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

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

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


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?”

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 …

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 …


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

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 …


Gothic Victorian Taxidermy Bat Wing 24K Gilt Skull Necklace        
Loved to Death (created ~2008)
Taxidermy jewelry, 24k gilt, 2010.

TARBOT: the necklace…
which is, btw, made out of real bat wings

CROE: oh. my. god.
loved to death, eh

TARBOT: I’d be afraid the ghost of christmas bat would come haunt me while I was sleeping
overall it’s pretty well executed
or so it seems anyway
I wonder what “treated” means
ooooh, you think she kills the bats for her creations?
or just finds dead ones ?

CROE: i dunno…
maybe she turns her enemies into bats
and THEN kills them

More of this enthralling commentary here …

Ocean Horse

Ocean Horse        
Melissa (In The Distance) (b. 1993)
Colored Pencils, 2009

CROE: i think that would sink like a stone

TARBOT: haha
“draw me a sea horse”
the artist went…
and this is what she came up with

CROE: lol
the surface of the water is really pretty

nice lighting effects

CROE: the horse’s eye is kinda freaky

TARBOT: a little bit
like a wraith
maybe if the tail was longer, stronger… the horse would stand a chance of swimming

CROE: yeah
it just looks very unbalanced
maybe he could wear flippers on his front legs

TARBOT: heehee
and how’s he breathing, exactly?

CROE: he doesn’t need to. he’s a wraith
or do wraiths need oxygen? i don’t know much about the anatomy of wraiths
was not covered in my biology classes

More of this enthralling commentary here …


Jason de Caires Taylor (b. 1974)
Cement as artificial reef, unknown date

TARBOT: It’s called Vicissitudes
(which, I had to look up)
They’re 4.5 meters underwater

CROE: if i was swimming along and i saw that, i would be pretty creeped out
where is it located?

TARBOT: Grenada, West Indies

CROE: Frederick Douglas has a chapter in his book titled The Vicissitudes of Slave Life
could they be slaves that fell off a boat?

TARBOT: oh my
they do look like they have shackles on their wrists
there’s just two types of “people” though
in the circle
as if they were copy-pasted
the artist must have been like, welp … I don’t got time to do more, so … Ctrl-C

More of this enthralling commentary here …

The Bridge

The Bridge        
Inga Nielsen (b. 1983)
Digital, 2008

CROE: two things jump out at me:
we’re pulled forward, into the light in the painting
but the bridge travels in the opposite direction. it doesn’t take us where we want to go
and there are only two spots of color: the red sash, and the yellow lantern

TARBOT: yeah I’m loving the lantern
and how she’s left it behind for the time being

CROE: the detail work in the ivy and vines is spectacular
but how come i see vulvas in so many women’s paintings?
the white waterfall/cave entrance

TARBOT: hahaha
I think you’re projecting
I see nothing of the sort

CROE: it reminds me of the cave in belize
the womb of creation

TARBOT: she’s certainly not well dressed for a day of hiking

More of this enthralling commentary here …

Pelt Merchant of Cairo

Pelt Merchant of Cairo        
Jean-Léone Gérôme (b. 1824 – d. 1904)
Oil on Canvas, 1869

CROE: meow?

TARBOT: more like, pimp merchant of cairo.
and his turban is askew… you know something’s shady

CROE: seriously
i bet he does a nice dance while he takes that pelt off
and when you take the helmet on and off for your adoring fans
it’s gonna mess up your turban

TARBOT: heehee

CROE: i like the contrast between his toes on the left, and the tiger’s toes on the right

TARBOT: who needs a tiger pelt in Egypt anyways?
isn’t it pretty warm already?

CROE: that was what i thought
maybe it’s for a rug?
but then why is he wearing it?
to get in touch with his inner caveman?

More of this enthralling commentary here …

Not so crazy fish

Not-so-crazy fish        
Renae Taylor, b. 1974
Sculpture, date unknown

TARBOT: it’s … definitely crazy
I’ve never seen fish wear that much makeup

i kind of see a male fish in drag

well from the side view… it honestly looks like an … older woman with a generous double chin

CROE: yeah i see that
did you see the eyelashes?

TARBOT: totally fake.

CROE: i’m trying to figure out how to convey my outburst of laughter via im

TARBOT: heehee

CROE: my ass is still attached

TARBOT: a-hahahhaaha

CROE: or rather, my ass is still on

TARBOT: it’s interesting – the whole thing is so strange, but the execution of it is so good in many respects
the painting of it
it looks seamless
like, oh sure, fish like that totally exist
wait… no they don’t!

More of this enthralling commentary here …


Vladimir Kush (b. before 1968)
Sculpture (metal), date unknown

TARBOT: It’s called “12”
cleverly so

CROE: i could see it on top of a birthday cake

TARBOT: what a depressing party that’d be
why do you think the man that’s bowing is shiny and the other one is not?

