Monday, December 18, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
What about Kitty? Always shivering? Then she'll really appreciate the Heated Cat Cup. Maybe now she'll stop hogging all the radiators.
Wondering what to get the dog who has everything? Acknowledge his sophistication with Leather Cigarlike Chews, handmade cowhide chews that are rolled, sealed, and come presented in a cigar box.
What about you? Does Kitty complain when you wrap her around your neck? Give her a break and get a Black & White Tuxedo Herbal Therapy Cat instead; throw it in the microwave and enjoy soothing, aromatic warmth for about an hour.
One of the biggest complaints about cats is the unsightly litter box. Solve the problem in style with a Rattan Litter Pan Cover; add a little palm tree and you'll be wondering why the cat has a better-looking toilet than you do.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Friday, December 01, 2006
The exhibition of unframed canvases is in one large room, and no sooner had I turned from a portrait of the artist's instantly recognizable wife than I saw her - Rachel Feinstein - gazing at another painting. That seemed like an odd coincidence until I saw John Currin himself, talking to a gallery employee. It’s not unusual to see an artist at his or her opening, of course, but it’s something else entirely to see them examining their own paintings on an ordinary day, especially if the paintings include portraits of family members, not to mention assorted orgies.
Those orgies – oddly unsexy configurations in which disproportionately tiny hands grasp at engorged genitals – have already attracted the lion’s share of attention. But the portraits of Currin’s wife and son are more memorable – sweetly luminous and sensitive, they fit well in the mannered style that he has so deftly adopted.
Still to come: Lucian Freud at Acquavella Galleries
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
The choice of victim is also an act of historical blackmail, resurrecting as it does some key ghosts of the 1975-1990 Civil War: A 1980 car-bombing killed the 2-year-old daughter of his uncle, then-Lebanese Forces leader Bashir Gemayel; another blast killed Bashir himself after he became president-elect in 1982. The assailants' identities and immediate demands are unknown, but their message is clear: They will bring the country to - and possibly beyond - the brink of disaster to get their way. -The Daily Star
And the killing crystallized a sense of foreboding, as everyone waited for Sheik Hassan Nasrallah's "surprise."
An impending assassination has been in the air for the past few weeks. We could all feel it -- it stood out from the general sense of dread hanging over Lebanon since the war. It was specific. We didn't know who or when, or whether the attempt would succeed -- but we knew it was coming. - Chercheuse d'Or
Most observers expect today's killing to further polarize the pro-Syria and anti-Syria bloc and shape the country's future.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Sunday, November 05, 2006
And today was the event that I look forward to most all year - the New York City Marathon. It's hard to explain why this parade of agony has become a favorite of mine. I think it dates back to when I lived in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and we'd cheer the (eventual) winners as they ran by, then go back home and eat bagels until they crossed the finish line a couple of hours later. I think I've gone to see every marathon since then, and I've known a couple of people who ran. It's very moving (and baffling) to watch people from around the world put themselves through this torture. Someone once told me that the most heavily represented profession in the marathon is lawyers; watching the runners today, I find that very easy to believe.
Friday, November 03, 2006
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Monday, October 23, 2006
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Friday, October 20, 2006
First was photographer Tierney Gearon, at the Yossi Milo Gallery. Gearon apparently faced some controversy in the past, when police warned that two photographs of naked children displayed at the Saatchi gallery could be seized under indecency laws. This show focuses on her mother, and again, some of the images - of the artist and her mother together in the nude, violating the border that is laid down when children grow up into sexual beings - will make viewers uncomfortable. Gearon has captured more than just her relationship with her mother, though, because each photograph is a complete narrative landscape.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
- Adrian Shaughnessy, Design Observer
Monday, October 16, 2006
Saturday, October 14, 2006
- José Pablo Moncayo: Huapango
- Darius Milhaud: Le Carnaval d’Aix – Mitchell Vines, piano
- Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 1 “Winter Dreams”
Friday, October 13, 2006
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Like I said, just a weird anecdote.
Monday, October 09, 2006
If you can't get to New York in person, you may want to check out the photos of it on Flickr.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Most people don't know or think about the Queens Museum of Art, but years ago I went to a retrospective of conceptual art there that really belonged at MoMA. QMA is now showing Queens International 2006: Everything All at Once.
