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Texarkana Historic Arts District to Receive LED Light Sculptures


The Texas Arts Commission recently met to approve the 2022 Cultural District Project grant proposals selected for funding.

Among these was Texarkana Arts and Historic District’s proposal for phase two of the Courthouse Square Connections project, for a price of $ 27,500. This grant will be used to work with world renowned artist and light sculptor Bill FitzGibbons to provide LED light sculptures in downtown Texarkana. Some of these light sculptures include the US Federal Post Office / Courthouse on Stateline, the ArtSpark located on 4th and Main Street, and the iconic sign on the roof of the Grim Hotel. Mr. FitzGibbons has created several public art exhibitions around the world, including at the Alamo Lights, Spirit of San Fernando and Kinetic Skyline in San Antonio, TX, among others in the United States and abroad.

“Working with Bill FitzGibbons on these public art exhibitions will provide an exciting attraction to downtown Texarkana and a unique opportunity for local artists to learn more about this medium,” said Keith Beason, program manager for this medium. grant.

The Courthouse Connections project is led by a group of volunteer local residents and municipal staff using the Strategic Action Model through Leadership Texarkana.

To learn more about the project, visit texarkanadistrict.com/courthouse-square-connections.

Popular childish stars of each year

Below, Stacker Sifted through movie databases, movie stories, celebrity bios, and digital archives to compile this list of popular pint-sized actors from 1919-2021.

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The Art Angle Podcast: Writer Roxane Gay on what art can teach us about trauma and healing


Welcome to Art Angle, an Artnet News podcast that explores where the art world meets the real world, telling every week’s greatest story on earth. Join us each week for an in-depth look at what matters most about museums, the art market and more with input from our own writers and editors as well as artists, curators and others. leading experts in the field.

Today, for the 100th episode (!) Of Art Angle, we are delighted to welcome critically acclaimed author, teacher and social commentator Roxane Gay, whose writings on feminism, politics, intersectionality and culture have made her one of the most important observers of our time.

Gay is also a passionate art collector and admirer who, along with his wife Debbie Millman, has amassed an impressive personal collection in recent years and has been outspoken about the not always pleasant nature of the New York gallery scene. In an upcoming essay for Artnet News, Gay takes a close look at a new painting by Los Angeles-based figurative painter Calida Rawles which recently debuted as part of her new exhibition at the Lehmann Maupin Gallery in New York City.

Rawles has garnered widespread attention for his sensitive photorealistic depictions of black women and girls swimming and floating in pools – images that present water as an allegorical space for healing while evoking its traumatic historical significance to the black American community, many of whose ancestors died in the Middle Passage and who, for a long time due to the segregationist laws of the Jim Crow era, were prohibited from swimming in certain bodies of water.

Installation view, “Calida Rawles: On the other side of everything” at Lehmann Maupin. Photo: Daniel Kukla.

The artwork Gay writes about – titled High tide, heavy armor– premiered earlier this year and depicts a black man who looks a lot like Kurt Reinhold, a friend of the artist who was shot for jaywalking in San Clemente, Calif., Last February. The character is depicted from above and positioned low on the canvas, eyes downcast as a tumultuous body of water consumes the rest of the canvas. According to Rawles, the water offers a sort of topographical map of the murders of black Americans, describing several states with the highest numbers.

It’s a poignant and gripping image, encompassing Rawles’ thoughts and feelings about the past few years. And in many ways, it marks a departure from his previous work. This week, Artnet News style editor Noor Brara talks to Roxane Gay about these themes, Rawles’s article in particular, and her visceral and personal connection to it.

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Monumental Tour adds four temporary sculptures to Philadelphia


The traveling monumental tour landed in Philadelphia this week, bringing art that honors African-American history to the city’s iconic landmarks.

Sculptures by Arthur Jafa, Coby Kennedy, Christopher Myers and Hank Willis Thomas will be on display until January 31 at four locations near the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the Delaware River waterfront.

Related arts, travel organizers, said the work examines themes of colonization, oppression, privilege, black middle-class work and black pride.

The sculptures explore various aspects of the African-American experience, “from the first slaves brought in the 16th century to today’s prison pipeline, and the liberation struggle between the two,” according to a press release.

Philadelphia is the sixth stop on the nationwide tour, but it is the first time that all four sculptures have been on display at the same time.

The tour will also feature Julian Francis Abele, Philadelphia’s first African-American architect who helped design iconic buildings like the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Michael Spain, Director of Education at the Center for Architecture and Design, will lead a audio walking tour of all the sculptures presented.

Here is an overview of the sculptures presented:

All the power to all Hank Willis ThomasCourtesy / Albert Yee

‘All Power to All People’ by Hank Willis Thomas is located on Eakins Oval, near the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

“All power to all people”

Hank Willis Thomas’ sculpture, “All Power to All People,” is a 28 foot tall afro pick with the Black Power salute emerging from the grip. Its title refers to the slogan of the Black Panther Party.

