Tuesday, March 31, 2009

April Art Attack

I know what you're thinking. Three talented friends come together to throw a little visual soiree. "You're fabulous!"--"No, you're fabulous!"-- "No, no, no, I insist that YOU'RE fabulous!" But, seriously, they are fabulous. Seonna Hong, Caroline Hwang, and Saelee Oh have known and worked with each other for years. Friendship and art combine to bring us sisterhood and solidarity.
-Sloan Fine Art Gallery on 128 Rivington St. (until 4/11)

Ryan McGinness’ Works.
Afterimage Magazine called McGinness "a Warhol for the information age.” He's got this mature-cartoon and classy-graffiti thing going on but he's the kind of pop art that could also sneak its way into my Art History textbook. He's funny. Not “haha” funny. He’s real peculiar and ironic. If you miss this you won't have anything to talk about when you go to Brooklyn loft parties this summer.
–Deitch Projects on 76 Grand St. (until 4/18)

The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia
I'm Asian. I'm biased. Remember globalization? This exhibit shows the permeation of culture from East to West and West to East. It's fun, educational and relevant. And the Guggenheim has really nice bathrooms.
–The Guggenheim (Until 4/19)

About Face
When I was a kid, I was obsessed with drawing faces. I mostly drew beautiful women, because whenever I tried to draw a man he ended up looking too girly. His lips too plump or his jaw too delicate. Definite foreshadowing. This exhibit features portraits of all kinds as depicted by 37 contemporary and 20th century artists.
-Adam Baumgold Gallery on 74 East 79th St. (until 5/2)

Mickalene Thomas’ She's Come Undone
Mickalene challenges concepts of female identity and she's not afraid to sparkle while doing it. She uses gems in her paintings. I came up with a game for you to play with Mickalene. Pick one painting. Remember the woman in the image. Then go home, play David Bowie's "Queen Bitch" and dress in your own interpretation. I promise you'll feel smart, kinky and empowered.
-Lehmann Maupin Gallery on 201 Chrystie St. (until 5/2)

Martin Kippenberger’s The Problem Perspective
I would want Martin Kippenberger to design my bedroom except I'm pretty sure he'd try to put my bed on the ceiling and I'd have to sleep in a harness. He'd probably also put a mould of his face in my pillow. Creepy...but hot. Go run around his installations at the MoMA. “You Should be Ashamed of Yourself” brings me back to when my teachers used to publicly humiliate me during class for passing nude sketches to cute boys. OK, that was just a week ago but, damn, it was embarrassing.
–MoMA (until 5/11)

Jenny Holzer’s Protect Protect
I want to have Holzer’s babies. She writes dirty goodness in her script-art-poetry and freaks us out with photos on x-ray LSD.
-The Whitney (until 5/31)

-Suhatcha Nuriyah Panya

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Scandal Sheet: Fear of Flushing

I’m calling for a rest-room revolution! I understand that the purpose of technology is to make our lives easier and more productive, but toilets that flush automatically cross the line. Are we as a society so lazy and thoughtless that we can’t be bothered to get rid of our own waste?

The argument for automatically flushing toilets is: they’re more hygienic, since nobody has to place their hands on a germ-infested handle, but most people use the bottom of their shoe to push the handle in the first place. I’m not sure my sneaker appreciates the increase in commode convenience.

In many ways these toilets make things dirtier. By not controlling the frequency of the flush, people are caught unaware by a sudden spray of filthy toilet water. The sinks and soap take care of your hands, but how are you supposed to clean your behind? Do you just wait for the next opportunity to shower? Until then, you have a dirty, wet ass that’s as uncomfortable as it is unsanitary. As though using a high-traffic public restroom wasn’t gross enough!

