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. 

 

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 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.

Upcoming Exhibitions.

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Where to Begin…

The logic and boundaries of my world do require suspending disbelief, as does the semblance of my creative output reflected by its absence through the lack of newsletters I send out. Fear not, I am edging forward daily in my little corner, with the support of sporadic sessions at the osteopath. Some of my efforts have been acknowledged and will be celebrated in both London and New York this January.

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Outside In: Journeys…
11-19th January, 2018
Sotheby’s, London, UK

The succinctly titled Journeys exhibition explores the spectacular journey that the organisation Outside In have experienced since their conception twelve or so years ago. The art works on show will revisit examples from the trodden path, highlighting the journeys that each of the selected artists have found themselves on since and in many ways probably as a result of having crossed paths with Outside In. I have written at length about Outside In and their singular identity elsewhere, as have others, so if you aren’t aware of their work, do spend a few minutes on your search engine or simply visit their website here. My relationship with them began in 2009 when I exhibited a painting (illustrated here) as part of their competition/exhibition at Pallant House Gallery. My painting was chosen along with five others from the several hundred submitted from various artists across the region, and as a result I was offered a solo exhibition which took place the following year, where I sold my first diary drawing. A lot has happened since then, in regards to my multi-disciplinary work with Outside In and otherwise. To see the painting I had shown in the 2009 exhibition, now on loan from the Rose Know-Peebles collection, alongside some great works by AradnePhil Baird, Manuel Bonifacio, and James Lake among others, find your way to Sotheby’s in London. For further information, follow through to the Sotheby’s website here.

Vestiges & Verse: Notes from the Newfangled Epic…
Jan 21st – 27th May, 2018
American Folk Art Museum, New York City, USA

For the first time, my drawings will officially be on show in New York, at the American Folk Art Museum, no less. I am excited to announce that several of my diary drawings, on loan from various collections including the ABCD Collection, the Antoine de Galbert/La Maison Rouge Collection, and the Eternod/Mermod Collection will be included alongside works by seminal artists such as Aloise Corbaz, Henry Darger, Malcolm McKesson, Achilles G. Rizzoli and Adolf Wölfli. It is not lost on me that among the 21 artists included in this fascinatingly contextualised exhibition, I am among the minority of living artists, and seemingly the youngest by a few decades. I am not sure what this might mean, if anything, but certainly something for me to ponder on in the grand scheme of things. Another of the living artist who’s work I admire very much, Susan T King will be leading a workshop, Drawing With Susan as part of the exhibition program on January 23rd. You can get tickets, which are free, here. Another intriguing event related to the exhibition, called Discussion: Invisible Dialogues & Invented Languages will take place on February 22nd. Tickets are available at $10-12 and are available here. Lastly, a book will be published to coincide with the exhibition which I am of course excited and intrigued to peruse. This will inevitably be available online and in some physical bookshops very soon.

See’s To Exist Show 

After a short hiatus at the beginning of 2017, my radio show returned to the world in its current monthly incarnation, which is much more manageable than doing the show weekly for me at this point. I migrated from my family at Itch FM  to the globally active NTS. I am still archiving my shows on Mixcloud here. I did a couple of ‘special’ shows last year. The most recent being a focus on bassist Juini Booth in celebration of his 50 years of engaging with the instrument. We lost quite a few giants in the world of progressive Jazz last year, including Muhal Richard Abrams, Kelan Phil Cohran and Sunny Murray. I was pleased to be able to send off a much overlooked saxophonist, Arthur Blythe, with a show dedicated to his memory which you can hear here. Something I find interesting about his chronology is that he got his start playing with Horace Tapscott in the 1960s on the West Coast, in Los Angeles, influencing many and leaving myth behind upon arriving in New York where he wasn’t so known. In the show I speak with both Gary Bias who came up playing saxophone with Horace Tapscott and the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra a decade or so later than Blythe, and then trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah who played and recorded with Blythe in New York in the 1970s.

I’ve got my schedule of radio shows for the year, if you want to listen live on NTS, take note of the following dates and I will be on on these Sundays between 3-5pm (UK time).

