Sunday, September 30, 2012

Late September 2012 Notebook Drawing. Ink, Paint, Wax and Collage on notebook paper

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Eclipse 2009

This is a good little ghost story with a nice literary sub plot thrown in for good measure. Set in a small beautiful coastal town in Ireland during a literary festival where Ciaran Hinds lives and works as a woodworking teacher. He also loves literature and has a secret passion to become a writer himself, and does volunteer work for the festival every year which usually includes driving the visiting authors around the town. His wife has just died from Cancer a few months earlier and he is alone now with his two pre-teen children. Into the mix comes two authors the well know and insufferable  Nicholas Holden played with believable nastiness by Aidan Quinn and Iben Hjejle An attractive  Danish actress who is new to me who plays an author of supernatural books. There is a messy tangled old story involving the married Quinn with Hjejle who appears to have had a one night stand a few years back. Quinn wants to get back into her life, but she doesn’t want to have anything to do with him, and who can blame her.  Ciaran who passes the time being spooked by spooks and driving Ms Hjejle around the picturesque Irish landscape start to bond with her as they open up with each other, and this drives the jealous Quinn up the wall, and finally one night there is a rather nasty confrontation between the three of them. That’s the romantic side of the film, and it paces itself nicely jogging along side by side with the ghost story which by the way gave me a few jolts and isn’t this what a good ghost story should do. I had never heard of the film, until it came up as a recommendation on Netflix and I’m glad I took their word for it. Directed and co written by the well known Irish playwright Conor McPherson the performances are all very good. Hinds has long been a favorite actor of mine, scraggly and built like a piece of granite rock and looking like a cross between a Saul Steinberg and H..C. Westermann  drawing he won the best actor award at the Tribeca Film Fesival for his performance. The movie itself is short but not so sweet running about 90 minutes.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Some recent photographs New York City

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Master 2012

Just back from seeing this complicated mess, and I have to say I did not care for it. Actually I kind of hated it. I found it pretentious, overlong, and dull in many places but yes it does have touches of wonderful images and scenes. Paul Thomas Anderson knows how to make a movie, but I didn't find it all that compelling and it is a long film that tends to repeat itself over and over like a too spicy dinner at a Szechuan Restaurant that comes back to haunt you. The performances are good Joaquin Phoenix is disturbed, disturbing and scary and its hard to tell how much of his performance is acting, also Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Lancaster Dodd the master of the movie, the stand in for L. Ron Hubbard is also fine and so is Amy Adams. The film looks good and expensive and to its credit it did make me nervous, uncomfortable and anxious but I feel that way every time I get on the subway. The film does have its supporters including A.O. Scott who practically had an orgasm over it, and Kent Jones who in the most recent Film Comment offers a sensible defense of it, but I think it will also have many detractors and I don't see it being embraced, (in spite of the awards it won in Venice) at the Oscars. Its too nasty and scary and way too difficult to appeal to the middle brow voters who make up the Oscars.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

September 2012 Notebook Drawing. Collage, ink, paint and wax on Notebook paper.

Friday, September 14, 2012

At The Met

Spent yesterday at the new galleries for the art of the Arab lands at the met and it is absolutely breathtaking in its scope and in the objects that comprise this wonderful new wing of this great museum. I could live here. After viewing this I kinda found my way to the small exhibition of American Indian Art, which I got to by falling into part of the African Art wing, and finally into the small centennial tribute to three artists born in 1912, William Baziotes, Tony Smith and Jackson Pollock. Will have to get back there soon to see some of the new exhibits opening later in the month. This museum is also great for people watching, especially so for the large amount of hubba hubba guys of which I took some nice photos.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Chelsea Galleries or How Tired Were My Feet.

Chelsea on a beautiful Fall day. I started the Fall art season by going to many galleries in Chelsea, covering a 3 block stretch. It can get very tiring looking bad art. There was the usual amount of installation art including big gallery spaces thrown into total darkness and featuring dull films and videos with moaning and groaning sounds, a couple of shows featuring accumulation installations (man am I sick of these) where the artists think that I would be intrigued by them putting lots of crap artfully arranged on tables and in little rooms, a show of chairs by one of the most overrated international artists, a dreadful group show that uses books and libraries as a theme, and a couple of painting-sculpture group shows that are hit and miss in terms of quality. However I did really like the massive and very impressive exhibition of sculptures by Leonardo Drew at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. These are huge and I mean huge installations using mostly wood that fill the entire gallery and are not only beautiful but impressively dangerous looking. I also thought the show of early Jackson Pollock and Tony Smith small sculptures at Mathew Marks were nice and organic but if they weren't by them just how interesting would they really be. The large Tony Smith minimal sculpture at another one of Marks' galleries was actually refreshing after all of the junk yard flea market like installations that I saw, and as I turned on to 22st I walked smack into a fashion show letting out and the street was full of models and photographers posing and snapping, and I joined in and took lots of photos also. Who are these people I thought. What fun.

