This article on rap music by Daniel Levin Becker catches my attention… especially this assessment of Rap music…

Rap music serves, consistently, contagiously, sometimes in spite of its own claims to the contrary, as a delivery mechanism for the most exhilarating and crafty and inspiring use of language in contemporary American culture.

… i struggle to get very much into Rap, even as i am aware of its enormous significance… i keep trying though… this article may be a window in, as it analyzes lines from a number of songs (raps?) and so could point me to some raps to listen to…

This is just it: taking words at face value is what good rappers almost militantly don’t do. They find the blind angles, the shortcuts, the secret overlaps, and use them, sometimes, to build stunning models of invention and entente, spaces where small discords combine into larger resolutions and we see, hear, how boring it would be to live in a perfect world where like belongs only with like.

… hmmm… saving this article…

Bob Thompson’s Provocative Challenge to Euro-American Art History, Billy Anania, Hyperallergic, December 20, 2021…

Bob Thompson, “Black Monster” (1959), oil on canvas, 56 x 67 inches (© Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York)

Bob Thompson, “Black Monster” (1959), oil on canvas, 56 x 67 inches (© Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York)

… if i were anywhere near Maine and the Colby College Museum, i would go see this (assuming adequate safety measures for COVID)…

In 28 years of life, Thompson created more than 1,000 paintings, including hundreds of expressive reinterpretations of Renaissance and Early Modern artworks. These variations, much like those in jazz music, allowed the artist to riff on familiar favorites, and his standards of choice were Poussin, Tintoretto, Manet, and Goya. Approaching renowned white artists from the margins allowed Thompson to tease out Euro-American tensions with Blackness, and the 85 works on display here portray the terror and splendor of public space, the persecution of Black sexuality, and the fine line between assimilation and fugitivity.

… here is a Wikipedia article on him

… he strikes me as a primitive, almost outsider artist, though he had formal training…

What i read today…

Heather Cox Richardson, Letters from an American, December 07, 2021… the heroism and death of Messman Doris Miller, a black man, in WW II… he was on board the U.S.S. West Virginia in Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked… he survived the sinking of the West Virginia but later perished when the U.S.S. Liscome Bay was sunk by a Japanese Torpedo, November 24, 1943…

I hear a lot these days about how American democracy is doomed and the reactionaries will win. Maybe. But the beauty of our system is that it gives us people like Doris Miller. Even better, it makes us people like Doris Miller.

In Defense—God Help Us—of Lauren Boebert, Chris True… i read the article and understand the point being made, but on the fence about whether i agree… my great frustration is that individuals that “no decent person … should give the time of day” get the time of day, get traction, take cover behind the protections of the system they are working towards dismantling… it puts those of us who want to stop them at a great disadvantage… we may be at a place where lines have to be drawn… on the other hand, it is a slippery slope…

No decent person should give Lauren Boebert the time of day. Congresswoman Boebert, however, is a different story. Congresswoman Boebert is representing over 700,000 people and those 700,000 people deserve the same representation in Congress as everyone else, even if that makes Democrats feel unsafe. Sticking to your principles often does._  International Court of Justice Rules Azerbaijan Must Stop Destroying Armenian Cultural Heritage in Artsakh, Yelena Ambartsumian… the ICJ apparently has the authority to refer its decisions to the UN Security Council which has the authority to do something about it… i am in sympathy based on what the article tells me, but wonder how straightforward the issue really is… last night Rachel Maddow’s opening monologue talked about the taking down of monuments to war heroes of the Confederacy… would the Confederacy, such as it exists today, have the right to appeal to the ICJ for relief?…

… a cartoon by Guy Richards Smit in Hyperallergic… last week, on Deadline Washington, Donny Deutsch lamented that the people he talked to in his crowd (he’s pretty wealthy) weren’t particularly concerned with whether democracy survives or not…

The Power of the Dog Is a Different Kind of Western Film, Ela Bittencourt, Hyperallergic…

In Jane Campion’s elegant adaptation of Thomas Savage’s novel The Power of the Dog, nature is an instrument of both wonder and violence.

The audacity of the original book comes from Savage combining a heated sibling rivalry, an illicit love story, the Western myths of male virility, and a murder mystery all within its slim pages.

How Marisol, “the True Trailblazer,” Paved the Way for Andy Warhol, Karen Chernick… “Behind every great man there’s a great woman.”… Marisol was quite well recognized at the time, so, not living in the shadows… but… an interesting exhibition…

Marisol, “Andy” (1962–63) (Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, image © Acquavella LLC (1962-63), © 2021 Estate of Marisol / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)

The Hungry Eye: Eating, Drinking, and European Culture from Rome to the Renaissance, Leonard Barkan, review by Lauren Moya Ford, Hyperallergic… for art lover epicureans… there don’t appear to be recipes, but i suppose we can find our own…

… this image from the book catches my attention in particular… so many layers to dig through…

Joos van Cleve, “The Holy Family” (c. 1512-13) (the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

New Study on NFTs Deflates the “Democratic” Potential for the Medium, Jasmine Liu, Hyperallergic… yesterday i upgraded my micro.com subscription to premium to take advantage of the new email signup feature and begin posting short videos which i call video stills… i was ambivalent about doing this because i have viewed these video stills as ideal for the NFTA world… it is interesting to see that the market is shaping up to be a reflection of the physical art world system of value creation and art distribution, where there are taste makers serving as intermediaries advising the well to do on their art purchases… i struggle with this system because it is exploitative and elitist and a direct reflection of the power structure in which art is created… artists don’t often make out well trying to participate in this system… i don’t have to make money from my art at present, so i don’t have to participate in the system if i don’t want to, and lately, i don’t want to… right now, i create my art and offer it for free on a platform that isn’t profiting from my free content…

What i read today…

  • Letters from an American, December 06, 2021, Heather Cox Richardson… a little less depressing than the December 05 post, she discusses the Biden/Harris administration’s upcoming conversation with Vladimir Putin, the Summit for Democracy, and the administration’s comprehensive strategy for combating corruption around the globe which undermines democracy and allows illiberal governments to flourish… she discusses the West’s ability to hold Putin accountable should he invade Ukraine, which a troop buildup along the border suggests he might do… she then circles back to the problems we are having at home with a right bent on authoritarianism…
  • a review of Instructional Photography: Learning How to Live Now… the review is very positive… i am much more interested in I Am My Lover (1978) by Joan Blank and Honey Lee Cottrell, a book on female masturbation referenced in the article… i find i can have a copy for $65… hmmm says primal me… i learn more about Carmen Winant
  • Paradise, by Daniel Dorsa… i like the photography in this spread, excerpts from a new book…
  • my December horoscope by Lorelai Kude on Chronogram:
    • Intensity is still the name of the game this month, which starts out with a literal bang when Mars sextiles Pluto December 6, with Capricorn Moon square your Sun. Unless you are an active-duty combat soldier, resist all urges to engage in battle. The spectrum of aggression ranges from petulant pugnaciousness at best to punitive pyromania at worst. If power is your priority, Mars square Jupiter December 8 will supersize the struggles and their consequences. Align yourself with higher thoughts and broader horizons when Mars enter Sagittarius December 13. To whom do you owe your fiery allegiance, after all?
  • A Look Back at Art News in 2021, From NFTs to Restitution… in reviewing the art stories of the year presented by Hyperallergic, i found myself more hopeful… in many ways, the art world seems to be progressing and promoting liberal causes better than the discouraging mainstream news would seem to suggest… from protesting the Sacklers to unionizing museum staffs to repatriation of stolen cultural heritage, the news seems good…

First Thoughts

… i have switched back to Firefox as browser after discovering that Safari didn’t play nice with many websites… a shame… both on the Safari and websites ends… at any rate, i will now have to update passwords in the Firefox environment as i was switching over to keychain… sigh… it is so hard to maintain a unified browsing and password environment…

HCR meter about the booming economy (inflation not withstanding) and the January 6 commission… also about the news failing to celebrate the economy… two different spins on the future of inflation… HCR maintains that Jerome Powell told congress inflation would abate as supply chain issues got worked out… the news indicated that testimony was given to congress saying the opposite… i don’t remember if it was Powell or another economic official… the January 6 news is that there is evidence of 45 communicating with the “command center” at the Willard Hotel and January 5… and finally, news that Mark Meadows is starting to cooperate… will anything in the way of accountability ever come of it?…

… not feeling great this AM… sleep a little fitful… i am not rested…

… first day of December… i bought H a Tim Burton Nightmare Before Christmas Advent Calendar… she was pleased… now to work on everyone else’s gifts… i have ideas, just have to execute…

… did a course on optimizing SEO on Square Space websites… we have done probably 70% of what can be done… for some of what remains to be done, it isn’t clear that we should do it… in any case, with a little further tweaking i will be able to tell J that we are fully optimized…

… uploaded the Beached Stones series to my portfolio website… i submitted this series to Shots Magazine for their Earthly Delights call… i wonder how much of what gets published will be nudes, especially female nudes, thought the call for entries had a male nude… Earthly Delights references Hieronymous Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, a tryptic painted between 1510 and 1515… the tryptic is thought by some art historians to be a warning against lust, suggesting that hell awaits those who loose control of themselves… my submission references female genitalia with photographs of stones on the beach around which ocean waves have eroded the sand in suggestive ways, at least to my mind… so my entry is both a reference to lust and configured from earthly materials… it is perfect really, but i have been disappointed by the editors before…

Garden of Earthly Delights, Hieronymous Bosch

Lynn Hershman Leeson at Gazelli Art House in London

Lynn Hershman Leeson via AnOther Magazine

… this exhibition looks interesting to me…

… from an interview with the artist:

It’s really a series of humiliations, being an artist – but particularly a female one, and particularly at my age.

… what else was she going to do?… she tells us… you make the work… it isn’t make the work for the purpose of being discovered… its make the work and something will come of it…

… something i have to remind myself of all…the…time…

… from the Code of Arms exhibition website:

Over the last five decades, artist and filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson has been internationally acclaimed for her art and films. Cited as one of the most influential media artists, Hershman Leeson is widely recognized for her innovative work investigating issues such as the relationship between humans and technology, identity, surveillance, and the use of media as a tool of empowerment against censorship and political repression. She has made pioneering contributions to the fields of photography, video, film, performance, artificial intelligence, bio art, installation and interactive as well as net-based media art. ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Germany, organized the first comprehensive retrospective of her work titled ‘Civic Radar’.

… her interest in the relationship between the human body and technology attracts me to her work… she was a pioneer in looking at that relationship and expressing it in her art… i am thinking i need to pull out my “What Intelligent Life is Made Of” talk, possibly update it and put it out there again…

Etel Adnan, Shifting the Silence, rejoiced by Maria Popova

Painting by Etel Adnan from Etel Adnan: Light’s New Measure, Guggenheim Museum, 2021. (Photograph: Maria Popova)

… no secret, i am a big fan of Maria Popova… this post on Etel Adnan’s Shifting the Silence is a wonderful read… and now, i have added yet another book to my reading list… i need to carve out more reading time… i am having such fun with it…

… i would like to go see On the Basis of Art: 150 Years of Women at Yale

Art Made by Immoral People, What To Do?

… i enjoyed reading _What Do We Do with the Work of Immoral Artists_… it is thought provoking and the book Drawing the line: What to Do with the Work of Immoral Artists from Museums to the Movies

… my own thoughts seem to align with where both authors come out… that it depends… troubled psyches often produce remarkable insight through art and we would be poorer as a society to ban it from public view altogether… for starters, not all of those troubled psyches are morally questionable, but what to do with the ones that are?… it is interesting that all the examples offered in the article are white men who abused women and children, but then, the vast majority of the art in museums is made by white men… this is mostly the psyche of the white patriarchy on display…

… an easy criteria for me is whether i am turned off enough by the actions of an artist to simply not be interested in their production… this is true for me with Woody Allen… it gets harder when i really like the work of an amoral actor… Gaugin’s Tahitian women paintings might be an example of this… for the most part i believe museums and galleries have an obligation to put the artwork in context, whether or not patrons are prepared to embrace or even pay attention to that context… if the artists character is, or was, morally questionable… this should be known and become part of understanding the work and it’s relevance…

… i would probably draw the line at supporting a living, morally questionable and unrepentant artist… how one conducts their daily lives should have impact on one’s viability in society…

… the example of William Noguera, an artist on death row for killing a woman, offered in the article is interesting… i followed the links about the artist and the book he has written and found myself a little put off by the slick PR which paints him as a soul that has embraced and is trying to atone for what he has done… there is a kind of gliding over of the murder, acknowledged, but in a, “that was me then, this is me now” sort of way… it is possibly a touching story, but one that has been valorized and romanticized it seems to me…

… still, we should be all for rehabilitation and coming to terms with one’s sins…

… i don’t believe in the death penalty as a form of punishment an enlightened society should pursue… in many ways, the Noguera story is the kind of story one would point to as a better way… sans death penalty hanging over his head… it is easy for me to think i would readily attend an exhibition of his work, but for the slick PR… i could do without that…

”I Shot The Sheriff!”

… but i did’nt shoot no deputy…

this is an interesting court decision about whether an artist’s work, in this case a rap song, is admissible as evidence that the artist did what they are accused of doing… Muadhdhin Bey-Cousin, a rapper, maintains he was wrongly arrested, convicted and jailed… he is suing for damages… counsel defending the officers are(is?) trying to submit song lyrics as evidence of a truthful depiction of the incidents that led to his arrest… the judge ruled that artistic product cannot be used to determine truth or falsehood of a question at issue, since the very nature of art is to embellish on experience to transform it into something transcendent… therefore, there is a high burden on the part of those wishing to submit art content as evidence that there is strong reason to believe the artwork in question is factual and not embellished…

… among the examples cited was the Bob Marley song that is the title of this post…

… from the decision:

As a society, we have decided to encourage free expression in all its forms. The Court will not adopt a rule that might undermine that goal. It therefore adopts a rule that presumes that artists tell stories, even when they draw inspiration from reality. Officers Cherry and Powell have not overcome that burden, so the Court will grant Mr. Bey-Cousin’s Motion and preclude evidence of his lyrics…1


  1. Wolson, Judge Joshua, Bey-Cousin v. Powell, via Reason.com [return]

Watercolors of Hilma af Klint, via Hyperallergic

Hilma af Klint, “Tree of Knowledge, No. 3” (1913-1915), watercolor, gouache, graphite, and ink on paper, 17 7/8 x 11 5/8 inches.

… on view at David Zwirner Gallery

 Though little known during her lifetime and for decades after, Swedish artist Hilma af Klint (1862–1944) has come to be recognized as one of the most important and inventive artists of the twentieth century. When she began making vibrant, symbolic paintings as early as 1906, her work was radically unlike anything that had come before, and preceded the abstract work of artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, and Kazimir Malevich by several years.1

Francesca Woodman

Catalog cover, Francesca Woodman: Alternate Stories, published by Marion Goodman Gallery

… awesome talent, tragic story… this exhibition runs from November 02 to December 23 at the Marian Goodman Gallery in New York City… the exhibition catalog is for sale here.

Eikoh Hosoe

Photograph by Eikoh Hose

Guts and Ghosts: The Radical Legacy of Japanese Photographer Eikoh Hose

… there are so many Japanese photographers I love… Eikoh Hosoe is another one… this book from MACK is on my list if i get a windfall…

Domenico Gnoli

Robe verte, 1967, by Domenico Gnoli

… love this painting… it reminds me of photographs i might make… not sure it has anything particularly important to say about the world other than, perhaps, “god is in the details1”… what beautiful details they are… Gnoli created between 1949 and 1969 and was an illustrator and set designer… yes, the work above smacks of illustration, but i find it soothing and perhaps significance for its observation of cultural accoutrements… it is pleasing to look at work…

… on display at the Fondazione Prada…

… i free associate to “the devil is in the details,” and then to, “The Devil Wears Prada,” a 2006 romantic comedy/drama starring Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep and Adrian Grenier…


  1. Well known dictum of Mies van der Rohe. Often thought to have originated with van der Rohe, though it’s origins can be traced back to the 1800’s, well before his birth. [return]

Notations on the Day

… i am reading The Journals of Denton Welch… transcribing a particularly interesting passage into my notes… i look and see that it is 5:30 AM, time to wake H so that we can gather ourselves and go to vote…

… as i am reading, i feel i am reading in the dark… the lamp over the desk is pointed up to the ceiling so there is only reflected light… i turn the lamp around to point down at the desk… now i can see…


… voted… low turnout in this off, off year cycle…


… walking…

… a patriotic mural on the side of the DMV building… something worries me about this… there is no signature from the artist12

… i pass L walking their dog and on their way to vote… we discuss briefly the Republican shenanigans…

… as i walk i consider that the next step in my photo/blogging project will be weekly summaries with Saturday and Sunday devoted to that task…

… i see a sign about the Hudson River Greenway Trail… i look it up and find maps of the entire length


… i seem to have tumbled down a tech rabbit hole… Ulysses wasn’t syncing properly… so i started the process of moving folders to iCloud syncing as opposed to the external dropbox syncing i had been doing… trying to locate the issue… now it is syncing through dropbox properly, but i have an extended syncing operation going on the iPhone that i have to let finish before backing out of it?… dropbox seems to be preserving things like favorites better… i should learn to be patient when there is a synching problem… it usually sorts itself out…

… while i have been waiting for Ulysses to get synced, i have been collecting entries together around subject material gathered by tag searches… this is so cool!… so easy to pull related material together due to tagging discipline!… will make it easy to find my way to subjects, topics, whatever, should i want to write something more planned and considered…


  1. … later, walking home from breakfast we see the artist working on it… a woman… she tells the other woman that she will finish it today… i will reserve judgement until i see it finished… [return]
  2. … a town member posted an update on the mural… it honors veterans… sponsored by one of the funeral homes in town… [return]

Photobooks by Women

… one of my great interests, women and photography… women as subject(object?), women as photographers, women as critics of photography, women as curators of photography, and on and on…

this article in AnOther is a long list of women who have made important photobooks… well worth a gander if at all interested in photography and women photographers who have blazed trails…

Exhibition: ‘Mario Giacomelli: Figure|Ground’ at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, review by Dr. Marcus Bunyan

Mario Giacomelli (Italian, 1925-2000)
Figure (My Mother), No. 130
1956; printed 1981
Gelatin silver print
40.1 × 30.1cm (15 13/16 × 11 7/8 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Gift of Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser

Mario Giacomelli (Italian, 1925-2000)

Figure (My Mother), No. 130

1956; printed 1981

Gelatin silver print

40.1 × 30.1cm (15 13/16 × 11 7/8 in.)

