I started this blog 9 years ago. I wasn't looking to be a critic, I wanted to share the excitement and enthusiasm I have for looking at original art.
Years ago I owned a bar in Hoboken called Liquid Lounge, which also had an art gallery. In the beginning I wanted to remember my customers' names but I think I fried a synapse in doing so, and since then have a rough time with names; I knew people by their face or their drink as is common with many bartenders! There's so much referencing of names in the fine art world, I needed a way to help me remember names of artists and galleries, so I figured writing about them would help. And here we are.
I'm also not shy in front of a camera or mic, I've done some extra work on TV and film (a bucket list thing) and began to think about a video version of this blog. Many artist interviews are dull affairs of two talking heads unless there's a budget for inserting shots of work and photos etc. Also, we're all very aware of the short attention span of this generation (still reading?) so I decided to do 5 minute interviews, covering the basics and whetting the viewers' appetites to learn more about the artist. I also feel that people will watch 3 or 4 short interviews as opposed to one long one, particularly with artists they may not know. We plan to do some in odd locations or situations as well as in studios, and also to add some "B-roll" footage of the art during the interview. We have 2 in the can, and more on the planning board.
Please take a look. You can become a follower and get notified when we post new interviews. Thanks for your support and please share!
Best - Joseph Borzotta
These days Twitter looms large ala Trump. If one didn't know that Raymond Pettibon started adding text to his work in the mid-2000s, it would seem as if he was inspired by Twitter, which is not the case. Most of the text in his pieces do resemble short social media posts, some clear and concise, some scattered or truncated like a random late night thought (cough, Trump reference again, cough) or lines lifted from poems or lyrics.There are several aspects to his work: juvenile doodler, prolific output, strong composition, illustration, fine art, activistic commentary, and an "outsider artist" aspect to some of the artwork as well as the seemingly burning pace and "need" to produce. True or not, several who've seen this show have expressed similar thoughts. One thing for sure, this exhibit is intense, almost exhausting because there is so much to see and most of it reaches out and grabs or punches the viewer.
The political bent of many pieces read at times like the work of an internet troll, except the internet wasn't around for someone to remark on Manson, the hippie movement, drugs, Watergate, JFK, Vietnam and so on. Pettibon comments on these with the tone of someone who lived through it all and saw upclose the effects on his and others' lives.
I get the feeling that there's a bitterness, a disappointment for him the way some of these things turned out that many were optimistic about at first like LSD or the hippie lifestyle. Although not really old enough to be fully invested in either (he was 10 in '67, 13 in '70, etc) he was old enough to be aware of the turmoils in society, to see and hear the ripple effects of the War, Nixon, drugs etc. Later, the Iraq War and Reagan would rear their heads in his work. One cannot help but wonder what Mr. Pettibon is going to produce now and in the next few years with the unusual and extreme election we just had and the results that are yet to unfold.
His first notoriety came from doing the artwork for older brother Greg Ginn's punk band, Black Flag in 1976.