~CA – CHING !! SPRING BREAK !! up-date 4:49 PM

UP-DATE: you can find the NICHOLAS STEINDORF / DARREN WILL PROJECTION in rm 4005.
I just heard, legendary lensman BILL CUNNINGHAM . . swung by today !!

TRANSACTION . . . C-O-M-P-L-E-T-E-D !!

NICHOLAS STEINDORF VIDEO – SOUND BY DARREN WILL
‘PURPLE’ – limited edition of – 3 !!
DELIVERED IN SD MEMORY CARD FORMAT
COST: $1 PER 1 MB – !!
THAT’S: $36.28 + TAX for a GRAND TOTAL OF: $39.50 – !!

PLUS: it comes with a 11 x 14 in. print, a still from the clip – signed & numbered by the artists.

yeah, YOU !! – watch:

‘PURPLE’, 2015 – by NICHOLAS STEINDORF with SOUND TRACK by DARREN WILL / VIMEO

don’t blink – it’s only 30 secs !!!
of sheer, PURE . . ELECTRICITY !!

Now, that’s the way I like to play the . . ART GAME !!



~NICHOLAS STEINDORF & DARREN WILL . . YULIA TOPCHIY – SPRING/BREAK


artist NICHOLAS STEINDORF, and musician DARREN WILL . .
at the 2013 YULIA TOPCHIY/CoWORKER presentation of their ‘SWOLLEN FOOT’ – a ‘startling’ and at the same time ‘poetic’ and deeply felt . . re-telling of the ‘Oedipus Rex’ tragedy. their collaboration was . . very cutting edge: a wordless, mostly abstract and pattern-based digital animation projection on a loop – with original soundtrack.
did I say, no words.
‘SWOLLEN FOOT’ was presented at Entwine, Downtown NYC. MAR 1, 2013.
ARCHIVAL PHOTO: NANCY SMITH

NICHOLAS STEINDORF and DARREN WILL – will be presenting 6 new digital animation/sound videos – short pieces that will run on a loop . . . at YULIA TOPCHIY’s booth at SPRING/BREAK this week. the theme of her group exhibit is . . . ‘UNSPOKEN DIALOGUE’.

I’ve heard . . . the videos are going to be both “subtle and strong” , so . . I’m curious !!
I’m a huge fan.

when I asked for a little more info, I got:
“We are selling work for $1 per MB”. when I asked for a little more clarification, I got:
“The size of the files range from like 58 MB to 1.3 GB. Meaning that the work ranges from $58 to $1.300. The size of the file (video) is directly related to the price. Much like the size of paintings, photographs, drawings, etc are typically contingent on the size to price ratio. Video can empirically be any size when projected, but there is still a ‘size’ that no one is aware of. Also videos that are most black (empty) are lower in MB size because they don’t have any pixel information. Files that are filled with color and bright whites are typically higher in size because every pixel is being used.”
rock on, indie.

and I guess that covers . . ‘transaction’ !!

so, I asked for just a little more information, and I got:
“The work is a collaboration of Darren and I going back and forth. I put together a batch of videos/drawings and he selected which he thought inspired the kind of sound he wanted to do. Then I made them a bit better, then he did some sound, and then I made them a bit better, and then he made the sound better, etc etc. – Let me know if you want anything else ?” . . . !! !!

can’t wait to see this . . at SPRING/BREAK tomorrow !!
rock on .. Unspoken Dialogues, for sure !!



~YULIA TOPCHIY . . SPRING/BREAK

indie curator YULIA TOPCHIY, will present a small, very focused group show at this year’s SPRING/BREAK 2015.
titled ‘UNSPOKEN DIALOGUE’, it features the work of: RIITTA IKONEN, LUCIE KIM + FELIX VON DER WEPPEN, YASUE MAETAKE, YOLA MONAKHOV STOCKTON, NICHOLAS STEINDORF + DARREN WILL, and BEN K. VOSS.

and, man I am digging that D-I-V-E-R-S-I-T-Y.

and, C-O-D-E . . GRAPHICS !!

note: NICHOLAS STEINDORF + DARREN WILL . . have been reviewed in artlovers for their very original art/music collaborations. Nicholas, a visual artist has been reviewed here many times . . on his own. artlovers’ ‘NICHOLAS STEINDORF vs ANDY WARHOL’ . . does come to mind !!
in their collaborations, Nicholas does the visual/digital loop element, while Darren produces the original music – a most notable, epic ? example of which – we reviewed back in 2013, was their excellent, neo-classic, new wave, poetic, lyrical & most original video production . . titled, ‘SWOLLEN FOOT’. a re-telling of the OEDIPUS REX myth in digitally animated ‘abstract’ images and patterns . . accompanied solely by music, no words . . was presented at ENTWINE . . by Yulia Topchiy’s . . CoWORKER PROJECTS.
singer songwriter LUKE RATHBONE, and NICK STUMPF of FRENCH KICKS – also worked on the sound production.

see: NICHOLAS STEINDORF + DARREN WILL .. OEDIPUS REX, MARCH 1, 2013.

see: CoWorker Projects

see: SPRING/BREAK ART SHOW

/ FAIR.
New York City based, indie curator YULIA TOPCHIY aka CoWorker Projects . . at her booth at last year’s . . SPRING/BREAK ART SHOW / FAIR 2014.
YULIA just put on that break-out show, ‘THE DREAMS THAT I GAVE HER’, co-curated with KELLI BURTON . . an interweaving mosaic of writers, artists & musicians – at the NARS FOUNDATION.
the show’s email flyer featured a super graphic, dreamy, awesome skin-some, gorgeous mysterious photograph by JESSICA WYNNE, one of the artists in the show. the flyer was in turn featured on artlovers.

see: ‘THE DREAMS THAT I GAVE HER’ – NARS FOUNDATION

YULIA TOPCHIY . . . is a good representation of the many many indie curators who will be presenting mini-exhibits of new work, at SPRING /BREAK this year. many of them work ‘behind-the-scenes’ – in the art industry, staffing galleries and museums, the unspoken masses of media ‘creatives’, other manning tech start-ups, some slogging away as artist ‘assistants’ and fabricators, others, art handlers, and archivists. often they start life as part of the many off-shoot organizations that support this new age multi-faceted activity, pop-ups, and other more mainstream art events. many of them work in ‘front-of-the-scenes’, as writers, reviewers, and producers. many of them are curatorial collectives, composed of artist, and just as likely, non-artists. a diverse group . . many of them are just a bunch of whole lucky people . . who just happened to ‘back’ into some crazy great happening scene, most likely just next door !!

the city and esp Brooklyn is alive and kicking on this level – there are 90 curators in this year’s SPRING/BREAK show – who will collectively be exhibiting more than 400 artists !!

so the list goes on and on, the city is just jumping with talent. at artlovers we like to term these art-related workers – the worker bees !! and from their ever-swelling ranks . . the most motivated, ambitious, and show-man spirited develop into . . indie curators !!
and, of course: small venue gallerists.
and the writers, artlovers included . . that cover ‘em.
yeah, I’m a . . worker bee.
where’s the . . decal/sticker.
tattoo ?

anyways, these ‘worker bees’, often in the past overlooked, and edged out by the big boys, mostly due top lack of funds, and a lack of insight in the mainstream media, are now making their presence FELT, mainly due to the sheer numbers, their crisp creative edge, and, of the course the power of the ground-up social media !!
. . . they often put out the first buzz, as they swarm around all over the scene, formerly known as ‘the underground’ , buzzing about, infiltrating the media, and putting out the word. indie curators flit from low-rent, even no-rent pop-ups, non-profits, and alternative spaces . . anything, any venue will do . . all looking to put out that fresh taste of newly minted art honey, and put on YOUR PLATE.

determined, vivacious, inventive, entrepreneurial by nature, they encapsulate the ‘go-local’, artisan-based small business ethos of Brooklyn and, the against all odds downtown pop-up shows of street artists like SEAN VEGGEZZI, and PPP/PETER PAN POSSE. from sabotaging billboards, the skyline off the Williamsburg Bridge does come to mind (RAMBO) . . to ‘don’t blink’ storefront pop-ups, to small venues on 3rd floors just open on Saturdays !! – they can survive and thrive in good part because of the internet, which allows for a viable presence on the web: enabling sales, archives, and of course power distributing events and putting pot info, and it’s locavore gone global, all the way.

there’s a lot of opportunity for the creative and skilled here, and there is this huge wave, an influx of talent, that is just as determined and ingenious when comes to staying alive here in NY as the great past ghosts of Soho were, JACKSON POLLOCK comes to mind. and so, despite high rents, and all, those Soho days are long over . . the young worker bees with big dreams . . just keep on pouring into NYC. no matter about L.A. and parts remote – NYC is where kids from all over the USA, still want to come to make their art dreams happen, to burst out, break out, get out from behind that day job . . and make a name for themselves – as curators, or artists – or in fact, very often, a combo of both.
rebel, rebel, indie.

YULIA TOPCHIY . . writes that:

“When I worked for Phillips Auction House, I met so many talented artists who held day jobs working as administrators, or art handlers that I wanted to create a supportive environment where the works could be shown in traditional settings, and ideas and feedback can be exchanged. I started CoWorker Projects to engage my former coworkers in conversation with each other and showcase their works to the public for the first time. For some of them it was a networking experience, for others it was a step in the career path. I enjoy working with all my artists by providing them an opportunity to show their work in an un-traditional setting where they can get the feedback and expand their network.

I love what I do. but I now concentrate on curating shows at nonprofits where I can also give exposure to their programs. During the day I work for ARTSY . . in a Gallery Relations Team where I support Galleries and their programs. I feel very fortunate to be a part of a team which changes how people look and collect art.”

