BEUTIFUL ART IN SHIT WEATHER

I couldn’t believe how many people braved the blizzard-like snow to be at the opening day of the INDEPENDENT show in the former DIA center.

I was impressed that there were that many lovers of art, but annoyed that the coat check would not take any more items by the time I got to the front of the line.

For me the INDEPENDENT is the best & worst of contemporary art. It’s split between the type of art (& people) that are the easiest for “normal” folk to make fun of. Bits of found junk & rubbish piled up in some meaningful way. Or the ”my kid can paint better than that!” aesthetic. It also has incredibly beautiful, weird, or funny works that breathe life into my soul & make me feel better about humanity. Below are just some of those.

Silke Otto-Knapp 

Dirk Bell (found paintings that he paints on to)
Adriana Minoliti
Jeanette Mundt
Anne Deleporte (these last two are actually at the Pulse fair)
Katsutoshi Yuasa (oil based woodcut print on paper)

PETER BUECHLER at MASTERS PROJECTS

I've not been able to see many exhibitions recently, so I was really hungering for some "ART" and wandering into this show was just what I was craving! I’m lucky because the gallery is located in our office building, so I get to spend plenty of time absorbing shows, with easy return visits.

PETER BUECHLER at Masters Projects is an exhibition of Found Objects from auctions, antique shops, estate sales, flea markets and garage sales, worked on by the German artist. Its his first exhibition in the U.S.

Below are just a few of the works I love, all with the digitized identity theme., and look even better in person since they are framed so well, feeling more like three dimensional objects rather than simply paintings.

The show is up till Mach 14th. Don't sleep..

MASSIVE ATTACK REMIX ALBUMS - Bootlegs?

Dreaming of valve amps since I was about 15 years old, I've finally built the hifi of my dreams, and now I’m on on a serious vinyl buying jag. I found these two amazing albums on eBay for $10 each. 

Whats strange about them, is that they have no label or barcode & don’t even show up on Massive Attack’s Discogs page.

Maybe it was just too much of a litigious nightmare to get clearances for all the major label artists like U2, Peter Gabriel & Madonna etc, so somebody just went underground & created them for fans like myself, and as long as 3D & Daddy G are cool with it, god bless whoever pressed them up! 

What I didn’t expect was that when these remixes are collected together, the compilation albums almost sound like an older Massive Attack album, simply with celebrity guest vocalists.

They look pretty tasty too.




BEST OF 2014 BLURRING RADIO MIX

As with all the previous "Best Of" shows, the title is just a hook to get you in. These are simply some of my favorite tracks, remixes and collaborations from the last 12 months. Some of these will be on others "Best Of" lists, but there’s also a lot here that you won't see anywhere else. Here’s over two hours of 2014. * CLICK HERE TO LISTEN *

SOME ART THAT INSPIRED ME DURING ART BASEL WEEK... & BAGELS

I gave myself 4 full days to try & see as much of the art during the Art Basel week as possible. I'm guessing I only saw 60% of what I had wanted to see, and I was really pushing it too.

Even starting as the doors first opened to the convention center, I lasted till about 5.00pm, exhausted & burnt out, without getting round the whole thing. It's overwhelming.

Below are images of works that I found either inspiring, thought-provoking, amusing, or simply nice from the fairs & exhibitions. Possibly my fave new discovery was Mark Flood who had several new works on show at the always-incredible Rubell Family Collection. I was so excited by these that my normal shy-ness took a backseat to a girly-like excitement that allowed me to tell him how blown away I was by these. He told me he’d been making these "lace paintings” for about 15 years now.  

I’ve been a fan of Daniel Arsham for a few years now but recently I’ve become almost obsessed. His "future relics" are both super groovy and a strong statement on consumerism. The show in Miami was like an excavation site, with the concrete floor of the exhibition space being dug up to reveal a landfill of the future.

I think my favorite work at Art Basel itself was this 1994 “Reclining Buddha” by multi-media legend Nam June Paik.

Below are some others I loved...

Not heard of Wolhem Sasnal, but liked this a lot.
Always love me some Jim Lambie.
Diptych by Lisa Yuskavage
An angry Jim Shaw.
These two from Friedrich Kunath
"The Experiment" by Elmgreen & Dragset struck me as funny & also pretty real.
Really found these small drawings by Miriam Cahn stunning. I think she could be my favorite painter right now.
Raymond Pettibon had an entire wall of something like 50 works, ranging form the early 80's to this recent self-portrait.
I kick myself for not trying to buy one of these amazing Dan McCarthy vases when I first saw them years ago & might have been able to afford one!
These sculpted heads were beautiful, & I was surprised to find out the artist was Venessa Beecroft.
A classic Nate Lowman bullet hole, now only $650,000.
 Fun portrait by William P Immer.
Possibly my fave skull of the week by Dick Bell.
Ravi Zupa gun.
Tiny work by Marko Mäetamm.
Luiz Zerbini. Perspective of this painting had me really confused.
New to me, Chloe Seibert. She made me smile.
This Ged Quinn was massive, check out how detailed the work is.
Tiny but very powerful Richard Colman.

