Saturday, September 17, 2005
T-Shirts, their history (need I state that it's American-centric...):
The American T-Shirt began during WWI when American troops noticed European soldiers wearing a comfortable and lightweight cotton undershirt during the hot and humid European summer days. Compared to the wool uniforms that the American soldiers wore, these undershirts were cooler and more comfortable and they quickly caught on with the Americans. Due to their simple design, these shirts became known in the USA as "T" shirts or, as we know them now, "T-Shirts".
By the 1920's, "T-Shirt" had become an official word in the American English language with it's inclusion in Merriam-Webster's Dictionary. By W.W. II, both the Navy and the Army had included the T-Shirt as standard issue underwear.
Initially pegged as an undergarment, the T-Shirt soon came in to it's own on the big screen. John Wayne, Marlon Brando and James Dean all shocked Americans by wearing their underwear on national TV. In 1951, Marlon Brando shocked Americans in his film "A Streetcar Named Desire" when his T-Shirt was ripped off of his body revealing his naked chest.
As to the Limelight... that club has some history. By 1984 it was part of a very different time period when nightspots were no longer dependent on a small community to support them. If we consider the Limelight's website, we can see how it's a straight up business now, functioning on the kitschy aura of the "disco" established in the seventies, a time when clubs were a place for those on the periphery to come together with sweaty friends on the dance floor and escape their daily situations. Check the goods, you skeptics... check them
Friday, September 16, 2005
The John Belushi Story (or rather a story): To call John Belushi a comic legend would be a bit of an overstatement, and yet for some reason, it’s a suitable title for the happy-go-lucky “SNL” veteran. Because his skyrocketing film career was abruptly ended by his untimely death at the hands of what many called an “addiction,” John Belushi never even got the chance to build the legacy that people refer to today. [...] Following a four year stint on the show, John decided to make the jump to film by teaming up with his old National Lampoon cohorts for the college comedy “Animal House” in 1978. The film was a massive successive and John’s performance as Bluto made the character a college cult favorite. His star continued to rise when he and “SNL”-alum/friend Dan Aykroyd brought their Blues Brothers characters to the big screen with the 1982 musical of the same name, but despite his success, John’s personal life was getting out of control. On March 5th, 1982 - and only hours after a visit from fellow comic Robin Williams - John died at the age of 33 from a drug overdose of heroine and cocaine. And despite the anti-climatic ending to John’s career, he has forever remained a larger-than-life comic legend that is still highly revered and incredible influential to this very day.
The Basquiat Story (or another story--check the link for sure, its layout shows off an interpretation of pop art):
Jean Michel Basquiat was an artist who was born on December 22, 1960 to a Haitian father (Gerard Basquiat) and a Brooklyn born Puerto Rican mother (Matild).
Even as a young child Basquiat displayed an excellent talent for art which is mother strongly encouraged. Unlike the average graffiti artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat came to personify the art scene of the 80s, with its merging of youth culture, money, hype, excess, and self-destruction. And then there was the work, which the public image tended to overshadow: paintings and drawings that conjured up marginal urban black culture and black history, as well as the artist's own conflicted sense of identity. In 1977, along with a friend Al Diaz, Basquiat started to spray painting cryptic sayings on subway trains and around lower Manhattan and signing them with the name SAMO© (Same Old Shit). Basquiat always said that "SAMO© as an end to mindwash religion, nowhere politics, and bogus philosophy," "SAMO© saves idiots," "Plush safe he think; SAMO©”. Basquiat's ploy was to write anti-materialism messages in plain view of some of the worst materialists around. This was not only a key to his rise to fame, but a stunning reflection of the tendency of the bourgeoisie to co-opt cultural opposition. When some of Basquiat's early work, which was a combination of painting and graffiti, first appeared in an "alternative" Lower East Side gallery, he was discovered by Henry Geldzahler. Within a year or so, Basquiat had developed his highly marketable style. It combined Afrocentric themes mixed with graffiti based on his own hermetic universe of symbols. Painted on unconventional media, including objects retrieved from the junkyard, Basquiat seemed to be attacking bourgeois society. As Basquiat became more and more marketable, there was more and more pressure for him to produce. He was seen as the ultimate party animal, a wannabe streetkid and grafittist hiding his black Brooklyn middle class roots. Since he had an enormous appetite for drugs, expensive clothing, fancy restaurants and first-class travel, this meant that he was tempted to work around the clock. Stoked by cocaine and marijuana, he'd often paint 18 hours in a row and then use heroin to get to sleep. When he awoke, he'd start off where he left off. As a modern-day equivalent of the Nibelungen, Basquiat labored away in the windowless basement of an upscale gallery run by an Italian woman named Annina Nosei who saw herself as an "ex-hippie". If he was a slave, he was certainly a well-dressed one. Basquiat worked on his paintings in Armani suits and often appeared in public in these same