• 2023

  • The Boy and the Heron – Official Trailer

  • The trailer’s description on YouTube reads:

    A young boy named Mahito yearning for his mother ventures into a world shared by the living and the dead. There, death comes to an end, and life finds a new beginning. A semi-autobiographical fantasy about life, death, and creation, in tribute to friendship, from the mind of Hayao Miyazaki.

    Seemingly ominous! It seems to have all the trappings and flow of a classic Miyazaki films. I’m excited for this one to drop. This couldn’t come any sooner. Looks like the US will see a theatrical release in December 8th.

  • Susan Kare’s sketchbooks

  • From Jenny Brewer of It’s Nice That:

    Susan designed the icons for the Macintosh’s graphical user interface. At the time, the notion of a GUI was revolutionary: just a few years prior to the Mac’s release, people could only interface with a computer through arcane commands written in code. By providing an image-based way to execute computer commands, the Macintosh made computers more intuitive and less intimidating. 
    As part of the original Mac team, Kare created some of the first digital fonts, the UI for MacPaint and some of the most persistent icons in computing such as the trash can/bin, the save disk and the smiling Mac. Kare added to the UI an element of friendliness and emotion. The icons that she designed were playful and simple enough to be recognisable to users around the world. 

    I am particularly taken by this image from Kare’s sketchbooks. A beautiful icon. Strikingly simple, yet infinitely complex. An icon that gave birth to thousands if not millions more since.

  • Lucasfilm’s 1983 image, The Road to Point Reyes took one month to render

  • From The Computer Museum:

    One of the most significant static images in the history of computer graphics, The Road to Point Reyes is one of Lucasfilm’s most important early projects. Begun in 1983, Rob Cook directed the image and conceived the scene, while Alvy Ray Smith, Loren Carpenter, Tom Porter, Bill Reeves, and David Salesin provided various elements including shading, hidden surface routines, and fractals. The single image, which Smith has described as a ‘one-frame Movie,’ took a month to render, and was eventually displayed at The Computer Museum in Boston.

  • 2021

  • Oneohtrix Point Never and Oism

  • I’m a big Oneohtrix Point Never fan. Those who know me well, know that. Now, you dear reader, know this about me as well. Welcome to the inner circle.

    I was listening to Age Of the other day, and it stuck me that cover art is really something else. It really drew me in to inspect it a bit closer. At first glance, kinda witch-y, kinda cult-y, cool! I dug in further. A quick Google revealed the painting featured on the cover of Age Of is by an artist who’s name is Jim Shaw.

    Age Of Cover Art, Oneohtrix Point Never / Warp Records. 2018

    I kept digging and found some details of the original painting at artresearchmap.com. Check it out:

    Jim Shaw, The Great Whatsit, 2017
    acrylic on muslin, 53 x 48 inches, 134.6 x 121.9 cm.
    Jim Shaw. Installation view, 2017. Metro Pictures, New York.

    Some of Jim’s other work is pretty spectacular too. Check out the rest of Jim Shaw’s 2017 exhibition. This fleshy acrylic Head is just a marvel to look at. It’s haunting, disturbing and just glistens. Can’t look away.

    Jim Shaw, Head, 2017
    Foam, aqua resin, acrylic paint, and synthetic hair with metal base
    34 1/2 x 12 x 12 inches, 87.6 x 30.5 x 30.5 cm

    Shaw’s artwork seems to simmer in dense crockpot of American pop culture. Ripe with metaphors and symbolism, the musical motifs are certainly interesting to behold. Simon Lee Gallery has a great excerpt that captures Shaw’s penchant perfectly:

    Shaw’s ongoing project Oism contains a narrative core and ironically challenges the norms of an artwork. Marking Shaw’s attempt to create a functioning religion, complete with its own history, totems and traditions, Oism is drawn from profound and far-reaching research initiated in the early 1990s into the history of American religious practice and finds inspiration in the messianic cults active in America’s Bible belt. The creation and study of Oism has fuelled a wide range of artworks-cum-artefacts, and includes, amongst others, paintings, photographs, sculptures, collages, posters, films and musical instruments.

    Whoo. I’ll say! The Great Whatsit, is certainly effective pursuit of his Oism narrative. The Sunday school hymnal-esque illustration of singing women, bathed in MacBook sunbeams perfectly evokes the Warner Sallman white Jesus brand, with a hint of psychedelic vibes. If you ask me, Shaw hit the nail on the head. American culture on a spectrum. Both searching for a messiah, burning the candle at both ends.

