Monday, November 19, 2018

Collage November 2018

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Pablo Ferro 1935-2018

Friday, November 16, 2018

William Goldman 1931-2018

And the orange pile of shit still walks this earth. give me a fucking break.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

November collage 2018

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Suspiria 2018

spoiler alerts

          A nearly 3 hour somewhat boring mess. Listen if you are a fan of the original 1977 Dario Argento film, you should probably do yourself a favor and skip this dud. The problems with it are as high and long as the Berlin wall that hovers over the film, one of many obvious symbolic touches that the director Luca Guadagnino thought was needed. The story has some similarities to the original and is set in a rain drenched gray and ugly Berlin circa 1977, oh gee that’s the year the original film was released. Another wink wink.
               A young American girl has come to West Berlin to study at a famous dance academy   run by the tall, lanky and scary looking Tilda Swindon who by the way has more than one part which I won’t give away. The student is played by Dakota Johnson and if someone could please explain why this talentless thing is making money and movies I would greatly appreciate it.  Yes I know who her parents are, but still. Dakota with her bright red hair and vacant look appears unannounced and is soon swept up in Swindon’s Madame Blanc’s bony arms as the best thing to come down the dance pike since Martha Graham whose fingerprints are all over the place.
               The all female student body acts strange almost as strange as the frumpy and grumpy all female teaching staff do and I won’t even mention the rampant lesbianism that’s all the rage here. All sorts of weird things start to happen including the dreadful dance routines (the final dance recital is so bad I thought I heard Mark Morris howling down the block from the Bam Rose Theatre where he has his own dance theatre). Guadagnio who made a couple of films that I liked quite a bit, “I Am Love” and “Call Me By Your Name” loads the film up with symbols, hints and color coded mayhem to help us understand what is going on, a good script would have been a better idea.
                There are flashbacks to Dakota’s abusive (so it seems) childhood and mother where she grew up in a unloved Mennonite childhood somewhere in Ohio that make no sense, and all they do is stretch out this unending film. There are also dollops  of political events of the time including the Baeder-Mein Hoff terrorist attacks and hostage killings along with far left protests happening it seems at every moment in these rainy snowy days of winter. He also throws in unwelcomed references to the Holocaust.
            There are a few scares all without much sense and gussied up in the latest digital effects tricks and treats with gore and guts galore and all awash in handsome cinematography. The Argento version was sharper faster and much more fun and really scared me in half the running time.  Argento who when he was good was great had a great feel for making spaces sinister whether they be creepy schools or empty de Chirico  like plazas at night, another talent that Guadagnino is lacking.  Especially important to the peril and threats I felt with the Argento version was because of the much better cast that included the wonderful Jessica Harper who in this version makes a welcomed cameo and as the creepy head of the school and main threats we had Joan Bennett and the great Alida Valli. What they had that these new actors don’t is a sense of mystery, we didn’t really know what they were up to and hey it was Joan Bennett after all who brought years of wonderful performances with her.  In this version we know immediately that these ladies are up to no good. There are some fun moments in this version thanks to some New Wave German vets. Like  Angela Winkler and Ingrid Caven but they are far and few between.  Lets hope that a Broadway musical is not planned. One of the worst films of 2018.       

Monday, November 05, 2018

mixed on paper november 2018

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Wildlife 2018

Treated myself to a movie today at the comfortable but sterile walter reade theatre in Lincoln Center. The movie was Wildlife which is getting a lot of attention and Oscar hype and it does have a trio of terrific performances that anchor the small sad story that is based on a Richard Ford novel. Set in 1960 in Montana, big sky country, it’s a basic story of a mother, father and son trying to get by on very little while holding on to their fami
ly center.
There’s not much to the thing, on the surface at least, father loses job and leaves home for a temporary gig fighting forest fires, while mom and son try to keep the home fires burning. Its not Andy Hardy though and lives change in a moment and a young boy grows up in sorrow and errors.
This is the actor Paul Dano’s first film as director and he brings a sharp eye and delicate touches to this vignette like story. The screenplay was co-written by Dano and his lady love Zoe Kazan and they provide a lean and dramatic armature to hang their movie on.
All three players as I said are terrific and I was especially moved by the young unknown actor (not for long I would imagine) Ed Oxenbould who is a dead ringer for a young Paul Dano and is so moving and real as the 14 year old son on whose shoulders all the disarray falls on, no doubt he has a great future in front of him.
Also top notch in really a supporting role is Jake Gyllenhaal as the conflicted father. Gyllenhaal has consistently chosen small biting roles that push his pretty boy looks to the side, his filmography is impressive, and finally there is the great Carey Mulligan who gives what might be the best performance by an actress this year. She is practically in every scene in this short 104 minute movie and to see her changes as the troubled mother is stunning. Metaphors and symbols cover the film with the most obvious one being the raging forest fire that changes the landscape and the lives of this damaged family. The ending will break your heart. A movie to treasure.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Ana Gonzalez 1925-2018

