Tag Archives: Merzybean

Where has Merzybean been?

30 Oct

I feel like I have written a few justification blogs, explaining my lack of presence in the blogosphere. I guess I don’t really owe anyone an explanation, but how can I expect to have a loyal readership if I have been MIA.

Truthfully, there isn’t one particular reason as to why Merzybean hasn’t been buzzing. Is “I’m tired” not good enough? Well, that’s the truth. I have not felt inspired to sit down and blog because there has always been something that takes priority over writing and once I have cleared my to-do list, I have no energy to write.

However, I want to get back to writing and putting my thoughts out into the universe. Not that what I have to say is all that important, but I just love to share my passions with others.

Hopefully this is the first of many posts to come in the near future. I have some ideas brewing, so stay tuned!

Thanks for all of the people who have been visiting Merzybean all along the way, even during my “blogging hiatus”. It makes me happy to see and it inspires me to keep on plugging!

Until next time,

Merzybean

Advertisements

Interview: Art by Steve Khan

1 Sep

It is my pleasure to introduce to my readers, Steve Khan. Not only is Steve one of the most generous, gentle souls, he is an incredible artist in all senses of the word.

“Steve Khan is a visual artist and a poet. He is originally from Vancouver, but has lived in many places across Canada. Although his diverse ethnic background allows him to ‘belong’ to many different boxes, he prefers to make his own new space.

He is a graduate with distinction from the joint Art and Art History Program at Sheridan College and the University of Toronto with a Minor in Women and Gender Studies. He has recently won the Canadian Art Foundation Award for community development in the arts, and a nomination for the 2010 Mississauga Arts Council Volunteer of the Year Award.”

Steve Khan

MB: Tell us what type of artist you are.

SK: A relatively unknown one, but this interview will change that.

I draw things well, usually portraits. I have painted, sculpted, designed, and crafted art objects, but now also enjoy using text. My current work combines aesthetics with a particular medium to emphasize a concept. Even when words are conspicuously absent, they still influence what I make.

Side note: I have seen art change the world I live in, and still believe it can- so I’m quite romantic.

MB: What is your first memory of art?

SK: That’s tricky because my memory often fails me.

One of the first paintings I made in kindergarten hangs framed above my bed wherever I live. It uses the song ‘To sing a rainbow’ to illustrate a concert I sang very badly in when I was five. Myself, my sister, my mother and my kindergarten teacher are more important than everyone else, so we are much larger and in detail.

My favourite memory of art was Tino Seghal’s ‘conversation piece’ at the Guggenheim in New York. It taught me a viewer could be the subject of a work.

MB: What do you hope to achieve with your art?

SK: A comfortable living would be nice, but I will settle for infamy and gallery representation. Till then, I am compelled to make things without financial gain.

Leslie Dick explained it with these words: “You are materializing- taking something from the inside and putting it out into the world, so you can be relieved of it.”

In terms of intent, I use humour to incite conversation, usually about something unspeakable, with the hope that once spoken out loud, it can change.

MB: What is your favourite medium to work with?

SK: Currently, words.

MB: What has been the most difficult part of your journey as an artist?

SK: Since I was taught say nothing when you have nothing nice to say: first, learning where I want to belong (as opposed to fit) in the art world. A close second is getting used to rejection. The hardest lesson is grasping John Baldessari’s overused quote that “Art comes out of failure”. I let go of making only the ‘right’ choices when I realized my mistakes teach me more.

MB: What advice do you have for other artists?

SK: Debbie Fields (creator of Mrs. Fields Bakeries) said: “. . . the greatest failure is not to try”.

Make things for yourself and things your collector will buy.

Gurpreet Sehra told me : “Take risks. Make work that pushes beyond what you are comfortable producing”.

Since critics will tear your work apart with them, learn how to defend your (self and your) work with words.

Silence is not necessarily a bad reaction; it could be delayed gratification.

Without constant rejection, acceptance (or recognition) wouldn’t be nearly as satisfying.

To avoid learning you inadvertently stole someone else’s idea, read about art a lot.

When you don’t feel like making anything at all, try to remember how you felt when you finished something. Preferably something you liked.

Art school will teach you things you can’t learn by yourself. However, if you find someone who curbs your need to make things, don’t hang around them too long.

Besides that, no matter what anyone tells you, you are still an artist.

MB: Are you working on a current project you can share with us?

SK: One uses pennies, one uses fruit and the third uses vinyl. Sorry, but no more clues til they’re finished.

MB: Is there somewhere that you dream of showing in?

Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal– slightly more ambitious than the wall in Shopper’s World my dad keeps encouraging me to apply to.

