In a Suggested Donation exclusive interview, noted art historian Josiah Tell goes on the record about Prince, gun control, and witchcraft! Read the full interview inside, but leave your inhibitions at the door. Because if you bring them inside they will die of fright.
Kymia Nawabi stood out at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Swing Space show. Her whimsical, yet somewhat disturbed drawings, paintings, and sculpture have the illustrative quality reminiscent of Tim Burton, giving characters multiple limbs or mix-matched bodies, and overlapping pattern over pattern –a complex world that begs to be dissected.
Unfortunately, we missed this one on the gallery hop last Thursday night in Chelsea, due to unexpectedly closed doors at Cheim & Read, but it is on the agenda for the next trip to the west side. The impressive roster includes names from Jenny Holzer to Kara Walker to Bernice Abbott, and of course, Louise Bourgeoise.
In 1854, under pressure from Commodore Matthew Perry, Japan opened its borders to the West for the first time in more than 200 years. The concisely named “International Exhibition of Arts, Manufactures and Products of the Soil and Mine” in Philadelphia in 1876 was America’s first World’s Fair, where pavilions from thirty-odd countries—including Japan—exposed 9 million westerners to the wonders of the “Orient.”
Our room-by-room tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art continues with European decorative arts from 1850-1900. Come on in, the art history’s fine.
If you want to engineer buildings or paint or sculpt, fine. But doing all three is just tacky. It says, “I think I’m better than you because I made the statue of David and designed St. Peter’s Basilica and you spent 45 minutes yesterday trying to figure out how to play ‘Smooth Criminal’ on the guitar.” Well, I’m unimpressed by a broad ouvre. As the saying goes, “It doesn’t matter many extracurricular activities you have on your application to Jerk University. It’s still Jerk University, and it’s still a shitty school.”
I’ve never quite understood the concept of reassembling historic rooms, putting a red velvet rope around it, and funneling tourists on a counter-intuitive path through a house, castle, or museum. But once Yinka Shonibare placed child figures ducking under desks…
So a few months ago went all nerdcore and ordered $3 paperbacks of all of William Gibson’s old books. You know, guy who coined the word cyberspace, was writing about “the matrix” in the 80s, imagined we “jack in” to the internets through literal sockets in our skulls.
Anyway, we’re reading Count Zero at the moment, and a nodal point in the plot references Joseph Cornell boxes. Being embarrassingly unversed in art history, we looked ‘em up–little boxes of composed ephemera and second hand objects–french maps, cut outs of birds, newsprint–it’s like this guy is channelling an inner aesthetic we could never quite put our finger on. Here’s a little write up on a nice meta-collectors blog that we came across in our digging. We are amazed and inspired.
This week on Meet the Met: the Modern Art Mezzanine has an exhibition called The Lens and the Mirror showing self-portraits from the Museumâ€™s own collection.
Come on in for a bit of discussion and a sampling of the works on display.
The Rockefeller Hall has a great collection of large-format Art Nouveau advertising posters. As usual, images and a rant after the jump.
What we do know is that these paintings are pretty as all get-out and seriously, you should be going to this museum all the fucking time. Someday youâ€™ll have kids and youâ€™ll move to Connecticut and it will be boring as shit and youâ€™ll miss the days when one of the worldâ€™s great repositories of cultural history was just a subway ride away, but you blew your chance to be a regular there because you got high or spent time with your girlfriend when youâ€™re missing the goddamn point because you donâ€™t seem to realize that you would enjoy being high in the Jaques and Natasha Gelman Collection, or that you could french your sweetheart upstairs while looking at the fucking Rodins which are the most erotic objects in the universe, Legends of the Fall-era Brad Pitt included. Come on in to get yelled at while learning about painting!
Well. We failed. As we approached her, we were overtaken by the memory of the first time weâ€™d ever asked a girl to slow dance in sixth grade. K— M——- (who we still have a crush on and would marry if the chance arose) rolled her eyes, sighed loudly and said, â€œfineâ€ in the same tone of voice usually reserved for words like â€œtreasonâ€ or â€œstaff infection.â€
We turn now to Kiosk Kiosk, another vintage/antique shop which also dips its toes into the “exhibition” vernacular. And lo, they have an actual brick and mortar storefront on Spring St. in the City. We came across Kiosk Kiosk through the wonderful Reference Library blog, which specializes mostly in ebay finds (and losses, the best category is “Items I didn’t win“). Kiosk Kiosk boasts “mini exhibitions” which seem to be curated objects by friends or associates, for sale, from what we can tell.
They also have a very weird/cool/bewildering interface for their online catalogue. It’s not perfect but we like the effort.