November-December 2014 … The Global Online Magazine of Arts, Information & Entertainment … Volume 10, Number 6
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Mel Ramos/Artist Interview



Mel Ramos, Red Hots Rita, Lithograph


Making the Most of Everything

* * *

Labels are a drag but it’s difficult not to label Mel Ramos a Pop Art icon. Furthermore, Ramos himself has no problem with labels, using them to great advantage in his art since discovering early in his career that it’s a lot more fun to be a figure painter than an abstract expressionist. Especially when created in tandem with readily recognizable symbols of Madison Avenue Americana. And better for business, too.

While Ramos’ work drew the ire of feministas during the ’80s and ’90s when revolutionary feminist activism peaked, his career-long dedication to the female form in both concert and contrast to commercial depictions that play only on sex appeal and not social or political commentary, has allowed him to grow and prosper as an artist, teacher and, yes, family man. Unafraid to “borrow ideas,” Ramos declares “borrowing” is basic not only to his work, but to all Pop Artists’ work from Robert Rauschenberg to Roy Lichtenstein to Andy Warhol. With that in mind, ready your “copy machine”. We trust you’ll find something in this interview with the artist you can use in your work… and perhaps even take to the bank.

– Mike Foldes

Q)  Mel, the first place I saw your work was at Merton Boyd Gallery in Columbus, Ohio, in the mid- to late ’60s. I was blown away by how powerful a connection you made between art and fantasy, and ended up purchasing a copy of the print “woman with cheetah” (apologies — I’m sure I got that title wrong), which has been lost, now, to some unknown realm…  At the same time,  Wayne Thiebaud was your mentor, and I’m wondering how his works influenced you, or was it more the thought process and technique that was the influence, and not entirely the images he selected as subjects to paint?

A) Actually, all of the above were influences on me. His mind is so crisp and brilliant. This was a time in my life when I had a visual hangover from being a failed abstract expressionist but Wayne’s virtuoso painting technique fascinated me a lot and I became enamored of his style of painting. A style where the bravura applications of thick paint becomes a visual language for me; painterliness was a very important  element.

Q) What was it like growing up in Sacramento in the ’40s and ’50s?

A) Sacramento is where I lived for 31 years and have many fond memories of this town. In 1953 I was a senior in high school and Wayne Thiebaud came to my school on career day to speak about careers in art. The next thing I did was enroll at Sacramento Junior College where I took classes from Wayne. During the summer months the  California State Fair opened and Wayne was the director of the Art Exhibition and hired his students to work at the fair and put on a juried art exhibition. Those were wonderful memories. I was fortunate to have this opportunity because I learned so much.




Q) Did your parents encourage you to pursue art, or would they have preferred you take up another profession?  Were they artists, as well?

A) My parents were not artists. I think they considered my interest in art as a hobby. Finally, one year I entered a juried art exhibition and won first prize. So my parents finally realized that there is money to be made in art; after I fulfilled my mother’s dream of going to Hawaii for a vacation when I used my prize money to give them an all-expense-paid holiday.

Q) In addition to making art, you’ve spent decades in classrooms teaching art. What have you found to be the most important elements students must learn or understand in the process of becoming a working artist?

A) Learn how to draw. I cannot tell you how important it is to draw with passion. For many of the 40 years of teaching, 31 years at California State University East Bay, I would show slides for the first hour of class to discuss painting and to draw insights into the great art of the world. After which, I’d tell my students if they really want to be an artist, go home and PAINT, PAINT, PAINT.

Q) Who were among your favorite artists growing up, and was your continuing focus on nudes the result of something inside you, the recognition you received as the result of the work, or a combination of the two? I mean, if you’re good at something, why quit?

A) For as long as I can remember, I was very fond of Spanish Painting, Velasquez, Goya, Salvador Dali. When I was fourteen I discovered Dali and I was amazed at his painting skills. It made me want t be an artist. I have always been interested in drawing the figure and I think of myself as a figure painter. Even when I was doing abstract expressionist painting they were grounded in figuration. My work focuses around the figure in various stages of evolution. For example: Figure with commercial objects, Unfinished Painting, Hav-a-Havana, and more.

Q) I understand you’ve had a long and fruitful relationship with Catalonia, the region of Spain where Picasso was born and grew up. How did you discover that area

A) I was in Switzerland in 1972 for my exhibition. Some friends of mine said they were going to Spain to look for cheap real estate. I knew Picasso visited the village of Horta de Sant Joan where he made his first “Cubist” paintings. I went with my friends to this small village in the hills of Cataluna which made a fantastic landscape and bought a house there. Since 1972 I have been going there for 3 months in the summer every year.

Q) Syracuse is a long way from Sacramento…. What was it like teaching there, besides very cold in the winter, and were you acquainted at all with the poet W. D. Snodgrass, who I believe was there at the same time you were? Were your students of a different mind, so to speak, than the students you have in California?

A) I did not do classes at Syracuse University. I was the artist in residence. They provided me with a studio where I painted. Students were encouraged to drop by and chat about art and life. I was not acquainted with W.D. Snodgrass nor did I know if he was on campus.

Q) Did you have a lot of traffic in the studio? What kinds of direction were the students looking for?

A) Not too much traffic. But I always welcome students and collectors who ask to visit.

Q) I was pleased and surprised to see your work in the “We Are You Project” traveling art show at Kenkeleba on the lower East Side of Manhattan a couple of years ago, which is also when I met your student and friend Gabriel Navar, who helped facilitate this interview. How much influence has your Latin heritage played in your life or career?

A) First let me say I that I am not Latino. I am 100% Portuguese descent. My Portuguese heritage never really influenced me in any way until a couple of years ago; I was asked to participate in a Portuguese/American art exhibition celebrating the eruption of the volcano in the Azores (50 years ago).

Q) Would you say your art is more social or political commentary?

A) It’s both Social, Political and more. For example, is the art an appropriation.

Q) What do you mean, “Is the art an appropriation?”

A) I mean when it comes to imagery, I sometimes borrow ideas from other artists.

Q) Do you spend a lot of time sketching before you paint? Do you work from photographs, live models, or your imagination?

A) I used to make preliminary drawings before a painting was realized, but in the last 15 years, I now work from photos of models that I photograph and make images on Photoshop. This allows me to produce paintings more  rapidly. 

Q) How long does it take you to produce a painting? I know it likely varies, but if you’re working 8 to 10 hours a day, what would be ‘typical,’ if there is such a thing for you?

A) Ten days for small paintings, 2-3 weeks for large paintings (36″ x 60″).

Q) A Chinese friend said the other day that the Chinese have a saying, “Money has four legs and man has two. A man cannot chase money and win, but if the man has something money wants, it will find him.” How does this apply to business as an artist, and especially to you in your career?

A) I guess I have something that money wants, which allows me to have a studio manager (my daughter). Now, I work at making art and all non-art business matters are handled by my daughter.

Q) Looking back over your career, what would you say is – or was – the most vibrant time and place for creativity that you’ve experienced?

A) In 1960 I was wallowing in despair when I gave up painting abstract expressionism and painted something that I used to love as a kid, American Super Heroes, and I did a painting of Superman. My life changed, Pop Art was born and I was caught up in the energy of it all.


About the interviewer:

Mike Foldes is founder and managing editor of Ragazine.CC. You can read more about him in About Us.

This interview was conducted by email and was edited for continuity, not content. Many Thanks to Rochelle Leininger, Ramos’ daughter and business manager, who helped transcribe the artist’s answers to our questions, and to Ramos’ friend and former student, Gabriel Navar, for bringing us together.

January 5, 2014   Comments Off on Mel Ramos/Artist Interview

Ramos y Navar/Interview

Mel Ramos, left to right, Woody Johnson, Eric Murphy, and Gabriel Navar, in Ramos’ studio. Ramos is signing a print that will be on exhibit in the Ramos-Navar exhibition “Pay It Forward”, curated by Johnson & Murphy.


When a student learns

Gabriel Navar Interviews mentor, Mel Ramos

Navar: When did you decide that you wanted to make art your life choice? What artists did you admire as a young artist that inspired you and contributed to your early style(s)? Who (specifically) inspired you most in your early years to become a painter? How did you first determine your initial, personal artistic direction?  

Ramos: I decided I wanted to be a painter when I was in high school after I heard  Wayne Thiebaud give a talk to high school seniors in my class about careers in art. My first big influence was Salvador Dalí, who I discovered when I was 14 after seeing his incredible technical virtuosity with the paintbrush. At first I was a proponent of Abstract Expressionism which was being taught in the art schools at the time. Eventually I realized this was a dead end for me so I decided to paint portraits of my favorite comic book heroes and heroines. The rest is Art History.

Gabe & Mel 1992

Gabe & Mel 1992

Navar: Why did you choose to become a teacher? Was there a specific individual (or individuals) that sparked your interest in teaching?

Ramos: When I decided to make art as a profession I realized I would need a day job to support my activity and knew that teaching art would be the best way to do this.

Navar: As a professor, what was the main thing (advice, message, set of values, etc.) that you wished to instill in your students?

Ramos: The importance of hard work, dedication and clear thinking.

Navar: As an artist working for the most part in California; does West coast painting signify a unique entity? In terms of the contemporary art world, what role does The California School of Painting play? Are “its” unique traditions and values still significant within the contemporary art world? And, why?



Mixed images of the two artists…running in short interview prior to show in Oakland.


Ramos: California does have a distinct identity but I don’t know why. 

Navar: Mel, I clearly recall being in your painting class, sitting in a class critique, and you stating something very positive about my work along the lines of, “Gabe, paint 10 more like these and you will have a great opportunity in the art world.” I took it to heart and have made it one of my main life challenges. I am still pursuing opportunities and am enjoying the journey and the challenges. A question here, Mel, if I may, what was it about my work habits, painting style, etc., as a student of yours over 20 years ago that caused you to see promise in my work and/or career?

Ramos: I was impressed by your PASSION to succeed.

* * *

Editor’s Note:

The Pay It Forward exhibition is scheduled to take place in Oakland at:
406  14th Street.
Curated by Eric Murphy and Woody Johnson
June 1- July 28, 2012
OPENING RECEPTION: June 1 (6:00 PM- 9:00 PM)
Contact:   Eric Murphy, 510-465-8928
For more about the exhibition, see:

April 29, 2012   1 Comment

WAYPI California Exhibition


Mel Ramos, Catwoman

We Are You Project’s

“California Exhibition”


A Late-Summer 2013 Hispano-Epiphany

Manifesting in Oakland’s Joyce Gordon Gallery

(For those who can’t be there, this tells the story …)


by Dr. José  Rodeiro,  Art Editor
(Images by Sacha Webley and/or Sergio Villamizar)

“Our history has been laced with the constant pull of having freedom, preserving freedom, losing it and getting it back.  Like some Surrealistic poetic fiction, our lives swing as a  pendulum from respect and praise to utter contempt; or from honoring Latinos’ and Latinas’ accomplishments to perceiving us as suspicious terrorists, or even worse “an immigration problem,” instead of human-beings!   Unhappily, I believe that at this sad time, the pendulum is swinging toward extreme madness.”

— Marta Sanchez, Chicana Artist.


Art inspired by US Immigration Policy & “Latinization”

Between Friday, August 2 and Saturday, August 31, 2013, the Latino art and culture initiative known as the We Are You Project International (“WAYPI”) will present at the Joyce Gordon Gallery (406 14th Street, Oakland, 94612  (via 12th St. Bart Exit)) a series of pro-Hispanic art and culture events, revealing the current state of US Latinization.¹    At the same time, Oakland’s “10th Annual Summer Festival” (Art and Soul) is scheduled to take place. The conjunction of these two extraordinary art events has prompted acclaimed Irish art critic Tara Dervla to describe WAYPI’s “California Exhibition,” as “The world’s most important Latino/Latina  transcultural art event of 2013.”



Art inspired by US Immigration Policy & “Latinization”

The “EXHIBITION” re-examines and reinterprets domestic perceptions regarding contemporary Hispanic-transcultural ascendency, trending toward a potential Latino majority in as little as a half century, depending upon three major variables: Latino birthrates persisting at current rates; a continuing decline in non-Latino birth-rates; and, a continuing steady influx of Latin American émigrés. This potential demographic change is accompanied by an anti-Latin backlash, including immigration policies that target Latinos, to wit, the “border-surge” proposal that would add more than 20,000 new US Border Patrol agents along Southern borders, doubling the current force. At the same time, it would institute a lengthier “waiting-period,” and add layers of bureaucratic red-tape. The result: To limit or eliminate any “genuine” clear-cut paths to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants, some of whom have lived decades in “El Norte.” What’s more, the current US Congressional S.744 bill authorizes the costly construction of a higher, longer, “deadlier,” unattractive and ecologically disastrous border fence (“The Wall”).

Several artists exhibiting at Joyce Gordon Gallery directly address the brutality of the current “border surge;”  e.g., the Ecuadorian-born WAYPI painter Hugo Xavier Bastidas’s masterful oil Study for “The Gift”(2009), imaginatively illustrates the human-consequence(s) of such ill-conceived government policies by depicting, in dark-sepia, a discarded teddy bear inadvertently dropped by a child on a patch of cactus in the inhospitable Sonora Desert. This  work denotes the allegorical significance of that lost toy, which functions as an Amnesis metaphor (3b) signifying innumerable injustices Latino illegal émigrés face daily. A detailed iconological analysis of Bastidas’s penetrating image is available both in film and in prose within the We Are You Project’s Website: (

Artworks of this caliber stand as artistic and aesthetic antidotes to the current wave of anti-Latino  action endeavoring to curb the swell of the Latino-population in the USA, and its concomitant Latinization.¹

For example, fresh from his exhibition at Wirydarz Gallery, Lublin, Poland, another world-class Ecuadorian artist, Pablo Caviedes, presents an epic “3-D” mixed-media painting titled On the Map (2013), which patently describes the fact that the United States is, at its core, a nation of immigrants, a fact by-and-large forgotten by 21st Century rightwing fanatics.  Historically, from before the American Revolution, wave-after-wave of Immigrants built the wealth and the power of “this” nation, though not without African slave labor both north and south of the Mason Dixon line for several hundred years until 1863. In Caviedes’s opinion, the USA’s true national identity is that of an immigrant!  For that reason, Caviedes uses his own sideways frontal portrait encrusted with peculiar Amerindian designs (utilizing strong tenebroso throughout the face) topographically placing his countenance in a 3-D manner upon the surface-map of the continental United States of America.  In this, his image of himself proudly symbolizes all immigrants, while ingeniously reflecting the USA’s true identity: “an immigrant.”

In a similar conceptualization as Caviedes’s On the Map, Ricardo Fonseca (the Ibero-American Neo-NeoPop artist) designed a clever mixed media creation titled S.744, which ingeniously replicates the organic shape of the continental US-map.  Fonseca’s S.744(1b) is an artistic-exploration of House bill S.744 (Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013), currently in the House of Representatives. Unhappily, the bill fails to address many of the inadequacies of the current immigration system, in many cases merely reinforcing or parroting what’s already in place.  Fonseca’s masterful S.744 art work is an interactive “3-D” assemblage-installation, which adroitly provides viewers an opportunity to pick up the “Key to America” (to “The American Dream”), afforded by the S.744 bill.

The attached key permits viewers to cut-through the “red tape,” unlocking the chains of the Immigration & Nationalization Service’s labyrinthine bureaucracy. However, the key also falls short of reaching its optimal target in a manner reminiscent of Marcel Duchamp’s “What a Drip Operation” in The Large Glass, which ultimately fails to disrobe the bride.  In addition, the chain around the USA, in a way, metaphorically suggests the current Tea Partyistas’ anti-foreigner idea (“ideal”) of a “walled-America” completely isolated from the world: a veritable ethno-racist fortress-America – cut-off and alone.

Another WAYPI artist caught in the throes of US-Latinization/US-Immigration Policy matrix is  Colombian-American Sergio Villamizar, who like Caviedes is grappling with contemporary Latino identity.  In his 2006, duende-filled(7) digital print piece titled, “Before and Happily Ever After,” Villamizar juxtaposes double frontal self-portrait mug-shots (or passport-photos), wherein he uncompromisingly confronts himself (his actual facial features), his “being,” depicting one self-portrait with swarthy complexion and a moustache, the other with bleached skin and no moustache.  Since so much of what negatively confronts Latinos pertains to US-immigration policies, the ambivalent and humorous irony in Villamizar’s photographic self-portraits affords little distinction between his  photos’ potential paradoxical uses as “portraits,” “mug-shots,” or “passport-photos.”

Mexican American artist Ana Laura Rivera’s highly perceptive lithograph titled Tlacuilo Link (2013) uses a representation of a seated-figure (wearing an American flag poncho) squatting down, patiently waiting on the floor.  The image alludes to a late-16th Century Meso-Ameridian colonial codex titled The Boturini Codex, which was painted by an unknown Aztec artist about a dozen years after the Spanish conquest.   In her image, Rivera designed the piece to expose the sinister world of 21st Century human trafficking across the US-Mexican border, involving devious and iniquitous “coyotes” (slang for untrustworthy “guides” hired to plot illicit ways to cross the Southwest border into the USA).  “Coyotes” use the pretext of US entry to lead unsuspecting illegal immigrants into numerous criminal acts, i.e., the sex-trade, drug-smuggling, enslavement or other unlawful activities.

Awakening the Hispano-Zietgeist in Oakland (via Visual Art and Poetry:

The previously described initial group of five Ibero-American art-works (above) in addition to another twenty-seven images (described below) on display throughout August attest to an emerging Hispano-zeitgeist fostering a new US and global spirit insistent upon art and poetry. Cuban WAYPI artist Raul Villarreal in 2004 theoretically identified this as something radically new, dynamic,  and inventive. Dubbed “Neo-Latino, (3a)” it is a philosophically “New-Hispanic” way of being that in 2005, the  flamboyant Brazilian painter, poet, and filmmaker Duda Penteado perceptively characterized as a socio-cultural and transcultural concept, which he named “WE ARE YOU.” For more about the chronological history of the 2005 WAY Project’s  founding  by Duda Penteado, Mario Tapia and Dr. Carlos Hernandez, see “The We Are You International Traveling Show” (“WAY IT’S”) at   

A public reception Friday, August 2, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM will include an artists’ talk at 7:00, led by Lillian Hernandez (We Are You Project director), and including Villarreal; Bay Area Mexican-American painter-poet  Gabriel Navar; Peruvian-born grandmaster Carlos Chavez; Cuban-American NEA Visual Artist Fellow, Dr. José Rodeiro; Mexican-Americans Elizabeth Jiménez Montelongo and Efren Alvarez, as well as Oakland’s art trailblazer Joyce Gordon, and Eric Murphy, the eminent JGG curator.

Saturday, August 3rd starting at 2:00 PM, a WE ARE YOU Project poetry reading² is scheduled, featuring members of the We Are You Poetry Project, Gabriel Navar, Rodeiro, Jiménez Montelongo, and Bay Area poets Umbelina Guzman and Susannah Israel. The program was curated and edited by Alan Britt, editor-in-chief and chair of WAY’s Poetry Project, in concert with Sergio Villamizar ( ).   See also: .

“WAYPI” Neo-NeoExpressionism: The Emotive Heart of Latino Ascendency

Penteado is a dynamic, creative force whose extremely expressive works are universally acclaimed.  In his new mixed media image titled All Faces – All Colors (2013), the artist reaffirms several inherent WAY Project tenets, specifically with regard to the changing ethnic make-up of the USA. Contemplating the state of America’s Latino population by mid-century, Penteado writes: “Our country is rapidly changing. As we approach the year 2050, our nation will be increasingly more diverse, and Latinos will be one of the forces driving this demographic change.  According to 2010 U.S. Census Bureau population estimates, there are roughly 50.5 million Hispanics representing about 16 percent of the U.S. population.  By 2050, demographers tell us that there will be no racial or ethnic majority among the general population of the United States, it is projected that the Latino population will double to 30 percent by 2050. Consequently, the role of Latinos in shaping our country’s political and economic climate is becoming more and more significant.


WAYPI Neo-Neoexpressionism: The Emotive Heart of Latino Ascendancy

Along with Penteado, other WAYPI artists pursue emotive Neo-Neoexpressionist aesthetic-tendencies, e.g., Josephine Barreiro, José Acosta, Hugo Morales, Patricio Moreno Toro, Fernando Goldoni and Marta Sanchez.  For example, reminiscent of Vincent Van Gogh’s Sorrow, (an 1882 work by the visionary Dutch master, depicting his mistress Sien Hoornik pregnant), legendary Newark Ironbound Ibero-American Neo-Neoexpressionist painter Josephine Barreiro creates an eye-grabbing and powerful duende-filled (7) acrylic and mixed-media work titled Alone, which expressionistically emanates a gush of raw-emotion.  Barreiro’s image conveys the exhaustion, frustration and alienation of Latinos facing socio-political repression and economic despair.

Another highly expressive WAYPI shamanic spiritual artist, who focuses on socio-cultural concerns, is Elizabeth Jiménez Montelongo, a Northern California Chicana whose innovative acrylic and mixed media on wood image titled Reclaiming Autonomy synesthetically intuits spiritual voices that surface channeled from ancient Amerindian ancestors.  These ancient ancestral voices are ceaselessly reverberating and consequently providing an intrinsic and eternal Quetzalcoatl derived “precious widsom,” which is today enlightening many Americans, as well as universally affording the possibility of enlightenment worldwide.  Hence, Montelongo sees many ripe possibilities, as contemporary humanity emerges from the obligatory atavistic search for ancient wisdom; manifesting first as thoughts evolving into words, and second, thoughts transforming into praxis,  suggesting the possibility of Political movement and social change.

Another artist attuned to indigenous shamanic culture is Puerto Rican-American artist Gerardo Castro whose 2010 oil-on-canvas/mixed-media triptychI Miss You”/“Te Extraño” captures what immigrants have in common: homesickness and alienation. Castro’s triptych affirms his abiding faith and veneration of ancient indigenous divinities, relics, images, symbols, rituals, magic and myths, unifying the eternal brotherhood and sisterhood of indigenous peoples throughout the Americas.

Castro’s “I Miss You”/ “Te Extraño” is a visual poem, hungering for those missing faraway people that we yearn for, whether they are departed or in a distant “space” or “time.”  Bolivian poet and art theorist, Dr. Nicomedes Suárez Araúz describes these artistic and creative confrontations with what is forgotten, as being Amnesis.(3b)   Suarez argues that the vast lacuna of what is forgotten is the true source of artistic creative inspiration as well as the often concealed or overlooked modus operandi of all art.  Castro’s work exposes a melancholic bittersweet nostalgia for lost objects, lost beings, and lost moments. Especially important to him are those human beings that have moved on to the other side or those that we have left behind in distant lands.  Yet, for Castro, hope is ever-present: “Quien con la esperanza vive, alegre muere;” which translates: “He who lives with hope dies happy.”

Cuban visual-dynamo José Acosta is a gifted artist imbued with virtuoso talent for thick textural paint-applications. His art exudes a raw-surface passion within each inch of spectacular imagery.  Acosta concurrently combines in his art two divergent and contradictory art historical styles: those of Marc Chagall and Vincent Van Gogh.  In his 2013 acrylic on canvas work titled La Musica, Acosta creates, using his Dutch/Russian imaginative admixture of Van Gogh-Chagall, an image generating a terpsichorean  jaleo reminiscent of several imaginative works within Joan Miro’s Dutch Interiors’ Series with their vibrant horror vacui activating the entire surface with dancing shapes, floating forms, and brightly colored abstract figural elements caught in uproarious-revelry, illustrating the festive elation that hip-shaking Salsa Music generates. This signifies, for Acosta, a major aesthetic influence upon his visual art.  Hence, at full volume, he affirms that, “The energy in Caribbean music lifts my spirit and brings me great joy.  It is crucial to understanding my art that viewers grasp that the things that I enjoy most about my Hispanic Heritage are Family, Friends, Music, as well as all the Arts and Cuban Food.”

21st Century Transcultural Latino Visual Art Confronting Ethno-Racism

“Where is the US-Congress’s extant legislative proposal for an enormous barbed-wire-topped fence running along the entire US-border with Canada?” This perhaps rhetorical question is asked and addressed by a host of artists included in the “California” show. The artists ask the question because for generations millions of ambitious and resourceful Canadians have entered the USA to work. Many are “undocumented,” and inexorably take jobs away from US-born Americans. WHY?   Answering “why” preoccupies the work of Mexican-American WAYPI “poet-painter” Gabriel Navar. For instance, in Navar’s  2012 alienation-based  diptych, derived from his  WAY Poetry Project poem a walk with Carmen, the mostly slime-green section of the diptych is titled app 4 reemergence (acrylic, pencils, ink & oil on board); while the other section of the joint- image is pinkish-red and titled app 2 zap aliens (acrylic, pencils, ink & oil on paper).


Transcultural Latino Visual Art Confronting 21st Century Ethno-Racism

Navar’s diptych chronicles our Post-Industrial digital-information crazed “Dark Age”(4) (revealing our addiction and dependence concerning  electronic technology for doing just about everything). Consequently,  Navar crafts Hitchcockian milieus imbued with alienation, fear, and distrust . . . where cold and mindless technology dominates both circuitously or openly, preventing any possibility of truly living, feeling, and enjoying anything. In his work, we see humanity metamorphose into a mindless collection of nodes on a mind-numbing, lifeless electronic network. But also, of note, in Navar’s art, is the ubiquitous Twitter® logo… (the fat Blue Birdie).

Along with Navar, another artist consumed by the daily-struggle that confronts Latinos in 21st Century  America; is  the Dominican artist, Williams Coronado, whose mysterious and powerful duende-haunted (7) image  The Forgotten Fight (ink, pencil, and marker on canvas) conveys a sense of struggle, which metaphorically and symbolically connotes the day-after-day battle to survive as well as feed their family, which many Latinos face; both in North America — as well as in their nations of origin. Another evocative piece in the show is that of Monica S. Camin; an Argentine-born painter, who furnishes a full-standing likeness of the first Argentine Pope: Fr. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ, in her oil-on-canvas work: Pope Francis (2013). Camin’s penetrating portrait conveys a white ghostlike spirituality, which she assigns to this current Latin American leader of the global Roman Catholic Church; although the hem of his red-hued garment suggests he stands in a pool of blood. The image utilizes severe black-&-white tenebrism, as if to indicate that predominantly The Holy Father sees human existence as primarily being either good or evil, in “Black” & “White.”

The dehumanizing effects of ethno-racism permeate the work of Mexican-American artist, Efren Alvarez. In his work Manoseo (2013), watercolor and gouache, he examines the propaganda-arm of both US political parties, specifically investigating how both political parties address immigration reform.  The term “manoseo” is a Castilian word, which means to provocatively touch someone without their permission. In Alvarez’s dramatic, satirical, and sardonic image, two oversexed men flirt with a chaste young girl.  Alvarez explains, “Two perverse men (signifying Democrats and Republicans) try to seduce an innocent girl, who symbolizes or represents all Latin American illegal aliens.”

21st Century Global Popular Culture Caught in the Wake of WAYPI Neo-NeoPop Art

The portrayal of Latinos or Latinas as helpless victim is challenged by legendary Bay Area visual-genius Mel Ramos in his daring Neo-Baroque (“Bernini-esque”) Catwoman image.  The Pop master alludes to the 1940s’ Bob Kane and Bill Finger DC Comic character “Selina Kyle” (allegedly an Irish-Hispanic young woman), portrayed as a powerful whip-carrying femme-fatale jewel-thief involved in a love-hate relationship with Batman. The key issue, for Ramos, is that this type of DC Comic character was nearly censored out of existence in 1954, when these images were deemed too erotic.  Heroically, Ramos played a key (and gallant) role in helping to reinstate such subjects into the visual-lexicon of American Pop iconology, which after the 1960s’ sexual revolution finally allowed such characters as “Catwoman/Selina Kyle” to reemerge and reappear in a variety of Hollywood cattish portrayals (Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether, Ertha Kitt, Michelle Pfeiffer, Halle Barry and Anne Hathaway). Ramos’s animated “can-do” portrait of “Selina Kyle” as “Catwoman” immortalizes a strong American Celto-Latina as an iconic pop symbol of authentic transcultural feminist liberation.


Art reflecting 21st Century Global Popular culture Caught in the wake of WAYPI “Neo-Neopop Art”

The Neo-NeoPop group within WAYPI includes Ramos, Ricardo Fonseca, Lisette Morel, Fernando Goldoni, Julio Nazario and Hugo Morales.  Ecuadorian contemporary artist, Hugo W. Morales’s Neo-NeoPop digital print image “ ICEd” provides two  black-&-white” double standing-portraits of ubiquitous Latino Pop superstar “Dora the Explorer” floating or caught within (or surrounded by) rectangular chunks of ice.  This “ice” metaphor illustrates the constant postponement and deferment of all Latino socio-political, socio-cultural, and socio-economic concerns dominating today’s Ibero-American 21st Century political agenda.  In urban slang, the term “ice’d” means to be ostracized or cut-out of something: “unable to join in.” The term (in urban slang) can also connote great wealth, to be iced is to be covered in diamonds or “bling.”  Also, keep in mind, that ice is formed when water reaches the freezing-point of 32° Fahrenheit, and sadly (with Dora the Explorer on “Ice”) “around” 32%  might very well indicate the sum total of Latino population growth in the USA by 2050 CE, which if true would make most of We Are You Project perfunctory. Morales’s whimsical and ironic capacity for joking-around springs from his deep-rooted hilarious propensity for comic Pop Art, i.e., Warhol’s 1961 Nancy images or the cartoon-inspired works of Archie Rand, Ronnie Cutrone, Juan Ugalde, and others. “Iconologically, the use of “ICE” in Morales’s “ICE’d” is a pun on “US Immigration & Customs  Enforcement,” as Sergio Villamizar pointed out.

Ibero-American youths have been fighting and dying for the USA as soldiers and patriots since 1776 (6)  —  and perhaps even earlier. Today, during the “War on Terror,” Hispanics  comprise a large percentage of the USA’s fighting forces.  This point is driven home by Puerto Rican WAYPI artist, Julio Nazario in his 2013 mixed-media piece titled, “Vietnam Service;” an image symbolizing his personal narrative; as well as a broader narrative, pertaining to Latinos and Latinas serving in the U.S. Military.  With art historical allusions to Pop Art masters like Billy Al Bengston and Robert Indiana, Nazario adds (unlike them) sublime emotion to his oeuvre.  In Nazario’s monumental work, the green background represents the central highlands of Vietnam.  The four bronze stars in the image of his Vietnam Service Medal represents the four principal combat-operations that the artist was directly involved in – — from 1967-68.   This narrative is painfully illumined by his well-known Purple Heart piece titled The Convoy in Lilacs found within this WAY Project’s Webpage URL (!nazario-julio/c7hn) .

In strong accord (with both Morales’s and Nazario’s above-described Neo-NeoPop pieces) is a highly emotional flag-image by Uruguayan-born WAYPI artist Fernando Goldoni, who created an acrylic on canvas mixed media image titled Where do we go from here?   This vibrant red, white, and blue blurred and gestural Neo-Informalist depiction of “Old Glory” alludes to Jasper Johns’s mid-1950s Pop Art series of American flag paintings.  This image’s style is simultaneously both Neo-Neoexpressionistic and Neo-NeoPop Art.  However, Goldoni’s flag is far more emotional than any of Johns’s flags.  On each of Goldoni’s  stripes are written (or scratched with diverse writing-implements) perfect words (often in Spanish) for a Neo-NeoPop Art poem; a veritable Wittgensteinian word game:  “VISA,” “stop no,” “System,”  “Trespassing,” “oil petrol power,”  “Shhh – NYC’s Best Kept Secret,” “Iran,” “Afghanistan,”  “Iraq,” “Cuba,” “Panama,” “You will always be a foreigner” — “Laws lie to you,®” (or “Laws speak untruth”®).

Another innovative and conceptual WAYPI visual-dynamo is Dominican Neo-NeoPop artist, Lisette Morel.  Her highly original  piece titled “To:USA, Smooches Dominican Lips,” is an image belonging to  her ongoing “Mapping Series.”   Morel’s “To:USA, Smooches Dominican Lips” directly addresses issues involved in 21st Century Dominican-American Latinization.¹   The extremely animated image was created in 2013 using lipstick that was first placed on the artist’s lips and then repeatedly placed as kisses upon a NYC Subway Map.  This mixed-media piece documents a personal shamanic creative event, a furtive ritual, or the detritus of a performance-piece, which presages the passage of time in that each viewer [(whether an immigrant or not)] confronts his/her own personal place in time.  In The General Theory of Relativity, Albert Einstein expounded the notion of “spacetime” by which time and space are deemed equivalent to each other.  Hence, Morel’s patterns of kiss-marks serve to map: 1). Particular places, 2). Exact or precise locations, as well as 3). other Kripkean worlds.

Cuban-born WAYPI artist, Rosario D’Rivera’s mixed-media collage  “Dolor De Patria,” 2013, is a dual painful and heartfelt Neo-NeoPop image, expressing the artist’s deep love for her homeland Cuba.  The image ingeniously references innovative Pop Art push/pull compositions created by Pop pioneer Robert Rauschenberg; especially his early-1960’s Kennedy Series, involving JFK and RFK, reflecting Rauschenberg’s knack for subtle subliminal inadvertent “chance” allusions, e.g., unintentionally in the  Kennedy Series evoking the notorious Cuban Missile Crisis, which almost ignited World War III.  However, unlike Rauschenberg, little in D’Rivera’s Dolor De Patria is left to chance, although like Rauschenberg as well as other 1950s and 1960s Pop masters, she is trying mightily (in her collage) to break the Duchampian distinction between “art” and “life,” by amalgamating (“collaging”) diverse images, things, words and ideas together into a furtive, yet, decipherable, coded messages, involving, i.e., a broken enormous red heart cracked through the center bleeding irate words; a defiant fist holding the Cuban flag;  balseros adrift; photo-documentation of Cubans escaping Communism; angry words; images of her famous musical and artistic family; Miami’s “Freedom Tower,” and the cartoon bearded-face caricature of Cuba’s interminable totalitarian and criminal tyrant.

Puerto Rican-American ‘WAYPista,’ Jacqui Casale offers a seminal Neo-NeoPop work that sums-up the entire JGG show in a brilliant “all-encompassing” nutshell titled, “LATINO,” which cleverly says it all! Casale’s “LATINO” is comprised of six small modules, which when combined together form the word “Latino.”  Assembled with two modules side-by-side, her work is composed of acrylic paint, text and collage, and indirectly alludes to the text-based Pop Art of Robert Indiana, e.g., his 1968 Numbers Series. Each letter module in the word “Latino” consists of dozens of intermingled words that start with one of these specific letters (“L,” “A,” “T,” “I,” “N,” and “O”)  to express words that are commonly used by people to stereotypically define Hispanic ethnic qualities and socio-psychological determinant-characteristics most typically identified with a specific ethnic group.  In Casale’s piece some defining stereotypical terms are pejorative, others are complimentary and positive.  Her work is interesting in that it provides a wealth of sociological insight into how Latinos are perceived by both non-Latinos and Latinos themselves.

WAYPI Metaphorical Realism & the Hope of “Neo-Renaissance”

Despite the current wave of anti-Latinoism sweeping the country, Hispanics long to be considered 100% American. Nowhere is that more evident than in a fascinating transcultural portrait titled El Hijo del Destino/ The Child of Destiny (2013, oil on canvas) painted by Laura L. Cuevas. The artist candidly captures the essence of her son, Eduardo Enrique Whittington, which she describes as a fresh, “new,” and optimistic Walt Whitmanesque portrait of America that integrates an ethno-cultural inheritance comprised of Puerto Rican, Cuban, French Créole and British ancestry. Also, echoed in the image is the fact that her son entered this world on the 4th of July during a fireworks celebration, an activity filled with rockets’ red glare; and the bombs bursting in air” marking America’s National Anthem: “The Star Spangled Banner,” hence, “Old Glory” also appears in Cuevas’s image.


WAYPI Metaphorical Realism & The Hope of “Neo-Renaissance”

Another growing tendency among WAYPI artists is “Metaphorical Realism,” which derives from several Latin American postmodern styles  (i.e., Neo-Romanticism, Neo-Symbolism, Neo-Surrealism, Neo-Ultraism, Neo-Magic Realism, Neo-Superrealism  as well as Amnesis Art), many of which Metaphorical Realism has refashioned  into a unique and emblematic radical Postmodern “narrative” style that  includes (in alphabetical order): Hugo X. Bastidas, Laura L. Cuevas, Olga Cruz, Gerardo Castro, Williams Coronado, Roberto Marquez, Gabriel Navar, Raphael Montanez Ortíz, Joe Pena, Jimmy Pena, Jesus Rivera, José Rodeiro, Raúl Villarreal and others.

