Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Stripe Painting Portrait of Doug Harvey Developed by Doug Harvey — with Doug Harvey


Jeffrey Vallance's Stripe Painting Portrait of me (inspired by my Stripe Painting Portrait of Liberace, which I did for Jeffrey's curatorial project at the Liberace Museum in 1995, I guess!) I am honored.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Have You Seen Me?



Edition of 25 unique monoprint/painting/rubber stamp things. Originally I was going to tape them to lampposts, but decided to give them to those most prone instead. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

TR(i)UMP(h)! - a curatorial project at Art Basil 2016

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photo by Paula Goldman

"An artist's job is to make people smile, not to make political statements. Apologize to Mike Pence, or stop calling yourselves artists!"
- President Elect D.J. Trump


CAWUBOP (Committee for Art World Unification Behind Our President), is honored to offer TR(i)UMP(h)! -- an exhibit of miniature works glorifying President Elect Donald Trump as part of ART BASIL LA http://artbasilla.tumblr.com/

Emerging artists stake out a resume-padding domain of plausible deniability which could save their necks when the Ministry of Culture Death Squads come around! At least that was the idea. Many of the participants have a somewhat promiscuous concept of glorification...

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS (so far...)

Alex HDZ
Alexandra Cao Ying
Al’Liyah Smith
Antwan Jones
Arely Hernandez
Carla Gonzalez-Baruch
Doug Harvey
Emmanuel Campos
Flora Medina (annex solo exhibit)
Harper Barth
Krystal Simon
Maurice Love
Michael Arata
The Ninja Assassin
Ronieka Pinkney
Sergio Velador
Terri Slade
Young Summers

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Friday, December 2, 2016

Eat This Too!

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Scotty Vera - Solar Dom Says Bring It On! (2016) mixed media sculpture

https://www.facebook.com/events/372045076472928/

Doug Harvey's LESS ART Gallery is proud to present the second solo show of reclusive genius Scotty Vera, whose virtuopsic formalist paintings and sculptures always contain references to Dom DeLuise and a lobster.

Vera's first solo exhibition was in 2008 at Track 16 Gallery (http://www.track16.com/exhibitions/2008-03-01-vera/photos.php) when he publicly stated "I'll do this again when Donald Trump is elected president!"

EAT THIS TOO is presented as part of ART BASIL LA, an annual art fair held in Mr. Let's Paint TV's back yard in Van Nuys, CA. http://artbasilla.tumblr.com/

"Vera’s T16 show Eat This (named after DeLuise’s bestselling cookbook) comprised less than a quarter of his extant work at that time — a substantial oeuvre for an artist less than a quarter-century old with no postsecondary degrees under his belt, let alone one who is periodically afflicted with debilitating agoraphobia. Scotty was the only child of a single-parent family. His mother was a Las Vegas blackjack dealer at the Golden Nugget, and Scotty would be holed up alone in the Living Desert Apartments — where Jeffrey Vallance and other Vegas artists also lived — sometimes for days at a time. Vallance, the Rev. Ethan Acres, and others recognized and nurtured Scotty’s talent, eventually helping him find placement at Claremont and UCLA, though his occasional inability to leave his bedroom sabotaged any possibility of matriculation.""

Scotty’s theoretical underpinnings have always been elusive, as are many of the details of his life. He claims to be the surviving half of a pair of conjoined twins, and does have a scar in a plausible place, though his mother would just sigh and roll her eyes when queried on the matter. On the other hand, that was her response to almost everything. At one point he claimed DeLuise as his father but has since recanted. His chance to publicly articulate his odd but compelling iconography came in the form of a panel discussion for Vallance’s extravaganza last March, but Vera was a no-show, and has apparently been holed up — intermittently communicating via e-mail — ever since."

-- from "Scotty Vera: Submerging Artist" THE Magazine, 2009

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Lobster Dom VS the Alt Right, 2016

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Kaboom! Panel Discussion


Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 7 PM - 9 PM
West Los Angeles College Art Gallery
4800 Freshman Dr, Culver City, California 90230

Join Molly Barnes at West Los Angeles College Gallery for a panel discussion about the relatonship between comic books and fine art, featuring artists featured in the current WLAC exhibition KABOOM! Comic Art: Chick Bragg, Doug Harvey, Izzy Howell, and Mick Reinman.

Image: Doug Harvey, FF:OO:WJ, 2016, mixed media on cardboard, six panels (detail)

Sunday, November 13, 2016

F for Ache on LAFMS BOX BOX

F (unfortunately aka "Marnie Weber's F for Ache" despite repeated threats!) have a sidelong slab of fauxmishness on the LAFMS box set box thing box...

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Above - new Daniel meets evil mastermind Tommy Recchion; below - old Daniel tries to hide his shame and regret at having "moved on to new opportunities!" Photos by Fredrik Nilsen

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http://www.forcedexposure.com/Catalog/los-angeles-free-music-society-lafms-box-box-13lp-box/BOX.001LP.html

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

What's Making What Noise?

Cover art for Spectress by John Pearson.

Installation artist and drone improviser Gabie Strong has been a playa in the surprisingly vigorous Los Angeles experimental music community for some time, with her radio show Crystal Morphologies as one of the anchors of pirate radio KCHUNG’s programming lineup for the last five-plus years. She has just expanded the Crystal Morphologies umbrella to include a record label, dedicated to “experimental and drone music informed by the artist’s hand” as well as “unclassifiable, composed and improvised work by women, whose contributions have often been overlooked in the context of avant-garde and improvised music.”

