WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 

L.A. Style Meets Substance in Herb Ritts Exhibit

0 Comments · Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Shooting outdoors separated photographer Herb Ritts from studio-based New York peers. In addition to Malibu and El Mirage, Ritts used a rooftop studio. He established a fun, “organic” working environment, enabling him to cajole his subjects and develop an “anti-glamour” style of celebrity photography.  
by Steve Rosen 10.08.2012
Posted In: Visual Art at 10:43 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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FotoFocus Takes Cincinnati By Storm

Having wrapped up a very busy first (extended) weekend of FotoFocus activities, I’m humbled by the fact that I only got to a portion of the exhibits and events occurring under the month-long, regional photography festival’s umbrella. Before it’s over, more than 70 shows and related special events — like this Wednesday’s concert at the Emery Theatre by Bill Frisell/858 Quarter, featuring musical portraits inspired by photographer Mike Disfarmer’s work — will have taken place. I’m wondering if FotoFocus, like the National Park Service, should have a passport that can be stamped at each site of a sponsored activity. (Quite a few exhibits will continue past October – check here for schedules.) “Umbrella,” by the way, is an apt word to use in one respect. Sideshow, the thoroughly charming outdoor kick-off party that took place Friday night, was bedeviled by rain and cold temperatures. As a result, attendance was small. That was disappointing because the alleys of downtown’s Backstage Theatre District had been turned into a colorful, imaginative, Fellini-esque carnival for the evening, with handmade booths, games of chance and photography opportunities. A stage with a theatrical backdrop served to host A Hawk and a Hacksaw, a New Mexico duo — Jeremy Barnes on accordion and Heather Trost on violin — whose music had an East European/Middle Eastern flavor and whose musicianship was impeccable. They would have fit well at MidPoint. In fact, the Backstage Theatre District would make a great outdoor venue next year for MidPoint, which, as Mike Breen pointed out, needs a stronger downtown presence. On Wednesday, I attended the preview opening of Doug and Mike Starn’s Gravity of Light in Holy Cross Church at the Mount Adams Monastery. I had gone a couple weeks earlier for a test, which I described in last week’s Big Picture column, where the noise and flying sparks from the giant carbon arc lamp’s scared me even as the magnitude and, well, gravity of the monumental photographs that its light illuminated astonished me. On my second visit, with maybe two dozen other guests present, Gravity of Light wasn’t quite as scary — not when you see people using the carbon arc lamp’s brilliant white light to read their smart phone email. Ah, technology! But it’s still a profound exhibit — a major installation that uses photography as an intrinsic part of a created environment – and I can’t imagine that anyone interested in contemporary art or FotoFocus would want to miss it. And afterward, you’ll want to discuss what it means. Two other exhibits I attended over the weekend were Anthony Luensman’s TAINT at the Weston Art Gallery and Let's Face It: Photographic Portraits by Melvin Grier, Michael Kearns and Michael Wilson at Kennedy Heights Art Center. Luensman is one of our most talented local artists, especially ingenious with installations involving sound and light, but I didn’t get a clear indication of how or why the presence of photography (and video) is supposed to crucially matter in this mixed-media show. The Kennedy Heights exhibit had some remarkable large-scale black-and-white portraits by all three accomplished local photographers. Grier and Wilson, in their Giclee prints made from film negatives, got remarkable expressiveness their subjects like “Robert” and “Tony” (Grier) and “Thomas” and “Lamayah” (Wilson). Those Wilson photos, and some others, frame the pupils of their subjects’ eyes with a tiny white square, a stunning effect. In several of his large Giclee prints from digital photographs, Kearns achieves clarity of detail so rich (on “Chuck,” which is Wussy’s Chuck Cleaver, and “Andre”) that you could stand there and count every strand of the subjects’ hair. I don’t know who Andre is, but the way he is posed with head slightly upward and a triumphant smile emerging from a mouth that appears to be missing some teeth makes him heroically human. It’s a meaningful show.On Thursday, I attended the Cincinnati Art Museum’s reception for Herb Ritts: L.A. Style, the Getty Center-organized show of the late photographer’s black-and-white prints. Beautifully installed, this exhibit features Ritts’ fashion and celebrity work, as well as his stylized, erotically charged studies of the nude male and female torso. The show doesn’t so much chart his “progression” from high fashion to high art as it spotlights the connection between fashion and art. It also underscores that the eternal human quest for perfection is about the body as much as the mind. (Kathy Schwartz will have more on this show soon.) For opening weekend, the art museum’s Chief Curator James Crump — also FotoFocus’ co-chair — brought to town Paul Martineau, the Getty’s curator for the Ritts exhibit, and Charles Churchward, a magazine design and art director who knew Ritts and has written Herb Ritts: The Golden Hour. Martineau, it turns out, is at work on a major Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit to be presented by the Getty and Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2016. (Getty Research Institute and LACMA recently acquired some 2,000 of his photographs, and the Getty already had acquired the archives of Sam Wagstaff, Mapplethorpe’s collector/lover.) Martineau told me it might travel. Cincinnati would be a perfect venue for it — Crump has made a documentary about Mapplethorpe and Wagstaff, the authoritative Black White + Gray. Is it too early to start a Facebook campaign to bring that Mapplethorpe exhibit to Cincinnati? Any volunteers? Watch for Contributing Visual Art Editor Steven Rosen’s FotoFocus blog postings all month. Contact him at srosen@citybeat.com.
 