Jan 14 / Feb 11 / Mar 11 / Apr 8 / May 6 / June 3 / Jul 1 / Jul 29 / Aug 26 / Sept 23 / Oct 21 / Nov 18 / Dec 16

On the topic of radio shows, I decided to start a podcast Who Cares? And Unknowns also last year. These will be very few and far between considering other commitments and priorities, but I was glad to put the first episode out there in two parts, focussed on rapper, producer, and musician Joe Dub from San Francisco. In the last newsletter I mentioned working collaboratively in terms of my designing some limited edition 45rpm/7″ record adapters. I think there were only 100 made which went out free with orders of the first release on his new record label Three Quarters. There are still copies of the record for sale, though I don’t know if they are beyond the 100 by now, but check it out here if interested. The podcast in two parts nears the five hour mark, as I go into near obsessive detail in regards to the development of Joe’s music through the years, touching on many an underground West Coast Hip Hop side story along the way. You can listen to those here and then here for part two.

Timmy Miller Has a Heavy Head

This is most probably the first time I haven’t shown any images of my work (or images altogether) in the blog/newsletter. As some sort of solution, I will take the opportunity to let you know that I’ve slowly been working on a short film over the last couple of years. At this point I am not sure what life it will live, nor how much I want to say about it. But here is a still image from the film. Something ambiguous to sign off with.

Bright Moments,
Carlo

 

Winter updates

Outsider Art Fair Paris 2016

Greetings. As the last update was left on the ponderous note of anticipation for what was to come in the form of the Outsider Art Fair Paris, I shall provide you with the outcome.. firstly, I have written at length about it here for Outside In. Having just revisited this writing now, I don’t think I need to add much more here. The New York edition of the fair celebrated its 25th year earlier this month and it seems the momentum has really picked up in the last few years with more attendance, media coverage and general awareness seemingly bringing the field noticeably within view from in the shadows.

A sophisticated magnifying glass with built-in light, being used to look at a detailed Carlo Keshishian diary drawing. Works by Aloise and Wolfli visible in background

 

ABDC Collection

Following on from the Paris fair, I’m pleased to announce some of my recordings have found a home in the unparalleled ABCD collection. See here.

 

Radio Shows, Itch FM, NTS and Mixcloud: See’s To Exist Show / Who Cares? And Unknowns

For those that have been following my See’s To Exist Show Jazz based radio shows in the last few years, a metamorphosis is currently taking place. For various reasons, I’ve had to call it a day in regards to providing a weekly show at Itch FM, which has been a great experience and I will forever rep the Itch family. I wasn’t sure what form, if any, See’s To Exist Show will continue to exist as, and started to put in place the creation process of a new podcast which would not be restricted by genre or time in terms of how frequently new editions would come into being, or how much time they would each run for. This show is called Who Cares? And Unknowns, of which the first instalment has now been uploaded in two parts (clocking in altogether at somewhere around the 5 hour mark). This first instalment is focussed on Joe Dub, one of the West Coast’s best kept secrets in terms of underground Hip Hop (of the Americas). I first came across his music in the form of a cassette that was given to me in 1997-98, containing material by his then group San Francisco Street Music, that I would years later find out is titled ‘The Pride’. A cassette intrinsic to the development of my own approach to a lot of things, to this day. In a previous blog entry, I highlight some record adapters I designed for Joe’s current project, and we have had an interesting exchange since the turn of the last century. He has recorded with the who’s who of mythical underground West Coast artists such as Deeskee, 2Mex, Abstract Rude, Doc Lewd, Awol One, Circus, Liferexall, Neila, Dave Dub, Ellay Khule, and a near endless list of others. In these shows I provide a generous quantity of his recordings, more or less chronologically, including collaborations with Devin The Dude, Topic, Factor, Alex 75 and many more.. You can check part 1 and part 2 out now. Enjoy.

I am proud to announce that See’s To Exist Show will continue, keeping more or less the same format, but will now be a monthly show courtesy of NTS. The new show will be live on Sundays, 3-5pm, the first of which can be streamed on March 12th. Tune in for more of the same unparalleled magical Jazz gems from the dusty depths of our world’s near forgotten treasure crevices.