It’s always best to start with what you know (and own the rights to), so Crystal Morphologies’ first two vinyl/cassette releases are works by Strong herself—four side-long live recordings—two from this year (Spectress) and two from last year (Sacred Datura/Peaked Experience). True to the label’s mandate for hand-informed sonics, Strong’s work has a vintage, pre-digital feel to it and a lineage that—while touching on Japanese and continental precedents—dates back to the whole La Monte Young–Marian Zazeela–Tony Conrad–John Cale Theatre of Eternal Music outburst, up to and including Lou Reed’s notorious Metal Machine Music.

As with all the best noise music, it’s often hard to separate out what’s making what noise. Spectress’ “Sunset Circuit” may employ guitar, effects, synthesizer and vocals, but it shifts almost imperceptibly between soundscapes—evoking the propulsive force of a jet engine and the amniotic calm of the ocean depths with nary a strum or arpeggio in earshot. The flipside, “Taphthartharath,” performs a placating ritual on that mercurial spirit, morphing ominous bomber drones and clinical vintage synth sine waves and static into an ethereal virtual pastorale fading slowly to the sounds of digital crickets (which I initially mistook for the sound of my window fan malfunctioning. Respek!)

The Sacred Datura/Peaked Experience pairing uses less of an overall dynamic arc, though both works cover a wide variety of aural terrain. “Sacred Datura” combines buzzsaw feedback, pulsing chimes, vacuum cleaner phasing, and distorted vocal loops, while “Peaked Experience” forefronts old school knob-twisting oscillations and heavy reverb, served on a bed of shredded electric guitar with a side of electronic bird chirps.


Putting out vinyl and cassette releases is a way of reasserting the curatorial dimension of the small record label business, much of which has been dissolved in the miasma of cyberspace. With these two Strong releases (haha) and forthcoming cassettes from Geneva Skeen, Christopher Reid Martin, and Renee Petropoulos, Crystal Morphologies may be stepping up to carry the torch passed from LAFMS, Melon Expander, and the late Michael Sheppard’s Transparency label—among many others—as LA’s latest virtual exhibition space for experimental sound. There’s certainly enough noisy artists out there.

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Fitting into a narrower and less local tradition (see Charles Amirkhanian’s 1750 Arch Records) comes Spoken Records, a foray into the even-more-obscure genre of text-sound composition, which—as its name suggests—uses spoken words as the primary material for its musical innovations—often at the expense of literary intelligibility. Such is not the case with Spoken Record’s debut release, however.


Greetings From Here: Audio Postcards In Transition by label founder Pauline Gloss consists of nine short epistolatory communiques, recorded quickly and simply on the artist’s laptop computer. While layering vocal tracks and adding tasteful concrete elements, Gloss’ texts have more in common with confessional autobiographical poetics than Hugo Ball’s “Karawane,” weaving stories of institutionalization and gender indeterminacy into quite coherent—if elliptical—narratives. It reminds me of nothing so much as the poet Anne Sexton’s amazing recording for poetry label Caedmon, with Gloss’ NPR-ready baritone even resembling Sexton’s tobacco-and-vodka cured delivery.


A solid work of art, it’s also a courageous and unpredictable flagship for a label devoted to text-sound, many of whose proponents are adamantly nonsensical. Like Crystalline Morphologies, Spoken Records is already plotting its expansion out of the vanity press division, by way of an open call for “stand-alone works of literary sound art” that will be compiled in a series of vinyl singles for distribution. Something for the jukebox in the Cabaret Voltaire!

http://www.crystallinemorphologies.com/
http://www.spokenrecords.com

(Under the Radar column, Artillery Magazine http://artillerymag.com/under-the-radar-9/)

Saturday, November 5, 2016

JEFFREY VALLANCE: DRAWING FORTH

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Jeffrey Vallance’s most recent bodies of work at first appear to be diametrically opposed to one another. The Rudis Tractus drawings consist of a suite of mid-sized works on paper and a group of related preparatory studies — deploying an array of techniques ranging from ink washes to collage, but relying most heavily on drawing. The drawings themselves comprise a range of strategies — the bulk of imagery is rendered in Vallance’s signature folky cartoon pictography, but extend to meticulous realism in several instances, while emerging almost uniformly from a miasma of gestural calligraphic marks.

At the other end of the material and art historical spectrum, Vallance’s ongoing, absurdly hyperactive engagement with the social media website Facebook is among the most funny, sociologically avant-garde, and ephemeral projects of his career (and that’s saying a lot!) Vallance’s involvement with FB is very differ- ent from that of most other art world figures, who often see the internet as a delivery system for their familiar longtime modes of communication — usually discursive language and/or digital documentation of artwork. While Vallance has a toe in each of these stagnant ponds, they are sublimated into his main focus — to prod and probe the new social boundaries and mechanisms generated by the new technology. He accomplishes this by taking its premise to absurd logical extremes through the formation and constant reconfiguration of a dozen or so outlandish group pages — ranging from “Kittens in a Basket” to “Sheep Bung,” though the names of the groups are as subject to modification as their content.

Meanwhile, the Rudis Tractus drawings are some of the most physically auratic artifacts Vallance has produced — worked and handled and crumpled and layered to achieve a palimpsest-like patina; uniquely handcrafted papyrus codices in the age of digital reproduction. The largest factor in creating this impression of materiality is the aforementioned ground of gestural marks — a fairly radical technical and conceptual shift in Vallance’s practice that is curiously buried in the mix. The all-over compositional field, the emphasis on leaving a record of the artist’s hand, the rudimentary pictographic calligraphy, and the treatment of the picture plane as an arena of action for spontaneous automatism are all hallmarks of mid- century Abstract Expressionism, not exactly the lingua franca of California Postmodernism. 

read the rest in Rudis Tractus (Rough Drawing) or ATJ

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Shit that Dropped in from a Parallel Universe #283

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Roger Brown, The Story of Creation, 1989, oil on canvas, 48 x 60 in.- an update of Giovanni de Paolo with Kenny Rogers as Yahweh!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Animatronic Hillary Child-bot Terrorizes Local Family!


