The Daily

Posts Tagged ‘pop art’


January 6, 2015 | by


Marisol Escobar, Untitled, 1965, silkscreen, 26.5" x 32.5".

Probably my favorite entry in The Paris Review’s print series is Marisol Escobar’s, from 1965. It hangs in our office, where, especially on hot summer days, I gaze at it when I’m feeling thirsty. It is, at zero calories, the ultimate in refreshment. But we can safely assume that Marisol had little interest in the contents of the magazine. “I don’t like to read,” she said flatly in a 1968 interview. “It bores me.”

Very well, Marisol. Agree to disagree.

For a few more days—until January 10—New Yorkers can see this print, along with other sculptures and works on paper by Marisol, at El Museo del Barrio, where she’s having her first solo show in a New York museum.

Marisol, who’s eighty-four now, is famously taciturn—she speaks no more than she has to. (Take these exchanges from another interview: Do you watch movies or TV?” “No.” Would you recommend sculpture as a career?” “Yes.” “Do you communicate with any other artists?” “No.”) She’s best known for her figural sculptures, which, like her Paris Review print, satirize the culture and fit comfortably—if singularly—into the tradition of Pop Art. But she’s cryptic, to put it mildly, about her process. “In the beginning I drew on a piece of wood because I was going to carve it,” she said in that ’68 interview. “And then I noticed that I didn't have to carve it, because it looked as if it was carved already.”

Rather than waste more words, then, I’ll get onto the work itself: below, more pieces from the El Museo del Barrio exhibition. Read More »


These Big Eyes Are Lies, and Other News

May 8, 2014 | by

keane eyes

Margaret Keane, Big Eyes

  • Putin has signed a law banning foul language in plays and movies; any books with cuss words will come in sealed packages, with warnings. Which words qualify as uncouth? A panel of “independent experts” is soon to convene in pursuit of that very fucking question.
  • Meanwhile, in America and the UK, an unexpurgated edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Taps at Reveille—its expletives intact; its sex, drugs, and anti-Semitic slurs restored—will arrive next month.
  • Long before the heyday of Lisa Frank, there was the pop artist Walter Keane, who became something of a household name in the sixties: his work depicted sad children with enormous, farcically melancholy eyes. But his wife Margaret deserved all the credit: “The man wasn’t a painter at all. Margaret was the creator of all the Big Eye art. Walter basked in the glory, partied with the celebrities, and reaped the rewards. As she would later relate, the tearful, doe-eyed children she painted had nothing to do with Walter’s supposed belief in children redeeming the world. The weeping waifs reflected her own sorrow.”
  • Revising the myth of Phineas Gage, who survived, in the late nineteenth century, an accident in which an iron rod went straight through his head, and who has been fodder for Psych 101 students ever since. “Recent historical work, however, suggests that much of the canonical Gage story is hogwash, a mélange of scientific prejudice, artistic license, and outright fabrication. In truth each generation seems to remake Gage in its own image, and we know very few hard facts about his post-accident life and behavior.”
  • “How do you design cities and civic spaces in ways that account for people’s varied reactions to sound itself? Where does ‘sound’ end, and ‘noise’ begin?”