Thursday, December 31, 2009

There Appears to Be a Problem

Oh, dear. Our board of directors appears to have reached an impasse on a very touchy agenda item. Quick, can someone recommend a good mediator?

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New Year's Baby Arrives a Little Early in the Mission

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In Blogger News

The Junk Thief Board of Directors met this afternoon to look at their 10-year strategic plan and outline benchmarks for the teens. Much saki was consumed, and then they spread out on their nap mats.

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Who is Landron?

Conceptual artist Landron will not be celebrating the New Year.

He also does not engage in the argument that the teens begin in 2011 not 2010. The question is both moot and mute to him. Though he would prefer to say that it is mutte, the Catalan word for beige.

"Time is a social construct," he would say and clocks, calendars and sundials should be used only as objets des artes not as guides for behavior and deadlines.

Landron has no deadline for his seminal installation The Shattering of Time which, as he says, "Will be complete when it is destroyed."

We would wish you a happy New Year, but that would upset Landron who says, "The New Year is old even before it is born."

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Street Critic Weighs in on Wicked

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Alert to Grey Line: New Attraction in the Mission

While it's clear that there are three top tourist attractions in San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge, the Giant Sundial and Alfie's Troll Altar, I have lately noticed one that might be number four on the list. Though the displays lack Alfie's Vegas extravaganza panache, the apartment building at the northwest corner of 21st and South Van Ness has got some pretty groovy stuff going on.

Check the unit on the third floor, west end and look up. Not sure what all is up there, but it looks pretty dern good.

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Junk Thief Had a Great Date for Christmas Eve Dinner

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Multi-Tasking in the Mission

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From Our House to Your House

Bow and I would like to wish everyone the best for "the holidays" in whatever way you choose to celebrate or ignore them.

P.S. Bow said that it is not gauche to send Dingos, Greenies, Kongs filled with cream cheese or other treats after Christmas if you are so inclined.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Junk Thief Holiday Theatre - Revisiting the Classics

Things are busier than usual at the Junkplex this season and our creative director Alton V. Yowells, VII, is still recuperating at the Amy Winehouse Treatment Center in Sussex, so we haven't been able to produce our annual holiday gala.

Until Alton is well enough to return, we are in negotiations with conceptual artist Landron to serve as an interim host. But until that happens, we thought we'd repeat some of the holiday specials from years past.

In 2006, we made our usual trek to Union Square to view the cats and puppies that the SPCA has on display in Macy's window. (We hope to head down there tomorrow and may post this year's crop.):

In this one from 2007, Rabbi JunkThiefovich saved the day:

In 2008, Bow consented to be a part of this feline holiday frolic:

Finally, in 2006 we reran this great cartoon from the 1988 Pee Wee's Christmas special. It suggests that Santa was the original Junk Thief:

Friday, December 18, 2009

Who is Landron?

This Landron installation -- Hound of the Holidays (2007) -- continues to delight young and old alike. Note basenji paws on the right.

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Design Down Below

Landron has yet to be asked to design a subway station, but give it time. However, this great entry shows some of the best subway stations of the world. Yes, we know about the fancy ones in Moscow and the space age ones in Dubai, but the one above in Stockholm was quite a surprise. It would make me feel like a slice of pie on my mother's Blue Danube plates.

By the way, DesignBoom itself was a pleasant new discovery.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Who is Landron?

The above triptych on a poster that has been appearing in the Mission has many to speculate aht it may be the work of conceptual artist Landron. A call to his studio in Bilbao this afternoon confirmed our hunch when he responded, "No it's not!"

It's easy to see why people might think that it was since it so obviously echoes the themes of his "avian millinery" installation at the Whitney Spring Biennial in 1997. The show got many mixed reviews with Landron's multi-media approach of ceramic, painting, silk screen and oil representations of birds in top hats.

Some thought it quaint and others looked for meaning that may have not been there.

Most did not fully conceive the qualifying script at the bottom of the program "an installation in progress" until its full folly was unleashed at 6 a.m. on Easter morning.

