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Category Archives: Art

The Project.


I find this image, of a man putting a microphone and recorder to the lips of the Sphinx, so compelling an image for so much of what I find myself doing, and so much of what I think humanity as a whole has to do, to make sense of our new lives, which are somehow […]



A friend recently introduced me to the work of Sebastiao Salgado, who I think can lay claim to being the greatest photographer who has ever lived.  I can say that the show I just saw at the International Center for Photography, Genesis, is the best photography show I’ve ever seen.  In fact, in my mind […]

Apologia Pro Carolo Gustavo Jung.


There are some rules in the intellectual world which are pretty reliable for detecting bloviating stupidity, or blathering solipsism (or however you want to render b.s.), and one of them is this: if someone launches a five-thousand word attack on a noted author, and never once quotes a single line from the voluminous works of […]

“Life Imitating Borges.”


That’s how Steve Boykewich described the first chapter of Ingrid Rowland’s book about Athanasius Kircher and Baroque Rome: That strange, bitter Jesuit, Melchior Inchofer, who as censor of Kircher’s Coptic Forerunner had expressed such enthusiasm for the work, seems to have soured on his colleague’s enterprise some years later. Inchofer’s 1645 satire of the Jesuit […]



The next day in Miami we visited some private collections of contemporary art, which closely resembled what we had seen in the exhibition center. But it was pleasant to walk from place to place in the sunny palm-lined streets. One of the private collections – supposedly in part funded by profits from the drug-fueled Studio […]

Art Basel Miami Beach.


My first full day in Miami was the “preview day” at Art Basel, the nation’s most prestigious contemporary art show. I had never been to anything like it and we had VIP passes, so I was raring to go. We ended up spending something like six hours at the show, in two separate visits during […]

Last Day in Tucson, and First Day on the Road.


My last full day in Tucson was a Sunday, and the visit of a friend gave me a perfect opportunity to visit San Xavier del Bac one more time.  I hope to write a bit more about this extraordinary church, which to my mind is the most extraordinary building and artwork in Arizona.  After mass […]

“Beauty is Perfection in Combination with Freedom.”


I am continually impressed by Goethe’s genius – his capacity to productively see.  “Beauty is perfection in combination with freedom” is put as no one else can put it, and the more you think about what keeps things and people which are formally perfect from possessing the elevating radiance which distinguishes true beauty, the more […]

Alexander McQueen and the Met.


I had an interesting visit to the Met last Saturday.  Hoping to take advantage of the 9 p.m. closing, I went with a friend around 8 – a bit late, admittedly, because we had lingered a bit on our way – only to find the line out the Great Hall and down almost all the […]

Our Lady of Loreto in Brooklyn.


Having some friends in the Prospect Heights area of Brooklyn, I have driven Atlantic Avenue fairly often, the road which connects that part of Brooklyn with Richmond Hill in Queens.  One day there was some work being done on the road, and I was detoured onto the streets of East New York, where I drove […]