“The government shutdown has claimed one of its most beloved casualties: the National Zoo’s panda cam,” wrote CNN last October. “But animal lovers can rest assured that the zoo’s endangered Giant Pandas — Tian Tian, Mei Xiang, and an unnamed newborn cub — will still be fed and cared for, the zoo said.” It sounded ominous — and totally ridiculous. You might remember that these were the types of stories being published in 2013, when all inessential (or what they’re now calling “non-excepted”) government services were suspended amid Washington’s unresolved fiscal mess. And the National Zoo’s most popular residents generated some of the goofiest headlines. As one media brain on Twitter put it: “the panda cam is the bread and circuses of our age. never mind all the important stuff, OMG BABY PANDA!!! #shutdown” … Read More
If we go by some of the history books, they were merely lovers, wives, and muses. The surrealist movement is defined by the philosophical, revolutionary personalities that populated it — and many would have us believe they were all men. This review of Hungarian painter Judith Reigl by surrealist founder André Breton sums up the problem with the movement’s patronizing attitude toward its female artists: “It seems so unlikely that the ship sweeping forward could be steered by a woman’s hand that some quite exceptional force must be assumed to be helping to drive it along.” The surrealists aimed to free the unconscious, resulting in dreamlike, illogical scenes. Apparently a woman’s inner world never seemed so terrifying. Continuing our series spotlighting women in male-dominated art movements, here are ten female surrealists you should… Read More
The ever-expanding city of Austin has become one of the cultural hot spots of the United States, but there’s a small town to the east that has a few claims to fame of its own. Taylor, Texas is known for its historic charm and farming communities, but the hometown of golden-age animator Tex Avery (behind cartoon luminaries like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig) will also soon be known for a cool skatepark.
Our friends at Collectors Weekly tipped us off to a project from Austin photographer Brent Humphreys and graphic artist Chris Bilheimer that will raise money to build a skatepark in the rural Texas town. It also keeps “Avery’s antic spirit alive and well in Taylor.” They’re auctioning off an amazing collection of arty skateboard decks from people like Matt Groening (of The Simpsons fame), Gary Panter (the former Emmy-winning set designer for Pee Wee’s Playhouse), Rob Jones (album artist for bands like the White Stripes), and J.J. Sedelmaier (co-creator of “Saturday TV Funhouse” on SNL). It’s part of a non-profit initiative called Project LOOP (Lessons On and Off the Pavement), which provides kids with “lessons in creativity, exercise, and hard work in a real world experience outside the classroom.” The organization also encourages creative professionals to contribute and give back.
From Jane Fonda’s sexy space traveler in Barbarella to the Capitol couture featured in The Hunger Games, science fiction cinema has influenced fashion for decades. Eindhoven-based designer Mandy Roos, who we discovered on Moco Loco, has taken inspiration from old-school sci-fi films “and their imaginary visions of future, spaceships and unknown universes.” She uses futuristic materials like rubber, plastic, foam, and slime to style her wildly impractical, humorous, visionary footwear. The collection, Invasion Of The Foot Carrier, even sounds like a lost camp classic from the annals of 1960’s sci-fi. Take a closer look in our gallery. … Read More
We’ve known Kara Walker’s video follow-up to her installation piece A Subtlety, which showed at Williamsburg’s Domino Sugar Factory site this summer, was coming for a while. In a conversation with the LA Times last month, Walker revealed she’d filmed audience reactions to her monumental piece — the same audience reactions that provoked outrage in some attendees. While the full, 28-minute video premieres at Chelsea’s Sikkema Jenkins & Co. tomorrow, Walker released a five-minute preview clip today, and while tactlessness certainly makes an appearance, it’s a largely evenhanded look at the interaction between A Subtlety and its onlookers, and how those interactions became part of the art itself. … Read More
You may know Peter Capaldi as that time traveling alien doctor whose brogue you found hard to understand in… Read More
If you were The Hulk, wouldn’t you tire of the constant, uncontrolled transformation into a green version of the Governator? Wouldn’t people’s reliance on your pea-colored, tumescent masculinity get a little old? And eventually, wouldn’t you just want to hop over to the Renaissance Faire, buy a pretty ruff, some breeches, and sit for a portrait that’d express not just your superhuman physique, but also the inner turmoil (and, perhaps, the inner Renaissance fetish) that physique stirs? … Read More
Their talents went unrecognized during their time, but they are celebrated by the art world today — and many would say exploited. Outsider artists, those self-taught or “naïve” creatives (Jean Dubuffet called it the “art brut” or “raw art”), are recognized for their personal vision. In a world of artists where authenticity and inclusiveness reign, it’s always surprising the number of outsider retrospectives that exclude women from the line-up. “Unlike the context for the Guerilla Girls’ historic condemnations of overwhelmingly male curatorial skews at the likes of the Metropolitan Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, the premise of outsider art hinges upon an ostensibly ungendered status of marginalization,” writes Mostafa Heddaya — who explored this conundrum following a major outsider art survey that was overwhelmingly male. “Though it’s impossible to fully diagnose here the condition that has guaranteed institutional and commercial recognition for an almost exclusively male cadre of ‘outsiders,’ the modern conception of productive madness is one overwhelmingly dominated by the narrative of the male madman whose insanity is not rudely clinical but intellectual, essential, and artistically or aesthetically liberated.” In our continuing series highlighting female artists in male-dominated genres, here are ten female outsider artists you should know. … Read More
For decades, New York City has been a place for artists, dreamers, families full of hope, and those still stumbling to find their way. Photographer Peter Liepke, whose work we discovered on Faith is Torment, wanted to capture the feeling of arriving in the city for the first time and the awe the landscape inspires. His series Above & Beyond, currently on view at Gallery 270 until January 17, might be his most personal yet:
After growing up in suburban Minnesota as an artist, like many before me, and many more who will continually arrive in NYC each day, we embrace the challenge of wanting to broaden our lives by moving into a bigger arena. For this series I wanted to go back and attempt to remember my feelings or first impressions upon arriving in NYC as an outsider for the first time well over twenty years ago.
What makes Liepke’s work so striking is his platinum/palladium and gum bichromate processing. The techniques add an otherworldly feeling to a city that embraces so many different people every day. … Read More