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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What’s new and still old

In this entry of my seemingly biannual blog I have little to say that isn’t said elsewhere but I have a couple of links to throw at you containing masses of information, should you be interested. Firstly, I’ll draw attention to the latest diary page completed a couple of months ago. Click on it to see it in more detail. It may take a moment to load. And click on it again to see it in more detail:

11/3/14 - 26/8/14

I’m currently working on the next diary drawing, which unlike previous diary drawings which have more of a stream of consciousness based approach in terms of structure, even though there are in depth and thorough explorations into ideas, topics and experiences, the new diary is a continuation of the one illustrated here, focussing on just one topic, an in depth analysis which I feel will most likely even carry through onto a third page.

In other news, I’ve recently gotten back from a trip to France. Mainly Paris. I was there for the Outsider Art Fair. Quite an indulgent affair. There was a lot going on in terms of exhibitions and I saw more art than I would usually see in at least half a year. I documented some of my experience of being there for the Outside In blog which you can read here: click here

Ah yes, also, a well rendered image of mine is used in the David Maclagan article Beyond the Doodle, printed in Raw Vision magazine issue #82. You can read an extract from the article here and/or buy the magazine which features the full article with the glorious accompanying images and rest of magazine full of fascinating art to ponder on, HERE.

Finally, something that I received a few days back, which terrified me (fittingly, for Halloween), was an eleven minute video interview that I did for Uncooked Culture TV. I’d almost forgotten about it and then it just appeared out of nowhere. I still don’t understand how it spans eleven minutes but it does. Should you be interested in viewing this, you can find it below and it may be an idea to view it full screen if you want to see more clearly. That’s all for now.

Until next time..

Carlo.

2014 so far…

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Where to Begin…

How does one start a blog entry when 6 or so months have passed since the last. It seems to be a recurring thing, this accumulate and combust pattern. All I can do is create breathing space by leaving gaps and making more paragraphs. A few photos here and there.. Firstly, here is the last completed diary drawing.. which I began in April of 2011 and completed in November of 2013.

Diary-April-2011-Nov-2013

The new one is coming a lot faster. I am nearly halfway through it, and began it in February.

 

Circus Terminal New Zealand/Slovenia

The adventures continue with the Circus Terminal touring exhibition, accumulating more artists and artwork along the way. My work was shown in New Zealand, reaching further across the globe than me! In some ways, a parallel to a news piece I read recently regarding humans reaching a depth in the ocean that we’d never reached before, and finding some of our rubbish there. Our litter reached these unexplored areas before we did.

I can speak (a lot) more about Circus Terminal’s excursion to Slovenia as I actually went along for the ride on this one.. but in regards to chronology, I shall speak about my trip to New York first..

 

New York / Inside the Outsider Art World

I have an interesting relationship with this city. It brings back my awareness of everything resonating on a paradoxical level. I came into Newark airport, which I felt would be quieter and easier than JFK, as last time at JFK I had to queue for an hour and twenty minutes to get through passport control, which was a lot worse for the weak-kneed elders, families with little babies and children, or the obese.. I remember waiting for my luggage and hearing an announcement over the p.a., to paraphrase: “Please keep your mobile phones off in the luggage pick up area”.. and as my phone was on, I took it out of my pocket to turn it off, and within seconds a security/police person was beside me ‘excuse me sir, you’re gonna have to turn that off’.. I began to explain that this is why I had taken it out of my pocket, but he cut me off mid sentence and seemed aggravated by my being conversational/talking back to him.. Newark welcomed me in a similar fashion. The queue only took half an hour or so. I noticed a poster up which was focussed on explaining how the security there should treat you with respect and are there to help you etc.. etc.. Before arriving at the passport desk, a security guy was randomly checking people’s passports in the queue. He looked through mine and laughed whilst saying ‘why have you been to Libya so many times??’, (why have I been to New York so many times!?), I responded ‘I’ve never been to Libya’. He changed his expression and seemed stumped for a moment. He pointed at the stamps and asked what they were. I said ‘Lebanon’. He said ‘Same thing’.. I refrained from commenting further. Not long after, when I was on the New Jersey Transit train to Penn station in Manhattan, the ticket officer checked my ticket and I asked her roughly how long the ride to Penn is, and she of course answered with ‘do you have a smartphone?’, why she couldn’t just say ’10 mins’ or something like that, I don’t know.. This is New York, sometimes. I told her I don’t have internet as I am coming from London and to use internet here would be extortionate. Very much like the character of Gail in the film After Hours (one of my all time favourites, set in Manhattan), she completely ignored my comment and proceeded to show me this app on her phone which tells you the timetables of the trains etc.. She then turned around and showed the app to a couple of the other (American) passengers, telling them it’s quite useful. I reiterated my point “Can you just tell me, 5 minutes? 10 minutes?”, and in her overly helpful fashion she responds “I told you, 2 stops!”.. Thanks. As it was a national train, it is difficult to determine the length/space between stops, but I left it at that.

