Post 2 Potentialist-Brick Building

Potentialist Workshop & Gallery is a brick building on 2nd Street in Reno with big picture windows framing 2 front doors. It’s in a very old neighborhood sprinkled with Victorians in various states of maintenance. Fairly forgotten by the regentrification crowd. There’s still rawness in this neighborhood. There’s a walled in daycare right across the street, nice looking, plus mechanic shops and next door are glass workers in their shop. The hospital, Renown, dominates our view from the backyard. The homes right next door feature dirt yard squats filled with young families and tough dogs. We have nice parking off the busy street.

There’s a gallery, workshop with 10 or so studio spaces, and a 40 seat theater. Art all over the place. It’s a fully functional place with a large number of people coming and going here, most are creators of some kind. The gallery and workshop brings lively energy. Many people stop in. Characters, the lot. I like everybody who comes here. Their eyes are open to what this place is and that makes for a nice vibe between us. People are curious here and it’s an unusual place to be in for most. It’s exciting to see where artists create and I’m proud to be one. Playing gallery maiden puts me right in the middle of it all. I meet everyone.

Environment is everything. The informing characteristics from brick plate glass to overcast afternoons and neighborhood bars shade every brushstroke. Every car crash at the 7-11 and altercation in front of the Launderland boils into aromatic broth for my reflections and the art will always be unique to my experience. I hold to the energizing ideas in this very real life.

We create something new together by our combinations and outside of the gallery even. They’re not even thinking about things like art, perhaps, but our paths cross like rocket exhaust trails. Even if it’s not collaboration between us we might influence each other just by being. We live at the same moment in time. I tied my red and grey scarf around my pony tail yesterday, hanging off my head slanted. That might have given somebody something to chuckle over. I made something for them instead of nothing.

Autobiography brings honesty and plainness. In what other form would I narrate? ..or not narrate. Most of my videos have been without words. They’re open to interpretation but it’s mostly just the way it was. The pacing is all about frequency.. the output, but online attention must be maintained. Viewers must be entertained. Editing must happen quickly. Post frequency, you see.

So the week after I took down my show in the gallery I was painting Tesla to the point of being finished and then on to a couple small abstract landscapes. It was cold, hovered over the heater and we’d play music in the studio while the improv people practiced in the theater. Pan and Kelsey had their little baby at Christmas by the way. Axiom is a little handsome guy. His facial expressions are pronounced. He will rule his own art empire some day.

Here’s Post 3 from Potentialist Workshop in Reno, plus Bowie Portrait video Part 1:

An Artist’s Bodhisattva

Image created by Trelaine
Sorghisattva image created by Trelaine

Point taken: If I like NadaDada as a leaderless entity, I should step back and make it clear that I’m just another among the ranks–it’s a Tao thang. Well, that is what I am, just another artist. It’s just that I have trouble not being a connector. I suppose I think of myself as an artist’s bodhisattva. Note to self: write that one down–in fact, it’s not a bad title for this essay…

I’m told that I should just get a room and promote what I’m doing. It’s the same for all of us. My secret weapon? I have a blog–yeah, it’s the one you’re reading right now.

So maybe I’ve already told you but I’m writing a book. It’s well underway and each month it gets better. I’m becoming a better writer. I’ve even put painting on hold to a certain extent. All my concentration has gone to the writing of this book. At this point, though, I need some help. It’s great when I can read from it to someone. My girlfriend is getting sick of the job.

For NadaDada this year, I’m going to be doing some readings. I’ll ask if I can read to them and then I will read a passage and then thank them profusely. Hopefully they’ll have some kind of reaction I’ll be able to gauge from.

I’ve always tried to apply the wisdom that each job should be regarded as an education. Each art show should be treated in this way as well. Like Saturday Night Live, NadaDada is not yet ready for prime time. If the art I show is unfinished, what’s wrong with that? The rule book never said we can’t use NadaDada for our own selfish needs.

I need an audience to help me edit this book. I think it’s going to be titled “The Never Ending Fishbowler Excursion”. Maybe someone will talk me out of that title. I dunno. Maybe it will have a chapter called “An Artist’s Bodhisattva“. I dunno.

NadaDada is June 13th thru 16th, 2013 in various motels around Reno.

