I was going through old files and came across these images that I’d taken of these beautiful textiles from Indonesia. Very much an inspiration!


I feel like the U.S. is embodied in all of the bumbling characters on the road to OZ (though, all signs show it’s actually on some dirt path rather than the yellow brick):

If I only had a heart — the United States of America
If I only had a brain
— the United States of America
If I only had courage
— the United States of America

JESUS! MARY! JOSEPH!!! (to be read in loud disbelief with a heavy Irish accent.)

What’s sparked this dystopic vision? Reading about the “Stimulus Package” being put forth by the U.S. Congress as the answer to the problems with economy. They should just call it for what it really is — the “Sisyphus Package” or “Sissyphus Package” — oh, that’s right, the U.S. Congress doesn’t have a heart, brain, or courage.

In short, Congress is moving to vote on a plan that will provide rebates of up to $600 to most tax payers, senior citizens, and the unemployed. WOW!!! $600 of money to spend! Which is the key word here — spend! spend! spend!

And where will most of that money end up?

In the pockets of the CEOs and top execs of large corporations (like Walmart — since Walmart is the one-stop shopping center — folks can get their groceries and lots of useless items for a couple of weeks … maybe). The CEOs and top execs can use all that additional cash to continue playing monoply on their GET OUT OF JAIL FREE card, issued by the United States of America’s heartless, brainless, and courageless Congress.


Two major events yesterday — one here in the U.S. and one half way around the world in Indonesia.

In South Carolina, Senator Barack Obama won the primary with 55% of the votes.

In Jakarta, former Dictator Soeharto died. Two books that I recommend to learn more about contemporary Indonesian politics are: The End of Sukarno: A Coup That Misfired, a Purge That Ran Wild by John Hughes and Reformasi: The Struggle for Power in Post-Soeharto Indonesia by Kevin O’Rourke

Anti-Soeharto Protests in 1998

Home Is Where The Heart Is

My friend and former student Mei-Tsung (Mei was in my and Aaron Noble’s painting intensive class at the San Francisco Art Institute, she received her MFA in painting) is back in Taipei and teaching. She sent a link to her most recent project and it’s awesome and totally wacky! Thought I’d share:

Home Is Where The Heart Is (at night)

we are so tired from work…

there’s a hole on my roof..

we’ll find lumbers for you..

the forest isn’t that far…

we’ll be back before the sunset

i left my mascot in the forest..

i need to find it back…

be good, blacky!
built 2 houses today!!

Home Is Where The Heart Is (day time)

when the morning arrives

let’s go find the light nymph


searching in the air

oh, my sweet balcky…

where is the light nymph?

oh?in utopia?

let’s go and find out!

huu….here we are!

what’s up, blacky?

don’t worry!things would go well….
drowning in the endless fantacy…..

finally, knights found utopia, the small green land on rocks, and i finally could end my fantacy…….

Los Jaichackers

Not to be missed …


Scaling a Minimalist Wall With Bright, Shiny Colors
by HOLLAND COTTER New York Times, Published: January 15, 2008

Joyce Kozloff’s “Hidden Chambers” (1975-76) at the Hudson River Museum

YONKERS – “Pattern and Decoration: An Ideal Vision in American Art, 1975-1985,” at the Hudson River Museum, documents the last genuine art movement of the 20th century, which was also the first and only art movement of the postmodern era and may well prove to be the last art movement ever.

We don’t do art movements anymore. We do brand names (Neo-Geo); we do promotional drives (“Painting is back!”); we do industry trends (art fairs, M.F.A students at Chelsea galleries, etc.). But now the market is too large, its mechanism too corporate, its dependence on instant stars and products too strong to support the kind of collective thinking and sustained application of thought that have defined movements as such.

Pattern and Decoration, known as P&D, was the real thing. The artists were friends, friends of friends or students of friends. Most were painters, with distinctive styles but similar interests and experiences. All had had exposure to, if not immersion in, the liberation politics of the 1960s and early ’70s, notably feminism. All were alienated by dominant movements like Minimalism.

They were also acutely aware of the universe of cultures that lay beyond or beneath Euro-American horizons, and of the alternative models they offered for art. Varieties of art from Asia, Africa and the Middle East, as well as folk traditions in the West, blurred distinctions between art and design, high and low, object and idea. They used abstract design as a primary form and ornament as an end in itself. They took beauty, whatever that meant, as a given.

P&D artists were scattered geographically. Some – Robert Kushner, Kim MacConnel, Miriam Schapiro – were in California. Others – Cynthia Carlson, Brad Davis, Valerie Jaudon, Jane Kaufman, Joyce Kozloff, Tony Robbin, Ned Smyth, Robert Zakanitch – were in New York. As a group they found an eloquent advocate in the critic and historian Amy Goldin, who was immersed in the study of Islamic art. And they had an early commercial outlet in the Holly Solomon Gallery in SoHo.

They all asked the same basic question: When faced with a big, blank, obstructing Minimalist wall, too tall, wide and firmly in place to get over or around, what do you do? And they answered: You paint it in bright patterns, or hang pretty pictures on it, or drape it with spangled light-catching fabrics. The wall may eventually collapse under the accumulated decorative weight. But at least it will look great.

