Alright, folks . . . Just like the flyer says : This evening marks the official signing / release party for Incurable Disorder : The Art of Elizabeth McGrath [Last Gasp]. It’s a gorgeous book; good times are guaranteed to be had; I’m running really late, so you can either take my advice or sniffle in regret later. Not unlike me in the present tense, with the five loads of laundry I didn’t drop off. But hey! I’ve been waiting to use “soft grunge” as an excuse.
In addition to over 200 color images, the book includes introductory essays byfilmmaker/producerMorgan Spurlock, McGrath’s art dealerAlix Sloan, and the artist herself.
Regarding the creative process of the “damaged anthropomorphized animals who would rather bite than be healed,” McGrath explains “The conception of these brainchildren is hard to pinpoint. They stem from the emotional encounters I have with humans, landscapes and objects, and are further shaped by the constant stream of words and images that survive my mind’s filter. Once I have the skeleton of an idea, the rest comes automatically, but staying on task through the many hours it takes to complete one of these works requires a heavy dose of news radio, stories, and audio books. For instance, the chapter titled ‘Altarwise by Owl Light’ started with a Dylan Thomas poem but grew during The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley…”
She continues, “When I see the finished pieces it takes me back to the story or vice-versa, like memories from a vacation.”
As aforementioned, the tome is divided into sections — each paired with a passage from a poem or literary work that functions as a companion piece. The chapters are as follows :
With Tomorrow’s Scream
[ accompanied by a quote from Redmond King ]
Elizabeth — a.k.a. Liz, a.k.a. “Bloodbath” — McGrath is the only artist whose creations I collect, and without doubt, one of my favorite people on the planet. We met through a mutual friend in 2002, when I was asked to M.C. the Broken Dolls fashion show in January of the following year.
I even modeled for CREEP Clothing, Miss McGrath’s collaboration with B.F.F. Winter Rosebudd : a feat which included strutting around Echo Park with an evil-horned creature [the duo’s slaughtered chupacabra stole] draped about my shoulders, the pièce de résistance complete with velvet cloven hooves and a poisoned arrow. And did I love it? Every fantastic click and tick of the clock.
In short, Liz is generous, genuine, a true talent, and a stead-fast friend. Her enthusiasm is infectious, and truly : I’m honored to be part of this chronicle of her creative outpourings.
Oh. And uh, in the event you might have been “skimming”? It’s as simple as this : Incurable Disorder = new book you need in your life. Me? New poem in book. Matter of fact, I’ll save you a click and leave a copy right here, even . . .
Well, as it turns out?
I’m not the only effer with a keen eye, honed-ear, & impeccable sense of taste.
See, there’s this gent by the name of Cecil B Feeder—& he’s done gone & made a movie
about little Miss Thing herselfness. Name’s Bloodbath. You know, as in: ‘Bloodbath McGrath’?
Even if you don’t: just smile, nod, & spot-check this tease of a trailer on out…
While I’ve yet to see the docu-rama drama myself, folks who reside in Nueva York—or
very least, plan on being there this eve—are in luck.
The movie premieres TONIGHT:
Saturday, February 12, 2011
7:30 p.m. at MOMA NYC
Theater 2, T2
Said another way: oftentimes these “taxidermied toys,” as they’re referred,
are the cause of great pause/consternation for the artist’s audience:
My assumption is that, despite the hallucinatory realm which these phantasmagories inhabit—
the harrowing “Frankie Machine” [above], for example, in which McGrath’s allegorical depiction of The Man with the Golden Arm renders a dramatic stasis through a potent mix of personal interpretation
and consummate skill—ultimately, it’s a soulful quality about the eyes of
these mythological beings that resonates within the human condition.
A sense of psychological lockjaw. Addicted. Creatures of habit as much as habitat.
Translation of the Latin text?
“No One Is Free Who Is Enslaved To The Body”
H O W E V E R , E N O U G H !
of my blathering
This is, after all, work that speaks for itself—& rightly so…
For that reason—among countless others—the Managament hereby deems it imperative
that your library includes a copy of Everything That Creeps : a gorgeous compendium
of Miss McGrath’s work [ through 2005 ]. The book itself is an <i>objet d’art</i>:
with a die-cut hardcover exterior, full-color glossy pages thick as most magazine
covers [ except with sepia stains at the edges, & cute-enough-to-kill doodles
& details scattered throughout ]. Truly, the tome invokes a sense that
one has happened upon some rare, fantastic relic from last century’s
I N . W O R D S . N O T . M Y . O W N
[ excerpt of product description ]
“112 pages of full-color photos & detail shots
reveal the exquisitely complex details of [ McGrath’s ] sweetly twisted creatures,
giving a glimpse of what the City of Misfit Toys might have become had it been
saved by Satan rather than Santa.”
