In the Air
Art News & Gossip

In the Air – Art+Auction's Gossip Column

Vincent D’Onofrio Is a Hamster

In the strangest actor-musician news since Macaulay Culkin’s Pizza Underground, A.V. Club is reporting that Vincent D’Onofrio (of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” fame) is now part of an experimental spoken-word duo whose first single is called “I’m A Hamster.” (Dana Lyn provides jittery string accompaniment. There are also some horns.) “I’m a hamster with a chip on my shoulder. I don’t like metal, it’s the wrong color,” D’Onofrio snarls. “I like browns and off-whites. Let’s not talk about the wheel!” The most shocking thing about this 1:34 slice of weirdness? It’s not half bad. The single is from a full-length album due March 3; Detective Robert Goren and Lyn play Joe’s Pub in New York on December 20.

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Get Your Art Handler Beefcake Stocking Stuffer

This very niche 2015 calendar is “like the FDNY Firemen calendar, but with levels and nitrile gloves instead of axes and fire pants,” and it can be yours for a mere $15. The cheeky 12-month celebration of New York’s art handling community pays homage to the mostly unsung heroes who hang, adjust, cart, and finesse so many expensive objects from the clutter of the studio to the rarified confines of the white cube. “Collectively we work for several major New York City institutions (a couple in funny shaped buildings), galleries, art-trucking companies, universities, and a private artist studio,” said Zaq Landsberg, one of the project organizers and models. “I believe this is the first art handler calendar ever — definitely the first made by art handlers.” The calendar skews toward muscular men holding drills, with a few female handlers in the mix.

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Dee Dee Ramone’s Goofy, Cool Paintings on View in Chelsea

It feels only appropriate to start this post off with a rousing “1-2-3-4!” — the same rallying cry with which Dee Dee Ramone began so many of his seminal punk group’s crash-bang minute-plus tracks. As appears to be the case with many musicians these days (see: Neil Young’s car watercolors), the Ramones bassist who penned “53rd & 3rd” and “Rockaway Beach” also had an art career before his tragic demise in 2002. His cartoonish, neon-backed paintings — self-portraits, band portraits, lengthy comic fantasy sequences about Sid Vicious — are now on view at the Hotel Chelsea Storefront Gallery through January 1, mere doors down from the building he and fellow ’70s scenesters once called home. And to add to the Dee Dee of it all, facing his art is a wall of photographs showcasing his signature smirk and dark mop of hair, from the red-backed Mick Rock photo that became the cover for The Ramones’ “End of the Century” to candid concert shots by Bob Gruen, Ed Perlstein, Stephanie Chernikowski, and Stanley Ryan Jones; a set by Keith Green in which Dee Dee poses on a Hotel Chelsea balcony seems particularly fitting.

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Tal R Debuts New Series at Cheim & Read in January

Copenhagen-based artist Tal R will debut his latest series, “Altstadt Girl,” at Cheim & Read on January 15. For his second show with the gallery, the artist has created a series of paintings using pigment and rabbit-skin glue that portray women in interior spaces, almost blending in with their bright, color-blocked surroundings. “I want to make concrete rooms where the experience is absolutely abstract,” he explained. “The face, the eyes, the pillows, the windows, the tapestry all carry information and meaning.” The title, meanwhile, refers to the “Altstadt” — or “old town” — of Dusseldorf, where Tal R once worked as a professor and would spend his evenings after classes drawing strangers in a nearby hotel room. The exhibition will be open until Feburary 14.

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Rauschenberg Foundation Names Emerging Curator Prize Winner

On Monday, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and Artsy announced the winner of the Robert Rauschenberg Emerging Curator Competition, Sotheby’s Institute of Art student Nicole Bray. She will receive a fellowship to mount a Rauschenberg exhibition in New York — which, according to her proposal, will include an interactive component via social media, allowing artists worldwide to submit “artworks inspired by Rauschenberg’s aspirations to promote peace and tolerance through art.” In order to compete, Bray and her fellow 138 entrants used Artsy’s online catalogue to curate a virtual exhibition for the foundation. According to competition judge and associate San Francisco Museum of Modern Art curator Sarah Roberts, this aspect is key: “The Emerging Curator Competition spotlights the necessity of artists, artists’ estates, foundations, and museums making artworks fully available online with accurate information and images,” Roberts said in a statement. “The first encounter that many people — from the public to scholars and curators — will have with a work of art will be online, and digital accessibility is essential to ensuring that an artist’s work and legacy will remain active in the cultural conversation and be found by researchers combing the web for artworks to include in articles, curricula, and exhibitions.” See Bray’s winning collection on Artsy.

