November 2008 Archives

Eyal Danieli Some of my Best Friends #5 2008 oil on linen 14" x 18"

We're big admirers of Eyal Danieli's work so I guess it was because we were out of the city and otherwise pretty distracted during the run of his fall show, "In the Mood for Love", at Elizabeth Harris that we very nearly missed it. I can't explain in any other way why we were reduced to arranging with the gallery via a weekend email to see the exhibition after it had officially closed, but so it was that Barry and I found ourselves visiting the gallery early on a recent Tuesday - beyond the last minute, but just in time.

We weren't disappointed. The beautiful installation managed to draw on all of the powerful themes Danieli has been pursuing in his work for years, but it also included some newer subjects and introduced one large-ish canvas, "Locate the Arab, Identify the Jew", whose style seemed to suggest an opening onto a new body of work. But maybe not.

These paintings come with music, but maybe that's just me. Sure, I'm listening to a recording of Wagner's "Götterdämmerung" right now, but that's just happenstance; they would furnish their own without any help.

I shiver with both delight and horror each time I look at these troublesomely "awesome", nearly-abstracted helicopters and bombers. I'm attracted to the texture and color of the oil and repelled by the terror represented by the outlines. Then, if try to get more comfortable with the other canvases, fragmented-text paintings and softer human or animal shapes representing the world below the killing machines, I don't find relief: I'm still almost afraid to get too close.

Eyal Danieli In the Mood for Love 5 2008 oil on linen 38" x 80"

Eyal Danieli Are You Looking at Me? 2008 oil on canvas 10" x 8"

ADDENDUM: Element Editions has just released an edition of 16 unique (hand colored) prints by Danieli. They are available for $450. See Bloggy's post for an image and a link to the order page of this artist-run print-making studio.

Derick Melander Flesh of My Flesh 2008 fabric 2' x 2' x 10' [installation view]

We won't be in Miami this week, although we're finding more and more reasons to regret the decision. The news that a Derick Melander sculpture will be prominently represented at one of the fairs is only the latest. The artist has created a new piece for Richmond's ADA Gallery and it will be exhibited as a Special Project at SCOPE from December 3rd through the 7th.

It's a tall column made up of carefully folded and stacked second-hand clothing. Each layer is categorized by its relative color value, with the darkest placed at the bottom and the top of the stack, each transitioning to white. The title, "Flesh of My Flesh", is pulled from the script exposed at the fold of a found t-shirt located somewhere in the center.

I've been a big fan of Melander's work for years, and while I haven't actually seen this new piece except in the form of the photo above, it looks pretty spectacular from here.

[image from the artist]

large detail of "Welcome" as it appeared at the opening reception

It's the show I've been waiting for all year: On Friday Friedrich Petzel unveiled an exhibition of Joyce Pensato's works on, and through, paper (and paper wallboard). It's her second solo exhibition at the gallery. The 22nd Street debut of the expressionist "Eraser" last winter was a terrific show of exciting, drippy works on canvas. but I said then that I had always thought it was her inspired, frenzied, even violent encounters with paper that really got me off.

I also wrote then how much I liked seeing the beginnings of subtle bits of color in some of the paintings. Some of the drawings in the current show continue this exploration, at least one with an extraordinary vigor which makes the spectrum look like something Pensato had just invented on her own.

Finally, a word on the success of the giant and "engaging" characters portrayed in large wall murals installed at either end of the large room. Pensato has found a way to envelop (ensnare?) within her wacky, yet scary, but somehow always weirdly genial world both the kind of huge crowd which flooded the gallery during the opening reception and any smaller number of visitors wandering in on an ordinary day. I've now seen the show in both circumstances, and it worked perfectly each time.

I've uploaded images of three of the works below.

Joyce Pensato Lisa 2008 charcoal and pastel on paper 99" x 72" [installation view]


Joyce Pensato Duck-Mouse 2008 charcoal and pastel on paper 59.5" x 40" [installation view]


Joyce Pensato Kyle 2008 charcoal and pastel on paper 59.5" x 40" [installation view]

today we've learned to hide ideas about freedom - if any even survive

Was Obama's talk about hope and change all fake, or are his continuing conservative decisions and appointments only a cover?

