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17.8.10

More Big Fat Summer

As promised my postings are few, because summer has many distractions. But I've been seeing things and some of it keeps flashing in my mind, like the fabulous Miles Davis documentary at the Montreal Museum of Fine Art, We Want Miles.

Davis was a complex and, towards the end, volatile character, but as this exhibit reminds us so well through photos, film, and mini-sound rooms, twenty in all, throughout each of his many incarnations Miles Davis was brilliant. He collaborated with the greats, Monk, Blakey, Dizzy, Ron Carter, and Herbie Hancock and the amazing Bill Evans. A studio album released in 1959 would make him a star: Kind of Blue would go on to become the largest-selling jazz album ever and influence a generation of artists, not a bad spot in history.

But of course there would be many more transformations of Miles to come, coupled with the influence of drugs, racism, and fame. Who can forget the Davis soundtrack for Louis Malle's film Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (1957)(Elevator to the Gallows in the U.S.) and Jeanne Moreau's scene walking the streets of a gray Paris at night, Miles's score playing in the background. He even made Paris cool.

Also in Montreal through November 14th is a small Jenny Holzer exhibit at the DHC/ART Foundation, including a few of her Redacted paintings and LED light sculptures from her recent Whitney show. This was my first visit to the foundation: nice space.

Of course NYC closes up tight in August and it's hotter than --, so who in their right mind would visit but me and 60,000 tourists all converging on the Met at the same time. I paid my dime and elbowed my way through the Picasso show: very nice, except for the cameras from hell! As you may know from past posts, I'm very open to camera use in galleries and museums, but the mob at the Met were bonkers. I could barely examine a painting without a camera being thrust right in front of me, flash and all. It's Taser time at the Met! (update: A Met press release claims the Picasso exhibit drew 700,000 visitors in 17 weeks)

I finally made a visit to the almost newly renovated Museum of Art and Design to see Bespoke: The Handbuilt Bicycle (closed on August 15). I'm a bike nut and hope to someday either weld my own steel bike or buy one of the beauties from this exhibit. With all the rage of lighter than air carbon fiber road rockets, I know fiber is good for you, but steel is real and many pro designers and enthusiasts are rejuvenating the bike industry with handbuilt one-of-a-kind or limited-edition old-school steel bikes.

Of course the steel is lighter and the mechanics are far superior to the bikes I had as a kid. Sascha White's Vanilla Bicycles of Portland, Oregon, makes a tricycle that even I would happily pedal around on. His Randonneur road bike might be a better fit, with its beautiful simple lines.


For the ladies, Peter Weigle's 50s-inspired Randonneur or one of my favorites, a 70s-inspired Richard Sachs roadster or one of Italian master Dario Peroretti's free-form paint jobs. Jeff Jones builds off-road bikes without fancy suspension. He builds a titanium SpaceFrame with a truss fork, combined with extra-large wheels to absorb the shock and awe. There is video of Jones riding the trails near his shop with an attached camera, very cool. I would like one of each please!

1 comment:

The Muse said...

Loved the Miles show, such a complex man, such powerful music, and I heard that Santa is bringing you a welding torch - happy hill climbing!