Saturday, October 15, 2016

True Artist Tales at the Galveston Artist Residency

by Robert Boyd

I've been sitting on this until we got the official press release written, but now all can be revealed. I am curating an exhibit of 130+ pieces of art by Scott Gilbert at the Galveston Artist Residency starting in November. I hope you can come out. Here's the press release:
In 1988, Scott Gilbert was a Masters of Fine Art student at the legendary Lawndale Annex of the University of Houston. He asked a professor, Derek Boshier, if he could do a comics project for an independent study class. Boshier said yes, on one condition. He made it a requirement that Gilbert get the comic published. Gilbert approached a local newsweekly, The Public News, and started his strip, True Artist Tales. Initially the comic strip was set among the artists of Houston, but he soon spread out to drawing highly political comics as well as very personal and revealing comics. And what started as a class project lasted from February 1988 until October 2000, starting at the Public News, moving to the Houston Press in 1997.

Scott Gilbert was born in 1961, studied art at the University of South Florida and then started his MFA at the University of Houston in the mid 80s. In addition to True Artist Tales, he has had work published by Fantagraphics Books, Dark Horse Comics and Caliber and has collaborated with famed autobiographical comic writer, Harvey Pekar. His art is known for its strong chiaroscuro effects and visual influences ranging from Alex Toth to Jaime Hernandez to Chester Brown. True Artist Tales was unusually philosophical for a comic strip, and his comics feature such legendary Houston settings as the Axiom, Commerce Street Artist Warehouse, Pik-N-Pak, etc., as well as strips from the road set in Fort Davis, Port Aransas and Balmorhea. In addition, Gilbert did a number of serialized stories, including the early one True Artist Tales Featuring Nick Duchamp, a quasi-hardboiled detective story set within the Houston art community, which will be rerun on the art website Glasstire starting in October, and Mysterioso, his hilarious and shocking modern retelling of Faust starring conscience-stricken gangster, Franco "the Animal" Guzman. The entirety of Mysterioso will be included in the retrospective, which includes 133 pieces of Gilbert's original comic art.

The exhibit is curated by Robert Boyd, who has long been involved in both comics and art. He was an editor for Fantagraphics Books and published the Houston-based art blog, The Great God Pan Is Dead.

Please join us for an opening reception of True Artist Tales at the GAR Gallery on Saturday, November 26th from 6-9pm. And be sure to check out the preview on Glasstire in the weeks leading up to the show!
Here's some art from the exhibit:

 Scott Gilbert, Suddenly I Fell Down, pen and ink on bristol board, 1994, originally published in the Public News 3/24/1994

Scott Gilbert, The Killing of Ida Delaney, pen and ink on bristol board, 1990, originally published in the Public News

Scott Gilbert, Hot Town, pen and ink on bristol board, 1993,  originally published in the Public News

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Auction Night

by Robert Boyd

I went to the Lewis & Maese auction last night. It was a big auction for them--270 lots. I got there just as it was starting. I picked up my catalog and my number (with which I would bid). The place was packed and there was no seating room. My friend David McClain was there. We laughed about some of the pieces--pieces that were claimed to be by Picasso or Renoir or Soutine or Degas. Lewis & Maese is not a major auction house. They handle mostly the sales of estates. But one good reason to go is that art by local Houston artists often shows up for sale there. For instance, there was  huge 155 x 72 inch Earl Staley painting, Noche en Oaxaca. According to the catalog, it belonged to the "Corpus Christi Art Museum." Did they mean the Art Museum of South Texas? Was it being deaccessioned? In any case, the bidding didn't meet the reserve, so it didn't sell.

