New Images in Hopewell Series

Here are the newest additions to my Hopewell Series.

This has been an ongoing project for about 7 years. It consists of three portfolios: Architectural, Personal, and Portrait.
Because I am not in town enough to really work on it, the Portrait portfolio is on hold until I can give it the proper attention.
The other two portfolios are nearly complete.

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Do you ever get the feeling…

Found, at the corner of Selma and Wilcox ave.

… you can’t get enough air in your lungs? 

Not like a panic attack, or stress, but something vague and undefined? 

When I saw this I thought what an interesting juxtaposition… so much street art has this feeling to me, of sadness, of loss, of frustration. 

Funny how you see most what speaks to you, and that it is always out there on the streets waiting…


Hiatus, continued

Just a quick update.


Just for the record, I haven’t completely abandoned this blog, I’ve just been decompressing from a really traumatic experience and loss. 


I haven’t really had the patience or ability to concentrate to compose the kind of posts I like to do here. I expect to start again in the Fall… 


Peace.

A Strange Wilderness, Grief

My Mother passed away On December 3, 2010.
A graveside memorial service was held today in Sunset Memorial Park, in Chester VA. at 11 am in the bitter cold (29 degrees).
I decided to deliver the eulogy myself.
I felt that to speak of Mama’s life authentically, I would need to speak about her pain. So I spoke candidly.
Eulogy for Ruth McLeod Harvey
by Mark Christopher Harvey
I don’t know how to talk about Mama’s life without talking about her pain, because it so dominated her life.
Most of you who knew Mama may remember her as distant or worse, exceedingly difficult.
She suffered inconceivably in her own mind.
She struggled to make and sustain connections with other people, to go and do things that most people do and enjoy with no effort. but she became isolated from those joys in recent decades in almost every way. It was heartbreaking for me and Daddy to see her suffer and not be able to do much of anything to ease it.
I’m convinced she suffered from an undiagnosed condition known as a Borderline Personality Disorder.
BPD causes one to become so convinced that others are about to hurt or abandon them that they are compelled to behave in ways which, paradoxically, are provocative and alienating.
She never wanted to do any harm. She fought so hard against it her whole life.
Fear drove all her behavior, and eventually it drove everyone away, though she did not intend that. She didn’t understand it, and that hurt her even further.
One exception to this is Tina, who so wisely stepped in just ahead of disaster so many times in this year. She comforted mama in ways I could not and devoted endless hours to her care and to my assistance.
It was in the Hospital on Mama’s last day, when she was far from coherent, during or after a hug from Tina that Mama finally let go of her suffering. It gives me incredible comfort to know her last experience of life was a loving embrace.
Thank you Tina, for your love and support.
Almost everyone who knows me knows that I have spent most of my life agonizing over how to understand Mama’s pain and trying to find a way to ease her suffering and her disappoint in life. It was nearly an impossible task.
I always knew a time would come when I would have to come and take care of her. and honestly I dreaded it, because I wasn’t sure I could manage it, but it has been a truly transformative experience, beyond anything I could have imagined.
The english poet Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote in his play “Prometheus Unbound” on the transformative nature of pain and I want to share a few lines of his that I thought spoke to this experience especially:
“To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite;
To forgive wrongs darker than death or night;
To defy power which seems omnipotent;
To love, and bear; to hope till Hope creates From its own wreck
the thing it contemplates”
and until Daddy became ill and I came to take care of her I indeed felt wrecked and hopeless to understand or really help her, but in the doing of it, in all the tedious little daily tasks that all changed, miraculously.
I know she appreciated what I was doing, and once I was here I was so glad to be doing it. It wasn’t easy, but so very worth the effort.
I understand now that caring for someone who is ill, and bereavement itself is an integral part of the experience of love.
I am humbled and deeply thankful for this time with her. Already, I miss her terribly.
I can truthfully say it has been the best, most fulfilling experience of my life.
I wish everyone could remember her not for her suffering or her behavior, but for her profound love for daddy and I, and for her years of dedicated homemaking (Homemaking is such an under appreciated effort in our society) and for her utterly selfless devotion to that ideal, even after she became too ill to practice it. She did the best she could with what she had.
She often choose suffering out of fear and that familiarity with fear in a perverse way actually sustained her in ways no amount of love or effort could touch.
Faced with such a situation, all we can do is accept and be in awe of the burden that some are brought to bear in this life.
Despite her suffering, she had a deep faith, and despite her continued suffering was assured in God and Jesus for support.
All we can do sometimes is accept and be there for someone, to try to ease others suffering and to treasure the time we have with one another, whether it be easy or difficult because in the end it is so very brief, and in the end sharing love is what matters most.
Unfortunately much of this didn’t become clear until it was too late for me to share with her, so I wanted to share what I learned from her with you all in loving tribute.

Rebrand BP

Greenpeace launches a campaign to rebrand BP. 
Check out the flickr page!
Here are some of my favorite entries:

and my own entry.

