Michael Cline


Painter said...

Michael Cline @
Daniel Reich Gallery
537 A West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10011

Sunil said...

Lower middle class, explorations of power, weimar-esque, an odd sexual tension... contrasts well with Natalie's show over at Mitchell Innes. Need to explore this in more detail before speaking my mind...
Painter, glad you posted this…

Ursula's Dad said...


anthony said...

Did the artist witness these? I don't know why but that makes a difference to me. Some of the images remind me of scenes that played out beyond my picture window in Chicago.
This artist sticks to a Bukowski type of squalor. You know the George Bellows painting of the laborers exiting the boxcar? Some of the paintings remind me of that, except these don't really seem to be coming from a social conscience-more like an exploration of a fascination or obsession.
Joe Coleman?
This one reminds me of "Kids".

arebours said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JpegCritic said...

I think it's a perfect replacement of
Balthus's Street, which is missing from
MoMA, btw (is it in Ludwig?)

And so... what's so lite about it?

JpegCritic said...

I consider these an advance
from Pierre Klossowski's visual endeavors.

zipthwung said...

You gonna do "Where the Wild Things Are" well say it like you mean it, this is 2007 and "The Scream" is merchandised, is a novelty punching bag and Tooker has swiped his last metrocard.
Break on through man!

When reality gets anachronized its gonna chase you down the street, ticking like an alligator and talking like a tormented cabbage patch kid who just wants to be a real boy.

If this is all you saw then maybe you aren't in the right neighborhood. Maybe you're better off in Disneyland stealing stories from the Brothers Grimm (spiked barrels!).

If kids in New Orleans can do it so can you. They all draw triangles instead of rectangles for houses? That's called imitation. The one sick triangle kid spiols the whole barrel.

You can be the sicko, I won't tell.

When the war is over how many soldiers will be dying to paint crazy pictures for very reasonable prices? Hop on it people! Fly your Talon Air to Iraq and start recruiting! Think about the sublime horror you could float in a walnut!

Macabre tales are great, really really great.
Sublime Horror!
I like HPL's "Crouch End" you know the story, guy gets lost, there's a "shift of scene" and suddenly its "The Scream" with living breathing tentacles.

Gallery Ant said...

"The Earth quakes and the Heavens rattle; the beasts of nature flock together and the nations of men flock apart; volcanoes usher up heat while elsewhere water becomes ice and melts; and then on other days it just rains." The Book of Predications


zipthwung said...

Why yes mr sampras the The Hawker 800XP, Gulfstream IVSP and Hawker 400XP did all prove to be ideal aircraft.

Anyone into dragons and shit? Dragon Riders of Pern, The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Reign of Fire, etcet etcet...

I'm looking to break into the high end dragon painting market. I can do steam punk and period shit too. Whatever. Not so into photoreal (unless I'm stoned) and impressionism is allright if someone is there to change my diaper.

I know you can get it done in china for about 2 cents on the dollar but I get nuance, and as you know, that what makes the Nazis you have to invite to dinner squirm. Or whatever, I dont know you, this is comment spam really (but you can learn a lot from me).

Its all about google washing and spamdexing. No shit. I'm a blog warrior. I get paid 10 pennies a to post. Its like Heaven on Earth.

Oh yeah, I like colonizing sub cultures and Orientalism!

zipthwung said...

Im in a temporary erogenous zone allright!

anthony said...

Zipthwung, you are getting at the meat of the issue.
The scenes depicted have a lot of filters in place that allow these to teeter between tawdy urban scenes and hobo nostalgia. The paintings get close enough for discomfort for me because as I've stated, some of this is familiar. On the other hand, the scenes are painted with what I read as an overall attempt at spectacle rather than uncovering a hidden or avoided reality. Also, all the scenes are played out in the same neighborhood, seemingly, which makes me ask myself from what position or point of view is the artist "seeing" all this squalor? Why is it selective? He went to school in Chicago which is a famously segregated town. Hyde Park is "where blacks and whites unite against the poor", the old saying goes. Otherwise everyone sticks to their own Cardinal direction. I'm dancing around an issue again, here. Why not a more diverse range of human wreckage in these paintings? Is it because the artist would come across as a judge more than a simple observer? I wonder if that is a politically correct choice. Tooker also created a racially homogenous city experience, right?
Is anyone looking at Leon Golub's work these days?

