Archive for January, 2012

Skyward – Kevin Cooley

January 26, 2012

Good friend Kevin Cooley already has an exhibition up in Los Angeles of his latest photographs but tonight at Young Projects he unveils a bigger more ambitious video project he’s been working on.

I’ve seen the video in progress but can only imagine that together with the ceiling projected installation, he will knock this one out of the park.

Skyward opens tonight with a reception from 5-8:30pm.

Young Projects
Pacific Design Center
8687 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90069

On view through March 9th, 2012.


Jason Fulford – The Mushroom Collection

January 25, 2012

New Pictures 5: Jason Fulford, The Mushroom Collection is currently on view at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts


French Family

January 25, 2012

Actual Size:
4.75 x 6.75 inches

Click the image for a larger file.

Will Steacy – State Of The Union

January 24, 2012

As part of a soon to be released series of collages titled “Perception Is Reality” I have gathered the following data statistics. Organized into statistical groupings to provide context and a better understanding of their significance, these data sets paint a horrifyingly clear portrait of the political, social and economic crisis that currently has our country in a stranglehold. Despite what President Obama may say tonight in his State of The Union address and whatever the GOP will say in response, here is my State of The Union presented by the numbers in the form of fact checked statistics.

-Will Steacy

The Numbers Don’t Lie

US Corporations are currently sitting on nearly $2 Trillion dollars in cash.

In the past decade Fortune 100 companies have laid off 2.9 Million American workers and hired 2.4 Million oversees.

More than a $100 Billion a year is given by the US government to businesses in loopholes, credits, and incentives.

More than 80 of America’s largest 100 publicly traded companies make use of offshore tax havens, which cost US taxpayers $100 Billion a year.

60% of US businesses with profits of $1 Million are structured as “pass throughs” and do not pay US taxes.

Corporate tax collections in the US in 2010 amounted to just 1.3% of GDP, in 1952 it was 6.1%

General Electric earned $14.2 Billion in profits in 2010 and paid zero dollars in US taxes.

GE laid off 21,000 American workers and closed 20 factories between 2007-2009 and more than half of GE’s workforce is now outside the US.


Mitt Romney paid a 13.9% effective income-tax rate in 2010 on $21.7 Million in reported earnings.

Newt Gingrich paid an effective tax rate of 31.7% on a reported total income of $3.16 Million in 2010.

President Obama paid an effective tax rate of 25.3% on $1.8 Million in earnings in 2010.

Under 2012 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s tax plan, which eliminates taxes on capital gains, dividends and interest, Romney’s effective tax rate would be near zero and only his speaker fees ($374,000) would be subject to a 15% tax rate.

From 2001 through 2010, the Bush Era Tax Cuts amounted to $2.6 Trillion in lost revenue and we have spent more than $400 Billion on increased interest to finance the debt created by the Bush tax cuts.

Between 2001Q4 and 2007Q4, the US economy experienced the worst economic expansion since WWII.

If the Bush Era Tax Cuts expire at the end of 2012, $3.8 Trillion will be made in new revenue in a decade.

The US national debt is currently $15 Trillion.


An average of 750,000 jobs were lost a month between December 2008 and April 2009. By the time job losses stopped, a year after Obama took office, The Great Recession had cost the economy 8.8 Million jobs.

50,000 factories in the US have closed in the past decade.

6 Million manufacturing jobs have been lost in the past decade.

American manufacturing employment peaked in 1979 at 19.6 million jobs. Today there are only 11.8 million manufacturing jobs, a decline of 40% since the peak.

Private sector Union membership in America is 6.9%, down more than 20% from 30 years ago.

The US has a $500 Billion trade deficit in manufactured goods.

The service sector, for which our economy is based, accounts for only 20% of world trade.


Nearly half of America’s public schools didnt meet federal achievement standards this year, the largest failure since No Child Left Behind took effect a decade ago. On a state level failure rates range from Wisconsin-11% to Florida-89%.

