~MATTHEW THURBER . . FLASH FROM THE PAST

MATTHEW THURBER signs . . his book: ‘1-800-MICE’

at the 3rd . . 2011 BROOKLYN COMICS & GRAPHICS FESTIVAL.

sadly, the FEST is no more . . .

but the comic art and the people who love them . . are still here.

hint: CAB / COMICS ART BROOKLYN

truck on, comic book artists !!


the quote on the cover from MATT GROENING reads:
“1-800-MICE reads like a mysterious oddball artifact from a much stranger and cooler parallel universe”.

ARCHIVAL PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH. DEC 5, 2011. BROOKLYN, NYC.

get: more info on ‘1-800-MICE’ . . from PICTUREBOX

which describes the book as: “an anthropological study of the imaginary city of Volcano Park where flying mouse couriers have replaced Fed Ex with a soap-opera-styled fractured narrative & a cast of thousands.”

& they offer this ‘1-800-MICE’ . . sampling:




~MATTHEW THURBER . . INFOMANICS at DESERT ISLAND / BOOK RELEASE & SIGNING . . FRI NOV 22

PICTUREBOX . . . is proud to present a signing & reception for MATTHEW THURBER’S new book: ‘INFOMANIACS’.

FRI NOV 22, 2013 / 7-9 PM
DESERT ISLAND – 540 METROPOLITAN AVE – WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN.

‘INFOMANIACS’ . . “is a graphic novel printed on paper all about the Internet. A hilarious detective story that manages to critique and explore digital culture . . ‘INFOMANIACS’ is marked by Matthew Thurber’s restless questioning and heightened sense of the absurd . . .

Think of it as the Long Goodbye for the tumblr generation.”

MATTHEW THURBER, ‘INFOMANIACS’
8 x 10 in. 200 pages, black + white, hardcover.
published by PICTUREBOX, more info
$22.95

PS:

while you are at DESERT ISLAND, be sure to pick up any free copies of SMOKE SIGNAL, that might still be available.




~OLD MAN GOES AFTER . . THE PRIZE

‘NEBRASKA’ – a film by ALEXANDER PAYNE. WRITTEN BY BOB NELSON. MUSIC BY MARK ORTON.

is . . an artists’ movie, no doubt about it.

made by artists: storytellers, cinematographers, musicians, prop guys .. who pretty much followed their inner guts . . and kept it, real.

to be viewed by artists.

esp those who live in big cities, far from the sparsely populated and old-school American prairie homeland, or heartland .. as is called, and with good reason.

this low profile, small budget .. yet sweeping American panorama will be viewed by artists, of all genres . . with profound appreciation, as the simple but compelling story unfolds across a wide screen of stark, yet absolutely picturesque, black and white midwest landscape.
the raw-feeling footage was shoot across 4 states.

BRUCE DERN, 77, won BEST ACTOR at CANNES for his work in this film. it’s a beautiful multi-layered performance that is so nuanced with ‘cluelessness’ . . it’s scary.

WILL FORTE carries off the role of the son perfectly. it’s his ultimate ‘kindness’ to his aging dad, who apparently hadn’t been that kind or good to him in childhood .. that is the redeeming factor of this movie, and the ‘key’ on which it all turns.

as the younger son, he could have been, well . . judgmental. impatient. all the way to .. blaming his alcoholic, unambitious ‘bit of a loser’, not much of a dreamer, either .. dad for his already washed-up going nowhere existence . . I dunno maybe that’s just a New York thing ?

but instead . . he rises to the reality of life’s ‘last call’, with tenderness, patience and no .. belittling.
an absolutely riveting low fi character ‘capture’.

the only, very small flaw that caught my attention was the portrayal of the dad, Woody’s .. long suffering wife, Kate Grant, as played by JUNE SQUIBB. she almost almost nails it, but seems too ‘happy’. too happy to have landed the plum gig of her life, out of nowhere. and at this age.
we don’t totally fall into the depth of her being, as we do with father and son.

I’m thinking she should have been a touch more tired, a touch more bitter, a touch more ‘angry’. a touch more in touch with the dialog. it’s not so much that she should be a ‘shrew’, as just more disappointed. and well, fed up. though I did love her screwball moments exposing the underside of small town sex life.
too much info, mom !!

watch out my young ‘uns.
as your baby boomer parents head into their last chapter . . you could do well to watch this, and prepare yourselves . . for what’s ahead !!


more than anything, BRUCE DERN as WOODY GRANT reminded me of . . DAN ASHER.
same mannerisms. same not . . ‘getting it’.
and, that’s exactly how Dan dressed too, even to the glass frames.
same rumpled plaid shirt, same jacket. same physical build. walk.
same everything. except for the wife and kids, of course.
and, not even close to 77 .. of course.

