...Being A Comprehensive News Source For Keith Lo Bue's Movements In The World Of Art-Making;
Faithfully Updated, Effusively Illustrated And Found Object Permeated For Your Pleasure.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wire you not with us?

 Hello! The weekend before last I held a weekend workshop in chain-making here in the inner west of Sydney, which I'll be repeating next weekend.

Here are some images of what went down.


Thanks to all the terrific students! And a special thanks to my beautiful daughter Mira, who assisted ably, and made some great friends and wirework.  I'm looking forward to more fun next weekend...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Some 3-D History, Lo Bue style...

 Homage to Cornell, 1988 (first piece)

I'm delighted to be able to post some images from my extensive library of 3-D photos. I got into stereo photography around 1986 and got seriously hooked on it for about ten years. Luckily my stereo craze overlapped the early days of making my assemblage work, so here are some images from the late 1980's. A few of these pieces weren't photographed in any other form, so they are the only record of those works.

11 feet 6 inches of beard, 1989

I reacquainted myself with all my old 3-D pics a few weeks ago when I took them out of storage at my buddy Rob's house in Vermont and hiked them down here to Sydney. Needless to say, I've been bitten by the bug all over again. I will post up some more (not of my work, but various subjects) in the near future as I scan them.

untitled (Coke), 1988 (only surviving image)

This is the first time I've posted 3-D shots as animated GIF's - it doesn't look anywhere as good as seeing them through a proper 3-D viewer, but it does approximate the effect.  I've even taken a shot of my studio today to tack onto the end.


untitled (3-D Jesus), 1988 (only surviving image)

 untitled (49), 1988

untitled (samurai), 1989

untitled (shamans), 1989

untitled (fly), 1989 (detail)

Stuffsmith Studio interior, 2010

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sound Sights Addenda!

Not sure how I could've overlooked two of the earliest music packages that got out there...these are two recordings by the now defunct but certainly legendary Vestrymen, fronted by my old buddy Matthew Davis. Both covers used shared bits and pieces - he fed me photos and bits of ephemera to add to my own stash.

Done a few months after the Tannahill Weavers art posted last week.

As far as I recall, Matt still has this box. Can you say collector's item and future Rock & Roll relic?
Thanks for the scan of the first lp, Matt - great to see it again.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sound Sights.

Many people don't know that I started my professional days as an illustrator. My extensive work hand-rendering typography and designing commercial work years ago have carried forward into my present art, grounding and informing my design capabilities. 

A few have asked recently about some of the music packaging I've made over the years. This has been a major passion of mine - the artwork along with the music - and so I'm posting some of the album/CD art I've done over the years. It's a small sampling of the dozens of published and hundreds of unpublished music packages I've created. Click the images to see them nice and large.

Perhaps my favorite cover, this was the second recording of Guy Klucevsek's that I worked on. It was the largest object I ever made, and stands still in Guy's home in Staten Island. There are some funny details in the piece, such as the tall blond violinist in the Bantam Orchestra being rendered here - well - blond. I also made the central figure, or Guy, left-handed! It seemed right to me, I'm lefty! Oops. The CD has been out of print for many years as the Swiss label RecRec folded, but I'm told there are plans for a reissue. I hope so, as it's also my favorite recording by my good friend (even without the artwork!).

A more recent piece for Guy, this one happily in print on the Tzadik label, John Zorn's wildly eclectic imprint in NYC. The image is a detail from Handflower, a digital work Guy requested for his CD.

A very early mixed-media painting done for The Tannahill Weavers' best-of collection back in 1989.  The Tannahill's are one of Scotland's most venerable traditional ensembles, and doing this artwork made me a huge fan of their music. I made scores of LP and CD packages for the now-defunct Green Linnet record label which had the market cornered on Irish and Scottish music in the US.

Another Green Linnet release, this time by the illustrious bard Andy M. Stewart. It was also my intro to the beautiful and lyrical work of the poet Robert Burns. This piece is in the collection of one of my closest friends, Arthur Burke.

Another thrilling project, this was a fold-out cover for the legendary Hungarian band Muzsikás (you may remember the lead singer Márta Sebestyén's voice floating through the soundtrack to The English Patient). The music was a reconstruction of the Hungarian Jews' music from the early part of the century. All the original musicians who played this Jewish music were wiped out in the Holocaust, and Muzsikás researched extensively, finding gypsys who had played their own music to the Jews and were able to piece together what the Jewish music was like from them. Absolutely chilling and powerful, it was a project I'm really proud to have been a part of. The luminary folk/rock music producer Joe Boyd owns this illuminated box artwork.

