An Unrepentant Realist: Rackstraw Downes

Perhaps the most interesting name amongst the list of MacArthur Fellows — aka official geniuses — announced today is the realist painter Rackstraw Downes, known for his exacting portrayal of unbeautiful landscapes. Interesting to yours truly because if art is about opening our eyes to see afresh, what better means that to show us exactlyContinue reading “An Unrepentant Realist: Rackstraw Downes”

Genius Loves Company: Dawn Upshaw edition

My story on the Ojai Music Festival, to begin this evening, featuring the great Dawn Upshaw (here). …when asked how it felt to be proclaimed a genius to the world, Upshaw, speaking on the phone from her studio in New York, sounds ever-so-slightly embarrassed, insisting that “only the media” call it the genius grant, sayingContinue reading “Genius Loves Company: Dawn Upshaw edition”