- “Homes of the violent rich have excellent first-aid cabinets.” Jennifer Egan’s Twitter story is full of gems.
- Interesting piece on Monterrey’s ‘cumbia rebajada’ — cumbia played at slowed down speeds — and the trippy-ass haircuts the style has generated, with pix by Stefan Ruiz. (For an example of what the music sounds like, click here. Ohhhhhh yeaaahhhhhh.)
- Just in time for campaign season: A helpful piece from On the Media on how to spot bullshit political headlines in under 10 seconds.
- “The United States lived seventy-five years with the one party system in Mexico—the PRI—without batting an eyelid, never demanding democracy of Mexico. Democracy came because Mexicans fought for democracy and made a democracy out of our history, our possibilities, our perspectives. Democracy is not something that can be exported like Coca-Cola.” From a recently-surfaced interview with Carlos Fuentes in Guernica.
- Members of L.A.’s MTA crew (the ones behind the super-amazing, super-massive MTA roller in the L.A. River, since buffed) won’t have to pay for clean-up, but may be subject to injunctions generally reserved for gang members.
- Read this now: The James Franco-ification of the art world.
- Critic Jonathan Jones wants a break from Andy Warhol. (Hyperallergic.)
- And because I can’t help myself: Marina Abramovic on her boob job and Glenn Lowry’s sexiness.
- I can’t wait to see the insufferable art-heads that come out of this school. (AFC.)
- In 1979, there were three art fairs. Now there are 189. And I refuse to go to them all. (@KnightLAT.)
- A stunning piece on Radiolab about the origin of the pigment known as Gamboge. You’ll never look at yellow the same way again. (The segment begins at 16:40.)
- Art as protest: Christian Viveros-Fauné on the New Realism, including the drug-violence art of Teresa Margolles and the anti-Putin pieces of Voina.
- Nice essay by Ben Valentine of Hyperallergic on the phenomenon of Tumblr art.
- LACMA’s Franklin Sirmans reviews Bridget Cooks’ book on the history of exhibiting African-American artists in the U.S.
- Was cave art an early form of cinema?
- Art scholars step back from authenticating works due to legal actions. More fun to live with the uncertainty.
- Art + Market = Insanity. An opinion piece on the New York Times website about how the art world thrives on inequality. Thematically, it’s a retread of Andrea Fraser’s essay for the Whitney Biennial — which is more thorough — but worth it nonetheless. (To quote Fraser: “What has been good for the art world has been disastrous for the rest of the world.”
- What I learned about Carolee Schneeman in the current issue of White Fungus: she’s a TOTAL cat lady.
Smells, reflected, in NYC. (Image courtesy of BruceLaBounty802.)
From a story on the slipping American Middle Class
“Over time, the United States has expected less and less of its elite, even as society has oriented itself in a way that is most likely to maximize their income. The top income-tax rate was 91 percent in 1960, 70 percent in 1980, 50 percent in 1986, and 39.6 percent in 2000, and is now 35 percent. Income from investments is taxed at a rate of 15 percent. The estate tax has been gutted.” — More in The Atlantic.
And America’s Hero Complex
“’America needs heroes,’ it is sometimes said, a phrase that’s often uttered in a wistful tone, almost cooingly, as if we were talking about a lonely child. But do we really ‘need heroes’? We need leaders, who marshal us to the muddle. We need role models, who show us how to deal with it. But what we really need are citizens, who refuse to infantilize themselves with talk of heroes and put their shoulders to the public wheel instead. The political scientist Jonathan Weiler sees the cult of the uniform as a kind of citizenship-by-proxy. Soldiers and cops and firefighters, he argues, embody a notion of public service to which the rest of us are now no more than spectators. What we really need, in other words, is a swift kick in the pants.” — From a must-read by William Deresiewicz in the New York Times Opinion section.
- Love knowing that Michael Govan gets warm chocolate chip cookies delivered to his table at the Tower Bar. I frequently get warm chocolate chip cookies delivered to me when I go to Mrs. Fields.
- Of the many 9/11 shows that we are about to have foisted upon us, the one at PS1 sounds like it could be quite intriguing.
- Rob Walker sees Ed Ruscha as a proto-Google Streetview.
- Cave Exploration: In which Mira Schor ties together Werner Herzog, Lascaux, Chauvet and Bellini’s St. Francis in the Desert at the Frick. Interesting piece.
- Apparently, if you’re the chief editorial director of an online art purveying website nobody knows anything about, Forbes will let you write an article about yourself.
- Greg.org parses the Tony Curtis art collection. Oh yes.
- Yves Klein Blue Jeans.
- Bravo is casting for a reality show on gallerinas. I’d watch that. If I had cable.
- Skateboarding, Uganda.
- Today’s Graff: Sand-dune abstractions by JBB in Cap-Ferret, France.
- Does pot make you stupid? A new long-term study shows that the answer is likely no. Jonah Lehrer explains.
- Sort of related: I made a list of culture tweeters in the L.A. Times. Six weeks ago. But since I have no memory, I keep forgetting to post a link.
- Sculpture you can shred on. (Eyeteeth.)
- Atonement via smartphone app.
- The five worst gallery websites.
- The world needs more video interviews with Tracey Emin.
- Jasper Johns to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom.
- NEH and NEA likely to get hit with brutal budget cuts. In NYC, the Department of Cultural Affairs is about to get hit with some serious slashing, too.
- Opponents of Barnes Foundation move are attempting to get the judge reopen the case. (@KnightLAT.)
- Iowa Republicans really really really want to sell Jackson Pollock painting at the University of Iowa. I mean, like, really.
- Crowd-sourced shows: Kyle Chayka is over them. So am I.
- Groday: Wafaa Bilal’s body rejects camera implanted in his head.
- ‘Cuz They’re Old? Why Van Gogh’s sunflowers are turning brown. (Arts Journal.)
- New York Times photographer criticized for taking award-winning pix with smartphone app. He responds.
- The Day in Art Merch: The Damien Hirst bling skull hoodie. For when Ed Hardy is not douche enough.
- Ruins Porn: Gary, Indiana edition.
- Aerial shots of Germany. (Eyeteeth.)
- Today’s Graff is all about being green: Mosone in Italy.
- For sale: Subway station.
- Eero Saarinen’s TWA terminal at JFK to serve as the entrance to a boutique hotel.
- I want it big and brutal and with a lot of windows: Cosmic Communist Constructions.
- What Eli Broad can learn about urban planning from The Grove.
- From the Department of Holy Crap: The five strangest shows on Latin American television. The Peruvians take the prize for scary surrealism, while the Argentineans win for nasty sexual harassment. (@giovannigf.)