Through December 5, 2013November 14th, 2013
Spear Form, Soft White, 1999, (alternate view) ceramic, 66 x 28 x 28 inches
Pasadena City College Artist Lecture
Thursday November 14, 2013
Center for the Arts, Room 101
Thanks to Rebecca MorrisNovember 14th, 2013
By ANNIE LOWREY
NY Times Published: November 12, 2013
This fall, a truck dumped eight million coins outside the Parliament building in Bern, one for every Swiss citizen. It was a publicity stunt for advocates of an audacious social policy that just might become reality in the tiny, rich country. Along with the coins, activists delivered 125,000 signatures — enough to trigger a Swiss public referendum, this time on providing a monthly income to every citizen, no strings attached. Every month, every Swiss person would receive a check from the government, no matter how rich or poor, how hardworking or lazy, how old or young. Poverty would disappear. Economists, needless to say, are sharply divided on what would reappear in its place — and whether such a basic-income scheme might have some appeal for other, less socialist countries too.
The proposal is, in part, the brainchild of a German-born artist named Enno Schmidt, a leader in the basic-income movement. He knows it sounds a bit crazy. He thought the same when someone first described the policy to him, too. “I tell people not to think about it for others, but think about it for themselves,” Schmidt told me. “What would you do if you had that income? What if you were taking care of a child or an elderly person?” Schmidt said that the basic income would provide some dignity and security to the poor, especially Europe’s underemployed and unemployed. It would also, he said, help unleash creativity and entrepreneurialism: Switzerland’s workers would feel empowered to work the way they wanted to, rather than the way they had to just to get by. He even went so far as to compare it to a civil rights movement, like women’s suffrage or ending slavery.
When we spoke, Schmidt repeatedly described the policy as “stimmig.” Like many German words, it has no English equivalent, but it means something like “coherent and harmonious,” with a dash of “beauty” thrown in. It is an idea whose time has come, he was saying. And basic-income schemes are having something of a moment, even if they are hardly new. (Thomas Paine was an advocate.) But their renewed popularity says something troubling about the state of rich-world economies.
Go to a cocktail party in Berlin, and there is always someone spouting off about the benefits of a basic income, just as you might hear someone talking up Robin Hood taxes in New York or single-payer health care in Washington. And it’s not only in vogue in wealthy Switzerland. Beleaguered and debt-wracked Cyprus is weighing the implementation of basic incomes, too. They even are whispered about in the United States, where certain wonks on the libertarian right and liberal left have come to a strange convergence around the idea — some prefer an unconditional “basic” income that would go out to everyone, no strings attached; others a means-tested “minimum” income to supplement the earnings of the poor up to a given level.
The case from the right is one of expediency and efficacy. Let’s say that Congress decided to provide a basic income through the tax code or by expanding the Social Security program. Such a system might work better and be fairer than the current patchwork of programs, including welfare, food stamps and housing vouchers. A single father with two jobs and two children would no longer have to worry about the hassle of visiting a bunch of offices to receive benefits. And giving him a single lump sum might help him use his federal dollars better. Housing vouchers have to be spent on housing, food stamps on food. Those dollars would be more valuable — both to the recipient and the economy at large — if they were fungible.
Even better, conservatives think, such a program could significantly reduce the size of our federal bureaucracy. It could take the place of welfare, food stamps, housing vouchers and hundreds of other programs, all at once: Hello, basic income; goodbye, H.U.D. Charles Murray of the conservative American Enterprise Institute has proposed a minimum income for just that reason — feed the poor, and starve the beast. “Give the money to the people,” Murray wrote in his book “In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State.” He suggested guaranteeing $10,000 a year to anyone meeting the following conditions: be American, be over 21, stay out of jail and — as he once quipped — “have a pulse.”
The left is more concerned with the power of a minimum or basic income as an anti-poverty and pro-mobility tool. There happens to be some hard evidence to bolster the policy’s case. In the mid-1970s, the tiny Canadian town of Dauphin ( the “garden capital of Manitoba” ) acted as guinea pig for a grand experiment in social policy called “Mincome.” For a short period of time, all the residents of the town received a guaranteed minimum income. About 1,000 poor families got monthly checks to supplement their earnings.
Evelyn Forget, a health economist at the University of Manitoba, has done some of the best research on the results. Some of her findings were obvious: Poverty disappeared. But others were more surprising: High-school completion rates went up; hospitalization rates went down. “If you have a social program like this, community values themselves start to change,” Forget said.
There are strong arguments against minimum or basic incomes, too. Cost is one. Creating a massive disincentive to work is another. But some experts said the effect might be smaller than you would think. A basic income might be enough to live on, but not enough to live very well on. Such a program would be designed to end poverty without creating a nation of layabouts. The Mincome experiment offers some backup for that argument, too.“For a lot of economists, the issue was that you would disincentivize work,” said Wayne Simpson, a Canadian economist who has studied Mincome. “The evidence showed that it was not nearly as bad as some of the literature had suggested.”
There’s a deeper, scarier reason that arguments for guaranteed incomes have resurfaced of late. Wages are stagnant, unemployment is high and tens of millions of families are struggling in Europe and here at home. Despite record corporate earnings and skyrocketing fortunes for the college-educated and already well-off, the job market is simply not rewarding many fully employed workers with a decent way of life. Millions of households have had no real increase in earnings since the late 1980s. Consider the current debate over fast-food workers’ wages.
The advocacy group Low Pay Is Not OK posted a phone call, recorded by a 10-year McDonald’s veteran, Nancy Salgado, when she contacted the company’s “McResource” help line. The operator told Salgado that she could qualify for food stamps and home heating assistance, while also suggesting some area food banks — impressively, she knew to recommend these services without even asking about Salgado’s wage ($8.25 an hour), though she was aware Salgado worked full time. The company earned $5.5 billion in net profits last year, and appears to take for granted that many of its employees will be on the dole.
Absurd as a minimum income might seem to bootstrapping Americans, one already exists in a way — McDonald’s knows it. If our economy is no longer able to improve the lives of the working poor and low-income families, why not tweak our policies to do what we’re already doing, but better — more harmoniously? It’s hardly uplifting news, but minimum incomes just might be stimmig for the United States too.November 14th, 2013
Two pages from a detention notebook listing John Lennon’s misbehavior including “sabotage” and “just no interest whatsoever”.
NY Times Published: November 11, 2013
By ALLAN KOZINN
John Lennon always described himself as a cut-up during his school years, an authority-baiting revolutionary in the making. But even keeping in mind the wisecracking assertiveness he cultivated during the Beatles years, and beyond, you always suspected that he was exaggerating.
It turns out he was not. Among the items scheduled to be auctioned on Nov. 22 by TracksAuction.com, a company based in Chorley, England, are two detention sheets from Quarry Bank High School that show just what a miscreant the young Lennon was when he was 14 and 15. The pages, taken from a detention notebook rescued from a bonfire in the late 1970s, when the school was trying to reclaim a storage room, are on yellow lined paper, and have Lennon’s surname at the top. One covers the period May 19 to June 23, 1955; the other runs from Nov. 25, 1955, to Feb. 13, 1956.
The sheets show that Lennon was cited for one misdemeanor or another most days, sometimes two or three times a day. His crimes on the earlier page include being a “nuisance” (May 19), “chewing in class” and “making noise” (separate entries for May 23), “repeated misconduct” (June 13), “silly noises in an examination” (June 15), “sabotage” (June 16), “just no interest whatsoever” (June 20) and “idleness” (June 22). The second sheet includes more of the same, along with “impudent answer to question” on Feb. 9 (exactly eight years before the Beatles made their first appearance on the “The Ed Sullivan Show”).November 13th, 2013
Through December 14, 2013November 13th, 2013
By STEPHANIE STROM
NY Times Published: November 11, 2013
PESCADERO, Calif. — When Tom Steyer first learned that his wife, Kat Taylor, wanted to sell beef from the cattle herd on their ranch here, he rolled his eyes.
Begun as a way to improve the soil quality and foster conservation, the ranch now produces beef under the brand name Leftcoast Grassfed.
Mr. Steyer is the founder of Farallon Capital, one of the largest hedge funds in the world with some $20 billion under management for universities, foundations and some of the country’s wealthiest people — and he was sure beef was a lousy business investment, particularly on a small scale.
“Practically every year since 1865 has been a bad year for beef,” he said, only somewhat in jest. “And Kathryn” — virtually everyone else calls her Kat — “knew nothing about selling beef.”
Mr. Steyer may have made billions of dollars for his investors before retiring this year, but he would have lost money betting against Ms. Taylor and Leftcoast Grassfed, the brand name of the Steyer-Taylor beef.
While Ms. Taylor says, modestly, that it is hard to know how profitable the business is, her husband said it had outperformed his expectations. “We could sell 10 times the amount we raise, in 10 minutes,” he said.
The couple did not set out to raise prime grass-fed beef at TomKat Ranch, which sprawls across some 1,800 acres in this rural community near the ocean off Highway 1. The plan was to create a model conservation project, demonstrating ways to improve soil health, use solar energy and conserve water. “This wasn’t about cows,” Ms. Taylor said.
But once cows became part of the plan to restore the land, it was not too long before TomKat also became an agricultural project, one that the couple hope will help develop sustainable farming practices that can be put to use far beyond Pescadero.
“Think of the ranch as a huge science experiment,” Mr. Steyer said. “Can you raise animals sustainably? Can the land become the carbon sink that it once was? Can you demonstrate a way of doing agriculture, raising food, that doesn’t damage the environment?
