Saturday, November 13, 2010

Josiah McElheny: American Glass Artist




Josiah McElheny (born in 1966, United States) is an artist who lives and works in New York. He has exhibited his work at national and international venues including the Museum of Modern Art, Orchard, and Andrea Rosen Gallery in New York, Donald Young Gallery in Chicago, Institut im Glaspavillon in Berlin, the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, White Cube in London, and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid.
Josiah McElheny's work addresses history, modernism, cosmology, reflection, infinity, purity and utopia, and has clear links to the work of the American abstract artist Donald Judd. His work also sometimes deals with issues of museological displays and one's attempts to derive inferences about historical peoples from their household possessions and objects.

The artist has also expressed interest in glassblowing as part of an oral tradition handed down generation to generation.

One of the artist's ongoing projects has been characterized as an "investigation into the origins of the universe." "An End to Modernity" (2005), a twelve-foot-wide by ten-foot-high chandelier of chrome and transparent glass modeled on the 1960s Lobmeyr design for the chandeliers found in Lincoln Center, and evoking as well the Big Bang theory, was commissioned by the Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University. "The End of the Dark Ages," again inspired by the Metropolitan Opera House chandeliers and informed by logarithmic equations devised by the cosmologist David H. Weinberg was shown in New York City in 2008. Later that year, the series culminated in a massive installation titled "Island Universe" at White Cube in London[1] and in Madrid.[2]

In earlier works, the artist has played with notions of "history" and "fiction." Examples of this are works that recreate Renaissance glass objects pictured in Renaissance paintings and modern (but lost) glass objects from documentary photographs (such as works by Adolf Loos). McElheny has mentioned the influence of the writings of Jorge Luis Borgesin his work.
--From wikipedia----

Thursday, November 4, 2010

English Language Word of the Week: Tautology

Definition of TAUTOLOGY
1
a : needless repetition of an idea, statement, or word b : an instance of tautology
2
: a tautologous statement
Examples of TAUTOLOGY

1. “A beginner who has just started” is a tautology.

Origin of TAUTOLOGY
Late Latin tautologia, from Greek, from tautologos
First Known Use: 1574

Sunday, October 31, 2010

New Favorite Painter: James Rosenquist



Newly enamored with James Rosenquist. I love the painting Dishes (directly above). It looks like Fiesta Ware. The other painting is entitled Let's Go For a Ride.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Reponse to NYT article: Why can't middle-age women have long hair.


Dominique Browning's piece is first, my comments follow. Please note that the accompanying photo of Kristen MacMenamy has her recent photo at age 45 when it caused some brou-ha-ha on HP. The author of the story says she is 55 years old. I guess both ages could be considered "midlle-age."


I feel great about my hair.

I have long hair. I’m not talking about long enough to brush gently on my shoulder — when I tilt my head. I’m not talking about being a couple of weeks late to the hairdresser. I’m talking long. Long enough for a ponytail with swing to it. Long enough to sit against when I’m in a chair. Long enough to have to lift it up out of the sweater I’m pulling over my head. Long enough to braid.

What’s worse (to my critics) is that my hair is graying. Of course it is. Everyone’s hair is graying. But some of us aren’t ready to go there. That’s fine with me — I’m not judgmental about dyes. In fact, I find the range and variety of synthetic hair color to be an impressive testament to our unending chemical creativity. I’m particularly fascinated by that streaky kaleidoscopic thing some blondes do that looks kind of like Hair of Fawn. For my own head, I’m a tad paranoid about smelly, itchy potions.

No one seems to have any problems when a woman of a certain age cuts her hair off. It is considered the appropriate thing to do, as if being shorn is a way of releasing oneself from the locks of the past. I can see the appeal, and have, at times in my life, gone that route. Some women want to wash the men (or jobs) right out of their hair. Others of us have to have at them with scissors. Again, I do not judge. Go right ahead, be a 60-year-old pixie.

So why do people judge middle-aged long hair so harshly? I’ve heard enough, by now, to catalog the multitudinous complaints into several broad categories.

YOU’RE ACTING OUT. Long hair is not the appropriate choice of grown-ups. It says rebellion. Hillary Rodham Clinton softens her do, and sets off a bizarre Howl of Angry Inches, as if she had betrayed some social compact. Well, my long hair is indeed a declaration of independence. I am rebelling, variously, against Procter & Gamble, my mother, Condé Nast and, undoubtedly, corporate America in general. Whereas it used to be short hair that was a hallmark of being a liberated woman — remember the feminist chop? I do; I did it — these days, long hair is a mark of liberation.

My mother has a lot to say about my looks: Where did you find that shirt? Did you forget your makeup? She recently suggested, fluttering her hands in the vicinity of her ears, that I get just a very little trim. As if she thought she could still trick me into the barber’s chair to re-enact one of the central traumas of my childhood, when I was marched into a hair salon (so that’s where mothers went?) with hair to my waist and came out an outraged, stunned, ravaged 7-year-old with a stylish, hateful pageboy.

My mother’s favorite expression to me is “Make an Effort.” What she doesn’t understand, of course, is that just because things don’t turn out the way she thinks they should doesn’t mean an effort wasn’t made. It is incredible how parents and children never let go of old habits of relating. My mother still makes me feel like a 15-year-old. However, that no longer feels like a bad thing, if you see what I mean.

YOU’RE STILL LIVING IN THE ’70S. And why not? I like being 55 going on 15. As far as I’m concerned, we never did get better role models than that gang of girls who sang their hearts out for us through lusty days and yearning nights: Bonnie Raitt, Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, Cher. Emmylou Harris is still a goddess in my book, with that nimbus of silver hair floating past her shoulders. Next thing you know, we’ll take to wearing beaded Next thing you know, we’ll take to wearing beaded leather headbands across our foreheads. And, I might add, that was a good look.

If you want to throw Princess Grace, Brigitte Bardot, Ingrid Bergman, Pussy Galore, Sophia Loren, Charlotte Rampling, Isabelle Huppert, Julie Christie and Catherine Deneuve into the mix, who am I to complain? While those sexy sisters are hovering, I might note, with a sense of wonder, that Europeans are much more comfortable with long hair on women of a certain age. But then again, they’re more comfortable with women of a certain age in general. Perhaps I should move to Paris. Come to think of it, this would be making the kind of effort that would make my mother happy.

LONG HAIR IS HIGH MAINTENANCE. Yes, I’ll admit that it is a look that requires tender loving care. It is impossible to body surf without getting seaweed tangled up in it. It is impossible to get it completely dry when one is in a rush to get to a job interview or a blind date. It is impossible to forget one’s hairbrush when one travels. It is impossible to garden or farm or weave or cook without one’s hair getting in the way. I have knitted many a gray strand into many a scarf. Which, by the way, I consider a nice touch. Anyone who disagrees can send me back his Christmas present. It is impossible to let the vacuuming go for too long, lest the bezoars (new vocabulary word) become large enough to choke a tiger.
You would think that having long hair means you are spending a lot of money on hair products. I won’t even tell you what my Madison Avenue hairdresser, Joseph — the consummate high-end hair professional! — told me about how we shouldn’t even be using all those chemically laden shampoos. O.K., I will tell you: Those shampoos strip out the hair’s protective oils, and then you have to replace them with other chemical brews. He recommends regular hot water rinses and massaging of the scalp with fingertips. A little patience is required while the scalp’s natural oils rebalance themselves and — voilà — glossy, thick tresses, for free.
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Is it not wonderfully sexy the way our grandmothers, those women of the prairie, or concrete canyons, would braid their hair up in the morning and let their cowboys unravel them at night? Is there not a variety of excellent looks for taming long hair in high winds? What is cooler than stopping to wrap a silk scarf around your mane before you step into a zippy convertible?

MEN LIKE LONG HAIR. Wait. You say that like it’s a bad thing? Long hair is archetypal. And everyone knows that archetypes are all tangled up with desire. There’s a reason mermaids, Selkies and witches have long hair. Ballerinas, too. We all know Rapunzel’s tale, how she sat at the top of her lonely tower, her long hair hanging out the window, until finally, a prince climbed its ropy length to rescue her. Or impregnate her, depending on which version you read. Either way, it worked.

Men like to play with women’s long hair. They like to run their fingers through heavy tresses. They like to loosen tight braids. They like it when long hair tents over their faces during soulful kisses. The long of it is that long hair is sexy. (So is short hair, of course, but in a different way, and we’re not making that case — yet.) The short of it is that long hair means there is always, at least, hope.






