Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ryan Trecartin and Justin Bieber

An actress is not a machine, but they treat you like one. A money making machine. - Marilyn Monroe

Arthur Tress "Superman Fantasy," 1977

Michelle Harper and Agnes Gund

“Through juxtapositions of sound transmission and reception, light sources and reflections, automated and haptic scenes, Bolande’s diptychs present a richly differentiated and mediated sensorium. Rather than collapsing into the unified body of the spectator or deferring to that of the artist, these works demonstrate a distributed corporeality carried out through a multimedia network of production and consumption.”

ABB source: James Nisbet reviewing Jennifer Bolande @ Thomas Solomon Gallery,

Lisa de Kooning and Lucy de Kooning

Takashi Murakami and Stefano Tonchi

“Similarly, Piano (a player piano of sorts made with Ping-Pong balls rattling across piano strings set in motion by oscillating fans) and Waiting for Harold Edgerton (an apple dangling from the ceiling of a sealed-off annex, visible only through a small window) raise questions about the relationships between “art” and its immediate environment in Signer’s work.”

ABB source: Mara Hoberman reviewing Roman Signer @ Swiss Insititute,

Friday, October 29, 2010

Lucille Ball and Orson Welles

“Works proceed unpredictably to their completed state, leaving figures fixed in visual moments throughout the psychological and material experience of committing them to canvas; these are interrupted always by a ‘hysteric whimsy’ that productively fails to seize Wulff’s mannered subjects in a uniformity that might be recognizable to the self-identifying techniques routinely unquestioned by contemporary culture.”

ABB source: Sam Pulitzer reviewing Katharina Wulff @ Greene Naftali Gallery,

filed under: Not winning any prizes

Cecil Beaton and Gary Cooper

“Q03, 2010, is cast from a nineteenth-century side table in sterling silver and is carved with abstract depictions recalling beard hair (a reference to the subculture of hirsute gay men known as bears), which morph into decorative foliage and filigree. In the process, the fetishistic sexual charge associated with the curl of hair becomes simultaneously lost and found—in the same way the value of the antiques the artist reworks in precious metals (from aluminum to bronze to sterling silver) vacillates.”

ABB source: Alpesh Kantilal Patel reviewing Brice Brown and “Sèvres and Savage” @ Schroeder Romero & Shredder,

Farley Granger and Roddy McDowall

“Even as historical, religious, and mythological painting gave way to secular themes in Western art, sexual desire, whether overt or sublimated, remained a primary psychological drive. Herbert’s paintings, as big as Rubens’s or Delacroix’s, present conceits of eternal youth and boundless pleasure, fleeting ideals that, like the glory of battle, few hold onto.”

ABB source: Christopher Howard reviewing Jim Herbert @ English Kills,

filed under: Even badly depicted sex sells

Diana Dors

Dune Capial's Dan Neidich with his son, Jon

Now days are dragon-ridden, the nightmare
Rides upon sleep: a drunken soldiery
Can leave the mother, murdered at her door,
To crawl in her own blood, and go scot-free;
The night can sweat with terror as before
We pieced our thoughts into philosophy,
And planned to bring the world under a rule,
Who are but weasels fighting in a hole.

YB Yeats - Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen

Please Try To Forgive Chris Brown

Guests at the GQ Gentlemen's Ball, which celebrates outstanding charitable men and their causes, raised their eyebrows as they watched Chris Brown chat up honoree Jimmie Briggs in the Edison Ballroom. The pairing drew stares because former journalist Briggs founded Man Up Campaign, a nonprofit to combat violence against women, and Brown last year pleaded guilty to assault against ex-girlfriend Rihanna. Briggs told us, "I found Chris to be very humble, sincere, honest and clear about expressing an interest in working with Man Up or an organization like ours. Chris is a young man, and he made a mistake. Some people may feel or not feel he hasn't paid his dues, but he's on a journey. We have to be supportive. My parting words to him were 'Keep your head up.' " Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher and Jimmy Fallon were also friendly to Brown at the event. Fallon even asked him to return to his late-night talk show, saying, "You can play with the Roots," referring to his house band. - NY Post

Researchers have for the first time identified a gene that they say can influence political outlook. Past studies had found that political views have a genetic component, but hadn’t pointed out actual genes involved. The new research from the University of California and Harvard University indicates that a variant of a gene called DRD4 makes people more likely to be liberal. -World Science

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Billy Ray Cyrus

Teen sensation Miley Cyrus' parents are baring their achy-breaky hearts. Country crooner Billy Ray Cyrus and wife Tish filed for divorce in Williamson County, Tenn., to end their 17-year mar riage. Miley, 17 -- one of the couple's three kids -- made a fortune mining her Hannah Montana character, but it was Daddy who put the family name on the map in 1992 with his classic country breakup hit. - NY Post

3 fatally shot in Mo.

