Essays.

Everyday Poet, Everyday God

Pope Francis is to the Vatican as Bob Dylan is to the Nobel Prize in Literature. Both represent a promise, long overdue, finally made real. In the case of the Vatican, the overdue promise is to embody Jesus’s goodwill. In the case of the Nobel Prize Committee, the overdue promise is, in Alfred Nobel’s own words, […]

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The Difference between Coolness and Artness: What Turns Everyday Objects into Art

Inevitably, many of the highlights at this year’s London Frieze are works that turn common objects into art. To enter the Fair, visitors must walk by a courtyard and  up a narrow hallway where Martin Soto’s pantyhose installation cuts the sky into the vaulted Gothic cathedral lines of a sacred place of worship. The Gagosian is the first gallery one meets, featuring the works of Edmund […]

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No to New Neon

Neon art began in the 1960’s when an artist named Dan Flavin first displayed it in a New York gallery. Back then neon was street, current and controversial. Indeed, The New York Times compared it to Marcel Duchamp’s urinal: “When Dan Flavin first brought [neon] into art galleries during the 1960’s, he was, in effect, doing what Marcel Duchamp had […]

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On Female Punctuation (!!!!!)

For several weeks, I’ve been thinking about the exclamation mark and its odd relationship to gender. Why is it that intra-female communication is so lavishly punctuated by exclamation marks? Why do women seem to feel, or perhaps feign, so much excitement whilst exchanging short, declarative sentences? My husband does not reply to simple “yes” or “no” questions […]

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Olympic Medal Grounds

Along with over 60% of the world’s population, I watched the Olympics last summer. For me, lonely athletic greatness is the ultimate tear-jerker. And I am a sucker for painless ways to cry. But, I just couldn’t get behind all the flags, all the anthems, all the medal counts. Each awards ceremony felt oppressive, itchy, and, yes, embarrassing. […]

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