The influential "Lord of Lowbrow", The Pizz (born Stephen Pizzurro), passed away in Long Beach on Sunday shortly after posting a final photo to Instagram. He was 57. [more inside]
John Powers (of Star Wars: A New Heap) writes The Future of Art: Rosalind Krauss is a Jedi - "If Krauss is Leia, Le Corbusier is a pretty great candidate for General Tarkin." Star Wars Semiotics - "At HiLobrow we’re wary of structuralist heuristic devices. But we do enjoy tinkering with them — and we’ve noticed that the logical expansion of binary oppositions does help stimulate the imagination. However… does Powers’ square function properly?" A Crisis in Criticism: Star Wars is not Literature, it is an Object. - "Glenn's post is good natured and whip smart - but he's dead wrong. While he is no doubt the superior semiotician ... and I can't hope to outsmart the guy, mine is the better diagram." Star Wars Highbrow: Thesis Antithesis Synthesis - "In addition to describing the square above Glenn's original post also discussed his choices for the cardinal points at some length in terms of a "highbrow-lowbrow-middlebrow-nobrow-hilobrow schema." It is a scheme he has charted elsewhere, admitting that "aesthetic and lifestyle choices aren't entirely independent of social class."" [more inside]
Alex Ross writes for the New Yorker: Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, and the critique of pop culture.
Featuring Jerry Lewis, Gladiator's Connie Nielsen and a score by The Avengers' Alan Silvestri, Par où t'es rentré on t'as pas vu sortir (How did you get in? We didn't see you leave) - available with subtitles on YouTube in its blurry VHS glory (poster 1 2) - is one of the two movies starred by Lewis during his one-year (1984) French career (the other is Retenez-moi ou je fais un malheur also known as the The defective detective). In the early 1980s, after several failures, a bypass surgery and nothwithstanding Scorsese's King of Comedy, Lewis tried to revive his career in the country where he was supposedly beloved: France. Alas, he chose the two worst French directors of the time, Michel Gérard and Philippe Clair, the latter known for cinematic jewels such as the Nazi-themed comedy Le Führer en folie (The crazy Führer), a Warner production that can actually make clowns cry. (all links below potentially and blurrily NSFW) [more inside]
Aria was an art movie/promotional stunt put out by Virgin Media in 1987 with famous directors providing a music-video take on various opera pieces. ( A full review by That Opera Chick). Of particular note is Julien Temple's (Of Earth Girls Are Easy fame) adaptation of Verdi's Rigoletto as a zany, cartoonish, ecstasy-fueled and very 80s farce set at the infamous Madonna Inn. Watch the whole delirious sequence here.
Middlebrow: The Taste That Dare Not Speak Its Name. GQ comes to terms with liking things that are popular.
Steampunk is OK, but I prefer Victorian Lowbrow.
On Tender Hooks: The Art of Isabel Samaras. Often [NSFW] playfully erotic and lightly sly. She does mashups, mischievously marrying classic Old Master paintings and contemporary culture. [more inside]
ASIAN DRILLPOP! Lurid junk culture artifacts from Japan, Korea, Thailand and India. Mostly not safe for work. [more inside]
Melted street signs, Art + Auction = Obama 08, Mr Brainwash's political satire, Amused Loon, Tyler Stout, and Robert Williams's Dream Detective video (parts 1, 2, 3, 4). All adds up to the latest art, courtesy of Juxtapoz magazine.
"I enjoy life most when I have a boner." Lowbrow.com is back after a brief period of downtime. The format is extremely simple -- read one randomly selected Lowbrow Moment, hit reload, read the next one. What's Lowbrow about? It's about hard-earned street wisdom and raunchy sex; it's about drunken violence and heroic feats of masturbation. If your life is particularly Lowbrow, feel free to share, but beware of imitators.
Nick Hornby discusses pop music in this NY Times essay: "Maybe this split is inevitable in any medium where there is real money to be made: it has certainly happened in film, for example, and even literature was a form of pop culture, once upon a time. It takes big business a couple of decades to work out how best to exploit a cultural form; once that has happened, 'that high-low fork in the road' is unavoidable, and the middle way begins to look impossibly daunting. It now requires more bravery than one would ever have thought necessary to try and march straight on, to choose neither the high road nor the low. Who has the nerve to pick up where Dickens or John Ford left off? In other words, who wants to make art that is committed and authentic and intelligent, but that sets out to include, rather than exclude? To do so would run the risk of seeming not only sincere and uncool - a stranger to all notions of postmodernism - but arrogant and vaultingly ambitious as well."
Low Brow is really fun. Sit there and hit the reload button to hear people's tales of woe, misery and wild times. Some pretty funny tales there.