Thursday, September 29, 2011

Richard Serra

Took in the Richard Serra show at the Gagosian gallery the other day, and it was extraordinary. It consists of two very large weatherproof steel sculptures that fill the space like mazes. The fact that you can walk "through" them also adds to the experience of experiencing them and adds a touch of anxiety.  I was overwhelmed by the scale of course but also by the texture and the color of the work. The steel was so soft and smooth that I thought it was wood but of course that is not his medium. A brilliant show of force by one of our best sculptors.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The end of September Notebook Page. Collage, ink and paint on notebook paper

Monday, September 26, 2011

another late september notebook page. collage, ink on notebook paper

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sale Books priced form $5.00-$10.00

This is my sale list of books featuring nearly 200 items priced from $5.00-$10.00 none higher. New items added daily.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mid September 2011 notebook drawing. Paint and collage on notebook paper


One of the things that I like best about some of Andy Warhol’s work is that it’s like looking through one of those large fashion celebrity magazines.  You can take it all in quickly, and then move on to more important things. It passes the time. The recent show of Warhol at the Gagosian Gallery is totally taken up with his “Liz” portraits and are  pretty and vapid at the same time. This may have to do with the subject of these portraits, I would much prefer a gallery full of his Marilyn’s or the soup cans, but the show did make me smile and the back room gallery with lots of Liz’s is the best part of the exhibit. The other pop show now up is at the Paula Cooper Gallery and is a dull exhibition  of Roy Lichenstein’s paintings of architectural moldings which he called the Entablatures Series. He did these between 1971 and 1976 and these are pop without the pop, they just poop. Lichentstein always worked best when he was lifting images from the comics and other obscure popular imagery and was not so successful when making up his own images, like these borders which are minimal and for me devoid of any visual excitement.  They are big. Or to quote Barbara Rose from the press release:
 “the mechanical reformulation of the romantic tradition of landscape and seascape, an anti-naturalism as appropriately satirical of our technological environment as the anti-humanism of the cartoon style was of the traditional heroic subjects of love and war. ”  No wonder I can’t stand most art criticism.

Monday, September 19, 2011

African American Material For Sale

 I'm going to try to post all my catalogs from cinemage books. The first one is for African American books and other items.

Two paintings from the early 80's and one from 1990 recently photographed

Some Recent Photographs

Friday, September 16, 2011

Mid September 2011 notebook drawing. Paint and collage on notebook paper

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Richard Hamilton 1922-2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

September notebook drawing. Ink, paint and collage on notebook paper

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cliff Robertson 1923-2011

Friday, September 09, 2011

Mastodon Dentist

 I just got this very nice copy of Mastodon Dentist that was originally done in 2007 on line and is now available as a copy for only $5.00. The entire issue is illustrated with my drawings (about 14) that I did when I was a teenager. The front cover is a portrait of an old friend done when I was about 25.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

The Fallen Idol 1948

Made a couple of years before his masterpiece “The Third Man”, Carol Reed's “The Fallen Idol” for most of its running time is a beguiling fairy tale of childhood magic and angst. The film covers a few days in the life of the privileged nine year old Phillipe who is the son of a foreign ambassador based in London. He’s a lonely child, spending most of his time by himself in the huge Embassy while his father is either busy or away. His mother who is never seen has been away for months being treated for an untold illness, and Phillipe's only two friends are his small pet garden snake McGregor and his beloved Baines the majestic butler played by the great Ralph Richardson. There is terror and danger in the young boy’s life mostly caused by the housekeeper and wife Of Baines who is straight out of a Grimm fairytale. Mrs. Baine played with rich nasty gusto by Sonia Dresdel is always on her husband or Phillipe's case running the beautiful embassy like a Nazi storm trooper. The story hinges on an affair that Richardson is having with the light, lovely and beautiful Julie a secretary at the embassy played by the very beautiful and appealing Michèle Morgan. One day Phile (that is what he is called) sees the couple in a tea shop having a romantic rendezvous and soon the deception and deceit is upon them and even though we know no good can come from this, we still hold out hope that our fairy tale will have a happy ending, (it actually does). Phile adores Baines and Baines adores Julie and they all hate Mrs. Baines, who of course finds out about the affair. There are two superb sequences in the film that I love, one is a beautiful nighttime game of hide and seek, played after a day at the zoo among the white sheet covered furniture in the temporary closed embassy that Phile, Baines and Julie play while the dreaded wife is supposedly away for a few days taking care of a sick relative. This game of our childhood is scary and threatening anyway and in this sequence we hold our breath because we know the evil that lurks. The other great sequence which follows the hide and seek scene is a brilliantly filmed nighttime escape by Phile in his pajamas and bare feet through the glistering cold London night. Reed shoots the sequence like a nightmare (and indeed that's what it feels like) as the young boy is finally rescued by a policeman and brought to the station where he is befriended by the local kind prostitute who seems to spend a lot of time there. This is the only comical and very British scene in the film. The cast of course is great, and special mention should be made of Bobby Henrey the young unprofessional child who plays the pivotal role of Phile, who is both charming and annoying and who by all accounts drove the director crazy during the filming. Filling out the cast is a bevy of wonderful British actors, Jack Hawkins Denis O Dea, Torin Thatcher and Bernard Lee as members of the police force who arrive late in the film. My only problem with this marvelous film is that it ends too abruptly and seems a little rushed. The screenplay which is tight and minimal is by Graham Greene who based it on his short story. With beautiful cinematography by the great Georges Périnal. Also of note is the elaborate embassy set designed by Vincent Korda.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Notebook drawing September 2011. Paint, ink and collage on notebook paper