Are they trying to make permanent cynics out of members of the American minority that still believes in participatory government? I've been worried for a long time, since well before the election, about whether a new administration would really give us the change we need and want - and clearly mandated on November 4.

I've tried to dismiss the evidence: Both the history and the words of the man who is now our president elect had betrayed that he has what in most times and places would be described as a pretty conservative outlook and approach. I've been telling myself that it's just Obama's way of getting through the door, and that once there he might have to continue pursuing the appearance of circumspection as a stealth device for getting people to go along with the progressive, even radical change the moment demands.

In spite of the great myth, Americans just aren't very adventurous about government.

I was also trying not to jump to conclusions too early, since the election was only three weeks ago and this kind of speculation seemed to me to be a waste of time at this point, when the new administration was still embryonic, and also because he's got to be given time to get some smart homies together before charging into Washington.

But as the concessions and appointments continue, apparently announcing a seemingly inexorable reintroduction of the polices and personnel which created the colossal messes both inside and outside our borders which we're now struggling to repair, I've become very alarmed, and I'm finding I'm not the only one. I mean, this is only the latest: Gates stays?

The letter which follows, written by a reader distressed for good reason I would say, was printed in today's NYTimes. It shares my own last desperate hope for change:

To the Editor:

Re "The Candidate of Change Chooses Experience" (news analysis, front page, Nov. 22):

President-elect Barack Obama was elected running left and is now making appointments from the center-right. He could still instruct his loyal appointees to govern from the left. That would be the change we could believe in. Otherwise, the joke will be on us, again.

Doug Karo

Durham, N.H., Nov. 22, 2008


While I'm at it, let me ask who decided we have to wait almost three months to replace an administration we already voted to get rid of? Everywhere else in the civilized world governments leave as soon as they are asked to leave. Our own government, its Executive together with its Congress, today has by far the greatest burden of responsibility of any governing authority in the entire world; why do we still have to sit so vulnerable and impotent, dead in the water until next year, waiting for the spring thaw [until 1937, described as March 4, for the convenience of delegates to the Electoral College] for the control of these two obscenely-powerful institutions to be handed over to a designated successor?

[image, a detail of an 1854 engraving by Baker & Andrew of Molly Pitcher, from teachushistory]

Meredith Allen Untitled_0460 digital C-print 18.25" x 18.25"

Meredith Allen Untitled_0420 digital C-print 18.25" x 18.25"

Meredith Allen Untitled_0538 digital C-print 18.25" x 18.25"

Meredith Allen Untitled_0462 digital C-print 18.25" x 18.25"

While I've known Meredith Allen for years, I've been following her documentary and art photography even longer. With each of the regular appearance of new bodies of very strong work, Allen has been able to open up the culture and the aesthetic of worlds most of us encounter regularly but would take pretty much for granted without the fact and the quality of her interventions.

Her latest series, "Trash", is very handsomely installed on the walls of the Edward Thorp Gallery on Eleventh Avenue for the rest of this week. The smart, whimsical and sometimes borderline-sad humor which was always a large part of Allen's earlier work is mostly gone in these modest-size, square photographs of filled and tied recycling bags. Instead there's a new, almost monumental aspect to these images, its solemn potential confounded probably just in time, in fact balanced perfectly, by the squashiness and ephemeral nature of the subjects, and also the delicate, yes, totally honest prettiness of the artist's captures.

I love every one of them, and I'm finding I didn't really need the jpegs near me to still see them in my head two days later.

[images from the artist]

Karen Heagle Death Valley 2008 acrylic and ink on paper 51.5" x 55" [installation view]

Karen Heagle Vulture with Carcass 2008 acrylic and ink on paper 54" x 52" [installation view]

Karen Heagle's second I-20 solo show, "She'll Get Hers", opened on November 1st, but I hadn't managed to see these latest paintings until Tuesday.


