Category Archives: my new fix

my new fix: this recording, “Escape to New York (in which we do whatever we can get away with)”

“In comparison to his photographs of Central Park, the images in East 100th Street are airless and cramped. The exteriors feel like interiors. Rarely do you see the sky, or the spine of the Triborough Bridge, that big animal, lying across the East River. The city resembles a room, a closed space, a closet. The effect is counterintuitive; in Davidson’s work, narrow alleys and low ceilings serve as reminders of the city’s size, of how much it contains, and conceals.

If you believe people do whatever they can get away with, you might imagine his portraits of people peering out windows or sprawled on beds to be portraits of lust and false-heartedness. Manhattan’s geography generates infidelity: ours is a capacious city, a vast island whose size permits isolation and therefore betrayal.

Davidson’s photographs remind us that people’s personal lives are mostly tedious. Everybody has dirty plates and families. Privacy protects us. Behind closed doors we shine our shoes and our personalities; we rest and then resume playing the roles of interesting people. We hide our worst selves, and our dullest: we would rather have people see us as bad than boring.”  Elizabeth Gumport, writing for this recording



the weeknd, echoes of silence

these free album downloads are ridiculously addictive.  i listened to house of balloons on repeat for god knows how long.  and now, was walking to the tune of d.d. all damn day.  made me grin. so trashy and silly and awesome. love montreal and xo and this one:

i ain’t scared of the fall…i’ve felt the ground before

hell yes

“Normalcy can feel awfully precarious, like a comforting dream blotting out a nightmarish reality…”–a.o. scott

take shelter, the new jeff nichols written/directed film, opened in limited release friday and is already garnering high praise both for the story and the acting.  michael shannon, the reigning madman across the water, continues to solidify his place as one of today’s best working actors with roles characterized by fury and lunacy (as exemplified in revolutionary road and his current turn in hbo’s boardwalk empire), jessica chastain is fresh off her triumph with malick’s tree of life, and nothing says the advent of winter like a stellar apocalyptic film, ruminating over and warning of lives of quiet desperation, the struggle against impermanence, and the fraught beauty of survival.  the added layer for me is that my old high school chum dave wingo (fellow plano survivor and leader of the band ola podrida, who also has done beautiful work for david gordon green’s amazing films) did the score. hi dave wingo.  come visit again before too long.  and see you guys at the angelika.

dasha shishkin, “desaparecido,” at zach feuer gallery though june 11, 2011

all images copyright the artist and gallery

playful, light-heartedly perverse, color-saturated mylar non-sensical scenes that were exactly what i wanted to lift the rain-fueled gloom.  were the paint still wet, i’d dive in and not come back.  and i’m hardly the only fan: looking at the listing just before i left, almost all had sold.  something about them is reminiscent of george grosz, and henry darger, and illustrations from a subversive children’s book. very cool.  no idea what’s happening in them, which i think is the point.

alexander mcqueen, “savage beauty” retrospective at the metropolitan museum

i was lucky enough to get a private escort tonight after the museum closed, courtesy of a dear friend with a similar passion for such artistry.  we were awed.

more expository later.  for now (all pics courtesy of the met):

“I think there has to be an underlying sexuality. There has to be a perverseness to the clothes. There is a hidden agenda in the fragility of romance.  It’s like the story of O. I’m not big on women looking naive. There has to be a sinister aspect, whether it’s melancholy or sadomasochism. I think everyone has a deep sexuality and sometimes it’s good to use a little of it–and sometimes a lot of it–like a masquerade.”–alexander mcqueen

sunday mass: terrence malick’s new film: the tree of life

from the badlands director & one of our great contemporary film humanists, comes what looks to be his most grandiose and all-encompassing story yet. one grown man, lost, searching, telling the story of his struggle to reconcile the conflicting lessons of his childhood from his parents (his mother’s espousal of love/grace versus his father’s emphasis on will and self-interest), to find his place in the world, to forgive, to redeem himself, connecting him to nothing less than both the beginning and end of time, all life, the universe.
not since the trailer for “no country for old men” did i know immediately who and what this was, and move to the edge of my seat. forget the celebrities, just listen and watch the cinematography. “someday we’ll fall down and weep, we will understand it all, all things.” unfortunately, we still have to wait until 5/27/11, if it does finally release according to the scheduled date. this would have been a perfect holiday release, but is rather an odd pick for going into summer blockbuster season.

john currin at the gagosian, through december 23

i’ve crankily refrained from posting my pick of the litter, but i’m not happy about it.  not one bit. especially since i’ve been waiting to see his new stuff since the new yorker article which came out seemingly forever ago.  merry xmas to me.

pics and courtesy of the artist and the gagosian, visit them for more info

” flora”

The people I paint don’t exist. The only thing that is real is the painting. It’s not like a photograph where there’s another reality that existed at a certain moment in time in the past. The image is only happening right now and this is the only version of it. To me, that’s fascinating. It’s an eternal moment.
–John Currin

“hot pants”

Gagosian Gallery is pleased to present new paintings by John Currin.

Currin’s depictions of the female figure enchant and repel, often in equal measure. Labeled as mannerist, caricaturist, radical conservative or satirist, Currin continues to confound expectations and evade categorization. While his meticulous and virtuosic technique is indebted to the history of classical painting, the images themselves engage startlingly contemporary ideas about the representation of the human figure. With inspirations as diverse as Old Master portraits, pin-ups, and mid-twentieth century B-movies, Currin continues to paint ideational yet challengingly perverse images of female subjects, from lusty nymphs to more ethereal feminine prototypes. With his uncanny ability to locate the point at which the beautiful and the grotesque are held in perfect balance, he continues to produce subversive portraits of idiosyncratic women in conventional settings. The latest additions to his cast include the demure Constance Towersand the extravagant Mademoiselle, as well as scenes of bourgeois erotic abandon, such as The Women of Franklin Street.