CoWorker Projects . . led by Yulia, specializes in art curation, events production, and performances.


last year, MARCH 2014 . . YULIA’S booth at SPRING/BREAK featured a pretty far-out installation by BRUNO POGACNIK WUKODRAKULA, shown here in the mouth of the cave !!

so Yulia’s curating really does swing far & fab: all the way from NICHOLAS STEINDORF’s new wave ‘classicism’ – which is often presented in digital projection format, to the dreamy narrative surreal and musical !! not to forget ‘group interactive’ of ‘THE DREAMS THAT I GAVE HER’ . . to the blow-out shamanism of this mystical, psychedelic bio-drama masquerade ‘power’ cave.


talk about . . alter-egos !!
in fact, BRUNO’s electric installation was titled . . ‘POWERCAVE’.


now, would you classify that as . . organic, or inorganic ?
locavore, or ‘invasive’ species.
human evolution heading, or alien visitation ?
the way man/robots . . will be ‘encased’, ca. 3015 ?

how bout . . what bio-people machines will evolve to, to enable them to navigate the toxic mess earth will become after . .
one nuclear power plant accident by tsumani, natural disaster, & poor planning . . . too many.
one atomic test, too many. RIP BIKINI ATOLL.
one nuke attack, in the wrong hands. panic room gonna work, I don’t think so.


BRUNO POGACNIK WUKODRAKULA !!
son of a quartz crystal – jungle.
gotta love that his last name rhymes with . . DRACULA.

I’ve always been the most proud, that as a lowly ‘worker bee’ myself . . buzzing around the art scene as a photo journalist/commentator, and many a-times a back-scene production assistant, my co-workers at artnet, when it was manned by that awesome twosome, WALTER ROBINSON and CHARLIE FINCH . . used to call me: CRACKULA !!
rhymes with DRACULA !!, and you just might know – why !!

BUZZ, BUZZ, BUZZ ON . . ALL YA INDIE CURATOR – WORKER BEES !!

REBEL, REBEL, INDIE – !!
YOU RULE.
NYC – 2015.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH



~AMBRE KELLY . . SPRING/BREAK


AMBRE KELLY, co-founder with ANDREW GORI . . of the SPRING/BREAK ART SHOW, at the 2014 edition, held in the old red brick schoolhouse building on Prince St and Mott, Little Italy. NYC.
PHOTO: NANCY SMITH, MARCH 9, 2014

this year’s SPRING/BREAK ART SHOW, the 4th annual edition . . has been moved to a much larger venue, the JAMES A. McFARLEY POST OFFICE – on WEST 31st ST at 8th AVE, NW corner.
that’s . . Midtown Manhattan.

see: SPRING/BREAK ART SHOW

with 90 CURATORS and 400 ARTISTS – taking up 3 floors of vacant office space !!

curators are where it’s at in NYC today – !!
these aspiring worker bees are all over the scene, from upscale to down, downtown to Brooklyn.

witness the huge critical success the Brooklyn-based CLEOPATRA’S curatorial collective had with . .
their take on the annual ‘LOOKING BACK’ SHOW at WHITE COLUMNS earlier this year !!
see: ‘LOOKING BACK’ – CURATED BY CLEOPATRA’S, JAN 13 – FEB 21, 2015

this year’s theme at SPRING/BREAK is: ‘TRANSACTION’. haha.

l-o-v-e the URBAN DICTIONARY DEFINITION:

but think they mean more, the MERRIAM WEBSTER TYPE DEFINITION,
but insert ‘ART’ & keep that . . URBAN DICTIONARY . . . . FLAIR — !!!!!

REBEL, REBEL – INDIE !!
IS WHAT IT’S . . ALL ABOUT – !!



~’ARTISTANCE’ CURATED BY: CHE MORALES . . extended !!

next week . . is the so-called big NYC ART FAIR WEEK.

as far as I can see, there are exactly 2 hot picks for the week:

‘ARTISTANCE’ a gritty straight-up-from-the-streets show of about 26 artists presented by indie curator – CHE MORALES, in the new format event venue/gallery/community center I.M.A.G.E in BUSHWICK . . .

and the other, the bigger venue . . ‘multi-pack’ SPRING BREAK ART FAIR re-located to mid-Manhattan this year – but still . . indie curator-based. just . . many many curators, instead of one, and many many artists, way more than 26, especially new ones, and a small entry fee to cover the organizational costs. unlike most art fairs, no ‘canned’ goods here.
all fresh produce. you just never know . . what’s around the corner.
(more on SPRING BREAK – next post !!)

for sure, it’s the young indie curators, whether the single voice, or seen as a group . . who have their fingers on the fast-paced pulse of the city’s art scene right now. they are like worker bees, always seeking alternative spaces, alternative ways of drumming up money, constantly unearthing, and presenting the newest wave of talent, that un-endingly makes its way to New York City, and struggles hard to call this damn will kill you city, home. all of them, curators and artists, wanting to break free, to be HEARD. SEEN. & LISTENED TO, while they dance in the moonlight – on that, bleeding edge curve that has always made . . NYC legend.

so, I was happy to hear that CHE MORALES had his show extended, and if you want to get away from the maddening, dumbed-down, ‘no-see’ crowds, this is a great place to start, and then you can just day trip all over Bushwick, and Williamsburg, and Greenpoint.
(including all the hot artisan ‘pottery’ stores, and restaurants, lol.)

which brings us back to CHE MORALES, who just sent in some great pix of his show, and what can I say . . except that, if you are a start-up ‘collector’, this show is a no-brainer, probably your best bet for your art buying $$$ – right now. just very raw, very authentic, and very . . real.
very intense. definitely trying to say . . something about the world we live in.
straight up from the streets, just the way we like it.

‘ARTISTANCE’ – CURATED BY CHE MORALES / ’26 ARTISTS – ONE STANCE’
EXTENDED THRU FRI, MARCH 6, 2015

IMAGE GALLERY – 1501 BROADWAY AVE, BROOKLYN (BUSHWICK), NY.
GALLERY HRS: TUES – FRI / 12p – 6p


MAS PAZ, with his street art style, font-driven, ‘Tierrita Compartida/Shared Land’, acrylic and aerosol on wood panel, 18 x 24 in.
($400) . . what did I say, no-brainer.


MAS PAZ, CERN, the show’s curator CHE MORALES, and . . DANIELLE MASTRION, whose wild painting, ‘The Bronx is Burning’, is exploding into flames . . behind them.

on the wall, the golden Egyptian ‘Foremost of Noble Ladies’, oil on canvas, by CHRISTINA DUARTE. 16 x 24 in.
($1,200)


a ‘storm’ of a painting . . if I ever did see one.
CERN, ‘Muntadar al-Zaidi (the shoe thrower)’
mixed media on wood panel, 20 x 24 in.
($600) (!!!!)


DANIELLE MASTRION, ‘The Bronx is Burning’, acrylic and aerosol on canvas, 36 x 48 in.
($1,200) tempting, very explosive, political, and crosses over nice with folk art.
bet it would be a show stopper, on the living room wall. back home.
this is what I bought in NYC, y’all.


TMO PLATTER, ‘X-MAN’, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30 in.
($600) no-brainer.


ALBERTUS, ‘Revolutionary Gaze’, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 60 in.
($2,500) tough grit. vs the powers that be.


BKFoxx, ‘Immolate’, oil on linen, 24 x 36 in.
($600) tough grit. protest. ethos vs dominant power. we are ALL FEELING THE STRESS.
don’t get me started on the TIBETANS vs the CHINESE.
HUMAN CAGES & FASCISM.
NATIVE RIGHTS. FREEDOM FROM INTERNET REGULATION.
EQUAL PAY FOR WOMEN, way to go . . PATRICIA ARQUETTE.
set yourself on fire, girl. set yourself . . FREE.


MARTHALICIA, ‘SACAGAWEA’, mixed media. 12 x 27 in.
($500) !!!!

wow, and yes I do know who . . SACAGAWEA is.
I met MIZOU PECK . . the lovely actress who plays her in BEN STILLER’S – ‘NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM’ series, at the JEFFREY SHAGAWAT opening, just this past DEC 2014.
see: pix from the opening – JEFFREY SHAGAWAT -’SELFIE’
and yes, BEN STILLER – was there.


CASEY CAULEY, ‘The Boy in Red’, acrylic on canvas, 33 x 30 in.
($500) . . . !!!!

so, that’s . . BUSHWICK.

instead of BBW, BUYER BE WARNED,
it’s . . B-WAY !! BUYER, WHERE ARE YOU ?

ALL PHOTOS: COURTESY CHE MORALES



~OWEN JAMES BRINGS PHILIPPINE ART . . TO JUSTMAD6 / SPAIN

BROOKLYN’S OWEN JAMES GALLERY . . .
BRINGS CUTTING EDGE, CONTEMPORARY PHILIPPINE ART – TO SPAIN.

‘CONTEMPORARY ART from the PHILIPPINES’ . . .
OWEN JAMES GALLERY – is pleased to present some of the leading contemporary artists from the Philippines:
MARIANO CHING, DEX FERNANDEZ, DINA GADIA & ROBERT LANGENEGGER

JustMad6 – The Emerging Art Fair
Feb 24 – March 1, 2015

Booth B2.02 (floor map # 3.04.B)
COAM – LaSede
Calle Hortaleza, 63, 28004 MADRID, SPAIN

coinciding with ARCO, Owen James Gallery is part of ‘JUST BROOKLYN’ . . .
a selection of young Brooklyn galleries within JustMad6 – The Emerging Art fair.
they have a great website: JustMad / EMERGING ART FAIR, MADRID
aka ‘travel’ – by digital wings.


DEX FERNANDEZ, ‘Untitled (2)’, 2013, acrylic, ink & embroidery on digital photograph.
30-1/4 x 20 in.
see: DEX FERNANDEZ, OWEN JAMES GALLERY

“While Southeast Asia has blossomed in the global contemporary art market over the last 10 years, the art coming out of MANILA stands out as dynamic, colorful, with a wide range of influences and materials. The emerging artists of Manilla reflect globalization, the deep impact of colonialism, and the topsy-turvy nature of their current political reality and recent history.”


