~M.M. vs. Y.A.

MARILYN MONROE vs. YOUNG ADULT

YOUNG ADULT WINS !!

but only – by a single strand of bleached blonde hair.

the determining straw: which is the best movie as a whole – both female leads: MICHELLE WILLIAMS and CHARLIZE THERON – are the stuff of stars.

‘MY WEEK WITH MARILYN’ – DIRECTED BY SIMON CURTIS and STARRING MICHELLE WILLIAMS
‘YOUNG ADULT’ – DIRECTED BY JASON REITMAN and STARRING CHARLIZE THERON
REVIEWED BY NANCY SMITH. FRIDAY, JAN 13, 2012

Don’t get me wrong, a lot of my movie pals thought MICHELLE WILLIAMS didn’t rise to the part. I beg to differ, I don’t agree with that at all . . . I thought she, Michelle was raw magic, pure incandescent and absolute Marilyn – in all her shatteringly brilliant facets. c-h-a-r-i-s-m-a.
t-a-l-e-n-t.

looking back I was thinking, maybe I feel so in love – because I saw ‘MY WEEK WITH MARILYN’ at the new NITEHAWK CINEMA in Williamsburg, after a typical Brooklyn weekend brunch, that is: whatever – and a couple or . . 4 Bloody Mary’s !! more importantly we got there early and NITEHAWK ran this incredible series of archival clips of the real Marilyn before the movie started, with no other distractions, ads or coming features to steal the thunder, I mean: wonder.

they even showed newsreel clips of the original London press conference that starts ‘MY WEEK WITH MARILYN’ , and is featured at the start of the film’s official trailer as well. and then NITEHAWK even went on to unspool numerous and really wonderful, totally enchanting archival clips from the original 1956 film, this 2012 movie is constructed around – the 1956 British production: ‘The Prince and the Showgirl’, featuring MARILYN MONROE and SIR LAWRENCE OLIVIER !! and of those clips, the most notable was …. the footage of the real Marilyn Monroe’s swanky swell solo dancing scene – in the shop !!
also duplicated delightfully – in the movie, at hand. it’s a bio – get it ?

so, long story short, when Michelle Williams hits the screen as Marilyn – departing her plane into the ‘fan’ driven madness of that 1956 press conference – you have had the ‘real’ celluloid Marilyn in focus, not the mirage in your mind – and maybe that helped me sync the visions . . . into one.

but no, just now, watching the trailer on the film’s official website weeks later, the magic was still there. the ravishing MICHELLE WILLIAMS was MARILYN MONROE – no doubt about it. no ifs, ands or buts – and I’m not allowing room for dissension. if the glass slipper fits, then wear it !!

where the film goes weak – is in how the (mostly very famous) ensemble of actors who support the plot – just go wooden. you can catch it in the trailer if you look hard. one dead give-away is DOUGRAY SCOTT – who really doesn’t make it as Arthur Miller. that’s for starters.
EDDIE REDMAYNE doesn’t totally inhabit his role, either. neither does KENNETH BRANGH as SIR LAWRENCE OLIVIER, nor DAME JUDI DENCH, nor even EMMA WATSON. the only supporting character who took hold – was JULIA ORMOND as VIVIEN LEIGH !!
ok. EDDIE REDMAYNE was good. he held sway in most of his scenes. but, just.

so what happened here, why the rest of the cast – didn’t take flight is hard to tell. did they want to deliberately tap these guys down to double-up on Ms. William’s glow ? if so, they hadn’t had to. was it the director, I don’t know. I just know usually the Brits can carry off a period piece like this, no sweat. it’s a piece of cake to them. they do it all the time and pretty swell, too – esp on the small screen in countess mysteries and costume dramas, so what happened ? put it this way: it’s not ‘The King’s Speech’ which is kind of the exact opposite to this – where you go in thinking you’ll have a boring ole time – and you come out in shock and awe.

watch the trailer, you’ll see the shock and awe in Ms. William’s performance – it could light a house on fire. but it’s like it’s nowhere to be found in the degree called for, anywhere else.

the movie’s website bye the way, is excellent in a totally British way . . . details the narrative, and explains film’s ‘conceit’ – definite worth the whole ‘site’ tour.

watch: the trailer, here – and check out the website, ‘MY WEEK WITH MARILYN’ !!


