Thursday, January 24, 2008

London Blues

In this cruise that I just came back from, we all had a lot of fun in one of the bars singing drunken karaoke songs (I know... I know...) and it reminded me of something from my past.

Sometime around 1988 or so, I lived in England for a few months, and back then a lot of the English pubs were really into karaoke. And even though I am not a Texan, one of my past roomates is from Texas and he used to play "London Blues" all the time and I used to really love to sing it in English pubs.

Scary uh? A guy from Brooklyn singing a Texas song...

Unfortunately the cruise ship didn't have it in its inventory, but upon getting back I got myself a couple of Jerry Jeff Walker CDs and it brought back memories of the song that I think may be the greatest Texas song of all time --- and yes, I know that I've just made a zillion Texans disagree with me... or maybe not.

Listen to Barry P. Nunn sing it here the way that it's supposed to come out... lyrics below.

Well, when you're down on your luck,
And you ain't got a buck,
In London you're a goner.
Even London Bridge has fallen down,
And moved to Arizona,
Now I know why.
And I'll substantiate the rumor that the English sense of humor
Is drier than than the Texas sand.
You can put up your dukes, and you can bet your boots
That I'm leavin' just as fast as I can.

I wanna go home with the armadillo
Good country music from Amarillo and Abilene
The friendliest people and the prettiest women you've ever

Well, it's cold over here, and I swear
I wish they'd turn the heat on.
And where in the world is that English girl
I promised I would meet on the third floor.
And of the whole damn lot, the only friend I've got
Is a smoke and a cheap guitar.
My mind keeps roamin', my heart keeps longin'
To be home in a Texas bar.

I wanna go home with the armadillo
Good country music from Amarillo and Abilene
The friendliest people and the prettiest women you've ever

Well, I decided that I'd get my cowboy hat
And go down to Marble Art Station.
'Cause when a Texan fancies, he'll take his chances.
Chances will be taken, that's for sure.
And them Limey eyes, they were eyein' the prize
That some people call manly footwear.
And they said you're from down South,
And when you open your mouth,
You always seem to put your foot there.

Repeat chorus 'til the cows come home.

And thank God they also didn't have Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mothers.

Openings in C'ville

Charlottesville, Virginia holds a dear place in my arts heart - back in the mid 90s when we were hunting for a place to open a gallery, I focused a lot of attention on Charlottesville before the space in Georgetown fell in our lap. I also seem to have a lot of collectors of my own work in that area for some odd reason.
Rob tarbell
Anyway... two interesting exhibitions taking place there.

At the Second Street Gallery, Rob Tarbell's appropriated stuffed animals that he usually finds at Goodwill assume new forms as their stuffing is replaced with porcelain slip and then fired in a kiln.

There will be an opening reception for Tarbell (who teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University and Piedmont Virginia Community College) on First Fridays, February 1, 6:00 - 8:00 pm, with an artist talk at 6:30PM for Rob Tarbell: The Struggles Play Nice.

Stephen L. GriffinMigration: A Gallery, Laura & Rob Jones (who own one of my drawings) continue to offer the C'ville area a kick-ass exhibition program.

Currently they have the acrylic paintings of University of Mary Washington art professor Stephen L. Griffin in a show titled "Strata."

That show goes through Feb. 15, 2008.

Then check out the cool schedule of exhibitions coming down the road, including a Washington Glass School show.

White House Redux

You can just click onto this website or read on from the news release that I received:

I'm excited to announce that I'm on the jury for a new design competition,called White House Redux, the purpose of which is to design a new home for the U.S. Presidency.

It's a speculative project, to be sure - but a fun one, and I can't wait to see what comes up.

Here's the brief: What if the White House, the ultimate architectural symbol of political power, were to be designed today?

On occasion of the election of the 44th President of the United States of America, Storefront for Art and Architecture, in association with Control Group, challenge you to design a new residence for the world's most powerful individual.

The best ideas, designs, descriptions, images, and videos will be selected by some of the world's most distinguished designers and critics and featured in a month-long exhibition at Storefront for Art and Architecture in July 2008 and published in Surface magazine.

All three winners will be flown to New York to collect their prizes at the opening party. Register now and send us your ideas for the Presidential Palace of the future!

Continuing: Few people realize the extent of the White House, since much of it is below ground or otherwise concealed by landscaping. The White House includes: Six stories and 55,000 square feet of floor space, 132 rooms and 35 bathrooms, 412 doors, 147 windows, twenty-eight fireplaces, eight staircases, three elevators, five full-time chefs, a tennis court, a bowling alley, a movie theater, a jogging track, a swimming pool, and a putting green.

It receives about 5,000 visitors a day. The original White House design, by James Hoban, was the result of a competition held in 1792. Over the centuries, presidents have added rooms, facilities and even entire new wings, turning the White House into the labyrinthine complex it is today.

What if, instead of in 1792, that competition were to be held today? What would a White House designed in 2008, year of election of the 44th President of the United States, look like?

That's the question, then: If you were to design a residential office complex for the U.S. President, what would it look like? Perhaps London's GLA? Or the CCTV Building? Or Selfridge's, Birmingham? Or the Kunsthaus Graz? Would it be stylistically European - or Latin American, or African, or Asian? Prefab? Rammed earth? Perhaps an updated Nakagin Capsule Tower? Or would it be a Walking City? Maybe a helicopter archipelago? Maybe algae-powered, or billboard-bound, or an inhabited dam? Would it be ironic, self-deprecating, imperial, solar-powered, walled off behind anti-missile batteries, or anachronistically neoclassical and made of limestone? All of the above?

Here are the specs. The jury consists of Beatriz Colomina, Stefano Boeri, Liz Diller, John Maeda, myself, Mark Wigley, and Laetitia Wolff. So step up and submit.

I'm genuinely excited about this. Show us your best! Think big, think small, think detailed. Think abstract. Change history.
Details here.

One closes and one opens in Baltimore

Touchet Gallery in Baltimore will close.

DB5K is a new space across the street from where Touchet was.