Maria Irene Fornes 1930-2018

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Ntozake Shange 1948-2018

and once I again i say donald trump still walks this earth unfair.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Collage October 2018

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Terror 2018

I had never heard of this 3 part series until a friend recommended it to me, and now I’m recommending it to you. Based on a real incident  that took place in the late 1840’s when a Royal Naval expedition of two ships (one named The Terror) set out to find a path to the Northwest Passage via the Arctic it was led by three captains Sir John Franklin, Francis Crozier and James Fitzjames and a crew of about 130 men. The 11 hour series although fact based contains a lot of fictional plot including a monster that attacks at random and is basically a beast of huge proportions and prehistoric heredity. This is not the only danger facing the crew and the expedition, cold, lack of food, illness and conspiracies abound along with the basic problems of getting wooden ships through the freezing artic cold and ice. The cast is made up of superb actors a few I knew and had seen before including Jared Harris, Ciaran Hinds and Ian Hart and in a small part the wonderful Greta Scacchi. The production is lavish, rich and beautifully done and is full of beautiful images but also includes vivid, harsh and disturbing acts of violence and gore so this might not be for everyone especially those faint of heart. The accents are thick and sometimes hard to understand but there are subtitles if needed. This is one that should chill you to the bone.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Fausto Melotti. The Deserted City. Hauser & Wirth

fuck shit piss I pulled a muscle in my leg today. Its probably the damn new sneakers and probably because of all the walking I did in Chelsea yesterday taking in too many exhibitions. However this one is worth pulled muscles. I never heard of this artist the late Fausto Melotti, and I tell you I was knocked out by his work which goes from the 50's to the early 80's and is for now the best gallery exhibition of 2018. The exhibition is ravishing and spectacularly installed as only this blue blue chip place can do, but its the work that is the most impressive. The piece that is getting the most attention is the eye opening large "The Seven Sages" which are 7 mannequins made of white plaster who hover over the exhibition. I also loved his imaginative free standing "towers" made of brass and his small painted teracotta glazed ceramics tableaus set in niches throughout the gallery and his small mixed media pieces. Also something great is the large wall full of his glazed ceramic pieces. This great exhibition is only on to October 27th so you better make a move but don't pull any muscles.

Endless Enigma

Endless Enigma. Eight Centuries of Fantastic Art. David Zwirner Gallery.
I usually find the shows here a mixed bag of marvelous and lousy, happily if you stick with this large museum quality show you should find much to like. The exhibition takes up two floors at the 20th street space and its by and large a nice eye full until you get to the "contemporary" stuff that is mostly crap. I'm sorry but Lisa Yuskavage, Robert Gober, Polke and Sherrie Levine pale and fade when placed next to the likes of Leonor Fini, Ernst, Klee, de Chirico, Cornell, Dore, Ensor Masson, Moreau ,Titian, Redon and many others. Happily the here and now, the flavors of the moment are kept to a whisper and its the screams from the past that will and should make you swoon. The contemporary follower of Hieronymus bosch with his own "Garden of Earthy Delights is a standout. On view until October 27th.
Endless Enigma: Eight Centuries of Fantastic Art Press Release Location 537 West 20th Street New York Dates September 12—October 27, 2018 David Zwirner is pleased to present Endless Enigma: Eight Centuries of Fantastic Art, a thematic exhibition spanning two floors of the gallery’s West 20th Str...

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Rape Of Recy Taylor 2017

I had heard of this doc. and was planning on eventually seeing it. So there it was on the shelf of my wonderful Bay Ridge library and I grabbed it. Saw it last night and of course I was moved and upset by it, but I urge everyone to see it, even though it hurts to see it. Its amazing that what we have been going through of late how this sad story fits right in. It's not only about the horror that African Americans have suffered and especially African American women but also what sexual assault victims have been living with. It hits home. The story is painful and if you think justice was served you should know better, since this is the United States of Donald Trump, even back in the 40's and 50's this place was stinking with a stench that is still with us today in the white house, the senate and the supreme court. Rape is such an ugly word and is used in the title no doubt on purpose to hit us in the face. Attacked and raped by 6 white boys Recy had no recourse to justice even though she had the support of the NAACP who had as one of its investigators Rosa Parks who fought valiantly for Recy and also suffered for her attempts at justice. This is a heartbreaking and wrenching story and film.

