Archive for July 2011

Why Write about Forever Marilyn?

Why Write about Forever Marilyn?
It’s uncomfortable to be informed of an unnoticed or unseen bias.  The first reaction could be resentment: There’s nothing wrong with me, there must be something wrong with you! Another reaction is dismissal: Lighten up, it’s not a big deal. It’s true. J. Seward Johnson’s Forever Marilyn is negligible, it’s a bulky piece of sculpture that... Read more »

Forget "Forever Marilyn"-Chicago has Better

In the hubbub surrounding the installation of J. Seward Johnson’s Forever Marilyn, it’s important to remember that Chicago is home to much better art and artists. If you are checking out (pun intended) Forever Marilyn, you must visit Millennium Park.  As I expressed last night on WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight,” Millennium Park has public art that is... Read more »

Before "Forever Marilyn," Sculptor Did Hardcore Porn

Before Forever Marilyn was plopped down in Chicago, in 2010 it came to light that J. Seward Johnson had six giant sculptures fabricated (supposedly) of the brother of the Sultan of Brunei in various explicit sexual positions, picked out from the Kama Sutra. (As a spokesperson for Johnson stated, the Kama Sutra sex positions are... Read more »
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Giant Marilyn Monroe is Creepy, Sexist

Photo: E. Jason Wambsgans, Chicago Tribune / July 12, 2011
If the last two J. Seward Johnson sculptures have just been simply bad, Johnson’s latest kitsch-extravaganza to occupy Pioneer Plaza is downright creepy and sexist.  It’s a giant Marilyn Monroe holding down her dress from the famous subway scene in “The Seven Year Itch” (1955).  Move to the rear and you get a view of... Read more »

Polly Ullrich: 1950-2011

Polly Ullrich: 1950-2011
I was saddened again last week when I learned that Polly Ullrich, a long-time Chicago art critic, had passed away suddenly after being involved in a car accident in Wisconsin.  As our friends at Bad at Sports note, she is already missed. I first met Polly shortly after an exhibition pairing artists and art critics... Read more »

Cy Twombly: 1928-2011

Cy Twombly: 1928-2011
            Cy Twombly died in a hospital in Rome on July 5th, according to Gagosian Gallery, his gallery representation.  The artist was 83. The New York Times obituary described Twombly as “a divisive artist almost from the start,” a description I would have to agree with.  I even find myself... Read more »
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