Don Hertzfeldt

Meant to post this the other week, but I forgot. Better late then never:

Last night we went to experience an evening with animator Don Hertzfeldt. Most folks are aware of Hertzfeldt's work through his cult-classic cartoon, Rejected. If you have not seen this, see it stat. His cartoon style is basically stick figures with wavy, hand-drawn lines. A simple structure that incorporates incredibly well-done editing and sound design which is added to odd dialogue and twisted situations. This combo creates an experience that is very surreal. Don draws, shoots, edits, etc. etc. all his cartoons himself with a small staff of other key players. He even, in many cases, does the voice acting.

Last night's show presented a number of Hertzfeldt's movies. The show started with "The Meaning of Life" and then went right into "Rejected." I figured it would just be ho hum to see "Rejected" since I have seen it countless times at this point. But, I'll be damned if I wasn't giggling the moment I heard "My SPOON is too big!" and practically guffawing like a jackass by, "I am a BANANA!" The guffawing continued all through the short film. It really was awesome to see it on the big screen. After "Rejected" came "Billy's Balloon" and then "Everything will be ok" and, the latest film, "I am so proud of you." These latest two definitely show growth and maturity. They are much deeper movies, that, if not done in Hertzfeldt's easy style, would be really depressing and hard to digest. But, his odd drawing style and use of awkward long moments and strange events helped keep the films light.

Following the screenings, Hertzfeldt himself came out for a bit of Q&A. I knew he was about my age since "Billy's Balloon" was a school project and that came out in '98. But I was still shocked to see how young he was. But he has such a strong head on his shoulders and an incredible business sense. It was interesting to hear about his work process and his love for what he does and other odd tidbits he mentioned. I particularly loved the story of how proud he was of the vacuum sound effect in "Rejected" and how during the first ever screening of that movie, the crowd was laughing so hard that they missed it and he was mad that they missed it. I found that really endearing. Another bonus to the evening, Bill Plympton was in attendance. I'm not sure if the two are friends, but you could tell when Hertzfeldt pointed him out in the crowd that he still maintained a bit of starstruck giddyness about Plympton and even made mention to him being the Velvet Underground of animators... as in the animator that launched a thousand more. Check out Plympton's work also if you never have. His lastest, "Idiots and Angels" was awesome and I was lucky to catch it at Tribeca Film Fest this year.

The whole evening was very enjoyable. I particularly loved the "intermission." Picture THIS on the BIG screen.:

Don would likely be mad that I'm showing something that is on illegally on YouTube, so I'd like to add the message to check out his work and buy his dvds and products so that he can continue to make these AWESOME pieces of animation for all to see. Frank and I are already proud owners of "Rejected" on dvd as well as a t-shirt. But perhaps it's time for us to buy some more:


Great results!

Just received this note from SAWCC about the auction I participated in. It sounds like it was a success! And, check out their upcoming events, too.

"On behalf of SAWCC's board members, I would like to thank you once again for your participation in the 2008 SAWCC Art Auction Benefit. Thanks to the generosity and support of donors such as yourself, the benefit was a tremendous success, with over 150 attendees and nearly $15,000 raised for the organization. With these funds, SAWCC will be able to continue to carry out our mission for the advancement, visibility, and development of emerging and establishing South Asian Women artists. In fact, we already have several events planned for 2009 that will benefit from this year's fundraiser, including:

• January – SAWCC LitFest, with featured guest Jhumpa Lahiri
• February – CLAGS workshop at the New Schoool
• August – SAWCC Visual Arts Show

Please visit www.sawcc.org for more details on these and other SAWCC programs. "


artist reception Thursday, November 13

Check out my latest paintings in natty art's "NYC Horror" show (up now!). Or stop by and hang out with me personally at the artist's reception next Thursday, November 13.




Banksy's Little Pet Shop

Check this out...


...preferably in person if you have the opportunity!

