Monday, May 28, 2012

Upticking Markets for Women Artists

Posted By on Mon, May 28, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Cindy Shermans Untitled #96. Photo courtesy Christies Images Ltd. 2012
  • Cindy Sherman's "Untitled #96." Photo courtesy Christie's Images Ltd. 2012

A recent article in The Economist, a rather curious, at times spurious analytical culling-together of data from auction tallies and Artnet, reveals that the most expensive women artists of the post-war and contemporary period, while still grossly underpaid compared to their male counterparts, can likely look forward to increasingly improving lots.

What's more, the data indicate an arguable—in various ways—formal force behind the trend.

The analysis opens with a brief account of a recent sale of post-war and contemporary works at Christie's. Raking in $388 million, the evening's sales were the auction house's highest ever for works from that period. Yet a further point of interest is the disparity between works by men and works by women—because there was at least a little bit more parity than usual: "[I]t had ten lots by eight women artists, amounting to a male-to-female ratio of five-to-one. (Sotheby's evening sale offered a more typical display of male-domination with an 11-to-one ratio.)"

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Photos from Last Night's Literary Upstart Reading

Posted By on Fri, May 25, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Wythe Hotel last night for the second semifinal reading of this year's Literary Upstart: The Search for Pocket Fiction. If the rained scared you off, here are some pictures to tide you over until the last semifinal, on Wednesday, June 6, two weeks hence; and at the final, on June 27.

If you'd like to submit a story and haven't yet, pleased be advised that the submission deadline is Memorial Day—this Monday, May 28.

Plus! Stay tuned next week for the unveiling of Upstart's new microliterary contest, Twitterary Upstart!

Slideshow
Literary Upstart 2012: The Second Semifinal
Literary Upstart 2012: The Second Semifinal Literary Upstart 2012: The Second Semifinal Literary Upstart 2012: The Second Semifinal Literary Upstart 2012: The Second Semifinal Literary Upstart 2012: The Second Semifinal Literary Upstart 2012: The Second Semifinal Literary Upstart 2012: The Second Semifinal Literary Upstart 2012: The Second Semifinal

Literary Upstart 2012: The Second Semifinal

By Sam Polcer

Click to View 22 slides

All photos by Sam Polcer.

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Cake Shop Asks For Your Help In Keeping Its Doors Open

Posted By on Fri, May 25, 2012 at 2:58 PM

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If you're a young band trying to make it in New York, there's a good chance you are, or will be, familiar with the small basement stage of Cake Shop. Countless acts—including the likes of now-famous Vampire Weekend and the Dirty Projectors—have gotten their start under those dim Christmas lights, playing for crowds two inches away from the stage on any given side. Nick Bodor started Cake Shop with his brother Andy in 2006, and in 2009 they went on to open indie show space Bruar Falls in Williamsburg. But despite both venues' healthy followings, there's been trouble: Last year, Bruar Falls sadly shuttered its doors, and Cake Shop's been going through a period of financial struggle. That's why the Bodors have launched a crowdfunding site for Cake Shop with Pledge Music, and they're asking for support. "We want to be here for the long term," Nick told The L over the phone earlier today. "We're really honored and excited by how people care about us," he continued. "We really just set up everything there ourselves, and it's really rewarding that people like the place."

Here's an excerpt of the email Nick sent out to bloggers and Cake Shop fans alike:

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East River Ferry More Than Doubling The Size Of Its Boats, Adding Snacks

Posted By on Fri, May 25, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Could totes go for an egg cream right now.
  • "Could totes go for an egg cream right now."
Put today's crap weather out of your mind. You know a gorgeous Brooklyn summer is imminent when BillyBey, the East River ferry service, announces it's expanding the carrying capacity of its boats on weekends from 149 passengers to 399. Last week, the city built a floating dock 100 yards south of the Dumbo port in order to accommodate larger crowds, and on Tuesday, the East River ferry will be adding a second boat to the service between rush hours.

From the New York Times:

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6 Reasons to Stay in NYC This Memorial Day Weekend

Posted By on Fri, May 25, 2012 at 12:17 PM

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Thinking of hitting the road this weekend? We've got news for you: it's a lot quieter, calmer, and generally more pleasant staying in this city than the highway. But if you're looking for more fun ways to celebrate the start of summer than throwing your own barbecue, here are a few clues. Enjoy the mild weather and slow pace while it lasts!

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Alex Ross Perry Names His Favorite Incest Movies

Posted By on Fri, May 25, 2012 at 11:25 AM

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Fresh off a weeklong engagement at BAM, The Color Wheel opens today for a week at Cinema Village. "This is very exciting," director Alex Ross Perry wrote on his Facebook wall. "I saw The Brown Bunny for the second time at Cinema Village." At a Q&A with The New Yorker's Richard Brody on Wednesday, the second-to-last day of the BAM run, Perry talked about Vincent Gallo, Philip Roth, incest, and the differences between his character and his real self. (Mostly, it has to do with a belt.)

