“New York used to be Sin City,” says performance artist Penny Arcade. “I came to New York to sin! New York City went from being the Big Apple to the Big Cupcake. People are staggering from one cupcake to another!” She has a point.
The Film Society of Lincoln Center is honoring filmmaker John Waters with the first retrospective of his films in the United States. Over the course of ten days, they’ll be screening all twelve of his feature films and the early underground shorts he directed and shot financed by his father.
Punk is 40 years old, believe it or not. Now that it’s middle-aged, has punk become passé? Have the few protagonists who survived from the excesses of the era become flabby and bland? No, not necessarily — judging by punk icon Richard Hell, once known as the king of the Lower East Side.
Legendary Lydia Lunch, confrontationalist post-punk no-wave singer, spoken word artist, poet, writer, photographer, and actress, has never been one to hide the madness — that’s putting it mildly. Broadcasting her inner angst has always been her style as well as her gritty charm. A Lunch quote: “I’m a very sympathetic person, but that doesn’t always come across in my work because I’m too busy being mad at everything.” So it made perfect sense that she was hosting a spoken word event called Don’t Hide the Madness at the Pyramid Club on Thursday, May 30th.
The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has forgotten that clothes and fashion are not art. When you go to see the PUNK: Chaos to Couture exhibit, which opened on May 9 and runs until August 14, you may think you stumbled instead into a luxury couturier’s boutique. The outré fashions are fabulous and gorgeously displayed and there’s some badass soundtrack music by Jayne County, Suicide, and the Sex Pistols, but you can’t try on any of the clothing and in the end, you are only permitted to buy over-priced T-shirts in the gift shop. Dude, I see the couture, but where the hell is the CHAOS?
Have you ever met a Minotaur, believed you could draw with your voice, try to cut out your voice box, spoken to demons on the phone, or taken a few too many shrooms? Perhaps not, but you can experience all of the above at I am an Opera, a satirical one-person musical show written, composed, and performed by Joseph Keckler, who was awarded a month-long residency that premiered at Dixon Place on New York City’s Lower East Side for the month of April.
Some people say a hole is a hole is a hole, and we all have holes. But then, if you go see The Hole Truth at Envoy Enterprises, the gallery’s first solo show with Brian Kenny, you might possibly see the hole truth and nothing but the truth as well as some bullet holes used for target practice.
No, the artist was not present at Film Forum for a screening of her documentary, The Artist Is Present, a couple of weeks ago. The artist is Marina Abramović, and though she wasn’t there — neither was the director of the film, Matthew Akers — I kept expecting her glamorous self to storm in as a last-minute surprise. But who was there was the reason I showed up for the screening: Mr. Klaus Biesenbach, chief curator at large of the Museum of Modern Art and director of MoMA PS1.
The massive Frieze art fair landed on Manhattan’s Randall’s Island and not everyone was happy. Pro-union protestors and members of Occupy Museums showed up to protest but they were pushed so far away that you have to wonder if anyone noticed.
Don’t you love attending a high profile art opening on a Friday night and instead of getting a nice big glass of vino, being handed a plastic cup of imported mineral water? Forget about TGIF. Obviously, we all have to suffer if the artist is in recovery and the legendary bad girl photographer Nan Goldin, now 58 years old, is trying to stay off the stuff.
There I was, sitting in a rocking chair at the Microscope Gallery in Bushwick but I felt like I was visiting a friend in her own home and we were just sitting around bullshitting. No, it wasn’t one of those snobby holier-than-thou art shacks in Manhattan. It was Marni Kotak’s show, The Birth of Baby X and the rocking chair had belonged to the artist’s mother.