Wednesday, October 22

Goya: Order and Disorder

"One of the titans of European art, Francisco Goya (1746–1828) witnessed a time of revolution and sweeping change in thought and behavior. As 18th-century culture gave way to the modern era, Goya’s penetrating gaze sought new means to capture human experience, both as he observed it, and as his imagination and artistic gifts transformed it. 'Goya: Order and Disorder' takes an innovative approach, organizing the extreme variety of the artist’s output thematically. The exhibition employs the poles of order and disorder to structure Goya’s creativity, moving from dignified portraits and daily rituals to the chaos of war and the pandemonium of the Bordeaux bull ring. Goya also attended to the fertile territory between the competing forces of order and disorder. In some works, either harmony or chaos prevails, but most exhibit a disquieting tension between these opposites."
MFA (Video)
MFA: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Presents
NY Times: Cosmic Grumbling, Awash With Acid
Boston: “Goya: Order and Disorder” at the Museum of Fine Arts
YouTube: Enter the Mind of Goya

2010 April: Francisco Goya, 2013 March: The Angel of the Odd. Dark Romanticism from Goya to Max Ernst, 2013 April: The Angel of the Odd.

Guitar Slim

"No 1950s blues guitarist even came close to equaling the flamboyant Guitar Slim in the showmanship department. Armed with an estimated 350 feet of cord between his axe and his amp, Slim would confidently stride on-stage wearing a garishly hued suit of red, blue, or green, usually with his hair dyed to match! It's rare to find a blues guitarist hailing from Texas or Louisiana who doesn't cite Slim as one of his principal influences: Buddy Guy, Earl King, Guitar Shorty, Albert Collins, Chick Willis, and plenty more have enthusiastically testified to Slim's enduring sway."
Perfect Sound Forever
The Mississippi Blues Trail
YouTube: The Things That I Used to Do, I'm Guitar Slim, Well, I Done Got Over It, Story of My Life, Reap What You Sow, Standin' At The Station, Bad Luck Blues, New Arrival, Think It Over, Twenty-Five Lies, Certainly All, You Give Me Nothing But The Blues, Letter To My Girlfriend AKA Prison Blues, Sum'thin' To Remember You By, Later For You Baby, Quicksand, Sufferin' Mind, I Want To Love-A You, Cryin' In The Morning, Woman Troubles aka Bad Luck Is On Me
Buddy Guy on Guitar Slim

Italian Style: Fashion Since 1945

Models on the catwalk beneath the Sala Bianca's Murano glass chandeliers in the Palazzo Pitti, Florence, 1953
"Trace the evolution of Italian design, from Gucci and Prada to Missoni, Versace and more. A major retrospective of the fashion that has defined a nation—and a rare chance to see Milan’s finest in Minneapolis. An MIA first, this groundbreaking exhibition examines the craftsmanship and entrepreneurial verve that catapulted Italy from the ashes of World War II to the style powerhouse it is today. Immerse yourself in impeccable design, rare ingenuity, and the head-turning glamour of celebrity style."
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
amazon: The Glamour of Italian Fashion: Since 1945
YouTube: The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014

Tuesday, October 21

Watch Rick Rubin Return to His NYU Dorm Room

"In 1984, Def Jam Records, the label that defined hip-hop’s commercial and artistic potential, was born in a very unlikely location: a tiny New York University dorm room. Founder Rick Rubin — now a record-industry legend who’s shepherded the careers of everyone from Jay Z to the Red Hot Chili Peppers — hadn’t returned to that Greenwich Village double-occupancy room in three decades. But for Rolling Stone Films’ premiere documentary, Rick Was Here, he ventured back to Weinstein Hall, room 712, to remember how it all began."
Def Jam (Video)
W - Rick Rubin
W - Def Jam Recordings
Interview Magazine
YouTube: T La Rock - It's Yours (Radio Mix), LL Cool J — I Need a Beat, The Beastie Boys — Rock Hard, Jazzy Jay — (This) Def Jam, MCA And Burzootie — Drum Machine (Psycho Dust Version), LL Cool J — I Want You, Jimmy Spicer — This Is It, Hollis Crew — It’s the Beat

Monday, October 20

Cindy Sherman

Wikipedia - "Cynthia 'Cindy' Morris Sherman (born January 19, 1954) is an American photographer and film director, best known for her conceptual portraits. In 1995, she was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. Through a number of different series of works, Sherman has sought to raise challenging and important questions about the role and representation of women in society, the media and the nature of the creation of art. Her photographs include some of the most expensive photographs ever sold. Sherman lives and works in New York."
MoMA: The Complete Untitled Film Stills Cindy Sherman
Cindy Sherman's Untitled Film Stills
American Icons: Untitled Film Stills (Video)
TATE: Untitled Film Still #48
YouTube: UNTITLED FILM STILLS, Robert Longo on Cindy Sherman's Untitled Film Still #25, 1978, Cindy Sherman - Nobody's Here But Me (1994) 55:23

Falling Man - Don DeLillo (2007)

Wikipedia - "Falling Man is a novel by Don DeLillo, published May 15, 2007. ... Falling Man concerns a survivor of the 9/11 attacks and the effect his experiences on that day has on his life thereafter. As the novel opens, Keith Neudecker, a 39-year-old lawyer who works in the World Trade Center, escapes from the building injured slightly and walks to the apartment he previously shared with his son Justin and estranged wife Lianne. ..."
Paris Review - Falling Men: On Don DeLillo and Terror
NY Times: The Clear Blue Sky
NY Books: Racing Against Reality
Guardian: As his world came tumbling down

2010 October: Pafko at the Wall, 2012 May: Underworld , 2012 July: The Body Artist, 2013 September: White Noise, 2013 November: The Art of Fiction No. 135, 2014 July: Don DeLillo: The Word, The Image, and The Gun.

