2/22/11

New Blog

Dear Followers of this blog...I have been updating a new blog where I am cataloging my entire artistic body of works. Please check it out and follow it if you'd like! http://adamzuckercompleteworks.blogspot.com/

12/14/10

NEW BLOG

Dear Followers, I am un-officially ending this blog(s)...I will be posting on my new blog: adamizucker.blogspot.com (ME YOU US)
and
itsabeautifulworldifyouwantit.blogspot.com/(ITS A BEAUTIFUL WORLD IF YOU WANT IT)

Please check them out and follow it if you'd like! Thanks for the support <3

5/1/10

May Day or Mayday?

Today is May Day, a day which I would be fairly assertive that most Americans no very little about. Celebrated in many countries around the world as a national holiday celebrating the triumphs of the working person. The day arose from a bloody incident known as the Haymarket Massacre in 1886, when Chicago police fired on workers during a general strike for the eight hour day, killing several demonstrators and resulting in the deaths of several police officers, largely from friendly fire.

May Day is recognized as an important day in many countries but celebrated and reflected on best outside of America. America's policy has been against the working individual as a result of corporate corruption which resulted from the birth of industry. The Haymarket protesters were martyrs for all individuals who work to survive in an environment that marginalizes their contributions and rights. This sentiment wasn't held exclusive to Chicago or America, but it became an international movement championed by local leaders and unions who all envisioned equality and freedom for the worker. America and other industrialized nations would be nothing without its workers, the men and women who put their blood and sweat into their trade. These people are the cog in the capitalist machine, they are seen as dispensable towards the large picture, the gross domestic product. America has had a long history of abusive practices to its workers...This is a scary factor because it is the youngest of the "free" world powers. The first form of laborers were indentured servants, brought from Europe with the promise of citizenship after years of free servitude to their "sponsors." Sometimes however, they would die from the hard work and long hours before ever seeing their citizenship come to fruition. Everyone is familiar with the absurdity and madness that is slavery, a trade that was and still is a worldwide reality. However, like I said this slavery and indentured servitude is still prevalent both here and abroad. America sponsors sweat shop labor abroad but its biggest faction of indentured servitude comes from the immigrants who arrive in this country looking for the fulfillment of the "American Dream." While these immigrants are paid a minimal wage, the concept is almost synonymous to indentured servitude. Immigrants built America, they were used in the fields for agriculture and later in factories for industry. The railroads were built largely by Chinese and Irish immigrants. The immigrants worked hard and long hours for little wages and were put in dangerous life threatening conditions. Today very little has changed in this capitalist ideology. While labor laws have been past thanks in part to the Haymarket protests and other protests abroad, there is still a dangerous situation affecting the workers. Despite efforts made by unions and social activists, the domestic worker is forced to work long hours. This is even more poignant as a result of a bad economy due to Capitalism's failures. In order for a family to survive, many family members are forced to work over eight hours a day in unsavory conditions that no one deserves to ever witness and experience.

The persecution of the immigrant worker has increased and become maddening. These workers come to America with an intense work ethic. They cook our expensive food, fix our expensive cars, and clean our waste. They do all the things that the middle and upper class would never even dream of. However, these people have an insane notion that these people are ruining our economy and our safety. Arizona is the first state to take drastic audacious action against these immigrants. Their proposal for "search on suspicion" echoes the ideology of Nazi Germany where anyone suspected of being a Jew or detester for the national ideology, could be rounded up, searched and shipped off to jails which will soon resemble the ghettos in Europe during the 1940's. Arizona is unabashedly putting into practice racism and potentially allowing other racist politicians and lawmakers to follow. This country is in a state of emergency, we need to be resilient and unite because this will not stand. Join protests and marches to Arizona, storm the front lawn of the courts and legislators offices. Let the Governor know that her racism is unwanted and she needs to step down. These ignorant politicians need to be held accountable for their crimes against humanity, they can no longer get away with their schizophrenic idiocy. They don't live amongst us and they don't represent us, therefore we should not have to abide by their policy which is only in their self interest.