We strolled by this recently and it spawned a huge debate as to whether it was an actual pet shop or a bodega with such crazy odd windows (we just strolled by and glimpsed at the windows briefly and didn't go inside). Looks like we were both wrong!

Banksy suddenly in New York, I'll have to keep my eyes open.

natty art's NYC Horror Show

Opening reception coming soon...!



Oh and by the way...

PS. For those not in the know, I just got married! This is why there has been a great lack of natty art activity over the past few months. But I promise lots of new paintings soon!

Last Exit

The Last Exit show will be hung next week! I'm frantically finishing up my series of "NYC Horrors" paintings. It will be up for viewing on October 22! I think an official opening will be had eventually. But we have yet to schedule the event. Stay tuned for more information!

SAWCC 2008 Benefit Art Auction


In a last minute turn of events, I am donating one of my paintings to and will also be attending the South Asian Womens Creative Collective's 2008 Benefit Art Auction next Monday. Stop by and check out some great art (and maybe take some home with you!)

Date: Monday, October 20th 2008
Time: 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Venue: TamarindART Gallery
142 E. 39th Street
New York, N.Y. 10016
Tickets: $35 in advance or $50 at the door
Tickets are considered a donation and are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Tickets can be purchased and more information about the group and the event can be found at:


Gilbert & George

The Gilbert and George exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum is positively amazing. Granted, I'm a huge fan of their work. But it's wonderful to see so many pieces of their almost 40 year career all in one place. And seeing their gigantic graphic and vividly colored works looming large above you in one room? Just absolutely gorgeous and inspiring.

I honestly cannot recommend this show enough. It's up until January 11.



Contempt 10th Anniversary Group Art Show

If you are in the New York City vicinity, be sure to stop by the Contempt 10th Anniversary gala and art show:


I'm so very excited to be showing with a group of such talented artists.

For more information:

And stay tuned for info on the solo show I have coming up in October!


Upcoming shows

I have two shows coming up!

The first is a group exhibit in cahoots with Contempt's 10th Anniversary party. The event will take place on September 20 at Bar M15 (Walker St. Btwn Broadway and Church, NYC). Other artists exhibiting that night include: Chris Conte, Dan Ouellette, Paul Komoda, Carrie Ann Baade, Louis Guidone, William Welles, John Kolbek, Alain Leriche, Danielle Ezzo, Laura McCutchan, Talissa Mehringer, and Lark Davis. Not to mention that there will be a whole Black & White themed ball occurring as well. So deck yourself out, come look at some art, and stick around to dance the night away!

The second show will happen in mid to late October and will be a solo show at Last Exit on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. To coincide with Halloween, I'm going to be prepping a "New York City HORRORS" show. Think things that truly scare NYs to the bone (roach infestations, crazy cab drivers, etc.) I'm really excited to get started on these pieces! I think it's going to be a lot of fun to work on. And I'm planning on stepping out of my comfort zone and trying new sizes and different media.

Also in the works, a possible video feature on vimby.com.

More details on all things natty art to follow...stay tuned!


natty art on Current TV!

My art feature is up on current tv. I'm so relieved I don't sound like a total dork! Check it out!


new paintings

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Antagonist Movement Art show last night! I unveiled some new pieces. And here they are in digital form:


Woman Across From Me on the Subway the Other Day


album armor

This is a really great short snippit (8 mins) about one of the Antagonist artists and his journey to create an amazing work of art. Check it out:


new paintings

Well, not so new...I did these a bit ago. I'm just now getting them photographed and posted online! Enjoy! And please don't forget to come and check out some NEW new paintings (as in, JUST painted...not these) this THURSDAY NIGHT at Niagra in the basement at the Antagonist Art Movement weekly art slam!

Annoying Hipster Dude, 2008

Big Mouth, 2008

Long Neck, 2008


Last one...