On thing I do like about New York is that you see stuff like this on the train platforms..

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The next phase was meeting someone to pick up keys for an apartment. Interesting lady. I had no luggage with me, which she was glad about, being paranoid about people in the building noticing visitors coming and going with luggage. This is understandable. I explained to her though that I’d be picking up a suitcase from somewhere the following day. She asked how big it was. We talked about all sorts of things and then I noticed she had these circular cards on the table and was shuffling them around as we spoke. She then mentioned that perhaps I should bring the suitcase in the morning instead of the afternoon. By now I’d pieced together the puzzle and she was using tarot cards to help her figure out when I should sneak this suitcase into the building. Another ‘After Hours’ moment. I had a busy schedule and couldn’t comply to her fully, but compromised the timing in regards to when I will bring this suitcase. I assured her it was very light and would take just a minute to walk through.. There are more eccentric aspects to this story but I shall refrain from going into those details..

Ah yes, the Outsider Art Fair.. I enjoyed it. Saw some great works by Edmund Monsiel, Raphael Lonne, A.G. Rizzoli, Nick Blinko, Christine Sefolosha, Stephanie Lucas, and many others.. I was intrigued by the talks on Jean-Michel Basquiat and Henry Darger, and spent my Saturday attending both. I go into some detail about these in a blog entry I have written for Outside In which has just been uploaded here. The stand out moment for me that afternoon was when James Brett took control of the panel discussion on Henry Darger and made it his own, becoming more and more animated as he built up to revealing his epiphany regarding Darger’s images and how they each follow on to the next, aesthetically, if you put them next to each other. He used nine or so slides to illustrate this point and flicked back and forth between them, the more he pushed the point, the louder the rain got. The talk took place on the roof of Center 548, with a temporary tent erected around us, you could see the material fluctuate from the violent rain and winds, and as Brett landed on a Darger image depicting a sky full of lightning, thunder struck and lightning flashed in completely simultaneous synchronicity on the roof of Center 548. The rain got so loud that we couldn’t hear the speakers’ voices and they had to stop for some time to see if it would calm down, and as it was passively said on the panel, echoing what some of the people in the room must have also been thinking half seriously, is that it was like Darger was interrupting the talk from above, showing his reaction, resonating with the theatrics of discovery.

Here’s another New York shot:

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 I was out and about a lot in New York.. entering the outside world at around 10am and returning just after midnight each day for four days straight. My energy didn’t seem to run low at any point until I returned home after an overnight flight which I did not sleep during. The following morning I set off for Slovenia, adding a further hour to the jet lag and putting me in a completely different environment. Anyhow, prior to that, in New York I managed to check out a few record shops. I had planned to visit just two but I eventually got through a dozen or so. I have some fuel for my radio show, which hopefully should be starting up again at a different radio station in the next few weeks.. I saw a few films, ate some great food, saw a few exhibitions. Of note is the Raymond Pettibon exhibition at Venus over Manhattan. Was great to see that. It’s a shame I only found out about the exhibition of Basquiat drawings on the Saturday during the Outsider Art Fair talk. I wanted to go the following day but the gallery was closed Sundays according to the internet and I flew home that night. I did however walk past a gallery with no signage, where some activity had caught my eye. A man holding open the door, another carrying packages from a van. The man holding the door asked “Well, are you coming in??”, I responded “I don’t know.. what’s going on in there?…. What’s the show?”, he said “Keith Haring”, and so I went in. I wouldn’t have even known about it! Was good to catch that. On the same street there was an exhibition of Julian Schnabel paintings from the late ’80s I believe. So it’s funny to see that era all on show at once. The Schnabel stuff is just interesting to see purely in terms of scale. The content I don’t really connect with.

I was told it wasn’t a very good record, but I do love a good octopus find.. Here’s a photo from the ‘rare records room’ at the Downtown Music Gallery..

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and here is a photo of me in front of a wall painted by Raymond Pettibon..

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Circus Terminal  Slovenia

The journey to Piran seemed dubiously painless, until halfway through the flight when we were informed that the plane had been struck by lightning.