MARIANO CHING, ‘Pale Moments After the Explosion Series: Man’, 2013
acrylic and oil on shaped canvas, 18 x 18 in.
see: MARIANO CHING, OWEN JAMES GALLERY

“For example, the pervasiveness of Catholic traditions, as introduced by the Spanish, are heavily contrasted with disillusionment over the Church’s inability to confront the overpopulation, political corruption, and the squandering of economic resources that is so rampant in the country. The images of American pop culture, from inane movies and television shows to comic books, brand-name luxury products and fast foods are often used not in admiration, but in defiant rejection of their presumed authority.


DINA GADIA, ‘Fear of Nice things’, 2012. collage. 9-1/2 x 8 in.
see: DINA GADIA, OWEN JAMES GALLERY

wow: the more I see of Ms. GADIA’s work – the more I eat my words . . !!
she is most definite ready for . . PRIME TIME !!


ROBERT LANGENEGGER, ‘As long as our artwork remains committed to the poorest of the poor and does not end up serving the rich the work will prosper.’, 2012.
diptych, acrylic on paper, 11-7/8 x 18 in.
see: ROBERT LANGENEGGER, OWEN JAMES GALLERY


JUSTMAD / EMERGING ART FAIR – MADRID, FEB 24 – MAR 1, 2015 – COAM – La Sede



~DINA GADIA / TAYLOR McKIMENS . . HORSING AROUND

of course as soon as I write that, I find a a very very strong piece by DINA GADIA.
and my question is: is, ETHOS . . always peaceful ?

and what about: KRATOS . . power.

DINA GADIA vs TAYLOR McKIMENS, it’s not so much a ‘versus’ . . as a dialog.
a contrast of visual style and expression.
a contrast of . . intention.
the common element being the . . horse.
a strange enough pictorial symbol . . ?
a political symbol ?
a dream symbol ?
a fantasy-powered unicorn in Taylor’s hands, a retro-charged symbol of power in Dina’s.
in Taylor’s painting the horse is tired, and bound by barbed wire, choking him at the neck.
he seems almost a unicorn, he is so other-worldy and surrounded by eerie light.
a dreamy sub-conscious . . ethos.
in Dina’s work – the horse is a cowboy (American ?) power play, trampling the (foreign ?) wrestlers / culture / ethos.
kratos vs ethos ?

in both artists’ hands, a human has been bounced. in Taylor’s painting he wears a cast.
in Dina’s, 2 strong men – are trampled underfoot.

I offer you DINA GADIA & TAYLOR McKIMENS . . horsing around, just because
. . . I can !!


DINA GADIA, ‘Body Western’, acrylic on thrift painting, 2014.
too bad she doesn’t include the scale ?
a political commentary ?
a fantasy ?
a power play within the imagination – projected out onto the world stage ?
image via DINA GADIA, hold yr horses


TAYLOR McKIMES with his painting, ‘Cactus Rider’, 2015. 84 x 101.75 in
more like a ‘fate’ / a ‘constellation’ of stars in the sky, than a dream.
a political statement ? a social statement ?
a power play within the imagination – projected out upon out our deeper psyche ?

PHOTOS OF TAYLOR McKIMENS & HIS WORK: NANCY SMITH
TAYLOR McKIMENS: 2008-2015 COMMISSIONS BY BRIGHT LYONS, FEB 3 – 17. 2015, NYC

PHOTO OF DINA GADIA,’Body Western’ – from her website



~DINA GADIA . . ETHOS !! & still time to catch MAS PAZ !!

ETHOS:
another way to say . . in a PEACEFUL WAY, new cultures bubbling . . up !!

‘ETHOS BELOW’ – ILLUSTRATION BY . . DINA GADI,
a young artist from the PHILIPPINES who is represented by a new gallery in Brooklyn . . with a, how fun !! global voice: OWEN JAMES GALLERY.
where they will be showing Dina’s work this Spring, MAY 2015.

see: DINA GADIA, hold yer horses, etc

I’m posting this image because, apart from the nice theoretical, political, cultural, & social resonance – to last Saturday’s MAS PAZ special on artlovers – !!
and, of course focused first . . on the great art, visuals, graphics and vision !!
I particularly like how diverse cultures, previously quite ignored in the contemporary art world, i.e. South America, Philippines . . are coming up through the cracks, in small venues in BROOKLYN !!
and I totally dig, how it’s coming up as ‘cutting edge’, which IT IS – as opposed to being pegged as ‘outsider’ or ‘folk art’.

I also think it’s interesting to contrast Dina’s work with Taylor McKimens’ !!.
both have a comic book retro feel, but that’s where – the line stops !!
DINA GADIA vs TAYLOR McKIMENS ?
hmmmmm, well Taylor has it up on Dina, come on, be respectful !!
he’s been around a lot longer, and is more of an original expressionist as opposed to Dina’s more quiet, appropriation collage ways, but those ‘hands coming up from the muck’ – of her’s . . are pure gold !! could be a gold mine – over there in Manilla, give or take a few more years !!
I mean, Taylor has been cooking in the fires of the underground NYC scene for quite a while, which definite toughens you up, Dina could do well to look at his work. and then . . go her own way – of course. and watch out !!

and, go BROOKLYN.
because this global voice – is just so much more real than the big $$$ mainstream galleries who show for example, Chinese contemporary ‘art’ – as they chase the big $$$ Asian art buying market !!

BROOKLYN, is so ahead of the curve. and that’s the way – we like it.

OWEN JAMES GALLERY will be showing Dina’s work, along with 3 other young artists from the PHILIPPINES in his booth at the JUSTMAD6 – THE EMERGING ART FAIR – in SPAIN, that happens next week, coinciding with their big ARCO ART FAIR over there – more info on OUR NEXT POST !!

shout out again to CHE MORALES at IMAGE GALLERYfor including MAS PAZ in his ‘ARTISTANCE’ show, which you can still catch this week – the show runs thru FRI FEB 27, 2015.

UP-DATE: THE ‘ARTISTANCE’ SHOW HAS BEEN EXTENDED THRU . . FRI MARCH 6, 2015
see: IMAGE GALLERY

see: OWEN JAMES GALLERY – 61 GREENPOINT AVE, suite 315, GREENPOINT, BROOKLYN. NY

MAS PAZ – WALL MURAL, ‘Protected from the Sun’ – Barra De Navidad, Mexico
see: MAS PAZ



~THE DREAMS THAT I GAVE HER . . CLOSING PARTY / UP-DATE: SAT FEB 21 – FIRST BUZZ on SPRING BREAK !!

UP-DATE: SAT FEB 21, 2015:

on an ‘exciting’ note: YULIA TOPCHIY will be presenting what looks to be a very dynamic ‘group’ offering in the highly anticipated SPRING BREAK ART FAIR – during ARMORY WEEK. what makes this new fair so exciting is that it is . . curator-based, as opposed to . . gallery-based.

SPRING BREAK . . founded by ANDREW GORI & AMBRE KELLY, has a new location this year, looking to be a better and bigger exhibition space. good-bye little red schoolhouse on PRINCE ST, hello:
SKYLIGHT at MOYNIHAN STATION, 31st Street entrance – 307 West 31, NYC at 8th Ave.

on a ‘well-deserved’ note: artist & graphic credits for the incredible awesome ‘THE DREAMS THAT I GAVE’ closing poster image – have just been listed below the poster, scroll down !!

‘THE DREAMS THAT I GAVE HER’ – CURATED BY KELLI BURTON & YULIA TOPCHIY
CLOSING RECEPTION: FRI, FEB 20, 2015 / 6-9 PM
with readings by:
CATE MARVIN – Nostalgia Is A
JAMES Yeh – Sayonara
Cate Peebles – Waking Up
NARS Foundation Gallery – 201 46th St, 4th Fl, BROOKLYN, NY

gallery hours: MON-FRI 12-5 pm / and by appointment

the group show runs JAN 24 – FEB 20, 2015 / don’t BLINK !!

for more info: CO-WORKER PROJECTS

‘THE DREAMS THAT I GAVE HER’ … includes original writing, music, and visual art created specifically for this event. In conjunction with NARS Foundation curators KELLI BURTON and YULIA TOPCHIY have organized a creative project that involves 30 New York-based artists. The participants consist of 10 writers, 10 musicians, and 10 visual artists …

The 10 writers were asked to craft a new poem or short story. The writing pieces were then distributed anonymously to the 10 musicians and 10 visual artists. They then had one month to use their designated writing piece as inspiration for an original song recording and an original visual artwork in the medium of their choice. The opening which took place on Sat, Jan 24, 2015 revealed the collaborators to each other as well the display of the artworks. There will be printed books available which contain the 10 writing pieces with an attached sound card containing the 10 digital recordings of the inspired songs.

the participating artists:
Chris Bors, Eric Brown, Anelise Chen, Michael Crowe, Matt Duncan, Alaina Ferris & Matt Schlatter, Alan and Michael Fleming, Catherine Foulkrod, Rita Ikonen, Invisible Things, Melissa Godoy Nieto, Alison Kuo, Cate Marvin, Noveller, Cate Peebles, Walter Robinson, Bill Santen, Adam Sipe, Amanada Stern, Christopher Swetals, The Tablets, Tarwuk, JD Walsh, The Westerlies, Whale Belly, Woodsy Pride, Writer, Jessica Wynne, and James Yeh.

Alan and Michael Fleming’s shows have been reviewed several times on artlovers, as have those of my long time friend, and former editor at artnet – Walter Robinson.

the photograph is by – JESSICA WYNNE – an artist in this show.

JESSICA WYNNE, ‘How Mourning Goes’, 2014.
Digital C Print, 30 x 40 in. edition of 10 + 2AP
her project was inspired by the story with the same title by AMANDA STERN, and the song with the same title – was composed and recorded by The Tablets.

the graphic design is by – CASEY BURTON who goes by the name PIO.



