Leroy Forney

Artist, Oil Painter

September 19, 2016
by Leroy
0 comments

Exhibition going well – Hurrah!!

img_0210 img_0216 img_0203Why does it seem so difficult to keep a blog current? I’m told I’m not the only blogger to struggle with this.

Anyway, the Reception for Bas-relief Cardboards was a hoot! The work looks good in the East River Bank, and Magdaliz Roura was dynamite on the guitar. She brought her violinist and percussionist with her, and we had a party – dancing and all! There were 40 or 50 people there on that First Friday Opening. People have been dropping in to see the work regularly since then, and commenting to me about the show.

It has been so nice and gratifying to organize this solo exhibition. Catherine Kelly and her staff at the East River Bank have been so very helpful and accommodating. Kitty Jauregui and Tully Speaker were key in helping to place and hang the Cardboards. Some of the Cardboards had been exhibited before in group shows, but being able to have them together in their own space makes a big difference, when they can play with each other instead of standing alone.

Last Thursday I gave a talk at the exhibition to about a dozen people from FitC (Friends in the City), giving a little history about how I came to work with Bas-relief Cardboards, and how other artists like Picasso, Braque, Rauschenberg and contemporary artists have used Cardboard. Then we moved on for a talk by Cynthia Groya about her work at the Muse Gallery. Groya’s culturally significant works are vastly different from my playful Bas-relief Cardboards (She makes complex vitrines of plexiglas and copper and other materials), but like my work, they deviate from the “usual” paint on canvas format.

From the Muse Gallery we moved on to the Clay Studio for a tour of their gallery, work space, and Residency quarters on the third floor – even received a demonstration from one of their Master Residents. Finally we moved on to Cafe Olé for coffee and discussion. A full afternoon!

The FitC tour was over-subscribed within half an hour of going on-line, so I will repeat the talk and tour for FitC this Thursday (Sept 22nd, 1:00pm). There is space for a few more people too, if they care to join the FitC gang. Then the exhibition stay in place until the end of September.

img_1359 img_1357 img_0953 img_0205

July 25, 2016
by Leroy
0 comments

Mark your calendar for my September Exhibition (Reception First Friday, Sept 2nd)

I want to share with you the kind of art I’ve been making for the past two years. I’ve been away from this blog for a long time, and away from painting on canvas for most of that time, too. So long that I’ve developed an interest in using a new (to me) medium for my work. Now I’m excited to announce my Solo Exhibition coming up in September and I want to track it, and update this blog, and invite you to the show.

The exhibition is at the East River Bank at 36 N. 3rd St., just north of Market, September 2-30. The Bank is open Mon-Thur: 9am-4pm, Fri: 9am-7pm, Sat: 9am-1pm. It is great exhibition space, although it doesn’t look much like a gallery from the outside. It is a friendly place, and the ERBank Manager, Catherine Kelly, uses their Old City location to promote Philadelphia artists. Hurray!

A Reception is planned for 5-7:15 pm First Friday, September 2nd. There will be refreshments catered by Le Bus and music from the well-known acoustic latin guitarist Magdaliz Roura.

In my new work I’ve been removing the surface of cardboard to reveal the corrugated surface, then using that in all kinds of ways to make what I call Bas-relief Cardboards. They’re 3-dimensional, but not what you would call sculpture. I’ve exhibited a few at the Sketch and Plastic Club, but this will be their first dedicated presentation. I think they will show off well as a group – but that’s for you to decide and let me know.

So here is my press release for the exhibition, with several examples that will probably be in the show:

PHILADELPHIA ARTIST LEROY FORNEY FEATURES CARDBOARD IN SURPRISING CONFIGURATIONS

An exhibition of recent Bas-relief Cardboard artwork by Leroy Forney opens at the East River Bank, 36 North 3rd Street through September, with a Reception from 5:00pm to 9:00pm on First Friday, September 2nd, including light refreshments by Le Bus and live music by Magdaliz Roura.

Forney’s work creates joyful displays from cardboard, the ubiquitous castoff material common in our everyday lives – highly engineered, utilitarian, disposable – that serve our everyday needs before they enter the dumpster of urban trash. The works are frequently reminiscent of the stripes and colors of Carlos Cruz-Diez and Frank Stella.

