- The sidewalk’s been sinking on Orchard Street for months. There’s been an orange cone in that hole for a while now. Somebody should prolly fix it. [Bowery Boogie]
- Dollar Tree is merging with Family Dollar, but, according to Reuters, super-cheap stores are stagnating. In news that should come as no surprise to the art world, the high-end market thrives. [New York Magazine]
- Last week, Spain’s Museo del Prado announced they were missing over 800 artworks in its collection. Now, it’s just been reported that they discovered one million euros in a previously unknown Swiss Bank Account. [artnet news]
- What’s everybody’s fucking grudge against the subway performers? The NYPD has made the “showtime” kids a “top priority,” quadrupling arrests since last year. The Times links the trend to the return of police chief William Bratton, whose solution for an orderly city was arresting the “squeegee men” back in Giuliani’s day. [New York Times]
- Peter Schjeldahl reviews the new Christopher Williams exhibition at MoMA. In it, he claims that Williams isn’t so different from Jeff Koons. As ridiculous a comparison as that sounds, Schjeldahl makes a pretty good case for it. [The New Yorker]
- We missed this when it came out, but Stephen Colbert interviews Silicon Valley billionaire Tim Draper, who wants to split California into six states, making “Silicon Valley” the wealthiest state in the country and its next door neighbor “Central California” the poorest in the country. This is actually going to be a proposition on the ballot in 2016. “Do all these problems go away when they’re divvied up into six states?” Colbert asks. Lots of polite smiles. Colbert asks if Draper plans to be a senator or a governor of one of these new states, but that’ll be left “up to Californians”. [Colbert Report]
- Avant-garde filmmaking legend Jonas Mekas does a questionnaire with Dazed and Confused. It’s alternately insightful and silly. A choice quote: “What three words define the States today? Jonas Mekas: Dazed And Confused.” [Dazed & Confused]
- We always wondered who bought Tracey Emin’s “My Bed”, and now we know: Count Christian Duerckheim. “I always admired the honesty of Tracey, but I bought My Bed because it is a metaphor for life, where troubles begin and logics die,” he has said. Now he’s lending it to the Tate for long-term installation. [The Art Newspaper]
- “Activism mainly means organizing a community, and this community organizing can come from the art world.” That’s Tommaso Speretta talks about his upcoming book on AIDS activism, REBELS REBEL: AIDS, Art and Activism in New York, 1979-1989, which looks like a must-read for people who are struggling to connect art and activism. He also says museums are slowly adding artifacts from groups like Gran Fury to their collections, but would like to see this happen more. [032c]
If you’ve watched any sort of election in the past decade, you know that political grandstanding has moved to the extremities, mainly in the form of the hand gesture. While you may not agree with their politics, you’ve probably seen Obama’s firm “get the point across” fist wagging, and Michele Bachmann’s wild gesticulations, which may be among the best in Washington.
Today’s GIF of the day comes from “A Glossary of Hand Gestures” by artists Jasmine Johnson and Alice May Williams. In it, a variety of hand gestures are shown in GIF form, each one meant to help an intellectual out in different critical situations like “when explaining hierarchies” or “when making a very fine distinction.” Statements beneath the GIFs describe the gestures in a very straightforward, tongue-in-cheek way, which makes the site seem like flashcards for aspiring intellectuals and politicians. It pokes fun at grandstanding while all the while being silly and slightly biting.
It all started because artist Jenny Drumgoole’s mom wanted Paula Deen to sign her cookbook. So, Drumgoole did the logical thing and joined Paula Deen’s “Real Women of Philadelphia Cream Cheese Recipe Contest,” getting sloshed and making a new recipe video every week for eight weeks, in the hopes of meeting Deen in person. The result: a predatory marketing campaign for cream cheese turned into an awesome, empowering creative adventure for moms and home cooks across the nation. The videos become increasingly unhinged as Drumgoole populates her tutorials with John Rambo, cream cheese busts, New Age-y green-screen sequences, and slo-mo breaks for sexy 80s style hair flips. She even sparked a hair-flipping meme.
The story takes a twist; Drumgoole does, in fact, meet Paula Deen, and it turns out that Deen hadn’t watched a single video. The contestants, however, became friends. Watch the whole saga above; you can watch her recipe videos here.
Look, I know we usually only post “art” GIFs (whatever that means), but it’s Friday (whatever that means), so here’s the bestest, creepiest GIF I found making its way around the ‘net today. It is very good.