~how low – can you go . . ? / UP-DATE: SAT FEB 21

pretty far, actually.

funny how things synch up, funny how round the world . . turns,
direction: WEST !!

all the way from KKK/KANYE WEST & O.J. via AMBER ROSE, onto MM/MICHELE MACCARONE, via how-low-can-you-go NATE LOWMAN and ending up with . . JERRY SALTZ ?!!

you might have caught my big rant on SAT FEB 14th ?
turns out it was a really hot weekend, Saturday was Valentine’s Day and yesterday, was FAT TUESDAY aka MARDI GRAS !!

so things were heating up mad, and . . YES, I DID FEEL THE HEAT.

in the pop culture that rocks us hard, whether we know it or not, things were hot as hell.
BBW in the art word, ‘n BBQ in the fashion-celeb word !!

BBQ – ?
AMBER ROSE goes commando ballistic mad, or as she calls it, ‘South Philly’ !! on her ex KANYE WEST via KHLOE KARDASHIAN . . and nails it very nicely in just a few words, and, of course little North sporting a bullet proof vest c/o KANYE – priceless. I love little North. I hope she gets to watch cartoons, and if they ever put her butt naked on the beach – shilling Guess jeans, ala GIGI HADID, I’ll have a fit.

so, who knew Amber was such a creative genius – posting the meme of all mothers, o lordy, while briefly stooping to call O.J. (“the man who got away with murder”), and in a sense he is . . Khloe’s dad !! !!

of course this bloody Valentines Day massacre goes down just as Kanye gets his mement, I mean moment !! in the fashion world sun, and his song with Taylor Swift, and Paul McCartney, at the Grammy’s – was hardcore . . wow.
gritty. and so are his – boosts. and his referencing of VANESSA BEECROFT.

read: AMBER GOES ‘SO PHILLY’, CALLS KIM . . a WHORE !! and, worse !! – DAILY MAIL

didn’t I tell you that, just last week, at Taylor’s opening: it’s a PHILLY INVASION – !!

so much for crispy well-burnt celeb BBQ,

in the art world proper, it was:

BBW – BUYER BE WARNED !!

MICHELE MACCARONE GOING SOUTH, and we don’t mean her upcoming expansion to L.A. – !!!

actually Michele Maccarone is someone I love to hate, so I actually did go off on her on Sat, but then I thought twice about putting out so much negative derision on the Day of Hearts, and retracted.

but funny how the world spins, and things started to line up in such a groovy connect-the-dots fashion, I just have . . to re-visit.

first up, was the crazy cozy pairing, after the fact – of NATE LOWMAN and his ex MARY KATE OLSEN, aka THE OLSEN TWINS in the ‘OFF DUTY’ section of the WSJ – just in time for VALENTINE’S DAY WEEKEND.


so are MARY KATE & her sis . . justified or what / and big time !!
BOHO – that was their look !! before they clamped down, went THE ROW – in the face of mass criticism.

and just inside, on PAGE 4 – thanks to the recent contemporary art auctions, a little art world BUYER BE WARNED /BBW – chart !!
and, guess whose on it, and . . tanking ?
yep, sad to say .. NATE LOWMAN thanks in part to the careful, translate: awful . . curation and representation of, by one MICHELE MACCARONE, his dealer.


‘ARTISTS TO WATCH’ – compiled by KELLY CROW, WALL STREET JOURNAL – ‘Sotheby’s Shakes Off Doubts’.

and note: there are only 4 artists who made the list, and ONLY ONE is going south, and that be: NATE.
and, yes – that is a god awful ‘MM” painting by the way.

“Art world wild child NATE LOWMAN, 37, scored at auction in 2013 with a series of works that look like giant bullet holes on walls. But sellers looking to flip the American artist’s works for a quick buck this week found a soft secondary market . ‘Six Shooter’, a series of “bullet holes” from 2005, attracted low interest at Phillips, and sold below estimate at $170,000. The seller of 2011′s ‘Trash Landing Marilyn #12′, (the painting in the chart) who bought it in 2013, took a 10% loss at Phillips when the work sold just above its low estimate for $650,000.”

boo hoo, BBW !! HOW LOW CAN YOU GO – NATE LOWMAN ?

but what really go me to re-post, connect-the-dots !!
was that I had pegged Michele Maccarone, and very nicely I thought – as having her “nose-out-of-joint” meaning unbearably snobby, wrong, and just plain . . stuffy.
you know, stuffy . . nose.

when on quite another cyber research project yesterday, I actually stumbled across JERRY SALTZ and his wonderful chronicle of MICHELE MACCARONE and her BROKEN NOSE . . at VENICE !!
too funnie !!
and, JERRY SALTZ taking pix !! hilarious !!
well you only need to catch the moment if it’s hysterical, by that I mean newsworthy, and so yes he even had a pretty awful photo of Michele and her broken nose, kudos . . JERRY.

but BTW BBW, Jerry – don’t lose the day job !!

read: JERRY SALTZ with the tale of Michele Maccarone’s broken nose – artnet


NATE LOWMAN, ‘LOSER’, 2009.
‘A DOG FOR EVERY COUNTY’, MACCARONE GALLERY, NYC. Feb 10 – April 2009.

now this was from when NATE was GREAT, but that was the last time I ever set foot in that god-forsaken place, talking about . . tragic ‘maccaroni’ westerns, west side NYC, and all.

ALL PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH

UP-DATE: SAT FEB 21, 2015

first of all, turns out to be a classic Western frontier, CLASSIC AMERICANA story . . or what ?!!!!
slice and dice, . . and all.

and there’s more on the . . PHILLY FRONT – !!

while I was stabbing, o.k. slice and dice metaphorically . . MICHELE MACARONE here in the fringes of west side NYC, some bad action was going down, in where else .. Philly !!

two members of NICKI MINAJ’s tour crew got stabbed in the CHE BAR & GRILL in PHILLY the night before this was published, that would be Tues night FEB 17, 2015. the news has just started to surface. De’Von Pickett a stage hand for Nicki died, the other crew member is hospitalized. they were only in Philly for 2 days !! for tour rehearsals with Nicki’s BF rapper MEEK MILL – who’s from ?
where else: PHILLY !!

see: NICKI MINAJ – ROADIE .. DEAD / TMZ

something bad-ass in the water – in Philly.



~MAS PAZ . .

MAS PAZ . . MORE PEACE !!

MAS PAZ, my bad !!

MAS PAZ . . the ‘anti-executioner’ – !!

MAS PAZ making his statement . . with such tenderness, and way ahead of the curve.

MY BAD, MAS PAZ, for ranting and raving . . when you do it all so underhandedly.
so sweet, so caring.

MAS PAZ bringing art to the table, in more ways than one.

check out: ‘MAS PAZ’

do not miss: MAS PAZ – WALLS

and, FOR SURE: HIS VIDEOS

ARE FOR ALL . . ‘TAKERS’.

I couldn’t pick out a fav – so just go with the flow, and watch them – all !!

YO !!!

you can see work by MAS PAZ at the big ‘ARTISTANCE’ group show curated by CHE MORALES at IMAGE GALLERY . . thru FRI FEB 27, 2015

IMAGE GALLERY



~ARTISTANCE OPENS . . FRI FEB 13

ARTISTANCE . . . CURATED BY CHE MORALES
26 ARTISTS – ONE STANCE
OPENS FRI FEB 13, 2015 / 7-10:30 PM
the show runs thru FRI FEB 27, 2015
IMAGE GALLERY – 1501 BROADWAY AVE, BUSHWICK, BROOKLYN, NY

more info on the show: ARTISTANCE

FEATURING WORK BY:
BKFOXX, CERN, TMOPLATER, DANIELLE MASTRION, LEXI BELLA, MAS PAZ, MARTHALICIA, COCAINE&CAVIAR, LAVAN WRIGHT, CLUB BUM, THEO MIGHTY, MIGHTY MATH, CHRISTINA DUARTE, KID KUUP, AARON VALENTIN, DEREK PEREZ, SARAH BERMAN, RAOUL ANTONIO ALBERTUS, SID LOPEZ, CASEY CAULLEY, JON RODRIQUEZ, MATT STANTON, KAHEIM ARCHER, MURJANI, IKE SLIMSTER.

AFTERPARTY: BIZARRE BAR – 12 JEFFERSON St, BUSHWICK.
will include a special video presentation by performance artist AKIL DAVIS, then dancing to Latin sounds of DJ’s DIGITAL GUARACHA

JMZ @ MYRTLE / BROADWAY AVE



~TAYLOR McKIMEN’S: THE HISTORY OF ART & bye the way: HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY !!

‘TAYLOR McKIMENS: COMMISSIONS BY BRIGHT LYONS, 2008-2015′
FEB 3 – TUES, FEB 18, 2015
BRIGHT LYONS, POP-UP – 455 West 19th St, Chelsea, NYC

“THE STARRY MESSENGER” . . .

well, lookie here, Taylor’s show – is in synch with the . . stars !!
that means . . for sure, I’m up, for taking . . another LOOK !!


TAYLOR McKIMENS, ‘You and I’, 2014, acrylic paint. 14 x 10.75 in.


HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, Y’ALL . . !!

though actually I’m not 100% if this is . .’You and I’, or: ‘Far from Me’ ?!!
the artworks weren’t listed exactly in synch with the installation at the opening, they must have done some last minute re-arranging.
so I didn’t get the note, and somebody else can do the . . grad school paper.
but I do see hearts, and plenty of them on her dress, and they most def . . are in the POP vernacular, or what !!
though that ‘chain around her neck’, pardon the expression (!!) is causing me some mystery, and sleepless nights.
whose got the other half ?

and ps: in case you didn’t pick it up, the narrow hem around her t-shirt – clearly speaks: comic book.


this is a close-up of the woman’s head, in Taylor’s ‘Victory’, 2015 painting, discussed at some length in the previous post. what’s so strangely interesting about these paintings, is that while they most strongly project ‘cutting edge’ contemporary art – they also carry secret passageways to and from great ART, mostly vernacular, and definite outcasts . . from the past.

so, is ‘ex-outsider’ a formal term ?

and, now of course very revered and respected painters, in this case: it’s clear to see the ‘hand’ of the mighty outsider, now a god . . VAN GOGH.
in short in Taylor MCKimens’ paintings – Van Gogh meets comic book story-telling & neon color spurts – in 21st C Brooklyn !!

off-tangent: the definition of ‘outsider’ has morphed & changed, and in some sense remained exactly the same – incredibly through the centuries.
you better thank your lucky stars – there’s a fluid path . . in the rat world. I mean: art world. even if it does take .. centuries.