The Traveling Miracle Show Part 4 -Damn Kiwis & a Shaman

Photos courtesy of The Traveling Miracle Show
Photos courtesy of The Traveling Miracle Show

Monkey HealerThere’s an idea that you put a million monkeys on pianos in a room for a thousand years and you will get a Beethov-ian masterpiece. My assumption is that this is the idea behind Matthew Couper’s “performance”. A painting monkey! It’s a miracle! What are you Matt, an Atheist!? Couper wore a monkey suit and worked on a painting in his signature style. Since Matthew Couper is pretty much my favorite Vegas artist I recognized this monkey’s style immediately.

After looking at Promethian Jock Strap’s ass twice, consciously I shifted gaze to monkey man painting Coupier-ian style (framed and on metal with cut-out looped video of bile and Matt’s face behind.) He was sitting at the front entrance, at the easel, and I can’t imagine the amount of annoyance this performing monkey had to endure between curious art audience members and the shovel-dragging Jock.

Couper paints in a style recognizable if you’re familiar with Mexican folk art-or so. Meaning and anecdote are heavily laden, high on imagination, and representational accuracy is forgiving. Sins, taboos and black bile–such as in this particular painting–are rendered in moral-story fashion. You’ve heard of leeching to release Mediaeval suffering: An excess of black bile was once thought to cause evilness. DRAIN THAT SHIT genius monkey shaman from the 15th century!

Dave Hickey is a wonderful art & culture critic that sometimes writes for Art in America and other international art publications. The author used to live in Vegas  and he became the subject of my quick conversation in a doorway at RAW with Couper. I love that writer’s perspective as it cuts to the chase and doesn’t pander to “The Theatre of The Fine Art World.” The guy’s a big gambler and boozer, I guess. His daddy was a blues man. Matt & I talked about Vegas’ loss of this critic, which Matt didn’t think seems to make any difference for the city’s art scene. Hickey didn’t advance Vegas artists, except for a few, none of which are painting monkeys.

See I really wanna’ connect Reno artists and Vegas artists so when I saw that J.K. Russ saw this Traveling Miracle Show at Reno Art Works as a “bridge building” endeavor, I was hooked. Some of these folks are involved in Momas & Dadas, which is a new performance and art space in Vegas. I’ve been curious about them.. wondering if they might like to make NadaDada happen in motels down there. If it’s gonna’ belong to their city some locals are gonna’ have to bring the noise–I’ll keep plugging it.

Jo Russ and Matthew Couper are real Kiwis–meaning unlike Jenessa Kenway, they are from New Zealand. They are the couple that got her talking like that and she’s a fine girl the way she is–The two should not be forgiven for that.

*Ya’ know, I should know better. I just read the Dalai Lama saying we should not pay attention to the things that make us different but to the things that make us the same. We are artists and we are a certain kind of weird. No matter how we talk, we should stick together. Fine. I’m sorry for teasing you so much, Jenessa.

Now I’ve gathered some things from Facebook pages and I see that J.K. Russ is “an artist” that claims the identity of a fifth person I saw acting at the Miracle Show. A petite female in black lycra (even over the face) and sporting flowers up the arms wore a saffron top and guided us to sit at a circle of wood-pulp mulch lined with pieces of golden ginger roots. Is this all she does?

We sat tightly around this brown black bed, four feet in diameter, with lemons, more garlic (NOT gold) and a fifth of Jaegermeister in the middle around a camping stove–ready to get lit (haha). I didn’t have to look hard, I love all these items and instantly recognized the bottle of Jaeger, as this used to be my drink of choice; It was a long time ago, don’t ask. I was even able to put it together that we were about to ingest a concoction of the elixir.

Gandhi subsisted for months on a similar brew (minus the alcohol). And I forgot to mention the honey. After the quiet cooking ritual (aside from the clanking of the dragged shovel punctuating silence for 1 minute every 2 minutes) we drank from tripled tiny plastic cups. The bare foot Asian-ish (Philippino?) cook/shaman, shrouded in a silver blanket served us all generously. After receiving this mellowing brew, we understood it was time to get up and mingle onward.

Jevijoe Vitug was the artist. I was interested enough to pull him aside after the ritual and ask him about Gandhi’s influence as well as Joseph Beuys’, who in the 60’s acted out art performances, reminiscent, but under shrouds of felt and animal fat. Also, if I remember correctly, there were elements of gold-leaf in Beuy’s performances which had to do with that artists’ legendary story of survival during a war.

Of the night, I’d say I liked Jevi’s performance the most. Maybe it was the Jaeger, but I’d choose to think that it was more about his eyes lighting up when I mentioned Beuys & Gandhi. They were both shamanistic in their own ways. It’s all about the miracle show!

