Artist a Day: Alexandra Bell

“Words work as release–well-oiled doors opening and closing between intention, gesture. A pulse in a neck, the shiftiness of the hands, an unconscious blink, the conversations you have with your eyes translate everything and nothing. What will be needed, what goes unfelt, unsaid-what has been duplicated, redacted here, redacted there, altered to hide or disguise—words … Continue reading Artist a Day: Alexandra Bell

Artist a Day: Hilton Als, Nothing Personal

“We have, it seems to me, a very curious sense of reality-or rather perhaps, I should say, a striking addiction to irreality.” James Baldwin, Nothing Personal, 1964.   The book “Nothing Personal”, a collaboration between writer James Baldwin and photographer Richard Avedon, had an instrumental impact on a young Hilton Als growing up in Brooklyn. … Continue reading Artist a Day: Hilton Als, Nothing Personal

Poems and Portraits: Revealing and Reclaiming Blackness in Western Art

The cover of Robin Coste Lewis’ book, Voyage of the Sable Venus features a Harlem Renaissance era photo of a slim black woman standing on a sidewalk deep in thought. With one hand resting on her hip and the other cradling her chin, the woman is pondering what lies behind the glass window in front … Continue reading Poems and Portraits: Revealing and Reclaiming Blackness in Western Art

Octavia E. Butler: Telling My Stories

When artists leave us too soon we are reminded of their greatness in the items they left behind.  Musicians have libraries of unreleased tracks or compositions, photographers leave behind negatives, contact sheets and undeveloped film, painters have hidden canvases or incomplete work and writers leave behind their words—ideas that weren’t fully developed, concepts that never came to … Continue reading Octavia E. Butler: Telling My Stories

Artist a Day Challenge (15): James Baldwin

James Baldwin, 1945.  Portrait by Richard Avedon. Photo Credit, National Portrait Gallery Yesterday’s post about Dawoud Bey took a close look at his 2013 Birmingham Project, a photographic examination of church bombings and deaths that took place in Birmingham, Alabama on September 15, 1963. Bey’s work was an attempt to reconcile the present through an examination … Continue reading Artist a Day Challenge (15): James Baldwin