~JESSICA BAJOROS

. . . speaking of American realism and the vernacular !!

it’s alive and well – on the Lower East Side !!


meet JESSICA BAJOROS – with her ‘realist’ paintings behind her.
they have a natural dead pan archival take, almost totally photographic. but, often with a little bit of magic thrown in – under the radar !!


it was HESH who brought me to meet Jessica and see her work, a few months ago, that’d be last Oct 2011 – to be exact.


JESSICA BAJOROS. oil paint on canvas.
this image reminds me so much of those ‘straight-ahead-faced’, even maybe ‘poker-faced’ !! – 1970 WILLIAM EGGLESTON photographs – just posted.


that’s Hesh with his Jessica Bajoros portrait on the right.
although I immediately liked her work, I didn’t know how to fit in into the ‘dialog’ of October 2011 – it was way ahead of the curve !!
it fits nicely with talk of Americana, archiving, and realism, for sure.


not to forget – the ‘spectacular’ vernacular – of the street. New York City style !!
JESSICA BAJOROS – PORTRAIT OF WIGGS, FALL 2011. oil on canvas.
you can follow WIGGS, on twitter: @FWIGGS . . . all good.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH, NYC. OCT 22, 2011.




~WILLIAM EGGLESTON . . . also in the news, & ALAN LOMAX . .

photographer WILLIAM EGGLESTON, b. July 27, 1939 – also has work in the ‘Spectacular of the Vernacular’ exhibit currently up thru March 18, 2012 – at the ACKLAND ART MUSEUM in NORTH CAROLINA.

if you checked out that article in the INDY WEEK.COM you would have noticed his photograph of a vintage black car photographed from behind and covered by vines – which headlines their review.

but it’s his color portraits of people, in the vernacular !! that really rock the boat.


1970 COLOR PHOTO PORTRAIT by WILLIAM EGGLESTON.
PHOTO CREDIT: EGGLESTON ARTISTIC TRUST, CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD, 2012/image courtesy: THE NEW YORK TIMES

for example this one !! knock-out or what. talking bout realism, archiving Americana, and just plain ole spectacular vernacular … as the Ackland Museum – so rightly calls it !!
and, yet another old school-er . . . right on point.
down to that name-plate golden ankle – ‘bracelet’ dangling just so – above her left foot !! now we’re talking . . . about the (truly) vernacular.

this image made news last week in an article by CAROL VOGEL. apparently Mr. EGGLESTON, is working with Christie’s to bring several of his most famous images to a newer and bigger market, literally.

“In a rare departure Mr. Eggleston, 72, has blown up this image, [a signature photo of a vintage peaches sign] along with 35 others, from their original 16-by-20 inch sheets to a new, oversize 44-by-60 inch format.”

the article goes on to state that “computer technology” did not exist (obviously) “when he took these pictures in and around the Mississippi Delta where he lived.”
further . . . “back then color photography was considered cheesy. That was in the 1970s and 80s, when Mr. Eggleston took shots of anything and everything that struck his fancy.”

“On March 12 (2012) Christie’s will be selling 36 of these works in this new oversize format . . . the sale is expected to total more than $2.7 million, with estimates ranging from $30,000 to $300,000.”

“In recent years Mr. Eggleston’s popularity has soared. In 208, when the Whitney Museum of American Art held “William Eggleston: Democratic Camera, Photographs and Video, 1961-2008′, the show drew about 120,000 visitors, making it one of the most highly attended photography exhibits in the museum’s history.”

