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Tag: Artland: USA

The shock troops of gentrification

My friend Ian used to say that “Punk kids are the shock troops of gentrification” meaning that these were people who were less afraid to go into a neighborhood and begin it’s transitioning into a different neighborhood. This could be viewed as good or bad depending on where you are in that chain of cultural demographic shifting. I think for the most part though – he’s right. The “Punk” scene is often made up of the disenfranchised – be it gay, mixed raced, artists, punks, grifters, and cheapskates or a little bit of all of that.

Do you remember when Dupont circle was a great place to go? I do and I miss that. these days it seems to be crappy shopping from emerging mainstream international brands and the flavor that “The Circle” used to have is pretty much gone.

In the paper recently there have been articles about artists leaving New York – not for Brooklyn but for Cleveland. I’m hearing more and more about cities courting the creative class and Cleveland has been hit really hard – artists want space and Cleveland is ripe with cheap spaces and low prices due to it’s economy. A few months ago when I was speaking to Patti Smith, she mentioned that for an art scene to be really successful, a city needs people up and down the economic food chain to develop into a fully realized community that can support the arts. The jury is out on Cleveland and I wish everyone there the best of luck, because they will need for more than that. They will need infrastructure, jobs to come back to Cleveland – we all need jobs to come back to Cleveland because if they do – that means jobs will be coming back everywhere.

I was speaking to the Artist Austin Thomas (who runs that great space in Bushwick, Pocket Utopia) the other day and we were talking about how I was inspired by Jerry Saltz (she had a great story as well – but that’s her story) – and I know that a few eyebrows will go up when I say that I was inspired by Jerry, however you get inspired where and when you do and in my case it was at Art Basel Miami Beach. Saltz had a brief presentation about money leaving the market – so what are we doing now?

He laid it out in a way that made a ton of sense in a way that was the direct opposite of everyone else. Bottom line was this – we are artists, we make art. What are we going to do stop? That’s almost laughable. If your Going to Cleveland, Oil City Pennsylvania, Plattsburg or Paduchah, I wish you the best. I think we all do.

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Shows that you might want to see.

Patti Smith – Veil
Robert Miller 524 West 26th street NYC

Robert Mangold – Drawings and Works on paper 1965 – 2008
Pace 32 East 57th street NYC
BTW – for what it’s worth I love the photo of the announcement for this

Doonald Judd – Colored Plexiglass
L&M; Arts 45 East 78th Street NYC

At the Crossroads of American Photography: Callahan, Siskind and Sommer
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art 7374 East Second Street, Scottsdale

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Guest of Cindy Sherman, A film by Paul H-O and Tom Donahue

I recently saw Guest of Cindy Sherman, the new film about the relationship between Paul H-O and Cindy Sherman. The film follows the relationship between the two for a period of about 6 years and is focused on Paul’s story. Ms. Sherman, who is notoriously press shy, in a way is the “Rosebud” of the film.

We are introduced to Paul H-O through the lens of his well known 1990’s public access TV show Gallery Beat, and spend the first quarter of the movie learning who he was at the time and how that show become known. We also get to see Julian Schnabel be a dick about the review of his show that the Gallery Beat team films. (I watched that part three or four times – it’s fun) What we come to learn is that Cindy Sherman of all people is a huge fan of the show, and following a chance encounter at another opening, Paul eventually gets Ms. Sherman on his show. From there, fireworks happen, trains go through tunnels, and love blooms.

The real crux of the movie starts to happen after this part, and it’s an interesting idea. The “lesser half” of a couple is a really curious subject for a movie, or even just conversation. I think everyone has dished about a couple they know at some point – it’s just human nature. Paul H-O’s world starts to turn and what I liked is that the relationship is timed with the early part of the boom of the art market we have just witnessed and it is quite a document of that time, as well as his personal story. The negative aspect to the film is that this is a one sided story. Ms. Sherman refused to take part in the movie, I’m not sure I blame her. I would have no idea how to handle the situation of my former lover making a movie about our relationship either.

The other downside is Paul H-O, he is a big personality, and I could see parts of that working against him in the relationship, as it does sometimes in the film. I wish I could have seen him a bit less “on camera” if you know what I mean.

Bottom line is this, it’s worth seeing. bring friends and go for coffee afterword and dish on all the artworld stuff in the movie. At worst you’ll have a great time with that, on the flip side maybe being in an entourage isn’t like that show on TV.

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The Sketchbook Project

over the winter break I had a chance to stumble over the Art House Coop’s (Atlanta) website. They were getting started with a little project called the Sketchbook Project. I thought what the hell – let’s see what happens. Long story short I wasn’t interested in submitting a proper sketchbook so I made something more akin to a book as art. Using my approach to paperworks as a starting point.

What I ended up with was a project where I scanned a bunch of paint samples and built a continuous artwork that accordions open. I’m actually really happy about the piece and along with my friend Tony Eckersley, we made a quick video. (above)

The Sketchbook Project
is all over the eastern US for the next year – check out the Art House website for details.


Toy Robot Museum

I have recently become aware of a Toy Robot Museum near the Washington area. Ok, it’s not too near, in fact it’s in Lancaster County Pennsylvania (Stoudtburg Village in Adamstown, PA). Who cares? it’s a museum devoted to Toy Robots.

Anyway, it’s summertime and that means road trips to see stuff like this as well as the worlds 2nd largest ball of twine.

A web site is here.

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