How many times have I heard people describe a new new laptop computer or i-Whatever as sexy? So much so that apple has built a brand on technology that people want to touch, hold, explore. Sleek, clean, shiny. High-touch and high-tech. And yet, when I think of sex toys design, I often think garish, clunky, and tacky. Why would the ultimate in touchable tech not follow suit?
A photograph from Shadi Ghadirian's "Qajar" series.
I planned to write only about Sara Rahbar today, but in researching her and her work I found a few more amazing Iranian artists highlighted in the Saatchi Gallery's 2009 exhibition "Unveiled: New Art From the Middle East". This post will only feature Rahbar and Shadi Ghadirian, but I urge you to check out the work of Shirin Fakhim, Tala Madani, Laleh Khorramian and the other very talented artists from that exhibit.
Say what you will about Lady Gaga (she's important for feminists, she's anti-feminist, she's just downright confusing, etc.) but you have to admit that she knows how to put it out there. Her whole existence in the public sphere reads as a giant performance piece (the costumes! the bizarre behavior! the rumors! the extravagant videos!) so it's no surprise that she considers herself a performance artist. Well, Klaus Biesenbach, MOMA and P.S. 1 curator, has news for her: She isn't one. (Yes, apparently it is up to him to decide.)
Update! Margaret Doyle at MOMA sent me an email titled, "correction on Lady Gaga story"! Read on for the rest.
Recently, The Guardian asked several successful fiction writers to come up with a top ten list of their personal writing dos and don'ts. Since we've all got a secret novelist lurking within us (don't pretend you haven't fantasized about going on a book tour) here are some of the more interesting tips from the likes of Margaret Atwood, Zadie Smith, Jeanette Winterson, and more.
Most of the art our culture celebrates is the same type of art that makes me yawn. See, I enjoy art that gets my blood racing. For me, good art needs to be both aesthetically appealing and make my brain hurt. Because of my intense predilection for this type of provocative eye candy, I was exceedingly pleased recently to discover the Visibility Project—a female, Asian American, Queer portraiture project by Bay Area Photographer Mia Nakano and Los Angeles collaborator Christine Pan.
The problematic policy of Don't Ask Don't Tell, implemented in 1993 by President Bill Clinton, has now been beautifully, if not dutifully rendered visible by LA-based photographer Jeff Sheng. That is, visible to the certain point his courageous subjects can be while in uniform.
February 3rd, 2010 marked the 116th birthday of Norman Rockwell. Google's clever inclusion of his art among the letters of the search engine's logo alerted me to the historic date. Oh Google! You went and did it again with your clever intertextuality.
Rockwell rose to artistic fame with his Americana paintings depicting everyday life and its sentiments. On May 29th, 1943 The Saturday Evening Post ran as its cover Rockwell's painting of "Rosie the Riveter." Norman Rockwell's painting was the first widely publicized visual representation of Rosie the Riveter. Rockwell's Rosie was a commanding figure decked in overalls and a matching work shirt. She is confident as she gazes out into the distance, all the while using as a foot stool a bruised and battered copy of Hitler's Mein Kampf. Rockwell's Rosie is undeniably a more potent image than that which has come to culturally represent Rosie the River, J. Howard Miller's "We Can Do It."
"The greatest thing is that I can never anticipate how people are going to react to my projects. Without fail, it's a hugely delightful experience and that's why I do any of the pieces I've done. I want to see the exchange with the people." ~ Keetra Dean Dixon