Thomas, a concept artist, said the piece is a symbol of community, strength, perseverance, camaraderie and belonging. His works have been exhibited across the country and abroad.

The sculpture is on display at Eakins Oval, 2451 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

The hands of Caliban Christopher MyersCourtesy / Albert Yee

Christopher Myers’ Caliban’s Hands is a reference to Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”, which involved themes of colonization and servitude.

“The hands of Caliban”

Christopher Myers’ Caliban’s Hands is a sculpture of two silver hands attached to the wrist, sitting on a stone slab atop a wooden box.

Myers said his sculpture is symbolic of indigenous cultures suppressed by colonization. Its name refers to a character in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”, widely regarded as a story about European colonization. The character of Caliban is often cited in modern discussions of colonization.

Myers is an artist, writer and illustrator of young adult literature based in New York City.

The sculpture is located at Shakespeare Park on the Ben Franklin Parkway.

Kalief Browder the Coby Kennedy BoxCourtesy / Albert Yee

Coby Kennedy’s ‘Kalief Browder the Box’ is a protest artwork that criticizes the American incarceration system.

“Kalief Browder the box”

Coby Kennedy’s sculpture, “Kalief Browder the Box”, is a steel and glass sculpture that reproduces the dimensions of a solitary confinement cell. The exterior features text and graphics that criticize the American prison system.

Kennedy, artist and industrial designer, received a master’s degree from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree from the industrial design program at the Pratt Institute.

The sculpture is on display at Thomas Paine Plaza, 1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.

Ferris Wheel IV Arthur JafaCourtesy / Albert Yee

Arthur Jafa’s ‘Big Wheel IV’ is a collection of four large tires covered with chains. It sits on Cherry Street Pier.

“Ferris Wheel IV”

Arthur Jafa’s “Big Wheel IV” is an installation of four tires the size of a monstrous truck laced with an iron chain link. The seven-foot tires are a reference to the deindustrialization and the transition to the service economy that dashed black ambitions.

The piece also features a Teddy Pendergrass Ballad Loop, a product of America’s Late Industry.

Jafa is a filmmaker, director of photography and co-founder of the TNEG film studio. He was born in Mississippi and currently lives in Los Angeles.

The sculpture can be found at Cherry Street Pier, 121 N. Columbus Blvd.

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Influential director, actor and writer Melvin Van Peebles dies at 89


Melvin Van Peebles, the influential filmmaker behind “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasss Song”, and father of director and actor Mario Van Peebles, has passed away. He was 89 years old.

“Dad knew black images matter,” Mario Van Peebles said in a Criterion Collection statement. “If a picture is worth a thousand words, what was a movie worth?” We want to be the success that we see, so we need to see ourselves free. True liberation did not mean emulating the mentality of the colonizer. It meant appreciating the power, beauty and interconnectivity of all. “

“Sweet Sweetback” will be screened at the New York Film Festival this week as a tribute to the 50th anniversary. “During an unprecedented career characterized by relentless innovation, boundless curiosity and spiritual empathy, Melvin Van Peebles has left an indelible mark on the international cultural landscape through his films, novels, plays and his music, ”said the Criterion Collection.

Melvin and Mario Van Peebles teamed up on the 1989 film “Identity Crisis”, with Melvin directing and Mario scripting and starring a rapper possessed by the soul of a dead fashion designer. Melvin appeared in the 1993 film “Posse” directed by Mario Van Peebles, in which Mario also starred, as well as in Mario’s drama Black Panther “Panther” (1995), with Melvin adapting the screenplay for his own novel, the Mario Van Peebles. directed “Love Kills (1998) and” Redemption Road “by Mario (2010).

Melvin Van Peebles has also starred in The Work of Others, appearing in the 1991 comedy “True Identity”; Eddie Murphy’s “Boomerang” vehicle from Reginald Hudlin (1992); Arnold Schwarzenegger’s big budget action film “Last Action Hero” (1993); Charlie Sheen’s action film “Terminal Velocity” (1994); 2003 comedy “The Hebrew Hammer”, in which Melvin took over the role of Sweetback and Mario also appeared; and Tina Gordon Chism’s 2013 romantic comedy “Peeples” in which he played Grandpa Peeples.

In 1988, Mario Van Peebles starred in the brief NBC sitcom “Sonny Spoon,” about a private investigator, in which his father was also a series regular as the private investigator’s bar-owner father. On television, he has also made appearances in series such as “In the Heat of the Night”, “Dream On”, “Living Single” and “Homicide: Life on the Street”.

In “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song,” which Van Peebles wrote and directed, dedicating the film to “all black siblings who are fed up with man,” Van Peebles starred, an orphan – portrayed as a child of Van Peebles’ son, Mario – raised in a California brothel, where he performs menial chores and grows up to appear in live sex shows; one day, he is told to go up with two crooked detectives, who collect money for the protection of the brothel and elsewhere, and they end up beating a black activist. Sweetback eventually decides he’s had enough and attacks the cops, saving the black militant; From this point on, the film focuses on Sweetback’s flight to the Mexican border.

Van Peebles used a variety of interesting effects, including a lot of handwork “to help express the paranoid nightmare that the life of the fugitive had become,” according to the book “The 50 Most Influential Black Films: An celebration of Africans – American talent, determination and creativity. “

Produced with a total budget of $ 500,000, “Sweetback” grossed $ 10 million at the box office, according to “The 50 Most Influential Black Films”; A few months later, “Shaft”, studio-directed and directed by Gordon Parks, starring Richard Roundtree, was released and became a significant success.

“Sweetback” and “Shaft,” as well as the following year’s “Superfly”, directed by Gordon Parks Jr., are widely believed to have given rise to the Blaxploitation genre.

Van Peebles, however, criticized many Blaxploitation films for being devoid of political content.

Columbia had offered Van Peebles a three-film deal based on his previous film “Watermelon Man”, but neither Columbia nor any other studio would fund the film project that would become “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadassss Song”, so he did. does it himself. ; Bill Cosby loaned him $ 50,000 to complete the project.

The soundtrack for the film, featuring Earth, Wind & Fire, was released before the film itself in order to generate publicity and word of mouth.

When “Sweetback” earned an MPAA X rating, Van Peebles skillfully turned this significant barrier to any movie’s box office prospects into an advertising slogan that worked well with its target audience – “Rated X by a all white jury “- and said,” If the rest of the community submits to your censorship, that is their business, but white standards will no longer be imposed on the black community. “

“Sweetback” elicited a mixed critical response. The New York Times wrote a devastating review on its release, but in a 1995 reassessment Stephen Holden wrote: “This sulphurous nightmare of racial paranoia and revenge overshadows even the ‘Reservoir Dogs’ by conjuring up a world of infinite clarity, injustice and cruelty. Mr. Van Peebles’ film was not only the grandfather of (Blaxploitation films) but also the most innovative and politically inflammatory. “

In 2003, Mario Van Peebles made the film “Baadassss!”, Which was both a documentary and a tribute to his father’s “Sweetback”.

All-rounder Melvin Van Peebles presented four Broadway shows, the first of which was “Ain’t Suppose to Die a Natural Death,” for which he wrote the book, music and lyrics; it started off Broadway and ran for a total of 325 performances in 1971-72. The musical, which contained material from his three albums “Brer Soul”, “Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death” and “As Serious as a Heart-Attack”, was nominated by Tony for Best Musical, and Van Peebles was nominated for Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score, while the musical also received nominations for Directing, Set Design and Set Design.

For his next musical the following year, Van Peebles took more control, not only writing the book, music, and lyrics, but also producing and directing. “Don’t play us dear!” won him another Tony nomination, for the book of a musical, and in 1973 he adapted it into a film.

For “Reggae: A Musical Revelation” from the 1980s, Van Peebles contributed only the book, but two years later the original comedy with the music “Waltz of the Stork”, with the book, music and lyrics de Van Peebles, produced and directed by Van Peebles and starring Van Peebles, has run for 156 performances. Mario contributed backing vocals and appeared in drag in some scenes. Van Peebles turned “The Stork Waltz” into a 2008 film “Confessionsofa Ex-Doofus-ItchyFooted Mutha”, which screened at the Tribeca Film Festival.

For the “CBS Schoolbreak Special” episode “The Day They Came to Arrest the Books”, Van Peebles won a Daytime Emmy in 1987 for Outstanding Writing in a Children’s Program Special and also won a Humanitas Award.

Melvin Van Peebles was born in Chicago and attended West Virginia State College and then Ohio Wesleyan University, where he received a BA in English Literature. He served in the Air Force as a navigator-bomber for three years.

Van Peebles experimented with a career as a painter and, increasingly dismayed by the racist portrayal of African Americans in films, made short films as an amateur in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He did stints as a postman and, in San Francisco, a cable car ride – on which he wrote his first book, “The Big Heart”, in 1957. He spent some time in Mexico; in Holland he studied astronomy at the University of Amsterdam and theater at the Dutch National Theater.

The Cinémathèque française invited Van Peebles to screen his short films in his theater in Paris, where he spent some time as a street artist and wrote five novels (in English); the last of these books, “La Permission”, allowed him to be admitted to the Center du cinéma français as a director and won him a scholarship of $ 70,000. While still in Paris, he adapted this novel into his first feature film, “The Story of a Three-Day Pass” written and directed by Van Peebles (1968), which concerned a story of interracial love and dealt with racism – a black soldier is involved with a white girl and demoted accordingly.

“The Story of a Three-Day Pass” led to his first directing mission to the United States: “Watermelon Man,” a comedy about a fanatic white man who became a black man, played by the comedian Godfrey Cambridge, overnight. His wife was played by Estelle Parsons.

Joe Angio’s 2005 documentary “How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (and Enjoy It)” recounted the roller coaster life of Van Peebles.

Van Peebles was once married to German-born actress and photographer Maria Marx in the 1950s, but the marriage ended in divorce after several years.

In addition to his son Mario, he is survived by his daughter Megan Van Peebles, an occasional actress, and his son Max Van Peebles, an occasional actor and assistant director, and his grandchildren.

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Charlotte Johnson Wahl: painter and activist for Parkinson’s disease


While Charlotte Johnson Wahl, who died at the age of 79, is best known as the mother of the current Prime Minister, she also rose to prominence during her lifetime as an activist on behalf of people with Parkinson’s disease and as a talented painter.

Her curator and friend, Nell Butler, who hosted an exhibition of her work at the Mall Galleries in 2015, described the approach she took to her art: “At every step, Johnson Wahl paints with honesty and power. unwavering. She speaks of all the emotions of the human heart: sadness, confusion and rage – but also humor, joy and intoxicating irreverence. Above all, these paintings reveal a deep understanding of the complex human condition and an empathy for our struggle. A difficult but ultimately redemptive journey.

Charlotte Fawcett was born in Oxford in 1942, daughter of Beatrice Lowe and Sir James Fawcett. Sir James was a lawyer and former President of the European Commission of Human Rights. Charlotte was educated at Mayfield and Westminster Tutors.

She met Stanley Johnson in 1962 at a party in Oxford to celebrate her winning the Newdigate Poetry Prize. At the time, she was engaged to another man and she sat next to Johnson at dinner. When Johnson invited her to join him on a date soon after, they quickly fell in love and married within a year.

Although Johnson Wahl was offered a place at Oxford, Johnson announced that he was leaving for America on a Harkness scholarship, so she decided to postpone her studies to accompany him. Her first son, Alexander (Boris), was born in New York City in 1964. However, she subsequently returned to academia, earning a degree in English as the first woman married to Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, to do so.

Her move to New York inspired a change of subject as she began painting the striking cityscapes


Johnson Wahl struggled with mental illness for much of his adult life, living with obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. She recalls in an interview with Tatler: “I had become extremely phobic. I was terrified of all forms of dirt. In 1974 I had to go to the Maudsley as a patient of [psychologist] Professor Eysenck. While I was there, I made 78 paintings and they made me an exhibition. The exhibition, which took place after her six-month period as an inpatient in the psychiatric hospital, was sold out.

Some of his early subjects were still lifes and portraits, images of his own children as individuals or within family groups. After her divorce from Johnson, she married Professor Nicholas Wahl in 1988 and again moved to America. Living in New York City, she took to painting striking and colorful cityscapes, drawing inspiration from the forest of skyscrapers that surround her.

Johnson Wahl continued to paint after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of 40


She has exhibited widely. Most recently, in October 2020, the Bethlem Museum of the Mind showed Johnson Wahl’s paintings as part of a series of exhibitions by artists who express and manage their conditions through their works.

Johnson Wahl was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1982 at the age of 40. However, she didn’t let illness stop her from painting, using a cane to stabilize herself while she worked. Caroline Rassell, Managing Director of Parkinson’s UK, paid tribute to her campaign work for the charity, saying: “As well as being a valued member of our Kensington and Chelsea support group, Charlotte was also an active activist. . She happily and generously used her voice and influence to support our campaigns, while raising awareness of the disease by talking about her experience. She also supported us by organizing an exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, using her wonderful artistic eye to raise funds.

Her family said she died “suddenly and peacefully” at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington. Boris Johnson once said in a speech describing her influence on him that she had taught all of her children “to firmly believe in the equal importance, equal dignity, equal worth of every human being over planet ”.

She married Stanley Johnson in 1963 and they divorced in 1979. Her second husband, Nicholas Wahl, died in 1996. She is survived by her sons Boris, Leo (a consultant and facilitator), Jo (a peer for life) and his daughter Rachel, who is a writer.

Charlotte Johnson Wahl, artist and activist, born May 29, 1942, died September 13, 2021

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Writer’s Block: Go green (Bahia Grass green) | Journalist


Emilee Wentland

I have a new respect for professional painters.

Not that I didn’t respect them before, of course, but painting even a single piece is hard work! It took my boyfriend and I most of a weekend, and we still need to do some touch-ups.

I’m a fan of DIY projects, as long as I know it’s something in my area of ​​expertise. Knit a sweater? Easy. Building a dresser from scratch? Difficult pass. (I shouldn’t be allowed to go near a saw.) But painting a room was somewhere between “Yes I can do it” and “No I absolutely can’t”, so I was pretty anxious to see it. ‘to try.

The first step was to choose a paint color – which I thought, as a sadly undecided person, would be the hardest part. The mission? Green. As for the shades or tints, I had no idea.

After accumulating too many samples of Menards paint and finally testing a few samples, we opted for a neutral green called “Bahia Grass”. It wasn’t too minty, and it looked a lot better against the reddish-brown wood trim than the other colors we tested.

Along with finding the perfect color, we needed to find a tough paint with a primer that could cover the hideous bright red accent wall that previous owners painted.

I love red, but after watching this tragedy of a wall for a year, I think I might be completely against color.

It made the room way too dark and depressing and was nothing we owned.

Green, on the other hand, has served us well so far.

I’m not a patient person, so doing two coats of paint (three on the red wall) and touching up was a lot for me. Not to mention the painstaking application of painter’s tape over the wood trim to make sure the line was even – it was tricky.

I slept in the basement with the spiders and other intruders while waiting for the paint to dry, and it wasn’t a walk in the park either. I saw a house centipede the size of my thumb up there one night and said a little prayer for my life.

I love doing projects myself (often using several how-to videos on YouTube) as there are few things more satisfying than responding to someone’s compliment with “Thanks, I did it myself.” -same “. I also enjoy learning new skills and take pride in my work.

, I don’t think I’ll be a professional painter anytime soon, but I do think I would paint another room or two if it came up (but I hope it won’t be for a long time).

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Writer Hilton Als goes to great lengths as curator


The Conservatives occupy a difficult position in terms of reputation. Their task of creating an artistic experience using the work of other people can make them sound like DJs in the art world. Yet even the most prominent conservatives are denied equal credit for being artists themselves. Much like publishers of literary anthologies, curators are tasked with finding contributors, soliciting work in what typically amounts to a headache in communications and logistics. Yet instead of having their names printed in big letters on the covers of books, the contributions of the Conservatives are often buried. Maybe the problem is, they challenge the ever-salable archetype of the lone visionary laboring through a room. Instead, they are social visionaries hanging the art of others in rooms.

Hilton Als is the rare bird that gets a lot of credit for its conservation. Perhaps the reason is that he built his reputation not in the gallery and museum scene, but as a writer, and therefore as a author in the most traditional sense. A longtime critic for The New Yorker (and before that a staff member of that journal) Als became known for the personal ideas and narrative ambiguity of his magazine articles, his collection of essays pushing the boundaries. White girls (2013), and his masterful memoirs The women (1996). In another sense, Als’s late turn to curating, like much of his career, feels defiant towards the creation of solo-genius myths: his world is a gregarious world in which all art forms fit together. speak, and being around others is a prerequisite for having something to say.

At the David Zwirner Gallery, where he has organized three exhibitions in recent years, Als’s cultural credibility and increasingly intimate approach to regrouping work can make him sound like an artist in the gallery’s stable. . His 2017 exhibition “Alice Neel, Uptown” was as much about the titular painter as it was about Harlem from the mid to late 20th century – Als himself grew up in Brooklyn during the same period. Its surprising follow-up, “God Made My Face: A Collective Portrait Of James Baldwin” (2019), used artwork to illuminate the biography of a writer who, like his curator, was black, gay, and in the public eye. These clear topics, Als said in a 2019 interview, give him freedom: “… the minute I give myself any framework for anything,” he continued, “I want it. to disrupt… I like to have resistance.

Spoken like a real reviewer. However, for his new exhibition, “Get Lifted! “, A group exhibition at the often divine Karma Gallery in the East Village, Als loosens the frame in favor of broad thematic features. The show is nominally about the mind, the ecstasy, the bodies, and how art can help people survive hard times – in other words, everything and nothing at the same time. Impressively, Als’s nebulous concentration allows him to move from the status of a curator-critic to something much rarer and more powerful: a curator-poet.