Since his retirement, Mr. Steyer has stepped up his work on environmental causes, creating a national campaign to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline and spending heavily to support candidates around the country whose credentials on environmental issues mesh with his goals.
No statistics are available on the size of the market for grass-fed beef. But in a sign of the growing interest in it, the Agriculture Department this fall began publishing a monthly report on prices for such meat in partnership with the Wallace Center, part of a network of nonprofit groups established by the Rockefellers that work on food issues.
Ms. Taylor has a full-time job as chief executive of One PacificCoast Bank, the community development bank she and Mr. Steyer started. On a sunny spring day this year, she drove out to the TomKat ranch to talk about Leftcoast Grassfed, arriving in a beat-up Toyota SUV together with her constant companions Fang and Ziggy, a wheezy pug and fluffy chow.
She said the ranch’s goal was to help reverse the trend of lower levels of carbon in soil, a worldwide issue that coincides with the growth of greenhouse gas emissions in the air.
In a book, “Grass-Fed Cattle: How to Produce and Market Natural Beef,” the author Julius Ruechel theorized that soil was enriched as a result of the migration of giant herds of ruminants and other animals across the world’s great plains.
According to his book, large herds of heavy, hoofed animals help force dead plant materials back into the ground, where they are broken down by microorganisms in the soil. Herd migration also churns up the earth, allowing rain to penetrate it further and slowing runoff, and natural “fertilizers” containing additional microbes are left in the herd’s wake.
All of that produces more and better grass, which then feeds the herds the next time they migrate across the land.
“The conservation movement now largely says these large, migrating herds aren’t so bad after all,” said Wendy Millet, the ranch director who formerly worked at the Nature Conservancy. “Ranches can be working landscapes if people understand how animals and land work together.”
TomKat is aiming to mimic the migratory patterns that developed the world’s great plains on a small scale by rotating cows, birds and pigs around the ranch in a deliberate dance.
The ranch has been farmed since at least the mid-1800s, when homesteaders named Honsiger contributed their name to a creek on the property that still is home to coho salmon and steelhead. The Honsigers put up barns and houses, orchards and stock ponds that still dot the property, and their descendants have perpetual access to a grave site near its entrance.
In the 1970s, it was owned by an Austrian count and countess, Alfred and Beatrice Von Homola, who used it for family retreats and entertaining. “Then the count died of a heart attack while on a European voyage, and the countess was heartbroken and reportedly couldn’t bear to return to the ranch,” Ms. Taylor said.
The countess leased the property to new occupants who effectively worked it to the bone. “They literally had sold everything, even the topsoil,” Mr. Steyer said. “People came in with dump trucks and carted it away.”
When a friend of Ms. Taylor’s called her about the ranch in 2002, technology titans were snapping up big swathes of property in the area and putting up gates and fences. “He told me if we didn’t buy it, it was going to end up as a housing development,” she said.
Having grown up in San Mateo, Ms. Taylor wanted to keep the ranch as an integral part of the community.
This spring, for instance, silos were installed where nongenetically engineered feeds are stored that can be bought by nearby farmers and ranchers. Such feeds are in scarce supply and thus out of reach of most farmers, but TomKat makes the investment in a bulk buy and then passes on the savings to its neighbors.
The silo is housed at a barn leased to the Early Bird Ranch, a poultry, egg and pig business owned by Kevin Watt and his wife, ShaeLynn.
When TomKat’s herd has finished grazing a pasture and been moved to another spot, Early Bird’s chickens and turkeys move in and dine on the insects that have been attracted to the cattle droppings.
“The bugs are a good source of protein for my birds, and my birds eat up the insects and parasites that are bad for the cattle when they return,” Mr. Watt said. “And of course, they leave a little beneficial deposit behind, too.”
The Watts sell their chickens locally in farmers’ markets and sell eggs, bacon, Italian sausage and other products via a website, goodeggs.com, in the San Francisco market.
Mr. Watt said Early Bird cleared roughly $6 in profit on each bird. Out of that, they make a lease payment to TomKat for the acres they use for their poultry, which rotates depending on where the TomKat herd has been. “It really is a symbiotic system, for the chicken and turkeys and cows as well as for Early Bird and the ranch,” he said.
Similarly, a company devoted to aquaponics, Inka Biospheric Systems, is developing a fish and vegetable business on the ranch. Inka’s goal is to raise the food it needs for its fish, things like barley fodder, earthworms and black soldier flies, using waste manure generated by the horses Ms. Taylor keeps on the ranch.
The vermicompost byproduct Inka produces is used to fertilize more stressed locations on the ranch and made into compost teas that can be spread on the orchards and on livestocks as a natural pesticide.
“We’re the garbage men of the organization,” said Brian Whitney, the recently retired chief executive of Inka. “What we are slowly doing is taking on the waste streams the ranch creates and converting those into assets.”
Inka pays the ranch a portion of its revenue, but its profits, when it starts generating them, will flow into a philanthropic foundation, in the same way that a foundation benefits from the operations of One PacificCoast Bank.
“We want to see if we can create a closed-loop system here — water with fish waste will get pumped into the land, and the land will produce things that go back into the fish,” Ms. Taylor said.
Not everything in the experiment works, of course. The ranch originally bred its herd to deliver calves in the fall on the theory that since most calves are born in the spring, it would be producing fresh beef in the off-season.
But the colostrum in cow’s milk is highest in the spring, when the herd is eating the new grass.
“Nature intended for babies to be born in the spring, and we eventually had to go along,” Ms. Taylor said.
The herd, which started with 30 heifers in 2006, now numbers 120, about half of which are breeding stock. They produced about 60 calves this year.
Thanks to Jonathan MaghenNovember 13th, 2013
2013. Oil, wax and enamel on panel. 20 x 15 inches,
Through December 21, 2013November 11th, 2013
By PAUL KRUGMAN
NY Times Published: November 10, 2013
On Friday Standard & Poor’s, the bond-rating agency, downgraded France. The move made headlines, with many reports suggesting that France is in crisis. But markets yawned: French borrowing costs, which are near historic lows, barely budged.
So what’s going on here? The answer is that S.& P.’s action needs to be seen in the context of the broader politics of fiscal austerity. And I do mean politics, not economics. For the plot against France — I’m being a bit tongue in cheek here, but there really are a lot of people trying to bad-mouth the place — is one clear demonstration that in Europe, as in America, fiscal scolds don’t really care about deficits. Instead, they’re using debt fears to advance an ideological agenda. And France, which refuses to play along, has become the target of incessant negative propaganda.
Let me give you an idea of what we’re talking about. A year ago the magazine The Economist declared France “the time bomb at the heart of Europe,” with problems that could dwarf those of Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy. In January 2013, CNN Money’s senior editor-at-large declared France in “free fall,” a nation “heading toward an economic Bastille.” Similar sentiments can be found all over economic newsletters.
Given such rhetoric, one comes to French data expecting to see the worst. What you find instead is a country experiencing economic difficulties — who isn’t? — but in general performing as well as or better than most of its neighbors, with the admittedly big exception of Germany. Recent French growth has been sluggish, but much better than that of, say, the Netherlands, which is still rated AAA. According to standard estimates, French workers were actually a bit more productive than their German counterparts a dozen years ago — and guess what, they still are.
Meanwhile, French fiscal prospects look distinctly nonalarming. The budget deficit has fallen sharply since 2010, and the International Monetary Fund expects the ratio of debt to G.D.P. to be roughly stable over the next five years.
What about the longer-run burden of an aging population? This is a problem in France, as it is in all wealthy nations. But France has a higher birthrate than most of Europe — in part because of government programs that encourage births and ease the lives of working mothers — so that its demographic projections are much better than those of its neighbors, Germany included. Meanwhile, France’s remarkable health care system, which delivers high quality at low cost, is going to be a big fiscal advantage looking forward.
By the numbers, then, it’s hard to see why France deserves any particular opprobrium. So again, what’s going on?
Here’s a clue: Two months ago Olli Rehn, Europe’s commissioner for economic and monetary affairs — and one of the prime movers behind harsh austerity policies — dismissed France’s seemingly exemplary fiscal policy. Why? Because it was based on tax increases rather than spending cuts — and tax hikes, he declared, would “destroy growth and handicap the creation of jobs.”
In other words, never mind what I said about fiscal discipline, you’re supposed to be dismantling the safety net.
S.& P.’s explanation of its downgrade, though less clearly stated, amounted to the same thing: France was being downgraded because “the French government’s current approach to budgetary and structural reforms to taxation, as well as to product, services and labor markets, is unlikely to substantially raise France’s medium-term growth prospects.” Again, never mind the budget numbers, where are the tax cuts and deregulation?
You might think that Mr. Rehn and S.& P. were basing their demands on solid evidence that spending cuts are in fact better for the economy than tax increases. But they weren’t. In fact, research at the I.M.F. suggests that when you’re trying to reduce deficits in a recession, the opposite is true: temporary tax hikes do much less damage than spending cuts.
Oh, and when people start talking about the wonders of “structural reform,” take it with a large heaping of salt. It’s mainly a code phrase for deregulation — and the evidence on the virtues of deregulation is decidedly mixed. Remember, Ireland received high praise for its structural reforms in the 1990s and 2000s; in 2006 George Osborne, now Britain’s chancellor of the Exchequer, called it a “shining example.” How did that turn out?
