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- 05/06/13--11:15: _Daniel Widrig's Cra...
- 05/06/13--11:45: _Tumblr Star Lacey M...
- 05/06/13--12:30: _Heads Up, You Can N...
- 05/06/13--13:00: _Recapping the Mad M...
- 05/06/13--14:00: _Everything You Need...
- 05/06/13--14:10: _We Get to Know the ...
- 05/06/13--14:24: _Team Spirit Faces S...
- 05/06/13--15:22: _Suzy Menkes Is Not ...
- 05/07/13--07:30: _George Clooney's Re...
- 05/07/13--11:00: _Preview Images from...
- 05/07/13--13:47: _Here's RiFF RAFF Pl...
- 05/07/13--14:30: _Talking With Punk S...
- 05/07/13--15:25: _NY's Alright If You...
- 05/07/13--15:42: _Here's "7 Minutes i...
- 05/07/13--16:21: _Did Frank Ocean and...
- 05/08/13--06:45: _Joshua Jackson Wins...
- 05/08/13--08:50: _Isabella Rossellini...
- 05/08/13--09:15: _Frieze New York Fou...
- 05/08/13--10:00: _This Marc Maron-Nar...
- 05/08/13--10:36: _Oldman, Cotillard a...
- 05/06/13--11:15: Daniel Widrig's Crazy 3D-Printed Wares Will Be Shown Off in London
- 05/06/13--11:45: Tumblr Star Lacey Micallef Has Us Hooked On Her 8-Bit GIFs
- 05/06/13--12:30: Heads Up, You Can Now Travel In Style to Frieze Art Fair
- 05/06/13--13:00: Recapping the Mad Men Recaps: Episode 6, "For Immediate Release"
- 05/06/13--14:00: Everything You Need to Know About NYC's Spring Art Week
- The acclaimed Cuban art collective Los Carpinteros are opening a show of new works called "Irreversible" in three rooms at New York's Sean Kelly Gallery (475 Tenth Avenue). You can check out some of their LEGO constructions, an installation entitled "Tomates" and a video of the reverse performance of a conga band and dancers. The opening reception is May 11 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and the exhibit is up until June 22.
- Jose Parla and JR open an exhibit of their recent collab, "The Wrinkles of the City: Havana," on Tuesday, May 7, 6 to 8 p.m. at Bryce Wolkowitz (505 West 24th Street). It's up until July 12.
- Gagosian Gallery opens an exhibit of new works by Cecily Brown -- it's her first NYC show since 2008 -- on Tuesday, May 7, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at their 980 Madison Avenue space. Also that night, they are opening a show of over 200 photographs from The Lost Album by the late Dennis Hopper on the fifth floor of 980 Madison. On Thursday, May 9, 6 to 8 p.m., Jeff Koons has his first show with Gagosian at 555 West 24th Street featuring new paintings and sculptures. And don't forget to check out the current Anselm Kiefer exhibition at the gallery's space at 522 West 21st Street.
- Marlborough Chelsea (545 West 25th Street) is opening a big group exhibition called "Endless Bummer II - Still Bummin'" on Saturday, May 11, from 6 to 8 p.m. The show was curated by Drew Heitzler and Jan Tumlir and includes works by Ryan Foerster, Brendan Fowler, Jonah Freeman/Justin Lowe, Christian Marclay and many more. Mr. Heitzler also has his own show called "Comic Books, Inverted Stamps, Paranoid Literature" opening in the gallery on the same night.
- Martos Gallery (540 West 29th Street) is hosting an exhibit of fifty "small" works from the collection of Anne Collier and Mathew Higgs called "Why is Everything the Same?". The opening is Tuesday, May 7, 6 to 8 p.m. and the show is up until May 24.
- There's a big Bushwick gallery crawl AKA "Bushwick/Ridgewood FRIEZE Night" on Saturday, May 11, so head over there late and don't miss the closing night of Brian Leo's "100 Drones" that includes a "silkscreen print party" from 7 to 11 p.m. at David Kesting Presents (257 Boerum Street between Bushwick and White).
- The High Line has an outdoor screening of "Modern Times Forever" by Superflex opening May 7 at the High Line's 14th Street passage. It starts at 7 p.m. daily and runs until May 19th.
- UK artist Tracey Emin will be showing an outdoor sculpture called "Roman Standard" in Petrosino Square (Lafayette Street between Spring and Broome) from May 10 to September 8. It's a part of her show that's on view now at Lehmann Maupin.
- Roberta Bayley curated a group photo show called "Just Chaos!" that features images of early punk style. It opens on Thursday, May 9, 6 to 8 p.m. at Bookmarc (400 Bleecker St.) and will be up until May 23rd. You'll find photos by Bayley, Laura Levine, Janette Beckman, Stephanie Chernikowski, Lee Black Childers, Godlis, Bob Gruen, Marcia Resnick and more.
- There's a big party on Tuesday night in honor of Paola Antonelli, the senior curator for architecture and design at MoMA, that's hosted by Hannah Bronfman, Amani Olu and Larry Ossei-Mensah.
- Tate Americas Foundation has a live auction, dinner and after party on May 8 that is sponsored by Dior.
- Visionaire magazine celebrates their "63 FOREVER" issue on Saturday night with an installation designed by Alexandre de Betak and music by Sebastien Perrin.
- 05/06/13--14:24: Team Spirit Faces Satan
- 05/06/13--15:22: Suzy Menkes Is Not a Fan of the Met's New Punk Exhibit
- 05/07/13--11:00: Preview Images from Graffiti Book VANDALS
- 05/07/13--13:47: Here's RiFF RAFF Playing "Jamie Franko" on One Life to Live
- 05/07/13--15:25: NY's Alright If You Like Moon Hooch
- 05/07/13--15:42: Here's "7 Minutes in Heaven" with Reggie Watts
- 05/07/13--16:21: Did Frank Ocean and Riccardo Tisci Spend the Night Together?
- 05/08/13--06:45: Joshua Jackson Wins Best Met Gala Photobomb
- 05/08/13--08:50: Isabella Rossellini On Her New Motherhood Web Series, Mammas
- 05/08/13--09:15: Frieze New York Founder Amanda Sharp On Her Mega Art Fair
- 05/08/13--10:00: This Marc Maron-Narrated Short Doc on DFA Is Awesome
- 05/08/13--10:36: Oldman, Cotillard and Bowie in "The Next Day"
COLLECT, the International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects, is taking place this weekend in London and it looks like it's gonna be great. Of the designers whose work is being displayed at the Saatchi Gallery from May 10-13, architect-cum-artist Daniel Widrig's crazy 3D printed work caught our eye (and makes us think 3D printing might play an increasing role in fashion and design). Below are some of Widrig's cuckoo 3D-printed designs. Check 'em out and if you're in the London area, and get your tickets to COLLECT here.
A self-promoter Micallef is not. But the 25-year-old, who left her job as a preschool teacher in Missouri in 2011 to move to Brooklyn and make digital art full time, has amassed a loyal fan base on Tumblr for her pixelated GIFs of undulating slices of pizza, hamburgers and wry, stoner-friendly imagery (in one piece, a giant pot leaf bobs hypnotically behind Garfield), some of which rack up reblogs and notes in the tens of thousands. Brands like MTV and Uniqlo have also taken note of Micallef's work, and she's among a growing number of artists who are supporting themselves with money from commissioned GIFs for ad and marketing campaigns.
