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12 February 2010

The world-wide visual culture industry


from Calvin Tomkins Lives of the Artists:

And what are my thoughts exactly? Read more »

Posted by Alec Hanley Bemis  

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9 December 2009

MJ — by Kehinde Wiley & on fire

mjbykehindewiley
I’ll admit it. I get off on death. Skeletons. X’d eyes.

No, not the phenomenon itself, but certainly the aftermath — the way it makes you consider what comes ahead and what came before. It’s not a kink but a forced form of contemplation.

I am pretty sure that the popular position of contemporary art insiders is that Kehinde Wiley‘s work is as crass as my sentiment. But I like it and, in this piece unveiled this past weekend at Miami Art Basel, Wiley makes it clear that crassness is the way much of our culture operates. This portrait, in its echos of Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens classes up the crassness, while pointing out that our flaws are the same as they’ve ever been: pretense, greed, a put-on nobility that belies who we really are. (Note the MJ depicted in the painting bears little resemblance to the entertainer at the time of his death.)
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19 October 2009

Epic parties & the morning after

weliketoparty

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& equally epic afterparties:

statement
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Posted by Alec Hanley Bemis  

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28 July 2009

Merce died…

UPDATED APRIL 22, 2011: As you can see from the comments at the end of this post, I attributed the quotes that originally accompanied these pictures to the wrong person. They were not from Merce, but from a colleague of his named Nancy Dalva. I’d recommend you read the full text of her piece “How to be a Guru.”

Whoops! The internet is confusing. Enjoy her piece, and enjoy the pictures in isolation.

***

I hope you will not consider it horn tooting to point out my earlier post about him, as brief as it was. I am so happy, now, that I saw him before he was found. And all I can say is at least he seemed to know what was coming. There’s a beauty in that, in preparation.

And, also, there’s a certain beauty in improvisation. So, in what I hope you’ll take as an experiment in what Merce himself might have called “chance procedures,” here are a series of images from the Black Lips concert I attended the day before he passed, along with quotes from the man himself. No explicit connection, but imply whatever you’d like.

Photos via BrooklynVegan.com by Bao Nguyen. Quotations via Bill Bragin‘s Twitter stream.

***

[Redacted at the request of Nancy Dalva.]

[Redacted at the request of Nancy Dalva.]

[Redacted at the request of Nancy Dalva.]

[Redacted at the request of Nancy Dalva.]
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Posted by Alec Hanley Bemis  

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16 July 2009

Red skies & chiaroscuro lights

chiaroscurolight

snakeeyesskullsmoke

redskies

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Posted by Alec Hanley Bemis  

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