MARCH 15, 2013 – AUGUST 4, 2013

final set of PIX – FROM THE OPENING: MARCH 12, 2013

b. Bregenz, Austria, 1962. established the design firm Sagmeister Inc, now SAGMEISTER & WALSH, in NEW YORK in 1993.

I remember reading somewhere that his father, or was it his grandfather .. was was a signmaker – back in the old country, and that he grew up around lots of old signs painted on wood, that is around lots of handpainted, handlettered .. calligraphy !!
anybody who is up to speed on contemporary art – knows the art of signmaking has entered a golden age. you can start with POP ART & ANDY WARHOL, continue with ED RUSCHA, and keep on going through STEVE POWERS aka ESPO, onto RETNA .. with innumerable stops, ok, such as .. SERF + MINT = MIRF .. in-between.
though Sagmeister’s forte seems to go beyond the ‘script’ itself, per se .. and into broader conceptual/thematic territory.

which is also an interesting ‘twist’ since unlike most of the purely ‘visual’ artists who explore and revel in ‘calligraphy’ he runs .. a commercial design firm.
go figure.
it’s hard/impossible to put a ‘defining’ number on creativity.
thank the lord, we really don’t live .. in boxes.

b. New York, 1986

on the right, SANTIAGO CARRASQUILLA, a young designer who works in the SAGMEISTER & WALSH studio.
he is listed as a collaborator on the FEEL OTHERS FEEL – floor-based bubble letter water ‘fountain’ ..
with him, a friend .. JANE MILLAN.

excerpt: gold-lettered script running along the board where the walls meet the floor in the exhibit.
from the press release:
“In addition, intrigued by a 2010-11 nationwide survey in which JEWS reported the highest levels of well-being of all religious groups, the studio has placed a text in the gallery that connects scientific data to the personal exploration of happiness.”

oh oh .. speaking of which, TROUBLE IN THE BUBBLE !!

I dunno, maybe it takes one – to know one, but . . . OY VEY !!

that’s so GOYESHE !!
and so is the ‘font’ – bye the way ?!!

I mean even JERRY SEINFELD will tell you, first off:
well-being does NOT EQUATE to HAPPINESS . . . or, as he puts it .. more or less, and is he is huge successful on every ‘scientific’ chart you could throw at him, career, family, wealth etc etc .. “LIFE SUCKS”.
“it might suck a little less for me, than you. but LIFE SUCKS”.

I mean Jews are famous, for being .. unhappy.
come on .. design maestros .. on the your Path to Happiness – don’t strip us of .. OURS !!
where’s LENA DUNHAM, when we REALLY need her. or even WOODY ALLEN, for god’s sake.

I mean everyone knows how fragile the connection between surveys and conclusions .. really are. it’s such basic science, even a hard-core artist .. knows every interpretation of a survey .. comes with a disclaimer.

and in this case, it is so .. off the mark .. it makes an off-color remark by JOAN RIVERS look .. good.

or is this the “small glimpse of humor” SAGMEISTER is quoted, in the press release .. on hoping, you’ll be finding in show. NOT.

I mean I really wouldn’t be so upset, and I wouldn’t in any want to take away from a show that brought me to my knees .. in appreciation and delight ..
but who let that tone deaf text – go by the curator’s final edit ?

and it’s not that I’m insulted religiously or ethically, au contaire, the reverse. major.
it’s that these very people, who he concludes are the most happy because they score so well on a well-being survey (?!!) i.e. the most religious/observant .. would be the VERY first to say his, Sagmeister’s, work had NO place in a JEWISH museum.

the issue of ‘Modesty’ .. aside.

these are also the very first people most likely, IN ALL CASES, to get in the way of creative expression, art .. and acting/thinking outside the box – on the most basic level .. across the board, and would object to this show, from the very first image: implied NUDITY, even if covered up by water balloons, never mind the stark naked old lady .. further on.

and forget the so-called ‘happy’ observant applauding .. this foray into the “cutting edge” aka “contemporary art” scene .. which is why I presume, and applaud – the Jewish Museum for putting on this show – in the first place .. I mean, if you read my first post on this show .. I did question, and not in JEST .. I KNOW MY PEOPLE (!!) the tribe .. and, the artists at hand !! .. just how much the museum was prepared “to bleed” . . in the name of wanting to step forward with a higher profile .. in this culturally .. dense city.

as for the fact that .. “SAGMEISTER & WALSH has been engaged to create a new graphic identity for the Jewish Museum” .. haha.

what til they get a whiff of the naked .. SAGMEISTER & WALSH calling card !!

YEAH, you MOST DEF !! want to check out: made you look !!

maybe a quote from BAL SHEM TOV .. would have sufficed ?

in collaboration with: MATTHEW & ERIK HUBER

and yes, it’s a goldfish, and yes it says: NOW.

and yes. to nakedness. in-your-face and, hard-core creativity .. anyway,
but but esp .. over the losers of the world, and esp the so-called observant who would have you live life in a box .. and then, be the first to rob you blind.
apart from, you know .. just saying, piggy aunts parading as pillars of society .. who rob your inheritance, so-called mainstream, and alternative/hipster (even worse !!) ‘journalists’ who steal your ideas & copyrighted photos, all the way to .. fat little baby-face dictators with itchy trigger thumbs, and the war machines inherent in our own ‘machines’ , not to forget: greedy super fat cat art collectors who buy art based on your direction, and then claim, when someone tells you they have just put up 3 Rob Pruitts .. on their living room wall .. no it wasn’t your advice .. I heard it at a party !!
.. you know, the whole god damn sorry – human spectrum.

NOW IS BETTER – oh my god .. does this goldfish talk to you .. the way it talks to me ?

like a flicker of coppery shimmery life, art, thought .. but so s-l-i-p-p-e-r-y.
slippery is the road to happiness .. or what ?!!

sugar cube, sugar cube on the wall ..

in the light of suicide, lethal ‘self-medication’ and nuke ’em war threats from a pudgy bubble cartoon figure come to life, STUDIO GHIBLI & ‘UP’ do come top mind, (!!) .. HAPPINESS seems particularly relevant, and you know what .. so is asking the big questions.

the funny thing is, the text – that accompanies this animated clip, refers to the times we LIVE IN (!!) sic, and not to the zen .. behind it all.

who knows, maybe it’s just the .. calm before the storm (/) if these days are the best days .. our world can come up with .. as the Sagmeister team posits, because there is less personal crime (?) and the ‘holocaust’ is behind us ?
meanwhile .. the globe is totally (scientifically) degrading ?
and all my best friends .. are dead ?

my last thought:

if ‘designers’ want to step into ‘big’ concepts they ought to get some ‘editors’ or producers or whatever you call them, JUDD APATOW (/) aboard . . I mean, did you ever notice how many of these guys’ names .. run on the closing credits for .. GIRLS ?

ok, my second-to-last thought:

for a text .. that could have, more successfully .. run in gold along the museum’s floor, (you know put your money where your mouth is Nancy ..)

and it’s from .. ISSAC BASHEVIS SINGER !!