“CLOTHED IN GLORY – An 1889 self-portrait painted in Saint-Remy, where Van Gogh spent the final year of his life.” – WSJ, BOOKS SECTION, Sat/Sun Jan 17-18, 2015.
VAN GOGH making the . . news.
and damn, that’s a true . . ‘SELFIE’, if I ever did see . . one, not to repeat myself, but . . just laying out the cultural cards, as they plainly fall.
in black and white, and read all over.

but back to TAYLOR:
it hadn’t really dawned on me why I was so haunted by the show, until I noted this Wall Street Journal, Books section – on the top of my reading desk !!
yep, weekend of Jan 17-18, 2015, VINCENT VAN GOGH is not only in the news, his self-portrait, his ‘SELFIE’ . . . is headlining . . . the cultural pack heading into New Year 2015, and if you dwell on these kind of things, trends, even slightly, you can well pause to consider why the WSJ editors picked a ‘selfie’ instead of let’s say, a landscape – as their large format, go-to-image ?!!

anyway, so it’s not just American painter Taylor McKimens who is looking back.
look look . . lookie back, young dudes.
apparently Brit painter JULIAN BELL is also looking back, and he seems to have astounded everybody with his new Biography, ‘Van Gogh: A Power Seething’. (great title). a quote form the book: “My existence is not without reason,” the artist once wrote to his brother Theo. “There is something inside me, what can it be ?” the WSJ reviewer, JONATHAN LOPEZ, says Julian Bell “answers that question forcefully”.
see: ‘THE STARRY MESSENGER’, ‘Van Gogh: A Power Seething’ – by JULIAN BELL, WSJ


close-up, detail, TAYLOR McKIMENS . . ‘You and I’, 2014.
which brings us back to . . Valentine’s Day, 2015 – where you can also observe the animated gestural Van Gogh influence, that Taylor borrows to 3-D ‘model’ his figures, but you can also pick up some – GAUGUIN . . kind of his contemporary evil ‘twin’.
in the flat planes, esp across the face. the flower in the hair. the expression – etc, etc. the passion.
so, GAUGUIN’S also in the news, too.


“Paul Gauguin painted ‘Nafea Faa Ipolpo (When Will You Marry?)’, a portrait of two Tahitian girls, in 1892.” – WALL STREET JOURNAL, FRI FEB 6, 2015.

‘GAUGUIN PAINTING SELLS FOR NEAR $300 MILLION’ – BY KELLY CROW.

in short: “A colorful painting of two Tahitian women by Paul Gauguin has reportedly been sold by a Swiss family foundation to a group of state museums in Qatar for nearly $300 million, a record sum for a single work of art.”
read the article for yourself: “Gauguin Painting Sells …”, WSJ – FEB 6, 2015.


but what’s also interesting about this painting is how it speaks to the forward direction of Taylor’s work, which seems to be leaving the pick-up truck, dive bar culture of the southwest desert, and Brooklyn (!!), the exotic women of the hot islands of Gauguin, and the even hotter, thicker emotions – of Van Gogh – and taking the whole heap, kit and kaboddle / comic book art and all, flat planes and painterly gestures, animated inanimate details . . and moving them all . . . towards THE LIGHT !!
as opposed to the . . HEAT.
big diff.
and there’s a wonderful strangeness to that – too.


detail, TAYLOR McKIMENS, ‘Greek Head’, 2015. 14 x 11 in.

the L-i-g-h-t of the . . THE GREEKS – !!
moving forward, by going even further backward ?
that’s an interesting concept – as well.
one can just feel the light, refracting & reflecting off the coolness of that cold hard white marble, desert ? what desert. it’s all gods and civilization, thought. marble, and water-dwelling oracles !! the linear color areas, and crazed messy details of LIFE – are morphing into patterns of stained glass reflection that speak to answers, order and pattern. entropy is banished, and a flood of optimism shines rays over the small, but very alive, and evolving universe of the living – in a word: Brooklyn. just joking, calm down !!

Happy Valentine’s Day, from artlovers – your original content provider, and her take on the art scene . . multiplied by the everyday tarot cards, life in media-driven NYC throws at us, all.
a ‘selfie’ is a ‘blog’ is an . . insider/outsider ?
better believe it !!

oh, to the Greeks . . and their Starry Constellations !! Cupid and all.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH



~TAYLOR McKIMENS – PIX from the OPENING . .

‘TAYLOR McKIMENS: COMMISSIONS BY BRIGHT LYONS, 2008-2015′
opened Tues Feb 3, 2015
the pop-up show runs thru TUES FEB 17, 2015
BRIGHT LYONS POP-UP – 455 West 19th St, Chelsea, NYC

PIX FROM THE OPENING:


the 2 week pop-up show takes place in the former ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG FOUNDATION building, so that was very elegant and spacious. and unexpectedly, had a real traveling in Japanese countryside temple look. super nice. if not plain: straight-out magic. for a NYC snowy side street.


what looked like they had been former industrial garage doors, had been re-worked (previously) – with a real Japanese feel to them, which suited the work.
and, the night.


TAYLOR McKIMENS greets guests . . at the opening.


even though this painting was most obviously NOT a selfie, there were signs that the paintings were a kind of 3rd party . . . ‘selfie’, as in self-reflection.
biographical: where I’ve been.


TAYLOR McKIMENS, ‘Victory’, 2015. 84 x 110 in.
although the paintings are right on the cutting edge, many art historical references inform them. they have a very strange & flat composition, despite many shading details . . that is very Japanese, esp as regards Edo Period woodblock prints, whose influence is also seen in the way the colors are used so flatly, and yet also so ‘decoratively’. there’s also often a throwback narrative to Taylor’s southwest roots, comic books, and . . retro advertising.


pops of florescent color, like over-the-top sharp pink, help define the mood, and contour the objects, that’s what I meant by . . ‘decorative’ color. if there is a light source, it is going to get some fantastic painterly play.
as well, small details take on a very animated comic book-like character – the whole background is alive, just as much as the subjects. the truck is just as alive as the girl.
also, note the girl’s leg is modeled by brushstrokes, as opposed to shading per se. it took me a while to get what was so haunting about this, VAN GOGH, of course !!


above all, this is painting that depends on drawing. you can see that not only in all those small details, that pop and squirm, and drip !! but also in how larger color fields have linear boundaries, and the superb, humorous calligraphy – is a big tip-off to the draftsmanship that rules the ‘chaos’.
above all these are . . stories.


PAUL BRIGHT, in front of TAYLOR McKIMEN’S . . ‘Sundown Somewhere’.


TAYLOR McKIMENS, ‘Sundown Somewhere’, 2012.
60 x 84 in.
($17,500.)
kind of a very painterly EDWARD HOPPER meets VAN GOGH, by way of Edo Japan, while taking a giant step into the nature of mankind, via comic book ethos.


a distraught, lonely man in a dive of a diner – we’ve all been there, down and out.


the giant ‘decorative’ face in the background, left-hand side, very: flat, very comic book.
but, still kind of . . buddha-like ?
a touch of .. sci-fi ?
a street art . . sticker/decal ?


every element – has a . . ‘life’. a ‘take’. a visual ‘philosophy’ starts to bubble up . . everywhere.
it’s the equivalent of our 21st century . . frenzy of existence.
gears, germs, micro-germs, nano organisms, the hidden life of DNA everywhere.

Taylor often uses ‘food’ and small ‘graphics’ / ‘logos’ – to add to the storytelling gestures, and mood.
symbols, they add up to a . . ‘decomposing’ humanity ?


there’s even a signature, retro sign / ‘calligraphy’, snaking by . . a fluid but funky hand gesture that rides across the canvas plane, on the outside of the glass plate window, realism.


artist JAMES MOORE, at the opening. his work also plays heavy with symbols, but more on the dark side, purple crystals, stalagmites, secret mushrooms, forbidden forests with elfin inhabitants, in a word: the mystical dark side of the woods vs the jumpy neon-lit street diner.
in a word: cave vs. booth. choose your weapon.
while one is goth, the other . . is comic book narrator. James might be said to dwell on the darker arts, black magic and ritual, while Taylor is catching everyday . . psycho-drama.


PHIL COTE . . of the notorious, now-disbanded cult art band BOBO, which increasingly morphed into a seriously creative, lurking on the fringe, definite ahead-of-the-curve, always looking forward art collective/gallery. the 4 member group used to storm into NYC, from Philly, every now and then. always guaranteed to blow you away. apparently Phil Cote has re-located to NYC, so . . let’s see what’s up on that.


the ghost in the room – DREW GILLESPIE !!
another BOBO member who is also re-locating to the Big apple – he’s been in San Francisco, he just sent word of his new art website: CONNOTATION CHUMP (!!).
yes, hit that . . link.


a guest . . in the room.


artist JUSTIN SAMSON is also returning to NYC, after a long stint in PHILLY.
when everyone else seems to be going to, and from LA – it’s a Philly invasion.


CHE MORALES, the director of new I.M.A.G.E. Gallery & community/venue space in Bushwick, is putting on a big show of cutting edge artists, 26 in total, this FRI FEB 13, 2015. it’s called ‘ARTISTANCE’ and aspires to . . hardcore ‘visionary’.
looks to be a big Valentine’s Day . . blast.
see: I.M.A.G.E.


is that . .


MISAKI KAWAI, yes !!


detail, TAYLOR McKIMENS, ‘Greek Head’, 2015.
14 x 11 in.
($4,500.)
this is the direction in which, Taylor told me – he is currently going, portraits based on classic Greek mythology and art.
what ? no dive bars. no pick-up trucks. less drippy and more plaid ? just j-o-k-i-n-g.
maybe – not !!
love . . the detail on the EYEBALLS !!


another very narrative / hyper graphic, comic book-influenced, linear draftsman-infused, edgey ‘formalist’ painter . . MATT LEINES.
says he’s “doing good” and working in the studio all the time.


with Matt Leines, freelance illustrator, artist: LEIF LOW-BEER.
he showed in Matt’s short-lived indie gallery, deep in Brooklyn.
I didn’t know his work, so it was fun to do a quick peek. I could see right off why Matt would be attracted to this almost deck-of-cards quirky, minimal . . slyly humorous building block vocabulary work, in 3d as well.


