If you envisioned your summer filled with culture and books by the beach but found yourself on subway platforms watching garbage cook, you are by no means alone. Let Artlog take the worry out of these last minutes of sun. For your edification and enjoyment, here’s a list to round out the summer.
Andy Warhol is preserved in popular memory as a savant of style, a keen observer of culture, and a man of undeniable social magnetism. Yet memory of his work obscures that of the man. His expansive diaries—narrated to secretary Pat Hackett—reveal a petty, self-important man, obsessed with gossip and his own insecurities. But the words he left behind also reveal some sense of Warhol’s own disassociation with the myth that he had become in popular culture. When Bianca Jagger sought to include him in a book of great men, he quipped, “Look, Bianca, I’m just here. I’m just a working person. How did I break the system?”
Certainly, the book offers thousands of pieces of chuckle-inducing trivia for dinner tables and bar nights alike.
My makeup wasn’t working. It was no use. I had too many pimples.
Edward St. Aubyn’s Patrick Melrose Cycle is an excellent piece of literary fiction and the unfortunate victim of cover art oriented towards the wrong reading demographic. The semi-autobiographical book covers St. Aubyn’s very interesting life, beginning in an abusive home that leads to a teenage heroin addiction. The story delves deeply into the starchy world of upper-class English society, drawing a harsh picture of its moral state and snobbery. But the novel always returns to its quintessentially human narrative of dissatisfaction, frustration, and the struggle to live well, while St. Aubyn’s clever prose will have you chuckling in spite of the morose subject.
Getting Close at the International Center of Photography
Joseph Rodriguez, whose exhibition at Taller Boricua recently attracted our attention, is an intriguing photographer, and he teaches his trade at New York’s International Center of Photography. His class, called Getting Close, explores the questions “How does one overcome the fear of photographing and being photographed? What does it mean to be an outsider? How does a photographer gain access?” Certainly he is among the best equipped to hazard a guess. His intimate photographs draw back the veil society’s most neglected and violent precincts. It may be too late to enroll now, but the artist does regularly teach classes at the midtown art institution.