Friday, December 28, 2007

Mother and Child.

When I was at the Warhol Museum last Saturday I kept returning to the large room with The Last Supper painting in it. The curators turned out a "mother and child" theme on one wall that included drawings, watercolors, and photographs. I found these two especially touching. The way the child looks out at the viewer is such a great Renaissance trick. All these not-Renaissance years later it still works. It's so very "I'm on it, motherfuckers!" It also invites the viewer into the work in such an intimate way. That rules.

This room in the museum happens to illustrate one of my favorite things about the Warhol. The collection is so deep that it's practically a different museum every 2-3 weeks. Other than a few standbys that stay in the same spot for months or years at a time (Specifically in this room, The Last Supper and one of the larger piss paintings), everything else is constantly in flux. Always moving.

Also . . .

Two words. One airline. Jet Blue.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Andy Saves.

Yeah, I've been busy for the last month but let's face it: I've also been a little uninspired. Inspiration returned though with my annual visit to The Warhol in Pittsburgh. I love that place so much I could cry. Oh, my God. I totally just did.

At any rate, this was an especially good visit and I'll occasionally be bothering you with it in the next few weeks. This little light of mine . . .

Friday, December 21, 2007

Maria Bartiromo Holiday.

The holidays and a cold have slowed me down a bit in regards to the posting this month. Love me anyway. It's Chistmastime! Not to worry. Things'll be ramping back up after New Years. If my cold cooperates I'll be bringing back some goodies from my annual pilgrimage to The Land of Andy, The Iron City, The Home of Primanti Bros. In the meantime enjoy the special Christmas edition of Unbreak My Heart. Happy Holidays!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Mika Rottenberg, 5 Second Party, 2006

A relatively new arts organization came across my radar recently: Artis. They support contemporary art in Israel and the Israeli artists who make it, wherever they are. The other night I went to a presentation of the work of Israeli artists who are attending or have graduated from Columbia. I was surprised at how much of the work I was familiar with. Just the other week I had come across Mika Rottenberg's 5 Second Party (above) in the back room at Stonefox in the collection of one of the gallerists. And of course, the mighty Tamy Ben-Tor (below). I'm pretty sure that everybody and their mother likes her work. Others whose work I've seen here and there were Guy Ben-Ner, Yoav Horesh, and Daniel Bauer. Check them out, both the artists and the org.

Tamy Ben-Tor, still from The Hitler Sisters, 2005

Monday, December 17, 2007

Both Sides Now.

I've bought thousands of used CDs over the years. I never know what I'm going to find when I go into a place like Academy on West 18th. I might walk out with one disc by Nurse With Wound and another by Robyn Hitchcock. The other day though, I nabbed the mother of all juxtaposed purchases. I was quite proud of myself. Obviously.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Y'all know I'm a huge fan of the painting of Jenny Dubnau, so I was more than a little thrilled to learn that she has a show up in one of my favorite Southern cities, Greenville, South Carolina. The exhibit is up through the end of January at the Greenville Museum. I've always thought that the city--home to Furman University, the mighty SC Governor's School for the Arts, and my Aunt Sally--had good taste. Now I'm sure of it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Love. Death. Radio.

If you thought Hospital mainman Dominick Fernow was hardcore, wait until you meet his mom, Jean Feraca. Tonight at Borders in Midtown the poet/writer/npr radio host will be reading from her new memoir. Heavy rain returns, indeed.


The other day I came across one of the best lines I've read this year. From Dennis Cooper's Frisk:
"His history had been reduced to a simplistic blur, like the trails in the air left by people on fire."

Seriously. On the count of 3, everybody just put down their pens and go home.

As a sidenote, I've also been re-reading Cooper's amazing collection of essays, All Ears. It's worth the price of admission for his profile of UCLA's Fine Arts program in 1997.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Don't Call Me.

Not between 10 and 10:30, at least. I'll be watching the center of the moral universe, Lauren Conrad (left), crush all the dishonest hellheads of the world. Audrina (right) will undoubtedly begin to date another dopey fool, even though she deserves somebody nicer. Heidi will die. Clueless as a goldfish, she will choke to death on her own breath. Spencer, freed from his never-really-meant-it-in-the-first-place commitment, will begin his political career, and in 20 years will be running for president in a close race. A small percentage of the country will vote for Mark Green to "shake things up" and "send a message". You know the rest.

It starts tonight.

PS: Here it is . . . THE moment of the season. I love how this transfer gives the clip the visual texture of a soap opera from the 70's.

