Thursday, April 27, 2006

Still Fed Up With Being Sweet.

I wondered what happened to all those Slayers that were anointed at the end of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Apparently they've become artists, pooled their power, and are now kicking your ass as tART.

Their Salon Show and Benefit Auction for my beloved Creative Time is Saturday night. Unfortunately, I'll have to miss it because I'm going to the circus. So, spend some money for me, and make it count. They certainly will.

Here are some of the pieces . . .

Laura Fayer, "Home Base", acrylic and rice paper on canvas, 10" x 8"

Paddy Johnson, "Willing to Travel", digital print, 4.75 x 5.25" (frame 11" x 14")

Elaine Kaufmann, "Mercury Villager", digital photograph

Danielle Mysliwiec, "Corrupted Drive", oil on wood panel, 22" x 18"

Anne Polashenski, "Burmese and Thai Pattern Obliteration"

Yasmin Spiro, "Model for Shack", 8"x12"x12"

Update: Here's some installation shots from the, um, press preview. (ie, Y let me into her apartment early so I could post a couple more pics.) Sorry about the lack of labeling.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


When I walked into Cheim & Read Saturday I immediately thought that maybe I would take some pictures and use my Photoshop skills to rearrange Jack Pierson's letter sculptures to say something smartass like, "SIMON SAYS". The recent blow up about Barneys appropriating Jack Pierson's format was an unusually ham-fisted bit of intellectual and fiscal property protection. For the record, while Barneys might or might not have respect for Pierson's art, John Cheim's letter seemed to display little faith in it.

That said, as soon as I realized that Pierson had incorporated Barbara Pym into the show all was forgiven. I wasn't ready for that at all. I know. I'm easy, but . . . Barbara Pym! How often does she get mentioned anywhere? Between her work and her life she's a perfect touchstone for one corner of what Pierson is exploring here, female suffering. It was especially moving to see that candle flickering beside the well-worn copy of Less Than Angels.

Start anywhere. Everything I've read by Pym has been good. I have to say that the subtle power of the everyday in Quartet in Autumn is what makes that one my favorite. And trust me, nobody's ever going to copy her style to sell socks.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Medieval Mashups.

One show I've been meaning to mention is the Nancy Baker at Plus Ultra. Highly recommended viewing, and this is the last weekend for it. At first, I was thrown off by the tauntingly illustrative nature of the work. When I looked a little closer the illustration feeling dropped away, but the taunting stayed. That was interesting and more than a little thrilling.

Medieval scenes blow up with an unexpected palette and then get invaded by Caspar-like devils and villians, UFOs, Hindu dieties and paint-by-numbers foliage. Pop eating itself across the centuries. Seriously tasty.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Monday, April 10, 2006

Charlotte Nicholson: She's Got Gold.

Charlotte Nicholson Snowblind 3*
Heart As Arena pal Charlotte Nicholson put a hurtin' on Stephen Maine of Artnet when he went to see the group show, Presentational Painting III, at Hunter College. For those of you who know Charlotte's work this will not come as a surprise. The radiance is in the details.

Just one little note. Charlotte's paintings are fiercely difficult to photograph. This photo, nor any other I've seen, really does her work justice. Seeing it in the flesh is very much recommended.

*Photo totally lifted from Artnet.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Shi Jinsong's Na Zha Baby Boutique

The last few visits to Chelsea have offered up some nice unexpected surprises. A Jack Goldstein painting here, a Basquiat show there. I happened upon both these shows by accident.

Last week's glorious accident was Shi Jinsong's Na Zha Baby Boutique at Chambers Fine Art. I had gone to 210 11th Avenue to see the Judith Linhares show at Edward Thorp. (See Jerry Saltz's enthusiastic review of the Linhares here . Saltz nails it. I liked the show a little less than him, but only a little.)

After seeing Linhares' show, I hopped back on the elevator and ran into Chistophe Mao, a dealer I'd met a couple of times at Creative Time functions. I was under the very mistaken impression that he had a gallery in China. He actually has a gallery here (on the 4th floor of 210 as a matter of fact), representing artists from China. I hit the 4 button.

What a treat. Absolutely sick show (As in illin'.). The sculptures and the blueprints are beautiful in a really wrong way. Shiny, smooth, and caustic; they seethe with desperation and fear. The show made me think of Chinese birth control policies, David Bowman's utterly weird and thoroughly entertaining Bunny Modern, and the high school hallways of the Park Slope Stroller Brigade. All of these things lead me back to the primal urge to protect; not just your child, but what is yours. Possession. It is a sharp thing.

From the gallery's website, "The title refers to an enduring figure of Chinese folklore and mythology: Na Zha, an impish trickster with supernatural powers and flamboyant fashion sense (legend has it his red silk trousers generated so much heat the sea began to boil, enraging the East Sea Dragon King). Na Zha's essential ferocity long since tamed in the Chinese psyche, he is now chiefly celebrated as a God of Lotteries and Gambling, a commodified totem of the new global economy."

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Marilyn Minter on Arsenio.

Huh? Seriously. Check out the link. Creative Time just posted the video of footage from 1989/1990 when Minter bought time on Arsenio, Letterman, and Nightline to air her film, Food Porn. Could she kick more ass? I think not.

There's also a short interview on the site. It's especially interesting to see her giving herself calluses from her painting method.