RIOT LIKE AN EGYPTIAN
31 January 2011, Cervera de los Montes
All the old paintings on the tombs
They do the sand dance doncha know
If they move too quick (oh whey oh)
They're falling down like a domino
Foreign types with the hookah pipes say
Ay oh whey oh, ay oh whey oh
Riot like an Egyptian
Maybe they are not old paintings but outdated dictators that fall like a domino now when it seems to be a question of days when Mr. Mubarak joins Tunisia's Mr. Ben Ali in a golden retirement in Saudi Arabia. But then what? It's easy to be united when demanding freedom but what is the freedom that the Egyptians want? And more importantly, what is the freedom they will get after the falling regime.
The Western leaders pray their gods that the future Egyptian freedom won't be Islamist type but freedom of market. Some Egyptians might prefer a society that were poverty free but I suppose that the international community (I love this expression) would never accept a socialist country in such a geopolitically important spot.
Most of the people in the West believe that they live in the best of all possible worlds and that their economic and political freedom is the best freedom and the only true freedom where everybody is free but some people a bit more freer than others. Is that what the Egyptians demand? If yes, we gladly export and import it and take the profits.
WRONG TASTE, WORNG COLOR
28 January 2011, Cervera de los Montes
Art never seems to make me peaceful or pure. I always seem to be wrapped in the melodrama of vulgarity. I do not think of art as a situation of comfort.
Willem de Kooning
Captain Corn didn't turn to be a Somali pirate but is now accompanied by an infant buccaneer piped with a heavy acrylic color using a pastry bag nozzle. The text Somali National Volunteer Coast Guard is a bit difficult to read on the top of the original text recubiertas de chocolate but I think that I leave it like that, maybe it's just visually challenging and interesting.
I didn't know what to do with the Kool-Aid painting but Luis visited my studio and gave a good idea - to make it a double image containing two different visions of the figure. I had a picture book of history of China with powerful images of party members humiliated by the Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution. I decided to humble Koo-Aid man with a sign reading Wrong taste, wrong color but unfortunately I couldn't fit a Chinese dunce cap in the image, maybe I use it in another painting. Don't ask me what is the meaning of the painting, I have no idea but I think it looks good, maybe even wrapped in the melodrama of vulgarity.
MY FAVORITE CAPITALISMS
24 January 2011, Cervera de los Montes
Capitalism is an economic system in which the means of production are privately owned and operated for a private profit; decisions regarding supply, demand, price, distribution, and investments are made by private actors in the free market; profit is distributed to owners who choose to invest in businesses, and wages are paid to workers employed by businesses.
MY FAVORITE CAPITALISMS
Anarcho-capitalism, consumer capitalism, corporate capitalism, creative capitalism, crony capitalism, democratic capitalism, eco-capitalism, finance capitalism, global capitalism, humanistic capitalism, inclusive capitalism, late capitalism, laissez-faire capitalism, liberal capitalism, merchant capitalism, mixed economy, monopoly capitalism, neo-capitalism, philanthrocapitalism, technocapitalism, regulatory capitalism, rentier capitalism, social capitalism, social market economy, state capitalism, state monopoly capitalism, welfare capitalism.
19 January 2011, Cervera de los Montes
Yesterday, we read in The New York Times and Helsingin Sanomat that the City of Helsinki has commissioned the Guggenheim Foundation to undertake a feasibility study to examine the possibility of building a Guggenheim franchise. The foundation charges the city of the study $2,5 million.
Many of my Finnish art world friends celebrated this on their Facebook profiles. I remember them also having been excited when Louis Vuitton opened a store in Helsinki. And I know that their biggest dream is to drink Starbucks vanilla lattes in my hometown. Do we really want to franchise our culture from food to art? Is that a positive idea of globalization? I would call it shoppingmallization.
Guggenheim is the McDonald's of Art - reliable, easygoing and extremely unsurprising. Ronald McDonald serves us comfort food and Sololon R. Guggenheim shows us comfort art.
Ainhoa - a young artist based in Bilbao where they have a Guggenheim outpost - told me that to her the museum means nothing. No artists go there. And no local artist even dreams about showing there ever. She said that the museum had never nothing to do with art but land use planning, construction business and politics.
A curator friend asked me if would turn down an exhibition opportunity at the Guggenheim Helsinki. Let's put it this way: If you bring me a BigMac I eat it but that doesn't mean I want to have a McDonald's here in Cervera de los Montes.
17 January 2011, Cervera de los Montes
Would it make any sense to make a list of people with List as surname? Maybe it's not a brilliant idea but I collected some material about fascinating Lists.
Georg Friedrich List (1789-1846) was a German economist. He is considered the original European unity theorist whose ideas were the basis for the European Union.
Guido von List (1848-1919) was an Austrian occultist and one of the most important figures in Germanic revivalism, Germanic mysticism, Runic Revivalism and Runosophy.
John List (1925-2008) was an American murderer. He murdered his wife, mother, and three children in and then disappeared.
Maximilian List (1910-1980) was an architect in Berlin who became an SS officer, involved in the operation of a number of Nazi concentration camps.
