Tuesday, February 28, 2017


I am privileged to have had the opportunity to visit with artist and Arts Administrator Natalie Barkley Brown Jones and write about her artwork for Women's Voices For Change.


Images in the order that they are mentioned in the article: CLICK ON IMAGES and THEY ENLARGE. PLEASE COMMENT ON WOMEN'S VOICES FOR CHANGE SITE IF YOU WISH.

Natalie Barkley Jones looking at her drawing

Natalie in front of Bruce Robbins' Sculpture at AT&T in 1985

Flag as Loin Rag  - Watergate, charcoal on canvas  1972. charcoal on canvas, 72 x 50 inches

Natalie's Library of over 2,000 books

Strange Fruit, 40"x30", acrylic, sand and dental floss/canvas, 1964-1968

She Who Was The Preacher's Once-Young Bride, 20"x14", graphite on paper, 1975

To Allow Her No Voice Is to Bury Her,14"x17", pen and ink/paper, 1976

Dare I believe in Myself, 26"x20", oil/canvas, 1975-1978

Detail: Dare I believe in Myself, 26"x20", oil/canvas, 1975-1978

Selection From AT&T Collection: (clockwise) Jaune Quick-to-see-Smith, Beverly Buchanan, Al Loving, Roy De Forest

Selection from AT&T Collection: (clockwise) Jim Toia, Jene Highstein, Betty Woodman, Sam Gilliam

Selection from AT&T Collection: Bryan Hunt

Brooklyn Art's Council Literacy Visual Arts Program: Two Bound Books

Brooklyn Art's Council Literacy Visual Arts Program: Tree and Alvin Ailey story

Monday, February 27, 2017

PATERSON 2/27/17

 Saw PATERSON - a Jim Jarmusch film that is unbelievably tender with a light delicate touch - the dialogue is minimal as we observe a week in the life of a New Jersey  Transit bus-driver who happens to be a poet named Paterson (Adam Driver), living in Paterson, NJ - the home of his idol the great poet, William Carlos Williams, He resides with his beautiful, dreamily eccentric wife, Laura (Golshifteh Farahani), who spends her days painting curvy black and white lines on everything in their home - her clothes, the shower curtains, the walls, etc. fantasizing about being a great country singer OR owning a cupcake shop OR learning to play the guitar…envisioning is indistinguishable from attainment.  Marvin the bulldog is another character in this quiet film, protective and possessive of Laura, and jealous of Paterson - a presence hard to ignore, but an indispensable addition to the coziness of their contented existence.

 Only a special audience could appreciate the subtle and leisurely pace of PATERSON. The day begins at approximately 6:15 AM waking up, nestled against his wife, still in a hypnogogic state as Adam Driver’s large frame gets up from the warmth of the rumpled bed, sliding his watch on his arm, and silently leaves their bedroom going into the kitchen for breakfast - the same daily cup of Cheerios and begins to write while eating - inspired  by the beauty of occasionally glimpsed objects; memory intrudes and what is usually unseen becomes visible through words strung together with stunning  simplicity and filled with magic and color.

Days are routinized and drama is in the ordinariness of life occasionally disrupted by the drifting of conversations heard as he drives the bus, the history of Paterson revealed by young 21st century “anarchists,” two men giving advice on how to connect  with the opposite sex; eating lunch on a bench at the foot of the majestic Great Falls, and every night after work Paterson, while walking Marvin stops at a neighborhood bar for a glass of beer, the dog waiting patiently outside. Phrases are eternally floating about in Paterson’s head and written into his “secret notebook” whenever he gets a moment to write. The simple pleasures of life, a box of wooden matches, looking down into a glass where the translucent color of a drink, all have the potential to be transformative.

A disciplined life without excess melodrama can be very conducive to the unfolding of an artist’s interior perceptions. But interruptions in one’s ordered life are inevitable; small shards of chance - such as Paterson’s touching encounter with a Japanese poet - alter the compass of this poet’s orientation and therein lies the lyricism of this lovely film. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017


REPOSTING my 2014 reflections on Bonnie Lucas' work.


Bonnie Lucas’ 2014 retrospective at the Sylvia Wald and Po Kim Gallery, 417 Lafayette St. 4th floor, NYC is an exhibition that is fiercely personal, bitterly moving, and joyfully idiosyncratic dealing with seduction, defiance, and rejection. A comprehensive show comprised of mixed media pieces, watercolors, and paintings – all dealing with Lucas’ psyche, but one that cracks through and enters into every female’s core being.

The color pink often dominates along with ribbons, satin fabrics, notions, toys, and dolls - illuminating childhood dreams which often become adult nightmares. As young girls, we are wrapped in sunny halos of future illusions  - wedding gowns, happily-married-after scenarios, efficient and joyful housewifely duties, loving caregiver and caretaker – floating bubbles in a rainbow atmosphere of fairyland hope and desire.

