Saturday, November 29, 2008

Roll Up. See The Show.

Moi, reflected in EJ Hauser

I'm melting . . . I'll also be in the gallery-sitting Unbreak My Heart today. Stop by. And check out Oly's write-up of Rosanna Bruno's work. And finally, here's your moment of Karn Evil 9 at California Jam.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Feed Me Weird Things.

Let's face it. Thanksgiving is always good at being weird, and this one seems especially well trained. To up the ante, there's a Warhol marathon on Ovation TV today. Get out yer knives.

(Bonus weirdity: They keep showing the Rosetta Stone commercial where the tagline is, "Speed is everything." Somebody is an advertising genius.)

Les Nesman reporting. The full, glorious episode HERE.

Lucinda Williams reporting.

via Gawker, William S. Burroughs reporting.

Pola X

Squarepusher, Theme from Ernest Bornine.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Houses In Motion: Angela Dufresne.

The Phillip Johnson New Canaan House with the Floating Museum and Conservatory addition c. 2046

These paintings are by Angela Dufresne. I saw her work for the first time a couple years ago at the Hammer in LA, and was duly blown away. I keep being reintroduced to her at openings because we have a couple hundred mutual friends. Saturday night at Zoe's opening, Angela said something that made me laugh so hard that I think I pulled something. I'm not kidding. I'd love to repeat it here, but it's actually unprintable. Yes. It's actually unprintable HERE. I know. Impressive, right? Anyway, in lieu of repeating what she said I'll offer up what she's painted. That way, you won't have to pull a muscle.

I have to say that I've been way way way behind the curve when it comes to Dufresne's work. I started late, and I've been playing catchup ever since. I'm more familiar with her architecture and landscape paintings but she also does people and the scenes they're in. No matter her subject, I always feel like she's slowed things down (or maybe sped them up, I don't know) and I'm seeing the world the way the gods do, able to watch time move vertically and horizontally at the same time. Which is awesome, of course . . . and very, very beautiful.

At Some Point Every Girl Passes into Womanland and Realizes Dorothy Malone is the Hero in \"Written in the Wind\"

This is a close-up pic I took of one of her paintings at the Hammer . . .

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Jenny Dubnau in SF.

Amy and Tim with Roxy, oil on canvas, 2008

Jenny Dubnau has a new show of paintings that opened at San Francisco's Bucheon Gallery this weekend. I saw some of this work in her studio a couple months ago. She's gone deeper and darker with this new batch. Psychological warfare, yo. And when I say that I mean, of course, family. Just in time for the holidays!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Unbreak My Heart. Some shots.

I spent the day with Unbreak My Heart today. I must say, it does rock. Here are some shots of the installation.

Beth Gilfilen, Luke Whitlatch

Rosanna Bruno

Luke Whitlatch

Beth Gilfilen

EJ Hauser

Kate Gilmore, Rosanna Bruno

Robert Schatz

Saturday, November 22, 2008


"Politicians and dictators and the guys with the dough
They think they run the world but they just dont know
cause down here on the street we got it under control
From Berlin to San Francisco, from New York to Tokyo"

--Todd Rundgren from One World

Opening tonight! Zoe Strauss' America: We Love Having You Here at Silverstein. I look forward to this opening/book signing/dance party for both the celebration and the mourning it will hold. Both exist in Strauss' work simultaneously, and we're going to need to follow her lead to make room to celebrate the move forward with our election of Obama while recognizing all we've lost (lives, hearts, minds) in the last 8 years of the porcupine assfuck that was George "Constant Shallowness Leads To Evil" Bush. A dream goes on forever, but hopefully, our nightmares might just have brakes. We love having you here? No, Zoe. We love having you here.

Roberta Smith said this last time around . . . "Ms. Strauss's images are not without tenderness [HAA: Click here for musical equivalent], but their harsh, unblinking force is a bit like a punch in the face [HAA: Click here for musical equivalent]. They show us what most Americans don't want to see."

Let's follow Zoe on this one, kids. Look directly. Look with love. Look deep. Let's go.

Reflective Nature.

The moment I saw this black painting by EJ Hauser I knew it had to be in Unbreak My Heart. The more time I spent with it the more I realized how much it liked to remix everything in it's reflective path, so I knew that it was going to do spectacular things to Rosanna Bruno's paintings when they were on the opposite wall. I expecially dig how, because of the shiny and dulled surfaces it clips off the image it's reflecting. Too much fun.

Friday, November 21, 2008

And Her Feet Flyin' Up In The Air.

Kate Gilmore, Walk This Way, 2008, single channel video.

Man. It's gonna be one hell of an art weekend. Two of my faves have openings, Kate Gilmore and Zoe Strauss. First up . . . Kate Gilmore. Kate's show opens tonight at Smith-Stewart on the LES. The still shown above is classic Gilmore: tearing through shit with an attention to color. The narrative that develops during the course of her videos is involving as hell, but what holds the viewer closer is her absolute command of color. I will follow. I will follow. But you already know that.

