1. PIX FROM THE JIM JOE VS LEWY – ‘PIECE OF DIRT’ OPENING
2. PIX FROM THE DRESS SHOP – QUARTERLY / RESIDENTS’ OPENING & A (BIG) LOOK BEHIND THE SCENES
1. PIX FROM THE JIM JOE VS LEWY – ‘PIECE OF DIRT’ OPENING
2. PIX FROM THE DRESS SHOP – QUARTERLY / RESIDENTS’ OPENING & A (BIG) LOOK BEHIND THE SCENES
image: MIKE GUERRERO via Instagram
‘STUDIO GOLD’ – a group exhibit of over 25 artists
curated by .. STUDIO MINERS
opened this past SAT, APRIL 16, 2016 / 7-10 PM
the show runs thru MAY 14, 2016
MY PLASTIC HEART, 210 FORSYTH ST, LOWER EAST SIDE, NYC
a zine will be released at the opening, which includes a “glimpse at the spaces, collections and objects artists surround themselves with . . .”
all pieces are size 12 x 12 ins. or under.
all pieces are unique – they are not prints.
& they are priced – to SELL.
read more: ‘STUDIO GOLD’ at MY PLASTIC HEART
TOUGUI. ‘Peaceful’. 12 x 12 in., engraving on wood.
last week to catch . . .
‘Our Comics, Ourselves: Identity, Expression, and Representation in Comic Art’
JAN 21 – APRIL 17, 2016
INTERFERENCE ARCHIVE, 131 8th Street, No.4, Brooklyn, NY.
for more info, see: ‘Our Comics, Ourselves..’ . . INTERFERENCE ARCHIVE
illustration for the catalog, by EDIE FAKE
among the offerings, two very graphic, very different, but both stylistically speaking, minimalist-leaning comic books – caught my eye.
one from 1984, and one from: now.
“The original story is quite philosophical and very dialogue driven. It imagines a frozen globe cursed by eternal winter, where what’s left of the entire human race inhabits a train that never stops, a train that is 1,001 carriages long. The elite inhabit the carriages up front, and the lower classes are left with little to no services in the carriages at the far rear.” – GANZEER
read more: INTERFERENCE ARCHIVE – COMIC ART BLOG
and, a more contemporary offering:
‘COUNTRY DARKNESS’ – by K.L. RICKS, published by HAZLITT, 2016
see: COUNTRY DARKNESS/HAZLITT
K.L. RICKS – photo via HAZLITT
K.L. RICKS . . is a freelance illustrator & cartoonist who lives & works in Massachusetts, and who is a recent graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design.
MOST DEF, check out: K L RICKS – website
don’t miss, her about page . . with links to recent interviews, & clients.
on Instagram, see:
I was so, so lucky to catch the small screening of the brilliant & game-changing . . JAMES CRUMP feature documentary . . ‘TROUBLEMAKERS: The Story of Land Art’ last week at THE APARTMENT by The Line in Soho, NYC.
the film was so intense and terrific, but so were the surroundings, design being such a close sister to contemporary art, esp in these digital days.
the doorway to THE APARTMENT is on a very posh street, but it had the ironic, and very whimsical feel of a country porch screen door, at least to me. I guess it was the proportions of that large inset window, and that crazy grab handle on the left ?
the fun part was, you immediately step into an elevator & you push the button for floor 3. and, up you go.
THE APARTMENT by The Line, offers ‘curated’ well-styled, minimalist-leaning clothing, within a curated ‘apartment’ setting, of which all the surrounding furniture and accessories, shoes, artwork, books and framed photographs – are also for sale.
you know, the whole NYC lifestyle – at your fingertips.
ABE SCHOENER of the Scholium Project . . . generously provided the wine for the event, and let me tell you – it was DELICIOUS, absolutely some of the best wine I have tasted in a long time. no doubt about it.
winemaker ABE SCHOENER . . of the Scholium Project.
read more about Abe Schoener & his Scholium Project: The Fearless, Risk-loving Winemaker. . NYTimes
and wouldn’t you know, that smooth wood-handled, super luxe dog brush, for only $20 something dollars, showed at my home the very next week, a present from Kate. and, wouldn’t you just know . . . it works like a dream on my shaggy-coated, long-haired, drama-loving ZORA . . #puppylove #AmericanAkita !!
yeah, I named my pup after Zora Neale Hurston, of course. wild, strong, smart. and magic.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH
‘TROUBLEMAKERS: The Story of Land Art’ (2015) – A FILM BY JAMES CRUMP
REVIEWED BY NANCY SMITH – APRIL 5, 2016
ATTN: ALL ARTISTS, DESIGNERS, ART HISTORY BUFFS, ART STUDENTS, COLLECTORS, FILMMAKERS & FANS, you need to do everything within your power to see this film. it’s available commercially via popular digital venues, and will also be shown on AMERICAN MASTERS, on PBS in early 2017.
