Channeling the chronomancer

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Greetings. As we try to channel our inner chronomancer, the significance of these devices and means of communication acutely rings true. In the midst of everything, I’m just getting on with my diary writing/drawing, seemingly obsolete but also perhaps an important time to be recording thoughts and observations. Fathoming the unravelling repercussions and predicaments triggers a knee-jerk reaction into the foetal position, and the over-load of analytical elements and angles factored in diffuse any potential succinct message, but broadly amount to The Mess Age. It is not unique of course, and like other times and places, transformations will result and continue. As I’ve not posthumously written here about the wonderful Monochromatic Minds: Line of Revelation exhibition that took place not long before everything changed, I’ll include some reflections in this instalment. I will also touch on other bits and bobs. Onwards..

 

Monochromatic Minds – Jennifer Lauren Gallery – Candid Arts Centre, London, UK. 25th Feb – 4th March, 2020

As anticipated, this celebration of black and white art works within the field of Outsider/Self Taught/Neuve Invention/Visionary art did not disappoint. The majority of artists’ names who’s work was included, alone, made for a very exciting cumulative concoction. The actual works aligned well to that aura. The space was also very well suited. The majority of works in the show could easily command your attention for an indefinite amount of time individually. Imagine a room full of that. The show was on for a mere week or so but felt alive while it was on the entire time with a variety of events taking place within the programme. There were art workshops and artist talks delivered by artists from around the globe. Below are some photos that should help contextualise things if you couldn’t be there and care to absorb an attempt at documenting my experience. 

There’s Jennie, the star of the show!

 

Vibrant (even in black and white) works by Liz Parkinson, myself alongside, being observed carefully (I think).

 

A wall of Ted Gordon, Liz Parkinson, myself, Harald Stoffers, and Dan Miller work among others..

 

Nick Blinko‘s corner

 

Chris Neate on the left, a mesmerising piece by Cathy Ward centrepiece, two fascinating works by Evelyne Postic above and below a commanding work by Margot.

 

Beautiful works by Rashidi on the left, and Gerard Sendrey top right.

 

 

A haunting Agatha Wojciechowsky piece cut off at the left side, and a magnificent Judith McNicol.

 

Poignant works by Albert.

 

I spotted the octopus in the room, in this joyful Leslie Thompson piece (detail).

 

Jennifer Lauren Gallery commissioned several artists in the show to draw/paint on chairs acquired from second hand shops, which also function as actual chairs that people could sit in during the exhibition if they need a rest. Though I don’t think I saw anyone sit in any. This one is by Kate Bradbury.

 

People at the opening watching the short documentary film. The film highlights 5 of the 61 artists in the show, including myself (on screen), Cathy Ward, Terence Wilde, Valerie Potter, and Jan Arden.

 

Liz Parkinson was in town speaking on the bush fires in Australia, her drawings, authoritarian neighbours, and having her works purchased by Jean Dubuffet.. from the series of artist talks.

 

A somewhat absurd image capturing me doing my artist talk whilst I’m also on screen in the documentary playing on a loop behind, facing the same direction. My drawings are documentation, the documentary documents me documenting, the photo documents the documenting of the documenting, and so on. Could it get more meta? Photo by Andrew Hood.

If you’d like to check out the short documentary I mentioned above, you can do so here.

 

Diary drawing and Deviations…

I’m working on the first A4 size diary drawing since 2016. There are several reasons why the format changed and I haven’t returned to A4, though was intending to. Anyhow, the time arrived. After I’d finished drawing in it a few days ago, I realised that I could see that day in the drawing. The reason being, I changed both the nib on the pen and its ink at the same time before starting that day. Usually these occurrences don’t coincide. The result being a distinction that is visible on the page. I took a photo so as to see what a day of drawing looks like when it’s not at the very beginning (as that is the other time/place where it is easily discernible, on day one). There are other contrasts on the page where the text takes on different shades and textures, for other reasons, but this one highlights a single day of drawing at this stage. Of course, after working on it again the following day, it won’t be visible anymore. Hence the significance of photographing it when I did. You might assume the lockdown is driving me to such pedantic measures. I’ll let you assume!

The current diary page, with one day’s entry visible.

Last month, I had an email exchange with the the good people over at Deviation Street and they included some of that in their lockdown series of posts. You can find that post here.

 

I feel like there was something else I wanted to include, but if it was significant I’ll get it in next time. I’ve incrementally been returning to this post for weeks now, so who knows anymore. Stay smart, and until the next time…

Carlo.

Geneva, Lausanne, London…

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Greetings,

In recent days (weeks??), I flew out to Switzerland for the opening of Scrivere Disegnando: When Language Seeks Its Other at the Centre d’Art Contemporain Geneve. Co-curated by Andrea Bellini (Centre d’Art Contemporain, Director) and Sarah Lombardi (Collection de l’Art Brut Lausanne, Director), it was very interesting. Works by ‘contemporary artists’ and ‘Art Brut artists’ were curated together, without biographies in sight. In some ways, three floors of diverse work focussed on language, writing, drawing, communication, coding, decipherability, secrecy, ambiguity and ambivalence through various media takes one on a journey through something which as a result is quite intangible. In some ways this is confusing and can raise questions about the curation, but on the other hand feels very much like an achievement in creatively exploring the very theme the show is relentlessly tackling head on. There is also a poetry to the moving through all these documents, rendering text in one way or another to express or describe or do something different to the previous or next thing which approaches from and to elsewhere. All these morphing forms of writing, recorded and reflecting or problem-solving, or foreseeing. There is an unknown geography to it. Certainly worth the trip! The experience of course also meant I can see where or how I fit in to all this, with three of my drawings included. If you think you’ll make it to the show, below are some photographs I’ve taken and perhaps you don’t want to spoil any surprises, but if you know you won’t make it, take a look… (and look out for the 300+ page accompanying book to be published soon)

 

After the initial introductory passage into the show, you are greeted by some wonderfully lit Adolf Wolfli works.

 

Three works per artist along this wall.. You can see a couple of Nick Blinko drawings on one end and my three drawings at the other…

People observing my efforts..

 

This Henri Michaux drawing had a poignancy to it, a highlight for me.

 

I loved these Laure Pigeon works. They need to be seen/felt in person, my documentation cannot communicate their essence.

 

Interesting Aloise Corbaz books containing text/drawings I can’t say I’ve seen before in her oeuvre..

 

An unexpected opportunity to see a room full of Luigi Serafini‘s original drawings/pages from the Codex Seraphinianus!

 

Walking from the Centre d’Art Contemporain to the restaurant, I spotted this attractive tentacle in the window of a games workshop type of spot.

 

I encountered the mythical Luigi Serafini himself at the restaurant.

 

Needless to say, the images I have included here are just a few snapshots barely skimming the surface of this delicious soup. The show has all the potential for a vastly immersive experience, requiring a chunk of your day to absorb to threshold. I was delighted to see pages from Serafini’s Codex Seraphinianus and that they had a room to themselves. I came across the Codex perhaps six or seven years ago and my curiosity was piqued by its surreal and absurdist nature. Speaking to Serafini, I learned of his upcoming exhibition of sculptures in London in May.

Scrivere Disegnando (‘Writing By Drawing’): When Language Seeks Its Other is on until May 3rd at the Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva Switzerland.

