Books August 22, 2012 By Jennifer Pappas

from <em>Grandmother Power: A Global Phenomenon</em> by Paola Gianturco, powerHouse Books.

Grandmother Power: A Global Phenomenon Paola Gianturco, powerHouse Books.

grandmotherpower interview Grandmother Power

One summer morning when I was about eight years old, my grandmother told me she was going to teach me how to make diples, a deep fried Greek pastry topped with honey and powdered sugar. In her cramped, Formica-filled kitchen, we also made koulourakia – plump hand-shaped twists she simply referred to as Greek Cookies. Together, we rolled up our sleeves, rolled out the dough, plastered our hands and forearms in flour, and went to work. We made tray after tray, more cookies than anyone could eat. But the eating wasn’t the important part; it was the making – the passing on of food, culture, history, tradition.

As I type this memory into existence, I’m suddenly left with another thought: nobody does that anymore. Or do they?According to an article in the April issue of Esquire, the only thing grandparents (aka Baby Boomers) are doing now is systematically disenfranchising the youth of America via decades of self-serving economic and social policy. But Grandmother Power: A Global Phenomenon (powerHouse books) may just prove all the cynics wrong. Paola Gianturco, author and documentary photographer of the new book talks to PLANET about grandmother activism, survival, and the global movement going on right now in kitchens, villages and courtrooms across the world.

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Art, Events, Music January 24, 2012 By Jennifer Pappas


All Photographs by Bruno Hadjadj. COUPLE AT CBGB SILVERPRINT EDITION OF 5

title cbgb CBGB
From 1973 to 2006 CBGB was the unofficial home of underground rock in New York City. The seemingly harmless acronym (which erroneously stands for Country, Bluegrass and Blues) was a symbol, the barometer of counterculture, a landmark of irreverence, and the Studio 54 of punk music. More importantly, CBGB set the tone for a new era of rock. The fabled club gave raw, untested bands like the Ramones, Misfits, Patti Smith, The Cramps, Television, Blondie and Talking Heads their start. Initially intended to feature the type of music for which it was named, CBGB became synonymous with the American punk movement and hardcore punk scene instead. Though the club sometimes moonlighted as a record store, or performance space/art gallery, the music always came first. Over the years, CBGB grew its rabidly loyal fan base, became more adept at blurring boundaries and unearthing talent, and changed the current of American punk rock as we know it.
     On October 15, 2006, CBGB shuttered its doors for good. Patti Smith, Blondie, Bad Brains, and The Dictators were among some of the last performers to grace the stage, leaving hordes of fans, journalists, and musicians with something to blog about for years to come.



Art, Books October 13, 2011 By Jennifer Pappas

David Maisel History’s Shadow AB3, 2010

David Maisel History’s Shadow AB3, 2010

title63 Historys Shadow
Ethereal, delicate yet raw, David Maisel’s new book of photography, History’s Shadow (Nazraeli Press) breathes new life into the seemingly fragile framework of ancient art. Scientific in nature – the images are actually museum conservation x-rays Maisel’s re-photographed – the undertones are pure art. Drawing from three-dimensional art objects that predate photography (courtesy of the Getty Museum, L.A. and the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco), Maisel’s photos reveal a bizarre facet of art preservation not typically displayed on a museum placard. These x-rays, intended to expose the structural well-being of valuable antiquities, have been turned on their head and transformed into some sort of meta-art for the masses.

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Art August 29, 2011 By Jennifer Pappas

Francis Alÿs. Le juif errant, 2011. Courtesy David Zwirner, New York Photograph by Ron Amstutz