paint-splattered $1000 suits--a testament to his affinity for both mammon and bohemia. By 1984, many of Basquiat's friends had become quite concerned about his excessive drug use, often finding him unkempt and in a state of paranoia. Basquiat's paranoia was also fueled by the very real threat of people stealing work from his apartment and of art dealers taking unfinished work from his studio Basquiat as artist and icon was eagerly embraced by the "postal" academic establishment who saw his graffiti as a form of Derridean 'ecriture'. His work was often grouped with Barbara Kruger, whose trademarked neon works including slogans like "I shop therefore I am" often appeared on the walls of the same upscale residences as Basquiat's. Near the end of his short life, Basquiat hooked up with Andy Warhol. Basquiat gave Warhol the cachet of being connected to the personification of youthful energy, while Warhol supplied the younger artist with introductions to wealthy clients as well as serving as a surrogate father figure. Apparently Basquiat was the only African-American that Warhol ever befriended, let alone got within close proximity to. The first time Warhol saw him striding toward his studios from across the street, he told an assistant, "Don't let that coloured boy inside." Despite this, their relationship continued until Warhol’s death in 1987. Basquiat also affected Warhol's affectless style. After Warhol died, Basquiat went off the deep end even though he had once claimed to be drug free upon his return from his ranch in Hawaii. On August 12, 1988 he died of a heroin overdose. He was 28 years old.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Funny that Andy calls his paintings of bottles "portraits." When searching for portraits one does not get anything but "portraits." When searching for bottles one finds lots of coke bottles, but the killer find is Andy's perfume bottle (honestly, it's kind of ugly... I know how dare I criticize da'man... live with it. The bottle ain't cheap either):
RARE! It is Andy Warhol Flowers. If you happen to be a factice collector, you know that this is going to be a hard to find item and is a must have for any collector! It is sooo beautiful! This is from my personal collection and is in excellent condition. It is very hard for me to part with it, but for personal reasons, I have decided to let it go. It measures 14 inches at the tallest point.. ID=FT16
BTW, no hits on liquor bottles and Andy online...
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
How Andy went down with Mtv:
ANDY WARHOL'S FIFTEEN MINUTES
(Color, 1" videotape transferred to videodisc)
Conceived by Andy Warhol
Production Co.: Andy Warhol T.V. Productions for MTV Networks
Director: Don Munroe
Producer: Vincent Fremont
Production Manager: Sue Etkin
Associate Producer: Fred Hughes
Production Coordinator: Jay Shriver
Associate Producer (Episode 5): Jay Shriver
Videotape Editor: Gregg Featherman
Original Music: Chris Stein
Well, that's not exactly accurate, because 15 minutes did not happen until 1986, and the feature that Andy was talking about was aired on Mtv in 1984. Not sure what that special Andy refers to might have been called, though. Could not find something more specific.
Let's hook up the criticism for a bit now, a blog critic hits up Andy And Mtv:
January 23, 2004
Andy Warhol, The Middle Class, MTV and You
What is my take in the art of making live video? What do I want to do different then the tons of advertisment agencies producing music videos. What is it that drives me forward even so there is no money involved and I am slowly starving (well not yet but I am getting there). Its my way to make clear a message, even subtle in clubs at parties. Its moving images that might change peoples thinking. Its clips that might sprinkle hope. Its things that might wake up brainwashed chemojunkies. Peter Rubin, one of the still performing video artists that has been in this territory from the beginning throughout the 60s,70s and 1980s has put his energy into a project to get some of this activism back that ones was present in this scene and was the hallmark of the peace revolution that took place in the 70s. Back then this all was new and adventurous back then and the haluzinogen szene was active, but the message was clear, put a counterweight to masscommunication, find artistic was to challenge tv consumption. Here we are in the year 2004 and the scene is ones again flourishing. We are not in the need anymore to build our own hardware, most is cheap and easily available, the revival goes far beyond anything that was here in the last 400 years (when Loius Bertrant Castel build his first ColorCembalo). We are numerours and we have electronics that are geared toward us - as seen in our own Pioneer videoturntable. Well all is fine but there is something missing that was there all throughout. The message and the search for it. In the early times the audiovisual artists tried to search for the perfect connection of color and sound then form and sound. When they found out that there might be a deep psychological connection but no scientific one they experimented and tried to find a message, with there hardware (first portable video synthesizer 1969), with their pictures (halizunogen to free the mind late 60s). Then came commercialisation and this is where I leave it to Peter Rubin with his and our videomix project to explain what goes wrong and where we – the Visual Artist Rebells – will need to go instead.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
John Lennon: what's some of his stuff worth these days? Hmmm...
John Lennon's military tunic and an oil painting from the legend's student days are to be auctioned in a collection estimated to be worth $2 million.