Sunday, October 19

Art(s) in transit: Technology, aeshtetics, and the art of urban transformation in NYC

Fred’s soup cans, South Bronx, Martha Cooper, 1980
"... In January 2013, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York added the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (MTA) 'Help Point' to their permanent collection. By this time, however, the MTA was no stranger to the world-renowned arts institution. The MTA’s metro-card vending machines previously graced the galleries of MoMA in the 2011 exhibition 'Talk to Me.' Coinciding with MoMA’s relocation of subway design into the locale of Andy Warhol, Jackson Polluck, and Mark Rothko was the launch of the MTA’s Arts for Transit App, a program that prompted the New York Times to declare that the subway is New York’s most 'underrated art museum'.”
Navigating Cartographies (Video)

Roxy Theatre

Wikipedia - "The Roxy Theatre was a 5,920 seat movie theater located at 153 West 50th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, just off Times Square in New York City. It opened on March 11, 1927 with the silent film The Love of Sunya, produced by and starring Gloria Swanson. The huge movie palace was a leading Broadway film showcase through the 1950s and was also noted for its lavish stage shows. It closed and was demolished in 1960. The Roxy Theatre was originally conceived by film producer Herbert Lubin in mid-1925 as the world's largest and finest motion picture palace. To realize his dream, he brought in the successful and innovative theater operator Samuel L. Rothafel, aka 'Roxy', to bring it to fruition, enticing him with a large salary, percentage of the profits, stock options and offering to name the theatre after him."
W - Samuel Roxy Rothafel
The Roxy Theater, one of New York City's greatest lost palaces.

Curtis Mayfield Omnibus (1995)

"Written and Presented by Caryl Phillips, 'Darker Than Blue' was a tribute to the talent of Curtis Mayfield and broadcast in March 1995. Interviews include the great man himself and all the appropriate supporting cast... Jerry Butler, Fred Cash and Sam Gooden of The Impressions and Carl Davis. Caryl Phillips visits Curtis's childhood home and school in Chicago and talks to Curtis's mother. Curtis's son Todd Mayfield is also interviewed in Atlanta. Essential viewing for all Curtis fans and devotees of Chicago soul."
YouTube: Curtis Mayfield Omnibus - Part 1, Part2, Part 3, Part 4

2013 June: Roots (1971), 2014 May: Super Fly (1972), 2014 July: There's No Place Like America Today (1975), 2014 September: Back to the World (1973).

Saturday, October 18

José Parlá’s Solo Exhibition “In Medias Res” Continues through Saturday at Chelsea’s Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery

Hot Gowanus 2014
"Continuing through Saturday at Chelsea’s Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, José Parlá’s solo exhibition, 'In Medias Res,' features a range of exquisitely richly-layered, abstract works focusing on the artist’s personal interactions with particular places. Here is a small sampling..."
Street Art NYC
Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery
José Parlá
NY Times
vimeo: Wrinkles of The City - Havana, Cuba by JR & José Parla
NOWNESS: José Parlá: Off the Wall

2012 December: The Wrinkles of the City / La Havana / 2012, 2013 February: José Parlá

Typed Portraits of Literary Legends: Kerouac, Saramago, Bukowski & More

"Artists have used all sorts of odd media to create portraits, everything from guitar picks to dice to wooden eggs. Add to this list Brazilian type artist Álvaro Franca, who uses the typewriter. Instead of composing literary portraits of his heroes, Franca types out literal portraits. The principle of the pictures are the same grey-scale printing used in newspapers or, if you spent time in the computer lab in the 1990s, those dot matrix images that were such the rage among computer nerds. Using a computer, Franca breaks the image down into discrete pixels and adds one or more keystrokes to that pixel. ‘I’ and ‘O’ seem to work for lighter greys while visually dense letters like ‘x’ and 'm' are used for the darker end of the spectrum. ..."
Open Culture (Video)

Friday, October 17

Final Cut: Ladies and Gentleman (2012)

"When a state subsidy is suddenly eviscerated, what’s an enterprising filmmaker to do? In the case of Hungarian helmer Gyorgy Palfi, a leftover post-production grant provided seed money for his delightful montage film Final Cut — Ladies & Gentleman. The product of three years in the editing room, the playful pic consists of quick cuts from more than 450 classics of world cinema, artfully collaged to tell a love story. ... Repping a master class in both film history and editing, the story is told via clips that last just a few seconds yet cleverly move the action forward. Men and women meet cute, take in a show, fall in love, have great sex, marry and honeymoon. With the arrival of domesticity, women cook and clean, and men spend long hours at the office. Misunderstandings surface; men turn paranoid, women dissolve in tears. War tears couples apart, but reconciliation — and a baby — lies in the cards."
Final cut - Ladies and Gentlemen
vimeo: Everything Is Festival: "Final Cut - Ladies & Gentlemen" (trailer)
YouTube: Final Cut - Hölgyeim es Uraim