Alright you guys: Apart from a few tracks on which I had some creative involvement, I’ve never utilized Ye Olde Dot Com in the context of a public music share. Never until now, that is… With this: a veritable list of my 33 favorite songs from ’09.
Though it should go without saying, if anything from this catalogue aux Catalottalisps moves your spirit, contributes to involuntary thrusts of elbows and hipbones, or just plain pleases your ear canal with good aural: give the musicians some much-deserved love and support. That’s “love” as in: the kind from your pocketbook—not Nature’s Little Pocket, and “support” that doesn’t involve an underwire or cup size. Odds are, Pamela Des Barres has that Other territory covered, anyway—unless VH1’s Next Big Hit: a competitive “reality” series entitled Groupie: Go Ho or Go Home! is still in negotiations.
So, yes…here’s my first Em Pee Three Web Log
a play list intended as a means of promoting the artists as well as the art
for the sake of art itself:
The creative spirit is contagious
and these are the the lullabies that transmit inspiration
Lily Allen and Annie’s bubblegum pop with biting, cyanide-laced lyrics that
induced an emotional imprint, capture an essence:
the interrobang I experienced upon hearing the somber vocals of Fever Ray’s Karin Andersson
collide with boody-bass, a re-mix that shatters her glacial strip-tease & throws everything
off, like the crepuscular hour in which I was first infected by Demdike Stare:
hunched over at my desk, fist gripped around a sweat-slick black Ticonderoga, that
late night/early morning’s weapon of choice for my
battle with words—though what I fought more than anything was to stay awake
floating in and out of consciousness, when
suddenly and without warning, I was surrounded by an echoing incantation
that rose up, a miasma as mysterious as voodou yet synthetic, manufactured, cold
One moment I was in Iowa working with my comrades Dustin and Brian of Novice Industries; the next, rushing to hair and make-up with my pal Aldo o’ the Vento.
Aldo volunteered to assist me with Door Duty for the event, a favor which proved much needed the moment we stepped from what was intended as a brief “helloing” sesh — as pictured below, kicking off the evening with the lovely Jenelle Rensch, graphic design whiz [ and incidentally the mastermind responsible for my CC logo in its final incarnation ], Mssr. Aldo Vento Himselfness, model and co-star in Matthew Mishory’s biopic Delphinum: A Childhood Portrait of Derek Jarman : a beautiful, lyrical portrayal of the phenomenonicon, which is currently winding its way about the international film festival circuit. [ Not that you asked, though as I’m proud for all parties involved…let the record hereby note : the world premiere was 5 September 2009, at the Portobello Film Festival in London. ]
And oh, but oh : from one photograph to the moment that followed, how swift a shift in decorum. Namely, when AnnaLynne and Rachel McCord arrived at the venue, any semblance of order was tossed out the window like a stale copy of Us Weekly.
As rabid 90210 fanatics attempted to claw their way towards the living, breathing version of “Naomi” they recognized from their living rooms, I did my best to sneak the party of pretty-pretties into the inner sanctum : a seated area complete with Goodie Bags [ sponsored by Janome sewing machines, Fiji water, Tarina Tarantino jewelry, Amtrak, Josie Cotton, and Sebastian Hair Care Products ] that lived up to the name — incidentally, the precise locale where soon enough, leather metallic fabric † stitching nipped and tailored † silkscreened paintings † tricked-out hair with neon nets † make-up more surreal than real, and the spirit of unfettered creativity and unapologetic flamboyance would reign.
After all, why was everyone at the Social Club?
The MOST CORRECT runway debut of the retina-shattering, cardiac arrest-inducing atelier extraordinaire Jared Gold‘s latest collection : a collaborative effort with mega-watt visual artist Joshua Petker.
A Brief : my first interaction with Mssr. Gold hearkens back to a bleak time in American history. We met shortly after his 2001 debut in Manhattan on September the 10th — an inauspicious moment for anyone to premiere clothing design, as it transpired mere hours before the atrocity known as 9/11.
Eight years have passed in the interim, and still: the creative outpourings of this inimitable virtuoso never cease to amaze.
That being said, it should come as no surprise that for his latest effort — a pairing of superpowers with painter Joshua Petker — my expectations were anything but low.
