Category: C-Monster

It’s been real.

Approaching the floating islands of Lake Titicaca in 2012.

Hey Folks:

As anyone who has had the patience to follow this blog since its early days can attest, things have been a little sporadic — dare I say nonexistent — in these parts over the last couple of years. Part of this is due to the fact that it seems like I’ve spent the last two years moving: from New York to L.A., from L.A. to Peru, from Peru to L.A. and all over L.A. In between, I’ve gotten altitude sickness, covered the Pritzkers, talked social practice and spent hours watching TV in the name of journalism.

Now I’ve finally settled into a new home, both personal and professional. For the foreseeable future, I will be found over at the Los Angeles Times, the paper I grew up reading and the place that gave me my first job in media back in the dark, pre-texting days of 1990. (Also, the place that bit my blog name back in 2008, but what can I say? I have a short institutional memory.) At the Times, I will have my own blog — Culture: High and Low — where I’ll cover many of the same things that have made me excited about  culture over the last seven years: artists, ideas, oddities and stuff that makes me outraged and thrilled. Hopefully I can convince you to follow.

When I started this blog almost seven years ago, I never imagined I’d still be at it (sort of) so many years later. I began C-Monster (a nickname, btw) because I’d never blogged and wanted to try my hand at it. I imagined I’d do it for a few months and then move on. But I got addicted. And I did it solidly for several years, before all the other writing and radio work began to slowly overtake my time. But it’s been the best experience I could have possibly had. Blogging let me try on personas. It let me practice my writing. It let me investigate issues that no paying publication had any interest in. Blogging, in the end, helped me find my voice.

I am deeply grateful for everyone who took the time to read it and Tweet it and Share it. I’m also indebted to all the fellow bloggers and writers who linked to my crazy stories and photo essays over the years. You all do what you do much better than me. I am also deeply indebted to the magazine editors, radio producers, website chiefs and everyone else that has kept me gainfully employed all of this time. Freelancing isn’t easy, but I’ve loved every minute of it. In fact, I never imagined that I’d be giving it up. But the Times is offering me the opportunity to do what I love AND get health benefits.

Thank you all for the support over the years. It’s now time to put C-Mon in carbonite. Big internet group hug. (And remember, you can always find me on Twitter.)



Calendar. 05.07.14.

A detail from A Land Reform 5, by Camilo Restrepo, at Steve Turner Contemporary in Los Angeles
A detail from A Land Reform 5, by Camilo Restrepo. Part of the artist’s solo exhibit, El Sueño de la Razón Produce Monstruos, at Steve Turner Contemporary. Through May 31, in Mid-Wilshire. Do not miss this show!! (Photo by C-M.)

  • Anchorage: Gyre, The Plastic Ocean, at the Anchorage Museum. Through September 6.
  • L.A.: Rina Banerjee: Disgust, at L.A. Louver. Opens Thursday, in Venice.
  • L.A.: de LaB is organizing an architect’s home tour on the East Side of L.A. for this Saturday, starting at noon. Tickets and RSVP required.
  • Charlotte, N.C.: Aurora Robson, Stayin’ Alive, at the McColl Center for Visual Art. Opens Friday at 6pm. The exhibition is free, but RSVP is preferred for the opening. There will be an artist talk at 6:30pm.
  • Philadelphia: Michelle Handelman, Beware the Lily Law, at the Eastern State Penitentiary. Ongoing.
  • NYC: Kara Walker, A Subtlety, at the Domino Sugar Factory. Opens this Sunday at noon, in Williamsburg.
  • NYC: Charles James: Beyond Fashion, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Opens Thursday, on the Upper East Side.
  • NYC: Lygia Clark: The Abandonment of Art 1948-1988, at the Museum of Modern Art. Opens Saturday, in Midtown.
  • NYC: The Shaped Canvas, Revisited: Works from 1961-2014, at Luxembourg & Dayan. Opens next Tuesday, on the Upper East Side.
  • NYC: Sophie Calle, Rachel, Monique, at the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest. Opens Friday, on the Upper East Side.
  • NYC: Lynda Barry: Everything Part 1, at Adam Baumgold Gallery. Opens next Tuesday, May 13, at 6pm.
  • NYC: Mika Rottenberg, Bowls Balls Souls Holes, at Andrea Rosen Gallery. Opens today, in Chelsea.
  • NYC: Hiroshi Sugimoto, Still Life, at Pace. Opens Thursday at 6pm, in Chelsea.
  • NYC: Hot House, a group show collaboration between Julia Kennedy, KnowMoreGames and Night Gallery. Opens Thursday at 1pm, in Harlem.
  • NYC: Matt Town, SOAP, at Microscope Gallery. Opens Saturday at 6pm, in Bushwick.
  • NYC: The Outsider Art Fair, at Center 548. Opens Thursday, in Chelsea.
  • Beacon, N.Y.: Carl Andre: Sculpture as Place, 1958-2010, at Dia: Beacon. Through March 2, 2015. And whether you go or not, read this piece on Andre by Mira Schor.
  • Online: The Women of Xochiquetzal. Remarkable photographs by Bénédicte Desrus of a home for sex workers in Mexico City.

