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Post #1059 • September 21, 2007, 7:28 AM • 20 Comments

Condolences to our good friend Ryan McCourt, whose Ganesha sculptures will be taken down under pressure from Albertan Hindus. The story made the Globe and Mail (via AJ), and of course Studiosavant is all over it. continues to support the unfettered depiction and display of all mythical figures and events, including those of living religions.

In other news from the swelling ranks of the easily offended, a Connecticut school teacher has resigned over giving an intelligent comic to a thirfourteen year old girl who consequently was exposed to pictures of breasts. Salacious images available. Turgidity-inducing stuff, no?

Dangerous Chunky is back.

"It seems as though the only people who put out manifestos these days are designers and serial killers."

"Subtlety has never been my hallmark. Cartoons only work UNPARSED. Unexamined. Un-deconstructed. Two weeks ago the Today Show spent 10 minutes doing exactly that with the Opus Muslim strips, and it was like watching someone try to iron wet toilet paper." Berkeley Breathed in the WaPo. Or not, as the case may be. (Journalista)

How to turn a sphere inside out.

Ramen. (Andrew)

Artists 'draw on air' to create 3D illustrations. (Reddit)

I myself have sexy vector pin-up needs. (I guess I might as well link to this now.)

Necee Regis, jet-setter and friend of, explores the Princes' Islands in Turkey.

"This time I drew a picture."

I can run, but you can't hide.

Support! Buy me this and I will have happy feelings. (JL)

"Here's LEV, my theremin-playing robot first seen at Artbots 2003, playing a familiar song with the help of the newly built thumpbot and an obsolete synthesizer. (Waxy) Artbots?

Department of Skills: Les Claypool. Bonus: the video for Winona's Big Brown Beaver, which I'd like to dedicate to the Hindu Society of Alberta.




September 21, 2007, 8:04 AM

Mayor Mandel on the podium "At the same time we don't want to be censoring art either, so we have to strike a fine balance."

(Whispers to an aide: "get that shit out of there!")

Gotta love it.

As for the teacher, remember the kid that got suspended for drawing a picture of a gun down in good ol' Tx a few weeks ago? The price of a clean mind is eternal vigilance!

Now that the unfortunate 14-year-old knows that there is such a thing as breasts she will be impelled, no doubt, to go home and tune in to porn on the interenet, which any kid can view at leisure after school.

That Stuart Davis tome has been in the works for ages. Agee and Wilkin are first-rate and the book will be first-rate too. If you want another excellent & expensive piece of weighty reading matter (comes in at about 25 pounds, I think) try:



September 21, 2007, 8:25 AM

opie, does that book include noland, poons, olitski, dzubas, r. davis, bannard, boxer, steiner, sander,christensen and or other notable 2nd -3rd generation guys?



September 21, 2007, 8:35 AM

It includes Noland, Poons, Olitski and Bannard but not Ron Davis, Dzubas, Boxer, Sander & Christensen.

it seems to have a strong slant towards geometricism but I really can't figure if there is any explicit guideline for the choices made.



September 21, 2007, 8:39 AM

how about bush or other canadiens?



September 21, 2007, 10:04 AM

Nope, no Bush or Canadians.



September 21, 2007, 2:03 PM

and thanks.


Marc Country

September 21, 2007, 9:04 PM

Reports as to the offensiveness of my sculptures have been greatly exagerated. Thanks for the condolences, Franklin. As I'm sure most artblog.netters know, if there's one thing I hate, it's an argument...

Opie, you nail a good Mandel line there, but it hardly competes with this loo-loo, from the petitioners spokeslawyer: “We're not trying to censor,” Veylan says. Oh, no, of course not... perish the thought. Oh, but the scultures have to come out tomorrow at 8:30 am...
Some funny shit, I tell ya...


Herbert B. Patrotage

September 22, 2007, 7:15 AM

A good article on Ganeshgate by columnist Paula Simons appears in today's Edmonton Journal (and on the aforementioned Studiosavant website).



September 22, 2007, 7:29 AM

Simons piece.



September 22, 2007, 9:59 AM

That mayor is not too swift. There were so many other ways to handle it, including some that would work to his political advantage. He doersn't even seem to know the old time-killing trick of calling an ad hoc "cultural committee" to "study and reflect" and "issue a report", or to call a "community forum", by which time the sculptures would be down anyway.

Anyway, Marc: ink is ink. Don't forget that.


Marc Country

September 22, 2007, 2:14 PM

I just hope that nobody figures out this was all a hoax planned by the hindu petitioners and the artist, who each got far more than their usual share of publicity out of this whole kerfuffle...



September 22, 2007, 3:10 PM

Wait, Marc, you mean this wasn't one of those Ofili-Hirst numbers? I thought you'd gotten yourself some high-level publicist to help you break into the big time as a "trangressive" artist. Hasn't Saatchi contacted you yet? If you ask me, you should have used a formerly live pickled elephant. The rich idiot who bought the Hirst shark would have been all over you.



