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Art News From Around the Web

Sesame Street Considering Legal Action Against Times Square’s Costumed Characters

Sesame Street Considering Legal Action Against Times Square’s Costumed Characters

The producers of Sesame Street stated this week that they are exploring possibilities of legal action against people wearing costumes that represent their copyrighted characters. The costumed characters, who charge tourists for pictures, have come to police attention multiple times recently, including last week when a man dressed like Spider-Man punched a cop.

Sesame Street expressed that the company has not authorized any of the characters like Elmo and Cookie Monster to appear in Times Square, which seems rather obvious. Sesame Street added that “like everyone else, we care about public safety on our streets.”

Mayor de Blasio promised to take action on the matter. He is proposing a licensing system for the rogue entertainers. (Photo: Gary Wong)

The post Sesame Street Considering Legal Action Against Times Square’s Costumed Characters appeared first on ANIMAL.


Author:Sophie Weiner

Today’s Pigeon

Today’s Pigeon

Sean, East River Ferry Terminal. (Photo: Bucky Turco/ANIMALNewYork)


The post Today’s Pigeon appeared first on ANIMAL.


Author:Marina Galperina

Step 1: Submit the SF-424 to



Step 2: Submit Through NEA-GO



PICKS: “Comic Future”



NEWS: Met Museum Sees Over 6 Million Visitors for Third Year in a Row



FILM: Hip to Be Square



Monday Links: When Any Old Tank Will Do

Just a tank dog.

Just a tank dog.

  • Dog costumes for your “dog parade.” [Frontgate]
  • Ukrainian separatists are raiding World War II museums to steal and use Stalin-era tanks in their war effort. “Can you believe it?” one museum visitor told Agence France-Presse. “They’re even stealing museum exhibits now.” [artnet News]
  • Last week, Mayor de Blasio announced a New York City municipal ID, which would be beneficial for undocumented immigrants, those without a drivers license, and now, museum-goers. This weekend, the administration announced their plan to work with museums like the Met to make admission free for those with the ID. [The New York Times]
  • In the art world, is it only okay to show the political, but not take a political stance? On Thursday night, a workshop by Khaled Jarrar for “10 Days/10 Ideas” was to be held at Undercurrent Projects, but was cancelled the night of. (Jarrar’s work is currently included in the New Museum’s current exhibition Here and Elsewhere, but was denied a visa.) Undercurrent Projects owner Katie Peyton told Hyperallergic that the space does not host “political activist meetings or sponsor political agendas.” This, despite the fact that Undercurrent describes itself as a “freethinking art space inspired by the epic myth of the avant garde.” [Hyperallergic]
  • Just how fucked up are classical themes in art history? Let The Toast’s Mallory Ortberg reveal how “The Judgment of Paris” is a tale about some whiny, insecure women who want to know if they’re still hot. The Real Housewives of Mt. Olympus, indeed! [The Toast]
  • Cory Arcangel is working on a novel about people tweeting about working on a novel. This would be meta if it weren’t already a Twitter joke taken too far. [Fader]
  • Come September, Bushwick’s itsy-bitsy Microscope Gallery is moving into a bigger, more legit space. They’re hoping to raise some dollars on Indiegogo for events and programming by July 30—help ‘em out! [Bushwick Daily]
  • Zachary Woolfe, music critic for the New York Times, reviews the Christoph Schlingensief exhibition at MoMA PS1. The exhibit, he writes, is a reminder that “the future of opera has been taking place without us.” Met, take note. [The New York Times]



Author:Corinna Kirsch Andrew Wagner Henry Kaye

A Lost Cause? Alfredo Jaar’s “A Logo for America”

Post image for A Lost Cause? Alfredo Jaar’s “A Logo for America”

alfredo jaar this is not america

When Alfredo Jaar’s glittering “A Logo for America” video first played on a Times Square billboard in 1987, it riled up New Yorkers. Of course it did: The video, which played every six minutes for a month, shows the words “This is not America” inside the outline of the United States. “A Logo for America” will receive a second life this week; beginning on August 1, the video will pop up on Times Square signs and screens between 11:57 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. But this 2.0 version loses some of the video’s original intent to reach a broad—and hopefully attentive—audience.

