Category Archives: Everyday Art

Hello Again, Internet!

(Update: The longer this post sits at the top of the page, the more of a liar it makes of me. Instead of trying to live up to the following promise of some kind of professional reliability that I clearly cannot back up, I’ll just be updating the blog intermittently when I have the perfect storm of time, motivation, a computer and an idea. Which is kind of rare.)

As I’m sure no one could have predicted, I got distracted for a couple months and completely neglected posting. I doubt anyone checks this anymore, but I do plan to start posting more again. Because if I don’t share my random thoughts on the internet, do those thoughts ever really exist? No. And in the future I’d like for an artificial intelligence to download all of my information that’s spread across different websites and recreate my brain so that I can live forever. So this blog is really just part of my plan for eternal life.

In that spirit, here is a post with my own recent paintings, which is convenient for me because I don’t have to actually research anything to write this. Plus updating AlexandraSchlicting.com is kind of a pain so I’m going to write my name a lot, (Ali Schlicting, or Alexandra Schlicting if you’re not into the whole brevity thing), in all the captions so that hopefully google sends you to this post with my newer paintings if you search for me.

These are for the Big 200 show at the People’s Art of Portland in the Pioneer Mall, opening December 10th.

by Ali Schlicting

by Ali Schlicting

by Ali Jean Schlicting

by Alexandra Jean Schlicting

by Alexandra Schlicting

by Alexandra Jean Schlicting

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Poster Art

This summer I’ve started getting involved with an awesome gallery called The People’s Art of Portland. It’s made up of 4 spaces at the top of Pioneer Place run by these guys who curate a lot of different shows and installations without as much hassle, restrictions and b.s. that most galleries make you deal with. Plus there’s always a fridge full of beer. Actually I don’t really know how it works, I just show up on Saturdays, but Chris Haberman, Jason Brown and Heidi Wirz seem pretty on top of things.

Besides displaying local artists, emerging artists and group shows, each month they showcase two different national level poster artists as their blockbusters. Having been there for two months worth of shows, I’ve learned about the work of 4 poster artists which are all amazing: Emek, Guy Burwell, Uncle Charlie and Furturtle. Here are some examples of their work:

Emek

Guy Burwell

Uncle Charlie

Furturtle

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Recession: Bad for Artists, Good for Art

I know very little about the contemporary art market and even less about economics in general, but I feel like I probably should know more, so I read a 2009 Newsweek article by Peter Plagens called “Brother, Can You Spare a Painting?” about the effects the present recession may have on the art industry. The article is mostly a description of what the international art market has looked like since Andy Warhol and the pop art years made commercialism acceptable, which is basically a bloated, over-expensive system of trophies for the rich and a spectacle for everyone else. The author describes how gallery districts, flashy contemporary art museums, art fairs and biennials have been popping up all over the world at an accelerated pace. While I think more art and art venues is a good thing, the article discusses how it was driven more by money than creativity.

Not by Andy Warhol

I know from conversations with random people that there can be a pretty big disdain for “modern art.” Then instead of discussing their objections I tell them that “modern art” ended like 50 years ago and it’s “contemporary art” that they have a problem with, and then I call them stupid. (I just like being a bitch.) Without getting into a whole discussion about the artistic merits of contemporary art (another time?), which is usually the focus of the criticism, I agree that there is a lot of money and recognition going to some questionably mediocre stuff. I’m not a qualified art critic, but based on my one trip to NYC and seeing a lot of the fairs and museum shows the article is discussing, there was plenty of what I thought was underwhelming work. But the point made in the article is that this exists because the market has created a niche for it, that money has become the driving force behind art creation.

THIS. I saw this in person at the 2008 Whitney Biennial and hated it with an irrational, all-consuming hatred that I haven't felt for anything before or since. (By Mary Heilmann)

I think this paragraph sums up the attitude on all sides:
“A collector at an art fair was shown a previously undiscovered canvas by a midlevel abstractionist from the 1960s and told that the price was under $100,000. “Well, I suppose I could enjoy that,” she said to the dealer, “if I were poor.” Contemporary art had gotten so expensive that even Hirst–the British bad boy who brought in more than $180 million last year by auctioning his new work directly through Sotheby’s, and who managed to sell a diamond-covered human skull for another $100 million–said last November that, in his opinion, contemporary art cost too much. Though that hasn’t stopped him from cashing his checks.”

