Tuesday, March 02, 2004

This will be a reminder to myself to attend the Isabel Samaras shows later this month here in San Francisco. The pop-culture-meets-Art thing is difficult to pull off well.

My friend Thomas in college believed strongly in the circular theory of Aesthetics. That is, if something is terrible it has the potential to be magnificently terrible. Anybody can create art that is uninspired but to able to create something truly monstrous takes talent and inspiration. And so the truly bad is also the truly great.

He used to search for music and art that was so bad it was sublime. He'd play old homegrown records he dug up in garage sales, home-recorded stuff say of someone singing in the high-pitched voice of a child, strange symphonies that sounded like a huge catfight, all in search of that magnificently terrible.

I still think of Thomas when I see a lot of pop art these days. I like the work of Samaras because she doesn't take herself too seriously. She can unite Botticelli's Venus and Gilligan's Island in a way that is both funny and new. She's also done a lot of illustrations and the one above is one she did for Bitch magazine.

A while back I posted about the New Yorker covers done by Eric Drooker. The cover above is another one by him titled X-Ray Manhattan. That cover and many others will be showing here in San Francisco starting this week. There's a special opening for the show this Thursday which I have an invitation for and I'd like to attend but I probably won't be able to.

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