One paragraph reviews on art, movies, books, and pop culture by a know-nothing who knows it all

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

First Cousins

Leni Riefenstahl's "Triumph of the Will" and "Air Force One" with Harrison Ford have a lot more in common than you may think. According to director Michael Haneke in a NYT profile, both have "a distinct political agenda [and] a common goal — the total manipulation of the viewer. What’s terrible about the Harrison Ford film, though, especially terrible, is that it represents itself as simple entertainment." Haneke goes on to rip Hollywood-style storytelling, full of sly mind control. His argument, which I pretty much agree with, is that type of filmmaking was mastered by the Nazis, and it became very suspect by European directors. "As a result, film, and especially literature, began to examine itself. " In a nutshell, American films can lull you into becoming a compliant zombie, whereas foreign movies force you to think. (Images via and

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Wide Awake

Dear Gentle Readers (all three of you), I'm not lazy. I'm not slacking. I've been wide awake and busy with my non-blogging life. I will start posting on regular basis oh-so soon. I'll do my best to get back on track with more riveting reviews and catty comments. --Amp

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Designer and the Artist

Is Marc Jacobs spring 2008 collection really front page news? The New York Times thinks so. Cathy Horyn proclaims that Jacobs offers "an antidote to the cartoonish Jessica Rabbit sexuality that has dominated women’s fashion for more than 20 years." However, what caught my interest in the article was a quote from artist John Currin, who is known for his hardcore graphic sex paintings. “So often when sex is done in fashion, it’s what is hard, interchangeable and jaded. This seemed very romantic.” How I hope that Currin takes a bit of his own advice, and that his next batch of paintings don't focus on the "hard, interchangeable, and jaded." Despite both Horyn's and Currin's assessment, Jacobs collection showed a lot of skin and hints at underwear as outerwear.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Artist's Perspective

One of my favorite contemporary artists, Mel Leipzig, has been elected into the National Academy of Design. Along with Sol LeWitt, Kiki Smith, Cy Twombly and Richard Serra, Leipzig is one of 19 artists to be awarded membership to the academy this past year. Leipzig has a few exhibits coming up this month. On Sept. 25, Tomasulo Gallery will showcase Leipzig's paintings that focus on artists in their studios. Plus, at Artworks, the artist will be present for an unveiling of his painting of Artworks itself.

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Monday, September 10, 2007


Did you know that going to art galleries is very hip, very sexy, and so very Banana Republic (according to the clothing retailer's latest ad campaign)? The ads published in Vogue and the New York Times spotlight models hanging out in front of abstract paintings with gallery invitations either tucked in oversized bags or used as shields for whispers or kisses. Apparently, these ads is B.R.'s way to highlight artists' works, but I challenge you to find who painted the canvases. Neither of these ads credit an artist.

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Friday, September 07, 2007

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down

ANDY FREEBERG Andrea Rosen GalleryNew York Times tipped me off to this fun show at Danziger Projects. Andy Freeberg turns his lens on those I-dare-you-to-approach front desks in almost every single Chelsea gallery. In person, these formidable barriers are intimidating, but these images capture how silly they are. However, I have been in even more uncomfortable situations in which a gallery staff member sits out in the open in a straight-back chair, and you're never quite sure if he or she is a part of the exhibit.

ANDY FREEBERG Pace Wildenstein Gallery
ANDY FREEBERG Cheim Read Gallery

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Cassandra's Nightmare

"A humorless misfire that wastes the talents of some fine actors." Ouchy. That's one of the notices for Woody Allen's new film, Cassandra's Dream, which debuted at the Venice Film Festival, which GreenCineDaily has posted. If I received these types of reviews, I would go into hiding for years. From the Hollywood Reporter: "Lazy plotting, poor characterization, dull scenes and flat dialogue." The Telegraph sends a zinger: "Allen's ear for dialogue seems to have deserted him." And Time Out gives the film a Bronx cheer: "Its purpose is too confused, its execution too lazy, its handling of its performers too liberal."
(Image via Thompson on Hollywood)

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

High Fashion, High Art

The relationship has always been tight, but when I see it in black and white, I always think "sell out." At some point, gallery-quality photographers usually take up a fashion shoot for that bread and butter money. As New York gears up for Fashion Week, I've recognized a few names attached to photo spreads in local publications. Tierney Gearon, whose Mother Project I really liked, got tapped for a whole spread in New York Magazine, featuring super pricey threads, while Tina Barney, whose travelogue photos didn't really grab me by the lapels, snapped some pix for Theory's ad campaign. Are these photos any more arty than your average fashion images? Nope, but at least the fashion industry is trying to make things a little bit more interesting. (Related: New York Sun on the overlap between fashion and art.)

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