MICHELLE WILLIAMS is MARILYN MONROE, with DOUGRAY SCOTT as ARTHUR MILLER behind her – arriving in Britain in 1956 to make the ‘The Prince and the Showgirl.’
yeah – you only wish – she could melt in your mouth.


this is MICHELLE WILLIAMS – pretty much just the way her mythical M.M. character was – incandescent. the movie is based on a wonderful true story, and you can learn all about it – on that previous link – to the film’s website.

now, ‘YOUNG ADULT’ – delivers the whole package. could it be the young and up-and-coming, move-over !! director: the Montreal-born JASON REITMAN ? (hello Montreal – my hometown, too !!)
I bet the fab and way gifted writer/producer DIABLO CODY had something to do with that, too. I even notice JOHN MALKOVICH in the credits as a producer. ha. In fact there were a total of 5 producers, and 3 executive producers on this film – so, I guess it takes a village of talented people to make a great movie. maybe there was more ‘script’ for the cast to hold onto. maybe it was cast to perfection. I don’t know. I just know – it takes off, and flies solid and true all the way through.

CHARLIZE THERON is MAVIS GARY. to watch her tuck her little lap dog into it’s pink traveling bag, carefully and quickly duck its tiny head under the zipper, and then zip it up, with one flourish – – is to see Mavis having done this, and done it, her entire life. there is no entering a disbelief zone, you are already on the other side.

well, and yeah PATTON OSWALT as MATT FREEHAUF, o.k. the cripple – is incredible. . . as he watches Charlize/Mavis deconstruct and unravel . . . PATRICK WILSON is more than pitch perfect as Buddy – the big lug of an old flame Charlize/Mavis never really put behind her. but my fave is ELIZABETH REASER – as his new wife. and wouldn’t you know it – the coolest fem band drummer in town !!

if you want more on her part, read the DIABLO CODY quotes on the movie’s website !! “She’s really cool, she’s in a band. She sends Mavis over the edge.”

I also really liked the young COLLETTE WOLF, in a difficult role – as Matt’s kid sister, Sandra – who just adores Charlize/Mavis – and gets to give her those famous last words: all’s that’s wrong with you is – you gotta get yourself back out of this town . . . and, can I come along with you ? ( !! )

yeah, for sure: check out the website, though it’s trailer is very brief, short and pretty. the filmmakers’ bios, statements, and the film background texts – are very good.


CHARLIZE THERON as MAVIS GARY, if looks could kill . . . you’d be dead.


yep. CHARLIZE THERON as MAVIS GARY is about to throw a major fit and ruin the little baby’s naming ceremony !! big time. and yep, her nemesis, ELIZABETH REASER, as the new Buddy love – wife and baby mama – is just about to – you know what !! spill that red wine all down Mavis’ new silk dress. fab. fab, and more fab. hard role, Ms. Reaser pulls it off – just the same way she plays those drums – and that’s the reason ‘Young Adult’ wins, the supporting ensemble cast – is incandescent, too.

IMAGES FROM – THE OFFICIAL WEBSITES.




~SHERLOCKE HOLMES vs. JUNG & FREUD . . .

SHERLOCKE – WINS !!

‘SHERLOCKE HOLMES: A GAME of SHADOWS’ – DIRECTED BY GUY RITCHIE, STARRING: ROBERT DOWNEY, Jr. and JUDE LAW
‘A DANGEROUS METHOD’ – DIRECTED BY DAVID CRONENBERG, STARRING: MICHAEL FASSBINDER, KEIRA KNIGHTLEY & VIGGO MORTENSON
REVIEWED BY NANCY SMITH, JAN 12, 2012

‘SHERLOCKE HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS’ – is one sequel that does not quit. In fact it is so good – it leaves you panting for the next. Fast paced, with a great story – tons of action, way romantic settings, and imbued throughout with a dense and gifted production in every nook and cranny – it is a movie for all movie fans across the spectrum, but esp for quick-minded visual artists and graphic designers, to say the least. even the credits roll – with sheer audacity.

