Thursday, October 30, 2008

A show that delivers on its title


Ah, Gallery Take Ninagawa in Tokyo, Japan. Say it loud, say it proud. It doesn't come along too often in life that you have a show's title basically spell out exactly what you're gonna get, but in artist Yukiko Suto's case, that's EXACTAMUNDO what you'll get. The title of her exhibit: "Potted Plants Exhibition" on display from November 1st to December 20th in Tokyo, Japan. Time to get your inner Miyagi freak on. (I prefer the cyclamen variety myself.)

Welcome to my first ever post with encoded HTML links. It's a bitch to type out, but I guess I gotta play by the rules of the blogosphere.


Monday, October 27, 2008

One artist's journey through breast cancer

 Recently yours truly underwent her own breast cancer scare. Though mine turned out to be nothing more than "B-9" lumpy boobage, I have a little metal clip inside me for life that reminds me each and every day that I must remain vigilant and get to know every inch of my boobies as a preventive measure. To say the least, the initial diagnosis stage is frightening enough, so I can barely imagine the stress in going through an entire battle. One local artist, Victoria Behm, has decided to utilize her talents to help her through the immense journey ahead to recovery and triumph over the ultimate adversity. I highly recommend checking out this thought-provoking scrapbook/diary she recently posted on's website. It is stunning in its imagery-- the needles, the radiation, the chemo, the chronicle of her hair loss. She really epitomizes for me what it means to be an artist-- for truly great art reaches within one's self to share with others. Behm does this and so much more.

But I definitely want to end breast cancer awareness month on a positive note. I love how Behm's fighting spirit really comes through in her writing as well as her art. She pulls no punches. There will be "discharge," she is warned, and with humor and bluntness, she shows how the gooey mess became a part of her daily struggle. The list of the drugs she has had to take, as well as the numerous treatments that keep her going is mind-numbing. My favorite part was where she is told by her doctors to refrain from being near any "sharp objects," (Hello! A bit hard to do when you work with woodcuts!)-- from whence she mentions how she once sliced off her fingertip with an x-acto knife. Pretty cool lady, and a great story.

Check it out below at:


Monday, October 20, 2008

Paula Wilson's Stained Glass Ceiling at Bellwether

 For the past week and a half, I've been wracking my brain on how I will write this post on artist Paula Wilson's first ever solo exhibition at Bellwether Gallery, The Stained Glass Ceiling. Part of my problem with writing this review is that I'm not sure that I CAN pull everything together to tell readers just what this show is all about, for the artist seems to throw EVERYTHING at us-- from the show's title itself, to the works' multitudinous mixed media makeup, there's just so MUCH there. And it's not just visually stunning imagery at play, but also craftsmanship, with a message to match, that I don't know if I can do it justice. But let me put it this way, this just might be the best exhibit I've ever seen because of its complete coverage.

Wilson's imagery evokes the feminine in all its facets. In Tomorrow's Tomorrow, pictured above, a young woman frolics about in sunbathed light while holding an umbrella, not unlike the Morton's salt girl. You feel her joy, a woman that abounds with life. Her skyward smile says it all. the refracted light pouring through the stained glass window lights the bouquet still life on the table. For not only is she blossoming into womanhood, but so, too, is the mixed bouquet. I also can't help but notice the beautiful makeup of this work-- a combination of oil, spray paint, and paper collage, seemingly invoking the wondrous florals of Van Huysum himself.

Below, the luscious work Tripped. Like a cork popping from a champagne bottle or a happy ending, the top has blown. Perhaps it signifies the woman being freed from her entrapments. I read this work more as "Trapped" than Tripped, evoking more of a genie in a bottle element. If you rub her the right way, will she grant your wish?

Also of note is the similarity between the society lady clad in pink and the legendary Fragonard work, The Swing, below. For in each case the subject seems to take delight in her sexuality, teasing us with a desire that can never be fully realized, yet is also quite constrained by outside forces. Throughout this exhibit I felt Wilson references the floral masters-- VanHuysum, for instance-- or the stained glass works of LaFarge, or in this case, the soft underpainting techniques of Fragonard. But the floral elements are not merely for eye candy, but represent that which makes a woman a woman.

In Wilson's case, she's well on her way to making her own history as an artist. I highly recommend checking out the Bellwether site below to see more examples of this wondrous exhibition. The show runs through November 15th.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Why go for 10 when you can have an 8?


Sunday, if you find yourself in the vicinity of the C.P.W., you should check out artist Diana Schmertz's timely traveling art exhibit, Perfect 8 magazine stand. Unfortunately, you probably won't be able to get a Red Bull, buy a 50 cent 42 cent stamp, or purchase any Tic-Tacs, but you will get an up-close and personal look into the good ol' U.S. of A. media's manipulation of what IS and ISN'T acceptable reading material that's "tailor-made" to the sexes. Schmertz utilizes a great medium directly out in the public's eye to address something that is a uniquely American concept. Do all American women only care about Jimmy Choo's new line and SJP's marital status, and are men only interested in seeing Kim Kardashian's bootiful backside on FHM or Maxim? Interesting stuff to think over. The title of the exhibit is great-- we're all a bit short of a 10, but what the f' is wrong with that anyway?

You can see the traveling stand at Columbus Circle-- 59th Street & Central Park West from 12pm-3pm tomorrow, Sunday, October 12th, 2008. For more information, go to Schmert'z site--


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Lower East Side Letdown

Not that long ago I was commiserating about the ever incestuous intersection of art and fashion. Well, another thing that is blurring as fast as a Mars Bar patron's eyesight is art attempting to walk the fine line between itself and the music scene-- more often than not ending up a drunken, sloven mess. And trust me, with artist Ryan Humphrey's All or Nothing exhibit, DCKT should be charged with a DUI.

I've been around enough stacks of Marshalls and Peaveys in my day and played a RAT pedal to boot. Yes, bands like to cover their gear with stickers. LOTS of stickers. Sometimes they just want to deface the beautiful cherry wood to make it look "vintage." Othertimes it's more likely they're so bombed they forgot how much the thing cost. (See above pimped-out 'Fridge as example of decadence. Apparently, beer is included in the work's purchase. Thanks, Ryan, for the refreshments.)

Just in the same way Banks Violette's homage to misguided Scandinavian youth falls to my eyeballs with a punch as powerful as an episode of According to Jim, so, too, does Humphrey's colorless exhibit. Sure, there's plenty of color. Lots of color. But where is the pigmentation?

Real color is in reality. Humphrey's work is all in fabrication-- or recreation of something "low-brow." I.E., a collector will be spending THOUSANDS to recreate the above. And that, my dear readers, is the dear departed CBGBs toilet. Historic documentation. Now it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know how much that cost to maintain the above "look"-- i.e., not much given its sail into the sunset.

In the show's press release it touts Humphrey's inclusion as a contestant on Bravo's "Top Design" as an accolade. Really, now? We've come to bragging about reality tv rosters as a reason to see an exhibition? Excuse me as I crank my DIY threshold up to 9. Humphrey is at his best when he's doing lush visuals of the Trans-Am logo upon portions of old Pontiac hoods. They're not much more than eye-candy, but at least the phoenix rising from the ashes has a meaning, and the bottle caps have fought their own good fight. The sunburst reminds me more of Superman's baby bassinett, but you gotta admit, the visual is striking.

For more art masquerading as music, go to the website:

The show runs through November 1st.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

NKOTB and Keith Haring... yes, Keith Haring


As a teenager in small town Florida, I grew up pretty much obsessed with all things New Kids on the Block, as well as one lead singer Jordan Knight (the hot/cute one-- and the only one who could really sing).

Well, just found this from their first rarely seen video footage of "Please Don't Go Girl" before the Coney Island shot one that went into national MTV release.

Sure, the Kids probably did not represent the best in art connoisseurship, (nor music) but there's something totally delightful about seeing the most likely 16 year old Mr. Knight here wearing the art world icon's sweatshirt.

Too nostalgic for words.

Check out the hilarious below link for full cheeseball value with a little rat-tail mullet love to boot.


Saturday, October 4, 2008

I'm one angry boob


(Ditmas Park in the Fall, years past- B.H.A. Before Hipster Arrival)

Completely off the art topic today. I'm bored with it and crankier than ever as of late. Perhaps it's the 6-inch long needle to the boobaroo I got yesterday and then the repeated SMASHING of it again and again in the mammogram machine right after being sliced open that made me revel in the joys of my womanhood once again. Hurrah for Breast Cancer Awareness month!! Whoopee-dee-freakin'-doo. To make it 100% relevant, my body decided to go and have a breast cancer scare. In honor of my newfound coinkydink, I've decided next year's Talk Like a Pirate Day will have me actually BECOMING a pirate, and for Take Your Daughter to Work Day I'm going to have a daughter. Beat that, Jolie.

In my other crank-ass topic of the day-- I'm never one much to talk about where I live. Where I work is another story-- at least the neighborhood where I work and the galleries that surround me. I like to think that where I live is more or less where I finally go to sleep at night, because that's about all I ever do here. But lately, I'm more annoyed than ever. One of the best things about Ditmas Park for the past 5 years has been the unique quality of diversity to this neighborhood. All types of people lived here of all racial and ethnic backgrounds. The other great quality was the fact it takes a freakin' hour to get anywhere I need to work in Manhattan. And for that hour, I used to be able to sit my ass for most of the ride and read my paper.

Well, my antisocial ass has unfortunately found that oh, no-- everyone and their f'ing brother has decided to move here. YAY. And they're all white and they all wear skinny jeans with flannel shirts. Just what I always wanted!! Oh, and my dear Q train-- you know, the one that takes me where I need to go-- well, they decided to go glam. Yep, they gave us Q trains that are really L trains-- and now we've lost a good 10 seats per car. Yay. Swap cleanliness for extra feet and lower back pain from standing an HOUR on the way home. Gotta love it. F'ers.

The one good thing of the Gentrification 101 has been the addition of the Tibetan restaurant over the subway tracks. Yeah, you heard that right. Every time the train comes by the lights flicker on and off while you're eating. I f'ing love it. It rocks. They serve Tingmo. The Tingmo is boobalicious. I mean, delicious. Its fat, plump and you can mold it just like a mammogram technician molds your boob. But the best part is, you can eat it. My favorite part is so far there's mainly Tibetans in this restaurant, because most of the skinny jean, beard-grower, deodorant challenged keep eating at the outside tables. But alas, my days of easy quiet eating is numbered as the temperature drops. My solitude shall soon be greeted with tables of them socializing with their BYOB. Can't wait.