Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I met painter Clare Grill only briefly on Saturday night at the opening for Out of me, Out of you. However, the meeting was long enough for her to give me the post card for her upcoming show at Real Art Ways in Hartford, CT. I couldn't quite get the image out of my head. Something about the colors and textures. Something about the swaths. I'm a sucker for a well-done swath, so I wrote Grill and asked her for a jpeg. Turns out that it's a detail of a larger, unfinished, 5' X 6' painting.

Note that Chris Doyle's 50,000 Beds will also be up at RAW through September 23. Can you say, "roadtrip"?

Monday, July 30, 2007

After The Ever.

Since the 80's Glenn O'Brien's writing has provided me with an island. It does so again when he enters the final words for The Wit of the Staircase, the late Theresa Duncan's online journal. Goodnight.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Feed Me Weird Things.

A show curated by well-warped painter René Smith is opening tonight at Subdivision Gallery in Long Island City. Smith's paintings start out seemingly innocent, but they can hit a vaguely taboo note while you're not looking. She somehow keeps the whole thing delicious rather than blushy though. I'm looking forward to seeing where her tastes take us.

I wrote about Smith's solo show for Libby and Roberta on artblog back in 2005. Artists include Brendan Carroll, Leidy Churchman, Ann Flaherty, Rubens Ghenov, Andrea Moreau, Smith, Rachael Wren, Mika Yokobori, and Elizabeth Zans

Bonus points for those of you who caught the Squarepusher reference in this post's title.

Post-opening Update: I gotta mention two standouts in this show, Brendan Carroll and Rubens Ghenov. Hell, yeah!

Carroll's bank of Polaroids were especially touching. His photographs of the backs of his subjects are as expressive as the the quotes that the artist includes below their image. The strength of the assemblage works because of the expert juxtapositions of images.

Rubens Ghenov's piece was just one of those images that took hold and wouldn't let go. I found myself returning to it over the course of the opening. I loved the stark silhouette, but the texture of the background was also engaging. I didn't actually get to the part where I thought about "what the image means". I just grooved to my own baskinghood that the picture set off. I was comfortable looking at it in the same way as I would an early R.E.M. lyric.

Friday, July 27, 2007


Oh, I like this. The Garbage Can Project brought to you by Jonathan Gitelson.The art of thievery and return. This 'un goes out to Fairy Butler with all her similar troubles.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Care Package.

Grand Funk Railroad. They were the first to teach me that music could be more than sound. It could be an object. The 45 for We're An American Band was made of clear gold vinyl. To this day, I haven't recovered from the moment that I slipped that puppy out of its sleeve. Apparently, I'm not the only one that has that kind of memory.

Evidence of that is plastered all over the walls of Secret Project Robot. A celebration of the limited and the coveted, it's a great survey of the amazing work that's being done underneath the underground. Like a blessing in a cool mustard-colored suit, Jim Thirlwell, master of the Total Package, was in attendance. The care with which these record covers are being produced is inspiring and heart-warming. This show should not be missed. Actually, I'm coming to the conclusion that just about any show at Secret Project Robot should not be missed. Put the needle down.

There's a certain intimacy with these releases. It's not just the limited numbers in which they're produced either. It's something about the care and intention put into each object. It reminds me of how my grandmother used to cook.

And in the store, art shopping as it should be . . . with darts.

Bonus track: A little sampling from my shelves . . .

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Friday, July 20, 2007

Really. You Have No Idea.

It is weird working down on Wall Street. While the rest of the nation is still struggling to figure out that flavor-coded threat level chart I merely have to count the number of AK47s I see when I go out to get my lunch. Then, there are days like today.

How did we get here? This is so not my beautiful wife. It is, however, Lawrence Goldhuber's Whose Broads Stripes being performed on the steps of Federal Hall as part of the LMCC's Sitelines series. Catty-corner from the Stock Exchange, dancers Patricia Hoffbauer and Amber Martin (along with the well-planted choreographer) struck their blow against the empire dancing to Pink Floyd's "Money". An obvious choice maybe, but an effective one nonetheless. It drew the tourists and the money in like honey. Then the company dropped their glitter bomb in a storm of capitalist blasphemy. It was beautiful and completely, well, weird.

