Sunday, September 17, 2006

stella vine is here

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Stella Vine has arrived! Straight from London, Stella has set up studio at MONA to create a custom mural that she has already begun. The mural will be completed by the time stella has to leave (which I think is tuesday). I thought stella might have more drawings or paintings with her but due to her time constraints and the long trip it is easier for her to paint while here. It is nice to see a work in progress but I would have loved to have seen some other works - even drawings.
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Stella (right) and I spoke at the opening. I think everyone always has a little bit of resignation when it comes to mona and were maybe wondering if stella was actually coming this time - but she made it in person! She was very personable and for someone whose work has gained international praise she still was very grounded when it came to talking about her career. Not finding gallery representation in london hasn't gotten her down. She has decided to go about a more personal approach. She now has a manager and with more shows coming, she eventually will gain a larger collector base and try to stage shows herself (or at least is the plan for now). It is weird - no matter where you are (as an artist) you still try to fit in - Stella even shared her discontent for the london art scene and her feeling of not being included. She was a delight to chat with and I hope to speak with her again before she leaves.
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 I hope that everyone gets a chance to make it out to mona....stella upstairs, a mixed group cranbrook grad show and my work downstairs - the space is really coming alive!


Anonymous jef said...

everything in the mural has changed already. she works constantly, and is in bed by 6pm.

a very dedicated artist. and as ann said, very sweet and unphased by all the fame.

1:24 AM  
Anonymous bluebalz said...

a low point on this blog, you are really scrapping the bottom of the barrel on this one...

1:42 AM  
Anonymous grandma nelly said...

Stella Vine
Sort of interesting story about this painting and what it did for her career.

1:43 AM  
Anonymous nowhere man said...

When Charles Saatchi bought two of her paintings in early 2004 Stella Vine rocketed into the media spotlight. Inside Out North East meets this former stripper from Alnwick who has become the latest sensation in "Brit Art".

1:44 AM  
Anonymous so clever and clean said...

I think it has a nice sense of the regional. England is not big, but it has brought big things into the world. Princess Di-worship and Sex Pistols lifestyle and shocking paintings are things we can easily associate with Englishness, even if they are not part of the very highest culture, and regional (by that I also mean national) differences are fading away too quickly. Anyways this picture efficiently represents the English willingness to go too far that has lead to so many great things. Also the face is really well done and the crown is real Sargent!
SCAB (the elder)

1:44 AM  
Anonymous zipthwung said...

im all for regionalism but this is about as regional as the folk art on the walls of any bar in williamsburg. Just walk into several bars with art on the wall and compare them.

The thing is is many of these paintings are earnest attempts to make sublime or uncanny images that attract and hold ones attention.

This painting is definitely coming from the eyes of the folk - the gaze or whatever.

Which makes the joke funnier.

I never got the whole Princess di thing, but Im not british.

How about that head but in the world cup? WOnder what dude said to zidane?

1:45 AM  
Anonymous sloth said...

gotta disagree with you bluebalz; I think there's a lot to talk about here. It's an interesting phenomenon that such bad painting can be so successful. Her work has an appealing brashness and raw energy & humor/pathos; almost enough to overcome the amazing lack of skill. I would place her in context with Tracy Emin, Katherine Bernhardt, and Elizabeth Peyton.

1:46 AM  
Anonymous poppy said...

just as good or better than half the paintings posted on this site

1:46 AM  
Anonymous nowhere man said...

i think personal aspects of her work make this narrative interesting, and i agree - glib funny, Elizabeth Peyton is quite formally talented, i am not sure i can see them in the same context.

Have to admit however most of what i see in the NY gallerys strikes me as the fashion of 'bad painting' almost structured and academic.

1:47 AM  
Anonymous sloth said...

definitely not even in the same universe as Peyton, formally. But certainly they share a fascination with celebrity; both are celeb portraitists. It would be interesting to see the 2 hanging together on a wall... Peyton's touch is so deft, her work would blow this away on that level, but these are very not-coy. That said, there's an East-Villageyness about them that I find a little tired or something.

1:47 AM  
Anonymous flesheater99 said...

talking about the princess di pic that saatchi bought:
Hi Paul,
Could you come over.
I'm fucking bored.
Maybe bring some Sonics records
and some Georges Roualt paintings?

maybe you could gimme a fucking break or something too?

1:48 AM  
Anonymous painterdog said...

Crap and more crap.....
this is so baaaaaaaaaad.

1:49 AM  
Anonymous kalm james said...

