Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Interviews: (on index cards) Nabokov and the Reeders

Excerpts below from Vladimir Nabokov: The Art of Fiction No. 40. Full interview at the Paris Review No. 41 (Summer-Fall 1967).
Could you say something of your work habits? Do you write to a preplanned chart? Do you jump from one section to another, or do you move from the beginning through to the end?

The pattern of the thing precedes the thing. I fill in the gaps of the crossword at any spot I happen to choose. These bits I write on index cards until the novel is done. My schedule is flexible, but I am rather particular about my instruments: lined Bristol cards and well sharpened, not too hard, pencils capped with erasers.

Is there a community of which you consider yourself a part?

Not really. I can mentally collect quite a large number of individuals whom I am fond of, but they would form a very disparate and discordant group if gathered in real life, on a real island. Otherwise, I would say that I am fairly comfortable in the company of American intellectuals who have read my books.

What is most characteristic of poshlust in contemporary writing? Are there temptations for you in the sin of poshlust? Have you ever fallen?

“Poshlust,” or in a better transliteration poshlost, has many nuances, and evidently I have not described them clearly enough in my little book on Gogol, if you think one can ask anybody if he is tempted by poshlost. Corny trash, vulgar clichés, Philistinism in all its phases, imitations of imitations, bogus profundities, crude, moronic, and dishonest pseudo-literature—these are obvious examples. Now, if we want to pin down poshlost in contemporary writing, we must look for it in Freudian symbolism, moth-eaten mythologies, social comment, humanistic messages, political allegories, overconcern with class or race, and the journalistic generalities we all know. Poshlost speaks in such concepts as “America is no better than Russia” or “We all share in Germany's guilt.” The flowers of poshlost bloom in such phrases and terms as “the moment of truth,” “charisma,” “existential” (used seriously), “dialogue” (as applied to political talks between nations), and “vocabulary” (as applied to a dauber). Listing in one breath Auschwitz, Hiroshima, and Vietnam is seditious poshlost. Belonging to a very select club (which sports one Jewish name—that of the treasurer) is genteel poshlost. Hack reviews are frequently poshlost, but it also lurks in certain highbrow essays. Poshlost calls Mr. Blank a great poet and Mr. Bluff a great novelist. One of poshlost's favorite breeding places has always been the Art Exhibition; there it is produced by so-called sculptors working with the tools of wreckers, building crankshaft cretins of stainless steel, Zen stereos, polystyrene stinkbirds, objects trouvés in latrines, cannonballs, canned balls. There we admire the gabinetti wall patterns of so-called abstract artists, Freudian surrealism, roric smudges, and Rorschach blots—all of it as corny in its own right as the academic “September Morns” and “Florentine Flowergirls” of half a century ago. The list is long, and, of course, everybody has his bête noire, his black pet, in the series. Mine is that airline ad: the snack served by an obsequious wench to a young couple—she eyeing ecstatically the cucumber canapé, he admiring wistfully the hostess. And, of course, Death in Venice. You see the range.

Excerpts below from Scott and Tyson Reeder Talk to Each Other (Jan-Feb 2008), The NY Arts Magazine.

If you could hire anyone throughout art history as your studio assistant who would it be?
Scott Reeder: Joseph Albers—it seems like he would be really organized and have really clean brushes, plus he seems to be pretty good with color. Warhol would also be a nice assistant because he would be good at attracting other interesting assistants and he would always come up with the easiest way to do something.

Tyson Reeder: Don Van Vliet, a.k.a. Captain Beefheart. A painter who could help me with my titles and play sax.

How do you get your ideas?
S: I have a system of notebooks where I write down things that pop into my head. It’s all numbered and color-coded (I use a four-color pen). Green is for art ideas. Red is for video and film ideas. Blue is for music and sound ideas. And black is what I use to write down boring information like grocery lists.

T: I have hundreds of small drawings on index cards that have become my own dictionary of colors, marks, accidental stains, and spills that I draw from in order to make distortions of Midwestern rural and urban space, small town freaks, and regional history.