Another old update. Here are some reviews of two artsy related movies I attended at the Tribeca Film Festival. Hopefully they get distribution and they come to a town near you soon! Definitely worth checking out:

My first screening last night was The Universe of Keith Harring, a documentary about Harring's life and art. I've never been a huge fan of his work, and yet, it's hard to truly dislike his efforts. And, because I do appreciate what he did, I was highly disappointed that this wasn't a better film. It had the usual complaints that I have about bad documentaries--it jumped around the time frame too much (a clip from '88 and then bounce back to '83?) and there was not a straight and clear narrative. Plus, the filmmaker used this weird graphic element every time she introduced a new interview subject that got incredibly annoying after a while. On top of these things, the movie felt too long and I think I would've enjoyed it if it had been cleaned up a smidge and was a bit snappier. Also, I really wish they had covered more about how Harring developed his easily-recognizable style.

Besides all that, I really enjoyed seeing all the footage of Harring. There were plenty of clips of him painting -- whether working in the studio, guerrilla style chalking on a subway platform, or painting a large commissioned mural on the side of a building. Plus, there were many of the video pieces he did for art school (he attended SVA) and clips of shows he and his friends used to put on. One of the most interesting elements, though, was that Harring himself narrated much of the movie. He had been interviewed shortly before his death in order for someone to write a biography and the filmmaker obtained permission to use these videos in the film.

In general, Harring really seemed like a joyous person. He wanted to make people happy and created art that anyone and everyone could enjoy whether you were a child or an adult. Plus, I really appreciate the fact that despite pleads from art dealers and galleries to not paint so much (in order to drive up prices), Harring continued to paint and paint and PAINT. Paintings on canvas, murals, and he quite often drew on people's clothing or bodies. He definitely seemed to be in it for his true passion for creating and that is really magical.

Side note: Yoko Ono is adorable (I've always liked her art) and had some lovely things to say (even if they were "weird") and I thought it was a shame that some folks in the audience felt the need to snicker or giggle at them.

Afterward, I headed to a different theater to catch another documentary titled, Guest of Cindy Sherman. This was a much more fun film and the filmmaker, Paul H-O, was quite a character. The film started in the early '90s when Paul was working on a cable access TV show called Art Beat. He and his co-host would attend gallery openings in a very guerrilla style with their video cameras and ask the artists silly questions such as "What did you have for breakfast?" The show looks like it was a lot of fun. Eventually, they were at an opening for Cindy Sherman. Sherman is notorious for being a very private individual and she rarely gives interviews and it's rare you see a photograph of her that isn't one of her own self-portraits in costume. Paul headed over to her and, in rare form, Cindy actually allowed him to film her and talk to her and ask her questions. Many folks scratched their heads. This led to a series of private interview sessions where she allowed Paul to film her studio and workspace and he even filmed her during one of her photography sessions. Seeing her make herself up (she does all her own make-up and costumes) and do her own portrait was easily the gold of this film. It was really fascinating to watch her work.

Long story short, the reason she allowed Paul to film her eventually came out--it was obvious in all the tapes that these two were flirting. What followed was a 5 year relationship. The movie then continued to follow their life together and Cindy's various successes over the years whereas Paul stopped making Art Beat and failed at another project he tried to get together. He was finding himself more and more to just be Cindy's professional boyfriend. And, his personality was not the kind who would be happy to be second fiddle. This led to interesting interviews with folks such as Elton John's husband, who often found himself in the same boat. They'd be seated at different tables then their significant other at functions and pushed out of photograph opportunities. A lot of this led to the eventual downfall of the relationship. This also led to the title of the film, "Guest of Cindy Sherman," which was the place card Paul often faced at a table well-distanced from his girlfriend's. He no longer even had a name.

Overall, the magic of this movie really is getting to see a great deal of Cindy Sherman's work projected on the screen and the rare moments of a glimpse into her work and life. She is a surprisingly down-to-earth person. But, Paul's side-story is also fun and interesting. And, on top of the surface story, there is a great underlying story of how much the art world of NYC has changed in the past 15 years. When they were filming Art Beat in the early 90s, it was fun and arty and still had a lot of the 80s zaniness lingering, but it has since then turned into Big Business and it's very corporate and it's all about making money. Which is just really sad.

