Hard Slide

Hard Slide        
Les Kossatz (b. 1943 – d. 2011)
Sheepskins, aluminium, wood, leather and steel, 1980.

TARBOT: the top sheep is like “oh F**K”

CROE: it does look uncomfortable
though perhaps a nice back massage
the ports in and out make it look like a sequence of similar rooms, one after another

TARBOT: yeah
at first I was wondering if the top sheep and bottom sheep was the same… sheep
real sheepskins, btw
(yay taxidermy)

CROE: so it’s lifesize?
(yes, it’s about 3 x 4 meters)
baaaaahh clunk cuhlunk cuhlunk-lunk-lunk-lunk-lunk

it’s supposed to speak something in regards to/ about the Australian land
(the artist is Australian)
but I didn’t realize sheep were big down there

CROE: i’m now reading about rogue taxidermy

TARBOT: hahahaha
I dunno what that is, but it sounds funny

CROE: it’s stuffing things like “jackalope and the skvader, extinct species, mythical creatures such as dragons, chimeras, griffins, unicorns or mermaids, or may be entirely of the maker’s imagination. Some are made from parts of more than one kind of animal, or they may be artificially created. ”

TARBOT: oh so it’s like when artists paint creatures made out of different animal parts only … this is in 3d

CROE: and perhaps using actual body parts
hehheh, just wait til last post’s artist learns about this



Gazebo By The Water

Gazebo By The Water        
Leonid Afremov (b. 1955)
Oil on Canvas, unknown.

CROE: so many colors!

TARBOT: I know, isn’t it absolutely delightful?
it makes me feel like I’m swimming in joy every time I look at it

CROE: it’s fun to look at from many distances, far away, and then zoomed in you can see all the spatula strokes, if that’s what they are called

TARBOT: yes, I love the bold strokes
it’s as if they bring motion and life to the whole thing

CROE: there’s a lot of different colors on each one
one thing that’s cool about it is the colors are so bright and vivid, yet it has a nighttime/evening feel
if you look in the reflection in the water of the structure with columns
there’s a yellow object

TARBOT: oooh, yeah
looks like there’s lots of different things in the reflections
that aren’t in the “real life” part of it
like near the center, in the water it looks much redder
but nothing really red on the ground to reflect it
just more white, green
something that looks like a gray box
so the artist
he utilizes knives
in his brush strokes

CROE: yeah?
like what kind of knives

TARBOT: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palette_knife

CROE: well it’s not pointy
so i’m disappointed

they can be

CROE: that was what i was thinking of when i said spatula
in a vague sort of way


CROE: i wasn’t sure what they were called
if you look at the record, you’ll see that i did qualify my statement
unless i typed that, and deleted it
which is possible

Alien Abduction

Alien Abduction        
George Condo (b. 1957)
Paint, 1995.

it’s like … a nightmarish re-envisioning of the mona lisa
so the red stuff
that’s blood?
kinda reminds me of strawberry sauce
just ’cause the rest of it sorta has a slight cartoony feel
and I just had a Snickers
so sugar’s on my mind

CROE: maybe alien saliva tastes like strawberries
or maybe he’s coating his dessert (the lady) with strawberry sauce
he’s fixin’ up his gourmet alien feast


Your monsters are just like mine

Your monsters are just like mine        
Gehard Demetz (b. 1972)
Wood, 2006.

CROE: from some angles, it looks like it could be part of a childhood game
from other angles not so much

it’s made out of wood
though not sure about the yellow bit
looks like plastic
but maybe it’s just paint
the face is really well sculpted out of the wood though
strong emotion!