“I tried to go there one day after it opened,” Mr. Eggleston said, seeming surprised that people actually went to the show. “And it was so crowded even I couldn’t get in.” (!!)

read the whole article: ‘Eggleston Writ Large’ – Inside Art by CAROL VOGEL, New York Times


‘ADYN and JASPER’ – COLOR PHOTOGRAPH by WILLIAM EGGLESTON, image courtesy: WILLIAM EGGLESTON OFFICIAL WEBSITE

you can see more of his work: the EGGLESTON TRUST – WEBSITE !!

and . . . . regarding the VERNACULAR !!

the term is also in much play, currently – in the music world, as well.

case in point: an article on the legendary archivist ALAN LOMAX, (July 31, 1915 – July 19, 2002), titled ‘FOLKLORIST’S GLOBAL JUKEBOX GOES DIGITAL’, written by LARRY ROHTER, which just came out in NEW YORK TIMES, JAN 31, 2012.

the key sentence:

starting in the mid-30s, “At a time when there was a strict divide between high and low in American culture, and Afro-American and hillbilly music were scorned, Lomax argued that such vernacular styles were America’s greatest contribution to music.”


photo ALAN LOMAX took in a church in Portsmouth, Virginia in 1960. PHOTO CREDIT: ALLAN LOMAX/ASSOCIATION for CULTURAL EQUITY. image courtesy: NEW YORK TIMES
subtitle: ‘THE COLLECTION of the FOLKLORIST and ETHNOMUSICOLOGIST ALAN LOMAX is BEING DIGITIZED for DISSEMINATION.’

also, interestingly for New Yorkers: The Association for Cultural Equity, which is overseeing the project is headquartered at Hunter College in Manhattan, where it is headed by Lomax’s daughter ANNA LOMAX WOOD.

read the whole article: ALAN LOMAX: FOLKLORIST’S GLOBAL JUKEBOX GOES DIGITAL




~WILLIAM CHRISTENBERRY . . in the news. right along with MIKE KELLEY, sadly.

WILLIAM CHRISTENBERRY is NOT just in the mix – he’s in the news, part & parcel of a real-time THREAD . . .

when I googled him, after posting those 2006 exhibit pix, post previous – lo, and behold, I found him in a far-out contemporary exhibit on Americana at the ACKLAND ART MUSEUM – of the UNIVERSITY of NORTH CAROLINA at CHAPEL HILL.

the exhibit titled ‘The Spectacular of Vernacular’ (!!) is a diverse group show of 25 contemporary artists that “embraces the rustic, the folkloric, and the humbly homemade . . . as well as the crass clash of street spectacle and commercial culture.”
the show which opened Jan 14, 2012 runs thru MARCH 18, 2012.
see: ‘The Spectacular of Vernacular’ – ACKLAND ART MUSEUM

in a sad note of just how much in the mix . . .

the Ackland Museum’s write-up on the show begins with a quote from MIKE KELLEY, who was found dead of an apparent suicide – this past Tues, Jan 31, 2012, and it goes thus:

Inspired by artist MIKE KELLEY’S observation that “the mass art of today is the folk art of tomorrow.”

see: MIKE KELLEY dead at 57 of apparent suicide/LA TIMES
see: MIKE KELLEY, influential artist/NEW YORK TIMES

well death will stop you in your tracks, won’t it. but in his honor . . .

vernacular – the everyday native ‘language’ is a great word to pair with Americana. let alone rhyme with spectacular. they sure have some peppy theorists and writers – over there in North Carolina. not to mention on point.

back on the web – Urban Dictionary pretty much nails it: vernacular – Urban Dictionary

according to the Independent Weekly, out of Durham, North Carolina, in a lively review of the show by JULIE THOMSON:

“Critic and theorist MAURICE BLANCHOT wrote the following about the everyday in 1969, saying that it is ‘what is most difficult to discover.’ This elusive quality about the things and places we see and experience every day extends to the vernacular . . .
The Ackland Art Museum’s current exhibition, ‘The Spectacular of Vernacular’ expands upon this term to include art that also encompasses local traditions and characteristics . . .”

