Raymond Pettibon 2011/07/04 01:17 by 장파

Raymond Pettibon (born Raymond Ginn on June 16, 1957 in Tucson, Arizona) is an American artist who currently lives and works in Venice Beach, California.

Pettibon earned an economics degree from UCLA and worked as a high school mathematics teacher for a short period, before pursuing a completing his BFA in 1977.

In 1977, his brother, guitarist/songwriter Greg Ginn, founded the influential punk rock band Black Flag. Initially, Pettibon had been a bass player in the group when it was known by the name Panic. When the band discovered that another band called Panic existed, Pettibon suggested the name Black Flag and designed their distinctive "four bars" logo.  Around the same time, Pettibon adopted his new surname, from the nickname petit bon (good little one) given to him by his father.  Pettibon’s artwork appeared on flyers and records for Black Flag through the early 1980s, and he became well known in the Los Angeles punk rock scene.

Known for his comic-like drawings with disturbing, ironic or ambiguous text, Pettibon's subject matter is sometimes violent and anti-authoritarian. From the late 1970s through the mid-1980s, he was closely associated with the punk rock band Black Flag and the record label SST Records, both founded by his older brother Greg Ginn. Beginning in the mid 1980s, he became a well-known figure in the contemporary art scene.

Pettibon works primarily with Indian ink on paper and many of his early drawings are black and white, although he sometimes introduces color through the use of pencilwatercolorcollagegouache or acrylic paint. Pettibon started working in collage in the mid 80's with simple newsprint elements collaged onto black and white images. In his new works, the artists again uses the means of collage. Pettibon’s drawings encompass the spectrum of American culture from the deviances of marginal youth-culture to art, literature, sports, religion, politics, and sexuality. Pettibon’s works on paper combine the drawn image and text, both borrowed passages from literature and text written by Pettibon himself. Pettibon has stated that his interest in this technique is a result of the influence of artists such asWilliam Blake and Goya, and the style of political editorial cartoons.  He adds colour with crayons or watercolours. 

In addition to his works on paper, Pettibon has also made animations from his drawings, live action films from his own scripts, unique artist’s books, fanzines, prints, and large permanent wall drawings that often include an arrangement of his own works on paper almost creating an installation of collage.

from wiki

The Underbelly Artist By Michael Kimmelman Published: October 9, 2005 / The NewYork Times

On a sweltering day early last month, I arrived at the Museum of Modern Art to watch the artist Raymond Pettibon make a wall drawing, which the museum had commissioned him to do just outside the third-floor drawings galleries. I had been told to come by at 4. As I might have anticipated, Pettibon, having invited me to watch, was being polite to a fault. He had pretty much finished the drawing by the time I got there. It was a picture of a crashing wave. I found him surrounded by tubes of acrylic paint, plastic bags, paper bowls and sponge brushes. He was riffling through loose folders of clippings from books and magazines.

"Sorry," he said softly, avoiding eye contact and gently trying to excuse what I realized had been a quasi-deliberate misencounter. He mumbled something about how, to his surprise, the work had all just happened so fast, and would I now maybe like to see him add some touches to the picture, it would be no trouble, not an act, I could still say I had watched him paint. He squeezed a dab of cerulean blue from a half-spent tube into a bowl, picked up a fresh brush and drew a single, small stroke in the middle of the wave.

A shaggy fellow given to rumpled Oxfords or T-shirts, baggy khakis and tennis shoes, Pettibon has, at 48, after several decades of hard living, the pale, unshaved, sagging face of a handsome man nursing a perpetual hangover. Awkward and guarded, he favors indirection and halting non sequiturs; and, as a way of joking around, he'll inject in the middle of conversations bizarre, made-up stories (about having played for the Yugoslav national basketball team or for the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team), which he delivers in a straight-faced, apologetic voice sometimes so hard to interpret that it's impossible to know why or when he's pulling your leg.

He is also without pretense and, improbably, disarmingly tender. "I still have to choose some text to add to the drawing," he said to me, as if in compensation for my having missed him paint the picture. That's what he had been looking for among his papers, an apt quote, which he would paint tomorrow. "Why don't I come back then," I said.

So the next morning I again found him and his disarrayed tubes of paint and brushes, now roped off, like a zoo specimen of an artist on display for the passing mobs. "If I could shrink any more into this corner, I would," he said, slouching against the wall, head down, still absorbed in his folders. One folder contained a page from the art critic Brian O'Doherty's "Inside the White Cube," with a passage highlighted - "the relation between the picture plane and the underlying wall is very pertinent to the esthetics of surface" - and in the margins, Pettibon's own punning, run-on sentence about surfing: "When you bring shore life thoughts and theories/observations into the surf (when you attempt to shore up the line up) that is when (the moment) the nose of your longboard (shortboards, you're not ready for) breaks the surface of the wave, begins to 'pearl."'

Pettibon offered to decipher this, but in the process detoured into a conversation about surfboards and Bob Beamon, the Olympic athlete, and long jumping and the flood in New Orleans, without getting to the point, if there had been one. Or perhaps I missed it. Evidently he had intended the wave as a kind of mixed metaphor about Abstract E-pressionism and the Modern. I noticed in one folder, along with the O'Doherty page, a passport application, some yellowed clippings from Apollinaire and Henry James, pages ripped from old Hulk comics and an advertisement from the 1940's British magazine Lilliput for men's underwear, the image from which Pettibon once used in a drawing. It was the slogan that interested him now, he said: "For Men of Peace, for Men of War, for Men Who Find Them Both a Bore." On a separate page, torn from "Finnegans Wake," Pettibon had underlined some of Joyce's made-up words, like "zoravarn" and "damman," to which he added: "funeureal," "puskkalating," "perticulating."

"With my kind of work, things mingle and associate, and something comes from it - or not," he said. He was making no progress whatsoever on the wall drawing and wouldn't, I imagined, if I stuck around. We gathered up his papers, slipped into the crowd and rode the escalator to the cafe. After an hour or so, nursing a cappuccino, I left him and Lisa Overduin, the soft-spoken director of his L.A. gallery, Regen Projects, in peace. Two days had passed, and I had seen him paint a single, thin blue line.

when the art world first took notice of Pettibon's lurid, ham-fisted drawings during the late 1980's, he was a marginal, cultish scribbler and lyric poet of obsessive, black-humored art who lived in Hermosa Beach, a buttoned-up surfer's haven south of Los Angeles. Having not gone to art school, Pettibon emerged as an underground discovery. He had already published darkling, slender mimeographed and offset zines of his texts and drawings, disconnected images, laboriously done, in hand-stapled editions of 40 or 75, with titles like "Tripping Corpse," "The Language of Romantic Thought" and "Virgin Fears." Almost nobody noticed or bought them. He also illustrated album covers for his brother Greg Ginn's legendary punk band, Black Flag. (Ginn is the family name, Pettibon, Raymond's nom de plume.) He occasionally exhibited in out-of-the-way galleries and local record stores, but for years, almost nobody was interested in buying his drawings. To the extent he developed a reputation, it was as Greg's younger brother, a hanger-on.

But in the unlikely way that the art world sometimes works, Pettibon has now become one of the exalted fixtures on the international art scene, a high-tone collector's darling and senior superstar. Along with his wall drawing at the Museum of Modern Art, he has just completed an installation at the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego and, having won the Whitney Museum of American Art's 2004 Bucksbaum Award, he has been given a Whitney show, which opened this week and mixes drawings with a new animated video.

Meanwhile a new generation of artists steeped in rock, 60's and 70's revivalism, cartooning and surrealism has come to regard him as a hero and an inspiration, a model insider-outsider. Paul Schimmel, chief curator at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and a longtime friend of Pettibon's, said that he finds that "young artists admire him not necessarily for who he is but for how they imagine him still to be. To them, he still represents fringe culture, which means 'Ulysses' and underground comics."

Among other signs of his prestige, his influence is discernible in the current vogue for shambling, winking sorts of drawing, in the mixing of text with image, in the exaltation of comix and the whole D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) subculture of zines and Web sites. For his part, Pettibon, while perfectly capable of tending his career, does pretty much what he has always been doing, still taking public buses to get around Los Angeles, still spending much of his time at home with his mother in Hermosa Beach, still making art out of not much more than a piece of paper, a pen and a Masonite board to lean on.