CROE: a few possibilities crossed my mind

TARBOT: do tell

CROE: well, it could be the same man, as a shiny, younger, naked man as the number 2
and the same guy, but older, and rougher for the years, as the number 1
or perhaps, a teacher and a disciple?
the shape of the 2 reminds me of someone subservient
what do you think?

TARBOT: oooo interesting on that first take
yeah the first thing that popped into my head was master and apprentice
(jedi master, to be precise)

More of this enthralling commentary here …

The Neverending Search

The Neverending Search, or         
The Unattainable Search For Perfection
David Ho (b. before 1980)
Digital, date unknown (circa 1999-2010)

TARBOT: there’s so much to work with here!
thinking outside the box
catching dreams
frogs to kiss into princes
feeling trapped
the background looks like canvas at the back of a theatre stage

CROE: it does!
the stars and moon also
like they were hung infront of the backdrop

TARBOT: yeah
it’s an interesting mood that the lighting and colors capture, too
not sad, but not happy either

CROE: it does seem like the color scheme could have been inspired by a piece of granite
the gray tones with a touch of gold
the frog on top of the rock is in a yoga pose
i initially said that jokingly
but now i realize the name of the pose is sun salutation


More of this enthralling commentary here …

Cat’s Meditation

Cat’s Meditation        
Michael Parkes (b. 1944)
Lithography, date unknown (circa 2005-2009)

TARBOT: the two cats remind me of like, good and evil

CROE: it looks like evil is winning

TARBOT: heehee
I dunno, good looks like it’s about to strike

CROE: which one is good? which one is evil?

TARBOT: evil — I guess I was going with the black cat
how stereotypical of me
not sure which cat is meditating, as the title implies
but the woman does look like she’s pondering something

CROE: all of the woman’s hair is in place. except for one strand

TARBOT: yeah, maybe she’s outside
nice breeze going

CROE: is she creating the golden balls? with her mind?

TARBOT: I was wondering about them — thought maybe she does magics.

CROE: yeah
because the top ball is not as bright

TARBOT: maybe they’re the ideas that are “falling” out of her mind, and then she’s trying to decide what to do

CROE: mm

TARBOT: and so the evil and good parts of her are struggling with them

CROE: ooo! i like it!

TARBOT: the background looks surreal, too
so she could be outside, but it looks like she may be in a dream like state too
her right arm looks disproportionate
the bottom part is much longer than it would be normally

CROE: and she has some serious muscles
her biceps are huge

TARBOT: haha
I took them to be just the way the clothes fold around

CROE: ah ok
but the wrong proportions make it look like another vogue photoshop disaster

TARBOT: a what?

CROE: http://www.psdisasters.com/2010/07/vogue-and-dont-get-me-started-on.html


CROE: drastic altering of images is so common for models in magazines that there are now blogs devoted to it

TARBOT: apparently it’s spreading to fantasy paintings, too

Gero Tan

Tan Tan Bo Puking – a.k.a. Gero Tan        
Takashi Murakami (b. 1963)
Acrylic on Canvas, May 2011

CROE: ok
so here it is

TARBOT: oh my!!
I can’t decide if I want to eat it
or throw up on it
I do love that blue (sky)
looks like maybe… an alien invasion
like those giant pac-mac lookalikes have just landed
and are shooting laser beam weapons etc
or throwing up ice cream on things

CROE: here’s someone else’s take on it

TARBOT: I’m not sure what “Gero Tan” means, exactly

CROE: i don’t know either. japanese is not one of our combined seven languages

TARBOT: hehe
well it sorta looks like one of those children’s coloring books
and the child just went CRAZY with the colors

CROE: maybe it’s a self portrait of the artist
and it shows what he thinks of his method of creating art
it sort of reminds me of a creation myth story
like, this is how the world began

TARBOT: reminds me of the “execution” one
kinda dali-esque
lol – that’s what the reviewer says too

CROE: so i picked this one because i had no clue what was going on. it just made me want to stare at it, in a perplexed, amused fashion
so i was curious what you thought
but maybe that’s the whole point
to make you say wtf


Armen Atoyan (b. circa 1985)
Food and Office Supplies May 2011

TARBOT: I’m going to state the obvious here
I think we now know the answer to the age-old question

CROE: and now i have my mother’s day card for next year

TARBOT: hahaha

CROE: how lazy of the artist to show us the back of the egg, so we have to do all the work and imagine a facial expression

TARBOT: on one hand
but on the other … he did cook an entire chicken

CROE: or he bought it from boston market
i’m having a difficult time believing that the egg has enough dexterity to write “to mother” with the hands that the artist has given him


TARBOT: great handwriting at that

CROE: clipwriting?

TARBOT: well … he’s got clips for hands…

CROE: i do like the choice of the wall color behind the scene
the color is egg yolk
it’s like, if for us, the color of the wall was blood

TARBOT: that’s fantastic.
well done, mr. Atoyan
well done
… um, no pun intended!

CROE: oyy