Friday, February 17, 2017

Notebook drawing February 2017


Raymond Pettibon a pen of all work the new museum
















I had a really good time the other day at this jam packed over the top drawing show by Mr. Pettibon now on through April at the ill conceived uncomfortable New Museum. Filling the awkward spaces on three floors Pettibon's free wheeling and beautiful drawings cover all themes and topics including many scathing political drawings. There are also pop tart images of tarts and pops, noirish grisly images, some great stuff taking down religion and stuffy art and comic book inspired drawings and jots. There are like 800 pieces some in frames some just hung on the walls with tacks and lots of good stuff laying in those vitrines that museums love to use. The drawings are loose and beautifully done mainly in black dense inks with some color added here and there, but there are also blooming full color drawings large in scale like his surfing drawings that are Cinemascope in scale and are terrific in all their wavy blueness. There are drawings of war and soft core porn with penises galore along with drawings of famous and infamous personalities including many of presidents that can easily fit in either catagory. Murderers and movie stars all get the same treatment along with athletes and body builders. Many of the drawings have written texts and writings all over them and its not easy to stand there and read them but you can take a glance or two at the words and see if they fit your mood. The real pleasure here is the art, big and small loose and tight comical and scary, punk and underground and all by the way are wonderful. See this one. Now.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Jannis Kounellis 1936-2017








Tuesday, February 14, 2017

homecrest

Well at least something nice is in my life right now considering the nightmare that we are living every day with that monster in the white house. I started my long teaching gig (until June) at the homecrest benshonhurst senior center, which is right across the street from my old high school which is indeed strange. All of the seniors are Asian and are lovely, charming and talented. Also the staff is very helpful and also lovely translating when necessary but many speak fine English, much better than my Chinese. ha ha. I had 8 students and the space is small but everyone fitted in fine. For the first project I gave them the task of drawing me, to break the ice, and to make myself vulnerable, the results were really nice.







Sunday, February 12, 2017

UFT

I just finished my 5 week workshop at the UFT which stands for the United Federation of Teachers. I've been teaching there for about 15 years but they have pretty much cut me out of my classes because of "low enrollment" . Fine. I had about 5 loyal students and the work was quite nice. I asked them to do work with a narrative theme. Here are some of the results. Don't think I will be returning there any time soon.








Saturday, February 11, 2017

Inventing Downtown


Inventing Downtown. Artist Run Galleries in New York City 1952-1965
Grey Art Gallery NYU. through April 1, 2017

I saw this marvelous jam packed exhibition today and think anyone who loves art and new york city will jump up and down over this one. Documenting the unique artist run gallery scene that was visible and active mainly downtown during the early 50's and mid 60's it includes small pieces by many well known artists but also includes pieces by lesser known artists along with photos, announcements and other bits of documentation. The list of artists is long and I have to say that I was pretty much impressed and enticed by most of the work. I was just a babe when this scene was going on but later on when I arrived on the scene I was lucky to meet and greet many of the artists included and even got to know many of them sometimes up close and sometimes from a distance. As usual with the Grey Art Gallery it's a lovely well thought out show nicely installed, and be sure to pick up the free nice 20pg. large brochure with notes, photos and interviews and also grab the fold over which opens up to a nice poster of the great Red Grooms transporting artwork to the Reuben Gallery which is illustrated below.



https://greyartgallery.nyu.edu/exhibition/inventing-downtown-artist-run-galleries-in-new-york-city-1952-1965/sec/images/



Thursday, February 09, 2017

The Misfits 1961







        The other night I watched “The Misfits”, John Huston’s great sad film with a friend who had never seen it. I’ve seen it many times; the first was a partial viewing in 1960 when I was 14. For some forgotten reason I saw it those many years ago with my brother in law who took me one night to see it at my neighborhood Loew’s.
             Maybe he was waiting to meet my sister at my family’s luncheonette that was a few blocks away from the theatre and was looking to kill some time. I was enthralled watching this strange black and white movie but Michael was uncomfortable and fidgety. “Let’s go,” he finally said. “I can’t take any more of this.”
            I was upset and left unwillingly. It would be years before I would finally see the complete film, probably on a video and I was as enthralled with it as I was when I was thirteen. Destroyed and stomped on by critics and audiences alike it was a big flop when it was first released, but is now considered a classic and a great American film. 
             The story and the cast was not what 1961 audiences were expecting of their superstars. This wasn’t the Marilyn of “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and “Some Like It Hot.”  She was still voluptuous and sweet but she was struggling with her life and her failing marriage to the playwright and author of the screenplay Arthur Miller, and it showed.
           It showed so much on her face that filters had to be used on her close-ups to hide the hard life and its a little disconcerting to see her all soft while Gable in his scenes with her was in sharp hard focus. This was of course their final film and both are superb, method meets old Hollywood in all their open wounds and vulnerability. The third open wound appears in the film as a down on his luck rodeo cowboy, beaten and bruised and played by the real life beaten and bruised Montgomery Clift who by the way is also terrific. Set in Reno and the surrounding desert over a short period of time, the film opens with Monroe with the help of her boarding house landlord played with perfection by Thelma Ritter getting ready for a divorce. Ritter her arm in a sling adores Marilyn and it shows in her performance as she mothers her and calls her “my darling girl”. It is a lovely and real performance and when Ritter leaves the film its as if a wonderful friend has left our house. 
           On the way to the courthouse they get a lift in Eli Wallach’s truck who is an Italian jack of all trades and immediately tries to make Marilyn which gets him no where. Later over drinks they run into Gable an old friend of Wallach’s and the meeting of the two melds and melts into a love affair that spreads itself out in the desert at the unfinished home of Wallach’s that he started to build for his late wife and himself.  
          This is a film about loss and remorse, about lost loves and failed marriages, about death and desire and a country’s changing ways and a west gone forever. The film is symbolic and full of poetry and metaphors autobiographical and movie magazine flash, sensation and gossip. It hurts to watch this film partly because we know what the future holds for these damaged goods and misfits and it’s painful at times to view, we almost want to turn our eyes away from the screen but we can’t, its just too good and with an ending that always reduces me to uncontrollable tears. One of the ten best films of 1961. Best actress, screenplay, supporting actor and supporting actress.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Alec McCowen 1925-2017


Saturday, February 04, 2017

Dore Ashton 1928-2017

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