FOUNDATIONS magazine is an annual art and culture publication stocked by fine art, book, and museum stores all over the globe. I guest-edited their special Comedy Issue, wrangling some of my favorite artists, comics, clowns, and humans to let us shine their light on the rest of the world.
Browse the whole thing HERE.
Especially proud of commissioning and editing an exclusive interview with hilarious and recondite entertainer Gregg Turkington, aka Neil Hamburger:
Here are some introductions I wrote for artist portfolios:
Los Angeles, a metropolis currently ranked an Alpha World City by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, is host to a strange little weekly standup show, lovingly known for being one of the most awkward rooms in town. The show, called Comedy in English, takes place at a hostel just a few steps from the Pacific Ocean. It's an arena of cultural slippage where the performers' material routinely butts up against the eclectic audience's collective cosmopolitanism. References go unrecognized, punchlines fall flat. Laughs tend to erupt from a mutual desire to break the thorny silence. The values embedded in this generally innocuous form of entertainment are thrown into relief. Universal truths are unmasked as cultural assumptions, bluntly projected.
Globalization is a kind of cultural export, and Global Alpha Cities are quite adept at presenting this ideal as reality. Manal Abu-Shaheen's keenly composed photographs of her home city of Beirut (currently ranked a Beta World City) blow up and complicate this transference, spotlighting, in her own words, "the ways in which globalized communication brings idealized images from one culture in contact with another." Billboards with larger-than-life models tower over urban landscapes in various stages of flux and devastation like well-meaning, but clueless giants. Images of Western domesticity sag and wrinkle under the Lebanese sun. With outdoor advertising, a vision of the future is literally pasted onto reality, and when captured in Mana's smartly monochrome palette, the difference between image and image-within-image is weirdly obscured. A rupture is revealed, containing the uncanny alchemy of a joke. And in that thorny silence, we recognize something.
Paul Klee famously wrote that "drawing is taking a line for a walk". It's apropos then, that Susumu Kamijo's chic canines come to us fresh off a stroll through classical portraiture, landscape painting, and Modernist abstraction to arrive at this contemporary moment. The return to figuration is a fraught marriage of formal and conceptual concerns, where lines and colors either fret or celebrate the interplay of abstraction and figuration. The shapes that emerge from a show poodle's ridiculous grooming are oddly suited to these twists of vision, and Kamijo's portraits of these prim pets are deceptive in their immediacy. Rendered in bold palettes with creamy oil stick, the forthright subjects and au-courant color combos are of a kind with Warhol's cats and shoes, but there is a different conceptual rigor buzzing beneath. In their own way, each doggie layers entrenched painting tropes with the jush and verve of commercial illustration. They do not float in the white space of advertising, but stand firmly in Etel Adnan-esque landscapes, proud as landed gentry, bodies abstracted to the very edge of legibility. Like any good dog, they come back.
Walter Scott is an interdisciplinary artist based in Montreal. Through writing, illustration, performance, and sculpture, Scott probes the anxieties of belonging and outsiderness among the ever-shifting mores of the art world. The following is an excerpt from Wendy's Revenge, the latest in the ongoing adventures of Wendy, a fictional young woman navigating the vagaries of metropolitan vice—drugs, parties, boys, impractical heels—in a quixotic quest to inhabit the nebulous forms of Adulthood and The Serious Artist. Throughout the Wendy books and his practice at large, Scott blends feminist theory, pop commentary, deadpan wit, and a generous dash of vulnerability.