At its disposal, Als has the most luxurious and newest of Karma’s three exhibition spaces, a beautiful and sterile former glazier’s workshop on 2nd Street just east of Bowery. You would expect such spacious spaces to host large sculptures, but similar to its predecessor in the gallery – an astonishing study of Lee Lozano’s early drawings – “Get Lifted!” consists almost exclusively of murals, which range from tiny to medium. It encompasses over thirty artists, including Neel, Senga Nengudi, Paul Thek, James Van Der Zee and Diane Arbus, and includes paintings, photographs, videos, drawings and ephemera. The pieces are ordered along a sort of line of correspondence, their juxtapositions evoking the poetic and fragmented novels that Als admired in essay form: Renata Adler’s Featured and that of Elizabeth Hardwick Sleepless nights. To orient ourselves in the spectacle, he asks us to hold on to brief moments of association, hardly ever offering solid ground. Stacy Lynn Waddell’s gold leaf tondos anticipate Jesse Murry’s fuzzy yellow watercolor horizon; some candid nudes by Somaya Critchlow lead us into Arbus’ sly shenanigans Boy stabbed with a fake knife, NYC 1961; the photoshoped fireworks of Kelley Walker’s modified print Maui 1988 shine across the colorful explosions room similar to a Peter Bradley acrylic. A few artists are very well represented: famous queer photographer Peter Hujar and Bay Area landscape painter Brett Goodroad. There are also a number of works by a few artists in Karma’s stable: Louise Fishman, Reggie Burrows Hodges and the little-known downtown drag queen Tabboo!

Als’s voluminous selection, which includes abstraction, portraiture and everything in between, means “Get Lifted!” “ at its weakest moments. But as with the famous Barnes Foundation of Philadelphia, the dense hanging of the art suggests that we aren’t necessarily encouraged to look at all of the pieces individually. Barnes mixed doorknobs and furniture with his Impressionist masterpieces not because he wanted to suggest that all the work was the equal of everyone else – he owned a few minor Renoirs, after all – but since he wanted to make a provocative statement about how design and fine art could be seen on the same level. Als presents us with a similar leveling, although his goals are not art historical, but rather personal and emotional. White figures appear next to black ones; Black abstracts next to the whites; queers with straight guys; artists that Als has defended for decades with those he discovered during our last pandemic. The works form a statement of identity, but detached from ideology. They include an abstract portrait of Hilton Als, capturing a large sample of his aesthetic taste, with a characteristic blend of shyness and courage, alluding to who he might be inside.

Of course, Als is in a privileged position, and it is questionable whether a less famous curator with equal vision and verve would ever stand a chance in such an idiosyncratic exhibition featuring top notch artists. (The answer: no.) Still, Als justifies his project by including five poetic wall texts, one to introduce the show and four to loosely separate it into chapters. These texts avoid details, as well as any kind of signage. Like the work itself, the language-centric writing is associative, and to the extent that it tells a story, Als seems to describe her own turn of her late career from letters to pictures:

For many artists, going beyond the parameters of their medium is not just a way of testing form, but of describing the “action”, or the energy and often enduring spiritual component of art. Indeed, we could consider the mind – how to represent it, and why – among the great subjects of modernism, and find, in its representation, an abstract or semi-abstract portrait of the artist, free from the narrative built around of the body, the one that describes, instead, the essential purpose of the artist, which is to make art.

Beautiful, eh? Analytically, Als’s reference to modernism dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, when poetry, and not today’s often empty and jargon-laden theorizing, was seen as the literary pal of visual art. Every theorist Als mentions in his mural has published poetry: Amiri Baraka, WH Auden, Peter Schjeldahl, and Toni Morrison; all, except perhaps Morrison, considered themselves to be poets. Als doesn’t try to educate us or instill in us a political perspective. Instead, he asks us to respond to art the same way it was done – with imagination.

The crown jewel of “Get Lifted!” Is a small room behind the main gallery space. Inside are two display cases full of photographs, ephemera and texts, each of which focuses on a deceased artist: poet and playwright Ntozake Shange and composer and swami Alice Coltrane. Projected onto the back wall – the largest work in the exhibition by a distant shot – is a Super-8 film by another deceased artist, Ana Mendieta, the outline of her torso on fire. Opposite is the smaller work in the exhibit, a video by Paul Pfeiffer showing Michael Jackson dancing, his shape reflected in the center of the 6-square-inch LCD screen. The play makes a disarming statement about the body and how people’s minds can transcend their physical limitations through art – and ultimately in death. But if we can literally read the link between these pieces, we can also understand them for their aesthetics, the way they rub against each other like well-matched words, and for the enigma of their curation. As if her show was a beautiful line, Als asks that when our brains can’t handle the necessary leaps in logic, we leave it to our guts. As we analyze the sentence over and over again, we realize that each statement is perfectly placed, that nothing could express this better than itself. ??

Karma Gallery
22 East 2nd Street (between Bowery and 2nd Avenue)
Until October 2, 2021

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Kapnick guest writer Rabih Alameddine brings international perspective to the field


Here Alameddine answers a few questions about how he got to where he is today.

Q. When did you start writing?

A. I did a lot of things before I concentrated on writing. I was an engineer, business consultant, bartender, painter / artist. I floated around trying to figure out where I was supposed to be.

