April 2005 Archives

David Humphrey @ Morsel



Do not miss David Humphrey's installation at Morsel, up through June 5th, titled Oven Stuffer Roaster. The title comes from the fact that he created these works using those turkey balloons with pilgrim hats one sees around Thanksgiving in the front yards of houses in neighborhoods such as Williamsburg.

Momenta benefit this Saturday

Tickets are still available to my favorite art benefit.

Diary of a Stewardess

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We all have your guilty pleasures, and this blog is mine. She's working as a flight attendant, but she is also an artist. I met through a friend and fellow art blogger.

Don't miss her review of the new Lincoln "museum."

Grad students on strike at Yale


Photo by Matt Connors from from April 11th march

Yale opposes the unionization of graduate students, who do a great deal of the teaching at most universities these days. Matt Connors, who recently had a show of his paintings at Jeff Bailey Gallery, is working on his MFA there, and wrote to me about it. There was a strike last week, and I believe Columbia grad students were involved in a solidarity action. Quoting his email:

The art school is one of the only graduate programs at Yale that receives almost no tuition remission, no health care and gets paid less than half of other graduate student teachers.

Knowing what it costs to get an MFA at Yale, and knowing the odds of an artist making enough money to pay off the debt required, this means the diversity of the student body becomes rather limited -- those rich enough or crazy enough to risk it.

Here is a web page on the strike, plus an article from the Yale Daily News.

P.S. I have four(!) significant consulting projects going on right now, so I apologize for the rather light blogging.

Microsoft and Ralph Reed

Not only are they backtracking on gay rights, Microsoft pays right-wing anti-gay Ralph Reed $20,000/month for "lobbying services."

Again, go to AMERICAblog for the story.

Cool video post


Check out Mica's rainy day video post.

[image from her post]

Happy third anniversary to me



Three Graces (detail from Botticelli's La Primavera)

My first post was three years ago today.

[image from luminarium.org]

Microsoft caves on gay rights



After meeting with a single right-wing preacher, and being threatend with an "evangelical boycott", Microsoft has withdrawn its support of Washington state's gay rights bill. At the moment, it's perfectly legal to fire someone for being gay in most of the state. People in Washington believe this may kill the bill.

Go to AMERICAblog for actions to take.

From The Stranger

The Stranger has learned that last month the $37-billion Redmond-based software behemoth quietly withdrew its support for House bill 1515, the anti-gay-discrimination bill currently under consideration by the Washington State legislature, after being pressured by the Evangelical Christian pastor of a suburban megachurch. The pastor, Ken Hutcherson of Antioch Bible Church in Redmond, met with a senior Microsoft executive in February and threatened to organize a national boycott of the company's products if it did not change its stance on the legislation, according to gay rights activists and a Microsoft employee who attended a subsequent April 4 meeting where Bradford L. Smith, Microsoft's senior vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary, told a group of gay staffers about Hutcherson's threat. Hutcherson also unsuccessfully demanded that the company fire two employees who had testified in favor of the bill.


The list of high-profile companies that endorsed the bill this year reads like a who's who of the Pacific Northwest corporate world. It includes the Boeing Company, Nike, Coors Brewing, Qwest Communications, Washington Mutual, Hewlett-Packard, Corbis, Battelle Memorial Institute, Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen's Vulcan Inc., and others. And as late as February 1, Microsoft, which issued a letter in support of the bill last year, appeared poised to do so again.

I used PCs for most of my computing life, but once OS X came out, and once I was hit one too many times with a virus despite daily anti-virus updates, I switched. I'm thrilled to be using a computer that "just works," and whose design is much more attractive, from the hardware to the software.

Go check out the Apple store. The Mac Mini is a good bargain for desktop users. While you're at it, if you're still using Internet Explorer for that exciting "is it going to let a web site install something nasty" browsing experience, switch to FireFox.

[Story via AMERICAblog and Jay Blotcher]

Margaret Evangeline statement

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After I mentioned her statement in my last post, several people have asked me about it. Her web site is in the process of being updated, so I've put up a copy of the statement PDF here.

Also, James now has a post with images from the show.

Chelsea snapshots



Shell casings on the floor - Margeret Evangeline at Stefan Stux. Pick up a copy of the artist statement while you're there. It's one of the best I have read in a long time. This new body of work consists of stainless steel panels shot by the artist using various weaponry. I think it's a strong show, but I didn't get a good photo of the works, so you're getting this one instead.