Cindy Sherman actually gave her approval to the final cut of the film, but has since distanced herself from it.

On a roll today...

Why I neglected to post these when they happened is beyond me. But here's a write up I did of the WACK! show at PS1. I also went to the Murakami exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum and very much enjoyed it. I can do without the handbags, but some of the installation rooms were amazing. And the animation / cartoons were...wow!

Here's the WACK! write-up:

I've somehow never been to PS1 and was glad to finally inspect the joint. It's a contemporary art museum located within an old public school (hence the name). The building itself is gorgeous and interesting with lots of odd nooks and stairwells. They also have a large courtyard which serves as the location for their summertime "warm-up" parties (again, which I have somehow never attended?).

The WACK! exhibit was really great although some pieces stood heads above others. I really enjoyed a lot of the collage work, the crochet room, and a lot of the photography projects. A lot of the pieces from the 60s or 70s still felt very contemporary even in the 00s. Upstairs, there was a second exhibit featuring the works of Olafur Eliasson. Eliasson's work is very scientific -- kaleidoscopes, structures, constructions, works in light and movement. It was pretty neat stuff. The most impressive being the large room which we entered and saw everyone laying on the floor. Confused, we looked up and were staring directly into our own eyes. A large circular mirror was above us. Which, was cool enough. Then we realized that it was rotating around. And finally, it was getting CLOSER! An odd feeling, but very neat.


Eliasson is up until June 30, but WACK! closes after next weekend. If you've got some free time, check this show out. It was definitely worth the trip.


OH...and also, I will be showing with the Antagonist Art Movement again next Thursday night in NYC in the basement of Niagra. New paintings will be unveiled! If you live in the vicinity, be sure to stop by! See the previous flyer below for more information (same deal, just new date!) or stayed tuned for more...!


Hi all! I have been lazzzzzy about updating this blog (which is just funny since I update my personal blog about umpteen times a week). Anyways, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who's discovered me recently and has been posting about my art lately on their own blogs and such. I think it's been stemming from a mention on the Drawn! blog site. The mention came as a complete surprise to me and I only discovered it after receiving a number of emails from folks mentioning it. So, thank you for your kind words and I can't even begin to explain how flattered I feel that you folks are digging what I do.

Which, leads me to...what I do! I swears I have been painting. Cross my heart. But I've been slooooow going on updating the website. I plan on doing a major update soon. New works, revised site layout, etc. It's in the works. My personal life has just been insane the past few months (in very good ways!) and I've put art to the side for a bit. But it's been aside too long and I plan to put it back front and center starting .....now!

So, please stay tuned...new sights to see REALLY soon. And again, thank you. Please feel free to stop by the site anytime and drop a comment or email to say hello. I sincerely appreciate it.

(I apparently like to misspell foreign words)


I just adore this. I want to make silly muppets and take ridiculous photos of them!

By Matthew Rodriguez
(I wish I could find the image online that I'm currently looking at in print magazine, but this one will have to suffice. Same thing, just instead of a tree, there is a fluffy fella with a blue nose and curlers.)


Pictures from the Antagonist Art Movement show






Lust, 2008

A few years ago I started painting a series of seven deadly sins. It's one of those topics that everyone has covered at one point or another -- likely in art school. But it's an assignment that seemed to have escaped me over the years (most likely because I've never really had much formal art training). I therefore decided to assign the concept to myself when I was looking for a topic for a color study I wanted to try out. I started with Gluttony to try out a more earthy tone and enjoyed painting it so much (the concept and the new palette) that I decided I might as well go ahead and do the whole series. Of course, flash forward to three years later and I'd only finished Gluttony and Greed at this point! I had always had a funny visual in my head for Lust and knew I wanted her to be next. But she had to wait two years to be realized. I don't know why she finally came about this week, but she's done and here she is. Maybe in another two years I'll get on Envy or Anger! Someday someday.