EVENT: Pablo Helguera: The Juvenal Players @ NYC’s The Kitchen

I first discovered Pablo Helguera when I came upon his book,  The Pablo Helguera Manual of Contemporary Art/ Style in a museum giftshop. I found it charming and witty, if rather poorly edited, and, imagining he needed a better editor, I decided to look him up and offer my services. I found him on facebook, mind you and, I found that he was a very serious artist with some very ambitious artistic goals. So heavy seemed his agenda, that I was intimidated and did not offer my services.

After friending him and communicating a little, I found that he was putting together an incredibly audacioius book of cartoons about the artworld. The book, Published in 2009, is ARTOONS and it is a perfect gem. There will be a sequel.

Mr. Helguera has, in fact, published many books, produced numerous lectures and essays, put on many ambitious performance and interdisciplinary art shows, and is, in fact, an all around artist’s artist.

His latest endeavor, which he posted today on facebook, is The Juvenal Players, Helguera’s latest experiment with merging performance art and theatre. Taking his marching orders from Juvenal, who’s satire exposed the hypocracies of Roman society and politics, Helguera’s play seeks to “interrogate our current cultural, political, and social moment and the role of art-making within it.”

The Juvenal Players makes it’s New York premier on Friday, April 23rd at the Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street. Tickets: $10

See the listing on the Kitchen site

Reality and Performance Collide at The Kitchen
–Encore Magazine


Pablo Helgueara’s Website


Permission to Match the Sofa!

Glass Vases
IKEA eat yer heart out

Art Market Monitor’s Roberta Maneker reports that last night’s opening of  13th Annual New York edition of Chicago’s SOFA (Sculpture Objects & Functional Art) at the Park Avenue Armory was a huge success.

Throngs of joyful visitors plunked down the big bucks for colorful home-enhancing fare, with glass items stealing the show this year.

Following such great success, the show will continue for an extra optomistic day, closing on Monday, April 19th.

OPINION | Mr. Brainwash: Ce n’est pas un Banksy

There’s a sucker born every minute.
~ P.T. Barnum

Mr. Brainwash always has paint on his hand.

Banksy’s latest assault is Exit Through the Gift Shop, a mockumentary or fauxdoc, perhaps, that alleges to be about one Mr. Brainwash, aka Thierry Guetta, madman filmmaker and god-awful artist.

Guetta, is, apparently a nutter who attached himself to the famous street artist, following him (and other notable street artists) around for ten years or so and obtaining enough undesirable footage to force Banksy pay some attention. When he did, the story goes, he turned the camera on Guetta himself  and told him to go make his own art.

Continue reading “OPINION | Mr. Brainwash: Ce n’est pas un Banksy”

Bloomberg Administration: Curb Your Artists!

Stop Harassing the Artists
Anticipating a battle with city officials, artists in Union Square have begun posting these bold yellow signs. Pic from SawLady's Blog

In 1996 Rudy Giuliani‘s notoriously art-hating administration tried to curb the growing number of street vending artists by requiring permits for sidewalk sales. A federal appeals court decided that the art fell under First Amendment protection, and the artists won the day.

Now the Bloomberg administration is planning to set new regulations geared toward reducing the number of vendors that can occupy public park space at any given time. Apparently the goal is to reduce their numbers by as much as 80% in Central Park, Union Square and Battery Park, as well as on the New High Line Park.

Continue reading “Bloomberg Administration: Curb Your Artists!”

Bonhams, Sotheby’s Betting on a Revived Interest in Islamic Art

This morning, Kelly Crow, writing for SPEAKEASY (a WSJ blog) , informed us that Bonhams is set to offer 20 pieces by Iranian artists, in a May sale. The Latin American art sale includes some popular and some emerging Iranian artists, with works expected to sell for as much as $120,000.

Meantime, Sotheby’s has announced that its April Arts of the Islamic World Sale took in $23.8 million, setting a record for, as they put it, “any sale of Islamic art.”

Quote of the Day: Matt Collings on Private Viewings

This is an old one, from Matthew Collings’ book, Blimey:

“Private views are emotionally quite intense, although the emotions are never expressed, they just go on in your head. On the outside you appear normal and go around saying Hi! brightly, or, Hmm, that’s interesting. But inside you are reeling. The shocks come fast and hard. Regular private view goers have disintegrated personalities and are suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome.”

Why Sotheby’s Matters

Business Insider’s Joe Weisenthal says Sotheby’s matters because “Because it’s the ultimate bubble stock, moving violently up and down throughout its history, always making super-sharp peaks right before the economy becomes unglued.”

Says, Weisenthal, “The good news is that if long term history is any guide, the next bubble that’s forming will be even more ridiculous and higher than the last.”

Sotheby's Bubbles
Business Insider's Chart Showing Sotheby's Stock "Bubbles"

ADDENDUM: Later today, Weisenthal added that more interesting than the “bubbles” were the plummets where Sotheby’s gains seemed to fall back down, during bleak market periods, to its 1989 status. Other stocks, though rising and falling, continue to climb. Are Sotheby’s investors oversensitive to weak markets?

Culture? There’s an App for That

Toura, a New York mobile applications company that creates virtual tours will be using angel investors’ $1.5 million in seed money to develop virtual tours of cultural institutions and other attractions.

Toura on iPhone
Culture in your hand: pic from Toura's website

The Art Institute of Chicago is prepping its free multimedia app with Toura sometime in the next few weeks. The app is free and is expected to be available on a range of devices including the iPhone and iPad.

Toura claims that by handing them the keys to the virtual art space, those institutions will no longer have to worry about having an in-house technologist working on costly software programs in order to update their online content — Toura will do it for them.

The Art Institute of Chicago is always looking for innovative ways to inspire and educate the public about our collection and exhibitions,” said James Cuno, the museum’s President and Director, in a statement. “Toura’s attractive package of technology and services makes it easy for us to bring the museum’s collection to life through a series of applications on smartphones, with the first coming later this spring.”

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