Um, I guess I’m back from my unscheduled and rather unproductive sabbatical from this space.
This afternoon I suddenly had the strong urge to blog – prompted by an elevating of mood having seen the latest from Francoise Ozon and a lost, restored classic by Lucchino Visconti.
Its not that the thought of updating hasn’t crossed my mind over the last few months, but I figured other folk were doing much better jobs with their sites and also I have come to the realization that I’m more apt to contribute – when I’m just surging to express and vent and define myself – during those times when I’m chained to a desk and have to look busy in an uncomfortable work environment. And I’ve been feeling recently that there’s really not much that I can say…
Which I haven’t been all year, picking up freelance work here and there and going to school, but as friends and family can attest, I’ve certainly been living in my own planet these days.
Life in DC has been an overwhelming fug as of late for me – and the oppressive summers we get here do nothing to add to my enthusiasm. This state has been lifted periodically by welcomed houseguests here at Casa Skunkeye – including a blessed reunion with the notorious Kitty Go – and frequent sojourns to the Beach House, as well as great times in Baltimore and Philly. I’ve also been the neighborhood lunatic alley gardener – and sadly I haven’t taken any pictures – my area was looking spectacular until June when those crazy, endless rains hit, to recover after a lot of hard work only to be stunted by housemate neglect when I was out of town, drought and blazing heat, and now the new school of teenage rats, whose rampages and destruction are clearly in defiance of their better informed parents. I did manage to swing one dinner large dinner party using vegetables that I grew – tomatoes, squash, basil, cilantro – and the roses for the most part are doing fine. See, I’ve been a total bore lately!
And, seriously, I haven’t bought any new music lately and it really has been a crap period for film, so it’s not like I had all that much to write about.
However, in a nutshell, and to get up-to-date (I’m a bit compulsive about marking significant cultural experiences, having updated my calendar/diary religiously for years – a habit I acquired from my grandmother):
Haha, I’m running out of steam already blogging again – baby steps, naman – next entry, Ozon and Visconti and my re-ignited fascination with Romy Schneider!
Quick program note: I’ll be catching up on posts shortly – been enjoying a steady stream of houseguests and time away at the beach and also overwhelmed by evil taxes and home improvement projects gone terribly awry!
In the interim, if the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly is an indicator, the Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited English-language tribute album should be hitting US stores this upcoming Tuesday. The effort is a bit spotty – as most projects of this sort tend to be - but worth checking out. I posted my take some time back.
Also, after the jump, I’ve included the full text of a Gainsbourg article that the Guardian ran recently (after the jump). They gave the compilation an unenthusiastic review by the way and pointed out that Gainsbourg’s oeuvre is better appreciated in his native French.
I also strongly urge readers to head over to Monsieur Guuzbourg’s place, Filles Sourires, for his beautifully-curated series on French actresses songbirds!
In a town without Pitney….
Yesterday morning I was saddened to learn of Gene Pitney’s passing alone in hotel room in Cardiff while on tour, a turn of events which has received shockingly little mainstream media coverage in the US.
Pitney is one of the greats in the American songbook – given his trademark sensibilities (vulnerable, sensitive, and searching – an outsider, complicated - not exactly the legend-making confident cock-rock appeal associated with Elvis and the recently mainstream hot Johnny Cash) it seems somewhat fitting that his departure has been virtually ignored in his home country.
Indeed, while we still hear his better known hits like “The Man Who shot Liberty Valence” and “A Town Without Pity” on the oldies stations, appreciation for the genius of Gene – as with many of our better exports like Scott Walker, Lee Hazlewood, and Nina Simone - has in recent years been stronger in Europe and Asia, where a certain sensibility, artistry, and iconoclasm is more widely understood and celebrated. That Antony & the Johnsons garnered this year’s Mercury Prize is telling.
Subtle is perhaps the wrong term to describe Pitney’s music, since his delivery is decidedly melodramatic, but beneath what many would dismiss as schlock there are poignant underpinnings of yearning, heartbreak and textured readings of the human experience – perhaps sublime is a better word.
In the early part of the last decade – at the height of David Lynchian hipness, The Crying Game and Lounge faddishness - Gene Pitney was championed by contemporary artists like Nick Cave, Mark Almond, and Morrissey, and I’m hoping the richness of his body of work will be re-examined and given appropriate treatment some time soon – box set, biography, biopic... anyone?
