National Academy's death knell

So it seems the National Academy Museum in New York has been blacklisted by the American Association of Museums and Association of Art Museum Directors for selling off two pieces of art to cover operating costs rather than to acquire new work, as is the only permitted reason for deaccessioning.

In an e-mail message on Dec. 5 to its 190 members, it denounced the academy, founded in 1825, for “breaching one of the most basic and important of A.A.M.D.’s principles” and called on members “to suspend any loans of works of art to and any collaborations on exhibitions with the National Academy.”

I'm on the National Academy's side, and agree that it should be fair for them to claim "We’re going to go broke or we’re going to sell off two paintings, what do you think?’"

Read the full article on the NY Times here


Video of the week

Today I think I'm starting an every monday video of the week courtesy of youtube. Today is Doc Watson's "Deep River Blues"

Doc Watson was born in Deep Gap, North Carolina. According to Doc on his three CD biographical recording Legacy, he got the nickname "Doc" during a live radio broadcast when the announcer remarked that his given name Arthel was odd and he needed an easy nickname to go by. A fan in the crowd shouted "Call him Doc!" presumably in reference to the Sherlock Holmes sidekick Doctor Watson. The name stuck ever since.

An eye infection caused Doc Watson to lose his vision before his first birthday. Despite this, he was taught by his parents to work hard and care for himself. He attended North Carolina's school for the visually impaired, The Governor Morehead School, in Raleigh NC.

Doc plays guitar in both flatpicking and fingerpicking style, but is best known for his flatpick work. His guitar playing skills, combined with his authenticity as a mountain musician, made him a highly influential figure during the folk music revival. He pioneered a fast and flashy bluegrass lead guitar style, including fiddle tunes and crosspicking techniques, which was adopted and extended by Clarence White, Tony Rice and many others. He is also an accomplished banjo player and in the past has accompanied himself on harmonica as well. Known also for his distinctive and rich baritone voice, he has over the years developed a vast repertoire of mountain ballads which he learned via the oral tradition of his home area in Deep Gap, North Carolina. His affable manner, humble nature and delightful wit have endeared him to his fans nearly as much as his musical talent has.

He continues to play to this day, though he has scaled back on touring.



winter wonderland

I spotted these originally on Wooster Collective's site which then lead me to the creator - Aly Lenon at 2pie.

I can't get past the fact that these are actually indentations, created by pressing themselves into snow on people's cars, and not 3-D sculptures.


death of a legend

I knew Bettie was sick and was probably going to die, but somehow it just hit so much harder then I expected it would. Whether or not anyone thinks she was beautiful, or unique, or really special doesn't matter, as long as everyone knows that she was free and did as she pleased. The world just became a little bit sadder of a place now that she's gone.

RIP Bettie Page


Ryan McGinniss book signing

Though I'm not the biggest fan of his newer work (I'm a McGinniss circa 2003 fan myself), I was pretty excited to hear about his new book and subsequent signing that will be happening in New York this Saturday, December 13th.

His newest book, No Sin/ No Future (2008, Ginko Press) is a collaged collection of snapshots, sketches, and scans culled from the artist's studio archives. Sketchbook notes collide with photos of in-progress painting and combine with vectors and bitmaps, creating a dense site-specific visual mash-up that provides insight into the mind and process of this prolific artist. No Sin/ No Future is a limited edition of 2,500- so either head over to Zakka in Brooklyn this Saturday, December 13th, for a book launch and signing.