Earl Staley, Noche en Oaxaca, 1977, acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 72 x 155 inches

Pablo Picasso, Bonne Fête Monsieur Picasso, 1931, tempera,20 x 26 inches

The craziest piece for auction was a painting attributed to Picasso. It's probably best to let Lewis & Maese describe it:
A still life painting with a silver-screen connection. The work from 1931 — a scene depicting a classical bust, wine bottle, fruit, and a window surrounded by a flourish of ironwork is signed Picasso in the upper right. The back bears a faded label from its last exhibition: “‘Bonne Fête’ Monsieur Picasso,” at the UCLA Art Galleries, 1961, on the occasion of the modern master’s 80th birthday. It appears in the exhibition catalog which featured loans from Hollywood notables Kirk Douglas, Vincent Price, and Mrs. Gary Cooper, as well as the Los Angeles Museum of Art, as number 95. The painting, a tempera (gouache) on paper, measures 19 5/8 x 25 ¾ ", and its original owner was Alfred Hitchcock, who lent it to the UCLA exhibition. It came to Houston via the late director’s only child, daughter Pat Hitchcock O’Connell, who gifted it to her best friend, Georgia Waller, and her husband, Gerard Waller. It was bestowed upon them in 1982, after Hitchcock and his wife Alma had both passed on. Mrs. Waller died in 2008, and Mr. Waller is now sending the painting with the Hollywood provenance to auction. (Hitchcock worked with Picasso and Dali and is known for employing artwork throughout his films to great effect; he also commissioned Dalí to create a dream sequence for his 1945 film Spellbound.) This artwork has been looked at by Christies and Claude Picasso.
The estimate was $300,000 to $500,000, which is far more than the average thing at Lewis & Maese goes for. In the end it only went for $150,000. My question at the time was why was it being sold by Lewis & Maese? Surely a larger auction house like Bonhams, Phillips, Sothebys or Christies could get a lot more money for it. Houston painter Pat Colville, who was there last night,  came up with a convincing explanation. If one of these auction houses looked at the piece and had any doubts about its provenance, they might have passed on it. Is there any paperwork that says who Hitchcock bought it from, for example? So if they pass, your only other choice it to sell it through a second or third tier auction house like Lewis & Maese. (And I can assure you that Lewis & Maese do not have an art historian on staff, given the dubious attributions encountered in this auction.) What was interesting was that some bidders were willing to roll the dice and bet $150,000 that it might be real. If the buyers can prove its authenticity, they can make a big profit.

David Adickes, Japan, 1959, watercolor, 8 x 7 inches

The watercolor Japan by David Adickes was an interesting piece. There was an actual bidding war for it, and on one side of the bidding war was Adickes himself! He often sells pieces in these auctions, but here he was trying to buy his own work. He won the piece. I was perplexed by this and asked on Facebook why he would be doing this. Some of the answers seemed plausible, but the one that made the most sense to me was from Margaret Bott, who wrote, "He bought it for his museum in Huntsville, I would think." And I can see why--it's a great piece. I think a lot of his work, especially his early paintings, tends to be very corny. But Japan is lovely.

Dorothy Hood, Comet Tangled in the Sun, 1975, acrylic on canvas, 10 x 8 feet

The star of the night was an enormous Dorothy Hood painting, Comet Tangled in the Sun. I liked the colors, but I didn't like the paint handling. There weren't the watery areas of color which give so many of her canvases a cosmic sense of depth, nor did the edges between colors have that Clyfford Still-like serration that gives her best work a sense of danger. Without prompting from me, Pat Colville criticized Comet Tangles in the Sun as not one of Hood's best. I was happy that we agreed! The estimate was for it to sell between $22,000 and $26,000. The bidding was vigorous and the hammer price was $40,000. The room burst into applause.

I suspect the big exhibit opening soon at the Museum of South Texas, the new monograph, The Color of Being/El Color del Ser: Dorothy Hood by Susie Kalil and the great article in Texas Monthly have put Hood in people's minds. There is certainly a feeling that she has been an unjustly neglected (and perhaps undervalued) artist.

Pat Colville with her newly purchased David Alfaro Siqueireos lithograph, Moisés Sáenz.