Guardian UK tribute here.
The Swell Maps were one of my favorite bands of the punk era – I listened to “Read About Seymour” over and over as a teen - and I have tried to follow and collect Sudden’s amazingly prolific output since. Not only an inspired musician, Sudden was a gifted and thoughtful writer as well – his site is well worth exploring.
You can also find an array of Nikki Sudden downloads from his myriad projects there.
In a hollow age of Pete Doherty playing it up for the tabloids and various young bands cribbing the sounds of the late-seventies, it is especially poignant that we seem to be losing many of the true pioneers and iconoclasts recently – Joe Strummer and several Ramones come immediately to mind.
I’m at a loss for time right now, so check out the Pitchfork announcement after the jump.
I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of Jane Birkin’s latest effort, Fictions, and I must say after a few listens I’m more impressed than I thought I would be. The legendary “Mother of all Babes” has been amazingly prolific recently and it seems just about every young artist is clamoring to work with her (who wouldn’t be?) and the results, as evidenced by the well-intentioned, but murky and disjointed recent French-language effort, Rendez-Vous, have been hit-or-miss.
Fictions is also a collection of collaborations (The Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon, Feist cohort Gonzales, and Beth Gibbons of Portishead, among many) and indeed the majority of the album consists of cover versions (and I’m including the Rufus Wainwright contribution which owes its hook to the Kink’s “Waterloo Sunset”); the material, however, is well-chosen and fits in marvelously with the theme of the album.
Birkin receives no writing credit on Fictions but the smartly-curated material does a fine job of celebrating her life journey. That the story is mostly spun in her native English and contains no Serge Gainsbourg compositions (which is quite liberating in the much celebrated anniversaire of his passing) and with well-placed musical and lyrical allusions to her upbringing across the Channel - before Blow-Up changed her life - signifies that Birkin, if not already, has well moved on from her seminal role as erotic ingénue and muse, making a hard-earned and respectable pilgrim's progress to emerge on her own as a vital artist and is acknowledging her roots. It must be noted, however, that the inclusion of her interpretation of Ravel’s Image Fantôme (Pavane Pour Une Enfante Défunte) is quite telling.
Jane B’s idiosyncratic (and frankly an acquired taste) vocal chops are in fine firm – methinks the Arabesque tour gave her quite the workout – and she amazingly elevates tunes that would be cringe-worthy if handled with lesser taste and restraint, such as Kate Bush’s “Mother stands For Comfort.” Her informed choice of Tom Waits’s “Alice” works well in context of the through the Looking Glass and Wonderland aspects of her experiences and she does manage to pull off a credible, if not as inspired as Cassandra Wilson’s reading, jazz version of Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon.” Of course the album veers on preciousness and self-indulgence – but the Grande Dame has earned it and can pull it off.
Fictions reminds me a bit of Nancy Sinatra’s star-studded gang bang latest a bit – that Johnny Marr’s jangling guitar makes its presence on Fictions echoes Morrissey’s association with Boots – but I think Jane Birkin’s album works better as a fully-realised project and a more cohesive exercise in story-telling. Jane B. - model, actress, muse, mother, songbird, keeper of the flame, tireless humanitarian - sans-doubt a life worth celebrating and certainly an album worth bagging!
(words and music by Rufus Wainwright except for the obvious Kinks homage)
(words and music by the Magic Numbers)
(words and music by The Divine Comedy)
Being the quixotic Serge geek and completist that I am, my frustrations were somewhat assuaged when I finally got my hands on the just-released and highly sought-after album homage, Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited this week. (I was actually losing sleep over finding this which shows the fool that I am!) As with most tribute albums, the affair is somewhat spotty, hodge-podge and hit-or-miss, and could have benefited from the vision of a talented and focused curator like Hal Wilner or John Zorn (see number 13). The talent and collaborators are somewhat inspired but the results aren’t really. And, actually, this tribute is collection unique only in that it features exclusively English-language interpretations. Here is my appropriately self-indulgent track-by-track take:
01. « A Song For Sorry Angel » (Franz Ferdinand & Jane Birkin)
Sorry, this track is B-side at best! Jane B. is one of my patron saints but the upcoming English-language album, Fiction (which includes collaborations with youngsters Neil Hannon of Divine Comedy, Magic Numbers, Beth Gibbons, Rufus Wainwright, Arthur H, Dominique A, Cali and others) gives me pause. Her last effort, Rendez-Vous was a bit of a mess and these cross-generational and cultural unions, however well-intentioned and inspired, never seem to work so well – see recent history of Francoise Hardy and Marianne Faithful projects. Too many cooks in the kitchen or something like that they say… an element which is pervasive throughout this latest Serge tribute.