 

The following day I went from Geneva to Lausanne to see the Carlo Zinelli exhibition at the Collection L’Art Brut, and to potter around. I dragged Philippe Eternod around several record shops. I had visited a couple in Geneva also. I came away with just one record, the duet between Karl Berger and Ed Blackwell ‘Just Play’ which I’d been after for a few years. Its price was not dissimilar to that of the few copies attainable online, but I save on shipping. See’s To Exist show (a two hour Jazz radio show), which I’ve been running for seven years, is currently on hiatus. Hopefully I can get back to it towards the end of the year. If interested, you can check out the special I did a few years ago on Sweet Earth Records, at a time when there was virtually no information about this short lived 1970s record label available online. Since then at least two of the records originally released on the label have been reissued, the Sun Ra record getting its reissue after the Sun Ra Estate got in touch with me to acquire contact details for someone involved with Sweet Earth Records. Anyhow, in the show, I speak with trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah about and uncover what would have been Ed Blackwell’s first LP as leader, which never saw the light of day. A point of interest for some. I digress, Eternod kindly took me to a great cheese shop and schooled me on various aspects of the cheesemaking processes. He was enthusiastic and knowledgeable. As well as the Zinelli exhibition, I saw the Theatre exhibition at the Collection l’Art Brut, which was also great. I have some reservations about how some of the work is sensationalised, but at the same time, some of the work is sensational. In any case, the museum is incredible. Undeniable quality at every turn. The Zinelli exhibition was fantastic. I’ve never seen so many of his double sided drawings side by side in one space, and the show was enhanced by images of Zinelli working and in his daily life, as well as a great documentary film I sadly just got to see 15-20 minutes of, as I had a schedule to keep. Had I known, I would have made time to see the entire thing. It had strong production values, with wonderfully shot panning across details of his work, and interviews with his friends and family. I’d love to get ahold of this film.

As part of the Theatre exhibition, some lovely Aloise Corbaz works in her books..

Great Madge Gill works and dresses she made were on display as part of the Theatre exhibition, as well as this large print of a colourful image featuring Madge Gill wearing one such dress

 

A curious Adolf Wolfli work with centralised photographic portrait of Wolfli worked into the piece, in the Theatre exhibition.

 

The actual headwear Eugene Von Bruenchenhein‘s wife, Marie, is seen wearing in some of his photographs of her, in the Theatre exhibition.

 

The guises of Vahan Poladian, in the Theatre exhibition. I like the inclusion of a saxophone. Something of this man’s demeanour reminds me of my grandfather who wasn’t far off the same age.

 

What looks like a glorious (baritone?) saxophone (or pipe), depicted in this painting from the Carlo Zinelli exhibition.

 

Carlo Zinelli foreseeing rock stars?

Carlo Zinelli also made these heads.

 

A table containing beautiful Raphael Lonne works, displayed in the permanent collection.

 

Leaving Lausanne via train for Geneva airport to return home..

 

Monochromatic Minds: Lines Of Revelation – Jennifer Lauren Gallery /// February 25th- March 4th. Candid Arts Centre. London, UK

In my previous blog post, I gave details regarding this groundbreaking exhibition about to take place in London. All the information about the exhibition and information about the artists can be found here. The opening is on Tuesday the 25th. On Wednesday the 26th, there are some artist talks that I’m very much looking forward to, with Liz Parkinson visiting from Australia and Julia Sisi journeying from France, among others. Further talks will take place on Sunday March 1st. I hope to make it along then as well. I think Cathy Ward will be speaking then. A few days ago I was visited by film makers at my studio, so as to include me speaking a bit about my work for a short documentary highlighting five of the artists in this exhibition, along with Cathy Ward, Valerie Potter (who currently has another exhibition on at The Gallery of Everything in London), Jan Arden and Terence Wilde. I think Terence Wilde will be running a workshop as part of the programme also. Talks and workshops need to be booked, so see website for details. The exhibition boasts a highly potent roster of artists which should be a joy to experience contextualised together. Other artists in the show include Albert, Aradne, Nick Blinko, Kate Bradbury, Madge Gill, Daniel Goncalves, Ted Gordon, Nigel Kingsbury, Margot, Malcolm McKesson, Dan Miller, Michel Nedjar, Evelyne Postic, Mehrdad Rashidi, Ody Saban, Harald Stoffers, George Widener, Ben Wilson and Agatha Wojciechowsky and more!

My process involves at least two layers of filtration and documentation, and here’s another layer…

 

My next entry will manifest sometime after the exhibition opens. See you on the other side. Take care,

Carlo

As we enter 2020, part II: New York, Manchester, Geneva, London

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Greetings. Here it is, part 2. Part 1 had me tying up last year’s loose ends. Part 2 looks at the near future and which walls you’ll find my work on. As usual, everything happens at once. I’m in exhibitions at the Portico Library in Manchester (UK), the Centre d’Art Contemporain in Geneva (Switzerland), and with Jennifer Lauren Gallery at the Candid Arts Center in London (UK) as well as at the Outsider Art Fair in New York (USA).

 

Outsider Art Fair – Jennifer Lauren Gallery /// January 16-19th. Metropolitan Pavilion. New York, USA

I’m not sure exactly what happened during the fabrefaction of my July 31st – November 28th, 2019 diary drawing, but the result is 12,627 words in my bubble text on A5 card. This is almost 2,000 more words than were recorded on the previous page and by now more than have been recorded on any of the ten A4 size diary drawings. If you want to go see the combobulation for yourself, find yourself at the Jennifer Lauren Gallery booth for their third year at the fair. Jennifer Lauren will also be showing work by Shinichi SawadaAkio Kontani, Margaret Mousseau, Leonhard Fink, Chris Neate, Norimistsu Kokubo and more.

For further info on the fair, opening hours, special events etc.. see here.

Outsider Art Fair, NYC 2020

Diary, July 31st – November 28th, 2019

 

Talking Sense: The Changing Vocabulary of Mind and Brain. /// January 17th-April 13th. The Portico Library. Manchester, UK 

James Moss curates the works and minds of 50 artists in this playfully conceptual exhibition fitting to the ethos of the Portico Library, a 200+ year old subscription library in Manchester’s city center. The exhibition “explores the idea of “mind/brain-then/now” – combining 18th and 19th century literature with new artworks to create a space for conversations around the vocabulary of neurodiversity, mental health and psychology”. Sugar Glider vs. Octopus, a painting I did in 2009 will be included along with works by the homies Darren Adcock and Dolly Sen. Quite pleasantly, we are accompanied by 47 artists I can’t say I am aware of by name. I look forward to discovering their work and how all this might fit together in the context! The public preview is from 6-8pm on Thursday 16th January.

Talking Sense: The changing vocabulary of mind and brain

Sugar Glider vs. Octopus, 2009

 

Scrivere Disegnando (‘Writing By Drawing’): When Language Seeks Its Other /// January 29th- May 3rd. Centre d’Art Contemporain. Geneva, Switzerland

I’m thrilled to have several diary drawings included in this near-exhaustive exploration of writing as drawing and how this leaves the communicative aspect in ambivalence and/or ambiguity, focussing on work from the early 19th century to the present day. At least that’s my reading of it so far. I impatiently await experiencing the exhibition for myself at the opening on Tuesday, January 28th. I understand the exhibition will be accompanied by an elaborately produced book of 300+ pages. I will report back with details regarding that as I learn them. Co-curated by Andrea Bellini (Centre d’Art Contemporain, Director) and Sarah Lombardi (Collection de l’Art Brut Lausanne, Director), it will be interesting to see works by artists associated with Art Brut side by side with contemporary artists, brought together through the context of this theme. On those walls I’ll be in the very good company of Nick Blinko, Gaston Chaissac, Aloise Corbaz, Jean Dubbuffet, Susan Hiller, Henri Michaux, Laure Pigeon, Luigi Serafini (Codex Seraphinianus!), J.B. Murray, August Walla, Melvin Way and Adolf Wolfli among others.. In my previous blog entry I spoke on the writer Michel Thevoz and the artist Carlo Zinelli. Thevoz is contributing text to the book published in conjunction with this exhibition, and there is a big Zinelli exhibition at the Collection l’Art Brut in Lausanne, so I’ll also be able to experience that, which should be wonderful. I’ll report back upon returning.