CROE: what emotion do you see?
she kind of looks like she’s listening to instructions with her eyes closed

TARBOT: yeah it looks like she’s waiting, listening for something
this is called
“Your monsters are just like mine”

CROE: huh
it makes it more disturbing
but i still don’t know what it means

TARBOT: I know! isn’t it utterly fascinating?
from his site:
One of the most startling technical features is the construction using small woodblocks and juxtaposing finely polished parts to very rough and sketchy surfaces. This particular construction and treatment render his sculptures absolutely unique in the domain of contemporary wood sculpture and is partly responsible for the great curiosity aroused by the appearance of his work in the art world.
so I guess that explains that part.
in which case it’s just part of the way he does his art, but still unsure as to what it means
at first I’d say she’s “decomposing” or “disappearing” because of the gaps
the yellow tape is reminiscent of the police tape “do not cross”
maybe it’s that she feels restrained, trapped, has no freedom
children can feel that way, especially if they’re growing up in difficult circumstances/environment
but so can adults
so maybe that’s what the title is referring to
regardless of who’s looking at her, everyone is afraid of being restricted, having their freedom taken away


Nouvelle Pomme Bouche

Nouvelle Pomme Bouche        
Claude Lalanne (b. 1924)
Bronze, 2008.

CROE: in English, new apple mouth

TARBOT: well I’ve heard of apple bottoms…
not sure what an apple mouth is

CROE: lol

TARBOT: it’s somehow a bit meta…
cause mouths eat apples
so for a mouth to be part of an apple
is… strange
is it a photoshopped image or an actual sculpture?

CROE: an actual sculpture, for a change
out of bronze

TARBOT: why work in that medium

CROE: it’s like gold, but less expensive
i must say the idea of biting into a metal apple is not very appetizing
my teeth hurt just thinking about it

TARBOT: oooh! you’re right
I just tried it, too!
thinking about it
not … actually biting into a metal apple

CROE: kissing a metal mouth…also not such a fun thought…even if it were made of gold
hmm, golden apples sound familiar

TARBOT: “Romanian: Prâslea the Brave and the Golden Apples, Romanian, where the thief is not a bird but a zmeu
“It likes beautiful young girls, whom it kidnaps, usually for the purpose of marrying them.”
what a noble creature…. lol


The Iceberg

The Iceberg        
Scott Listfield (b. unknown)
Oil on Canvas, 2007.

CROE: the dissonance is making my brain hurt


CROE: ok, so i can actually imagine mcdonalds taking over the earth to the point where they are selling to polar bears in the arctic
but…the astronaut?

TARBOT: hehe
it’s like, his theme or whatnot

CROE: all of his stuff has astronauts?

TARBOT: dinosaurs too

CROE: i’m kind of imagining the artist puts a bunch of words in a hat, doesn’t know what to do today, and pulls out two: iceberg and fastfood
i don’t think i’ve ever seen one sitting down
but where’s the dinosaur?

TARBOT: hehe
well I don’t think they’re always in the same picture
maybe this is a future rest stop
on the “highway”
the highway in this case being a “waterway”
or maybe it’s another planet!
and it’s a rest stop for ships!

CROE: ooo, speaking of future rest stops
since the arctic is melting, there’s this bunch of people that are betting there will be an a new, more direct passage

TARBOT: to what?

CROE: for shipping
comparison routes

TARBOT: oooh


40 Ounces of Personal Hygiene

40 Ounces of Personal Hygiene        
Kevin Peterson (b. 1980)
Oil on Canvas, 2009.

TARBOT: what …
going on?
so… gas station.
is that gas floating around or did a river overflow?
I can see why the man’s taken to drinking and smoking

CROE: so malt liquor comes in 40-ounce containers
i think he’s bathing in it
but why he has a pig-face, that i can’t tell you

TARBOT: the wrinkles on his face are frightening
wonder why there’s an empty jar
floating around

CROE: so the jar…
it’s closed and floating. it looks cleaner than everything else…
it’s floating away.
maybe it’s repulsed by the dude

TARBOT: what’s with the title? … is it saying this man HAS no personal hygiene
like, he peed in the water/gasoline?
as one does in a pool?

More of this enthralling commentary here …



Melissa Haslam (b. unknown)
Painting, unknown.