02. « I Love You (Me Either) » (Cat Power & Karen Elson)
This stand-out cut has been all over the internets over the last few weeks as another note in the perplexing cult of Cat Power and in anticipation of the release of Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisted and I must admit really is the highlight of this collection. Chan Marshall and Karen Elson-White (I want to hear more from her!) pull off the unthinkable, breathing fresh new life into an oft-covered and now terminally clichéd standard. Muy chemistry!
03. « I Just Came To Tell You That I'm Going » (Jarvis Cocker & Kid Loco)
Nothing special or memorable really… just go now. Mick Harvey delivered a warmer and more lovingly-produced version on his fantastic English-language Gainsbourg project, Intoxicated Man, some ten years ago. Also see the follow-up, Pink Elephants. (Nick Cave muse Anita Lane channels a brilliant Birkin).
04. « Requiem For Anna » (Portishead)
Beth Gibbons and tireless keeper-of-the-Gainsbourg-flame Jane Birkin have been working together quite a bit recently. I expected more of this track, since it is lesser-known and off of one my most beloved soundtracks ever, Gainsbourg’s score for the Anna Karina vehicle, Anna, and also it is the first time we’ve heard Portishead play together as a group in a few years. The results are somewhat plodding and lack resonance….Beth, maybe you should stick with the Talk Talk guy.
05. « Requiem For A Jerk » (Faultine, Brian Molko & Françoise Hardy)
See #10. Françoise phones her bit in – at least, I hope that was the extent of her involvement.
06. « L'hôtel » (Michael Stipe)
I have a deep aversion to everything Michael Stipe so I’m prejudiced and it’s not fair for me even comment! The last thing I want to hear is Stipe indulging himself - get a hotel!
07. « Au Revoir Emmanuelle » (Tricky)
Never one of my favorite Gainsbourg numbers and this Tricky version isn’t working any magic on me. Can I say in schocking deparrture from the beloved intial soft-core classic I enjoyed as a pre-pubescent, the Emmanuelle franchise has taken some alarming turns - cable-channel Cinemax runs the tragically diminished Emmanuelle in Outer Space and with Vampires seemingly non-stop during their after-hours programming - the harder they come, the harder they fall...
08. « Lola R. For Ever » (Marianne Faithfull & Sly And Robbie)
Surprisingly, I rather like this track – maybe Marianne Faithfull should follow the trend – Willie Nelson, Sinead O’Conner - and do a dub reggae album! Fear… Only if Sly & Robbie – Gainsbourg cohorts by the way - are behind the decks though. On second thought, maybe this one track will suffice.
09. « Boomerang 2005 » (Gonzales, Feist & Dani)
This is a spirited and fresh romp – the rap bit works well too (I discovered MC Solar the same year Serge expired)! I have a lot of respect for Gonzales as a composer, producer and arranger and the gang seems to be having fun! Let’s take this party back on the road – sorry Feist, I love ya but if I hear Mushaboom one more time I’m gonna puke!
10. « Boy Toy » (Marc Almond & Trash Palace)
A month or two ago, a dear friend, who was die-hard industrial in the day, dragged me to a Front 242 show up the street from Casa Skunkeye at the 930 club with comped tickets. I was indifferent to the scene then and have no tolerance whatsoever for that shit. Never cared for Depeche Mode either. (Surely Marc Almond could have conjured up his inner Brel and hashed up a tune from Gainbourg’s early career!)
11. « The Ballad Of Melody Nelson » (Placebo)
It’s awright… a bit meandering and no real departure from the original – stick to the original vice, no placebo necessary.
12. « Just A Man With A Job » (The Rakes)
Mildly charming and punchy update of Le Poinconneur de Lilas, the lament of the ticket-taker. Bet this is what Franz Ferdinand only wish they had contributed.
