Aneta Bartos Sought To Portray Her Father’s Immortality, Then Old Age Caught Up With Him
Art

Aneta Bartos Sought To Portray Her Father’s Immortality, Then Old Age Caught Up With Him

Michel Houellebecq once wrote, “They would have to pay taxes, submit themselves to administrative formalities while ceaselessly bearing witness—powerless and shame filled—to the irreversible degradation of their own bodies.” Here, Houellebecq speaks of inevitable physical decline as inevitable spiritual decline. With your strength, goes your spirit. With your beauty, goes your hope. Whether we are … Continue reading

Collapsed Distance: Barbara Ess Observes and Surveils at Magenta Plains
Art

Collapsed Distance: Barbara Ess Observes and Surveils at Magenta Plains

American art critic Kristine McKenna, writing for the Los Angeles Times in 1991, referred to artist Barbara Ess’s signature pinhole photographs as “luxuriously beautiful.” Those photographs, in which subjects are blurred, information is blacked out and realities blend into fantasies, expose photography as a medium that, at its best, is rife for the subjectivity of … Continue reading

There Is a Light That Never Goes Out: David Lebe’s “Long Light”
Art

There Is a Light That Never Goes Out: David Lebe’s “Long Light”

If you go onto the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s website and look at their exhibition offerings, you might notice that a great many of their recent shows are made up of works in the museum’s permanent collection. Frank Gehry’s architectural expansion of the museum is in full swing, meaning that there are fewer blockbuster shows like … Continue reading

Into The Black: Peter Hujar’s “Speed Of Life”
Art

Into The Black: Peter Hujar’s “Speed Of Life”

“Maybe I can’t find you, Peter,” darkly exclaims David Wojnarowicz, walking through a cemetery in his essay “Living Close To The Knives” (100). While detailing his harrowing and nerve-wracking attempt to find the grave of photographer Peter Hujar, who Wojnarowicz later describes as “my friend…my brother my father my emotional link to the world,” Wojnarowicz’s … Continue reading

Can Erasure Be A Conscious Refusal Of Cooptation?: Stephen Irwin’s “Check To See If Still Dead Inside”
Art

Can Erasure Be A Conscious Refusal Of Cooptation?: Stephen Irwin’s “Check To See If Still Dead Inside”

“There are few things raunchier than a centerfold of ‘nothing,’” quips critic Bruce Hainley speaking to our preeminent filth elder John Waters in Art: A Sex Book. “The imagination can go wild.” Even with his purposeful witticism, Hainley is right. Sometimes just fractured glimpses of body parts–a hand, a silhouette, a mouth–amidst a sea of … Continue reading

A Black Swan Song For Ren Hang
Art

A Black Swan Song For Ren Hang

Ren Hang (任航), one of the most recognizable burgeoning contemporary photographers, passed away this week at just 29 years old. Known for his evocative photographs with simple compositions and singular odd elements — exotic animals, unabashed nudity, repetitious visual slips — Ren made desire and openness the forefront of his photographs. Though highly staged, performed … Continue reading

There’s No Place Like Home: Tom Atwood’s “Kings & Queens In Their Castles”
Art / Books

There’s No Place Like Home: Tom Atwood’s “Kings & Queens In Their Castles”

Home can reveal so much about a person. Yes, this is an obvious cliché, but an individual’s architectural and interior design sensibilities–not to mention their cornucopia of tacky knick-knacks scattered around their existence–speaks volumes. This truism relates perhaps even more to queer individuals. Since, at the very least, the Decadents at the turn of the … Continue reading