Legendary street artist and social satirist Ron English’s Hulk Baby Mural has been on display at the corner of Houston and Bowery since late April, but you know sometimes we arrive a little late to the party, because so much else is going on. Because, NYC!
The selfie-friendly mural shows English’s Hulk Baby character (AKA Temper Tot) set against a patchwork American flag, featuring reproductions of the many scathing corporate/brand parodies, memes and unique characters he has introduced over the past two decades as “guerilla” billboards, paintings and collectible art toys. Here are a few of our favorites.
Painted by muralist Rip Cronk, this likeness of a microphone-holding, shirtless Jim Morrison can be seen on the side of a three-story building located at 1811 Speedway and 18th Place in Venice Beach, CA. Originally painted in 1991, Cronk touched up the painting in the Summer of 2012, creating a vibrant orange background over what had previously been both a darker blue color, and the building’s natural white brick. The mural is a must-see for Doors fans if you happen to be in the area.
Jim Morrison shuffled off this mortal coil exactly forty years ago today. Wow. A lot of Doors fans reading this post weren’t even born then. I was ten years old, so Jim has been dead for most of my life. He left us a lot of good and very unique music, and for this we should continue to fete him each year on the anniversary of his passing. My fellow rock critic Rob O’Connor has an noteworthy contribution to this day of remembering Jim Morrison in his latest Yahoo Music column, List of The Day, in which he conducts an interview with himself about Morrison’s life and The Doors’ contribution to music. It is quite clever/hilarious while also remaining respectful to the memory of Mr. Mojo Rising. Sort of. Also, O’Connor offers some solid advice for the novice Doors collector. Example:
Question #7: Which Greatest Hits Album Should I Buy?: Thanks for asking! The Doors, like The Smiths, have more greatest hits albums than actual studio albums. So, I would suggest buying all six of their studio albums. They’re all super! Then grab Absolutely Live!
With a background as a graffiti artist who progressed to cartooning and illustration – studying at NYC’s School of Visual Arts where he developed the distinct style he calls, simply, Fumeroism – local painter Fumero has joined the ranks of up-and-coming artists currently creating a buzz on the New York City art scene. While Fumero made an impression at last winter’s Art Basel contemporary art fare in Miami, and he has participated in a group show at NYC’s Art Bazaar space, his work officially graduates from the streets to the Gallery with his first solo exhibit now on view at Phantom Audio, just a few blocks east of the Chelsea gallery hub.
Show Curator Frankie Velez Poses with his Likeness
Curated by artist Frankie Velez, Fumeroism showcases nearly two dozen of Fumero’s portraits on canvases of various sizes. Fumero explains that his preferred palette of vibrant colors and the definitive line details of his portraits are directly influenced by the shapes and colors of “wildstyle” graffiti lettering to create an abstract yet recognizable human likeness. The work is really quite remarkable and each portrait invites a trail of possible conversations which must be blazed. For example, his portraits of iconic figures such as Gandhi, Bob Marley, Jim Morrison and Marilyn Monroe could not be mistaken for anyone other than their subject, but through Fumero’s eyes and brushstrokes their expressions transform into something almost otherworldly.
Jim Morrison’s mouth has a noticeable feminine pout while Monroe looks more gaunt and menacing than voluptuous and inviting. Marley’s portrait embraces such a sense of movement in the way the colors interact with each other that, to be quite blunt, it reminds me of how one might “experience” the paining while frying as hard as possible on LSD. Fumero has a unique way of seeing the face that is undeniably hallucinatory but also very effective.
My favorite piece in the exhibit is a portrait of Fumero’s grandfather, entitled “Grandpa,” which flaunts equal parts abstraction and realism in how the loving, aged character of Grandpa’s face is represented not by wrinkles but by colors. Needless to say, this collection of portraits is extremely compelling.
“The Family Portrait” (Table Series)
“Table Series Logo” By Fumero
Also on display at Phantom is a representation of the artist’s semi-autobiographical paintings, The Table Series. This series of works in progress depicts an Italian American family (reflecting Fumero’s heritage) congregated around and socializing at the kitchen table. In this way, he brings his life experiences, traditions and nostalgic memories directly into his work. The Table Series also spawned the well-known “Table Series Logo” sticker, which has become one of the most famous, iconic street tags in urban settings from New York to Los Angeles. Clearly, for Fumero the story behind the painting is just as important as what goes on the canvas. We should all look forward to hearing more of the story.