If you had to come up with a name for it what would you call the art movement that is going on right now?
S: “Image Searchism” or maybe “more broken mirrors.”
T: “punk for sale” or “post-good.”

If you wrote a manifesto what would it be titled?
S: Not sure what it would be titled, but the text would be all dingbats.
T: “Let's Make Something New”

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Holidaze, and Mewwy Kissed-mouse!

With love, from Julia.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

New print: Jo

Julia V. Hendrickson, Jo (2010)
Photopolymer etching in brown ink on cream paper
1.75 x 2.25" (plate), 5 x 7" (sheet)
Commissioned print, private collection. 
Photographer unknown.

This is a print I made recently, commissioned by a dear friend as a Christmas gift for his mother. It's a photograph of her as a little girl. It turned out quite small, and is a very sweet little piece.

Please contact me at the address below if you're interested in something similar! 
sendmissiveshere [at] gmail.com

Monday, December 20, 2010

Gift Guide 3: Chicago-made prints

Since I normally spend most of my waking hours looking at, thinking about, and handling prints, I thought I'd give a little run-down on some of the coolest giftable prints that are out in Chicago right now. Here is a selection of my favorites, in no particular order.

(Disclosure: I am friends with some of these artists, but I made these choices on my own, and this gift guide aims to be bias-free!)
Darwin's Finches, 5-color screenprint, $30 (Diana Sudyka);  
Pigeon with Toy Car, 8-color screenprint, $100 (Jay Ryan). 

Urban Gardening letterpress print, $12;
Silent film-inspired letterpress cards (HELLO! and Seeing You), $3/ea.

In Search of Cromwell Dixon 9-color screenprint, $60;
Collaboration with Chicago artist Rachel Niffenegger, 9-color screenprint, $100.

RYAN KAPP (Chicago, IL)           
Skokie Night, 11-color screenprint, $45.

CROSSHAIR (Chicago, IL)           
Fort #3, 10-color screenprint, $80.

Folk Pattern, 3-color screenprint, $20;
Fire Truck, 1-color screenprint, $15.

Winter Garden, 4-color screenprint, $50.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New work: "Hey, don't drop dat der."

Julia V. Hendrickson, Hey, don't drop dat der. (2010)
Photopolymer etching with collage on paper.
5x7 (image), 9x12 (sheet).

Click the image to view larger.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Music video: Mates of State "Get Better"

Mates of State - Get Better from daniel garcia on Vimeo.

My morning anthem for the time being. From Mates of State's 2008 album Re-Arrange Us.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Video: Sensorium Show's "Disconnected"

Russell's got a new video up on The Sensorium Show, and I helped! With hands and brain power. He did the wizardry. Featuring: my ghost hands and hands-poking-stuff. Those thorns were killer.

If you click "Subscribe" to his channel, you can get an email when he posts new work!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Gift Ideas 2: Out-of-town favorites from Renegade Chicago!

Featuring products from my three favorite out-of-towners from Chicago's Holiday Renegade fair! These are all works on paper, but, gee whiz, I just couldn't help myself!
 JUST A JAR (Marietta, OH)
Fin de siècle letterpress charm

These cards can be found on Etsy here.

I'm always a sucker for all-things-Ohio, so this little press from the southeastern corner of my home state caught my eye. Sara Alway & Bobby Rosenstock have got a good sense of humor, and these remind me a little of another Ohio favorite, Married to the Sea (here's my vote for a collaboration!). Just A Jar's other projects are neat, too, including a series of posters with quotations from the German philosopher Martin Heidegger; a Do THIS, not THAT classroom (mis)behavior guide poster series; and a Spring 2011 forthcoming book called Soil Mates: A Vegetable Dating Guide. Neato!

