Local artist Robert Brinker is having a high-profile moment. Several plates of his uniquely distorted ultrachrome prints are featured in the new book, “Finding Balance,” by fellow local artist James Surls. Brinker has a new limited-edition book of his own, “Recount of the Recount,” a boxed set of prints commenting on the disputed 2000 presidential election. And two of his recent series – one of chrysanthemums made of cut paper from magazines, the other abstract works with possible hidden images, made of pencil, cut paper and mylar – are featured in a group show at the Harvey/Meadows Gallery at Aspen Highlands Village. The show, which also features work by Jason Green and Andy Brayman, opens with a reception Saturday, Dec. 30, from 2-8 p.m., and runs through Feb. 2. Of course, keen-eyed visitors to the bathrooms at the Aspen Art Museum for years have been entertained by the wallpaper Brinker supplied with his collaborator, Pamela Joseph. Next time you’re in those rooms, take a closer look.
All good things come to an end, and would that they all ended on such a high note as Academy Screenings. Aspen Film’s two-week run of Oscar contenders concludes with seven films packed into a three-day weekend. Saturday, Dec. 30, has Anthony Minghella’s “Breaking and Entering,” starring Jude Law as an architect in life-altering circumstances; and “Notes on a Scandal,” featuring Golden Globe-nominated performances by its two leads, Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett. Sunday, Dec. 31, brings the intriguing “Arthur and the Invisibles,” Luc Besson’s fantasy mix of live action and 3-D animation; and “Venus,” with Peter O’Toole in a dubious relationship with a 20-year-old. New Year’s Day has a trio of treats: the documentary “God Grew Tired of Us,” about three African refugees in the U.S.; “Miss Potter,” starring Renee Zellweger as the children’s author Beatrix Potter; and the Italian film “Golden Door,” a tale of immigration starring Charlotte Gainsbourg. All of this week’s films are at Harris Hall.
Jeff Daniels has had a far more accomplished screen career than William Shatner. Where the latter’s credits are topped by “Star Trek” and “T.J. Hooker,” Daniels has had lead roles in Woody Allen’s “The Purple Rose of Cairo” and last year’s “The Squid and the Whale.” But when Daniels speaks of “clearing the William Shatner bar,” he’s not referring to their relative merits as actors, but as musicians. Shatner made an ill-advised jump into singing; his version of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” is the epitome of unintentional comedy. Daniels’ recent CD, “Grandfather’s Hat,” elicits the opposite reaction, a recognition that the actor has a decent voice, good command of the guitar, and, especially, a way with song-writing. “Grandfather’s Hat” has Daniels in the role of contemporary acoustic bluesman, exploring both the comic (“Tomato Puddin'”) and the serious (“Are You As Excited”). Daniels makes his Aspen debut as a musician Friday, Jan. 5, at the Wheeler Opera House.
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