hip Hop Culture and Free Expression, which features edgy but accessible pieces by artists from all over the world. The other night I was fortunate enough to photograph several street artists— Chris Stain, Jaque Fragua and Lichiban—as they put up a mural on the El Rey Theater and the burned-out carcass of the Golden West Saloon. Two things struck my fancy. One: A Tribe Called Quest’s Midnight Marauders was playing. I’d said to myself just the other day that it was strange I hadn’t listened to Tribe in 10 years. I like when cosmic coincidence happens. Two: Chris Stain works with a projector that displays his artwork on a wall, which he then paints over. He told me he got the idea from Norman Rockwell, who used to photograph his neighbors for his Saturday Evening Post art. The projection on the wall meshed with the paint and became, in effect, a second piece of art, one that existed only during the time the projector was turned on. It was like a modern twist on Buddhist sand painting. Instead of being swept away, the power gets turned off. Live art is a fascinating thing to watch. If you get the chance, I highly recommend stopping and grabbing some curb.