Archive for March, 2010


Monday, March 8th, 2010

— In 2002 I had an exhibition of these images. Everybody came to the exhibition excited; they were going to see a Lillian Bassman show. And they looked at it and said, ‘This isn’t fashion.’ So nobody bought anything. Nobody bought a thing.

MEN, 1980, cibachrome prints, 48 x 60 inches

In the early 1980s Lillian Bassman started re-photographing images of male bodybuilders that she found in muscle magazines. Shooting in color, she would pose the figure so that it was reflected in a mylar material that produced visual distortion. The results were in sharp contrast to the fashion work that she was known for. In 2002, almost twenty years after they were taken, the Ricco/Maresca gallery exhibited them. The show, simply titled MEN, went almost unnoticed by critics accustomed to her fashion work. For Bassman, this project gave her a sense of independence. Having voluntarily left editorial fashion work behind in the 1960s, she had continued to shoot commercially. However, her passion for portraying the human form and discovering new techniques never diminished. Projects such as the muscle men are a small example of her constant pursuit of happiness, which is to create.

Lillian Bassman was born in 1917 in Brooklyn, New York, USA. In 1945, she was appointed Art Director at Junior Bazaar, giving projects to photographers such as Richard Avedon, Robert Frank and Paul Himmel (her late husband). Later, in 1947, she became the Art Director at Harper’s Bazaar. Bassman received the Agfa Life Time Achievement Award in 1996. At 93, she continues to live and work in New York City.


Monday, March 8th, 2010


Roger Hiorns was born in 1975 in Birmingham. He lives and works in London. Recent solo exhibitions include Chicago Art Institute, Chicago (2010); Marc Foxx, Los Angeles (2009); Corvi-Mora, London (2008); Seizure, Harper Road, An Artangel/Jerwood Commission, London (2008); Glittering Ground, Camden Arts Centre, London (2007); Milton Keynes Gallery, Milton Keynes (2006). In 2009 he was one of four artists shortlisted for the Turner Prize.


Monday, March 8th, 2010

— When I’m not out of my Pedro town on tour, I paddle my kayak every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday usually from inside the Los Angeles harbor at Cabrillo Beach and then out past the breakwater through the Angels Gate in to the open sea to say hi to the pelicans, sea lions and dolphins and then paddle back. Zaby is the name of my kayak, it’s after a character in Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon.

Photo by Evangeline Barrón

Mike Watt was born in 1957 in Portsmouth, Virginia. He is an American bass guitarist, singer and songwriter. He is best-known for co-founding the rock bands Minutemen, dos, and fIREHOSE; as of 2003, he is also the bassist for the reunited Stooges and a member of the art rock/jazz/punk/improv group Banyan as well as many other post-Minutemen projects.


Saturday, March 6th, 2010

— These five images come from a body of work begun about ten years ago, and originally intended to be seen as paper prints. Their images derive from a collection of textbook illustrations and advertising art from the first half of the 20th century. The manner in which they are combined is a function of digital imaging technology, and an art heritage that goes back to Max Ernst, by way of Bruce Conner.

At a time when film, a photomechanical invention of the late nineteenth century, is being quietly put to bed, it may be interesting to think about another practice that was similarly replaced. Prior to the invention of the halftone screen, which allows photographs to be reproduced, all visual representations had to be drawn by hand, often by an engraver. The quality of vision obtained by an engraver, using photographic references, can be truly amazing. But the part I find really interesting is at that time all those people knew how to draw!

Pat O’Neill is a visual artist and filmmaker who is a native of Los Angeles and still lives near there. His film work over the last forty-some years has often been concerned with the adaptation of old images into new narrative constructions. He has also been absorbed with the ways in which language seems to alter vision, and ways in which images alter one another. Past work was in 16mm and 35mm film and collage: presently, he is working with digital video and with hand tools to make a series of tiny wooden monuments.