For those who don't know the background story: From March 14th to May 31st, 2010, Marina Abramovic staged The Artist Is Present at MoMA in NYC—the most widely attended performance art piece in history. She sat in a chair for three months, six days a week, and people lined up to sit in front of her and look into her eyes for as long as they liked. Marco Anelli took photos of each of the participants, and the result was his book Portraits in the Presence of Marina Abramovic.
In 2015, participating in The 100 Day Project, I decided to paint 100 faces from Marco Anelli's book—a portrait a day for three months. I compiled a book of these paintings in the fall of 2016 and had a small run made by BookArt in Montréal, which sold out over a couple of months (Marco Anelli himself was supportive of the project, ordering two books for himself and adding links to my work on his website). The layout was done by Ryan Thompson at Leaven Agency, and he did a beautiful job.
It's no exaggeration to say that I am deeply honoured by a new introduction in this edition by Louis van den Hengel, Assistant Professor of Gender Studies at the Department of Literature and Art and the Centre for Gender and Diversity at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. Van den Hengel was present for the duration of The Artist is Present and sat before Marina Abramovic for approximately three hours, and has published several articles and book chapters about performance art, and specifically about Abramovic. His aim is to write a book focused on Abramovic and The Artist is Present. That my work is even mentioned on the same page as that of Abramovic is heady stuff—van den Hengel's introduction to 100 Days of The Artist is Present leaves me feeling quite verklempt.
The book should be ready in a couple of weeks and will cost $30—if you'd like to pre-order, please go here.
I ran out of my favourite MAC lipstick last month, and I discovered when I went to stock up that the colour had been discontinued. I am what they call "a creature of habit"—I've probably been using that shade for 20 years. Anyhoo. In trying to find a new shade I bought a very beautiful red—a perfect red. But when I got home and saw myself wearing said red in my usual mirror, I recoiled (ha ha—sorry—I just wanted to use that word). I don't want to get too technical, but my face has aged. Apart from that, my nordic paleness, and general low level of pigmentation make me no match for "MAC Red". That's okay. I still love deep red and I can paint with it... just maybe not on my face. I sent the lipstick to my daughter Chloe in her birthday package, along with the above note.
This year I applied to participate in the TD Art Gallery Paint-In for the first time, and just learned that my application was accepted. So COME ON DOWN to Moss Street on July 20th and join the masses, see some art, have a beer, have a time. I don't know where I'll be situated yet, so... please stay tuned!