Daily Archives: October 20, 2009

rooftop summer bbq

Now that summer has begun, every meal has been made with the bbq. Esteban and I have access to our rooftop where we have been hosting a number of summer feasts. Today we enjoyed bratwursts, macaroni salad, squash and mushrooms with our dear friends Alex and Clay, it was our first celebration together since graduation. The sun shone brightly and the food was delicious!

Alex and Esteban enjoy the summer heat while waiting for lunch to be ready.

lincoln park zoo

Since my mom and brother have been in town I have been spending a lot of time with them. Today we decided to visit the Lincoln Park Zoo since it has been a pretty chilly week until today that is. The zoo was packed to the brim but we managed to see everything we set out to look for and the animals were not a tad bit shy. The tiger roared and the gorillas napped and did things that gorillas often do. We spent the entire day over at the zoo and upon exiting our attention was caught by the various peddle boats in the river nearby. Amir and I decided to give it a go and we had so much fun peddling our passenger, otherwise known as Mom 🙂 a ride around the river. It was a great day!

Ice cream, boat rides, and the sea lion tank.

The gorilla sleeps in its world.

A view of the angry tiger who roared for several minutes as spectators gathered around to see him.

kites a soarin’

Esteban came over to the Gold Coast today to fly kites with Amir. It was a very cold day but the wind blew beautifully and we could not help but fly our kites. We decided to go to the park near the MCA. I spent some time chatting with my mom while the two of them ran across the park with their kites in the sky.

Amir and Esteban flying kites.

saic graduation c/o 2008

At 10 am this morning I participated in the 2008 Graduation ceremony for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago at the Millenium Park Pritzker Pavilion where I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree as well as a Fellowship.

Tony Jones introduces our guests for the morning.

Following an introduction by artist, Michelle Grabner, our commencement speaker, art critic, Jerry Salz, gave an entertaining and interesting speech in regards to our future as artist’s as well as the difference between cats and dogs. The list of degree recipients included 800+ students, it was a very lengthy list of names and individuals who WITH CHEER :), crossed the stage. Other notable figures present today were Jeff Koons, Herb Kane, Carol Becker, and Jerry Salz of whom all received honorary doctorates for their fine contributions and accomplishments in the realm of Art.

It was a warm and sunny morning. The audience was filled with proud family members and friends of all the graduates. Both my mom and my youngest brother flew in from Hawaii to the ceremony bearing the most gorgeous ti leaf leis, as it is a tradition in Hawaiian culture upon any congratulatory occasion to present these to one another. I am so happy to have my family here.

After the ceremony I met with one of the honorary doctorate recipients, Herb Kane. Mr. Kane is originally from Hilo, Hawaii and he has been a role model for me throughout my life. He is a very important man to Hawaiians throughout the world. It was a special day for Mr. Kane as he celebrated his birthday as well I greeted him with a ti leaf lei and was reminded of the paintings of his that lined the library of my elementary and high schools throughout my life back home. It was an honor to have met him today.
Mr. Kane and Myself after the graduation ceremony dressed in ti leaf leis.

Mrs. Schimpf, Myself, Esteban, My mom, and my brother, Amir, pose for a photo after the ceremony.

Thank you to my family for their love and support, and thank you to my instructors for all that I have learned from you. To all my friends…thank you for making everything possible!


SUNDAY– brunch, murakami n’ mister softee

It seems as if everyday we had a late start due to the events from the day before. Caroline, Max, Esteban and I headed over to Bushwick’s Life Cafe where the wait for a table for brunch lasted over an hour. I think the only thing that pulled us through our long wait was the warmth of the bright sun and the glasses of ice water that the waitress kindly refilled every 10 minutes. Once we sat down to brunch the wait had been worth it. At brunch we talked about all the work we had seen while Caroline shared with us stories from her weekend spent in Providence as she attended the BFA Furniture show that a friend of hers at RISD participated in.

Waiting for Brunch–Esteban under his sweater, Caroline under her sweater, and Max antagonizing poor Caroline.

Finally Eating Breakfast.

After brunch Caroline decided to join Esteban and I to the Brooklyn Museum to see Murakami’s retrospective which traveled from Los Angeles to New York. The show was packed. There was so much work on display including a Louis Vuitton store bridging two galleries together. I was impressed by the perfection of all the paintings and enjoyed Murakami’s older work a lot more than some of the new stuff. We also saw the large collection of works from Oceania and Africa as well as the Ghada Amer show.

Murakami at the Brooklyn Museum

Sunday must have been the warmest of our days in New York because as we exited the museum everyone was playing in the fountain and enjoying ice creams provided by Mister Softee the Ice cream truck man. We couldn’t resist even though this meant one more line to wait in.

Ice Creams…

And that was it, our trip to New York for four days consisting of everything we could possibly fit into our schedule. It was a lovely vacation and as always those friends are some of the best we have. Thank you Max. Goodbye NYC!

