In 1957, Janet Flanner published a Profile called “The Surprise of the Century.” The “surprise” was Pablo Picasso, a genius who struck his friends as unprecedented, as both an artist and a person—a “complete phenomenon.” (“The excesses of his artistic endowment, of his will, of his life appetites, and of his character,” Flanner writes, “appear to have been idiosyncratic from earliest childhood.”) This week, we’re bringing you close encounters with great artists in their prime. Ellen Willis reports on the turbulent vision of Janis Joplin and her band, and Whitney Balliett chronicles the musical innovations of the jazz legend Charlie Parker in “Bird.” Janet Malcolm explores the complexity of Sylvia Plath’s work and life in “The Silent Woman,” and Jervis Anderson accompanies the novelist Ralph Ellison on a trip to his home town and recounts the author’s thoughts on race in America. In a 1974 Profile, Calvin Tomkins traces Georgia O’Keeffe’s path from the Art Students League, in New York, to her legendary ranch in New Mexico, and, in “The Duke in His Domain,” Truman Capote visits Marlon Brando on the set of “Sayonara.” Finally, S. N. Behrman writes about Joseph Duveen, who—as the art dealer to William Randolph Hearst, Henry Clay Frick, J. P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, and other major collectors—shaped the art world as we know it today. We hope that you find these glimpses of artistic minds as fascinating as we do.
—Erin Overbey and Joshua Rothman, archivists
It makes even more sense that the film maker, Michael Jacobsohn, has done a documentary filming him – for this quintessential New York street artist actually “performs” painting works in NYC public spaces such as Grand Central, Union Square, and Washington Square.
As you know from my posts here I feel it’s extraordinarily important to show people the actual process of painting a painting. There is a natural beginning – middle – and end in doing a painting: washes, color, blocking, figures, lines, detail.
Let us remember: 70 million boomers are about to be liberated from paid work. But then what? In my practice helping people in a similar situation – suddenly disabled in mid-life – I found that art can replace work very well indeed. It’s important for people to realize that art offers a potentially rich future – without performance reviews – and it makes entrepreneurs out of everyone it touches.
Jacobsohn has also done a documentary on the street artist James Garland, Imaginary Distance. This is not just any documentary. Michael tracked this deliberately-homeless born-again Christian artist for a year. The film is now being submitted to film festivals around the world.
Jacobsohn created two “art” films in the 60’s or 70’s, before his 30 year career at ABC. He talks about the Lower East Side art scene during the 60’s in this perceptive early interview: https://youtu.be/zqrWz0PGI3Y. I found this interview particularly relevant since I’d lived on the LES in the mid ’60s on a block where 3/4 of the buildings were abandoned, settled by squatters – and often by artists. Now that was a cauldron for New York City art – uniquely so! A few years after I was there another street artist, Basquiat, and his crowd settled into the LES. See the 1996 biographical film, Basquiat, with David Bowie playing Andy Warhol wearing Warhol’s own wigs – or in increasing accuracy Jean-Michel Basquiat the radiant child 2009 and the documentary La Stanza/Boom for Real: the late teen age years of Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Now Michael has done a documentary about this other New York City obsessed street artist, Ching. It will be shown at New York’s Cornelia St Cafe on June 23rd at 2pm (where the show of paintings continues through June).
In fact Jacobsohn has also curated a first-Saturday-of-the-month afternoon (2pm) film series “Meet the Makers Matinee” series for this summer. It starts with a documentary about Erroll Garner on June 2, and continues with indie shorts July 7 and short films by the inestimable Lower East Side Girls Club on August 4th. (The $10 entrance fee includes a drink.)
The Cafe is an intersection of visual and video art – a true village oasis. Its owner, Robin Hirsch, has hosted this faithful welcome wagon for New York artists and those who love them for decades. See the documentaries which have been done about this hub of artistic life in the village: Gordon Skinner’s 30th Anniversary Video & Sharon Kaufman’s 35th Anniversary Tribute.
Robin’s an artist too – of course – author of Last Dance at the Hotel Kempinski (“one of the best books ever written on the long arm of the Holocaust” Jewish Book News and FEG: Stupid Poems for Intelligent Children (“searingly smart and challenging”, New York Times). This Cafe is truly an intersection and art and pleasure – and this new documentary series is not to be missed.
The festival includes hundreds of well-known and emerging artists ranging from theater to dance, music to movies, a street fair and art exhibit.
The whole festival is FREE FREE FREE!
Kanopy.com, the fantastic movie site of the NY Public Library available for every library card holder, has 30,000+ films and documentaries – all totally free. The #1 film about grey gays, Gen Silent: Discrimination Against LGBT Seniors, by Interrobang Productions / Stu Maddux Films is rarely free on the internet – but occasionally it is: and now is the time. It is available on Kanopy.com in an abridged version and in its full 89 minute version.
Here is the text from Kanopy.com about this well-done film:
– The generation that fought hardest to come out of the closet is going back in to survive.
– What would you do if you were old, disabled or ill – and the person feeding you put down the spoon and said that you are going to hell unless you change your sexual preference?
– Sound absurd? Social workers around the world say it’s happening every day.
Gen Silent is the critically acclaimed documentary from filmmaker Stu Maddux that asks six LGBT seniors if they will hide their friends, their spouses- their entire lives in order to survive in the care system.
