Souther and Saelee – it’s easy! I hung out with the kids yesterday, went to Sootbulljeep for some bbq and cold noodles. The naeng myun is cold, slimy and tasty. Add some vinegar and mustard that’s provided on the tables and it’s even better. I’ve had better, but this isn’t bad at all for a place that’s known for their meat. The bbq is where it’s at. Having a gas table top grill is great, but actually having coals make a small difference. The meat and shrimp get well grilled and comes out better than the regular bbq’ers. I guess that’s why people like having BBQ’s at home. We left smelling like garlic and meat.
One thing we talked about which I think is funny is the speed at which people expect art shows to get done. Some think it takes a week, some less, and I can in a way understand why. It’s about having art that may look effortless. Saelee Oh‘s work, this isn’t effortless. Cutting paper and her meticulous drawings and painting is no joke. You look at this and know, she puts in the hours. Souther is another story. If you take a look at the GRNY show you might think his work is effortless. Pen marks, simple paint strokes, tape, paper, junk, and a dream. it’s easy right?
In GR-land, people in the past have said some of the funniest things that tell me that they think making GR is easy. Here’s some examples.
1) You guys just write as much as you can about a subject and print it. (That’s like saying, just draw as much as you can and you have art.)
2) You guys are irreverrent and articles are wacky. (Again, this is like saying just fuck around on a piece of wood and frame it. It’s art.)
3) This isn’t an attempt at remembering a quote: but people have submitted butt-horrible articles filled with expletives that say nothing, and then they say, it’s perfect for GR. Cussing doesn’t help articles get better. (It’s like if I made a piece of shit art piece and showed it to Souther or Saelee and said, this is just like yours. That’s a fast way to insult someone.)
4) Some turn in their school term paper and think we’d print it. (if I did an art project for school, does that mean it can go into a gallery?) Some even submit B and C papers!
5) Just because it’s Asian, we want it. We get PR people showing us a book about the Ming Dynasty trade secrets, and expect us to want to write about it. (if I cut paper and make a snowflake, is my work akin to Saelee’s? Does it even fit in the same sentence?)
Art isn’t easy as it looks and making a magazine isn’t as easy as it looks, (understanding each can be as easy as it is difficult) but the hours of work and years of thinking about it can make it look effortless. An example that’s neither publishing or art, is how Steve Nash makes basketball look easy. You might think that you don’t need to jump, be fast, or even look good. Yet he can score 30 points and dish 10 assists. There are prodigies, who can jump in and be artists or even make a mag, or throw a pass, but that’s as rare as hitting a lotto.
There’s no lesson here except some things that look easy, aren’t. Even with a simplistic piece that Warhol did, like a soup can… there’s years of basis, and ideas that prefaced it and years of projects that spawned from it. It’s not that easy.
Yet, if the “easy” inspires you to try something that makes you succeed or fail, then that’s cool too. All this from Korean BBQ… or was it only that?