Alissa Guzman

Post image for Rachel Lee Hovnanian’s Shallow Satisfactions

Gazing in as enraptured window shoppers, we saw a hospital-like infant ward where individual racks showcased near-immaculate babies. Grabbing my arm, my friend exclaimed: “Look, babies! This is perfect.”

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Post image for Searching for an Idea at Pulse Art Fair

Despite the upsides of Pulse, I found myself perusing the fair and wondering what has happened to conceptual art, or even just art with concepts.

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Galleries

Art and Liquor in Greenpoint

by Alissa Guzman on February 20, 2014

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Chelsea openings, for the most part, are what they are: slightly glamorous events drawing fashionable crowds that are held in lovely, spacious galleries that tend to show predictable, big-name artists.

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Post image for Living or Being Seen in Alex Prager’s Sun-Soaked Psyche

The sentiments of Bethany Cosentino from the band Best Coast float through my head whenever I view the artwork of Los Angeles–based photographer and filmmaker Alex Prager.

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Books

The Rise and Fall of Polaroid

by Alissa Guzman on July 30, 2013

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Instant: The Story of Polaroid, an entertaining book by the New York-based writer Christopher Bonanos, follows the long and twisting career of Edwin Land and his brainchild corporation, Polaroid.

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Post image for The Bold Murals of Puerta de Tierra, Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Sandwiched between the pristine cobblestone streets and bright houses of Old San Juan and the ritzy, high-rise condos of costal Condado lies the neighborhood of Puerta de Tierra. A thin strip of real estate, once part of colonial San Juan but situated just outside the walled city, this neighborhood was historically the first attacked by various invading armies.

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Post image for Manufactured Dreams — Stepping Inside Televisa

The Aperture Foundation publishes beautiful photography monographs that are designed to look more like a portfolio than a book; such is their emphasis on image plates over explanatory text. The Factory of Dreams: Inside Televisa Studios, one of Aperture’s recent publications featuring the Brooklyn-based photographer Stefan Ruiz, is a monograph that presents a single body of work. The Factory of Dreams is a collection of photographs Ruiz began working on eight years ago, depicting one of Mexico’s largest exports: televised fantasies of “love, wealth, and betrayal.”

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Books

Now Dig This! Too Obtuse to Read?

by Alissa Guzman on November 29, 2012

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At roughly 350 pages, Now Dig This! Art & Black Los Angeles 1960-1980, is a conceptually massive, literally heavy and generally ambitious catalogue that questions our expectations of what an exhibition catalogue should be.

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Theaters

The Invention of the Teenager

by Alissa Guzman on October 26, 2012

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It’s strange to be reminded in the 21st century that there was a time before “teens” and “tweens,” before those years between childhood and adulthood, i.e. adolescence, had a name and now, a stereotype. All of us who attended the Books & Talks lecture Friday night, however, at Artists Space’s new offshoot on Walker Street, were reminded that before the 1950s teenagers as we know them didn’t exist.

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Post image for Rineke Dijkstra: Contemporary Photographer or Old Master?

It’s very rare that museum directors or curators, when introducing a new show to a room full of writers and critics, say anything remotely thought-provoking or profound. Introducing the Rineke Dijkstra mid-career retrospective at the Guggenheim, however, the museum director Richard Armstrong made a simple, obvious, but truly striking declaration. “Rineke Dijkstra,” he said, “is an artist with very few peers.”

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