. . but, it’s his show, we’ll give Taylor . . the last word !!
TAYLOR McKIMENS, ‘Catching Hell’, 2014. 14 x 11 in.


hello, humans, I am . .


. . plant LIFE !!

I AM . . CACTUS.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH



~TAYLOR McKIMENS . . OPENS at BRIGHT LYONS, CHELSEA POP-UP

TAYLOR McKIMENS . . COMMISSIONS BY BRIGHT LYONS, 2008-2015
opens TUES FEB 3, 2015 / 6-9PM
the show runs FEB 3 – 17, 2015 – so don’t blink !!
BRIGHT LYONS – 455 WEST 19th ST – CHELSEA, NYC
note: the Chelsea street address for this event !!

this is TAYLOR’S first solo show in NYC since his solo project, ‘SOFT SERVE’ at DEITCH PROJECTS in 2008.

here’s the low down:
TAYLOR McKIMENS . . is a great painter, right up there, and I have been a huge fan since day 1, it’s almost 15 years since we first crossed paths, and it’s been great fun to watch his work grow, and unfold. this is a painter’s painter . . very smart. a very tough mix that manages to be both fantastic yet hard-edged ‘story-book’, and yet absolute gritty & realist . . it’s most definite: painting, mixed further, as in hot & heavy . . with brilliant gestural color and flourishes, embellished by a desert dry wit, and dripping . . comic book ethos.

dare I say the ‘poster’ image below – is a kind of ‘selfie’, if not exactly a self-portrait, certainly a portrait within Taylor’s private world. so a ‘selfie’ – by extension ?
what makes it read ‘selfie’ to me – is the way the face confronts the viewer, challenging, maybe even hiding – but dead pan: “what am I thinking”, “what do you think – gazing upon me” ?
what worlds open up – between us.
what worlds, what ‘bookmarks’ – of time and place are thus archived, noted, and illuminated.
what of the boundary . . between you and .. me ?
can you see through me ?
or is that, can you see through . . to me ?
or do I only mark a point – in time and space.

and for those of you who flew by this post, without hitting that BRIGHT LYONS link, I just wanted to make sure . . you saw this !!
even a funny desert CACTUS, is a selfie x selfie x cactus, in TAYLOR’S hands !!
hello world, I’m a . . cactus.
now what ?



~LOOKING BACK: THE 9TH WHITE COLUMNS ANNUAL / revised 2/2/2015 & 2/3/15

2/2/15: my bad !!
CLEOPATRA’S is NOT an artist collective, but “more a curatorial project” – !!
NO artists !! – how interesting, you mean us artists are not the only ones that can key in ?
clue in, and rev up. all the better.
you wouldn’t know that . . just looking around at all the big time ‘professional’/'institutional’ curators in this gritty frontier art town, who all seem sadly lacking in vision, devoid of excitement, and just are so lame – well well behind the curve, instead of being face first ahead of it, and most certainly not making any decisions from . . the ground up.

so, again congrats to CLEOPATRA’S, what a great name – for putting together a really tough little big little survey show. catching the trends, and making statements. they held a very tough line, both visually and thematically.
in other words: the curating is very . . on point, and offers up lots of viewing and . . thinking.

2/3/15: White Columns correction . .
so, seems that strange little nymph-like clay ‘garden’ sculpture by Ms.SAM ANDERSON, in photo below – sitting on the floor – in the midst of that huge crushing chaos party of an opening, like a stubborn guest, is quite the . . trouble-maker.
quite the gnome !!
the correct title of the piece is, NOT: ‘Blood on Santa’s Claw’ (!!), but . . rather:
‘Blood on Satan’s Claw’ !!!! x !!!! x ahah – that’s so much more cipher-able, metaphor-wise.
‘Satan’s claw’ – too much !! that’s so . . funnie, hardcore, and tragic.
but wow, SANTA vs. SATAN – !!

‘LOOKING BACK: THE NINTH WHITE COLUMNS ANNUAL’
GUEST CURATED BY CLEOPATRA’S – a Brooklyn curatorial project composed of: BRIDGET DONAHUE, BRIDGET FINN, COLLEEN GRENNAN & ERIN SOMERVILLE
opened TUES, JAN 13, 2015
the show runs thru FEB 21, 2015
WHITE COLUMNS – 320 WEST 13th ST – enter on HORATIO ST BTWN HUDSON & 8th AVE, WEST VILLAGE, NYC

more info: on the exhibit & curators

there are a lot of big group shows circulating in the city this month, meaning lots of options, and lots of bodies at the openings – the better to warm everybody up vs. the big winter chill !!

I really liked this big selection at WHITE COLUMNS the best – mostly for its overall pro-active, steely take on the art trends that zapped the art scene last year, and the dedicated ‘eyeballs’ that these guest curators put on art that: mattered. these four Brooklyn-based women made a point of including art that focused on our world – as it falls apart before our very eyes. even though the show was hung seemingly without a larger thematic or compositional / spatial floor plan, there was a kind of cool, minimal industrial feel to the overall exhibit, which I felt was very on point – as well.


PETER FEND with his text piece: ‘SAVE YOUR SOIL’, 2014.
Aluminum sign with vinyl decal, 42 x 28 x 1 in.
courtesy of the artist and ESSEX STREET, New York

less is more, Mr. Fend becomes the poster boy for new world thinking as his 3 simple words nailed the very potent social and political commentary that papered the scene last year.
interestingly, for such a reduced work, it is also long on resonance. whether conscious or not, Mr. Fend takes the run-away concept of ‘SELFIE’ – and turns it upside-down, on its head, and focuses thought, and attention back to the needs of the REAL world outside us, a world so desperate in its need of some (big) tender loving care.
it’s the ultimate . . ‘un-selfie’, a gorgeous 3 word dig at the ‘selfie / selfish’ – me me me mindset that spans the global culture, and message that needs to go global, along . . with DUMP YOUR GUNS.
though I don’t mean that, bad as it sounds – as on attack on the very valid ‘selfie’ movement. the urge to ‘selfie’ and post it – for all to see (!!) does greatly contribute to global thinking. it makes everybody an artist, and gives everybody a voice, as well it appears to be a great coping mechanism with all the horrible things going down – and of course, selfie is a vibrant first person archive – that adds up to collective dialog – for sure. just it’s good to get the un-selfie in the midst of all that sharing, that nails the focus, as beautifully as Mr. Fend does.

extended version: I’m thinking . . it’s quite strange to ponder how in biblical days when the soil, the earth was rich and un-degraded by modern populations, greed, and chemicals, it was the SOUL that needed tending. now it’s the inverse.


LILY van der STOKKER, ‘Yelling Women’, 2014
Acrylic paint on wood, 108 x 90 x 7.5 in.
courtesy the HALL COLLECTION, the artist and Clinton & Koenig, NY

as befits a show curated by a group of 4 woman – there were some pretty heavy duty feminist . . takes.
interestingly this piece, although big pink and cloudy, even sweet . . brought ‘feminist-y’ up to-date.
both funny and serious, it also reflected the big ‘cartoon’ format that livens up the NYC art scene, while it also indirectly addresses the preciousness of FREE SPEECH, political cartoons, etc. etc.
you know I am talking about: JE SUIS CHARLIE. JE SUIS FEMME.

if Peter Fend’s piece was the ‘poster’, this piece by LILY van der Stokker is the – thought/talk ‘bubble’.


looking at JOSH KLINE’S wall-mounted, industrial-commercial ‘cooler’ – it confronted one directly as you entered the exhibition space. it was aptly & brilliantly . . titled: ‘Problems’ – !!
as it picked up, and carried on the political dialog.
yep, we got . . problems.
it was cool, too – how the show’s planners gave it that great empty space of a wall.
very nice.

as for how it referenced the scene last year ?

DRINK THIS – DEATH BY ART !! / a metaphor, duh !!


JOSH KLINE, ‘Problems’, 2015.
Plexi, refrigerator, LEDS, 42 smoothies containing Mr> Clean, money order, medical scrubs, french fries, toilet paper, phone card, latex gloves, pennies, Dayquil, Red Bull, Ritalin, Claritin, Aspirin, Advil, Aleve, video camera, microphones, pig’s blood, pepper spray, duct tape, and dirt.
74 x 57-1/2 in.
courtesy of the artist and 47 Canal, NY
(special thanks to Friends of the High Line)

the toxic colors and ingredients – speak for themselves.


EUGENE von BUENCHENHEIN, ‘Untitled (blue vessel with pink flower)’, n.d.
Oven-fired ceramic and paint. 8.75 x 3.75

switching industrial / tech gears, and smack in the face of the digital revolution, Eugene von Buenchenhein caught that other great trend of last year – aka the YEAR of THE HAND-MADE CERAMIC POTTERY . . WAVE.


SAM ANDERSON, ‘Blood on Santa’s Claw’, 2014 / correction: ‘Blood on Satan’s Claw’, 2014 – !!
Epoxy clay, metal, wood, wire, plastic, dirt, lead.
variable dimensions
courtesy of the artist and Chapter, NY

though not kiln-fired, the piece is still hand-formed . . from CLAY !!
but more importantly, it is one of the few pieces in the show that caught that other ‘trend’ of last year: the MINIATURE !!
the fact that it was presented here in such a big show, with a huge crowded opening, in such a small scale & so precariously under-foot, suggests that Ms. Anderson was well aware of that huge . . small scale dynamic that swept the scene so strangely. mini mini mini. it does speak to: everything boils down to singularity, the small individual element, even more so, in our huge inter-connected social media world. less is more, and apparently in NYC 2014, nano-scale is a power player, and a power getter. . from the small gesture: big thoughts.
also referencing . . preciousness of resources, and the also the small scale of who ‘we’ are . . on our planet, a raging out-of-control global world . . and then even further, how small is are ‘we’ – in the face of the ever-closer and way way larger universe(s) – out there, in space.

though I’d love to ask the artist – just what she meant by the title, ‘Blood on Santa’s Claw’ – specifically ?
it seems very: inner-reflection driven ?
even a bit: Peter Pan-ish ? that’s a good . . thing.
magic, for sure.