If all this sounds familiar to American readers, it should. U.S. fiscal scolds turn out, almost invariably, to be much more interested in slashing Medicare and Social Security than they are in actually cutting deficits. Europe’s austerians are now revealing themselves to be pretty much the same. France has committed the unforgivable sin of being fiscally responsible without inflicting pain on the poor and unlucky. And it must be punished.November 11th, 2013
By JULIET LAPIDOS
NY Times Published: November 11, 2013
This is the strangest P.R. campaign yet against the Affordable Care Act. Generation Opportunity, the Koch-funded group behind the Creepy Uncle Sam ads, is throwing tailgate parties to “educate” young people about the exchanges. Read: To convince young people to forgo health insurance.
The group’s communication director, David Pasch, wrote an email to The Tampa Bay Times describing a drunken event at Saturday’s University of Miami-Virginia Tech football game:
“We rolled in with a fleet of Hummers, F-150’s and Suburbans, each vehicle equipped with an 8’ high balloon bouquet floating overhead. We hired a popular student DJ from UMiami (DJ Joey), set up OptOut cornhole sets, beer pong tables, bought 75 pizzas, and hired 8 ‘brand ambassadors’ aka models with bullhorns to help out.”
Mr. Pasch specified that “student activists,” rather than anyone employed directly by Generation Opportunity, “brought (lots of) beer and liquor for consumption by those 21 and over.”
As a sort of afterthought, he added, “Oh yeah, and we educated students about their healthcare options outside the expensive and creepy Obamacare exchanges.”
According to Think Progress, this isn’t a one-time thing: “The group is touring 20 different campuses this fall in a $750,000 effort to convince college students that they’re better off being uninsured than getting health coverage through Obamacare.”
That’s a lot of money for a campaign that’s not only insanely irresponsible, but also insanely dumb. Generation Opportunity is the old guy at a house party, convinced he can win the cool kids’ respect with booze.November 11th, 2013
Through November 27, 2013November 11th, 2013
Opening Sunday, November 10th, 6 to 8 pm
November 10th – December 21st, 2013November 10th, 2013
By NATASHA SINGER
NY Times Published: November 9, 2
At Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Me., admissions officers are still talking about the high school senior who attended a campus information session last year for prospective students. Throughout the presentation, she apparently posted disparaging comments on Twitter about her fellow attendees, repeatedly using a common expletive.
“It was incredibly unusual and foolish of her to do that,” Scott A. Meiklejohn, Bowdoin’s dean of admissions and financial aid, told me last week. The college ultimately denied the student admission, he said, because her academic record wasn’t competitive. But had her credentials been better, those indiscreet posts could have scuttled her chances.
“We would have wondered about the judgment of someone who spends their time on their mobile phone and makes such awful remarks,” Mr. Meiklejohn said.
As certain high school seniors work meticulously this month to finish their early applications to colleges, some may not realize that comments they casually make online could negatively affect their prospects. In fact, new research from Kaplan Test Prep, the service owned by the Washington Post Company, suggests that online scrutiny of college hopefuls is growing.
Of 381 college admissions officers who answered a Kaplan telephone questionnaire this year, 31 percent said they had visited an applicant’s Facebook or other personal social media page to learn more about them — a five-percentage-point increase from last year. More crucially for those trying to get into college, 30 percent of the admissions officers said they had discovered information online that had negatively affected an applicant’s prospects.
“Students’ social media and digital footprint can sometimes play a role in the admissions process,” says Christine Brown, the executive director of K-12 and college prep programs at Kaplan Test Prep. “It’s something that is becoming more ubiquitous and less looked down upon.”
In the business realm, employers now vet the online reputations of job candidates as a matter of course. Given the impulsiveness of typical teenagers, however — not to mention the already fraught nature of college acceptances and rejections — the idea that admissions officers would covertly nose around the social media posts of prospective students seems more chilling.
There is some reason for concern. Ms. Brown says that most colleges don’t have formal policies about admissions officers supplementing students’ files with their own online research. If colleges find seemingly troubling material online, they may not necessarily notify the applicants involved.
“To me, it’s a huge problem,” said Bradley S. Shear, a lawyer specializing in social media law. For one thing, Mr. Shear told me, colleges might erroneously identify the account of a person with the same name as a prospective student — or even mistake an impostor’s account — as belonging to the applicant, potentially leading to unfair treatment. “Often,” he added, “false and misleading content online is taken as fact.”
These kinds of concerns prompted me last week to email 20 colleges and universities — small and large, private and public, East Coast and West Coast — to ask about their practices. Then I called admissions officials at 10 schools who agreed to interviews.
Each official told me that it was not routine practice at his or her institution for admissions officers to use Google searches on applicants or to peruse their social media posts. Most said their school received so many applications to review — with essays, recommendations and, often, supplemental portfolios — that staff members wouldn’t be able to do extra research online. A few also felt that online investigations might lead to unfair or inconsistent treatment.
“As students’ use of social media is growing, there’s a whole variety of ways that college admissions officers can use it,” Beth A. Wiser, the director of admissions at the University of Vermont, told me. “We have chosen to not use it as part of the process in making admissions decisions.”
Other admissions officials said they did not formally prohibit the practice. In fact, they said, admissions officers did look at online material about applicants on an ad hoc basis. Sometimes prospective students themselves ask an admissions office to look at blogs or videos they have posted; on other occasions, an admissions official might look up an obscure award or event mentioned by an applicant, for purposes of elucidation.
“Last year, we watched some animation videos and we followed media stories about an applicant who was involved in a political cause,” says Will Hummel, an admissions officer at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif. But those were rare instances, he says, and the supplemental material didn’t significantly affect the students’ admissions prospects.
Admissions officials also said they had occasionally rejected applicants, or revoked their acceptances, because of online materials. Often, these officials said, a college may learn about a potential problem from an outside source, such as a high school counselor or a graduate, prompting it to look into the matter.
Last year, an undergraduate at Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif., who had befriended a prospective student on Facebook, notified the admissions office because he noticed that the applicant had posted offensive comments about one of his high school teachers.
“We thought, this is not the kind of person we want in our community,” Angel B. Perez, Pitzer’s dean of admission and financial aid, told me. With about 4,200 applications annually for a first-year class of 250 students, the school can afford to be selective. “We didn’t admit the student,” Mr. Perez said.
But colleges vary in their transparency. While Pitzer doesn’t contact students if their social media activities precluded admission to the school, Colgate University does notify students if they are eliminated from the applicant pool for any reason other than being uncompetitive candidates.
“We should be transparent with applicants,” says Gary L. Ross, Colgate’s dean of admission. He once called a student, to whom Colgate had already offered acceptance, to check whether an alcohol-related incident that was reported online was indeed true. (It was, and Colgate rescinded the offer of admission.)
“We will always ask if there is something we didn’t understand,” Mr. Ross said.
In an effort to help high school students avoid self-sabotage online, guidance counselors are tutoring them in scrubbing their digital identities. At Brookline High School in Massachusetts, juniors are taught to delete alcohol-related posts or photographs and to create socially acceptable email addresses. One junior’s original email address was “bleedingjesus,” said Lenny Libenzon, the school’s guidance department chairman. That changed.
“They imagine admissions officers are old professors,” he said. “But we tell them a lot of admissions officers are very young and technology-savvy.”
Likewise, high school students seem to be growing more shrewd, changing their searchable names on Facebook or untagging themselves in pictures to obscure their digital footprints during the college admission process.
“We know that some students maintain two Facebook accounts,” says Wes K. Waggoner, the dean of undergraduate admission at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
For their part, high school seniors say that sanitizing social media accounts doesn’t seem qualitatively different than the efforts they already make to present the most appealing versions of themselves to colleges. While Megan Heck, 17, a senior at East Lansing High School in Michigan, told me that she was not amending any of her posts as she applied early to colleges this month, many of her peers around the country were.
“If you’ve got stuff online you don’t want colleges to see,” Ms. Heck said, “deleting it is kind of like joining two more clubs senior year to list on your application to try to make you seem more like the person they want at their schools.”November 10th, 2013
“I decided that, even if I died, I would die running, with my lungs full of air,” Sim Jae-duk said.
Woohae Cho for The New York Times
By CHOE SANG-HUN
NY Times Published: November 8, 2013
GEOJE, South Korea — SIM JAE-DUK, a South Korean shipyard worker, checked into his motel in Front Royal, Va., on a May evening in 2006, sleepy after his first-ever trip to the United States — on a budget flight that first stopped in Tokyo and San Francisco. Two days later, he set off on the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100-Mile Run and won it, setting a record of 17 hours, 40 minutes, 45 seconds, which has yet to be broken.
The next day, he caught a flight home.
“I don’t like missing work because of my running,” said Mr. Sim, 44, who works at Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering on this island off the southern port of Busan.
Massanutten race officials and runners recall him as a “total unknown” who spoke no English except “Water, water!” and “Thank you!” But Mr. Sim has become something of a legend among South Korea’s amateur marathoners, whose population has exploded in the past decade. He has been nicknamed the Korean Forrest Gump, after the movie character who runs across America.
Mr. Sim got his start running after six years of nine-hour workdays inside the ships, breathing chemicals and dust through a face mask. His respiratory system was so weak that in 1993, doctors recommended surgery to help him breathe. “Because of breathing difficulties, I always kept my mouth open, looking like an idiot,” he said. He also lost most of his sense of smell. (On race days, he asks fellow runners to smell his lunch box to check if any food has gone bad.)
