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AGITPROP | AGITPROP
A digital forum for writing on art, culture, urbanism, politics and public engagement. Oh, and we organize occasional events too.
Author Archive
Michael Maas

Michael Maas

    Michael Maas is a Fallbrook-based painter. Over the past 15 years he’s shown extensively in Southern California, most recently at L2Kontemporary in Chinatown. He has another show this month at Bunny Gunner in Pomona. Maas is best known for his Alhambra series, over 200 paintings which deploy a common abstract motif — a...
San Diego Public Art

San Diego Public Art

A standard lament in the visual arts community is that San Diego is fated to be a perpetual Jersey-on-the-Pacific, with art remaining the odd duck out in a region known for its theatre and physical culture. The artists tend to blame this on the weather, without considering that the problem may be their art. San...
Prole Drift: Jean Lowe and the Great Recession

Prole Drift: Jean Lowe and the Great Recession

  1. In 1983 the historian Paul Fussell penned a minor classic of social satire titled Class: A Guide Through the American Status System. In it he dissects a myriad of class signifiers – housing, decor, transportation, diet, dress, posture, physiognomy, demeanor, vocabulary, religion, career, education, recreation – and from this deduces the following: –...
scott b. davis

scott b. davis

scott b. davis has earned a national reputation for his night photography. The San Diego Museum of Art is currently exhibiting a survey of his work from the past decade. And a show of recent work opens in March at jdc Fine Art. A recent profile of davis in the Summerset Review offers a wonderfully...
Is Robert Pincus a real person?

Is Robert Pincus a real person?

On Saturday the U-T San Diego editorialized on the impending removal of a public artwork from the San Diego waterfront. The editorial begins with a full paragraph quoting former U-T art critic Robert Pincus on his response to the artwork in question. It then states the following: “These criticisms discount the undeniable reality that, from...
A Painting by Anita Storck

A Painting by Anita Storck

John Baldessari, Commissioned Painting: A Painting by Anita Storck (1969) If a sign painter could paint my texts, why not ask somebody to paint a picture according to my indications? Every year my father and I used to visit county fairs. Despite the fact that he loved looking at tractors and farm equipment and I...
Épater La Jeunesse

Épater La Jeunesse

Like other art museums The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles hosts an annual gala event, with the goal of extracting surplus wealth from donors. The time-honored quid pro quo in this transaction is entertainment, and MOCA’s newly-acquired director Jeffrey Deitch has proven himself a master of pushing the notion toward the poles of art...
BOMBSHELL BOOM BOOM @ ART SAN DIEGO

BOMBSHELL BOOM BOOM @ ART SAN DIEGO

The Designated Voyeur

The Designated Voyeur

  The following images are commercial advertisements from mainstream publications (both print and online). The three exceptions — a 16th-century painting, vintage comic strip panel, and contemporary pornograph — are from art/performance web sites and John Berger’s classic Ways of Seeing. The images share a common image schema, and the schema itself begs several questions...
8/6-7/2011 ArtLawn 2011

8/6-7/2011 ArtLawn 2011

  Experience art in a glorious setting this weekend—with lush green grass beneath your toes, the La Jolla sky overhead, and a stunning view of the ocean as the backdrop. It’s ArtLawn 2011.  
Artists' Drugs

Artists' Drugs

A good hearty meal, all in one pill that can be carried in a vest pocket, is the dream of scientists of today, according to Hugh S. Cummings, surgeon general of the public health service. (Rock Valley Bee, August 17, 1923) Whereas the visual arts of the past were strictly material (stone, canvas, paper, pigment),...
Age Change

Age Change

Age change is a legal act, recognized in practically all legal systems, which allows a person to adopt an age different from their age at birth. The procedures and ease of an age change depend on the jurisdiction. In general, common law jurisdictions have rather loose limitations on age change, while civil law jurisdictions are...
Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion

Until recently my exposure to anime had consisted primarily of a satisfying addiction to anything Miyazaki. But then I learned of Neon Genesis Evangelion, an anime series written and directed by Hideaki Anno which spans 11 hours of television episodes and a concluding movie. If Miyazaki’s work embodies classical art cinema à la Kurosawa, NGE...
Spiral Bound at National University

Spiral Bound at National University

Spiral Bound opens at 214a Gallery, a new gallery space on the La Mesa campus of National University. The exhibition presents notebooks by forty artists — twenty from New York, twenty from San Diego — in a wide array of media: video, yellow legal pads, leather-bound journals, and loose sheets of paper aspiring to codex...
Social Sculpture

Social Sculpture

  Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate is arguably the most successful public artwork in the United States today. It draws the same number of annual visitors as the Statue of Liberty and Vietnam Veterans Memorial, yet derives its appeal solely through aesthetic pleasure not historical content. In short, it’s a people magnet. Accounts of the work...