The Bas-relief Cardboards follow in the tradition of painters like Jean Miro and Robert Rauschenberg and contemporary sculptors, who have used cardboard as the medium for playful designs and conceptual art. From this starting point, Forney removes the cardboard surface layer to expose the corrugations that form the focus of his work. “This exhibition represents my exploration of ways to create art using this unique surface.” says Forney.

Forney is a local award-winning artist who began painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art and Fleisher Art Center. He exhibits at the Sketch Club, Plastic Club, and Off the Wall Gallery.

The Old City Branch of the East River Bank, in the heart of the Philadelphia Gallery District, serves its local community and supports Philadelphia artists through a program of continuing exhibitions in the lobby.

 

IMG_2783 Corrugated

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Eight, 12 x 9”

 

IMG_3221_CorrugArt_150905

 

 

 

 

 

Regatta, 18 x 22”

 

IMG_3286_June_Artworks_June

 

 

 

 

Looking At You, 6.5 x 10.5”

June 23, 2014
by Leroy
0 comments

Painting the Church

Somehow, my painting tapered off substantially after I came back from China.  Thought I would come back all inspired, but it didn’t happen, somehow.  Until I answered the Athenaeum call for an exhibition to celebrate their 200th year, to paint the Athenaeum itself or some other site on the Philadelphia Historic Places list.  So I painted NOT the Athenaeum, but our own Frank Furness building, the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia.  I did it as a 25×36 inch “hanging,” as I’m now calling my paintings on unstretched canvas.  Then I painted a smaller version, as a gift for our departing minister, Nate Walker.  I will miss  you, Nate.

The painting’s been accepted for the exhibition.  The Reception at the Athenaeum, located on 6th Street and Washington Square Park in Philadelphia, is scheduled for this Sunday June 29, from 2 to 5pm.  The Athenaeum itself is worth coming to see for its classic Reading Room, and to add to your pleasure the Locks and Bridget Mayer Galleries are within a block and a half.

And so, here’s what the painting looks like:

The historic First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia 25x36" oil on canvas

The historic First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia
25×36″ oil on canvas

April 19, 2014
by Leroy
1 Comment

Time Out!

It seems that China has not treated me very gently on this trip. April has been a tough month. The air pollution has been a pretty constant irritant, and we’ve had next to no rain to clear it away. The Air Quality index, measured as micrograms per cubic meter, typically runs at about 150 with excursions up to 200 or more. I think the US safe limit is 50. So, my eyes were frequently burning a bit and my voice got a bit deeper, and I started wearing a mask most times when I went outside.

But then, about the second week of April the air was full of these little floating cotton balls, thanks to all the Sycamore trees in our courtyard. I am quite allergic to Sycamore, and my eyes and throat both took a dive for the worse, with lots of additional coughing, wheezing, nose blowing and painful eyes. Friends began telling me my eyes looked bad, and finally I took a look at them in a mirror myself. Weirdness! Crimson eyelids and bright raccoon circles around my eyes! My white eyeballs were now a blue-gray, like a mauve. Quite an interesting pallet of unusual colors!

Clearly, it was time for advice and help. I checked in with Diane, my medical resource in California (thank you Apple FaceTime) who worried mostly about my coughing and insisted that I get a solid medical diagnosis, fast. So Matthew and I spent Wednesday afternoon (the 16th) at a Beijing Hospital where, over 5 hours we: Met with an MD, got a blood test, breath-stress test, chest x-ray, met with an eye doctor for an exam and consult, picked up all the test results at a kiosk, returned to the original MD for a consultation based on the test results, paid the bill, and picked up four prescriptions at the dispensary. All in one afternoon, and for US$65. Of course, Matt’s fluency with the Chinese language and procedures were indispensable, but why can’t we manage to have a medical care system that efficient?

The diagnosis? 1) Strong allergic reaction probably to the Sycamore, maybe (or maybe not) exacerbated by the air pollution and/or the other issues, ie: 2) Rather severe conjunctivitis, to be treated with two kinds of eye drops.   3) Pneumonia, to be treated with a broad spectrum antibiotic and pills for symptomatic relief. Stay inside and avoid significant activity for three days, then come back for a checkup.

