Monday, June 29, 2009

Quick Thoughts

I turned 24 yesterday!! June 28th, 1985 is when I started this life. The world's most perfect birthday. Here is the DCist "Photo of the Day" from yesterday, June 28th 2009-

Some kind of party train going on somewhere in the District? It looks like the Artomatic show, but I can't tell. At any rate, yes, people, my birthday IS a good day to don a mustache costume (see the half-naked person on the left) and dance around. Glad you could celebrate with me. Sad I spent a lot of my time in the Minneapolis Airport, coming home from my Utah trip to marry off my best friend, Jessica Brothers, to Adam Clayton.

BUT I'm so happy I got to be a part of their wedding!!! Worth every second and every penny! Thanks to my family for coming up to see me and Jess as well! In the aftermath of great life moments like this weekend, I feel like I can be up for almost any challenge, knowing I have such great people in my life who love me so much and who I can love back, with equal joy.

Auntie Chey- I LOVE MY PRESENT!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU!!! And I definitely saved the wrapping paper as legal proof that you have bequeathed me your beautiful Ferdinand the Bull drawing when you die. I feel the honor of such a present :) My family rules.

Job search continues, although I'm starting an hourly, seasonal stint as Wendy Peffercorn, aka a lifeguard at the Upton Hill Park Pool in Arlington. HOORAY FOR PAYCHECKS AND FREE TANS!

My siblings rule. My best friends are the best. My airplane landed safely, and my new bright yellow rain coat was the perfect gift (thanks mom!). I got to go be daring at the Mona pond rope swing Saturday morning with some of my favorite guy friends, the only other thing I wanted to do this weekend besides see my best friend emerge from those temple doors with her hand in Adam's and a blissful smile on her face. Thus today, June 29th, finds me one very happy camper.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


My dad calls people whose name he can't remember "Lucky" or "Chief" depending on their gender. He cannot convincingly lie, ever, and as my mom has observed with wicked laughter, his nostrils flare tellingly when he tries!! My dad has hated fish my whole life long, but loves those little scalding-hot pepper flakes on all his other meals (weirdo). Whenever he tries to dance he... well, we'll just say it tickles our funny bone to watch. My dad has been a faithful home teacher his whole life, a feat accomplished by very, very few. His voice gets really small when he has to convey something important, which can either be terrifying because you know you're really in trouble, or awesome because you can feel how close his heart is to his favorite subjects. My dad is the 5th of 6 kids, and maintains a strong love of family; the C________s are a wild and crazy bunch of teddy bears and I love how often we see each other year in and year out.

My dad loves to think outside the box, and his way of conceiving new ideas and pushing the boundaries of thought has left an indelible mark on the minds of his children. He is a completely devoted husband and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and the best part of his personality shows forth when you talk to him about these two subjects. He was the first person to show me how to swim the butterfly. He was the maniacal boat driver that left me wary of going tubing forever! (Yet I still love to wakeboard... haha! Can't wreck that out of me! Although... he tried. Once he just left me all by my lonesome in the middle of Lake Mead after a run, afloat in my gear. At twilight. I just had to lay back and talk to God in the sunset for half an hour while he and the kids packed up camp back at the beach. Good times). My dad never lets a good subject for debate rest, particularly if it involves architecture or Mitt Romney.

When I went to Europe in summer '07, it was as if he was always there; everywhere I went I observed cool buildings and artworks that I wished I could show him, because he's so good at pointing out to me what's so ingenious or copycat-errific about them. By the end of that study abroad all my classmates practically missed him, too-- I was unafraid to share with them the lens through which I view the world, which my dad in particular gave me (my co-traveller Ashley just confirmed that to me this weekend- we went to the National Gallery together and she said she wished I had gone with her on her latest trip to Belgium, cuz she missed all the times I would remark, "My dad loves glass walls that do this..." or, "My dad thinks architecture can be inspiring without gargoyles stuck all over it!" etc.) I love him especially for the way he and my mother both raised me with a special eye for things that just shine. For ideas, people, buildings, flavors, sunsets, stories and adventures that make life so dang worthwhile. It is the never-ending search for the new and exciting that I hope to be able to pass on to students, friends, and loved ones throughout my life.

