I can’t take credit for this title; it was the title of an article in the newest issue of Dwell magazine- an utter gem by the way. Picking up Dwell magazine, which is rather routine for me, had a special significance this month because it was dedicated to spaces 1700sq feet and under. I just moved a few weeks ago from my own 600sq foot one room apt to a shared gorgeous high ceiling 1700sq foot loft.

In the process of transforming our new living space I’m enjoying my focus on the physicality of space. And the reasons for my obsession with the design of objects and interiors are being revealed. Simply put: The design of our living space represents our quintessential relationship with the physical world around us.

When we take the immediate space of our intimate surroundings and affect it in such a way, we perform a fundamental human condition. It celebrates the ability to shape what surrounds us, and reminds me that we are sculptors of our reality quite physically and literally - not merely metaphysically.

Onto another curatorial thought; I was utterly delighted this week to find Kara Walker on the cover of Modern Painters magazine. Kara Walker is one of my favorite contemporary artists. I discovered her work by accident working at Book City several years ago because we stocked “Pictures From Another Time”, a book of her art. What Kara Walker’s art means to me is that the realm of sophisticated social commentary and intellectual analysis, which academic writing is considered the height of, can damn well be expressed in as poised and articulate a manner through the dramatics of visual communication.

Kara Walker is best known for her striking panoramic friezes that contain her signature medium of life-size cut-paper silhouttes in stark white on black, or black on white. The characters evoke racist stereotypes in exagerated gestures in some of the most striking and impactful visual statements I've ever seen.

The continuing legacy of slavery in the Antebellum south is a consistent theme of her work. Most recently she curated her own show entitled Kara Walker at the Met: After the Deluge which was inspired by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina on the mostly poor and black population of New Orleans.

Quoting Walker from the article in Modern Painters (55-61, April 2006) she says, about Hurricane Katrina:

'I was seeing images that were all too familiar...it was black people in a state of life-or-death desperation, and everything coporeal was coming to the surface- water, excrement, sewage. It was a re-inscription of all the stereotypes about the black body.'

You can read the New York Times review of the show here

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