Archive for June, 2007
A friend asked me to watch PBS’s Expose program and the program actually made me very angry.Â Prine strikes me as an uncritical, ultra-conservative, obsessive individual .Â Rather than questioning the terror based fear machine that the Bush administration has engendered since 9/11 leading to an illegal war, he’s the fear machine’s head publicist in the gateway to the mid-West, Pittsburgh.Â The work is great if it leads to getting rid of unnecessaryÂ chemicals and hazards, but that isn’t his agenda.Â He is searching for more elements that will stir fear and concern amongst people.Â Fear that has already allowed massive death through an illegal and misguided war.
He wasn’t satisfied with fermenting fear in the US middle states, so then he goes off to participate in a ridiculous war and he thinks he’s helping to bring down al qaeda when he’s probably just fanning the anger and hatred toward the US from poor people with little recourse.Â It’s as if this man has been brain washed by every ultra-conservative perspective that clear thinking people have finally begun to question.Â Now he’s apparently returned to the US with self-righteousness over having participated in an ill conceived war that had nothing to do with 9/11 to find a new vehicle of fear – the trains!Â Carl Prine reflects the sort of ignorance that I would expect PBS to not support.
The keynote speech by Exxon and National Petroleum Council (NPC) executives at GO-EXPO, Canada’s largest oil conference, introduced Vivoleum, a macabre ploy to use human dead to produce fuel.
NPC representative stated: “We’re not talking about killing anyone.Â We’re talking about using them after nature has done the hard work. After all, 150,000 people already die from climate-change related effects every year. That’s only going to go up – maybe way, way up. Will it all go to waste? That would be cruel.”
Yesterday, I stepped into David Zwirner not expecting to see anything exciting, but as I turned the corner of the initial gallery, I was taken aback by the gigantic, beautiful watercolors of Yan Pei-Ming.Â The first gallery had one huge oil painting, which had good energy, but wasn’t anything particularly exciting, but the 5 by 9 foot watercolors on paper organized in grids that gave them context and even greater heroic scale than the individual oil paintings are great!
Part of what I love about these are the exact draftsmanship from a distance and the abstraction formed by the droplets and pools of watercolor as one approaches the paintings.
I think that painting is most exciting when abstraction is collapsed into graphic representation to create rich textures which these watercolors accomplish.
I also enjoy new takes on portraiture that present political or social undertones, in this case reflections of social and civic power.Â Yan Pei-Mings paintings at David Zwirner come down this weekend.
I once did an artist residency in Poland where I got to know the artists Piotr Parda who now lives in Boston. Over the years we’ve kept in touch and I’ve become a bigger and bigger fan of his work for its humor, ingenuity and wit.
Upon first arriving to the states, Piotr made his living as a children’s book illustrator and he recently used his gift of illustration to create new Google icons that reflect ongoing conflicts and disasters. The piece titled “ON OCCASION” takes the usual Google icon manipulations to celebrate major US holidays a provoking step further. Piotr transforms perhaps the most pervasive online icon into a momentary reflection of the world we live in with illustrations that allude to Darfur, Neo-Nazis, KKK and AIDS. Piotr’s site archives his work over the years.