Broadsheet, The Blog

Two Lady Artists with Bees in Their Bonnets

26 June 2006

Keepin' it Weird

New York, for all its “center-of-the-universe-ness” can get a little provincial -- especially in the art world. So even when it feel like it's going to be an enormous pain in the ass, I know I have to get out of town.

This weekend I had a long overdue visit to my brother in Austin, Texas. Yes, Austin, that shining beacon of Bush-bashin', barbeque-grillin’ and music-lovin' fun! And they even have contemporary art. Who knew?

As a musician, my brother left New York years ago and, as far as I can tell, has never looked back. So somewhere in between Redd Volkaert’s set at the Continental and his own gig with The Grassy Knoll Boys at Flipnotics, my dear bro graciously agreed to shuttle me around town to check out the art scene. We started at the corner of 4th & Congress at the new Volitant Gallery, where, of course, I ran into a New York artist who was showing there. Next we strolled up the street to Arthouse for the New American Talent exhibition, curated by Aimee Chang of the Orange County Museum of Art. This included what you might expect of such a survey show: very young artists, working in a range of styles; and what you you might not expect to see in New York: artists from a wide range of locations across the country.

Our next stop, across the street, was the more mature exhibition, Over + Over: A Passion for Process at the Austin Museum of Art. Curated by James Housefield, a professor of art at UT-San Marcos, this was a show to make a New Yorker feel right at home, featuring number of familiar names like Chakaia Booker, Liza Lou and less familiar (at least to me), but no less intriguing works by Dane Picard and Barna Kantor.

The next day we went to the Blanton Museum of Art, a new, hugely endowed institution built on the UT Campus. I was told that the 24-hour opening event drew a huge crowd, and it was inspiring to see the number of visitors on a sunny, Saturday afternoon.

A large contemporary survey show graces the lower level (with the most awesome bathroom I have ever seen in any museum), again with many familiar New York names, along with a large number of South American and Latin American artists. Ascending the monumental staircase in the glaringly bright light of the soaring gallery walls brings you to a collection of Western art that, for me, was just too cheesy, but is clearly very popular. To the right of that is a small rotunda with reproductions of Roman statuary and to the left, numerous galleries with B & C list Renaissance through Modern European paintings. There is a modest but fine collection of prints & drawings that surpasses the paintings, but we missed several collections including the Latin and Ab-Ex paintings, which didn't appear to be open to the public that day.

Likewise, I also missed the more alternative spaces, such as Art Palace and the well-known non-profit, Women & Their Work, but now I know what I've got to look forward to on my next trip. And of course more music and gastronomic adventures.

22 June 2006

Take Back the Day

It's been around a while; we don't know how it escaped our notice. It should be clear to anyone reading this by now that hollabacknyc would be our cup of tea and we would make it our business to learn about it almost before it existed. So although we were caught snoozing, we'll make up for it now.

Because it's summer in New York, and 'tis the season we ladies must choose between modesty and comfort. As we re-adjust to having quite a bit of our bodies exposed as we go about our daily business, we must steel ourselves for the Beavis and Buttheads who have come out from their dark caves to remind us that we exist for their visual pleasure.

Even broads who've been around the block a few times find that often you can't walk around the block in peace. But thanks to Hollabacknyc, there's an antidote to the fury of being cat-called.

The Hollabacknyc ladies are fighting back with their camera phones and you can too. Keep your camera at the ready as you stroll by that construction site or klatch of drunken idiots and tell them to say cheese. Send the delightful results to and perhaps the jerk will end up in

Yes, we know it's vigilantism, and that's not always the best policy. Yes, we know that it's possible that the good name (or image) of innocent gentlemen could be besmirched and could be subject to mob justice. As the Village Voice noted, a guy caught on camera with his little pal in his hand could be waving it aggressively at a poor lass on the street or he could just be taking a public piss. (To this we say, 'A guy yes, but a gentleman no'.)

