Yes, you’re sanctioned to do anything
Best wishes for a prosperous and art-ful new year from Artists Unite.
Sustaining a long-term project is a muthaf’in challenge, as anyone who’s tried knows. Our own Now:Here:This is wrapping up it’s third year with an exhibition that goes up on Thursday. It’s tempting to throw in the towel when the enthusiasm you had at first has lagged, but also something to endurance and the pushing through problems, new participants, new viewers give momentary though less dramatic reactions and encouragement.
But all that is just prelude to plugging another ongoing project that I and a number of artist acquaintances have joined in, that’s J.T. Kirkland’s Artists Interview Artists project. I myself have been guilty of lagging behind in reading these really interesting interchanges, which are part random, part repeat at this point, but still 100% genuine. I noticed today’s interview between Zachary Stadel and Walter Logeman and thought it brought up a lot of Artists Unite themes.
(And as a side note, I was just reading about Kurt Scwitters 20-year long project, Merzbau. It took an Allied air raid to stop him. Hmmm, good role model…)
Couldn’t modernism be taught to school children as a series of Aesop’s fables? … Think of such fables as “Who Killed Illusion” or “How the Edge Revolted Against the Center.” “The Man Who Violated the Canvas” could follow “Where Did the Frame Go?” … and how Abstraction and the Picture Plane, thick as thieves, kept booting out a persistent guttersnipe named Collage, who just wouldn’t give up…
–Brian O’Doherty, Inside the White Cube
Given that many in the arts stay in practice based on philanthropy–in the form of grants or at institutions that rely on grants from foundations or other donors–I thought this analysis of giving was apropos. via the New York Times, “What Should a Billionaire Give–And What Should You?” by Peter Singer
It’s not too late to change them and come to the opening tonight!Â (Yeah, I know…more shameless self-promotion.)
If you are participating in the latest Now:Here:This episode (and the last in 2006), tonight is the deadline for submitting the work you created this week. Please see the project page for details on how to participate.
Wow, here’s a twist: somebody who doesn’t call their quirky project art. I got a dollar bill with the following scrawled across the top: “WHERE HAVE I BEEN? WWW.WHERESGEORGE.COM“. It seems someone with an idea for a
fun interactive internet project set it up back in 1998 and called it, “fun.” How novel.
It’s a perfect description of Life In A Blender.
We hope you’ll join us in magic of season at our special holiday show that will unite creatures big and small.
On this night, the Victoria’s Secret supermodel will join hands with the sickly mouse caught in a trap. The Donald Trumps will hold hands with the septic tank repairmen. Arnold Schwarzenegger will cup Nicole Richie in his hands like a baby mole.
And together we will sing the spirit-lifitng songs of Life In A Blender.
When? Saturday, December 16, at 9 pm
Where? On High at The Living Room (Ludlow St just below Stanton)
How Much?: Just put a penny in the old man’s hat.
The full band–Dave Moody, Al Houghton, Mark Lerner, Rebecca Weiner, Ken Meyer, and me (Don Rauf)–will be there under the mistletoe.
Also: Chris Rael will play after us in a spectacular show that celebrates the history of Church of Betty. The show is shrouded in mystery….Christmas mystery….and should not be missed.
So come out to see your old friends before the END of the YEAR or KRAMPUS will get you.
And if you come, I again promise that a thousand angels will descend upon you and cleanse you with a festive, holiday tongue bath.
Tally Ho ho ho!!!
Today i saw someone take a swing at his wife in the street and I kept driving.Â paint that!
Sure war is horrible and prisons are inhumane but day to day I ignore theft, cheating, and emotional abuse then I turn away from the media and see it on the street.
This concept of a time of giving, keep up with the joneses or feel guilt.Â The daily pressureÂ to keep slim or I’m ugly or worse undisciplined.
Where does all that go?Â Where can it be released?
I can point my finger at someone else and say look at the administration, my parents, the establishment or I canÂ poke nose into how you deal with your kids and litter and don’t wash your hands.
maybe I can paint an image of balanced colors and shapes where I take a hesitant, searching line and join it with other lost lines and give them a frame and a harmony.Â Or I can re arrange my silverware drawer and comb my kids hair.
Irving Sandler asks if criticism is in crisis in an urgent plea in the Rail. Here’s an excerpt:
“…How does the current structure of the art world and the roles of dealers, collectors, and curators, usurp the functions of art critics and threaten the integrity and impact of criticism, if indeed they do? How do â€œspinâ€ mechanisms engaged in by art institutions affect art criticism? How can they be dealt with? Are we too timid in dealing with the power structures in the art world? If so, how can we overcome our timidity? Do we dare name names? Above all: Is what Jerry Salz described as the â€œart fair frenzy, auction madness, money lust, and market hypeâ€ influencing what we write and more important, what artists create in their studios and in our graduate programs? Must we not analyze the art world and its practices? If we donâ€™t, who will?…”
HARAMBEE DANCE Company PERFORMANCE:
Dec 15, 2006 at the annual Kwanzaa Celebration
at the Children’s Aid Society - Milbank Center Site.
There will also be performances from some of the
milbank groups including chorus, hip hop, poetry,
step team etc. plus lots of food, music, vendors.
ADDRESS: 14-32 WEST 118TH STREET
(Same address of Sandella ’s class)
TIME: 6:30 - 8:30PM
THIS IS A FREE EVENT
FOR MORE INFO CALL 212 942 3566
VENDORS are welcome. Call for info.
