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.
April 15, 2012 |
Long before there were "real" housewives on television, actor-politicians and even potential celebrity politicians like Donald Trump, theme restaurants, virtual online vacations and Kim Kardashian, who makes her living by being Kim Kardashian, there was "The Image," historian Daniel Boorstin's prescient examination of a nation in transition, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of its publication this year. When "The Image" first appeared, one critic predicted that it would join William Whyte's "The Organization Man" and John Kenneth Galbraith's "The Affluent Society" as one of those seminal books that not only capture the zeitgeist but change the American mind-set.
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.
April 5, 2005 |
Art critics used to be the butt of cruel jokes. Among other things, they were compared to eunuchs in a harem -- watching rather than doing. Nor could they write clearly and entertainingly about what others were getting up to. Notoriously, the critics' stock in trade was prose clouded by imprecise gush or impenetrable jargon. Times have changed. Everyone can understand Robert Hughes (see his latest book, "Goya").
June 21, 1987 |
"We exclaim that the whole brilliant style of modern times--our trousers, jackets, shoes, trolleys, cars, airplanes, railways, grandiose steamships--is fascinating, is a great epoch, one that has known no equal in the entire history of the world." Tone down "exclaim," throw in tape recorder, TV and telephone for outdated trolleys, railways and steamships, and we might think we are reading something from the pages of Andy Warhol's Interview magazine.
June 14, 2010 |
Poor Flag Day. It has to be the single most ignored national holiday in an otherwise patriotic country that loves its holidays — and no, it's not just because we don't get the day off. Nor is it because Flag Day gets lost between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. The real reason that most Americans ignore the June 14 holiday is that it's utterly redundant. In the United States, every day is Flag Day. That's right. In this flag-crazy world, Americans are arguably the most obsessed with our national banner.