Ida Levinthal nexus via San Jose Museum and South

It seems like I don’t do much but blog these days. Mixed blessing: plenty to say, few readers. Do I need feedback for affirmation?

Talked to Terry. Our plan for day is San Jose Museum, which is open 11 to 5 on Sundays. I want to see the David Levinthal exhibit. I want to see the Willie Mays bit. But it also, according to website, has something about Holocaust. And as a Jew I am required to think about the Holocaust for an hour or more every couple months. Meanwhile, Terry had wanted to see a movie called “Ida”, and not just because she has a sister-in-law with that name. It references something “jewish” I hear tell. So I thought, in advance, and advance enough to tip my cultural plan, which is like the Cubs pitcher telling his coach that Will Clark had hit a curveball last time up so was going with fastballs, such that, Will, being a lip reader knew what was coming, and hit a gamer, such that now every single pitcher conference in MLB has men talking thru their mitts, why not look at the David Levinthal Holocaust stuff with an eye towards seeing “Ida” and then see, more to the point, “Ida” contextualized thru having just gone to the museum — the baseball stuff will melt away, like the line about sculpture being you take a block and cut away what is not your work. “Ida” is here in Palo Alto, at Palo Alto Square –where we saw “Chef” — but we will see it at famous Camera on South Second, and eat something (not too ambitious) in between.

My brain kinda flashed to having seen a new piece of sculpture down at the East extreme of Palo Alto University Avenue, past House of Bagels and Tamarine (the most Easterly culture haunts on my map), a large bronze of a life-size or super-sized or at least super-sturdy looking athlete, a runner, or maybe a sprinter.vanderhoofStatue The man is hunched forward like he is in a sprint. He has a logo for the leading sports shoe manufacturer on his shoes. He also has the name of the business/tenant on a name-tag (in bronze) on his shorts and shirt. The sponsor of the work — somewhere between public art, sculpture, a statue and a monument — is a chiropractor or a sports chiropractor. And his name fittingly is Vanderhoof. (Hoof being a reference to “feet”, in my mind, maybe he is a podiatrist, as well, like my Gunn contemporary Amol Saxena). I was thinking of chatting up the guy about doubling down on monument but adding some kind of value like could the statue, the next statue, that he and I could co-produce, with some fellow travelers and art-sports-scene hoofers, be of someone or something more specific. Think John Carlos and Smith as seen by Rigo, at San Jose State. Think Major Taylor in Worcester. Think Heisman Trophy winners at not-much-else-going on large public schools in midwest and south. (Chris Wuelpher?) Think weird tribute to electronics pioneer, eugenicist and pseudo-inspiration to Silicon Valley mavericks in Cali Avenue Area — could this runner be the same artist – fabricator? I am also still looking for an outlet for my Harry Hillman or my Hillman-Robertson jones. I will edita with pic of runner. And hopefully some informed (shaped) comments on Levinthall and or “Ida”. Dr. Aaron Vanderhoof at 616 University.

I think 24 Mays has been floating around my desktop for a while I will try to drag him here



edit to add: We did make it to San Jose Museum of Art, to see David Levinthal exhibit plus recent acquisitions (Kara Maria, Stephanie Sujuco, Stanford’s Xiaoze Xie) and Landau on loan, but we kinda rushed thru for whatever reasons. If I don’t get back there, my Nov. 30, I would like to spend some time with Levinthal’s books, there are about six, and especially a recent book on Iraq and Afghanistan wars, called I.E.D., available from Powerhouse books, for $29.95. IED_iconHe has a version of Mein Kampf based on seeing and procuring a toy set from WWII characters that he says he saw in Austria — someone in Austria was selling an Adolph Hitler action figure or toy, and this is the Jewish American artists reaction to it. Some of his works are collaborations with Gary Trudeau, of Doonsbury fame. I don’t quite have the whole picture but I have a better idea of it all. They say he was an influence on Cindy Sherman and Richard Prince. (Did not make it to “IDA” the movie. Maybe I can be too clever by half and change my title from “Ida Levinthal…” to IED Levinthal…also, not sure if I am more or less likely to justify the juxtaposition  of the Palo Alto statue of a runner I describe to Levithal’s work — it kinda fits if you can image taking photos of the runner and re-purposing them to make some point about worship of idealized forms of the human body.)

We also have a group photo of four of us posed next to a Ruth Asawa tribute installation: Terry, Mark, Scott and Michael. TK

edit to add, later than month: Terry and I finally saw “Ida” which forced me to watch the U.S. – Portugal World Cup match on tape delay. Sad movie, I will add more later.


About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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