13. « I Call It Art » (The Kills)
J’adore Les Kills! This is the other standout track on the collection – the Kills’ version of Chanson du Slogan rivals Blonde Redhead’s mesmerizing interpretation on the far-superior tribute, John Zorn’s Great Jewish Music: Serge Gainsbourg. Yikes – was that ten years ago – that double-disc was the soundtrack for a certain doomy but romantic period for me as a struggling creative-type in NYC and featured the city's finest avant garde scensters. And if one is in the hankering for a truly inspired celebration of Serge Gainsbourg on the anniversaire of his passing, the collection I believe has just been re-released on the Tzadik label and is available in US stores again – highly recommended.
14. « Those Little Things » (Carla Bruni)
Ay, ce n’est pas mal… After the success of her French language debut, quelqu’un m’a dit, multi-lingual Bruni has been threatening an English-language album. I’ve been having nightmares of Keren Ann, but this track indicates the bluesier and earthier home-wrecking ex-model might be able to pull it off. At any rate, singing ex-models are a grand tradition in the Gainsbourg oevre and they certainly shine on this collection! Seriously, Bruni and Karen Elson might well be this generation's Mariane Faithfulls and Jane Birkins...
All in all, Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited, while vapid and barely coherent as a fully-realized “tribute” or album, is fairly enjoyable – perhaps noddingly tawdry and tacky (benefit of the doubt?) - and worth it for a few of the tracks – ce petits riens - but just don’t fork out import prices for this bastard baby! Then again, what does one do to when a musical master has passed and devotees are hungry for more? There’s always unearthing rarities and outtakes (the Gainsbourg estate has milked that one), remastering and repackaging the library (ditto), and remixing to contemporary tastes, i.e., dance and reggae (done.dun.dumb). If anything, the Gainsbourg catalogue is ripe for an endless variety of interpretation and The Man was hardly discriminating… so I’m all for bringing it on!
I’m feeling inspired so here are the choice cuts (available for a limited time only!):
The Kills « I Call It Art »
Gonzales, Feist & Dani - « Boomerang 2005 »
Carla Bruni -« Those Little Things »
Ay, I’ve really fallen into lazy habits… its not just this site and updating; hell, my gym is right around the corner but I keep on finding excuses not to go.
I have a mini-break from classes so I’m going to make an effort to get up to speed here. So to start the trickle….
Its Academy Awards time again – it seems with each season I lose more interest – is it just me, or have the last few years been kind of unspectacular film-wise?
I’ve seen most of the nominated films, although I have yet to catch Good Night and Good Luck and Memoirs of Geisha (I had problems with the book – written by a white American male, the novel kind of had a neo-Orientalist vibe that turned me off).
Over the last two weeks, I finally made it to screenings of Munich and Transamerica.
I expected to be absolutely depressed by Munich– and that’s why I put off seeing it. Instead I enjoyed the film immensely, which is probably not the kind of reaction one should have to a story of terrorism and violence. I’m afraid the deeper message was maybe a bit lost on me – Munich is one damn good and riveting and sexy road - heist movie – the art direction and locales, recreating the Europe, Israel, and Beirut of the mid-seventies are absolutely superb!
And the fashion… longtime readers know I have a bit of a fetish for the style of the Europeof my early childhood!
Munich also stands out because it is an ensemble piece consisting of some of contemporary world cinema’s finest players – some just making cameos, like French-Canadian hotness Marie-Josée Croze (absolutely killer as a Dutch assassin) and the lovely and amazing Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, and others - Ciarán Hinds (late as Caesar in HBO’s Rome. Season finale spoiler: Brutus got him.), and France’s Mathieu Kassovitz, and Yvan Attal, barely recognizable (a testament to their talent) in slightly more substantial roles.
I’m horrible, I know... kinda had to suppress a bit of laughter with the final digitally re-created image of the World Trade Center towers – um, more than a bit overwrought – but Munich is a Spielberg production after all. Seriously, though, the film worked on many different levels and is a bit of an overlooked masterpiece.
Speaking of overlooking stuff, today I finally made it to see Transamerica – everyone has gone all gaga over Felicity Huffman’s performance. I was getting a bit of cabin fever at home with all my applications, paperwork, and taxes and decisions - not to mention trying to pull together a business plan.