I saw the flash of light but heard no thunder. There was some roller-coaster turbulence. Five minutes or so later, the pilot said something (to paraphrase): “As you may have noticed, our plane has been hit by lightning. Normally, we would continue on to the closest airport, in this case our destination, and have engineers look at the plane upon arrival. Unfortunately there are no engineers at Ljubjana and so we have to turn around and return to Stansted.” We got there and remained in our seats as engineers explored the damage for 30 minutes or so. According to the pilot, the lightning had penetrated the plane through one sheet of metal and come through the other side of another piece of metal. This occurred very close to a circuit board which is related to measuring internal or external pressure, but thankfully the circuitry was unaffected. We were then told that they would spend the next 15 minutes or so scraping off some of the burn marks and then we would be back on our way. Nok’s flight was arriving in the morning but she had decided to wait for me until I land at 4pm. Of course now that I was landing a few hours later, she rightfully left the airport to embark on the road trip to Piran. I would be picked up by a young lady who takes a small fee for running a sort of organised hitch hiking service which people can use on the internet to get a lift from town to town. After having just been hit by lightning and surviving, the conversation between my designated driver and I over the next hour  somehow didn’t phase me, but I did feel quite overloaded after. We touched upon planned parenting, censorship, castration, good vs evil, free will, population control, the eradication of money, horse burgers and various other wonderful topics. It’s a bit of a blur to me now. We did pick up two more passengers along the way but they remained mostly quiet. One of them seemed quite interesting though.. He teaches kindergarden and makes this trip once every couple of months on his own with some psilocybin and just walks around these three towns for several days. He said it gives him time to think and reflect and clear his mind. I don’t remember him carrying anything else with him. He seemed pretty together. I wished him a good trip as he exited the vehicle and quite soon after reached my own destination.

I was welcomed by this lovely mosaic piece at the Trumpet and Cloud hostel, where I was staying for 10 Euros a night!..

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 I know it was just a week ago but somehow it feels like a lot has time has passed since then already and the details get rearranged in my brain. I think it was the following day or possibly the day after that, that we took the art works down to the gallery. Circus Terminal is certainly a miracle of an embarkment, and only one Nok has the energy, drive and vision to pull off such an impossible task. I remember two or three years ago when the exhibition had maybe 15 or 20 artists on board, and since then after having toured through France, Spain, Thailand, USA, UK, Holland, and Australia, picking up new artists as the momentum continues, we now have a suitcase full of 350 or so art works by around a hundred artists. Here’s some photos of walking down the hill and taking the work to the Kud Esko exhibition space!

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And then we laid all the art works out on the floor, and in some sort of mysterious fashion they began to get placed on the wall with a sort of improvised, yet practiced, (dis)order..

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Contemplation back at the hostel..

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and a full moon..

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By the next day we were joined by Farad and Verena who drove over from Austria. We took Farad’s work down to the gallery..

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We visited a sculpture park..

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We drove past some salt-extracting environments, and this guy went in to go fishing with his harpoon..

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We were told that there was a fish market or something going on in Piran and so we went down to go and buy some fish to bring back to the hostel and barbecue in the garden. When we got closer, we found out that they were actually giving away free fish. This sounded quite unusual.. We got there and they were cooking fish and giving people a fish each to eat, so we queued and got some free local wine and fish for lunch, which was incredible. I asked how often this happens and they said it will probably happen again towards the end of summer..

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Back at the gallery, and hundreds of reference sheets with no order to match art works and images with titles etc..

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Unorthodox methods..

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and the opening..

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Some of the local and young artists were painting a wall outside.. And Farad and I had an impromptu noise jam inside.. Farad was shredding on the guitar and I was providing some drum programming and effects.. Check out some of Farad’s music here.

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Gotta thank our hosts, Vasko and Nina, good job!

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Between the opening on Friday and the collaborative painting session I lead on Sunday, all sorts of whirlwind happened. I won’t go into the shenanigans but it was a guy called Igor’s birthday and he was throwing a party from Friday night which went on until Monday? I passed through on Friday night and though it was pouring with rain, the party was lively, there was plenty food on the grill and an infinite supply of beer and other beverages. Skipping right ahead to Sunday, I was hugely impressed by how quickly this massive canvas was getting filled with the marks of local artists, and it was great that they could make it and were either struggling through a hangover or opted to come and paint over staying at the party..

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It was funny to hear these people trying to read my drawing. They were doing a good job actually. It was weird hearing them read out what I’d written, aloud, slowly but surely..

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And more photos of the Circus Terminal here.