"Queens International 2006 is the third installment of the Queens Museum of Art's biennial survey of Queens-based artists. This year, 52 artists and two collaboratives weigh in on American culture, the politics of war, contemporary feminist issues, spirituality, the environment and a host of other subjects close to the hearts of many local residents.
The show opens on October 1, but the true opening reception is Sunday, October 8, 3-6 pm and is always an event to remember."
Above: Orly Genger, Studio view, 2006, nylon climbing rope and paint.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Last night, after drinks at Thalia, we went to an art opening in a chiropractor's office on West 50th Street. And, while we drank more wine and ate as much cheese as we could without attracting attention, the show sold out! Australian artist Cimon (pronounced "Simon") paints impressionistic portraits of his friends using frenetic brushstrokes and a broad palette.
So to any artist who despairs of ever showing their work, I say broaden your horizon. Hanging your art in a doctor's office, with its steady stream of captive viewers, is one of the best ideas I've heard lately.
Friday, September 29, 2006
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Last night I watched Sketches of Frank Gehry, Sydney Pollack’s unpretentious documentary about his friend (and world-renowned architect) Frank Gehry.
I suppose because I watched it immediately after reading several discussions about gender inequality in the art world (on Edward Winkleman and Lisa Hunter), I couldn’t help but marvel at the complete absence of any women in this otherwise absorbing portrait. Pollack does interview one female at length – writer/curator Mildred Friedman – but the rest of his subjects constitute a pantheon of powerful white males, including Barry Diller, Michael Eisner, Bob Geldof, Philip Johnson, Thomas Krens, Herbert Muschamp, Michael Ovitz, music director Esa-Pekka Salonen, Julian Schnabel (wrapped in a bathrobe and holding a drink), and even Gehry’s 94-year-old therapist. Indeed, the most memorable woman in the film is found only in a passing reference to the architect’s pushy ex-wife, who made him change his name from Goldberg to Gehry in the 1950s. Even in his office, we meet only male designers and assistants. Are there really no women working at his firm, apart from (presumably) the receptionist?
To me, the overriding theme was one of risk-taking: These men are all gamblers, risk-takers on a gargantuan scale, with the colossal egos that such risks require. And that sentiment echoes what I’ve been reading lately – in a nutshell, that society rewards the grand gesture, not modesty; conviction, not timidity; and boldness, not diligence. It’s not that these are male or female traits, but they are cultivated differently.
Where does that leave architecture? A pessimist might say that a museum designed by Gehry will be best suited to showcase only the most muscular art, along the lines of Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko, and so on – in other words, art that projects itself across an immense expanse of space. And so the cycle continues, as some have criticized about MoMA's recent rehanging. I am not that cynical, but I also don’t see where the change can come from. Where is that pipeline of young female architects and engineers?
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Monday, September 25, 2006
Jury duty has left me agitated, annoyed, and unmotivated (though I’m happy to report that my experience in the New York City court system doesn’t bear any resemblance to these barbaric accounts of small-town justice). But that doesn’t mean that we haven’t had fun lately! Adding up the places I went to over the weekend reflects a peculiar, only-in-New-York diet - Zlatá Praha (Czech), followed by an obligatory trip to the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden; Ginza (Japanese, supposedly, but I suspect it’s really Korean); `inoteca (cute Italian, as signified by that saucy apostrophe); Katz's Deli (hello brisket!); and Veniero's (old-school Italian pastries). Yes, a very weird list, more a function of geography than any real planning.
But more importantly, I finally made it to the Dahesh Museum of Art. This is quite an interesting and odd little museum, devoted to academic art of the 19th and early 20th centuries and located in what seems like the basement of 580 Madison Avenue. The Dahesh Museum was founded by, and named for, Dr. Dahesh (1909–1984), the pen name of Salim Moussa Achi, a Lebanese writer, philosopher, connoisseur, and/or cult leader, depending on your point of view. The museum’s main attraction right now is Napoleon on the Nile: Soldiers, Artists, and the Rediscovery of Egypt, a visual account of Napoleon’s attempt to add Egypt to the French empire.
