Monday, October 06, 2014

Daughters of Mercury Kickstarter


Daughters of Mercury

I'm running a Kickstarter until October 26 asking for your support painting a series of full-length oil portraits of trans women, that transcend their conventional depictions in art and media. Rewards include wall calendars, prints, and original paintings. Click above to view a preview or support after Sunday, September 21. If we don't reach the goal, I can't pay the models, cover travel costs, or pay for my time and materials, so I won't make art. If you can't spare, share. Thank you!

Friday, December 07, 2012

2012 limnrix mix

You may know that I'm also a systematic consumer of popular music and its many semi-popular variants.  And every year I put together a playlist of the 50 or 60 tracks, released that year, that I like, and I share it with whoever will listen.   It comes in many forms, so you can choose how to listen and sample.  I'm talking track by track on my tumblr, but here I'll just list title and artist.

Sunday, April 08, 2012


by Janet Bruesselbach
Exhibition May 18-31, 2012
Opening Reception Friday, May 18th, 7-9pm
Space Womb Gallery
22-48 Jackson Ave.
Long Island City, NY 11101

Teleportraiture is a series of small, intimate oil portraits, painted from live poses, by remote video chat, via Skype, Google Hangout, or iChat. Janet Bruesselbach launched Teleportraiture in 2011 as a Kickstarter campaign.  The subject of each portrait is a backer of the campaign, or a loved one volunteered by the backer.

Janet is pleased to announce that the 45 resulting paintings, completed between October 2011 and February 2012, will be displayed in a 2-week gallery exhibition in New York City, in downtown Long Island City, to be more precise.  Attendance at the opening reception on Friday, May 18th, will also be possible remotely through a simultaneous online video chat.

The pricing and experimentalism of the series made the fine art portrait experience open to people who had never before considered commissioning one. The subjects include the artist’s friends and relatives as well as people met only through the campaign, and only online.  Some posed from the other side of the world, others from the same room, all framed by their computer screens. The ages of subjects ranged from under a year old to septuagenarian.  Many subjects had never used video chat before.  The project reflects a moment when a flexible technology is still finding its social niche.

Janet has been working as a portrait artist since she was 15, and was further trained at RISD and the New York Academy of Art.  Her painting is traditional but fresh and lively, and feeds on the energy of interaction with a live subject.  Paintings reflect on both the artist’s personality and her subjects’.  Yet as artifacts of sittings, they are not quite realistic, and often contain traces of awkwardness in every level of communication.

Some of the portraits remain available for purchase, as are a limited number of catalogs.  The artist will be working in the gallery and will be available for live video chat Monday (21, 29), Tuesday (22, 30), and Thursday (24), from 12-6pm EST.  The gallery is also open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 12-6pm.  To commission a portrait during this or another time, to schedule a viewing, and for any other inquiries, contact: (310) 617-3366

Download as pdf

Saturday, March 03, 2012

EXQUISITE POOP : Blind Reproduction

Today is the last day to support Blind Reproduction's Indiegogo campaign. We have catalogs, prints, art, and special commissions for sale.
Blind Reproduction is a project between 26 artists and writers, in which artists try to remake each others' work based only on a verbal description. View all of the results here.
Next Saturday our show, Exquisite Poop, opens.

EXQUISITE POOP : Blind Reproduction
March 10 – April 15, 2012
Opening Reception Saturday, March 10, 6-9pm

A Gathering of the Tribes
285 East 3rd St. 2nd Floor (Between Ave C & D, near F at 2nd Ave or Delancey/Essex)
New York, NY 10009 (212) 674-3778 /

Inspired by the different descriptions Steve Cannon’s visitors would give of the art on the walls, and by taking the blind professor to art openings, curator Janet Bruesselbach organized an elaborate art and writing project between 13 artists and writers. It aims to consider the subjectivity of attentive visuality in art writing and the absurdity of symbolic imagery.

