There are 2 more *38" postings left.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
22.5 x 30.5 cm
Postcard, watercolors, graphite, yellow thread
Morning sickness, also called nausea, or pregnancy sickness, affects between 50 and 95 percent of all pregnant women as well as some women who use hormonal contraception or hormone replacement therapy.
A very close friend of mine, S., found out she was pregnant right before she and her partner moved to Florence, Italy earlier this year, for the whole year. Fortunately, I have seen her a few times and of course heard about her pregnancy. Needlesstosay she has had morning sickness that hasn't just lasted through the mornings...
During our most recent visit together, she told me about her attempts to "enjoy" Florence even though she was feeling badly, not to mention hormonal and very nauseated most of the time.
S. told me that she decided to try to be a little more positive about being in Italy. After all it is Florence, she thought. Unfortunately due to her pregnancy she can't stand the sight of, or the smell of Italian food. (Which she informed me is still true (!) even now!) That alone poses a big problem in a country that is not only known for it's food, but also very proud of it's food.
Aside from this (relatively minor) problem, which causes her to eat at fast food chains more often than she is willing to admit, she decided to go to the famous Uffizi Gallery one afternoon - to try and remember how great it is to be in Florence. The way she told me the story was that she was just minding her own business when she came across some paintings by Paolo Uccello (1397 – 1475). There she was suddenly, standing in front of 'The Battle of St. Romano':
She found herself on the verge of throwing up as she looked at what she called a "disgusting use of pastel colors throughout the painting"! She said she had to sit down and concentrate on not vomiting all over herself as she continued being repulsed by what she saw. She told me later; "Why would anyone want to paint a horse blue? - That is just disgusting!".
Dedicated to S.B.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
22 x 29 cm
Found color photographs, graphite, a photo corner, found paper from a photo album
A zigzag is a pattern made up of small corners at variable angles, though constant within the zigzag, tracing a path between two parallel lines; it can be described as both jagged and fairly regular.
It was about 1982, or maybe even 1983, (I was 12 or 13) my best friend J.H.* and I were in her mother's boyfriend, L.'s truck on the way to Rusty's Pizza Parlor on Milpas Street to pick up some pizza. We were really close to Rusty's, and as we were stopped at a stoplight L.'s truck jolted forward - someone had rammed us from behind. L. screams, 'It's C. (his wife)!'. J.H. and I looked at each other in a panic, suddenly it felt like we were in a movie.
His English wasn't that good (he is Mexican) and he said, 'OK hijos (boys) we go near Rusty's, I drop you off at the corner and then I try to loose her.' We nodded breathlessly and scared beyond belief. L. handed J.H. a wad of money and pulled over to the side of the road. As we were jumping out of the car J.H. screamed at me, 'We have to run in a zig-zag in case she has a gun and tries to shoot at us'. It made perfect sense. We started running in a zig-zag to the front door of Rusty's. We made it inside, hyperventilating, feeling really relieved to have escaped all of the flying bullets that we didn't see or hear except for those in our head.
As we were waiting in line to pick up our order, a man tapped J.H. on the shoulder and said 'I think you dropped something'. J.H. looked down and saw a $100 bill on the ground, the money L. had given her for the pizza. She grabbed it.
We finally got the pizza and L. was waiting for us out in the parking lot. We ran to the truck and he told us he had lost her. We felt so lucky to have made it out alive.
(* J.H. is the same person who taught me how to drive. See this *38*.)
Thursday, May 15, 2008
19 x 22.25 cm
Found black and white photograph, color xerox, highway image cut out from Revista de Informacion Tecnica (Madrid, 1968), (the magazine was found at a flea market in Madrid), found paper, graphite and archival artist tape
Even though I didn't personally have the chance to drive down Highway 101 while I was in California recently - I was still reminded of the beauty on that drive. Everyone who comes to California for the first time always wants to drive down Highway 1 -and yes indeed, that is a spectacular drive, but not time efficient if you are driving between San Francisco and Santa Barbara regularly. Highway 101 is part coastal and part inland and therefore it isn't known for it's consistent beauty.
One of my most memorable trips down 101 was a couple of years ago. It was a warmish evening. I rented a car in San Francisco and had planned on driving down to Santa Barbara. It is between a 5 and 6 hour drive (325 miles or 532 km) - depending on how many stops you make, and of course how much you speed. Even though I have done this drive countless times alone, I have never enjoyed it.