And yes, I just built a bridge between Aerosmith, U2, and feminist performance art. And now that I've used the phrase "feminist performance art" I have to cancel it out by saying that I think Gilmore's works also on a very, very personal level, and that anything political flows from that. I might be wrong though. [Update: I'm not.] I've never asked her about this. But that's how it works for me.

Presently, you can also see Gilmore's work at the ICA in Philly, AND in the show I curated at Pluto Gallery. Ooh. Also, she has a piece in the very excellent group show at Apex Art, Perverted by Theater curated by Franklin Evans and Paul David Young. She's all over the place.

Addendum. It's been itching at the back of my skull all day. That still I posted reminded me of a painting, but I couldn't remember which one. It just came to me . . . Charline von Heyl's MB from 2005. There you have it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Reaching back a couple weeks here, but I had to post this pic I took at the Christie's auction preview the other week. This pairing of Louise Bourgeois and Jean-Michel Basquiat was one inspired curatorial move (Are they called curators at auction houses?). I think I went back to this room about 5 times. You've got arms. You've got legs. And you've got Heaven.

And here's the Basquiat, full on. You know what killed me? The cage-like mouth. Not a key in sight.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Speaking of Cease and Desist.

Bill Keller should just send a messenger over to Cheim & Reid to pick up his cease and desist order from John Cheim. The image (above) that accompanied this article in the Times today clearly steals ideas directly from Jack Pierson's brain. I mean, what's the diff between this and the whole goofyass Barney's sitch? In my short time as an art world observer that still is one of the oddest moves I've ever seen by a gallery owner. I-N-E-X-P-L-I-C-A-B-L-E. Two and a half years later and I'm stilled awed by it.

Christmas Time In The Shitty.

All this recent talk of the movie based on the Thomas Kinkade painting reminded me of this post I did back in March of 2007 inspired by Tyler's suggestion that we list our 5 picks for paintings to be turned into movies. I couldn't resist reposting (repitching) my idea for the film. I still think my idea would have been better even though I still don't have a plot for it. I also bet that what they have come up with is STILL better than whatever uberhack Quentin Tarrantino is working on right now. Anyway, to quote myself . . .

Actually, I think that the idea to turn this piece of shit Thomas Kinkade painting into a movie is much better than giving Quentin Tarrantino more money to make another one of his boring amoral crapfests. I've no idea what the plot should be, but the soundtrack absolutely must be culled from Tiny Tim's Christmas Album and the entire Blowfly catalogue. Speaking of the latter, I can't think of a better romantic male lead for the film.

Photo of Blowfly and his friend by Michael Pilmer © 2006

Picture Disc of the Apocalypse.

Seeing that story today about the idiotic priest talking about Obama and the apocalypse put me in a mood for Current 93 tonight. The man behind Current 93, David Tibet, is a guy who actually takes the apocalypse seriously, at least in a symbolic way. Feelin' the end of the world led me to pull out this great C93 picture disc, Who Is The Sufferer? I mean, seriously. Vinyl is the best.

Probably an appropriate time to check out this live version of Antichrist and Barcodes on YouTube. Also, since this is an art blog I would be remiss in my duties if I didn't direct you to Catland: The art of Louis Wain, Tibet's favorite artist. Catland, sometimes called pussydom is the first place we come to.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Picture Disc Of The Day.

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. - 41st Century Splendid Man

1. 41st Century Splendid Man

1. The Creation of The Human Race
2. Dalai Gama

Bending Buddha.

Remember when I got my first Buddha Machine? Yeah. That was fun. Three years on and it still amazes me. If I curated a show of sound art I would just put one of these things in the middle of the room, turn it on, and walk away. There's an on/off/volume switch and a switch to move between one short sound loop and another (9 total). The object itself is as intimate as the small transistor radio I used to fall asleep to when I was a kid listening to WCFL through the night.

Kelefah Sennah said this in the Times back in 2005 . . .
". . . a modified version of a popular Chinese gadget that intones Buddhist prayers; this new model is a weird, mesmerizing, beautifully useless thing."

And now, Buddha Machine 2.0 has hit the shops. Like I said last time, you need one. There are 9 new loops. Still some straight-up gorgeous drones, but also some itchy surprises. Some plucked. Some struck. All of them create their own little repetitive world. However, there's a big twist with 2.0. Pitch bending. As the press release says, "It's like a whammy bar for your Buddha Machine." Heh-heh. I love the fact that there's no marker for the starting point so to get back to the original sound is almost impossible. You bought it, you break it. It frees the machine to be unique in everybody's hands. Unlimited.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Tale Of Her Tapes.

Ursula Bogner, 1978

Click here. Trust me. Read the story and keep scrolling down for sound samples.

Better yet, don't trust me. Let's rely on our favorite unreliable narrator, Momus, to narrate.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Won't need much persuadin'.

Maureen Cavanaugh's new show, Stay With Me, opening tonight at one of my LES faves, 31 Grand. And here's the song. Although I don't think it was quite what she was thinking, but the show can be seen as an interesting inversion of sorts.