BPs True Colors: Beyond Pathetic

I actually made this a few weeks back, delighted to add it to the other creative ideas being compiled.

Now if someone could just get BPs charter revoked. That would be a real acheivement.

King of the Ironoclasty

The curious case of Mr Brainwash.
How Ironic!   Actually, no.
I finally got to see Exit Through The Gift Shop, Banksy’s doc on Thierry Guetta’s doc on him.
I loved the film and found it thoughtful and provocative.
Guetta’s attempts to document the graffiti underground were both a success and a failure, much like his own new career as an artist. He got a lot of footage but was unable to make
sense of it. Banksy stepped in and did just that—and impressively so.
But in the process he helped to create a monster of a sort, when Guetta transformed into Mr Brainwash. A kind of art hispter gone really, really bad.
Banksy encouraged Guetta to become an artist himself. Guetta did just that, depending on how you define ‘artist’ these days.
He definitely has established himself as a commercial success. So the question becomes: what do you make of what he has done? Is it really art? Is it pure sellout?
In truth it is a curious, if disappointing, hybrid.
This of kind of work is utterly derivative. The worst abuse of irony we have yet seen.
New York Magazine called his recent New York debut “Icons”: 
“…so wretchedly derivative, repetitive, and insultingly insipid that we felt it could only have been an intentional prank: With its prints of famous figures Mr. Brainwash said he couldn’t name from memory, and art made out of broken LPs (a staple of junk sales), it was as if they were taunting hipster collectors into buying the worst possible art to prove their hideous, herd-following taste.”
Guetta seems to be totally sincere in his passion for the artists he followed, and in the pursuit of his own emergence as an artist, but something very important got lost in translation.
He may have been inspired by Shepard Fairey and Banksy and other street artists, but he has become more like Mark Kostobi or Jeff Koons—definitely in the lineage of art monsters begat by Warhol.
This is not a slight to Warhol. He was the original, and he remains the most relevant of this line of artists.

Like art whores before him, Mr Brainwash employs a leigon of crafts people to produce his art for him.

On the surface Mr Brainwash is copying the styles of the artists he admires, and at his best approaches interesting territory but ultimately falls short of actually saying anything most of the time.
Mr Brainwash’s portrait of Michael Jackson 
by way of Warhol’s portrait of Marilyn Monroe
When asked about his moniker he responds: 
“I think life is about brainwashing, like when you go somewhere, you drink a chocolate in the morning, your mother brings you this yellow box and you get brainwashed from it. I got brainwashed from what I see. I thought it was a cool name and I don’t know, I just like the sound of it, and I guess it has a meaning with what I do.”
WTF?
The artists he helped and who helped create him aren’t sure what to make of him, and other street artists don’t feel he is legitimate, yet he has been embraced by the general public and the art market.
This points out a sharp falsehood on the part of many art collectors and some dealers and perhaps fewer critics. 
Many like what they are told to like or are expected to like. They often can’t tell the difference between an authentic piece and a copy.
When I went to MBW’s  massive Life is Beautiful exhibit here in L.A. in 2008, I was overwhelmed… there was an explosion of ideas- some stunning installation pieces and some interesting work—but there was something that didn’t sit right.
They were all visually ironic at first glance…  but with no real point. Like much of the food product that lines the shelves of corporate grocery stores, there was nice packaging but little or no substance.
Bansky said himself in his own “endorsement” of MBW:

“Mr. Brainwash is a force of nature, he’s a phenomenon. And I don’t mean that in a good way.”


BP’s True Colors

Beyond Pathetic
BP is one of the worst corporations in the world. 
This is just the latest in a long history of corruption and deceit. 
Don’t take my word for it… do a little research… you’ll be surprised at how deep and dark this hole is… Companies like BP and Monsanto should be broken up for their crimes. 
 
Here are a few links to get you started. From Alternet, Foreign Policy Magazine, Huffington Post, and Wikipedia

If you are feeling especially angry about it, write your representative and demand BPs charter (what allows them to do business here) be revoked.

Fat chance- but at least express your discontent. But based on previous behavior- they will not clean this up- they will lie and shift blame and wait until people forget and then do as little as they can get away with…

Oh- and remember Haliburton? well then check out this possible connection.

Light Sweet Crude anyone?

Overdrawn

Foreclosures in 2008: whether you intended for it or not
this is how you will be remembered, Mr. Geithner

The New Yorker has a great piece on how Timothy Geithners policy recommendations “saved” the economy… at least the fortunes and futures of the 4 big banks. For the rest of us… I’m not so sure… interesting read.

“When President Obama came to office, the Bush Administration had already committed two hundred and thirty billion dollars of taxpayers’ money to big banks—a policy that Geithner, as president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, helped to enact. During the transition, he warned the incoming President that more “repugnant” actions would be necessary to shore up the financial system and restore economic growth. (In the first three months of 2009, G.D.P. declined at an annual rate of 6.4 per cent.) “We knew it would be politically costly, but not nearly as costly as if we hadn’t got it right,” Geithner said to me of the financial stabilization plan. “And we didn’t think we had other options available that were credible.”