This May Day and beyond we must remain conscious of what makes America great, the immigrants and workers who have built and maintain this country for 400 years.

4/26/10

Art World Dogma pt. 1: Education

Dogma is dissatisfaction. This is why institutions uphold such insane ideology, they hate themselves and thus want all of us to suffer with them. An artist should not suffer for their craft, but too often an artist will suffer for doing what they want and not adhering to what is implied for them. More criticism should be put on the art schools and Western education in a broad sense for not providing us with the best possible culture we deserve and can achieve.

Too often the education system fails its students and its faculty by limiting their frame of practice to specific objective examples. There is little range of experimentation within the confines of an undergraduate program in many disciplines. Art and Art History are two of the many subjects that have been marginalized by this form of teaching. Having students memorize slides and formulas is useless in fostering any kind of positive progression. Nothing new can be learned from rehearsing in a robotic fashion, other peoples thoughts or ideologies. This becomes especially problematic when the main point should be progress. How can there be any progress when all we are doing is reciting the past and maintaining the present? Yes we must learn about the past so that we don't make the same mistakes again, but in order to do this the past must be discussed as contemporary language addressing contemporary issues. The education system for the most part doesn't take part in this discussion. I'd like to see a drastic change in many subjective disciplines that incorporates practical experience over academic dogma. I'd like to see artists and art historians being encouraged to solve problems and raise questions that confront the status quo. I'd like to see classes being held outside the classroom and students and professors working with the community to promote the arts as a utilitarian process which focuses on the diversity of the individual. Academics need to become more accessible and burst out of their hierarchic isolated bubble to relate to society. Not everyone can learn the same way, some people can't process useless formula and memorization, nor should they have to. The problems and crisis of the world will not be solved by these factors. The truth that so many people have trouble staying in school is testament to its failures. The argument that a country has its people's best interest is absurd when it fails its people in school. Alternative education needs to be offered. The arts is the perfect area to develop this alternative process because good art focuses on communication and allows for a continuity of discourse amongst a culture. Good education should also focus on expressing all practical theory and experience into its function and studies.

This is why I think the anonymous brainchildren of the Bruce High Quality Foundation are on the right path. They have suggested an alternative to the hierarchy in both the art and the education world. By using satire and practical processes, they turned these structures upside down. Their biennial is a spoof of the overly serious biennial or mega-exhibition that is said to be the defining survey of what is going on in the artworld. The Brucennial presents an alternative view, one that is more encompassing of the hodgepodge of styles and individuals that otherwise would be forgotten. Even more practical is the BHQFU, a place that is the right alternative to a exclusive and formalist art school. There will always be artists who also express the marginalized artworld devoid of passion, so long as such an insane place exists. The ultimate end can be observed now since it has been packaged so nicely by people who are able to warp the mind of the individual. Even art has taken an obsession with Capitalism and Democracy is Education needs to be many things in order to be worthwhile but most ideally it should be free in both a monetary sense and for celebrating the individuals freedom of expression. Tests should be thrown out in many programs and replaced by "field trips" within reality or areas that go beyond the confines of a classroom. Artists should be encouraged and championed for presenting work that continues a personal discourse and expression between the artist, the viewer, and society.

The public and private educational system in America is interested in fostering Capitalists. When Capitalism fails, what will become of all those trained pawns? The real nature of education will emerge when enlightened minds are awoken or simply encouraged and given a chance to think as a valuable individual.


3/28/10

Legalize it Now

The debate on Marijuana is clearly one sided. However the right side now must focus on a different argument from their previous one in order to drive this case home. California has been the progressive leader in the revolution of Marijuana reform and debates in America. Previous discourse has focused on the fact that Marijuana isn't the deadly gateway drug that close minded politicians and power hungry authority figures have portrayed it to be. Obviously we are learning more and more about the benefits and medical aspects that moderate use of Marijuana has. Marijuana advocates must take a different approach and if they do this well I have no doubt that Marijuana use will be just as legal as Alcohol consumption in this country. This factor is the economic impact that Marijuana legalization and regulation will have in fighting our enormous budget deficit. Marijuana is a huge cash crop in America, there is no doubt about it. If legalized and taxed in a way that would give back to the state, then the large deficit would be nearly cut in half. Prison sentences and police resources to combat Marijuana users and dealers are pointless. They cost millions of dollars a year and result in overcrowding of state and federal prisons...No one benefits on any of this.

