Welcome to Artcetera. Arts-and-entertainment writers and critics post movie news, concert updates, people items, video, photos and more. Share your views. Check it daily. Remain in the know. Contributors: Mary Abbe, Aimee Blanchette, Jon Bream, Tim Campbell, Colin Covert, Laurie Hertzel, Tom Horgen, Neal Justin, Claude Peck, Rohan Preston, Chris Riemenschneider, Graydon Royce, Randy Salas and Kristin Tillotson.
Looks like people who frequent Hennepin County libraries are loyal to the locals: The top three books checked out in 2012 were, in order: “Kill Shot: An American Assassin Thriller” by Vince Flynn, “Stolen Prey” by John Sandford, and “Shock Wave,” also by Sandford. So there, “Fifty Shades of Grey” (no. 7).
In the top-25 list, Sandford scored a third title, “Buried Prey,” at no. 19. William Kent Krueger of St. Paul also made the list with “Northwest Angle” at no. 20.
The Jerome Foundation has awarded 10 grants to Minnesota arts organizations, with the largest going to Northern Lights.MN and The Loft Literary Center. The St. Paul-based foundation announced 24 grants totalling more than $790,000 Thursday, with the rest going to New York groups. Northern Lights.MN, which mixes various disciplines and technology to create art in public spaces, got $130,000 for Art(ists) on theVerge, a fellowship program for emerging talents. The Loft received $104,000 for its Mentor Series, which connects acclaimed writers with promising Minnesota writers for intensive study. Other Minnesota groups receiving grants between $68,000 and $9,000 are Forecast Public Art, The Givens Foundation for African American Literature, Pillsbury House + Theatre, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Playwrights’ Center, Tofte Lake Center in Ely, Zenon Dance Company, and Mu Performing Arts.
View of the 2010 book fair
The 12th annual Twin Cities Book Festival will be held at the historic Progress Center Building on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds on Saturday, October 13. Among the new attractions: Free Parking!
Events include a giant book fair featuring displays from publishers and literary agents, readings and panels with world-class authors, a used book sale, and storytelling in a children's pavilion. Plus assorted freebies. All sponsored by Rain Taxi Review of Books. Hours: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Go figure: A Minneapolis musician writing about drinking. It wouldn’t exactly be newsworthy, except in this case the musician is a woman and a proven author. Laurie Lindeen -- who crashed the local boy’s club of hard-swilling bands in the late-‘80s with Zuzu’s Petals -- has contributed a chapter to a new book, “Drinking Diaries: Women Serve Their Stories Up Straight,” and her part is newly excerpted over at the Huffington Post.
“I was crawling on my hands and knees on a filthy concrete dressing room floor in Tijuana, Mexico,” Lindeen’s passage starts. From there, she chronicles an incredibly unsteady gig opening for Adam Ant in the infamous border town (which begs the question if the band’s booking agent at the time was hitting the bottle hard, too).
She also recounts more recent trials-by-alcohol performing at First Ave’s annual Rock for Pussy benefit concert. Her husband’s old band, the Replacements -- which could publish its own anthology of drunk-rocker stories -- is only mentioned in passing alongside other “drinking buddies” of old (Jayhawks, Soul Asylum): “We drank because it was fun and it was how otherwise socially challenged artistic types could comfortably socialize.”
As with her well-received memoir of 2008,“Petal Pusher: A Rock and Roll Cinderella Story,” Lindeen flips the typical rock ‘n’ roller tales of debauchery on end coming from the female perspective. That seems to be the tonic in the entire book, featuring work by other women authors including Jacquelyn Mitchard, Daphne Merkin and Kathryn Harrison. It's now available via Seal Press.
Mark Forgy with a fake Matisse painting by Elmyr de Hory in a 2009 exhibition at Gustavus Adolphus College. (Star Tribune photo by Glenn Stubbe)
The story of Mark Forgy, the Hopkins High grad who became the heir to the “greatest art forger of our time,” is almost as improbable as that of his benefactor, Elmyr de Hory. A Hungarian-born artist who fell into the forgery business after WW II, De Hory and his dealers successfully hawked his ersatz Picasso, Renoir, Matisse and Modigliani sketches into private and museum collections. Some have been denounced, but hundreds are believed to linger, undetected, in collections around the world.
Forgey, who now lives in New Prague,MN has just self-published “The Forger’s Apprentice,” a lively, gossipy account of the seven years he spent with De Hory on the Spanish island of Ibiza where he was swept up in a jet-set world of film stars and literati (Ursula Andress, Robert Graves, Marlene Dietrich), third-tier aristos, small-time thugs and hangers on. Clifford Irving recounted DeHory’s life in a 1969 biography, “Fake,” and Orson Welles treated it in a 1974 documentary, “F for Fake.”
After De Hory’s death, by suicide in 1976, Forgy settled his estate, returned to Minnesota, and put the high life behind him — until now. “Apprentice” is an incredible read, full of utterly improbable but evidently real characters, and redeemed from its Euro-trash name dropping by Forgy’s down-home metaphors. Observing Dietrich at a London dinner party, he writes: “More alarmingly, her teeth had discolored as though placed in a water glass each night with a generous dollop of Copenhagen chewing tobacco.” Ouch.
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