Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Spectacular! Spectacular! The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From The Sidewalk to the Catwalk. The Brooklyn Museum.


This is a marvelous side splitting eye popping sometimes Androgynous extravaganza that literally moves shakes, rattles and rolls. I admit I'm not much of a fashion person, but I can certainly admire a great dress or someone who knows fashion and knows how to dress, unfortunately this fashion sense usually takes lots of money to pull off, and when it comes to flash and expense this show has it all, and not only in the astounding clothes (I even hesitant to call them this) as they are really more like costumes which figures since Gaultier has designed for many films and pop divas most notably for Madonna. The exhibition is big, rowdy and gorgeous and looks like it cost a zillion dollars to mount and in fact it got lots of monetary support from Lexus, The Wall Street Journal and other big money pockets. There are rooms that have moving mannequins with interactive faces that are funny and creepy at the same time (the one of the designer even speaks with his French accent included) and at times the show takes on a circus or bordello like ambiance depending I guess on where one is coming from or going, and I can't recall a show where it is equally as much fun to watch the viewers as what is on view. Fashionistas galore. The fashions themselves are fabu, simply wonderful, full of rich details, fabrics, textures, elaborate designs, beadwork, glitter glamor and a very vivid imagination as to what a dress can be. Sure some of it is over the top and gimmicky and how the hell can anyone actually wear some of them, they look so uncomfortable and even silly, (the ones inspired by Rabbis are a bit too much), but all in all I laughed, I didn't cry but I had a wonderful time. This is one wild ride that I highly recommend, however be prepared for crowds, the rest of this great museum is largely empty and forgotten by the patrons so you can always take a breather and visit some of the other galleries. It will be on view until the end of February so there's plenty of time, and be warned that they are charging $15.00 to view it, but I saw it for free thanks to one of my students lending me his membership card. I don't think the pay what you want will work with this show. One of the best exhibitions of the year.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Notebook drawing October 2013

Lou Reed 1942-2013

Saturday, October 26, 2013

12 Years A Slave 2013

Just back from an early showing at BAM of Steve McQueen’s very good but not great searing movie.  The film is as I was expecting gut wrenching and upsetting; I mean I sat there watching these horrible acts of inhumanity (that’s putting it mildly) realizing that this was my country. McQueen has made two other tough to handle movies, “Hunger” and “Shame” (I might be the only person in the world who liked it) both of which starred the very handsome and gifted actor Michael Fassbender who also appears in this one as the evil and psychotic plantation owner, Edwin Epps. No easy Simon Legree  here because as I said Fassbender is very goodlooking and its was smart on McQueen’s part to cast this movie star looking actor as the “villain.” To be sure Fassbinder is not the only piece of shit here, Paul Dano and Paul Giamatti give him a run for his money. Cast as the lead, the Slave of the title is the wonderful Chiwetel Ejiofor who has a great chance of winning a Best actor Oscar. The movie opens with him already a slave and there are casual flashbacks that tell his horrendous story which by the way is based on fact. Also terrific is the young unknown to me actress Lupita Nyong’o as the young slave who is victim of Fassbinder’s hateful lust, and his horrible wife well played by the very good Sarah Paulson’s jealous rages. Nyong’o is to my mind a sure bet to win a supporting actress Oscar for her performance. I don’t know McQueen’s art, but he has a great eye for visuals, this was also seen in his two previous movies and it’s also apparent in this film even though many of those visuals are hard to watch.  I’ve no doubt that he is very well placed to become the first person of color to win a best director Oscar. The film it seems to me is doing very well at least in New York, the showing I went to looked  sold out, and I’ve never seen such a long line at the BAM waiting for the next showing of a film. Pins and sobs could be heard.

Deborah Turbeville 1932-2013

Friday, October 25, 2013


Compose Journal has just posted 5 of my collages from 1975. You can view all of them at this link

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Balthus: Cats and Girls. Paintings and Provocations. The Metropolitan Museum Of Art.