The expressionist take on her characteristic, deliciously-wacky assortment of subjects has the physical appeal of the child's "finger painting" kits which both attracted and repelled me as a child (I was too much of a neat freak to jump in). In these luscious paintings (acrylic on paper), describing vultures, rubbish, the painter's own tools, a coiled snake, at least one nude, a pregnant man, and a burning "bush" in the desert, Heagle's peculiar enthusiasms and almost reckless palette combine to chart a path which skims the borders of hell on the way to the celestial.

NOTE: I-20's site has these two images and four more. I wrestled with the decision, but I decided to use my own for this entry. There are unfortunately some reflection on the plexiglas, but I thought the colors in my shots were more true to the originals, and I really wanted to do all that I could to convey some of the energy and excitement I experienced standing in front of them.

Just remember that these imperfect copies can't begin to reproduce the paintings themselves - or their impact.

untitled (13 windows) 2008

Tracey Baran No Looking Back 2005

I think it was 1997. The large color prints were lying in a stack on the bed, and they were among the most exciting things I'd seen in a very exciting fair, and now I was almost blind to everything else in this very busy room. Penny Liebman and Kathy Magnan, the two directors of what soon became Liebman Magnan Gallery, did not yet have a physical gallery space, as I remember, but they had decided to share with several other exhibitors one of the larger guest rooms in the old Gramercy Park Hotel, the original site of the Armory Show. They were showing the work of a young unknown photographer named Tracey Baran.

Barry and I bought two photographs on the spot.

We eventually ended up with several more. Very soon we had met the artist, and we regularly spoke to her at openings. At her very first show, in 1998, we were introduced to her parents, Roxanne and Joe, and several other members of her family. We didn't get to know Tracey well, but we often asked about her and inquired about her newest work. We couldn't help talking to others about the images - a lot. We probably talked up her art at least as often as we did any other artist whose work we're living with.

She was an extraordinary artist and a delight to be around.

On Monday we learned from Leslie Tonkonow, who has been showing her work for years, that Tracey had died the previous week. She had been hospitalized in July after suffering seizures and she never recovered. She was 33.

Two of her best friends are hosting a gathering Saturday evening, November 22, to remember and celebrate her life. It will be from 7:00 to 10:30 at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture, 53 Prospect Park West. Barry and I will be there.

Links to more images:

Leslie Tonkonow

Museum of Contemporary Photography

Arratia, Beer

artnet (scroll down half way)


Tracey Baran I Miss You Already 2003

[images from Leslie Tonkonow]

Roberto Fabelo* large oil at Habana Galeria, Havana


[two details]


two works by Leon Ferrari, the first (text drawing, oil on wood) at Galaria Berenice Arvani, Sao Paolo; the second (print of Renaissance religious fresco used on bottom of birdcage, framed) at Ruth Benzacar, Buenos Aires

Francisco Toledo 1985 aquatint and woodcut, "a Mujer del Alacrán" [large detail], at Poligrafa, Barcelona

Fernando Bryce (imperial) installation at Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin

Matias Duville huge (distressed) acrylic on particle board at Galeria Alberto Sendros, Buenos Aires

Maria Freire 1969 acrylic on canvas at Sammer Gallery, Miami

Carmen Herrera 1974 acrylic on canvas at Latincollector, New York

Nelson Leirner sculpture at Bolsa de Arte, Porto Alegre

Los Super Elegantes t-shirt at de la Barra, London

PINTA 08 is going on right now, and it's definitely worth a visit. It would be enough if we were being offered only one of its two elements, but the organizers purposely describe the fair as host to both the "modern" and the "contemporary" art of Latin America. I found some wonderful surprises, including artists and work of whom my ignorance was pretty embarrassing.

I won't go into the question of why New York still needs separate exhibitions or events to display the work of artists living outside Europe or the U.S., or whether we will always need this separation, although I think I just gave one good answer in the preceding paragraph. In any event, on the evidence of the great, but largely unfamiliar stuff (created over the last half century or so and up to the present) being shown on 18th street through tomorrow, we absolutely do need this one.