Alex Ross Perry loves BAM, so much so that he wore the free BAM socks he was recently given to a Q&A at the Rose Cinemas after a screening of his breakthrough feature, The Color Wheel, making him the first director, he hoped, to wear BAM socks at a BAM Q&A. Like his film, Perry can be silly, but also serious, cutting, and droll. His influences are varied, but Philip Roth is probably the biggest on the film's story and tone, he said—"humor plus the existential sense of sexual dread"; it's no accident that the credits use the typeface from the first edition of Portnoy's Complaint. (Perry said he spoke to the font's original designer, who was excited about their using it, and who "gave us advice, which we didn't use, on how to make the T better.")

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Your Moony Weekend at the Movies

Posted By on Fri, May 25, 2012 at 10:33 AM

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Moonrise Kingdom: Every time Wes Anderson releases a movie, which thankfully has been with greater relative frequency than his fellow class-of-late-90s auteurs (P.T. Anderson, Spike Jonze, Alexander Payne), I read about how it's just as calibrated and composed and Wes Anderson-y as ever, because I guess the greatest suspense in his career at this point has to do with whether he's going to suddenly abandon his personal style and make the stripped-down, unfunny, perhaps kitchen-sinky indie movie that clearly every interesting, stylish director of comedies should suppress his or her instincts to make. Then again, Moonrise Kingdom, which so far seems to be scoring some of the best reviews of Anderson's post-Rushmore career, may mark a turning point after which at least some people realize expecting a major stylistic change-up from Anderson is about as likely as Alfonso Cuaron deciding to indulge in smash-and-grab fast cutting.

This sort of understanding is exactly what I appreciate about Nicolas Rapold's L Mag review: rather than wringing more hands about whether Anderson makes movies that are too hermetic and glassed-in, it considers Moonrise in relation to Anderson's other films and on its own themes, visual schemes, and effectiveness. I haven't seen Moonrise yet, but if you look at Anderson's other films, you'll find variations within his precise style: the jarring violence of The Life Aquatic, the formal challenges of shooting on a moving train in The Darjeeling Limited, and replicating a particular filmmaking style in animation, a medium so often used for team efforts, aesthetically speaking. I like that this one is getting a Memorial Day weekend berth, a tacit admittance that: (a.) giving his movies fall prestige-picture slots is silly because they're not really Oscar bait and (b.) for a particular demographic with particular tastes, this is a massive summer movie.

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Brooklyn High Schoolers Dream Of A Newtown Creek With Ziplines

Posted By on Fri, May 25, 2012 at 9:49 AM

Eric Cartman, South Park fourth grader, on a zipline.
  • Eric Cartman, South Park fourth grader, on a zipline.
The idea of ziplining across the toxic sludge piles of today's Newtown Creek may sound sound more like an episode of Fear Factor than a pleasant day at the park, but a group of Brooklyn high schoolers have included the activity in their nationally commended plan to build a recreational space on the banks of the Superfund site.

Not only did the students of the city's Architecture Construction Engineering mentoring program dream of ziplines, but a massive ferris wheel, baseball fields, a boardwalk, and an amphitheater to boot, reports the Brooklyn Paper. The plan earned an honorable mention in the Construction Industry Roundtable’s national design competition, presumably for fresh, new hope in the face of sewage overflows, oil slicks and carcinogenic sediment. Plausible or not, we think it's great to think in these optimistic terms. Go big or go home, right?

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On Memorial Day, Hear the Music of Green-Wood's "Permanent Residents"

Posted By on Fri, May 25, 2012 at 8:58 AM

The InterSchool Orchestras Symphonic Band will play the 14th annual Memorial Day concert in Green-Wood Cemetery on Monday afternoon. We caught up with the band's 37-year-old founder and conductor Brian P. Worsdale to hear about gazebo times, the concert, and how he programs it to showcase the students as well as the cemetery's many famous "permanent residents."

How did the Memorial Day concerts at Green-Wood start?
The Memorial Day concerts have a rich history that began with the historic Goldman Memorial Band, followed by the Band of Long Island, and now the ISO Symphonic Band—which, it should be noted, was the first time a youth symphonic band played this historic event. And add to that the ensemble is Brooklyn-based.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dump Educators, Dump Education, Duh

Posted By on Thu, May 24, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Education is for the birds. Or whatever.
  • Education is for the birds. Or whatever. But the sky stays blue, so who cares?

Some museums are known for vast collections. Some are known for rarefied and priceless collections. Some are known for both.

Others might be known for variable period-specific holdings, curatorial integrity, visitor-friendliness, impressive architectural design, lush layout of grounds, perhaps even strangely intelligent placement of parking lots.

