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By Stephen WiglerStephen Wigler and Stephen WiglerStephen Wigler,Music Critic | April 4, 1993
If he had not been an artist, Richard Wagner once told his wife, Cosima, he would have wanted to become a saint.It's lucky for Wagner that he became an artist because he demonstrated little of the aptitude that leads to canonization. He took whatever he wanted from his friends, whether their wealth or their women; he wrote the viciously anti-Semitic racial tracts, filled with rapture for the purity of Northern light and blond hair and blue eyes, that attracted the adoration of Adolf Hitler and became part of the inspiration for the "Final Solution"; and he was so consumed by paranoia and narcissism that he has acquired a well-deserved reputation as probably the most awful human being who ever produced great art.Yet in his final opera, "Parsifal," Wagner achieved, if not saintliness, something closely associated with it. "Parsifal," which will be simulcast from the New York Metropolitan Opera Wednesday at 8 p.m. on MPT (channels 22 and 67)
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Sam Sessa, The Baltimore Sun | April 15, 2011
Every morning for the past eight months, Nicole Mazarakis wakes up, rolls out of bed and puts on music. Instead of turning on an iPod or playing a CD, Mazarakis pops a cassette into the old tape deck in her bedroom. She likes classical tapes from composers like Mozart and Haydn, but lately she's been listening to a new cassette by the enigmatic Baltimore singer/songwriter Daniel Higgs. "It's a really nice thing to wake up to in the morning," she said. "If you only have 30 minutes to get out of the house, it's not really that convenient to put a record on — you've got to flip it. Cassettes are great for me. " This might be the age of iPods and now iPhones, but the lowly cassette tape — long abandoned by the average listener — is making a small yet fervent comeback, fueled by a devoted base of indie musicians and fans.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By SAM SESSA | December 8, 2005
Tomorrow, Maryland Art Place will celebrate its exhibition (un)Konventional Kitsch with a holiday bash. At 6 p.m. many of the exhibition artists will talk briefly about their work and answer questions. Then singer and keyboardist Jim Forero will perform tunes from the '20s-'50s, and there will be food and drink. Guests are invited to bring hand-made "(un)konventional" ornaments to be displayed on MAP's tree. MAP is at 8 Market Place in Power Plant Live. For more information, call 410-962-8565 or visit mdart place.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Sam Sessa, The Baltimore Sun | June 10, 2010
Usually, Honfest is a celebration of kitsch, from beehives to cat's-eye glasses. This weekend, the annual Hampden festival will be honoring a different Baltimore icon. "It was all about the beehive," said Honfest founder Denise Whiting. "This year, it's all about the bird." Whiting is referring to the giant pink flamingo affixed to the front of her restaurant, Cafe Hon. It was there for years, until the city demanded Whiting take it down or pay an $800 "minor privilege fee" last fall.
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By GLENN MCNATT and GLENN MCNATT,SUN ART CRITIC | December 14, 2005
The current show at Maryland Art Place, which includes a stuffed deer's head, a plaster chicken with the face of Jesus and landscape paintings festooned with odiferous discs of air freshener, brings to mind the late critic Clement Greenberg's seminal 1939 essay "Avant-Garde and Kitsch." Greenberg sought to explain how modern industrial societies had produced two radically different kinds of artwork. The first he called high culture - advanced painting and sculpture created by avant-garde artists in order to propel the possibilities of their media forward.
NEWS
By Sam Quinones and Sam Quinones,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | January 8, 2003
One day in 1968 when Juan and Abel Velazquez were 15 years old, their father sat them down and placed before them canvases of black velvet. Jose Velazquez had been a boxer in Mexico City. Later, he taught himself cartooning and, from there, to paint on velvet, which is how he was supporting his family. "Time for playing is over," he told them. "It's time to make money." He took up a brush, dabbed it in pink paint and handed down to his sons the one craft he knew. Starting with a simple classic of Tijuana velvet, he taught them to paint the Pink Panther.
