Friday, April 7, 2017

Five of my drawings from Green-Wood Cemetery are published in the April 2017 issue of the Grief Diaries

Please visit the online publication 'The Grief Diaries: A Magazine of Art & Writing about Loss'. The folks at the Grief Diaries have dedicated their magazine to art and writing that meditate on grief and loss. I submitted my drawings from the cemetery of monuments that affirm life: Lawson, Wood, Frankie, Our Drummer Boy from the Civil War, but also of a heartbreaking image of an infant laying upon a cold tomb in a forested glen.

My drawing of Edward Snowdon was published in the March issue of UK's Average Art

My drawing of Edward Snowdon has been published in the March 2017 issue of UK's Average Art [ - available only as hardcopy]. In honor of the publication, I have uploaded an excerpt of my first chapter on the Snowdon bust saga from my monograph [pending publication] of Damnatio Memoriae, enjoy!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Hall of Fame for Great Americans [Restoration Edition] exhibited in Brookline, Ma, April thru June 2017 [and in commemoration of Yom HaShoah 4-23 - 4/24, 2017]

The Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis is exhibiting my picture of Daniel Webster from the Hall of Fame for Great Americans until June, 2017. The work was featured in an exhibition, curated by Wendy Forrester, entitled 'Picturing Social Justice and Human Rights'. The exhibition was organized to celebrate the school opening a new program incorporating Social Justice into their portfolio.

I thank Wendy and the staff of the school for enabling me to realize the project and commend them on a beautifully organized exhibition of over seventy works translating the idea of 'Social Justice and Human Rights' in visual form, thus shining the light of resistance into this increasingly troubled age. Those of us who create and exhibit art are morally bound to use our practices to ensure that the darkness that is encroaching upon our nation and world is vanquished and does not consume us as it did our world [and the lives of my ancestors] during the darkest days of the Twentieth century.

At the reception that took place on March 31st, 2017 I requested that those attending paste silhouettes of individuals who I have read in newspapers have been made afraid, deported, detained, denied visas as a consequence of the actions of the new regime directly upon my image of Webster from the hall.

The attendees added the names with reverential care and permitted Mary and I to document them doing so.

This is how the drawing of the head from the Hall of Fame for Great Americans [11" x 14", pastel on paper from 2013] looked before dozens of people had added images to the surface.

On Saturday, when we returned to the exhibition, this is how the picture of the Great American Webster looked, nearly buried under the human cost of this new era of intolerance.

This is the statement included along with the picture.

In 1894, the Hall of Fame for Great Americans was erected on what is now the campus of Bronx Community College in Bronx, New York. The Hall, one of the first in the world, occupies a high bluff looming over the Harlem River in the neighborhood of University Heights.

In the Wizard of Oz, after Dorothy Gale’s Kansas home fell upon and crushed to death the Wicked Witch of the East, the Munchkins sang that Dorothy Gale would ‘be a bust, be a bust, be a bust in the Hall of Fame!’.

The Hall consists of bronze likenesses of ‘Great Americans’ organized into statesmen, scientists etc.
The Pied Piper of American decline sells baseball caps emblazoned with a declaration that American greatness is currently absent. The Hall can act as a bellwether of the Piper’s declaration. The last bust of a ‘Great American’ installed in the Hall was in 1992, after a twenty year effort. The busts of four inductees from the 1970s remain unrealized.

As this exhibition runs its course, authorities are demanding entry into homes nationwide in order to drag undocumented individuals, some perhaps hidden in attics, to detention centers or for immediate deportation. The Piper is also restricting émigrés, refugees and visitors from majority Muslim nations. His regime argues that the presence of the targeted individuals in America is the cause of America’s current lack of greatness and that the restoration of its greatness requires their removal.

I taught on the campus of Bronx Community College, the poorest county in America, for a decade. Many of those attending classes on campus and in the shadow of the Hall lacked official papers as did some individuals enshrined in the Hall. The Munchkins did not demand that Dorothy, a foreigner from over the rainbow, show her papers in order to gain entry to Oz. If they had detained Dorothy or deported her upon arrival, the Wicked Witch of the West, the sister of the Wicked Witch of the East, would have continued wreaking vengeance on Oz for the death of her sister.

Perhaps a current detainee or deportee is a modern day Dorothy Gale, thwarted in his or her capacity to restore American greatness and in doing so, reinvigorating the purpose of the Hall of Fame for Great Americans. That person’s bust would join Dorothy Gale and that of the four inductees from the 1970s as remaining unrealized. Despite being a foreigner from Kansas, the Munchkins and the Glenda, the Good Witch of the South, provided Dorothy with ruby slippers to protect her as she journeyed upon the Yellow Brick Road towards the Emerald City. She repaid her benefactors by securing their freedom from tyranny.