Today, workers with just a college degree and no further degrees are less likely to get work place health coverage than workers with only a high school degree were in 1979.

In 1979 the average college graduate made 38% more than the average high school graduate. Today, the average college graduate makes more than 75% than the average high school graduate.


From 2004-2009, 85% of growth in Research and Development workers employed by US based companies has been abroad.

56% of the world’s engineering degrees awarded in 2008 were in Asia, compared with 4% in the US.

57% of US doctoral degrees in engineering in 2009 went to foreigners, mostly from East Asia and India.

More than 40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children. These companies generate more than $4 Trillion in annual revenue.

The US awards annually only 85,000 H-1B visas for highly skilled workers. More than that number have been know to apply on the first day of application.

1.1 Million deportations have occurred since President Obama took office. This is the highest number in 6 decades.

There are 21.3 Million Latino voters in the US.

More than 1 in 10 Americans lack a government issued ID.

As many as 5 Million Americans will find it significantly more difficult to cast a ballot this election.

Ronald Regan won relelection in 1984 with 7.4% unemployment.


More than 220,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are out of work.

Total cost of Iraq War = 4,400 American lives and $800 Billion.

Less than 1% of American population is in active military duty.

18 war veterans commit suicide everyday. 1 every 80 mins.

22% of all suicides in the US are former service members.


Facebook’s IPO is valued at $100 Billion, with 3,000 employees.

McDonald’s stock is also valued at $100 Billion, with 400,000 employees.

According to labor statistics, if all current jobs openings were filled tomorrow, nearly 10 Million Americans would still be jobless.


Average after tax income for the top 1% of US households has increased 275% from 1979 to 2007. While those in the bottom 20%, income grew only 18%. (Annual income of $343,000 or more qualifies as the 1%)

In 2010, the top 1/5th of US households collected 50.3% of all the nation’s income. The lowest 1/5th collected just 3.3% of the nation’s income.

The richest 20% of Americans own more than 80% of the country’s wealth, while the poorest 20% own 1/10th of the country’s wealth.

49 Million American are living in poverty, the highest number in the 52 years the Census Bureau has been publishing figures on poverty.

Nearly 97.3 Million Americans fall into the low-income category, defined as earning 100-199% of poverty level ($11,282 for an individual and $24,343 for a family of four).

Combined, 146.4 Million Americans, 48% of US population, are poor, either living in poverty or classified as low income. (US population: 312 Million)

25 Million Americans are unemployed or without full time work.


Unemployment benefits last 99 weeks and cost the US $156 Billion in 2010.

Average duration of unemployment is 41 weeks, the highest in 60 years.

From 2005-2009, Millionaires collected $74 Million in unemployment benefits.

Unemployment in Spain is 22.8%

Unemployment in Germany is 6.8%

Youth unemployment in the European Union is 22.9%.

Youth without education, employment or training cost countries in the EU €2 Billion per week.

Eurozone countries account for 40% of Germany’s exports, China only consumes 7%.


Median household income in the US has fallen 6.4% since 2007, the year before the recession.

The Chinese save 40% of their incomes, Germans save 11%, Americans save below 4%.

152 Million Americans shop in the 3 days following Thanksgiving.

American holiday shoppers, both retail and online, spent a record $52.4 Billion on Thurs-Sun Thanksgiving weekend.

Credit card balances crept up to $798.3 Billion in November.

1% of small business owners have an adjusted gross income over $1 Million a year.

China has the second largest amount of Billionaires in the world, the US is first.


China invests 46% of its GDP in its future, while the US invests 12%.

In the early 1950s, US government devoted about 1.2% of GDP to infrastructure, by 2010 that amount had fallen to just 0.2%.

Federal spending on research and development dropped from a high of nearly 2% in 1964 to 0.9% in 2009.

