Friday, May 11, 2012

Bernard Bador: Collages, Paintings, Paintcollas, & Poems


Coup sur Cou

Wu Wei

Feuilles Mortes

Encore La Guerre

Sichuan Scenery

Pegasus Ex-voto

Chichen Itza

Kufi Swirl


Ruins raging, jolted by dunes,

drift toward burning blizzards,

dismantlers of the void

perforated by memories.

Sun crumblings

plastered on the raised rejects of the sad earth—

even loyal shadows abandon them.

Where to scoop up some ghastly deceitful
ghost sand in order to recover
our karmic ferrymen
dissolved in an unspeakable alchemy?

Lotus Sutra

their secrets in suspense.

The sun is scuttled into pocket crevices,
locus of the moltings of the void

Strata-encrusted eyes—
solstices weaned of memories
drilled by
fanatics searching for transitory prophecies

A sole cat at
the edge of time
crouches in wait for ruins.

Taoist Evocations

The page bursts into a fertile mire of continuing eclipses.
Blackness springs back, detoured by tortured shadows.
Eyelids barricade themselves.
Red fury of the unseen
   grave-dredger of memories


Bernard Bador

Black Widow Press publisher of Curdled Skulls: Poems of Bernard Bador

Art works courtesy of Bernard Bador. Printed with permission.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Casey Sonnabend


Yellow Sky

Untitled 2

Meat Landscape

Sienna Rub


New One

Casey Sonnabend (right) in Oskar Kokoschka's class.

My memory astounds me at times. Around 1991/1992 I was at a friend's house in Santa Cruz, CA where a large painting by the mysterious Casey Sonnabend hung on the wall. I never met Casey, but said friend told me he was living in Santa Cruz, CA and was a student of Oskar Kokoschka in the 1950s. Why I didn't try to meet Sonnabend remains a mystery as his art work made a big impression on me at the time. As far as I know he still resides in Santa Cruz.

He also took the iconic flower power photo of an Indian sadhu that was used on many a hippy poster, and most significantly on the cover of Rene Daumal's Mount Analogue.

Casey also played congas in a pre-Quicksilver Messenger Service one day only group, along with Skip Spence on drums!

Susie Bright mentions Casey here.

Born December 2, 1933, in Buffalo, New York

1948 - Played snare drum in Junior Philharmonic Orchestra at Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, California

Attended City College in Los Angeles, California

1953 - 1957 - Played traps in U.S. Navy; began painting

1958 - Studied painting with Oskar Kokaschka in Salzburg, Austria

1959- Played at International Jazz Festival in Florence and Rome, Italy

1959 - Exhibited at American Painters Show in Florence, Italy

1963 - One-man Photography Show at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

1963 - 1966 - Travel to India, took many photographs, one of which, "Sadhu," was used for 1967 Be-In Poster

1967 - Photography Show at Monterey Pop Festival

1967 - 1977 - Painting and Drawing in Big Sur, California

1977 - 1979 - Conga drummer for Anne Halprin Dance Workshop in San Francisco and Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California; traveled to Mexico and Hawaii

1979 - 1985 - Big Sur, painting, drawing, and writing poetry

1985 - 1995 - Painting, writing poetry, playing music, and raising children in Santa Cruz, California

1995 - 2003 - Working with a grant from Ann and Stan Rice

Body of work:

Over 500 oil paintings and drawings
10 hours unedited video of artist at work and images
Thousands of photos and negatives
Three books of poems
One book on Art

Note: the art works are reproduced without permission.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

BLACK DIAMONDS SHINING - Afro-Galactic Art and Consciousness

Black Diamonds Shining is an Oakland based afro galactic black arts collective made up of Ras Terms + Safety First + Deadeyes + Antjuan Jones + AshRose + Brooks Golden (Be Golden) + Larry Dobie

This show consists of visual information overload of the best kind.This is an old/new mythos brought forth into a Now that is in sorry need of fresh world perspectives, deep positive consciousness, and a connection to older ways of Being that have almost vanished in our tiresome and empty pursuit of the material. Black Diamonds Shining is part of a broad network of like-minded, engaged people coming together with a vision of interconnectedness, effectual magic, and creative hard work.