I swear it’s been a slow cinema period because Transamerica was the only somewhat appealing option and I kinda knew I would detest it. Although I think Desperate Housewives is the most disgustingly over-rated and gimmicky phenomena on non- reality television programming, I do appreciate Mrs. Wiliam H. Macy's work on Sports Night and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia.
At any rate, I was squirming early on – the dialogue was painfully trite and I’m sure Felicity Huffman was turning in some sublime actorly-crafty work but yeeesh… the material. I’m sorry, I’m all for progressive themes in cinema but if the screenplay sucks why bother.
Well, I was saved by the bell so to speak – the fire alarm went off and the entire theater complex was evacuated after about a third of the film passed and right before I was going to beat the retreat and cut my losses. Fortunately I was able to get a free pass for another show at Landmark E Street.
Back to the looming Academy Awards, methinks Brokeback Mountain will do well – best picture and director for Ang Lee definitely. Philip Seymour Hoffman will probably take home the Best Actor for Capote – and deservedly in my book. I’m rooting for Paul Giamatti for Best Supporting actor even though I didn’t see that boxer film (did anyone?) but over-exposed Clooney might well have the golden gloves this year. Reese Witherspoon is looking pretty strong as Best Actress for Walk the Line but Felicity Huffman, hot on the trail, may well walk away with the prize. Hollywood is a bit much with this liberal self-congratulatory schtick – if Oprah-sanctioned Crash takes over the show – talk about a contrived screenplay – I wouldn’t be surprised. Anyways, I just don’t care at this point and will probably just crash midway through the ceremonies like last year – I just hope we have a more vibrant 2006 in cinema!
My apologies for the lack of updates … its not that I’m particularly busy these days (although I am back in school now, pursuing a totally new direction, and have absolutely no idea what I am doing!).
Anyways, I’m still alive and kicking and have in fact been in touch with many of my blog copains and enjoying their sites immensely.
After three years, I’m experiencing a bit of ennui with The Skunkeye Consumer Guide – maybe a redesign? And jeez, my posts always end up so long… I’ve actually got several waiting in the wings, just screaming to be edited. As usual, I’m terribly disorganized and haphazard…
Also, I want to post more music, since mp3 blogs seem to my current fascination.
In January, the amazingly thoughtful and prolific Guuzbourg of the excellent Filles Sourires undertook the yeoman’s feat of collecting and posting just about every version of the Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin classic duet, Je t'aime....moi non plus. I highly recommend checking out his archives, for this collection - its really quite amazing - as well as many other treasures.
Today, Guuz posted yet another version of the infamous Gainsbourg-Birkin duet, this time from Cat Power (whose the latest, The Greatest, has been one of my favorite albums of the new year) and model Karen Elson - Mrs. Jack White - (who has a surprisingly nice voice – do we have another Carla Bruni here?), off of an upcoming Serge Gainsbourg tribute album, which looks very promising (The Kills, Franz Ferdinand, Feist, Marianne Faithfull are some of the collaborators).
This is perhaps the most enjoyable interpretation of Je t’aime I’ve heard,
and with kudos to Guuz – merci!,
is my Valentine’s gift to you!
In an effort to escape the fug I’ve been swallowed into lately, I made good on a promise to myself for an “art day” this Saturday.
Good thing I caught Alice Neel’s Women at the National Museum of Women in the Arts today because this magnificent show is closing tomorrow. Yikes, I’ve been lost – Alice Neel has been one of my longtime favourite artists and , in a better state of mind, I would have been there opening day!
Alice Neel’s career spanned from the 30’s through the eighties; the artist received WPA funding in the day (although she was at odds with the administrators at times) and continued to develop her singular style through the seventies (when the feminists descended upon her like harpies in carnivorous attempts to elevate and politicize her place in art history. One can tell by the garish portraits she produced at commission of her patrons during this period).
In spirit, Neel, despite her zeitgeist participation in the major movements and figures of the post-war art world, was essentially a purist: while she amazingly brought to vivid glory, and with an impressive honesty and apt psychological insight, the ever-changing perceptions of feminity, motherhood, race, class, and family in the modern world through her work, the artist was essentially a master painter foremost and a wonderful friend and mother on top of that. Neel’s work is unflinching and telling and absolutely beautiful through all her periods.