 

Toilet Diary

The current diary drawing I am working on has unexpectedly taken a different path. Firstly, it’s is more than four times the size than the previous sequence which were all A4. Secondly, in theory the idea was to draw just one hour each day of the year, so as to contain the entire year in a measured manner. I’ve allocated a premeditated dimensional area divided 365 times within the page. I began drawing it a few weeks before another little collaborative creation I’m involved in, in the form of a little human, was born into being in our world. A spanner in the works of course presented itself just a few days into drawing, and with my back significantly compromised, causing me to be bed-bound for almost two weeks, I have quite some catching up to do with drawing and recollecting my thoughts, channeling the fresh impulses, etc.. I’m sure it will be an interesting challenge to the end. Other interesting new diaries being kept involve monitoring toilet activity. Who’d have thunk it. Anyhow, here is a photograph of my new diary drawing in progress, with new little human catching some z’s alongside..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short Film

I won’t give much about this away at the moment because I’m still not sure exactly what I will do with it, but I have been working on a short film for some time now and it is near completion. I’ve been working on it, on and off, for the last couple of years or so in terms of filming and editing. The ideas for it, however, have slowly been simmering for over a decade and it somehow found its way into being created, which initially I hadn’t intended on seeing through. More on this in the next blog entry (probably/possibly?!)..

 

Uncooked Culture ‘Spring Showcase’

The mastermind behind the Uncooked Culture initiative and Circus Terminal touring exhibitions,The Bag Lady Nok has put in place another exhibition showcasing works by artists associated with the movement. On this occasion, you can find works by somewhere around a hundred artists. Other than myself, these include Ian Pyper, Cathy Ward, Pier Makanda, Liz Parkinson, Brian Robert Gibson and many many more. Nok’s acquiring of the Bag Lady title relates to the near mythical process that has been her method in carrying hundreds of art works in one suitcase and putting exhibitions on in France, Spain, Solvenia, Holland, Suriname, Thailand, New Zealand and the U.S.A. This time around, she has set up just around the corner at The Walmer Castle pub in Notting Hill (London, UK). The address is 58 Ledbury Road, W11 2AJ. I’m not exactly sure how long the works will be up but I do know there will be a three day celebration in the upstairs bar area on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of March, so if you are interested in seeing some performances, hearing speeches, and mysterious improvisational happenstance intrinsic to the nature of the project, find yourself there within that window of time. On the evening of Wednesday the 1st of March, I will be DJing so if you are around and care to experience the exhibition with a soundtrack of rare spiritual Jazz potentially among other things, it’s a good time to peruse. I’ll leave it at that.

 

Until later..

Carlo

Artlicks Weekend with Hotel Elephant, Outsider Art Fair Paris, Diary drawing..

Artlicks Weekend/Hotel Elephant…

Welcome once again or for the first time. If you are sitting in silence, let me take this opportunity to momentarily redirect you to the archive of my weekly radio shows, in case you’d like a soundtrack to reading my blog. Go here and pick any of the hundred or so shows I’ve executed in my life as a radio DJ thus far. Don’t forget to come back though.

My first bit of news is that I’ll have some work showing in London (UK) again, finally. This will occur between the 1st-4th October. The opening is on the evening of Thursday the 1st of October from 6-9pm and then you will be able to come and see the following few days (Fri, Sat, Sun) from 12-6pm. Courtesy of Hotel Elephant as part of the Artlicks Weekend. The address is 23 Harper Road SE1 6AW. This location is just a few minutes walk from Borough station, or Elephant & Castle. For further info, you can use your search engine(s) or try these links: 1 and 2 and here’s another.. 3

 

Outsider Art Fair Paris 2015

I’m very pleased to announce that some of my work will be shown at this year’s Paris edition of the Outsider Art Fair, thanks to Galerie du Marché and the Eternod/Mermod Collection from Lausanne, Switzerland. It is an honour to have works in their highly impressive collection containing master works by Aloïse Corbaz, as well as works by some of my favourite artists (Edmund Monsiel, Carlo Zinelli, and Raphaël Lonné). Madge Gill, Scottie Wilson, and Adolf Wölfli are among the legendary names whose works can also be seen in the Eternod/Mermod Collection. The fair runs from October 22nd-25th. See website for further details. Here

 

Diary Drawing, March-September 2015

I’m very pleased to announce that I’ve completed another diary drawing. This time surpassing any previous shift in increments by a surprising amount, in regards to the amount of words contained in the drawing, which on this occasion clocks in at 11,273 words. The last couple of drawings were around 7,000 words each, and the one before that had the highest word count previously, at 9,539. Here is an image of the latest drawing.. (click on it for a larger view).

diary-march-sept-2015_small

Thanks for reading (and listening?)                                                                                                                    Bright moments,                                                                                                                                                      Carlo

 

 
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