"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross."
When I saw this picture and quote on Face Book, I immediately shared it. (Source: Robert Schaefer's photo album)
My buddy Max Carlos Martinez, commented, "Can I buy that outfit at Target?"
That started me thinking: What if there were a Sarah Palin Collection at Target? I'm guessing it might look something like this:
. A red, white and blue palette for everything from bargain parkas to too-expensive suits (you need a credit card from the GOP for the suits)
. Rectangular eyelass frames (problem: the only size they come in is "myopic")
. A line of crosses, including: christian cross, crossbow, double cross, and Levi-I'm-not-happy-about-you-at-all-no-sir.
For the home: bearskin rugs with gen-u-wine-Palin bullet holes, a double-wide freezer especially for those big ol' moose steaks, and a special wine from the Palin Estates, Chateau de Mobile Homme.
For the desk, or what Palin might refer to as "that write-y thing"--there's a Palin to English dictionary.
There will be a complete line of snow mobiles. The Todd Palin model, heads straight out of the picture. The Bristol model, heads straight for trouble. A special feature of the Sarah Palin Sno-Machine ® is that it turns only to the right, leading entire parties in circles. Look for the coupon for 50% off on Dramamine.
From the Palin gift department: a selection of fine 90% polyester t-shirts with such slogans as, My Other Car is a Motorcade, Nothing Comes Between My Daughter and Her Levis, Palin in 2012, and I Luv My Christian Grandma. A special like of halloween candy is named after the Palin children: Twig, Branch, Bark, Track, Trick and Treat.
Finally, there's the Palin telescope which --wait for it--lets you see Russia from your house.
Addendum: Oh, how could I have forgotten the cosmetic line?
. The Kiss-Ass lipsticks: Republican Red, Fascist Fuchsia, and Anti-Pinko Pink
. The You Betcha mascara: with a special wink-without-clumping formula
. The Paleo foundation makeup: It's white and tends to crack under pressure
. The perfume, Eau de Petrol: It's a bit strong. In fact you might say it reeks of oil.
All you "designers" out there: What would you add to the Sarah Palin Collection?
I love Italy and Tilda Swinton as much as the next person—possibly more—so of course I went to see her new movie, I Am Love, directed by Luca Guadagnino and produced by Swinton herself. It’s a feast for the eyes with sweeping views, unexpected angles, gorgeous color, sensual people and sexual food.
Swinton is Emma, the Russian-born matriarch (at 49 in real life!) of the fabulously wealthy Recchi family, which has made its money in the textile industry. Big changes are taking place within this famiglia Milanese. The ailing nonno, Edoardo Sr., is leaving the business, as expected, to his son Tancredi, Emma’s husband, but in something of a soap-opera turn, he instructs his grandson, Edoardo Jr. (Emma and Tancredi’s son), known to the family as Edo, to share the power.
More changes: Betta, the daughter goes to art school in London and comes home a lesbian. Edo gets married (I think; it might have happened in the interval described as "Some months later." ) Grandpa dies; another non-screen event. And the coolly reserved Emma, begins an unexpected affair that quickly becomes hot and heavy with Edo’s buddy, a sensitive and talented chef named Antonio.
The food did it.
The scene in which she savors a shrimp pulls her in—jump cuts to mouth and tongue, teeth and lips, music and heavy breathing—is the moment when we are led to believe she falls in love with the man in the kitchen. It's predictable but effective. Swinton herself has described the scene “prawn-ography.”
But when Emma and the chef tryst in San Remo, it's corn rather than shrimp on the menu. I’ll spare you the details except to tell you that after the scene with the birds and the bees—I mean it, while those two are going at it on a hillside, the director is showing you insects and flowers; yeah, we get it—things do not go well. It’s totally, how you say, melodrammatico.
But it’s sumptuous visually, from the succulent dinner parties to the modest meals shared between intimates. Swinton is exquisite, even if she does at times seem to be more model than actor. (Still, the wardrobe, by Jil Sander and Prada, has the precise construction to underscore a character whose priviliged life is about to come undone.) And Milano, a gray and ugly city if ever there was one, never looked better, with its gothic cathedral in an effective cameo. As for the impossibly grand Villa Recchi, let's just say it makes Woody Allen's vast Upper West Side apartments look like a series of East Village walk-ups.