 

Monochromatic Minds: Lines Of Revelation – Jennifer Lauren Gallery /// February 25th- March 4th. Candid Arts Centre. London, UK

I can’t help but feel this will be a historic exhibition relentlessly championing works in black and white, through a roster of 62 artists, most of which I admire immensely, and some I’d not heard of or seen but am thus far impressed with based on images revealed here. Jennifer Lauren has taken on quite a task and brought together an extremely impressive group of artists, which I’m overwhelmingly excited to see curated together in one space. On these walls I am joined by my PPP crew (Posca Pen Pals) Liz Parkinson and Julia Sisi, the highly potent Albert who I’ve met through the Bethlem, Madge Gill who needs no introduction, the great Aradne, it’s an endless list and I’d love to think of specific words to describe each artist but I must go and do my tax returns. It’s very tempting though.. Ody Saban who’s work I’ve admired over the last fifteen years, Cathy Ward whom I’ve crossed paths with since encountering her work at The Horse Hospital (which is in grave danger of being shut down after over 25 years, spread the word to your powerful and caring friends please!) around the time they offered to show my work for the first time in 2007/8, Nick Blinko who I’ve written about quite a lot over the years (here are a couple of bits: 2011, 2016), Rashidi, Margot, Harald Stoffers, George Widener, Ben Wilson, Malcolm McKesson, Dan Miller, Kate Bradbury, Nigel Kingsbury, Daniel Goncalves, Michel Nedjar, Evelyne Postic, Agatha Wojciechowsky, Ted Gordon, and the list goes on! I just wish brother Phil was here. Right,.. I feel like I’m about to malfunction. For full details check this  and I’ll reiterate all this in a more succinct and informative manner within the next blog entry in a few weeks, with updated specifics regarding the series of events surrounding the exhibition including presentations by some of the artists and more. 

 

Roger Cardinal (1940-2019)

It was saddening to hear that Roger Cardinal, the man who first used the controversial term ‘Outsider Art’ with having his book titled as such (published in 1972), has transcended the Earth at the end of last year. The forthcoming issue (104) of Raw Vision magazine will be a special tribute edition. I was privileged to meet him several times. My first encounter with him was interesting, I had been writing in my diary drawing for a couple of hours, alone at a table and he walks into the room and asks if I mind him sitting beside me. He then asked if I minded him taking some notes as we conversed. We went from there into another smaller room where a video interview with Jean Dubuffet was showing and we sat there for a short time before he nodded off for a while in an armchair. We crossed paths a handful of times or so after that and began a somewhat intense email exchange, which began with him actually saying he would be “honoured” to write about my drawings (too much!). He could also be quite playful in his approach. Referring back to that email, he wrote: I would be honoured to write something about your work, which is definitely on my personal list of a site of “outstanding natural beauty” (that’s a quotation from the Kent County Council road sign that you’ll find at the entrance to our local villages!). I regret not having resolved the unusual and perplexing tone of our last emails. Irrespective of that, Roger Cardinal will forever be gargantuan. 

 

As we enter 2020, part 1

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Greetings and welcome to another year in the Gregorian calendar… Let’s hope it won’t be a disastrous one! Anyhow, here is some information and observations regarding things I spend time on/with…

Paris 2019

The next day, at home, upon rummaging through my jacket pockets on my way out again, I discovered a small Swiss chocolate. Proof that I had in fact returned from another annual excursion to Paris, having spoken to an array of insiders of the Outsider Art field in some form or other. It was the Outsider Art Fair, the seventh edition of the Paris incarnation. Four of my diary-related drawings were shown with the Galerie du Marche, based in Lausanne, Switzerland. Within 24 hours I knew that I’m not getting any of them back. It can be a curious pattern of thought imagining their current whereabouts and the level of engagement that may or may not occur in my absence. I am pleased with what they contain, the way they evolve, and how the thoughts transcribed transform into what in some ways feels like a sort of DNA to me, projected through the aesthetic form that is manifested. But in the end, it is not in the end, it is during the process that I feel the most value is placed/experienced, and while in some ways the evidence of that is contained, the moment in some other ways just comes and goes. Thankfully, the process involves a sequence of indefinite moments.

In the past I have written about things I’ve seen and felt at the Outsider Art Fair, either here or in Outside In‘s blog (2015, … 2016/2014 Paris and New York have mysteriously been deleted) but something that is happening with time is making it unnatural for me to attempt this currently. I have some photos on my phone though, and they trigger open doorways for me to walk in and out of briefly. Apart from photos of the Galerie du Marche booth, the only image I have of a particular work is actually from a short documentary film that was shown on the work of Michael Golz, who spends a lot of time developing a fictional map and associated terminology. Since 1977 he has been dedicated to manifesting Athos. Very impressive. It did remind me somewhat of a fictional map project carried out by Jerry Gretzinger, since 1963. In 2018, I encountered his map when it was exhibited alongside some of my diary drawings in the Vestiges & Verse: Tales From the Newfangled Epic exhibition at the American Folk Art Museum (NYC, USA). It is very unlikely Golz and Gretzinger will have been aware of each other until much later, if at all, given the geographic distance between them and a less linked non-fictional world around the time their maps began to take shape.

At the Galerie du Marche booth, I find myself in a most surreal situation of being placed on the wall beside the work of Carlo Zinelli. Sometime around two decades ago, I was in a secondhand bookshop and perusing the shelf of Art Books. I didn’t see anything that piqued my curiosity but for some reason a hardback book with the bold lettering ‘ART BRUT‘ on the spine made me pick it up. The cover image was intriguing and the authors’ name had a nice ring to it ‘Michel Thevoz‘. I recall that simple, yet effective, convergence. The page I opened it up to displayed a beautiful image of a sequence of figures with blob-like holes in their heads. Incidentally, I was drawing people with holes in their heads also. I looked for the name of the artist and it simply was ‘Carlo’ (they weren’t using Zinelli as his last name when it was written).. so, there is the serendipity of the Zinelli-Keshishian axis. As a tidbit, in recent years I heard that Michel Thevoz had seen my work and was supposedly quite impressed by it.

 

Carlo beside Carlo, Galerie du Marche, Outsider Art Fair Paris, 2019

A Carlo gone missing, Galerie du Marche, OAF Paris, 2019

Photo taken from the screening of Philippe Lespinasse’s documentary on Michael Golz, ‘ATHOSLAND’. Click to enlarge. (That goes for all these images, actually)

 

Still in Paris, returning to the apartment where I was staying after the fair one night, I learned from somewhere on the internet that the simultaneous opening of both David Zwirner’s gallery in Paris and the Raymond Pettibon exhibition were occurring, but just about ending by this point in time. It was exciting to learn that a Pettibon exhibition was around the corner. I went to see it the following day and felt enveloped in that very particular Pettibon atmosphere, relishing the fix. What a joy. I love the curation that seems to have some natural instruction from the works to exist in relation to each other in a distinct manner, branching outwards from the walls, creating systems or communities of drawings in pockets of the space. I even crossed paths with Mr.Pettibon himself.