My dad is a great man who works harder and with more honesty and commitment to building the kingdom than anyone I know. I love him. I'm really grateful that he has continually lead our family on a great and glorious path. I know I just showed you this photo, but it really is my favorite, so you get to see it again. I love it because it symbolizes my favorite part of my relationship with my dad- the way he puts me on an equal level with him, allowing me to see the beauties and mysteries of the world as he does, while encouraging me to form good ideas, make good observations, and ask great questions, too.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

All My Thoughts on Pop

(Stay away from the whine, Lindsey. Stay away!!) I had to do a couple of things I didn't want to do this week (so I did them with misgivings). Oh well. Living your dreams won't ever come easy, and I think my beginner's luck has just simply, officially, run its course. Notwithstanding, I've just realized I haven't put up a serious post about art in a long while. I've been headed creepily towards the self-absorbed blogs deliciously satirized in seriouslysoblessed! Heaven forbid! So I am putting off my daily resume dispersion for a moment of fun for me, and (hopefully) enjoyment for you as well.

Mom asked me why she recognized that picture of a woman crying in the last post. "Is that famous?" she asked. "Yes, but not as a cartoon," I answered, "It's pop art. By Roy Lichtenstein. He and Andy Warhol and the other Pop artists were so sick of seeing museums buy artwork essentially of nothing, cuz they were entering the art market right after minimalism's heyday, where all the famous art was basically painted boxes and monochrome canvases with one spot or one stupid vertical line on them. So the pop artists decided to paint or sculpt what seemed to them like the last unheralded realm of imagery: popular things.(Hence the name of the art movement). They began to figure out little tongue-in-cheek ways to play with items you see every day, like Campbell's soup labels, Marilyn Monroe's face, or in Roy Lichtenstein's case, comic book illustrations." (Yes, that was pretty much a word-for word summary of my reply to my mother's question.)

Breaking down 20th-century modern art history into its most elemental pieces (which a good art historian should never do but does anyways... small trade secret for ya), avant-garde art went like this after WWI: Cubism (think Picasso, who was one of the first to say, "I've painted beautiful women's faces long enough! Let's mess up her eyes and ears and colors and see what happens!").

Abstract Expressionism (i.e. Jackson Pollock, who said, "Forget women's faces! Let's just look at paint, glorious, paint when I throw it around majestically!").

High modernism (With artists like DC's own Morris Louis, who said, "I'm not even going to throw it around! I'm going to let it slide down the canvases on its own, so I can say I've truly got the essence of painting- canvas and color, no artist's hand involved!").

Minimalism (the aforementioned boxes and stupid vertical lines). Artists like Sol LeWitt decided they didn't want art to look like ANYONE made it anymore. Like a machine could make it instead. Incidentally, Sol LeWitt just completed a wall design that the LA Times art critic calls the Sistine Chapel of America. Read here and feel free to disagree, if you feel so inclined. Me and many other art-worlders certainly do.

Then, THEN, like a cheeky ray of ironic sunlight, came Pop art. Roy Lichtenstein, like many others of his generation (the big Pop names include Robert Indiana, Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist, Wayne Theibaud, and the illustrious Mr. Andy Warhol) bounced unsatisfied from style to style in the wakes of these quickly-changing art movements, all of which had the unfortunate and probably very annoying habit of setting up their originators as the saviors and primmadonnas of the art world (this process was helped along by the various dramas that unfolded in the artists' high-roller lives: Pollock, as you know, crashed his car into a tree and died at age 44, taking a female passenger along with him, while Carl Andre, a Minimalist, pushed his wife and fellow artist Ana Mendieta off a balcony to her death, though he denies it. Rubbish.)