Three years ago at Documenta, the quintennial mega-survey of contemporary art in Kassel, Germany, which was devoted that time around to righteous and civic-minded art, Pettibon's loopy, messy drawings of steaming trains, gangsters, Bible thumpers, California surfer dudes and vintage baseball players in the slanting light of the late afternoon - accompanied, as usual, by incantatory texts culled from Mickey Spillane or Walter Pater or St. Augustine or wherever - came as a tonic and a rebuke. The antic, bad-boy eccentricity was the opposite of pedantry. People didn't smile much at that Documenta ,but they smiled leaving the room where Pettibon had tacked his drawings, dozens of them, as he likes to do, making a collage of the wall.

His repertory of atomic explosions, hippies, vixens, cowboys, dismembered bodies, old cars and liquor bottles describes a morning-after portrait of America in extremis. The affect is world-weary but slyly comic. The pervasive nastiness and unfettered id belong to the worlds of Joan Crawford and low-budget horror films: to camp as much as to punk. Surfers, Gumby and Vavoom, the wide-mouthed character from the old animated series "Felix the Cat," are Pettibon's occasional surrogate self-portraits. Old Vargas pinups and beefcake nudes traced from magazine advertisements or superhero comics give to some of the pictures an ambiguous, once-upon-a-time, bleak eroticism.

And the disconnections between text and image in Pettibon's art provoke a laughter that's not quite straight but uncomfortable or melancholic. His drawings are often like disparate film stills from movies whose plots are no longer known, as in the one of a man with a stocking pulled over his head, talking into a telephone. "Hi, Paula?" he says. "It's Lee. I have a new number. Do you want it?"

Pettibon has told me that when he started to draw his zines, he was interested in Edward Hopper and Reginald Marsh and the whole Ash Can School of American art, along with film noir. He admires Thomas Nast's illustrations and Herblock's cartoons and Philip Guston's late paintings. The links in his work to Blake, Goya and Otto Dix are often mentioned, as are ones to R. Crumb, but Pettibon claims that Crumb actually was never much on his mind. Crumb's comics, more deftly drawn, are, as narratives blunt instruments by comparison. Pettibon's allusions are more obscure without being opaque, skirting specific meanings to linger at the mercurial edge of clear thought where poetry tends to operate. The work can also break your heart, sneakily. A Boy Scout, as if copied from a fading snapshot, is drawn beside the phrase "that they might become clear and sunlit, too." Like so much of Pettibon's work, it implies the memory of a childhood that was not exactly ordinary.

One late August morning I visited Pettibon at the Ginn house in Hermosa Beach, a tumble-down beige stucco split-level that his father, Regis Ginn, designed himself, on a nondescript street of middle-class bungalows. Along with his mother (his father died earlier this year), one of Pettibon's brothers, Adrian, lives there, as does a man Pettibon calls Fleck (he doesn't seem to recall Fleck's last name), who for some years has slept in a shingled, makeshift lean-to he erected in the gap between the back of the garage and a wire fence, no wider than a phone booth and not much deeper.

The front door was ajar when I arrived, and walking in, I instantly wondered whether I had entered the back way: a darkened room was crammed with old furniture, teetering boxes and electrical appliances. A dog barked furiously from the kitchen, behind a barrier at the opposite end of the room, where I made out the silhouette of a small, gray-haired woman in a frock. It was Pettibon's mother. High-stepping my way through the piles on the floor, I introduced myself over the din. The kitchen was cluttered with more boxes and days-old dishes. It opened onto a small, sunny backyard with a big bougainvillea bush, where I spotted a new basketball hoop, the plastic wrapping still half on, piles of trash, an unplugged freezer, two bicycles and a surfboard. Pettibon appeared in a hallway, glancing away, as usual, when I said hello and stuck out my hand. He shook it limply.

His father had designed the house with few windows, his mother said, as if answering a question I hadn't asked.

"Maybe he wanted more wall space for bookshelves," I ventured.

"That must be it," Pettibon responded, trying to be helpful.

"It's more complicated than that," his mother said, shaking her head. She looked oddly displeased. To break the ice, I asked if Pettibon might show me around.

The house was a rabbit warren and rattrap befitting the Collyer brothers. Lately Pettibon has been tending, he says, to the Sisyphean task of culling the thousands upon thousands of dogeared paperbacks, back issues of Show and Detective Story Monthly, old Playboy magazines, picture frames, dusty garbage bags containing who knows what, boxes of moldering sporting goods, paintings of pinups and other remains of his father's life. The nostalgic quality in much of Pettibon's art, which cribs from the 1940's, 50's and 60's, I realize, has its sources in these magazines and books, in his father's era, as opposed to his own.

Pettibon showed me the upstairs and his own lofted study, crammed with unfinished paintings, shoeboxes of zines, trampled drawings, stereo and video equipment and back issues of Kennedy-era American Heritage and Crimes and Punishment. He tripped over a vacuum cleaner in the middle of the room, knocking a plastic container of coins from a table onto the floor, the coins scattering among the socks and empty Coke cans. On the roof, paintings by Pettibon's father (eerie, thrift-store Francis Picabia-style portraits and pinups) were laid out as if to dry in the sun.

"What's there?" I asked Pettibon, pointing, a bit warily by now, to a closed door.

"My brother's room," he said, and before I could tell him not to bother, he knocked. Adrian, disheveled and smiling in a Hawaiian shirt and rumpled trousers, appeared after a moment or two. Seated on the bed behind him, looking blankly at me, was a woman in a tight blouse who could have come straight out of a Russ Meyer movie.

"Vodka?" Adrian asked me, in lieu of the usual greetings. It was 11 o'clock in the morning. No thanks, I said.

"Vodka?" Ray repeated to Adrian, accepting the offer and disappearing behind the door. Doubting there was room for the four of us in the room, I turned and noticed Pettibon's mother, now at the opposite end of the hall, smiling. She gestured for me to join her in her bedroom, next to Adrian's, and showed me one of her favorite drawings by Pettibon, of a speeding train, with the accompanying text: "I have, I confess, truly to jerk myself with violence from memories and images, stages and phases and branching arms, that catch and hold me as I pass them."

She had a paperback at hand, "The Cold Warrior," which her husband, Regis, self-published, a thriller, with Regis's drawings as illustrations and, below a mustachioed self-portrait on the inside back cover, a brief autobiography: "Patriarch, erotica archivist and sly frottage enthusiast, end product of seven American colleges and distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Weight and Balance School, the arriviste posed bashful behind the postiche basher is a nonpracticing Freeman of the City of Cambridge who summered and falled in Britain (1944) and now lives in the extreme northeast section of Hermosa Beach, 90254."

Pettibon's nom de plume comes from his father, who gave nicknames to his children - Kierkegaard, Tiger - calling Raymond petit bon, good little one. A navigator with the Army Air Force during World War II, he then knocked around teaching English at various colleges and junior colleges on the outskirts of L.A.

"My father painted and wrote," Pettibon said. "I didn't read comics much, but he had these 50's horror comics, which he'd bring out once a year, as a curiosity. I started to do some political cartooning in college. I wanted to be a writer. I was taking lots of literature classes, and on the bus back and forth to U.C.L.A., I'd read and do my own things at home. We were all kind of in our own world at home. My father was a Republican, like most people in Hermosa Beach, but he wasn't uptight. His politics weren't hippie, but his lifestyle sort of was."

For a long time, Pettibon was especially close to his older brother, Greg: "We weren't co-conspirators or anything. But there was a certain shared attitude. Greg had the idea that he could do things for himself. He was a genius." Black Flag, the hard-core punk band that gave the lie to the cliché of Southern Californians as laid-back surfer dudes, epitomized punk's Dadaist model of anticorporate entrepreneurship. Ginn started a record label, SST, at first to produce Black Flag's albums, which mainstream companies wouldn't touch (wherever the band played there were riots); then SST went on to release albums by the Minutemen, the Meat Puppets, Sonic Youth and Husker Du. It also published Pettibon's early zines. Pettibon said he hasn't seen Greg in years. Talking to people around Pettibon, I get the sense that Ginn, who has largely dropped out of public sight, might have resented Pettibon's success, which gradually rivaled and maybe even supplanted his own.