 


 

I’ve done it again. The information has bottlenecked and as tempting as it is, it would be unwise to bludgeon you with its entirety. This part 1 covers the remnants of last year. The next will detail forthcoming news. Hold tight for part 2…

 

Carlo.

End of summer updates (exhibitions, film screenings, art fairs, radio shows…)

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It has been half a year or so since my last blog post.. Some updates as we transition into the climax of an unknown winter…

 

Manchester Mad Pride All-Dayer, Sunday September 8th

This subversive celebration is coming up very soon, at the end of this very week in fact. I was invited to partake and have contributed a couple of prints to the visual art exhibition, as well as my film Timmy Miller Has a Heavy Head which will be screened in a programme of short films throughout the day. It is a rare showing of the film and no other showings are currently planned to take place.  The event will showcase various artists spanning a vast spectrum of dynamic media for all your senses to glean. These are the co-ordinates:

Niamos, Chichester Road, Hulme, Manchester, M15 5EU

You can find further info here (where if you scroll down to a post from August 3rd, you can read my answers to a few questions that were put to me) or here.

 

Outsider Art Fair Paris 2019, Thursday 17th – Sunday 20th October

I’m proud to announce that some of my work will be on show again with the Galerie du Marche (Lausanne, Switzerland) at the seventh edition of the annual Outsider Art Fair in Paris this October. It has been surreal to be included among highly potent artists such as Aloise Corbaz, Edmund Monsiel, Adolf Wolfli and Madge Gill on what I have always considered to be one of, if not the, strongest stands at the fair.

The most recently completed diary drawing is on an A5 format (21 x 14.8cm). In some sort of unexplainable phenomena, it has resulted in several thousand more words than the previous diary of the same size, and contains more words than eight out of the ten A4 diary pages that exist, at almost 11,000 words in ‘bubble text’. Usually the word difference, especially in such close succession (months, not years), can be a few hundred more or less. This diary page will be on show at the fair. See here for further details.

Diary, May-July 2019

 

 Art & Mind film

I should mention the manifestation of this truly ambitious documentary film, Art & Mind, which attempts to chart evolving opinions, views and research regarding the convergence of mental health and visual art whilst considering a period of give or take 500 years. I was present at the premiere which took place at the ICA in April (where it will be shown as part of a double bill on Sunday September 8th again). There are dozens of further screenings scheduled globally, which you can find here along with the trailer and further information. The film is narrated by the unparalleled John Maizels, editor of Raw Vision Magazine, who was on the Q & A panel at the premiere alongside chair of the Adamson Collection Trust, David O Flynn and director of the film itself, Amelie Ravalec. From having viewed the film once, I recall my immediate response was a feeling of inundation. There were 350 or so images shown in the film (including one of mine), in a sort of suspended montage sequence. The film was divided into an array of sub-chapters, giving a short time to highlight each. It would not go amiss to re-edit this film and the extensive omitted footage, into a series of episodes, allowing more time for the information to flow. The sequence of images is beautiful and to see it on a big screen was fantastic. With such an amount to be tackled within the time frame of a feature film, and to summarise the centuries explored, naturally there is a lot left unsaid and, for example, failing to include non-Western art and non-Western interpretations of mental health assessment and behaviour, is significantly detrimental. I found the relentlessness of the on-going music under the interviewees words contributed to a somewhat suffocating viewing process, but paradoxically find the alignment of that to the subject, an interesting choice of formatting and that perhaps it in some way can work to the film’s advantage. Needless to say, I can’t wait to re-watch this film, probably several times. To see works by Bosch, Goya, Blake, and Munch contextualised with Lesage, Wolfli, Blinko, and an endless list of incredible artists, and practitioners active in various aspects of the field pondering on these works and how they were viewed in their time and since, is incredibly fascinating.

Art & Mind Q & A panel, l-r: Travis Collins, David O Flynn, Amelie Ravalec, John Maizels

 

See’s To Exist Show, edition 179 – The Sphereology of Phil Cohran

I recently put a pre-recorded radio show together focussing on the extraordinary music of self-proclaimed ‘sphereologist’, Phil Cohran. A difficult task to fit what I can into two hours, especially after a very rich hour and twenty minute conversation recorded between myself and harpist Josefe Marie Verna (who’s majestic opening notes on White Nile, from the African Skies LP recorded in 1993 were my introduction to Phil Cohran’s music) , which I edited parts of into the show, as well as fragments of a phone conversation I had with Derf Reklaw who was involved in Phil Cohran’s Artistic Heritage Ensemble in the late 1960s. Cohran played in Sun Ra’s Arkestra for a couple of years as the 1950s turned into the 1960s, and is known for being co-founder of the legendary AACM. He invented the Frankiphone, a sort of electrified thumb piano, which was popularised by disciples of his who went on to form Earth, Wind and Fire. I get into details about all of that and much more. Most importantly, you can hear some of this great music in the show here.

My show is monthly and you can hear the next show in its usual format of me playing some of my records live and talking about them on September 22nd, 3-5pm (UK time) over at NTS Radio.

a young Phil Cohran and his frankiphone

 

That’s All Folks!

I have some exciting news simmering and hope to report back soon. Meanwhile, back to your lives.

Take care,

Carlo.

 

Time is the whirlwind (part III: Short film, exhibition, publication)

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Is it sooner than you thought?

I’m following up my previous post with one containing actual things relating more to my output, considering the last entry reads more like a sort of travel log with a sprinkle of educational Jazz referencing.

 

New York, New York – Timmy Miller Has a Heavy Head at the SR Socially Relevant Film Festival NY

The subheading for my previous newsletter/blog post was ‘New York, New York’. Initially that was because I was going to write about my trip to New York and showing my drawings at the Outsider Art Fair in January, and also mention that, to my bewilderment, my short film Timmy Miller Has a Heavy Head has been selected to screen at the SR Socially Relevant Film Festival, also in New York, this March. There was plenty of New York in the previous post, so ‘New York, New York’ was still fitting, in my mind. But anyhow. For New York part II, should you be in the vicinity and interested, my short film (18 mins) will be showing with a couple of other short films as part of a programme considered under the theme ‘Freedom’. I only found out a couple of weeks ago and have since had to quickly put together a poster and a trailer..

note: click on images to enlarge

 

It will be an undeniably rare ‘opportunity’ to see this film in a real cinema, so if you can and are into it, please do, I wish I could! Having just come back from NYC, and needing to renew my passport right now, kind of puts the nail in the coffin for me. If you do go and have a further moment to spare, do let me know how it was?! Attendance, sound quality, etc.. photographic evidence would also be invaluable.

