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”

After the Art – Issue 7 – March 2020

Welcome to After the Art’s seventh issue.

We hope you enjoy these four essays:

“Art in the Age of Amateur Reproduction” by Michael Sheehan

“This Little Map” by Deborah Goodman

“Pilgrims” by Martha Anne Toll

“Voicing the Choir” by Anna Smith

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 7 – March 2020”

Art in the Age of Amateur Reproduction

by Michael Sheehan

“It was like / a new knowledge of reality.”

– Wallace Stevens


A few ago I found myself more or less by accident sitting in the cinema-dark of the Byzantine Fresco Chapel of the Menil Collection looking at or meditating on the wall of repeated amateur portraits that is Francis Alys’ Fabiola Project, a massive wall of hundreds of amateur replicas of the same absent original, Jean Jacques Henner’s lost 1885 portrait of Saint Fabiola.

Continue reading “Art in the Age of Amateur Reproduction”

This Little Map

by Deborah Goodman

This little map, modest and spare, shows the small expanse of my hometown, Urbana, Illinois, as it was in 1869.  It was drawn by panoramic-map artist Albert Ruger, who helped develop this new form of cartography, producing maps of towns and cities in 22 states. Many of the street names in the Urbana birds-eye view remain the same today.

Continue reading “This Little Map”

Blog at

Up ↑