David Harbour and the cast of Stranger Things are the latest creatives to use an awards show acceptance speech as a pulpit against Trump. But the spotlight here is undeniably on Winnona Ryder, who looks like she’s a little confused and also holding in a massive cocaine-induced shit during the whole thing. [YouTube]
Does Jonathan Jones really think there’s no future for figurative sculpture in the UK? Princes William and Harry are commissioning a memorial to their mother, Princess Diana, for Kensington Gardens, and Jones seems pretty adamant that it must be abstract. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that any work produced to fit a popular genre runs the risk of looking dated and tacky. [The Guardian]
“There’s no one more optimistic than I am about the power and importance of art, even when it’s just for art’s sake. But every once in a while, especially when prodded by a show like Perpetual Revolution, I want to shout, ‘F*** art, it’s time to do something!'” -Blake Gopnik on the ICP’s latest politically-charged exhibition. [artnet News]
“I’m really glad that this piece is happening when it is, because art needs to be a voice… You can’t just be in opulent halls — most of the people who come here are very, very wealthy, and to have a time in our country where this is going down, you have to speak directly to them and be like, get f–king real.” Dan Deacon on “The Times Are Racing,” the New York City Ballet production set to his album America. [W Magazine]
If you need a break from politics, watch this minute spot on people who were offered $30 to jump off a 10 meter tower into a pool. They had never done so before. It’s so great. [The New York Times]
And in the chaos that is now our country, lets run down the latest list of shit that’s happened. We expect this to be out of date in a couple of hours.
Yesterday Sally Yates, the Attorney General under the Obama administration told Justice Department Lawyers not to defend President Donald Trump’s executive order banning muslims against legal challenges. In response, Trump fired her in a letter that reads like a Yelp review. [The New York Times]
Fox commenter Sean Hannity is asking who was bankrolling the protestors at airports this weekend. Toronto Star Reporter Daniel Dale asks how much money Hannity thinks it takes to stand at an airport? [@DDale8]
From the speech writer responsible for coining “the axis of evil”, and outspoken conservative Trump critic David Frum, a dystopian look at how quickly the republic will fall. [The Atlantic]
Conservative op-ed columnist David Brooks is losing his shit over Trump’s administration. Another must-read. [The New York Times]
Russia is heating up the shooting war in in Ukraine as US alienates Germany, isolates UK, and provokes China. [@Davidfrum]
Today and tomorrow New Yorkers will be saddled by this terrible Northeaster storm, but that shouldn’t stop you from attending Hannah Cole’s talk on artist taxes today or Judith Bernstein’s talk and book launch dubbed dicks of death tomorrow. They’re too important to miss. By Wednesday art lovers will be able to head to the Lodge for an opening of John Wellington’s dystopian history paintings, and on Thursday to the New York City Ballet to see electronic artist Dan Deacon’s “America” set to ballet. We’re particularly looking forward to seeing the ballet given Deacon’s connection to the blog. He’s a Baltimore resident and a long time muse for the blog.
By the time the weekend sets in, it’ll be all talks moderated by Art F City’s Paddy Johnson. On Saturday she’ll be discussing how the Nevada Test Site has influenced the paintings of Eric LoPresti with Eric LoPresti. Sunday, she’ll be discussing the evolving roll of storytelling in American culture with Jack Early and friends.
All of which is to say there’s plenty to see and do this week. So let’s not delay. Put these dates in your calendar and plan to compare notes later on!
