ART TOO SAFE FOR AN APLHA MALE
16 May 2017, Pepino
I finished the forty pink monochromes.
I have made a bunch of list drawings on racism for the Vienna show. Opening next Tuesday.
I’m painting - the first time in one year - figurative things on canvas. And it looks good. Sponge Bob Squarepants and Sonic the Hedgehog.
Everything is really fine but I don’t feel satisfied. I’m reading Robert Fisk’s (the famous conflict correspondent) book Pity the Nation (Zena’s recommendation) on the Lebanese Civil War and I want to be like him. Painting junk culture in the studio is too safe for an alpha male like me. My practice is too secure, it doesn’t make me feel alive. I don’t want to go to Vienna, I want to go to Mosul.
My Austrian Friends
07 May 2017, Pepino
Just when I finished the pink monochromes, Florian asked if I could show my fresh Manner wafer work at Collector Agenda's new project space in Vienna in a couple of weeks. I love reacting fast and furious, so I accepted the challenge and booked the flights immediately.
I had never heard of Manner - the iconic Austrian wafer since 1890 - before January, when my Austrian friend Simeon told about the company's personalization campaign - the consumers could replace the brand with their own names.
Manner had a list of acceptable names, so it was not possible to write there Mother of All Car Bombs or Mustard Gas Wafer Dreams. In addition, the list looked very Germanic. No Chinese, Arabic, African or Spanish names. Was this traditional product not for immigrants? I asked Simeon to phone to the customer service and ask them to make Arabic names. Maybe they understood that if they don't do them, they will be labeled as racists in public. My work is titled My Austrian Friends and dedicated to all immigrants in Europe.
Manner is Arnold Schwarzenegger's favorite snack and it appears in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Mr. Schwarzenegger is a successfully integrated Austrian immigrant in California and I'm sure that he'd love my work.
01 May 2017, Pepino
The beauteous pink I would not slight.
Rosa in Spanish is pink but also the red color of the rose. The meaning of the word is wider than pink. For my forty pink monochrome paintings I bought some paints that were labelled as rosa in Spanish and rose in English. Indeed they weren't pink but red, useless for my project. In English pink refers to a totally different flower, dianthus.
In Japanese pink can be sakura-iro (cherry blossoms) or momo-iro (peach blossoms) but in the contemporary kawaii Japan the word pinku is more common. Hello Kitty universe is definitely super pinku.
In my mother tongue Finnish there is no word for pink, it's called vaaleanpunainen - light red - but like in Japanese, the borrowed word pinkki is used referring to the cute and the feminine pink things.
Why light red (pink) has its own word in English but light blue is just light blue? Is it because pink has so many more cultural meanings? What is the power of pink beyond sakura? Pink is not exclusively related to things considered traditionally powerless like childhood, femininity, homosexuality, softness and tenderness - there are some interesting exceptions like the British Empire (colored pink on maps) and the maglia rosa, pink jersey the leader of Giro d'Italia wears.
TICKLED PINK PAINTING
18 April 2017, Pepino
Painting monochromes this time pinks, is not as easy as somebody could think, at least with the rules I've set for myself. I don't mix colors, it would be too easy and depend too much of my limited creativity and sense of aesthetics. I want to show the world in a realist way so I use only existing tones mixed by industrial paint producers. Anything goes (if it's water based): fine art acrylics, enamel for furniture, paint for walls. I start a monochrome project by buying paint in fine art stores and hardware stores, I search the internet and drive to Madrid. Meanwhile I read about the color I've chosen, its cultural meanings in the society and the history, from politics to sports and from art to sex. The amount of the physical works is also big, I hire a carpenter to make the wooden structures for the paintings but I fix myself the canvases and of course paint the colors and text the titles. It's highly conceptual but very hand made art.
THE END OF THE ARTWORLD AS WE KNOW IT
05 April 2017, Pepino
According to the Apocalypse, Armageddon is the location of a gathering of armies for a battle during the end times. It can also refer to any end of the world scenario.
The artworld has dediced to call 2017 Artmageddon because Venice Biennale, Documenta and Skulptur Projekte Münster take place during the year, which happens only once in a decade.
I’ve never visited any of these exhibitions except Venice Biennale in 2000. I jumped over the fence of Giardini because I didn’t have an invitation to the opening. I carried a bag with cake base and cream to pie Harald Szeeman, the curator of the show, but unfortunately I couldn’t find my target.
You can’t have the cake and use it for pieing authorities. Now I’m older and I prefer to eat the cake at home. Even if I had an invitation to all these openings and money to spend for traveling, I wouldn’t go. Both the art world and the art bore me. I think I’ve seen enough art and now I prefer making it. And I prefer Sunday family lunches to art parties. However, I wish that Documenta is not destroyed in Artmageddon - I hope that my work will be included in 2022.