Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Closing, A Bridge, and A Record.

c. David Grim (taken 6/21/10)

Yes. Obviously it's been a "long time" since I've taken the time to construct a post. Of course it's relative. Relative to how often the reader checks this blog. Relative to my previously established patterns. Relative to my/your/our own conceptions of time. The thing is that it's easy to allow the pressure of my life to supersede my habits- "good" and "bad" (if you believe in that sort of thing).

But why allow ourselves that sort of excuse?

Saturday the 31st marks a transition for me. The days leading up to this date have been long. If you show up at 6PM (or after), you'll see an exhibition of art that I am truly proud of. But there's more than simple pride invested in this for me. There's integration, humility, grace, graciousness, love, compassion, empathy and connection surrounding everything... not just at the gallery.

If you do join us (and have the capability), bring a record. By that I mean wax trax... vinyl... something that spins and sounds when touched by a needle. My friend Leroy will be coordinating the play list, and we can all be excited by that prospect.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rising Together

c. David Grim (9/19/09)

The opening and the preview are over and now it's time to get along with the artist talk. David and I had a great time last weekend, and I enjoyed watching him chase his son around and 'round the gallery for more than an hour. As far as I was concerned, I was quite happy to sit back and listen to people try to figure out who the photographer was. It's almost as if many of the visitors have never even read this blog. Joke's on them, eh?

So what's David going to do for the talk on Saturday (1-4PM)? Good question. But a better question is whether or not I'm going to make an appearance. I still haven't decided. The thing is that even if I do, there's a good chance many folks won't even recognize me. Truthfully I usually like to roll out incognito, so the anonymity serves me just fine.

I will tell you something though... David and I are still collaborating quite actively. There's a steady stream of magic happening around town, and we're both going to be doing a lot to channel and perpetuate it. We're working on the visualization of a place that already exists in the future. That may sound esoteric, but you'll understand when you see it. Meanwhile we are both conceiving projects on our own that should manifest with our cooperation sooner than later.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Word From Our Sponsors.

c. David Grim (taken 8/4/09)

Lately I've been thinking that David and I should have a talk together. The opening reception for our show is this Saturday (from 6-9PM), and it seems appropriate for each of us to get some clarity about what the other is up to. Can the left hand talk to the right? While they are interdependent and governed by the same ultimate arbiter, sometimes it's easy to lose that perspective. And an underlying theme of the ongoing project we are collaborating on is certainly integration. So I've decided to write this post in interview form. Please be patient with the both of us.

Merge Divide: Are you excited for the show? I know you've invested a lot of energy in this (and so have I), and I have to wonder about the state that you are in.

David Grim: Hmmm... I'd have to say that I have mixed feelings about it. I've always gotten a bit anxious before my openings. There will be a mix of people there-, some of which I have known well for a long time, some will be acquaintances that I'd like to know better, and inevitably there will be some that I have never even talked to. I'll be trying to manage the representation of myself while keeping a mindful state about my social relationships with whoever shows up. It's a little overwhelming, to tell the truth.

MD: Hah! I remember your strategy last year at Imagebox. How well did that work out for you?

DG: We don't have to talk about that. Anyone who was there can tell those stories. It's a new year and a new approach this time around. I'm trying to do justice to the work I've done, and that requires a commitment and level of effort that I'm now willing to invest.

MD: Don't strain yourself, tough guy. No, I'm just kidding. I know you'll do fine.

DG: If I only had your confidence perhaps I would be excited in a purely joyful way. But you have to remember that I've never really stepped out with my drawings to this extent. Hellfire, before I started the "Book of Life" project, I had only drawn about 15-20 works in the previous 15 years. Comparatively, showing photographic images is easy going.

MD: I'm not sure if you are minimizing my efforts, but whatever. I feel GREAT about the images on my side. Maybe I'm a complete egotist in this regard, but i still love staring at them.

DG: Perhaps that's because they are mediated? You have a technological device between your eye and the subject. For me it was the visceral connection between the pen and the paper. You could also simply eliminate whatever shots you felt weren't up to your standards. EVERY mistake I made in the two and a half years I worked on the Book of Life is on the wall. That's not a common approach for an artist displaying his or her work.

MD: Well, you've made some radical assumptions about my process with a camera. But I'll let you control the direction for just a bit. If what you are saying is true... why throw it all up on the wall together? Why do you think people need to see your mistakes? Maybe we do share an element of narcissism, you and I.

DG: That's fair. But I think it's an appropriate decision, given the process and the concept involved. Why shouldn't the "mistakes" be included? The Book of Life is partially about the relationship between the artist as Creator and his/her subject. To think that an artist can really achieve, or should even try to strive for "perfection" seems like a folly. If you can't see that flaws run through the entire thing, then I think that you aren't paying close enough attention. And I'm not trying to get clever with metaphysics either.

MD: Yeah, you gotta watch that, dude. Don't crawl up your own asshole.

DG: Jeez. I'll tell you what... sometimes you should stop and think about framing before you make a point. Especially when you are analyzing others.

