Archive for the ‘City’ Category

The Brompton Sketchmobile: Harold’s Sketchblog Bike

Monday, December 7th, 2009

My Brompton folding bicycle is a mainstay of my experience as a sketchbook artist & photographer in New York.  I commute all over the city with my sketchbooks, pens, and camera in the shoulder bag that mounts onto the front of the frame.  My “other bicycle” is a Motobecane Nomade from the late 1970’s, which I purchased from a Goodwill store for $40 over 10 years ago.

Sketchblog artist Harold Graves with his Brompton T-6 folding bike on the Brooklyn Bridge.

Sketchblog artist Harold Graves with his Brompton T-6 folding bike on the Brooklyn Bridge.

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More Sketchbook Drawings

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

Here are some drawings I made while visiting Cambridge a couple of years ago:Here are some drawings I made while visiting Cambridge a couple of years ago.

And here’s a few pen & ink drawings I made this week:

orthodox Jewish manwoman_w_arms_crossedbusinessman_looking_upBally Men's

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Drawings from the Archives

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Pen and Ink drawing I did this last year of the skull of a 28-year-old (Croatian?) man who was apparently killed by a blow to the head. This is an epoxy plastic copy purchased from Maxilla and Mandible in New York City, near the Natural History Museum.

New York City Checkout Line at the Met Foods on Smith Street in Brooklyn

Checkout Line at the Met Foods on Smith Street in Brooklyn

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Veteran’s Day on the A Train

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009


Today is Veteran’s day, and as I was riding the subway I noticed a homeless old veteran, voicing his thoughts out loud about the war in Iraq and the current healthcare debate to a captive audience; we shared the same car all the way from Brooklyn up to 34th street where I got off and he kept on, an elderly African-American man wearing his baggy old leather coat and jeans and carrying a plastic Pearl Paint bag with his stuff in it.  I tried to jot down some of what he was saying in my sketchbook:

“Sometimes it feels like a real mess, don’t it, folks?  The United States is the wealthiest, most powerful nation probably in the history of the world; 95% of the earth’s land mass is within striking range of the U.S. Navy, 24 hours a day, seven days a week; and what do we do about healthcare for our own citizens?  Let them be jack-rolled by the health-insurance industry, that’s what!  Fuck ’em!  That’s right, you heard what I said:  you don’t have a right to healthcare, honey!  You have a right to a casket and a trip to the graveyard, sweetheart!  Homeless Veterans?  Fuck them too!  They don’t have a right to anything either!

“You people want to see a fuckin’ parade?  You want to celebrate something?  Have a fuckin’ parade for Death!  That’s what you should have a parade for!  You know why?  Death don’t discriminate!  Death don’t care what color you is, or whether you is insured or not!  Fuck Veteran’s Day, man!  Let’s have a Death Parade!  You think you’re hot shit?  You think you’re bad?  Then let’s see you end the war in Iraq!  That’s right!  Let’s see you put an end to homelessness!  That’s right folks!  Death don’t respect nobody, not even Michael Jackson!  Not even Michael Fucking Jackson, the King of Pop!  Death don’t respect nobody, no sir!  Everybody gets treated the same by Death!  Let’s have a National Holiday and a ticker-tape Parade for Death!  No shit, man!  Your death is someone else’s holiday, baby!”

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Yard (Sign), 1961/2009

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Reinventions of Allan Kaprow’s 1961 installation, Yard

In 1961 Allan Kaprow filled the courtyard of the Martha Jackson Gallery with a pile of automobile tires, and the resulting sculptural/environment/installation piece, Yard, is now regarded by many as the historical root-note for the symphony (some would say cacophony) of environments, happenings, earth-works and installations that have followed, marching along their enigmatic little way right up to the present.  One might argue that the surrealists and dadaists were pioneering this territory long before Kaprow came along (the Duchamp installation at the Philadelphia Art Museum comes to mind, as does the various antics of Salvador Dali) but never mind all that. Does anyone really care who came first?  Art historians, academics and other artsy egghead-types make their trade by arguing over the fine points of how all these things are to be distinguished from one another; the rest of us can just enjoy looking.  A folded flyer/handout/poster accompanies the installation with some interesting factoids and a reflection about Mr. Kaprow’s work as re-imagined by the three artists, William Pope.I., Josiah McElheny, and Sharon Hayes.

These are photographs I took while visiting Sharon Hayes’ “reinvention piece,” Yard (Sign), which was installed at the New York Marble Cemetery on 2nd Avenue in the East Village October 2-4.  (The “Stolen Santa” sign reminds me of Mike Kelly’s work somehow).  Yard (Sign) is gone now, but Yard (To Harrow) by William Pope.I. can be viewed at Hauser & Wirth Gallery at 32 East 69th street until October 24th.