SATURDAY– a day in chelsea

We committed our Satuday to Chelsea. Max joined us for the entire day as we stopped everywhere between David Zwirner on 19th street to Greene Naftali Gallery on 26th. It was a long day and we surprisingly saw it all. Katharina Fritsch’s show at Mathew Marks was very intriguing. The exhibition included over twenty new sculptures alongside silkscreens. Her latest figure, Giant, was an all-gray cave man holding a large club. In each installation of her sculptures, an icon is surrounded by three silkscreens of courtyards, bushes, and fountains. Another exhibition which had just opened was David Altmejd at the Andrea Rosen Gallery.

A sculpture of St. Catherine by Katharina Fritsch at Matthew Marks.

Work by David Altmejd at Andrea Rosen Gallery

After the galleries Max took us to eat at the Half King. We were given the prime seat at the restaurant right at the front window with two soft leather couches to sit back and recline on. The Half King is known best for it’s variety of burgers which is why Esteban ordered the Buffalo Burger, Max enjoyed his Venison and I decided on the Turkey. Dinner was great but it was hard to leave since we were so comfortable. As we left we passed by the Hotel Chelsea and hopped on the nearest train. Unfortunately our train was not running that day so it took us about 3 hours to get back to Bushwick as we transfered and attempted to find a cabbie. None of it was successful and our route frustrated us all except for Esteban. After returning to Bushwick we took a nap and then had Nate and Caroline join us. We had a slumber party and stayed up telling myths to one another while Nate corrected us all with the facts he would retrieve via google through his iphone.

Esteban and I happily fed at The Half King.

Max exhaustedly fed at The Half King.

Hotel Chelsea

FRIDAY– MOMA, Whitney Biennial, and Robertas

Now Friday may have been the craziest of all our days in New York. We woke up at 11 yet planned a day filled with museum hopping since everything stayed open late that night. Esteban and I met Max at the MOMA where we all thoroughly enjoyed an exhibition entitled, Take Your Time, by the Danish-Icelandic artist, Olafur Eliason. The work was elegant, magical, and gleaming with light of all sorts ;). One piece in particular which stretched across a large portion of the second floor of the museum was Room for one Colour, in which monochromatic bulbs emitted light at such a narrow frequency that they affected the normal color perception of the viewers, therefore the contents of the room appeared in yellow or shades of black.

Room for one Colour, Olafur Eliason
Museum of Modern Art, New York

We saw the newly acquired pieces of the museum which consisted of a “Rock Head” by David Hammonds, works by Chris Ofili, Rachel Harrison and many more.

Esteban stands beside a piece by Rachel Harrison.

And of course we spent most of our time looking at the permanent collection of the museum where we saw a number of masterpieces. Our experiences of such masterpieces were not as we had desired since hundred and hundred of people filtered through the museum all trying to get a shot of themselves beside Picasso’s and of course, Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

Esteban catches me in a moment while admiring Claes Oldenburg’s soft ice cream cone.

By the time we were done at the MOMA, Max realized he needed a nap so he headed home for some rest while we continued on to the Whitney to see the 2008 Biennial. I enjoyed the Biennial a lot. The halls of the Whitney were flooded with works from top to bottom. I really enjoyed the installation by Amanda Ross-Ho, Walead Beshty and a film by Omer Fast. Before leaving the MOMA Esteban bought a book about the artist’s Fischli & Weiss which would be our shared reading source for the remainder of our stay in New York.

You can be assured that when all this was over, we were hungry and exhausted. Esteban and I headed back to Bushwick where we met up with Nate, Wyatt, Max, Caroline, Brian, and Natalie Labriola at Robertas again. Dinner was delicious, and it was nice spending the evening alongside our friends. After dinner we could not continue with them to the concert they all planned on attending because falling asleep seemed much more appropriate.

THURSDAY–Cafe Habana, The New Museum, an Opening and Tea with Bless

We got a late start on Thursday waking up at about noon time. Luckily our plan for the day consisted of a short trip to Soho. We ate lunch at a cute cafe called Cafe Habana where we enjoyed delicious barbecued chicken burritos and corn “cuban style”. Cafe Habana is just around the corner from the New Museum which was our planned location for the day…just as we were turning the corner toward the Museum we passed a bright orange mural by one of my favorite artists, Keith Haring. Esteban and I spent quite a while admiring the beaming colored mural of three-eyed faces and Haring’s token forms.

Esteban and I in front of Keith Haring’s mural.

As we neared the New Museum we were blown away by the architecture of the building itself, which appears as if boxes are stacked one on top of the other in a teetering yet elegant manner. There were several exhibitions on view one of my favorite’s being a show of Daniel Guzman and Steven Scherer’s work in one of the museum’s galleries. On the top floor of the museum we saw quite an array of work by the 2006 Turner Prize recipient Tomma Abts.