It played recently in NYC for like 3 weeks, and it did not get the buzz it needed to get the crowds out – and, I missed it, but luckily I was able to catch it after all, last week at a small screening at THE APARTMENT by The Line, in Soho, NYC
amazing. ground-breaking, literally.
game changer. rule breaker & setter of the record straight, this full-length documentary is vivid, and more alive than you might think, Land Art having been over for awhile now.
or, so you thought.
JAMES CRUMP, filmmaker, curator, and art historian (!!) wrote, produced and directed this gem of a documentary. Not only is the full length film engaging and factual, but it really revisits the era, both the exhibits, and the popular artist ‘watering holes’ in New York and Europe, at the time, but mostly focuses on the American Southwest, where these projects took shape . . and more importantly, instead of just repeating the mainstream ‘script’ it actually digs deeper, and totally sets the record straight.
based on the visual strength of the film, and with it’s new ‘eyeballs’ . . . unearthing layers of new, and/or over-looked characters and information. I’m betting on a big wave of renewed interest in the subject, for sure.
with this film, history is being re-written, and all . . for the better.
somehow, against all odds . . the real talent, always outs.
it was also, thank you to THE APARTMENT, a very special opportunity to get even more behind-the-scenes info from JAMES CRUMP personally, who was there at the small screening and did an enchanting Q&A.
about . . the making of film, its subjects, its priorities, and quite a few other random, but golden tidbits did scatter.
name one: re VIRGINIA DWAN, the chic & prescient gallerist/art dealer, who offers a living first person narration to the film, and who supported these guys back in the day . .
“she was a ‘3M’ heiress, and had all the money in the world to do it”.
3M, translate as . . scotch tape, bye the way.
so turns out a relatively unknown MICHAEL HEIZER is the true star of this film, and of Land Art. it took over 30 years for this truth to be brought to light, and this is solely because of James Crump & this film. and that, in a brief few words, is the summation of the utter game-changing, and deepest importance of this film.
besides making a no-brainer platform for Michael Heizer, which included taking new and extensive photographic documentation, which speaks for itself / Heizer himself is the archetypal American rebel/cowboy – a man of few words, the film also delves into why HEIZER missed out on the mainstream spotlight: he was considered ‘tempermental’, and more importantly he didn’t like or encourage the use of ‘photography’, to get his work ‘out there’. he also, unlike all the other so-called Land Artists, was the only one who actually lived out there, in the desert. he did not network in the bars, duh. yeah, turns out all the others were NYC-based, and only went out to their remote desert sites to ‘make’ their art, & then of course, return promptly with the photographs to prove, and promote it.
though this was ‘supposed’ to be in theory, (I guess) . . ‘art outside the gallery’.
but, from all the first person accounts of the time offered up in the film, it’s pretty clear that to those on the inside track, MICHAEL HEIZER was the ‘man’.
but hey, nobody was going to give up their Artforum cover . . to him.
what else is new ?
HEIZER was not only a hardcore, truly underground loner, but he was also a kick-ass, redneck bad-ass rebel, an all American cowboy. as American as they come. they say in the film, that he greeted the few visitors who made it out to visit him, with a pointed rifle.
But, VIRGINIA DWAN totally got him, and so does JAMES CRUMP.
if Land Art – is truly to be recognized as verifiable. indelible ‘landmark’ art history, it will be because James Crump made this film. Heizer’s projects, and life take on a trajectory very different from the rest of the more ‘established’ Land Art crew, whose primary focus seems to have been ‘academic/conceptual’, and whose main intent seemed to have been . . getting into the ‘books’, climbing the gallery ladders, and selling pre-packaged dirt, err I mean . . work.
which is probably why so many following generations of artists, who didn’t know about Heizer, found ‘Land Art’, played out. strong>dated, and in truth, lame. I know I did. it was supposed to be . . outside the system ? nobody took it seriously, except the usual . . mainstream jerks. it was packaged, patterned dirt, and sold through the same old same old. give me a break.