Julie Thomson writes that William Christenberry has one of his small scale hand-built wooden replicas, of which he is almost, but not quite as well-known for, as his photographs . . . in the show: the ‘Palmist Building’ (1979) – “a detailed model of a country store owned by his great uncle in a small Alabama town.”
see: The Ordinary becomes Exceptional – at the Ackland, Independent Weekly

I’d say that calls for a few more pix !! and in fact these archival Christenberry photos, they do have a kind of sadness to their beauty, and they do offer a wordless but poignant reflection upon the relentlessness of time, and the ultimate end of all things, esp vernacular.
don’t they.
I’m also thinking, they sure do echo that quote of Mike Kelley’s: “the mass art of today – is the folk art of tomorrow.”
Amen, R.I.P. Mike Kelley.

from the exhibit, ‘WILLIAM CHRISTENBERRY PHOTOGRAPHS: 1961-2005’, APERTURE FOUNDATION GALLERY, NYC – SUMMER 2006


PHOTO by WILLIAM CHRISTENBERRY.
a storefront porch – maybe the very one mentioned above ?
if not – pretty much in the same vernacular !!


detail, PHOTO by WILLIAM CHRISTENBERRY.


PHOTO by WILLIAM CHRISTENBERRY.


PHOTO by WILLIAM CHRISTENBERRY.

PHOTOS FROM THE SUMMER 2006 APERTURE – ‘CHRISTENBERRY’ exhibit: NANCY SMITH




~WILLIAM CHRISTENBERRY . . . in the mix

also from the artlovers photo vault . . . and back in the mix: American ‘realist’ photographer – WILLIAM CHRISTENBERRY.
if you don’t know this guy’s work – you should !!


American photographer WILLIAM CHRISTENBERRY at the opening of an extensive retrospective of his work, titled: ‘William Christenberry Photographs: 1961-2005’, APERTURE FOUNDATION GALLERY, CHELSEA, NYC. JULY 6, 2006.
PHOTO: NANCY SMITH

born in 1936, at the time of this opening William Christenberry was a vigorous 70 . . .
he comes to mind – because of the way 2012 – is unfurling, art-wise. I came across these pix – as I searched thru my hard copy 35mm archive for the Eric White photo, previous post. the photos were taken in the same month, July – back in the summer of 2006 . . . they rang so true – I had to put them – up !!

WILLIAM CHRISTENBERRY (1936-)
“Born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 1936, William Christenberry grew up in the ‘deep south’ where the old road signs, deteriorating buildings, and dirt roads shaped his boyhood memories. In 1954, Christenberry began his academic career at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa where he studied the fine arts and graduated with a Master of Arts in Painting in 1959. During his early career, Christenberry was primarily a painter, but began incorporating the use of a Brownie camera into his working procedures. In 1961 he moved to New York (that would make him 25 !! take note – oh, current Brooklyn hipsters !!) . . . It was here that Christenberry befriended Walker Evans” (!!) . . . “Christenberry believes that all objects leave their individual mark on the landscape as time passes, even when the object is destroyed in reality.” – source: AMERICAN ART/PHILLIPS COLLECTION


PHOTO by WILLIAM CHRISTENBERRY
William Christenberry is known for his iconic photos of the American south . . . where he grew up.


PHOTO by WILLIAM CHRISTENBERRY
some of the most fascinating images were the portraits of a shrub-like weed called KUDZU, ‘devouring’ abandoned houses.


detail, PHOTO by WILLIAM CHRISTENBERRY

KUDZU is actually a “climbing, coiling, trailing vine” that climbs over trees or shrubs (or houses !!) and grows so rapidly it kills its
host by its heavy shading, which deprives them of light. wow – it’s a plant-eater, house-destroyer – organic bio hazard kill-ah.
Native to Japan – this predator weed was most interestingly introduced (unknowingly ? I’m guessing . . ) into the United States through the Japanese Pavilion of the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. (!!) It is now “common among roadsides and other undisturbed areas throughout most of the southeastern United States. Kadzu has been spreading at the rate of 150,000 acres annually.” (!!) source: WIKIPEDIA/KADZU


PHOTO by WILLIAM CHRISTENBERRY – an old house, just about to be ‘organically’ – bio-attacked and accelerated in its natural decomposition !!
and looks to be, not just by Kudzu, either. all the other ‘domestic’ southern vegetation is taking over, too.


detail, PHOTO by WILLIAM CHRISTENBERRY


PHOTO by WILLIAM CHRISTENBERRY . .. oh oh – pretty far gone.


detail, PHOTO by WILLIAM CHRISTENBERRY

WILLIAM CHRISTENBERRY EXHIBITION PHOTOGRAPHS BY: NANCY SMITH




~ERIC WHITE . . . no animals allowed (!!)