Bids on a poster can be cheaper than a super-cheap bottle of wine (and nobody bought it...):
Rare John Lennon - Imagine Poster Beatles OUT OF PRINT
ADAM HERSH AUCTIONS - THE #1 POSTER & ART SELLER ONLINE
Auction has ended
All Items Ship From Florida, NY
Hell, let's get cheaper, can we? It even fits the latest fast-food one dollar menu:
Sep-07-05 12:31:13 PDT
Sep-04-05 12:31:13 PDT
ALL ITEMS SHIPPED FROM FLORIDA - USA!
Check item description and payment instructions or contact seller for details
But let the high rollers speak the real deal (What went down this last summer):
John Lennon auction opens today
28 July 2005, 06:23
The tunic which inspired the Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover will be auctioned today. It is going under the hammer in a sale of John Lennon memorabilia which is expected to fetch #1.2 million. The military band tunic, worn by Lennon in a Life magazine photoshoot in 1966, is predicted to sell for #30,000.
Take this bid: John Lennon’s 1956 Austin Princess, the modified hearse featured in his 1973 documentary, “Imagine,” is among items to be auctioned starting Oct. 2 at http://www.juliensauctions.com.
The car, complete with Lennon-signed registration, is valued at $200,000 to $300,000, Julien’s Auctions said Tuesday.
On Lane and dating, this one is hard to forget:
She recalls, "I was at a rock concert and it was in Texas. They had these Texas-sized beverages. I didn't go the restroom in time, and the whole amphitheatre (was) pouring into the parking lot.
"I said (to my date), 'Look, I still have this container. I think I can go in your car,' which is fine. It was a success story, until I had to pull the leather pants back up - and I knocked it over! "We had the T-shirts from the concert so we (dried it up with those). It was terrible but I was a kid.
"My grandmother set me up with him, bless his heart. He was a very nice man... I'm sure the paint peeled off after that Texas beer!"
No sitting on the lap for that one.
Monday, September 12, 2005
In 2005 critics observe the sameness of playlists (but today, unlike Andy's time consumers have ipods): You might see 10 videos a day on MTV, and radio conglomerates have pretty much the same playlist," says Chris DeWolfe, CEO of MySpace. "This generation of 16-to-34-year-olds has grown up with choice. They program their own iPods. The music area of MySpace has grown so fast because the whole process is interesting and interactive and it offers a central place to discover music. The same thing is happening on the video side."
When the periphery becomes the center, the consumer still finds a way to complain based on problematics of homogeneity: I gave up on MTV when it turned MTVE (MTV Europe). However, i still enjoy watching some of the "celebrity programsW they have on i.e. Cribs, The Osbournes and Pimp my ride. But everything else is just pure crap, I can't believe how many times they actually can play the same song over and over. And how they have narrowed the musical genres to just hip-hop, rnb and pop.
Reinforcing Andy's 1984 interpretation, Mtv apparently realized the problem with how videos can appear to be the same formula, and eventually tried to diversify its programming. This culminated in a TV genre that took over all the other major networks: reality TV, one which now is swallowing the originators for its sameness: One guiding creative principle at MTV Networks is that good ideas are allowed to rise from the bottom up. Also vital, says Mr Freston, is frequent consumer research and changing the channels' content before the popularity of a particular type of programming passes its peak. MTV started the reality-television genre back in 1992 with a programme called “The Real World” when it saw that back-to-back music videos were losing their novelty. But now the reality genre “has a sameness”, says Mr Freston, “and we're trying to move away from it”.
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Andy Says: And everybody was saying it was like the sixties. The show was great, really the fashion is so good again with these disco kids, they have a real look. Like the boys with the straight cut over one eye. So extreme now.
In a way it is like the sixties in 2005: So extreme, not just in fashion but in politics; they had Nam, we have Iraq: The Bush administration has offered three main reasons for war with Iraq. First, Iraq has developed and may possess weapons of mass destruction, has a history of aggression against its neighbors, and has sponsored international terrorism. The administration argues that since Iraq might share such weapons with terrorists, only war can eliminate this threat to the United States.
More recently, such ideology has been combined with more natural events: Disaster officials told Knight Ridder news service that “the government wasn’t prepared, scrimped on storm spending and shifted its attention from dealing with natural disasters to fighting the global war on terrorism.”
But on Nam: Often discussed by news media, the “Vietnam syndrome” usually has a negative connotation, implying knee-jerk opposition to military involvement. Yet public backing for a war has much to do with duration and justification. A year after the invasion of Iraq began, Noam Chomsky observed: “Polls have demonstrated time and time again that Americans are willing to accept a high death toll—although they don’t like it, they’re willing to accept it—if they think it’s a just cause. There’s never been anything like the so-called Vietnam syndrome: it’s mostly a fabrication. And in this case too if they thought it was a just cause, the 500 or so [American] deaths would be mourned, but not considered a dominant reason for not continuing. No, the problem is the justice of the cause.”
Extreme it is.