One of the most insanely talented men I know, Andy Rinehart's CD Pillbox is a collision of a dozen different genres. Wild and beautiful stuff.

Here's a curve-ball.  In my record-store pawings back in the 80's, I started finding absolutely incredible albums by the famous Ferrante & Teicher. Most people know them as the apitome of the Muzak sound, but there was a time - before they hit it really huge - when they were absorbed in the wildest mix of experimental pop around. They jammed nuts and bolts into the piano strings, a-la John Cage, and played whip-fast arrangements of show tunes and jazz standards, that are simply like nothing else ever made before or since. It remains some of my favorite music from the 1950's and is still largely unknown by today's audience. I struck up a friendship with their manager Scott Smith (hi Scott!) and was lucky enough to make the artwork for this release of their earliest and, amazingly, only original recording (from 1948), and I even got to contribute a meaty essay in the booklet. This is a combination of airbrush and computer work.

A recent cover done for my good friend and an avant-garde jazz master, Phillip Johnston and his Microscopic Sextet. Funny, poignant and amazingly arranged. The title is a sardonic take on the standard 'Lester Leaps In.' Features a mind-blowing found snapshot of an empty pool where I wanna swim forever. Thanks to my friend Ty for the polaroid!

Another, even more recent piece for Phillip, this time one of his excellent silent film scores, the Japanese horror film 'Page of Madness'. It's a hallucinatory story set in a madhouse. The cover image is massively blown up from a film still of the eye of a Japanese Noh theatre mask that plays a major role in the film.

Although these next two are unpublished, I couldn't resist adding them, as they are artwork for my own musical experiments, dating from 1986 to about 2003. The Collective Ear was really just that, a loose collective of people, with the two core members of myself and buddy Nick Osborn. Check out his Square America website for weeks, literally, of incredible vernacular images he's been amassing over the years.

A simple, but moody image shot from the back seat of Tracy Moore's car as it traveled through his home town of Issaquah, Washington. This was the art for a reworking of old Collective Ear tracks that I remixed and played with.

I hope you enjoyed this one-off post. It's nice to see this stuff in one place.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Rings...That Work.

It's this type of invention that is more inspiring to my work than anything else. What a brilliant, compelling and utterly flawed (read: human) design - this is the type of device I aspire to. Thanks to the folks at Modern Mechanix for the image!


Thursday, August 19, 2010

A CD Like No Other.

I've been held in thrall to Tristan Perich's new 'CD', '1-Bit Symphony,' which I just received 3 days ago. I've listened to it perhaps 10 times since. As you can see by the image, this ain't no ordinary CD.

Perich is a New York composer in his late 20's. He's young enough to have had the CD around as a medium his whole life (that makes me feel old). What a thrilling idea to radically rethink the form. His compositions have often involved the absolute simplest, most low-fi digital information - 1-bit technology - either 1's or 0's. As far as the digital realm goes, it is absolutely old school.  I have some early electronic lp's from the mid 1950's that employed some of this technology.

Perich has taken a tiny microchip and glued it into an empty CD case with an on/off switch, volume knob, forwarding button and headphone jack. He carefully hand-assembles each CD. You plug in headphones (good quality headphones are a must, BTW) and switch it on, and the entire 'symphony' plays from the microchip - in essence, a 'live performance'. On first audition, the tones are so buzzingly in-your-face that it takes you aback. Then, as you adjust to this stripped-back sound texture, the beauty of what you're hearing begins to arise, big-time. This is in no small part due to Perich's talent as a composer - he leads you into the sound world and melodies and themes open like fractal flowers.

Words like 'shimmering', 'fluttering' and 'tapestry' come to mind repeatedly. Make no mistake, it ain't pop. What it is, however, is beautifully melodic, dense and rich. And it deepens on repeated exposure, like any good art. While it isn't for everyone, those with an open mind will find it a wonderful experience.

Here's Tristan describing his music himself:

Those wanting to try it out yourselves can order it here.

And Perich has many of his compositions to download free on his website.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Welcome, and Some Clarification.

Glad you could make it. 

Why, you may be excused for asking, another blog?

It's simple, really. My other blog 'Stuffsmith: The Found Object Artwork of Keith Lo Bue' was set up originally for the purpose of showing new work in progress - the nitty-gritty nuts & bolts of my studio practice. I'd like it to remain that way.

The Stuffsmith Times, then, is where all other pertinent news will be posted - news about workshops, exhibitions and any other information you won't find on my website or the other blog. I also plan to use it to periodically display other artists' work that floats my boat, be it visual, sound or whatever. In short, while this space has yet to find its voice, I can guarantee you'll find things here that you won't find elsewhere.

So pull up an easy chair, stoke up that corncob pipe, and enjoy.