The artists were invited to contribute a small two-dimensional work, and commit to another. Images, titles, size and media information were then assigned to the writers, who were charged with describing the art as thoroughly and sincerely as possible. These descriptions were nearly randomly assigned to the contributing artists, who were tasked with recreating the artwork they thought the writer had described, without knowing the artist or seeing the original image.

The first stage of translation from visual to verbal varies hugely in style and focus, even given stylistic restrictions. The artist’s job is even harder and even more subject to the variations of personality and style. Not only was it hard to communicate the most basic aspects of artwork or even the rules of the game, the variations in series are indescribable. The resulting illustration of mis/communication varies from wondrous to farcical and demonstrates the impossibility of translation.

Participating artists:
Alexis Duque
Lorra Jackson
Brian Elig
Blair Kamage
Carly Bodnar
Robert Scott
Joseph Materkowski
Samuel Bjorgum
Lauren Kolesinskas
Jessica Daly
David Hollenbach
BMIP (Babyhead)
Nick Musaelian

Participating Writers:
Allison Moore
Maddie Drake
Joshua Crowley
Jenny Bhatt
Casey Plett
Kaitlin Heller
Adam Kavulic
Zane Hart
Matt Keeley
Jamie T. Clark
Jon Boulier
 Ammon Ford
Chris Heffernan

 Contact the curator:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

2011 Albums

Janet's 25 Favorite LP Albums released in 2011

In very rough increasing favoriteness

With self-defeatingly defensive commentary

25. David Lynch - Crazy Clown Time
I don't care to defend myself.
best tracks: Pinky's Dream, Strange and Unproductive Thinking, Stone's Gone Up, Crazy Clown Time

24. Summer Camp - Welcome to Condale
Okay, like a lot of other stuff this year, it's variously retro. English people doing American new wave pop. Not exactly heavy listening, but easy on the ears with the occasional subversive complexity.
Best tracks: Brian Krakow, Summer Camp, Nobody Knows You, Down, Ghost Train, 1988

23. Wild Flag
This is a great choice. It is. It's only this low because okay, I couldn't always listen to all of it. But it's a supergroup made of the best musicians in 90s feminist indie rock!
Romance, Boom, Short Version, Racehorse

22. Ladytron - Gravity the Seducer
Usually Ladytron would be up near the top of the list, but this is their only weak album. It was about time they made one - it is a grower, as it turns out, much more atmospheric and mature. It's quite pleasant, because the weakness is only in comparison to other Ladytron, and that's just not fair.
Mirage, Moon Palace, Altitude Blues, Ambulances, Melting Ice

21. Deerhoof - Deerhoof vs. Evil
Along with and despite of a concept somehow revolving around nuclear world war is some of the genre-eluding band's catchiest nonsense.
The Merry Barracks, Super Duper Rescue Heads!, Secret Mobilization, I Did Crimes For You

20. Starfucker - Reptilians
This just some great dance music. Plus there are Alan Watts samples.
Best tracks: all of them, whatever

19. John Maus - We Must Become The Pitiless Censors of Ourselves
That there were ads for this guy on Spotify did the opposite thing ads are supposed to do and made me put off listening to him. The guy is a philosophy professor at some college in Hawaii, and what he does is Ariel Pink like.
Quantum Leap, Head for the Country, Matter of Fact, Believer

18. Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes
It occurs to me that nobody's paying me to recommend anything.
Youth Knows Know Pain, I Follow Rivers, Get Some, Sadness is a Blessing, Jerome

17. Fucked Up - David Comes to Life
Hardcore punk anarchist romance story cycle
Queen of Hearts, The Other Shoe, like most of the songs are worth listening to in order, it's pretty impressive

16. St. Vincent - Strange Mercy
To be honest, I kept feeling like I should like this album more.
Cruel, Surgeon, Northern Lights, Dilettante

15. Neon Indian - Era Extraña
I don't know how to describe what the kids are doing these days except that I think it sounds like they were conceived to it.
Polish Girl, Blindside Kiss, Hex Girlfriend, Suns Irrupt, Arcade Blues

