Wednesday, January 30, 2019

IDK Magazine

My collage graces the front cover of the latest on line issue of IDK Magazine. Check it out and the entire issue at the link below.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Hilma af klint. Paintings For The Future. Guggenheim Museum

I’m still feeling the effects of this superb outrageously beautiful exhibition of paintings by the once unknown artist Hilma af Klint who is finally getting the attention that she was long overdue for. She’s been dead since 1944 when after 81 years on this earth she was run over by a tram and was killed. 81 is a good age, and her output of gorgeous paintings both huge and small is what makes up this glorious exhibition that every artist should see before it closes in April.
And if possible avoid going up to the GuMu on a weekend because it was hysterically packed. What makes viewing here bearable is of course the spiral ramps that gently lead people to the many bays that fill the museum, but still go during the week if possible. I went with my dear friend the painter Carol Heft and we both loved the show.
I like going to museums alone, but sometimes I enjoy going with friends and its terrific to go with another pair of eyes especially when they belong to another artist. The first thing you see are those 10 gigantic paintings that fill the foyer like gallery space off the lobby and you can easily spend a good amount of time here before going up the spiral ramps to see the rest of the show.
The best way to see these large works is without a crowd (good luck with that) and I was surprised how well they looked from the balcony like opening on the ramp directly above the paintings. These very large works are in their size alone way ahead of their time, hell these were done in 1907, and are as beautiful as anything I’ve seen in a very long time.
Her work is full of marvelous surprises an edge of a painting left unpainted reminding me of a Barney Newman work, her wonderful brush strokes and sense of color and her almost self taught looking compositions except they are so damn sophisticated. In fact so much of her work brings to mind artists who worked many years after Klint, the list is long.
Hilma was born in 1862 to a well off family in Sweden and always was interested in making art and being an artist. Her early work which is also shown is not impressive, typical traditional landscapes but the little painting of a dog is quite charming. Changes in her work and life started in 1907 when she got interested in the spiritual, the occult and theosophy and she took these interests along with séances and brought their symbols and signs into her paintings.
She was also interested in nature and the natural and indeed unnatural world and also incorporated these into her work. There are all sorts of strange things in her paintings, is that a tiny painting of a Byzantine icon? But it is her color and use of design and symbols that command our attention along with her superb draftsmanship. There are many spirals and circles along with tender flowers and birds, sea shells, and wiggly lines, pyramids made up of small samples of colors, exploding pin wheels, snakes and letters and numbers.
Also brilliant are the small sample of her meticulous notebooks and the loose quickly done sketches done on what looks like brown wrapping paper. For some reason she stipulated that her work not be seen until 20 years after her death and it took even longer than that for her paintings to be shown. Now art history is in a toss, and our hearts and eyes and minds have been poked and pinched and our senses tickled. An exhibition that made me want to scream. Afterwards Carol treated me to brunch I had the Hilma chicken and cheese quesadilla and Carol had the Af Klint bacon hamburger. The best exhibition of 2018 and maybe 2019.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Michel Legrand 1932-2019

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

January 2019 mixed on paper

Jonas Mekas 1922-2019

Inlandia Journal January 2019

good news 1947

A brightly colored M.G.M. musical that sometimes hits the spot. Set in a make believe back lot college in 1927 that sends the period through the window with late 40’s costumes, hair and set design and with a cast that were mostly too old for their parts. The plot is silly and dated (hell it was dated in 1947) but its still fun to watch especially the big musical dance numbers which include “Pass That Peace Pipe” which was nominated for the best song of the year Oscar but lost to “Zip A Dee Doo Dah” which has its own bag of controversy. Oh oh trouble trouble. Poking fun at Native Americans was of course common in our America of the time and it seems it still is along with take downs of all minorities, but this is such a vibrant dance number that I swallowed my political correctness and outrage just for a while. The lead is June Allyson all scratchy voice and toothy smiles, but the movie for me belongs to the great dancer Joan McCracken who was a Broadway gypsy and was married for a while to Bob Fosse and is as cute as a dumpling and boy could she dance. Sadly she died young so this film is all we have of her swell moving and shaking. The male lead is Peter Lawford also too old for the part and well he never did much for me anyway. We are stuck with Peter and June but really they aren’t all that bad and do a nice job with the “French lesson” number. Meanwhile we also have Mel Torme gawky young and funny looking but oh that velvet fog voice of his and when he croons out “Lucky in Love” and “The Best Things In Life Are Free” he made my toes curl. The direction is by likeable but lightweight Charles Walters who started out on Broadway and was a notable chorographer before he got a wake up call from Arthur Freed to join the Freed unit and started his directing career with “Good News”. Can’t really knock Chuck, he did some high class fluff and nonsense along with some really ghastly movies like the Joan Crawford camp classic Torch Song. The big musical numbers are toe tapping especially the already mentioned Peace Pipe which is set in the biggest soda fountain joint ever seen in a movie and the wonderful get up and dance “Varsity Drag” number that ends the movie. Written by the great Betty Comden and Adolph Green. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Kaye Ballard 1925-2019

A favorite of mine has passed.

Monday, January 21, 2019

oddball January 2019

January 2019 mixed on paper

Sunday, January 20, 2019

January 2019 mixed on paper

Some recent Photographs

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

January 2019 mixed on paper

Monday, January 14, 2019

New Botanical 2018- 2019.

january 2019 mixed on paper

Sunday, January 13, 2019

January 2019 The first of the year

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Verna Bloom 1939-2019

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