Sunday, May 6, 2018

'Captain America on the Battlefields of Brooklyn' published in FreezeRay

I am thrilled to announce that my pictorial essay

'Captain America on the Battlefield of Brooklyn' has been published in the May 2018 issue (no. 15) of FreezeRay

The work tracks the presence of a statue to Captain America 'Just a Kid from Brooklyn' on places where the largest battle of the American Revolution, the Battle of Brooklyn, had been fought to a disastrous end and whose memory has been effectively erased.

The essay compares in words and plein air drawings, the fictionalized exploits of Captain America with the imagined exploits of a revolutionary era farmhand who fought, became a prisoner of war and who perished on the same battlefields where Captain America suddenly appeared in 2016.

Edited by Rob Sturma, FreezeRay explores our relationships between the pop culture we consume (comic books, movies, television, music, video games, etc) and ourselves.

Thanks to all!

Monday, April 9, 2018

My drawing of the Washington Square Arch is the cover art for the April 2018 issue of Five on Fifth

Thanks to the Mahdis Marzooghian and the rest of the editorial staff of Five on Fifth for featuring my image of the Washington Square Arch that dramatically introducing the April 2018 issue of the magazine.

The magazine publishes

'five short pieces on the fifth of every month'.

In my imaginings..the Fifth in the magazine's title is Fifth Avenue that begins (or ends) at the arch and that in the full picture is floating. Enjoy the artwork and the literary works that follow.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Works from the Anna Pierrepont Series featured in City Key [including a meditation on cities falling out of love with monuments]

Thanks to Ayesha Hamid for featuring works from the Anna Pierrepont Series in the exploration of the city of mind, The City Key.

I received notification of the publication sitting on a ledge in the enormous and darkened room especially built to hold the Temple of Dendur at the Met.

The lights had been turned low and the Met was offering an evening reception for arts educators.

My words describe the process within which cities fall out of love with public monuments. I wrote them during the fall.

I was reading them in the following February in a room surrounded by the detritus from this process that the Met (for some reason) had chosen to valorize as I paged through my images of objects and empty spaces in NYC that are in the midst of the same transformation in the mind of this city that resulted in the Temple of Dendur ending up in Manhattan.

One statue featured is of Africa from the fa├žade of the Customs House in the Battery in Lower Manhattan. A classical nude with her head slumping onto her bare chest with her right arm slumped over a sphinx and her left slumped over a lion.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

My 2016 drawing of Lawson Dancing with His Granddaughter from Green-Wood Cemetery Brooklyn published in the Charles Carter Literary Magazine to illustrate a heart breaking poem by Seth Jani about the tragic death of migrants making the perilous crossing to Europe during the contemporary migrant crisis

The editors of the Charles Carter have very movingly incorporated my autumn 2016 drawing of Lawson and His Granddaughter from Green-Wood Cemetery (a motif that I have explored on numerous occasions) as a visual counterpoint to a poem by Seth Jani entitled 'Diving Lessons'. I thank them for this moving effort. The editors have also included a recitation of the piece. I include the first two lines of the poem

What we lost in the sea
Cannot be salvaged

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


I wish to thank Clara Moura Soares and her associates at the Institute of Art History of the University of Lisbon for publishing my pictorial essay


in the 2017 issue of ArtIsOn that is focused on Iconoclasm and Vandalism

The essay concerns the post Charlottesville evictions of two portrait busts of the confederate generals and the plaques that exalt their accomplished from the Hall of Fame for Great Americans on the campus of Bronx Community College by the Governor the State of New York in August 2017.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Anna Pierrepont Series profiled on Belle Ombre

Belle Ombre is one of the most beautiful art and literature websites I have ever encountered and I am utterly floored by how beautifully the editors presented various recent paintings and drawings (mostly paintings) from the Anna Pierrepont Series. I am truly grateful for the editors' hard work and for providing the project such a fantastic platform.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

My testimony at a public hearing of the NYC Monuments Commission held in Lower Manhattan on 11-22-17

Over one hundred individuals testified for over four hours about the fate of public monuments that, at the behest of the mayor of the City of New York, Bill De Blasio, are being reviewed by a commission established by the mayor, may be relocated or augmented with clarifying contextualization due the offensive nature of the individual being commemorated. The audience urged the removal from Central Park of a statue of J. Marion Sims who operated without anesthesia on slaves in order to find a surgical treatment for fistulas, in addition to an Equestrian statue of Theodore Roosevelt from the Museum of Natural History's Central Park West entrance.

It is remarkable that in four hours of testimony on the subject of iconoclasm, only the moderator the Commissioner of Cultural Affairs, Tom Finkelpearl at the beginning and I at the end referenced actual removals in New York City. Finkelpearl mentioned Civic Virtue

and I discussed Tilted Arc [this is the empty plaza across from where I testified that was once the home to Tilted Arc.

My name is Howard Skrill, I am an artist/educator and my work consists of plein air drawings and paintings of public statuary throughout New York City for my art project, the Anna Pierrepont Series. The images are then combined with words into pictorial essays that explore the erasure of public and private memory including historical and contemporary iconoclasm as with the removals of bronze portrait busts of Robert E. Lee created by George T. Brewster and Thomas Stonewall Jackson created by Bryant Baker overnight from the Hall of Fame for Great Americans on the campus of Bronx Community College in response to the murderous violence of Charlottesville and the equivocation of politicians on the federal level.

I want to transport you back to March 7th, 1985 to an ornate hearing room in a building that can be seen from the windows of this building. I remember myself as an undergraduate art student at a suburban public college, leaning over a banister and observing over a hundred and twenty people testifying in support of the artist Richard Serra and his massive Cor-ten steel sculpture Tilted Arc that was targeted for removal from a public plaza in front of the International Trade Court across from Foley Square just across the street from here.

I and my fellow students were transported by our faculty in order to show support for Serra who many in our community believed was being persecuted by the federal government that insisted, ultimately successfully, for the work's relocation which turned out to be its destruction.

Many rushed to the barricades that day to stand in Serra’s defense. Over one hundred people, representing the elite of the New York art world spoke against the removal with some arguing that artists and artworks needed protection against political forces from the other side of the barricade that would target artists to achieve political aims.

It is fair to ask this committee whether Tilted Arc’s defenders are fulfilling the perhaps dangerous precedent established in the Tilted Arc trial by manning the opposite side of the barricade that its detractors once occupied.

I only ask this to illuminate that battles over public monuments coincide with the rise and fall of political factions. Many of us believed that the treatment of Serra violated his rights as an artist. It is fair therefore to ask if the very act of monument removal impinges the very rights we championed for Serra. If we set aside the principle we fought so strenuously to preserve when we were in the opposition, we may wish, if the political winds shift again, that we had held more tightly them now that we are the arbiters of the fates of these monuments instead of sacrificing them to expediency.