Fine Art (Conceptual Art / New Media)

Meditations

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Introduction from my new book Meditations

    The original Meditations was a series of personal writings by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD, recording his private notes to himself and ideas on Stoic philosophy. Marcus Aurelius wrote the 12 books of the Meditations as a source for his guidance and self-improvement. Kirk’s book, by comparison, is also a kind of reference for guidance and self-improvement, but that is where the similarity ends. This book of Meditations is not about Stoic philosophy, but instead, is an allusion to Zen Meditation. Each of the one hundred two images depicted inside represents a unique moment in time. A moment, during meditative walks, where time stands still and the separation between here and there dissolves to become one.

    Kirk’s motivation for practicing Zazen is to be fully present and in the moment, “Awake,” and experience life as it is. The collection of photographs included in this book took almost ten years to acquire using a smartphone. During this time, Kirk discovered the irony of practicing being present and taking pictures to memorialize his experience. Either you are in the moment with nature or taking photographs. You can’t experience both at the same time. The practice of witnessing a beautiful sunrise or sunset can be exhilarating. The connection you feel with the universe can be palpable. However, when your attention shifts and you decide to “capture” that moment, everything changes. You are still present, but now your concern is with other things like aesthetics. Your focus immediately turns to the mechanics of taking a photograph, such as getting an exciting composition. After the picture is complete, you can get back to experiencing nature, but the moment is different. Everything has changed! Expansive and infinite, the cosmos is simultaneously digitized, cropped, and reduced to the size of a postcard.


Back From BCAM

Urbanlightscburden

The Inaugural Installation - Through September 2008

    I am probably a little late to the party, but during spring break, I had the opportunity to spend a wonderful afternoon at LACMA's (The Los Angeles County Museum of Art) new BCAM (The Broad Contemporary Art Museum). I really felt at home there. Many of the artists represented in the exhibit were, and continue to be, important to me and the development of my own work. All of the art is exceptional, but one work in particular stands out, the sculptural installation titled Urban Light by Chris Burden. It is engaging because Chris Burden is able to do so much by doing so little to over two hundred restored cast-iron lampposts from Los Angeles County.  The lights, arranged simply in a tight grid, are transformed from being something utilitarian to something nonfunctional, art. By day, a stroll through the sculpture is reminiscent of a walk through an ancient Greek temple; by night, the sculpture bathes the visitor in a warm protective blanket of light making him or her not just an observer but an integral part of the art itself.

    Putting aside the fact that Eli Broad, home builder and art collector extraordinaire, helped to see BCAM realized for the sole purpose of establishing permanent digs for his extensive art collection, BCAM offers viewers an exceptional in depth view of American contemporary art. The works of art are grouped by individual artists and provide a generous representation of some the most significant artists of the last forty years which include: Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol, Ellsworth Kelly, Cindy Sherman, Jean-Michel Basquiat, John Baldessari, Jeff Koons, Chris Burden, Mike Kelley, and Richard Serra.

 


Murakami | The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA

    The Murakami exhibition at MOCA closed February 11, but it's not too late for you to tour the exhibit with the artist himself, Takashi Murakami.

    For the past year, MOCA has had a presence on YouTube where you can watch clips of Murakami explain his artwork. This retrospective of his work was outstanding - a real treat. Takashi Murakami, a neo-pop artist, has definitely taken forms of Japanese popular culture manga (comic books) and anime (animation), as well as Andy Warhol's notion of his "factory," into the stratosphere. The execution of the work is pristine, and the imagery is whimsical - certain to bring a smile to your face.