Sunday, December 23, 2007

Machu Picchu

I arrived on Machu Picchu on Dec. 11th, 2007 and took this photo from a lookout point. It is the location of most the photo's taken of Machu Picchu so I had to get the shot. At this point I am completely overwhelmed by the breathtaking view. It is something everyone should see sometime in their lifetime.
The Sacred Rock.
A nice sunset view.
I climbed the peak of Wayna Picchu. One of the most challenging tasks I have ever been faced with both mentally and physically.
I snapped one last pic before I started down.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Buenos Aires Misc. Pics

These are misc. pics I took while walking around the city.

Mausoleums at the the Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires

The view inside these mausoleums were powerful. None of these photo's have been altered any whatsoever. The spaces of the dead are often raided for precious gold and silver. You see human remains and completely devastated spaces disrespecting the belongings of the dead. I could not believe what I was seeing. I wanted to capture it in these photographs which are glimpses within these intimate and yet often public intruded spaces of the the dead. You can check out more of these photo's at my Flickr page.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Mexico Trip Pics

Me and my friend Shawn from Botswana South Africa.

Me and Jorge with this amazing woman.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Tony Fitzpatrick's The Wonder

Kevin Nance’s excellent review of Tony Fitzpatrick’s first book, The Wonder: Portraits of a Remembered City -- The Dream City, from the Sun-Times, August 2, 2006, is no longer available on-line. Or at least very difficult to find, as most newspapers tend to delete archives of art articles after a relatively short time. I was able to find it at, a great resource, which may not exist forever, considering the current, often oppressive, use and interpretation of copyright laws. I think Nance’s article should be readily available to read for individual research. Fitzpatrick’s books, both volumes, are great. Get them!

Calling out the ghosts: In 'The Wonder,' Tony Fitzpatrick turns memory into works of art

Chicago Sun-Times, Aug 2, 2006 by Kevin Nance

The world of Tony Fitzpatrick's art is a man's world -- a Chicago workingman with a couple of bucks in his pocket, bumming around town in a beat-up car with the Sox game eternally on the radio, chewing a cigar and humming a fragment of a tune he once heard a beautiful woman sing in a smoky South Side bar, repeating it over and over. He drives past the long-gone Stockyards and the Coliseum, seeing them clear as day. Past sunset, he stops off at the corner tavern for a lonely beer; past midnight, he takes in an "all-girl revue" that cheers him up, as far as it goes. Finally he's standing on the street, looking at the stars and thinking of his father, that half- remembered melody still stuck in his head.

That's the haunted and haunting world of The Wonder: Portraits of a Remembered City -- The Dream City (Last Gasp/La Luz de Jesus Press, $26.95), the extraordinary second volume of Fitzpatrick's projected trilogy of collections of drawing-collages. It offers both an affordable substitute for his original pieces (which now go for upward of $15,000 each) and the latest chapter in a sort of dream diary of the ex-boxer, poet, actor and all-around man's man who has emerged in the past decade as the quintessential Chicago artist. It's also the latest installment in his mythic narrative of the city as America's great working-class metropolis, a project that began as a tribute to his dad, a traveling burial-vault salesman who ferried his son around town for years before dying of cancer in 1998. Even more than in the songs sung by the bards who came before him (Sandburg, Algren, Terkel), Fitzpatrick's Chicago is as soulful and magical as it is gritty and bruising, with a heart as big as its shoulders.

Although the collages are small in scale, rarely measuring more than 15 by 12 inches, their ambition is epic: to convey what it was to live in Chicago in the mid-20th century as a sort of clear- eyed romantic, finding hope and pathos in the mercantile and mundane.

Most feature a drawn central image -- a human figure, a flower, an animal -- orbited by dozens of found images culled from matchbook covers, postcards and local newspapers and magazines, most from the 1930s through the '70s. Chief among these last are naively chipper ads for cocktail lounges ("Ask for Nectar Premium Beer -- It's a Honey of a Beer") and eateries ("Shangri-La -- World's Most Romantic Restaurant"), but you'll also find reminders of every kind of product or amenity a red-blooded American male could have asked for: booze and cigarettes, racetracks and razor blades, barber shops and bowling alleys.