Now that it will be out in the world, perhaps I should demystify it somewhat. I have worked on this on and off for a few years physically.. The seed was planted in my mind about a decade and a half ago and very slowly grew from there, finding its form. A bit like my drawings, in a way. In fact, the name Timmy Miller Has a Heavy Head comes from a ‘doodle’ I did in a sort of visual diary I was keeping in the mid to late ’90s. I mostly kept photographs and concert tickets in there, with associated stories written beside the documents. I also included terrible ‘poetry’ and some unconscious ‘doodling’. That’s where the title for this film was born. I had to rack my brain trying to recall it and thought for a long time that it was on some old schoolwork of mine but eventually found it in this book in January, 2018. In fact it reads ‘Tim Miller’ and not ‘Timmy’. I remembered it wrong for all those years. Not sure why I remembered it in the first place. I did start using it in a different context in the early 2000s and so it has lived on from there more so. Conveniently, there is a date at the top of the page, so I can see that it was drawn on Wednesday 1st of March, 1995. Just about 24 years ago by now. It was good to reconnect with the original drawing. I suppose at the time it was unconsciously referencing all the kids at my school, jacked up on Ritalin. Anyway, enough about me, where were YOU on Wednesday 1st of March, 1995?

 

I know none of that explains much about the contents of the film. I would prefer to leave all that a bit ambiguous at this point. This is the trailer though:

 

The screening takes place on Tuesday 19th of March at 5pm as detailed here. Various options available in regards to purchasing tickets but probably the best deal will be to get the early sales discount here. This is happening at one of the oldest continuously operated art cinemas in New York, Cinema Village. Well, I think that about covers it for now. I’ll be posting any updates on my Facebook artist page.

 

Fly Paws group exhibition in Lausanne, Switzerland

A couple of my small drawings are being shown in an exhibition with a title which translates as ‘Fly Paws’, referring to the insect rather than incorporating slang for ‘fly’ and ‘paws’, though I think the latter is more appealing. Both are amusing. In any case, this is currently on as of the 13th of February and will remain so until the 13th of April, 2019. The place to be is the Galerie du Marché and these are the coordinates.

 

Drawing/Writing/Drawing by David Maclagan

Recently, an academic journal found its way through my letter plate. The reason for this was that an article about the relationship between drawing and writing, written by David Maclagan, is included and my diary drawings get a mention in there, as well as a full page illustration. The article references a lot of artists and cross references various mark making disciplines, as practiced by artists and non-artists alike. If you’re a fiend for this kind of thing, there is a physical version (as was posted through my door) and an electronic version which I found here. The physical copy is pricey (as seems the way with these types of publications) but I can attest to the quality of my reproduced image. Maclagan’s article is interesting to consider and ponder on, and I would say an enjoyable read also. I haven’t gotten round to trying to read any of the other writings though but am curious..

 

25 years of Horse Hospital

I managed to get up to The Horse Hospital in its last days of exhibiting a show celebrating 25 years of its own existence, which is no small feat. I will forever be honoured to say that the first exhibition of my work was in a three person show at The Horse Hospital in 2008. I went along to see this current show thinking I’d be in there for twenty minutes or so but came out of there over an hour after entering. It was visually minimal in its presentation but the timeline of events they had printed out and plastered to the walls had me transfixed and I almost read the entire thing. If those walls could speak, eh? In my previous post I spoke of Joe Coleman‘s work and included some I’d photographed at the Outsider Art Fair in New York in January. One of the paintings contains a portrait dedication to visionary artist Norbert Kox who had passed away just weeks before. Both of these artists have shown at the Horse Hospital also. I forgot to mention in the previous post, that I first saw and learned of Norbert Kox’s work here, in an exhibition of his work and Cathy Ward‘s, whom I also hadn’t encountered before. Norb was present and did some speaking at a special event. I fondly recall his stories of escaping death when having to squeeze through suffocatingly tight passages in caves after water had risen and almost drowned him. He was there with his son. I think this was leading up to the exhibition I was in. So, at the celebratory exhibition, they projected images from all the shows they’d put on and I got to see my works on the walls, which by now feels like some time ago, partly due to seeing which works they were and how they were hung. That whole process of hanging large paintings, it’s been a while by now.. What really sealed the deal was a video compilation of footage from exhibitions that took place, on a screen with headphones for sound. There was a great video of Joe Coleman explaining the details in his paintings, in some detail, in the late ’90s. Fantastic. Such a special and unique place. Certainly singular.

video of Joe Coleman at his Horse Hospital exhibition, speaking about his work

 

Still image projection of my painting The Void II hung beside the door (when the gallery used to be upstairs) with painting The Void and a couple of smaller works in view on other wall behind. The Void II has been packed away for a while now. Would be good to get it out for some air soon..

 

Beginning of the Horse Hospital timeline

 

STUMP: Art From The Obsessive Mind exhibition from October 11th – November 1st (2008). Maurice Burns, Carlo Keshishian, Joe Wilson

 

The Horse Hospital timeline continues…

 

Flyers

 

That’s all for now folk dem. Most probably I won’t write another one of these for a while. Not much happens usually, I am mostly in a room drawing continuously and occasionally taking a break to put a radio show together. Hence my intense whirlwind-related trilogy of posts. The weather is likely to change for now.. Let the wind be my direction.. yadda yadda.. but give me a shout if you feel so inclined and in the meantime,

Peace,

C.

ps. For the sake of realtime chronology, I’m putting this here and not in the above section about Timmy Miller Has a Heavy Head. On my way to work today, to my bafflement, it appears I have been honed in on and retweeted on the topic of the Timmy Miller film by none other than co-creator of Troma EntertainmentThe Toxic Avenger, Class of Nuke’Em High and hundreds of other inventive comedic horror films that send a message (to paraphrase Marvel Comics creator, Stan Lee). That I very rarely use Twitter and barely understand how to use it, only begins to explain how confused I am by this strange occurrence! Shout out to the master of subversion Lloyd Kaufman!

Time is the whirlwind (part II: New York, New York)

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Needless to say life since the previous newsletter/blog entry has been a whirlwind and thus this ‘part II’ is justified. A lot to touch on in this post, including very recent unexpected and exciting developments…

Get your coffee, this may take a while…

Outsider Art Fair New York, January 2019

Bar the near-infuriating process of getting out of Newark airport (which is considerably less infuriating than that of JFK airport), my journey was quite smooth. I do love arriving to New York, post-airport. Feeling the cold air on my face. Getting the train. Usually something happens that reminds me where I am. On this occasion, after leaving my things at the apartment where I’m staying, I went on my way to Raw Vision magazine’s party celebrating its 100th issue. On my way there, it was perfect, I entered the subway and heard the music that was used to open and close the film After Hours. A classical piece, I forget who wrote it and what it’s called but I very much enjoy it. Most likely through the association with the film. It is perfectly fitting in the film, which is Manhattan atmosphere-focussed and from the lens of an ‘outsider’s’ view of the downtown art scene of the early-mid 1980s (near enough when the film was made also). It was great and surprising to hear this piece on the subway upon arriving to New York. As if I was being welcomed by a specially curated subway journey. It was a violinist or cellist playing. It was quite a last minute decision and possibility to come, so I was very glad to be embarking on this odyssey. It is the first time my work is being shown at the OAF in New York. Thanks Jennifer Lauren Gallery!


Carlo beside himself


Queue for Carlo


Nice image nabbed off of Instagram via kirstycnyc 

 

A couple of my small drawings (The Disadvantages of Time part IV: Time Lapse, The Disadvantages of Time part V: To What End?) were shown and both sold, covering my trip with a bit of extra change. Nice. The Raw Vision party was cool. It was a night of short films submitted to Raw Vision, which made for some interesting viewing. The jetlag wasn’t too intrusive to my wakefulness but the atmosphere was somewhat surreal. I suppose sitting in an environment like an airplane for a good part of the day and then finding yourself walking around New York City in itself would do that. I had a complimentary beer. That was nice. I saw a few familiar beings. Jennie who was showing my drawings. Cathy Ward and Eric Wright. Fresh off the press: Raw Vision will be hosting a similar event in London (UK) mid-March.