MB: Who or what inspires you?

SK: In no particular order: you; Gurpreet Sehra; my mother’s writing; Tino Seghal; my sister; The Permanent Longing for Elsewhere– a screening curated by cheyenne turions; Darren Bader; Andrea Levy’s Never far from nowhere; my father’s criticism; Manhattan; one or two night stands; Divya Mehra’s interview in C Magazine and text pieces; Montréal; Zadie Smith’s essays and novel White Teeth; Breann Ritchie; food- though I have an intense allergy to anything bland; Mark Crofton Bell; Camella Da Eun Kim; Jean-Michel Basquiat; artist quotes that attempt to define art; the sublime; Alejandro Cescarco; Emma Donaghue’s Room; Margo Thomas; William Kentridge; Shyam Selvadurai’s Funny Boy; beauty; the Guerrilla Girls; male hipsters; Zacharai Logan; Laura Chiovitti; Javier Fuentes-Leon’s Contracorriente; Francisco-Fernando Granados; Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz; Andy Warhol’s quotes; Martha Rosler; Irmgard Emmelhainz; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun; Hennessey Youngman’s Art Thoughtz; dancers; Thomas Ruff; Asal Aslemand; William E. Jones; Simon Paul Black; Surasi Kusolwong; music mashups; James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room; Janet Cardiff and not George Bures Miller; Kent Monkman’s Group of Seven Inches; Sarah Waterfield; Samuel Delany’s The Motion of Light in Water; Amin Rehman; loss; Sarah Thornton’s Seven Days in the Art World; Michael Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; Simon Fujiwara; critics who probably never were artists but find just the right words to describe them; Xavier Dolan’s les amours imaginaires; and me. Perhaps more interesting than who/what is my list always grows.

MB: One word to describe your relationship with art?

SK: Co-dependent (which is defined as an unhealthy psychological reliance of one person on another)

Picture 1

If you are as mesmerized by Steve as I am,  make sure to hit him up on the below social media outlets:

Twitter: @stevekhan
Until next time,
Merzybean

 

Merzybean’s Year in Review: 2012

31 Dec

My 2012 has been incredible. There have been several highs and the expected lows, of course. However, no words can really describe the year that I have had. So here is my year in review (in chronological order to the best of my memory), in pictures:

Being Newly Engaged-The engagement may have taken place towards the end of 2011, but all throughout 2012 I have been on cloud nine. Discussing wedding planning with my family and friends has been so exciting. Knowing that my family will be reunited in Milos for the wedding brings me more joy than words can EVER describe. In January, my friends surprised me with an engagement celebration dinner and I will never forget it!

Graduating Teacher’s College-My Teacher’s College journey was truly incredible. I am so grateful to have had my friend by my side through the adventure. There were many highs and lows, from trying to come up with inspiration for an exciting lesson to reaching out to the students who were struggling the most. While I might not have a teaching job right now, I will be doing everything in my power in 2013 to get my own classroom. Teaching is not a job for me, it is a vocation and a passion.

Starting my blog-Here is a screen shot of a Facebook post I made when I wrote my first blog post. February 20th, 2012 was the day that Merzybean, the blog, was born. I have my brother and friend Carly to thank, as their blogs inspired me to start one of my own.

Screen shot 2012-12-30 at 4.13.24 PM

F.A.T. –Every year I volunteer with my friend Seema to work at the Fashion Art Toronto Art and Fashion Week. The week is incredible because the marriage between fashion and art is so beautifully displayed, often in a warehouse setting. As volunteers, we get to see what goes on behind the scenes and we get to speak with designers, models, makeup artists, photographers and more! F.A.T. is always something I look forward to every spring.

IMG_0284

Jumping on the iPhone Bandwagon

Part of my belated birthday present was an iPhone. I found this comment on my Facebook page from my friend Gabrien and it made me laugh. I was a loyal Blackberry fan, but the time had come.

Screen shot 2012-12-30 at 4.11.18 PM

Breaking my thumb-In May I broke my thumb. For those who are into this sort of thing and understand, I had an avulsion fracture. Basically, the muscle ripped a tiny piece of bone when my thumb made contact with the floor. Let’s just say, grappling can be dangerous! It was really sore but certainly something I won’t forget from this past year.

These are just the highlights of 2012, and what a year it was! I’m so grateful to have been a part of such beautiful memories this year. What were some of your highlights?
I’m looking forward to 2013 and all of the exciting memories we will create, on the road towards my wedding day. My goals are to get into the best shape of my life and to find a teaching job (or at least get close).
Cheers to 2013 friends. Let’s make this our year!
Merzybean
lp1N64Mr