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

Outsider Art Fair Paris, Castlefield Gallery, Sweet Earth Records and a Happy New Year..

Outsider Art Fair Paris 2015…

Greetings friends, family, fans, followers and spies. I thought I’d write one of these posts to update everyone on some of my activities before the year is out. Firstly, as I mentioned in the previous post in September, I had two drawings shown at the Outsider Art Fair Paris thanks to Galerie du Marché and the Eternod/Mermod Collection from Lausanne, Switzerland. I must reiterate how much of an honour it is to have my drawings in their incredible collection and to be shown at their consistently strong booth, having attended the fair for several years and been absorbed by the potency and selection. This was the first time that my works have been exhibited at the fair, and I was in good company on the wall with a Louis Soutter  above me and a Theo below me, with a Madge Gill below that. As I said in my entry of reflections on the Outsider Art Fair Paris for Outside In‘s blog which can be read here: “In a weird way, I quite like being in the company of dead people who manage to speak from beyond the grave (and particularly in this way).” Quoting myself from other blogs, into my own. The future has arrived. Anyhow, for my perspective on the fair, click on the aforementioned link. The two diary drawings of mine that were shown were bought by the La Maison Rouge collection and a private collector. 

 

oaf paris carlo 2015

Carlo, beside himself at OAF Paris 2015

 

Diary Drawing…

I am currently drawing the 9th in my series of diary drawings, with the intention to stop at the 12th, as I’d like to continue a painting that I began in 2011 and hopefully build a series around it. Below, you can see an image capturing a moment in the process of my current diary in progress..

Ninth diary in progress

Ninth diary in progress

 

Castlefield Gallery… Inside Out

I am pleased to announce that some of my work will be shown in Inside Out, an exhibition with a very interesting roster of artists, at the Castlefield Gallery in Manchester, UK. The show will be on from 4th March until 24th of April. For (a lot of) additional info, check out the first link in this paragraph. I’ll go into some more detail about this exhibition in my next blog post, but for now I will say I am very excited to discover I’ll have works shown alongside Nick Blinko, Joel Lorand and Mehrdad Rashidi.

Sweet Earth Records

I undertook a most pleasurable adventure in recent months, in an attempt to shed light on a somewhat obscure, short-lived record company that was active between 1977-1979. My curiosity resulted from a variety of ‘coincidences’ in regards to the records that were released on the label, most of which are rare and all out of print with the exception of Sun Ra‘s The Other Side Of The Sun which saw a reissue through another label in recent years. In my attempt to demystify the story of Sweet Earth Records, I managed to speak with John Sprague who kindly elaborates on his memories of performing and recording with David Wertman and The Sun Ensemble, as well as his involvement with the label and their releases. I also speak with the legendary Amina Claudine Myers about her album Poems For Piano ‘The Piano Music of Marion Brown’, I chat with the charismatic Stephen McCraven who kindly invited me in his home to speak on his classic Wooley The Newt LP, and lastly I interview the great Ahmed Abdullah about a Sweet Earth Records non-release and what would have been Ed Blackwell‘s first album as leader. As far as I know, there isn’t really even a synopsis of what Sweet Earth Records were about, online, let alone an exploratory show containing interviews with someone associated with each release to come out on the label, which is what I’ve managed to piece together. I hope you enjoy it. With that, I’ll stop typing and leave you with those two hours of audio Sweet Earth Records special / See’s To Exist show. Happy New Year!

Bright moments,

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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