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 Post subject: Re: Mood Swings
PostPosted: Fri December 6th, 2013, 14:34 GMT 
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Dada, Dali, Warhol, Dylan, all in an effort to remove authenticity in order to celebrate it, is this the argument?

laughter as artistic peak experience
vs gloomy pondering
vs lusty pleasure in color, form
vs loving gaze at craft and subject


the gangster doors to me are the first 'historic' pieces he's done and ironically they aren't being discussed.

Fetish is a big theme in Bob's work and finally the doors release the weight of the term from its carnality

how's that for high priced words for shot up old doors!

but yea, i was surprised when i saw just two of them in twitter photos, how affecting the concept was, totally surprised me,

i'd been wondering what bob had meant when i first heard the concept, when POW. i'll go find those photos...


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Swings
PostPosted: Fri December 6th, 2013, 14:38 GMT 
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MMD wrote:
The ugliness of the pieces isn't just a critique of "traditionally beautiful art" or of the prestige and aesthetic environment of the gallery. Their value, such as it is, lies in precisely their ugliness, dumbness and crassness.


Image

I think that some of the paintings are more than that. Art News: Jackson Pollock may be ugly and crass — but it's not dumb. The blurbs state "Jackson Pollock breaks through with new type of painting" and "Art critics are dumbfounded with his new style, Don't know what to make of it".

Dylan has cast famous charlatan Ted Serios as Pollock. Serios gained notoriety in the 60's for his claims of being able to project his thoughts onto film, in what were called "thoughograpghs." The photo of Serios used in the painting was part of a profile that ran in Life magazine.

Serios' fantastic claims were taken seriously by some, to the dismay of skeptics and magicians. In an interview Martin Gardner once said, "I don't think a knowledge of magic is important in countering paranormal claims, except in connection with self-styled psychics who claim extraordinary paranormal powers. Such psychics use methods which have in common the methods of magicians. A man can be a great scientist, or a greater writer, and be so easily fooled by simple methods of deception that his opinions about extraordinary claims of psi powers are utterly worthless. Conan Doyle, for example, would never have believed in the genuineness of spirit mediums who levitate tables and themselves, float trumpets, produce visible spirits of the dead, exude ectoplasm through their noses, and so on, if he had had even the most superficial training in the methods of conjuring. The parapsychologists who once took Ted Serios and others like him seriously would have been spared their embarrassments had they known anything about magic. A knowledgeable magician, watching these 'psychics' perform on stage, knows at once how they obtain their wonders. It is a scandal that even today so few parapsychologists think it worthwhile to study the methods of magicians before they test a psychic who performs incredible feats, then publish papers testifying to the genuineness of the psychic’s powers."

So when I look at that painting I'm thinking about art criticism in general, criticism of Pollock's work, the notion of Dylan commenting on Pollock's (he's painted him as a famous con artist), Dylan commenting on the criticism of his own paintings - as well as Dylan commenting on charlatanism, and the response of skeptics and magicians to the claims of Ted Serios. I'm thinking of Dylan as knowledgeable magician. "Dumbness" doesn't come to mind at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Swings
PostPosted: Fri December 6th, 2013, 15:07 GMT 
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Bob Dylan Revisionist Art Catalogue online:

http://www.halcyongallery.com/catalogue ... -catalogue


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Swings
PostPosted: Fri December 6th, 2013, 20:45 GMT 
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scottw wrote:
MMD wrote:
The ugliness of the pieces isn't just a critique of "traditionally beautiful art" or of the prestige and aesthetic environment of the gallery. Their value, such as it is, lies in precisely their ugliness, dumbness and crassness.


Image

I think that some of the paintings are more than that. Art News: Jackson Pollock may be ugly and crass — but it's not dumb. The blurbs state "Jackson Pollock breaks through with new type of painting" and "Art critics are dumbfounded with his new style, Don't know what to make of it".

Dylan has cast famous charlatan Ted Serios as Pollock. Serios gained notoriety in the 60's for his claims of being able to project his thoughts onto film, in what were called "thoughograpghs." The photo of Serios used in the painting was part of a profile that ran in Life magazine.

