Monday, December 08, 2008


No, I don't mean to say I won some Guggenheim award. I don't apply to them, NEA, or any other awards for poetry. This, of course, doesn't stop you from asking me to write you recommendations for these same awards. I don't mind helping out, of course, but I have to say I've always scratched my head as to why the Guggie, NEA or other folks would pay attention to my opinion....anyway, this morning, I worked on a recommendation for a Guggenheim fellowship (somewhat aware that I have to take longer than the five seconds I give to blurbs); I nota bene this only because I usually recommend poets but this is the first time a visual artist has asked me to recommend. Okay, I think, then I get this letter this weekend saying the deadline is this week. Geez: give me some notice, why dontcha! But it's not like I had anything else to do but write you people recommendations for awards which would never have the prescience to award my work, right? (Wink).

Anyway, I have to park my notes somewhere on this recommendation so I can keep working on it, ERGO I BLOG IT! -- I'm running out now to stimulate the economy from its recession-headache. So, here are the notes, which may be useful for some insight (very little insight, Moi'm sure) as to what folks say in those recommendations:
12/8 Notes
It is an honor to recommend TC for a Guggenheim Fellowship. I have followed her work for over a decade and have marveled at the various paths -- both experimental and lovely -- she has taken as an artist. Indeed, one of her paintings is reproduced on the cover for my book _____for its post-Jackson Pollock approach of allowing gravity to paint her canvas, while generating a harmonious abstract work whose patterns evoked both musical scales as well as Chinese ink brush paintings.

TC’s drawings are also unique with a strong conceptual underpinning based on current technological advancements. In both her paintings and drawings, I have admired how TC's abstractions do not hover from a distance but are very much part of the world. Paradoxically, her hand as “presence”, remains palpable in even the works that rely on chance (e.g. gravity) or technology (computer graphic capabilities).

I have paid attention to contemporary art for nearly thirty years (I wrote a book of art & poetry essays entitled MY ROMANCE, Giraffe Publishing) and occasionally write as an art critic. TC rises above many of her peers, in part by never allowing her complexly cerebral approaches from generating abstract works that not only please but often soothe (in a Zen way) the eye. Thus, as a poet as well (I’ve published 15 poetry collections to date), I have found TC's works inspirational and have written many ekphrastic homages to her.

Please feel free to contact me always if you have any questions.
Eileen Tabios