And so for now, I’m hanging out at Matt’s apartment in Beijing, not doing much but making day-by-day progress. We should have that checkup tomorrow (Saturday) or Sunday, and I hope to be back in Feijiacun shortly after that. We’ll see.

Happy Easter everybody!

PS.  Of course, this is happening at the worst possible time.  The owner of the Red Gate Gallery, Brian Wallace, threw a big party at his spectacular home for his favorite Beijing artists their friends and his, and we were of course invited also. I hate to have missed that opportunity to see some of the best current contemporary Art, and talk about it, and with some of the artists who are producing it. Today I am missing an informal open studio in Feijiacun. I suspect that it was rather disorganized, but a lot of fun. A good way to meet the REALLY local artists, and to show my own stuff as well. So it goes. The gang has rented a bus for a jaunt up to The Great Wall on Monday, and I sure hope I don’t miss Thai, too!  Stay tuned.

April 13, 2014
by Leroy
1 Comment

Interview

Jennie Collier is a journalist for The World of Chinese, and friend of a friend of mine. She came out for our Ba-Da-Bing Open Studio, and interviewed most of the Red Gate Residents who were exhibiting, including me. I wish I could publish her article here – especially since I spent most of today trying to find a way to do just that. But no luck.

So it’s up to you to click here to read up on what kind of characters we are and why we are here.

Happy reading!

April 13, 2014
by Leroy
1 Comment

Catching up

Stuff keeps happening.  It gets it the way of keeping up with blog postings, because new stuff happens before I have time to work up the photos and descriptions to post about the past stuff.  On top of that, we keep periodically losing our wireless connection to the world.  They have been retarring the roof of our studios, and I think our access must be through one of those dish thingys on the roof that they have probably tarred over.

 

Then my phone time expired, so until I realized that and bought one of those phone scratch cards, I was completely isolated.  Nothing digital worked.  I’m sure Patricia thinks I have gone native or just given up on the world.

 

A week or so ago (my, I have neglected this blog!) I was riding my bike through a rather grungy semi-industrial area, and suddenly came upon this proclamation of the Deshan Art Space.  So I was peering through their glass doors to see what it was, with a yappy dog barking at me from the other side, when an older Chinese gentleman, Kao Yunqi, came and invited me in.  Not much appeared to be happening, but they have an immense display space, many large paintings in storage, and Kao Yunqi was photographing some amazing art that he had created.  It is frustrating to fall into situations like this and not be able to explore them sufficiently because of the language problem.  Still, stuff keeps happening.

 

 

The Deshan Art Space is in an industrial area with taxi repair shops and stuff

The Deshan Art Space is in an industrial area with taxi repair shops and stuff

2014-2083 2014-2084

These objects are all made from folded paper and can be pulled like an accordian.

 

 

2014-2085 2014-2088This rather unsettling collection of heads was in a standing walnut cabinet and they looked like they might be floating in a liquid.  The photo on the left indicates the huge scale of their main exhibition space, although there is little evidence of its use.

 

The gods were smiling on us for our Open Studio event on March 19th.  The day was warm and sunny, blue sky and not a trace of pollution.  Our display studio had been patched and repainted for the occasion, and everyone had an appropriate area to display their work.  We had wine and beer, snacky stuff, and two street vendors making shish kabobs and bing (see definition of Ba-Da-Bing).  That attracted some 80-100 people to mix and enjoy the activities outside and the art inside.  People came early, and many stayed ‘way beyond the announced 6:00 closing time.  Matt was there, Louise too, and her friend Jennie interviewed all the artists for a report in “The World of Chinese” website.  The Red Gate owner, Brian Wallace, said it was the best open studio event in years.  Hooray for us.

Suzanna discusses her pairings of faces taken from portrait studies

Suzanna discusses her pairings of faces taken from portrait studies

An Art Patron studies my China Wall I and Wall II

An Art Patron studies my China Wall I and Wall II

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vincent studies the video that Tiyan projectef

The aluminum latter complemented my painting of an electrical tower The aluminum latter complemented my painting of an electrical tower

Vincent studies the video that Tiyan projectef
The perspective view of my ladder and tower painting

The perspective view of my ladder and tower painting

We collected quite a crowd on a beautiful afternoon

We collected quite a crowd on a beautiful afternoon

Petra projected an image above a series of multiple photographs

Petra projected an image above a series of multiple photographs

Tomash displayed a designer's ideashop

Tomash displayed a designer’s ideashop

The following day I was surprised to receive an email from the Jing Gallery in Beijing, complementing my work “which is motivated and interesting” and inviting me to visit their gallery.  I then had a very frustrating day of trying to contact them to set up an appointment (see digital/wireless problems, above) for tea and discussion.  On arrival, I was surprised to see Tiyan was there – and she was equally surprised to see me.  Yes, we did have tea and some innocuous discussion but that was the extent of it, and then we went together to another gallery so see a very interesting photography there.