And where do you find your patterns and pictures and fabrics? In places where Modernism had rarely looked before: in quilts and wallpapers and printed fabrics; in Art Deco glassware and Victorian valentines. You might take the search far afield, as most of these artists did.

They looked at Roman and Byzantine mosaics in Italy, Islamic tiles in Spain and North Africa. They went to Turkey for flower-covered embroideries, to Iran and India for carpets and miniatures, and to Manhattan’s Lower East Side for knockoffs of these. Then they took everything back to their studios and made a new art from it.

Ms. Kaufman turned 19th-century American quilt designs into abstract nocturnes glinting with sewn-on beads. Mr. Zakanitch went for flowers in monumental paintings based on fabrics remembered from his childhood home in New Jersey. Ms. Schapiro also drew on floral images in a type of feminist-inspired collage she called “femmage.” And in her “Gates of Paradise” (1980) she applied domestic crafts materials – lace, ribbons, fabric trim and so on – to a theme associated with Lorenzo Ghiberti.

Ms. Carlson’s all-over tweedlike patterns, done with repeated strokes of thick paint, are less specific in their references. And even if Ms. Jaudon doesn’t insist on Islamic art as a source for her crisp interlace designs, it surely had some effect. Ms. Kozloff is forthright about the debt she owes to Moroccan and Mexican tile work. Her melding of brilliant colors with a basic Minimalist grid has yielded generous results in public architectural projects, and in her poetic and intensely political recent art.

Mr. Davis and Mr. Smyth lie a little outside the general P&D loop, one doing figurative work and the other mosaics. Mr. Robbin, who lived in Iran as a child, conflates geometric Persian motifs with others from Japanese silk kimonos. For Mr. MacConnel and Mr. Kushner, textiles themselves are a primary medium.

Mr. MacConnel glues pieces of Near Eastern and Southeast Asian fabric together into suspended open-work hangings. Mr. Kushner, who studied with Mr. MacConnel and traveled with Ms. Goldin to the Middle East, originally draped his painted fabric pieces over his own body in performances. One festive piece in the show, “Visions Beyond the Pearly Curtain,” is shaped like a chador, cape or kimono, although with its gathered swags and melon-orange curlicues it has the theatrical punch of a rococo opera curtain about to rise.

When Mr. Kushner finished this piece in 1975, P&D was taking off. It had avid collectors in the United States; in Europe it was a hit. Then interest dried up. Worse than that, in America the movement became an object of disdain and dismissal.

There were reasons. Art associated with feminism has always had a hostile press. And there was the beauty thing. In the neo-Expressionist, neo-Conceptualist late 1980s, no one knew what to make of hearts, Turkish flowers, wallpaper and arabesques.

Thanks to multiculturalism and identity politics, we know better what to make of them now; the art world’s horizons are immeasurably wider than they were two decades ago (without being all that wide). Besides, to my eye, most P&D art isn’t beautiful and never was, not in any classical way. It’s funky, funny, fussy, perverse, obsessive, riotous, accumulative, awkward, hypnotic, all evident even in the fairly tame selections by Anne Swartz, the curator for this show.

And not-quite-beauty is exactly what saved it, what gave it weight, weight enough to bring down the great Western Minimalist wall for a while and bring the rest of the world in. Let the art historical record show, in the postmovement future, the continuing debt we owe it for that.

“Pattern and Decoration: An Ideal Vision in American Art, 1975-1985″ continues through Sunday at the Hudson River Museum, 511 Warburton Avenue, Yonkers; (914) 963-4550,


Being the political junkie that I am, I’ve been watching all of the debates and primaries. I know that I’ve been critical of Barack Obama on this blog in the past; however, I think the issues that I had with him in 2006 were perhaps the result of bad advice at that time by his political team.

Having watched Senator Obama over the past 2 years and learning more about him, I believe that he’s the only candidate who can truly lead this country into place where we’re no longer hated around the world and where we treat other countries with respect, compassion and, equality. I have a great deal of respect for Obama’s past work as a community organizer, which is far more difficult than working in the corporate sector, his work as a teacher, his work as a civil rights lawyer, and his work as a U.S. senator. Hillary Clinton made a remark recently that while leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. are great visionaries, it takes someone in the Executive Office to sign bills into law. With Barack Obama we’d be getting both! Thanks Hillary for reminding us of this.


I’ve been working on the Home installation, it seems endless … everytime I finish with one thing, I have a bizillion ideas for something else. Thought I’d share some of my inspirations/influences. I love the way each works with space and creating an experience that’s out of the ordinary.

Verner Panton

Phantasy Landscape, Visiona II, 1970, Cologne, Germany

Circus Building, 1984, Copenhagen, DK

Spiegel Publishing House, Canteen, 1969, Hamburg, Germany

“The Light and the Colour” Exhibition, 1998, Trapholt Museum, Kolding, DK

Verner Panton’s Home, Dining room, Binningen, CH

Verner Panton’s Home, Entrance Hall, Binningen, CH

Spiegel Publishing House, Swimmingpool, 1969, Hamburg, Germany

Erco Lighting Showroom, 1997, London, GB

Varna Restaurant, 1970, Aarhus, DK

Yayoi Kusama:

West African Homes:


From my friend Arya Pandjalu in Yogyakarta Indonesia: