Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Matthew Barney's Ren in Tar Magazine

The premier issue of Tar Magazine (Benicio Del Toro cover) features an interview between Matthew Barney and director David Cronenberg. The article includes many photos from Matthew Barney's Ren performance in Los Angeles and reproductions of some collages and research materials related to Ren. Here are a few photos, we'll post more soon.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Matthew Barney Hangs Out With Porn Star Sasha Grey

While we still doubt the veracity of Matthew Barney & Bjork's reported split, Matthew Barney apparently spent some time with porn star Sasha Grey over the weekend. Cremaster Fanatic Christopher emailed us a link to Grey's blog, where she writes, "I finally met my friend Brandon Stosuy...we got there and had some good talks, and also met with his friend, and an amazing, under rated artist, Matthew Barney. After dinner, we got some scotch and headed back to the hotel."

Our attention was drawn to the Barney-esque photos at the beginning of Grey's post (see above) depicting a mold of her body being made to produce sex toys. No doubt this gave her and Barney something to talk about...

To be fair, Grey is not your typical porn star and her tete-a-tete with Barney was probably innocent. Grey has appeared in experimental films and music videos for The Smashing Pumpkins and the Roots and has modeled for photographers Terry Richardson and Richard Kern.

Matthew Barney and Bjork Split?

We've received several anxious emails from Cremaster fanatics because Matthew Barney's facebook page now says that he is "no longer in a relationship". Although Gawker claims this is actually Matthew Barney's page, we at Cremaster Fanatic are more dubious about the page's authenticity. However, at this time we can neither confirm nor deny the rumors.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Marilyn Manson Wants To Beat Matthew Barney Up

Theatrical rock star (and now painter) Marilyn Manson spoke about Matthew Barney in an interview with The Art Newspaper. Manson revealed that he owns bootleg copies of The Cremaster Cycle and is jealous of Matthew Barney's productivity: "I have an extreme love/hate for Matthew Barney because I’m jealous that he is able to do so much. Someday I’d like to work with him, or beat him up for being so good at what he does. I have every one of his books and bootleg copies of the Cremaster series. We both incorporate the same type of manic detail in our work."

Monday, November 3, 2008

Matthew Barney Installation in Philadelphia founder Eric Doeringer has created an installation of objects from his collection of Matthew Barney photographs, fan art/video, and memorabilia at The Fuel Collection, 249 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA. You can meet Eric during the opening reception for his exhibition, titled Bootlegs, Homages, and Recreations, from 6-9 pm on Friday, November 7. The exhibition will be on view through the end of December.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Drawing Restraint 9 Special Effects Photos

Gabe Bartolos, the man behind the special effects for most of Matthew Barney's films, has updated the web site for his company Atlantic West Effects to include some images from the making of Drawing Restraint 9. You can see the new photos (and some older production photos from The Cremaster Cycle) at

Monday, October 13, 2008

Found Field Emblem - Munich

Cremaster fanatic John sent us this photograph from Munich. He writes, "There are a couple dozen of these on fence posts around a city building." For more Found Field Emblems, visit
Email us your submissions of found field emblems or other Matthew Barney news/pictures and we will post them online!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Matthew Barney at MoMA

Two works from Matthew Barney's Drawing Restraint 9 are included in the Here is Every. exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The Deportment of the Host is a massive sculpture made from cast polycaprolactone thermoplastic and self-lubricating plastic depicting the tea ceremony room from the Nisshin Maru. Also on view (in the background of the above photograph) is Drawing Restraint 9: Shimenawa - a photograph of Barney and Bjork (as the Occidental Guests) kissing.

The exhibition will be on view through March 23, 2009.

Photograph from LA gal's flickr photostream.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Matthew Barney Hosts Black Metal Pig Roast

Matthew Barney hosted a pig roast/black metal concert at his studio in Long Island City, New York last weekend. The free concerts, called Remains, included the bands Inquisition, Dagon, Krallice, Copremeis, and S.M.E.S. Barney, himself, was on hand to roast and carve the pig.

