Monthly Archives: June 2015

Wednesday 06/24 2015
The Phantom Drafting of Arvydas Sabonis

“The pick was made in a time of media and scouting opacity that is difficult to comprehend three decades after the fact; there were still, to paraphrase Conrad, blank spaces in the scout’s maps, and none promised such riches—or showed, in crimson flashes, such tantalizing riches—as the Soviet Union. Atlanta was the first NBA team to recognize the potential of foreign players, taking the first and second ever international draftees in 1970, Mexican Manuel Raga and Italian Dino Meneghin, and their drafting of Sabonis in 1985, while considered a bit of a grasp, seeing as how the Soviet machine was loathe to let their superstars go, actually fit in well with the club’s cosmopolitan leanings.”

Read the rest at VICE Sports

Tuesday 06/23 2015
A Sense of Balance

“Paul Rodriguez is set to headline what may be the most elaborate skate movie ever made.

Spanning continents and directed by skate auteur Ty Evans, fully crewed and accoutered with the latest state-of-the art cameras, a van outfitted with video mounts designed for helicopters, a fleet of drones—replete with specially trained pilots—and the royal largesse of a Middle Eastern prince, We Are Blood seems to hew closer to Hollywood-style motion pictures than the collection-of-vignettes, album-like skate videos that get played for inspiration before a mission or to stave off winter, wind, and rain. Its preview trailer looks something like Yeah Right! or Fully Flared or Pretty Sweet, films wherein the aesthetic, vis-a-vis the presentation of the tricks, was almost as important as the tricks themselves. ButWe Are Blood has an obvious thematic thread, that of skateboarding as an internationally recognized culture, demonstrating disproportionately shredded front toes of shoes as lingua franca for a cosmopolitan, honest-to-God culture.”

Read the rest at VICE Sports

Friday 06/19 2015
Kill the Rabbit

“Paul is of a certain class of artist, among them the Vignellis, Saul Bass, and Jerry Dior, whose works find themselves entrenched on either side of the hotly contested DMZ which separates commercial art, over there, from fine art, over here; Hard Heads is exceedingly—almost self-consciously?—in the camp of the later, so far in fine art, at least in spirit and distance from that universal lagomorph, that it is in the hidden nods—or at least perceived hidden nods—to his commercial heritage that some of the greatest pleasures of the exhibition are found. The aforementioned colored pencil clinic demonstrates, in no small way, the bespoke suite of talents a man who has worked in magazines must acquire; so, too, do his skeleton-less ink drawings, which seem to contain no pencil guides and in their lacking take on a kind of innervating recklessness, the furious and free works of a man who has no desire for the structures and strictures he so wonderfully worked betwixt, and see how he can run across the void? Even the very papers themselves are completely debrided of all uniformity, their spines ripped out; some are plucked like feathers from his sketchbooks, others on pieces of paper of irregular size—one hopes he just plucked them from the trash or the scraps on his desk!—with the frames fitting them like daddy’s dress shoes.”

Read the rest of my review of famed Playboy art director Art Paul’s UIMA exhibition at New American Paintings

Monday 06/15 2015
Big Game Dressing: Inside the World of Playoff Pop Sculpture

“The sweaters and ball caps and helmets all come from one place, as it happens: a rather nondescript but massive workshop-cum-wonderland on Chicago’s Goose Island. A highly built up sliver of land—which smells, depending on which way the wind blows, of exhaust and slow river urban stink or spearmint from the nearby Wrigley plant—Goose Island is the home of Chicago Scenic Studios, which is one of those places that churns out art, commerce, and spectacle in equal measure.

Chicago Scenic is impressive in scope. It lives in a former factory—supposedly for tanks during World War II—of massive, high ceilinged chambers, god boxes which seem to stretch indefinitely. The abyssal spaces are divided into workable sections via archipelagos of work desks and ad hoc walls of stacked-high piping, lumber, and angle metal. It is a place of endless material and paint and plastic and sparks. A massive crane, seaport-grade, crowns the main chamber.”

Read the rest at VICE Sports

Friday 06/5 2015
Beastly Love

” [Sophie] McManus does not fear to let such seemingly cancerous things as money or medicine or measured love act as her story’s heroes; it is an unromantic portrayal of love’s shortcomings which she regularly stands, from the novel’s first page to its last, across from the beast’s great power, allowing her portrait of the titular unfortunates, those who cease to be suspended properly between the two.”

Read the rest of my review of Sophie McManus’ The Unfortunates at Paste Magazine

Monday 06/1 2015
Generation Knife

“The obvious overuse culprits are baseball, basketball, and football, the American holy sporting triad; the unnatural and violent throwing motions common in baseball, in particular, lead to unstable shoulders, pushed-to-their-limit rotator cuffs, and frayed and torn ulnal collateral (elbow) ligament requiring Tommy John before hitting high school. Growing bodies are ill-equipped for the constant battering of endless lay-up lines and deep post heaves.

Less common culprits include the anterior crucial ligament (ACL) shredding sports of skiing, soccer, and lacrosse—especially amongst female participants—and lower profile throwing sports like the javelin, wherein an athlete’s body basically becomes a flail, an event feared enough that 36 states do not hold NFHS-sanctioned high school javelin competitions. The rise of specialization means that these team sports children are now beginning to be injured in ways that before only their peers in individual sports like gymnastics and dancing—where specialization has long been de riguer—have been.”

Read the rest at VICE Sports