Nikola Tesla'sPowerTransmission Tower           The Future of Opera In another life as an arts administrator -- once my "day job," as theater people say -- whenever myassistant felt she might have exceeded her brief, she'd preface her confession with the phrase "just so you know." For example: "Just so you know, I have paid Consolidated Edison rather than Verizon." To this day she does not know that I came to dread the phrase. But sometimes it … [Read more...]


  Pet Peeves Complaints will not be a constant theme, for their impact is diminished by frequency. Besides, I am, as friends and even enemies will testify, even-tempered and not quick to complain. But sometimes you just can't hold it in. Poodle poop in the Chelsea art district is an increasing blight. If you are going to live in that trendy neighborhood with a Comme des Garcons store as your only haberdashery, do as others must do: scoop the poop. I don't know if you live in Chelsea … [Read more...]


    Marc Quinn, Helen Smith, 2000 When you first walk into the gallery, you will probably be attracted to the smooth, white marble and the semblance of sensuous flesh. How hard, white stone became associated with the softness of the body has to do with illusionism and cultural conditioning. That polished marble still signals art with a capital A is further evidence -- evidence you can feel -- that the mind as well as the eye plays tricks on the heart. That Greek statues were … [Read more...]


The Art Couple When an established artist becomes an artist couple, what does this mean? Does the work change? Why is it always the wife who gets added on to the famous husband's career, and there's not one husband appended to a woman's? The Soviet/post-Soviet "conceptual" artist Ilya Kabakov and his wife Emilia are now publicly a husband-and-wife team. They join the illustrious ranks of the late Ed Kienholz and Nancy Reddin Kienholz; Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen; Christo and … [Read more...]