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Posts Tagged ‘Robert Mapplethorpe’

Movie Novelization Is a Dying Art, and Other News

February 24, 2014 | by



Marks on Paper: Eileen Myles’s Chelsea Girls

March 14, 2013 | by

415PRDx7MGL._SL500_SS500_At Bluestocking Books, my favorite indie bookstore in Hillcrest, San Diego, I pick up a glorious-looking object. The cover is textured, beige with a blue inside flap—a look typical of the publisher Black Sparrow Press. On the front is a painting by Nicole Eisenman of twenty women in a brawl, or having sex, or both. All over the cover and among the cream pages are hand-scrawled notes. It looks like a literature student once owned the book. Probably someone studying creative writing. Probably someone at UCSD. I hold up the paperback to the woman behind the register, and ask, “What is this?”

“That’s Eileen Myles. She’s a lesbian poet. She’s amazing.”

That day I read the entire thing. Read More »


A Week in Culture: Claire Cottrell, Art Book Shop Owner and Editor

February 19, 2013 | by



7:00 A.M. Wake up to dog barking and strong skunk smell in house. Fear that door to garden was left open and skunk is loose in house. Get out of bed to confirm. Garden door is not open and skunk is not loose. Go back to bed for thirty minutes. 

7:30 A.M. Get out of bed. Wash face. Gather belongings, including black cocoon coat purchased for an imminent trip to Paris found for sixteen dollars the day before at a second-hand store. Head home to Mount Washington.

8:00 A.M. Arrive at home. Make tea. Take daily vitamins. Make new favorite quick morning oatmeal: half cup of oats, two heaping tablespoons of maple syrup, cinnamon, chopped apple, fresh dates, walnuts, boiling water. Settle in to enjoy oatmeal and tea. Realize that laptop, aka lifeline, is in Amos’s car. Freak out. Cancel all morning obligations, citing laptop debacle. Text Amos.

8:05 A.M. Amos drops off laptop.

8:10 A.M. Finish oatmeal. Finish tea. Resume all morning obligations. Including: reviewing reactions to Sybil’s sad demise on last night’s Downton Abbey, looking at Atelier Bow-Wow’s pet architecture—otherwise known as teeny tiny buildings on teeny tiny sliver of land—for an article, researching Bruno Munari’s useless machines for a contribution to the new arts journal, synonym. cover

9:15 A.M. Tackle e-mail. Respond to e-mails from three weeks ago. Debate including ‘apologies for the delayed response.’ Decide against it thinking, No need to always apologize. For all they know I answer e-mail every few weeks because I live in a cabin removed from civilization and spend most of my time in nature. Read More »


The Long and Short of It

October 16, 2012 | by

  • Adorable, literal interpretations of author names by illustrator Mattias Adolfsson.
  • “I know I said that if I lived to 100 I’d not regret what happened last night. But I woke up this morning and a century had passed. Sorry.” Geoff Dyer, Jackie Collins, A. M. Homes, and others attempt the 140-character novel.
  • Speaking of brevity, Ian McEwan declares that the novella is the superior written form because “you can hold the whole thing structurally in your mind at once.”
  • Qin Dynasty book burnings.
  • Patti Smith: “I remember the very first time I saw Kristen Stewart and Rob Pattinson together, when they were younger, and I thought, Those two kids could have easily played us [in Just Kids] when they were first starting. There’s something in his eyes. And Robert [Mapplethorpe] was also a bit shy, and a bit stoic. Kristen has a very special quality. She’s not conventionally beautiful, but very charismatic.”
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    Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010)

    June 1, 2010 | by

    When Louise Bourgeois published “The View From the Bottom of the Well,” a seminarrative portfolio of prints, in The Paris Review (Fall 1996), she seemed already to be gazing up from the grave. Bourgeois, who died yesterday at ninety-eight, had been long enjoying a kind of afterlife as a celebrity sculptor, with work that made improbably explicit the themes that had animated her work from the nineteen fifties and nineteen sixties—the human body and its vulnerability, the threat of predation, sexuality both grotesque and ever-present.

    That afterlife owed quite a lot to a 1982 photograph by Robert Mapplethorpe, which showed a grandmotherly Bourgeois fondling her phallic sculpture Fillette. And when she began in her seventies and eighties to receive major commissions and museum retrospectives, the acclaim seemed as much personal as aesthetic, the exhibitions inspired as much by her engaging biography and confessional personality as by the work itself, which could hardly be reduced to the story of childhood trauma. Longtime followers knew that Bourgeois was much more than Spiderwoman, and in the summer of 1984, at perhaps the peak of her fame, the Review published a small portfolio of her drawings from the fifties—as a kind of reminder, it seems, that though her work was often engrossingly personal it was also, at its best, arcane. Below, a slide show of her two portfolios from The Paris Review:


    Drawings from the 1950s, Summer 1984


    Drawings from the 1950s, Summer 1984


    Drawings from the 1950s, Summer 1984


    Drawings from the 1950s, Summer 1984


    Drawings from the 1950s, Summer 1984


    Drawings from the 1950s, Summer 1984


    Drawings from the 1950s, Summer 1984


    The View From the Bottom of the Well, Fall 1996


    The View From the Bottom of the Well, Fall 1996


    The View From the Bottom of the Well, Fall 1996


    The View From the Bottom of the Well, Fall 1996


    The View From the Bottom of the Well, Fall 1996


    The View From the Bottom of the Well, Fall 1996


    Drawings from the 1950s, Summer 1984