Monthly Archives: October 2015

Friday 10/30 2015
Mini Golf Macabre

“The vast majority of the spooky sounds in the basement emanate from the haunted house of the sixth hole, thigh high and blanched like bone. The only way to the hole is through the house. A partially plucked doll’s head hovers in the window. The carpet around the house bubbles and pulses as if possessed, each step causing gruesome swells in the ground; you are pretty sure this was done on purpose, because the hole is somehow creepy as fuck.

It is your favorite hole.”

Read the rest at VICE Sports

Thursday 10/29 2015
Environmental Impact

“It takes a moment for the eyes to adjust—atavistic mimesis! faux-fear, sympathetic nervous system goosing, the ultimate success of the palette of the night!—and for the wild bereavement of the eyes being divorced from the mind to subside, basic outlines, the context, the color, the safety, to materialize like haints in the gloaming, signposts and sirens demarcating and drawing through the darkness, through midnight and navy blues, still-warm oxblood, unfathomable purples, shadows thick enough to smother, to obfuscate, to kill, great ragged heaping breaths—ribcage expanding gulps—in the brief flashes —royal! the sky? a flower?—which open like false editorial spread irises to provide for the killing of Kurtz and the comforting recognition of shapes, shapes engorged, swollen sweet and suspended, striated like carapaces or the long, primed, puckered muscles of the thigh, like ladders from Pluto, the fat wet tongues of leaves lapping against and pulling the eyes, as if by slow jungle steamer, into and through Nina Rizzo’s Conradian jungle.”

Read the rest of my review of Nina Rizzo’s Linda Warren Projects show You Are Here at New American Paintings

Monday 10/26 2015
Impact Statement

“Which is not to say that anything in here is particularly graphic; in fact, McCann goes to great lengths to bury the brutality—both in the actual writing of the book and, in one memorable instance, notionally within the character. McCann focuses not on the point of impact, but on the fissures from which it spreads by avoiding the easiest, most lusty evocation of beautiful violence—say, Bret Easton Ellis’ delicious horror. If it prevents the violence from truly, deeply, ineffably impacting the reader, so too does it rob the savagery of rhetorical hegemony, the shock preventing an examination of its effects, the same animal excitement with which we cheer action heroes or football players or videogame characters.”

Read the rest of my review of Colum McCann’s Thirteen Ways of Looking at Paste Magazine

Wednesday 10/21 2015
Grabner Scores!

“Her eponymous exhibition at James Cohan Gallery last fall spawned a tempest when New York Times art critic Kevin Johnson appeared to write off the show with strokes broad and base enough to hazard accusations of sexism.

‘Nothing in all this [the exhibition] is more interesting than the unexamined sociological background of the whole,” Johnson wrote in his concluding paragraph. “If the show were a satire of the artist as a comfortably middle-class tenured professor and soccer mom, it would be funny and possibly illuminating, but it’s not.’

In unhinging his jaw to devour the middle class (already an endangered species!) and women in general, rather than Grabner’s work specifically, Johnson made a crucial misstep. He has every right to not like Grabner’s work, of course, but in his generalization—and too-casual tossing off—of the work, Johnson committed the cardinal sin of damning the artist, not the art (and did so incorrectly, at that: Grabner never played soccer, nor was she ever a soccer mom).

All of which makes Grabner’s soccer balls—brightly banded with her signature gingham print—a most pointed sphere indeed.”

Read the rest at VICE Sports

Tuesday 10/13 2015
Strange Fishing Off Newport

“In the beginning, Havemeyer looked to have a fight on his hands, his rod bent double as the prize rapidly took out the line. An experienced and effective angler is a patient one, however, and Havemeyer, a few minutes into the contest, pulled taut and began to to regain line. By about six minutes into the struggle, the Sugar Baron was making slow but steady progress, the reeling in of his prize moving with measured certainty, his rod finally lifting its head from its bowed position, forced genuflection replaced with arched effort.

He pulled against the considerable weight at the end of the line, before finally, after ten minutes of epic contest, his foe emerged from the sea sans fins and gills, its flippers replaced by strikingly pale limbs ending in strangely ineffective paddles, all crowned by a curious and handsome head of hair, a man, a man on the end of the line, on the bottom of the boat, at the Sugar Baron’s feet!

The man was none other than Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont, scion of the Belmont banking family, as in the Stakes, who kept his horse’s stables on the ground floor of his mansion Belcourt, bedding them on white linen embroidered with the family crest. An American playboy—handsome New World Royalty—landed off the coast of Bailey’s Beach like a marlin!”

Read the rest of my article about Gilded Age sports excess at VICE Sports

Monday 10/5 2015
First Responders at the End of the World

“By the time we had arrived in Hell—the rolling thunder of our trucks dying with pops and snarls, hisses, low rumbles, finally falling into lockstep with the eerie silence surrounding us—the sun had humped high enough above Indiana to resemble a dental lamp swaddled in dryer sheets, hot white fuzz obscured by mists both chemical and natural. The fog, opaque and ominous, stood biblically on the floodwaters, which lapped at the half-drowned homes of Boatman Road, each domestic ruin materializing in the reduced visibility like shipwrecks.”

Read the rest of my story about the government’s Apocalypse Simulator, Vibrant Response, at Hazlitt.