Jonathan Griffin

Criticism and essays on art and culture

Tag: kaari upson

Kaari Upson

Life Study

Kaari Upson admits she’s told this story so many times, in so many different ways, that it’s become hard to get it straight any more. Her changing recollection of events has now superseded hard truth. Journalists and critics, falling over themselves to retell the incredible tale, also invariably bungle their facts, and so further pollute her memories. She’ll do her best though. Here goes. Read the rest of this entry »

George Herms: Xenophilia

MOCA at the Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles

George Herms must get tired of being referred to as the last of his generation. Born in 1935, he was amongst the youngest of the Beats and a pioneer of the California Assemblage movement. Like many of his peers he saw his lack of art school training as no impediment to combining found objects in the way that he might compose a poem, or jam with jazz musicians. By reputation, and by the evidence of his unkempt but literary art, he’s a free spirit, a mystic. He stands (especially in younger minds) for a now rare artistic archetype, pure of heart and innocent of commercial ambition. Herms is regarded with affection, and, as ‘George Herms: Xenophilia (Love of the Unknown)’ proposes, his work remains a touchstone for a slew of artists working today. Read the rest of this entry »