 

Horniman workshop

Fellow artist and collaborator, Phil Baird and I have been doing a few things here and there. We ran six weeks of workshops at the Three Cs Crossways center in Peckham, and have also held a series of workshops at the Horniman Museum in conjunction with Network Arts Lewisham and Drake Music. I recently got an email from the Horniman with some photos of the workshop we held there most recently at the Community Music Day, which are quite pleasant. It was quite a short workshop but we showed one of the films we had made, and then everyone played on some instruments that were provided by the museum. Phil and I jammed on a couple of instruments as the others drew their reactions to the sound, and we did a version of this which involved passing the drawings around until everyone has drawn on every page. Here are some photos, courtesy of photographer Kitty Gale..

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(c) Horniman Museum and Gardens

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(c) Horniman Museum and Gardens

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(c) Horniman Museum and Gardens

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(c) Horniman Museum and Gardens

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(c) Horniman Museum and Gardens

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(c) Horniman Museum and Gardens

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(c) Horniman Museum and Gardens

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(c) Horniman Museum and Gardens

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(c) Horniman Museum and Gardens

I don’t know who will have read this entire blog entry but I hope to write the next one sooner rather than later to avoid accumulating too much ‘stuff’ and it resulting in these mammoth proportions of text. In any case, I think I’ve reached my threshold for now! If all goes well, I should have some good stuff to report soon.. so, will be in touch!

Take care for now..

Carlo.

Solo Exhibition ‘Portals’ in Beirut / Nov.5th-Dec.7th

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Portals at The Running Horse Contemporary Art Space

So, my 2nd ever solo exhibition has opened at The Running Horse Contemporary Art Space, in Beirut, Lebanon. It’s on from November 4th until December 7th. My first solo show Leaving Somewhere New took place at the Otter Gallery in Chichester, UK, the summer of 2010. The show was a retrospective of the last 10 years of work that I’d made. The current solo show however, is all new works made in the last year and a half. I’d had the idea for this show 5-6 years ago, at a time when I didn’t know anyone in the field, so the realisation of putting on a solo show that would on top of it require a substantial space, seemed a million miles away. Being stubborn, patient and determined, I seem to have found my way though!

Check out these three very quickly taken photos courtesy of Alfred Tarazi and his camera phone. It was a rather impromptu run around the gallery towards the end of the night at the opening, and he took a snapshot of me in front of each of the 6 large paintings. They came out rather nicely I think!

Carlo at opening

Carlo at opening too

Carlo at opening again

And here’s a few more photos from setting up the show and the opening…

So, the show is comprised of spiral-based works. Ink, Acrylic, Oil, and spray on canvas and on card. I also made two 20 minute quadraphonic soundscapes to enhance the atmosphere. I jotted some things down to print out in relation to what the work means to me, which was available to take at the gallery. It still is I guess! I am back home in London now, that is why I might slip into past-tense referencing. The show is still on for a few weeks! Anyhow, I will leave you now with the text in case you might be interested to read about the works and my analysis:

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Reflections on a Compulsion of Spiralling Through Life

Accompanying passages to the exhibition ‘Portals’

by Carlo Keshishian

When I work, there are three ways in which concepts manifest themselves that I am aware of. Firstly, I might know what I am going to do and why. This often involves working from one area until I reach another and I will stubbornly see it through, regardless of how long it takes. On occasion, the process invites slight changes in direction. While it might seem like a clinical approach, there is a very organic and natural flow to it. Secondly, I am often made aware of what a work is about at some point during the process of creating the work, beyond having initially begun working on the piece instinctually. I sometimes then introduce a wider context. Lastly, and most interestingly, I don’t realize what a work was about or why I have made it until after it has been finished. This can be days or even years after. Concepts can also come alive simultaneously in the aforementioned manifestations.

The spiral and pool pieces contain a rich and dynamic variety of meanings which I am continually discovering. Like many artists and non-artists alike, I have been drawing spirals for longer than I can remember. A symbol to signify eternity, the void, and the whirlwind of life.

The spirals function as portals; for me during my experiencing the conception of the spiral, and for the onlookers, should they allow themselves to enter. Parallels are drawn (in more ways than one) with and from the result of having accessed parts of the brain which are ordinarily off limits, through the use of hallucinogenic properties. The spiral is a birth canal through which a metaphysical transcendence is manifested.

