Friday, December 25, 2009

Shepard Fairey Does Venice, Silvio

Shepard Fairey, who rose to fame and made his mark with his wildly successful and now controversial Obama campaign poster, has left his mark here in Venice as well. During the June international art orgy known as the Venice Biennale, Fairey was brought to a tiny bar in the San Polo quarter near the Rialto Bridge by two Biennale hostesses, according to Guiliano, the bartender at Boteri Cafe.  Photo: Matthew Rose.

"He was a little drunk, but very nice," says the barman. The Boteri, also known as Al Genovesi (San Polo 1701 Venezia) on the Calle Del Botteri, is a tiny little art hangout covered with Keith Haring inspired drawings. Fairey must have thought the café was ripe for some more American graffiti and so he returned the next day with a fat portfolio of his Obey propaganda and asked the owner if he could paper the back room with his designs. "No problem," said the owner, eager to have some live art to go with the Haring installation and create a wall-sized souvenir from a clandestine Venice Biennale.

Shepard Fairey goes up against a Keith Haring knock-off in the Boteri Cafe, Venice, Italy. (Below).  Below, stylized little girl and big fascist eyes offer Fairey fans a touch of Futurismo with their apero.

The posters fit nearly perfectly and, while not a shrine for Fairey fans, it does give a contemporary glow to the place which is crowded at apero hour with older locals and crowded til one am with students and bohos.

I asked if there were any give-aways, but nothing was left, not even the stickers affixed to doors signaling that Shepard Fairey was here. Sort of retail friendly graffiti that is probably now on its way to eBay and auction sites the world over.  However, you can pick up a new piece on your local newstand...

Fairey's trying to climb back on the sweet roll since his confession about the Obama poster mishagas. His latest foray into political scandal is an Italian love-hate story. The cover of The Rolling Stone featuring the recently clobbered-with-a-small souvenir model of the Milan Cathedral, Italian Premier, Silvio Berlusconi. [See it here].
Meanwhile, on Christmas Eve the Basilica San Marco was both mobbed by Venetian believers and flooded Noah-style from the ever-rising rushing acqua alta. So enjoy these pictures of the Venetian Lagoon waters running rampant over yet another Italian institution and art piece – floods get in your eyes.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Sedentary Ramblers : Trio Extraordinaire

Once in a generation, a band comes along that is unlike any that has come before it, and unlike any that will follow. A band so revolutionary, so innovative, it forever alters our musical landscape, even the course of life on earth. A band that makes its predecessors seem paltry and pedestrian, and leaves its successors hopeless in the face of a bar that has been set impossibly high.

"We are not that band," is the note on the home page of The Sedentary Ramblers. "But we are 3 guys who really like getting together to pick guitars and banjos, saw on fiddles, and bang around on washboards and spoons."

One music reviewer wrote: “That may be the second best version of ‘molly sniffed a possum toe’ I ever heard.” Another intoned: “Didn’t you guys play that one already?” But don't listen to them! The Sedentary Ramblers are rolling big time.

The Sedentary Ramblers are a trio of good ole boys from Georgia and beyond who have been bothering their friends for years, playing through floods and fires and bar room brawls, perfecting a sweet and joyful, sometimes mellow and soulful collection of classic songs with their own twist. The Sedentary Ramblers’ debut album was recorded live at Wolf Creek Cabin in Fannin County, GA. And : The CD is out now. Check out the sample sounds and bounce around with your own pair of spoons. Buy a copy for only $9.99 plus 2 bucks shipping and handling.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Special Features : Kickstarter Project


 From The Paris Blog.  The iconic Beaujolais Nouveau, France's high end version of the "new Coke" is celebrated every Third Thursday in November throughout the country.  The country parties till 3 am and wakes up on Friday only to call into work sick. 

Hervé Villemade is one of the prime vintners in France's new organic/natural wine wave and his "primeur" is QUOI D'NEUF, a wine named and labeled by Paris-based American artist Matthew Rose. Often available at LA CAVE DES PAPILLES and other like-minded cavists in Paris.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Paris : Double Trouble !!

An exhibition of new collage works by Matthew Rose and photographs by Bernard Matussière Private Bits & Autres Choses, is a one-day affair held in the historic quarters of Montparnasse. Double Trouble pairs the hapless with the happening and the mad with the magical.  The public is invited to attend the show on Saturday, December 5, 2009 at the studio of Bernard Matussière, 37 Rue Froidevaux 75014 Paris (near the Montparnasse Cemetery), beginning at 2pm. Studio Matussière has also invited artists Sarah de Teliga and Max Mulhern to participate.

Bernard Matussière is well known for his work in fashion, art and journalism.  His campaign for Aubade, the lingerie brand, Les Leçons du Désir, was posted throughout Paris some years ago and the images in black and white so sexy they were said to cause a number of auto accidents as drivers inadvertently hit the brakes.  While Matussière has worked on hundreds of advertising campaigns, he is also acclaimed for his nudes.  His book, Female Nudes, brings together some 100 images of women from his travels and studio work.  The photographer has also travelled widely and his work in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Japan and Africa has been published all over the world.  "This little exhibition is a way for me to show some new works," said Matussière, "and meet some new faces here in Paris."

Matthew Rose, long-time cut and paste collagist.  His massive installations have created a stir with their surreal and complex wall-to-wall-to-ceiling-to floor displays of 1000 pieces.  The artist, a New Yorker who has lived and worked in Paris since 1992, will exhibit new works on canvas and board, including works to be included in Masters: Collage, a compendium of the state of the art of collage due out by Lark Books in May 2010.  Matthew Rose's most recent work was the global collaborative A Book About Death, which opened in New York City in September and has since moved across the planet in a half-dozen re-exhibitions. Rose will also debut his prize-winning stamp sheet, Rubens Rounding Third. The piece earned a first place award from the MUFI Stamp Museum in Mexico this past October. This A3-sized work features a baseball player stopped dead in his tracks by a looming black and white image of a Rubens nude; the artist produced 1000 stampsheets, each with a gummed back, perforations, dated, signed and numbered.

Sarah de Teliga is a Paris-based Australian artist who exhibits both in London and Sydney.  Her most recent show at the Helen Stephens Gallery in Sydney featured works on bus and car smashed beer cans and oil landscapes that mixed the serene with the odd strange detail.  That show sold out. In London, Sarah exhibits with England & Company, and is extremely busy on private commissions for corporations and private collectors. De Teliga is currently launching a new series of works on flattened metal pieces and considering shooting a short film about her aesthetic processes.

Max Mulhern is an American sculptor working in a range of materials from wood to bronze to a combination of both.  The artist has exhibited in in Europe (Paris, London), focusing on "nautical innovations."  His sculptures in bronze are often complex erotic abstractions while his large and small scale works in painted wood unpack forms and reinvent the pedestal.  In fact, Mulhern's most recent innovation is a series of pedestals made out of cut wood, all arranged to fit in a "boîte en valise," a Duchampian gesture that points to the complexities of the Frenchman's art in box. Mulhern also writes regularly for the Art Blog.
Date: December 5, 2009 Time: 2pm

Adress:  Studio Matussière, 37 Rue Froidevaux, 75014 Paris (near the Montparnasse Cemetary)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dan Flavin

Dan Flavin (1933-1996) seminal minimalist artist of the 1960s used industrially-based florescent lights to create his non-nonsense light works.

This exhibition at David Zwirner in New York City is combined with a guided tour by Johannes Vogt, doctoral candidate in the University of Berlin's Art History department.