Bonnie Lucas is able to convey that vision but also the perverse, impure and heinous reality which is imperceptibly swimming in these assemblages –camouflaged inside this universe of white gloves, hankies, and satin. High heels that are both destructive and coquettish lures;  handcuffs painted a seductive bluish-purple; knitting needles and coat hangers all disguised under the mantle of pastel colors - sharp pointy objects that look like vaginal speculums referencing abortion and punctured longings.

The artist skillfully incorporates a myriad of iconography – oh so easy to look at – but like Cassandra an impending cautionary warning.  Diaphragm-like coils, broken heads, baby blankets – are woven into the soft, luxurious mix – one can weep from the depth of grief that awaits growing up into the unknowable future, but that is the journey that unfolds with time.

Over the years there has been a real consistency to Bonnie Lucas' work. I first remember her shows in the East Village and those “classic works” such as LUCKY LADY (1985), PRINCESS OF POWER ( 1988), PINK DRESS  (1981) are in the show, along with wonderfully delicate watercolors that contain images that are often an ironic view of childhood incorporating children’s drawings, crayons and collage - feminist surrealism joined with anger and foreboding. Yet there is a delight in the beauty of the rendering – sensitive to the exquisitely fragile nature of innocence.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


I am privileged to have had the opportunity to visit with Daria Dorosh and write about her artwork for Women's Voices For Change.

Here is a link to the article: Please comment on the Women's Voices For Change site if you wish. Enjoy!

Women's Voices For Change Article

More images in the order that they are mentioned in the article: CLICK ON IMAGES and THEY ENLARGE:

Doily Face (front view), 8"x8"x9", textile sculpture, 2012

To Look, 19.5"x23.5", digital print with custom antique frame, 2012

Baby Face, 9"x10"x6.5", textile sculpture with shelf, 2012

Little Boy Lost, 9"x6.5"x5.5",  textile sculpture with shelf, 2012

Mama's Boy, 9"x10.5"x5",  textile sculpture with shelf, 2012

Teacher's Pet, 15"x10"x5.5",  textile sculpture with shelf, 2012

Baba Yaga, 14"x12"x8.5",  textile sculpture with shelf, 2012

To Wait, 18.25"x22.75", digital print with custom antique frame, 2012

Pink Pearl, 5"x10.5"x8.75,  textile sculpture with shelf, 2012

DETAIL: To Relax, 22"x17", digital print with custom antique frame, 2012

Owl Princess, 10"x5"x3",  textile sculpture with shelf, 2012

Owl Princess Reveals The Destruction of Babylon, 16"x18.5", digital print with custom antique frame, 2012

Narcissus 1, series 4, 22"x17", digital print with sewn textiles, 2016

Narcissus 3, series 4, 22"x17", digital print with sewn textiles, 2016

Daria Dorosh Website

Friday, February 3, 2017

ELLE 2/3/17

In director Paul Verhoeven’s new film, men are brutes. The men in ELLE, a psycho/sexual/sadistic thriller, are cheaters, liars, wife-beaters, and “gamers’ who produce video games that are an extension of their puerile fantasies - bloody and savage. The movie begins with a close-up of a cat’s vertical eyes - narrowed and expressionless observing a violent rape scene; we hear the pounding and stifled screams of struggle, but do not witness the scene until later when the victim relives it…over and over.  We eventually meet the rapist, costumed in anonymity who can only reach ejaculation’s pinnacle of pleasure through rough, furious acts of inflicting pain as his launching platform for intense sexual rapture.

Isabelle Huppert plays Michelle - a stylishly successful business woman who with her good friend runs a company which produces wildly graphic, titillating videos - where women are attacked by creatures who invade every orifice of their body with monstrous tentacles, etc - the more horrific the better. Safe from the fantasies that she peddles, Michelle has now become a victim of an uncontrollable psychotic - and like her cat, she does not reveal any emotion, nor does she report the event, preferring to plot revenge in her own distinctive way as she attempts to search out her attacker. 

The film slowly reveals the psychological underpinnings of Isabelle - her relationship with a father who was imprisoned when she was a young child for heinous crimes, her mother whose desperate relationships with very young men, in an attempt to maintain her youth, is broadcast on her taut stretched face - the scars of surgery. And Michelle’s handsome adult son, who has not yet found his way and is about to become a father, though still being supported by Michelle.

Sexual tension, desire and intimacy permeate this film. Isabelle Huppert is cool, amoral and calculating, seduced by the power of a sadomasochistic urgency into a dangerous situation which is audaciously grotesque. Walking a tightrope over lies and deceit creates collisions that pull and strain one’s conception of self. 

When I left the theater, I kept wondering if I just saw a horror-porn movie or a titillating morality tale? Is Isabelle a victim or a participant? Ethical ambiguity permeates ELLE - and Isabelle Huppert is at the center of every scene - the ELLE of the movie - dominating every moment; a beautiful woman who is an enigma,  rarely giving any indication of her thoughts or feelings, as we witness her shell slowly cracking.