Monday, November 16, 2009

What I learned on the Flight to San Francisco

This weekend I flew up to San Francisco for a brief, unplanned, whirlwind weekend getaway with my two best friends: my husband and my creative accomplice.

We got a great deal on flights on Virgin America. This was actually my first time flying with them, I usually go cheaper chicken if I get on a plane at all. For those of you who did not know this about me, I would love to travel but just can never find the funds or the time to do so. Therefore this trip was a much needed change of scenery.... But more on that in another post. For now, the topic is: "What I learned on the Flight to San Francisco".

Virgin America has so many things going for it. In air wi-fi being a huge plus. Su was tweeting from above the clouds, while Dust and I watched TV on our personal screens (sharing a head set).

One of the channels offered was boingboing TV. This is a channel based upon which is host to all kinds of quirky news stories, commentaries and interviews with artists, techies, innovators, activists and all things alternative. Some of it really fascinating, some of it just plain odd. Though it did introduce me to an artist I had never heard of, whose work I find truly inspired.

Cassandra C. Jones is a San Francisco based artist who works with found photographs to create collages or animations that take something we see everyday and turn it into something completely new. Her 2D works are trompe l'oeil collages that are never what they seem... ugh. cheese-ball. You know what? Just watch the video.

Thank you Virgin America. If I had not flown on your plane this weekend, I would have never been exposed to such a fine artist with interesting perspective. And now, I want to share it with all of you...


Monday, November 2, 2009

Deadly Murals

This past Sunday we participated in the Dia De Los Muertos Festival in Canoga Park. There was music, food, arts, crafts, altars, custom car show, and of course, street painting.

Dia De Los Muertos (aka: The Day of the Dead) is a holiday celebrated in Latin and North American countries. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember loved ones who have passed on. There is a common misconception that Dia De Los Muertos is the "Mexican Halloween." Actually, it is believed to be a fusion of an existing Native tradition of honoring the dead with the Catholic holidays All Saints' Day (Nov. 1) and All Souls' Day (Nov. 2). And although face painting and dressing as skeletons is a part of the festivities, it is intended to make light of the very serious subject of death and loss and to celebrate our short life in this realm. Traditions include building offrendas (or altars) honoring the deceased. Offrendas are usually decorated with sugar skulls, marigolds, photographs, favorite foods and beverages of the departed.

At this particular festival, all the street painters / muralists chose artworks in the spirit of Dia De Los Muertos: from paintings of deceased family or pets, to skeletons, to representations of Latin American culture. We chose to do a reproduction of a Sylvia Ji painting. Ji is a California artist whose portraits of beautiful women in calavara face painting have gotten much attention in the low-brow and urban art scenes. In fact, many people at the festival immediately recognized her work, which made it easy for festival goers to approach us and talk to us about the original artwork.

At the end of the day all the artists voted for their favorite street murals under the following categories: "Funniest", "Scariest", "Most Beautiful", and "Best in Show" There were so many amazing and diverse street paintings so it was a very pleasant surprise when we were announced as the winners for "Most Beautiful."

Thank you for everyone who came out and supported us! It was a great time. The event staff were friendly and helpful, the children were so enthralled with the artwork, there were thousands of people, we reconnected with some street artists we hadn't seen in a while and we even got our photo in the Daily News. All in all, it was a great way to spend a Sunday.