For example, upon arriving in the US, Mexican-born master Roberto Marquez first dwelled in Arizona, eventually establishing himself in New York City’s Metropolitan Area, as well as spending considerable time in Australia.  His elegant, imaginative, sensitive, and poetic paintings envision fantastic dream worlds replete with vivid symbolic images. Marquez’s encaustic and oil on wood piece titled, “The Map of Mexico” is a visionary and iconic image ingeniously depicting a pre-1848 map of Mexico, as it was prior to the Peace Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (near Mexico City), which ended the US War with Mexico (1846-1848), as well as establishing a new boundary-line between the United States and Mexico along the Rio Grande and (before 1853) the Gila River. The treaty permitted the United States’ purchase of over-525,000 square miles of Mexican territory for a mere $15,000,000 (dollars), thereby attaining Arizona, California, western Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah, and few hectares of Oklahoma, Kansas, Wyoming, Idaho, and Oregon.  In full accord with Henry David Thoreau’s vehement opposition to President James K. Polk’s notion of “manifest destiny,” Marquez’s “The Map of Mexico” describes a “timeless” Mesoamerican child comprehending (or “grasping”) the Amnesis (3b) implications of this unfathomable and overwhelming historical and geographical “loss” that forever functions as an invariable gigantic “lost object” — lost within a vast universal collective-lacuna that has, in due course, inspired Latino artists from Diego Rivera to Marquez.

Perhaps WAYPI Metaphorical Realism (with its revolutionary return to human artisanal methods of creativity, and with its “renewed” emphasis on poetry as a constituent element in visual art) might be a means toward the long-awaited “Neo-Renaissance;” to end the current “Techno-Dark Age” that has crippled visual art and poetry for decades. WAYPI Metaphorical Realism could be an instrument in the  revitalization art-as-“Art” (returning visual art to the visual — both the visceral (seeing) and visionary (seeing)) by ending, at long last, the cynical “anti-art” dogmatic academic “Neo-Dada Establishmentarianism,” which today reaches out to rule the art world.

In The New Criterion, art critic Barbara Rose once observed that by their inherent “Outsider” status, minority artists in the USA are generally insolated and protected from the aesthetic dogma of the “ever-conceptual” Anti-Art establishment. For this reason, Latino artist (as well as other minority artists) are free (without restraint) to pursue art as “Art.”  They are even free to paint using brushes, using their eyes, painting from their heart, mind, soul, guts, etc., because as outsiders, they are free from the chains of the art industry. Latinos can, as a result, exert greater devotion, imagination, love, and passion to their art; consequently doing their art as if it mattered. Thus, Rose perceived in her article that they might be among the only contemporary artists actually doing valuable worthwhile art of any consequence in the USA. The implication of being an “Outsider” plays into the desire within WAYPI Metaphorical Realism to engender and foster a “New Renaissance,” an ambition best expressed by a prophecy hidden in the last lines of Federico Garcia Lorca’s poem Ode to Walt Whitman, where a dark duende inspired these prophetic words:

I long for the strongest wind from the deepest night

to clear away flowers and words from the arch where you sleep,

while a black boy warns white gold mongerers

“At last, arrives the sovereign-reign of a maize-tassel!”

— Federico Garcia Lorca


As young children, two Cuban American “Metaphorical Realist” WAYPI artists, Raúl Villarreal and José Rodeiro admired the Proto-Postmodern painters: Salvador Dalí, Rene Magritte, and Mel Ramos.  Hence, allusions to Magritte and Dali appear in Villarreal’s oil on canvas titled Ambos Mundos, which depicts a shimmering Neo-Romantic seascape that surrounds a perfectly centered floating picture of a solitary Cuban fishing boat (CHECK the central boat-detail from Villarreal’sAmbos Mundos’).  The boat also references Villarreal’s familial connection to Ernest Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea [(research the best-selling book Hemingway’s Cuban Son by Rene Villarreal and Raul Villarreal )].  As a whole, the image commemorates — as well as memorializes, the more than 90,000 Cubans who (from 1959 until today) died at sea on balsas (makeshift rafts) seeking “freedom,” “justice,” and asylum from the Castro Brothers’ dictatorship.

Like Villarreal, Salvador Dalí’s Persistence of Memory as well as Mel Ramos’s numerous reclining figures directly inspired Rodeiro’s oil-on-canvas portrait of Oshun, which is titled Agua Dulce (Oshun Asleep), 2013. This image asserts that contemporary Caribbean art and culture is inherently African art and culture. Moreover, this unique Neo-Negritude (Neo-Negrisme) and Neo-Tropicália is an Afro-Caribbean cultural imperative, which syncretisticly blends Yoruba’s elemental cosmology with an array of specific Roman Catholic saints.  For example, the orisha Oshun is explicitly identified as being “Our Lady of Charity,” who is also known to Cubans as “Our Lady of El Cobre:” The Patron Saint of Cuba. Hence, many Cuban women invoke Oshun, as their personal divinity.  Also, Oshun is celebrated as the goddess of sexuality, eroticism, and sensuality, which are three key or intrinsic or socio-regional qualities or pillars that best define the innate creative genius of Caribbean culture, especially in Cuba. A reality that Cuban master, Raul Villarreal always reassured, saying to Rodeiro, “Think of ‘Mother Africa;’ . . . consider ‘Mother Africa.’”

In this Cuban-Caribbean work, the viewer miraculously stands on the banks of the River Oshun, Nigeria, while three Cuban yellow butterflies (Phoebis Avellaneda) dance like Hesiod’s ancient graces: giving, receiving, and returning. Rodeiro depicts the goddess Oshun asleep, dreaming at nightfall under a slender crescent moon that converses with three fixed stars. In the distance is Oshun’s sacred Erin Ijesha Waterfall. Behind the goddess, strange abstract anonymous sculptures of Oshun and Shango scan the river; these existing 3-D works look like extraterrestrials: aliens (indirectly alluding to the general WAYPI immigration-related aesthetic).  In the image, water flows all around Oshun and through her, as evening ascends; and everything golden-yellow is ascribed to her.

Another Metaphorical Realist depiction of a woman is Tex-Mex master, Joe Peña’s oil on panel “Elenora,” 2013, which is part of a series of images of immigrants and undocumented émigrés, which opens a window into the life and work of Mexican nomadic migrants that routinely pass through Texas heading to diverse destinations throughout “El Norte,” like Chicago, Denver, Dover (NJ), etc. The painting of “Elenora” depicts her as a brave and bold young woman, one moment before she crossed the New Mexico border into her “United States destiny” (which could be either “The American Dream” or American nightmare).  In footnote #9 (below) is Joe Peña’s compelling account of what transpired.(9)

Another Puerto Rican-American artist disillusioned by both USA’s and several states’ official policies aimed at Latinos is Puerto Rican visual artist, Olga Cruz. In her image titled Mi Bella Vieques (My Beautiful Vieques), Cruz iconologically investigates historical events on Puerto Rico’s little sister Island, Vieques, where between 1941 and 2001, the US Navy and its Marine Corp unilaterally (without permission) used the tiny island’s southern peninsula as a massive firing range for naval gunnery target practice.  Metaphorically, Cruz depicts a grief-stricken Boriquen boy crouching in a prenatal pose unable to “stand” nor “lie” nor “sit,” alluding to T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land’s famous line, which precisely defines the basic characteristic of all “wastelands” as being emotionally unwelcoming bleak places where:  “. . . one can neither stand nor lie nor sit.”(8).

WAYPI’s Positive & Up-Beat Pro-Latino Optimism

Despite everything, Hispanic hope endures and prevails by means of a dark and ironic optimism evident in the art of five emotively expressive and imaginative WAYPI artists: Peruvian-born painter Carlos Chavez; Chilean-born artist Patricio Moreno Toro; Puerto-Rican book-artist, Maritza Davila; Chicana artist, Marta Sanchez, and Puerto-Rican-American artist Willie Baez. Virulent confidence is evident in Sanchez’s highly expressive 2011, oil and enamel on tin painting Freedom is a Global Dream , which expresses her abundant hope for the future, stating (in relationship to her Neo-Neoexpressionistic piece), “As a Chicana living in the 21-century, I have seen and felt my heart rise with pride for what we, as a global Latino community, have contributed to the USA and the entire world. Latinos are united not only as a community within the United States but, equally as part of the global society.  Nevertheless, in the past few years, when the economy faltered, many Latinos felt deflated by cruel acts of discrimination and violence directed at them. I realistically try to walk-the-walk of perseverance and empathy for the sake of all those that continue to fight to keep their God-given rights and their inalienable freedoms, as they defiantly chant-the-chant, Que si se puede!”


WAYPI's Positive & Up-Beat Pro-Latino Optimism

Paradoxically, Patricio Moreno Toro’s duende-filled (7)  Claustrofobia Solemne (mixed-media on glass)  examines the reality of being a Latin American immigrant/refugee attempting to live in the USA. Toro’s image occasions myriad feelings of being isolated, alienated; as well as describing claustrophobic sensation(s) of being caught, caged, displaced, or thrust (without warning) involuntarily into motion at an inexorable speed: a misfortune that converts any  immigrant or refugee into a mere shadow of their former-self, forever becoming a little too dignified, or always “in character,” as “Zorro,” “Ricardo Montalbán,” “Rachel Welch’ or “Shakira,” as well as (like these alien-beings) blindly committed to forging ahead despite countless obstacles. All of this struggle exemplifies the reality of being a stranger in a strange-land, forever being forced to persevere, climb fences, break barriers, and finally, finally obtain some sort of validation. Via an expressive Neo-informalism, Toro’s Claustrofobia Solemne captures and demarcates Hispano-émigrés as Amnesis (3b) caged shadows of former-selves.

Puerto-Rican book-artist Maritza Davila’s accordion book structure is titled Bilingual (2011-2013) is a 15” tall work that opens-up to 46.”  The work is a variable edition of two (only), which was created using screen-print, woodcut, as well as lithography collage. The piece iconologically reveals that Latinos are a transcultural ethnicity primarily held together by their utilization of Iberian languages (primarily Spanish and Portuguese, as well as other regional idiosyncratic Iberian tongues).

World famous Peruvian Neo-Surrealist WAYPI painter Carlos Fortunato Chavez Lopez (aka Carlos Chavez) offers an oil-on-canvas piece titled Mi Paijan querido (2012), which critic Millie Redunger has positively evaluated, stating, “Chavez employs a unique blend of forms and colors, in this Mi Paijan querido image, wherein we enter a strange world of mysterious places and beings enveloped in enigmatic possibilities that oblige sublime crystallization of the viewer’s attentive contemplation. Soon, by carefully observing the image, the forms coagulate into numerous tiny adobe houses reminiscent of Paijan, Peru, which is Carlos Chavez’s  hometown (his “pueblo”), where he was born.” Like Chavez, Willie Báez also recalls, in his Joyce Gordon Gallery piece, childhood reveries. One of America’s most exhibited Puerto Rican-American artist, Báez is known for his personal and intimate images. For example, in his “Hijos de Borinquen,” an acrylic painting with collage elements on canvas, Báez connects dominant memories from his childhood in Manhattan’s East Village, regarding his father and mother and their Latino religious and cultural traditions, stating, “My mother had a “sacred alter” where she lit her candles to honor, venerate, and pray to the seven African powers (“las siete potencia“). My father would polish and tune-up his guitars, and then ardently serenade the family with Caribbean folksongs drawn from his long ago childhood in Puerto Rico.”


Joyce Gordon Gallery’s WAYPI “California Exhibition”

Like that melodic voice described by Willie Baez above, the WAY Project is a devoted socio-cultural institution that furnishes Latinos  everywhere a lucid visual artistic and poetic “voice” affirming and proclaiming the power and beauty of Ibero-American art & culture.  This vision and voice is precisely what the Joyce Gordon Gallery offers with the “CALIFORNIA EXHIBITION.” Ultimately, the We Are You Project mission is to inform, enlighten, stimulate, and create a dialogue about the many facets and realities of Latino history and contemporary identity.  For more information, visit

Joyce Gordon Gallery is a commercial fine art gallery located in the downtown district of Oakland, California. It exhibits art that reflects the social and cultural diversity of the Bay Area as well as international artists. The aim of the gallery is to respect the creative pursuits of  individuals; and accordingly, seeks to make such creative work accessible to a broad audience.    Joyce Gordon Gallery is located at 406 14th St (12th St. Bart Exit) Oakland, Ca. 94612. The Gallery hours: Wed – Fri 11am-5pm and Sat 1-5pm.   For more information, contact: Gallery Curator: Eric Murphy –  Gallery: 510.465.8928.



1a.    Latinization is a term invented by Dr. José Rodeiro in 1992 during the USA’s Columbus Quincentenary for an art exhibit and monogram organized by Helen Glazer (the Director of Goucher College’s Rosenberg Gallery, Baltimore, MD), which she titled “Approaching the Quincentenary: Latino Art 1982-1992.”  The term “Latinization”  was first used publicly on Monday, October 12, 1992, at Goucher College, during an art historical lecture by the author of this article, using the term “Latinization” to denote the inevitable growth and spread of Latino culture throughout the USA, including the expected 21st Century absorption of Latino culture by the US-mainstream (which shortly after 2070 CE will perhaps manifest and mark an unavoidable and “natural” cultural shift when due to population growth and other factors, the USA achieves feasibly perchance a 51% Latino majority) establishing within the USA a Latino (“Hispanic”) predominance, concerning, e.g., Latino values, art, music (dance), food and lifestyle.

1b.    Fonseca’s S.744 is inspired by his current and personal experiences with US-immigration red-tape, e.g., the layers of  countless Department of Homeland Security immigration forms that he and his family have had to complete, specifically pertaining to the art historical fact that Fonseca is sponsoring one of his family members in their pursuit of a Resident Alien Card.  Also, the colors, are patriotic (red, white, and blue).  In his image, the low-relief sculptural effect of the thick “3-D” red chain, padlock, and key, create a unique push/pull of subject and object, which can be considered “Neo-NeoPop” in temperament.

2.       As the late-20th Century merged into the early 21st Century, the long established link existing between Visual Art and Poetry unfortunately eroded.  However, in the early 20th Century, Picasso maintained close contact with a plethora of great writers, i.e., Gertrude Stein, Guillaume Apollinaire, Max Jacob, Pierre Reverdy, Paul Eluard, Jean Cocteau, Hemingway, and others; as did Dalí with Lorca; furthermore, the Spanish painter Juan Gris roomed in Paris in 1916 with the Chilean poet Vicente Huidobro; likewise in Paris, Chilean visual artist Roberto Matta lived with Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda from 1938 to 1939, etc, etcetera.   Sadly, during this new techno-driven “Dark Age,” the world is increasingly inundated with analphabets; for instance, few people under 50 years-of-age can actually read and comprehend James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logicophilosophicus, or Nicomedes Suárez-Araúz’s Amnesis Art, because today, each art form is deemed separate, “specialized,” cut-off  and  remote from other art forms; hence, wretchedly and lugubriously, the natural innate kinship between poetry and painting is vanishingYet, the ancient Greek poet, Simonides of Ceos viewed painting as silent poetry and poetry as painting that speaks,” or as the Roman poet Horace agreed, “Ut pictura poesis — “As is painting so is poetry.”

3a.    Neo-Latinoism:

as well as:

3b.    Suárez-Araúz, Nicomedes.  Amnesis Art, New York City: Lascaux Publishers, 1988.

  1.  The “Neo-Renaissance” aspect of the WE ARE YOU PROJECT:   One of the most novel and innovative aspects of the WE ARE YOU Project is a desire (a longing for) a Neo-Renaissance.  This obsession is marked by the  WAY Project insistence on  comparative-artistic collaboration and alliance with all the arts, which might be “secretly” perhaps an  un-envisioned-path out of the current “Techno Dark-Age” marked by over-faith in machines, as the earlier 6th and 7th Century “Dark Age” likewise was fixated fanatically on faith in God (5).  Yet, historically all Renaissances only occur when faith is humanistically directed primarily or mainly at humanity (“Mankind”), as 17th Century French fabulist Jean de La Fontaine declared: “God helps those that help themselves!”  Or as the proto-Renaissance genius St. Francis of Assisi instructed, we must be the instruments of God on earth.  Yet, at this moment, the current Techno Dark Age is still very-much alive!  There is presently no Neo-Renaissance in sight!
  2. Dr. Jose Rodeiro’s views on The Dark Ages:
  3. During the American Revolution, Count Gálvez led Spaniards, Mexicans, Cajun-Creoles and Latinos against British forts (i.e., Manchac, Baton Rouge, Natchez, Mobile, and Pensacola), securing large tracks of the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi River Valley for the newborn infant USA.
  4. What is DUENDE?!home/mainPage
  5. Both T. S. Eliot and Olga Cruz reference Wolfram von Eschenbach’s  Parzival with its insightful definition of the wasteland as a “dead land” that surrounds the “fisher king’s” magic castle — wherein lies the Holy Grail, which adds another layer of sublime-meaning to Cruz’s watercolor Mi Bella Vieques; due to the Holy Grail’s resurrecting and invigorating power(s) to restore the land, which affirms Cruz’s farsighted faint hope for the Island of Vieques’s distant prospects as a vibrant plush-posh tourist destination.   It is interesting that her image was created at the exact same time as director Bruce Robinson’s 2012 film The Rum Diary based on an early-1960’s novel by the great Hunter S. Thompson about white-collar criminal Yankee real-estate speculation on Vieques, during Eisenhower’s presidency.
  6. Joe Peña’s compelling account, states, “As with my previous work currently in the WAY project Website, I’ve been working on a series of paintings relating to my experience during the summers of my youth; wherein I would unload tile with Mexican immigrants on their way north.  During these summers, I would often hear about the grueling treks led by coyote-guides, told by these émigrés friends in order to earn a better living for themselves and ultimately for their family members back home in Mexico.  My immigrant portrait-series is a testament to their journeys with some images depicted directly, while others are depicted in a more dramatic fashion harkening back to German, Russian, and Chinese propaganda posters, as well as recruitment posters of the American Red Cross. “Elenora” is an example of the latter with the figure getting ready to cross the New Mexico border with nothing but her hopes and fears for a new and better life.”



Efren Alvarez’s “THE GAME of HOPE”  (“El Juego de Esperanza”),
mixed-media 20’ x 15’ floor piece.


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July 28, 2013   Comments Off on WAYPI California Exhibition

News, Haps & Snaps

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Jeanne Mackin Wins Fiction Award

SYRAC– USE, N.Y. — Writers Jeanne Mackin and Joseph E. Fahey and poet Jasmine Bailey are the winners of the 2014 CNY Book Awards in fiction, nonfiction and poetry, Jeanne Mackin.JPGrespectively. Marianne Angelillo received the 2014 People’s Choice Award. The winners were announced at a reception at La Casita Cultutral Center. This is the third year of the awards, sponsored by YMCA Downtown Writers Center.

Jeanne Mackin won for“The Beautiful American,” and Fahey won for “James K. McGuire: Boy Mayor and Irish Nationalist.”Bailey was recognized for“Alexandria.” Angelillo won for “Sharing My Stones.”
Three independent judges selected the finalists and winners in the individual categories. Here is the list of the finalists in each category:

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And the winners are…

International Feature Film Competition
Representing a wide variety of styles and genres, these works compete for the Festival’s highest honor, the Gold Hugo, a symbol of discovery.



A scene from “The President”

Gold Hugo, Best Film:The President” (Georgia, France, UK, Germany) Director: Mohsen Mahkmalbaf

Silver Hugo, Special Jury Prize:Refugiado” (Argentina, Colombia, France, Poland, Germany) Director: Diego Lerman

Silver Hugo, Best Director: “Timbuktu” (France, Mauritania) Director: Abderrahmane Sissako

Silver Hugo, Best Actor: Anton Yelchin, “Rudderless” (USA)

Silver Hugo, Best Actress: Geraldine Chaplin, “Sand Dollars” (Dominican Republic, Mexico)

Silver Hugo, Best Cinematography: John Christian Rosenlund, “1001 Grams” (Norway)

Silver Hugo for Best Screenplay: Ronit Elkabetz and Shlomi Elkabetz (co-writer and co-directors), “Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem” (Israel, France, Germany)

Gold Plaque for Best Art Direction: Mauro Radaelli, “Human Capital” (Italy)

Gold Plaque for Best Costume Design: Pia Myrdal and Anne-Dorthe Eskildsen, “Speed Walking” (Denmark)

Gold Plaque Special Mention for Originality: “The Owners” (Kazakhstan) Director: Adilkhan Yerzhanov

The International Feature Film Competition Jury includes Kathleen Turner (USA), Margarethe von Trotta (Germany); Ferzan Ozpetek (Italy); Giora Bejach (Israel); and Parviz Shahbazi (Iran).

New Directors Competition
This selection of first and second feature films receiving their U.S. premieres in Chicago celebrates the spirit of discovery and innovation upon which the Festival was founded.

The Gold Hugo goes to “Underdog” (Sweden), a modern take on class conflict that keeps its focus on its believable characters instead of highlighting the melodrama inherent in its narrative. When a young Swedish woman named Dino begins working for a successful Norwegian man named Steffen, the consistently genuine performances and Ronnie Sandahl’s mature handling of difficult themes allow the film to resonate. It is a film that both addresses specific cultural issues and yet feels simultaneously universal through its honesty. Director: Ronnie Sandahl.

The Silver Hugo goes to “Next to Her” (Israel), an accomplished portrait of sisterhood with striking performances conveying a difficult subject matter. Liron Ben-Shlush anchors the film with her stunning turn as Chelli, intimately capturing how responsibility can turn into codependency. Asaf Korman subtly portrays that the victims are not always who we think they are. Director: Asaf Korman.
The New Directors Competition Jury includes Anna Croneman (Sweden); Izza Génini (Morocco); Wieland Speck (Germany); and Brian Tallerico (USA). The New Directors Competition is sponsored by Columbia College Chicago.

The Roger Ebert Award
The Roger Ebert Award will be presented annually to an emerging filmmaker whose film presents a fresh and uncompromising vision. Films competing in the Festival’s New Directors Competition are eligible for this award.

The Roger Ebert Award goes to “La Tirisia” (Mexico), which instills empathy through its director’s strong sense of visual composition and handling of difficult themes. Setting his film in a surreal, sensual landscape in Oaxaca, Mexico, this subtle drama of two pregnant women transports viewers to a unique part of the world, but deals with universal human emotion at the same time. It’s the kind of unforgettable journey that only film can replicate. Director: Jorge Pérez Solano.

Docufest Competition
This selection of international documentaries competing for the Gold Hugo go beyond the headlines in telling those true stories that surprise, entertain and challenge us.

The Gold Hugo goes to “Echo of the Mountain” (Mexico). Through extremely intricate artistic works, a Huichol artist conveys the symbols and meanings of his own native culture—a traditional culture kept alive for thousands of years in the deep mountains of Mexico. Director Nicolás Echevarría follows artist Santos de la Torre for one year, as he elaborates his next mural. Rich aural and visual textures provide an intimate view of Santos and his world. Echevarría’s documentary conveys the hybrid complexity of the exchange between modern and traditional cultures still coexisting in our globalized present. Director: Nicolás Echevarría.

The Docufest Competition Jury includes Luisela Alvaray (USA), Peter Berggren (USA) and Clayton Brown (USA). The Docufest Competition is sponsored by Columbia College Chicago

OUT-Look Program/Q Hugo Award
Chosen from the Festival’s OUT-Look program, the winners of this award exhibit new artistic perspectives on sexuality and identity.

The Gold Q Hugo Film Award goes to “Xenia” (Greece) for confronting an unfriendly world with defiant gaiety. Director: Panos H. Koutras.

The Silver Q Hugo Film Award goes to “Something Must Break” (Sweden), for telling a brave, modern story about characters whose relations to gender and sexuality are hard to categorize but are lived with passion and guts. The jury looks forward to the unfolding career of this exciting filmmaker who presented this tale in such an uncompromising way. Director: Ester Martin Bergsmark.

The Q Hugo Film Award jury includes Mihai Chirilov (Romania), Nick Davis (USA), David Robinson (UK), and Brenda Webb (USA).

The Founder’s Award
The Founder’s Award is given to that one film or performance across all categories that captures the spirit of the Chicago International Film Festival for its unique and innovative approach to the art of the moving image. The 50th Chicago International Film Festival presented actor Michael Keaton with the Founder’s Award for his electrifying performance as an actor who hopes to revive his moribund career in Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s daring comedy “Birdman.“To pick a single film or performance from this year’s incredibly strong lineup of more than 150 films was difficult, but an eagerly anticipated challenge – they all exemplify the Festival’s spirit of innovation and discovery. And yet, Michael Keaton’s performance in ‘Birdman’ moved me deeply; it confirmed that Keaton is not only one of our greatest American actors, but one whose work will soon be reevaluated and further appreciated,” said Festival Founder and Artistic Director Michael Kutza.

The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

Hundraåringen som klev ut genom fönstret och försvann
Director: Felix Herngren

Chicago Award
The Chicago Award, presented to a Chicago or Illinois artist for the best feature or short film, goes to “The Alley Cat,” directed by Marie Ullrich, an exceptionally innovative and refreshing first feature representing the auspicious and exciting start of a promising filmmaking career. Bold, gritty, and full of energy, Ullrich’s film is a prime example of first-rate low-budget filmmaking, serving as an intriguing announcement of a new voice.

The Chicago Award jury includes Monica Long Ross (USA), Julian Antos (USA), and Malik Bader (USA).

Short Film Competition: Live Action
The Gold Hugo for Best Short Film goes to “Amazon” (Norway).  Marianne O. Ulrichsen’s “Amazon” finds its power in contrasting the small heartbreaks of childhood against the vast beauty of the Norwegian landscape. This coming of age story, involving shifting vulnerabilities and eventual connection between two young girls, pulses with life, buoyed by the human performances of its two young actors and the breathtaking cinematography of Annika Summerson. The lyrical short film captures and celebrates the undefined possibilities inherent in liminal spaces: those unscheduled afternoons, new meetings and open landscapes that lead to self-discovery. Director: Marianne O. Ulrichsen.

The Silver Hugo for Live Action Short is awarded to “In August” (USA). Through its beautiful cinematography and sincere performances, “In August” exquisitely captures the moment between a little girl realizing her world is changing forever and the change itself—the sublime before the storm. Director: Jenna Hasse.

The Gold Plaque for Best Student Short is awarded to “Skunk” (USA). Demonstrating instincts similar to early David Gordon Green or Debra Granik, “Skunk” masterfully teases the audience with the promise of a lazy summer day and the nightmare that other teens induce upon each other. The young actors’ nuanced performances wonderfully illustrate youthful humiliations via the conflicts of puberty—the bravado of boys who can’t yet control their bodies, and the retribution of a girl not interested in taking things lightly. Director: Annie Silverstein.

The Gold Plaque for Narrative/Live Action Short goes to “Artun” (Iceland/Denmark), a pale yellow, Black Metal ode to that age when you feel like the dirtiest thing in the world because you’re still so clean. Director: Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson

The Silver Plaque for Narrative/Live Action Short goes to “The Immaculates” (France). In this affecting document of tragedy, director Ronny Trocker weaves a quilt of 3D imagery, leading viewers through a disorienting landscape of retelling and remembrance. Director: Ronny Trocker.

The Gold Plaque for Best Experimental Short goes to “Prehistoric Cabaret” (France).  In this colonoscopic reverie, courtesy of the world’s most dangerous camera, we penetrate the cosmic mystery shrouded in secrets within the enigma at the very center of being (or at least through the center of our lovely hostess.) Life IS a cabaret.  Director: Bertrand Mandico.
A Special Mention goes to “Washingtonia” (Greece). With humor and heart, “Washingtonia”  exists in the space between narrative and free association, offering an absurdist urban myth that is somehow recognizable, even as it eludes definition. Director: Konstantina Kotzamani.

The Live Action Short Film Competition Jury includes Lindsay Bosch (USA), Susan Kerns (USA), and Spencer Parsons (USA).

Short Film Competition: Documentary
The Silver Hugo is awarded to “Love.Love.Love.” (Russia). Sandhya Daisy Sundaram’s “Love.Love.Love.” is a rotating treatise on the forms love takes in the lives of Russian women. In a beguiling series of deceptively compact tableaus, it evokes a universal hunt for romance and companionship from the dawn of birth to the twilight of old age.  We award “Love.Love.Love.” Best Documentary Short because, in rare form, it lives up to its title, and reflects invisible truths found in the combination of everyday moments. Director: Sandhya Daisy Sundaram.

A Gold Plaque – Special Jury Prize goes to “Ghost Train” (Australia). “Ghost Train” paints a vivid portrait of a man who is drawn to a cabaret dancer at a local haunted house. As he deals with his wife with Alzheimer’s and faces his own death, he finds solace in her vivacity and energy in a house dedicated to death. Through found footage, stunning black and white cinematography and borrowing the style of bygone horror films, “Ghost Train” leads the audience on an exploration of life, death and legacy. Directors: James Fleming and Kelly Hucker.

Special Mention to “A Paradise” (Cuba), a brief but compelling observation of a poor family in rural Cuba, and a discreet look into complex issues surrounding children living in poverty. Director: Jayisha Patel.

The Documentary Short Film Competition Jury includes Jack C. Newell (USA), Brian Ashby (USA), Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa (USA).

Short Film Competition: Animation
The Silver Hugo for Best Animated Short Film goes to “Coda” (Ireland). “Coda”’s elegantly simple visuals, minimal lines and solid patches of color, describe an urban nighttime world of disconnection and insularity. Here, the moment of dying is seen as a chance for re-evaluating the individual’s relationship to humanity and life itself. The jury recognizes this film for the challenging depth of its themes, and for the spare but powerful aesthetic which presents those themes with lyrical complexity. Director: Alan Holly.

The Gold Plaque-Special Jury Prize goes to “Symphony No. 42” (Hungary). The jury was hypnotized by the associative links between the domestic and the natural, and by the portrayal of animal exploitation as a farce. These nihilistic allegories functioned both as a dystopia and as an indictment of contemporary human activity. Director: Réka Bucsi.

The Silver Plaque is awarded to “Drifting” (USA), for its strange manipulation of time, and the notion of capturing the uncapturable, for no witness. A documented life critique. Director: Joel Benjamin.

A Special Mention goes to “Man on the Chair” (South Korea), for its poetic pastel beauty and its willingness to be calm and powerful at the same time. Director: Jeong Dahee.

The Animation Short Film Competition Jury includes Eric Patrick (USA), Timothy Brayton (USA), Chris Sullivan (USA).

101 Reykjavík

101 Reykjavík
Director: Baltasar Kormákur

INTERCOM Competition
One of the longest-running international competitions of its kind, INTERCOM honors a wide range of corporate-sponsored, educational and branded films.

The Gold Hugo goes to “The Art of the Pit Stop” (Germany) from Kemper Kommunikation GmbH. Truly living up to the spirit of INTERCOM and appropriately titled, “The Art of the Pit Stop” is a simple, poetic film that addresses the branded video with the highest level of cinematic achievement.

The INTERCOM Competition jury includes Dan Sutherland (USA), Susan Kerns (USA), and Ron Falzone (USA)

Special Awards
The 50th Chicago International Film Festival honored director Gina Prince-Bythewood with an Artistic Achievement Award and actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw with an Emerging Artist Award during the Festival’s 18th Annual Black Perspectives Tribute on October 10.

Evening Hosts: Michigan Avenue Magazine and Sofitel; Lead Partner: Wintrust Community Banks; Evening Partners: Stella Artois, Casale del Giglio and Effen Vodka.

Led by Tourism Partner Illinois Office of Tourism and Presenting Partners Columbia College
Chicago, the 50th Chicago International Film Festival’s sponsors include Official Airline: American Airlines; Headquarters Hotel: JW Marriott Chicago; Major Partner: Intersites, Wintrust Community Banks; Participating Partners: AARP, Allstate, Bloomberg, Casale del Giglio, Cultivate Studios, Netrix, Stella Artois; Platinum Media Sponsors: NCM Media Networks, Ingage Media, JC Decaux, Michigan Avenue Magazine.

# # #

Cinema/Chicago, the presenting organization of the Chicago International Film Festival, is a not-for-profit arts and education organization dedicated to encouraging better understanding between cultures and to making a positive contribution to the art form of the moving image.

The 50th Chicago International Film Festival runs October 9-23, 2014.

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Association of Illustrators 
Illustration Awards 2014

AOI Illustration Professional Award 2014
Geoff Grandfield

“The text was the key, I was keen to represent both the subject of Alexander as an extraordinary character and his world and the interpretation and staging that Mary Renault had made across the three novels in her trilogy. Her selection of events as known/recorded are dramatised in an increasingly powerful way vividly showing the increasingly epic scope of his short life. Each picture I made attempted to convey a narrative idea that would visually add to this approach.”  — G. G. 

The winning work from the AOI Illustration Awards 2014 is being exhibited at Somerset House’s Terrace Rooms from 10am – 6pm, everyday until Sunday 2nd November 2014. Admission is free.

Association of Illustrators
Somerset House, London, United Kingdom
London, England WC2R 1LA
United Kingdom

For more information:

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combo3eddyswithsepia pisschair

A Daily Dose of Gurbo

Fans of surreal imagist/illustrator Walter Gurbo will be pleased to know you can view a new panel every day on the artist’s Facebook page. Walter has been contributing to Ragazine.CC for a few years now, but since we only publish every two months, you aren’t going to get your fix on a regular basis. So, make the most of it, and see what Walter has up his sleeve ….:

It’s a circus in there!

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A gathering of the tribe: Former (that is, mostly former) Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin staff got together for an afternoon picnic at a local park… some came from Buffalo and Potsdam. Others came from back in the day when hot type was still the norm and stories came in on teletype. It’s true. Thanks to Chris Tevyaw for sharing the pics.

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This One-On-One Poetry Workshop is for those interested in an in-depth series of email exchanges about their poems between themselves and the workshop leader, poet Arthur Vogelsang.  Each week for 7 weeks the workshop member submits a different poem which Vogelsang critiques in a 700-750-word email.  That week the member responds to the critique and Vogelsang responds to the member.  After 7 of these exchanges, one per week, in the 8th week the member writes a “conference letter” to Vogelsang, topics initiated by the member, then Vogelsang responds, and the member has an opportunity to respond again.

As each workshop member’s exchanges are done on an individual, private basis and there is no group interaction, all levels of writing are welcome, from beginners to poets with a publishing history and all of those between.  Application is free, but the workshop is not.  The next session is October 13 – December 5.  The application period is September 10 – 22.  Decision on admission by September 24.

Complete information about the workshop application process, fee policies, and workshop schedules is here:


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Framingham, MA

Gloria Mindock & the Červená Barva Press
Poetry Reading Series
Presents Flavia Cosma & Alan Britt
at the Červená Barva Press Studio
Date: Saturday, June 21st
Time: 7-9pm
Place: The Arts for the Armory, Basement, Room B8
191 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA 02144

Admission $3.00. Refreshments will be served!

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Art & Transformation


Brazilian artist Duda Penteado launched his new tabletop book,  ARTISTIC REVOLUTION, ARTE & TRANSFORMAÇÃO, at Cultural-Conjunto Nacional bookstore in Sao Paulo. This comprehensive art historical text examines the artistic achievements of one of Brazil’s leading visual artists. Penteado, a multimedia artist, has lived and worked for over twenty years in both the United States and Brazil, creating a unique oeuvre  via various genres, including: performance, video,  installations, murals, sculptures and paintings.


Duda Penteado, Book Signing

Hundreds of people attended the book signing at Brazil's largest bookstore, BOOK STORE CULTURA – CONJUNTO NACIONAL (Avenida Paulista, 2073 – Bela Vista, Sao Paulo – SP, 01311-940). Here are photographs from the event.

In recent years, Penteado has devoted much of his work to important transcultural issues currently facing mankind: peace, globalization, poverty, tyranny, immigration, inequality, ethno-racism and other 21st Century geopolitical and socio-economic problems facing the Americas.  Penteado’s primary message is the affirmation of the transformative power of art, presenting  the concept of Artistic Symphony, a concept he defines within the new text.  The book culminates more than two years of work, collaborating with art critics and writers including: Katia Canton, Olivio Guedes, Oscar D ‘Ambrosio, Joao Eduardo Hidalgo, George Nelson Preston, Jose Rodeiro, Alejandro Anreus, Carlos Hernandez, Michael Foldes, Alan Britt, and others.   The book was released simultaneously with a corresponding website that will feature interviews, lectures, reviews and a special introduction to a new art project in the Amazon.