I'm not going to say much here, because this post is time-sensitive and already overdue, but I wanted to add some installation shots of my own to those Barry has already put up, along with his comments, to suggest some of the variety to be found at this very comfortably-sized fair.

I expect that come January 20 we're going start seeing a lot more art from Cuba around these parts. Okay, I have to mention that I'm also wondering about the identity and significance of the little man in the top pot in this gorgeous painting: Does he look familiar?

no plastic grooms

This is the definition of "marriage" from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:


Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English mariage, from Anglo-French, from marier to marry
Date: 14th century

1 a (1): the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2): the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage

2: an act of marrying or the rite by which the married status is effected ; especially : the wedding ceremony and attendant festivities or formalities

3: an intimate or close union

I see no religious or sacramental reference in this definition, and I am sufficiently familiar with recorded history and primordial custom to know that "marriage" has traditionally been regarded as a state independent of any and all religions.

I'm not going to jump onto anyone's bandwagon in a quest to join my contemporary religionists and their reactionary concept of personal relationships, and if I should end up outside City Hall tomorrow (Saturday) it will be only to stand somewhere with a simple sign suggested by my friend Bill Dobbs:


Although I'd try to add in something about civil rights for all, since not everyone is cut out for unions.

Two nights ago Dobbs sent an email around: "39 years after Stonewall the gays in New York City say GOD LOVES GAY MARRIAGE", and he attached an image showing that on the central banner of Wednesday's demonstration outside the Mormon Church's New York headquarters across from Lincoln Center.

I'm just as disgusted as Bill, but I'm old enough to actually remember Stonewall and have to ask, what's the hell's going on here?

It seems we're not alone on this. See "sorry, sweethearts, still fiercely disinterested in this one" from johnny i hardly knew you.

[image of Tab Hunter and Roddy McDowall from michaelprocopio]


Does anyone know anything about this somewhat sequestered seating sculpture sitting in the center of Ascenzi Square?

The triangular square was named the Ascenzi family which once lived nearby. Four brothers fought and two died during the War to End All Wars. Could the four-place bench be intended for these siblings?

ADDENDUM: For those who've asked, Ascenzi square is located in Williamsburg, where Metropolitan Avenue is crossed by North 4th Street.

"Wanting things a certain way doesn't limit my utopic thinking."

"Our civilization values space over historical time"

"Oh, that's just Booker"

[three stills from the installation of the video of "Cloud Cuckoo Land", the quotes below each not necessarily matched to the scenes in which the lines occurred]

Wow. Do we need this now. Do we need this now? Do we need this now!


Aristophanes's "The Birds", whose "Cloud-Cookoo-Land" utopia inspired the title of Erik Moskowitz and Amanda Trager's video and sculptural installation at Moment Art is described as the first play to question the idea of human progress. In the 414 BC comedy two men, "Mr. Trusting" and "Mr. Hopeful", have fled the old world and together with a friendly Hoopoe and all the other birds, they go about erecting a perfect city in the clouds. In the end their utopia, or dream of an egalitarian state, is transformed into a dictatorship.

Moskowitz and Trager's own narrative collaboration involves a small family, the conventional home from which they walk away, the progressive commune which they join, and the hopes which they see dashed. Their disturbing 17-minute musical video is installed at Momenta in the midst of the sets and scrims used in its creation.

This is from the gallery's statement:

The familiar boundaries to which [the main character] clings and the unclear spatial relations within the gallery coalesce and call into question how we envision comfort and safety both societally and psychologically.

crap piloted by doofuses (no, not the toy maker)

Lead AP story: "Pelosi calls for emergency aid for auto industry"

Of course we're not asking for any return, like demanding that the industry produce a decent, responsible product, like attractive small, efficient, non-polluting small vehicles, or reduce its outrageous demand on scarce resources, and, above all, give its entire historically incompetent management the sack.

