Wednesday, August 26, 2015


I am an artist who wrote an article about my censorship experience with FB for an on-line magazine WOMEN"S VOICES FOR CHANGE. Please go to: 

Recently it happened again with the image above " Grace and Sluter's Philip The Bold "reported "anonymously" by someone who was a "friend." I always put the privacy on FRIENDS for this series. This time FB acknowledged this did not violate their standards. ANONYMOUS REPORTING is dangerous and unjust. 
Facebook must stop allowing one individual to sabotage work and 

ideas. Please sign the petition at:

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Five young men  - Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren, Eazy E and DJ Yella -  walking towards us, lined up in a row coming into the picture frame like modern-day gunslingers - full of swagger and the defiant air of adolescents that have grown up and experienced the brutality that comes with being black living in one of the poorest and most dangerous communities in 1980’s America - the city of Compton, CA., south of downtown Los Angeles; these are the members  of the pioneering “gangsta rap”  and West Coast hip hop group N.W. A. (an abbreviation of Niggaz wit' Attitude) whose “rags-to-riches” story is told in the biopic STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON directed by F. Gary Gray

A group of locals, some of whom had been friends since childhood band together to express the rage they feel at society’s inequities;  to bring to attention the destructive nature of racism practiced by the authorities in their neighborhoods; police who were the supposed “enforcers” of justice interacting with urban black men treating them like enemies with no regard for their civil rights. N. W.A. fought back with raw screaming authenticity - lyrics that told their stories, attacking with the rat-a-tat of drum-machine beats and rhythms - words sprayed out with the ferociousness of thundering cannons - gesticulating and shocking their audiences with facts that were harshly bitter, crude. and all too real. N.W. A. became heroes to an expanding audience - their voices had been unleashed - fighting back  not with guns and flying bullets,  but with music that had the power to slice souls. 

I listened spellbound  to N.W.A.’s sounds, inhaling their cries of intense fury, but at the same time cringing at the vitriolic lyrics aimed at women who were often referred to as “ho’s and bitches” - buried in the same slimy abuse and disrespect, that the power structures so disdainfully thrust on them. The glamorized characterization of the relationship between the “perks” of fame - adulation, material acquisitiveness and indiscriminate sexual abandon - are depicted as becoming the roots of a Greek tragedy -  hubris leads to nemesis.

The film follows the group’s path to worldwide fame including the oft seen sleazy ups and downs of the managerial side of the  performing business; the collaboration of the entrepreneurial Eazy - E (a terrific performance by Jason Mitchell) with a scheming white businessman Jerry Heller (Paul Giamatti) to form a production company called Ruthless Records. Once recruited into N.W.A., Dr. Dre (a fine Corey Hawkins) is portrayed as the anchor of the group handling the music, and Ice Cube (played by his son O’Shea Jackson, Jr. with an uncanny resemblance to his father) is the lyricist along with MC Ren, pen and notebook in hand constantly jotting down phrases for future use. All five members were uncompromising, never giving into pressure from institutions, (including the FBI), the press and other external forces to tone down their rhetoric, many of whom were shocked by the unrelenting capacity of street vernacular to propel the public into social awareness.

STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON  also presents the personal battles and clashing egos among the rappers, with some quitting over “royalty” issues going off on their own, but over time we witness their strong “familial” bond which is unbreakable.The movie was not filmed in a vacuum - the turbulent history of the late ’80’s and early ’90’s is woven into the plot including the 1991 police battering of Rodney King, videotaped and seen on television by the whole country, and the subsequent acquittal of the four accused police officers in 1992 sparking riots in Los Angeles - clearly foreshadowing uprisings 22 years later, where a police culture is still too ready to shoot and destroy  what they perceive as “threatening” men and women of color.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


I rushed home every Sunday night to see TRUE DETECTIVE - SEASON 2 (8 parts) even though I could barely get through the convoluted plot which involved the corruption of political figures, land deals, gangsters of every ethnic stripe, sex parties with lovely young "women of the night" forced to open their mouths wide so that the drug "molly" could be eye-dropped onto their expert tongues making them more pliable to the community’s pawing, fat-bellied and well-heeled politicians and financial titans who were their clients. Yet there was a mesmerizing fog of melancholic desperation hovering over the series baring the soul's dissolution ( a persistent theme of the creator Nic Pizzolatto), heightened by quick cuts, and the murky presence of universal evil invading the most innocent of hearts. The dialogue was cryptic - nothing was clear including the vaporous air. But I still tuned in weekly to get my fix of danger and despair.