Monday, September 10, 2012


When I was about 10 years old, I was given as a gift from my brother, a darkroom kit and I soon started to develop my own negatives and pictures. I also made my own envelopes for selling the prints to my family. I just found these two envelopes the other day. I'm amazed that they survived all these years. I felt happy and sad at the same time, because it reminded me of my childhood which indeed at times was a dark room.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Early September 2012 Notebook Drawing. Paint, Wood and Collage On Notebook Paper

Early September 2012 Notebook Drawing. Paint, wax and collage on notebook paper

Friday, September 07, 2012

Toxic Beauty: The Art Of Frank Moore. Grey Art Gallery NYU.

I saw the Frank Moore show at The Grey Art Gallery  today, and I found it very good, and intriguing. I wasn't so familiar with his work, maybe that had to do with me shutting down during the 80's because of the stress and strain I was going through from the AIDS epidemic. I lost many people, including my best friend so the New York art world was not on my short list of what needed my attention. These paintings are at first glance quite cheerful colorful, clever and bouncy. Its only until you get close and start looking intently do you see the anger and sadness that Moore who died of AIDS brought to his work. They are still very appealing and beautiful, lushly painted and put together with elaborate frames that become part of the work in themselves. The imagery is crowded and surreal, figurative and fantastic, pop and bucolic, referential and vastly imaginative. Moore was aware. He was aware of the harshness of the politic scene that ignored this disease for so long and like many other artists he brought his illness into his art. He was also concerned about our environment and the horrors we were and still are doing to it. His was a heavy palette. His work should startle and appeal to everyone regardless of gender or sexual orientation, but for this gay man, viewing this show was like a slap to my face. This marvelous exhibit is on view to Dec. 8, along with a companion exhibit which I have not yet seen at NYU's Fales Library.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Margaret 2011

Saw this film last week and I’m still thinking about it. Directed and written by Kenneth Lonergan whose first film was “You Can Count on Me,” which was a good small complex  film about relationships.  Margaret is also complex and is also about relationships but is more ambitious than YCCM, which can be seen as one of its flaws. The film  had many problems and several lawsuits on its long  journey to fruition   mostly having to do with the editing  process, and was finally taken over with Lonergan’s blessing by Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker before getting a long delayed release and a running time of nearly 2 ½” hours. The movie tells  the story of a somewhat self centered spoiled upper west side private school 17 year old played convincingly by Anna Panquin, who was 23 when the film started shooting in 2005 and some might say she was pushing the age envelope, but Anna  pulls it off and delivers a very good performance. Her character’s name is Lisa, not Margaret and she is flirty, flighty and furious; usually with her mother who is an actress and is just about to open in an off Broadway play. Along with her younger brother they share a surprisingly small apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan where most of the film takes place.  One day while behaving foolishly she witnesses a horrible accident for which she is partly to blame  and her life drastically changes. Her dealings with practically everyone she comes into contact with are troublesome, and because of this the film is layered with tension and dread. The film sprawls and sometimes stalls across the city and is somewhat Operatic in tone and style with opera itself playing an important supporting role. The cast is very good and impressive including the great Allison Janney in a small crucial heartbreaking scene, J. Cameron Smith as her much put upon mother, Mark Ruffalo , Matt Damon, Jean Reno, Mathew Broderick, Rosemarie DeWitt and in what I consider the best supporting female performance of 2011 Jeannie Berlin. And just to clear something up because I kept waiting for this Margaret chick to show up, the Margaret of the title comes from a poem “Spring and Fall,” by Gerard Manley Hopkins, which was written to a young girl named Margaret and is recited in Lisa’s English class . One of the ten best films of 2011.

Foliate Oak

 Foliate Oak has just posted 3 of my pieces in their literary journal. You can view them at this link


Sunday, September 02, 2012

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

Off The Rocks

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