Poor, talented, unfamous, and probably drunk, the pop artists essentially decided to scream, Howard Beale-like, "I'm mad as H#%! and I'm not gonna take it anymore!" Enough with this hoity-toityness! I'm tired of stupid lines and inflated egos!

When you look at their art, the thing the pop artists most often hoped you would see lies beyond the familiar, cheap subject matter. Most of the time, they want you to realize, with misgivings, that this ordinary part of your world is now suddenly out of the ordinary, and maybe always has been. You, and they, and most of the people around us, are constantly and completely assaulted by images from the news, ads, packaging, billboards, TV, internet, etc., which all mean very little and affect no lasting change. We are all in a state of being either engrossed in, disgusted by, or amused at the commercialism and mass-media-type images that saturate our cultural landscape. So these Pop artists, they used bright colors, and ginormous canvases, and unusual sculpting materials (Claes Oldenburg created giant bath tubs out of stuffed canvases), all in an effort to poke fun at both the prestigious and pretentious world of fine art up to that point, and also the ubiquitous base of low-class design that formed the very foundation of society's visual atmosphere.

Now, the discomfiting fact is that some of these Pop artists stepped beyond the boundaries of good art (A fledgling Modern Art Historian asserted that there is such a thing as good and bad modern art? Yes, yes she did.) and chose to create works that are pornographic and/or despondent. However, they also simultaneously affected real and lasting change in the landscape of the avant-garde by their ironic and methodical musings on the "normal" experience of life. For that reason I study and admire them, albeit with my own occasional misgivings about their choice of subject matter and mood.

Today, while in the midst of sending out resumes like Obama sends out stimulus money, I wanted to relate to you what I consider to be my prickly future task as a Mormon art historian: weeding through demoralizing trash to find and properly admire the art that is truly our marvelous cultural heritage here and now, at the beginning of the 21st-century. FYI, all of the selected images this post are artworks I consider great, if not classic, cultural gifts. I adore Morris Louis' beautiful "Veils," as he called them, and I just smile and want a sandwich every time I see this^ James Rosenquist. When I told a guy in my ward this week that I plan on studying Modern art, he scoffed, "Huh. The worst art of all time!" I vehemently disagree with him, though I don't know all the reasons why just yet (hence, more school). I just know that I'm here at this time in history for a reason, as were these Pop and Modern and Contemporary artists, and that I will share more feelings and experiences with them than I ever will with some dead Greek who painted wings and lightning bolts on a vase. I like knowing that I can see what my chosen artists saw, and feel what they felt, and I can certainly empathize with their frustration and confusion at modern life's overflow of inane images. THIS is why it does not SUCK to study Modern Art. After all, isn't that the best part of all art, and the whole human experience: being able to connect with other human beings??

From the Top:

Pablo Diego Jose Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Maria de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santisima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso. :) Le Reve, 1932
Jackson Pollock, Lavender Mist, 1954
Morris Louis, Dalet Kaf, n.d.
Sol LeWitt, Open Modular Cube, 1966
Roy Lichtenstein, Sunrise, 1965
Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe, 1967
James Rosenquist, White Bread, 1964

PS Something in me is screaming to make sure this is understood: All of these are white males. Yes, historically, that is who called the artistic shots. Helen Frankenthaler was actually the true mistress (as in, the feminine version of master) of Color-field Painting, what Morris Louis did, better (they were friends, and Morris benefitted greatly by her lead). There. I said my peace, and all my feminist art historian friends can put down their torches now.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

T- minus

14 days!
That's when takes me back to this place - so I can do a lot of this - because, you see, the pink shiny half of this, the wild Lindssica- plans on going here- and getting married for time and all eternity to THIS dude in the orange jacket- :] In 14 days I will also be reunited with The Asian, seen above, and maybe even get some face time with this high school BFF- - though if I don't, it's ok, because in T-minus 4 months or so, I'll get back with to watch that one do a little marrying of her own! (though you didn't hear it from me... yet! Good thing she doesn't read my blog.) The point is, I'm marrying off BFF's left and right, and I couldn't be happier with their brave and wonderful choices. Nor could I be more grateful for cheap airline flights that enable me to witness the ends of era's and the beginnings of eternity all summer long. I sure wish I could have hopped on a plane to be a part of this- though. Congrats, my grown-up sissy Wee! I'm so proud of you! Man, what a big, crazy transitional year for our family!