I must say that I’ve never given this painter much thought or attention, so I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed his sparse show of 34 paintings now showing in some of the large galleries of the Metropolitan Museum. I still don’t think he is one of the great artists of the 20th century, his subject matter is too insular and “special” to really take a place in the pantheon of 20th century art, still there are pleasures to be found here even though his subjects mainly young girls, (Thérèse Blanchard in particular who was his favorite young model and whose many portraits fill the first gallery) in provocative poses might unhinge some people. Basically these works are very conservative in technique, lush and beautifully painted, but if the technique is mild mannered and acceptable his subjects are not. I can only imagine what people thought back in the 30’s & 40’s of these reclining young girls and Lolitas some showing undergarments and much flesh, and even today no doubt they will raise some eyebrows and maybe embarrass some of the matronly ladies who are flocking to the show. Then there are the cats, which becomes clearer when you enter the gallery holding the original wonderful 40 small black and white ink drawings of his adventures with his cat Mitsou. These were done when he was 11 and are as I said intimate and wonderful. I’ve known these drawings for a long time, having had a small book of them that was published in 1984 by The Metropolitan Museum. The guy obviously loved cats and they make appearances in many of the paintings, serving as a sort of a memorial to his beloved Mitsou. One of my favorite paintings by him is not in the show, its a double portrait of the painter Joan Miro and his daughter, which I loved as a teen when I would see it at the Moma. The show is up until January 12th 2014.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Crack my spine

Well its happened again. Just found out that one of my postcards was used for the cover of Crack The Spine, and I was never told. They did use a photo of mine for issue 71 and I did know about that one.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Oh The Horror

Well it was bound to happen sooner or later, a literary magazine really messed up this photograph of mine. Besides printing it too dark, they put text over the whole image so you can't even see it. Unclean unclean. Needless to say this is one credit that will not make it to my resume. And why bother publishing an image and then covering up with text.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Nice. Mungbeing Magazine has just published 18 of my photographs, and I even got an email notifying me. Mungbeing and the editor Mark Givens has been very supportive of my art over the years. this is my 7th appearance. Hubba Hubba

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Just discovered by accident that another literary journal "InkBlot" published some of my art and photographs in their spring issue but didn't notify me. What planet am I living on.

Vagabond City

Just found out that my photograph was used for the cover of this literary magazine one month ago. I knew that they were going to use it, but once again I was not notified that it was "live." And no where that I see am I given credit for it.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Mike Kelley PS1

There is no denying the strong impact that this sprawling retrospective has. It takes up the entire museum and features over 250 works by this respected “bad boy” of the international art world who took his own life last year. I wish I liked his work and the show more than I did, but I have to say that I felt assaulted and overwhelmed by it all. I suppose some would consider this a good thing. The New York Times critic wrote that it “Knocks everything else in New York this fall right of the ring.” Is this now the sorry state of contemporary art, a prizefight where artists knock each other out and only big and wow commands our attention. I hope not. I certainly liked some of the work, my favorites probably being his John Glenn Memorial Detroit River Reclamation Project which consists of a large statue of Glenn that is covered with shards of crockery and glassware and stands on a large platform also covered in shards of the same material and the hanging bunched up stuffed animals and dolls that also fill an entire gallery. My least favorite (and there were many for me to pick from) is his “Day Is Done” which is a loud fun house of an installation memory piece with particular animosity for his high school years. It fills an entire dark large gallery on the 2nd floor and is packed with many films, videos, large objects and lots of intense loud sounds all fighting for your attention. I almost expected a hellish clown with a chainsaw to jump out at me. There are other video and film installations in small dark rooms scattered about the place, which I avoided like the plaque, as I’ve said before I don’t go into small dark rooms any longer. There are also paintings (his room of vulgar badly painted pornographic like portraits mixed with cute frog paintings are terrible) and drawings that are generally pleasing but look like much of the stuff that fills the galleries of Chelsea, smart ass grad school dreck of which he is no doubt a favorite role model for these marauding masses. I tried to find an in, a doorway, a window, a rabbit hole into his autobiographical psyche, after all this is an artist who was at the top of his game when he took his own life but I really couldn’t find any. The entire show of  “expensive items”, that’s what one of the guards intuitively and smartly called them when she thought I was getting to close to one of his works, are spiffy, and clean. They have no touch to them because most (even his drawings) have the look of being fabricated. They look manufactured ready for the next big art fair or the Gagosian Gallery where collectors who are hungry for the next hot thing can plop down lots of moola for these conversation pieces, these “expensive items.”  This hippodrome, this extravaganza is on until Feb 2 and will no doubt pack them in.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

my latest postcard. October 2013. Ink, paint, wax and collage on a blank postcard

some recent photographs taken around new york city

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