Movie still or Prada ad? You be the judge
You don't need a handkerchief; you won't be that moved. But bring the Dramamine, you’ll need it for the cinematography, which can get jumpy. And earplugs for the overpowering score. Then go find a nice northern Italian restaurant for dinner.
Just be careful if you order the shrimp.
L'amore alla milanese
.JFor a totally different take on the movie, click on over to Carol Diehl's Artvent.
The Huffington Post reports that the Target corporation has donated $150,000 to to Minnesota state representative Tom Emmer, a conservative who is an opponent of gay marriage. And according to the Associated Press, Emmer also supports Arizona's anti-immigration bill. No word on the public stoning of women.
If you're shopping for back-to-school stuff or anything else, you might consider shopping elsewhere. (But not Walmart.)
“I find it a bit ridiculous that co-op galleries are given more credibility than the much-maligned vanity galleries. They are in effect the exact same thing.”
The quote above is from an e-conversation I’ve been having with a Facebook friend, and I’m going to disagree with her today on Marketing Mondays, because it’s a topic worth sharing.
While it is true that artists pay to show at both venues, there is a world of difference between co-op galleries and vanities. Here’s a quick, totally subjective rundown of vanity versus co-op. For the record, I have never shown in a vanity gallery nor been a member of a co-op, though I have participated in curated group shows at good co-op galleries and will continue to do so when the opportunity arises.
The Vanity Gallery
. None. There is no career benefit to a serious artist
. It costs money, often an exorbitant amount, for you to show—$1500 for a work or two in a group show; $3000 or $4000 for a “solo”
. The “solos” are often set up booth style, so that up to a dozen such presentations can take place simultaneously
. You have little or no say in what other artists will be showing during your “solo”
. The gallery owner, money in hand, has no need to sell anything
. Any “press” comes from the gallery’s in-house publication
. Not only is there no benefit to a serious artist, affiliation with such a gallery can be a career stumbling block. No reputable dealer wants to work with an artist who has a history of paying to show in this way.
The Co-op Gallery
. Each artist is a cooperating owner, which means you have a say in who gets into the gallery and what the gallery policies are
. Juried membership means that you will be in good company
. Becoming a member in such a gallery can, in the best of circumstances, mean becoming part of an existing artists’ community. For emerging artists, or for an artist who has relocated to a new city, or for artists with a particular point of view, this can be a huge benefit
. For artists who have full-time jobs and don’t need to depend on the income from sales, a co-op gallery offers visibility that juried shows and hit-or-miss exhibiting do not
. For artists who depend on sales, the co-op gallery gives you the option of working as hard as any commercial gallery to promote yourself and your work: ads, gallery talks, Saturdays in the gallery, whatever you think it will take to bring in and sell to your audience. (Most commercial galleries prefer their artists to have a limited role in the business part of the gallery.)
. You may show the work you wish to show, even if it’s not commercially viable—an installation, a performance, highly political work, whatever—and unless the co-op rules expressly forbid it, you may show it in the manner you choose, such as pinning work on paper to the walls, or piling your sculptures on the floor
. You may use your exhibition slot to curate a show instead of doing a solo, or you may propose to curate a show in one of the co-op’s flexible slots
. Some gallery cities embrace their co-op galleries as equal (or nearly equal) partners. Boston is a good example, where in the gallery-rich South End, four co-ops hold First Friday openings and get reviewed alongside 15 or so commercial galleries. Critics, curators, collectors and artists make the rounds of them all. And in terms of sales, says one Boston co-op member, “Co-op versus commercial makes no difference to the average gallerygoer. Most are unaware of the distinction.”
. Indeed, a well-established co-op gallery with an experienced manager and a cohort of talented artists has far more to offer than an upstart commercial gallery that may have an inexperienced owner, no collector base, no history of reviews, and no community support, and which may well close a year down the road. I could name at least two directors of established Chelsea galleries who started their careers as directors of co-op galleries, and dozens of artists who started out by showing at co-ops and who are now affiliated with commercial galleries
. There’s no reason you can’t move over to a commercial gallery if the opportunity arises. A good show gives you the opportunity to create a visually compelling postcard, brochure or catalog, just the thing to get a dealer in to see your work
. You retain somewhere in the vicinity of 70% of the sale price. .
. There is a financial obligation in the way of an initial fee and monthly dues, but these are typically not as onerous as a vanity (and if the gallery is run well, the gallery's share of sales will go right into the operating budget)
. You also have some work obligations, such as one day a month in the gallery and volunteering for specific tasks. Some artists pay a part-time staffer to take on their hours, but others relish the opportunity to meet their public and advocate on their own behalf
. You will be seen by some artists and dealers as not quite as “legitimate,” but that view may change if their gallery closes as you get ready for the opening of your next solo show.
