Thursday, July 31, 2008


Artist Gary Panter is all over the news lately. Hollywood gossip magazine Entertainment Weekly placed him on this week's "Must" List along with Cher's new Las Vegas show. The New York Times applauded the arrival of a fancy new two volume, boxed collection of his work.

His recent New York gallery opening was touted (by the gallery) as a "visual tour de force." And Panter's own website announces that Panter is
"possibly the most influential graphic artist of his generation, a fact acknowledged by the Chrysler Design award he received..."
It would take a lot of nerve to question the artistic judgment of Chrysler (which announced this week it had lost another half billion dollars due to its inability to design a decent car). Nevertheless, let's be brave and explore together:

Panter's web site proclaims that he "successfully broke down the barrier that separates 'trash' from 'art'...." Of course, previous artists have made similar claims. In 1961, Italian artist
Piero Manzoni claimed that he successfully broke down the barrier that separates art from shit.

But I'm still not ready to concede that the barrier is completely gone. Perhaps the more interesting question is: which side of the barrier is Panter on?

Panter is a "cyber punk" artist, most famous as the creator of Jimbo, "a post-nuclear punk-rock cartoon character" who first appeared in the LA hardcore-punk paper Slash and later in RAW. Occasionally Panter creates a fine, strong image:

But most of the time, Panter produces the kind of art you'd expect to find in a decent high school literary magazine:

And all too often, Panter's work is (in my opinion) downright awful:

I can hear the Gary Panter fans out there fuming, "the punk movement is exempt from bourgeois standards of taste and beauty." The New York Times didn't compliment the beauty of Panter's images, it complimented his "raw lunatic expression."

Genuine punk was never pretty, but at least it gained some legitimacy from its brute, energetic defiance. I love Johnny Rotten's response to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame when it tried to honor the Sex Pistols:

What a fabulous message: "Were [sic] not coming. Your [sic] not paying attention." I doubt you would ever see Johnny Rotten bragging on his web site that the Chrysler Corporation had vouched for his artistic ability.

But the point of this post (and believe it or not, I do have one) is not to take a poke at an overrated artist or the the fans who fawn over such minor work. If "raw lunatic expression" is your game, artists such as Jean Dubuffet out-punk Panter by a mile.

Dubuffet's art embodied genuine rebellion. He preferred the art of the mentally ill to the work of classical artists. He wrote raging manifestoes about trashing all museums and abolishing culture. But despite his rebellious message, Dubuffet's drawings and paintings are still deeply beautiful. This is the most important difference between Panter and Dubuffet. Punk or no-punk, Panter is an artistic failure because he never seems to achieve (or even understand) some form of beauty. Regardless of the boldness of his color or line, his work is artistically anemic. He hasn't paid the dues required of those who seek to participate genuinely in form-creating activity.

And I'll even go one step further. For a man who is so eager to eliminate the barrier between art and trash, Panter repeatedly draws a bright line between his art and lowly "commercial" art. For this, commercial artists should be grateful. But it is a tired old cliche for Panter to suggest that illustration or other commercial forms of art can't be as raw as Panter's. Even within the straightjacket of commercial illustration, serious artists manage to look deeper into the abyss than Panter ever does. Panter's fans celebrate his "ratty line," but I don't find his line nearly as raw or unsettling as the truly scary linework in this spot illustration by commercial illustrator Robert Fawcett:

Take a close look at the violence and anarchy of Fawcett's line. For those with eyes to see, Panter is splashing around in a far shallower pool than Fawcett.

