Caught My Eye (August 8, 2009)

View of Gawker Mom & Popism Party
Gawker’s Mom & Popism party in Nolita

  • After I read this I really really wanted a drink: —  “Of America’s seven Nobel laureates, five were lushes—to whom we can add an equally drunk-and-disorderly line of Brits: Dylan Thomas, Malcolm Lowry, Brendan Behan, Patrick Hamilton, Philip Larkin, Kingsley Amis, all doing the conga to (in most cases) an early grave. According to Donald Goodwin in his book ‘Alcohol and the Writer’:’Writing involves fantasy; alcohol promotes fantasy. Writing requires self-confidence; alcohol bolsters confidence. Writing is lonely work; alcohol assuages loneliness. Writing demands intense concentration; alcohol relaxes.’This is also fascinating: —  “The radiance of late Carver is so marked as to make you wonder how much the imperturbable gloom of late Faulkner, or the unyielding nihilism of late Beckett—like the cramped black canvases with which Rothko ended his career—were dictated by their creators’ vision, and how much they were simply symptoms of late-stage alcoholism.”
  • Am I the only person who never knew that a major robbery at the Brooklyn Museum in 1933 resulted in the theft of works by Rubens, Cranach, Van Dyck, Fra Angelico, and Luini that were never returned.
  • I don’t quite see how these numbers are arrived at (for instance, how can you assume out of 60,000 Artforum subscribers, 10,000 are photo collectors) but they’re fun to read. The skinny: there are 5,000 active photography collectors.
  • “The curatorial conceit at Cheim & Read is to counter the notion of the male gaze by providing a group of works in which ‘the artist and subject do not relate as ‘voyeur’ and ‘object’ but as woman and woman.’ In this beautifully curated show, which spans over a century, 40 female artists–many from their own roster–turn the conventional male gaze inside out. Here there’s pleasure in equality versus the longstanding idea of power over passivity.”
  • “…Regina’s story is that she’s using street art as a primary vehicle to tell her story and to bring attention to the problems of our current health care system.”
  • Amy breaks it down for us: —  “Etsy’s visionary young founder, Rob Kalin, ‘quietly took himself off the payroll’ citing that the site ‘was very incomplete and not up to my standards.’”       Also: —  “Another red flag is the fact that a major investor in Etsy is also on the board of Wal-Mart.”
  • The British street art jester’s institutional remixing draws big crowds in Bristol. But is it good? Well, it is certainly clever. You’ll remember some of the pieces from his Pet Shop show in NY last year.
  • Smith seems at a loss when writing about this mural. The whole “review” seems to painstakingly describe the wall as if the rest of us can’t see the obvious…so where exactly is her review? My favorite line: —  “And the storybook imagery is out of this world, yet not.” LOL
  • A classic documentary that tells the story of the end of New York’s “golden age” of drag balls.
  • “It’s awkward to say openly, but now-departed President Bush is a religious crackpot, an ex-drunk of small intellect who “got saved.” He never should have been entrusted with the power to start wars.” (via Bloggy)

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