The book was launched with the support of the publishing company GRUPO REAÇÃO NATURAL (Rua Caiubi, 137 – Perdizes, São Paulo, Brazil – SP CEP 05010-000 (, and the assistance of  editorial-coordination by Maria Luiza Paiva (  Over the years, RAGAZINE.CC  has covered Penteado’s work and the activities of the We Are You Project. See more at:   and


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Fountain Street Fine Art presents

June 19 -Aug 3, 2014
Reception Saturday June 21, 5 – 7 PM
Poetry Reading Sunday June 22, 1-4 PM
Wed. June 25th at 7pm.,
160 Hollis St.
Framingham  MA  01702

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An Evening of Music & Poetry

William Musto Cultural Center Reading 5-10-14

Spirits of Cuba Favoring Jose Marti
Spirits of Cuba Favoring Jose Marti
Roberto Rosado
Roberto Rosado
Pierro Romano
Pierro Romano
The Musto Gallery
The Musto Gallery
Sal Talgiarino
Sal Talgiarino
Paul Sohar
Paul Sohar
Jacqueline Milena and Simon Mulligan
Jacqueline Milena and Simon Mulligan
Michael Foldes
Michael Foldes
Emcee Lucy Santiago and Poet Alan Britt
Emcee Lucy Santiago and Poet Alan Britt

All photographs by Sergio Villamizar

Saturday’s event at William Musto Cultural Center – Union City (N.J.) turned out to be a very special evening, indeed. Rain threatened, and there was drizzle in the air that for a moment required an umbrella or sidestep under an awning as an assemblage of poets and artists walked Union City’s streets in search of just the right Cuban restaurant for a late lunch and multiple espressos. Led by LaRuche Artists’ director and OASIS organizer Roberto Rosado, the group returned to the “recital hall” and gallery space to chat with guests and prepare for “work.”

Thanks to all who came out to enjoy the music and spoken word. If you didn’t make it, see you next time!

(Photo information can be seen by clicking on the “Information Icon” in the upper right corner of the photos.)

See also:

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Africa Speaks

“Come and Join the Conversation”

Meeting Mrs. Winnie Mandela

As a follow up to the articles we ran last year in Ragazine, the conference sponsored by the University of South Africa and Study Abroad to Africa (September-October, 2013) was a success with engaging speakers and the “Evolution/Revolution 2” exhibition by internationally renowned artist, Ben Jones.  The U.S. based group attended the conference and traveled extensively in South Africa.  Some members of the group were honored to meet Mrs. Winnie Mandela who autographed her new book  491 Days: Prisoner Number 1323/69 – Winnie Madikizela Mandela.

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to Egypt’s Albawtaka Review,

Winner of Two Grants from

The UNESCO IFPC and the British Council in Cairo

to produce audio books for the blind in Egypt and Libya, 2014

From over 1,500 submitted projects, the Albawtaka Review has won two grants from the UNESCO IFPC and the British Council in Cairo to translate a dozen stories from English to Arabic as audio books for the blind. The stories will be read in Arabic by 12 female Arab authors who will choose the stories they most want to read aloud. The stories deal with community and ethical themes and all feature women protagonists dealing with issues such as the question of abortion rights, cultural traditions, disease, racism, poverty, and other community hardships. These stories reflect a sustaining collection celebrating women’s struggles against misogyny and prejudice. Some stories to be translated include: Doris Lessing’s, “An Old Woman and Her Cat,” Margaret Atwood’s, “Giving Birth,” Louise Erdrich’s, “Fleur,” Nadine Gordimer’s, “The First Sense,” Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s, “Refuge in London,”and Melanie Rae Thon’s, “Letters in the Snow – for kind strangers and unborn children – for the ones lost and most beloved.” 

Despite the fact that there are estimated millions of blind people in Egypt and Libya, the Ministries of Culture do not currently acknowledge the needs of the blind in their plans for providing educational materials. With these books, visually-impaired youth will have the opportunity to get acquainted with the world’s most innovative fiction. The audio books will be distributed for free in Egypt and Libya for the benefit of the visually-impaired youth aged between 18 and 30 years old. Organizations endeavoring to cater to the welfare of the visually impaired have volunteered to accomplish this mission: the Egyptian Blind Association, Cairo; the Association of the Blind, Benghazi; and Taha Hussein Hall in Cairo University. A number of 5000 audio books (DVDs in MP3 format) will be made in Cairo by the Albawtaka Review while the 5000 copies allotted to Libya will be made in Tripoli.

Hala Salah Eldin, The Albawtaka Review editor and publisher, expressed gratitude not only for the grants, but also to the officials of all institutions working in the service of the blind in Egypt and Libya, and to the Blind Association in Cairo, The University of Cairo, and the Blind Association in Benghazi for their future cooperation. Eldin is hopeful that this project will encourage other institutions to organize funds and produce more books for the blind.

The Albawtaka Review is an Arabic independent nonprofit online quarterly concerned with translating contemporary English short fiction (

For more details on the grants and their recipients:

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DECEMBER 18, 2013


to Avery Irons,

winner of Ragazine.CC’s

“Speculative Fiction by People of Color” contest

for his original story

“The Chance”

Final Judge: Sheree Renée Thomas…


Thomas, is the author of “Shotgun Lullabies” and editor of “Dark Matter,” a collection of science fiction, fantasy, and horror produced by people of African descent. “Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora is a groundbreaking achievement by any measure and was the winner of the 2001 World Fantasy Award for Best Anthology.”

Thomas had this to say of Irons’ story:

“…Your near-future story was a provocative, frightening, and moving work that explored a socio-economic problem – and its intergenerational impact – that is rarely discussed frankly in American society and is certainly not often explored in literature.  As I read your story, I came to feel deeply for the family you depicted and their struggle.  Your writing was clear, evocative, and riveting at times, with natural dialogue that read like truth.  The ending of the story was surprising and inspiring…”

“The Chance” will appear in the January-February 2014 issue of Ragazine.CC. Don’t miss it!

Runners up (stories to be published in Ragazine in 2014):

Ely Azur’s “Never. Give. You. Up.” (moving but creepy adopted monster/baby/zombie? And a disclaimer, don’t usually care for zombie tales, but this family’s attempt to adopt and become parents during a biological epidemic was compelling)

Lisa Bolekaja’s “Don’t Dig Too Deep,”  (spooky children’s lore), and

Sharon Warner’s “The Color of Time” (short and sweet microfiction).

Honorable Mentions for Imagination and Lore:

“Jacob and the Owl,” by Shawn Frazier

“Ruth’s Garden” by Kyla Philips

Honorable Mentions for exciting locations/settings:

(Dogon tribe /Africa), Sacha Webley

(Brazil),  Adanze Asante

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This was Ragazine’s first fiction contest and we received so many strong entries that I would seriously encourage all of you to send me work for subsequent issues. Our judge was also impressed with the quality of the work. We hope you will continue to read and submit to Ragazine. We are looking forward to doing more speculative and fantasy fiction in the future.

                                                             Joe Weil – fiction editor


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We are most thankful to all the writers who entered our Speculative Fiction by People of Color contest, and offer our sincere congratulations to the winner and runners up, whose stories were critiqued by our final judge, Sheree Renée Thomas.  We trust you’ll stay tuned to future issues and will look for these stories as they appear throughout 2014.

Our attempt to promote this underserved genre was our first publishing fundraising venture, and we look forward to many more contests celebrating various genres in the future. We appreciate the support and effort by the judge, Sheree Thomas, who skipped the work to rule dictum to help spread the word about the contest. Thanks, too, to the many publications, venues and people whose time and energy contributed to providing an opportunity for these writers to be heard.

— Mike Foldes, Founder/Managing Editor

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Franklin Furnace Still on fire …

A Letter from Martha Wilson

Dear Franklin Furnace Aficionados,

We extend sincere thanks to those of you who have already renewed your memberships for 2013-14.  If you have not yet joined, please read about our upcoming programs below and follow this link to our online membership page:

In 1976 I saw a void in the art world: major institutions were not seeing that downtown artists were creating ephemeral works dealing with the social, political, economic and philosophical world — socially engaged art. Ever since, we’ve been keeping such art practice from falling between the cracks.

Now it is 2013, and climate change is upon us.  Many of us do our part — recycling bottles, cans and plastic bags; forgoing AC; buying local produce — although in light of our planet’s most calamitous problem, these steps feel ineffectual.  Regina Cornwell, an independent curator, proposed a city-wide exhibition by artists who wish to confront climate change; in the coming year, Franklin Furnace will launch her project, InClimate: Climate Change Solutions, Awareness and Action. This ambitious exhibition focuses on underserved urban communities and confronts global warming through art by calling upon artists, in collaboration with climate change experts, to find solutions and antidotes.  The participating artists are Lillian Ball, Lynn Cazabon, Billy X. Curmano, Agnes Denes, Alicia Grullon, Planetary One collaborative, and Andrea Polli.

Here are examples of some InClimate projects now underway:

• Mega Dunes: For the People of the Rockaways:  Internationally acclaimed artist Agnes Denes, who has been called “the mother of eco-art,” is producing a pilot for her Mega Dunes. This is InClimate’s only permanent work. InClimate has partnered with community organization Rockaway Waterfront Alliance to identify local adults and youth to plant salt-resistant trees and other vegetation on the pilot dune.  Denes’ project will contribute to the artistic heritage of the City of New York; build protection and resilience for the Rockaway residents and their homes, schools, businesses, places of worship and beaches which were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Sandy; and be a catalyst for youth to consider careers as artists, landscape architects, oceanographers and more.

• Particle Falls is a night-time projection of cascading blue falls on an outdoor wall. Suddenly, disturbing blotches invade the soothing image. Media artist Andrea Polli’s project employs specialized technology to monitor, record, and make visible the amount of invisible CO2 and other pollutants in the air. More blotches appear when a jetliner flies overhead, less when a motorcycle passes nearby, so viewers can immediately grasp the reality of climate change.

EcoNet is a phytoremediation project which the Planetary One team of artists will create with children in a Brooklyn public school, P.S. 20, the Clinton Hill School, with which Franklin Furnace has partnered since 2006.  The students will help build mini-wetlands and place them in their schoolyard.  Specialized sensors in these tiny marshes monitor the process of the water’s decontamination. Indoors, a dynamically designed installation driven by sensor data allows viewers to experience results in a variety of media that chart the constantly changing process as the plants decontaminate water.

I believe artists can and should try to change the world with their work, and never get tired of seeing how artists engage with the real world.  I hope you will join Franklin Furnace in 2013-14, our 37th season, as we mount InClimate, and continue our three principal programs — the Franklin Furnace Fund, SEQuential ART for KIDS, and the Unwritten History Project.

Please click this link to be taken to Franklin Furnace’s 2013-14 Membership page:

Very truly yours,

Martha Wilson

Founding Director

Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc.
80 Arts – The James E. Davis Arts Building
80 Hanson Place, #301
Brooklyn, NY 11217-1506
T 718 398 7255
F 718 398 7256


Martha Wilson, Founding Director
Harley Spiller, Deputy Director
Michael Katchen, Senior Archivist
Jenny Korns, Program Coordinator
Mary Suk, Financial Manager
Agustina Bullrich, Project Manager


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New Jersey First Lady Mary Pat Christie and artists at the opening reception for “New Jersey Impressions”.

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“New Jersey Impressions

at Drumthwacket

By Dr. José Rodeiro
Art Editor

New Jersey Impressions,”  a highly perceptive, visually stunning collection of art works by 13 landscape artists representing “The Garden State” will be on display through July 21, 2014, at Drumthwacket Mansion, the official residence of Governor Chris Christie and New Jersey’s First Lady Mary Pat Christie.

Artists represented include W. Carl Burger, Califon, Hunterdon County; Myles Cavanaugh, Lambertville, Hunterdon County; Todd L.W. Doney, Gillette, “Great Swamp,” Morris County; Amy Evans, Califon, Hunterdon County; Julie Friedman, Randolph, Morris County;  Gary Godbee, Westfield, Union County; Jeff Gola, Moorestown, Burlington County; Maria Mijares, Plainfield, Somerset County; Nancy Ori, Berkeley Heights, Union County; Gerald Slota, Paterson, Passaic County; Stan Sperlak, Goshen, Cape May County; George Tice, Atlantic Highlands, Monmouth County, and  Tricia Zimic, Maplewood, Essex County.

The show provides a mix of imaginative studio pieces inspired by photographs and sketches, and an array of virtuoso plein-air works that reaffirm 21st Century Radical Postmodern “‘Re-Impressionist” tendencies.


Among the works is a vibrant 2012 oil painting by Todd L.W. Doney, Swamp, Oct. 18, 5:58 PM, (above) created near his home on the edge of the Great Swamp Wildlife Refuge (   The opening reception  for the artists was hosted by Mrs. Christie, along with The Drumthwacket Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

The mansion is located at 354 Stockton Street, Princeton, Mercer County, New Jersey.  The exhibit is open to the public any Wednesday in 2013 with the exception of November 27, and December 18 and 25 when it will be closed.  Reservations are necessary and visitors  need to schedule at least one week ahead.  For more information, go to


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Foldes reads from “Sandy Poems”; Devereaux painting to his left.
Richard D’Egidio photo.

Port Washington’s ART & POETRY Observance
of the First Anniversary of Superstorm Sandy:
October 2-30, 2013

by Dr. José Rodeiro, ART Editor, Ragazine CC
 Christie Devereaux’s “Stormy Weather Series:
A Post-Sandy Reflection in Paint on the Forces of Nature”
In Collaboration with Michael Foldes reading
Chronicles of a Superstorm: “The Sandy Poems.”  

During October 5’s opening-reception (from 1:00 PM until 3:00 PM) of Christie Devereaux’s art exhibition titled: “Stormy Weather Series: A Post-Sandy Reflection on the Forces of Nature,” the Port Washington Public Library (One Library Drive – Port Washington -NY 11050) presented a unique “artistic” collaboration between painter Christie Devereaux and poet Michael Foldes. The exhibition runs thru October 30, 2013, and is part of the national observance of the First Anniversary of Superstorm Sandy.

This distinctive visual-literary coalescing of “art-&-poetry” by two 21st Century masters sensitively and perceptively recalls the overwhelming catastrophe known as “Superstorm Sandy” that hit especially  hard New Jersey and New York on October 29-30, 2012, causing billions of dollars in damage and killing 285 people.

Together, Devereaux’s “Stormy Weather exhibit with her insightful illustrations for Foldes’s Chronicles of a Superstorm poetry collection, and his reading, represent the collective hallmarks of an extraordinary creative partnership whose thoughtful and thought-provoking “poetic-artistic” joint venture sheds light upon, as well as memorializes and commemorates, last fall’s overpowering tropical storm.

This artistic collaboration began in early November 2012, in the wake of the storm, when both artist began independently to put together their collections.  Deeply and directly affected by the storm (Devereaux’s mother’s home was inundated by the Atlantic Ocean),  she reexamined her emerging “Stormy Weather Series” as a post-Sandy reflection (in paint) on Nature’s power. Soon she was in contact with poet Michael Foldes regarding his emerging “Sandy Poems” that grew with Devereaux’s illustrations into a visual and literary benchmark, Chronicles of a Superstorm.

Sandy 1

We are the bottom of the sea
The City That Never Sleeps
Awakening from a bad dream
An Atlantis in the making
Neptune and Poseidon,
Thetis and Oceanus,
Aphrodite And Sedna,
Matsu and Mizu-Gami,
All the names of all the Gods We pray to,
and those we don’t,
Who like the air we breathe
And the water we drink
Flow in and out of our lives
Leaving behind detritus
Evidence of unyielding power
Even as their liquid arms
Clamp our granite columns
Fill our caverns with sea water
Order us about demanding
An acknowledgement
Not off how small and insignificant
We are, but of how great and true
And without prejudice they be.

Devereaux, a native of Brooklyn (NY), has always been drawn to the power of the sea as a source of inspiration for her paintings. Since 2007, she has unerringly directed her keen attention to every aspect of sea-storms (e.g., Her current show represents this fixation or singular focus on the intensity, energy and awe of storms that can be experienced while living in or near a seaside community. Many of the paintings on display will appear in their book as sublime and penetrating illustrations (or, in truth, as sacred “illuminations”).

For more of Devereaux’s work, see

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Paul Ballard, Ana López,Paolo Ruiz, N A’Yara Stein, Carment Doreal (front), David Brême, Morelia Flores, Anna Loiuse E. Fontaine (front), Sharl, Louise Carson, Jüri Talvet, Eva Halus, Flavia Cosma, Maria Caltabiano, Jeremiah Wall, Katherine Kretler

The Eighth Writers’ and Artists’ International Festival at Val-David, QC, Canada By Ana López  

Twice a year, the Writers’ and Artists’ Residence at Val-David, Quebec, Canada, celebrates its Writers’ and Artists’ Festival.  The Residence directed by Flavia Cosma opens its doors to receive poets, authors, musicians and visual artists from all over the world, and fills the forests of Val-David with poems, stories, arts and music.

The Eighth Writers’ and Artists’ Festival “The Lyrical Wild Berries Harvest,” took place  5 and 6 October, 2013, with the collaboration of L´Association des auteurs des Laurentides and with the support of the Municipality of Val-David.  The Festival started on Saturday with the work of the prestigious Estonian poet and scholar Jüri Talvet, followed by the poets Louise Carson (Saint-Lazare-de-Vaudreuil, Québec), N. A. Yara Stein (Estados Unidos), Ana López (Argentina), David Brême (Francia/ Montréal), Flavia Cosma (Val-David, Québec), Carmen Doreal (Deux Montagnes, Quebec), Paul Ruíz (Italia) and, the presentation virtual of  Luis Raúl Calvo (poet, compositor and interpreter from Argentina).

Flavia Cosma

A musical interlude was also provided by Jeremiah Wall, author and performer of Val-David, Quebec.

The day of Sunday the 6th October started with a conference sustained by the poet and editor Michel Mirolla “The new Guernica Press and the state of books publishing in XXI Century”, followed by Jüri Talvet, who presented his book about the Estonian poet Juhan Lliv and by Flavia Cosma, who spoke about Cervena Barva Press, a successful publishing venture out of Somerville, Massachusetts.

In the afternoon, Paul Ruíz presented a retrospective of the Canadian/Italian artist painter Rito Caltabiano, at 10 years from his death, followed by lectures by Diane Robert Dit Lafontaine (Montréal), Louis Philippe Hébert (Saint-Sauveur, Québec), Talleen Hacykyan (Montréal), Anna Louise Fontaine (Laurentides, Québec),  Connie Guzzo-McParland (Montreal/Italia), Eve Duhaime (Laurentides, QC), Roger Lauzon (Morin Heights, Québec), Eva Halus (Montréal), Maria Caltabiano (Montréal).

The Festival ended with an exuberant finale full of music and merriment realized by Sharl, musician and performer from Laurentides, Québec. During both days the spirit of the meetings emphasized the richness brought forth by the artists and writers from various cultures and countries, the sharing of experiences and creativity, and made possible the meeting of new friends in a fertile and cordial atmosphere. For the visual arts show we must mention the contribution of Rito Caltabiano, Morelia Flores, Carmen Doreal, Talleen Hacikyan, Eva Halus, Roger Lauzon, Paul Ballard, Anna Louise Fontaine and Sharl.

For me as an individual this gathering was like a gate opening towards the work of important artists and authors of the world, with whom we shared during two magical days the pleasure of poetry and of arts in a fraternal climate of friendship and kinship among persons from distant lands.

Ana López, writer Buenos Aires, Argentina Val-David, 9 October 2013.
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A news program for the rest of us!

The Other 98% - Politics for the Rest of Us

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Good news for Bob Baldori and Bob Seeley. Baldori was awarded Best Director of a Documentary and Best Picture at the Chain NYC Film Festival for “Boogie Stomp! The Movie”.  “Boogie Stomp!” will screen at the 2013 Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival in Bay City, MI, from September 26-29, 2013 and  the Kansas International Film Festival in Overland Park, KS, October 4-10, 2013. You can check out the trailer, and stream the 86-minute video, at or purchase at

More information:

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Poetry at the Gallery
WAYPI artist Jose Rodeiro reading the poetry of Duda Penteado, Alan Britt and Rafael Montañez Ortiz.

WE ARE YOU INTERNATIONAL’s  “CALIFORNIA EXHIBITION” at the Joyce Gordon Gallery in Oakland, California


On August 2-3, the Joyce Gordon Gallery in Oakland, Calif., hosted a reception for the opening of the We Are You Project International traveling art exhibition. The reception Friday night, August 2, was followed on Saturday with a reading of poetry by We Are You Project poets. Poems of poets who could not be present were read by WAYPI artists.

More information about the exhibition

and the reading can be found at

Cristina Velazquez the MC of the poetry event
Cristina Velazquez, emcee of the poetry event.
Raul Villarreal with  Rochelle Leininger Ramos
Raul Villarreal with Rochelle Leininger Ramos.
In a back alley ...
Alan Britt (aka “El Britto”) organized the Poetry Recital and re-enactment of Raphael Montañez Ortiz’s WAY Poetry PROJECT (José Rodeiro, Gabriel Navar, and Charles Hayes).

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HERITAGE Exhibit at WBGO/Jazz88FM, Newark, NJ with artists represented by LaRuche Art LLC, Union City, NJ 07087


July 11, WBGO studio, Newark, NJ, Heritage exibit, celebrating Hispanic Heritage with a group exhibition curated by Robert Rosado, La Ruche Art, Director, presented by WBGO Jazz88. Artists included Jose Acosta, Laura Cueveas, Gerardo Castro, Alfredo Gomez Jr., Irelys Martinez, Jose Rodeiro and Isabell Villacis. Poetry by Mike Foldes. Piano by Elio Villafranca, and Mauricio Herrera on drums. All Photos courtesy of Vicki Fernandez and WBGO.


WBGO/Jazz88 studio, Newark, NJ, Heritage exibit, celebrating Hispanic Heritage with a group exhibition curated by Robert Rosado, La Ruche Art, Director. Artists include Jose Acosta, Laura Cueveas, Gerardo Castro, Alfredo Gomez Jr., Irelys Martinez, Jose Rodeiro and Isabell Villacis. Poetry at the opening reception by Mike Foldes. Jazz piano by Elio Villafranca, with Mauricio Herrera on drums. All Photos courtesy of Vicki Fernandez and WBGO. On exhibit now at WBGO gallery, Newark Public Radio, 54 Park Place Newark, NJ 07102. For hours and further information visit:  Thanks to all who helped make this a wonderful complement to the NJ PAC street fest taking place a block away!  All Photos courtesy of Vicki Fernandez and WBGO.

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angie's diary

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Minotaur in Brooklyn!

 VOID SEED part of 2013’s amazing

Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival

Kylin O’Brien to perform with artist/minotaur Rob Andrews

at Collective Spectacle, Sunday, July 14, 8:30 p.m.

The Gowanus Ballroom

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Babs Reingold, The Last Tree, ISE, 555 Broadway, NYC, 5/10/13 Read the interview: Interview by Midori Yoshimoto

The Last Tree

Babs Reingold “The Last Tree” installation opening May 10, 2013, ISE Gallery, 555 Broadway, NYC

Photos by Panida “Panda” Suwannawisut

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Thanks to LOCUS Magazine, Online !

Good news from Locus about the Ragazine.CC fiction contest.

Be sure to check out their site:


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Ellen Jantzen wins

“Prix de la Photographie Paris”

Ellen Jantzen’s photo series “Transplanting Reality; Transcending Nature,” has won First Place in the prestigious French Photo Exhibition, PX3 for Fine Art Photography. Her  image “A Resonant Chill” will be on view at the exhibition in Paris. Opening reception is Wednesday July 10th at Espace Dupon, Paris. Jantzen, a frequent contributor and long-time supporter of Ragazine.CC, can be contacted at Her web site is

You can see other images in the series by Clicking Here.

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Art Stars Out for Nocturne Opening   


It might seem ironic that on one of the longest days of the year, an exhibition celebrating darkness and night opened at the Therese A. Maloney Art Gallery at the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown, NJ.  Nocturne, curated by Dr. Virginia Butera, art history professor at the college, includes paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs and mixed media works by nineteen New Jersey and New York contemporary artists. The exhibit is on view now through September 22, 2013. An extensive overview of the exhibit and its place in the historical record by Dr. Butera is scheduled to appear in the July-August issue of Ragazine.CC. Don’t miss it.

For location, hours and directions:

Photos: 1) Virginia Fabbri Butera (curator), Christie Devereaux and Dr. Jose Rodeiro;  2)  Raul Villarreal and Rodeiro;   3) Leonard Merlo; 4)  Pasquale Cuppari; 5) Joyce Yamada

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fest mai 2013 012
The poets and presenters; photo by Christian Moraru, Toronto.
Art by Edmon Khalil from Sudan, living now in Sweden.

PALABRA EN EL MUNDO Revisited By Flavia Cosma

 The Seventh International Writers’ and Artists’ Festival at Val-David, Quebec Canada, “Palabra en el mundo” (Words in the World) came to an end on May 26th 2013 in the presence of distinguished artists, poets and writers from all over the world. The Festival is organized biannually by The International Writers’ and Artists’ Residency, Val-David, QC, Canada, and took place 25 and 26 May, 2013

The prestigious event counts with the support of the Council of Arts, Canada, the League of Canadian Poets, the Municipality of Val-David and the Association des Auteurs des Laurentides. As the Director of this Festival and a poet and cultural promoter myself, I consider that poetry has its own life, its own music and that one can enjoy poetry even in a different language, and even when one doesn’t speak the language in which we listen to it.

fest mai 2013 1 054
Charles Hayes, USA. Photo by Christian Moraru, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Moreover we live here in Canada in a society totally multilingual, with immigrants who came her from around the world searching for a better life. But as anyone knows, the economical aspect is never enough. We have to find ways to express our spiritual and artistic aspirations and talents, and the Festival was a good answer for many writers and artists who have been born in another country and were feeling like foreigners in this wonderful country of ours.

From the very beginning the Festival started developing in an incredible manner. A combination of poetry, visual arts and other artistically expressions weaved themselves together as a natural extension. The Seventh Festival was the best festival ever for the quality of the presentations and as well as for the participation of a numerous public at large. We counted with the presence of writers and artists of an excellent level from Canada and from abroad as well as contemporary international artists of an incredible quality of expression.

It was like an immersion in a never ending fairy tale of poetry, stories and art works that although very different one from another, were harmonizing together extraordinarily. After the Festival the reaction of the participants and of the public was very encouraging. I’ll cite one comment at random:

For me as a poet the Festival at Val-David was a wonderful occasion to meet the other poets and artists from all over the world, to see and listen to their work and their reflections on poetry. What a variety of people there were: a true United Nations of artists. (Hugh Hazelton, poet, Montreal).

Very educational, professional and much appreciated by the public were the two Sunday morning conferences (May 26, 2013):

  1. Alan Britt, USA, “On modern tendencies in American poetry
  2. Patricia Tenorio, Brazil, “ On Ekphrasis (the verbal representation of a visual representation) in poetry, particularly in Brazilian poetry” 

The Eighth International Writers’ Festival Lyrical Wild Berries Harvest, a multilingual Poetry and Prose reading and Art Exhibition will take place on October 5th and October 6th, 2013. For more info and possible participations please write, and/or visit

* * * * * What every activist needs …


From Wireless Design Magazine A top American technology magazine focuses on a product designed to protect activists. There have  been many articles written about the Natalia Project Bracelets, but this one goes into detail. Wireless Design: Natalia Project * * * * *   DUDA-George   Duda Penteado and George Preston On their way to the Forum…..


* * * * * “All the news that’s fit to print, (and a lot that’s not!)” Police Gazette

Steve Westlake has the inside track on the low down. As one of the few people with Total Access to the original National Police Gazette archives, he’s the man in demand when filmmakers need props for those ’30s mobsters to be reading in the barber chair when they get whacked…. Check it out here:   * * * * *

Imagining the AudienceViewing Positions in Artistic and Curatorial Practice

audiencHow do artists and curators imagine the audience in their work? How do they weave a picture of the individual viewer’s mental, physical, and emotional experience into the production of art events and what impact do these conceptions have on the finished artworks or exhibitions? Which new perspectives are useful in explaining the changes that have occurred in the art field and the concomitant new viewing positions?

These are some of the questions that are the basis for Imagining the Audience. This book focuses on the role that notions regarding the audience play in artistic and curatorial practice, in the development of concepts and ideas, as well as in the actual production of artworks and exhibitions. It is an attempt at circumscribing an approach to the audience within contemporary art that differs from audience education and communication, rather highlighting the experience of the individual viewer, which the artist and the curator carry with them throughout the creative process.

Contributors include:  Kader Attia , Lundahl & Seitl, Raimundas Malasauskas and Phil Collins, artists; Jacquelyn Davis, writer, art critic; Clarie Doherty, writer, curator; curators Magdalena Malm, Simon Njami, Johan Pousette, Joanna Warsza; and film theorist Annika Wik. Editors: Magdalena Malm och Annika Wik. The book is a collaboration between Swedish Exhibition Agency and Mobile Art Production and published by Art and Theory Publishing. 

For more information, contact Anna Eriksson: +46 70 647 00 68.

Imagining the Audience Viewing Positions in Artistic and Curatorial Practice 240 pp, English/Swedish, Softcover, Graphic Design: Sandra Praun ISBN 978-91-979985-5-0

* * * * * crossroads2013   * * * * * Todd Doney at the Morris Museum 6 Normandy Heights Road Morristown, NJ  March 28 reception, 6-8 p.m. Runs through June 23. doney Todd L. W. Doney, assistant professor of art at County College of Morris (CCM), will be displaying his artwork at the Morris Museum in a solo exhibition. The exhibition, titled Nature Sublime: Landscape Painting by Todd L. W. Doney, features more than 20 of Doney’s works d. Doney’s artwork features a variety of landscapes inspired from his own backyard—the Great Swamp Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey. See also: * * * * * PaintingPortal app for Art & Artists

Ed Marcus recently came up with a great idea for quick referencing classical works of art that are in the public domain, many of which were retrieved from or by the Yorck Project, hosted by WikiMedia. The app, which is available on iTunes for $6.99, allows i Pad users to quickly pull up high-resolution images of paintings by masters from Michelangelo to Monet. The app allows users to search and sort, zoom, save and much more. Puts  much of the world’s great museum collections at your fingertips.

For more information, see

* * * * * Where do you get your news? THE NEW AMERICAN DREAM  RADIO SHOW With hosts: Chuck Gregory in Fort Lauderdale & Mike Palecek in Duluth “The battle has to begin here.  In America. The only institution more powerful than the U.S. government is American civil society You have access to the Imperial Palace and the Emperor’s chambers. Empire’s conquests are being carried out in your name.” Arundhati Roy Go here to listen:   * * * * * Kielnhofer in Dubai dubai-art-design-architecture-sheikh-monk-guardians-of-time-sculpture-tower-hous-of-art-manfred-kielnhofer-kili   Kielnhofer’s sculptures are traveling the world, showing up in museums and exhibitions all over. With Art Dubai Week 2013, they made their journey to the United Arab Emirates capital, picking a new place to turn up each night of the event from March 20-25, 2013.  See where “The Guardians” will settle in: Photography by Jeany Gabrielczyk   * * * * *




Gabriel Navar


Galerie B Haasner - Mel Ramos



Galerie B Haasner - Gabe Navar


Galerie B. Haasner, Wiesbaden, Germany “Mel Ramos and Gabriel Navar: Teachers and Students” by José Rodeiro Ragazine Art Editor March 21 – April 27, 2013

Galerie B. Haasner (Wiesbaden, Germany) presents a memorable, visually titillating and thought-provoking spring exhibition that brings together two of California’s premier artists: Mel Ramos and Gabriel Navar. In this German exhibit titled “Teachers & Students,” the Ramos/Navar “dynamic-duo” offers an insightful re-examination of their unique “mentor/mentee,” “teacher/student” relationship that juxtaposes Pop master Ramos with former pupil and Metaphorical Realist, Gabriel Navar.

Mel_Leta_&_Gabe_Jan_2013 Galerie B. Haasner, Wiesbaden, Germany “Mel Ramos and Gabriel Navar: Teachers and Students” March 21 – April 27, 2013 See:

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Bye-Bye, MAP Stockholm
(Mobile Art Productions)
From the makers of MAP:
THANKS … All of us who have worked at MAP over the years will take our wealth of experiences from working here with us into a variety of new contexts. We wish you all a prosperous new year and hope to see you again in the future in different constellations. Thanks for the time we’ve had together! Best regards and warm wishes from all of MAP’s co-workers since 2007, brought to you by: Magdalena Malm, founder and artistic director until August 2012 Anna van der Vliet, acting director and curator Annika Wik, head of research
Access the archive here: 
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From PowerHouse Books:
Seven American Deaths and Disasters

In his first book published in 5 years, author Kenneth Goldsmith, brings us back to those moments in American history that have left an indelible impression on our memories. These were the occurrences that we recollect then ask, “Where were you when…?” These were the occasions when the collective human society’s reaction evolves as the facts unfolds and when the broadcast commentators are equally as confused, saddened, terrified, and impacted. In Seven American Deaths and Disasters the chilling first moments of the J.F.K. assassination, R.F.K. assassination, John Lennon assassination, Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, Columbine shootings, World Trade Center attacks, and Michael Jackson‘s death are recounted through radio transcripts.

Goldsmith is a conceptual poet and artist who has been invited to read at President Obama’s A Celebration of American Poetry at the White House. This spring The Museum of Modern Art appoints Kenneth Goldsmith as First Poet Laureate for their winter/spring 2013 term.

Following the book release in March 2013, Goldsmith will give his Laureate Lecture, followed by a book launch and reading from Seven American Deaths and Disasters at the MoMA.

Contact: powerHouse Books, 37  Main Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 Tel 212 604 9074 x  118

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Cooperative Gallery 213/Two Rivers Photography Club
Announce Photo Competition winner
Tuscan Storm - Low Res

Greg Chiannis takes Best in Show for “Tuscan Storm”

The Cooperative Gallery 213 and the Two Rivers Photography Club  Memorial Exhibit is a tribute to the art embodied in the photography of Bob Johnston, a founding member of the gallery who died in 2010. Thirty one photographers entered the Competition in either Color or Black and White categories. Photographs were judged by Kirk and Leslie Van Zandbergen of Van Zandbergen Photography, guided by this sentiment from Bob Johnston’s artist’s statement: “For me, the successful photograph is one in which both the abstract elements and the subject matter of the image reinforce each other to provide an emotional experience for the viewer.”

The show runs Jan 4-26, 2013, 213 State St., Binghamton, NY 13905. 607-724-3462 or

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 Winter Solstice 2012 David Gittens & Friends offer a portal into 2013: And when you’re done watching tune in to  In gratitude to Stephanie Heidemann, Julian Douglas, Linda Maree, Michael Rutherford, Chinling Hsu, and many others in our Sarasota, FL community who made these videos possible.
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Reader Supported News has this to say:
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Kathmandu, Nepal
Priscila De Carvalho 
Work in Progress Report
 The wall is located in Jawalakhel Chowk, Kathmandu, Nepal


 Find out more:
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The Siddhartha Arts Foundation (SAF)
 presents the 2nd Kathmandu International Art Fest
November 25 thru December 21, 2012

A total of 95 artists from 31 countries, are exhibiting at 15 venues around the Kathmandu Valley for a month. Festival sponsors include: The Prince Claus Fund (Netherlands), Brazilian Embassy, USAID funded Hariyo Ban Program, Metropark, British Council, Siddhartha Art Gallery, US Embassy, Indian Embassy, Nepal Investment Bank, Habib Bank Ltd., ICTC, Samsung and Pashupati Paints.  