I have read the adulatory reviews of Panter's work, looking for help in finding what I am missing. So far, I cannot shake the conclusion that Panter is primarily an entertainer who tells amusing stories for people of a certain maturity level. Nothing wrong with that. But if that's the case, how do we explain all this attention to his work? My only explanation is that shallow, immature times call for shallow, immature art.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fly Me to the Moon

drawings by Vasco Morao.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dream Away. Andrea Galvani

Andrea Galvani, La Morte di Un'Immagine #9 (2006)

Have you ever witnessed something so beautiful it makes you angry? Something that makes you angry because it blows your entire scale, because it makes your delicate struggles for harmony ridiculous, petty, insignificant? This beauty that should elevate you, that should lift you up and carry you through the night, the beauty that is the inspiration and the core, is its exact opposite: smashing, unbearable, hard and cruel. It is a sunset that is just too magical, stars that shine too bright, or an event that seemed like the best of all performances. But what I mean is not perfection, it is beauty. It is not unnerving because it doesn't allow you to access it, like the perfection of the stone. It is unnerving because it takes away your ability to judge it, or what's worse, it's a type of beauty that takes away your ability to include it into your appreciation of beauty. It makes it silly to think of art, to create, to go to galleries and museums, to scan art blogs and dwelve into poetry. It leaves you lonely, ridiculously hanging on to an outdated scale or desperately trying to adapt it to something that corresponds more to what Kant calls the sublime - although the problem is, it is not sublime, it is exactly what beauty could have been, had you not already developed a different scale altogether.
I'm lucky: I forget. The taste fades quite quickly from my mouth, the text evaporates from my head, and so does the view of the sea after the storm. It all starts again for me, and what is left is like a bookmark, a sign that says "this was good" and maybe, maybe manages to reproduce some sort of a sensation of a sensation I had when it happened.
And then, sometimes, if one focuses on this memory, the memory starts growing a new head, one that is nothing like the previous one. One that does not compete in these subjective beauty contests, one that is at once much more raw and more constructed, that uses your imagination but somehow fits it together with whatever surrounds you, adapting the memory into an idea, transforming it into this weird creature that still has the body of a horse, but instead of the head has grown a thick, black cloud. Of balloons.
Thank you Andrea Galvani.


Turn-based Strategic MMORPG, ‘Atlantica’ is about to be revealed in July

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NDOORS Corporation plans to gather users’ feedback and test stability in July with respect to its piece of work, ‘Atlantica’ which is a MMORPG game that will give worldwide services.

“MMORPG Atlantica was created by Producer Kim, Taegon who wanted a change from the original MMORPG.”

Producer Kim, Taegon who has 15 years of game producing experience have produced ‘Atlantica’ to grow out of original MMORPG. That is why Atlantica has a very unique style: Turn-base method and business management like strategy. We aimed to attract 20 plus male adults and let users to be more accessible to the game. That brought us to a conclusion that hunting games have many limits.

“Turn-base method is the basis of Atlantica’s battle strategy.”

Turn-base method is the basis of Atlantica’s battles. A user takes charge of a troop that is composed of a hero and a number of soldiers to fight with monsters. A user can have 8 soldiers maximum and have to decide how to assault in 30 seconds. It is interesting to see that outcome of a battle is often determined by stationing 9 characters including the hero in a 3x3 box.

As to stationing different kinds of soldiers at the front and back, users should take the attribution of a monster into account. A monster that likes to attack within a short distance usually attacks the soldiers at front line. In that case, users should place the strongest soldiers at the front.

There are many kinds of mercenary corresponding to that fact that they play an important role in the game. They mature along 3 steps: A feeder that brings animals and soldiers who carry weapons back, an inventor who collects machines and weapons, and lastly a princess who invalidates adversary’s magic.

Producer Kim, Taegon explained why they introduced the turn-base method, “The most important elements of a game would be repetitive battles and strategic battle. MMORPG these days are played by speedy actions. It is very crucial that who plays with more complicated mind and which strategy is used. We decided to use turn-base method because we wanted to improve the speed and control. We thought one-on-one fights would be not good.”

“Special feature of online PC games would be PVP and community.”

