And things others have noticed and pointed out
Put This Place on the Map
Searching for the exact locations of two galleries tonight, our staffer went to Rand McNally. Woodrow was reluctant to convert from Mapquest at first. But Rand McNally really is the best. So Woody recommends it. But check this out, mapping the West Loop, these galleries show up as landmarks:
Way to go Gescheidle and Wendy Cooper.
Cute Kittens From Art HistorySerious Danger is an insane, engaging and well-designed blog. Its posts are few and far between, but they are great. Such as the collection of Cute Kittens From Art History. All the departments are funny, clever, and well worth checking out. For the young and modern paranoic
Also, the object is staring back on Why Cats Paint. Felines make art history of their own. You absolutely have to watch the compelling documentary footage. It rivals Hans Nemuth's historic work with Jackson Pollock.
Don’t Get Ripped Off by The Other Guy’s Hidden CostsThe Intrepid Art Collector has compiled this “funny cos it’s true” list of why art is so godamned expensive. The only thing I’d add is “Jacking up the price to stick it to those rich bastard health insurance-having-bourgies”
Art on FilmTimeOut Chicago recently reported that Vaughnifer's much anticipated movie (Vince Vaughn/Jennifer Aniston in The Break-Up) set in Chicago features the work of some Chicago artists in it. Famous jerk Wesley Kimler, most recently known for being so mean Paul Klein kicked him off Artletter and talking about getting a commission for the AON when asked for a quote to put in Ed Paschke's obiturary, is one of the artists. (This may or may not be wise to mention Kimler is on Myspace.) THIS is about the only piece of his art we could find on the internet. And actually, if you spell his name right, you get a lot more hits. Another is Gary Weidner. And Francine Turk, who runs a “gallerie” of the same name that shows her work.
One has to wonder what it means when a set decorator says, “your paintings would look wonderful in my movie.” Especially since a common way people desribe art they don’t like as “this looks like what a Hollywood director thinks modern art looks like.” Aniston’s character works at an art gallery in Chicago, her boss is Judy Davis. This should be quite entertaining for us art dorks. Other stars include Ann Margert and Jason Batemen.
The Break-InEarlier this week, CLTV (the Trib-owned 24 Chicagocentric news station) reported that one of the artists’ feaured in the movie had work stolen. We searched for the story online and in the Trib but couldn't find it. But Today, a story appeared online with the details and has entered the regular rotation of headlines on CLTV. (we wanted to get our facts straight before putting it out there. We have integrity like that)
Francine Turk is the victim of the theft, and the full details are HERE
Art Stars Are Getting Younger and Younger, but This is RidiculousOp Ed by resident jerk Erik Wenzel
Apparently Guinness has a World Record for youngest professional artist. It was Barnett Newman, who didn’t have a solo show until he was 45. But these days artists are being groomed before they even finish grad school. Some even while undergrads.
But Dante Lamb kicks all those UCLA Yale Hunter Columbia kids' asses. He acheived this when he beginning painting at 2 and selling his first work of art at 3. He was making graffiti throwups in crayon, and then started living on the streets of the NYC at age. Shortly after turning 3 years old and becoming more fearful that he would never gain recognition in his lifetime, he wandered into Deitch Projects and ended up doing some blow with the cute gallery girl and brokered a deal to sell a then unmade ironic videogame inspired painting to a hedge fund billionaire. Oh, he didn't? Well, what did he do? He sold a painting for 85 dollars to a bar in Georgia. That doesn’t count, that’s not special. It's pretty funny, though. I highly doubt he had anything to do with the sale. But that does indicate stardom if you just sit around making art and someone else does the selling. But 85 dollars is hardly professional, though. I mean how does he support himself on a price like that? Granted, he doesn’t live in NYC, or even Brooklyn or Hoboken, but still. I mean come on. Really, folks, please. He acheived this feat in 2002, so at age 7 he might be well considered a mid-to-late carreer artist.
