Category: Art

  • Body and Soul

    Women’s art is one of those vaguely suspect labels. On the one hand, it’s reductive to describe an artist’s work by way of her gender. On the other hand, I find myself drawn to work created by women. Even when I have no idea who the maker is. This happened to me in Hobart. There […]

  • Salon Saigon

    Salon Saigon is an art museum in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It was one of my favorite destinations in Saigon for the beauty and grace of its 1960s design. The Salon Saigon collection shows cultural artifacts of the time as well as today’s Vietnamese artists. What strikes me now about Salon Saigon is its […]

  • A Traveling Circus

    The National Palace Museum is the pride of Taiwan. Travel guides hail it as the best and the largest of its kind. A must-see collection of Chinese art and artifacts. Taiwan is our first destination on the journey that took my husband and me around the world in the 7 months before Covid-19 struck. We […]

  • The House Walsh Built

    David Walsh is a gambler. He has a savant-like ability to count cards. For a while, that gift enabled Walsh to amass a fortune. Some of that money he’s spent on living large. The rest he’s plowed into buying art, a lot of art, so much art that Walsh had to build a special purpose […]

  • Mosaic

    Lyric essay is a hybrid creature. It has the legs of memoir, the musculature of a polemic and the wings of poetry. Make it the way you would a mosaic out of fragments, shiny shards of memory and bits of string. Use a lyric essay to make an argument without ever stating your point or […]

  • Shadow Box

    I love shadow boxes. I don’t mean the practice of sparring with yourself (though this is a worthy act that bears repeating). Think of a literal box, perhaps protected by a glass front, inside of which resides a world of whimsy. Think of it as found poetry in three-dimensional form. Shadow history Sailors were the […]

  • Dirt

    Dirt can’t be art, can it? Art is the stuff we see in museums, guarded by plexiglass and motion detection cameras. Or maybe you know some high-end folks who collect the stuff. Paintings, snuff boxes, whatever. That art may be valuable or not. You might like it or not. You have to study art in […]

  • Saigon Stories

    Every city has its own creation myth and Saigon is no exception. The name alone offers so many possibilities. Saigon could reference the forest of kapok trees that once stood on this site, an embankment on the river or a royal city. Today, Saigon is not a beautiful city. Crowded, noisy, thick with scooters. The […]

  • Made in China

    There isn’t much Chinese art in my home. A scroll we bought at a museum in Xi’an. Some Concession Era posters and maps. A cane by youngest son bought at the Great Bazaar in the old walled city of Shanghai. Reproductions, every one, albeit made in China. But isn’t that what it means to be […]

  • Graffiti

    When I was a kid in Los Angeles, graffiti was a bad sign. It meant gangs had moved into the neighborhood. Or, at the very least, teenagers with a taste for vandalism. No respectable homeowner wanted to find spray paint on his fence. So you hung up lights and bought a dog. Nowadays, graffiti is […]