Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Film on the Life of Burmese Activist Aung San Suu Kyi Opens This Week in Los Angeles

by Gregg Chadwick

The Lady, a new film by director Luc Besson inspired by the life of Burma's courageous Aung San Suu Kyi and her husband Michael Aris, opens for a limited release this week at Laemmle's Music Hall Theatre in Beverly Hills. This engagement will run from December 2 - December 8, 2011.

The film stars Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh as Suu Kyi and David Thewlis as her husband Michael Aris.

The Los Angeles Times explains that the film is "a timely political drama" about the volatile political events in Burma as well as "a love story about the uncommon bond that existed between Suu Kyi and her late husband, Michael Aris ... an Oxford University scholar and Asian specialist, Aris took charge of raising the couple's two sons in England while his wife was held captive in her homeland, and he worked tirelessly to raise Western awareness of his wife's fight for democracy."

The Lady was shot mainly in Thailand using Burmese refugees as extras. In a further bid for artistic authenticity, director Luc Beeson used footage furtively shot in Burma and then bravely smuggled out. Some of this footage was shot by Besson himself. He explained to the French media that,"I filmed 17 hours of rushes, sometimes with a soldier three meters away." The film's actors were then integrated into the Burmese scenes with the use of Chroma Key or Green Screen technology.

Photo: Cast members Michelle Yeoh and David Thewlis at the premiere of "The Lady" at the AFI film festival. Credit: Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images

For The Lady, Shepard Fairy was asked to repurpose his benefit poster Freedom to Lead which portrays Aung San Suu Kyi. In the film poster actress Michelle Yeoh portrays the Burmese activist.

Shepard Fairey
Freedom to Lead
(Portrait of Aung San Suu Kyi)

”In a world in which we all too often focus on differences, Aung San Suu Kyi is a unifying figure that people of all political persuasions can work to support. Shepard’s image encapsulates that very point beautifully. The Burmese people have appealed for our help – let’s give it to them.”
 - Jeremy Woodrum, director of the U.S. Campaign for Burma

More at:

U.S. Campaign for Burma

Road to Mandalay
Gregg Chadwick
Road to Mandalay
40"x30" oil on linen 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

Miley Cyrus Releases Video in Support of the #Occupy Movement

by Gregg Chadwick

In this Nov. 18 photo, UC Davis officer John Pike uses pepper spray on unarmed and non-threatening protesters.
(AP Photo/The Enterprise, Wayne Tilcock, File)

Miley Cyrus Releases Video in Support of the #Occupy Movement:

The clip pairs a remix of Cyrus' 2010 song Liberty Walk with footage from the global #Occupy protests. The video begins with an overlay indicating that the clip is "dedicated to the thousands of people who are standing up for what they believe in." Cyrus' video features powerful images of police crack downs on citizens taking a stand against economic inequity wedded to an infectious beat. Rolling Stone writes,"It's a bold move for the singer – while most of the artists who have thrown their support behind Occupy Wall Street are pretty much the usual lefty rocker suspects, Cyrus is reaching out to an audience who are likely to be either apolitical or outright hostile to her message."

As an artist, I know well the risks involved in taking political stands that might discomfort your audience. I am a fierce advocate for social justice and I believe in the sanctity of all life. I have lost sales and clients because of my activism, but life for me is much more than my bank account or social standing. With these thoughts in mind, I applaud Miley Cyrus' gutsy move and hope that more Americans will be emboldened to take a stand against the growing economic inequality in the United States.

Miley Cyrus' video also calls attention to the growing militarization of our civilian police forces. I agree with former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper "that the current epidemic of police brutality is a reflection of the militarization of our urban police forces, the result of years of the "war on drugs" and the "war on terror."

UC Davis professor Bob Ostertag writes,"These issues go to the core of what democracy means. We have a major economic crisis in this country that was brought on by the greedy and irresponsible behavior of big banks. No banker has been arrested, and certainly none have been pepper sprayed. Arrests and chemical assault is for those trying to defend their homes, their jobs, and their schools. These are not trivial matters. This is a moment to stand up and be counted. I am proud to teach at a university where students have done so."

