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Somehow I’d never seen the amazing Frazer Irving variant cover to Batman and Robin 15 before I bought the Absolute and it’s too awesome to not share.
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Barbara Kruger exhibit at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, 2010
So Barbara Kruger’s birthday was last week, and when I was combing through tumblr/google/etc. for examples of her work to post on facebook, I was surprised to see how little discussion of Kruger’s more recent large-scale wrap art there was. It’s probably because it doesn’t photograph as well as her more famous works, but it’s no less powerful. This installation was one of the highlights of my trip to Amsterdam a few years ago, and there’s a similar exhibit in Washington D.C. now. Standing within one of these rooms makes the viewer overwhelmed and small, with the authoritarian messages literally larger than life. This piece in particular aims for a crushing powerless feeling, with the Orwell quote “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever” the largest and most prominent piece of text. This installation covers ground Kruger’s been focused on all of her career, but the effect it has on a viewer has been magnified and Kruger’s intensity is still second to none.
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Trinity Mothers by Yasmin Liang
The colors in this are stunning, and it’s nice to see someone focus on some of the most important but under-utilized characters in comics.
It IS a little disturbing how Martha Wayne doesn’t have a face, but then she always has been defined more by her pearls than anything else. Unless she’s written by Greg Rucka, and then she’s a total bad-ass who calls Batman out on his bullshit. I miss Rucka.
Gotham Starry Night (~1funnyguy en deviantART). Cuando Van Gogh descubrió a Batman
Everything is better with Batman.
People hate her, they really do. Did you know that to Yoko someone is a verb in America? It is something that boys say if they’re hanging out with you too much and they’re going to school or they have a band. It’s almost a myth that’s used to suppress women. Y’know, ‘You’re gonna Yoko me. You’re gonna destroy me.’ And this woman put up with racial inequality from Fleet Street, she put up with being accused of breaking up the best band in the world, she put up with people’s idea that she castrated this man and then, worst of all, she had her best friend, her husband, the person she lived for, die in her arms in front of a fortress that she’d hidden herself in for 20 years. And I just feel that the world media should apologise to her because she handled it with so much dignity.
I’m not a huge Yoko Ono fan (Fluxus art really isn’t my thing, although that dance song she did a few years ago was pretty good) but let’s not forget she also had to suffer the indignity of being an artist with a lot of talent and ideas who can never have their work looked at fairly because of who they dated. And how much it must suck to have that work totally overshadowed by the public persona you have, whether you want/deserve that persona or not.
Hmm, I wonder who else that could apply to?
every boy should own this book.
this is the truest thing ive read all day.
also, i am kind of obsessed with pointing out to people that valerie solanas did not actually say that “SCUM” stood for “Society for Cutting Up Men.” her (male) publisher was the one who said this. she did say women should annihilate most men and overthrow capitalism, however. was she serious? kidding? she is so awesomely confusing, and being confusing is one of my favorite feminist strategies.
How does everybody feel about Valerie Solanas overall? For me, her attempt to kill Andy Warhol and the negative effect that had on him/the Factory/art outweigh anything else she did, so I’m wondering if there’s something to that whole story I’m missing or if you just disassociate her and her later actions from her work.
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Cindy Sherman- Untitled #167
I went to the Guggenheim on Wednesday with a few of my friends and saw the Haunted exhibit, which I highly recommend. I spent much of the last month visiting a lot of museums and it was the most moving show I saw by far, and one of the best executed. It’s a very very dark show, especially if you’re more of a landscape and water lilies person, but it’s extremely rewarding.
This photograph was physically too disturbing for me and one of my friends to focus on for too long. It loses so much power being reproduced in this context, but there is a palpable sense of terror and violence emanating from this image. When initially seeing it, it took me a second to notice the unidentified face in the mirror, pushing the idea of the viewer as voyeur (which, let’s be honest, is way overused as an artistic trope although that’s not Sherman’s fault) up along with the horrific sense from the visual, and this is one of the few times implicating the viewer as part of the awful spectacle has resonated for me. It’s not like any of us can say we’ve come across dismembered body parts in the woods (If you have, PLEASE comment), but how many times have you seen (or done?) something awful and just kept on going? How many times have you torn someone to pieces or watched as they’ve done it to themselves? You know whether you identify with the victim, the killer, or the observer (if the observer isn’t just the killer), but which is the worst to be?
Yes, I realize this post doesn’t get into any of the issues in this work/series with regards to violence against women, how it relates to horror (and how very Blue Velvet this image is), use of setting, its importance in Sherman’s career especially in that she wasn’t taking photos of herself any more, etc. etc. I know about those things (no really, just a bit), and maybe I’ll get back to you with a more detailed Cindy Sherman post sometime.
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People are always calling me a mirror and if a mirror looks into a mirror, what is there to see?
Andy, I love it when I alternate between finding you completely trite and completely profound.
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I went to MoMA with two of my friends on Friday. We saw the “Pictures By Women” exhibit, which includes part of Carrie Mae Weems’ “From Here I Saw What Happened And I Cried” set of photographs. (I really shouldn’t present this image out of context, go check out the whole set *NSFW*, it’s very powerful.)
One of my friends turned and said, “That’s pretty intense”, to which I replied “Carrie Mae Weems don’t fuck around”.
Nan Goldin’s The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, a 45-minute slide show of some 700 color pictures set to a soundtrack. Ballad’s central driving theme is the intensity of amorous relationships. It chronicles the personal lives of the artist, her friends, and lovers—a young, gorgeous, and tragic group that reveled in the hedonist lifestyle in the 1970s and 1980s in downtown New York City.
It’s too bad the entire slide show isn’t being presented, but the 10 pieces MoMA chose for the Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography are all excellent, and the rest of the exhibit looks pretty excellent as well. Cindy Sherman! Diane Arbus! Carrie Mae Weems! Exclamation points!
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A beautifully composed but chilling image. Is the faceless girl the killer, a representation of Death, or something else entirely? All of the above? I think a case could be made for any of those options. You can also go into a lot of Gender Perspectives analysis as well, but I’ll leave that for another time.
Knowing artistic intent isn’t necessary to interpret things, but I do wish Francesca Woodman had elaborated on some of the meanings in her work instead of continually refusing to explain her work. To be fair though, the sense of mystery and foreboding in her work is so key to what makes them special that any direct explanation could have destroyed or minimized their effectiveness.
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