The OAF opening was busy and buzzing. I saw friend Julia Sisi there, working at the Raw Vision stand with the great John Maizels. It was cool to see them. A man came up to me to express his admiration for my drawings. We talked about the different pens I use. He said something about the level of detail “you and Nick Blinko“. Wow. The most pleasing work at the fair for me to experience were three paintings by Joe Coleman, who has finally been un-banned from having work shown there, and his works were incidentally shown at the Andrew Edlin Gallery stand, Andrew Edlin being owner of the fair also. Coleman was banned under previous ownership though. Edlin’s stand for me is generally a highlight in what they show. I was awestruck by another monumental Marcel Storr work there again. The most impressive of Joe Coleman’s works must have been finished just days or at most a couple of weeks before the fair opened, evidenced by a section in the work being dedicated to the late Norbert Kox who had very recently transcended the Earth.


Joe Coleman ‘Adam Parfrey: A Feral Man in a Feral Land’, 2018-2019

 


detail of Norbert Kox

 

Also of note, as is usually the case, to my eye anyway, were the selections displayed by the Cavin-Morris and Henry Boxer galleries. Apparently the exhibition Cavin-Morris had on at their actual gallery in New York was considered by some to be the best show they have ever put together. I was adamant that I’d reach and see it while I was there but sadly the stars didn’t align that way. They currently have a solo exhibition of Christine Sefolosha‘s work on show, which must be fantastic. Sefolosha is a force to be reckoned with. It has now been a month since the fair, and a lot else has been happening so I’ll move ever onward..

Whilst in NYC, I did manage to see the Hilma af Klimt exhibition at the Guggenheim. I was not aware of her and had missed a recent exhibition of her work at The Serpentine in London. The Guggenheim show was interesting to see. I think it could have been curated better but it was fascinating to see her work and learn about it. I can’t say I like all of it, but some of it was pretty special and considering it in various contexts was quite enlightening, notably when the work was created and how overlooked it was within art history.


Hilma af Klimt works at the Guggenheim, NYC

 

The New York trip continues with a party at the American Folk Art Museum where I saw the Paa Joe and John Dunkley exhibitions. Both interesting in different ways. I walked around the John Dunkley exhibition sensing something very familiar about the work and eventually saw this painting which immediately took me back to the museum in Kingston, Jamaica where I had seen this very painting a few years ago when I was there. I believe it was the only John Dunkley painting I saw when I was there, or it was the only one that struck me, but clearly it stayed with me somewhere in the brain files.


John Dunkley ‘Banana Plantation’, c.1945

 

Lastly, it was Saturday, I had been running around town since Wednesday and against my urge to reach everywhere I wanted to reach, felt I did need some rest. My calculations of timing had begun to be off, and it was clear I needed to make some adjustments. I passed on the Ricco/Maresca party dedicated to the recently passed Phyllis Kind, which I’d really have liked to experience. (note: I’d only met Phyllis Kind once, over a decade ago in the last year or two of her New York gallery being open. The exhibition was fantastic and I also got to see a Nick Blinko drawing up close for the first time, which was brought out from the stock room after we’d got talking about his work.) I laid low for an hour and then walked through the rain to Zinc Bar. It was imperative to check out some music, after all. I’d been in touch with trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah whom I’d interviewed for my radio shows over the years (the Sweet Earth Records special, and the Arthur Blythe special) and he said he would be performing there with a group called AfroHORN and that Bob Stewart (note: Bob Stewart’s solo on Arthur Blythe’s Lennox Avenue Breakdown from the late ’70s is potentially the most significant tuba solo in Jazz history) would be guesting also. This show was from 8-10pm and there was another show over in Brooklyn that I’d initially planned to go see from 10pm onwards. I was toying with the idea of doing both somehow. The other show was a collective improvisation featuring the legendary drummer/percussionist Warren Smith, saxophonist Salim Washington who I was interested in seeing from having listened to him on a record by QPSM Unit, and Ras Moshe Burnett whom I was intrigued to see also. I never made it to that event. Partly because, to my surprise, Salim Washington was on stage at the AfroHORN gig! I’d mentioned to Ahmed Abdullah via email, the other show, and he responded delighted to hear Salim Washington was in town and that they had known each other for a couple of decades and had been neighbours and worked together but that he had moved to South Africa. I could be wrong, but there is a possibility that Salim Washington was on that stage in Manhattan in part due to me having mentioned him in an email to Ahmed Abdullah!? Potential evidence in support of an alternate explanation is that the bassist on that QPSM Unit record was also on stage in Manhattan that night and that could have been his in. (In some sort of way, this reminds me of the time Wayne Kramer of the MC5 was performing in London on the day GG Allin died, give or take a couple of decades, and as we were in correspondence at the time, I’d mentioned it to him the day before. The first words he said before starting to play referenced GG’s death and the newspaper reviews the following day made a point to highlight this. Kind of silly, but it’s funny how and where things ricochet). In any case, I was so glad I had come to hear this. It truly lifted my spirit and rejuvenated my everything. I was fulfilled and didn’t need to rush off to any next thing. I was soaking it in and reflecting on it for some time after. Salim Washington’s partner and baby were in attendance, all seemingly leaving for the other gig ten minutes before the set ends. Also not in the listing was that the incredible Donald Smith was on piano that night. Blissful. They did a great rendition of Sun Ra’s ‘Love in Outer Space’ (standout version being from Sun Ra’s ‘Night of the Purple Moon‘ LP from 1970. Note: both Ahmed Abdullah and ArfoHORN leader Francisco Mora Catlett played with Sun Ra’s Arkestra in the 1970s and beyond. I first heard Ahmed Abdullah on one of the first records that got me into Sun Ra, ‘Cosmos‘ from 1976) and a wonderful version of Reggie Fields’s ‘Reminiscing’. I sacrificed the moment to capture some on my phone, which you can check out if you scroll down to the bottom of all this.


with Ahmed Abdullah

 

As if I don’t have more significant things to include in this already overstretched newsletter/blog post, here is an inflated rat I saw in New York, and a couple of octopus sightings..



 

You know what? This was all stuff from my New York trip and I have a lot of other things to write still, but there is enough here. To keep it neat and for those of you that have read this to the end, I’ll let you return to your lives for now.. The subheading for this post was ‘New York, New York’ because the second dose of New York will be happening in March already. Those very recent and exciting developments alluded to in the opening sentences of this post will have to wait. I’ll save that information for the next entry, which I will follow this one up with sooner than you think.. I hope.

AfroHORN – ‘Reminiscing’ live @ the Zinc Bar, NYC, January 2019

Time is the whirlwind (part 1)

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Outsider Art Fair Paris, 18th-21st October, 2018

It came and went. And a lot has come and gone since. I haven’t managed to post in the blog here, and it’s all piled up and fragmented now. I’ll see what I can recollect and hope not to leave anything ‘significant’ out. I recently returned from New York, where I experienced the Outsider Art Fair there, which was certainly a whirlwind. I use this metaphor a lot. In the end, time is the whirlwind!

