Category Archives: Art

Frank Stella! Hey, Frank Stella!

At 82, National Medal of Arts recipient Frank Stella is creating some of his best work. The Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York is hosting an exhibition of some of his recent sculptures.

Here are some pictures from the exhibition, all found on the Gallery’s website:

“Frank Stella: Recent Work” opened on 25 April 2019 and will be on view until 22 June 2019.


I’d love to go, but, unfortunately, I’ve been barred for life from attending any Stella exhibitions, all because of a minor misunderstanding at an earlier show. I don’t think I did anything wrong, but they claimed I was causing a disruption.

You can judge for yourself. Here’s the Security footage of The Incident:

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Celebrity Time Travelers

I know nothing about Ard Gelinck except that he lives in the Netherlands and he creates these wonderful collages of well-known people at various stages of their lives.

Read the images any way you want. Is Gelinck just showing the inevitable results of time and gravity and living, or is he illustrating the fantasy of being able to go back in time and teach your younger self all the life lessons you’ve learned over the years?

He’s charitable in his selection of subjects. There are no Dorian Greys in his gallery. Gelinck avoids the easy but cruel choice of pairing a picture of, say, the young Jan Michael Vincent with a contemporary photo, for instance.

I found these images on Bored Panda, where you can find many more.

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp

Madonna

Madonna

Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks

Sting

Sting

George Michael

George Michael

David Rakoff’s Thoughts on Rent

NSFW:  Language

I didn’t see the televised not-really-live performance of Rent last night, but I read some of the reviews this morning. While I was searching for them on the web, I found this wonderful old recording of David Rakoff’s thoughts on the musical.

He was not a fan.

I’ve been a fervent devotee of this passionate and humane writer since I first saw him when he was a guest of Jon Stewart on The Daily Show.

Among other honours, Rakoff won the Thurber Prize for American Humor. You can see why in his two-minute Advice to Graduates.

David Rakoff died after a horrific battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma on 17 August 2012. This is his funny, sad, and beautiful Final Performance.

Velvet Buzzsaw — Official Trailer

Whoa! What the hell was that?

The film is called Velvet Buzzsaw, and it’s by Dan Gilroy, who made the brilliantly creepy hit Nightcrawler in 2014. For this new movie, he’s teamed up again with Nightcrawler stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo. John Malkovich, Tom Sturridge, Billy Magnussen, and Toni “Deserves a Best Actress Nomination But Won’t Get It” Collette round out the cast.

From the trailer, it looks like they’re going for over-the-top campiness. (Jake wildly over-acting. Jake getting laughably hysterical. Jake grabbed by painted monkey arms.)  I wonder if Gilroy and Gyllenhaal were aiming for a 21st-century version of something that the great Vincent Price would have hammed up in his prime.

Velvet Buzzsaw premieres this weekend at Sundance, and shows up on Netflix and in limited theatres on 1 February 2019.

Renoir Painting Stolen in Vienna! (I Have an Alibi.)

As longtime readers may recall, I’m a loyal supporter of the Renoir Sucks at Painting movement, which calls on museums and galleries to remove and banish the works of that loathsome French hack, Pierre-Auguste Renoir. That’s why I had mixed emotions when I saw this headline on the Artdaily website:

I was happy because yet another insipid piece of Renoir-created eye-torment had been taken out of circulation, removing a blotch on the art world, and on Western civilization as a whole.* At the same time, I was a little afraid, because I was in Vienna when the theft occurred, and Interpol’s International Art Theft Squad: Renoir Subset: Potential Thieves Division almost certainly has me in its database.

Fortunately, I have an alibi: At the time of the theft, I was at an exhibition of the works of a much more talented and original painter. When the police show up to interrogate me, I’ll show them my ticket to “The Life and Works of Thomas Kinkade”.


The Onion reports on the earlier liberation of another public nuisance.


*You know who owns a Renoir? Donald Trump.

Except it turns out that his is probably a fake, and another con artist apparently took him for $10,000,000. See Donald Trump’s Fake Renoir: The Untold Story.

The Restaurant at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, with Beef Goulash and a Side of Bruegel

Since my last posting in November, I’ve been in Vienna, except for one quick sidetrip to Budapest. I’m back in DC now, and I’ll be posting some travel pictures over the next few weeks. Not too many, though, because my last visits to both cities were fairly recent—I spent a couple of weeks in Vienna back in 2014, and some time in Budapest just last year. You can find those earlier posts in the archives. Rather than rehash my notes on museums and galleries, I’ll probably write more about restaurants and street scenes.

One of the reasons I returned to Vienna so soon was that the Kunsthistorisches Museum was commemorating the 450th anniversary of the death Pieter Bruegel the Elder by hosting a massive Bruegel exhibition. Over the past few years, I’ve developed something of an obsession with Bruegel—with all the Bruegels, really, and there are about half a dozen notable artists in that one extended family.

But for the reasons I posted above, I’m not going to post new images from the exhibition.  I’ve already posted a selection of Breugel paintings, which you can see at these links from my last visit to Kunsthistorisches Museum and from my trip to Brussels last Spring. Instead, I’m going to focus on something almost as important.


The Café-Restaurant at the Kunsthistorisches Museum

Image found on the Web.

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”
—Attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt.

“Small minds discuss people; average minds discuss events; great minds discuss restaurants.”
—Attributed to Fran Lebowitz.

With some notable exceptions, “museum food” doesn’t have a great reputation. My meal at the Kunsthistorisches was not one of those exceptions. The drink and the beef goulash were forgettable at best, but I wasn’t there for the food.

I was there for the room.

The magnificent Café at the Kunsthistorisches Museum is one of the Great Rooms, the kind of place that reminds you that you’re in one of the old imperial cities of Europe.

Image found on the Web.

Image found on the Web.

Pictures don’t begin to convey the breathtakingly beauty of this room.


Oh, yeah. One other thing…

I almost forgot to mention: The Bruegel exhibition?  Oh, It was glorious!

Return to ARTECHOUSE (with Much Better Video)

I had a delightful visit from my Left Coast brother and sister-in-law this week, which included another trip to ARTECHOUSE, to see touch experience the current “New Nature” installation.

I’ve never been able to come close to capturing the HD quality of ARTECHOUSE’s visual displays with my IPad, but I’ve found some online samples from the shows.

In “New Nature”, a side room contains “The Menagerie”, a collection of large monitors displaying fluid abstract designs. The “creatures” on screen respond to the hand movements of the person watching the monitor.

Like this:


Here’s an overview of the current installation. The main room, at the start of the video, is 24 feet high*, and the installation covers 270°.

Love this place! ARTECHOUSE has become one of my favourite hangouts in Washington.


*To put that in perspective, imagine four six-foot-tall people, standing on each other’s heads. Or imagine six four-foot-tall people, standing on each other’s heads, if that works better for you. The point is, it’s big.