Ai Weiwei, Self Portrait, 1987. Inkjet on Fantac Innova Ultra Smooth Gloss. Printed on 20 x 24-inch paper. Courtesy of Three Shadows Photography Art Centre and Chambers Fine Art.

Too good a show to miss, really. Ai Weiwei’s photographs taken in the 1980s are being shown for the first time outside of China. I just wrote something to commemorate the occasion.


Sarah Lucas, Eating a Banana, 1990. Iris print, 21 1/4 in. x 23 1/2 in (540 mm x 598 mm). Photographs © Sarah Lucas. Courtesy National Portrait Gallery, London.

London’s National Portrait Gallery is displaying a set of twelve self-portraits by the ever lovely Sarah Lucas from the ’90s. She was kind enough to answer six questions about these portraits and what she’s working on now. Enjoy the interview.

“Every word is an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness”— Samuel Beckett

Laurel Nakadate, Fever dream with rabbit.

Nakadate is exactly my age but with much better abs. We’re both year of the rabbit. A little something on her first major museum show, at PS1.

Tara Donovan

note to self: read this Tara Donovan interview.

Moon and Birds. Hiraki Sawa video installation at James Cohan Gallery, New York, NY. Photo by Patricia Silva.


Left to right: Valie Export, "Aufprägung," 1972. Francesca Woodman, Untitled, 1977–1978.

Penelope Umbrico, Classic Still Lifes (From Home Improvement and Decor Magazines and Websites), 2007.

Francesca Woodman, Eel Series, 1977-78. Taken in Rome, Italy. © George & Betty Woodman.

Some thoughts on the film The Woodmans , about Francesca Woodman’s family and upbringing.


Romaine Brooks, Self-Portrait, 1923. Oil on canvas, 46 1/4 x 26 7/8". Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.

Finally went to see the Hide/Seek show and had so many thoughts, especially about digital reproductions of fine art works.

Andrej Pejic, represented by Storm Models.

Isn’t it to define beauty by gender to truly repress it? What is this “norm” people are so happy about? If we were all happy with the “norm”,  cosmetic companies would not be so profitable. Is this norm not merely socio-acceptable “performances” on a stage, its accompanying libretto the romantic paternalism of Judeo Christian capitalism, and misogeny?  Reducing society to limiting states of either/or has been the past, but how are we as conscious image makers shaping a progressive future?

I read an article on the UK Telegraph about new modeling trends. Is Andrej Pejic androgynous? Perhaps; in certain clothes, in specific lighting, emotions, etc. But overall, I’d say the Pejic beauty is effeminate.

Effeminate men have always been far more socially acceptable than masculine women. Kisha Batista, for example. So is it really about the negotiated fragilities of androgyny or a cultural discomfort with female strength?

David Wojnarowicz by Tom Warren, 1983.

Fortunately, I was able to attend a recent ICP Panel dedicated to the recent controversy over David Wojnarowicz’s Fire In My Belly. Although I found the discussion illuminating—I learned so much about the back story surrounding this media event—I did walk away feeling a most uneasy of sorrows. Perhaps it was seeing footage of the Mexican Day of the Dead. It’s part of the video, but seeing that with a full room of people who most likely know at least one person who is HIV positive or has passed away from AIDS…seeing that footage in public, with others around was a totally different experience than seeing it on my computer, outraged at this whole thing.  I realized that although censorship has robbed a museum audience of that public but touching ability to connect on this piece, its experience has been made all the more intense. That is one good thing to come out of all this: more people are seeing it, thinking, debating, learning. And hopefully, progressing.

Anyway, I wrote a little something about it,  David Wojnarowicz: Convenient Misinterpretations.

from Hedi Slimane's diary, 2010-10-13

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Renee Robinson in Alvin Ailey’s "Mary Lou’s Mass". Photo by Nan Melville.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s C. Corbin, R. Robinson and R. Lyst in George Faison's Suite Otis. Photo by Paul Kolnik.

Thank you Scott, Jaime, Adam for a truly wonderful evening.

Freja Beha Erichsen as Apollo, photographed for the 2011 Pirelli calendar by Karl Lagerfeld.

Iris Strub and Freja Beha Erichsen

From Hedi Slimane's Diary, 2010-08-16

Irving Penn, 1980. Platinum Paladium prints mounted on aluminum. Left: Bird and Fishbones. New York, 18 15/16" x 11 3/4". Right: Bird Bones (Sweden), New York, 19 1/2" x 11 3/8". Pace MacGill Gallery, New York.