PPS: OMG. They're even letting Elodie walk the red carpet. This is the best pre-finale show EVER.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Off The Grid.

Don't even hesitate . . . like I did, when I first walked into the Zach Feur Gallery last Saturday. Tom McGrath's new show is a stunner, but I wasn't even close to being ready for it because I hadn't seen any of the transitional paintings between this show and his last one in 2005. The style shifts and his palette explodes with this series of paintings. This one reminded me of Howard Hodgkin. Not an easy thing to do. Not an easy thing to do at all, from any angle. Off the grid, baby.

Best Email Solicitation of the Day.

my name is eddie alfaro
i would like to show you my artwork
maybe you can help me get it seen
i make it with sharpie markers, i am color blind
thank you

Friday, December 07, 2007

This Is Why.

This letter-to-the-editor was written to the Times-Picayune regarding Paul Chan's Waiting for Godot in New Orleans. During this frenzied moment that is Art Basel Miasma, I thought I'd post this reminder of what art also is. Not how much it costs, or how well it sells, or how goddamn good you look in front of it, but what it can mean.* Just a little breather. That's all.

*I know it doesn't sound like it, but this is not a slam against art fairs. I LOVE the damn things for my own selfish reasons. Any place where I can see boatloads of art is fine by me. Everything else is everybody else's problem.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

"Laugh now, but one day we'll be in charge."

Maria and Banksy . . . An utterly appropriate duet. I came across this magical juxtaposition on the Upper West Side last night. Thank GOD I was on my way to therapy. I had a lot to work out after seeing this.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Time In A Bottle.

Another buncha new posts over on my Creative Time blog, including the story behind this bottle of A Psychic Vacuum that I found on my desk at work last week.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


My review of the deliciously overwhelming Ensemble, a show of sound art curated by Christian Marclay at the ICA in Philadelphia, is up now at ArtCal's Zine. It's a thriller.

The photo above is a close-up of Angela White's three turntables and michael jackson. I love this artist's work. Well-plotted structures lead to random acts of visual and aural beauty. This is the stuff, kids. Spin.

I'll post an installation shot of the work tonight when I get home, so check back if you're interested. Trust me. You should be interested. (Bonus: Here's a link to her work at Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle.)

Monday, December 03, 2007

On The Waterfront.

My visit to Steve Flanagan's studio might have been colored by whiskey- and cold medicine, but I was clear-eyed by the time I wrote about it back in June. He has a couple gems in this group show in SoHo that opens tonight.

All Apologies.

Sorry about the lax posting lately. Still recovering from Thanksgiving, I think. I'm on my way back though with a couple things in the pipeline here, at my Creative Time blog, and at ArtCal's The Zine. I saw a bunch of goodnesses in Chelsea this Saturday. Not least of which was Tom McGrath's stunning new show at Zach Feur. For real.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Creed Is Good.

This is my favorite Martin Creed production since he released Owada's Nothing back in 1999. I had forgotten about this photo of Small Things I took back in September on W. 25th. That yellow neon. That rust. That size. It was a good day in Chelsea.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Philly I love ya, but sometimes you break my heart.

Renoir, Portrait of Mademoiselle Legrand

About 20 years ago a friend's father penned a piece for Philadelphia Magazine regarding the lame headers in the Inquirer that led into well-written articles. The theme of that entire issue of PM was the title of this post. It's in that spirit that I've been meaning to mention something that drives me absolutely bonkers when I visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It's what's on the walls.

I'm not talking about the paintings. I'm talking about the paint. In a museum with spectacular architecture, a staggeringly good collection, and my very favorite Renoir the walls look like they were imported from an elementary school classroom in 1968. I know. Hard to believe, but Bumply Light Dirty Tan walls really do nothing for the art. Maybe there was some money leftover from the Perelman Building that they could use for a fresh, less bumply coat. If that's the case they should go for it. Whatever they do, I just wish they'd stop breaking my heart.

Just to be clear: Other than their walls, I love the PMA! Here's something nice about them by Andrea Kirsh on Artblog. And don't even get me started on the roomful of Duchamp.

Duchamp, The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Over There.

Marilyn Minter's paint brushes.

There's a bunch of new and newish posts over on my Creative Time blog. Plenty of links to articles and photos related to Waiting for Godot in New Orleans, some left over Marilyn Minter studio pics, and fun with Donald Sutherland on the 4 train.

Oh no, they di'in't.