Who hangs out in Times Square at midnight? Drunken tourists, panhandlers dressed as Spiderman, and other blinking signs. Who pays attention to billboards at midnight? Not many, unless they’re lost and need guidance from the blinking lights above. Then there’s that questionable decision to play “A Logo for America” once a day instead of every six minutes; we guess it must be harder to take airtime away from advertisers than it was in 1987.

Looking back at his original project, Alfredo Jaar himself doubted the political impact of his work. In a 2009 interview with The Brooklyn Rail, he remarked on the outcome of “A Logo for America”:

That project was a lost cause. [Laughter.] The most frustrating reaction was when NPR sent a journalist around interviewing people while they were watching it on the screen in Times Square. Some of them said live on national radio, “This is illegal. How could they let him do this?” … However, you should be happy to know that “A Logo for America” is my most reproduced work. It is used in a dozen textbooks to teach young students about globalization.

Yes, Jaar’s video does look more successful in reproductions (as we can see above), helping to extend the project’s life. And though we’d like to hope for the best with this current iteration, we just imagine that history will repeat itself—and “A Logo for America” will remain yet another lost cause in the name of public art.


Author:Corinna Kirsch

This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Midsummer Night Screenings

Post image for This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Midsummer Night Screenings

1406257494224With summer art shows coming to a close, this week is all about the moving image. Between Kenneth Anger’s ritualistic Invocation of My Demon Brother, Stanya Kahn’s satiric It’s Cool, I’m Good, and Cloaque’s show of hyperactive 40-second long videos, there’s something for every variant of film fan. Those looking for art shows can head straight to Flux Factory, which has dug through their archives and put on a show of what they found for their 20th anniversary birthday party.

  1. M
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30 Lafayette Avenue
7:30 PMWebsite


El (1954) is a lesser known Buñuel flick that tells the story of a husband who becomes consumed by his fear that other men are going to steal his wife from him. Ah, a typical cuckolding film as old as, well, probably The Odyssey. The film was apparently so accurate in its portrayal that Jacques Lacan showed the movie to his students as a case study in paranoia.


Hansel and Gretel Picture Garden

511 West 22nd Street
5:30 PMWebsite


From the press release: “‘Miseria’ stars a time traveling bolero singing hermaphroditic life form from NYC, circa 1970!” Sounds like David Bowie’s The Man Who Fell to Earth mixed with…okay, we don’t know what it sounds like exactly. We’re intrigued, and that’s reason enough to go.

Electronic Arts Intermix

535 West 22nd Street
6:30 PMWebsite

Stanya Kahn: Screening and Artist Talk

The trailer for Stanya Kahn’s It’s Cool, I’m Good (2010) shows a bandaged and crutched Kahn stumbling throughout Los Angeles and making quips like “Do I look like the Invisible Man? That’s not supposed to be a trick question.” That, as well as Kahn’s videos Arms Are Overrated (2012) and For the Birds (2013) will be screening at Electronic Arts Intermix, with an artist talk afterwards hosted by one of our century’s biggest film experts, Ed Halter. Known for their humor as much as their poignant cultural critiques, Kahn’s videos are perfect for some video art that can both make you laugh and think.

White Columns

320 West 13th Street
West Village
8:30 PMWebsite

Kenneth Anger’s Invocation of My Demon Brother

Kenneth Anger’s Invocation of My Demon Brother (1969) is a classic of underground cinema, full of quasi-satanic rituals and the strangest soundtrack Mick Jagger ever made. As much as Anger was a provocateur, he was a talented cinematographer. This screening (on a 16mm film print) is a chance to see his film in all its visual glory—something you just won’t get from YouTube. The screening is paired with Ivan Zulueta’s Arrebato (1980), which is apparently a cult legend in Spain. Summaries of the film’s plot are vague, but according to Dirty Looks NYC’s press release it tells the story of a horror director who’s “consumed by the vampiric apparatus of cinema.” Sounds like it should go well with Anger.