The current federal income tax rate for the 400 wealthiest taxpayers, aka the 0.000258%, fell from 30% in 1995 to 18% in 2008.


For the past 30 years health care spending costs grew 2% faster than the US overall economy.

In 2009, 50 Million Americans under 65 were without health insurance.

In 2010 the US spent $2.6 Trillion on health care.

Medicaid accounted for 22.3% of state spending in 2010.

10,000 Americans retire everyday.

By 2030, there an estimated 80 Million people to be on Medicare.

Baby Boomers born in 1946 turned 65 in 2011. (Baby Boomers: born 1946-1964)


In 2010, CEOs at the largest US companies made on average 343 times the pay of the average worker.
In 1978, CEOs made 35 times the pay of the average worker.
In Germany, CEOs make on average 11 times the pay of the average worker.

The financial services industry spent $2.3 Billion on federal campaign contributions from 1990-2010. This is more than what the health care, energy, defense, agriculture and transportation industries combined spent on campaign contributions.

Wall Street has spent $5 Billion on lobbying efforts to deregulate the banking industry.


28% of American mortgages are underwater.

There are 10 Million vacant properties in America, up from 7 Million in 2010.

Only 11.6% of Americans moved between 2010-2011, the number of Americans who moved in 1985 was 20%.

Households with more than $1 Million in income claimed more than $27 Billion in mortgage interest deductions.

90% of the 115.9 Million homes with TV in the US subscribe to basic cable.

$12.5 Million was spent on Iowa Caucus television ads.

Rick Perry and his super PAC spent $4.23 Million on television ads in the month of December.

Perry earned 10.3% of votes in the Iowa Caucus, costing him $332 a vote.

Minimun wage in Iowa is currently $7.25. A 40 hour work week before taxes at this rate is $290.

The average American collected $295 in weekly unemployment benefits in 2010.


Global emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning rose by 5.9% in 2010, the largest amount on record.

Land temperatures have risen 1.8 degrees since 1950.

The total economic loss of global natural disasters in 2011 was a record $380 Billion.

House Republicans voted 168 times (as of Oct. 15, 2011) this year to undercut clean air and water laws while blocking efforts to limit global warming, protect public lands and guard against future oil spills.  They have been called the “most anti-environment congress in history.”

The cost of 100 Senators and 435 House of Representatives is about $2.2 Billion a year, $7 per capita.

There are 249 Millionaires in Congress and the estimated median net worth of a current US Senator stood at an average of $2.56 Million.

76% of Americans say 2011 was the worst year of their lives.

69% of Americans say the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Congress has a 9% approval rating.


(Editor’s Note: Things rarely get political over here on Horses Think but when Will Steacy sent over his incredible list of numbers and statistics he had compiled in preparation for his collage project “Perception Is Reality,” I invited him to guest post here and share it with all of you.)

Another Angle

January 23, 2012

“A painted portrait by, say, Holbein or Rembrandt, is an extremely complex artefact, part icon, part representation, part symbol, part antique. In viewing a Holbein or a Rembrandt “in the flesh,” so to speak, we are looking both at an image and an object dating from the time it was made, and a complicated cultural talisman that subtends a multiplicity of interconnected considerations, one of which is certainly monetary. Even in reproduction, we can hardly look at a Rembrandt as a mere image, without also considering it as a banknote of boundless denomination.

The photograph is quite a different kettle of fish. Unless it is a so-called vintage print, which is a somewhat spurious attempt by the art market to lend the photograph the aura and the cachet of the painting/antique, the photograph largely blows extra-pictorial issues of market provenance away. Almost any half-decent reproduction of the Game of Madness or Blind Woman conveys their power. A photograph by definition is a reproduction rather than an original, a reproduction that carries and confronts us directly with an actual chemical trace of a human being in a particular place at a particular time. If we pause to think about that for a moment, we must admit that this is awesome, but it is an awesomeness of a totally different order to the painterly wonders of a Holbein or a Rembrandt.”

