February 10th, 2008

Chris Keeley

Robert Frank: Paris

The publication of Paris marks the first time that the significant body of photographs which Robert Frank made in Paris in the early 1950s have been brought together in a single book. Having left Switzerland in 1924, this.

Robert Frank: Paris
by Robert Frank

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The publication of Paris marks the first time that the significant body of photographs which Robert Frank made in Paris in the early 1950s have been brought together in a single book. Having left Switzerland in 1924, this 1951 trip to France was only Frank's second return to Europe after he had settled in New York City in 1947, and some of the images he made during that visit have become iconic in the history of the medium. The 80 photographs reproduced here, which were selected by Frank and editor Ute Eskildsen, suggest that Frank's experience of the "new world" had sharpened his eye for European urbanism. He saw the city's streets as a stage for human activity and focused particularly on the flower sellers. His work clearly references Atget and invokes the tradition of the flaneur.

About the Author
Robert Frank was born in Zurich in 1924 to parents of Jewish descent. He emigrated to the United States two years after World War II ended, and since then he has produced work that changed the history of art and photography. Groundbreaking projects include The Americans, Lines of My Hand, Thank you, Black White and Things, Pull My Daisy and Cocksucker Blues. Frank was the subject of a major traveling exhibition organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. in 1994. He was awarded the Hasselblad Award for photography in 1996. Robert Frank was born in Zurich in 1924 to parents of Jewish descent. He emigrated to the United States two years after World War II ended, and since then he has produced work that changed the history of art and photography. Groundbreaking projects include The Americans, Lines of My Hand, Thank you, Black White and Things, Pull My Daisy and Cocksucker Blues. Frank was the subject of a major traveling exhibition organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. in 1994. He was awarded the Hasselblad Award for photography in 1996. "Ute Eskildsen is chief curator for photography at Folkwang Museum, Essen, Germany. She has curated many exhibitions and written numerous books."
Product Details
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Steidl (May 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3865215246
  • ISBN-13: 978-3865215246
Chris Keeley

Uri Avnery on William Polk's "Violent Politics"--2/9/08

Uri Avnery on William Polk's "Violent Politics"--2/9/08

Uri Avnery

9.2.08


An End Foreseen


A WISE person once said: "A fool learns from his experience. An intelligent person learns from the experience of others." To which one could add: "And an idiot does not even learn from his own experience."


So what can we learn from a book which shows that we do not learn from experience?


All this is building up to a recommendation for such a book. I don't recommend books as a rule, not even my own. But this time I feel the need to make an exception.


This is William Polk's book, "Violent Politics", which has recently appeared in the United States.


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Chris Keeley

Women were also more likely to refuse to have sex with a partner unless they kissed first. More than

Women were also more likely to refuse to have sex with a partner unless they kissed first. More than half of the men said they would have sex without kissing first, but fewer than 15 percent of the women said the same.

In people, kissing to express affection is almost universal. About 90 percent of human cultures do it.

One traditional view is that kissing, known scientifically as osculation, evolved from women chewing food for their children and giving it to them mouth-to-mouth, Fisher said.

But, she said, "I've never believed that," adding that similar behavior is found in many species. Birds tap beaks. Elephants shove their trunks in each other's mouths. Primates called bonobos practice their own version of French kissing.

"Men tend to think kissing should lead to sex no matter what," Hughes said.

"When the woman is first kissing the man, she's not necessarily sending the signal, 'Let's go to the next stage' -- but the man is reading it that way," Palmer said. "So both can get themselves into difficulties if they don't verbalize their true intentions."

Men were also much more likely to want to exchange more saliva during a kiss.

"Males like the very moist, wet open-mouth kisses," Hughes said. "We didn't expect that."

Men tend to have less acute senses of taste and smell than women, which could explain that finding, she said.

