Thursday, September 21, 2017

Switched On Gutenberg

Nice. Switched on gutenberg just posted their latest issue with 5 of my sculptures which is unusual, usually my 2-D work is what's published. Click on the link then under art you will find me.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Jake LaMotta 1922-2017

Sing out Louise or Every Little Breeze Seems to Whisper Louise or My God what a great exhibition I just saw.

Today I took in and took advantage of the member’s preview of the superb and extraordinary exhibition "Louise Bourgeois: An unfolding portrait." The beautifully installed show features over 200 works mostly from the Moma’s collection but there are also some loans here and there. It starts in the God awful atrium the space we love to hate and continues on the 3rd floor where it is intimate in its approach and installation.
The exhibition consists mostly of Louise’s prints and books but also includes some drawings, paintings and sculptures my favorites being her early wood totem like pieces that are nicely represented here.
But the bulk of the show is made up of her remarkable prints and etchings very large to small including her prints on fabrics that are so beautiful and luscious, I thought I would pee my pants from the sheer beauty of them, and how much I would have loved to look through and handle her fabric books.
Her career was long and sometimes magical but by and large she was ignored for a very long time, please see my remembrance at the bottom of the post for more on this, but she persisted through thin and thick and her long and creative life should be not only a blessing for us, but also a lesson as well.
All her themes are represented including her long long look at bodies in all their beauty and horror as well as works touching on nature, abstraction and architecture which also touch on autobiography. This is a great show and one of my favorite art experiences of 2017. It also puts to shame much of the crap that is being shown in the galleries of Chelsea and elsewhere and being praised in the pages of The New York Times and other houses of ill repute that make me want to puke. The link I’m including is for the website that has 100’s of her works from the Moma’s archive. Oh and a note to the Moma weary. Construction is moving fast here now, I think they are building another borough or a small city inside their gates and on top of the usual chaos of this deep dish shit hole be prepared for even more than the usual annoyances. I’m just saying.

A remembrance of Louise,originally published a few years back on my blog along with a cameo by another famous woman artist.

“Bourgeois as many people know is 96 and has been making art forever or maybe it just seems that way. In the early 1970’s she could be seen everywhere, at gallery openings, at art world parties in the streets and galleries of Soho, and nobody gave a shit about her or her work, not critics, other artists or dealers. Embraced by the feminists and their critics but ignored by everyone else she plugged away. Her invisibility changed when the Museum of Modern Art gave her a retrospective in 1982, which came as a great surprise to some, and suddenly she was a hot art world commodity. Go figure, but good for her anyway. I’m all for the recognition of neglected artists, especially since I might be one of them myself. In the early 70’s I was at a small dinner party given by two art world friends and Louise was one of the guests. Also at the dinner was Alice Neel who was the complete opposite of Louise. I don’t recall Louise saying much at dinner that night. She was quiet and small, demure and somewhat shy I thought, but next to Neel, anyone would seem quiet and demure. Alice started yakking the minute she wobbled in and didn’t stop talking, mainly about herself the whole night. At one point she turned to me and asked who I was. When I told her that I was an artist, she turned away from me, and went on talking about herself. Louise of course knew my work as I was showing my art and myself quite a lot in the early and mid 70’s. I liked Louise and wish that I had gotten to know her better when I had the chance.”

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Train To Busan 2016

If you like zombie movies then this Korean thrill fest might do it for you. This one is set on a speeding train (and that train sure does speed) with a mysterious chemical accident happening in the country, that causes people to bite each other turning them into flesh eating zombies.
There is of course no rhyme or reason to all of this, but one would be hard put not to think of the tensions and scary stuff happening on the Korean peninsula right now. The thin plot centers on an attractive hard working fund manager played by Gong Yoo who is separated from his wife and is having relationship issues with his young daughter, (for her birthday he gives her some high tech toy that he already gifted her with) and to make it up to her, agrees to take a day off from his busy schedule to take her to Busan to spend time with her mother taking her aboard the high tech bullet train.
Most of the film takes place on the speeding train with a large cast of stereotypical characters that we have been seeing in these kind of films for ever, the tough working class but kind hearted husband and his pregnant wife, two sweet spinster sisters, a brave homeless man, the nasty CEO, the teenage baseball team and on and on. The director Yeon Sang-ho knows how to direct action and gives us some great crowded scenes of chaos and horror, along with several terrific fast paced scenes that really pull you in and shake you up with all those charging zombies. Also of note is the spiffy cinematography all glossy and smooth by Lee Hyung-deok. The film goes on for a little too long and might wear out its welcome for some, but for die hard zombie apocalyptic lovers this one should do the trick.

Monday, September 18, 2017

large work on paper september 2017

Friday, September 15, 2017

Harry Dean Stanton 1926-2017

weak and overrated Kara Walker

Weak and overrated still. I'm sorry but I saw this show today and was as I always am with her stuff underwhelmed. And I could care less what Roberta and Jerry think or all those gee whizz ain't she just swell fools who were gawking and swooning over these weak inconsequential pieces of crap. Lady learn to draw and stop coasting on your inflated reputation. These drawings are not important, oh sure they're big, so in the eyes of many that makes them special and worthy. Give her another McArthur and a couple guggenheim grants, I'm sure she can use the money. Compare these pieces of shit to really great drawings and you will see how pathetic they are. I am sick of the hype, sick of mediocrity sick of the New York fucking art world. Empty art fills my soul with grief.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


A new Oddball. View the poem and my art at this link.