This year the only theme that seemed to emerge for Gary Pini and me was Bagels ;)

ART BASEL MIAMI: THE MUSIC VERSION - FKA TWIGS, JAMES BLAKE, TV ON THE RADIO &...... MILEY CYRUS

Most think of Miami Art Basel as purely a visual art extravaganza, but there’s a whole other dimension that for me is as important, and potentially exciting, as the daytime fairs--f live music events. Due to working in music for over 25 years, I’m incredibly lucky to have friends that are able to sort me for pretty much any gig I want.

On the Tuesday evening that I arrived, I tagged along with Gary "writer of the ultimate guide to the week" Pini to the opening party for Ian Schrager's new hotel, The Edition. While I’m not much of one for mega parties there was enough room outside to not feel uncomfortable. I noticed there seemed to be a live singer coming over the hotel speaker system, and the voice sounded really familiar, so I set off to try to locate the source. Blood Orange had been booked as guest performer for the event but had chosen to play stage-less. Singing & playing his guitar on the ground, only the immediate 10-20 people directly in front of him could see him. What I also love about going to most of these kind of events is that the majority of the invited beautiful guests would not know the musical artists if they sat next to them at dinner. Consequently, I got to watch Blood Orange with no more than 50 others.

Wednesday night is historically Jeffrey Deitch's very exclusive invite-only party. Previous years have included such awesome guest performers as Soulwax/2manyDJs, Santigold, and, the one that I missed because I was stuck at JFK, LCD Soundsystem! Finding out that this year the performer was going to be Miley Cyrus caused me, and most of South Beach, to have a variety of reactions. While I was happy that I had the connections to get in, I really could not care less about Miley. But then as the gossip fever pitch grew during the day I figured, "when else would I ever get to rub shoulders with a bunch of the 1%, while watching one the planet's mega celebrities?"

The show was even more bizarre and surreal than I could have imagined. Visually stunning, if not over the top, she & her band played cover versions from such diverse greats as Rick James, Johnny Cash, The Beatles, and (god forgive her, for she knows not what she’s done) Led Zeppelin. All were remarkably better than I expected, except for the Beatles songs, which were all duets with the way-too-high-for-the-microphone Wayne Coyne. While I was a little offended by some of the music, my sense was that most were offended by the absence of any Twerking.

Miley Cyrus, Super Freaking.

Thursday is when the “real” gigs started, with FKA Twigs being promoted to fans, not just Art Basel folks. I do love the music, but  it's really her live stage presence that mesmerizes me. Sadly, unless you were up front, you cannot fully appreciate her hypnotic movements & dancing. I wish she would tour some traditional theaters, like the beautiful venue that The Chromatics played a couple of years ago, where all can see for stage. Nevertheless, in the 2000 person purpose-built tent with massive sound, the music was incredible. Some songs felt a little more fleshed-out than the album versions, even more so than the Webster Hall show a few months ago. Afterwards, the crew I was rolling around with that night, including Paul Weston, wanted to check out the the Kettle One event close by, as some of them had worked on the bit-mapping projections for the party. After Twigs this just felt like another flat corporate event, & while I'd sort of liked some of Twin Shadow’s album, hearing him live there did not make me want to revisit it.

FKA TWIGS : More phones than hands in the air.

I woke up on Thursday with Twigs' "Two Weeks" still buzzing around my head. By the evening I was jittery with excitement to see one of my absolute favorite bands, TV On The Radio, who were performing to a very lucky group of free ticket winners, via some TUMBLR giveaway. Due to the traffic resulting from the killer-cop demonstrations, we missed some of the show but what we got to witness, with only another 250 or so people, was really raw and powerful.  Right now, their new song “Trouble" could be my fave song of the year! So excited for the new album.

(TV on the Radio)

As if that wasn’t enough, we were now heading to a completely sold-out-for-months James Blake show at the same venue as Twigs. I’ve been loving his music since he was known as a “dubstep" producer, releasing 12”’s on R&S, yet I’d never seen him live, so I was psyched. Same situation as Twigs really, sound was unbelievable, but most could not see the man, as he was sitting at the piano. Musically it was truly inspiring, reworking the ”hits" & live sampling/chopping his own vocals.

(James Blake)




THANKSGIVING WEEKEND : REAPPROPRIATION IN THE AIR

Being English, Thanksgiving doesn’t have the same warm & fuzzy meaning for me as it does for most around me, although I do like having a bit of a break from the office to hang out with the family...plus I like eating. 
As a family we’re real homebodies, and it's a major achievement to get all four of us (at one time) motivated to go anywhere.
So I was quite surprised when I suggested a trip to the MoMA, & all were on board. My logic was that because it was Black Friday the majority of the population would be beating the crap out of each other to save 25% on something that they absolutely must have, thus leaving the MoMA spacious & airy. Of course, I’d forgotten about the tourists.

It was crowded, but not unbearable. Being with an eight year old makes it hard to stop long enough to read anything. So when we rushed past the entrance to "Sturtevant: Double Trouble" & I started seeing Warhols, Rosenquists Harings & other contemporary masters, I simply thought it was a curated collection of works owned by the MoMA.
But seeing this black Marilyn made me stop in my tracks & try to understand what I was looking at!
This is the explanation (directly from MoMA's site) of a Sturtevant’s work, an artist I’d never heard of, but now love:
 Sturtevant (American, 1924–2014) began “repeating” the works of her contemporaries in 1964, using some of the most iconic artworks of her generation as a source and catalyst for the exploration of originality, authorship, and the interior structures of art and image culture. Beginning with her versions of works by Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol, Sturtevant initially turned the visual logic of Pop art back on itself, probing uncomfortably at the workings of art history in real time. Yet her chameleon-like embrace of other artists’ art has also resulted in her being largely overlooked in the history of postwar American art. As a woman making versions of the work of better-known male artists, she has passed almost unnoticed through the hierarchies of mid-century modernism and postmodernism, at once absent from these histories while nevertheless articulating their structures.
All three of these are by her.
These are the real Warhols.
The design history floor has some really awesome music-related artifacts & ephemera, including some punk & new wave posters that were doing a bit of reappropriating themselves.
Today, Eve I took a trip to the LES to check out a small group show at Con Artists Collective called "Action Figures: Objectified.”
Def worth a trip if you like culture jamming, or simply DIY weird art. The show includes works by SUCKADELIC, Wizard Skull, Tone Tank, Sean Gallagher, HEALEYMADE, Dean Millien and Weird Luke. Below are just a few in the show.
Eve in conversation with a new friend.
My fave works would have to be these tiny (about 3") tinfoil guns by Dean Millien.
Funniest art of the whole weekend was in this pile stuff for sale on the Flatbush sidewalk, with a couple of attempts at Warhol flowers.

EPHEMERA EXCAVATED IN LONDON FLAT

While back in London visiting my mom in her Abbey Road flat that she’s lived in for forty-odd years, I went on an archeological dig in my old room and unearthed more than a few treasures.

While I don’t expect many to know, or care, what any of this stuff is, I’m sure a few, like my man cultural historian Paul Gorman, will get some sort of sensory rush, as I did. They are not in chronological order at all..

First find was a mint, unplayed U.S. cassette copy of Public Enemy’s debut album. Not sure why, or how, I got this. I was one of the first UK DJ’s to be on Def Jam's promo list, but that was for vinyl.

This is a roll of tape that was used by the record label to seal Public Image Ltd's “Metal Box,” either given to me by my then-friend Keith Levene, or possibly swiped from the Virgin Records office, where I might have used his name to blag promo stuff.

Super cute 60's style guide! Must have been a gift from mom.

Flyer from one of the nights I was a warm up DJ at the Limelight. What's interesting about this is that it’s for a guy called Barnsley who was a total character, and face around town in the 80s. He’s actually the one who created Stussy’s double “S” logo, a spin on Chanel, and was one of the very first logo jams! Also, the two DJ’s on the flyer are Tim Simeon, aka Bomb The Bass, & Nelly DJ, who was Nelly Hooper, one of the two main creatives behind Soul II Soul. I remember shitting myself playing records while they smoked weed and chatted behind me. That was also the first night I heard Trouble Funk, as Tim was dropping these sick DC Go-go imports.

My first job out of school at 16 was working for a photographer whose specialty was photographing art works for galleries, museums and print. This is a photo of an incredible Allan Jones painting that I must have either asked her for, or just nicked. I doubt I even knew who Allan Jones was but there was something about this image I must have found attractive ;)

Years later my flatmate, and very talented friend, Barry Jones gave me a Generation X flyer he’d designed, reappropriating Allan Jones art.

Just weird cool stuff found in a drawer, including dice-petrol lighter, heavy brass thumb-tacks, folding ruler, smiling-banana patch & a Johnny Thunders “Chinese Rocks” badge.

Couple of passport pics taken during that Chinese Rocks badge wearing phase.