ripley-bush-exhibition-review-011Never has so little been expected of a former U.S. president than George W. Bush. The man who consistently comes up in polls as Worst. President. Ever. – to his credit – has quietly ridden off into the Texas sunset since leaving office in January ’09.

A little more than a year ago, we learned via Gawker what post-presidential legacy Bush Jr. has been quietly pursuing: water color paintings.

And in a twist of fate only the Internet Age could wreak, the man who originally made it okay to delve into your personal online and telephone call business in the name of patriotism had these very breaches of personal privacy turned on him. A Romanian hacker named Marcel Lazar Lehel (aka Guccifer) gained access to private Bush family emails and discovered not an evil plot to destroy the universe – but instead a body of outsider-style paintings of dogs, seashells, Texas landscapes and awkward self-portraits.

Seemed in anticipation of a 2014 show called “The Art of Leadership” – we kid you not – Bush was emailing photos of his art to his family and friends. Yet – it was the body in this body of work that Guccifer will spend some 4 to 7 years in a Romanian prison being best remembered for. Two innocuous self-portrait nudes: one of Bush standing (upper back to us) in the shower, shaving; the other of his bare legs soaking in the bathtub.

While this story’s “legs” may have barely lasted a news cycle, we’re willing to go out on a limb and say there is collectible potential here. Bush’s Art of Leadership show at his own presidential center closed on June 3, and as far as we can tell, none of the works have been made available for sale (yet). To get in on the ground floor of the Bush Folk Art Legacy though, the catalog is available for purchase for $20.

Source: ArtNews.com.

Photo of Bush water color by Grant Miller via ArtNet.com.

Kim Novak’s Face, Revisited

Kim Novak's faceOkay, I admit it. I was one of the Internet “bullies” who piled on Kim Novak’s unfortunate facial calamity during the 2014 Academy Awards telecast in earlier this year. I even got a little traction for this iPhoneography piece (Kim x9) created during the show. Ha ha, all in good fun, right?

Well, today I, among others, applaud the 81-year-old former screen siren for rising above each one of our pathetic attempts at gaining 10 milliseconds of Internet fame and responding to our collective comments (on her Facebook page) thusly:

“After my appearance on the Oscars this year, I read all the jabs…. I’m not going to deny that I had fat injections in my face. They seemed far less invasive than a face-lift. In my opinion a person has a right to look as good as they can, and I feel better when I look better.”

Novak also noted that she had taken a pill to help her relax before presenting the award for best animated short feature alongside Best Actor winner Matthew McConaughey, which she regrets having done. “I had been fasting for three days and it affected my behavior. I regret taking it.” Now that’s old school Hollywood class in the Internet age for you. Boom!

The retired actress turned horse whisperer and artist (you can see her watercolors on her Facebook page) maintained the high road and did not take advantage of an easy slam of perennial loud mouth and rich guy Donald Trump who said Novak should have “sued her plastic surgeon.” Of course she could have said that he should sue his hair stylist, but then there are plenty of Internet bullies out there who say that on a daily basis.

Source: The National Post.

Image by KazzaDrask Media.


Death of Moviefone

moviephoneRemember when you had to dial up (on a telephone) 777-FILM to find out what was playing at what time at the local multiplex? Surely, you can be forgiven if you thought Moviefone was already dead given we’ve been using the Web for more than a decade and apps for half of that to organize an evening away from the couch and our ability to view just about anything on demand.

Yet, Moviefone is still with us, until sometime next month according to The Verge, when it will shut down permanently after a 25-year run. If you thought Moviefone was around longer, like me, well, I guess the demise of this service you haven’t used in many years is somehow even harder to take. (Its app for iPad is available here.)

You can read more about the death of Moviefone over at The Verge, where it is definitely worth scrolling to the end of the piece to see a vintage “Seinfeld” clip of Kramer impersonating Moviefone. Once upon a time, this was really funny. Maybe it still is.

Source: The Verge http://www.theverge.com/2014/2/24/5441416/moviefones-iconic-phone-service-is-shutting-down-after-25-years


Not the Brazilian Soap Opera Star

HelenaPriceFile this under “You can’t buy this kind of publicity”, even if photographer Helena Price was doing quite well in the social media realm prior to being mistaken for a Brazilian soap opera star.

According to an interview with the New York Times Bit Blog, Price, who currently describes herself as “Tall, pale, and half-Norwegian. Full-time photographer who occasionally dabbles in tech. Not the actress, DJ, Brazilian soap opera star, or state capital,” was minding her own business last week when her Twitter feed mysteriously imploded with retweets and DMs to her handle @helena that were meant for a Brazilian soap opera star by the same name. The tip-off? The tweets were in Portuguese.

Price, who has been using @helena on Twitter since she was able to secure it in 2010 has gotten 8,000 new followers since the mix up and become the subject for a series of amusing memes that Photoshop her face onto the body of the Brazilian Helena, who we’re starting to feel a bit sorry for. Helena Price, maintaining a good sense of humor, was, for a few minutes last week, the Internet’s latest superstar.

Read more – and/or follow @helenadagmar on Instagram, which is where I discovered her – before the Brazilians did!

Source: “Interview with Helena Price, A Photographer Turned Brazilian Internet Meme”.

Photo credit: Helena Price


New Wave Artists Aging Gracefully


New Wave… according to Wikipedia, it’s defined as “an umbrella term for several late-1970s to mid-1980s pop/rock styles with ties to 1970s punk rock.”