This painting by Stella Vine represents one of the crises of contemporary art, not just in painting, and it’s symptomatic of an attitude that has been confounding many of the current and recently graduated art students the frequent this blog space. To paraphrase the late Harold Rosenberg, “what we have here is crappy art wrapped in a bulletproof envelope of theoretical rhetoric”. In other words, this is an example of “art” that is justified by clever arguments about “challenging” the aesthetic status quo, through philosophical rather that visual, technical, or formalistic means. Attacking the mind through the ears rather than the eyes, This is why some critics, dealers and curators can seemingly legitimatize showing a dog turd, and calling it the highest form of “art” when in reality it’s still just a dog turd. Not to disparage Stella Vine, I hope she enjoys her fifteen seconds of notoriety. But let’s not kid ourselves, good painting is good painting, most people who aren’t painters won’t understand this, but that’s why painters have to be involved in the discourse. If there are any redeeming qualities about this “painting” by Stella, it’s the fact that it shows how good “good painting” can be in contrast to “bad painting”. When the back story is much more interesting than the painting, you know you've got a problem.

1:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like Stella's making the appropriate type of work considering her backstory. They're putting out a message, and it's dark - not about skill or beauty or real success. Style is inextricably linked to content, and it should be. Too bad if it looks like shit. Some stuff needs to.

1:51 AM  
Anonymous james wolanin said...

Bad is the new good

1:51 AM  
Anonymous dubz said...

no, no... not that simple. come on.

1:52 AM  
Anonymous chrisjag said...


Is this really the best painting you can find? I don't want to blame you if this is really all the art world has to offer, but there is so much awe inspiring stuff going on today. Perhaps you sometimes purposely choose things you don't like? - but this blog seems like an opportunity to stand up to the institutions rather than merely confirming their rhetoric.

1:53 AM  
Anonymous clement said...

Right On Kalm James

1:53 AM  
Anonymous zipthwung said...

oh gee, sometimes I like french crullers but other times I like a good fried flatbread hot with powdered sugar.
Sometimes you use the wrong fork in the right place. Sometimes you dont use a fork.

1:54 AM  
Anonymous stick it said...

I think a lot of people heard about Billy Childish and stuckists in the nineties or whenever. Long time ago in fruit fly years.

1:54 AM  
Anonymous poppy said...

so what are the institutions telling us to do these days exactly?

a dog turd is still just a dog turd, right,.. and a urinal a urinal - so what? so paint like damien loeb everyone? how much more finesse until your personally satisfied?
My question is why everyone is soo worried about what everyone else is doing? who gives a crap. all these painters with ulcers will never show us anything new...

1:55 AM  
Anonymous mr wakeup said...

...time for a bagel sandwich...

1:56 AM  
Anonymous zipthwung said...

You know that flaming bag of shit prank? I think it would be funnier if you did it to yourself somehow. Like if you had alzheimers and you forgot where you lived.

1:56 AM  
Anonymous professor mouth said...

Pfft. Kalm James is a windbag. I enjoyed his rant, if purely as an example of how to expend the most syllables possible while saying absolutely nothing. 'Good painting is good painting, and this is not good painting, blah-the-fuck-blah'. Gee, how stirring. If the lame painting is more interesting that its even lamer critics, you've got a problem. And how should we judge painting? By the amount hours spent in front of the canvas? Through critical consensus of the nation's most highly circulated news periodicals? Great, can't wait to see what kind of boring, overworked mediocrity would land in Kalm's top five. Inka Essenhigh? John Currin? Zak Smith? Wangechi Mutu? Natalie Frank? All of them seem to do their homework and show up to class on time. Too bad they're all boring as dry fuck.

1:58 AM  
Anonymous poppy said...

said like a true mouth!

i just did that prank to myself - after reading last comment i nearly shit myself..
I will be using this line from now on,
"boring as dry fuck" - yes dat be my line.

1:58 AM  
Anonymous kalm james said...

I’d like this di painting more if it was really, really bad, not just half-assed bad, weak bad, amateurishly bad, wimpy bad, wane bad. Maybe half-assed bad is another kind of bad that offends my aesthetics of “really bad”. On second thought this painting is suddenly looking pretty good in a fashionably superficial celebrity kind a hip upscale market “bad-girl” “bad”.

Prof'mouth LOVE IT. Let us know when we can drop by the school and see your latest masterpiece, meanwhile back to the studio!

3:22 PM

1:59 AM  
Anonymous nowhere man said...

someone asked over on another board:

"i noticed Stella Vine is opening up in Detroit"

Yes, they need someplace to park all the unsold gas-guzzlers

2:01 AM  
Anonymous painterdog said...