September 22, 2007, 3:24 PM

you should have used a formerly live pickled elephant

Or you could have an elephantitis sufferer for publicist.



September 22, 2007, 3:58 PM

Well, we wouldn't want Marc to get all puffed up about himself.



September 22, 2007, 4:49 PM

An ivory tower would mitigate the effects of over-inflation, gravitationally speaking.


Marc Country

September 22, 2007, 10:13 PM

Speaking of Offili, does anyone remember, when Guiliani objected to the "Sensation" show, did he actually order the work to come down? DId the show have to close due to the Mayor's objections, or was there scandal, but only attempted, but unsuccessful, censorship?...



September 23, 2007, 7:46 AM

Marc, from Wikipedia:

The exhibition was shown in New York City at the Brooklyn Museum of Art from 2 October 1999 to 9 January 2000. The New York show was met with instant protest, centering on The Holy Virgin Mary by Chris Ofili, which had not provoked this reaction in London. It showed a black Madonna smeared with elephant dung, surrounded by small collaged images of female genitalia from pornographic magazines; these seemed from a distance to be the traditional cherubim. The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights issued press statements asking for a boycott of the museum and asking citizens to write to New York City Council asking that the museum have its public funds pulled.

The most powerful voice of protest was Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who declared the show to be "insulting to Catholics". He stated that there was "nothing in the First Amendment that supports horrible and disgusting projects," and that "if you're going to use taxpayers' dollars, you have to be sensitive to the feelings of the public."

There was intense pressure to remove federal funding for the Museum and The House of Representatives even passed a nonbinding resolution to this effect on 3 October 1999. New York City then stopped funding to the Brooklyn Museum. On 1 November, Judge Nina Gershon ordered the City to not only restore the funding that was denied to the Museum, but also to refrain from continuing its ejectment action.

The debate continued to rage, involving the Cardinal of St Patrick's Cathedral, the First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, the American Civil Liberties Union and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Protesters outside the museum variously said the rosary, handed out vomit bags and threw manure in protest.

As a precautionary measure, the museum placed Ofili's "Holy Virgin Mary" behind protective glass. On 16 December 1999 a 72-year-old man was arrested for "criminal mischief" after he smeared white paint on this painting. The graffiti was soon removed.


Marc Country

September 23, 2007, 8:12 AM

"Now that the unfortunate 14-year-old knows that there is such a thing as breasts she will be impelled, no doubt, to go home and tune in to porn on the interenet, which any kid can view at leisure after school."

No, Opie, you just don't understand the seriousness of the situation. Comic book depictions of breasts (like the ones Franklin so salaciously linked to) are like a gateway drug. A fourteen year old girl who sees such things is likely to get hooked, to the point where she may even attempt to grow her own...



September 23, 2007, 10:31 AM

Unfortunately, the shitty Ofili item got people to bite on a calculated controversy that played right smack into what Ofili and the show's promoters wanted. The blatant obviousness of the ploy should have been more than enough to avoid falling for it, but I guess shock is like sex--there's always a very sizeable susceptible audience.

More and more, I feel that shitty art of any sort is better dealt with by critical dissection (or evisceration), resolute rejection and cold disdain. If the stuff is shit, getting too hot and bothered, let alone frothing at the mouth over it, is taking it too seriously and dignifying it with the potential perception that it actually has substance. It's sort of like getting upset that the celebrity bimbo du jour has no talent.

I realize this approach is much easier for someone in my position, because I'm not tied to or dependent on the art world, and I could easily tell the whole system to fuck off and mean it. However, the show cannot go on if there's no audience, or not enough of one, and if the audience demanded to be satisfied on its own terms, as I obviously do, you'd better believe we'd be looking at a different show.



September 23, 2007, 9:33 PM

Today was the last day of the Rufino Tamayo show at MAM, and also free admission, so I went. It was certainly a major Tamayo assemblage, covering his entire long career (he lived 1899-1991). It seemed quite comprehensive and was well presented.

The early work can be fairly good but seems rather derivative. The later work is more individual and distinctive, and it is eminently respectable, but its reach tends to exceed its grasp. There's a certain stiffness or awkwardness, a sense of laboriousness, and a kind of earnest theatricality which is vaguely stagy. The color is rarely first-rate, though it is fussed over enough. Generally speaking, one is always aware of the reaching, and of course some pieces work better than others, but it's as if this formalism is too formal, or has too much formality.

No question this is preferable to the doctrinaire and/or schlocky Diego Rivera, not to mention the ridiculously hyped up Kahlo, and I'm glad I saw the show (which I also think was a good move for MAM). If others here saw it, it would be interesting to hear other reactions to it.

By the way, make absolutely sure not to miss the Goya show that just opened at the Freedom Tower. It apparently includes practically all of his prints (property of a Spanish bank). It's open through November 9, Tues-Sat 12-7, and I think it's free. I haven't been yet, but needless to say, it's a must-see.



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