Victor Grauer | Pittsburgh City Paper

Victor Grauer 
Member since Nov 29, 2012

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Re: “After a sexual harassment case rocked the Mattress Factory in September, are Pittsburgh artists ready to embrace the museum again?

It would be useful, as far as M. F. patrons and artists are concerned, if the specifics of this case could be made public, because at this point I don't know what to think. As an artist who has worked closely with both Michael Olijnyk and Barbara Luderowski, I find it all but impossible to imagine that either of them would be capable of the sort of harassment that's been assumed. What exactly has been alleged and who exactly is being accused?

Posted by Victor Grauer on 01/09/2019 at 3:13 PM

Re: “Baby Driver

What I want to know is whether this movie contains the obligatory encounter between an automobile and a fruit stand, including the shaking of the dealer's fist. No car chase movie is complete without one.

Posted by Victor Grauer on 07/03/2017 at 10:37 PM

Re: “They are the music makers: What (some) Pittsburgh musicians, promoters, labels and producers would like to see improve in the city’s scene

This article was written in complete ignorance of anything but the commercial side of music: basically pop, rock and hiphop. Not everyone has been commercially successful, natch, but they all wannabe. There are musicians in this city who care more about music than doing gigs and landing contracts. Do your homework.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Victor Grauer on 04/28/2017 at 11:54 PM

Re: “Most Listable City

As a local artist with an interest in innovation and experimentation I was at first cynical about Pittsburgh. Though lots of attention was devoted to the arts, almost all was of the conservative variety, designed to feed the ego of establishment types. Over the years, however, I've noticed a heartening change, especially in the city's growing openness to originality and diversity in the arts. And contrary to what the author assumes, I've also noticed that many gifted and original artists have moved here -- partly for the low cost of living but also the exciting art scene. My only complaint is with the Pgh. Symphony, which continues to favor old chestnuts and seems reluctant to program even "modernist" works, not to mention anything contemporary -- aside from the occasional, and almost invariably lame, commission.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Victor Grauer on 02/22/2017 at 10:39 PM

Re: “Florence Foster Jenkins

It is both alarming and heart-rending to recognize what we've morphed into over the last several decades. TV shows soliciting cheap laughs by ridiculing those of us who might be somewhat different or eccentric or even a bit self-deluded now abound. Think Two and A Half Men, or The Big Bang Theory or American Idol for starters. The sort of programming devoted to, as you say, "openly mocking the deluded and talentless."

Yet you have no difficulty praising a film devoted to precisely that sort of thing, someone's idea of a "delightful comedy" based on the very very sad story of pathetic Florence Foster Jenkins, an easily manipulated innocent, cruelly mocked by the sort of people who'd probably have enthusiastically cheered at those Roman festivals where Christians were fed to the lions. I'm sorry but I have no desire to watch such a spectacle. I've heard recordings of her singing and it's no worse than what comes out of the mouths of the great majority of would be "rock stars" of our own era. What a heartless, bitter and cruel society we've become.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Victor Grauer on 08/17/2016 at 10:00 PM

Re: “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

I saw this film recently via Netflix and I must say I have mixed feelings about this guy. On the one hand, he is very charming, interesting, certainly very brave, and also, I believe, sincere. On the other hand, he is clearly an uninhibited attention seeker, who thinks nothing about exploiting the tragedy of others to promote himself and his "art." I found his relentless pursuit of "justice" for the victims of a terrible earthquake especially disturbing. Since there was nothing he could do to bring these children back, all his "obsession" accomplished was in the realm of publicity -- primarily for himself.

As seems clear he also is in the habit of exploiting the many artists and artisans who actually make the "artworks" he produces. He's even proud of the fact that he calls upon them for ideas as well. How very humble of him to admit that.

His habit of smashing neolithic vases also doesn't endear him to me. First, because I have never had much patience with this type of "concept" art, second because it's deliberately destructive, third because it yet another cheap publicity stunt and finally because what it amounts to is yet another example of conspicuous consumption on the part of someone who's manged to accumulate enough money to buy these very expensive items in the first place. Finally to be brutally frank, it's not particularly original either. Robert Rauchenberg famously erased a drawing by Willem de Kooning back in the 50's.

Finally, his eager support from politicians in the West seeking to promote a confrontation with the Chinese government makes me wonder regarding his role as provocateur. Are the Chinese movers and shakers any worse than our own oligarchs and corrupt politicians here in the States -- I wonder. If he were truly a revolutionary he'd be working to upend the phony and corrupt world art market -- instead he feeds on it.

Posted by Victor Grauer on 06/02/2016 at 2:48 PM

Re: “In the wake of a mass shooting in Pittsburgh suburb, residents and officials are taking action

If this were a white neighborhood, the National Guard would have been sent in years ago. Because what's been going on for years is a war, and it needs to be stopped in its tracks -- by force! There is no other way.

No one in government wants to address the underlying issue that produced this disastrous situation: endemic poverty, which breeds endemic violence. I worked as a teacher for many years with young black people and the message I got from almost all was a sense of hopelessness and fatalism. Many are far more intelligent than they are given credit for, but they lack motivation because there is nothing there for most of them after they graduate. Well meaning "training programs" are no substitute for good jobs. And heaven knows there is a LOT to be done in the Pittsburgh area, where the decline of infrastructure is a growing problem. All that's required is an equable and fair tax structure, so the money to fund meaningful jobs programs will be available. But our politicians run scared at the word "taxation," so that's not likely to happpen. Until the insanity spreads to the rest of the city. THEN something will be done, I guarantee it.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Victor Grauer on 03/17/2016 at 12:04 PM

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