Thursday, August 30, 2012

Jan Sawka 1946-2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Some Recent Photographs New York City

Late August 2012 notebook drawing. Paint and collage on notebook paper

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Guerilla Pamphlets

Guerilla Pamphlets has just posted one of my recent notebook drawings. You can view it at this link at pg. 11.

Late August 2012 Notebook drawing. Paint and Collage On Notebook Paper

Caprice 1967

An embarrassment.  Made towards the end of the tidal wave of James Bond spin offs and spy spoofs that filled international movie screens from the mid and late sixties, this unbelievable mess has Doris Day playing an industrial designer and spy for a cosmetics firm who is trying to get the secret ingredients for a spray that keeps hair dry even after a swim or a rainstorm from a rival cosmetics firm.  She’s pitted against another cosmetics spy played by Richard Harris who looks uncomfortable in this role and because of this comes off as very unappealing.  Day does no better. She started off the decade doing likeable and very profitable light romantic comedies, with a musical here and a femme jep thriller there that included “Please Don’t Eat The Daisies”, “Midnight Lace”, “Lover Come Back”, “Jumbo”, “That Touch Of Mink” and “The Thrill Of It All. ” All of them by the way played at Radio City Music Hall, and as I said were big popular successes.  But by 1964 she was allowing her rascal producer husband Martin Melcher to have more control over her career (he also made her turn down South Pacific because he thought they didn’t offer her enough money) and he was  picking more and more silly projects for her to do and her career took a nose dive. In 1967 she chose to do Caprice while turning down the role of Mrs. Robinson in “The Graduate” and one could only imagine what she would have been like in the role. At 43 Day was too old for her role in Caprice and was still being referred to as “girl” in the film.  Creepy to say the least. Wearing unattractive wigs, and ghastly mod looking clothes by the awful designer Ray Aghayan she comes off looking bored unattractive and not very funny in the many slapstick frantic routines that run amok in the film. Directed by Frank Tashlin with a heavy hand, the film also has a terrible score, and is somewhat homophobic having the villain turn out to be a transvestite which was a sometimes common touch in thrillers back in the 60’s and early 70’s.  I should say that as a kid I was a huge fan of hers, and saw everything she did, including all of the above mentioned films, but by the late sixties I lost interest in her. It wasn’t hip or cool to like her, and she was seen as an anti-feminist Republican conservative  by the baby boomers and she defiantly was not part of the Woodstock Nation, so I turned her off and turned on to the counter culture and the New Wave of American films that was beginning to come of age, just like me. Things started to change in the 70’s when the serious film magazine out of Canada Take One, devoted a large portion of one issue to reevaluating her, and the writer A. E. Hotchner published his serious book on her “Doris Day Her Own Story” and soon other writers and critics such as John Updike and Molly Haskell began to sing her praises and take note of her importance in film and music. For a time she found success on TV where she did the Doris Day show from 1968 to 1973, but as I said these were the years that I turned her off and I never saw one episode of the series.  Now at the age of 88 she is once again having a revival of sorts and I can only be pleased by this.   

Friday, August 24, 2012

Ecce Homo

"An elderly Spanish lady in her 80s decided to give a 19th-century Spanish fresco a facelift by attempting to restore it - but failed. Without prior authorization, Cecilia Gimenez took a paintbrush to the "Ecce Homo" ("Behold the Man") masterpiece by Elias Garcia Martinez which had been residing in the Sanctuary of Mercy Church of Borja near Zaragoza for more than a century in an attempt to restore it to its former glory."

I love what she did, Larry Gagosian should give her a show. When I saw this on the news tonight I laughed so hard, that I nearly choked on my seltzer. She has a bright future in the new york art world, hey maybe theres a spot for her in the next Whitney Biannual and I would love to have her in my art class for seniors. This made my week, maybe my month.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Teenage Drawing

This was done by me when I was 19 years old, and was inspired by my seeing Off Broaway "The Deer Park" by Norman Mailer. Its magic marker on board.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Mid August 2012 Collage. Paint, ink and collage on paper

