Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Alan Cohen

I came across a website belonging to an artist named Alan Cohen. His work is terrible and interesting. I love how he titles the left column somewhat ironically, "Today's Menu", which contains links to his different bodies of work.



Mr. Cohen breaks down the meaning of this painting on his website:

In the picture on the website the father has one hand on the boy's shoulder, as if to comfort him. But examination of the boy's posture and expression reveals that he feels rigid and held back, as if he is angry and blazing with repressed rage but cannot express it; the situation is made all the more complex by the double-bind feeling that the father is only trying to do his best; so the boy feels guilty and angry at resenting his hold. Another hint as to what is really going on is the shadow. In the painting the boy does not have a shadow of his own, which suggests that he does not really exist for the father (and hence for himself). Thus his self is entirely absorbed and devoured by his father. This is also emphasised in the picture by using brighter colours in parts of the picture to which the boy has no access. His life is dull and grey, indeed without love; his father steals the light from him and makes the boy an extension of himself.

Pardon my sarcasm, I love how he felt he had to explain the image to us. This is why I hate narrative painting, yet love it at the same time. You have a poor man's trove of symbols and meanings most people can understand, mostly derived from 19th-20th century psychological theory. They're staid, but cliche for a reason. Yet, the predictability of this approach is boring and without a process of renewal. In other words, layers get thin after repeated reads. I guess narrative painting is like playing James Brown's "I feel Good" at a party.
It's popular for a reason, but most of the time I'd rather be playing something else. This work charms and disgusts me at the same time.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Fly Girlz

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I was at my friends house last night and they axed me if I heard the Fly Girlz yet. I was like, "What, you mean— from Living Color?". No, my friends said. Then they put on the record, which immediately charmed me; they burned me a copy to take home.

I did some inter-sleuthing and was amazed to find that the record was produced by none other than fellow Bard grad/ex-roomate-- Nathan Corbin, who's been a member of NYC's Excepter for some years now.

The Fly Girlz comprise middle school girls from Brownsville, Brooklyn, who formed the group for a school project. How they ended up in Nathan's line of sight escapes me, but it's a cool project and worth your money.

Sample track HERE

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

When You Sleep I Dream

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seashells with googly eyes, rocks, wood, miniature top hat.

I just got the bestest gifts for my family at this website, run by a certain Paul Williams. I don't think his eye could be more 'n sync with my own for absurd/ugly/awesome objects and arty doodads.
Collected over a many years and kept in a lovely, musty, aged-wood room, the objects are perfect gift finds for people who appreciate the awesome. Before I start sounding like a magazine blurbical, I will stop writing now. L.A. peeps, come to him for gifts that would make you the envy of the kingdom.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cat People (1982)

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Wow, what a finale to this year. No money—no wait, like, negative money—a car accident, an absentee girlfriend, and no job prospects. What better time to watch Paul Schraeder's Cat People, starring John Heard, Malcolm McDowell, and Nastassja Kinski? AND to receive the bonus gift of a soundtrack by Georgio Moroder and David Bowie?

Mr. Schrader is best known as the writer of Taxi Driver (1975), and Raging Bull (1980). He's also a crafty academic of cinema, writing a book on Bresson and Dreyer. Cat People is not a great movie by any means, but a fine stylistic example of 80s cinema. One of the few 'arty' horror films that I will remember watching, though. It's mainly about a 'family' of half people/half cats which started in ancient times when a leopard seeded a young cave maiden. Kinski looks hot as fark in this as a demure cat-temptress hounded by her horny cat-brother, with John Heard's character, a zoologist, caught in the middle. It was fun to watch and found that the week after, while at a friend's house, that the cat of the house nuzzled next to me immediately. My friend told me that that cat rarely does that for anyone. Is it because I watched Cat People? Maybe. But it's mostly because I probably smelled like a homeless person.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Painter's list of objectives

A good list originally posted by artist Mark Dutcher on Facebook.


Richard Diebenkorn: NOTES TO MYSELF ON BEGINNING A PAINTING

1. attempt what is not certain. Certainty may or may not come later. It may then be a valuable delusion.

2. The pretty, initial position which falls short of completeness is not to be valued — except as a stimulus for further moves.

3. Do search. But in order to find other than what is searched for.

4. Use and respond to the initial fresh qualities but consider them absolutely expendable.

5. Dont “discover” a subject — of any kind.

6. Somehow don’t be bored — but if you must, use it in action. Use its destructive potential.

7. Mistakes can’t be erased but they move you from your present position.

8. Keep thinking about Polyanna.

9. Tolerate chaos.

10. Be careful only in a perverse way.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Wicked Witch

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Here's a recipe.

A few post-Funkadelic burned-out musicians + a mountain of PCP + a music studio = Wicked Witch.

This track is by far the most accessible. Some of the tracks are so dark and woozy I can't bear to listen. I'd imagine the feeling they convey would not be unlike a massive hangover AND being on PCP while living in a dank cellar with rats. Ugh.



Vera's Back--Wicked Witch

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Look Around You

A British comedy duo has been doing a show for a couple of years now called
Look Around You. Based off of old Television educational programs the creators were forced to watch in school when they were kids, it's one of the most dryly funny things I've been in a long time. Visually spot on and at times even a bit scary, it makes for good watching.



Also check out the episodes "Calcium", and "Ghosts".

Friday, December 4, 2009

More Posts from "I am not who you think I am"....

The best one so far....


I am not who you think I am. I'm not working with Youth Services anymore, please remove me from your list!

Sincerely,

Randy.

More Posts from

Tuesday, December 1, 2009