a tale of a few cities

Cindy Sherman Retrospective at SFMOMA

July 14 – October 07, 2012

Cindy Sherman is recognized as one of the most important contemporary artists of the last 40 years and arguably the most influential artist working exclusively with photography. This retrospective traces the groundbreaking artist’s career from the mid-1970s to the present. Bringing together more than 170 key photographs from a variety of Sherman’s acclaimed bodies of work, the presentation constitutes the first overview of her career since 1997 in the United States. Sherman has served as her own model for more than 30 years, generating a range of guises and personas that are by turns amusing and disturbing, distasteful and affecting. The exhibition showcases the artist’s greatest achievements to date, from her early experiments as a student in Buffalo in the 1970s to her recent large-scale photographic murals.

Cindy Sherman, renowned American photographer and film director, is 58 today.

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Last Address

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Last Address is an elegiac film made up of exterior images of the last residential addresses of a group of New York City artists who died of AIDS.

For more information about the artists featured in the film — including biographies, interviews, performance videos, audio recordings and essays — visit Last Address.

A film by Ira Sachs
Produced by Lucas Joaquin
Shot by Michael Simmonds
Edited by Brian A. Kates
Sound by Damian Volpe
Additional assistance by Jonathan Boyd and Andrei Alupului

2011/2001

Peter Combe Parallels, Maurizio Cattelan: All, Guggenheim Museum, 2011/Stanley Kubrick, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

I couldn’t help but see the parallels.

Thanks to @Guggenheim for sending this blogpost into the Twittersphere, and to SFMOMA for featuring it on their blog.

Update Nov 28: Sadly the @Guggenheim Ow.ly link has now now fails since I changed my Blog URL a few days ago not realizing previous incoming links would fail. I did however get a hefty 1,000 very appreciated hits before the change.

 

 

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2011 Turner Prize Finalist, Hilary Lloyd

Posted in Art, art criticism, artists, contests, film, Tate, video, video art by petercombe on November 10, 2011

Lost Bohemia

Posted in appropriation, architecture, Art, Interiors, New York City, Photography by petercombe on May 20, 2011

(Photo: Josef Astor)

Lost Bohemia,” a new documentary by Josef Astor, is a sad and spirited elegy for the Carnegie Hall Studios, which for more than a century provided working, living and teaching space for all kinds of artists on the floors above the famous concert hall. Mr. Astor, a photographer who moved into the building in 1985, pays tribute to his neighbors and friends who made up the last generation of studio residents. He also acknowledges the famous ghosts who haunt the place, ranging from Isadora Duncan and Enrico Caruso to Marilyn Monroe and Martha Graham.

Astor, who’d been in his skylighted space since 1985, was once surrounded by hundreds of creative neighbors—painters and dancers, photographers and composers—who lived and worked in 170 studios built directly above the grand midtown concert hall. The studios are in the process of being gutted and remodeled by the Carnegie Hall Corporation (the building is owned by the city, but the corporation is its primary tenant). According to a CHC spokeswoman, the spaces will be converted to “educational facilities” for young musicians.

When Andrew Carnegie built the Towers over the Hall—the project was completed in 1896—he intended for the studios to be occupied by working artists. It wasn’t cultural altruism—the rents were a source of revenue. But architect Henry J. Hardenbergh (who also did the Dakota and the Plaza Hotel) designed the apartments as studios, with high ceilings and north-facing skylights. The roster of names who lived and worked there is stellar: Isadora Duncan, Agnes de Mille, Garson Kanin, Marlon Brando, Leonard Bernstein.


Editta Sherman is known as the Duchess of Carnegie Hall. The sprightly 98-year-old had lived in her twelfth-floor studio since 1949. She raised five children while working as a successful photographer of the cultural elite. Dramatic black-and-white examples from her collection of 2,500 portraits were displayed against the mirrored walls and bold checkered floor: Henry Fonda, Mary Martin, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. A cast-iron circular staircase led to a loft filled with studio props. Photographer and past fellow resident Bill Cunningham enlisted Sherman as his model and muse for his 1978 book Facades, which fuses fashion and architecture photography.

The corporation promised to find comparable apartments for the seven rent-controlled tenants still living in the Towers, and to pay the difference in rent for the remainder of each tenant’s life, but the 26 non-rent-controlled commercial and residential tenants—including Astor—had no such guarantee.