There are a number of empty spaces in the Hall set aside for future inductions of Great Americans, including the four busts unrealized from the 1970s. The oppressions of today may result in these empty spaces remaining empty and greatness’ absence being perpetuated and not reversed.

I include in this exhibition an actual portrait bust from the Hall that I drew as a part of my art project, the Anna Pierrepont Series []. The bust is a pastel drawing of Daniel Webster rendered in deep shadows of the dim natural light of a random early afternoon.

I asked attendees to imagine and affix unto this piece, a virtual Hall of Fame for Future [unrealized] Great Americans, the name of an individual now languishing in detention or denied entry as a consequence of the Muslim ban whose likeness, like that of Dorothy Gale, will never be added to the empty spaces of the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, an acknowledgement of that which the Piper and his minions are forcing into shadows and the voids opened as a consequence.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Hall of Fame for Great Americans - Restoration Edition

The pied piper of American decline should point his cavalcade of black Escalades with tinted windows from his 5th avenue redoubt in direction of the West Bronx campus of Bronx Community College and the Hall of Fame for Great Americans that sits at the rear of the campus.

The Hall of American greatness has not had a new induction of a great American since 1976 and has not had a bust installed since 1992.

The lack of new inductions in over forty years may have been a bellwether of American greatness' absence that the piper has successfully decried.

Standing at that dais, he could demand new busts immediately be added to the Hall as a sign of American greatness' restoration under his watch.

Artists should also create a Hall of Fame for those Americans who have been erased in the original march towards American greatness.

They should also maintain listing of busts of new inductees who are currently pending erasure as the piper initiates his grand restoration.

I will begin the later process by including in the Hall, a photoshop image that I have made of Dorothy Gale who was promised a bust by the Munchkins, a promise that has, as of now, remained unfulfilled.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Strange, Wild, Improbable Journey of the Triumph of Civic Virtue over Unrighteousness: A first reading from Howard's book length monograph Damnatio Memoriae on Saturday, Sept. 24th, 2016 at Artslope, Brooklyn

Civic Virtue among the tombstones of Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn

The site of Civic Virtue's abandoned home in Kew Gardens, Queens.

Civic Virtue's first home in City Hall Park, Manhattan.

I recited excerpts from my chapter on Frederick William MacMoinnes' The Triumph of Civic Virtue Over Unrighteousness at the Kumon Pop Up Space for the Park Slope Windsor Terrace Artist Group's participation in Artslope. To read the excerpt, please cut and paste the following link:

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Poster announcing the Artslope group exhibition published. Please join us from 9/17 to 9/25 at 575 5th Ave in Park Slope on the corner of 16th St.

I would like to thank Bob Hagan for introducing me to the broader community of local artists and for inviting me to participate in the following:

Artslope/9/17-9/25 at 575 5th Ave in Park Slope

[here is the link to the poster Bob designed:

I will also be participating in the Gowanus Open Studios, again at Bob's invitation: Brooklyn Colony, 274 4th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215, October 14-16, 2016 and

with Bob at his studio for the Park Slope Windsor Terrace Open Studios in November 2016.

Please check out Bob's work that occupies a similar patch to the Anna Pierrepont Series:

Monday, September 5, 2016

Brooklyn Daily Eagle provides quotes from my statement at the commemoration of the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument in their Sept. 5th, 2016 issue

Please check out Rob Abruzzese's discussion of the commemoration of the prison ship martyrs of the Revolutionary war that took place on Sunday, August 27th.

Mr. Abruzzese discusses my remarks:

'A few speakers pointed out that those who sacrificed and fought in the war actually led similar lives to those who live in the area today. Of course, day-to-day activities are not the same, but the speeches painted a picture of people who weren’t soldiers, but rather ordinary people trying to get through their lives.

“The skateboarders [of today] experience joys and freedoms denied the earlier youth, yet the latter's untroubled abandon would not have transpired without the suffering and sacrifice of the former,” Skrill said.

“As I watch today’s youths frolic and play, I am fairly certain that had the young patriot youth been floating above the monument, he might have had the wistful desire to join them in their joyful American lives. After all, he was a child,” Skrill continued. “Having the opportunity closed to him by his sacrifice, he might have said of that sacrifice, ‘well done.’”