You are in:  Home > Nouveau: Popular Culture >    •  Archives   •  send page to a friend

Headline Feed
Email to a friend


By C. Antonio Romero

SAN FRANCISCO, 13 MARCH 2008 — We keep our eyes open for curious collisions of events and details in the torrent of news and web pages that streams across our desk in any given day, usually seeking out the ironic turns that twist wry grins onto our often mock-dour faces.

Today, three elements combine to catch our particular fancy:

  • One of the peculiar details of the sudden "bimbo implosion" of Democratic party rising star Elliott Spitzer is the name of one of the front companies for the prostitution ring that did him in: The Emperor's Club of Contemporary Art

    The web site of the Emperor's Club has of course vanished, but the Internet's collective memory (Google's cache of the Web) is of course nigh-infallible:

    "One of the many ways by which we create and add special value to already extraordinarily affluent lives, is by enabling direct access to some of the world's most captivating, authentic contemporary art available....
    the best advice is always the same: make visual pleasure and quality the benchmarks of your buying so you are certain to derive a deep satisfaction from the piece [sic].

"Representing artists of superior mastery, and catering to members of the absolute highest financial and cultural affluence, experience for yourself the deeply satisfying joy of owning Emperors¢ Club Contemporary Art..."

No word on whether the art in question included any interpretation of the Ars Amatoria. (And we'll refrain from recycling old jokes about horticulture.)

  • Those whose budget doesn't permit collecting art on an ongoing basis might be more interested in sampling it by the evening at the Hotel des Arts San Francisco, which has transformed many of its rooms into exhibitions, by enticing local artists to design the interiors and paint the walls as murals. Some of the rooms may prove a bit too distracting to sleep in, but they're bound to be fun to look at.

    Far less charming, but somehow bound up with these other two in our reading, was a BBC story out of France about the sordid side of the
    French rental housing crisis: people exchanging sexual (or more innocuous) services for free or reduced rent, often finding their contre service arrangements on the Web.

Take a quick look through the bookshelves of any decent-sized newsagent, and tucked between the biographies of the former French First Lady and the former American First Lady is the extraordinary account of Laura D. Her book, My Dear Studies (Mes Chères Etudes ), details the anonymous young woman's slide from being a fresh-faced undergraduate, to a poverty-stricken student, to a 19-year-old selling her body to pay the rent....

We cannot help but remember an old Benny Hill sketch that featured a lodging establishment called the Hotel Sordide.

Photo above: Larry Fink: Homage to George Grosz
Photo courtesy of The powerHouse Gallery

C. Antonio Romero is the Nouveau and technology editor of He last wrote on Obama Super Bowl Ad and "Yes We Can Song" Show Campaign's Media 2.0 Savvy

Related Culturekiosque Archives

Comment: Senator Larry Craig Talking Action Figure

Book Review:The Warhol Economy

Mitt Romney: Faith, Freedom, and Mormonism Unseen

Jeff Koon's Hanging Heart Sets Record at Auction

Eroticon 2006: Sex and the Conservative City

Oleg Yanushevsky: Iconic Russian Artist Finds Asylum in London

British Art Dealer Detained in Moscow Over Naked Putin Pictures

Larry Fink's Forbidden Pictures: A Political Tableau To Greet Republican Convention Attendees

Two-Minute Art: The New Kitsch

Sex, Glitter and Doom in the Weimar Republic

Movie Review: Das Leben der Anderen (the Lives of Others)

Art Market:David LaChapelle: Artists & Prostitutes

Reagan Louie: Sex in Asia

Cinema: Unfaithful

Culture and Censorship Invade U.S. Elections

[ Feedback | Home ]

If you value this page, please send it to a friend.

Copyright © 2008 Euromedia Group, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.