The sets are astounding, set in 1891 London – the mad crazy street scenes, esp turn-of-the-century Chinatown in London !! just rush into the solitary overgrown madness of the famous detective’s home office – without missing a beat, and the visual rush just keeps on giving. . . the breath-taking high mountain villa, built over a waterfall, is that a real place ? – is just jaw dropping.

the acting is sublime and the ensemble cast just mesh into one black velvet cape of a caper. not to mention that every time Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law come on screen – which is pretty much always !! – your heart does skip a beat. Magnetic, charismatic, totally taking over the plot and bringing these old literary characters to life again. A rich, ripe, ironic and true – cinematic magic life. It’s not so much that you get involved in the emotionality of the movie and the characters – it’s that you are swept up and surprised and damn well entertained !!

the seamlessness of Guy Ritchie’s movie – he is so better off without Madonnna, is he not ? – is shadowed itself – by a bookend set of wonderfully seamless !! visual puns, pulled off by Robert Downey, involving a full body camo suit of the most curious nature – – and that’s all I’m going to say. The trailer and the film clips might be consumed by the fierce acrobatic action scenes, but yo any artist, in any creative endeavor or field – of any stripe !! – is gonna fall hard for this one – esp in the final frames, ha. wicked. good one, couch potato, NOT !! RITCHIE !!
ok. hint: it involves a hood and some good ole Victorian upholstery.

post script: one review I read put the movie down – because it was “unbelievable”. my godz, to say that is to really miss the point. that’s what it’s really all about. get over that notion – fast. or miss a brilliant movie-making feast. the action is over-the-top – it is a thriller. and even the more so for being an historical thriller at that. but you can ride it, you can suspend your disbelief, and the plot does tie up rather outrageously, but in essence: neatly !! that’s the brilliance of the Conan Doyle stories, after all. and that’s why the foxy Sherlocke Holmes lives to see another – day. mile high rushing mountain water falls notwithstanding.

and if you like to follow that path, for sure hit IMDb – and scroll down to their Did You Know ? section. where they lay out some of the film’s anachronisms, continuity slips, ‘crew or equipment visible’ – caught by sharp eyed historian and/or film buffs. as for me, I’m still digging the running gag on Jude Law’s hand-made knitted scarf, and Downey’s book end scene-stealing – camouflage stunts !!

and p.s. although of course everybody is making, or trying to make media-wise, a big deal of the great gypsy tarot card reader NOOMI RAPACE plays, duh. I thought the low-key RACHEL McADAMS pulls off a terrific, totally believable, and graciously under-played humorous rendering of the long-suffering wife of Dr. Watson. who not incidentally makes being thrown off a train racing across a miles high bridge into the rushing waters below – well, a bit far-fetched – but absolutely and most maddeningly charming. well, that’s the walloping ride of a great movie, for ya – in a fast plunging, and most extravagant – nutshell.

bet Steven Speilberg wishes he could still make movies like that.

watch the trailer: ‘SHERLOCKE HOLMES: A GAME of SHADOWS’


ROBERT DOWNEY, Jr. in one of his disguises, this one – be it ever so tacky !! – it’s a wicked brilliant fast-paced game of shadows, after all.


JUDE LAW, who else could partner with Robert Downey, Jr. and come out – so on point ? droll is the word.
and, yeah. ya gotta love that hand-knitted rag of a scarf around his neck . . . tres beau. nice detail, wonderful production, absolutely top notch.

on the other hand, ‘A DANGEROUS METHOD’ – is absolutely the worst movie I have ever had to sit through, period. except for maybe some contemporary boring and way over-wrought French films. the worst production. the most boring adaption of an historically vivid moment that ever ruined the big screen. the production skills are zilch. the acting is even worse. the narrative is stiff and, I think annoying, is too kind a word for what goes on here.

once you’ve seen VIGGO puff down on his first cigar – you’ve seen it all. and I mean – he isn’t even good at that. they should have shown him doing Freud on coke (cocaine) – now that would have been not only a bit more dramatic and real !! but it would have given Viggo something to get into. acting range-wise, Ms. Knightley is just plain annoying, setting a most un-delightful tone that miscarries throughout. not to mention that she comes across as just plain ole desperate. her accent is the pits. no, she does not a Jewess, make. her jaw wrenching fits made me want to flee, right then and there . . . and if her movie-career can recover from this fiasco – I’d be very surprised. I mean unless you think seeing her full on naked, tied up to the 1920 era bedposts – is the cat’s meow ? ok. so she has her real breasts, is it just me – or does that not in itself a movie – make ?

