But I was just contacted by Elaine Woodward who revealed that her grandfather, who was on the American Hungarian Federation in DC, had once given her a copy, which she still had. She was kind enough to scan it and send it to me. So here it is, rescued from obscurity!
Elmina is a West African film, released in 2010, about a Ghanaian farmer "fighting corruption and the exploitation of the community by a Chinese multinational corporation."
What makes the movie odd is that the lead role of the farmer, in an otherwise all Ghanaian cast, is played by artist Doug Fishbone who's a self-described "white Jewish man from New York." Furthermore, no one in the movie ever makes note of the fact that he's white and everyone else is black.
Fishbone notes on his website: "No reference is ever made to this oddity of casting, which in a quietly radical way completely overturns conventions of race and representation in film, and offers a new perspective on globalization, neo-colonialism, Eastern influence in Africa, and the relativity of audience engagement."
Dickens 44 Bascom is a "glue artist" or "gluer" who rose to prominence in the 1960s. One of his most famous pieces was a 1961 Ford Falcon to which he glued just about everything you could imagine: a typewriter, toilet seat, toys, Donald Duck, and other "relics of our civilization". It was one of the first cars ever decorated in this fashion (perhaps the first). He used to earn money by parking it on a busy street and collecting donations from passersby.
Later he hatched a dream of building an entire castle from glued-together stuff. But, as far as I know, his castle project never came to fruition.
Pittsburgh Press - Mar 3, 1974
According to the Marin Independent Journal, Bascomb left the US in 1981 and lived abroad for almost four decades, in a kind of self-imposed exile, before returning a few years ago. As of 2018, he was living in a motel in San Rafael.
His middle name, "44", was given to him by his father because he was born 44 minutes after 4 am on the 44th day of 1944. (I'm sensing a recurring theme of artists with numbers for middle names, since we recently posted about Nancy 3. Hoffman who operates the Umbrella Cover Museum in Maine).
1971: Boston Gas commissioned artist Corita Kent to decorate a gas tank next to the I-93 in South Boston. Her design featured a series of rainbow-colored stripes. But once her artwork was done, people began to claim that they could see the bearded silhouette of Ho Chi Minh in the blue stripe. The suspicion was that Kent, being an anti-war activist, had purposefully put it there. Kent always denied this.
The colorful tank was the idea of the colorful chief executive of the Boston Gas Company, Eli Goldston. He commissioned Corita Kent, the widely known pioneer in pop art silk-screen prints and art education, who some years ago left her convent and the Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles and now works in Boston. Her signature, "Corita," printed in letters 5½ feet high, appears almost small on that huge alfresco painting that consumed 555 gallons of paint and the labors of four painters working nearly six weeks.
Now here, brightening drab and messy industrial surroundings, is something we would call "magnificent and fitting." But some people, alas, were upset. In Corita's free-flowing brush strokes, they professed to detect the profile of Ho Chi Minh. The mayor of Quincy, Mass., in fact, declined an invitation to attend the dedication of the rainbow colored gas tank on the grounds that he did not want to pay "homage of any nature to a communist."
Corita just laughed. "Some people see faces in the clouds," she said.
— The Montgomery Advertiser - Feb 3, 1973
The artwork Infinity Kisses, by Carolee Schneeman, consists of multiple self-shot photos of her kissing her cat. (See video below). She worked on it from 1982-1988.
After she completed this work, it evidently didn't receive much attention from the art world, because in a 1991 essay, published in Art Journal (Winter 1991), she complained of its neglect:
Is the critical neglect of my current work a form of censorship? For instance, is the lack of attention to two of my recent works, the 1988 installation, Venus Vectors, in which the unraveling of two (menstrual) dream symbols situates a visual morphology of vulvic form, and Infinity Kisses, a recent photo series of my cat, Cluny, and me that raises the issue of "appropriate eroticism" and interspecies communication, an act of censorship?
By the mid-1980s, works by Willem de Kooning were fetching over a million dollars. So when James Garcia and Joseph Lada found a three-hole outhouse seat stored in their basement that apparently had been painted by de Kooning, they figured they had a potential masterpiece on their hands. De Kooning's wife confirmed he had painted the toilet seat "very fast" for a croquet party in 1954. He had been trying to make the wood look like marble.
The sale raised the question: was this really art? Some said no. Others, such as de Kooning's friend John MacWhinnie, argued that, "It's a youthful, exuberant example of the painter at the height of his abstract expressionism... In spite of itself, it became art, simply out of a choice the de Kooning made."
In "Prision," of which there is a preparatory drawing, the painter depicts a world of multiple orientations through diverse interconnected viewpoints, and shows various heads with their musculature visible as if to reveal to us their interminable growth process. Glebova devoutly believed Filonov’s theories on the “universal flowering” and, like him, held that painting should reflect a growth process of the world similar to that of plants, according to which it was permanently active as an independent being.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.