Calendar. 04.30.14.

Nov. 19, 2013, 2014 Collage and archival inkjet print on watercolor paper 10 3/4 x 12 in. (27.3 x 30.5 cm)  by Fred Tomaselli
Nov. 19, 2013, 2014, by Fred Tomaselli. Part of the artist’s solo exhibit, Current Events, at James Cohan Gallery. Opens Thursday, in Chelsea. There will be a gallery talk and book signing on Sunday, May 10. (Image courtesy of the artist and James Cohan.)

  • San Francisco: Hiroshi Sugimoto, Acts of God, at Fraenkel Gallery. Opens Thursday.
  • Chicago: Unbound: Contemporary Art After Frida Kahlo, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Opens Saturday.
  • New Orleans: Undetermined Mass: An Art Showing, at The Art Salon and TEN Gallery. Opens Saturday at 6pm.
  • NYC: The Roof Garden Commission: Dan Graham with Günther Vogt, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Through November 2, on the Upper East Side.
  • NYC: Jay Defeo, at Mitchell-Innes & Nash. Opens Thursday, in Chelsea.
  • NYC: Hannah Van Bart, at Marianne Boesky. Opens Saturday, in Chelsea.
  • NYC: No Problem: Cologne/New York 1984-89, at David Zwirner. Opens Friday, in Chelsea.
  • NYC: Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, Bruce Conner, Latifa Echakhch, Charles Gaines, Christian Marclay and Claes Oldenburg/Coosje van Bruggen, at Paula Cooper Gallery. Through May 23, in Chelsea.
  • NYC: I Dig Atari, celebrating the release of Raiford Guins’ video game history and preservation book Game After: A Cultural Study Of Video Game Afterlife, at Babycastles. This Saturday at 6pm, in Chelsea. RSVP required.
  • NYC: She Was a Film Star Before She Was My Mother, at Dorsky Gallery. Opens Sunday at 2pm, in Long Island City.
  • NYC: SEVEN/VIDEO at The Boiler, and Kim Jones, mountain girl next door, at Pierogi Gallery. Opens Friday at 6pm, in Williamsburg.

Calendar. 04.23.14.

Big Trouble in Lil Haiti by Michael Vasquez (Courtesy of the artist.)
Big Trouble in Lil Haiti, 2013, by Michael Vasquez. The artist will have work on view at New Image Art in Los Angeles this weekend, part of the group show This Crazy Life, also featuring Patrick Martinez and Gregory Bojorquez. Opens Saturday 7pm, in West Hollywood. (Image courtesy of the artist.)

