Yung Jake, a Recent CalArts Grad, Could Be the Breakout Art Star of Sundance
By Amanda Lewis
Although half of Los Angeles will decamp this weekend to the snowy hillsides of Park City, Utah for the Sundance Film Festival, not everyone is going for the movies. Starry-eyed attendees relish access to the suits, the skiing and the swag, but what about the art?
Shari Frilot has curated Sundance's experimental New Frontier films and exhibitions for the past seven years, and this year, rather than pushing anyone to see James Franco's film Interior. Leather Bar, (hint: it involves sexually explicit gay BDSM), Frilot is encouraging us to notice Yung Jake, whose work blurs the lines between memes, hip hop and video art.
Musical machines Are we ready for orchestras composed of computers and robots?
By Mark F. Bernstein ’83
Someone in Vietnam with the screen name “yipiehk” is picking out “Amazing Grace” with the Ocarina 2 app on a mobile-device-turned-musical-instrument, and so am I. It’s easy; just blow into the microphone and finger four “keys” on the screen (lights guide your fingers), like a digital flute. We’re both terrible, to be honest, but in addition to making music, the app shows me yipiehk’s location on a globe; I click a button marked “Love” to send him or her some encouragement
Domino bares its soul with Julia Holter and Matthew E White
One label is showing that being indie is about more than chasing guitar boys in tight trousers – art and devotion are the way to go
Where some indie labels expend their energies looking for and claiming to have found "the new Libertines" every new year, Domino can be relied upon to do things a little differently. This year, the label's two most exciting propositions are neither traditionally callow "January push" bands, nor likely ever to have heard of Carl Barât, mercifully.
Julia Holter is a CalArts graduate making ornate, crystalline pop hymns that tap into some celestial line; Matthew E White is a hirsute, white-suited Virginian who grew up in Manila with missionary parents, now making a distinctly southern, Lambchop-like gospel that explores his Christian faith with soft seduction.
On View Now | Mark Bradford and the Revival of Abstraction
I must admit that I am often disappointed by contemporary abstract painting. The technical freedom available to and implicit in abstraction would appear to offer entire worlds of possible production, but too much abstract painting today operates within carefully pre-determined formal codes of what abstraction ought to look like, which results in artwork that often uses color and form so as to conjure an aura of meaningfulness yet cannot escape seeming quaintly derivative. Perhaps the art market and institutions have by now weighed so much so on the freedom of aesthetic production, forming and informing our personal and collective comprehension of what constitutes abstract painting, that today abstraction as a formal category often lapses into familiar territory.
It gave me great pleasure, then, to conclude that Mark Bradford’s monumental new work, currently on view at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. in New York, continues the artist’s almost single-handed revival of contemporary abstraction from its doldrums, and affirms to my mind that progressive abstract painting indeed still has much to offer.
For the Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura, the 2011 winner of the Pritzker Prize for architecture, there are two potential responses to the presence of a ruin in a landscape. The first is the default Romantic expression of bittersweet wonder. The second, and more intriguing, is to ask: “What can I do here? What does this suggest to me that I am able to build?” Mr. Souto de Moura is the subject of “Reconversão,” a new film by the Los Angeles filmmaker Thom Andersen, who could be the architect’s cinematic doppelgänger.
I grew up when video games were a brand-new form of entertainment. I remember seeing Pong for the first time and thinking it was the cheapest animated show I had ever seen. Once I realized that it was an interactive game and that I could control what was happening on the screen, I was captivated. A love affair was born.
When President Lincoln suspended habeas corpus in 1862 (a couple of times, actually), he conceded the possible unconstitutionality of what he had done but concluded that since the move was necessary in a time when half the country was at war with the other half, he would take his chances with Congress, the courts, and history. The country’s current chief executive finds Lincoln comparisons disconcerting, but this is a case where he might pay attention, because his legal grounds for unilaterally raising the ceiling on the national debt in a time of congressionally inflicted crisis are no weaker than Lincoln’s and probably stronger.
Daniel Rosenboom has been a welcome and eclectic commodity around the local scene with his nimble band or his Balkan-accented group, Plotz. Though a backing saxophonist for Vinnie Golia as well as vocalist Josh Groban, the trumpeter-composer firmly established himself as an artist deserving of larger recognition with 2011's “Fallen Angeles,” a bracing mix of swing and off-centered craft from his septet.
Rosenboom, who's a product of the fertile graduate program in music at the California Institute of the Arts, sets the controls even further out with the ambitious, genre-mashing “Book of Omens,” (slated for release this spring).
REDCAT, CalArts’s downtown center for contemporary art, has a new gallery director and curator. Ruth Estévez, who starts her new position this week, moves to Los Angeles from Mexico City, where she worked as a curator and writer. From 2007 to 2011, she served as chief curator at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Carrillo Gil before going on to co-found the independent organization LIGA — Space for Architecture, which examines and promotes contemporary architectural practice in Latin America.
Michael Asher, Famed CalArts Professor and Conceptual Artist, Honored at Memorial Service
The mood was one of respect and reflection last Friday, Dec. 7, as hundreds of friends, colleagues, student and teachers gathered in the Main Gallery at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia to celebrate and remember the life of long-time beloved faculty member and widely regarded conceptual artist Michael Asher.
Asher, who passed away after a long illness on Oct. 15 at the age of 69, is often hailed as one of the most influential figures in the contemporary art world, particularly noted for his work in a genre known as institutional critique, involving artistic takes on the structures of the art world itself, such as museums and galleries. Read Story