Public Humanities MA Student, Brown University. Previously: Delaware Art Museum/Fulbright Austria/Swarthmore. Arts/culture writer, future curator, lover of pop culture. firstname.lastname@example.org.
All of this to say: we don't know what to do when Taylor Swift isn't singing about her own life anymore when we can't match up her catalogue to something concrete and specific that we, the consumers of her public life and image, know must have happened. Not every song has as clear a moment as "Getaway Car", which references the 2016 Met Gala where Swift and Hiddleston met. Does Maggie Gyllenhaal still have her scarf in the drawer? I ask, thinking of Red's "All Too Well" as I watch Jake dive into a truly unhinged metier as Mr. Music in John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch.
The place: outer space. The time: the future. The situation: the class divide that we see in present-day America magnified to a ludicrous, outlandish degree, where robots (or in the world of Andrew Smith’s Rabbit and Robot, “cogs”) have taken all of the jobs except for soldiers, “bonks,” or “rabbits” who fight in one of over twenty pointless wars, and programmers who create the next generation of cogs. The landscape: bleak, fractured, polluted, destabilized enlivened only by violent, mindless television.
While Tiffany Studios glasswork has been associated with the vision of Louis Comfort Tiffany, the owner and main artistic designer of the company, the Spring and Autumn windows were actually designed by one of the many women he employed over the course of his career: Lydia Field Emmet (1866-1952). Behind every great man is a woman, as the saying goes, and behind the success of Tiffany are numerous women whose artistic skills and business acumen helped his company in all its iterations earn great acclaim and popularity.
Indeed, one more subtle impact of the Wedding Cake House project is that it continues the rather specific artistic tradition of reshaping Victorian homes in a major United States city (by two creative, community-minded women activists) into an expressive space, giving women artists and workers opportunities to shape the world around them, and to fulfill what they see as a pressing communal need.
While millions claim to be fans of Bruce Springsteen, only an extra-dedicated few have taken the plunge and written an entire book devoted to analyzing the nuances of the Boss' extensive discography. In her debut tome "Springsteen as Soundtrack: The Sound of the Boss in Film and Television," Caroline Madden explores how Springsteen's music has been used in a variety of film and television projects to underscore political concerns, character motivations, and settings both temporal and place-based...
Perhaps in our period of extended, endless quarantine, people are not necessarily in the mood to watch a movie that consists of subtle and uneasy interactions—taking place largely within the confines of a home—among three people who know each other too well. Indeed, African Violet has gone largely under-appreciated by American film audiences.
For We Are Everywhere, them.’s 2020 Pride issue, we invited artists Julie Mehretu, Lola Flash, Carlos Motta, and Vaginal Davis to discuss integral works of art from their careers. Below, we consider how they evoke a queerness that is about resistance, resiliency, and the creative will to envision a different future.
When your favorite band releases a new album, you want to love it. You want to be dazzled, to be moved, to feel goosebumps flicker across your skin ideally once per song (conservative estimate). You want to feel inspired to wrap yourself in all the new sounds and words, to draw constellations between these newest creations and to the songs that came before them, challenging yourself to envision how this new collection fits into a larger oeuvre.
Since the late 1990s, contemporary artists and architects from Japan and elsewhere have taken over a number of structures, all located within about a seven-minute walk from one another, and completely transformed them. These sites are interwoven into the everyday pathways and rhythms of the streets of the village of Honmura on the island, rendering the spaces at times indistinguishable from the residences and businesses surrounding them.
Loitering is delightful, the most recent show at Los Angeles’ Municipal Art Gallery in Barnsdall Art Park, did not entirely fulfill its subversive and radical aims. Keeping in mind the increasing privatization of public space in the United States, and the growing lack of “third spaces” where people can simply exist, enjoy themselves, and not have to buy something to be permitted entry (like a public library or park), Loitering is delightful hoped to delve deep into what it means to linger, unhurried or moved along by the outside world, perhaps to the extent that it becomes taboo.
Edwynn Houk Gallery’s Arno Rafael Minkkinen: Fifty Years ambitiously uses fifteen individual black-and-white photographs to encompass the entirety of the photographer’s five-decade-long career. Minkkinen’s photographs have been carefully chosen to display how he pushes the limits of the form and subject matter--not only in the use of setting and figure but also in the variation of tone and emotional response, all without including a human face.
Dave Cole has been reimagining the American flag in an unorthodox array of materials for nearly two decades. The newly commissioned Memorial Flag (Toy Soldiers), 2019—in which thousands of plastic toy soldiers are melted to a panel and painted to replicate the exact U.S. government specifications of the flag—revisits his initial series. What appears from afar as a thickly impastoed surface is, as one moves closer, revealed to be a convoluted mass of miniature bodies, trapped and writhing beneath layers of red, white, and blue acrylic.
The bronze physique of Rebecca Warren’s Large Concretised Monument to the Twentieth Century is cartoonish and exaggerated; vaguely humanoid–globes are suspended on and connected by birdlike appendages. The body of this figure echoes the grotesque, hyper-voluptuous bodies of the comics of R. Crumb, while the rough, knobby surface texture recalls the metal sculpture of Giacometti. The identity of this figure is thus unspecific and remote, yet the shapes and curves signify that the body atop this pedestal is female-coded.
The David Winton Bell Gallery has its own work of art in which a banana is a key component: Dieter Roth’s Banana, a mixed-media work dating from 1966. Unlike Cattelan’s fresh yellow sample, Banana’s central element likely lost its fruit decades ago. Now a husk of brown cellulose peel, it lies smeared within a glass frame marked off with masking tape.