Thursday, November 25, 2010

Art For Sale

This here is a link to 93 pieces of my art on paper, painting collages, drawings that I'm offering for sale, at very reasonable prices.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Women In Love & Don't Look Now

 Women In Love and Don’t Look Now.

I watched two films from the 70’s a few nights ago that I liked very much when I first saw them in my 20’s, and I’m pleased to say that they hold up very nicely. The first one was Ken Russell’s wonderful adaptation of the D.H. Lawrence novel “Women In Love” with a screenplay by Larry Kramer, before he became the angry political but worthy AIDS and gay activist provocateur. Set in England during the early 20’s the movie follows the romantic paths of two close sisters Ursula played by Jennie Linden a school teacher and who is the more conservative middle class one, and her passionate sister Gudrun who has ambitions to be an artist. This is of course the film that made a star of Glenda Jackson who also won a very well deserved Oscar for her magnificent performance. The film resonated with us back then ( and for me still does) for several reasons including the strong feminist theme that runs through the film and several set pieces including the outdoor luncheon where Alan Bates rhapsodizes on the wonders of the fig, and the erotic nude wrestling scene between him and the dark and disturbed Oliver Reed. which mirrors the sex scene between Bates and Ursula that precede it. Both actors are wonderful in their acting and their skin. The film is complex with complicated relationships between the four major characters, and Russell takes his sweet time in telling the story. Some might get bored, but not me, I just love this film, and I cannot say enough about the greatness of Jackson, who sadly left films for a career in politics. For those who think of her as boxy, lumpy and homely please see this film where she is is absolutely stunning thanks to a makeover by none other than Vidal Sassoon. Also in the cast is the great Eleanor Bron who was mostly known for her comedic turns on British tv and her role in the Beatles film “Help“. Here she plays the very rich aristocratic and bitchy “artistic” Hermione Roddice who has her hooks out for Bates, but can’t quit reel him in, loosing him to the simple and unpretentious Ursula. I also liked very much Catherine Willmer who plays Reed’s very unbalanced mother, and Vladek Sheybal who plays the intrusive homosexual artist Loerke who plays a pivital role in the final part of the film. The transfer is nice with deep saturated colors and with a somewhat self conscious but beautiful period look in it’s art direction and costumes.

“Don’t Look Now” was released during the Christmas season of 1973 and was the scary movie that we went to when we couldn’t get into The Exorcist. The movie is based on a short story by Daphne Du Maurier, and concerns a beautiful married couple played by the beautiful Julie Christie and the handsome Donald Sutherland who after suffering a terrible tragedy in their lives go off to Venice where Sutherland who is an Art historian and has a job working on the restoration of a church. This is not the Venice of David Lean’s “Summertime” but a dank, cold and dark Winter city full of rats and a crazed killer on the loose. Still hurting badly from the tragedy, Christie takes up with vacationing British sisters one who is blind and a psychic that she meets while dining in a restaurant with Sutherland who is more than cynical when dealing with the two old biddies. The movie is full of dread and darkness, and the director Nicholas Roeg can be accused of too much telegraphing of his plot, but it all works nicely with a more than creepy ending that made audiences scream out loud. I remember waiting in the lobby of the old Sutton Theatre on the eastside of Manhattan waiting for the film to end, and a hearing this convulsive loud scream emanating from the theatre at the films end, and just being able to see the most beautiful and wonderful Julie Christie again is more than enough for me to recommend this film.