The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Gift of Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser

… another exhibit that has recently closed, but Dr. Bunyan’s reviews are so thorough with tons of images, that they are a bit like going to the exhibit…

… Dr. Bunyan’s reviews are from a love of photography and art perspective as well as an academic one… they are long, but worth a close look…

Martin Amis, This Land, Review by Brad Feuerhelm

Martin Amis, from This Land

Martin Amis, from This Land

… as part of my program of disengaging from Feedly (a google product) i have been migrating feeds to Feedbin… this morning i migrated news and photography feeds and i am catching up on what has happened recently (forget about what i missed, it was too much to catch up on!)…

… Brad Feuerhelm is another of my favorite photography book reviewers… in contrast with Jonathan Blaustein’s down to earth conversational style, BF is more considered, thoughtful in his reviews… there is a touch of the serious poet in his approach to writing about the books he reviews… an attempt to render in a literary way what he has experienced visually in the book at hand… an example:

When we think of this land, by birthright or other nomadic means, we are reminded of our traipsing, our travels, our genesis, and our need for home, however temporary. This land is glacial. This land defines us. It places us on the long contiguous cartography of being human. It moves ever so slightly to overgrow the previous year’s warrens and dens, to combat the desire paths we form as necessary shortcuts over 1000s of years, these paths befit of the constraints of time between points of fixity allying A and B. This land slumbers and turns slowly, gravity is its only force majeure. This land is how we define our position. It is the rotating compass beneath our feet.1

… this morning’s book review was on work that reminds me somewhat of my own… it’s all in black and white… it’s all landscapes… no people in any of the photos shared in the article…


  1. Feuerhelm, Brad, Martin Amis, This Land: martin-amis-this-land.html [return]

Jonathan Blaustein Reviews Legends of New Mexico Devotional Art, Harwood Museum of Art

… which, unfortunately, has just closed but you can savor it to some degree in his review which ends on this note…

 Art is, and has always been, a huge part of humanity’s salvation.

Art is an act of creation, and represents the best of us, as a species.

So let’s not forget that, in 2021, when so much bad-behavior gets us down.1

… JB is one of my favorite reviewers of (mostly) photography… his anecdotal style and deep knowledge of what is going on in the world of photography combine to make just about every review he does amazing… always worth the read…


  1. Blaustein, Jonathan, This Week in Photography, Keeping it Local: https://aphotoeditor.com/2021/10/15/this-week-in-photography-keeping-it-local/ [return]

Daily Feed

Frieze Festival, London, via AnOther

… the artists i like…

Deborah Roberts

Deborah Roberts ‘Laying my burdens down’, 2021 Mixed media collage on canvas 177.8 x 177.8cm(70 x 70in). Copyright Deborah Roberts. Photo by Paul Bardargjy.

… the artist is African American, well known in this country… her work depicts:

 Black children, beautifully composed, in collage form, from found imagery and hand-painted details. Each one features an array of skin tones, hairstyles, facial features and clothing in a powerful exploration of what the gallery terms “the challenges encountered by Black children as they respond to social constructs perpetuated by the white gaze and western visual culture”.1

… i like the image above… i like its photo collage quality, i like its minimalism… i find it pleasing to look at, mildly challenging… the direct gaze of the subject… the averted gaze also… it is art with a social purpose… it is the white patriarchy absorbing the critique in a way deemed acceptable…

Do Ho Suh

Do Ho Suh, Doorknobs on Backplates: Providence Home and New York Homes, 2021

… i like the whimsy…

Mary Beth Edelson

Mary Beth Edelson

… American feminist art pioneer, nudes on the beach striking Egyptian statuary poses… she died this past April… i am interested in women in photography, especially nudes where i find very interesting crosscurrents of the male gaze, female gaze, feminist statements…

Daily Feed

Jeff Koons

… an article on Shine, an exhibition of his sculptures and paintings… i look at the work thinking i won’t like it, and interestingly, i do… though it seems thoroughly capitalist to me…

Jeff Koons ShineBalloon Dog (Red), 1994-2000. Private collection. © Jeff Koons, Photo: Mike Bruce, Gate Studios, London

… objects of popular culture, rendered in plastic, metal, polished… he likes the metaphysics of the mirror… everywo/man reflected in artifacts of their popular culture…

… Koons talks about wanting the work to be objective, not subjective, not a rendering of his psyche… i am not sure how any art work made by an individual can free itself from being a rendering of that individual… but the reflective nature of his work perhaps accomplishes that… you see, it’s you too, not just me… you see yourself in this world that is the world of Koons but it’s the world of you too!…

