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


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although the paintings are right on the cutting edge, many art historical references inform them.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.
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 . .


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




opens TUES FEB 3, 2015 / 6-9PM
the show runs FEB 3 – 17, 2015 – so don’t blink !!
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 – !!

opened TUES, JAN 13, 2015
the show runs thru FEB 21, 2015

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.

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)



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




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’ !!

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.



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


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


. . . “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.’


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 … ?


talkin’ about – graphic design !!

‘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.




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.



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.



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 ?

now, that’s a funny thought !!

apparently even funny little hobbits can find their – groupies.




why aren’t CHADWICK BOSEMAN and BRANDON SMITH . . . strutting their stuff at the awards shows – this season ?!!!

except for the one lone lame performance – DAN AYKROYD, dialing it in, or on delusion tablets . . and the one white guy in the film, wouldn’t you just know . . trying to play an ole school music biz agent – his performance never even hits barely acceptable, you cringe in embarrassment every time he gets screen time, yes THAT BAD !!
but otherwise – ‘GET ON UP’ – is on high gear . . 100%.
CHAD BOSEMAN and BRANDON SMITH totally inhabit their roles with astounding abandon and sheer absolute talent.

as a portrait of a real life artist – whose roots stretched back to dark deep south gospel, whose music shook the world and whose business smarts were just as astute – ‘Mr. BROWN’ to all, harsh twists and sad turns and all – can’t be beat.

it makes me truly .. . ‘jump salty’.
huge omission – terrible snub. a sorry situation . . beyond the beyond of any reason, just a bunch of old white geezers way past their expiry dates – blowin’ it for everybody else.

SO: what a great expression: JUMP SALTY . . meaning “to become suddenly angry”.
Salty old sea salt – started off as term for those tough old birds that lived their lives on the salty, briny sea, but then in 1930 the African American streetwise wise-guys played a neat twist on the word – and came up with: JUMP SALTY !!
damn, wouldn’t you know it. jump and salty – crazy brilliant.

I know all this cool salty stuff – because the mighty straight-talking word master . . BEN ZIMMER wrote a wonderful essay on ‘SALTY’ (and @blacklivesmatter !!), its usage and roots – in the WALL STREET JOURNAL, this past Sat JAN 17, 2015.

definite, check it out: BEN ZIMMER – on ‘SALTY’.

the film’s somewhat wimpy edit, going for the dumbed-down mainstream but still pumping terrific music – TRAILER . . . comes across slightly soft, as in leaning towards OPRAH W and ‘THE HELP’ – as opposed to as downright SALTY !! the film is in its entirety. but this is movie is no ‘THE HELP’ – and in fact, #blacklivesmatter . . where is the brilliant ‘GET ON UP’ – director . . TATE TAYLOR in the awards action, either ?

ok, so he did in fact direct ‘THE HELP’, but trust me he crossed the hyper-vivid color line with this one. guess they should have circulated more press photos of TATE TAYLOR . . arm-in-arm with MICK JAGGER ?

definite, check out the: ‘GET ON UP’ – TRAILER

definite, check out: ‘GET ON UP’ – THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE


screenshot from the trailer, the sequence shot in the early deep south gospel church was . . transfigurative. wow, TATE TAYLOR really gives you a vivid peep through that . . strange powerful window.

BRANDON SMITH – as LITTLE RICHARD. I could play that priceless cameo in my head til my dying days. hold onto that crazy thought !!

CHADWICK BOSEMAN does not just bring the real Mr. JAMES BROWN to life, he is the real – Mr. Brown, to you !!
there is no stopping this guy.

on Oscars night, people should just flood their screens with this movie, in protest.
radiant, illuminating, and . . salty !!
almost to the point of religious . . ecstasy.
yeah, that BEAUTIFUL, that rockin’.

except for DAN AYKROYD. like I said, MICK JAGGER – wtf ?
locked into a contract ?

~’BIG EYES’ – BIG FLOP / ‘BIG EYES’ vs JAMES BROWN, by way of ‘THE DROP’ with a final stop at ‘THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL’


the JAMES BROWN, bio flick – ‘GET ON UP’ – wins hands down, no contest.
so does . . ‘THE DROP’ and of course, WES ANDERSON’S ‘THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL’ – is the loveliest of – them ALL !! !!

TIM BURTON . . at an advance screening of ‘BIG EYES’, DEC 13, 2014, NYC.


of course, I was intrigued & happy to see ‘BIG EYES’. it’s a fascinating true-life story of deception, outsize egos, borderline autistics, gender domination, troubled marriages, an outsize con artist, brilliant showmanship, and last – but not least .. intellectual property theft (don’t get me started – photo copyright theft being one of my biggest issues & personal thorns), and most curious above all, and the least addressed aspect of the whole film & accompanying ka-babble – how and why – those previously reviled & spit upon, demeaned by the mainstream art world, kitschy BIG EYED WAIFS BY KEANE – so loved by the unwashed art masses – have not only prevailed, and need to be re-defined in art’s canon, finally endured to go on and worm their way into pop culture, big time. esp in the fields of animation, cartoon art and of course: Japanese anime. not to mention popping up the colorful trendy, wrapping paper I got on one of my Xmas presents this year !! (and, inside a book on quilts !!)
if you want to define ‘Post-Internet art’ .. look no further.

yes, the film is drenched in Panoramic retro-color, but when you come out in the same year as the most magical & brilliant, talented and gifted retro-color ‘THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL’ – if your storyline can’t sweep the cinematography off it’s feet – you’re looking like a mighty big loser.

and it’s not just the lame storyline, because there is a great great story to be told here, it all comes down to the clunker-of-junker of Mr. Burton’s directing, where one has to ask, new young blonde personal assistant “mid-life crisis” flame, and all – was his mind just not on the ball ?

could there be a worse match-up in movie heaven than AMY ADAMS and CHRISTOPHE WALTZ ? nobody in the world is going to disagree with me. CHRISTOPH WALTZ and AMY ADAMS were never, ever on the same page. acting-wise. even MR. BURTON referenced this, as if to, or probably . . hoping to ‘pre-empt’ the obvious – in fact it was the first thing out of his mouth: “was CHRISTOPH TOO OVER-THE TOP ?” – and then he shrugged his shoulders. no going back now, and the thing is, when you saw archival pix of the REAL IMPOSTER ARTIST/SHOWMAN WALTER KEANE running alongside the final credits . . . . he did look over-the-top, so was it AMY ?
let’s put it this way – she did a great impression of MERYL STREEP with a retro blonde haircut & make-up . .
there was absolutely no extra-terrestial radiance, no inner illumination of the real please stand-up MARGARET KEANE, in the building. nobody home. Elvis, I mean Margaret had not just left the building, she had never even knocked on the door. and god I so loved AMY . . in ‘AMERICAN HUSTLE’, so god of the movies – please forgive me.

you just could not fall into the movie – there was no getting past the cinematic conflict on screen – between the acting styles of these two. there was no chemistry, there were no sparks of life beyond these facade, Christph and Amy going through their retro masquerade at different speeds. a career downer for both, I think the blame has to fall with Mr. Burton ?
an Indie classic – no. nope. no way. but a fascinating art story – almost got told.

which is pretty is all pretty strange. Mr. Burton supposed to be such a brilliant director and all. great story and all. All I can say is the minute Mr. Waltz showed his face on the big screen – the whole theater burst out laughing out loud. we wanted Christopher to take wings and F-L-Y !! but it was all down hill from there., he never settled into the role. except maybe the ‘BIG LIGHT BULB GOING OFF IN HIS HEAD’ scene when he realizes, aha: the common masses of adoring fans who love the ‘BIG EYES’ paintings, but don’t have a dime to their names to buy an original canvas, can easily scrap together a buck, and buy a print. yep, everybody laughed the minute Christophe showed his face – it’s pretty damn basic obvious, a director either has to channel that huge great energy, or lose it. Mr. Burton lost it.
let’s face it when the 2 minute cameo of those 2 Hawaiian Jehovah Witnesses – are the most right on moments in a trumped-folly, you know ‘TWIN PEAKS’, ‘BLUE VELVET’ . . this is – NOT.