But Mr. Sim, a determined man if there ever was one, refused an operation. “Instead of surgery, I decided to run,” he said. “I decided that, even if I died, I would die running, with my lungs full of air.” His lung capacity, measured in 2003 at 69.5 percent, now registers as normal, he said.
Despite still working five or six days a week at the shipyard — he now repairs welding machines — he runs three marathons a month; in spring and fall, as many as seven. In all, Mr. Sim has run 210 amateur marathons since 1995, and finished all but three of them under three hours.
With his personal record of 2:29:11, he cannot compete with professionals — the current men’s record, subject to ratification by the International Association of Athletics Federations, is 2:03:23, by Wilson Kipsang of Kenya. But Mr. Sim’s 90 victories are widely considered South Korea’s amateur best, although there is no official agency compiling amateur data.
He sometimes runs a marathon on Saturday and again on Sunday, and has won six such back-to-back marathons. He excels in so-called ultrarunning endurance races, typically double the length or several times longer than the 26.2-mile marathon and often conducted on mountain trails. He has run more than 30 such races at home and abroad and won 10 of them. “I am happier running than walking,” he said in an interview at his home.
MR. SIM grew up in an isolated village near Mungyeong in central South Korea, one of the country’s most mountainous regions, at a time when villagers were still collecting mountain herbs and hunting wild animals for food. He had to walk two miles to school or to the nearest candy store, and recalls chasing rabbits and pheasants over the steep slopes. (This early experience helps him in mountain trail races. He said he felt comfortable in the woods.)
Nevertheless, he said, he was never good at running in his school years. “I was one of the shortest kids in school, and they seldom let me compete in the races, and even when I did, I never finished even third,” he said.
Now, his golden business card identifies him as “golden legs” and “iron worker.” Among his shipyard colleagues, his nickname is “the iron man.”
Beyond his personal exploits, though, Mr. Sim’s hero image owes something to the special place that the marathon holds in South Korea.
South Koreans still consider the medal the marathoner Sohn Kee-chung won at the 1936 Berlin Olympics to be the first Korean Olympic gold, though Mr. Sohn ran as a member of the team from Japan, Korea’s colonial ruler at the time. A photo of Mr. Sohn from the medal ceremony — holding a leafy branch to hide the Japanese flag on his tracksuit — is one of the most celebrated images of Korean national pride.
Although South Koreans craved another marathon gold, the sport attracted few participants among ordinary people. That began slowly changing after the South Korean runner Hwang Young-cho won the marathon in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. But it was the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s that helped fuel the marathon boom. With their once-proud economy crippled and jobs evaporating, many middle-age South Koreans took to long-distance running and mountain climbing, embracing the physical and psychological challenges of endurance sports.
When Mr. Sim ran his first marathon in 1995, it was the country’s first open for amateur runners. It took him 14 years to complete 100 “sub-three-hour” marathons, a first for a South Korean. But with racing events proliferating, he needed only four more years to run his next 100. By then there were more than 120 marathon competitions a year in South Korea, in addition to hundreds of half-marathons and shorter races. The spread of urban health clubs, with their treadmills, helped spur the running trend.
“At first, there were no marathon competitions ordinary people like me could enter,” Mr. Sim said. “Now there are so many you can’t run them all, especially when you have a full-time job, as I do.”
He also saves money and vacation days to compete in ultrarunning competitions abroad. He has won them in Japan and Singapore, and narrowly missed placing among the top 10 in the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run in the Sierra Nevada in California in 2007 and 2011. He has fared less well in European alpine races, in which he has suffered hypothermia and sometimes had to quit before the finish line, as he did in the 200-mile Tor des Géants race in Italy in September.
MR. SIM’S fame has attracted corporate sponsors, who provide him with shoes and other running gear and energy supplements. In return, he has appeared in their magazine advertisements and carries their logos on his running shirt.
He follows a spartan routine. Six days a week, he gets up at 5 a.m. and starts his day with an apple and 50 chin-ups. He runs 12 to 15 miles a day on a treadmill or on the road. Some days, on his way home from work, he runs mountain trails that overlook the cranes and dry docks of Geoje, the center of South Korean shipbuilding.
He said running left his feet perpetually bruised, and he has lost hundreds of toenails. His wife complains that he often misses Sunday church services because of marathons. His 15-year-old son, Young-bo, said he felt proud when his friends marveled at the trophies covering the family’s living room wall, but he, too, wishes his father would slow down a bit.
Mr. Sim has no such plans.
“I never finished first in anything until I started running,” he said. “Only death will make me stop running.”November 8th, 2013
Untitled (Merce Cunningham & John Cage)
10 black and white photographs, bromide silver gelatin unique
17 3/4 x 24 inches (each)
Through December 21, 2013November 8th, 2013
Untitled (Blush Pink and Kelly Green Butterfly 45.13), 2013
Color pencil on paper
76″ x 42″
Through November 22, 2014November 7th, 2013
Santiago Madriñán Restrepo
Páramos, mountainous grasslands that flourish thousands of feet above sea level in the Andes, are hot spots of evolutionary change.
By CARL ZIMMER
NY Times Published: November 7, 2013
In 1799 the great naturalist Alexander von Humboldt and his companions set out from Caracas, Venezuela, to climb the Andes. They struggled up a mountainside, enveloped in mist so thick they had to clamber over rocks by hand. When the fog cleared, von Humboldt was left astonished by the view. Vast grasslands stretched all around him, home to an astonishing number of different trees, shrubs, and flowers.
“Nowhere, perhaps, can be found collected together, in so small a space, productions so beautiful and so remarkable in regard to the geography of plants,” von Humboldt later wrote.
Von Humboldt had stumbled into a remarkable ecosystem, known as a Páramo. Páramos blanket the Andes in Venezuela, Ecuador and Colombia, growing at altitudes between 9,200 and 14,800 feet above sea level.
“They’re like islands in a sea of forest,” said Santiago Madriñán, an expert on Páramos at the University of the Andes in Colombia. All told, Páramos cover about 13,500 square miles — an area the size of Maryland. In that small space, Dr. Madriñán and other researchers have found 3,431 species of vascular plants, most of them found nowhere else on Earth. The Páramos are home to strange variations on familiar forms, such as a daisy known as Espeletia uribei that grows as tall as trees.
But according to a new study, the Páramos are even more remarkable than von Humboldt could have realized. They are the fastest evolving place on Earth.
Scientists have long known that in certain spots, evolution runs faster than normal. The Galápagos Islands, for example, are home to some 13 species of Darwin’s finches, which all evolved from a single group of birds that originally colonized them. The archipelago is just a few million years old, however, which means that all their diversity has evolved in a geologically short period of time.
In recent years, scientists have identified other regions where evolution is running fast. To measure its speed, researchers have looked at the DNA of species living in each place. The longer it has been since two species diverged from a common ancestor, the more time each lineage has had to accumulate mutations. Young species have relatively few mutations.
Dr. Madriñán has studied Páramos for over a decade, and he’s long suspected that evolution is running fast in them as well. “I don’t know if it was a hunch or what it was, but when you study the Páramos, it’s a marvelous place,” he said.
The geology also gave support to his hunch. The Andes started forming tens of millions of years ago, but it wasn’t until 2.5 million years ago that the northern Andes rose above the elevation where trees can survive. Only then could all the diversity of the Páramos emerge.
To calculate the speed of evolution in the Páramos, Dr. Madriñán and his colleagues surveyed 13 different lineages of plants that grow there. They estimated the rate at which species had split from each other in each lineage, and then combined those estimates into a single average. The scientists then looked at data on plants that grow in other fast-evolving places, such as Hawaii and the Mediterranean coast.
The results surpassed Dr. Madriñán’s suspicions. The Páramos wasn’t just home to fast evolvtion, it turned out. Of the eight places he and his colleagues compared, the Páramos are evolving the fastest of all.
Other experts on evolutionary rates are intrigued by the new study, which was published last month in Frontiers in Genetics. “Of course these results are still very preliminary,” said Luis Valente of the University of Potsdam, noting that scientists have only sampled a few groups of plants from each evolutionary hot spot. But Dr. Valente thought the study persuasively demonstrates that the Páramos is a special place. “This may be a region where evolution is proceeding at a very fast pace, and where many new species may still be in the process of being formed,” he said.
Michael Sanderson of the University of Arizona thinks the contest won’t be settled definitively until biologists can draw large-scale evolutionary trees. “Then we’ll finally sort out the hottest hotspots,” he said.
Dr. Madriñán suspects that the peculiar climate of the Páramos is responsible for their fast evolution. Because the grasslands are at the equator, they are bathed in sunshine year-round. But to take advantage of that ample energy, the plants also have to contend with cold temperatures and harsh ultraviolet rays, not to mention weather that can turn on a dime. “You may be in total mist and then half an hour later you are in total sunshine,” said Dr. Madriñán.
When plants began to spread into the newly formed Páramos, Dr. Madriñán suspects, they evolved many solutions to surviving there. They specialized on different niches, from damp bogs to dry hillsides and stands of shrubs and trees. Páramo plants also evolved a wide range of defenses against the elements. Espeletia uribei, the daisy tree, grows white hairs on its flowers to protect them from damaging ultraviolet rays, while covering its stem with a thick layer of dead leaves to keep it warm.
Dr. Madriñán and his colleagues are now exploring the history of the plants to see if they can explain their remarkable speed. “Páramos are the new laboratory to study evolution happening at incredible rates,” he said.November 7th, 2013
By CHARLES M. BLOW
NY Times Published: November 6, 2013
I’ve been a single dad for 13 years. As with most single parents — and indeed with most parents — it hasn’t always been easy.