Serios' fantastic claims were taken seriously by some, to the dismay of skeptics and magicians. In an interview Martin Gardner once said, "I don't think a knowledge of magic is important in countering paranormal claims, except in connection with self-styled psychics who claim extraordinary paranormal powers. Such psychics use methods which have in common the methods of magicians. A man can be a great scientist, or a greater writer, and be so easily fooled by simple methods of deception that his opinions about extraordinary claims of psi powers are utterly worthless. Conan Doyle, for example, would never have believed in the genuineness of spirit mediums who levitate tables and themselves, float trumpets, produce visible spirits of the dead, exude ectoplasm through their noses, and so on, if he had had even the most superficial training in the methods of conjuring. The parapsychologists who once took Ted Serios and others like him seriously would have been spared their embarrassments had they known anything about magic. A knowledgeable magician, watching these 'psychics' perform on stage, knows at once how they obtain their wonders. It is a scandal that even today so few parapsychologists think it worthwhile to study the methods of magicians before they test a psychic who performs incredible feats, then publish papers testifying to the genuineness of the psychic’s powers."

So when I look at that painting I'm thinking about art criticism in general, criticism of Pollock's work, the notion of Dylan commenting on Pollock's (he's painted him as a famous con artist), Dylan commenting on the criticism of his own paintings - as well as Dylan commenting on charlatanism, and the response of skeptics and magicians to the claims of Ted Serios. I'm thinking of Dylan as knowledgeable magician. "Dumbness" doesn't come to mind at all.


By "dumb" I obviously don't mean poorly conceived (since I've attributed a sophisticated parody to them). I mean the puns and visual jokes are mostly crass and childish. The puerile "sperm bank" gag, the baby jokes. The sophistication plays against those "playful" and seemingly silly gags.

I think they are dark, conceptually cutting pieces.

I don't think their value lies in the traditional anti-gallery quality or merely in the humor that sits on the surface.

And beyond the layers you've identified in your post, I think there is a disdain for consumer capitalism and consumer capitalist culture (including the audience) that is particularly intense.

And thanks as ever for the explication of that piece.


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Swings
PostPosted: Fri December 6th, 2013, 22:08 GMT 
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scottw wrote:
MMD wrote:
The ugliness of the pieces isn't just a critique of "traditionally beautiful art" or of the prestige and aesthetic environment of the gallery. Their value, such as it is, lies in precisely their ugliness, dumbness and crassness.


Image

I think that some of the paintings are more than that. Art News: Jackson Pollock may be ugly and crass — but it's not dumb. The blurbs state "Jackson Pollock breaks through with new type of painting" and "Art critics are dumbfounded with his new style, Don't know what to make of it".

Dylan has cast famous charlatan Ted Serios as Pollock. Serios gained notoriety in the 60's for his claims of being able to project his thoughts onto film, in what were called "thoughograpghs." The photo of Serios used in the painting was part of a profile that ran in Life magazine.

Serios' fantastic claims were taken seriously by some, to the dismay of skeptics and magicians. In an interview Martin Gardner once said, "I don't think a knowledge of magic is important in countering paranormal claims, except in connection with self-styled psychics who claim extraordinary paranormal powers. Such psychics use methods which have in common the methods of magicians. A man can be a great scientist, or a greater writer, and be so easily fooled by simple methods of deception that his opinions about extraordinary claims of psi powers are utterly worthless. Conan Doyle, for example, would never have believed in the genuineness of spirit mediums who levitate tables and themselves, float trumpets, produce visible spirits of the dead, exude ectoplasm through their noses, and so on, if he had had even the most superficial training in the methods of conjuring. The parapsychologists who once took Ted Serios and others like him seriously would have been spared their embarrassments had they known anything about magic. A knowledgeable magician, watching these 'psychics' perform on stage, knows at once how they obtain their wonders. It is a scandal that even today so few parapsychologists think it worthwhile to study the methods of magicians before they test a psychic who performs incredible feats, then publish papers testifying to the genuineness of the psychic’s powers."

So when I look at that painting I'm thinking about art criticism in general, criticism of Pollock's work, the notion of Dylan commenting on Pollock's (he's painted him as a famous con artist), Dylan commenting on the criticism of his own paintings - as well as Dylan commenting on charlatanism, and the response of skeptics and magicians to the claims of Ted Serios. I'm thinking of Dylan as knowledgeable magician. "Dumbness" doesn't come to mind at all.