MICHAEL FASSBINDER is such a woody one-dimensionally flat Jung – that he doesn’t even make it to wormy and deceptive. His performance was so un-nuanced and so un-inspired – it made me want to come home and throw out all my Jung books, and I mean that, tarot card manuals and all. there goes his rep, Jungian hi-end highly illustrated coffee table books be damned. and if cigar smoking ever had a chic – well, no longer. and for sure, take that Freudian clause – off your professional Dr. shingle, pronto.

the only thing that revived me after this clueless and stagnant hoax of a cinematic drama – was catching a real New York City – deli egg cream. and that’s not funny. or Freudian.

the only thing ‘dangerous’ about this movie is that the audience doesn’t come equipped with real rotten tomatoes to throw at it. what a ghastly over-written flop. if the guys who made this misfired production show up at the red carpets – shame on them. and throw the tomatoes – fast and furious.

watch the trailer: ‘A DANGEROUS METHOD’.


MICHAEL FASSBINDER as JUNG, and VIGGO MORTENSON as FREUD, and that’s about as good as this movie gets. once you’ve see Viggo chomping on a cigar – he doesn’t even seem to like it – you really don’t want to see it over and over again . . . not to mention with nary a facial variation, or even a big breathy exhale – to add a little old European spice. ‘A DANGEROUS METHOD’ is like an endless edit gone bad . . . way bad. boring and dumb. curious it could have been, big legends going down here.
so, don’t even bother – except possibly if you’ve got a taste for some celebrity S & M porn, in which case it’s rich fodder for hardcore KEIRA KNIGHTLEY fans.

ALL IMAGES COURTESY – THE OFFICIAL FILM WEBSITES.




~NOAH LYON BOOK LAUNCH at PRINTED MATTER – THURS !!

NOAH LYON LAUNCHES HIS NEWEST BOOK – THE COMPLEXITY of STUFF – a signed & numbered self-published RETARD RIOT project !!

this THURS JAN 12, 2012 – from 6-8 PM – at PRINTED MATTER – WITH SPECIAL APPEARANCES – by GG ALLIN and OL’ DIRTY BASTARD.

the book – in a limited edition of just 100, retails for $18.
each book is signed & numbered.
it is a hand-made, artist-produced staple-bound indie book, well, I guess that’s a zine !! – comprising of 32 pages, 8.5 x 5.5 in.

from the NOAH LYON FAN CLUB & PRINTED MATTER:

‘THE COMPLEXITY of STUFF’ began as a couple of staples and 32 blank pages. Through the use of acrylics, collage, and the occasional(ly) sharpie (!!) NOAH LYON has transformed it into something that appears cartoonish, but that would melt your brain if you tried to read it as a comic.

SO PLEASE join us in the dead of winter to contemplate death and other humorous topics such as racism, police brutality, sports, food, ninjas, end times, and ice cream.

NOAH LYON is a painter and provocateur who has a (well-known) fondness for using and abusing copy machines. His ubiquitous RETARD RIOT zines and buttons have topped the PRINTED MATTER best seller lists for many years. Noah lives in Brooklyn and Scandinavia with his wife Maria and their brand new baby girl – Elsa !!

PRINTED MATTER – 195 TENTH AVE – BTWN 22nd & 23rd STREETS.

and yeah, check out Noah’s website: the ever wild & animated: RETARD RIOT !!

and MOST DEF !! – scroll down NOAH’S BUTTON PAGE !! – WHERE YOU WILL FIND A MOST ENTERTAINING, SHARP(IE) GRAPHICS !! and very to-the-point animation !! – under: SUPER BADGES !!

and, yes !! – all !! – intended !!




