Andy Warhol on The Love Boat

Acting was clearly not Warhol's strong suit.

More info:

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 11, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Art, Television, 1980s

Reading Position For A Second Degree Burn

For somewhere between $15,000 to $20,000 you can buy a photograph showing the sunburn that artist Dennis Oppenheim got on Long Island beach in 1970.

According to wikipedia:

Oppenheim describes the piece as a corporeal enactment of painting, going on to state "I could feel the act of becoming red."

Posted By: Alex - Sun Nov 21, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Art, Photography and Photographers, 1970s, Skin and Skin Conditions

Jay De Feo’s THE ROSE

The artist's Wikipedia page.

From an NYT article.

DeFeo, who died in 1989, at age 60, is known for a single work, her astounding “Rose,” a monumental accretion of oil paint that consumed her for more than seven years. Working in her apartment on Fillmore Street, she applied pigment in gloppy impastos, then chiseled into the paint. What finally emerged was an 11-foot-tall, ash-gray slab incised with a central starburst radiating white lines. The piece (which, by a happy coincidence, is now on view in the permanent-collection galleries of the Whitney Museum of American Art) has a visionary energy and can put you in mind of William Blake’s blazing 19th-century suns.

In 1965, unable to afford a rent increase, DeFeo received an eviction notice. She worried that “The Rose” was unmovable. By then it weighed more than a ton and was too cumbersome to fit through the front door. Alternate plans were devised.... Several Bekins moving men in white jumpsuits pry “The Rose” from the wall and maneuver it out a bay window with a forklift as DeFeo sits disconsolately on a fire escape, smoking. “It was the end of ‘The Rose,’ and it was the end of Jay,” Conner said later in an interview.... She ceased working for several years,

Posted By: Paul - Wed Nov 03, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Art, Excess, Overkill, Hyperbole and Too Much Is Not Enough, Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers, 1960s

Haruo Shimada, Child Artist

As a young boy of five living in Tokyo, Haruo Shimada was hailed as an artistic prodigy. Articles about him appeared in American papers as well as in Life magazine. It was noted that his preferred subject was 'impressionistic nudes'.

Life - Jan 23, 1950

With news stories like this there's usually no follow-up, which I always find frustrating. So you never find out what happened to these people later in life. But that's not the case with Shimada thanks to his personal website on which he tells the story (in English) of his subsequent career.

Shimada explains that he gave up painting while still young, after his instructor, Kenzo Akada, moved to the United States. In college he studied economics, and eventually he became a professor of economics at Keio University and MIT. But late in life, at around the age of 60, he decided to take up painting again and ended up having an exhibition of his work at Chanel's flagship store in the Ginza district of Tokyo.

He's posted a gallery on his site of some of his later works. I don't see any nudes. Instead, his preferred subjects now seem to be landscapes and abstract patterns.

Chicago Tribune - May 14, 1950

Posted By: Alex - Wed Oct 20, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Art, Children, 1950s

Richard Nixon, Cottage Cheese, and Ketchup

Richard Nixon's favorite snack was reportedly cottage cheese topped with ketchup.

A 1960 article in the LA Times treated this as noncontroversial personal information about the then-presidential candidate, noting that he had acquired a taste for this unusual delicacy from his Quaker grandmother.

Los Angeles Times - Mar 14, 1960

However, by the 1970s Nixon's team was downplaying his fondness for this snack. Helen Smith, the first lady's press secretary, dismissed it as overblown rumor.

Casper Star Tribune - June 5, 1973

Similarly, White House chef Henry Haller, in his book The White House Family Cookbook, denied he had ever seen Nixon eat such a concoction: "If the President ever doused his cottage cheese with catsup, I never saw him, and doubt he ever did."

I suspect the truth is that Nixon enjoyed this snack when he was younger, but didn't continue eating it when he was President. Regardless, the combination of cottage cheese and ketchup was definitely associated with Nixon in the public mind, and it inspired one odd work of art.