UPDATE: Cavanaugh's work confuses me. Which means I'm going back for more. Which probably means that you should too. She's really blown things open for this show. It might just be a monster.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

And yes . . .

You need all three. I'm talking about Brit artist Sam Taylor-Wood's single I'm in Love with a German Film Star (produced by The Pet Shop Boys) which comes in three formats: 12", CDEP, and a limited hand-numbered 7". All killah. No fillah. Which is pretty impressive given that it's the same song remixed 7 times + the original version. Honestly though, I wasn't worried a bit. The release is on KOMPAKT which has the tightest quality control of any label of any genre out there. Ooh. And that photo. I'm ashamed to admit that I wasn't familiar with S T-W's work before this. That's about to change. Especially after looking at the fabulous video she's made for the song. She doesn't even need to raise a hand or move her lips or, well, anything really. The cigarette does all the work.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Alright, Judith.

Is Judith Schaecter on a roll or what? First, a solo show at Claire Oliver in September and a commissioned piece for the opening of The Museum of Arts and Design. Now, a United States Artists fellowship. Most awesome. Great news and well-deserved news at that. But you already know how I feel.

via Zoe. (There must be something in that South Philly water.)

Painting In Thailand.

René Smith, object of much Heart As Arena fandom, is teaching painting in Thailand for a year. Color me envious. (Not that I could teach anything in Thailand other than, like, spastic art blogging.) But also, color me lucky, because René is blogging about it on her new blog Painting In Thailand. Now YOU can be envious along with me. For the full story on the picture I posted, click here. Let's just say that René has found some collaborators of who are very in touch with their reptilian brain. Mmmm, paint.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

He's Happy. I'm Happy.

Jean-Micheal Basquiat, Untitled (Boxer)

Christie's preview today, man. And Lars' baby is on the block. You KNOW I'm not gonna miss this. I'd feel bad for him had I not seen how happy he gets when he sells Basquiat paintings. Seriously. Don't miss that last link. Both eye and heart in the right place.

UPDATE: OMG, the filthy rich are hilarious to watch. I've never heard so many people wanting to be, um, overheard. They'll make great pets.

Favorite non-moment. I'm practically in prayer in front of a Jack Goldstein, and this guy comes near the piece. Backs up to look at it. Starts writing something down. I'm, like, cool. A Goldstein fan. I say, "Great painting, right?" When he realizes I'm talking about the Goldstein he points to the Thomas Ruff next to it and says, "Actually, I'm interested the Ruff." (and then he mutters some shit about the price). Of course you are, dude. Why have taste and money?

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Drunken Masters.

Jack Goldstein, Untitled (Painting #43), 1981

Oh, HELLO. It's time for another Phillips de Pury auction preview this afternoon. Y'all know how much I love these things. It's a winning combination of viewing some wonderful art between collections, the weird but kinda fun spectacle of seeing prices beside the work, and . . . oh yeah, getting drunk with Cesar. What's not to like about this? I ask you.

10" Picture Disc Of The Day!

Various Artists - ExpStatic

A 10" split release between two labels, Expanding Records and Static Caravan. Each track is better than the last one, even if you play them in reverse order.

Side A
A1 Lillienthal: King Of Information
A2 Hulk: Paper Rock Scissors
A3 Marcia Blaine School For Girls: Miss Prism

Side B
B1 Benge: Bambie
B2 Stendec: Incluse
B3 Vessel: Sticker

Friday, November 07, 2008

No Gun Control.

Andy Warhol

Because it's not like they cling their guns or anything.

Sound & Vision.

After the workout of the final pulling together of the show last week, I'm giving my art heart a little rest this week, but not to worry, my ears have taken over. Finally getting my turntable fixed has made it even more fun than usual with new discoveries and old standbys.

Emeralds / Quintana Roo split - Bubble Quiet Complication / Beheaded Dynasty (Yo! Check that green marbled vinyl. Sweet!)

The Aztec Mystic - Knights of the Jaguar EP

Shallow Waters - Equal Eyes LP

Cold Cave's new 7" - Painted Nails

Muslimgauze - Tandoori Dog

Thursday, November 06, 2008

All You Zombies.

Barbara Kruger, Untitled (I shop therefore I am), 1987

Firstly, all praises to The Hooters. Then, there are so many stunning quotes in this article in the Times about the current state of consumerism you should just read the whole thing, but here's my fave ...

“You walk the mall and consumers look like zombies,” said Mr. Morris of Wachovia [Yeah. Bankers are taking field trips to malls.], after visiting a mall last week. “They’re there in person, but not in spirit.”

As if we ever were. The mask is slipping, and people are starting to use both hands to hold it up. The article made me think of one of the best performances at No Fun Fest this year by Power Electronics duo, Shallow Waters. The set ended with the singer screaming into the microphone the words, "We will die from hunger. We will die from hunger. We will die from hunger." over and over. No matter who our President, we need to stop eating our own arms to survive.