Adel Abdessemed. mappemonde - olive, 2011. Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner, New York. Photograph by Jean Vong

haitiartists title Artists for Haiti
It’s been 19 months since the monstrous 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Léogâne, Haiti (16 miles west of Port-au-Prince) on January 12, 2010. Despite the unprecedented outpouring of global aid, funds and support, Haiti remains consumed by the aftermath of what the quake left behind. According to official estimates, 300,000 people were injured, 1.3 million displaced, 97,294 houses destroyed and another 188,383 damaged. To say nothing of the disputed death toll, subsequent cholera outbreak, political unrest, and general foot-dragging of aid disbursement and reconstruction projects. Quite simply, the Haitian people have suffered inexorably and continue to do so.
     Several months ago, New York gallerist/art dealer David Zwirner teamed up with comedian/actor Ben Stiller to form Artists for Haiti, a high-profile charity art auction that will donate one hundred percent of its sales to support education and health programs for Haitian children. The auction will take place on September 22 at Christie’s, New York and will include major works from some of the world’s most prominent artists including: Adel Abdessemed, Louise Bourgeois, Chuck Close, Urs Fischer, Jasper Johns, Jeff Koons, Paul McCarthy, Chris Ofili, Raymond Pettibon, Cindy Sherman, Ed Ruscha, and Zhang Huan, among others. A preview exhibition will be held at the David Zwirner Gallery in New York from September 6-10.

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Art, Events July 12, 2011 By Jennifer Pappas

Caption Here

Sergey Zarva, Ogonyok, 2001. Courtesy the artist and Regina Gallery, Moscow/London

ost title Art from Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union
Fresh on the heels of civil unrest and hard-won liberation in places like Egypt, Libya, and the Ivory Coast, Ostalgia, a new show featuring more than 50 artists from 20 different countries across Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Republics is opening at the New Museum. The three-floor exhibit takes its name from the German ostalgie, a word that was on everyone’s tongue in the 1990s, nostalgic and morose for the golden era prior to the disintegration of the Communist Bloc. The show explores the full spectrum of emotional deviances that arose when the Soviet Union fell and Communism was permanently hobbled —a time before, during and after nations were forced to change their names, currency, constitutions and to a certain extent, their identities. Borders blurred, people felt the tumultuous aftershakes of their fallen ideologies and were forced to recommit themselves to a new history, a fresh place — despite the inexpressible trauma of losing one’s entire foundation.

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Art, Book May 17, 2011 By Jennifer Pappas

Caption Here

By AISLAP from Nuevo Mundo, Copyright Gestalten 2011

nm title Nuevo Mundo
Last year I spent six unstructured months winding through Latin America from Costa Rica down to the southern tip of Brazil. Amidst my wanderings, there were several constants I found lurking in the many cities, coastlines and thoroughfares I passed through. One of those constants was the all-encompassing presence of public art — vast, unheralded and makeshift swatches of it everywhere I looked. Stencils, murals, wheat pastings, stickers and crude throw-ups… Entire streets, buildings, staircases and dumpsters — from Valparaíso, Chile to Bogota, Colombia — were covered in some form of visual expression.
     Nuevo Mundo: Latin American Street Art by Maximilliano Ruiz has just been released in the United States and is the first book to offer a complete documentation of current street art trends endemic to Latin America. Featuring such heavyweights as Os Gêmeos, Bastardilla, Vitché, Titi Freak and Run Don’t Walk, the book is divided by country and displays the full spectrum of each region’s artistic multiplicity. Each page acts as a vignette or picture postcard from the artists, accompanied by a short, explanatory message that though intended to provide context, generally lets the image speak for itself. Turning the pages, it’s evident that Latin America remains an evocative breeding ground for public art. Thanks to a long history of socio-political adversity, economic instability, lengthy dictatorships and indigenous cultures, there’s something blatantly alive and hungry in each image.

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Art April 21, 2011 By Jennifer Pappas

image courtesy of Steve Yennie

image courtesy of Steve Yennie

ms title Mike Shine Der Wilden Mann
As a longtime fan of interactive gallery shows and general flights of the imagination, I always get excited for a Mike Shine opening. On Saturday, Shine’s third installment of his ongoing Flotsam narrative, Der Wilden Mann: THUS SPRACH FLOTSAM; METAMORPHOSIS 3 opened at Copro Gallery in Santa Monica. Outside the gallery, a band played and the line for cans of Tecate and wine served in small plastic cups hugged the right side of the ramp leading up to the entrance. Inside, the air was sharp with fresh sod and varnished wood, comforting smells that together with the honky-tonk rock music wafting in through an open window, gave the gallery a bucolic feel.
      Shine is notorious for mixing it up and this show is no exception: Nordic mythology, carnival oddities, hand-painted signs and whirling wheels of fortune cover the brown and mint green walls in an impressive array of framed paintings and painted objects. At the center sits a large, Norse style longhouse (with a grass roof, the source of that wonderful earthy smell) you can enter and explore. Later, talking to Shine, he shows me a photo of close friend, skateboarding legend and filmmaker, Stacy Peralta sprawled across this very roof, laying sod.

