Most Recent Work

  • Alejandro González Iñárritu on Why Artists Should Embrace the ‘Transcendental and Powerful’ Technology of Virtual Reality

    I cried the first time that I experienced "Carne y Arena," and I cried for much of Iñárritu's discussion of this piece. It's a visceral, terrifying, profoundly moving experience that I left covered in dirt because it literally brought me to my knees. When he spoke, he expressed a great clarity and truth; that ideology now trumps humanity, and this was his effort to turn that tide. And that new technology and media hold an unimaginable, transcendental future, but you know these clowns out here are going to turn it into porn first. Read about it at Artnet

  • In the Studio With the Artist Who Painted Jay-Z

    When we write about Henry Taylor’s paintings, we all use the word empathy. You actually can’t help it. The guy sees right into you. Meeting him was like a palate cleanser directly after meeting Shepard Fairey—he smoked and screamed with laughter the entire interview, and he said he’s so over reading about the lateness of his higher education or how he’s “loud.” He told me, “When you’re pressed for time, sometimes pressure makes diamonds, sometimes you just do the best you can. If I only have two eggs I’m gonna make sure I’m not gonna burn them motherfuckers,” and that’s a little scrap of treasure i’m going to reclaim from the cutting room floor.

    I don't think I did the best I could for him on this one. I agonized for a while over one edit of three little words—i wrote that Henry Taylor is "a star player in the art world," and my editor wrote back "a star player in the art world for TK, TK, and TK," the standard placeholder for journalistic fill-in-the-blank situations. Sometimes you fail to come up with the right answer before deadline, but I think what it is, is the bluntness; bluntness of brushstroke, which reduces his subjects into these blocks of dense, saturated colors, and bluntness of his portrayal of vernacular black life both visually and in his titles. See: “The Times They Ain't A Changing, Fast Enough!.” Obvs, I went with "empathetic." Read about it at T

  • Shepard Fairey: 'I’m not going to be intimidated by identity politics'

    The glorious thing about being a white man in America is never having to undergo any kind of reevaluation of your sense of self; you can live your entire life without reflecting on the privileges you possess and how it effects the people around you who do not. Honestly though, what is the point of advocating for groups with whom you do not directly engage? No matter how well-meaning you are and how valorous your intentions, it comes down to self-glorification. 

    Passion makes for great art, and unlike the perfection of "Hope" in 2008, you won't find any of that here. "Damaged" lacks the necessary introspection of the complexity and contradictions of our time, and what was effective during that period of optimism and complacency is just totally unpalatable, even naive, now. Plus, these days street art is another corporate sales tactic, and our political art of choice is the meme. But his simplistic art of reduction has a sweeping populist appeal that trumps that of Barbara Kruger, an artist infinitely more incisive, intellectual, assertive, and clever.

    There's a line of his that I cut that I wish I hadn't: “There are plenty of things that have gone from being seen as very transgressive to very valuable; Impressionism was heretical when it started.” Totally, and its place in history is firmly cemented in the 19th-century. So how silly would you look trying to present impressionist painting to the world right now? Stale stale stale. Read about it at The Guardian

  • Art Basel Comes to Buenos Aires: The Behemoth’s First Step Toward Global Domination Is Surprisingly Polite

    Obviously, Art Basel has access to all the greatest resources in the world, both monetarily and intellectually. Their bringing that to Buenos Aires has its obvious benefits to the city, but it's also tinged with an air of colonialism—at the very least, it looks a lot like art world missionaries who have come to spread the Good Word of international collecting. Read about it at Artnet.

    Buenos Aires has both a thriving art scene and a relatively rich econony, and so the question I came to again and again was why its artists aren't more prominent on the international stage, as is the case in other Latin American cities like São Paulo and Mexico City. Some told me that it's just too far, but obviously if the country imposes a day's worth of paperwork and high protectionist tariffs on the art leaving the country, well, people ain't buyin' it. I regret not asking what the Art Basel Cities program is going to do to address this. It's going to be a few more years before we see how it pans out. 

    Buenos Aires, btw, is gorgeous. Like Paris, but sexier. 

  • How Frank Lloyd Wright’s Take on Mayan Temples Shaped Hollywood

    Cultural appropriation. Frank Lloyd Wright. Indigenous peoples. This piece has got it all.

    My original pitch:

    HED The Mayan Temples Frank Lloyd Wright Gave Over to Hollywood Villains

    DEK A few L.A. exhibitions are unpacking The Mayans’ complicated relationship with the movies.

    I've written about Frank Lloyd Wright before and gave the influence of Mayan architecture in his work the space of a single sentence. BUT. One of my PST ~ realizations ~ is the need to dismantle the horizontal dialogue between Europe and the United States as the central narrative of art history. Wright thought so too. He just went about it in such a naive way. Read about it at Artsy