Michael Kimmelman has an interesting piece about large-scale housing developments in the New York Times. He takes a look at the fate of the infamous Pruitt-Igoe projects in St. Louis and draws a comparison to the Penn South buildings in New York’s Chelsea, which have been largely successful as a housing development. He discusses how economic and other urban development factors can affect the success or failure of architectural design. All around an interesting piece. But while I dig Kimmelman’s focus on publicly-minded design (a breath of fresh air after Ourossoff’s era of mega-projects), it seems like a bit of an oversight to pen a very long story about these types of constructions and not even mention places like the Marcy Houses in Bed-Stuy or Red Hook Houses in Red Hook — two places with a history that is infinitely less rosy than that of Penn South.
In an essay in Vanity Fair, Kurt Anderson says we are in a period of cultural stasis — relentlessly remixing everything that came before, but not necessarily adding anything new: “In our Been There Done That Mashup Age, nothing is obsolete, and nothing is really new; it’s all good. I feel as if the whole culture is stoned, listening to an LP that’s been skipping for decades, playing the same groove over and over. Nobody has the wit or gumption to stand up and lift the stylus.” Sure explains a lot of the art I see…
“The main thing to remember is the sunlight, and the immense expanse of sky and earth that it illuminates: it sucks the color out of everything that it touches, takes the green out of leaves and the sap out of twigs, makes human beings seem small and of no importance.” — Mystery writer James Cain, on California in the 1930s.
Dear Apple Computers: WHAT. THE. FUCK. You guys let Rupert Murdoch (purveyor of Glenn Beck) establish a subscription model for the iPad but you don’t let any other publishing company do the same? Gross.
Artist-decorated Eames chairs in the windows at Barneys. (Photos by C-M.)
Operation Design is holding a benefit fundraiser, organized by street artist Billi Kid and photographer extraordinaire Luna Park, to raise funds for their mentoring program for New York City teens. Want to help out? Bid on one of the street art-decorated Eames chairs currently hanging in the window at Barneys. You’ve got ’til June 1st.
All of the designs, along with links to the e-Bay page, are featured right here.
Dismemberment of Jeanne D’Arc by Anish Kapoor, at this past last May’s Brighton Festival. You know you want to see it large. See a photo essay of the construction of the piece here. (Photo by Luna Park.)
All the artspeak you’ve never wanted: Art Baloney, a new blog devoted to chronicling the tortured, the contorted and the convoluted in art writing. Send nominations to artbaloney [at] yahoo [dot] com
OH YES! Bravo issues casting call for new art reality show. (Dear Bravo, Who do I gotta blow to be a judge? I can be the Bruno of art reality TV: short, funny, ethnic, handy with malaprops. Please let me know where I can submit my reel.) Interestingly, ABC’s Wife Swap is also doing some casting, and they’re looking for a family that’s “passionate about graffiti as an art form.”
A two-fer: Picking out art for the White House + Philip Smith’s letter to Art in America about being excluded from the Pictures Generation show at the Met.