James Franco: To Barf or Not to Barf, That Is the Question

04.26.2014  |  By
Filed under: Essay, Projects/Series

As the saying goes,  if everybody hates you, you must be doing something right, right? So what happens when both of the top art critics in New York slam your work on two different days, delivering a one-two knockout punch? It’s enough to drive most artists to suicide!

The question is, do you go down for the count or do you to get back up and try to keep fighting? Jerry Saltz went so far as to say that George Bush is a better artist than James Franco. Roberta Smith pleaded for someone  to get him to stop making art.

Sure, maybe Franco is... More

The Mission School Brings Magic Energy to NYC

04.16.2014  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

Finally, after endless meetings, conversations, editorial decisions, and possibly a little nail-biting, the newest incarnation of curator Natasha Boas’s Energy That Is All Around has arrived in New York City. It opens April 17 at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery right across the street from Washington Square Park.

It’s worth mentioning that the park itself is somewhat of a magical and mysterious place. Diane Arbus made some of her most famous photographs there. In the 1940s Marcel Duchamp did an undocumented performance ... More

Five on Transition

Nicole Archer: Curtain Calls

04.15.2014  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

Curtains gather in the margins of everyday life. They claim to be insignificant, save for those pivotal moments when they dramatically rise or fall. Yet without them, we seem to run the permanent risk of confusing all our beginnings for our ends.

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Five on Transition

Jarrett Earnest: Three Waves

04.15.2014  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

Ocean waves are animated by celestial forces: pull of the moon, wind churned by the sun. Vija Celmins’s Untitled (Ocean) (1977) is a drawing not only of water, but of breeze and sunlight, too — a vignette of our planetary arrangement.

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Five on Transition

Christian Nagler: Silicon Spring

04.15.2014  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

Let’s think about the desert. Place where not much seems to be happening. But we know there’s actually a lot going on, right? Life is hiding, blinking, doing sweet push-ups in the shade, hot sap pulling beneath slow oceans of crust.

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Five on Transition

Dushko Petrovich: Emigre

04.15.2014  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

Emigre was initially a magazine about actual émigrés. Very few people remember it that way, but the revolutionary design publication actually was founded by immigrants — including husband-and-wife duo Rudy VanderLans and Zuzana Licko — in order to present “the unique perspective of contemporary poets, writers, journalists, graphic designers, photographers, architects, and artists who live or have lived outside their native countries.”

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Five on Transition

Maria Popova: Against Interpretation

04.15.2014  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

“It’s only when the heart begins to beat wildly and without pattern — when it begins to realize its boundlessness — that its newly adamant pulse bangs on the walls of its cage and is bruised by its enclosure.” — Kay Larsen

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1985

04.03.2014  |  By

“The game is a machine composed of interconnected mechanistic devices. These devices facilitate bad faith interaction… A con or snow job is the site at which X preys upon the hopes, fears, and anxieties of Y for ulterior motives and/or personal gain. The machinations which vehiculate this manipulation can have wide effect—ranging from the ... More

1984

03.27.2014  |  By
Filed under: Essay, Projects/Series

At the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, filming a soft drink ad in front of a crowd of fans, a pyrotechnic malfunction ignites the singer’s hair causing second degree burns on his scalp and face. The case is settled out of court and the settlement is donated to the Brotman Medical Center, which is rechristened in honor of their benefactor. The President invites the singer to the White House to give him an award for his support of charities that helped people overcome alcohol and drug abuse (the First Lady’s pet cause). Inspired by ... More

1983

03.17.2014  |  By

Hard sunlight bullies through smoke and soot. Something awful is burning all the time and a haze mutes even medium distances into old photographs. Our town is shrouded in perpetual smoke that fades red to an 1890’s sepia, and clouds any blue to a dusty gray. Muted colors make us feel like we’re in some scratchy old movie. That in turn slows everything down. Traffic lights halt movement for almost all of a Linda Ronstadt song even when there’s nothing to wait for. Birds seldom fly and when they do they don’t flap. They circle the ... More