The Vegas artists got a grant to make this show happen because otherwise it WOULD have been a miracle to see them here. People don’t always realize it’s an 8 hour drive between Vegas and Reno. I’m thankful that the Nevada Arts Council and Reno Art Works were able to bring these folks up north in lieu of a high speed shuttle train.

Installing my exhibit today at TMCC

Crazy Sorg  I lead a charmed life. I know this. I’m here right now, just finished installing the show. I still have to install the text between some of the paintings. I love where it’s hanging. So many people walk through it was like Frogger, during the installation, going from one wall to the other between all the students and people. No, seriously. Inside I was taking pride in the skill with which I was maneuvering between them.

I’m including some before and after shots here.

It’s fifteen paintings and I’m not showing you most of them so maybe you’ll show up in person. We’re working on getting some press coverage up here.

Candace Nicole is the gallery curator.. her office is right near my display area. I come into her office and THERE I am on her wall! Haha.. I modeled for her years ago. Yes, nude, though my junk is not showing.


Opening is next Wed., the 6th @ 5pm. Hope to see you here!

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Sorg’s Back

Sorg's GhostReno, so markedly full of artists.. I wonder why that is. Creatives make a strong bond and the open flow of ideas is powerful here. In a word: optimism. Artistic life leads to optimism.

Goldfield? Not so much. There doesn’t seem to be much of that, there. Then again I didn’t move there to join a community. I moved there to be alone and apparently, it’s the same with everyone else there. As I said before, it’s a town of anti-socialists.

But yeah, I do still live in Goldfield, painting oils like a madman and writing.

It has become evident that working for a decade with the art community here in Reno has been an invaluable investment. People here know me from my past successes and in professional or creative relationships, that’s something that can be built upon, solidly.

I’ve put in the man hours. I’ve laid a good foundation. Since the days of Bleulion Gallery, the role I’ve filled is that of connector, promoter, publicist. I took on the role out of necessity–our necessity, as a member of Nevada’s art world and it seemed a natural position for me. People appreciate my commitment to the creative life.

Did assuming this role get in the way of my own art making? That’s a pivotal question. I can’t give a simple yes OR a no.

In an alternate procession of things, I would have just stuck to myself, developing in the vacuum that is an artist’s studio. That kind of scenario would have amounted to what originally attracted me to being an artist: solitary work. Socializing had never been my forté, or so I thought.

Eventually it was confirmed, what I was learning, and that is that the schmoozing, any blue chip artist will tell you, accounts for the largest percentage of time invested in laying down the tracks that lead to the palace of art world success.

There’s a speech I sometimes give to inspire artists toward developing a more collaborative spirit: “Me, Them & Us”. We evolve toward adulthood from the selfish & self centered perspective as if “I” am all there is–service me! Then we’re on to the independent phase, “I don’t need THEM!” But then, if we develop more fully, which some never do, we get to the stage of INTER dependence where judgmental competitiveness is left behind and we see the higher plane and the glory/grace of inter-connectedness.

So, did all this get in the way? No. I made the choice of collective involvement because I could see that doing my part in the community would help to advance alot of us, and not just me. As a consequence, I’d always belong to a community that would be supportive of my efforts too.

God knows I’ve tried to break away from this community but it always seems to suck me back in. I feel the love every time I come back to Reno and see a show populated by all my friends. They keep on going whether I’m here or not, which certainly seems to be the case with NadaDada, now in it’s 7th year!

See!!? Didn’t we tell you!?? NadaDada is its own beast–no one at the helm!

An ancient philosopher noticed two great desires of the human psyche: the need to belong and the need to stand out. Isn’t it ironic?

As any film maker can tell you, conflict is essential to good story telling.

Art Reviews Written by Sorg

I’m very proud of the art reviews I wrote for Reno News & Review. If you like reading about art like I do, read up.. comments always appreciated.
Sweetness ( RN&R – Arts&Culture – Art of the State – 12.10.09 )

Andrea D. Juillerat candy coats her nonverbal communication.

Natural gait ( RN&R – Arts&Culture – Art of the State – 09.17.09 )

Elaine Parks likes not knowing how her art will look when it’s finished.

Extra ordinary ( RN&R – Arts&Culture – Art of the State – 08.27.09 )

Nebraska artist Tim Guthrie explores American perceptions of torture.

Straight edge ( RN&R – Arts&Culture – Art of the State – 05.28.09 )

A retrospective of artist Kelsie Harder’s works.