One of the cool things that came up for auction was a lithograph by David Alfaro Siqueiros, the great Mexican muralist. It was a portrait of Mexican educational reformer Moisés Sáenz. It was purchased by Pat Colville, who knew what she was getting into. She asked me if I knew a conservator in town who might be able to clean up some of the foxing on the piece. I didn't even know what "foxing" was (it's discoloration that sometimes occurs on old paper). The image gives Sáenz a stoic, stone-like presence. And it wasn't all that expensive--I think Colville got her money's worth. I like the idea of it going into the hands of an artist, who is someone who will truly appreciate it.

Malinda Beeman, Protection from Demons, 18 x 11 inches

I only bid on one item, a strange painting by Malinda Beeman called Protection from Demons. The auction catalog did not list a date for it. It had a retablo-like feeling to it. I had heard Beeman's name before, but knew nothing about her. I showed it to Colville and she said that Beeman had lived in Houston and had produced eccentric art (which this piece certainly confirms). She lives in Marfa now and runs an artisanal goat cheese business. You can see a short documentary about her farm here.

I had a maximum bid in mind based on some money I'm getting from some freelance writing. The bidding started and quickly reached my limit. It finally sold for just a hundred dollars more than my limit, so I kind of regret that. But I feel good about having a budget and sticking to it. I hope whoever got Protection from Demons likes it as much as I did.

At that point, there were 70 more lots to go and I had been there for several hours. The room had thinned out considerably from the beginning of the night. I was bored by all the furniture and jewelry for sale, so I left. Even though I left empty-handed, I was happy with the results. It's nice to see artists like Dorothy Hood get the prices she deserved in life, and I was happy to be introduced to the art of Malinda Beeman. (If you have a Dorothy Hood gathering dust in your closet, Lewis & Maese proved last night that they can get a lot of money for it.) It was nice to chat with Pat Colville, an artist whose work I love and whose opinions were valuable (at least insofar as they confirmed my own prejudices).

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Various Writings

Robert Boyd

I have been writing a lot lately, but mostly for other publications. Here are some links for the writing I have been doing.

I visited Houston artist Trenton Doyle Hancock at his studio and came away with this article which was published in Art Ltd. 

Cometbus 57 is the latest issue of the venerable zine (first published in 1981). This issue is dedicated to New York area cartoonists and members of the comics world. I wrote about it for The Comics Journal. 

Garden Of Flesh by Gilbert Hernandez is a hardcore pornographic version of the first nine chapters of the Bible. I published this review in The Comics Journal. Warning--it's definitely not safe for work!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Cary Reeder at Optical Project

Robert Boyd

Been a while since I wrote some art reviews. Here is a short one.

Cary Reeder
Limes, Twigs, and Digits
at Optical Project 
On view through September 4, 2016

Cary Reeder, Entangled, 2016, Acrylic goauche on board, 14 x 11 inches

Cary Reeder is known to me as a painter of houses, particularly of the disappearing Queen Anne houses and Craftsman-style bungalows of the Heights. These paintings usually feature pastel colors and hard shadows. Her new work retains the basic color scheme but is somewhat more abstract and stylized. For instance, Entangled features tree branches with high-contrast shadows (which look similar to what we've seen before from Reeder), but behind the branches is a regular pattern of hexagons and diamonds in lavender, teal, lime green, pale yellow and light blue.

Cary Reeder, In Flame, Acrylic gouache on paper, 9 x 12 inches

Most interesting to me were a group of gouaches on paper of pairs of hands. The hands are all depicted as flat areas of color with brightly contrasting linework depicting wrinkles and blood vessels. The fingernails are all painted as flat, light pastel colors. (Because Optical Project is barely climate controlled, the humidity in the gallery has caused the paper for these gouaches to curl slightly.)

I'm told that she spent several week in a friend's cabin up in New Mexico working on these. I was quite pleased to see something different from Reeder. The new work makes me realize that what I've always liked most about her work were the flat areas of color. He colors are really quite wonderful.