Over to you.
Back in 2004 I read an article in the New York Times about a fabric book by Louise Bourgeois that was being editioned by master printer Judith Solodkin. By coincidence shortly afterward, a friend who had an appointment with Solodkin invited me to join her in the shop, Solo Impressions, located in the Starrett-Lehigh building on far West 26th Street.
This was no ordinary printshop. Amid the presses and drying racks were sewing and embroidery machines, and stations for glitter and other unusual materials. In one area were the pages of Louise Bourgeois’s book, Ode à l’Oubli. I would see them shortly thereafter on exhibition at the Peter Blum Gallery in SoHo—Blum was publisher of the edition—but here I was seeing them at the point of creation, where lithography was done on pieces of Bourgeois's linen trousseau, and even their fabric stains were recreated for the edition of 25.
Judith Solodkin, right, works on the book with an assistant at her press, Solo Impressions Photo: Tony Cenicola/The New York times, from the Internet.
The book was not only printed, it was pieced, embroidered and sewn. I didn’t take notes or pictures at the printshop, so my memory is not aided by anything tangible. But I do remember being impressed—bowled over, really—that a master printer would take on such an unconventional job, containing as it does so much non printing. I also loved seeing the pages up close. (Update: See clarification at the end of the post on the contribution of Dyenamix to the project.)
Ode à l’Oubli is now featured prominently in the Mind and Matter show at MoMA, and you can see those pages up close yourself (through August 16). In this exhibition there are two editions of the book. In one edition, the entire book is arranged page by page on the wall. There’s also a bound edition in a vitrine; in the spread on display you can see the way the stitching from the previous page is visible on the left and its relation to the new page on the right. Despite the softness of the book, the work has nothing to do with Claes Oldenberg and everything to do with Bourgeois’s personal history—she reportedly used a lifetime's worth of personal fabrics—drawing on her textile history as the daughter of a tapestry restorer (who inspired the enormous bronze spiders, the Mamans of Bourgeois’s late career).
In translation, the title is Ode to Forgetfulness, yet these pages seems to have recorded much of the artist's life through the fabrics she wore and used. It's not so easy to forget when your life flashes before your eyes in this way.
Raylene Marasco, president of the SoHo-based Dyenamix, emailed me with a clarification: "It was actually Dyenamix that printed and dyed the majority of the materials for the Ode a L'Oubli. Judith did, in fact, construct the pages and assemble the book and printed the silkscreened pages, but she was not the only print house providing the process for the project. We actually provided the printed or dyed fabric for 27 of the 34 pages in the book."
Sometimes you have ask for what you need. And that's the message for today's Marketing Monday's post. Don't wait for things to come to you. Ask for them. Go out and get them. Apply for them, if you need to. Today I'm shameless. No application form, no references, just this request:
Send Me to Miami!
Covering the art fairs is expensive.
I'll be reposting this message periodically until December, when I depart--but your help now will help me pay for the hotel I reserved (the decidedly downscale Days Inn a couple of blocks from the Convention Center where ABMB is held).
Huge thanks to those of you who have already given via Pay Pal and check. Your donations have paid for my flight.
Part 2 coming Wednesday, July 21
The wall text, which you can see above, opens with: “This exhibition presents a dozen international artists whose abstract work features idiosyncratic and organic forms, materials that appear to be malleable and pliable, craft-based techniques, and, in many cases, an engagement with gender and sexuality.”
There's no big deal made about the fact that the 12 international artists here happen to be female. And yet, there's a subtext: "alternative abstractions." Alternative to what, exactly? There are grids and constructions, works on paper with a strong sense of the linear, and amassed elements. Perhaps these works are alternatives to painting? Or perhaps they are alternatives to the male "norm," especially because there's a mention of an "engagement with gender and sexuality." I'm going to leave it to another writer to parse the political implications of the title.
. Continuing around the gallery, Louise Bourgeois: prints, books and works on paper above; sculpture below .
Louise Bourgeois, Spiral Woman, 1951-52; Figure, 1954; Sleeping Figure, 1950
Below, closer view of Figure.
Above: Untitled, 1956, watercolor and felt-tip pen on paper
Anna Maria Maiolino