jay besemer - gorgeous hybrids and recombinant poetry

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I am guest-editing a special issue of NERVE LANTERN with Joel Allegretti!
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New Interview up at Rain Taxi (and a review I wrote, too)
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The Querist of Forms

June 2011

sunny day fun: camera-free photography

Now that it's properly summer in Chicago, it's time to take the art outdoors whenever possible.  One way to do that is by taking the camera out and roaming the city (country, world); I've been doing that for a long time and obviously I love it.  But there are other ways to make photographs even without a camera.  One of these ways is to make solar photograms (often called "sunprints," in the same way that facial tissues are called by the brand name of their most popular manufacture).

blog synergy: Mark Bradford show at MCA

My good friend Robert McDonaldpostsabout the Mark Bradford show (and the Joseph Cornell show accompanying it) currently up at the MCA here in Chicago.  My own R. and I have been interested in Mark Bradford since seeing a profile of him and his work on the amazing PBS seriesArt:21.  He does work we both find inspiring, and blurs the line between painting and collage (he refers to his own work on canvas as painting). Unlike Robert, we haven't had a chance to go yet, but we are champing at the bit!

Reminder: "Share the Square" MAAF Benefit and Preview Tomorrow Night

Chicagoans!  Don't forget the fundraiser for the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival from 6-9 p.m. at the Logan Square Kitchen, 2333 N. Milwaukee Ave.  I'll be there, and so will other people!  Want to be there too?  C'mon---you know you do!

Yeah, you do!  

Share the Square!  An Art Preview Benefit

Monday, June 20
from 6pm to 9pmat Logan Square Kitchen2333 N Milwaukee Avenue 
You're invited to an exciting preview of the visual art for the 2011 Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival!

form, format, reform, re-inform

One of the things that folks (including me) find interesting about my paint-out poems--like "errata" and "double double" in theGallery--is that the text is readable in more than one direction.  Even as the creator of these pieces, I often read them in different ways at different times.  Each piece changes depending on what elements stand out in  the interaction between word, image, texture and color. So if a viewer notices a new texture or if the combination of words brings up a new association when the eye hits it a new way, the whole piece can change--regardless of how it was experienced and interpreted the first time (or hundred times) it was viewed.

albus cavus on tour

The collage workshop I did in DC in March was organized by Albus Cavus, a national organization dedicated to arts activism and arts education for kids.  They have branches in many cities, but this summer they are also going "on tour," bringing mural-painting workshops to various cities.  Follow their bloghere, and join them if you can!  Here's the skinny (minus photo):

Albus Cavus is having an excellent time touring with Applegate Farms this summer promoting healthy lifestyle and healthy communities.

what do you do when you can't do your work?

In the May '11 issue ofArt in America, the "Roundtable" regular feature focuses on a panel discussion moderated by Douglas Dreishpoon, who's chief curator at my old hometown haunt, theAlbright-Knox Art Gallery(AKrepresent!).  Titled, "Artists in a Parallel Universe," this piece addresses an issue that every artist faces, even at times struggles with, but is sometimes loath to discuss.  The panel discussion, excerpted and transcribed, involves five noted artists (Petah Coyne, Philip Taafe, Vija Celmins, Robert Gober and Janine Antoni) with varying practices, all basically answering the question in the title above.

News Niblets and Upcoming Events

Ahoy everyone!  Here's a couple of announcements and related links:

A new visual/collage poem is up atREM Magazine'sblog; there will be a few more in the online mag itself once it's published later in the summer (winter, forREM).  

I will have two pieces in the "Half Truths" group show at theMilwaukee Avenue Arts Festival, July 29-31! If you'll be in Chicago at that time, come on out!  It promises to be an interesting event.  And if you're in town June 20th, check out one of the preview/fundraisers for the festival
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