Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Grinning death's head Artist unknown, 1939-1945. Pencil on paper.
OK. Weird post, but death is in the air. It all started when I watched Blagojevich's press conference tonight. I kept thinking he was going to pull a Bud Dwyer. Of course, that made me curious about what was out there about the late Mr. Dwyer. (If you Google the dude, I'm going to warn you now NOT to watch the video. Seriously.) That led me to the wikipedia entry for List of unusual deaths. Totally odd and entertaining. Keeping on the same track I tried to find out something about a truly storming Black Metal cassette I got last week, Grinning Death's Head. Couldn't find anything but a listing, but I did come across the above drawing on The National Archives site. Quite happily, I'm blaming all this on the fact that today was International Blastbeat Celebration Day! Been listening to Repulsion, Nasum, and, of course NP, to celebrate. But really. Really, this is all about the fact that I haven't gotten out to see any art in awhile. De-installed the show last weekend though, so I'll be getting back my life all soon-like. And obviously, I need to see some art.
Chris McGrath/Getty Image
The Terrible Towel. Already something, but so much more than that. This is going to be a great Sunday. Stop at some point in the action and remember Myron Cope and all the kids he's still helping, even in death. Great story. This, my friends, is Pittsburgh.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Finally picked up Zaimph's gorgeous tension-filled 7", Bird Of Prey / Inclination the other week. I became enamored of this Marcia Bassett solo project when Hospital released the full-length CD, Sexual Infinity back in 2006. Rough and daring drones were plentiful and I was hooked from the gitgo. The A side of the 7", Bird Of Prey, reminds me of some of the grinding lines from LaMonte Young's Der Zweck Dieser Serie Is Nicht Unterhaltung, but Bassett isn't afraid to put a beautiful liquid guitar on top of it all. The B Side, Inclination, finds things getting a little more abrasive, both on the bottom and the top. Guitar feedback smothers a sandpaper drone into oblivion. Mighty, this one.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Will there ever be a Space 1026er that lets me down? Apparently not. Mark Price's show, The New Real Fantasy Now at Glowlab is further proof of that. There's a lot of "The center cannot hold" in the air right now, the implication that once gravity disappears things fall apart. True enough, maybe. But what if gravity didn't disappear as much as it just moved around, casting it's pull from distant domains both light and dark. Lack of gravity we're ready for. We dream that shit on a regular basis. Price's drawings and wall paintings show chaos and destruction choosing the latter option. Things are getting ripped apart from the outside in.
Because of the suspension the work first reminded me of Adam Cvijanovic's great 2005 show, Love Poem, Ten Minutes After The End of Gravity, but upon closer inspection it's obvious that things weren't just moving up and out. The direction of the pull is unpredictable and wild. When Terry Gilliam was looking for a post-industrial wasteland where he could film Twelve Monkeys somebody tipped him to Philadelphia. Anybody who's taken Amtrak down from New York knows that disintegrating stretch before the North Philadelphia stop. Some of Price's structures feel like they're ripped from that section of town, from that sliver of our past. It reflects perfectly our broken down times as we begin to realize we've been living on ghost time. Suddenly it's like, "Oh, shit. My blood has turned to rust." Price captures that moment just after we utter those words. Whether or not we're able to hold on to ourselves and all these flying parts remains to be seen.
First two photos above via Glowlab's flickr site
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Paddy got baby art all up inside my head today, and just when I thought I was done with it I got home to find the new Comme des Garcons mailer in the post. The Quay Brothers were put in charge and they got all Alice Cooper with it.
RELATED: Guy Trebay asks, "Milan, why so gloomy?"
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Jenny Kanzler, picnic, 2007, oil on canvas, 40 x 26 inches
This would be a great battle of shame. Put these two paintings in a room and let childhood and adulthood duke it out. Jenny Kanzler's picnic is like the beginning of awareness, while René Smith's Good Luck is practically a later version after years of lessons. Come to think of it, it wouldn't be a duel at all. Just a progression. These need to be on a wall together somewhere.