Though Micallef says mass-market efforts to tap into Internet culture can miss the mark -- You can just hear some brands saying, 'All the kids on Tumblr are going to love this!'" -- she's been able to land jobs with TV shows that already had a lot of buzz online, including Breaking Bad and Adventure Time as well as Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!.
Her biggest piece of advice to GIF artists working with brands: Name your price and stick to it. "If you've got a big corporation hiring you, then you need to just tell them what you want to be paid. Factor in how many times you're going to have to edit it for them, all the places it's going to be seen and how much money they're going to make from it and then go from there. More times than not they'll say yes. They sought you out for a reason."
Micallef's commissioned pieces have also pushed her to develop her own work. After making shorts for the animation production company Frederator, Micallef -- who cites "Looney Tunes and any kids' show in syndication between 1988 and 1997" as her influences -- is ready to make her own animated videos. "It would require me to write, which is something I'm afraid of. But I know I just need to do it."
Thanks to Joe Fresh, the schlep from Manhattan to Randall's Island for the upcoming Frieze New York art fair (May 10th-13th) will be a lot easier -- and a lot more stylish. The fashion brand, which is also sponsoring the Frame Section at the art fest (a section devoted to galleries that have opened within the last six years), will have a free shuttle service that picks up Frieze attendees outside the Joe Fresh Flatiron store (110 Fifth Ave.) and takes them to and from Randall's Island. Besides avoiding a 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles' scenario (or, okay, multiple subways-and-a-city bus scenario), guests who take the Joe Fresh shuttle will be gifted a tote bag designed by fashion illustrator Tanya Ling -- while supplies last.
To book your seat on the Joe Fresh shuttle, visit www.joefresh.com/shuttle, beginning May 3rd. The shuttle will run Friday, May 10th-Sunday, May 12th between 10:30am-7pm and Monday May 13th 10:30am-6pm.
Each week PAPER will help you sort through your feelings about Mad Men by rounding up the best and brightest of the MM recaps. Read below so you can compare, contrast, and ponder while drinking your glass of water with a cocktail onion.
The company's thinking about going public, but Don's kept in the dark.
"We learn that SDCP is considering taking the company public -- and here is where I will disclose I am absolutely the wrong person to explain what this exactly means except that Bank-y guy says it will be nine dollars a share (my handy inflation calculator puts this amount into modern monetary means of around $58) and Bert wants twelve. We also learn that Don doesn't know about this yet (hmmm) and that everyone stands to make a million dollars which in 2013 money is a gazillion, basically." -- EW
"So, this whole time, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce has harbored a secret cell that has been working to take the company public? And the Mod Squad consist of Bert, Joan and Pete? Don't get me wrong, I get why those three would end up in the same boat: They all have reason to feel excluded, marginalized and unappreciated, but we didn't have the slightest clue that those three were really traveling in the same orbit, let alone hatching complex and important schemes that would majorly affect many characters' futures." -- Huffington Post
"It's a pleasure to see the partners revel in their own potential riches; Joan marvels at the idea of herself with a million dollars (about $6.5 million today) -- as rich as Roger, or Don. The only thing they've yet to do before they take the firm public at $11/share is to tell Don." -- Slate
"The stock offering felt even more sudden, and it was such a bolt from the blue, I almost felt as if I'd missed an entire episode (I mean, when's the last time we even saw Bert and Joan have a real conversation?)." -- Huffington Post
Though we saw glimpses of a good-guy Pete Campbell last week, he's back to being a dirtbag. First he hits on Joan, then he hits up a brothel where, oooops, he runs into Trudy's father, Tom. Trudy's father, in turn, pulls the Vicks account. Pete can't do anything right, ever.
"Pete even has the gall to hit on Joan. (She says no, loud and clear, and then tells him, 'I hope Clara reminded you tomorrow's Mother's Day.' I love how she has become the moral center of the office - or at least the center of restraint and discretion.)" -- EW
"Like a young child without impulse control, Pete indulges his delusions of grandeur, tries to hit on Joan, tries to seduce Trudy, finally finds a whore, and then of course it all goes South. (Pretty much every time Pete tries to satisfy himself on this show, it gets ugly. He's the anti-Don: He can't smoothly secure a sexual conquest without making a gigantic mess in the process.)" -- Salon
"One moment Pete is out at the bordello having a fine time; the next he sees his father-in-law--one of SCDP's biggest clients--and sets in motion the loss of millions of dollars in annual billing. (One important and oft-repeated lesson of this show is that if you have sex with another human being it will ruin everything ever.)" -- Slate
"After all of his bloviating last week over the significance of Martin Luther King's death, all Pete could focus on was how Tom selected a "200-pound Negro" as his choice of company." -- Rolling Stone
"Pete's snottiness reached some kind of giddy peak this episode, but it was hilarious. This character in high dudgeon is comic gold, and his desperation rates at least a silver. I liked the subplot with him and his father-in-law -- another example of personal animosity affecting business, and thus a mirror of the Don-Herb stuff -- and I liked how the script didn't question the fundamental hypocrisy of one man cheating but being so outraged by his son-in-law's cheating that he takes money out of his pocket as punishment. There are no repercussions." -- Vulture
Pete falling down the stairs while he screamed at Don for firing Jaguar was the best.
"[Roger rerturns] to the office just as Campbell learns that Don effectively ended the firm's relationship with Jaguar. Pete sputters, falls down the stairs (I know this is terrible but ha!) and spews vitriol at Don for ruining the IPO, of which Draper is still unaware. It's a scene full of chaos and gaping employees until Joan pushes the men into the conference room to figure out what's what." -- TV Line
"I'd be interested to know if that was originally in the script or if Vincent Kartheiser accidentally fell in the course of rushing down the stairs to confront Don in the scene, and then he just played it off as if it were meant to happen?" -- Uproxx
"Vincent Kartheiser continued his alacrity with physical comedy as he gracefully plummeted down the office stairs before unleashing his wrath." -- Rolling Stone
"I have to steal from critic Alan Sepinwall, who, when he really loves an episode of television, invokes the word 'dayenu.' 'Dayenu, for the gentiles among you,' Sepinwall once wrote, 'is a song sung around the Passover seder table listing all the things we have to be thankful for in the Exodus story: if God had only freed us from slavery, Dayenu (translate, 'it would have been enough'); if God had freed us from slavery and taken us out of Egypt, Dayenu; if he had only taken us out of Egypt and fed us manna, Dayenu; etc' ... If we had just watched Pete fall down the stairs, dayenu for all time." -- Huffington Post
Joan also gets mad at Don for dumping Jaguar because of what she she had to do to win them in the first place.
"What was the point of it all if Don is allowed to claim the moral high ground? 'If I could deal with him, you could deal with him,' she says. She's not wrong, but I'm still glad to see the last of gross Herb. She's also not wrong that Don doesn't really ever think of himself as a 'we.'" -- EW
"But Joan is the most hurt...One minute the reward for an evening of prostitution with Herb is a million 1968 dollars; the next Draper has screwed it up again." -- Slate
"Don fired Jaguar as a client after enduring one indignity too many from the loathsome Herb, and a long-suffering Joan ferociously and gorgeously read Don the riot act in front of half the company." -- Huffington Post
SDCP merges with Peggy's agency, Cutler, Gleason, and Chaough.
"[Don and Ted] realize that the presence of both of their firms -- small agencies with strong creative teams - is a mutually assured destruction of sorts...Chevy will likely take their ideas and use a bigger firm to implement them. (One can assume this is what happened with the Ketchup account they both lost earlier this season). Thus the idea to merge the two agencies is born, and Chevy bites." -- US News
"As fortune would have it Ted Chaough's firm is also pitching Chevy. We learn one of his partners has cancer. In the universe of this television show it suddenly becomes obvious that SCDP and Cutler, Gleason, and Chaough must merge. It's a neat solution to a lot of dramatic constraints that were created by sending Peggy away from Don." -- Slate
"I wholly loved how [Peggy] gave those two men some serious side eye as she exited Ted's office. I'm sure she was wondering how the hell those two massive egos would co-exist at one agency. Sure, it's all joy and celebration and confusion now, but what would the day-to-day workings of the business really be like? Peggy was excited, terrified and resigned all at once. (She instantly knows she'll have to do a whole lot of mediating between those two men.)" -- Huffington Post
"By the end of the episode, the agencies had agreed to merge. The last scene was Peggy typing out a press release announcing the deal. What? Huh? Oh, okay, fine. Awesome." -- Vulture
"The merger of SCDP and CGC could be seen a mile (or at least 40 minutes) away, but at the very least it shakes up what was already becoming a tired season of 'Mad Men.'" -- US News
Roger is in this episode more, thank god.
"This was a great Roger episode that proved that Rat Pack-ish, host-of-every-party attitude could benefit the firm. Everyone's constantly making jokes about Roger's disengagement from the daily life if SCDP, and he is disengaged. At the same time, though, Roger's got skills that nobody else at the firm could dream of having, and he put them to use here...Roger could sell heating oil to Satan." -- Vulture
"Roger decided not to phone it in for once, and he actually closed. Boo-yah!" -- Huffington Post
"Enter Roger, like a silver fox knight." -- US News
"There were so many little ways in which we were reminded that these people actually know what they're doing: Roger didn't actually hit the sauce when he was trying to win over the Chevy guy, and just before they got on the plane, he did what a good accounts man would do in that situation -- he assured Don everything was fine back at SCDP, even when it surely wasn't. And that's on top of the moxie he showed in pumping (ahem) the airline employee for information about potential clients. He even knew to dump the spare copies of "Sterling's Gold" before heading to the airport -- maybe he can get rid of the extras by giving one to every Chevy executive in Detroit." -- Huffington Post
"Who knew Roger even drank water?" -- EW
"The scene of Roger leaving for the airport was just wonderful: the hat, the travel bag, the copies of his book, the way he left the room and then came back in. Charming as hell." -- Vulture
"If we had just seen Roger actually get off his ass and reel in a big potential client like Chevy while romancing a hot stewardess, dayenu." -- Huffington Post
Trudy and Pete are finally done because, unlike Don, Pete insists on bringing everything to the surface.
"Trudy's expression after Pete told her what he saw in the whorehouse was devastating. She acted as if she were more offended by Pete's disclosure than by the act itself, but you could tell that it destroyed her. Nobody likes to picture their father in circumstances like that, and as justifiably furious as Pete was, I wish he hadn't told her." -- Vulture
"Pete would have happily salvaged his marriage, but he blew it up instead." -- Huffington Post
"Trudy and Pete may actually be soul mates; the only difference between them is that Trudy wants to pretend to have the perfect life, whereas Pete can't pretend anything. 'Couldn't we just pretend?' Trudy asked him when his dalliance with their neighbor was revealed in this season's second episode. 'I let you have that apartment! All I wanted was for you to be discreet.' But Pete is anything but discreet; he has no self-control. "Don't you dare criticize my father," Trudy warns him, not wanting to know a thing, but he tells her about catching her dad at a whorehouse anyway. 'He left me no choice,' Pete says. 'You had lots of choices, Peter,' Trudy replies. 'We're done, get your things.'" -- Salon
"Other men could've chosen differently, of course. Trudy would make the perfect happy-fake wife for Don. But Pete can't be fake (which is a little strange, for an account executive), and his assessments about what's wrong with the world around him are usually accurate. (Last week's 'It's shameful!' was one clue to that.) It remains to be seen whether this flaw/quality will be Pete's undoing, or save him from the much darker fate that awaits the pretenders in his midst. -- Salon
Megan's mom tells Megan to save her marriage by dressing more seductively (like she was wearing a burlap sack around the house prior to this?) and to realize that her success as a soap star must be intimidating to Don.
"At her mother's urging, Megan plays into Don's hero complex. 'I love you like this,' she says. 'Desperate and scared?' he asks, joking but also revealing his core self. 'Fearless,' she replies, feeding him her fantasy so he can play his part dutifully. She says she wants him to feel just like Superman. -- Salon
"That was one fabulous dress on Megan. She may have gotten Don worked up that night, but Marie's not wrong about how he probably feels about Megan's status right now: She's ascending the ladder of success a little too quickly for Don's taste. Like just about every other relationship in this episode, Don's marriage is by no means on stable ground." -- Huffington Post
"Megan took her mother's advice and has been igniting Don's libido as the way back into his heart, down playing her own self and success to make him happy, which again feels like a season or two ago (and I can't imagine will last)." -- Collider
Peggy has the hots for her boss.
"Peggy finds Ted on his office floor trying to watch TV. He's clearly spooked by the weight of the knowledge of his partner's illness and the amount riding on this Chevy account. After getting in her face and begging her not to call him nice, he kisses her -- and ugh, I've been sort of waiting for this to happen all season. Peggy doesn't pull away but Ted quickly does and apologizes." -- EW
"I feel like I'm cheating on Stan's beard by saying this, but I'm a fan of Peggy's new crush. Unlike Abe, at least Ted wouldn't try to convince Peggy that her Terrible Apartment is not terrible (raise your hand if every scene set in that flat gave you flashbacks to your worst-ever living situation, one that you always hoped would get better and just never did). I have been hoping that Peggy would take Stan to be her lovah, but Ted and Peggy also make sense together: They're both driven, creative perfectionists who don't have to explain to each other why their work matters to them (Peggy works because she defines who she is through her job; Stan works because his paycheck allows him to buy weed)." -- Huffington Post
"I could easily die laughing at the fact that, in Peggy's sex fantasy, Ted's on her bed reading a book titled 'SOMETHING' by Ralph Waldo Emerson. (Though it's easy to see why that fantasy exists: Abe's a pill, and if Stan ever ended up in Peggy's bed, he'd probably be really stoned, wearing a stained shirt and most likely asleep)." -- Huffington Post
"Peggy goes into a reverie that involves changing undershirt-wearing Abe to a turtleneck-wearing Ted reading the mythical book Something by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Take from this what you will. Or go back and read your copy of Sterling's Gold. She kisses dream Ted passionately. Oh, Peggy." -- EW
Peggy and Abe move into a sketchy apartment on the Upper West Side. Peggy is miserable.
"Now [Don's] back in Peggy's as well, appearing at Ted's office like a David Lynch phantom and trying to make the merger sound like a great opportunity for Peggy while congratulating her on buying a sketchy apartment with Abe on Manhattan's Upper West Side." -- Vulture
"Poor Abe is a sweet man, but he talked Peggy into a living situation that's already making her unhappy, and he's just not enough of a star to be her equal; at various times this seems to have bothered both of them. This new work situation is going to cause all sorts of trouble for her, romantically as well as professionally." -- Vulture
"Peggy arrives home to explain about the poop on the stairs, probably from their junkie tenant upstairs. This leads me to believe that she has bought an entire brownstone and I don't need my inflation calculator to know that this is a very good investment. But for now, Peggy seems a little freaked out about how much more shabby than chic her home is." -- EW
"Peggy and Abe are living out this Desperate Characters/A Meaningful Life-type adventure where they're fixing up a place in a rough neighborhood (hot jazz, shit on the stairwell). Unlike the characters in those novels, Abe seems to understand what he's getting himself into. Peggy's showing signs of stress; fortunately, she can fantasize about Ted, her boss, reading Something by Ralph Waldo Emerson, a perennial spank bank favorite." -- Complex
Was it a good episode?
"Watching "For Immediate Release" is like riding a rickety old wooden roller coaster that thrills you with its seemingly unsafe twists and turns and leaves you feeling sore for a couple of days...The firm was up, it was down, and then it was up again maybe." -- Vulture
But when "Mad Men" decides to truly go for it, in terms of s*** getting real, it's really hard to top, often because it layers so much humor and observational perfection into all the conflicts, confrontations, meetings and incongruous alliances. -- Huffington Post
New York's Spring Art Week is here! The weather has finally come around and it's a great time to get out and enjoy the tons of gallery openings, art fairs, auctions and parties taking place from May 6th to the 16th. Here's what's happening:
The New York spin-off of FRIEZE returns to Randall's Island from May 10 to 13, with a big "Private View" on Thursday night, May 9. It will be open to the public daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. starting Friday and, for a second year, is taking place in a giant tent designed by Brooklyn architecture firm SO-IL. You can get there via ferry from the dock at 34th Street and FDR Drive, by bus from the Guggenheim Museum, free shuttle from the Joe Fresh store or you can drive. Admission to the fair is $42 ($26 students). Over 180 worldwide galleries will be exhibiting and there's also lots of side-projects, lectures and a tribute to the early '70s, artist-run SoHo restaurant, FOOD, with artists/chefs doing the cooking and "exploring the relationship between food and art." There's also a big sculpture park with works by Paul McCarthy, Fiona Connor, Saint Clair Cemin, Pae White and more. To buy tickets and to check out all the details regarding getting there and back, go HERE.
NADA New York
NADA is also back for a second year in NYC, and they're moving the fair over to the East River on Pier 36. Over 70 galleries will take over a space that's normally occupied by Basketball City (299 South Street) and fill it with "new art by rising talents." The opening preview is on Friday, May 10, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and then it's open to the public until 8 p.m. that day and thru Sunday. Admission to this fair is FREE, so be sure to check it out. Go HERE for more info.
PULSE celebrates its eighth anniversary with over 50 galleries, plus their unique "Pulse Projects" program featuring large sculptures, installations and performances. They'll return to The Metropolitan Pavilion (125 West 18th Street) in Chelsea and are open for a VIP brunch on May 9 from 9 a.m. to noon and then open to the public thru Sunday. Tickets are $20 ($15 students). HERE's the details.
One of the new-fairs-on-the-block, Cutlog, comes from Paris, where it started four years ago. Running from May 9 to 13 in the Clemente Soto Velez Center (107 Suffolk Street) on the Lower East side, the fair features 45 galleries, plus several performances, talks and films. Downtown musician/actor/painter John Lurie will be speaking about his work and about the changes in the LES neighborhood. There's also Free Car Wash presented by The Fantastic Nobodies who will be dressed as members of the Village People. There are two days of VIP and media previews, but Cutlog will be open to the public on May 9 from 5 to 9 p.m., May 10, 11 and 12 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and May 13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $15 ($12 students). Go HERE for more info.
Pool Art Fair New York 2013
This fair started in 2000 with a goal of bringing together artists that aren't represented by big galleries. It will be open for three days, May 10 to 12, from 3 p.m.to 10 p.m. daily in the Flatiron Hotel (9 West 26th Street) and will include curated exhibitions, lectures, special projects and events. There is a suggested donation of $10.
COLLECTIVE.1 Design Fair
Another newbie this year, the Collective.1 Design Fair will focus exclusively on design and will include vintage as well as contemporary works. It was founded by the architect Steven Learner and runs from May 8 to 11 at Pier 57 on the Westside Highway at 15th Street. Tickets are $25 ($15 students). The details are HERE.
The tenth edition of this showcase for Brooklyn-based designers runs for three days -- May 10 to 12 -- in DUMBO's St. Ann's Warehouse (29 Jay Street, Brooklyn). Over thirty designers will show original, limited-edition pieces and furnishings.
And, of course New York's art galleries are taking full advantage of all the crowds in town for the fairs, and they're opening new shows:
And finally, don't forget the arty-parties. There are too many to mention and several are "invitation only," but here's a few that caught our eye:
Dispatches from a Justin Bieber-loving, boxcar-living tween drifter. Written by playwright and screenwriter Alena Smith.
Sample tweet: "At the end of the day, I still believe in the American Dream: Work hard and one day you might get frenched by a vampire."
Where did the idea of tweeting as a tween hobo come from?
Does your work as a playwright influence how you run the account? Do you have storylines planned for Tween Hobo, or do they develop in real time?
I'd say my playwriting skills became more relevant as the project grew and gained an audience, both because I understood each tweet as a kind of improvisational performance and because I could keep track of larger storylines and character arcs as they developed, more or less on the spot.
Have you learned anything new about tweens or hobos from writing @TweenHobo?
So much. For one thing, I've learned that when you combine the two seemingly unrelated concepts of "tween" and "hobo," you end up with a framework that for no discernible reason can support an endless and fairly comprehensive satire of our culture. Every new cultural thing that happens falls neatly into the Tween Hobo universe. Spring Breakers? Tween Hobo's on it. School shootings? Totally her territory. Tell us about the Tween Hobo book you have coming out.
It will be published by Gallery Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. It's a diary of Tween Hobo's journey across America in the style of On the Road and will feature delightful illustrations by Kate Harmer (of HelloGiggles). I'm thinking of calling it Off the Rails.
Prince tweets in his signature blend of numbers and abbreviations. Written by Comedian, writer and radio host Jake Fogelnest.
Sample tweet: "There is an electric passion u cannot define unless u take a journey with me 2 planet funksexy. The aircraft 2 get there is ur mind."
Why did you start @PrinceTweets2U?
Have you gotten any feedback from Prince or his publicist about the account?
Absolutely none. I can't understand why the Twitter account hasn't been suspended yet. The only logical explanation is that someone in Prince's office has seen it and is looking the other way because it makes working in Prince's office a little easier. Can you imagine working in Prince's office?
Do any celebrities follow @PrinceTweets2U?
I just checked to see and it's the strangest collection of people. Here are a few I picked at random: Joe Jonas, Butch Walker, Diplo, Cameron Crowe, Frank Black. Also, I see Donald Glover follows Prince. I know Donald in real life and he doesn't even follow my real account. Hi Donald!
Do you have a favorite @PrinceTweets2U tweet?
I like one-word tweets like "atmosphere" or "purple." The idea of Prince just wanting to put one word out there for people to think about makes me laugh like an idiot.
What parody accounts are you a fan of?
Parody accounts that seize on current events are a bummer. They feel forced and like a dumb attention grab. When that Russian meteor hit a few months ago, I went ahead and did this. I couldn't believe the positive response that received.