    If we want to go deeper, Daniel Lopatin’s string choice for the title track, is a Hapsichord. Apart from snapping so fucking hard as an intro (it’s so good), it really sets the tone as a meditative album from the get-go. I just love the marriage between Oism and 0PN. It’s almost like they’re teasing a sort of recommended set-and-setting for this album. Such a strong connection that can’t be ignored, between these two artists. It’s perfect.

    Furthermore, Lopatin’s MYRIAD sets were literally mind-bending, world shattering Oism concerts. I mean just look at this. These fellas know exactly what they’re doing. Building myths, stories and tales forged in music and wonder. One of a kind stuff here. Excelsior.

  • 2020

  • Influential contemporay abstract artist, John Baldessari has died at 88

  • Jori Finkel at the New York Times writes:

    John Baldessari, the influential conceptual artist who helped transform Los Angeles into a global art capital through his witty image-making and decades of teaching there, died on Thursday at his home in the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles. He was 88. […]

    Mr. Baldessari majored in art education at San Diego State College and earned a master’s degree in art there. In short order he took jobs teaching art in junior high school, community college and in an extension program before joining the faculty of University of California, San Diego. He spent one summer teaching teenagers at a camp for juvenile delinquents run by the California Youth Authority; he would joke that he had been hired only because of his size — an imposing 6 foot 7 inches.

    His artwork at the time, which he was just beginning to show in Los Angeles galleries, was moving in a more philosophical direction. In 1968, already distancing himself from painting, he reproduced a cover for Artforum magazine featuring a Frank Stella canvas, hiring a sign painter to add a caption below it: “This is not to be looked at.”

    Love that. Baldessari was a die-hard Duchamp fan. He leaned into that hilarious realm, art on the edge.

    He famously gave himself sharp inward critiques of his work and the artworld itself with his Cremation Project. Specifically, he cremated his traditional works, and later folded them into cookie dough at an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. Destruction as a catharsis it seems, can be very important. While controversial, it was highly symbolic.

    Photo: Artiris

    Here’s a fantastic photo from the New Museum archive:

    John Baldessari chatting with Marcia Tucker (founder of the New Museum). Behind them is a work from one of my favorite photographers, Nic Nicosia. Source: Instagram (@newmuseum)

  • Syd Mead, designer and artist of future worlds, dies at 86

  • Neil Genzlinger reporting for The New York Times:

    Syd Mead, a designer whose wide-ranging work included envisioning vehicles of the future as well as helping to shape the look of environments in movies like “Blade Runner,” “Tron” and “Aliens,” died on Monday at his home in Pasadena, Calif. He was 86.

    His spouse, Roger Servick, said the cause was lymphoma.

    Mr. Mead started out in the car business, designing for Ford. By 1970 he had founded his own firm, Syd Mead Inc., and had a wide range of clients, working on architectural interiors and exteriors, restaurants, catalogs and more.

    I never knew he began his career at Ford. That’s pretty rad, and it shows. His depictions (or visions?) of vehicles and transport are honest and divine.

    Aliens and Blade Runner’s sterile living environments, dank off-world Weyland-Yutani industrial complexes, and the jagged colonial spacescapes gripped my young imagination like a face-hugger. I doubt any of Ridley Scott’s motion pictures would be the same without Mead’s futuristic conceptual input. I mean look at this stuff:

    Syd Mead is a very well respected conceptual designer and artist, whose work has influenced multiple generations of sci-fi creators and artists for decades. Tendrils of his work can be found alive and well in the far-away worlds in Hollywood. Obviously his most notable breakout was Blade Runner. Just look anywhere beyond off-world. Moon, Guardians of the Galaxy, the Star Wars franchise, Interstellar and even Pixar films such as WALL·E are a few notable areas where Hollywood really latched onto Mead’s futuristic visions: floating colonies, shiny white airlocks, moody AI, light-cycles, damp neon-lit cities, levitating transports and of course Cyber Trucks.

    Godspeed Syd. You’ll be missed.

  • 2019

  • Donald Judd’s Furniture

  • Donald Judd, was a truly wonderful artist. He was a Texan, a self-proclaimed minimalist (many attribute the term’s ubiquity and elevated definition to his contributions). He was a pioneer in fabrication methods, a prolific furniture designer, and finally an architect.

