Tag Archives: artists

Artful Supporters

museum support arts

There’s a black and white photograph in my high school yearbook. It’s of people in winter gear hanging around a railing at the skating rink where our hockey team played. A banner of the team’s name, Trojans, hangs on the railing. The picture is captioned “Athletic Supporters.” Sure, it’s sophomoric. It’s a high school yearbook. Because I was Co-Editor-in-Chief of the yearbook, I was called ...

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Time To Rethink A Certain Reindeer Story

santa rudolph reindeer rankin bass

It’s December and the ubiquitous holiday music – playing since mid-November – reminds us that Christmas is just around the corner.  I’ve always been troubled by one particular Christmas carol I first learned at the tender age of 4: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. You know the story, right? Young buck born with funny nose. Ostracized and bullied for it. Naturally, an extenuating circumstance (“one foggy ...

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Steve Julian – A Voice in the City of Angels

steve julian footlights

Sometimes you can be a strong presence without being a physical presence. If you lived in Los Angeles in the past 15 years, it’s likely you’re familiar with Steve Julian’s voice.  I can’t remember a time when I was in my car in the morning when he wasn’t there with me.  He was the morning man for NPR station KPCC, the station’s call letters alluding ...

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Goodnight, Sweet Prince

prince obituary footlights

The-Artist-Formally-Known-As-“The-Artist-Formally-Know-As-Prince” is no more, having died today, April 21, 2016.   Like David Bowie, who died only a few months ago, Prince was his own musical style and his own sexual style.  And, like Bowie, he was still making music to the end. Unlike Bowie, Prince passed before even making it to age 60. Prince always had an ethereal aspect to him and it made him ...

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The Bechdel Test and the Art of Politics

diversity bechdel scientist appearance

Have you heard of the Bechdel test?  It was developed to formalize an observation made by Virginia Woolf about the simplicity of women’s characters in literature.  A piece of fiction passes the test if, and only if, three conditions are met: The work has at least two women in it who talk to each other about something other than a man. Given the simplicity of ...

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The Anonymous Creator

galaxy footlights

If you’ve ever walked through a museum like LACMA or the Norton Simon, it’s likely you’ve run into art objects from antiquity.  These objects are not signed.  There’s no clue as to the artisan’s name.  They are of anonymous origin. And yet the objects are undeniably true works of art, representing aesthetic sensibilities and skills requiring years to develop. I was reminded of this anonymous ...

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A Classic Tradition

classic film bogart casablanca footlights

In the Oxford Dictionary, the first definition of the noun, “classic,” is classic (noun): A work of art of recognized and established value. The inclusion of the words “of art,” however, makes this definition unnecessarily narrow.  Here’s a better one: classic (noun): A work of recognized and established value. It’s necessary to widen the definition because works of science can also be classics.  Examples include ...

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Viola Davis and Edie Falco in Candid NY Times Interview

The New York Times interviewed actors Viola David and Edie Falco: New York Times: You’d rather be struggling still? Viola Davis: I look back on those early days in the theater like the beginning of a love affair, when you’re totally in love with the work, and that’s all there is. None of the outside effects, no celebrity or interviews — no offense … Edie ...

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A.R. Gurney on American Theater

gurney footlights american theater

A.R. Gurney, the prolific playwright of such titles as Sylvia, The Dining Room, and, of course, Love Letters, turns 85 today.  We celebrate the day with these two insightful clips from 2000 where he discusses Broadway and the future of American Theater.  For Gurney’s more recent thoughts, including those on his latest play, Love & Money, which just had its World Premiere this summer at ...

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Colorize Thy World: The Oregon Shakespeare Festival and The Bard

how would Warhol colorize Shakespeare

There’s a modern myth stating that modern audiences won’t appreciate art unless it’s created in modern technology.  The art must be accessible to the audience.  So films are colorized.  Or recropped for a widescreen.  Or re-released in 3-D. So says the modern myth. Imagine we needed to repaint the Sistine Chapel because Michelangelo didn’t have Prussian or cobalt blue on his palette.  Ridiculous, right?  Painting ...

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