At the end of March we all went out to a good restaurant in Beijing for a dinner in honor of the Residents who would be leaving.  Anne back to Australia, Dagur and Petra back to Iceland, Mika to the UK.  It was a fun evening, with excellent dishes of all sorts circulating among us on the Lazy Susan.  Suzanna had commissioned a wonderful cake from a local baker, with three whipped cream cats created to order.  But the topper was the flaming lotus that then dropped its petals to reveal eight lit candles while it played Happy Birthday over and over and over again.  So the birthday bit was a little hokey for a going away dinner, but it fit in well with the party atmosphere.

I so much like the mobility of a bicycle.  Last week I rode beyond FeiJiacun to discover that the adjoining town is similar but about 4x larger.  There was this great statue In a schoolyard – the girl is pointing and leading upward carrying a book, and a boy follows brandishing a rocket and holding a soccer ball.  Must harken back to the Mao era.

Schoolyard with iconic Leap to the Future statue

Schoolyard with iconic Leap to the Future statue

THe portable pet store: chicks, rabbits, turtles, goldfish, plants....

The portable pet store: chicks, rabbits, turtles, goldfish, plants….

Typical street in a relatively prosperous Chinese village

Main Street in this relatively prosperous Chinese village

The town features a streetside restaurant

The town features a streetside restaurant

The local men's club meeting.

The local men’s club meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beyond that town the road continues under a railroad bridge into an absolutely surreal territory.  Acres and acres, if not square miles, of nothing but rubble and in the distance, gleaming skyscrapers.  The only people in the area are a few gleaners, chipping morter from bricks for re-use.  I guess it is the Chinese version of Urban Renewal, but this one seems to have gotten stuck in the Urban Removal stage.

Over  the river and through the dell to......

Over the river and through the dell to……

There was a town here, wasn't there?

There was a town here, wasn’t there?

Wonder if it costs more in those buildings for the penthouse view.

Reuse and recycle Reuse and recycle

Wonder if it costs more in those buildings for the penthouse view.

 

 

 

 

 

It would seem that our Feijiacun could suffer the same fate.  It certainly wouldn’t take a bulldozer very long to blow away these rickety buildings, and the million dollar Villas in gated communities just across the main highway and the International Shopping Mall down the road must chafe at this decadent unruly village with its scrap yards and construction supply shops so close by, taking up such valuable subdivision space.  One theory is that such a transformation can’t happen until the huge electrical power transfer station and the tower complex that arches over the town is somehow removed.  I’ve completed two paintings that feature these towers and lines – they really are the major feature that you notice everywhere.

Meanwhile, there is a lot of new construction – pretty shoddy downtown, but also quite utilitarian and substantial buildings for yet more artist studios.  Like just about everything else in China, it is all confusing and seems to be going in several directions at once.

 

The little bush I tie my front door to, suddenly back to life.

The little bush I tie my front door to, suddenly back to life.

 

April 9, 2014
by Leroy
0 comments

Marking time

Yeah, I’ve been goofing off.  I promise to make a decent, more personal post very soon.  But meanwhile, let me sluff off (slough off?) by sharing an article that was published in TIME OUT – BEIJING that includes mention of our Open Studio event.  The article really contains a good description of this little village of Feijiacun and why it is of interest to artists.

So then, for your interest and edification:

Time Out – Beijing:  published on 7 Apr 2014

Feijiacun open studio day:  Artists in Beijing’s lesser-known art village open their studios to the public

Just past the Fifth Ring Road, off the ever-busy Airport Expressway, lies a dusty path leading to a series of boxy concrete buildings. Among these buildings are shops and stalls hawking street food, clothing, household hardware, repair services and more – all for cheap. It’s a village in the modern Chinese urban sense: small but hardly serene. It’s teeming and noisy during the daytime. The main stretch is packed with migrants buying necessities or doing business. Off to the side from this busy main stretch the noise recedes and a series of squat brick buildings become visible. Inside are artists: painting, constructing and creating their art through other means.