Another terrific excavation pays off here. Thanks scottw.

I think 'intentional dumbness' plays a large part in these pieces, including the puns, the overall obviousness of many of the jokes or observations and the kind of crappy/cheesy visual effect. They were obviously not meant to be sophisticated visually. Much of Richard Prince's work has the same intentionally sloppy, 'poorly constructed' quality. The fact that they're being exhibited by Gagosian (who also exhibits Richard Prince), considered by many the most financially hyped-up gallerist in the business, makes Dylan's implied points about art, commerce and various top-market artists (Van Gogh and Pollock are two of the most highly priced artists in the art auction market) all the more 'meta.'


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Swings
PostPosted: Fri December 6th, 2013, 22:18 GMT 
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My Echo, My Shadow And Me wrote:
Johanna Parker wrote:
When I was at the gallery recently for my guided tour, I was told that the Revisionist Art catalogue was in fact coming out, but that it wasn't ready yet and that they would keep me informed on when it will be available. They have given contradictory information in the past, so I hope there's still going to be an actual book.


When I was there last week they showed me a printed pre-release copy of the new Revisionist Art catalogue and told me it would soon be available for sale.


I think that happened for the Asia show as well. Initially hard copies were limited to the gallery then went online for sale to the world not long after.


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Swings
PostPosted: Fri December 6th, 2013, 23:05 GMT 
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^
Yes, I remember that was quite difficult to get.
In fact, Halcyon sell non of the books they have at the gallery via their online store (yet) - see my post above. I'm glad I bought the available books when I was there. The new Drawn Blank Series catalogue is beautiful.


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Swings
PostPosted: Fri December 6th, 2013, 23:24 GMT 
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I can't keep up with all the art projects he's got going on. When was the new Drawn Blank book published? I'm not sure if that's the one that came with my print, which I bought at the end of the summer.


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Swings
PostPosted: Fri December 6th, 2013, 23:55 GMT 
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BostonAreaBobFan wrote:
I can't keep up with all the art projects he's got going on. When was the new Drawn Blank book published? I'm not sure if that's the one that came with my print, which I bought at the end of the summer.


Just recently, together with the Mood Swings book. I'll post a photo later.


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Swings
PostPosted: Fri December 6th, 2013, 23:58 GMT 
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SCOTT, HEP ME - I AGREE YOU ARE CORRECT HE IS A MAGUS - JUST WHAT IS THE POINT- beyond the point- beyond the point?
TO PROVE HE AND HIS PRINCELY FRIENDS - AND THOSE WHO ARE COOL ENOUGH TO BUY THESE ARE COOLER THAN US?

or is is that he knows there are a lot of scuzzy rich people that would love disgusting work for their walls, he is just trying to give it to them, like pitifully, affectionately.

bob's art is being many things to many people and giving them little treasures to take home along the way...

and Bob is a hell's angel right, so maybe he is just another son of anarchy, and the dylan thing - that is the Ruse.

but if he does believe in the magical arts - why would he present only the con artists that pose as them?
-- fairy dust, remember in 2006, he liked sprinkling that over the front rows - and one person there reported he thought it was to mock the people , and i never could decide on that one, whether he was having fun at other's expense.

but then in the ancient arts, it is Confounding itself that IS the MAGICAL ART. remember Babel and all.

i want him to make fun of the Dylan guy, then i'll believe the magic.


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Swings
PostPosted: Sat December 7th, 2013, 00:25 GMT 
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Mockery of the persona 'Bob Dylan' might be implied in his mockery of cheap, sleazy celebrity in the magazine covers. It's not entirely clear to me if he's doing that - you'd have to know his intentions to know that for sure. But he's made fun of himself too many times to mention, so I wouldn't rule it out.