… i read what Koons has to say about mirrors and it makes no sense to me…

Patti Smith & Jefferson Hack

Michelangelo’s David, Florence, Photography by Patti Smith

… characters of the late fifties, sixties and seventies cropping up with regularity… i suppose Modern Nature, by Derek Jarman is part of the reason… DJ mentioned Robert Mapplethorpe in my readings of a few days ago… Patti Smith on another magazine ties into that thread, Mapplethorpe and Smith were good buds back in the day… i look the article over because it contains Smith’s photography… i have a book of her photographs… my general reaction is that they are good photographs, but they don’t take my breath away… this article opens with Never Still, a poem being published for the first time by Smith…

… it seems appropriate to the milieu in which my readings and discoveries are unfolding… Derek Jarman would have connected to the physique of David i suspect… who doesn’t, but most of us don’t in a queer way, he would have… perhaps stating the obvious here, but i am thinking about the statue and it’s frank sexuality… do i recall that Michelangelo is thought (known?) to have been gay?… i do an internet search and the answer seems to be maybe… would it be possible to make such a sculpture without being in love with the subject?… it reminds me of MK, designer, artist, mentor… when he died it was discovered that he had a bunch of crocheted penises hidden away in his apartment…

Helen Frankenthaler

© 2021 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc. / ARS, NY and DACS , London / Crown Point Press, Oakland, CA

Frankenthaler’s woodcutting is the subject of a new exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery… The show, titled Radical Beauty, comes ten years after the artist’s death, and is her first major print retrospective to be shown in the UK.1

… hmmm… beautiful… they seem safe… not provocative, not “radical”… easy to hang in the living rooms of the one percent… we live in radical times, so i have this feeling that art should be provocative, even if i am unlikely to be provocative with my own photographic work… maybe that is a self challenge…

_Helen Frankenthaler: Radical Beauty runs at London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery from 15 September 2021 – 18 April 2022.


  1. Sisley, Dominique, “They’re Astounding”: The Radical Beauty of Helen Frankenthaler’s Woodcuts, AnOther Magazine [return]

Stacy Arezou Mehrfar: The Moon Belongs to Everyone

… as i look through the review, not really sure i can call it that as the reviewer doesn’t take a position on the book that I can see, if don’t find an image that is compelling in and of itself… i get many of the images, but don’t love any of the images, and have a sense that the photographs are gathered to become something more than they are individually… this image is an example:

… an image that most any photographer with a bit of a poetic spirit might make…

The Moon Belongs to Everyone by Stacy Mehrfar, is a response to the contemporary experience of migration – of shifting continents and mindsets. A multi-layered visual narrative set in a non-locatable landscape, the book reflects upon the loss of roots, and search for belonging in the wake of immigration.1

… it might sound like i am panning the book, i am not… i don’t have it in my possession, so can’t take it in entirely… i have only the images shared in this review and the artists statement about the work to go by… i am attracted by the idea of it and its alignment with a spirit within photography which doesn’t view each individual image as precious, but rather places the emphasis on the story they collectively tell…

Photographer: Kate Sweeny

Kate Sweeny

… nice photographs of young women, clothed and unclothed… an example of nude photography with women behind and in front of the camera… the artist tells us that the photographs are not about the objectification of women, but rather, about the celebration of women’s bodies as an art form in and of themselves and as natural presences in the world… which i believe… the photographs are, however, easy to view in a sexualized and objectified way, especially when they deploy tropes like wet fabric on the body as in the above image… i think we suffer from a lot of confusion about sex and sexuality, particularly in American Society, because there is a strong tendency to repress sexuality, and because the Patriarchy is so alive and well, it makes any young woman an object of sexual desire and any photograph of said young woman sexualized, when patriarchal eyes that are looking… i don’t see this as a reason not to make and display them… i do see a need to be honest about the variety of ways in which content can be perceived…