    Judd once purchased a beautiful cast-iron, five-story building at 101 Spring Street, in New York City and it still stands today. It’s where his foundation is currently headquartered in New York. His work, (such as the one pictured below) is transcendent, stimulating ephemeral works. Often bold, they create little spaces and jettison outward from walls or floors with sharpness and arresting hues:

    Untitled, 1991. Donald Judd. Photo via David Zwirner.

    While Judd died in 1994, tragically from lymphoma (fuck cancer), the Judd Foundation lives on. It is a non-profit, dedicated to preserving and maintaining the life and works of Donald Judd. The foundation also happens to offer scholastic programs and internships to practicing artists. They even have some of Judd’s furniture design fully fabricated for sale. Sales benefit the foundation’s mission and helps keep the lights on. Some pieces in particular are quite striking:

    I don’t know about you, but most of these are just completely divine. I highly recommend visiting the shop here, and check out the rest of the catalog.

  • Arcade Game Typography

  • I have nothing but praise for those who study niche topics like these. Toshi Omagari of MonoType, studied typography at Musashino Art University in Tokyo. He’s worked alongside big brands like H&M, and he’s previously contributed to Google Noto, and more notably introduced Tibetan Script support to Google Noto which is spectacular work. He helped resurrect Metro Nova from the dead.

    Omagari has a limited-release book coming out (sufficed to say, it’s already sold-out but you can buy the paperback version here on Amazon). He has meticulously researched the wonderfully niche topic of video game typography and it’s freaking awesome:

    The first book of its kind – a definitive and beautifully designed survey of ’70s, ’80s and early ’90s arcade game pixel typography. Exhaustively researched by author Toshi Omagari (a celebrated typeface designer at Monotype UK) Arcade Game Typography gathers together 250 pixel typefaces, all carefully chosen, extracted, redrawn and categorised by style, and each with an accompanying commentary by Omagari. The title also features 4 illustrated essays on videogame typography theory and practice, documenting the unique advantages and challenges presented to designers of these bold, playful and often quirky alphabets.

    A beautifully produced celebration of the eclectic typography featured in hit games such as Super Sprint, Pac-Man, After Burner, Marble Madness, Shinobi, as well as countless lesser-known gems. Unlike print typefaces, pixel type often has colour ‘baked in’ to its characters, so Arcade Game Typography looks unlike any other typography book, fizzing with life and colour.

    Love this bit about the original 1978 Space Invaders typography (image below):

    The original game, and most of the clones, featured the above typeface, copied from Tank 8 with a minor modification to M.

    Photos via Read-Only Memory
    Left page: RoboCop 2 (Data East/1991), Captain America and the Avengers (Data East/1991)
    Right page: Spider-man: the Video Game (Sega/1991), Xexex (Konami/1991), X-men (Konami/1992)
  • 100 Drone Light Show

  • Firefly is a company focused on delivering highly choreographed drone shows for venues, performances and entertainment. It takes a lot of time and money to get FAA certified these days for piloting a single drone. Programming a fleet of these is really remarkable, and takes some serious planning and skill. If you ask me, this much much cooler than a fireworks show.

  • Physichromie 1868

  • Physichromie 1868
    Carlos Cruz Diez, (17 August 1923 – 27 July 2019)
    Chromography on Aluminium, 100 x 150 cm

    Image via Abstracted Distractions. Sadly, Carlos Cruz Diez passed away this past July, but his incredible work will continue to live on. If you’re interested to see more of his colorful and vibrant works, you can view most of his work here.

  • The Mask of Sorrow

  • Image via Wikipedia, Сергей Ковалев

    From Wikipedia:

    [The Mask of Sorrow] is a monument perched on a hill above MagadanRussia, commemorating the many prisoners who suffered and died in the Gulag prison camps in the Kolyma region of the Soviet Union during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. […]

    It consists of a large concrete statue of a face, with tears coming from the left eye in the form of small masks. The right eye is in the form of a barred window. The back side portrays a weeping young woman and a headless man on a cross. Inside is a replication of a typical Stalin-era prison cell. Below the Mask of Sorrow are stone markers bearing the names of many of the forced-labor camps of the Kolyma, as well as others designating the various religions and political systems of those who suffered there.