Some more new notebook drawings, paintings and collages


Friday, November 19, 2010

I'm In A Ricardo Cortez State Of Mind

Some or even most of you are probably wondering who the fuck Ricardo Cortez is, well I’ll tell you. He was born over 100 years ago with the name of Jacob Kranz and with his brother Stanislaus who would change his name to Stanley and become one of the legendary cinematographers in Hollywood filming such movies as The Magnificent Ambersons and The Night Of The Hunter, the two Jewish brothers made their way to Hollywood, where the handsome Jacob was reborn as Ricardo Cortez to cash in on the Latino lover mania that was sweeping the movies thanks to Rudolph Valentino. Ricardo appeared in many silent films, and made it big with “Torrent” getting billing over Greta Garbo. He was sexy and dangerous on screen, and when sound arrived he did ok, even with his heavy New York accent. I caught up with him the other night when I slipped into my dvd player the 1931 version of “The Maltese Falcon” in which he played Sam Spade, as a horny sexed up ladies man. He sizzled, and my tv gave off smoke when ever he appeared. Made during the anything goes pre-code period, this was a sexier version than the 1941 Huston-Bogart classic, but nowhere as great. But never mind, when Ricardo gave a dame a look you knew what was on his mind, and check out his hot and sexy walk through the prison to visit Bebe Daniels at the end of the film. Unfortunately he never became a big star, (his acting left much to be desired) and he was relegated to B’s and worse appearing in supporting roles in Mr. Moto and Charlie Chan films usually as the villain. After his film career was over he turned to Wall Street where he became a successful broker.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Creative Center

Did an all day workshop at The Creative Center today which is an arts organization for cancer survivors and people dealing with the disease along with other illnesses. It was held at Gilda's Club which is named for the late great comedian Gilda Radner. The women were remarkable people, young and old alike who were full of grace, hope and positive feelings along with some hefty talent. A good day.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mary Boone’s Ceiling

Sometimes I think that there is a great big warehouse somewhere out in Queens that’s full of terrible art and that once a month all the art dealers in Chelsea rent trucks, drive out to Queens and fill the trucks up with all this lousy work. Back in Chelsea they fling the stuff around and fill their big spaces with this crap. That’s what I sometimes think when I make my way through the galleries of Chelsea. I like the galleries that are on the ground floor with big windows so that I can just take a peek and see what’s inside without having to go in. Yuk, yikes and gag., I see more exhibits this way than I like to admit to. But on occasion I actually see some pretty good shows and two exhibits that I liked are now on view in those gargantuan Gagosian spaces. There is a very beautiful retrospective of sorts of Robert Rauschenberg that is as good as anything you might see in a small museum in a small city and I don‘t mean this as a put down. A mixture of combines, assemblages, paintings, and sculptures all colorful inventive and nicely installed. Some might find the work a little too clear and clean, but I’ve always loved his work. Curious and innovative to the very end of his life this is a wonderful show especially if you’ve never seen a large group of his work. The other big show is a monumental jaw dropping exhibition by the world famous German artist Anselm Kiefer. This show is jammed with very large glass vitrines ( I’d like to see the Vogels fit one of these monsters under their bed) that in themselves are pretty amazing. I kept thinking of the immense job it must have been just to just get these things up and who would ever have the room to own one of these works which must weigh a ton. Inside each glass cabinet are large installations using many of Kiefer’s usual themes and images, trees, parts of landscapes, weapons of war, ships, mysterious fragments, relics and ruins. These are exhibits in a nightmarish gallery, or one of my dreams gone bad. They are also cinematic in scale and scope, they look like sets from some big time sci-fi or horror flick, the latest Avant-Garde hot ticket theatrical event, or a shopping mall full of cursed objects. Something has gone terribly wrong and of course I immediately thought of the holocaust, which is a comfortable theme for Kiefer and one which he has used for years. Some might say milked. So we are surrounded by sad bunches of things, of charred and burned books, girl’s white dresses scarred with shards of glass, parts of dead airplanes and more. Kiefer likes to hit us on the head with a big hammer, as if we’re not capable of understanding or feeling horror or sadness. There are also many very large paintings of his around the space that are probably his most familiar works, clumpy grey landscapes heavily covered with paint, leaves and twigs, and did I see teeth hanging on some of the paintings? Kiefer likes big. I don’t see how one cannot be impressed by these epic works, they overwhelm, but they are also chic, cold and comfortable and I can see why some people would be turned off by them. He keeps us at a safe distance and reading some of the reviews for the show I was surprised at the amount of virulence directed at him and his work. The final work that I really liked was Mary Boone’s ceiling. This is Easily the best thing that I’ve seen at her gallery. I guess there was something going on in the gallery, but it looked empty to me, but then again so much of what is shown in these large spaces look empty to me. Maybe more galleries should follow Ms. Boone’s example of emptying their spaces of lousy art and just showing the ceilings, the walls or the staircases.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Trek To the Thek.