Many times, the toilet will flush itself before I’m done. I end up feeling rushed. I hate when an inanimate object tells me what to do. Who’s in charge, here? I’m all about convenience, but unchecked, expediency can slide into exasperation. Those toilets have entirely too much power. They’ve taken my autonomy along with the toilet paper, and I resent it. Don’t get sucked into technology dependency! Who knows what’s coming down the pipe next? Would anyone want to buy a laundry machine that runs by itself, regardless of if there’s a full load of clothes inside? I’d like to be able to have control over my appliances. I want to put them to use when I find it necessary. Instead, I’m stuck trying to count how many seconds I have left before the toilet decides it’s time.

Take back the bathroom! These automatically flushing toilets are unnecessary, unsanitary, and, I fear, unstoppable.

-Carly Okyle

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Lonely In New York

-Lee Brozgol

Never Met You, But Want To

Why couldn't George Weber just go to a gay bar? We're living in Bromance land, he would have had no problem picking up some bondage boyz in Chelsea at Rawhide, which was across the street from my middle school. But a shady craigslist 16 year-old who makes questionably sane prank phone calls and posts them on Youtube? Come on George. I'm not saying your death wasn't a tragedy, I'd love to know all about your fascinating last hours, but really, don't grab rotten fruit. The up side to all this horror is I've rediscovered the ridiculousness of craigslist's missed connections. As my co-worker said "Just give them your number." I'm not going to wax philosophical on the social politics of our internet fueled world or spill why facebook interactions prompted me to get wasted last night. Here's a highlight of connections that may never be made.

Late night on the L - w4m - 27 (Brooklyn)
This is a long shot. But we met around 2 AM early this morning. I was dazed and had just got off a plane. You sat across from me and our eyes connected on a few occasions. Your name is Mark. I wore redlipstick. I told you I'd be here for a week. You said you'd hope to run into me again...

Indian Girl at PJ Clarke's last evening - w4m (Midtown East
If you were that guy who looked at me on the way to the toilet with this great and intense stare I would love to hear from you.

VGL HOT NYPD????? - m4m (Manhattan)
This happened Monday or Tuesday of this week in midtown........
HOT gorgeous (Irish?) cop in his late 30s/early 40s(?) spotted at a TD Bank Branch.
I may just come by to change coins for dollars more often - lol
We locked eyes and I loved your gorgeous smile - you were very courteous and very warm, too.
I did catch you looking at my buns.
Have coffee and go from there?
Btw, I couldn't see if there was a ring on your finger......my heart will break if you're married.
EXTEREMELY DISCRT HERE - as I have played with cops before.

never worked so long and hard to cement a failure - w4w - 28
at weird moments, i still want to contact you. i am in love with someone else, but our separation was such an amputation that it haunts me still. i'm not really sure why. does it haunt you too?

so, this is just to let off some of that steam. i'm posting this under missed connections because ours was such a huge one. aren't you glad i left? i sure as hell am. but i wish it had all gone differently, and i wish there was some way i could still know you, and also know that there was no chance for disaster.

anyway, i continue to hope for the best for you, and i'm always curious how you're doing, and how you've changed, and how you've processed all the things that happened between us. one day, i hope we'll have a beer or ten and roll our eyes at the ridiculousness of it all.

Cute Korean girl with Abercrombie sweatshirt in NYPL reading room nort - m4w (Midtown)
Hi, I'm sitting here at my laptop doing a job search with the library's free internet and happen to be facing you. I think you are incredibly cute and your studious demeanor only enhances this further for me. Your shirt says “evil of angel, you decide” I’d have to go with angel given your heavenly appearance. I have dated Koreans in the past and really enjoy their company. I would love to buy you coffee sometime and find out more about you. Perhaps you will read this?


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pomp Goes Global: Kolkata, West Bengal

At the start of 2009, I spent a week at Anandwan, a peaceful live-in community in central India for leprosy patients, discussing what it means to be part of a Fellowship. We were twenty some aspiring problem-solvers gathering daily in a room reminiscent of a Bengali adda, or hang-out session. Sitting cross-legged on thin, multi-colored mattresses and pillows, we analyzed our personal encounters with NGO “capacity-building” from the past five months, as sunlight and mosquitoes crept through half-open windows. Energized by the week’s brainstorms, I returned to Kolkata with Fellowship on my mind. Increasingly, I am realizing this is not one but many messy experiences, bundled neatly into a readymade ten-month program.