Typical view during the inland portion of the drive down Highway 101.
I went to pick up my rental, a compact, which is what I reserved. I hate how the rental agency thinks they are doing you a favor and they "upgrade" you even if you don't want the upgrade. This is what happened - sort of. The clerk told me it would be a few minutes before they brought the car around to the front of the building. I was waiting and waiting - minutes turned into a quarter of an hour. Annoyed I went back inside, asking where my car was. The clerk said that it was waiting for me. I said I didn't see a car. He came out and said, "Oh yes here it is.". I stared at him blankly because parked in front of me was a white convertible (I can't remember exactly, but it was something like a Mitsubishi Spyder or a Chrysler Sebring). "No", I said, "This isn't the car I reserved.". He said "That's all we have. I thought you might not mind the upgrade.". He smiled, gave me the keys and walked off. So there I was, with a convertible. I had planned to leave town right then but instead called my friend M.K., picked her up from work and we drove around town with the top down, drinking smoothies while enjoying the city and the sunset.
A few hours later, after I had stolen my sister's big puffy winter hat*, I left town and you better believe the top was down, the heat was turned up and the radio was blasting as I drove down 101 to Santa Barbara. I think it was the first (and the last) time I didn't mind that drive.
*[Yes, I confess R. - I stole your hat.]
Thursday, May 8, 2008
8.5" x 10" (approximately)
Pages from Weather (Life Science Library, 1965) and Matter (Life Science Library, 1963), hot pink enamel hobby spray paint
Note about the work: The balloon shape is not connected to the main body of the work - therefore it is "floating" off the edge.
I have been thinking about the weather a lot lately. I grew up in Santa Barbara, California. It's a place where the sun shines 300 days a year, the average high temperature is 74 degrees fahrenheit (23 degrees celsius) - with an average of 15" (96.77 centimeters) of rain a year. Some say it is paradise. It's hard to believe that I live in Berlin sometimes knowing those weather statistics....
I happen to be here in Santa Barbara this week and low and behold - the weather ain't what I just described - BECAUSE (as I had forgotten) every May and June there is "May Gray" or "June Gloom": fog in the morning and then it (eventually) burns off to reveal a bluer than blue sky in the afternoon. Although at the moment it hasn't been burning off.
So what about weather prediction? Weather balloons and radiosondes are fascinating. The radiosonde hangs from a weather balloon and is used to diagnose weather conditions by measuring atmospheric pressure, temperature, and humidity. About 800 locations around the globe do routine weather balloon releases (!) - twice daily, usually at 0000 GMT and 1200 GMT. Here in May Gray two men are about to send off a weather balloon. It seems relatively archaic (although I am sure it isn't) that a balloon is sent into the sky and the atmosphere is measured but this radiosonde contraption. Surely it is high tech but we all know that weather prediction isn't necessarily something you can depend on.
All that said, I have heard the weather in Berlin is fabulous at the moment. Hopefully it will still be like that when I return!
Thursday, May 1, 2008
21 x 28 cm
Found black & white photograph, orange thread, found bird picture from a bird book
Ever since I was a child we had parrots as our family pets. The most wonderful parrot we ever had was Sammy. Initially named Samuel Gertler, but then, later on we found out Samuel was actually Samantha. (That's another story though.)
She was a Yellow - Napped Amazon.
She was the best parrot ever.
We got her when I was 11 years old, and she was 3 months old. After 3 days she already said her first word - "hello". It was out of control from there on out. Yellow Napes are the best talkers along side African Greys. Amazons have the intellect of a 2 year old child - and that is no joke. Not only could she speak incredibly well, but she could also word associate with various situations. If my mom was coming home and she could hear my mom's car - she would say "Hi Mom". If it was my dad's car, then the obvious (of course) "Hi Dad". It was incredible. I taught her to turn her head, look up in the sky and say "What's the birdie doing up there?". That was one phrase of many, many other phrases that she could say. Here is a partial list of her vocabulary:
Whatcha you doing?
How are you?
Here kitty kitty
Renee (my sister's name)
Lisa (my mom's name)
Como se llama?
I hate you
You stupid idiot
and the best word of all:
birdheart (she made that one up on her own)
The list goes on...and on...and on...
So this work is an homage to Sam.
She was remarkable.
I am welling up just thinking about her even though she passed away about 5 years ago (we had her for 23 years), and she has been sorely missed.