Pioneer Works

159 Pioneer Street
12:00 PM - 6:00 PMWebsite


Two weeks ago we gave you a preview of Vice’s 13th annual photography issue—hopefully you’ve gone out and picked up a free copy since then. Now, you can get the full experience by seeing the show in a gallery instead of on a newsstand: Matthew Leifheit (formerly of AFC) curated this superb collection of photos from both established and up-and-coming artists, all dealing with the theme trompe l’oeil. You should check this out, if not for the Cindy Sherman pictures, then at least for the Freddy Kruger nativity scene and those ham vaginas we left out of the preview.


Times Square Arts

42nd Street and Broadway
11:57 PM - 12:00 PMWebsite

Midnight Moment: A Logo for America by Alfredo Jaar

In 1987, political artist extraordinaire Alfredo Jaar used the imposing screens of Times Square to show a single image: an outline of United States with the words “This is Not America” emblazoned over it. His message was simple: America includes all countries in the north and south continents, not just the USA. Now, every night in August, you can see the same images from 1987 projected onto the colossal Times Square screens, which have gotten much more ostentatious over the past few decades. However, we’ve already expressed our reservations about the efficacy of this work.

Flux Factory

39-31 29th Street
Long Island City
6:00 PM - 9:00 PMWebsite


We love Flux, so we actually want to recommend this event to you a billion times. That would be annoying to our readers, so instead, just take our advice and head on out to Flux’s 20th birthday party and exhibition. For their twentieth anniversary, the people at Flux have excavated their building in search of dusty art—and not so dusty art—from the past two decades, put it in a show with work from up and coming artists, and are showing it this Friday. Come along and see the New York institution turned inside out. The exhibition opens on August 1 and the birthday party/banquet will be held on Saturday. Tickets for the birthday party will be $50—or you can just pay $15 for late-night rooftop dancing. Whee!

Here’s why you should go, in Flux’s own words:
“After two evictions, a move to Queens, hundreds of residents, a long overdue no-pet-policy, one shipwreck, two shantytowns, decades of beauty, wonderment, making the impossible happen, and only one stabbing, Flux is turning 20 and we want you to celebrate with us.”

Work by artists and Fluxers Alex Wolkowicz, Angela Washko, Annie Reichert, Ayden Grout, Ben Seretan, Caitlin Foley, Daupo, Douglas Paulson, Ellen Kleckner, Jacobus Capone, Jaime Iglehart, John Roach, Jonah Levy, Julius Schmiedel & Nick Normal, Lena Hawkins, Misha Rabinovich, Nick Cregor, SP Weather Station, Stephanie Avery, and Wieteke Heldens.
Curated by Jean Barberis, Aliya Bonar, Jason “Phunquey” Brown, Jason Eppink, Shona Masarin, Georgia Muenster, Douglas Paulson, Sam Perry, Nat Roe, Christina Vassallo



1030 Metropolitan Avenue
Bushwick / Ridgewood
7:00 PM - 11:00 PMWebsite

CLOAQUE.MOV 2014 ::: Release Party + Closing

Cloaque is a self-defined digital landfill, where the Internet’s multitude of celestial GIFs get reconstructed into what looks like a mutant-made exquisite corpse. It mostly exists as a Tumblr, but this Saturday, curators Claudia Maté and Carlos Sáez have asked several artists to create 40-second-long videos, joined together in the same format as the Cloaque Tumblr. The results might look something like this.

Presenting artists include Jeremy Coullard, Brenna Murphy, Nicolas Sassoon, Sara Ludy, Jakko Pallasvuo, Carlos Sáez, and Golgotha. Music by Oliver Dias.

Socrates Sculpture Park

43-29 Crescent Street in Court Square,
Long Island City
10:00 AM - 6:00 PMWebsite

Backyard Pool

Tamara Johnson has created a non-functional backyard pool for LIC. If you dive in, you’ll get a huge, grass-covered bump on your head. That’s pretty accurate to what most New Yorkers get—no backyard swimming holes—but Tamara Johnson’s from Texas where everyone seems to have their own above-ground pool. This is her version of what happens when you try to blend Texas and New York summer lifestyles.



124 South 3rd Street
5:00 PMWebsite


Sundance describes Trent Harris’s films as “Nancy Drew on acid.”That should give an incentive to see his newest film, Luna Mesa: In it, a photographer travels around the world deciphering a notebook filled with random symbols to try and uncover her boyfriend’s murderer. Expect an aimless, wandering narrative, a bit of absurd humor, and low-fi sci-fi.