I left the States to join a grassroots Indian NGO, but it is Kolkata that is my full-time reality. I have a growing affection for this dysfunctional yet warm city, which has become my India, the one I know best. Perhaps I am fond of it because, like me, Kolkata is also full of contradictions.

The capital of West Bengal, one of India’s two Communist states, Kolkata is laidback to the point of complacency. Spoken English, Call Centers and online MBA courses are in vogue here as quick-fix income boosts. However, the NGO scene – flourishing in Delhi and Bombay as a site of legitimate social innovation – is decrepit and incestuous. While there are glimpses of entrepreneurship in the private sector, like my friend’s heritage walking tour company, Calcuttans largely seem indifferent to transforming their drowsy city into a bustling metropolitan (following the likes of Ahmedabad, Hyderabad or Chennai). And so, the sight of skinny rickshaw drivers pedaling furiously – or running barefoot – to keep up with cars is commonplace here. As are crowded roadside tea stands, which serve two rupees of milky goodness around-the-clock to loitering men with dubious day jobs. And though the city’s non-Bengali population is burgeoning with recent arrivals from neighboring states Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, Bengali is obstinately the language of choice in the streets over English, or even Hindi.

My relatives, incredulous as to why a single Bengali American woman would voluntarily relocate to dirty, predatory Kolkata, are convinced I must be lonely. What they don’t realize is that their Kolkata ends with overcrowded markets and Hindu temples, while mine only begins. February, with Saraswati Puja and wedding season, has been a series of sari-wearing occasions. With practice I find myself carrying the yards of fabric with increasing ease, even grace. As I look at the wide-eyed Indian woman in the mirror, the sari begins to seem like just another outfit, not a costume for special occasions as it once did. Then there is the rediscovery of Odissi dance, a long-lost childhood hobby. I spend as many as three nights a week at the studio reminding my body of hand gestures and foot movements and remembering a one-time passion. On auto rides home from class, I memorize dance sequences in my head while the wind rocks the unprotected vehicle and dries my sweaty face. I am never alone here. The competing humdrum of merchants advertising in high-pitched voices; conductors trumpeting routes as they hang from bus doorways; passerby’s arguing belligerently in Bengali about something, anything, follows me all the way home.

-Neela Pal

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Pomp Obsessions - Spring Break

Stranded at my parents house with a sprained ankle during grad school spring break means that I have a lot of free time for obsessing. I spend most nights watching my Bangladeshi parents favorite reality tv show, Dance India Dance. And the verdict is... it's awesome. Not only does it force me to learn Hindi by listening and bugging my parents for translations, but the dancing in it is amazing... see for yourself. (It get's interesting at 1:20.)

You can watch Krishna and Radha dance here

They even had a good ole girls vs. boys dance off (:42 for this one)

You can watch the dance off here

And the last thing I'll bore you with is this pretty version of Half a Person that I just heard by Welcome Wagon. It made me think of spring break roadtrips with my seat reclined, eyes half-closed, smoke drifting out the windows and warm wind blowing through my hair. Sigh, a girl can dream.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Divas Diet Hard

Cher is offended Chia refuses to construct a head in her likeness. “Obama got one!” carped the aging legend. When we contacted Chia, the spokesperson said, “She called us herself, screaming, ‘You don’t got me babe,’ over and over again. She even airmailed us an ice sculpture of Sonny Bono.” It doesn’t look like Cher is going to get what she wants anytime soon. We think she’d have better luck dialing Trader Joe’s to see if they’ll make organic chicken nuggets that “sort of” look like her.