The argument is that if they hadn’t done what they did things would be much much worse. I don’t doubt it, but then then not come down hard on the offending executives, managers, and practices too?
“Geithner seemed exasperated by these critiques, and by the idea that the Democrats were now viewed in some quarters as beholden to business interests. “I don’t think the Democratic Party is seen as the party of Wall Street,” he said. “I think there are some in the Democratic Party that think Tim and Larry are too conservative for them and that the President is too receptive to our advice.” The reality, Geithner insisted, was that the Obama Administration had given just seven billion dollars to banks—mostly small and midsize banks, not big Wall Street firms—and it had proposed the biggest regulatory overhaul in seventy-five years. “Some on the left have fallen into a trap set by the Republicans, allowing voters to mistakenly think that the biggest part of the bank bailout had come under Obama rather than Bush,” Geithner said. He suggested that his critics draw up a balance sheet comparing the Administration’s expenditures on programs that benefitted Wall Street with those that benefitted Main Street. “By any measure, the Main Street stuff dwarfs the Wall Street stuff. Compare money for housing versus money for banks. Measure tax cuts for working families versus money for banks.”
Something just doesn’t add up. Can’t put my finger on it, but as long as the banks are behaving like pirates I will remain deeply suspicious.
“Geithner’s figures are accurate. But he and the Administration have failed to persuade the public. For whatever reason, a large chunk of the population—from liberal Democrats to right-wing Tea Party activists—does indeed believe that people who used to work for Wall Street firms, particularly Goldman Sachs, run the Administration. At Capitol Hill hearings and other public events, Geithner himself, who has been a public servant for almost his entire career and has never worked on Wall Street, has sometimes been identified as a former investment banker.”
I don’t know what to believe.
Regardless, I still recommend people to move money out of the big banks.
If the government did act in good fail hoping that the banks would behave in the greater interest, then the banks have betrayed them as well.
Closing our accounts is our only way to tell them what we think of their response to their use of public funds and their greedy business practices.

Amon Tobin: Live In Brussels

Just saw this and downloaded.
Amon Tobin is giving away the live recording performance of his latest effort The Foley Room.
From his site:

“Recorded by Studio Brussels at the world famous AB theatre in Belgium – which arguably has the best sound system in Europe. After months of back and forth and despite everyone’s best efforts the mix was in danger of being edited into the ground to accommodate big labels and publishers. Rather than release a compromised version commercially, the decision was made to give it away for free instead.”

more from around the interwebs

Restless, can’t concentrate, moody.
Tired of working all the time and making so little progress. I refuse to give up and just chip away at my little art projects.
Tired of the same excuses I make to myself for making rationalizing bullshit.
But then the dishes need to be washed and the bills paid and, and, and…

Tumbling, drifting, amazed at how others manage to do balance art and life. I’m not talking about the million dollar “successful” ones, but the rest of us who are still toiling away for the that elusive carrot.

In my head everything is ruins, in perpetual collapse.

I used to go to art galleries to see new art, but now all you have to do is roam tumblr, or surf personal blogs, flickr and websites to see an astonishing array of incredible work… humbling and incredibly inspiring.

“If God is a DJ
Life is a dance floor
Love is the rhythm
You are the music
If God is a DJ
Life is a dance floor
You get what you’re given
It’s all how you use it…”
—Pink

“When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.”—Mark Twain

“Men appear to prefer to ruin one another’s fortunes, and to cut each other’s throats over a few miserable villages, than to extend the means of human happiness”—Voltaire

Sometimes letting silence speak is best you can do.

“A Tale of Love and Darkness”

Excellent article in the Sunday New York Times:
“Six years ago, when violence was the order of the day here, Elias Khoury’s 20-year-old son, George, was killed in a Palestinian terrorist attack. The Khourys are Palestinian, so the murder of George — who was out for a jog and shot from behind by gunmen in a car — produced an apology. Sorry, the killers said, we assumed the jogger was a Jew.”

“So, in memory of George, a charismatic law student and musician, Mr. Khoury did something that shocked many in his community. He paid for the translation into Arabic of the autobiography of Israel’s most prominent author and dove, Amos Oz.”

Anthropscenes (Part 4: Peter Bialobrzeski)

Peter Bialobrzeski’s images look like they may have come straight out of some vision of Orwell or Huxley. They are epically surreal.
This collection includes images of 28 cities across 14 countries. An exploration of mega-cities such as Dubai, New York, Kuala Lampur, New Delhi and others…
Neither utopian or dystopian…

They are everyday reality… simply seen here in an extraordinary light.

Just like ruins, these cities seem to assert a curious competing nature of their own.

Logorama!

Still from Logorama
If you get the chance check out this brilliant Academy award nominated short film. All the characters, backgrounds, everything really, is corporate logo art, all of which is used without permission.