People sometimes say that parenting is the toughest job you’ll ever love. But I believe that parenting is sometimes so tough — and exhausting — that you don’t always remember to slow down enough to love it. Sometimes the love is registered in retrospect.
We jockey to give our children the best without giving them so much that they can’t appreciate what they have. We try to encourage them without coddling them. We lavish gifts upon them while simultaneously trying to nurture grit within them.
Parents walk a thin line between oppositional forces, never knowing if we are truly getting it right, judging ourselves and being judged by others.
And we are inundated by studies and books and advice: do this or that if you want your child to succeed and not spend his or her 20s on your sofa.
I try to tune most of it out. When I feel overwhelmed, I call my mother. She always seems to know what to say. I guess that’s why they call it “mother’s wit.”
When my three children were younger, and the strain of taking care of them seemed as though it would overwhelm me, my mother would tell me what an elderly babysitter once told her when she too felt overwhelmed: “Baby, one day they’ll be able to get themselves a cup of water.”
It was a simple way of saying that children grow up and become more self-reliant and eventually they set out on their own to chart their own course. You won’t always have to wait on them hand and foot.
She told me to remember that the more people a child has who truly loves him or her, the happier that child will be. So I work hard to maintain and expand their circles of love.
She taught me that parenting was a lot like giving a hug: It’s all about love and pressure and there is no one way to do it.
She taught me that sometimes you have to make time for yourself so that you will have energy to give to your children. Allow them to have a pizza night every now and then. An occasional treat won’t hurt them, but working yourself to a frazzle will surely hurt you. Rest.
She taught me that you must allow yourself time to find stillness and so you can be moved by it. Sometimes we are so busy that we forget why we’re busy. We have so many things on our list of priorities that we lose sight of what’s really important.
And she taught me that my children are not truly mine. They don’t belong to me; they’ve simply been entrusted to me. They are a gift life gave to me, but one that I must one day give back to life. They must grow up and go away and that is as it should be.
But as the time with my children in my home draws to a close — my oldest is away at college and my twins are 16-year-old high school juniors — I’m beginning to feel the pains in my chest that all parents feel when their children move away.
I thought that this would be a celebratory time, a time when I would relish the idea of getting back to me, of working late without worry and taking last-minute weekend jaunts.
But I don’t. Letting go is hard for me to do. I must let go, but my heart feels hollow. I can’t imagine me without them.
Lately there are times that I find myself just staring at my children, that kind of look that says, “I see you, really see you, and I love you with an all-consuming love, the kind of love that envelops you and sustains me.” It’s the kind of look that invariably draws from my children a “What? What are you looking at?” They speak the words through the slightest smile, a barely registered one, the kind of smile a teenager manages when they know that they are loved, but feel that they are too old for hugs or tears.
Life gave them to me. I’m preparing myself, as best I can, to give them back to life.November 7th, 2013
Installation View, 2013
November 7 – December 20, 2013November 7th, 2013
Big Yellow Mama (edition of 3 + 1 AP), 2013
powder coated aluminum, 243,8 x 142,2 x 142,2 cm, 96 x 56 x 56 in.
Courtesy: the Artist and Xavier Hufkens, Brussels
Through January 12, 2014
Thanks to RSNovember 7th, 2013
Gail Albert Halaban, “Out My Window, Flatiron, Cakes And Balloons,” 2009, courtesy of Edwynn Houk Gallery.
Pre-Instagram, this was the main way New Yorkers spied on the lives of their neighbors.
By SARAH NICOLE PRICKETT
NY Times Published: November 6, 2013
Instagram has created a new kind of voyeurism — in which you can look into the carefully curated windows of the rich, famous and stylish — and a new kind of lifestyle envy.
“The department store is the last promenade for the flâneur,” wrote Walter Benjamin, the German critic, whose impossible project — “The Arcades Project,” more precisely — documented street life in Paris after the Industrial Revolution. He wrote of gleaming wants, windows gazing back at him, shoppers and wanderers alike becoming reflections of their desires. “The crowd,” he wrote, “is the veil through which the familiar city beckons to the flâneur as phantasmagoria — as a landscape, now as a room. Both become elements of the department store, which makes use of flâneurie itself to sell goods.”
This flâneuring took place when Paris was the capital of the 19th century. Its arcades — high iron-and-glass arches sheltering individual blocks lined with shops — numbered over 300 (under 30, now). Manhattan, capital of the 20th, replaced arcades with department stores and made spectator art of window displays. What is the new Paris, the new Manhattan, the arcade in the age of digital reproduction? It is Instagram: the app built to make you covet your neighbor’s life.
Only now your own personal Joneses are hundreds of miles away in L.A., or on the Greek island of Patmos, or in Milan. Doesn’t matter — all it takes is two clicks for today’s flâneurs, renamed “followers,” to float onto Margherita Missoni’s balcony. That is, a small and square and semipermanent display of Margherita Missoni’s balcony that makes you wonder if an antique rocking horse isn’t the outdoor seating solution you’ve been waiting for, although you do not have a balcony, or even a patio, and cannot in fact remember the last time you were outdoors.
If Twitter is the street, Facebook the suburban-sprawl mall, and Pinterest some kind of mail-order catalog, Instagram is the many-windowed splendor of a younger Bergdorf’s, showing all we possess or wish for, under squares of filtered glass, each photographic pane backlit 24/7. Each pane is, or intimates, an entire landscape or room. Follow enough of the international lifestyle-setters, and you’ll see: women’s fashion, men’s fashion, home or apartment décor, beautiful food, art, color-coordinated books and magazines. Of course, the tags for these old categories are updated: #birthdaylove for a many-braceleted hand holding a pink Nat Sherman; #nodiets for an aerial view of Ibérico ham on a plate.
Clockwise from top left: Instagram images of Claridge’s, London, by Jessica Diehl; a private home in Gloustershire by Amanda Brooks; a Parisian composition by Laura Bailey; a Manhattan self-portrait by Stephanie LaCava; spectators’ shoes at the Giambattista Valli show in Paris by Lisa Marie Fernandez; and a pool in Puglia, Italy, by Rafael de Cárdenas.
All elements must be carefully staged to look happenstance. Only the crassest Instagrammer snaps a new pair of shoes in a box, or plainly on a floor. The cannier, cinematic one will instead make a display of the shoes, arranging her feet on a shabby-chic desk next to a Grolsch bottle of daisies atop a stack of French translations. The writer Stephanie LaCava snaps her snakeskin Pradas opposite Audrey Gelman’s funny bunny slippers at Paris Fashion Week. A few cobblestoned streets away, the swimwear designer Lisa Marie Fernandez shows off her white Manolo Blahniks next to her friend’s yellow pair of Gianvito Rossis. Such Instagrams are mimetic: the contents, the casually rarefied setting, the off-kilter composition. What each says is not “this is a good shoe” or “these shoes look good on me,” but “these shoes look good in my life,” which is what Benjamin meant when he said goods are sold by flâneurie.
What feels new with Instagram is the mode of photography that feels most akin to the window display. Rafael de Cárdenas, the architect, shows off Biarritz by way of melons and Marlboros on a snowy white cloth. Jessica Diehl, Vanity Fair’s style and fashion director, snaps her stay in Claridge’s, the five-star hotel in London. The model-slash-writer Laura Bailey comes home from a trip with — she writes — “Paris in my bag”: a strand of Chanel pearls, a Chanel stylo eyeliner, a black diamanté hairpin and a handwritten note, all displayed too well and too brightly to make anyone believe these items have ever seen the inside of a clutch.
These are technically still lifes, but in spirit they are actually the new self-portraiture. It isn’t strange to say, or to hear, from an acquaintance run into on the street, “I recognized you” — not by your face or your body, but by your “style.” Meaning: a hand with carmine nails holding a copy of Anne Carson’s “Red Doc.” A pair of Illestevas resting on the edge of a Café Gitane plate, beneath it a new issue of The Journal. “The arrangement was the meaning,” Joan Didion writes in “Blue Nights.” The same is as true of objects as of words, and the small compositions of personal belongings so recognizable as “Instagram” are, simply, selfies without a face.
Similar compositions can also represent others. One of my favorite recent Instagrams, by the Los Angeles artist David Kitz, is of bandages, Motrin and other supplies for an injury from CVS, all heaped together on a plain white bedspread; the tag is #anklesprain, the caption is “Got the best girl in the world,” and the heart melts. This is my kind of lifestyle envy. For the more aspirational, there is Amanda Brooks, the American socialite who now lives in Oxfordshire, England, with two kids and a million horses. In lieu of a family portrait, Brooks will Instagram four pairs of kayaking sandals on a dock. Instead of photographing her scads of friends, she ‘grams a plate heaped high with packets of quince paste, which she has made to give as gifts. In the comments, a stranger asks her for the recipe.
Belongings being so easily conflated with belonging, Instagram induces a longing to be on a scene, the scene, the next one, a better one. Some hours you can scroll without end as a long block of squares lights up in unison, every frame swinging open to a new angle on the same scene: the same Jay Z performance at Pace Gallery in Chelsea, the same Delfina Delettrez presentation in Paris, the same Ken Okiishi paint-balling robots at the Frieze Art Fair in London.