We have it on good authority Oprah has been drunk-dialing diet companies. Jenny Craig HQ has been getting strange slurry calls around 1 AM. A woman’s voice hollers, “I’m eating 1 pound of Cheese Whiz. What are you going to do about it bitch?” Nutra System is receiving similar calls around 2:15 AM. An inebriated woman rants, “I just ate 20 s’mores and tomorrow I’m giving away a car to a really poor person. Take that.” The calls became so verbally abusive, both companies hired private detectives who traced the number back to Oprah’s digs in Chi Town. We called, Harpo Studios to see if the queen would confess. Her intern’s intern yammered, “No comment.” And hung up.

-Lianne Stokes

****Disclaimer: All news fake as face-lifts

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Barbie Bombs Over Shanghai

With the announcement of a new Barbie Superstore opening in Shanghai later this year, Mattel claims its export of gold-headed dolls will be loved as quintessentially “American” by the natives.

A little Chinese-American girl growing up in the ‘70s Bronx, I longed for a Barbie that looked like me. I tried the toy shelves at Alexander’s Department store, Woolworth’s, and Toys R’ Us. No matter where I went, blonde dolls stared out at me from behind cellophane windows. Mattel described shades as sun-kissed, streaked, or golden. They all looked like the same bitch to me.

I tried dipping Barbie’s hair into black paint, but it stiffened making her look electrocuted. I stared at her quietly, an outsider peeking at Aryan Nation. I gave up, resigning myself because I couldn’t resist Barbie’s luxurious wardrobe and accessories. I amassed enough dolls to stock a mini-Playboy mansion.

Flash forward thirty years. While Mattel has integrated the Barbie line with a number of Asian-looking Barbies, they are mostly “international world dolls” or “special collection.” To date, there is no stock issue “Asian-American Barbie” to pick up casually at Walgreens.

It was with mixed feelings I attended Barbie’s 50th birthday bash at Sidebar, off Union Square. Instead of plucking cellophane boxes from a toy store, I found myself downing drinks and photographing a nest of real life Barbies.

After a few whisky sours, my mood began to change. Among the contestants vying for top prize in a Barbie beauty contest was a drag queen, a middle-aged fashion buyer, and a gorgeous African-American model. All those years wishing for an Asian Barbie, the one place I hadn’t thought to look was a mirror. With my 36-32-40 measurements and bountiful cleavage, I was the model I was looking for—my own Chinese-American Barbie, all the time.

Recession Barbie was the 1st Prize winner. She went around with a black hat, collecting money from everyone. When Barbie suffers, you know it’s bad. What Ken will do when he’s laid off, I don’t want to think about.

-Jennifer Tang

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cameras Caught Haught/Naught

We challenged photodrifting to snap pictures that illustrated our Haught/Naught for February. Spring things finally here and so are the results.

For Naught: Billionaires by Niki Hall

For Haught: Hot Totties by Carissa Pelleteri

For Naught: Peanut Butter by Ananda Lima

For Haught: Speedwalking by Gary Thom

By Rufus Mangrove

For Naught: Pigeons by Ananda Lima

For Haught: Street Meat by Jon Paul Rodriguez

By Ananda Lima

By Rufus Mangrove

For Naught: Winter that's actually cold by Ananda Lima

By Aya Rosen

By Garrett Klein

-The Editors

PS and our friends at Curious Expeditions didn't think peanut butter could possibly be Naught

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pomp Obsessions - Brawl Street

Okay so admittedly a little late, I finally got to watch Jon Stewart use Jim Cramer as his own personal punching bag and it was... kind of disappointing. It seemed unreasonable to have Cramer justify the big business problem of this country, and why the media never really questions authority when it should. I mean, this guy has a show called Mad Money, which I know because he upped the Bluths to a don't sell in an episode of Arrested Development. CNBC is owned by mega-corp General Electric, and the real problem is how in-bed all media is with conglomerates. The only way out is to be Ad Busters or to be... us. People with no affiliations to anyone except to the people. That's how it should be with journalists and media in general, but it isn't and hasn't been. I also admit the reason I know all this is because the Daily Show has hammered it into me; to find out my own information, figure out truth for myself and not blindly listen to media or anyone else. It would just be sad to see Jon Stewart go the way of Oprah: power-hungry and attacking those cogs, who are not even turning the wheel, just stuck in it.