also, before you get too carried away by the thought of an ‘unschooled’ cowboy carving out the desert – in the name of art, NOT. the film circles back at some point, to tell us Heizer’s dad was a professional archaeologist who took his young son with him on his many digs, at important ancient / monument sites, I think Egypt. South America ? I was so transfixed by this time, cinematic information was just flying all around me, that I was living ‘inside’ the sensory spell of the film, so to speak, as opposed to minutely recording it. but the deep roots of Heizer’s drive to create land ‘monuments’ just doubled up . . with the film’s archival snippets of his early travels . . with his dad.
some folks in the audience were asking James Crump – where is land art now ? is there land art now ?
I think one of the reasons for the current ‘lack of’ . . might be that today you just can’t take a dump truck out into the desert, and do that.
I mean you have Burning Man, now. you have Joshua Tree. and you have VIHLS, lol.
you have the young SEAN VEGEZZI. both of whose art projects might better be classified as ‘urban’ desert – Land Art.
also our 21st century ethos . . would be to ‘conserve’, not carve up.
to photograph, film, manipulate digitally perhaps, but certainly not to carve into, our top goal . . is to not leave ‘footprints’. let alone dump truck – tracks.
which makes Heizer’s world, and his ‘monuments . . even more special, and visionary – in my eyes.
of course kicking up dust is an American rebel cowboy’s dream – and, guess what – they still do it.
just check out the work of JIM MANGAN, and his book: ‘BLAST’. in fact if ‘rural’ land art lives on, as opposed to ‘urban’ wasteland/infrastucture art – it would be in the hands of contemporary artists like . . PETER SUTHERLAND and JIM MANGAN, both with roots in the deserts of Utah and Colorado.
if she isn’t a household word, she sure gonna be an art world mega-legend, now. after this film.
glamorous, 70s chic, and as copper-penny brilliant – as the artists she bankrolled, exhibited and collected. she’s still alive, and offers up priceless personal knowledge, opinions, and insight – as the film rolls on.
and roll on it does. ‘TROUBLEMAKERS’ is one those rare films, that circle back and forth, eddying around different bits of subtext. it is not strictly chronological, but delivers up info like a small pool of weaving water. leaving you afterwards to wonder at the seamless creative editing, & fluid story-telling.
LAWRENCE WEINER . . also provides a lot of the ‘been there-done that’ oral history for the film.
wow, I never knew that . . that he had his roots in Land Art. of course his reputation, already renown, is going to shoot up, double-up now, too.
and, oh my . . who knew WILLOUGHBY SHARP, had once been so cute, so young, and at the very forefront of the Land Art movement – with his, what we would call today, a zine . . the independently published & forward pushing . . ‘AVALANCHE”. who knew, Willoughby Sharp was Land Art’s truest poet , and first voice.
you have to give profound credit to JAMES CRUMP, not only for putting MICHAEL HEIZER on the Land Art mainstream map, but ditto in his own ‘reverse – prescient’ . . tracking for Willoughby Sharp.
if only I had known this back in the 80s and 90s, when I would see him around the East Village all the time, and just thought he was a crusty worn-out, worn-down dude. in fact – he was a hero, who got beat by the game, hey Artforum is NOT going to give credit to the true movers and groovers, let alone say: hey, Willoughby saw it first !! wrote about it first.
tell me about it !! damn !! my life flashes before me, and it’s not such a pretty picture, the word bitterness – comes to mind. so does under-recognized, and broke.
plus, I would have been all over him, “can I take your picture ? can I visit your studio ? apartment, whatever” !!
how Willoughy’s hard-core, all too true story un-spools, and rings so true, if not for you, James Crump: it breaks my heart.
well, so you can’t move that desert earth by the truckloads anymore, but Willoughy, if you were still here, you could be whipping out your cellphone and showing that thinks-he-knows-it-all, twenty-something Brooklyn millennial . . a thing or too.
not to mention handing out a re-vamped ‘Avalanche’, which has just been re-leased, big time.
JAMES CRUMP, has not just written, directed and produced a wonderful documentary . . he has re-written . . history and re-told the ‘real’ grit, true grit story behind Land Art, and long may it live, now.
talent, always outs in the art world. eventually.
carve that into a desert rock, somebody.
see: JAMES CRUMP /wiki
definite, see: ‘TROUBLEMAKERS: The Story of Land Art’ – official website
DEFINITE, watch: the ‘TROUBLEMAKERS’ – trailer on YouTube
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH
grabbed with my iPhone from the screening, except of course, for the photo of . . . JAMES CRUMP and STEPHANIE MURG, at the Q&A.
the screening was at: THE APARTMENT by The Line, Soho, NYC. MARCH 28, 2016.