A peculiar thing occurred to me recently, and it was pointed out to me by someone I know, who noticed this thing. After people talk, I sometimes repeat the last sentence that they say, or sometimes the last word. I’m not sure how long I’ve been doing this but upon pondering on why, I’ve concluded it perhaps has to do with what happens to a word when it is repeated, especially considering the context it is in. I am aware that I like to think for quite some time before giving a response, and repeating someone’s last word or sentence is a practical way to buy me some time to think without leaving a pause of silence, but I also like to strengthen the meaning of the word by mirroring it back, and to at times question if the word or sentence was well chosen or not by lingering on its ‘importance’ by repeating it.. This takes me back to the idea of metamorphosis also, to take one meaning and to change the perspective, to morph away from its initial imprint. In a comical subconscious case of life imitating art, I feel that it’s something I’ve been exploring in my spiral paintings and drawings for a long time in a different form. It also reminds me of the idea of recording a sound, and re-recording it, and re-recording it, and continuing this process until the definition is completely lost. I think John Cage presented a piece of music based on this principle in the 1950s/60s..

These spirals and pools also reflect my belief that everything is a reaction to something else, and therefore happens for a reason. If one was able to see and comprehend everything that happens simultaneously all the time, this person would be able to predict the future based on learned knowledge regarding what will react to what, in what way and how outside factors will be involved. In the spirals/pools, every little ripple or abrupt change of direction affects its further growth, naturally, displaying everything that happens and why.

Being a fan of Paul Auster’s novels and having spent this year in particular reading through several of them in succession, a few interesting ‘coincidences’ have presented themselves, in relation to my Spiral series, very much in the way that Auster himself includes a lot of mysterious coincidences throughout his novels. The big unrelated coincidence manifested itself in the form of my Spiral series coming to fruition simultaneous to the Mayan prophecy of the Spiral 5th World, which comes into being in 2012/2013. I have been drawing and painting spirals since as far back as I can remember and have been thinking of accumulating all my energy and bringing my spirals into the context of a whole body for several years. The opportunity to do this in a suitable space and time frame occurred without my prior knowledge of the Mayan Spiral 5th World emergence, and its coinciding was quite a remarkable token of alignment. I came to a point where I found myself reading Paul Auster’s ‘Mr.Vertigo’ which also triggers a recommendation made to me earlier this year, to see Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo’ simply for the stunning spiral which occurs in the credits. At the time of writing this, I am reading ‘Undercurrents’ by spiritual Jazz vibraphonist, Paris Smith, which contains a spiralling whirlpool on the cover. The spiral is a constant throughout my days, months, years and decades. As a dedication to Paul Auster and the interwoven coincidental mysteries that occur in his novels, and how that parallels my experiences in relation to the spiral, I have made titles out of words and phrases that I’ve extracted from various books of Auster’s, and several of the pieces in this show were titled through this process.

In regards to my creation process, it might be interesting to consider my having been surrounded by carpets and tapestries growing up, and how their creation process has indirectly affected my own, in terms of beginning my pieces at one point and working from there until an end point, not jumping from place to place, but knowing where the starting and ending points are going to be and having no way of ‘cheating’ or potentially putting into play any type of shortcuts. I use the same process to do elaborate text drawings, containing continuous diary entries where an accumulation of thoughts are recorded over a period of time, but I feel it’s the same thing in a way. The line in a spiral contains all that information as well.

In creating a spiral, a lot passes through me; The spiral contains one hundred songs, one thousand songs, one hundred variations of mood, various degrees of awareness, a rapid rate, a slow progression, an excruciatingly uncompromising addiction to endurance, an effortless patience, a vigorous urge to finish, a trance-like state, moments of perfection and moments of clumsiness, balance and contrast, all of nature’s miracles.

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Oh, well, last thing if you are still reading.. I stopped by at a bar in Hamra whilst walking around. It turned out to be the same bar my friend Azza took me to a few years ago, which was a funny ‘coincidence’.. but anyhow, what was funnier still was that they had octopus on their TV! Being a fan of the creature, I couldn’t help but feel everything falling into place as I sat there watching.. Was a funny moment. Here is the evidence:

Bar in Beirut

That’s all for now. Keep well and cashew sooooon..

Carlo

Further ongoing adventures..

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I’m back from Amsterdam. Nice place. Pockets of land with windy water passages throughout. The place is not short of record stores. Good to see  that vinyl all around town. The Circus Terminal came to town and we had a lot of fun..

 

Circus Terminal Amsterdam

The opening took place last Saturday at Amsterdam Outsider Art. With 85 artists from 19 countries being represented, you certainly get an overwhelming sensation of creative energy channeled through your optical orifices through to your brain, soul, and wherever else allows. A dynamic experience for sure, with raw ox meat and olives tantalising the taste-buds and illusory potential brides in a seemingly physical form, interacting with the onlookers. She was also there the following day, I am pretty sure, though perhaps I was just in a strange dream. There are photos though, so it must have been real. Click on these to see larger images..

