Gina Vivinetto’s Greatest Hits

Archive for the tag “modern art”

Lucky D.C.: Free John Waters lecture

I almost don’t want to blog about this — come on, like anyone in this city reads this blog? — because I intend to get there early for the very best seat. But: indie film maker John Waters will be stopping by the Smithsonian’s American Arts Museum at 4:30 p.m. this Saturday to give a lil’ lecture on modernist painter Cy Twombly’s work “Letter of Resignation” (1967).


The talk kicks off the museum’s joint series with the National Portrait Gallery called “American Pictures Distinguished Lecture Series,” which pairs great works of art with pre-eminent figures of contemporary American culture.

Other discussions in the series include:

April 11: Novelist Jamaica Kincaid discusses Edward Lamson Henry‘s painting “Kept In” (1889).

April 18: Scholar Harold Holzer discusses John Henry Brown’s portrait of Abraham Lincoln (1860).

And the other one I’m most ecstatic about:

April 26: Cartoonist Roz Chast discusses Charles Addams’s famously gruesome cartoon “Boiling Oil” (1946).


Here’s more info.

Which lectures will/would you attend?

More Grace Jones: “I’m Not Perfect” (1986)

Pretty much everything Grace Jones has done has been innovative or outrageous or both. (See previous post). One pivotal moment in Grace’s career — and my personal favorite as an enthusiast of modern art — was the 1986 video for the song “I’m Not Perfect (But I’m Perfect For You”) in which Grace is wearing a costume created on the spot by the late painter Keith Haring.

Here’s the video. Look for cameo “testimonials” from several of Grace’s New York art and music pals including Andy Warhol and Nile Rogers, as well as an appearance by the late fashion designer Tina Chow (as Grace’s “esthetician”):

I wonder what Keith and Tina, who both died of complications from AIDS in the 1990s, would be doing today. Keith was only 32 when he died; Tina only 42.

I love the Hirschhorn!

Our house guest Stacy and I spent a few hours yesterday at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, a museum of modern and contemporary art owned by the Smithsonian. We saw a lot of crazy modern art by Frank Stella, Eve Hesse, Claes Oldenburg, Joan Miro, Alexander Calder, and many, many more. Stacy took this picture of me in front of an Andy Warhol piece:

I especially loved that the museum reserves space for young, contemporary artists who aren’t necessarily “famous” – yet. Some of my favorite pieces were by emerging talents like this piece called “off the dome: don’t front, you know we got you open” by Iona Razeal Brown, who is, incidenally from right here in D.C.:

You can’t see, really, in the pic, but the pattern on this fly lady’s kimono is a repeating image from a vintage black record label.

I’m looking forward to discovering more work by Brown – I’ve already started my research – and to many more trips to the Hirshhorn, where admission is magnificently free!

Lars Ulrich has things to say

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich has plenty to say to fans upset over the production on his band’s new album Death Magnetic.

“Listen,” Ulrich told Blender magazine's blog, “there’s nothing up with the audio quality. It’s 2008, and that’s how we make records.” He goes on:

“Somebody told me about [people complaining that the Guitar Hero version of Death Magnetic sounds better]. Listen, what are you going to do? A lot of people say [the CD] sounds great, and a few people say it doesn’t, and that’s OK. You gotta remember, when we put out ...And Justice for All, people were going, ‘What happened to these guys, this record? There’s no bass on it. It sounds like it was recorded in a fuckin’ garage on an eight-track.’ And now ...And Justice for All is sort of the seminal Metallica record that supposedly influenced a whole generation of death-metal bands. The difference between back then and now is the Internet.”

Of course, Lars being Lars, he goes on and on and on. I have a soft spot for Lars because back in ’04, he and I had a very pleasant chat about his beloved modern art collection and a lot of other esoterica that he and I both found interesting.

Lars is a perfect example of an intellectual, aesthetic metal head – and over the years I’ve met many though none more famous than Lars. To them, I raise my hands up in a devil horn salute.

Cats like modern art, too

I saw this item on Apartment Therapy. It’s kitty catnip in the shape of a fish with Jackson Pollock-esque splatters all over it. I love it.

Photos swiped from the Apartment Therapy site.

Photos swiped from the Apartment Therapy site.

The catnip retails for $7 at Arcata Pet Supplies. I think we should have catnip in all the modern artists’ styles: Picasso, Monet, Matisse, Rothko…

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