Priscila Carvalho and assistants work on her installation for the fest. 
Featured artworks will highlight our relationship with nature and anthropomorphic forces that have fueled a rapid changing of the climate. Although Nepal is not cited as a global polluter or a nation that is over exploiting her resources, its fragile and unique ecosystem (the Tibetan Plateau is the 3rd largest storage site of ice in the world) has been one of the first to suffer from rising temperatures and change in weather patterns.
Festival organizers write: “We feel responsible to raise a voice. Art has the power to heighten our sensitivity and to challenge the way we view complex situations, we believe the festival to be the perfect platform to promote meaningful dialogue on such issues of critical importance.”
Detail of Carvalho installation. 
Artworks will encompass: paintings, digital prints, photography, new media works, sculpture, installations and performing arts. A majority of the international artists will be exhibiting existing work, whereas all 21 of the Nepali artists will be creating new works for the Festival.
Participant Priscila De Carvalho was one of the Three “Hot” Brazilian Artists featured in Ragazine.CC:
For more information: 
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Laumeier Sculpture Park Receives Major Work by Ernest Trova as Gift from Estate of Grace Brod Falling Man/Study Represents Artist’s Mature Period

ST. LOUIS – Laumeier Sculpture Park has received a donation of Falling Man/Study (Wrapped Manscape Figure), 1984, a complex figurative work by American artist Ernest Trova (1927-2009). The life-size, stainless steel sculpture based on graphic works from 1967, is a gift to Laumeier from the Estate of Grace Brod. Brod was a long-time docent and Board member, who passed away in March 2012. Laumeier Sculpture Park is one of the leading dedicated sculpture parks in the world. The largest visual arts organization in St. Louis County, Laumeier showcases more than 60 works of large-scale outdoor sculpture in a 105-acre County park open year-round. Photo courtesy Laumeier Sculpture Park

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Albert Watson Photography Exhibit
Albert Watson Photo
Hasted Kraeutler presents Cyclops, an exhibition of rare, unique vintage photographs by Albert Watson, beginning December 1, and running through January 19, 2013. If you can’t make the show at the Gallery in New York City, see the Albert Watson interview and galleries in Volume 6, Number 5, of Ragazine.CC:
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Colorado and Washington states vote to decriminalize marijuana for recreational use.
Old News: 
“American reformers seem to have no idea, at any time or in any connection, that the only remedy for wrong is right; that moral education, self-control, good manners, will save the world; and that legislation is not merely a broken reed, but a suffocating vapor. Further, an excess of legislation defeats its own ends. It makes the whole population criminals, and turns them all into policemen and spies… “
— Aleister Crowley
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Smithsonian To Honor Nam Jun Paik 
Film & Media Arts:  Gardening in the Age of the Moving Image

 Next month we will install 310 living plants in our gallery. An unruly mix of Warneckii, Aglaonema, Pathos, and Areca Palms, potting soil and planters will welcome visitors to our exhibition, Nam June Paik: Global Visionary. The plants are part of Paik’s groundbreaking installation titled TV Garden, on loan from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Paik’s garden also includes sixty-five Cathode Ray Tube televisions sets (CRTs), multiple video and audio amplifiers, speakers, cables, 2x4s, green paint, and the pioneering, single channel video Global Groove from 1973. But don’t get too distracted by the flickering green spectacle. There is a great deal more to this beneath the topsoil.


The subject of the exhibition is the artist Nam June Paik. He died in 2006 but his art and legacy continue to inspire generations. We speak very fondly of him around the museum. Our senior curator of media art, John Hanhardt, was a friend of the artist and worked with him for many years. In 2009 we acquired his complete estate archive, which helps shape the foundation of our Film and Media Arts program. Nam June Paik’s contributions as an artist cannot be overstated. He democratized technology and transformed video into an artist’s medium. He redefined art making globally.

Normally, we would not place living plants in our gallery space. Paik was constantly challenging those conventions. Trained as a musician and acting as a performance artist in the early 1960s, he was an important part of the Fluxus network, an international art movement that exploded various disciplines and sought to mash-up high and pop cultures. Fluxus founder George Maciunas authored a manifesto stating that, among a host of other goals, Fluxors aimed to “PURGE the world of dead art” and “promote living art”. In response and collaboration, Paik incessantly broke things, from musical scores and violins, to TV sets and robots. As an avant-garde artist, he mangled the mechanics of pianos, intervened in scores for performances, and manipulated the circuitry of CRTs. By doing so, Nam June Paik fused some humanity with our techno-cultural progress and changed the way we see art and ourselves. 

Visit the museum’s blog Eye Level for the full post, and mark your calendars to see Nam June Paik: Global Visionary, open December 13, 2012 — August 11, 2013.

Download the Paikbot:
Inspired by the “Flat Stanley Project” of the 1990s, you can download an image of PaikBot from the Smithsonian website, then print him out and take photos of him in interesting locations or (if you don’t feel like leaving the computer) digitally insert him into images.
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Carlos Chavez

Left to right. Ricardo Fonseca, We Are You Project; Jaime Vásquez, artist; Paul Baron, entrepreneur; Guillermo Chang, entrepreneur; Pablo Caviedes, curator; Gail Carrillo Smith, President & Manager of Impacto; assistant representative of Panama; Don Jaime Andrade, collector; Ximena Hidalgo, Impacto; Mar Verdugo, Impacto; Carlos Chávez, exhibitor; Susana Patiño,designer; Guido Remache, artist; and, Vanessa Smith, Vice president, Impacto.

Impact Gallery in Manhattan
Honors Carlos Chávez

Both in Perú and in the USA, in the 21st Century, Carlos Chávez is widely considered a great Latin American master in the art of painting. In his youth,  Chávez did rough sketches on napkins and other perishable found-surfaces. He obtained formal artistic training under esteemed Peruvian artist, Angel Chávez (who stressed the old masters). In 1982, C. Chávez arrived in New York City, where he frequented major galleries and museums, attentively absorbing contemporary art trends, while enhancing his growing “freedom-of-expression.” C. Chávez thereby forged a style that merged metaphorical imagery with Latin American Magic-Realism, Neo-Surrealism, Immanentism and Amnesis.

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Here is a link to George Pingeon’s Times Up bicycle generator article… The bikes are operating in NYC’s lower east side, recently devastated and without power in the wake of Tropical Storm Sandy. In addition to charging batteries, Pingeon’s system stores energy in supercapacitor  modules in a modification of the storage battery system, and if things work out, will be going into production in the not-too-distant future…. * * * * *

Butterly wins 2012 Smithsonian art award

Kathy Butterly is the tenth annual winner of the museum’s contemporary artist award. Butterly was recognized by an independent panel of jurors as an inventive and independent sculptor whose work reflects the fading boundary between craft and contemporary art.

The jurors wrote in their decision: “Butterly’s voluptuous ceramic objects explode traditional conceptions of earthenware art through careful manipulation of the medium, resulting in unconventional forms, colors, and surfaces. Her small, nuanced, labor-intensive sculptures are richly communicative and wildly imaginative. Each enigmatic work balances between humor and horror, seduction and repulsion, abstraction and figuration. Butterly masterfully harnesses these tensions to transform the familiar into something new and strange. She stands out as one of the most innovative artists of her generation.”

Butterly’s recent solo exhibitions include at the Shoshana Wayne Gallery in Santa Monica, California, Tibor de Nagy Gallery in New York City, and The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Butterly was born in 1963 in Amityville, New York. She received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts (1986) from Moore College of Art in Philadelphia and earned a master’s degree in fine arts (1990) from the University of California, Davis. She is represented by Tibor de Nagy Gallery and the Shoshana Wayne Gallery.

Jurors included Monica Amor, Maryland Institute College of Art; Ian Berry, The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College; Irene Hoffman, Site Santa Fe; James Nares, artist; and Alma Ruiz, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

Pictured: Kathy Butterly, Cool Spot, 2012, clay and glaze, 5 x 4 3/4 x 3 1/4 inches, Courtesy Shoshana Wayne Gallery and Tibor de Nagy Gallery. Photo by Alan Wiener. © Kathy Butterly

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For a unique reading experience… 

real: Pure Slush Vol. 3 is available now!

Upfront! Uptight! Up yours! Non-fiction from 31 writers who spill their guts! memoir / essays / creative non-fiction
Yes! Pure Slush’s first print anthology of
non-fiction is now available, for only US$13.00.Featuring stories about love and lust and food and tourists and drag queens and lead poisoning and throwing up, this unique collection will leave you with many answers and just as many questions … including, when’s the sequel?
Writers include Gessy Alvarez, Cheri Ause, Meghan K. Barnes, Layla Blackwell, Laura Bogart, John Wentworth Chapin, Rebecca Chekouras, James Claffey, Joanna Delooze, Mira Desai, Gloria Frym, S.H. Gall, Cinda Gibbon, Walter Giersbach, Jane Hammons, William Henderson, Gill Hoffs, Claire Ibarra, Joanna Jagoda, Maude Larke, Michael Gillan Maxwell, S.B. Phoenix, Matt Potter, Mark Rosenblum, Shane Simmons, D.M. Simone, Jonathan Slusher, Sharon Louise Stephenson, Thomas Sullivan, Susan Tepper and Diana J. Wynne.
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Is this an app which I see before me?

Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth reimagined for iPad

Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, London, 30 October 2012 – Cambridge University Press yesterday launched the Explore Shakespeare series at RADA, bringing Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth to life on iPad in the most truly interactive and inspiring version ever made. These unique apps bring the latest technology together with 500 years of dramatic tradition and more than three decades of research and teaching experience. In so doing, they transform the plays for the 21st century while respecting the core values that make them classics.

Released worldwide and available for download on Apple’s App Store, the apps retail at £9.99 each and have been created by the world-famous Cambridge University Press and the BAFTA-nominated developer Agant. The first two titles, Romeo and Juliet: Explore Shakespeare and Macbeth: Explore Shakespeare, let you read, listen and interact with the characters and text. Cambridge University Press’s definitive versions of the text have been beautifully reimagined for iPad, with illuminating visuals, helpful commentary and a compelling audio performance.

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* * * * *
Binghamton, NY
Great time at the Orazio Salati Gallery Friday night on State St. in Binghamton, at a reading organized by Mario Moroni of the Romance Languages department at Binghamton University.  By the time the event began, the gallery was SRO.  An appreciative audience was privileged to hear poetry in Italian, English and the nearly extinct Ahtna language of the diminishing Alaskan tribe recited in the original and in translation by John Smelcer, one of the few surviving speakers of the language, and the only person alive who also reads and writes the language. If you’re wondering, it’s an exhibit of Brian Keeler paintings.
Poet Joe Weil engages with the moderator and event photographer
Mario Moroni (left) & John Smelcer
Salati Gallery Reading
Dennis McMicken
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Angel Spotted in Sao Paolo
Maria Oriente Photo
It could be “The Second Coming” of ART to Brazil. Gersony Silva‘s images remind one instantly of James Ensor (1860-1949) – The Entry of Christ into Brussels in 1888  (1889) [Getty Museum, L.A.).  Notice in Ensor’s title, the number 1888 is used; in numerology the number “8” is the number of God; the title has three “8s” with a one (“1”) in front of the three “8s,” suggesting three Gods in One: The Trinity!!   

Maria Oriente Photo

Eight is a lemniscate, an ancient Egyptian and Aegean symbol for infinity!  As a member of Brussel’s XX, Ensor was well-versed in numerology and other higher forms of mathematics,  In this light, between 1913 and 1930, Albert Einstein frequently visited Baron Ensor during various Brussels’s Solvay Conferences on Physics.  Once, Einstein even helped Ensor to move the enormous The Entry of Christ carrying it through the street in Brussels.

That “event” is comparable to Silva’s current Sao Paulo Articulations and Interventions.  Thus, Silva’s bizarre street-art has a direct relationship to Ensor and Einstein.

Iuri Oriente Photo

“The performance was very good!” said Silva. “I did one in my atelier, and another in Paulista avenue (it was an action). Some people participated and I am happy. On the street I talked about accessibility. I was with black clothes and white wings on the back, so I invited people to pass through the slit of a white tissue written acessibility, freedom, and told them that they could go because there was access there, and that in a lot of places that’s not so. I did that in some places the main avenue in Sao Paulo, where the sidewalk had access to disabled people. Some people were embarrassed, some  passed through tissue. It was amazing!”

Iuri Oriente Photo

Another artist fixated on angels is Ultra Violet – always insisting that she is an angel.  Meanwhile, Gersony Silva has sprouted wings as well. Ultimately, all that can be deduced from Silva’s enigmatic images is that she instantly needs to sojourn in New York or Brussels or Los Angeles for at least a decade, ASAP!!!   Especially because her dramatic images depict an agitated Brazil on the verge of a wild and dangerous ART revolution!!

– Dr. Jose Rodeiro 
Contributing Art Editor
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September 20th from 5-8pm in the Lemmerman Gallery at NJCU. Populous: Exploring the impact of people on the spaces they inhabit. Featuring the work of Kirk Bray and Daniel Brophy Curated by Michelle Mumoli September 20 – October 25 Opening reception: Thursday, September 20th 5-8pm Artist talk: Thursday, October 25th 6pm Harold B. Lemmerman Gallery Hepburn Hall Room 323 2039 Kennedy Blvd., Jersey City, NJ 07305 Also RSVP at our FaceBook invite:  

Kirk Bray and Daniel Brophy create a thorough artistic dialogue through their work relating to over-crowded landscapes and the residual manifestations of those forces brought on by the people who inhabit those areas.”

*Part of the Jersey City Artist Studio Tour

Curator, Michelle Mumoli – With a background in Film and Media from New Jersey City University, Michelle Mumoli has been curating art events for close to 10 years in the NY Tri-State Area, most recently under the guise of ‘Pop-UP Art’. She was awarded a Newark ArtStart Grant in 2005 for her video production workshops with Newark public school children and in 2007 worked as Associate Producer on a feature length documentary, which premiered to a sold out crowd at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. She is now Assistant Director of the Not Yo Mama’s Fair alongside Founder/Artist Megan Gulick and independently curates art exhibitions throughout the New York Tri-State Area.

Arcadia Now Contemporary Art In Country September 13 – October 24, 2012 Artist talk: Saturday, October 13, 4pm Visual Arts Gallery 100 Culver Avenue Jersey City, NJ 07305 Gallery hours: Monday- Friday 11am-5pm and by appointment Special gallery hours: Saturday, October 13, 12-6pm* *Part of the Jersey City Artist Studio Tour Also RSVP at our FaceBook invite:

Arcadia Now invokes the idea of the pastoral past, and combines art in an ensemble vision of what that pastoral idea, or an idyllic place of remove, might look like in the present. Combining photography, painting, sculpture and video, the exhibition addresses issues of nature and human consequence on nature, beauty and banality, and the ideal and the real in both abstract and figurative terms. How do we “see” the country?

Curated by Tom McGlynn This exhibition was originally presented at the Christine Price Gallery of Castleton State College, VT, in April-May 2011.  Visit: for more information. * * * * *


Courtesy of CML:

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For Those Who Have Never Been To War

by DR Goff

I personally am grateful for the media exposure in Vietnam. It was a fucking un-winnable war. Another week of bombing Hanoi only would have killed more civilians. We won every battle I saw. That’s called a Pyrrhic victory. When you win every battle but lose the war. We won everything worth winning in the first six months in Afghanistan. Now 10 years later, we have more suicides in the ranks than KIAs. I wish the media were publishing the real daily effects of rotting bodies, both ours and theirs. The only winners are in the “defense industry.” The reality of war has already been masked by our government. W and now Obama forbid the pix of returning caskets at Andrews AFB. Your heroes W and Cheney never spent a day under fire nor has Black Elvis. Not them or the citizens (calling for more war) have smelled burning, mutilated bodies of our troops, as well as the enemy and children. I have, and so have the poor fuckers being sent back for tour after tour. I say let the media show the reality! Maybe then this fucking war will stop. I believe The Media are a bunch of pussies for not exposing the true cost of war. Just like Vietnam, after we leave, those Taliban assholes will again fuck over the civilians. The only difference will be that we’ve  pissed off another country and given the terrorists more propaganda ammo and made Halliburton and KBR a fortune. I’ve seen this movie before and didn’t buy this or Iraq from the beginning. Fuck War! Fight when you really need to. The military doesn’t necessarily mean defense.

Doug Goff was a wartime photographer in Vietnam.


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Occupy Kassel: Guardians of Time

By Manfred Kielnhofer 

The Guardians of Time by Manfred Kielnhofer are issued in the Documenta city Kassel. You can see the mystical sculptures on different public places in the Docuementa city for 100 days. Most of the images were made on Friedrichsplatz in the “Occupy Kassel” camp.  

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WE ARE YOU PROJECT INTERNATIONAL           “National Hispanic Heritage Celebration”

  September 9  to  October 4, 2012   Arts Guild New Jersey   1670 Irving Street Rahway, New Jersey 07065 Telephone:  732-381-7511

The opening reception for the exhibit will be held on Sunday, September 9 from 1:00 to 4:00 PM and is open to all. Admission is Free and light refreshments will be served. The exhibit will take place at Arts Guild New Jersey galleries at 1670 Irving Street, Rahway, NJ.  Developed by We Are You Project, the exhibit reveals both prescient Latino concerns as  well as achievements, which are reflected in paintings, prints, and  mixed-media works by thirty-five prominent, contemporary Hispanic artists. The We Are You Project Website is . Arts Guild New Jersey is a non-profit center for the arts located in the downtown Arts District of Rahway. Arts Guild New Jersey:    or

 DORA SI HUGO, We Are You Artist

CARLOS CHÁVEZ’s Trabajadores de la tierra (top)2011, Oil on canvas, 14″ x 42″, Collection of the artist. HUGO MORALES’s DORA (above), 2010, Digital Image, 24″ x 18″, Collection of The Council on Hispanic Affairs (CHA).

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Art Flyer

Steve Poleskie just posted an edited version of a video recording his experiences as an artflyer in 1984…..a biplane pilot who ‘performed’ public art for anyone on the ground who could look up and see it …. Check out the You Tube Video…

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Poetry, roller blades and music:

'Stutter the Violins'

A short film on the struggle of structure and chaos.

Stutter the Violins‘ is a part of the full length film, The Shock Video. It is a byproduct of The Apple Juice, the epic poem of rollerblading. The Apple Juice is dedicated to Sean Cullen, creative of the infamous ‘The Apple’ film series and mastermind of NRICLOTH. The musical component of ‘Stutter the Violins’ has been featured in NO!R NEW  YORK‘s Ceremony of Innocence, December 2011. Love and a taste of The Apple Juice to BLK DNM, KOEK NYC, & I Roll NY.

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Suited with Steve, at Baikanor

Thumbs Up

A letter from U.S. Astronaut Sunita Williams

in anticipation of her next launch

from the Baikanor station

Hi, We arrived in Baikanor yesterday!  We are here two weeks early to check out our spacecraft and be in quarantine. Leaving AGAIN was difficult… life has been full of “maybe lasts” for me these last months… leaving Houston and Mike, leaving Boston, mom, dad, Dina, Gorby, Elsie and Thomas, and this last time leaving Star City and all my family there.  Sort of emotional, but I know I will see all these friends again! Change is good and means something else fun is around the corner.  Specifically, here in Baikanor we have been doing the fun things you see in the pictures above.  But first we were met by a group of kids at the airport sporting gold pompons – not sure what all that was about?!?  But certainly memorable.  Yesterday essentially all we had was dinner and a couple of review sessions about what we were going to do today at the suit up building, no. 254. Today we actually got in our space suits and in our space craft.   It is the last time we will see it without it’s protective covering until launch.  Next time we see it, she will be under her “glavni opticatal” so we won’t see her outsides until after we dock. “Suited with Steve” is me and my flight doc in the suit up room.  Check out our cool Nancy Sinatra boots! “Space Kennel” is us walking to the spacecraft with our little air conditioners.  Some people thought that was a lunchbox or a little travel kennel for Gorby.  Unfortunately it is only some additional air conditioning. “Outside the ship” is our crew before we got in for our “fit check”  Yes we FIT!!! “No-no squished” is our crew inside the vehicle from one of the 2 exterior windows in out descent compartment.  You can’t see Aki and can barely see Yuri.  I am farthest away so you can see me.  Close quarters but actually pretty comfortable! Some quick impressions were again, everything seems like a last for me.  Not sure why, but surely this time is different from being a backup. Saw some wild horses in the plains on our way to the suit up building – certainly is the wild, wild east out here. I feel really comfortable in my suit and in the spacecraft.  Maybe it is the test pilot in me that makes all this stuff seem very natural.  What is un-natural and uncomfortable for me still is talking to the many people and the press.  For some reason I get sort of chocked up.  Flying spacecraft is easier for me… Happy 4th of July everyone!!!!  Tomorrow is actually our flag raising ceremony.  I can’t think of a better place to be on this day for this event.  Tom Marshburn (our backup American) and I will raise the American flag here at the cosmonaut hotel.  Aki of course will raise the Japanese flag, Yuri and Roman will raise the Russian flag and Chris Hadfield will raise the Kazakh flag this time around, since he is backup.  Next time when he is prime he will raise his native Canadian flag. There is always a Kazakh flag raised here as we are in their country. Looking forward to it and will send more pictures! Take care, Suni (Letter and photos provided courtesy of Janez Vlachy, Slovenia.)

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Comfest 2012

Sci Fi meets Teen Fiction

Teen Fiction was working the crowd at Comfest 2012, when Columbus’ answer to Iron Man shows up. So who was the crowd favorite? (Harry Farkas Photo)

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From June 2 to October 21, The Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento presents a major retrospective exhibition of works by acclaimed Pop Artist and Neo-neosurrealist Mel Ramos entitled MEL RAMOS: 50 YEARS OF SUPERHEROES, NUDES, AND OTHER POP DELIGHTS.   In this comprehensive and thorough Crocker Museum show, along with many sensational 2-D pieces on display; there are extraordinary, gorgeous, and amusing polychrome resin figurative-sculptures, depicting ravishing nude women juxtaposed with enormous commercial-products as props.

These intriguing and engrossing sculptures meet all of the criteria Marcel Duchamp set for “semi-readymades.”  For instance, a prime example of a semi-readymade is Duchamp’s Étant donnés (or “The Spanish Door”) wherein the nude figure of Alexina Teeny Matisse lies spreadeagle in a marsh holding-up a gas-lamp by a watermill within this ultimate semi-readymade Étant donnés: 1. La chute d’eau, 2. Le gaz d’éclairage (Given: 1. The Waterfall, 2. The Illuminating Gas), 1944-1966.  In this Duchampian light, art historically, Ramos’s innovative, daring, and alluring 3-D female nude figures  belong within the cache or cohort of radical Postmodern  ground-breaking neo-neoclassical figurative sculptural trendsetters, such as Allen Jones, John De Andrea, Frank Gallo, Carole A. Feuerman, Jeff Koons, Yasumasa Morimura and other leading figurative-artists.

The Crocker Museum show is available for viewing from Tuesday through Sunday (10 am to 5 pm) except Thursdays when the museum remains open until 9 pm.  Simultaneous with The Crocker Museum show is a display of scores of his famed prints at Archival Gallery, 3223 Folsom Blvd.(Sacramento) that runs through July.

Concurrent with these two shows is the exhibit at the Joyce Gordon Gallery, Oakland, which was just reviewed in the May-June 2012 issue of RAGAZINE (Volume 8, Number 3) in an article titled PAY IT FORWARD, pertaining to a joint exhibition that featured Ramos and his former student the Mexican-American painter Gabriel Navar.  Also, in that same issue of RAGAZINE (Vol. 8 – #3) is a short interview with Ramos conducted by Navar.

The Crocker Art Museum  216 O Street Sacramento, CA 95814 916.808.7000

* * * * * At Wilmer Jennings Gallery at Kenkeleba Jinsing Productions’ ingenious and powerful film is the first 21st Century documentation of politically-charged Pro-Latino activist poetry: Latino advocacy-poetry We Are You Project reading on You Tube  Click. * * * * * A Corner in Bushwick



Brazilian artist Priscila De Carvalho  took part getting ready for the Bushwick art festival by painting a mural on the wall of a building at Troutman and Nicholas in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York. While it was a work-in-progress when these photos were taken, the paint is most likely long-dry… have a look.

* * * * * Congratulations to Miya Ando, recipient of a 2012 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award! * * * * * Christie Devereaux

See more Devereaux work at:

___________What’s new with you? ________

Maile Colbert

If you’re in San Francisco, join Maile for the Activating the Medium Festival, Dark Ecology, where she’s premiering her project Come Kingdom Come, with a video including haunting photography using a special drying technique by Olivia Block, and footage of movement artist Rafaela Salvador intertwined and effected in sync with the audio thanks to the amazing SpectralGl and artist Jesse Gilbert. (

Sunday, April 29, 2012
Andrea Polli (Albuquerque)
Andrea Williams (Oakland)
3pm : soundwalks : San Francisco : $10 
The Lab
2948 16th Street : San Francisco


San Francisco Art Institute : Lecture Hall
800 Chestnut Street : San Francisco

___________What’s new with you? ________


Talking to Mahmood, Conversation with Fr. Dan Dwyer
SCTV Channel 17, You Tube: Talking to Mahmood

Talking to Mahmood Spend half an hour with Sienna College professor Mahmood Karimi-Hakak, as he conducts interviews with modern day thinkers on global ideas and events that matter. You Tube

___________What’s new wicz chew? ________

Bill Lavendar posted a link to Charles Bernstein’s essay on Facebook. The copyright permission at the bottom was an invitation to reprint it here …. Thanks to Bill. Thanks to Charles.

Against National

Poetry Month

As Such


by Charles Bernstein Author of My Way: Speeches and Poems

And they say If I would just sing lighter songs Better for me would it be, But not is this truthful; For sense remote Adduces worth and gives it Even if ignorant reading impairs it; But it’s my creed That these songs yield No value at the commencing Only later, when one earns it. —translated from Giraut de Bornelh (12th century) April is the cruelest month for poetry. As part of the spring ritual of National Poetry Month, poets are symbolically dragged into the public square in order to be humiliated with the claim that their product has not achieved sufficient market penetration and must be revived by the Artificial Resuscitation Foundation (ARF) lest the art form collapse from its own incompetence, irrelevance, and as a result of the general disinterest among the broad masses of the American People. The motto of ARF’s National Poetry Month is: “Poetry’s not so bad, really.” National Poetry Month is sponsored by the Academy of American Poets, an organization that uses its mainstream status to exclude from its promotional activities much of the formally innovative and “otherstream” poetries that form the inchoate heart of the art of poetry. The Academy’s activities on behalf of National Poetry Month tend to focus on the most conventional of contemporary poetry; perhaps a more accurate name for the project might be National Mainstream Poetry Month. Then perhaps we could designate August as National Unpopular Poetry Month. Through its “safe poetry” free verse distribution program, the American Academy of Poetry’s major initiative for National Poetry Month is to give away millions of generic “poetry books” to random folks throughout the country. This program is intended to promote safe reading experiences and is based on ARF’s founding principle that safe poetry is the best prophylactic against aesthetic experience. Free poetry is never free, nor is free verse without patterns. Oscar Wilde once wrote, “Only an auctioneer admires all schools of art.” National Poetry month professes to an undifferentiated promotion for “all” poetry, as if supporting all poetry, any more than supporting all politics, you could support any. National Poetry Month is about making poetry safe for readers by promoting examples of the art form at its most bland and its most morally “positive.” The message is: Poetry is good for you. But, unfortunately, promoting poetry as if it were an “easy listening” station just reinforces the idea that poetry is culturally irrelevant and has done a disservice not only to poetry deemed too controversial or difficult to promote but also to the poetry it puts forward in this way. “Accessibility” has become a kind of Moral Imperative based on the condescending notion that readers are intellectually challenged, and mustn’t be presented with anything but Safe Poetry. As if poetry will turn people off to poetry. Poetry: Readers Wanted. The kind of poetry I want is not a happy art with uplifting messages and easy to understand emotions. I want a poetry that’s bad for you. Certainly not the kind of poetry that Volkswagen would be comfortable about putting in every new car it sells, which, believe it or not, is a 1999 feature of the Academy’s National Poetry Month program. The most desirable aim of the Academy’s National Poetry Month is to increase the sales of poetry books. But when I scan some of the principal corporate sponsors of the program of the past several years, I can’t help noting (actually I can but I prefer not to) that some are among the major institutions that work actively against the wider distribution of poetry. The large chain bookstores are no friends to the small presses and independent bookstores that are the principal supporters of all types of American poetry: they have driven many independents out of business and made it more difficult for most small presses (the site of the vast majority of poetry publishing) to get their books into retail outlets, since by and large these presses are excluded from the large chains. I also note this year that The New York Times is a major sponsor of National Poetry Month; but if the Times would take seriously the task of reviewing poetry books and readings, it would be doing a far greater service to poetry than advertising its support for National Poetry Month. The whole thing strikes me as analogous to cigarette makers sponsoring a free emphysema clinic. Indeed, part of the purpose of the Academy’s National Poetry Month appears to be to advertise National Poetry Month and its sponsors—thus, the Academy has taken out a series of newspapers ads that mention no poets and no poems but rather announce the existence of National Poetry Month with a prominent listing of its backers, who appear, in the end, to be sponsoring themselves. The path taken by the Academy’s National Poetry Month, and by such foundations as Lannan and the Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Fund, have been misguided because these organizations have decided to promote not poetry but the idea of poetry, and the idea of poetry too often has meant almost no poetry at all. Time and time again we hear the official spokespersons tell us they want to support projects that give speedy and efficient access to poetry and that the biggest obstacle to this access is, indeed, poetry, which may not provide the kind of easy reading required by such mandates. The solution: find poetry that most closely resembles the fast and easy reading experiences of most Americans under the slogans—Away with Difficulty! Make Poetry Palatable for the People! I think particularly of the five-year plan launched under the waving banners of Disguise the Acid Taste of the Aesthetic with NutriSweet Coating, which emphasized producing poetry in short sound bites, with MTV-type images to accompany them, so the People will not even know they are getting poetry. This is the genius of the new Literary Access programs: the more you dilute art, the more you appear to increase the access. But access to what? Not to anything that would give a reader or listener any strong sense that poetry matters, but rather access to a watered down version that lacks the cultural edge and the aesthetic sharpness of the best popular and mass culture. The only reason that poetry matters is that is has something different to offer, something slower on the uptake, maybe, but more intense for all that, and also something necessarily smaller in scale in terms of audience. Not better than mass culture but a crucial alternative to it.

The reinvention, the making of a poetry for our time, is the only thing that makes poetry matter. And that means, literally, making poetry matter, that is making poetry that intensifies the matter or materiality of poetry—acoustic, visual, syntactic, semantic. Poetry is very much alive when it finds ways of doing things in a media-saturated environment that only poetry can do, but very much dead when it just retreads the same old same old.

* * *

As an alternative to National Poetry Month, I propose that we have an International Anti-Poetry month. As part of the activities, all verse in public places will be covered over—from the Statue of Liberty to the friezes on many of our government buildings. Poetry will be removed from radio and TV (just as it is during the other eleven months of the year). Parents will be asked not to read Mother Goose and other rimes to their children but only … fiction. Religious institutions will have to forego reading verse passages from the liturgy and only prose translations of the Bible will recited, with hymns strictly banned. Ministers in the Black churches will be kindly requested to stop preaching. Cats will be closed for the month by order of the Anti-Poetry Commission. Poetry readings will be replaced by self-help lectures. Love letters will have to be written only in expository paragraphs. Baseball will have to start its spring training in May. No vocal music will be played on the radio or sung in the concert halls. Children will have to stop playing all slapping and counting and singing games and stick to board games and football. As part of the campaign, the major daily newspapers will run full page ads with this text:

Go ahead, don’t read any poetry.

You won’t be able to understand it anyway: the best stuff is all over your head. And there aren’t even any commercials to liven up the action. Anyway, you’ll end up with a headache trying to figure out what the poems are saying because they are saying NOTHING. Who needs that. Better go to the movies.

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Charles Bernstein My Way: Speeches and Poems ©1999, 334 pages Cloth $60.00 ISBN: 978-0-226-04409-5 Paper $18.00 ISBN: 978-0-226-04410-1 Copyright notice: ©1999 by Charles Bernstein. This text appears on the University of Chicago Press website by permission of the author. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of U.S. and international copyright law and agreements, and it may be archived and redistributed in electronic form, provided that this entire notice, including copyright information, is carried and provided that Charles Bernstein and the University of Chicago Press are notified and no fee is charged for access. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the consent of Charles Bernstein.

From our friends in Bucharest: ___________________ 
At the launching of the CHM Anthology in Bucharest, April 7, 2012:
Left: Actress Lidia Lazu (National Theatrum in Bucharest) presents poems published in the second Anthology; Right: Edith Uncu, translator for the Greek language, reads messages from CHM’s international contributors, including Prof. Don Riggs from Drexel University in Philadelphia, and poet Oscar Hahn from Santiago de Chile.

Daniel Dragomirescu, center, poet and actress Lidia Lazu (left); poet Tatiana Radulescu, contributor of CHM (behind Dragomirescu); poet Victoria Milescu (right), and two unidentified participants at the Launch. The group is seeking donations for their efforts to expand CHM’s multicultural literary programs. Multicultural Project, Dragomirescu Daniel-Florian, Str. N. Balcescu, no 77, bl 77, sc B, et 4, ap 32, 730131 VASLUI, ROMANIA / EUROPEAN UNION


Amy Tan On abuse … 

I am shaped by three generations of sexual abuse, but I am not victim to it. My grandmother, a widow with two children, was raped by a rich man and forced to become his 3rd concubine. Shortly after the baby from that rape was born, she killed herself. My mother's first husband would not allow her to leave the marriage. He raped her at gunpoint and had her jailed for running away. In the years before she could leave him, she had three abortions, Meanwhile, he raped school girls. When I was 15, I was counseled by a youth minister for reading Catcher in the Rye. He threw me on the bed and molested me, then said that I shouldn't read dirty books because it would make people believe I had a dirty mind. In my early 20s, when I was very ill, a gynecologist sexually abused me, and when the nurse walked in, shocked, she left when the doctor told her to. How could I accuse a youth minister who would say I had a dirty mind? How could I accuse a doctor who would say his abuse was normal medical procedure? The epilogue: The youth minister ran off with a teenager and when he returned with her, he was not charged with pedophilia or statutory rape. He simply lost his job. The gynecologist's long history of sexual abuse led one woman's husband to blow up his boat with him in it. He survived and eventually lost his job, then went to work as a doctor at a live porn theater. What has all of this done to me psychologically? I am not suicidal like my grandmother was. I don't live in constant rage as my mother did. But I do have hair-trigger reactions to religious self-righteousness that would decide whether a woman has a dirty mind in her own bedroom, that would force a woman to be vaginally probed --humiliated and punished--before she is permitted to have an abortion, even for rape. These mad men want to take us back to the days of my grandmother and mother, when women had no say. I write stories to give my grandmother and mother their say. "Tell the whole world," my mother said when I told her what I was writing. "All these years, no one knew what we suffered," she said, crying. "Tell the world what happened to us." I am joining millions who will vote, not just for Barack Obama, but with force and unity against the megalomaniacs who get off imagining what women do and should do in bed.

Reprinted in Ragazine with permission of the author.


Eric Marlow's Nest Egg, Photo by Charlie Einhorn, Innerart

Eric Marlo’s Recycled Chicken

Make Nice

My friend Eric Marlow created this Finger Lickin’ Good chicken out of recycled plastic ice-cream tasting spoons, drinking straws and a few plastic forks to shape the wings. An egg pops out of a hidden compartment below. For the past three decades, Eric has been creating art made from scrap he recycles, and he teaches that in numerous schools around the state. Check out more of Eric’s sculptures and jewelry, as well as the magnificent giant fiber flowers made by Gail Larned, his wife and partner, at:

Posted by Charlie Einhorn, Innerart, Columbus, Ohio



Ellen Jantzen at Spiritus Gallery

Point and Shoot at 70 MPH

Point & Shoot at 70 MPH were taken on a 6000 mile road trip from Missouri to California and back using a point and shoot camera. Ellen has captured the landscape while traveling at high speeds resulting in images that give you the feeling of motion and change.

More of the series and other good work at:

 Susan Spiritus Gallery


Lifted from Tamo Noonan’s facebook page … who lifted it from somewhere else …. who had the good sense to share it …..

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Time/December 2011, & Ragazine/October 2011


Bye-bye Freedom …

Where’s the Outrage?

If you’re more concerned about would-be terrorists than the existence of real freedoms, then you probably think the National Defense Authorization Bill going to Obama for his signature is going to put in place mechanisms to protect us from unimaginable threats. But now hear this: that brazen attempt to control Americans and limit individual freedom with the threat of mind control is no less than HUAC, Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, the Greek Military occupation, the North Korean super-leader mythos, 1984, Brave New World and Guantanamo wrapped into one. The greatest nation on earth imposing an order that would allow unlimited control of thought and action is completely against the so-called American Way, which is driving more and more citizens to their own extremes, left, right and center. If you oppose this limitation on your rights, if you don’t go along with the idea that your Congressmen, President and Military Leaders know more than YOU, Your Neighbor, Your Friends & Family, then speak out…. there’s something happening here, and it really isn’t good.

Read more at:

November 6, 2011, Zuccotti Park, NYC

Beautiful day for a protest. First time there. Surprised at how small the park really is. Remember The Mouse That Roared. This ragtag band of protesters takes the world stage. A half block away a platoon of cops with their mobile command post stands guard 24/7. It’s ominous. Many of the bedgraggled appear to have found a home after moving south from the streets of the East Village, which doesn’t make their argument less — or more — valid.