MOST DEF, check out: JIM JOE VS LEWY / 2014 – 2016 – ‘PIECE OF DIRT’
JIM JOE VS LEWY: ‘YOU’RE NOT PERFECT EITHER’.
GREGORY CREWDSON – ‘CATHEDRAL OF THE PINES’
opened Jan 28, 2016
the show ran Jan 28 – March 12, 2016
Gagosian Gallery, 522 West 21st St, Chelsea, NYC
more background info: Gregory Crewdson, ‘Cathedral of the Pines’ – Gagosian Gallery
the thing about GREGORY CREWDSON is . . he weaves a mighty fine spell.
who wants to break the MYSTERY, and the ENCHANTMENT . . . by posting the opening pix right away ?
PIX FROM THE OPENING: THURS JAN 28, 2016:
JARED LeBOFF . . will be a producer on Gregory Crewdson’s next project, a full-length fictional narrative . . film.
“Oscar-nominated ‘Bridge of Spies’ producer MARC PLATT has optioned CARLA BUCKLEY’s novel The Deepest Secret, with the plan for renowned art photographer GREGORY CREWDSON and his partner JULIANE HIAM to adapt it for the big screen. CREWDSON will be making his feature directorial debut.
The book, published in 2014 by Bantam, is an intimate family drama that explores the profound power of the truths we’re scared to face: about our marriages, our children, and ourselves. PLATT & JARED LeBOFF are producing for Marc Platt Productions.”
source & read more: DEADLINE HOLLYWOOD: GREGORY CREWDSON’S NEXT PROJECT
Photographer Gregory Crewdson Taking Shot At Movie Biz With ‘The Deepest Secret’ & Producer Marc Platt
I overheard at the opening, that the show was completely sold out before it had even opened.
there was a lot of nudity in these photos – even more notable, as nakedness per se . . is not being seen too much in the art world these days, maybe on some critics’ IG pages, but not in the exhibited works. but it is a very characteristic, and very important tool for Crewdson. the nakedness reinforces the vulnerability, & the sense of alienation and loneliness that seems to engulf and swallow up whole, his rural, small town North East Kingdom lonely hearts characters.
it’s not a sexy or erotic nakedness, it is a kind of scientific, social study nakedness. a visual code – for human behavior . . that is just not going right. It draws you in, esp in the way the vignettes are staged . . . for sure. and that’s part of the magic.
the retro details, are also part of the magic, the mystery, the atmosphere . . and that hard to define . . but definitely tension-filled, wavering Crewdson ‘reality’ . . his signature ‘staged’ or ‘artificial’ narrative & absolutely fictional reality . . contrasting with the authenticity of the tiniest of ‘real’ details.
it’s a strange poet’s naked world, a world of lost dreams, rather than any real steamy passion, or desire. it’s about desire, but not of the erotic vein. desire of the . . soul.
the vintage retro details also serve to set the emotional stage, and the time window. somewhere between post-Woodstock, and . . pre-digital. the landline vs the wireless social media web. communication is there, or rather the device is: but nobody is talking – on the phone.
and you wonder why melancholy seeps up like a toxic invisible force – from these gorgeous, somber photos, that’s one of the answers.
tangible visual symbols, and cues . . at play.
and, on another level, if you ever wonder why ‘vintage’, is so in vogue now / here’s one of your answers.
Gregory Crewdson’s ‘cinematic’ photographs are also about . . ‘scale’. the fragility of the human existence within the broader picture. the singular . . failure of hope ? joy ? family ? infrastructure ? the erosion of ‘organized’ faith ?
which bye the way . . allows the photographer himself . . to reside in a converted local church, which is presumably no longer relevant in its original role to the community – it once bound together.
on another purely technical level, it’s also of interest to note that although these photos are indeed gorgeous, and spaced-out most generously within the gallery, only one to a wall . . and still capable of provoking deep & profound emotions in the viewer – and although the gallery defines them as ‘large’ format – Crewdson’s previous photographs were quite more epic in size/scale. for example in Crewdson’s – ‘Beneath the Roses’ exhibit of spring/summer 2005 – some of the photos were as large as walls, themselves: 56-1/4 x 94-1/4 in. time to evolve, time to move on.
