Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Eye candy

Again, I have no idea what this gentleman's politics are, but I have to share this delicious eye-candy:

Unusually for Dr. Abdullah, he is not doing his English Dandy look but instead his casual attire recalls images of Superman. Pretty great subliminal message as far as the propaganda imagery goes. I am referring to the white t-shirt and what looks like the hint of a cape. However, I have seen his opponent, who won the election, wearing what I assume is a traditional cape worn in his country, and in that case, it's a clever blending of traditional fashion, authority, monumentality, and contemporaneous images of heroes. But let's face it, he's just gorgeous.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Puerto Rican Celebration of Aliens Day

I have often commented about some of my countrymen's fixation and belief in extrerrestials in the "Real news-Boricual Alien Stories" topic of this blog. This is an update, in Lajas, town where the Mayor is building the Omnipuerto or UFO Airport they are celebrating a holiday devoted to Aliens. I am sure the plans for a landing site, the highway section denominated as the "UFO Route" and now this commemoration will lead them to choose this small town on the Island. I can't wait. Below is an article from our daily newspaper El Nuevo Dia.
06:00 A.M.

Celebración del Día del Extraterrestre

Reinaldo Ríos Narra la experiencia que lo convenció de la existencia de estos seres y conmemora sus visitas este sábado en Lajas



Luego de caer al suelo mientras jugaba baloncesto, Reinaldo Ríos vio una “dona de luz sobre un monte”. Se había lastimado la espalda y pensó que quedaría inválido pues con gran dolor tuvo que arrastrar la pierna hasta llegar a su hogar.

“Yo me fui a mi casa y dije: 'Dios mío si estos seres existen, que por favor vengan y me curen'. Al par de minutos vi unas luces que traspasaron las paredes de mi cuarto. Eran como unas esferas de luz que se hicieron como unos niñitos y sentí que penetraron mi cuerpo. Al otro día no tenía la condición que estaba padeciendo”, narró en conversación telefónica el maestro de matemáticas y vecino de Lajas.

Esta experiencia marcó a Reinaldo Ríos a los 14 años de edad y desde entonces está convencido que uno de sus propósitos en la vida es preparar a los humanos para la venida de los seres extraterrestres.

Con esta convicción, celebrará en Lajas el “Día del Extraterrestre”, mañana sábado 5 de diciembre a partir de las 6:00 p.m. El lugar de encuentro será una finca localizada en el kilómetro 7, hectómetro 8 de la denominada Ruta Extraterrestre 303 de este municipio. Allí se ofrecerán gratuitamente charlas y exhibirán fotografías y vídeos para todos los curiosos e interesados en el tema.

La actividad también es conocida como la “Vigilia Mundial OVNI” pues en Perú, Colombia, México, Estados Unidos y otros países conmemorarán las visitas extraterrestres con actividades similares, que se transmitirán en vivo a través de internet.

Ríos confesó que sus ideas no han sido bien recibidas en la Isla. “La imagen en Puerto Rico no la tengo muy buena. No he tenido la aceptación que he gozado en otros lugares del planeta. Aquí nuestras ideas se cogen a mofa, burla, no he recibido ese apoyo”, precisó Ríos.

El investigador del fenómeno OVNI dijo que algunas de sus iniciativas como la creación de la “Ruta Extraterrestre” en Lajas, el OVNI Puerto y el nombrar al municipio como la “Ciudad OVNI” han sido aplicadas en otros lugares del mundo y han tenido un éxito turístico y económico.

“No es cuestión de creer en el tema de los OVNI. Es cuestión de ser inteligente y sacarle el beneficio económico. Se puede hacer un observatorio astronómico, un museo de astronomía. Y la gente llega al municipio. Así funciona en Nevada con la 'Ruta 375' y en Chile con la 'Ruta Ufológica'”, manifestó Ríos.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The King

Kehinde Wiley Michael Jackson

The fabulous artist Kehinde Wiley, known for his portraits of African and African-descent men that cite canonical art historical images, has truly outdone himself now: here is his posthumous portrait of Michael Jackson. The blog post below gives interesting information, as does the Art Basel edition of The Art Newspaper, link also below. From watching the Martin Bashir documentary, I learned that Jackson was quite interested in art history, particularly Renaissance, Baroque, and 19th Century Realist art, so it did not surprise me to read that both artists had discussed pictorial precedents for this masterpiece of 21st century royal portraiture. I often wonder why royalty doesn't avail themselves of great painters, for example the Spanish Royal family has few portraits on canvas.

