The controversial rendition of Richard Wagners Die Walküre is still at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for a couple more days. You may recognize scores from Die Walküre, or The Valkyrie from Apocalypse Now, or pretty much any scene from a movie where bombs are getting dropped. The interesting aspect of this otherwise ultra-dated opera is that, aside from the music and singing, everything about this performance is modern. Modern like all the props are made out of neon tubes. And most importantly, Placido Domingo, one of the two remaining Three Tenors, is the leading role.
Usually I try to not post things that are um, over 400 years old considering we are a contemporary art publication. However, I was looking at Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s works this morning and was marveling at how fresh they seem, even today. It’s like that childhood tendency to make vegetable heads taken to a bizarre and grotesque extreme. Be sure to check out “The Admiral” portrait after the jump- made entirely of unknowing fish! In fact I think this kind of playful/derangement continues to be a source of inspiration and lines of exploration for artists even today. What do you guys think?
Stephanie Davidson’s works are, for lack of a better word, super bratty. Like she totally knows it, too. It’s loaded with post-modern irony lost in the throes of youthful know-it-allness. (My Swedish friend calls them: Besser-Vissers. Better knowers? I always liked this invented word.) It’s kinda like wearing a scrunchie and reading the Babysitter’s Club while blasting Boyz II Men just for the kicks of a patronizingly late 90′s obtuse reference, regardless of how little I actually like it. Or, like staring into a gradient-laden orb slowly rotating a white wizzard in the middle of space. (PS thanks to Jason Redwood for the link.)
In 1962, a U.S. soldier sent to guard the peace in South Korea deserted his unit, walked across the most heavily fortified area on earth and defected to the Cold War enemy, the communist state of North Korea. He then simply disappeared from the face of the known world. He became a coveted star of the North Korean propaganda machine, and found fame acting in films, typecast as an evil American. He uses Korean as his daily language. He has three sons from two wives. He has now lived in North Korea twice as long as he has in America. At one time, there were four Americans living in North Korea. Today, just one remains. Now, after 45 years, the story of Comrade Joe, the last American defector in North Korea, is told.
Based on our work on the two North Korean films over the last five years, VeryMuchSo Productions, in partnership with Koryo Tours, has gained the trust of the North Korean authorities. This has enabled clear and unrestricted access to James Joseph Dresnok and to the North Korean-based families of the other U.S. defectors.
I was tipped off by electroniccottage about Jonathan Haggard. He is a great graphic designer and illustrator with a defined style. I appreciate his poster’s strange facts, honesty, and humor, check him out!
DeChazier Stokes-Johnson has relaunched The Marma Spot, a collection of interviews done with a wide range of known and unknown creatives from around the world. From design here Stefan Sagmeister to Run Athletics sneaker designer Rashid Young. Some good reading for those trying to find creative inspiration.