Did Over-the-Knee Boots Cause Manchester Bombing?

Fashion
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If like many women you spent the autumns of 2015 and 2016 longing for a sleek pair of over-the-knee boots, but held off because the Stuart Weitzmans you wanted started at around $800, there may be good news in store! It now appears the thigh-boot fad is over, meaning you can probably rock a nifty pair of dominatrix specials for as little as $200. Does that still sound steep? Remember: you can always cut a thigh boot down to calf length—or even an ankle bootie! Many smart gals will be investing in over-the-knees during this summer's clearance sales, and then keeping an eye out for autumn trends! I just realized the thigh-boot fad had "jumped […] Read More

Hiding in the Woodpile: How Altimeters Are Weaponizing Irony to Spread Margarine

Commentary
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This seems to be what the kiddies are into these days. Confess I just don't get it, myself. I understand the "Proud Boys" have something to do with fighting Onanism. From The Grauniad: Experts say the ‘alt-right’ have stormed mainstream consciousness by using ‘humor’ and ambiguity as tactics to wrong-foot their opponents Earlier this month, hundreds of “alt-right” protesters occupied the rotunda at Boston Common in the name of free speech. The protest included far-right grouplets old and new – from the Oath Keepers to the Proud Boys. But there were no swastikas or shaved heads in sight. Instead, the protest imagery was dominated by ostensibly comedic images, mostly cribbed from forums and […] Read More

Picasso Painting Sells for $45

Art
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Pablo Picasso's "Seated Woman in a Blue Dress" has sold in New York for $45 million dollars, news agencies report. Says the BBC site: It is one of the great Picasso portraits of his middle years, inspired—as so often—by love and by powerful sexual desire, BBC arts correspondent Vincent Dowd reports. Judge for yourself. The real news here seems to be that it last sold six years ago for a mere $26 million, making this a very nice flip. Correction: The painting sold for $45 million, not $45.  […] Read More

Sotheby’s European Art, May 24th 2017

Art

Sotheby's New York on York Avenue holds its annual auction of miscellaneous "European art" on Wednesday May 24th. Items include works from "the most celebrated artists of the era, including William Bouguereau, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Jean-Léon Gérôme and Henri Gervex." Era appears to be 19th century. Gérôme, who did this fighting-cock piece in 1846, is thus described on the website for the Musée D'Orsay: In the "Neo-Grec" style, characterised by a taste for meticulous finish, pale colours and smooth brushwork, Gérôme portrays a couple of near-naked adolescents at the foot of a fountain. Their youthfulness contrasts with the battered profile of the Sphinx in the background. The same opposition is found between […] Read More

Restroom Galleries, Beware!

Art
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The current fad of young people taking snaps of themselves in the bathroom continues to puzzle me. Typically they use their little toy 'smartphones,' which typically have a hole at the back, through which they can shoot a dim photo. What is it about bathrooms that they find so alluring? And what happens to the snaps afterwards? Do these youngsters paste them into a scrapbook or photograph album? Make postcards? They are most unappealing. I am reminded of my old friend James Hervey Johnson, onetime city tax assessor and papaya fancier in San Diego. For most of his life he snapped a picture of himself nearly every day. Many of these he pasted […] Read More

Alex Martinis Roe

Art

I have no idea what this is, but it looks good. Walking into The Showroom, you might think you’ve made a wrong turn into a feminist group’s meeting. But look past the DIY aesthetics and give this exhibition time – you’ll be rewarded by the political resonance and relevance of Alex Martinis Roe’s work. From TimeOut London […] Read More

France in the Grip of Cold Terror

Commentary, Newsbrief
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The expected news that Emmanuel Macron would win the presidential runoff in France on Sunday accounted for many bitter tears on the part of «Le Penistes» and yet it was not wholly a surprise. For many years it has been apparent that voters in Western "democracies" are generally willing to trade the health of their peoples and nations in exchange for short-term economic stability. Whether or not the Macron regime will collapse in short order, as most French regimes have in the past century, remains to be seen. As Herbert Asquith liked to say, "Wait and see!" […] Read More

More Art Is on Its Way This Week

Art, Newsbrief
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Art lovers in NYC who have been dying to visit more galleries and see more artworks of quality ranging from excellent to meretricious, are in for a treat. For more art is on its way! The exact number of art galleries in the city ranges between 500 and 5,000, depending on whether one counts such things as museums, student exhibitions, photography displays, furniture showrooms, and pop-up art shows. Many of the best galleries, such as the late, lamented Dorian Grey in the East Village, survive for only a few seasons before moving on. Contrariwise, the Upper East Side is dotted with commercial galleries that exist for many decades, whether as vanity operations […] Read More

“For I’m to Be Queen of the May, Mother, I’m to Be Queen of the May”

Commentary

Evidently certain folks like to entertain themselves by writing "funny" lyrics to well-known folk and popular tunes. This works very well as private amusement, I suppose, but isn't it a bother when you find yourself faced with eight or ten stanzas supposedly "Sung to the Tune of the 'Haircrofters' Ball'"? Or some other ditty that the amateur lyricist remembers from a piano-book of his youth, but which is now lost to time. That is annoying enough, but it's even worse when you are given an alternate name for the tune, one with which you are unfamiliar. You may not be too befuddled when you see "Over Hill Over Dale" named as the tune […] Read More

DEVO: The First Half-Century

Art, Newsbrief

Mark Mothersbaugh: MYOPIA at the Grey Art Gallery, NYU. April 26 – July 15, 2017. 100 Washington Square East, NYC. One of those rare multimedia installations worthy of repeat visits, and full of enjoyment for the entire family. Mom and Dad will like it because it will take them back to the heyday of the "Dada-Punk" new-wave rock combo called DEVO. The kids will love it for its funny cartoons and Dalek-like electronic calliopes. In-betweens will rejoice over the surrealistic "We Are DEVO" video playing on the south wall. Popcult historians will be happy to find out who the hell was Booji Boy, hero he of decades-old cult video. See video also. […] Read More

Dots and Slopes

Art, Newsbrief

Kim Yong-Ik. April 27 – June 17, 2017. Tina Kim Gallery, 525 West 21st St, NYC 10019. 212.716.1100 New frontiers in oriental minimalism arrive with the new Kim Yong-Ik exhibition at the Tina Kim Gallery (no relation). Mr. Kim's work appears in three basic motifs: his "dot paintings, which feature the repetition of regularly spaced circles," according to the exhibition guide; constructivist cutouts, which put one in mind of the bias-cut construction paper collages one did in kindergarten arts-and-crafts; and pieces of unadorned burlap. We are reliably informed that this is Kim's "the first solo exhibition in the United States." […] Read More

Art in Austerity

Newsbrief

Noted belatedly, but with pleasure, in the September 2008 issue of The New Criterion—that very 1950s-ish Little Magazine of cultural criticism that keeps hanging on, despite its resemblance to a vanity publication, mainly because it manages to produce at least one or two highly intriguing essays or reviews in each issue: a John Gross review of Austerity Britain, 1945-1951 (by David Kynaston), which contains such passages as the following: Kynaston isn’t so wedded to the virtues of vox pop that he isn’t ready to use better-known names to spice up his story. “It might not be a bad thing for the Labour boys to hold the baby”—as the result of the 1945 election […] Read More