14. Cults
Well-hyped faux indie that is quite good actually
Abducted, Go Outside, Never Heal Myself, Oh My God

13. Dum Dum Girls - Only In Dreams
I like the EP they released this year better, but Dee Dee & co's second album brings the best things about rock n roll from the last 40 years into its girl-group reinvention.
In My Head, Heartbeat, Wasted Away

12. Dengue Fever - Cannibal Courtship
Stand back, everyone. Let the 60s Cambodian pop inspired professionals handle all your amazing music needs.
Cannibal Courtship, Cement Slipper, Family Business, Thank You Goodbye

11. Thee Oh Sees - Carrion Crawler / The Dream
This thing just goes by in a blur whenever I listen to it. A mindblowing blur of psych punk that keeps me churning along in my meatpuppet as long as it lasts.
Fucking everything, okay

10. Ponytail - Do Whatever You Want All The Time
The LAST ALBUM. Probably. Which is too bad because Ponytail could probably be prescribed as an anti-depressant. At least it takes a while to build up a tolerance.
Easy Peasy, AwayWay, Music Tunes
9. Hooray for Earth - True Loves
I don't know anything about this band really. Nevertheless, I stand behind this album's high placement.
Sails, True Loves, No Love

8. Cold Cave - Cherish the Light Years
Goth your face off
Confetti, Underworld USA, Alchemy and You

7. Austra - Feel It Break
I'm actually just really emotionally attached to this album by Canada's answer to The Knife. It may or may not have staying power.
Lose It, Beat and the Pulse, Hate Crime, The Noise

6. Man Man - Life Fantastic
As my date to their amazing live show dubbed them, Man Man Man Man Man. Man, Man Man, Man. Man!
Piranhas Club, Haute Tropique, Shameless, Bangkok Necktie

5. PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
In which Polly Jean becomes a belated World War I poet.
Let England Shake, The Glorious Land, The Words That Maketh Murder, Bitter Branches

4. MEN - Talk About Body
It is weird that this shot so high on this list, but I feel like JD Samson fronting an art pop band that may or may not be a queer deconstruction of DEVO was necessary.
Life's Half Price, Credit Card Babie$, Boom Boom Boom, Rip Off

3. YACHT - Shangri-La
Sci fi dance music. YACHT do what they want. I like her voice.
Dystopia, Love in the Dark, Holy Roller, Paradise Engineering.
Shangri-La the song makes me cry.

2. Tune-Yards - W H O K I L L
Merrill Garber has that voice AND mad percussion skills AND does live loops AND righteous lyrics AND made that energy fit on her second long record. Okay? Can we at least agree on this?
My Country, Gangsta, Bizness

1. Pictureplane - Thee Physical
This year belongs to horny 20 year old kids with synthy gadgets, careful extraction from pop and trance, elaborate retro-futuristic ideologies (like "cyberculture" is still a relevent term here), and an impossible nostalgia for the early 90s. I'm sorry. It probably just hit me at the right moment and won't appeal to you. Thanks for listening, anyway.
Post Physical, Trancegender, Breath Work

Sunday, December 04, 2011

2011 Tracks

I spend every year building a narrative playlist of my favorite music released that year. I only include one song per artist, and usually it's a single if they've denoted them, but, you'll see on this list, often not. I'm blogging about each individual song on my tumblr.  This mix is somewhat inverse: it starts with the end of the world, and moves on relentlessly from there.  I aim for a smooth flow through genres, with the occasional necessary leap.  Contact limnrix at gmail for an 80-minute gift mix customized to your taste.
 Right click to download 500MB, be careful with it