TARBOT: it’s called “Astray”

CROE: i first read ashtray

TARBOT: indeed!

CROE: i’m confused
by the innocence evoked by the white cats
and the see-through with the leg pose
is she supposed to be a “stray” woman/girl?

TARBOT: yeah, “Astray” is an interesting title…
either she takes in stray cats… but only white ones
or she’s a stray herself, too, OR —
they’re all astray i.e. all have morally questionable behaviour
such as… wearing see through clothes and climbing on trees with them
the “innocence” of the cats
could symbolize her virginity
the whole thing is sexually charged and not at the same time
reminds me a bit of a Japanese print
with the colors of the sky/background

CROE: the blossoms

TARBOT: “crazy cat lady” also comes to mind
though typically they’re not depicted as being this beautiful haha
hmm, white cats, they’re fairly rare right?
one would have to go out of one’s way to get one

CROE: i think so
but i’m having a hard time finding a census with kittycat demographic statistics

TARBOT: haha

TARBOT wonders, “What do you think, readers?”


Chewing in Venice

Chewing in Venice        
Simone Decker (b. 1968)
2 Series of 15 Photographs, 1999.

CROE: there are many in the series, but this one is my favorite
however, my first reaction was that it was ridiculous

TARBOT: ewwwwww
that’s not real gum is it?

CROE: i assumed it wasn’t
but i was really curious about such a gigantic sculpture was made to look like gum
i did some research. it actually IS real gum.
she put the gum close to the camera, and shot it to look big!

TARBOT: that’s fantastic.
what an odd… material to work with
I wonder where the inspiration came from
“My curator at the Venice Biennale told me a man came to him during the exhibition. He wanted to know if all the sculptures were installed within the city. He said that he had seen a few of the giant bubble-gum sculptures but wasn’t able to locate the rest.”


The Light Fantastic

The Light Fantastic        
Reid Southen (b. 1988)
Digital, unknown.

TARBOT: which planet would YOU want to live on?

CROE: it’s kind of hard to tell
i mean, we can only see the night side of the “small” one
i’d like to see it in full day-light before making any binding decisions, thank you very much

TARBOT: hehe
I wouldn’t be able to survive very long on the planet on the left
don’t know how to start fires
much less hunt / cook

CROE: but if you live on the green and blue planet, you get to stare at the pretty one with circles

TARBOT: the circles of light on that smaller planet *are* intriguing
don’t usually see such geometry expressed on Earth

CROE: i dunno, everyone always complains about traffic in the DC beltway
it’s kinda like I-95 around boston
but taken to extremes


More of this enthralling commentary here …


Le Violon d’Ingres

Le Violon d’Ingres (Ingres’s Violin)        
Man Ray (1890 – 1976)
Photographic Print of Paint on a Photographic Print, 1924.

CROE: it’s like photoshop. before there was photoshop.

interesting that she’s got a hat on
or a … turban
or something
classic female shape — good birthing hips
not entirely sure why those particular symbols

CROE: it’s like a violin…
also, the blurb suggests that the title, Le Violon d’Ingres, is a French idiom that means hobby, so playing the violin was Ingres’s hobby, and playing Ingres was the artist’s hobby…

I’m still confused by her hat
maybe she was having a bad hair day
and she insisted on wearing it
and he was like
*shrug * ok

CROE: especially given whatever activity they were likely partaking in immediately prior to the photo
i can see that her hair might not look at its best

TARBOT: hahahahaha


Contest of Champions II

Contest of Champions II        
Edward Del Rosario (b. 1970)
Oil on linen on board, 2007.

CROE: this is bizarre
the rug? the ref in an argyle sweater? the blue background kinda makes it look like they are all floating in space
they really could wear shoes better suited to this type of activity

TARBOT: “what kind of dinner party IS this?!?” haha

CROE: and does the devil-woman with horns have a double?
or maybe there are three? because the legs over on the right are wearing the same shoes…

TARBOT: well maybe they’re all red shoes but with slight differences
visible only to shoe connoisseurs

More of this enthralling commentary here …


Self Portrait

Self Portrait        
Shaun Tan (b. 1974)
Oil, ~2003.