This is Feijiacun, one of Beijing’s villages on the northeast side of the city, outside many of the main areas commonly associated with art in Beijing. It lies past 798, the unapologetically commercial, kitsch-infested tourist hub; past Caochangdi, the hipper, rougharound-the-edges art district that’s home to Ai Weiwei. It’s closer to the city centre than Songzhuang, another enclave for artists on the eastern outskirts of the Fifth Ring Road. But unlike 798, Caochangdi or Songzhuang, Feijiacun has only one gallery and no museums at all. It bears no cafés or fancy restaurants. Feijiacun is a place for work.

The area has drawn the artists who work there through one surefire attraction: cheap studios. Most of the studios are occupied by independent artists, although Red Gate Gallery also maintains a series of spaces for its international artists visiting Beijing on residencies. The artists may come to Feijiacun for the cheap rent and plenty of space to work, but the out-of-the-way locale is convenient in some ways, according to resident and artist James Ronner.

‘There’s all sorts of resources for materials, between the scrap yards that are out here and all kinds of construction supply companies. You have access to a lot of stuff that you don’t in other parts of the city. In addition to that, you get to interact with a lot of interesting artists.’

There isn’t normally much to see or do for a visitor in this small village. But for one day this month, the normally closed doors of some of these quiet, modest buildings will be open to the public, offering us a glimpse into the workspaces and processes of some of the artists who have made it their home. It’s a good chance to see, first-hand and relatively unmediated, the work of artists like Xi Danni. Xi makes playful oil paintings and collages with flat perspectives and bright, vivid colours that transform mundane subject matter into something fantastical.

Nick Geankoplis – another resident artist – uses clay sculpture and video to create installations that reflect upon decay and the passage of time. Similarly physical in its creation is the work of James Ronner, who uses his space in Feijiacun to experiment with materials beyond glass. ‘I do a lot of collage work [in the studio],’ Ronner tells us. ‘But to be honest, it’s also the space were I break s**t.’

Note:  “Jimmy” Ronner and several other artists live just across the street from our studios, and has become a good friend.  Jimmy is a gregarious guy who teaches English Lit at two local Universities, and still keeps up his art work whenever he is not teaching.or setting off fireworks in the courtyard.

The open studios in Feijiacun are often casual and congenial affairs. Red Gate Gallery’s open studio in Feijiacun last month included not just art but also a vendor making tasty jianbing pancakes. In part, the open studios are a celebration of the arrival of warmer weather. ‘[The studio space] is great in the summer but awful in the winter – we have wood stoves,’ says Jeffrey Miller, a resident and artist who will also be participating in the open studio.

The studios aren’t luxury spaces, and Feijiacun’s hardly the most glamorous spot to experience art in Beijing. But there are already plenty of places for the Audi and BMW set to browse for expensive pieces of cultural cachet. What Feijiacun offers is a bustling example of everyday life on the outskirts of Beijing; a space in which the artistic process can be realised.

The Feijiacun open studio day is on Saturday, April 19. To get to Feijiacun, take Line 15 to Cuigezhuang station. From there, take bus 415 to Mananli or bus 988 to Maquanying. The journey takes around 30mins in a taxi from Gulou.

Aaron Fox-Lerner

 

March 27, 2014
by Leroy
1 Comment

No Great Wall Today

The plans were for most of us to go visit the Great Wall today.  But it is a bad air day, with the particulate count at 400 or so.  The US safe limit for particulates is about 50 I think, and the Chinese safe limit is 200 or 250.  Without a mask the air makes your teeth feel gritty, your eyes burn, and it interferes with breathing.  So we got together and decided to defer the trip to a later day.  The good part of this decision is that it gives us a bit more time to get our ducks in a row for the Open Studio event.

Suzanne, Dagur, visiting artist Alexei, and Anna consider whether to go to the Great Wall today

Suzanne, Dagur, visiting artist Alexei, and Anna consider whether to go to the Great Wall today

The Ba-Da-Bing Open House on Saturday will be in the large studio where Tomash, Petra and Dagur work.  It is across from the Imagine Gallery.  In spite of the amazing number of studios here in Feijiacun, the Imagine Gallery is the ONLY Gallery in the area.  That seems odd but then, many things in China seem to have their own logic that appear confusing.  It is just another part of the surreal discoveries that go along with being in China.