Words and Music. 1948

This is another one of those bio musicals made in Bizarro World, better known as Hollywood USA. This one is from the Freed unit at M.G.M. and is supposedly about the wonderful song writing team of Rodgers and Hart and that is where the factual begins and ends in this “fantasy" film.  Rodgers who was straight is played by the gay actor Tom Drake, and Larry Hart who was gay is played by straight actor Mickey Rooney. Yes I know in 1948 homosexuality could not be presented on the silver screen so instead Mickey-Larry is shown as being tortured mentally by his lack of height and female companionship and especially the rejection of his affections by Betty Garrett. The film takes place in the 20’s but it’s strictly 1948 in terms of fashion and décor, but that was the usual approach by Hollywood when dealing with recent time periods in the 40’s and 50’s. Ok fine especially since those late 40’s clothes are wonderful in beautiful pop out at you Technicolor. One of the oddest moments (among many) comes when Tom Drake goes to movies to see Garbo’s  Camille and I thought ok its now 1936 but instead the filmmakers make it seem that he’s watching a silent film complete with orchestra accompaniment  and with no dialogue issuing forth from the mouths of Garbo and Robert Taylor. Odd to say the least and why didn’t they just show a clip from a real silent film? The movie of course is full of Rodgers and Harts wonderful songs performed by an array of M.G.M. stars and co-stars including Perry Como, Ann Sothern, Mel Torme, June Allyson, Judy Garland (looking thin and depleted) and a ravishing Lena Horne. To watch her sing “The Lady Is a Tramp” and “Where or When” in Technicolor is indeed one of the great joys of late 1940’s musicals. Some of the others don’t fare so well, and we would have to wait a few years for the likes of Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald to really do justice to these great songs. One of the best things in the film is the “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue” dance number with a very sexy Gene Kelly in a tight lavender tee shirt dancing with Vera Ellen. This is an important moment in film musicals because it is the first time as far as I know that a gangster pulp fiction like theme was used as a backdrop for a dance routine and points the way to the future use of this kind of theme in complicated dance numbers in musicals like Singin In The Rain and The Band Wagon and can also be seen as a precursor for the beautiful ballet at the end of An American In Paris. Also in the cast is a young Janet Leigh and Cyd Charisee.  The pedestrian like direction is by Norman Taurog a Hollywood veteran who began his career in 1920 and actually won a best director Oscar in 1931 for directing Skippy a now forgotten Jackie Cooper movie.  He later went on to direct a wide range of movies at M.G.M. and later became the director of choice of all those dreadful Elvis Presley movies.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The election

Three Paintings recently photographed from the late 70's and early 90's

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Carlo Rambaldi 1925-2012

Carlo Rambaldi, a special-effects virtuoso who won two Academy Awards for his work on Steven Spielberg’s “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” and Ridley Scott’s “Alien” and a special achievement award from the Motion Picture Academy for John Guillermin’s 1976 remake of “King Kong,” died Friday in southern Italy. He was 86.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Quay Brothers: On Deciphering the Pharmacist's Prescription for Lip-Reading Puppets. The Museum Of Modern Art. From now until Jan. 2013.

Went up to the Moma on Wednesday to view the Quay Brothers retrospective and I found it pretty charming if not always compelling. I suppose the attention must be paid factor would depend on ones interest in animation and Eastern European animation at that. Although the twin brothers are American having been born in Penn. in 1947 they have lived mainly in Europe. The boys were influenced by Polish surrealism and animation and those bold and strange Polish film posters of the 1960's and 70's that I also love. The tightly installed exhibition is in a small space and is filled with many screens showing their charming and very odd animated films along with examples of the work that influenced them. There are lots of examples of their graphic work including book covers which sort of fade into the air and memory, but the intricate dioramas that they use in their films are beautiful if somewhat precious and coying. I once again took advantage of my artist pass which allowed me to see the show during the members preview and I urge artists to take advantage of this pass which is $50.00 a year, and a better bargain is not to be found in all of Manhattan. I've already gotten my money's worth many times over since I'm there all the time. I practically had the show to myself and could leisurely look at the exhibit without those annoying hoards of tourists with their busy little cameras, snapping away at the art, instead of looking at the art. Me I like taking pictures of them taking pictures and I sometimes go out of my way to walk in front of them as they click click on their smart (who says) phones and cameras all the while tweeting away like annoying flies circling around my head. True I do take snaps of the hubba hubba men when I can, sometimes its difficult to catch them unaware and sometimes the hubba hubba guys know that I'm snapping them and pose for me, without posing if you know what I mean. I can only take this place for short periods of time, because it sometimes feels like I'm in a large mental hospital with the inmates running wild or a large airline terminal where all the flights have been delayed or canceled permanently. This place is sterile and vapid but the collection when you can actually see it is great, except of course for the trendy up to the moment Chelsea looking Contemporary Galleries: 1980–Now which is full of some really dreadful shit.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Notebook drawing August 2012. Paint, ink and collage on notebook paper.

Monday, August 06, 2012

From Conceptualism To Feminism

Just got this in the mail, a book documenting Lucy Lippard's Numbers Shows 1969-1974. I was included in the Buenos Aires one 2,972,453 in 1970. The catalogs consisted of index cards along with the installations. The top photo is the installation of pages from my monograph on Radio City Music Hall. This monograph got me into the Moma's Information show, and also Joseph Cornell loved it so much he sent me a collage and a handwritten letter in thanks.I don't have it any longer I sold it. The bottom photo is an installation of photographs of my floor pieces from 1969. Even though it was a "conceptual art' show I was determined to get my sculptures in it.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Three Teenage Photographs

Early August Notebook Drawing II. Paint and collage on notebook paper

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Early August 2012 Notebook Drawing. Paint, Collage and wax on notebook paper.

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