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When I first heard a description of Jenn Berger’s new animatronic sculpture Hillary Clinton as a Child (2016) I laughed out loud. When I finally saw it, I was still amused, but also a little spooked, in the classic uncanny sense — that dissociative self-reflective identification that underlies our fascination with robots, automatons, and TV morning talk show hosts. This was a work of considerable psychological depth, in addition to it’s humor and topical currency.

As anyone who has been within earshot of me for more than a couple of minutes knows, I consider Firesign Theatre’s 1971 “comedy LP” I Think We’re All Bozos On This Bus to be one of the greatest artworks of the 20th century. That complex fable centers around a near-future everyman who hacks into the OS of the Nixonesque Robo-POTUS and thereby brings about the collapse of the Matrix-like digital kenoma. And who’s not for that, right?

But Jenn Berger’s Hillarybot occupies a more ambiguous domain — for one thing, Hillary isn’t president yet. And although I’m sure there will be a plethora of selfies generated by the entity’s weekend residency at Monte Vista Projects (5442 Monte Vista St, Los Angeles, CA 90042; Saturday Oct. 22 from 5-9pm and Sunday Oct 23 from 1-5pm), this is a manifestation of Ms. Clinton that makes no promises, but peers out at us through a convoluted warp in time, conflating innocence and world-weary skepticism in singular multi-media narrative mashup.

“Combining half of a child size doll, drawing replacing the doll’s front, and video eyes sourced from the Benghazi hearing,” reads the PR in the Facebook announcement, “Hillary Clinton As A Child speaks to the construction of a larger than life identity over time. The mention of just the name Hillary Clinton brings an immediate response. From where do we form an opinion of our politicians? Based on a childhood photo of Hillary, HCAAC stands as a reminder of Hillary’s history, that she was not always the Hillary Clinton we think we know today.”

This is followed by a quote from Neil Postman’s prescient 1985 scree Amusing Ourselves To Death, in which he observes that “on television the politician does not so much offer the audience an image of [herself], as offer [herself] as an image of the audience.” So now I’m supposed to be a creepy robotic girl with shifty eyes? What’s the deal? I decided to track down the artist and get a few straight answers.

Less Art: So, where do you get all your crazy ideas?

Read the rest of L’il Hil Gives Me a Chill at LESS ART: the Blog!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Spiritual Revival: Marnie Weber Casts a Perverse Spell


The Day of Forevermore - photo by Rebecca Tull

“Try it again without the death metal voice, Doug!” I’m inside a bulky latex ram-horned devil mask, wearing a swanky maroon dinner jacket and cravat, tending bar for a coven of witches in a ruinous hut in a crumbling bohemian compound in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, and Lee Lynch is getting sarcastic. Five hours earlier I’d caught a ride with my bandmate, the sculptor Daniel Hawkins, up the winding precipitous incline to the Zorthian Ranch, a definitively unfinished art environment dating from the antebellum heyday of West Coast Assemblage. Daniel was multitasking various production duties on artist Marnie Weber’s first full-length feature film, for which I’d been recruited to do a cameo.

But Lee is directing the scene, and he doesn’t like my guttural “Exorcist” croak. The witches weigh in and we settle on something that sounds more like a cartoon bear to me — but tensions are already high, and these guys are the professionals, right? Besides, Marnie’s no stranger to cartoon bears. I can’t quite understand what set everyone on edge — something about the electricians not getting pizza? But there’s a definite schism between the CalArts film school alum — represented by Lee — and the movie industry tech guys that Marnie’s brought on board for “The Day of Forevermore.”

The film, which had its North American debut in September in Los Angeles, is Marnie’s 22nd, but her first to break the 80-minute barrier, and the first to take full advantage of the considerable resources that Hollywood has to offer. It is in some sense the culmination of a developmental cinematic arc that mirrors Marnie’s wider multimedia practice, as well as the history of film — not to mention the art world’s transformation in scale and spectacularity over the last couple of decades.

Marnie’s first films were made with handheld silent Super 8 cameras in the early ’90s. They were a direct outgrowth of her solo rock-theatrical performance art — itself a mutation of her involvement in the industrial diy milieu of postpunk Los Angeles with her first band, “Party Boys.” As subsequent movies grew more ambitious and sophisticated, they — in combination with her collages, sculptures, and installations — began to portray a coherent (if fantastical) mythological realm, populated by wounded animals, seedy hobo clowns, ghosts, goblins, tree spirits, possessed ventriloquist dummies and, yes, cartoon bears.

These neo-archetypal entities usually function as support characters to a strong central female lead, played by Marnie. For most of the last decade her character was consistent: the leader of a gaggle of starstruck adolescent ghosts dubbed the “Spirit Girls.” Dressed in identical nightgowns, long straight wigs, and chillingly blank porcelain-white masks (and incorporating the acting skills and instrumental chops of Dani Tull, Tanya Haden, and a cluster of other gifted musicians), the “Spirit Girls” became an actual rock band and developed a considerable cult following.