The only good ones are by Hernan Cortes (yes, his real name) and there was a to-die-for campy society painter called Ricardo Macarron who depicted the family in a manner that I can only describe as painted as if your grandma's Coty powder puff had been dipped in oil and laid on in a thick impasto. Of course, we have photography and my favorite purveyor of official royal imagery: HOLA! which has its own section on this blog. (this will be a subject of an article if and when I get tenure and can "go wild" with my art history). Queen Elizabeth did have Lucien Freud paint her, so we can give them props for that brave act.

Ricardo Macarron King Juan Carlos I of Spain

Lucien Freud Queen Elizabeth II

Blog Post on painting:

Art Newspaper link:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Political Camp as Protest

A friend of mine shared a photo (photographer unknown) that for me demonstrates wit, glamour, and perseverance in the face of ignorance and hate, and brings back many memories of demonstrations I took part in organized by ACT-UP, WHAM!, WAC, and other groups that utilized subversive humor and camp to great effect. The moral ugliness of hate is here transposed breezily into the hideousness of poor fashion choices, bigots are as ugly on the outside as they are on the inside. If pathology and perversion are projected onto the bodies of queer people by homophobes, this is turned on its head by turning back the attention onto the horrid sartorial details of the hateful zealot. Taking the stereotypical image of the queer as fashion obsessed (guilty as charged!) and turning it into a sign of resistance, just one example among many of the power of camp as a political tactic.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

One more heroine to add to my list!


Inspiring article from the DAILY NEWS (New York):

Margaret Bergmann Lambert, 95, gets Olympic record back after '36 Nazi team replaced her with man

Tuesday, November 24th 2009, 6:52 AM

Germany has restored the 1936 high jump record to a 95-year-old Queens woman who was kicked off the Nazi Olympic team because she was Jewish.

Margaret Bergmann Lambert was banned from the BerlinOlympics despite matching the high-jump record of 5 feet 3 inches to qualify and having spent two years on the team, starting in 1934.

"I was a person nonexisting because I was a Jew," Lambert told the Daily News on Monday night from her home inJamaica.

"I equaled the German record at age 22," she said.

"I never thought this was so amazing. I was just a very good athlete. It came to me very easily. I didn't even train much."

The German track and field association has recognized Lambert, born Gretel Bergmann, several times over the years but never went as far as restoring her record.

While the honor "can in no way make up" for the past, it serves as an "act of justice and a symbolic gesture," the committee said Monday.

Lambert said the honor "doesn't bother me one way or another. If it would never of happened I wouldn't have killed myself either," she said.

She still remembers the anger she felt when the Olympic team told her she couldn't compete in the 1936 games.

"I had so much fury," she said. "I went home and planned to come to the United States."

Adding to the insult was the athlete who the Nazis selected to replace her: a jumper named Dora Ratjen - who was later revealed to be a man whose real name was Horst Ratjen.

Ratjen was kicked off the team in 1938 when a doctor took a look at his genitals.

Lambert fled Nazi Germany in 1937 and landed in New York. She moved in with her brother, who was already living on the upper West Side.

"All the Jewish immigrants were scattered on Broadway and 80th and 90th," she said. "We all lived together there and helped each other out."

She worked as a house cleaner and met her husband,Bruno Lambert, 99, who still lives with her in Queens. They had two sons and have been married 71 years.

Lambert became an American champion in women's high jump in 1937 and 1938 and women's shot put in 1937. She decided to give it up when war broke out in 1939.

As a young woman she swore to never go back to Germany, but she changed her mind as life went on.

"I finally realized that the younger Germans - you couldn't blame them, since their fathers and grandfathers committed the crimes," she said. "It's not a nice thing to hate all the time."

Now she's a Yankees fan, but she won't watch the Olympics now because it's too upsetting.

"To tell the truth, I used to sit there and curse my head off when the Olympics were going on," she said. "Now I don't do that anymore. I've mellowed quite a bit."

Asked if she would pose for a photograph on Monday night at 7 p.m., Lambert replied: "Listen, I'm 95 years old. I have to go to bed."

With Edgar Sandoval

Read more

Even when you win, you lose....

Who knew that in an article about a new auction site where bidders pay to bid I would find a truth about love that saves me having to read years of Cosmo articles and stacks of self-help books such as He's Just Not That Into You, but there it is! Clearly, I need to read more about game theory and economics.

The author, Richard H. Thaler explains the motivations driving players to stay in the game even when they know they have either gone way past losing or that a win is not really a gain:

The dollar auction game was invented by a pioneer of game theory, Martin Shubik of Yale, and it illustrates the concept of “escalation of commitment.” Once people are trapped into playing, they have a hard time stopping. (Consider Vietnam.) The higher the bidding goes, and the more each bidder has invested, the harder it is to say “uncle.” The best advice you can give anyone invited to play this particular game is to decline.

Some games and battles are like that: even when you win, you lose. When you see at the start that such a dynamic is likely, you’re better off just walking away.

These situations crop up regularly in spheres as diverse as politics, romance and business.

Here's a link to the article from The New York Times, "Paying a High Price for the Thrill of the Hunt," by Richard H. Thaler (11/15/09)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Christian Side Hug

Thanks to my favorite pop culture blog, D-Listed, I learned that the Born-Agains don't just do Salsa and Merengue. They also do do (a very Caucasian hot mess version) of "hip-hop." I had read that this thing called a "side hug" was a way in which to avert any temptation caused by frontal body-to-body contact, both hetero and (gasp!) homo-social. This song posted on D-List is propaganda for the chaste "Christian side hug" - so again, no body to body contact, brethren. This reminds me of dances at Catholic school where chaperones would pry couples apart paradoxically saying "leave enough room for the Holy Sprit."

Friday, November 20, 2009

In other news from the wonderful world of Pageantry

Miss Gay Brazil ended in "confusion" I would say chaos, when an embittered sore loser approached the newly-crowned winner from behind like a bird of prey, yanked off her crown and wig in one balletic sweep. You go, girl! This is what the Delegate with the "nalgatario" over in Colombia should have done (see below).

Monday, November 16, 2009

Miss Columbia Pageant Contestant Booted for her Large Derriere

Miss Diana Salgado, Delegate for Valle Province competing for the Miss Columbia title is my new hero. Forced out of the pageant a month ago because of her large derriere, she attributed it to illness but then sought legal advice and after a battle was recently reinstated, setting off a national controversy about body standards and how big is a big rear end. Now her "hip" width is 40.2 in inches, which is EXACTLY the same as mine! And I am a size 8 American. Too much information. But just to say, how anorexic do these girls have to be plus we're taking about a heady cocktail of racial mixture but I know all too well the pressure to be as thin as possible, since as is well-known, the "larger" derriere is regarded as a racially marked trait. (particularly by my abuela, but let's not go there....)

Let's hope she wins the title and then goes on to be the next Miss Universe! UPDATE: She did not even make the top 10. She was robbed!!!!!


Polémica por reina con trasero grande en Miss Colombia
La candidata inicialmente fue obligada a renunciar porque sus pompis eran muy grandes, luego un juez ordenó reintegrarla

13 de noviembre, 2009

Diana Salgado, Señorita Valle en Miss Colombia
En toda una telenovela se ha convertido la última edición del reinado nacional de belleza en Colombia, pues una de las candidatas que compite por la corona fue obligada a renunciar por tener un trasero demasiado grande. Posteriormente, por una orden de un juez, debió ser reintegrada al concurso, justo cuando su suplente ya estaba integrada en la competencia como una de las favoritas.

La historia comenzó el mes pasado cuando la representante del Valle Diana Salgado, una joven de 22 años con medidas 92-67-119, apareció en las fotografías oficiales del concurso, mostrando que la naturaleza le había dado un poco más de atributos que al resto de las concursantes.

De inmediato los críticos de belleza pegaron el grito en el cielo y en un país donde se le rinde tanto culto a la figura, y el Reinado de Belleza es todo un suceso a nivel nacional, la reina apareció después en los medios asegurando que renunciaba a su título por cuestiones de salud.

La candidata que había ocupado el segundo lugar en el reinado departamental, Catalina Robayo fue entonces enviada a participar en Cartagena, donde todos los años se realiza el evento, calmando así los ánimos de los críticos.

Pero fue ahí donde la historia comenzó a ponerse mejor, pues mientras la nueva señorita Valle disfrutaba de su reinado, la anterior armó tremendo avispero cuando salió nuevamente en los medios y denunció que su renuncia había sido motivada por el comité de belleza del Valle, por lo que interpuso una acción de tutela, para que le regresaran la corona.

La semana pasada un juez falló a favor de Diana Salgado y ordenó que si la joven no regresaba a Cartagena a concursar, la directora del Comité de belleza del Valle, Andrea Vélez, hija de la única Miss Universo que ha tenido Colombia, sería encarcelada.

Faltan sólo tres días para que se sepa el nombre de la nueva Miss Colombia, y en medio de los aplausos de los seguidores de la polémica reina y los detractores que se burlan de su voluptuoso trasero, las pompis de esta mujer se han convertido en una noticia de importancia nacional. Los más severos la han llaman la reina sin vergüenza, mientras que otros la apoyan asegurando que ya es hora de que se acabe el culto a la delgadez excesiva y se pongan a competir mujeres de todas las formas.

Pero la historia no termina allí, pues la candidata saliente impugnó el fallo del juez y aunque sabe que cuando salga el veredicto ya se habrá terminado el concurso, al menos espera que le regresen su corona y los premios, pues el dinero que invirtió fue mucho y ahora anda un poco endeudada.

Here's another one that is even better, titled "Miss Valle Province's, A Big Mess all for 102 centimeters of Hip Width" because it refers to her "nalgatario prominente" which is so beautiful but cannot really be translated into English other than as perhaps "prominent asscheekery."


El de la señorita Valle, un gran lío por 102 centímetros de cadera

Foto: Yomaira Grandett
Diana María Salgado a su llegada a Cartagena ayer. En su opinión, ella tiene el cuerpo típico de la mujer colombiana y no piensa cambiar.
Durante más de un mes, las medidas de la candidata del Valle armaron una polémica en el departamento.

Nunca antes en el Valle se había armado una polémica tan grande por 12 centímetros.

Esa medida 'de más' en las caderas de Diana María Salgado se convirtió en el centro de un debate que llegó a los estrados judiciales y, en algún momento, llevó al departamento a tener dos reinas para el Concurso Nacional de Belleza.

La joven bugueña, de 24 años, fue elegida por unanimidad el pasado 25 de mayo entre 12 beldades vallecaucanas.

"Esa noche le advertimos que era una niña nalgona y se le habló a ella y a Andrea Vélez, la presidente del Comité de Belleza del Valle (Combelleza), sobre la posibilidad de que hiciera ejercicio para que disminuyera el culo", cuenta el escritor Gustavo Álvarez Garadeazábal, quien ofició como jurado en el reinado departamental.

Aseguró que la jovencita fue escogida con plena conciencia de su "nalagatorio prominente".

Con sus 90-64-98 y sus 1,78 metros de estatura, Diana empezó una dura preparación en Bogotá. Con jornadas que se iniciaban a las 5 de la mañana y terminaban a las 8 de la noche, la abogada javeriana se preparaba para hacer su mejor papel, pero el primero de octubre todo su esfuerzo se vino al piso. Combelleza anunció en un comunicado que, por "motivos de salud", la reina renunciaba a su aspiración de llegar a Cartagena.

"Presentó una incapacidad médica según la cual no se sentía bien para representar al departamento", dijo entonces Andrea Vélez.

La joven inicialmente guardó silencio, pero luego reconfirmó la versión ante los medios argumentando una presunta descompensación. No obstante, en el Valle comenzaron los rumores de que todo se debió al aumento desproporcionado de sus medidas, que se habrían 'disparado'.

Sus caderas se volvieron la comidilla en los pasillos. Incluso, se llegó a comentar que de 98 centímetros pasó a 110 centímetros. (Hoy tiene 102).

La sustituyó la virreina vallecaucana, Catalina Robayo, pero Salgado, asesorada por el abogado Abelardo de la Espriella, entabló una tutela asegurando que fue obligada a mentir y exigiendo ser restituida en el rol de 'mujer más bella de su región'. Y se dice que fue uno de los jurados quien le recomendó pelear por su regreso al reinado.

"Me presionaron para decir ante los medios que renunciaba por problemas de salud, pero no es cierto, no tenía incapacidad médica alguna", dijo Diana.

El pasado miércoles el juez 25 Municipal de Cali le dio la razón y ordenó su restitución en el Concurso. Aseguran que no hubo excusa médica ni carta de renuncia que sustentara la versión del comité de belleza del Valle.

Catalina Robayo aceptó el viernes con resignación la decisión. "Yo le dejó todo a Dios", dijo.

En medio de la polémica, Raimundo Angulo, el presidente del Concurso Nacional de Belleza, tomó el viernes una decisión 'salomónica'. Aceptó a Diana María e invitó a Catalina a que se quedara como espectadora del reinado. La ahora ex candidata dijo que sí y aseguró que le va a hacer 'barra' a su coterránea.

La presidenta de Combelleza, sin embargo, no ha aceptado aún la derrota. "La entidad lamenta los hechos que han desencadenado en situaciones judiciales, así como lamenta la salida de Catalina", dijeron voceros de la misma, precisando que el proceso legal continúa, mientras se resuelve la impugnación al fallo de tutela.

Pese a todo eso, la reina vallecaucana, que llegó ayer a Cartagena, espera realizar su mejor papel con sus 90-67-102 y demostrar, como dice Shakira, que las 'caderas no mienten'. Mientras sus defensores recuerdan que Paula Andrea Betancur fue Señorita Colombia con 104 de cadera.

'Se cometió una injusticia contra mí'

Con dos maletas, vestida de blanco y acompañada de su madre, Lucero Salazar, y del diseñador Hernán Zajar llegó ayer a Cartagena -a la 1:25 de la tarde- la Señorita Valle oficial, Diana Salgado.

En declaraciones a la prensa, en la sala de recibo de los vuelos nacionales, Salgado dijo: "Tengo que ser Señorita Colombia, porque soy la típica mujer vallecaucana, colombiana".

Y sobre el lío que protagonizó, sentenció: "Yo lo que quiero es reivindicar mi imagen y nunca ha sido mi intención hacerle daño al Concurso Nacional. Creo que se cometió una injusticia en contra mía y lo que hice fue defenderme". Tras lo cual agregó que tiene una excelente relación con Catalina Robayo, con quien se reunirá cuanto antes para dejar atrás cualquier diferencia.

El Valle lleva dos polémicas seguidas
Este es el segundo año consecutivo en que el Valle es protagonista de un escándalo por sus representantes en el Concurso Nacional de Belleza. El año pasado, la reina Mariana Rodríguez fue destituida cuando el concurso conoció unas fotos suyas en ropa interior. Y en el 2001 pasó algo similar: Adriana Riascos fue destituida por haber posado en ropa interior, pero en el ambiente quedó que pesó el color negro de su piel.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Jezulin de Ubrique - Torero, cantante.....y mucho mas

1990s hit song by barely-literate torero Jesulin de Ubrique - it's called "Toda, toda, toda" (but we call it "Toa, toa, toa" because of his Andalusian pronunciation) who used to hold free bullfights for women only, who showed off his balls when he was gored by a bull to prove he still had both, who refers to himself thus "es que soy un fenomeno, coño," another classic phrase was when he described an event as "en dos palabras IM PREZIONANTE" - in two words IM PRESSIVE.

Here is an article about his finca called Ambiciones (Ambitions) which is a compendium of nouveau riche Baroque Andalusian kitsch.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Beauty Pageant Contestant Unwittingly Becomes Gay Rights Advocate

Here is a compilation from Columbian TV of stupid answers by beauty pageant contestants in that country, don't miss the bit at the end where the contestant appears to promote gay relationships:

And here, a Miss Venezuela contestant seems to articulate a meta-commentary on the sexist criteria for the pageant which require beauty while using the question and answer as an index of their alleged interest in the women's intellects:

Or maybe she's just stupid.

This genre of beauty queen hot messes can entertain you for hours on You Tube:

But this video featuring a Miss USA contestant is the BEST:

Best Blog Post About the so-called Art World. Ever. HYPERALLERGIC Blog's 20 Most Powerful People List

Since I am currently teaching a seminar about global biennials and today's class was about the global curator and contemporary artists, I assigned a couple of amusing articles about the status of the curator as creator and quasi artist to the detriment of the power of the artist as creator. Fittingly, there was an article "On the Tip of Creative Tongues," in the New York Times about the explosion in the use of the word curator or verb curate to describe things as disparate as the selection of a menu or the hiring of a series of bands at a bar. (see it here

It seemed to me (and to Paco Barragan) that relational aesthetics has a corollary in the curating scene which is relational curating. The curator as artist setting up an ephemeral utopian space of sociability - ie. Enwezor's Platforms at Documenta 11. To me this seems a bit like over-compensation for the fact that in actuality mostly it's the same elite groups of "nomads" to use that term beloved of starcurators that do the Grand Tour of biennials.

Needless to say, we have read quite a bit by the very smart starcurator Ho Hanru, ubiquitous biennial curator (bizarrely not on the Top One Hundred Most Powerful People in the Art World List -see below) which leads me to another genre of curatorial artistry that has proliferated -namely the curatorial manifesto -there are edited volumes featuring short essays by starcurators being published seemingly every millisecond. These discuss their curatorial philosophy defined most often in political terms - such as claims that their siting of a biennial or other exhibition in Location A will mark an intervention in the homogenizing inexorable expansion of global capitalist culture (rather than being in fact a part of it), an act of resistance, etc. etc. Terms like global, nomad, transnational, migration, etc. are tossed like a manic ping-pong ball across these pages. Again, if before it was the avant-garde artists that issued collective manifestos, now it's the curators.

Then just as fortuitously, the annual Oscars of the art world, Art Review's list of 100 Most Powerful, was announced. This is better than being selected to represent your country at the Venice Biennial, which is like winning Miss Universe, or being hired as a curator by MoMA, which is like winning The Apprentice. (if you are a curatorial assistant however, it is more like Celebrity Rehab with Doctor Drew) But I digress. The fascinating thing about the most powerful is not that they were majority male, majority white but that they were majority curators or museum directors. (there were however some gallerists and a handful of critics, but no art history professors, alas) This list is like the Forbes 500 for business people (and let's face it that list is key to us too since the zillionaires own the art) except that no one save a small number of people knows who these luminaries are!

Here is the List:
And here is an article analyzing the composition of those on the list.

To make matters even better, I learned about the most fabulous blog called Hyperallergic that posted this BRILLIANT and hilarious alternative list:

For more about the blog, go here

And here is Hyperallergic's post:

"We present “The Top 20 Most Powerless People in the Art World!”

We haven't seen him for a while, which begs the question, "Did the recession kill the bunny?"
1 – Everyone entirely unknown to Hans Ulrich Obrist – If the kingmaker isn’t on your cell phone, well, at least your mother is.

2 – The guy in the bunny outfit who year after year protested in front of Gagosian’s 25th Street gallery — hey buddy, how’s the career?

3 – Independent curators without trust funds – There’s a saying, “No trust, no love.”

4 – Artists who can’t speak English, French, German, or Spanish. While the world is filled with approximately 6,800 languages, artwork must adhere to the linguistic realities of economics.

5 – That man at all the openings who might be homeless. Wine at gallery openings may be the art world’s only form of social service to people outside their realm, but hey, it’s something.

6 – Beleaguered Administrative Assistants at MoMA – This is a group that knows what it’s like to be underpaid, under-appreciated and powerless — the trifecta!

7 – Assistant Curators living off $27,000 salaries, with $80,000 in grad school debt from a fancy curatorial studies program. (When students enter MBA programs, professors often talk about the negative investment they make in their futures as they spend money to eventually make six or seven figures upon graduation. In curatorial programs, discussions of economics that don’t reference Marx or Negri are just gauche.)

One city just ain't cool.
8 – Anyone living in only one place, as opposed to “between Berlin and Beijing,” or “based in London, Amsterdam, Sao Paolo, and Los Angeles.” Where have you been, mono-urbanity is so 20th century. How do you expect to address globalism by staying put? You probably feel even more like a failure if you were born and grew up in the same city that you currently live in. If that’s the case, you should just fake an accent.

9 – All Chelsea gallery interns, working for no pay but needing to buy the latest dominatrix heels for the upcoming opening. (On the plus side, poverty breeds rake-like thinness which in turn ensures job security. As the late great Mary Boone used to say, “Eat a donut and get a pink slip.” Oh wait, she isn’t dead. Nevermind.)

10 – Chinese pop-realist painters (Mao, McDonalds—we get it.)

11 – Macrame Club of Minsk, Belarus – Established in 1974, Minsk’s once burgeoning club of hard-core macrame artists has dwindled to only two members, both named Ivan. The group achieved world renown when they macramed their club house and then shellacked it as a tribute to the durability of the art form and the greatness of Vladimir Lenin. Unfortunately, the group never counted on the severity of Russian winters, which have caused the structure to leak and eventually be condemned by the city. The two Ivans currently gather at a local tea house for monthly meetings to discuss the gossip-plagued world of macrame.

"For the Love of the Art God"
12 – The faceless miners in Sierra Leone who procured the 8,601 diamonds for Damien Hirst’s sparkling skull – they may fear for their lives every day as they work in hazardous work conditions and subsist on less than 1 % of the value of a pencil in a Hirst installation, but they sleep well at night knowing that a silly sculpture that represents the pinnacle of the latest gilded age exists.

13 – The anonymous frog that Martin Kippenberger crucified – Remember high school biology class? Well, so did Kippenberger. The frog’s family has contacted PETA and they are still pondering if legal action is the best way to resolve the contentious issue.

14 – Darren Johnson, security guard at the Main Street Art Museum, Mobile, Alabama – When he’s not protecting the posters in the gift shop from shoplifters, Mr. Johnson is attempting to stop visitors from trying on the museum’s rare collection of pre-Civil War slave shackles.

15 – Prison inmates – Considering they are all doing the exact same performance that Tehching Hsieh did in his SoHo cell, and then some, the fact that they didn’t get a MoMA show for it just highlights their failure.

16 -Jesus Christ, because he’s just too old to show at the New Museum.

17 – Candida Home, blind art blogger. While unphased by a ban on photography in many major galleries and museums, Candida disastrously tried to cover the Lakeland Ceramic Fair in Derbyshire, England and caused over £80,000 in damage because of her proclivity to touch the art. She has since been banned from most major art fairs and institutions and is only writing about public art.

See you at Reena Spaulings?
18 – Anyone who shows up to a Lower East Side gallery opening non-ironically wearing a button-down shirt and ironed khakis, or eyeglass frames that aren’t from 1983 and gigantic. Pariah!

19 – Rosalind Krauss – we included her on this list because we couldn’t remember who she was and we were too lazy to Google her.

20 – Art critic for the wacky right-wing World Net Daily who floated the idea of McCain inspired art as a weapon against the deluge of Obamart."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

why I love Wanda Sykes, let me count the ways

she says things like this:

and this:

it killed me when she said that "my wife is French, I like to say she's French because that sounds nicer than White." LOL!

and this:

this whole skit in particular can substitute for years of reading queer theory, in particular one of the best and most influential books on me, Epistemology of the Closet by the late great Eve K. Sedgewick. I would love to teach that book and show this video.

oh, and she drops the f-bomb every five and a half seconds, she tells it like it is, and she is out of the closet

why I love First Lady Michelle Obama

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Helio Oiticica

Hélio Oiticica, B15 Glass Bólide 04 Earth, Terra 1964, Glass; pigment; oil with polyvinyl acetate emulsion on nylon mesh, 420 x 280 mm 930 mm, César and Claudio Oiticica Collection, Rio de Janeiro

Just a few days ago a fire destroyed most of the work created by Helio Oiticica, which was owned by his family.
According to the latest reports, the percentage might be as high as 90% and lost were the Parangoles (see video above) and the Bolides series.

Article from ARTINFO:

Fire Destroys Brazilian Artist Helio Oiticica’s Works
Published: October 19, 2009

RIO de JANEIRO— On October 16, a fire destroyed 90 percent of the estate of Brazilian neoconcretist Helio Oiticica (1937–1980), housed at the artist’s brother César Oiticica's residence in Brazil. The fire consumed an estimated $200 million worth of artwork in the form of 2,000 individual pieces. The artist's works were originally moved to Cesar’s house as a result of disagreements over money and the adequacy of the storage facilities at the Centro Municipal de Arte Hélio Oiticica.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined. Cesar’s house was equipped with humidity and temperature controls for the works, as well as working fire alarms and other safety systems. The fire took around three hours to be brought under control. The Brazilian tourism minister has called for an investigation into the causes of the fire and to see whether any works can be recovered.

The works lost in the fire were uninsured, reportedly due to financial issues, and included the artist’s archive of materials, which included drawings, notes, documentaries, and books. Key pieces such as Bólides, Parangolés, and works from the Oiticica’s 2007 exhibitions at the Tate and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston were destroyed. The fire also claimed pictures and film negatives by Brazilian photographer José Oiticica, Helio and César’s father.

Cesar spoke about the fire, saying, “It was the greatest tragedy that could happen to the Brazilian culture. Without doubt, the only victim of this tragedy was the Brazilian culture.”

Read more at Globo and


Source; Tate Modern "The Body of Color" exhibition website

Bólides (1963–69)

Oiticica began to work on the first 'Bólides' (Fireballs) in 1963, after completing the 'Invenções' (Inventions) series, through which he had discovered the means of infusing colour with depth and luminosity. All of the 64 works in the Bólides series include some means of allowing light to penetrate into their interior, generating the effect of a luminous centre or nucleus, and making them containers of light.

The first Bólides Oiticica created – called 'Bólides caixas' (Box Bolides) – are highly elaborate yet simple constructions made from coarse painted plywood. Like small architectural environments, they appear to be 'inflamed' by light and charged with energy, an important evolution in Oiticica's idea of 'totalidade-côr' (total colour). They were designed to be handled, with moveable panels revealing new chromatic planes, though for conservation reasons they can no longer be touched. The compartments and openings – some visible, some hidden – hold loose pigments, mirrors, and other materials; Oiticica referred to the group as 'structures for inspection'.

With the introduction of Glass Bólides into the series, Oiticica began to include everyday materials such as glass vessels, plastic, earth, painted cloth, shells and foam, expanding the range of sensory experience offered through interaction with the artwork. The range of colours was extended to include pinks and blues, and ready-made objects also began to find their way into the work, further encouraging the viewer's emotional and intellectual participation.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Designer Theorists

A friend was recently at a workshop about Antonio Gramsci (don't ask, don't tell) and a pretentious nerd took theory head name-dropping to a new level, citing D & G. As the friend noted, the queer folks in the room immediately said Dolce & Gabbana? It turns out that the name dropping nerd meant DELEUZE & GUATTARI of rhizome fame. We were in hysterics when she recounted this, and I wondered: what would happen if the Italian fashionistas made a collection inspired by Deleuze & Guattari, how awesome could that be? Imagine them explaining in their Italian accents "It's about Deleuze & Guattari. The fabrication is very deconstructed and rhizomatic. The pieces can be worn from the top, bottom, or sides. And the pattern story is all about the rhizome." Hysterical. I would die to be at the next Gathering of Nerds (the College Art Association Conference; see my posts earlier with this title as well as Testing the Waters) and see the black clad masses in their rhizome print outfits.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

What we've all been waiting for, onesies for adults

I find this jumpin jammerz quite creepy - is it an adult wearing a baby's onesie? is it an adult woman wearing a baby's onesie that is see-through? is she eroticizing baby hood?
personally I would lean towards buying this animal-print model, since as we know leopard is a Puerto Rican NeutralTM

At first I mocked the ubiquitous Snuggie - the blanket with sleeves - thinking: A. why not just get something called a bathrobe? and B. it's probably the cause of many a "I've fallen and I can't get up" accidents. Then I saw them at Walgreen's that wonderland of As Seen on TV merch, and asked to open the box to see the length. Sadly, I'm not called Petite Maoiste for nothing, my tiny height means I cannot participate in the mass experience of Snuggie wearing that is sweeping the USA in 2009.

Tonight I learned about a garment I had actually dreamed about, and wondered why it had not been invented. Perhaps it began when my friends began to breed en masse, as if a collective alarm clock or egg timer went off. Single and not interested in being a mother, I nonetheless enjoyed seeing my friends' happiness and getting to buy adorable miniscule outfits for the infants, particularly the onesies and the little ones that cover the babies' feet. Enclosed from neck to toes must feel quite comforting, I thought.

Now is our chance to indulge in the already pervasive infantilization of adults in this country. And for those really into that type of experience they have one where rear section drops down. They also have sticky feet models so you don't slip and fall after downing a six pack or two watching the football game with your buddies. I particularly love the camouflage pattern as it evokes the indoctrination of children in the use of guns and love of violence in parts of the USA. How appropriate.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Glenn Ligon in J. Crew

The latest J. Crew catalogue has a section where famous artists including Vito Acconci (!) model some of the clothes. The best is Glenn Ligon. He is one of my top favorite artists ever, and is also extremely dapper as well as a nice person.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

PRC Fashion

As a scholar that writes on dictators' propaganda (and plans to write about an a case of propaganda and fashion at some later point), I was mesmerized by the sartorial display at the massive parade commemorating the 60th anniversary of the PRC. Maybe it's my residual trauma caused by being raised in part by fascists and living for a period in a country led by a military dictator that is the cause of my sarcastic responses to these kinds of displays, and attention to their "frivolous" aspects, like sartorial presentation.

I've never seen a world leader, dictator or not, ride around in a car equipped with microphones. At least while I was watching the parade, he did not use them, and in fact was quite rigid. The past Chinese leaders all wore dark business suits and ties, but Hu Jintao had on the most exquisite Mao jacket that looked like it was made of some type of silk.

These women looked to my ignorant US-American eyes like Communist Mary Kaye sales associates. The heart-shaped balloons were a bizarre contrast to the predominant tanks, missiles, guns, and marching troops. I have no idea which organization these women are affiliated with.

This uniform was a cross between a 1960s flight attendant and a majorette.

The skirts seemed awfully short to be worn in battle.

I was particularly struck by this cut-off view. Much of the official government footage used the over-head shot and the cut off views -omniscient eye surveying or part for the whole - both suggesting the massive number of troops, tanks, etc. In this case as well, the goose-stepping legs clad in the sexy white go-go into battle boots resemble images of the Rockettes on stage.