What she is talking about is loss of her sexuality. Her hair represents her sexulity, thus her womanhood and femininity. She doesn't want to feel the pain of that loss completely. Her Mother like many others feels that you must put your sexuality behind you at a certain age. Your sexuality at the very least if not most of your femininity and womanliness. On one level the author is rebelling against that.
The other component is the" looks thing" and the "aging thing." A Woman's hair can look "aging" if it is not healthy and shiny and youthful etc. That is why in most of the make-overs you see--the women (who are the usual subjects) have 10 years taken off their face just by the haircut alone.
What the author means when she says "there is hope" is: her hair allows her; enables her to feel that her outward youthful beauty and inward sexuality some of it at least remains.
This is something that can define a whole woman's life, or just be a part of it. That is why it is an issue for an aging woman. But I have noticed that no one really wants to talk about it.

On another note: The old days she speaks could be confining, time-consuming and difficult dealing with really long, thick heavy hair. The ease of shampoo, conditioner, hot running water from a shower, blow dryers and array of brushes, have made long hair much easier to care for now than it was a during our grandmother and great grandmothers time. esp. if they had that super-long super heavy hair that had to be piled on top of their head during the day.

Another note is that it is connected with fashion and culture. A short bob haircut was a symbol of sexual freedom and assertion for women. Because they threw the shackles off of the long hair described in my previous paragraph. There is an excellent description of this in a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, "Berenice Bobs her hair."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Celebrity Culture

Art & Culture
Celebrity Culture in America
Has personality finally replaced reality?

By David McNair
11/11/03

In 1961, historian and social critic Daniel Boorstin argued in his book Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America that our nation was threatened by a “menace of unreality” which was replacing the authentic with the contrived in American society. “We need not be theologians,” Boorstin wrote “…to see that we have shifted responsibility for making the world interesting from God to the newspaperman….It is we who keep them in business and demand that they fill our consciousness with novelties, that they play God for us.”

Boorstin argued that America was living in an “age of contrivance” in which manufactured illusions were becoming a powerful force in society. He believed that public life consisted more and more of “pseudo-events”—staged and scripted happenings designed to “create” news and influence our perceptions of reality. Just as there were now “pseudo events,” he said, there were also “pseudo-people”—celebrities—whose identities were being staged and scripted to create illusions that often had no relationship to reality. “Celebrity-worship and hero-worship should not be confused,” Boorstin wrote. “Yet we confuse them every day, and by doing so we come dangerously close to depriving ourselves of all real models. We lose sight of the men and women who do not simply seem great because they are famous but are famous because they are great. We come closer and closer to degrading all fame into notoriety.”

Today, as Boorstin predicted, reality has proven to be no match for the power of our celebrity culture. How else can one explain the immense popularity of “reality” TV shows, the way the masses move herd-like to see the latest summer blockbuster, or Arnold Schwarzenegger’s shockingly swift transition from action-movie star to governor of California? In fact, you could say we have grown so accustomed to this “menace of unreality” that Boorstin’s arguments have become passé. We understand the complex and sophisticated marketing strategies used to sell us cars, politicians, laundry detergent, celebrities, movies and TV shows, even wars. We understand it; we accept it as a given; we even embrace it. We know why men like Karl Rove are important to the President. We know why it is important to have a public relations manager when you’re in the public eye. We know we are being manipulated and deceived, but our indignation is overruled by the extent to which we are entertained and wooed by the sales pitch, the spectacle, or the freak show; overruled by the extent to which we feel like we’re “in the know” or “in on the joke”; or, for the more sophisticated among us, overruled by the extent to which we understand the strategies and methods behind the deception. We know that Arnold Schwarzenegger has no business being governor of California; we know that reality TV shows are staged and scripted; we know that news has become more like entertainment. But we don’t really care, as long as the illusion “fills our consciousness with novelties,” fuels our fantasies and desires, shames us with an awareness of our inadequacies, or serves as a kind of intellectual puzzle or mystery to unravel. It rarely occurs to any of us to simply stop watching, to stop talking about it, to stop participating in the ritual.

Commenting on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s recent election triumph, New Yorker film critic Anthony Lane suggested that there would be little surprise if “other monarchs of the movie industry, emboldened by the California recall, were to make the principled leap from screen to stump.” Indeed, Schwarzenegger’s swift rise to power seems to signal an era beyond which even Boorstin imagined. “The distance between the two is shrinking by the day,” Lane goes on to say. “Modern voters, given a choice between quiet political certitude and the cacophony of fame, are not hard to sway…. Celebrity now comes equipped with an in-built aggression that makes it ideal for the purposes of electioneering, and before which more traditional qualifications must learn to tremble. To put the matter at its bluntest: what has Wesley Clark got that Angelina Jolie hasn’t?”

Lane goes on to suggest that a stuffed shirt like Clark would be no match for the sexy tomb raider with a gun strapped to her thigh. Lane, of course, is being menacingly coy here. But in the midst of his playful analysis lies the fact that the people of California happily elected an illusion, a personality manufactured on-screen and in the media that had no relationship to reality. In a very real sense, the people of California elected their own fantasy of what a governor should be.

Celebrity has always influenced and been a part of American politics, of course, but this time it was like our celebrity system itself seized political power. The Austrian accent, the fact that his father was a Nazi, his lack of political experience, his fuzzy ideology, the serial groping charges, his pornographic interview in OUI Magazine, his admitted drug use, and an opponent with 30-plus years of political experience and the backing of the Democratic Party… all of this was no match for the sheer power of Schwarzenegger’s celebrity.

Schwarzenegger announced his candidacy on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and 62 days later it was Jay Leno who introduced Arnold before his victory speech. Standing directly behind Schwarzenegger, a mural of both Republican and Democratic celebrities and entertainment heavyweights cheered him on. NBC’s Tom Brokaw declared it “an amazing American story” and wondered if Schwarzenegger might run for president if a constitutional amendment were passed. According to the Tyndall Report, the national broadcast networks devoted 169 minutes to stories about the recall in the last two months before the election, with 69 minutes devoted solely to Schwarzenegger. That’s compared to 40 minutes dedicated to all 36 gubernatorial races combined in 2002 and 34 minutes of coverage about the upcoming presidential campaign in the same period.

When our celebrity-obsessed culture clicked into gear on this one, Schwarzenegger’s name and image and familiar movie phrases dwarfed everyone on the political scene. Even the Presidential race was overshadowed by Schwarzenegger’s debut. For emphasis, only a day after he won, the A&E cable network announced it was producing a documentary about Schwarzenegger’s “rise to power.” When asked what story line the film would follow, an A& E vice president said “We will rely on news reports. The beauty of this is a lot of it has already played out.”

Today, you could say that Americans are divided less by race, class, or political ideology than they are by their participation in our celebrity culture. We are divided into two main groups: the famous elite and the unfamous masses who watch them. While the ranks of the famous swell (making Andy Warhol a visionary), the unfamous masses bring with them varying degrees of sophistication to the spectacle, all of them making subtle and not-so-subtle emotional and intellectual investments in the illusion.

Now that our celebrity culture has been operating for so long and at such a high level of sophistication, at least since the 1930s, it’s worth wondering what the long-term effects of developing complex emotional and psychological connections to “people we don’t know” might have over a decade or two. And that’s an important thing to remember: celebrities are “people we don’t know” who we nonetheless make very complex, subtle, and often intense emotional and psychological connections with over the course of our lives.

The fact that we “don’t know them” gets ignored in some fundamental way as we “enter” the famous person’s “identity” into our consciousness. In many ways, we get to “know” these famous people in a more intense, intimate way than we do the people we work with or see on a daily basis. It’s intimacy without the risk; it’s getting “close” to someone without having to risk exposing yourself. In addition, our “friend” or “role model” or “idol” is larger and more charismatic than any real acquaintance could ever be.

It’s no accident, I think, that celebrity worship took hold in America during the Depression. While the economy and spirit of America floundered in the 1930s, the illusion called Hollywood and our media culture filled the void and flourished. Eighty million people a week went to the “picture shows” and bought up celebrity paraphernalia. The music recording industry showed a 600% increase in sales between 1933 and 1938, and radio brought entertainers such as Rudy Vallee, Jack Benny, and Burns and Allen into millions of living rooms, where they began to make themselves at home in the minds and imaginations of the public.

During that bleak time, the illusion of celebrity manufactured on the screen, in magazines and photos, and on the radio offered a seductive, larger-than-life presentation of reality. When television came along, our modern celebrity culture found the perfect medium for manufacturing this kind of unreality. In fact, it was the first televised presidential debates between Kennedy and Nixon, in which the images of the two men so strongly influenced viewers (Nixon looking pale, unshaven and nervous; Kennedy looking tanned and relaxed), that prompted Boorstin to write The Image. The Kennedy era/myth was born and played itself out on television. (Of course, it’s interesting to note that Schwarzenegger’s star is attached to the Kennedy myth as well via his marriage to Maria Shriver.)

