The police raid on unsuspecting Occupy Wall Street protesters at Zuccotti Park early Tuesday morning was a disturbing sight. Cops in riot gear smashed tents, arrested groggy protesters from the park, confiscated possessions and books from the People’s library (although we have confirmed that the materials are safe) and even brought in bulldozers to rid Zuccotti of the movement’s micro-city. Although protesters have returned to re-occupy their space, they will no longer be allowed to bring tents or sleeping bags into the park according to a New York Supreme Court ruling on Tuesday. With the symbolic and physical base of the movement under threat, everyone is asking what is next for Occupy Wall Street.
Day trips beyond New York City for visual art can feel decadent, especially with all the spectacular shows we don’t have time to see. And although it might be a small hassle to get there, the Brant Foundation’s current solo show of David Altmejd is really worth every minute of the trip to Greenwich, Connecticut. With his hallucinogenic and kaleidoscopic aesthetic, Altmejd also seems to be asking viewers to take a trip.
Blue Curry is a Bahamian artist living and working in London. If his name doesn’t make you smile the materials in his artwork and his sense of irony certainly will. Curry is having his first US solo exhibition at the LES’s Toomer Labzda Gallery this month.
Smokin’ Joe Frazier, dead at 67, was a former heavyweight boxing champion and Olympic gold medalist of the world. He succumbed to liver cancer at his home in Philadelphia on November 7, 2011. What does Frazier have to do with art? Like Smokin’ Joe, Philadelphia artists embody their hard-knuckle hometown, utilizing a no-nonsense approach to work.
Perhaps from embarrassment or hitting a deep seated pain. A sensitive nerve that doesn’t like to be touched or exposed. Whatever the particular cause, its effect is a shutter that runs down the spine. A quivering sensation starting at the nape of the neck and rolling like a barbed ball of wire down each vertebrate, prickling until it strikes the tailbone and exits the body. The shoulders shift a bit at the beginning to reorient their position, and the back wiggles at the release of each tingle. There is an old adage that instructs ‘shake it off’ when something upsetting occurs. This advice incited our inquiry.
Lester Johnson (1919 – 2010) remains a cult figure, particularly for those who care about painting, which, let’s face it, is a cult made up of warring factions. Johnson is a full-fledged member of the faction to which the terms “painterly,” “expressionist,” and “figurative” have accrued, but which are too diluted to be of any use. He remains best known for his paintings of men, often depicted as monochrome silhouettes packed tightly together.
If ever there was an argument for me to get over my fear of biking in Brooklyn, it was Saturday’s Brooklyn Open Studios, held in conjunction with the 2011 Celeste Prize exhibitions at the Invisible Dog. The 35 participating artists were sprawled across the borough, from Sunset Park to Bushwick and from Brooklyn Heights to Crown Heights, and I was trying to navigate it all by rail and foot, with some MTA weekend service changes thrown in to add some mental exercise to the physical.
“Would you like to see the birth?” Elle Burchill from Microscope Gallery casually offered me a spot on the list of people who would be notified of the birth of Baby X. The night of the opening of the exhibition and performance The Birth of Baby X was pretty cold. Despite the media attention that followed the news that Bushwick performance artist Marni Kotak was planning to give birth in a gallery, the turnout at the opening wasn’t any larger than the usual crowd at a Microscope Gallery opening. “Yes, please. Put me on the list,” I heard myself saying loud enough to mute the doubts and fears I had.
The project “Art Party” by Bob and Roberta Smith might have been planned in the past, yet it jabs a ramshackle kick straight into the miasma of current water cooler art talk.
The brainchild of Scott Ostler, co-founder of the image-sharing site Dump.fm, and Khoi Vinh, a former design director of NYTimes.com, Mixel is a free iPad app that may just be a game changer in the world of online images. Sure, we’ve heard it all before, another service that promises to change it all, but in the case of Mixel it may just happen.
Since we’ve been running down the most powerless and most f***able art world figures, now we’re seeing which ones are in dire need a makeover. Anyone in the public sphere knows the way they dress reflects greatly on their work, and art people, fortunately or not, are no exception.
This week, we commence with some shots of our artistes at home, followed by another Bravo tradition: an absurdly early wake-up! This is a classic Bravo tradition in which the host/mentor, in our case, Simon, comes over to whatever West Elm palace the reality show competitors happen to be staying in, and awaken them obscenely early to take them to their next hellish challenge.