Wednesday, August 31, 2011


From 1968 to 1974, a group of underground Swedish artists published twenty-four issues of "Puss" magazine — which translates as "Kiss," though the double meaning is unmistakeable - in English. Puss was an in-your-face explosion of irreverence with heaping helpings of body parts and burning flags which pissed on and pissed off just about everyone with their unrelenting satire.

The Puss crew included Lars Hillersberg, Lena Svedberg, Carl Johan De Geer, Leif Katz, Ulf Rahmberg, and "US correspondent" Oyvind Fahlstrom. Here's a google-translation of a 2007 Swedish interview with some of the surviving members.

I stumbled on Puss Magazine through the redoubtable 50 Watts, which then brought me to an extensive exhibit on extensive exhibit on Puss and Carl Johan de Geer at Boo-Hooray Gallery in New York. You can see much more here and read more about the magazine and artists here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Jacques Leonard

In 1950 French photographer Jacques Leonard - already well known for his adventures as an intrepid traveler, racehorse trainer, filmmaker, and writer - fell in love with the painters' model Rosario Amaya. Amaya was a Gypsy, and had grown up in a Romani shanty-town on the edge of Barcelona. Together they settled in the neighborhood, from where he continued his career and conducted a lifetime study of the community around him. For the rest of his life, between the 50s and 70s, Leonard had the unique opportunity to document the quotidian life and customs of the well

guarded Gypsy community who lived in the Montjuic barracks of Barcelona.

His legacy remained in storage for years, until 2009 when his children discovered thousands of negatives and handed them to the Arxiu Fotogràfic de Barcelona. The Leonard archive held nearly 18,000 negatives, including more than 3,000 studies, portraits and snapshots of the gypsy community he lived with. The Arxiu Fotogràfic opened the enlightening exhibition Jacques Leonard: Gypsy Barcelona on June 2nd. The show runs through January 2012.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ah...Julie Doucet

Did you know that French Canadian cartoonist Julie Doucet has a blog? And that she regularly posts things like disturbing collages and this lovely abstract animation? Now you know. You're welcome.

[Flash 10 is required to watch video]

Thursday, August 18, 2011


This Sunday brings the 5th Artoleptic Festival to Pioneer Square. This small but steadily growing fair highlights urban arts and music, with appearances from plenty of top tier and lesser known artists and musicians. For the first time this year, the festival invites the public to bring large box trucks, work vehicles or buses to get painted for free. If you've got such a beast, just roll your vehicle into the center of the festival at Western and Yesler and have it set upon by a team of artists that includes 179, EGO, Joey Nix, Weirdo and others. A simple clear coat over the top and it should last for years!

This Sunday only, August 21 2011, from noon to 8pm.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

RIP Val Kleitz

I just learned that Seattle's most beloved bike mechanic, Val Kleitz, has died. He passed away on August 10th, 2011. Val was born on June 8th, 1960, and was known throughout this city for his incredible knowledge of bicycles, his sure hand with arcane technologies, his impressive handlebar moustache and his warm and generous manner. Val had been battling cancer for some time, and according to his good friends he died peacefully, surrounded by his family.

For all of his love of form and grace, Val was most devoted to the utilitarian aspect of bicycles. Aaron Goss of Aaron's Bicycle Repair in West Seattle is holding a memorial Cargo Bike Ride for Val this Labor Day, September 5th. Friends and admirers will meet at 20/20 Cycle on Capitol Hill and ride their utility bikes in honor of Val. More info here.

And I will certainly post any information I get about a more formal wake and memorial bike ride.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cut Up Method

Cut Chemist arrived on this planet in 1993 as part of the Los Angeles-based hip hop crew Unity Committee, and was a key member of the terrific and under appreciated Jurassic 5, mixing tracks, contributing songs and co-producing the seminal early records. Since then he's explored the outer reaches of mixing with records from all corners of the globe, and become the DJ behind-the-scenes for L.A. superstars Ozomatli. Cut Chemist is making a short trip along the West Coast this month to kick off his first headline tour in nearly five years.

His high-concept audio-visual performance uses two traditional turntables and two DVD turntables to create a full-blown atmosphere, with the help of multi-instrumentalist Edan and MC Mr. Lif. The tour comes to Seattle on Friday Aug. 19 for a performance at Showbox and has just three additional dates in San Diego and LA before it goes back to the workshop.

Tickets here. And while there's no shortage to choose from, this is a weird and great recent track that shows something of his wide range.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fefe Talavera

Yes, I am back in Seattle, but I have a huge backlog of items to catch up on from my time away. For the next few weeks I'll be interspersing my usual random assortment of spectacles with a few choice tidbits from Barcelona and other points Iberic.

At the Montana Gallery - the exhibition hall connected to the retail outlet for the world's best spraypaint - I caught the first European Gallery show of Fefe Talavera, the Brazilian street artist famous for fantastic and visceral monsters. Her work has a tremendous energy - raw, hungry and tribal - and while it was a great treat to see a large collection in one place, it's always weird to try and absorb true gutter energy in a gallery. Still, the art is amazing and well worth a look.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Frankfurt El Farofillio

Now THIS is a taco truck!

Pepita, Baby Nico & I were in San Feliu de Guixols for the "Festas Majores," the biggest party of the year during which the entire little city takes a week off of work to play on the beach and party in the streets. It´s a wonderful Spanish concept, and like all things Spanish, food takes pride of place. This incredible food truck - aka Frankfurt el Farolillo rolls up fully contained within a trailer and unfolds to reveal dozens of seats, a well stocked grill, and a bar decked out in leather and chrome that would be the envy of most fully licensed pubs in the U.S. It´s one hell of a party.

It´s been a great 4 weeks in Spain, but all things must come to an end. We head back to the U.S. tomorrow morning, a little less rich, a little more tan, and somewhat ready to get back to the real world. But first - Camarero! One more for the road!