~Vinatge Computing . . punch cards

with reference to the GERALD FERGUSON SHOW. esp the off-ochre coloring of the backgrounds and the patterning, or NOT !!

before computers became ‘personal’ . . let alone hand-held !! right up through the 70s – punch cards, like the vintage one below – were the key to entering & working data. i.e. computing.

stacks of these manilla-colored ‘IBM’ or ‘Hollerith’ cards, measuring 7-1/4 x 3-1/4 in. and approx. 2 sheets of typing paper thick – were the early ‘computer programs’.

each card had roughly 80 bytes of capacity. computer nerds walked around with boxes of the things, carefully labelled across the top – in case they fell out of order.

today, state-of-the-art hard drives, (selling for under $100 !!) handle 2 terabytes of info. a terabyte is “2 to the 40th power” or approximately one thousand (1,000) billion bytes !! or 1,000 gigabytes.

that would be a stack of punch cards – longer than the distance from New York to Los Angeles.

p.s. thanks to TEKSERVE for help – with the math. and the history !!




~PIX from the GERALD FERGUSON OPENING . . .

‘GERALD FERGUSON. WORK.’ – ‘STENCIL THROUGH FROTTAGE FROM 1968’
curated by . . . LUKE MURPHY.
opened Sat, Jan 7, 2012
the show runs thru Sunday, Feb 12, 2012
CANADA – 55 CHRYSTIE ST (btwn HESTER & CANAL) – LOWER EAST SIDE


LUKE MURPHY – curated the show and put together a wonderful catalog, poetic and informative . . . including fab fab photos of the works.


HEATHER FERGUSON, GERALD FERGUSON’S daughter at the opening, standing in front of her dad’s painting . . .
GERALD FERGUSON, ‘1 Mile Clothesline’, 2000. 60 x 108 in.

HEATHER told us that she and her brother Doug, who was also at the opening, grew up and were childhood friends with Luke in Nova Scotia, Canada, and that Luke went on to study with her dad at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design.


GERALD FERGUSON, ‘1 Mile Clothesline’, 2000, 60 x 108 in. from the catalog . . .
the catalog has top notch reproductions of the works, with particular attention paid to the surface quality and off-colors (esp the backgrounds) of the pieces. image scanned from the catalog.
the lines and shapes of the individual paintings are usually a tone of black – sometimes a sharp pinpoint line black, such as this, sometimes a charcoal derived black. . . . and all these blacks – are printed in a raised metallic shiny impression, while their ochre or unprimed canvas backgrounds . . . which are very true to hue . . . are matte printed on super matte white pages. with the shadows of the paintings usually framed as they hang on walls – to give them subjective stance. very very nice print & photo job.


GERALD FERGUSON, ‘Untitled’, 1969. enamel on unprimed canvas, 71 x 73 in.
this piece was the star of the show – being the image that graces both the cover of the catalog, and the email card – see: post below.
large and impressive – I guess it could generate tons of serious papers and thought. and probably did, and will, and does !!
it is animated by a randomness that is human in scale, and speaks both to code, and – throw of the dice.
in other words: rigid pattern, repeated systems, found transgression, and poetry. whether that’s random poetry, or destiny – well, I guess that depends on your own beliefs . . . as to the human condition !!
. . . and the huge huge universe we try to live in. and the small daily lives – we are constantly, since time immemorial – trying to decipher, control, understand, pre-ordain and basically: de-code.


GERALD FERGUSON, ‘Untitled’, 1969. enamel on unprimed canvas, 71 x 73 in.
talking bout code.
looking back through art history – this art patron stance is only found & readable . . . to contemporary historians !!
with one variable: is that checking out the cellphone date – or sending out a message ?
a nice mesh of art, art theory, and the human dance, or what ?
and, oh yeah – technology !!
repetition – and, sampling !! on demand !! and wireless. not to forget scaled to fit in the palm of your hand.
and oh yeah, social networking !! funny how cold technology merges best with human . . . networking !!
as well not to forget, last but not least – the piece, based on common hardware – looks just so much like a giant early, 1970s, computing data – punch card !! or what ?
same manilla cardboard hue, too. pre-sentient ? coincidence . . ?
or the universal (is it divine – that’s the BIG question) ‘randomness’ that meshes with all mathematical truth ? the signs . . . the pathways – the signifiers – that are there for the taking – if you can only grasp them, i.e. inspiration.
(just saying.)


the back room also held out – a few of my faves !!
GERALD FERGUSON, ’18 Drain Covers’ , 2006. enamel on canvas, 62 x 54 in.
obviously a later work – it’s a beautiful example of the simple art of ‘frottage’ or making a rubbing from a specific real object. in pro hands, a simple drain cover – becomes a thing of elegant, almost oriental beauty. a commonplace object – is imbued with formality and distinction.
I guess they have square drain hole covers – in Nova Scotia !!


on the wall – you get a better sense of how the pieces – dialoged amongst themselves.


