From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
“Geometrix” explores the math in and behind art
The new exhibit opens Saturday night at Science Museum Oklahoma.
Now, they are an integral part of his artwork.
The El Reno sculptor incorporates concrete cubes and found objects into many of his pieces, which are typically autobiographical and universal explorations of life.
“I worked for AT&T for 17 years and nine months in an office cube, and it’s a confining space. It’s also confining the person, more as an analogy. People are working jobs that might not necessarily be the path that they want to be on; they’re in debt or Mom and Dad pushed them in that direction … and their dreams end up being suppressed,” said Wright, who left his corporate career in 2008.
“Each cube is like a character, so if something is attached, it’s like that character built it itself based on what it knows. So it’s kind of a crude sensibility.”
From the roughhewn to the elegant, the shape is the thing in the new group exhibition “Geometrix: Geometry in Art” at the Satellite Galleries inside Science Museum Oklahoma. The exhibit features the art of six Oklahomans — Wright, Bryan Boone, Dan Garrett, Klint Schor, Noel Torrey and David Bizzaro — who all use different media, styles and techniques but incorporate geometric shapes in their work.
The exhibit will open with a reception from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday. The event is free and open to the public.
The museum is debuting “Geometrix” in conjunction with its Geometry Playground, which is also on its second floor, said Scott Henderson, the museum’s new Satellite Galleries director. The popular playground, which opened June 30, incorporates shapes and spaces to teach spatial reasoning through interactive play. Bizarro has been working with the local nonprofit OHM Space to create a hands-on aspect to “Geometrix,” too.
“This shows another side of geometry that kids don’t see all the time. It kind of shows the attractiveness behind math and what’s beautiful about math. Because without math, none of this would be possible,” Henderson said.
“I’m an artist myself; I grew up painting and still do. But you don’t realize a lot of the construction behind these pieces when you see them. By working intimately with these artists and questioning them and having them turn in their sketches, I’ve learned a lot.”
With his ties to the state arts community, Henderson was able to pull together a sextet of artists whose works are varied but complementary and prominently feature shapes. The pale walls and display pedestals in the Satellite Galleries are emblazoned with sketches that offer insights into the math that went into the pieces.
“That’s what I do. It’s architectural, mechanical, structural work. Getting started, I’ll go find an architecture magazine. … That’s usually where I find my inspiration. I wanted to be an architect when I was a kid. I just am constantly in awe of the things we make in our culture, the big things, buildings and bridges and all of our infrastructure,” said Boone, an Oklahoma City mixed-media artist who primarily uses acrylic paint, pencil and pen on his canvases.
“I love the Geometry Playground. I think it’s great. I’ve been getting lots of photos of it for inspiration. This experience could cause me to change what I’m doing next.”
A business trip about a decade ago inspired Torrey’s vivid oil and watercolor canvases featuring brightly colored circles organized in precise grids.
“I brought my watercolor paints and some paper with me, and I wanted to paint but I didn’t want to paint anything representational. I had a ruler and I just made a grid of squares and then I drew these little concentric circles. I started laying transparent layers of color down and just kind of experimented with what happened,” said the Oklahoma City painter. “Where two layers of color cross, they create … a third color where the transparent layers interact.”
In contrast to Torrey’s multicolored paintings, Schor crafted a collection of white geodesic lights called “Lumi-knots.” To make the LED light fixtures, he folded polystyrene strips, using the tension of the material and a few small rivets to hold their curvy shapes.
“That kind of skill comes naturally to me because I’m always playing with the limits of materials,” said Schor, an Oklahoma City artist. “That’s kind of the magic of it. That’s kind of what makes it interesting to look at, is that you wonder ‘how was it done?’”
The geometry theme effectively unites the diverse styles of the sextet and shows some ways
artists use science and mathematics in their work, Wright said.
I think it’s nice to introduce art into a venue that is not necessarily for art or that you wouldn’t expect fine art to be there,” he said. “It can expose people to art who might not go to other museums and to realize that you can make art out of geometry and math.
“It’s not all about pretty pictures.”
“Geometrix: Geometry in Art”
When: Through Jan. 14.
Where: Science Museum Oklahoma’s Satellite Galleries, 2100 NE 52.