And then there's the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, which is somewhat well known for all such things. What's more, it's also long been well known for its educational program employing many highly skilled museum docents—and ostensibly decently paid ones—tasked with providing enriching tours for visitors.

Yet now this latter feature of the museum, according to Hyperallergic and the LA Times, has seen the keen side of the axe of payroll-slimming pecuniary scrutiny. The educational staff will keep only 32 of its 51 employees, and the teaching staff will drop from 17 docents to 5, all of which should save the museum just over $4 million of its annual budget. Meanwhile, other branches of the museum's payroll haven't been touched much at all, and the monies saved are earmarked for acquisitions.

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Scientists Name A Spider After Lou Reed

Posted By on Thu, May 24, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Loureedia.
  • Martin Forman
  • Loureedia.
Zoologists have a quirky sense of humor. Last week, an international group of researchers discovered a new genus of velvet spider and named it "Loureedia"—you know, after Lou Reed. Er, why?

"In recognition of the fact that this velvet spider lives underground, the new genus has been named Loureedia in a whimsical salute to the musician who began his distinguished career leading the 60s rock band 'The Velvet Underground,'" reports Sci-News.

Researchers then engaged in a massive laugh attack, pulling tissues from their pocket protectors to wipe up tears of whimsy.

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Stylish Older Women at the New Museum

Posted By on Thu, May 24, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Last night in the Sky Lounge at the New Museum, NOWNESS, the “editorially independent website of LVMH Mo√ęt Hennessy Louis Vuitton,” in association with powerHouse Books, hosted the launch for Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced Style, the book based on his successful blog about stylish older women. (Check it out if you haven’t already—these ladies know how to put an outfit together.) Many of Cohen’s subjects attended, along with some very well dressed youngsters; everyone was more than happy to pose for a few photos.

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Cannes 2012: Killing Them Softly, On the Road

Posted By on Thu, May 24, 2012 at 2:22 PM

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In Killing Them Softly, those citizens who believe in “America the Beautiful” are soft, meek, and doomed. Andrew Dominik’s brutally pessimistic vision of modern American capitalism resonates with anger from the very beginning, spraying its raging ideology across the frame in sharp flashes of violence and stylized dialogue sequences. While it lacks the poetry and melancholy of Dominik’s previous film, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Killing Them Softly feels like a spiritual cousin to that masterful Western. Both deal with the subject of economic Manifest Destiny, and in this particular Gangster universe, pulling ones self up by the bootstraps has never been so punishing and filthy.

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Six Big Name Acts With Brooklyn Ties That Should Play Barclays Center

Posted By on Thu, May 24, 2012 at 1:36 PM

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Four months from Memorial Day, on September 28, 2012, Brooklyn’s Barclays Center will host its very first event: a Jay-Z concert. After that, the arena’s scheduled shows include Barbra Streisand on October 11 and 13, Rush on October 22, and Justin Bieber on November 12 (as well as all those Brooklyn Nets games). With the exception of Jay-Z, there’s not much to get excited for there, unless you really like Roll the Bones. Below are suggestions of six big-name acts that could play Barclays and get us more excited than hearing “Boyfriend” for the 6,538th time.

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Bloomberg Isn't The Only One With A Helicopter Problem

Posted By on Thu, May 24, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Will.i.am. and his hip.hop.copter.
  • Will.i.am. and his hip.hop.copter.
Earlier this week, Mayor Bloomberg's helicopter activities caused a flap when neighbors of the 34th Street helipad complained of "choking exhaust and intolerable noise" after the landing area's curfew. The word "hypocritical" was even leveled at the mayor, a man who has made it a priority to "green" the city and wipe out smoking fumes from its parks. But Mike Bloomberg isn't the only one with a helicopter problem tarnishing his public image this week. On Monday, the Black Eyed Peas Will.i.am showed up to a climate change modelling meeting at Oxford University in a chopper, a vehicle (as the Guardian points out) that only gets one mile to the gallon.

The Guardian's Duncan Clark reports:


The giant sash windows of Oxford's spectacular Radcliffe Observatory were designed to provide astronomers the best possible view of the starry heavens. But on Monday I found myself using them to scour the skies for something altogether less likely: a helicopter carrying rap superstar Will.i.am to the university to discuss, of all things, distributed climate change modelling.