Atlantica is MMORPG which not only has a typical monster hunt but also has PVP(3 teams on each side) that enables players to talk to other players. It also has online game features such as a party hunting and PK that are different from SRPG’s console games. One of the strong points of online games is that they have communities. Atlantica has a political system that runs a nation. A nation is built by guild confederate. PK can be applied among nations that have declared a war against each other. People can even raise children which is pretty realistic.

Turn-base method is familiar to most users but they are found in console games and are not common in general online PC games. Users in North America and Europe who are very much used to console games can enjoy Atlantica’s PVP and communities because features are not many.

In the meantime, Atlantica will be updated on July 10 in Korea that is called ‘Atlantica 2.0.’ In Atlantica 2.0 will announce to the public regarding the New World, North America and main scenario through

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Global 'AVING' News Network

Reporter Isaac K( 종권 金鐘權)

T) +82-2-856-3276 F) 856-3260 M) +82-10-2046-9974

3F Kolon Science Valley II, 811, Guro-dong, Guro-gu, Seoul , Korea

GNGWC 2008, online preliminary round soon begins

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The third Game&Game World Championship 2008(GNGWC) online preliminary round will soon begin.

KT and Korea Software Promotion Agency sponsor this worldwide gamers' festival 'GNGWC 2008.' Online preliminary begins at the end of July in Europe( Germany ) and other six countries.

Four games are chosen for the preliminary round: ShotOnline (OnNet,, Atlantica (Ndoors,, Silk Road Online (Joy Max, and Navyfield (SD Enternet, Gamers abroad access through servers in each nation or companies' global servers to participate in the online preliminary.

Ndoors's (President Cho Sungwon) 'Atlantica' has been chosen as an official game for GNGWC for the first time this year. Atlantica has existing matches within the game. Gamers will have to do the matches divided by regions until the last day of the preliminary. Top 16 gamers will be admitted to the next round in their regions.

SD Enternet's 'Navy Field' will have 4 top teams with 20 members from each region for the next round. Online preliminary has only one match to win. Top 2 teams from regional league shall be admitted to the final round that will take place in Korea .

OnNet's 3D golf game, 'Shot Online' gives 8 times of individual play at the highest level, Cadeiger, during the preliminary. Gamers can submit 4 best score cards and total 12 gamers shall be entitled to participate in the regional final round.

Joy Max's 'Silk Road Online' will have 30 gamers who will receive one account each. Gamers should create a new character at a designated level and have a time for preparation for 10 minutes. Then a staff will give a sign to start this PvP style game. 16 gamers shall be selected during the preliminary.

Preliminary in Europe( Germany ) will start from July 28 to August 14. Regional finals will be held in GC exhibition center in Leipzig .

Director Kwon Taekmin from SW Promotion Agency's Digital Contents department said, "This year's GNGWC will begin with regional preliminary in Germany . I wish that gamers who love Korean online games from different countries would be able to communicate and build friendship through GNGWC."


Regional Preliminary


Regional Preliminary (Off-line)



Regional Match


July 28(Monday)

~Aug. 14(Thursday)

Aug. 21 (Thursday)

Leipzig (GC Exhibition)


Sept. 8(Monday)

~Oct. 2(Thursday)

Sept. 6 (Saturday)

Singapore Polytechnic



~Sept. 10(Wednesday)

Sept. 20 (Saturday)

LA (Internet PC Café)


Sept. 1(Monday)

~Sept. 17(Wednesday)

Sept. 28 (Sunday)

YongIn ( YongIn Training Center for Teenagers)


Aug. 25(Monday)

~Sept. 17(Wednesday)

Oct. 4 (Saturday)

Sao Paulo (Event Hall)


Sept. 15(Monday)

~Oct. 9(Thursday)

Oct. 25 (Saturday)


(Quest Hall Event Hall)

Global 'AVING' News Network

Reporter Isaac K( 김종권 金鐘權)

T) +82-2-856-3276 F) 856-3260 M) +82-10-2046-9974

3F Kolon Science Valley II, 811, Guro-dong, Guro-gu, Seoul , Korea

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008


This may be my favorite drawing ever.

