11 September 2016

Strungout on Jargon (Slight Return)

TEMPLATE 6: The Disneyland/ Dystopian Paradise/Planned Utopia Artist Statement $21.99:
Step 1: talk about how your interest in planned communities came from interrogating the assumptions of the following:
  • the American dream
  • the failed narrative of progress
  • conflicts that inhere in postmodern urbanism
  • experimental geography
Step 2: talk about ambiguous futures, suspended temporality and the destabilization of the reality principle
Step 3: rail against a too-perfect repressed 'paradise' that is really a simulacra of XYZ
Step 4: bring in Buckminster Fuller, Brazilia and Celebration (planned community in Florida)

TEMPLATE 7: The Deconstructed Architecture/Unmonumental Sculpture Artist Statement

Step 1: talk about how your work began with a preoccupation with 'haunted spaces,' 'aporia' and 'liminality'
Step 2: talk about how your installations render visible what the built environment has naturalized or obscured
Step 3: tell an anecdote about how your 3 month artist residency in a Third World country (i.e. South/Central America, Eastern Europe, Africa, etc.) awakened an awareness about how ethnography is embedded in place in a way that the homogenized metropli of the First World never allowed you to perceive that allows you to simultaneously:
A.) off-handedly brag about how you were at a residency
B.) show that despite your impenetrable wall of accolades, you are still a sentient aware person capable of being effected and transformed by lived experience (they LOVE that!)

From "Top Ten Words I Am Sick of Seeing on Artists Statements" by Andrea Liu [ # ]

image: Thomas Struth

10 September 2016

04 September 2016

Speculation Rules the Nation

Robert Del Naja, Bristol, 1985

Dubious hypothesis of the week, "street art" edition: According to a blogger in Glasgow, Banksy is really Robert "3D" Del Naja of Massive Attack. After all, if the Daily Mail deems that a dog worth chasing, then it must be true.

News of which has me walking to my book shelves and pulling out a couple of old volumes. First up, 3D as he appeared in the 2-page spread devoted to Bristol in the Henry Chalfant & James Prigoff title Spraycan Art, Thames & Hudson, 1987...

The other half of the spread being devoted to a young, pre-Metalheadz Goldie.

Next up is the volume Scrawl (1999, via Booth-Clibborn Editions), which features exactly one piece by Del Naja, but also depicts four graffiti murals by up-and-comer "Robin Banks," aka Bansky...

Comparing the two, I'd say that Banks's can control and and compositional sense in 1998 weren't quite as nuanced as Del Naja's had been some 12 years prior.

Bansky has said in the past that the work 3D had originally inspired him to pick up a spraycan and stencils. What's more, in the  Booth-Clibborn title, he's quoted as saying that members of Massive Attack were among the first clients to buy some of his canvases. (Meaning that Banksy haters can blame Del Naja & co. for helping the guy get a leg up.)

The Glaswegian sleuth Craig Williams cites as evidence that Banksy murals have a habit of popping up in various locations that seem the follow Massive Attack's international tour route. The only thing this prompts me to wonder is: Who, then, is the more obsessive Massive Attack fan -- Banksy, or Mr. Williams? Either way, I'd assume Del Naja already has a lot on his plate between the demands of his music career and also continuing to produce visual work in a variety of other graphic mediums. Enough so, that I image it'd be difficult to access the surplus time and energy it'd take to maintain a third career as a stealthy, nocturnal, internationally-renowned hit-and-run graffiti artist.*

23 August 2016

"The Artistic Temperament"

Verdict of the Peter Doig case that I posted about earlier. As well as a befuddlingly hilarious recap of the closing argumennts.

16 August 2016


RIP, Bobby Hutcherson

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

{ Post-posting afternote: Yeah, I know, I exclusively drew from Hutcherson's early career. Shrug. There are a number (low number) of other notable vibraphonists throughout the history of jazz. But as far as depth, range, and flexibility, Hutcherson may've been the one who best demonstrated it's full potential as a non-novelty/surplus component of a jazz ensemble. Especially the way he used the instrument to bridge the melodic/percussive vs strictly-percussive properties of the piano and drums...best exhibited when he was working between an eccentric pianist/composer like Andrew Hill, and a drummer/composer (yes, that's "a thing," although very rarely) like Joe Chambers. Wonderfully guiding things in the right stretches and spaces; at others times -- espec as a sideman -- adding accentuations and highlights, or (as on the Henderson and Patton pieces above) helping drive the whole joint into rhythmic overdrive. }

07 August 2016


"Last summer Woodridge resident Doug Fletcher was visiting his older brother, Bob, in Canada, when Bob mentioned that an artist he'd purchased a painting from in 1976 might now be 'kind of famous.' At least, that's what a friend had told him. [...] 
Bob now does construction work; Doug is a health-care recruiter and interfaith pastor. Neither of them is schooled in art, but upon viewing the painting Doug said he'd do some googling when he got home. A search for 'Pete Doige' came up empty. But as Bob's friend had suggested, Peter Doig—who was born in Scotland, lived in Canada as a teen in the 70s, made his name as an artist in London, and now lives in Trinidad —- was in fact very successful. Among other things, he'd broken the auction record for a living European artist when his painting White Canoe sold for $11.3 million at Sotheby's in 2007." [ from ]
* * * *
“Mr. Doig and his lawyers say they have identified the real artist, a man named Peter Edward Doige. He died in 2012, but his sister said he had attended Lakehead University, served time in Thunder Bay and painted. 
‘I believe that Mr. Fletcher is mistaken and that he actually met my brother, Peter, who I believe did this painting,’ the sister, Marilyn Doige Bovard, said in a court declaration. She said the work’s desert scene appeared to show the area in Arizona where her mother moved after a divorce and where her brother spent some time. She recognized, she said, the saguaro cactus in the painting. 
The prison’s former art teacher recognized a photograph of Ms. Bovard’s brother as a man who had been in his class and said he had watched him paint the painting, according to the teacher’s affidavit.”    [ from ]
* * * * 
"[Co-plaintiff/art dealer Peter] Bartlow, who helped bring the case against the artist, told artnet News in a phone interview that he believed Doig’s motive in disavowing the work is not to deny a criminal past but to disguise the fact that 'he can’t draw.' 
The Chicago dealer insists that Doig relies on using projections on the canvas. 'No critic has ever written this about it,' he acknowledged. 'The only reason I did is that I have this book of his by Phaidon of the painting in the Canadian National Gallery, and I was looking at it upside down. There’s a couple of shapes in it that are the same shapes located in our painting. I could see what he did.'"    
"Bartlow told artnet News in a phone conversation that Doig’s legal team has 'produced nothing of substance' since they first filed the suit in 2013. He continued, 'After all is said and done, we’d like to be awarded damages of at least $7 million and we want the painting declared a genuine Peter Doig painting. We have a very fair and smart judge.'" [ from  1 / 2 ].

Equalling: The potential of a bafflingly absurd legal precedent  being set in a Chicago courtroom on Monday.

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