the light & the posed bodies .. create the ‘focus’ – amid the seamless clash of . . detailed fictional reality vs hidden but deep, and forlorn . . human emotions.
for me, as for many others . . these photos act as ‘one frame’ films – and the effect is not, any less chilling . . than a recent full-length film, not any less violent in its take on the sad Bio contemopary human condition / the void / the spiritual void. and that would be: ‘THE REVENANT’, which also featured giant Pine trees.
what is it . . about Pine trees ?
how they can morph from Christmas – to desolation . . in a split second.
falling into a . . Crewdson, is easy.
and that’s what makes them so EPIC, nothing to do with the actual scale of the photographs themselves. it’s the details, the theatrical set-ups, the lighting. the care. the aim. and in these photos: his aim is true.
yeah, time-wise: somewhere between Woodstock . . and Facebook.
my favorite CREWDSON photo projects, they all involve production crews . . have always been his . . snowy, snowy snow scenes.
the atmosphere, the chill, the warmth of light sources, the coldness of existence.
bleak beauty. almost: brut.
watch: GREGORY CREWDSON talk about his filmmaking esp the technical aspects, including getting all that detail !!
if you have not seen the unbelievably fine, feature-length documentary on CREWDSON, & which includes many epic snow scenes & is all about . . intense behind-the-scenes peeks at his way of doing things . . the amazing ‘Brief Encounters’, 2012 . . by BEN SHERMAN, than that’s – at the top of your to-do list, as of right now.
the Millennials . . taking it all in.
‘Cathedral of the Pines’, lived up to its name – and was un-doubtably, the most important blue chip show of the year.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH
“well, you know – I am from the South West.” – TAYLOR McKIMENS.
TAYLOR McKIMENS at the ‘TOMMO GOKITA – BILL BRADY NYC POP-UP’ opening, MARCH 4, 2016.
Taylor will be leaving in a month or so, for a 3 month residency in Greece, and then he is re-locating to L.A.
I’ve know Taylor since about 2002, when I first started working as an event photographer at artnet. that’s about 14 years now. that’s a long time, by any count. I knew him when he was just pretty much arrived, and working as a studio assistant for DONALD BAECHLER. KENNY SCHACHTER was the first person to seriously promote his work, and include it in his early NYC group shows.
I watched him grow, through some twists and turns for sure, but ultimately: bloom.
and . . finally in the past few years, achieve considerable success.
not a small thing, in this hard-nut-to-crack . . town.
but when the deal fell through, storage became a problem, tell us about it !!
and Misaki had no option but to dismantle the piece into smaller parts. the logistics headaches & turnabout of a contemporary NYC artist. but it still looks great – just like this.
TAYLOR used to be really into carton-inspired ‘vignettes’, like western bar scenes & lonely psycho all night diners !! but now he seems to be really into . . heads. portraits. from life, as opposed to the fevered imagination.
though obviously, the imagination is not out for long, esp when it come to color.
check out his official website: mckimens.com
this book, of sketches from Sept 2014, often feels like a ‘flip book’.
this page is particular harkens back to his earlier work. you know, the down & out scrubby western character hanging out at the desert gas station, an old pick-up truck, and some scratchy, weedy cactus – nearby.
those are Tomoo’s buttons on the side. they have been friends for quite a while now, too. Taylor included Tomoo – in an early show he curated in Chelsea, called ‘Stranger Town’ – it’s still spoken about.
I most certainly was at that opening, it was back in Jan of 2005. it was an incredible incredible night, very high energy. Taylor turned the whole scene onto a lot of new work. the opening photos are no longer online – a casualty of switching to a new online format to accommodate mobile devices, & the new internet routing formats.
lol. maybe I should make a small DIY book – of those pix ????
Taylor . . we will miss you.
I’m just now realizing what a gentle vibe Taylor has always had. always very straightforward, but very tender. ambitious, hungry to get his voice heard, & recognized – but always . . down-to-earth. he always marveled at the visual richness of New York, growing up as he did in a small town in the deep south west. he seems to have unleashed all his inner demons, dreams, and nightmares . . in his work.
and now he’s the riding the wave – back to the west.
packing up and heading . . west. it will be interesting to see what kind of western trail, what new opportunities, and people he will intersect with.
I feel like he’s a smoke signal – already. I’m sure I’m not the only one – who will be watching out for the new works, and shows.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH