The Simple Life

Come throw rocks at Todd Goldman.

FRI, 5/13

"My characters are really, really simply drawn," Todd Goldman says of his art.

"Simply drawn" is putting it mildly; Goldman's bright, basic cartoon style makes Keith Haring look like Caravaggio. But there's no denying the power of that simplicity: Over the past few years, Goldman has turned his Sharpie doodles into a lucrative franchise encompassing T-shirts, posters and, now, publishing and fine art. Boys Are Stupid, Throw Rocks at Them!is the title of Goldman's new coffee-table book, which he'll sign tonight at the Cherry Creek Tattered Cover before opening an exhibit of his posters, lithographs and originals at Fascination St. Fine Art Gallery.

Citing Andy Warhol and Kenny Scharf as influences, Goldman has created a pop-influenced iconography full of bitter ex-girlfriends, disgruntled goldfish and, of course, stupid boys. That's gotten him into some hot water: Last year on CNBC, Goldman debated a Canadian crackpot named Glenn Sacks, who launched an online "Throw Rock's [sic] at Todd Goldman" campaign, complaining that his T-shirt designs incite violence toward men.

"I think some of my work does offend people," Goldman admits. "But obviously, it's a joke. I don't really expect people to go out and throw rocks at boys. I do make fun of myself. I'm making fun of everything. My work is about not taking life too seriously."

Goldman's irreverent wit takes center stage from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Tattered Cover, 2955 East First Avenue, then around the corner at Fascination St., 315 Detroit Street, from 7 to 9 p.m. Both events are free. For more information, call 303-322-7727 or 303-333-1566, or visit www.fascinationstart.com. -- Jason Heller

Star Struck
THURS, 5/12

The year was 1977, and Star Wars ruled my life; my third-grade picture shows me sporting Princess Leia buns. In a testament to the lasting appeal of Jedi knights and lightsabers, kids today are just as caught up in the whole saga. Indulge your inner Skywalker at tonight's special advance screening of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith at the Continental Theater, a benefit for the Colorado Children's Campaign. Admission, $250 for adults and $125 for kids ages twelve to sixteen, includes a cocktail party and silent auction beginning at 5:30 p.m.; Lucasfilm will donate the evening's proceeds to the CCC. The Continental is at 3635 South Monaco Parkway; movie seating starts at 7:15, and the show starts at 8. For tickets and information, call 303-839-1580 or visit www.coloradokids.org. May the Force be with you! -- Jerri Theil

Pretty Woman

Eleven and a half inches of latex love invades the miniatures museum.

TUES, 5/17

Only a year after her infamous Hollywood breakup was smattered across CNN and Fox News, bodacious babe Barbie Millicent Roberts is back -- and she's never been better. The pretty-in-pink-plastic princess (known to her best girlfriends as just "Barbie") is the guest of honor at an extensive display of her likeness at the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys, 1880 Gaylord Street.

The show, which opens today and runs through October 31, is an exposé of the bombshell's many phases. After all, our favorite gal pal is no dumb blonde: Barbie's distinguished careers have included paleontologist, military medic, rock star, proud USA astronaut and presidential hopeful. But for all the dress-up, an original beauty from 1959 -- the year the vinyl vixen debuted -- is the exhibit's highlight. "One look and that spark is rekindled," says the museum's Becky Evert. "You fall in love with her all over again."

Hear that, Ken?

Check out her fabulousness from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and from 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays; tickets are $5. For more information, call 303-322-1053 or visit www.dmmdt.com. -- Kity Ironton

Neon Thrills
Bangkok's seamy side is explored in a new mystery.
FRI, 5/13

Mystery author John Burdett seems to have had no choice but to set a new detective series in exotic climes -- and he landed in a Blade Runner-like arena.

His Royal Thai Police detective, Sonchai Jitpleecheep, first went to work in the gritty, neon-inflected thriller Bangkok 8, a novel about the Bangkok underworld of sex clubs and meth dealers in what the Thais call the City of Angels, where foreigners roam with pockets full of money. But it's the complex antihero, the Buddhist son of an Angels whore, who really holds the story together, sending the plot forward with a contemporary stream-of-consciousness spin. Not for the queasy reader, this tale and its main character are both hard to put down.

Now Jitpleecheep is back in Bangkok Tattoo, along with his mother, Nong, and his slimy superior, Police Colonel Vikorn, who've collaborated to open their own club in the notorious Pat Pong district. There the gumshoe meets Chanya, a working girl he both fancies and suspects of murder. But that, you correctly sense, is just the setup. Burdett reads from Bangkok Tattootonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Cherry Creek Tattered Cover, 2955 East First Avenue. For details, call 303-322-7727. -- Susan Froyd

 
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