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Posted inArt

The Brucennial: Piece By Piece (Part 3 of 5)

And the review marches on with art reviews a plenty in the seemingly impossible task of reviewing the whole Brucennial. Today’s installment reaches #175: 111. Kathe Burkhart – FUCK THE UNDERGROUND. Exactly.; 112. Dolores Haydon – The horror of porn. The porn of horror. Cool the way the scissors and cutting echo the nearby Man Bartlett piece …

Posted inArt

The Brucennial: Piece By Piece (Part 1 of 5)

Five minutes. That’s how long it took me to figure out that I needed not only to review the Brucennial, but that I needed to review all of it. Piece by piece by piece. I owed it to them, some kind of return gesture. I didn’t keep count. I just kept moving. Somebody else can clean up the mess. As John and Exene sang, “The world’s a mess. It’s in my kiss.” But you know what? It’s in yours’ too. So, yes, Bruces. That was my tongue down your collective throat. And now my mouth tastes like cigarettes. Thank you.

Posted inArt

Pittsburgh: The Great Deceiver (Part Two)

The next morning I took the T (aka, the trolley) into the city, and walked across the bridge to The Warhol. I love The Warhol. (Hate the NO PHOTOS policy though.) It never lets me down. Feels a bit like Mecca to me. Even when I know what’s on, I always come across surprises. The first one greeted me in the 1st floor museum intro room. For the first time, I saw the “Album of a Mat Queen” (1962), Warhol’s silkscreen of the writer and painter Rosalyn Drexler from her days as a professional wrestler. (SORRY. NO PHOTOS.) A huge fan of Drexler, I had only read about this image. This is standard operating procedure at The Warhol. Surprises from their deep collection around every corner. (SORRY. NO PHOTOS.)

Posted inArt

Pittsburgh: The Great Deceiver (Part One)

On April 29, 1974, the prog rock masters King Crimson played a famously furious gig at the Stanley Warner theatre in Pittsburgh, later immortalized as part of the band’s towering 4-disc live set, The Great Deceiver. In 1974, the steel industry was wheezing its way out of town, and the city was careening toward a difficult decade filled with a shifting economy and populace. The malleability of the Crimson dinosaur was exactly what the city was going to need to recover. And they have, thanks to the medical and tech industries (And ROBOTS!).

In the 70’s, out of the ashes and soot of the crumble came something extraordinary for the art world. In 1977, Barbara Luderowski founded The Mattress Factory, an installation space that is the highlight and anchor of every visit I make to the city. Yet, too many people I know still think of Pittsburgh as it was in the famous painting by Aaron Henry Gorson pictured here. Let’s work on that. Starting with the fact that a visit to the ‘Burgh is almost always a galvanizing one.

Posted inArtPerformance

In Dreams Begin Responsibilities: Napalm Death, BHQF & My Jerry Saltz Dream

When a gaggle of Meriden teenagers got together in the early 80’s to form Napalm Death, they weren’t thinking of completely restructuring the DNA of the Song. They weren’t thinking about inventing a new Metal genre, Grindcore. They weren’t thinking about garnering the lifelong support of John Peel. They weren’t thinking about any of these things. They were just bored with the music they were hearing. They wanted to make something faster than Punk. They wanted to kill it, the latest tired beast. Turned out the beast was already out of breath, but that didn’t mean it didn’t need a good clubbing. Overkill never hurt anyone.