Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Manhunt on Prospect Hill

We had some excitement in the neighborhood a couple of nights ago. At midnight I heard some crunching noises and then intense sirens, I looked out the first floor front window to see police cars at the corner of our street, four houses away. Colette, looking out the second floor front window, saw a police officer chasing a man into the back yard of the house across the street. I went outside and walked to the corner, it immediately became apparent that there had been a high speed chase that ended (the vehicular part, anyway) when the fleeing car crashed into another car at the intersection. An officer told me that they were looking for someone with a gun and that I might want to go inside. The Police Blotter explained how it turned out in the next day's paper, they don't mention the condition of the man who was in the car that was hit at the intersection.

A Buffalo man who pled guilty to fatally shooting a bouncer in 1998 was one of three men arrested early this morning following a chase that ended with a crash on the city's West Side.

Luis Borea, 34, of Georgia Street, who faces weapons possession and other charges, was taken into custody just after midnight at Vermont and Niagara streets.

Borea, who's been on parole since September 2007, was sentenced to 11 years in prison after he pled guilty to manslaughter in the March 1998 shooting death of Moises Colon in a Busti Avenue bar.

Central District police attempted to pull over a Honda Accord in the area of Normal Avenue and Connecticut Street after observing a man entering the car in an area known for drug activity this morning. The vehicle had switched plates, according to a police report.

Police activated their overhead lights and sirens when the car was on 14th Street, but the vehicle turned onto Vermont and began accelerating, authorities said.

The car then ran the stop sign at Vermont and Niagara, where it collided with another vehicle, police said.

The three men inside the car fled on foot, but were arrested a short distance away.

Borea was apprehended on Niagara Street, between Rhode Island Street and Massachusetts Avenue.

Richard C. Cruz, 23, of Baynes Street, and Emmanuel Tirado, 27, of Wakefield Avenue, were arrested in the backyard of a home on Columbus Parkway, between Vermont and Columbus Park.

Police recovered a loaded 9 mm handgun from the vehicle, according to reports.

A male inside the vehicle that was hit was taken to Erie County Medical Center with unknown injuries.

In addition to the charge of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, the trio faces first-degree reckless endangerment and obstructing governmental administration.

Officers Mark Cyrek, Stephen Mikac, Robert Eloff and Karen Quinn-Higgins were among the officers involved in the investigation and arrests.

Borea, who moved here from Puerto Rico in 1995, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for the 1998 shooting and an unrelated weapons conviction.

Borea had been previously arrested in April 1996 when he and five other men were accused of firing at a man they were chasing down Busti. A half ounce of heroin was also found at the time, and the men faced drug-related charges.

Cruz was arrested in September for an August home invasion near Riverside Park. He was caught after a brief chase on Baynes Street on Sept. 7.

Tirado has previous convictions for disorderly conduct and drug possession.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

iPhone Travel

I'm really starting to like the camera in my iPhone. It is just a bit unpredictable which makes it nice for casual travel documentation. Below are some shots from trip to NYC for the Armand Bartos opening.

By the way, I have nothing to do with those carts, they are by the sculpture Arman (1928-2005)

More Blog Love

Cool, Core 77 posted about the Stray Shopping Cart Project, check it out here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Daily Heller on Stray Shopping Carts

I just found out that the indispensable Steven Heller wrote about the Stray Shopping Cart Project on his blog The Daily Heller today. Heller is the co-author of The Design Entrepreneurs, which has an interview with me in it. I previously posted about it here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I'm in a group show that opens on Thursday at Armand Bartos Fine Art in NYC. I'll be flying down tomorrow for the opening. The list of people in the show is absolutely insane, I can't believe that my name is on a list like this, it seems like a joke.
Mike Bidlo
Philip Lorca diCorcia
Wiliam Eggleston
Martha Friedman
Ralph Goings
Julian Montague
Claes Oldenberg
Thomas Pfannerstill
Daniel Pflumm
Danica Phelps
Michael Spano
Brian Ulrich
Andy Warhol
Tom Wesselman
Here is the long descriptive text from the gallery evite, it sounds like it's going to be a great show:
SIGN/AGE: Lost in the Supermarket
November 21 - December 19, 2008
Opening reception: Thursday, November 20, 6-8PM
Opening next week is the second in our three part SIGN/AGE series. Assembling works by artists from the Post-War period to the present, these exhibitions mine ideas and images from the rich arenas of advertising and consumerism. Since the Fifties, signs have become extremely complex, functioning not just to fulfill needs but to create them. Signs are designed to sell, and people are lined up to buy, because without our products who are we? Lost in the Supermarket includes works by artists that are in direct conversation with our consumer-based culture, taking on the subject from all angles.

