Archive | Art Matters

Pull Out the Pin

I fell asleep early even for me–before 9, even—and slept long and hard. Nine hours, maybe. Was downloaded with dreams, dictation from the ancestors and guides, Kate Bush’s “The Dreaming” playing in my head when I opened my eyes, that’s how on the nose it all was. I could see tweaks that needed to be made to the book pages I’d written yesterday, the darkness I’d been tiptoeing around because, shit, with my Libra moon, I’m just not a fan of ugliness on any level. Yet there’s a thin line between dissociation and positivity. An even thinner one between danger and delight. Continue Reading →

February Rains

I wake and for the third morning in a row hear Joan Armatrading singing these lyrics in my head:

If you’re gonna do it do it right
Don’t leave it overnight

Also for the third morning in a row–more like the sixth, who am I kidding?–the rain is pounding against my window. I can tolerate this much rain in the spring–there’s a point to it, even a gift–but in February it’s just mean. Cold and wet and mean. Which is how I’ve been experiencing everything, including myself. Take the dream from which I’m waking. It’s as rough as the weather. Continue Reading →

Schnoz Is Beautiful: Reconsidering Modigliani

The Jewess

Even a year ago, “Modigliani: Unmasked” at New York City’s Jewish Museum would not have been as timely, though its pleasures would have been just as assured. A showcase of Italian-Sephardic Jewish Amedeo Modigliani’s work as a sculptor and a craftsman, it revels in his defiant embrace of outsider status, and reminds us that extraordinary creative work can arise despite – and to spite – repressive political climates.

In 1906, when Modigliani emigrated from his native Livorno, an Italian port town known as a safe enclave for Jews, France was beset by nationalist anti-Semitism. Because of his fluency in French and Latin good looks, he might have been able to assimilate as a Gentile. Instead, as the Museum’s curatorial notes report, he’d introduce himself by saying: “My name is Modigliani. I am Jewish.” This exhibition, amassed mostly from the collection of patron and dear friend Paul Alexandre, shows the “artist as a young outsider,” exploring non-Western art and unpacking accepted notions of beauty in rough drafts and sculpture as well as a handful of completed paintings made between 1906 and 1914. Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy