Hockney

The retrospective of David Hockney at the Metropolitan Museum of Art doesn’t show you anything new. It just reminds you of all that Hockney has achieved over his life. From the portraits of London society in the seventies to the landscapes of his native Yorkshire everything he does has a very distinctive stamp while still …

Basquiat versus The Barbican

When I was back in London over the holidays, I went to see a beautiful Basquiat show at the quite hideous Barbican Center. Even this concrete monstrosity couldn’t hide the vibrancy of Basquiat’s work. Not only is there an extensive selection of drawings and paintings but also a film featuring other featured players in the …

You Want It Darker

  Leonard Cohen’s demise got me listening to some of his albums, mainly the last three or four, which may not have the classic tracks that made him famous in the seventies but have a silky depth to them that gets under my skin. His final album, though not his best, shows the grace and …

Hurray!

Lin-Manuel Miranda is not the only Puerto Rican making waves in the US, Alynda Segarra is the lead singer with the nicely named Hurray for the Riff Raff. She grew up in the Bronx in a Puerto Rican family, but the sound of her band is more folk blues with a Latin angle on individual …

Miami

Starting with the legend ‘I don’t think you realize just how successful I am,’ Baxter Dury ‘Miami’ gives you the worldview of as, we would say in my homeland, a certified tosser. Brilliant and disturbing in turn, the track is just of a number of great songs from an equally fantastic album.  

Into the Light

Up until about 3 months ago James Turrell was unknown to me. Quite how I managed to miss one of the major artists of the 21st century is beyond me but I admit I did. Only when reading the excellent collection of essays on artists by Calvin Tomkins did I discover about the Light and …

Paris Texas

The recent demise of Harry Dean Stanton got me thinking about one of my favorite films, Paris Texas. It of course stars Stanton as a man who re-emerges from the desert like a latter-day Jesus and then slowly starts to connect with his family. His brother, his son and finally, the mother of his child …

Tess

I understand Roman Polanski is top of many people’s shit list right now. A serial rapist is not exactly the sort of person you want to be praising. Yet on seeing the movie ‘Tess’ again recently I have to do just that. But remember I praise the work not the man. It’s hard actually to …

Naomi Klein

How do fight back in the age of Trump? I looked to Naomi Klein to give me some tips. She was being interviewed by Jia Tolentino as part of the ‘New Yorker Festival’, a long weekend of interviews with a series of famous and/or expert people. Klein did not disappoint. She said something, which stayed …

Alien

    I just saw ‘Alien’ at Metrograph cinema  and aside from these extremely annoying people who laugh at profoundly unfunny moments of the sci-fi classic to show , of course, that they are seeing some witty reference by the director unseen by the unwashed masses, it was as great as ever. I must have …