Meredith Allen: Melting Ice Pops 1999-2006
-- The Book

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I laughed out loud the first time I ran across one of Meredith Allen's Melting Ice Pops photos on the Internet. It's alluring and quirky imagery, comically irreverent, not to mention highly relevant in the current economic meltdown.

I jumped on it when I learned that Meredith has published this series in book form. It's too cool not to have. The price is fine -- between $30 - $50-ish depending on whether you want soft cover, hard cover with dust jacket or Imagewrap cover. It's a mere pittance.

Check the book's website for more info, then buy one for yourself and one for that special twisted someone.

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Carmichael Gallery of Contemporary Art Presents Grey Area, a solo exhibition of new artwork by Boxi

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Check this missive from my West Hollywood homie Elisa Carmichael. Boxi rocks! Gotta run - Peace out B


Carmichael Gallery of Contemporary Art is proud to present Grey Area, the first US solo exhibition of work by UK artist Boxi. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, April 9th, 2009 from 7.00pm - 10.00pm, with the artist in attendance. Work in the show will include spray paint on canvas and MDF, sculpture, and limited edition prints, as well as a site-specific installation. The exhibition will be open for viewing through Thursday, April 30th 2009 from 1.00pm -7.00pm.

About the Artist:
Born 1974 in Kent, England, Boxi completed his studies at the London St. Martins School of Art with a BA Fine Arts degree in Painting in 1996. He has lived and worked in Berlin, Germany since 1999, joining REINKING PROJEKTE in 2007. Website: www.boxi.eu.com

"I am drawn to the incongruous narrative in figuration. My works aspire to polarize the stability of what is at first perceived to be harmless or sweet but in reality turns out to be pathetically desperate or tragic or vice versa. A dark disillusioned romanticism pervades throughout. (along with) confrontational themes, such as paranoia, disappointment, expectation, grief, mistrust and other upbeat reflections of our times.

"It is in this state of reflection, this 'grey area' of ambiguity and blurred truth that I have found myself in, a place where trends and crashes in the market aggressively threaten and pressurize social behavior. Making life-sized figures that articulate this uncertainty is a way for me to come to terms with the phrase 'of our time'."

Carmichael Gallery of Contemporary Art
1257 N. La Brea Avenue
West Hollywood CA 90038

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"Graffiti Artists Hold Panel With Old Nemeses in Blue" -- NYTimes.com

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Graffiti hasn't gone anywhere, as any train ride from New Haven to NYC shows. I mean that in both senses; it's still being made in profusion, and its language hasn't really developed in any major way that I can discern. Fill me in if I've missed something, but send photos, too.

So according to Randy Kennedy at NYTimes.com, some of the big graffiti names in the late generation sat down with cops for a public meeting of the minds down at powerHouse Books in DUMBO last Thursday night.

Now I have to ask you, people: Could there be a louder proclamation that the graffiti form has been entirely domesticized?

I don't know, maybe I've romanticized the late 70's and early 80's. But the way it looks to me, the early graffiti artists cultivated a kind of contempt for authority that would have precluded any such discussions. Getting big almost looks like it was the beginning of the end.

See Fab 5 Freddy and Lee Quinones in Downtown 81, for example; they're shown outside in daylight, painting a mural commission. The tameness of that scene blinds us to the precarious, nefarious origins of their craft. In that sense it may be a good thing that the flick was unavailable for as long as it was.

A quick side note about Downtown 81 -- it's mentioned only in passing when discussions of Basquiat come into play. And then what's usually noted is that "JM Basquiat appeared in a movie called Downtown 81." But Basquiat didn't just appear -- he starred. And he played himself. The sense I get from that flick and from more that I've read and heard about his attitudes at the time is that Basquiat would have been just as content becoming a movie star or TV celebrity.

Anyway, the most interesting thing that came out of this meeting of latter-day graffiti artists and the NY police for me was that Alan Ket -- aka Alain Maridueña -- used to taunt individual cops in his graffiti.

Alan Ket, a veteran graffiti artist whose real name is Alain Maridueña, asked whether the officers thought it was fair that he had been so vigorously prosecuted in a highly publicized case in which he pleaded guilty in 2007 to painting on subway cars in three boroughs.

Mr. Mona, though he had already retired by the time the case was under way, said he thought it happened because Mr. Maridueña, an outspoken graffiti advocate, used to write highly personal, and highly offensive, graffiti messages about individual police officers, including Mr. Mona and Mr. Rivera.