DAN ASHER. a brilliant, quirky, real-life character on the NYC art scene going back to the 80s, who had had some success, but ultimately considered himself a failure . . career-wise. there was no ‘air’ left to breathe, for the rest of us when Jean Michel’s concurrent star ascended and fell.
that was DAN, cantankerous, and stubborn. frustrated by life and where it took him.

the most telling moment, and a wonderful testament to a great fiction portrayal by an actor in any film .. ever, takes place in this bar. when some big mouth from Woody’s past, spills a few too many beans, to his son, also played almost musically, it’s so pitch perfect a performance by WILL FORTE.

it’s the scene where the son, David Grant learns he almost was .. well, NOT.
that his dad Woody had had a moment where he thought he had ‘really fallen in love’, with a half-breed over in the reservation, before he returned to the fold of married life.

the amazed David looks back to his dad . . who just sort of half nods with unspoken guilt, as we see him lost in thought, time traveling back to the brief days of a long long ago, forbidden, and probably .. quelle steamy session.
that look was priceless.
that look was .. Dan Asher.


the small town boy, ace . . ‘paparazzi’.
believe it !!


I did catch the film’s writer, BOB NELSON in person .. at an advance Writer’s Guild screening.
he said, that .. yes this was his family. Alexander Payne, the film’s director grew up in Nebraska, and BOB NELSON grew up in the midwest .. so no wonder the film comes across with such authenticity.

Mr. Nelson said his real-life uncles were all like that. they didn’t say much, and what they did say was football, or cars.
in ten words, or less !!
his family fought, but it was mostly over . . “toasters”.
my family fights over missing vintage 1950’s 18K gold charm bracelets. guess that’s what I get . . for being an immigrant New Yorker with roots in Montreal.
hope my kids don’t fight over .. the Dan Ashers.

see: the trailer

see: NEBRASKA, the official website

ps:

about the music. which is really like a kind of silvery Americana on-the-road ‘silence’ in this film.
below is a brief clip of TIN HAT band member, MARK ORTON . . who wrote the score, and performs on the soundtrack. in it he hits the nail on the head, as to why .. the soundtrack is so on-point. which is that 9 times out 10, it plays along to visual footage, without any concurrent dialog.

see: Interview with MARK ORTON, CANNES

here’s: a good site to hear the soundtrack




~RAPPER KING BRINGS HOME . . THE BASQUIAT

turns out, homeboy Jay Z was the anonymous buyer of BASQUIAT’S 1982 ‘MECCA’ last week, at SOTHEBY’S.
he plunked down $4.5 million, and that’s considered a ‘steal’ .. as there was no real ‘bidding’ war for it.
that could be because .. the acrylic & oil stick painting was on the minimal side ?

personally that’s what I think makes it over-the-top great.

source: ‘Jay Z snaps up $4.5 million Basquiat’ .. NEW YORK POST


JEAN MICHEL BASQUIAT .. ‘MECCA’.
IMAGE via NEW YORK POST




~30 YR OLD BRINGS HOME . . THE BACON

the veil has been lifted.

the mystery buyer of the FRANCIS BACON triptych, sold at CHRISTIE’S last week for a record $142 million, the highest price ever – for a work of art sold at auction was:

QATAR’S SHEIKHA MAYASSA aka “the most powerful woman in art.”

the daughter of the former emir of Qatar, and sister to the current Emir, “she is said to control billions of dollars that the royal family wants to spend on art for museums they are building.”

her oil rich family spent a record $158 million of Cezanne’s ‘Card Players’ last year . . .

apparently, what Sheikha wants, Sheikha . . gets.

source: ‘The secret buyer’ . . NEW YORK POST


‘Three Studies of Lucian Freud’ – the FRANCIS BACON triptych .. at lats week’s auction.
PHOTO: CHRYSTIE’S IMAGES Ltd / Handout via Reuters via NEW YORK POST

it actually looks quite a lot better in this installation/event photo than the catalog image. I guess that’s because of the way the light has been made to pin point on it, in a more dynamic and pleasing way. instead of coming across so bland and flat, in particular the center of the composition, and the figure, appears more dynamic and nuanced.
nice.
a little lighting can go a long way, ask any wedding planner.
looks very oriental in this image.