1 Deerhoof Super Duper Rescue Heads! Deerhoof vs. Evil 2:36
2 Ponytail Easy Peasy Do Whatever You Want All The Time 5:48
3 Battles Wall Street Gloss Drop 5:25
4 Does it Offend You, Yeah? Yeah Don't Say We Didn't Warn You 4:13
5 Fucked Up The Other Shoe David Comes To Life 4:57
6 Man Man Piranhas Club Life Fantastic 3:52
7 Tom Waits Bad As Me Bad As Me 3:10
8 The Builders And The Butchers Black Elevator Dead Reckoning 5:37
9 Eleanor Friedberger My Mistakes Last Summer 4:29
10 The Kills You Don't Own The Road Blood Pressures 3:23
11 David Lynch Pinky's Dream Crazy Clown Time 4:01
12 Thee Oh Sees The Dream Carrion Crawler / The Dream 6:52
13 The Antlers Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out Burst Apart 3:25
14 The Decemberists Calamity Song The King Is Dead 3:50
15 Yacht Dystopia (The Earth is on Fire) Shangri-La 4:01

16 Gang Gang Dance MindKilla Eye Contact 5:17
17 Rainbow Arabia Mechanical Boys And Diamonds 4:13
18 Zola Jesus Vessel Conatus 4:42
19 Björk Mutual Core Biophilia 5:06
20 Esben and the Witch Marching Song Violet Cries 3:56
21 PJ Harvey The Words That Maketh Murder Let England Shake 3:41
22 Tori Amos The Chase Night Of Hunters 3:03
23 Kate Bush Wild Man 50 Words For Snow 7:17
24 St. Vincent Cruel Strange Mercy 3:35
25 Braids Plath Heart Native Speaker 4:26
26 Thao & Mirah Eleven Thao & Mirah 4:01
27 Tune-Yards Bizness W H O K I L L 4:26
28 Dengue Fever Family Business Cannibal Courtship 3:38
29 MEN Boom Boom Boom Talk About Body 4:07
30 Wild Flag Boom Wild Flag 2:45
31 Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Maniac Hysterical 3:04
32 Foster The People Pumped Up Kicks Torches 4:00

33 They Might Be Giants Cloisonne´ Join Us 2:38
34 Jens Lekman An Argument with Myself An Argument with Myself 3:49
35 CSS Hits Me Like A Rock La Liberacion 3:36
36 Hooray For Earth True Loves True Loves 3:30
37 Memory Tapes Sun Hits Player Piano 3:34
38 Dum Dum Girls He Gets Me High He Gets Me High 3:00
39 Tennis Seafarer Cape Dory 3:03
40 EMA Milkman Past Life Martyred Saints 3:21
41 Cults Abducted Cults 2:53
42 Summer Camp Down Welcome to Condale 2:33
43 Vivian Girls Take It As It Comes Share The Joy 3:01
44 Lykke Li Sadness Is A Blessing Wounded Rhymes 4:01
45 Adele Rolling In The Deep 21 3:49
46 Beth Ditto Open Heart Surgery - Original Mix Solo EP 5:40
47 Lady Gaga Scheiße Born This Way (Standard Edition) 3:46
48 きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ PONPONPON もしもし原宿 4:05
49 Monarchy Love Get Out Of My Way Monarchy 3:20
50 Oh Land Sun Of A Gun Oh Land 3:27
51 Iamamiwhoami ; John ; John - Single 6:39
52 Ladytron Mirage Gravity The Seducer 4:22

53 Glass Candy Beautiful Object Warm in the Winter 6:08
54 Neon Indian Polish Girl Era Extraña 4:24
55 John Maus Quantum Leap We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves 2:53
56 Cold Cave Underworld USA Cherish the Light Years 4:59
57 M83 Midnight City Hurry Up, We're Dreaming 4:03
58 The Naked and Famous Young Blood Passive Me, Aggressive You 4:07
59 The Raveonettes Ignite Raven in the Grave 3:06
60 SBTRKT Wildfire SBTRKT 3:25
61 Little Dragon Shuffle A Dream Ritual Union 2:55
62 Pictureplane Post Physical Thee Physical 4:17
63 Starfucker Hungry Ghost Reptilians 2:10
64 Planningtorock The Breaks W 4:38
65 Austra Lose It Feel It Break 4:29
66 Metronomy Corinne The English Riviera 3:16
67 Wild Beasts Loop The Loop Smother 4:07
68 Radiohead Lotus Flower The King Of Limbs 5:00
69 Panda Bear Slow Motion Tomboy 4:37
70 Moonface Shit-Hawk in the Snow Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I'd Hoped 7:29