The “Spirit Girls’” exploits stretched over four loosely interwoven films, also manifesting in gallery exhibits, elaborate performances and “Forever Free” — an accomplished album informed as much by Marnie’s teen glam and prog influences as her postpunk roots. But as the aughts wound down, the band seemed to have dealt with that unfinished business which binds the departed to our shores—the eternally adolescent Spirit Girls had found rock-and-roll glory in the performative afterlife — and Marnie began casting about for a new perspective, and a new cast of characters.

In November 2010, she staged an exorcism of sorts. Under the auspices of West of Rome Public Art’s free-floating “Women in the City” series, Marnie organized a final “Spirit Girls” performance at the Altadena Mountain View Cemetery and Mausoleum. The audience was greeted by a procession of monsters, cemetery tours led by an ancient, addled gravedigger, and the debut of Marnie’s film “The Eternal Heart,” screened in the opulently appointed Gothic Mausoleum. Pointedly, the “Spirit Girls” did not appear in the film itself, but provided a live soundtrack, followed by a farewell romp through their greatest hits.

It was a spectacular event that is still spoken of as a high point in recent LA performance history. But overlooked by many of the opening night revelers was the fact that the Mausoleum was also hosting an exhibit of Marnie’s new collages — harkening back to the early cut-and-paste bodies of work from her first forays into the art world — in its unlikely and hard-to-find art gallery. “Eternity Forever” ended up being her last hometown solo show until her current outing at Gavlak Los Angeles, on view through November 5. But the venue proved serendipitous for a completely different reason—the show that was coming down while Marnie was installing hers...


Read the rest of Spiritual Revival: Marnie Weber Casts a Perverse Spell in Modern Painters or ATJ

Sunday, October 16, 2016

You need this special F Mask to hear them!

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"Hey brothers and sisters there's something new going down." F's long-awaited second full-length release -- a limited edition cassette entitled "FF" with Daniel Hawkins, Doug Harvey, and Marnie Weber, coming very soon. Keep watching the skies for launch!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Farewell Rosamund Felsen


Fifty years ago—in May 1966—the Velvet Underground played their legendary West Coast debut at Hollywood nightclub The Trip as part of Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable. On the first night, the joint was packed with curiosity-seeking hipster celebrities; Cher famously declared, “They will replace nothing, except maybe suicide.” But on the second night, the place was empty except for five people. One was Kurt Von Meier, a UCLA art historian who played a key role in the Red Krayola’s early career before writing a 350,000 word essay on Duchamp’s ball-of-twine readymade (it’s online!). The other four were also art world figures: Stanley and Elyse Grinstein and Sid and Rosamund Felsen.



If Rosamund had done nothing else after that night, I’d be impressed. But, as it turned out, she went on to found and operate one of the longest-running and most influential commercial art galleries in Los Angeles, representing, at one time or another, most of the major players to emerge in the ’70s and ’80s art world in LA and environs, including Mike Kelley, Chris Burden, Lari Pittman, Marnie Weber, Jim Shaw, Jeffrey Vallance, Karen Carson, Paul McCarthy, William Wegman, Alexis Smith, Chuck Arnoldi, Erika Rothenberg, Meg Cranston, Pat O’Neill, Jason Rhoades, Laura Owens, Kim MacConnell, Steve Hurd… you get the picture.

The other side to Rosamund’s superstar stable was the equally compelling roster of idiosyncratic artists’ artists like Richard Jackson, Jacci Den Hartog, Steven Hull, Nancy Jackson, Jimmy Hayward, Marc Pally, Tim Ebner, Jean Lowe, Pat Nickell, Pauline Stella Sanchez, Grant Mudford (Rosamund’s spouse) and M.A. Peers (my spouse). Because of M.A.’s nearly 20-year association with the gallery (and my own friendship and professional association with a number of RFG’s other artists), I got a pretty good insider’s view of Rosamund’s modus operandi.

Contrary to many horror stories I’ve heard about other local contemporary dealers, Rosamund is unconditionally supportive of her artists’ creative autonomy, and their need to develop and experiment over time, regardless of sales. Once she is convinced of an artist’s merit, she trusts their vision. She has an excellent eye, an open and curious mind, and a very individualistic sensibility, which allows her to champion artists with unlikely or unfashionable ideas or styles. Rosamund also has a strong and confident instinct for elegant and aesthetically sophisticated exhibition design.

All four of the buildings that RFG has occupied have been remarkable exhibition spaces in their own right. The legendary first space on La Cienega Boulevard had previously been the home of Riko Mizuno and Gagosian galleries, and was the site of many landmark exhibits— including Burden’s Big Wheel (1979) and Kelley’s Monkey Island (1987), including his stuffed animal magnum opus More Love Hours Than Can Ever Be Repaid.)

Rosamund had kind of stumbled into the gallery business. That night at The Trip, the Felsens and Grinsteins were in the very first stages of establishing Gemini GEL, the ambitious commercial fine art printmaking shop that played a significant role in LA’s ascendency as an art world player in the ’60s and ’70s. Rosamund began as the shipping clerk, but was operating in a curatorial mode by the time she left in 1969 over disagreements with master printer Ken Tyler. She moved over to the Pasadena Art Museum, where she was registrar and curator of prints until Norton Simon’s hostile takeover spelled the end of that institution’s golden era. Rosamund was preparing to go back to attend UCLA when a casual acquaintance named Timothea Stewart needed help running her new gallery on La Cienega Boulevard.

That first show with Timothea was a labor of love devoted to the late Wallace Berman. Rosamund sat behind the desk. The exhibit closed after five months with no sales, and Timothea apparently decided she had played her one good hand and was ready to fold. But suddenly everyone was going “Rosamund, you should take over and open your own gallery.” And she was all like ”Who me?” But then she was all like “Why not?”