Le Jour se lève - Marcel Carné (1939)

Wikipedia - "Le Jour se lève ... is a 1939 French film directed by Marcel Carné and written by Jacques Prévert, based on a story by Jacques Viot. It is considered one of the principal examples of the French film movement known as poetic realism. ... The film begins with foundry worker François (Jean Gabin) shooting and killing Valentin (Jules Berry). François then locks himself in his room in a guest house at the top of many flights of stairs. He is soon besieged by the police, who fail in an attempt to shoot their way into the room, as François barricades himself in. ... Le Jour se lève was released in France in June 1939 and shown in the US the following year. In France, however, the film was banned in 1940 by the Vichy government on the grounds it was demoralizing. After the war's end, the film was shown again to wide acclaim."
Film Reference - 1952, Sight and Sound
Cinema of the World
Critical Commons: Le Jour se Leve - Love scene between Francois and Francine (Video)
TCM: Beat It Or I'll Shoot! (Video)
YouTube: 75th Anniversary Trailer

Thursday, October 16

How Brooklyn Has Changed on Screen

"We have all heard a great deal at this point about the changes that have come to Brooklyn over the last several decades. In truth, those changes are more complicated than much of the media coverage suggests. But the borough has changed, of course, and its depiction on screen has changed along with it. 'Brooklyn: Through the Lens' shows how filmmakers and TV showrunners have imagined Brooklyn’s past and present, sometimes from right up close, and sometimes from the distance of Hollywood (or Manhattan), from the days of Jackie Robinson and It Happened in Brooklyn to Bored to Death and Lena Dunham, and all the decades in between."
Slate: How Brooklyn Has Changed on Screen (Video)

The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Live at Monterey (1967)

"The Jimi Hendrix Experience's breakthrough appearance at the Monterey International Pop Festival on June 18, 1967, has been committed to disc, in whole or in part, before, starting with the split LP Monterey International Pop Festival, which featured four tracks by Hendrix on one side and performances by Otis Redding on the other. That album was released scant weeks before Hendrix's death in September 1970. In 1986, Jimi Plays Monterey, containing the full ten-song set, appeared. Both those albums were released on Hendrix's original U.S. label, the Reprise imprint of Warner Bros. Records. Experience Hendrix, the company formed to reissue the guitarist's work after his recordings were acquired by his family, has put out its own versions of many of his discs, and Live at Monterey is its take on the Monterey show."
W - Live at Monterey
dailymotion: Jimi Hendrix Live at Monterey 1967

2010 September: Jimi Hendrix, 2013 November: Watch Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A Comin’, the New PBS Documentary, 2014 July: Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock: The Complete Performance in Video & Audio (1969).

Palais Schaumburg

Wikipedia - "Palais Schaumburg was a new wave band from Hamburg, Germany. The style was classified as Neue Deutsche Welle, and strongly characterized by their avant garde music and dadaistic attitude. The band was originally formed in 1980, featuring Timo Blunck, Holger Hiller, Thomas Fehlmann, and percussionist F.M. Einheit. The group's name stands for Das Palais Schaumburg in Bonn, the former residence of German chancellor. ... The group made several singles and albums throughout early 80's, where their avant garde sounds were heavily influenced by funk, especially in albums Lupa and Parlez-Vous Schaumburg."
YouTube: Kinder der Tod, Wir bauen eine neue Stadt, Deutschland kommt gebräunt zurück, Beat of Two 12inch, Easy Go (12 inch extended single version), Ahoi, nicht traurig sein, Telefon, Europa

Wednesday, October 15

Émile Henri Bernard

Après-midi à Saint-Briac, 1887
Wikipedia - "Émile Henri Bernard (28 April 1868 – 16 April 1941) was a French Post-Impressionist painter who had artistic friendships with Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin and Eugène Boch, and at a later time, Paul Cézanne. Most of his notable work was accomplished at a young age, in the years 1886 through 1897. He is also associated with Cloisonnism and Synthetism, two late 19th-century art movements. Less known is Bernard's literary work, comprising plays, poetry, and art criticism as well as art historical statements that contain first hand information on the crucial period of modern art to which Bernard had contributed."
Musée d'Orsay: Emile Bernard (1868–1941)
YouTube: Emile Bernard

Train Kept A-Rollin'

Wikipedia - "'Train Kept A-Rollin' (or 'The Train Kept A-Rollin') is a song first recorded by American jazz and rhythm and blues musician Tiny Bradshaw in 1951. Originally performed in the style of a jump blues, it has been reworked into a 'classic guitar riff song for the ages'. Bradshaw borrowed lyrics from an earlier song and set them to an upbeat shuffle arrangement that inspired other musicians to perform and record it. Johnny Burnette and the Rock and Roll Trio made an important contribution in 1956 by adding a prominent three-note minor key repeating guitar line to the song. Although the actual guitar player has been questioned, his contribution has been seen as one of the first uses of an intentionally distorted guitar in rock music. In 1965, the Yardbirds popularized the song as an early psychedelic blues rock song, due largely to Jeff Beck's fuzz-toned guitar work."
Train Kept A-Rollin'
YouTube: The Train Kept A-Rollin' - Tiny Bradshaw, Johnny Burnette, The Yardbirds

