Category Archives: Uncategorized
Klaus Kinski (born Klaus Gunther Nakszynski; 18 October 1926 – 23 November 1991) Klaus Kinski may be somewhat forgotten now, but in the 70’s and 80’s he had a wildly popular run of films with German director Werner Herzog; Aguirre, Wrath of God (1972), Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979), Woyzek (1979), (1982) and Cobra Verde (1987), making him a hugely popular international star.
In 1946, after serving in World War 2 (on the German side) and being captured and imprisoned by the English he gravitated toward acting, appearing in a number of plays in the Berlin theater. He was fired 1 year later for his ‘erratic and volitile’ behavior. Other companies followed, but his unconventional and emotionally volatile behavior regularly got him into trouble. In 1950, Kinski stayed in a psychiatric hospital for three days; medical records from the period listed a diagnosis of schizophrenia. He became unable to secure film roles, and in 1955 Kinski twice tried to commit suicide as he watched his career continue to falter. He slowly rebuilt his career and started appearing in minor roles in German films. His big break came in 1965 with a role in the blockbuster, Dr. Zhavago. In the 70’s he began his great streak of films with Werner Herzog and even turned down a role in Raiders of the Lost Ark claiming the script was “moronically shitty”.
Klaus’s fame slowed in the 80’s, having some hits – (Fitzgaraldo 1982) but tending toward cheap American horror (Crawlspace – 1986) and budget crap (Cammando Leopard – 1985). The fame of the Kinski name would be taken over around this time by his daughter Nastassja (Cat People) , who would later sue him for libel after the publication of his autobiography All I Need is Love (which is quite a read, btw).
Klaus would die of a heart attack in 1991, less than famous but still remembered as the crazy German son-of-a-bitch who made a handful of great movies and a few shitty ones.
Yoko Ono (オノ・ヨーコ, also 小野 洋子 Ono Yōko, born February 18, 1933 in Tokyo Japan).
It’s time to stop hating poor Yoko. She’s 80 years old, she didn’t break up The Beatles (they hated each other long before Yoko showed up) she still records and performs, has made significant philanthropic contributions to arts, peace, Philippine disaster relief, AIDS and autism outreach programs and dammit, looks pretty good for 80.
Yoko’s history was incredibly interesting well before she came to the worlds attention with her marriage to John Lennon. Surviving the fire bombing of Tokyo in 1945, schooling with the future emperor of Japan, traveling to the US to become a respected Avant Garde artist in New York, performing along side John Cage and the Fluxus group. Recording music and experimental films, she had made quite a name for herself in the New York underground by the mid-sixties.
And then came the Beatles. If you’re over 40 you know all about her. The long haired dragon lady that tempted poor innocent John Lennon away from the Fabs, destroying the best band in the world. That’s the boring (and untrue) part of the story, so we’ll skip it.
Ono has carried on to perform and collaborate with a multitude of talented artists. Most recently she performed at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin Italy, the 2008 Liverpool Biennial, has recorded with Basement Jaxx, Sonic Youth, Lady Gaga and Eric Clapton. She also curated the London Meltdown fest in 2013 performing with a new lineup of her Plastic Ono Band (at the age of 80). She continues to be a a tireless peace activist and is currently traveling the world to warn of the dangers of fracking. Lets hope she keeps going strong for years to come – ‘cuz Yoko is cool.
Edinburgh-based artist Jessica Harrison transforms the collectible ceramic ladies that populate grandmothers’ china cabinets into spectacles of gore. These elegant abominations are now on view at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York as part of Body & Soul: New International Ceramics, the first of a series of exhibitions highlighting different materials. Body & Soul is centered on the human figure in contemporary ceramics, and as the exhibition text notes; “Through clay the figure becomes the catalyst for addressing the emotional impact of contemporary pressures that confront our society today.” – ehm?
Harrison’s pieces are created from found ceramic figurines, altered in horrific ways with epoxy resin putty and enamel paint. There’s something more to these than just a kitsch re-imagining. They’re somehow more beautiful than that. Maybe it’s the memory of these from most people’s grandmas cupboards, I don’t really know. I do know that they’re beautiful and weird and gruesome and incredibly cool.
It was imperative in the 90’s to “Show the Wealth”, in most gansta rap LPs. Cash, diamonds, girls and pit bulls were the symbols of success. Granted a number of these are mix tape style covers from bands that most haven’t heard of but, jeez louise, whats goin on? I didn’t know photoshop could be used this way, and where do I find the glimmery jewelery filter. These guys (and Lil Kim) were livin’ large, adding Z’s and dollar sign$ to their names willy-nilly and flashin’ the cash. A couple of these are a bit off topic but I found them too funny and odd to ignore. Playa G’s “U Not My Lady” is weirdly boring and Ta Smallz, “Who Killed My Mama?” is just plain sad. The real high point here is the wonderfully designed and titled, Trinidad Jones LP – Dont Be S.A.F.E (Sensitive As Fuck Everyday) and off course Big Bears’- “Doin Thangs”.
Ron Mueck is an Australian sculpture currently living and working in the UK. Ron started his career as a puppeteer and model maker for kids shows in London in the ’80’s. He created many of the creatures for Jim Henson’s Labyrinth (even voicing the character Ludo) and Story Teller. He left Show Business for the world of fine art in 1996. With his model making skills he faithfully and in minute detail reproduces the human form but alters the scale, tiny or huge, for a sometimes (hell, all the time), jarring effect. His sculpture ‘Boy’ is over 16 ‘ high and ‘In Bed’ (seen below) spans well over 30′. His ‘Spooning Couple” is just a bit over 1 foot long. He creates his pieces out of silicone, polyurethane, wood, synthetic hair and hours upon hours of painstaking detail. Ron shows all over the world – as long as there’s space large enough to hold his work.