Author:Henry Kaye Andrew Wagner

Million-Dollar Mistakes: Get Your Fake Rembrandt on eBay

Post image for Million-Dollar Mistakes: Get Your Fake Rembrandt on eBay

The alleged Rembrandt, signed RF

The alleged Rembrandt, signed RF

There are a ton of forgeries on the art market right now, and the Internet is (and always has been) just generally teeming with fraudulence. These two facts being said, any serious buyer would dismiss an old master being sold online as sketchy. But that doesn’t stop some people from trying to sell million-dollar mistakes online.

Take, for example, this Rembrandt being sold on eBay for $999,000 (with $185.81 for shipping fees) by a user under the name ukR10. Not much is known about this oil painting, except that it’s a portrait of the Evangelist Matthew signed, “Rf,” which in Latin is an abbreviation essentially meaning “Rembrandt made.”

In the item description, the seller has called upon the opinions of two professors to attest to the painting’s veracity—but both writers seem skeptical of the authenticity of the painting. At the very least, including written statements in which both experts express their doubts appears to be a bold move on the part of the seller.

Jean-Marie Clarke, an art historian who has been working with Rembrandt works for thirty years wrote that “the old man’s face is too well painted to be by the young Rembrandt, who, around 1630, was still working toward an accurate rendition of the human likeness.” This contradicts the format of the signature, which looks more like the autograph of a younger Rembrandt.  A second art historian, Gary Schwartz was more upfront: “The painting does not seem to have the quality that would convince art historians and collectors that it was made by Rembrandt. However, it is not un-interesting.”

As one can imagine, an offer has yet to be placed.



Author:Henry Kaye

Thanks, Wikipedia: Happy Birthday to Marcel Duchamp!

Post image for Thanks, Wikipedia: Happy Birthday to Marcel Duchamp!


Marcel Duchamp as his female alter ego, Rrose Sélavy

Happy birthday, Marcel Duchamp! In honor of the famed Dadaist, who would have turned 127 today, our second installment of “Thanks, Wikipedia” is a selection of rarely discussed facts on the artist, all found in Wikipedia.


Teeny and Marcel Duchamp

  • Alexina “Teeny” Duchamp, the third, and final, of Duchamp’s wives. She first met Duchamp in 1923, at a ball thrown in her honor. Duchamp was not Alexina’s only art historical-romance: her first husband was Pierre Matisse, Henri Matisse’s son, but the couple divorced after Matisse cheated on Alexina.
  • The Dimensionist Manifesto—while the history of modernist art is full of manifestos (see: Futurism, Dada, and Surrealism), not all of them have made it into the textbooks. Published in 1936 by Charles Sirato, a French poet and writer, the Dimensionist Manifesto advocated for “the artistic conquest of four-dimensional space, which to date has been completely art-free.” The manifesto was signed by Marcel Duchamp, as well as other well-known artists of the time (such as Francis Picabia, Lázló Moholy-Nagy, and Alexander Calder).
  • Marcel was not the only Duchamp to pursue the arts: his brother Raymond Duchamp-Villon was a cubist sculptor, while siblings Jacques Villon and Suzanne Duchamp were painters. For a wedding present to Suzanne Duchamp and her husband Jean Crotti, Duchamp sent a set of instructions for a readymade: a geometry textbook suspended outside between two tables.
  • Art historian Arturo Schwarz, a friend of Duchamp, published a catalogué raisonne of the artist’s works in 1967 titled “The Complete Works of Marcel Duchamp.” One of the book’s theories is that an unconscious incestuous desire for Duchamp’s sister Suzanne was a driving force behind some of Duchamp’s artworks, including his famous piece The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even. While the controversial theory appears to have been omitted from Schwarz’s Wikipedia page, this was too interesting not to include.


    Duchamp’s Why Not Sneeze, Rose Sélavy?