I can't speak for what Scott is doing but sometimes explication of Dylan's source material is just fun. "You may call me Bobby you may call me Zimmy you may call me RJ you may call me Ray" - the "RJ/Ray" thing is dialog from a cheesy tv commercial than ran in Los Angeles in 1977. Those of us who recognized the source when "Gotta Serve Somebody" was released loved it that he embedded a reference to the all too ubiquitous commercial in a song of some serious import. That Dylan loves to reference his multiple selves, incarnations and names, and appeared to be doing so in quoting the commercial, was just gravy.


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Swings
PostPosted: Sat December 7th, 2013, 00:31 GMT 
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BostonAreaBobFan wrote:
When was the new Drawn Blank book published? I'm not sure if that's the one that came with my print, which I bought at the end of the summer.


Image

Image


Here it is. It has the sketches, some previously seen colorways and some that were entirely new to me, plus some new text - though only one new Bob quote. They also have it as a limited edition that comes with some prints of his pencil sketches, and a signature...

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Swings
PostPosted: Sat December 7th, 2013, 00:50 GMT 
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Yes. That's quite a handsome text. And the limited edition certainly drives up both the exchange- and sign-value. Very fine.


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Swings
PostPosted: Sat December 7th, 2013, 00:52 GMT 
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bobschool wrote:
SCOTT, HEP ME - I AGREE YOU ARE CORRECT HE IS A MAGUS - JUST WHAT IS THE POINT- beyond the point- beyond the point?
TO PROVE HE AND HIS PRINCELY FRIENDS - AND THOSE WHO ARE COOL ENOUGH TO BUY THESE ARE COOLER THAN US?

or is is that he knows there are a lot of scuzzy rich people that would love disgusting work for their walls, he is just trying to give it to them, like pitifully, affectionately.

bob's art is being many things to many people and giving them little treasures to take home along the way...

and Bob is a hell's angel right, so maybe he is just another son of anarchy, and the dylan thing - that is the Ruse.

but if he does believe in the magical arts - why would he present only the con artists that pose as them?
-- fairy dust, remember in 2006, he liked sprinkling that over the front rows - and one person there reported he thought it was to mock the people , and i never could decide on that one, whether he was having fun at other's expense.

but then in the ancient arts, it is Confounding itself that IS the MAGICAL ART. remember Babel and all.

i want him to make fun of the Dylan guy, then i'll believe the magic.


Both of your posts about what you think is going on are provocative and have me intrigued. Any chance you lay your ideas out a little more fully? I especially wonder about your taken the gates. Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Swings
PostPosted: Sat December 7th, 2013, 00:58 GMT 
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Johanna Parker wrote:
BostonAreaBobFan wrote:
When was the new Drawn Blank book published? I'm not sure if that's the one that came with my print, which I bought at the end of the summer.


Image

Image


Here it is. It has the sketches, some previously seen colorways and some that were entirely new to me, plus some new text - though only one new Bob quote. They also have it as a limited edition that comes with some prints of his pencil sketches, and a signature...

Image


Thanks, mine must be the volume just previous to that edition.


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Swings
PostPosted: Sat December 7th, 2013, 01:04 GMT 
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What do these sell for? Either new or resale?


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Swings
PostPosted: Sat December 7th, 2013, 01:18 GMT 
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MMD wrote:
What do these sell for? Either new or resale?


The signed limited edition is 450 GBP (that's the copy that was on display at the gallery in the photo). Just the books without the prints and signature was 40 GBP.


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Swings
PostPosted: Sat December 7th, 2013, 01:20 GMT 
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BostonAreaBobFan wrote:
Thanks, mine must be the volume just previous to that edition.


The white one with Train Tracks on the cover?

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Swings
PostPosted: Sat December 7th, 2013, 02:00 GMT 
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Yeah, that's the one. When I bought my print this summer, the gallery sent me a copy of the book along.


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Swings
PostPosted: Sat December 7th, 2013, 03:21 GMT 
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bobschool wrote:
...if he does believe in the magical arts - why would he present only the con artists that pose as them?