Stewart veered clear of heartless bastard by checking himself occasionally, and reminding Cramer that "Wealth is work." I took this to very simply mean, money doesn't and shouldn't come to us any other way. Through all this doom and gloom there is a message between the lines: this financial crisis is an opportunity for all you ass-kickers out there to get to fucking work, and show the lazy thieving bastards what true, long-term success means.

On to obsessions.

Jet Blue is the travel hub for the young and the broke (not to mention restless). It also displays a certain marketing joi de vivre among other things. It reminds me of the most intuitive business lesson I've learned: treat people well... that is all.

This is the reason American Apparel is still in business (besides not using sweatshops of course.)

I know I shouldn't, but I want one! Mustache Parties!

Friends we Love bring us another hot pick. Feminist role models with reason in their minds and hope in their hearts are soooo effing hot. Having technical difficulties so I'll just put up a link to the 2 minute video of Thembisa S. Mshaka Friends We Love Project

I also love cooking websites and an old college buddy just started one which I'm really excited about. Yummy recipes will ensue here

What are your obsessions? And do you, like my sister, think I'm being too hard on Mr. Stewart?


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Convoy Rocks Glasslands

Glasslands seems to be shrinking. Every time I go in there, they’ve added another bar, or level. They used to be BYOB or whatever else you had on hand. Ever since the powers-that-be made it such a slick, official venue, (to keep up with the rest of burgeoning Williamsburg) it’s lived up to its pseudonym “Assglands."

Glasslands is not a terrible place to see a show or occasional art exhibit. It’s far enough in the middle of nowhere to keep the greasy Jersey boys from reaching it on a Saturday night. It used to be called Glasshouse, on S 1st Street, where you could meet Dylan look-alikes and get smoked up after hanging off the punching bag suspended from the ceiling.

Friday the 13th, however, Artanker Convoy took the stage. Convoy put on a psychedelic light show, projected from the new second level. They had an avant-garde dancer on the scene. The set consisted of songs new and old, “Gotta find a way outta here/ Thought you knew the way out of here” (Arthur, if you know what song this is, send it to me please!).


Artanker Convoy @ Glasslands 13 March 2009

-Diana Kinscherf

Friday, March 13, 2009

Fake News: Stars Strike Out

Dina Lohan, celebutard stage mother turned reality show slut, lit her daughters amber colored extensions on fire late Saturday night. When questioned by authorities Dina responded in between puffs of her Camel 100’s, “It was a metaphor, I was trying to re-ignite her career.” Apparently it took Lindsay’s same- sex- squeeze, D.J Samantha Ronson two seconds to put it out. “I just smacked the shit out of her and the flame died,” said Sam while scratching an imaginary record absentmindedly with her pointer finger adding, “I got it like that.” We texted Lindsay’s iphone which sent us to her 2005 Sidekick and beamed us to her Macbook Air before redirecting us to a portal into her brain. When we asked how it felt to be turned into a tiki torch by the woman who gave birth to you she responded, “I think I like boys again,” then passed out.

Rumor has it, and by Rumor we mean WILLIS. We bumped into the big chinned daughter of Bruce and Demi in front of the coat check at Butter last night and she couldn’t wait to spill it. “The Olsen twins NY digs is completely done-up in particleboard,” she yelled. “Ashley and I were friends for like 3 ½ minutes,” the eldest Willis confessed. “And, her place is completely Ikea! She’s such a poser.” We later bumped into Mary Kate at Nobu Next Door. She was all, “That bitch is just mad at my sister because she told everyone that she looks like Jay Leno.”

-Lianne Stokes