Bulk art ( RN&R – Arts&Culture – Arts & Culture – 04.23.09 )

Where do some of the big hotels and casinos buy their paintings? And do they have any artistic or educational value?

In the think tank ( RN&R – Arts&Culture – Arts & Culture – 12.25.08 )

Local artist Chad Sorg spent a week living in a “fishbowl” on public display, ruminating on monks, exhibitionists and voyeurs. Here’s his first-hand account of the experience.

Factory productions ( RN&R – Arts&Culture – Art of the State – 12.18.08 )

Is Dania Home & Office just a furniture store, or is it an art gallery?

Steal this art ( RN&R – Arts&Culture – Art of the State – 04.03.08 )

It’s funny how rough and disjointed art like John Yoyogi Fortes’ could look friendly, but it does.

Painted birds ( RN&R – Arts&Culture – Art of the State – 02.21.08 )

Women get naked for a good cause.

View from a hot dog cart ( RN&R – Arts&Culture – Art of the State – 06.21.07 )

He may look and sound like a natural-born hot dog man, but cartoons are Woody’s art.

Body parts ( RN&R – Arts&Culture – Art of the State – 05.03.07 )

Not specifically erotic or macabre, B.O.D.Y. points to our fascination with the human vessel.

Fire starter ( RN&R – Arts&Culture – Art of the State – 03.15.07 )

The Shiva Vista Project is building a fire-breathing tower for Burning Man—an image of creation through destruction.

Get in gear ( RN&R – Arts&Culture – Arts & Culture – 02.08.07 )

The Reno Bike Project is putting bike advocacy in action by trying to give new life to donated bike parts.

On the flipside ( RN&R – Arts&Culture – Art of the State – 01.18.07 )

Neither a cowboy nor a poet, artist and TMCC curator Nolan Preece exhibits his photography in Elko during the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

Bare boned ( RN&R – Arts&Culture – Art of the State – 10.26.06 )

Using mostly wood and bone, artist Walter McNamara is high-minded and lowbrow in his work, with winks and nods in every corner.

In full bloom ( RN&R – Arts&Culture – Art of the State – 09.28.06 )

Mary Warner’s exhibit Bloom shows masterful rendering and humbling accuracy of a simple subject—flowers.

Hunter-gatherers ( RN&R – Arts&Culture – Art of the State – 08.31.06 )

Eight local collectors share their prized obsessions in To Collect and Preserve at Shappard Art Gallery.

I, robot ( RN&R – Arts&Culture – Art of the State – 08.24.06 )

Hotshot Few Thousand is meant to be seen as an autonomous being without human dependence. As the robot’s fame grows, its creator, Chris Munz, would prefer to fully slide into anonymity.

Fit to print ( RN&R – Arts&Culture – Art of the State – 08.03.06 )

Printmakers’ Conspiracy honors some of the more mysterious aspects of printmaking.

Eyeful of icons ( RN&R – Arts&Culture – Art of the State – 04.13.06 )

If you think Russian icons look awkward and unrealistic, its makers were just doing their job.

I Want a Letter From You

Sorg & Orange

Hi guys. I’ve been painting like crazy lately. I’ve also been writing a lot as I have a show at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno coming up. February, and I’m showing both painting and writing on the walls there. I’m grateful for the opportunity because it’s kinda’ kicked my ass into gear.

Oil painting on canvas allows me to face my fears head on. It’s weird, I’m a painter but I’ve been avoiding painting a bit the past few years. I’ve gotten rid of sooooo much work of mine.. I’ve always been able to sell paintings so why should now be any different? I’m goin’ for it. I’m painting what I want to and the writing is important to me as well. I’m actually writing a book called Fishbowler.

Catchy name, eh?

But yeah, about writing, please write me. I’ll writcha’ back.. long hand. It’s so 19th century, I know, but someone’s handwriting can be so fun to look at. I write goofy letters, so please, drop me a line, ask questions, whatever. I like to inspire, so if that’s what you’d like from me, lemme’ know!

HEY.. didja’ know I went to jail? Yeah well, I don’t wanna’ talk about it here on my blog so if you’d like to hear the story about that, or possibly how it all went down during my presidency at the Chamber, just ask. My life is unique, I know this, and I love to share it with you!

Chad Sorg -End of the World

P.O. Box 53

Goldfield, NV, 89013

Bus Burn Painting, Oil, 12 x 16

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