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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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Entries in galleries (10)


17 Thoughts I Had While Watching "Woman in Gold"

Have you seen Woman in Gold which has been out on DVD for a bit now? It's about an old Austrian Jew (Helen Mirren) who immigrated to America during the Holocaust and attempts to get her family's original Gustav Klimt paintings back which were stolen by the Nazis and now "belong" to a museum in Austria.

Here are a dozen plus thoughts I had while watching it...

What do you know about art restitution?

• Nothing? It's okay. I didn't either. Helen Mirren will teach us. She speaks most of her lines as if to a small child. In fact, a lot of the characters do. They're constantly explaining the movie's plot and conflicts to us. And after explaining things there's sometimes bits of dialogue like...

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Curio: Bad Dads in New York

Alexa here. Each year for the past 5 years, San Francisco-based Spoke Art has held a Wes Anderson-themed art show titled Bad Dads. I would be remiss not to mention that this year marks the first time the show will be held in New York.  The gallery described the move as a natural one:

Although Anderson's films take us everywhere from a fictional pre-war Europe to the far reaches of India and even out to sea, New York City is home to one of Anderson’s first real successes, The Royal Tenenbaums. His palpable connection to New York is only made stronger by the fact that he resides there as well, and as the exhibition enters its sixth consecutive year, it only makes sense to host it in such an exciting and diverse city.

More info on getting tickets and a preview of some of the work that will be on display after the jump

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Curio: The Lighter Side of Tom Hanks

Alexa here. This past Saturday, Gallery 1988 opened its newest group show of pop-culture inspired art, and it's a happy one: NO SAD STUFF includes paintings, prints, and sculptures influenced by Tom Hanks films from 1984-1994. This means pieces celebrating the likes of The Money Pit, Big, The Burbs, Turner & Hooch and, of course, Splash and Forrest Gump (among others).  

Seven pieces from the collection after the jump...

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Masterpieces: 5 Works of Art That Deserve Their Own Movie

Abstew in the gallery to talk artworld films.

This past week saw the release of not one but two true life films set in the art world. Rather than traditional artist biopics, both films focus instead on the life of a particular painting's subject matter or the history of the painting itself. Woman in Gold (which opened in the top ten despite its limited theater count) stars Helen Mirren as Maria Altmann, a Holocaust survivor. She fought for over a decade in court with the Austrian government to become the rightful owner of Gustav Klimt's Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I. The painting was of her aunt and it was stolen from her family by the Nazis during WWII. The long-delayed Effie Gray revolves around the unhappy wife (Dakota Fanning) of art critic John Ruskin (Greg Wise) in Victorian England. Apparently their marriage was never consummated and Effie became involved with the Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais (Tom Sturridge) and was the subject of some of his paintings.

Biopics about artists (FridaPollock, Mr. Turner, Lust for Life, the original Moulin Rouge, and many more over the decades) have found favor with the Academy. It will be interesting to see if these new films begin a trend for movies about the backstories of famous paintings, rather than the artist who painted them.

Since Hollywood is always in need of more interesting and diverse source material, here are 5 works of art that would make movies as pretty as a picture... 

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Performance Art, Baby?

Jay-Z, not content to let James Franco get all the "i'm not a ___, I'm actually an artist!" action, recently performed his new single "Picasso Baby" at MoMA for six hours (with breaks) as invited guests like art world giants, cool dancers, and several actors (Alan Cumming, Jemima Kirke, Adam Driver, Rosie Perez, etcetera) sat down across from him or stood on the sidelines to watch. The "art piece" (i.e. single / music video) really ought to have a "Jay-Z. Featuring Marina Abramovic" style byline since the rapper owes the basics of the concept to the performance artist who enters barefoot and touches heads with him. At least he gives her lots of footage in the video by way of homage.

Jay-Z with Marina Abramovic. Many artists are present.

Those of you who saw her in New York or caught last year's documentary Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present already know the gist of her most famous piece. [More...]

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Stage Door: Snow White's Final Humiliation in "WS"

I'm not sure that "stage door", our live theater series, is the right place for a video installation but since it's only "live" in NYC, here goes... 

If Snow White were a real Princess rather than a fictional one, you'd have to consider her corpse thoroughly exhumed by now. From the 75th anniversary of Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) which we celebrated right here through the release of three new filmed incarnations of the princess (Snow White and the Huntsman, Mirror Mirror and, the best of them, Spain's silent feature Blancanieves) and even a Broadway show Vanya and Sonia and Sasha and Spike which uses her costume (on Sigourney Weaver) as plot device and laugh generator, Snow White just isn't getting any sleep these days. She must be exhausted. But sleep deprivation might just be preferrable to the nightmare she's experiencing on Park Avenue right about now...

Elyse Poppers as "White, Snow" and Paul McCarthy as "Walt Paul" in WS

Read on if you can handle NSFW riffs on fairy tales...

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Tilda in a Box

Since you aren't allowed to take photos at Tilda Swinton's "The Maybe", the revival of her 1995 performance art piece where she sleeps in a glass box, I thought I'd tell you about my MoMA visit this past weekend in boxed up comic form. Read quietly. (Do not wake the Tilda)

*note: I intend for 'Actressland' to be a weekly serialized comic but for now, it's one-offs.