Here's the short version:
1. Deerhoof - Super Duper Rescue Heads!
2. Ponytail - Easy Peasy
3. Memory Tapes - Sun Hits
4. Dum Dum Girls - He Gets Me High
5. Man Man - Pirahnas Club
6. Hooray for Earth - True Loves
7. Gang Gang Dance - Mindkilla
8. Yacht - Dystopia
9. MEN - Boom Boom Boom
10. Dengue Fever - Family Business
11. tUnE-YaRdS - Bizness
12. PJ Harvey - The Words That Maketh Murder
13. Metronomy - Corinne
14. Antlers - Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out
15. Thee Oh Sees - The Dream
16. Austra - Lose It
17. Cold Cave - Underworld USA
18. M83 - Midnight City
19. Pictureplane - Post-Physical

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Frieze Art Fair 2011

Frieze is the fourth art fair I've tasked myself with reporting. I'm not sure how extensively I should discuss the parts of it that are the same as all other art fairs. There is some absurdity to traveling to London for it, considering that the majority of the galleries exhibiting there are American. Of course, that means these American galleries know there's enough money in Britain's collecting institutions - including museums, other galleries, and collectors - to invest in making a showing and bringing everything over. And somehow, given both the experience I've already had and the much more serious, if not sober, attitude of Frieze, I'm inclined to be a bit less gonzo about the whole thing. That means I step away from my own experience and actually tell you what this particular white circus says about contemporary art. Unfortunately, because I'm far too rude for the double snobbery of the London art world, I was usually intimidated away from talking to more people or finding out how sales were, or if there were after-hours events, or any satellite shows in time to attend them. c'est la vie.

Hover over the images to get all the information.

Because it's nearly the same people and the same art in very different modes, the most striking social difference can be found between Art Basel Miami and Frieze. Miami is a drug-funded party full of free food and drink and music. Frieze is all business. I suspect the difference in sponsors is a major factor: Frieze's sponsor is mainly Deutsche Bank and several other large German companies. I do rather like the better organization and lack of silliness this gave the show.

Frieze is held, in what may have been an enormous structure to construct for a single weekend, in Regent's Park, in the north near King's Cross station and somewhat mid-city. Once inside, I lost all city orientation. In fact, on the second day I came, I persuaded the VIP desk to escort me through their lounge because I thought that way I would start at the side I hadn't cruised yet. It turned out to still be near the regular entrance, so it was as if the back of the walled tent extended into another dimension.

As with other information-dense environments - like academic texts or postmodern novels or the internet - I focus on finding the most interesting art to me and those I experience these things vicariously for. Though it may be interesting to many, I've developed a blindness toward most abstract art, conceptual shtick, and supposed attempts at the avante-garde that so please critics. I focus on figurative painting because it's what I do, web art and tech responses, cheeky references to art commodification, meta-genre, post-media, non-fetishizing multiculturalism, and things that remind me of people I like. So there I am, up front with my underinformed biases.

London and Frieze presented some clear themes to me. One was that I kept seeing trees in everything - information trees as well as a distincly English manner of painted tree. At the Tate, mostly, I also noticed an odd tendency to organize rooms so that the minority or political issues were always in dead end side rooms. Another Tateism that definitely reflected in Frieze was post-historicism: London's millenium of political continuity encourages a disbelief in modernist style breaks. Art of the past is not only appropriated or responded to by contemporary art, but considered within the same context, with the same tropes.