The last residents moved out last year, and while “Lost Bohemia” mourns their dispossession, it also allows us to spend time in their eccentric, artistic company and to appreciate their contribution to the life of the city. Among them are Bill Cunningham, the New York Times photographer who is the subject of a marvelous recent documentary, and Don Shirley, a pianist who recalls playing with Duke Ellington “downstairs” — that is, in Carnegie Hall itself.

An anonymous, unseen poet who lived above Mr. Astor and left him eloquent phone messages observed that studios and the hall below, though commissioned by a plutocrat, “were built not on power, but on love.” The power of this documentary resides in that proud and fragile sentiment. Photo below is Astor’s studio after demolition.

Jeremiah’s New York >

The New York Times >

Martijn Hendriks, 12 Glowing Men

Posted in Art, Cinéma, film, Uncategorized, video by petercombe on January 26, 2011
Untitled (12 Glowing Men), 2008. Still from a single channel video DVD, projection and website. Color and black and white, sound. 4 min 10 sec loop.

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Dutch artist Martijn Hendriks has a Web site dedicated to a 4 min excerpt of “12 Angry Men” in which rainbows inexplicably appear on the actor’s skin.

In his video installation “Untitled (12 Glowing Men)” Dutch artist, Martijn Hendriks takes the climactic jury-room scene from 1957′s “12 Angry Men” and haloes the deliberators with a prismatic, heaven-like glow. To me, it’s like a physical manifestation of their emotion and almost as if nature itself is intervening. The light itself spreads and morphs onto the men as each turns his back on the one man you wants to condemn the accused. There’s an intrinsic sanctimony involved in the trial-by-jury system, as if perhaps these men exalt themselves through the act of determining the fate of another. Notice how by the end of the scene, the only man devoid of the ethereal light is the one who’s been shunned by all the others.

Aside from that, it’s stunningly beautiful. Watch. (Jeremy ElderShape+Colour, Sept. 08)

LINK >


obbligare

(The following was written some months after this post appeared)

Before the opening of the Twitter/Art+Social Media exhibition at the Diane Farris Gallery in Vancouver, BC, Canada, I was contacted by one of the directors to say that one of my pieces (Iran’s Ahmadinejad Prepares for Avatar Premier, 2010), had been sold and that the gallery owner, Ms Farris was upset, as her eyes had been on the artwork. I was asked if I would be interested in making an edition of the artwork. I agreed, then never heard anything back from the gallery. Feeling a little flimflammed and manipulated over the request, I set out to produce a little piece of 8½ inspired cinema in the form of a series of gif animations to post before the exhibit completed its run. The poster above promotes the filmic homage and borrows from the poster artwork of the Reed Cowan and Steven Greenstreet directed film, 8: The Mormon Proposition. In April, I also produced this little promotional item that borrows from Disney’s Toy Story 3. In the end, it so turned out, there was no original buyer for the artwork. Ms Farris also asked if I might consider payment in the form of a ‘payment plan’. Months went by with my not hearing from the gallery. It just so happened that I found myself visiting Vancouver via San Francisco. I visited the space and there before me on a counter in the very quiet gallery’s back room lay the most exquisite little paint brush next to an unfired ceramic cat food bowl. Noticing my gaze and not missing a beat, the gallery director informed me that the bowl (awaiting Ms Farris’ artistic touch) was for a local pet charity auction. After my enquiry I was told that Ms Farris was no longer interested in purchasing the artwork and would I consider leaving my Ahmadinejad artwork for the upcoming gallery anniversary exhibition. I said it would be fine, provided the gallery brokered the shipping back to San Francisco. I needn’t print the response, except to say that I was so embarrassed for the business that all I could do was collect my artworks and get out of there fast.

Hyperallergic Labs Pick-up

Posted in Peter Combe Gif, trawling the net by petercombe on May 4, 2010

I got picked up by this excellent site out of New York. Thrilled to bits about it.

LINK >

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L’edizione di 3

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Serious Forms of Flattery?

Posted in Cinéma by petercombe on October 17, 2009

Tom Ford’s new movie ‘A Single Man’, looks like a total yawn fest. Besides the obvious decorative nod to ‘Mad Men’, it seems he’s been mining Pedro Almodovar’s cinematic oeuvre. Below is an example amongst the numerous found in the trailer. A still from ‘A Single Man’, followed by a still from Almodovar’s ‘All About My Mother’.

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Plus – Abel Korzeniowski, the film’s composer seems to be channeling Almodovar’s Alberto Iglesias.

Click ‘play’ and prepare for the longest 2 minutes……

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