The young, beautiful people; those powerful images, the live violence, and the illusion of intimacy we felt turned a rather short, troubled presidency into the myth of “Camelot.” In many ways, it was the first “reality” TV show in which we all shared in the horror and grief of the participants and swallowed whole-hog the script we were shown.

In truth, we now know that much of the Kennedy myth was at odds with reality. The Kennedy years saw the beginning of our involvement in Vietnam and a growing discontent among Black Americans. In addition, we now know that JFK was a voracious womanizer, chain-smoked cigarettes, and was physically unhealthy—a far cry from the athletic, loyal husband and family man portrayed in the media. And that’s to say nothing of the question marks surrounding his assignation.

But despite all that, reality has proven to be no match for the power of the myth. Generations of Americans are still deeply affected and moved by the story of the Kennedys. When JFK, Jr. died in a plane crash in 1999, the media coverage was overwhelming and intense. That single photo of John-John saluting his father’s casket made him ours, and we never took our eyes off him. CBS’ Dan Rather got choked up reporting the story, and every major news outlet used it as an opportunity to retell the Kennedy myth in all its tragic/romantic splendor. Networks broadcast his burial at sea the entire day, although all that was visible was a small ship in the distance.

Undoubtedly, JFK, Jr. was a handsome, personable man who managed his inherited celebrity with grace and dignity, but he had done nothing remarkable in his life. He was, as Boorstin defined celebrity, someone who was “well-known for their well-knownness.” (Rather appropriately, he had just begun to make his mark on the world by publishing the magazine George, a kind of Vogue or Vanity Fair-styled magazine about the celebrity of politics.) Yet he was afforded the attention of a fallen national leader or a beloved movie star.

In many ways, the Kennedy era ushered in the modern age of celebrity, an age in which, as Boorstin wrote, “Nothing is really real to us unless it happens on television.” In his 1986 book Intimate Strangers: The Culture of Celebrity in America, film critic Richard Schickel argues that the “illusion of intimacy” between the famous elite and the unfamous majority has created a potentially violent and destabilizing tension in our society. By obliterating the traditional boundaries between public and private life, Schickel argues that American society has become a kind of modern-day, technologically advanced equivalent of the Roman Coliseum, where the participants in the ferocious arena of public life are at the mercy of the moods and fantasies of the crowd. “This new relation is based on an illusion of intimacy,” Schickel writes. “… which is, in turn, the creation of an ever tightening, ever more finely spun media mesh … that cancels the traditional etiquette that formally governed not merely relationships between the powerful and the powerless, the known and the unknown, but, at the simplest level, the politesse that formally pertained between strangers.”

As a result, the interplay between public figures, celebrities, and the great unknown masses has grown increasingly aggressive and even psychotic in nature. As an example, Schickel examines John W. Hinckley, Jr.’s assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan. As we all know, Hinckley had developed an obsession for the actress Jodie Foster. (What you might not know is that Hinckley’s father, a very successful businessman, was a friend of then-Vice President George H.W. Bush.)

However, to be more precise, Hinckley, Jr. had an obsession with the character that Jodie Foster played in the movie Taxi Driver, in which a lunatic about to assassinate a politician is instead made famous for saving the life of a child prostitute, as played by Foster. “Jody, I’m asking you please to look into your heart and at least give me the chance with this historic deed to gain your respect and love,” Hinckley wrote to Foster shortly before trying to kill the President, an act that would, like Robert DeNiro’s character in Taxi Driver, make Hinckley famous as well. It was one of many passionate letters he had written to Foster, letters he had even begun to hand deliver while she was a freshman at Yale. Desperately seeking her acknowledgment, he began hanging around her dorm and had even succeeded in reaching her by phone a few times.

Of course, Hinckley’s attachment to Jodie Foster is an extreme and complex example of this “illusion of intimacy” fostered by our celebrity culture. But Schickel believed that Hinckley’s crime viciously parodied the unhealthy nature of the relationship between the famous and unfamous in our society. It’s interesting to note here that a recent study conducted by British psychologists at the University of Leicester and published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease has defined this kind of obsession, calling it Celebrity Worship Syndrome (CWS). Thirty-six percent of the people they studied showed an “unhealthy fascination” with celebrities, and two percent believed they had a “special bond with their celebrity” and would be willing to lie or even die for them.

Although most people wouldn’t go as far as Hinckley did in believing his relationship to Foster was real, most people would have to admit to having emotional and psychological connections to the celebrities they have been attracted or exposed to. For example, it’s not unusual for perfectly intelligent, normally sane people to be on a casual, first-name basis with celebrities—to speak of Oprah, Phil, Jerry, or Geraldo as if they were old friends. Or, likewise, it is not unusual for intelligent people to speak of political celebrities such as Bill, Dubya, Hillary, Condi, and Cheney as if they were personal enemies or representatives.

On a more subtle level, it’s not unusual for intelligent people to hold strong opinions about public figures or to indulge in nasty or careless gossip about them. Our celebrity culture allows us to shamelessly praise, berate, gossip about, and lust after other human beings without consequences. Who among us has not directed some nasty remark or shameless praise at a character or personality on television? Of course, that is to say nothing of the garden-variety obsession on display in our national interest and attraction to popular actors, entertainers, and musicians. In many ways, it is a kind of pornography of the spirit, turning us all into voyeurs and gossip mongers, tempting us all to bend down and peep through the keyhole and to substitute provocative imagery for real intimacy.

Thanks to our sophisticated media and celebrity system, thanks to their constant exposure on television and in other media, we can’t help but feel we know them. Over the decades we have been exposed to the media machinery of our celebrity culture, we have been conditioned to “know” these people we have never met, to invite them into our inner lives, to carry on an inner dialogue with them. “To a greater or lesser degree,” Schickel writes, “we have internalized them, unconsciously made them part of our consciousness.” The problem is that this kind of false intimacy creates unrealistic expectations and makes disappointment and self-loathing all but inevitable because, as Schickel writes, “Another part of the approaching stranger’s mind is, of course, aware that he is totally unknown to the celebrity. And he resents that unyielding fact. A chip grows on his shoulder. An undercurrent of anger is felt.”

Indeed, along with the sovereignty we feel we have over the lives of our celebrities and public figures, free as we are to praise and criticize them without restraint, there also exists the painful knowledge that we are alone in this relationship, that we are like stalkers who the people we’ve made a connection with neither know or care about. To some degree or another, Schickel argues, we are all victims of our celebrity culture because we are all susceptible to feeling this kind of false intimacy—and therefore inevitable disappointment—with our celebrities and public figures.

The larger danger to society, Schickel warns, is that our obsession with celebrity has given the power of personality authority over the power of ideas, ideologies, and even authentic human connections. As Schickel writes, “We have come a very long way in a very short time to our present isolation, subjectivity, and desperate hope that the cult of personality may substitute for a sense of organization, purpose, and stability in our society.”

So, where do we go from here? What happens when we seriously consider the illusion of a movie star’s personality to be a legitimate qualification for public office? What happens when public relations finally and completely replace politics? Will we as a society have finally and officially lost our minds?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ignominious--Is this a great fucking Vocabulary word or what?

ig·no·min·i·ous
adj \ˌig-nə-ˈmi-nē-əs\
Definition of IGNOMINIOUS
1
: marked with or characterized by disgrace or shame : dishonorable
2
: deserving of shame or infamy : despicable
3
: humiliating, degrading
— ig·no·min·i·ous·ly adverb
— ig·no·min·i·ous·ness noun
Examples of IGNOMINIOUS

1.
2.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mike Kelley Artist



This is from the artwolf.com
The writer is explaining the artwork depicted accompanying photo. Sounds incredible--I wish the detailed picture were not blurry. It is something that needs to be in detail and sharp focus. The larger picture is entitled Memory Ware Flat #29. The writer talks about a MWF#18. Maybe the artist made several of these and numbered them.
I will post more photos from this artist who I just found out about on the sublime PBS series Art 21.
On a pop-culture level, Mike Kelley's art is featured on a couple of Sonic Youth Albums. John Baldessari was a teacher of his at CalArts in Valencia.