So we'll give you this, hollabacknyc: Thanks for giving us a reason to look forward to the next moron who has the poor judgment to tell us he just loooooves tall women!

19 June 2006

Gallerina For A Day

Chances are, there will come a time during the exciting roller-coaster ride that is your art career, that you will be asked to gallery sit. If you're in a group exhibition at a non-profit, this may be par for the course. And “so what?” you say. Gallery sitting is a job-job for many, many artists. But what if the request comes from the gallery that represents you? If they ask you to take a turn behind the desk, should you do it?

I for one, say yes. But ask these questions first:

(1) Most importantly – will you be paid?

(2) Do you actually have to do any work? If you’re not going to have time to read magazines, call your friends and troll the web, you need to know if, beyond grunting at people who enter and answering the phone, you will be asked to do any skilled labor. Then return to question (1) and ask “how much?”

(3) A touchy issue for some -- will you be sitting during your own, someone else’s or a group show? Are you in said group show? If you are, will you be filled with anxiety, jealousy, rage and/or insecurity facilitating a sale for another artist? Will you be uncomfortable talking to potential buyers of your work? Will you feel the need to assume a false identity and pretend you're not an artist who needs to pick up extra cash by gallery sitting? (I wouldn’t worry about this because with your youthful disposition and lack of information, everyone will assume you’re an intern!)

(4) Which leads us to the ultimate question - do you even have a job? If you don’t and the answer to (1) is yes, you'd better just do it and suck it up! Your gallery probably asked you to do this because they were sick of hearing you whine that even though they sold out your show, you're still broke. That, and watching you clap with glee at events where free food was involved.

I know, some of you are going to say it's exploitive, it compromises your position, your gallery will see you as a “worker” and not as a “serious artist,” and thus it is “bad for your career.” This may be true if the requests start to become a pattern. But if you’ll actually be responsible for doing some work, remember that information is power and it can’t hurt to know who calls, who stops by and what actually goes on behind the desk!

Pragmatically Yours,
That Broad

16 June 2006

It Really Gets My Goat!

A friend of mine used to insist that all visual artists really want to be rock stars. Maybe so, but then how do you explain all the rock stars who want to be “taken seriously” as visual artists? I guess it just proves that a BFA really is a good investment, if you want to be in a band. When musicians hit middle age and they start worrying about looking silly up on stage they can trade in on their celebrity status and devote themselves to a whole new dignified means of creative expression… (hello, MICK?!) But where does this leave the struggling artist who didn’t have the good sense to get into a band when she was in art school? I mean sure, we’ve all had the fantasy where some professional jackass at a party smugly asks “so, you’re an artist, do you make a living doing THAT?” and you say “no, but I make money playing in A BAND, asshole.” But who ever thought that could be a reality? I hate to name names, but I think the Davids Byrne and Johansen, Tony Bennett, Don Van Vliet (hey you’re not foolin’ us by using your REAL name!) and even Martin Mull (an actor no less, who has two degrees from RISD -- now he was really thinking ahead!) need to step aside and give back a little wall space. (Ok, so I’ve warmed up on the John Lurie issue after hearing Leonard interview him Wednesday on WNYC.) But, just like movies stars who want to be rock stars… it really gets my goat!

Sincerely Annoyed,
That Broad

12 June 2006

Apparently We Have Not Really Come Such A Long Way, Baby

Maybe you missed this, dear reader, it having appeared in the cheeky, gossip-infested Style section of the Sunday New York Times and you being a serious person, but yesterday there appeared an article discussing the potential for a female president of the United States.

Why, you ask, should a discussion of why our country has never had a female head of state (and why it in fact lags behind many other countries, including those not exactly famous for their benevolent and equal treatment of their female citizens) be considered next to the adjacent articles "Strung out On Love and Checked In for Treatment", "Shopping with Lauren Conrad Heidi Montag: Blond Ambition Comes in Flats or Heels", and "Having All the Fun", part of the campaign to re-heterosexualize Eric McCormack?

