Inside/Outside

July 29, 2011

If I were you and you were me, here’s what we would do this weekend:

Steve James is one of the finest filmmakers working today. Hoop Dreams was a watershed moment in documentary filmmaking and remains one of my all-time favorite movies. His new film, The Interrupters, is in theaters Friday. It’s a somber look at gang violence in the inner city of Chicago and the efforts of a group of ex-gangbangers that have made it their mission to put an end to the bloodshed. With James behind the lens, it’s all but guaranteed to move you.

If you’re hungry for more silver screen, wander over to Cinema Village and catch the documentary Sleep Furiously. I have absolutely no idea what this film is about, but this weekend, I plan to do exactly what its title suggests. (Note: I just watched a short trailer and I’m really intrigued. Now I’m watching a longer trailer and I’m even more intrigued. The music is by Aphex Twin. I think I just talked myself into seeing this film in the amount of time it took for me to write this wack-ass paragraph.)

Go to the rooftop garden of the Met. Get a drink at the bar, gawk at the absolutely bananas panoramic view of Central Park and the city below. Get another drink and catch a buzz. Check out the sculptures by Anthony Caro that are currently on display. Pretended to appreciate the artwork for a few minutes, get back in line for the bar. Think about what else you have to do today. Realize you have nothing to do because it’s the weekend. Grin.

Blank City

April 7, 2011

Saw the premiere of Blank City at IFC tonight. Makes me want to go create shit. Or destroy shit. Or create shit then destroy it.

David Choe

December 26, 2010

So David Choe still blows my mind. He’s got a book out now too that’s pretty rad. It’s called “David Choe.” Check it out.

holzer_homepageI can’t lie. The first time I heard about Jenny Holzer was in a recent piece in the New York Times about Shephard Fairey, referencing Holzer as an influence in Fairey’s own [formerly] subversive/pseudo-guerilla artwork. The article stuck with me A) because it all but blasted Fairey for his recent commercial work for Bloomingdales and Saks, which seems to wholly contradict the message in his art (I agree, c’mon homie) and B) because I had seen Holzer’s name all over subway ads for her current Whitney exhibition that caught my eye.

Upon further research, I learned that Holzer has become well-known for her use of words and phrases in public spaces as a means to present a message or evoke response. She has become perhaps best known for her ongoing work Truisms. Her latest exhibition at the Whitney, PROTECT PROTECT, encompasses much of her work from the 90s, and according to the Whitney is her most comprehensive exhibition in fifteen years. I think it looks pretty rad and definitely look forward to checking it out. It’s up until May 31.

2009_04_white9Over the weekend, the Public Ad Campaign organized teams of people to whitewash illegal outdoor billboards in Manhattan. You know all those atrocious sticky poster things pasted on street-level spaces everywhere? Apparently most of them are illegal, so the Public Ad Campaign teamed with a whole host of artists to make them look cool. Pretty good idea if you ask me. Check out more of the work over at Wooster Collective.

bad-brains

Check out this sick Bad Brains silk screen by Obey mastermind Shepard Fairey and old school photographer Glen E Friedman. Too bad I’ll probably never own it since it’s limited edition, like everything seems to be nowadays. Darn it. More info about its release on Fairey’s website: Obey Giant

Happy Thanksgiving

November 28, 2008

David Choe

October 23, 2008

A couple David Choe pieces I’ve always liked. Nothing more.


Deth P. Sun @ Giant Robot

August 27, 2008

Last Saturday, a few friends and I went to check out Deth P. Sun’s installation at the Giant Robot gallery on 9th and A (at the behest of Soybomb of course). Though I recognized Sun’s work, I had never known the Oakland-based artist by name. The pieces on display were primarily painted wood panels of varying sizes and prominently featured Sun’s signature feline character, often wandering through treacherous landscapes. I might just be insane, but his art reminded me somewhat of Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit, if only Peter Rabbit took acid and got lost in the woods. Nevertheless, it was pretty cool stuff and several of the pieces probably made statements that I’m too dumb to comprehend. Peep Deth P. Sun’s website HERE.

At the very least, go check out the Giant Robot store next to the gallery. They have some sweet posters, books, toys and prints, and one item in particular that shall remain nameless because I still might go back and get it. The t-shirts are cool as well, I’ve bought two in separate visits this week.

Beautiful Losers

August 20, 2008

I’ve been unable to post for the last few days due a breakdown in our internet thanks to the yellow bellied scoundrels at Time Warner. That is until I realized that my work laptop detects connections from lands far, far away. So here I am stealing internet, transmitting via guerrilla blogfare.

I’m not quite sure where exactly I first stumbled upon Beautiful Losers, but as soon as I chanced on it, I was intrigued. The film—directed by Aaron Rose, founder of NYC’s now defunct Alleged Gallery—documents the rise of a D.I.Y. art movement in the early ’90s that revolved around the urban aesthetic of street art, graffiti, skateboarding and underground music. Anyone that reads this blog regularly (all four of you) know that this is right up my alley. And when I learned that the film focuses on artists that I respect and admire: Harmony Korine, Shepard Fairey, Barry McGee and others, I knew I had to see it. Lucky for me, the film began its general theatrical release right here at the IFC Center at W4 St.

I must say that leaving the theater I was not at all disappointed. First, it was interesting to hear first-person accounts from each artist explaining their initial engagement in the D.I.Y. scene. Most began with an early self-derived perception of outsider status, or being different from the other kids in the cafeteria. Of course these claims are validated through quirky, often hilarious anecdotes from each artist. In one particularly memorable scene, Harmony Korine tells a little girl that a friend of his was once decapitated in the very park in which she was playing, to which she responds, “Cool!” It’s actually hard to tell if he’s serious.

Beautiful Losers was also worthwhile as it exposed me to several artists with whom I wasn’t very familiar. I learned about the work of Mike Mills who has designed dope album covers for Sonic Youth, Beck and the Beastie Boys, Margaret Kilgallen, whose San Francisco-based folk art I recognized and Chris Johanson, who sports a massive beard and is just plain nuts.

I also appreciated the fact that the film didn’t raise any negative sentiment for artists applying their work for commercial purposes. So often today artists are accused of selling out and alienating their core audience, the audience that was there during the come up. If an artist has the opportunity to project his or her vision on a larger scale without compromising their creative integrity, he or she should be encouraged, not chastised. Specifically, the film touched on graphic designer Geoff McFetridge who has spearheaded cool ass campaigns for Pepsi and done collaborations with sneaker companies.

There were only a couple aspects that detracted from the film for me: In my opinion, the cutaway shots of the artwork were often too quick and sporadic. I understand that a film has to move, but there were times that I wanted a few more seconds to take it all in. I also thought the unfortunate death of Margaret Kilgallen was touched upon very abruptly and disrupted the flow of the film somewhat towards the end.

All in all however, Beautiful Losers is the type of film that lights a creative fire under your ass and makes you wonder why you ever stopped taking art lessons in seventh grade. It reminds you why you enjoyed drawing and making things…because it was stimulating and fucking fun. Excuse me while I go tag my bedroom wall.