Opening reception: 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday. Free and open to the public.
Information: 602-3760 or www.sciencemuseumok.com.
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Paseo galleries taking international view of art
Column: Paseo Originals and Visions in the Paseo are adding more artists from outside the United States to their slates of local, state and national exhibits
Descending the short flight of steps inside the Paseo Originals gallery is currently a bit like transporting to another world, as good and evil battle in a high-stakes game of chess, a master tailor sews wings for angels and a potter places his molded figures into a fiery furnace knowing that only the strong will survive.
As fanciful and surreal as the view of the cosmos depicted in the 29 paintings can be, their origins are almost as fantastic for a fledgling Oklahoma gallery: The exhibit “From Russia with Love: A Retrospective of Fantasy” constitutes the first serious solo show in the United States for respected Russian painter/teacher Pavel Wang Yu Tsai.
“There is a common message of hope and optimism, but typically the work is dark and as far as subject matter, it’s variant and really strong,” Gallery Director Tony Morton said of the exhibit.
“His work is incredibly diverse. He’s done Western stuff, he’s done series that focus specifically on religion, he’s done series that focus specifically on iconography. … Stylewise, they’re surreal, but it’s not the type of surrealism we see around here.”
While Yu Tsai has shown a few works in group shows — including the prestigious Prix de West at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum — his first U.S. solo exhibit coincides with a growing focus on showcasing international artists at Paseo Originals and neighboring gallery Visions in the Paseo. Both galleries opened in November 2010 with similar progressive ideals.
“One of the things that I want to do through this gallery is to show what art can be,” I think people often times, especially outside this state, have a very misconstrued idea of what Oklahoma art is. When I went out to Laguna (Beach, Calif.) a month ago, I seriously got the Indians and teepees things more times than I can count … and there’s a lot more than that here,” Morton said.
“The last five years has shown how progressive the arts community has become here and … the cultural diversity in art that we’re seeing here has been expanded significantly. And I want to keep demonstrating that.”
With the exception of its long-running May festival, the Paseo Arts District is known primarily for showcasing the wares of the neighborhood’s numerous working artists. But Jennifer Barron, the new executive director of the Paseo Arts Association, said adding international exhibits to the mix can benefit the district’s many studios and galleries.
“I think it makes a stronger art community when you have influences coming from inside
and from outside. It fosters a sort of exchange of ideas and … creativity,” Barron said. “It brings a new perspective to the artists who are down here and to visitors who come to the Paseo. It offers something that they don’t get to see all the time. I think it just shows how much the district is growing that we have the space to bring in these artists from all over not only the community and the city but the world.”
Despite the added expense and hurdles sometimes involved, Visions in the Paseo owner Glenn Fillmore said international exhibits bolster the entire Oklahoma cultural scene, inspiring state and local artists as well educating as the public. Devoted exclusively to photography, his gallery will feature in October black-and-white landscapes by Swedish artist Hakan Strand, who captures his early-morning images using long exposures that render water eerily glasslike and fog particularly mysterious.
In October 2013, Greek photographer Elias Politis will bring more than just the typical scenes of pristine beaches and idyllic ancient ruins pictured on postcards to Visions in the Paseo.
“He lives in a Greece, photographs there and wants to do a show not on the tourist Greece but the real Greece. Of course, it’s going to include a lot of poverty shots and things like that. Their unemployment rate’s like 25 percent over there right now,” Fillmore said.
“I want to bring a New York photographer here, too. I want to show Oklahoma what’s happening in the rest of the United States and what’s happening in the world,” Fillmore added. “And we’re very connected to the local community. Next month we’re having our ‘Emerging Women in Photography’ exhibit, and five of those seven women are local.”
Judging from the love visitors have shown Yu Tsai’s exhibit, Morton believes the public wants to see more international art. He is expecting a big crowd at the cocktail closing for “From Russia with Love” Saturday night. Yu Tsai speaks little English, so the translators who have accompanied him to the exhibit’s opening reception and artist lecture will again be on hand.
“It was supposed to be a 30-minute lecture; it ended up being 2 ½ hours. We had a ton of people show up for it. I was really pretty astonished, but (they had) about an hour and a half or two hours worth of questions,” Morton said.
