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Daily Pic: “Forever Marilyn,” a 26-foot-tall sculpture by the 80-year-old artist J. Seward Johnson, Jr., one of the heirs to the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical fortune. By pointing to this work, unveiled Friday in Chicago, I’m breaking two Daily Pic rules. First, the DP is meant to single out art and objects I like, and that I think deserve a reader’s attention. Second, I make it a rule to discuss only those works I have seen in the flesh - or that don’t need in-the-flesh seeing. I guess, in a way, that Johnson’s piece fits that last category: I really don’t think you need to see it to understand how asinine it is. I hate to pile on to the (un-)poor old guy, whose Marilyn is getting slammed by critics everywhere, but what does he think is gained, other than Homer Simpson yucks, by taking images that live just fine in one place in our culture –in this case, Marilyn’s iconic subway-grating scene in “The Seven Year Itch” – and remaking them as sculpture? Eight years ago, Johnson did that with great impressionist paintings, to almost nauseating effect. The speckled light that plays across the skin in Renoir’s portraits, for instance, became a bad case of acne in Johnson’s 3D versions of them. I gave that exhibition my most vicious review ever, describing it as a “mind-numbing, head-spinning, belly-flipping experience,” a “train wreck” of a show that was the worst I’d ever seen. Nothing has topped – or bottomed – it since.

(Photo by Scott Olson / Getty Images)

For a full visual archive of past Daily Pics visit

Blake Gopnik’s earlier review of J. Seward Johnson is a thing of beauty. Johnson was completely savaged, but he had it coming. Go read it if you haven’t seen it before.

(this post was reblogged from blakegopnik)

Saddle quest

Finding a comfortable bike saddle is, unfortunately, a trial-and-error process because everyone’s anatomy is different, and a great saddle for one person may be pure torture for another. Anyway, my problem is groin pain and numbness after about 15 miles (1 hour) of riding. I also experience tingling and numbness in the balls of my feet after this same distance, which the bike shop guy says is at least partly due to pressure in the groin area causing poor blood flow to the feet. Although prices at the LBS are usually higher than online stores, I think it’s really worthwhile to buy from a local store that allows you to try a saddle and return it for full refund if it doesn’t work out. These are the saddles I’ve tried:

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Bike jersey fit

Been buying a lot of them lately. I usually wear a men’s small (approx. 5’8”, 135 lbs).

Canari: Seems OK. Tight neck opening.

Cannondale: Long-sleeved, cold-weather jersey. Fits fine.

Castelli: Tight in chest and armpits. OK in the waist. Huge neck opening.

Giordana: Seems to fit fine, but don’t like the tight, elasticized sleeves.

Hincapie: Fits great. My favorite so far.

Louis Garneau: Too big. Should’ve gotten their XS (36” chest per their sizing chart). Don’t like how the back pockets are not elasticized.

Marcello Bergamo: Torso width OK. A bit loose in the neck, though not as much as Castelli. Sleeves are elasticized but not too tight. Rear pockets are small. Zipper is left-handed, which is something I’ve found in common with other Italian jerseys. Zipper pull is a huge chunk of metal, which makes it too heavy. The taping for the zipper on the bottom uses a stiff material so its corners can dig into the shorts. The biggest issue is the torso length, which is too short—it’s about 2” shorter than the Hincapie. Plus the elasticized waist rides up, making it harder to cover your back when on the bike.

Performance Bike: Fits OK. Elasticized sleeves not too tight. The zipper is way too heavy for the fabric and causes the front of the jersey to not lie flat. Feels cheap (then again, I didn’t pay much for it).

Specialized: This particular one is a mountain jersey. Fits fine. The cut is on the loose side, but that’s MTB styling.