Tag Archives: culture

Notes of an Artistic Mad Man: Art & Celebrity

Above: Guests at James Franco's 'New Film Stills' exhibit at Pace Gallery.
Photo credit: Ella M ; @ellamm12 

…Art and celebrity… The latest newsbreak is Kim Kardasion’s greasy ass is art, as is her daughter’s use of a Hermes bag as a finger-painting canvass and of course everything father, Kanye, does is art after all he is a self-declared artist-god. It’s here to stay whether you like it or not the celebrity’s desire to actually make art whether it be putting a paper bag over your head or playing the kazoo.   It’s all-good, there’s plenty of room for imagination and artistic endeavor to fail or succeed…

…Another celebrity. James Franco, who makes art and other things with facile energy, has recently received a double dose of criticism for his recent show at the Pace gallery. The tag team bullying critics Roberta Smith of the New York Times and Jerry Saltz of New York Magazine, who are also husband and wife, took out their mighty pens not to review Franco’s show but to attack him viciously. Jerry Saltz’s active imagination could come up with nothing more than: “George W. Bush is actually a better artist than James Franco.”? What is sad is I’ve been reading Saltz’s reviews since the Eighties when he worked at the Village Voice. He usually makes sense, enlightening his reader not tearing down the artist, but it seems he has fallen into a brewing caldron of outrageous cynicism that the New York Times critical art staff led by Roberta Smith seems to dabble in. The great Roberta, who I have also been reading since the Eighties is plagued by jealousy fueled by her mediocre appeal. She blows up on Franco conjuring her great critical mind by declaring: “Someone or something make him stop!”    Funny, that’s what I think when I read one of her reviews.   She goes on to one liner us with a final epitaph that Franco is “clueless”. I always thought critics were usually talking about themselves and she hit it on the head with that blast. I’m wondering how those two decided to review Franco? I can see it now: them laying in bed re-reading their tweets to themselves, chortling in their superiority. Saltz says –“I’ll take his head.” Roberta answers – “Good, because I got his balls”…

…Something to look forward to by another celebrity artist is Tim Burton’s movie, Big Eyes, about the painter Margaret Keane, whose paintings of women and children are recognizable by you guessed it, big eyes, really, really big eyes. Her story is fascinating.  Her husband claimed that he was the painter of the “big eyes” phenomenon that had become so popular and valuable. So it was off to court to battle for artistic rights. After much kvetching the judge ordered them both to paint a painting in the courtroom in front of him. Margaret agreed, her husband refused, end of story. Oh for a judge like that on the Supreme Court…

…Finally, after starting this missive with a greasy ass, I’ll leave you with greasy palms as the art world is all a tizzy about record breaking sales at this years auctions, over a billion dollars paid for mostly dead artists’ work. It’s good to be alive for most people but for artists it’s better to be dead…

-C.C. Long (Artistic Mad Man)

C.C. Long: A professional artist and writer for over 20 years. Has been published both in England and the United States. Desire, The Driftwood Review, Flux, Chin, Exit Art, WhiteHot Magazine, Art Nouveau Magazine, The Village Voice, The Thompkins Park Literary Review and the Boston Literary Magazine are just a few of the magazines and literary reviews that has published his works. 

“INVISIBLE” | A Short Film by Christian Jackson [Watch]

Because stories are meant to be shared– a film by writer/director/storyteller Christian Jackson.

INVISIBLE is a glimpse into the life of a homeless man who teeters between his reality and society’s.


INVISIBLE from Christian Jackson on Vimeo.

Christian Jackson is a storyteller. 

He honed his skills working in advertising where he wrote TV commercials and copy for other media before realizing his passion for film. Now he writes films, commercials, short stories, books, and captions for his Instagram photos all while directing commercials and playful films that will bring a little smile to your face. 

Just a little one. 

For more story time with Christian Jackson, visit his portfolio and follow him on Instagram.

Special thanks to Christian for sharing.

Notes of an Artistic Mad Man: Art & Politics

Photo credit: @reinhard_keck

…Art and Politics…since it is the political season we find solace that our government is dysfunctional and will continue to be so until the end of time. And as for the arts, there’s been nothing as excruciatingly embarrassing as John Ashcroft shrouding the “The Spirit of Justice” sculpture because it was topless. I guess he wasn’t a tit man…

…But there are some things that has tethered art and politics together recently besides the constant complaining that the arts in the United States are critically under funded. Who cares? So the Defense department is allocated 800 billion dollars while the arts is allocated about one and half billion dollars. Artists aren’t making aircraft carriers or a vast array of munitions or paying U.S. service men. I would like to point out though that when a great civilization finally dies it is not the battlefields or number of war dead and destruction that is remembered; it is the art and culture of the society that remains to tell the story of that society. The truth is artists should never mix with politicians because they may be mesmerized by all the empty promises and fall into the pit with them. A little dramatic maybe or maybe not…

…And speaking of government controlled art, the North Korean Mansudae Art Studio founded in 1959, employs 4000 workers of which 1000 are artists; it is one of the largest art production studios in the world. They produce all the propaganda art that is needed to control the general populace but they also create real art and some of this is being shown in London this season. It is the first time the art has been shown publically and four North Korean artists have travelled with it. It is the first time they have ever been out of North Korea. One of the artists describing the studio said – ‘It’s a nine to five job but some people get into their work and they’ll stay all night.’. Artistic reverie. freedom that can’t be taken away…