Arman's Consumer Cascade installation is thirty shopping carts nested basket to basket, instead of end to end, forming a tidal wave sized arc that cascades down the gallery wall.

Mike Bidlo replicates a pair of Ballantine Ale cans, originally cast in bronze, and revives a joke by Jasper Johns on Leo Castelli in response to the oft quoted line by deKooning that "you could give that son of a bitch [Castelli] two beer cans and he could sell them."

At the height of the Jesse Helms era, Philip-Lorca diCorcia won an NEA grant and conceived of a project colloquially known as The Hustlers, and so doing tested the limits of public funding. Avoiding any real obscenity, he found his colorful subjects working the streets of the sunset strip, and hustler or not, paid them to take their picture. The work is titled according to each man's name, age and place of birth.

William Eggleston traveled across the country during the Seventies, taking pictures of the faded roadside. The saturated color of his dye-transfer prints exaggerate the bye-gone era effect in this photo of a steak billboard, blistered and peeling; advertising what, we are unsure.

Martha Friedman sees pattern and form in everyday objects. She breaks down the pattern and distorts the form, creating elegant and absurdist sculptures rich with historical references. For this exhibition we have two food works that transform ordinary supermarket items. Noodle is an oversized macaroni necklace so large you feel like the shrunken Alice in Wonderland, and Bangers is a bronze piece of linked sausages, stacked like Brancusi's Endless Column.

Since the Sixties, Ralph Goings has been making sincere still life paintings of diner counters, including catsup bottles, metal creamer pitchers, salt and pepper shakers, and the great American donut.

Moving beyond natural science's preoccupation with the biological, Julian Montague's Stray Shopping Cart Identification System has created a classification for further understanding of these stolen and repurposed urban vehicles.

Claes Oldenburg undermined the inhumane mechanics of industrial production when he opened up The Store. At this hand-made emporium you could buy anything from lingerie to lunch, all of which he produced with humble materials. Constructed with plaster and tempera we have several food items from that era.

Based in Kentucky, Thomas Pfannerstill whittles the detritus of modern culture into trompe l'oeil sculpture. Each piece is a one-to-one scale sculpture in wood, replicating trash from the street, including the story of its finding on the back of the work.

In this series of light boxes, Daniel Pflumm strips recognizable logos of their type, robbing them of their corporate brand identity. The process results in bold arrangements of hard-edged color, not unlike Ellsworth Kelly's shaped canvases.

We have two works from Danica Phelps' ten year project that recorded her daily activities, including red and green hash marks, representing every dollar earned and spent.

American culture is intricately connected to motorized vehicles. Michael Spano's most recent series, Auto Portraits, capture commuters in the sanctum of their cars, stuck in traffic, surrounded on all sides by the billboards, stores, and trucks, that keep the wheels of commerce greased.

Turning his camera on the big box store, photographer Brian Ulrich investigates the consumer landscape we inhabit. In the large-scale prints from the Copia series, products are stacked in modernist grid formation, and shoppers stare blankly at the endless merchandise in front of them. It is a symbiotic relationship that both buyer and inventory demands a purchase be made in order to be deemed of value.

Responsible for mechanizing the art-making process with his silk-screens, Andy Warhol replaces content with dollar bill signs, eliding his work with value, as if by repeatedly drawing this symbol of US currency he could mint money.

Tom Wesselmann's Still Life #48, with a three-dimensional Formica shelf, lifts a jar of Hellmann's mayonnaise and a perfectly ripe beefsteak tomato to iconic status.

