Giacometti, Then and Now

New York Times: Giacometti Bronze Breaks World Record Auction Price

“I remember Giacometti’s studio in Paris, in an overgrown garden: bits of plaster and other debris, stained walls, rain trickling through the ceiling, and G. shivering in the winter. I don’t think any American artist could work in such extreme poverty.”

Simone de Beauvoir, America: Day by Day

Iron Mule Winner

Just wanted to share a great cartoon that won the audience & judge’s award at the Iron Mule Film Fest I attended a few weeks ago. The ending is hilarious!

“The Terrible Thing of Alpha 9” was created by School of Visual Arts student, Jake Armstrong, who talks about his short at Cartoon Brew:

Making this short was really fun, mostly for the research it involved. I got to reconnect with shows like “The Outer Limits” and “The Twilight Zone”, watch weird old soft sci-fi movies like “Forbidden Planet,” and the occasional big-monster-themed Looney Tunes episode. I felt these shows are so over-brimming with crazy style that it felt relatively easy to find things to put in visually. The comic book feel was strongly based on a lot of people, but the big ones that come to mind are Dan James (Ghostshrimp), Rui Tenreiro, Brecht Evens, Thomas Herpich , and Kazimir Strzepek. There are plenty more, but these all heavily influenced my style…

“Tell him what we said about Paint it Black”

Thanks for the tapes, and for the tapes of all the bands you influenced. You did well, Alex Chilton


“Without Chilton no Jayhawks/REM/Mats/Huskers/db’s/Rain Parade/Game Theory/Posies/Teenage Fanclub,” wrote Twin Cities musician and producer Ed Ackerson. “The mind reels… Not to mention no Cramps, Panther Burns, Let’s Active. Chilton showed us how to write pop songs with teeth and anguish. Blurred beauty. Mangled melodicism. Proved guitar pop wasn’t for pussies.”

From Chicago Tribune obit:

“Among the many bands that have proudly cited Big Star as an influence and put their own interpretations on its sounds are Chicago’s Wilco and Material Issue, the dB’s, Teenage Fanclub, the Posies (whose Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow fleshed out the reunited version of the band that has performed over the last decade), Game Theory, Matthew Sweet, Velvet Crush, the Bangles (who scored a hit with a cover of “September Gurls”), Ryan Adams, Cheap Trick (which covered “In the Street” as the theme song for the sitcom “That ’70s Show”) and of course the Replacements, who went so far as to write a song called “Alex Chilton.”

And for the kids of the ’80s (me!)…

2010: O Say Are We Doomed

I’ve been back in New York for the past few weeks—essentially from Fashion Week to Armory Week, with the Whitney Biennial sandwiched between—and I’ve seen so much art that I’m not sure where to begin. To make things more interesting, my camera started giving random error messages, and I haven’t had time to have it serviced, rendering void my usual tactic of posting tons of pics rather than taking the time to politely word actual opinions.

So basically I’ll hit the high points—if something stuck with me, obviously it’s significant enough…right?

This was the 75th anniversary of the Whitney Biennial, and it was supposed to be toned down, a careful showcase for an era of shrinking endowments and shuttered museums. But I’ve never been to a Biennial before, and six hours later, this one didn’t seem moderate to me. I can’t imagine those days of venue overflow—although post-art-fairs, the imagining is getting easier. I wanted to love or hate the Biennial, because it seems so wishy-washy to be “safe” and optimistically cautious about a show that has a history of polarizing critics, in the very year that every other critic (if that’s what I am) decided to be optimistically cautious. But if I am honest, there were a (very) few pieces that I loved, some stuff that I liked and lots that I didn’t.

Keep reading at Juxtapoz.

Armsrock & Imminent Disaster in Juxtapoz, Ming Donkey in Numbers

Just mentioning that I have a piece on Armsrock & Imminent Disaster’s Thinkspace show in the current print edition of Juxtapoz (opening next Friday, March 12–definitely try to make if you’re in the LA area), and a story on Ming Donkey’s multidisciplinary approach to creativity in the Spring edition of Numbers:Inc.

Imminent Disaster


Ming Donkey, video still

Also, my ArtWeLove headlines of the week are here.

Goodbye Native Son

It was the only “B” I’d ever made in a writing class. He shredded my manuscripts. “Stick to your genre,” he’d scribble on my stories and again on my rewrites. He thought my genre was poetry, would probably have been surprised to learn that I’m a journalist today. He terrified and astonished me, and often I would leave his class so enraged and engaged that I had to spend an hour running or driving aimlessly, fuming and processing before dealing with other humans–and usually, discussing his latest insight with the first human I came across, post-processing. He was upset when a British journalist called him a “leathery, squatty” man on a motorcycle. He wrote about motorcycles, and the skirted women who rode them sans panties. He died on the surgical table and rose to tell the tale. He lived many lives–sadly, this time he was on his ninth. My home state and my alma mater are impoverished without him–Barry Hannah, you will be missed.