After a dozen years, RFG moved to an even bigger, more beautiful gallery—the former Santa Monica Boulevard studio of photographer Tom Kelley, who had taken the Marilyn Monroe nude calendar photo. Inspired by the paintjob on contractor (later gallerist) Frank Lloyd’s pickup, she had the building painted yellow, which eventually inspired Jason Rhoades’ career-making Swedish Erotica and Fiero Parts (1994) installation.


McCarthy’s “Bossy Burger”

Felsen continued staging landmark shows such as McCarthy’s “Bossy Burger” and Jeffrey Vallance “Presents The Richard Nixon Museum” (both 1991), but the art-market crash led her to relocate to Bergamot Station, and an exodus of her star artists to dealers who were more inclined to participate in the emerging global art supermarket. Rosamund’s vision seemed to grow more personal, and she began taking on more woman artists, including non- (or neo-) Angelenos like Joan Jonas and Mary Kelly.

About a year ago, as Bergamot imploded, RFG made an ambitious leap of faith to a newly remodeled space on Santa Fe Avenue, but the art world being the seething vortex of poisonous psychic vampirism that it is, couldn’t support the new venture. Early this summer, it was announced that the next show at RFG would be its last—in its permanent physical space anyway. RFG will continue to represent many of its artists, maintain a virtual presence online, and rematerialize as needed for whatever pop-up or art fair opportunities present themselves. (Which may be the new default mode for art galleries.) But Rosamund’s always been ahead of the curve. What was her assessment of the proto-punk feedback drone pioneers The Velvet Underground back in the summer before the summer of love? “Terrific.” Take that, Cher!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

LESS ART: Is "Jason Bourne" a 123-minute Psychotronic Blipvert for Hillary?!

jason-bourne

I've started a new blog to write reviews about whatever I'm paying attention to at the moment for no money. At first I thought it'd be just short paragraphs -- I was going to tackle the gender essentialism in "Stranger Things" as my first post, but this rambling behemoth would not be contained. And the People need to know!

The He-Man Action Movie Appreciation Society meets monthly to view promising high-budget mainstream shoot-em-ups in the context for which they were designed — big, loud movie theaters (although at $17 for an 11 AM matinee, it’s unlikely we’ll be patronizing the Arclight Pasadena again any time soon! No wonder we were the only ones in the place except for that one guy.) Actually, this was our inaugural screening, so we’ll see if the concept has legs. 
I really loved the first Bourne movie, and the two subsequent entries were satisfying extensions of the premise — I guess I’m a sucker for movies that give people the impression that MKULTRA is some kind of fictional trope. And since I heard Matt Damon had been all “Never again unless it’s a quality project!” I figured this one could be solid. I try not to read reviews before I see a movie, so I had no idea how it had been received out of the gate. I’m actually still pretty much in the dark, though I heard us critics didn’t like it.
I have to say that I’m still processing the experience. In a nearly empty statish-of-the-art theater in row G, with the screen hovering at maximum engulfment eye level, the action was dizzying enough to send my vertigo-prone HMAMAS colleague scurrying to the back row (and apparently the 3D version has been exploding heads in China). But I toughed it out, since I probably haven’t frequented one of these joints in three years or longer, and it’s a formidable sensory environment worth embracing on its own terms...

Read the rest on LESS ART: The Blog!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Dog Looks at Moon in Truck!

"Fear of an Abstract Planet A" (2016)

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See my previously unexhibited face-to-face diptych "Fear of an Abstract Planet" (and other fine contemporary LA art) in a truck driven and curated by the inimitable Michael Gomez Burton TODAY! One Day Only! On the move! See attached schedule... oh wait it's not on there... "MAIDEN LA 2016," TODAY: Happenings and "Art-In-The-Street," 10–11 Gagosian Gallery, 456 N Camden Dr, Beverly Hills, 12–1 Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, 2–3 LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, 5–6 MOCA/ BROAD, 250 & 221 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles

UPDATE: Thanks to Lili Bernard and Marjan Vayghan for these action shots!



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"Fear of an Abstract Planet B" (2016)

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Sunday, July 3, 2016

RFG Movin' On Up

"Approximately two weeks ago, the Rosamund Felsen Gallery completed all of its researches it had set out to do. It has now moved on to its next level of TAW research. This level is beyond anything anyone of us has ever imagined. This level is in fact done in an exterior state. Meaning, that it is done completely exterior from the physical gallery. At this level of TAW, the physical gallery is nothing more than an impediment, an encumbrance to any further gain in TAW. Thus, at 2000 hours Friday, the 9th of July, ARFG 38, the Rosamund Felsen Gallery discarded the physical gallery it had used in this lifetime for 38 years, 10 months, and 11 days. The physical gallery it had used to facilitate its existence in this MEST-OP universe had ceased to be useful and in fact had become an impediment to the work it now must do outside of its confines. It felt it was important, as TAWglodytes, that you were the first to become aware of this fact...The being we knew as the Rosamund Felsen Gallery still exists. However, the physical gallery it had could no longer serve its purposes. This decision was one made at complete cause by the Rosamund Felsen Gallery Although you may feel grief, understand that it did not, and does not now. It has simply moved on to its next step."


M.A. Peers
Collie. 1995
Oil on found sofa upholstery fabric
93 x 96"

Rosamund Felsen Gallery
1923 S. Santa Fe Ave #100
Los Angeles, CA 90021
"Closing Celebratory Show"
Opening: Saturday, July 9th, 2016, 3:00 - 6:00 pm

More: www.rosamundfelsen.com

Friday, July 1, 2016

Drummer, Fiddler, Whatever.