Over the next nine months, Morton is planning to bring in six more artists from other countries, including German modern new media artist Benjamin Soehnel in September.
“There’s so many things that we can be showing off that otherwise you have to travel a great distance to see, and I think once the public is exposed and develops the understanding that this too is art, it’s going to keep changing the arts scene,” Morton said.
“There’s a lot of amazing art on this street … and there’s three places in the United States where you can find this many galleries crammed into a quarter of a mile. The opportunity that’s here is extensive.”
Cocktail closing reception for “From Russia with Love: A Retrospective of Fantasy”
Featuring: Paintings and an appearance by Russian artist Pavel Wang Yu Tsai, plus live music and full bar.
When: 6:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Paseo Originals, 2920 Paseo.
Information: 604-6602 or www.paseooriginals.com.
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
“Jiro Dreams of Sushi”
You don’t have to be a fish fan to savor the delicious documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” which transforms sushi preparation into high art that certainly will whet the appetites of devotees to Japanese cuisine.
American director/cinematographer David Gelb aspires to make more than just mouthwatering “food porn” with his debut documentary feature, though the succulent visuals look good enough to eat, particularly in high-definition Blu-ray.
Gelb’s film offers an intriguing rumination on perfectionism and a relatable story about a standard-bearer father and the sons who follow in his footsteps. The filmmaker serves up his storytelling with a heaping helping of fondness for his subject: Jiro Ono, 85, who, at the time of filming, was considered the world’s best sushi chef. His 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, became the first of its kind of to earn a prestigious Michelin three-star review, despite its humble location in a corner of a Tokyo subway station.
Gelb isn’t taking creative license with his film’s title: After 75 years of making it, Ono actually dreams of sushi and ways to make it better, even if it means ordering his apprentices to massage the octopus for 40 to 50 minutes instead of a half-hour to make the flesh especially tender.
The master chef still maintains his lofty standards, which he also has applied to his sons, Yoshikazu and Takashi, who are keenly aware of the unlikelihood of ever living up to their father’s daunting reputation. After training for decades with his father, Takashi has opened his own popular restaurant, Sukiyabashi Roppongi, which must charge less for serving the same menu.
As Japanese custom dictates, the elder son continues to work at the original eatery, which he will take over when his father retires or dies. Yoshikazu never anticipated he would still be playing second fiddle into his 50s, but he still longingly wishes that his father could make sushi forever.
From the repeated slow-motion images of the skilled chefs molding rice and fish to the fast-forward montage of apprentices preparing eel, egg and octopus, Gelb cooks up cinematic art, often scoring the sequences to Philip Glass’ classical compositions.
Although it lacks a making-of featurette, the Blu-ray offers a few extra yummy courses — 20 minutes of revealing deleted scenes, extended sequences with the master vendors at Tokyo’s bustling Tsukiji seafood market, a commentary with the director and editor Brandon Driscoll-Luttringer and a saliva-inducing sushi stills gallery — that makes “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” an even more appetizing film feast.
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Kenny Chesney “Welcome to the Fishbowl” (Sony Music)
Fans of Kenny Chesney’s signature cocktail of island-country anthems, power ballads and the middle-age introspection found on his acclaimed 2010 studio effort “Hemingway’s Whiskey” likely will eagerly dive right into “Welcome to the Fishbowl.”
But overly fussy production threatens to drown some of the best songs on the superstar’s latest album.
Case in point: His newest gold-certified smash “Come Over,” a steamy-but-sad booty call that needs its cheesy echo effects like the perpetually bronze singer needs a full bottle of self-tanning cream. Chesney and co-producer Buddy Cannon build up so many layers of vocals and instrumentation over the mournful ballads “El Cerrito Place” and “To Get to You (55th and 3rd)” that a listener practically needs an archeology degree to scrape down to the promising poignancy.
Likewise, “Sing ‘Em Good My Friend,” about an old man selling his last worldly possession, an old guitar, to pay his sick wife’s medical bills, has the potential to become one of those great old country story-songs, but the emotion gets lost amid the bevy of backup singers incessantly cooing over every chorus.
Fortunately, fewer frills get in the way of the heartbreak Chesney pours into the relatable power ballads “While He Still Knows Who I Am,” about a son trying to make the most of the time left with his dementia-plagued father, and “Always Gonna Be You,” about a man despairing over lost love.
