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I love Wisconsin

I was honored to have Frank Bernarducci select my work for the Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art’s annual juried exhibition this year. Out of respect and gratitude, I decided to attend the opening last week in a show of support for the fledgling museum. It was founded only a year ago. Its first annual, national […]

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Embodiments of life

There’s a funny and moving scene in Amadeus where Mozart defends his music for The Marriage of Figaro. His monarch cites good reasons for prohibiting a performance of the story: it’s immoral, degenerate and revolutionary in spirit. (The movie suggests that some might have thought of Mozart’s own personal life in those terms, on occasion.) The king fears […]

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Bill Finewood

These are small, beautifully executed landscapes by Bill Finewood, currently on view in “Methods Change but the Spirit is the Same”, at the Insalaco-Williams Gallery 34, Finger Lakes Community College. It’s a great overview of his work in different mediums and styles throughout his career. These oils were stand outs in composition, color and handling […]

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Air, water, food and art–maybe in that order

From the sixth episode of The Anthropocene Reviewed, a witty, smart podcast about almost anything from the vantage of this era in which human beings are changing the nature of the world, intentionally and unintentionally, in ways no living creature has ever done before. This is almost the entire essay on the Lascaux caves, but […]

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Attention

I’ve been a blogger manqué for much of the summer mostly because I’ve been immersed in trying to finish the three paintings I’ve already written about—and I am on pace to get them done on time. But I’ve also been busy with my two other occupations—writing to earn money and taking care of my elderly […]

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Wide Awake passes the Turing test

Wide Awake, the new album from Parquet Courts, is a relief. I’d almost given up on these guys. In his production of the album, Danger Mouse has helped bring them back to their core strengths, while at the same time becoming a bit like the musical equivalent of Prozac. He makes the overall experience less […]

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No ideas but in things

To live and work by inspiration you have to stop thinking.      –Agnes Martin Frederick Hammersley was a sort of visual Taoist. Everything in his work seems to emerge out of a creative tension between polar opposites. Even his titles often depend on the polarities of a pun. If something in his work is pregnantly curved, it […]

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Bumping into the sacred

I’m reading Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind, which describes the wave of new research into psychedelic drugs. It’s in the same vein as Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception, drawing parallels between what users experience and what mystics from various religious traditions said about their own encounters with transcendence. I’ve never experimented with […]

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Embrace Your Day Job

About a week ago, Hyperallergic published a great, brief assessment of how tough it is to make a living as an artist, and it’s pretty obvious that if you want a life of luxury then you should look into investment banking. Yet the ultimate effect of the piece is heartening. Most of us are on […]

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Serenity and joy at Butler

The Butler Institute of American Art, the nation’s first museum devoted exclusively to American art, is a jewel tucked way in an old, slimmed-down Rust Belt town, which was booming when America’s industrial age was in full swing. Youngstown is probably one of the communities hardest hit by the migration of heavy industry out of the U.S. […]

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