I dreamed I was organizing this huge touring musical installation -- several hundred improvising musicians, all dressed in black, occupying these 3-4 story buildings for a full day, open to the public to wander through. We had just successfully completed a dress rehearsal in our base of operations -- not certain where -- and I was consulting with my field agents about the last few venues to be nailed down. The tour was mostly in Europe, but seemed to focus on islands and peninsulas in Scandinavia and the Eastern Mediterranean. One of my scouts was saying that they had found that the cities on the west side of various geographical areas were riddled with tourists and bad vibes and were more expensive (though that didn't seem to be a concern) but that the east side was relaxed and open and more mysterious, and that they had found appropriate buildings there. We agreed to book those places. One of the musicians came by, and it was Philip Seymour Hoffman (as himself) saying what a great time he was having playing drums. I was thinking maybe I should invite him to join one of my smaller, more continuous bands, and that would stop him from ODing.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Collaborative Re-membering with Michael Arata

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Lazy Susan
Titanik Gallery
Turku, Finland
3.–24.6.2016
Opening 2.6. from 6pm

The group show Lazy Susan curated by Kio Griffith and Ichiro Irie is the inaugural effort by the curatorial collective, QiPO. The show explores the concept of collaboration and its limits with the title, “Lazy Susan” referring to the revolving trays often found in the center of round tables at Chinese restaurants in the United States and elsewhere.

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Extra Credit Jeffrey Vallance Campaign Song #1



Extra Credit Assignment: Write and record a song for the Jeffrey Vallance Now! campaign. This respondent prefers to remain anonymous, but she earned an "A"!


"It’s time for change
I know Jeffrey is definitely strange
but then listen..
he’ll take America into a whole new range

from California, went to CSUN
dressed as janitor, sneaked into museum

been to Italy, been to France
been to Mexico, and Amsterdam

pretty famous, pretty clever
we need him
now more than ever

if you’re still doubting
why still choose him
consider the alternatives
and let art win!"

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

So what are the specs on this baby, Don?

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Specs: Gesso on found photo, 1975, "Decodes" series

All will be revealed tonight!

Artist Conversation: Don Suggs & Doug Harvey
Wednesday Jun 8th at 7 PM
L.A. Louver
45 N Venice Blvd, Venice, California 90291


Specs: TK

Join us for a lively conversation with Don Suggs and writer, critic, curator and artist Doug Harvey in the context of Suggs' current exhibition "Paradise."

The event is free, but space is limited. RSVP via FB, email: rsvp@lalouver.com or phone: (310) 822-4955.

More info here: http://lalouver.com/exhibition.cfm?tExhibition_id=1207

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Two Unique Bootleg LP Covers

Available at the SASSAS auction!

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M.A. Peers
Overcoming Excellence... with Ron Beegle!, 2016 
Acrylic on illustration board with press-type on found LP sleeve 
12.25 x 12.25

-- from a projected series of unsanctioned recordings of motivational business speeches, named after MA's 2002 show at Rosamund Felsen Gallery...

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Doug Harvey
The Shaggs BUDOKAN!, 2016 
Ink on vintage bootleg sleeve 
12 x 12 inches


-- and an actual bootleg cover from the parallel dimension where I am King. Unfortunately the vinyl itself didn’t make it through the wormhole.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

F for FREAK!


F will be performing their first live set of 2016 as "F for Freak" at the opening of 'Hearsay: Artists Reveal Urban Legends' in downtown Los Angeles on Friday May 13th at 8 PM, with projections.

F is a Los Angeles art-rock supergroup whose motto is "Simplicity Through Noise" and who have developed a practice rooted in improvisational ensemble playing using electric guitars (played with rubber mallets and other extended as well as traditional techniques) and vintage synthesizers, in various combinations of three. Their debut album Faüxmish was released Sept 2, 2011 and later this year they will be releasing a limited edition cassette titled FF. F are Daniel Hawkins, Marnie Weber, and Doug Harvey.

Hearsay: Artists Reveal Urban Legends Exhibition
including works by Llyn Foulkes, Jeff Gillette, Naida Osline, Victoria Reynolds, Jim Shaw, Jeffrey Vallance, Marnie Weber, Chris Wilder, Robert Williams, and more!

https://www.facebook.com/events/948052525310796/

Presented by The Arts District Center for the Arts @ LosJoCos Gallery
May 13, 2016 – June 12, 2016
Opening Reception and Book Signing: Friday, May 13, 7-10pm
http://hearsayrevealed.com/

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Friday, April 15, 2016

practice, Practice, practice: June Edmonds: Circle/Curve Series


My latest catablog entry for "practice,Practice, practice," highlighting the work of June Edmonds -- this weekend is your last chance to see this potent mix in the flesh -- don't miss out!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

pPperformance Night!


If you're in the Los Angeles area and in the mood for a different sort of performance art, swing by the Nan Rae Gallery at Woodbury U in Burbank tonight at 8 for an unusual line-up of LA-based performers, in conjunction with "practice, Practice, practice: Abstract Spirituality in Los Angeles Painting, Sculpture and Performance" curated by Doug Harvey.

This evening's unique offerings include Mary Anna Pomonis' blindfolded abstract painting ritual dedicated to the Sumerian Goddess Inanna, a demonstration of advanced yoga asanas by Khang Bao Nguyen accompanied on the mouth organ by Joana Ayala, who will also debut a new body of solo vocal work channeling a divine feminine archetype called MAGA. The evening will conclude with a drone chord organ improvisation by Dani Tull. It promises to be a memorable evening!