Irving Penn, 1980. Platinum Paladium prints mounted on aluminum. Left: Edifice, New York. 19 1/4" x 11 3/8". Left: Truck Part, New York. 17 15/16" x 11 1/8". Pace MacGill Gallery, New York.

Wanda Ewing, Déjeuner Avec Mes Amis, 2000. Lithograph, 28" x 30".

Wanda Ewing is an artist from Omaha who I met this past summer, at a lecture about her work. This month, I interviewed Wanda. We talked about race, body image, feminism, art history, and end with an inquiry into the fundamentalist politics of gender: the conservative outrage behind David Wojnarowicz’s Fire in My Belly being pulled from a museum show, would it be the same if it were a video of the Virgin Mary’s body covered in ants?

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know I like interpretations of this painting.

Michael Bilsborough, Vapor Trail. 2010

Visited the studio of artist Michael Bilsborough, with Radiant Mayhem. A disarmingly kind person, Michael’s process is as exacting as it is imaginative.

Particularly memorable: A stunning large drawing had just been returned to Michael’s studio from a gallery—a drawing so big it had to be done in parts. A drawing so big it could only fit on the floor. To enter into Michael’s studio, he had to lay out some heavy cardboard (over the drawing) for us to step on. But we managed nicely!

Ellen DeGeneres by Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz, Ellen DeGeneres, Kauai, Hawaii, 1997. Gelatin silver print, 20 x 16". Collection of the artist. © Annie Leibovitz 2010.

Read my interview with the co-curators of Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, which is currently on view at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.

Ana Mendieta, Isla, 1981/1994. Black and white photograph, 40 x 30 inches (101.6 x 76.2 cm). Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection, courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York.

Blood and Fire: on the importance of Ana Mendieta and her legacy.

Albert Watson. Left: Hitchcock with Goose, Los Angeles, 1973. Platinum print, 30 x 22". Right: Christy Turlington, New York City, 1990. Platinum print, 30 x 22".

Albert Watson. Left: Monkey with Gun, New York City, 1992. Platinum print, 30 x 22". Right: Alina with Billiard Ball, New York City, 2010, Platinum print 30 x 22".

Albert Watson. Right: Gabrielle Reece, Vivienne Westwood, 1989. Platinum print, 30 x 22". Left: 18th-Century Pruning Shears on Camel-Bone Chest, New York City, 2010. Platinum print, 30 x 22".

Jorge Queiroz, Untitled, 2010. Pencil, color pencil, gouache and oil pastel on paper, 67 x 57.125 inches; 170.2 x 145.1 cm

Kristina Salinovic opened the 54 piece collection of Marc Jacob's SS/2010 collection for Louis Vuitton. Jacobs shared his inspirations with Hilary Alexander of the Examiner of his inspiration: the early work of Kenzo Takada and Kansai Yamamoto—the first Japanese designers to show their collections in Paris. "Of course, these are my references. I love the exoticism, the way Paris embraced Orientalism," Jacobs said.

Coiffed in an hommage to Susan Sontag’s iconic white streak and covered in $20,000 worth of crystal, Kristina Salinovic opened Marc Jacob’s 2011 Spring collection for Louis Vuitton. Printed on the program notes on every seat, the following quote:

“The relation between boredom and camp taste cannot be overestimated. Camp taste is by its nature possible only in affluent societies, in societies or circles capable of experiencing the psychopathology of affluence.” —Susan Sontag

And that’s how Marc Jacobs blends fashion (blunt consumerism);  urban dance culture (Paris is Burning); and that haughty flair inherent to the city of natural and most unnatural lights (“…our favourite colour is shiny”).

“Taste is an awful word, no one should ever really use it.” —Marc Jacobs

Dispelling prevailing agist perceptions of beauty, 90s icon Kristen McMenamy—who at 46 is as fit and stunning as ever—closed the show. Chess maven Carmen Kass (32) and activist Alek Wek (33) both walked the runway, glowing veterans of an industry that sees age as a numbered wrinkle, rather than an expression of life. Because Jacobs can pretty much do whatever he wants, I don’t think peppering his runway with models older than contemporary ‘It’ girls was a risk—no, it’s a clear statement.

Supplemental Impulses

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whimsy and adventurism, grouped thematically

Whose Blog is This?

I'm Patricia and this blog is part inspiration wall, part pop culture project, with some links to my writing. I'm a conceptual artist, photo editor, creative director living and working in New York City. My opinions are my own and certainly not paid for. If you want to support this site, click on amazon links peppered throughout this blog. Thank you for reading!

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