This past Christmastime, I traveled back home to California, where I spent many days of wild abandon exploring the southland like I had not since I was a resident, nearly 30 years ago. On a day spent scouring the many wonder-filled features of Downtown LA, I looked down from an overpass I was crossing on Grand Street and spotted this magnificent beast. The curved concrete sculpture features silhouettes of painted steel cars roller-coasting up the structure’s curve.
Part of the Bunker Hill public art project to beautify the Downtown LA area, this monumental piece is called Uptown Rocker by artist Lloyd Hamrol. While initially it appears that you its located on one of LA’s crazy freeways, the sculpture is actual;y located on the very busy Fourth Street. It might be fun to experience the sculpture while driving by, but I think that where I was standing (officially the South Grand Avenue bridge crossing Fourth Street) is the ideal Uptown Rocker) viewing location.
Ernest Greene, the Georgia-based singer, songwriter, and record producer known professionally as Washed Out may be most famous for the chillwave classic “Feel It All Around,“ which can be heard over the opening credits of IFC’s hit TV show, Portlandia. If you’re curious about what he’s been up to lately, check out this wildly fun cut-out animation video clip for the track “Get Lost” — his first single in four years!
With its rhythmic, bossa nova feel, “Get Lost” celebrates the anticipation of summer in the city: a time for cruising in your car to wherever the vibe takes you, hanging out with friends on the beach, and girl watching. It’s the perfect tune for a extended holiday weekend! “Get Lost” is out now on Stones Throw Records, and Washed Out July Tour Dates for the Southern US are below. Enjoy!
7/8 – Norfolk, VA @ The Norva
7/9 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
7/10 – Charlotte, NC @ The Underground
7/11 – Charleston, SC @ Music Farm
7/13 – Orlando, FL @ Plaza Live
7/14 – Jacksonville, FL @ Mavericks Live
7/15 – Tampa, FL @ Orpheum
7/17 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
David Zwirner Gallery is currently hosting its first exhibition with William Eggleston since having announced the gallery’s exclusive worldwide representation of the artist. On view at the space on West 20th Street in New York are works from Eggleston’s monumental project The Democratic Forest.
Over the course of nearly six decades, Eggleston has established a singular pictorial style that deftly combines vernacular subject matter with an innate and sophisticated understanding of color, form, and composition. His photographs transform the ordinary into distinctive, poetic images that eschew fixed meaning.
His 1976 solo exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, curated by John Szarkowski, marked the first presentation of color photography at the museum. Although initially criticized for its unfamiliar approach, the show and its accompanying catalogue, William Eggleston’s Guide, heralded an important moment in the medium’s acceptance within the art historical canon, and it solidified the artist’s position as one of its foremost practitioners to this date. Eggleston’s work continues to exert an influence on contemporary visual culture at large.
The Democratic Forestis among Eggleston’s most ambitious projects and a prime example of his uniquely recognizable aesthetic. Likened to an epic journey or an enduring narrative, it comprises a careful selection of works from over ten thousand negatives he took in the mid-1980s across the southern and eastern parts of America and in several European countries.
These profiles of rural back roads, industrial and residential environs, architectural details, restaurant interiors, and parking lots, among other locales, eluded the conventions of both reportage and the black-and-white art photography practiced by many of the artist’s peers at the time, and instead shaped their own definition of what a photographic image could be—intuitive and charged with imaginative possibilities.
Collectively, the project echoes Eggleston’s predilection for the “democratic” vision of the camera, able to render equally what is in front of the lens.
The show will include over forty works from The Democratic Forest, the majority of which have not been exhibited previously. Although taken thirty years ago, the photographs appear to cast their subjects in a timeless light.
As the art historian Alexander Nemerov writes in a new catalogue published by David Zwirner Books/Steidl on the occasion of the show:
Eggleston’s work—the great flow of it— feels…impelled by the world. It feels, to put it another way, pulled along by the world, by things outside the artist, rather than compelled by something inside him . . . [O]ne feels him being borne along by a current… [T]he current [he] rides along is simply the proliferation of scenes — the great panoramic film strip of it, never ending in its flow of gas stations and horse buggies and parking lots and roadside trees and filigreed urns stamped in tin. But more than that…there is the feeling that the infiniteness of the world, the sheer extent of it, is its own kind of eternity.
William Eggleston was born in 1939 in Memphis, Tennessee, where he continues to live today.
William Eggleston’s The Democratic Forest will be on Exhibit Through December 17th, 2016 at David Zwirner Gallery, Located at 537 West 20th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
It’s been six years since I saw Industrial Designer Ron Arad’s phenomenal No Discipline exhibit at NYC’s Museum of Modern Art and was immediately smitten by the artist’s unique vision of transforming the functional and mundane into extraordinary works of art. Early last week, Geoffrey and I attended a talk by Arad at the Neuehouse Private Workspace Collective, during which he talked about his upcoming exhibit at Paul Kasmin Gallery and compared creating In Reverse, his new series of compressed Fiat cars, to the process of pressing flowers between the pages of a book. It was an excellent primer to set expectations high for the exhibit, which opened on February 12th.
Pressed Flower Yellow
In Reverse was first installed at the Design Museum Holon, Israel — the iconic building which Arad designed himself. The exhibition examines the ongoing dialogue between handmade and digital processes in his practice. Rather than manipulate materials to generate functionality, Arad reverses their utilitarian purpose and transforms them into one-of-a-kind objects.
Pressed Flower White
Comprised of six of Arad’s Pressed Flower sculptures made up of compressed Fiat 500s in varying colors mounted on the gallery’s walls, In Reverse also illustrates Arad’s long-standing fascination with crushed metals, which he continues to collect in the form of soda cans or toys destroyed by oncoming traffic. For Arad, these crushed car sculptures are “the nearest thing you could do in three-dimensions to action painting.”
Ron Arad poses in front of Pressed Flower Red, wearing the same hat he wore when I saw him earlier in the week!
Even the Fiat itself retains iconographic importance to Arad; the Fiat Topolino 500c Giardiniera was his family’s first car, and as a child, his father nearly died in an accident in the vehicle.
The exhibition will also feature Blame the Tools (2013), a to-scale, digitally-grided, 3D model of a Fiat in steel and bronze.
In Reverse continues to highlight Arad’s exploration of material, form and function over the last thirty years with an earlier work, Restless (2007), a gravity-defying bronze bookcase. This functional piece simultaneously overlaps convex and concave surfaces to create a seemingly impossible balance that appears effortless.
There’s also video display where you can watch a frame-by-frame example of how one of the Fiat’s looks as it is gradually transformed through the process of compression. See more shots below:
And eventually it looks like this:
Ron Arad’s In Reverse will be on Exhibit Through March 14th, 2015 at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Located at 515 W. 27th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Elvis Presley, who had a passion for both cars and guns, shot this Pantera with his personal firearm during a temperamental outburst, losing patience when the car would not start. The two bullet holes on the steering wheel rim and one in the floor pan were never repaired and today serve as reminders of his occasional fits of rage.
Elvis bought this Pantera on the used car market for $2,400 in 1974 for his then-girlfriend, actress Linda Thompson. Although its mid-engine configuration qualified it for exotic car status, the De Tomaso Pantera cost far less that a comparable Ferrari or Lamborghini because of its relatively inexpensive, but no less potent, Ford engine.
Photographed at the Amazing Automobiles Exhibit at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.