    Image via Tumblr, @Yojimbows
  • Treasures in the Trash

  • New York has an entrenched and somewhat mystical entanglement with waste management over the course of its history. For the past 34 years, Nelson Molina, a former DSNY worker has collected and maintained an incredible (but unofficial) museum of 45,000 collected objects that were thrown out to the curb by New Yorkers. The short which follows Molina, offers us a glimpse of the collection. The short is titled, Treasures in the Trash and is directed by New York based filmmaker, Nicolas Heller.

    My favorite line from Molina is so poetic:

    Before you throw something out, think about. Everything can have a home.

    Since the museum resides inside an active garage for the Department of Sanitation, it’s not open to the public. But, that could all change with your help! From the video’s description:

    The collection is not open to the public since it is in an active garage, but our hope is to get a proper space with the help of this film. Please visit nycstrongest.org/future-museum to donate!

    According to Atlas Obscura, you can also email tours@dsny.nyc.gov to schedule a private tour of the MANEAST11 garage’s collection.

  • Cugurt

  • I’m especially proud of this one. I was honored to be one of the production assistants on set for this short film. In fact, one of the shot locations happened to be at my old apartment in Brooklyn! It had a particularly remarkable set of stairs. Overall, it was a lot of fun and I was thrilled to be part of this (thanks Rico!).

    If you ever get a chance to work on a short film, take it. It’s so rewarding to help make a script come to life.

    Now, onto the main attraction. Cugurt is directed by Rico Turrubiarte, produced by Kaitlin Scott and the Director of Photography is Rachel Anne Klein — all dear friends of mine. A brief synopsis:

    After the death of his only friend, a lonesome man finds happiness in a mysterious pizza delivery.

    Enjoy the show!

  • Sculptures of Stuff Crafted From Brightly Colored Paper

  • Okay. This… is just mind-blowingly cool. Just take a peak at this super cute bowl of pasta! The bowl, the fork, the pasta, the veggies… I just can’t. It’s too good. The quality alone has me spellbound, and for whatever reason — reminds me of Katamari Damacy gameplay.

    Love these little vignettes. The pastels and compositions of appliances remind me of the vintages ads General Electric and Amana used to run in the 1960s.

    Still feeling hungry, huh? Take a bite out of this tasty pizza!

    You can see all of her images in this series, here at Colossal. Alternatively, you can visit Lee Ji-Hee’s website here for the entire catalog of her work, or follow her Instagram.

  • Where Are All the Bob Ross Paintings?

  • Probably one of the most uplifting, succinct, emotionally touching and truly thoughtful piece of video journalism I’ve seen in 2019. Bob Ross has touched just about everyone on planet Earth. Nearly three decades after his untimely death in 1995, everyone seems to want to know — where are all the Bob Ross paintings now?

  • A Forgotten Ben Enwonwu Painting Resurfaces in a Texas Attic

  • Ciku Kimeria for Quartz writes:

    Imagine finding an almost-forgotten portrait of your mother in your family house, doing a Google search on the artist’s name and discovering that what you own is a precursor to the artist’s best-known work that sold in 2018 for $1.6 million.
    This is exactly what happened very recently to one of the members of the Davis family in Texas.

    The portrait, Christine, is the latest remarkable find of work by one of the most revered African artists of the 20th century, Ben Enwonwu. The captivating sitter is Christine Elizabeth Davis, an American hair stylist of West Indian descent.

    Christine travelled a lot in her life, working in Ghana before moving to Lagos with her British husband in 1969. There, they befriended Enwonwu and Christine’s husband commissioned the work as a gift for his wife in 1971 before they eventually moved back to the US a few years later.

    What a remarkable discovery!

    I love tales of once-lost-paintings resurfacing. It’s pretty rare for these things to happen, and oddly enough this is the second time Enwonwu’s work has been re-discovered this way.

    For the uninitiated, Ben Enwonwu was a Nigerian sculptor and painter — he’s a notable artist who’s probably most known for his contributions to African modernity in Art History. He created incredible public works, has an impressive array of paintings, and was a celebrated artist not only by the Royal Society of British Artists, but around the globe.

    As the Quartz article points out, the portrait, is of Christine Elizabeth Davis. She moved to Lagos in 1969 and befriended Enwonwu. Later, during the 1975 military coup, the Davis family left Lagos, Nigeria and moved to the States and settled in Texas. The painting had been in the family’s possession since its last exhibition in 1978.

  • Haruki Murakami’s Epiphany

  • From The Age:

    As a teenager, Murakami had read “all the great authors” – Dostoevsky, Kafka, Flaubert, Dickens, Raymond Chandler. He spent his lunch money on pop and jazz records. He wanted a lifestyle that guaranteed maximum exposure to the warmth of Western books and music, so he opened a jazz club where the music was too loud for conversation and read books at the bar until his customers considered him anti-social.

    And then there was an epiphany. “Yes, epiphany is the word,” he says.

    It is, he says, the only truly weird thing that has ever happened to him. He was watching a baseball game between the Yakult Swallows and the Hiroshima Carp one day in April 1978. A US player called Dave Hilton hit the first ball way out into left field. And at that extraordinary moment, Murakami realised he could write a novel.

    I began reading 1Q84 a little over a year ago (I’m a slow reader, and admittedly horrible at starting books and not finishing them). I don’t have a long-form review of 1Q84 (other than you should go read it), but I think it’s worth picking up. So, I won’t claim to know or fully understand Murakami’s entire catalogue. But they are ensconced in beautiful and complex vistas I crave to visit and know. Parallels, strange events, pregnant mysteries and enigmatic characters that are his hallmarks — and they are fun.

    I just love Murakami’s apocryphal “epiphany.” Not only is it an apt for the author, but it should be more widely known that Japanese Baseball is 100% more badass than the American League.

    PS: this ultra-rare version of 1Q84 produced by the international imprint, Harvill Secker is absolutely stunning:

    1Q84 used to be produced in three volumes, but now it is commonly bound as one. The iconic cover and jacket, was designed by Chip Kidd, the same creative genius who designed the infamous Jurassic Park jacket:

    Photo by @swallace99

  • Kintsugi

  • Example of Kintsugi repair using the Crack method.

    From mymodernmet.com:

    Kintsugi art dates back to the late 15th century. According to legend, the craft commenced when Japanese shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa sent a cracked chawan—or  tea bowl—back to China to undergo repairs. Upon its return, Yoshimasa was displeased to find that it had been mended with unsightly metal staples. This motivated contemporary craftsmen to find an alternative, aesthetically pleasing method of repair, and Kintsugi was born.

    There are three types of joinery available in Kintsugi:

    • Crack – using gold resin, lacquer or dust to fill
    • Piece method – there may be a missing ceramic altogether, and is replaced entirely with gold/lacquer
    • Joint call – ceramic piece replacement via a non-matching fragment and gold lacquer to achieve a patchwork effect
    Piece-method example: wordsofwomen.com
    Joint-call method: mymodernmet.com
  • Mike Tyson Deepfaked into the Family Matters Intro

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvHBJwZuIpA

    You really don’t need all that much horsepower these days to create decent deepfake. This Family Matters intro, deepfaked with Mike Tyson as the subject, is a pretty fantastic comedy piece. But scary when considering the political implications this technology has.

    This video was created by @drfakenstein, check out hit Instagram and his YouTube channel for more.

  • Paul Kirps Terminal

  • From Paul Kirps website:

    Fake cash distributor (Bancomat, Atm). Conceived and produced for the “Ceci n’est pas un Casino”, group show held at the Casino – Forum d’art contemporain in Luxembourg (1 May – 5 September 2010). Terminal was also on show at the Villa Merkel in Esslingen (14 November 2010 – 13 February 2011), and at the MoMA in New York (24 July – 7 November 2011).

  • Three Persons, Two Cities, One Feeling

  • From IndieWire:

    Once upon a time, filmmakers Spike Jonze and Sofia Coppola were married. While fitting the dreams of film hipster heaven, their marriage ended long before the Internet could freak out about their seemingly perfect union, not unlike the way it did during the twee super marriage of Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard and Zoe Deschanel (it, too, didn’t last). “It’s not Spike,” Coppola insisted in 2003 about Giovanni Ribisi’s portrayal of a character in “Lost In Translation” many felt was a dig at her ex-husband. “But there are elements of him there, elements of experiences. There are elements of me in all the characters.”

    Jorge Luengo Ruiz (@jorge_luengo) created this excellent video, a splicing of Lost in Translation and Her. It’s gives me chills to see the parallels between the two directors. The cinematic symmetry is delicious, and yet heartbreaking at the same time:

  • Sally West’s Beach Studies

  • I’ve been wanting to share this artist’s work on my blog for a long time. So long in fact, I don’t even remember how I came across her paintings in the first place.

