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Posted inArt

Basquiat in the American South

NEW ORLEANS — To see Basquiat and the Bayou, the “exhibition within an exhibition” that by general consensus is the must-see component of the sprawling Prospect.3: Notes for Now biennial triennial that opened in New Orleans on October 25, you need to make your way to the top floor of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in the city’s Warehouse Arts District.

Posted inArt

AIDS, Art and Activism: Remembering Gran Fury

Long before Facebook and Twitter made getting a message out to a mass audience as simple as a couple of clicks, the art/activist collective known as Gran Fury used a heady combination of bold graphic design, guerrilla dissemination tactics, and art institutional support to communicate the urgency of the AIDS epidemic in light of disastrous government and political inaction.

Posted inArt

Turning a Beloved Novel into Art (Prospect 2 Spotlight)

NEW ORLEANS — Of all the stories about New Orleans, John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces is one of the most universally beloved. So an artist who attempts to engage it in a different medium has their work cut out for them from the get-go: anyone who’s read Toole’s posthumously published comedic opus already has their own idea of how Ignatius J. Reilly and his world should be brought to life.

Posted inArt

Re-Kitschifying a New Orleans Post-modern Icon (Prospect 2 Spotlight)

NEW ORLEANS — The Piazza d’Italia generally isn’t high on many people’s lists of Things To See And Do In New Orleans; in fact, I’d guess that most of the tourists who stumble across it do so while getting lost on their way to or from the nearby Harrah’s casino or Hilton Riverfront. They probably no idea that this gaudy urban ensemble, designed by Charles Moore and opened in 1978, represents one of the seminal pieces of postmodern architecture in the country. In his Prospect 2 biennial piece, Francesco Vezzoli adds an extra layer of kitsch to New Orleans’ Piazza d’Italia with his “Portrait of Sophia Loren.”

Posted inOpinion

Rediscovering Ed Kienholz’s “Five Car Stud”

Like the Memorial Day holiday weekend with which it bookends the summer, Labor Day is an opportunity for hard-working Americans to kick back, pop open a couple of beers and reflect upon what makes the good ol’ U. S. of A. so great. Which is why the opening of the new installation of Edward Kienholz’s disturbing fever dream “Five Car Stud” at LACMA this Sunday couldn’t have come at a better (or more ironic) time.