God bless the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Most of you know them for their work with the visual arts, but they also support dance and music. This is how they roll.

Monday, July 16, 2007


"The thread won't divide us, the sensation survives" --New Order

I went to see art tonight and a protest (and the requisite counter-protest) broke out. Between 6 and 7 pm Creative Time celebrated seven amazing fucking years of The 59th Minute. I trust deeply in the art of chance, especially when it comes to this series. This is why.

Mark Titchner

Fly Like An . . .

This is fucking awesome.


Right now, we need some alternatives. One possibility is to open a space that's not in Chelsea or Williamsburg or the Lower East Side. Molly Bradford and Bill Pace's Pluto is a safe distance from all of the above, but their new show curated by Vargas-Suarez Universal is wel worthl the trip to Prospect Heights (and it's just a couple blocks from the Brooklyn Museum so I don't want to hear any excuses). I wrote about their first show, Norf*neasters, here.

I think I've met Pedro Barbeito a couple hundred times through his sister-in-law and a friend, so it was nice to finally see his work. Barbeito's work feels like the artist might start in a minimal place and then realize that, well, it's really not enough. So from there he just lets it flow . . . lines, grafitti, new surfaces, what's next until he knows it's done. I am imagining this and I'm probably wrong, but wasn't that fun? I like when paintings make me say "WTF?" There are angels in the architecture here.

I didn't like Angela de Rosette's paintings when I looked at them the first time. When I took another look though they warmed up. Like an infinitely looser version of Chuck Close's grids, the work also made me think of Warhol's camouflage paintings. All I know is that, in the end, the pieces pulled me into to the paint. Surface blitz.

Things tighten up in the back of the gallery with Marsha Cottrell and Daniel Zeller. It's difficult to look at Marsha Cottrell's work without thinking of Julie Mehretu, but get past that difficulty and you land in a place that's closer to the invented architecture of Angela Dufresne. Actually, that's not quite right either. Although their media and methods are completely different, I was most reminded of Amy Sillman paintings, the way respresentational forms peak out from the abstraction. But these are all useless thoughts that came to me after I got lost in the little dramas created by Cottrell's fine lines and markings.

Last, but sooooo not least, is the wonder that is Daniel Zeller's work. I always find his work mesmerizing and beautiful, and his three pieces in this show keep the pressure on. Gallery co-owner Molly Bradford made a video of the four artists in their studios, and the bit on Zeller is especially illuminating.

On a personal note, one of the biggest kicks of the opening night festivities was getting to meet one of the owners of one of my favorite bars in the city.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


OK. I get it. You want me to be overwhelmed. I am. I always am. And I thank you. God, I love this crew. Assume. Astro. Vivid. Focus. Now.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Terrorizer Quote of the Month Club.

From the intro to Claren Tracey's profile of NYC Death Metal legends Immolation: "Immolation are like the devil's butler. They'll always be there, and when hell has to be ushered in, they're more capable than most."

Monday, July 09, 2007

Big Pink.

It's always been a tossup. I've never been a big fan of Julian Schnabel the painter, but I love Julian Schnabel the filmmaker. Now, his skills as a house colorist have broken the tie. His building isn't nearly as pink as portrayed in that photo in The Villager. (Somebody got a little M-happy in PShop.) Seems like I'm not the only one thinking about this. At any rate, this is a brilliantly tasteless thing. It makes me happy just thinking about it.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


If you want to kill the good vibe gasses given off by Live Earth today, this is the way to do it. Shifting plates of metal and noise at a bored strip bar in the Financial District. Trust me when I say that this is one of the weirdest places in the city to see a show. The mightily crushing Unearthly Trance should never be missed when they play out. Their cassette release on Heart Break Beat has been one of the musical highlights of the year. I listen to it even more than their excellent release on Relapse, The Trident. Death By A Thousand Cuts always always always alway always always delivers, and OMG I'm finally going to see Destructo Swarmbots play. Hellsies! This is gonna be a lot more fun than Banks Violette, and I bet these motherfuckers start on time.