Monday, September 05, 2011

Gods And Monsters. 1998

Just finished watching “Gods and Monsters” Bill Condon’s elegant and very moving mixture of fact and fiction dealing with the last days of the important filmmaker James Whale. I haven’t seen it in some time but was drawn to it again mainly because there was some controversy on a facebook post about it being demeaning and hurtful to gay people, and that the film was full of lies. Well this is of course total rubbish. At no point was I offended by the “gayness” of the story or put off  because of the mixing of fact and fiction in telling this tale of Whale.  The film  directed and written by Condon is based on the novel Father Of Frankenstein by Christopher Bram. It was not based on a biography or a academic study of the director, and no one connected with the film ever said it was. Whale who is most known for his four “horror” films Frankenstein, The Bride Of Frankenstein, The Invisible Man and The Old Dark House, was gay, and was quite open about it, and lived for years with the producer David Lewis, a brave and not easy thing to do in 1930’s homophobic Hollywood. The movie covers a few days in the last year of Whale’s life and introduces several characters that did not really exist, the most important one being Clayton Boone played with delicious beauty and vulnerability by Brendan Fraser who plays Whale’s gardener. Whale is played to perfection by Ian McKellen in his Oscar nominated performance but who lost the award to the ludicrous performance  of  Roberto Benigni in the dreadful and offensive Life Is Beautiful. Also wonderful is Lynn Redgrave as his dedicated but judgmental Hungarian Housekeeper Hanna. The film is dark and sad, but has moments of outrageous humor (the garden party for Princess Margaret that George Cukor throws is especially amusing), and for a low budget film looks and feels expensive.  Oscar winner for Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published.

September Collage 2011

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Slightly Scarlet 1956

I’m still scratching my head over this one. Made in 1956 and directed by the veteran director Allan Dwan who began his career in 1911 and was 71 when he directed this nourish B movie. Based on a novel by James M. Cain the novelty of the film is that it was filmed in Superscope  and in garish Technicolor by a master of black and white cinematography John Alton who was known for his moody and atmospheric work on many noir’s and B’s This is basically a silly little movie about two sisters who have red hair. One played by Rhonda Fleming is a secretary for a businessman who has political ambitions and heavy breathing for Rhoda. The 2nd red head is played by Arlene Dahl who when  the film opens is being released from prison for shoplifting. She’s met  by Rhonda and the sibling rivalry and trouble begins the minute Rhonda opens the door of her fabulous car for her sister to climb in.  Her home which is also fabulous and big enough to house an army (don’t ask how a secretary could afford this abode, oh wait she’s being kept by her businessman boss) is run by her housekeeper played by the wonderful Ellen Corby who dishes out happy advice and delicious crab salads. You would think that in a house this big Arlene could have a room of her own, but strangely the girls share a bedroom, maybe it’s a call out to their poor childhood. The color scheme of the film is unique and is really the big selling point of the film for me. Saturated with pastel colors and full of shadows and pools of darkness, one could get lost in the visual splendors of the interiors and the clothes worn by the two ladies. Its mix and match time with the gals flaming red hair set against dresses of green, and lavender, white and black and blue. This is Googie Architecture and design carried to extreme, and I wish the simple and familiar plot was better. What we have here is another one of those films that take place in a small town (this one on the coast of California) run by a corrupt political machine this time led by the very good bad heavy Ted de Corsia who also lives in a lavish house full of stuff. John Payne looking puffy and tired works for him, but is not above trading secrets and double crosses if the pay is right. Payne also falls big for Rhonda, which is a confusing plot hole for me, as one minute they hardly acknowledge each other and the next minute they’re snuggly and huggy all over the place. What gives? Both Fleming and Dahl give monumental performances of ineptness, two drop outs from the Dorothy Malone School of acting with your eyes who never finished the coarse. The ending is as bizarre as everything that went before it, so I would say that if you’ve seen at least 450 of the 500 greatest films ever made, you might out of curiosity give this one a look. 

Friday, September 02, 2011

Lily Literary Review

Lily Literary Review has just published their latest on line issue and have used two of my photographs.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Painting on paper from 1982 recently photographed

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