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My first artgasm: The P volume of World Book Encyclopedia

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Were you a Britannica kid, or a World Book kid?

I was definitely a WBK. With its glossy paper, very readable text and lots of images, World Book Encyclopedia was my school outside of school. Now and then I'd open a volume of Encyclopedia Britannica in the school library, but quickly close it;  its dense, scholarly text on bible-thin paper, law-book leathery binding and scant illustrations seemed to be talking to a different kid - one who was a lot smarter and didn't need coloredpictures.

This is the World Book volume I pulled off the shelf most often - the P volume:


I can safely say my obsession with art comes from the PAINTING section in this volume, pages 26 to 77. I'd flip back and forth through this section for hours, poring over the images, reveling in the captions. Years later, on visiting MOMA, there they were, these iconic paintings hanging larger-than-life before me. Amazing!

Recently, I felt a wave of nostalgia to see my long-donated P volume again. I went onlin…

[VIDEO] Yayoi Kusama's Festival of No Life (until you get inside the door)

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Watch the video
"Sometimes I think Yayoi Kusama might be the greatest artist to come out of the 1960s and one of the few, thanks in part to her long life, still making work that feels of the moment. Other times I think she’s a bit of a charlatan who produces more Kusama paintings than the world needs and stoops to conquer with mirrored “Infinity” rooms that attract hordes of selfie-seekers oblivious to her efforts on canvas."  Roberta Smith I had to open with this pithy POV re the World's Most Expensive Living Female Artist (as of last week; this week it might be Jenny Saville) - by New York Times art critic Roberta Smith. She's not the only one who vacillates...

"Kusama is like Lion King," yawned a friend. "So much hype."  I admit to concurring, especially after witnessing first hand what some diehard purists would consider sacrilege: the iconic Phillip Johnson Glasshouse bedecked with Kusama's signature measles:

You know you want to watch me …

Art Basel Miami: A primer for newbies

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A looker-and-maybe-collector guide to that great big art happening by the beach


"WANNA stay at my apartment and do Art Basel Miami"?  ME: "Does a chicken have hard lips?  CALL ME LATE to the party: my first-ever pilgrimage to this seaside artfest with decidedly "Suisse" cachet comes more than 6 years after the birth of this blog. What's my excuse?

First, I live smack dab in the Chelsea gallery district of New York City, so there's art a bagel's throw from my door (this has got to make up for living in the smallest studio in the country). Second, a full palette of art fairs: Frieze, Armory Show, Untitled, Pulse, NADA, Volta, Scope, ADAA, Collective, WANTED, Independent, Spring Break, Affordable, Art On Paper, Outsider, even Documenta - did I miss anyone? - pass through the city each year, some a whole bike ride away...


But Art Basel Miami - technically, Miami Beach, but for the snowbound, that's a tautology - is something else: a big chunk of t…