Or maybe I should say, "Oh no, they diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii'iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin't!" Metal doesn't get any respect in this week's New Yorker. In their short review of The Heavy Metal Box they refer to Ronnie James Dio--one of the most distinct and influential voices in all of metaldom--as a guitarist. Memo to the NYer: No amount of Sasha can save you from this sort of lameness. I'm pretty sure that Dio has never even been seen in public with a guitar. In a jester's outfit? Yes. But with a guitar? No.

I unfortunately quote: ". . . the guitarist Ronnie James Dio contributes an interview on the origins of the “horned hand” salute . . ."

Oh. It hurts my record geek heart. So, this one goes out to all the metal heads at Talk of the Town. It might be more their speed . . .

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Peace Out.

I know. Hot sign, huh?

Yes. It's Thanksgiving time which means one thing: I get to visit Maya Lin's Peace Chapel back in my hometown of Huntingdon, PA. This year (Here's last year.) we'll try something a little different . . . BAD CAMERA WORK. In a semi-inspired moment I used the video function on my little crappy camera. I've no cinematography skills, but mad heart. Work with me on this one, kids. Just turn your heads to the side when necessary. Follow me, and remember that I don't do this for a living. For that we can all be thankful.

Oh. Wait. Blogger is having a bout of Hooverdom, and I can't upload my video. So, just like old times, here's some photographs.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Going West.

Adam Cvijanovic, The Union Pacific Main Line (Laramie, Wyoming),

OK. Not that far west, but I am taking the train. Have a good holiday. I am OUT.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Against It.

On a whim I recently pulled out Forty Poems Touching On Recent American History, edited by Robert Bly and originally published in 1970. One poem by Robert Creeley struck me as even more relevant today, for these dark stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid times. I wasn't sure if I was going to post the poem, and then I attended a walkthrough with Karen Finley for her show at Alexander Gray Associates on Saturday. I saw even more connections in regards to the way we've fallen asleep at the wheel with a weighted foot taped to the pedal.

The book came out in 1970, but here we are again only this time even moreso. This is standard fallout from not dealing with your shit, as an individual or as a nation. We disconnect. We drive on. Here's the Creeley poem:

As I sd to my
friend, because I am
always talking -- John, I

sd, which was not his
name, the darkness sur-
rounds us, what

can we do against
it, or else, shall we &
why not buy a goddamn big car,

drive, he sd, for
christ's sake, look
where yr going.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Spent a fabulous day in Philly on Friday. There are two amazing shows at the ICA. The group show of sound art, Ensemble, enthralls and excites. Photographer Eileen Neff's show makes me hesitate to call her a photographer. Deep and wide, like the old hymn. I also hopped the trolley and made my way out to artist Judith Schaecter's home and studio. She kept my jaw on the floor. More on all these things later.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Get It Hot.

TODAY IS THE LAST DAY to see HAA fave Mark Dean Veca's excursion into the acid dripping land of appropriation where Dr. Seuss is a wise drunken elder, but Veca is clearly in control. I don't know why, but 9 times out of 10, I like what Jonathon LeVine Gallery puts in their smaller gallery, (Can you say Adam Wallacavage?) and right now is no exception. I've loved Veca's art since I first saw it at Jessica Murray Projects a number of years ago. It's only gotten better and I couldn't be more thrilled to see it in NYC again. Great color. Great sense of humor AND scale. Just, well, great. Go see it.

And YO. On the photo policy front . . . the signs look nicer, are less obtrusive, and the message is clearer.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The $50,000 Question.

Does Zoe Strauss kick ass? I say, YES. Apparently the folks at United States Artists who just awarded her an Agnes Gund Fellowship also say YES. Zoe? She says HOLY FUCK!

Image above obviously by Zoe Strauss

Thursday, November 15, 2007

If I Was John Hudak.

A bell is a cup until it is struck.

If I was John Hudak--actually, if I was any sound artist--I know exactly what I'd be doing right now. I'd be hightailing it down to Ground Zero to document a mournful synchronization that's been taking place daily for the last week or so.

The Salvation Army has been out ringing their bells, a normal activity for this time of year. However, on the construction site the workers have been using one of those huge (and loud) earth pounders lately. Everytime I've walked by the bell ringers seem to have unconsciously synced their bells with the booming rhythm of the construction equipment. It's makes for a strange brew of sound. Somebody needs to document it. They could just slap it onto a CD and release it that way. It's a ready-made piece of sound art. Of course, if I was John Hudak I'd totally procress the sound to within an inch of it's life and it'd sound absolutely brilliant. Either way, I don't need to go into how this would work on a symbolic level. I mean, I could but that would limit things. So I won't.

