It’s Not Early yet It’s Not Too Late

November 29, 2018

Time itself sometimes behaves like some strange sort of animal, part lamb and part shark.  We get better as we age, yet sometimes we also erode or start to disintegrate.  If we’re paying attention, the older we get, the more that we know.  This is true both in knowledge and in wisdom.  The smart aleck can sometimes be extremely intelligent.

Some people live in quiet times.  The days are calm and bright and they even glisten.  Every morning is touched with dew.  The quieter birds sings their lovely songs.    This helps to awake the humans more gently.  The days go by like stardust, like candy, like a first kiss that never fades.  The nights fall like a great cloak, so warming and calming.  Such lovely nights usually spark beautiful and intense dreams.

As for us, alas, we seem to be swept into ugly times.  These are noisy times.  Greed, cruelty and stupidity seem to think that they’re doing things the “right way” and that they have all the power.  They believe that anything that you can do to win and to stay in control is fair and just.  The rest of us search for ways to bring them down, to give them a proper kick in their pants.  This isn’t easy by any means.  It may be difficult, yet we must make the attempt.  We must succeed.

 

 

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Changing Minds

October 30, 2018

Many people are stubborn and set in their ways.  Others are totally brainwashed by such channels as television and the internet.   We  need to find ways to wake people up, to make them see.

If they’ve already “drank the kool-aid” maybe we can find an antidote for it.  The powers of persuasion are at a premium.  Strategy!  Lucidity!

Vote, Protest, Make Art, Protest

Mock-Up

September 29, 2018

Mock-up (from August 10, 2005 at 8 and a half by eleven inches)

Those who assault Mother Nature do so at their own peril.

Artists know that extremes (as regards melting ice) lead to nothing but trouble and woe.  If you try to arm wrestle with the elements, you’ll lose in the end.  The Earth itself was never conceived of as a mere money-making machine for the humans.  It’s our home and our source of water and air.

Artists love the forests, the mountains, the plants and animals.

Those who think that it’s impossible to destroy the world are dead wrong.  Earth, wind, lakes, rivers and oceans are strong and solid yet they have their fragile side.   When the bull in the china shop seizes power, he needs to be diluted or subdued.   Wake up and smell the morning fog.  Breathe deep in the cool moonlit and starlit air.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/sep/26/new-research-shows-the-worlds-ice-is-doing-something-not-seen-before?CMP=share_btn_fb

Draw and Paint with All Your Might!

August 31, 2018

The world needs art more than ever!  Things are going so wrong and creative work can be a wake-up call or even a slap in the face!

It’s easier to respond to destructive, ruinous and hateful elements with essays, short stories, theatre and poetry.   It’s easier to respond directly in music with songs.  A solid lyric can move and inspire people.  An obvious polemic rarely does much good.   You may be angry but sometimes it’s more important to reach people than it is to vent your anger in public.

In dance, instrumental music and in the visual arts, things can get tricky.   You need to strategize as well as improvise.  What to do?

First, create truly quality work.  Do something solid, at least to the best of your abilities.  There’s plenty of mediocre and run-of the mill work out there.  Strive to be better than that.  Aim at amazing people and making their jaws drop.  Know your limitations and transcend them.  You won’t hit it out of the park every time.   No one always gets an A.  Yet we need to keep on keeping on.  Fight the good fight.

Put pen and pencil to paper.  Paint for all you’re worth.  Create!  You can do it: on your mark, get set, go!

My Chalk Drawings on the Hudson’s Building in Detroit

July 31, 2018


In the 1990’s, I painted two murals on the J.L. Hudson’s Building in downtown Detroit.  When they were painted over with black paint, I started to draw on the building with various colors of chalk.  For nearly two years, I treated the building as my public art studio.

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The StoryCorps mobile recording booth.

I early July, 2017, my friend Jennifer Gariepy and I went into the StoryCorps booth to talk about my 1990’s street art work on the Hudson’s Building.  We had a good conversation for around 45 minutes.  They recorded that.  I have a copy as a digital file and have heard it several times.

We didn’t really prepare.  I’m good at just telling stories and having them flow and to make sense.  I try to be spontaneous but still connect things and to be lucid.