Zuccotti Park 11-6-11

A walk through the narrow aisles reveals signs of an earnest rebellion. Hand drawn, hand painted, craftspeople finding common ground. A friend in the neighborhood said she hasn’t been there yet, but wishes she could stand with them. Don’t know why she can’t, even for a few minutes on a day like this when the people and the press and police mingle momentarily at the foot of the island where a band of patriots have declared their independence. Let’s hope by the time you read this there’s still time.


DUMBO ARTS FEST, October 2011


Dumbo Arts Fest 10-11

Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass: take the A Train to High Street or find some other way. Get up early and avoid the crowds. Too much like a carnival after that, but early on there’s plenty to see, gallery space to gallery space, crib to crib, rolloff to rolloff. As for the Brooklyn Bridge, the crew making repairs is doing Cristo proud.


 SEPTEMBER 25, 2011  It's inevitable...

DON RUBEN Don Ruben, long time Ragazine supporter, contributor, and most importantly a personal friend of 40 years, passed away Sept. 15 after an 8-month battle with cancer. He fought to the end, interviewing Tamar Todd from the Drug Policy Alliance (interview is in Ragazine Vol 7 No 5 online now), before a serious relapse from which he never recovered. I last visited Don on June 4 with DR Goff at DR’s 64th b’day in Columbus. He was recovering from some serious radiation and chemo therapy and, while suffering measurably, continued working, with the assistance of his long-time partner Lelia Cady, to survive. He will certainly be missed by the hundreds of people he defended, most of them successfully, and the hundreds — or more likely thousands — more he knew and befriended.

The more bad news: Floods. Thoughts are with those affected by the recent flooding throughout the northeast, especially for what was lost and cannot be regained. The good news:  Politics editor Jim Palombo is on his way to Rhodes Forum 2011 in large part on behalf of Ragazine. If you would like to know more about, or comment on, the “Dialogue of Civilizations,” or the Campaign for an Informed Citizenry,, feel free to get in touch with Jim…


For New York Fashion Week, fashion photographer Gabrielle Revere captured top model Karlie Kloss, for a LIFE Magazine Special issue that was to be handed out at Lincoln Center 9/9/11. Want to know more?


October 15, 2014   No Comments

Short Takes

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(L-R) Pablo Caviedes (artist), poets Bina Sarkar, Christie Devereaux, Jose Rodeiro, Alan Britt, Vivian O’Shaughnessy, Alex Lima & Paul Sohar. Mike Foldes photo.

Photos from the Reading

Six & Three

Saturday’s reading at Jadite Galleries, 660 10th Ave. between 46th & 47th streets, drew a  welcoming audience to the gallery in Hell’s Kitchen, where the exhibition Six & Three was on display. Joining the scheduled poets at the reading was surprise guest Bina Sarkar Ellias, who was on her way through from Kansas City on the return leg of her visit to the States from Mumbai. Sarkar-Ellias is the publisher of International Gallerie, the socially conscious magazine of art and ideas. Also on hand to read were: Diogenes Abreu, Alan Britt, Alex Lima, Vivian O’Shaughnessy, Paul Sohar and Mike Foldes.

Poets, artists and guests at Jadite, from left, Jose Rohde, Diogenes Abreu & guest, Alex Lima, Sebastian Aurillon, Bina Sarkar Elias, Alan britt, Vivian O'Shaughnessy, Scott Kahn, Paul Sohar & Mike Foldes.

Poets, artists and guests at Jadite, from left, Jose Rohde, Diogenes Abreu & guest, Alex Lima, Sebastian Aurillon, Bina Sarkar Elias, Alan britt, Vivian O’Shaughnessy, Scott Kahn, Paul Sohar & Mike Foldes. Pablo Caviedes photo.

Jadite Galleries, established in 1985 contributes to the ever-changing contemporary art scene in New York. Exhibitions cover the spectrum of art form created by myriad talented artists from the United States, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. With three exhibition spaces, Jadite Galleries has fostered a number of promising artists and attracted many serious collectors over the years.

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Neo Latino Artists

The Neo-Latino exhibiting artists gather at the opening.

A “Second Wave” of Neo-Latino Art

hits new CCM Visual Arts Gallery

by  Tara  Dervla

On December 3, at County College of Morris’s brand-new CCM Visual Arts Gallery, the Neo-Latino Art Movement inaugurated its extraordinary “Second Wave.”  Highlighting works by sixteen major Northern New Jersey and Metropolitan New York artists, the “Neo-Latino:  21st Century Latino Artists”exhibition in the Sherman H. Masten Library runs from November 24, 2014 until January 30, 2015.



NeoLatino 2

These are photos from the opening of the Neo Latino exhibit Dec. 3

Jose Rodeiro and Isabel Nazario
Jose Rodeiro and Isabel Nazario
Christie Devereaux
Christie Devereaux
Julio Nazario, Isabel Nazario, and Nancy Mark with images by Julio Nazario.
Julio Nazario, Isabel Nazario, and Nancy Mark with images by Julio Nazario.
Christie Devereaux and Monica S. Camin with Gabriel Navar's Selfie 4, Ultralove.
Christie Devereaux and Monica S. Camin with Gabriel Navar's Selfie 4, Ultralove.
Rita Villarreal conversing about her new life in Florida
Rita Villarreal conversing about her new life in Florida
Christie Devereaux and Nikolai Buglaj
Christie Devereaux and Nikolai Buglaj
Marisol Ross's Mariano Rivera
Marisol Ross's Mariano Rivera
Monica S. Camin
Monica S. Camin
Art of Nicola Stewart Fonseca and Fermin Mendoza
Art of Nicola Stewart Fonseca and Fermin Mendoza
Todd Doney and Raul Villarreal
Todd Doney and Raul Villarreal
A successful opening
A successful opening
Dr. Virginia Butera, Dr. Edward J. Yaw, Professor Clay Allen and Dean Keith W. Smith.
Dr. Virginia Butera, Dr. Edward J. Yaw, Professor Clay Allen and Dean Keith W. Smith.
Jose Rodeiro and Mariella Chavez Villamizar
Jose Rodeiro and Mariella Chavez Villamizar
Nicola Fonseca with Clay Allen
Nicola Fonseca with Clay Allen
Dr. John Marlin, Raul Villarreal and Richard Ferrara
Dr. John Marlin, Raul Villarreal and Richard Ferrara
Raul Villarreal with Julio Nazario
Raul Villarreal with Julio Nazario
Dr. Jose Rodeiro with Dr. Edward J. Yaw
Dr. Jose Rodeiro with Dr. Edward J. Yaw
Josephine Barreiro with Dawn Delikat of "Pen & Brush"
Josephine Barreiro with Dawn Delikat of "Pen & Brush"
Olga M. Batista and Sergio Villamizar
Olga M. Batista and Sergio Villamizar
Sergio Villamizar
Sergio Villamizar
Josephine Barreiro painting
Josephine Barreiro painting
Josephine Barreiro and Michael Cruz
Josephine Barreiro and Michael Cruz
Bruce Rice (painter) talking to Dr. Elaine Foster (jewelry designer).
Bruce Rice (painter) talking to Dr. Elaine Foster (jewelry designer).
Dr. Barry Katz
Dr. Barry Katz
Olga Mercedes Bautista with Nicola Stewart Fonseca
Olga Mercedes Bautista with Nicola Stewart Fonseca
Rita Villarreal with Monica S. Camin
Rita Villarreal with Monica S. Camin
 Angelica Munoz Castano
Angelica Munoz Castano


Cuban artist Raúl Villarreal is credited with naming the “Neo-Latino” movement in 2003; art historically, it’s the first major 21st Century global art movement initiated in greater New York City.  The exhibit includes works by Villarreal, and “First Wave” artists Josephine Barreiro,  Olga Mercedes Bautista,   José Rodeiro and  Sergio Villamizar.   Included from the “Second Wave” are Isabel Nazario and Julio Nazario, instrumental in organizing the 2004 The Center for Latino Art and Culture’s  arts-initiative, “Transcultural New Jersey.”  The above are joined by Monica S. Camin,  Christie Devereaux,  Nicola Stewart Fonseca,  Ricardo Fonseca,  Fermin Mendoza,  Lisette Morel,  Angela Muñoz Castaño,   Gabriel Navar, and Marisol Ross.

Photo credits: Todd Doney (Director, CCM Visual Arts Gallery); Sergio Villamizar,  Christie Devereaux and Josephine Barreiro.

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Gabriel Navar, Selfie 4, Ultralove

Gabriel Navar, Selfie 4, Ultralove


Neo-Latino Art Exhibit:

A Blend of Paint & Culture


Dr. Nicomedes Suárez-Araúz, the Bolivia aesthetic theorist, poet, and “Father of Amnesis Art” has argued that contemporary culture is marked by “hybridization,” the blending of cultures through globalization and integration, rupturing distinctions between low art and high art, and contributing to postmodern cultural fusion.  Suárez-Araúz attests that all this “hybridization” will ultimately result in cultural renewal, and he acknowledges that no 21st Century art movement has done more to ignite a Hispanic Renaissance than NYC’s/NJ’s Metropolitan-area Neo-Latino group, whose revitalized and resurgent “second-wave” is led by Raúl Villarreal, the acclaimed Cuban American painter, who, in 2003, christened the movement: “Neo-Latino Art.”

Art historically, Neo-Latinoism stands as the 21st Century’s first Hispanic art movement.  Thanks to Villarreal’s enlightened revival of Neo-Latinoism, the possibility of an artistic community linked by cultural solidarity is growing. Under Villarreal’s curatorial leadership, the second wave of the Neo-Latino art movement is being launched in winter 2014-2015 within County College of Morris’s new CCM Art Gallery, featuring cutting-edge images of social significance, imaginative visions, and strong visual vitality that are both archetypal and intrinsic to contemporary Latino community(ies) in the metropolitan area.


Neo-Latino Art Show

“Neo-Latino CCM Edition” — Todd Doney, Gallery Director
An Exhibition of 21st Century Latino Artists
November 24, 2014 – January 30, 2015
Artist Reception: Wednesday, December 3 from 5:30-8:00 PM
The CCM Visual Arts Gallery
Sherman H. Masten Library
County College of Morris

Sandy, Olga Mercedes Bautista
Basket Babies, Olga Mercedes Bautista
Basket Babies, Olga Mercedes Bautista
El Pan de la Vida Cotidiana, Raúl Villarreal
El Pan de la Vida Cotidiana, Raúl Villarreal
The Twins, Raúl Villarreal
Angélica Muñoz Castañoj, "Esperando Por Mi Sabia Interior
Angélica Muñoz Castaño, "Tres Generaciones
Nicola Stewart Fonseca, "Home"
Nicola Richard Fonseca, Chained Borders
Nicola Richard Fonseca, Chained Borders
Monica S. Camin, Passport 2000
Monica S. Camin, Passport 2000
Overcoat, Monica S. Camin
Before and Happily Ever After, Sergio Villamizar
Before and Happily Ever After, Sergio Villamizar
Prisioneros del Imperio, Sergio Villamizar
Prisioneros del Imperio, Sergio Villamizar
Saint Patriot, Sergio Villamizar
Saint Patriot, Sergio Villamizar
Espiritu Maya 1, Christie Devereaux
Espiritu Maya 1, Christie Devereaux
Espiritu Maya 2, Christie Devereaux
Espiritu Maya 2, Christie Devereaux
Espiritu Maya 3, Christie Devereaux
Espiritu Maya 3, Christie Devereaux
Espiritu Maya 4, Christie Devereaux
Espiritu Maya 4, Christie Devereaux
Nicaraguan Bodegon, Jose Rodeiro
Nicaraguan Bodegon, Jose Rodeiro
Flowers, Jose Rodeiro
Flowers, Jose Rodeiro
Seated Woman, Jose Rodeiro
Seated Woman, Jose Rodeiro
Four Cats Bodegon, Jose Rodeiro
Four Cats Bodegon, Jose Rodeiro
Selfie 4, Looney Times, Gabriel Navar
Selfie 4, Looney Times, Gabriel Navar
Selfie 4 Sun, Gabriel Navar
Selfie 4 Sun, Gabriel Navar
Selfie 4, Ultra Love, Gabriel Navar
Selfie 4, Ultra Love, Gabriel Navar
Cat Devouring Bird, Josephine Barriero
Cat Devouring Bird, Josephine Barriero
El Toro, Josephine Barriero
El Toro, Josephine Barriero


Neo-Latinos generally emulate consequential art movements from the previous century (e.g. Dada, Surrealism, and other art movements), that preferred clear, transcendent socio-cultural aesthetic principle(s), and wide-ranging artistic aspirations, to mere stylistic uniformity.  In short, Neo-Latino art is not driven by one universal or consistent style.  Rather, Neo-Latinoism explores six styles: Neo-Informalism, Neo-Pop, Amnesis, Metaphorical Realism, Primordialism and Folkloricism, while adhering to core Neo-Latino cultural values and ideas. Ultimately, they believe that art is the unity in diversity of all things.  Generally, Neo-Latino art assimilates or combines aesthetic traits from Africa, Europe, and the Americas.  In Neo-Latino art, multicultural and multiethnic viewpoints prevail, engendering transcultural amalgams consisting of three elements: 1).  Pan-American  artistic fertilization, 2). Incessant cultural and artistic evolution, and 3). unlimited syncretic fusion in the arts, reinforcing cultural bonds by focusing on aggregate Latina(o) ethnicity and identity.

Since 2003, in their artworks, this Neo-Latino art cell has consistently gauged the cultural impact of full-blown US-Latinization [(a term invented in 1992 by José Rodeiro, the Cuban-American painter)], which describes the current ascent of Ibero-American culture in North America.  In terms of art, aesthetics, and culture, the Neo-Latino art movement is a manifestation of contemporary US-Latinization, as well as indicative of transcultural currents that are simultaneously dispersing and imploding within the New York-New Jersey metropolitan-area Hispanic communities.

“Second wave” Neo-Latino artists include: Josephine Barreiro, Olga Mercedes Bautista, Monica S. Camin, Christie Devereaux, Ricardo Fonseca, Nicola Stewart Fonseca, Fermin Mendoza, Lisette Morel, Angélica Muñoz Castaño, Gabriel Navar, Isabel Nazario, Julio Nazario, José Rodeiro, Marisol Ross, Sergio Villamizar and Raúl Villarreal. The Latin American and Iberian countries represented are Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, Portugal and Spain.

“Neo-Latino CCM Edition:” an Exhibition of 21st Century Latino Artists will run from November 24, 2014 – January 30, 2015, with an Artist Reception on Wednesday, December 3 from 5:30-8:00 PM. The reception is is free and open to the public.  Both the art show and reception will take place at the CCM Visual Arts Gallery, (Sherman H. Masten Library), County College of Morris, 214 Center Grove Road, Randolph, NJ 07869-2086. Tel. 973-328-5000; Contact: Todd Doney, Gallery Director.

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Future assured

for Franklin Furnace

The following letter was emailed earlier this week to friends and subscribers of Franklin Furnace, a landmark arts organization founded in 1975 in TriBeCa. Much has happened over the years, including the migration of FF from Manhattan to Brooklyn. This latest update on the organization’s splendid history reveals that its future will likely be assured for the next 100 years — or more. Great news, at that.

Read on …

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Dear Franklin Furnace Aficionado,

Franklin Furnace has made the decision to “nest” at Pratt Institute.  Here is the back-story:

In 1975, along with a bunch of other artists, I signed a 10-year lease on a loft building at 112 Franklin Street in TriBeCa.  At the time, I remember thinking ten years was forever.  But a decade turns out to be short in real estate terms, so by the early 1980s I was trying to figure out where Franklin Furnace would move.  (This is when William Wegman’s 1983 drawing, “Visit the New Facility,” was created.)  Could we relocate to the block in the East Village where Claes Oldenburg once had his Store?  (Not fireproof.) Should we move to a disused bank building that would project the value of our archives?  (Too expensive.)  What about space in the Federal Archives Building developed by Rockrose?  (Residential plumbing overhead.)  In the end, Franklin Furnace hired the late, great attorney, Paul Gulielmetti, whose expertise in the Loft Law kept us in our TriBeCa storefront for ten years after the expiration of our lease.  When the landlord died, his daughter offered the tenants of 112 Franklin Street the opportunity to buy the building.  This we did, raising the down payment through an art sale generously hosted by Marian Goodman.


At first, our plan was to renovate the loft to make it a downtown art emporium; star architect Bernard Tschumi prepared an innovative design that brought the space up to code while remaining respectful of its location in a historic district.  Then we recognized that the artists’ community had largely left TriBeCa for the outer boroughs; and that the Internet presented a new, free zone in which artists might create unforeseen works.  We held a Board retreat; convened several town meetings; and ultimately decided to “go virtual” to provide the artists we present with the freedom of expression they had enjoyed in the loft from 1976 to 1996.

Again in 2014, we are approaching the end of our 10-year lease; again, about two years ago, the Board of Directors of Franklin Furnace commenced a planning process-but this time we asked not only where we would move, but also how Franklin Furnace might maintain cultural influence in 100 years’

time.  As a result of a strategic planning process supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and managed by Dunch Arts, Franklin Furnace has made the decision to nest at Pratt Institute.  Pratt is an art and design school founded over 125 years ago in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, with the mission to educate artists and creative professionals to be responsible contributors to society. We will keep our separate corporate structures, while  collaborating to provide public and pedagogical access to the emerging artists we support; as well as to ensure accessibility and preservation of our archives.  Franklin Furnace has signed an organization-in-residence agreement, and plans to be fully installed at Pratt Institute by the close of 2014.

Now you might be asking yourself, if Franklin Furnace has been so smart as to figure out a sustainable model for the next 100 years, why should you continue to support us?  Because by collaborating with a formidable educational institution, we will be able to undertake ambitious long-term preservation and documentation projects that will have cultural impact in the future.

Additionally, by nesting at Pratt, Franklin Furnace may serve as a model for the field.  Important art space archives have been destroyed or are languishing in basements; some organizations with similar collections charge fees for online viewing; others have chosen not to publish their archives online; and still others have opted to donate or sell their records:  In early 2014, the Kitchen, the storied New York art space founded in 1971 by Steina and Woody Vesulka, announced it had made the decision to sell the first thirty years of its archives to the Getty Research Institute.  It is our opinion that no third-party institution, separated by time and lack of institutional memory, can adequately capture the intentions of the contemporary avant-garde artists who invented Postmodernism.

Thank you for your warm support in the past; your continued support at this critical juncture will ensure that Franklin Furnace will have the capacity to make the world safe for avant-garde art for a long time to come!  Please visit this link to join:

Very truly yours,

Martha Wilson

Founding Director

Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc.

80 Arts – The James E. Davis Arts Building
80 Hanson Place, #301
Brooklyn, NY 11217-1506

T 718 398 7255
F 718 398 7256



Martha Wilson, Founding Director
Harley Spiller, Deputy Director
Michael Katchen, Senior Archivist
Jenny Korns, Program Coordinator
Mary Suk, Financial Manager

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Constructive Interference:

A Collaboration

Duda Penteado, paintings …

Luiz Ribeiro, photography


The juxtaposition of painted and photographed images is not new, having been with us for around a century. So one is always interested if an old idea can be given a new vitality, a new aesthetic expression. I propose that this has been achieved in Constructive Interference.

So just how has this come about? I think the success of this collaboration rests on the expressive content inherent in the approach to art-making of each of these artists, and in the nature of a Brazil that earnestly is being scrutinized in relation to its inherent, natural   transcendence and the apprehension that its survival is at risk. Because of this combination of unease and beauty these images are unsettling. And they are simultaneously particular to Brazil and universal. Yet the sense of a reinvented spirit of tropicalismo would seem to render more of a regional effect.

Constructive Interference

Paintings by Duda Penteado, Photography by Luiz Ribeiro, Text by Dr. George Nelson Preston


The artistic devices used to obtain this effect are the flat surface of the photographic plane that relies on our memory to recall three dimensional reality; and by contrast the viscous, low relief projection of pigment from this flat surface that actually recedes away from the eye in natural aerial perspective. This ostensible disconnect is held in check by the mystical, spiritual, cosmic sensibility that Penteado and Ribeiro are able to project.

In two of these works the lower trunks of trees and their exposed roots dangle above the landscape photographed in soft focus. In one picture, a child and a dog — obvious images of innocence and guiltlessness — are perched in a tree suspended in the same uncertain future of Brazil as its flora and fauna. The scene is completed by fluttering, falling, leaf shaped lozenges of cerulean blue sky.

A few years ago, I asked Penteado if he would consider being more of a Brazilian artist − as in artist using Brazil as a point of reference. I had mentioned that Brazil is on the ascendent despite some ominous aspects for its natural habitat.  It appears that these images speak of the unusual juxtapositions, extreme contradictions and peculiar harmonies that make up Brazil. I imagine that the title the artists have chosen for their exhibition refers to the insights that are manifest in their way of seeing Brazil  − and beyond Brazil.

− George Nelson Preston, Ph. D.

Emeritus Professor, Art History, City College of CUNY
Co-Founding Director, Museum of Art and Origins, NYC

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Throckmorton VALDIR CRUZ  TROPEADA I pigment on paper 30 x 30 6 of 25 susan@susanpr_ 02 - TROPEADA, I-1990





 at Throckmorton Fine Art 

September 18 – November 1

“Over many years Valdir Cruz and his master printer, Leonard Bergson, have developed a proprietary printing process by which to create exquisite large-format pigment on paper artworks. The emotional nuances and exceptional quality of these original prints catapults them into a niche all their own.”            

Spencer Throckmorton


It has been said that Cruz’s interest in photography began when he first viewed some of George Stone’s THROCKMORTON Valdir Cruz GYPSY WOMAN Mulher cigana Guarapuava series 1991 pigment on paper 40x40 8 of 15  susan@susanprphotographs in National Geographic magazines in the 1970s. “Stone was a master teacher and it is thanks to him that I became a photographer.”  Cruz adds that it was George Tice who helped him become a good printer. At the Germain School he studied photography, but he gained technical skills from George Tice at the New School for Social Research, in New York. He later collaborated with Tice in the authorized production of two important Edward Steichen portfolios, Juxtapositions (1986) and Blue Skies (1987) before focusing largely on his own works.  Valdir Cruz developed a deep understanding of how 20th century photographers such as Edward Steichen and Horst P. Horst expressed their creativity in photography. He says, “Mr Horst was not only a great photographer, but a gentleman.  I remember the 80’s with affection.  Those were years of learning and growing tremendously in my vision –  and photography – and in my life!  Those were the years dedicated to New York City…and learning photography.”  Valdir Cruz’s work has been the subject of more than fifty solo exhibitions.

Cruz was born in Guarapuava, in the Southern State of Paraná, in 1954. Although Cruz has lived in the United States for more than thirty years, much of his work in photography has focused on the people and landscape of Brazil. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1996 for Faces of the Rainforest, a project documenting the life of indigenous people in the Brazilian rainforest from 1995 to 2000. Cruz shares his time between his studios in New York City and São Paulo.


For 25 years Throckmorton Fine Art has specialized in vintage and contemporary photography of the Americas with a primary focus on Latin American talents.  The gallery’s founder, Spencer Throckmorton, has also pursued a long held interest in Chinese Jades and Pre-Columbian Art and Throckmorton has staged important exhibitions and published numerous publications on these subjects.  Throckmorton Fine Art is a featured exhibitor at the world’s leading art fairs.  Spencer Throckmorton and Kraige Block are also recognized for their extraordinary photography collection including strong works of museum quality by luminaries such as Tina Modotti, Manual Alvarez Bravo, Edward Weston and Martin Chambi, among many talents they have supported in the past quarter century. 


IF YOU GO:  “Guarapuava”

at Throckmorton Fine Art
September 18th – November 1st, 2014
145 E. 57th Street, 3rd fl. New York, NY 10022
212. 223. 1059 F. 212. 223. 1937    


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Ralph Gibson’s MONO

at the Leica Gallery, Los Angeles

The Leica Gallery Los Angeles presents for the first time in the United States photographer Ralph Gibson’s newest body of work MONO shot exclusively with the M Monochrom Camera. The exhibition of 50 black and white digital prints focuses on structures, elegant shapes and lines. Gibson will also be signing his new book MONO at the gallery along with giving a talk on his work on Sunday, September 28, 2014. Gibson’s new book “MONO,” which features images taken with the Leica M Monochrom, was released on December 11, 2013 at the Leica Store Lisse. (

An artist reception, gallery talk and book signing is scheduled from 2 pm To 5 pm on Sunday, September 28, 2014. The exhibition runs from September 13 and continues through October 26, 2014. Hours: Leica Gallery Los Angeles (located at 8783 Beverly Blvd, West Hollywood) is open Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 6 PM and Sunday from12 PM to 5 PM. For more information, call 424-777-0341.

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“Clouds of Sils Maria” (Director: Olivier Assayas • Switzerland, Germany, France): Juliette Binoche stars in this mesmerizing and superbly acted psychological drama about an older actress who agrees to re-stage the play that launched her career 20 years earlier. From the acclaimed director of “Summer Hours,” this fascinating “All About Eve” update co-stars Kristen Stewart as the actress’s faithful assistant and “Kick-Ass”‘s Chloë Grace Moretz as her beguiling young rival.

Olivier Assayas’ “Clouds of Sils Maria,” starring Juliette Binoche.



First  20 Films for 50th Anniversary Celebration

CHICAGO, IL (August 21, 2014)The Chicago International Film Festival, the oldest competitive film festival in North America, has announced the first selection of titles to be screened during its 50th anniversary year. Featuring more than 150 feature-length and short films, the 50th Festival is scheduled to run October 9 – 23, 2014.

“This sampling includes both innovative new work from around the globe as well as films that pay tribute to our history,” said Founder and Artistic Director of the Chicago International Film Festival Michael Kutza. “For 50 years, it has been my great pleasure to bring the most exciting work in contemporary international cinema to our audiences. This year, we also take a look back and shine a spotlight on some of the groundbreaking work that has helped to make the Festival the enduring institution it is.”

“Each year, we are privileged to view thousands of new films as we seek out those that will be selected for the Festival,” added Programming Director Mimi Plauché. “The submissions this year have been particularly impressive. These first titles offer audiences a preview of what they can expect during our 50th anniversary celebration: a thought-provoking, thrilling program replete with the work of auteurs and innovators alike.”

Moviegoer (10 regular admissions): $100 for Cinema/Chicago members, $130 for non-members. Passport (20 regular admissions): $190 for Cinema/Chicago members, $240 for non-members. Passes can be purchased online at or by calling 312.683.0121.

Festival screenings will be held at the AMC River East 21 Theater (322 E. Illinois St.). The full schedule will be announced at a later date.

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Woman from Axel, Loura van der Meule

Woman from Axel, Loura van der Meule


Curated by Anne Trauben
180 Grand St.
Jersey City
Gallery Hours Th/Fri 4-7 Sat/Sun 2-6
7/10/14 – 8/17/14


Nine Artists’

Personal Cultural Odysseys


Artists: Taiwo DuVall, Kyung Jeon, Leona Strassberg Steiner, Roshanak Elmendorf, Monica Camin, Ibou Ndoye, Loura van der Meule, Aliza Augustine, Gerardo Castro.

by Anne Trauben

Our New Jersey metropolitan area is a place where people from all over the world gather to build new lives. They carry with them the past experiences of their native lands. Often personal or family histories reflect the larger cultural/political situations of their countries. In this exhibition of drawings, paintings, video and animation, nine talented artists chronicle their experience of “there to here”,  creating a visual, personal narrative of their cultural histories. The selected artists have a unique eloquence and ability to convey what they and their families have lived, through their art.

Featured Artists:

Loura van der Meule – Oil pastel drawings – Reflections on her Dutch childhood.

Ibou Ndoye – Senegal, W. Africa-Paintings on glass, carpet and fabric that capture the frantic urban bustle and mythic sense of his home city.

Leona Strassberg Steiner– An American who’s videos and photographs tell of her long sojourn in Israel where she moved as a young adult and the relationship between women in Israel and Palestine.

Roshanak Elmendorf’s moving drawings and animations tell of women’s experiences growing up in Iran.

Aliza Augustine‘s Dollhouse Photographs confront family history concerning the Holocaust, Gender, and Race.

Monica S. Camin– Argentinian of German descent, she says “History is in my bones.” Her large “Ancestral Portrait” paintings take us to another place and time.

Taiwo DuVall– In beautifully crafted wood-block prints and a painted mural, this veteran artist and renowned drummer’s work reflects his upbringing in Washington DC, life in Harlem and African heritage.

Kyung Jeon’s work draws inspiration from traditional Korean folk paintings and challenges the stereotypes of feminism; “historical accounts, personal experiences, and contemporary political and social issues weave together to create imaginary worlds.”

Gerardo Castro’s paintings are inspired by the cultural threads of his heritage: Afro-Cuban religions and symbols, spiritual beliefs, Christian iconography and powerful narratives.


James Pustorino, Director  201 823 9393/ 201 208 8032

Anne Trauben, Curator  917 523-5168



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Fountain Street Fine Art gallery on the right, in the Bancroft Bldg. Mike Foldes photo.

Fountain Street Fine Art Gallery

We Are You Project Event:

It’s a wrap!



Fountain Street Fine Arts hosts We Are You Project art show and poetry reading, 6/22/14

Alan Britt
Alan Britt
Flavia Cosma
Flavia Cosma
Gloria Mindock
Gloria Mindock
Michael Foldes
Michael Foldes
We Are You Project Art Show
We Are You Project Art Show
José Acosta and Raúl Villarreal
José Acosta and Raúl Villarreal
Jose Rodeiro
Jose Rodeiro
Jose Acost and Jose Rodeiro
Jose Acost and Jose Rodeiro
Raúl Villarreal
Raúl Villarreal
Agua Dulce Oshun
Agua Dulce Oshun
At the Fountain Fine Arts Opening
At the Fountain Fine Arts Opening

Marie Craig, co-director, Fountain Street Fine Art

Thanks to Marie & Cheryl!

Jose Acosta and Cheryl Clinton, co-director of Fountain Street Fine Art

For more photos and information about the art exhibit opening, visit the WAYP website.

 * * * * *



Fountain Street Fine Art presents:

“WE ARE YOU INTERNATIONAL” is a traveling art show organized by the We Are You Project spotlighting Latino contributions within America’s history. The show, to take place at Framingham’s Fountain Street Gallery, places Latino cultures within the context of an ongoing socio-political struggle for civil rights, tolerance, and freedom.  This  landmark artistic initiative presents key Latino artists and artworks in a group show representing 36 major contemporary Latino artists with heritage of more than a dozen Latin American nations.

WAYProj 20140531

An Act of Love
An Act of Love
Strength in Numbers
Strength in Numbers
High Encounter
High Encounter
Jornada de dos lenguajes
Jornada de dos lenguajes
Concebido en el colonialismo de Espanola,
Concebido en el colonialismo de Espanola,
Fraulein French Fries
Fraulein French Fries
The Healer
The Healer
Fish Patterns
Fish Patterns
Map of Mexico
Map of Mexico
Xicana Birth
Xicana Birth
Envy 11
Envy 11
Vietnam Service
Vietnam Service
All Faces, All Colors
All Faces, All Colors
The Mother That Is The Other Brother
The Mother That Is The Other Brother
She killed him with Huevos Rancheros
She killed him with Huevos Rancheros
Agua Dulce (Ohun Asleep)
Agua Dulce (Ohun Asleep)
Terra Nostra
Terra Nostra
Saint Patriot
Saint Patriot
Ambos Mundos, detail
Ambos Mundos, detail
Tlacuilo Link
Tlacuilo Link
Mi Raza Vive
Mi Raza Vive
Brisenia the Dessert Flower 2
Brisenia the Dessert Flower 2

The Gallery program, under the direction of Cheryl Clinton and Marie Craig, includes a poetry reading by We Are You Project poets on Sunday June 22, from 1-4 PM. A number of nationally and internationally acclaimed poets will recite poems written specifically on We Are You Project themes, such as Latino struggles against alienation, and for ethical inclusion in U.S. society. Poets include: Alan Britt, Michael Foldes, Flavia Cosma, Gloria Mindock, and  Duda Penteado.


Hugo X. Bastidas, BEARING GIFTS, Oil-on-canvas, 24″ x 36,” 2009.

A screening of the We Are You Project Documentary film will be held at AMAZING THINGS ARTS CENTER, 160 Hollis St,  Framingham  MA  01702 on Wednesday June 25th at 7 p.m. Directed by Brazilian Duda Penteado and produced by Jinsing Productions, the film examines current Latino culture through the eyes of prominent U.S.-Hispanic visual artists, cultural leaders, and educators.

Artists represented in the exhibition include: José Acosta, Efren Alvárez, Nelson Alvárez, Hugo X. Bastidas, Josephine Barreiro, Monica S. Camin, Jacqui Casale, Carlos Chavez, Pablo Caviedes, Laura L. Cuevas, Maritza Davíla, Ricardo Fonseca, Roberto Marquez, Elizabeth Jimenez Montelongo, Hugo Morales, Lisette Morel, Patricio Moreno Toro, Gabriel Navar, Isabel Nazario, Julio Nazario, Joe Peňa, Duda Penteado, Marta Sanchez, Mel Ramos, Ana Rivera, Jesus Rivera, José Rodeiro, Rolando Reyna, Sergio Villamizar and Raúl Villarreal.

June 19 -Aug 3, 2014
Reception Saturday June 21, 5 – 7 PM
Poetry Reading Sunday June 22, 1-4 PM
FILM SCREENING: Wed. June 25th at 7 p.m., at AMAZING THINGS, 160 Hollis St., Framingham  MA  01702

GALLERY HOURS Thursday-Sunday, 11:00 AM-5:00 PM; or for an appointment, call 508-879-4200.  FOUNTAIN STREET FINE ARTS Gallery, 59 Fountain Street, Framingham, Massachusetts, 01702.


* * *

Pure Slush Vol. 8


This themed issue, a volume of 32 vignettes by as many authors, provides interesting anecdotal evidence that as we Barcodelive and breathe, we also drink and socialize, even if not always in a civilized way, let alone for the same reasons. I was apprehensive about reading the stories, inasmuch as I half wanted (half didn’t), to find myself staring back at Charles Bukowski clones. Not the case at all, as I discovered jumping from one story to another, happily engaged with relatively pain-free and often ironic events turned out as fictional and semi-fictional tales told from table to stool as if they were best kept secrets, or at least confidences shared over two fingers. A good volume to put in your pocket so the next time you’re the only one at the bar, you won’t be completely alone.

And don’t forget to raise a glass to Matt Potter, Pure Slush editor, who pours a stiff highball with this collection.

The current Pure Slush project is 2014: The Year in Travel, a series of anthologies that take readers to all parts of the available world, and then some. Pure Slush itself is a great little publishing house based in Australia featuring “writers from all over the English-speaking world.”   Check out their site: You’re certain to find something to catch your fancy.


* * * * *Bastidas_-_[flooded_interior]_80_x_54

Flooded Interior, 80″ x 54″, Oil on Linen


Artist’s Statement:

“The approach behind the artwork is firstly visual and secondly conceptual. I apply paint to the surface with quick even short strokes that build and amount to the image. The result is that of a blurry monochrome photograph encouraging closer inspection. Purposely generating a journalistic photographic appearance is used to capture the attention for the narrative. By considering perhaps what is being viewed as actually having happened or just accepting it for what it is, the account/conclusion of the context becomes personal. The situations in the pictures seem innocuous at first, but very much the same way the formal quality slowly reveals itself, the aim is that the conceptual allegorical riffs on cultural malaise and environmental disruption begin to unfold as well.


April 2014 Short Takes & Events, Nora Haime Gallery

Ornate Bridge
Ornate Bridge
In the Clearing
In the Clearing
You Have to Get There From Here
You Have to Get There From Here
11-49 p.m.
11-49 p.m.

“There is a deadpan irony to them that is dismissed after the initial introduction. The conceptual arrangements are presented in a polemical fashion and left open ended. Mark making refers more to the simplest human declaration of existence after speech, thus I gravitate to this idea to record the current state and mark both personally and historically our condition. The scenes are rendered in their most appealing strength allowing for example the re-contextualized landscape or stressed mental environment to be embraced comfortably… Inevitably presenting what we want to see and if we want to see it left in plain sight.”

Bastidas’ work is on view now at Nora Haime Gallery in New York City. For more information, click HERE, or call  (212) 888-3550, for more information.