For his new show at Sean Kelly Gallery, Luis Casebere built scale models of Luis Barragán houses and photographed them, creating an optical illusion of the architect’s idealized spaces. I want to live in one of these. [Dezeen]
Walead Beshty’s FedEx Works are the stuff of art handlers’ nightmares. [This is Colossal]
Anyone looking for a job in Kansas? The Wichita Art Museum is seeking a new curator. [The Wichita Eagle]
Baltimore’s new Mayor Catherine Pugh has created a Safe Arts Space Task Force following the eviction of the DIY space The Bell Foundry and Ghost Ship fire in Oakland. We’re happy to see names such as Lu Zhang, Dan Deacon, and Stewart Watson on task force, but this thing kinda seems like a mess in general. Tracey Knuckles, “a consultant on Bloomberg Associates’ Cultural Assets Management team” (what is that?!?) cited “successful” policies in New York and London that Baltimore can learn from to preserve affordable live/work housing… because if any two cities in the English-speaking world have been successful at preserving affordable artist live/work housing, it’s those two? [City Paper]
Here’s some uncharacteristically good news from the real estate sector: now is the time to negotiate with your Brooklyn or Manhattan landlord. Apparently the rental market is starting to correct, and is experiencing some “stess.” [Curbed]
Hate read alert: Ivanka Trump may or may not own a Richard Prince artwork that appears to be a screenshot of her own Instagram account, and Richard Prince may-or-may-not have disavowed it (or it might be “fake” in the first place?). All of this potential drama is of course playing out on social media. [artnet News]
Here’s a list of museums participating in next week’s art strike on inauguration day. Prepare to be depressed. They’re all staying open except for the ones that had planned to be closed for other reasons. [ARTnews]
The gallery strike participation list is a lot less depressing. [Hyperallergic]
Artist and Standing Rock resident Cannupa Hanska Luger talks to Carolina Miranda about the protests. “We’re not just in protest of a pipeline. What we are trying to do is maintain a cultural practice.” [Culture: High & Low]
Looking for ways to get out of this political mess we’re in? The kids have some ideas. Flippable gives people on their mailing list daily tasks in preparation for the upcoming fight for seats in 2018. [Flippable]
Over here at AFC we’re big fans of Baltimore based electronic musician Dan Deacon. His music has an infectious quality to it that makes just about all of us want to dance. We’re also fans of this GIF, in which the center of the fan Deacon holds up for his audience mirrors the center of the light shining down upon him. It’s probably an accidental synchronistic visual, but one that makes the whole scene appear as though powered by these two reflecting sources of light and wind. We wish we were there.
Last weekend, hundreds of artists, musicians, and weirdos decamped from Baltimore and turned a nudist campground into a temporary utopia. It was so utopian, it didn’t even occur to me to use social media. Thankfully, many others did.
Musician Dan Deacon is promising free shows for his Iowa fans if they caucus for Bernie Sanders. [Facebook]
And in other election news, a group of Philly-based artists has bought Donald Trump’s former Iowa campaign bus and have turned it into a mobile art installation, including burqas for Trump signs. [The Guardian]
Fascinating look at Orrin Evans, a journalist who created the first black comic book in the late 1940s. [Fusion]
The biggest revelation in the New Yorker’s profile on the Bouvier-Rybolovlev Affair? Turns out Yves Bouvier, the so-called king of the Geneva freeports, used money from his dealings with Russian oligarch Dimitri Rybolovlev to expand his storage facilities in Singapore and Luxembourg. Currently duking it out in the Monaco courts, Bouvier has been accused of price fixing and money laundering, with lawyers for Rybolovlev charging Bouvier for pocketing the difference on works he sold to the collector. [The New Yorker]
Related: if you want to keep up with the case, there is a Facebook “Yves Bouvier Affair” community following the press coverage with almost 800 likes. Go figure. [Facebook]
Nigeria is one of Africa’s biggest economies, and thanks to its oil fortunes, has a thriving art market driven by a band of private collectors. Despite a downturn in the price of its oil, Nigerian art is finding an international market and artists are keen to tap American hip hop stars as the next wave of collectors. [Financial Times]
The Toronto art world is mourning the death of Jose Talavera, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art’s (MOCCA) long-time gallery attendant. Talavera had worked with MOCCA since 1993, back when it was still the Art Gallery of North York, and was one of the staffers let go when it closed its Queen West location. “It was Jose who made us [feel] welcome[d] at MOCCA, and was the embodiment of empathy and appreciation for the inner workings of the gallery and its relation to the millieu,” eulogized artist Vera Frenkel, the subject of a 2014 MOCCA retrospective. [Brett Despotovich’s Facebook]