In other news, unemployment continues. That story, as you know, gets old real fast (cold off the press, if you will), so instead of focusing on the tragedy of it all, I work hard, and remember the sage advice of my "Elder" brother in Florida- "it does NO GOOD to be sad. Doesn't do ANYTHING. Brings YOU down, brings everyone around you down, you get lazy, and eventually get fat like me." Hee hee. Wise old Marticus. I am keeping a job-hunting journal that will enable me to look back with pride and a wry smile when I DO finally get my amazing job. I'm actually kind of glad I get this chance to learn how to really network, interview, and work and pray in the pursuit of a grown-up goal (just let it end in time for me to pay July's rent!). I know these skills will always come in handy and I know that as I exercise faith and work as hard as I possibly can, putting out as many "stones" out there for God to touch, he will eventually and at the perfect moment, bless the applications I send out. I don't doubt that he delights to bless his girls that are giving it their all, with Him always in mind. Thanks, everyone who prays and fasts for me. I feel greatly blessed by the people who are cheering me on as I try to forge a good name and a good future for myself.

In other OTHER news, DC has been the site of several Noah-esque floods the last two weeks (BOOOOO what fun is unemployment if you can't hit up your apartment complex's pool once in a while??) But it did create at least one great memory, as me and roommates Breanna and Marin left sensibility in the dust, er, mud, and went for a little run through the parking lot during a downpour. The streets had turned into large rivers with strong currents, and this is us post-frolic- . I'm pouring water out of my shoe, if you can't tell. Also, I now have the time to run around with a couple other girls (we've christened ourselves the "Day Club" because we're free during the day), enjoying all the arts and tourist sights of big beautiful DC. One of the most intriguing adventures was the annual DC-based arts fair, Artomatic, where the art entries ranged from amateur to perverse to really cool, like this print, entitled, "Four- Leaf Clover of Friends,"
I like it because it looks like they're all praying. Another neat one was this large installation sculpture by a local arts class; they made a forest all out of recycled material! It was so visually compelling!
And that's all for now. A bientot!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tales of a housewifey... sans house. AND spouse :)

I'm on Day 3 of unemployment. And officially ready for it to be over. Day 1 (Monday) was cool, I got a lot done, including putting up a lot of the art I've had stuffed into corners and folders since I moved (aaaah... it feels like home now). But then... Day 2 came. And that giant TO DO list I made on Day 1 was now reminding me of all the UN-fun stuff I still needed to do (I crossed off all the fun stuff on Day 1... dang it, why didn't I think to ration it out??) So I rolled up my sleeves, er went running :), and then later, begrudgingly, tackled a few of the unpleasantries.

And here I sit, Day 3, facing the few miscellaneous items remaining on the TO DO list, with all the time in the world and not a single shred of motivation. And I find myself thinking about this newest adventure, my (hopefully brief) stint as a "housewifey," waiting to hear if I got my job as a swim instructor for the summer and if my other resume-required applications have impressed their addressee's. And then my mind skips to the REALLY important matter at hand: What works of art will I hang in my future permanent residence? I've been staring at the bare wallspace of my tiny apartment for three days now, can you blame me??

Anyone who has ever witnessed a room of Lindsey's in the last couple of years can testify that I am a visual person; I fill my surroundings with things to look at. And not the cutesy normal things to look at like Anne Geddes photos or Relief-Society-spawned fake flower arrangements. I go for the thought-provoking and memory-triggering. In my future house I am also sensibly considering what kinds of artworks my kids would be inspired by (aka which works will require me to regale them with art legends) and which artworks will create the kind of pleasing ambiance and sacred space I try to create wherever I live. (woo... I'm starting to sound like my dad, huh?)

