holditnow

Month: January, 2014

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

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These days, Jerry Seinfeld can basically do anything he pleases. The pressure of staying in the public eye is no longer a worry or a concern for him. This is one of the perks of having one of the most successful sitcoms of all time. He gets to do what he feels like doing, and because he’s Jerry Seinfeld we’ll tag along when we feel so inclined. At the moment, he feels like going for coffee with his friends. The thing is, his friends are some of the funniest people on  the planet and lucky for us we’re invited along for the ride.

Jerry Seinfeld Chris Rock Comedians in Cars with Coffee

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is currently in its third season. The web series always follows the same formula. Jerry starts by introducing the car that will be featured in this week’s episode. Every car is chosen to reflect his guest’s personality. I’m not much of a car guy, but his choices are both exotic and eclectic enough to keep you engaged in this aspect of the show. What’s nice is,you can see the sheer delight on his face as he zips around Manhattan or Los Angeles in one of the automobile hall of fame’s who’s who. You can also see that not all of his guests share his enthusiasm. Next up, the canned phone call to make arrangements to go for coffee. Jerry comes and picks up his guest and then they’re off to get coffee.

louie and jerry

What makes this web series so watchable, is its fly on the wall approach to filming. The audience gets to come along as two comedians get to let their guard down and have a casual conversation. It could be the best interview method on the planet. No studio audience, no desk, no house band and no project to shill or promote; just two guys trying to make each other laugh.

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And laugh you do. Watching Mel Brooks sitting behind a TV tray delivering 40 year old punchlines is funny. Chris Rock has you laughing the minute he steps into the car. Think what you will of Alec Baldwin, but the man can tell a story. My personal favourite would be the episode with David Letterman. Only Jerry Seinfeld could get the notoriously reclusive talk show host to be so candid. I’m a huge Letterman fan and seeing another side to him is just tremendous. And at the end of the day, who wouldn’t want to go to lunch with Don Rickles or Tina Fey? Well now you can – sort of.

Thanks Jerry.

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

New episodes are available on Thursdays at noon EDT.

Related: Rochelle Rochelle poster

                  Louis CK

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Come Up To My Room 11

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Saturday afternoon we decided to check out the Gladstone Hotel‘s annual art and design show Come Up to My Room. If you are unfamiliar with the concept: artists transform various rooms into unique installations. They range from simple projections to immersive environments. This was the show’s 11th year and it’s still going strong. We decided to show up early and found the crowds both manageable and the rooms not too crowded. As we were leaving you could feel the claustrophobia start to creep in. This is a popular show and people will definitely brave the minus 20 temperatures to come experience it.

Shannon Scanlan Gut Feelings

Shannon Scanlan Gut Feelings

The Torontonians Mammalian Diving Reflex get out of my room

The Torontonians Mammalian Diving Reflex               get out of my room

Shannon Scanlan’s Gut Feelings had a nice visceral feeling combining foam and fabric to give off that slight Fantastic Voyage vibe. Get out of my Room covered its walls with less than stellar homework assignments and came replete with video game playing teenagers. Christine Kim and Vanathy Ganesharajah’s Confessional broke up the space with intricately patterned screens seperating you from your sins. Andrew Foerster combined diorama type sculptures with an animated film to explore the world of blue-grass in Tin Canyon. A highlight for me would be Kathleen Wicks’ nuanced meditation on the impact of wool on our lives with her installation Common Thread. 

Confessional

Confessional

tin canyon

Tin Canyon

Common Thread

Common Thread

Hanging Matters by Jordan Evans, Ryla Jakelski, Evan Jerry and Louis Weinthal enticed viewers with dangling pull strings only to reward them with raining condoms and breath mints. Fall of the Walled Garden by Azero (AO) Also Collective + Mason Collective just made me nostalgic for chill-out rooms from the early nineties.

hanging matters

Hanging Matters

Fall of the Walled Garden

Fall of the Walled Garden

We then made our way up to the 3rd and fourth floors to check out Hard Twist: a textile based show. All in all, there were some nice works but the show stopper was definitely Marie De Sousa’s Depends which consisted of a pair of boxing gloves made from adult diapers.

Susan Avishai Shirtz

Susan Avishai Shirtz

Joanna Schleimer Slip detail

Joanna Schleimer Slip detail

Marie De Sousa Depends

Marie De Sousa Depends

I don’t think we found the next Pipilotti Rist at the Gladstone this time around, but we did find something worth coming back to on a cold winter’s eve.

Absolute Beginners: Digital Painting

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Absolute Beginners 2014

We’re a month away from the Artist Project. This piece is part of my new series Cutting Corners.

Pinkie and the Blue Boy

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It’s the classic boy meets girl story. Married by a curator/collector in 1927 resulting in a relationship cemented by sentimentalism; Thomas Gainsborough’s The Blue Boy 1770 and Sir Thomas Lawrence’s Pinkie 1794 have been eternally entwined in the  collective consciousness of the wigs and keys crowd since the early twentieth century. They are the subjects of endless reproductions, porcelain figurines, commemorative plates and all manner of kitsch. Two youths betrothed to one another by the place they shared on a museum wall. The girl in pink and the boy in blue; how perfect is that?

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Gainsborough The Pink Boy 1782

The truth of the matter is, that is a very twentieth century construct. Pink and blue were worn by both genders for centuries. For the longest time blue was actually more thought of with girls due to its association with The Virgin Mary. The gender/colour denomination was more of a marketing gimmick than anything; created by savvy ad men between the world wars.  Gainsborough even painted a Pink Boy in 1782. (Both the Pink Boy and the Blue Boy are wearing costumes modeled after the clothing that could be typically found in the portraits of Anthony Van Dyck  from the 1630’s and 40’s.) The Blue Boy was actually green when it came into the possession of H.E.H Huntington in 1921. The painting had discoloured under coats of a golden varnish over the decades since it had been painted. The layers were lovingly removed, revealing the brilliant blues we are familiar with today.

leave it to beaver

Over the years, Pinkie and the Blue Boy found their way into the homes of countless families. They were the perfect middle-class adornment. They represented a sense of nostalgia, romanticism with just a whiff of culture.  They played into traditional gender roles and fifties family values as evidenced by their inclusion in Leave it to BeaverIn the episode pictured above, Wally is asking permission to grow a mustache and Mrs Cleaver has just removed her apron and hid it in the couch when company arrives.  It doesn’t get any more gender stereotypical than that. I wonder what the Cleavers would make of the fact that Jonathon Buttall (Blue Boy) was fatherless and Sarah Moulton ( Pinkie) was the daughter of Jamaican plantation owners. Probably nothing, their histories remain invisible. These paintings have crossed over from portraits of real people to decorative pictures.

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Truth be told, The Blue Boy is a far superior painting than Pinkie and it seems almost unbelievable that people can misconstrue the idea that they were painted by the same artist. I guess it is a more romantic notion to think they were made for each other. The countless second rate reproductions out there help to level the playing field considerably. Nothing takes an artist down a notch or two like being the loving subject of a flea market TV tray. As tacky as these objects may seem, there is still something endearing about them that cuts through the kitsch. We do enjoy our matching sets and it’s nice to think that there is someone out there for everyone.

Yes or No

yes or no