(noun) nonchalant absurdity with a dash of embarrassment.

(verb) to be shark bitten.

(adverb) in a manner that is nonchalantly absurd and embarrassing.

14 October 2011

Jerry Saltz on Work of Art: "Reality TV sucks. Or maybe it’s just that reality does."

Text by Jerry Saltz and Image via NYMAG [FULL ARTICLE]

It’s baaaa-aaaack! I’m sorry.

Work of Art, the reality-TV game show — or more accurately, that unscripted sitcom that features me as a judge — has returned for its second year. I’m as shocked as anyone that this strange, strange show lasted past season one. But it did. Blazingly, evidentially. Even more surprising, I know last season’s shows are now being aired around the world, because I’m getting lots of e-mails from South Americans upset that Peregrine got eliminated, and from Germans asking me what the show’s “concept” is. In New York people still stop me on the street and say, “Hey, you’re that reality art judge!”

Feelings are more mixed in my crowd. Whenever the show comes up, Peter Schjeldahl, my good friend and New Yorker art critic, sadly shakes his head at me and says, “Jerry, Jerry, Jerry.” So let me say something to all those who hate this show and to the many who send me angry-e-mails, post nasty comments on my Facebook Page, tweet mean things about me, or write articles about how this TV show is destroying art: I’m not trying to hurt anything. I get mad at things in the art world too: at idiot billionaires flying mindless millionaire artists to bloated biennials to party down on private yachts; at seven-figure prices paid for derivative dreck that supposedly “critiques the system;” at cuckoo collectors like Adam Lindeman opining in the New York Observer that MoMA’s de Kooning show is “dated,” “quaint,” “bland,” and “predictable” and sniffs that he didn’t read the great de Kooning bio because “I’m a student of the postmodern philosopher Jacques Derrida…”; at gilded auctions attended by those who get their kicks from being profligate in public; at curators flying from city to city to speak on one other’s panels about “The Role of the Curator”; at tenured academics who can’t turn the page from 1968. I grant that Work of Art is a light thing at a time when heavy things are afoot. But it doesn’t feel destructive, vile, or annoying like these other things do. Okay, maybe it’s annoying sometimes.

I never thought seriously of saying no to this show. It gets me out of the house, and stops me from being alone at my computer all the time. I love the free food on-set. I especially love learning how shows like this get made. And I know we’re not supposed to say this in the art world, but it’s really fun to do. On the selfish side, I’m trying to see if art-criticism can be more elastic and populist. I want to see if criticism can coherently be performed for audiences outside art-land, where we have weird ways of talking that many of us don’t actually understand. I’m trying to see if it’s possible to have what we always say we want: To have more people look at, appreciate, and be exposed to art, wherever it comes from, however it’s seen.

This week, I really liked that the show captured some of the anxiety, ridiculousness, and chaos of making art, as it introduced the fourteen contestants. It may surprise viewers to hear this, but we judges are told nothing about the artists’ backstories or biographies. I learn that stuff only when I see the show — for instance, that Michelle (currently an assistant to the artist Marilyn Minter) was in a terrible hit-and-run accident months ago and has just relearned how to walk. We often hear complaints that certain artists have been cast for their looks, though I find, as an older person, that all of them look young and beautiful. Except the one who calls himself Sucklord. (“What kind of bullshit name is this?” I thought when I met him. He claimed he’s “like Warhol,” and just as I began to wonder whether he’d been put on the set as a Bravo prank, the show’s super-suave artist mentor, Simon du Pury, mentioned that he actually owns Sucklord’s work.) Despite his stupid name, as the first episode developed, I started to feel a strange camaraderie for this fellow-non-looker who gets by on energy and attitude. Whereupon contestant Lola cooed that she “finds him kind of attractive.” Argh. Youth trumps everything. Fuck me.


To The Awake & Inspired,

This Saturday at 5pm we take:
Times Square

...with music, performance and a message that the people of this country - not the banks, not the corporations - hold the true power.

It's a rare moment that a grass roots protest movement takes over the national conversation. From the Occupation of Wall St., a thrilling national movement has emerged.

This Saturday, October 15th, hundreds of cities across the country will host demonstrations in support of the #Occupy movement. In New York City, dozens of community groups, unions, student organizations and lots and lots of regular folk are taking to the streets in a mass protest that will culminate in Times Square at 5pm, then moving (by train party!) downtown.

You are invited to be a part of it. Come join the Occupation Party and participate in a stunning moment expressing hope and a new vision for the future - and showing our solidarity with the people who have already been occupying Wall Street for weeks.