    Sally West is an oil painter who lives and works in Australia. She has some pretty killer work, but her beach studies have recently blown me away. They’re just deliciously weighty, and the folds of thick dabs of oil produce a dance of motion I really enjoy. If I could afford to buy paintings, Sally West would probably be one of my first fine art purchases. Here’s some of her beach studies from her recent Surf & Snow series:

    If you’re interested in learning more about Sally West, check out KAB Gallery’s blog post on her work.

  • American Interiors

  • Photos from the artist website, and Hyperallergic.

    Given that Americans spend more time in their cars than on vacation. American vehicles are literally, a dashboard confessional for many, others an elysium.

    From M L Casteel’s website:

    American Interiors depicts the psychological repercussions of war and military service through images of the interiors of cars owned by veterans in the USA. 

    While some car interiors paint a grim, even bleak picture of veteran life — others are more interesting. Some are quite lively, and a reminder that our lives are complicated. Our country’s system is in shambles. The nightmares of country’s skirmishes and campaigns abroad that persist on were not created, nor are dealt with equally. I applaud anyone who can deal with the horrors of war.

    I believe Casteels photography shines a light on problem in America that no one is willing to talk about: plainly, America doesn’t care about their veterans. We build monuments to honor them and praise their services but when it comes time to write a check, raise taxes or give our veterans the medical/psychological help they need — no one is willing to help.

    I really hope the private citizen sentiment changes in my lifetime. M L Casteel’s book compiling his photography of veteran’s car interiors over a five-year period, can be purchased from Amazon.

  • James Turrell’s Skyspace at MoMA PS1 is in Danger

  • From the MoMA PS1 exhibit site.

    From Gothamist:

    For decades, artist James Turrell has been synonymous with disintegrating the boundaries between space and light, especially within his Skyspace installations peppered throughout the world. Turrell’s New York-based Skyspace installation, titled Meeting, is permanently housed inside of MoMA PS1 in Long Island City—the first of his in the United States, it has been there since 1980. There you come face to face with a rectangular hole in the ceiling, an unobstructed aperture revealing a sublime slice of sky. It’s framed by undulating LED lights, changing in tune with the evening sun’s movements; the sky, and everything around you, appears to shift optically. We don’t need to tell you how rare it is to find this space, and a brief moment to breathe, in the city.

    Which is why we were disappointed when we received a tip from one of our readers, who had recently visited PS1 and noticed something creeping into Meeting. The obstruction, pictured in the photograph above, seems to be protruding from the gargantuan high-rises going up across the street from PS1, at 22-44 Jackson Avenue. These two residential buildings, which replaced the former legendary graffiti haven 5Pointz, are also called 5Pointz and will house 1,115 units total (including 223 affordable housing units) when they’re finished.

    Meeting, is an beautiful, breathtaking Skyspace work from James Turrell. Visit any of his works, and I think you’ll have an enjoyable experience. An artist, who no doubt has a special and deep cultural significance in American Art. In my opinion, Turrell sits upon the echelon of other great American artists such as Richard Serra, Warhol, Stephen Shore or Willem de Kooning (and many, many others to name).

    As reported by Gothamist, his work, Meeting is in danger of destruction. Thankfully, it appears that the scaffolding of the new apartments, are only visible for now. The 5Pointz Apartments building will not be visible within the portal of Turrell’s work when construction completes. The razing of which the previous 5Pointz graffiti complex is an entirely separate, albeit equally as tragic and troubling incident as well.

    Furthermore, Turrell’s works are constantly caught in the crossfire of hyper-development high-rises. In fact, a housing high-rise claimed a Turrellian victim once before — in my hometown of Dallas, Texas:

    […] The neighborly agreement they had allegedly worked out was that the Museum Tower structure wouldn’t go above 20 stories, so as to not interfere with the sculpture center’s aesthetic vibe. However, it seems that after Nasher died in 2007 there was a redesign, and the eventual building now stands some 40 stories tall.

    Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to gain access inside “Tending (Blue)” for a peek at the “destroyed” view.  The sign on a sandwich board outside it read:

    Because a clear view of the sky from the interior of “Tending (Blue)” is now obstructed by Museum Tower, the artist, James Turrell, has declared the work destroyed.

    What happened at the Nasher Sculpture Center was a down-right tragedy, a cautionary-tale (we should hope), a robbery of culture, and a rape of art. I am holding my breath for the Turrell installation at MoMA PS1. All we can do now is hope for the PS1 installation’s survival.