Dustin Hoffman tweets about his love of basketball And acting. Written by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon writer John Wyatt Haskell.
Sample tweet: "A young man threw the ball between my legs as a pass. I felt like a chump, but I also felt honored to be in Wag the Dog."
Can you describe @HoffmanBball's version of Dustin Hoffman?
Dustin Hoffman is a no-frills basketball player. He's not one for showboating or fancy dribbling. He just cares about working on the basics and mastering them0 and getting wins. He loves the game of basketball. And he loves acting in movies.
Do people ever mistake you for the actual Dustin Hoffman?
There are a bunch of people on Twitter who think it's actually Dustin Hoffman, but they're mostly not American.
You're also behind the account @RealCarrotFacts, which purports to be someone who loves carrots and can't get over a woman named Megan. Who is @RealCarrotFacts?
@RealCarrotFacts is a guy. He's a nice guy. Probably in his early-to mid-20s. He definitely loves carrots, but it's hard for him to forget about his relationship with Megan. Their relationship was pretty good, but she didn't treat him the best. She sort of took advantage of him at times. She left him, and he's okay. He just misses her some nights.
Do you have any other parody Twitter accounts?
Yes, I have one called @mental_floss1, which was a parody of the popular @mental_floss account. I basically just tweet made-up facts on that one. It's fun. I have one called @Brad__Pick, which is stupid. It's a normal guy who is sometimes mistaken for Brad Pitt, because his name sounds sort of similar. I have one called @GayJordan23, which is for NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan, and he's gay now. I haven't quite found that voice yet, nor do I know if it's even a good idea. I also used to have that Michael Jordan Twitter account [@__michaeljordan], but Twitter shut me down because I wouldn't put "parody account" or "this is NOT Michael Jordan" in my profile. Then someone else started up an account for Jordan [@__MICHAELJ0RDAN] and was doing similar tweets. In fact, he or she even repeated some of my tweets. Which I was a bit annoyed by. But at the end of the day, it's just stupid Twitter. Right?
Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton tweets mystic observations from her home in Swinton Keep. Written by comedians and writers Carey O'Donnell (left) and Eli Yudin (right).
Sample tweet: "Of course I have received splinters. I do not remove them. Small branches emerge from me and bear fruit in the shape of my face."
What made you start @NotTildaSwinton?
EY: She's an amazing actress on screen, but I think everyone wonders what she does when she gets home.
Do Tilda Swinton fans on Twitter ever mistake you for the actual Tilda Swinton?
CO: A good amount of people mistook us for the actual Tilda, especially because we didn't reveal who was behind the account at first. I'm sure people were disappointed when they found out it was two unemployed recent college grads.
Which @NotTildaSwinton tweets are you proudest of?
CO: The one I had the most fun writing was when she said to hide in a dark room, and when someone opens the door to find you, to be silent, and to greet them only with your wide eyes.
Do any celebrities follow @NotTildaSwinton?
EY: Our favorite was Anderson Cooper, but also being followed by comedians I've looked up to, like Patton Oswalt and Paul F. Tompkins, was amazing.
How much time do you spend on Twitter every day?
EY: In a disgusting way, it's sort of melded itself into my life. It's a lamprey feasting on the stupidest possible part of my brain.
Synopses of Seinfeld episodes, if the show were set in today's world. Written by Buzzfeed senior editor Jack Moore (top) and comedian Josh Gondelman (bottom).
Sample tweet: "Elaine joins JDate so she pretends to be Jewish. She meets an amazing guy who dumps her for being 'too Jewy.' George discovers falafel."
What sparked the idea for @SeinfeldToday?
JM: The initial impetus was in response to the idea that Seinfeld wouldn't work today because of cell phones and such. We figured there were all sorts of new problems that would be caused by modern technology. I think we were right.
You have half a million followers. Were you surprised by the success of the account?
JM: I was a little surprised, but it makes sense. It taps into modern first-world problems (already a successful meme) and also taps into '90s nostalgia. It's a perfect storm.
Have you heard from Jerry Seinfeld?
JM: We haven't, though Jason Alexander follows us, and tweeted about the account, which is pretty great.
Which @SeinfeldToday tweet are you proudest of?
JM: "Jerry's gf constantly says 'hashtag.' George gets a job as a 'social media expert.' 'It's great, Jerry. You don't need to know anything!'" It hits on one of the things that annoys me most about social media. (The number of people with fewer than 200 Twitter followers but whose bios say they're "social media experts" is staggering.)
An ode to New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg's unpolished Spanish skills. Written by writer Rachel Figueroa-Levin.
Sample tweet: "Finallyo! Some bueno weathero! Perfecto para walkingo en el parko, ridingo el bicyclito, y stopping y friskingo!"
What made you start @ElBloombito?
I was stuck inside during Hurricane Irene, it was late at night, and I had a nine-month-old who insisted on milk at all hours. I was joking around with some friends on Twitter, waiting for the next feeding and it just came to me. I thought it would start and end with my circle of Twitter friends. I can't believe people still like it.
Are you a fluent Spanish speaker?
I wouldn't call myself fluent. I can understand a great deal, which is more a by-product of living in a predominantly Dominican neighborhood than my having a Puerto Rican father. My diction is good, and I can order a sandwich and throw around insults.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the mayor's Spanish?
One of my Dominican neighbors told me her aunt saw the mayor speaking Spanish on TV and thought it was Italian. How do you say five in Italian?
Do you have any other parody accounts besides @ElBloombito?
I have one called @EveryGentrifier. I use it to poke fun at the culture and effects of gentrification.
Have you ever accidentally tweeted something from your personal account that was meant for @ElBloombito?
I do that more than I care to admit.
Just over a year ago, Passion Pit's Ayad al Adhamy set aside his synth for a guitar and assembled the boozy power-pop quartet Team Spirit. With a self-titled EP out last month, Team Spirit recently dropped their second music video. "MRDR It's OK" picks up where "Jesus He's Alright" left off -- after throwing a raucous kegger in a church, the band members wake up as cartoons in a cartoon Hell, where wrinkled demons flip burgers and vomit skulls amidst babes in bikinis. Turns out Satan has the Team in mind to perform at his wedding parade, but the guys have other plans. Swedish duo Hannes and Johannes animated the clip in a deliberately flat style -- Hieronymus Bosch meets Hey Arnold!
1. Suzy Menkes is not a fan of the Met's new punk exhibit, "PUNK: Chaos to Couture." Menkes wrote an article for the Times wherein she calls the exhibit "sanitized," "bloodless" and "dull." It's worth a full read.
