Category:scott sforza, wh producer

June 24, 2016

Play It Where It Lies

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I have tried to avoid the Sforzian analysis of this election. It feels like we've moved, or morphed, or devolved, or fallen, so far beyond, away, from the days of cannily placed powerpoint backdrops.

Sometimes, though, attention must be paid. As when comedian Lee Nelson threw a bucketful of Nazi golf balls at Donald Trump's Scottish golf course press appearance.

Trump, who multiple sources confirm literally studied and embraced the speeches of Adolf Hitler-he kept them on his nightstand-was "surrounded by Nazi golf balls." Nazi golf balls. Nazi. Golf. Balls.

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From The Journal:

After around ten minutes, Trump campaign operatives decided it might be a good idea to start clearing them away - and set about scooping them up with a few of his branded baseball caps.
Make America Great Again Filled With Nazi. Golf Balls.

OH PROTESTER BONUS: Nelson was also the guy who showered corrupt FIFA head Sepp Blatter with money [thejournal.ie]

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"Untitled" (Republican Years), 1992

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"Untitled" (NRA), 1991, collection: Astrup Fearnley Museet

25 years of this.

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Wolfgang Tillmans is worried about the impending vote for the UK to remain in the EU. So he and his studio assistants created a set of posters to encourage people to stay in, and especially to vote, and to register to vote. UK voting registration must be completed by June 7.

After they were released yesterday, I tried to find a printer in the US who could easily handle an A1 (33x24 in, roughly) size. So far, nothing. I need to print them out before the vote, though; if it goes awry, I don't think I'll have the heart to make a memorial set.

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I also tried to find anyplace that can confirm that Wolfgang's parents are Polish and Spanish. He grew up in Germany, and I always understood he was German-in-London.

There are a couple of atmospheric landscapes, and some of the posters are now-classic Tillmans abstraction, but most of them are straight-up text, a new direction for Tillmans' practice. Text are images, though, so it's really not that far afield. The most intriguing poster for me is #24. It's completely blank.

It's probably the one that most closely mirrors my feelings about the EU's right-wing turn lately; I just haven't known what to say. And it boggles my mind that the Britain and Europe of my generation are creating such an existential crisis for themselves.

Read Wolfgang Tillmans' letter and download and circulate the posters [tillmans.co.uk]

UPDATE: So I emailed Wolfgang's studio to find out the story behind the blank poster, and the next day they replaced the pdf file. The new poster bundle includes two new posters, and the monochrome is gone. So now we know. And that original 4.21 pdf is vintage/collectible.

March 20, 2016

Qué Mundo!

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This Reuters photo of Air Force One landing in Havana is excellent, and not something I thought I'd see while I'm still this young. But if I think about it, after seven years, it's not unexpected at all.

h/t Three Photographs from Havana, @whileseated [medium]

October 1, 2015

Elizabeth Warren, Filtered

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I know she's not in the White House rn, but the tasty pixel pattern in this picture of Elizabeth Warren on Talking Points Memo caught my eye this morning. Until I noticed it was on her podium, too. And it's also on the edges of her hair and hands. So it's a Photoshop filter applied with a quick and somewhat dirty mask. Weird.

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TPM doesn't give a photo credit, but I searched up the original. Looks like it was taken Saturday, Sept. 19 at the 2015 Massachusetts Democratic Convention by Dave Roback of The Republican [please, oldest joke in Springfield, I'm sure].

That is what digital projected video looks like in 2015. And anyway, those pixels aren't even pixels; it's the moire pattern from four-color offset printing. Which has been used to approximate visible RGB pixels on a television screen.

Have I already thought about this image more than whoever hacked this thing together, or whoever decided to use it? Or was there a moment of contemplation, a decision, to make an image look more retro? And if so, did it involve someone who's possibly too young to have seen either moire or visible pixels?

Why Wall Street Is Howling Over The Big New Reform Coming Down The Pike [talkingpointsmemo]
Sen. Elizabeth Warren blasts GOP presidential candidates with fiery speech at 2015 Massachusetts Democratic Convention in Springfield [masslive]

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If I had to make a list of photo ops I could never imagine, Michael Heizer standing alongside Pres. Obama and Sen. Harry Reid would be right up there. And yet here we are.

Heizer, along with LACMA director Michael Govan and others, gathered to celebrate the designation of the Basin & Range National Monument, which protects 704,000 acres of Nevada wilderness, ranchland, and Heizer's decades-long project, City, from oil extraction or encroaching development.

Spiral Jetty's on 10 acres. Lightning Field's on a few thousand, plus DIA's bought up 9,000+ surrounding acres to protect the view. With 700K plus a high-powered entourage at the White House, it's as if Heizer has out-Earthworked all the Earthwork artists with the biggest Earthwork on Earth.

[via @RepDinaTitus]

June 26, 2015

Supreme Sforza

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Rainbow White House. Just amazing. I just imagine Frank Kameny suing to get his government job back. [via ap]

April 11, 2015

Souza Over The Rainbow

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Big up, Pete Souza, who got this shot of Pres. Obama shooting a rainbow from his hand as he boarded the plane back from Jamaica yesterday. I have not seen Sforzian mise-en-scene that tight since Karl Rove tried to put George Bush's head on Mt Rushmore.

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[Which, like so many things from that era, turns out to have been not so slam dunk after all. The image that circulated at the time, which I'm not finding right off, had GWB's profile lined right up. But Google Image results now for that speech show a wide range of camera angles that miss or avoid the setup. Aesthetic resistance would have been more interesting at the time. Of course Souza's not just any hack, he's the White House hack, so he wouldn't miss.]

What's not shown in the photo will no doubt be added, the way people started sticking Hitler's and Sarah Palin's heads alongside Bush's. The White House that trolled Netanyahu's scary bomb poster in their infographic for the Iran nuclear talks had to know that anti-gay people people would be riled up by Obama shooting his rainbow laser everywhere.

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But the callous calumny of this twitter ad still caught me by surprise.

President Obama Shoots a Rainbow From His Hand in Jamaica [pete souza via jezebel thx @magdasawon]

January 28, 2015

Richard Nixon's Last Look

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Ellsworth Kelly, Yellow over Dark Blue, 1964-5, from a suite of 27 color lithographs, ed. 29/75, loaned to Henry Kissinger for display in his White House office. Collection: SAAM

Who was Henry Kissinger's favorite artist? Ellsworth Kelly. But that's not important now.

While searching through the White House art loan records for the Nixon administration yesterday, I noticed that over the years, Kissinger borrowed several Kelly prints for his office, including the one above. It was a gift of the artist in 1966 to the National Collection of Fine Arts, which became the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

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Claes Oldenburg, Scissors Obelisk, aka Scissors as Monument (Scissors Obelisk, Washington, D.C.), 1967 or 1968, ed. 144. Collection: SAAM

I first started wondering about art in the Nixon White House a couple of months ago, after I stumbled across a NY Times article describing a 1978 NCFA White House Loan inventory that showed hundreds of artworks missing, mostly from the Nixon era:

More than 100 prints, including a Claes Oldenburg poster, "Scissors Obelisk," and an Andy Warhol "Flowers" poster, borrowed and displayed in the White House, at Camp David, and in the Presidential helicopter during the Nixon Administration, have not been found where they were supposed to be.
The reason I'm writing this should now be clear: Richard Nixon had art on his helicopter.

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Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
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