In 1973, on the eve of Nixon's second inauguration, the sculptor Carl Andre dumped 500 pounds of cottage cheese on the floor of the Max Protetch gallery in Washington, DC. He then topped this with 10 gallons of ketchup. He called the work 'American Decay'. However, it smelled so bad that it all had to be removed the next day.

More info: Interview Magazine

'American Decay'. Image source: bonhams

Posted By: Alex - Mon Oct 18, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Art, Food, Politics, 1970s

Artwork Khrushchev Probably Would Not Have Liked 39

The artist's Wikipedia page.

The Images of Modern Evil series, painted between 1943 and 1948, offers a probing and powerful insight into the schismatic socio-political climate of World War II and its aftermath. Though neither critically nor popularly successful at the time, the series proved formative in Tucker’s practice as a distillation of humanist, psychological and mythological ideas and as a vehicle for specific motifs and narratives that have endured within his art.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Oct 15, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Art, Evil, 1940s

The Farm Art of Jens ‘Art’ Morrison

Jens 'Art' Morrison, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was a practitioner of 'farm art'. Or, as he put it, he was a 'farmicist'. He mostly worked in ceramics and was most active during the 1970s and '80s.

By 'farm art' he meant that a) farm animals were a recurring theme throughout his work, and b) there was a heavy emphasis on quirky, folk humor in his work, as well as A LOT of bad puns (see 'farmicist'). So, 'farm art' was deliberately distinct from 'serious art'.

One of his creations was 'Juxtapachickens.' This was a series of fourteen-inch ceramic chickens. (The url leads to a site that consists solely of a picture of two skinned chickens in a pot. I have no idea if this was somehow inspired by or related to Morrison's work. I'm guessing not.)

Far more elaborate was his "artillogical" discovery of the "Farmounians," who he claimed were the ancient, original settlers of Iowa. As he put it:

About 450 B.C. (before ceramics), the Farmounians crossed the Boaring Straits, sailed down the River Swine, and settled in the eastern basins of Iowania, to farm the fertile fields and rolling hills. The ancient glyphs and corntainers are imporktant because they depigt the lifestyles and legends of the Farmounians: the mysteries of the Corn Cult, the age of Barcornius, and the winter dwelling or Pigloo. These frelics of the daily rituals, banal activities, and peculiar characteristics make Farmounian art unique in the western world.

He created (or 'discovered') numerous artifacts of these Farmounians, such as 'corntainers' that displayed ancient-looking ceramic reliefs he called 'Pigtaglyphs'. He said he was just providing 'infarmation' about this ancient culture.

Morrison even wrote a book about the Farmounians — A History of Farmounia. He described it as a 'Historical Gehography'. It's an obscure work, but there's a copy available on abebooks for $33.66 (plus $34 shipping from the UK to US).

Posted By: Alex - Tue Oct 12, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Animals, Farming, Art

Lyndon Johnson’s go-to gift

President Lyndon Johnson met with Pope Paul VI on Dec 23, 1967. The two spoke for over an hour and then exchanged gifts. The Pope gave Johnson a sixteenth-century painting of the Nativity. Johnson, in return, gave the Pope a small bust of himself, Lyndon Johnson.

Pope Paul VI admiring the LBJ bust he just received

It struck people at the time (and ever since) as odd for Johnson to give a bust of himself as a gift to the Pope. But, in fact, the Pope wasn't the only recipient of this bust. It was Johnson's go-to gift for just about everyone: world leaders, congressmen, white house aides, etc. He traveled with a box of them, so he would always have one at hand.

The busts were replicas of a lifesize bust created by sculptress Jimilu Mason. In case you'd like to give one as a gift, they're available for purchase from the Johnson Presidential Library — only $150 each.

More info: Dead Presidents blog

Jimilu Mason poses with her bust of LBJ

Arizona Republic - Jan 14, 1968

Posted By: Alex - Wed Oct 06, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Art, Statues and Monuments, Gifts, Presents, Tributes, and Other Honoraria, 1960s

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