I clearly remember my first direct contact with Mike Kelley's works. It was in an occasion which I had the opportunity to attend an exhibition about the little known and very complete collection Herbert, featuring contemporary masters such as Hans Hofmann, Robert Rauschenberg, Bruce Nauman, or important sculptors as Eduardo Chillida or Sol Lewitt. There, in one of the last rooms, I suddenly faced the Memory Ware Flat #18 (2001). The spectacularity of the work was so that it surpassed every other work in the room: the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of pieces of imitation jewellery, metal plates, keys, key rings, and other daily objects supposed an exciting challenge for the spectator, taking it to an impossible debate between the possibility of facing the work in its totality, or in the partial contemplation of the infinity of daily and easily recognizable objects. It was frankly peculiar that the union between cheap, out-fashioned earrings, a few plastic flowers, pins of almost every pop band of the 80s, and a funny Flubber pic could suppose a comparable to a complete set of Quianlong dishes.

Friday, September 24, 2010

I can't believe I never knew about this until I viewed the Walton Ford segment on Art 21


When I heard and saw Walton Ford's comment about this photo--I was intrigued and curious enough to google info. about the Passenger Pigeon and surprised that I have not been privy to the history. I agree with him that the photo is ominous with its' "underlightling" I believe he called it.

Passenger Pigeon
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The Passenger Pigeon or Wild Pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) is an extinct bird, which existed in North America. It lived in enormous migratory flocks – sometimes containing more than two billion birds – that could stretch one mile (1.6 km) wide and 300 miles (500 km) long across the sky, sometimes taking several hours to pass.[1][2]

Some estimate that there were three billion to five billion passenger pigeons in the United States when Europeans arrived in North America.[3] Others argue that the species had not been common in the Pre-Columbian period, but their numbers grew when devastation of the American Indian population by European diseases led to reduced competition for food.[4]

The species went from being one of the most abundant birds in the world during the 19th century to extinction early in the 20th century.[5] At the time, passenger pigeons had one of the largest groups or flocks of any animal, second only to the Rocky Mountain locust.

Some reduction in numbers occurred because of habitat loss when the Europeans started settling further inland. The primary factor emerged when pigeon meat was commercialized as a cheap food for slaves and the poor in the 19th century, resulting in hunting on a massive scale. There was a slow decline in their numbers between about 1800 and 1870, followed by a catastrophic decline between 1870 and 1890.[6] Martha, thought to be the world's last passenger pigeon, died on September 1, 1914, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In the 18th century, the passenger pigeon in Europe was known to the French as tourtre; but, in New France, the North American bird was called tourte. Tourtière, a traditional meat-pie originating from Quebec and associated with French-Canadian culture, was so-named because tourte was historically a key ingredient. Today, the dish is typically made from pork and/or veal, or beef. In modern French, the bird is known as the pigeon migrateur.

The passenger pigeon was a very social bird. It lived in colonies stretching over hundreds of square miles, practicing communal breeding with up to a hundred nests in a single tree. Pigeon migration, in flocks numbering billions, was a spectacle without parallel:
Early explorers and settlers frequently mentioned passenger pigeons in their writings. Samuel de Champlain in 1605 reported "countless numbers," Gabriel Sagard-Theodat wrote of "infinite multitudes," and Cotton Mather described a flight as being about a mile in width and taking several hours to pass overhead. Yet by the early 1900s no wild passenger pigeons could be found.
—The Smithsonian Encyclopedia[3]
There was safety in large flocks which often numbered hundreds of thousands of birds. When a flock of this huge a size established itself in an area, the number of local animal predators (such as wolves, foxes, weasels, and hawks) was so small compared to the total number of birds that little damage would be inflicted on the flock as a whole. This colonial way of life and communal breeding became very dangerous when humans began to hunt the pigeons. When the passenger pigeons were massed together, especially at a huge nesting site, it was easy for people to slaughter them in such great numbers that there were not enough birds left to successfully reproduce the species.[12] As the flocks dwindled in size with resulting breakdown of social facilitation, it was doomed to disappear.[13]

The extinction of the passenger pigeon has two major causes. The primary cause is held to be the commercial exploitation ( unregulated hunting) of pigeon meat on a massive scale.[3] But current examination also focuses on the pigeon's loss of habitat.
[edit]Hunting
Prior to colonization, Native Americans occasionally used pigeons for meat. In the early 1800s, commercial hunters began netting and shooting the birds to sell in the city markets as food, as live targets for trap shooting and even as agricultural fertilizer.
Once pigeon meat became popular, commercial hunting started on a prodigious scale. The bird painter John James Audubon described the preparations for slaughter at a known pigeon-roosting site:
"Few pigeons were then to be seen, but a great number of persons, with horses and wagons, guns and ammunition, had already established encampments on the borders. Two farmers from the vicinity of Russelsville, distant more than a hundred miles, had driven upwards of three hundred hogs to be fattened on the pigeons which were to be slaughtered. Here and there, the people employed in plucking and salting what had already been procured, were seen sitting in the midst of large piles of these birds. The dung lay several inches deep, covering the whole extent of the roosting-place."[14]
Pigeons were shipped by the boxcar-load to the Eastern cities. In New York City, in 1805, a pair of pigeons sold for two cents. Slaves and servants in 18th and 19th century America often saw no other meat. By the 1850s, it was noticed that the numbers of birds seemed to be decreasing, but still the slaughter continued, accelerating to an even greater level as more railroads and telegraphs were developed after the American Civil War.
One of the last large nestings of passenger pigeons was at Petoskey, Michigan, in 1878. Here 50,000 birds were killed each day and the hunt continued for nearly five months. When the adult birds that survived the slaughter attempted second nestings at new sites, they were located by the professional hunters and killed before they had a chance to raise any young. In 1896, the final flock of 250,000 were killed by the hunters knowing that it was the last flock of that size.



Another significant reason for its extinction was deforestation. The birds traveled and reproduced in prodigious numbers, satiating predators before any substantial negative impact was made in the bird's population. As their numbers decreased along with their habitat, the birds could no longer rely on high population density for protection. Without this mechanism, many ecologists believe, the species could not survive.
[edit]Methods of killingAlcohol-soaked grain intoxicated the birds and made them easier to kill. Smoky fires were set to nesting trees to drive them from their nests.[15]
One method of killing was to blind a single bird by sewing its eyes shut using a needle and thread. This bird's feet would be attached to a circular stool at the end of a stick that could be raised five or six feet in the air, then dropped back to the ground. As the bird attempted to land, it would flutter its wings, thus attracting the attention of other birds flying overhead. When the flock landed near this decoy bird, nets would trap the birds and the hunters would crush their heads between their thumb and forefinger. This has been claimed as the origin of the term stool pigeon,[16] though this etymology is disputed.[17]


Attempts at preservation

Conservationists were ineffective in stopping the slaughter. A bill was passed in the Michigan legislature making it illegal to net pigeons within two miles of a nesting area, but the law was weakly enforced. By the mid 1890s, the passenger pigeon had almost completely disappeared. In 1897, a bill was introduced in the Michigan legislature asking for a ten-year closed season on passenger pigeons. This was a futile gesture. This was a highly gregarious species—the flock could initiate courtship and reproduction only when they were gathered in large numbers; it was realized only too late that smaller groups of passenger pigeons could not breed successfully, and the surviving numbers proved too few to re-establish the species.[3] Attempts at breeding among the captive population also failed for the same reasons.
Attempts to revive the species by breeding the surviving captive birds were not successful. The passenger pigeon was a colonial and gregarious bird practicing communal roosting and communal breeding and needed large numbers for optimum breeding conditions. It was impossible to reestablish the species with just a few captive birds, and the small captive flocks weakened and died. Since no accurate data were recorded, it is only possible to give estimates on the size and population of these nesting areas. Each site may have covered many thousands of acres and the birds were so congested in these areas that hundreds of nests could be counted in each tree. One large nesting area in Wisconsin was reported as covering 850 square miles, and the number of birds nesting there was estimated to be around 136,000,000. Their technique of survival had been based on mass tactics.



The extinction of the passenger pigeon aroused public interest in the conservation movement and resulted in new laws and practices which have prevented many other species from going extinct.[citation needed]

Walter Ford Art: 21


I love his twisted take on Audubon and nature painters. From Wikipedia:

Walton Ford (born 1960) is an American artist who paints large scale watercolors in the style of Audubon's naturalist illustrations. Each painting is a meticulous study in flora and fauna, while being filled with symbols, clues and jokes referencing a multitude of texts from colonial literature and folktales to travel guides. Ford's paintings are complex narratives that critique the history of colonialism, industrialism, politics, natural science, and man's effect on the environment.