I encountered it on the wall of a dark cave at Pech Merle in the Pyrenees.

20,000 years ago, humans were struggling for survival in a hostile ice age world. A desperate, hungry man prepared himself to hunt the dreaded wooly mammoth-- a lumbering beast that weighed ten tons, with tusks 15 feet long. The man's only weapons were a pointed stick, a rock... and this drawing.

He captured the mammoth with a line on the wall, and with a bold red color he struck a killing blow. Once... twice... twenty-seven times.

Other creatures were bigger and stronger, but only humans could give their hopes and terrors abstract form. In such dark places art was born.

This drawing contains the seeds of everything that would follow:

  • A design as beautiful as any modern abstract painting
  • A magical power over his enemies that was as illusory-- and a courage that was as genuine-- as that gained from the most persuasive religious art
  • A message as passionate and sincere as the content of any art form to come.
If this artist survived the ensuing hunt, the subtle hand that created this masterpiece (notice how the artist was careful to get the contours of the mammoth's hump exactly right) would soon be gouging and hacking through matted fur and thick hide so his family could feed on the bloody carcass and survive for another day.

There was a time when humanity was just one of nature's less promising experiments competing for survival. This ancient artist held on through an existence that you or I would consider intolerable so that today, trained artists can sit on cushions in air conditioned comfort and make pictures using highly sophisticated tools. But with all these advantages, I doubt you will ever see a more lovely drawing.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Marek Cecuła. The sense of matter.

I must admit I had no idea Polish design (well, design-related sculpture would be the more correct term I suppose) can be anything like this.
While I'm at it, I must also admit that the moment of becoming a little less ignorant, this moment of moving from a state of nothingness to the sudden illumination by something of this caliber is something delightful.

Last Supper (2003)

Porcelain Carpet (2002)

from the Hygiene series (1995)

from the Hygiene series (1995)

from the Eroticism series (2005)

from the Scatology series (1993)

It does not necessarily make sense. It does not necessarily say something, as in, a thing, as in, a message. It prefers to wink at us, like someone sitting in a waiting room winks at us, right after we finally managed to get our eyes of a gorgeous neighbor. Is that the "I know how you feel" wink? Or is it showing you he knows something both of you know he shouldn't and yet both of you know he certainly does? Is this something you share? A common interest? A common feeling of guilt? A feeling of risk, maybe? This winking, the one I feel when seeing Cecuła's works (not touching them, unfortunately, although that seems a perverse desire), is one of recognition, but also one of daring sensitivity, if not always sensuality. Touching is key? No, come to think of it, the not-touching, here, is what drives the senses right to the matter.
More on Marek Cecuła at his site.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

The big Fuss: Who Killed Barack Obama?

Once again, Peter Fuss (remember his "For the Laugh of God"?) manages to poke the finger in the right spot.
His most recent work, exhibited at the Out Of Sth exhibition in Wrocław (Poland) (which also has blu's animation on display) plays on our sense of reality.
What I like most about this work is something I didn't notice at first. The first reading, to me, was simple: knowing the fate of the liberal Americans who came to positions of power, it is difficult not to think of the risk Obama is facing. This also might be seen as a cool and lucid way of looking at politics. Can any ideal manage to survive? Isn't Obama, the Obama we know as fighting for "change", somewhat dead, already? Who killed him?
But what I really like about this work is not this seemingly political message. It is the way it portraits us and our own patterns of looking at reality.