I found this earlier piece so super compelling – because it was so darn hard to photograph. deadpan, NOT !!
Kinetic, YES. and, well – really just lines and straight-on pattern, go figure.
GERALD FERGUSON, ‘L4’, 1968, enamel on canvas. 48 x 48 in.


you know sometimes, sideways – strangely enough, is a good way to go !!
GERALD FERGUSON, ‘L4’.


the catalog. it was free for the taking . . . at the opening.
like I said: a totally pro – and poetic undertaking. with pieces and essays by: LAWRENCE WEINER, LUKE MURPHY, DONALD KUSPIT and PEGGY GALE.


the opening page – a “poem” – by LAWRENCE WEINER . . .

A PILE OF PENNIES

NO ONE CAN ENTER BUT ALL MUST LOOK

THE ANGST OF THE PROCESS IS PORTRAYED AS A METAPHOR FOR LIFE WHEREAS IN FACT FERGUSON FOUND HIMSELF PRODUCING OBJECTS THAT DID NOT REQUIRE A CONTEXT OR EXPLANATION

THE TRACE WAS THE THING
THE TRANSCENDENCE OF THE PERSONAL DESPITE HIMSELF
HERE TODAY HERE TOMORROW

LAWRENCE WEINER NYC 2011


outside on the downtown Chinatown Street, NYC YEAR 2012 . . . talk about black water dragons: AIDAS BAREKIS.
yep, he the very same . . who made the TOXIC ROOM with AARON BREWSTER at QUIET/WE LIVE IN PUBLIC !! NYC YEAR 2000.
“HERE TODAY HERE TOMORROW” – LAWRENCE WEINER !!

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH, unless otherwise noted.




~GERALD FERGUSON OPENING – THIS SAT at CANADA !!

THIS SHOW is curated by LUKE MURPHY who tells us – the exhibit will include some 11 major works by GERALD FERGUSON, and is accompanied by a super interesting catalog – with essays and pieces by – LAWRENCE WEINER, DONALD KUSPIT, and PEGGY GALE.

GERALD FERGUSON, 1937-2009 – was a one-man innovative force field in the conceptual art world. I’m thinking this show is a homage to his own art, as well as to the lasting contribution and influence he had on many a young and aspiring artist – most likely including Luke Murphy himself – over his long, 37 year, and apparently legendary teaching career – at the highly esteemed NOVA SCOTIA COLLEGE of ART and DESIGN (NSCAD).

see you at the opening !!

and HAPPY NEW YEAR – a great artistic – kick-off in what looks to be a super auspicious power year: the notorious 2012 !! from the Mayan calendar on thru the return of Saturn, after a 30 year absence – yo, it’s . . . the dawning of the Age of Aquarius !!
in the Chinese Horoscope, the year 2012 – is the year of the black water dragon !! the dragon a most vivid mythical and powerful creature in many cultures, here it is defined as the ultimate power with his force coming straight from heaven, whose black water attributes mean he “is obligated to do his best for the good of others”. a nice sync with our western celestial god, and planet, Saturn – the god of agriculture (nourishment) and justice – you reap what you sow.

throw the dice, boys . . . . game on !!

for more info: canadanewyork.com




~HAPPY NEW YEAR – to LUKE MURPHY !!

watch: ‘DICE FIELD’ – a random input digital animation by LUKE MURPHY, and check out some his other truly awesome projects while you are there . . LUKE MURPHY / lukelab.com !!

talk about animation that isn’t a line drawing, and isn’t human – though it sure looks human-like, doesn’t it ?

LUKE MURPHY, know as the Rev Luke Murphy – for his design and computing skills, is also the right righteous dude who has kept this low-budget, really no-budget !! indie, really really jerry-rigged site, called artlovers – up and running, and hack free – for many a year.
He’s also an extremely creative and original thinker, did we mention that ?
a big thank you – cool hand Luke !!

p.s. yes !! that is Luke’s random animation ‘banner’ – that runs such a pretty digital animated game – interactive, too !! – at the top of this page !!




