Art Vent

Letting the Fresh Air In


Art Vent Letting the Fresh Air In

October 18, 2007
You know Damien Hirst’s “painting” that has a surface of dead flies? Well obviously he got the idea from sneaking into my studio at night, because it’s fly heaven here. Before I built the studio, when it was a dark uninsulated attic that the previous owners never entered except for the purpose of adding to The Biggest Pile of Stuff No One Would Ever Want, the fly population was dense. I assumed that after the renovation the insects would be so blinded by the bright white of the sheetrocked walls that they'd be unable to procreate. But no-o-o-o, autumn came around again and suddenly they’re everywhere. At first I had a “live and let live” attitude toward them, but lately I’ve gotten aggressive and am putting my orange Philippe Starck fly swatter (probably the only thing you can buy at Moss for $13) to the test. It reminds me of my friend, Coco, from whom I rented a bug-filled cottage for many years, who used to say, “I start out the summer Albert Schweitzer and end it Genghis Khan.”
August 10, 2007
Continuing the insect theme (see Insex, below), these photographs are from Mike Glier’s blog, Along a Long Line, from an entry that describes how Mike was out painting in the Arctic one day, worried about the possibility of polar bears emerging from the dense fog and ultimately finding that his biggest challenge was mosquitoes. So these aren’t just any old mosquitoes, but Arctic mosquitoes, if you can get your head around that. Pangnirtung, Canada, is the first stop in Mike’s huge plein air painting project that’s taking him to various sites around the globe, and his writing about his experiences there is as beautiful and evocative as his paintings and photographs. Meanwhile, today in the Berkshires was too cold and wet even for mosquitoes, so I curled up on the couch by the pellet stove to read Laurie Lisle’s excellent biography of Louise Nevelson and, as my most intrepid act, braved the raindrops to pick lettuce.

August 4, 2007
Just in case you were curious, it turns out that the mystery poop embellishing our back porch (see Shit, below) was the work of bats after all--and since they're more effective than our new electronic Mosquito Magnet, we're glad to have them. Continuing the zoological theme, Jeff sent me this, which he shot the other morning:

Copyright 2007 Jeff Rubin