“There it was,” says the kid in the Willa Cather story “Paul’s Case,” looking up at a wonderland of glowing panes, “what he wanted — tangibly before him, like the fairy world of a Christmas pantomime.” Close observers of Instagram may have noticed the recent rise of a conscious-or-not homage to Walter Benjamin, a snap of the modern flâneur: taken alone on the street, while looking through a store window — the most reflexive of surfaces — at oneself.November 7th, 2013
Alexander Calder, Gibraltar, 1936,
lignum vitae, walnut, steel rods, and painted wood
November 24, 2013–July 27, 2014November 5th, 2013
By PAUL KRUGMAN
MY Times Published: November 3, 2013
German officials are furious at America, and not just because of the business about Angela Merkel’s cellphone. What has them enraged now is one (long) paragraph in a U.S. Treasury report on foreign economic and currency policies. In that paragraph Treasury argues that Germany’s huge surplus on current account — a broad measure of the trade balance — is harmful, creating “a deflationary bias for the euro area, as well as for the world economy.”
The Germans angrily pronounced this argument “incomprehensible.” “There are no imbalances in Germany which require a correction of our growth-friendly economic and fiscal policy,” declared a spokesman for the nation’s finance ministry.
But Treasury was right, and the German reaction was disturbing. For one thing, it was an indicator of the continuing refusal of policy makers in Germany, in Europe more broadly and for that matter around the world to face up to the nature of our economic problems. For another, it demonstrated Germany’s unfortunate tendency to respond to any criticism of its economic policies with cries of victimization.
First, the facts. Remember the China syndrome, in which Asia’s largest economy kept running enormous trade surpluses thanks to an undervalued currency? Well, China is still running surpluses, but they have declined. Meanwhile, Germany has taken China’s place: Last year Germany, not China, ran the world’s biggest current account surplus. And measured as a share of G.D.P., Germany’s surplus was more than twice as large as China’s.
Now, it’s true that Germany has been running big surpluses for almost a decade. At first, however, these surpluses were matched by large deficits in southern Europe, financed by large inflows of German capital. Europe as a whole continued to have roughly balanced trade.
Then came the crisis, and flows of capital to Europe’s periphery collapsed. The debtor nations were forced — in part at Germany’s insistence — into harsh austerity, which eliminated their trade deficits. But something went wrong. The narrowing of trade imbalances should have been symmetric, with Germany’s surpluses shrinking along with the debtors’ deficits. Instead, however, Germany failed to make any adjustment at all; deficits in Spain, Greece and elsewhere shrank, but Germany’s surplus didn’t.
This was a very bad thing for Europe, because Germany’s failure to adjust magnified the cost of austerity. Take Spain, the biggest deficit country before the crisis. It was inevitable that Spain would face lean years as it learned to live within its means. It was not, however, inevitable that Spanish unemployment would be almost 27 percent, and youth unemployment almost 57 percent. And Germany’s immovability was an important contributor to Spain’s pain.
It has also been a bad thing for the rest of the world. It’s simply arithmetic: Since southern Europe has been forced to end its deficits while Germany hasn’t reduced its surplus, Europe as a whole is running large trade surpluses, helping to keep the world economy depressed.
German officials, as we’ve seen, respond to all of this with angry declarations that German policy has been impeccable. Sorry, but this (a) doesn’t matter and (b) isn’t true.
Why it doesn’t matter: Five years after the fall of Lehman, the world economy is still depressed, suffering from a persistent shortage of demand. In this environment, a country that runs a trade surplus is, to use the old phrase, beggaring its neighbors. It’s diverting spending away from their goods and services to its own, and thereby taking away jobs. It doesn’t matter whether it’s doing this maliciously or with the best of intentions, it’s doing it all the same.
Furthermore, as it happens, Germany isn’t blameless. It shares a currency with its neighbors, greatly benefiting German exporters, who get to price their goods in a weak euro instead of what would surely have been a soaring Deutsche mark. Yet Germany has failed to deliver on its side of the bargain: To avoid a European depression, it needed to spend more as its neighbors were forced to spend less, and it hasn’t done that.
German officials won’t, of course, accept any of this. They consider their country a shining role model, to be emulated by all, and the awkward fact that we can’t all run gigantic trade surpluses simply doesn’t register.
And the thing is, it’s not just the Germans. Germany’s trade surplus is damaging for the same reason cutting food stamps and unemployment benefits in America destroys jobs — and Republican politicians are about as receptive as German officials to anyone who tries to point out their error. In the sixth year of a global economic crisis whose essence is that there isn’t enough spending, many policy makers still don’t get it. And it looks as if they never will.November 4th, 2013
Face Pot #1, 2013
Ceramic and Glaze
11.5 X 5 X 5 inches
Lamp #1, 2013
Turned Wood, Paint, Brass
13 X 11 X 11 inches
November 3 through December 4, 2013
Opening Reception Sunday November 3, 4-6 PM
November 1 – December 21, 2013
Opening reception tonight
Friday, November 1st 6-8pm
THE PLACE IN THE WINDOW, II, #2, 2013
WIRE, MESH WALL SCULPTURE
43 X 51 X 20 CM (17 X 20 X 7 7/8 IN.)
Through October 31, 3013October 31st, 2013
By TIMOTHY EGAN
NY Times Published: October 28, 2013
Where do you go if you’re a “Deadliest Catch” kind of guy, manliest of manly men, but couldn’t fish for king crab because some jelly-bellied Republicans threw a tantrum 5,000 miles away and shut down the government?
What do you do if you’re a farmer in Kansas who could not put winter wheat in the ground or get this year’s cattle vaccine because your government agriculture office was deemed nonessential? Whom do you see about the home loan that was held up, the family restaurant near the federal building that couldn’t meet October’s payroll, the bookings lost at season’s end in dozens of national parks?
Real Americans, the wind-chapped toilers so often invoked by politicians in a phony froth, lost real money from the real pain inflicted on their livelihoods by the extortionists in Congress this month.
How much money? At least $24 billion was the estimate given by Standard & Poor’s. Small business was hit particularly hard. And it’s a rolling pain, affecting consumer confidence, that will be felt through a holiday buying season that can make or break many retailers.
“I am a small businessman in a big ocean with big bills,” said Captain Keith Colburn, an Alaska crab fisherman, in Senate testimony during the shutdown. “I need to go fishing.” But the skipper, who is featured in the reality TV show “Deadliest Catch,” said he was being held back by “a bunch of knuckleheads” who prevented marine regulators from doing their jobs.
So, who pays? For years, Republicans have been trumpeting the idea that when a government action hurts a private business, the government should compensate for the loss. This principle is based on a broad reading of the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment; it’s usually summoned as leverage against environmental regulation.
But in the case of the federal shutdown, of course, the economic hit on millions of Americans didn’t come from government — it came from one political faction in the House of Representatives. You could sue the Tea Party, but what is that? A bunch of costumed zealots on Fox are not responsible for anything that comes out of their mouths and lands in the porous mind of someone like Representative Ted Yoho of Florida.
You could sue Ted Cruz of Texas for initiating the calamity with a marathon of self-absorption. But the senator, like all members of Congress, has broad protection to pretty much say or do anything he wants inside the thick-walled refuge of the Capitol, a free speech guarantee that is warranted even when abused by vanity projects like Cruz.
What’s left is the ballot box. And here, Red State America can do a huge service for the rest of country. The states hit hardest by the shutdown, it now appears, were those where Republicans prevail. Virginia, with its wealth of government jobs and businesses that depend on those jobs, is Exhibit A. There, Republicans are likely to lose the governor’s race next week in part because their party disrupted so many lives in October’s meltdown.
The more difficult job will be ousting, from hardened, gerrymandered districts, the people who put ideology ahead of common sense and commerce. They seem faceless and buffoonish. They act as if they are immune from majority sentiment. But each of them is up for re-election a year from now, and the good news is that almost 75 percent of voters say most Republicans in Congress don’t deserve to be sent back to Washington.
In some districts, it will be civil war. What’s left of moderate Republicans are organizing to go after the crazies. “Hopefully, we’ll go into eight to 10 races and beat the snot out of them,” former Representative Steve LaTourette of Ohio told the National Journal. His group of fed-up Republicans, Defending Main Street, plans to raise $8 million to target the looniest of the loons.
Make Steve King of Iowa pay. As key government offices across the country were shuttered, as farmers in his district could not get their loans processed, King crowed, “We’re right!” He exists because political theater requires new players in clown makeup. The Des Moines Register recently suggested a slogan for King: “Send me back to Washington so I can continue to embarrass Iowa.”
Make Darrell Issa of California pay. Using the vast apparatus of his House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, he is going after National Park Service rangers. Having shut down the government, Issa wants to know why popular parks and monuments were closed. The audacity! During an earlier hearing, a fellow congressman provided an answer: He held up a mirror and aimed it at Republican lawmakers.
And certainly make Marlin Stutzman of Indiana pay. This congressman gave history the money quote on the shutdown. “We have to get something out of this,” he said. “And I don’t know what that even is.” A year from now, he can find out.October 29th, 2013
Sun and Stars, 2013
Gelatin silver print
25 x 20 inches (63.5 x 50.8 cm)
Framed: 28 x 23 inches (71.1 x 58.4 cm)
Through December 28, 2013October 28th, 2013
By BEN RATLIFF
NY Times Published: October 27, 2013
Lou Reed, the singer, songwriter and guitarist whose work with the Velvet Underground in the 1960s had a major influence on generations of rock musicians, and who remained a powerful if polarizing force for the rest of his life, died on Sunday at his home in Amagansett, N.Y., on Long Island. He was 71.
