Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

The Nothingness of Marina Abramovic

Monday, July 7th, 2014

INTERVIEW: MARINA ABRAMOVIC

If you’ve always sensed some nothingness in the work of celebrated performance diva artist Marina Abramovic, you’ll be glad to know it’s official.

Discussing her new work at the Serpentine Gallery, her first since The Artist is Present, she says:

I had this vision of an empty gallery — nothing there.

So far, so good. So radical and avant garde! Her show is called  “512 Hours,” the amount of time she will be present at the gallery, where patrons will enter an empty room and do nothing, or something.

There is just me. And the public. It is insane what I try to do.

Oh Marina, you kook! You bring the nothing, and we love you for it! Well, I don’t, but whatever.The gallery’s curators have received a number of letters, accusing Abramovic and the gallery of failing to acknowledge the work of Mary Ellen Carroll, a New York-based conceptual artist who has been working on a project called “Nothing” since 1984, describing it as “an engagement with the public.”

The Serpentine’s curator admits that many artists (including John Cage and Yoko Ono) have explored the relationship between art and nothingness. The matter is far from settled but Abramovic has responded a bit defensively:

It’s not that I’m doing nothing — quite the opposite. It’s just that there is nothing except people in the space.

See, you idiots? You fucking philistines! Back off. Get out of her grille.

I like this paragraph about Marina, from a profile at CNN online: “She has danced with Jay Z in his music video, counts James Franco and Lady Gaga as loyal fans and friends, and was named as one of Time Magazine’s most influential people of 2014.”

I think it sums up her place in our culture, although I also believe there was a time when she was a genuine artist with something to say.

Meanwhile, if you want, you can watch her sell out to Adidas, below.

 

‘No Mediocre’ Exegesis

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

I discovered this new video because it features my darling Iggy Azalea. I had no idea who T.I was, that’s how ignorant I am.

But now I know, and Knowing is the First Step.

Anyway, T.I. is somewhat controversial, but that’s due to his personal life. “No Mediocre” is just a standard rap song evidently, and yet it is so rich in poetry. Let me share some of the lyrics:

Right hand in the air
I solemnly swear
I never fuck a bitch if she don’t do her hair
No more, you won’t get no dick if there’s a bush down there
Girl I should see nothing but pussy when I look down there

Fair enough. Got it.

However, rap genius offers choices in interpreting the heartfelt couplet about dick with regard to bush.

rap-genius-mediocre

See? He has standards. But if a bitch meet the standards, here is what will happen:

Out here trying to find someone that better than my last go
Take her to my castle
Drown her in my cash flow

Okay! Again, got it. But I like this clarification from rap genius:

“T.I. would like to find a female that looks better than his last, if that’s possible since he all he fuck is bad bitches.”

And with a net worth of around $50 million, T.I. can afford to be discriminating with his bitches, and he don’t want no bitch that will settle for mediocre either. It’s all good.

Piggies!

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

nice black piggies 2

It wasn’t until I had my second child that I discovered the joy of piggies.  He thought they were cute and longed for a pig as a pet.

I didn’t feel we could handle a pet pig, even though my research revealed that pigs enjoy watching TV and having pedicures. Some pigs grow to over 250 pounds and have bad tempers. We made do with our dog.

Meanwhile, I have come to love piggies. They are just so fucking cute! Few things are cuter than really cute pigs.

So I liked this photo of a gold pig on a matte black box-thing.

Extrem Iberico Ham smaller

Doesn’t it look beautiful? What great design, I thought.  Whatever the fuck it was. But then,

Extrem Iberico Ham improved

Oh no! It is sleek packaging for a EXTREM, a new brand of Iberian ham, launched by a company called Agriculturas Diversas.

Something about the shock of seeing ham while enjoying the silhouette of a nice golden piggie has really driven home to me what my vegan friends have known all along.

It’s disgusting to eat a pig. Not that I eat much bacon or ham, but I will never do it again, and I won’t cook it for anyone either. Bastards. How dare anyone hurt a nice piggie!

I’m not giving up burgers thought, because I love a good burger with fries, and I’ve already chosen a burger and fries as my last meal, should I end up being executed.

The Bob Saget Incident

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

mrs beasley's

I was looking for my birth certificate today and while searching through drawers of documents, I came across several treasures. Needless to say, I still can’t find my birth certificate but I did find a little spiral notebook with nothing in it but a scrawled missive in my own handwriting that began:

“It was a dark and stormy night, maybe not stormy, but definitely nighttime. Bob Saget paced distractedly in the dim light of his study.”