Old Guy said...

I'm thinking Jansson Stegner on a bad curry choreographing the hobo nostalgia video set on a 40s film set for Justin M&M.

That kid in the background is miming and about to go into an awesome breakdance.

It's the stomach and other arm that won't sell.

vintagevixxen said...

there is no comparing this junk to balthus.

Cross said...

Usually it helps my understanding of an artist's work to see other images from the gallery's website. But this one painting is so clear in its intent that my understanding feels complete without seeing other work by this artist.

No Rush said...

For all the posters and essayists that wanted to make Ingrid Calames work about the Human Stain instead of about chance (which is what its about)...here's your painting.

What's your greatest fear Major Briggs?
That love is not enough.

zipthwung said...

Sounds about right to me.
my name is legion

I am spasticus autisticus!

zipthwung said...

tick tock!

Quisquilloso said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
zipthwung said...

i think calame is about entropy but I could say anything about that. Chaos controll, six degrees, you like you like?

Mark said...

Hit a girl when she's down, will ya'. I see Paris!

zipthwung said...

growing up is hard to do

Uncle Jesse said...

this one kinda reminds me of a Stanley Spencer painting. that crazy crucifixion one.
i thought the gallery did a nice job describing this work in their press release.

zipthwung said...

man does anyone know anything about differential topology? man, i could totally teach you some cool art stuff if you knew about it. i know so much about it. more than scientists. it's too bad you guys can't know it.

i also got friends at columbia and yale, and they're scientists AND painters. they're so famous. figurative and abstract. everything.

did you guys know there's a war going on? just in case you didn't, i'll post a thousand links about it in my next post. these links are cool. and very important.

man, intertextuality is going to be big. but too bad you guys can't know it since you don't know the tourrin test. The Tourrin test tests if a human can tell that they are talking to a machine or a human. Awesome. It was created by Allin Tourrin. I know ALL ABOUT IT. too bad you don't know it. but that's ok, it's kind of extreme stuff, you have to be on the extreme side of the intelligence bell curve. unfortunately, the majority of the population is not on the extreme side of the intelligence bell curve. i'll post some links on it. here. here. here. and here.

No Rush said...

There really haven't been enough penis/skateboards in art history.

zipthwung said...

I have a friend.
Welcome to monkey island!
And your little dog too.

I sold a code and two pairs o' plans!

anthony said...


Mark said...

Zip please don't ever medicate, it wouldn't be the same with out you. Of course self meds are fine though.

zipthwung said...

i'm embracing my self-critical doppelganger. Its like it is so I don't have to or something.
Slave mentality+Zizek+Neitsche
I'm hrefing tired.

zipthwung said...

i dont know anyone at Columbia and my yale friends are at the back of the bus with the rest of the bad kids.
Its a lot more fun - more targets for the spitwads.

Old Guy said...

If Calame’s work is about chance then Cline’s work is about calisthenics.

I’m with QQ. You don’t represent chance with so much emphasis on method and co-operation. Even to say the work is about opportunity is to miss how glib and safe they are. That stuff can’t miss because it only ever half hits. You could assign any colors to the outlines and it would always work as long as they are flat and hard edge.

I’m sure you could do the whole thing in Photoshop (admittedly on a Gigafile) and print it/have it sprayed onto any surface (auto lacquers! Boss!). In fact you could probably program the colors to adjust to stock market or rating statistics and run editions indefinitely.


Cline’s figures are not quite at home with his settings to me. If you’re going to take those kinds of liberties with proportion, foreshortening and modeling, then I think you should do as much for the surrounding space. The color is another thing – there is something strangely 30s-40s about the color for some reason.