— excerpted from Gerry Badger “A Tale of Two Portraits: La Comtesse de Castiglione and Blind Woman”, in The Pleasure of Good Photographs.

(source: via)

Robert Ryman – Used Paint

January 21, 2012

Robert Ryman, Stretched Drawing [5 x 5 grid], 1963

I just finished reading Robert Ryman: Used Paint by Suzanne P. Hudson. In a certain way it reminded me of the truly inspirational Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees by Lawrence Weschler.

While the Weschler book is a must-read for any artist learning about themselves and their process, the Hudson book is more particular and yet thoroughly engrossing in it’s own right. I really enjoyed learning about Ryman, his background, his thought process and how he came to make the kind of paintings he has been painting for over 50 years.

One of the strangest things about reading a book about Robert Ryman is that his work is impossible to appreciate in photographs. This book has more reproductions than most but it’s exceedingly difficult to grasp what’s being described or talked about by looking at the photographs. One really needs to experience these works in person and within a space as they are installed.

This quote from Ryman from 1993 featured in the book really says it all and will probably stay with me for a long time:

In books and magazines, people see reproductions, and they see photographs of paintings. And they read what people have said about different paintings. Their perception is geared by that. They might have preconceptions about what they are to see or what they might expect, without ever having seen a painting.

I think most paintings are discussed or described by the story or the symbolic meaning that they convey outside the painting itself. That’s the most popular means of experiencing a painting, by the “what” of the painting, as I like to call it; the image, the story, the symbolism. And the history of that story is talked about; what the story was, and what it might refer to, and how it came about, why the artist painted this particular image. But very little is said about the “how” of the painting, I mean what I call the real part of the painting, which is the “how” of the painting….

I don’t want to criticize, but I think a lot of writers have an idea or something they want to write about, and work it in with an article on an artist’s work. It can work that way sometimes. I know of a writer who wrote something on my painting without ever seeing a painting. He had seen photographs. He had something he wanted to say, and he was getting information from the photographs, and from what he had heard.

Painting is a visual experience. People can write about historical or philosophical points they want to get across using certain examples of painting, maybe work that they think might be similar. They could make a point in so doing, but it usually has very little to do with the painting itself. I do something with the paint, but I’m not painting a picture of anything. I’m not manipulating the paint into an illusion of something other than what the paint does. I make a painting.

Painting will go on. Painting is by far not finished, it will never be finished, because it’s too rich. The medium is so challenging. What could be more challenging than to have endless possibilities. I think that there is much more to be done. We will see things probably in the future we wouldn’t have thought. Maybe it won’t be like the painting we know now.

Not that I intended to connect these ideas with photography specifically, but one could basically replace the words ‘paint’ and ‘painting’ with ‘photograph’ and ‘photography’ (like this) and one could argue that it’s a similar problem with photographic reproductions on the web or in print.

In any case, Hudson’s book is a fascinating read for those interested in the dynamics of paint and the challenge of looking.

Also, watch the video below from Art21 for another look at Ryman and his approach to art making.

Watch Paradox on PBS. See more from ART:21.

William Lamson

January 19, 2012

William Lamson, Action for the Paiva (video still), 2010

The endlessly inventive William Lamson is giving a lecture about his work tonight at SVA.

Don’t miss it.

Thursday, January 19, 7pm
The School of Visual Arts Amphitheater
209 East 23rd Street (2nd and 3rd Ave), 3rd Floor

Free to CCNY members, SVA students, faculty, and staff
$5 general admission, $3 for other students with ID
(please bring photo ID for building entry)

Sean Landers – Dancing with Death

January 10, 2012

More videos and work here.



January 9, 2012

Actual Size:
2.375 x 3.5 inches

Click the image for a larger file.


January 8, 2012

Here is something to get you off on the right foot in the new year, it’s from over a year ago but so classic and completely disturbing.