Archive for the ‘Lifestyle’ Category

I don’t know about you, but the term “art crime” makes me feel giddy inside.  I’ve been trying to figure out a way to get on the FBI’s Art Theft Task Force for about 6 years now, but my steady barrage of infiltration tactics does not work on those people.

My new favorite art criminal is one Thomas Doyle who is somewhat profiled in a Bloomberg article that I don’t fully understand as it is so filled with twists and turns of art grifter identity I am left wondering who the bad guy really is.

But what I really want to talk about in the art crime arena is the disappearance of John Lurie (right).

John Lurie was an avant garde musician in the late 70s.  He played the saxophone back when the saxophone was cool.  Then Jim Jarmusch (pictured left) decided to cast him in some of his films including Stranger Than Paradise and Down by Law.  About two weeks ago The New Yorker came out with an article about John Lurie’s explosive fame and subsequent celebrity demise.  The article starts like this:  “From 1984 to 1989, everyone in downtown New York wanted to be John Lurie. Or sleep with him. Or punch him in the face.”  Lurie, an East Village triple threat, musician, actor, painter, went on to do some cool things in the 90s, but his story gets really good in the 2000s, with twenty years of distance from uber-stardom and a best friend who turned into a stalker.  The “frienemy” in question is artist John Perry who is also interviewed in the article.  The story of this friendship turned nightmare for both heterosexual men reaches so deep into their psyches that they appear deeply obsessed with each other.  “The protracted duet has become a kind of living performance piece, but neither man is able to see it as art: Perry because he views himself solely as a painter, and Lurie because he never before associated art with a fear of death.”   Besides the initial restraining orders that both artists filed against each other, there’s no evidence of foul play on anyone’s part.  In the meantime, you can find John Lurie hiding out in California, painting at Flea’s house in Big Sur, or sequestered in a rental home in Palm Springs.  So long as Perry remains in New York, Lurie will not go back.  Read the abstract or purchase the article here.



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Isabel Samaras "Wize", Oil on wood

The 5 Year Anniversary show at Jonathan Levine Gallery runs through the end of March. I was checking out the work online and just happened to catch the fact that Jonathan, his artists, and a run down of the street art genre was featured in a New York Times article. It’s a nice first attempt to bring the work of some worthwhile artists into the minds of the mainstream art establishment. Written by someone who I presume is completely outside the circle of artists he’s writing about, in terms of taste and life experience, the article does its best to define the work and give the group a nod of approval. Somehow, it still manages to rub me the wrong way, but that’s not difficult to do these days – especially when it comes to art and its criticism. I guess I just wish that the genre weren’t still in a stage of having to fight for recognition. Maybe “fight” isn’t the right word. It isn’t as though any of the artists referenced by the article are all that concerned with appealing to the snooty art establishment anyway. I guess to me, the piece just feels like a handout when it could have just been written about in terms that presented it as a capable art scene that’s been standing on its own two feet for a while now. It seemed the author was still validating it in some way. The name dropping at the end of the article didn’t help. And trying to re-define the entire genre as “pop pluralism” just sounds ridiculous. Whatevs.


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Attention all artists and art enthusiasts! Argot & Ochre is currently accepting submissions for the “Questions From a Young Artist” series. This series was inspired by the book “Letters to a Young Artist”, an anthology of letters written by established artists responding to a question posed by a fictitious “art school grad” struggling with making his art a career. It’s a fantastic collection of responses that all “true” young artists should read. In that vein, I am inviting you to submit a question you would like answered by an artist concerning the moral or practical implications of becoming an artist, and I will forward it on and collect the response. If your question is selected, I will feature it and the subsequent answer here on the blog. Send your questions and whether you would like to remain anonymous or not to: lainya@argotandochre.com

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Picture 2

In the recent Winter issue of Colors Magazine, there is an article on the art of surveillance that is quite intriguing. The featured work belongs to Hasan Elahi who, in 2002, was stopped by the FBI at the Detroit airport and questioned about his whereabouts on September 11th. (more…)

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Spring is here which means cherry blossoms and grad shows. I stopped by CCA’s Oakland campus for their Spring Fair to check out the arts and crafts of their emerging artists. I happened to run into (more…)

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Good morning and happy Monday!


How would you like this handsome guy to wake you up every day? Might not be so bad…

Anyway! I have a big day planned today with lots of visits with some of my favorite artists. First, I’ll be swinging by the studio of Jane Kim – she’s doing a residency at The Dump. If anyone is considering applying for this residency you won’t want to miss the post on this visit.

Next, I’ll be heading over to check out Silver’s new work. I’ve been wanting to curate a show with him for a while so hopefully we’ll get to work together soon!

Then, I’m off to see Kelly Ording to return the lovely artwork she let me borrow to show to a couple of galleries on her behalf.

And last, I’ll be visiting my friend and inspired seamstress, Amanda Asbury of Panhandle Handmade, to work on a little project of my own and take some pics of her sewing studio.

Keep an eye out for all of these posts to show up soon…

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Photo by Kea Nop

Photo by Kea Nop

The sky threatened rain but had little to show for it. I was hoping for an excuse to stay inside all day today too.

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