Running Time 89 mins 2 videos included
Filmmakers Joseph Applebaum, Stu Maddux
Sometimes you just get an idea, and think “let’s google that…”
I’m a 3D photographer from my teen years in the 1950s. Then Kodak stopped developing 3D slides in the 1970s. At that time there were only about 300 of us left. We’d haunt antique camera fairs. But mounting 3D slides while creative (you can make tigers leap out of the picture – stuff like that – by simply varying the distance between the two images)… is real hard work. Tweezer stuff. So I have what my teen brain was able to produce. But not much more.
But what if you just had chalk… ? Well, that thought has occurred to enough people worldwide to produce some very entertaining and thought provoking imagery… take a look at the Crevasse link below for the making of one of these images.
Is it art? Who cares? yes, of course it is – if art is defined as what’s just pure fun. That’s art isn’t it? it’s letting go with a brush and color and letting whatever’s been caged up go at it….
3d Street Art, often known as 3d chalk art is 2-dimensional artwork drawn on the street … This drawinglooks like an old, classic painting, similar to paintings in …
He is also probably the most famous on the Internet of all five 3D street artists featured in this … His illusion they can be traced back to Kurt Wenner pastel drawings.
44 Amazing Julian Beever’s 3D Pavement Drawings … Spiderman to the rescue above and below this London street. … Arctic Street Conditions with Soft Drink …
Mar 17, 2016 – It just so happened we started to call in our country “3d drawings on the asphalt “, probably because in childhood we told: “ Drawing with chalk …
Nov 17, 2011 – British artist Joe Hill’s creation has broken records for the longest and largest surface area for a 3D painting, according to Guinness Book of World Records …
Larry Qualls simply put in his daily art events blog (www.LarryQualls.blogspot.com) the following post: NYXxDESIGN, various events around the city; see https://www.nycxdesign.com/
Be overwhelmed – and delighted: go to https://www.nycxdesign.com/blog/ or /events/ and discover an avalanche of design events all focused on NYC. Everyone from the dept of sanitation to Turkish architects – plus all the education players in the city – are having a Design Fest. Rarely have I ever seen something so rich, complex and appetizing.
It’s far too complicated for a simple list. That’s why you need to dive into the nycxdesign site and wander around. Use the map and search function. Whatever you can imagine, they probably have a discussion or workshop or exhibition on.
For those linearly oriented here are four events sponsored by Manhattan’s design districts:
-Tribeca Design District – Taking place on May 17, the event will host showrooms that include Colony, David Weeks Studio, and Stillfried Wien. May 17, 7–10 pm, various locations.
-NoMad Design District – On May 18, this white hot design district opens its collective doors to the public. Myriad showrooms will be hosting cocktail parties, activations, and individual events throughout the district. May 18, 6–9 pm, various locations.
-SoHo Design District – On May 19, the SoHo Design District will host several NYCxDESIGN event hosts and attendees in their participating showrooms. May 19, 6–9 pm, various locations.
-East Midtown Partnership – The Partnership includes the A&D and D&D Buildings, and additional home decor and decorative arts retail locations and showrooms on East 58th, East 59th, and East 60th Streets.
If you’re old fashioned and don’t like your world imploding on you, take this link – https://www.nycxdesign.com/content/uploads/2018/05/NYCxDESIGN-May-Kickoff-Release-Final.pdf – to go to the 13 page press release from hell. It lists every aspect of this design monster six-years-in-the-making. Throwaway statistics like “The design industry makes up 25 percent of manufacturing jobs in Brooklyn” will startle you.
This juggernaut is hurtling towards May 23 for its culmination. Get onboard! if you’re into design, this is a phenomenon designed to please….
Romance and Reason presents the transformations of a Classical past engaging illuminated Islamic manuscripts. It has works from the 11th through 18th centuries.
This outpost of NYU, the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at 15 East 84th Street has its last showing of this gem of a show Sunday. The Institute is the perfect adjunct to a day at the Met – or an afternoon stroll in Central Park. www.isaw.nyu.edu/exhibitions
International Jazz Day started the week off here in NYC – on April 30th. Appropriately the Greek mission to the UN sponsored at the UN a forum and performances of Jazz Democracy. Jazz figures from all over the world pulled together to showcase how much jazz has become global – and how it epitomizes democratic values. (That’s where the Greeks came in, with justified pride at being the birthplace of democracy.) Many pointed remarks were made as to how democracy was still under the gun, still needed celebration and reinforcement – how the need for jazz and its democratic values was more important than ever.
The event took place in the Trusteeship Chamber Hall and was MC’d by Dimitri Vassilakis. Dimitri and his jazz artists highlighted elements in jazz performance that can be used in the work environment, social relations, and political issues. The highlight of the evening were videos from Georgia Tech of the use of artificial intelligence – and robotic drummers. Since two of the evening’s performers were drummers it was extremely interesting to gauge their reactions as to whether these robots were their replacements – or equal players who could increase the dialogue in the equality-based conversations which are at the core of jazz. A reception in the great entry hall of the recently refurbished UN capped off a challenging, thoughtful, and heartfelt evening. Jeanne Bresciani and members of the Isadora Duncan International Institute gave a dance performance with Dimitri Vassilakis’s jazz sax playing in the reception area at the same time. I left the UN’s festivities and celebration of democracy feeling that this conversation has only just begun….