The Black Rays Race

See how the black rays of the black race
Have touched the immeasurable wisdom
And therefore the unknown quantity
See how they are not understood
Because as they are is not understood
And as what they know is what they are
See the unlimited freedom of the black rays.


These multi-layered collaborative visual works and words have the obvious connections with hip-hop culture, namely public art/graffiti, but also a heavy alliance, or at least a spiritual connection with Afrofuturism, Rastafarianism, Post-colonialism, Yoruba belief systems, the AACM, SAMO/Jean-Michel Basquiat, SUN RA & kosmik subaltern/African diaspora alienship. In other words, the significance of these artists's collective vision is unquestionable. They've built the sun get on board!

Open through the month of July at the Rock Paper Scissors Collective space.
Hours: 12 - 7 pm, Wednesday - Sunday. Closed Monday and Tuesday.

2278 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, CA 94612

Thanks to the BDS collective for allowing their work to be published here. Apologies for the less than stellar photos (no flash).

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sanctuary: Veronica De Jesus and Regina Clarkinia at Martina } { Johnston Gallery

As I first caught sight of Veronica De Jesus’s new work kindly exploding from the walls of the Martina }{ Johnston Gallery I swore I heard the bong of a distant gong, a sound that seemed most fitting for these large drawings that allude to prayer circles and open chakras. I followed the resounding tones from piece to piece, allowing my eye to travel through multi-dimensional spaces, lost pyramids, and all-seeing disembodied eyes. Tiny white cosmograms or vévés give the drawings the feel of magical charms, primal insignias that with the right incantation would take the viewer further through each image. A couple drawings featured Chauvet Cave-like icons, but instead of hands we’re treated to the outline of basic human figures, hand in hand, circular and inclusive. These are not joyless, static surfaces: De Jesus’s regenerative work acts as a visual conduit to a healing retreat within oneself in order to bring about much needed down-time the world of commerce seems to not understand.

Winding my way through the kitchen of the gallery and exiting onto a welcoming porch, I spied a large screen TV glowing in another room: Regina Clarkinia’s recent video (part of a larger children’s variety show project) features the joyous, unself-conscious play of various children who we watch wriggle and bounce across the screen. I remarked to a fellow attendee that it’s a shame we adults would be jailed or institutionalized for exhibiting such wonderfully freeform behavior. Off-kilter Impanema circus music soundtracks wild child movements which are interspersed with quirky scenes of paper cats, a mouse, and an owl in various discussions. Part of the charm of this video is Clarkinia’s obvious personal delight in child’s play. These children were obviously comfortable in her presence, which made for a sweetly fun viewing experience.

Kids Show from Regina Clarkinia

In the backyard of the gallery sits The Light Temple made of large pieces of fabric that have palm-side up hands sewn into them, bringing to mind Palmistry prognostication or the Chiromantic hand engraving of Robert Fludd.

As it began to rain I thought I wouldn’t be able to fully seek sanctuary within its cotton walls, but the tchotchkes of “mind-spirit” arranged inside allowed me to hold fast, creating an invisible roof that deflected each droplet as I folded into myself and disappeared.

May 28th, 2011 to August 14th, 2011
Opening Reception: Saturday May 28th, 4 to 8 p.m.
Hours: Sundays 1 to 4 p.m. or by appointment

Martina } { Johnston Gallery

1201 Sixth Street
Berkeley, CA 94710

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Marie Wilson

There is a woeful dearth of online information for artist Marie Wilson but for this one website, plus an earlier post on this blog. The poet Richard Tagett provided the images below, which were first published in his magazine, Manroot.

I do know that Marie Wilson is still alive and living with her husband Nanos Valaoritis in Greece. She must be about 89 years old.

A recent publication from City Lights Books (Will Alexander's "Compression & Purity") features a detail from her drawing, " The Creator."

The following series is entitled "Psychograms." Click on each image for a larger view.

An interview with Marie Wilson.