UPDATE: Joana Alaya on the mouth harp accompanying Khang Bao Nguyen's yoga demonstration - visit the pPp catablog to see more images from the pPperformance Night!


Sunday, April 3, 2016

Jim Shaw: The Dreams That Stuff Is Made Of

Dream Object ("In a thrift store, I saw a Salvador Dali cartoon book... Then I found a book like box of 40's Dali ties and scarves on cardboard leaves like a distributor's sample box plus a collage with a ground of 40's nude photos & Peter Lorre as...)

"A monochromatic Ionic column emerging from the head of a bearded, twinkly-eyed pagan entity; a bas-relief depicting a giant juvenile delinquent coiffure morphing into a werewolf;  a classroom physiology chart showing a human gastrointestinal tract augmented by six golden trumpets; a poster for a children’s movie about anthropomorphic cake slices visiting Paris; a collage depicting Peter Lorre’s old green head as the moon over a tangled greyscale landscape of hot nudes. How could all this material be dumped by one powered-down cortex?

I’ve heard it suggested on more than one occasion that Jim Shaw’s Dream Drawings and Dream Objects must be some sort of fabrications -- that nobody has dreams that intricate and reference-laden, let alone remember it all. While it would be correct to assume that I  -- as the critic who has probably spilled the most ink regarding Jim’s work   over the years -- share some deep affinities with his idiosyncratic modus operandi, I can’t prove that Jim’s sleeping visions are the real source of the drily repertorial graphic narrative drawings and flamboyantly variegated multi-media objects that bear that designation. 

What I can attest to is that some people do dream and remember in the abundance of richly aesthetic, convolutedly narrative, and absurdly humorous detail that Jim’s Dream work conveys -- because I myself have been blessed and afflicted with the same superfluity of nocturnal emissions -- although I have an excuse: I was a grand mal epileptic between the ages of 13 and 23, so my wiring is configured according to some souped-up electroconvulsive template. 

My last seizure was in my first year at art school, in the library, looking at a thumbnail magazine reproduction of one of Richard Prince’s appropriated cigarette cowboys, thinking I wanted to rephotograph the tiny B&W image, blow it up and present it as my own work. A trapdoor of infinite regression opened in my brain, and I fell through -- past uncountable reappropriations of Marlboro men, into darkness. It would make an excellent Jim Shaw piece!


I’m not suggesting that you have to have electrical storms in your brain to appreciate Jim Shaw’s work (but it helps yuk! yuk! yuk!) In fact, my understanding of this sort of electrochemical difference is that it’s just a slight shift to the side of most peoples’ normal waking consciousness -- which accounts for the tremendous broad spectrum popularity of Shaw’s work across popular culture, the artist’s peers, academia, and the marketplace. Because at some fundamental level, we all recognize that, as Aldous Huxley suggested in “The Doors of Perception,” our minds function as filters, stepping down the torrent of sensory stimuli and ideations to a manageable trickle. Art is the place where it’s safe to open the spigot..."

Read the rest of "The Dreams That Stuff Is Made Of" in the catalog for "Rather Fear God"
current exhibition at Praz-Delavallade & Vedovi in Brussels, Belgium


Image: Jim Shaw, Dream Object ("In a thrift store, I saw a Salvador Dali cartoon book... Then I found a book like box of 40's Dali ties and scarves on cardboard leaves like a distributor's sample box plus a collage with a ground of 40's nude photos & Peter Lorre as...), 2015, paper collage on board, 15 x 20 inches

Saturday, April 2, 2016

THE OL’ FILM FLAM


Ross Lipman, the legendary film restorationist responsible for preserving the cinematic legacies of Bruce Conner, Kenneth Anger, John Cassavetes, and a cluster of forgotten American neorealist gems including “Killer of Sheep” and “The Exiles,” has turned his attention to a more high-profile form of film history with his expansive examination of Irish literary genius Samuel Beckett’s sole foray into the movies --1965’s short silent narrative “Film,” starring Buster Keaton in one of his final screen roles. 

Lipman takes a notoriously opaque 20 minute wordless black & white philosophical chase scene, and unpacks two hours worth of historical context, biographical insights, conceptual musings, and structural poetics into “NOTFILM” (2015), his complex and moving documentary -- also black and white, but rarely wordless (except to emphasize the gorgeous score by Bela Tarr’s main man Mihály Víg). While there’s plenty of down-to-earth making-of grit to feed the viewer’s narrative appetite, the heart of the story is Beckett’s and Keaton’s respective takes on being and nothingness, and who gets to watch.

Charged with the restoration of the avant-garde milestone, Lipman developed a fascination for the work, with its reflexive implications about the ethical and psychological dimensions of cinema, and it’s curious identity as the meeting ground for two diametrically opposed but deeply similar geniuses of 20th century culture. Not to mention cinematographer Boris Kaufman -- Dziga Vertov’s baby brother, and cameraman for all three of anarchist Jean Vigo’s celluloid masterpieces. 

Lipman appears to have developed his obsession just in time, as several of the participants -- particularly Beckett’s go-to actress Billie Whitelaw and Grove Press publisher and “Film” producer Barney Rosset (both creative titans in their own departments) are themselves teetering on the brink of the Void in their interview segments. Rossett, whose flickering memories of a missing prologue to the Beckett short sparked Lipman’s passion, was the source of the missing footage as well as surreptitious audio recordings of the pre-production meetings. These are pretty great, but there isn’t enough to them to justify a feature length deconstruction.

