Posted inArt

Engaging Turbulence at One of New York’s Only Smithsonian Institutions

The Carl Beam retrospective now at the National Museum of the American Indian Heye Center in Lower Manhattan could be a response to the museum itself. Located in the imposing Alexander Hamilton US Custom House, a monolithic reminder that New York City was originally built on European immigration, the museum presents artifacts and art by North America’s first people. Beam’s work likewise was always aimed at juxtaposing the modern culture of North America, a transformation of the country that he marked with the arrival of Columbus, with the traditional imagery of the American Indians. Neither the museum nor the influential Canadian artist’s work offers much harmony between these two clashing worlds, but in the resulting collage of Beam’s work is an engaging sort of turbulence.

Posted inOpinion

Required Reading

This week’s Required Reading … Banksy on UK phone-tapping scandal, Hirst-a-palooza at Gagosian Galleries worldwide, affordable Warhols, what do you do with a stolen art work, Sam Maloof, Hans Hoffmann as art teacher, how the “Mona Lisa”‘s became famous and the problem with “minorities.”

Posted inArt

MoCADA TV’s Kalia Brooks Talks Television

A few weeks ago, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art (MoCADA), debuted a new television series. I reviewed the debut of MoCADA TV but Hyperallergic’s editor and I continually had a back-and-forth about the usefulness of TV as a medium, and the fact that this pioneering move on part of the museum could open a lot of new discussions.

With all of these dialogues lingering, I caught up with Kalia Brooks, director of exhibitions at MoCADA, to get a better idea of the series’ aims.

Posted inOpinion

WI Gov Replaces Multi-Culti Painting With Civil War-era Work

There’s a lot of art news coming out of Milwaukee this week and all of it makes some of us wondering what the hell is happening in the city we normally associate with Laverne & Shirley and bratwurst. First, the director of Milwaukee Art Museum made silly comments that museums should not be political and now the union-busting Republican governor of the Wisconsin has removed a very multicultural painting by local artist David Lenz from a prominent place in the governor’s mansion.

Posted inNews

Required Reading

This week … why are the Coptic churches of Egypt burning, Paul Goldberger is cynical of Rem Koolhaas, video of Alexander McQueen at the Met, profile of Cory Arcangel, tour of the 2011 Contemporary Furniture Fair, want to live on a houseboat on the Gowanus, Luna Park’s Berlin pics, an interview with the Met Opera’s conductor and 8 NYers are suing Baidu for censorship.

Posted inArt

Brooklyn Museum’s New Acquisition Shines Light on Unlikely 18th C Racial Revolutionary

The Brooklyn Museum has an extensive collection of Spanish Colonial painting, but the institution’s relatively new curator of European art Richard Aste knew the museum lacked the same depth in their British colonial works. Recently, Brooklyn’s premiere fine art institution announced the acquisition of a new work by Agostino Brunias, “Free Women of Color with their Children and Servants in a Landscape” (ca. 1764-1796), which will partially fill that gap but there is something else about the painting that makes it interesting to the contemporary viewer, namely its multicultural subjects.

Posted inArt

Words and Pictures: A Controversy

Molly Norris has been told by the FBI that she needs to change her name and go into hiding because of a cartoon she drew making fun of Comedy Central for censoring South Park. I don’t know what to do about it, but I’m not going to respond by making a cartoon ridiculing Muslims. Maybe I’ll ridicule terrorists and their sponsors, but they just don’t listen to me. Back in May, Hrag wrote about Molly Norris and the stir it caused. I see I clicked Like, and its a good article, but I remember being bothered by Everybody Draw Mohammed Day, and not wanting to participate in it.

Posted inArt

“Concerned New Yorkers” Hatch Poster Project for Park51

It’s impossible to escape the heated rhetoric around Park51 in lower Manhattan. And now Adam Wissing, Kenny Komer, and Boris Rasin, who have been making a name for themselves for their clever and in-your-face street interventions, have joined the very public fray with a poster campaign that invites people on the street to voice their opinions in writing. We caught up with them to ask about their latest project.

Posted inArt

Peeking Behind the Veil: Princess Hijab

I sit down with my laptop in a quiet, central Brooklyn café, not far from Prospect Park on a slightly overcast day in August to interview the mysterious Parisian street artist Princess Hijab. I order a San Pellegrino with lime; she abstains from any snacks or beverages. Despite the time difference from France, she’s alert and ready to engage with me. I go into the interview knowing how she guards her anonymity, and the concrete details of her identity remain elusive — this is an email interview after all.