On the cover of Noah Isenberg’s new anthology, a nearly naked woman, her head adorned with radiating feathers and her breasts covered only by bejeweled pasties, stares at us with heavily raccooned eyes and a slight smirk that betrays a calculated cool. The hard yet seductive gaze is Maria’s, or
Timing, as a great sage once said, is everything. Seven Days in the Art World—purportedly an ethnography, according to its access-obsessed author, but really a Vanity Fair article writ large—seeks to limn the go-go, gaga art world of the early twenty-first century in all its bubbliciousness. Problem
The mythological Mount Parnassus is not only the home of the arts and literature but the Hall of Fame of learning and culture. The heroes who dwell there are those whose works live on after them and inspire creativity down on earth. Carl Djerassi tells us early in Four Jews on Parnassus that the
Among the work of living artists, the oeuvre of Jasper Johns, or at least its first half, seems the least assailable of monuments. His breakthrough 1958 show at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York, featuring the iconic “Flag” paintings, resolved the impasse at which American painting found itself
Historians of Los Angeles have tended, even when critical of the city, to re-inforce its long-standing reputation as a place of fantasy. Among the first to examine LA as an object of serious scholarship was Reyner Banham, who, in Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies (1971), imagined La La
You could quibble with a few things in Marcia Tucker’s posthumously published memoir, A Short Life of Trouble: Forty Years in the New York Art World. For instance, it takes a bit long to get to the art-world part; one travels first through Tucker’s early life, growing up in Brooklyn and New Jersey
In the mid-’60s, William Eggleston, influenced by Robert Frank’s depiction of a drama-charged everyday, began producing color prints of commonplace scenes, sites, and objects, primarily in the American South. At the time, color photography was associated with decidedly commercial venues and
Of late, referring to Alaskans as “real people” smacks of a political agenda. But the indigenous people of the North, the Iñupiat, have been “real” for thousands of years. This simple fact resounds in the straightforward voice of Alaska’s native rights advocate William L. Iggiagruk Hensley.