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Archive for the ‘Off Beat’ Category

Fiber Art is #Trending at the Armory

One easy way to avoid totally losing your mind at an art fair is to identify some kind of pattern amidst the gloried, sprawling hodgepodge. Often at a fair, big, shiny objects abound — ditto blank canvases, wan abstraction, and works of art that lie underfoot like pieces of debris. Of course, these aren’t so much “trends” as they are just the stock and trade of the biz; an art trend with traction should probably connect somehow with events in the world outside of the fair, however far away that world may seem while trudging the endless aisles. At this year’s Armory Show, however, one repeated feature seemed to fit the bill for true trend status, and that feature was fiber art — though animals, cutouts, and cutouts of animals were contenders, too. (Also, Furbys.) (more…)

Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan Get a Museum (In a Hallway)

When it comes to vicious sports rivalries, perhaps none is quite so well known (at least to those of us who, frankly, don’t devote much brain space to sports rivalries) as the kneecap-busting feud between 1994 US championship figure skaters Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. And now, thanks to Upright Citizens Brigade comedians Viviana Olen and Matt Harkins, that rivalry will receive its laudatory museum due — in the hallway of a third-floor Williamsburg walk-up. According to a Washington Post write-up, Olen and Harkins were in need of decoration for their apartment and, after watching the ESPN documentary “30 for 30: The Price of Gold” on Netflix, decided that decoration ought to be pictures of their new favorite figure skaters; they posted a Kickstarter page seeking $75 to print posters at Duane Reade. But much like that one dude’s quest for potato salad, their mission received an unexpectedly passionate following. By the time they breached the $1,000 mark, plans for Matt & Viviana’s Tonya Harding & Nancy Kerrigan 1994 Museum had expanded out into the corridor, which they painted a uniform black, and included eBay-sourced memorabilia, fan art, even some oral history commentary from journalist Lois Elfman. And as of Thursday afternoon, the Kickstarter officially closed with a whopping $2,036 — meaning Harding and Kerrigan will indeed be honored with all the prestige this hallway can muster (and by the sweet t-shirt and button swag gifted to the campaign’s backers, below).


The Art World’s So Boring We’re Just Shredding Money Now

The Observer reports on what they are implausibly expecting to be “one of the most discussed-slash-controversial artworks of New York’s huge Armory Arts Week” — namely, a collaboration for the SPRING/BREAK art fair between omnipresent Dustin Yellin and Bazaar Teens that involves putting $10,000 in a woodchipper. Long story short: The ground-up cash is then used to compose 8 paintings, priced at $10,000 a piece, the sales of which will “go toward the creation of eight grants for high school seniors interested in pursuing art.” Woohoo! First off, such a project should only serve as a warning to said high school seniors re: whether or not they actually want to dip their toes into such an exhausted pool of faux-sensationalism. At least when K Foundation pulled this shit back in the 1990s they burned a million British pounds on a boat. (Sadly, no high school students benefitted from that one.) The impetus behind the project, evidently, is SPRING/BREAK’s theme this year: “Transaction.” I’d like to take this opportunity to announce that, in honor of that theme, I will personally be staging a groundbreaking project that will certainly be the most discussed and controversial highlight of the coming week: For a mere $20,000, I’m going to have sex with a private collector, on camera, in a hotel room. Who said the art world is out of ideas?


Instagrams of the Art World: RIP Leonard Nimoy, and More

Kenny Scharf (kennyscharf) gave some love to his “main man,” Mr. Spock — RIP, Mr. Nimoy.


Eat Pray Thug: Das Racist’s Himanshu Suri Curates Indian Art

You probably remember Himanshu Suri, a.k.a. “Heems,” as half of Das Racist, the New York rap group who hit the Internet running with their single “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell” in 2008. From there, they produced three albums’ worth of tracks that took on politics in step with alliterative lists of junk food — a career perhaps best summed up by the cheeky hypnotic loop of a chorus on 2010’s “hahahaha jk?”: “We’re not joking. Just joking, we are joking. Just joking, we’re not joking,” and so on. Now, however, Suri has jumped into the (marginally) more serious business of curating his own gallery show: “Eat Pray Thug,” the same moniker he’s given his forthcoming solo album, which runs through March 10 at Aicon Gallery on Great Jones Street. The multimedia group show of artists with ties to India and Pakistan, including Suri himself, also features a parallel series of live events, including an appearance from Muslim punk band The Kominas on March 7.


Each New Hot Chip Album Gets Bespoke Printed Cover Art

No, you haven’t been transported to a warehouse party in 2006 — Hot Chip is indeed releasing a new album, titled “Why Make Sense?” (à la a slightly more Socratic Talking Heads), and to celebrate, in a rather sensical move given the flagging CD market, they’ve decided to make each edition of the album unique. With help from “a never-before-used bespoke printing technique,” each  cover will feature a slight distinctive variation on Nick Relph’s optical-illusory design (above), backed by any one of 501 different colors. Check out a GIF that cycles through each shade below — plus, a video for their new single “Huarache Lights,” because it certainly helps to have some light electronica to accompany the trip-friendly visuals.


Lost Boys: Stacy Kranitz Exposes a Skate Park’s Dark Side

For those who imagine Avril Lavigne to have uttered the final word on the skater boy — sorry, “Sk8er Boi” — we recommend familiarizing yourself with Stacy Kranitz’s “From the Study on Post Pubescent Manhood,” a photo series and accompanying film on view at LA’s Little Big Man Gallery through March 14. Taken in Rutland, Ohio, home of the 88 (yes, eighty-eight) acre skate park-cum-general bacchanalia zone Skatopia, these images document the wanton, often brutal risk in which their subjects appear all too happy to engage — shirtless fire-starting and cheap beer, not just scraped knees but gushing ones. Kranitz states on her website that the project is a product of her “searching for displays of violence that become catharsis,” and the scene she presents is accordingly primal, edging on apocalyptic — “Lord of the Flies” plus half-pipes. (See below for a further sampling.)


Instagrams of the Art World: HBD Jerry Saltz, Kehinde Wiley, and More

Okay, Klaus Biesenbach (klausbiesenbach) stepped up his Instagram game hard this week. It was achingly, impossibly difficult to choose between this tease of Bjork’s newly restored swan dress and this one in which he lofts “82 white roses – hand delivered” toward the camera as if offering you love itself — but in the end, we had to go with the above image, a birthday missive to Jerry Saltz, which is apparently also an “impersonation as werner herzog and klaus kinski from ‘mein liebster feind,’” which, just, yes.


Oliver Payne Wants to “Chill Out” With You at MOCAD

Want to chill out and listen to some ambient house music, man? No, it’s not just an invitation from your stoned cousin anymore — this time, the request is coming from 2003 Venice Biennale Gold Lion winner Oliver Payne. On March 5, Payne will take over the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) at 9 pm sharp for a “performance,” which as far as we can tell won’t consist so much of any particular performative actions on the artist’s part as it will a giant listening party for “Chill Out,” the concept album by late-80s British house band KLF. (For those yet unfamiliar, check out its diffuse, sound effect laden 44 plus minutes in full, below.)


Crucified Pete Doherty Sculpture to Hang in London Church

The “rock star as Jesus” metaphor is a well worn one, to be sure — from David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” to Kanye West’s “Yeezus” to Aldous Snow’s “African white space Christ“ — but now thanks to sculptor Nick Reynolds, things have gotten pretty literal for Libertines frontman Pete Doherty. In 2008, Reynolds, known for his “death masks,” fitted Doherty with a full body cast and transformed his life-size likeness into a traditional white marble crucifix, titled “For Pete’s Sake” (har har), which will now hang at London’s St. Marylebone Parish Church from February 20 to March 17. (Here’s some pictures of forlorn-looking stone Doherty, suspended in all his messianic glory.) The piece joins other crucifixion-themed art for curator Ben Moore’s second annual “Stations of the Cross” exhibition, organized by as a fundraiser for the Missing Tom Fund, named for his brother who disappeared in 2003; after the exhibition ends, the Doherty cross will go on sale for £33,000.