If he was not quite Lana Turner at the soda fountain when he was discovered, Pettibon was lifted from obscurity not by fans of Black Flag or Sonic Youth or by the comix world, in which he says he has always remained a nobody, but by artists. Over breakfast at the Mondrian Hotel one recent morning, Schimmel, the curator, recalled having "heard about Ray in the late 80's from Irv Tepper, a conceptual artist and ceramicist from San Francisco. Irv had seen Ray's work in some out-of-the-way place, and he told me I had to go, that this was the real thing and not the usual art stuff. So I met Ray. His shirt was not one button askew but three buttons, he was completely disheveled, and I thought this might be just a little too far from the art world so I didn't see much of him for a few years until the early 90's when I was organizing the 'Helter Skelter' show, a survey of L.A. art, for which Ray seemed perfect.

"His work had changed a lot in the meantime, from pamphlets and album covers to the drawings we know him for," Schimmel went on to say. "I brought a few collectors over to see him. He was totally broke. They bought 10 or 20 drawings for $5,000 total, which was big money to him at the time. Now Ray's collectors have become like Paul Klee's - obsessively specializing in particular bodies or subbodies of work."

Schimmel credited artists, many of them already working with text and images, like Mike Kelley, Jim Shaw, Paul McCarthy and Ed Ruscha, for "embracing Ray because they saw he occupied a beautiful quasi place - not of the L.A. art world but in tune with it - and because he was also more truly L.A. than almost anyone, I mean in terms of beach culture, lower middle class white culture. Most artists here come from elsewhere. Ray is the real McCoy."

When I visited Mike Kelley, who has become dean and sage of the L.A. art scene, he remembered coming across Pettibon's work during the mid-80's and including him in a few shows he was organizing. He saw the drawings as raw but brilliant, the product of neither art school nor punk. "Raymond was considered punk in the beginning, but he was too smart for punk," Kelley said. "The punk audience liked his art because it was illustrational and there were jokes about hippie culture and film noir. But what I liked about it was that it had this very knowing, winking position vis-à-vis hippie and punk culture. It struck me as Magrittean while pretending to be Victor Hugo." Kelley laughed.

"Back then, no art in L.A. was considered significant by collectors and institutions, so artists could be supportive of each other because there weren't camps," he continued. "Some people liked Raymond because they considered him a guy who didn't kiss the butt of the art world. Others thought he represented punk, or blue-collar Conceptualism or D.I.Y. What interested me about him was how he constructed things - like Lautréamont, who's my favorite writer - with all these different sources juggled and combined into something particular. Raymond had that definite auteur look, which was faux-romantic, faux-Gothic, very Tennessee Williams, very foppishly funny."

Pettibon and I were shooting hoops in his backyard one afternoon with half-inflated basketballs, our stray shots careering off broken picture frames, bicycles and the bougainvillea. Fleck joined us. He had recently found a red leather jacket in the trash, which he dyed with black shoe polish and had now shed to launch three-pointers. Did Raymond have any black paint? he asked. A discussion of spray-painting leather ensued. I noticed a painting of a beach, a washy scene hanging on the fence. It turned out to be Fleck's. "Not bad," I said. Fleck was pleased.

Meanwhile, the family dog was busy rooting around the garage, feverishly burrowing into the piles of roller skates, baseball bats, magazines and books ("The Aeneid," "Tantric Sex"). Adrian and Marlene, the girlfriend whom I had earlier spied on Adrian's bed, appeared and joined the shoot-around. Fleck was thrilled to come across a dead rat in the yard, which, he said, the dog or cat must have finally caught. I drifted into the garage, where crusty old fluorescent ceiling lights dangled from wires. Pettibon told me that his father, who used to drive 20 miles out of his way to find a gas station charging 25 cents, as opposed to 27 cents a gallon, built additions to the old family house with cheap, termite-ridden wood that leaked so badly that as a boy Pettibon slept under plastic tarpaulins heaving with rainwater.

We took a drive. Around downtown Hermosa Beach, he pointed out the pretty Christian Science church on a hill where his mother, over his father's objections (Regis was Roman Catholic), took the children for services (Pettibon's parents almost broke up over this, he said). He pointed out where SST used to have its offices, and the high school where he played sandlot baseball (he was a so-so pitcher), which saved him from being the stereotypical class nerd. Down the coast, we stopped at Malaga Cove, where Pettibon bicycled to go skin diving. It was a calm, gray morning, and standing on the cliff, at the top of the dirt path beside the Pacific Coast Highway that descended to the rocky shore, we saw no surfers, but a flock of sea gulls circled the weedy shallows.

We ended up at Acres of Books, a used-book store in downtown Long Beach, where Pettibon used to go with his dad, and scavenged the shelves of art and literary criticism, after which we drove to Pettibon's own apartment, also in Long Beach, a nondescript second-story flat in the middle of nowhere. Pettibon dumped his bag of new acquisitions (Santayana, Ruskin, Benjamin DeMott, some back issues of American Heritage) onto the pile of drawings, magazines, tapes, 1970's football cards, batteries, soda-can tabs, newspaper clippings and other loose papers that, like landfill, already blanketed the living room floor.

He put on a scratchy CD he made recently, a live, homegrown punk record he produced with a band of friends. Fishing through the stacks of papers on the floor, he uncovered a video of one of his films, from 1989, "The Whole World Is Watching: Weatherman '69." In the film, faux radicals sit around debating whether Chinese Communists prematurely ejaculate and whether the former Mets pitcher Jerry Koosman was a fellow traveler. Like his music, Pettibon's films are crude, tongue-in-cheek and hard to sit through for their sheer boredom - Warholian movies whose themes are caustic riffs on onetime tabloid favorites, political extremism and hippie culture. Like Ed Wood's cult movies, they look as if they're made on a budget of $75, which is part of their coy charm.

Over the years, as Pettibon's art has become more complex, the drawing more adept and the language denser, he has nevertheless stuck to familiar themes. That crashing wave at the Museum of Modern Art is not the first wall drawing of a crashing wave. But if he often repeats himself now, you could say he has an eye for monotony and abundance, an American trait.

Pettibon projected an image of Wonder Woman on a wall beside his desk to show how he traces certain pictures then changes them. "The projector has a tendency to make the work look stiff and poorly drawn," he said, "and to rely on it just makes no sense, so I try not to." Several unfinished drawings, based on this Wonder Woman image, were on the floor; they turn her into a baseball player with a glove, twisted like a corkscrew, a Mannerist and androgynous riff, the comic-book source no longer decipherable.

"I want to make images that have the disparities of Surrealism," Pettibon added. "I've heard people say my work is arbitrary, random, spliced together. But I think that's a pretty simplistic comprehension level. If anything, my work is fairly easily understood compared to most poetry. I try to be in the communication business."

At that point, Pettibon retrieved from a kitchen cabinet jumbled stacks of what he said were his earliest drawings. They were children's drawings. "Actually, they're by my nephew," he said. Pettibon is proud of his nephew. Schimmel has said that Pettibon is one of those adults who genuinely listen to children. Diffident about his own drawings, he regards his nephew's as ingenious. He interspersed some of them in a 1986 zine, "Bottomless Pond." Above a drawing by his nephew of an atomic explosion is scrawled: "When it comes I'll be playing!" His nephew's picture of a junkie shooting up is accompanied by the text: "Don't do it for me or I'll never learn how to do it." And between those two pages, Pettibon inserted his own image of a man lifting a young boy. "It may not seem like fun for you now," he wrote, "but when you're a big boy you'll be doing the same things I do."

Picking through a lunch of sushi and beer in a sports bar near the beach in Hermosa later, Pettibon talked uneasily about his father. "When you have your whole life invested in someone . . . ," he said, letting the sentence trail off, like so many sentences. After some hesitation, he revealed that his father would be silent whenever a show of his got a good review but would clip out and leave in some conspicuous place all the good reviews of artists whom he considered to be Pettibon's rivals.

Pettibon spent the better part of the next two days trying to explain away that anecdote. In his apartment, while thumbing through the phone book, looking for the nearest In-N-Out, where we could get a burger on our way to an Angels game in Anaheim, he said that his father "wasn't as eccentric or odd as that. . .I mean, compared. . .I mean it's always pretty much been this way. . .the perfect nuclear family. . .considering the dysfunctional, abusive situation, this was pretty minor.. . .I mean he was actually a very, uh. . .an extremely generous person in a way that.. . ." His own art, he then ventured, often speaks in his father's voice - flippant, knowing, a bit rough. The voice, it so happens, of the sort of backslapping, tipsy bully who calls people by ridiculous nicknames.

Later Paul Schimmel told me he remembered Pettibon's father hanging around while Raymond was installing his one-man show at MoCA in the late 90's. His father kept pestering Pettibon. He was taken aback by his son's success, Schimmel said.

