“Rotten Romance” and “Eat My Memoir” are moving to Substack, a newsletter platform that will allow me to reach a larger audience. If you are interested in seeing the archive and subscribing,
click HERE.

UNDER THE RADAR

A spotlight for members.

Cindy Blakeslee

Recent Feature

Ripe for Rediscovery: Peter Miller

Ripe for Rediscovery: Peter Miller

Talk about “Surrealism” in conversation with artists and art lovers you are most likely to think of works by Dalí, Magritte, Tanguy, Ernst, or possibly Paul Delvaux. Mention “American Surrealism,” and the terrain gets tricky. Didn’t Adolph Gottlieb, Mark Rothko, and...

read more

Recent Feature

L.A. Confidential

L.A. Confidential

The first in a series of reports on the art world.  In May, it seemed like we were almost entirely out of the woods with Covid-19, and then along came the Delta variant and the post-pandemic euphoria rapidly dissipated. Still, as long-time observers of the Los Angeles...

read more

From the Vasari21 Archives

In the Beginning (Nonbiblical Version)

By Ed Haddaway In many ways my lifetime has been spent in what was our backyard. Far from being chained like our first collie, Lassie (in the1950s there was no other possible dog anyone, anywhere, could have), I have roamed freely for these past 68 years. In fact,...

Art Critics in the Time of Covid-19

What does an art critic do when the museums and galleries are closed? When classes are canceled (if you teach)? When your book spirals into limbo (if you have a publication in the works)? What does the future of art criticism look like as works migrate steadily to...

Artist’s Block and How To Beat It

Feeling stymied? In a slump? Disconnected from your work? You’re not alone. We’re all familiar with writer’s block from the many cinematic clichés. The author sits at his typewriter or word processor, smoking and drinking and muttering profanities. The author fills a...

The ABC’s of Social Media

By Barbra Drizin Most clients who come to me have at least a passing familiarity with the major social media platforms—Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. You may be posting, updating, and tweeting regularly, but until you understand how to maximize their...

Fantasy Curating: The Contemporary Portrait

By Kate Petley Contemporary portraiture is so diverse that creating a comprehensive list of artists is futile. I selected these particular works for their power, humor, cleverness, rawness, and beauty. Reflecting a broad interpretation of what qualifies as a portrait,...

Assess the Excess

Suggestions for storing, selling, tossing, or giving away unwanted old work One of the saddest days of my life was the day I carted all my youthful paintings from my parents’ summer house to the dump in Montauk, NY, after selling the property in 2003. These included a...

Fantasy Curating: Big Things Have Small Beginnings

By Ed Grant "Big Things Have Small Beginnings" So many of the things around us are small, or at least start off small. Stalactites form one drop at a time. Viruses and bacteria evolve new ways around our defenses to become full-blown pandemics. Slime mold is used to...

Vasari21 Goes to the Movies: Part Two

Photo credits: bottom of page Why watch a documentary about an artist? We have biographies and museum and gallery shows and catalogues and other ways of entering the lives and minds of the more memorable figures in the visual arts. Yet a documentary can offer an...

Hot Wax Happiness

In which your intrepid reporter takes a class in encaustic monotypes with Paula Roland Given the number of Vasari21 members who work in encaustic (see Anna Wagner-Ott’s report from last summer), I thought it might be fun to get a firsthand look at why the medium is so...

Vigée the Victorious

The life of the beautiful, clever, and prodigiously gifted Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (1755-1842) is one of those rags-to-riches sagas irresistible to storytellers of any era. She was born in Paris to a minor portraitist and a hairdresser…

Archived Feature

Fantasy Curating: Hands-On and Lush

Fantasy Curating: Hands-On and Lush

 By Lee Albert Hill As a painter myself I am drawn to the work of other painters first and foremost.  Especially those who demonstrate a dedication to a lush, hands-on, painterly approach and an emphasis on refined craft and detail.  For this curation I have chosen...

read more

Archived Feature

Suggestions for Summer Reading

Suggestions for Summer Reading

Get a jump on the season with a beach-bag full of memoirs Perhaps because I’ve been working on one of my own (“Rotten Romance,” dispatched via Substack every Sunday), memoirs have been much on my mind. For purely recreational reading, I often prefer first-person...

read more

Archived Feature

Meghan Wilbar: The Long Road

Meghan Wilbar: The Long Road

It’s a brave artist who attempts to say something new about landscape. The genre has been around since ancient times, when frescoes of Arcadian vistas adorned the walls of upscale villas, and its popularity has waxed and waned according to the talents and interests of...

read more

Archived Under the Radar

Marietta Patricia Leis

Marietta Patricia Leis

Like many little girls, Marietta Patricia Leis first set her sights on becoming a ballerina. “At the age of seven I was entranced with wanting to be a ballet dancer,” she says. As a child in suburban East Orange, NJ, she studied dance every day after school, and...

read more

Archived Under the Radar

Susan English

Susan English

When Susan English was three or four years old, she lived in Belgium with her family for a couple of years. Years later she still remembers a babysitter named Hele placing a candle inside a child’s play igloo. “It made a big impression on me,” English says. “The light...

read more

 Archived Podcast

Alice Robb: Why We Dream

Alice Robb: Why We Dream

In the summer of 2011, science writer Alice Robb discovered a book called Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming, which promised readers that they could control the plots of their dreams.

read more