DAILY PIC: This photo of Jewish schoolchildren in the town of Mukacevo, now part of Ukraine, was taken by Roman Vishniac sometime between 1935 and 1938, when he was documenting the sorry state of the Jewish population in Eastern Europe – which was about to get so much worse. The image is now in his show at the International Center of Photography in New York. The exhibition makes clear how much Vishniak’s “simple” documentation owes to avant-garde art and photography from earlier in the century. That’s doubly clear when you look at the much straighter photojournalism by Chim that’s on view one floor up at the ICP, and that was done at precisely the same time. I have to admit that the stylishness of Vishniak’s vision helps sell me on his subjects – even though his Orthodox subjects often resisted the modernity he represents.
Like the 1930’s Russian version of Humans of New York.
DAILY PIC: This is Anne Collier’s “Veterans Day (Nudes, 1972 Appointment Calendar, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Edward Weston)”, from the “New Photography 2012” show now at MoMA. The image gives a new take on Sherrie Levine-ish appropriation, getting at it through full-blown still life. All appropriation has its roots in still life – on the copy-stand, at least – but normally the context is cropped out. Here, the original use-context, narrowed to a particular day in MoMA’s 1972 “Nudes” calendar, is kept in view. You can imagine some museum member flipping the page on that Veterans Day and seeing Weston’s torso. To what effect, back then? And will there someday be a MoMA calendar with Collier’s calendar image in it, waiting to be borrowed yet again by some future artist? (Courtesy the artist, Anton Kern Gallery, New York; Marc Foxx Gallery, Los Angeles; and Corvi-Mora, London)
DAILY PIC: “Five Doors II”, painted in 1967 by Gerhard Richter, sold at auction on Oct. 11 for a paltry $3.5 million, while a Richter abstraction from 1994 sold the next day for $34.2 million, setting a record for any living artist. I wrote about the Richter record on today’s Daily Beast, and argued that the abstraction fetched its price because it was so much less challenging that Richter’s earlier figuration, while still bearing his august name. (Although I’ve since found out it’s a kind of fake record: A Lucien Freud sold for more while he was alive, but because he has since died, that sale is being ignored. That is, the auction houses are defining the record as being for an artist alive now rather than for an artist alive at the time of the sale of his or her work.) What I left out of my Beast piece was any discussion of “Five Doors” as a work of art. Several expert sources, speaking like old-fashioned connoisseurs, dismissed it as weaker than Richter’s landmark photo-based paintings of the 1960s. I guess I can’t go to bat for “Five Doors” as a masterpiece, but I do think that its very oddness will some day have museums eager to have it, as an example of the range of Richter’s early experimentation. The late, sort-of-record-breaking abstraction is too much like other Richters of its moment to be especially preferred over them. (Image courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2012)
The above went for $3.5m. This one went for $34.2m. Which do you like better?
DAILY PIC:Today, the Daily Pic hit 10,000 followers on Tumblr! – no competition with a cute cat video, but not too bad, for now, for a blog that is all and only about actual works of art, and why they matter (to me). Thank you, to everyone who enjoys looking at the Pic as much as I enjoy choosing each day’s work and writing it up. And don’t forget to try out the Daily Pic where it looks biggest, brightest and best – at BlakeGopnik.com and TheDailyBeast.com/daily-pic.
My biggest problem is that there’s so much wonderful art out there, and only one Daily Pic to fill each day.
For a full visual survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive.
This is an illustration of, we believe, a fighter jet, pirate ship, and naked backside of a woman drawn by this morning’s shooter at the Empire State Building. How he describes it:
Wading into Sarasota Bay she was anticipating a relaxing moonlight swim out to the Pirate ship. Hurtling into the periphery of her vision in a blur of fiery motion, a Phantom screamed overhead into the nightscape. It was so low she had seen the reflection of it’s burners on the ocean’s surface. She’d been startled and forgot to dive in…they’ll have lot’s to talk about tomorrow!
The woman, in her 80s, was reportedly upset at the way the fresco had deteriorated and took it on herself to “restore” the image.
BBC Europe correspondent Christian Fraser says the delicate brush strokes of Elias Garcia Martinez have been buried under a haphazard splattering of paint.
The once-dignified portrait now resembles a crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic, he says.
While kind of terrible, this is so so funny.
