Sunday, November 25, 2012


I remember as a child seeing all the hip-hoppers, boom boxes, b-boys and tagged subway cars in NYC, and all the COST/REVS murals all over. Graffiti had a special flavor then...and now, well it's amazing that it's an accepted fine art (almost). Photography also used to be on the fringes. In the fringes, or the fuzzy edges there seems to be more freedom...there are no Picasso shadows to struggle to grow beyond, and into the source of nourishing light. Painting is always there for new voices, but the market through which it reaches an audience is a complex machine. That was the appeal of street art and graffiti to begin with. But now its graduated from its outsider status, and growing in interesting ways, like how in Germany there is a program to get the elderly out of their house by teaching them how to spray paint. Its a cute concept, and allows people to communicate to their community in new ways as well as adding color to the urban palate.

So what art forms remain outside the realm of commerce? Outside the influence of predecessors and a marketplace and dealers and critics? Even community based work is absorbed into the mainstream institutions these days (which is great). And all this intellectual conceptual art, sure I sometimes cultivate projects grown in that soil, but its fruit rarely yield art that you can sink your teeth into.

I guess this is a left brain way of talking about the right brain activity of adorning the body with paint, which is where I have been bringing my mark making lately. The body as the canvas. The material ephemeral. No storage necessary. No studio. No archival concerns. No openings. No reviews. Just creation unfolding through one body onto another. Sure, there are body art painting competitions, where artists paint their painting onto the body, but then its not about the body, but about their imagery. And some of the work is so cheezy that I think it lets people pass judgement in a negative way. Which is perfect, because the fewer people who take it seriously, the more freedom and room there is for people to explore and play.

 photo © Polina Sirosh and Oliver Halsman Rosenberg 2012

So now I am in Tulum, playing with the muse, and collaborating with photographer Polina Sirosh. What washes or sweats off in a matter of hours is now being recorded thru the eyes and lens of a very talented photographer. The images we are getting are amazing, but I will not post them on-line for the most part. To follow the story more closely, check my other blog devoted to this form of expression:

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