Every kind of woman, too. As you might expect, strippers, prostitutes and Playboy bunnies proliferate here -- bodacious and matter-of-fact in fishnet stockings or nothing at all, or desperately stealing soap in Gold Coast hotel rooms -- but so do hardworking waitresses dreaming of Vegas, bathing beauties at Edgewater Beach, Bronzeville dancing queens and even a singing South Side mermaid, "pretty as a star inside a star."

Those words, tumbling down the side of the image like one of Chicago's classic vertical theater marquees, come from an element in Fitzpatrick's work that aligns it more with the city's literary and musical traditions than its visual arts heritage. Most of the collages feature poems that elegize the city in a bluesy, tough-and- tender idiom that feels like a collision of Pablo Neruda and Tom Waits. "Holy/smoke/unfurls/in/front/of/your/eyes," goes a line in "Chicago Sky #1." "It is a/lingering/kiss/from/the/tip/of a/no-name/ cigar./It is:/taxi-cab/semaphore,/calling out/ the/ghosts."

Aside from their discreet excellence, these moody, ambient poems also serve as the thematic glue that holds his visual tropes together in a strategy that feels like that of good bebop. The words direct us to each collage's central image as the melody, while the secondary images bounce off it as ornament and counterpoint, everything working together in an organic -- it's tempting to say symphonic -- system of meaning.

No, you can't always connect all the dots in a Fitzpatrick collage, whose juxtaposition of elements can sometimes seem obscure, but what of it? You can't always follow the free association in Joseph Cornell's boxes or Robert Rauschenberg's "combines" (whose playful Americana feels closely related to Fitzpatrick's), any more than you can chase every key change in Charlie Parker.

But even what seems like the purely decorative elements in Fitzpatrick's work -- such as the ubiquitous flowers, especially poppies -- often turn out to have personal significance to the artist. "I had once had a relationship with the poppy," Fitzpatrick, who has been sober for 23 years, told me last week. "It's part of my history."

History, not nostalgia, is what Fitzpatrick is after here; while some of his memories of the city are suffused with romance, others are clearer and harsher. He hits hard at the dominant political culture, lampooning a Chicago Democrat shaking hands and kissing babies "while/the/faithful/blow/idiot/whistles/and/ point/his/way." (A Chicago Republican is no better, his party "lost/in/the/ yesterday/ music/of/virtue/peddlers/ and/frozen-/hearted/cheats.")

Monday, June 18, 2007

Thoughts on Drawing

Drawing has been my primary focus for the past year or so and I have found it to be very rewarding. I like the more immeadiate results you get from drawing. Unlike painting, with oil at least, I do not have to wait for layers to dry. I can begin to see the image emerge as soon as I put pencil to paper. I have many more self-portrait ideas and they seem to be coming much faster than I can actually make the work.
I am starting a series of emotions which will be a series of 30-40 small scale self portraits arranged in a grid, all individually framed. Each portrait will convey a different emotion. Both the facial expression and the style in which the portrait is drawn will convey the emotion. Example: Fierce slashing markmaking will better convey the emotion anger and soft fragile marks will better depict the feeling of serenity or peace.

Image: The Trophy, pencil on paper, 22x30", 2007

MX Design Conference 2007

I recently got a paper accepted entitled "Design Thinking: Idea Development" to the 2007 MX Design Conference in Mexico City, Mexico
from October 29th-31th. I am thrilled to be accepted among the other international designers and look forward to presenting my paper. This has been a goal of mine for some time. Check out the link to the conference here.
MX Design Conference

Friday, June 01, 2007

Summer is Here!

My classes ended yesterday and I am getting geared up for a long roadtrip home. I am going to visit family and friends for a week in Indiana. When I get back I am going to get my studio organized to get started on a few new bodies of work. I want to complete a series of portraits in graphite and continue my thought paintings. My summer reading list consists of Harry Potter, A Whole New Mind, and lots of reasearch on design thinking, critical thinking, and idea development for my research paper presentation in Mexico City in the MX International Design Conference.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Drawing II

The Chronicle did an article on my drawing II classes. To read click the link below.