FILE UNDER: flash from the past !!

painter ERIC WHITE – at the RICH JACOBS opening, FUSE GALLERY, NYC. JULY 23, 2006.
PHOTO: NANCY SMITH

I knew I had a photo of this guy. if not a couple. here he is at the memorable Rich Jacobs opening – a few years back. make that 6 years back.

ERIC WHITE is the moving-to-the-forefront-quick ‘realist’ painter whose ‘magic’ realism portrait of MIE in the show: ‘MIE: A Portrait by 35 Artists’ – was hi-lighted in our JANUARY 2012 posts.
the show is still up at FREIGHT+VOLUME – it runs thru FEB 25, 2012.

see: the Jan 2012 post !!

American realism and portraiture – seem to be the trends going into the new season.

as opposed to 2011 – which could be called: THE YEAR of the ANIMAL, from MAURIZIO CATTELAN at the Guggenhiem with his swinging taxidermied dogs and horses, onto the imaginary realm of the ‘snoop-doggy dog‘ of the J.T. YOST comics, published on Bird Cage Bottom Books, no less (!!) and even including Andrew Guenther’s ‘Talking to a Fish’ !!

yep, look back over the coverage. almost every exhibit of last year had some animal reference, even if it was just the ROCKAWAY FESTIVAL of the BEES happening the same day as the skateboarder ‘SERGEV VUTU & LELE – LIVE IN THE USA’ show at, where else: ELK (!!). even that URS FISCHER laminated & illustrated table show – had some little bird, or chick and egg . . table accessories !!

not to forget – the grandaddy of them all . . . ‘Put A Bird on It’ – oh, PORTLANDIA !!

and yes, !! even down to the that yummy pit roasted pig – that got made and eaten right on the spot – at RIRKRIT TIRAVINJA’s ‘Fear Eats the Soul’ !!
I mean even CHARLIE FINCH’S dingleberry is an animal – albeit a whole colony of micro-bacteria. well, it sure ain’t a fruit – you’d be want to be popping into your mouth, any time soon, let’s leave it at that.
yep, no doubt about it 2011 – was the YEAR of the ANIMAL.

by contrast 2012 – is the year of the head-space, the mind, and its mental archive. not to forget that any ‘mind’ definition most def includes – the polar opposite mental activity . . . of archiving: andthat would be: the imagination.

abstract art kinda blew in, or tried to – but only in the mainstream press. in the underground we always knew – 2012 THE YEAR of the DRAGON was all about ‘magic’ realism and portraiture. including of course, photography and archiving. nothing abstract bout that.

p.s. except of course – we let in GERALD FERGUSON, because that was more like man thinking – than man making abstract art.

p.s. except of course – we let STEVE REINKE’S spotted hyena – onto the 2012 scene, as our animal mascot & totem – why ?
for its timely survival strategy !! that’s why !! and that’s a thinking thing, get it ?
as in, the realm of the human mind.
I mean wouldn’t REINKE translate roughly . . . as – the ‘king’ ?.

2012 – THE YEAR of the ‘MAN’ KING – NO ANIMALS – ALLOWED . . .