Paris in October was destined to be an unparalleled moment for me, due to having the calendar-diary I’d spent a year and a half accumulating over 50,000 words within in response to becoming a father and detailing every day of that until the page was filled, shown. The weekly magazine of auction sales, La Gazette Drouot, must have caught wind of this and in turn mentioned me in their ‘Vous Avez Dit <<Outsider Art>>?’ article, published in No.35 on 12th October. (note: click on images to enlarge)

People, L-R (me, Marilena with sleeping Nemo, Philippe) Art works L-R (my calendar-diary containing 1st jan 2017- 8th May 2018, a stunning work by Madge Gill)

Lucienne Peiry, former director of the Collection de L’Art Brut (2001-2012) and still working as Director of Research and International Relations there, found my drawings interesting and we had a chat. The museum have since acquired one of my diary drawings, which leaves me somewhat speechless.

Lucienne Peiry observes ‘The Disadvantages of Time, part 1: Grandfather Clock’

 

My diary efforts, sandwiched in between works by Aloise Corbaz and Madge Gill

Of note at the fair, was encountering Tim Ter Wal (represented by Maison Savant at the Galerie Atelier Herenplaats (Rotterdam, Netherlands) booth in a moment of working on his drawing. I noticed people just photographing him without actually speaking to him, which I found quite unsettling. I didn’t want to interrupt him though, but got talking to the gallerist whom I’d had contact with in the past, and in an opportune moment I got to speak with the artist and ask him if he minded me taking any photos while he is working. He said he didn’t mind. So, here are a couple of photos below.

Tim Ter Wal

I took the opportunity to visit some other exhibitions while I was in Paris and was glad to catch my friend Julia Sisi‘s solo show ‘Hypnagogies’ at the Galerie d’un Livre l’autre which had been extended, making it possible for me to see it. I don’t have any photos but spent quite some time absorbing all the energy and wonder. I also managed to see La Maison Rouge’s final exhibition, ‘L’Envol’, which was an inspired and enjoyable exploration of (some of) our collective desire to fly, physically and metaphorically.

Fun flying

 

An incredible Adolf Wolfli drawing

 

 

Detail from the George Widener piece. He strongly advises you not to fly on these dates. Pass it along.

 

Bruno Decharme (abcd Collection), who co-curated the exhibition, tells a wonderful story about this art/artist which I’ve by now managed to lose from my memory. But you can see people were entranced.

 

An original page of Winsor McCay‘s ‘Little Nemo in Slumberland‘ (1910), which to my amusement is focussed on the moon simultaneous to a time when my son Nemo is constantly expressing his fascination with the moon

I also managed to see the Jean-Michel Basquiat and Egon Schiele exhibitions at the Fondation Louis Vuitton. It took an hour to get in and was very busy, but the Basquiat was well curated, unlike the recent Barbican show in London. A few years ago I saw a refreshingly unpretentious Basquiat retrospective at the Guggenheim in Bilbao, which was exciting. It was also the first time I’d managed to see an exhibition of his work. The Paris show possibly had the right balance though, overall.

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Finally, I caught the dynamic and rich Halle Saint Pierre exhibition ‘Art Brut Japonais II’ which featured all manner of work by many interesting and intriguing artists whom I sadly cannot do justice to here due to time restrictions but the catalogue looked quite fantastic, so perhaps seek that out. One highlight was this epic piece (seen below) by Norimitsu Kokubo, who’s work I think I first saw at an exhibition at the Wellcome Collection in London a few years ago. Incidentally, we were both represented by the Jennifer Lauren Gallery at the Outsider Art Fair in New York last week (at time of writing this). More on that in the next blog entry…

Norimitsu Kokubo

Yes, so all of the above should have been put together and posted months ago. The writing would have most likely been more detailed, precise, and poignant.. but even in these short months, things fade with time.. I was going to write about the New York Outsider Art Fair now, but certainly 1) do not have enough time 2) I would use up way too much space, which also means you’ll most likely not have enough time to read it all either. I really hope to post it very soon. In the next few days.. or.. next week?

Meanwhile, if I’d managed to get my phone out to film it a bit sooner, you’d get a better view but if you watch this on a loop a few times, here is a squirrel down my road, getting confused by some fake 2D trees. I guess the designers didn’t think that through, or they simply did not care, or were curious to see what would happen, etc.. Anyhow, here it is, from around the same time as all the above (according to my phone)..

New recordings, and the Outsider Art Fair Paris 2018

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Outsider Art Fair Paris, 18th-21st October

It is nearly upon us. In just over a week, I shall be getting the train to Paris excited to be practicing iconolatry on such a scale yet again at the Outsider Art Fair. This year, at the new location –

Atelier Richelieu, 60, rue de Richelieu 75002, Paris.

More info here.

Some of my diary-related drawings will be on show with the Galerie Du Marché coming from Lausanne, Switzerland. I am especially pleased to be showing what I can only describe as the most monumental diary drawing to have been channeled through my nib. More on that below. . . No doubt I’ll be on the wall there, in the company of the usual unusual array of non-living artists, as that is where I seem to fit in all this. I can’t complain.

 

Diary, 1st January 2017- 8th May 2018

The photograph above was taken on the day of completion of my largest diary drawing. The format is different to the usual A4 landscape, and the text also follows a different pattern. I had intended to approach this with the idea of filling it daily, like a calendar, allocating specific spaces to each day of the year 2017. The result, however, spills into the following 2018 (8th of May to be precise, the day this photograph was taken, incidentally). The need to do this drawing came to me a few weeks before the end of 2016. My son was to be born late January/early February 2017. I felt to document the weeks leading up to the birth and capture the evolution of each day after until the end of the year. Expecting a whirlwind of developments and no time to process/retain a lot of the on-going nuanced details, this idea seemed like a way to capture these and keep them contained. Unfortunately, due to severe back issues which had me frequenting the osteopath, as well as other unforeseen instances/setbacks, I could not draw every day on this occasion, but did keep a written diary for the days I missed, which I could later include in the drawing. In any case, a somewhat uncanny thing happened. I had created the equivalent of around 5-6 usual A4 size diary drawings in under a year and a half. I am usually creating 2 a year, 3 at a push (there was one A4 diary that took me two and a half years to complete but that’s another story), and that was with the more time I was able to give in the pre-parenting phase of life. I have never been very good at Math. But these contrasting results make little sense to me. Answers on a postcard. With over fifty thousand words in the drawing, the equivalent to the most densely packed of previous A4 diary drawings is more or less reached also.

So yes, this drawing will be shown for the first time at the Outsider Art Fair in Paris.. If you’re able and willing, come to the fair and you can see it.

 

Vestiges & Verse: Notes from the Newfangled Epic book published

Earlier this year, a selection of my drawings were shown in the group exhibition Vestiges & Verse: Notes from the Newfangled Epic at the American Folk Art Museum in New York.  The accompanying publication is now available to purchase and has a profile on each of the twenty one artists who’s work was shown including Henry Darger, Achilles Rizzoli, Adolf Wolfli, and Aloise Corbaz. The text on me and my work was written by Barbara Safarova.

 

See’s To Exist Show – Doug Hammond special

I’m still at it, doing my monthly ‘Jazz’-focussed radio show on NTS. Generally I am playing records from my collection and speaking a bit about some of them. Occasionally I find or make the time to shed light on particular artists or record labels and hone in on details of interest, gleaning what I can from the conversations I manage to arrange. The most recent of these comes in the form of edition 165, my special show on the fascinating drummer/percussionist Doug Hammond and you can hear that here.  We speak on some of the collaborations he’s been involved in (David Durrah, Tribe Records, Charles Mingus, Byard Lancaster, Family of Percussion..), self releasing music, the recent documentary focussed on him and his work, and more. Enjoy.