The cause was liver disease, said Dr. Charles Miller of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, where Mr. Reed had liver transplant surgery this year and was being treated again until a few days ago.
Mr. Reed brought dark themes and a mercurial, sometimes aggressive disposition to rock music. “I’ve always believed that there’s an amazing number of things you can do through a rock ‘n’ roll song,” he once told the journalist Kristine McKenna, “and that you can do serious writing in a rock song if you can somehow do it without losing the beat. The things I’ve written about wouldn’t be considered a big deal if they appeared in a book or movie.”
He played the sport of alienating listeners, defending the right to contradict himself in hostile interviews, to contradict his transgressive image by idealizing sweet or old-fashioned values in word or sound, or to present intuition as blunt logic. But his early work assured him a permanent audience.
The Velvet Underground, which was originally sponsored by Andy Warhol and showcased the songwriting of John Cale as well as Mr. Reed, wrought gradual but profound impact on the high-I.Q., low-virtuosity stratum of punk, alternative and underground rock around the world. Joy Division, Talking Heads, Patti Smith, R.E.M., the Strokes and numerous others were descendants. The composer Brian Eno, in an often-quoted interview from 1982, suggested that if the group’s first album, “The Velvet Underground & Nico,” sold only 30,000 copies during its first five years — a figure probably lower than the reality — “everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band.”
Many of the group’s themes — among them love, sexual deviance, alienation, addiction, joy and spiritual transfiguration — stayed in Mr. Reed’s work through his long run of solo recordings. Among the most noteworthy of those records were “Transformer” (1972), “Berlin” (1973) and “New York” (1989). The most notorious, without question, was “Metal Machine Music” (1975).
Beloved of Mr. Reed and not too many others, “Metal Machine Music” was four sides of electric-guitar feedback strobing between two amplifiers, with Mr. Reed altering the speed of the tape recorder; no singing, no drums, no stated key. At the time it was mostly understood, if at all, as a riddle about artistic intent. Was it his truest self? Was it a joke? Or was there no difference?
Mr. Reed wrote in the liner notes that “no one I know has listened to it all the way through, including myself,” but he also defended it as the next step after La Monte Young’s early minimalism. “There’s infinite ways of listening to it,” he told the critic Lester Bangs in 1976.
Not too long after his first recordings, made at 16 with a doo-wop band in Freeport, N.Y., Mr. Reed started singing outside of the song’s melody, as if he were giving a speech with a fluctuating drone in a New York accent. That sound, heard with the Velvet Underground on songs like “Heroin” and “Sweet Jane” and in his post-Velvet songs “Walk on the Wild Side,” “Street Hassle” and others, became one of the most familiar frequencies in rock. He played lead guitar the same way, straining against his limitations.
Mr. Reed confidently made artistic decisions that other musicians would not have even considered. He was an aesthetic primitivist with high-end audio obsessions. He was an English major who understood his work as a form of literature, though he distrusted overly poetic pop lyrics, and though distorted electric guitars and drums sometimes drowned out his words.
Lewis Allan Reed was born on March 2, 1942, in Brooklyn, the son of Sidney Reed, a tax accountant, and Toby Reed, a homemaker. When he was 11 his family moved to Freeport, on Long Island. His mother survives him, as does his sister, Merrill Weiner, and his wife, the composer and musician Laurie Anderson.
Generally resistant to authority and prone to mood swings, Mr. Reed troubled his parents enough that they assented to a doctor’s recommendation for weeks of electroshock therapy at Creedmoor State Psychiatric Hospital in Queens; in 1959, while beginning his music studies at New York University, he underwent further treatment.
After transferring to Syracuse University, he fell into the circle around the poet and short-story writer Delmore Schwartz, one of his English professors. Mr. Reed would later resist being pigeonholed, but his college profile suggests a distinct type: an early-’60s East Coast hipster, a middle-class suburban rebel in love with pre-Beatles rock ‘n’ roll, jazz and street-life writers: William S. Burroughs, Hubert Selby Jr., Raymond Chandler, Allen Ginsberg.
He clearly absorbed and, at least at times, admired Bob Dylan. (“Dylan gets on my nerves,” he said in 1968. “If you were at a party with him, I think you’d tell him to shut up.” Twenty-one years later he would tell Rolling Stone, “Dylan continuously knocks me out.”)
While in college he wrote “Heroin,” a song that accelerates in waves with only two chords. It treated addiction and narcotic ecstasy both critically and without moralizing, as a poet or novelist at that time might have, but not a popular songwriter:
I don’t know just where I’m going
But I’m gonna try for the kingdom, if I can
‘Cause it makes me feel like I’m a man
When I put a spike into my vein
And I tell you things aren’t quite the same
When I’m rushing on my run
And I feel just like Jesus’ son
And I guess that I just don’t know.
After graduation Mr. Reed found work in New York as a staff songwriter for Pickwick International, a label that capitalized on trends in popular music with budget releases by made-up groups. Among his credits for Pickwick were “Johnny Won’t Surf No More” and “The Ostrich,” written for a nonexistent dance craze and sung by Mr. Reed himself.
When Mr. Reed met Mr. Cale, a musician working with La Monte Young’s Theater of Eternal Music, they wanted to combine early-1960s rock with the drones of classical minimalism. They jammed with the guitarist Sterling Morrison, one of Mr. Reed’s Syracuse friends, and the poet and visual artist Angus MacLise on percussion, who was soon replaced by Maureen Tucker, the sister of a college friend of Mr. Reed’s. With Mr. Cale playing viola, keyboards and electric bass, they named themselves the Velvet Underground after the title of a book by Michael Leigh on practices in nonstandard sexuality in the early 1960s, and played their original music at Café Bizarre in Greenwich Village; the filmmaker Barbara Rubin came by with Andy Warhol, who quickly incorporated the band into the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, a touring multimedia performance-art happening with dancers, film projections and the German singer Nico.
The group’s association with Warhol lasted from late 1965 to late 1967, and Mr. Reed thereafter was generally full of praise for Warhol, whom he saw as an exemplary modern artist and New Yorker. A proud New Yorker himself, Mr. Reed squared off against West Coast rock and declared his hatred for hippies. In a 1968 interview he characterized the San Francisco bands of the time, the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane especially, as “tedious, a lie and untalented.”
In mid-1970 Mr. Reed left the Velvet Underground and moved to Long Island, where he worked for two years as a typist in his father’s firm. He made a disappointing solo record toward the end of 1971, but David Bowie, a Velvet Underground fan when there weren’t many, helped advance Mr. Reed’s career: he started playing Velvet Underground songs in concert and helped produce Mr. Reed’s album “Transformer” in London. It rose to No. 29 on Billboard’s Top 200, but as with nearly everything Mr. Reed did, it took time to spread through the culture.
“Walk on the Wild Side,” a quiet, jazzlike single from the album about the hustlers and transvestites around Warhol at the Factory, introduced a new character in each verse and included a reference to fellatio that slipped past the censors; it became an FM radio staple and Mr. Reed’s only Top 40 hit.
In 1973 he married Bettye Kronstadt, a cocktail waitress; the relationship ended during the making of “Berlin” that summer. For several years after that Mr. Reed, whose sexual identity seemed to be as fluid as the songs from that time suggested, was romantically involved with a transvestite named Rachel, whose last name has long been uncertain; she was private, but their relationship was public. Rachel, it was assumed, inspired much of his album “Coney Island Baby”; she is also pictured on the cover of “Walk on the Wild Side,” a greatest-hits album.
Mr. Reed’s look toughened in the mid-’70s, toward leather, bleached crew cuts and painted fingernails. He revisited his rickety, strange and vulnerable Velvet Underground songs on the live album “Rock N Roll Animal,” making them hard and slick and ready for a new order of teenage listeners.
By the end of the ‘70s his interviews and songs were full of a drive to change his way of living. In 1980 he married Sylvia Morales, who became his manager and muse. She was the subject of, or at least mentioned in, some of his most forthrightly romantic songs of the 1980s. But their relationship ended toward the end of the decade, and he met Ms. Anderson in the early ‘90s. They lived together in the West Village for more than a decade before marrying in 2008. They continued to live in the West Village as well as in Amagansett.
In middle age Mr. Reed became a kind of cultural elder, acting in films by Wim Wenders and Wayne Wang, befriending the Czech leader Vaclav Havel (who smuggled a copy of a Velvet Underground LP into Prague after a visit to New York in the late 1960s), creating multimedia stage productions with the director Robert Wilson. His own work moved between mature, elegiac singer-songwriter reports on grief, tenderness and age and wilder or more ambitious projects.
“The Raven,” a play and album, was based on writings by Edgar Allan Poe and included the saxophonist Ornette Coleman and the singer Antony Hegarty. For the album “Lulu,” an aggressive collaboration with Metallica based on Frank Wedekind’s play, he found himself in a “Metal Machine Music” redux, once again attacked by critics, once again declaring victory.
He got together with Mr. Cale, Ms. Tucker and Mr. Morrison for a one-off Velvet Underground reunion in 1990 and a tour in 1993. (Mr. Morrison died of lymphoma in 1995.) And he eventually returned to his dark anti-masterpiece: the saxophonist Ulrich Krieger transcribed “Metal Machine Music” for an electroacoustic ensemble in 2002, and in 2009 Mr. Reed performed improvised music inspired by that album with a group, including Mr. Krieger, called Metal Machine Trio.