The show will be on view tomorrow afternoon at Optical Project--that's your last chance to see it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Morally Compromised Comics Reviews

Robert Boyd

I've known Matt Madden and Bob Fingerman for many years. An issue I often have is how do you write about people with whom you have a personal relationship. That's become an issue writing art reviews in Houston. I've come to be friends with many Houston artists, for example, which over time became a problem for this blog. I picked up two recent comics by Madden and Fingerman that I want to talk about, but I wanted to warn readers that I've known these guys a long time. Hell, I've stayed in Fingerman's apartment with him and his wife! I attended Matt Madden's wedding! I am totally biased. So keep that in mind.

Drawn Onward by Matt Madden (Retrofit Comics & Big Planet Comics, 32 pages).

Matt Madden has been making comics since the early 1990s (the first Madden comic I ever saw was Terrifying Steamboat Stories, which was published when he was an undergrad at UT in the early 90s). I've been following his career pretty closely since then.

Madden has always been a formal experimenter, and a few years ago joined a group of French comics experimenters who call themselves OuBaPo (which stands for ouvroir de bande dessinée potentielle, which roughly translates as the "workshop for potential comics"). Literary-minded readers might recognize OuBaPo as a spin-off of OuLiPo, in which a bunch of writers used specific formulas to write novels and poetry. Raymond Queneau founded OuLiPo in 1960, and the group included such writers and Georges Perec and Italo Calvino. They would come up with arbitrary, slightly absurd rules for writing. For example, Perec wrote a great novel without the letter "e", La Disparition (A Void, in English). Think of the complex poetic rules that used to be de rigueur--the number of syllables in each line, the arrangement of stresses, the rhyme scheme, etc.

OuBaPo cartoonists do the same thing. Some of the exercises they do include "larding" (taking an already existing comic and adding extra panels between the existing panels), "reduction" (taking a longer comic and summarizing in a few panels), and "reversibility" (making a comic that can be read forward and backward). The goal is to use these constraints as a creative boost; essentially, they don't believe that absolute freedom is all that good a way to come up with original ideas. (Perec wrote, "I set myself rules in order to be totally free.")

The most famous example of reversibility is The Upside Downs by Gustave Verbeek, which appeared in newspapers from 1903 to 1905, nearly a hundred years before the creation of OuBaPo. (OuLiPo refers to such examples OuLiPo-like texts avant le lettre as "premature plagiarists".)

Then you turn the page upside down and read the rest of the story.

Drawn Onward is a example of reversibility. Not only can it be read backwards and forwards, it is necessary to read it both directions to get the whole story. Formally, it's an amazing feat. But the same could be said about The Upside Downs, which had pretty dumb stories. You as a reader never care about its two ongoing characters, Little Lady Lovekins or Old Man Muffaroo, which is not the case with great contemporary comics strips from the early 20th century (see for example the great characters in The Katzenjammer Kids or Little Nemo in Slumberland.) This is the fundamental difference between an Oulipo novel and the world's longest palindrome. The Oulipo writers tried to make literature worth reading. And Matt Madden, as a OuBaPo artist, is trying the to do the same.

When I first read Drawn Onward, I didn't realize that it was a reversible story. It wasn't until I got to the end of the comic did I realize that it had to be reread backwards. Unlike The Upside Downs, you don't turn Drawn Onward upside down--you just read the panels in reverse order.

It starts with the sentence "This comic is a double suicide note..." The first three panels depict the studio of a female comics artist, drawn in a light style with very little chiaroscuro. It's almost clear line, but not as perfect as we expect from clear line. There is a human quality to the drawing; the panel borders for example are hand drawn--no ruler was used. But when we turn the page, we see what has been drawn by the comics artist--a flashback. The style is completely different. The line-drawing is done in these flashback segments with a heavy brush, with lots of solid black and occasional drybrush touches. The protagonist encounters a young man who appears distraught and says something cryptic to her. He acts like he knows her, but she has evidently never seen him before.

As the comic progresses, she sees him again several times. She perceives him as a stalker of some sort, but starts to grow amused by him. She writes in the narration of the comic, "My god, was I developing a crush on my stalker?" Once she finally expresses her feelings (in the center spread of the comic, in which she kisses him), though, he starts to grow colder and becomes sarcastic towards her. She sees him in the subway several times after that, but he avoids her.

