Art Fair Madness

January 28, 2008 · Print This Article

It has struck me as strange that while people continue to delight in talk of an art market crash, the number of Art Fairs just proliferates. It is a bit like watching the Cold War Arms race. Just keep building them till you bankrupt the smaller spaces and smaller economies. (A race which seems to have already contributed to the demise of one Chicago gallery with another 4 or 5 being rumored to be closing sometime in ’08.)

Last year in Miami there were 13 fairs. 2007’s fair boasted 23?

WTF is going on? And WTF is up with the Merchandise Mart?

Supposedly they’re planning the purchase or start up of an LA fair?(According to LA Weekly) And they have just bought the Toronto Art Fair? (according to the Chicago Trib) Read more

Teaching Orange County

January 28, 2008 · Print This Article

Roland Young is an often lauded and very well respected member of the design faculty of Pasadena’s Art Center College of Art and Design.

A few years ago a “You Tube” video made its way around to the younger faculty at the art schools across America. The clip was called “Roland is God” and showed (via hidden camera) a particularly brutal critique given by Young to a group of students at Art Center. Now the video (in expanded form) can be seen on a site called (surprisingly) “Roland is God.” It has been accompanied by the release of an all new “You Tube” video displaying Professor Young’s unorthodox critical stylings.

Get it while it’s hot.

Brian and Marc review Tony Lebat’s “Bulk”

January 8, 2008 · Print This Article

Tony Labatt

Brian and Marc recently collaborated on a review of Tony Lebat’s Bulk at Queens Nails Annex for Shotgun Review. Here’s an excerpt:

“Tony Labat’s exhibition Bulk opened to throngs of art students, smoking and drinking on the sidewalk. At first, the event seemed like any other gallery reception. However, as a show focusing on the manifestation of social relations in an art event, the students hadn’t come to see anything in particular, but to rather simply be with one another. With the gallery’s main space converted to a bar, complete with amateur bartenders, swill cocktails at criminal prices, and makeshift wooden tables; Bulk turned Queens Nails Annex into a speakeasy, one built like a cheap theatrical set.

Bulk’s events have drawn together those who share in a common perspective – art students, gallerists, curators, etc.- participating in their prescribed roles of social exchange and power dynamics, as if the events had a written script. The exhibition doesn’t challenge itself to compose the audience, who provide its labor, or translate their efforts into meaning. Any examination into the relationship between the mechanics of audience as a means of production, and how it conditions the possibilities of interpretation, is absent. Without intervention, the events emerged as expected; codified and rigid. Creating work that fosters social relations shouldn’t reduce an event to the calling together of a coterie, turning the artist into a socialite of aesthetics whose practice would be a chain of well-hosted shin-digs. Bulk is emblematic of this festivalist, lackadaisical attitude that’s far too common in contemporary art.”

The full review can be found on Shotgun Review. This writing is an extension of a survey of the San Francisco art scene Brian wrote for Artnet.

Episode 89: The Collective Foundation/Miranda July reviewed

May 13, 2007 · Print This Article

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This week Book Reviews and West Coast News! Terri Griffith and Joanna Topor
review Miranda July’s book No One Belongs Here More Than You. Worked in
to the commentary is discussion of the Mackenzie’s sex life and Oprah’s
use of the phrase Vah-Jay-Jay.

Brian Andrews and Marc LeBlanc talk to curator Joseph del Pesco and artist
Scott Oliver about the Collective Foundation.

The Collective Foundation (CF) is a temporary organization. The concept of
curator Joseph del Pesco and artist Scott Oliver, CF relies on the contributions
of numerous people who are working to advance art in the Bay Area. During the
organization’s launch at YBCA, The Foundation will set up temporary headquarters
in our galleries. They will hold think-tank discussions, how-to sessions for
navigating the CF Web interface, and Shotgun Review Second Saturdays where participants
will review as many Bay Area art shows as possible. The furniture for the Foundation’s
headquarters will be borrowed from local individuals, modified for the exhibition,
and returned at the close of the show—a generous illustration of the benefits
of networking. Find out more at

Duncan makes a funny noise at the end of the show.

Read more


December 4, 2005 · Print This Article

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Reviews, reviews, reviews!!! Our London correspondents Ben Tanner and Christian Kuras make their fabulous debut and review the UK version of “Universal Experience: Art, Life, and the Tourist’s Eye,” which began its life on this earth at our very own MCA. Brian Andrews, our West Coast rep, is back to tell us what is wrong with the art scene in San Francisco. Duncan and Richard review “On the Scene: Jessica Rowe, Jason Salavon, Brian Ulrich,” and then they check out The Museum of Contemporary Photography’s new shows “Jeffrey A. Wolin: Inconvenient Stories” and “Stages of Memory: The War in Vietnam.” And if THAT weren’t enough, Duncan and Richard argue about whether or not Rodney Graham is full of BS after sitting through his lecture. The last song in this week’s show goes out from Richard to Scott Speh.

On the Scene: Jessica Rowe, Jason Salavon, Brian Ulrich
On the Scene: Jessica Rowe, Jason Salavon, Brian Ulrich
The Museum of Contemporary Photography
Rodney Graham
Universal Experience
SF links are to follow.

We lied last week. THIS COMING WEEK, we will chat with our West Coast correspondent Brian Andrews and Britton Bertran from Gallery 40000. We’ll do some other stuff too, who knows! Soon our New York City reporter, the lovely and talented Cassie Thornton, will check in with her first report, maybe next week.


Duncan and Richard save the holidays! We have put together a wacky collection of funny and non-funny holiday songs. Hate the holidays? I know I do, so we’ll make sure you are filled with the milk of human kindness by these jolly little ditties. Also we would like to throw out an open call to anyone who has funny Hanukah and/or Kwanza songs. Let us know–there is a serious lack of said genre of songs, and we’d love to give equal time.

Direct download: Bad_at_Sports_Episode_14.mp3