 

The Scariness and Brilliance of the Starns’ ‘Gravity of Light’

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Doug and Mike Starn's photography-related installation Gravity of Light involves a carbon arc lamp with light so brilliant it could cause eye damage if you stared at it unprotected.   

Cincinnati Art Museum Honors Sarah Vanderlip

1 Comment · Wednesday, September 19, 2012
When Sarah Vanderlip — winner of Cincinnati Art Museum’s first Marjorie Schiele Prize — arrives here for the Sept. 29 opening of her show, it will be an Ohio homecoming, a full circle of sorts, for the California artist.  

Kind of Blue

0 Comments · Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Hot on the heels of Monet in Giverny, this summer the Cincinnati Art Museum showcases the life and legacy of pioneering African American artist Henry Ossawa Tanner in Henry Ossawa Tanner: Modern Spirit. A full-scale retrospective, Modern Spirit is a provocative examination of one man’s journey to discover a pictorial language capable of expressing an intense religious feeling.  

Public (Art) Inquiry

Local organizations to put impressive public art on view this summer

0 Comments · Thursday, June 14, 2012
As the mercury begins its steady ascent and the humid days give way to sultry nights, the climate-controlled environs of Cincinnati’s art galleries beckon. But with the spring season nearing its end and several galleries paring back their programming, despite best efforts to beat the heat, this summer’s hottest works are going to be found outside.   

Pop Art Is Popping Up At Cincinnati Art Museum

0 Comments · Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Artists have to come from somewhere, I suppose. Still, it’s remarkable how many of the giants of Pop Art came from and/or matriculated in our stretch of the Midwest — Andy Warhol was born in Pittsburgh, Robert Indiana in the Hoosier state, Roy Lichtenstein studied at Ohio State and Jim Dine and Tom Wesselmann both were born in Cincinnati.   
by Jac Kern 03.14.2012
Posted In: Music, Events, Fun, Culture at 11:39 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Wednesday To Do List