René Smith, Good Luck, pastel on Paper, 14 x 14 inches
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Kate Gilmore, video still from Heartbreaker
This is it, kids. The last weekend to see utterly awesome Unbreak My Heart at PLUTO Gallery in Brooklyn. Big ups to Plutonians Bill and Molly, all the asskicking artists who laid down such wicked good work, and finally to all of you who stopped by to rock. Stoopid big hugs to all.
I'll be there on Sunday. Stop by. There will be beer. There will be tears. Then there will be more beer.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Yes. It's another post on one of my favorite music/art objects of all time, Buddha Machine. I had planned just to direct you to Critic's Notebook on the subject by Sasha Frere-Jones from the last issue of The New Yorker, but then there was a more full-on post on SF-J's NYer blog. Seriously, it's all you need. Links galore AND a short interview with half of the group fm3, the machine's creators. Do not miss the link to the Zendesk FM3 Buddha Machine wall. You can listen to the loops on your desktop, plus you can layer up to 21 of those loops, which has pretty much been my dream since I got my first Buddha Machine. Seriously. This is one of the most perfect objects you'll ever own. Buy two.
Friday, January 09, 2009
BREAKING: Anaba pays a visit to the show. Thanks, Martin! Also, Unbreak Break My Hearter Kate Gilmore gets a great review from Roberta Smith in the NYTimes for her amazing solo show at Smith-Stewart. Hell, yeah!
There're just 2 weekends left to see Unbreak My Heart. It still RULES so if you haven't seen it, the time is now. PLUS, this weekend is the last weekend of the Gilbert & George show at the Brooklyn Museum which is just four blocks away. Can you say double feature?
The other week Rosanna Bruno got an email out of the blue from some guy who saw her paintings from the street and had to come in to the gallery to get a closer look. Yes. This show stops traffic. I've spent some afternoons in the gallery and there's always this wonderful block of light that appears on Beth Gilfilen's painting between 3 and 4 o'clock. Although my favorite story from the show happened when I was gallery-sitting one weekend and two little girls from the neighborhood stopped in the gallery, probably about 8 and 10 years old. They started watching Kate Gilmore's Heart Breaker video. After about 30 seconds of watching Kate take her axe to the big wooden heart the older girl turned to me and said, "Somebody sure musta broke her heart." Let's face it, y'all. Art is awesome.
Some installation shots:
Thursday, January 08, 2009
I have to add one more item to the up-side-down/right-side-up quiz Ed Winkleman had on his blog a couple weeks ago. I posted a photo of Bill Brand's Masstransiscope over on my Creative Time blog. Mr. Brand commented and kindly pointed out that fact that the photo of his piece was upside down and backwards. My bad. I've corrected the orientation on the CT blog. You can click here to see which one of these is right.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
There's still time for hate, even though it feels a little like nostalgia now. Remember that amazing Josephine Meckseper show at Elizabeth Dee Gallery in June? Now you can get the t-shirt. Well, sort of. It's the t-shirt for the soundtrack that she used, NON's Total War. And here's the video for added fun.
Monday, January 05, 2009
I confess. I love The Mattress Factory. When I visited over the Christmas holiday I happened to run into the MF's PR person, Jeffrey Inscho, in the lobby. He was testing out their new magical MFiConfess machine that allows visitors to record their reactions and, as in the case above, their confessions about their MF experience. Then it gets posted to YouTube. Here's the direct link to the MFiConfess YouTube channel. Power to the people. Most awesome.
Oh, and since I put the song in your head . . . here ya go.
Sunday, January 04, 2009
Saturday, January 03, 2009
Blood (Donald Formey), 1975, Oil and acrylic on cotton canvas
NOTE: Things have gotten so interesting in the comments section that I'm reposting this puppy.
And it was Barkley L. Hendricks, not Santa, who was driving the slay. Not done with your Christmas shopping? Too bad. You need to make it to the Barkley L. Hendricks show at the Studio Museum in Harlem, like, NOW. Your loved ones can go without. You need to see this show. Hands down one of my favorite shows of the year. More later, but I wanted to post this so I could plan your day for you. You're welcome.