Sigmar Polke: a life of defying convention

Untitled (Quetta, Pakistan) 1974–1978
"Sigmar Polke (1941-2010) is one of the most experimental artists of recent times. Alongside Gerhard Richter and Blinky Palermo, Polke was a key figure in the generation of German artists who first emerged in the 1960s. This autumn Tate Modern presents the first full retrospective of Polke’s career, bringing together paintings, films, sculptures, notebooks, slide projections and photocopies from across five decades, and including works which have never before been exhibited. "
TATE - Sigmar Polke: a life of defying convention
Walker Art

2009 September: Sigmar Polke, 2014 April: Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963–2010

Tuesday, October 14

Fania at Fifty

"Fania Records, the legendary Latin music label, has been celebrating its fiftieth anniversary with a series of events in New York and Los Angeles, its opening salvo a Central Park show last June spotlighting salsero Roberto Roena. It felt, indeed, like a party. Hundreds of dancers flooded the area in front of the stage. Those present merely to spectate were forced backward. ... In its sixties and seventies heyday, Fania was the most powerful force in the Latin music industry, and salsa was the most powerful force in Latin music. The depth of the connection between label and genre is pronounced. Ask die-hard fans to list their favorite figures from salsa’s golden age, and nine out of ten answers will be artists whose résumés include Fania for at least a record or two (Eddie Palmieri, Tito Puente), if not for significant stretches of their careers (Celia Cruz, Willie Colón)."
The Paris Review
NPR: On Fania Records And The Music That Made It Matter (Video)
Fania Records: Fifty Years Of Sabor (Video)
W - Fania Records
Digital Salsa: The Surprising Rebirth Of Legendary Latin-Music Label Fania Records (Video)
YouTube: Descarga Fania LIVE - Fania All Stars with Bobby Valentin, Celia Cruz & The Fania All Stars - Quimbara - Zaire, Africa 1974, Fania All Stars - Siento, Fania All Stars - Pueblo latino (versión inédita), Vuela la Paloma- Fania All Star

2011 November: Charlie Palmieri, 2014 March: Harlem River Drive - Harlem River Drive (1971)

Strolling Actresses Dressing in a Barn - William Hogarth (1738)

Strolling Actresses Dressing in a Barn, William Hogarth
Wikipedia - "Strolling Actresses Dressing in a Barn is a painting from 1738 by British artist William Hogarth. It was reproduced as an engraving and issued with Four Times of the Day as a five print set in the same year. The painting depicts a company of actresses preparing for their final performance before the troupe is disbanded as a result of the Licensing Act 1737. Brought in as a result of John Gay's Beggar's Opera of 1728, which had linked Robert Walpole with the notorious criminal Jonathan Wild, the Licensing Act made it compulsory for new plays to be approved by the Lord Chamberlain, and, more importantly for the characters depicted, closed any non-patent theatres. The majority of the painting was completed before the Act was passed in 1737, but its passing into law was no surprise and it was the work of a moment for Hogarth to insert a reference to the Act itself into the picture."
W - Barn

Monday, October 13

Sun Ra And His Arkestra - In The Orbit Of Ra

"As one of the most prolific musicians to have ever lived (releasing over 150 albums, 180 of which can be found listed here), Sun Ra is an artist for whom compilations offer a necessary gateway for potential fans otherwise put off by the bewildering diversity of his recorded output. Many are already available –Greatest Hits: Easy Listening For Intergalactic Travel on Evidence, Out There A Minute put out by Blast First and Mute, and more recently the three disc A Space Odyssey: From Birmingham To The Big Apple on Fantastic Voyage Music, to name but three."
The Quietus
YouTube: In The Orbit Of Ra: Arkestra Reflections On Sun Ra 17:11
Soundcloud: "Plutonian Nights" (Original Tape Master)
YouTube: Sun Ra And His Myth Science Arkestra - Somewhere In Space, "Angels And Demons At Play" [Original Tape Master], Somewhere In Space

Blondie - "Rip Her to Shreds", "In the Flesh", "X Offender" (1977)

Wikipedia - "'Rip Her to Shreds' is a song by American new wave band Blondie, which features on the band's self-titled debut album. 'Rip Her To Shreds' was Blondie's first UK single, released on Chrysalis Records in the UK in late 1977, though it did not chart. The B-sides to this single were 'In the Flesh' and 'X Offender', both previously issued as A-side singles by Private Stock Records, and both moderately successful in certain territories. As a promotional gimmick the song was also released as a 12" single (at that time a relative rarity), selling for 99p."
YouTube: Rip Her To Shreds, In The Flesh, X Offender

Naeem Mohaiemen

Rankin Street, Blueprint
Wikipedia - "Naeem Mohaiemen (born 1969) is a writer and visual artist, working in Dhaka and New York. He uses essays, photography, film, and mixed media, to research histories of the international left, and the failure of utopia projects. He is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow., and the projects have been supported by Creative Time, Creative Capital, Sharjah Art Foundation, Rhizome, Franklin Furnace, and Puffin Foundation."
Naeem Mohaiemen
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
vimeo: Naeem Mohaiemen
In Focus: Naeem Mohaiemen’s “The Young Man Was” (Video)
Conversation with Naeem Mohaiemen, moderated by Murtaza Vali