The problem is not that Obama may get killed. The problem is our thinking of it as a fact. It is not Fuss's work that is cynical. We are.
Seeing the work on a billboard makes it even more obvious: we take it for granted that things are the way they are, and even if they aren't, too bad for the facts. The billboard is there, so Obama is dead. Who killed him? Guess who.

update/ps: A couple of months ago an Israeli designer created a shirt with a similar text. I think the differences between the two projects prove my point. Having/seeing this on a T-shirt and seeing it on a billboard are two completely different experiences. (Not to mention the completely different level of design). And that's what sets apart a good artpiece from a, well, another one. (Also notice the context - one is set in NY, the other- in Wrocław). Suffice it to say that already a few days after the opening of the exhibition two French tourists entered the gallery (you can see the entrance to the right on the second picture) saying they haven't had the chance to follow the news and they were quite terrified. Now, just to add another level of artsy-fartsy commenting, the person attending them answered they weren't to worry because it was "just an art installation". Ouch, now that's not what I would call effective art guidance. Or what she being ironic?

Jeff Chiba Stearns - Yellow Sticky Notes

After realizing that yellow sticky note "to do" lists were consuming his life, animation filmmaker Jeff Chiba Stearns decided to visually self-reflect on his filmmaking journey by animating on the same sticky notes that caused him to ignore major world events for the last nine years. Animation meditation is blended with image, text, and an original musical score by Genevieve Vincent through the creation of a classically animated experimental film that was drawn straight ahead with only a black ink pen on over 2300 yellow sticky notes. Order a DVD at

Saturday, July 19, 2008


I love Mort Drucker's drawing of General Patton:

Drucker clearly owes a debt to Arthur Szyk's famous portrayals of Nazi generals from the 1940s:

Yet, as much as I love Szyk's paintings, for me Drucker's is the stronger work. Compare these two details to understand how differently the two artists make decisions:

Szyk makes thousands of tiny choices, shading with color and small feathering brush strokes. None of these lines is particularly insightful or descriptive by itself, although the cumulative effect is splendid. By contrast, Drucker's bold line is an act of supreme confidence. Every time Drucker's brush touches the paper, he is making a thoughtful observation about an object in the world.

The great illustrator Austin Briggs offered the following wisdom about the benefits of working with the restrictions imposed by line:
Line ... is the most limited medium.... [I]t's necessary to know the limitation one is dealing with in order to use its positive qualities to the fullest advantage....[O]nce we know what drawing cannot do, we are on the way toward expressing [a subject] in the marvelously simple way a line can function....[I]ts real shape reveals itself because we must speak with such limited means.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Monday, July 14, 2008

Dreamer : Inspired By a True Story

All It Takes is One Big Horse

Free Image Hosting At ImageCows.NetGenre : Drama / Family
Cast : Kurt Russell, Dakota Fanning, Elisabeth Shue, Oded Fehr, Kris Kristofferson, David Morse
Directed by : John Gatins
Rating : PG for brief mild language.
Release Date : October 21st, 2005(wide)
Distribution : Dreamworks SKG

Dreamer : Inspired By A True Story is a drama family that storied love feeling a father to his daughter and a girl to her beloved horse. Cast by Kurt Russel here act as Ben Crane, a horse trainer and farm owner Lexington which had a bad condition in the carrier. The horses it usually trained now took hand by someone else. But, a horse named Sonador/Sonya, in Spanish mean Dreamer, that had broken leg caused by accident still belong to him.

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He will end it life rather than it suffer, but after his daughter, Cale (Fanning) wish for let Sonya life, so he decided to cancel his want. The opposite, for make her daughter happy and to revenge to his bos, he try to cure Sonya's leg and train it from the begining.

Looking Sonya get better, Cale surely Sonya can back to raceand decided to get Sonya in to famous horse race Breeders' Cup Classic. For Cale that can be think, but not for the other. Sign fee and other needs $120.000, and Crane's family doesn't had that much.
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Don't want to make his daughter disappointed, Ben try hard to make Sonya in. Everybody finally take along give hope to Sonya, so relationship Ben with his father (Kristofferson) and his wife (Shue) geting better because of Sonya.

