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The B.Wurtz Show is the Art of a Distant Future Past

August 18th, 2011 • Paul H-O
Charmaine Wheatley - Wurtz blubagbloview ruler
Location: Metro Pictures
Exihibiton: NYC June 22 to August 5, 2011

Prologue:  Charmaine Wheatley and I had a series of conversations about artist, B. Wurtz, because he was having a retrospective in Chelsea.  She said, "you told me about Wurtz like a year ago and I looked at his work online and was atypically into his "assemblage" sculpture so when I read in TimeOut he had a show up at Metro Pics I headed over. It was high on my list of priorities. Then I emailed you, "I went and loved it".  Then she wrote back to talk about it, but she started drawing the work she liked.  Ms.Wheatley rules in her own realm, deliberate cartooning with precise writing, attention to detail and subject that reminds me of monks quilling illustrated tomes.  She said maybe we should try to do something together about the Wurtz show. I saw the first drawings and thought, I'll try to use these black marks that come out of these buttons to keep Charmaine's pictures from touching, so people can see them better.  It's a work-in-progress and we will stick with Wurtz in the spirit of Wurtz; simply, working with material we bought at the wrong kind of store.  I can't work the layout code here worth a damn.  (Charmaine's images either shrink or explode)  Maybe some smart graphic artist will come in and fix it.  That was how it worked before, when I had a camera and it would drive people nuts, and someone took it out my hands.




Buttons, the kind we use for clothing, are one of Wurtz's earlier object elements. It's hard to avoid buttons, and for hundreds of years we've had them, and they're still here. He specializes in monuments to efficient, proven technology like tin cans, shoelaces, coat hangers. Common materials our society uses every day, every class, and taken for granted.

Wow, there is a lot of work in this show.  I thought Wurtz's work would be in one gallery room or two, but he's got the whole big box gallery. It's hot as hell in here too. I feel for the front desk people - giant walls of glass facing south, one could grow dope easy in here.  A-list galleries in Chelsea are sleek, white, gas guzzlers. Why not have ceiling fans?

Metro is a humongus fancy gallery, with a museum scale show by Feature Inc's very own B. Wurtz, International Artist of Mystery. Feature is a medium-sized gallery that has been a hothouse for talent. (talent often lured to greener pastures). Feature WAS in Chelsea but went back downtown, where vacant storefronts and mixed class neighborhoods still exist for about another 15 minutes.

B.Wurtz had an early rise along with Feature, and it's weird alien flavor, and was instantly recognized as an 'artist's' gallery.  Wurtz maintains his conceptual and material integrity to the humble degree that he's been professionally back-burnered in the fashion industry of art.  Word has it that some early work has been acquired by one of the major museums uptown.  Summer in Chelsea is not where the art market is, and rare, very good art like this, will go unseen and undersold.  We did wonder what was behind it, is he poised to become the veteran mine canary of our economic demise?

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GalleryBeat with Tracey Emin @ Lehmann Maupin 2009

August 8th, 2011 • Paul H-O
Tracey Emin and me go back a ways - and whatever people think of her work, they talk about it. And that is more important than merely puffing something up and moving on to the next neutered fashion. Ms. Emin has distinguished herself with a courageous exploration of psyche-exhibitionism and personal history that is done so deftly that she is a visible reminder that an artist can still make people pay attention. She's done it, she hasn't a thing to prove. We still don't get along, and she still talks to me anyway. H-O co-hosted by Tamara Weg and cam by Aimee Graham All rights reserved H-O 2010 GBM Photo by Walter Robinson

1986: The One Time I Produced an Artist's Book

June 9th, 2011 • Paul H-O
 The Man Nobody Killed by David Hammons

David Hammons, The Man Nobody Killed screened spray paint on corrugated cardboard, 8.5"X11", 1986


By Paul H-O

How was I to know David Hammons would become huge? I did not. I never thought about it. I'd met Mr. Hammons at the Horseshoe Bar (or Vazacs) at 7th St. and Ave. B in 1984 or '85 through artist Cynthia Kuebel when she was living on Clinton St. near Delancey. I'd only moved to New York in September of '84 because I'd curated a traveling group multi-media exhibition I named SF/SF (San Francisco Science Fiction) and it was the the season opener at PS 1's Clocktower after being at the S.F. Arts Commission Gallery.   It was a post-art-punk installation of metal mechanical sculpture, some paintings, and some photographs my partner and 2nd co-curator Jo Babcock and I had driven in a rented U-Haul 24 foot truck. Once I got to NY after that trip from San Francisco, I had just enough personal belongings in that truck to live in New York.

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GEORGE HERMS - FIVE DECADES OF MADNESS

April 20th, 2011 • Paul H-O
RERUN - FOR THE FIRST TIME - I capture the moment that hadn't happened in New York since the 1990's - a video portrait of George Herms working on a new installation at Nyehaus to include in his show of work dating back to 1962. He is the incredible inimitable George Herms, the royal jester King of a generation of artists that began producing the found object assemblage and manufactured objects beyond ordinary recognition. George made the impossible possible, he provides material clues to the surreal manner of talking about his work. Special appearance by artist Fred Tomaselli. Directed by Paul H-O Edited by Gaia Balidini Videotaped at Nyehaus 8/10 Music by George Herms and Thelonious Monk

Judy Rifka Wrecks Hotel Room - GBM Exclusive

March 6th, 2011 • Paul H-O
WHEN ART STARS TRASH - Where: DUAL @ POOL Art Fair @ The Gershwin Hotel NYC Did art star Judy Rifka have it in for Billy The ArtStar? (BTA) There is conjecture on the subject when during yesterdays press interview with BTA. As he was talking about his new work all attention was suddenly diverted as Rifka began taking the room apart. Can Judy play nice with others? Dr. Lisa Levy gives analysis for GalleryBeat at the scene, DUAL. Camera by Paul and Hosted by Lisa and Paul - Dual curated by Savannah Spirit  - All Rights Reserved GalleryBeat and Paul H-O 2011.

GalleryBeat Talk Show #4 Highlights Composer Pat Daugherty - Part 2 of 6

February 10th, 2011 • Paul H-O
The amazing and versatile composer/musician Pat Daugherty entertains us with stories and music from his recent exploits with Snoop Dogg, Ornette Coleman, David Bowie, and Los Ballets des Folkloricos. Paul spills water on his laptop and Lisa loses track of the guest line-up. Very GalleryBeat. From the Cooking with GalleryBeat Live Show at BravinLee Programs in New York on 1/29/11. Hosted by Paul H-O and Dr. Lisa and starring Phoebe Hoban (author of the new biography on painter Alice Neel), Pat Daughherty (composer/musician working with Snoop Dog to Ornette Coleman). Jena Friedman (comedian/actor TV & film) Peter Bolte (director - Dandelion Man, The Greims) and John Post Lee of BravinLee gallery.

Jim Evans: Artist Decoded Trailer

December 15th, 2010 • Paul H-O
In the covert world of rock posters and the artists that create them, there is a hierachy of trend setters that rarely come out behind the wall of graphics. Jim Evans can trace his vector from working with Rick Griffin and the psychedelic era, to working with Nirvana, Fugazi, U2  more »