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Art, Books April 12, 2011 By Jennifer Pappas

Click to see full image

Click to see full image

ag title Abstract Graffiti
Contrary to first impressions, Abstract Graffiti is not just another book about street art. Artist, writer and curator, Cedar Lewisohn has opted to take a rather inventive approach to the oversaturated phenomenon by delving into the art history of emerging abstract trends. Rather than rehash the evolution of graffiti, or compile a list of major players in street culture, the book takes an academic slant and “seeks to draw parallels between artists who are working in complementary ways”. Separated by various stylistic tendencies (Retro Pop, Sci-Fi Expressivism, Folk Surrealism, Recyclomaniacs), the book is far less coffee table book than it is art history primer. Dominated by interviews with artists, writers, activists and one London judge, Lewisohn concerns himself more with individuals who’ve had a pivotal or lasting impact on the abstract side of the movement, rather than any media-hyped superstars. In other words, Abstract Graffiti is more about the hows and whys, and less about the whos. Concurrently, Lewisohn isn’t shy about raising some of the tougher questions: Is graffiti still a crime? How does East and West influence style? Despite its recent spike in mainstream popularity, is street art still a form of protest? Does it belong in a museum? Can abstraction be political?

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Art February 23, 2011 By Jennifer Pappas
Caption Here

rayonant_crap collage courtesy Devin Flynn and Dadarhea; seeing the world with toilet roll eyes

title46 Dadarhea
Like some kind of demented artistic genius with a sick sense of humor, Canada continues to confound in the best possible way. Opening February 25th, the wily gallery plays gleeful host to OHWOW’s second installment of Dadarhea, a collaborative, bourgeois-denouncing video work (and paintings) by a select group of equally demented artists. Animation, musical performance, green screen, and improv unite in what promises to be the most heinous, and illogically good time you’ve had all year. Many of last year’s artists have returned for round two: Devin Flynn, Jim Drain, Melissa Brown, Brian Belott, Fran Spiegel, Takeshi Murata, Joe Grillo, Marie Lorenz, Laura Grant, Naomi Fischer, Ara Peterson, Michael Williams, Jessie Gold, Billy Grant and Alison Kuo are all repeat Dadarhea offenders. According to Canada’s website, the collective group of artists are joined in a pact to “explore, laugh, splat, maximize, question, flap, drop, trough, dangle and generally go too far in the name of curiosity without actually killing a cat.”

Dadarhea runs from February 25-March 20 at Canada in New York.

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Art, Books February 3, 2011 By Jennifer Pappas

(Click to enlarge)

JOSEPHINE HALVORSON Many Books, 2009 (Click to enlarge)

title38 Ex Libris
A wise friend of mine once rhetorically asked me, “Who doesn’t love books?” From now until February 26, Ex Libris — a bookworm’s dream of an exhibition at Adam Baumgold Gallery — is the resounding answer. Literally meaning, “from the books,” the show features book-inspired work by 28 different artists including titans such as Ed Ruscha, Chris Ware, David Hockney, and Tom Burckhardt. So long as the art stays true to the rather loose theme, anything goes. Thus viewers can expect everything from artists’ books and prints to drawings and sculpture, with nods to Kant, Burroughs, Proust, pulp fiction and comics laced throughout. The sheer variety of different pieces suffuses the show with a playful yet deferential tone as artists pay homage without ever taking themselves too seriously. Jennie Ottinger’s delicate book cover paintings of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood and Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses are just one example. At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, no true lover of books should miss this show.

Adam Baumgold Gallery

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