SHEIKHA MAYASSA of QUTAR.
PHOTO: AFP/Getty Images via NEW YORK POST




~SABIO / RAMBO . . & XAVIOR / SUMMER 2010

I was thinking about RAMBO, because when I was looking up the archival footage for MARTIN CREED, I found a few RAMBO pix from that time too.

they popped even more than usual . . because actually BANKSY referenced the kind of ‘tag’ work RAMBO does, in his recent ‘rejected’ op ed piece / rant . . for the NEW YORK TIMES !!

BANKSY: “Nobody comes to NEW YORK to bathe in your well-mannered common sense. We’re here for the spirit and audacity, of which One World Trade has none. Instead you have to look to the rooftops – to the chorus of precariously roller painted names and slogans over the skyline like poison ivy.”

by “roller painted”, he means wide paint rollers on long handles, as used in house painting for ceilings/walls.

I also have a vague recollection of reading somewhere . . that these crude but hi-risk, acrobatic ‘tags’ were like ‘lace’ or ‘crochet’ on the city skyline.

when the work plays off an existing ghost of an advertising text . . IT is a bonus.
in this case it’s particularly brilliant, and done up, to the max . . by XAVIOR.

(please) MASTER YOUR BODY THERE’S A SOUL WITHIN – XAVIOR.

how they actually get up there and do the gravity-defying deed, and without being detected, is beyond my knowledge. but I guess those ladders on the extreme left, are a clue.

ARCHIVAL PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH. JUNE 2010, NYC.

ps: KAWS

used to do this type of action, too. back in the day when he was a young kid wannabe growing up in Jersey. I know this, because you can still catch an early ghost of a KAWS roller ‘tag’ on an industrial roof line on the main drag into the city, the tunnel into New York City .. from the Jersey City side.
kind of near that big HOME DEPOT.
will try to catch a photo, next time I go by.




~MARTIN CREED . . PIX FROM THE OPENING

‘MARTIN CREED’
OPENED NOV 8, 2013.
the show runs thru DEC 21, 2013.
GAVIN BROWN’S enterprise – 620 GREENWICH ST – WEST SIDE, NYC.


MARTIN CREED at . . the opening.


of course the show stopper was this ‘car’ . . on an ‘activation’ loop, just outside the gallery. was / is.
it’s still out there, it’s part of the exhibit !!


MARTIN CREED, ‘Work No. 1686’, 2013, Ford Focus. 70 x 160 x 80 in.

a Brit model of an American car. the driver’s side was on the right hand side. the car pops to life every few minutes. first the ignition comes on, purrs very loud. then the doors and trunk and hood pop open, and a soundtrack engages that mimics a real time sports radio.
it is very surprising, when it engages.


MARTIN CREED, ‘Work No. 1788’, 2013. Cinder Blocks. 157-1/2 x 371-1/2 x 162-1/2 in.

inside, the pyramid.
Pyramids seem to hold a special attraction to this artist.

so when you’re good and sick of ‘dots’ . . you know where to head.


cinder blocks, up close and personal.


a sound proof, temporary ‘chamber’ was built-up . . in the gallery.


inside a movie looped over and over, on a wall-sized screen.

unlike that 2010 ‘male rising’ clip . . this one spoke to bio ‘fragility’.

the subjects were ‘physically’ challenged, ‘gravity’ was a challenge.
let’s just say they were various: ‘gimpy’, and leave it at that.


MARTIN CREED, ‘Work No. 1701’, 2013. Digital film. TRT 4:15 mins.

this guy was my fave. even though he looked to be all there . . he had to hop across that intersection, which just happens to be the intersection that faces the gallery at Greenwich. check: the Fed Ex office.
though it did oddly also reference . . the BEATLES.


people had to decide for themselves, if the film ‘crossed’ the line. of good behavior, political correctness.

I had no issues, since the accompanying music, a song composed and performed by Martin Creed himself .. was so snappy. so snappy it made me want to dance.

a dancing fool, not so far ‘mentally’ from the impaired ‘strollers’ ? hmm.
a dancing fool .. in close proximity to the physically impaired ?!!

it was a strange tension, to feel so moved to move, while witnessing people who barely .. could.


hmm, and then there’s .. hmm.
could this guy be an ‘escapee’ from the night’s concurrent Bruce High Quality Foundation opening.
the thought did cross my mind.

THE BHQF vs the impaired, now there’s a thought.

hmm, why are these paintings so much more interesting so small, as opposed to large ?