DAILY PIC: This is the aptly named “Untitled (Ribs),” a photo from 2009 by a Hungarian-born New Yorker named Monika Sziladi. It’s at the Hasted Kraeutler gallery in New York, in a show of 31 woman photographers organized by the Humble Arts Foundation. Anyone who thinks that beauty is a universal constant only needs to take a look at the wraith-like “ideal body” in Sziladi’s shot. Its owner seems to take as much pride in her bones as the big girls of Rubens could take in their avoirdupois. And I refuse to weigh-in, as it were, on one side or the other. (© Monika Sziladi, courtesy the artist & Humble Arts Foundation, NYC)
DAILY PIC: I’m a big fan of taking quilts seriously, as art. The only problem is that I almost never see a new quilt that seems worthy of being so taken. One exception comes from the New York designer Chris Rucker, who has made a series of quilts from old moving blankets. (He is also known for the furniture he has cut from junk lumber.) Like the famous Gee’s Bend quilts assembled out of old work clothes, Rucker’s textiles keep a compelling link to their origins. And I love the idea of an artwork that can protect itself.
Frontpage: Tuesday, June 12th
1. Justice Department to Sue Florida: The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division plans to sue Florida because the state’s efforts to purge voters from its rolls violate federal law, it says.
2. Thousands Join Anti-Putin Rally: Tens of thousands of Russians on Tuesday protested Russian President Vladimir Putin, despite his government’s efforts a day before to quell the demonstration by raiding the homes of prominent protest leaders.
3. Pakistan Panel: Haqqai ‘Not Loyal’: A three-member judicial panel in Pakistan found that former Pakistani ambassador to the U.S. Husain Haqqani was behind a memo sent to U.S. officials that sought their help in averting a military coup in Islamabad, according to reports out of Pakistan.
4. Bryson to Take Medical Leave: A Commerce Department memo revealed Monday night that Secretary John Bryson would take a medical leave of absence effective immediately following car crashes he was involved in Sunday.
5. L.A. Kings Win Stanley Cup: There’s a first time for everything. The Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup for the first time in the franchise’s 45-year history Monday night in Game 6 of the finals against the New Jersey Devils.
Photo via picturedept:
The Invisible Book 2013
Horses Think Press is launching artist Justin James Reed’s invisible book 2013 tomorrow June 12th, from 8 - 10 pm at Grand Billiard. The photographs are printed using a type of ultraviolet ink that can only be viewed with a special UV light (each copy comes with the flashlight.)
Reblog ALL the (Newsweek & The Daily Beast) Tumblrs!
The Daily Pic
DAILY PIC: One of the most exciting trends in art today is the breakdown, at very long last, between established media and categories – between fine art and photography and craft, for instance. In an exhibition now at Show Room gallery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, the New Yorker James Hyde, best known as a painter, has merged acrylics, ceramics and photography, all combined in single objects. It’s surprising how such a simple move – on view here in a piece called “On Over” – can still leave viewers usefully adrift. It’s as though we need to find new eyes for taking in Hyde’s painteramicography.
Frontpage: Monday, May 14th
- Majority Supports Same-Sex Unions: A week after President Obama announced his personal support for same-sex marriage rights, a new CBS/New York Times poll shows that 38 percent of Americans believe gay couples should be allowed to marry, while another 24 percent support same-sex civil unions. Thirty-three percent of Americans feel there should be no legal recognition available for gay couples at all.
- Plane Crash in Nepal Kills 15: A plane carrying 21 people, most of them Indian nationals, crashed into a hillside Monday as it descended to land at a Nepalese airport. Many of the passengers were en route to the Muktinath temple, a religious site in the mountainous region.
- Ina Drew Out at JPMorgan: Masters of the universe, perhaps not. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Ina Drew, the top-earning chief investment officer at JPMorgan Chase who put her stamp on the trades that went bust, resigned Monday. CEO Jamie Dimon said in a statement that Drew’s “vast contributions to our company should not be overshadowed by these events.”
- Papoulias Prepares Final Appeal: Greek President Karolos Papoulias prepared for another meeting with leaders of the country’s main political parties Monday in a final effort to forge a unity government that may stave off Greece’s exit from the euro. His chances of success, however, looked slim.
- Obama Knocks Mitt’s Bain Record: Barack Obama’s camp takes aim at Romney’s corporate experience with a 2-minute ad out Monday, and as tales of corporate bloodsucking go, this one could have been penned by Bram Stoker. The ad revisits the closure of a plant owned by GST Steel, which was acquired by Romney and Bain Capital and then shut down. “They made as much money off it as they could and they closed it down, they filed for bankruptcy, without any concern for the families or the communities,” says former steelworker Joe Soptic in the ad.
Photo: Roy Lichenstein’s “Ohhh…Alright…” (1964) More of Lichtenstein’s gallery, or watch Blake Gopnik, our art critic, discuss his work.
© Estate of Roy Lichtenstein / Courtesy of Art Institute of Chicago