~PRABAL GURUNG . . .

so all things considered – it looks like fashion scribe EDWARD BARSAMIAN and the NEW YORK TIMES nailed it when they published (Jan 15, 2012) this most on-point dress from PRABAL GURUNG’S first pre-fall collection.

the exquisite, thin shirt-collar dress with its black edging and elegant black & white ‘cosmic’ geo-print – caught the very essence and edge of the black water (!!) Chinese New Year of the Dragon – 2012.

and dig those shiny black shirt sleeve cuffs !! so tailored, or what.
at first I wasn’t sure about that extra flap at the back – but now I absolutely adore it. it’s so fashion forward. it’s so like, empowering. when (lucky !!) you wear that dress – you know – you are state-of-the-art.

and the big pink translucent shades – !!

at first you wondered: what the hell, in winter . . . til the solar storm hit and the weather goes south in the North East. wow, maybe they weren’t kidding – about how much we need that ozone layer.

read: ‘In Rehearsal’, by EDWARD BARSAMIAN – NEW YORK TIMES


PRABAL GURUNG, at the Spring 2008 Bill Blass fashion show/GETTY IMAGES/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.
He spent almost 5 years at Bill Blass before launching his own line in 2009.

. . . and, here’s a sweet web journey !! check this out.


not just a fashionista’s dream – it’s also a feast for any graphic designer worth their weight in clean machine design.
well, seriously – anybody visual will love it. incl cutting edge comic book artists !!

check out: PRABAL GURUNG – OFFICIAL WEBSITE – with a link to a video – of that right-on pre-fall 2012 collection.




~FU BAOSHI . . .

. . . this is what it feels like – to be a blogger.


Fu Baoshi’s ”Goddess Crossing the Xiang River’, an undated hanging scroll.
image from: THE NEW YORK TIMES, FRIDAY, JANUARY 27, 2012

you feel ethereal, as you move forward, you leave a trail not much more tangible than a series of wisps of smoke on the ‘web’ – a trail of smoke signals, a plume of brush strokes behind you. as you pass, like a transparent ghost . . . through the ever-bubbling human mind, plural.

there is no hard copy – the smoke signals exist only on the flutter and wind of the unseen wireless web . . . if this crashes, so does the info.

it is all about motion.

and so is this pen-and-ink brushwork . . . all about motion.

well, when you look at this Chinese painter’s work – these are the kind of thoughts that come to mind, even though the works are ‘realist’, as in earth-bound . . . they take off into the unknown and the divine – the timeless mysteries of mankind, looking backwards . . . while plotting the specifics of the here-and-now from which they spring.


FU BAOSHI, ‘The Far Snows of Minshan Only Make Us Happy’, (1951). image: NEW YORK TIMES
just dig – that small trail of soldiers along the bottom – right !!

the show at hand, titled ‘Chinese Art in an Age of Revolution: Fu Baoshi (1904-1965)’ just went up at the MET/Metropolitan Museum of Art, and ROBERTA SMITH gave it a wonderful write-up in this Friday’s (JAN 27, 2012) NEW YORK TIMES Weekend Arts section. not only does she lay-out the basic ‘geometry’ of the show, and the ‘history’ of the artist superbly – but in this case – she does so with that magic literary touch – that lets the artwork escape back into the ‘magic’ realm from whence they came. after all this is an artist who more than not, stamped his brushwork forays: “Often After Being Drunk.”

which is a lot like being on the web too. and, you are talking to who ? and you are reaching out into what ? and going where ?

and somehow it all adds up to a ‘realism’ – an aggregate collective consciousness greater than the parts. we used to be star gazers, now we are . . . web gazers.

I also really liked how the pen and ink brushwork of FU BAOSHI resonates with the brushwork of the contemporary young artists in the previous post, ELIJAH BURGHER and STEVE REINKE. from the paranormal, through the magic realism to the lyrical earth-based animal fables. from time immemorial man always picked up pen and brush to capture this world – but also to travel, to stretch the imagination and along the way, possibly, yes !! – open the pathways of knowledge . . . grabbing with inspiration and intuition the: just beyond – knowing. connecting the dots and following the bread crumb trails . . . to the future.

