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HOT COMMODITIES
Fall 2000
by Scott Speh

WITNESS THE SPECTACLE
Damien Hirst - Gagosian, Chelsea
You must see this show - it's totally insane dude! Frankly, it's the only show that has any buzz this gallery season - most everything is mediocre - not much from the heavy hitters of the art world. My only complaint besides the obvious is that the stupid dot paintings just look like crap, especially since the sculpture is so flawlessly fabricated - gleaming, even. His canvases are thin and warped - the linen is dingy. I expect, nay, demand better.

DEGREES OF CRAPITUDE
Nicole Eisenman - Jack Tilton, Soho
This show is probably closed by the time this article is posted, anyways my advice to her is STOP THE CRAPPY PAINTING! You can't paint and why would you want to - we love the trangressive collage and installation shit and the way you debase watercolor is flat out hi-larious. You see, half the show is this wondrously crappy installation in which everything (studio tapes, collages, gum) is for sale and some funny/dumb collages and watercolors. The second part of the show has these attempts at "serious" glaze painting. Terribly uninteresting narrative tableaus and especially horrid portraits. Honey, you ain't no Liz Payton or Johnny Currin. Stick 2 what u do best.

WEIRD SHIT
Jibangus.com - Madison, WI
Compatriots from my old hometown. They do indeed make some weird shit - one minute (or so) movies that mix up campy horror, John Waters, and Conan O'Brien. I especially dig their lo-fi FX. And the writing is often delicious, but not nearly as delicious as their imagery - imagine birds sucking eye juice, giant carrots cleaning knives, knife-wielding murderous hands emerging from underpants. Watch them at the website in RealPlayer format. They recently shot a pilot in La-La Land - if it gets picked up it'd be a miracle: so pray that it does.

THAT ARTY PRENTIOUS SHIT ROCKS
Radiohead on Saturday Night Live
Man this was good. About as arty and avant-garde as a mainstream rock band on national TV can get. Looser-goosier than Sonic Youth (their closest peer in avant-garde mainstream rock - although SY don't sell nearly the amount that RH does), Thom Yorke came perilously close to aping Michael Stipean affectation but pulled back into something that more entertaining and the guitar player manipulated a radio and toy piano for one song and played what looked to be a telephone switchboard for the second.

SON, THEY GOT TEETH DOWN THERE
Sex and the City - HBO
I liked the show at lot better when I was married. Now it scares the shit out of me.

NON-SEQUITORS ARE FUNNY
Rob DeMar - Clementine, Chelsea Arts Building
Clumsy, cubic metal houses, perched high in metal poles, complete with bullet holes and typed phrases -my fave: "Go back to Whoretown, you Russian pig you"

CEILING FANS ARE ALL THE RAGE
Ben Stone in "Hardware for the Heartland" - 16 Beaver Space, Financial District
Darren Almond - Matthew Marks, Chelsea
16 Beaver had these ultra tiny cute as a button ceiling fans and the Darren Almonds' fan at Marks was gigantic - but they both displace the same amount of air. Eerie.

THE MIGHTY GLORY OF ROCK
Almost Famous - Director/Writer Cameron Crowe
A romantic, sentimental sloppy wet kiss to classic rock and I ate it up like pie. Like Crowe, I too believe in the power of ROCK to change the world. Everyday I regret not learning the guitar when I was fifteen. I'll take power chords, drum rolls, bass thumps and mighty wails from the hairy chested lead singer over art anyday. Plus the writing was fab in this flick - Crowe attributes this acidic bon mot to Lester Bangs (as impersonated by Philip Seymour Hofman impersonating someone else who I can't remember - it's driving me crazy) "Good looking people can't make great art: they've got no spine."

BUSINESS TRAVELLING
The Northeast
Who'd a thunk I'd be a multi-tasking business traveler? I have this new job that takes me on the road all the damn time. I have like two days off this month - it's my own damn fault. The actual travel is a drag but I expense account sushi almost every night and I'm getting to love these faceless hotels that rock stars like Radiohead bitch and moan about. But they can afford cable TV.

YES, I LOVE TV SO FUCK OFF
Cable TV
Nothing beats HBO - Chris Rock, Sex and the City (see above), G-String Divas and that hot man-on-man action over at OZ never ceases to thrill. All hail the gods at HBO - but please drop the insipid, stupid, painful Arliss - utter dreck.

To respond to this crap, please direct letters to sspeh@16beaver.com

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