Defacement painting as memorial

The Guggenheim exhibition has achieved for Basquiat's Defacement (1983) a level of relevance achieved by few paintings: a memorial to violence with potency to comment on our current social crisis. Jean-Michel Basquiat – Defacement (The Death of Michael Stewart), 1983. Photograph: Allison Chipak/Collection of Nina Clemente, New York Picasso’s Guernica and Goya’s Third of May… Continue reading Defacement painting as memorial

Tales for winter nights

Reading some of Olga Tokarczuk greatest hits Polish author Olga Tokarczuk once compared her books to music videos. This analogy applies both to her collection of short stories and novels: They are self-contained, and the narratives are dense and short, so there is not even a moment of digression. The narratives very vividly construct imaginative vignettes of… Continue reading Tales for winter nights

Walter Benjamin’s Breadmaking

On the versatile interests of Walter Benjamin and making a living out of writing Walter Benjamin's membership card for the Bibliothèque nationale de France (1940). While revisiting some passages in Radio Benjamin (Verso, 2014), I realized that I never once examined Walter Benjamin’s variegated interests. Specifically, how and why do his works exhibit a wide… Continue reading Walter Benjamin’s Breadmaking

The show everyone loves to hate

Short review of the Whitney Biennale The Whitney Biennale is a show everyone loves to hate. A general discontent directed towards important exhibitions hangs over any appreciation of individual works. As in, what else can art do to change the world? In a show where most visitors spend less than a minute on average to… Continue reading The show everyone loves to hate

Lucas Arruda at David Zwirner

Lucas Arruda. Sem título (Untitled), 2017. Oil on canvas, 24 x 30 cm (9 1/2 x 11 7/8 in). © Lucas Arruda. Courtesy Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo/Brussels and David Zwirner, London. Photograph: Everton Ballardin. Lucas Arruda grapples with what its means to paint through tradition in his first solo exhibition in New York, 'Deserto-Modelo'… Continue reading Lucas Arruda at David Zwirner

North Atlantic White

A color walk piece inspired by William Burroughs. Originally written for Immanuel Iduma's class on narrative criticism. One similarity that struck me with Burroughs and a Filipino painter named Juan Luna is that they both killed their wives. In Luna it was the heat of passion and jealousy but for Burroughs it was the blur… Continue reading North Atlantic White