Saturday, August 30, 2008

Not My Adidas. OUR Adidas.

In the small world that is New York City I ran into Zoe's brother, Cosmo Baker, in my neighborhood Friday night. He totally won my t-shirt-of-the-day award.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Cocaine Blues.

Hospital. Again.

Prurient, Cocaine Death CD

Prurient, Time Began in a Garden, 2xC10 ltd to 100

Sarah Palin's Science Class.

This would be a good time to remember the curriculum that John McCain's sad vagina trick is open to for your kid's science class. Remember when Crazytalk went into the belly of the dumb beast? No? Here it is.

Unbreak My Heart: Beth Gilfilen.

Hey. Sorry the posting's been so light this week. Much going on. But one of the things that's been going on is that I've been working on the show. In fact, tomorrow after work I'm going over to Jersey City to do a second studio visit with one of the artists I'm including, Beth Gilfilen. We'll be figuring out which paintings are going to work best in the show. Here are some pics from our first visit. Oh, yeah!

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Shepard Fairey in the crowd, via the Times.

The "No shit, Sherlock." Award goes to professional dick Howard Wolfson when Katharine Q. Seelye runs into him at the convention . . . "9:34 p.m. Running Into Wolfson: We literally just walked into Howard Wolfson, who marveled at the huge crowd at the stadium. “We would never have been able to do this,” he said smiling, and raised his arms to point upward. Asked why, he said 'I think for the reasons why he’s the nominee. He tapped into people’s desire for hope and change.'"

My favorite convention moment? Listening to Grunt's Recycled Music while Susan Eisenhower was busy tearing all the idiots a new asshole. Perfect.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Water Play.

Over on my Creative Time blog . . . Visited two very different Creative Time projects over the weekend. On Saturday, I was basking in the sun of Coney Island and the shame of Steve Powers' Water Board Thrill Ride. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee! OK. Like, NOT Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee! On Sunday I had to stop by the last day of David Byrne's engaging and, well, playful Playing The Building. Below are two of the happiest building players you'll ever see.

Working With The Homeless.

This would be troubling in a number of ways if it weren't so dead on. Don't know if this is a Poster Boy original or not. Does it even matter? No matter how you slice it, this is a pretty concise way of highlighting the actuarial gamble our society is willing to take with the homeless, always looking for that $.99 cent special. The war on poverty on the cheap. It'll look good on the books for this fiscal year. Don't you worry your pretty little heads about the future, or the real cost.

Say Goodbye View.

Goodbye view.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

You've Got Mail.

Jennifer Coates, Thoughts for Naught

Come on, September. It was a good day in the Heart As Arena snailmail box yesterday. Announcements appeared for two shows I'm looking forward to in the midst of all the insanity that is Chelsea in September. Ass-kicking mountain man Jennifer Coates' show show at KTF will be opening on September 9. Not. To. Be. Missed. Before that, on September 4th will come the mad work of Nancy Baker at Denise Bibro. Both artists will melt your brain in the best of ways. I can't feel my face just thinking about it.

Nancy Baker, Temptation of Bozo

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Go Green.

Hey! Annida Greenkard was on Project Runway tonight. Awesome. Her designer didn't lose for any lack of fabulous wonderfulness on Annida's part. You GO, girl!

Image via Mr. Flikkr.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

"Sponge Bob's Built For Waterboarding."

Photos: Sam Horine for ArtForum.

Steve Powers’ The Waterboarding Thrill Ride has been getting a boatload of press lately so I've started to compile a list of links over on my Creative Time blog. The NPR piece is especially good.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My Big News.

Bang. I'm a curator. Seriously, kids. Many excellent things have come my way because of this blog but this one takes the cake and eats it too. When Molly Bradford and Bill Pace, the owners of the much-loved Pluto, asked me to curate a show for them this fall my extremely immediate response was, "Hell, yeah!" And then I was off on one of the best adventures of my life.

I can't thank Molly and Bill enough for the opportunity and for the trust they've placed in me. The title for the show is Unbreak My Heart, and it will include work that's done just that for me. I've been doing studio visits for the last month or so, and seeing some amazing work. I'm just now beginning to figure out the final line-up, and I'll be sharing the studio visits I've done over the next couple weeks. It was great to visit (and revisit) the work of artists familiar to me, and it was equally thrilling to see work by painters to whom I'd recently been introduced. One of them even brought tears to my eyes. (You know who you are . . . EJ Hauser.)

OMG. This show is sooooooo going to rule. I can't wait to show it to you. But I will. It opens on November 1st.

Holy shit. I'm curating a show. Did you ever have a dream and not know it, but then it came true? Well, this is kinda like that.

Monday, August 18, 2008


One word.


Hrag Vartanian's amazing piece about Poster Boy and his recent collaborator Aakash Nihalani is a not-to-be-missed kind of affair. It reminded me that I came across the above work at the Bergen Street stop a couple weeks ago. Honestly, I don't know if it's a Posterboy original or not. Just in case, here's some Poster Boy for ya on the same tip. And here's the Poster Boy flickr site if you want more.