The words "Inspired by a true story" in the title of this movie refers to a true story a champion horse race in 90-era named Mariah's Strom which get fatally broken leg, but can recovered and winning in horse race arena. The idea that based in this movie actually isn't original, but this movie still interesting to watch, not only for matures but also kids, because pictures and musics shows beautifully.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


A weekly talk show focused on social issues, lifestyles, Arts and Entertaiment in Long Island and New York City. Presented by WLIW-TV (PBS affiliate)

Producers: John Poister and Howard Dando
Director: Daniel Morgan
Segment Producer: June De Young
Hosts: Howard Dando, Richard Gerrity and Kristen Gerrity

Short samples of "Enough is Enough" openings with host, Howard Dando (below):



Sometimes great and important art can only be achieved by disregarding the level of effort required.

The ancient historian Herodotus estimated that it took 100,000 workers 20 years to build one of the great pyramids of Egypt.

These workers had no labor union; they mostly led wretched lives and died unpleasant deaths. But at the same time, each of them played a role in the creation of monumental beauty. The pyramids, tombs and monuments they built have inspired humanity for all time.

Those Egyptians who did not work on the pyramids may have lived more comfortably and died with full bellies, but they disappeared from the world without a trace. All memory of them was quickly erased by the sand.

You could make a similar point about other major works, such as the great cathedrals of Europe, or Emperor Qin's army of 8,000 terra cotta warriors. These objects of great beauty could not have been created without an endless supply of cheap labor. Hundreds of thousands of underpaid peasants or slaves were persuaded (or forced) to sacrifice themselves. Perhaps by associating with something great, they were able to transcend their poverty and mortality. All I know is that anyone who tries to judge these works by weighing the number of hours spent against the result achieved is measuring with the wrong stick.

I think about early animation the same way. The great early animated films-- Snow White, Pinocchio, Fantasia-- were produced by hundreds of low paid artists drawing millions of drawings on an industrial assembly line. They worked under primitive conditions compared to today's computer animation. Just as Egyptian laborers learned to transport granite blocks weighing 60 tons apiece using nothing but strong backs and ingenuity, early animators compensated for the lack of multiplane cameras or photocopiers by working longer and harder.

Early Disney artists

Some of Disney's "ink and paint girls."

Like the slaves who worked for pharaohs or Emperor Quin, some of Disney's artists became quite bitter about their working conditions. Hours were long and the work was back breaking. Union unrest broke out and tempers flared, leading to the Great Walt Disney Cartoonists Strike of 1941.

It's doubtful that early animation could have been created without cheap labor. And whatever the disadvantages of working on the assembly line, each of these artists was part of something larger than themselves. At the end, they had a product of shining brilliance that stands as a landmark for future generations. Famed Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein called Snow White "the greatest motion picture ever made."

After the uprising at Disney, some of the animators who were fired or quit went on to accomplish great things. Walt Kelly escaped to create the comic strip Pogo. Hank Ketcham went on to create Dennis the Menace. a few animators went on to do great work at rival animation studios. Perhaps these gifted entrepreneurs should never have been on an assembly line to begin with. But for the vast majority, their work with Disney was their one chance to touch excellence. Sure, some of them might have made more money drawing spot illustrations of laundry detergent for a local commercial art studio, but looking back at the end of their lives, would the trade off have been worth it?

Today, you can still get a sense for the economics of animation from the fact that collectors can buy bundles of current animation art for shockingly low prices. Each of the following original paintings, reflecting some artist's hard work and personal craftsmanship, was purchased for about the price of a Hallmark greeting card:

I don't know what cartoons they are from. They tend to show up in sheafs, packaged with Asian markings that I cannot read:

In some far away country, new artists who don't get paid very much are working on another assembly line composing huge numbers of such paintings. They are pressured to work quickly but they still care enough about their craft to compose with precision and skill. I don't know if these artists even make enough to eat, but I honor them for the professionalism and commitment in these paintings.