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June 2013

izzmarg

Isabeau put together this diva-heavy mix for us–and you can definitely hear her influences when her clear and bright voice decks the halls of our HQ. This bird can sing. Izzy works in our finance department, loves musical theatre (natch), turbo kickboxing and lives in Southwest PDX with her fella and her dog, Walter.

nealinforest.photobyseanpecknoldhead-and-bottleThis Sunday June 9, we’re really looking forward to Neal Morgan‘s lecture and slideshow on the painter Philip Guston in Portland at the Stumptown Downtown Cafe at 6pm.

You’ve most likely seen Neal perform, behind the drums and on the road with Bill Callahan and Joanna Newsom. He writes and records an experimental solo project, too, rich with layered drums, backing vocals and earnest spoken word, and is working on a new record which will come out later this year.

Neal became “somewhat fanatical” about Philip Guston’s later work while working at SFMOMA in 2003. For the last ten years, his inspiration and fascination with Guston has deepened (the cover of his last record In the Yard is the artist’s painting “Evidence”) and he has engaged in a rigorous study of his work.

We talked with Neal about courageous artists, making art in wartime, and falling for Frank Ocean.

What is it about Philip Guston in particular that has inspired you to further your research and give lectures in honor of his 100th birthday?

Guston was as courageous an artist as they come. After ten years of tunnel vision related to him and his work, I still feel newly-inspired by his bravery. I think we all have something to learn in particular from his rejection of abstraction and return to figuration in the late 60s and from the otherworldly works that resulted. The best way that I can honor and thank Philip Guston is to help others to see and consider and understand his work. I gave a lecture spontaneously outside Tiga for his birthday last year and thought I’d up the ante a little bit for his centennial.

Tell me about your investigation and deep study into the artist’s work.

In 2003, while working at SFMOMA, I was able to spend a lot of time in Michael Auping’s Guston Retrospective show and became like a moth to a light bulb. I hadn’t understood the late work before that time. We had just invaded Iraq, we were deep into Bush’s first administration, and I was struggling with my wanting to be an artist, wanting to be a drummer in the middle of all this. I was out there taking photographs of fields and Bush was in office. Sure, be an artist, I guess that’s ok, but what was my responsibility? I had needed to see that late Guston work and to understand it and to understand where it came from. Where HE was coming from. In his fifties, then a master painter and wealthy and comfortable after a long stretch as a leading abstractionist alongside Pollock, Rothko, Kline and the rest of the so-called New York School, he re-joined the fight. Picasso said painting is an act of war. That is true. But some artists and some paintings are on the frontlines of battles in addition to being “at war” in a general man vs. society/technology/corporate America sense. Some paintings are doing the hand-to-hand combat. And the punches he threw in that late work were right on the money in so many ways. There were no sucker-punches. It’s beautiful, important, mysterious work. (more…)

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On view at Division June 3rd – 2nd
Reception is 4-6pm Monday, June 10th

In his most recent body of work, Christian Rogers continues to explore print-based materials through the use of copy machines and silk screening. Currently he employs all mediums but focuses on making print based works and drawings. Christian’s imagery is created from a series of “scanner bed drawings” in which the artist uses a scanner to distort and essentially render drawings and found images as brush strokes. Working from a potentially endless amounts of material, Christian then curates a selection of scanner drawings to work from. For Christian, the work is just as much about creating formal compositions that speak to midcentury abstraction & expressionism, as it is about conceptually pushing the ideas of print, technology and appropriation.

Born and raised in North Portland, Christian continues to live and work in Northeast Portland. He received his BFA from Western Oregon University in 2010 and is planning to pursue graduate school in 2014.

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Ray_progressOn view at Belmont June 4th – July 2nd
Reception is 4-6pm Sunday, June 9th

Statement

“One night, several years ago, I dreamt I was at an art convention. Thousands of artists gathered in an enormous expo center. On the main stage, each artist spoke for a few minutes about their work and their process. I waited for my turn backstage while an old Chinese man took the stage. Instead of talking about his work, he sang a beautiful song, and danced in a slow circle. The words he sang have stayed with me ever since. “Everything with purpose. Everything with love.” 

 Now my definition of art is “anything done with purpose and love.” And this is why I am a portrait artist. I love making paintings for people. I love making paintings of loved ones, pets or people, paintings commissioned out of love and painted with love. Portraiture fills my work with purpose and love to a depth it never had when I paint solely for myself. The focus has moved away from wondering what I should paint, or what I should say, to how well I can express this portrait for this person who loves them so much. I really love it.”

Bio

Jeremy Dubow began studying art as a child in Manhattan on the nights when his mother couldn’t find a babysitter and had to take him to her evening painting classes. He spent most of his childhood copying comic books, and his adolescence pursuing illustration at LaGuardia High School for music and art. After graduation he moved to Los Angeles and soon found himself working in animation.

In his early twenties he began to cultivate a relationship with the present, and this awakening sparked a creative shift from imaginative work to working from life. During this shift, he wrote and illustrated Margaret, a children’s picture book about living in the moment, and at the same time developed a love for figure drawing at San Francisco City College. 

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