Emerge This

An Analysis of the 2017 Rudin Prize for Emerging Photographers at the Norton Museum

The Norton Museum of Art is exhibiting the finalists for the Rudin Prize for Emerging Photographers. “Emerging” is one of those art world words that is essentially a euphemism that translate as: Not quite big time enough to be considered a blue chip art star and yet an achiever of a modest semi-established exhibition and sales record perhaps worthy of a small provincial museum exhibition…. A terrible term to be sure, the concept of “emerging” as it is employed in the Rudin Prize show is both condescending to the artists shown and insulting to those thinkers and artists, established or not, who value the phenomenon of evolution, process, maturation, and discovery… It is one of those linguistic markers art critics and curators employ to write the strange and mysterious cartography of contemporary art. It may be time to steal this troubled little word back… Continue Reading

Charlize Theron and Her Icy Hot Glamour in Atomic Blonde

It’s not the fashions that make the actress. It’s the actress that makes the fashions. Charlize Theron is the undisputed ice queen of Hollywood Cinema and her fashion sensibilities (and those of her stylists) are on glorious display in her latest film, Atomic Blonde. The movie is a delicious viewing experience for lovers of glamour, sex appeal (the old-school version that leaves plenty to the imagination, not the pornographic obvious kind) and the sight of a beautiful woman wearing beautiful outfits while playing an emotionally-transfixing secret agent with a propensity for vodka on the rocks, French female spies, and ass-kicking. Continue Reading

2017 Venice Biennale Journal: Day 1

I decide to immediately head out and brave through my stomach virus. I stopped at a tiny bakery and ordered food to sustain me. My order was prosecco, focaccia with olives and sopressata, and a scoop of hazelnut gelato, all fantastic.

Venice is all mazes and alleys, no cars, no bikes. It is easy to get lost in this amazing city. Having lost my iphone I was resorting to old-school navigation, asking for directions in my limited Italian and writing things down. Immediately I recall the fun of getting lost and not caring about time. This is a very special phenomenon in Venice. You cannot be in a hurry and you must enjoy the trip, no matter how brief, as much as the mission or destination. It reminded me of my first time here ten years ago. Old sensations, thoughts, and ideas re-emerged from that trip in October of 2007. I was reminded of how much I love the light, the colors, and the textures of the buildings. I was reminded of how nice the Italians are to all the local tourists. I was reminded of fast-paced and stressed American life is by comparison to life in Venice. Continue Reading

An Email To David, My Trump-Voting Friend

by
George Magalios

Note: This email was written in response to a link (https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/uncategorized/french-government-to-track-everyone-everywhere/) sent by my friend David. 

Hi David, Great seeing you and Silvia Friday. I really enjoyed it. 

Thanks for this article. I say thank you because the article inspired me to think about you and my other friends who voted for Trump and who continue to be swept up in the false bravado and cynicism of so-called Conservative beliefs. 

Let me start by addressing the article you sent. I usually just delete links from you and my other friends when I realize they are going to garbage websites that try to stoke the worst values in people. I dismiss them like I dismiss misguided beliefs of people I love. But this time I felt compelled to write you a proper reply and to convey my truest emotions and thoughts. I hope you will take this reply as a genuine act of respect and friendship.  Continue Reading

The Etymology of Color

by
George Magalios

The names of colors are stories in themselves. There is poetry in “burnt sienna”, “royal blue” or “payne’s gray”. The names of colors are also tied to subjectivity, perspective, and even something as banal as branding. The paint samples at your local hardware stores are filled with pseudo-literary titles for hues that range from the mundane to the sublime. The great irony of names for color is that everyone conceives of a specific hue as uniquely as we conceive of love or experience the taste of a peach.

It is true that colors play on our emotions. We experience different sensations with different juxtapositions. But what about the names? Does a name sway us? For a painter, colors are both fetish objects to adore and the very elements of the art of putting paint to a surface. For conceptual artists as varied as Yves Klein or Gilbert and George, color can be suffused with symbolic power (International Yves Klein Blue or the gold of the performance “The Singing Sculpture”).

There is mystery and poetry in the relationship between language and color. There is no limit to the historical and political implications of this relationship. Politicians wear their predictable dark blue suits and the environmentalist clothes himself in the green of photosynthesis.