I’ll never forgot the (written) portrait of Alice Neel by Joseph Mitchell, which first appeared in The New Yorker, introduced to me by my grandmother – who, by the way shared similar convictions with and was of the same generation, as Neel. Susan Sarandon played her in the well-intentioned but flat film, Joe Gould’s Secret.
Alice Neel is mostly known for her candid and often unflattering nude paintings of her subjects – including herself in a penultimate and honest and jarring self-portrait. This eccentric and iconoclastic take actually does a bit of a disservice to her textured and fascinating life, talent, and legacy as an artist. Neel's early work is pregnant with a virtuosity of intuitive and studied painterly technique and psychological expression and the artist carried this on through a most brilliant body of work. The majority of her subjects were women - many artist and art professional cotemporaries- whom I doubt would be drawn out more vividly by a male artist.
In Alice Neel’s later career, subjects, both men and women, were asked – though not exclusively – to pose in the raw. Her male subject’s reticence and modesty is generally quite telling through the artist’s unflinching eye and brush; in contrats her female models seem quite open to the exprience. Neel was quite forthright throughout out her career to acknowledge the (male) artistic beautification of the female form and quite a few of her paintings included in this collection reference directly renaissance masters and the machismo of the surrealist and cubists and the abstract expressionists. Neel turned the male-dominated arena on its head though - it’s the ladies who shine in her groundbreaking work, in all their empowering glory!
The Feminist movement – and of course this was essential at the time – latched on to Neel for her prodigious and amazing body of work and also her predilection for models of a certain condition and unconventional beauty. One senses Neal was bemused at most by this politcizing of a struggle she'd already lived through. Having raised ssuccesfully several children as a single mother- and artist - and enjoying grandchildren, Neel is unrestained in her ability to capture and demystify the odyssey of the expectant and blossoming mother and her own aging. These paintings are sublime!
Neel’s wonderful sense of composition and pattern, the unorthodox use of blue lines where others might blend – or get over-painterly, the unflinching positioning, the tell-tale language of the hands and the piecing psychological intensity of the eyes in her portraits carries through from her earliest work on.
And I adore the way Alice Neel embraced every movement, fashion, and personality on the road to modern art in her own cool, detached, and humble way. Changing body ideals throughout the century- rolls and curves of the healthiness of the Post War Era,dissolve into the frank emaciation of the late sixties and seventies- all of this is handeled with curiousity and without judgement. for example, the pubis is always a matter of fact in her nudes. Neel's career spanned nearly five decades of fashion history and the artist embraces all the trends - graish paisley prints and broken fishnet are all ripe players in her compostiions. All the while, the artist lived in Spanish Harlem and Brooklyn when it was muy unfashionable and maintained many escandolosa arrangements...
Her portrait of Frank O’Hara is singular and fantastic in a way that if I were a poet this would be absolutely like how I would want to represented. But mostly it’s her many drawings and paintings of her family which move me. The lady loved her kids and her friends and she drew and painted them in an honest and absolutely loving manner and that is not a bad way to live and be remembered at all...
I overheard a great many candid discussions at the show from all types and age groups and it makes me happy that Alice Neel continues to be relevant.
The Andy Warhol crowd latched on to Alice Neel for a while, by the way, and thus I’m including the Warhol and Gerald Malanga portraits which were not part of the collection at the exhibit at The National Museum of Women in the Arts. Comme les femministes the Pop Art crowd tend to read too much into and objectfy Neel as well.
Also I went to the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Corcoran afterwards, which was absolutely superfluous – overkill here, been there, seen and done that. Yikes, didn't the Corcoran mount a similar Warhol show four years ago? As much as I like Warhol, we could use something… fresher here. In DC. I’m dying.
The "Jackie Curtis and Red" portrait was one of the highlights of the Alice Neel show, though!
I’m trying to be all reciprocal with my mp3 copains, so here are some appropriate Factory-era tunes for yaws:
The Velvet Underground
(right click, download)
(right click, download)
Just as an aside, I first got to know the wonderful Filipina artist Pacita Abad, who passed away last year, through her installation at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in the early nineties - recently after the museum opened. My family subsequently enjoyed a fond friendship with her and one of her glorious prints looks down on me as I type. Exhuberant journalist Howie Severino recently posted a tribute to one of her last projects, a gloriously painted bridge in otherwise sterile Singapore, and I'm linking here. Abad's spirit and warmth is greatly missed!