NEWS
By Robyn Dixon and Robyn Dixon,LOS ANGELES TIMES | October 20, 2003
MOSCOW -- Zurab Tsereteli, the court sculptor whose work decorates the capital, is used to being derided by critics and rivals as the king of kitsch. At 69, he sails on a sea of controversy, his ego billowing like a wind-filled spinnaker that no criticism can deflate. Though his work often raises hackles on his home turf, it is his latest project that is roiling the waves in two countries. Tsereteli's tribute to victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States -- a 100-foot splintered pylon with a giant teardrop-shaped glob of glass that he says will exude drops like real tears -- will soon be built on the waterfront in Jersey City, N.J. Whether from sour grapes or plain disbelief at Tsereteli's success, some members of the Russian art and architecture world see the planned monument as evidence that the taste of U.S. public officials can be as questionable as that of Moscow's leaders.
NEWS
By Glenn McNatt | October 17, 2009
The Avenue in Hampden is the capital of Baltimore kitsch, so for years the city got along just fine having that huge pink flamingo mounted above the landmark Cafe Hon. But now some city inspector has suddenly discovered that - gasp! - the big bird may actually be in violation of some silly ordinance or another. Sorry, too late. You should have thought of that years ago. The Big Bird stays. There's no need to pretend this long-necked fowl is great art. It's pure kitsch, as it was intended to be. Kitsch is the opposite of the complex, difficult, provocative and occasionally infuriating art in museums.
NEWS
March 14, 1998
BECAUSE J. Carter Brown once called the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington, Va., "kitsch," a couple of conservative Republican members of Congress are belatedly calling for his head.Rep. Gerald B. H. Solomon of New York and Sen. Tim Hutchinson of Arkansas want Mr. Brown, director emeritus of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, to resign as chairman of the U.S. Commission on Fine Arts. The commission, incidentally, angered Marine Corps supporters -- including the two congressmen -- by approving an Air Force monument near the famed Iwo Jima statue, which portrays Joe Rosenthal's historic photograph of six Marines straining to plant the U.S. flag on Mount Suribachi during World War II.The two lawmakers' charge is ludicrous.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Lynn Williams and Lynn Williams,Sun Restaurant Critic | October 19, 1990
If memory serves, the space that now houses Ding How used to be one of those kitsch emporiums that sold plaster lamps in the shape of Elvis Presley's head. That Elvis aesthetic -- so downscale-corny it's kind of cool -- is still in evidence in Fells If memory serves, the space that now houses Ding How used to be one of those kitsch emporiums that sold plaster lamps in the shape of Elvis Presley's head. That Elvis aesthetic -- so downscale-corny it's kind of cool -- is still in evidence in Fells Point, but it's gradually being replaced by businesses with pricier decor and more middle-class concerns.
NEWS
By Glenn McNatt | October 17, 2009
The Avenue in Hampden is the capital of Baltimore kitsch, so for years the city got along just fine having that huge pink flamingo mounted above the landmark Cafe Hon. But now some city inspector has suddenly discovered that - gasp! - the big bird may actually be in violation of some silly ordinance or another. Sorry, too late. You should have thought of that years ago. The Big Bird stays. There's no need to pretend this long-necked fowl is great art. It's pure kitsch, as it was intended to be. Kitsch is the opposite of the complex, difficult, provocative and occasionally infuriating art in museums.
BUSINESS
By Marie Gullard and Marie Gullard,Special to The Baltimore Sun | September 13, 2009
Sue Hart's Towson neighborhood consists of quaint brick rowhouses circa 1947 that appear from the street more cottagelike than the usual two-story Colonial. Narrow in width, these homes are lined up side by side, many behind picket or chain-link fences. Front yards, almost as deep as the homes themselves, showcase manicured lawns or are blanketed in controllable ivy. Almost all of the yards are shaded with old trees that were planted as saplings when home construction was completed more than a half-century ago. The concrete walkway to Hart's home passes ivy and small bushes.
NEWS
By Rob Hiaasen and Rob Hiaasen,Sun reporter | December 22, 2007
It's a wonderful leg. On mild-mannered Cottonwood Drive in Severna Park, Raymond Murphy's "leg lamp" shows off its fishnet stocking and black stiletto heel in the front window of his home. Shaded by black fringe, the thigh is lit for almost all to admire. "I can't tell you what my wife called me," Murphy says. But it was said in love - just not love for the leg lamp, which has become a highly personal gift for fans of A Christmas Story. The 1983 holiday cult classic again airs for 24 hours on TBS beginning at 8 p.m. Christmas Eve. Although It's a Wonderful Life and A Charlie Brown Christmas probably get more attention this time of year, A Christmas Story has cultivated its own following.