It goes on for two pages, in the same silly mode. It made me laugh out loud. It reminded me of the Bob Saget Incident.

Years ago, I worked for an enterprise that shared an office suite with Bob Saget. Bob rarely used his office. In fact it was empty, furnished only with some clumsy paintings on one wall. It was a huge office with a nice polished wood floor. When I didn’t have anything better to do, I would roll in there in my leather office chair and race it back and forth across the room. I think I tried to get people to join me in a game of Murderball but no one ever wanted to.

One day, Bob appeared and introduced himself in a low-key, friendly manner. “Hi, I’m Bob,” he said. He asked me if I’d noticed the paintings and revealed that his daughter was the artist. I now realized that they were copies of the Mona Lisa and some other famous work, Van Gogh or something. I liked him for being so proud of his kid.

I only saw Bab Saget that one time. But one day, the mail arrived and included a package addressed to Bob. The wrapping was distinctive; it was something from Mrs. Beasley’s. The package was small but heavy. I was intrigued. Intrigued isn’t actually the right word. I was covetous. There was obviously something delicious in there, and I was bored and hungry.

I showed the package to a colleague who shared my excitement. I announced that I had made an Executive Decision, and opened the package.

Sure enough, it was packed with pastries: Lemon bars, gingerbread, four different kinds of pastries, all sprinkled with powdered sugar. I took a bite of one and nearly passed out from pleasure.

I took the box into my office, where my boss, who we will call ‘Ed,’ was horrified by my indecency. He was beside himself. What the hell was I thinking? What if Bob found out? I managed to calm him down and reassured him that no one could ever prove anything.

Later, Ed returned to my office to remind me about the dinner party he was having that night. I told him I’d be there. “Bring those pastries,” he said imperiously.

Charlotte’s Web

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Magnum Opus - Garth Williams

 

Recently, some words from ‘Charlotte’s Web‘ surfaced from my unconscious. (If you’ve never read Charlotte’s Web, I don’t know what you’re doing here. We are probably from different planets.)

When Wilbur sees Charlotte’s egg sac, he asks if it’s a plaything. Charlotte replies:

“It is my egg sac, my magnum opus.” “I don’t know what a magnum opus is,” said Wilbur. “That’s Latin,” explained Charlotte. “It means ‘great work.’ This egg sac is my great work – the finest thing I have ever made.”

This is how I feel about my children, how I imagine all mothers must feel about their children. They were my gift to the world. And they are gone, one from the world and one from the nest.

At least Charlotte got to go first. That is the natural order of things. There is no consolation for me, but there is art.

What a wonderful book! It is so full of wisdom. I always thought it was about friendship, but it is also about death. I guess it’s about everything. When I read it to my kids, I remember feeling upset by Wilbur’s panic when he thinks that Charlotte’s children are leaving him.  It triggers my fear of abandonment.

Wilbur was frantic. 'Come back, children!' he cried.

Watching the last season of ‘The Wire’ the other night, I wondered if Templeton, the unscrupulous reporter, was an homage to E.B. White’s Templeton, a rat. Maybe all roads lead to Charlotte’s web.

Here is an excerpt from Eudora Welty‘s review of Charlotte’s Web, written in 1952 (which I found here)

What the book is about is friendship on earth, affection and protection, adventure and miracle, life and death, trust and treachery, pleasure and pain, and the passing of time. As a piece of work it is just about perfect, and just about magical in the way it is done. What it all proves–in the words of the minister in the story which he hands down to his congregation after Charlotte writes “Some Pig” in her web–is “that human beings must always be on the watch for the coming of wonders.” Dr. Dorian says in another place, “Oh, no, I don’t understand it. But for that matter I don’t understand how a spider learned to spin a web in the first place. When the words appeared, everyone said they were a miracle. But nobody pointed out that the web itself is a miracle.” The author will only say, “Charlotte was in a class by herself.”

~

*illustrations by Garth Williams

My Favorite Iggy

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

 

Iggy_Pop

 

I don’t like Iggy Pop, even though I’m aware of his importance to punk music. Doesn’t he sing the Passenger song? Whatever. He needs to put his shirt on but seems committed to showing off his stringy malnourished physique. Honestly, the man is an eyesore, take him away.

Whereas Australian rap artist Iggy Azalea is a goddess and my latest obsession.

iggy good

 

I could look at her forever. The first time I saw her video ‘Work,‘ I was unsettled by its raunchiness and her snarling nasal rapping. But I couldn’t take my eyes off her. Six feet tall with a blond swath of mermaid hair and a huge booty, the sight of Iggy Azalea in skintight white pants on the David Letterman show was mesmerizing.