Dante’s website explains what working in the "abstract expressionist[sic]" style means. And while it gives a bland historical background-the kind you might find in a clearance bin history book at Borders-for America’s first big art break, the flimsy text fails to convincingly position Lamb in the milleu of postwar NYC. It also thinks "abstract expressionism[sic]” isn't a label for a speciffic type of art from a speciffic time period, but rather a genre anyone can work in, like nudes or the still life.
I suppose some of Dante Lamb [god, who the fµçk named this kid? You might as well have called him Rembrandt Q. Einstein]’s paintings are alright. But to anyone who’s actually looked at real Abstract Expressionist painting can see the vast difference. That plus he is using acrylic and everyone knows that you can only make real art with oil paint.
“Abstract expressionism [sic] is a style of painting in which the painter shows his personality through color, movement and technique,” says the website. Dante uses the scribble technique, the drip technique, the splatter technique and the smear technique, all of which he developed over years and years of practi-oh, wait, he's just a kid playing. While that meaningless sentence is written with the skill of the best press-release in the artworld, a three year old really couldn’t do anything except run around banging pots and pans with any sort of real intentionality. The moves Abba-X-ers used, while may be similar, or even inspired by the sorts of marks children make when learning to draw, write and express themselves, really have nothing to do with them.
Ab Ex wasn't a style, it wasn't even really a movement, although that is how we have to classify periods in art history in order to codify them. Ab Ex also wasn't really about emotion personality or a romantic idea of being a sensitive artist. I think some of that is in there, but as it developed, shepherded by Clement Greenberg, it became more and more about form, compostion, and a falsely predicated notion of expressing a universal vision of true pure art for all mankind. That is the type of mistake whoever wrote the text on the website makes. And all millions of people who bill themself as John Doe, Abstract Artist. It is anachronisitc and futile to try to revive Ab Ex, it is like trying to bring back history painting, or medieval minitures. You can look at all those things, you can draw inspiration from them, but you can't say John Doe, Medieval Miniturist and literally be that in any way, shape or form. The sad thing is that there are a million bitter, angry older painters, laboring under the delusion that they are unrecognized geniuses who don't even get the "style" that they are aping that paint about as well as our young genius. And they would all kill to have a website, a Guiness World Record, and paintings scattered throughout bars and restaurants trhoughout the South East.
The whole Dante Lamb machine is on the “my kid could do that” comment luddites make in museums. Well, Mr. and Mrs. Lamb have put their money where their mouth is, and have gone ahead and done it. Let’s see him try to actually make some art. Because these are just scribbles, some of them accidentally come out looking like art. I bet if he tried to draw his mom, it wouldn’t rival deKooning’s women series. Because he doesn't have any real skill or technique. It is all adults reading into what he has done. It is almost like the question of late deKooning, did he even know what he was painting? Or was he completely out of it, with his assistants putting the brush in his hand, dipping it in some paint and guiding his hand? It's also like the recent news oddity of anthorpologists finding a few charcoal marks in a cave that resemble a face and claiming they prefigure and anticipate cubism. That is totally absurd! Just as it is absurd to think a child having fun is a serious, professional artist. If only this was a fecisious art project, like Why Cats Paint. It would be the best ever! But sadly it is not.
Do you think I am being too hard on this kid? I don’t think I’m being hard enough! Kids have it toooo easy, what with their Xboxes and their cellphones these days. I had to fucking go to art school and pay my way into intellectual elitism. You can’t just going around expressing yourself. You have to have a degree that allows you to do that. Plus, if he is a real artist he has to except the critique others may give. If not him, the people who don’t understand art history that have made the website and sell the kid’s paintings to restaurants and give them to charity auctions.
Or maybe he really is the real deal. He came out of the womb screaming "Fuck Picasso!" And then started quoting Greenberg as he heroically stretched an 11 by 5 ft canvas. After staring at the blank field, challenging it, daring to laugh in the face of god himself, perhaps Lamb sauntered down to the Cedar daycare center to drink apple cider out of a sippy cup and argue about form with his little buddies Jack, Billy and Marky.
• article on Dante Lamb HERE
• Guinness Book of World Records entry HERE