Come to think of it, how about converting much of it to passenger rail car manufacturing? Nobody thinks big any more.

ADDENDUM: [added at noon on November 12] He may be an idiot on Iraq and just about everything else, but in the NYTimes Thomas L. Friedman column covers this territory, and in doing so hardly misses a beat. I never read it, but today the headline subject pulled me in.

Also, I neglected to mention yesterday that I grew up in Detroit during the 40's and 50's, the Motor City's heyday (yes, there really were such days). From an early age an unusually knowledgeable car fanatic, even for that time and geography, I always had my doubts about the industry which seemed to totally dominate our culture. My eyes started to open in 1950, when I saw a VW Beetle parked around the corner from our house.

[image from lallylaw]

Helmut Newton Naomi Campbell, Cap d`Antibes 1998 c-print

I'm tempted to describe it as heroic, but Paddy would laugh at me. Art Fag City's post brushing off frivolous claims of copyright infringement made by lawyers on behalf of Alice Springs, Helmut Newton's widow June, is spot-on.

And I'm not unacquainted with the discussion of photography and "fair use" myself, but AFC offers a full accounting of a real-life scenario, and help to all bloggers in the form of copies of documents and links, ending:

Kowtowing to wrongfull copyright infringement claims is a dangerous precident I’m not willing to set.

[image from artnet via AFC]

Ken Gonzales-Day St. James Park 2006 6" x 3.7" [from his "Erased Lynching Series"]

I always talk about three wars when I refer to the martial abominations wrought by the outgoing administration, and I'm always asked, "Three?". I answer that I'm considering the war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq, but also the war on terror, which is clearly distinct from the first two, especially as we've been told it will it will go on forever. It's the bogus war on terror for which it was considered necessary to suspend the Constitution and turn at least half of the citizenry into the enemy: suspected fellow-travelers, traitors or terrorists. But this is also the war in which, as we already know, U.S. government operatives and agencies have also been engaged for years in secret lynching operations around the world, as dramatized once again just today by this story: "Secret Order Lets U.S. Raid Al Qaeda in Many Countries"

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Since 2004, the Pentagon has used broad, secret authority to carry out about 12 attacks against al Qaeda and other militants in Syria, Pakistan and elsewhere, The New York Times reported on its Web site on Sunday.

Quoting what it said were more than six unnamed military and intelligence officials and senior Bush administration policy makers, the newspaper said the military operations were authorized by a classified order signed by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld with the approval of President George W. Bush.

Under the order, the military had new authority to strike the al Qaeda network anywhere in the world and a broader mandate to conduct operations in countries not at war with the United States, according to the Times.

[image from kengonzalesday]

inside the gallery the caption reads: Yuri Kozyrev Iraq 2007 US forces mark Iraqis with serial numbers to track movements in and out of village

inside the gallery the caption reads: Jared Moossy Afghanistan 2007 An [sic] wounded American soldier is airlifted by helicopter in eastern Afghanistan

I really, really would like to get away from what my grammar school teachers called "current events" and what I call "matters of life and death", and go back to posting about the fine arts, but my intentions are being confounded by both events and the art. Yesterday, after visiting the group installation "The Ballot Show", about you-know-what, at the Front Room Gallery in Williamsburg, I headed a little further west to the Sideshow Gallery's "Battlespace: Unrealities of War", and there I almost lost it.

These are images by 23 photographers "embedded" with our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Under the terms of their being allowed there they are forbidden to publish, in their regular commercial news outlets, the more violent images of injury and death hanging on the walls in this gallery. And so the wars go on, with the citizens who sustain them easily able to ignore the worst of what is being done in their name to both American troops and the "enemy".

People elsewhere in the world don't have this luxury; they've been shown such photographs since the wars began.

While in the gallery I couldn't quite bring myself to photograph the most obscene images of mutilations and carnage. I cannot explain why, even to myself, especially since broadcasting them is precisely the intent of the photographers and the purpose of this installation.

