Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Middle East Rocks, but you knew that already

Mean Creek at the Middle East DownstairsI am embarrassed to admit it, folks, but as a music and art afficionado, it was my first time at the Middle East Downstairs in Central Square this past Saturday, for an excellent and eclectic show from Mean Creek, Drug Rug, and others. 

As my friend put it,” What a great city we live in! We just saw an amazing show that was as good as a concert anywhere else, for 12 bucks!”

I concur. 

I thought the Middle East Downstairs was surprisingly atmospheric and, well, hip! It had columns, stained glass windows, good lighting, and a floor reminiscent of a roller-derby or jitterbug days. It has a lived in, well-worn sort of feel that makes you want to relax, have a PBR, and get into the music, maybe while dressed in plaid or something from American Apparel. It helped that it was packed with hipsters, art-school types, and young, creative people with outfits and haircuts I will probably be trying to emulate in days to come.  The acoustics were good, though not great. Once it was packed with people it  was better, but some of the less experienced bands, who don’t realize how important sound adjustments are to their sound (duh) just crank up the volume so that even if you screamed someone a foot away still couldn’t hear you ( I tried it). 

The music itself was great though–a really good show. I would definitely go again. Though next I will be hitting up the Middle East Upstairs, which is not in fact, the Middle East itself, where there is always music inside the picture window, and it is not above the Middle East,  but is down two doors at the other Middle East and at the back by the bathrooms and up the stairs above Zuzu…why they don’t just give the places completely different names is beyond me, but then, that might kill the eclectic treasure-hunt quality of establishments that Boston has refined so well….

 

photo credit: Mean Creek at the Middle East. www.jessicahutfless.com

Tara Donovan at the ICA

I’m a bit embarassed to say I made my first trip to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston last weekend.  The excursion took much longer than it should have, especially since Thursday nights offer free admission; however, I’ll be making my second trip today.

Tara Donovan’s breathtaking work is on display.

Untitled (Plastic Cups)

"Untitled (Plastic Cups)"

I can’t say enough about how much I loved this exhibition: http://www.icaboston.org/exhibitions/exhibit/donovan/

Bring your friends.  Bring your enemies.  This exhibit is awesome.

Robert Hughes on Antonio Lopez Garcia.

Since Lopez Garcia has his first retrospective in the U.S. at the MFA, I thought it would do good to link to Hughes’ article:

There are some artists whose work compels assent almost as soon as you see it. Its seriousness announces itself in precision, gravity, lack of obvious fluidity; in a fastidiousness that could be modesty but is in fact the only kind of aesthetic pride that matters and lasts; in a respect for the eye’s power to surprise the mind, refracted through an intense engagement with tradition. Everything, in short, that is denied by the tyranny of the neo.

The flavor of Lopez’s art is peculiar and difficult to describe in the abstract. A good starting point is his small still life of a rabbit on a plate, dated 1972.

It is just that, and no more: a rabbit skinned for roasting by a Spanish butcher, with its head left on; a glass plate with a scalloped edge; a kitchen table of pine covered with old cream paint, now scarred and stained, with bits of dark wood showing through; a band of gray wall with a mauve undercast. The table occupies a little over two-thirds of the depth of the painting, the wall the rest, and the corpse is huddled not quite in the center of the table. These slight departures from absolute regularity give the centered, single image a murmur, no more, of instability. The scheme is one of the most widely known in Spanish painting: the tradition of the bodegon, or kitchen still life, the isolated object against a plain field, brought to its fullest intensity by Zurbaran and Sanchez Cotan in the early 17th century. Echoes of the bodegones continued in Spanish art for hundreds of years; they could still be seen in Picasso’s cubist still lifes. But Lopez’s skinned rabbit goes straight back to the source, taking in a vivid memory of Goya’s still lifes along the way.

For more, here.

UPDATE:

MFA has a video interview.

Boston Society of Spontaneity: Human Dominoes!

Video here.

Text here.

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