Now THIS Is How To Start A Week.

MONDAY . . .

Lauren Conrad channels Buffy near the end of the trailer for the Season 4 premiere of The Hills. To every semi-reality TV series, a slayer is born. But seriously, don't forget to forgive.


Release date for the second Robyn Hitchcock box set, Luminous Groove, which includes one of my favorite records of all-time, Fegmania! Plus, one of the bonus tracks on Element of Light is one of my favorite Hitchcock B-sides of all-time, Tell Me About Your Drugs.

Do you believe in the Holy Grail?
Tell me about your drugs
Do you know anyone in jail?
Tell me about your drugs

Friday, August 15, 2008

Hold Me Closer Than That.

JIM HODGES, Double Portrait: The Artist and His Mother, May 2008

My buddy Anne Pasternak has curated what looks to be a whopper of a show, Intimacy, out in the Hamptons at The Fireplace Project. Just one more thing that proves how much ass she kicks. Seriously. Look at this roster. Ricci Albenda, Nayland Blake, Kerstin Br├Ątsch, Sophie Calle, Peter Coffin, Ann Craven, Tara Donovan, Tracey Emin, Tony Feher, Spencer Finch, Ceal Floyer, Lyle Ashton Harris, Sharon Hayes, Jim Hodges, Jamie Isenstein, Matt Keegan, Wolfgang Laib, Sol Lewitt, Glenn Ligon, Malcolm McLaren, Donald Moffett, Not Vital, Adam Putnam, Ugo Rondinone, Frances Stark and Guido Van Der Werve.

Overwhelming much? Yowza.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I Curse You Just For Caring.

Photo by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

On the day the John Edwards' story was breaking Karen Finley sent out an email to announce her new show, Impulse To Suck: The Performance of The Apology and The Separation of Sex and State. It's inspired by a day that was supposed to start with an Eliot Spitzer speech about reproductive health and ended with, well, we know how it ended. Finley's timing isn't quite Slayer releasing God Hates Us All on 09.11.01, but it's in that direction. Sorry, but any artist this keyed into our collective national consciousness gets my attention. As important as her early work was I don't think it touches the ferocity of the new stuff. Seeing her show in November was like getting run over by a truck in front of 19 Berggasse while wearing an American flag diaper. Thursday night's performance is a one-off. Miss it at your peril.

Gail Collins
Mott the Hoople

Press release:
Karen Finley was in Albany, New York on March 10 to waiting to hear a speech from Eliot Spitzer on Reproductive Health. Instead later that day, Spitzer performed an apology with his supportive, devastated wife standing beside him. Finley will speak about the performance of the apology, the erotic transference of the media's fixation on Spitzer's frown and the emotional starring role for his wife, Silda.

Finley will perform her latest spoken word text which examines the confession, the apology, the imagining of the sexual encounter, the travel of the escort, the compulsion, the immigrant father's plan for his son to succeed and the couples imagined therapy sessions. Looking at the psychodrama in the intimacy of our political leaders, Finley poses to see the agony of the son's need for the approval from the father and the ancient wrestling of the ancient wrestling of the feminine archetypes of mother and whore.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Take It To The Bridge.

This photo was taken by my workmate Barbara Brown, who made her first appearance on Heart As Arena when she brought me a Mike Nelson souvenir. Check out the Waterfalls in the background.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

And They Put Up A Parking Lot.

WTF? Ed Ruscha and others might be getting booted from their longtime open-air studios. World. You suck.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Via Zoe, of course. The full, wonderful story here. The heart, it does translate.

she's always out makin' pictures.

Tamir Sher . . .

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Friday, August 08, 2008

It Takes Two.

Alex Katz, Striped Jacket, 1981

Nota bene. Just three more days to see this Alex Katz lithograph and the fine show of which it's apart, Admirer, at 31 Grand. Curated by Maureen Cavanaugh. For reals.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Escalator Of Life. Robert Hazard, RIP.


"You're never boring, Mary."

Photo by David Shankbone

Don't even miss Gary Indiana's great interview with Mary Woronov from the last issue of Interview magazine. It's hilarious and smart and touching and and and . . . Oh, just read it. You will feel better about this world. SNAP to it.

Money quote:
"He wasn't directing, he was painting. It's only taken me 40 years to realize that these films were never meant to screen in a theater, where I thought they were boring. They were meant to hang on a wall. They are Andy's greatest paintings."

UPDATE: Hey. Bert Green just left a comment. Woronov actually has a show up at Bert Green Fine Art for another week. Go on.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Drowning, Not Waving.

This just in as the Ambien is kicking in . . . An article in today's Times about Steve Powers' latest project for Creative Time in Coney Island, Waterboard Thrill Ride. Surf's Up! Democracy is caught in undertow!

What Are You Looking At?

