Monday, April 25, 2011

When Lunacy Collides

I've got a tip for you. When involved in an electronic courtship with a man, avoid these three reveals:

1. I don't know how to ride a bike.
2. I'm going to an art installation in a cemetery tonight. Wanna come?
3. I'm FUNemployed and just wrote a book about it.

And if you are going to share, try not to do it all in the same email.

On Friday evening, Twitter made me aware of 2 men who hailed a cab at NYC's LaGuardia airport and decided to come to Los Angeles. They had just arrived. In the spirit of NYer to NYer, I tweeted them. 

On Saturday am, I saw that they were heading to the Kodak theater, a mere 5 blocks away. Being the intrepid lunatic that I am, I jumped out of bed, got dressed and speed walked over. I easily found them. 

After telling them that I came over because I read they were there on Twitter (they looked scared), I said that I had to see the cab. I chatted with Dan for quite awhile and we took pictures. I think we bonded because hailing a cab on a whim to go to a faraway place is right up my alley. He gave me his email address on a taxi receipt. 

Shortly thereafter, he tweeted me to send the picture to him, which I did. Then we started emailing. After the email where I revealed the 3 items above, all communications stopped. Guessing he has something against girls who can't ride bikes? 

Anyway, take it from me. When revealing you're FUNemployed status just don't do it in conjunction with cemetery excursions (they have movies there all summer long. It's a hotspot so it's not at weird as it sounds) and sports that require balance. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Hodge Podge

As I come to the end of editing the book (I'm checking footnote format and conclusions for consistency across chapters and then that's it!), I've also been able to work in a little bit of fun.

A Rose by any other name: I went to a University Michigan alumni sanctioned event of a film screening filmed on campus. The first time the University has granted such access, the crowd was maized, blued and ready to holler. As my fellow UM alum and I chilled in the lobby, my friend called, "Jalen!" and shook his hand like they were old friends. Chris shared that we'd seen Jalen on the ESPYs red carpet and we had a bonding moment. We took pictures with him, raved about the Fab Five documentary and he asked me to tweet him so that he could give me a shout out. Overall, a good guy.

Observing an observatory: One of my main FUNemployment goals was to visit Griffith Observatory and hike the park. It seems simple, since it is less than a 20 minute drive however I never made it there. I found out about a hike/yoga session that uses a guide to take you on a hike with intermittent yoga breaks. I figured this would be the best way for me to learn my way around this trails (this city kids is afraid of the woods). At the top of the hike, you have 360 degree views of the city and it's amazing. Afterward, I walked through the Observatory and checked out the exhibits. I stood where James Dean had in Rebel Without a Cause and was deliriously happy that I;d made this happen after three and half years of living so close.

Absence of Fear: In December, a friend of mine forwarded me an email talking about how to overcome fear. I quickly learned about this site that creates a monthly e-magazine with stories of people overcoming their fears. I read their newsletters and articles and can say that I've been inspired. It's easy to say I can't; it's much harder to say I can. Reading their work made me say the latter. Check it out:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

D*Face defaces the legacies of legitimate artists

Well that's a headline that could make a few peoples' blood boil.

On Saturday evening, D*Face had a show of his latest works at a gallery in Culver City, CA. From the school of Banksy and Shepard Fairey, D*Face is a British graffiti artist capitalizing on the hottest trends in art: street and skulls.

I've been going to gallery openings for the past six-seven months and have seen that THE fad is skulls. And boy do they sell. If you started in graffiti then you're hot as well. Paired together and you've got dynamite (sales wise).

As I looked at the work, I immediately thought: derivative. Why? I could identify in less than 5 seconds every artist that D*Face referenced: Lichtenstein, Haring, Hirst and Warhol. The swag (a balloon) looked like any Koons sculpture. In fact, he didn't reference. He damn near copied except for replacing faces with skulls.

The question of "What is art?" has been asked for centuries. Warhol's works were seen more as advertising than art. Now, he is considered a genius. I'd argue that regardless of your view on Warhol, he had a unique perspective. His take was different from anything seen before...he took everyday products and people and made you look at them differently. Did you ever look at a Campbell's soup can artfully? No, but you did after Warhol silk screened it. It took the ordinary (specifically the label design) and made it extraordinary.

In looking at D*Face's work, I didn't get the same feeling. Even Banksy's work is original, whether you like it or not. Fairey's work is less so and I'd say that D*Face and Mr. Brainwash are out right "tweakers"--they take someone else's idea and change it slightly so that they can claim it as their own. Would Lichtenstein have ever painted a woman kissing a skull? Nope. Is D*Face saying anything? Not as far as I can see other than: street! skulls! pay me a lot of money for it!

The people at the show couldn't name any of the artists being referenced, including an art magazine reporter. They knew they'd seen something like it before but had no idea. I had to tell the reporter which artists were being referenced (I'm sure he impressed his editors with my knowledge). I learned my art, artists, movements and periods diligently studying art history. On Saturday evening, I realized just how lucky I was to have the education that I've had (thanks Mom!) I was exposed to so much art that I just assume that everyone else is just as aware. To me, art is beauty. I often forget that to most people, it's a commodity.

I briefly met the artist but failed to ask him about his motivations or his references. He was too busy signing items for the people mobbing him. In their eyes, his signature is art too. Funny how many of those signatures are now being sold on eBay. Commodity indeed.

Monday, April 4, 2011

No April Fool

Spring has sprung which means it's the perfect time for change. In my FUNemployed journey, I've made lots of changes. These are the latest:

1. I no longer drink alcohol (and haven't for a few months). But I'm still fun. Lack of alcohol has only allowed me to up my antics.

2. I no longer eat meat or dairy. I was always a pain to eat with anyway, so this shouldn't make it too much worse. (Btw, fish is still off the table.)

I've made such drastic changes because for years, I've treated my body like a garbage can. Constant sinus congestion and need for naps made me realize that I needed to make some changes. After reading a book called Skinny Bitch, which I read for vanity, I decided to take the book's advice and eat veggies and grains to see how I felt. Well, it's been 2 weeks and I've never felt better.

My spirits are good and I believe that things will happen for me in April. I have two job leads that are promising and I'm in the last stages of the book. I'm close to signing a freelance deal that would provide some income. I'm feeling the optimism that can only come at the beginning of Spring.

Or I could be high on kale. One never knows these days.