In the last page, she instructs the reader to read the story backwards: "The beginning of my story was the end of his."

Below is a typical two-page spread. Please note that it makes sense read backwards or forwards. Reading it forward is like a typical comic--you start in the upper-leftmost panel of each page. To read it backwards, start in the upper-rightmost panel of each page.

Matt Madden, Drawn Together pp. 10 and 11

Drawn Onward fulfills what I think of as the requirements of OuBaPo (or OuLiPo)--to be formally interesting (based on the constraint underlying the form) as well as interesting as a work of comics storytelling. As you read this, you are interested in the young woman cartoonist and her mysterious crush. One fault it has it that it has to tell you to read it in reverse, and as part of the story that is a bit awkward. But given the way we ordinarily read comics, I don't know how else one would do it.

Minimum Wage Volume 2: So Many Bad Decisions by Bob Fingerman (Image Comics, 158 pages.)

I first became aware of Bob Fingerman's comics when I was working for Fantagraphics Books. He did a humorous porno comic for us called Skinheads in Love (1992). I thought it was funny, but the art was a bit overwrought. Later, as an editor for Dark Horse Comics I took over a comic he was producing when the previous editor abruptly left. It was a social satire called White Like She (1994), a take-off on the Freaky Friday body-switching genre, except instead of a mom and teen-aged daughter switching, it was a 50+ year old black man switching with a bratty suburban white teen-aged girl. It was pretty funny, but the art was even more stiff than Skinheads (it was almost completely photo-referenced).

Fingerman decided around this time that he needed to loosen up his art. He started his comic series Minimum Wage (1995-1999), a roman à clef about the engagement and wedding of his alter-ego Rob Hoffman to Sylvia Fanucci. A lot of that book (collected in one volume, Maximum Minimum Wage) dealt with life as a barely-scraping-by 20-something freelance artist in New York City. I would say that aspect of the story was for me the most interesting thing about Minimum Wage, but I loved the whole story. By this time, I had gotten to know Bob personally pretty well, and he included me and some of my co-workers in the background of one panel. Because it was a lightly disguised roman à clef, part of the pleasure in reading it for me was to try to figure out who all the people in the story were in "real life"--a lot of them were from the world of comics, so I knew a bunch of them.

Anyway, that was the work that really demonstrated that Fingerman was an important comics artist, in my mind. His drawing style didn't really loosen up all that much (Fingerman just cares too much to just let go), but the cartoony drawing (as opposed to photo-realistic style of White Like She) was an appealing direction. And it pretty much set the course for Fingerman's subsequent comics. For example, in his post-apocalyptic comedy, From the Ashes, he drew the whole thing in pencil, which I have always taken as a deliberate attempt to loosen up his drawing by changing techniques.

After the 2013 publication of Maximum Minimum Wage, Fingerman decided to revisit the characters from Minimum Wage in a new Minimum Wage series. He starts the new series almost instantly after immediately after Rob has broken up with Sylvia. The series is all about Rob getting back out on the market for love. The first volume of the new series, Minimum Wage book 1: Focus on the Strange, has Rob briefly dating a 30-something hippie lady, a 50-something former TV actress and a woman who edits a gay porn magazine. (I assume these are fictional analogs to real people--I'm totally wondering about the identity of the former TV actress.) None of these assignations seem too disastrous, but they don't lead anywhere for Rob. Rob is 25 years old and a very eligible bachelor. He has a new well-paying comics gig drawing PRIX (sort of the analog in the Minimum Wage world of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, whose comics Fingerman drew for about a year 1993. In Minimum Wage, instead of being turtles, they are horseshoe crabs.) He's kind of uptight about some things, but he is good boyfriend material. Of course, that could be self-congratulation on the part of Fingerman, of whom Rob is a quasi-autobiographical counterpart.

