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Bill Barminski, best-known as a painter (see page 51) and new-media artist -- you may recall the archly artsy CD-ROMs Bar-Min-Ski Consumer Product and The Encyclopedia of Clamps -- is having an eventful year. Not only did he join Santa Monica's Crash Films in January to direct commercials and music videos, but now he's got a spectacular Absolut billboard on Sunset Boulevard in L.A., replete with his signature two-mouthed man. "The billboard is simultaneously an homage to Times Square in the '40s with a cityscape modeled in the [Los Angeles] style of Raymond Chandler novels," says Barminski. Having his name up in commercial lights may seem a touch incongruous for Barminski, whose work often has a subversive, faintly anti-capitalist edge to it, but at 35, he may be mellowing with age. As for the Crash connection, so far his reel is limited to some interesting low-budget :15s for local clothier Capra & Cavelli. "I'm taking it as it goes," he shrugs. "I have an eye to doing music videos, but I'll see what comes my way and what kind of artistic leeway I can have." Barminski, who favors house and techno music, wrote a treatment for Crystal Method that didn't pan out, but it can't be long before he gets his 120 Minutes of fame. But would he do mainstream spots? "Sure, if they were like 'uncommercials.' " Like Nike, for instance? "Absolutely. There's really a lot of
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