Table Series Logo Sticker
Fumeroism is on exhibit now at Phantom Audio, Located at 48 West 25th Street (East of 6th Ave), 10th Floor in NYC. Viewings are by appointment only, so please call (212)727-0452 if you plan to stop by.
Jim Morrison, singer for The Doors would have celebrated his 67th birthday today. Thanks Jim, not only for the great music which will live forever (Favorite Doors’ Song: “The Crystal Ship”) but also for generating more traffic to The Worley Gig than any other dead rock star. Don’t think I don’t appreciate it.
In no particular order, as is the nature of things labeled as random.
Duff McKagan has apparently left Jane’s Addiction. I had no idea Duff McKagan had ever joined Jane’s Addiction.
People who ride their bikes on the sidewalk are complete idiots.
Today I felt that 4:30 PM was too late to see a movie that’s playing at a theater farther away from my apartment than a 10-minute walk.
Even though it’s past Labor Day, I am probably still going to wear my linen pants a few more times.
It feels good to throw away stuff that you are no longer using , especially when it is ugly, broken or doesn’t fit anymore.
“4 Chan”: What the hell is that, anyway?
I finally saw Inception yesterday. It is so nice to see that Cillian Murphy has finally grown into his oddly-shaped face.
Wow, what the heck is going on with the Google logo today anyway? Is it the anniversary of the day they invented the Milton Bradley game Twister or the design for the Wonder Bread wrapper? Take a look at it and tell me what you think is going on
The next season of Survivor debuts on September 15th. I am excited about that as long as there is absolutely no way for them to bring back Russell again. Because seriously, I hate that guy.
Every day I wonder why this one particular post, Happy Birthday, Jim Morrison, is always the most popular post on this blog. Today was no exception.
As much as our culture overemphasizes the value of being and looking young, I would not want to be a minute younger than I am. Because if I’d been born in the eighties or nineties I wouldn’t have been alive to experience firsthand an era of rock music when bands like The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Queen and the Alice Cooper band were together and releasing new music that didn’t sound like it came from a can. How many 20 year-olds can say that they were able to see Queen in concert five times before Freddie Mercury even came out of the closet, or paid just $12 to see The Who back when Keith Moon was still alive? I feel sorry for anyone who ever scalped tickets to attend a Blink 182 concert or uttered the phrase “Limp Bizkit is my favorite band!” How unbelievably sad.
I remember when Rock Stars were Gods that Walked the Earth as Men instead of generic, indie-rock doofusses dressed in identical t-shirts and ripped jeans. Those days are gone for good, of course, and I cherish my memories of that time, but it’s nice also to be reminded of musicians that earned their legendary status when somebody makes a good documentary about a seventies band. Right now, you can rent or own a DVD of the fantastic documentary, When You’re Strange, a Film About the Doors directed by Tom Dicillo and featuring narration by Johnny Depp. The Doors are a band that’s easy to take for granted, because all of their songs are amazing and Jim Morrison remains enigmatic as an artist immortalized by a premature death. I don’t claim to be the hugest Doors’ fan on the planet, but I do realize when I hear “The Crystal Ship” or “Riders On The Storm” that their music is fucking genius.
I thought I knew a lot about the story of The Doors and their ill-fated lead singer, but really, even if you are a die-hard fan you are going to learn something from watching When You’re Strange. Dicillo approaches the story in such a refreshingly linear fashion, using tons of never-before-seen, archival footage of The Doors live, in the studio, back stage and also including high-quality “lost” footage of Morrison’s own film, HWY. Depp’s narration is matter of fact and unpretentious, and the music just speaks for itself: so many fantastic songs by a band that – with inclusion of Ray Manzarek’s “lead organ” riffs – had a truly unique and inimitable sound. There is no denying that Jim Morrison’s death at the age of 27 was a tragedy. But instead of thinking about how sad it is that Morrison died “before his time,” viewing When You’re Strange led me to conclude that we should just be happy and celebrate the fact that we had Jim for as long as we did, and that he left such a rich and enduring legacy. It’s so obvious that he was an artist who really gave all he could. Like Jimi, Janis, Kurt and Jean-Michel – all gifted artists who died at age 27 – I really don’t think he was built to last.
The Worley Gig Gives When You’re Strange Five out of Five Stars.
On This Date in 1971: Jim Morrison, legendary singer and lyricist for The Doors was found dead in the bathtub of his apartment in Paris, apparently of heart failure. He was 27 years old. Even though Morrison has been dead for over 40 years, his name is still the number one most-searched phrase on my website stats page. Dead Sexy!