You're so Vain

You probably think this post is about you, don’t you? Just kidding. Carly Simon, her songs and her narcissistic rocker exes are a topic for another day, perhaps, or another dimension. Catchy tune, though. I’m more inclined right now to discuss self-absorption of a different sort, the sort often pictorially warned against throughout Western art history; centuries ago as…

New Love for Old Duds

Cherishing the significance of clothing and accessories sewn and worn in another time is a very personal way of preserving our global history. Personally, I find fashion to be one of the most detail-oriented and honest accounts of the doings of mankind. Out of every other species on the planet, we are the only animals that choose daily to clothe our bodies. Some…

Reproduction Value

The invention of the printing press and its younger sibling the camera rocked art forever by allowing all its forms to be heavily reproduced very quickly. The printing press gave way for mass media and illustrated books, manifestoes, sheet music and political cartoons among other popular ephemera to become widely available to the public. The…

On the Small Side

Despite so many colourful and lavish displays of class difference in the golden years of Elizabethan England, the visual experience, in terms of formal portraiture, was largely the same between the highest lords and ladies of the court and Her Majesty’s stooped peasants under their leaky, vermin-infested and flammable thatched roofs. Of course, the well-feasted and velveteen landed…

Fast Food

This Friday I present to you Andy Warhol eating a hamburger. A flame-grilled Whopper from Burger King, to be precise. With a full bottle of Heinz ketchup at hand, Warhol stares somewhat vacantly into the camera before a stoic grey backdrop and proceeds to unravel the contents of the paper sack before him and munch away.…

Lincoln Townley

With a retrospective at the Saatchi Gallery fast approaching in October, Lincoln Townley is a name that you’ll want to remember. It may initially seem that Townley has had a rapid ascent to notoriety in the art world— his life story demonstrates that this is not the case. Battling with drink and drug addiction up…

Right or Wrong?

In 1983, Shelton Jackson “Spike” Lee created his first award-winning student film Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads, in which he developed a unique style of introducing films. Viewers are first taken on a ride in the black car in which Joe is being held to be killed. Music, humour, and media combine to place onlookers in the middle of a black, serio-comedic…

Thinking Ahead

The movement we glibly call futurism today first began to crystallise as a literary trend in Europe, not long before World War I exploded across the continent. Young men with articulate minds began praising technological advancement and all the speed, heroics, violence, industry, politics and combustible energy that went along with it. The frenzy for the race towards…

Behind the Comedic Mask

Top Five (2014), a film by director and funny guy Chris Rock, hones in on the many themes and kinds of visual imagery that flood the life of a comedian who “doesn’t feel funny anymore.” Top Five follows the goings on of Andre Allen, a comedian whose career is in decline; the reasons why are…