January 23, 1987 |
It's ironic that French philosopher Jean Baudrillard has become a theoretical guru for many Post-Modernists. His post-Orwellian warnings about loss of meaning in an image-saturated society, where language exists solely for the mere "ecstasy of communication," have proved very seductive to the younger generation of painters who have emerged since conceptualism. What better way to justify painting's renewed life after death than to attach it to a philosophy that appears to validate redundancy?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 5, 2001
Last month the Museum of Contemporary Art posted 61 billboards throughout Los Angeles. Designed like curators' notes, with black letters set against a stark white backdrop, the billboards tersely describe features in the landscape around them, encouraging harried commuters to consider urban details they may have dismissed as mundane.
September 13, 1993 |
Howard Stern, Shock-Jock. The words are almost inseparable in any media description of the now top-rated morning radio host. And although the expression may be a convenient (and by now, conventional) shorthand for describing the complex Stern, it obscures a deeper, more noble truth about Stern and his broadcast.
July 9, 2000 |
A cluster of bronzed young boys floated on bodyboards in Hurricane Harbor, eager for the lifeguard to activate the wave pool. Many of them had paid $23 and waited half an hour to spend just nine minutes riding the 2-foot mechanically generated crests at Irvine's Wild Rivers Waterpark. Why a virtual beach when a real one is nearby? "There are better waves at the beach, but it's more accessible here," said Chase Paddack, dripping and winded from the pool.
January 12, 1997 |
The Franklin Mint recently manufactured and put on sale copies of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' faux pearl necklace that went for $211,500 at auction. Selling copies of a copy--this is the sort of happening to end up on an index card of Hillel Schwartz, idiosyncratic cultural historian. He sees copies everywhere. "Copying," he writes in "The Culture of the Copy," "is what we are now about."
January 22, 1995 |
"Nicole and I shared a dream. We wanted to stop being male-dependent, give up alcohol and drugs, and open up a Starbucks coffee house." So proclaims Faye Resnick toward the close of "Nicole Brown Simpson: The Private Diary of a Life Interrupted," the controversial bestseller co-written by this much-married recovering substance abuser, former director of the John Robert Powers Finishing and Modeling School, and self-described "best friend" of the most publicized murder victim of our time.
January 3, 1988 |
"April Galleons," John Ashbery's 11th volume of poetry not counting his recent "Selected Poems," sails in the postmodern waters whose nauseous chop and spooky fog this poet loves so well. His skill and cleverness (and something more) are such that he makes the reader appreciate, if not the waters, then at least the navigator's talents. How can you not like a gifted poet who wants you to have a good time sliding around on his deliberately slicked decks?
November 20, 1989 |
Is Disneyland simply a fun place to take the kids or out-of-town visitors? Or, in the words of two Boston researchers, is it "a modern pilgrimage site," a sanctuary from the world that evokes a sense of paradise and purity? Never mind that most people believe they go to Disneyland just to speed down the Matterhorn or splash down a mountain.