Sunday, October 12

I Ain't Marching Anymore - Phil Ochs (1965)

Wikipedia - "I Ain't Marching Anymore was Phil Ochs' second LP, released on Elektra Records in 1965 ... Of the twelve originals, probably the most noted was the title track, with its distinctive trilling guitar part, that spoke of a soldier sick of fighting. Also of note was the album closer, 'Here's to the State of Mississippi', a biting criticism of that state's lack of civil rights and general bigoted attitude."
Liner Notes for Phil Ochs's "I Ain't Marching Anymore"
YouTube: I Ain't Marching Anymore, Draft Dodger Rag, Heat of the Summer, That's What I Want to Hear, That Was the President, Iron Lady, Here's to the State of Mississippi

2010 July: Draft dodger, Conscientious objector, War resister, 2008 September: Phil Ochs, 2011 December: All the News That's Fit to Sing, 2012 February: There but for Fortune, 2013 February: Pleasures of the Harbor, 2014 March: "Draft Dodger Rag" (1965), 2014 August: Phil Ochs in Concert (1966).

Viva La Pizza! The Art of the Pizza Box (NYC)

"Since the origins of to-go pizza, pizzerias and pizza chains have taken great pride in covering take-out boxes with captivating designs. They've also wrestled with the best way to manufacture a box that can keep a pizza both hot and stable. Here the world's expert on pizza boxes collects 100 weird and wild box designs and explores the curious history of the pizza box. Included are international designs, corporate designs, and dozens of quirky images produced by and for mom-and-pop pizzerias."
Viva La Pizza! - Scott's Pizza Tours: Book
Juliana's Pizza
W - Grimaldi's Pizzeria
W - Di Fara Pizza
W - Lombardi's Pizza
W - Patsy's Pizzeria
W - Ray's Pizza
YouTube: PIZZA: The Brooklyn Story (lecture by Scott Wiener) 1:19:16
YouTube: Ben Aaron And A Guiness World Record Holder...You'll Never Guess What For...

2014 June: Pizza

East Village Eye

"This website has been created to tell the story of the East Village Eye magazine and present as much archival material as possible. Currently, while we work on the East Village Eye Book, our plan is to present a revolving selection of PDFs of issues from the archive. ... From May 1979 to January of 1987, the East Village Eye, a monthly magazine of popular and avant garde culture, exerted a profound influence that eventually reached across the entire world. Coverage in the Eye resulted in development of several key 'scenes' that eventually evolved into movements felt all over the planet. ..."
East Village Eye: ABOUT US
East Village Eye
East Village Eye: Six Most Wearable Eyes
Peep This! Original Copies of East Village Eye Up For Sale

Saturday, October 11

Ballet Mécanique

Wikipedia - "Ballet Mécanique (1923–24) is a Dadaist post-Cubist art film conceived, written, and co-directed by the artist Fernand Léger in collaboration with the filmmaker Dudley Murphy (with cinematographic input from Man Ray). It has a musical score by the American composer George Antheil. However, the film premiered in silent version on 24 September 1924 at the Internationale Ausstellung neuer Theatertechnik (International Exposition for New Theater Technique) in Vienna presented by Frederick Kiesler. It is considered one of the masterpieces of early experimental filmmaking."
Le Ballet Mécanique: The Historic Cinematic Collaboration Between Fernand Legér and George Antheil
Film Reference
Antheil, Léger, Murphy, Man Ray: The “Ballet Mécanique” (Video)
YouTube: Fernand Leger - Ballet mecanique (1924) 16:10
YouTube: Fernand Léger - Topic
YouTube: Univers Zéro at the Cineteca Nacional, Mexico City on April 20, 2013

Friday, October 10

Beautiful sailing ships at the South Ferry station

"If you’ve ever taken the 1 train to its last, lovely, looping stop at the South Ferry/Whitehall Street station, you’ve probably seen them—15 beautiful terra cotta plaques depicting a sailing ship on the water. The officials in charge of building the first New York City subway line in 1904 did a lot of things right. Not only did they hire brilliant engineers and planners, but they brought in designers to create inspiring decorative features on platforms. Ceramic plaques like these were installed in the earliest stations. Each plaque reflects something about the station’s neighborhood or history: a sloop for South Ferry, a beaver at Astor Place, a steamboat at Fulton Street."
Ephemeral New York
W - South Ferry – Whitehall Street (New York City Subway)
YouTube: IRT Subway Special! Re-Opened Old South Ferry (1) Station [w/ Minor Tour], New York City's Abandoned Old South Ferry Loop Subway Station to Reopen

Luaka Bop 10th Anniversary: Zero Accidents on the Job (2000)

"Luaka Bop 10th Anniversary: Zero Accidents on the Job celebrates a decade of releases from David Byrne's innovative global music label. The album features Byrne's own 'God's Child,' and includes songs from world music luminaries like Irakere, Paulo Braganca, Vijaya Anand, Lenine, and Amigos Invisibles. ... Tracks from King Chango, Susana Baca, Jorge Ben, and many others round out this extensive, affectionate look at Luaka Bop's impressive roster."
W - Luaka Bop
YouTube: Luaka Bop 10th Anniversary: Zero Accidents on the Job