* * * * *

Minotaur's Dream

Richard Claraval, “Minotaur’s Dream,” charcoal.

Pittsburgh Calling

Richard Claraval writes about his work:

Mythological subjects have been a rich source of subject matter for artists for centuries. Each has interpreted these stories both in the idiom of their time and in their own personal style. I continue this tradition with my own unique approach of fusing the human figure with Abstract Expressionist. My large charcoal drawings focus on Greek, Christian, Egyptian and other mythologies, as well as the modern day the mythology of J.R.R.Tolkien

The highly imaginative “supernatural” and archetypal elements of myths, which are, in a sense, abstractions, as well as the exotic chimeras, lend themselves to an abstract mode of interpretation. As well, the ability of many of the characters to do impossible things such as fly and become invisible fit well my interest in depicting the figure in very dynamic and sometimes impossible poses.

The show runs from June 1 to June 30 at the Spinning Plate Gallery, 5821 Baum Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA 15206. There will be an opening reception on Saturday June 14, from 7:00 to 10:00 PM. 

* * * * *




The project Street Art & Cinema was born in April 2013 as a study on how Street Art pays tribute to Cinema. It aims to be educational and cultural, multicolored and without borders, a meeting point between two visual expressions, Urban Art and what is happening on the big screen.

After several months of investigation, Street Art & Cinema became now an original database — a huge photography collection of street artists’ masterpieces, and commentary about motion pictures and iconic people of the film industry.

The web page, launched in January 2014, exhibits the work of hundreds of Street Artists around the world, inspired by the 7th art, and invites movies and street art lovers to (re)discover the films, actors, directors and actresses who are artists’ muses when they spray the corner of a street, the shutter of a shop or a canvas in their studio.

Project Manager Stéphanie Martin Petit, a student of Cinema history, grew up in Nantes, France, and has been living in different countries for the last 15 years (England, Australia, Spain and Mexico).  During her stay in Barcelona, she began to photograph art on shop shutters painted by urban artists and she has now more than 1400 images in her collection. (

In April 2013, she launched the project Street Art & Cinema, an initiative dedicated to the History of Cinema as seen by urban artists and  the encounter of her two passions: Street Art and Cinema.


* * * * *



Kalvebod Waves

JDS Architects is pleased to announce the nomination of its project Kalvebod Waves for the Big Arne Award. The award is given to completed works and initiatives that have raised the architecture of the metropolitan Copenhagen area in the past year. Kalvebod Waves is nominated for the award because it contributes to reuniting the city of Copenhagen with its harbor. To create this urban spot on the waterfront, JDS Architects teamed up with KLAR, Future Experience, U-turn and White Water Adventure Park.

From Islands Brygge to Kalvebod Waves

At the turn of the millennium, the center of Copenhagen was given an incredible breath of fresh air or rather fresh grass by the opening of Islands Brygge Park. The project injected some 28.000 m2 of outdoor space for all. In 2003, we, as PLOT (now JDS and BIG) designed the harbour bath project, which introduced a new concept of bathing and water sports to the capital. The success was immediate and the first real signs of the city turning itself back to its waterways became evident.

Kalvebod Brygge is situated opposite this popular Copenhagen summer hang out. Kalvebod Brygge has the potential to be Islands Brygge’s more urban addition but has, until now, been synonymous with a desolated office address devoid of life and public activities. The new urban waterfront is the perfect hub for summer festivals and water related activities.

When addressing this infamously gloomy and desolated side of the harbour, we put our focus on two major design aspects: to create urban continuity and to locate new public spaces on the sunny parts of the water. What has doomed the Kalvebod area until now were the long shadows drawn by the imposing structures fronting it. We studied the course of those shadows throughout the day and the year and located two main pockets of shadow-free zones. We decided to program those areas as both resting islands on the water and actual programmed spaces, containing until now the facilities of a kayak club. From there on, all we needed was to find an active way to reconnect those islands to the urban network and to make them relate to the city’s infrastructure.

JDS Architects

Julien De Smedt’s numerous prize-winning projects have helped to re-energise the discussion of contemporary architecture. The Founder and Director of JDS/Julien De Smedt Architects & MWA/Makers With Agendas has offices in Brussels, Copenhagen and Shanghai. Among other awards and recognitions, JDS received the WAN 21 for 21 Award in 2011, the European Steel Design Award in 2011 and the Maaskant Prize for Best Young Architect in 2009.  In 2004, JDS received a Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale for the Stavanger Concert Hall and was nominated for the Mies Van Der Rohe award. JDS has recently completed several large international projects, including the Holmenkollen Ski Jump in Oslo (Architizer A + Award 2013) and the residential project Iceberg in Aarhus (Architizer A + Award 2013 MIPIM Award 2013).

Info Kalvebod Waves on JDS Architects:


* * * * *


Adel Gorgy, My Meeting with Warhol …. Traces of Warhol © Adel Gorgy

Adel Gorgy:

Traces of Pollock, de Kooning and Warhol…

Abstract Photographic Works

at Able Fine Art NY Gallery

Review by Mary Gregory

Adel Gorgy, in his current exhibition, “Traces of Pollock, de Kooning and Warhol,”  at Able Fine Art NY in Chelsea, has brought keen observation, a graceful aesthetic and a unique vision and process to an impressive body of work.  In the current age of knockoffs and spinoffs, prequels and sequels, true originality of thought and expression, like Adel Gorgy’s,  is rare and worthy of attention.

In a series of photographic abstractions, both monumental in scale, and dense and complex enough to invite intimate, up-close viewing, Gorgy responds to the work of three earlier artists — Pollock, de Kooning and Warhol.  In his photographs we see, as the title implies, traces of their work, but they are recomposed and re-contextualized into completely new compositions.

There is a reference to the history of found objects that have informed and, in part, formed the art of the past century in works as historical as those of Duchamp and Picasso and as contemporary as Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, and Mike Kelley.  But in Gorgy’s work, the found objects are brushstrokes and drips, lines, colors, and bits of canvas captured from the work of these earlier abstract painters.

Rather than just presenting what he has found, though, Adel Gorgy completely restructures the elements into compelling, new compositions.  Looping lines and splatters that escaped Jackson Pollock’s canvases and landed, instead, on the floor of his studio, have been reclaimed by Gorgy and recomposed into bright, colorful abstract photographic works, such as Traces of Pollock #3, rich with historical reference, and at the same time fresh and beautiful.  De Kooning’s brushstrokes have been repurposed and repositioned in Gorgy’s Meeting de Kooning AgainMarilyn…Persona and My Meeting with Warhol offer bits of Warhol through Gorgy’s eyes and at the same time offer  entirely different meanings.

One of the purposes of found art is to offer viewers an opportunity to see the ordinary in a new way.   Adel Gorgy, in these works, invites viewers to see art anew.  It’s an idea that has been presented in his work for several years.  Previously, he carried out visual dialogues with painters like Van Gogh, Matisse and Monet, using their palettes and lines to create his own compositions, abstracting realism.  Here, he has chosen to abstract abstraction, and in doing so, has opened new ways of looking at familiar work.  We may all be able to recognize a Pollock at first glance, but do we really look at it anymore?  Through Gorgy’s re-presentations, we do.  Warhol, who offered us flattened, commercialized, pop art where labels trumped essences, has been responded to by Gorgy, who gives depth, both visual and conceptual, to both Marilyn Monroe and Campbell’s soup cans. In an arresting work, Sum of Any … after Twombly (Untitled), Gorgy pares down a sprawling, amorphous work of Twombly to the concise, enigmatic textual scrawls for which his work is known.

Gorgy states that his goal is to engage viewers with the works of these previous artists, but mostly, to engage them with his own vision.  He encourages them “to abstract [his work] further, and discover the infinite and the limitless.”  He adds that “the final reality of an artwork rests with the viewer, and yet for the artist, his vision and his concept are unscathed.  They are different journeys, whose path may or may not cross, but neither is more or less true than the other.”

In offering the opportunity to see new work, and at the same time see familiar work with new eyes, Adel Gorgy is creating both visual and experiential art.  He allows the viewer to become the artist, creating new meanings for works by Pollock, de Kooning and Warhol, and at the same time, for his own.

How any artist relates to the art of his own and previous times is crucial.  At the same time, true art is always a mingling of content and intent.  In Traces of Pollock, de Kooning and Warhol, Gorgy’s  skill, talent and vision are the cornerstones that support the concept.   Adel Gorgy ‘s exhibition at Able Fine Art NY presents a thoroughly original idea (hard to do after so many centuries of recorded art) in a visually eloquent and elegant way.

Artist’s website:

About the reviewer:
Mary Gregory is a writer and reviewer. She lives in New York, and frequents galleries and auction houses that set the backdrop for her stories. 

* * * * *

DECEMBER 18, 2013


to Avery Irons,

winner of Ragazine.CC’s

“Speculative Fiction by People of Color” contest

for his original story

“The Chance”

Final Judge: Sheree Renée Thomas…


Thomas, is the author of “Shotgun Lullabies” and editor of “Dark Matter,” a collection of science fiction, fantasy, and horror produced by people of African descent. “Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora is a groundbreaking achievement by any measure and was the winner of the 2001 World Fantasy Award for Best Anthology.”

Thomas had this to say of Irons’ story:

“…Your near-future story was a provocative, frightening, and moving work that explored a socio-economic problem – and its intergenerational impact – that is rarely discussed frankly in American society and is certainly not often explored in literature.  As I read your story, I came to feel deeply for the family you depicted and their struggle.  Your writing was clear, evocative, and riveting at times, with natural dialogue that read like truth.  The ending of the story was surprising and inspiring…”

“The Chance” will appear in the January-February 2014 issue of Ragazine.CC. Don’t miss it!

Runners up (stories to be published in Ragazine in 2014):

Ely Azur’s “Never. Give. You. Up.” (moving but creepy adopted monster/baby/zombie? And a disclaimer, don’t usually care for zombie tales, but this family’s attempt to adopt and become parents during a biological epidemic was compelling)

Lisa Bolekaja’s “Don’t Dig Too Deep,”  (spooky children’s lore), and

Sharon Warner’s “The Color of Time” (short and sweet microfiction).

Honorable Mentions for Imagination and Lore:

“Jacob and the Owl,” by Shawn Frazier

“Ruth’s Garden” by Kyla Philips

Honorable Mentions for exciting locations/settings:

(Dogon tribe /Africa), Sacha Webley

(Brazil),  Adanze Asante

* * *

This was Ragazine’s first fiction contest and we received so many strong entries that I would seriously encourage all of you to send me work for subsequent issues. Our judge was also impressed with the quality of the work. We hope you will continue to read and submit to Ragazine. We are looking forward to doing more speculative and fantasy fiction in the future.

                                                             Joe Weil – fiction editor


* * *

We are most thankful to all the writers who entered our Speculative Fiction by People of Color contest, and offer our sincere congratulations to the winner and runners up, whose stories were critiqued by our final judge, Sheree Renée Thomas.  We trust you’ll stay tuned to future issues and will look for these stories as they appear throughout 2014.

Our attempt to promote this underserved genre was our first publishing fundraising venture, and we look forward to many more contests celebrating various genres in the future. We appreciate the support and effort by the judge, Sheree Thomas, who skipped the work to rule dictum to help spread the word about the contest. Thanks, too, to the many publications, venues and people whose time and energy contributed to providing an opportunity for these writers to be heard.

— Mike Foldes, Founder/Managing Editor


* * * * *



American Illustration 31, Dustjacket (above) & Cover (below)
by Zachary Zezima, Design by Paul Sahre and Eric Carter.

* * * * *

The Best Picture Books in the World

American Illustration 31

* * *

Year after year American Illustration features the finest illustrations that have appeared in print over the previous 12 months, or so, giving latitude to the time between concept and publication. This over-sized, table-top, hardcover tome includes work from the best of the best, taken from well known periodicals such as “O” and “The New Yorker,” to less well-known venues such as the United Nations Postal Administration and the Folio Society.

Remarkably, even the artist’s names are creatively placed around each full-page image, so as not to detract from the focal points. Each image is individually described in an index strategically placed on several pages in the middle of the book, which is also where the title page, list of contributors, and masthead appear. The index includes a thumbnail of the selection with a descriptive that includes concept and credits to the creative person, team and/or agency involved, as well the publication in which it appeared.

American Illusion 32 will be available soon, and if you’ve got eyes to see and mind to wander, get your order in now.  

* * *



Other books available from the publisher:
American Illustration – American Photography
Latin American Fotografía and Ilustración
International Motion Art Awards

15 East 32nd Street, 7nd Floor
New York, NY 10016
917-408-9944 office

Latin America Fotografía and Ilustración
American Illustration-American Photography




Thanks to all who entered!

Results to be announced in December 2013.

 * * * * *



Titanic model. Larry Hamill photo.

The Silence of Sea and Space:

Where Titanic Meets Apollo

Upon entering the Great Lakes Science Center’s TITANIC: The ArtifactExhibition,  you assume the identity of one of the passengers, as you’re handed your boarding pass complete with family info, reason for travel and other passenger facts. You’re then drawn into darkened rooms filled with festive music, but soon you’re surrounded by the muted sound of an underwater world. … Read and see more about Hamill’s visit to the museum … 


* * * * *

We get these teasers every so often from Barry Healey, and figured we’d pass ’em along to those who enjoy mixing a bit of humor with their sarcasm….



Chapter 1 

Manley Discovers Barks

The beetle was stale, but Manley was hungry.  He swallowed it, pushed his snout into his hidey hole and sniffed again.  No beetles, worms — nothing.  He craved grubs, succulent grubs.  He sniffed along the tunnel floor — maybe some had dropped from above; maybe he would find, as he once had, a whole cache in a bit of rotting flesh.

Stoat, stoat!  The scent filled his feeler.  Where?  Near?  Ahead?  He scurried back down the tunnel, ran up the exit, sniffed and stopped.  Was the scent coming from above?  He was uncertain.  He hesitated, turned and burrowed downhill, but found his feet scrabbling at clumps of moist earth.  What?  Read more …


Chapter 2

Theobald Smells a Rat,
Or, More Precisely,
a Rat Smells Theobald

Theobald, enlivened by the smell of the decay, hummed a dying season tune to himself. Soon he would be gliding silently to the bottom of the pond, where he would re-discover deep calm as his body slipped into its winter’s sleep.
Hauling himself through the wilted ferns, the mud and the reeds, he was almost at pond’s edge when he became aware of an animal behind him. Craning his neck slowly, ready to snap, he could see out of the corner of his right eye, a tail and the hind end of an animal close to his rear claw. What was it and what was it up to? Was this animal — possibly a small, ugly fox — about to attack him?  Read more …



Chapter 3

Malcolm  Comes to an Understanding

Malcolm peered across the meadow. At almost any distance, his brother was a blur — but he could see the shape of Melwin’s rack and snout, and what looked like a rather large beaver.
No doubt Melwin was giving this poor beaver the benefit of his so-called wisdom. Malcolm was continually amazed that animals even asked Melwin for advice. Couldn’t they see through him? Obviously not. Occasionally, Melwin’s advice proved useful, but it didn’t make him sagacious. Lucky, maybe. Yet animals hounded the meadow to seek his brother’s counsel, even asking Malcolm where the ‘wise moose’ lived. Malcolm once told a chipmunk that he was the ‘wise moose’, and the chipmunk returned a day later to scorn him by raising his tail and thrusting his rear at him. Melwin wise? He had to laugh.   Read more …

 * * * * *


New, From ART & THEORY:

Play! Recapturing the Radical Imagination
The notion and nature of play has puzzled and inspired thinkers over the course of history. Interpreted as excessive, illusive, and unproductive, play and imagination have over time permeated cultural spheres and now emerge from the 20th century as two critical ingredients of today’s artistic and political discourse. Emphasizing productivity through spontaneity, risk, freedom and pleasure, the act of play and radical imagination have motivated not only significant research and experimentation within the arts, but also social and political change. As artist practices, curatorial models, and institutional frameworks continue to shift, each development makes visible the transformative impact of this critical investigation. This book reflects the conceptual backbone of the 2013 Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art and illuminates an active discourse.

Editors: Stina Edblom and Edi Muka 
Writers: Edi Muka and Stina Edblom, Lars Bang Larsen, Franco Berardi, Ragnar Kjartansson and Andjeas Ejiksson, Katerina Gregos, Claire Tancons, Joanna Warsza 
180 pp 
87 pp ills 
Graphic design: Leon&Chris 
ISBN 978-91-980874-2-0 

* * * * *



From Brazil…

Check this out… It’s short and easy to take! 

* * * * *




Richard Buntzen’s “Newsprint Collage, A Journey”

at The Atlantic Highlands Art Council’s Gallery. 

by  Dr.  José Rodeiro, Art Editor 

 Atlantic Highlands Arts Council
Sept. 21-Oct. 19, 2013
Reception Sept. 21, 4:30-7:00 p.m.
Finelines Building
21 W. Lincoln Ave.
Atlantic Highlands, NJ.

The Atlantic Highlands Arts Council (AHAC) is sponsoring a solo exhibition titled Newsprint Collage, A Journey, highlighting a unique fifteen-year aesthetic-exploration with newsprint collage meticulously developed by New Jersey visual artist Richard Buntzen. Buntzen’s distinctive collage methods have generated a body of work that reflects a 21st Century style concerned with expressing ‘Beauty.’  Buntzen’s works reveal throughout a keen awareness of the formal elements of art, as well as a deep understanding of classical principles of design.  Both manifest within each complex arrangement.


Pesca Luna

Collage spans from Pablo Picasso’s, Georges Braque’s, and Juan Gris’s early-20th Century Cubist techniques, extending through Dada, Kurt Schwitters’s Merz Art, Surrealism and Pop Art’s experiments with “new” forms of automatist collage (i.e., décollage, Bulletism, aerography, Cubomania, photomontage, Decalcomania, etrecissements, silk-screen collage, as well as assorted “visual” versions of the exquisite corpse game) and continuing through to the revolutionary invention of Amnesis amazars in the mid-1980s.

Buntzen felt that all these early collagists had only scratched the surface of what was visually possible with collage. Starting in 1998, he began experimenting with newsprint fragments and collage production through a process of retrieval and reuse, giving new life and significance to materials that would otherwise be discarded or recycled. Most intriguing is his method of selecting multiples from the same page of many identical newspaper pages, which serves to isolate the images from their news-story narratives.

Buntzen, recently retired from his visual arts teaching position within Alpine Public School District, is a freelance artist and a member of the Atlantic Highlands Art Council. He currently resides in Monmouth Beach with his partner Donald Coppola and works out of a studio in Asbury Park. An artist talk is scheduled for Wednesday, October 2, 7:00 p.m.


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SUNI trpitych0001

Vlachy Runs Off With Williams

Slovenian photographer Janez Vlachy has developed a running relationship with American NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, Expedition 33 Commander. Williams in May visited Vlachy’s studio in Ljubljana where this series was taken. An interview with the photographer appeared in the November 2011 issue of Ragazine.CC:

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Review written and translated
by Jean-Paul Gavard-Perret

 Jockum Nordström,
« Tout ce que j’ai appris puis oublié »,
Editions Hatje Cantz, Stuttgart,
208 pages.
Exposition (same title)  LAM (Lille Métropole Musée d’Art Moderne, France, Summer 2013 )
then Camden Arts Centre, London, Autum 2013).

Jockum Nordström’s fanciful art works can be described as an opportunity to encounter on the artist’s drafting table the minds of Lewis Carroll (Alice) and  Jonathan Swift (Gulliver). The artist is somewhat of a woodworker, as well, a Maestro Gepetto producing all kinds of puppets. The spirit of his work lies in creating worlds, as much as in producing stories.


Jointly created by Mamma Andersson and Jockum Nordström;
Color spit bite and sugar lift aquatints with aquatint and soft ground etching
Image Size: 15½ x 22″, Paper Size: 21½ x 28½”
Edition Size: 30
Publisher: Crown Point Press, Printer: Emily York

The artiste once said that he ran away from home when he was young by hiding under the seat of a bus. He wanted to become a cowboy or a sailor. But he came back home and worked several years in a post office, while developing an extensive fantasy world with drums, firearms, pianos, houses, birds, top-hatted men (he is a jazz fan), lots of sex, and so on.

However, it would be too easy to contrast the violence of the adult world and the powerful imagination of children. Jockum Nordström wouldn’t risk doing so. For this work, he incorporates the multiple dimensions of human realities. The research of harmony and a sort of happiness with our surroundings  is connected with a taste of adventure, of desire to do what we like in our own lives. Never mind if it ends in failure.

The experience is vibrant and emotive. In Jokum Nordström’s world, anyone can feel both in the grandest scale and in micro-detail. So one should never reduce the artist’s work to one single image, one single meaning or interpretation, but should look at them through a polyphony. Each ones of them invokes multiple interpretatino. In the artist, the inner world flutters quite close, just beneath his skin, at the edge of the senses. Sometimes, we even feel that he engraves in his works  his inner rifts with the grace of a guardian angel and the determination of a stowaway. In a way Alice, Gulliver and Pinocchio are never very far from the opus of the artist who John Hutchinson names “ A Cowboy Sailor”


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angie's diary

Catch up on other news, reviews and more at Angie’s Diary….

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 From simple to complex, as in:


No, that shit!

Or, from SURE SHOT:

You cubed the family

pet! Unglued train exhaling!

Always have never seen! I

mean heard! Highwire! One

“Hears” tripwire! seeing high-!

Whose “whose” Halt “halt!
Is “wants” That! “Ting!”


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Marsha Solomon –

Selected Works 

By Mary Gorgy

Marsha Solomon’s paintings invite the viewer to enter a different realm — a world in which color, line, form and shape combine to create a vision of serenity infused with energy.  The imaginary spaces she composes are quiet, yet buoyant.  There is no discord.  There are no conflicts.  Everything exists in harmony.  Lines do not come at one another; rather they dance around each other.  Colors are never opposing, they communicate.  It is a special place, created by the artist, where only harmony and beauty reside, and to which she invites the viewer to join her.

Solomon’s large, color-field abstractions are inspired by the early abstract expressionist painters.  Her work has been often likened to Helen Frankenthaler’s while also displaying echoes of the bold brushwork of Motherwell and the saturated tonality of Morris Louis.  Yet, Solomon, while gently referencing that era, is not afraid to step away from that path and find her own.  The paintings in her From Rhythm to Form series employ the use of a simple circular motif in the center, created by pouring pure color onto unprimed canvas and allowing it to soak into the fiber and infuse it with raw energy.  Around this vibrant yet diffuse center, she encircles the circle with vigorous, thick, impasto paint.  A circle inside a circle, thin and thick paint, positive and negative space, all combine to become a sublime, magical universe.  Intense colors float, making bold statements about the fundamental forms of art, and at the same time whispering in undertones of states of mind and the inner self.  These pieces, like Enso paintings (the Zen paintings designed for meditation), invite contemplation and reflection or just the simple joy of being in the presence of beauty.

Her still-life paintings from the series Tapestries also present her own unique vision.  For these, she uses intricately woven fabrics, objects collected from around the world, brightly colored glass, and antiques to create complex, patterned compositions reminiscent of Matisse, but inspired by sources as varied as Japanese woodblock prints, Dutch genre paintings and the still-life paintings of Cézanne.

Her painting, Timeless Rhythms, part of a series of Sumi Ink and Acrylic paintings of grapevines, displays her talent in weaving brushstrokes and tones to develop an overall pattern both simple and complex, creating an image that is equal parts Zen painting and Jackson Pollock.

Marsha Solomon at BAFFA:

Bay Area Friends of the Fine Arts Inc.

47 Gillette Avenue, Sayville, NY 11782

Phone: (631)589-7343

Contact BAFFA:

About the author:

Mary Gorgy is an art reviewer and critic. 




Vanessa Winship: American figures and landscapes

Vanessa Winship, “She Dances on Jackson”, Editions Mack, London, 144 pages, 40 Euros

Exhibition at Fondation Cartier Bresson, Paris, May 15 to July 28 2013.

By Jean-Paul Gavard Perret 

In turning away from the signs of popular culture, Vanessa Winship made the decision to focus on the figure and the landscape by taking walks through the USA from California to Virginia, from New Mexico to Montana. These walks have occurred in various remote and anonymous places. Whatever the geography, whatever the place she walks, Winship is  forever  in the act of perceiving.  In Winship’s case, it is always the details of the place that are indicative of a larger scope.

winship 2One might say that she is repeating the same concept – the walk – through all its different permutations, but it is always essentially the same walk in USA as in England. There is something about a commitment here, a commitment to an idea, a holding forth on integrity in the face of the overwhelming odds of popular culture. To speak of “grandeur” in the work of Winship is to understand that she functions on a level that represents a heightened form of intuition, a sensory form of cognition. Yet this intuition is always within the realm of figure and landscape’s language, a cultural trait that she never ignores.

“She Dances on Jackson” (the book and the exhibition), crosses a new threshold of experience. It is through the use of black and white photography that Winship invites the viewer to return to the wilderness and intimacy. For this reason, this opus offers a necessary antidote to all the spectacles that compete for our attention in this highly saturated era of information technologies and advertising. Vanessa Winship’s art suggest another way, another concept, both physical and mental, an interaction of mind and body where reality and photography strangely look  towards the future.

October 11, 2014   No Comments

We Are You Project/Colorado Springs


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We Are You Project International

at the Galleries of Contemporary Art,

University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

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by  Tara Dervla

For fall 2014’s seasonal national celebration of Hispanic Heritage, University of Colorado – Colorado Springs (UCCS) welcomes from September 4 through October 11, 2014, a revolutionary exhibit of contemporary Latino art, featuring thirty world-renowned We Are You Project International (WAYPI) visual artists.    This unique Ibero-American transcultural art show was coordinated by acclaimed scholarand authorDr. Andrea Herrera, Professor, Department of Women’s and Ethnic Studies, UCCS in collaboration with Ms Daisy McConnell, Director, Galleries of Contemporary Art (GoCA), UCCS, and with ancillary  curatorial assistance from Raúl Villarreal, Chair, WAYP’s Exhibition/Events Committee.

The thirty exhibiting WAYPI artists were socio-aesthetically motivated to participate in this illustrious fall 2014 Colorado exhibition for the following pressing socio-cultural reasons: 1). For over three years, no US Congressional legislative action has been taken to pass fair and comprehensive Immigration Reform;  2). Over the last few years over 50,000 undocumented Central American refugee children have trekked into the USA in a desperate attempt to escape escalating chaos, violence, poverty and hopelessness within their native countries. Sadly, this child-refugee problem has been turned into a political game (“hot potato”) by both sides of the US political spectrum.  And lastly, 3). an increasing wave of anti-Latino injustices and ethno-racist violence is manifesting  throughout the USA, marked by unfair laws that specifically target Hispanics in an ethno-racist manner in states like Arizona, Alabama, as well as others.  Thus, as America heads toward its inevitable Latinization after 2045 CE, the above onslaught of traumatic angst-filled dilemmas currently confronting 21st Century Latinos prompt grave trepidations and anxieties — today, which UCCS’s GoCA galleries’ WAYPI show spotlights.

In this regard, for the WAYPI exhibit, UCCS’s Galleries of Contemporary Art (GoCA) plans an array of academic and cultural activities, commencing with a UC Student Preview Reception, on Thursday, September 4, from 3:00 – 7:00 pm; along with a ongoing series of “free” and open public events scheduled for Saturday, September 13, 2014,  including a We Are You Project Symposium, a Panel Discussion, and an Art Reception.   These events will run from 10:00 AM until 8:00 PM.   First, the WAYP  symposium  will occur at Centennial Hall room 201A, where acclaimed scholar Dr. Andrea Herrera, UCCS Professor, Department of Women and Ethnic Studies, will greet the audience and introduce the participants, including  Raúl Villarreal (Chair, WAYP Exhibitions and Events Committee), who will talk about the history of the We Are You Project.  A short film titled We Are You  directed by Duda Penteado, Brazilian-American artist and filmmaker and produced by Jinseng Productions (Jimmy Santiago, Lucy Santiago, and Robert Rosado) will be screened.  Around 11:00 AM, Dr. José Rodeiro, artist and art historian from New Jersey City University will provide a general focus on Latino art.   In the afternoon, from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM, participating WAYP artists: Raúl Villarreal, Monica Camin, as well as three prominent Colorado Hispanic artists: Tony Ortega, Quintin González,  and George Rivera  will discuss their work, followed by a Gallery Tour led by Dr. Rodeiro from 3:00 to 4:00 PM of the We Are You Project Exhibition within UCCS’s GoCA galleries.  Then an art reception will ensue from 4:00 to 8:00 PM.

Founded in 2005 by Duda Penteado (Brazilian-American artist and filmmaker), Dr. Carlos Hernandez  (Puerto-Rican American, former President of New Jersey City University (NJCU)), and Mr. Mario Tapia (Chilean-American, CEO and President of The Latino Center on Aging (LCA)), the We Are You Project is the first comprehensive 21st Century coast-to-coast Hispanic arts initiative, analytically focusing on current Latino socio-cultural, political, and economic conditions, reflecting triumphs,  achievements, risks and vulnerabilities, affecting all Latinos “within,” as well as “outside” the USA.   Led by Lillian Hernandez, the current elected We Are You Project President, WAYPI represents the  first 21st Century art movement that cohesively combines Visual Art, Poetry, Music, Performance Art, and Film making, amalgamating these diverse art-forms into one (“united”) socio-cultural artistic Latino voice, which utilizes ART to confront current challenges and opportunities that are faced by contemporary Latinos and Latinas throughout the USA and Latin America; these concerns include:  1). Latino immigration,           2). Latinization (a term invented by Dr. José Rodeiro in 1991),  3). the current Anti-Latino backlash,  4). the  rise of Pan-Latino transcultural-diversity, as well as  5). revealing the diverse fusion of Latino identities in the 21st Century, assiduously forging, nurturing, and evolving a “new-Hispanic” persona armed with an “innovative” aesthetic world-view, which Villarreal christened, “Neo-Latino” in 2002.   All the above-described WAYPI events are sponsored by UCCS Women’s and Ethnic Studies Department, the UCCS Center for Government & the Individual, and The Matrix Center for the Advancement of Social Equity and Inclusion.

The WAYPI artists exhibiting in UCCS’s GoCA Galleries during fall 2014’s  Hispanic Heritage Celebration are:  José Acosta, Nelson Alvarez, Josephine Barreiro, Hugo X. Bastidas,  Monica S. Camin, Jacqui Casale, Pablo Caviedes,  Carlos Chavez, Williams CoronadoLaura  L.  Cuevas,  EfrenAve,     Ricardo Fonseca, Roberto Márquez,  Elizabeth Jiménez Montelongo, Lisette Morel, Gabriel Navar, Isabel Alvarez Nazario, Julio Nazario, Joe Peña,  Duda Penteado, Mel Ramos, Ana Laura Rivera,  José  Rodeiro,  Patricio Moreno Toro,  Sergio Villamizar, Marta Sanchez-Dallam,  and  Raúl Villarreal.  Also exhibiting are Quintin Gonzalez, Anthony Ortega, and George Rivera, three prominent Colorado contemporary Latino artists.

For further information about this exciting Latino visual arts exhibition and related UCCS WAYPI artistic events contact Ms Daisy McConnell, Director, GoCA Galleries at 719-255-3504  or .


At the top:

Laura  L.  Cuevas, Lo Que Está Prohibido, Oil-on-canvas, 30”x  40,”  2013

Cuevas’ painting Lo Que Está Prohibido  is an allegory based on her personal iconography, which fuses Afro-Caribbean, Taino, and Mediterranean symbolism, revealing a unique Post-Colonial and feminist perspective nurtured by her fundamental focus on Latino identity-empowerment. At times, Cuevas appropriates allusions that derive from recognizable Western icons, juxtaposing them with imagery and patterns from both Taino and African cultures, which for several centuries shared a brutal subjugated experience in the Americas.

— Dr. Jose Rodeiro

BelowRAGAZINE. CC. places images from GoCA’s WAYPI exhibition in iconological context: 





José Acosta  Higher Education
Acrylic on Canvas,
37” x  29” x  2,”  2014.

In the 1990s, the Neo-Latino Art Movement argued that, for Latinos, “higher education” often provides a key, which opens the door to “The American Dream.”   In Acosta’s Higher Education, the Cuban painter asserts that higher education is very important for Hispanics as they endeavor to be successful in a host of 21st Century enterprises.  In his painting, symbolically and abstractly much of human knowledge manifests: History, Geography, Biology, Art History, Philosophy, Physics, Mathematics, Communication Skills, Art, Music, etc., etcetera.   Acosta’s Higher Education depicts feelings of self-assurance; hopefulness, enlightenment and preparedness for the many unexpected things that happen in life; because  higher education makes people better able to cope, succeed, and triumph in whatever they attempt.



photo Josephine Barreiro real United We Stand.


Josephine Barreiro , Divided We Stand
Acrylic and paper on plywood panel.
30″ x 40,”  2011.

Barreiro’s poignant mixed-media image entitled Divided We Stand depicts a crouching figure reminiscent of Edvard Munch’s The Scream (1893).   Also, Barreiro alludes to Vincent Van Gogh’s duende-filled ink-and-pencil drawing of Sorrow (1882), portraying tragic isolation, unbounded despair, and heartbreaking sorrow, which in the present dark and chaotic political milieu more-&-more pervades the Hispanic world-view.   At present, it is a negative worldview caught in the current immigration struggle and growing anti-Latino whirlwind sadly permeating most of right-wing politics, as indicated by the upside down US-flag, which traditionally signifies either distress  or surrender.







Hugo X. Bastidas  BEARING GIFTS
Oil-on-canvas, 24″ x 36,”
The Nohra Haime Gallery. 2009

Hugo Xavier Bastidas’s Bearing Gifts reveals a discarded toy bear accidentally dropped by a child on a patch of cacti during traumatic run across the Rio Grande, while being pursued by border guards. The word “bearing” also connotes “conveyance,” since undocumented-aliens frequently carry all their prized-belongings on their journey.  Lastly, the word is a pun on the name of Vitus Bering, the Danish sea-captain employed by the Russian Navy of Czar Peter the Great.  Captain Bering was ordered to find a Pacific Ocean route from Russia to Mexico.  In 1725, he accidentally discovered the Bering Straits, the lost prehistoric passageway by which the vast majority of ancient Amerindians presumably arrived throughout The Americas.  Meanwhile the word “Gift” refers to the inestimable hours of hard work undertaken by (both documented or undocumented) migrant-workers in difficult backbreaking industries; jobs eschewed by most US-citizens.  Moreover, by their excruciating work, migrants bolster the “American Dream” for everyone.







Monica S. Camin
Stamp: John Paul II
Mixed Media (Oil on Canvas, Wood, Graphite, Fabric)
46″ x 48,”  2010
Argentine born, New Jersey and Texas-based artist, Monica S. Camin experienced her upbringing in Latin America as a first generation Argentine of German-Jewish descent.  The questions she examines in much of her work straddle her experiences as the daughter of immigrants in Latin America and the experiences of personal immigration as a Latina in her adulthood.  Stamp: John Paul II is a reference to the power and the imagery of holy cards, pervasive in Camin’s memory of this largely Catholic country.



Jacqui Casale, LATINO
Acrylic mixed-media painting/collage,
2” x 3’ (six modules 1’ x 1’ each), 2014,

Casale’s “LATINO” addresses the negative terms, stereotypes, and epithets used to describe Hispanics in American culture.  The work incorporates a stream-of-consciousness text of pejorative words associated with the term: “Latino.”   In her piece, the name “Latino” is contrasted with sacred images from Latino art, depicting Jesus, Mary, Moses, The Virgin of Guadalupe, St. Rose of Lima, St. Martin of Porres, along with skulls and masks from Aztec art.




Pablo Caviedes,  For the Fallen Immigrants
Acrylic-on-board/canvass (comprised of 32 square-sections).
41” x  68,”  2014.

This segmented image is a symbolic monument to the pain and suffering of Latino immigrants, focusing on the dozen, who die daily, attempting to cross, dying from exhaustion, illness, starvation, thirst, or murdered by right-wing border vigilantes.  Via a metaphorical one-point-perspective symmetrically lined with empty burial-crypts awaiting tombs, Caviedes poetically describes their tragic and remorseless path northward.   However, the irony is that the bodies of dead immigrants often remain unburied devoured by animals or obscured by the harsh terrain.






Carlos Chavez Trabajadores de la tierra, (“Farm Workers”)
2011, Oil on canvas, 14″ x 42″
(Collection of the artist).

