Rock band/viral-video makers, OK Go has just released their latest music video. They’ve moved on from treadmills and op-art illusions to incredible drone’s eye-view. For I Won’t Let You Down, the band start off on Honda-made motorized scooters (which helped pay for the video) doing some simple, but impressively synchronized dance moves. It starts out slowly until they make their way outside and are joined by MANY more super-synchronized dancers with umbrellas…. then it really gets incredible. Nearly 8 million people have seen it in the last two days… watch. And stay until the very, very end…
It seems perfect to celebrate the Goth Teen this time of year. In this video, dreamy New York performance artist Joseph Keckler, leaves the office to go downtown and channel the romantic figure of The Wanderer. (singing, not lip syncing for his life as you might imagine.) Made with filmmaker Laura Terruso, it comes out of Keckler’s performance piece, I Am an Opera which the Village Voice called a “tantalizing song cycle–cum–multimedia one-man show” before naming Keckler Best Downtown Performance Artist of 2013. Watch.
These "collisions" are very subtle, so you have to look kinda closely. My fave is Darth Vader on a bus... (click photo to see gallery)
I’ve known these guys for years. Nora Burns, Mike Albo and David Ilku are Unitard, the long-running sketch comedy troupe. I thought I might describe or review the show, “House of Tards” but, I have to admit, it all comes so fast and funny, that I don’t have the skills to adequately prepare you for what they deliver. Suffice it to say that’s it’s gay, gay, gay, UBER-topical (lots of social media jabs) and very New York-centric (plenty of digs at what the city is becoming, funny because it’s just true, which makes it sad.) It starts with the lament;
"Man we're beat, we're drowning in our funk, too young to hang with Warhol, too old to krunk”.
Nora is also a rich bitch who moves from Greenwich Connecticut to the new, much-hated luxury building located where St. Vincent’s Hospital used to be;
“Here I am reimagining West Village living at The Greenwich Lane, which delivers an unheard of level of character, it’s our own West Village Versaille!”
Mike is tongue-tied as to how to address transgender actress Laverne Cox in a meet and greet, Nora is a girl with a black bar over her eyes in her gay pals Grindr profile photo, and David is Karl Lagerfeld hawking for Purina with an insane song. And they all three are GUTTED at the death of various celebrities and think “it’s important” to post pictures of yourself with said celebrities when they die. It’s smart and hilarious. Oh, and sit in the front row and you may get to dance with Junkie Jones, like I did. (bottom right) Catch them tonight upstairs at The Stonewall Inn, October 28, and next Tuesday, November 4, 8PM. Be a tard, trust me just GO, it’s only 20 bucks.
Below is a video from two years ago which will give you a taste of their kind of funny. (The gays always get it both barrels.)
Hospitals are the new creepy locations, given the Ebola scare –and as of this last week, the long-ago abandoned 112 year-old hospital on New York’s Ellis Island has a new photographic installation by French street artist JR. Enlarged vintage photographs were pasted on walls, windows and other corners of the derelict Immigrant Hospital. It’s now open to the public for the first time in 60 years and two-dozen site-specific works pay homage to over 1 million immigrants who spent time at the 750-bed hospital before it was close and fell into disrepair in the 50s.
“The idea is to respect the architecture. I let the walls decide what part of the image should appear.”
An image showing members of the hospital’s operating room staff is superimposed on the tiled walls of a bathroom, and a photograph of immigrants walking down a gangplank is now perfectly placed above a downward staircase. Kinda eery and perfect for the site and this time of year. This would be some location for a Halloween party Friday night…
Photographer David Armstrong died today. He was 60. He became associated with “The Boston School,” which included artists and friends like Nan Goldin, Mark Morrisroe and Jack Pierson, the aesthetic being based on intimate snapshot portraits in saturated color. Armstrong entered into the MFA School in Boston as a painting major, but soon switched to photography after studying alongside Goldin, whom he became friends with at the age of 14. Armstrong first received critical attention for his intimate portraits of men, either lovers or friends, in sharp focus. In the nineties, he began to photograph cityscapes and landscapes in soft focus as a contrast to his portraits. In 1981, Armstrong created a series of black-and-white portraits which he showed at PS1’s “New York/New Wave” exhibition. In 1996, Elisabeth Sussman, curator of photographs at the Whitney Museum, enlisted Armstrong’s help in composing Nan Goldin’s first retrospective. She gained such respect for Armstrong’s eye, she acquired a few of his pieces for the Whitney permanent collection and he was subsequently featured in the 1995 Whitney Biennial as well as many gallery and museum shows. Armstrong’s work has also appeared in publications such as French Vogue, L’Uomo Vogue, Arena Homme+, GQ, Self Service, Another Man and Japanese Vogue and he has worked on the advertising campaigns for Zegna, Rene Lezard, Kenneth Cole, Burburry, Puma, and Barbara Bui among others. He left behind some great images you can check outhere. An eye like his is rare and influential and shall be missed. But not more than the man himself, whom I knew a little, and shared with MANY friends who are mourning the loss –talk about one-of-a-kind...
