Clippings from the salon floor, #4

Another week’s worth of the remarkable, random and amusing…

From beyond, words to live by: The NY Times obituary of Sol LeWitt quotes a letter from LeWitt to Eva Hesse, re making art: “Don’t worry about cool, make your own uncool… You are not responsible for the world — you are only responsible for your work, so do it.”

Crank-calling Richter? Assuming it’s not a hoax, here’s a QuickTime instructional on how NOT to recruit an artstar to your unknown space: by calling his house all the time.

John Currin, CTU agent? From the April issue of American GQ (yeah, I’m behind on my reading), Currin discussing his last, porn-heavy, (NSFW(DOWYW)) painting show at Gagosian uptown: “I’m gonna have a fucking fatwa on me for saying this, but I had a kind of cockamamie political idea that this is what we’re fighting the Islamists with: They’ve got the Koran, and we’ve got the best porn ever made! I mean that as a joke but also as something that’s literally true….‘Who’s going to win? Allah or porn?’ Personally, I hope we win. I hope porn wins.” Currin, wisely, recognizes that this not exactly an obvious interpretation: “I don’t expect people to read this in the paintings without being prompted by me.”

Huang Yong Ping, Theater of the WorldThe Humane Society art critic: From the Globe and Mail’s A creepy exhibit irks humane society (via ArtsJournal) re Chinese artist Huang Yong Ping’s Theater of the World biosphere containing tarantulas, grasshoppers, cockroaches, a lizard, a millipede and scorpions, with the intent of creating a metaphoric battle royale. The Vancouver Humane Society’s Peter Fricker’s not convinced: “It reminds me of when you’re a kid and you put a bunch of bugs in a jar and see what happens, and your mother tells you that is cruel and let the poor things go.” UPDATE: The gallery caved in, see Comment #1 below.

Art market maxim #3: Alberto Mugrabi, quoted in the New York Sun’s Art Market Shifts With Players: “Nobody liked Warhol at $300,000. But they love him at $3 million.”

Auction-room superstition: Bloomberg’s Hong Kong auction report quoted Chinese trader Sunny Chiu, re Liu Ye’s 1995 Sinking Ship. “We wanted to buy the painting as an investment even though the theme reminded us of the Titanic and didn’t sound too auspicious.” (He bailed at HK$3M; it went for HK$7M.)

Britney vs. Gustave: Weirdest juxtaposition of the week goes to the ARTropolis website, whose flash banner segues from “Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston” (a naked Britney Spears giving birth on a bearskin rug) to the classic Gustave Caillebotte “Un Jour de Pluie a Paris.” My eyeballs burned the first time. I waited to see if it was just an array of images popping up randomly. Nope. Someone planned it. Bizarre.

Mais, ce n’est pas possible! The French announced MONUMENTA, the Parisian answer to the Tate’s ongoing Turbine Hall project. And, being French, they decided to site the project in the least architecturally neutral building imaginable: the baroquely ostentatious Grand Palais.

Street Art, uncool: Spotted in a photo accompanying Gothamist’s Sneakers, Graffiti and Controversy North of Houston: “Foot Locker and Adidas do not condone or encourage vandalism. Today’s event serves as example of how this form of art must be done in a controlled, legal environment.” Maybe a company that made millions off hip-hop culture (remember Run-DMC’s “My Adidas”?) should not be dictating how graffiti “must” be done.

Street Art, cool: Obnoxious on-street video ads + PIXELATOR = Angela Bulloch = the kind of alchemical public interventions I love. Warning: This video has loudish breakbeat music, but you can turn it off/down and not miss anything.

2 thoughts on “Clippings from the salon floor, #4”

  1. More on that Vancouver story from Vancouver

    Scott Watson, director-curator of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery and associate professor of fine arts at UBC, told the Straight he was angry that animal-rights concerns had taken precedence over the artistic integrity of Huang’s work: “I think that the humane society saw an opportunity to bring its own issues to the foreground at the expense of the VAG. I think it was a cynical move on their part,” he said. “We need people protecting animal rights. But in this situation I think what they did was inappropriate and cynical.…Vancouver’s trying to be a player on the international stage of contemporary art and doing a pretty good job. When things like this happen, it shows that when all is said and done, we don’t have a culture here that understands and respects the value of art.”

    Carol Gigliotti , an artist and animal-rights activist who teaches interactive design and media at Emily Carr Institute, said she supported the BC SPCA and the Vancouver Humane Society’s handling of the situation. “Artists often feel that what they are doing is somehow sacred and they have this idea that they should be able to have the freedom of whatever they want to do,” she said, adding, “I do think there are things that trump artistic freedom and for me, that is the well-being of another being.”

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