Book two leans more on disastrous dates. Rob meets a goth woman via a dating site who turns out to be horrible on many levels. The unrelenting horror of their brief relationship is the source of any of the books' funniest moments. But worse, he hooks up with his ex-wife. He needs some way to process what's been happening to him. So Rob starts drawing autobiographical comics just to amuse himself. He gets encouragement from professional colleagues to continue on that path.  It's weird. In a sense we get Fingerman drawing Rob drawing an early iteration of Minimum Wage.

The art has a really loose feeling that I've never seen from Fingerman. The character designs are more-or-less the same as in the original Minimum Wage, but everything is more exaggerated and the ink is slung on the page more expressively than ever before. It may be his best artwork ever, although I loved the pencil art on From the Ashes as well. It is colored rather simply in a duotone (black and white and light blue, similar to the way Dan Clowes colored Ghost World) but with occasional full-color pages. The fill-color sequences tend to be dream sequences, which aside from an opportunity to show off some very nice drawing and painting, don't add much. I know they are meant to give a glimpse into Rob's inner life, but this comes out well in the plot and dialogue, which makes the dreams feel redundant.

Bob Fingerman, Minimum Wage book 2: So Many Bad Decisions, p. 37. Rob's first terrible date with Bekka, the Ayn Rand-loving gothmedienne

Aside from the dream sequences, I loved everything about this comic. And the dream sequences aren't bad, just unnecessary. But one problem with Minimum Wage book two is that there is too much filler. After 124 pages of comics story, there is a 36-page "bonus section" of covers, sketches and pinups. The pinups are by various guest artists, so you get to see some art by Rick Altergott, Collen Doran, Jason Little, Stan Manoukian, Troy Nixey and many others. But while I like some of the drawings, I don't think they add much to the book.

I'm not sure if the story is over with this volume. It does end with Rob decisively calling it off with ex-wife Sylvia, but there is a hint of a continuing story. It does seem as if Fingerman is taking a break from the regular comic book, but I hope he launches back into it. I think there is more to Rob's story.

Take these two reviews with a big grain of salt, as I've known both cartoonists a long time and can't really be objective. But both of these comics are worth reading, and in the case of Minimum Wage, I would strongly suggest you read the two earlier volumes if you are going to read book 2.

Friday, June 10, 2016

A Kingly Gift to the Menil

Robert Boyd

REVISED June 14.

Thursday night, a show of artwork from the art collection of Stephanie Smither and the late John Smither called As Essential as Dreams opened at the Menil. This is the second time in two years that works from this amazing collection have been on display (the last time was in 2014 at the Art League in a great show called One of a Kind: Artwork from the Collection of Stephanie Smither, which I reviewed). The show opened on the same day as the announcement of a huge gift to the new Menil Drawing Institute, currently under construction on West Main Street between Loretto and Yupon Streets.

The gifts were from Louisa Sarofim and former Hosuton gallerist Janie C. Lee; they include works on paper by Jasper Johns, Jackson Pollock, Agnes Martin, Ellsworth Kelly, Cezanne, Willem de Kooning, Brice Marden, Eva Hesse, Robert Rauschenberg, Georgia O'Keefe, Mark Rothko, Richard Serra, Barnett Newman and others--a total of 100 drawings by 41 artists.

As I looked at the art on display, I noticed the labels all identified the art as "promised gifts to the Menil Museum." So on the day they announced the Sarofim and Lee gifts, the Smither gift was effectively also announce.

This photo of the foyer of the Smither home is reproduced in the catalog for As Essential as Dreams

And the Menil will be perfect home for her collection. The Menil has already shown a willingness to collect visionary or outsider art work (see for example their holdings of Charles A.A. Dellschau, Henry Darger, Bill Traylor, etc., much of which was displayed in the excellent exhibit Seeing Stars: Visionary Drawings from the Collection). And with the new Drawing Institute, there is a renewed commitment to works on paper and the conservation challenges they pose (Martín Ramírez drawings must be a special challenge for conservators). I think it is great that the Menil is going deep into this kind of art with the Smither gift.