POLLY APFELBAUM, ‘HWP 10-20′, all 2004
Marker on rayon silk velvet panels, ceramic beads. dimensions variable, ten pieces.
courtesy of the artist and Clifton Benevento, NY

all I can say is 2 key-words: miniature and clay, re: clay beads in the (above) materials !!
and, that other big trending statement: CRAFT SERVICES !!
hand-made, one-of-a-kind, and proud.


POLLY APFELBAUM at the opening . . loving life, and art, but not necessarily a camera pointed directly in her face.
they don’t always go hand in hand.


maybe it takes a fellow media player / a writer . . to welcome the Kodak moment.
WILLIAM SIMMONS, freelance art writer & contributor to ARTFORUM, FREIZE and ART In AMERICA . . with artist STEPHANIE GARLAND.
see: STEPHANIE GARLAND


TREVOR SHIMIZU, ‘Goofy’, 2014
Oil on canvas, 64 x 70 in.
courtesy of Holly Fogle and Jeff Lieberman.

if GOOFY could take a SELFIE . . this would be it – !!
TREVOR SHIMIZU nails . . SELFIE, CARTOON ART & POLITICAL COMMENT – all in one, with finesse, along with freedom of gesture re the traditional canvas painting/rendering. a great wash of lines.


and the last word goes to . . ANNETTE KELM: disarm – !!

ANNETTE KELM, ‘Institut fur Zeitgeschichte-Archiv, Bestand Hannelore Mabry / Bayerisches Archiv der Frauenbewegung, Signatur ED 900, Box 532, Korperuberhang: “Keine Mark, Kein Dollar, kein Rubel fur Waffen!” / “Frauen, Mutter, Feministen fur Entwaffnung aller Lander!”, Body overhang: “No mark, not dollars, not rubles for weapons!” / “Wives, mothers, feminists for disarmament of all countries!”, 2014.
C-print diptych, 34.75 x 31.75 (sic) each, edition 2/6, with 2 AP
courtesy of the artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, NY.

political comment, craft, textiles, skills, function, bare-faced hand-scribbled fonts, in a word: hand-lettered small batch – artisan output. it’s all about . . the word.
in the beginning was .. the word.

from a woman . . to the world of dumb-ass dudes bringing us down:
“Wives, mothers, feminists for disarmament of all countries!”

or WARNING, the EPIC FAIL . . button is lighting up.
Looking back . . at total annihilation is all that will be left.

which, takes us full circle back to that man-artist with a JE SUIS FEMME, woman’s soul – PETER FEND.
(no disrespect – welcome to the sane)

YEP.

IT’S GETTING RAPIDLY HOT IN HERE, as in . . TOXIC !!

SOS / SAVE YOUR SOIL / USE YOUR HANDS, not just your head / or at least USE your head !!
DISARM, REFLECT.

CLEOPATRA’S ‘LOOKING BACK’ . . at WHITE COLUMNS, JAN 2015.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH



~PABLO POWER / PPP – PETER PAN POSSE

if you want a snapshot of PPP, if you are unfamiliar with the crew – I offer up PABLO POWER and his tough gritty sculpture – from the 15 WARREN ST underground pop-up exhibit that hi-jacked the start of JAN 2014.
a huge group show – electric with energy, creativity, and social comment.
just scroll down the archive at left to JAN 2014 – to see more images.
it was an explosion of site-specific light works, wall murals, projections, social politics, war/conflict/WTC, bio-future-ness, future chaos, pop-up splendor to the max, and . . homeland security.
all: very industrial in the making. raw, tough. ranging from expressionistic to the finely pointed.
very hardcore. very awesome and dished out hard and crazy wild.


PABLO POWER with his piece, a very hardcore new age ‘ready-made’ !!
exhibited at 15 WARREN ST – HAPPY NEW YEAR NYC 2014 – curated by SEAN VEGEZZI, ABELINE COHEN & ANDREW KASS.


metaphor-driven, those are crack vials, painted silver – in the standard kitchen glass measuring cup.


I’m thinking bullets vs crack vials – you can break down the nuances of meaning, for yourself.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH, 15 WARREN ST, NYC. DEC 28, 2014.



~NYC UNDERGROUND . . BULL’S EYE !! / PPP takes on LA

talk about: hitting the nail on the head
talk about: sniper bullet traveling through the air at great velocity, and from some distance, hitting its mark – dead on
talk about: NYC crew taking LA for a run for their $$
talk about: what, NADA ?
talk about: the ultimate collective unconscious, ‘SELFIE’ . . reduced to one crystal sharp image.
with no human to be seen in the picture, except through implication.
a selfie is a selfie is both a reflection, and a capture – of the times.
we love to war, let’s face it.

invite just came in on the wire, in lock-step synch . . from PPP / PETER PAN POSSE !!

my one question: where is SEAN VEGEZZI, on that list of artists ?

LOVE//WAR . . Featuring Work by 37 International, NYC and LA Artists
a group exhibition presented by MINT&SERF, PaperWorkNYC & MaMa GALLERY

at MAMA Gallery, Los Angeles
opening reception: SAT JAN 31, 2015 / 7PM – 10PM
the show runs thru FEB 7, 2015
MAMA – 1242 PALMETTO STREET, LOS ANGELES, CA

#PPP #LOVEWAR

taking place in conjunction with the LA ART BOOK FAIR, from the MINT&SERF invite,

FRIENDS:

. . . “LOVE//WAR is an exploration of the conflicting relationships that drive our daily lives: Birth vs. death, Good vs. Evil, Now vs. Never, and Young vs. Old – as understood by a multitude of creative perspectives. We examined the landscape of the artists and photographers we work with and realized their work ties into a distinct theme: because we are touched by uncertainty and contention, personal desire and public power are a constant and inevitable force behind everything that is good, and equally bad.

As the late theologian WILLIAM ELLERY CHANNING put it: ‘Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict.’



~AMERICAN SNIPER . . ‘CRAFT’ SERVICE ?!!!

so.
so, I was right !!
about . . ‘AMERICAN SNIPER’ – being all about craft.
‘skills’ – marksmanship, sharpshooters, snipers – as American as the Civil War, as homemade as apple pie.

turns out the real CHRIS KYLE had a sharpshooter / SWAT team training business, and it was called … ?

CRAFT !!
CRAFT INTERNATIONAL LLC. oh yeah.

talkin’ about – graphic design !!


the CHRIS KYLE – CRAFT INTERNATIONAL LLC – LOGO.
‘despite what your momma told you . . . violence does solve problems’.

I’m always dumbstruck by the violence of the American Civil war re-enactments.
I’m always dumbstruck by the violence and threat of our real-time global disaster of a DNA doomed low IQ habitat. and hell, no. I don’t want Iran to have nukes.
that’s totally the wrong-ass approach: take-away nuclear capability, don’t make even one more . . nuke the norm.
fuck treaties, disarm.
arm-to-arm combat any day, over total extinction.
hooray for snipers. they kill one person at a time, not whole islands.

but, hey.
away from our deeply wired & totally embedded fucked-up bio-genetic make-up – and, back to: ‘craft’ !!
back to: ART.
does art today – have any meaning, any skills – what a dumb question.
of course, and it’s coming to you, as a ‘SELFIE’, as in ‘a first person bio-narrative’ – this particular time around.

I’ve seen a lot of ‘skulls and crossbones’ in my travails in the art world, and so have you – from the punk underground, biker clubs, on up into the diamond-encrusted secondary markets . . so if you are any kind of artist, or just curious art fan with any ‘eye’, you also should have noticed those great, silk-screened, gray ghost-like skulls that appeared on the American soldiers’ uniforms, and maybe also on the gear, towards the end of the movie. for sure – I was: who silk-screened that ?
great job.

I just re-checked the ‘American Sniper’ trailer – but there were no skull bearing ‘frames’ to screen grab.
keep your eye out for them, next time around.

I thought they were really exceptional, very ‘ghostly’, as in ‘deadly’, minimal, but eerie, no words but doomed as hell. like, art-wise they are life . . . life slip, slip-sliding away, kind of melting with a curiously not funny cartoon ‘edge’ to them. a kind of street tagger all-American Casper the friendly ghost – who got way pissed off. lethal. yeah, that’s it, they speak to lethal, design-wise. no threats, just doing. zero tolerance. zero chances. in a word fed up, and seen too much. the scale of the design was just right, too. I kind of noticed them, but then shook them off, just long enough to think, did someone on the movie crew do that . . did a kind of random day job gaffer, street artist by night, just happen to be on the set, and they let him loose ?
was it the costume design pros, having a little fun ?

I sort of accepted it as a kind of folk art that soldiers do, painting scary icons on the noses of their fighter planes. wartime folk art. it’s called: sending a ‘message’.
also known as . . the visual arts, in general.

but then when I read this random article, below, in the ‘Business and Finance’ section (!!) of the Wall Street Journal, and found out about Chris Kyles’ enterprise, named: ‘CRAFT INTERNATIONAL’, I realized – damn I nailed it.

yep. dead right center in the cross hairs of understanding ‘American Sniper’.
sharpshooting is a skill, and CLINT EASTWOOD told . . a hell of a technical beauty of a tale.

see: “Legal Sniping Behind ‘Sniper’ Movie” – by KATY STECH, Wall Street Journal, Jan 24, 2015

“despite what your momma told you / violence does solve problems.”
is that not an all-American ‘SELFIE’ . . to reflect upon, or what ?!!

a ‘SELFIE’ – that speaks from . . experience.

don’t tread on me, an early American colonial battle cry – if you know your American quilt history, you know it . . well.
it was writ large, sewed into many a cozy bed cover, and later found prominently re-born among confederate civil war flags, the accompanying motif always being a very pissed-off snake, uncoiling upward.

in other words:

for better (old Europe) or worse (Native Americans), American vs American re slavery rights:

don’t mess with me, or there will be no more ‘SELFIE’ – for you !!
old American mantra.
old American arts & crafts.