~HAPPY NEW YEAR – to DAN FLANAGAN !!

talking about line drawings, esp ones that tell stories, how about this hand drawn animation from DAN FLANAGAN.
crossing the line between cartoon and art – for me the shuffle – comes to rest on the art frontier.
not a bad way – to go forward into the new year !!


NOT YOU !! . . . . . . . . . MUSIC !!

see: DAN FLANAGAN – ‘SCREEN TESTS’ – with music by MERRILL GARBUS, who goes by the band moniker: TUNE YARDS !!

DAN FLANAGAN is a recent grad of the KANSAS CITY ART INSTITUTE. a true blue Mid-west boy who grew up in Madison, Wisconsin he spent 2 years in Indonesia before settling into our rough & tumble Big Apple, and now calls Bushwick home. He works his animation magic on a huge dry erase board in some big ole studio space. hello Brooklyn !!

we meet Dan at the super nifty – yes, clueless, you like awesome, better ? F+V ANDREW GUENTHER ‘Talking to a Fish’ opening – way back – this past Sept 2011.
scroll down, here: just 4 pix and you’ll see Dan – with his 2 equally talented buddies from the Kansas City Art Institute – TRAVIS PRATT and CHRIS BIDDY !!

and while you are there – you can check out one of the most refreshing shows of the past year, too. Andrew Guenther’s ‘Talking to a Fish’ and painting like a minimalist new age heavy metal – seer !!

Andrew Guenther – also he of the “MINE GOLD” inked fingers at the recent, in fact still up !! – ERIK DEN BREEJEN Beach Boy ode to color field letter word mash-up painting show, titled: ‘SMILE’. . . illustrating the entire lyrics to the recently released Beach Boys’ magnum opus, ‘SMILE’.
also at FREIGHT+VOLUME.

and, ok. since you ask – I’ll show you some of Dan’s pals work, soon, too. Travis Pratt takes photos of relentlessly deconstructed landscapes, and Chris Biddy is a hyper hyper-realist who paints small knock-out watercolor, and some oil on canvas, true-to-life and back again, hyper-colorized portraits – from cellphone photos of previously unknown girls who friend him on Facebook . . ring a bell ?
I covered his show at ATM a year or so back.

see: CHRIS BIDDY, ‘New Message’ at ATM, opening Feb 11, 2010.

my, how time do fly bye !!




~HAPPY NEW YEAR – FROM LUCY !!

so, what about some vintage PEANUTS !! just don’t ever call me – Lucy !!

will the real CHARLIE BROWN, please stand up !!

PEANUTS – by CHARLES SCHULZ, DECEMBER 31, 1956

from: ‘THE JOY OF A PEANUTS CHRISTMAS’ – ’50 Years of Holiday Comics’.
Hallmark Books, Kansas City, Missouri. 2000.

it’s way fun to pick up an anthology of PEANUTS, and see how Charles Schulz perfected the art of the face that said it all – drop dead deadpan !! – but with fewer and fewer embellishments, over the decades.

CHARLES SCHULZ, 1922-2000. Charles “Sparky” Schultz was born to a barber in Minnesota and “grew up with dreams of writing his own comic strip.” Like many early comic book legends he went to war, he was a veteran of World War II, but was able to come back and pick up the pieces – and get on with the art !! Originally called ‘L’il Folks’ – ‘Little Folks’ and ‘L’il Abner’ already existed – PEANUTS, as it was renamed “much to Schulz’s displeasure” went on to became one of the longest running and most popular comics of all time . . . “it has been published in 21 languages, in more than 2,600 newspapers, and has spawned dozens of books, over 50 television specials and even a Broadway musical.”
~quote sources: Hallmark




~HAPPY NEW YEAR – FROM NANCY SMITH !!

yep, that be Me.
HELLLLLLLLLLO.
even I thought this drawing was dorky – when it first sprang to life on paper – from my imaginative unconscious !!
way back in the late 70’s. yep.
hey it takes 2 turns of Saturn – to make a man wise – so, I’m down with that.
the girl, with the flying mane of wild hair – well, that was me – fierce, and Aries bright – just like a new copper penny.

but funny how the metaphor of the rider, the sword, and the ‘banner’ in her other hand, as in web ‘banner’ – get it ? all add up to the: web.
you know the www internet.
and you know there were no computers back then, or at least none less than room size !! never mind personal web access.
we were happy just have xerox machines !!