  • 2018

  • A man about to cross a street in downtown El Paso, Texas

    Casual America: Stephen Shore

  • Stephen Shore is a languished expert of the American portrait. He has always held a special place in my heart. His work is sublime, relaxed and so beautiful to look at. Shore’s work just captivates me. His photography reads like a journal, and that’s something I think we can all empathize with.

    Watching TV in a sunbathed motel
    Room 125 West Bank

    I was probably 15 years old when I initially discovered Shore’s photographs. I completely fell in love with his color prints when I was able to get my hands on a book from my local library on The Factory.

    A bathtub partially filled with water in a motel
    Room 115, Holiday Inn, Belle Glade, Florida, November 14, 1977

    Being a young teenager in the new millennium, I was enamored by Pop Art, and completely devoured any books I could find on the subject. It was all so compelling. These young men and women were completely exploring a new world of art. Subsidized by their wits, cigarettes, chasing fame and drugs — nothing was sacred. Shore was the de-facto documentarian, and an expert in his craft by the age of 14 nonetheless. There was something dignified but unfiltered about his photography of The Factory. Purely raw, and a real thrill to thumb through. You could just hear the echoing transistor radio amidst the cigarette smoking workers.

    A woman smoking a cigarette on a patio
    Susan Hoffman, Dallas, TX, June 12, 1976

    Examining some of his photographs from 1974, I felt as if I was in the passenger seat with him. Peering deeply into the few gloss prints I could find in the Time-Life tomes, I saw myself — I saw my father’s amateur photography and my aunt’s artwork as a portal to expression. Something I think I had struggled with growing up. My self-doubt over my own crude artwork began to wash away with every desolate and sublime photo. I realized the importance of process and adventure.

    A woman in a lounge chair alone on a Miami beach
    Miami Beach, FL,November 13, 1977

    Later, in college I revisited Shore’s work for a class assignment. It couldn’t have been more timely either. I had just gone through a traumatic time dealing with failure. It was as if, I just picked up where I left off with him. Looking back, working on that research project was extremely cathartic. His work served as a reminder of persistence. I can’t be certain exactly what it was, but Shore’s photography really helped me press onward. But of course, with all things in our youth — time passed, and I moved on.

    A four way intersection, meat shop and cars on the street
    20th St. & Spruce St., Philadelphia, PA, June 21, 1974

    I still haven’t seen a print of Shore’s in person. However that may change soon enough, as he has an exhibition at the MoMa going on until May 28th. Since moving to New York City in the beginning of 2017, I’ve been lucky to experience some incredible collections at many of the city’s wonderful art museums. From Kara Walker to Georgia O’Keeffe, the spectrum of work on display are pretty varied here. I love it.

    A building in downtown Fort Worth, Texas
    Taylor Street, Fort Worth, TX, June 13, 1976

    Shore’s deliberate choice to use large-format cameras and delicate subject matter seems so nonchalant and ethereal. But it feels as though it was shot on a small point-and-shoot. There’s something so casual and fleeting in frame.

    I think a few filmmakers and directors of photography have taken cues from Shore — purposely or not. Notably and in no particular order: David Lynch, Guillermo del Toro, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, Wes Anderson, Robert Yeoman, and of course the Coen Brothers.

    A man about to cross a street in downtown El Paso, Texas
    El Paso Street, El Paso, TX,July 5, 1976

    What makes the mundane so compelling here? Perhaps it’s that life moves so fucking fast. Shore’s photography provides a reprieve, a deep breath and a moment to reflect.

    Have you ever been on a roadtrip? The scenery changes so quickly we don’t have time to digest. The ephemeral hand-painted signs, or the cashier behind the counter at the gas station, the brass knobs on a door, or the  meticuloustephen.newsd soaps in your motel — just quick flashes in the grand scheme. Taken for granted and forgotten.

    A quaint building in Maine.
    Bridge Street, Mexico, Maine, July 30, 1974

    This is probably why Instagram is a such a popular photo sharing network. Everything is important. Stacked upon the previously important snapshot. A rich slice of life, that everyone can take part of. Perhaps, Shore’s lasting impact on the American landscape wasn’t the culmination of Uncommon Places, but instead merely the plated food photograph. The original Instagramer.

    Palm Beach, FL, November 8, 1977