January 2006 Archives

Little Red Schoolhouse art benefit


I've updated my list of favorite art benefits to add the Little Red Schoolhouse benefit on February 2nd. The list of artists is amazing, including some alumni such as Nayland Blake.

Singing birds



So, would it freak out all of our friends who met Sweet Pea if they came to our apartment and saw one of these?


From Steve Gilliard, I see the Bush administration would like a "permanent uniformed police force" provision added to the PATRIOT Act. They would be answerable to the Dept. of Homeland Security, and known as the "United States Secret Service Uniformed Division." The proposed language says they could

make arrests without warrant for any offense against the United States committed in their presence, or for any felony cognizable under the laws of the United States if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing such felony

Goodness, couldn't they at least find a name that doesn't include SS?

Attention wackos: I'm not comparing the GOP to Nazis yet. I think they're closer to Franco or South American-style kleptocracy/fascism. I know none of them (except perhaps Dr. Rice) know any history, but really! What a terrible name!

Duke Riley / Laurence Hegarty

Two good shows we saw last Friday:

Laurence Hegarty at Cynthia Broan

Laurence Hegarty's sculpture at Cynthia Broan

Duke Riley at Magnan Projects

Duke Riley's amazing drawings, videos, and more at Magnan Projects


I'm going to borrow James's idea and do some "postcard" posts of art I've seen. I will use the category "Postcard" for such posts.

You can also check out my Flickr feed of photos I've taken recently.

Relish at night

Relish diner, Williamsburg

I took this with my new toy, a Sony Ericsson K750i. It also plays MP3s.

Get Your War On


There are some new ones, if you haven't checked out Get Your War On recently. Click on the numbers at the top for earlier episodes. Wonder what that comic above is all about? Here is some background.

Ridicule is all we have left



Voltaire (age 41) by Maurice Quentin de La Tour [source]

Voltaire was 250 years ahead of me.

I'm currently reading a new biography of Voltaire, titled Voltaire Almighty, by Roger Pearson. In the discussion of his writing Candide, he says something that I have said about dealing with our appalling government. Quoting from Voltaire Almighty, p. 261:

The French -- and not only the French -- were much more likely to condemn the horrors of war and religious intolerance if these were made to seem absurd. Don't rant and rail: just show people what's dumb. Horrors and injustices are always someone else's problem, but none of us wants to look foolish. As he told Damilaville, a fellow-philosophe, ten years later: "I have only ever addressed one prayer to God, and it is very short: 'My God, please make all our enemies ridiculous.' God has granted my wish."

I wish we had the option of engaging in electoral politics to fix the mess we're in, but I don't see that happening.

We live in a country where a senator named Rockefeller kept quiet when he learned of secret, warrantless wiretaps of American citizens. If he can't oppose this President, who can?

We live in a country where the Senate continues its normal business as we learn of how this administration lied about Iraq, about Abu Ghraib, and about wiretaps without a warrant.

We live in an era when the Democratic party has "leaders" such as Hillary Clinton who thinks the solution to Iraq is more troops, or Joe Lieberman who hasn't announced how he'll vote on Alito.

I'm not lifting a finger to help the Democrats take back Congress if a "victory" means those people, who voted for the Patriot Act and the Iraq War, are in charge.

If pro-torture Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General, or a Supreme Court Justice Alito aren't a good enough reason to filibuster, then the Democrats are almost as guilty as the GOP. They have failed us.

Ridicule them all.

You may see this quote again

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The Angel of the Revelation, ca.1803–5
William Blake (British, 1757–1827)
Watercolor, brush and gray wash, pen and black ink over graphite on paper; 15 7/16 × 10 1/4 in.

You may see this quote, attributed to William Blake, again when we curate a show in the fall at Dam, Stuhltrager.

You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.

[image from the Metropolitan Museum of Art]



I went looking at Columbia University's website to find information on an upcoming exhibit at the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery. They apparently have the resources to do rotating image on the home page, with a number of them being of athletic activities, but the gallery's page was last updated in 2004.

Related: James on OSU receiving $165 million for its athletic program.

Two more Miami items from Pulse

At Pulse we saw two things I forgot to mention. First, an artist from Conner Contemporary (Washington, DC) named Zach Storm -- no, really. The work we saw consisted of clever drawings of posters for fictional blockbuster movies. If you're a fan of William Powhida, I think you'll like Storm's work.

Here are two images from the gallery website of an earlier work:


Zach Storm
Untitled (from The Cardinal Has Returned) (7), 2004
watercolor and graphite on paper
11 × 14 inches



Second, we saw some "mandalas" created from shopping bags by Virginia Fleck at Finesilver (San Antonio/Houston). I love the mix of shopping and devotion. The images below are from the gallery's website.


Virginia Fleck
Buymore Mandala, 2005
plastic bags, tape
104 inches diameter


Virginia Fleck
Smiley Mandala, 2005
plastic bags, tape
64 inches diameter

The Civilians: Nobody's Lunch

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Illustration by illustration by Josh Neufeld (www.joshcomix.com)

We're headed to the new incarnation of Nobody's Lunch by The Civilians in a few days. I wrote about one of the versions of the show in October 2004 if you want to read more.

For the culture bloggers out there, there is a discount if you know the secret password. E-mail me with a link to your blog if you're interested.