But at least he hasn’t fallen in step with the post Leipzigers like NF.

zipthwung said...

i wasnt convinced by the paint handling - meaning it was neither ironic enough (in the style of) nor whatever master is - a lot of white is a lot of white and I dunno, why not add some gravy?

Yeah, if I was Calame I'd take photos and do the trace bitmap thing in flash (girdded off of course) or posterize it in photoshop. Or trace it in a specialized trace program.

Does she scan the tracings into a computer at some point? It would make the compositing waaaay easier.

zipthwung said...

which is to say lets not and say we did. Who's going to know?

zipthwung said...

a working class hero is someone to be

Quisquilloso said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JpegCritic said...

I was referring to Balthus' brother,
who I personally believe was heavily
influenced by Balthus and had an
affinity to Dix. (thanks for pointing out
Dix. Pierre the writer simply wasn't a
great draftsman, but aimed in the direction
of -- he was a scholar of de Sade.

JpegCritic said...

but while dix relates more to cline in
pictorializing some social setting in an
interesting -- some say 'spectacular' way; i
feel that quite simply, that Cline's images
relate to P. Klossowski's exloration of
sexual deviation (notably S&M), played out,
as spectacle, in a social setting.

It's just that P. Klossowski's pictures were downright bad. And that make's this more interesting.

Quisquilloso said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
waste said...

I thought Dix looked very strong in Glitter and Doom at the Met. The work looked very alive to me and made particular sense right now.

Dix could really draw. And the work was pretty ferocious.

I was put off by the bad drawing in the Cline painting that's posted, but when I went to the gallery website and looked at more images, some of the distortions became interesting to me across several paintings. I haven't seen the show, so I don't know what they are like physically.

Sterling said...

I want to see that guy stick the bat between her legs.

A.Painter said...

very much inspired by this blogspot

arebours said...

I want to see this guy become a uh less than muralist.

Sunil said...

Very raw, street wise pictures. Not too different from taking walks down a poor neighborhood. I was not moved too much - statements like this have been laundered many times over, but still are worth reiterating... The technique shines through in some although some of the hair and beards had a mall painting feel to it...
On seeing the web images first, it reminded me of the show ‘Glitter and Doom’ for some reason – on going to the gallery most of my memory of Weimar art remained safe with me without too many challenges…
I am not so sure...

zipthwung said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ken said...


Sometimes only the illustration hammers home reality

- for as many photographers who have cashed in on flashing lights on street people as muse

- for as many pretentious contemporary art works aimed at supplying the destitute with some new kind of push cart

- for as many depraved that get hired by Santiago Sierra to become art objects (I have to admit...some of these are pretty powerful/disturbing)

- for as many homeless as one might trip over walking from Port Authority to Chelsea on opening night


as above so below so it goes...I suppose


PAINTINGS about bums...are really interesting,

since I'd have to assume the maker..would have to be spending at least SOME time thinking about their presence in society..rather then inviting them up to your studio..sharing some blow..snapping a photo that speaks of how much 'we all are outcasts' and then selling it at Mathew Marks.

the fact that they are homage-a-painted to look like George Grosz (one of the most under-recognized geniuses of REAL social commentary in the fine-arts) gets a big thumbs-up IMO

As the press release brilliantly describes Cline's handling of the figures as characters molded in clay:' "It's hard to imagine the sound of their voices, especially since they often simply hold written placards filled with political absurdities so that they do not have to repeat themselves."

the smart contrast is in NOT depicting a Mannered ruckus (like with Grosz). These scenes have a Rockwell placidity which guises the content. There is so much happening in these works subliminally I believe.. benefiting from a rather 'medieval' treatment of figures and spaces..and in spaces.

other subliminal elements are the extreme attention to detail of references..not necessarily any particular era..but as if he was working as a stylist for a Monty Python rendition of West Side Story (If this comes to Broadway someday I want some kind of nod) making the works rather fragmentary...which is a 'smart' way of saying you have to


"I will tell you off for $2.00
please help
-God bless"

KB said...

Boring retread of previously explored ground.

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