In his metaphoric image entitled Farm Workers, Chávez symbolically and poetically reveals the abstract nature and conditions surrounding heroic migrant-workers. In the image, there is a yellow sulfuric atmosphere ornamented with greenish-hues enriched by grays, wherein distant roiling ironworks toil, stirring molten-steel. In their passionate longing to attain “The American Dream;” without fear of the obvious danger, migrants dance on the roof of a speeding De Chirico-esque railway-cars; as the locomotive dashes across the dramatic landscape. The arriving migrants arrive during a dynamic change of seasons; the field’s verdure transformed as manufactured artifacts furrow the land, while a little red dilapidated truck (signifying “pain”) drives away, conveying an enigmatic phantasmagoric load, which fills its cargo-space.  Everywhere, the writhing land reveals its inherent sexuality; while the artist’s wife wears her magic-expression, communicating her hopeful dreams for the future





Williams Coronado
Eye.   Oil on canvas
10″ x 10,” 2014

Coronado’s work explores physiological and psychological states of awareness using the human body as a vessel for his investigation. He utilizes the human form not for its representational qualities; but for its inherited ability to allow painterly exploration, concerning metaphysical and philosophical thoughts that divulge the existence of multidimensional realities.  Coronado’s paintings are infused with the dual existence of consciousness and the external material appearance of the body. In his paintings these two forces dissolve into a strange visual experience where the meaning is in the mind of the viewer.  For example, the image of a large eye “could” conceivably fit the We Are You Project’s growing concerns about unwarranted prying, excessive surveillance, vigilantism, spying (espionage) and other “Orwellian” scenarios; although innumerable iconological interpretations are possible, depending on each viewer.



Laura  L.  Cuevas, Lo Que Está Prohibido
Oil-on-canvas, 30”x  40,”  2013
Cuevas’ painting Lo Que Está Prohibido  is an allegory based on her personal iconography, which fuses Afro-Caribbean, Taino, and Mediterranean symbolism, revealing a unique Post-Colonial and feminist perspective nurtured by her fundamental focus on Latino identity-empowerment. At times, Cuevas appropriates allusions that derive from recognizable Western icons, juxtaposing them with imagery and patterns from both Taino and African cultures, which for several centuries shared a brutal subjugated experience in the Americas.


“Juego de la Esperanza”( “The Game of Hope” )
Mixed-media,  8′ x 8,’  2014.

EfrenAve created a brand new version of “Juego de la Esperanza” (“The Game of Hope“), utilizing many of the same rules used during WAYPI’s California Show, Oakland, California, 2012.  Except this time, hopefully, the entire piece would be on the wall, instead of the floor, although both views have unique or distinct visual-advantages.


Ricardo Fonseca, Faces of America
Digital Photographic Manipulation, printed on vinyl banner (ready to hang w/grommets).
5′ x 20,’  2010.

In Ricardo Fonseca’sFaces of America, an intricate grid-system activates the entire surface, creating a dynamic mural comprised of 100 distinct life-size human faces (or “portraits”) peering-out from the cranium ofFredericBartholdi’s Statue of Liberty, forming a dramatic pattern of shifting faces, with countenances emblematic of allAmericans. Likewise, via ornamental Whitman-esque repetitions of “Liberty’s” shifting visage, Fonseca’s work alludes to Peter Max’s famous series titled Liberty and Justice for All, as well as echoing Andy Warhol’s omnipresent Marilyn Monroe series.


Roberto Márquez  El Niño Arbol
oil-on-canvas,  20” x 16,” 2014.

Márquez’s  El Niño Arbol is a metaphoric visual response to recent tragic events involving thousands of children wandering the Southwestern border areas, walking mainly up from Central America into the United States.  These children are being sent alone by their families with the hope of escaping socio-economic iniquities, misery, desperation and terrible violence. Their arrival into the U.S. is being politicized by both the right and the left, creating a sort of limbo for these vulnerable adolescents, who resemble the innocent idealistic children in Marcel Schwob’s The Children’s Crusade, which are being sent to conquer an elusive “Jerusalem;” but, are instead condemned irrevocably to failure. Like in Schwob’s book, we are relegated to be mere phantom witnesses of their heartbreaking migration, incarceration, and, at times, death or deportation.




Elizabeth Jiménez Montelongo, Zemanahuak
Acrylic and ink on wood, 35.5”  x 17.25,”   2014

Montelongo’s Zemanahuak is named after the Nahuatl word for Earth.  The work focuses on the nature of human interaction within our world and how it affects our physical and spiritual experience. The iconography is inspired by the glyphs in ancient Mesoamerican painted books, or amoxtin, commonly known as “codices.”   In Zemanahuak, figures are depicted as trees that communicate their instinctive emotion, feelings, and thoughts, which join together in the form of a butterfly. The butterfly transforms into the symbol ollin [O-leen], movement, which multiplies into strands of DNA resembling serpents that encircle the figures.  And, as a physical consequence of their interaction; their union sheds water, a strong yet flexible force attracting the attention of others, who are then able to break free from the illusions that limit them: borders, race, fear, and time…so they are able to finally see the flowering of their existence.




Lisette Morel, Kisses For Your Soul
Lipstick, artists’ lip prints, nails on map on wood, 18″x 24″

In order to depict the landscape of her everyday life, Lisette Morel’s mapping-piece “Kisses For Your Soul” juxtapose contradictory and opposing forces.   As an iconic symbol of love, or as mere residue (i.e., signifying Derridean traces) of intimate affection, the above image depicts ubiquitous lipstick kisses strewn across a map’s surface.  Morel examines a unique binary, consisting of lipstick kisses contrasted with nails, which can be used to puncture and crucify.   Kisses off-set the violent action/aggressive desires implied by repeatedly hammering nails into a surface, not for any purpose (or function), other than release.  The historic and religious overtones of this project can be traced to the artist’s interest in mortality, faith, and power, particularly reflected in the African nailed sculptures of the Nkisi nkondi and of crucifixion wounds. The map represents space as location — our sense of place of belonging.


Gabriel Navar

A diptych comprised of two images:




1).  “app 4 sweet survivals,”  from The Selfie Series.
Acrylic, pencils, ink & oil on canvas20” x 16,” © 2014.




2).  “
Acrylic, pencil, ink & oil on paper,
15” x 20,”  © 2012.

Navar’s unique diptych reexamines contemporary “dehumanization,” alienation, and fear of outsiders, which “our” current Postmodern technological age fosters and encourages, as varying forms of Neo-Habermasian “Communicative Behavior(s)” that presently are rapidly reducing every Indo-European language down to merely one essential word, inexorably conveying meaning by myriad inflexions, like Tristan Tzara’s “Roar.”  More and more, technology determines 21st Century human identity, while furtively fertilizing humanities current de-evolution into machines, vegetables, appliances, animals, insects, and other non-human entities, as revealed in Navar’s  “app 4 sweet survivals.”

On the other hand, the blazing orange background in his “” signifies the intensity of the USA’s ongoing racial prejudice, antagonism, and fear of “aliens.”  The image depicts an enraged, distraught, and infuriated man swinging a bat (as if about to hit a baseball or piñata), attempting to whack an ascending ephemeral green-being.   As an element of the composition, the irate man’s thoughts are imprinted on the image: “Go back to where you came from . . . .alien!”   Thus, Navar’s diptych perfectly captures the two overwhelming extremes governing contemporary life throughout the Post-Industrial America:  1). B.F. Skinner-esque Ultra-Dehumanization and 2).  US Tea Party Hyper-Paranoia.






Isabel Alvarez Nazario Turbulent Waters
Drawing/collage Mixed media
22″ x 28, ” 2012.

Isabel Alvarez Nazario’s Turbulent Waters stands as a symbolic reverie, bravely reexamining past struggles, perils, and turmoil, which she, as an intrepid and gifted Latina artist, triumphantly persevered.




Julio NazarioVietnam “1960”
Mixed media,black and white photography, and handmade paper
20″ x 24,” 2013

Increasingly, the rank-and-file of the US Military comprises an ever-growing cohort of Hispanic personnel.  Often, in myriad theatres of war or in numerous armed conflicts across the globe, where Latino soldiers fight for rights, opportunities, and privileges for others, which are frequently denied or unattainable to many Hispanics in the USA.   For example, Julio Nazario’s art work indicates his lingering trauma, concerning his Vietnam service, effecting both Nazario’s and America’s “Vietnam War recollections and experiences.”   In his piece titled Vietnam “1960,the red handmade paper represents the blood of those that were killed or wounded.  As the veterans of the 3/8 – 4th Infantry  Division website reveals: “All gave some, some gave all.”



Joe Peña
The First Mexican on Mars
Oil on paper
6 ¾”  x  7 ½” (paper size),  2014
Peña’s “The First Mexican on Mars” is a portrait study of the artist as an Astronaut, who is on a  mission to Mars.  In his youth, Peña was fascinated by the achievements of Astronaut Rodolfo Neri Vela, who in 1985 became the first Mexican (and second Latin-American) to travel into space. Since then, three additional American’s of Mexican decent (Ellen Ochoa, John D. Olivas, and José Hernandez) have followed in Vela’s footsteps into space, as well as seven others of Latin-American heritage.  As a comment on the increasing population of individuals with Latino roots in America achieving great success in so many varied fields, despite the negative perceptions of so many uninformed Americans, who imprudently support of such laws as Arizona’s SB 1070, which should be challenged, reexamined, and repealed.






Duda Penteado
Mixed-media on canvas
36″ diameter,  2012,   

Penteado’s tondi titled IMMIGRATION – EMIGRATION is a “Mapping-work,” with allusions to Clyfford Still’s jagged 2-D informalist topology imbued with Greenbergian flatness,  which masterfully utilizes amnesis to depict forgotten Ice Age migrations across the Atlantic Ocean made by Prehistoric seafaring Ibero-Solutreans (22,000 BCE), characterized by Penteado in a unique push/pull of Dubuffet-esque “boat-beings”  initiating the first human settlements along the Atlantic Coast of North America at places like Cactus Hill (Virginia); Paw Paw Cove (Tilghman Island, Maryland), as well as Topper (South Carolina), etc.   Thus, Penteado’s astute We Are You Project masterpiece  IMMIGRATIONEMIGRATION  proposes that the United States of America has a deep-rooted profound “Ibero-Latino” heritage furtively rooted in Ibero-Latino DNA, which ironically challenges the current onslaught of “clearly” outrageous, incongruous, and foolish right-wing ethno-racist attacks against US-Latinization.  Since, Latinization might just be something inherent, primordial, as well as endemic to America.





Mel Ramos
Fraulein French Fries
Lithograph, signed and numbered in pencil.
17 3/4 ” x 17 ¾,” 2002 (Collection of the Artist).

In Ramos’s Fraulein French Fries, an alluring blond nude female figure emerges from a pack of McDonald’s™ French fries, indirectly alluding to Botticelli’s Birth of Venus or Andy Warhol’s tongue-in-cheek insistence that, “The most beautiful thing in all the world is McDonald’s.”

In the base of Ramos’s Fraulein French Fries, the McDonald’s “Golden Arches” peek out, traditionally these bright yellow arches represent a pictographic-stylization of the letter “M,” which is the first letter in McDonald’s name; but, they also abstractly intimate the nude model’s hidden breasts. We learn from the title that the young woman is a “fraulein,” which in German designates an “unmarried woman.”  In terms of the We Are You Project’s focus on Latino ethnicity and nationality, ambiguity always vexes ascriptions of national attribution, e.g., French fries were invented in the Spanish Netherlands in the 16th Century. Also important to the We Are You Project are the socio-economic implications that Latinos confront in the United States. For example, founded in San Bernardino, California in 1954, today McDonald’s (along with other fast-food companies) offers entry-level jobs and a modest livelihoods to thousands of Spanish-speaking and Portuguese-speaking young people living in several continents, affording them opportunities for earning salaries, obtaining health-care, nourishment and work. By and large, teenagers from the Latino underclass furnish most fast-food restaurants’ labor force. Nevertheless, Ramos’s art historical reference to Botticelli’s Birth of Venus connotes in the flamboyant young woman the sanctity of Venus, Goddess of Love, and consequently adds a new “divine” meaning to McDonald’s slogan, “I’m lovin’ it!”




Ana Laura Rivera   Talking Bones
Etching,  6 ½ “ x 23.”   2010

Ana Laura Rivera’s image is inspired by Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican iconography.   Rivera’s etching (titled Talking Bones) provides a delicate heartfelt testimony that honors the remains of hundreds of hopeful undocumented immigrants, who died trying to cross the US/Mexico border.   Everyday Latinos die in Northern Mexico’s harsh deserts, alone and silent, in search of a better life.  In the same way, many Pre-Columbian cultures documented their history and their achievements with glyphs upon walls, pottery, or codices, Ana Laura Rivera uses Pre-Columbian symbols and images to document the tragic loss of all deceased illegal immigrants, whose stories are rich, vast, and consequently deserving of more than just vanishing (disappearing) or being sent to the public morgue where they are often labeled “Jane Doe”/”John Doe.”   Rivera’s Talking Bones etching reminds us that the human remains of migrants found in the desert between the US and Mexico are not unknown, because if their bones could talk, they would describe heroic human beings willing to risk their lives to reach a dream.




José  Rodeiro.
HIPS DON’T LIE (“Sonoran Dawn”) 2012,
Oil-on-canvas, 40″ x 30″ (Collection of the artist).

José Rodeiro’s HIPS DON’T LIE (“Sonoran Dawn”) is a duende-filled image inspired by Goya’s Black Paintings and Goitia’s mystic-images; wherein Colombian pop-star Shakira and the Hon. Phil Gordon (the mayor of Phoenix) lead a Pro-Latino protests in April 2010 against the racist Arizona law: SB 1070. This celebrated protest sparked the “Anti-Wall” movement, and drew 200,000 Latinos to hear Shakira advocate for human rights, civil rights, and freedom.  Cunningly, Rodeiro’s image alludes to Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People (1830).



Patricio Moreno Toro
Permissive Transgressions
Mixed media on canvas
53″ x 58″ (approx.), 2013

While living in Mexico in 2013, Toro created Permissive Transgressions.  The work describes how, for émigrés, intangible borders (both real and imagined) impose their will on individual choices: always self-questioning, whether to take a calculated risk to exercise his/her inherent freedom – or, on the other hand, to merely survive, hide, subsist, prevail or thrive.   For émigrés, hunger, despair, and finally nihilism should never become their life’s goals.  The marathon endeavor involves constantly risking everything, even one’s life, for a chance to make something better: a desire for something more, which is the ultimate transgression.



Sergio Villamizar   Saint Patriot,
Digital Hatch Drawing,  24” X 30”
One of Four – Limited Edition (signed on the back), 2012.        

Villamizar’s Saint Patriot  (The Patron Saint of Patriotism) represents our alleged need to protect our way of life, to fight terrorism, and ultimately to get rid-of “the other(s).”   The duende-filled image questions our foreign policy of war and our domestic policy of harassment and discrimination, i.e., The Patriot Act and Arizona’s anti immigration law SB-1070.   Villamizar’s image Saint Patriot questions what it is to be a patriot, and questions such rash “right-wing” statements as, “Real Americans,” “Good Americans,” “Take back our country,” etc.   Villamizar asks, “What are we willing to accept in the name of patriotism?  Can we stomach the loss of our civil rights?   Must we have microchips embedded in our hands?”





Raúl Villarreal “Superman Where Are You Now?
Oil on canvas,  48″ x 108″ (three panels  48″ x 36″ each)

Villarreal’s “Superman Where Are You Now?” derives from a photograph of the artists during his third birthday party in Cuba.   Additional metaphoric popular symbols of the 1950s and 60s period emerge, reinforcing and reactivating Villarreal’s childhood memories. These reveries endow present emotion(s) by simultaneously blending past and present. The artwork also deals with issues of immigration, identity, and the assimilation of other cultures.  It depicts a child assimilating into a new culture, embracing the American culture, characterized by the Coca-Cola logo, as well as the Japanese culture represented by “The Great Wave of Kanagawa” by 19th Century Edo master, Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849).


For more information about We Are You Project, WAYP artists and poets, including images of the WAYP art and artist biographies, please visit the following sites:



August 27, 2014   Comments Off on We Are You Project/Colorado Springs

COVERS: Look back

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Ten Years & Counting …

Welcome Ragazine


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They say there are 8 million stories in the Naked City. Some days it seems like every one of those 8 million stories is being told in an independent magazine, on stage, in a zine on the web, in a TV show or movie theater, distributed on a broadsheet, voiced in a spoken word performance in a poetry bar, or even — emulating Speakers’ Corner in London — shouted out by someone standing on a soap box in Times Square. Not to be forgotten are the Mimes, whose actions speak louder than words. An artist acquaintance recently explained her paintings as an attempt to portray the noise she hears all around her every day, that anxiety-inducing clamor that seems almost sub-atomic, in that it carries on even when the screaming stops. This issue of Ragazine cuts through some of that noise, at the same time it contributes to it. Kind of like an air conditioner that cools the room you’re in, while it heats the air outside. A thermoelectric device that sparks a creative fire, even while you’re chilling out.

Now here’s this issue’s mix — in no particular order. It’s ALL GOOD…  Enjoy!

* Short Fiction: Jason Allen puts love on the block;

* Art: Hawk Alfredson takes a classical background and puts it to work in surreal explanations of an inner life. Find out what makes Hawk tick in an interview and gallery of some of his favorite work;

* Musician and Theremin master Eric Ross interviews himself on the extraordinary and groundbreaking video artistry of his late wife and long-time collaborator, Mary Ross;

* The We Are You Project International traveling art exhibit goes to Colorado, and takes along a few new artists;

* Photography: Mia Hanson spent years living in the Hotel Chelsea with her husband Hawk Alfredson; now the couple live in Washington Heights, and she’s still taking photographs of superstars. See what’s behind the lens in an interview with the photographer and a gallery of her images;

* Stephen Verona, filmmaker, photographer, artist, writer and world traveler. Verona can’t be accused of sitting still, unless it’s at one of his favorite restaurants. Next project: Compare and Contrast China, Then and Now!

* Contributing editor John Smelcer cuts to the quick with his take on “We Are Still Here,” or, “How American Indian Literature Re-visions the American Indian Experience in American History.” A must read for all “red-blooded Americans”.

* Poetry: A terrific mix of poets and reviews of poetry and poetry volumes.  Emil Fishcer reviews  Paul Sohar’s translation of In Contemporary Tense, the most recent collection from Sandor Kanyadi, considered by some to be Hungary’s greatest living poet. True to our mission of publishing both established and emerging talent, you’ll also find the poetry of Chloe Marisa, Daniel Rehinhold, Carlton Fisher and Dana Shishmanian.

* Books & Reviews: Something a little different here are capsule reviews of three chapbooks by Robert Joe Stout, and back to “normal” are studied reviews of four books, not all of which were published last week… Reviewers and books include: Kathryn Levy’s This Is For Life, by Jorge Rodriguez, who also reviews Micah Towery’s Whale of Desire. Matthew Ray examines ethics in The Kidney Sellers: A Journey of Discovery in Iran, by Sigrid Fry-Revere. and William Taylor Jr. reviews A. D. Winans’ In the Pink.

* Creative Nonfiction: “In Breathing Underwater,” Mark Montgomery marks the time he spent growing up,  trying to get to know his father, and staying alive.

* Columns: Jim Palombo takes a careful look at the Common Core curriculum and the direction of post-secondary education; Stephen Poleskie in his “Now and Then” has at it with an episodic look back at life in NYC in the ’60s; Mark Levy keeps himself awake with a Casual Observer‘s take on napping; and Bill Dixon goes to the edge reflecting on suicides he has known.  Jean-Paul Gavard-Perret, On Location” in France interviews artist Valentin Magaro. And Barbara Rosenthal reviews the work of Allison Berkoy.

* Music: Fred Roberts opens doors to other worlds with reviews of new music groups playing in Hamburg‘s underground. The piece includes a few lines from one of the more memorable tunes of the summer in Germany, one that got the group’s catchy video banned from YouTube. Not to worry, we’ve got the Vimeo Link.

* Memoir: Artist-Writer-Sailor and world traveler Helene Gaillet has provided Chapter 42 of her memoir, I Was A War Child.mother’s art gallery, and her private decision to secretly provide safe haven for a French Jew who eventually chose to go his own way.

* News, Haps, Snaps, Short Takes & Events: Check out these pages for updates on recent happenings and upcoming events. Updated at random, so don’t ignore….

* And don’t forget our illustrators, those artists and photographers whose works help tell our stories. Thanks as always to Walter Gurbo, Edmond Rinnooy-Kan, Jonathan Kelham, Angela White and Lynda Barretto.  For more about the editors who help bring you this zine every couple of months, see ABOUT US, where you’ll also find links to the websites of the artists who contribute to our “headers”. It’s a great group of people who work hard to make this an entertaining and visual treat.

* We’re running a Fall Fundraiser to keep our program in the air … Contribute if you can; want to if you can’t….

Thanks for reading … and spread the word.

— Mike Foldes, Founder/Managing Editor


We need your help… 

From its start in 2004, Ragazine has been kept alive by editors and contributors of  a tremendous amount of excellent material without financial compensation. We want to change that, but the only way we can do it is with your help…  If you are in a position to — and care to donate, or become a sponsor, rest assured your contributions will be much appreciated and well spent on the basic costs of not just keeping Ragazine.CC alive, but also helping it grow. Thanks!

Material that appears in Ragazine.CC is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page. All relevant rights reserved.
Walter Gurbo, Drawing Room, Click to Enlarge
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

Got a different way of saying it?



Free as always — But you can still contribute!

If you like this site, please tell your friends about us! Thanks!

Snail Mail: Ragazine.CC
c/o POB 8586
Endwell, NY 13762

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Ten Years & Counting …

V10N4 Cover -- Soffian

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The Old World Order


While many of us are watching the World Cup or enjoying the first real days of summer – or in the Southern Hemisphere anticipating the coming snow of winter in the mountains – the Old World Order appears again to be gaining ground. Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central America, and in the United States itself … the list goes on. And on. One would think that peaceful co-existence would have made headway by now, in the broadest sense, but no one is holding his/her breath that will happen anytime soon – at least not without intervention by external forces – and we all know how effective that is. While the seemingly endless cycle of senseless human activity continues, there are a few people feverishly working outside the fray to understand the underlying cause of Conflict, and to artistically express both frustration with current events and wonder at the amazing accomplishments that come about despite the resistive drag of conflict on progress and harmony.

Whether or not you agree with this premise, we trust you’ll find the latest Ragazine.CC articles will provide grist for the mental mill where these and other ideas are constantly at play. From the photo essay and interview with “war” photojournalist Jonathan Alpeyrie, who provides an alternative view on Ukraine, to a review of the recently released “Writing of Blue Highways,” by John Smelcer, to the art of Robert Soffian, there’s just enough in this issue to keep you reading and on your toes until our next issue in September. Stay tuned…

Thanks for reading … and spread the word.
Mike Foldes, Founder/Managing Editor


We need your help… 

From its start in 2004, Ragazine has been kept alive by editors and contributors of  a tremendous amount of excellent material without financial compensation. We want to change that, but the only way we can do it is with your help…  If you are in a position to — and care to donate, or become a sponsor, rest assured your contributions will be much appreciated and well spent on the basic costs of not just keeping Ragazine.CC alive, but also helping it grow. Thanks!


Material that appears in Ragazine.CC is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page. All relevant rights reserved.
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.




Free as always — But you can still contribute!

If you like this site, please tell your friends about us! Thanks!

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Ten Years & Counting …

Haupt UK Cover V10N2.1
Photo credit: Chuck Haupt

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Winter, Spring, Sum…


OK, the plan was to take the summer off and figure out what we’re going to do next, and how. Then all this stuff starts coming in that we didn’t expect and that couldn’t wait until September to be published. Time sensitive, and all… So “Voila!” Special Issue. Easy … and a very good collection it is, at that…

* Photo editor Chuck Haupt’s collection of images from England, where he’s been since January;

* Miklos Horvath’s Coverage of the European Parliament in Strasborg, it’s last gathering before elections in May;

* Columnist Bill Dixon’s first article since a brush with death last winter;

* An interview with historical fiction author Jeanne Mackin and review of her latest book, “The Beautiful American,” publishing date: June 2014;

* A review by Fred Roberts of Hamburg’s regional battle of the bands, where three out of four contenders moved on to the German “nationals”;

* Artist-Author-Aviator Steve Poleskie, who provides a worrisome answer to the question, “Do you know who’s in your cockpit?”

* A review of Marc Vincen’s recently published collection of poems, “Beautiful Rush,” by Larissa Shmaillo.

* A short triptych and photo essay by The Camel Saloon barkeep and high plains drifter Russell Streur on a trip to Wyoming.

* A bio on the late artist Pamela Brown Roberts, and the group organizing an exhibition of works by lesser known artists who “died too young;”

* And, reflections on the passing of time and life at end of an era, in the article “Kumaon is Dead, Long Live Kumaon,”  by batik artist and writer, Jonathan Evans.

As always,

Thanks for reading …

Mike Foldes, Founder/Managing Editor

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Ten Years & Counting …


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SOS: It’s a Jungle Out There

(but we’re good with that)

If you haven’t seen Ragazine before, “Welcome.” If you have, then “Welcome back.” Either way, this issue’s collection of articles, images, poems, and stories won’t disappoint. From discourses on the politics of “Deep State,” to the art of Dorothea Rockburne and the photography of Ralph Gibson, to the poetry of John Smelcer illustrated by R. Crumb, to an exploration of the logging regions of Amazonian Brazil, to the “Moveable Feast” of Ernest Hemingway, there’s food for thought on every page.

As an independent e-zine, we compete with thousands of other zines, blogs and websites for your time and attention. And we really appreciate when we get it! Your page clicks, likes, tweets, retweets, pins and good old-fashioned word of mouth are key to growing Ragazine. And to keep us fueled for another ten years. We know not everyone is in a position to contribute financial support, but it’s an easy step, and free, to spread the word. You do that for us;  we’ll keep doing “this” for you.

As always,

Thanks for reading …
Mike Foldes, Founder/Managing Editor

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Ralph Gibson: The modern master of monochrome photography, shares his thoughts on the medium and one of its greatest tools, the Leica MONO camera, used to produce the images in his new book, aptly titled, “MONO.” With Mike Foldes.

Dorothea Rockburne: One of the foremost abstract artists of the 20th Century — and now the 21st — talks about her inspiration, motivation, and “the work”. With Charles Hayes; photographs by Guenter Knop.

John Cage:  This previously unpublished interview took place 30 years ago as part of a series Charles Hayes launched to identify key components of the creative processes, in particular factors inhibiting creative and artistic productivity. Cage and Rockburne were at Black Mountain College together in the ’50s, so it seemed purposeful to run her and Cage’s interviews “side by side” in the same issue.  With Charles Hayes.

Paul B. Roth:  Bitter Oleander Press stands as one of the guardians of independent book publishing. In an age when the small press industry and its plethora of startups struggles against giants of print and internet,  Roth’s The Bitter Oleander journal continues to weather the storm. With Alan Britt.   

On Location, France: Contributing editor Jean-Paul Gavard-Perret offers up two interviews, the first with Swiss-born artist Alexandra Navratil, and the second with Austrian Barbara Ellmerer.  See what’s happening in their parts of the world.


Amazonian Water World by Robert “Bob” Walker: As creative nonfiction editor Prof. Leslie Heywood writes in Submission Guidelines,  “Ragazine’s creative non-fiction section brings together the kind of writing I like most:  grounded, compelling first-person narration set in a concrete time and place that reflects thematically some way on the human relation to the natural world and the ways we’ve transformed that world, and in the process, transformed ourselves.”   Walker’s narrative on the effects of loggers and logging in Brazil’s Amazon region perfectly conforms to this ideal.



In the twin posts of this Politics edition, Jim Palombo presents a provocative premise in his “Deep State” article. This is accompanied by a commentary from Henry Giroux who has his own take on the “deep state” concern. Coming from somewhat different perspectives, the two pieces provide engaging and informative thoughts on what should be considered a most disturbing situation.

ART: Two Moveable Feasts

FOOD, ART & HEMINGWAY: Artist, writer and Hemingway scholar Raul Villarreal writes about Hemingway’s love of food and place, especially as it relates to his life in Cuba, and his love for Finca Vigia, the great writer’s retreat near Havana. Villarreal’s article is followed by a summary of “The Moveable Feast” exhibit at the Therese A. Maloney Art Gallery at the College of St. Elizabeth in Morristown, N.J.,  curated by the author, Dr. Virginia Fabbri Butera, Ph.D.  With galleries of art from the exhibit.


DARSHAN: Contributing music editor Fred Roberts reflects on the music and influence of “Darshan,” and the strange coincidence in meeting its creator, Patrick McMahon, in Cincinnati.
EVERLY BROTHERS: Music writer/Contributer Jeff Edstrom provides a 20-20 hindsight review of the unforgettable Everly Brothers reunion concert at Royal Albert Hall in London, in 1983.


Commented judge Sheree Renée Thomas on Speculative Fiction Contest runner-up Ely Azure’s “NEVER. GIVE. YOU. UP.”:  “Moving but creepy adopted monster/baby/zombie? (I) don’t usually care for zombie tales, but this family’s attempt to adopt and become parents during a biological epidemic was compelling.”

Award-winning author Paul West’s “Hurled Into Eternity” achieves stark reality in the dark world of life in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation.


John Smelcer’s poem, THE BOOK OF GENESIS, REVISED FOR AMERICAN INDIAN HISTORY, appears with an illustration by R. Crumb from Crumb’s “The Book of Genesis Illustrated.” Smelcer’s poem “Genesis” has been taught in a course on genocide at the Open University of Israel. Completing the quadratic are poems from Adele Kenny, Dana Jaye Cadman and Martin Willitts, Jr.


Everyone needs a laugh, even though it might take a minute to figure out what’s funny. With this in mind, we trust you’ll enjoy the latest entry to our wry comedic offerings: Gou-gou World, the brainchild of artist Edmond Rinooy-Kan. Kan explains Gou-gou’s history best, and to start out, there’s a page with pix from Gou-gou’s latest adventures…

Walter Gurbo, whose Drawing Room panels appear on Ragazine’s Welcome Page, and sometimes appear on other pages, suggested a fund-raising contest where writers submit a flash fiction story to go along with one of his drawings.  The entry fee is just five bucks. Winner takes home a third of the entry fees received for that issue. Submission guidelines appear on the “WRITING ROOM” post. The first contest illustration appears here (and there):


And while you’re looking through various articles in the zine, you’ll likely run across two other illustrators: Jonathan Kelham and Lynda Barretto. Enjoy the hunt.


Photo editor Chuck Haupt’s “the PHOTOGRAPHY spot” features “City of Shadows,” photographs from the Sydney, Australia, police department during a period in the city’s history when “select” men and women under arrest were routinely allowed to help compose their own “mug shots.” More than 2500 of these “special photographs” were taken between 1910 and 1930, providing the grist for this most unusual historical record. … And there are more ….

Barbara Rosenthal reviews A Dirt Road Hangs from the Skypoems by Claudia Serea, and Cherise Wyneken reviews Jester, Grace Marie Graton’s latest book of poems. Miriam O’Neal reviews Mary Szybist’s award-winning IncarnadineDiana Manole explores the poems of Flavia Cosma in On Paths Known to No One; and Grayson Del Faro reviews the novel by Rick WhitakerAn HONEST GHOST.


Artist/Author/Professor Steve Poleskie joins Ragazine as the contributing columnist of “Now & Then,” reflections on his life and career in the worlds of art and academe. Join Poleskie as he writes in a most engaging style about NYC gangsters, Andy Warhol,  the Mercury Riders motorcycle gang, and more.

From the Edge: Bill Dixon allows recent life-changing experiences to color-in parts of his past, lending understanding to a father-son relationship perhaps stronger in retrospect than it was in life.

Galanty Tweets: The glib and popular sociologist shares recent reflections about life, love, hate and things between, in these, a collection of his recent favorite – and  favorited – tweets.

Casual Observer: Mark Levy was one of the first contributors (and pro bono legal adviser) to In this, Ragazine’s 2nd 10th Anniversary Issue, Levy cogitates on what a decade means, and brings it all to the table in his usual casual and empathetic fashion.

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Diamonds — and Not In the Rough:

As this issue’s cover attests, we’ve had a varied and colorful history graphically presented for the past five years by Ragazine‘s photography and contributing editor, Chuck Haupt. Chuck not only designs covers and edits “the PHOTOGRAPHY spot”, he also produces the art used in the email blasts we send out two or three times during the two months between issues.

A high-resolution poster of this issue’s “cover featuring covers” (V10N2) is our way of saying thanks for a contribution of US $30.00 or more. Includes shipping and handling in North America ($40.00 outside North America).

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Thanks for a Great Ten Years

This issue of Ragazine.CC is the first of our tenth year of online publishing. It contains a wealth of material from around the world. Literally. Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Brazil, the United States, Mexico…. We think that’s just one of the things that makes us a little bit different from the enormity of other online and print publications available today. The variety of material we publish reflects not only diversity of humanity, but also the diversity of interests of those people who inhabit the planet — and who work on or contribute to Ragazine. The family tree of our contributors runs along the right side of this page, on the About Us  page, and in the growing number of readers, known and unknown, to all of whom we owe a huge debt of Gratitude.

And while V10N1 begins our 10th year, watch for V10N2, the real anniversary issue (coming in March) that promises to offer one of the finest collections of material on the web. Eclectic content for a global audience …. Thanks for reading! 

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heart-hiding-behind-rockfinish300wmDrawing Room/Walter Gurbo

Help us if you can … and spread the word
From its start in 2004, Ragazine has been kept alive by editors and contributors of  a tremendous amount of excellent material without financial compensation. As with all erstwhile ventures, it would be great to have resources to pay contributors for the work they do. For now, that’s still in the future – but hopefully not beyond our wildest dreams.  If you care to donate, rest assured your contributions will be much appreciated and well spent on the basic costs of not just keeping Ragazine.CC alive, but also helping it grow. Thanks!
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Material that appears in Ragazine.CC is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page.
All rights reserved.
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

Got a different way of saying it?



Free as always — But you can still contribute!

If you like this site, please tell your friends about us! Thanks!

Snail Mail: Ragazine.CC
c/o POB 8586
Endwell, NY 13762


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From its start in 2004, Ragazine has been kept alive by editors and contributors of  a tremendous amount of excellent material without financial compensation. As with all erstwhile ventures, it would be great to have resources to pay contributors for the work they do. For now, that’s still in the future – but hopefully not beyond our wildest dreams.  If you care to donate, rest assured your contributions will be much appreciated and well spent.


Old stuff:

Twitter: Follow @ragazinecc

Material that appears in Ragazine.CC is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page.
All rights reserved.
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

Got a different way of saying it?



Free as always — But you can still contribute!

If you like this site, please tell your friends about us! Thanks!



Snail Mail: Ragazine.CC
c/o POB 8586
Endwell, NY 13762
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The final week of October marked the final days and passing of two notable characters of the 20th and 21st Centuries. As with all remarkable characters of any time and place, their names may not be remembered one hundred or two hundred years from now (I believe in this case they will), but the effects of their lives will be long felt. The two people of whom I write are Deborah Turbeville and Lou Reed. I never met either one of them, but I readily remember what I felt the first time I looked at one of Turbeville’s photographs that atypically captured a spectacular blend of sex and death – so mesmerizing I never forgot the images or her name. I got the same powerful impression when I first heard, then played and replayed Reed’s  “The Velvet Underground & Nico,” produced by Andy Warhol.  Couldn’t get enough of it then, and some days still can’t. Without a doubt, they left us with something that stirs the soul… and who could ask for more.

* * * * *

What else? In the column to the left, you’ll find the standing Pages. Beneath them, the latest posts of all the stuff of which we’re made.

BRAZIL…. In a first-person essay by Brazilian-American artist-poet-filmmaker Duda Penteado, the artist DUDA09_Arte19 (2)explains the creation of an historical — and historic — mural in Sao Paolo.

In a separate piece examining Brazil’s contemporary art and culture, Professor Dinah P. Guimaraens posts a review of the country’s  transformation from a post-colonial agrarian society to a member of the global socio-politico-economic community. The concern being, what about the past, what about the people? What is happening in this transcultural event that many fear will change the face of the nation forever – and not necessarily for the better? Art editor Jose Rodeiro  provides an overview in News/Haps/Snaps of the ongoing exhibit of New Jersey landscapes at Drumthwacket, the New Jersey home of Governor and Mrs. Chris Christie.

Regular columnists humorist Galanty Miller, gay life writer Mircea Filimon and adventurer Bill Dixon are back with their various takes on life in earth’s ether, joined by JH Mae who brings us the ruralist’s view from New York state’s North Country.