Slaperoo Percussion Intros The Electric Spring Doorstop

"Slaperoo Percussion, creators of the Slaperoo Electric Tuned Percussion Instrument, released this video demo of the Electric Spring Doorstop. The Electric Spring Doorstop is built around a standard spring doorstop, modified with a custom SlapStick S-100 pickup. At this point, it’s an experiement, but Slaperoo says that they may turn it into a product, if there’s a demand."
Synthtopia (Video)
YouTube: Slaperoo Percussion - The Electric Spring Doorstop

Thursday, October 9

Art on Screen: A Conversation with Agnès Varda

"For over 50 years, Agnès Varda, the grandmother of the French New Wave, has reimagined the possibilities of cinema. Using her personal history, relationships, and travels as inspiration, Varda expands the documentary genre beyond the screen to the gallery and museum. Join this extraordinary artist for a rare and intimate conversation about her films and latest installations. In recent years, Varda has created a series of exhibitions that combine photography, film, and media installation to explore memory, tactility, and the passage of time."
Getty (Video) 1:38:26

August 2010: Agnès Varda, May 2011: The Beaches of Agnès, 2011 December: Interview - Agnès Varda, 2013 February: The Gleaners and I (2000), 2013 September: Cinévardaphoto (2004), 2014 July: Black Panthers (1968 doc.).

Cave paintings change ideas about the origin of art

"The artworks are in a rural area on the Indonesian Island of Sulawesi. Until now, paintings this old had been confirmed in caves only in Western Europe. Researchers tell the journal Nature that the Indonesian discovery transforms ideas about how humans first developed the ability to produce art. Australian and Indonesian scientists have dated layers of stalactite-like growths that have formed over coloured outlines of human hands. Early artists made them by carefully blowing paint around hands that were pressed tightly against the cave walls and ceilings. The oldest is at least 40,000 years old."

Wednesday, October 8

Jackson Pollock's Mural

"... Mural came to the Getty in July 2012 for study and conservation, providing a rare opportunity to look closely at the painting's material structure, and to explore the paints Pollock used and how they were applied. The study reveals an artist who combined traditional materials and methods of application with more-unconventional ones. It is one of the artist's largest paintings, and the scale of Mural allowed Pollock to develop innovative methods of paint application that would later become the hallmark of his style."
Getty (Video)
Mural - University of Iowa Museum of Art
LA Times: Rebirth of Jackson Pollock's 'Mural'
CBS: Jackson Pollock's painting, "Mural," emerges from restoration brighter, more colorful
YouTube: See The Getty Restore Jackson Pollock's "Mural", Jackson Pollock's "Mural"

Outward Bound - Eric Dolphy (1960)

"The late multi-reed player/composer Eric Dolphy, one of the most pivotal figures in jazz, was a fiercely lyrical, imaginative musician at the forefront of the changes the music underwent in the 1960s. Dolphy, unlike some of his contemporaries, never totally abandoned the bebop approach of soloing over chord changes, but instead took his solos to fresh, expressive heights. Outward Bound, a quintet session from 1960, shows Dolphy in a somewhat transitional phase, his music closer to the hard bop of the late '50s than the free jazz of the '60s."
W - Outward Bound
all about jazz
YouTube: Outward Bound (1960)

Marianne Faithfull - Broken English short film by Derek Jarman (1979)

"... Along with the original studio album, the reissue will also includethe original 'lost' band sessions recording, a selection of bonus tracks and the Derek Jarman directed short film of 'Witches Song', 'The Ballad of Lucy Jordan' and 'Broken English'. We were sent the following background information: On its release in late '79 'Broken English' was an instant critical and commercial success bringing Marianne a new image, an international following, a Grammy nomination and the confidence to record more of her own compositions. The beautiful blonde muse, the wistful teenager who whispered of tears going by, was reborn. The Marianne who roared out of the traps on 'Broken English' was a different animal altogether: wild, and feral, with a voice ravaged by experience and betrayal."
YouTube: Marianne Faithfull - Broken English short film by Derek Jarman

2008 June: Marianne Faithfull, 2010 November: Marianne Faithfull - 1, 2013 January: Broken English: Deluxe Edition, 2013 November: Before the Poison (2005), 2014 August: Kissin' Time (2002).

Tuesday, October 7

Pop International Galleries Showcases UR New York’s New Works in “Product of UR Environment”

"UR New York has fashioned an amazing array of works in a range of media for their newest exhibit, Product of UR Environment, that opened this past Thursday evening. On view at Pop International Galleries at 473 West Broadway in SoHo,  Mike Baca’s (aka 2Esae) and Fernando Romero’s (aka Ski) pieces on a range of surfaces — from spray cans to found objects to canvases — brilliantly reflect NYC’s distinct grit and the passion that it rouses. Here are a few more..."
Street Art NYC
Pop International Galleries

The Hermit - John Renbourn (1976)

"John Renbourn's first post-Pentangle (or nearly post-Pentangle) solo album, joined briefly by fellow guitarist Dominique Trepeau and featuring further contributions by John James, is one of his most beautiful recordings, and also among his most spare guitar instrumentals. ... The mood of much -- though not all -- of Hermit is one of serious introspection, as Renbourn stays generally within a classical guitar mode. He has fun with the material, and the CD booklet also includes musical transcriptions of some of the tunes on the record, for the benefit of Renbourn's fellow guitarists."
YouTube: The hermit, Three Pieces By O'Carolan, Faro's Rag, Lord Willoughby's Welcome Home, Goat Island, Bicycle Tune

2011 September: Faro Annie, 2011 April: Cruel Sister (1970) - Pentangle, 2012 November: John Renbourn - Sir John Alot, 2013 May: The Lady and the Unicorn, 2014 February: Bert & John (1966).