Meet at the TKTS kiosk in the north section. From our street carnival in Times Sq. we will take the protest party to the trains and head downtown.

Together we are the tipping point.

Designed by Shepard Fairey, this invite recalls his previous propagandistic designs including Obama's Hope campaign and the face that launched it all, Andre the Giant. Below is a write up I did after seeing Fairey speak on Propaganda and Design for the release of Stephen Heller's book Branding the 20th Century Totalitarian State:

[Shepard Fairey spoke after Heller and introduced his part of the lecture with the explanation of his famous branding, Andre the Giant: it was made as joke in 1989 and it was meant to provoke people and act as “visual noise.” Fairey wanted to disseminate something that stood out from the advertising that surrounds us all. He cites Orwell as an inspiration saying Andre was a counterculture to Big Brother--Andre’s face was a springboard for what would come later: OBEY. Fairey wanted people to recognize obedience and confront them directly with it, this project from the get go was inspired by Russian propaganda and Constructivist design.

Fairey plays with cliches, yes, and he expands on this: “propaganda design is to get people to question thinking for themselves. It is constantly restating the obvious.” His famous HOPE campaign for Obama was preceded by a design he did about Bush, but one thing he learned from this design was that negativity does not change the predispositions of people. For the Obama HOPE campaign, which started as a grassroots project and was later picked up by the administration, he wanted to further understand how people respond to images--this was the route he took to support Obama.]

Group Show: "Friends" @ the Online-Only Fach & Asendorf Gallery

The group show "Friends," currently viewable at the online-only Fach & Asendorf Gallery, is a show about friends, by friends. Gathering together a wide-ranging group of Internet artists including Corentin Heraud, Mirrrroring, and Lukasz Karluk, the exhibition both examines the idea of friendship as it exists online and embraces it by gathering together a crew of artists who run in the same online social circles. The artists and the works they have created are all talking to, and about, each other, referring to the shared experience of socializing on the Internet.

View Full Exhibition @ Fach & Asendorf Gallery

Maurizio Cattelan "Turisti" Sells for 600,000 USD

Text & Image: Phillips de Pury & Company
Turisti, 1997
Ten taxidermied pigeons. Lifesize, dimensions vary with installation. This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.
ESTIMATE £250,000-350,000

SOLD AT £385,250

PROVENANCE Massimo De Carlo, Milan
EXHIBITED Venice, The Italian Pavilion, XLVII Biennale Internazionale dell’Arte di Venezia, 15 June – 9 November 1997 (another version exhibited)
LITERATURE XLVII Biennale Internazionale dell’Arte di Venezia, exh. cat, Venice, 1997; G. Verzotti, Maurizio Cattelan, Milan: Castello di Rivoli, Museo d’arte Contemporanea, 1997, pp. 18–19 (another version illustrated); F. Bonami, N. Spector and B. Vanderlinden, eds., Maurizio Cattelan, London: Phaidon, 2000, pp. 19–21 (another version illustrated)


Text & Image via ARTNEWSMAG

"Don’t shoot, I’m only the fashion model. Wait DO shoot! You’re Ai WeiWei, the famous Chinese artist dissident. Out of jail since June and still under house arrest in Beijing, the artist collaborated (via Skype) with W staff to shoot the five-part series, called “Enforced Disappearance,” at the Riker’s Island jail and in Chinatown in Flushing, Queens. This picture, which is about “the conflicts between individuals and authorities,” also serves as a lesson for women protesting at Occupy Wall Street and its counterparts around the country—if you wear high heels, you can’t run away. "

Eamon O'Kane: There is Another World, But It Is In This One @ Rare Gallery

[PRESS RELEASE] RARE Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings and works on paper by Eamon O'Kane titled There Is Another World, But It Is In This One. The show, which will run from October 13 to November 10, marks the artist's second solo turn at the gallery.

The exhibition's title is an allusion to a quote by W.B. Yeats which O'Kane references in his work. His paintings and drawings serve as a visual allegory to the quote's written implication to expose one's childhood and heritage in one's work. The show portrays an autobiographical world in the manner ascribed to by Yeats, who in a related way attempted to express his Irish upbringing in the context of British colonial rule. O'Kane's work stands as an investigation into the inherent influences on the creative side of his life, ranging from art and design to mathematics and engineering. The entire range of his output can be seen as a self-examination of the cumulative influences on his artistic method and conceptual development.