Aging Gracefully…according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery it is “showing signs of aging, but still powering forward with life…[a] term [that] feels almost negative or backhanded…[a] phrase we use to describe someone who isn’t looking as good as they once did.”

Perhaps it’s more of a testament to New Wave music – which always had more a happy (in an ironic sort of way) beat than punk or rock – that so many of these one-time icons are still with us. The fact that they are aging gracefully says a lot. They have avoided the alternatives – which would be death, or a visit to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Source: Djrioblog.com


Saul Leiter Film “In No Great Hurry”

The king of ethereal, yet-so-completely-of-this world color street photography Saul Leiter passed away late last year. But a documentary of his craft, filmed over the last few years of his life, is now making its debut.

In No Great Hurry tells the story of Leiter, “now considered among the very best of the New York School street photographers, and a leading exponent in the artistic use of color film.” While Leiter took the majority of his renowned shots in New York City in the 1950s, it was nearly half a century later when he came to the attention of most of us. A 2006 monograph “Early Color”, renewed interest in the photographer, who also loved to paint (one look at some of his famous photos and you’ll immediately get the connection).

While Leiter’s photos of New York often have a dream-like quality to them, they are still photos of a fast-moving city. The title of the film does not reflect that, but rather emphasizes Leiter’s style. Here is a man who was perfectly content to let slide negatives of his street photos lie dormant for years while he made a living doing commercial photography and painting. Perhaps in this age of Instagram we can all learn a thing or two.

I’m looking forward to seeing In No Great Hurry – but I’ll take a leaf from Leiter, and wait until it comes my way.

Read the New York Times review of In No Great Hurry here.

Hundreds of Innocent People Confused: Which Seth Hosted the Oscars?

The Daily Dot reports that hundreds of innocent people were confused last night over who was hosting the 85th annual Academy Awards telecast.

In our usual two-screen viewing fashion, several were both dazed and confused when they looked up from their Twitter feed to discover it was not actor Seth Rogen (Knocked Up, The Green Hornet) hosting the awards, but rather Seth MacFarlane (creator of the TV series “Family Guy” and director of the foul-mouthed talking teddy bear movie, Ted).

Rogen (@sethrogen) tried to correct the first tweet he noticed that identified him as the host, but the Twitterverse could not be stopped. So, the actor decided to play along, tweeting:

So psyched to be hosting the Oscars tonight! Its gonna be a great show!

Ultimately, Rogen was outed by one @IamBeccaStanley who tweeted:

@sethrogen don’t be a jerk. You’ve confused hundreds of innocent people #Oscars2013

Which was promptly retweeted by Rogen. Game over.

Meanwhile, the real Seth who was hosting the Oscars, Seth MacFarlane, has woken up this morning to mixed reviews of his gig. He gets points for his unexpected singing and dancing ability, and loses points for nearly everything else (see The New Yorker’s “Seth MacFarlane and the Oscars’ Hostile, Ugly, Sexist Night”). By the way, there have been no tweets from @SethMacFarlane since Saturday night.

Photos: Top: Seth Rogen. Bottom: Seth MacFarlane.

Source: The Daily Dot, “Seth Rogen Trolls Twitter into Believing He Hosted the Oscars”.

Old Clip of Diane Sawyer Drinking, Popping Pills Is Internet Sensation

Click here to watch this video now.

During Tuesday night’s marathon election coverage, legendary ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer was either somewhat drunk or very tired. As we watched the election with one eye on the big screen and the other on the little, tweets began popping up remarking on Sawyer’s slurred words (“Barorock Robama”, anyone?) and over-relaxed demeanor. You be the judge.

But as if to underscore the lady enjoys a glass of red wine (or three) to wash down her prescription drugs, this 20-something-year-old clip of Sawyer surfaced today. From the set of “Primetime Live”, Sawyer sips wine, pops a pill and then gossips about someone who enjoys a bit of the same (along with cocaine). Obviously, this clip has been kicking around in some vault since the early 1990s, but the timing of its Internet debut is certainly curious.

If anything, this viral video is making Sawyer, 66, little known before today to millennials who have probably never watched network news, the Internet’s latest “badass”. And that’s not exactly a bad thing. Should she for any reason get the ax from ABC, we’re sure she will have a second (or is it third?) career on MTV and beyond.

Australian PM Julia Gillard Loses Shoe in Angry Mob Attack

Australia’s top two politicians were whisked away from an angry mob in Canberra during Australia Day festivities yesterday. Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott were celebrating the national holiday in a swanky restaurant, sipping champagne when a group of some 200 people from the nearby Aboriginal tent embassy surrounded the premises and began chanting ”Shame”, ”Racist” and ”Always was, will be, Aboriginal land” while banging on the restaurant’s the glass walls.

It’s believed the protests were sparked by comments made by Abbott about ”moving on” the Aboriginal tent embassy, which celebrated its 40th anniversary yesterday.

In the scramble by security to whisk the Prime Minister and Abbott to safety, Ms. Gillard lost a shoe. The protesters are now alternating between using it as a trophy (as shown in the video above) and/or hostage (as shown in this video) to get Gillard to meet with the new Aboriginal parliament.

Australia’s relations with its Aboriginal citizens has been contentious, to say the least, since European settlers began arriving on the continent in the 1600s. 

Additional sources for this story: http://www.theage.com.au/national/australia-day-shame-20120126-1qjt1.html#ixzz1kap80o79. KazzaDrask Media wrote about Australian politics and the election of Julia Gillard as the country’s first woman prime minister in 2010. Click here for a recap about the fierce fight to rule the Land Down Under between Gillard and Abbott.