Archive for June 15th, 2009


my friends do the best things: daniel buchler

The following three pieces are by Daniel Buchler, an artist based out of Philadelphia.  He provides us with a brief description of each:


The first one is called Behind Enemy Lines.  I did it while I was still in school–2004.  It has a lot to do with how fun I remember it being to twist the torsos on old J.I. Joes and snap the bands connecting their legs.  Its the same kind of mutilation.  Maybe it’s got something to do with how desensitized people are to this kind of violence, because it’s theatrically stylized.  Yet I still felt sorry for some of these figures–brutalized in spite of their plastic inanimate being.


Second one is a piece I submitted at the last minute to the 2008 Absolutely Abstract show at the Philadelphia Sketch Club.  I got a bit of feedback from someone who submitted before, was accepted, and was criticized by her peers for using representational objects.  “Don’t worry if you don’t get in.”  I got a congratulatory call a week later–Honorable Mention. This one’s called River.


This third one is the first time I’ve used linen instead of cotton duck.  I also drew on the canvas here, which I’ve rarely if ever done before–at least the entire composition.  The mugs here are recurring ideas called Blue Boy and Golden Child.  (I half stole that from Seinfeld’s laundry episode where his favorite sweater was called Golden Boy–the first shirt he wore from a freshly washed load.)  Groupings of mugs and bottles are fairly prominent in my stuff.  Its the closest I get to portraiture.  Humanized mugs and de-humanized plastic army men…


Interview: Sean Higgins

Sean Higgins consented to sit down for an impromptu interview. I liked it and so am posting it. It is not exhaustive. You may ask him more questions in the comments section if you want.


Question 1: What is your greatest fear?

I’ve never really thought about my greatest fear. I guess, that I will be in debt all my life. That maybe I will have taken a gamble on doing something that doesn’t really make any money, and then finding that I have to work a regular job anyway to support myself.

Or, moving around too much to find someone to stick with.

Also, jellyfish.

Ok, Question 2: Describe the best book in the world

A real book or an imaginary one?

Either, or both


I think there is probably a book that Nabokov would have written. Ada is pretty close.

I don’t know, it’s a tough one.

What makes ‘Ada’ nearly perfect?

I think it’s one of the few books I’ve ever read that doesn’t try to recreate the effects of memory simply by listing things that happened, but instead by creating the memories of the characters in reverse, always projected back from the present, always with a linguistic and sensory kernel. There are other books about this, naturally, but I think this one is underrated and deserves to be mentioned along with them. It’s a swooning, dreamy book about self-mythologization where all the characters are always their own myths. It can be sad, sometimes, but is always beautiful, playful, surprising, and graceful. No one writes about colors or women the way Nabokov does. A sensual writer with an intimidating brain and a big heart. It’s his favorite of his books, and probably my favorite of his, too.

Last 2 Questions: What’s so great about Maine? and: If you were a dead animal, what would you be?

On Maine:
Maple syrup, chickadees, the ocean, fire-truck red leaves in the fall, pine trees for the whole year, the unreal silence and the way the sky turns purple when it snows, riding your bike on empty roads in the summer, keeping your windows open on a hot summer night. Mostly, nature. I grew up near the ocean and need to live near it if I can. Also, there’s a bar near my house that has maybe 50 local beers on tap. It’s safe to walk around alone in the middle of the night. You can still go to a place where you can’t hear a single bit of evidence of another human being.

Dead Animal:
I would probably be, um, some sort of bird that tried to hide a shiny piece of electronic equipment but electrocuted itself instead. Hopefully a fast bird, though probably not one with a particularly impressive wingspan.

June 2009
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