Schimmel then recalled when his own son Max, as an 11-year-old, gave Pettibon a sculpture he had made out of the metal wrapper on the top of a wine bottle. Pettibon slipped it into his shirt pocket, and Schimmel assumed it would be crushed and forgotten. Months later he got a call from Pettibon's L.A. dealer, Shaun Regen. She wanted him to bring Max to Pettibon's next show. There, Max found, Pettibon had drawn a large, painstaking copy of the sculpture, which Max had titled "Winer," with an accompanying text that Schimmel remembers said something like: "I think I've never seen anything more beautiful than this. It has the freshness of g'day mate." Schimmel swallowed.

"Such heart."

Michael Kimmelman is the chief art critic for The New York Times. His latest book is "The Accidental Masterpiece."

Raymond Pettibon Submitted by Crasierfrane on Fri, 01/10/2010 

How did you get into drawing professionally?

I didn't study art or go to art school. I learned pretty much on my own and I was pretty much in the dark. I didn't have friends showing me what to do or someone to understudy at all. So it was trial and error basically. I have nothing against going to art school whatsoever. My lack of that is probably still evident, but mine is a kind of style or technique that doesn't need to play off a great skill or virtuosity. I try to make do with whatever strengths I may have, which isn't always drawing or painting. It's a style that derives from comic books, cartoons, or drawing from wherever you want to start or end. I don't want to be downplaying drawing, because I really can't get by without it, but my school was economics and my interest was literature more than visual arts, and that's still the case.

When did you begin to consider yourself an artist?

From the start, going back to 78 or 77, I considered it art as much as anything else. The distinctions between museums, galleries, books, fanzines, high, low, comics, cartoons, commercial art, fine art are not there for any useful purposes, especially when they're enforced for marking one's turf or keeping people out. Entry form above, below, the sides, whatever. My art found its own place. It wasn't something I was pushing for one way or another, because I'm not a great promoter or self-publicist. Beyond making art I've always just kinda put my hands up and let things fall where they are. Let the marketplace, the viewers, or the institutions of art decide.

Do you feel like when you started combining text and drawings you were doing something quite unique?

It wasn't in the character of the times as far as making art goes, but also no. It's not something that I can take credit for much at all because there were precedents: for me, Goya, or Blake, and editorial political cartoons. When I first started, art was not welcoming to the literary at all in general, but that's a sweeping statement that I'm making knowing well that there are exceptions, not just the people I mentioned.

Do you mostly just work on pieces for exhibitions, or do you ever draw for the sake of drawing?

Well there isn't a separation between the two. Except for if there's a show that is approaching. Then I'll have to finish works where otherwise I just kinda go onto something else. Finishing the work is not my favourite part of it. Not that I dislike drawing, but when you already have something thought out and it's just a matter of finishing it, it's not my favourite part. Other than that, I just draw anything and whatever I have finished will be for the show, unless there's some kind of concept involved in it.

Do you still produce drawings as frequently as you used to?

Lately I get interrupted a lot with different things. I'm trying to catch up. Also they take a lot longer than they used to because they're fairly complicated. Probably too much so. For a number of reasons. It's kind of a shame when drawings and paintings are laboured incessantly. Some of the collages I do especially are just too much. Maybe it's something I should remedy.

Where's your favourite place that your art has taken you to?

LA is not bad. There's a lot of things that aren't ideal about it. Every place has its advantages and disadvantages. I don't know if there's a perfect place. One thing about LA, and New York, and the US in general is it just becomes so much of a police state. It kinda creeps up upon people and they don't recognise it, but if you go other places it becomes more obvious in comparison. I just like to be able to work first of all. Beyond that, I dunno. There's a lot of places I haven't been.

When you exhibit how often do you end up travelling to the place?

It depends on if it's a solo show or a group show. It's fine to go places, but it's not usually called for or expected. My work travels especially well. Nowadays some art you can send anywhere. There are, I imagine, cost considerations, but it's not so much a problem with me. I'd just as well have my art work unframed and do things at the last minute because my priorities aren't always to finish.

Do you feel like there's different attitudes towards your work internationally?

I haven't noticed that to any degree where I could say that there's a major difference. The art world is very international and globalised. Wherever you have the show that's how it's set up. I'm sure there's exceptions, but I tend to go to some of the same places and not much else, like New York, London, or Berlin. It's more of a gallery situation. It's not exactly to say that those are the hot-spots, like in radio where your single takes off some place and you wanna get there and hit it and then it's a local hit and it may spread from there or whatever. Those places are very concentrated in the art world as hubs or centres. If you had a show in most larger cities, Glasgow for instance, you might see a lot of the same people that you would in London, or Germany, or France. It's not much of a local thing; it's much the same. Even with artists to a large extent: they tend to be a socialised into the art world by means of the same schools or equivalents. Teaching can be pretty much equivalent in one place or another. One's local knowledge or culture or habitat that one grew up with, if anything, isn't that important. This isn't meaning to be negative or cynical about it or exposing it, but everywhere where you're likely to have a museum that shows art that is international people are likely to be pretty much the same.

Do the images you've made that have become iconic, like Black Flag covers, or the Sonic Youth cover, feel exceptional to you personally?

I think it had a lot to do, definitely much more to do, with the bands than the cover art, because Black Flag and Sonic Youth were/are great bands. A lot of people either know me from that stuff exclusively, or that was where they saw my art first. I still do covers if I'm asked and can get around to it at all, but they're likely to be for more obscure garage bands like the kid next door or something. I appreciate it. It's humbling for sure, but those drawings weren't done for record covers. There's no reason why that should be the form to put it in. Ordinarily you'd have an art director and you'd try to configure whatever you're doing to their expectations or their ideas. Back then you didn't have, like major labels do, an art department: freelance, or commercial, or salaried. Usually anyone around could be good enough for you. Someone from school or whoever. It's just as likely that somebody in the band could do them. That's the context of how those were done. I was making art and I was there. It's like division of labour. I can't play guitar or drums or anything. Back then, especially with the art, you'd just put something together. That's not a bad way to do things either.

Would it be right to say you don't draw things for a specific purpose? Like you just draw all day and then somebody asks you if they can have something and you give them something?

Well in those cases I was likely to have a number of drawings that they could choose from. It's definitely not the case that I ever had the power to decide what was going to go on any of the records, or flyers probably for that matter. I don't have anything against being commissioned or commercial art as some kind of moral issue or criminal act. But it's something that doesn't work with me. It's something that I don't really have any control over. If I was to dig ditches or do office work or anything, I could follow orders no problem, but with my art, when people get between what I'm doing and what I should be doing it's just contrary to the reason I do it in the first place. The few times it's been the case that I've been cajoled or coerced into doing someone else's idea, I don't think anyone has been happy with the result. There's plenty of illustrators or commercial artists you could go to to do that sort of thing. It's not because I see myself as above it or like it's beneath my station. It's more like what happens is I try to meet the expectations of the boss, the patron, just out of good manners, and I try too hard and it just freezes up into something that's too stiff and awkward. Just very forced, because it is forced in that circumstances. When I make art I don't think of who it's being pitched for or the audience at all. It's a psychological state of mind. It's not something I have any conscious power over. Really it shouldn't be much of an issue anyway, and it usually isn't because I'm rarely in that situation. There's no reason why I should be. 


* art21 : http://www.pbs.org/art21/artists/pettibon/#

Santiago Sierra < NO, Global Tour> and Martine Parr's work 2011/07/03 15:17 by 장파

           <No, Global Tour>

Santiago Sierra (born 1966) is a Spanish artist. He lives in Mexico City.

Sierra's work reflects his views on capitalism, labor, and exploitation. For instance, he paid a group of workers to move a heavy rock from a point A to a point B and vice versa. On another occasion he paid drug-addicted prostitutes from Brazil in their drug of choice to let them have a line tattooed across their backs. He also caused controversy by covering ten Iraqi immigrants in insulating polyurethane foam and waiting for it to harden. Another of his well known projects is a room of mud in HanoverGermany, commemorating the job-creation measure origin of the Maschsee.

In 2006, he provoked controversy with his installation "245 cubic metres", a gas chamber created inside a former synagogue in Pulheim, Germany.

from wiki


Martine Parr
Martin Parr (born 23 May 1952) is a British documentary photographerphotojournalist and photobook collector. He is known for his photographic projects that take a critical look at aspects of modern life, in particular provincial and suburban life in England. He is a member of Magnum Photos.

