Controversial Algerian artist ADEL ABDESSEMED whose works depicting animals in often violent and fatal situations has brought his incomparable vision to American shores with his first NYC solo gallery show “Rio” at DAVID ZWIRNER. Opening last weekend to a crowd that included the awestruck alongside the aghast, the show’s crowing installation was a massive sculpture of twisted and intertwined plane wreckage that transformed the original vehicles into what closely resembled a trio of wrestling earthworms that inevitably brought to mind the crash landing of a passenger plane in the Hudson River this winter. The most divisive works, of course, could be found in the exhibition’s screening room where short films of animal fighting and abuse were screened in loops as an illustration of cultural violence not intended for the faint of heart. In fact, this is exactly the type of work Republicans usually trot out in front of Congress when lobbying against Federally subsidized arts programs. Explaining the show’s title, the artist said, “The show is called Rio, meaning river. I observe the world with the same fascination that my daughter, Rio, contemplates the big animals in the zoo that are thirsty and hungry.” Having roused the ire of Italian audiences with his “The Wings of God,” exhibition in Turin, Italy and the outright condemnation of pseudo-hippies in the Bay Area with his “Don’t Trust Me” show at the SF Art Institute (which was canceled before the scheduled end date), both of which featured similarly violent animal films, Abdessemed is boldly taking the fight for artistic expression to the front lines of the art world with the help of a gallery unintimidated by the current pervasive climate of fear and loathing. An impressive array of other conceptual works including “Music Box,” with a mechanism made from an oil drum, and “Prostitute,” a set of leather bound copies of the Bible, Torah, and Koran, each meticulously handwritten, page by page, by actual prostitutes rounds out the provocative show which, in these knee-knocking times, should be considered essential viewing for all. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Lance and Ed Ruscha talk art and Ed plans his next masterpiece based around Livestrong' new bionic clavicle...
There's only one superhuman whose life that headline could apply to in reference to the span of a mere two weeks. Of course, the freak of nature in question just happens to be Supertouch's own resident cycle killer LANCE ARMSTRONG. After debuting his new KAWS designed TREK MADONE in the legendary MILAN-SANREMO race on March 21st only to crash it and his now shattered collarbone in the Spanish classic VUELTA CASTILLA Y LEON race two days later, the seemingly indestructible hard charger is now the proud owner of a new clavicle implant that looks suspiciously like twelve drywall screws and a piece of old bender board. Of course, we gave up a career in professional sports medicine and surgery years ago so our frame of reference might be a bit outdated. Now on the mend and back on the bike in preparation of his scheduled runs in June's GIRO and the TOUR DE FRANCE in July, ol' Livestrong managed to log some bro time at the house in Austin last week with visiting LA art legend ED RUSCHA who was in town for a lecture at UT. Currently hitting the mountains hard at altitude in Aspen, the man with nine lives is proving that the term unstoppable was in fact originally coined in reference to him. Keep an eye on ST for updates from the road, and a sneek peek at Lance's upcoming round of new artist-designed race bikes. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
In case you've been living under a rock today, a US AIRWAYS plane crashed into the Hudson River in NYC today after a bird flew into the engine. Luckily, everyone survived after what's been described as a "masterful landing" in the frigid waters. Of course, they managed to pull the surviving "dude" out of the crowd for the commentary:
We love seeing untouched vintage graffiti, and this sighting of a large piece by Parisian street artist FAFI and her then-boyfriend TILT on the wall in a DEATH VALLEY ghost town is a welcome find...
