October 24, 2012

“Got a rather tall cowboy with all his clothes burned off”

There are a lot of things that one can say about Dallas. Some indictments fair, many not, but for me it all boils down to "Big". That's the hair, the money, the business, egos, aspirations, booms and busts (of all kinds). And as the saying goes, the bigger they are the harder they fall; to this, the recent tribulations of the fittingly-named Big Tex can attest.

Big Tex is was a 52-ft-tall Cowboy who reigns supreme for three weeks each October from his perch at the Texas State Fair. Though last Friday, heading into the final weekend of this his sixtieth year, ol’ man reached the end of his rope. Electrical fire brought him down in under ten minutes. Must’ve been damn traumatic for the kids. The college kids, that is. I read one account where a woman walking by looked up and said, “I didn’t know Big Tex smoked.” He doesn’t, but if Dickies opts out of its sponsorship I smell an opening for Philip Morris. Talk about your target market... young and intoxicated with a penchant for poor decision-making.  

This is but one element of a diverse flock that enters the gates of the largest State Fair in the country. Many of these folks you wouldn’t ordinarily talk to unless their arms were on fire (and even then, only if they asked). But for a few short hours a kinship forms over mid-morning wax cup beers and Fletcher’s corny dogs and deep-friend errything. Before long it’s time to stuff flasks into boots and head into the Cotton Bowl, after which you’d always meet back underneath Big Tex and his booming drawl… “Howwwww-deee Follllllks!”

Hopefully next year it’ll be no different. After all, this is Dallas. They’ll probably just make him bigger.

Photos via: Dallas Morning News.

October 17, 2012

Plan B

Yellow (the) flowers (that) dot the land,
and wet the ground on which I stand;
with gun at side I had not planned
for quiet sky and none in hand.

In sheets it fell across the field,
the wind against the tin it reeled; 
beneath the barn and under heeled,
salvation in our case concealed...

the rye and corn and yeast of strain.
And in my warmth I did complain;
then she, without a hint disdain
said "Love, the dove don't fly in rain."

October 9, 2012

East and West w/ José Andrés

Starting nearly 20 years ago with Jaleo, a tapas restaurant and sangria dispensary, José Andrés has set up a veritable culinary force in DC’s Chinatown. Six acclaimed restaurants within blocks of one another + his umbrella ThinkFoodGroup, which appears to be in the business of managing mountains of cash and innumerable accolades.

Jaleo was where we’d go to wait three hours for a table and gulp cheap wine and eat small plates in order to maintain affordability. We longed for the days when small plates would become lots of small plates, but in the absence of extra chorizo, we drank. 

Grown up a bit now and was afforded the pleasure on two occasions this summer to dine at a couple of his other restaurants: lunch at Zaytinya in Washington and dinner at The Bazaar in Los Angeles.

Eating at Zaytinya is like eating in a fishbowl… blue and white and beautiful. Makes you feel like a marlin swimming off the coast of Miami. Two drinks alongside a tremendous amount of food served to settle the stomach more than blur the head, and we lamented the demise of quiet debauchery that is a long and boozy lunch on a sunny weekday afternoon.

701 9th Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

Dinner at The Bazaar in Beverly Hills was a culinary experience well-suited to its surroundings… show food in the land of show business. He seems to have taken the avant-garde of Minibar, injected it with silicone, and shoehorned it somewhere between Donald Trump’s living room and a mushroom trip. Talk about a blurry head.  

465 S La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048

… all that to say is if the man insists on putting anything else in my mouth this year… he’s paying.

October 2, 2012

Ever So Much More So

The artist starts with a joke…

So this guy finds himself marooned on an island with Blake Lively (my edit). After months of fruitless cajoling, he at last gets her to sleep with him. Next morning, they wake up and he says, “Hey, go behind that palm tree and put on this mustache” (he’s holding a fake mustache). She thinks... this is fucking insane and this guy is insane but I’m on this island so what the hell? So she does and when she comes from behind the tree he jumps up and he says “Dude! You’ll never guess who I slept with last night!”

A non sequitur opening to Joshua Bienko's Ever So Much More So, an exploration of the relationship between fame and desire through imagery and object. Where contemporary art meets fetishistic fashion on a trademarked five-inch red-soled canvas that commands upside of nine hundo retail; that is, Koons rabbits and Warhol soup cans painted on the bottoms of Christian Louboutins.

It’s a curious thing, this alteration (desecration/augmentation… depending on one’s point-of-view of these things if one is so inclined to have a point-of-view on these things) of artwork on artwork - worn once and the piece is destroyed, hung on a wall and you’ve exorcised the utility of the shoes themselves.

Oh well... high class problems. 

Maybe the only one in on the joke is Bienko himself, who a few months after the Artpace installation - in "By Permit Only" - laid out this diagram of what to do with his fine work…

Why walk when you can dance?

As I understand it the NY artist has left the shackles of College Station, TX and moved on to Knoxville and the U of T to teach drawing. Check out his site here. Prints available.

Photos via: Joshua Bienko, Ever So Much More So and Dance Diagrams.