When will the law makers get their heads out of the sand? You have to motivate them with something they believe in....MONEY! The chance to make money on such a cash crop would be more than enough of a signifier for the powers that be to consider doing the right thing with this issue. We all know that Marijuana isn't the deadly killer that our grandparents generation considered it to be. But unfortunately in order to do the right thing we need to put a price tag on this issue rather than a tag of morality. Any responsible economist would agree that Marijuana sales would provide a tremendous boost to a state's economy. The debate is generally focused on California, but can be applied to a much larger scale...We should be considering a federal legalization...Obviously.

Here are some articles with some numbers:

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1884956,00.html
http://www.theunion.com/article/20100328/NEWS/100329800/1001&parentprofile=1053
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_pot_cases_tossed

3/19/10

I Blog Therefore I am


Since the print media is going the way of the Dodo, I envision a future where all media outlets rely more heavily on the blog than actual physical medium. It is quiet possible that time honored periodicals like the NY Times also take the path of LIFE, and exist majorly online. This will no doubt save trees (and cost), but will the credibility be the same? will it be better? or will it be worse?

Media and cultural institutions often get bashed because they have a certain agenda. The media is obviously at fault for having agendas and supporting causes that are perhaps more beneficial to them for a multitude of reasons.We see how destructive it can be in the case of fringe anchors like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. People actually listen to them and bypass the whole fact checking step in the process of supporting a cause. If they did actually read multiple sources or tune into reality, then surely these TV personalities disguised as newscasters would have very little clout.

In the art world, blogging and criticism have risen to become just as essential as the artist and the artwork. I wonder why this is the case? Art criticism has always had an agenda. Whether someone champions a certain movement or art type is dependent on a multitude of things. Whether it is for personal wealth, to become famous, or for the love of the art itself, the critic is a strong voice that is often heard before the work is seen. I know people that will only go to exhibitions, shows or buy records based on positive reviews. Because reviews and blogs are so accessible many people might feel that bypassing the physical realm in order to enjoy art, music or film is no big deal. Therefore the critic becomes the harbinger of what we might consider art. The role of an art critic is fairly institutionalized in many ways. They often have an agenda and straying from such an agenda would lose credibility with the judgmental art world. even when they might no longer have the will to stand by their own words, they often suck it up and go for the long haul. Of course this causes their whole message to go stale.

Blogging is different because it contains multiple ideas in one post alone. Many times a blog post is overwhelming when it is stuffed with a barrage of images, multimedia and text. Blogging about the arts is tricky too. How does one blog stand out from another? What artists are they talking about and why? We don't know the blogger so much as we do the critic. The critic is famous and outspoken, a blogger often repeats what is already said. We all will be talking about Clement Greenberg and Jerry Saltz in the future but probably won't be talking about Perez Hilton so much in terms of historical importance. Besides a select few (mostly annoying) bloggers, the world of blogging is based solely in Internet culture. Internet culture is such a diverse and confusing environment. There is so much junk in front of our eyes but when we need to buckle down and research something more specific it is often impossible to locate. A blog isn't built for the purpose of scholarly research or discourse. It exists so that we can feel like we are contributing to the vast unknown Internet society where anyone who logs on and posts something can easily receive notoriety. On the contrary there are certain blogs that aim to promote a certain aesthetic or act as activism for a worthy cause. These blogs are often the blogs that are less known. Even Jerry Saltz has taken to the Internet to "make waves" in the art world via Facebook posts.

