Amazing music video from Spanish production/design agency Canada for the Scissor Sister’s “Invisible Light.”
With the all out indifference of New York City suffocating, I found myself barricaded inside, listening to Billie Holiday’s rendition of the jazz standard ‘Solitude‘ over and over again. “In my solitude…..you haunt me.” Her voice in the song sounds as if she’s grasping at a wall, pleading. Who was haunting Billie Holiday? The specter on the other side of the wall? When I was a kid my mother gave me a Billie Holiday record as a gift. When I heard Billie’s voice for the first time, it was one of those mystical moments where I felt alive in a beautiful universe of nothingness and just as long as this woman was singing, oblivion was mine for the taking. I entered parallel dimensions. Billie Holiday was haunting me – certainly. Just a few days ago, after a long nocturnal blizzard blanketed much of New England, I decided to search for Billie Holiday. On a hot summer day in 1959 Billie was laid to rest in Saint Raymond’s Cemetery in the Bronx. She was 44. I took a train uptown. I spent close to two hours in a frozen, snowed over cemetery looking for her grave stone. I was waist deep in snow, trudging about, losing my breath, and at the moment I decide to take a break to rethink my strategy I find her final resting place. Billie Holiday was buried next to her mother, which I found fascinating and touching. Earlier that day I had bought Billie a little seahorse and left it for her as a gift (sailors used give each other seahorses for good luck before embarking on long odysseys). So there I was – I had found Billie Holiday.
Text and photograph by Oliver Maxwell Kupper
Iannis Xenakis, ‘Philips Pavilion,’ 1958 postcard 4 x 6 in. Iannis Xenakis Archives, Bibliothéque nationale de France, Paris
Now on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, this exhibition features the role of drawing in the work of Iannis Xenakis, a major 20th-century figure who brought together architecture, music, and advanced mathematics. A contemporary of fellow avant-garde composers, including Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pierre Boulez, and John Cage, Xenakis also created revolutionary designs while working with modern architecture pioneer Le Corbusier. Many of Xenakis’s innovations in music and architecture were realized first on paper, resulting in hundreds of striking graphic documents that exemplify how the drawing process was used as a means of “thinking through the hand.” The exhibition, the first in North America dedicated to Xenakis’s original works on paper produced between 1953 and 1984, includes more than 60 rarely seen musical scores, architectural drawings, conceptual renderings, and samplings of his innovative graphic notation. Iannis Xenakis: Composer, Architect, Visionary is on view at the MOCA through Feb 4th, 2011.
Hailed as a successor to Ritchie Valens, after Valens died in a plane crash with Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper, on the day most recall as “the day the music died.” Big shoes to fill. Born Ezekiel Montanez, Chris Montez was only a teenager when his first recorded his hit “Lets Dance.” He toured the south during the Civil Rights movement with Smoky Robinson and Sam Cooke. He even went on tour in the UK, as a headliner for the Beatles; and famously brawled with John Lennon. Severely under appreciated and slightly less known, Chris Montez is the resurrection of music on the day music apparently died, and still is the definition of rock n’ roll. A documentary about his life, El Viaje Musical de Ezekiel Montanez: The Chris Montez Story, is currently in production. More info here.
The idea came to Marc Marmel whilst vacationing in the French Riviera: “There was a time in history when travel was about the journey, not the destination. A time when custom made luggage was a privilege only afforded by the wealthy. A time when luggage traveled to exotic locations by steamship, railroad, and horse drawn carriage.” So Marmel, based in Los Angeles, began to design and construct, by hand, one of kind luggage. Beautiful leather bags that undoubtably stand out in large contrast to the ubiquitous and ever so homogeneous black rolling suitcase: the exact opposite of unique. What with rolling sidewalks and flight attendants with an ever changing job title and muffin tops who serve bad coffee, I think soon we’ll see a small revolution in the way we travel. Oh lord that blows the wild wind: bring back a time that hearkens back to Pan-Am, luxury ocean liners, and the great discovery of mysterious flora and fauna; all with a gorgeous blond at our sides, a ridiculously tiny unsafe car that reeks of leather and petrol, and a Marc Marmel bag in the trunk. www.marcmarmel.com
Oliver Maxwell Kupper ‘Self Portrait in Manhattan” © 2011
Nick Veasy “The Finger”
In a “world obsessed with image,” UK based artist Nick Veasy is on a peregrination to find the beauty so rumored to be only “skin deep.” In a mysterious, fortified radiation safe structure called “the black box” is where Veasy creates most of his X-Ray images. The above fuck you image entitled “The Finger” and other works by Veasy will be on display at the the 11th Annual Los Angeles Art Show that runs from Jan. 19th to the 23rd. www.nickveasy.com
The Vicissitude Of Water (Tennis Court No. 2) Minneapolis, USA Photo Dustin Lynn
The Vicissitude Of Water (Goal Post) Minneapolis, USA Photo Dustin Lynn
New photographs by artist, filmmaker, traveler Dustin Lynn. To elucidate the hidden meaning behind these haunting, frigid images, in Dustin Lynn’s own words: “[The] highest level of ascension in water is when it becomes snow – then it can take other forms like the branches of a tree, an alfa romeo, or a playing field.” Isolated and glamorous with overwhelming quietude, these images are still-frames of a morbid, parallel nirvana in Middle America.
“747″ January 5, 1973 Los Angeles, California, at about 8am at a beach near the Los Angeles International Airport, I fired several shots with a pistol at a Boeing 747.
In 1971, during one of his most famous pieces, Chris Burden had his assistant shoot him in the arm from a distance of 5 meters with a riffle. “At 7:45 P.M. I was shot in the left arm by a friend. The bullet was a copper jacket .22 long rifle. My friend was standing about fifteen feet from me.” His life is seemingly an extreme case of Dadaist impulses and an insatiable thirst for danger; as well as the warm hard-on milking of the brain for adrenaline. Burden currently lives and works in Los Angeles. You can find a book, an overview, of his works, here.
53 Art Museum, a new avant-garde contemporary art institution located in Guangzhou China will present an exhibition of three cutting-edge artists, Feng Feng, Qin Jin and Liu Qingyuan. Curated and sponsored by the prominent Asian Art Magazines Art Gallery Magazine / Gallery Sights. On view at the 2011 LA Art Show – Jan 19-23.