I also liked how she wrote about “Fu, a fervant devotee of the ancient tradition of Chinese brush-and-ink painting . . . often walked a kind of tightrope through the tumultuous times” of Chinese history from the 1911 Chinese Revolution, through the Sino-Japanese War of 1937-45, and finally through the aggressive Communist upheavals of the 40s. she continues: “His trajectory is the subject of an intriguing up-and-down survey. . . It suggests that Fu, who came from very humble circumstances and was largely self-taught, was sustained by exceptional talent and a steely yet flexible dedication to his art. His skill and refinement, as well as his willingness to adapt, pervade this show, which is serene on the surface but less so beneath.”

so much like the bi-polar survival instinct of the ‘spotted hyena’ – profiled immediate post below, or what.

FU BAOSHI’s struggles to retain the ‘magic’ realism of Chinese brushwork vs. the color-block literalism of Soviet-style ‘Social Realism’ – as Communist China played out – also receives an interesting mention in this article.

also of note: apparently the MET has so graciously brought us an under-hyped artist – as their first featured 20th century Chinese pen-and-brush master !! that’s so magic unto itself !!
though it’s also interesting to learn from Roberta that better-known figures, “like Fu’s contemporary ZHANG DAQIAN (1864-1957) or the elder QI BAISHI (1864-1983)” have made art world headlines recently, whose work “thanks to the enthusiasm and wealth of Chinese collectors, has ranked first and second in earnings at auction last year, above Warhol’s and Picasso’s.” (!!)

read: FU BAOSHI – ‘History Unfolding On A Hand Scroll’ by ROBERTA SMITH/NEW YORK TIMES – JAN 27, 2012

see: ‘Chinese Art in an Age of Revolution: Fu Baoshi (1904-1965)’ – at the MET !! the show is up thru APRIL 15, 2012.


FU BAOSHI. detail . . . image c/o THE MET.

up-date: TUES JAN 31, 2012

yeah, and I know (!!) . . . my website crashed just mins after posting this. like they say in the comix: yikes !. and it wasn’t just my website – it was the entire server system that keeps it up – in the first place. so much for: no hard copy. talk about walking on a steely edge, and twirling like a plume of smoke.




~ANAL SWASTIKA vs. GENITAL HOLOCAUST !!

whoa baby !! – here’s something to take away those rainy day blues . . . fresh out of CHICAGO !! via NORTH CAROLINA !!


IMAGE BY – ELIJAH BURGER

ANAL SWASTIKA vs. GENITAL HOLOCAUST
ELIJAH BURGHER vs. STEVE REINKE
DRAWING vs. NEEDLEPOINT
VIDEO vs. VIDEO

LUMP PRESENTS CHICAGO ARTISTS – ELIJAH BURGHER and STEVE REINKE – IN A ‘BAKE-OFF’ !! – OPENING NEXT FRI FEB 3, 2012
HOT, HOT and MORE HOT.
the opening hrs: 7- 10 PM
the show will run thru FEB 25, 2012
the gallery is open on Saturdays 1-5 PM and by appointment on week days.

LUMP GALLERY – 505 SOUTH BLOUNT STREET, RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA

ELIJAH BURGHER is an artist and writer currently based in Chicago, Illinois. Elijah Burgher maintains “a hybird studio wall/magick diary blog at ghostvomit.blogspot.com
He received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2004 and got his BFA from local NY state campus, Sarah Lawrence College in 2000, in literature.


image: ELIJAH BURGHER – ‘LIAM VOMITING ECTOPLASM’ aka ‘PUKING UP GHOSTS’ aka ‘LIAM WARFIELD’.

this is an image from his current ghost vomit blog – if you catch it now, scroll down, the image is at the bottom, just about to drip, I mean drop (!!) off. apart from the fact that it’s comforting to see that other people see ghosts and other unnamed 4th world entities (!!), our new motto: artloversnewyork short on funds, but never short on paranormal activity . . . !!
it’s interesting to note his recent shift from magic realism (!!) to magic diagramming (!!) – completely in sync with a SATURN BLACK WATER DRAGON kick-ass start-off week. the dragon, a mythical beast – exists in the mind – remember ? plus it’s cool to see his literature background . . . where dragon myths loom large and colorful.

