jay/jen besemer - gorgeous hybrids and recombinant poetry

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The Querist of Forms

May 2011

More Big Problem

I've added a few more images on myGallerypage, including some slightly older paintings.  It occurred to me that, if this blog mentions a progression or change in my painting, I should try to give some visual reference for that statement.  Check it out!  Is there a unified vision and voice through the collage poems, visual poems, photographs, abstract collages and paintings?  And here's a trick question:  how about a unified vision and voice when the text-only work is included in the equation?

The Big Problem

This is the piece on the wall in my painting studio.  I call itThe Big Problem, though I don't expect that will be its permanent title. You can't tell, especially not from this photograph, but the painting is 64 x 72".  It's not the biggest painting I've done, by any means--but it's currently my most problematic large oil painting.  That's why it's calledThe Big Problem

This is a cautionary tale, really.  I'll give the moral of the story before I even start telling the story itself: the moral is "know thyself.

Here Is Clean by Richard Fox

The incomparable Richard Fox strikes again!  Here's a great sound piece reworking a poem from Robert McDonald's Adopt-A-Poem proj.  

A Studio Visit

I have always loved looking at artists' and scientists' diaries, journals, letters, notes and similar ephemera.  I've also always loved the "behind-the-scenes" glimpses of the working life of these folks--the grainy photos of artists' studios, the chaise in the garden, random companion animals, the porch swing, the kitchen table loaded with bread crusts and drawings, the glinting glassware in a laboratory, the pensive profile posed alongside the tools of the trade and half-done projects.

community supported arts and "crowdsourced" funding

Lately we've been paying a lot of attention to the community supported arts movement, which offers a much more workable, practical, equitable and sustainable model for living and working as an artist than the previous models have.  "Community supported arts" is a model based on the community-supported agriculture movement (co-ops; farms supported by "subscriptions" from community members) with which it shares initials. In both cases, the system benefits everyone involved--the "subscribers," the artists (or farmers), the community at large.

New Gallery images; video poems

I am grateful for all the visitors--you all are completely awesome!  Check out the three photos just added to theGallery!

Here is something different: Video poems are an area of poetic exploration I am just getting into and am still working out their place in my practice.  They're fun to do, though, and as I develop them they might help me solve the problem of how to "read" my current work (as in poetry readings).  When I appear in front of an audience to deliver a spoken version of the texts I make, I occasionally have to choose work that isn't totally.

News blips

Well, I feel all Grand-Opening shiny! Thanks to all those who have visited.  It's very exciting around here!

Some tidbits to share:  My poetic collaborator Robert McDonald has posted some of my contributions to his "Adopt/Abandon-A-Poem" project on his fascinating blog,The Lives of the Spiders. Bookmark him--his blog is a treat, full of wonderful poems and great writing challenges to get you rolling!

Also, some additional work of mine was just published in the online journalOtoliths

Walter Hamady's work at Corbett vs. Dempsey

Yesterday, R. and I went on a whim to check outArtChicago.   One thing that struck me (for various reasons) was the gallery booth forCorbett vs. Dempsey.  I have not been actively seeking galleries at this point, though I am interested in gallery representation as one part of my "balanced diet" of living as an artist. That is to say, galleries are not my only option, and I don't view them as the pinnacle of...whatever.  But I do recognize that many other people see them that way, and having gallery representation does present several practical advantages in addition to the conceptual ones.
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