The Civilians Announces Off-Broadway Transfer
Limited Engagement! Jan. 19 - Feb 5 at 59 East 59th Street Theatre

Obie Award-winning theatre company The Civilians will present a limited-run Off-Broadway engagement of its newest show, (I AM) NOBODY'S LUNCH, beginning January 19th at 59 East 59th Street Theatre. Written and directed by Steven Cosson, the show features eight original songs by Michael Friedman (“25 New Yorkers who will make their mark in 2005” Time Out NY). The four-year old company— having established a national and international reputation on tour— will follow this New York engagement with seven weeks of touring to prominent performing arts centers including Philadelphia's Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and Cambridge's American Repertory Theatre. Presented on an Off-Broadway contract, opening night is scheduled for January 21st.

(I AM) NOBODY'S LUNCH is an eccentric evening of cabaret-theater combining original music and text from interviews. This lively show about the politics of information attempts to answer the slippery question, “How do we know what we know?" Set in the frame of post 9/11 anxiety, misleading intelligence, government secrecy and embedded media, this question leads the company through the murky present state of American culture. The resulting show exploits The Civilians’ singular signature style, taking material from interviews with actual persons and transforming these conversations into a theatrical, musical event.

(I AM) NOBODY'S LUNCH is a dramatically revised version of the show presented at PS122 in September 2004. Reviews from that production heralded the show, saying that "the characters are brought to life by the protean cast, who expose both cultural difference and real lunacy without making judgments." (The New Yorker) and calling The Civilians “downtown's peerless purveyors of comic docu-theater” (Time Out New York). The company has extensively revised the piece to respond to recent changes in the American political landscape. Work on the new version culminated in a 2-week workshop with the Sundance Theatre Lab at White Oak in December 2005. The new show, whose full title is (I am) Nobody's Lunch (A cabaret about how we know what we know when nobody knows if everyone else is lying and when someone or something wants to have you for lunch), contains mostly new text and two entirely new songs.

Interview subjects range from a policymaker at Homeland Security on the verge of a nervous breakdown to a plucky extraterrestrial (channeled by an equally funny human); from every Jessica Lynch in the phone book (who was willing to talk) to soldiers guarding the New York subway with unloaded weapons. Turning these interviews into a mercurial cabaret-play, a versatile cast inhabits an eclectic cast of characters, all taken from real life. Some subjects who provided source material for the original version have been re-interviewed and are joined by new characters ranging from a 10 year old girl (asked how one knows what is real and what is imaginary) to a 90 year old former librarian (who provides a unique viewpoint on the modern media).

The new cast includes Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Matt Dellapina, Brad Heberlee, Daoud Heidami, Caitlin Miller and Jennifer R. Morris with Andy Boroson accompanying on piano. Set designer Andromache Chalfant, costumes Sarah Beers, lighting Marcus Doshi, sound Shane Rettig. Choreography by Karinne Keithley.

The Studio Visit at Exit Art


I think the highlight of The Studio Visit is the artists with studios in the windows of the space, rather than the videos. However, I did enjoy the videos I saw by j. morrison and Joyce Pensato. It was difficult to take photos, but here are a few:


j. morrison


Joyce Pensato


Aaron Krach

Dennis Christie has a post about Aaron's "studio."

West 27th Street preview

We were fans of the people now relocated to 27th Street before Time Out New York did its big spread this week.

A lot of the galleries had "previews" tonight before the joint openings tomorrow. Tomorrow should be busy, with at least 20 Chelsea openings listed on ArtCal for tomorrow night.

We dropped by Foxy Production, Wallspace, and the "annex" of ATM tonight. Some highlights:


Hallway connecting Wallspace and Foxy


Kirsten Stoltmann work at Wallspace


Jacob Ciocci at Foxy Production, installation detail

Spotted on the 'net


I noticed the blog Studio of Ashes after someone from there commented on an earlier post. It has some great drawings, such as the one above. Check it out.


Via the indispensable Brooklyn Parrots, I found this Flickr photo stream of wild parrots in a Brooklyn backyard.

It would certainly cheer me up after the loss of Sweet Pea to see those out my window!

[photo from their Flickr images]

Miami highlights - one more post

No, really, I did mean to do another post when I wrote "to be continued" at the end of the last one.

In no particular order, all from the NADA fair:

Kim Hiorthøy drawings and collages at Standard (Oslo). He also does street art and album covers. An example from their web site:


Kim Hiorthøy
Alt du trodde kom til å skje kommer aldri til å skje, 2004
Acrylic paint on wall
500 × 2000 cm
Installation view, "MOMENTUM - The Nordic Art Festival", Moss, 2004

At David Kordanksy, there was great work by Mark Flores and David Noonan. Flores had a wall installation, partially based on old images (tintypes I think?) from an archive in LA. This image from the gallery website of his show in 2005 gives some idea:


I don't see a page for David Noonan on the gallery site, but James wrote about a show at Foxy Production. Visit their site to see his artist page.

Kavi Gupta had some great sculpture by Jeff Carter, including this mechanical sculpture:


Jeff Carter
Untitled (Platform + Shoreline), 2005
metal, wood, motor, paint
88" × 48" × 20"

Kavi Gupta also had some great work by Melanie Schiff, whom I first saw in a group show at Foxy Production.


Goff + Rosenthal had some brilliant charcoal on paper pieces by Scott Hunt. This is one example from their web site. The gallery will give him his first solo show early this year.

Hamish McKay gallery had some sculpture by Mikala Dwyer that I enjoyed. Here is a sample image from their website:


Mikala Dwyer
Ra Ra Rasputin, 2005
plastic, earth, plant, fimo

I enjoyed a lot of the work I saw at the General Store, the Milwaukee artist-run space, including wild drawings of battles by a self-taught artist and Viet Nam vet named Ronald Baker and sculpture by Donald Morgan.

Wallspace was showing a new artist named Dave Miko. He will have a show at their space in February. Here is an image from their website:


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