The effects that architects, designers, and educators have had on O'Kane's growth are manifest in his paintings, drawings, installations, sculptures, and animations. His work is a marriage of his signature draftsmanship, design, and painterly qualities and the pragmatic yet creative forms and designs of his Modernist predecessors. Innovators such as Friedrich Fröbel, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Charles Eames are integrated into the artist's oeuvre as a reflective form of self-analysis. O'Kane riffs on the achievements of master architects such as Wright and Philip Johnson by adding his own sensibility in the form of surreal landscaping and saturated, keyed-up colors. He also makes direct visual reference to Fröbel's educational play materials known as Fröbel Gifts, which include geometric building blocks and pattern activity blocks that were inspirational to Wright, Le Corbusier, Eames, and Mondrian. He pays particular homage to the architectural eccentricities and peculiarities of the home in which he was raised in County Donegal and singles out Irish furniture designer and pioneer Modernist architect Eileen Gray.

GRIDLOCK: A Graduate Student Conference + Pop-Up Exhibition

GRIDLOCK is a 2-day graduate student conference and 3-day art exhibition (October 13-15) hosted by the Department of Cultural Analysis and Theory (previously the Department of Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies) at Stony Brook University. This year, we have the amazing opportunity to host our conference in collaboration with the AC Institute, a premier gallery space in the Chelsea arts district of Manhattan. Our entire conference will take place on-site in the gallery location, surrounded by the works of emerging artists and graduate students.

EXHIBITED ARTISTS: Nobuho Nagasawa, Joanna Malinowska, John David Lopez, Ana Cantoni, Shannon Hayes, Jon Gourley, Jonathan Jackson, Mauricio Herrero, Anna Kell & Jon Frey

We are very excited to welcome Eugene Thacker as this year's keynote speaker, presenting his talk "Frozen Thought; or, the Horror of Philosophy". Dr. Thacker is an Associate Professor of Media Studies at The New School. This talk is related to his upcoming book, In the Dust of This Planet: The Horror of Philosophy, Vol. 1. A small number of these books will be on sale at our conference.

The AC Institute is located at: 547 W. 27th St, 6th Floor | New York, NY 10001


13 October 2011

PHENOMENAL: CALIFORNIA LIGHT, SPACE, SURFACE @ The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

Images via JUXTAPOZ

[Text via MCASD]In the 1960s and ’70s, light became a primary medium for a loosely-affiliated group of artistsworking in Los Angeles. Whether by directing the flow of natural light, embedding artificiallight within objects or architecture, or by playing with light through the use of transparent,translucent or reflective materials, these artists each made the visitor’s experience of lightand other sensory phenomena under specific conditions the focus of their work. Key examplesof this approach include immersive environments by Bruce Nauman and Eric Orr, eachof which produce different and extreme retinal responses; the disorienting and otherworldlyglow of a Doug Wheeler light environment; a richly hued and spatially perplexing light piecefrom James Turrell’s Wedgework series, and the subtle sculpting of space with natural lightby Robert Irwin.

In addition to artworks which literally claim the entire space of the room, the exhibition alsofeatures a number of sculptures and paintings that function as prisms or mirrors to activatethe space surrounding them. The properties of glass are explored in Larry Bell’s coatedglass cubes and in monochromatic paintings by Mary Corse which are embedded with tinyglass microbeads. Elsewhere in the exhibition, the variously luminous and prismatic effectsof cast or vacuum-formed resins and plastics are demonstrated with exceptional works byPeter Alexander, Ron Cooper, Robert Irwin, Craig Kauffman, Helen Pashgian and De WainValentine. Lush pigmentation and supreme reflectivity combine in John McCracken’s lacqueredsculptures to create bold objects which paradoxically melt into their environment bymirroring the details of the surrounding room.

Artists include Bruce Nauman, Peter Alexander, Larry Bell, Ron Cooper, Mary Corse, Robert Irwin, Craig Kauffman, John McCracken, Eric Orr, Helen Pashgian, James Turrell, De Wain Valentine, and Douglas Wheeler.

Tracey Emin Neon: More Passion, Less Thinking.

12 October 2011

FOLDS by Robert Seidel


folds | installation documentation | lindenau museum altenburg, germany | robert seidel | 2011 from Robert Seidel on Vimeo.