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Scott Wilson 1942-2018

Thursday, October 04, 2018

October 2018 Notebook drawings.

Suspicion 1941

Suspicion was made one year after Hitchcock’s famous Oscar winning movie Rebecca that was based on a famous romantic thriller novel. Hitchcock trying to repeat his success that he had with Rebecca once again adapted a romantic thriller and dusted off Joan Fontaine for the film that has some similarities with R but is not as thrilling or flashy. Instead it sort of plods along using Joan in another colorless role, benign, drab and meek to be sure, but less a damsel in distress than a distress in damsel. This won Fontaine her Oscar which was given to her no doubt because she lost out to Ginger Rogers (yes Ginger Rogers actually won an Oscar, dribble on that fact for a while) the year before and this was her consolation award.  Joan plays the mousy daughter of Sir Cedric Hardwick and Dame Mae Whitney who is as I said so colorless and bland that she almost fades away.
               The film does open swell on a train one of Hitchcock’s recurring settings and we are literally in the dark for a few seconds because the lights on the roaring train have gone out, and when they come back we meet Cary Grant in his first Hitchcock film. He’s trying to sneak into a first class compartment that Joan is in but he doesn’t have the money and so his character’s flaws are set into motion from the start. Our Cary is suave, gorgeous but somewhat off, like milk starting to sour and we’re immediately a little suspicious of him. Joan of course falls heads over heels with the heel, and to the unhappiness of her father and mother marries him pretty much on a spur of the moment.
                 Hitch gives us a tease of what Grant might be up to in a smashing scene on a hill where Grant and Fontaine early in their relationship are having a tussle. Shot from a distance we don’t know if they’re fighting, is she trying to get away from him, is he just trying to get a kiss from her or is he trying to kill her. There is friction between Grant and his new dad in law but off Grant and Fontaine go on a montage whirlwind honeymoon told through travel stickers on trunks and they come back to live in a glamorous large house in London that we soon find out they can really not afford. Grant is a ladies man and doesn’t work for a living, loves to gamble and Joan starts to get really upset and worried. By this point Joan is distressed and suddenly glamorous  and dressed in great clothes and spends her days doing nothing but is slowly getting suspicious of Grant. Is he thinking about murdering her so he can inherit her money? is he cheating on her? There isn’t much chemistry between Grant and Fontaine so we almost don’t care what he’s planning to do. Grant needed spunky hard-edged actress like Jean Arthur, Rosalind Russell, Ginger Rogers and especially Katharine Hepburn to counter his pretty soft edges with their tough sharp ones.  Hitchcock brings some of his regulars like Leo G. Carroll and Nigel Bruce in the mix and it helps believe me it helps. Also tangy and how the hell did this get by the censors is the very butch Lesbian mystery writer who Fontaine confides in, played by Auriol Lee and there is a tart dinner party where the mystery writer’s lover is dolled up in full men’s drag that will wake you up from your little nap with a snap. And yes there is the famous glass of milk that might be poisoned lit from within but sadly this movie as lush and good-looking as it is is in the end a dud, with a rushed and unconvincing ending that was forced on Hitchcock and untimely us. Still even 2nd rate Hitchcock is fun and worth seeing. 

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

New Oddball Magazine Oct. 2018

Monday, October 01, 2018

Charles Aznavour 1924-2018

Thursday, September 27, 2018

September notebook drawing 2018

Monday, September 24, 2018

September notebook drawing 2018

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Robert Venturi 1925-2018

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Arthur Mitchell 1934-2018

Monday, September 17, 2018

Niveous Magazine

Niveous Magazine has just published 3 of my works on paper. You can view them by clicking on the link and browsing through the issue.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Works on paper September 2018

Friday, September 14, 2018

John Wilcock 1927-2018

Sorry to learn of John's passing. He was probably the first person to recognize my art when he published many of my young collages in his "Other Scenes" underground newspaper. I was barely 20 and it was a great introduction for me into the "glamorous" New York Art world. It began as a contest the winner would get to do the whole newspaper,but at the last minute John changed his mind and I had to share it with a few other artists. He spread the work out over months and I was still pleased. I haven't seen John in decades but remember how pleased he was when we finally met. Thank you John and R.I.P.

Site Meter