Landron and his countless apprentices and interns unleashed 6,500 baby chicks on Fifth Avenue just south of East 85th street, each outfitted in a tiny, handmade silk top hat. Though traffic was light it did wreck havoc and tragic, ironic carnage as entire flocks of yellow baby chicks were crushed by enormous Yellow cabs while little girls on way to Easter communion let out peeping shrieks not unlike those of the baby chicks.

Just after sunset, Landron projected images from a Tyson chicken processing plant where thousands of chickens met an equally cruel fate. "Can protest carnage be just when it exposes real carnage" read the headline in ArtForum's review of the installation.

The real impact of that exhibit is still unknown, thought it appears that shortly after it closed Broaster Chicken's logo added a top hatted chicken.

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Interactive Thursday: Earlene's Holiday

Let's say her name is Earlene. Now what's her story? Have at it.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Revolution Will Be Televised...from Canada

Imagine you're a lonely kid in Ottawa in February 1965, confused and bored. Just after local wonders Ian and Sylvia do a few subdued numbers, this young man (yes, man) is introduced, and you will forever see the world and your country in a new way.

Until about 10 a.m. today I'd never heard of Jackie Shane, and apparently this is the only available video performance in a decidedly short career. There's no Wikipedia page on him, but this entry from Jezebel Music gives us a little insight into his life.

I am now compelled to learn more about this revolutionary, visionary, sensual creature. Canada really is about more than Mounties and Joni Mitchell.

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My Kastle for a Klennex

Before California statehood and the incorporation of San Francisco, the U.S. Pacific coast was made up of feudal kingdoms and feuding warlords. Evidence of this includes the giant moat between the Kingdom of Oakland and the Duchy of Potrero Hill that we now call the San Francisco Bay.

Less well known are the remaining castles of the warlords, some of which have stayed in the same families for centuries such as the Duke of Ulloa who maintains Hearse Castle which Bryce Digdug and I recently discovered when we make our journey to pay homage to the giant sundial of San Francisco.

Now another castle -- from the Fiefdom of Albion -- is for sale, all six stories. Not to be missed are its "hand-hewn caverns". I've no idea if Hearse Castle has hand-hewn caverns, but it's hard not to believe that a castle surrounded by hearses doesn't have something buried beneath.

At only $2.95 million, Albion Castle is surely the best dollar-value fiefdom currently on the market.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Who is Landron?

When conceptual artist Paul Reubens encountered legal problems in a fine arts cinema in Florida in the early 1990s, he immediately called fellow conceptual artist Landron from his bail bondsman's office.

"What film was showing when you were arrested," Landron inquired.

"The Sorrow and the Pity," Reubens replied.

Landron suggested that Reubens call Doris Duke. Duke funded Landron's 1987 exhibition The De-Monetization of Money on Wall Street at the time of that year's stock market crash and the premier of Oliver Stones movie of the same name. Landron projected images of bank notes from more than 80 countries on the Morgan Stanley, Smith Barney and other financial institutions' buildings. At midnight, 300,000 Deutsche Marks were dropped from the top of the stock exchange as thousands of people grabbed for them while Polaroids and 80-pound SONY mini-camcorders captured the insanity. Many of the photos were published the next day in the New York Post with the names and home addresses of those grabbing the bank notes.

Landron said that he did not object to people having access to the monetary value of these notes, but he was appalled that there was no mention of the portraits of the people on the bank notes. Landron felt that it was especially important to acknowledge that while US bills show images of monuments and dead presidents, German currency presents the likenesses of authors, scientists and musicians. The fact that the 1000 Deutsche Mark shows the Brothers Grimm is a testament to the fable of money itself.

The entire exhibition cost around $30 million, and Doris Duke invested $55 million. When her foundation called and suggested that an audit might be in order, Landron said that this was a mere nihilistic capitalist construct and slammed down the receiver. Doris called him the next day, apologized and flew him to her retreat. They had cocktails and bree on her veranda.