STEVE REINKE is an artist and writer best known for his monologue-based videos. He is associate professor of Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern. A book of his writings, ‘The Shimmering Beast’ (!!) was recently published at myrectumisnotagrave.com – which has a ton of his afore-mentioned videos all lined up, ready to jump to life – with a hit from your mouse – from their digital archive.
He also runs a digital drawing diary, check it out: genitalholocaust.com. (!!)


image by: STEVE REINKE, on genital holocaust.

wow. the first animal sightings we’ve seen in – the New Year 2012, excepting of course the mythical animal in the PETER GERAKARIS Chinese New Year greeting. the local mainstream art world (& media coverage) dominated by huge and hugely redundant “abstract” shows, installations and paintings by older artists, late blooming or not.
case in point: – dot dot dot Damien and his more dots non-event, anybody interested ? I didn’t think so.
case in point: the Gerald Ferguson show at CANADA, yes, interesting. for it’s birthing bragging rights & under-played newness. not to mention the archival computing card – backgrounds !!
while the local NYC branch of the cutting edge set, not covered in the mainstream press, yet (!!) showed some volley and kick-ass life by putting forth some extreme magic ‘realism’ portraits – case in point: ERIC WHITE.


NANCY SMITH, logo/drawing 1979

am I allowed to say, frig it yes !! being that I write this damn thing, and everyone knows from Charlie (Brown) Finch on down, that this (blog) world revolves around nancy !!
yep, a flame-eater/heat-seeker (!!) from way back, with the aggressive* stance & non-stop eyes of the seer . . . just born that way, is what I say. **
. . . is that: no less, or for real . . . I feel a deep bio kinship with these STEVE REINKE almost dorky line drawing animals, right down to the red hearts in the lyrically calligraphed, but wild cat’s marvelous coat . . . it’s actually a “spotted hyena”.

and yeah, as for his face-off with ELIJAH (!!) . . . I see ghosts in the machine . . . about to slay the almighty mythical dragon !!

may the best man – win !!

and yikes, about that spotted hyena !!


SPOTTED HYENA . . . in AMBOSEI PARK, KENYA. image: WIKIPEDIA

it’s got an LC designation, as in of LEAST CONCERN in the conservation stats – because: it’s a KILL-AH, baby !!

some interesting facts:

1. of why it might be esp of interest to the in-your-face-gay tribe – it’s the only animal in our mammalian species to lack an external vaginal opening. no joke. instead there is the “presence of a pseudo-penis in the female”. maybe better make that: that’s male and (fem) male, dude !! the fem urinates, copulates and gives birth from ‘her’ one and only “urogenital canal”. for more info, look it up yourself. WIKIPEDIA/SPOTTED HYENA/FEMALE GENITALIA

2. the social system of the spotted hyena is openly competitive. sound familiar. I know we’re supposed to be a co-operative culture, but who believes that ole myth – anymore ?
the (new) science of competitive genes anybody. Yes !!

3. surprise, surprise, not. the spotted hyena is a highly successful animal because it rules both poles of the evolutionary ladder. due to its adaptability and opportunism !! i.e. it is both an efficient hunter and scavenger. an animal with a dual position survival strategy not to be scorned – for our new stressed-out bio age, or what ?
*aggression
so, it’s a harsh universe or what ? no wonder man seeks magic diagrams.

and that’s a warp, I mean wrap. hope they send us some pix -!! – from the opening, LUMP ?




~’THE SURROGATE’ SWEEPING SUNDANCE – BIG TIME !!

VETERAN WRITER/ DIRECTOR BEN LEWIN and his first ever film at Sundance, ‘THE SURROGATE’ . . are making huge huge web waves . . . the film is just taking off on every plane imaginable . . . including apparently way gifted performances by (indie fave) JOHN HAWKES, along with big screen vets: HELEN HUNT and WILLIAM H. MACY.

this is as close to a clip as I can find you . . .


watch: AN INTERVIEW with ‘THE SURROGATE’ – DIRECTOR & SCREENWRITER: BEN LEWIN
it’s very charming.


