Monday, August 28, 2017

Teetering published on the Blog of Charlottesville's Streetlight

Bust of Robert E. Lee installed in the Hall of Fame for Great Americans on the campus of Bronx Community College in 1900, removed in August 2017 as a reaction to the violence in Charlottesville.

The last bust added to the Hall was Franklin Roosevelt in 1973.

Great Americans from

Jackie Robinson to
John F. Kennedy to
Albert Eistein to
Judy Garland (who played Dorothy Gale in the Wizard of Oz and was promised a bust in the Hall of Fame for killing the Wicked Witch)

are not represented with likenesses in the Hall. The last substantative change was the removal of Lee's bust and that of Stonewall Jackson.

In Spring 2017, I submitted ‘Teetering’ to Streetlight, a wonderful arts and literary publication in Charlottesville, Virginia. I included images from the Anna Pierrepont Series [] of figures standing precariously on tall columns and cupolas.

Teetering asked viewers to imagine the figures way up high teetering as a consequence of political upheaval.

Teetering is now live on Streetlight’s blog

Elizabeth Howard, the Arts Editor of Streetlight, suggested that ‘Teetering’ should directly address the pending removal of an equestrian statue of Robert E. Lee that sits in Emancipation Park in Charlottesville.

Then a mob gathered in Charlottesville in ‘defense’ of the monument. Three people died as a consequence including the murder of an innocent person.

Shortly thereafter, teetering statues of Lee and many others nationwide began to topple.

Despite their community reeling from the violence, Elizabeth and her fellow editors of Streetlight worked with me to have Teetering provide a context for the events besieging their community and it is to that community that Teetering’ is dedicated.

For more information on the works included in Teetering, I have created a collection


on Saatchi Art

Thank you

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Headless Firmin added to Saatchi Arts

This 2017 drawing of a medieval statue of St. Firmin is now available.

St. Firmin is wooden statue of a decapitated medieval catholic martryr that is on display at the Met.

As stated in the Met's description

'Saint Firmin was a fourth-century missionary who became the first bishop of Amiens and the patron saint of that city.'

and that as a consequence of popular violence during the French Revolution

[the statue comes into the Met's collection] from 'the destroyed bishop’s palace at Amiens'

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Works from the Anna Pierrepont Series on sale on Saatchi Art

Works that are incorporated in the lectures, pictorial essays and exhibitions associated with the Anna Pierrepont Series are now on sale at Saatchi Art. Please consider supporting the project by purchasing a drawing or painting from Saatchi Arts featured in the Blog and other publications.

The works will be delivered ready to display...they are visually striking, created on site so each is completely unique and are images of public statues are often central to remarkable narratives about the fate of artworks placed in public places.

Saatchi Arts also enables purchase of print versions of the artworks at a lower price point than originals.

I thank you for your continued interest in the Anna Pierrepont Series and also acknowledge the nearly five thousand visits to the blog since it was launched.

This is the link to the Anna Pierrepont Series on Saatchi Art


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Speaking through the City: The Eviction(s) of the Triumph of Civic Virtue over Unrighteousness presented to the Society of Old Brooklynites, Boro Hall, Brooklyn on June 6th, 2017

On Tuesday, June 6th, 2017 in a posh conference room at Brooklyn Boro Hall, I told the tale of the double evictions (in drawings, paintings and words) of Frederick William MacMoines' notorious statue 'the Triumph of Civic Virtue over Unrighteousness' that was installed and then evicted from City Hall Park in Manhattan and packed off to far off Kew Gardens, Queens before being evicted a second time to Green-Wood cemetery near my home in December 2012.

I used the evictions(s) to illuminate current contests embroiling the installation of 'Fearless Girl' in the Battery in Manhattan and removal of confederate monuments in New Orleans during the early days of the reign of the Pied Piper of American Decline.

The presentation was given to the Society of Old Brooklynites and I thank them for this platform and for their engaged response to my talk. I attach a link to the pdf of the remarks and images that also frame the eviction(s) in the scholarship of Public Art Historian Rosalind Deutsche

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.