What I Read: 2018

The following list catalogs what I read over the course of the past year. Broken down into four sections–fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and significant articles and essays–this list outlines the range of texts I read during 2018. It is not comprehensive; there were many other titles I read. But these are the ones that stick out.

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From Nixon to Trump: 1968–2018

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the 1968 presidential election, in which Richard Milhous Nixon defeated the Democratic nominee, incumbent Vice President Hubert Humphrey, and became the 37th President of the United States. The Watergate break-in was still four years away, the ensuing scandal of which ultimately forced Nixon to resign the presidency on August 9th, 1974, preventing the House from impeaching him. But long before his resignation…

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Works Like Magic

This year, the 2017 and 2018 winners of the Baker Artist Awards were publicly honored during a well-attended event at The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) on Wednesday, September 12th. In The BMA’s auditorium, there was a live performance by pianist Lafayette Gilchrist (Music); a poetry reading by Dora Malech (Literary); a screening of Margaret Rorison’s short film (Film/Video); and, in The BMA’s East Wing Lobby, live performances by Lisi Steossel (Performance).

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Where Have I Been My Whole Life?

This past weekend I visited Richmond, Virginia for the first time. I traveled there with my fiancée, who lived in Richmond before we met, and was therefore familiar with what the city has to offer. I was in her hands, and she was excited to show me around. Over the course of our trip, I came up with a list of all the places I've either lived in or visited throughout my life.

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Tesserae, Et Cetera: Jack Whitten at The BMA and The Met Breuer

We stand before a huge picture that suggests an aerial view of urban sprawl – yet this is no regular city. What we see here, from a bird’s-eye view, is a futuristic megalopolis, more organic than orthogonal. It resembles Wakanda’s Birnin Zana, the fictional African home of Marvel’s Black Panther, a hugely popular film adaptation of which came out earlier this year. 

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Texts & Tears

For whatever reason, when reading certain texts I weep. I'm not really sure what to make of it, nor have I formulated a sufficient theory as to why a particular configuration of words printed on the page should make a grown man cry. And yet, it is this exact effect that makes me feel that a work of art is truly great. But why should this be so? 

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What I Read: 2017

The following list catalogs what I read over the course of the past year. Broken down into four sections–fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and significant articles and essays–this list outlines the range of texts I read during 2017. It is not comprehensive; there were many other titles I read. But these are the ones that stick out.

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Art, or NOT ART: That Is the Question

A few years ago, I began noticing these two words stenciled around Boston. In stark, military-style letters, the words NOT ART appeared on random objects and surfaces throughout the city. At first, there were just a few. Then more popped up. The bold renunciation appeared to be spreading all over the Boston area. I later moved to Baltimore and started seeing them there too. I began to wonder…

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Why I Love Wyman Park Dell

I really love this park near where I work. Though rather unassuming (if not looking for it, you might miss it) Wyman Park Dell is a picturesque public green space in the heart of Baltimore. Nestled between the Charles Village neighborhood to the East and Remington to the West and just south of the Johns Hopkins campus, the somewhat paisley-shaped Dell is a small but pleasant break...

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Up in the Air: Tomás Saraceno at The Baltimore Museum of Art

An exciting new work greets visitors entering the East Wing lobby of The Baltimore Museum of Art. Entangled Orbits (2017), by internationally acclaimed artist and trained architect Tomás Saraceno (b. 1973, Argentina), enlivens the museum's modern entryway, filling the usually arid space with a complex network of lines, forms, and colors...

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Odd Jobs, Then & Now

Today, on Labor Day 2017, I am reminded of the many jobs I've held over the years. The following is a list of all the jobs I've had since I was old enough to work. With the exception of some catering gigs here and there and perhaps a random internship of no interest, the list moves from my formative boyhood jobs, through a few random stints abroad, to several art-related positions...

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Our Visit to Glenstone

Our visit to Glenstone had an unreal quality to it. Following a drive down meandering country roads that wound about a woodland terrain populated by giant homes with even larger yards and intermittent packs of neon-spandexed cyclists, we arrived at the outer gate of the museum–or should I say compound? I had never been to an art museum where you had to wait outside...

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Feel the Color: Mark Bradford

Last summer, I fell in love with a work of art. Tucked away at the back of a gallery in the contemporary wing of the Baltimore Museum of Art hung one of the museum’s most recent acquisitions, My Grandmother Felt the Color. The large abstraction called to me, drawing me past other works of equal scale. It insisted that I look at it again and again…

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This Work Contains Mature Language: A Review of Sharon Hayes’ "Ricerche: three"

A diverse group of young women are gathered on the bucolic grounds of a collegiate quadrangle. They frankly discuss issues concerning gender and sex in a "round-table" format in the open air. An interviewer stands among them, microphone in hand, passing it back and forth as different members of the assembly speak up. The day is bright. A gentle wind blows...

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To Get to the Other Side: On "Crossing the Highway to Nowhere"

We met at the Mount Royal Ave. Light Rail stop across the street from the MICA bookstore. Not entirely sure where we were going or for what purpose, we boarded the next inbound train, rode it a few stops, and got off in a partly dilapidated neighborhood of Baltimore. We walked a few blocks west to meet our guide. It was a crisp autumn evening, the sun slowly sinking—the perfect day for a walk.

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Like Riding a Bicycle

Nothing beats riding a bicycle in the city. Zipping through gridlocked traffic on a bike is like being a cowboy herding cattle. The bovine pace of the cars presents a sort of game in which you must strategize your movements. If a car ahead of you cuts to the right, you weave left; when they go left, you swerve right. When they bottleneck at the intersection, you ride right between them all the way to the light...

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