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Instagrams of the Art World: Special #MiamiArtWeek Edition

Miami Art Week — AKA, #MiamiArtWeek, #ABMB, and/or #helplolwhatishappening — has finally drawn to a close, but not before the myriad art-worlder attendees had a chance to catalogue their experience on Instagram. Above is rapper Brooke Candy (brookecandy)’s good morning salute to the city — and below are a few more choice snapshots from throughout the week. (Note: We recommend playing Will Smith’s “Miami” on repeat through the duration of this post, also probably hitting yourself over the head several times with a Nerf bat, and you’ll just about approximate the experience of having been there yourself.)

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Man Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison for Punching a Monet

As reported by the UK Metro (via Artnet), the man who punched a $10 million Monet painting in 2012 has now officially been sentenced to 5 years jail time. Andrew Shannon, who committed this assault against an inanimate object at Dublin’s National Gallery of Ireland, is also banned from all art galleries for 15 months after his release. For putting a hole in a painting — which had no loved ones or childhood memories or detectable pulse at any point — Shannon received due process of law and punishment from his government. Meanwhile, Darren Wilson and Daniel Pantaleo, having only put holes in people and families, are free to do as they please. “Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat,” 1874, has since been restored and hangs once more on the gallery wall.

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Dizzying Variety: Highlights from Art Miami and CONTEXT

Upon viewing Peter Anton’s wall-mounted sculptures of chocolate box interiors at Art Miami, provenance of both and Amsterdam’s Gallery Delaive and Palm Beach’s Arcature Fine Art, it’s hard not to see the pieces as somehow representative of the fair overall — offering a variety of patterns and colors, some pristinely lacquered, some partially consumed, at once appetizing and intimidating in their larger-than-life quality. With over 200 exhibitors and 1,875 artists packed into its massive Wynwood tent through Sunday, Art Miami is its largest yet for its 25th edition — the silver year — and indeed, there are plenty of silver works to be had, or at least plenty of shiny ones (see: the face-off between  K. Gretchen Greene’s hole-riddled palimpsests of welded steel at Todd Merrill Studio Contemporary and Norman Mooney’s four-leaf-clover-shaped cascade of violet polished steel at Waterhouse & Dodd).

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Melissa Maddonni Haims Yarnbombs a Car at SELECT Fair Miami

This morning, in an act reminiscent of a particularly whimsical “Pimp My Ride,” fiber artist Melissa Maddonni Haims yarnbombed the car parked outside SELECT Fair Miami by sponsor Mercedes. Full disclosure: We had some advance notice of the impending act after talking to Haims last night, but were keen not to blow her cover lest fair organizers disapprove and intervene. “I’m not asking them, because I know they’ll say no,” she said. “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission.” Haims, who describes her knitwork as “fun, not functional,” has some wall-mounted crochet pieces on view at SELECT in Philadelphia’s InLiquid booth. Check out some more of her handiwork on the columns outside the fair, below.

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Mykki Blanco Joins Rashaad Newsome at SELECT Fair Miami

Last night at SELECT, Rashaad Newsome presented his video “The Conductor,” 2013 — a stylized supercut of hip hop music videos, with special focus on the artists’ hands — projected on the interior walls of a special black-box booth, with a little help from rapper-cum-performance-artist Mykki Blanco. “This piece is for me a portrait of hip hop culture that’s informed by the public,” he told the audience by way of introduction. ”This installation I built, it’s like a house that’s based on this information, so it’s a portrait of hip hop culture and all of its flaws. And what I’ve done is invited who I believe to be the future of hip hop to come in and dismantle this house that I built.” And Blanco, clad in a sleek pink silk pajama set and a curly blonde bob, proceeded to do just that — laying down a chunk of the “If music be the food of love” soliloquy from Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” before launching into a slew of verses, surrounded on all sides by the twitching, disembodied hands of Newsome’s work.

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