Related: as expected, the losers of the Junction Triangle’s revitalization — the rapidly developing neighborhood that will be MOCCA’s new home — are artists. Rents have increased as high as 55% along Sterling Road, and artists like Vanessa Maltese (winner of the 2012 RBC Canadian Painting Competition) and Lili Huston-Herterich are moving out. [Toronto Star]
NYC Mesh is a group of self-taught network engineers attempting to create a DIY alternative to Time Warner’s monopoly on New York’s internet access. This is awesome. [VICE]
What a great review by Thomas Micchelli on the Jonathan Lasker show at Cheim & Read. In it, he discusses what he sees as a formulaic and cold painting process and how he breaks out of it. [Hyperallergic]
European researchers are calling for a ban on sex robots. 2016 is off to a great start. [Wired]
The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University is hiring an assistant curator. This job could be yours. [American Alliance of Museums]
AP Art History textbooks are being rewritten to be slightly less Euro-centric. [The Atlantic]
WTF? If the Treasury Department is going to identify and track anonymous LLC buyers of Manhattan and Miami real estate, it needs to track wire transfers. So why isn’t it doing that? [The Real Deal]
If there was a mudslide in the uncanny valley, the devastation might look something like Alan Resnick’s CGI self-portraits. The artist has developed his own mythology in which his creepy alter ego is obsessed with creating a digital “backup” copy of himself to attain virtual immortality. Resnick shows us everything that can possibly go wrong with that endeavor. This epic quest includes everything from the GIF-packed tumblr Face Feed to a totally bizarre tech-startup-parody infomercial produced for Adult Swim. It’s not all always just about preserving Resnick’s face for posterity, however. He also created a GIF archive of the art collective Wham City’s members, collaborators, neighbors, and friends [including me!] for Dan Deacon’s app-interactive music video Konono Ripoff N°1. And last year, we saw his unsettling animated portraits harvested from found images of gazing globes in “Base Period” at Springsteen. We’re all going to live forever.
Want to know what PS1 Curator Klaus Biesenbach thinks of Vilebrequin swimwear? This is your chance. T Magazine pairs the curator with Questlove the drummer for the band Roots, in a segment asking two celebrities for their opinion on a variety of new products. The juxtaposition is hilarious. [T Magazine]
A beautiful inscription on Henry Darger’s gravestone [Outsider Art]
James Gandolfini, the actor best known for his role as Tony Soprano in HBO’s The Soprano’s has died. He was 51. [Variety]
British artist and filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson [previously known as Sam Taylor-Wood] has signed on to direct the movie version of erotic best-seller Fifty Shades of Grey. No word when they aim to release the movie. [CBC]
Greg Allen has seen James Bridle’s “”A Quiet Disposition.”an exhibition and talk at the Corcoran he’s dubbed, “The New Aesthetic and Dronestagram” for its subject matter. The show sounds pretty good—the view of a drone shadow for example, is rightly noted as privileged—and Allen does a good job of fleshing out the some of the exhibition details. His only criticism? Not enough drone sounds. [Greg.org]
Doug Aitken’s latest public project will send a group of artists and musicians from New York to San Francisco on a train, with 10 stops in between for performances. It’s a three-week Amtrak trip, in which the train will serve as a studio. Participants are uberfamous and mostly men. They include Peter Coffin, Urs Fischer and Dan Deacon to name a few. [L.A. Times]
A pinterest account for an imaginary toddler named Quinoa inspired our favorite tweet of the day: “Oh Quinoa, you fashion-forward rascal.” @ashbursey [Pinterest]
Kickstarter needs to improve their project review process. Yesterday, a book project many are complaining boils down to sexual assault tips got funded. The book, “Above The Game: A Guide To Getting Awesome With Women”, includes such suggestions as: “Decide that you’re going to sit in a position where you can rub her leg and back. Physically pick her up and sit her on your lap. Don’t ask for permission. Be dominant. Force her to rebuff your advances.” And: “Make her push your hand away as you get closer to her vagina.” Also: “Pull out your cock and put her hand on it. Remember, she is letting you do this because you have established yourself as a LEADER. Don’t ask for permission, GRAB HER HAND, and put it right on your dick.” There’s now a petition asking Kickstarter not to fund the project. The organization responded, but declined the request of the petitioners. [Slate]