Archive for Arts

That sure is one way

“You gave me two assignments. 1.) Not to call you 2.) Not to see you,” he wrote her. “So now I’m a busy man.” – Viktor Shklovsky to Elsa Triolet

Revere old artists

Two weeks ago, the New York Times published this terribly disrespectful interview with the 96-year-old actress Cicely Tyson, who died today. Earlier this week Time Magazine published this disgraceful interview with 86-year-old writer Joan Didion. What blown opportunities! What cretins.

David Cooper

Congratulations to David Cooper for being named a member of the Order of Canada, for “his innovative contributions to Canadian performance photography and for his dedicated mentorship of emerging artists.”

David is an astonishing talent and spirit. I love that the announcement focused on David’s mentorship of others. I cannot think of a better thing to have said about you.

The above photograph, of dancer Alex Kolarcik, is from Cooper’s work on The Performance Research Project. What a great photograph! The portrait below is by Emily Cooper.

The great Tom Toles retires

What a wonderful career.

I had a chance to meet Tom Toles back when I was an editor at the University at Buffalo’s student newspaper, The Spectrum. Tom worked there a few years before me when he was a student and still contributed some of his caricatures from time to time while he was also drawing editorial cartoons for The (late) Buffalo Courier Express and the Buffalo Evening News (now the Buffalo News).

Later, Tom did covers for Free Inquiry magazine, which I edited in the late 1980s. (See cover below.) I believe he contributed his work for free.

Tom is an exceptionally cool man.

Update: Toles’ drawings in his university years tended to be more realistic than the editorial cartooning he did afterwards. Below is one of my favourite illustrations by Tom, of University at Buffalo “campus prophet” Michael Stephen Levinson, from 1973.

Your muse must enjoy you

Photographer Edouard Boubat: “Let us recall the painter who shares the secrets of his art with his students: ‘All of the advice that I can give you will be of little use if no angel is holding your hand.’ An angel is a fire within you – your soul’s way of being.”

Artists must give their muses a place to visit, keeping it congenial for them. Don’t taint this place, not even once.