As I was saying I went up to the Whitney Museum to see the Paul Thek retrospective and Modern Life: Edward Hopper and His Time both shows are definitely worth seeing but be warned the Hopper show is packing them in. The Thek show was a revelation for me simply because ...I hadn’t really seen much if any of his pieces in person. so everything was new for me. I knew of the meat and body fragments works, mainly through reproductions, and in the early 70’s I showed with a German gallery that also showed Thek so I might have seen a piece or two of his when I was in Germany. Its amazing how spiffy and clean even messy and difficult work becomes when placed in a museum space, and this is certainly true for the Thek show. The installation is very impressive big and spacious and makes Thek’s eccentric sculptures, paintings and bits of what not left over from his lost installation works look terrific and compelling. His small paintings hung low around a gallery with lights hanging over them and small chairs placed here and there have a familiar feel to them, maybe because so many artists are painting like this today, small quirky canvases busy with images and color. I also liked his small bronze sculptures of things that are laid out on a oriental carpet. The guards were biting and were all over me for trying to snap a few pictures, so I could only take one or two shots when they weren‘t looking . The galleries were pretty much empty which was fine with me, all the crowds were downstairs at the lovely Eddie Hopper show. It’s always wonderful to see his lonely paintings that is if you could see them over the heads of all the groups, straggling old ladies with their headphones glued to their ears, telling them what they are looking at, and what to think of them and the annoying children. This is a cheap show for the museum to put on since all of the works from what I could tell is from their collection. Its not only a show of Hoppers but also a show of his contemporaries including beautiful work by John Sloan, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Paul Strand, Charles Demuth, Guy Pène du Bois, Charles Sheeler, Charles Burchfield, Ben Shahn, Reginald Marsh and some others.


Sunday, November 07, 2010

Born To Kill. 1947

Made in 1947 by Robert Wise before he got all epic gooey and sweet, this is a B noir that is almost an A. It tidders on the edge of being a really terrific film because of the lack of energy in the second part of the film. But the first half it is pretty slinky and low down. And how could it not be otherwise with Lawrence Tierney in the lead playing his usual sexy psychopath. The film opens in Reno where deep dish dame Claire Trevor is getting a divorcee and staying in the rundown boarding house run by the great Esther Howard, (more about her later). Also laying about is the equally wonderful Isabel Jewell wounded character actress par excellence. The pot is stirring and soon there is a double homicide which sets the rest of the movie in motion. Trevor who accidentally comes across the bodies of this double murder decides to do nothing except get her ass out of Reno asap and get back home to San Francisco, which she does and is soon picked up by Tierney at the Railroad station. They’re both on the make, you can see it in their eyes and body language, and soon enough after some mid forties sexual banter in the late Art Deco lounge car of the train, Tierney pays Claire an unannounced visit. Poor but living in San Francisco in high style thanks to her rich single pretty foster sister played by Audrey Long. Claire has her legs around the dull but very rich Philip Terry who she is engaged to marry, even though she doesn’t love him. Claire’s knees start getting wobbly and drooly just looking at Tierney, and soon Tierney is making woo woo eyes at her sister Audrey, and before you know it they are at the alter as a jealous Claire looks on. Tierney is bad and Claire knows this, but this doesn’t stop her from having an implied sex a thon with him even though he’s married to her sister. Claire is also very bad. There are lots of complications including an investigation into the two murders by cheap detective Walter Slezak hired by the blowsy friend of one of the victims played by Esther Howard who is superb. A favorite of Preston Sturges, Howard usually played down on their luck dames or zany characters. Here she is both and really delivers the goods especially in the scene where she is lured to a secluded beach. Also lurking about is the always wonderful Elisha Cook Jr. as a very close and dangerous friend of Tierney’s whose feelings for him might be construed as more than just friends. Check out the scene of them lying together on a bed. Dark and jabbing, this film must have been outrageous and shocking to audiences at the time, and it still has the power to shock. Based on the novel “Deadlier Than The Male by James Gunn and with perfect Noir cinematography by Robert De Grasse who photographed a wide range of films including some Astaire and Rogers musicals and several Val Lewton movies.


 This is the link to my sculptures from 1969 to the present. It is of course not everything I ever made but think its a good representation.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Jill Clayburgh 1944-2010

One of my favorite actresses has passed.

Paintings on Paper from the 70's, 80's & 90's Recently photographed

Site Meter