Blog Archives

Fresh Bacon

For me, Irish-born British painter Francis Bacon’s work includes the whole of the practice as it had evolved up until the middle of the 20th century: his figurative canvases can carry the weight of deep narratives, but he was also a painter’s painter whose textures, colors and lines were informed with the kind of emotional [...]

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Magickal Revival

Last night I read an interesting article on the Irish Times site inquiring about the occult content that’s popping up all over contemporary art galleries and museum shows. It’s a trend that’s been with us for about a decade, but now the fad is obviously getting more mainstream notice. Here are a few words… …Fast [...]

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Finding Fountain

This year we celebrate the 130th birthday of artist and chess aficionado, Marcel Duchamp who was born on July 28, 1887. It’s also the 100th birthday of Duchamp’s infamous readymade sculpture, “Fountain” — a urinal that Duchamp signed and dated with the pseudonym “R Mutt 1917.” Duchamp submitted the work to show in the April [...]

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O.G. M.C.

Artist M.C. Escher died 45 years ago on March 27, 1972. Escher’s gravity defying lithographs and woodcuts offer illusory visual acrobatics that play with viewers’ perceptions of figure/ground relationships, creating a kind of graphic magical realism that celebrates the mathematics that informs all visual design. Here are some words from the Wiki… His work features [...]

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Shock Now

Following John Berger’s January death there’s been a resurgence of interest in his 1972 BBC television series Ways of Seeing. The series addresses the various modes of representation that Berger observed in visual art along with an exploration of what I would call the psychology of observation. It’s deep, interesting stuff, and even rather revolutionary [...]

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Lord of the Rings

In the opening of JRR TOLKIEN ’1892-1973′ – A Study Of The Maker Of Middle-earth, Tolkien’s son, Christopher, says that the attraction of Middle Earth and its stories can be found in his dad’s “…extraordinary power of compelling literary belief in an unreal world or what he called a secondary world.” You can say that [...]

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Bye Bye, Berger

Art critic, novelist, painter and poet John Berger died on Monday. Berger celebrated his 90th birthday last year and a BBC special and a very good documentary film marked the occasion. Here’s some of my Burnaway review for The Seasons In Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger. It’s followed by a YouTube playlist I made [...]

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Jack’s Tracts

Jack Chick hated Catholics, Jews, Freemasons, Dungeons & Dragons, Mormons, Harry Potter, and the Devil. He also published a series of comic book bible tract zines for just over a decade during the 1970′s and 1980′s that helped to kickstart the Satanic Panic. The comics also won Chick an ironic status among comic fans and [...]

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Banned in Russia

Growing up during the second half of the Cold War, when I was a child the Soviet Union was notable for two reasons: nuclear weapons and censorship. That’s about all I really knew: the Russians and citizens of their satellites can’t read or watch or print what they want. Also they have enough warheads to [...]

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Stealing Art

Today we celebrate the birthday of American artist Robert Longo who was born on January 7, 1953. Longo draws with graphite, but his sculptural approach to the medium often finds him mistaken for a painter. The artist’s breakthrough came from his Men in the Cities series which saw him rising to prominence in the 1980′s [...]

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