Ever have an artist that you thought was fun, fresh, interesting and smart? Someone you told all your friends & family about and thought was someone you could be interested in for their entire career? Then they move to a different city,Â make some money, Â get a grant/scholarship,Â suddenÂ increase in press or some otherÂ seeminglyÂ innocuousÂ change at the time. Then almost overnight you don’t know that person and the work is not just bad on it’s own but seemingly worse for what it could have been?
I was told years ago for some Jasper Johns was kind of like that in many people’s eyes (being a big fan myself I could kind of see it even though I still enjoyed the later work) but for me that person has always been Will Cotton.
IÂ rememberÂ seeing video and photos from one of his first major shows back in 1999 and reading Mark Kostabi’s article in Shout and thinking “I agree with Kostabi on something? This is a new feeling!”. Will’sÂ Candyland Landscapes were unlike anything else being made at that time and were wonderful in their unabashedÂ gluttony, scale, execution & humor. During a time when I had as much angst and gritty somberness/passiveÂ aggressiveÂ irony as any man could take durring the 90’s I liked this idea of slick, fun and cranked up to 11 sensibility. Hoping like Chuck Close he would disasemble the formula over time into a more non-representationalÂ approachÂ and I would get art I would want to do and see without having to do all that blasted hard work lol.
Will Cotton then it seemed to me, spent the summer of 2002 in Giverny, France, where he worked under a residency grant from the Monet Foundation and realized that women have these things called breasts, and they are beautiful and now that he has money the women who own these breasts will sit for him; he never looked back. Almost overnight the landscapes were gone, the witty humor melted and it wasÂ cotton-candyÂ sky is the limit on cheesecake. Most recently you will see his latest work as the cover of Katy Perry’s new album Teenage Dream.
In some otherÂ dimensionÂ of reality Will Cotton would have gone to an Analytical CubismÂ conference, fallen in love with geometricÂ rhythm and not breasts but who am I kidding, “you gots to pay the bills somehow“.
In Other News.
- The Museum of Science and Industry has a PR stunt underway where one person will have the chance to live in the museum 24/7 for a month with full access andÂ receiveÂ $10,000. All they have to do is interact with the visitors, blog, tweet and generally promote the institution, not to mention stay sane. Sound great? Well if you do the math, that it’s thirty 16 hour days of confined living; it equates to a 20$ an hour job. I guess it’s not bad but being theÂ unconventionalÂ event spokesperson for the museum, near constant walking, no personal internet & sleeping in the U-505 submarine or the coal mine mightÂ appealÂ to some but it looses the shine after a night or two for me. It will be interesting to see who they choose (want to lay odds its not a guy?) and how long it takes for that person to sour. Do I smell Bad at Sports office pool in the making? Some here think it is a great idea so keep reading I will try to keep tabs on this winner and how it goes :)Â read more here & here
- Theft of a $55 million Vincent van Gogh paintingÂ at the Mohamed Mahmoud Khalil Museum in Cairo, Egypt prompts talk of increased security. I am sorry but with only seven out of 43 security cameras functioning and none of the alarms attached to the museumâ€™s paintings working adding a baby monitor would constitute increased security? read more here
- RememberÂ the guy who bought the Ansel Adams negatives for $45 and a few weeks back the grandson of Ansel, Matthew Adams badmouthed them saying something akin to that they were worthless without the hand of the Artist to burn the final image? Well now the trust representing the famed nature photographer filed a lawsuit to halt the sale of prints. read more here
- Ed Marszewskiâ€”editor-publisher ofÂ Lumpen,Â festival host,Â gallerist, and general Chicago indie art world guy-around-townâ€”has remodeled Kaplanâ€™s Liquors, the Bridgeport bar owned by his mother Maria Marszewski since 1986, and reopened it with the name Mariaâ€™s Packaged Goods & Community Bar.
Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar
960 W 31st Street
Chicago, Illinois 60608