Professor Mouth seems like the afternoon cocktale sessions are not working. Try starting at 9, say with a good shot of cognac in your coffee.

I don't like Currin , but I think Essenhigh, Smith are kind of interesting.

I've seen better examples of Stella Vine's work, this is not a good representation of her work.

I like some of it, but she is naive in her style of painting which as a subject was beaten to death a while ago.

2:02 AM  
Anonymous bluebalz said...

you can justify all you want about the relevance of bad painting, and i like my share of bad painting just as much as the next guy but sorry this is just BAD. it does remind me of the worst, when everyone and their mother were making paintings like this, kind of like now in a way too, people jumping in the game really late, its not that funny, or subversive, just really conservative in a way that seemingly hipster things can be.witness the conformity of a place like Reena Spaulings, where hipness is the selling point, not the work. also i noticed on the saatchi web site she is not even there....

2:03 AM  
Anonymous chicomacho said...

why is everyone pissed at lebron...i mean kalm james? I don't think he was implying that making tight ass paintings that take months to complete is good painting (or maybe he was) , but i didnt' take it that way. I agree with the statement that good painting is good painting and i think most people (art types) know this. Its like don't have to believe in a god, but most people who don't, still know killing someone probably isn't considered on the 'good' list of things one does in life. There are all types of painting or painters i don't paticularly like, but i still know they are good painters! This shit isn't good painting or a good painter, its just someone messing around with paint.

2:04 AM  
Anonymous kalm james said...

One reality is that this particular stella painting has generated 34 comments. Will it stickin your memory? Will it change there over time. Will it make you rethink how you go about your practice? I never said I wasn't a blowhard, or an asshole, or jerk, just ask my friends. There are things that painters understand that can't be stated simply in words. Content is ineffable (God forgive me for quoting Clem). "Still it's that thing about painting which can't be said that keeps us talking for hours" deKooning.

2:05 AM  
Anonymous  said...

was this the only painting in the show?

that's a serious question. I'm curious because I won't get to see the show.

5:34 AM  
Anonymous baker said...

It was a great suprise to meet Stella at an opening I had with Taurus Burns at Synergy in June/July. Looking forward to getting out there and seeing her work in Pontiac.

9:13 AM  
Anonymous dogpainter said...

Like I said she is a niave painter, its not her fault that shes getting the time of day.

I think most of her work is pretty bad some of it is as someone said "bad east village end of the 80's painting".

I think the last 2 paintings represent both ends of the spectrum of what is or are bad paintings

9:50 AM  
Anonymous cha said...

yes, who are the "good" painters working right now???
esp. in and around NY.
How subjective would that list be?!

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the princess di ptg is stella's most iconic, having gotten her both in trouble and famous.

9:52 AM  
Anonymous kalm james said...

well my top ten list for best painters/paintings would be
1. ME
2. Me
3. Me
4. Me
5. Me
6. Me
7. Me
8. Me
9. Me
10. You, yes, you really. God your work is fantastic, I can't stop myself from thinking about it, and it's such a shame that more people haven't seen it. What do those turkies at the Whitney, and PS1 know. Really, you're a genius, and quite attractive I might add

9:53 AM  
Anonymous poppy said...

Painting is like hockey or sports.
sometimes it's fun to watch the player with finesse and sometimes it's fun to watch the guy who kicks the shit out of these players.. It all really depends what kind of mood your in.

9:54 AM  
Anonymous jpeg critic said...

ah, and the occasional mouth-butt for added entertainment.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous brent said...

Stella Vine is fine.

For all those having craft pangs I would recommend a run with a gymnast!

...........; the hand, the spanner, the dart of femaleeeze...

9:56 AM  
Anonymous brian edmonds said...

The work is interesting. It looks like folk painting. Check out Mose T or Jimmy Lee Sudduth. Both Alabama folk artist. Both well known. I can do without the whole Princess DI thing. Thats a little tired.

9:57 AM  
Anonymous martin said...

have you seen her wonder woman painting? it is perfect - she is like a deer in the headlights, midspin, suddenly aware of her own vulnerability.

i think that's my favorite, not into most, like some.

9:57 AM  
Anonymous nowhere man said...

it is worth noteing she was born in 1969.

9:58 AM  
Anonymous epilectidam said...

no where man that suppose to be good or bad?

9:59 AM  
Anonymous nowhere man said...

for me good, i get that she seems to being grouped with a "out of grad school" frame,

9:59 AM  
Anonymous itsoover said...


Thrift stores should be charging a mint for their used paintings.

The faux naive thing has got to reach its end of cycle soon, because i know our obsession with the mindset of 14 year old girls isn't likely to abate any time soon.

The middle class emperor has no clothes already.

10:00 AM  
Anonymous painterdog said...

depends on what kind of work you like.
I'm not from NYC but if you like figrutive work i would check out the forum gallery, or marlborough for the 57 street fix.

There are loads in Chelsea area.
the DFN Gallery is ok.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous jpegcritic said...

And so her work, by loose consensus,
doesn't work as 'painting' formally speaking.
Do they work otherwise, in the larger context
of art, rather, cultural expression/commentary?
Is there a unique voice that drives these images--
that merits the apparent attention these paintings
already command either by accident or otherwise?
Just curious.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous cha said...

Thanks Painter.... Forum is Odd nerdrum I think and I like his work!! Marlborough....had Francis Bacon?! rings a bell somewhere...I like his paintings a lot!
I'm sure there's lotsa choice out's just a time thing!!

10:01 AM  
Anonymous cha said...

jpeg...on the lowest level..if you get some reaction/ attention, good or bad...something is working!

10:02 AM  
Anonymous zipthwung said...

hey Joint Photographic Experts Group Critic...

I was saying above that I thought that audience and voice was important - in that the "voive" was of the "people" and the audience was...

1) The people (to laught
2) The people (to be outraged)
3) Aristocrats (to laugh)
4) Aristocrats (to be outraged)

Am I leaving something out?

THis is an old joke, and some people think the people dont get it, because some of the people dont - but as the dude says, you can fool some of the people some of the time but if everyone is in on the joke then you have a clusterfuck.

But why tell jokes in the first place? This painting depends on an "other" nominally someone to "laugh at" not "with."

Stupid people? Stupid Aristocrats? Or is this not a joke at all?

If this painting is not a joke - the faux naif style being a red herring, or an attempt at immediacy in the art brut sense (was art brut a joke?) then it has pathos.

There are good indicators that girl can paint, or could if she tried. One is the diamond necklace, where the gesture creates the impression of lace/diamonds quickly but without fussyness. The eyes, rouge and mouth (the face part) taken together are also facile.

So my interpretation is that this painting is in fact an empathetic commentary on the objectification of a real person's soap opera - that is turning a the mundane death of a real person into a myth.

Which is what art does, often, if not allways. Ergo, this is a good painting and constitutes art.

And it's funny.

But it's ugly.

10:03 AM  
Anonymous zipthwung said...

By red herring I mean "meta" or something.

10:03 AM  
Anonymous painterdog said...


10:04 AM  
Anonymous nowhere man said...

Aristocrats love to be Unfloofed... it makes them feel more Aristocraty

10:04 AM  
Anonymous zipthwung said...


10:05 AM  
Anonymous miller huggins said...

At her best she's Robert Pollard...someone that's old enough to know better... but can't help the fact that they still love/need the ache of longing, passion, adolescence, most people hedge their bets with this type of stuff...Peyton for example, this gal tears into it...Rock and Roll english style, the English are not the best painters really...Hogarth, Gainsborough excluded... what they really do well is produce pop/punk/rockstars..the English have a thriving pop culture They are collectors by nature, selectors in the arts..The YBA's tried to make what the English are good at and strap it to painting...Tabloid worthiness, high design, punkish pluck, Stella Vine when she's good does this better than the rest of the lot, she risks failure on a fairly regular basis, which I imagine is good, her work is a bit painful when it does not court danger.
She has done a painting of pallbearers walking through snow that is sickening in how good it is...She paints with the desparation of lost youth. That desparation usually finds other avenues in adulthood, I think it's good for painting. She is knowing.

Her Diana painting is based on the primary's...she get's from blue to yellow without going through green, that gray's a bit funky but Vermeer would like it nonetheless.

Yeah that's right I said Vermeer...I really think she's on par with Vermeer, cause I talked about him in the same sentence, must mean that.

10:06 AM  
Anonymous gazinia said...

I think you need to try that shit-in-a-bag trick on yourself as Zipthwung suggested a few days ago. Vermeer? Why not Joseph Cornell or Gainsborough for that matter, or anyone listed in the Grove Dictionary of Art?

10:06 AM  
Anonymous miller huggins said...

gazinia, I'm having trouble locating the shit-in-bag reference... which artist is it under?.. remember it vaguely.