Art for Tibet III @ Joshua Liner Gallery

What: Art for Tibet III
Where: Joshua Liner Gallery, 548 West 28th Street, 3rd Floor NY, NY 10001
When: October 14, 2011: 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

[PRESS RELEASE]New York – More than 50 acclaimed artists will exhibit art works together in support of the Tibetan freedom struggle on October 14th at the Joshua Liner Gallery in Chelsea, New York City. The third-annual Art for Tibet show will feature top contemporary Tibetan and international artists, including Shepard Fairey, Pema Rinzin, Richard Gere, Ryan McGinness, Tenzing Rigdol, Swoon, Gonkar Gyatso, The Sucklord (star of Bravo Network’s “Work of Art” Season 2) and many more.

All artwork in the show will be sold via a silent auction on the evening of October 14th. The evening event will feature a live-painting demonstration, DJ sets by Spirit Bear, and a silent auction that will offer excellent works with low opening bids. Drinks will be generously provided by Beerlao. Pre-bidding will be available online at www.artfortibet.com beginning October 7th.
“Art for Tibet aims to expose the persecution Tibetan artists and intellectuals face under China’s occupation. At the same time, it is a celebration of their defiance and commitment to free expression in spite of the Chinese government’s severe repression and censorship,” said Tenzin Dorjee, Executive Director of the New York-based Students for a Free Tibet (SFT).

This event is made possible by the support of Honorary Committee members Shepard Fairey, Richard Gere and Professor Robert A.F. Thurman, as well as Benefit and Curatorial Committee members Simeon Lipman (The Art Hustle), Joshua Liner, Pema Rinzin, Tenzing Rigdol, Bruno Levy, Joseph Ian Henrikson (Anonymous Gallery), John Peet (Union Gallery), Andrew Lockhart (prō jekt′ : nyc), Jonathan Hulland, Makiko Onda, Lisa Shimamura (Colab Projects), Kurt Langer (Colab Projects), Zahra Sherzad, Stefanie Rogers and Tenzin Dorjee. Auction and event information and a full list of participating artists are available at www.artfortibet.com.

BACKGROUND ON TIBET: Since Chinese troops invaded Tibet in 1949, China has denied Tibetans their rights and freedom while systematically attempting to wipe out Tibetan culture and identity. In March 2008, just months before the Beijing Olympics, protests against Chinese rule swept across the Tibetan plateau. Chinese authorities responded with brutal force in a crackdown that continues to this day and has left thousands of Tibetans in prison, dead or disappeared.
In defiance of this repression, Tibetan artists, writers and intellectuals in Tibet and in exile are engaged in a Tibetan cultural renaissance, using new technology and mediums to create and share their work. In response, the Chinese government has escalated the crackdown on writers, artists and intellectuals. Dozens of Tibetan artists and writers have been arrested, tortured and imprisoned since 2008.

All proceeds from the event will benefit Students for a Free Tibet, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with international headquarters in New York. Through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action, SFT campaigns for the Tibetan people’s fundamental right to freedom and independence: www.studentsforafreetibet.org.


Google Celebrates Art Clokey's 90th Birthday

In the words of his own merry theme song: “Just see what Gumby can do today.”

On Wednesday, Google’s home-page “Doodle” celebrates what would have been the 90th birthday of the late clay-animation pioneer ART CLOKEY with an interactive logo of Gumby & Friends.

The clickable animation also marks the launch of the website GumbyWorld, which features anecdotes, pictures and rare film clips.

The Gumby Doodle — which starts off with several clay balls and a child’s wooden block — was created by top animator Anthony Scott (“Coraline,” “Corpse Bride”) and puppet/prop maker Nicole LaPointe-McKay for the Clokey Productions Premavision studios.

(Click on each ball or block and a figure springs to life — including the galloping Pokey, Prickle the yellow dinosaur, the Blockheads and Goo, the flying blue goo-ball mermaid. Or click on Gumby himself and he bounces into a ball, a block and then a heart. Because, as the theme song says: “If you’ve got a heart, then Gumby’s a part of you.”)

“The Google Doodle is the perfect tribute to my father’s work,” Joe Clokey, Art Clokey’s son and creator of Gumby’s new website, said in a statement. “Art’s life and film career were ahead of their time. My dad would have been thrilled to be connected with Google in this way.”

This is the second ‘50s-born, good-spirited green character to be recently featured by Google; last month, the California company celebrated Kermit’s creator, Jim Henson.

11 October 2011

Blessed Ludovica Albertoni by Gian Lorenzo Bernini

"Bernini seems to have caught the pious mystic just as she passes to her great reward; she lies prostrate on a tousled bed of marble and jasper, her back arched, her eyes slitted, her lips parted and her right hand pressed to her breast in an ecstasy of divine transport that, as more than one critic has observed, resembles a far earthier kind of ecstasy."