“LET ME DIE IN DRAG!” Ed Wood, cinema auteur of the ultimate b-grade weird in the Hollywood miasma of sleaze and degradation, best known for his films Plan 9 from Outer Space or Glen Or Glenda, was also a writer of dirty books. Next week in New York a collection of Wood’s rare X-rated fiction will be on display in New York at the Boo-Hooray gallery in New York City. The antiquarian mystique surrounding Edward Davis Wood Jr.’s career as an author of pornographic pulp fiction is legend. He wrote under a variety of pseudonyms, books were published and re-published under different titles, and occasionally under different author names. Multiple authors would share the same pseudonym, and the companies that published the titles weren’t the kind of operations that kept any kind of records, nor paid royalties, nor really existed in the manner that most are to expect of book publishers. His descent into alcoholism and poverty was mirrored by the publishers that employed him. Towards the end of his life he wrote pornography with decreasing amounts of the strange flourishes of his eccentric personality. He died in 1978 of an alcohol-induced heart attack. His friends say the porn killed him. Ed Wood’s Sleaze Paperbacks will be on view at the Boo-Hooray Gallery in NYC from November 2 to December 1.
California, 1986–When I pulled off the freeway into San Diego, I had a single twenty dollar bill in my wallet. My car, a 1973 Toyota station wagon, rattled my teeth and died in idle. At stops I had to divide my right foot: heel on the brake, toes revving the accelerator. I had barely enough gas to get back to Los Angeles. See more after the jump…. [SEE MORE...]
How did American artists represent the Jazz Age? The exhibition Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties at the Brooklyn Museum brings together for the first time the work of sixty-eight painters, sculptors, and photographers who explored a new mode of modern realism in the years bounded by the aftermath of the Great War and the onset of the Great Depression. Throughout the 1920s, artists created images of liberated modern bodies and the changing urban-industrial environment with an eye toward ideal form and ordered clarity—qualities seemingly at odds with a riotous decade best remembered for its flappers and Fords. Artists took as their subjects uninhibited nudes and close-up portraits that celebrated sexual freedom and visual intimacy, as if in defiance of the restrictive routines of automated labor and the stresses of modern urban life. Reserving judgment on the ultimate effects of machine culture on the individual, they distilled cities and factories into pristine geometric compositions that appear silent and uninhabited. American artists of the Jazz Age struggled to express the experience of a dramatically remade modern world, demonstrating their faith in the potentiality of youth and in the sustaining value of beauty. Youth and Beauty will present 140 works by artists including Thomas Hart Benton, Imogen Cunningham, Charles Demuth, Aaron Douglas, Edward Hopper, Gaston Lachaise, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Luigi Lucioni, Gerald Murphy, Georgia O’Keeffe, Alfred Stieglitz, and Edward Weston. Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties is on view until January 29, 2012 at the Brooklyn Museum.
Alexander McQueen presents a short film created by Paris-based director/photographer Babette Pauthier, featuring Alexander McQueen’s Autumn/Winter 2011 seasonal scarf collection. See film after the jump. [SEE MORE...]
Tokyo – Art Gig 2 – with the theme Mummy, I’m Scarrred, by curator Shai Ohayon: “The ghosts themed art happening will be presented at an abandoned hospital in Hatsudai, Shibuya ward, Tokyo. The hospital, which has been abandoned now for a few years, is still intact with the original furniture, equipment and fixtures and is usually let to film crews to shoot on location. We are intending to use the basement of the hospital which consists of a large furnished room in the center of the basement for performances, while the interconnected rundown rooms and corridors will be used as exhibition spaces. We intend for the exhibition rooms and the corridors to be left pitch-black and visitors will be instructed to bring torches (flashlights) to negotiate through the space. The venue is truly creepy and surreal. We aim to present some 15 local and international artists along with music and performance art pieces and transform the entire venue into an improvised art gallery. Artworks will include pieces of many disciplines and site-specific installations, using the walls, the hospital beds, old equipment, decaying tatami rooms, old kitchen and morgue. Artists are asked to present works that reflect their practice and that deals directly with their notion or understanding of the theme. Attendance to the event is free-of-charge to the public and visitors will be encouraged to explore the space, engage with the artworks and to enjoy the array of performances that will be featured as part of the event. As we did in the last event, we will have at the end of the night also a raffle with gifts from a variety of art and culture related organisations and businesses. In addition, with the proximity of the event to Halloween we will also host a costume competition in collaboration with Impossible Project.” On view this Sunday, October 30. www.artgigtokyo.com
The commandment “Thou shalt not kill” is a value deeply rooted in our culture. And yet murder and manslaughter are committed every day, everywhere in the world. Whether in the media, in films or in literature, we are continually confronted with descriptions of capital crimes, real or invented, which bring us face to face with taboo or extreme areas of human behavior. On the one hand, these stories satisfy a widespread morbid curiosity and craving for sensation. On the other, they encourage discussion within society about how to deal with murderers and other killers, and about the causes of the crime. On view now at the Historisches Museum Bern, an exhibition entitled Murder and Manslaughter. An Exhibition About Life – 15 separate display areas, you can learn more about the subject of murder and manslaughter: the topics range from the question of the value of human life via murderous gods, war, terrorism, killing sprees, and spectacular murders and murderers, to detection and the problems of punishment and prevention. Exhibits from the Historisches Museum Bern and from the collections of a number of very different institutions at home and abroad have been combined with photographs, excerpts from documentary and feature films, texts, audios, sounds and music, to encourage reflection. The exhibition “Murder and Manslaughter” illuminates the phenomenon of violent crime in its different dimensions, in history and today. The subtitle: “An Exhibition about Life” sets the tone: “Murder and Manslaughter” is life-affirming. In the face of testimony from the past and the present, you will become more aware of the value of life.
Details from Christopher Lusher’s solo art show “Hunky Dory” now on view at the Blank Gallery in Huntington, West Virginia. Photography by John Drake.
Now on view at the LACMA in Los Angeles – Glenn Ligon: AMERICA is the first mid-career retrospective of Ligon’s work in the United States. The exhibition includes unknown early material and the reconstruction of seminal bodies of work such as the Door paintings, the coal dust Stranger canvases and the Coloring series. Ligon was born in the Bronx in 1960 and continues to live and work in New York. He has pursued an incisive exploration of American history, literature, and society across a body of work that builds on the legacies of modern painting and more recent conceptual art, working in a variety of media, including painting, neon, installation, video and print. In the late 80s and early 90s, Ligon became known for work that explores race, sexuality, representation and language. On view until January 22, 2012.