Is it as simple and 1950s as this? Women politicians are to be discussed primarily in terms of their makeup, hairstyles, and catfighting potential? We're trying to think of charitable reasons why this article might be in the purview of Style. It does quote a few celebrities, such as Susan Sarandon and George Clooney, but the Hollywood varnish strikes one as applied, not intrinsic. One can almost hear the editor calling the writer, breaking the news: "That article on the prospect of a woman president? Yes, we still need it tomorrow, but it's going in the Style section and we'll need some celebrity quotes." Ouch!

When one reads the article on the website, as we did, the text is sandwiched between a column of photos of real women foreign heads of state on the left, and a giant Neutrogena Dermabrasian ad featuring a woman wearing nothing but a towel on the right. That is the context in which we read about the unfortunate dearth of women in "the political pipeline in the United States, which now, with 8 female governors out of 50, and 14 female senators of 100, still offers a limited number of experienced candidates for the presidency."
Last but not least, we would try to ignore the the article’s title, with its terrible pun and its ever-so-slight whiff of “eww", but we found that to be impossible.

A bee in our bonnet? Try a hornet's nest!

Yours In Indignation,
The Broads

08 June 2006

Oops, and Thanks!

On behalf of That Broad and me, please accept our belated but heartfelt thanks for welcoming us so warmly! And thanks to Edward_ for sending his love and readers our way!

We are embarrassed to admit that we found it necessary to attend to urgent non-internet activities for the past couple of days. Please bear with us as we get used to the blogging schedule; it's much more rigorous than the thrice yearly pilgrimage to the office Xerox machine to which we have been accustomed. We have been spoiled by our in-house motto "BS = No Stress", but we'll get up to speed soon (though we hope to continue our policy against stress).

So perhaps this is the right time to try to influence your expectations regarding new posts: for now you can expect something from us at least two times a week, probably on Mondays and Thursdays.

We are very glad to be here and we look forward to many mutually enriching exchanges!

This Broad

04 June 2006

Dear Reader(s):

From the same wellspring of megalomania that produced Broadsheet, the award*-winning paper 'zine, we proudly bring you BROADSHEET, The Blog.

Just so you know, we collaborators, That Broad and This Broad, have lovingly and joyously planned this blog for months. We got our 'look' together, we scanned all the back issues of the 'zine (see list at left), we zealously and jealously read the other leading art blogs and plotted our smashing entrance upon the scene. We then assembled a list of themes so brilliant, so feminist, and yet so unpredictable, showcasing minds so fiercely engaged with the issues of our day and interests so vast, so appropriately broad, that we felt perfectly at ease with our entitlement--no, our responsibility--to blog. That is, until it came time to actually post something.

We became flustered, we developed writer's block, we dilly-dallied, we flip-flopped, and we wrote columns that were just plain stupid. We found other Very Important things we had to do first, like watch all the season finales of our favorite shows on TV.

So, as it was with losing our virginity--separately, of course--oh those many lifetimes ago, let's just get this over with.

Here's a short list of what the future of BS might bring:

  • Proof that the only thing cooler than Williamsburg right now is hating Williamsburg
  • Evidence of the many other Jack Pierson-like art scandals that are all around us, tragically un-publicized
  • Reasons we agonize over why, if Grey's Anatomy is such a great show, we are embarrassed to admit we watch it
  • Arguments about why most people who don't eat meat do wear leather
  • Master lists of artists who do mean things to women (in their pictures, we mean!)
  • Musings about what it might mean when liberals brag about their techniques for dodging taxes
  • Discussion of what it is exactly that makes someone a "hipster" and why noone will admit to being one
  • Bafflement over why Eric Fischl needs a website, and why his website is so lame
  • And finally! It just wouldn't be an art blog if we didn't dissect Jerry Saltz now and then

Gah! We're so glad that's over with.

See you tomorrow!