Sparks - I predict 2011/07/03 13:54 by 장파

I Predict" is a song by Sparks. It was released in 1982 as the only single from Angst in My Pants, although an effort was made to release "Eaten by the Monster of Love" as a second single.

really? David Lynch's A Goofy Movie 2011/07/03 11:43 by 장파

What does it mean to be a revolutionary today? -Slavoj Zizek 2011/07/03 01:20 by 장파

RSA Animate & First as Tragedy,Then as Farce by ZIZEK 2011/07/03 01:03 by 장파

- First as Tragedy,Then as Farce : ZIZEK

Relational art, Nicolas Bourriaud, Claire Bishop 2011/07/02 23:21 by 장파

Relational art : 
Relational art
 or relational aesthetics is a mode or tendency in fine art practice originally observed and highlighted by French art critic Nicolas Bourriaud. Bourriaud defined the approach simply as, "a set of artistic practices which take as their theoretical and practical point of departure the whole of human relations and their social context, rather than an independent and private space."

Origin of the term

http://www.marginalutility.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Claire-Bishop_Antagonism-and-Relational-Aesthetics.pdfOne of the first attempts to analyze and categorize art from the 1990s, the idea of Relational Art was developed by Nicolas Bourriaud in 1998 in his book Esthétique relationnelle (Relational Aesthetics). The term was first used in 1996, in the catalogue for the exhibition Traffic curated by Bourriaud at CAPC musée d'art contemporai de Bordeaux. Traffic included the artists that Bourriaud would continue to refer to throughout the 1990s, such as Henry BondVanessa BeecroftMaurizio CattelanDominique Gonzalez-FoersterLiam Gillick, Christine Hil, Carsten HöllerPierre HuygheMiltos ManetasPhilippe Parreno, Jorge Pardo and Rirkrit Tiravanija.

Relational aesthetics

Bourriaud wishes to approach art in a way that ceases "to take shelter behind Sixties art history", and instead seeks to offer different criteria by which to analyse the often opaque and open-ended works of art of the 1990s. To achieve this, Bourriaud imports the language of the 1990s internet boom, using terminology such as user-friendliness, interactivity and DIY (do-it-yourself). In his 2002 book Postproduction: Culture as Screenplay: How Art Reprograms the World, Bourriaud describes Relational Aesthetics as a book addressing works that take as their point of departure the changing mental space opened by the internet.

Relational art

Artists included by Bourriaud under the rubric of Relational Aesthetics include: Rirkrit TiravanijaPhilippe ParrenoCarsten HöllerHenry BondDouglas Gordon and Pierre Huyghe.

Bourriaud explores this notion of relational aesthetics through examples of what he calls relational art. According to Bourriaud, relational art encompasses "a set of artistic practices which take as their theoretical and practical point of departure the whole of human relations and their social context, rather than an independent and private space."

The artwork creates a social environment in which people come together to participate in a shared activity. Bourriaud claims "the role of artworks is no longer to form imaginary and utopian realities, but to actually be ways of living and models of action within the existing real, whatever scale chosen by the artist."

In Relational art, the audience is envisaged as a community. Rather than the artwork being an encounter between a viewer and an object, relational art produces intersubjective encounters. Through these encounters, meaning is elaboratedcollectively, rather than in the space of individual consumption.

Critical reception

Writer and director Ben Lewis has suggested that relational art is the new "ism", in analogue with "ism"s of earlier periods such as impressionisme-pressionism and cubism. Lewis finds many similarities between relational art and earlier "ism"s at their beginnings: relational art is often not considered art at all because it redefines the concept of art, many artists considered "relational" deny that they are such and relational art had a "founding" exhibition.

In "Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics", published in 2004 in October, Claire Bishop describes the aesthetic of Palais de Tokyo as a "laboratory", the "curatorial modus operandi" of art produced in the 1990s. Bishop writes, "An effect of this insistent promotion of these ideas as artists-as-designer, function over contemplation, and open-endedness over aesthetic resolution is often ultimately to enhance the status of the curator, who gains credit for stage-managing the overall laboratory experi- ence. As Hal Foster warned in the mid-1990s, "the institution may overshadow the work that it otherwise highlights: it becomes the spectacle, it collects the cultural capital, and the director-curator becomes the star." Bishop identifies Bourriaud's book as an important first step in identifying tendencies in the art of the 1990s. However, Bishop, also asks "if relational art produces human relations, then the next logical question to ask is what types of relations are being produced, for whom, and why?"  She continues that "the relations set up by relational aesthetics are not intrinsically democratic, as Bourriaud suggests, since they rest too comfortably within an ideal of subjectivity as whole and of community as immanent togetherness."

The University of New Mexico's College of Fine Arts links its fine arts program with the ideas of relational art.


In 2002, Bourriaud curated an exhibition at the San Francisco Art Institute, Touch: Relational Art from the 1990s to Now, "an exploration of the interactive works of a new generation of artists." Exhibited artists included Angela BullochLiam GillickFelix Gonzalez-TorresJens HaaningPhilippe ParrenoGillian Wearing and Andrea Zittel. Critic Chris Cobb suggests that Bourriaud's "snapshot" of 1990s art is a confirmation of the term (and idea) of relational art, while illustrating "different forms of social interaction as art that deal fundamentally with issues regarding public and private space."

from wiki

+ Claire Bishop , <Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics> :


HAL FOSTER - ON THE FIRST POP AGE 2011/07/02 12:24 by 장파

New Left Review 19, January-February 2003

If Britain rather than the US, in the fifties rather than the sixties, originated Pop Art, what ingredients made it possible, and how did its pre-eminent painter Richard Hamilton tabulate the arrival of a new ‘super-fetishism’?


An epic poem of early Pop by the architects Alison and Peter Smithson, in an essay published in November 1956, three months after the landmark Independent Group exhibition ‘This is Tomorrow’ opens at the Whitechapel Gallery: ‘Gropius wrote a book on grain silos, Le Corbusier one on aeroplanes, and Charlotte Perriand brought a new object to the office every morning; but today we collect ads.’ Forget that Gropius, Corbusier and Perriand were also media-savvy; the point is polemical: they, the protagonists of modernist design, were cued by functional structures, vehicles, things, but we, the celebrants of Pop culture, look to ‘the throw-away object and the pop-package’ for our models. This is done partly in delight, the Smithsons suggest, and partly in desperation: ‘Today we are being edged out of our traditional role by the new phenomenon of the popular arts—advertising . . . We must somehow get the measure of this intervention if we are to match its powerful and exciting impulses with our own.’ [1] Others in the IG, Reyner Banham and Richard Hamilton above all, share this urgency.


Who are the prophets of this epic shift? The first we to ‘collect ads’ is Eduardo Paolozzi, who calls the collages made from his collection ‘Bunk’ (an ambivalent homage to Henry Ford?). Although this ‘pinboard aesthetic’ is also practised by Nigel Henderson, William Turnbull and John McHale, it is Paolozzi who, one night in April 1952, projects his ads, magazine clippings, postcards and diagrams at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, in a demonstration that underwrites the distinctive method of the IG, an anti-hierarchical juxtaposition of archival images disparate, connected, or both at once. The ‘Bunk’ idea is developed in such shows as ‘Parallel of Life and Art’, directed by Paolozzi, the Smithsons and Henderson in 1953, ‘Man, Machine and Motion’, produced by Hamilton in 1955, and ‘This is Tomorrow’, which grouped artists, architects and designers in twelve teams in 1956; it is also elaborated in such practices as the ‘tabular image’ of Hamilton, as I will discuss.

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If Paolozzi suggests an aesthetic paradigm that is at once collagist and curatorial, it is Banham, the great animateur of the IG, who provides the theoretical arguments for a Pop Age. ‘We have already entered the Second Machine Age,’ he writes in Theory and Design in the First Machine Age (1960), ‘and can look back on the First as a period of the past.’ [2] In this dissertation, conceived in the midst of the IG, Banham exploits his distance, both historical and ideological, from the framers of modern architecture (including his advisor Nikolaus Pevsner) in order to redefine its meaning. He challenges the functionalist and rationalist biases of Gropius and Corbusier, Giedion and Pevsner—that form follow function and technique—and recovers the E-pressionist and Futurist imperatives of modern architecture that they neglected. In so doing Banham also advances the imaging of technology as the principal criterion for design—for design of the Second Machine Age, or the First Pop Age, as well.