 

Gareth Hughes, Carlo Keshishian, Chutima Nok Kerdpitak, Julia Sisi, Liz Parkinson

Gareth Hughes, Carlo Keshishian, Chutima Nok Kerdpitak, Julia Sisi, Liz Parkinson

Julia Sisi trying to read my mind

Lady and her dog contemplating my creations

Lady and her dog contemplating my creations

In comes the bride..

In comes the bride..

Catherine Goodwin (the bride) encounters Liz Parkinson

Catherine Goodwin (the bride) encounters Liz Parkinson

And then we hit the pub. Check out our Circus Terminal Amsterdam customised drink mats. Featuring Sisi, Liz, Bea, Gareth, Susan, and Carlo. Nok's was in production at time of photo.

And then we hit the pub. Check out our Circus Terminal Amsterdam customised drink mats. Featuring Sisi, Liz, Bea, Gareth, Susan, and Carlo. Nok’s was in production at time of photo.

 

The following day, I took it upon myself to lead and initiate a collaborative piece, which we enjoyed adding to for a couple of hours in the garden. So far there have been contributions from 7 artists and the canvas is open to addition until the exhibition ends August 17th, so if you’re in the area, make sure you get down there! Entry is free. I’ve got a few photos of  fellow Circus Terminalists Julia Sisi and Liz Parkinson getting involved with the collaborative canvas. I’ll post a photo of the (hopefully) finished canvas in my next blog entry. Gotta send a shout-out to Nok and Bert for all their energy going into putting this all together. Also, was nice to meet Susan and Emily from Studio B based out of Boyertown, Philadelphia, USA who hosted the last Circus Terminal incarnation. I think the next one might take place in Slovenia? or Serbia? Oh wait! Before that, there is one in London, UK in early September. Stay tuned for details…

My Posca pen partners and I getting busy. Gareth getting married in the back.

My Posca pen partners and I getting busy. Gareth getting married in the back.

Liz and I. The beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Liz and I. The beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Sisi and Liz

Sisi and Liz

Julia Sisi creating wonderfully. Nice little octopus dedication to me also!

Julia Sisi creating wonderfully. Nice little octopus dedication to me also!

Gareth adding his bit. I went on to put a stream under Sisi's ark.. I also did a half octpus half elephant half snail, no photo yet though.

Gareth adding his bit. I went on to put a stream under Sisi’s ark.. I also did a half octpus half elephant half snail, no photo yet though.

 

Maybe it’s just my tinnitus, but turn your volume way down..

Carlo meets Catherine

Carlo meets Catherine

 

The Running Horse Contemporary Arts Space

So, I’m off to Beirut to continue to put in motion (in more ways than one) some things to do with my big solo exhibition happening in November at The Running Horse Contemporary Arts Space and very much look forward to seeing Emi Miyashita‘s solo show which is currently on. Here’s some photos of what I remember from the Drawing Now Paris art fair which took place at the Carrousel du Louvre (I mainly remember seafood, but you can also see some Miyashita drawings nicely configured with many curious onlookers, and a few people looking at my drawing)..

All mine

All mine

All gone

All gone

Me being closely observed

Me being closely observed

More onlookers at the Louvre

More onlookers at the Louvre

 

Here’s some photos from my last Beirut trip..

Spiralling into control

Spiralling into control

Some graf'd up buses in Beirut

Some graf’d up buses in Beirut

Hot dog

Hot dog

Exploring the Spiral 5th World to no end

Exploring the Spiral 5th World to no end

Beirut at night with a large moon

Beirut at night with a large moon

Eat fruits

Eat fruits

Finish off with an Armenian beer brewed where I stay in Naccache, Lebanon

Finish off with an Armenian beer brewed where I stay in Naccache, Lebanon

 

Outside In / Impact Art Fair

Finally, when I get back from Beirut, on the very same day in fact, I’ll be picking up art works and rushing over to the Impact Art Fair in Brixton, London, UK to help out with Outside In‘s booth. The day I’m speaking of is Thursday 25th July. I’ll enjoy the preview night (I will!) and then head over and do a little DJ set at The Sun also in Brixton. That’s the plan anyway, but considering I have to get up at 4am and nomadically transport myself around for the following 20 hours, I might not make it to The Sun, but I really want to! I think I will. I can be a trooper. I’ll also be at the Impact Art Fair on Sunday 28th July (the last day) invigilating the Outside In booth, so if you’re around, do drop in and check out some art! Come keep me company.. all of the above.