MY PAINTING IS DEAD - LIKE A KILLER ZOMBIE
13 January 2011, Cervera de los Montes
Painting is not always fun. When Michelangelo was painting the Sisitine Chapel he wrote:
My painting is dead.
Defend it for me, Giovanni, protect my honor.
I am not in the right place — I am not a painter.
Michelangelo wasn't a Painter. He was sculptor, architect and engineer - an uomo universale. I'd like to feel a Renaissance man too but sometimes I have a feeling that I'm nothing because I try to do too many things: drawing, painting, conceptualizing, collecting, constructing, writing... And I don't mind if my painting is dead, because then it's dead the like a killer zombie.
Actually, I'm not suffering as much as normally of painting. I'm slow but I don't have a deadline. I'm clumsy but the errors look good. I decided not to use the modules done last summer for a one huge painting but as single canvases or diptychs or triptychs. Amor (Artificial) diptych will stay as it is, just kind of superficial pop art. Capitan Corn will be a Somali pirate. Kool-Aid needs some more mixed drinks. The Meiji Cola figure will have a Molotov cocktail in his hand.
By the way, if you do a Google image search of "Molotov cocktail", the picture of my LVMH Molotov Cocktail appears 10th.
MY MOST ECONOMIC WORK
08 January 2011, Cervera de los Montes
The list drawings, that some people consider my most powerful works, are unusually economic - they are fast and easy to execute and the cost of the material is close to zero. The more difficult part is to invent them and collecting and elaborating the data takes hours or even several days and in occasions I need months before a vague idea becomes a list on paper.
Some days ago I did a list of almost all prestige cuveés I found on Wikipedia and several champagne related websites. I titled it My Favorite Bottles for Molotov Cocktails. In 2008, I did a series of Moët and Chandon Molotov cocktails, then one in a Louis Roedere Cristal bottle and another in a magnum sized Moët bottle decorated with Swarovski crystals in the form of the word Molotov. One of my basic tools is combining something elegant and bourgeois to something homemade and subversive.
After writing the list I realized that champagne is related also with my other important theme - the prostitution. It was enough to add the word room to the names of the champagnes and change the title to My Favorite Rooms, obviously connotating now with champagne rooms - a private room service offered by strip clubs where a customer can purchase time to spend privately with an exotic dancer.
Would yo prefer to spend a half an hour in a Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame room, a Vranken Demoiselle room or a Paul Goerg Cuvée Lady C room?
PICASSO VS. MY FAMILY
04 January 2011, Malaga
I decided to begin the year with something I should have had done already last year: drive to Malaga, sign the special editions of my monograph Riiko Sakkinen Image Club (the book in an engraved wooden box, with material for preparing a Molotov cocktail and instructions screen printed on plexiglass) and bring the ten giant artist's proofs home.
I already went by car to Malaga last spring and doing again the 1200km trip alone in two days didn't feel very much fun and I had postponed it several times but now I had also another target in my mind - visiting the Museo Picasso, which I had skipped in all three times I went last year to Malaga for my show there. Picasso might be even bigger than Kippenberger.
I signed the 100 editions on Monday afternoon in the gallery which is located in an industrial/red light area and planned going to the downtown on Tuesday morning but when I woke up at Cecilio's place, a middle-class suburb far away from the center I felt an urge to go back home to be with my family, so I had a coffee and hit the road. My idea was that this year the family was not going to be my absolute priority but it seems that my heart disagrees with that decision.
MY FAVORITE BOTTLES FOR MOLOTOV COCKTAILS
01 January 2011, Cervera de los Montes
Abelé Sourire de Reims, Ayala Grand Cuvée, Boizel Joyau de France, Bollinger Vieille Vignes Françaises, Bruno Paillard Nec Plus Ultra, Burtin-Besserat de Bellefon Cuvée des Moines, Canard-Duchêne Grand Cuvée Charles VII, Cattier Clos du Moulin, Chanoine Freres Gamme Tsarine, Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires, De Castellane Commodore, De Cazanove Stradivarius, De Telmont Commodore, De Venogue Millésime, Deutz Amour de Deutz, Drappier Grande Sendrée, Duval-Leroy Cuvée Femme, Gauthier Grande Réserve, Gosset Célébris, Henriot Cuvée des Enchanteleurs, Jacquesson Avize Grand Cru, Krug Clos du Mesnil, Lanson Noble Cuvée, Laurent-Perrier Grand Siécle, Louis Roederer Cristal, Marcel Hemard Origine Grand Cru, Marie Stuart Cuvée de la Sommelière, Mercier Vendange, Moët & Chandon Dom Pérignon, Moutard-Diligent Cuvée 6 Cépages, Mumm de Cramant, Nicolas Feuillatte Palmes d’Or, Paul Goerg Cuvée Lady C, Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque, Philipponnant Clos de Goisses, Piper-Heidsieck Rare Millesime, Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill, Pommery Cuvée Louise Ruinart Dom Ruinart, Salon Blanc de Blancs le Mesnil, Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, Thiénot Cuvée Garance, Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame, Vilmart Coeur de Cuvée, Vranken Demoiselle.