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Tugboats on the Hudson River

Thursday, October 15th, 2009


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Lauren Edmond’s Digital Landscapes

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Digitally manipulated imagery has been a part of the scene for a number of years now, but there is still an almost mystical regard for the physical medium of paint as something sacrosanct.  Artists who have taken on the challenge of rendering their images digitally are still viewed by many people as interlopers; I like to think of them as pioneers, venturing “into the badlands of other media” as Robert Hughes once said of Stuart Davis.  David Hockney is perhaps one of the first major artists to establish a precedent in this regard (he was doing drawings on computers almost as soon as the technology became available).

Lauren Edmond is a digital painter whose work has been turning up in small group shows in New York City this last year or so; there was a show last autumn at the Tompkins Park Library, and then another at a small cafe on 7th street called Planet One, and most recently at the HOWL: Homage to Allen Ginsberg exhibit that is currently on view at the Theater for the New City on First Avenue.

Ms. Edmond has a distinctive color palette that is strangely reminiscent of the mysterious nocturnal, aerial landscapes of Yvonne Jacquette, and a handling of form that at times seems allusive to the landscapes of Fairfield Porter.  But what is peculiar about these images is that they are all rendered on a computer, using a digital painting program called Painter and drawn with a Wacom stylus and graphic tablet.

Recently updated exhibition information:

A Harvest Moon closing party will be at Planet One on Wednesday, October 7 from 5:30-8PM, 76 E 7th St, NYC, between 1st and 2nd avenues, their phone is 212-475-0112.

Lauren will also have three new paintings in a show at the Tompkins Square Library, opening Saturday, October 3.  MENAGERIE: Creative ExPression of the Lower East Side 2009, the show will include 40 downtown artists, as well as performance, poetry, and films.
Tompkins Square Library. 331 E 10 St (between avenues A & B) NYC, Saturday, Oct 3, 1-4:30 PM

Here are some examples of Lauren Edmond’s work, and a link to her website:

stbrigid_FULLmoon-longer1“Full Moon over St Brigid” © 2006 and 2009 by Lauren Edmond

Crescent Moon Over the Dog Run“Crescent Moon over the dogrun” © 2006 and 2009 by Lauren Edmond

Fall Twilight in the Park“Fall twilight in the park” © 2006 by Lauren Edmond

Related Video:  Jorge Columbo’s Digital iPhone Paintings

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Moses Hoskins at OK Harris

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

I recently made a visit to OK Harris Galleries, in SoHo, to check out the latest exhibit of one of my favorite New York painters, Moses Hoskins.  The new paintings expand on abstract visual motifs that the artist has been working with for the last couple of decades.

As an abstract painter, Hoskins is a bit of an enigma: his work is not easily placed into categories that the critical lexicon has established since the second world war with the sudden, spectacular rise of non-objective painting in America.  His work is too opaque and perhaps a bit too blunt to fit in with the Color Field artists such as Helen Frankenthaler or even Sam Francis.  The pastoral lyricism of his palette keeps him at arm’s length from the rowdier exponents of Abstract Expressionism.  Not finding an easy frame of reference for understanding the work, some critics have resorted to making a comparison with the late work of Richard Diebenkorn:  those fragile arcs and incised lines floating in between misty skeins of washed-out color do bear some superficial resemblance to the Ocean Park Series.  But the light and atmosphere that is being evoked in Hoskins’ paintings seems all wrong for that comparison to stick for very long, once you see the actual pieces themselves.  Such comparisons are a bit like trying to write about music:  Beethoven is to Brahms as Mahler is to what?  Miles Davis is to Funk as BeBop is to (fill in the blank).  As it happens, I often find myself thinking of jazz when I look at a good Hoskins painting or collage.

Moses has a generous selection of his works on view at his website, along with some engaging photographs from his extensive travels in Europe, the Middle East and India.

The paintings are on view at OK Harris in Soho through October 17.

Moses Hoskins OK Harris Installation 2009

untitled #10

Untitled 2

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A Summer Afternoon on The Brooklyn Promenade

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

Man with a Camera

Man with Dog


Lower Manhattan Towers

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Free Umbrellas

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Bagels by the Park

The entrance to the Gowanus Yacht Club on the corner of Smith and President Streets in Brooklyn’s Carroll Gardens.  A sudden thundershower today broke up the heat wave for a moment.

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