Friday, September 29, 2017

How to Buy Art

Jason Foumberg recently wrote a piece for Chicago Magazine on how to buy art. Rule Number Four, Look Up From Your Cup, mentions my work currently hanging at Lula Cafe. I am lovingly referred to as a "rising star." I'll take it.


http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/September-2017/How-to-Buy-Art/Rule-No-4-Look-Up-from-Your-Cup/

Not Knowing


I curated a show at Heaven Gallery titled Not Knowing. It runs until October 14th, 2017. There is an artist talk on Sunday, October 1st at 1pm.

You can see photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nvaughn/sets/72157685492414691

Writing is a process of dealing with not knowing, a forcing of what and how. We have all heard novelists testify to the fact that, beginning a new book, they are utterly baffled as to how to proceed...At best there is a slender intuition, not much greater than an itch.
--Donald Barthelme, Not Knowing
An artist embarks on her task without knowing what to do. There is some kind of energy that she is manifesting as she works, and it has a larger form. To know in advance as to what that form is, is to reduce it.
--George Saunders on Not Knowing
When inspiration strikes, it feels as if it comes from outside oneself. The process of making art involves a kind of subtle foreknowledge, an awareness of the work before it exists, and communication with neurological processes deep within the wordless mind. In the search for answers, an artist finds more questions lingering in that uncomfortable place of not knowing. The result of that discomfort, according to Barthelme, is the possibility that the artist might show the viewer, “the as-yet-unspeakable, the as-yet unspoken.” 
Good art is hard. An artist can over-think and become paralyzed, but to Barthelme, “Problems are a comfort” because it is through problem solving, or making choices, that the artist moves from not knowing to finding a unique and defining style. Take for example, the story of one of Chicago’s great culinary achievements-- the Italian beef sandwich. Essentially, poor entrepreneurs on Maxwell St. figured out how to turn salt, cheap cuts of meat, and stale bread into an inexpensive, delicious meal. They were constrained by cost and by what ingredients were readily available. Similarly an artist responds to and creates constraints, imposing limitations or rules within the work. Paradoxically, it is within these constraints where freedom and innovation are found.
Being an artist is to live within a series of constraints and limitations. Today, an artist must make her way in the world within structures that are in the process of collapsing, dissolving, or becoming irrelevant. The rigid gender roles of the past, normative definitions of family and caretaking, are all being renegotiated. The particular methodologies parent artists (and female parent artists in particular) have to come up with in order to continue to work while parenting are not yet standardized or obvious. They must be hammered out individually. The artists in this exhibition make a different kind of work-- thoughtful and contemplative art made alongside working, teaching, and raising a family. Overlapping limitations and opportunities define their style. They embrace “not knowing” in the way they make their work, but also in the uncertainty and the freedom of living in this state. They are: Claire Ashley, Karen Azarnia, Clarissa Bonet, Robin Dluzen, Dan Devening, Andreas Fischer, Celeste Rapone, Melody Saraniti, Ann Toebbe, and Noah Vaughn.





http://www.heavengallery.com/node/2524

Friday, May 19, 2017

Open Studios, May 21st 2 to 5pm at the Hyde Park Art Center

Come say goodbye and see the paintings I made during my residency at the Hyde Park Art Center, this Sunday, May 21st 2017 from 2 to 5pm. It was a wonderfully productive and delightful time. 







Monday, May 15, 2017

New Paintings

Two Mirrors, 46 x 32 inches, oil on canvas, 2017. 

Mirror (winter), oil on canvas, 36 x 32 inches, 2017. 

Door Mirror, oil on canvas, 46 x 16 inches, 2017. 

Hand Mirror, oil on canvas, 22 x 31 inches, 2017.

Monday, March 13, 2017

New Paintings


A Mirror Sprayed with Vinegar, 
oil on canvas, 
46 x 36 inches, 
2017



Clean Your Mirrors with Vinegar, 
oil on canvas, 
28 x 21 inches, 
2017.





Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Minds I

Anne Harris invited me to draw a self portrait with her at the Ed Paschke Art Center as part of her on going project, The Mind's I. It will be on view until April 8th, 2017. 







I think I look like a placid little gentleman in this drawing, which I am fine with.

Artist In Residence

I'm an artist in residence at the Hyde Park Art Center until May 2017. I'm here all the time anyway, so it's nice to have a sun-lit spacious studio to work (nap) in. 


New Painting


                     That Smelly Sponge, oil on canvas, 12in x 16in, 2017

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Paintings in Progress

Lots of new work in progress. Some details:

 
 Paper Towels are for Rich People (detail)


How do you Fix a Smelly Sponge? (detail)


Mom Dusted with our Old Underpants (detail)



Friday, November 18, 2016

Mural for Field Notes

In October I painted a mural for Coudal Partners, the makers of the very cute Field Notes notebooks. 

                              
       I found the image in the archives at the Chicago History Museum.


           My pal Kent and I projected it, and painted it with six shades of gray paint. 

It fit perfectly in the space thanks to Jim Coudal's excellent direction and vision. 

Here is a video about it:


So many idiots at the Louvre

Treasures from Paris

I went to Paris in October. Here are just three of the gems I saw:

(At the Louvre) a Study of Hands by Largillierre (1715)

Francois Biard, Magdalena Bay, 1841. One of my favorite paintings ever. These explorers are exhausted and near death, but get to see some of the most beautiful things in the world. Sort of like the experience of trudging through a museum for hours on end.



So modern for 1900! Felix Vallotton — at Musee D'orsay



Coping after November 8th