Walton Ford appropriates the crisp, descriptive style of 19th-century naturalists and artists—John James Audubon, Karl Bodmer, George Catlin—but he puts their conventions to work in an investigation of natural history itself.

Repurposing a field-guide aesthetic, Ford composes dense allegories that make sometimes pointed, sometimes sidelong allusions to everything from conservationism and consumption to war, politics and imperialism.

While staying uncannily faithful to the natural history mode, Ford paints on a much larger scale, producing outsize watercolors with epic compositions. He renders his scenes with operatic drama, capturing moments when the natural order changes, such as the last member of a species struggling just before extinction.”[1]

Walton Ford is the recipient of several national awards and honors including a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts and is one of the artists profiled on the PBS series Art:21. He had his first major one-man show at the Brooklyn Museum in 2006 and is currently represented by the Paul Kasmin Gallery in Manhattan.

After living in New York City for more than 10 years, Ford moved his family and studio to Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

English Language Word of the Week: Supercilious

Definition of SUPERCILIOUS
: coolly and patronizingly haughty
— su·per·cil·ious·ly adverb
— su·per·cil·ious·ness noun

Thursday, September 16, 2010

LA Art History



After informally studying NYC AbEx and Pop Art for so many years I knew nothing about LA artists of the same era until just the last few months.
Around the same time I saw a documentary "The Cool School." and bought a book for $5 at Borders, Catalog LA: Birth of an Art Capital 1955-1985. I learned about artists such as Robert Irwin, Wally Berman, Ed Keinholz, Bill Al Bengston, John Baldessari and others. Then I found myself at MOCA and LACMA this summer viewing these artists' works in person. That was great!
I hope that MOCA is able to promote/publicize this incredibly rich artistic legacy of LA artists of the recent past. It seems to be not as well known as I think it should!”


I am a firm believer in "earned talent"--the kind you acquire the hard way, through trial and error. My paintings reveal not only a timeline of my life, marking events, but a journey of continual change infused with self-examination and reflection----Robert Irwin

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lady Gaga Not First with a Meat Swimsuit



Ann Simonton has been arrested and jailed 11 times for committing acts of non-violent civil disobedience. In the 1980s, she and Nikki Craft led the "Myth California" protests, a series of counter-pageants which disrupted the Miss California pageant in Santa Cruz, California and San Diego, California, protesting "the objectification of women and the glorification of the beauty myth."[2] The protests garnered international attention, and were partially responsible for the Miss California pageant eventually relocating from Santa Cruz.---from Wikipeida

Lady Gaga on the cover of Vogue Hommes Japan.
Ann Simonton being arrested at a beauty pageant.

Beautiful flowers around Venice CA





Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Precise article about Lindsey Lohan's prediciment courtesy of Lainey Gossip

She covers the new issue of Vanity Fair in an interview that took place BEFORE she went to jail and rehab. And apparently at one point she goes to adjust her ponytail and one of the extensions comes out. All while Lilo is trying to convince the journalist that she’s not an addict, that she doesn’t abuse alcohol, that she doesn’t pop pills, and that she’s serious about getting back to work and acting again. Remember, this went down prior to her spending a couple of weeks in prison which preceded her spending another couple of weeks in treatment.

So are you ready for the lies?

"If I were the alcoholic everyone says I am, then putting a [scram] bracelet on would have ended me up in detox, in the emergency room, because I would have had to come down from all the things that people say I'm taking and my father says I'm taking — so that says something, because I was fine. I've never abused prescription drugs. I never have — never in my life. I have no desire to. That's not who I am. I've admitted to the things that I've done — to, you know, dabbling in certain things and trying things 'cause I was young and curious and thought it was like, O.K., 'cause other people were doing it and other people put it in front of me. And I see what happened in my life because of it."

Boring, right?

And totally overplayed.

It’s the same sh-t she said two years ago, it’s the same sh-t she says every day until they find her passed out in a car somewhere after a 72 hour bender. And to the magazine’s credit, Vanity Fair did point this out to her, that she claimed to have changed in 2008 with this statement (and every week since then) only to get busted for dumb sh-t over and over again.

No surprise, Lindsay Lohan once again insists that she’s transformed. That she works hard. That she works so hard she defies court ordered appearances and counselling sessions:

"I have to support myself. I have to pay for my apartment. I have to pay for food. People root for me and say they want me to work, but then everyone's against me."

Really? Because this is Lindsay yesterday shopping and spending, a smug bitch expression on her face, clearly hoarding away all that money so she won’t go homeless. And this is Lindsay the night before, with a friend at the Chateau Marmont, because, what, she’s allowed to go out, you know, she’s allowed to relax, she’s allowed to haunt the places that have always tempted her, that have always troubled her, without judgement, without everyone believing she’s f-cked. After all, it was at the Chateau where Lilo acknowledges herself, during the interview, that she lost her way:

"I didn't have any structure. In the beginning, I had structure, and then I lost all the structure in my life. I think a lot of it was because when I was doing my first slew of movies, it was very go-go, and I had a lot of responsibility, and I think just the second I didn't have [structure] anymore -- I was 18, 19 -- with a ton of money and no one really here to tell me that I couldn't do certain things … And I see where that's gotten me now, and I don't like it."

Well it’s hard to disagree with her there. Because it’s all true. Except for the 18 or 19 part. She was in fact much younger. Like 16 or 17 when Dina let her go off to live at the Chateau, to mess around without supervision and/or, as Lilo says, Structure, which is actually one of the 5 principles that form the basis for the Continuum of Care at Covenant House – wayward young celebrities and street kids all lack structure, and are therefore governed by instability, which only exacerbates anxiety and confusion.

Dina Lohan refuses to accept responsibility for allowing her daughter to live in free fall. Ultimately however, it’s Lindsay who cannot actually fully own those words. This truly is a person who regurgitates what sounds good, without actually knowing what that sh-t means.

But that doesn’t matter as long as people are buying it.

Is anyone buying it?

Maybe in a few months but definitely not yet.

She still has to submit to drug testing. She still has to attend alcohol education classes. She is still in outpatient treatment for addiction at UCLA. She is still making terrible decisions. And as noted in Vanity Fair from a publicist who has watched all this go down:

"She's Hollywood kryptonite right now. No one wants their name mentioned in the same breath as hers."

Because it’s not only that she has to convince people, and get her sh-t right enough to stay focused on a film set, it’s also that there are SO MANY other options now, what does Lindsay Lohan have to offer that Emma Stone can’t? When would you ever make that choice? She can blame it on perception and play the victim card all she wants, but ultimately, Hollywood is small, and Hollywood replaces, and even if Lilo gets clean, even if she straightens out, even if she gets back on track forever, there’s a reason why the most common nightmare in Hollywood is called Too Late and Closed Doors. If ever there was a consequence in show business, this one would be the one they fear the most.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Emmy Awards 2010 Ricky Gervais.


What was the best thing about the 2010 Emmy Awards.
Well Fucking Ricky Gervais of course.
Sorry the links don't work for me on blogspot.

His timing of the Mel Gibson line was SO perfect as was the deliverey. As was his intro.

I love how he waltzes out and calls the Hollywood culture on itself with out mean-spirited-ness but still wicked.
And I love how he called out on himself with his joke about how bloody rich he is now--- with The Office in syndication.



http://tv.popcrunch.com/watch-ricky-gervais-emmy-awards-2010-presentation-video/comment-page-1/#comment-25953

Blenko Art Glass



I'm going to be posting about some of the artists I learned about yesterday at the Denver Modernism show. I collect knowledge and facts about different types of artists. Several of the artists I learned about yesterday were glass artists. I am dashing a quick post right now accompanied by some photos of Blenko, an American art glass company.

The fish I think is their famous crinkled glass technique. I purchased a Charcoal decanter yesterday at a booth. I will post pics of that soon.

Friday, August 27, 2010

More stress for Leonardo Di Caprio from wacko "fans"

By ANTHONY McCARTNEY, AP Entertainment Writer Anthony Mccartney, Ap Entertainment Writer – 1 hr 21 mins ago

LOS ANGELES – Leonardo DiCaprio has been granted a temporary restraining against a woman he said claims to be his wife and carrying his baby.

Court records show Superior Court Judge Carol Boas Goodson granted the order Wednesday against Livia Bistriceanu, 41, of Chicago.

"Given this obsessive and harassing behavior, I am frightened of Ms. Bistriceanu and feel that my personal safety, and the personal safety of those around me, is in jeopardy," DiCaprio wrote in a sworn declaration.

An e-mail message sent Friday to Bistriceanu seeking comment was not immediately returned.