I started relatively late. I started writing my first novel at the age of 36. I hadn’t written anything before. I had been too critical of my writing. To finish my first novel, I had to agree with myself not to criticize what I wrote before I had 50 pages. It worked.

Q. What keeps you writing?

A. What is preventing me from writing? I am always critical of my work. I keep trying to improve myself. I sincerely believe that every novel I wrote was better than the last, and that I’m still learning (I know, that sounds like a cliché.) I can improve myself. I can do better. So I write.

Q. When did you start teaching?

A. I started teaching very early, at graduate school in the early 1980s. I was a teaching assistant for a professor who had to take sick leave, and I was assigned the lessons – statistics and research methodology, of all things. Since I started writing I have taught sporadically all over the world.

Q. How do you feel about being here in person?

A. I love it. The isolation of the pandemic has taken a toll on me. I am a homebody by nature, almost lonely. I went for days without seeing anyone. Yet even when the quarantine was lifted, I struggled to break my habits of avoiding people. Teaching in person is like having a fabulous dessert to break the fast!

Q. Will you be reading an excerpt from your new book, “The Wrong End of the Telescope”?

A. Yes, I am looking forward to it. The only reading that remains in person is the New Dominion Bookstore in Charlottesville. The others all came back online (to avoid travel).

Q. What brought you to the United States and when was the last time you returned to Beirut?

A. I came to the United States to study engineering at UCLA. The civil war in Lebanon had been going on for several years. I tried to return to Lebanon a few times, but each time the violence exploded. I returned to the United States to do graduate studies in San Francisco and inertia held me back until this year, when I came to Virginia.

The last time was before the pandemic, in January 2020. Usually, I go back to Beirut at least twice a year. My whole family lives there. I hope to go to Beirut for the holidays this year. I need to see my mother.

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Paul Schrader Gambles with “The Card Counter”, with Oscar Isaac, Willem Dafoe and Tiffany Haddish


Oscar Isaac and Tiffany Haddish in The card counter.Photo: Focus features

Stories of private domestic turmoil need not be narrow; in some ways this has been the story of Paul Schrader’s career. The 75-year-old writer of Taxi driver and director of works ranging from Detroit decor Blue collar To American gigolo and his last, First reformed, has refined, like a craftsman or a painter, a long series of works in the same mold. Specializing in the close character studies of repressed, ardently hopeful and tormented men rising to an often violent catharsis, Schrader’s rigorous but richly indulgent project finds its final chapter in The card counter – and his years of practice show.

Starring Oscar Isaac as William Tell, a nomadic gamer who stays afloat on low-stakes games, Schrader’s latest film swings with a steady and rarely interrupted pace between casinos and roadside motels. With a methodical and demanding approach well suited to a little king of number games, he works with great discipline and little pleasure, far from friends and lovers. TO To counterAt first, Tell lays a low profile after finding himself freed from prison, modestly earning at cards each day before retreating to his chosen room, each disparate space blending in for the way he covers their seedy furniture with twine and white fabric. Drifting across the country, each space in which he temporarily settles becomes both anonymous and his own.

As a performer associated less with the pathos than with his appearance and easy charm, Isaac shows admirable control here; his poker face in this case is a whole body effort. Retaining his charisma only to dispense it by small turns of mind and movements of the face, which acquire a surprising power for their parsimony, he gives just what is needed in monologue and gesture to titillate, cultivating a palpable air of mystery . Reliably covered in neutral, shiny clothing and sporting a sleek, fastidious, quirky fit, it exudes an air of sheer precision and control whose cracks are armed to heighten feeling and meaning.

With its neat frames adorned with finely modeled shadows and supported by a fiery electronic score that stifles the artificial buoyancy of the casinos spinning through our sight, Schrader and his team engage intimately with Tell’s air of precision. Watching Tell opening up, risking privacy, trust, and freer expression (a gamble!) – things that have never been successfully mastered – is the privilege of the lucky beholder. For those who remain emotionally hungry, each gesture settles down like a meal.

But the reintroduction of Tell to the world, or at least to a world of people, does not come without provocation; he is spotted – and confronted with – a “Cirk with a ‘C”, a clumsy, scoreless, and quite broke 20-year-old played by Loan Player OneIt’s Tye Sheridan. With Cirk more of a story sheet and agent of chaos than a cohesive, thoughtful person, the two wandering aliens are paired not only through questions about their respective goals (one seeming messy and aimless, the other pursuing a ordered aesthetic existence) but from their past.