I found the Battlespace site itself only a few minutes ago, so I'm using its images rather than my own, and, hoping to redeem myself for my timidity yesterday, I've decided to upload below one of the most powerful images I saw, one which I did not capture with my camera. I should add that it is not the most grotesque: This body was still living, and being attended by medical personnel.

Inside the gallery on Bedford Street the wounded soldier on the table appears almost, literally, "life size". The scale in which it appears online can barely suggest the horror of what you are actually looking at.

inside the gallery the caption reads: Lucian Read Iraq 2006 American soldier lies on an operating table in Ramadi after being wounded in an IED blast

Visit the exhibition itself before it closes next Sunday. You will never forget it.

[all images from Battlespace]


On election day at around 6:30 in the evening I drafted some thoughts that seemed to reflect my state of mind at the time. Barry and I were going to meet Paddy Johnson a little later at the election watch party at Huffington Post headquarters, where I had hoped to come up with an image to go with the draft post. But by the time Obama's election was actually called, around 11 o'clock Eastern, I had tears in my eyes. I was home, and when I looked at my lines a little later I knew they just wouldn't fly right then (unless you were asleep that night or brain dead, you know what I mean).

Like most of the world, I am overwhelmed and overjoyed by what has happened, even more so since I will admit that ever since 2000 I thought I'd never see another real Presidential election (even blogging about my scepticism, repeatedly, beginning almost seven years ago). I had seriously underestimated the Republicans incompetence in both their ability to govern and to maintain power.

But it's now less than three days later and the questions have already begun.

Will Obama be be able to oversee our national restoration? My brother reminded me on the phone yesterday afternoon, from suburban D.C., of the price we had to pay to bring about this victory. We endured eight disastrous years of a Bush presidency, years which saw both the haughty ascendancy and the ignoble collapse of the unmourned Late Capitalist, Neoconservative and Republican regime. Nothing of importance or worth in our own Republic or in much of the rest of the world has escaped the depredations of its arrogance, its sententiousness, its dominion and its greed. I had believed for years that no fundamental political change would occur until we had sunk into a genuine economic depression, and I had gloomily predicted the change would be toward some form of Fascism.

I hadn't anticipated the confluence of the dramatic events of the last year and the exceptional capabilities of Barack Hussein Obama. I'd say we were far luckier than we deserved to be. There was certainly no inevitability in the timing of either's appearance.

But in order to rebuild institutions, restore well-being and a belief in the future, the new President will have to pull off something like a major revolution. And he's going to have to move fast. Roosevelt's entire "First New Deal" was proposed and passed by Congress within the first 100 days of his administration. I can't imagine how he and his administration managed it, but in 1933 the people were demanding immediate relief.

Today there may not yet be universal recognition of the full impact of the current economic collapse. Only a few are beginning to describe it as equivalent to the Great Depression, whose ravages were well underway as FDR assumed office (although to be sure, our 32nd President didn't also have to deal with two messy wars and Global Warming when he moved into the White House). Without that full recognition of the seriousness of our crisis, and with the continuing strength of contemporary skeptics, dinosaurs and reactionaries, including the fact that almost as many people didn't vote for him as did, Obama will almost certainly have to push through what must be, and almost certain will be, an extremely progressive agenda while not making it look too radical, and he will have to do it in a way that will disarm and even enlist on its behalf as many of its potential adversaries as possible.

It was very interesting to me when I finally looked into it, that during his campaign Roosevelt had apparently spoken to the voters of nothing remotely related to what became his extraordinarily-ambitious New Deal programs; in fact, much of what he did say suggested an agenda quite the opposite of what was later framed and passed. Not knowing this then, but because I knew something about my countrymen, it did not surprise me when I heard nothing specific about any kind of new New Deal from Obama at any time during his own extended campaign.

Obama knows he will have to be diplomatically politic. The nation is fortunate that such an approach corresponds with his own temperament, and that he brings to the task an extremely sharp mind, including the ability to think and speak on his feet, and what appears to be enormous strength of character. I have no doubt that if anyone could pull this thing off in this shaken country at this time, Barack Obama could, but he won't be able to do it alone.

I know there will be mistakes, as FDR made mistakes, but, and call me Pollyanna again, I believe he will pull it off, partly because of what I have just written, but also because he will have so much help (both enthusiastic and skilled), and because we have come to such a pass that we all really want to see him to succeed: Regardless of our diversity, and despite the vast range in our individual conditions and current fortunes, none of us can afford the cost of failure. We'll have to be in there with him.

Did I mention the awesome and "monumental" importance that our success would signify, an importance even beyond that of our decision to make a man who happens to be [described as] Black the President of the United States? More than a material recovery, success would mean the restoration of the all-but-buried idea of a free and welcoming America first invented by a wise, older world sometime in the seventeenth century.

These are the tone-deaf, and surprisingly angry lines I wrote early Tuesday evening, exactly as I had left them*:

The corporate devisers and the engine of our national disaster and disgrace have finally been repudiated. Bush and his enablers will squirm in their Pennsylvania Avenue lair for almost three more months, where they can still do a lot of damage, but the lease is up.

While it is clearly a victory for reason and common sense and what used to be called "the American way", today's vote marks only the beginning of the real recovery.

We must all immediately get to work picking up the shattered pieces of a proud republic, and it won't be easy. While we are doing so it will be equally as important to resolve and ensure that as the privileged and proud citizens of this fortunate land we will never again sell our heritage to slick con men who thrive by preying on our selfish appetites and ignorant fears.

We are a free people only if we remain actively and continuously responsible for our own governance.

Freedom ain't a tower.

I'm struck by the fact that I totally ignored mentioning the significance of race when I wrote about what I already expected would be an Obama victory. I'd like to think that what looks like my indifference to its role may turn out to be a bellwether for this country finally arriving at maturity, but I can't help mentioning that later that evening I noticed and remarked to my friends that sadly even the Huffington party presented little more than a handful of dark faces in a sea of white. I was regretting that we hadn't decided to watch the unfolding wonders from somewhere in the streets.

[image is a still of the MSNBC broadcast as seen on our home screen]

"Let the great work begin."*

with due and humble respect for Tony Kushner's "Perestroika"

[image from willowtreehome]

Vicki Sher_nurture benefit submission.jpeg
Vicki Sher untitled 2006 mixed media on cardboard 9" x 12"

Earlier this week I wrote that I would announce it if NURTUREart were to continue to make art included in its 2008 Benefit available on line for those who were unable to be there last Monday, so here it is.

Barry had set up a mechanism some months back by which artists were able to furnish JPEGs to the Benefit's curators. He's now used it to make those which weren't grabbed that night both visible around the world and easily purchased, so go to the site now and have fun: This way you get to search for more about the artists, and then order at leisure.

The image at the top is of one of the dozens of pieces now being shown on line, each available for the incredibly low price of $150, the same as they were that night. Although I'm familiar with and really like the artist's work, and this particular piece, I've chosen Vicki Sher's drawing almost at random, to reflect the quality of the art you'll see on the site.

[image provided by the artist, via NURTUREart]

war machine [still from the video]

In 1969 14-year-old Jerry Levitan managed to get into John Lennon's hotel room in Toronto's King Edward Hotel with his reel-to-reel recorder where he interviewed his idol for the school paper. Nearly 40 years later Levitan produced an animated film documenting and illustrating what he heard and what he captured on tape in conversation with the Walrus that day.

A short excerpt of Lennon thrashing out war and change, from "I Met The Walrus":

It's up to the people . . . you can't blame it on the gov'ment and say they're doing it. Oh, they're going to put us into war. We put them there. We allow it, you know, and we can change it; if we really want to change it we can change it.

"Walrus" was written and directed by Josh Raskin, with illustrations by James Braithwaite and Alex Kurina, and animation by Josh Raskin.

[image is a screen grab from YouTube, but I first heard about it today from scatteredsisters, a site maintained by a good friend in Antwerp together with her siblings dispersed about the globe]

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