• Aesthetics
  • Repair and Revere

    Hurricane Sandy (Photo: NASA via Getty Images) Storms, especially the ones as enormous as Sandy, move me to sober. Serious circumspection seems appropriate as my friends in New York and Virginia get dropped from the grid and swamped with water. But it is also a humbling reminder that we can never step out of the […]

  • Aesthetics
  • The Guyton Files

    Jerry Saltz‘s Facebook page is a world unto itself. With as many “friends” as the Facebook Police will allow, Jerry regularly posts provocative questions that spark conversations that can go on for days, garnering responses from hundreds of artists of every age and stripe. What began as an experiment quickly took on a life of […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Cosmic Harmonics

    Billions of stars light up the direction toward the center of our Galaxy. The vast majority of these stars are themselves billions of years old, rivaling their home Milky Way Galaxy in raw age. These stars are much more faint and red than the occasional young blue stars that light up most galaxies. Together with […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Timely Candor

    Beck and Philip Glass in Los Angeles (Photo: Catherine Opie for The New York Times) The political campaign seasons that seize up our nation’s mindshare every four years have become a gladiator’s spectacle of showmanship and theatrics. The truth, whatever that may be, is not what anybody hears or expects from the political campaign process. […]

  • Art Making
  • Thanks for the Resonance

    Happiness studies (Is that a legitimate category of research now? I think yes) have produced results that often surprise me and feel counterintuitive. One well known study from a few years ago found that happiness is not just the product of a proactive program of self help books and positive thinking. It also is impacted […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Other Coast Art

    Marsha Cottrell, A Black Powder Rains Down Gently On My Sleepless Night (detail), 2012; iron oxide on mulberry paper; Courtesy the artist; © Marsha Cottrell If you are contemplating a trip to San Francisco in the next year, do it before June 2013. That’s when the entire SFMOMA will close down til early 2016 for […]

  • Aesthetics
  • In Praise of Small Art

    Small art featured in Brett Baker’s online show of small works: Blades, 6 x 7 inches, egg tempera on calfskin parchment stretched on panel, by Altoon Sultan. (This painting hangs in my house and pleases me deeply every day.) Artist Lori Ellison posted the following essay on Facebook in response to notice of Brett Baker’s […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Charting Territory

    Harry Beck’s map of the London Underground. With slight modifications and changes, his original design is still the lingua franca of transporation mapping. Our minds create maps of every place we go. Apparently all animals do this, not just us. And those cognitive maps are not necessarily accurate or drawn to scale. Like the iconic […]