Thanks to Cremaster Fanatic Clemens for sending us a link to the photos. For more pics from the concert, check out Jae Saam Trio's Flickr page.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Drawing Restraint 13 Screening in Dallas, TX

Carolyn Sortor, creator of the Matthew Barney-inspired video Creamistress 6, is curating a series of video (and other media-based art) exhibitions at Conduit Gallery in Dallas, Texas. The series, called The Program, is presented by the Video Association of Dallas and co-curated by Bart Weiss and Charles Dee Mitchell.

As part of The Program, Matthew Barney's Drawing Restraint 13 will be screened on three consecutive Saturday evenings: July 26, August 2, and August 9. Please follow this link for a full schedule and more information.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Matthew Wallin's I Die Daily Matthew Barney Documentary at 911 Media Arts Center, Seattle

The 911 Media Arts Center in Seattle will hold an exhibition related to Matthew Wallin's Matthew Barney documentary I Die Daily, the Making of the Cremaster Cycle from July 18 - August 30.

"In 1996, deeply intrigued by the work of Barney, filmmaker Matthew Wallin abandoned a steady job to spend the next decade of his life documenting the making of Barney’s epic 5-part film, The Cremaster Cycle. What followed became a passionate exploration into the symbolism, mystery, and intricate process behind the Cycle. The result of his endeavor, I Die Daily, will become the definitive document on The Cremaster Cycle as well as the most comprehensive study on the rise of Barney as a star in the contemporary art world." (from the 911 Media Center web site)

Wallin will meet the public at the opening reception for the exhibition from 6 – 10 pm on Friday, July 18th. At 5 pm on Saturday, July 19th there will a fundraiser for 911 Media Arts Center where Wallin will screen 30 minutes of footage from the film and discuss his experience making the film with a slideshow of images.

For more information on Wallin's documentary, check out this article in ONSCREEN Magazine. Thanks to Cremaster Fanatic Eric for passing along the link.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Vote Matthew Barney!

Image: Matthew Barney Button by Patrick Welch

Saatchi Online is running a feature allowing visitors to rank their favorite artists of the 20th Century. Currently, Matthew Barney is ranked number 98. You can cast your vote(s) at Let's move Matthew up the list!!!!!

Also, we recently discovered Matthew Barney's profile on, where you can cast your vote for "Matthew's Top Romance"

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Performance Art at Matthew Barney's Studio

We recently discovered some videos of last Spring's performances by Jonathan Meese and Michael Rees at Matthew Barney's studio. Unfortunately, we haven't found any videos online of Barney's Guardian of the Veil performance, but you can see some of Barney's props in the background of the other performances (and a quick glimpse of Barney and Bjork in the New Art TV videos). Meese brandishes a biography of General MacArthur at one point, perhaps a prop he discovered among Barney's things at the studio.

Michael Rees - Live Life! (New Art TV)
Jonathan Meese Performance (New Art TV)
Jonathan Meese Performance (Contemporary Fine Art, Berlin -- cleaner soundtrack, less of the "scene")

Saturday, May 24, 2008

More on Matthew Barney's Ren in Los Angeles

We found some more pics and descriptions of Matthew Barney's Ren performance in Los Angeles last weekend in the blogosphere.

The Gessel On blog reports:

"It was a very impressive show, fun to watch and at moments quite exciting, though largely staged for the cameras. The former RV sales lot was converted to an amazingly convincing Chrysler dealership complete with stationary on the walls, sales targets, car dealers and pictures of the employees of the month.

The performance started with the synchronized arrival of sections of a marching band which aggregated in the parking lot. The effect was pretty cool, with timing and distance and location of the different elements spread over a huge distance and slowly coalescing, all lead by marching band leader (and composer) Jonathan Bepler, who I’ve known since grade school but hadn’t seen in person for decades.

An iconic Chrysler Imperial was revealed as a funerary casket, a procession pulled by a few dozen strong men, as Egyptian slaves might have hauled stone blocks, down from the roof of the building and through the parking lot.

The imperial wended its way into a showroom to trade places with a gold firebird and then to its demise at the teeth of a deforestation machine, the showroom fitted with bullet-proof glass and lots of crickets for the purpose. The glass, amazingly, proved strong enough for the flying car parts and crow bars, but was not quite proof against the stabilizer feet of the gigantic excavator. We were perfectly located for that moment.
The remains of the imperial were ritually collected and we joined the staff in the parts department for the final procession involving scarabs, a beautiful woman, and a surprisingly large funerary drape, especially surprising given the orifice from which it was extracted.