Dylan does present magicians in his work in a number of ways. For instance, he plays poker with Ricky Jay in the TV spot for "Love and Theft" and Penn Jillette appeared on Theme Time Radio Hour a number of times. Dylan writes about reading one of Harry Lorayne's books in Chronicles: Volume One. Besides being a memory expert Lorayne is also a noted card magician, and a quintessential New York character. Here's a fun clip of Loranye: http://youtu.be/8YwMoeOdGzE


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Swings
PostPosted: Sat December 7th, 2013, 09:46 GMT 
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scottw wrote:
MMD wrote:
The ugliness of the pieces isn't just a critique of "traditionally beautiful art" or of the prestige and aesthetic environment of the gallery. Their value, such as it is, lies in precisely their ugliness, dumbness and crassness.


Image

I think that some of the paintings are more than that. Art News: Jackson Pollock may be ugly and crass — but it's not dumb. The blurbs state "Jackson Pollock breaks through with new type of painting" and "Art critics are dumbfounded with his new style, Don't know what to make of it".

Dylan has cast famous charlatan Ted Serios as Pollock. Serios gained notoriety in the 60's for his claims of being able to project his thoughts onto film, in what were called "thoughograpghs." The photo of Serios used in the painting was part of a profile that ran in Life magazine.

Serios' fantastic claims were taken seriously by some, to the dismay of skeptics and magicians. In an interview Martin Gardner once said, "I don't think a knowledge of magic is important in countering paranormal claims, except in connection with self-styled psychics who claim extraordinary paranormal powers. Such psychics use methods which have in common the methods of magicians. A man can be a great scientist, or a greater writer, and be so easily fooled by simple methods of deception that his opinions about extraordinary claims of psi powers are utterly worthless. Conan Doyle, for example, would never have believed in the genuineness of spirit mediums who levitate tables and themselves, float trumpets, produce visible spirits of the dead, exude ectoplasm through their noses, and so on, if he had had even the most superficial training in the methods of conjuring. The parapsychologists who once took Ted Serios and others like him seriously would have been spared their embarrassments had they known anything about magic. A knowledgeable magician, watching these 'psychics' perform on stage, knows at once how they obtain their wonders. It is a scandal that even today so few parapsychologists think it worthwhile to study the methods of magicians before they test a psychic who performs incredible feats, then publish papers testifying to the genuineness of the psychic’s powers."

So when I look at that painting I'm thinking about art criticism in general, criticism of Pollock's work, the notion of Dylan commenting on Pollock's (he's painted him as a famous con artist), Dylan commenting on the criticism of his own paintings - as well as Dylan commenting on charlatanism, and the response of skeptics and magicians to the claims of Ted Serios. I'm thinking of Dylan as knowledgeable magician. "Dumbness" doesn't come to mind at all.


As always, scott, your investigations are fascinating and illuminating.

I do want to say, though, that your reading of the image/text doesn't run counter to the claims I making. I think despite the relatively difficult puzzle you've apparently solved, the ideas being conveyed by that puzzle aren't particularly complex or sophisticated: they are gags about charlatans where Pollock and a relatively obscure charlatan are placed in tension. The split regarding the value of modern art -- that it is fakery or that it is epoch-changingly profound -- is at this point trite. It has long been the subject of modern art itself.

So, the Pollock gag isn't interesting because is says something profound about art, art criticism or even charlatanism. It's way of being interesting and compelling lies in the crass and obscure way that it's executed. Comparing Pollock and/or art critics to absurd con men like Serio is interesting because the image that is crucial to getting the joke (Serio) isn't instantly recognizable. Serio may be know to some demographic, but Dylan isn't working with the kind of iconic images Warhol used to make similar points with greater depth and to greater effect. The hard work required by Dylan's images here isn't understanding the complex idea being conveyed, it's tracking down the obscure, low-culture, references. There is, no doubt, great humor and real historical texture created by choosing this kind of low-culture, relatively obscure symbol, but in the end the reference serves relatively simple and well-explored ideas.

I think the more profound aspect of these works lies in their confrontation with mass-culture, consumerism and irony. And I think there is, beyond the gags about modern art and modern art critics, a lot of disdain for the way audiences engage with art and culture. I really do think that there is something overtly dark in the way Dylan is confronting the audiences that are buying (in all kinds of ways) the work of Damien Hirst. Dylan, though, isn't being precious about the same kind of gags as Hirst. Hirst's pretension is maybe one of Dylan's targets too.