Sober since the ’80s and a practitioner of tai chi, Mr. Reed had a liver transplant in April at the Cleveland Clinic. “I am a triumph of modern medicine, physics and chemistry,” he wrote in a public statement upon his release. “I am bigger and stronger than ever.”
But he was back at the clinic for treatment last week. Dr. Miller, who performed the transplant, said Mr. Reed decided to return home after doctors could no longer treat his end-stage liver disease. “We all agreed that we did everything we could,” Dr. Miller said.
Just weeks after his liver transplant, Mr. Reed wrote a review of Kanye West’s album “Yeezus” for the online publication The Talkhouse, celebrating its abrasiveness and returning once more to “Metal Machine Music” to explain an artist’s deepest motives.
“I have never thought of music as a challenge — you always figure the audience is at least as smart as you are,” he wrote. “You do this because you like it, you think what you’re making is beautiful. And if you think it’s beautiful, maybe they think it’s beautiful.”October 27th, 2013
David Hockney’s Sweeping Survey at the de Young in San Francisco, photo by Peter DaSilva
By JORI FINKEL
NY Times Published: October 25, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO — Although it would be hard to tell from the volume of his work, David Hockney, now 76, has had a rough year. Last October, this celebrated British artist had a stroke, which left him unable to complete his sentences for a time. In March, one of his studio assistants in East Yorkshire, part of a tight-knit circle of aides, collaborators and former lovers, died in Mr. Hockney’s home after drinking drain cleaner on the heels of a drug binge. And slowly but surely, Mr. Hockney’s hereditary deafness has progressed to the point that he depends heavily on two hearing aids and still needs to lean in for conversations.
So it’s not entirely surprising that Mr. Hockney, one of the greatest colorists since Matisse, found himself working exclusively in black and white.
He stopped using his iPad as a visual diary for colorful sketches that he would circulate to the delight of friends. Even his depiction of the arrival of spring in the East Yorkshire countryside looked rather bleak, with spiky trees and their thin gray shadows rendered in charcoal instead of the lush green-and-purple palette he used for the same landscape, same season, just two years earlier.
But part of Mr. Hockney’s charm as a painter — and person — is a certain resilience or even insouciance, an unwillingness to abandon pleasure and beauty in the face of troubles. And his return to California this summer, after primarily living and working in England for the last eight years, has been accompanied by a return to color: not just any colors, but some of the famous cerulean and cobalt blues from his classic swimming pool paintings of the 1960s.
“Los Angeles has that effect on me,” said Mr. Hockney, smelling faintly of cigarette smoke and dressed in a smart gray suit with a canary-yellow shirt setting off his blue eyes. “The light there is 10 times brighter than anywhere else. It’s why Hollywood started there. Natural light was essential in 1910 for film.”
With his cane at one side and his red iPad case once again at his feet, Mr. Hockney sat in a gallery at the de Young Museum here one day recently watching the installation of his massive new survey, “David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition.” Running through Jan. 20, the show features over 300 artworks made since 2002, including some Yorkshire landscapes from his 2012 blockbuster at the Royal Academy of Arts along with other landscapes and several series of portraits.
“I was always planning to come back because of the show,” said Mr. Hockney, who has kept his home in the Hollywood Hills and archives and office on Santa Monica Boulevard. “But it’s very nice to be back in California. I’m back for a while.”
He was surrounded by 16 of his new vibrant portraits — all made so recently that they couldn’t be included in the exhibition’s catalog. “I like to think my latest work is the most interesting,” he said in a throaty voice with a touch of English understatement. “I’m still a reasonably lively artist, I think.”
The portraits were done in acrylics, a medium he began using during his first visit to Los Angeles in 1964, more than a decade before he called the city home. These days, “it feels like a new medium for me, because I haven’t used it in 20 years,” Mr. Hockney said. He described the intensity of working quickly with the fast-drying paint in just two or three sittings over a few days, in what the de Young’s director, Colin Bailey, described as a “rush of creativity.”
Over the decades, Mr. Hockney has worked in depth on various series, shifting from one medium to another — from paintings to Polaroids, theatrical stage sets to intimate line drawings, watercolors to digital images on iPads — as he shuttled between the United States and England.
Sarah Howgate, a curator at the National Portrait Gallery in London who wrote an essay for the San Francisco catalog, describes these shifts as fruitful. “In recent years, the making of portraits has often followed a period of large-scale activity and energy working en plein-air,” she said. “The ‘portrait periods,’ involving fewer assistants, are generally calmer, more intense and introspective, perhaps, and they always take place indoors — in the studio or a domestic setting.”
A few of the new works, like a portrait of a Los Angeles friend, Richard Sassin, seem rather cheerful. “He told me it was the greatest day of his life, being painted by me,” Mr. Hockney said, sounding amused. But most appear more somber in expression. And the first color portrait he made upon his return to California in July is a powerful expression of grief. It shows his lead studio assistant, Jean-Pierre Gonçalves de Lima, slumped in a chair with his head resting in his hands, elbows on his legs.
The strident colors of the zigzag-pattern rug inject some high-voltage energy into the picture, not unlike the way van Gogh used vivid color contrasts to sharpen a look of sadness into anguish.
“I thought the rug was a little like his mind,” Mr. Hockney offered. The sitter’s pose was more directly inspired by van Gogh, modeled on his 1890 portrait “At Eternity’s Gate” and an earlier lithograph of a war veteran. Mr. Hockney said he positioned his sitter that way because he was thinking about Dominic Elliott, his 23-year-old studio assistant, who died in March.
“That first painting of Jean-Pierre with his head in hands, we all felt that way then,” he said. “We had a tragedy and that’s how it felt.”
The “we” hangs in the air. So the painting was also a sort of self-portrait?
Pausing for a moment, he admitted, “I think it was a self-portrait.” Then, perhaps eager to move on, he turned to another wall with a later painting of Mr. Gonçalves de Lima, who now faces the viewer with a cigarette in hand.
Yes, Mr. Hockney, known for his feisty anti-anti-smoking tirades, admitted that he still smokes and was tempted to do so outside the museum: “I think it would be great to say I was fined $100 for smoking in Golden Gate Park,” he said.
Van Gogh’s “At Eternity’s Gate” happens to be visible in the exhibition as well. Along with hundreds of other artworks dating from 1350 to 1900, it has been photocopied and secured to what is known as the “Great Wall”— a 72-foot-long set of panels that Mr. Hockney built in his studio as a visual aid while doing the research for his 2001 book “Secret Knowledge.” The book made the sweeping case that a wide range of painters from van Eyck to Caravaggio used devices like curved mirrors and the camera obscura, which changed the course of painting in the West. Mr. Bailey said he finds the “Great Wall,” which has never been exhibited before, fascinating in light of Mr. Hockney’s connections to the old masters and their range of techniques.
“As he’s aging, I think his understanding and engagement with art of the past only seems to be growing,” Mr. Bailey said. “He has a real love of close, deep looking.”
Mr. Hockney, of course, has another reason for displaying the “Great Wall”: He welcomes any opportunity to advance his theory on optics, which initially proved so controversial. Some academics dismissed it for lack of historic documentation in all but a few cases, but others were more supportive, and he continues to find the visual evidence compelling. “Just look at the shadows in European paintings that became so big around Caravaggio’s time,” the turn of the 17th century, he said heatedly. “There were no shadows in Chinese, Japanese, Persian or Indian art. I’m sure that comes from optics,” he added, noting that lenses require a strong source of light.
His interest in the technology of image making can also be seen in his iPhone and iPad drawings of the last few years, which have attracted both broad admiration and pointed criticism. The London critic Adrian Searle once wrote, “Hockney mistakes, I think, technology for modernity.” (Asked about this comment, the artist replied dryly: “What is modernity? He must know more about it than I do.”)
The de Young show may add to the debate with an unusual presentation: seven flat-screen TVs hooked up to display animations that show the process of Mr. Hockney drawing, one brush stroke — or more precisely, one finger-swipe — at a time.
Mr. Hockney recently discovered this “playback” function in Brushes, the application he uses for painting on the iPad. “It amazed me,” he said. “I had never seen myself drawing before.”
The videos include several iPad self-portraits from 2012 touching on the physical indignities of aging, like the loose folds of skin on his neck. “Picasso always said he felt like he was 30,” he said. “I think I’m 30 most of the time, but sometimes I’m not.”
A few show him with extra-large ears, an acknowledgment perhaps of the hearing loss that he says has affected him more deeply than the stroke, which he described as minor. “I don’t go to the theater much anymore,” he said matter-of-factly. “And I can’t listen to music now. It’s very difficult. I have a lot of music in my head now, but I’m not a consumer of it.”
Nor does he travel as much. He said he was ready to return to Los Angeles and get back to work. One of his coming projects involves reviewing his own legacy, as he starts to select which of his own works will be donated to his main beneficiaries, the Tate Modern in London and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. “Both did shows of mine in the past — Lacma did three shows — so I feel a bit of loyalty to them,” he said. “And I understand they would like a few things.”
His plan back in the studio is to expand his portrait series with a wider mix of sitters, perhaps using a new, slower-drying acrylic paint. “I started with friends and people who work for me, but I’m going to do some young people next,” he said.
So there is no retirement in sight for David Hockney?
“No,” he said emphatically, “I’ll go on till I fall over.”
And just a few minutes later, joined by an assistant, he left the galleries grinning like a kid: He was about to sneak a smoke.October 27th, 2013