Tomash, Dagur and Petra take a football break between their studio and the Imagine Gallery

Tomash, Dagur and Petra take a football break between their studio and the Imagine Gallery

Keeping the ball in the air....

Keeping the ball in the air….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have four paintings that will be in Ba-Da-Bing.  They are in my recent “hanging” series, that I think does vaguely harken back to the scroll paintings and brush drawings of traditional Asian art.  They are oil on canvas, of course, in a size range from 24″ x18″ to 24″ x32″.  I really prefer the rod on the top to be half-round, but that isn’t available here so I had to go with the clunky square look.

China Wall #1.  No, it isn't really that blue - I shot it under fluorescent light.

China Wall #1. No, it isn’t really that blue – I shot it under fluorescent light.

China Wall #2, also blue.  And I think that is about enough of Chinese Walls

China Wall #2, also blue. And I think that is about enough of Chinese Walls

Power.  I'd like to do a series of such towers as they march over villages and houses.

Power. I’d like to do a series of such towers as they march over villages and houses.

Tricycle.  These transporters are ubiquitous throughout China.

Tricycle. These transporters are ubiquitous throughout China.

Yes, it's a selfie.  Meant to show how I look on a bad air day.

Yes, it’s a selfie. Meant to show how I look on a bad air day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A busy week

March 27, 2014 by Leroy | 0 comments

Matthew is a pretty constant visitor here at the studio this week.  He is in writing mode, and so he has been working here on his computer while I paint.  Snoopy comes along with him, for a welcome break from the city.

 

Snoopy enjoys the excursions out to Feijiacun.

Snoopy enjoys the excursions out to Feijiacun.

New friends for Snoopy

New friends for Snoopy

Deep in concentration (or is it confusion?) in the Studio.

Deep in concentration (or is it confusion?) in the Studio.

Earlier this week Matt and I made a trip to Yashow Market for slacks and shirts.  The Market is known for its five floors of vendors selling mostly clothes, but also toys, pens, jewelry, and about anything else you can think of.  It is always fun to shop there, and a place to hone your negotiating and haggeling skills.  Everything is negotiable, and even after you finally agree on a price, the vendor will ask you to PLEEEZE pay a little higher price because you drove SUCH a hard bargain.  Yeah, sure.

Entrance to the Yashow Market

Entrance to the Yashow Market

Four huge floors lined with vendors, all anxious to get your attention.

Four huge floors lined with vendors, all anxious to get your attention.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for just the right shirt.

Looking for just the right shirt.

There are tailor shops there too, ready to make on-the-spot alterations

There are tailor shops there too, ready to make on-the-spot alterations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Red Gate Gallery had an opening on Sunday for a new exhibition of work by Chen Jiaye and Zhang Zheyi:  Highly Prized Flowers.  I’d met both these artists last year, and was very impressed by their work.  Chen Jiaye incorporaes traditional images and technique in his work, while Zhang Zheyi is more contemporary, in the meticulous imnagery against a solid color field.  A year ago I visited Zheyi’s studio and a number of his friend’s studios in Song Zhuang Village – a high point of that China visit.

Chen Jiaye puts classical Chinese themes in stunning modern settings

Chen Jiaye puts classical Chinese themes in stunning modern settings

Zhang Zheyi works in a more typical style for contemporary Chinese art

Zhang Zheyi works in a more typical style for contemporary Chinese

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More of Zhang Zheyk's work

More of Zhang Zheyk’s work

Here Zheyi continues his series of mechanical birds

Here Zheyi continues his series of mechanical birds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The series of contrails is a direction I hadn't seen before

The series of contrails is a direction I hadn’t seen before

Enlarge the image (by clicking on it) to appreciate the fine detail

Enlarge the image (by clicking on it) to appreciate the fine detail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the Exhibition, Brian Wallace, owner of the Red Gate, invited the Residents to join about 60 others for a banquet at a large restaurant near the Worker’s Stadium.

A huge banquet with all the trimmings followed the Red Gate Reception.