The Tennessee native and U.S. Virgin Islands dweller channels a beachy breeze on “Time Flies,” ponders turning a friendship into something more with “Makes Me Wonder” and delivers a pointedly distorted rocker about tabloid culture with the title track. He and superstar tour mate Tim McGraw custom craft an arena-ready showstopper with “Feel Like a Rock Star.”
Since their “Brothers of the Sun” trek doesn’t include an Oklahoma City stop, fans probably will appreciate Chesney closing his new album with a live version of “You and Tequila,” his haunting hit with tour opener Grace Potter.
Today’s featured event:
Hear the debut live performance of fledgling Oklahoma City band Honeylark, led by former Green Corn Revival couple Natalie and Ryan Houck, at 9 tonight at VZD’s, 4200 N Western.
My excellent colleague George Lang recently talked to the Houcks about their new band’s atmospheric, country-noir music, their plans for their debut album and show and their group’s unusual name in a recent interview.
“I think my fantasy for it is the perfect marriage between a folk performer who talks to you and connects with the audience on a really human, friendly level, and a dark rock show, where you’re kind of mesmerized,” Natalie described her hopes for the band’s live to show to George.
Click here to read more of George’s story.
For more information on the show, go to www.vzds.com.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
Video: Thom Yorke/Flea supergroup Atoms for Peace remixes Other Lives; tickets for Other Lives-Colourmusic Tulsa show on sale Friday
TULSA – Excellent Stillwater indie rock bands Other Lives and Colourmusic will share the bill at a home state show Sept. 29 at historic Cain’s Ballroom, 423 N Main.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday. For tickets and information, go to www.cainsballroom.com or www.protixonline.com. Ticket prices range from $17-20.
Both bands have been riding high lately: Colourmusic is headlining the two-day Free Tulsa Music Festival Saturday night in the Blue Dome District. For more information, go to www.freetulsamusicfestival.com.
And the Thom Yorke/Flea/Nigel Godrich side project/supergroup Atoms for Peace plan to release July 30 a new single remixing Other Lives’ song “Tamer Animals,” the title track from the group’s 2011 album. Other Lives recently opened for Radiohead.
The Atoms for Peace single also features the remix of their own track “Other Side,” according to Pitchfork.com. The single will be release digitally and on limited edition hand-numbered white label vinyl on July 30 and on regular 12-inch vinyl on Aug. 6.
Hear the Atoms for Peace remix plus Other Lives’ original version of “Tamer Animals” here:
Celebration of the National Day of the American Cowboy would not be complete without special activities at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The museum joins venues across the country in hosting a special event to honor the iconic American Cowboy from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Special to this year is the focus on the Hawaiian cowboy with the opening of a new exhibit titled “Hawaiian Cowboys” in the American Cowboy Gallery.
“Here at the National Cowboy Museum we are proud to present the only permanent interpretive exhibition on the paniolo outside of the Hawaiian Islands,” said Don Reeves, McCasland Chair of Cowboy Culture, in a news release.
“The colorful and important heritage of the paniolo truly deserves to take its place alongside that of vaqueros, drovers, cowpunchers and buckaroos—the legendary cavalcade of American cattlemen known around the world simply as ‘cowboys.’”
In addition to the cowboy culture and Western art in the museum’s galleries and gardens, visitors can expect extra entertainment throughout the day. Music entertainers will be cowboy singer-songwriter and past Western Heritage Award winner for Outstanding New Artist Gary S. Pratt and Picket Wire of Davis, along with Western music artists Jim Garling from Guthrie and the A Bar Bunkhouse Band from northeastern Oklahoma. Additionally, three screenings of James Garner’s Disney film “The Castaway Cowboy” will be aired at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.
Starting at 10 a.m. will be the introduction of the Miss Rodeo Oklahoma Scholarship Pageant contestants, followed at 1:30 p.m. by the announcement of the newly crowned royalty. Twenty young ladies are vying for titles in four age divisions ranging from ages 4-24. The 2011 and 2012 pageant titleholders will sign autographs from 2 to 3 p.m.
