This week, New York’s arts funding future, 1980s abstraction, racism in the new Lone Ranger movie, Google’s RSS deathwish, Lou Reed reviews Kanye West, Rineke Dijkstra photographs the Dutch Royals, and more.
The New York art world is starting to realize that they should’ve protested more when Mayor Bloomberg cut arts funding. This article in The New York Times outlines those growing anxieties, “Art Groups Fear Losing a Mayor, and His Money“:
Perhaps most crucially, Mr. Bloomberg has been a philanthropic angel. Since 2002, he has given more than $200 million of his personal fortune to arts (and social service groups) around the city — first anonymously, through the Carnegie Corporation of New York (though everyone knew it was he) and for the last two years through Bloomberg Philanthropies, which was formed in 2006.
Here’s a graph that explains the financial realities:
The title of this Architizer post says it all, “Zaha Hadid’s Latest Installation Guaranteed To Be On Everyone’s Instagrams“:
James Kalm visits Raphael Rubinstein’s Reinventing Abstraction: New York Painting in the 1980s show at the Cheim & Read gallery, which includes works by Louise Fishman, Bill Jensen, Jonathan Lasker, Pat Steir, Jack Whitten, Elizabeth Murray, Carroll Dunham, Stanley Whitney, Terry Winters, Joan Snyder, David Reed , Mary Heilmann , Thomas Nozkowski , Gary Stephan, and Stephen Mueller. He filed this video report:
Drew Snider’s latest comic is “American Art: Exploring a country through its paintings.” Here’s a small taste:
The Native Appropriations blog explores the racist of Johnny Deep’s depiction of Tonto in the new The Lone Ranger movie. From “Why Tonto Matters“:
But for Native people, the only images that the vast, vast majority of Americans see are stereotypical in nature. You go to the grocery store and see plenty of smiling white children on cereal boxes, contrasted with the only readily recognizable Native image–the Land o’ Lakes butter girl. In advertising we see plenty of non-Native folks participating in everyday life, and then we get ads like this featuring Native people. There are also hardly any (if any) Native people in current, mainstream television shows. And this carries over even more strongly into Hollywood.
And from the review of the movie, “I saw The Lone Ranger so you don’t have to“:
Part 2: The Indians–Let’s combine ALL the stereotypes!
Here’s the part you wanted to hear about, and I’m trying to think of the best way to frame it. Despite the Comanche involvement in the film, there’s still a lot of problems with conflating all Indians together. First off, we’re in “Texas,” except Texas is set in the iconic Monument Valley — Navajoland. Tonto from the start talks about being a “Wendigo hunter” and that the bad guys are “Wendigos” and that “nature is out of balance.” Wendigos are a Eastern Woodlands (Algonquian/Cree/Ojibwe) thing. Though they did get the stories kinda right, despite it being the completely wrong region/tribe. I’m not trying to argue that the movie should have been 100% “authentic” — whatever that means — but to tout your Native involvement and have a central plot point be totally wrong just felt weird to me.
Marco Arment, the creator of Instapaper, thinks there is an ulterior motive for Google’s decision to close down Google Reader, namely a desire to ax RSS:
Google Reader is just the latest casualty of the war that Facebook started, seemingly accidentally: the battle to own everything. While Google did technically “own” Reader and could make some use of the huge amount of news and attention data flowing through it, it conflicted with their far more important Google+ strategy: they need everyone reading and sharing everything through Google+ so they can compete with Facebook for ad-targeting data, ad dollars, growth, and relevance.
RSS represents the antithesis of this new world: it’s completely open, decentralized, and owned by nobody, just like the web itself. It allows anyone, large or small, to build something new and disrupt anyone else they’d like because nobody has to fly six salespeople out first to work out a partnership with anyone else’s salespeople.
Velvet Underground’s Lou Reed reviews hip hop artist Kanye West’s new album Yeezus for The Talkhouse. It begins:
Kanye West is a child of social networking and hip-hop. And he knows about all kinds of music and popular culture. The guy has a real wide palette to play with. That’s all over Yeezus. There are moments of supreme beauty and greatness on this record, and then some of it is the same old shit. But the guy really, really, really is talented. He’s really trying to raise the bar. No one’s near doing what he’s doing, it’s not even on the same planet.
Twitter has started translating some key tweets from Egypt. It is about time that the San Francisco-based social media company developed some translation capabilities, which is something Tweetbot has long had on their smartphone app.
And this is just hilarious: Gothamist explains why The New York Times Style and Real Estate sections are so very bad:
The NY Times Real Estate section is the Rosencrantz to the Style Section’s Guildenstern, the yin and yang of out-of-touch manufactured high class trend stories. This weekend, the world’s most unintentionally hilarious newspaper put forth yet another brilliant missive about the struggles of the oh so rich centered around a particularly relatable concern: “You are seeing people ask themselves: Do I have an affair, get a divorce or get a downtown apartment?” said Michele Kleier, the president and chairwoman of Kleier Residential. “It has become a very sexy thing to do, especially for those people living a sedate Park Avenue lifestyle.”
Yes, the hottest trend for NYC’s upper elite is to venture below 59th Street, “embracing downtown neighborhoods that would once have been considered unthinkable” as the Times put it.
Required Reading is published every Sunday morning EST, and it is comprised of a short list of art-related links to long-form articles, videos, blog posts or photo essays worth a second look.