Friday, September 30, 2016

The Gateways

Just got a gift in the mail from Jane S. Galloway her brand new book "The Gateways" The Wisdom of 12 Step Spirituality. Jane was my spiritual mentor, leader and guide for about 2 years when she was teaching and leading Sanctuary here in New York City. She is a force for sure, kind, smart and compassionate and I learned a lot from her, and for sure more is needed by me especially with the state our country is now in . Her new book can be purchased at and on Amazon. I should also mentioned that she used a segment from my plaque series in the book which is also a nice gift.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Herschell Gordon Lewis 1926-2016

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

notebook drawing september 2016

Thursday, September 22, 2016

notebook drawing September 2016

The Knick season 1 & 2

Let's hope that they continue with this series because I say so. Set in a fictional hospital in New York City at the beginning of the 20th century it's a compelling and at times nasty show about the workings of a big city hospital that is visually compelling and at times appalling in what it shows. The large cast is largely unknown which helps since we don't get hung up on celebrity watching, and the only cast member who is a "name" is the wonderful Clive Owen who is terrific. All the episodes have been directed by Steven Soderbergh who is also a producer of the series. Twisty with lots of ins and outs and even I didn't see many of the plot twists that fall on us with good bumps to the head. The look of the series its sense of place is beautiful rich and full of details. This is one to see, but be warned that some of the hospital procedures are realistic grim and some times disgusting so its not for the squeamish, but hey if we've managed to look at Trump's fat ugly orange face for all these months we can certainly deal with this.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Oddball Magazine

Oddball Magazine has just posted my latest notebook drawing along with a poem by Heidi Hemmer.

Curtis Hanson 1945-2016

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Peacock Journal

The Peacock Journal has just published six of my photographs. Click on the link to view them

Sunday, September 18, 2016

notebook drawing september 2016

Three Exhibitions

There are three very good, very strong and yes very beautiful large exhibitions of sculptures by Lynda Benglis, Leonardo Drew and Richard Serra now on in Chelsea. All three of the shows are boundless in their imagination and impressive in their talent.
The Benglis show is full of her twisty paper wall hangings that are colorful, tactile ( I really wanted to touch them, pat them and maybe give them a soft hug) and recognizable as her work. They are a secure part of her life's work that I have known since the early 70's. She uses paper as wonderfully as she has used all of her materials, and for a startling glimpse there is also a very large aluminum piece that hovers over us like some prehistoric creature, a monster escaped from some ice age.
The paper ones are my favorites though, they look like body parts or plaster casts to encase broken body parts, an arm or maybe a leg. Also wonderful is the latest work from the terrific artist Leonardo Drew who works with a wide range of found materials to make up his large unruly sculptures that intrude from the walls, and sometimes land at our feet. The first thing I thought of was Louise Nelvelson's work because of the prominent use of black wood that Drew uses, but these are their own, his own. The work almost defies definition and really have to be seen to be believed.
And finally there is a strong display by Richard Serra at the Gagosian Gallery of large steel sculptures that are rich and foreboding as is usual with this great minimal sculptor. I have looked at his work for such a long time, and never tire of his tactile skill at taking steel and making it bloom with touches of texture and scale. This show has large monolithic architectural slabs looming up in one gallery, that might bring to mind tombstones or a future city on some distant planet. There are certainly other shows around but none in the area come close to these three brilliant displays of why art matters.
One of the things I like about Chelsea galleries are the ones that are on the ground floor with their large windows, so I can peek in and see what's going on, and in most cases avoid the show inside. Where do these galleries find all this drecky stuff? In garbage dumps, in New Jersey, at art fairs? who knows, but its very easy to avoid. Just cup your eyes against the light look in the windows, and keep walking Mary, just keep walking.

The Benglis show is at Cheim & Read until Oct 22, the Serra show has been extended until Oct 22 at Gagosian and Leonardo Drew is at Sillema Jenkins until Oct. 8th.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Edward Albee 1928-2016

Sorry to learn of the death of this great playwright who had a profound effect on me as a teenager. I read his play The American Dream over and over until I found that I knew it by heart, and finally saw a production of it when I was maybe 15. I also saw Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf" when I was a teen on Broadway, it was the first play I saw and again it had a tremendous effect on me. A few years ago I wrote to him and he wrote me back and we had a short correspondence.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

La Notte 1961

Went to the Film Forum yesterday to see La Notte. I had a free ticket, which was nice, and for two hours I was immersed in Antonioni's world of 1960's angst, alienation, loneliness and despair. Set in a gleaming black and white Milan where an attractive couple played by Marcello Mastroianni and Jeanne Moreau reside. He’s an author of some renown; she is his wife who doesn’t seem to do much. They are bored not only with each other but with life in general and for one day and night we follow them through their ordinary day and not so ordinary night. The film opens with them visiting a dying friend in the hospital where Marcello is suddenly set upon by a sex starved patient, and Jeanne is so distraught (not with this occurrence because she knows nothing about it) but with her friends illness that she leaves the hospital and takes a long walk through the city which is one of the great set pieces of the film, and in cinema. Architecture, textures and spaces have always played an important part in Antonioni’s films and here it looms and pushes us into seeing film in a new way. It’s an abstract moving work, (not emotionally) and is like a spread in a lavish fashion magazine, check out the early 60’s clothes that Moreau and Monica Vitti wear and you will understand what I mean. There’s a lot of what’s it all about Marcello? going on here, and at times you might want to reach into the film and give Marcello and Jeanne a good slap or two to their stunning spoiled faces. They have it all, money, looks, prestige but this is an Antonioni film so more is not enough. They moan and roam and when night falls they go out on the town to a nearly empty La Dolce Vita like nightclub where a black couple scantily dressed do a vivid but ludicrous acrobatic dance routine that goes on far too long. Finally they move on to an industrialist’s lavish overblown party at his modern sprawling estate on the outskirts of Milan and the rest of the movie languishes here from dark to dawn where people meet, pull apart and move on. I should point out that the look of this long sequence is beautiful both in the cinematography by the great Gianni Di Venanzo and the look of both Moreau and the fantastic Monica Vitti, Antonioni’s muse here in all black including her usually light hair. Both women and some of the men are moved about like figurines by the director, and he fills the screen with glimpses of their painful movements and meetings through windows, reflections, pouring rain, darkness and pieces of white. It’s all really very gorgeous if somewhat inert and stiff. Antonioni has said that his films are like Rothko paintings, and indeed the director did make paintings, abstract of course along with his films. So it is not crazy to look at this film like a painting, it has textures, tones and shades and like good painting it also pulls us in, and then leaves us to our own devices on what it all means and how to find a way out.      

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Alexis Arquette 1969-2016

Friday, September 09, 2016

notebook drawing September 2016

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Lady Chablis 1957-2016

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

notebook drawing september 2016

Monday, September 05, 2016

Hugh O'Brian 1925-2016

notebook drawing september 2016

Friday, September 02, 2016

Jon Polito 1950-2016

The marvelous character actor Jon Polito has passed. He was a favorite of the Coen Brothers and a favorite of mine. Preston Sturges would have loved him.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Oddball Magazine. The latest

Another collaboration between me and Oddball Magazine. Check it out at this link.

Marc Riboud 1923-2016

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