2. Free dance classes with Sandella
Every FridayÂ 6 - 7:30pm
14-32 West 118th street.
For info: 212 942 3566
Leave it to the Nation to do a really cracker jack job of looking at political use of art (in a way that nicely dovetails with our current discussion of painting from photographs). Arthur C. Danto draws on references from the 1563 Council of Trent to Susan Sontag in describing why Fernando Botero’s latest paintings convey the anguish of the prisoners of Abu Graib in a way that no photograph can. Describing the power of painting to paint the “unseen,” Danto describes the paintings on view last month at New York’s Marlborough Gallery–by an artist he previously found “pathetic”–as masterpieces of “disturbatory” art, and totally riveting:
…Botero’s Abu Ghraib series, which draws on his knowledge of the graphic, even lurid paintings of Christ’s martyrdom by Latin American Baroque artists, in which Jesus bleeds from the crown of thorns, or from the wounds left by lance points in his ravaged chest. Abu Ghraib, in Botero’s rendering, also evokes Baroque prisons, like those one sees in the paintings titled Roman Charity, where a visiting daughter breast-feeds her chained father in the gloomy light of his cell.
I find it impressive that Botero did not offer these works for sale. He has the collection available as a gift to museums, but does not yet have an offer. To view the work, see Marlborough’s site. The print copy of the Nation includes additional images.
check out the podcast of today’s in-studio appearance by personal fave aimee mann, who released an eclectic xmas album, “One More Drifter in the Snow”:
morning becomes eclectic, www.kcrw.org
“people my age group grew up with charlie brown christmas. charlie’s depressed and alienated. Linus drops some scripture on him; it gets really spooky. That was our touchstone for the album.”
I love ya, tomorrow…because Art Basel Miami Beach will be over and we won’t have to hear about All Billionaires, More Bullshit for another year. The best (or worst) article yet was Guy Trebay’s in the NY Times. For Trebay, and apparently a lot of other ABMB attendees, Dita von Teese’s (aka, Mrs. Marilyn Manson and Bettie Page wannabe) bare all and shake it act was the highlight and “only thing that could really get a rise out of a crowd so aesthetically jaded…” Really? A little T & A is the most shocking and refreshing “art” available from more than 1500 artists? Sorry, but I find it difficult to type and roll my eyes at the same time. Trebay goes on to say, “What felt most refreshing about Ms. von Teese’s performance was that she took it all off at a time when everyone else seems to be piling it on.” Well, she got a ‘rise’ out of lonely Trebay too it seems. Ahem.
We read plenty of names dropped, but very little said about the work. With all those socialites and hedge fund billionaires and “Palm Beach matrons with faces as taut and expressionless as the ones on inflatable love dolls” to party with, (I think maybe Trebay is really, really lonely!) I guess it’s too much to ask distracted journalists to walk through the fair, look at the art, and who knows? Maybe even highlight a few important pieces that could be worthy of some attention and critical discussion. With that much work crammed in there, there must be a couple of truly good or at least vaguely interesting pieces to bring to light, wouldn’t you guess? Thank goodness there’s Paddy Johnson at Art Fag City to give us some real news and views from the circus — I mean fairgrounds — center, and Critical Miami with plenty of images, commentary and The Art Basel Guide for Normal People. For now, my annoyance will be assuaged by Culturegrrl’s pithy posts, enough to keep me laughing…until next December rolls around.
I was reading an spread in ARTnews a few months ago about Agnes Gund. It quoted Kate D. Levin saying, â€œ…she appreciates the complexities of trying to live by your imagination in this culture,â€ which immediately cemented Gund’s hero-status in my books. It also got my gears cranking about it being the word imagination and not creativity that was chosen, and the distinction between them. There are plenty of creative people, making stuff both good and bad, but what elevates the work, what makes it new, takes it further, surprises, and enlightens?Â Imagination.Â Creativity is indispensible, but seems more tied to making and doing, whereas imagination is more mysterious and elusive. Imagination in and of itself is not necessarily that useful (don’t we all know some idle dreamers?), and without a way to channel it, could end up being quite a burden. Imagination involves openness of mind and freedom of spirit. Creativity often demands some level of risk, as well as determination, and dedication. I started applying a little litmus test on the artists I came across. Were they imaginative? Creative? Both? I found more evidence of imagination paired with creativity than my cynicism would have predicted, a pleasant observation.
A community event in West Chelsea to benefit artists
Works on view: Thursday, April 5th until Thursday, April 19th, 2007
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 5th 5:00 pm â€“ 8:00 pm
Saturday Brunch Reception: April 7th from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
CALL FOR ARTISTS | SPACE IS LIMITED
You are invited to be a part of ART GOTHAM’s SQUARE FOOT SHOW, a community event to benefit artists. Just go to
ART GOTHAM located at 547 West 27th Street on the Fifth Floor on
CANVAS PICK UP/REGISTRATION DATES
Fri, Dec 8 (3pm - 6pm)
Sat, Dec 9 (3pm - 6pm) or
Tues, Dec 12 (3pm - 6pm)
to register and receive an officially numbered blank canvas to create your work of art to be included in the Chelsea exhibition.
I know that many of you were sleeping off your Thanksgiving feast during the last art spark, but you have a chance to turn all that fuel into art tomorrow, Friday, December 8. We’ll combine the two sparks into one big December show. This is your last chance to be part of the Now:Here:This virtual community in 2006.
Don’t miss it!