Tom Sachs new paintings and sculptures at Sperone Westwater remind us of the creativity of artists and the laborious work that goes into the creation of an art object. It also showcases the totally groovy way artists use materials and techniques like resin or pyrography, where "paint strokes" are burned and etched into wood.
His cultural iconography from McDonalds to James Brown addresses the conception, production, consumption and circulation of modern-day stuff.
My favorite seen here is "James Brown’s Hair Products" (2009) and relates to color studies by artists such as Albers and Richter.
I recently went to a lively panel on collecting art. The panel was created by Annika Connor, an artist entrepreneur.
It made me think about collecting to understand the business from the other side and precipitated some new art purchases for me. It also reinforced my own cheap collecting strategy, that of buying art books that interest me. Having them around and studying them and then selling them is cheap thrills that may pay off big time. One book, I bought for $3 , I later sold for $1200. See my post Art $$$ in a Down Economy if you want the story.
The next panel coming up on Wednesday November 16 (Yes, that's this Wednesday) is on art and fashion —two subjects dear to my heart and my closet. I expect it to be as enjoyable as the last. In addition to lively discussion, they promise (and deliver) complementary cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. It is taking place at General Assembly in the Flatiron District. Featured panelists are: Patrick McMullan, Photographer and founder of Patrick McMullan Company; Austin Scarlett, Fashion Designer & Project Runway Star; and Bill Indursky, co-founder of VandM.com.
The Fusion of Fine Art and Fashion is the third a monthly discussion series on Art as Entrepreneurship which Active Ideas Productions (Annika's entrepreneurial enterprise) produces. Tickets are $30 General Assembly is located at: 902 Broadway, 4th Floor, New York, 10010
Continuing my partnering with Linda Tharp in the artist as entrepreneur thread, we met over lunch at Nom Wah tea parlor on Doyers Street. It was a homecoming of sorts, my father used to take us here every sunday in the 1950s and 1960s. It has been newly freshened up (and the Dim Sum was good) but I was happy to see it has retained the old along with the new, entwining the only seemlingly random patterns of life.
"Flaming Cactus” is an art project by ANIMUS Art which has been installed in Astor Place. It’s made by wrapping plastic neon-colored cable ties around light poles to transform them into hairy urban cacti!
This is a image of my mother, Dr. Evelyn Shaw, taken before I was born. She was a scientist, a writer of children's (I like Alligator) and adult science books, a researcher, a writer of scientific papers, a TV star (on Mr Wizard among others) and an ardent Feminist (check out her book Female Strategies, containing advice on mating and then biting his head off).
I love this photo because I have no idea what's in the strange murky snapshot she is holding. Is it a horseshoe crab upside down?, skate's egg case? one of her experiments with fish eggs? myself in utero? (too early for that , i think), or something else entirely? I bet I'll never find out from the snap within the snap but I love that it returns me to the moment in childhood where one's parents were as powerful and mysterious as the stars.
You know about my obsession with Andy Warhol...well, it's gotten stranger and more connected in odd ways than ever.
Now there is a silver Andy monument by Rob Pruitt right outside my window, where I used to see Andy himself everyday coming and going from Interview magazine...and my studio is neighbor to the Silver Factory which was his studio. (For a chronology of Andy and his players)...and now in Andy's honor I always wear the fragrance from Bond No. 9, Silver Factory...
...and last weekend I met a lovely artist, Madelyn Roehrig, who talks to Andy Warhol at his grave and who started filming people at the gravesite talking to Andy...which turned into...a work of art. November 5 at the Warhol—Madelyn Roehrig's Figments: Conversations with Andy: Year I & Year II (2009-11), with live music by Meeting of Important People, Dave Olson, and Uke & Tuba.
Linda and I are very different types of people and very different types of artists. This partnering has the effect of making us both stronger. As well, I feel we are at the beginning of a new art movement. Not defined, by painting style or concept, but by a new way that artists view themselves and how artists view their place in and their value to the world.
This video turned up as part of a course I am taking on Abstract Expressionism. It is provocatively symbolic. It announces the room where the Rothko's given to the Tate by Rothko will hang, without showing any of the works.
The backstory is this... Rothko repudiated his agreement to provide 600 square feet of paintings for the the new Four Seasons restaurant at the Seagram Building in New York. Rothko later gave nine of the paintings that he had intended for the Four Seasons to the Tate, insisting on an exclusive room for his paintings. On the morning he died, after slitting his arms, creating a a pool of blood roughly the same size as and as abstract as his own paintings, the works arrived at the Tate.
At the request of Rothko, The Tate, like the Phillips Collection, has created a special room to view the works. This video was created to announce the "Room."
We might all agree the color and luminosity of Rothko's works have a transformative power. As distillation of human experience, his works are not just abstract exercises. So...can this video be re-contexturalized as a post modern abstract exercise? An "abstracted" commentary, devoid of color, luminosity, and human experience, on the packaging of art?
Stripped of all content, yet referencing it, Rothko repackaged and absent — an unfinished installation and unfinished Beethoven too. How modern can you get?
It would have been nice if Google's valentine of yesterday had used the opportunity to pay homage to Robert Indiana. Indiana is the artist who first created the famous "LOVE" block. You know, the one that's been riffed on time and time again. Google could have used the opportunity to promote how an artist, and what he/she does can enrich our lives.
At the very least, I hope Google paid him, or that Indiana put it out there for anyone, royalty free etc. to use. Otherwise, he might have to sue them using the Carter Kustera idea of "commercial confusion." ...a whiff of Eau de Litigation in the air, sounds like a modern romance to me.
My son Nemo recently sent me a link to a site where I can see him drawing in real time. Is there a future of art where the collector can be a participatory voyeur? SMSing as the piece emerges? Performance art unintention? It feels humbling to see his courage in letting others in to the process.
Susan Shaw is an internationally exhibited painter and photographer. Private and public collections include the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Shaw is the recipient of two New York State Artist’s Fellowships and 2007/2009 residency fellowships at the Vermont Studio Center.
Kurt Hoss is a freelance photographer capturing the exuberance of
New York City for 35 years. A favorite project has been documenting life in south western Louisiana, culminating in two recent books, Going to Lafayette and Bosco Swamp.
Shaw and Hoss recently received an AVA gold award for video production, as producers of The Mermaid Parade.