Luckily, Lipman’s scholarship and curiosity are up to the task, and ultimately wind up overshadowing the archival snippets to be the elements of this layered scholarly collage that stick with you after the curtain falls. The balance tips the other way in “Art of the Prank” Andrea Marini’s long-awaited career-spanning overview of the disruptive antics of media prankster Joey Skaggs, whose work holds a mirror up to his medium in a more interventionist way.


It’s not that there’s any lack of historical context, biographical insights, etc. (although there is a scandalous absence of art critical commentary) -- but the wealth of historical documentation delivers the real meat of Skaggs’ practice, next to which any discursive analysis pales. “Art of the Prank” also contains a doozy of a structural poetic as its major plot device -- following the artist through the trials and tribulations of his latest leger-de-brain, which involves stem cells, GMOs, and the very film that is tracking its devious development.

Since the late 1960’s, Skaggs has been planting absurd fake news events into the mainstream media -- often staging elaborate theatrical hoaxes with actors, sets, fake websites and business cards and press releases -- only to pull out the rug at the peak dramatic moment -- to the consternation and embarrassment of the infotainment professionals. Usually the only recourse for big media is to exact revenge through unflattering or distorted profiles (with a muttered retraction of their journalistic sloppiness tacked on somewhere) -- which is why this fair and balanced account is so welcome. 

Skaggs’ conscious practice as a media hoaxster dates back exactly 40 years to April Fool’s Day of America’s Bicentennial year, when he dramatically revealed the fictional nature of his highly publicized “Cat House for Dogs” in court, having been subpoenaed by the Attorney General of the State of New York. That moment was captured on video, and is included in “Art of the Prank” along with archival documentation of the diet-enforcing mercenary Fat Squad, the Fish Condos, Celebrity Sperm Bank, Dog Meat Soup, WALK RIGHT!, Dog Meat Soup, Maqdananda the Psychic Attorney, and Skaggs’ heroic attempt to windsurf from Hawaii to California.

Many of these have unique underlying social or political content -- the subtle critique of the justice system built into The Solomon Project, which allegedly used an NYU law school computer program to find OJ Simpson guilty of murder, for example. But together they comprise a sustained multivalent attack on a culture that nurtures, sustains, exploits, and even enforces the gullibility of the public. One aspect of the story that this film brings to light is how Skaggs’ deceptive practice evolved directly out of young Joey’s frustration at the sluggishness and lack of autonomy in his chosen field as a visual artist. The entire symbolic ocean in which we swim, which most of us take for reality, is revealed to be a fabrication. Or as Joey puts it “If I believe that, what else do I believe that’s total bullshit?”


NOTFILM screens in LA April 1 - 9 at various locations

Art of the Prank screens in LA April 10th at 8 PM presented by Slamdance Cinema Club at the Arclight Hollywood 



Thursday, March 31, 2016

Jack Kirby Panel Transcript Available Now!


Here is a link to the full corrected approved and certified transcript of the Jack Kirby panel discussion I took part in with Scott BukatmanAdam McGovernAndrei Molotiusteve roden, and Ben Saunders last Fall in conjunction with Charles Hatfield's Comic Book Apocalypse: The Graphic World of Jack Kirby -- the first comprehensive museum retrospective of Kirby's work, which was at Cal State Northridge at the time. Thia is a tidied up version of the one appearing in the current issue of the print version of the Jack Kirby Collector, who have made this free article available online here: http://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=108&products_id=1254

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Underwater Treadmill - Conditioning (Portfolio)



Portfolio is a 7-year old Whippet who is involved in a variety of canine sports, such as obedience, nose work, rally, confirmation, & lure coursing. He is working on conditioning his body for these sports.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Gilt Rip


Viewers who encounter my piece Stranger Fruit (for Nazario Conchuza Gonzalez) AKA Gilded Disc®otu m’, (1997/2016, Enamel on mirror tile fabric, polyester fiber fill stuffing, defunct bumble balls) at Nick Brown's "Werewolf" show at Charlie James Gallery are unlikely to remember it from my 1997 solo debut at POST, where it was one component of an "experimental narrative circuit" entitled "St Sebastian Tom Sawyer Cathy Mishima Expo 67," so here's a link to my admittedly skimpy documentation.

Later, in an essay for JOAAP's "Failure" book I described the work thusly:
Descending in tandem from the rafters was the gender-corrected biorchid soft kinetic sculpture Disc®otu m’, a sack of mirror-encrusted fabric containing two motorized vibrating wads of material. I’ve always been puzzled by Duchamp scholars insistence that the title of his last painting Tu m' was an abbreviation of the French expression “Tu m'emmerdes” or “you’re shitting on (bugging) me.” As far as I can tell, it’s just a guess – it could be completed with any French verb starting with a vowel. Why not “Tu m’blank” as in “You blank me,” which, rather than sealing the tomb on painting because of some specific affect (irritation, beshitment, boredom), emphasizes (and probably expresses doubt in the validity of) the very hierarchical subject/object binary model of communication (and by extension reality itself) by which it achieves its agency. Disc®otu m’ in addition to presenting a disembodied teabag of Damocles that visually mimics the geometry-bound domes, was intended to expand Duchamp’s contraction, doubling it with mirrors and subjecting it to seizure. Lazarus, Come forth!


Thursday, February 18, 2016

New Semi-Site Specific Relational Pre-Rotted Painting

"Painting to be Viewed in the Bathroom Mirror in the Morning" 2016, collage and acrylic on found canvas.

I took a break from gilding my precious memories to produce a new painting. MA wasn't very amused. She's not a morning person.