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It's Not Cool to Photoshop a Dick into a Woman's Mouth, Even if You Disagree With Her Ideas

Posted By on Thu, May 24, 2012 at 11:52 AM

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Because they have such progressive ideals, Hustler Magazine, in their "celebrity fantasy" section, has run a photoshopped picture of conservative political commentator and attractive woman S.E. Cupp with a dick in her mouth. Their explanation as to why is about as charming as you would expect:

S.E. Cupp is a lovely young lady who read too much Ayn Rand in high school and ended up joining the dark side. Cupp, an author and media commentator who often shows up on Fox News programs, is undeniably cute. But her hotness is diminished when she espouses dumb ideas like defunding Planned Parenthood. Perhaps the method pictured here is Ms. Cupp’s suggestion for avoiding an unwanted pregnancy. [The Blaze]

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Five Candidates For Unlikely Discography Reissue Campaigns

Posted By on Thu, May 24, 2012 at 10:42 AM

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In the “didn’t see that one coming” department, Temporary Residence has released the complete discography of Moss Icon, the surreal punk group who deftly eluded precise classification. This follows closely on the heels of the same label’s reissue of the discography of Bitch Magnet, a group whose trio of albums has earned them admirers from Superchunk’s Mac McCaughan to Battles’ Ian Williams. Merge Records has recently announced plans to reissue the discography of Sugar, the Bob Mould-led power-pop group who released numerous blisteringly catchy songs throughout the 90s. And Numero Group will be reissuing music from the slowcore outfit Codeine. All of this comes as welcome news: while there’s no shortage of excellent new music being made, it’s also good to see worthy music from a few years before given renewed attention. With that in mind, here are five other candidates for the deluxe reissue treatment, also chosen from the strange world of 90s punk and indie rock.

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With Spring, a New Sex Assault in South Slope

Posted By on Thu, May 24, 2012 at 9:50 AM

A woman was "groped in the front midsection" yesterday morning in South Slope near the Prospect Avenue subway station—the epicenter of the groping attacks that plagued the area last year, the Park Slope Patch reports. "As with the series of sexual assaults that took place over nine months last year," the Home Reporter reports, "the victim was a young Caucasian female and the suspect is described as a male Hispanic." The attack took place on 16th Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues.

The paper doesn't have the whole story, but early reports indicate that neighbors responded to the victim's screaming, caught the perpetrator, and detained him until police arrived. "It is rumored that responding officers let the suspect go and failed to take witness statements," the paper reports—a distressing echo of last year, when police were widely criticized for failing to respond seriously to the attacks.

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Electric Literature Launches New Site: "Recommended Reading"

Posted By on Thu, May 24, 2012 at 8:58 AM

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Electric Literature, the Brooklyn-based literary journal, yesterday launched Recommended Reading, "a free digital magazine that publishes one story a week, each chosen by a great author or editor." The premiere story is a new one by The Flame Alphabet's Ben Marcus. We spoke to editors Halimah Marcus and Benjamin Samuel about Tumblr, endorsements and long reads on the web.

So, are you publishing new stories, or previously published work?
Halimah Marcus: Both. Guest editors may choose unpublished or previously published work—journals, for instance, will select a story from their archives. When it’s Electric Literature’s turn to curate, which happens every fourth week, we’ll publish original fiction. Our first story, "Watching Mysteries with My Mother" by Ben Marcus, operates in part on a philosophical level, but resonates viscerally. The goal, whether or not the story has been published, is to distinguish extraordinary pieces of fiction through personal recommendations.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

In Which Chris Elliott and Adam Resnick Return to 92YTribeca As Cabin Men: An Interview

Posted By on Wed, May 23, 2012 at 3:42 PM

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Comedy writer Adam Resnick met performer and satire scion Chris Elliott while interning for David Letterman's groundbreaking late-night program in the mid-80s. The two struck up a friendship and creative partnership that would produce, most notably, the now-classic anti-sitcom Get A Life and the 1994 sea-faring film-oddity Cabin Boy—the latter of which has grown in popularity since its initial, less-than-enthusiastic reception. Indeed, during the first few test screenings audience members fled from their seats confused at the 20-minute mark; Chris and Adam's names were met with silence as the premiere's end credits played. Cabin Boy has since been christened into the AV Club's New Cult Canon, and will be showing on Friday, May 25th at 92Y Tribeca's screening room. Both Chris and Adam will be in attendance for a Q&A between the evening's two screenings—the second added after the first sold out, a month in advance—and can likely expect more applause during the titles.

Speaking to Chris and Adam over the phone about the film, I felt somewhat superfluous—their years as friends are evident in their lissome conversation, and I could tell that they'd chewed over Cabin Boy before with the help of more than a few drinks. But I had to interject several times to insist how well the film has aged for an early-90s comedy. It dreamy, dada aesthetic, through which Chris's powder-wigged “Fancy Lad” literally sails, and the obstreperous lack of pop culture references in favor of tobacco-spitting-cupcake weirdness have proved prescient—especially considering Adult Swim's brand of surreal nostalgia. Chris and Adam are reluctant to accept the film's cult following, having been, in their own words, “trained” to hate their own creation, but they've slowly come around to acknowledging the movie's merits. Our conversation traced the outline of their collaborative efforts, which were gathering hilarious, critically-acclaimed steam until the Cabin Boy debacle.

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