as for everybody saying Amy was so great.
all I can say is: go see ‘GET ON UP’ the radiant and illuminating film / story of the great JAMES BROWN. if you want to see great, cinematic character brought-to-life, a brilliant unfolding – this is your baby.
so, why is CHADWICK BOSEMAN- who plays, inhabits, projects with authenticity and verve .. the late great JAMES BROWN – not up for an OSCAR ?
shame shame shame on Hollywoood, and here they are all lamenting how racially un-diverse the Oscars are this year. and the most brilliant performance of the year – was right in front of their very noses. executive produced by MICK JAGGER, no less.

must be all those old foggies still creaking & creeping around. not quite behind the ball anymore, but well enough to drop a bad ballot or two. we have the same problem in the art world, so tell me about it.
I mean, not only was CHADWICK BOSEMAN a-l-i-v-e and truly James Brown kicking, but even in the short span of the movie we got an incredible insight into his darker sides, his complexity and ego tripping, as well as a deep understanding of where his music sprang from, a real nice cameo of deep South balck magic . . gospel church-going . . and a great great musical history picking up the trail, with a nice side dish of the nascent civil rights struggle going on in the background. we got to understand a compicated talented artist – in way that sad AMY with her hairdo never sparked for Margaret. and funny come to think of it, on eof th things that set JAMES BROWN apart – was just like WALTER KEANE, his innate flair for self-promotion & management. and, he JAMES, also had a dark twisty nasty side !!
throwing the whole thing off-the-charts to infinite greatness . . was the small (screen-time wise) but ultra-brilliant & way-inspired performance of a truly gifted . . BRANDON SMITH as LITTLE RICHARD !!
oh my god, and I thought I was a touched-in-the-head tarot card reader !!
ya gotta go see it.
the only flaw in the entire production was the way-off-his-mark, DAN AYKROYD as James’ real-life old-school Jew of an agent. what ?
MICK !! wtf – you can come up with a full roster of talented black artists, every which way and back and forth, including the gorgeous women in Mr. Brown’s life – but you can’t cast a decent old-school music talent agent ? Hollywood used to be full of them. guess they are all too busy being old foggies, bad voting, and apparently . . going extinct.

talking about which, going e-x-t-i-n-c-t . .
the real MARGARET KEANE is still alive and kicking. damn yes, that is her in the first moments of the film, sitting on a park bench in the very San Francisco park where Amy meets Christoph as Walter at a street art fair – where Margaret is trying to sell her big-eyed ‘selfie’ portrait/caricatures to ‘tourists’ !! she, the real Margaret Keane such a compeeling, poise I got distracted right away -who is that woman. then you see the archival photos and slips of ‘history’ trail past at the closing credits and you realize it was . . her.
tuns out Tim Burton actually knows her pretty well, and commissioned some paintings from her decades ago !!

damn damn damn in a world of increasing stupid-o . . can somebody please go and interview her & film her and let her for ONCE AND ALL – HAVE HER OWN REAL VOICE !! she’s old, but she’s got great posture, great spine and I bet the mystery of those haunting BIG EYES . . will slowly come forward if she can just speak for herself.
boy, talk about doomed, bad karma – what did this poor woman do in a past lifetime – that nobody lets her tell her OWN story !!

I mean, we can’t wait forever, or are we doomed to end up with a “NANNY PHOTOGRAPHER” – TAKE TWO ?!!

I mean it is kind of rich that NEW YORK TIMES CRITIC – JOHN CANNADAY couldn’t call it, no surprise there. . . what incredible, magical ‘legs’ those KEANE ‘BIG EYE’ have had. how interesting that her naive outsider ‘cartoon art’ – her ‘lost’ waifs live on. and on, and on. and how interesting the roll of her husband in their marketing, mass appeal, branding and almost damning promotion.

oh lordy, how the outsiders always come in from behind – to win the day.
I wonder if that’s what the art critics of his day thought of VINCENT VAN GOGH, or EDVARD MUNCH’S – THE SCREAM ? both very cartoon, comic book like. and of course that was the game. trashed by the pros, but living the afterlife – big time.