Peter Hall 1930-2017

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

edie windsor 1929-2017

The jewel in the crown 1984

A rare treat for those who love long leisurely mini series. This extraordinary 14 hour film was first shown on pbs in 1984 and has now been lovely restored and it shines and glows all over the place. It was originally filmed on 16mm with lots of grain that has now been botoxed and is lovely to look at.
Also it is in its original ratio of 4:3 which is how all you big screen t.v. owners should watch it, not all stretched out like Kellyanne Conway’s face. I treated myself to a copy of this dvd with the help of a gift card from a friend and a year later finally gave myself the time to watch it, the first time since I first saw it so many years ago. It took me a week to see all the episodes.
This series set the standard for everything that came after and I can say that I was once again bowled over by it. It opens fast introducing us to two of the characters that will generate the story forward, Ronald Merrick played with great force by the recently deceased Tim Pigott Smith and Hari Kumar played by Art Malik who is also superb.
The film is set in India in the early 40’s during World War II and the last years of British rule and concludes in 1947 when India finally gains it’s independence. The events are mainly seen through the eyes and experiences of one family the Layton’s who is headed by the cold, nasty and alcoholic mother played by the great Judy Parfitt whose husband is in a German prisoner of war camp and her two daughters, the flighty Susan and the more down to earth and liberal Sarah played equally well by Wendy Morgan and Geraldine James.
The other great performance is by Dame Peggy Ashcroft who it might be said was having her Indian year winning the Oscar for her supporting role in “A Passage To India” and here she gives a great heartbreaking performance, that is complex and layered. The series is jam packed with great performances and the large cast includes Eric Porter, Rachel Kempson, Rosemary Leach, Charles Dance and many others. The film is based on the Raj Quartet novels by Paul Scott who died before he could see this vast and wonderful film that was made from his books. There are many many scenes of breathtaking richness and beauty, the scene where Geraldine James and Charles Dance walk through an abandoned mansion the furniture covered in white sheets without speaking is one of the most memorable scenes I think I've ever seen, it's that good. There is lots of intensity in love and war and the depictions of violence are there but this being 1984 they’re turned out in careful consideration of what was acceptable back then. Put this one Mary on your must see list.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

novella nelson 1938-2017

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Maude Boltz 1939-2017

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Alonso Guillen 1986-2017

Monday, September 04, 2017

John Ashbury 1927-2017

Sorry to learn of John's passing. I knew him in the early 70's when he was very visible in the new york art world and was involved with my art dealer. He came to my studio, we had several dinners he was charming and funny. His nickname for me was Ira Jewel Haber. He loved my art, and wanted to buy a piece but it never happened.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

notebook drawing september 2017

notebook drawing september 2017

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Summer 2017

Monday, August 28, 2017

Midnight Lace 1960

                  Poor rich Mrs. Kit Preston. Walking home one night through a pea soup fog in London town, she finds herself all alone in Grosvenor Square near the statue of Franklin Roosevelt when a voice calls out to her. The voice is not attached to anyone; instead it floats in and out of the fog telling her she will be murdered.
                  The voice is creepy for sure, high pitched and sing song, and Mrs. Preston is of course distressed by this and starts to run home. Thus begins the “femme Jep” thriller Midnight Lace starring Doris Day as the femme in jeopardy.
                Released in 1960 but really it’s still a 50’s movie. The film was first seen by me, an avid Doris Day fan at the age of 13 at a first showing on a crisp fall morning at Radio City Music Hall. Me and a few friends had taken the subway from Brooklyn and bought our fifty cent tickets at the subterranean ticket booth located in the Rockefeller Center subway station, a Convenient and considerate long ago and far away nicety of a long lost city.
                The film didn’t bowl us 13 year olds over, most likely because it was so simple and obvious even to us kids, and upon seeing it again the other week in its newly released dvd after 57 years I still pretty much feel the same about it that I did that fall morning in 1960.
                   Oh its still fun, if for nothing else than the high end clothes designed by Irene that Doris wears, it seems like she dons a new one every 20 seconds. There are some gems scattered among the cast. Most welcomed are Myrna Loy still charming and lovely, a breath of fresh 1930’s air as Day’s wise cracking rich aunt come to visit and winds up giving her support and comfort in her terrible ordeal of being threatened by this maniacal detached voice that comes and goes like the London fog.
              Who is he and why is he after her? Her new husband played by Rex Harrison is a ceo of some kind of a company, and he takes up his wife’s peril with Scotland Yard and Inspector Byrnes who is played with comfort and regularity by the terrific John Williams who made a career of playing this type of role.
                         Doubts about her sanity are tossed about and there are enough red herrings thrown around to cause one to slip and fall. Also around is John Gavin who might be the most beautiful actor ever to appear in films as a construction site foreman who is always at the right place when Doris needs rescuing.  John doesn’t bother with a British accent and is as wooden as ever but who needs acting when you look like him and besides 1960 was a good year for him with him also showing up in  “Psycho” and “Spartacus” to show off his gorgeousness.
                   Directed by David Miller who made the much better femme Jep thriller “Sudden Fear” and the cult modern day western “Lonely Are The Brave.”  We of course stayed on to see the elaborate stage show “Brazil” which had the smell of coffee coming through the Music Hall’s vents as the Rockettes kicked. Afterwards we went to the Horn and Hardart on the corner with our nickels for a lunch of baked beans and macaroni and cheese.
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