~AMERICAN SNIPER vs MR. TURNER ?!!

‘AMERICAN SNIPER’ vs ‘Mr. TURNER’ ?

‘AMERICAN SNIPER’ . . WINS !!

SO: is this the year of the biopic – or what ?
selfie x selfie x selfie x caricature – in cinematic terms ?
‘Big Eyes’, ‘Get On Up’ – JAMES BROWN, ‘American Sniper’, and supposedly the big daddy art biopic of them all: ‘Mr. Turner’ – all tell stories of real people, and in close-up, intimate range.

I mean even ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ . . is a biopic !!
it’s actually, format-wise . . even more truly a ‘selfie’ then the others – as it’s told from a first person point of view – a recollection.
and in a funny twist, although it is FICTIONAL, it is re-creating the storytelling voice of: STEFAN ZWEIG, so, go figure.
ps: in a gorgeous snarky aside, didn’t you just love how the lawyer, a superb JEFF GOLDBLUM, got his 4 fingers chopped off !!

ok. yeah I saw the ‘Nanny Photographer’, too. it’s a true biopic, in that it is a doc after the fact, cobbled together after her death – and I guess then that should be included, it’s actually up for an award !!
maybe more on that – next. it was kind of wimpy.
only in a slow week in the art scene, would it even score a mention.

SO: geez, apparently NOT all OLD WHITE MEN are old fogie geezers.
3 cheers for CLINT EASTWOOD for holding down the fort – of cinematic brilliance on EVERY FRONT.
3 cheers for the REAL MR. TURNER, you old horny hobbit – please stand up !!
what a character !!
but seriously, details aside – the film is way too slow, worse than watching a pot of water come to a boil. moves at what they used to call a ‘glacial’ pace, but now up-dated to .. slower than watching the glaciers recede via global warming.

SO: obviously, not that much exciting is happening in the art world, to report upon this week . . .

but the big screen, and even the little screen (TV) are super super HOT !!
where biopics, stretched to include fictional bio-dramas, bio-novel adaptions, as well as real life action – are too numerous to list, but you know them, including ‘Girls’ – a true ‘selfie’ (!!) and ‘Olive Ketteridge’, moving thru ‘Homeland’ and onto ‘Sons of Anarchy’, ‘House of Cards’, etc etc. all these intense bio portrayals are the plats de jours, and all kinds of TV/CABLE series based on vivid characterizations, (as opposed to rom-coms) – are just absolutely . . on FIRE.


BRADLEY COOPER . . in ‘AMERICAN SNIPER’.

see: AMERICAN SNIPER – TRAILER

I don’t care what anybody says, including the so-called hip of the hippest, who are really just too cool for school, and very lame attention-needers – ROLLING STONE, that means you !!

BRADLEY COOPER inhabits that ‘military artisan’ – sniper, sharpshooter, or marksman, no matter how you want to call it, like he is out of his body and burrowed deep into the real life CHRIS KYLE that the film is based on, and yes, he does deserve an Oscar for Best Actor.

yes. military ‘artisan’, just as surely as there is a BROOKLYN REVIVAL 21st CENTURY – on all things craft and ‘artisan’ – this film is so on point, being a conscious focus on the individual talent and determination involved in being an ace sharpshooter. it is most definite about being being hands-on, ‘skilled’ as in hand-made . . . as opposed to being about a non-human heat-seeking digitally navigated drone/missile.

the focus, skills, the beauty & tragedy of that deployment in action – is captured in an intense, narrowly focused sweep of a life story .. by director CLINT EASTWOOD, as in no other war movie before. American markmanship has a very proud history, going back to the days of the American Revolution, where if you pay even the slightest attention to the re-creation dramas on TV (!!) – these lone snipers, homegrown backwoods boys skilled enough to stand above, or rather apart from the rest of the pack – as to surface in history by name, were key battle game changers. Mr. Eastwood has just brought the arc – up to update.
it’s very Americana. profoundly Americana.

young American snipers picked off the British officers, who were used to being able to parade around on their horses – previously a big no no, and strictly off-limits according to the rules of old world warfare, too bad. talk about early American fighting spirit, and . . know-how.


TIMOTHY SPALL . . as Mr. TURNER.

see: MR. TURNER – the TRAILER

oh lordy, yes I was happy to see this film, it was fascinating and a brilliant portrayal – but friggin – deadly SLOW. talk about a sniper, this film needs a sharpshooter of an film editor – to take it back back to the cutting room, and trim like 1 frame out of every 11 – out.

it reminds me of TIM BURTON’S woeful, but could-have-been, ‘BIG EYES’ – in that the film loses creative steam – to a technical ‘glitch’ . . as opposed to a weak storyline.

in ‘BIG EYES’ – the 2 leading actors, CHRISTOPH WALTZ and AMY ADAMS never get on the same page, and this eventually just shuts the whole film down – and brings the entire enterprise to a complete stop. in ‘Mr. Turner’ so much of the film is wonderful and brilliant: the cinematography, the story-telling, the tale itself, the acting is superb across the board – but the film is so slow – as to kill any possibility of real success. even I, dedicated art world wonderer, and a big movie fan – was left crawling up the walls, as it went on and on and no. grunts and groans, and all. I literally felt like a pre-schooler forced to take a ‘nap’, when your blood is racing and all you want to do is run amuck, and fling your arms out to life. I was literally hanging onto the almost empty theater chair in front of me – for dear life, I was so awash in impatience, absolutely, physically stultified by the glacially, and overwhelming boring pace.
yep, that bad.

I mean unlike ‘BIG EYES’ in which the horribly mis-matched character acting is imbedded through-out the film, this film could possibly be saved – if they just had the GUTS to go back and do one hell of a re-edit !! they don’t have to change anything about how the story unfolds, they just need to sharpen up the pace of the telling, and I don’t mean delete all those great groans and grunts – but man, get it moving.

I wonder if they would have the guts to do that ?
I wonder if a film has ever yet been pulled from circulation – and made better, edited to run swifter – with the material already in hand ?

too bad. because it’s quite a curious character brought to life, and in a most marvelous way, so curious. so Brit, in a nutshell: such a ‘Hobbit’ meets BEATRIX POTTER . . kind-of-way.

omg, do you remember TIMOTHY SPALL – in ‘HARRY POTTER and THE GOBLET OF FIRE’ – enough said.
I guess there was a reason HARRY POTTER, had that last name (Beatrix Potter ).

but back to Mr. Turner, I wish I could say it was just as delightful as those Harry Potter films.

I mean, PLEASE don’t take out all those long scenes, and silent landscapes, all the long silences and esp all those groans, and grunts. but you know, pick and choose your battles – otherwise this very fine effort – is doomed to the dustbin.

if you can sit through it, maybe it would work broken down into smaller pieces and serialized on TV !! it is a rewarding and full of brilliance cinematic journey, with piquant, insightful moments and rich with vivid cameos. it actually, unlike ‘BIG EYES’, but on a par with ‘American Sniper’ – unfolds as very real, very authentic, but still even so, reverberates: very c-u-r-i-o-u-s.

I can’t say, ‘curious’ enough. even though Mr. Turner seemingly was very successful and in fact a celebrity in his own lifetime – what a curious, horny little hobbit.

how he ever got past his natural-born – ‘outsiderness’ – is a mystery not addressed by the film, apparently he was part of the academy, the film only traces the last 25 years of his life – til his death at 76 in 1851. I guess in his youth, he was just that great a virtuosity. but the movie seems to imply that his curious stature and resultant ornery anti-social stance, finally caught up with him, and when he really let loose and let his creativity – fly, social walls closed down on him, except for his curious love life ?

that opening scene with the windmills, shown in the screen grab above – is the absolute most beautiful cinematic moment put to screen. don’t clip that. it’s fine, it’s more than fine – it’s a glory to behold.

the painting ‘technique’ shots, esp his inserting that red buoy by hand and dirty fingernail, into a finished canvas at an academy exhibition – all ring true.

omg, his hobbity sex life – is a full-blown capture: a riot of soulful passion and upfront grunting ribaldry, without any trace of humor !! the scenes with his slightly not-all-there housekeeper are the best road bumps the movie delivers, and unlike everything else in this movie – move on way too quickly.

the interludes at the academy, likewise are fascinating, Turner vs Constable !!
particularly noteworthy – are the bits with the inter-generational painters, painters of all ages and stages . . showing up to the lectures !!

likewise the JOHN RUSKIN cameos are a real sweet spot, too. so swift and telling, and unlike most everything else in this grand film – so swift and good – in the movie telling !! so I’ve been rambling on, so much – I hope I’ve lost half my readers so I can insert this . .

OMG. whoever knows NICHOLAS STEINDORF, a young painter on the scene, that I follow on artlovers, don’t you agree . . ?!!

you know, NICHOLAS STEINDORF vs ANDY WARHOL, that same young painter/digital video artist . . . who took us on that spirited, but well-curated trek through the GREENPOINT STUDIO ART TOUR last Spring.
well, tell me that one of those two young, intense 20-something artists, specifically the one with the long hair and ‘German’ demeanor, in the stuttering JOHN RUSKIN salon – isn’t a dead ringer for Nicholas !!!
haha, a little bird told me Nicholas had just as hard a time sitting through the movie, as I did.
the friend I went with it – actually fell sound asleep. like being lulled to your death, if death could only be so kind.
yeah, that bad.

damn it – do a re-edit !!
don’t they have ‘test’ audiences in Europe ?

MR. TURNER vs MR BROWN, as in . . JAMES BROWN ?!!
now, that’s a funny thought !!


apparently even funny little hobbits can find their – groupies.