which brings us to ‘THE DROP’ – if you want to see just how badly MR. BURTON dropped the ball re a small ensemble film – beyond a bio pic like ‘GET ON UP’, go see ‘THE DROP’ – totally fell through the cracks – but bet it’s going to have a great long life, ‘legs’ !! on the small screen in your house.

and, if you want to see how just much magic and creative thinking-beyond-the-box was missing from ‘BIG EYES’ – well you know, a night at the ‘THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL’ – is just what the doctor ordered !!

should I start doing my hair up like TILDA SWINTON’S – or what ?!!!

don’t you just love when RALPH FIENNES says old people just have .. so much FLAVOR !!
ok, let’s be clear. I can say that – because I’M NOT . . . THAT – OLD.
but my god-given hair . . sure could rock like that.
somehow, apparently I too am doomed to be an outsider, no matter what.
artlovers, and all.
maybe there’s no (artistic) gain – without the (borderline autistic / social) pain.
MARGARET KEANE, THE NANNY PHOTOGRAPHER, and me. great. just great.
Tilda Swinton, move over !!

~JACKIE CASE . . don’t tread on MY CUPCAKE

Don’t tread on my cupcake, don’t even think about it.

time to lighten up, world.

though still thinking on . . “BIG EYES”.
the Margaret Keane story as told by Tim BURTON, posting – next !!
vive les femmes !!
turns out a woman was behind it all, from the get go. wouldn’t you just know it.
and don’t tell me those once re-viled and de-rided Big Eyes, don’t . . have legs !!
those Big Eyes just keep on going, esp even more so, in the Digital Computer Age.

for sure, when I see . . “everything is forgiven” ?? because here in NYC – apparently we don’t forget – the downed World Trade Towers, still showing up in our made-for-tourists – street art !!
a long decade . . after the fact.
and for sure, when I see international female world leaders photo-shopped out of national news coverage, because JE SUIS FEMME !!
I’m like, time . . to turn the record over, politics is so B-O-R-I-N-G.
red rover red rover, let the cutting edge ARTISTS . . come over !!

nothing like a little neo-hippie, sweet forest artistry to make a point – it’s a big world – out there, dudes. show some RESPECT for life. love, thought, and . . wisdom.
in a word: the future.

Australian artist JACKIE CASE, that means . . YOU !!
here’s to some well-drawn . . thinking.
not to mention: BIG EYES !!
welcome to NYC !!

JAN 14 – FEB 1, 2015

more: about the artist & the exhibit

JACKIE CASE, ‘Song Bird’, 2014. graphite on paper.
8-5/8 x 10-5/8 x 1-5/8 in.
talkin . . new age tech meets old school forest wisdom, crafts, and s-k-i-l-l-s.
and lives – to tell the story.

JACKIE CASE, ‘IVY’, 2014. graphite on paper.
8-5/8 x 10-5/8 x 1-5/8 in.
talkin’ . . BIG EYES – !!

JACKIE CASE, ‘Don’t Even Think About It’, 2014. graphite on paper.
8-5/8 x 10-5/8 x 1-5/8 in.
talkin’ about: don’t tread on MY CUPCAKE – ALL YOU DAMN, DUMB DUDES of the so-called world !!
don’t even think about it.
talkin: strong fist in a very – pretty package !!

yes . . powerful messages, do come in small, sweet – packages.
ancient proverb. new age package.

and no, I would not classify this, if pushed – as ‘cartoon’ art per se, more along the lines of graphic illustration, which should not be considered . . demeaning at all. s-k-i-l-l-s.
it’s a big art world out there, and we don’t need to fight about ‘intangible’ boundaries, and definitions.
though, if you consider the work of ANDERS NILSEN, long considered a very acclaimed contemporary cartoonist, and graphic novelist, and if you factor in that the the works of JACKIE CASE pack a a strong, non-verbal ‘message’ . . then, guess what: yes, cartoon art – on the very uber, graphic, detailed realist range ?

and, of course: VIVE . . LES FEMMES !!

all images from the gallery website.