Might we operate a similar parallax today, and do onto Banham, Hamilton and colleagues what they did onto the modernists? That is, if the IG detected a shift in conditions from the Machine Age, might we trace a similar displacement vis-à-vis the Pop moment? As we frame our questions of Pop—concerning the phenomenology of the screened image, the formation of the subject in a mediated world, the representability of technologies that often appear immaterial—might we also refine our questions about art, architecture and design today? No doubt if we pursue this line of inquiry, related mistakes in self-understanding will be made: if the Pop moment showed the Machine Age to be charmed by an instrumental reason, and we see the Pop moment as taken over by a media euphoria, what might our dominant ideology be revealed to be? Or are we still too suspicious of all such epic poems, all such period fictions, to permit these questions in the first place? (Obviously I am not; I think we default on cultural narratives at great cost—one counted in, among other ways, the slack relativism of much contemporary art and the indifferent thematicism of much exhibition practice.) [3]


If Banham is to be our model of revisionism, we need to know more about his project. First and foremost, he is committed to modern architecture, but again not to the canon of Gropius, Corbusier and Mies laid down by Pevsner, Giedion, Hitchcock and others. Banham challenges this edited version of modernism, however, according to its own criterion of how best to express the Machine Age (he too scorns all historical revivalism, including, later, the postmodern version). According to Banham, Gropius and company imitate only the superficial image of the machine, not its energistic principles: they mistake the simple forms and smooth surfaces of the machine for the dynamic operation of technology. This vision is too ‘selective’; it is also too orderly—a ‘classical’ aesthetic dressed up in the guise of the machine. Corbusier all but confesses this classicism-through-the-machine when he juxtaposes a 1921 Delage sports car with the Parthenon in his Vers une architecture (1923). For Banham this is absurd: cars are Futurist ‘vehicles of desire’, not Platonic type-objects, and only a subject who thrills to the machine as ‘a source of personal fulfilment and gratification’ can embody its spirit. [4]

In this regard Banham the Pop prophet is not so at odds with Banham the revisionary modernist. Like others in the IG, he is raised on the popular culture of American comics and movies before the war; this is what ‘Pop’ means after the war as well, not folk in the old sense or Pop in the current sense: the former no longer exists for them, the latter does not yet exist for anyone. The IG is near enough to this American culture to know it well, but far away enough to desire it still, especially in an austere Britain short on attractive alternatives (the lofty civilization of Kenneth Clark, the mealy modernism of Herbert Read, the worker folk world of Richard Hoggart). The result is that the IG doesn’t question this culture much: hence the apparent paradox of a group that is pro-Left and pro-American at once. At this time a second, consumerist Americanism supplants the first, Fordist Americanism that swept through Europe in the 1920s—an Americanism of imagistic impact, sexy packaging, speedy turnover. These become the design criteria of the Pop Age for Banham, and they lead him to celebrate the ‘plug-in’ architecture of Cedric Price and Archigram in the 1960s.

His revision of modern architecture is thus not only academic; it is also a way to reclaim an ‘aesthetic of expendability’, first proposed in Futurism, for the Pop Age, where ‘standards hitched to permanency’ are no longer relevant. [5] In this experiment Banham has two laboratories: the IG, both its discussions and its exhibitions, and his prolific essays where he applies to commercial products the iconographic methods that he learns for high culture at the Courtauld Institute. More than any other figure, Banham leads design theory away from a modernist concern with abstract forms to a Pop semiotics of cultural images, in a way that follows the shift from the architect as arbiter of machine production to the stylist as instigator of consumerist desire. ‘The foundation stone of the previous intellectual structure of Design Theory has crumbled,’ Banham writes in 1961, ‘there is no longer universal acceptance of Architecture as the universal analogy of design.’ [6] In this scheme the Book doesn’t kill Architecture; the chrome fender and the plastic gizmo do. In different ways the Smithsons and Price and Archigram take ‘the measure of this intervention’ in architecture; Hamilton does the same in painting.


Hamilton shares many of the Pop-Futurist enthusiasms of Banham. He too sees the machine as exemplary by dint not of its functional ‘fitness’ but of its fantasmatic power, its mythic force. In his introduction to ‘Man, Machine and Motion’ of 1955, a gridded display of over 200 images of mechanomorphs under sea, on land, in the sky and in outer space, Hamilton even recycles the old Marinetti trope of a man-machine ‘centaur’ from the first Manifesto of Futurism. [7] Yet his archive of images is largely obsolete, his mechanical centaurs are almost campy, and this cannot but render the techno-futurism on offer here somewhat absurd. Never as ‘gonzo’ as Banham, Hamilton practises an ‘ironism of affirmation’ toward Pop culture (he borrows the phrase from his mentor Duchamp) or, in his own words, a ‘peculiar mixture of reverence and cynicism’. [8]

In ‘This is Tomorrow’ of 1956 Hamilton is grouped with John Voelcker and John McHale, and ‘ironism of affirmation’ is again in play. His team decides that new kinds of ‘imagery and perception’ require new strategies of representation, and Hamilton constructs his little collage,Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?, to the first end—to tabulate the emergent Pop iconography of ‘Man, Woman, Humanity, History, Food, Newspapers, Cinema, TV, Telephone, Comics (picture information), Words (textual information), Tape recording (aural information), Cars, Domestic appliances, Space.’ Although indebted to Paolozzi’s ‘Bunk’, Just what is it? initiates his distinctive version of the Pop image, a space of pumped or primped figures, commodity images and media emblems that, in his own description, is ‘tabular as well as pictorial’. [9]

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Two months later, in a January 1957 letter to the Smithsons, Hamilton sums up IG research to date: ‘technological imagery’ (explored in ‘Man, Machine and Motion’), ‘automobile styling’ (discussed by Banham), ‘ad images’ (credited to Paolozzi, McHale and the Smithsons), ‘Pop attitudes in industrial design’ (exemplified by the House of the Future of the Smithsons), and ‘the Pop Art/Technology background’ (the entire IG, ‘This is Tomorrow’). [10] These interests will inform his tabular pictures to come, in particular a suite of three, Hommage à Chrysler Corp.(1957), Hers is a lush situation (1958), and $he (1958–61). I want to review them briefly now—to come to terms with this type of picture and to speculate about some of its implications.


Hommage à Chrysler Corp. begins his intrigue with the automobile as core commodity and design-object of the 20th century (that is, until the PC), and for Hamilton it is more metamorphic ‘vehicle of desire’ à la Banham than Platonic type-object à la Corbusier. ‘It adopts its symbols from many fields and contributes to the stylistic language of all consumer goods’, he writes in 1962. ‘It is presented to us by the ad-man in a rounded picture of urban living: a dream world, but the dream is deep and true—the collective desire of a culture translated into an image of fulfilment. Can it be assimilated into the fine art consciousness?’ [11]Hommage is his first attempt to meet this IG mandate, and here his ironism of affirmation is not paradoxical, for Hamilton is so affirmative of automobile imaging at mid-century, so mimetic of its moves, that he is led to ironize its fetishistic logic: that is, to expose the break-up of each body on display—the new Chrysler in the foreground and the vestigial showgirl behind it—into sexy details whose production is obscure. Not only does Hamilton associate the body parts of each by analogy (the breast, say, with the headlight), but in so doing he demonstrates a conflation of commodity fetishism with sexual fetishism, as the two bodies exchange properties, even parts (à la Marx) in a way that invests them with erotic force (à la Freud). Perhaps this conflation of fetishisms is historically new to this moment: though foreseen in Surrealism, it is only foregrounded in Pop, which acts out this super-fetishism in ways that are excessive but demonstrative.

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Signal characteristics of the tabular picture are already apparent in Hommage. First, the composition is, in his own words, ‘a compilation of themes derived from the glossies’—several images for the car, the woman, and the showroom each. [12] Fragmented, the body of the car is also rotated for display (this happens to female figures in other pictures like $he, as if the skill of Old Master drawing had become a technique of semi-pornographic surveying). I read the headlight and bumper as the front, the fin and fender as the rear. Fetishistically specific (like Banham, Hamilton is a detail buff: ‘pieces are taken from Chrysler’s Plymouth and Imperial ads; there is some General Motors material and a bit of Pontiac’), these parts are also smoothened into near abstraction: if the woman caresses the car in the painting, so too does Hamilton caress its image in paint. The woman is also reduced to charged parts within a curvaceous outline, to breast and lips, which Freud counted among ‘the secondary sexual characteristics’—here represented by an ‘Exquisite Form Bra’ and the pout of one ‘Volupta’, a star of a late-night American TV show of the time. This is representation as fetishization, an almost campy version of what Benjamin called ‘the sex appeal of the inorganic’. [13] Such is the fetishistic chiasmus of this tabulation—a car is (like) a female body, a body is (like) a car—and the two commingle in this chiasmus as if naturally. (This is also borne out by the sexist lingo of the day: ‘nice chassis’, ‘great headlights’, and so on.)