2. After being mum on the matter for months, it turns out Steve Carrell will in fact make an appearance in the final episode of The Office. Thank god: what would The Office have been without Michael Scott? [via TV Line]
3. Need these. [via BoingBoing]
4. Gabourey Sidibe on accidentally dating a gay dude: "Who hasn't dated a gay dude?" [via BET]
5. There's a restaurant opening in Harlem called "Harlem Shake" on May 16th. We want to go, if only to see if there's a Harlem Shake flash mob on opening day (there has to be, right?). [via HarlemGal]
6. Citi Bike, the city-wide bike-sharing program that allows members to pick up, ride, and drop off bikes at various docking stations throughout NYC, will finally launch on Memorial Day weekend. [via Crains]
7. According to British newspaper the Evening Standard, Martin Amis, the respected author who recently moved from London to Cobble Hill, "views the Brooklyn hipster scene as populated by conventional posers." Good to know. [via HuffPo]
Apparently someone asked George Clooney why he won't ever run for political office and this was his response. [via The Clearly Dope]
This is awesome: ahead of their series finale on May 16th, the cast of The Office went to Scranton, PA to say goodbye to their "adopted hometown." There was a parade, a band called the Scrantones played the theme song and Steve Carrell even surprised everyone by showing up. (We also hear he'll be in the final episode.) [via Hyper Vocal]
When we're not caring about "is my Twitter locally-sourced?" [via Tall Whitney]
Veep don't care. [via I'm With Kanye]
Two cats share a tender moment until one of them is like, "Eff you, you lying piece of shit!" It goes downhill from there. [via Bunny Food]
Good morning, sunshine. [via Afternoon Snooze Button]
For a new TV series, a British television channel commissioned an artist to paint modernized versions of historical figures. Above, here's William Shakespeare as that freelance guy you see every morning drinking a Red Eye and working on his Macbook at Toby's coffee in Williamsburg. Below Shakespeare is Marie Antoinette looking like a celebutante who decided not to go to college and start her own handbag line made out of expensive python and alligator skins instead. Later she met this sort of cute/sort of weird foreign guy at an after-party during the Olympics and it turns out he's a prince or something so her family encourages her to get hitched. And, lastly, here's Elizabeth I as Tilda Swinton. [via Laughing Squid]
L8r sk8r. [via Rats Off]
Graffiti artist-cum-photographer Nils Müller has been a part of the graffiti world for years. His new book of photos, VANDALS, takes you inside the world of tagging and trainwriting around the world, from Paris to Bucharest to New York City. Unlike many graffiti books which focus on finished works of art, Müller is far more interested in capturing the graffiti as it's made. The book is scheduled to come out later this month. In the meantime, check out some preview images (click to see them full-size) and wish you were that bad-ass.
For all of you who've been impatiently awaiting RiFF RAFF's revenge cameo on One Life to Live, your time has come. For those of you not up to speed on the weird rivalry between RiFF RAFF and James Franco, here's a little refresher for you: Franco almost certainly based his Spring Breakers character on RiFF RAFF but denied doing so. As a retaliation, RiFF RAFF took a role on One Life to Live -- the soap which Franco had been making cameo appearances on for years before his character was cut. Lo and behold, RiFF RAFF's character is "Jamie Franko," a club owner/art dealer who engages in some money extortion while surrounded by pretty ladies. Watch the full episode above to see RiFF RAFF incoherently hit on women while wondering who came up with lines like "I need to get my fettuccines." And for those of you who are only in it for the RiFF RAFF, he appears at the 2:20, 8:11, and 20:30 minute mark.
Jon Savage is the foremost authority about punk, both first-hand as a wild child himself in London and, later, as the author of England's Dreaming, his authoritative history of the movement that shook Europe and the U.S. to its core almost 40 years ago and the current subject of this year's Costume Institute exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While Savage was in town a few weeks ago for the Tribeca Film Festival screening of Teenage, a documentary based on his book of the same name, I managed to snag the scholarly pop historian for a sit down.
What was your initial reaction when you heard the Costume Institute was going to put on this show?
I now am always interested in talking to or being involved with other people with projects about punk because their vision and enthusiasm enables me to see the subject anew. I always think it's a challenge to put pop culture in a museum and make it great, but it can be done. I was involved in the David Bowie exhibition in the U.K., which I think is a really good show.
Don't you feel any sense of irony or contradiction that something so antithetic to the hegemony of cultural institutions is now lionized in one the greatest cultural institutions?
No irony at all. It's so historical, it's unbelievable. Why shouldn't it be in a museum? That's the way that history is made. Punk should be in history because it was great and it's also very alive.
Which leads me to my next question: does punk still live? Or is it now monumentalized, preserved, packaged and put away in a museum?
It's both. I used to have the attitude that punk ended in '78 and everything after that is not very good. But then I've had to reassess my attitude. We did an event at Cornell and there were people who'd been punks in the 80s and they were talking about their experiences and this young guy got up from Costa Rica and said punk is the reason I'm here because we all got together, there was a benefit show of punk bands, and they got me the money to go to Cornell. That's why I'm here. People around the world are still getting inspiration from punk to do things for themselves. The self-starter idea was still there. I think it's amazing that there are kids in China playing punk rock.
Is punk just another manifestation of teen rebellion as, for example, "swing" was when it first swept the country?
I think each generation has its own task in its own time. I think in some ways I see punk very much the product of that moment, a very considered, styled, angry backdrop of what the cities were like: very derelict, cars left in the middle of the road, trashed, dreadful -- that's what punk came out of in New York and London. Something that we can't imagine now. Punk was the most aggressively "fuck you," and very confrontational. That's what made it different from other youth movements. First time I saw The Sex Pistols I thought they were incredible but I was also very threatened.
You'd get attacked by the band.
The second time I saw The Clash, Joe Strummer got off the stage and started attacking the audience.
Fashion. Appearance. People wanted to stand out and look different. Look weird.
Being weird is great. That's what was great about punk to me. I identified as weird. I was looking for weird. So to have a movement full of weird people was great. To walk into a room and there were weird people and weird people on stage -- what more could you want? Total identification. The fashion was great. The first time I saw it, there was a show at the Roundhouse in London with The Runaways and the kids in the audience were amazing and that blew my mind. They were doing the most insane stuff -- taking '40s, '50s and '60s clothes, mismatching periods, cutting them all up, putting them together with safety pins, slogans spray painted, like a living collage.
Now a McQueen costs a fortune. Is it antithetical to the DIY aesthetic of the early punk era?
There's always that tension in punk rock. A lot of the inspiration for British punk rock was Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood's shop Sex which was the first wave of Brit punk. T-shirts, rough, lots of fetish gear. Seditionaries (their next shop) was a deliberate attempt by Malcolm and Vivienne to become designers.
They started fashion to sell records and then made music to sell clothes.
The whole thing was a huge fuck up. I went to his funeral because I was asked to and because he was a great inspiration. A great thing about Malcolm was that a lot of the stuff he planned never worked out and the stuff he didn't plan did. I just don't have a problem with all this. I'm a realist. People are still doing DIY stuff. I'd rather people be ripping off punk than polyester. People can do what they want.
Photo by Aubrey Mayer
"New York's alright if you like saxophones," the West Coast punk band FEAR sang over thirty years ago. Proving them right is Brooklyn trio Moon Hooch: two sax players and a drummer who call their sound "cave music" in apparent homage to the amount of time they've spent playing on subway platforms. The band's new video for "Megatubes" (slang for their instruments?) finds the band playing on a barge in the river, city lights behind them, joined by singer Alena Spanger.
2. In case you were wondering about how long Downton Abbey will run, here's a not-so-helpful clue: show creator Gareth Neame said "I would rather let the show run between four and 10 years, I imagine." He then noted that "I would rather that we picked the right year (to end) and that in 20 years time the show was loved rather than we went on a season too long and people fell out of love with it." [via Towleroad]
3. Danny Bowien plans to open two new restaurants in New York and the Bay Area. No details on the NYC restaurant, but the new San Francisco eatery will probably not be serving Asian food. [via Eater]
4. Here's a Vine that A-Trak made of Kanye yelling at the Met Gala last night.
5. Mustache transplants are now a big thing in Turkey. [via WSJ]
6. Apparently Sigmund Freud's couch is in bad shape and the Freud Museum in London is asking for financial donations to help restore it. [via NPR]
7. There are plans in action to "create a new neighborhood on the waterfront" of North Greenpoint which include a dozen towers, a new public elementary school and two "green spaces." A ton of protests have already started and it's being called "the ugliest, scariest, most horrible plan." [via DNA Info]
Hot new couple alert? Looks like Givenchy creative director and man of the hour Riccardo Tisci not only dressed some of the Met Gala's biggest stars (see Beyoncé, Madonna, Kanye Carine Roitfeld and Kimberly Noel Kardashian) but he may have undressed one of our favorite rappers, Frank Ocean, after all that partying at Boom Boom Room. As you can see below, Tisci's Instagram feed last night seems to suggest that he embarked on an Oceanic voyage to the Isle of Sexxxy Times. Ocean looked dapper in his Givenchy duds, so naturally we can only imagine how good he would look out of them; and Riccardo is a dreamboat, so the coupling could not be better (unless, of course, he was dating us). Do our eyes fail us or is this fashion's newest "it" couple? Should their couple name be Osci? Or Tocean? Either way, swoon.
Joshua Jackson wins Best Photobomb of the Night at the Met Gala...[E!]
...but Jennifer Lawrence's photobomb of SJP comes in at a close second. [ImWithKanye]
Dress by Internet. [UsWeekly]
John Krasinski and Jimmy Fallon had a lip-synching competition last night on Late Night and it was pretty amazing. Who knew John was such a Katy Perry fan? [Uproxx]
New favorite tumblr alert: Horror Icons in Light-Hearted Movies. [Jezebel]
Uh, the potoo is our new favorite bird. Where have these Jim Henson Creature Shop creations of the nature world been all of our lives? They're like a cross between the Phillie Phanatic and ancient feathered frog-dinosaurs and we're in loooove. [LaughterKey]
If we knew how to dance, run, or ever worked out, we would be this awesome guy. Great moves, guy! [LaughingSquid]
A very under-sung candy. [Pizzzatime]
Isabella Rossellini is back at it. After the success of her Webby-award winning Sundance Channel series, Green Porno and Seduce Me, tackling the eccentric mating habits of the animal kingdom (gay gang-banging deer and masochist snails to name a few), the model and actress now turns her attention to the peculiar habits of mothers and chats with us about her deliciously surreal new show Mammas debuting this Mother's Day on the Sundance Channel and SundanceChannel.com. Below, we chat with Rossellini about the series. Above, watch an exclusive clip about the resilient oil beetle and the horny male bees who love them.
When did you first become curious about animal behavior?
I was always interested in animals and always thought they would make funny films. But, you know, as an actress and a model I never really thought about writing or directing. Then a few years ago, to celebrate my father [Roberto Rossellini], who would have been 100 years old in 2006, I made a film about my dad that Sundance purchased and liked very much. They contacted me again when they had allocated some money to experiment in making a web series. At first, I thought I didn't know what to say, I didn't know what to write and then thought it might be really fun to do little short films about animals. This is how the first three episodes of Green Porno came about. When I showed them the pilot, Sundance commissioned eight more. It was a huge hit! Since then we did another 10 Green Pornos and then we did a series called Seduce Me - it was difficult to find sponsors for something with porno in the title - so we changed the name but the format was pretty much the same. Then recently I did Mamma's, focusing on maternal instinct.
Why did you decide to focus on sexual behavior when you first started? Was it important to show that sexuality is just as complex and diverse in the animal world as it is for humans?
I didn't do it to change people's point of view. They were really just meant to be comical films - not propaganda in any way. Of course when they came out, for example recently they found out that homosexuality exists amongst several animal species - and I made an episode about it. The gay community was like "Oh by God then we are not against nature" -- something they have been accused of. In fact it does exist in nature, so they felt relieved. I didn't do it particularly as a statement but I think it is natural for us to think about ourselves when observing the animal world. If it exist in nature than why not? It questions your set of beliefs.
Did the same happen with Mammas?
Yes it did. When I first read the research from several women scientists that question maternal instincts trying to figure out if its true that women are inclined to self sacrifice - making it a common denominator in all species and defining us as women. They looked into other animal species and couldn't confirm that. I was actually relieved to know that we are not all self-sacrificing because I'm afraid that would throw us back into the kitchen.
Stills from Mammas courtesy of Sundance Channel.
How do you go about choosing the animals you feature in the show?
First of all it's about diversity. When talking about motherhood, I would find examples of ten different species that either don't get pregnant in the belly but in the mouth or back. Or species that abandon their children all-together so that I don't tell ten stories that are too similar. When I did Green Porno, I chose male and female species, hermaphrodites and homosexuals to show all the wonderful diversity that exists. Once I choose the types, then its really dictated by the humor and the costume.
How did you come up with the look of the show?
We had a very small budget, so we devised the first two series to be done with paper. Also, since they were conceived for the Internet and the small devices we view these in (like cell phones, iPods, etc); we thought that the image had to be very clear and graphic so that they would marry well with small screens. The latest was co-produced with a French television station called Arte and because of this co-production I had to shoot these in France. Of course the French didn't want to give visas to my American collaborators, so I had to hire a whole French crew. So I changed the concept from paper to clothing. I knew several couturiers and artisans through my work as a model, so I worked with them to create costumes that were very fantastic. You have to sort of adapt your style to the team you are working with.
Have you learned about any animal maternal behaviors that you wish human mothers could adopt?
Not particularly. Again it was a feeling that our culture sometimes gives us so many constraints when actually nature is so much more fantastic, much more elastic and much more possible than what we believe. For example, some believe that women should stay home and take care of their babies and yet it's not something you see in all species. A woman who has a career doesn't mean she's not fit to be a mother. Or again the example of a gay guy or girl being accused of being against nature or that sex is just for procreation, but then you see sex is used in nature for many other purposes: for pleasure, recreation and to socially bond. Sex doesn't have just one role its something we've seen through many species.
What is the most challenging part of making Mammas?
The hardest part was to film the opening monologue for this particular season because I wanted to explain some of the science behind it - I thought people would enjoy it more if they had a bit of an explanation. The first episode was hard to write. I did the episode in two languages, French and English, six pages of dialogues in languages that are not mine. My maternal tongue is Italian. It was very difficult to make it fun and simple. It's a difficult thesis to explain. If you expose a theory it is harder. The hardest part was to translate something that is serious into something that is fun and lighthearted. Playing the animals is the easy part -- it's a puppet show.
Sometime early this century I invited Frieze magazine editor Amanda Sharp out to lunch. I took her to a glassed-in tablecloth joint down near the water in Battery Park. The location was good for a visitor from London, I thought, and close to the Artnet offices, where I had my own upstart magazine going. With Matthew Slotover, her partner in founding Frieze in 1991, she was soon to launch the Frieze Art Fair in London. Along with the new Tate Modern and the advent of Damien Hirst and Young British Art, Frieze would re-energize London as a global art capital.
"New London Sun," I titled the report I filed from the very first Frieze Art Fair in 2003, a reference not only to the stellar aspirations of the event but also to the beautiful weather, a rarity in the often overcast city. The 12-year-old glossy magazine was already "the arbiter of everything cool about Brit Art," I went on to say. Now, the Frieze Art Fair would make it an eminence grise in the art market as well.
Sharp grew up in London and studied politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford University. Her own art collection is modest but personal, she says, consisting of artworks by artist friends. She has been a New Yorker for at least a dozen years.
Recently I caught up with Sharp on the phone to talk about the second installment of the Frieze New York Art Fair, taking place May 10-13, in a custom-made structure out on Randall's Island in the East River. It's a very contemporary scene, with over 180 galleries from 32 countries, including more than 50 from New York.
Above: Frieze founder Amanda Sharp.
Walter Robinson: When you launched the Frieze Art Fair back in 2003, was subsidizing the magazine an issue? Did you anticipate that you would be re-energizing London as a global art market?
Amanda Sharp: No, we weren't far-sighted enough to think of the fair as a way to subsidize the magazine. In fact we worried that it might damage the magazine! We had thought for years that London needed its own contemporary art fair. In the end, we got frustrated that no one was doing it, and launched it ourselves. And we did not anticipate that the fair would "re-energize" the London art scene. It was the other way around, really. London was generating a lot of energy and we capitalized on it. Interest in young artists was exploding, more contemporary galleries were opening, the Tate Modern was inaugurated -- all these events predated the opening of the fair.
WR: The 2013 edition of Frieze New York, featuring galleries from 32 countries, suggests that we now have a global art world.
AS: Globalism is part and parcel of the way that the whole world is connected now, with constant and rapid cross-pollination and information exchange. If you ignore that, you are a dinosaur. And it's funny, but an international fair serves a very local purpose, by bringing in interesting artworks that local artists wouldn't have seen any other way.
WR: A recent report showed a general pullback in the global art market by seven percent over the last year, with smaller galleries taking a disproportion-ately large share of the hit. Does your experience reflect that dynamic? Isn't the market for contemporary art supposed to be growing?
AS: That's not my forte, paradoxically. I think it's clear that the interest in contemporary art is growing, and there are more people buying contemporary art than there were 10 years ago. But not everyone is benefiting, because we all know that a lot of the increase comes from big-ticket works that are going to a small number of people.
WR: In the last decade or so we've seen a proliferation of digital art Web sites that offer a kind of virtual art market or digital art fair -- most of them still in the beginning stages of development. So far, the art world seems to prefer the real-world fair experience. Does Frieze have any plans to adapt to the digital experience? What do you see happening in this virtual space going forward?
AS: I think people like to see art in the flesh, and I think there's a good reason for that. One thing you can't replicate digitally is the overall art fair experience, which involves looking at artworks right in front of you, not to mention the chance meetings, the networking and all of the accidental, enjoyable social interactions that don't take place in quite the same way in the digital realm. Of course the digital experience has obvious benefits, and Frieze does a lot of stuff digitally -- we have an app that helps visitors navigate the fair, and a mobile Web site -- and we believe in the digital community. But it's not the same as looking at art for real.
WR: I understand Frieze New York is featuring a re-creation of Food, the late artist Gordon Matta-Clark's pioneering SoHo eatery. Can you give us any details? Is the artist-as-chef a new category of artist?
AS: Cecilia Alemani, the curator of the project program, has been committed to this idea of bringing back an important exhibition from New York's past and embedding it in the fair. Last year John Ahearn re-created what he had done at Fashion Moda, and this time around Cecilia thought of creating an homage to Food. Artists are cooking each day, re-creating some of its most beloved dishes -- suckling pig stuffed with pineapple is one, and another is a roasted bone soup.
WR: Frieze New York also promises a speakeasy, a cemetery and a color-coded garden. Can you give us any details on these features, or a preview of any other anticipated crowd-pleasers?
AS: Liz Glynn's speakeasy is hidden inside the fair, and the lucky visitor is given a key. The barman will mix you a cocktail and tell you a special story -- so it's an immersive, playful experience. And the Andra Ursuta cemetery, if you come in on the ferry, as you walk up to the fair, you pass it on the way. Basically, it's where images go to die, and the headstones bear fractured-image icons. So, it's as if some dreams don't quite make it out of that tent.
WR: I imagine that managing the competing demands of several hundred alpha art dealers is something of a challenge. From your experience, can you characterize what makes an exemplary art dealer?
AS: The really good ones are those who find the artists, believe in the art, champion it, understand there's a long view -- they want to help artists find homes in the best museums. They are people who talk with passion and insight about the work. They are always prophets, aren't they?
WR: Fairs are great fun to visit, but it is art collectors and their purchases that fuel the all-important art economy. Can you give us any insight into what makes the contemporary art collector tick?
AS: Collectors are people who have caught a bug -- it's an obsession, it's what they love, it's what they devote all their time to learning about, they get enormous enjoyment and intellectual reward from looking at art and living with art and having access to artists. Their collections are totally personal and idiosyncratic. Those people are fantastic to meet and talk to, and those are the true collectors.
WR: It's been almost two decades since the launch of the new art fair era with the Gramercy International Art Fair at the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York -- are you sensing any fair fatigue?
AS: We have a lot of art fairs now, more than when we launched our fair 10 years ago, and I think there is some fair fatigue. But you don't feel fatigue around the good fairs. Where good art is being shown, good galleries are present, and that's always going to be an interesting event to visit. For some professionals, though, they can't always be on an airplane every week. At some point there's bound to be some sort of consolidation, where you'll see a clear stratification between local fairs and international fairs.
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"Too Old To Be New, Too New To Be Classic" is an appropriate description of seminal NYC indie record label DFA. It's also the title of a short documentary that looks at the label's twelve years in business. Responsible for making dance music cool again in the early '00s, the label founded by James Murphy, Tim Goldsworthy and Jon Galkin spawned bands like The Rapture, Holy Ghost!, The Juan MacLean, YACHT, Sinkane and, of course, Murphy's LCD Soundsystem. As any music nerd (or casual Pitchork reader) can tell you, DFA has had a hand in shaping the "dance punk" sound we've now come to associate with much of the aughts (or, as Murphy puts it, the "live drums and synthesizers"). But just as the second half of the title suggests, the label's still in its adolescence -- and still making kids sweaty, dancing to the latest DFA singles inside Bushwick warehouses off the Myrtle-Wyckoff stop.
In tandem with this very enjoyable documentary, narrated by Marc Maron, DFA is hosting a blow-out at Brooklyn's Grand Prospect Hall on May 25 as part of the ongoing Red Bull Music Academy (who also produced the video). The party will feature DJ and live sets by James Murphy, The Crystal Ark, YACHT, The Rapture, Nancy Whang, Juan MacLean and a whole bunch more. But in case you're getting nervous that all of these celebratory vibes herald DFA's finale (much like LCD Soundsystem's "last hurrah" show at Madison Square Garden in 2011), fear not: at one point in this video Murphy, enjoying the sea breeze and copious pastries while on the Coachella cruise, says to the camera, "I think we have years of embarrassing ourselves by trying to be current ahead of us...hopefully." Something tells us DFA's teenage years won't be so embarrassing.
Gary Oldman stars in David Bowie's "The Next Day" as a crooked priest, first seen beating up a young beggar. He makes his way to a creepy bar where waiters serve trays of eyeballs and clergy buy dances from pale girls. Bowie's in the corner, in a Jesus-like robe, singing, "They can't get enough of that doomsday song." As the song crescendoes, a slatternly Marion Cotillard starts shooting blood from her palms, then all of a sudden reappears, cleansed of her makeup (and presumably, her sins). "Thank you everybody," says Bowie before ascending to heaven.