After the Art – Issue 8 – June 2020

Welcome to After the Art’s eighth issue.

We hope you enjoy these five essays — some of which were written before the pandemic and some during:

“Finding MoMA” by Susan Lago

“The Mytheme of Male Desire” by Thomas Larson

“Love Forever” by Nels P. Highberg

“David Foster Wallace and The Midnight Gospel: Choosing in the Time of the Coronavirus” by Lou D. Malbe

“Heavy Is the Root of Light” by Dana Delibovi

We’ve also started a Facebook page, which you can follow for posts about future issues as well as exhibits, articles, books, essays, and sites that might be of interest. Continue reading “After the Art – Issue 8 – June 2020”

Finding MoMA

by Susan Lago

On a winter afternoon, soon after rounding the corner of the new year, I did something I had wanted to do for a long time. I went to a museum alone: The Museum of Modern Art. MoMA. Since moving to Queens, I had hemmed and hawed over the cost, rationalizing that it was too much money to spend on just myself. Then I broke up with the man I had been seeing for two years and so had an unclaimed Saturday ahead of me. Continue reading “Finding MoMA”

Love Forever

by Nels P. Highberg

In 2016, standing in front of the painting Love Forever by Boris Torres, I first saw their lipodystrophy, the redistribution of fat on the body, a side effect of the early antiretroviral medications created in the mid-1990s to combat the effects of HIV disease was. Look at the bulges on the back of their necks and the proportion of the stomach on the man at the left compared to the rest of his body. I knew men who lived with this, and it was nothing compared to the horrific side effects of AZT years earlier (e.g., anemia, cardiomyopathy, numbness in the hands and feet). Antiretrovirals offered the first signs that it might be possible to actually live with HIV. Still, lipodystrophy became another way living with HIV that marked the body. Continue reading “Love Forever”

Heavy Is the Root of Light

by Dana Delibovi

When I first saw Helen Frankenthaler’s painting Grey Fireworks, I saw it naively. I had no familiarity with Frankenthaler (1928–2011), her New York pedigree, or her devoted following. I did not know her reputation for unstudied hipness. I hadn’t even gone to see her retrospective on purpose. I just went to the Museum of Modern Art as I often did back then, in the midst of my own personal earthquake of 1989, the year it finally became clear that I could not feed my obsessions and expect to survive. Continue reading “Heavy Is the Root of Light”

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