Flesh And Bones

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The Ivan Albright exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago is suffocatingly beautiful.

This Chicago painter, who worked between the Wars into the 1980s, was noticed in a military hospital when he was asked to illustrate a procedure. From that point, he worked as an artist for the military and later trained along with his identical twin at The Art Institute of Chicago. He rejected his father’s “pretty” impressionist approach in favor of decadently decaying depictions.

So much of this exhibit exists within the worlds of the living and the dead — his subjects hold madly, desperately to living while their bodies, and even environments, betray them. The monk concedes that he cannot look any more spiritual. The young mother embodies the costs of bearing children. Even Dorian Gray’s desire for control causes him to careen, as the color contrasts suggest, out of control.  Continue reading “Flesh And Bones”

Singing And Standing

I didn’t watch the Oscars — I’m more interested in the awards than the ceremony — but I was moved nonetheless by Common’s and Andra Day’s performance of “Stand Up For Something” from Marshall at the 90th Annual Academy Awards, which I first read about and later watched.

This song, which was written by Lonnie Lynn and Diane Warren and nominated for an Oscar and a Grammy, challenges listeners to have the courage of their convictions, and it appears in a movie about a young Thurgood Marshall, who would later become the first African-American Supreme Court Justice. For their Oscar performance, Common and Day created the spotlight design and contacted to join them on stage.  Continue reading “Singing And Standing”

Advice And Consent

Ivanka Trump, in a recent interview, claimed that she shouldn’t be asked whether she believes the women who have accused President Trump of sexual assault. Such a question, she asserted, is “pretty inappropriate,” and she has the “right” to believe her father.

Others have connected Ivanka Trump’s responses to her advocacy of women’s rights as a member of her father’s White House, as illustrated by Trump’s recent social media post about “women’s incredible contributions to our Nation” (sic). Nevertheless, she seems to be suggesting in this interview that her status as a daughter trumps her role as an adviser.  While she certainly can claim certain conditions of propriety and credibility as a daughter, she cannot dismiss her duties as a presidential adviser, especially given that she hasn’t been elected or otherwise endorsed by the people whose lives could be affected by her advice.  Continue reading “Advice And Consent”