“Alan, it’s like poking the junkyard dog with a stick,” Mr. Mona said. “You’re going to get bit. And you got bit. And you’re just going to have to live with it.”
I kinda-sorta made fun of Maridueña for inking deals with Moet and Chandon and other big corporate names, back when he was charged in 2007. But I have to say that it's pretty funny to imagine a cop seeing his name or badge number or whatever emblazoned big and crazy on a building. That takes nads.

Now I hope Maridueña doesn't let the police have the last laugh on this one. I'd like to see him up the ante some way, do something more outrageous and taunting to show that the system can't keep him down. But he's probably too old for that now, going to court costs a lot of money and, who knows, maybe he has contracts that are hard to fulfill on Riker's Island.

Looks like the best I'm going to get is the view through the windows of Metro North, a continually changing scene full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

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Loren Munk's "James Kalm Report" now appears on ArtForum.com

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Check the link about midway down on the left.

ArtForum -- agree or disagree with it, it's one of perhaps two art publications 'of record' in the good old US of A. Establish a regular presence on it and it's like writing yourself into history. Big congratulations go out to Loren Munk.

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de-classified: the human condition - Mark Andrew

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Mark's statement on the de-classified website:

In January 2009, I had an idea; photograph people in their homes that have placed a wide variety of personal advertisements. Although I imagined most people wouldn’t want to give up their anonymity, I rightly imagined some would be willing to. And with that “de-classified” was born.

Over the past couple of months, since I conceived “de-classified”, I’ve had the amazing experience of spending time with 50 plus people I wouldn’t have normally had the opportunity to meet. We have, for the most part, met in their homes and usually worked one-on-one creating an image of them.

The vast majority of those experiences have been both beautiful and intriguing.

When I began the project, I anticipated that by the time I got to 50, I would have captured a fairly complete representation of what was to be had. But now that I’ve hit that milestone, it is very obvious that I’ve barely touched the surface. Perhaps when I’ve completed another 200 I’ll be closer to what has become my internal true north for the project - an exhibit that represents the human condition.

Through the anonymity of personal advertisements an amazing array and spectrum of human emotions, needs and experiences shows up - love, lust, anger, fantasy, and pain are just the first few to come to mind.

The intention of combining the images with the ads hopefully will give the viewer a very intriguing view of each subject. Adding the ability for the viewer and community at large to anonymously view and comment on each pieces hopefully will ad another interesting layer.

My immense thanks to each of the individuals that agreed to allow me to work with them to create these images and expose so much of themselves.

Thank you for looking. I hope you’re pleased.


It's a rich project. Check it out.

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Bill Seeks to Regulate Museums’ Art Sales -- from NYTimes.com

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Check the governmental simple-mindedness at play here through the words of Richard L. Brodsky, a Westchester County Democrat and a sponsor of the bill, according to this NYTimes.com article by Robin Pogrebin:

“These collections were not created as reservoirs of capital to be used for the benefits of the institution,” said Mr. Brodsky, a Westchester County Democrat and a sponsor of the bill. “You keep selling paintings to keep the doors open and eventually you have open doors and no paintings.”
Unfortunately the de-accessioning of art by museums is going to spread due to the current financial situation. These private institutions have precious few other means of acquiring funds to stay viable.

What would Mr. Brodsky have the museums do, send the guards home, stop maintenance and let the filth pile up everywhere, or rent out galleries for weddings, conventions and whatnot, making them essentially unavailable to the general public during those times?

What we don't need are more laws. You can't legislate your way out of every problem.

And we sure don't need the kind of simple-mindedness that presupposes that de-accessioning a few works will result in the loss of all works.

Consider for a moment the percentage of an art museum's collections that remains in storage at any given time. What is it -- 40%? 50%? More? To my understanding, particularly as regards prominent museums, most of their holdings are rarely, if ever, seen by the general public.

Is it really going to break Mr. Brodsky's heart if valuable works that his constituency has never laid eyes on are sold, particularly if they wind up in institutions that might actually display them?

On the other side of the argument, let's presuppose for a moment that the people in charge decide to close their museum down. Assuming it's not a government-owned and run institution, what does any legislature have to say about it? Does my sentimental regard for a painting I've seen every weekend at the Met mean that their board is obligated to keep it propped up and guarded in a clean, heated marble space with restrooms nearby, for the benefit of me and my heirs into eternity?

If a museum board decides to run the damned thing into the ground, that's their mistake to make, in my view. And if you disagree, consider the flipside: you run a museum or gallery of your own, you have a piece that's been showing there for twenty years. Now you want to sell the piece to keep from going bankrupt, and some red-faced weasel comes in waving a piece of legislation telling you that you can't.

In what universe would you tolerate that?

Unless they're owned and run by the government, art museums are private institutions. Like the rest of us, they're forced to find their own ways to stay alive in tough times. As I see it, that leaves museum administrations with the indisputable prerogative to buy and sell art as they see fit.

If Mr. Brodsky wants to offer legislation to purchase the works museums want to de-accession, that's another story altogether. America has invested trillions of dollars more foolishly than this in just the past few months. Go for it, Brodsky, old boy. Call it New York's Museum Stimulus Package.

Absent such a rescue, I'd think New York's assemblymen have more important things to attend to than tossing anvils at cultural institutions that are barely treading water.

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Brian Sherwin's Second Installment of Art Space Law

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Check it out -

Brian Sherwin, you RAWK.

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Marc Snyder and Fiji Island Mermaid Press present FREE FOR ALL

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This just in from Marc Snyder of Fiji Island Mermaid Press --

Eight artists give the online visitor their artists’ books.

March 16, 2009

The Fiji Island Mermaid Press is proud to present “FREE FOR ALL”. This online exhibition of artist’s books, found at http://www.fimp.net/freef.html invites the viewer to download and assemble the books on display. The eight artists who have created books for this exhibition are Pati Bristow, Ginger Burrell, Warren Craghead III, Marti Haykin, Adele Henderson, Robert Hirsch, Judith Hoffman, and Marc Snyder. The exhibition will remain online indefinitely.

Each book in the show is available as a downloadable file. The viewer typically prints no more than one or two pages of artwork and text, which are then trimmed, folded, and cut to create miniature books. The artists have provided instructions for the viewer for the entire process.

The exhibition explores the boundary between cyberspace and “the real world”, as the show is only finished when the visitor to the site has downloaded and assembled his or her own books. Essentially, the exhibit exists wherever someone creates his or her own collection of books.

Brief biographical and professional information about each participating artist accompanies the artist’s book in the online exhibition. Links to view more of his or her artwork are also included.

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Jack the Pelican Presents Robert Ladislas Derr -- Structures and Strictures

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Jack the Pelican is delighted to present...

The works of performance artist Robert Ladislas Derr are spare, subdued and smart. They are also witty, dry and even sometimes funny. In Structures and Strictures,” he features three pared–down video documentations of his performances—along with accompanying photographs.

Robert Ladislas Derr
Structures and Strictures

Friday, March 20 , 7–9pm
March 20–April 19 , 2009
Location: Jack the Pelican

487 Driggs Ave, bet N. 9 and N. 10

Thurs–Mon, 12–6pm

In each work, Derr uses his active body to bring focus to the abstract structures and strictures of a site. Cerebral and quiet formal explorations on the one hand, they also metaphorically express the artist's existential searching for a connection with society and himself.

Concrete Intervention is a two-channel video of the artist repeatedly crawling through a pair of concrete culverts. His movements are defined by the round, constricted shape of the space. Breaking down the wider environment to a simple structure, it conveys the monotony of daily life. His repetitions allude to the daily cycle that we repeat each and every day.

In the second two-channel video Existential Dilemma , Derr and his wife appear flipping around inside the containment of adjacent cubes. Here, he's thinking about another aspect of the human condition: No matter how hard we try to be close to another human being, we will always be separated both psychologically and physiologically.

I don't give a shit about the masses is a durational video performance showing Derr in the forest, struggling to hold a headstand against a tree. Breaking a gender specific way of seeing Mother Nature in art, he identifies the art historical structure of landscape nudes that have traditionally been female. Derr is “lost in the wilderness” (a notion he borrows from Thoreau). In exile, alone in the woods and away from the distraction of the masses and their collective insanities, he literally turns his world upside-down. He is trying to remember himself.

Robert Ladislas Derr has performed and exhibited worldwide. This is his second New York solo show. Derr received an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and is an assistant professor of photography at The Ohio State University.

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A little more about "Closing In on Open Spaces," Joanie San Chirico's show opening at Ocean County Artist's Guild April 5

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From the artist's press release:

Joanie San Chirico's work is unique in that it incorporates painting on canvas, photography, or stitching on textiles in such a way that challenges the viewer to decipher how the work was made. More than simple paintings, she combines these media to portray natural surfaces using imagery of this planet's fragile beauty. The work depicts ordinary objects; perhaps some lichen, rocks on a beach, dead vines, images from the artist’s travels or even her back yard. The art is about raising awareness of the fragility of our environment.”

The work depicts a balance of art and nature; portraits of our vanishing landscape and archeological sites. San Chirico incorporates a combination of techniques to reflect on the past in an attempt to make sense of the future by utilizing the incongruity of hand stitching (traditional mark making) with the latest technology on linen, canvas, silk and other textiles (modern mark making).
See Joanie San Chirico's website for more info. April's a great month to visit New Jersey! Get on down to Joanie's show, then hit Seaside Heights for some serious boardwalk fun and laughs.

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"Guest of Cindy Sherman" -- a film by Paul H-O and Tom Donahue

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Thanks to the generosity of Betsy Rudnick I was treated to an advance screening of a new film by Gallery Beat's Paul H-O. It's called Guest of Cindy Sherman.

This is easily one of the coolest, most enjoyable flicks I've watched in ages.

Paul started Gallery Beat way back in the day. He was an appealing public access TV presence that took the wind out of art's self-important sails and made things accessible. The film shows a lot of early footage of Paul cavorting in galleries, getting to know various art stars and eventually interviewing and getting to know Cindy Sherman.

She's the only one who upstages Paul in this flick, and, man, she upstages him bigtime. Her real-life self comes off as an extremely appealing, attractive adult kid. She literally glows in the footage Paul shares with us here. I could sit through hours of footage of Ms. Sherman at work. In my opinion these pieces of film alone are worth the price of admission.

The film kinda-sorta makes us all guests of Cindy Sherman as we watch her go through the process of preparing a shoot in her studio. It gives insights into her history, her family, other people in her life (Robert Longo, man, just -- you know -- take care of it, dude), other big art people at the time like April Gornik, Julian Schnabel (who ends up looking like a pompous jerk), Eric Fischl (who doesn't), Jerry Saltz, Roberta Smith, various A- and B-list celebs and a cast of extra-cool extras.

Another thing Paul H-O does in this big-eyed big-hearted film is that he gives some sequence to developments in the art world from the mid-to-late 1970's up to a year or two ago. A number of developments make a little more sense to me now. And as a side note, it almost seems as if Paul can't get away from the art world in spite of himself. That's a good thing, I'd say, because it's clear that this boy still has a lot to offer.

Guest of Cindy Sherman opens on March 27 at Cinema Village in Manhattan and the Santa Fe Film Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Do Not Miss This Flick!

Thanks, Paul, Tom and Betsy!

Below is copy from the email Betsy sent me.


Opening March 27, 2009

Featuring Paul H-O, Cindy Sherman, John Waters, Eric Bogosian, Danny DeVito, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Molly Ringwald, Carol Kane, Eric Fischl, Christine Vachon, Roberta Smith, Robert Longo, Eli Broad, Ingrid Sischy, Cecily Brown, and Christopher Trela

Directed by Paul H-O and Tom Donahue

In 1993, artist Paul H-O discovered a new passion when he melded his two great loves: the art world and the video camera. From that combination came the quirky, handmade public-access show, "GalleryBeat." Years later and flying high, Paul discovers one of his biggest fans is the reclusive, art world superstar Cindy Sherman. During a series of exclusive interviews, Paul and Cindy fall in love and begin a romance. Unexpectedly, the relationship forces Paul to confront issues of ego, gender and identity as he gets caught up in the aura of Cindy's celebrity. With unprecedented access, the documentary places us in the company of the great artist. Spanning over 15 years and including more than fifty interviews with art world and entertainment luminaries (including Eli Broad, Eric Bogosian, Jerry Saltz, Roberta Smith, Danny DeVito, Carol Kane, Christine Vachon, Ingrid Sischy, Molly Ringwald, Eric Fischl and April Gornik), the film offers a unique critique of the ever-inflated New York art market and the culture of celebrity.