"Perhaps males need more saliva to make subtle mate assessments," she said, noting that previous research has suggested that a woman's breath changes across the menstrual cycle. "He may be subconsciously detecting whether she's fertile or not."
Chris Keeley

Ten years ago, when I was 15, I was a high school dropout and heroin addict, living in the back of a

Ten years ago, when I was 15, I was a high school dropout and heroin addict, living in the back of a dealer’s van. My mom first noticed red flags at 14: rapid weight loss, self-mutilation, coming home high, irregularly showering. The therapist she had me see, as well as my school counselor, believed that, cutting aside, my actions were typical teenage behavior. The first time I ran away, though, my mother formed her own conclusions, and got a 5150 issued — California code for the involuntary 72-hour psychiatric hold



Balint Zsako

February 10, 2008
Op-Ed Contributor
Learning From Britney’s Troubles
By MIA FONTAINE

THE involuntary hospitalization of Britney Spears last week brought back memories. Ten years ago, when I was 15, I was a high school dropout and heroin addict, living in the back of a dealer’s van. My mom first noticed red flags at 14: rapid weight loss, self-mutilation, coming home high, irregularly showering. The therapist she had me see, as well as my school counselor, believed that, cutting aside, my actions were typical teenage behavior. The first time I ran away, though, my mother formed her own conclusions, and got a 5150 issued — California code for the involuntary 72-hour psychiatric hold that Ms. Spears was under, before she left the hospital on Wednesday.

I wish I had seen my first, forced hospitalization as the gift it was.

For Ms. Spears, when the 72 hours called for under the 5150 order ended last Sunday, one of three things could have happened: she could have signed herself out or voluntarily committed herself, or doctors at her hospital could have issued another hold, called a 5250, after determining she was “gravely disabled.”

Curiously, the paparazzi — often blamed for contributing to Ms. Spears’s problems — may well helped with the solution this time: they provided ample documentation to support the doctors’ decision to issue a 5250, which can extend a hold as long as 14 days. For patients whose every move isn’t followed and recorded, however, an extension is exceedingly difficult to obtain. Unlike the 5150, which can be issued by any qualified California officer or clinician, the extended hold must be upheld by a court-appointed commissioner.
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Chris Keeley

Old Masters, pornography, and the work of John Currin.

Old Masters, pornography, and the work of John Currin.

by Calvin Tomkins January 28, 2008

Calvin Tomkins, Profiles, "Lifting the Veil," The New Yorker, January 28, 2008, p. 58

January 28, 2008 Issue

PROFILE of painter John Currin. Writer describes a work-in-progress by Currin, a large canvas featuring an image whose immediate source was Internet pornography. Eight or nine other canvases were hanging in the studio. All but one showed naked or semi-naked people engaged in sex acts. Paintings derived from porn sites were prominent in Currin’s solo show at the Gagosian gallery last winter. “I’d like to get the sex thing over with, but I realized I’m not done with it,” Currin said. Currin exemplifies the productive struggle between self-confidence and self-doubt. He is forty-five years old. His technical skills have been put to use on some of the most seductive and rivetingly weird figurative paintings of our era—an era when figurative painting has gradually returned to the mainstream. Writer has dinner with Currin and his wife, Rachel Feinstein, who is also an artist. Currin discusses how the porn-inspired paintings have helped him get out of the dry spell he went through after his 2003 retrospective at the Whitney. In his discussion, he relates his recent pictures to the controversy over Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (one of his recent paintings is called “The Dane”). Tells about Currin’s childhood. His family moved from California to Stamford, Connecticut when he was young. Currin took painting lessons from a Russian immigrant named Lev Meshberg, absorbing nineteenth-century techniques from him. He went to Carnegie Mellon University and then Yale. After Yale, he moved to Hoboken with his classmate Lisa Yuskavage and supported his art with handyman work. Though his paintings were primarily in the Abstract Expressionist mode, he became increasingly interested in figurative painting. Mentions a series of pictures based on yearbook photos. Also discusses a series of pictures of middle-aged, upper-middle-class women, which some critics thought mean-spirited. He was dating Andrea Rosen, who had opened her own gallery in 1990. Rosen put Currin in group shows. In 1997, his work was included in a show at MOMA. By 2003, collectors were lining up to buy his paintings. Writer describes Currin’s work on his large, porn-inspired painting, which he decided to call “The Women of Franklin Street.” He works slowly, completing no more than ten pictures in a good year. Describes how he met his wife, Rachel, and the effect meeting her had on his art. Tells about Currin’s interest in and use of Old Master techniques, especially underpainting. Writer visits Currin in his studio and watches him work. Currin tells him, “It’s great when the accidental becomes indistinguishable from the intentional. That’s when it seems like a living thing.”