Sunday, November 30, 2014

Lucien Clergue 1934-2014

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Queens Mob's Teahouse

This is a very beautiful array of my work if I have to say so myself. Its a mixture of my art and excerpts from my writings. One of the nicest presentations of my art.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

That Touch Of Mink 1962

           It’s hard for me to believe that it’s been 52 years since I saw That Touch of Mink at Radio City Music Hall with my mom. I was 15 and even at that age I wasn’t so crazy about it and seeing again the other night didn’t change my opinion of it. Doris Day who was pushing 40 plays an out of work working “girl” who one day in the rain gets her pretty outfit splashed with water by Cary Grant’s car and she’s all upset and fuming until she gets a look at Grant and falls heads over heels in love with him. When he tries to give her some money for her ruined outfit she turns it down, but agrees to go out on a date with him. This is all silly but it is also vapid and vulgar with sly innuendoes that passed for high comedy back in the wink wink early 60’s versions of boy meets girls romances.                     
                 The only problem is that both Grant and Day were too old to be playing these kind of roles, and no doubt it was with this performance by Grant which is one of his worst that he decided to retire from films after doing three more films including the much better “Charade” with a more fitting romantic co-star Audrey Hepburn than Day proved to be.                           
            Grant who looks lost and embarrassed throughout the film plays a rich businessman who wines, dines and tries to make Day by taking her on a lavish weekend trip to Bermuda but Day is so freaked out about spending the night with Grant that she breaks out in a rash and back they go to New York. We are asked to believe that Doris is still a virgin.
                   Also on hand is her roommate played by Audrey Meadows who works in the Automat and feeds Day free food. Meadows is also too old for her role but her tough as nails persona, a carry over from her Honeymooners days is sometimes good for a laugh or two. Also in the cast is Gig Young in the Tony Randall role playing the loyal stooge for Grant and the butt of most of the jokes including some gentle homophobic gags where his psychiatrist thinks that Gig is in love with another man and wants to marry him. Pretty prophetic in it’s own stupid way.
                  There are the usual mix-ups, mistaken identities, sexual putdowns and misogynist jokes along with laughs directed at character’s looks.  There is no chemistry between Grant and Day, they seem to be in separate worlds let alone separate movies, he’s wooden and she’s pretty much off the wall through most of the film. They’re like paper cut-outs, dolls which the director pushes around and in and out of scene after fake looking scene with no feeling or sense of Hollywood reality. The film also is garish and ugly but the 60’s fashions are worth a look. This film was a big hit becoming the 4th biggest grossing film of the year and getting Three Oscar nominations including one for original screenplay. Go figure.    

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Picasso & Jacqueline: The Evolution of Style. Pace Gallery. Chelsea

This is a thrilling and beautiful large exhibition of mostly paintings (there are also some prints and drawings) by this great artist from the last two decades of his life. There is a pull, a rope around our necks with regards to the title of the show, which I don’t like that pushes the idea that the much younger Jacqueline Roque who was his lover and later his wife somehow was his muse. Maybe so but I was not really thinking of this coupling when I was looking mesmerized at his wonderful works. And besides Picasso lived with and loved many women who may have been inspiring to him and served as his models, and did this great artist really need a muse? More than any other artist I can think of, exhibitions of Picasso can be served by many themes and they would all make for fine viewing. How about Picasso and food, Picasso and the theatre, Picasso and children or Picasso and the bullfight not to mention shows of paintings inspired by those many other young women he lived and loved with. For me it’s the paintings that count. What was also terrific was that there were maybe 4 other people in the gallery, (probably this had to do with the freezing cold on the day I visited) in fact the guards outnumbered use viewers so I was able to meander slowly back and forth between the galleries and take my time without the usual crowds which is a given these days at museums and on Saturdays in the some of galleries in Chelsea. This is a museum quality show and I was taken with the fact that I could get up close to the works and really look at his markings, the areas of colors and the texture of his paint. See this one.

Saturday, November 22, 2014


ira joel haber NYSAI has published 3 of my pieces in their on line journal.…/…/2014/07/FALL-2014-Exphibian.pdf

Friday, November 21, 2014

Portland Review

Portland Review just sent me the latest issue of their handsome magazine which has a cover featuring one of my photos when I was a teen of a friend. The issue also includes the photo along with two photos of my early floor pieces from 1969-1970. You can order the issue for $12.00 from

Portland Review Literary Journal
Portland State University
P.O. Box 751
Portland, Oregon 97207 USA

here is the cover which I really like a lot along with the interior work.