Damien Hirst uses the same aesthetic logic as Lil' Jon.

The author points out that the influx of money has caused a lot of wonderful work to be created, and there are plenty of good artists and galleries, but I think he’s saying that the art itself wasn’t necessarily being appreciated, just the perceived prestige that comes along with it, which has caused a whole lot of crappier art to be supported. But now that we’re in a recession, with less money spent and the present system unsupported, the bad art will be weeded out and more thoughtful, interesting art driven by creativity instead of money will emerge, or at least that was the idealistic prediction at the end of the article.

Christo's "Gates" in New York were mentioned in the article as an example of good contemporary art made possible by the art market. So here they are.

Now, I’m not in any way involved in the high-end international art market so I’m just taking this author’s word on it, but I can’t imagine a time in the past few centuries when art and art collecting hasn’t been the domain of the pretentious. I think some people are always going to find ways to show off, and art is uniquely qualified to do that. And there will always be artists willing to oblige, even crappy artists. Because hell yeah, it’s money! That they want to give you! It may have receded for now, but I’m not sure that culture and attitude is going away anytime soon. But from my point of view making art in a recession means forcing you as an artist to not focus on getting into the best galleries, but to become more of an entrepreneur, making opportunities for yourself and your community, which I think will create a richer, more passionate kind of art industry. Hopefully.

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Osaka Street Art

This summer I quit my job and moved from my college town to live back home in Portland and to start my life as an “artist.” And because I’m starting my life as an “artist” I obviously won’t need any of the money I’d saved, so last month I went to Japan! It was like a rebirth: Japan was a warm, humid womb that I never wanted to leave until I was torn from it all, crying through international airports and emerging into stupid reality. That’s what birth is like, right? Anyway, I’m also going to conveniently blame the move and the trip for my lack of posts, but now that I’m unemployed and living in my parent’s house I will have much more time to devote to the internet.

The first place I stayed was Osaka, one of the major cities, and because of jet-lag I went exploring around 6 am when nothing was open. Luckily in the outdoor shopping strip near my hostel there was a lot of painted murals and street art on the closed shop doors which was a lot funner to look at than just souvenirs. According to the friend I stayed with later in the trip these kind of building murals are fairly unique to Osaka. Here are some of them:

Like pretty much everything in japan, this is adorable

Sometimes "adorable" would straddle the line of "creepy"

The long-legged pink deer is my favorite

Pikachu, Goofy, and is that thing Lilo or Stitch? This is copyright madness!

Around Osaka was street art that were more obviously graffiti, but still neat looking

Pretty damn awesome

And, finally, this guy. (From the train station by my place.)

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10 Google Art Logos

Dennis Hwang is the graphic designer who makes the google logos but as a webmaster the logo-creating is actually only 10% of his job. The other 90% is mastering the web I guess. It probably explains in this article. He also said that the artist birthday logos are his favorite to do. Here are a few examples:

Van Gogh

Warhol

Pollock

Escher

Jeff Koons

Dali

Magritte

Miro

da Vinci

Michelangelo

These are all pretty awesome but I think I like the Pollock one the best, just because of how hard it is to read the word Google in it.

 

 

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LBCC Graphic Design Show

LBCC graduates Jeff Hayes and Jace Hattig


The Linn-Benton Community College graphic design program has produced many great designers over the years, including a couple of guys that I met last year while backpacking through the impoverished villages of eastern Europe (pictured above.) Here are a few selections from this years graduating seniors show:


by Jace Hattig

The last photo is of an example of vinyl wrap that can be applied to cars for business advertising or general badassery. This design was created by LBCC graduate Jeff Hayes for Sign Works of Oregon, and won 2nd place in some sort of national car wrap design competition that I don’t feel like looking up right now, but trust me such a thing exists:

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Beach Adventures

It’s a beautiful weekend outside! Here’s my peacock, Dudley, enjoying a nice beach day.

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