Pictured above : Petker with photographer Cyn Yen
Per chance you aren’t familiar : Mr. Petker’s art is most God, indeed. Over the span of the last few years, I’ve admired his murky-canvased beauties from afar — so when the opportunity presented itself this Christmas past, I was stoked to make his acquaintance and bear witness to a bit of the brainstorms and dark-clouded creative rumblings between these two masterminds.
All due respect, before I venture into the particulars of the Gold x Petker mash-up, please allow me to praise the work of this inventive gentleman . . .
Up first : two images pilfered from an interview in Fecal Face, a.k.a. the art-blog equivalent of masticating a corpus callosum.
“[Petker’s] work is like that girl you know will destroy you but somehow you just can’t resist.” — Manuel Bello
Entitled “Hunting For Witches,” the painting [ above ] slaughters me, maing…SLAUGHTERS me!
And next, A portrait from Petker’s recent watercolor series [ 2009 ] :
So. Much. Gorgeous!
Fine art from a fine fellow : truly . . . truly.
At any rate, speaking of ‘fine’—there was no shortage of squealing over Twilight‘s hunkasaurus
among the crowd at theGold versus Petker extravaganza.
Full disclosure: I’ve never seen Twilight , nor have I read any of the books. Said another way? I wasn’t aware Who He Is—but not to worry…it’s not as if frenetic whispering girls and paparazzi flashbulbs going pop! were in short supply.
Short of the long? Mr. Lutz was a complete gentleman: there was none of the “Don’t You Know Who…” routine that’s as played-out as clunky monster boots. (Seriously, kids? Just. Don’t.) Equal parts accessible any coy, Lutz maintained a genteel decorum I often refer to as From The School of ‘Leave-Them-Longing.’
A rare trait in today’s tabloid-congested society, unfortunately. With yellow journalism the norm rather than the exception, these days it’s as if the lump sum of Tinseltown’s silver lining is tinged with rust.
I mean, let’s face it: once one is inundated with images of our ‘stars’ being— well, — as flawed and human as the rest of us? There’s a natural tendency for audience members to be less willing to accept Coleridge’s “Willing Suspension of Disbelief” in terms of an implausible premise.
However, the academic vernacular? Hereby duly noted. (Apologies for the yawnage, please.&.thanks!)
Instead, a shifting of gears to that hotness known as AnnaLynne. As for The CW’s “90210,” I did, in fact, see the two-hour premiere—though can’t say I remember much about the episode other than Cory Kennedy and Mark The Cobra Snake‘s cameo appearance.
*Appearances? I’ve been staring at this blue screen far too long, I’m afraid.
Whatever the case, congrats to the duo—both of whom have graduated from their former status as ‘fixtures’ among L.A.’s nightlife to full-fledged international phenomenons quite successfully.
As for AnnaLynne, her role as Eden Lord in Nip/Tuck’s fifth season was no mere incident of (envision air quotes) scene-stealing; it nabbed the entire season. Seriously? But seriously… Upon discovery of her 2009 win as “Greatest Break-Through Talent” at the Teen Choice Awards, my opine is succinct: well-deserved.
Oh yes…and since this is a city fueled by the mythic power of Celebrity,
pictured here with the Cute-As-They-Come Kim Bruder
More images await “beneath the cut…”
However, since both the event and amount of photos collected –cough!STOLEN cough!–is of epic proportions, I’ve decided to divvy the lot up into three parts: Before The Madness (on which your gaze is fixed at this moment), Petker’s Paintings In Stiletto Pumps (the catwalk-stalking and crowd-gawking), and Dance.Music.Sweat.Romance (the after-party).
That being stated, Please! Click Away– for More Gore Gore Gorgeousness…
Sleep-deprived, eyes feel like my corneas have been fried by my monitor,
just spent something like a nine-hour span working on what
less than 15 minutes after my marathon of fingerprints
I’m already thinking was a lame concept to develop.
But enough with the waaaahmbulantastic “tl;dr”—
lemme get this outta the way instead:
MASSIVE CONGRATS to that dang adorable Liz McGrath ♥—
who’s not only one of my favorite visual artists, but also the lead singer of Miss Derringer.
Because I adore the poopsmear outta her, I can’t help but give a big HOLLAH over their front page feature
in Spinner this week. I’m not an aol person, but allegedly this is the most downloaded site for music on-line…
Whatever the case, “Black Tears” is bitchen—& seeing a friend succeed makes me happy, indeed.