Electric Guitars Made from the Detritus of Detroit

"When Frank Norris plays a guitar made by Wallace Detroit Guitars, he says it 'feels like home.' And maybe that’s because Wallace Detroit Guitars are made with reclaimed wood from abandoned Detroit homes. Following the financial crisis of 2008, perhaps no American city fared worse than Detroit. The city found itself with 10,000 vacant homes. And eventually the city purchased entire blocks and razed the houses to the ground. According to the Detroit web site Model D, a lot of the wood [from these structures] hasn’t gone to waste."
Open Culture (Video)

Monday, October 6

Houston Street

Houston Street, George Luks (1916)
Wikipedia - "Houston Street (/ˈhaʊstən/ HOW-stən) is a major east-west thoroughfare in downtown Manhattan, running crosstown across the full width of the island of Manhattan, from Franklin D. Roosevelt East River Drive (FDR Drive) and East River Park on the East River to Pier 40 and West Street on the Hudson River. It generally serves as the boundary between neighborhoods, with Alphabet City, the East Village, NoHo, Greenwich Village and the West Village lying to the north of the street, and the Lower East Side, most of the Bowery, Nolita and SoHo to the south. The numeric street-naming grid in Manhattan, created as part of the Commissioners' Plan of 1811, begins immediately north of Houston Street with 1st Street at Avenue A, although the grid does not fully come into effect until 13th Street."
Houston Street: river to river
The History Of The Bowery/Houston Street Graffiti Mural Wall In NYC
Tag Archives: Bowery Houston Mural
YouTube: Houston Street, Shepard Fairey Creates Mural on Houston street

Last Year at Marienbad - Alain Resnais (1961)

Wikipedia - "L'Année dernière à Marienbad (released in the US as Last Year at Marienbad and in the UK as Last Year in Marienbad) is a 1961 French film directed by Alain Resnais from a screenplay by Alain Robbe-Grillet. The film is famous for its enigmatic narrative structure, in which truth and fiction are difficult to distinguish, and the temporal and spatial relationship of the events is open to question. The dream-like nature of the film has fascinated and baffled audiences and critics; some hail it as a masterpiece, others find it incomprehensible."
Criterion (Video)
Roger Ebert
NY Times: Last Year at Marienbad (1961)

Sunday, October 5

Possession: A Romance - A. S. Byatt (1990)

Wikipedia - "Possession: A Romance is a 1990 bestselling novel by British writer A. S. Byatt that also won the 1990 Booker Prize. ... The novel follows two modern-day academics as they research the paper trail around the previously unknown love life between famous fictional poets, Randolph Henry Ash and Christabel LaMotte. Possession is set both in the present day and the Victorian era, pointing out the differences between the two time periods, and satirizing such things as modern academia and mating rituals. The structure of the novel incorporates many different styles, including fictional diary entries, letters and poetry, and uses these styles and other devices to explore the postmodern concerns of the authority of textual narratives."
NY Times: Unearthing the Secret Lover
The New Canon

Fripp & Eno - Live In Paris 28.05.1975

"As a historical document, this release takes some beating. Recorded during the short – and only – tour that Fripp & Eno undertook as a duo, it captures a pivotal moment, not only in the development of both players, but in the live music experience itself. Here was a 'rock concert' (or 'superstar show' as the poster for the less glamourous Tunbridge Wells gig had it) where two of the leading lights of the art prog scene sat in near darkness improvising a series of dronic, ectoplasmic mood pieces for an hour and a half. No hits, no big riffs, no exotic costumes. In 2014, that description could be analogous to any number of live electronica events, but in 1975, it led to booing, walkouts and open hostility."
The Quietus‎
amazon: Live In Paris 28.05.1975
‘Lost’ Fripp & Eno Album, Live In Paris 28.05.1975 Now Available
YouTube: "Even Spaces" Live Paris Olympia May 28th 1975 Pt.1, Pt.2, Pt.3, Pt.4, Evening Star (FULL ALBUM), No Pussyfooting - Swastika Girls Part 1, Part 2, The Heavenly Music Corporation, John Peel's Fripp and Eno - No Pussyfooting (played backwards)

Annie Kevans

Dorothea Tanning, 2014
"Annie Kevans’ paintings reflect her interests in power, manipulation and the role of the individual in inherited belief systems. It is important for the artist to examine the duality of truth and falsehood throughout her work, which she does by creating 'portraits' which may or may not be based on real documentation. She believes that a person’s identity is not preset but is a shifting temporary construction and her work questions our verdicts on history and perceptions of intellectual solidity. Kevans uses people’s familiarity with portraiture to imbue her works with truth and to explore difficult ideas."
Annie Kevans - Works
W - Annie Kevans
Young Dictator Portraits: Annie Kevans' Paintings Of Hitler, Mao And Mussolini (PHOTOS)
Guardian: Why were so many female artists airbrushed from history?
Annie Kevans: Women and the History of Art
YouTube: Saatchi Gallery, London