Final Thoughts

I can’t seem to get into the habit of writing these blog entries more regularly, in more digestible doses, but I suppose it goes with my character to build and build and build and then deliver, so that’s the way it is. If you’ve cared to read this far down, good on you! I’ll be back with more in a while, but be sure to check some of the above stuff out when it’s happening.

Enjoy the summer,

Carlo.

 

Entering the Spiral 5th World…

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2013..

So, it appears this is my first post of 2013?! Where does the time go?!! Well, I guess all the 12 hour days of painting I’ve been doing is where. It’s not too out of control though, or ‘too in control’ should I say. I don’t need to put reminders in my phone about eating and showering, at least.. anyhow, art. Yes.. I am normally backed up 2-3 years as it takes time to execute projects and when I have an idea I want to do, I am uncompromisingly stubborn about doing it, regardless of when it will be, and I do things in order, so if I have an idea and it takes 3 years to reach an available time, that’s when I start. One such project is my next solo exhibition which is set for the end of this year. I’ve been wanting to do it for almost 5 years I think. It is focussed on a series of spiral-based works. Incidentally, this mix up about the end of the world/December 2012/the supposed Mayan prophecies that were actually a misconstrued version of Sumerian ideologies, brought to light something that the Mayans do have in one of their calendars, and that is the Spiral 5th World, what we are entering in 2013. I’ve been drawing spirals since I was an early teen or further back than that. That this Spiral 5th World is meant to be this year and it coincides with my solo exhibition of spiral based works is at the very least amusing to me, or maybe there is something to it, who knows!? Anyhow, as I’ve not written in this news blog for some time, I should address a few current on-goings…

My Website, Updated!

Thanks to sleepless Noel putting the time in (I owe him some fine dining), my website now contains a few additional images for you to peruse, so please go and zoom your hearts out! Also, the bio has been brought up to date. www.carlokeshishian.com

DRAWING NOW PARIS at the Carrousel du Louvre

From 11th-14th of April (next week!), the Drawing Now Paris art fair will take place, and I’ve got something showing with The Running Horse Contemporary Arts Space. Very happy to be shown alongside the wonderful work of Emi Miyashita.  I’m very excited about this as I love Paris, and I love that there is a whole art fair dedicated to drawings with galleries from around the world showing. There’s a couple of other galleries/organisations showing that I admire a lot also, so looking forward to seeing their stands especially too.. The Parisian gallery Christian Berst, and the Creative Growth group from California are of note. I don’t believe in coincidence but for lack of a better word, one is occurring in the form of the Hey! Part 2 exhibition at the Halle Saint Pierre‘s coinciding with my being in Paris due to being shown in an art fair. I was there for the Hey! exhibition in late 2011 and absolutely loved the show and the gallery/museum, and somehow the stars have aligned or something.. looking forward!

Books

Yes, people still read these things, and people still publish them. I am in a couple that are both available to buy! Well, one is out and the other is available for pre-order.. hmmm.. Maybe I will give them both individual attention, look:

Eight Arms of Inspiration: The Octopus Art Project

This is a big hardback book by Jinxi Caddel with the works of over 440 artists paying hommage to that cephalopod I am especially fond of, the octopus. Naturally, I have an image in there. Page 147, I believe. There’s a section for tattoos, a section for fine art, digital art, jewellery, any art form you can think of. Unfortunately it is difficult to get this book outside of the U.S.A. so I’m gonna have to wait a while before getting my hands on one, but if you can’t live without it or live in the USA, you can order it here or here. Here’s a photo of the book, and a short video:

Eight Arms of Inspiration

 

 

Line Let Loose: Scribbling, Doodling and Automatic Drawing

I’m super excited about this book. I’d read David MacLagan’s Outsider Art: From the Margins to the Marketplace  book a few years back, and so to be contacted by him asking if he could include a couple of images of mine in his new book was a pleasant surprise considering I’d never met him or anything. Eventually, it also came to be that one of my images is being used for the cover of the book as can be seen in the image below. This one isn’t quite out yet but can be pre-ordered from here or here or here or various other book stockists that your search engine will lead you to, if you are in other parts of the world etc… below the image of the book, I’ve put a lengthy video of Mr.MacLagan speaking with James Brett of target=”_blank”>The Museum of Everything and Jarvis Cocker of Pulp, on the topic of Outsider Art at the ICA in London.

Line Let Loose

 

Circus Terminal in Amsterdam

Well, that’s enough for you to chew on for now.. Next update will most likely be about the Circus Terminal exhibition that will take place in Amsterdam in July. I’ll be showing with them, and hopefully taking part in some live art action. It should be a lot of fun, so if you are in Amsterdam, please come and join! More details to follow..