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Jennifer Gariepy and Maurice Greenia, Jr. 2017.  Photo by StoryCorps.

I wrote about drawing on the Hudson’s building before.  I also once did a radio essay about it for WDET.  I’m trying to locate this.  I do have it on audio cassette, but I need to find it before I can transfer it onto a CD.

My 2011 blog post about the Hudson’s work:

https://artremedy20.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/my-1990s-hudsons-building-street-art-project/

Maurice at work

Here I am, posing with my work, circa 1997.

The radio edit of the story:

https://wdet.org/posts/2018/07/19/86857-storycorps-detroit-chalk-drawings-on-the-hudson-building/

The podcast version of the story:

https://wdet.org/posts/2018/07/18/87044-storycorps-detroit-podcast-chalk-drawings-on-the-hudson-building/

 

Biegas Flyer (at 5 & a half by 4 & a half inches from December 1997)

May to July 2008: Maugre at MOCAD in Detroit

June 30, 2018


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“Echoes of the Jungle” my first large painting, borrowed back for this exhibit.

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“Echoes of the Jungle” detail.

Part Three of Three Parts.

From May through July in 2008, I frequently went to the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.  I lived in the area and could even walk there from my house.  It was nearly an hour walk but I’d walk it.  Sometimes I’d get there on the bus and walk home.  It was fun to talk about my work with any visitors who’d appear.  I knew that this was a unique experience.  It was yet another personal autonomous zone, a sort of temporary/ provisional utopia.

Considering Detroit was MOCAD’s first real large-scale look at local work.  It was mostly from Detroit proper with some of it being extended to the Detroit area. I’d enjoy looking at the other artist’s work while I was there.  I got to know the entire exhibition.  Including myself, there were five artists.  There was also a section in tribute to a local poet and a section centered around a cultural collective. *

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An early wood sculpture and a metal wire sculpture.

Besides just hanging out there, I also got to do a few special performances.  I did a puppet show.  The Spaceband got to do a show there as well.

The puppet show played to maybe thirty or forty people, including some children.  It was funny as usual.  It was also a lot of work. **

The Spaceband were camped out in a makeshift Pup Tent.  We emerged to play a wild concert, including a light show.  I think it was a 6 or 7 piece band.

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The Spaceband performing at MOCAD

It was a lot of fun, having this large exhibit and getting my work out there for people to see.  It was a lot of work too but I threw myself into it. 

* Besides myself, the show included the late poet Jim Gustafson, the artist’s collective TIME STEREO, longtime Detroit painters Allie McGhee and Gordon Newton, then too artists Ellen Cantor and Heather McGill.

**These 26 photos include shots of my MOCAD puppet show:

http://libraries.udmercy.edu/archives/special-collections/index.php?collectionCode=greenia_gre&record_id=5&page=1

Also:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Museum_of_Contemporary_Art_Detroit

https://maugre22.wordpress.com/2009/04/24/mocad-exhibit-in-2008/

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I’d punch the time-clock, in and out, when I visited.

May 2008: The “Considering Detroit” exhibition opens at MOCAD

May 31, 2018


Part Two of Three Parts.

I had a good turnout at the opening event from friends, family and co-workers.  People even came in from out-of-town.  It was pretty hot in there yet it was a good time.

With my Aunt Pat and my Mother at the opening event.

It’s probably the largest retrospective that I’ll ever have.  There were over 400 of my works on display.  I borrowed back ten or fifteen pieces that I’d sold to collectors.  I was always prolific yet this show tried to show the variety of my work.  I just kept experimenting.

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It was a fine show and I was in good company.  Besides this huge assortment of my own work, there were sections of works by a group of my peers.  None of the other artists shown were close friends.  The one I probably knew best was the late Detroit poet Jim Gustafson.

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Jim Gustafson’s section, left and part of mine.

The following post includes more information on this exhibit.  I wrote it in 2009, around the one-year anniversary of the time when we started to put it together:

https://maugre22.wordpress.com/2009/04/24/mocad-exhibit-in-2008/

http://libraries.udmercy.edu/archives/special-collections/index.php?collectionCode=greenia_gre&record_id=5&page=1

https://mocadetroit.org/

At the opening event, May 2008. Photo by Diana Alva.