Additionally with each museum admission receipt, children can participate in The Passport to the West and receive chance to win a gift package from The Museum Store. The passport guides participants through the museum with activities and educational questions.
On the plaza, the Oklahoma State University Rodeo Team will be on hand to demonstrate roping along with children’s story time at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. While supplies last, children have the opportunity to make foam leis and watch hula dancers perform at 11:30 a.m. Oklahoma County Mounted Sheriff’s Patrol will be a part of the activities again this year to greet guests as they enter the gates of the museum.
American Cowboy magazine launched the campaign for this national day of recognition in 2004. Several permanent galleries at the Museum focus on cowboys including, the American Cowboy Gallery, the Western Performers Gallery and the American Rodeo Gallery.
For more information, go to www.nationalcowboymuseum.org.
After the triumphant collaboration on 2008’s “Repo! The Genetic Opera,” a film hailed by The Hollywood Reporter as “the next Rocky Horror Picture Show,” director Darren Lynn Bousman (“Saw II-IV”) and writer/actor Terrance Zdunich are exploring Hell with the musical film fusion event “The Devil’s Carnival.”
Following 40 successful multi-city shows, the pair are redefining the film industry’s normal distribution model, kicking off a second 24-city tour at Comic-Con that includes a Tulsa premiere at 11:55 p.m. Friday at the Hollywood Theatres Promenade Palace 12, 4107 S Yale Ave.
The interactive show will feature a live slideshow performance, costume contest, never-before-seen footage of “Rep! The Genetic Opera,” “The Devil’s Carnival” screening, and a Q&A with Bousman and Zdunich.
In “The Devil’s Carnival,” sinners are invited to a theme park where they endure the repetition of their transgressions. What chances do a conniving kleptomaniac, a gullible teenager, and an obsessed father stand when facing their own moral failings? Lucifer and his colorful cast of singing carnies invite you to find out.
“The Devil’s Carnival” features 12 original songs, written by Zdunich and Saar Hendelman, directed by Bousman, produced by Sean E Demott and Joseph Bishara (“Insidious”), and stars Victoriandustrial rocker Emilie Autumn, Dayton Callie (“Sons Of Anarchy,” “Deadwood”), M. Shawn “Clown” Crahan (of the Grammy Award-winning, cult metal giants Slipknot), Briana Evigan (“Step Up 2″), Sean Patrick Flanery (“The Boondock Saints”), Maggie “Captain Maggots” Lally and The Blessed Contessa (of The Bloody Crumpets), J LaRose (“Insidious”), Jessica Lowndes (“90210″), Mighty Mike Murga (of Mini Kiss), internet star Hannah Minx, Ivan Moody (of the chart-topping heavy metal band Five Finger Death Punch), Bill Moseley (“The Devil’s Rejects”), Ogre (of the legendary industrial band Skinny Puppy), Marc Senter (“The Lost”), Paul Sorvino (“Goodfellas”), Alexa Vega (“Spy Kids”), and Zdunich.
“It’s the William S. Burroughs story Uncle Bill never wrote, told with all the elegant fanciful style and care for the human condition as a Neil Gaiman tale. And it is far and away the single best thing Darren Lynn Bousman has ever made,” according to Ain’t It Cool News.
For more information, go to www.thedevilscarnival.com.
Oklahoma City-born actress Olivia Munn, who stars in the HBO drama series “The Newsroom,” the upcoming comedy film “The Babymakers and the current movie “Magic Mike,” will appear tonight on “Conan.” The show airs at 10 p.m. on TBS.
Ben Stiller and Flo Rida also will be Conan O’Brien’s guests tonight.
Country music superstar Miranda Lambert, who lives in Tishomingo, stopped by for an interview and performance Wednesday morning on “Good Morning America.”
“Just needed some rest. It’s been a crazy year and just realized I was kind of overdoing it. So I just took a couple of weeks to actually have some downtime and I’m back. I’m ready to go,” Lambert said.
The singer-songwriter recently had to postpone four tour dates and cancel a festival gig after her doctor ordered her to go on vocal rest.
She also discussed her and performed her emotional single “Over You,” which she wrote with her husband and fellow country music superstar Blake Shelton about the death of his brother. She dedicated the performance to those affected by the Colorado shooting, hoping the music would “heal their hearts”: