Tuesday, March 6

Art and chaos day at Blue Gal

Every once in a while we need to take a break and look at some art.

Today we're visiting the archive of Artists Image Resource, which sounds kinda like an online poster store, but actually it's a studio in Pittsburgh where selected artists have an opportunity to work and print their stuff. When I say "print" I mean, usually, photo emulsion on silkscreen, then silkscreening on paper, and sometimes the paper is handmade, too. Printmaking has lots of technical aspects and glitches that require patience, measuring, and occasionally a "hey, screw this, let's go get a beer at Max's" attitude. There's some stuff done on Macs, sure, but mostly a place like this is about the mess. Print-making, as opposed to printing, is WAY messier than that Apollo inkjet you got free with your desktop, people, and it takes space and a floor you don't mind messing. It helps if the people who run the place have done this kinda thing for like, decades longer than you probably have, and already have silkscreen ink on their shoes. I know this about A.I.R. Trust me, the mucky mucks there have silkscreen ink on their shoes. It's fine.

Disturbing art isn't always good but Susanne Slavik's stuff escapes the tradeoff between execution (no pun intended) and impact. Other artists I like there are Patricia Bellan-Gillen's creation images (love the "face of God"), John Charley's terrific smashed cans, and Tim Kaulen's labor/blueprint prints. I'm not linking to these individual artists because this site is so damn easy to navigate, I just about plotzed.

Full disclosure: I'd be remiss to my readers (ahem, and my parents) if I didn't mention that without the A.I.R. artists Amanda Kaiser and Ian Short, you wouldn't be reading this blog. Don't worry, Mom and Dad, I'm not gonna go all Obama here and talk about your "coming together." That would be gross.


Off topic but speaking of Obama, noticed that his site has the Selma speech up along with embed code so you can post it to your own blog. Hear that bloggers? Code. Obama's giving away free coooode. (Not endorsing, just saying: free code, and hey, code that actually works, smells like victory.)


  1. Mmmmm... Coooode...

    Thanks Blue Gal. For the code and the round up. I also look forward to perusing that art site. Might have to get Mrs. Station Agent to try get something posted on there.

  2. Hey station agent you're welcome. AIR is an artists in residence program, in fact I'm sure now that I think of it it's a play on initials. But if Mrs. Station Agent is a printmaker and has the time to hang out in Pittsburgh, you should definitely get in touch with them.

  3. Thanks for the code heads up, BG. (And don't tell anyone... but I think I gots me a case of Obamamania... shh)

  4. DUDE!!! I love your parents' art!!! Your Mom's prints are amazing! I'm such a newbie to screenprinting, I'm just mindboggling over all the colors, because that's a different screen for each color! Awesome!

    And I love your Dad's portraits, too, especially "Waiting for Rain." :)

    Thanks for the Art & Chaos days! Keep 'em coming!!!

    (And, yay for free... working... code!)

  5. Yeah, i don't think we'll be in Pittsburgh anytime soon, but I see a couple prints already I might scare the penguins with.

  6. MyBarrakObama? WTF? Isn't that a little pretentious? :-)

  7. Nah it's a play on My space. It took me forever to figger that out. They're just trying to cover absolutely everybody on the internet. I wrote a satirical piece on that for Agitprop.


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