Here is one of the recordings of Doug Hammond’s that initially piqued my curiosity some years ago..

 

GDPR

I’ve saved the most mundane for last. Some months ago, new privacy safety measures were put into effect and I made some effort to comply with this in regards to the newsletter I send out only twice a year or so, through Mailchimp. I re-invited those that were subscribed and ended up with just 5% or so of them resubscribing. It seems some tried to but were unable also, which reflects either my ineptness or how complicated this process is for a lot of people like myself trying to keep these things going with minimal understanding of the necessary technologies. Long story short, I’ve just rejigged the subscription button on this blog (top left side of the page), so hopefully if you tick the GDPR box and the other box to subscribe, it will work. Please let me know if it doesn’t, and if it does, please forward this on to anyone you know who may have previously been subscribed, that would be a great help, thanks.

 

That’s all, folks. I’ll be back.

Bright moments,

Carlo

 

 

This was January 2018

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Outside In: Journeys at Sotheby’s, New Bond Street (London, UK)…

I’ve just returned from New York and will use this space to recall some of what happened. Firstly, prior to embarking on that odyssey, I was excited to see the Outside In exhibition at Sotheby’s, a bit closer to home in London. The opening night was quite extravagant and as busy as could be. Perhaps someone knew there would be bottomless champagne glasses handed out? I’d like to think all these new faces were there to marvel at some of the wondrous works on show. The works were nicely lit, with a strange blueish hue hovering around them (or was that just me seeing it?). In some ways it was the perfect setting to celebrate Outside In’s certified charity status, and they did well in accumulating art works from throughout their journey, from 2006 to the present. In my case, Picture Worth a Thousand Words was on show. This was the painting I submitted for their competition/exhibition in 2009. I was one of the six ‘winners’ and they offered me my first solo exhibition as a result. At that point in time, the painting was a decade old already. Seeing it hung in Sotheby’s a few weeks ago, I realised it had doubled in age since then. It returns every ten years to fuel and strengthen my belief in the power and propelling of cycles. And to think, this painting blew off the roof of a car twice on the motorway from London to Chichester when we were initially delivering it in 2009. It suffered wounds. Thankfully that was all! Anyhow, it was certainly touching to see it again and whilst waiting for my coat in the cloakroom on my way out, I had a sudden urge to go and see it once more and to touch it. In that moment, a strange sense of time and movement ran through me, much more effective than my words could reflect. Something I have never felt before. I did return a few days later to show my family. There were a healthy amount of people around, but it was much easier to speak and move around. I must give a mention to some of the other great work on show, courtesy of artists Phil Baird, Kate Bradbury, Nick Blinko, Aradne, Albert, Manuel Bonifacio and James Lake among others. Normally I would have taken some photos of the works in situ but am whirl-winding through life at the moment, so I hope the links contained within the aforementioned names typed will suffice. I did get a snapshot of Jarvis Cocker making a speech at the opening though (if you haven’t seen his two part documentary on ‘Outsider environments’ for Channel 4 which screened in the late ’90s of the previous millennium, check the internets). Also, a shot of me with Nemo (a few weeks prior to his first birthday) a few days later in front of my work (also from the late ’90s). Big shout out to Marc Steene, founder and Director of Outside In and all round renaissance man for being unquestionably transcendental.

Jarvis Cocker speaks at Outside In: Journeys opening

 

Carlo and Nemo beside ‘Picture Worth a Thousand Words’

 

Vestiges and Verse: Notes from the Newfangled Epic at the American Folk Art Museum, Lincoln Square (NYC, USA)…

I’ve just returned from New York and will use this space to recall some of what happened. In terms of the exhibition, a very impressive and ambitious conceptual manifestation. It is an honour to be among the (mostly dead and few living) artists chosen to be featured. Five of my diary drawings are shown, spanning the years 2010 – 2016. Interestingly, that is the most of them that I have seen alongside each other at one time. Most probably I have never had that many in my possession at any one time, either. It was somewhat challenging negotiating time with little Nemo, considering the five hour time difference to back home but we took him along to the opening as planned. He fell asleep in a sea of noise and wonderment. It was a bizarre cocktail of adrenaline and tiredness. A surreal experience for sure. My works were hung in a space opposite a master work by Aloïse Corbaz and works by James Edward Deeds Jr. Some magnificent Adolf Wölfli works were displayed in the same area. It was a trip to be shown in an exhibition with so many works by  Achilles Rizzoli, which in this case heavily focussed on compositions comprised mainly of text rather than the phenomenal architectural imaginings he penned. I highly recommend this book. It was interesting to see some Paul Laffoley works again. His weighing out of systems is very intriguing to me. His work first caught my eye at the highly poignant The Alternative Guide to the Universe exhibition at the Hayward, in London in 2013. He was still alive then. Vestiges and Verse: Notes from the Newfangled Epic in some ways reminded me of that great show at the Hayward. So many interesting artists collected and put into a captivating context to provide a lens through which you observe the similarities, and sometimes somehow the similarities through the differences, based on how far in a direction they will each take you. 

My work was in view upon first glance beyond the entry point into the exhibition. Approaching it, it didn’t take a nanosecond to realise one of the drawings was hung upside down. This has since been rectified. I thought not to mention it here, but human error occurs (and we should be thankful for that!). This incident raised the question for me, ‘Am I so far down this road that only I can see how obvious it is that this drawing is upside down?’. Among attendees at the opening were, aside from myself, two other living artists being shown in the exhibition. Susan T King and Jerry Gretzinger. The former, I have admired and written a bit about in recent years. Jerry, on the other hand, I was not aware of. It was a great pleasure to meet him and speak at some length with him specifically/personally, but also as someone else included in the show, sharing stories about our paths and how we end up where we end up. I’m completely in awe of his map project which began in the 1960s and is on-going. Mesmerising. Find yourself ten minutes, get yourself a hot drink and watch this. An artist I was not expecting to meet that night was Joe Coleman, which was a more than pleasant surprise. It began with a “look who’s behind you, Carlo”, and there he was beside my work. Thanks to Jennie we got talking a bit, about Henry Darger (who has some incredible work in the show), The curator Valérie Rousseau, and other artists in the show. He left me with the words “Welcome to the family”. The family? The family?? Thanks Joe. Below are some photos from the opening. The exhibition runs for a duration of three months or so. Check it out if you can! 

 

Rizzoli works being scrutinised at the opening

 

Joe Coleman and Carlo Keshishian. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Gilbert.

 

Joe observes Carlo’s diaries. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Gilbert.

 

Joe Coleman, Carlo Keshishian, Jennifer Gilbert. Vestiges and Verse: Notes from the Newfangled Epic exhibition opening at the American Folk Art Museum in New York, NY on January 20, 2018. (Photo by Stephen Smith/Art Zealous)

 

In view: Aloïse Corbaz’s 14 meter long master work ‘Cloisonné de théâtre’.

 

Carlo Keshishian and Jerry Gretzinger. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Gilbert.

 

Part of Jerry’s map visible in bottom left corner. Photographed during Valerie Rousseau speaking at opening.

 

I feel like there was more I wanted to write but it escapes me now. I need to stop writing here and continue writing in the current diary drawing, so will let this be for now. I hope to update the blog more frequently, yadda yadda.. let’s see..

Bright moments, Carlo.

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