MD: Well... if you don't already see that in MY work, then maybe YOU aren't paying attention.

DG: OK. I realize that I need someone to keep me in check, now and again. I do appreciate it. Next time I tell someone I'm going to kill you off by the end of this show, I'll realize that we have a special connection and hold my tongue.

MD: Do you need a hug?

DG: Umm... I don't even know how to answer that. But I do think this interview is over, for now.

MD: Fine. But remember you still have a lot to answer for. I'm not done with you.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Truth, Consequences, and Politics in the Union.

c. David Grim (taken 5/11/08)

Wow. I didn't want to get into politics too much on this new blog. I have tons of stuff to concentrate on here in the 'Burgh, with my son, moving, and my show all very omnipresent in my thoughts. Truth be told I went to the coffeehouse today just to get away and out of my head. And what happens there on this hot, hot afternoon? I run into one of my astute friends who keeps up with current affairs, and likes to share the information he comes across. Normally I'm psyched to get the 4-11 from MV, but today he dropped something unsettling.

Reportedly, the Federal Justice Department has made it illegal for journalists to take photographs of the OIL SPILL without getting permission from the Coast Guard first. The penalties of breaching this order are said to include a $40,000 fine and 5 years in a federal prison. If this is true, I believe that it is a clear violation of our freedom of information rights, as well as the very basic guarantees of the First Amendment. The idea that this decision might have been issued by the Obama administration has me disturbed. This could just be a disinformation campaign circulating the net, but who can tell at this point?

I haven't even wanted to think about THE SPILL this summer with all of my personal business overwhelming me. The Serenity Prayer keeps popping up in my head, and that has allowed me to push this blot on our environment aside for later reflection. But how can I not ruminate over the possible suppression of information? Don't we need to share every detail of this catastrophe with anyone and everyone that can possibly help?

According to the narrative, Obama has agreed to a gag rule in his dealings with BP. In order for him to make them set up a $20 billion fund to pay for the damages they (and Halliburton) have caused, he has to enforce a cover-up of the situation. I can only imagine what is going on behind the scenes at the highest of levels, and believe me, intrigue and plot are among my speculations. We don't even know the ramifications of this thing environmentally... and it seems like the social and political consequences could be just as devastating.

I try to remind myself that we have a president who is complex in his thinking, and that he has surrounded himself with an array of brilliant minds. I try to reassure myself that even Abraham Lincoln resorted to curtailing our civil rights to keep the Union together. But these are perilous times, and faith is difficult to come by. I hope that Obama starts explaining what's going on in a way that minimizes panic, and justifies the potentially extreme measures that his administration is said to be taking.

This is a threat that extends far beyond what we've experienced since 9-11. Make no mistake- the OIL SPILL is a game-changer. Will it spur us to positive change? What do you think?

Monday, July 5, 2010


c. David Grim (taken 8/6/08)

Yesterday I had one of the most laid back 4th of July's of my entire personal chronology. Typically around this time of the year I am ruminating on the state of the nation. Not so this go 'round. The show was installed on Saturday and I hosted a small group of folks that decided to drop by for a preview. It was a comfortable evening with a lot of talk, cigarettes and libations. When it was all over I took a short walk and prepared for the inevitable crash that came from reduced endorphins and anticipation.

What I didn't really expect was for my neck to seize up to the point that I had a hard time turning my head without wincing in pain. My days had been so full that I pretty much forgot that I had fallen faceward on pavement upon returning to my Millvale address at 1:30AM after my third day of installation.

I've been wearing thong sandals, and it's taken me a bit to remember that they flap when I walk. I stepped up on the sidewalk with my right leg, and the left followed suit but the front of the sandal got caught and I found myself falling quickly. My left knee hit and I extended my hands palms-down and hit hard in a sort of ugly push up position. No doubt my head snapped violently but I managed not to plant my expression into the concrete. I was proud of myself for the lack of visible scratches and bruises (I was wearing sandals). I went upstairs and fell fast asleep.

So it took a couple more busy days for me to finally feel the impact. The good news is that I had healing energy in my midst (thanks, GF!) and a Remedy around the corner. I feel good today and can swivel my eyes in a nice full arc without pain. Woohoo!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Installation in Progress.

c. David Grim (taken 7/1/10)

I have to apologize for not making my customary 4-5 posts this week. Things have been very hectic at the Panza Gallery for David and I. Our respective halves are really starting to harmonize in anticipation for the show, but I can't say there hasn't been a lot of struggle and self-analysis along the way.

Depicted in today's image is Mark Panza, proprietor and master framer. Without Mark, this show would be a damn sight less interesting than we would want it to be. We've really relied on his ability to put things straight and come up with ultra-creative solutions to presentation problems. When you come to the opening on July 10th (6-9PM), you'll see exactly what I mean.

Anyway, a few people have seen what we have up so far, and their reaction has been encouraging (and that's an understatement). All of us have put so much work, energy, and love into this exhibition that there's no way it won't be a success. We'll see you soon (and hopefully I'll be able to post a little less self-referentially soon).