So I first met Michael Joo via the motorcycle world a couple of years ago. Keino introduced me to him as he was doing some work on one of his bikes. I was floored when we entered his studio in Brooklyn. This massive space was filled with some of the most amazing artwork I had seen in a long, long time. Not only that, but I found MJ to be very sweet and very humble about his work.
One of his subjects is the formation of crystals. As I was looking at some of this work, he mentioned a mine in upstate NY associated with these quartz crystals- Herkimer. I mentioned I knew of it as I grew up near Ithaca. Turns out, so did he! Later in the visit I noticed a Fred Tomaselli book on his desk and mentioned that I loved his work and that he had spoken at Bard when I attended. Come to find out he has taught at Bard.
The lst opening of his that I made it to in the city was breath-taking. I was absorbing everything when I noticed a fellow Bard alum from my grad year. I talked to him a bit to find out that he & MJ went to Columbia together. Fucking small, small world.
Okay, so there's the background of our meeting. Michael has also been a huge proponent and buyer of my work. He rocks it all over the globe! It makes me feel especially great to have a such a badass artist wearing my shit!
We'd been talking about hooking up again for ages, but just hadn't found the time until last night. He came into town lugging a keg of Sixpoint Brooklyn Red. This was for the three of us to drink, mind you. Having sat for 5 hours getting a chest piece, this seemed like a good idea. So after swilling copious amounts of the stuff, we headed out to dinner in New Haven. I knew 116 Crown had great drinks and figured they probably had some decent food. I decided we needed some 'Angel's Milk'. This consisted of two double vodka martinis with 2 sides of pineapple juice and a piece of toast, apparently WC Fields breakfast of choice. I was disappointed they were out of the bone marrow appetizer, but that was probably for the best. We had some little niblets and another round of those two rounded off martini glasses and we were on our way. We went home and proceeded to get shit hammered on the kegger and had an incredible time hanging out talking about the art world, life, and guns.
The zebra in this one is epoxy, urethane, etc, but he has also done a life size one in solid bronze.
This is a part of his huge series, 'improved racks'.
This is from Mike's salt series....top image is Salt Desert in Utah....center is Mike as a salt lick for elks in the mountains of South Korea. Bottom image is in MJ's studio filled with MSG.
Miss you, buddy. Thanks for the goodtimes!!!!
Born in Ithaca, New York in 1966, Joo obtained a BFA from Washington University in 1989, followed by an MFA in Sculpture from Yale University in 1991. In 1994 his work was included in the internationally acclaimed group show, ‘Some Went Mad, Some Ran Away’, curated by Damien Hirst for the Serpentine Gallery. His artwork is included in the collections of such international institutions as the Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Joo has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions worldwide, including the Venice Biennale, 1993 and 2001, Whitney Biennial, NY, 2000, Anton Kern Gallery, NY, 2002, the Bohen Foundation, NY, 2005, Rodin Gallery, Seoul, 2006, Milan Triennale Bovisa, 2006, Denver Art Museum, 2006 and the Gwangju Biennale, South Korea 2006 where he was co-recipient of the Grand Prize for his installation, ‘Bodhi Obfuscatus…’
I have to admit I was more than a bit apprehensive about getting a tattoo at Willie's during Bike Week. My lot ladies wanted to all get them, so I stepped up. I love going to Willie's for the Bike Show, definitely, consistently a highlight of the week. BUT, to get a tattoo at the tiny shop at a time when you can barely move in the parking lot because of all the beer swilling fools and the bar to bar bikes, never mind the shop. I could totally see some drunken fat ass hitting the artist's needle hand and me having a stripe across my foot. Or better yet, a needle buried in bone. So, the bravest of the girls actually got theirs done the day of the show and made me an appointment for the next day with Scott Alvarez. I saw how theirs turned out....very detailed and skillful, so I was much more down. When I met with Scott the next day, I realized this cat knew what was up. I wanted to get somethin' southern and was also about to launch a lure inspired jewelry line, so I decided on a crawdad. When I said I wanted it blue, Scott didn't believe that they actually existed in nature. As he was looking up images on line, he was like, "That's a Yankee crawfish!" Well, I guess mostly southern. But anyway, Scott made a gorgeous facile drawing and I was confident. The more I talked to him, the more comfortable I felt. This kid has such a wealth of musical knowledge, specifically of my era (god I sound old!!) complete with the little known bands before the little known bands. He asked what I wanted to hear (awesome). My experience has been that artists usually play what they want to hear as they are the ones doing the work and you are on their turf. Not that I don't think most ink slingers wouldn't change it if you asked them to, but it was nice to be thought of first....
So, I am super satisfied with my piece. Thank you Scott!!!! Scott also has a blog with Roadside Marty called FLat Broke. If you haven't checked it out, it's worthy. www.flatbrokecustoms.blogspot.com
Willie's Bike Show 2011 stolen from Cryil Hyze's blog
Not sure if this does anything other than just look cool, but I want one!
Kitchen Satellite, 1969
This is a 'truck'.
I generally bitch about all new cars looking alike because there are no hard edges, that the 'boxiness' of earlier automobiles is lost. Everything is sort of equally rounded over. Boring. This was before I had seen Luigi Colani's organic creations. He makes curvilinear lines gorgeous in everything he designs...from sunglasses to houses. One of his most famous creations is the orb that is a kitchen (above).
Born in 1928 in Berlin, he has designed prolifically over time and has garnered tons of design awards....
The earth is round, all the heavenly bodies are round; they all move on round or elliptical orbits. This same image of circular globe-shaped mini worlds orbiting around each other follows us right down to the microcosmos. We are even aroused by round forms in species propagation related eroticism. Why should I join the straying mass who want to make everything angular? I am going to pursue Galileo Galilei's philosophy: my world is also round. — Luigi Colani
On my flight back home from the sunny state, I got teary-eyed thinking of all my favorite people that I won't see for a long while. I had an incredible birthday week that was lucrative, entertaining, and strangely relaxing. I felt extremely loved and cared for with countless birthday wishes from sooo many people. I couldn't have had such a perfect week without y'all. Some of the highlights......