Everything here is already mediated for display: ‘The main motif, the vehicle, breaks down into an anthology of presentation techniques’, Hamilton tells us, and he does highlight in paint the print versions of glossy colour and shiny chrome, all previously screened by the lens, as if there were no other mode of appearance. Space is also thus transformed: it has become display-space tout court, here a showroom based on ‘the International Style represented by a token suggestion of Mondrian and Saarinen’. [14] Foucault remarks that with Manet the art museum becomes the frame of painting, and Benjamin that its primary value becomes exhibition value; with Hamilton this frame is more purely one of exhibition—the showroom—and exhibition value is pushed toward consumption value. [15]

Hamilton also speaks elliptically of ‘a quotation from Marcel Duchamp’, whose Green Box of notes for The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass, 1915–23) already obsesses him at the time of Hommage (he publishes his typographic translation of the Green Box in 1960). Perhaps he has in mind another note that speaks of ‘the interrogation of the shop window’ and ‘the coition through the glass pane’. [16] If so, this interrogation is now the enticement of the showroom where not only have traditional line, colour and modeling become means of product display, but aspects of modernist art and architecture—‘Mondrian and Saarinen’, diagrammatic signs and geometric bands—have also become devices of commercial exhibition. (This is another distinctive insight of Pop artists like Roy Lichtenstein, who shows us modernism mediated through comics.) Or perhaps the allusion to Duchamp is more general—that, like the Large Glass, this conjunction of Chrysler and showgirl is a kind of Bachelor Machine. But which is the bachelor and which the bride? Unlike Duchamp, Hamilton lets the two meet; the shop window is dissolved, desire is transformed.


In his next tabular picture, Hers is a lush situation (1958), Hamilton pushes the association of body parts of car and woman beyond formal analogy to actual commingling: the lines of bumper, headlight, fin, windshield, and wheel become one with the curves of the implicit driver. Another tabulation of images from the glossies, the painting is generated from a line in anIndustrial Design review of a recent Buick: ‘The driver sits at the dead calm center of all this motion: hers is a lush situation’. [17] Perhaps this is the next stage in his Pop evolution of the Bachelor Machine, one that brings Hamilton into the Bataillean orbit of Hans Bellmer: Hers is a lush situation as a graphic updating of Machine Gunneress in a State of Grace (1937), where Bellmer renders woman and weapon one. But what is still perverse, even obscene in Bellmer has become somehow normative, almost beautiful here: a lush situation, not a surreal threat. Although Hamilton worked to assimilate design into ‘fine art consciousness’, here the flow is in the opposite direction, and it is far along: the genre of the Odalisque is subsumed in an ad for a Buick (all that remains of the nude, as with the Cheshire cat, is her smile); or, better, a De Kooning drawing is not erased by Rauschenberg but reworked by an automobile stylist. In the process, line, which is still individual and expressive in De Kooning, a medium of contact between artist and model (or nature), appears for all its lushness almost engineered and statistical: ‘line’ becomes ‘the right line’ for ‘the new line’ of Buick—a suturing device between ad-man and consumer. And if line is revalued here, so is plasticity, in a way that makes animation and reification difficult to distinguish. This old Futurist dream, which first came true in fascist culture, comes true again, in a different way, in consumerist culture. ‘More than a substance, plastic is the very idea of its infinite transformation’, Barthes writes in Mythologiesjust a year or two before Hers is a lush situation is painted—‘the whole world can be plasticized, and even life itself . . .’ [18]

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‘Sex is everywhere,’ Hamilton writes in 1962, ‘symbolized in the glamour of mass-produced luxury—the interplay of fleshy plastic and smooth, fleshier metal’. [19] This erotic plasticity is not only fetishistic, a matter of charged details, but also sublimatory, a matter of abstractive displacements—it is as if Hamilton tracks the desirous eye in its saccadic jumps across associated forms. Together these two operations, fetishistic detailing and sublimatory sliding, inform the hybrid space of his tabular pictures—at once specific and sketchy in content, broken and seamless in facture, collagist and painterly in medium.

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This combination is also at work in $he (1958–61), his tabular summa, which Hamilton describes as another ‘sieved reflection of the ad-man’s paraphrase of the consumer’s dream’. [20] If the magazine image of a Chrysler provides the layout of Hommage, here it is a shot of a Frigidaire—apparently there is no end of the showroom, not even (especially not) at home. Hamilton lists no less than ten sources, all credited to particular designers and brands, for the fridge, the woman, and the hybrid of toaster and vacuum cleaner below: like Banham he is a mad iconographer of Pop representations of everyday life—that is, in this case, of domestic work. Like Hommage$he exploits the advertising genre of the woman-wife caressing the vehicle-appliance, yet here it is the commodity that seems to offer the human for sale (this is also signalled by the dollar-sign in the title). Once more the woman is reduced to an erotic ‘essence’, not breast and lips as in Hommage, but eye and hips. As in Hers is a lush situation, the hips are in whitened relief, while the eye is a plastic one taped into position: like painting, relief and collage are exploited for fetishistic effect, not the opposite. The eye opens and closes like the fridge, turns on and off like the toaster. Apparently in the Pop world of animated things it is not only sardine cans that look back at us; and far from a threat as in Lacan, this gaze is a winking come-on. [21]


Maybe now I can spell out, however telegraphically, a few implications of the tabular picture. To start with the word (Hamilton is as particular about terms as he is about images), ‘tabular’ derives from tabula, Latin for table, but also for writing-tablet, in which, in ancient use, both painting and printing figure as modes of inscription. Surely this association appeals to Hamilton, who uses both techniques in his own practice in large part because he finds them, already so imbricated, in the media. ‘Tabular’ also invokes writing, which Hamilton involves through his generative lists and descriptive titles; moreover, his pictures register the traces of the visual-verbal hybrid characteristic of the magazine spread or the tabloid layout (perhaps ‘tabular’ connotes ‘tabloid’ as well), a hybrid that anticipates the visual-verbal sign (call it a bit or a bite) that dominates electronic media space today, an often lush image that carries an often insistent directive (‘click here’, ‘buy this’, ‘don’t worry be happy’). [22]

Again, some of his pictures are tabular in another sense: generated by a table of terms, as withJust what is it?; or of images, as in Hommage and $he; or of journalistic jingles, as in Hers is a lush situation or Towards a definitive statement on the coming trends in men’s wear and accessories (1962–3; the title derives from a Playboy review of male fashion). More directly, ‘to tabulate’ is ‘to set down in a systematic form’, and Hamilton is often concerned, as he says, with an ‘overlapping of presentation styles and methods’: styles and methods that are commercial (as in the various display techniques that he evokes); modernist (as in the various abstract signs that he cites); and modernist-turned-commercial. (The last is most suggestive: Pop receives the ‘reconciliation’ of avant-garde and mass as given.) In his own words, ‘photograph becomes diagram, diagram flows into text’, and all is transformed by painting. At the same time he wants ‘the plastic entities [to] retain their identity as tokens’, and so uses ‘different plastic dialects’, such as photography, relief, collage, ‘within the unified whole’ of painting. [23] Like an ad-man, then, Hamilton tabulates—as in correlates—different media and messages, and tabulates—as in calculates—this correlation in terms of visual appeal and psychological effect.