10:07 AM  
Anonymous miller huggins said...

gazinia, just reread your comment...Vermeer does make extraordinary paintings that use blue and yellow and don't go through green...they go through the center of the color wheel and back's unique in my opininon and lends the work a specific appeal. Clearly Stella Vine doesn't consciously have this in mind but she comes across it nonetheless..and I think in talking about her work it's a relative point to bring up...just a blip that crossed my keyboard.

10:07 AM  
Anonymous zipthwung said...

shitbag: 3:02 pm this thread
Im reminded of the Berger book "Ways of Seeing," where he sees dead people and then theres this great bathtub scene with a rotting corpse and then its all a frozen maze at Marienbad.

10:08 AM  
Anonymous miller huggins said...

I vaguely remember reading the Berger book, or remember getting it and not reading's fiction right? It's a nice little painting isn't it.

10:09 AM  
Anonymous closeup said...

I thought the grey was very Gainsbourough, Miller. Glad u mentioned it.

10:10 AM  
Anonymous harold h. said...

"When the back story is much more interesting than the painting, you know you've got a problem."
Couldn't agree more...

10:11 AM  
Anonymous neighborhood watch said...


why are you doing this?

cut it out. if this is what I think it is - it's pathetic what some people will do to try to "drum up interest" in their little "museum."

here's where these comments are orignially from:

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice. It reminds me of when they let the school kids paint the windows in the cafeteria where I work at Christmastime.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All these new "handles" look like a "One-F-Jef" blitz...

12:12 PM  
Anonymous m. said...

huh. so it's been proposed that everything from the 2nd post down to the bottom are copied from another blog (and the two rants are exactly the same so SOMEBODY's plagarizing...)

Of course, none of these handles appears anywhere else on detrtoitarts and everywhere else on nycpainters...

absolutely fascinating. bring the blog-soap-opera together with the art-soap-opera and it's like watching an over-educated version of Rikki Lake, w/ too much vocab... i love it.

1:34 PM  
Anonymous jim said...

yeah, and since this post wasn't up when I turned off my computer around 10 pm sunday night and already had like 35+ comments by 8 am this morning, seems awfully weird ...

3:15 PM  
Anonymous buttcher said...

yah, this is some NY plaigarism.......Miller Huggins was the coach of the yankees back in the 40's

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jef, we are tired of your games.

6:38 PM  
Anonymous Poo Diddee said...

blowing your own horn is great, but somtimes the blowing becomes sucking and the horn becomes your own dick

8:04 PM  
Anonymous milkdud said...

Out with the new, in with the true.

9:57 PM  
Anonymous matt d. said...

i really love these conspiracy theories. why would anyone post basically negative comments (bad, crap, shit, ugly) in support of an artist? seems the opposite. someone trying to fuck with mona.

3:24 AM  
Anonymous buttcher said...

Negative, positive, it doesnt matter.
All publicity keeps ones name before the media.

If there werent all of these posts, would anybody pay attention to this crap?

6:31 AM  
Anonymous Nick said...

I agree with buttcher. These stolen blog comments are overwhelmingly negative. Attacks on the artist. So whoever wants to sabotage MoNA or neutralize the artist only give them both more credence. So stop it!

12:44 PM  
Anonymous jim said...

so who would most benefit from such attacks. the dark side of our litle art world. those who would even think little shit mona is a threat to anything. and we know who those chosen ones are. thank god for kharma.

1:27 PM  
Anonymous m. said...

her paintings were most likely much more fun to paint than it is to view. but i'm so bored with dealing with someone else's groovy process instead of seeing a good end result.

12:24 AM  
Anonymous poo diddy said...

Her paintings are good for painting...She paints like she really wants to paint, or rather be a painter, to participate...I respect that...all my petty concerns regarding painting and art production seem to slip off her back...she cranks it out, slaps it on the wall and takes wealthy peoples money in exchange...she shows her friends work, she buys other artist's work, she run's her own gallery...that punkish ethos combined with consumer knowingness is strange and in my opinion exciting.

12:26 AM  
Anonymous milkdud said...

A really bad artist can say something about the times in a way that often eludes genius. While the good artist gets lost in personal obsessions, the trite and sentimental hack has a way of showing us what we're all thinking.

12:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dick Cheney is here watching all of you. So say the right thing.
And paint / construct the right thing or else.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous m. said...

I would NEVER use the word Groovy... Who keeps insisting on copy and pasting this thread from another page? Whoever you are, you have WAY too much time on your hands.

I think it's kinda funny, tho.

5:24 PM  

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