New Museum
235 Bowery
New York, NY 10002

After spending many hours at the museum Esteban and I decided to visit the Kartell furniture store in Soho as well as Deitch Projects. While visiting those locations we got side tracked by the boutiques and shopping centers around the area. Once finished with our treck through Soho we headed back to Bushwick to join Max and Bless to an opening of our fellow friends Andres and Wyatt. The opening was packed with young artists and hipster kids of all shapes and sizes. After spending some time there we headed back to Max’s place and spent the evening chilling with him and Bless as we reminisced about life in Chicago and the new lives we all have ahead of us while sipping on a variety of chamomile and cinnamon teas brewed by Max.

Wednesday in New York–Walk in the Park and Union Pool

We arrived in New York on Wednesday.

The day was beautiful and bright and we took a cab to meet our friend who we would be staying with, Maximillian Schubert. Max has a live/work space in Bushwick where he works amongst other artists like Rashid Johnson, Siebren Versteeg, Rob Davis, Mike Langlois and many others. Upon our hungry arrival Max took us to a local pizzeria called Robertas. Robertas was fantastic, with delicious calzones and thin crust pizzas as well as a setting that was perfect–it was cabinesque with just an oven for firing. After Robertas we went to Williamsburg to meet a dear friend of ours, Caroline Askew. With Caroline we got Italian Gelato and spent dusk in the park before heading over to Union Pool. At Union Pool we met up with many of our friends who are former SAIC graduates, Bless Tive, Andres Laracuente, Nate, and the Onion’s Caroline! Union pool was great, we stayed there for awhile and then headed back to Max’s place to for a good night’s sleep.

A walk in the park–Max, Caroline and Esteban.

Nate, Max, and Caroline II, at Union Pool.

art chicago n’ fogo de chao

Today I reported to the Columbus building at 10am to assist in an admissions event revolving around Art Bash which is a culminating exhibition put on by the First Year Program that consists of work by selected First Year Students throughout the galleries of the school.

After the event some my friends Alex, Julius, Chloe, Marquise and Haseeb headed over to Art Chicago for one last viewing before the event was over. I made sure to see the New Insight show on view at NEXT. New Insight is a curated show comprised of works by MFA students throughout the country. Amongst all the works in the show, I was most impressed by the work of SAIC’s MFA student Angel Otero who had two paintings on display, the paintings were beautiful.

A painting by Angel Otero on view at the New Insight exhibition.

After running through the show we all headed over to Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian Meat-Age Restaurant in which 14 kinds of meat are served to each person as long as they flag the waiter down with a Green coaster-like signal. Fogo de Chao was amazing and I have never had quite a wild experience while feasting. The dinner lasted from 6pm till 11pm, it was a great moment for all of the graduating admissions students to get together and enjoy one of our last meals together. The food was amazing, the conversations were great; laughter filled the room.

Chloe, Julius, Alex and I yell at the top of our lungs in celebration for FOGO!

From (top left to bottom right) Myself, Chloe and Haseeb; Alex, Jamilee, and Ghazal; Michael, Gracen Hong, and Rob; Andres and Marquise–all having a wonderful time dining.

At the end of the night you can be sure that our stomachs were full.

MCA Breakfast, MCA Warehouse Party, and Roots & Culture

I woke up early this morning to attend a special breakfast at the MCA. Chris Kennedy opened up the morning with a speech in which he discussed the new “Art Chicago”, as well as addressing the new director of the MCA. To follow Mr. Kennedy’s speech was the director herself, Madeleine Grynsztejn. As the Chicago Tribune states, “This has been an exhilarating month for Madeleine Grynsztejn. The 46-year-old former curator in the department of 20th Century art at the Art Institute of Chicago has returned from San Francisco to become the first female director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the retrospective she organized for celebrated artist Olafur Eliasson—which will come to the MCA next spring—has just opened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.” Overall the morning was rather exciting, after breakfast we were all encouraged to take a look at the museum’s various exhibitions on display. We walked through and saw the Metta-Matta Clark exhibition and the Karen Kilimnik works on display. I must say that my favorite section of the museum this morning was the 12×12 emerging artist section by Irena Knezevic. Irena brought together historical and contemporary figures who have made a Faustian pact with the devil in an installation titled The Summit (2007).

Breakfast hosted by the MCA and catered by Wolfgang Puck.

Installation by Irena Knezevic comprised of overhead projections and related objects.

After breakfast I realized I needed a few hours of rest since the days have been jam packed with things to do. I went home to take a nap and later in the night Esteban and I headed over to the MCA Warehouse for an Art Chicago Party. The evening was great with tons of h’orderves and spring mojitos. We mingled with a number of artists, gallerists, and collectors. Once the Warehouse party came to an end we headed over to La Pasadita for burritos with Dan Berger and Justin Polera where we met up with Rob Davis, Mike Langlois, Rashid Johnson, Cheri, Steve Turner, Binyon, and Todd Gray. After burritos we went to Roots and Culture where a silent auction was being held as a benefit for the independent gallery space. I met up with my friends Alex and Maliea and the night soon became a beautiful dance party!

What a long long day.

Todd, Binyon, Dan, Rashid, Esteban, Mike and I pose for a photo at the Warehouse party.