New Henry Darger book!

October 26, 2009 at 8:59 pm (art)

Hey, there’s a new Henry Darger book…. and it includes an image of one of my works!

I haven’t seen it yet, but I hear it’s really beautiful. I think there’s a free copy for me headed this way via book rate from Germany. Which means I should have it by 2050 or so. So I’m probably gonna go by Strand in a few days and at least visit it! Anyway, pretty cool.


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Ask a simple question…

October 20, 2009 at 10:52 am (art)

Ok, I’m putting this out there to see if any of you can help with this. I am trying to make an edition of chocolates that will essentially be a riff on Paul McCarthy’s chocolate santa edition.

I am looking to cast about 200 of them and I’m happy to do all the work myself. Actually, what I have in mind is quite simple, so it’s totally doable and shouldn’t be a problem at all – and then I will have this thing I can sell cheaply and give away as Christmas presents. I’m not trying to make a tremendous statement here, I’m just trying to make something for the holidays.

Sounds easy, right? One hitch: I want the chocolate to be vegan.

Lots of perfectly good chocolate is vegan. In fact, most really good chocolate is – it’s really, really easy to go to your corner store and pick out a bar of decent vegan chocolate and eat it on the way home from work (trust me on this). The trick is when it comes to buying chocolate in volume and inexpensively, so that I can cast a whole bunch of these things. But even that doesn’t seem so hard, right?

Well, for starters, all the major brands of chocolate that are manufactured specifically for this purpose (for casting) contain milk. So they’re out. Not to worry, I thought – there’s a whole world available to my via the web; let me hunt around and find another kind that’s suitable.

After spending a few hours coming up with nothing, I eventually wound up on the site of Barry Callebut, a chocolatier who touts the healthy side of chocolate along with its delicious taste. His chocolates are really expensive, but I had already sunk so much time into finding another provider only to come up with nothing that I figured it was worth it to at least investigate his product. Since he isn’t forthcoming about what exactly is in each kind of chocolate he manufactures, I just shot the company an email.

Is your chocolate vegan?
Amy Wilson

I thought the response I got back was a little weird, but obviously I had no idea what I was in for.

Dear Ms. Wilson,
In order to help you, can you please provide me with the UPC code for the
product that you are looking for?
Waiting to read you.

Ok, “waiting to read you” aside, I guess this is an ok question. She must think I’m referring to a specific type of chocolate they make, whereas I’m really asking is any of their chocolate ok for vegans. So I wrote back to clarify:

Hi Marlene,
I just mean – is any of your chocolate vegan? I am trying to find chocolate that is vegan and I’m very flexible on type. So please let me know if any of it is.
Thanks, Amy

to which she responds:

Hello Amy,
As far as I know, our chocolate items that do not contain milk would be
suitable for vegans.
I am not sure if this will help but I hope so.

Ok… that’s great, but this company makes a gazillion kinds of chocolate and I’m still not sure which ones have milk and which ones don’t. So I write back:

Hi Marlene,
Right… specifically, which of your chocolate products don’t contain milk? That’s what I’m not sure about.

Here’s where things take a weird turn. She responds:

Can you at least tell me where you expect to purchase our products?  I will
try to find out what we are supplying to this store  (or distributor) …
Waiting to read you.

Ok, is it me or did our communication just go totally off the rails all at once there?

At this point, Marlene sort of scares me, so I’m thinking that Barry Callebut is out. Anyone out there know about a vegan chocolate I can buy in volume and cast with? If worse comes to worse I’ll use vegan chocolate chips, but that seems like the most expensive route possible.

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October 7, 2009 at 8:07 pm (art, teaching)



“Outpost is a group exhibition sponsored by the Visual and Critical Studies Department. It is an inquiry into the value we place on artworks and on the spaces that house them by encouraging the public to trade works of art for goods and services. Organized by faculty member Amy Wilson.”

I’m not entirely sure that descriptive sentence (which I wrote) is actually grammatically correct but here’s the deal: A bunch of students in the VCS department have taken over an unused studio on the 6th floor and turned it into a crazy, alternative exhibition space. Not a white cube at all… it’s bright and colorful with mismatched wallpaper patterns bumping up against bright blue shelves. In it, the students will have their artwork and next to each piece a “mailbox” of sorts – a place where you can leave notes for them, in particular an offer of something you might want to trade for their work. Instead of having a set price list, Outpost is asking the public to speculate on the value of the artwork, but to do so in a way that doesn’t involve money. Maybe you want to offer to clean the apartment of the person who made that awesome painting painting you want, or maybe you want to bake them a cake. Or maybe they want to hold out to trade to someone who offers them a really amazing TV set. Whatever – it’s about the communication, the exchange, and the discussion of what the value is that’s important.

It runs from Oct 15 – Nov 9th and there is an opening (which I hope you will come to!!) on October 15th from 5-7pm. It’s in the 133/141 W21st Street building in the 6th floor studios. Cupcakes will be served!

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