MARTIN CREED, ‘Work No. 1749’, Gabriella, 2013. Acrylic on canvas, 12-3/4 x 9-1/8 in.


on the left, the small colorful painting:
MARTIN CREED, ‘Work No. 1775’, 2013, Acrylic on canvas, 47-1/2 x 47-/2 in.

intersecting the space:
MARTIN CREED, ‘Work No. 1784’, 2013. I-Beams. 97-3/4 x 240 x 6-1/2 in.


spatial play. everyday materials.


MARTIN CREED, I-beams.


artist HALSEY HAWTHORNE.
so you can see just how ‘animating’ . . those I-beams can be.


ELIZABETH PEYTON.


MARTIN CREED, ‘Work No. 1697’, 2013. Brick and Mortar. 156 x 156 x 12 in.

there’s brick walls, and then, there’s brick walls.
you can run into a brick wall, but there’s always … eventually, the corner where it ends, and you can do a ‘turn around’.
in life, as in art. as the saying goes.
a nice definition of: finite.
while the ‘principle’ itself, is: infinite.


a viewer engages with . .


MARTIN CREED, ‘Work No. 1718’, Elizabeth. 2013. Acrylic and pencil on canvas.
19-7/8 x 16 in.


local artists . . . you might recognize them, if you really get around, esp in the dark. on the wild side.
GERRIT and LANCE.


LANCE. New Order. The Good Order.
oh, to be an art world .. kickass RAMBO !!
The Hidden order. ha.

come to think on it, that’s alot of what this show is about . . hidden order.

MARTIN CREED, ‘WORK NO. TBC”, Acrylic on canvas, 18-7/8 x 15 -7/8

yep, with the contemporary art world in a bonafide fever, this season . .
it’s the whip smart pyramid-obsessed Brit, MARTIN CREED vs. the Japanese dot-obsessed 84 yr. old dame, YAYOI KUSAMA.

like I said, when you’re tired of being ‘dotty’, you can go get . . ‘lucky’.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH




~MARTIN CREED . . A VIEW TO THE STREET

FLASHBACK TO: SUMMER 2010 ..


MARTIN CREED . . . MARBLE FLOOR at GAVIN BROWN’S enterprise, JUNE 2010.

I’m thinking maybe MARTIN CREED was struck by the particulars of the GAVIN BROWN Gallery, when he presented that summer 2010 show.

like many other big spaces on the West Side aka the MEAT PACKING DISTRICT, part of the gallery was originally a meat packing plant, and thus it had proximity to the street and loading docks.

I’m saying: check out that car !!
on the extreme left hand side.

ARCHIVAL PHOTO: NANCY SMITH. JUNE 2, 1010, NYC.




~MARTIN CREED: FLOORS & WALLS

‘MARTIN CREED’
opened NOV 8, 2013
the show runs thru DEC 21, 2013
GAVIN BROWN’S ENTERPRISE – 620 GREENWICH ST, WEST SIDE, NYC.


flashback:
if the explicit video loop in MARTIN CREED’S last show, came across as a ‘manual on human reproduction’, taking place inside a space ship; the other part of the exhibit, a custom ‘floor’ was . . a totally ‘inverted’ gallery experience.


there was NO product on the walls.
there was NO art on the formal white gallery walls.
there was just . . this gorgeous floor.


the consistently striped design of contrasting marble, was the ART.
how it ‘ran’ through the gallery space was – the ART. .

‘gravity’ was thrown under the bus, again.

literally, in that you walked on .. the art.


you were walking on – what you could buy.
if I remember correctly you could commission this floor to be laid down in your own house, office, lobby. whatever.
would I want that ? you bet.


in the NEW EXHIBIT, 2013:

MARTIN CREED, ‘Work No. 1697’, 2013. Brick and mortar, 156 x 156 x 12 in.

so, I bring up the past .. to help make sense of the present.
a vast wall, as opposed to a floor. but it’s still: SPATIAL PLAY.


this is the same piece, seen from a different vantage point.
a brick wall, a very simple context in principle . . is made to perform in a very dynamic and surprising way.


and that’s the beauty of MARTIN CREED’s work . . in a nutshell.

ARCHIVAL PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH. JUNE 2, 2001. NEW YORK CITY
CURRENT PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH. NOV 8, 2013. NEW YORK CITY.




~MARTIN CREED vs GRAVITY . . CREED WINS

MARTIN CREED vs ‘GRAVITY’ the film ?

CREED wins.