TARBOT: that’s pretty cool
I like meta-stuff
wondering what all the birds are about
bird lover maybe?

CROE: maybe. it seems like pigeons or sparrows would be more likely on a city street
but i prefer the revision of reality to bright orange cheery-birds
she has three colors of paint
but has only used one
maybe so far she’s only figured out her outline?
but she plans to fill it all in at some point?
as she figures out who she is

TARBOT: ooo that’s neat, I like that
it looks like a little kid playing with crayons or something
very childish (not like immature)
but high in imagination content / potential type thing
the “a” and “b” on the wall are interesting

CROE: yeah

TARBOT: she started to learn how to write, but decided painting/drawing was more fun hehe

CROE: haha!



Can Not Prevent It, But There Is No Need To Prevent It         
Ryohei Hase (b. ~1982)
Digital, April 2007.

CROE: i feel like there needs to be an accompanying sound effect

TARBOT: what kind were you thinking?

CROE: well zap doesn’t seem to quite cut it
since it’s a rain storm, lightning seems like the obvious culprit
but i think lightning leaves more of charred mess.
this looks more like an alien space weapon
maybe they use the rainstorm as cover!

I was seeing it more as — either of two options:
1 – this woman lives in a desolate place
and feels like she’s about to burst into flames
just to feel some life

CROE: oooh i like number 1

TARBOT: or 2 –
the world is fine, but she’s not and feels like death is the best alternative
so she’s dying as the other people are going about their daily lives

CROE: ah, so she’s chosen to explode!
points for creativity!

TARBOT: spontaneous human combustion
it’s been known to occur
don’t let the “hearsay” bit fool you

CROE: i like all the details on her outfit, like her shoes! and the ruffles on the umbrella

TARBOT: I can barely make out her shoes

CROE: haha! i think my imagination was adding a lot to her shoes

“Can not prevent it, but there is no need to prevent it”
what do you think “it” is?

CROE: i don’t know!
i wondered if it was a mistranslation from the japanese?
well i mean, it could go with the lightning strike
but she didn’t mind
it combines our theories

TARBOT: I think you can make out part of her face
the lower half
she doesn’t seem to be screaming out in agony or anything like that :)

CROE: i think the way shes standing, purposefully
rather than walking
gives support to your hypothesis
either that, or she knew the aliens were coming



Shaunna Peterson (b. 1973)
Acrylic on Wood, date unknown.

TARBOT: oooh
the more I stare at it the more I appreciate how awesome it is!
so it’s an Elvis impersonator robot?

CROE: lol, i hadn’t really noticed the hair
i guess so. he does appear to be having an elvis effect on the crowd
especially the one on the left with the hearts

TARBOT: indeed
though honestly, if they’re all robots, they probably can sing just as well as Elvis, so not sure why that one is so revered
for better acoustics

CROE: maybe he has the latest sound card

TARBOT: ooohhh
I like the robot with the mohawk and the martini

CROE: why does he have a glass dome over his head
to protect his do?

More of this enthralling commentary here …


The Birth

The Birth        
Mark Ryden (b. 1963)
Oil, 1994.

CROE: it’s actually by an artist i’m familiar with
chris likes this guy a lot.

TARBOT: oh nice haha
“the birth”
def. not what I thought when I first saw it
looked more like the … mouse (or whatever) was somehow donating something to the parsnip
like… blood
how incredibly bizarre
wonder what that contraption is – in the nurse’s hands

CROE: i dunno – it looks like a generator or a pump
can’t the doctor put on some gloves?

TARBOT: srsly.
he’s all over that umbilical cord without a care in the world

CROE: i would have thought the parsnip would have looked a little more surprised, given the difference in appearance between her and her child

maybe she’s one half of an inter-species couple

More of this enthralling commentary here …