This photo provided Oct. 27, 2010, by the Callaway County Sheriff's Office shows Joshua Maylee, who authorities in central Missouri consider a person of interest in the shooting deaths of three people. (AP Photo/Callaway County Sheriff's Office)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Liberace: an American boy

LIBERACE'S NUN IN WHITE (Bloomfield, Pittsburgh) On November 23, 1963, Liberace was scheduled to play a gig at Monroeville's Holiday House. Assuming the show would be canceled because of JFK's assassination, he busied himself with cleaning his costumes. He used a cleaning solvent with the potent carbon tetrachloride as its' base. He napped once or twice in the unventilated room, and it almost cost him his life. While performing, he collapsed on stage and was rushed to St. Francis Hospital, suffering from kidney failure from inhaling the deadly fumes. The doctors told him to get his affairs in order while hooking him up to a new device for that time, a dialysis machine. He was given a 20% chance of surviving. During the long night he dreamed of many things. But the one vision he remembered was a nun in white coming to his bedside and urging him to pray to St. Anthony. He did, and made a remarkable recovery. Of course, there was no nun in white at the hospital. The Franciscans wore dark habits. Did St. Anthony send Liberace a messenger, or was he just the fortunate recipient of Dr. Thomas Allen's deft handling of the new fangled dialysis machine? Maybe they go hand-in-hand. Dialysis took off after it saved Liberace, and St. Francis Hospital gained a new, life-long benefactor. He raised funds for the hospital, even having a lobby dedicated to him, and made sure that the sisters had tickets whenever he performed in Pittsburgh. Saint Francis Hospital, like Liberace, doesn't exist anymore. It's been replaced by a modern, state of the art Children's Hospital. But hopefully, the good sister in white will stay. The story made his biography Liberace: An American Boy by Darden Asbury Pyron. - Pittsburgh Post Gazette “Saying Goodbye To St. Francis Hospital,” October 20, 2002

Austin Brown

Sheikha Mozah

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, has expressed interest in purchasing Christie's auction house. The art-collecting Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, who bought London department store Harrods this May, has made it known that he may make an offer for the market-leading Christie's auction house, which French luxury tycoon Francois Pinault has owned since 1998. "Qatar is interested in Christie's for three reasons," one source told Bloomberg. "It wants long-term value in the art market, it's looking to diversify its economy and it's after advice." [Bloomberg] - ARTINFO

Michelle Obama & Maria Shriver

The First Lady & The First Lady of California

Elect Barney Frank

Barney Frank is expected to win. But a new poll out this week shows that Frank’s opponent, Republican Sean Bielat, is trailing by just 13 points


Honus Wagner

BALTIMORE - Sister Virginia Muller had never heard of shortstop Honus Wagner. But she quickly learned the baseball great is a revered figure among collectors, and the most sought-after baseball card in history. And thanks to an unexpected donation, one of the century-old cards belongs to Muller and her order, the Baltimore-based School Sisters of Notre Dame. The sisters are auctioning off the card, which despite its poor condition is expected to fetch between $150,000 and $200,000. The proceeds will go to their ministries in 35 countries around the world. The card is part of the T206 series, produced between 1909 and 1911. About 60 Wagner cards are known to exist.The brother of a nun who died in 1999 left all his possessions to the order when he died earlier this year. The man's lawyer told Muller he had a Honus Wagner card in a safe-deposit box. When they opened the box, they found the card, with a typewritten note: "Although damaged, the value of this baseball card should increase exponentially throughout the 21st century!" The T206 set is known as 'The Monster' among collectors. The card was printed during the prime of Wagner's career, but the American Tobacco Company ended production soon after it began. Some say Wagner didn't want to promote tobacco products to children. Others believe it was a dispute over money that led to the card being pulled. Muller is making frequent checks to the Heritage Auction Galleries website - an unusual practice for someone who's taken a vow of poverty. But potential bidders should know that the sale of the card will help people worldwide. "The money that we receive from this card will be used for the many School Sisters of Notre Dame who are around the world, who need support for their ministries for the poor," Muller said. - BEN NUCKOLS

NOVEMBER 5 2010 - BALTIMORE - The rare Honus Wagner baseball card that was bequeathed to an order of Roman Catholic nuns sold at auction for $262,000.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lawrence Salander

Lawrence Salander, his wife and son.

I believe that contemporary art is central to the way any major art museum thinks about itself because ultimately the past is meaningful only to the present when we understand it. And contemporary artists are among the most important interlocutors between the past and the present anywhere in the world. So contemporary art in a way vitalizes not only how we understand today but it's a window into looking at the past. And I think when you can create a dialog, a conversation, an engagement between the most interesting art of today and the art of the past, that's when you create the very rich environments that the Stadel is and will be.

U.S. to Send Visual Artists as Cultural Ambassadors

Holly Block, the director of the Bronx Museum of the Arts. The museum has been chosen to administer a new State Department program sending artists abroad. -NY Times

Read more:

Paul Thek - Holland Cotter

"So if Thek is taken seriously, and his widespread influence demonstrates that he is, traditional history has to be resurveyed and rewritten. It will no longer be a tale of fortress islands but of ships and swimmers moving among them. It will be a history of gigantic obsolescence, and precious semi-permanent slightness, of active anger and hard-earned relief. (“Afflict the comfortable; comfort the afflicted,” is how Thek put it in a late painting.) And, of course, in that history he will take his rightful place."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Daniel Montano - MFONE

Graffiti Taskforce Detective Daniel Sullivan measures graffiti by Daniel Montano in an alley on Melwood Avenue in Oakland.
Read more:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Steven Spader

MONT VERNON, N.H. - "We're about to do the most evil thing this town has ever seen." Murder defendant Steven Spader is said to have uttered those words as he and three other teens allegedly drove to a house they had targeted in this town of 2,000 to burglarize it and kill its occupants for the thrill of it. Spader's trial begins Monday, and jurors were put on notice during selection that they would see graphic photos of the victims and may hear from survivor Jaimie Cates, now 12. - LYNNE TUOHY

Jaimie Cates