Randomly Accessed Poetics

Randomly Accessed Poetics has as far as I can tell published two of my photos. I think it is available now as an ebook but not sure about that. I think you can also get a free app of the issue, didn't work for me though. Anyway here are the two photos

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Albert York. Matthew Marks Gallery

If you've never seen any paintings by Albert York or if you’ve never heard of him, now is your chance to see a beautiful array of 37 of his small and intimate landscapes, flowers and animals that cover his career from the early sixties to the mid 90's. At first you might think that these are the works of a 19th century itinerant painter traveling the countryside doing small paintings on bits of wood of farmer’s cows and soft spring night landscapes. York who was seldom seen or heard from spent most of his life in quiet reclusive time on Long Island painting when he had the chance and doing odd jobs to support himself and his family.
These paintings are small bullets to the heart, measuring mere inches but are so alluring and tender that the size of them become a moot point. There’s a lot to admire in these marvelous paintings including his patches and areas of color both subtle and sometimes bright and his use of figures in his landscapes, sometimes creepy and perhaps allegorical as in the painting of a nude young woman on her knees in a pastoral landscape as death or old age in the form of a skeleton looks on. Another one of my favorites (actually all of the paintings are my favorites) is of two young women at rest on a nice green patch of ground; one appears to be napping while the other woman watches over her. This show is a blessing and easily one of the best exhibitions of 2014.

Mike Nichols 1931-2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Child’s Pose 2013

If you’ve never seen a Romanian “New Wave” film you might want to start with this compelling tightly woven story of a well off middle age architect-set designer and her damaged relationship with her grown son. The film directed by Calin Peter Netzer opens with the mother played by the wonderful Luminita Gheorghiu who gives a superb performance sitting, smoking and bitching about someone to her sister who is also sitting and smoking. It turns out that Luminita is talking about her estranged son who wants nothing to do with her.
And without meeting the son we can see why. Cornelia is controlling and demanding, a woman who can’t really see the truth of her life and how toxic she is and who needs to have everything go her own way. She brow beats her timid but angry husband shamelessly interrogates her cleaning lady who also cleans her son’s apartment on his reading habits, (what books are on his nightstand) and rewards her with a pair shoes she no longer wants, but are too small for the cleaning lady. “Well give them to your daughter” she tells her as if she was doing her a big favor, the queen bestowing a gift to her servant girl. Supposedly she is a success at her profession, but we never see any hint of her work only the rewards that her success brings.
The film is very tightly composed with not many details of time or place so if you think you’re going to see what Bucharest is like forget about it. There is a 60th somewhat lavish birthday party for Cornelia in which her son does not attend and at an avant-garde opera performance she is called away by her sister who tells her that her son was in a terrible car accident but is alright, however a 14 year old peasant boy was killed. Cornelia goes into action taking control of the tragic situation giving everyone she comes in contact with a hard time, especially the gentle woman that her son lives with and who she is jealous of.
There are many confrontations between Cornelia and her son, the police, doctors and her husband and the underlining thread running through the film is if you have enough money, pull and connections you can buy your way out of anything. Nothing new there, but I doubt that such a movie like this would or could ever get made in this country unless heaven help us Sandra Bullock played the lead. The film ends as abruptly as it begins. One of the best films of 2013.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ralph Fasanella and Willem Van Genk at The American Folk Art Museum.

If you're around Lincoln Center, (and if not a special trip is well worth it) you might want to check out the two marvelous shows that are on now. The Willem Van Genk show is quite remarkable. Consisting of dense quite large works of "paintings" made up of cut clippings,notebook drawings, ads and more that show Genk's love for transportation and urban centers. They pretty much defy description, one simply has to see these complex works in person. Although Genk was diagnosed with behavioral problems as a child in the 1960's he traveled far and wide recording his impressions in these works and notebooks and drawings. In the 1980's he also made wonderful models of buses and trolleys from discarded stuff that look like they were in some pretty bad accidents and some of these are also on display. What I could have done without is his raincoat collection (very nice Willem) that take up a large wall that could have been better used by showing more of his terrific works. Also on view is a large helping of the self taught painter Ralph Fasanella who received a lot of attention in the late 60's for his intricate politically aware and cinematic vivid large paintings. For a time he was all the rage, and what is great about this show is how great his paintings are and what a pleasure to see such a large helping of them. I have never seen his paintings in person, as a teen I knew them from the press so this was an eye opening experience for me. They charm us with details, but he was also very aware and concerned about the political scene and injustices going on in the country and the world. Both shows are only up until Dec. 1 and admission is free. 
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