JOHN HAWKES stars in ‘THE SURROGATE’ as the true life poet journalist MARK O’BRIEN. image: Movieline
read: a great great interview with JOHN HAWKES on . . . ‘THE SURROGATE’ – from Movieline




~Oh, Pooey! IT’S A HARSH UNIVERSE !!

tell me about it, oops – he did !!
exhibit card/invite signed to NANCY . . . FROM R. CRUMB, Nov., 2000

above: front
below: reverse

R. Crumb Restaurant Placemat Drawings
November 2nd – December 9th, 2000
Opening Thursday, November 2nd, 6-8 P.M.
Paul Morris Gallery, 465 West 23rd Street, New York City 10011.

It’s A Harsh Universe, 10 by 11-5/8 inches, copyright R. Crumb

p.s. and yeah, despite the initial euphoria of the new Saturn cycle, the moment is harsh, if you realize, just like all the countless generations of ancestors before you did . . . that: well, if you’ve lived to see two Saturn 30 year cycles – good luck on seeing your 3rd, because nobody lives to be 120. that’s harsh . . . heading into the inevitability of death, no matter how you cut it. and that’s what gave Saturn his fearsome rep. Father Time . . . you see the endgame coming round, when he shows up.

it’s the old yin yang dance. takes 2 rounds of Saturn to achieve wisdom, but you see your endgame in the process. ha. I guess that is a kind of wisdom – all on it’s own.

ok. thanks for the dark thoughts – nancy !!

ok. here’s a tweak, positive.

anybody else notice a lot of “late bloomers” making the scene, lately ? I mean, besides BILL CUNNINGHAM ?
both at the Sundance Film Festival, usually the hot seat of the young and beginning – and, on the current NYC art scene. you can blame it all on Saturn, but it’s a good thing, no doubt about it – when talent – trumps the odds.
you go, eternal hipsters of the heart.

don’t believe me ? just back flip though all your mainstream arts coverage of the past month !!

while at SUNDANCE 2012, New York Post film critic – LOU LUMENICK reports that: ‘The hottest new writer-director at this years’ Sundance Film Festival is also the oldest person to have a film in the US dramatic competition here” . . . the 65 year-old BEN LEWIN who made his non-stop acclaim feature, ‘The Surrogate’ for around $1 million. The true story of a severely disabled poet/journalist who hires a surrogate so he can taste sex before he departs this world – must have a lot going for it – to topple that dreary storyline, is all I can say.
and yeah, it is a harsh universe, isn’t it. apparently Ben Lewin himself is a polio survivor who wears a leg brace and walks with crutches. (!!)
anyway to make a long story short, his film was a hit at Sundance, “The film was acquired by Fox Searchlight for a reported $6 million, hours after it premiered Monday to a standing ovation and rave reviews”.

and dig this, a little further on in Lou’s post: “A Hollywood Reporter reviewer compared LEWIN to DAVID SEIDLER, the veteran writer of last year’s Oscar winner, ‘The King’s Speech’. “He called himself a late bloomer”, says Lewin of Seidler, stunned by the reception he and ‘The Surrogate’ received on his first trip to Sundance. “Personally I’m really enjoying this late blooming.”

them be fighting words, dude. right on.

read: LOU LUMENICK: To ‘Surrogate’ with love – and laughs !!

p.s. note to JOSH HARRIS, rumored to be holed up in RED HOOK !! remember when you swept SUNDANCE 2009 – with the Ondi Timoner helmed ‘WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’ ? talk about Father Time – my, how time flies !! only 3 short years ago, and it was you they were crowing about !! feels like forever.
say what – about a harsh universe ?

p.s.s. $10 + artlovers write-up (!!) . . . for the first confirmed JOSH HARRIS – back in Brooklyn !! pic. yo, and try to get a Brooklyn landmark – in the background and we’ll double the cash award – to $20 !!
for real. go ahead – try me !!

gonna try to hook u up with a ‘Surrogate’ trailer, try back in 5 mins !! sorry no can do, not one up yet. not a wisp of a clip anywhere.