The Cincinnati Art Museum currently has a collection of Monet paintings on display; if you haven't checked it out, see our review for details. Dr. Benedict Leca, the CAM’s Curator of European Painting, will stop by Joseph-Beth (Rookwood) tonight to discuss the making of Monet in Giverny: Landscapes of Reflection. From 6-7:30 p.m., Dr. Leca will shed light on the 12 Monet pieces on display, explaining how the theme of reflection, both literally and figuratively, can is expressed throughout the exhibition. After the gallery discussion, browse Joseph-Beth's excellent collection of books and magazines, and stop by the attached Bronte Bistro for a bite to eat or glass of wine. Occupy Cincinnati has experienced some recent victories, settling the federal lawsuit against the city and getting a 24-hour public space designation for a year. Tonight, the organization holds a general assembly at the OC warehouse space, 2023 Dunlap St., Over-the-Rhine. From now on, the group will meet on Monday and Wednesdays, 6-8 p.m. and Saturdays at 3 p.m. to discuss issues, working groups and general business matters. All are welcome to attend these assemblies and share ideas, express concerns or just sit in and observe. Follow the group on Facebook for updates and assembly information.Tonight is the first installment of at the Search for the Spiritual Through Art: Music, Worship and Faith series, "Expression in Jewish, Christian, Islamic and Hindu Religious Traditions." Dr. James Buchanan of Xavier University and Dr. Richard Sarason of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion to discuss "The Intersection of Music, Worship and Spirituality in Religions Around the World." The lecture, hosted by Cincinnati Art Museum begins at 5 p.m. Tickets are free for students, $10 for members and seniors, $20 for everyone else. The entire series is $60, $30 for members and seniors, also free for students. Find details here.Looking for dinner plans? On such a summery day like today, we suggest Eli's BBQ on the East side. From pulled pork sammies to smoked ribs, Eli's does barbecue right. You're even welcome to make yourself at home and BYOB, so crack open a beer, chow down on some hot dogs, and enjoy the choice tunes coming from Eli's turntables. Read our review of Eli's BBQ for more info.For today's arts and theater offerings, check out our To Do recommendations and follow our music blog for tonight's live shows.
 
 
by Jac Kern 02.22.2012
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Northside, Music, Movies, Life at 03:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Wednesday To Do List

Arianna Huffington, Uta Barth in town

Arianna Huffington is speaking as a part of SmartTalk ConnectedConversations tonight at the Aronoff Center. The media queen will discuss how she became "fearless in love, work and life" (a phrase taken from the title of her 2007 bestseller). Huffington has made her mark as an author of 13 books, co-founder of The Huffington Post, Republican-turned-liberal and even the voice of a character on The Cleveland Show. Get 'em, girl! Tickets to this insightful femme-fest are still available here.In quirkier event news, did you know there's a monthly meet-up of the Skeptical Society of Cincinnati where the group introduces a professional scientist to the public? Cincy Science Cafe is a casual gathering (usually at a bar) where the community can learn about interesting discoveries being made by area scientists. Tonight the crew meets at Glendale's Cock & Bull at 6 p.m. Go here for details.Gearing up for October's exciting FotoFocus exhibition, the organization presents a lecture tonight with Los Angeles-based photographer Uta Barth. Barth is known for her painterly photos, employing unconventional methods to create a whole new way of viewing photographs. Barth has been awarded with numerous grants and fellowships and has most recently exhibited at The Art Institute of Chicago. She's a pretty big deal. The Cincinnati Art Museum hosts this FotoFocus lecture tonight at 7 p.m. Find more information here.Wednesdays are extra sexy at Northside Tavern — Sexy Time Live Band Karaoke takes over the back room this night each week. For those unfamiliar, STLBK is just how it sounds — the ultimate karaoke experience. You provide the vocals (and preferably hot dance moves) while a live band accompanies you. Be a Rock Star for, like, four minutes! Check out the group on Facebook. SexyTime for details and the song list. STLBK kicks off at 9 p.m.As always, there are plenty of live shows, theater productions and ongoing art exhibits to check out tonight. See our music blog and full To Do list for more.
 
 

State of the Art (Deco)

Cincinnati Art Museum exhibition revisits Jazz Age fashion and design

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 19, 2011
The promotional material for the Cincinnati Art Museum’s new Art Deco: Fashion & Design in the Jazz Age does something I haven’t seen before in the world of art-museum marketing: It headlines, “From the Curator that brought you Wedded Perfection.” Pop culture does that a lot — “from the director of Jaws” — but fine-arts institutions?  

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