Upon reflection I believe that the dialogue and plot were deliberately apocryphal, the ominous beat of the music purposely underscoring the characters’ secrets and lies; the rapid shifts in place contributing to the lack of clarity in all relationships; we never really “know” who or what we are dealing with.

The series focused on 4 main players - Detective Ray Velcoro (an intense heavy-browed Colin Farrell who I loved as a “hit-man” in film BRUGES,) Detective Ani Bezzerides (excellent  job by an unglamorous Rachel McAdams ), Frank Semyan (Vince Vaughn a steely mobster attempting to go “straight “ showing he can act without playing an oaf in some Grade C puerile comedy,) and Officer Paul Woodrugh the closeted gay State Trooper ( performed by the handsome “hunk” Taylor Kitsch) - their professional and private lives are the essence of TRUE DETECTIVE which is absorbed in revealing each of the character’s deeply felt  personal ignominy and disgrace which has poisoned their intimate selves.

Languidly unraveling the main personas through confrontations and memory was psychologically elegant, but alas by the final episode there were only 90 minutes left to the series, so I was really disappointed to view a Deus Ex-Machina finale - the tempo speeding out of control.  Attempting to rapidly tie up all the loose ends in the criminal investigation; the threads got warped  and distorted and the “detective” story -  always secondary to Pizzolatto’s pessimistic view of human nature and the ability to forgive oneself and others - was put front and center; predictable and worst of all sentimental and cheap. What a shame! This might have been a contender!

Sunday, August 2, 2015


Once you were isolated outside of the main art “hubs” often working with the same feverish passion as the “stars” we see featured in the established art and on-line magazines, and blogs; many of the same faces who became “the chosen ones” from the millions of artists inhabiting our planet. AND then came along Facebook (FB), a space that drew a community of LIKE-minded artists - some who were working, others who felt hidden and forsaken not getting the “rewards” of their efforts - slipping into oblivion, no longer unearthing their inexhaustibly complex internal solar systems. 

Affiliating with a group has never been my thing, but I do hunger for the exchange of ideas among peers so joined FB shortly after it was launched in 2004. Earlier (in the late1990’s through 2001) I had “moderated” a group (now called blog) Plexus/Chalkboard/Artseen, created by Stephen Pusey, where we had some amazing discussions about the meaning, the process, the branding, the commercialization, the frustrations of being an artist - exchanges often  filled with vitriol, laced with poetry, support and love. 

Facebook - the new “club “ soon grew into bands of associations, factions and personal, sympatico connections - virtual acquaintances - that we began to care about, to laugh with, to celebrate, empathize and grieve over in “sickness and health.” Artists in rural areas, from international towns and cities (that I had never heard of) became my “friends,” and the realization that we often shared a tenacious drive for authenticity, promulgated respect  and awareness of the acute vision of what (for me) were once far-removed cultures now penetrating my hermetic space through their written words and images.

GOING BIG - a large group exhibition curated by Suzan Shutan and Susan Carr drew on these affiliations - artists they admired  on Facebook - and often had never met. The works are small and diverse - abstraction dominates - endless investigations of pattern, geometric forms and color relations; some revealing the creator’s hand and thereby their personalities exposed like one’s handwriting; and others pristinely appear - as if stamped on the canvas/paper/wooden supports by an unseen divinity. Paintings dominate, but included were photographs and sculptures unfolding the gamut of expression and materials that we humans can construct - affirming  our need to cry out - look at me- look at the world that I represent.

Saturday, August 1, 2015


This is a short video I made Opening Night of an art exhibition in NYC at Central Booking Gallery, 21 Ludlow Street. Dates: July 30 - August 28, 2015.
Curators: Suzan Shutan and Susan Carr.
There are 111 artworks in the show including a small piece of mine.