Some of  these photo will enlarge if you click on them and hit the backspace to return to the post.

Installing an Exhibition at MOCAD in 2008

April 30, 2018

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Part One of Three Parts.

It was a real adventure to select everything and to help haul it to  MOCAD.  The staff there did all the hanging and installing.    Yet my input and suggestions were welcome.  Putting the show on the walls turned into a collaboration.  There was quite a lot of work on display.  It was a lot of work to put it all together.

A group of curators and museum staff came to my house to meet me and to look at my work.  They decided to try to recreate some of the feel of my living space, but on a larger scale.

They even considered bringing my refrigerator!  I had a spare fridge in my kitchen which housed my entire puppet collection.  That didn’t work out, but they did bring in some of my other furniture

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Hanging an oil painting.

There was also a section of my puppet movie playing on a television set.  I made that around 2000 with Dave Toorongian.  I brought in some of my toys, found objects and other household ephemera.

Mostly though, the show consisted of around 400 of my drawings, sculptures and paintings.  MOCAD (The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit) sponsored the show.  Considering Detroit was their first exhibit to feature local artists.  I was part of a group of artists which filled the entire museum.  There were four other visual artists, a poets and an artist’s collective.

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Work lined up against the wall.

Further information on this exhibition:

https://maugre22.wordpress.com/2009/04/24/mocad-exhibit-in-2008/

The venue:

https://mocadetroit.org/

Puppets:

https://maugre22.wordpress.com/2012/09/08/my-puppet-refrigerator/

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My large brush and ink drawings, unrolled and flat on the floor.

Some of  these photos will enlarge if you click on them and hit the backspace to return to the post.

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Nearly ready to start hanging the show.

 

Graces/ Disgraces

March 31, 2018

Graces Disgraces (in pen and ink from November 6, 2001) and 8 by 10 inchesb

The graces flew the coop, gracefully, of course.  They were gone and they never really returned.  They’re somewhere else now.  They’re in the land of mystery, playing games with cobwebs, bubbles and star dust.  I hope to visit them there someday.  They might let me participate.  If not, I’ll just take notes.

Before their departure though, there were strange and horrible events.  This is what happened.

The disgraces rose to the top.  It was the nastiest sort of bully pulpit, with the bully always terrorizing the smaller, weaker ones.  These toughs were frightened of being mean to anyone equal to them or anyone better.  They loved to step on people, if they thought that they could do it safely.   They preferred to kick people from behind, or better yet, to kick them while they were down.  They were mean through and through, giddy on curdled cruelty, until the fall.

On an unexpected day, the graces met the disgraces in a dirty alley at 3 a.m.  It was no contest and over, nearly before it began.  Yet the damage had been done.  The repairs would take a long time to complete.

The Free Port as Art Penitentiary

February 27, 2018

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The poor art works are hidden or hiding.  I think that it’s terrible to have art hidden away so that no one can ever see it.  It makes the art works seem like prisoners are hostages!

They lock it away in crates stored in warehouses.  Beautiful art is reduced to pure commodity.  It’s punishment for being sold to rich collectors is similar to its being locked up in a penitentiary.

If it’s taken out of the crate and displayed, then its monetary value might go down a bit.  The cautious greedheads would be happy if their precious art collections remain hidden.  They’d like these works to never be seen by any human eyes.

If they were on display in a private home, at least someone would see them.  Sometimes these collectors are kind and generous enough to allow the works they own to be seen in a museum show.  They loan them out.

Yet this hoarding and hiding is a real crime.  This system is a mockery and  an insult to every living, working artist.  Free the art!

From the previous link, a New York Times piece:

“It is a shame,” Helly Nahmad, a London dealer whose family is said to store 4,500 works in the Geneva Free Port, told The Art Newspaper in 2011. “It is like a composer making a piece of music, and no one listens to it.”

Art Free Ports:

https://www.helenbrowngroup.com/freeports-the-purgatory-for-art/

Coming to New York City:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-new-tax-free-way-to-store-art-1488492871

http://www.arcisartstorage.com/news/

The Geneva Switzerland Free Port:

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-38167501

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geneva_Freeport

An audio report:

https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2018/02/09/584555705/episode-823-planet-monet