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In Pop it is not often clear when this redoubling is analytical and when it is charmed; this is especially so in Hamilton. Yet one thing seems clear enough: his pastiche (which is not a negative term for him) is not disruptively random, as it is, say, in many collages of Berlin Dada. Another insight of Pop—or ‘Son of Dada’ as Hamilton calls it—is that ‘randomizing’ has become a feature of the media, print and otherwise; a logic within the repertoire of the culture industry.[24] Sometimes he pushes this logic of the random to a demonstrative extreme. At other times his tabular pictures are logical in another sense, that is, almost typological, as in the suite of images Towards a definitive statement on the coming trends . . . Hamilton describes them as a ‘preliminary investigation into specific concepts of masculinity’, here typified by President Kennedy, a Wall Street broker cum football player, a weightlifter cum track athlete, and astronaut John Glenn, each shown wired to a particular mechanism of sport, entertainment or media—that is, to a spectacle-device. [25] Perhaps more than any of his images, these recall the mediated collages of Rauschenberg; yet the tabular picture should not be confused with the ‘flat-bed picture plane’ of his American contemporary (as Leo Steinberg named it in ‘Other Criteria’). [26] Both are ‘horizontal’ operations, it is true, maybe in the practical sense of how they are assembled in the studio, sometimes tabulated on the floor, certainly in the cultural sense that they both scan across ‘the fine/pop art continuum’. [27] Nevertheless, as Hamilton states as early as Just what is it?, the tabular image is also pictorial: for all its horizontal tabulation of semi-found images, it remains a vertical picture of a semi-illusionistic space—even though this orientation is associated with the magazine layout or the media screen as much as the painting rectangle; Benjamin once called it ‘the dictatorial perpendicular’. [28] The tabular picture is also iconographic in a way that Rauschenberg is not (despite the attempts of art historians to track his sources as if he were Hieronymus Bosch); and in keeping with the IG, let alone the design industry, it is also communicative, almost pedagogical—again as Rauschenberg is not. The tabular picture is also more a research model than an ‘anomic archive’ as suggested with regard to Gerhard Richter. [29] There is no American or European equivalent that I know.


In the age of mechanical reproduction, Benjamin once remarked, ‘literacy’ must include the decoding of captioned photographs. [30] Additionally in the Pop age, Hamilton suggests, it must entail a deconstructing of the mediated image-word bite that hails us from magazines, billboards, television, and now computers too. This ‘literacy’ is fundamental to postwar self-fashioning, which has to do far less with any canon of art and literature than with a host of media-apparitions and commodity-signs. (The recent Canon Wars in the academy obscured the fact that the primary canon today consists of television shows, blockbuster movies, sports trivia, celebrity gossip.) Suggestively, the word ‘tabular’ refers not only to graphic inscription; in ancient use it also connotes ‘a body of laws inscribed on a tablet’. Might these tabular pictures be construed as pedagogical investigations of a ‘new body of laws’, a new subjective inscription, a new symbolic order, of Pop society?

Hamilton is self-aware about the preconditions of this new order (if that is what it is). As an artist he is committed to nature, but knows that it is ‘second-hand’: ‘In the 50s we became aware of the possibility of seeing the whole world, at once, through the great visual matrix that surrounds us; a synthetic, “instant” view. Cinema, television, magazines, newspapers immersed the artist in a total environment and this new visual ambience was photographic’. He is also committed to the figure—his Collected Words ends with this statement: ‘I have never made a painting which does not show an intense awareness of the human figure’—but knows that it too is transformed, not only rearticulated by machines and confused with commodities (this is not news) but also now designed-and-redesigned as an image-product. [31]

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Consumer society, Hamilton writes in ‘Persuading Image’, a paper first delivered in 1959, depends on the manufacturing of desire through design, on an artificial, accelerated obsolescence of image, form and style. In the process (which he assumes, not critically but also not moralistically) the consumer is also ‘manufactured’, designed to the product. ‘Is it me?’, he remarks of the commodities in $he, miming the ad-man miming the buyer: ‘the appliance is “designed with you in mind”’. [32] It is this condition that his tabular pictures work over: not only the fetishistic conflation of different objects and aims, but also the interpellation of the subject in the image, as an image. Today this process has become internal to the subject, who serves as designer and designed in one, a kind of servomechanism of consummated consumption. When Hamilton turns to his version of the great Pop icon in My Marilyn (1965), he adapts, in painting, a negative sheet from a photo shoot with her own editorial marks: which images to cut (she is merciless), where to crop—in short, how to look, to appear, to be. His Marilyn is still a star, but less as an erotic object than as a model designer, as the master artist of her own powerful iconicity. How different, perhaps more pointed, than the anxiety of a de Kooning or the thraldom of a Warhol. [33]


Just as the product is in excess of function, Hamilton suggests in ‘Persuading Image’, so demand is in excess of need. In effect he sketches a consumerist formula of Demand minus Need equals Desire that is not too distant from the formula of desire that Lacan also develops in the 1950s.[34] Lacanians will scorn this speculation, but might his definition of desire be historically grounded as well, a theory of desire inflected by consumerism? Certainly the tabular pictures seem to share the Lacanian sense of desire as a metonymic slippage, at once fetishistic and sublimatory, from image to image, a refinding of the same object in ever new guises. Again, they seem to (re)trace the saccadic jumps of the scopophilic subject.

Thus the tabular picture not only anthologizes ‘presentation techniques’, it also mimes the distracted attention of the desirous viewer-consumer. In this light its painterly subsumption of photography, relief and collage seems warranted not regressive—regressive, say, in relation to a transgressive standard of Dada (about which Hamilton is sceptical in any case, especially when it comes to readings of Duchamp). Again, he assumes the fetishistic effects of painting (condemned long ago by the Russian Constructivists), not to mention of other devices, both modernist (relief and collage) and commercial (the magazine layout). He recognizes that all these forms are now reworked in the image of a general fetishism (commodity, sexual and semiotic), and he moves to exploit this new order—which is one of semblance as well as of exchange—and, in so doing, sometimes to deconstruct it too. [35] Painting allows for the requisite mixing not only of charged details with blended anatomies, but also of the optical jumpiness of the subject with the erotic smoothness of the object; it is this unresolved combination that makes his early paintings both pull apart and hold together.

How does this effect jibe with traditional painting; that is, how does the tabular relate to the tableau? ‘In the mainstream of Western painting (since the Greeks, anyway),’ Hamilton writes in 1970, ‘it has been taken for granted that a painting is to be experienced as a totality seen and understood all at once before its components are examined’. ‘Some twentieth-century artists questioned this premise’, he adds, with the heteroglossic pictures of Klee and the proto-tabularLarge Glass of Duchamp in mind. [36] Clearly Hamilton is affined with this minor line. Yet by his own time the dominant line of the tableau—which runs perhaps from the Greeks, as he says, but certainly from Renaissance perspective through the neoclassical tableau to modernist painting as defined by Clement Greenberg and Michael Fried; that is, painting ‘as a totality seen and understood all at once’—has crossed with his own genealogy. The tableau and the tabular can no longer be held apart as distinctive forms. In ‘Other Criteria’ Steinberg argues that, for all its claim to autonomy, late-modernist abstraction (e.g., the stripe paintings of Kenneth Noland and Frank Stella) appears driven by a logic of design, in fact by the very logic of Detroit styling so admired by Banham and Hamilton: imagistic impact, fast lines, speedy turnover. In other words, he suggests that an ironic identity is forged, under the historical pressure of consumer society, between modernist painting and its other, whether this other is called ‘kitsch’ (Greenberg), ‘theatricality’ (Fried), or ‘design’.

In this regard what Greenberg and Fried theorize as a ‘strictly optical’ space of pure painting, Hamilton pictures as a strictly scopophilic space of pure design; and what Greenberg and Fried theorize as a modernist subject, fully autonomous and ‘morally alert’, Hamilton projects as its apparent opposite, a fetishistic subject openly desirous. [37] This is another Pop insight that Hamilton shares with Lichtenstein in particular: that today, in both compositional order and subjective effect, there is often no great difference between a good comic or ad and a grand painting. Importantly, however, this demonstration of the decay of a totality unique to painting is made within painting (perhaps only there is it fully articulate). Paradoxically, then, this demonstration sustains painting even as it shows painting to be deconstructed, within and without, by historical forces. In 1865 Baudelaire writes to Manet, in an ambiguous compliment, that he is the first in the ‘decrepitude’ of his art. [38] Over one hundred years later (and counting) Hamilton carries this fine tradition of popular decrepitude along.



Karl Nawrot 2011/07/02 12:01 by 장파

Karl Nawrot is a french designer who lives and works in Amsterdam. He studied illustration in Lyon and completed a Master's Degree at the Werkplaats Typografie in Arnhem, The Netherlands. His work focus on manly typography & drawing for printed materials under the name of Walter Warton. He is currently teaching at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Everything is fine 2011/06/30 12:15 by 장파

I love this scene. but this scene is not in Eraserhead.

In Heaven Everything Is Fine from David Lynch on Vimeo.

In the firm you see the lady in the Radiator singing it.