These are the two pieces I have in the show.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Recent Work

I've been doing a lot of graphic design work the past few weeks (and not so much blogging).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I recently reworked the Montague Projects logo. I'll be implementing this change on the blog and web sites soon.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The 35 Year Old Skateboarder

Week before last, I happened across a concrete skate park in nearby Niagara Falls, Ontario. It is a beautiful place, free and open to the public. This means I can go while all the kids are at school (a benefit of self employment). I returned last Thursday with my friend Ben and we spent the morning skating with no one to bother us. When we were teenagers in the late 80s having a skate park this close would have been a dream come true. Back then You had to be in California to have access to this kind of pavement. Better late than never, I plan on skating this place as much as I can.

There two main problems of being 35 and skating. The first is finding a place to skate where there are no kids around. The second is that I weigh about 35 pounds more than I did in High school, this is a lot harder on the knees. I can't seem to skate two days in a row without my knees feeling strained. Being heavier, also makes the falls harder, and bruises seem to take longer to heal now.

Sweet Concrete

My skills are strictly old school. I can go up and down on banks and transitions and I can ollie, and that's it, no flip tricks. In the late eighties flip tricks were seen as aesthetically suspect, you were supposed to keep your feet on the board. Today's skateboard tricks are incredibly complicated and impressive, but I can't seem to shake the old school aesthetic sensibility.

I seem to do unfortunate things with my tongue when skateboarding.

Ben "Ollie" O'Brien

I don't think it will ever be possible to fully explain to someone born after 1985 what life was like before the internet. Being a skateboarder in Buffalo meant that Thrasher and Transworld Skateboarding magazines were the only way to get information about skating. When I open up an old issue now, every photo and ad is utterly familiar, having been studied intensely and repeatedly. I remember that I bought the issue of Transworld on the left in Flagstaff, Arizona while on a 5 week western road trip with my family (I was 13). I remember trying to savor it, not even opening it the first day, knowing it had to get me through weeks of sitting in the car (and not skating). What I didn't know at the time was that Transworld was making news in the world of graphic design under the art direction of David Carson (later of Raygun). Back then we saw Thrasher as being authentic (on newsprint) and Transworld as being a bit too slick and commercial. The fact that Transworld was brilliantly breaking every rule of design in magazine publishing was not something we understood.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Election Summary

For people like me who have been following the election news cycles closely for the last 18 months THIS is an accurate summary and a nice bit of graphic design.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Party

I went to a great election party last night, everybody was thrilled and relieved by Obama's victory. I took these pictures with my iPhone.

The Results Dancing

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Getting an iPhone / iPhone Photography

Anybody who has been around me for more that five minutes over the course of the last year knows that I have been dying to get an iPhone. At first I was willing to buy out of my Verizon contract but then I decided to wait until the 3G phone came out in July, at which point it made more sense to wait until my contract expired in October. I finally have my iPhone and I have to say, it totally lives up to the hype. There are too many good qualties to list but overall the touch screen interface is amazing, it makes all sorts of functions easier to perform.

The camera on the phone is pretty good (amazingly good compared to the one on my "Motorazr" phone)
. I've been taking pictures with it over the last week and a half and I'm still getting used to the way the camera behaves. All of the following pictures were taken with the iPhone.

This is a self-portrait taken in the women's shoe section at Marshall's. With email, text, and internet, the iPhone has totally changed the experience of waiting for Mrs. Projects outside of the fitting room.

Because of the very limited depth of field the iPhone camera pictures can have a hazy, Holga like quality to them.

The Adam E. Cornelius pulls into Buffalo Harbor

A.J. Fries holds up his self portrait at Casa di Pizza after the Bills lose 25-16 to the Dolphins

Mrs. Roper, note Mr. Roper coming through the door.

We went to a party on Halloween night. I made our costumes an hour before we left the house. At first I was going to make them into masks but I realized that it would be too difficult to wear them for more than a few minutes. The level of commitment is lower with this solution, but that's probably for the best.

I was lucky enough to see this Gorilla pushing a stroller down Elmwood Ave. The woman on the left, in the background of the picture, was a startled when the gorilla overtook her.