1CANOE2 (Columbia, MO)
Whimsical, illustration-based letterpress

Carrie Shryock & Beth Snyder have some seriously sweet handwriting; the fanciful script is distinctive, the colors bright, and their tendency to organize fun and functional. I've always wanted a collection of "Things That Are Round," as the coasters above illustrate, and the skewed proportions of "Things That Are Long" looks like my kind of math. Those rainbow-hued recipe cards above come with a handmade wooden box that is really mouth-watering (and it just got picked up by Anthropologie, so you may be seeing loads more of the like in the near future).

KRANK PRESS (Los Angeles, CA)
Modern, simple letterpress cards and prints

Eleanor Nissley works as an architect in LA, and her organized, modern architectural aesthetic shows in her letterpress work. The New York Times Magazine did a post about her back in January 2010, which you can read here.

I love perpetual calendars, and a beautiful, functional calendar that tells you what produce is in season for your area is right up my alley. She had Chicago-area produce calendars at Renegade, but they aren't offered on her website right now, so contact her if you'd like to order one.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Gift Ideas: Local favorites from Renegade Chicago!

This weekend marked the 5th Annual Holiday Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago, held at the beautiful Pulaski Park Fieldhouse. I worked Saturday at the Ork Posters booth, and yesterday got a chance to browse around. It was such a treat to know so many wonderful artists and craftspeople at Renegade this year, mainly through my involvement in the Chicago Printers Guild, and I was really proud of all the hard work my friends put into their stands.

Since I most often write about printmaking and works on paper, I wanted to share a handful of my favorite shops that are based in Chicago that have nothing to do with paper (in no particular order), and a piece or two I liked from each one... gift guide alert!

(Check back soon, because there are more out-of-town favorites from Renegade to come in the next few days!)

Hand-printed fabrics, bags, and accessories

Jessica Taylor, under the name of Fiori Falsi, is a talented friend and fellow printmaker. She screenprints patterns onto the fabric herself, and offers a wonderful line of fashionable, sturdy, well-made bags and purses. She's also able to make custom bags, if you have specific things you want (everyone is picky about their purse!). If you like her style and want to give one as a gift, she offers gift certificates through her website as well (so that way your recipient can customize his/her own!). I've been longing for one for ages!

Hand-printed fabrics, linens, and cards

Katy Collier is another talented friend and fellow artist (originally from Portland, OR) whose work I love. Her drawing and illustration style is charming and sweet, and she uses simple plant imagery in her linocut prints on fabric. If you have any newborns in your life, she has onesies, and if you'd like to give a housewarming gift, her curtains, tea towels, and napkins are all perfect for such an occasion.

MAKER and MAKER (Chicago, IL)
Handmade, limited-edition ceramics.

In the persons of Andy Hunt, Tim Woodbrey, and Ali Gibbons, Maker and Maker has clean and simple forms, with funky, rustic designs and glazes. This particular line is classic, vintage Americana. My favorite piece was the buffalo sculpture below (also in rust color). Keep an eye on their Etsy page for new work. They'll be releasing new lines of limited-edition ceramics (new designs, and new glazes) every few months, I believe.

Durable, functional accessories and bags made from recycled clothes and fabric (with a preppy twist!)

I was very much drawn to the beautiful fabrics (those stripes are just calling my name!) that the folks at Winter Session use, and pleased to see that they use re-purposed clothes to make many or most of their products. Everything is already a little worn and immensely touchable, with that soft, old-cotton feel that you get from favorite shirts you've had lying around for years. They also make smaller accesories that were for sale at Renegade (but not visible on the website) and neat scarves from old men's button-down shirts that drape beautifully and look awesome.


Thursday, December 2, 2010


My dear friend Russell Weiss has been working on a project he calls The Sensorium Show, a strange kind of video sketchbook chock-full of hypothetical worlds and inane ponderings: a delight in visual-aural experimentation. Here are the first three videos he's posted, but be sure to check back at the Sensorium Show on YouTube for new videos in the coming weeks.

Watch these, if you can, in full screen HD (change the button that says 360p to read 720p or 1080p) with some good speakers.