A few small gems from a quick New York trip…
One of my favorite places was the American Folk Art Museum. I was looking for something similar to Chicago’s Intuit , which is one of my all-time favorite museums. Turns out the Folk Art Museum has free admission. It also turns out not many people have heard of the place. It’s too bad because it’s got some really incredible gems. The exhibit, “Jubilation/Rumination: Life, Real and Imagined”, featured selections from the collection, everything from traditional crafts to more recognizable names.
I took photos of stuff I hadn’t encountered before:
This painting particularly struck me for some strange reason. It is by Jamaican artist Sidney McLaren, who didn’t begin painting until much later in life. It reads: “Sidney McLaren – Artist at 84 yrs. old. Life is What One Makes it. No Two Men Alike.” (1979)
This one is titled “Roaring Lion, Guardian of the Temples” by Augustin Lesage (1938):
Lesage, a miner in France, started hearing voices while working underground, and began to paint under their direction. “My guides have told me: ‘Do not try to understand what you are doing.’ I draw the figures they make me draw. I pick the colors they make me pick and mix colors without knowing what I will end up with.”
‘Strange Fruits’, by Ulysses Davis, made in the 1970’s in Savannah, Georgia. It doesn’t translate well in the photo, the actual sculpture is very beautiful and fantastical in real life. It was made at the height of the civil rights movement. The title comes from a 1937 poem by Abel Meeropol – later transformed into a protest song and sung by Billie Holiday:
The next day I ended up at the Rubin Museum and walked around. There was a really great exhibit of Illuminated Books, such as this beautiful Gospels Book from 16th century Armenia, with earrings and metalwork tacked onto it:
There was so much more and I wish I could devote a whole day to writing about it all. I also visited Printed Matter, which was a real treat.
Next week, I will be on a panel with some incredibly talented folks for the launch of “Graphic Canon: Volume 1”, to which I contributed my adaptation of The Tibetan Book of the Dead. The event is being held on Wednesday, May 23rd at The Rubin Museum of Art in New York. I’m very excited for the release of this incredible 3-volume anthology.
Below is information on the event. I should also mention that back in April, I contributed a piece to ‘The Wheel of Life’ project, as part of the exhibition “Hero, Villain, Yeti: Tibet in Comics” at The Rubin Museum. Come earlier and you can see the completed Wheel, the full comics exhibit, and stay for the book launch and signing!
Wednesday, May 23rd at 7 pm
Price: $12 (members $10.80)
150 W. 17 St., The Rubin Museum of Art
5pm-7pm: Himalayan Happy Hour in the café
6:00pm: Pre-program book signing with Graphic Canon contributors
6:15pm: Pre-program tour of the comics exhibition Hero, Villain, Yeti: Tibet in Comics
7:00pm: Book Launch in the theater
8:30pm: Book signing with artists and editor.
Come early for Himalayan Happy Hour and join Graphic Canon contributors Peter Kuper, Valerie Schrag, Shawn Cheng, Fred van Lent, Rebecca Migdal, Sandy Jimenez, and Brendan Leach for a pre-program book signing in the café followed by a presentation and discussion of The Graphic Canon in the theater with artists Molly Crabapple, Sanya Glisic and Gareth Hinds and editor Russ Kick.
Ticket includes pre-program tour of the comics exhibition Hero, Villain, Yeti: Tibet in Comics and a book signing with the editor and artists after the program.
Artists Molly Crabapple, Sanya Glisic and Gareth Hinds join Editor Russ Kick for the launch of The Graphic Canon, a gorgeous, one-of-a-kind trilogy that brings classic literatures of the world together with legendary graphic artists and illustrators. Called the “graphic publishing literary event of the year” (Publishers Weekly) Volume 1: From The Epic of Gilgamesh to Shakespeare to Dangerous Liaisons takes us on a visual tour from the earliest literature through the end of the 1700s. It features, The Tibetan Book of the Dead reimagined by Sanya Glisic, Molly Crabapple’s version of Dangerous Liaisons, Gareth Hinds’ watercolor telling of The Odyssey, as well as Hamlet, The Divine Comedy, The Arabian Nights, Tale of Genji, The Canterbury Tales, The Tao te Ching, Gulliver’s Travels, Don Quixote, Candide, an Incan play, a Native American folktale, works by renowned artists Will Eisner and Robert Crumb and much, much more.
Edited by Russ Kick, The Graphic Canon is an extraordinary collection that will continue with Volume 2: Kubla Khan to the Bronte Sisters to The Picture of Dorian Gray (August 2012), and Volume 3: From Heart of Darkness to Hemingway to Infinite Jest (October 2012). The entire trilogy features over 189 works of literature visualized by more than 130 illustrators and artists. Most of the works are specially commissioned for this book; some rarely seen before.
MORE INFORMATION ON EVERYTHING: