Gina Beavers is a New York-based artist trading in what some have called sculptural relief paintings. They are often made with chunky acrylic on canvas, and often of food items sourced from Instagram. Beavers has had solo shows at Clifton Benevento Gallery, New York; Nudashank, Baltimore; James Fuentes, New York; Fourteen30, Portland, Oregon; Retrospective, Hudson, New York; and Material Art Fair, Mexico City. Upcoming shows include “Let’s Get Figurative” at Nicelle Beauchene and a solo presentation with Michael Benevento in Los Angeles.
Beavers tears through quite a lot of media in her five days. Books purchased from the St. Marks bookshop are read, Foxy Brown YouTube videos are enjoyed, and social media is scrolled on a very, very regular basis. Just the kind of fervent consumption that you would expect from an artist who, in the past, has found inspiration from looking through the #foodporn hashstag on Instagram. —John Chiaverina
Monday, June 29
Commented on a sexist article from the Financial Times about how female artists have “never changed the way we see or think.” My comment: “wtf, so fucked.”
Responded to Instagram comments and liked a photo of one of my pieces from a show that opened over the weekend.
Read the New York Times article about Greece. Really sad, I was born in Athens, and am half Greek, sucks to see what they’re going through.
Caught up on BET awards, I don’t have cable so I didn’t see it when it aired but found the video on Just Jared of the Bad Boy reunion performance with Diddy, danced like an idiot in my chair.
Seeing Lil’ Kim reminded me of Foxy Brown so I went to Spotify and listened to her song “My Life” produced by Kanye, where she raps about her fallout with Lil’ Kim and the double standard of being a chick in a dude’s world, among other things. Such a heavy, great song.
No internet on train, scrolled through photos of paintings I’m working on and screenshots of other people’s photo posts; a marzipan headquarters in Venice, a reliquary anatomy model of a Saint carved in wood, enclosed in a glass box, from a church somewhere in Europe. Thought of Paul Thek.
Scrolled through NYTimes headlines in cache, didn’t read any of the articles.
At studio, checked Instagram, lots of love for Roger Brown at Maccarone. New York discovering him, Chicago’s like “no duh” (I went to grad school there).
Turned on the audiobook of The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon and got to work. Would hide my phone from myself, but must have it out for possible phone call.
The Melvins will be at Karma?! (Email)
Now to work…
Realize I have to transfer photo from phone to cloud to computer to print and also share to my iPad in order to work. In the process, I got sucked into a follow by a friend from college on Instagram, looked at pics of her kids for a couple minutes.
Scrolled through Instagram while photo was printing.
Lunchtime: Facebook: Caitlyn Jenner at pride.
Posted pic from recent show on Instagram and responded to my hysterical brilliant friend who took a video of one of my pieces zooming in and out hysterically and brilliantly. (@ChristmasLeung)
Back to work, hide phone a little, not enough to muffle the ring.
Break from work to watch video from my sis of my 1yr old niece dancing at a wedding.
Then looked at @Williamcult’s Instagram for ten minutes.
Watched videos from Pride of a cop doing the cupid shuffle and the voguing 8 yr old.
Read, laughed at: “Someone needs to answer these questions about True Detective S2E2” on Buzzfeed.
Train back from studio, read press release for JTT show of Robin Graubard, a diary of the highlights of her life, decade by decade, fascinating and wonderful.
Larry Wilmore before bed.
Tuesday, June 30
Instagram scrolling, trolling.
Watched John Oliver on Transgender rights.
Listened to MNEK, “Wrote a Song About You” and his cover of Cher’s “Believe” on Soundcloud.
New York Times scroll through, read most of the article about female tennis stars being stalked.
Watched Donmonique’s video for her song ‘Pilates (Kendall, Kylie, Mylie)’ on YouTube.
Found cool drinking glasses on Think Geek that look like every planet in the solar system, might get them for a wedding gift.
Listened to the Transparent TV show soundtrack on Spotify while I started the Iced coffee brewer and made my lunches and dinners for the week. The mix has songs by Neil Young and the Cave Singers, very chill.
Mix prompted me to look for a video of the song “Free to Be You and Me,” saw Margo Thomas singing over the credits with kids on a carousel, but then found a video of Michael Jackson and Roberta Flack’s performance from the show and it make me cry. Michael Jackson looking so young, talking about growing up, so innocent, so angelic, heartbreaking, I had to stop it.
St. Mark’s Bookshop for a book! Did this for several reasons:
1. Sunday New York Times book review was all Art, so some good recommendations.
2. Have Gift Certificate I’ve been sitting on for 6 months. (Thanks Fran Holstrom!)
3. Just realized their new location is three blocks from me.
4. It’s summer, time to read?
5. I’m doing this diary, and I want to look like I read books
So I bought three books, going over my gift certificate amount, partly because they were playing choral religious music, like a dirge or a requiem or something at St. Marks Bookshop and it heightened my feeling of sadness that the store seemed so much smaller than their original location and I felt guilty for not buying more stuff from them over the years.
The Return of the Real by Hilton Als from the late ’90s, Bohemian Paris by Dan Franck about Matisse, etc., and Jonathan Franzen’s book about Karl Kraus, The Kraus Project, which I started reading on the bus. This book has lots of stuff I love: contrasting national characters (mostly Germany vs. France) and contrasting cultural moments (Vienna early 1900s vs. America today). It’s shorter on humor than I would like and Franzen’s a little preachy at times but I’m pretty riveted.
Got to studio, briefly checked e-mail, hid phone while charging it.
Turned on Cavalier and Clay to work.
Snack break, read about Misty Copeland.
Read review of a show one of my paintings is in, in The Boston Globe. Piece is “aggressive.”
Consumed Art IRL at City Hall Park, through Public Art Fund. Posted pics of great sculptures by Amanda Ross-Ho and Hank Willis Thomas on Instagram. Lotsa likes!
A spooky moment on my way home much later, in the Duane Reade on Broadway across from City Hall Park, me basically alone in the store, feeling so much importance and gravitas in every movement as I reached up and picked out the right Clorox wipes off the shelf to the soundtrack of Andy Williams singing “The Days of Wine and Roses” playing loudly and epically. It’s the kind of song they would play in a mafia movie, while somebody gets whacked.
Email from something called “Swarm”—what the hell is that? It’s a perfect social media word, but not in a good way.
Wednesday, July 1
Looked up info on my sprained knee.
Looked up info on the Poetry Society’s booth in Tompkins Square Park, met the head of Art in New York City Parks last night and she told me about it, been wondering what this crazy little shack with a typewriter was.
Black churches burning in the South, from proud to be American to not proud in a day.
Facebook scrolling, watched Key and Peele skit of C-Span outing a member of the audience LOL.
Watched promo for The Color Purple on Broadway with Jennifer Hudson, who looks incredible. Love the original book and movie so much though, unreal performances by Whoopi and Oprah.
Watched a video of a needle going through grooves on a record through an electron microscope.
Read review of new Terminator movie in New York Times, not a great review but most likely going to see it.
Listened to the band The Internet on Spotify.
Checked MTA app for bus, no bus forever, but have a sprained knee must wait.
Looked at pics of paintings in progress.
Read The Kraus Project at bus stop, woman talking on phone loudly, switched over to endless Facebook and Instagram scrolling.
The Strain ad on the side of a bus! Coming back 7/12!
At studio, eating lunch, watched video of Girl Scouts camping on White House lawn. Teary eyed. I was a shitty Brownie and kind of hated it, but they looked so young and into it.
Turned on Cavalier and Clay at the studio.
Someone left a book called New German Painting (2006) in the hallway at the studio to take, I looked through it, really into Michel Majerus melt pieces from ’99, insane and awesome.
Train from studio home, looked at photos of work in progress.
Facebook scrolling on bus.
Facebook scrolling on couch.
Read about anti-trust investigation against Airlines and read an article about that crazy flag at Glastonbury of a still from Kim Kardashian and Ray J’s sextape and an article about women whose faces show them wanting things, called “Watching Women Want” from the New Inquiry.
Watched pilot of Scream, MTV show, takes place at the whitest high school in America.
Watched Hannibal final season episodes 3 and 4, so arty and surreal it’s almost incoherent, almost everybody gets eaten.
Watched 20 minutes of the pilot of Zoo, a show about animals going crazy and attacking people all over the world.
Watched pilot of Mr. Robot, shades of Fight Club, Trainspotting, Ferris Bueler, War Games, Hackers… Lead character is a hacker named Eliot. Christian Slater is in it, into it!
Thursday, July 2
Couldn’t sleep, looked at weird cheap stuff on the app Wish, took screen shots of some product photos that were interesting or bizarre. Did you know there are Spanx for upper arms?
Watched Rihanna “Bitch Better Have My Money” video.
Scrolled Instagram, got a follower, an artist, checked out his site, good paintings, Sean Downey. (@ssornitsuj)
Read article in New York Times about Hillary e-mails. They say “…the messages made public so far reveal an exceedingly cautious politician acutely aware that anything she wrote could someday be read by a wider audience,” well, yeah, I mean, duh… New York Times is pissed.
Sick amounts of Facebook and Instagram scrolling, nothing stood out, mindlessness.
Unsubscribed from emails for 10 mins, including something that lets collectors borrow money against their artworks?! Levart, it’s called.
Listened to “Career for Kanye” mix on Spotify while I was getting ready to leave the apartment. It is all the best songs produced by Kanye. It’s 13 hours long.
Used my MTA app to track my bus, taking a cane today so I can get a damn seat.
Missed the bus because I forgot to factor in how slow I am with my stupid knee; my depression over this caused me to go straight to slumped over, hardcore, fiendish scrolling of Facebook and Instagram at the bus stop.
Read this week’s New Yorker on train, read a review of a novel called Cartel by Don Winslow about Mexican drug cartels, and the drug wars.
Also read an Emily Nussbaum review of Unreal, a fictional show about being behind the scenes of a bachelor-type reality show. I’m going to check it out, Emily always knows what I like.
Finished listening to last two hours of Cavalier and Clay at studio.
Started listening to the audiobook of Love Me Back by Meritt Tierce, turned it off after an hour. Unremittingly depressing and sexually explicit, read by a Pollyanna-ish sounding narrator, way too distracting to listen to while working.
Deborah Remington paintings at Wallspace on Instagram, another favorite.
Decided to listen to Cartel, the fictional book reviewed in the New Yorker about Mexican drug cartels, pretty interesting so far, but also like an old Western and maybe too macho, oh well, it’s 23 hours so that’ll get me through a couple days.
Train home from studio, looked at photos of paintings I worked on today.
Watched Unreal pilot. Engaging and ambitious, into it.
Friday, July 3
Cat woke me up early.
Got up to drink coffee and Liked Rob Breezney’s Free Will Astrology page on Facebook and found this quote: “The great lesson from the true mystics, from the Zen monks, and now also from the Humanistic and Transpersonal psychologists, that the sacred is in the ordinary, that it is to be found in one’s daily life, in one’s neighbors, friends, and family, in one’s back yard . . . To be looking elsewhere for miracles is to me a sure sign of ignorance that everything is miraculous . ..” —A. H. Maslow
Took half an hour looking for a way to listen to Wimbledon later at the studio and found an app called Tune In and planned to listen to Serena’s match. I used to swing a racket, but was a notorious choker.
Listened to a calming, folksy strumming on the L train via a guy with an acoustic guitar.
Listened to Serena vs. Heather Watson while spray-painting my frames in the courtyard at the studio. Serena pulled it out, with a couple heart attacks! She’s either one of the greatest competitors and mental athletes of all time, or she was messing up in this game to create problems for her to solve.
Listened to hours and hours of Cartel. My new assessment is that it’s an interesting overview of Mexican cartels, civil wars, and politics crossed with what I imagine Expendables 14 will be like.
Tried to read a bit of Bohemian Paris while waiting for train home from studio. Brain too tired.
Watched Wimbledon clips before bed.