Would Dave be able to handle a greeting? Would her camel-toe become even more pronounced? Would she give me a shout-out by name? For some reason my husband is immune to her effect, and I’ve stopped trying to make him look at her videos.  That’s cool. He can have Iggy Pop if he wants.

Let’s look at more Iggy Azalea:

Iggy-Azalea swimsuit-goddess

 

iggy red carpet small

 

People have accused Iggy of having butt implants but I believe this butt is god-given, the better to twerk (part of her stage-act for years, she has pointed out defensively.)

I wish we could be girlfriends and talk lipstick.  Meanwhile, I will worship her from afar. And don’t argue with me until you’ve heard her rap.

 

Douche Fest!

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Ricki-Hall-4

 

Ricki-Hall-by-Ram-Shergill-for-Ziad-Ghanem-Couture-AW13-3

Ricki Hall is a Douche Icon whose only true rival is Francois Verkerk.

francois verkerk perfect

 

How could you choose one over the other? Does Francois win because of his awful moustache? Or does Ricki’s full beard and grumpy scowl put him over the top?

douche tasticpierced douche 1

 

Compared with the two champs, the pair of douches above are neither here nor there. The huge ear hole wins points but otherwise, nothing.

movember-moustache-with-tatoos

 

This one could have reached Ricki/Francois status if he didn’t look so circusy.

The world of douches is a wonderful distraction that I urge everyone to explore and embrace. I wonder if they like each other or if they are arch enemies? When this douche thing is over, there will be thousands of dejected clowns roaming the earth, saving pennies for laser treatments.

Meanwhile, let’s rate them.

(c) Jonathan Daniel Price

Click on this guy above ( (c) Jonathan Daniel Price) and add up your points.

Hairdo
Facial hair
Earplugs
Septum ring
Chest tattoo
Backpack
Tearful expression

I’m willing to bet that he isn’t wearing socks, which brings his total to 8 out of 10.

Luz Del Fuego

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Luz Del Fuego was a fascinating woman who founded the first “naturist” club in Brazil in 1955, on the island of Tapuama. She was a dancer, activist and an icon of feminism.  Her murder in 1967 is still surrounded by controversy.

Pictures of Luz do not do her justice. This video has reawakened my interest in her. Don’t watch it if you have a thing about snakes.

 

Luz del perfect

 

Manifesto of Limitations

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

The Murays Midgets,7 tripplet brothers, age 19 yearsbutterfly-lady-new

I can only look at art or photography. But no nudes or kitsch. No cats, No pictures of food or girls wearing hats. No ironic memes. No selfies. I can no longer wear thongs or socks. I can only eat cookies.

I can’t sleep until I’ve watched two hours of ‘Morning Joe.’ Until Joe and Mika and Willie and their guests have deplored the state of things and gushed about yesterday’s football games.

I can’t stop playing with my hair. I cut my split ends in the car. Not when I’m driving. I can’t pass a mirror without checking to see if my hair is okay. I can barely see because my glasses are too old.

I can only enjoy reruns of Breaking Bad or crime TV. I can only read the New Yorker and The Atlantic. When I hear someone on TV use the wrong word, I am incensed. “It’s ‘repentant’ not ‘pentent’, you stupid cunt!”

None of those Affirmations about how to live apply to me. I have already fucked things up.

But. I am comforted by coffee, jewelry, lipstick, midgets, showgirls, nuns, Indian and Persian Royalty, Cuban and Peruvian photographers, Victorian acrobats and cross-dressers.

I love my bed! If only I could sleep forever and ever.

Beautiful Leg

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Kiera Roche - floral leg

 

Before today, I have felt offended by images of prosthetic limbs that seemed to fetishize amputees.

Even though it’s none of my business what people fetishize, I will always remember the doctor who told Max to consider having his leg amputated. Max was visibly upset, but somewhat resigned. Everything was as bad as it could be for him, so why not this new development, too. As it turned out, his surgeon disagreed. Further surgery and physical therapy could save the leg. But pictures of prosthetic legs continued to fill me with anger and despair.

Losing a leg seemed indescribably horrible and unfair. But it happens. And clearly there are plenty of people who cope with this loss and don’t let it ruin their lives.

Kiera Roche is a strong-willed amputee who has challenged herself with cycling and hiking. She has struggled with ideas of ‘normal’ and looking different. She loves her beautiful new floral leg, and I love it too.

Kiera and Anna

 

Keira and her beautiful leg have changed my thinking about amputees. I am grateful to have come across The Alternative Limb Project. I feel enlightened on a subject where my mind was once closed.

~

photos (c) the alternative limb project