Nice, Victor

Art, Newsbrief

"Victor Stamp is convinced that beyond this brief biographical skeleton, the less that is known about him the better. Nevertheless he is willing to divulge that his favourite colour is grey, his favourite metal lead, and his preferred quality in a woman, broad shoulders." See also […] Read More

“Funny Stuff” at Academy of Art

Art

Illustration rather than Fine Art (if there's a difference anymore), but very entertaining for the NYTimes. It's a show mounted to open for the Tribeca Ball a few days back. This one's wittily entitled "Untitled." Story here […] Read More

The Story of Artzybasheff

Art

  From American Art Archives about the Russian-American surrealist illustrator: Fought with anti-communist White Russians before immigrating to US (he spoke no English and arrived with 14 cents). A chameleon, able to adapt different styles, from children's books to portraits. Renowned for his ability to turn machines into living beings (and living beings into who-knows-what). Advisor to the Psychological Warfare branch during WW II. A profuse illustrator for the majors: Life, Fortune, and Time (producing 200+ covers for the last). Illustrated 50 books, including those he wrote himself, notably "As I See." Plentiful ad work for Xerox, Shell Oil, Pan Am, Casco Power Tools, Alcoa Steamship lines, Parke Davis, Avco Manufacturing, Scotch […] Read More

The New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik Loses It

Medicins sans frontal-lobes

Always entertaining when recounting his adventures as a Lower Slobbovian living in Paris, Adam Gopnik has lost his appeal since moving to America. Of late he has sidled off into political commentary, a field for which he is as richly equipped as a blind racing tout. In his most recent column in The New Yorker, he goes completely bonkers and actually calls for a coup against President Donald Trump. I won't reproduce the most lurid bits of his imagining—read it yourself here—but the send-off paragraph is enough to give you a general idea: Perhaps the most tragic sins against democracy, to which we have already become accustomed, are Trump’s lies. When you […] Read More

Don’t Learn About Art THIS Way!

Art

None too subtle was Theodore Shaw, the inventor of Conjecturism, a theory of art criticism that he invented, and continued to peddle via double-truck ads in newspaper supplements and various sectarian-intellectual journals of the 1940s-60s (Commonweal, Commentary, Partisan Review). Many people heard of Conjecturism the first time when someone at the National Lampoon (Sean Kelly? Henry Beard?) did a full-page parody of the ads. This would have been about 1973, by which time the train had left the station. "Don't Learn About Art This Way!" The visual was an extremely heavy-handed cartoon in the charcoal-and-crayon style of the 1930s. That's all I can tell you. Originally published December 28, 2014. Updated February 27, […] Read More

Comical ‘Pepe’ Art Show Rustles Jimmies in London

Art, Newsbrief

Meta-art: In London, an "alt-right" art show is staged by a provocateur as a joke. But even as a joke, it won't fly with the Commie element. From the New York Times, Feb. 25. Slightly more unhinged is this London artsy blog. POSTSCRIPT: Rioters finally shut down the gallery in March […] Read More

There Is an Art to Bad Art Museum Reviews

Art

Currently my favorite vademecum is this funny little website called Bad Art Museum Reviews. I've linked it, so you can go right to it when you're finished reading my pearls of wisdom. Somebody was actually complaining that Andy Warhol wasn't much of an artist, since he had someone else do his silkscreens and really only wanted to hang out with famous people. I mean, this person had just found this out and was actually whinging about it!  (Personally I always admired Andy for this, and I think the same accusation can be made against many big names of today. The photographer Nan Goldin for example. She did some good work way back in […] Read More

New Test Post for You and Yours

Uncategorized

The story is told about a little child who was so tiny he was no bigger than the end of your little finger. Hence he was named Little Pinky-end. His parents were poor CPAs and couldn't support their teeming brood, so they sold them to the wolves […] Read More

Charlie Krafft’s Lovecraft Award Is a Hit

Art

From Hyperallergic.com: As some people on Twitter have noticed, an organization called Counter-Currents Publishing has launched an “H. P. Lovecraft Prize for Literature.” The accolade is, in part, a rebuttal to the World Fantasy Awards’ recent decision to stop using a sculpted likeness of the author for their trophy — because although he’s now a canonized writer of horror fiction, Lovecraft was also an explicit racist. The Counter-Currents prize in his honor will be “awarded to literary artists of the highest caliber who transgress the boundaries of political correctness.” And it will consist of — what else? — a bust of Lovecraft, sculpted by none other than Charles Krafft. Read rest here […] Read More

Jon Gnagy, Master of Simple Shapes, Dies at 119

Newsbrief

Jon Gnagy, the TV drawing teacher who showed millions how to turn a simple triangle into a cocker spaniel, died yesterday in his home in Westport, Connecticut. He was 119 years old. Burial will be next week in the Old Moldovian Cemetery, Ridgefield CT. CORRECTION: The above obituary misstated the burial place of popular TV art instructor Jon Gnagy. The actual name of the cemetery the Old Moravian Cemetery, and it is in Trumbull, CT, not Ridgefield as stated. In addition, the Gnagy family decided to have the deceased member cremated at the Milford Crematorium (formerly the Milford Jai-Alai Fronton) because "burial is just too damn much trouble." CORRECTION: The above obituary misstated […] Read More

Stalking the Wild Jackson Whites

Newsbrief

My friend Sallie writes, Does anyone remember Zoom? It was a kiddie show in the 1970s. Kids in bare feet and striped jerseys, improvising the program as they went along. It was invented by an English TV producer named Chris Sarsen, who really pulled the wool over the eyes of the producers at WGBH in Boston, the educational-tv channel. But whatever its initial hokum, it got momentum and a life of its own and lasted through the seventies. You didn't need much cultural heft to make it in the Boston TV market in the 1970s, I'll grant you. That old warhorse Rex Trailer, a kiddie-show host who began his career in Philadelphia […] Read More

New Plasticene Hummel Kit with the D-I-Y Flavour

Newsbrief

Franz Liverwurst, copartner of W. Goebel Porzelanfabrik in Oeslau near Coburg discovered a book with Hummel motifs. It was love at first sight and led to a contract with the artist in 1934. The sculptors Reinhold Unno (1880-1974) and Arthur Kelly (1886-1972) devoted all their energies to develop the three-dimensions models for the later Hummel figurines from doodles. The very first GIs who came to Germany swapped cigarettes and cans of Spam for Hummel figurines. Since then they have risen in value. Former First Lady, Betty Flossenburg, owns a cabinet full of them. President Ronald Rivkin received a gift of the Quartet of Puppies on his visit to Bitburg […] Read More