Brooklyn has the largest concentration of nineteenth century buildings made with the building material known as brownstone. Members of the aspiring upper middle classes of the day, sought out the dark sandstone rich with red iron oxide, creating the deep brown to red coloring. But as many as there are, they are still highly coveted. I used to own one from 1860 in the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn (with my friend who later bought me out) and it was full of period detail having been restored from the previous owner. I’m all for respecting the detail but living in a 19th century vertical house, does not necessarily suit everyone’s needs in the 21st century.
This family in Cobble Hill worked with architect Francis D’Haene, of D’Apostrophe Design, to update their townhouse while still keeping a sense of the building’s original detail. They did away with the layout on the top two floors remaking the area for their three children. A skylight and a glass-enclosed concrete staircase was added to connect to the attic studio. As for the parlor floor, the kitchen was inserted almost as furniture, not touching any side wall, beneath the 13 foot ceilings and the original plaster moldings. D’Haene told New York Magazine;
“The kitchen always becomes the center of activity. Why not put it in the center? …it becomes a balancing act, how many interventions you do. To make it contemporary and beautiful and modern while respecting the architecture.”
To me, this strikes the perfect balance.
The Madison Avenue building is at its end and the Koons exhibit has closed now, so let’s trash it. No, we’re not doing that but I’ll bet your Instagram feed at some point over the last few months might have shown you a selfie taken at “Jeff Koons: A Retrospective”. There were LOTS of shiny reflective surfaces so it was irresistible selfie bait. I did one myself, but I didn’t tag it properly –I guess, as I’m not their demo. Plenty of #KoonsSelfies were taken by youngsters because the Whitney had been passing out cards that instruct teens exactly how to share their love of the Whitney. “KOONS IS GREAT FOR SELFIES” the boldfaced message reads. “Take a selfie and post it on Instagram! Use: @whitneymuseum and #Koons #ArtSelfie”. No doubt this will continue at new Meatpacking District location which opens next spring. Check your Instagram feed, kids.
Yes, it seems by accident, (mostly reviled) appropriation artist Richard Prince gave an emerging conceptual artist his Gagosian debut. This is SUCH a convoluted idea, see if you can follow.
My friend Sean Fader is a conceptual artist and photographer. We met in 2009 at the casting call for Bravo’s reality series Work of Art and have remained friends ever since. I wrote about his project “Sup?” here, where he photographed 100 guys that he met on Grindr, before and after “dating them. His latest project has been #wishingpelt. The New York live event for his performance of #wishingpelt was at the PULSE Art Fair and previously at SPRING/BREAK Art Show. Over the course of nine days, Fader stood on a platform for a total of 80 hours and visitors were invited to whisper a wish in Fader’s ear, run their hands through his chest hair, and seal the wish with selfie tagged on Instagram or Twitter with #wishingpelt. I’ve also written here about Richard Prince’s current Gagosian exhibition New Portraits, where he “appropriates” other people Instagram photos, adding his own (some say misogynist) comments. It happened to feature an Instagram pic from Sean‘s #wishingpelt series. In May, one of those wish-granting selfies ended up in Prince’s Instagram feed, and is now a canvas at Gagosian. Sean told Hyperallergic;
“I’m really interested in the idea of re-appropriating my own work and taking the work out of the frame that he’s put it in, re-engineering it to continue the conversation that I was interested in from the beginning, and shifting the work back to that space. I struggled for a while to decide how I felt about it. When I went and saw it I was fuming. I would be psyched to be appropriated into work that was good. I just think the work is flat. It flattened the work in a way that I was not thrilled about its denial. By not communicating with me, by not talking to me, he denied every level of shared authorship, or engagement, all of those things that were so important to me in the work. That’s what irked me about the whole thing. So Prince made his move, now I’ll make mine.”
Instead of dwelling on the way that it felt to him and taking legal action, Fader staged an appropriation himself, sending out a press release (see crop of it below) inviting people to view his work at Gagosian “in an exhibition organized by Richard Prince.” Smart, huh?
Richard Prince: New Portraits, including Sean Fader’s “#wishingpelt” photo, ends tomorrow at Gagosian, so if you’re on the upper east side, go over and take a selfie in front of it to make your own statement and repost on Instagram to add another more personal layer to this never-ending art story.
Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the Bronx, he's is best known for his masterful, Pop Art-infused sketches and colorful personality portraits. The late Antonio Lopez was one of the best fashion illustrators, if not THE best of his day – a day when fashion illustration as still a “thing”. While working in Paris with art director Juan Ramos, Lopez notably discovered then models, Jerry Hall and Tina Chow and befriended the likes of Jessica Lange and Grace Jones and others that what we now know, were at the top of their field. These rarely seen Instamatic photographs here featuring Karl Lagerfeld, Andy Warhol, Anna Piaggi and more were shot during Lopez’s downtime from assignments for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and The New York Times. Lopez’s candid images of his entourage basking in St. Tropez and Studio 54-era New York are merely the Instagrams of their day but. Designer Ana Sui says about Lopez, who would be 70 himself this year;
“I’m from the generation that came to New York to meet their idols. In my case it was Andy Warhol and Antonio Lopez.”
For more, the monograph to get is Antonio Lopez: Fashion, Art, Sex and Disco by the Padilha bros., Roger and Mauricio. It doesn’t matter the year, real glamour and style only gets moreso, as time passes, huh?