This little runaway train of thought has reminded me of Jonty Semper's Kenotaphion. Partly because of the bells, but also because of the sadness inherent in the sound.

Photo via Grand Rapids Public Library

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Noises OFF!

The roster for the No Fun Fest 2008 is up, and it looks good . . . and well rackety.

Projected highlights . . . Tony Conrad is hands down the most legendary and influential performer on the roster. Way, way cool that they got him. . . No surprise that Thurston Moore is on the list. Sorry to see that his wife Kim Gordon is not. She and Boredoms' drummer Yoshimi turned in one of the strongest sets last year. I've always liked what the SY crew do on their own more than their work with the band. . . It's always good to see what James Plotkin is up to. Undoubtedly one of the most inventive guitarists on the planet right now. . . Burning Star Core covers so much ground and disappoints so little it's almost miraculous. Every release is like Christmas morning. . . I almost can't believe that I'm finally going to get to see Illusion of Safety play live. Besides having one of my favorite album titles of all time (Water Seeks It's Own Level), they've carved out an excellent plot of land in the realm of collage and drone for over 25 years.

The performance to which I'm most looking forward? Easy. Werewolf Jerusalem, Richard Ramirez's deep excursions into static. Anything Ramirez puts out under his own name or his gloriously monikered Black Leather Jesus is top notch, but Werewolf Jerusalem resonates the most with me.

The best name of No Fun Fest 2008? This award unquestionably goes to AFTERNOON PENIS. I mean, really. That wasn't even a competition.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Word On The Street.

WGA East members hit Wall Street today. They went appropriately right for the pocket. Click the pic below to read the flyer.

Seriously. Die, you gravy-sucking corporate pigs* . . . or at least give the writers a fair deal. Don't even get in the way of my TV Party.

*I hope that reference made you think of banjos.

Well. The Bellinis Were Good.

Something wasn't in the air. I stopped by Phillips on Saturday for the preview of the upcoming Contemporary Art auction. I LOVE the auctions because of the previews. Seriously. I love seeing all that art that isn't normally on display when it's between collections. Usually, the work that I see at Phillips is, for the most part, pretty damn wonderful. Not so much this time though. Don't get me wrong. I saw some nice pieces, but the overall quality wasn't up to snuff. Are the sellers concerned that the market isn't going to bear the fruit for which they hoped? Are they holding back the good stuff??? I don't know. Culturegrrl seems to know what the hell she's talking about if you're interested in that sort of thing. Read her. Let's remember that all of my market predictions have come from Porsche conditions in Chelsea. Hmmmmmmmm. OK. I've thought about it. I'm sticking with the cars.

At any rate, it was worth the price of admission ($0 + a willingness to drink truly excellent Berry Bellinis) just to see Jack Goldstein's amazing Untitled (Burning City) pictured above. I think I went back 3 times to see this one. The burning fade at the bottom edge. All that black. Then the lost. Damn. The last time I saw a Goldstein at an auction some proudly knowledgeable fellow started to wonder aloud about who "really" painted the piece. Well, who knows dude. Probably David Salle, but sooooooooo NOT the point. I'll stop this rant short. Also kicking my ass was a large format C-Print of Marilyn Minter's Unarmed (Pamela Anderson). You already know what I think of that image. Another nice, but bittersweet, surprise was the late Jeremy Blake's Mod Lang. An odd thing, this one. The video looks more "painty" than anything I've ever seen by him yet it felt less like a painting.

Wow. That might have been a short post, but it was pretty rambling. I couldn't even figure out a good way to end that last Britney of a paragraph. We'll just have to accept the fact that it was was a little incomplete and unsatisfying, and hope for better luck next time. Which, I guess, is a little bit like the collection of works they've assembled at Phillips. I'll be curious to see what happens, but mostly I'll just hope for better luck next time.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Eyes of Laura Mars.

I can only imagine what the First Lady has to say.
You've come a long way from whiskey and cocaine.


This is the first (and probably the last) time you'll see me reference a Pink lyric here, but her song "Dear Mr. President" made me think of the latest chapter in Karen Finley's continuing war on stupidity up now at Alexander Gray Associates. Yeah. This post is chock-full of music references, but Finley provided me with the one time I cared about a Sinead O'Connor song so in some circuitous way it's appropriate. Get your war on. Oh, right. We already have. Whatever. Nevermind.