FEBRUARY 2005: A MIDWINTER'S NIGHT SCREAM
Happy New Year and all of that good stuff. Apologies for having not emailed in a while, but while everyone is celebrating demockracy in Iraq, I've been trying to refresh my memory regarding the definition of martial law. Last time I checked, curfews, restriction of movement and other such control mechanisms were more appropriately applied to States of Emergency and dictatorships, but what are semantics among sovereigns? I don't think this democracy is a such a blast when we obliterate in excess of 100 000 people; destroy ancient art, treasure and history; level cities; torture detainees; disparage as treasonous anyone who voices disapproval over the methodology and blow in excess of 200 billion dollars to achieve it. While there is no denying America is one of the few countries where one can express oneself freely for the most part, the fact that I have seen my own art destroyed by both a public printing service and an anonymous vandal within the space of a few weeks, reminds me that destruction of ideas is not always at the hand of the government. And finally, while there are far more important issues than fashion, (like say, malaria) the apologists for Dick Cheney, who defended his recent parka and ski-cap fashion faux pas at an Auschwitz memorial by virtue of the cold weather, ought to consider whether we would excuse Australia's Prime Minister, John Howard, appearing at a September 11th anniversary in a Speedo because it happened to be hot. Or ever forgive me for thrusting upon you such a horrific visual!
|The Beat Goes On... |
Numb & Number (Again!)
My Numb & Number exhibition at Toomey Tourell closed in mid November, but the fallout and controversy related to the printing company that destroyed my piece "Like Apple Fucking Pie" and "Who Would Jesus Torture?" continues. A January 11th, 2005 editorial in Arab News commented on the political ramifications of censorship in the United States and on the Internet, which was especially interesting given that it was written in Alkhobar, Saudi Arabia. Further, it was revealed that the author had learnt of the controversy through ME Prnter, a Dubai, United Arab Emirates print publication with distribution in 13 Middle Eastern countries such as: UAE, Iran, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen. News does indeed travel, and it seems this story has some legs.
>>Numb & Number Exhibition at Toomey Tourell
I participated in a group exhibition on November 13th called BIG, which was arranged by Toomey Tourell at a satellite gallery space South of Market in San Francisco. An incredibly talented roster of artists was on display. (See the list here and images here) Originally I had intended doing a video piece, but owing to time restraints from the previous exhibitions, decided to do an installation instead. In a self-portrait titled Lynda (after my hero Lynda Benglis who, in 1974, appeared exquisitely nude in a controversial full colored page ad in ArtForum magazine sporting a dildo in her right hand and pissing off the pretentious) this piece consists of thirty five 10in. x 8 in. panels showing me reclining, Olympia-like, sporting a fully erect penis in my right hand. At my request, Lynda was hung in the women's bathroom (which in San Francisco fast became a men's bathroom too). [Full image not available on web site, but on request.]
As a counter to Lynda, in the men's bathroom, laminated images of Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and Dianne Feinstein were each placed in a urinal. Above the urinals hung the giant 78 in. x 50 in. rendition of Juan de Juane's The Last Supper which was featured in both my New York and San Francisco exhibitions, capturing the subtle nuances of the Bush Administration's key advisors and cabinet members titled "Better Be The Last." On the wall connecting the two bathrooms was an installation Nefarious consisting of four years of the Bush Administration.
The placement of the images in the women and men's bathrooms respectively resulted in visitors defying the gender assignations as men and women constantly switched bathrooms to see what had been installed in the other.
Unfortunately, the following week at a different event, the "Better Be The Last" image was ripped off the bathroom wall and torn up. I was subsequently invited to participate in a panel discussion pertaining to art and vandalism at San Francisco University, which took place last week as part of a worthwhile exhibition at the Thatcher Gallery. Visit if you can.
>>BIG Exhibition/Toomey Tourell.
On February 12, 2005 I open a solo show in Ventura County, which is about 80 miles from Los Angles. Although I have shown in New York, San Francisco, Los Angles and Miami, this represents an entirely new challenge, since Ventura is a pretty conservative place. The show, Uncovered ought to be interesting enough, although I'm thinking of covering myself up, perhaps in a fabulous Kevlar suit. The gallery is appropriately named Upfront Gallery, and details are as follows:
267 S. Laurel Street
12 Feb - 13 Mar 2005
12pm - 5pm Thurs - Sat, 2pm - 4pm Sunday
A Midwinter Night's Scream
As columnists condemn bloggers on TV and radio shows hosted by "news personalities" peppered with experts, pundits and analysts, discerning what journalism is, is almost as tough as defining what is is. Trust is earned by delivering on a promise, not simply making one.
Armstrong Williams, his personal hypocrisy, questionable ethics and probably illegal violation of federal law notwithstanding, should find no problem getting a job, even as Tribune Media, Sinclair Broadcasting and other exposed media outlets abandon him quicker than if he was Pee Wee Herman at a Michael Jackson slumber party. Time Warner, News Corp. and NBC Universal are still hiring.
>> Full Editorial: A Midwinter Night's Scream.
2005, With Faith
Amber Frey, the timid blonde that was perpetually sheltered by the overeager publicity whore, Gloria Allred, is now poised to dazzle us with such enchanting insights as "I wonder if Scott thinks about me," dutifully reported by CNN news scrolls beneath tsunami-ravaged Indonesian orphans.
The State of the Union address; Pentagon and media orchestrated Iraqi elections; homo-frantic attempts to ban everything gay from marriage to usage of the very word; and, naturally, Amber Frey book mania, will keep us busy and distracted enough to ignore the real carnage of both the War on Iraq and tsunami until Martha Stewart is released and hype begins for her new TV show and upcoming book.
>> Full Editorial: 2005, With Faith.
Popsicle Pathology and Other Madening Maladies
The gruelling exhibition run is almost over and it has been quite a ride. Pulling off two distinct exhibitions back to back was a tad stressful, and the idea, moving forward, is to spread them out more evenly. Nonetheless it's been a great experience. The response has been overwhelmingly positive although the funny thing is that when you live with what you've created for so long, you become immune to its impact on others. So the strength of the adjectives used to describe my work were quite fascinating to me. (See the sampling below) The funny thing is that a few that are still somewhat shocking to me were not even mentioned. Perhaps they are just unspeakable.