Just three days later, Stephanie Smither died. She had serious health problems and had had both lungs transplanted. The timing is poignant but at least she got the opportunity to see her collection in its new home.

(As an aside, when Dan Nadel came to town to discuss Copley, he and I buttonholed Menil curator Toby Kamps about how cheap it would be to add an excellent comics art collection to the Drawing Institute. We pointed out that superb examples of, say, Chester Gould original art could be purchased for less than $500 at auction. A museum hoover up this stuff cheap by going to Heritage and Artcurial. I suspect some collectors here in Houston might be willing to donate examples of this kind of work to the Drawing Institute if asked!)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Dribs and Drabs

Robert Boyd
  • Dream About Mark Flood
I dreamed that Mark Flood had made two animated automata, one a homunculus (specifically one identical to Tejadora by Liliana Porter) and one life size. For some reason, I had to pack them both up in a box. Fortunately, the lifesize automaton was made of papier mache, so was really light. (The rest of the dream had to do with studying a really hard kind of math for a college class and taking a funicular railroad to the top of the cliffs of Galveston.)

Liliana Porter, Tejadora (From the series: Trabajos Forzados), 2009, Pink wool and figure, 110 x 27 cm x variable

  • The Family Fang 
I just watched a movie called The Family Fang, directed by Jason Bateman adopted from a novel by Kevin Wilson, about a pair of adult children whose performance artist parents used them in their cruel performances. It's not bad but not great.

While I was watching it, I couldn't but help think of Hillerbrand+Magsamen, the Houston husband and wife artistic duo who use their own children in their work. Their use of their kids as performers in photos and videos is not cruel, but I've often wondered if as the kids grew into teenagers if they would come to resent it or be embarrassed by it. For example, in the piece below, their son stands in his underwear and breaks plates. I can imagine that at a certain age, that will be an embarrassing artifact for him! In The Family Fang, what the parents did is devastating to their adult children. In the case of Hillerbrand+Magsamen, it may be slightly embarrassing as the children age. But it doesn't seem like the kind of thing that would permanently damage them.

Family Portrait from Hillerbrand+Magsamen on Vimeo.
  •  Swag from NADA
So I went to Frieze and NADA in New York last week. NADA is the New Art Dealers Alliance and they hold a couple of art fairs every year. Printed Matter was set up at NADA, so I bought a couple of things there:

A Book About Colab (and Related Activities) edited by Max Schumann

Bizness is Bizness by Kikifruit

A Book About Colab (and Related Activities) is about the artists' collaborative Colab that was started in New York in the 70s and is responsible for some important institutions (ABC No Rio) and exhibits (The Real Estate Show and the Times Square Show). It's less of a history than a collage of images and texts in more-or-less chronological order.

The second item is Bizness is Bizness by Kikifruit, a zine composed of full-bleed drawings of clowns and sexy blondes. I got it because I liked the deliberately crude drawing and found the drawings funny.

The Pit zine

The Pit is a Los Angeles gallery that was displaying work at NADA. The artist whose work I liked best at the Pit was a guy named Andrew Sexton who made these furniture-like sculptures.

Andrew Sexton

The Pit made a zine that they gave away at NADA.

The Lamb is a London art gallery and they were showing art by a Peruvian artist named Fernando Otero. His art intrigued me because it was installation based and incorporated old-fashioned stadia rods, which were tools used by surveyors.

Fernando Otero installation at the Lamb booth at NADA

The people at the Lamb gave me a Spanish-language catalog from an exhibit by Otero, Ya Nada Volverá a Ser Igual.

Fernando Otero, spread from Ya Nada Volverá a Ser Igual

Packet is biweekly art magazine from Brooklyn that is designed to look like a syllabus given out to students at the beginning of a semester. Every six issues, they are collected into a big packet (similar to course packets of readings for a college class). I got the Packet collecting issues 74 to 79.

Packet, issues 074-079

spread from Packet, issue 76, by Catherine Murray