DiCaprio's request included statements from the actor and his security team claiming Bistriceanu had traveled from Chicago to Los Angeles at least twice to try to meet DiCaprio at his home and business office. She refused to leave the properties and acted aggressively, the court filings state.

The Academy Award-nominated actor wrote that she "has evidenced a willingness to make physical contact with me regardless of the consequences."

Bistriceanu has been placed on a psychological hold twice, according to the documents.

DiCaprio said he has never met Bistriceanu, but she has sent him numerous handwritten letters. Some were attached to his request for the restraining order and reviewed by the judge.

One letter included the greeting, "Dear husband Leo," and contained statements that Bistriceanu believed DiCaprio was the father of baby Jesus.

On Thursday, another woman was ordered to stand trial on a charge of slashing DiCaprio's face with a piece of glass during a party in 2005.

Aretha Wilson pleaded not guilty to assault with a deadly weapon after being returned to Los Angeles from her native Canada.

DiCaprio suffered injuries to his face and neck.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

WTF was this woman doing at a party with Leo Di Caprio?


LOS ANGELES – A judge ordered a woman to stand trial on a charge of slashing Leonardo DiCaprio's face with glass during a 2005 party.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Edmund Willcox Clarke ordered Aretha Wilson to face one count of assault with a deadly weapon. The charge includes an allegation that Wilson, 40, caused great bodily injury.

The details and extent of Caprio's injuries were not made public, although the judge, who has reviewed photos of the injuries to the actor's ear and neck, said Thursday that "this would not be an injury that would be called trivial or moderate, in my view."

Those photos also were not made public. DiCaprio did not attend the hearing.

Wilson was returned to Los Angeles in the five-year-old case after waiving extradition from Canada.

She has pleaded not guilty and remains jailed in lieu of $150,000 bail.

Wilson's attorney Freddy Sayegh said the ruling was not unexpected and that Wilson has vehemently professed her innocence. He said he expected to trial to begin within 60 days.

She is due back in court on Sept. 9.

Authorities have said Wilson attacked DiCaprio with a broken beer bottle, but a witness called Thursday said it was a wine glass. The criminal complaint identifies the object only as glass.

If convicted, Wilson faces up to seven years in state prison.

End of article---
I read in a different article that this took place at Rick Salomon's house--who is some LA character best known for being Paris Hilton's sex partner in that infamous video. I just can't figure out why this person was even at that party. And what went down?!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Well the analysis has started-Jennifer Anniston-See yesterday's post.


The Aniston Box-Office A-Bomb Goes Off Again
Wonderwall, August 23, 2010
Related: News, WW Features, Jennifer Aniston

By Michelle Lanz

There are a billion theories floating around about why Jennifer Aniston -- big-time movie star and tabloid appointed A-list celebrity -- bombed at the box office last weekend with her latest film "The Switch." Like so many of her former suitors, have we as a collective movie-going nation fallen out of love with Jen? Is it because she used an insensitive word in a recent interview? Perhaps she has simply worn out her welcome as the perpetually single "Friend."

RELATED VIDEO: See Jen Aniston and Jason Bateman Talk 'The Switch'

For ESPN's Bill Simmons, Aniston's continued existence in Hollywood, despite rarely delivering the box office bucks, has to do with the creation and success of what has become the Brangelina empire. "She became America's adorable little victim for seven years until Bullock finally pushed her aside," he says. "Maybe it was the worst thing that ever happened to her personally, but professionally? Godsend." Simmons has a point. Despite "The Switch" opening at No. 8, Aniston still has multiple projects in development, including something called "The Divorce Party." So she's good at playing the

jilted girl-next-door, but how much longer can that last?

A film critic argues in the New York Post that Aniston can only play the same role for so long, and that her continued box office failure is in correlation with her age. The critic (who wants to stay anonymous probably to not risk being banned by her publicist!) is quoted as saying: "Aniston just can't play the good friend anymore. She's aged out, no matter the yoga and the highlights. She just can't do America's sweetheart next door. She needs a big wake-up call." Ouch.

RELATED: Check out pics of Jen's style throughout the years

Then there are those on the extreme end who seem to have made it their mission of the week to ensure that Jennifer Aniston's career and "The Switch" go the way of the buffalo. Conservative talk show blabbermouth Bill O'Reilly espoused on air that Aniston and her beliefs in single motherhood are straight up "destructive" to our society. Though we agree with Salon that everything that spews out of O'Reilly's mouth comes covered in a layer of crazy, you can't deny that the guy has a rabid following. Many of his rabid followers probably go to the movies, and they also probably let some talking head on TV dictate their weekend cinema-viewing plans.

RELATED: See more pics of Jennifer Aniston

So, what we can learn from Aniston's continual slide at the box office? Probably that we're all really sick of the sympathy game. It's been seven years since the Brangelina debacle, and this wave she's been riding is beginning to ebb into oblivion. Jen has established herself as the childless, perpetually single middle-aged woman we all feel sorry for, thus ensuring that her face will turn up on magazine covers and that she'll stay bankable enough until the next rom-com comes calling. But, think back to Jennifer Aniston, circa 2000, as Rachel Green on "Friends" and Ron Livingston's spunky love interest in "Office Space." She was likable and wasn't yet marked with the stigma of being the woman Brad Pitt left for Angelina Jolie. (And I was actually

interested to see what she'd do next.)

Here's a tip, Jen: Stop playing the same, worn-out, sad sack character. America is totally bored with that act. Be a stripper, a prostitute, or better yet, a mentally challenged person. You might even get nominated for an Oscar instead of playing the mortified presenter.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Jennifer Anniston



Jen Anniston's movie tanked but her publicist's worked it by having the headline be about her guest role on Friend Courtney's show Cougartown. she will find more fulfilling work on Television as she did before and as all the women are saying the best roles are: Virginia Madsen., Nora Ephron (from Vanity Fair funny women issue) What does it mean that The Switched tanked so very badly. Does it mean she can't "open" a film? IF Julia Roberts opens Eat, Pray Love with a smash how will JA feel inside. Will she tell anyone if she feels worth-less in comparison? Is a person perceived as "worth-less as a human soul if they tank and film in such a public way.j Or an analogous humiliating situation?
I do knopw that Jen Anniston will continue to be at the heart of the tabloid drama wars, nearly nude magazine covers, coorporate sponsorship of products, appearances on talk shows with witty reparte and banter. But will this translate into more big Rom com "failure" parts of the last few years: The Break-Up, The Switch, Rumor has it now that Jen is 40? I wonder? Films that she was supposed to "open" in the Julia Roberts way. Not like Me and Marley with Owen Wilson.
But Holy Cow! She has no-less than 10 films in pre-production--checked it out on imdb So it really doesn't matter if she is that booked! OK but still, what affect if any does it have on films to sign on for, to get the green light with her name scheduled for 2013 and 2014?

Courtney Love considering selling Nirvana rights--Wonder what is going on with this currently

Love offered $162 million for Nirvana rights
May 25, 2010, 12:10 PM EST

WENN -- Courtney Love has been offered a staggering $162 million for her majority stake in Nirvana's back catalogue.

Love inherited Nirvana's publishing rights when her husband and Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain committed suicide in 1994.

Love, the singer of Hole, sold off 25 percent of the End of Music catalogue in 2006, pocketing $50 million. But she recently admitted she was considering offloading her remaining 75 percent share after becoming convinced the royalty payments she receives are "cursed."

She insisted the decision was motivated by emotions, not financial gain, because she simply wants to move on from the Cobain tragedy.



She said, "I'm thinking about selling off all of Kurt's publishing. All of the rights, everything. It's not a financial decision; it's an emotional one.

"He was the best friend I've ever had, but Kurt and I were only married for three years, and now I need to have my own life. I'm always 'the widow' and that drives me nuts. That money has been cursed since the day it started to come in. It's not really my money."

Executives at Evergreen Capital are keen to relieve Love of her worries and have stepped up with the big money offer, reports the New York Daily News.

A source says, "Courtney thinks the catalogue comes with too many memories. It's haunted."

Love has yet to respond to the offer.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Herbert Bayer



Going to add some of Herbert Bayer's type face. And post his entry from Wikipedia. someone came in to the DAM yesterday and actually asked to see his work. Shock.