I'm saying that I think there is something being said about the way consuming art operates in the same way shopping at a supermarket does -- in the references to tabloids and grocery store magazines -- or that it is a kind of vanity exercise -- thinking here of the references to cosmetic surgery -- seem to be aimed less at the critics and gallery owners and more at the audiences.


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Swings
PostPosted: Sat December 7th, 2013, 11:13 GMT 
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BostonAreaBobFan wrote:
Yeah, that's the one. When I bought my print this summer, the gallery sent me a copy of the book along.


Ah yes... that's the one I need to replace. Mine was completely damaged in a shelf-collapsing-from-too-many-Dylan-art-books accident.


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Swings
PostPosted: Sat December 7th, 2013, 14:16 GMT 
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MMD wrote:
Serio may be know to some demographic, but Dylan isn't working with the kind of iconic images Warhol used to make similar points with greater depth and to greater effect. The hard work required by Dylan's images here isn't understanding the complex idea being conveyed, it's tracking down the obscure, low-culture, references. There is, no doubt, great humor and real historical texture created by choosing this kind of low-culture, relatively obscure symbol, but in the end the reference serves relatively simple and well-explored ideas.

The demographic that recognizes Ted Serios on sight is magicians. The use of his photo is instant shorthand, no digging needed. Charlatanism is what magicians talk about — all the time. Magicians, because of what they do, are often very outspoken skeptics.

The case of Ted Serios came to a head when he and Dr. Jule Eisenbud appeared with magician James Randi on The Today Show on October 4, 1967. Eisenbud is a psychiatrist who believed that Serios actually had the ability to project his thoughts onto film and he wrote a ridiculous book about it making wild claims. Randi demonstrated that it is quite easy to replicate the trick that Serios was using to claim these powers.

Randi details the encounter in his book The Truth About Uri Geller. In Randi's book An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural the entry on thoughtography includes, "If Mr. Serios did not use a trick method, all the rules of physics, particularly of optics, everything developed by science over the past several centuries, must be rewritten to accommodate Eisenbud's opinion. No such revisions have been found necessary."

It is important to understand that James Randi is considered by some to be a guiding light when it comes to calling ridiculous bullshit for what it is.

Frequent Theme Time Radio Hour guest Penn Jillette often proclaims his love for Randi, for instance The New York Times earlier this year asked him "What’s the one book you wish someone else would write?" His answer was, "A great biography of James (Amazing) Randi. I love him too much to do it justice myself. I have no perspective; he created me." http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/08/18/bo ... from=books

On Twitter Penn proclaimed, "If there were no James Randi, there would be no Penn & Teller." https://twitter.com/pennjillette/status ... 2401910784

MMD wrote:
I'm saying that I think there is something being said about the way consuming art operates in the same way shopping at a supermarket does -- in the references to tabloids and grocery store magazines -- or that it is a kind of vanity exercise -- thinking here of the references to cosmetic surgery -- seem to be aimed less at the critics and gallery owners and more at the audiences.

The vantage point of the audience that would be consuming this particular painting is what interested me. I became a student of magic because of my interest in Bob Dylan. The time and focus that I've spent over the years in learning about magic had an impact, in that when I first took a look at that painting I was able to instantly recognize the subject on the cover, and the associated subtext. How I viewed the painting had been changed by the path that thinking about Bob Dylan's work had brought me down. So I'm more taken not so much by the painting, but by how the work of the artist who made the painting had changed who I am standing in front of that painting. That's a good trick.


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Swings
PostPosted: Sat December 7th, 2013, 21:46 GMT 
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Really interesting post, scottw. I think the idea that piece may be commenting on hucksterism, fraud and magic is very intriguing. Thanks again for your work. It's always fascinating, to me anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Mood Swings
PostPosted: Sun December 8th, 2013, 02:02 GMT 
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Location: the home for teenage dirt
Scott -might be something to do with counterfeiting.


"in May 2013, federal authorities announced that a trove of paintings and drawings by artists like Jackson Pollock, Barnett Newman, Robert Motherwell, and Richard Diebenkorn, many of which had been sold through New York's Knoedler Gallery for millions of dollars, were in fact the work of Pei-Shen Qian, a 73 year old painter living in Queens." - Kevin McGarry, W


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