Tuesday, November 30, 2004

two friday openings

Gregg Chadwick
new breeze, new hour
30" x 22" monotype 2004

two exhibitions open this friday with work by gregg chadwick
( i will be attending the opening in park city. hope to see you there):

the julie nester gallery in park city, utah will have its grand opening on december 3rd, 2004 from 5-8pm. 1755 b bonanza drive, park city, utah
for more info: 435 649-7855 julienester@comcast.net (see below)


the lisa coscino gallery oh so proudly presents the original works of more than 30 artists at the amazing price of $99.95. entitled: the $99.95 show. we know what you're thinking: are they mad? are they out of your artsy minds? no, sir. tis the season.yes, tis. tis, tis, tis.
for further information, please contact lisa coscino at 831.646.1939.

A Painter's Picks: Foley Gallery: Thursday Opening in New York

periodically i will pick an exhibition or an opening to highlight. if you are in new york this thursday or will be traveling there shortly make sure that you visit the foley gallery, a new space with great potential. michael foley, who served as director of the yancey richardson gallery in new york and before that worked with catherine clark in san francisco, has opened his own gallery. michael's new gallery focuses on photography and works on paper.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

the transparent life

the transparent life
the transparent life
30"x22" monotype 2004


Clear moments are so short.
There is much more darkness. More
ocean than terra firma. More
shadow than form.
-Adam Zagajewski

reading adam zagajewski

i've been reading the poetry of

adam zagajewski

derek walcott in the new republic :
"these poems enter and possess you quietly. it is the quiet of a train halted on its lines. the engine throbs like a pulse, and there is always music in these verses, or the echo of music"

zagajewski is a polish poet currently dividing his time between paris and houston where he teaches. there is much of czeslaw milosz here and joseph brodsky as well as the american, edward hirsch. but in the end adam zagajewski is his own poet.
as i prepare for a new group of paintings i find a world of inspiration in these poems. zagajewski leads us into the shadows but he is not afraid to show us the light.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

(Peace) 320˚ NW

(Peace) 320Ëš NW

(Peace) 320˚ NW

From where the red-winged blackbirds sing
on the cattails of the Schel-Cheb marsh
and the blue camas flowers bloom
planted by Gale Cool in a prairie genesis
the smooth shore of Kitsap’s village
the Suquamish called “Bringing-it-home”
opens out to the waves of Rich Passage,
and beyond Rainier rises sixty miles away,
its great gray ridges sharp,
its massive glaciers white.

At home in this sunlight
the strong irony strikes Don Mowatt:
on the phone from Pleasant Beach
talking to a survivor in Bosnia,
knowing he is to go, the call’s been made.
Peace spreads by being left behind.

- poem by kent chadwick

peace - an ongoing dialog

Kent Chadwick's poem "(Peace) 320˚ NW" is the first in a series of responses to my question, "How do you paint, write, sing peace?" Kent Chadwick is a Seattle based poet. His work is rich in language and moment. "(Peace) 320˚ NW" is from a new, ongoing series of poems modeled on the Japanese ukiyo-e artists Hokusai and Hiroshige's views of Mount Fuji. Mount Rainer is the touchstone in this series. Each poem contains a fleeting view of Rainier that acts as a silent witness to the life unveiling below.

I urge you to read the lengthy and important series of comments found below the intial post. Thank you for your thoughts and I encourage you to think seriously about this question. I welcome your responses. Feel free to e-mail images, poems, stories and links to your songs my way.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

How do you paint peace?


Gregg Chadwick
36"x29" oil on linen 2004
Private Collection, San Francisco

I find I need to look deeply into this painting to provide an antidote to the images flooding my way as I walk down the avenue. rack after newsrack, each with a front page heralding destruction. Years ago I was in Perth, Australia reading an art review concerning an exhibition about peace. Most of the images in in the show were anti-war but few if any were really about the idea of peace. The title of the review was "how do you paint peace". I have been trying to do that ever since. I think this painting is close. I ask you: how would you paint peace? How would you create the idea of peace in your music? In your writing? In your life? Please send thoughts. ideas and images my way- greggchadwick@icloud.com I will post your dreams...