FEATURES
By Tom Dunkel and Tom Dunkel,Sun Reporter | May 12, 2007
Pay an arm and a leg for a drinking mug shaped like a severed head? You might as well kiss your common sense aloha. "Every once in awhile one would pop up on eBay," says Chris Bannister, who normally goes crazy for anything remotely related to so-called tiki culture. "The first time I saw one it was probably $125." That was six years ago. The going price is now about $1,400 - an amount most people would find hard to swallow even after they've had a few too many mai tais. Bannister, a 39-year-old information-technology technician from Nottingham, decided to bide his shopping time.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Karen Nitkin and Karen Nitkin,special to the sun | September 28, 2006
Leo, Gemini, Aries and all their friends on the astrological charts serve as the unifying theme for Zodiac, a fun little restaurant near the Charles and Everyman theaters. A restored antique mural shows the astrological signs, and many entrees are named for signs of the Zodiac. Here's my feeling about horoscopes: I read them for fun nearly every day, yet I've never been able to find a correlation between what is written and what happens to me. And so it is with Zodiac - the horoscope theme is fun, but it really doesn't mean anything.
NEWS
By JULIE SCHARPER and JULIE SCHARPER,SUN REPORTER | July 7, 2006
A week ago, the spangled purses, tiger-themed dartboard and embroidered portrait of John F. and Robert Kennedy propped outside the door of the Hampden Junque Shop would not only have been the height of kitsch -- they would have been illegal. Yesterday, proprietor Margo Goldman was able to legally display the items -- along with that Hampden perennial, pink flamingos -- outside her shop, thanks to a city ordinance that went into effect Sunday. That ordinance lifts restrictions imposed by a 1977 measure that prevented Hampden shops from displaying merchandise outside.
FEATURES
By Michael Gray and Michael Gray,SUN STAFF | June 7, 1998
"The Beach: The History of Paradise on Earth," Lena Lencek and Gideon Bosker. Viking. 310 pages. $25.95.It is an ambitious history that begins with the words: "It all began about four billion years ago ..."Lena Lencek and Gideon Bosker are certainly ambitious in "The Beach," beginning it billions of years before the first beach-goers even crawled out of the ooze, much less before their progeny first dove back in. This points up the basic problem with their sometimes fascinating, often maddening book: It's a wide but not very deep exploration of a complex physical and spiritual environment.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Television Critic | March 30, 1993
Richard Gere talking Tibetan politics, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon analyzing U.S. immigration policy, Geena Davis wearing a dress only she could wear plus wooden tributes and lots of kitsch.The telecast of the 65th annual Academy Awards last night was very, well, Hollywood in its stranger and flakier moments. But, more than anything else, it was a surprisingly flat TV show.Maybe it was just that expectations were so high after Jack Palance's one-armed pushups and Billy Crystal's brilliant running commentary on Palance and the pushups last year.
FEATURES
By GLENN MCNATT and GLENN MCNATT,SUN ART CRITIC | December 14, 2005
The current show at Maryland Art Place, which includes a stuffed deer's head, a plaster chicken with the face of Jesus and landscape paintings festooned with odiferous discs of air freshener, brings to mind the late critic Clement Greenberg's seminal 1939 essay "Avant-Garde and Kitsch." Greenberg sought to explain how modern industrial societies had produced two radically different kinds of artwork. The first he called high culture - advanced painting and sculpture created by avant-garde artists in order to propel the possibilities of their media forward.
ENTERTAINMENT
By SAM SESSA | December 8, 2005
Tomorrow, Maryland Art Place will celebrate its exhibition (un)Konventional Kitsch with a holiday bash. At 6 p.m. many of the exhibition artists will talk briefly about their work and answer questions. Then singer and keyboardist Jim Forero will perform tunes from the '20s-'50s, and there will be food and drink. Guests are invited to bring hand-made "(un)konventional" ornaments to be displayed on MAP's tree. MAP is at 8 Market Place in Power Plant Live. For more information, call 410-962-8565 or visit mdart place.
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