  • L.A.: James Bridle, Military Visuality and the Work of Art Symposium, a talk at Occidental College. Thursday at 12:45pm at Choi Auditorium, in Northeast L.A.
  • L.A.: Francesco Vezzoli, Cinema Vezzoli, at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Opens Sunday, at Grand Avenue.
  • L.A.: Timothy Nolan, The Soft and Sweet Eclipse, at CB1 Gallery. Opens Sunday at 5pm, in downtown L.A.
  • L.A.: Sheree Rose, 100 Reasons, at Coagula Curatorial. Opens Saturday at 7pm, in Chinatown.
  • S.F.: Wrong’s What I Do Best, at the San Francisco Art Institute. Opens Thursday, in the Walter and McBean Galleries.
  • NYC: 13 Most Wanted Men: Andy Warhol and the 1964 World’s Fair, at the Queens Museum. Opens Sunday.
  • NYC: Ultra Violet: The Studio Recreated, at Dillon Gallery. Opens Thursday, in Chelsea.
  • NYC: Carrie Mae Weems, LIVE: Past Tense/Future Perfect, at the Guggenheim Museum of Art. Three days of art, music and performance in connection with Weems’s retrospective at the museum. Starts Friday, on the Upper East Side.
  • NYC: Dinh Q. Lê, Warf Woof, Zero & One, at PPOW Gallery. Opens Thursday, in Chelsea.
  • NYC: Eva and Franco Mattes, By Everyone, For No One, Everyday, and John Powers, +time, at Postmasters Gallery. Opens Saturday at 5:30pm, in Tribeca.
  • NYC: Adriana Varejao, Polvo, at Lehmann Maupin. Opens Thursday, in Chelsea.
  • NYC: Bob Colacello, Holy Terror: Photographs from Inside Warhol’s World, at Steven Kasher Gallery. Opens Thursday, in Chelsea.
  • NYC: Sarah Charlesworth, Objects of Desire: 1983-1988, at Maccarone. Opens Friday at 6pm, in the West Village.
  • NYC: Monika Zarzeczna, sculpture and collage, at Lesley Heller Workspace. Opens Sunday at 6pm, on the Lower East Side. There will be an artist talk on Sunday, May 18 at 4:30pm.
  • NYC: Guillermo Kuitca, This Way, at Sperone Westwater. Opens Thursday, on the Lower East Side.
  • NYC: The ‘80s: Past + Present, at Bleecker Street Art Club. Opens Thursday, in the West Village.
  • NYC: It Ain’t What You Make But What Makes You Do It, a tribute to Dennis Oppenheim, at Valentine. Opens Friday, in Ridgewood.
  • NYC: Performa Events: Who Can Write About a Performance Art, with Claire Bishop, RoseLee Goldbgerg, Adrian Heathfield, Jens Hoffmann, John Rockwell, Hrag Vartanian and David Velasco, at Judson Memorial Church. Tomorrow at 6:30pm, in the Village. RSVP required.
  • NYC: Julia Bland & Daniel Petraitis, Hard As You Can, Right at the Middle, at Asya Geisberg Gallery. Through May 10, in Chelsea.
  • London: Hernan Bas, Memphis Living, and Christian Holstad, Corrections, at Victoria Miro. Opens Saturday.

Calendar. 04.17.14.

Wangechi Mutu, Riding Death in My Sleep, 2002 (Courtesy of the artist and MOCA North Miami)
Riding Death in My Sleep, 2002, by Wangechi Mutu. Part of the exhibit Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami. (Images courtesy of the artist and MOCA.)

  • NYC: Marie Lorenz, The Valley of Dry Bones, at Jack Hanley Gallery. Opens Friday at 6pm, in Tribeca.
  • NYC: Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963-2010, at the Museum of Modern Art. Opens Saturday, in Midtown.
  • NYC: Ai Weiwei: According to What?, at the Brooklyn Museum. Opens Friday, in Brooklyn.
  • NYC: Lebbeus Woods, at the Drawing Center. Opens today, in SoHo.
  • NYC: The New Romantics, at Eyebeam. Opens today, in Chelsea.
  • NYC: Sherrie Levine, Red Yellow Blue, at Paula Cooper Gallery. Opens today, in Chelsea.
  • NYC: Joel Meyerowitz, The European Trip: Photographs from the Car, at Howard Greenberg. Opens today, in Midtown.
  • NYC: Ben Berlow, Recent Works, at Rawson Projects. Through May 18, in Greenpoint.
  • Miami: Virginia Overton: Flat Rock, at the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami. Opens Friday, in North Miami.
  • L.A.: Stanya Kahn, Don’t Go Back to Sleep, at Susanne Vielmetter Projects. Opens Saturday, in Culver City.
  • L.A.: Meleko, Mokgosi, Pax Kaffraria, at Honor Fraser. Opens Saturday, in Culver City.
  • L.A.: Cogwheels Carved in Wood, a group show, at Night Gallery. Opens Saturday at 7pm, in downtown.
  • L.A: Elana Mann, Gala Porras-Kim, Susan Silton, After Noise, at Thomas Solomon Gallery. Opens Saturday at 6pm, in Chinatown.
  • L.A.: New works by Andrea Fraser and Vanessa Place, at the MAK Center. Through June 1, in West Hollywood.
  • PLUS: The Agency of Unrealised Projects is looking for your unrealized project.

