April 2013

James Franco, Bird S**t, and the Grotesque

The grotesque is one of the most obvious forms art may take to pierce the veil of familiarity, to stab us up from the dross of the accustomed, to make us aware of the perilous paradoxically of life. Robert Penn Warren
So then, how do we approach a performance piece by celebrity artist James Franco called Bird Shit? What kind of malediction is left for a crude, fluffy-minded effort flying under cover of a protected academic category: The Grotesque? Bird Shit lands at the Museum of Modern Art’s satellite PS1 today, April 7th. Continue Reading
Social justice

It was déjà vu all over again when this e-flyer arrived from Union Theological Seminary. It came on Good Friday, announcing a performance piece sponsored by Union’s The Institute for Art, Religion and Social Justice:   “GODFULL: SHAPE SHIFTING GOD AS QUEER”   A pageant of sorts, Godfull: Shape Shifting God as Queer is billed as a “performative symposium” convened by artist Carlos Motta and minister Jared Gilbert. It promises “performative lectures” and performances by a group of academics, activists, artists and theologians to reconnoitre the intersections of queer politics, spirituality and social justice. Continue Reading
Norman Rockwell April Fool Cover

Norman Rockwell’s “April Fool: Checkers” originally appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post , April, 1943. Go ahead, sniff all you like. But I can’t resist. Tell me, what is wrong with this picture? If you won’t play along yourself, try it on your kids. Or send it along to some other fan of Where’s Waldo? Careful, smarty. There are more “April fooleries” than you think. (Hint: There are forty three of them.) Click below for the solution to this, the least of your pressing problems: http://www.nrm.org/2012/03/fools-paradise-answers/ And while you do it, keep in mind that for all the fashionable scoffing at Norman Rockwell over the sweetness of his subject matter, he was a gifted painter. Continue Reading