As Cirk reveals, Tell’s incarceration was not for nothing (although on some level it was) – in Tell’s past life as a soldier, he participated in the heinous torture of prisoners in Abu Ghraib, alongside Cirk’s own father. Unlike Major Gordo (played by an ever-splendid Willem Dafoe), the man who ruled them both, Tell found himself photographed at the scene and thrown into military prison, as did Cirk’s father. After his father is released, Cirk claims his family has been subjected to years of fatherly torment and abuse. Raging with resentment and mired in debt, he hatches a vague plan to torture and kill Major Gordo – foolishly imagining that revenge could bring any kind of relief.

Working to distract Cirk from this class and pay off the child’s debts, Tell agrees to take him out, offer him an allowance, cover his expenses, and let him roam every casino while he works – all while maintaining clear and prudent limits. To that end – and some warmer ones – Tell accepts the company of La Linda (a sparkling and flamboyant Tiffany Haddish). La Linda runs a stable of poker players, coordinating with sponsors to get them betting on high stakes games. Recognizing Tell’s potential to earn much more, she takes him under her wing, regularly pushing him on his past crimes after gaining insight into his prison past – and inquiring into his current hermetic existence.

As they drift across the land, moving sideways through similar places, but somehow and with little fanfare, moving through this dark world, the three form a hesitant bond, each player playing in different and contradictory styles. Suggesting that they come from different worlds emotionally and otherwise, their range of presentation reflects Tell’s own struggles and isolation, the idea that he has to relearn, or perhaps never learned, to navigate the world. Swirling around the touching suggestion that being forgiven is the same as forgiving yourself, and the natural implication that loving others – a sweet indulgence if ever there is one – is tied to affection for oneself. even, the tense efforts of the characters to meet each other pierce the orderly surface of the film with a softness amplified by the material that surrounds them. For Schrader, who grew up in Dutch Protestant Reformed communities in western Michigan, his films are guided by a kind of religiosity that depends on some kind of moving faith – but not just in God.

For Schrader, too, the looming horror of Abu Ghraib is more than just a backdrop, a challenge to it all. Recall and capture cataclysmic acts that may well be unforgivable – and never mistakenly cite 9/11 as some kind of rushed and self-justified cause for them – The card counter sinks into Tell’s closed and hermetic struggle until it becomes intimate and shared. (To be so personal, the film is miraculously free from self-justification.) The meticulous order of Tell’s own life is reflected in the storyline, whose narrative rhymes and clear omissions highlight the purpose and proof. of a demanding deliberation: a strained effort to contain and process this, and a case for the film on its own. In the malls and cash temples of the film world, this approach serves to narrow down and explain the messier and uglier parts of life, handling the fruitful tensions of the story with thought and care. By confronting them and sharing those parts of his own mind in such a personal way as this, Schrader himself is taking a practiced, revealing, and quite risky bet himself.

This story was originally published by CityBeat’s sister newspaper, Detroit Metro Times.

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Upstate ‘family complex’ includes converted barn, writer’s house and saltwater pool for $ 2.75 million


List photos by Alon Koppel

Fourteen acres is certainly a lot of land, but this “family resort” in Stuyvesant, New York, puts it to great use. To begin with, the 138-year-old barn (which originally housed the horses that pulled blocks of ice hewn out of a frozen Hudson River in winter) has been restored and converted into a thriving house, featuring 25-inch beamed ceilings. feet. Also on the property is a 2,500 square foot studio, walled garden with greenhouse and dining area, 72 foot saltwater pool, and writer’s house, all set against the backdrop of Catskills. It is on the market for $ 2,750,000.

According to the listing, “The property offers panoramic western views of the Catskill Mountains, seasonal views of the Hudson River, and some of Columbia County’s best sunsets.”

The property is approximately two and a half hours drive north of Manhattan, Columbia County, on the banks of the Hudson River.

Built around 1883, the barn is 4,500 square feet. According to the listing, it has been “meticulously restored and refurbished by its current owners to be both an intimate country retreat and a full-scale entertainment space.” The great room alone is 1,500 square feet.

As mentioned, the ceilings are 25 feet and retain the original wood beams. Light wood ceilings and skylights are likely modern additions.

The barn also has a library, a multimedia room, a dining room and an open kitchen.

There are four bedrooms, all with sloping ceilings, and two bathrooms that have been done in a modern-rustic aesthetic.

The 2,500 square foot studio is wonderfully bright and open and is perfect for a painter.

The writer’s house is very cozy but still bright. There’s even a built-in bed for late nights.

On the property is also a chicken coop, greenhouse and outdoor dining area, all surrounded by fields of wild flowers.

But of course the saltwater pool is the highlight of the outdoor space, designed in a contemporary geometric shape, following the natural landscape and overlooking the Catskills.

[Listing: 89 Stuyvesant Falls Road by Marina Schindler of Compass]


List photos by Alon Koppel

Key words :
89 Stuyvesant Falls Road, barns

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