Saturday, October 4

Welcome to Twin Peaks

Honey Kennedy
"Welcome to Twin Peaks was launched on January 20, 2011. Not coincidentally David Lynch’s birthday and 20 years since I consciously watched Mark Frost and David Lynch’s show for the first time in my life. ... Inspired by the show’s ever-growing influence on today’s art, fashion, music, film, television, design or just about any other aspect of popular culture, Welcome to Twin Peaks aims to demonstrate that even though more than two decades have passed, Twin Peaks is still relevant. Maybe even more than ever. If you want to learn more about my ever-lasting obsession with Twin Peaks, please refer to Dr. Jacoby. He has all my tapes. Twin Peaks wasn’t my first encounter with the work of David Lynch."
Welcome to Twin Peaks

2008 September: Twin Peaks, 2010 March: Twin Peaks: How Laura Palmer's death marked the rebirth of TV drama, 2011 October: Twin Peaks: The Last Days.

Lars Lerin - Arkiv / Archive

"... With an iconography that to some extent is new to [Lers] Lerin, we find ourselves in front of stern filing cabinets, dioramas and vitrines. With transparent layers of paint and characteristic technical brilliance, Lerin evokes images of human recollections and the physical manifestations thereof. Binders, folders, book spines and magazine files – the messy and the arbitrary, supposedly comprehensible and organized in apperance. Binders, folders, book spines and magazine files – iterations in the severe austerity of the filing cabinets. The pale umber of the aged folders indicate the passage of time as they stand next to the brightly coloured crimson red binders. The past and the present gazing into the future. Or, the sometimes washy colours of the binders that seem to imply that the very information of the archive is about to fade."
Lars Bohman Gallery
Lars Bohman Gallery: Lars Lerin Arkiv / Archive
Lars Lerin Museum

Bad News Beards

"Baseball. Hot dogs. Apple pie. Facial hair? Lots and lots of facial hair. Epic hair. We’re talking Grizzly Adams meets Nordic god-type hair. A tradition that is believed to have started in professional hockey as a show of team unity — or laziness, depending on who you ask — playoff beards have been trending in baseball. Those Boys of Summer oft look like the Mountain Men of Fall by the time the Series rolls around. Of course, not all ballplayers are suspected of using performance-enhancing shampoos or waxes to cultivate their burly growths. ... How do we know all this, you ask? The Washington Post combed through more than 1,000 photos between Sept. 20 to 28. Yes, by the time we were done with the analysis we had the facial hair to show for it."
Washington Post

Friday, October 3

Walker Evans: The Magazine Work

"One of the pivotal figures of 20th-century photography, Walker Evans’s austere and formally precise images of the American vernacular helped define a stylistic approach to photography that continues to resonate with contemporary artists. His work received critical acclaim during his lifetime, and in 1938 he was the subject of the first solo photography exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. But he also spent a large portion of his creative life working for magazines, both small avant-garde publications like Hound & Horn and Dance Index, and mainstream commercial outlets like Fortune, Vogue, and Harper’s Bazaar. And while individual works within this magazine corpus have appeared in anthologies and exhibitions since his death, the work has largely been ignored or, worse, as in the case of his later work at Fortune, dismissed as the work of an artist past his prime."
Brooklyn Rail
TIME - Walker Evans: A Rebel Rises at Fortune (Photo)
Guardian - Life, Time and Fortune: how Walker Evans mastered magazine photography
vimeo: David Campany: Photography Between Page and Wall - March 11, 2014

2011 June: Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, 2011 May: A Revolutionary Project: Cuba from Walker Evans to Now, 2013 June: Cotton Tenants: Three Families, 2014 May: “Walker Evans and Robert Frank – An Essay on Influence by Tod Papageorge” (1981),

The Distortion of Sound

Wikipedia - "The Distortion of Sound is a 2014 documentary film about the decline of sound quality for recorded music, narrated by various artists who explain the decline in the sound quality from the last two decades. It was directed by Jacob Rosenberg, written by Michael Abell and Kevin Gentile, and produced by Hana Lasber, Dennis McKinley, and Suzanne Hargrove. The film features interviews with vocalists, guitarists, producers, writers, rappers, film composers, mixing engineers, mixers, music journalists, acoustic researchers, loudspeaker engineers and chief engineers—including such artists as Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, Slash, Quincy Jones, Snoop Dogg and Steve Aoki."
The Distortion of Sound
YouTube: The Distortion of Sound | Official Trailer
YouTube: The Distortion of Sound [Full Film] 22:02

J.B. Lenoir - Natural Man

"This collection of J.B. Lenoir's mid-'50s tenure at the label -- originally issued in the '70s -- duplicates two songs from the Parrot collection (a label which Chess later acquired), but the rest of it is more than worth the effort to seek out. The rocking 'Don't Touch My Head,' the topical 'Eisenhower Blues' and the sexually ambiguous, chaotic and cool title track are but a few of the magical highlights aboard. Either this or the Parrot sides will do in a pinch, but after hearing this, you won't be able to imagine being without either one."
YouTube: Natural Man, Don't Touch My Head, Eisenhower Blues, Man Watch Your Woman, Let Me Die with the One I Love, Talk to Your Daughter, If I Give My Love to You, Five Years, I've Been Down For So Long, Korea Blues, Everybody Wants to Know

2011 May: J.B. Lenoir