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“There Is a Certain Slant of Light”

I was asked by the Rail to provide an L.A. perspective, and in order to do that, I wanted to do something unusual. I want to take the pressure off the New York/Los Angeles split, not worrying about describing what is going on in Los Angeles for those that may not know.

When I See a Train, I Want to Take It in My Arms

Raymond Pettibon with the sparest of lines and simplest of words made me unashamed to love odd beauty, to pass through struggle and embrace my own weird affections and subtle intuitions without self-consciousness. His work haunts me.

Learning from Mike Kelley

When Mike Kelley died in January 2012, a hush went over the L.A. art world. Kelley was an important artist by any measure, in any city—his obituary ran all over the world—but in Los Angeles in particular his influence was profound.

My Lozano (Not Letting Go)

Eight years deep into my own private Lee-land, I can say that, despite both being Scorpios and sharing other cultural identities, ultimately we are not cut from the same cloth.

Perpetual Conceptual

Maybe I am collapsing Christmases into each other, or maybe 2012 was indeed the same icy year that my parents left the ’92 Camry with the broken defrost in the parking garage at Spokane International Airport. It was unlocked, key in the glove compartment.

My Preoccupation with Piero Manzoni

Why does the work of Piero Manzoni haunt me? Even after all these years, I still don’t know. But I know that ever since I learned about it, it has preoccupied me. In 1995 I curated an exhibition entitled Piero Manzoni: Line Drawings.


Sonic Youth came into my life on a Sunday night in summer of 1990—the summer preceding my senior year of high school in Janesville, Wisconsin: The summer of Goo.

Not Interested in That Sort of Thing

“Well I think she’s rather beautiful,” said my grandmother. It was Christmas. I must have been 11 or 12, and the large book that she had open on her lap—her gift to me—was open at an image so ridiculously sexy that my pre-pubescent cheeks were flushed deep red and my scalp was tingling.

Meditations on a Diptych

“We are deceived,” began my first draft. As an undergraduate in English at University of North Carolina, Greensboro, my senior year, I’d charged into an essay on the Abstraction of Commerce, pitting neo-geo’s Peter Halley against my new Gramscian hero, Allan Sekula.

MOJAVE IN ME: Noah Purifoy On My Mind

I met Noah Purifoy in 1997 at the sprawling 10-acre sculpture site he constructed in Joshua Tree, California. I was 17 years old at the time and was blown away by his work.


The Brooklyn Rail

OCT 2014

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