A huge banquet with all the trimmings followed the Red Gate Reception.

I renewed my acquaintance with Zhang Zheyi and Lili at the banquet.

I renewed my acquaintance with Zhang Zheyi and Lili at the banquet.

 

The restaurant was not far from Matt’s apartment and the Sanlitun area, so it was easy to walk over to join him at the Bookworm, where he was in the middle of a jam session with friends.

2014-2004Matt and friends in an impromptu jam session at the Bookworm

 

The backdrop for all this is the Open Studio that we Residents are planning for Saturday, the 29th to show our work.  Suzanna and Petra have been working to prepare the walls of the huge studio we will be using, and thinking about how to arrange the artwork so it all shows well.  Looks like I will have four paintings for the show.  More on that another time.

A Bing is the fluffy egg sandwich you can get from a street vendor.  There are eight of us, so Ba-Da-Bing translates roughly as Eight Big Egg Sandwiches.

A Bing is the fluffy egg sandwich you can get from a street vendor. There are eight of us, so Ba-Da-Bing translates roughly as Eight Big Egg Sandwiches.

Finally:  I keep hearing about the cold temperatures and snow on the east coast.  Here we have shirt-sleeve weather, the grass and bushes are greener every day, and buds on the trees are ready to burst open.

On the other hand, we are back into successive gray days, and I am wearing a mask when I go outdoors for a walk or a bike ride.

 

 

 

 

 

This gallery contains 22 photos

March 20, 2014
by Leroy
0 comments

Wildly Divergent Food

First there was breakfast. I wasn’t particularly hungry, so delayed until mid-morning, then decided to walk to the other end of town for a change, to try some small dish at a different café. Stopped at an interesting place and began to use my automatic translation app to decipher the menu, as usual. The menu in this café was in a book – mpre upscale than the usual shop with a painted sign on the wall, or a one-page paper printout. But the Waitress was insistent that I order the fish she pointed to in the book. It looked like a porcupine and the cost was $8, about twice the usual meal cost in town. Finally I gave in and went for it, and so had the very best breakfast and fish imaginable. The flavor was delicate and delicious, with not a bone in the entire fish – except for the head standing up at one end and the tail standing up on the other. It was deep fried, and covered with a sweet and sour sauce. But the odd thing is that the flesh was cut so that it stood out from the fish like a pile of french fries. At least, that made eating it with chopsticks especially easy.

In English, the dish is called Squirrel Fish

In English, the dish is called Squirrel Fish

In the afternoon, Tomash, Dagur, Suzanne and I took a taxi to the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) to buy more art supplies. The stores are in a white building across from CAFA, and its landmark is the ZOO Café that serves outstanding coffee and espresso.  Good coffee here is always a very welcome surprise.

Fabulous coffee here - and lots of animal paintings and decorations

Fabulous coffee here – and lots of animal paintings and dec

This store has three floors of art supply shops = the best art market in Beijing

This store has three floors of art supply shops = the best art market in Beijing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We all coordinated our resources to create an Italian Pasta Party that evening. Suzanne decorated her studio with candles and even roses, and we combined our furniture and tableware to provide for the event. Dagur is a trained chef, and creaated a wonderful salad and sauce for the pasta. We of course had plenty of beer and sparkling wine, and Tiyan brought a French cake covered with whipped cream and fruit. The company included Suzanna of course, Petra and her Mother Brenda visiting from Iceland, Dagur the chef, Tomash his assisant, Anne, Tiyan, Vincent, and me.

Dagur and Tomash prepare the pasta

Dagur and Tomash prepare the pasta

The table was set with candles, roses, matching napkins - Wowwie!

The table was set with candles, roses, matching napkins – Wowwie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tiyan provided the French Dessert Cake - lots of whipped cream and fruit!

Tiyan provided the French Dessert Cake – lots of whipped cream and fruit!

Suzanna and Vincent discuss Art .... or something

Suzanna and Vincent discuss Art …. or something

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vincent isn’t a Red Gate Resident, but has been in China for six weeks and is working as an assistant in Ai Wei Wei’s Beijing studio in Caochangdi. It was fascinating to talk with him about that experince. I’ve always been very curious about how prolific internationally reknowned artists such as Ai live and work, and use assistants in their work. Vincent provided a small window into this world.