After the Art – Issue 6 – December 2019

Welcome to After the Art’s sixth issue.

We hope you enjoy these four essays:

“Eyes Set Far Apart or Close: The Art of William Sulit, the Language of Carolyn Forché” by Beth Kephart

“Edward Hopper and the Tourist From Syracuse” by Gregory Luce

“Mysteries of the Horizon” by Kimmo Rosenthal

“Beneath the Surface / Cold Gleanings of Ice” by Nancy Geyer

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 6 – December 2019”

Eyes Set Far Apart or Close: The Art of William Sulit, the Language of Carolyn Forché

by Beth Kephart

It was the way he walked, then it was the way he moved his hand: over the buckled rectangles of Canson paper, beside the trays of color, in a room that smelled of linseed oil. I had followed him there, to the third floor of his West Philadelphia apartment, where the only window opened to the sound of a jumprope game and the smell of laundromat Tide.

We were young, but I didn’t know it. I thought that if I watched him paint, if I reckoned with his watercolors, his sketches, I could halve our differences—the making of the man traced through the making of his art. How his colors always seemed mixed with dust. How his solitary people struck me as infinitesimally lost. How the only exits from the mazes he painted were too small to admit passage. How the mood he beckoned with his brush was the atmosphere of elsewhere. Continue reading “Eyes Set Far Apart or Close: The Art of William Sulit, the Language of Carolyn Forché”

Edward Hopper and the Tourist from Syracuse

by Gregory Luce

A gas station at night, the only bright spot on a dark, lonely road. Bright red pumps, a fading red Pegasus, and a man at the pumps probably closing up for the night. It might well be the place where the used-car salesman stopped for a six-pack on the way home from the sales convention. Or possibly the station where two men, Al and Max, gassed up on their way to Summit to kill the Swede, Ole Anderson. Or where the tourist from Syracuse stopped in to ask about a place to stay for the night. Continue reading “Edward Hopper and the Tourist from Syracuse”

Mysteries of the Horizon

by Kimmo Rosenthal

“A true work of art in no way depends for its justification on its seeming connections with the place that many call the real world and that I call the visible world.” — Gerald Murnane, A Million Windows

 The above epigraph encapsulates much of the appeal of the paintings of René Magritte, which repeatedly call into question the accuracy and trustworthiness of our perceptions of the real world, while exploring the impact of our invisible world of the imagination on these perceptions. His famous “ceci n’est pas un pipe” painting was actually entitled The Treachery of Images. At first reckoning, the pairing of René Magritte and Gerald Murnane might seem incongruous, nonetheless their paths have intersected at a personal crossroads on what Murnane would likely call my most private of maps. Reading Murnane’s novel The Plains has helped me begin to understand and find meaning in Magritte’s painting The Mysteries of the Horizon (sometimes also known as The Masterpiece). Continue reading “Mysteries of the Horizon”

Beneath the Surface / Cold Gleanings of Ice

by Nancy Geyer

He must have looked like he was being stoned, the naked man who was himself made of stone. But by morning all was calm in the plaza in front of the Denver Art Museum. Tender green leaves, stripped during the night from the trees in a hailstorm (one leaf caught in the small of the man’s back) eased the sculpture’s severity and made the water a rejuvenating bath. Continue reading “Beneath the Surface / Cold Gleanings of Ice”

After the Art — Issue 5 — September 2019

Welcome to After the Art’s fifth — and first anniversary! — issue.

We hope you enjoy these four essays:

“The Poesy and the Ecstasy” by Dana Delibovi

“Goya’s Red Boy” by Melinda Giordano

“An Aerial View: Jerry Takigawa’s F-374″ by Beth McDermott

“New Gad” by Sarah Einstein

And in honor of our first anniversary we’ve added something new — a book review/essay:

“Actual Enjoyment” by Katharine Coldiron

We’ve also started a Facebook page, which you can follow for posts about future issues (of course) but also exhibits, articles, books, essays and sites that might be of interest.

Continue reading “After the Art — Issue 5 — September 2019”

The Poesy and the Ecstasy

by Dana Delibovi

I spent ten days in Rome, one summer during college. I walked the Via Appia, heard opera in the Terme di Caracalla. I drank a lot of wine, which never seemed to get me drunk the way the stuff stateside did. I fell in love—well, in lust—hourly.

Of course, I saw the visual arts of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Some of these works transfixed me, among them the sculpture in marble, Ecstasy of St. Teresa (1652), by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. This work shows the young saint lolling back in a moan, while a smiling angel readies himself to pierce her with an arrow. The sexual energies of the sculpture are so strong, it’s a wonder it made it into the Roman Catholic church of Santa Maria della Vittoria (only in Italy, where beauty beats dogma hands down). I count my memory of the sculpture as a jewel, although of late, a poem has illuminated its flaws. Continue reading “The Poesy and the Ecstasy”

Goya’s Red Boy

by Melinda Giordano

It has always been the case, this small frisson of irony and recognition.  For before I can take in the qualities of the painting – the child’s scarlet suit, the zoological arrangement of pets at his feet, his lineage of names printed at the border – I can see only one thing:  his fleeting yet arresting similarity to my brother.  In particular, I am reminded of a distant photograph of him, with a square of gauze on his bare arm from a recent polio vaccine.  In both painting and photograph, there is a parallel that bridges all of time’s idiosyncrasies, joining these images of two young boys.  This simpatico of youth resides, I think, in the eyes:  round and expansive; their gaze roaming like colts beneath a wide, pure forehead. Continue reading “Goya’s Red Boy”

An Aerial View: Jerry Takigawa’s F-374


by Beth McDermott

I came across F-374, a photograph by Jerry Takigawa, in a small shop in Carmel Valley Village, California. Among teak salad bowls and wrought iron birdcages, F-374 was displayed over a half-moon console table crowded with miscellaneous gifts. A person could have easily missed the photograph while admiring wood pillar candleholders, or while lifting and tilting a silver-handled serving platter. But I couldn’t bring myself to leave the half-moon console table because the objects in the photograph at eye-level were vaguely familiar. And yet their familiarity was made strange by their arrangement: three rows of white and cream circular objects were framed by four rectangular orange objects against a dark and blurry background image. The objects pinned against the seeming-to-move backdrop reminded me of a film paused with opening credits onscreen. I wanted to know what the objects were. The white ones hovered at the surface of the photograph, as if I could reach my hand through the glass and pick one up. Continue reading “An Aerial View: Jerry Takigawa’s F-374”

New Gad

by Sarah Einstein


I am standing in the ruins of the town of New Gad, West Virginia, which rose and fell in the empty basin of what was once the Summersville Lake in an imagined future. Two-headed deer and the occasional zombie-like thing shuffle by, but they’re easy pickings, even though I fight with a tambourine encrusted with knife blades. Mostly, though, I comb through the beached houseboats and old bait shops looking for any useful thing: a knife, a tin of dogfood, an old cash register, a stack of clipboards, a life preserver, a mutated rat to eat. It’s hard times in the version of West Virginia imagined in Bethesda Game Studio’s Fallout 76. Continue reading “New Gad”

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