  • Lastly, a quote by André Breton about Duchamp’s readymade Why Not Sneeze, Rose Sélavy?:

I have in mind the occasion when Marcel Duchamp got hold of some friends to show them a cage which seemed to have no birds in it, but to be half-full of lumps of sugar. He asked them to lift the cage and they were surprised at its heaviness. What they had taken for lumps of sugar were really small lumps of marble which at great expense Duchamp had had sawn up specially for the purpose. The trick in my opinion is no worse than any other, and I would even say that it is worth nearly all the tricks of art put together.



Author:Andrew Wagner

The Met Is Very Popular, But Not as Popular as Disneyland

Post image for The Met Is Very Popular, But Not as Popular as Disneyland

Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Online

Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Met just announced its visitor figures for last year—over 6.2 million men, women, and children trekked out to the largest museum in the United States. Those figures let the Met’s rank stand steady as the third most visited museum in the world, right behind the British Museum in London and the Louvre in Paris. Yay, the masses like art! Perhaps the art world should feel flattered that it has so many fans?

Well, let’s hold off on the champagne and caprese tomato bites while we remember that humanity’s tourists prefer a wide variety of other, more patriotic and commercial locales like:

  • The Great Wall of China (10 million visitors)
  • The Las Vegas Strip (39.7 million visitors)
  • Niagara Falls (22.5 million visitors)
  • Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Orlando (17.5 million visitors)
  • Disneyland Park, Anaheim (16 million visitors)
  • The Eiffel Tower (6.9 million visitors)
  • Lotte World, Seoul (6.4 million visitors)
  • Navy Pier, Chicago (9.2 million visitors)
  • Forbidden City, Beijing (15.3 million visitors)
  • Notre Dame Cathedral (13.7 million visitors)

Okay, so it’s not that surprising that people prefer Mickey to Matisse. For as much stock as we put into the numbers game (which, here at AFC, is very little because we are not BuzzFeed), the Met is still winning—it has about as many visitors at the Eiffel Tower, and beats out stateside attractions like the Statue of Liberty (4 million visitors) and Graceland (600,000 visitors). Oh, and every other museum in New York. Boooooom.


Author:Corinna Kirsch

A Glossary of Hand Gestures

Critical Gestures
If you’ve watched any sort of election in the past decade, you know that political grandstanding has moved to the extremities, mainly in the form of the hand gesture. While you may not agree with their politics, you’ve probably seen Obama’s firm “get the point across” fist wagging, and Michele Bachmann’s wild gesticulations, which may be among the best in Washington.

Today’s GIF of the day comes from “A Glossary of Hand Gestures” by artists Jasmine Johnson  and Alice May Williams. In it, a variety of hand gestures are shown in GIF form, each one meant to help an intellectual out in different critical situations like “when explaining hierarchies” or “when making a very fine distinction.” Statements beneath the GIFs describe the gestures in a very straightforward, tongue-in-cheek way, which makes the site seem like flashcards for aspiring intellectuals and politicians. It pokes fun at grandstanding while all the while being silly and slightly biting.

Budding politicians, philosophers, and academics, read up!



Author:Henry Kaye

Photos Show NYPD Officer Putting Pregnant Woman In Apparent Chokehold

Photos Show NYPD Officer Putting Pregnant Woman In Apparent Chokehold

Despite a 1993 ban on chokeholds by the NYPD and all the media attention that Eric Garner’s death has amassed (along with other instances of police misconduct over the past few days), photos surfaced from this weekend that appear to show yet another cop using the prohibited tactic and this time it was on a woman who is seven months pregnant. According to police, Rosan Miller, 27, and her family were grilling food on the sidewalk in East New York and then some sort of confrontation ensued. The Daily News reports:

Officers went to the home over the weekend because Miller was grilling on a public sidewalk in violation of local law, cops said. But a melee broke out that ended with her, her brother and husband all in handcuffs.

The brother, John Miller, was charged with harassment and obstruction of justice. Her husband, Moses Miller, 34, was charged with resisting arrest and obstruction. Rosan Miller got a summons for disorderly conduct.

Internal Affairs is reportedly investigating the incident.

(Photos: People Organizing and Working for Empowerment and Respect)

The post Photos Show NYPD Officer Putting Pregnant Woman In Apparent Chokehold appeared first on ANIMAL.


Author:Bucky Turco

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