Because art shows are only curated within the gallery booths, I can't speak for the overall choices of the organizers. As usual, most of the space is rented by blue chip galleries, with a few solo shows in smaller spaces by galleries established in the last 10 years. There are several commissioned Projects. One was the giant hand-changed train station style sign, above, by Bik Van Der Pol. The most notable was Laure Prevoust's series of small white text on black enamel paintings custom made for specific spots throughout the tent. Here's a set of all those I could find. A bit more invisible is Oliver Laric's recording of fair footage to be released as stock video footage - guaranteeing that this fair will come to represent all art fairs.

There were also a few particularly well-curated booths. The most eye-catching was Long March Space out of Beijing. Another was a conceptual installation by Austrian couple Muntean and Rosenblum using other artists' work as well as their own.

Unfortunately, I don't know which of those artists made this, which I would usually skip, as it's all the worst well-used art historical tropes, but it charmed me:

There were these two guys, a good one and a bad one, who were constantly chasing each other, thus maintaining the Good & Bad balance in the world. One day, due to some heavy thoughts in the bad guy's head (about the misleading representation of evil in general and in the movie industry in particular), he slowed down the pace a bit and the good guy stared to catch up to him. "What if I stop entirely and the good guy reaches, even touches me?" The bad guy suddenly got this very unorthodox idea in his head, which, luckily, didn't slow him down more.

"What is he doing?!" The good guy was really stressed by trying to maintain the centuries-old established distance between the two. There will be a happy ending to this extremely dangerous situation, though.

From the very center of this golden circle, through the holes, a fresh idea will come out and will pop simultaneously into the good and the bad guys' heads. And almost immediately after the two of them will take off their white and black skins, the symbols for good and bad, and throw them into that opening, and they will hug each other, and will have a very good fuck (for which they have been waiting since the dawn of civilization) and after a short, unforgettable moment of relaxation, the two will spin out of the golden circle, which, from that moment on will become useless - and that is the really good news.

Interestingly, I am drawn to relatively abstract art when the abstraction derives from Middle Eastern tradition, as in this handwritten plexiglass and pen installation (using repeated quotes from the Cyrus Charter of Human Rights) at Dubai gallery The Third Line. I do get the sense that the strongest collecting force at Frieze is Arab royalty. I also overheard more conversations in German, Dutch, and French than in English. This is the realm of international elites, for whom all these fairs are in different parts of the same worldwide metropolis.

A schoolmate I'm happy to see make it here, and through a Vienna gallery at that. I do wonder whether this sold - it would have been lost in the crowd had I not recognized his work.

Grayson Perry combines several of the themes I saw: the New Aesthetic attraction to information spaces, and uses of historical craft techniques. In this case it almost orientalizes a Western tradition.

The biological mapping trope often aims to distill the appearance but not the goal of communicating, even though the artists that make it are usually close enough to crazy that they do have an untranslatable system.

The combination of impasto in these subtle colors with the scientific illustration style I found very fresh.

With its title, this analog application of digital vision also draws map analogies.

Three of extremely enlarged computer printouts of meta-digital art: one referring to the programs used, at several levels mixed with physical paint, to generate it. The second is an old, much-resaved, originally analog image blown up large enough to make a point of the jpg compression artifacts. Finally, an image made in 3 seconds with a default gradient but likely much more time was spent getting it transferred around and printed.

And net art is printed out and neatly framed in white, which is rather absurd.

In Damien Hirst's art world, the artist's identity, and issues of both uniqueness and ubiquitous surveillance, come into combination with generic artiness, sometimes more cleverly than others.

Somehow I'm more uneasy about including living animals in installations

Than I am about the treatment of your average artist's assistant.

They say bankers talk about art and artists talk about money. Well, Torres makes art out of money, especially very inflated or nearly useless currencies. Here he picks up on the martial themes in a collage of different currencies.

One must always consider our poor, neon sign makers, exposed to the egotistical demands of artists not content to pick a medium they know and stick to it.

Finally, an image of some relevant nearby street art, and a hint at the missed alternatives: