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Election 2016: Image World (2)

I have come to think of Donald Trump not only as exemplifying the Bad Clown but as embodying that nightmare’s apotheosis; he has turned himself into the Republic Party’s version of Steven King’s Pennywise. Indeed, these early days of the campaign resemble nothing so much as a remake of IT, with the rest of the pack banding together as The Losers Club, […]

Election 2016: Image World (1)

I cannot but note that this cultural moment, including Obama’s preacherly delivery of the June 26 eulogy for Rev. Clementa Pinckney and his assurance that all of this fits into God’s inscrutable plan, will reinforce the faith-based mentality of Christian true believers of all races. […]

Ends and Odds Encore

Wearing Sadakichi’s Hat

Last week I finally got to do something I’ve planned for years: have some pictures made of myself wearing Sadakichi Hartmann’s hat.

That calls for some explanation.

Scion of a German father and a Japanese mother, Sadakichi Hartmann (1867-1944) was born on an island in Nagasaki harbor. His mother died […]

Spring Fever 2015: Bits & Pieces

We’ve become the first culture to produce substantially more artists with professional aspirations than our system can possibly absorb. Though more egalitarian than most gatekeeping systems, the photo portfolio review system enables entry to a few while feeding the hopes of the many — “American Idol” writ small, if you will. No harm done, I suppose, and it keeps them off the streets. […]

The Photographer and the Painting (4)

Photographers’ commonplace practice of basing photographs on works of graphic art, often in detail and faithful to the originals, is celebrated, not condemned, by the very same community that objects, vociferously, when painters and other graphic artists imitate or derive iconography from photographic images. What inexplicable double standard operates here? […]