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"Closing in on Open Spaces" -- Selections from the Environmental Series by Joanie San Chirico

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Don't miss "Selections from the Environmental Series -- a Solo Exhibit by Joanie San Chirico"
April 5 - April 28, 2009 at the Ocean County Artists’ Guild -- www.ocartistsguild.org
Ocean and Chestnut Avenues
Island Heights, NJ 08732

Reception: Sunday April 5, 2009 1-4pm
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 1-4pm

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The Krasnals -- The 'black star' of Polish art scene

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Think these people have issues? Check this from the header of the Krasnals Group blog:

The Blog of The Krasnals group - the 'black star' of Polish art scene!We are fed up with the stagnation of the Polish art world dependent on the western art market rules. It provoked our frustration and aggression. Cynicism became more inspiring. We vomit on things or admire them. New qualities can be seen through chaos or turning things upside down. The career of W. Sasnal was the turning point, and acceptance by Christie's the painting based on Sasnal’s one and estimation at 70,000 GBP.

Krasnal Bansky "I am White / Barack Obama". 2008.
Oil on canvas. 70 x 60 cm

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Bloxpix -- Platform Project Space at Denise Bibro Fine Art

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I'm thrilled to be part of the panel discussion for this excellent event. See you at the opening or on Saturday! - B

@ Platform Project Space
Denise Bibro Fine Art
529 West 20th Street, 4W, Chelsea

March 5 - 28, 2009
Opening reception: Thursday, March 5, 6-8pm
* Blogger panel discussion, Saturday, March 7, 5pm

(above, l to r, Ben La Rocco, Christopher Davison, Sharon Butler)

Denise Bibro Fine Art is pleased to present blogpix, organized by Olympia Lambert, on view March 5 - 28th, 2009 in our Platform Project Space. blogpix brings together four of today's top art bloggers. Curators Roberta Fallon & Libby Rosof, Joanne Mattera and Hrag Vartanian each bring to the table an unparalled voice and writing style. As art lovers demand more topical coverage with added visuals, once-a-month review simply cannot compete with daily feedback, as the information superhighway has become 24/7 on demand full- access. blogpix is a dedicated showcase where the digital intersects the human. 2009 finds us a nation pressed for time, fed by instantaneous information on demand. >From Twitter "tweets" to Facebook "status updates," today's internet is a rapid, ever-evolving pixelated organism made up of conjugal ones and zeroes. With the influence of art journalism's printed media in decline, the art blogosphere is rapidly stepping up to fill the void. With their curatorial choices, our blogger curators spotlight six talented artists working in a variety of mediums and genres.

Fallon & Rosof's artblog has been featured twice as one of the top art blogs in the U.S. by Art in America. Their daily coverage since 2003 from their Philadelphia outpost boasts a readership from all over the world. Not merely focusing on just Philadelphia, artblog covers exhibitions from Washington, D.C. and Chelsea, to Paris, London and Asia. Fallon & Rosof often spotlight young and emerging artists. For blogpix, they have chosen Philadelphia artist Christopher Davison. Davison's works' directly take on a relation of the body and its form, confronting the viewer with a humor that is both dark and devious in nature.

Joanne Mattera has been covering contemporary art on her blog since 2006. A well-regarded artist in her own right, Mattera's focus is on reductive art with a concentration on saturated color. For blogpix she has chosen three fellow bloggers-Sharon Butler, Steven Alexander, Julie Karabenick (editor of Geoform, a curated website which focuses on geometric abstraction), and Reese Inman, an artist who utilizes computer-programmed algorithms' law of chance to play an active role in her paintings' design and makeup. The works pulsate with energetic color and suggest motion, becoming an allegorical commentary on the electrifying nature of the continuous flow of data on the information superhighway.

A contributor to PBS' Art21 blog, Hrag Vartanian also writes for The Brooklyn Rail. Since his site's launch in 2006, Vartanian has become a leading voice through his regular column Re:Public covering New York street art on the highly acclaimed ArtCalZine. Vartanian's thought-provoking coverage combines a focus on daily linkage to industry news, as well as critical review spotlighting new and emerging artists. For blogpix, he has chosen Brooklyn artist Ben La Rocco. La Rocco's meticulously perfected surfaces combine color, motion, and shape. LaRocco's touch is at once gentle and aggressive, bringing you in to his works' celestial center.

Please send an RSVP for our panel discussion to platform@denisebibrofineart.com, or join us online March 7th at our Twitter account for a live panel feed, http://www.twitter.com/blogpix.

For more information, or high resolution images, please contact the gallery at the information provided below.

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