More at:
Miley Cyrus Takes Her Party In The USA To Occupy Wall Street

Miley Cyrus
Supports Occupy Wall Street

Militarization Of Campus Police

Mitt v. Mitt: The Story of Two Men Trapped in One Body

Learn more at

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Message from Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh at UCLA
photo by Gregg Chadwick

“We like the idea of being thankful to the cosmos, to everything that offers itself to us as food. That is why in Plum Village we organize a Thanksgiving Day, and we address our thanks to four objects: first of all to our father and our mother, who gave us life; to our teacher who gave us spiritual life and helped us know how to live in the here and now; we thank our friends who support us, especially in difficult moments, and we thank every being in the animal, vegetable and mineral world for our support and maintenance.

So the Buddhists also celebrate Thanksgiving, with that kind of insight. And while we celebrate Thanksgiving, we relate to everyone who is there, and this is a very good practice so that we don’t cut ourselves off from reality. The feeling of gratitude can help us to remember and to cultivate the element of compassion and loving kindness in us.”

Thich Nhat Hanh, Plum Village, 27th July, 1998

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen -- A Tribute to John Neville (1925-2011)

A tribute to the great Shakespearean actor John Neville, who died this week, and the magical  Terry Gilliam film, The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen, which stars John Neville, Eric Idle, Jonathan Pryce, Winston Dennis, Jack Purvis, a very young Sarah Polley, a teenage Uma Thurman, Oliver Reed, Robin Williams, Valentina Cortese, Sting, and a universe of all-star talent.

John Neville as Richard II
photo by Angus McBean, via Hurok Attractions

The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen is the fantastic fable of an 18th century German aristocrat, his talented henchmen and a little girl in their efforts to save a town from defeat by the Turks. Their thrilling adventures include a trip in the gullet of a a giant sea-monster, a voyage to the moon, a dance with Venus who arrives on a half shell and an escape from death himself .A marvelous, under-appreciated film.

Featuring music from the Michael Kamen score: The Munchausen Waltz.

Thanks to   for the poignant youtube tribute.

More at:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Airborne Toxic Event - Missy·I'm On Fire·I Fought The Law·Medley [HD] LIVE

The Airborne Toxic Event - Missy·I'm On Fire·I Fought The Law·Medley [HD] LIVE
Nice medley from Los Angeles' Airborne Toxic Event

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Gotye Live on Santa Monica's KCRW: Somebody That I Used to Know

by Gregg Chadwick

Santa Monica College's KCRW is a national treasure. The list of emerging talent that has appeared live on the station is remarkable. I first heard Peter Himmelman on KCRW'S compilation disc Rare on Air 1 in San Francisco in the early Nineties. This month I wrote a song with him. (More on that in an upcoming post.) The latest newcomer to KCRW is Australia's Gotye performing Somebody That I Used To Know. You can hear Gotye's full set on KCRW.

Gotye will be playing a Feb 2nd show at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles. Tickets are on sale now at: Gotye at the El Rey Theatre

Making Making Mirrors - a short documentary from Gotye on Vimeo.

A short documentary about the recording of the Gotye record Making Mirrors.
Directed by James Bryans and Wally De Backer
Filmed and edited by James Bryans between January 2010 and July 2011, on the Mornington Peninsula, VIC, Australia

More at:
Gotye's Website
Gotye's Full Set on KCRW

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Saffron Curtain Opens: Hope and Change in Burma

by Gregg Chadwick

Road to Mandalay
Gregg Chadwick
Road to Mandalay
40"x30" oil on linen 2011

“For decades Americans have been deeply concerned about the denial of basic human rights for the Burmese people. The persecution of democratic reformers, the brutality shown toward ethnic minorities and the concentration of power in the hands of a few military leaders has challenged our conscience and isolated Burma from the United States and much of the world. After years of darkness, we’ve seen flickers of progress in these last several weeks as the president and Parliament in Myanmar, which is also known as Burma, have taken steps toward reform.
Of course there’s far more to be done."
-President Barack Obama, November 2011
(Statement on Burma delivered at the 2011 Pacific Rim Meeting in Bali, Indonesia)