Calendar. 04.10.14.

Swoon (American, born 1978), The Swimming Cities of Serenissima, Adriatic Sea, 2009. © Tod Seelie
The Swimming Cities of Serenissima on the Adriatic Sea. On view in Swoon: Submerged Motherlands, at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Opens Friday. (Photo by Tod Seelie.)

  • Beijing: Art Post-Internet, at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art. Through May 5, in the Chaoyang District.
  • L.A.: Freeway Studies, at Ben Maltz Gallery. Opens Saturday, at Otis College of Art and Design, in Westchester.
  • L.A.: The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats, at the Skirball Cultural Center. Opens today, in Bel Air.
  • L.A.: Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from the Greek Collections, at the Getty Villa. Through August 25, in Malibu.
  • L.A.: Elliott Hundley, at Regen Projects. Opens Saturday, in Hollywood.
  • Orange County, Calif.: Sarkisian & Sarkisian, at the Orange County Museum of Art. Opens Sunday, in Newport Beach.
  • Tijuana: Paisaje Urban de un Presente Bizarro, with Corrie Slawson & Marc Lefkowitz, Hugo Crosthwaite, Luis G. Hernandez and Pepe Mogt, at TJ IN CHINA Project Room. Opens Friday at 6pm, in Zona Centro.
  • Chicago: Isa Genzken: Retrospective, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Opens Saturday.
  • Miami: Alexander Kroll, The Sky on the Flor, at Fredric Snitzer. Opens today, in the Wynwood District.
  • NYC: Masterpieces and Curiosities: Diane Arbus’s Jewish Giant, at the Jewish Museum. Opens Friday, on the Upper East Side.
  • NYC: Now You See It: Photography and Concealment, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Through September 1, on the Upper East Side.
  • NYC: I Scarcely Have the Right to Use This Ghostly Verb, at the Sheila Johnson Design Center. Through April 16, at Parson the New School of Design.
  • NYC: Malick Sidibé, at Jack Shainman Gallery. Through April 26, in Chelsea.
  • NYC: Thank You, the final show at Dodge Gallery. Opens today, on the Lower East Side.
  • NYC: The Heroic Object, at Parallel Art Space. Through May 11, in Ridgewood.

If you’re hitting the Mike Kelley show at MoCA…

Mike Kelley's Chinatown Wishing Well at MoCA

The Mike Kelley show at MOCA Geffen has a whole lot of everything going on: child nightmare videos, weird banners, scary stuffed animal sculptures, night-light installations of the fictional Kandor, and architectural models of every school Kelly ever went to. There’s also his “Chinatown Wishing Well,” above, his tribute, to a similarly garish fountain located in L.A.’s Chinatown.

It’s a lot to absorb. But while you’re at it, don’t forget to take a peek under and inside many of his pieces, since they often seem to contain little surprises. Under the architectural models, you’ll find a mattress; a pink dresser hides books about sex and a packet of birth control pills; and inside the “Wishing Well” is a mattress, a box of Kleenex, some candles and tub of Vaseline. (This latter space he once described as a “crawl space/fuck room.”)

All of it certainly gets at aspects of the forbidden he often explored in his work. But they also serve as a reminder that if you’re just looking at the literal surface of his pieces, you’re missing a good chunk of the story.