HINT: it’s the silence. it’s the spaceship ambience. it’s the ‘bio’ ness of our fragile race. it’s feeling: lost in space.
it’s MARTIN is . . just an ‘A’ away from being: MARTIAN.
it’s MARTIN turns everything upside down, and comes up: roses.

which is just another way of saying . . .

in light of the great Brit success at Christie’s this week, and the beautiful, gorgeous sunshine streaming down on a brisk New York City today . . .

you might want to get yourself downtown, close to the open spaces of the west side . . and the water, where you can check out a Brit . . who not only comes with a strong secondary market already attached . .
but, who also happens to be more importantly, a bonafide: LIVE WIRE.

MARTIN CREED – GAVIN BROWN’S ENTERPRISE – 620 GREENWICH ST – DOWNTOWN WEST SIDE, NYC
NOVEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 21, 2013


FLASHBACK TO: JUNE 2010:
yep, that . . MARTIN CREED.
this was the first time I saw anything by MARTIN CREED, in person.
it was the summer of 2010, it was a real hot summer for art.
but this screening at GBE . . aced it.

it was absolutely jaw-dropping . . presented when GBE first debuted that new annex.
it was so ahead of the usual art game . . it was: SCARY.

oh momma, it was bold. it was silent. it was huge. it was vast.
it talked to space, and to .. bio-ness. the human condition, the human ‘creed’. and yes, you did feel lost in space.
the exhibition space was . . that huge and raw.
the gallery space still retained its original industrial rawness.

the looped footage was so primal, so graphic, so in your face.

it was: scary.

it was everything in 2 mins. that ‘GRAVITY’ in 2 hrs .. was NOT.

esp silent, and . . awesome.

GAVIN & CREED vs BULLOCK & CLOONEY, well you know who wins that.


I guess you could call it .. CREED RISING. it was a loop of you know .. what.
the force of nature, that opposes gravity. that ‘rises’.
that keeps us . . going. as a race. reproduction.
it was definite one of the top ten art events . . I’ve ever witnessed.


not that I haven’t seen a ‘dick’ rising in my lifetime.
it was the confluence of factors. esp the rawness of the yet untouched new space.
so industrial vs. the loop: which was so, bio.
the room would go completely bright, full of natural & artificial light, to stark and completely dark, and the single most important ‘cornerstone’ to human welfare . . would loop. no words. no soundtrack.
zero. no adornment of any kind.
I was speechless. I was completely dumbstruck.
it was very physical. but it was also absolutely . . conceptual.


there was a bunker mentality to the place, that reminded me of . . JOSH HARRIS and QUIET. ten years ago.
so it was an experience for me, that was both past and present.
and FUTURE .. with a really big capital ‘F’.

I would even say, the ‘space’ felt like QUIET did, more a ‘spaceship’, than a white box exhibit.


yo, when the security guard is alaughin’, and areading’ (!!) . . you know you are in the right place.


MARTIN CREED also had some small black ‘pyramid’ paintings on the wall facing the huge screen . . which made perfect sense, in that context.
the hugeness of the notion of ‘human’ creation vs. the smallness of the actual human ‘stab’ at creativity.
the struggle to articulate both the infinite principles we are subject to, and the finite properties of the life we live.

the humble ‘small’ gesture small paintings .. vs the huge primal ‘male’ principle of the universe.

the black and white paint echoing the black and white of the video loop ..

the ‘pyramid’ gradation of the painting, going to wider yet smaller bands, well you get the picture . . ‘rising’ !!
universal ‘principles’. duh.
or ‘doh’. whatever.
very: ZEN.

FLASH FORWARD:


MARTIN CREED also has a small ‘pyramid’ painting in the new show, 2013.
except this time . . they are in color.
very ‘plastic’.

I think the real beauty of the thing, the small paintings . . lie in their size vs the hugeness of the ‘cosmic’ principles, they imply.

art vs. the beauty of basic science.


MARTIN CREED, Work No. ___, (TBC). acrylic on canvas, 19-7/8 x 15-7/8 in.

I think this work, and the new show in total . . will resonate strongly with many young New York painters, as they seem to be very much into abstract art right now. and they are all also searching . . for when & how, that strict non-objective ‘spatial’ compositional dynamic . . takes a leap off the surface and becomes a .. ‘dance’.
a thing of the heart.
a live wire.

MORE PIX FROM THE NEW MARTIN CREED SHOW . . . TO FOLLOW.

ARCHIVAL PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH. JUNE 2, 2010, NEW YORK CITY.

CURRENT PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH. NOV 8, 2013, NEW YORK CITY.

PS: if you’ve got the time. we’ve got the pix !!

check out: What the hell – it’s one hot summer SCARY summer / on our ARCHIVES, 2010.