The depth of detail of the performance was extraordinary. No simple write up can do it justice and I can’t imagine that even a small part of every carefully prepared element can make it to the final film. The details made walking through the performance an exercise in discovery - from post-it notes in the office, to the illuminated Chrysler signs as tunable Taiko drums, to the dealer tags on the cars in the lot everything was meticulously prepared over four weeks. Then a day later it was gone."

Lipstick Tracez has some good photos and the information that there were 18 cameras filming the action and that they filmed the set for three days before the performance. They also spotted, "Spiderman actor and art lover James Franco, literary beauty Sophie Dahl, designer Jeremy Scott, artists Catherine Opie, [and] Agathe Snow," in the crowd of onlookers. Of the car pictured above, they write, "In case you can't tell, thats a Chrysler Imperial with a giant porta potty welded into the trunk followed by a giant septic tank shaped as a globe filled with the nastiest blue septic fluid."

Matthew Barney Performs Ren at Los Angeles Car Dealership

Above photographs from shweool's Flickr photostream.

Last weekend Matthew Barney performed Ren - the first in a series of seven live performances that will be filmed and edited into a single video - at an abandoned RV dealership just off I-5 in Los Angeles. For the performance, the dealership was transformed into a Chrysler auto showroom called "Ren", apparently a contraction of "Re" (the Egyptian sun god) and "Renaissance". The storyline is based on Ancient Evenings by Norman Mailer (who starred in Cremaster 2) and also appears to relate to Cremaster 3 and the recent Guardian of the Veil.'s Linda Yablonsky reports there was a cast and crew of 140, plus over six hundred art-world insiders including, "Barney reps Barbara Gladstone, Shaun Caley Regen, and Sadie Coles, ... artists Mike Kelley, Shannon Ebner, Raymond Pettibon, Doug Aitken, Amy Adler, and Jack Pierson, dealers Jose Freire and Tim Blum, LACMA director Michael Govan, and curators Paul Schimmel, Ali Subotnick, Clarissa Dalrymple, and Klaus Kertess. (Collectors were conspicuously absent.)"

"The performance officially began at 6:40 PM, when a drum-and-bugle corps approached the car lot from surrounding roads and sprinted up the ramp to the roof, playing Bepler's percussive music. With the audience lined up on either side, the trucks parted to reveal a lime-green 1967 Chrysler Imperial with a Barney seal (both familiar from Cremaster 3) on the hood and a large, eggshell-white orb covered in dirt and roots on the back, chained to a smashed-up Port-a-San. Cremaster 3 star Aimee Mullins, who plays The Entered Novitiate, was interred on the roof, under a mound of rock salt and Idaho potatoes....A salesman-actor appeared to intone a nearly unintelligible monologue involving piss, feces, mud, gas, and other typical Mailerisms, like "Isn't time itself born in shit?" Led by the musicians, a thick complement of burly men accompanying the car began to pull it down the ramp like Volga Boatmen....The two-story showroom had double-paned glass on three sides; parked in its center was a gold Pontiac Firebird with its windows blacked out. Interspersed among the spectators, the musicians carried on while the Pontiac drove out and was replaced by the Chrylser. From under the hood came plumes of smoke, cuing the great Oaxacan singer Lila Downs to appear with a mariachi band on the balcony above to perform a haunting dirge. When they were done, the salesmen thanked us for our "business" and asked us to leave so they could clear the smoke. (Mullins was also carried out.)

As a nearly full moon rose above, an interior garage door opened and out came a front loader with a big steel wheel attached to its crane. Six hundred noses pressed against the windowpanes, only to be repelled by the smack of debris thrown by the carnal wheel as the machine tore at the car like a mad, lustful dog humping and grinding its prey. It took about thirty minutes to exhaust itself in the most erotic machine-sex act in recent memory.

[Later, in the "tomb",] the Firebird, now bearing Mullins, was parked between two long rows of Chryslers in need of service. Mouse, the British performance artist, was standing naked at the center, leaning on one of Barney's signature white resin canes and holding a white snorkel-like thing that was sticking out of her vagina.