'WOMANS ROLL', A.I.R Gallery, London, UK. 1976

The collaboration between COH (aka Ivan Pavlov) and the legendary Cosey Fanni Tutti, COH Plays Cosey, starts off as an aural exploration of the male gaze, but it quickly cuts deeper than that. More than anything it's an exercise in extreme artistic trust. Cosey provided vocal gestures and phrases which Pavlov twists, cuts, and spins into rhythms and melodies. The intimacy of the affair is almost uncomfortable to listen to at times, but never so uncomfortable that the tension is lost. Cosey has been investigating issues of power via performance and music from her days in Industrial pioneers Throbbing Gristle through her long collaboration with her partner Chris Carter. There's something great about the way she opens herself to someone with whom she doesn't have such a close relationship. The gaze turns inward through the mirror of another. It's a miracle of a record, and in the liner notes Cosey hints at the tables being turned next time out. Hold on.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Carousel Of Bullshit.

Photo via New York: Courtesy of Jane Walentas herself.

The Brooklyn Eagle's fluff piece today on the kindasorta opened Galapagos sent me into the usual venom-spitting conniption I always have when I read, well, just about anything regarding DUMBO anymore. I hate to have to drag out this damn point every six months, but . . . for fuck's sake people, DUMBO is no longer a place for the arts. Real estate fat cat David Walentas and his Two Trees Management would like you to believe otherwise, but his making it an "arts destination" has little to do with anything other than making the neighborhood a more sellable commodity. Having pruned the neighborhood of affordable living and studio spaces for artists over the last ten years is not a sin that can be redeemed by (even major) sponsorship of a couple arts organizations. Yes. Some of those organizations will give artists a place to show and perform their work, but it's been at the great expense of artists having a place to actually make their art.

Wait. I'm sorry. I take it all back. I forgot about Walentas' wife's idiotic vanity project that nobody wants except for the tourists. Maybe that'll make up for things . . . NOT. Can I get a "Timber!"?

Almost Blue.

Pawel Althamer’s Skin (1997) and Self Portrait (Mask) (2008)

Don't miss "Feeling Blue", Peter Schjeldahl's fabulous review of After Nature at The New Museum. It's so good it actually made me want to go see something at The New Museum. Seriously devastating piece of writing. My only quibble with the review is that he was off by one Whitney Biennial when he wrote about melancholy busting through the seams in the 2008 Biennial. I thought we started to see that melancholy in 2006. That Biennial might have looked angry but just under it's thrashing surface was a well of sadness and a sense of defeat.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Water Works. (Even When It Doesn't.)

Say what you will about NYC Waterfalls, at least it has people talking about public art. Brownstoner had an online panic attack last week when they were driving to work and saw that the Waterfalls were turned off. I've heard more than one person say how the piece has grown on them. Almost none of them from the art world. But that's OK. Hell, it might even be better this way. I wasn't a fan of The Gates, but it got the conversation rolling. Actually, my favorite story was a bar fight a friend witnessed because two old timers at a bar were arguing about whether or not The Gates was art. (IMO it was art. It just wasn't very good art.) Anyway, rage on.

Rock Show.

Went to Rock Star Bar in Williamsburg on Saturday night to see a metal show. Lots of goodness. Dark, evil goodness, but goodness nonetheless. Plus, Chrome Peeler showed up with his always-ample selection of metal fun at the merch table.

Vultures. Couldn't find anything online about them, but their drummer was one skinny dude.

Buckshot Facelift. Rock and roll should always be this fun and messy. What's not to like about a band whose album (Universal Goat Tilt) includes such great titles as Giving Acid To A Gorilla Who Knows Sign Language, Bonus Blowtorch, and Feeding Alka Seltzer To Angels. I mean, really.

The Communion. Blackened and Doomed-out Grind from Hell. Sharp guitars with a stalking singer. Creepy slamming. Celtic Frost doing speedballs. Bought their demo for 2 bucks. Smart move. It's killer.

Black September. Um. OK. Every once in awhile I'll see a painting or a band, and the world stops a little bit. Everything about this band and their performance was refreshing. If there's one thing that I love in metal it's when a band isn't afraid to rock the fuck OUT. And when I say "rock" I'm referring to the way they move. Too many metal bands get stuck in the template of their genre and lose their natural gait. Black September put in my favorite performance of the night, and that's no mean feat with Unearthly Trance as the headliner. I need to mention the singer, Jen Pickett. Her throat-shredding is some of the most powerful I've heard in some time. Geeeeez. I've been listening to the album while writing this. This band is just devastating. Sanford Parker took notice and produced their album. Even more reason to pay attention. And they're not on Relapse because . . . ?

Unearthly Trance. Sooooooooooo great to see these guys play out again. The new album, Electrocution, is crushing. You know how I feel. Nothing has changed. Except for the fact that they've gotten even better. Another brilliant show.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Satan's Grafitti.

Heh-heh. Finally. Finally, somebody figured out how to tag those obnoxious subway exit ads. And it was totally, like, Beelzebub. Awesome.