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Archives: April 2010

Jenny Holzer Shrugs Off Twitter Impostor

fake_holzer.jpgJenny Holzer may have raised laconic yet principled word bursts to an art form, but she is not behind the Twitter account attributed to her. “Maybe it’s somebody’s conceptual art project,” Holzer told Jori Finkel of the Los Angeles Times. “I would be embarrassed to do it myself—I like being invisible. But when I look at the website, I think: Go, Not-Me.” Holzer’s Twitter impostor has been posting all-caps, Holzer-flavored truisms since May 2007, attracting more than 16,000 followers. On Wednesday in L.A., the artist herself was presented with the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Award to Distinguished Women in the Arts. A fitting honor, as Holzer designed the bronze award plaque back in 1994. It reads “It is in your self-interest to find a way to be very tender,” a truism that yesterday appeared on Twitter.

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Friday Photo: Dustin Wayne Harris Takes the Cake

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“Chloe,” a 2010 photograph by Dustin Wayne Harris

As we look back upon the month that was, our mouths still water at the thought of “Cake Mixx,” Dustin Wayne Harris‘s recent solo exhibition at Heist Gallery in New York. A recent SVA grad with a taste for delicious detritus, Harris served up photographs of cakes baked by people he dated. The work is bold, festive, moody, and fascinating. One chocolately effort suggests a giant inflatable Oreo, another has the otherworldly glow of a cartoon planet Earth. In a kind of Wayne Thiebaud-meets-Freud epiphany, Harris came to realize that the appearance of the cakes—baked at his request after a first date—would inevitably become a metaphor for the relationship. “Whereas some people consult astrologers, read Tarot cards or tea leaves to predict the future, cakes tell it all,” he said. “Take Chloe for example. You can see from her first cake (above), the relationship had great promise. The second tells you that it ended badly.”

Artforum Names New Editor-in-Chief

cover_AF.jpgHas a whole seven years elapsed since Tim Griffin became editor-in-chief of Artforum? So it has, and he has decided to leave the post for new adventures (which we fervently hope he will write about, whether in prose or verse). In his new role as Artforum‘s editor-at-large, Griffin will organize symposia and book projects, and will produce a special issue of the magazine next fall. He is also completing a volume of his own critical writing on contemporary art. Meanwhile, senior editor Michelle Kuo is taking the helm as editor-in-chief, Artforum announced today. A doctoral candidate at Harvard who has written numerous articles for Artforum, Kuo has also contributed to many other publications and exhibition catalogues. From 2005 to 2007, she was the Wyeth Predoctoral Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art.

Bill Murray, the Great Interrupter of Building Sites

So you’ve hired an architect, spent months planning, followed by contractor hires and them bringing in their crews to start the labored process of getting a new building built. Despite all the stress, everything is going along just fine, but then the worst possible thing happens, the thing you’d hoped to avoid during this whole difficult endeavor that’s sure to delay everything: Bill Murray shows up and starts reading poetry to the construction workers. Found by way of A Daily Dose, this video shows Murray during the building of the Poets House‘s new home in Battery Park, where the actor had apparently popped in for a tour (one assumes he’s a donor) and decided to share a little verse:

The building was finished late last summer, but the video was just recently put up, so either the edit took a while or they just forgot they had a very funny clip of Murray. Either way, enjoy.

Felix Sockwell Rebrands Sarah Palin for New York Cover Story

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Although Felix Sockwell had likely already realized all of his hopes and dreams when he both designed a banner for us and appeared with Stephanie at a mediabistro event all in the same year, he reached another career milestone by landing the gig illustrating the cover story for the latest issue of New York. The essay is all about the branding of politician/talking head/rogue Sarah Palin and for Sockwell was tasked with dropping her name within a number of iconic business brands, from Ford to Visa. A handful can be found sprinkled throughout both the print and online edition, but you can also take a look at Sockwell’s Drawger post, where he shows off some behind-the-scenes work, including more than a dozen other logos he Palinized but didn’t make it into the magazine.