…Iran, has made some news this month, too. Mahmoud Obaidi an Iranian painter sold “Farewell Kiss” at a Sotheby’s auction for a record 65,000 dollars. The most money paid for a modern Iranian piece of art. The painting features a portrait of President Bush encircled by shoes, commemorating the incident on the President’s last trip to Iraq where in his farewell news conference a shoe-throwing assailant targeted him. The President dodged the shoe with a quick duck and weave…

…Finally, back to former President Bush, kudos to Dubya, who started painting when he left the presidency and seems consumed by it? He has given paintings away to various celebrities, including Jay Leno, breaking the great credo of every artist: ‘never give art away’. Free art is never appreciated and always neglected. But it does get me to thinking: what would the world be like now if he would have started painting before he became president…

-C.C. Long (Notes of an Artistic Mad Man)

C.C. Long: A professional artist and writer for over 20 years. Has been published both in England and the United States. Desire, The Driftwood Review, Flux, Chin, Exit Art, WhiteHot Magazine, Art Nouveau Magazine, The Village Voice, The Thompkins Park Literary Review and the Boston Literary Magazine are just a few of the magazines and literary reviews that has published his works. 

Music for defective humans & obsolete robots [Listen]

Just listen…

My name is Airospace and I’m a 23 year old hip hop artist from Washington, D.C. 


To learn more about Airospace and hear more of his music, visit his Soundcloud and Bandcamp, and follow him on Tumblr and Facebook .

Special thanks to Airospace for sharing.


“I fear being predictable, in life and in my art” [Paintings by Seren]

Traveled artist, Seren Moran shares her story.

 I fear being predictable, in life and in my art. 


My life has always been unstable; I have lived with different people in over ten different homes, studied in more than ten different schools, and worked in a variety of places. 

Settled - Unplugged
Settled – Unplugged

I struggle to find comfort and balance while feeling alone and misunderstood. 

Settled - Dormant
Settled – Dormant

I envy stability, but I see ignorance in those who remain stagnant. 

Settled - Ephemeral Glance
Settled – Ephemeral Glance

I’ve never worked well with schedules and plans, and I don’t strategize with my art. I use my impulsiveness as inspiration; my choices are made in the moment, often without a conscious thought.

A Comunidade
A Comunidade

I make deliberate decisions after my intuitive ones. Like dancing, I let my body do the work, moving without thinking. 

Settled - A Penitent Summer-1
Settled – A Penitent Summer

My curiosity drives my impetuousness-a need to face the unknown rather than hide from it. 

Sanguine 1
Sanguine 1

I always felt the necessity to push boundaries, break rules, and I have managed to channel that energy into my art. I am constantly questioning my work and pushing past what is expected. 

Sanguine 6
Sanguine 6

I see painting as being alive, moving in shapes, textures, and special relationships. 

Sanguine 10
Sanguine 10

It can be chaotic or calm, stubborn or uncertain, or everything at once.

Sanguine 18
Sanguine 18

I view my paintings as accurate depictions of my subjects; expressing emotion and honesty to the places and people I paint.


Seren Moran was born in 1989 in Berkeley, California. In 2011, Seren graduated from San Diego State University's Fine Arts Program, with an emphasis in painting. During her junior year of college, Seren studied abroad in the highly competitive art program at the original Leonardo da Vinci School of Art, L'Accademia di Bella Arte, in Florence Italy, where all classes were taught in Italian.  
In 2012, Seren moved to Indaiatuba, Brazil, where she spent 10 months teaching English, learning Portuguese, and painting. There, she painted her Brasil Series which resulted in two exhibitions at a gallery and museum in the State of Sao Paulo. Her current work explores the transition of her returning to the Bay Area.
To see more of Seren’s paintings, visit her website, and follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and IG.
Special thanks to Seren for sharing.



Goldilocks and The Three Bears of Business

You get the anticipated callback and that’s when the questions come firing in; “So, why are you applying for this position? You seem too___.”

Yep, it’s the corporate version of Goldilocks and The Three Bears– this one’s too senior, this one’s too junior, this one’s just right (if you’re lucky).

You would think someone overqualified would go in there like a badass and do an extra damn good job, right? But, HR probably figures you’ll leave once a “higher calling” comes a-callin’– which is most likely true.

Flip the script– now you’re “too junior” (code for, “this person ain’t worked a day in their life”– at least, not at this level).  In this case you would think someone junior would go in bright eyed, energized, and eager to learn, right? Not to mention flexin’ their innate knack for social media (because that’s what we do). But, HR probably sees it as too risky; we rather go with what we know– better safe than sorry!

Now, this time you’re that sweet spot in the middle– not too senior, not too junior– juuust right.

The end.

Wait a minute– there’s a part II. And in this chapter, you’re the Goldilocks making all the decisions around here (well, kinda). We have the responsibility of also choosing which company/employer is the right fit for us. Too stuffy? Stuff it. Too snobby? Slash it. Too geeky? Well, if that’s what you like– then go for it Goldilocks.