Michael Gira from The Swans
10.01.08 | No Comments

Last night I was one the lucky few to see a special solo performance by Michael Gira at The Stone, a tiny little venue in the lower east side.  It was just Micahel Gira and a guitar, which in my opinion is the most intimate way to experience someone’s music.  The highlight of the show was when he played Blind, one of my favorite Swans songs ever.  It was a real treat to hear his stripped down version.  If you are unfamiliar with the magical sound of The Swans, Love of Life is a good record to start with.

written by The Swans on Drainland

Now some of us are weak, and some endure
And some people live their lives, with a violence that’s pure and clean
But I saw a man cry once, down on his knees
In the corner of a darkened cell, and his pain meant nothing to me

But I was younger then, and young men never die
When I walked out in the sun, I was strong, clear minded,
and blind

And please don’t ask me a question, you’ll just be misunderstood
And if you could step inside me, you’d feel what hatred brings
And if you could see with my eyes, you’d see what self-deception means

I was younger once, and I created a lie
And though my body was strong, I was self-deluded, confident,
and blind

Now show some pity, for the weak of will
Because when we’re drinking, we can never be filled
And show some undentanding, for the lonely fool
Because when l’m drinking, l’m out of control

No I was never young, and nothing has transpired
And when I look in the mirror, I feel dead, I feel cold,
I am blind. 

Photos of Michael Gira by Mark Benney

goodbye Paul Newman
09.27.08 | No Comments
Anton Corbjin, Control (2007)
07.16.08 | No Comments

This lovely black and white movie was much better than I expected it to be.  It was so exciting to see the first film made by one of my all time favorite photographers Anton Corbjin. Each shot was more gorgeous than the last and the acting was really impressive.  It was so true to life, at times I thought I was watching a documentary.  I can’t wait to see what Corbjin comes up with next.

I can has cheezburger, essential daily viewing
06.19.08 | No Comments


Sublime Assassins
05.12.08 | No Comments

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
Directed by Andrew Dominik

I watched this gorgeous film yesterday and the best treat was the stunning cinematography. Each scene was crafted like a carefully composed luminous photograph. Many shots were all about the way sunlight fills a room, or the way dust travels through air. I loved the use of blurry lens vignettes, an very Victorian effect that I rarely see anywhere anymore (other than in the timeless photographs of Sally Mann). The story was kind of slow but this beautiful film is well worth watching. The cast was amazing too. Highly recommended.

Sally Mann, Untitled from “The Motherland Series”

Goodnight and Farewell, to the Creator of Awakened Dreamtime
04.30.08 | No Comments
Seze Devres, sz03-1022b, 2003 from the Technicolor Series
Marcel Duchamp
04.30.08 | No Comments

The Large Glass at the Philadelphia Museum of Art,
photo by Seze

While studying art at Bard College in upstate NY in 1996, I made a trip to Philadelphia just to see the Marcel Duchamp room at The Philadelphia Museum of Art. He was that important to me, and he still is. I made my second trip to the Duchamp room yesterday, 12 years had past and I was still just as thrilled to see his work again. But the real treat was to see his haunting installation Étant donnés that is only visible trough a peep hole.

Étant donnés interior view
From Wikipedia:

Étant donnés is Marcel Duchamp‘s last major art work which surprised the art world that believed he’d given up art for chess 25 years earlier. It is a tableau, visible only through a peep hole in a wooden door, of a nude woman lying on her back with her face hidden and legs spread holding a gas lamp in the air in one hand against a landscape backdrop.

Duchamp worked secretly on the piece from 1946 to 1966 in his Greenwich Village studio while even his closest friends thought he had abandoned art.

It is made of an old wooden door, bricks, velvet, twigs, a female form made of leather, glass, linoleum, and an electric motor. Duchamp prepared a “Manual of Instructions” in a 4-ring binder explaining and illustrating how to assemble and disassemble the piece.

It wasn’t until 1969 that the Philadelphia Museum of Art revealed the tableau to the public.

Carlos Amorales
04.30.08 | No Comments

Carlos Amorales: Four Animations, Five Drawings, and a Plague at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Surrounded by paper butterflies,
Photo by Bryan

Installation view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art,
Photo by Seze

Frida Kahlo, Patron Saint of Art Girls Worldwide
04.30.08 | No Comments

I had a chance to see the gorgeous Frida Kahlo exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Seeing the exhibit made me want to watch the beautiful film Frida (2002) starring Salma Hayek again. The film is based on “Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo” by Hayden Herrera (who also helped to curate the Philadelphia exhibition). I read about two thirds of the book but I had to put it down because her life was just too painful to keep reading about. Seeing the exhibit was great, I had a chance to see some old friends (paintings that I have loved since my teenage years) and I started some new friendships (with some rare photographs and paintings that were included in the show)

Frida Kahlo, Self Portrait with Monkeys, 1943 is one of my favorites

Black Antlers by Coil
04.30.08 | No Comments

I finally scored a copy of Coil’s Black Antlers and I was not disappointed. They truly are one of my favorite bands and I am so impressed with their decades of creativity (since 1983) that have inspired me. Words can even describe how important their music is to me.

Bats Perish, and No One Knows Why
03.25.08 | No Comments

New York Times Article

Photo by Michael Durham/Getty Images

The Merry Cemetary might be a good place to rest.
03.10.08 | No Comments

I was totally blown away when I saw pictures of the Merry Cemetery in Sapanta Romania.

I found some amazing images on flickr and more here.