Thursday, June 27, 2019

"My Own Private Brian (Jones) by Tosh Berman for Please Kill Me Website

Brian Jones, 1965.  Photo by Olvai Kaskisuo

Here's a piece I wrote for the Please Kill Me website on my relationship with Brian Jones, and his friendship with my father Wallace Berman and mom Shirley.

Tosh Berman on Brian Jones

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

"The Sundays of Jean Dézert" by Jean de la Ville de Mirmont (Wakefield Press)

The beauty of working in a bookstore is going over stock and finding something special to read and own. "The Sundays of Jean Dézert" by Jean de Ville de Mirmont is such a book. Reading this book in the 21st century, the reader can gather a mixture of a Guy Debord study of boredom and alienation with elements of Andre Breton's great novel of Paris "Nadja." This 1914 novel is a beautiful exploration of Paris but through the eyes of a total alienated civil employee as he seeks normalcy in all its bland wonder.

The character of Jean Dézert is one that we see every day at work, or perhaps we recognize this figure within ourselves. Due to comfort and habit, Dézert lives in a very scheduled world. The novella brings out textures and nuances of such a life, and even when he finds 'love' of some fashion, it is still part of the schedule or plan. Its author Jean de La Ville de Mirmont is a mystery to me. He died as a soldier in World War 1, a few months after writing this book. I have often praised Wakefield Press for its vision of focusing on modernist writers that fell through the cracks of time and attention. This is a great book.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

June 4, 2019

June 4, 2019

This year, besides my regular writing sessions, and YouTube channel "Tosh Talks," I also do "Tosh Talks Podcast" which is me chatting away about subject matters that interest me, and hopefully you the listener will find interesting as well.   There was a snag concerning Facebook policies.  I posted an image of the Japanese writer Shūji Terayama with his theater troop of actors, which has a nude or two, and that got me banned on Facebook for 24-hours.   I wrote back to Facebook to let them know that the photograph is of an artist and his actors, but alas, they still thought it wasn't a proper image for the Facebook website.

On one end, I have to acknowledge that Facebook is not my property, and therefore, me using the Facebook format or site is truly me being a guest there.  Still, I'm bringing art, information, cultural views that will not hurt anyone.  Facebook is famous for not taking down specific videos or websites that are proven to be false, yet within minutes, they took down an image of Terayama.

Still, as a guest of sorts, I feel unwelcome on their site.  We will see what will happen in the future.  Meanwhile here's my "Tosh Talks Podcast page down below.

Tosh Talks Podcast Page

Wallace Berman at Art Basel 2019

The picture above is a 'model' or mock-up of the Frank Elbaz Gallery booth which will be at the Art Basel 2019 fair.   A room devoted to Wallace Berman's art, which, of course, happens to be my father.  The artworks are for sale, so for those who are going to the fair, do drop in and visit my father's work.  Moreover, say hello to the Elbaz Gallery as well.  I can't wait to see the installation photos.  - Tosh Berman

More information:  Wallace Berman at Art Basel

General information about the Festival, including dates:  Art Basel 2019

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Sisters 1

My Wife Lun*na Menoh's new YouTube adventure. With Saori Mitome.  A project with her band Les Sewing Sisters. In Japanese.  Watch it!