Herbert Bayer (1900 – 1985), Austrian graphic designer, painter, photographer, sculptor, Art Director, environmental & interior designer and Architect, was widely recognized as the last living member of the Bauhaus and was instrumental in the development of the Atlantic Richfield Company's corporate art collection until his death in 1985.
Bayer apprenticed under the artist Georg Schmidthammer in Linz. Leaving the workshop to study at the Darmstadt Artists' Colony, he became interested in Walter Gropius's Bauhaus manifesto. After Bayer had studied for four years at the Bauhaus under such teachers as Wassily Kandinsky and László Moholy-Nagy, Gropius appointed Bayer director of printing and advertising.
In the spirit of reductive minimalism, Bayer developed a crisp visual style and adopted use of all-lowercase, sans serif typefaces for most Bauhaus publications. Bayer is one of several typographers of the period including Kurt Schwitters and Jan Tschichold who experimented with the creation of a simplified more phonetic-based alphabet. Bayer designed the 1925 geometric sans-serif typeface called universal,[1] now issued in digital form as Bayer Universal.[2] The design also inspired ITC Bauhaus and Architype Bayer, which bears comparison with the stylistically related typeface Architype Schwitters.
In 1928, Bayer left the Bauhaus to become art director of Vogue magazine's Berlin office. He remained in Germany far later than most other progressives. In 1936 he designed a brochure for the Deutschland Ausstellung, an exhibition for tourists in Berlin during the 1936 Olympic Games - the brochure celebrated life in the Third Reich, and the authority of Hitler. However, in 1937, works of Bayer's were included in the Nazi propaganda exhibition "Degenerate Art", upon which he left Germany in 1938 to settle in New York City where he had a long and distinguished career in nearly every aspect of the graphic arts. In 1944 Bayer married Joella Syrara Haweis, the daughter of poet Mina Loy.
In 1946 the Bayers relocated. Hired by industrialist and visionary Walter Paepcke, Bayer moved to Aspen, Colorado as Paepcke promoted skiing as a popular sport. Bayer's architectural work in the town included co-designing the Aspen Institute and restoring the Wheeler Opera House, but his production of promotional posters identified skiing with wit, excitement, and glamour.
In 1959, he designed his "fonetik alfabet", a phonetic alphabet, for English. It was sans-serif and without capital letters. He had special symbols for the endings -ed, -ory, -ing, and -ion, as well as the digraphs "ch", "sh", and "ng". An underline indicated the doubling of a consonant in traditional orthography.
While living in Aspen, Bayer had a chance meeting with the eccentric oilman, outdoorsman and (to those who knew him) visionary ecologist, Robert O. Anderson. When Anderson saw the ultra-modern, Bauhaus-inspired home that Bayer had designed & built in Aspen, he walked up to the front door and introduced himself. It was the beginning of a life-long friendship between the two men and instigated Anderson's insatiable passion for compulsively collecting contemporary art.
With Anderson's eventual formation of the Atlantic Richfield Company, and as his personal art collection quickly overflowed out of his New Mexico ranch and other homes, ARCO soon held the unique distinction of possessing the world's largest corporate Art Collection, under the critical eye and sharp direction of Bayer as Arco's Design Consultant.
Overseeing acquisitions from within Arco Plaza, the newly-built twin 51 story office towers in Los Angeles, Bayer was also responsible for the Arco logo and designing all corporate "branding" related to the company. Prior to the completion of Arco Plaza, Anderson commissioned Bayer to design a monumental sculpture-fountain to be installed between the dark green granite towers. Double Ascension still stands between the twin skyscrapers to this day.
Under Bayer's and Corporate Art Curator Leila Mehle's direction & supervision, Arco's Collection grew to nearly 30,000 Artworks nationwide. Arco's collection was quite eclectic, and consisted of an extremely wide range of media & styles; ranging from large resin sculptures by Dewain Valentine to original signed photographs by Ansel Adams. The vast majority of the collection consisted of original "signed" prints & "artist's proofs" of hand-pulled prints. Major works were reserved for lobbies, reception areas and executive & upper management offices.
Bayer and Ms. Mehle instigated a unique program for the collection in that large paintings and sculptures were often "circulated" within the company and transported from one Arco building to another, often making the journey from LA to New York and back again.
With the purchase of Anaconda Copper, Arco built an office tower in downtown Denver, and again, Anderson commissioned Bayer to oversee Anaconda's Art Collection for the new company. Eventually, Bayer gave the Denver Art Museum a collection of around 8,000 of his works. Author's note: I must ask about this--are they in storage at the DAM or is this even accurate?
Bayer's works appear in prominent public and private collections including the MIT List Visual Arts Center.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

John Baldessari, Jeff Koons, LACMA






I saw this great show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

The Lamp Posts are in front of the LACMA.

The Jeff Koon's blue balloon Dog was there also.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Skinner House, Wm. Kesling, Designer 1936

This beauty is located in the Silver Lake area Los Angeles. The area I got lost in when I was searching for the walking tour. The HUGE Disney Building HQ is in that area as I discovered.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Henry Darger, Second documentary I have seen by Jessica Yu: In the Realm of the Unreal


Henry Darger is the lastest in my collection of cult figures. What is that you ask? Too hard to explain and not necessary to know.
Henry Darger lived an almost completely anonymous life. After his death, his landlord found a vast collection of his stories and paintings in his apartment.

See the Film In the Realm of the Unreal directed by Jessica Yu. Darger has exhibitions in museums and and coffee table books about him. Warhol would have loved his art. Esp. The way he took drawing lessons and copied from advertising and popular illustration of the day. The Coppertone Girl. Yes, Warhol would have loved that.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Frantisek Drtikol, Photography History



There was a Czech photographer named Frantisek Drtikol . He lived 1883-1961.

Here is a sample of his elegant exquisite work. I love the form and shadows.

I will also include the brief wikipedia entry.

I have recently added the History of Photography to my cultural obsession.

I learned of Drtikol from seeing two photos at the DAM's collection. I may have seen him in LA too.

He is one of the latest I have learned about in my studies. Along with Francesca Woodman, Julia Margaret Cameron, Barbara Kruger.

Gerry Winograd. Saw those same prints in LA well you can't do that with a painting.

So that is a question for Eric Paddock. haha

How does that affect the value. But it is also giving the piece prestige, I would imagine, because it is like the curators are saying "this is an important piece of photographic arts."
Same with the Diane Arbu twins photo, is at the DAM and LA.

From 1907 to 1910 he had his own studio, until 1935 he operated an important portrait photostudio in Prague on the fourth floor of one of Prague's remarkable buildings, a Baroque corner house at 9 Vodičkova, now demolished. Drtikol made many portraits of very important people and nudes which show development from pictorialism and symbolism to modern composite pictures of the nude body with geometric decorations and thrown shadows, where it is possible to find a number of parallels with the avant-garde works of the period. These are reminiscent of Cubism, and at the same time his nudes suggest the kind of movement that was characteristic of the futurism aesthetic.
He began using paper cut-outs in a period he called "photopurism". These photographs resembled silhouettes of the human form. Later he gave up photography and concentrated on painting. After the studio was sold Drtikol focused mainly on painting, Buddhist religious and philosophical systems. In the final stage of his photographic work Drtikol created compositions of little carved figures, with elongated shapes, symbolically expressing various themes from Buddhism. In the 1920s and 1930s, he received significant awards at international photo salons. Drtikol has published:
"Le nus de Drtikol" (1929)
Žena ve světle (Woman in the Light)


Some his photos look very Art Deco to me. Wikipedia doesn't mention that.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Serendipity? Unseen Franz Kafka Writings Inch closer to the Light


I have it in me to be sublime talk show host, and interviewer. A really good intellectual, funny, campy, don't give a fuck, cuts to the chase, doesn't mince words, cuts through the bullshit in a George Carlin way Joyce Behar type talk show host.

I hadn't of thought of Franz Kafka in years, (Kafka esquese is now an entry word in the dictionary. So anyway, somehow I thought of Barbara Kruger used a quote twice in the new coffee table book about her, that quote is seen twice, one of the time an artwork on the side of a bus. so the quote "The point of life is that it stops," is in that genre of being a selection of words that cuts through the bullshit, is precise, exact,True with a capital T. The phrase made an impact, an impression on me as being showing the ability to sum of with a few words a profuned multi-layered Truth. How you say?

So this is why I began to think of Kafka, googled him, bought The Trial two days ago



Just getting into a pop-culture, slightly deeper than surface knowledge/ web search education about Kafka. ( It is proving hard to read his book The Trial. Not quite as ploddingly through as Pride and Prejudice but I have this mental laziness with all classic literature)




Tues. night I first googled him I read a story of some missing correspondence letters written by Kafka and left after his death at age 40, into in the hands of his last lover. I got the impression the location of the letters was uncertain.