Sunday, November 21, 2004

an open letter to steven vincent


if my ten year old son did not cringe at the expression "shut-up" i might have titled my response to your

national review piece

"shut-up and write" or possibly "shut-up and look." but since my son skips into the room often to see what i'm up to i thought i would instead "use my words" and then after a "time out" send you my thoughts and the image of a current painting that deals with the situation in iraq.

ok i'm ready now... and i have put my color wheels and brushes away.

my father was an officer in the marine corps and he served in korea and vietnam. i respect his service and i thank him for the sacrifices that he and his buddies made so that i can disagree with him. that is the nature of america. at our best we are a gargantuan mix of cultures, creeds and credos. at our worst we are a gargantuan beast that without a system of checks and balances could easily slide into fascism. now we get to the part about art and politics. currently artists have been given the role of canaries in the coal mine. and we can feel the gradual loss of oxygen in the environment. let's start at something simple- flying. i fly often and like clockwork i am pulled over into the "ashcroft" line for a thorough inspection. and who is in line with me? people of color, immigrants, artists, musicians...
this is why we are so anti-bush. "mene,mene,tekel,upharsin"- we see the writing on the wall and it is as vulgar as your headline. well mister vincent we are not going to shut-up and there is a growing chorus of voices that will not be silenced. maybe those of your ilk have a monopoly on destruction. but we artists have a monopoly on the creation of beauty. and in beauty- often can be found truth.

see the attached painting


gregg chadwick

Saturday, November 20, 2004

this morning's harbor

this morning's harbor, originally uploaded by greggchadwick.

the julie nester gallery in park city, utah will have its grand opening on december 3rd, 2004 from 5-8pm. 1755 b bonanza drive, park city, utah
for more info: 435 649-7855 julienester@comcast.net

i am honored to have a group of paintings and works on paper in the inaugural exhibition.

my work will include "une passante" and a series of new monotypes. monotypes are prints made by painting on metal and then transferring the painting to paper by pressure. only one initial print can be run through the press and then a follow-up ghost print. the ghosts are evocative, open ended and encourage further work. "this morning's harbor" is a good example of this process.the resulting work maintains a bit of the ghost and is quite effective in conveying my artistic thoughts. these new monotypes seem to me like small dreams.

from l.a. to new york to paris

"New York has finally become Paris -- a bountiful place to visit to see what great art used to be. The stunning new MoMA is its magnificent shrine."
- Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times

i currently paint in los angeles, have a grad degree from nyu and consider paris as a constant muse. los angeles is a great city with a richly nuanced cultural climate- such a great mix of traditions. but, especially now, we need new york and paris. the score keeping that christopher knight tacks on to the end of his article on the new moma is embarassing. with jet blue's $99 fares does anyone in l.a. really define themselves as "not" being from new york anymore? l.a is a great city in which to create new work. but without new york we are cut off from incredibly important artistic and social dialogues. great art is not driven by fads or civic boosterism. instead great art is created within an environment that treasures a dialogue between past and present, east and west, north and south.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

thinking about art

jt kirkland is running an evocative site at thinking about art. he graciously allowed me to participate in an ongoing project in which artists are asked to write a short essay in response to one word- my response is on the word

City of Desires

City of Desires, originally uploaded by greggchadwick.

listening to pearl jam resound in a san francisco cafe. a warm fall dusk here - it somehow brings to mind the tropics. thought i would post a painting based on a time in rio. something about the brazilian air and the rich way music flows around the landscape made it into this work. love the way that brazilians realize that they are americans. not as citizens of a country but instead as part of two joined continents - the americas.

sometimes, as in this painting and dream of dawn below, i find characters creating themselves in my work. i want to discover more about them as they appear. the story will continue...

Monday, November 15, 2004

reading li po

黎明夢想 (a dream of dawn)
黎明夢想(a dream of dawn) 80"x76" oil on linen 2004

i have been reading classical chinese poetry in translation while working on this new painting.
a mix of remembered moments, music and poetry often fuels my work.

Misted the flowers weep as light dies
Moon of white silk sleeplessly cries.
Stilled - Phoenix wings.
Touched - Mandarin strings.

This song tells secrets that no one knows
To far Yenjan on Spring breeze it goes.
To you it wafts
Through the night skies.

Sidelong - Eyes. How
White tears fill now!
Heart's pain? Come see -
In this mirror with me.
-Li Po

Friday, November 12, 2004

in the studio

studio w/chinese sky

been in the studio all day-
feels good to work large and get the whole body into it

the light that fills this space in the late afternoon is hypnotic, almost like being under a rainbow

thinking about

since i'm painting off ocean park
he started his ocean park series in 1967 during the viet nam war
monet painted waterlilies during ww1

color has never felt more necessary as the world grows darker

maybe something there...

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Veterans' Day


Excerpts from letters to his parents from Pfc. Moisés A. Langhorst of the Marines. Private Langhorst, 19, of Moose Lake, Minn., was killed in Al Anbar Province on April 6 by small-arms fire.

March 13

As far as my psychological health, we look out for each other pretty well on that. ... I've been praying a lot and I hope you're praying for the Dirty 3rd Platoon, because there is no doubt that we are in the Valley of the Shadow of Death.

March 15

After standing in the guard tower for seven-and-a-half hours this morning, we went on our first platoon-size patrol from about 1200 to 1700. It was exhausting, but it went very well. I had to carry the patrol pack with emergency chow, a poncho and night vision goggles. That's what really wore me out.

We toured the mosques and visited the troublesome abandoned train station. The people were friendly, and flocks of children followed us everywhere.

When I called you asked me if Iraq is what I expected, and it really is. It looks just like it does on the news. It hardly feels like a war, though. Compared to the wars of the past, this is nothing. We're not standing on line in the open - facing German machine guns like the Marines at Belleau Wood or trying to wade ashore in chest-deep water at Tarawa. We're not facing hordes of screaming men at the frozen Chosun Reservoir in Korea or the clever ambushes of Vietcong. We deal with potshots and I.E.D.'s. With modern medicine my chances of dying are slim to none and my chances of going home unscathed are better than half. Fewer than 10 men in my company have fired their weapons in the 10 days we've been here.

March 24

While not always pleasant, I know this experience is good for me. It makes me appreciate every little blessing God gives me, especially the family, friends and home I left behind in Moose Lake.

More letters are found in the nov.11, 2004 op/ed page in the New York Times

thank you moises, ralph, dad
and all the men and women who have served

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

as the new work began to breathe

tibetan monks at the off the preserve gallery, napa, california

i grabbed this moment of a monk taking a break for contemplation last year and found the image while researching new ideas. it seemed so emblematic of the practice of artistic creation that i wanted to dwell on it a bit. a group of tibetan monks were in the process of creating a sand mandala when one got up and carefully moved over to a group of devotional paintings
lining the gallery walls. he stood still and seemed to gather the moment and the image in. i carried these thoughts over as i started a new painting last night. i worked late till the streets were empty and the traffic on the airport runways outside had died down and i painted till the image began to seem real and present. then remembering the monk i put my tools down, stopped and listened as the new work began to breathe.

Monday, November 08, 2004

the face of dawn

ROTC Training Before Deployment
-rotc training before deployment, spring 04: photo by gregg chadwick

as the battle rages again in fallujah it prompts us to look at the faces of the combatants and to understand the humanity that is lost on all sides. the acting prime minister of iraq, allawi, has dubbed this new action al-fajr : arabic for the dawn. it is time for all artists, photographers and writers to fight the censorship of the current administration and show the true faces of this dark dawn.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

existential detectives

"In this day and age of selling out to the Bushes and being corporate and acting like the industrial, plastic American lifestyle is the greatest thing that ever hit the planet... a movie like I ♥ Huckabees —a 60’s movie, whether it’s Asian, Zen, Tibetan Buddhist, Hindu ... reinforces some sort of hope for life and human integrity."
- Columbia Religion Chair Robert Thurman in an interview with the New York Observer,Oct. 4, 2004

existential detectives - i heart huckabees

In David O Russell's new film I ♥ Huckabees, Albert Markovski (Jason Schwartzman) hires two existential detectives Bernard and Vivian (Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin) to help discover the significance of three chance meetings with an autograph hunting Sudanese refugee (Ger Duany). Dustin Hoffman's character is loosely based on the director's friend and mentor Robert Thurman who is best known as a colleague of the Dalai Lama and the father of Uma Thurman. Robert Thurman is currently the chair of the religion department at Columbia University. Jason Schwartzman's character can be seen as a fictionalized portrait of the director. In the film the existential mentor helps his client grapple with the concept that everything is in everything else. This idea of interbeing seems so far from our contemporary American culture of strip malls, suburban sprawl and traffic jams that it is comic. And the film is funny. Richly, smartly, philosophically funny. I ♥ Huckabees is a romp- a sort of philosophical, spiritual road movie. But in this film the road is not an exterior ribbon connecting two disparate realities. Instead the road in I ♥ Huckabees is the interior path of interconnectedness.

  • existential detectives:jaffe & jaffe
  • Thursday, November 04, 2004

    first thoughts after the election...

    Arlington 48

    Arlington 48” x 36” oil on linen 2004

    From the funeral of Chanawongse Kemaphoom 22, of Waterford, Connecticut. Killed in action during operations on the outskirts of An Nasiriyah on March 23, 2003. Chanawongse was assigned to 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

    A Painters Light and the Enlightenment

    we have met the enemy and he is us

    "America, the first real democracy in history, was a product of Enlightenment values - critical intelligence, tolerance, respect for evidence, a regard for the secular sciences. Though the founders differed on many things, they shared these values of what was then modernity. They addressed "a candid world," as they wrote in the Declaration of Independence, out of "a decent respect for the opinions of mankind." Respect for evidence seems not to pertain any more, because a poll taken just before the elections showed that 75 percent of Mr. Bush's supporters believe Iraq either worked closely with Al Qaeda or was directly involved in the attacks of 9/11. 
    The secular states of modern Europe do not understand the fundamentalism of the American electorate. It is not what they had experienced from this country in the past. In fact, we now resemble those nations less than we do our putative enemies." 
    -Garry Wills, adjunct professor of history at Northwestern University 

    Garry wills' op-ed piece in the New York Times hits hard on the anti-intellectualism and anti-historicism that lies at the heart of the christian fundamentalists backing bush.  Wills observes that enemies come to resemble each other and in their misguided bloodlust and immoral war in Iraq contemporary fundamentalist christians have created their own jihad. 

    This is not about mere politics but instead a clash of rational minds against the forces of ignorance and superstition. 

    As Americans. as artists, as philosophers, scientists, doctors, writers, musicians, poets, actors, historians, free-thinkers and members of the world community now is not the time to acquiesce but instead the time to remember and declare our American roots in the enlightenment. 

    As a painter i believe in light- not just light that bathes us in a warm glow of beauty but light that also reveals and creates a path to understanding. 

    Do not let them take the light from us.

    Stand strong. 


    Wednesday, November 03, 2004

    today in america

    Wings of Desire

    "i think the truth is, that nobody, inside or outside, can accurately portray a country. We can only paint what we see….this land of plenty is a vacuum inside, a land of drought and poverty: mental, spiritual, social, political poverty.”
    -wim wenders on america

    Tuesday, November 02, 2004

    vote- in your own backyard, in your own hometown

    as i'm sure you would agree - never before have we been more aware that every single vote counts. Godspeed as you vote on Tuesday, November 2nd

    "I don't think it has made America safer . . . How many of our best young people are going to die? Sitting on the sidelines would be a betrayal of the ideas I'd written about for a long time....There is a long tradition of the artist being involved in the life of the nation. For me, it goes back to Woody Guthrie, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield and Bob Dylan . . . The artist is there to open up discourse, to get people thinking about American identity: Who are we? What do we fight for? What do we stand for? I view these things as a fundamental part of [the artist's] job."
    -Bruce Springsteen