May 25, 2012 |
Until this year, Vishal Jugdeo's videos were dramatically low-budget affairs. The artist had a crew of two, counting himself and a director of photography and not counting actors whom he occasionally asked to hold a boom pole. He used his small studio in Highland Park as a stage set. The bare-bones feel fed some of his central themes, like the wooden language of what passes for emotional intimacy and the artifices of mainstream TV, exposed through absurdly halting dialogue and deliberately mechanical acting.
July 20, 2012 |
This may be the information age, but more specifically, it's the mash-up moment. Images, sounds, words -- all are retrieved instantly from our collective digital memory bank by artists and advertisers alike, shaken, stirred and spilled back out. In the day when collage really did involve scissors and glue, the discontinuities it invoked had more power to jolt and disarm. Think Höch and Heartfield. Now, makers are mixers and the visual fabric of the everyday is a busy, buzzing patchwork.
August 11, 2012 |
Works of art can do just about anything - except explain how other works of art work. That's one of the reasons many movies and books about artists fall short. They presume to tell us the truth about things they are in no position to explain, much less match the artistry of. Documentary films do not face this problem. Three recent ones work wonders because they allow their subjects to speak for themselves. More important, Matthew Akers' "Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present," Corinna Belz's"Gerhard Richter Painting"and Neil Berkeley's "Beauty Is Embarrassing" do not reveal how Abramovic, Richter or Wayne White make their work.
November 2, 2011 |
For decades, gallery owners in California have wished that the state's Resale Royalty Act of 1976, which provides artists with 5% of the sales price of artworks when they are resold under certain conditions, would just go away. While some dealers follow the law and pay the royalty to artists, others do not. But it's hard to track what artists may be owed in either case, given the difficulty of getting the galleries to disclose information on their sales. Now, working to force some disclosures as well as recover money, the foundation of the late abstract painter Sam Francis is the lead plaintiff in class-action lawsuits filed Tuesday against nine galleries in Northern and Southern California.
December 4, 2013 |
Rex Ranch in Arizona is poised to become an ambitious artists' retreat, if a Sundance Institute executive can come up with the money to buy the 50-acre former dude ranch by the middle of December. Located on a pristine patch of land with breathtaking scenery in the Sonoran Desert in the small town of Amado, about 30 miles south of Tucson, Rex Ranch was built in 1880 and later served as a resort before being abandoned. The property, which features 35 attractive rose-colored adobe buildings, was originally for sale for $2 million.
July 16, 2012 |
Three of four artists on the Museum of Contemporary Art's board of trustees have now resigned. The dire action is a warning as much as a protest. It shows how trustees critically important to MOCA's future are being marginalized. In commentary about the museum, a crucial fact of its widely celebrated, sometimes fractious history is often forgotten: MOCA was founded by artists. In 1979, a large and steadily expanding group around acclaimed abstract painter Sam Francis determined that it was long past time for a museum dedicated to the presentation and study of recent art. Soon they drew an influential array of civic leaders into their orbit.
September 15, 2013 |
More often than it should, my mind slips away to Alaska. To follow, you'd need to fly to Anchorage, rent a car, then drive to Homer, as I did in the summer of 1994. Homer is nice - a quirky hamlet on the Kenai Peninsula where eagles fly, bears swat at leaping salmon and your halibut might outweigh you. But Homer is only the jumping-off spot for my daydreams. My happy place is six miles across Kachemak Bay: Halibut Cove, once a fishing settlement on the island of Ismailof, then a ghost town, now an artists colony and summer apparition.
March 10, 2009 |
Most of the people I know don't have regular jobs. They're writers, actors, musicians, artists, photographers and filmmakers. They also are middle-class taxpayers who carry mortgages and send their kids to public school. They're used to hard times. They've always lived project to project, rather than paycheck to paycheck. They've learned how to cut costs, eliminate excess and wait out the dry spells. "I'm good at this," one actor friend said.
March 1, 2013 |
The staircase is narrow and creaky, with a bookshelf made from a 100-year-old harp case teetering on the precipice of collapse at the top of the landing. Overflowing with open books, pages wildly askew and dangling from uneven shelves, the bookcase looks as if it's escaped from a vintage cartoon. Rolls of yellowed, turn-of-the-century sheet music waft through the air, unfurling from a manual typewriter suspended from the ceiling. A black-clad young woman, with a prominent pierced dimple and a philosophy book under her arm, slips by on her way up. She has found the way into the Labyrinth at the Last Bookstore.
January 28, 2013 |
Who's afraid of the big, broad biennial? Not Dan Cameron, who organized ambitious exhibition events like Prospect New Orleans before becoming chief curator at the Orange County Museum of Art last year. Now, his first big group show in his new job is shaping up to be a global mash-up shaped by seismic geopolitical undercurrents. Called the California-Pacific Triennial, the show features 32 artists from 15 countries that border the Pacific Ocean. This show replaces the California Biennial, a regular museum attraction that often promised more than it delivered, and the new project has a more sustainable every-three-years schedule.