Take care,

Carlo

The Universe and Shit…

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No, I’m Not Drawing Parallels About the Universe and Feces…

That would be difficult to draw. Or maybe not? Anyway, I will, however, summarize what’s been going on with me and stuff. Hmmm.. thinking about it now, it may make more sense to post a few blog updates rather than make one overwhelming intense block of information.. but I’ve started now, so…

 

Jazz Radio Show

I’ve been doing a weekly Jazz radio show which can be listened to live every Tuesday via www.station898fm.net if you go to where it says ‘listen’ and click on the link that opens in itunes or realplayer etc… I think it may not work with certain browsers. Anyhow, this is at around 11am-1pm GMT. I also upload the shows to my archive on Mixcloud, here. Towards the end of September I aired a two and a half hour Sun Ra special that I, modesty aside, put together quite thoroughly and in as much detail as I could within the time constraints. So whether you are a fan or want to begin your learning journey, go check it out. I chronologically play music that Sun Ra and his Arkestra made from 1955 until the present day, almost playing something for every year. I narrate passages from the excellent biography, and play a few portions of the wonderful documentary target=”_blank”>A Joyful Noise. Lastly, I even inserted an interview I conducted over the phone with Marshall Allen, who currently leads the Arkestra and has now been doing so for almost 20 years. He is currently 89 years of age and joined the group in 1958, so if you’re curious, you know what to do.

Circus Terminal in France

Much to my surprise, the Circus Terminal have included some of my prints in an exhibition they had at a chateaux in Liverdun, Lorraine, France. I was browsing their photo album on a certain face-based website and I saw this photo! :

I do like how my work forces people to get closer and make an effort to look. Interestingly, something I am working on right now requires standing quite far away from it to see it properly.. Sometimes these things occur to me by surprise. I didn’t intend to do the opposite, but a lot of my work explores push and pull, paradoxes etc, so even on a subconscious level I seem to be putting these angles in.

London Show at Annoushka with Outside In

Myself, Dannielle Hodson and Jasna Nikolic are showing in a group show at Jewellery boutique Annoushka just off of the King’s Road in London, near Sloane Square tube station. If you are around, do drop in and take a look. It’s on until the 20th October, and a rare London outing of my work! Art collector (and lovely lady) Rose Knox-Peebles put it quite nicely when she said to me: “Your bit of wall was magnificent – just black and grey amongst all the bling.” The opening was quite prestigious and interesting. The fancy dinner at Hix Belgravia after tasted just marvelous, courtesy of Coutts private bank. Yes it was all rather surreal. I didn’t take a camera and though there were lots of flashing lights, they didn’t seem interested in the artists, but rather models, dogs and local celebrity. I am a little bit visible in photo 15/15, on the right, in the darkness, look closely, next to Jennie from Outside In.. yes, we’re all in the same universe!

Saatchi Popularity Contest

Just across the street from Annoushka, Saatchi are doing another popularity contest and I have entered again, though am not campaigning hard like I did around the same time last year. I’ve penetrated the consciousness of Saatchi Gallery’s Director and am hoping she will cross the street and go look at my work at Annousha, though I doubt she will. Her reply simply addressed my cynicism regarding their voting system, which she claims has changed since last year, though I challenged her on these claims. Anyhow, I will shut up. Click, look, and click again, if you care to vote for me. the theme is ‘places and spaces’, so I entered my Morris Minor.

Outside In: National and Jean Dubuffet

Well, it’s almost time for the Outside In:National exhibition launch! I’m quite excited about this on several levels. It will take place at the one and only Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, UK. I was on the selection committee and given the exciting/hellish task of assessing the 2,310 entries which have now been averaged out based on the 4 selectors results, into around 80 or so art works that will go on display from 27th Oct- 3rd Feb 2013. Running alongside this exhibition will be ‘Transitions’, a retrospective of Jean Dubuffet’s work from 20th Oct- 3rd Feb 2013. I have been commissioned to make an art work which will be made into a limited edition print that will be given to the supporters of the exhibition. Those who have helped fund it, and those who are lending work, from museums and private collections etc… My original will also be exhibited within the retrospective.

Royal Academy Workshop

While I’m here, I may as well mention an InPerson ‘art jam’-themed workshop I am doing with David Johnson at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. It’s a little way off still but as I don’t post in the blogtopus very often,… It’s on November 9th from 6-8pm and will involve collaborative art making, in various forms.

 

Well, there you have it.

Look mum (/mom), I’m a busy boy!

Carlo. x

 

 

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