The biggest complaint we've got about life in the 21st century, aka: "The Future," is the near-total lack of the really cool inventions Pop Culture has been promising us for the last 50 years. Yeah iPhones are kinda cool, but you still can't do a video or hologram chat on one (WTF Steve Jobs?!?), laptop computers have just created a race of modern information slaves, and anyone found traveling by Segway is pretty much guaranteed (or at the very least, deserves) a severe beat down (especially the fat lazy cops who ride em). We want our flying cars, time machines, and jet packs now! And while you can pretty much file the flying car and time machine ideas in the "never" category, this week inventor GLENN MARTIN unveiled the first fully functional consumer-grade jet pack in the futuristic town of Oshkosh, Wisconsin proving that some semblance of a Jetson-ian future might not be too far off. Demonstrating the pack in the video here was the inventor's 16-year-old son (after all, you can always make more kids, right?) who was prevented by spotters from taking to full flight in public until more test flights have been completed. Designed to fly an average-sized pilot 30 miles in 30 minutes on a 5-gallon tank of gas, the MARTIN JET PACK can be had for a measly $100,000 Earth dollars, and since it is designed to conform to the FAA's definition of an ultralight vehicle—which weighs less than 254 pounds and carries only one passenger—a pilot's license won't be required for users. No word yet on when the death machine will go on sale but we've got a short list of "friends" we'd love to gift them to...
For those scratching their heads at the sight of the following images, in the last two decades a bizarre and violent musical subculture called Black Metal has emerged in Norway. It has its roots in a heady blend of splatter movies, heavy metal music, Satanism, Pagan mythology and adolescent angst. In the early-mid 1990’s, members of this extremist underground committed murder, burned down medieval wooden churches, and desecrated graveyards...Read More
The art world lost one of its great countercultural pioneers this Sunday morning, June 1st when psychedelic artist ALTON KELLEY passed away in Northern California at age 68. He is best known as half of the famous poster design team of "Kelley & Mouse" (the "Mouse" in question being one Stanley Mouse) who together fabricated some of the most iconic images of the 1960s & early '70s psychedelic movement. Both shared a profound love of hot rods, motorcycles, and general outlaw culture and the pair worked in tandem to create some of the most memorable concert posters for Bill Graham's Fillmore East & West and Chet Helms' Family Dog venues, including the legendary and ubiquitous Read More
Yeah, that title sounds scary and it should be. Eating in Beijing can certainly be dicey and the street food is truly a thing to behold. Nearly all manner of strange and seemingly inedible creature is represented in an endless stream of street stalls, all impaled on bamboo sticks ready to be cooked—or not—to your discerning standards. To untrained Western eyes, these stalls look more like a setup for Jackass than a serious culinary operation. Of course, freshness is prized in China so many of the selections are still alive in cages awaiting your selection and subsequent preparation. Of course, we couldn’t resist a quick tour. Needless to say, it was a strict diet of white rice after this outing, though. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
DR ALBERT HOFMANN, father of the mind-altering drug LSD and the man who single-handedly enabled the defining consciousness movement of the 20th Century died of a heart attack at his home in Basel, Switzerland yesterday at the age of 102. The above portrait of Hofmann was painted by Supertouch’s own psychedelic guru ALEX GREY in honor of Hoffman’s 100th birthday in 2006. In 1938, the Swiss chemist discovered Lysergic Acid Diethylamide-25 accidentally while working in the lab and unknowingly became the drug’s first Read More
AN EXHIBITION TO DIE FOR—LITERALLY
LONDON. The German artist GREGOR SCHNEIDER is planning the ultimate performance piece: showing a person dying as part of an exhibition. “I want to display a person dying naturally in the piece or somebody who has just died,” he told The Art Newspaper. “My aim is to show the beauty of death.” The artist says that Dr Roswitha Franziska Vandieken, who runs her own private clinic in Düsseldorf, has agreed to help find volunteers who are willing to die in public in the name of art. Dr Vandieken was unavailable for comment. “I am confident that we’ll find people to take part,” says Schneider. He says he would like to stage the performance at the Haus Lange museum in Krefeld, Germany. The museum declined to comment. Schneider says that if the museum will not agree to take part, he will stage the piece in a studio space in his hometown of Rheydt, western Germany. Schneider has long been fascinated with the idea of showing death in a museum setting: in 2000 he himself feigned death as part of an exhibition at the Haus Esters museum in Krefeld. —Gareth Harris, The Art Newspaper