Showing posts from February, 2011

A Butoh Moment @ Ceres Gallery + Ulf Puder unearthed

In the spirit of "you learn something new every day as long as you refrain from saying meh," I learned a new word today: butoh. Butoh is a kind of mute performance so eloquently defined in Wikipedia, I've copy-pasted the definition here: 
Butoh(舞踏 Butō?) is the collective name for a diverse range of activities, techniques and motivations for dance, performance, or movement inspired by the Ankoku-Butoh(暗黒舞踏ankoku butō?) movement. It typically involves playful and grotesque imagery, taboo topics, extreme or absurd environments, and is traditionally performed in white body makeup with slow hyper-controlled motion, with or without an audience. There is no set style, and it may be purely conceptual with no movement at all. Its origins have been attributed to Japanese dance legendsTatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno
I love the part "with or without an audience," bringing to mind the adage of a tree falling in a forest empty of onlookers - did it really fall?  The definit…

Tom Otterness: Horse and Rider redux!

I am utterly beside myself ... I'm now the proud owner of not one, but twoTom Otterness sculptures, entitled "Horse and Rider."

Now before commuters familiar with the Brooklyn artist's quirky little figurines strewn around Manhattan's subway stations accuse me of grand theft with a hacksaw (um, make that a chainsaw), these are cast resin replicas. The read deal (and other objects of my profound desire) are being exhibited Feb 23 at the artist's outlet of choice, Marlborough Gallery, and will probably set you back at least $7K, last I looked.

The "Horse and Rider" full-size bronze currently graces the campus of the Texas Tech University in Lubbock. The subject itself is a  loose interpretation of the Texas Tech Uni's mascot, ‘The Masked Rider’. The tradition of the Masked Rider started as a dare in 1936 when an unidentified masked or ghost rider would circle the football field during home games. The Masked Rider became an official mascot in 1954.…

Jenny Krasner+Heather Sellers: Words + Scanner + Intent

I've just started a 6-week Trends in Photography and Contemporary Art course at the School of Visual Arts, taught by New York art critic and consultant Brian Appel. The class has a number of working artists, blossoming artists, art appreciators, and "I can't draw for the life of me but I can just see it" arteests like me. Yup, I figured it was about time I expanded on my art knowledge from the "P" volume of the World Book Encyclopedia.  I confess that one of the most popular, dare I say, cliche paintings of all time, Henri Rousseau's Sleeping Gypsy, still sends a little buzz down my prefrontal cortex:

But I digress. I just finished perusing the site of my classmate Jenny Krasner, a sculptor (picture a big welding torch and ceiling high steelworks) and more recently, digital photoartist. I was captivated by her collaboration with poet and artist Heather Sellers.

The two women live in different cities so the work was created in a truly modern manner, thi…

Snap frozen moments: Masayo Nishimura at Ceres Gallery

Continuing on my photography-ogling odyssey, I chanced upon this wonderful shot in Ceres Gallery, a non-profit artspace for women artists. It's part of a show called "Recollections: From New York to Tokyo" by Osaka transplant Masayo Nishimura, who was manning the desk when I stumbled in on a rainy, icy Manhattan Saturday. The show features largely subway shots from both countries, with a handful of above-ground moments.

Let me rant at length as to why I love this image. First, it's Japan. As of 2009, when I visited Japan for the first time under the auspices of my job as a bicycle evangelist, I'm a hopeless Japanophile. Yes I have a Maneki Neko cat (2!) and a nabe pot lugged from Kyoto. Yes I pedaled through its delirious, labyrinth-like cities, scarfed brilliant bento at train stations, surged with crowds at popular temple and museum sites and staggered about in the neon glitz of "Times Square"in Harajuku that eats New York's Times Square several…