After Landron had given Reubens Doris' private number, he asked, "When I call, should I say that I am Pee Wee Herman or Paul Reubens?"

Outraged, Landron shot back, "If you have to ask that, you don't know Doris."

The next day, Reubens arrived at Doris' mansion with a great, private reception and kisses. Which name did he use? As Landron would say: "You do the math."*

* = Math is a social construct.

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Who is Landron?

In his epic, multi-media installation The Shattering of Time, conceptual artist Landron assaulted all bourgeois concepts and institutions.

When asked about Christmas and holidays in general, Landron replied with what he calls one of his "affirming contradictions".

"Like time itself, holidays are a social construct," Landron said. "To attack Christmas gives credence to its very existence and its associated myths. To ignore it allows it to fester and burgeon into something greater and more powerful. To embrace it as an abstraction puts it into the proper context of fable and folly while eating samosas and sipping peppermint-coconut chai."

Landron was referenced by Bryce Digdug earlier today. Further sightings of Landron will likely appear here.

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JTTV Season 4, Episode 5 - Sundial Explained

Word among the smart set is that 2010 and the teens will be the era of Amish chic. While Lady Gaga seems to represent the last desperate act of the excess and consumption driven 1990s and aughts, Amish fashion shows that restraint and the less is more aesthetic bring great hope for the decade ahead.

The real estate crash and financial market breakdowns have brought great trauma for those of the Humvee/McMansion/120 inch plasma HD TV set, but little has changed for the Amish the past two years. And they are as stylish as ever in their basic black with white trim.

Those who read Parade magazine -- that harbinger of cutting edge style and cultural tipping points -- are already well aware of the sensational Heat Surge heaters with hand glued Amish mantles that perfectly merge old world craftsmanship and made-in-China/assembled-Mexico technology.

Now the de Young Museum is featuring "Amish Abstractions". While the Amish are known for abstaining for mind-altering substances, one look at these psychedelic quilts will leave you asking "What you been smokin', bro'?"

While Junk Thief TV host Alton V. Yowells, VII, is recovering from his own encounter with mind altering substances in our last episode, Bryce Digdug has stepped in to host our latest episode and introduce the hottest trend-setting accessory that will let the world know you are gladly leaving the aughts behind and on the cutting edge of the teens. Order yours today. Only two orders per household.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Smiling in Deface

Much as I love his plays, I've been fascinated for years by Joe Orton's "defacing" of library books and always wondered when someone might mount an exhibit of them as art works. Well, the good folks at the Islington Local History Centre agreed and put up this exhibit.

Quite a few of them are new to me, and I love all of them. And, thanks to Friendatella, I came across this great dissecting of naughty Joe's vandalism:

And this groovy interview months before his death where talk show perennial Eva Gabor seems enraptured by him. That girl got around:

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Shopping Tips from Anita

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Monday, December 07, 2009

This Is Junk Thief's Role Model for His Dotage

We recently managed to pick up a pristine copy of "An Evening with Beatrice Lillie" which Junk Thief plans to re-enact song for song, beat by beat in 2037 while accompanying himself on a zither and singing eastern European folk songs. "Weary of It All" will be the stand out number.

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Saturday, December 05, 2009

Let's Rove and Gamble

This afternoon I picked up this and half a dozen other really groovy albums at Community Thrift at 17th and Valencia. (Esther Phillips singing "Native New Yorker"!) Although it has some great tunes, I must admit the cover of this Hank Thompson album is what made me think it was worth investing $1.50. Is it just me, or do you think in this photo Hank looks a little...?

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Friday, December 04, 2009

Chicago's Greatest Contribution

I can get passionate about many aspects of art and architecture, but few can push me over the edge more than the poetic structures of Louis Sullivan. This clip of an -- apparently -- delayed documentary gives me chills watching it. I'm planning a Sullivan tour of Chicago and points beyond this spring. Anyone want to join me?

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Coffee by Force

Before fair trade lattes and the importance of taste, Americans recognized the best reason to buy coffee: if you don't you will face a horrible death.

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