Details of a scuplture and a wall piece - Jim Drain at Greene Naftali. He is one of the founders of Forcefield, the first of the Providence, RI collectives to become famous. Most people first saw their work at the 2002 Whitney Biennial, but the cognoscenti discovered them via Dean Daderko and his Parlour Projects gallery.


Jesse Bercowetz describes this as the "Uri Geller eye" from the sculpture he and Matt Bua did for a group show at Alona Kagan. I couldn't get a good photo of the live scorpion in the sculpture's head. It think their piece plus Jane Benson's are the strongest of the show. Their web site is here.

Momenta Art Benefit 2005

My favorite art benefit will occur on April 30th. Momenta Art is my favorite art non-profit in the city, and not just because their benefits are so good, and an incredible bargain. I appreciate their incredible curating taste, the fact that everyone running the place is an artist producing interesting (and political) work, and the fact that they publish a newsletter for each show with background information on the artists and their work.

You can buy one or more tickets via the enigmatic "Add to Cart" button on the home page.

Tom Moody has a post with some more images, plus a photo of the work he is donating.

We have gotten to know a number of artists whose work we first saw at one of the benefits, including Christy Rupp and Michael Cambre.

Speaking of Momenta Art, don't miss the great group show they are presenting in the UBS lobby gallery in midtown.

Log rolling

Isn't "log rolling" what Spy called their regular feature where they showed people trading positive reviews? Here is mine: Poet Alex Gildzen, who lives in Santa Fe and has a blog titled Arroyo Chamisa, mentions me as a blog he reads in an interview in Newtopia. Newtopia describes itself as "a journal of the new counterculture." Snappy name.

Reagan stamp?!

Today I received some mail from a Chelsea gallery with a Reagan stamp on it.

Were they being ironic?

ArtCal links updated

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I updated my links page on ArtCal today, including the addition of a similar guide in Tokyo called Tokyo Art Beat which has RSS feeds, email alerts, and more. Some day I'll add RSS feeds, but my work that actually makes money is taking a lot of my time lately. In fact, I'm even doing a day trip to the middle of the country on Monday, for the first time since I started freelancing.

I'm sure I've left off some good things, so feel free to email me with suggestions, or add them in the comments.

Also, if you have contacts at any NYC area visual arts non-profits, let them know that I provide free ads for them.

Eric Heist @ Schroeder Romero


Eric Heist
detail Travel Agents (Baghdad), 2005
Pencil on paper
22 3/4 × 29 3/4 inches

While I'm on the subject of artists who can really draw, I should mention Eric Heist's show at Schroeder Romero. I like the fact that Eric's work combines conceptual art, strong political content (whether critiquing our perverse work/materialist culture or our foreign policy), and good drawing and craftsmanship. As a friend said at the opening, it's good to see drawings like the one above from conceptual artists. It's a handy antidote the New Criterion-esque school of "conceptualists and minimalists just don't have enough skills" attitude.

The lovely and talented Dante Woo has started helping me keep ArtCal up to date. I'm still the editor (with some help from James), but I was having trouble finding time to put all of my picks into the database.

After only one day of looking at press releases and show announcements, he has some observations, titled things to loathe.

My final Pope post

I've had it with all of the "well, I didn't agree with him on everything, but I respected him" blog posts I've seen.

The next time a politician is refused communion for voting for a war or supporting the death penalty, rather than not being anti-gay or anti-women enough, get back to me.

The Civilians underCOVER Vaudeville

Publicity still from Nobody's Lunch

Some of you readers whose mailing address is in my possession will receive an invitation in the mail to this. The rest of you in NYC are encouraged to buy a ticket, and tell them James and I sent you. I noticed Lauren Cerand is on the benefit committee too, so maybe we will finally meet each other.

How wrong can you go with an event that will have James, me, the Wau Wau Sisters, Princess Superstar, and Alix Lambert in attendance?

I have written about The Civilians many times, but if you want to hit the highlights, go to these:

Gone Missing (includes MP3s)

Nobody's Lunch

The Ladies

Quoting the announcement:

underCOVER VAUDEVILLE Thursday, April 28, 2005
Cocktails and undercover mingling 8pm, showtime 9pm
Tickets: $65 (Benefit and Afterparty); $10 (Afterparty only)

El Flamingo
547 West 21st Street
(between 10th & 11th Avenues)

With COVERversions of Michael Friedman's songs performed by members of The Civilians with special guests >>> Tony winner KAREN ZIEMBA (Contact, Chicago), neo-roots music group OLLABELLE, cabaret chanteuse MAUDE MAGGART, Broadway star JEFFREY CARLSON (Taboo, The Goat), the vivacious and acrobatic WAU-WAU SISTERS, the incomparable DALE SOULES, Her Royal Rhymeness PRINCESS SUPERSTAR, and our underCOVER MC, funnylady BAYNE GIBBY.

Ticket price includes performance, silent auction, afterparty, and
complimentary Coraz├│n Tequila cocktails and TsingTao beer. Cash bar for other drinks.

10pm to Midnight
with dancing and music by DJ Kozmik

[like our previous benefit parties underCOVER Vaudeville promises to be a rollicking good time so feel free to spread the word, but remember it's underCOVER -- please don't tell Robert Novak]

Click this link to purchase tickets.


Abigail Lazkoz
More Medals, Bigger Responsibility, 2005
Indian and pigmented ink on paper
42.5 × 65.5"


Vicki Sher
Safe, 2005
colored pencil, ink, and gouache on paper,
22 × 15"

I feel like such a bad print journalist when I write about shows right before they close (in the case of Abigail Lazkoz), but I wanted to mention these two drawing shows that really struck me.

"Struck me" is an interesting phrase to use, given the reason for this post. Both of these shows are drawing shows with some admirable subtlety. A lot of drawing shows today seem to be aimed at showing the kind of work that will stand out at big art fairs. That's not to say that a lot of it isn't still worthwhile, but to find a couple of shows with excellent drawing that don't have that kind of improvisatory, "look at me" quality is refreshing. These are thought out, well-executed drawing shows not to be missed.

Laskoz is up through this Saturday, and Vicki Sher's show closes on the 19th.

Updated: I forgot to mention that I first wrote about Vicki Sher's work last year.

I love Paula Cooper's history of supporting good causes, ranging from ACT UP to the Critical Art Ensemble Defense Fund. Joy Garnett's NEWSgrist is the best place, other than the CAE's site linked above, to follow the case.

Quoting the press release:

An April 17 auction to benefit the Critical Art Ensemble Defense Fund has attracted donations from some of the biggest names in the contemporary art world, including Richard Serra, Cindy Sherman, Alexis Rockman, Ruben Ortiz Torres, Hans Haacke, Kiki Smith, Chris Burden, and a great many others.

We may not make it to the event, as we already have tickets to an American Symphony Orchestra concert at 3.

Street Art

Street art is one of my favorite things about walking around in a city. Some recent examples, seen in person or on the web:

polaroid scene

Williamsburg images by James



Cut Up Show in London, via Wooster Collective

"At the forefront of a new breed of urban intervention, Cutup have rethought traditional methods of making a statement through the subversion of the visual landscape of the city. CutUp's billboard images are created by slicing up adverts and collaging the pieces into a newly ordered image."

In Brunnhilde's immolation scene in G├Âtterdamerung at the English National Opera, she is a suicide bomber.

It makes sense to me.


The Vatican launched a holy war against homosexual families yesterday, decreeing that any moves to license same-sex marriages or gay adoption are "legalizing evil."

"Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law," the Catholic Church said. "Under no circumstances can they be approved."

In a toughly worded salvo aimed primarily at Catholic politicians, the church branded gay sex "serious depravity," gay marriage "deviant" and adoption by lesbians and gays as "doing violence" to children.


Catholics must fight against the spreading tolerance of gay sex, the Vatican declared in its policy statement, which was approved by the pontiff.

Such tolerance exposes children to "erroneous ideas" and violates Christian duty to speak out against immorality, it said. ."The legalization of evil is something far different from the toleration of evil," the church said.

-- source


The Catholic Church is telling people in countries stricken by AIDS not to use condoms because they have tiny holes in them through which HIV can pass - potentially exposing thousands of people to risk.

The church is making the claims across four continents despite a widespread scientific consensus that condoms are impermeable to HIV.

A senior Vatican spokesman backs the claims about permeable condoms, despite assurances by the World Health Organisation that they are untrue.

-- source

This seems like an appropriate time to re-post some of my disco MP3s

Sylvester - You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)

Thelma Houston - Don't Leave Me This Way

Vicky Sue Robinson - Turn The Beat Around

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