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Visual mixtape

Anyone who knows me knows I love a good mixtape. ( I still call them mixtapes, even though now it’s a mix cd, or an iTunes playlist, or even a muxtape). I love making them, I love thinking about the connections between each song that I select, and I love trying to figure out why someone else chose particular songs in a particular order.

Recently, Bob Boilen posted an entry to NPR’s excellent All Songs Considered Blog where he provided readers with the first song of a mixtape, and asked them to add responses in the comments section, with each new post adding a new song to the mix in response to the previous post. Brilliant!

Let’s try to do something similar with works of art. I’m selecting the first piece in a kind of virtual exhibition. You pick the next one, and post a comment with information about the work, a link to an image of it, and a description of your reasons for selecting it (could be formal similarity/difference to the previous piece, subject matter, some biographical information that links the artist to the previous work, whatever…) Remember that you are responding to the last piece added in the comments section (although some larger themes might develop) and provide some description of why you are adding a particular piece to this chain o’ art.

I’ve chosen a piece from the IMA’s collection as a starting point: Kenneth Noland’s Fall Blues 1961-64.

IMA Photo

It is a painting that I have warmed to over time, and one that I hope allows for a diverse set of responses. I’m interested to see where this game of curatorial telephone leads. Your turn…

Filed under: Musings

16 Responses to “Visual mixtape”

  • avatar
    Daniel Says:

    The Noland piece you selected reminded me of the logo used on the British Spitfire planes in WWII:

    This got me thinking about England, which in turn got me thinking about the art movement in the 1990’s….which of course led me to:

    Damien Hirst’s The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (a piece I recently saw in person).

  • avatar
    Emily Says:

    The moment you mention sharks and art, I immediately think of Watson and the Shark , a painting I always had to see whenever we were dragged to the National Gallery on elementary school field trips. It’s horrific (when you’re in 2nd grade) and gave me chills every time. I think, to me, this painting represents the connection to art that a person can have, even at a very young age. To get an eight-year-old so enthralled in a painting that she would want to see it again and again is pretty cool…

  • avatar
    Richard Says:

    And this got me thinking about myself (hey, at least I’m honest), because I too saw the Hirst “Shark” in person recently and mentioned it in one my blog posts (no, I don’t mind self promotion):

    Hirst was recently on Charlie Rose, during which time he admitted that he has some 150+ people working for him.

    And this got me thinking about artist who work by themselves, and then I couldn’t think of any, but I recently started reading On The Road: The Original Scroll, which was written by one person.

    And then this got me thinking about seeing the Kerouac/Frank show that is coming to the IMA soon.

    I don’t think this really fits the rules of the visual mixtape because I haven’t really pointed to one thing besides Kerouac, and he was a writer.

    Ah well, at least I was thinking.

  • avatar
    John Says:

    After reading a little on Noland’s life and then seeing that spiffy photo of the British Spitfire (and due to my own personal interests) I’d like to add a piece by Yoshitomo Nara, titled, Flying Pup King. The only photo I could find online is here (and I’m afraid the person who posted it got his name wrong):

    IF the information I read on wikipedia is correct, then Noland served in WWII and Nara grew up with heavy influences of western culture in post war Japan. Seems like a fair and interesting link to me. ..but some of the info on WikiPee seems fishy (How does Noland join the USAF in 1942, as a veteran of WWII and with the USAF not existing until 1947?)
    Probably just some grammatical errors… but enough to keep me from going that route.

    So instead of that, I’m playing it safer (and more fun). From Noland to Spitfire to Flying Pup King.

  • avatar
    Despi Says:

    Being inspired by all this talk of war, leads me to a link of a video piece, that John actually sent to me last week. Really cool stop-motion animation that creates an amazing visual, but also calls into question our own observational skills as everyday objects, usually friendly ones, are turned into warfare by the artist, Pes.

    Check out ‘Kaboom’ by PES. (Featuring the scariest peanut I have ever seen)

  • avatar
    Lindsey Says:

    Love the video Despi!

    John’s Flying Pup King instantly made me recall Magritte’s The Treachery of Images from those good old art history days.

    For me, they are visually similar. I think the connection ends there unless Pup King is a pipe smoker.

    Ceci n’est pas un blog comment.

  • avatar
    Meg Says:

    Noland, Spitfire, Shark, Flying Pup King, Kaboom. We’ve got issues of industrialism, war, the role of the artist, reconsidering everyday objects, and redefining art. Is anyone thinking what I’m thinking…How ’bout a ready-made by Marcel Duchamp?! The porcelain white of “Flying Pup King” brings to mind one of my favorite works of art, “Fountain.”

  • avatar
    Danny Says:

    How many pieces of art are needed before the mix tape is complete?

  • avatar
    John Says:


  • avatar
    Phillip Says:

    Duchamp’s “Fountain” is such an iconic piece, and its influence is imprinted in one way or another on a good percentage of the art made since the Armory Show. I think we could draw a link to another polarizing artist who incorporates ready made objects into his work: Jeff Koons. Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank (Two Dr J Silver Series, Spalding NBA Tip-Off) 1985 has the added bonus of echoing Daniel’s Damien Hirst post. And they are floating circles…like the Noland (in a way).

  • avatar
    John Says:

    May I have a second turn? Oh good.

    After throwing out my little “C90” exclamation, I was asked what that meant and in looking for a nice photo to do my talking, I came across what I consider to be a very enjoyable website/artwork AND my next addition to this mixtape.
    My reasoning is, of course, that I like it. Also, since this is a visual mixtape, I think that a virtual visual of tapes is just good sense.
    Without further ado:

  • avatar
    Shelley Says:

    OK, and if we’ve made it to, we are not far from this:

    but on a more serious note, check out Satch Hoyt’s 8 Track Shack which was recently exhibited at Houston’s Contemporary Museum as part of Black Light White Noise:

  • avatar
    John Says:

    …ok…I hope I’m not too out of line here, but I feel the need to make a third entry. After looking at the colors of the 8 Track Shack, I was reminded of the colors of Christopher Doyle’s cinematography and photography. Sadly, I’ve had a heck of a time finding examples online. But! I didn’t give up and so here we go.
    Some stills from Wong Kar Wai’s, ‘Fallen Angels’:
    Although the review of the film isn’t all bad, I want to say that I do not agree with the critique. I love that movie to pieces. AND, I hope Phil doesn’t hate me by now.

  • avatar

    Damn, that sound’s so easy if you think about it.

  • avatar
    Eva Says:

    Mixtapes used to be one of my hobbies when there were still tapes. My somehow I got over it, and now I let other people make mixtures for me.

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