Is it too soon to declare the shift in our culture towards the Internet as positive or negative? I think so. However, the increase of art and cultural blogs on a daily basis is a sign that people are not going to be stopping. I hope it won't ever interfere with the way we communicate in the psychical realm. When lines get blurred it is often troubling. That said, I hope that this blog can evolve into more of a collective discourse. I know I am not one of those celebrity bloggers, nor would I want to be known for that. However, it would be nice to have intelligent discussion as a result of the ideas and writings I post.

3/5/10

Artists Talk on Art



















Figurative Expressionism: Then and Now.

On Thursday March 25th artists Jay Milder, Peter Passuntino, and Bill Barrell will be engaging in a panel discussion with curator Adam Zucker (me) for Artists Talk on Art, a series of critical discussions in the Visual Arts. All three painters come from the Second Generation of Abstract Expressionism in both Provincetown and New York City. However, unlike their abstract contemporaries they have been using the figure as the harbinger for spiritual and political expressionism. With no mainstream support they started to show their work at their own galleries and formed an artist’s collective called Rhino Horn, where they created monumental exhibitions and attracted the attention of their peers and critics. The discussion will emphasize each artist’s individual career and present a collective view on Figurative Expressionism as it began and where it is today.



ATOA's Critical Discussions in the Visual Arts are held at SOHO 20 Chelsea, 547 West 27th Street, Suite 301, NYC

Thursdays, at 7:30 PM, with doors opening at 6:30 PM.

Check http://www.atoa.org/ for dates and details, or call (212) 779-9250
I have been updating this blog more recently because I have been out of the state and it is nice to have things to do besides sit around on the internet typing every now and then: http://www.adamzartfarts.blogspot.com/

2/25/10

Facebook just suggested I become "a fan" of Jeff Koons...They obviously know nothing about me!

2/11/10

The Answer?



Ninja: "Die Fucking Antwoord"
"What does that mean?"
Ninja: "The answer...."
"Answer to what?"
Ninja: Whatever man...Fuck"

I love seeing the evolution of a movement. Conceptual pop, rock, and hip-hop has reached a very potent level but to find good examples you often have to look outside the "Indy" circle. Die Antwoord from South Africa has used global media ("interwebs") to reach out and communicate their message which whether serious or not, has already begun to make an impact. Is this conceptual art or a clever meme marketing scheme? Who knows and does it even matter if it is the latter? There doesn't have to be an objective answer to any of this, it is semiosis at work. I find it very interesting.


2/1/10

Lady Gaga and the tradition of 'Pop Art'

Yesterday I went with my friend Nikki to see the exhibition "Who Shot Rock and Roll" at the Brooklyn Museum. The exhibition focused on artists that are mainly white rockers and black artists that appeal to a predominantly white audience. Nonetheless it got me thinking how important visual imagery is to rock and roll. For one thing, there is lots of great fashion that has been associated to modern music. The idea that rock photography is synonymous to fashion photography is a major thesis that curator Gail Buckland argues in the exhibition catalog. But more than that there is something that a live performance has in common with a great painting, which is the energy and emotion the musician is expressing at the time the photograph was taken. Unlike a staged fashion shoot, this can't be replicated again.

This point was made even stronger when I watched (rather streamed specific performances) the Grammy's. I am officially admitting that I am impressed with Lady Gaga as an artist and performer. I hope she continues to explore the medium of fine art in her almost generic sounding pop music. I hope that she even pushes the boundaries more and makes more risky and even poignant statements with her persona. Like Bowie, Madonna, and the immortal Klaus Nomi (whose music is much better), Gaga is the next generation of artists who have found a way to turn contemporary culture upside down while remaining largely popular. They are offering a re-examination of what we have considered to be popular culture.

While the majority of fans will completely miss the point, I feel that Gaga (like those unique artists before), is making a statement. The fact that her work is mainstream and accessible to everyone is important when the fine art world tends to be so private and noninclusive.

Lady Gaga at the 52nd Annual Grammy's:


Klaus Nomi singing 'Nomi Song' on French TV:


David Bowie sings 'The Man Who Sold the World' ft. Klaus Nomi on SNL


Madonna "Express yourself don't repress yourself"