drawings that radiate

i’ve done a lot of drawing this summer, with a pen, a couple of brushes and a bottle of india ink. here’s a gallery of some of the earlier work, largely done with the pen. recently, the need to make a lot of big, black marks has asserted itself for some reason, so the brushes have sort of taken over. and just this week, i decided to put corona-like radiating lines around everything. makes me think of cartoons and situationist, neon pink and yellow supermarket labels and the virgin of guadalupe.

ink drawing ink drawing corona-3 corona-4 corona-5 corona

that’s a cool supermarket

in a little while i’ll be on my way to penzance to see the imran qureshi exhibition at the exchange and at the newlyn art gallery (here’s the page from the gallery’s website), but before i leave the house…

it’s about a supermarket. a big box supermarket that’s part of a national chain that i never use, in no small part because it’s owned by a gargantuan US retailer that will never, ever get a penny of what little money i have. and yet, i gotta say, the new ASDA on south quay in hayle, cornwall, is a phenomenal building. i know, ASDA. but, the building is beautiful. it sits in the landscape like it grew there, it works with all the surrounding structures, especially the railway bridge that is more or less next to it. it’s shape is a big parallelogram, but it’s hard to get a handle on that looking at it from the ground. frankly, i’m a little in love with this building right now.

the architect is FCBStudios, here’s the page on their website about the project

hayle’s south quay is listed, and it’s in the middle of a world heritage site, so the fact of this huge building in the midst of that, might seem offputting. but consultation was done all the way along with everyone from the local council to UNESCO, to make sure it would be done in a manner sympathetic to the area. local materials were used in its construction. and in a nice coda to the story, when the community wasn’t happy with the giant green ASDA signs after the building was finished, the corporation replaced them with stainless steel ones. it’s the only ASDA in the country without big green signs. and did i mention, it’s a beautiful building. i’m going to see it from the train today, on the way to penzance, so that’ll be a new perspective. i probably won’t ever be able to shop there, but man i’ll get a lot of pleasure from standing outside looking at it.

hayle2 hayle3 hayle4 hayle5 hayle6 southquay1 southquay2

i don’t know much about football, but i know what i like

last week, i became a colin kaepernick fan. before last week, i’m pretty sure i didn’t know who he was. then he sat down during the national anthem at a football game (actually, he did similar at all the 49rs preseason games, the game against the packers was the one where a reporter noticed him and asked him about what he was doing). and then, as most everyone probably knows by now, the internet was engulfed by a shit storm of boiling, self-righteous outrage directed at kaepernick and his blatant disregard for everything decent and upright in america.

hateful memes found their way onto my FB feed, each with its requisite contrail of spittle-flecked commentary spewed forth by blustering, spleen-venting keyboard hammerers who seemed to take a sort of perverse pleasure in being offended by what they alleged to be kaepernick’s lack of patriotism, lack of talent on the field, lack of personal exposure to oppression (because he’s a rich, privileged, mixed-race athlete raised by white parents so what would he know about it, how dare he), naivete, thoughtlessness, disrespect, etc. reading that stuff makes me really tired, but i confess, i often can’t help myself.

i inched away from the meme-ranting and started reading actual articles and blogs with actual words and sentences, but a lot of them haven’t been much better. Prejudice and racism don’t look any less pernicious, even when they’re dressed up with fancy writing and ostensibly reasoned arguments. Luckily, I finally started to tap into the wealth of support that Kaepernick has received, and as a result i have, over the past week, read a lot of fantastic work by thoughtful, sensitive people who’ve brought – in addition to support for kaepernick and his decision to protest – nuance, perspective and humour to the discussion.

man oh man, i feel like i haven’t done anything for a week except read about colin kaepernick (i have done other stuff, my next post is going to be a wee painting i made of a grumpy owl), and i’m exhausted. for 24 hours i’ve been trying to figure out how to articulate my feelings about kaepernick, his protest and the reactions to it. about a half an hour ago i finally figured out a good place to start.

i don’t support kaepernick because of his bravery or patriotism. i don’t support him because of the first amendment. i don’t support him because his protest has allowed legions of braying racist hotheads make themselves look like assholes in print (although i’d be lying if i didn’t admit to deriving a wee bit of pleasure from that part of it). i support colin kaepernick because i agree with him. i agree with him that systemic racism and the oppression of black people and police brutality are serious problems in america that are not yet being adequately confronted, discussed and dealt with. i hope that he continues his efforts. i hope that more athletes join him. this week i can add eric reid and jeremy lane and nate boyer to the list of american football players i can actually name, and i hope that in the coming weeks that list’ll grow. frankly, i hope the 49rs front office will call the santa clara police dept’s bluff about threatening to pull their officers off the game detail. and this may be one too far, but i also hope that segment of the american population that continues to center this discussion on ridiculous assertions of kaepernick’s lack of patriotism etc., will come to its senses and join in the real discussion of how we as a society do the hard work needed to get past all the bullshit and be right with each other.