Four years after the Saffron Revolution in Burma, enough progress towards a free Burma has been made that President Barack Obama is sending Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on a trip to the often troubled country next month. It has been more than fifty years since a secretary of state from the United States has visited Burma.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi After Her Release From House Arrest in 2010

Also announced today was the news that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s most prominent human rights activist, would rejoin the political process and run for office in the upcoming special parliamentary election.

The New York Times writes that "the twin events underscored the remarkable and sudden pace of change in Myanmar, which has stunned observers inside and outside the country. The changes followed a transfer of power this year from a military junta to a nominally civilian government."

Four years ago, as Buddhist monks were bloodied and murdered by the brutal military junta, an outcry was spread by artists across the globe as we painted, drew, and stenciled images of Burmese monks. At that time I wrote that in solidarity we should all march, paint, write, meditate, work, pray, and hope, to create a free Burma. Today we are one step closer to that goal.

President Barack Obama has not forgotten the people of Burma. During his July 24, 2008 campaign speech in Berlin, Obama said, "Now the world will watch and remember what we do here – what we do with this moment. Will we extend our hand to the people in the forgotten corners of this world who yearn for lives marked by dignity and opportunity; by security and justice? Will we lift the child in Bangladesh from poverty, shelter the refugee in Chad, and banish the scourge of AIDS in our time? Will we stand for the human rights of the dissident in Burma, the blogger in Iran, or the voter in Zimbabwe? Will we give meaning to the words “never again” in Darfur?"

President Obama's words are a call to action for all of us. It is easy to criticize from the relative safety of a computer screen. It is much more difficult to dive into the maelstrom of events and create art that inspires. I recently presented lectures on Art and Social Justice at UCLA and Monterey Peninsula College. My painting, Road to Mandalay, provided a key element in the presentations.

President Obama was presented with a personally requested book of my paintings at a Pentagon dinner in 2009. My good friend from UCLA, Adrienne Thompson attended the event where she hand delivered the book to President Obama and witnessed Barack and first lady Michelle Obama as they pored through the paintings. Today, I am honored to say that the President's favorite painting of mine is Road to Mandalay.

Perhaps Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could take my painting Road to Mandalay with her and present it as gift to the courageous people of Burma.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

From the 99%: Another World Is Possible

Full Video Captured From a Helicopter of Tonight's #OWS' Gigantic Bat Signals Projected onto the Verizon Building in Lower Manhattan
(Thursday, November 17, 2011)

Los Angeles Mayor Issues Statement in Favor of Gay Marriage

LOS ANGELES – Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa issued the following statement today on the California Supreme Court’s decision to allow the sponsors of Proposition 8 to defend the ballot initiative in federal court:
"Today's California Supreme Court ruling is the latest step in guaranteeing that all gay and lesbian Americans have the fundamental right to marry the person they love.  The Court's ruling that proponents of Proposition 8 may defend the initiative before the 9th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals gives the federal court the opportunity to right this injustice.
I am confident that the 9th Circuit Court will affirm marriage equality and right the damage Prop. 8 has done to our fellow Californians and their families.  I look forward to the day when all Americans enjoy the freedom to marry."

More at:
Villaraigosa on Prop 8 Ruling

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bach in a Japanese Forest Played on a Gravity Marimba

 Deep in the tranquility of a Japanese woodland, the movement of a wooden ball plays Bach on a gravity marimba. The ball gently rolls down an elevated wooden incline striking a series of wooden bars each  tuned to play a single note of the 10th movement of Bach’s Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147, commonly known in English as, Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring. A rare example of an advertisement that evokes wonder. Enjoy!

Hat tip to Makezine.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Goodbye to UPS: Hello to FedEx and Independent Art Shippers

by Gregg Chadwick

I am often asked by fellow artists and gallerists about shipping art locally and internationally. As of today due to UPS' gross negligence in a guaranteed, i.e. expensive,  delivery, I will no longer use their services and I recommend that others shift their services elsewhere. 
I am heartbroken that my donation will most likely not be at  The 9th Annual Oak Grove Golf Classic 2011 & SO-CAL Chef Open  to benefit the Oak Grove Center for Education, Treatment and the Arts. When a company no longer guarantees their guarantee the little guy loses out. We need to stand together. #OccupyUPS anyone?

Please read the  Open Letter to UPS CEO Scott Davis:
Dear Scott Davis,
On November 11, 2011 while you were chatting on the radio how UPS works on a day when the USPS is closed, I found that because of a shortage of UPS workers my Guaranteed package was not delivered as promised to the Oak Grove Center for Education, Treatment and the Arts. 
The shipment contains an important artwork to be auctioned on Monday, November 14, 2011 at the The 9th Annual Oak Grove Golf Classic 2011 & SO-CAL Chef Open  for the benefit of Oak Grove's students. Many of the children have suffered physical and/or sexual abuse. Other are victims of violent traumas. The school effectively cares for children with social, emotional or behavioral challenges. 
When I was asked by Kevin Keller to donate an artwork for such an important cause, I didn't hesitate. I went through the time and expense of creating the artwork, framing the artwork and chose what I thought was a reliable service to deliver this gift of hope.
 I am shocked that UPS has failed me and will not even provide delivery on Saturday, November 12, 2011 - which will make it in time for the auction. 
Words can not express my disappointment. I spent most of Friday, November 11, 2011 on the phone and twitter with less than helpful UPS representatives - The first of which hung up on me instead of transferring my call to a supervisor. 
I paid just under $100 to have an insured and guaranteed delivery on November 11, 2011 by 4:30 pm. UPS failed in a major way. 
I have used UPS in the past for many shipments for my art business, but if this situation is not rectified before it is too late, I will take my business elsewhere.
I expect a prompt response.
With Great Disappointment,
Gregg Chadwick

Along the Arno

Gregg Chadwick
Along the Arno
22"x30" monotype on paper 2011
(Donated to the Oak Grove Center for Education, Treatment and the Arts to be auctioned at the The 9th Annual Oak Grove Golf Classic 2011 & SO-CAL Chef Open )
Current Location Unknown - On Hold in a UPS Processing Center 

This holiday season please give Oak Grove a call and give to an organization that protects and nurtures the most vulnerable.  

 For information, please contact:
Cheryl Lievsay at 951-677-5599 ext 2238 or

On Oak Grove And What They Do:

Oak Grove is a nonprofit 24-hour residential and educational treatment center that serves 76 children who live on campus and an additional 80-90 day students who attend our nonpublic school day program. Oak Grove is located in Murrieta, Southwest Riverside County. Oak Grove also operates a second campus in Perris, Oak Grove at the Ranch, serving an additional 50 students. Children and youth are admitted with a variety of psychological, social, emotional, behavioral, medical and neurological problems with concurrent behavioral difficulties, school problems, family dysfunction and alcohol or substance abuse. Many of the children have suffered physical and/or sexual abuse, other traumas or experienced many other social, emotional or behavioral challenges.
We are licensed as a level 12 group home and have the additional distinction of being accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), as well as the non-public school on grounds having accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
Oak Grove works with children and adolescents whose needs and problems can be quite complex. One of our greatest assets lies in the sophistication and experience level of a team of clinicians comprised of psychiatrists and licensed independent practitioners (MFT, LCSW, Psy. D), as well as our nursing staff, behavior intervention specialists, teachers, milieu and activities staff that together make up the Treatment Team.
  • Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)
  • California State Department of Education Non-Public School Certification
  • Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC)
  • California Alliance for Children & Families
  • Licensed by the State Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing Division

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy 236th Birthday United States Marine Corps

by Gregg Chadwick

Memory Wall: My Father at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Gregg Chadwick
Memory Wall: My Father at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
24”x18” oil on linen 2011

At the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam last October on my birthday, I was able to visit the painting I first remember: Rembrandt's iconic group portrait The Sampling Officials of the Amsterdam Drapers Guild. As a six year old, I stood before the painting and recognized it as the same image on the Dutch Masters' cigar box, my father's go-to brand. The connection was phenomenal; I was hooked.

My dad had just finished his tour in the Vietnam War, where he had been serving as a JAG officer in the United States Marine Corps, and we were traveling around Europe. To this day, I recall most everything about that European family reunion. A lifelong love of Rembrandt ensued.

Rembrandt's intellect and courage allowed him to move beyond a search for a mere likeness. Instead, Rembrandt pushed deep into the work to seek the inner selves of his sitters.

I thank my father for introducing me to Rembrandt. As an homage to that day and to many years of love and friendship, I painted my father as I remember him, both in the past and the present. In Memory Wall: My Father at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, I gather these memories to paint a portrait of accumulation. Each mark and each layer on the painting echoes a moment or conversation shared.

Today, on the 236th anniversary of the founding of the United States Marine Corps, I am honored to post my painting of my dad in uniform.

Peter Clothier has written on this painting:

Particularly moving to this one viewer is "Memory Wall: My Father at the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial" ... a portrait of the artist's father in U.S. Marine dress uniform. The face is seen in three-quarters profile, pale and stern, lips full, eyes gazing upward, as if respectfully, toward an unseen flag or deity. The uniform, complete with medals, speaks loudly of his pride and service. The portrait speaks of duty, unwavering loyalty, discipline. The man is tough. And yet... we see him through the eyes of a son, respectful, yet aware of the vulnerabilities, the softer side of real humanity that lurks behind the outward show of strength. We are reminded, as men, of our own experience with fathers--giants for us as little children; imposing, distant, to be feared for their infinitely superior strength and wisdom. We may come to resent the discipline they impose on us, but accept it grudgingly because, like God, our father can't be wrong. As we grow, however, if we're fortunate and strong ourselves--if that father has managed to share his strength with us--we come to see the uncertainty, the self-questioning, the doubts and fears that assail even the toughest of men, and to recognize the deep bond of love between us.

USMC Billboard, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 2011
photo by Gregg Chadwick

I am proud of my father's career in the USMC and thankful for the opportunity I have had to meet Marines across the globe. Today I greet all Marines with a fervent, "Happy Marine Corps Birthday!"

More at:
Peter Clothier on Theater of Memory
236 years of Semper Fi

Friday, November 04, 2011

Free Sunday Admission at UCLA's Hammer Museum Through January 8, 2012

November 6, 2011 - January 8, 2012

Starting this Sunday, November 6, the Hammer will offer free museum admission for all exhibitions every Sunday until the closing of the exhibition Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980 on Sunday, January 8, 2012.

Admission is ALWAYS FREE for Museum members, students with ID, UCLA faculty and staff, military personnel, veterans, and visitors 17 and under accompanied by an adult. Free on Thursdays for all visitors.
For hours, location, and parking information, click here.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Theater of Memory Catalog Now Available in the iTunes Bookstore

I am pleased to announce that the catalog for my exhibition Theater of Memory at Monterey Peninsula College is now available in a digital format in the iTunes Bookstore.

Please click on the iBookstore Logo for more info.

Theater of Memory: Paintings By Gregg Chadwick - Gregg Chadwick

The River Opens

Los Sueños del Río
Gregg Chadwick
Los Sueños del Río
38"x76" oil on linen 2011