Lila Downs reappeared to sing another dirge, a cappella, and one of the dealership's "mechanics" reached up between Mouse's legs to draw out a long piece of black plastic turd. With majestic patience, the mechanic and his cohorts slowly unfolded it into a large shroud that they placed over Mullins—and the performance ended in a blackout."

LA Times critic Christopher Knight was critical of the performance, calling it "corny", "obvious", and "cliche". He gives the following description of the performance:

"On the lot's upper deck, three taco trucks pulled away to reveal the smashed-up Imperial, painted scarab green and resting on the back of a flatbed truck. A pair of feet protruded from a shroud-draped lump on the roof, strewn with potatoes, while a huge, dirty black sphere protruding from the car's crumpled trunk turned the holy Egyptian bug into an industrial-strength dung beetle, feeding on feces.

A car dealer made rambling remarks. Then, in sweltering heat, nearly four dozen dirt-smeared laborers used thick ropes to drag the funeral bier off the flatbed, down a long ramp, across the asphalt and, after dismantling some parts, into the glass-fronted showroom.

This ritual procession was followed by industrial-strength intercourse between a backhoe and the Imperial, which smashed up the showroom interior. Glass and metal went flying and three audience members sustained minor injuries.

When paramedics left, the crowd filed into the tomb -- actually the car-lined former service bay. Lila Downs, the great Oaxacan ranchera singer, wailed at a corpse laid out atop a golden Grand Am. A "menstrual shroud" was extracted from the loins of a masked nude woman. Somebody said that locusts were released in the parking lot, but I didn't see them."

Read More:
LA Times Diary

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Elizabeth Peyton Paints Matthew Barney

We apologize for posting this information after the show has closed, but Elizabeth Peyton's recent solo exhibition at Gavin Brown's Enterprise in New York featured the above portrait of Matthew Barney, titled Matthew March 2008.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Matthew Barney Makes Jerry Saltz's "New York Canon"

Matthew Barney's 1991 debut solo exhibition at Barbara Gladstone Gallery has been named one of the New York art world's most important events of the past 40 years by critic Jerry Saltz. Noting that Barney's show opened after he appeared on the cover of Artforum, Saltz writes, "The exhibition, which was continually packed with visitors, consisted of videos of Barney in drag dancing with a blocking sled, him dressed as a football player and crawling across Gladstone’s ceiling, naked, suspended from ice screws. In the downstairs gallery we saw videos of Barney inserting an ice screw into his anus in an attempt to crawl into his own body and turn himself inside out. Barney combined Nauman, Beuys, Serra, Joan Jonas, strange materials and something so physical, dense and unknowable that he created his own mystic one-man movement."

Pictured above: Matthew Barney's "Program: Houdini, O'Williams, Otto (HO2)", 1991, collection of the Museum of Modern Art.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Matthew Barney at the National Arts Club

We at Cremaster Fanatic weren't feeling well last Friday, so we missed Matthew Barney's appearance at the National Arts Club. Barney's partner Bjork was also apparently unable to attend, but their daughter Isadora was there, drawing pictures and dancing. Other celebrity sightings include paralympic athlete Aimee Mullins (the "Cheetah Woman" from Cremaster 2), gallerists Barbara Gladstone and Mary Boone, fashion designers Lizzie Fortunato and Timo, film director Michael Gondry, and artist Will Cotton. Music for the event was provided by the Beatrice Inn’s D.J. Rian Fossett and the group Fluxconcert.

Barney, pictured above with National Arts Club president Aldon James, was awarded the Medal of Honor for Lifetime Achievement in Art. Apparently, Barney's acceptance speech was limited to a brief "Thank you."

You can see more pictures from the evening at
Additional coverage:
Oly's Musings
Vanity Fair
New York Sun

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Thanks to Cremaster Fanatic Barry for pointing us towards the lolvant garde blog which brings, "you the inevitable convergence of contemporary art and internet slang." We are totally ROTFL!!!!

For more "lolBarney", visit:

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Matthew Barney to be Honored by The National Arts Club

Matthew Barney will be presented with the Citation of Merit for Achievement in the Visual Arts by the National Arts Club in New York City on Friday, April 11 at 8 pm. Tickets for the reception are $50 for members and $75 for non-members, light refreshments will be served. RSVP to (212) 475-3424 by April 4 if you wish to attend.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Matthew Barney Purim Costume

Cremaster Fanatic Gilad sent us photos of himself dressed as Barney's "Entered Apprentice" character from Cremaster 3 for this year's Purim celebration in Israel. For those unfamiliar with Purim, it is "a Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people of the ancient Persian Empire from Haman's plot to annihilate them, as recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther (Megillat Esther). According to the story, Haman cast lots to determine the day upon which to exterminate the Jews." (quoted from Wikipedia) It is a festive celebration which generally includes masquerade.
You can see more photos of Gilad's costume at and pictures of other Matthew Barney-themed costumes (including Gilad's 2006 Purim costume) on the Fan Costume Page

We hear rumors that Matthew Barney is currently in New York City. If any of Cremaster Fanatics out there get pictures of him at the various Armory Show events this weekend, please email them to us.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Bono Buys Matthew Barney Photograph

Matthew Barney donated the photograph New Sun (pictured above) to the (Red) Auction, held on Valentine's Day at Sotheby's New York. The auction was organized by Damien Hirst and singer Bono to benefit Bono's (Red) Charity, which combats AIDS in Africa. Barney's photograph (from Drawing Restraint 9) sold for $137,500, well above the pre-sale estimate of $70,000 - $90,000. Reportedly, the purchaser was Bono, himself, who also placed winning bids on works by Robert Rauschenberg and Sean Scully.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Matthew Barney Drawing Restraint Vol. V Book Available for Pre-Order

Cremaster Fanatic Steve sent us an email to let us know that the Drawing Restraint Vol. V catalog published in conjunction with Barney's Drawing Restraint exhibition at London's Serpentine Gallery is now available in the US for pre-order on at the discounted price of $40.95 (plus an additional 5% pre-order discount). The book will be released in the US on March 1.

Pre-Order Drawing Restraint Vol. V from

Monday, January 21, 2008

New Matthew Barney Videos on YouTube

A recent search on YouTube has turned up a bunch of new Matthew Barney videos:

First up is the trailer for Destricted - a compilation of sexually explicit films by contemporary artists that includes Barney's Hoist This one is definitely NOT SAFE FOR WORK.

Next is "One Minute Barney" (which actually clocks in at 1:12). It claims to be "all you need to know about matthew in under 90 seconds" but that's only if you think that "all you need to know" is Cremaster 1, 4, and 5. However, it's a nicely-edited montage of clips from those three films.

A somewhat gory addition to the Matthew Barney "fan video" genre is "Cremaster 6". It purports to be Barney's "last work" in which, "the artist proposes a trip to the balance across castration." However, as one critic comments, "There are only 5 films in the Cremaster cycle and this is not one of them. There is no Barney in this piece. This is either a cheezy attempt to equate the work of an unknown with that of a top-tier artist or a clumsy attempt at parody." Other comments are, "this totally didnt make any sense," and "cool," which, coincidentally, are the same reactions Barney's actual films often elicit.

Finally, we come to Uruguayan artist Martin Sastre's video "Lala Meets Barney". As we noted in our post about Sastre's recent exhibition at Brooklyn's Momenta Art, this video is an invitation from Sastre's grandmother to Matthew Barney and Björk to spend a traditional Uruguayan Christmas with her and her 6 children and 13 grandchildren.

For more Matthew Barney videos online, check out "fan video" section and our last post of Matthew Barney YouTube video clips.

Also, we'd like to remind you that this is the final week you can view founder Eric Doeringer's Matthew Barney installation at Sara Tecchia Roma New York, 529 W 20th St, 2nd Floor, New York City. The exhibition "And, Who Are You?" Work From Saatchi Online runs through Saturday, January 26.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Early Matthew Barney Modeling Pics

Many thanks to Cremaster Fanatic Rob for sending us these photographs from Matthew Barney's days as a professional model (he put himself through Yale by modeling for the Click agency).

To see a couple of early photographs of Barney from the J Crew catalog, please visit