Now, keeping in mind the fact that my list of future house-works changes continuously as I come across more and more enchanting artworks from every stage of art history, here are the all-stars that have been hanging on the walls of my mental dream house for years now:

In my bathroom:

Matisse's Goldfish, 1912 (?) I'm not too official on dates... these pictures are family, not homework!

In my office (or in the hall if I don't have an office):

Caillebotte's Floor Scrapers, I can't remember when- 1880's? Parisian, naturally.

Durer's Melencolia I, 1514, which I did my undergraduate senior thesis on. Aaaah the memories... the hours and hours and hours of research... good times. I knew I was in the right line of work when I could spend 5 months looking at something and still be excited to see it later.

Over a couch somewhere:

Yes, it's a Dan Flavin light installation. Hey, a girl can dream!


Wayne Thiebaud, I can't remember the title. Although I might replace this with a decent still-life or a Morandi if I can find one to suit my tastes.

Entry-way (cuz it's one of my all-time favorites and it still makes me smile when I see it):

Van Gogh's Cafe Terrace at Night

For Memory-Triggering's sake:

[Insert perfunctory pictures of family and friends here, hopefully they look as good as Genna's pics] and also:

Dad and bebe Lindsey, in Virginia, probably 1987

Hung in a prominent place like a stairwell or mantle (because yes, I do appreciate the importance of having images that inspire devotion in the home, and am veeeeeeery selective about it):

This big beautiful sketch is something my dad did long ago of the Cardston, Alberta Canada Temple-- I definitely have a post-it note stuck to the back of this picture, claiming it after my parents die :)

Confession: I most definitely judge people based on what they have hanging on their walls. Now, don't be worried, your decor rarely says anything negative about you (except... if you use a lot of Andy Warhol, I may mentally scoff. He and I have an longstanding disagreement about art economics). I believe that what you choose to surround yourself with speaks volumes about who you are, what you care about, and what makes you happy. I delight in asking people about their choices. For example, I love going into guys' homes here in DC, because guys' walls are usually a lot more sparse and simple (similar to guys' overall approach to life). If they have any decor at all it's fairly utilitarian, with a specific purpose (like a love-sac) or a memory, e.g. it's from a mission, or has a great story behind it that really impressed them (or... it came with the house :) My Aunt Cheryl, on the other hand, has the most creative, alive home ever, with green and purple swirled rugs and a gorgeous hand-drawn enlargement of an illustration from my favorite children's book, Ferdinand the Bull (framed in a beautiful, candy-apple red, custom-made frame). From these pieces everyone can understand what an invigorating, creative lady she is. My dad's decorating philosophy is FAMILY PICTURES ONLY, which I've always disagreed with... I got in trouble one summer for daring to hang a van gogh print in the living room. But that should at least tell you what makes him happy and what he cares about.

Feel free to infer all sorts of things about me from the above compilation. Oh, and just for posterity's sake, the gaps in that list are:

American Color Field painting (I haven't found a favorite Morris Louis yet)
Whatever wall hanging my husband brings to the table
Photography!!!! (American landscape, visual Pop photography, etc.)
Portraiture (I have one in mind... I need to dig it up out of my 19th century European art book. The most lovely self-portrait, done by a Romanticist who died young... can't remember his name)
Modernist (Ikea furniture tries to fill this gap for me)
Something ancient... although that is by far my least favorite time period to study. Snore.

Incidentally, and completely unrelated to the rest of this post, Can DC Mormon Guys Get A Little Libido? I give you leave to hit on girls. We enjoy it. Thanks so much. You're all hot, by the way, don't even worry about it. My favorite moment of this week has been talking to my buddy Brian, who is Catholic, and nice and up front about liking girls. He never tries to submerge anything in shades of candor and friendship and stonewalling confusion. And to my friend James goes a close second for his gentlemanly remark: "Come back, we never made out!" Ah, soooooo refreshing. Best action I've gotten the whole time I've been in DC, thanks fellas :)