Eli Broad Picks Los Angeles for His New Museum (Maybe), Christopher Hawthorne Offers Tips to Both Sides

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With Beverly Hills now out of the way and the competition down to just two, most everyone in the know thinks all the arrows are pointing in the direction of Los Angeles getting Eli Broad‘s proposed new art museum. The city, you might recall, was the last to put in a bid for the museum, but had the unique benefit of being able to offer Broad a chance to return to an enterprise he’d once been involved with before it fell apart financially: the Grand Avenue Project. Now that it seems like a given that the billionaire art collector has made his choice, the LA TimesChristopher Hawthorne has a number of suggestions that the city and Broad should take note of before they begin their negotiation dances. Even if none of this pans out and Broad pulls a fast one and skips both LA and Santa Monica and goes to, say, Pomona, Hawthorne offers up some good perspective on the back and forth required to build a museum.

Looking Ahead to Fashion Week’s Lincoln Center Debut, Sans Fern Mallis

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West siiide! A rendering of the new home of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

The countdown is on to the Lincoln Center debut of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, which will take place September 9 to 16 in Damrosch Park. IMG today unveiled plans for the relocated event, which will feature enhancements to the tents, the ability to stage additional presentations, and access to major transportation routes. Come September, showgoers and designers will find a less chaotic lobby, modified runway theaters and modular designer spaces that support advanced production capabilities, as well as new decor, increased venue/runway sizes, and seating enhancements. In addition to the usual three runway venues (The Theatre, The Stage, and The Studio will replace Bryant Park’s Tent, Promenade, and Salon, respectively) a new fourth presentation space will host designer presentations, industry forums, and press conferences. An expanded web presence is also in the works. All of the improvements won’t translate into increased venue costs for designers, which IMG says will remain the same as in previous seasons. Mercedes-Benz has renewed an agreement to remain the event’s title sponsor for the next three years, but one Fashion Week staple won’t be making the move uptown. Fern Mallis is stepping down from her post as senior vice president of IMG to start her own consulting firm, WWD reports. “It’s something I have been thinking about for a while,” said Mallis, who joined IMG in 2001. “When we were planning the move to Lincoln Center, it felt like closure. It’s time for a new adventure.”

Buffalo, NY Validates Its Architecture via Jersey Boys Cast

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Based on our handful of posts over the years, we think it’s fairly well-established that Buffalo, New York has a slight chip on its shoulder about being taken architecturally serious. Personally, we think it’s a fine and wonderful city, filled with lots of great buildings and history (like being the home of Louise Bethune). But we think things might be getting a bit out of hand when the Buffalo News runs the story “Jersey Boys: Buffalo’s Architecture ‘Like No Where Else.’” That’s right, the local paper went to talk to the touring cast of the musical Jersey Boys to make sure they gave their seal of approval to the city’s architecture:

“The architecture in Buffalo, it’s like no where else we’ve been,” said Joseph Leo Bwarie, who plays Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys. “It’s amazing here.”

If we happen to run across another article a few month from now featuring the cast of Wicked, we’re going to quit standing up for you, Buffalo.

Banksy Pays Off London Band with Painting for Exit Through the Gift Shop Name

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So we can get off this gloomy art news for a bit, so as to not also sour the rest of your morning, a fun story coming out this week about Banksy. As you know, the mysterious prankster artist had named his Sundance-pleasing documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop. Unfortunately, he later discovered that a band in London had also been using that same name. And the trouble with being anonymous and famous at the same time is that when you send emails politely asking the band to change their name so it doesn’t conflict with your upcoming film, they’re likely to think it’s nothing but a prank. So Banksy did something to prove he was who he said: he sent the group a gigantic painting, created to be used as a backdrop for their shows. Upon arrival, the band a) changed their name to Brace Yourself and b) had the painting appraised (perhaps not in that particular order). The estimated going price for the new work: £200,000.

Jeff Koons’ Steel Rabbit Fabricator Forced to Close

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In other big art news, it’s soon going to be much more difficult to get yourself a stainless steel balloon animal made. This might not affect the majority of you, but for one Jeff Koons, it’s a pretty big deal. The art fabricator the artist has used for years to make his large sculptures, Carlson & Co. has laid off all of their workforce and will be closing their doors immediately, reports Bloomberg. Although seemingly on a roll, given their work with Koons and other well-known artists, the company finally reached its breaking point as the art market slowed to a crawl and commissions did too. Owner and founder Peter Carlson tells the news outlet that the California-based company “will be filing something ‘akin’ to bankruptcy.”

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