About ten minutes after reading that website, I went back to the search page and noticed a NYT story released 5 hours ago that very afternoon. Guess what the topic of that story was?
The missing correspondence was in safety deposit boxes about to be released to the public after legal battles. Now what are the chances of that? But my life is filled with things like that when I get into one of my "historical" characters, cult figure tangents.

OK, simple, strange, odd things amuse and fascinate me.....

Story below.

Unseen Franz Kafka Writings Inch a Bit Closer to the Light
By PATRICIA COHEN; Compiled by DAVE ITZKOFF
Published: July 22, 2010
F

A list of manuscripts, letters and journals written by Franz Kafka, below, that languished in safe-deposit boxes in Tel Aviv and Zurich for decades will soon be released, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported. The documents have been the subject of a legal battle between the National Library in Israel and Eva Hoffe, who inherited the documents. Ms. Hoffe’s mother, Esther, was the secretary to Max Brod, a close friend of Kafka who served as executor of his estate after he died in 1924. Although Kafka requested that all his personal papers be burned, Brod, who immigrated to Israel in 1939, never complied. The District Family Court judge in Tel Aviv who heard the case ordered attorneys to prepare a detailed list of the contents of four boxes that had been stored in a Zurich bank and opened on Monday. Haaretz reported that a handwritten short story by Kafka, never before seen, is among the papers. Several more safe-deposit boxes with Kafka’s documents are also expected to be opened by the Tel Aviv court. The library contends that the Kafka papers are “cultural assets belonging to the Jewish people,” David Bloomberg, chairman of the National Library, said.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dennis Hopper's estate for sale.


Dennis Hopper's compound for sale
The actor's art collection isn't included, but the $6.24 million estate in Venice, Calif., offers plenty of room for your own exhibit.
Posted by Mai Ling at MSN Real Estate on Friday, July 23, 2010 8:46 AM
The late Dennis Hopper may be best known for some of his unique acting roles, such as in "Blue Velvet," "Apocalypse Now" and "Easy Rider."

But Hopper also was an artist and photographer, as well as an art collector who displayed works from such masters as Andy Warhol at his estate in Venice, Calif.

On May 29, Hopper died in that same home after a years-long battle with prostate cancer. And now everything is on display, starting with an exhibit of Hopper's own work at the Los Angeles MOCA. In addition, his estate is up for grabs for $6.24 million, and Reuters reports that his art collection is set to hit the auction block at Christie's this fall.

I was just in Venice and had no idea that is where he lived. I wonder which house it is--I must have seen them all!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Francesca Woodman photographer from Colorado



Rediscovering Francesca Woodman
Date: 18 Dec 2006 | | Views: 3992

Art imitates life. Or perhaps it's the other way around.

This dual notion haunts the often enigmatic, sometimes unsettling photography of Francesca Woodman, who jumped to her death in 1981 at age 22.

While the Colorado native's short yet surprisingly prolific output would gain considerable attention, especially in Europe, the cultish romanticism that grew up around her suicide long clouded serious discussions of her work.

But now, with the clarifying distance of a quarter- century, perceptions are changing. Curators and critics are looking anew at the more than 800 images Woodman created in a 10-year period from junior high school to young adulthood.

She is being rediscovered and reconsidered, a process likely to accelerate with the publication of the most comprehensive book yet on her, including edited journals and 250 photographs ("Francesca Woodman," Phaidon Press, 256 pages, $75).

"I think her work is growing in importance historically," said Douglas Fogle, curator of contemporary art at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.

"People are looking back at it now as something that has been influential more recently with younger artists."

Although Woodman's work has been featured in major solo shows, including a large one organized in 1998 by the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain in Paris, she has yet to have a major touring retrospective in the United States. But Fogle believes such an exhibition is only a matter of time.

"I think you're right now at the moment where there is enough interest, where there are curators sniffing around," he said.

Career in the cards

It was all but pre-ordained that Woodman would become an artist. Her parents, Betty and George Woodman, are nationally known artists; her father taught at the University of Colorado at Boulder while she grew up. Their home served as the social center of the city's art scene, with prominent and not-so-prominent artists frequently passing through.
In the summer of 1972, before Woodman left for boarding school in Andover, Mass., her father gave her a camera. She took an immediate liking to it, sitting in on a university photography class to learn the basics.

An image from that nascent period, "Self-Portrait at Thirteen" (1972), is reproduced in the book. Already, many of the defining qualities of her work are present: the use of herself as the subject, explorations of space and perspective, the blurry, atmospheric effects.

"It was all about making art," her father said. "It wasn't about documenting birthday parties or camping expeditions. I don't think she ever made a snapshot.

She quickly became sufficiently sophisticated to have nothing but contempt for the snapshot."
After graduating from the well-regarded Rhode Island School of Design in 1978, she spent a year in Italy, where her parents often had taken her during summers and their study trips. In 1965-66, she even attended second grade there.

Chris Townsend, a senior lecturer at the University of London who authored the Woodward monograph, believes she did her best work during that time, working in an old factory building in Rome.

Far from the inspired naif, as she sometimes has been portrayed, he believes she drew on a range of influences including but not limited to surrealism, especially the work of Man Ray and Duane Michals, and fashion photography by Deborah Turbeville and others.
"Suddenly, she is making a body of photographs that are all her own," Townsend said. "They take a lot of the reference points and they subvert them. They alter them. They stop being about aesthetics, and they're about the properties of photography."

Woodman probed the nature of photography and its uneasy relationship with reality. She relentlessly explored what Townsend calls the "spatial and temporal mismatches" between image and object.

She wanted to evoke the elusive, transient realm between what is and isn't, constantly depicting herself as a kind of specter, disappearing into or emerging from floors and walls, depending on the viewer's

1977-78: from "eel" series, Rome (Photograph courtesy George and Betty Woodman) perception.

"She was starting to play all these interesting games within the photograph, examining formal, conceptual problems of photography as a medium," Townsend said. "And very few photographers of the 1970s and even very few photographers outside of conceptualism do that."

Although Woodman sometimes employed models, she mainly depicted herself, usually interacting in some staged way with the environment around her - wrapping her nude body in wallpaper in the 1977 "Space" series or thrusting herself into nature in images at the MacDowell Colony in 1980.

"Francesca was ashamed that she took so many pictures of herself and irritated by the simplistic self-portrait label attached to her work," Betsy Berne, a close friend, wrote in an essay in the book. "She tried using models over and over - but the reality was she was her own best model because she alone knew what she was after."

In much of her work, Woodman treats the body as a kind of fetish, camouflaging and confusing identity. A few images have an air of innocence, while others, such as a 1979- 80 rear view of an undulating female torso, are sexually charged.

Still others take on an almost violent edge. In "Horizontale" (1976), she binds her legs with spiraling tape. "Portrait of a Reputation" is an undated book of five images in which her darkened hand leaves ugly stains on her body with each touch.

Woodman was living in an East Village loft in New York City and had barely begun her professional career when she took her life. Apparently, it did not come as a total surprise; Berne writes that on the photographer's "darkest days," she would mention suicide.

Even though, as Berne puts it, Woodman was "beset by the same contradictions and conflicts" visible in her work, Townsend and the photographer's parents caution against interpreting the photographs through the lens of the suicide.

She clearly had dark moments, but her parents describe her as a charming, witty and sociable person, a description backed up by Berne's lively and touching account of the young artists' time together.

"On the other hand," Betty Woodman said, "she did commit suicide. Things were not rosy and wonderful for Francesca. That was her choice. It is there. It's hard for us. I know I just tend not to make this be what the work is about."

Beset by trends

When Woodman died, changing trends were already overshadowing her. A new breed of post-modern artists driven by mass culture, including Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince and Sherrie Levine, were uprooting photography and exploiting it for very different purposes.

While Woodman had a foot in this conceptualist camp, she was also very much attached to traditional photography, using techniques little different from the 19th century to fastidiously create and print her images.

As often happens in the natural cycle of the art world, the photographer's work has found new resonance among today's artists, who are looking back at the 1960s and ྂs with fresh eyes and combining the past and present in inventive ways.

With the help of the respected dealer Marian Goodman, who began representing the photographer's estate in 1998, Woodman's photographs are increasingly making their way to the market. And the book, with more than 100 photographs never before published, should only increase her visibility.

What will Woodman's ultimate place in photographic history be? Only time can tell. What cannot be denied is the distinctiveness and innate power of her provocative, sometimes troubling images.

"There's no manipulation of the art market or how they are promoted," said Betty Woodman. "People simply respond to them. So I guess there's some kind of legacy, because isn't that what art's all about?"

By Kyle MacMillan, Denver Post