Monday, September 29, 2008

A little life

I went to about ten shows last week, and the only one that got me a wee-bit pumped was Bendix Harms at Anton Kern.

The paintings feel lively, energetic and in fact they are, because they were each completed in one session with a restricted palette. I fell for the imagery, reminiscent as they are of Philip Guston and also Picasso. So, I recommend.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Still nothing about art today. Except that the guy appointed the new director of the Guggenheim sounds serious. And I’d like the Guggenheim to become serious again.

On another note: bailout? Is anyone amazed at how much money the government actually has at it’s disposal? Has there ever been an emergency bailout for education, health care, the poor?

So I may head to this interesting protest:

Subject: Bury the Bull

Thursday, 4pm
Bowling Green Park
By the Wall Street Bull

"Bailout This!"

Since Bush wants to buy up Wall Street's worthless investments with
Main Street's hard-earned tax dollars, some folks are planning to
bring their OWN junk to Wall Street to see if they can get a bailout,
too. Bring your 8-track tape collection, high-school yearbook,
Grampa's old recliner, and that snow globe from Great Adventure – not
to mention your mortgage statements and student loan invoices -- and
add 'em to the pile! And tell Secretary Paulson why you deserve a
bailout, too! Bring your most audacious junk. Junk that has a story.
Make your case. (Ordinary garbage discouraged.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

They're everywhere!

Nothing about art today. The few shows I saw last week were entirely boring: I mean not even stimulating enough to complain about.

This weekend, however, just a mere three hours from downtown Manhattan, I was confronted with a very grim reality. There are actually real live people out there who want McCain to win the presidency. Call me naïve, fine.

From The Walton Reporter, I quote:

Senator McCain’s pick for vice president came as a pleasant surprise to almost everyone.[…]One thing is for sure, the Sara Palins of this world are the future of our country. Their values, their work ethic, their straightforward conversational style will re-shape the policies of our country and re-earn us the respect of the rest of the world. […] As we all know, the governor’s 17-year old daughter is pregnant. This is a situation that occurs in thousands of families every year, and we all should know what’s really important – it’s how responsibly the family deals with the situation. Every single baby born is a gift from God. […] [The media] doesn’t understand that she is one of us. She can relate to ordinary people because she is an ordinary person, who has made it because of extraordinary effort on her part. She’s got kids, worked her way through college, started at the bottom and worker her way up and got to the top by being smarter and tougher than the good ol’ boys who stood in her way […]

I’ve literally had dreams about yelling at people about their political disillusionment in recent weeks. I'm really very upset and anxious. This country is dying - we know that. Either we die nobly or we can dwindle into provincial insignificance.

I can only think that I should write a letter to the paper. But, honestly, I don’t know where to start, and how to say something poignant that won’t just have me written off as a citidiot.

All drafts welcome.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pierre Takal,editor extraordinaire , took this cool pic of one of my video projections for the Beeps concert on Saturday. Very cool.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Long Live the Butterflies

Damien Hirst sounds like such a jerk. He’s bypassing the dealer and gallery system this week and selling a body of work directly through Sotheby’s. What is this, Ebay? On top of it all, he’s claiming this kind of selling scheme will liberate the working artist from a blood-sucking system of intermediaries. Empowering the artist, Damien, or your ego?

I don’t have time for this shit.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sticking together

There’s a sinking feeling I have since the RNC, and that’s that McCain might actually pull this off. Call me defeatist, perhaps.

If he actually does, I can only take solace in the fact that I’m a New Yorker and that is certainly not the same as being an American. My people are here, and I think they may be in the art world especially - as much as I despise aspects of that world.

Tribal? Yes.

So, I felt both like cheering and booing when I read Michael Kimmelman’s disdain for contemporary art in his New York Times analysis of the Met’s appointment of a new director.

Other museums these days have looked toward polished administrators or contemporary-art wheeler-dealers to raise money and deal with neophyte collectors. Since Philippe de Montebello announced his pending retirement, among the names bandied about in the art-world echo chamber for the longest time were a few lightning rods and contemporary-art favorites who, it was suggested, could provide useful connections to new money and links with living artists — so that the Met might become, as if it weren’t already, sufficiently “relevant.”

The chattering class was wrong as usual. […]

Bringing together cultures of the world for a global public is a moral undertaking and indispensable to civilization, and it must be defended on those grounds. At the same time, the last thing New York needs is another museum of contemporary art.

I can get on my high-horse too, Michael. But, these days, I'm choosing not to.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Monday Thoughts

Here’s a concept: being friendly.

I’m starting to realize that if you don’t always just get down to business, and if you find something personal to say every now and then, “people” are more likely to respond. For example, last week I waged what you might call a mass email campaign. Usually, I just put everyone in bcc and send (3 seconds). This time, I spent about three hours writing personal little notes to about half the people on my list. And I got emails back (including from curators and gallerists). I didn’t really think that would ever happen.

On another note, because I don’t have cable, I only get to watch TV when I’m in a hotel room. At the risk of sounding naïve, I’ve got to say, I learned a lot this weekend! You can soak letters in amphetamines and send it to prisoners, but guards check; some people regret their transgender choices and op back to their birth gender; and, get this! the Republicans are lying through their teeth!

I’m watching more and more TV thanks to netflix. Something tells me that this will keep me from becoming an “earnest” artist. In any case, the best art is art that is aware that its seriousness has its limits and impossibilities.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Reality Television

The great thing about Gossip Girl is how completely deranged all the mothers are.

You got this one who left her family to be a painter in Hudson. (They’re the “less wealthy, quirky” family living in a Dumbo loft.) Then there’s one who’s never around, being more concerned about the future of her career than her child (named Blair Waldorf). And don’t forget the grandmother (this has been going on for generations) who lied to her daughter about having lung cancer as a means to guilt her granddaughter into coming out at a debutante ball.

As for fathers, they’re all corrupt money-makers. Except for the gay one who lives in Paris.

That said, please visit my revamped website. Feedback always appreciated.