Above: Charles-Louis-Fleury Panckoucke, Monuments of Egypt, ca. 1821-24
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Today, on the Seventh Day of jury duty, the judge dismissed us a little early, so I finally went to the Morgan Library and Museum, on Madison Avenue at East 36th Street. I never visited what used to be called the Pierpont Morgan Library before its recent expansion, so I had to sort of deconstruct the airy campus designed by Renzo Piano in order to understand how he unified its three buildings.
On view now are 50 of Rembrandt's greatest etchings, culled from the library’s extensive collection.
Above: Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, Self-Portrait, Etching at a Window, 1648
One other note in a long and strange day (which actually ended with pomegranate margaritas, but there is no way to make a coherent leap to that): At St. Mark's Bookshop, I finally had the chance to take a close look at Aftermath, the photographic archive of Ground Zero by Joel Meyerowitz, the only photographer to gain continued access to the area after the attacks. What struck me was his record of the impact on surrounding buildings; for example, I hadn't seen the three-story sections of the World Trade Center lodged into the facade of the Banker's Trust Building or the Pompeii-like dust covering everything inside the World Financial Center.
Monday, September 18, 2006
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Thursday, September 14, 2006
I caught this exhibition of Israeli-American photographer Elinor Carucci by accident as I passed by the Edwynn Houk Gallery on Fifth Avenue. Carucci photographs herself, her husband, and her parents in surprisingly intimate settings and often in the nude. But these carefully composed images don't reveal as much about their subjects as they do about the artist's loving self-examination, a frank narcissism that encompasses her startlingly beautiful mother.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Caché - a psychological thriller that came out in 2005 - unfolds "at the Hitchcockian junction where voyeurism intersects with paranoia," in the words of A. O. Scott. It begins slowly - indeed the first thirty minutes seem fairly directionless - as Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche, who play a literary couple in Paris, begin receiving vaguely threatening videos and drawings. But instead of a domestic drama, the movie has important moral ambitions, namely concerning France's treatment of Algerians and the terror of personal complicity.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
If you're in London, you can catch the end of Pierre Huyghe - Celebration Park at Tate Modern.
The artist's first solo exhibition in the UK will include This is not a time for dreaming (2004) and A journey that wasn't (2006), which attentive readers may remember reading about right here!
My plan is to take notes furiously, casually mentioning that I need to "get the details right" for my blog. "Your whaaat?" "My blog. Don't worry, Your Honor. I'm not using your real name. I am calling you Judge Squinty."
*This is a New York City court.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
On Sunday I happened to stroll by the Asia Society at Park Avenue and 70th Street and decided to go in. The Asia Society is one of many small museums in New York that I've never visited despite its proximity to the major art institutions on Fifth Avenue. On view is One Way or Another: Asian American Art Now, an exhibition of seventeen artists, most of whom were born in the 1970s. Two in particular caught my attention.
Binh Danh was born in Vietnam in 1977 and has invented a technique for printing found photographs onto leaves through the natural process of photosynthesis. (He was interviewed about his process - he calls his images "chlorophyll prints" - on NPR.) For his One Week's Dead series (2006), he took photographs from Life magazine of American soldiers who had died in the space of one week in Vietnam and printed them on leaves. The faces are not visible until you get quite close, and even then their clarity varies. The effect is subtle enough to avoid being maudlin; exhibited in clusters and showing signs of decay, the leaves evoke the decomposition of both life and memory.
Above: Drifting Souls (2001)
Indigo Som, a Chinese-American woman who grew up in California, photographs Chinese restaurants in isolated parts of the United States. The buildings are shabby, with fading signs, but they record the story of immigrants who moved beyond the country's urban ports of entry and tried to assimilate in remote areas where they may have been the only Chinese inhabitants.
Friday, September 08, 2006
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Unwilling to miss the big kick-off of the fall gallery season, I rushed over to Chelsea as soon as I was dismissed - just in time to catch some of the crowds and some of the shows on 23rd and 24th Streets. As expected, it was more of a scene than ever before, and I'm not sure what that augurs for the art world.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Monday, September 04, 2006
Sunday, September 03, 2006
*Guess what - Alain Miklitarian is Lebanese!
By the way, if anyone reading this is really into glasses (and no, I'm not turning this into a shopping blog), Morgenthal Frederics is having a sale on their house brand, and they're not half-bad.