that ‘banner’ – it was supposed to be a paint brush. it started life as paint brush – I am a watercolorist by trade – but it turned into a flame, without missing a beat – and from there it evolved into a flying banner.

well I really like that cartoon-like free hand line drawing, now. pardon my french – but its so pre-sentient, or what ?
took more than 30 years – but, hey . . . better late than never.
so, I’m a late bloomer, or . . . . just really really ahead of my time. your pick.
in this case, since I scrawled this as my ‘business’ card logo way way back in the day – I’m going with: really really ahead of my time – and only catching up – because I’m doing the writing !!

if you’re into art history – the non-objective endless lines of AGNES MARTIN – were all the rage 30 years ago, so yeah, they almost flunked me out of my MFA Concordia Montreal – art program – for this. excuse my french blasphemy.
blast-from-the-past . . . Guido Molinari baby . . . be-me !!

yeah, looking back at it now, my drawing, my logo – I love it.
it’s kind of a force of nature. it’s just – the way I was born. excuse my damn gaga french.
and no, I don’t speak french, dude. that’s why I had to seriously split for NYC in 1981.

what I love most about it, besides the paintbrush turning into a flame and then finally coming to rest as a flying banner – just like knights in medieval armies used to joust by – is how the girl isn’t really riding the horse, but flying right at ya. the in-your-face power of the ‘blog’.
and so the really dorky horse, is what ? the web, duh. the internet.
which is also kinda going kinda dorky, as in wonky bye the way. hijacked by corporate commercialism, and looking to be – way bad copyright laws. whatever.
soon we, all us free thinkers, we gonna have to go back to smoke signals . . . oh, yeah.
and I’ll have to re-claim the ‘fire’, as in the flame part – of the ‘banner’. generating smoke signals, get it ?
I’ll have to say: those clouds in the sky ? really giant smoke signals, how pre-sentient !!

even the tiny hearts on the dress – get ? artlovers !! – stood the test of time.

it’s kind of like those TV specials on NOSTRADAMUS. you know, where they say he saw so far into the future . . . he didn’t know how to give ‘names’ to things . . . that did not yet exist !! so he had to use the metaphors at hand. so the burning twin towers of 9-11 were the twin brothers.

I’m still thinking it would be better off without that dorky horse – but hey, I’ll lay claim to some dorkiness. why not ?
and with the web the way it is now, all corporate big business and hacksville for the rest of us – small indie joints – I’d say, it was wise to have left it in. the web: going nowhere fast, and ass backwards.

free web content – not such a good idea after all, was it. looking to be a long term big business conspiracy to keep the original content providers down, and not the least . . . the musicians, unpaid !! though duh, of course . . . . it’s a great catalyst. like the man said: set your mind free. just if we could figure out a way to siphon off just a little loot, or alot more than those damn google ads pay !! – it would be nice. Google, fun stuff. but their web engines wouldn’t be too interesting, without us. now would they.
ok. that’s my new year’s resolution – change the world.

turn google upside down and make that web coin – disperse.
if the readers are to spoiled now – to want to pay for the content – then google should cough up a fraction of a cent for very hit – it would add up, let me tell ya. Reader’s Digest ‘gig’ – all over again.
you know they were like the first ‘modern’ (1922) publishers to figure out the ‘new’ game plan change: charge a lot of people just a few coins – and it’s a work in progress. nickle and dime em. those were happy days.
actually the comics were the better read, still . . . those guys cracked the code.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYBODY – NANCY !!

WITH MUCH THANKS TO LUKE MURPHY, that’d be the REVEREND LUKE MURPHY to you !! for getting me out of all the endless hacks, and site crashing . . . upgrades. amen.

that’d be LUKE MURPHY’S celestial randomness playing around – at the top of this page. it’s interactive, too. hit it with your mouse.

and thanks too, to TEKSERVE, for keeping me just alive enough, to see another day . . .

P. S. and, yes . . . . . SMOKE SIGNAL, pun intended !!


SMOKE SIGNAL issue #10 – cover art by JOHN SEVERIN, published 2011 by DESERT ISLAND, Brooklyn.
see: SMOKE SIGNAL