Music editor Jeff Katz, taking a break from writing a book, takes aim at the annoying behavior of a free spirit run amok at a small-venue concert. Contributing music editor Fred Roberts, in   “Soundscene Europe ” and “World Out of Control,” gets behind Felix KubinMary Ocher and Gustav, and goes deeper into the black hearts of men with a timely retrospective of “Decoder,” the 1984 German film inspired by the writings of William S. Burroughs with an equally dark sound track by Soft Cell and Einstürzende Neubauten.

Politics editor Jim Palombo poses a series of rhetorical questions you can answer on your own time about where we as Americans are on the scales of justice, equality, and other civic concerns, including the degree of critical thinking that takes place – or doesn’t – in our everyday lives. He also points to several organizations that are currently at work trying to improve our civic understanding and public dialogue prospects.

On the literary side, poets Nicole Broadhurst and Teresa Sutton bear witness to events very often beyond their control; Alex Straaik blends fact and fiction reflecting on the whereabouts of a long-lost friend who took the other fork in the road; and Michel Collins takes us to a western desert where a team of young app2undofailures2©GN_2013anthropologists discovers how wide the divide between digital and analog. John Smelcer offers up two pieces, one a poem written years ago with Ted Hughes over a couple of drinks in an English pub, illustrated for this occasion by Micah Clarke, and a memoir recounting how his acquaintance with the famed Irish poet Seamus Heaney got off to a shaky start.

A raft of book reviews includes “Ekphrastia Gone Wild,” “The Natural History of Asphalt,” “Poised in Flight,” “Coffee House of Confessions” and “Strange Borderlands.” Thanks to Reviews editor Alan Britt for recruiting the able talents of Silvia ScheibliDavid FraserMiriam O’Neal and Boris Dralyuk.

On the visual side: An interview with Gabriel Navar, and galleries of recent work reflecting the worldwide obsession with smart phones, add another dimension to the West Coast art scene… Particularly gratifying:  Rod Serling, and “The Masks.”  Then there’s photographer Jennifer Georgescu, whose “Sand, Stones, Dead Leaves & Bone #13” is one of many images that swim in the river of nature’s chaos.  the Photography Spot features images from a new book by Belgian Photographer Marc Lagrange; contributing writer/photographer Ginger Liu interviews ex-rocker Andy Summers about his life on the road as a photographer; and from place to place you’ll find the work of Walter Gurbo, Lynda Barreto and Jonathan Kelham. Bottoms up!


* * * * *

Speculative Fiction by People of Color Contest 

We are very thankful to the writers who entered our Speculative Fiction by People of Color contest, and offer our sincere congratulations to the winner and runners up, whose stories will be critiqued by our final judge, Sheree Renée Thomas, announced on or about December 1st, and will appear in Ragazine.CC in 2014.

Best wishes for the holidays, whatever holidays they might be in your part of the world.

Thanks for reading… spread the word.

— Mike F.

* * * * *

Drawing Room. “Introvert.” Walter Gurbo.



From its start in 2004, Ragazine has been kept alive by editors and contributors of  a tremendous amount of excellent material without financial compensation. As with all erstwhile ventures, it would be great to have resources to pay contributors for the work they do. For now, that’s still in the future – but hopefully not beyond our wildest dreams.  If you care to donate, rest assured your contributions will be much appreciated and well spent.


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Material that appears in Ragazine.CC is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page.
All rights reserved.
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

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Free as always — But you can still contribute!

If you like this site, please tell your friends about us! Thanks!




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What to do “After the Fall”?

Our friend Nick Buglaj is in Idaho this week, trekking at 10,000 feet. Most of the rest of the world’s population  is living somewhere between sea level and, oh, maybe 1000′ above it. Max.  I didn’t get that figure from Wikipedia. I made it up. But from all I’ve learned over the years about population centers and their proximity to the sea, it’s true. So what do we all do when the seas begin to rise? Head inland, of course.  Which leads to the next question, how many humans can live on the head of a pin — or a Himalayan peak?

Forty years ago a couple of pals hiked Glacier National Park. There were still glaciers then. I was driving around this week with a business friend. We stopped for a brief look at Taughannock Falls in Tompkins County near Ithaca in upstate New York. Taughannock has the highest vertical drop of any water fall in the Northeast – at 215 feet, 33 feet higher than Niagara. The geological history map reports the area was under a mile of ice just a  hundred thousand years ago (or so). Goes to show the phenomenon of global warming is nothing new — it’s just accelerating now, helped along by humanity’s varying needs for power and light, without which this web site wouldn’t be possible. I’d like to be able to say, “Don’t worry about it,” but that’s not entirely true. Just have to consider the alternatives. That’s a bit of what journalist Tom Wilber does in his recap of President Obama’s visit in August to Binghamton University, and the controversy over fracking.

The cover of this issue perfectly meets the coming season. We had several choices to make and settled on Tom V9N5 COVER 1Bovo’s simple, yet elegant photograph depicting what happens to a leaf when it falls. In this series, the photographer gives leaves an afterlife worth  living. Some of the other choices were a collage by photo editor Chuck Haupt from the art works to be displayed at the Ponce, Puerto Rico, exhibition Past, Present, Pa’lante # 2, and a sunrise image taken by Cheryl Carter-Price in Maine that is part of the current exhibition at the  National Center for Atmospheric Research  (NCAR) in Boulder, CO.  All three pieces are excerpts from features that appear in this issue of Ragazine.CC. We hope and trust you’ll take the time to see and read who and what are behind their respective curtains.

Thanks to the many talented people whose contributions to Ragazine.CC  make worthwhile the effort to bring it all together, among them:  Poets Christopher Phelps, Dante Di Stefano, Edie Angelo  and Oliver Rice, and in translation by Flavia CosmaLuis Raul Calvo; steadfast columnists Mark Levy (Casual Observer), Jim Palombo (politics), Galanty Miller (Re-Tweets) and Bill Dixon (From the Edge); music reviewers Jeff Katz (music editor) and Fred Roberts V9N5 COVER 2(contributing editor, music); and,  creative nonfiction writers Jaron Serven and Cris Mazza.  Behind the curtains, Leslie Heywood (CNF editor), Joe Weil (fiction editor) and Emily Vogel (poetry editor). And where you find them, illustrator/cartoonists Walter Gurbo, Jonathan Kelham, Lynda Barreto and Benoit Jammes. Roberts, by the way, also contributed a review of “Berlin! Berlin!,” translations of Kurt Tucholsky’s “Dispatches from the Weimar Republic.” If you have any interest in politics and positions leading up to WWII, this should get you interested in reading these translations of Tucholsky’s heroic essays that led to him being driven out of pre-war Germany.

Other new books on review include “2057,” “Figures of My Century,” “Silvertone,” “Parabola Dreams” and “The Fellowship,” while contributing editor John Smelcer takes a critical look back at Jean Toomer’s “Cane.” Jean-Paul Gavard-Perret reviews artist Annette Messager’s  “La Tortures Volontaires,” a collection of images that explores “the frontiers between art and marketing.”  Behind the curtain: Books and Reviews editor Alan Britt, and the reviewers themselves: Smelcer, Abigail SmootMiriam O’Neal and Matthew Hoffman. 

The Past, Present, Pa’lante # 2 exhibit preview by contributing art editor Dr. Jose Rodeiro with an assist from photo archivist Christie Devereaux explains how the modern day La Ruche gallery in Union City, New Jersey, got it’s name, and provides brief bios of curator Robert Rosado and the many artists whose works are included in the exhibit in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Comments, questions and suggestions are always welcome, so post them at will. Find an error? Let us know and Monique Gagnon or I will make it right…

Thanks for reading.

– Mike Foldes


 Thanks to all who entered Ragazine’s

Speculative Fiction by People of Color

writing contest. Winner and runners up

will be announced in December.












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Material that appears in Ragazine.CC is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page.
All rights reserved.

2013 V9N4 COVER 1


Summer reading …

Take us to the beach (or Else)


And while you’re in Oakland

Check out the WAYPI

California Exhibition


 Mel Ramos, “Catwoman,” Lithograph, 2010

Click here: For the California Exhibition page


What’s Inside:

Pretoria, South Africa. September. Join the Conversation as artists, writers, politicians, diplomats and others congregate in Pretoria to discuss an agenda that could mean keeping humankind alive for another 1,000 years. Or more. Afro-American artist Ben Jones will exhibit his series, “Evolution, Revolution,” at this ground-breaking world gathering, and in this issue we present both an art critique of Jones’ work by art editor Jose Rodeiro, and Rodeiro’s interview with the artist with photos by Christie Devereaux.

Joao Pessoa, Brazil. July. With the best interests of the people in mind, politics editor Jim Palombo excerpts information from the upcoming program, “The Economy of the Workers” conference.  Jim comments on the concept of “work” from his own experience, and includes the program notes to provide the backdrop for a discussion that is mushrooming from the bottom up about differentials that experiments in Capitalism and Democracy must come to terms with in an increasingly globalized world.

Nocturnes On the matter of Darkness in Art. A studied overview and motif for the current show at the Therese A. Mahoney Art Gallery, College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown, N.J., by curator and art history professor Dr. Virginia Butera.

Music:  A unique presentation of recent work from New York musician David Gaita, with excerpts from the score of his Veterans’ Day Parade for String Quartet, and a video outtake of the piece performed by a string quartet at the Eastman School of Music, in Rochester, N.Y.

More Music: Fred Roberts from Germany on the Dream SyndicateJean-Paul Gavard-Perret from France, on Elainie LilliosPhotography: An interview with and gallery of photos by, our cover art photographer Dina Litovsky; and, the Photo Editor’s Choice, a selection of work from Chris Anthony.

Poets: Can’t live without them …  Kate Sweeney, Tim Suermondt & Hal Sirowitz

Fiction: Kevin Carey’s “Lucky Day” … when the sun shines…

Creative Nonfiction: Alex Holmes’ “114” … there’s no way like the highway…

Columns — holding up the house: Bill Dixon/From the Edge; Mircea Filimon/Gay Life; Mark Levy/Casual Observer; Galanty Miller’s Re-Tweets.

More Art: Shades of Phillipe Mohlitz — A trip to the studio/apartment/studio of artist-curator Gloria Duque, with Jorge Alberto Perez! It’s not easy to capture what  Gloria’s life and work is all about, but Jorge’s done a great job – and that’s why we asked if we could re-run his story, which first appeared in the newsletter of the Camera Club of New York. Seeing is believing.

Books & Reviews: Alan Britt and Abigail Smoot  review  Eclectic Coffee Spots in Puget Sound; Seven American Deaths and Disasters; Words the Interrupted Speak, and Flies and Monkeys.

For a short take on what’s going on in the world of medicine, check out the report on M Sedlof’s recent visit to the annual SAGES conference. SAGES is the acronym for Society of Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons. You did want to know more about that, right?

And, keep a keen eye out for Walter Gurbo, Bennoit Jammes, Jonathan Kelman and Lynda Barreto. They’re all in here somewhere.



The first Ragazine.CC Fundraiser-Writing Contest deadline is extended to September 20. The theme of this event, “Best Speculative Fiction by a Person of Color written in 2013,” is meant to bring attention to this under-served genre, and we trust you’ll find the winning entries provide fascinating encounters with other worlds.  Complete background on the contest, including its origins by fiction editor Joe Weil; a bio of the final judge, speculative fiction editor and author Sheree Renée Thomas; and, full contest guidelines, can be found on the “Contest” page.


Thanks for reading! 

— Mike Foldes



Fashion of the Future


Old stuff:

Twitter: Follow @ragazinecc

Material that appears in Ragazine.CC is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page.
All rights reserved.
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.


In this issue

Another side of the coin …

We sometimes hear about renaissance men, but it’s less often we can appreciate them in their lifetimes. So it is with great pleasure we profile George Nelson Preston, a New York City native son who traces his lineage farther back than almost any of us can to the 18th Century. A septuagentarian man who plays baseball with unabashed enthusiasm, who ceremonially and effectually presides over the Ghanian tribe to which he claims the deepest roots, whose studio on the lower east side of Manhattan in the ’60s hosted the greatest poets, artists and writers of the latter half of the 20th Century. And more… Preston has been called a National Treasure, and to know more about him, as you will discover in this in-depth profile by author-photographer Petra Richterova, will convince you of no less.

News from the sidelines, and inside baseball …

Music editor Jeff Katz is taking a sabbatical to write a book about the 1981 baseball season and strike …. Qualifications: Jeff not only is a baseball fan, but also mayor of Cooperstown, N.Y., home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He has great access to research materials. And people who  really care about The Game. Fred Roberts, On Location in Germany, has picked up the ball, so to speak, with a look at a David Bowie redux exhibit on the artist-musician’s years in Berlin, and reviews of au courant European music groups.

no-worms-#15-susLynda Barreto, who contributed “The Litchfields” cartoon/illustrations for a couple of years a few years ago, is back with a new series she’s managed to produce between turns as a barrister in her café in Naples, FL.  She and Benoit Jammes join Walter Gurbo and Jonathan Kelham with illustrations on ‘gray pages’ and other suitable locations to inject a change of pace into our cyberpages.

Art …
Contributing art editor Jose Rodeiro , with photographer Christie Devereaux, take readers on another art odyssey, this time to ancient Greece and Rome and “Art of the Mediterranean.”  Midori Yoshimoto interviews artist Babs Reingold, whose latest series “The Last Tree” speaks to the unnatural decimation of the natural environment.

Photography …
An e-interview with Sebastian Łuczywo by photo editor Chuck Haupt reveals the passion that drove the Polish photographer to pursue his art and craft. Brent Williamson, aka Teknari, is back in Ragazine with Whatever Comes, a showcase of large images on tempered glass created using his own film and plates in a unique photographic process. Ellen Jantzen returns with a series titled Compressing Reality produced by blending a series of shots ‘taken in the moment,’ into a moment. Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy share their ultra-high resolution images of nature; unfortunately, you won’t be able to see them here as they and others do when properly presented, but you’ll certainly get the idea. Rounding out “photography” is “Photo Editor’s Choice,” vibrant images from some of Sweden’s top photographers.

Video …
Contributing editor Ginger LiuOn Location/LA, interviews videographers Enrico Tomaselli and Francesca Fini.  Video posts include works from FiniCecelia ChapmanSteve Johnson and Jeff Crouch. Tomaselli is project director of The Project 100×100=900, which celebrates the 50th anniversary in 2013 of Video Art. One hundred video artists from around the world are invited to participate; each will produce a video artwork inspired by one of the previous 100 years, with an international exhibit to follow.

Politics …
brics flags
Politics editor Jim Palombo extemporizes from his winter residence in San Miguel Allende on re-thinking Karl Marx. In this latest chapter of his ongoing analysis of “Is it Capitalism, or is it Democracy,” Palombo looks at the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), and how they relate to America’s economic, social and military presence in the modern world.

Literary …
Contributing editor (Latin in America) Lilvia Soto reviews Eulogy for a Brown Angel, by Lucha Corpi, “a murder mystery set against the background of the Chicano civil rights march of August 29, 1970.” Books editor Alan Britt reviews Lost Arts, by Leslie HeywoodRagazine‘s creative nonfiction editor. Britt writes that what you will find in Lost Arts is “a hands-on, often literal, bare-bones diction that is occasionally peppered with the right dose of metaphor.”

Poet and professor Silvia Scheibli reviews Duane Locke’s The First Decade, a collection of poems the reviewer describes as “a book that takes its readers day by day through the pantheistic, sacred landscape of the imagination into a new and exciting linguistic reality and also constructs a broader picture of the callous and inhumane treatment society perpetrates on itself through menial self-deceptions and unmistakable denials.”

John Smelcer,Tom Sorci, Dave BongaandTrudell Guerue  remember author/friend Michael Dorris. Dorris (1945-1997) was the award-winning author of numerous books, mostly about the Native American experience, including his popular novel, A Yellow Raft on Blue Water (1987).

In Sarah Odishoo‘s creative nonfiction  piece, “The Projectionist: Show Me,” the author grapples with the existential balancing acts of love and life. Thaddeaus Rutkowski, in his fiction piece “Out of Fashion,” examines reasons why one might not want to declare as an artiste.

On the poetry front,  poets Emily Vogel and Lisa Flowers take a look at each other’s work in two analytical essays that reflect each woman’s approach to her own poetics, as well as an understanding of the other’s. Reviews and analysis aside,  we trust you’ll appreciate and enjoy the work of poets Abby MurrayPaige Gittelman and Andy Doyle.

Holding up the roof …

columnsMark LevyCasual Observer: Comments on the anxiety created when you don’t know where your anti-anxiety pill has gone.

Mircea Filimon,Gay Life: Ponders the contradictory roles religion plays, and the influence it has, on being gay.

Bill DixonFrom the Edge: Delights in not sharing   oddities of the English language, preferring instead to keep a beer-drinking friend a friend. Dixon, by the way, recently underwent quadruple bypass surgery and isn’t back, yet, to his old habits… or haunts. That should be something to write about.

Scott “Galanty MillerRe-Tweets. The professor rants in short form about peeves, pecadilloes and personal favorites, among them, Sean Connery.

Fiction Contest …
Ragazine.CC ‘s fiction contest is under way! We are offering $1000.00 first place prize for the best speculative fiction story written by a person of color in 2013. Complete information on the contest, including its origin with fiction editor Joe Weil; a bio of the final judge, speculative fiction author Sheree Renée Thomas; and, contest guidelines, can be found on the “Contest” page.

Thanks for reading!
— Mike Foldes


Fear itself.
Fear itself.


Material that appears in is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page. All rights reserved.
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

Got a different way of saying it?



Free as always — But you can still contribute!

If you like this site, please tell your friends about us! Thanks!



Snail Mail: Ragazine.CC
c/o POB 8586
Endwell, NY 13762
Art Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog DirectoryLocal Directory for New York, New York
You can also find us on:
USAFESTIVAL.NET - The Event Collector Site of the USA!Duotrope's Digest: search for short fiction & poetry markets





Yes, it’s a whistle.
Constant discoveries occasioned by simply moving forward make the effort, no matter how difficult, all worthwhile. We trust you’ll advance to the horizon with us by spending a little more time than usual reviewing the most diverse offerings we’ve ever assembled under ‘one cover.’
For starters, while putting together this issue, many of us were still burning off the energy created during the recent Ragazine/We Are You Project fundraiser at the Maysles Cinema in Harlem. Photos and comments from the event appear at, and elsewhere here in Ragazine.
Fiction Contest:
With this issue, we bring aboard fiction editor Joe Weil, who is taking over for Metta Sama. When the idea of having a fiction contest was bobbing around, Joe suggested we make it a contest for “Speculative Fiction by People of Color,” and Metta suggested we get in touch with Sheree Renée Thomas, who we’re most pleased to say, agreed to be the final judge. Thomas’ bio, which reveals why she’s precisely the right person for the job, appears on the contest page along with Joe’s thoughts on the subject, competition rules and submission guidelines.
What’s inside:
An interview with artist Chuck Plosky, whose years in Tonala, Mexico, helped shape whistle sculptures, such as the one above. The interview, by Ragazine art editor José Rodeiro, includes galleries of Plosky’s work.
An interview with Brooklyn-born street artist RAE, whose recent show in London drew RAEve reviews. You may have seen some of RAE’s works around New York. See more in the gallery accompanying the interview.
Rodeiro doubles down in an interview with Dr. Deborah A. Sanders, a leading US supporter of this fall’s trail-blazing “Africa Speaks” global initiative in Pretoria, South Africa. The article includes a statement by American artist Ben Jones, whose “Evolution/Revolution 2” is to be featured at the initiative.
wide-ranging update from Zaira Rahman, on various subjects and conditions On Location in her native Pakistan. 
Kids Like Blues,” an interview with the popular program’s creator Jon Schwartz, by contributing editor Ginger Liu On Location in LA.
An article looking back at the influence of Politics on Art in 19th Century France, by Patrick Ferguson with an introductory comment by politics editor Jim Palombo.
A studied look at the influence of boarding schools on Amerindian literature by contributing editor John Smelcer, and Joseph Bruchac.
Multiple reviews selected or written by books editor Alan Britt, including two on the same collection, “Native American Classics,” Graphic Classics Series Volume 24. One is by Britt, the other by Dale Seeds, who aptly describes it as “a collection of Native American stories rendered in the graphic novel/comic book format (that) features a synthesis of Native American traditional stories transcribed on or before the 20th century with the work of contemporary comic/graphic novel artists.”
Music reviews and commentary by music editor Jeff Katz, contributor Jeff Edstrom and Jeff’s buddy in Berlin, Fred Roberts.
Poetry by Joel SoloncheTara Betts and Gerburg Garmann.
Fiction from Eric Schafer in Vietnam, and Rachel Guido deVries.
New columns by Bill Dixon (From the Edge) and Romanian ex-pat Mircea Filimon (Gay Life), as well as the continuing saga of Casual Observer Mark Levy and the Re-Tweets of Scott “Galanty” Miller.
Videos from Stephen Schweitzer, Eliane Lima, Jason Greendyke and Karina Wiciak.
Creative nonfiction from Rick Bailey,James Randolph Jordan and long time environmental activist Daniela Gioseffi.
Photography of Dance from German photographer Franziska Strauss; American Larry Hamill’s experiments in creating 3D images; Serbian Rina Vukobratovic’s photographic exploration of sources of emotion.
Look for illustrations by Walter Gurbo and Briton Jonathan Kelham; they could appear anywhere, anytime, and sometimes do. Enjoy!
Thanks for reading!

Mike F.

Stairs of Life, Walter Gurbo’s Drawing Room



Old stuff:

Twitter: Follow @ragazinecc

Material that appears in is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page. All rights reserved.
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

Got a different way of saying it?



Free as always — But you can still contribute!

If you like this site, please tell your friends about us! Thanks!



Snail Mail: Ragazine.CC
c/o POB 8586
Endwell, NY 13762
Art Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog DirectoryLocal Directory for New York, New York
You can also find us on:
USAFESTIVAL.NET - The Event Collector Site of the USA!Duotrope's Digest: search for short fiction & poetry markets


On with the show!

 Let’s start with the anonymous aphorism, “Time stands still for no one,”  that familiar and inclusive declaration of the transitory nature of being. Simply put, 2012 is over, long live 2013…

Not too soon to say good-bye, either …. floods, fire, famine, war, wanton murder, plague… Six Horsemen, and an Apocalypse that didn’t happen.

So, on with the show, and a good one it is, including: John Smelcer‘s memoir of times shared with John Updike; images from the portfolio of Rahi Rezvani (cover image, above), accompanied by an interview with the photographer; poetry from Elizabeth AndersonTom BairJohn BellingerMolly Goldblatt, and an interview with poet David Ray.  Art content features a retrospective of the work of Mary-Ellen Campbell, and Jose Rodeiro’s Art History romp from Ireland to Italy and back again. Politics editor Jim Palombo mixes it up with art in an overview by Martin Rosenberg of Polish posters produced under Communist regimes.

Music Editor Jeff Katz provides his annual roundup of  the year’s 10 Best — meaning, most listened to music in 2012, not just FROM 2012 (Yes, there are seismic shifts in that list from year to year), and a review of Graham Parker‘s “Three Chords Good.”  Fred Roberts brings back Berlin, circa 1980s, and Eric Schafer chafes at those who disrespect Rolling Stones from days of yore.

Jonathan Evans recounts in “Legend of a Gone World” time spent with the inimitable Peter One, foremost photographer of  Moroccan kif culture, along with images from Peter’s 1975 postcard booklet, “The Kif Smoker.”Bill Dixon answers a wake up call in New Orleans’ Latin Quarter at dawn. Robert Scotellaro provides a couple of short takes on the fiction front. C. Goodison kicks with her story, “Wolf at the Door.”

Don’t miss regular features: Galanty Miller’s Re-Tweets; Mark Levy’s  Casual Observer, “Life’s a Gamble,”  and pictures from the wall of Walter Gurbo’s “Drawing Room.” Sci-Fi’s on the menu of  Alan Britt’s selections for review. If you want to find out what events may be happening in your part of the world, or elsewhere, have a look at our EVENTS page. And,  from time to time, check out short takes about our readers and contributors that appear in “News, Haps & Snaps.”

We regretfully say good-bye to Metta Sama, our fiction editor for the last few years, whose final selections for Ragazine appear this issue. She’s done a great job and we’ll miss her steadfast effort to identify the best new short fiction writing of the day as she moves on to more teaching, writing and the tribulations of making a real living.

Thanks for reading!

Mike F.


Walter Gurbo’s Drawing Room



Ragazine.CC/We Are You Fundraiser Tickets:

Feb 23, 2013, Maysles Cinema, NYC, NY

4 p.m. to 10 p.m.



Old stuff:

 Twitter: Follow @ragazinecc

Material that appears in is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page. All rights reserved.
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

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 We are where we’re at …

but we won’t be forever


“Ragazine is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience.”

You may have read that sentence before; it runs near the bottom of every Welcome page.

The zine that began eight years ago to share the art, poetry and photography of a small circle of friends now generates growing interest and increasing support from hundreds of contributors and thousands of readers around the world. You might say we’re reaching our target audience. Except for the fact that many in our target audience are themselves targets of another sort. For any number of reasons, from political or military repression, to ethnic and religious prejudice, to social norms and economic disparity, they are denied access to open forums where they can bring their ideas to light and flourish.

What better way, then, than to close out our eighth year of publication with a diverse  selection of material that reflects how we are dealing on myriad fronts with challenges  to human progress and enlightenment in the 21st Century. In early October, we published “The Levant Exhibition,”  a mid-issue post of one of many papers presented at a recent symposium in the United Arab Emirates examining “aspects associated with orientalist art creativity in Levant,” and dealing “with the most prominent features and historical eras related to orientalist arts,” including  “aesthetics, the approach and the printing techniques of the orientalist paintings.” The exhibit, borrowing heavily from the collection of Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, a member of the UAE supreme council and ruler of Sharjah, presents western artists’ perceptions of the region, principally in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Many of the images hearken back to what some might recall seeing as children in illustrated editions of The Arabian Nights – where, it seems, too many of us learned our history lessons. Mohammad Mahdy Hemaida’s paper was selected because it seemed more objective about the artwork, and carried fewer political undertones, than some of the other presentations.

The article remains live, residing in the current issue alongside an impressive scholarly review of three “Fertile Crescent” exhibitions in a cross-disciplinary art project on display now in Princeton and New Brunswick, New Jersey.  “Politics, Society and Sexuality in Middle Eastern Art,”  by professor Virginia Fabbri Butera, Ph. D., is an educated look at the art produced by women from or associated with cultures where the social and political fabric binds them in ways that deny opportunities to freely depict frustrations, realities, hopes and dreams. It’s unlikely this breakout exhibition will ever hang in the same halls as art of the Levant.

Some time ago we had the good fortune to connect with We Are You Project. WAYP is an international organization based in New Jersey publicizing contributions of Hispanics to American art, culture, education and the economy, and by their example fighting the anti-immigrant fervor that simmers today in this country. To this end, we’ve shared work of WAYP artists and poets, and have planned a joint Ragazine.CC and WAYP fundraiser at the Maysles Cinema in New York City(POSTPONED due to Sandy; Rain Dates to be announced). We hope you’ll join us.

For a clearer understanding of what many Hispanic-Americans feel and face living in America today, read Professor Lilvia Soto’s insightful message to a Latino audience on a U.S. college campus that holds as true today as it did when delivered in 2009. Then, continue on to her translation of Mexican poet Alberto Blanco’s poem, “The Undocumented.” Blanco, one of the most recognized contemporary  Latin American poets, received the Octavio Paz Poetry Award in 2001.

Photographer Karen Miranda, who lives in Queens, New York, collaborates with native communities and with her relatives as subjects of her photography projects. She has worked with the Mandaeans from Iraq and Iran living in Sweden and Detroit,  Waoranis in the Ecuadorian Amazon and Andes Mountains, and for a brief period with the Mam in Guatemala. Her intimate portraits tell a tale of their own, but you’ll learn a bit more about her approach in our interview.

Tice Lerner’s debut exhibit last summer at the Anthony Brunelli Gallery in Binghamton, N.Y., placed him prominently on the stage of photographers whose works embody both empathy and contrast with an outside world not of his subjects’ own making. Lerner, an engineer by training, captures neighborhood denizens in a once-thriving upstate city striving to remake itself. His photo on this month’s cover (above) is an invitation to see and know more about what makes him, and his approach to photography, unique.

Photographer Steve Bromberg has spent enough time in China to know his way around a bit more than most. His camera reveals a nation of contrasts as it struggles with change, and the scars that struggle leaves as the country transitions from an agrarian Communist to industrial Capitalist power.

Artist Stephanie Rond’s subtly provocative works focus largely on distrust. The “Dick and Jane,”  storybook-type illustrations incorporate clues to a world populated by wolves in men’s and boys’ clothing. Active in the Columbus, Ohio, arts community, Rond is also curator of the miniature s.Dot Gallery.

Jack Zipes discusses “Why Fairy Tales Stick,” with Ragazine contributing editor John Smelcer. Zipes, a foremost scholar of the fairy tale, postulates “that the most important stories in a culture become memes, “which evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins proposed in his book The Selfish Gene (1976)…” If you like fairy tales, or wonder where they come from and why some persist where others don’t, you’ll certainly remember this conversation.

In an artful essay, author and Nobel Prize for Literature runner-up Paul West wakes the unconscious mind with a literary foray into the writings of Samuel Beckett. West ventures to examine the short stories of Texts with a critic’s evincing eye and ear. Commenting on a passage in “Assumption,” he writes, “Something rippling evokes muscle and, as always in Beckett, a better mind than the mind on show makes the whole thing irresistible.” We trust you’re up to it.

Creative nonfiction editor Leslie Heywood says her selection for this issue, “The Sleep Scale,” commanded the rapt attention of other students in her class at Binghamton University when read aloud by its author Cecil Jordan. Read it to yourself. Read it aloud. Be advised: Not a cure for insomnia.

Fiction editor Metta Sama delivers a piece from Alison Meyers titled “Pest Control” that focuses on the continuing divides between haves and have nots, whites and people of color, the privileged and those who work for them.  Live a few snippets of their lives; see what the other sides see of each other. Reflect.

Poetry editor Emily Vogel provides selections from poets Phil Boiarski, Devin McMicken and Nicholas Wilsey.  Boiarski’s been writing and publishing for more than forty years; McMicken’s first public reading took place in early October. Wilsey DJs a poetry-focused radio show.

Alan Britt joins the Ragazine team as Books/Reviews editor. The Books section will move from a Page to a Post, which can be dated and saved for archiving. In his initial offering, Britt reviews three volumes from Split Oak Press, and includes Paul Sohar’s examination of The New Arcana by John Amen and Daniel Y. Harris. Find out more about Alan Britt in “About Us.”

Music editor Jeff Katz examines the “music listening and buying experience” as it relates to The Internet Radio Fairness Act. The bill aims to “lower the royalty rate that Internet radio stations like Pandora pay from over 50% of total revenues, to the less onerous 7ish% of revenues that satellite titans like SiriusXM pay, or even the cable rate of 15%.” Asks Katz, “It’s all about fairness, no?”  Also on Katz’s agenda: Reviews of Bob Dylan’s latest, Tempest, and The Once and Future Carpenter from the Avett Brothers.

Politics editor Jim Palombo discusses education and empowerment in the modern age, where the notion of a healthy society comes into play.  Under-education and a desensitized environment, Palombo contends, contribute to an “unhealthy state of affairs.”  Jumping from that to “Part II,” Palombo comments on what’s being said about the subject on the campaign trail to Election 2012. Add to that contributor Doug Bond’s satirical overview of the Last Minute October Surprises coming our way, and you have a wide-screen advantage over the next guy.

Casual Observer Mark Levy casts a jaundiced eye at too-real developments in high-def television technology; Galanty Miller begins his collection of Re-tweets with, “The richest man in the world has something in common with the poorest man in the world; they both want to be richer.”  And throughout, the illustrations of Nadja Asghar and Walter Gurbo.

Enjoy. As always, thanks for reading!

– Mike Foldes

 * * * * *


 * * * * *






If you can’t make Money …

Make Art

If you can’t Make Money, Make Art. If you can’t Make Art, Make Money – and spend it on Art. The arts may not be able to lift everyone out of poverty, but they do have the power to lift the spirits of rich and poor alike. A good enough reason to keep our shoulders to the wheel.

What’s inside:

Karl Polanyi was one of the most influential economists and social thinkers of the last century. His work, widely read and recognized throughout the world, is largely unknown in the United States. When Politics Editor Jim Palombo discovered that Polanyi’s daughter, Prof. Kari Polanyi Levitt, is living in Canada, he reached out for an interview. Prof. Levitt, in her own teachings and writings, is carrying on her father’s legacy, and the two professors share that and some of their own critical thinking here.

Nikolai Buglaj is more interested in capturing the essence of an idea than in fame and fortune. In this regard, he has few peers. Art Editor Dr. José Rodeiro and artist Christie Devereaux interview Buglaj; and, in an accompanying article “The Artist Who Refuses to Show,” Rodeiro examines Buglaj’s work and its historical value as “art for art’s sake.”

Jeff Katz moves beyond the sound stage to share the joy of watching his autistic son Nate achieve a personal best with an art exhibit in Soho earlier this year. Katz’s memoir of that event is aptly titled, “Really, It Was A Miracle.” Elsewhere, Katz jumps back into his role as Ragazine’s music editor with a variety pack of short takes on old favorites and recent discoveries. Also on the music front, Eric Schafer, back in the States for some physical therapy and R&R after several years working in Viet Nam, writes up some of his own “I wish…” covers of favorite tunes from the not-so-olden days.

Photography features this issue include, as always, Chuck Haupt’s “The Photography Spot” – individual photos with explanations from the do-ers about motivation and origins. This post is about the resilience of boys, no matter where they come from. In addition, photographer Todd Smith takes us to the shore and more from the ’70s to today, in a “compare and contrast” visual essay about changing times.

Poetry: There’s plenty to choose from: Lauren Tursellino, Samantha Zighelboim, J. Barret Wolf and Simone Kearney; an interview with poet-author Klaus Gerken, publisher of the literary journal Ygdrasil; a review by Paul Sohar of poet Alan Britt’s Alone with the Terrible Universe; and a look back at the convergence of art, poetry and architecture at 1WTC Visitor Center the day the building became the tallest in NYC.

From author Christopher Panzner, an American in Paris, comes “A Tati Moment,” an entertaining oblique excerpted from his first collection titled SLOW. (In my mind, Georges Seurat paints Marcel Marceau or the Little Tramp.)

Sarah Silbert’s “Mondays Can Seem Like Sundays,” is a mother’s reflections on raising a family in rural Vermont. Silbert strives to maintain the will to preserve the events, large and small, that help her maintain her own identity, even while it further entwines with those of her loved ones.

If you didn’t get ’em while they’re hot, catch Galanty Miller‘s retweets, featuring the wit and wisdom of Prospero. For example, I think it’s unfair that it’s so hard for aging actresses in Hollywood to find good roles in the Transformers movies. And before you stop laughing, tune in to Mark Levy’s Casual Observer as he looks at life through a jaundiced eye. Kind of like Nadja, who did the illustration for Mark’s column. Or our friend Walter, here…

Happy autumnal equinox, and …

Thanks for reading!




  Old stuff:
Follow @ragazinecc

Material that appears in is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page. All rights reserved.
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.
twitter: ragazinecc



V8N4 July-August 2012

"Consumption," M. Owczarek, V8N4/2012


We haven’t come a long way, baby

June 29/30, Endwell

Pick a topic. Any topic. Write about it without injecting yourself into it. Write about anything else, but not … You. Make a list: Politics, culture, art, war, peace, food, hunger… recognizing opposites begins to come easily, a cheap way to make the list longer with little extra effort. Stop there. Begin again. A month goes by. And then another. Openings, closings, travel for business, travel for fun, travel for no other reason than to get from there to somewhere else. Or here. “Outside the beltway.” “West of the Hudson…” In touch with realities. Each powerful word carries with it a visage, a comprehensive, multi-dimensional emotional package of what is (fill in the blank), for example, CULTURE: So much of what Politicians debate and the Media presents should go without saying. Yet it’s part of Our Culture to be zealously fractious.

So every couple of months the contributors and editors of Ragazine bring at least some of it back together under one e-cover.  We’re especially proud with this issue to provide the vehicle for reintroducing Walter Gurbo’s “Drawing Room” to a surreality-starved world.  Gurbo returns with Drawing Room after an hiatus that followed his 12-year tenure contributing panels to the village Voice. His work appeared in Ragazine simultaneously with a show at Anthony Brunelli Gallery in Binghamton last year. You can recap at:

Other recent additions to the crew – you already may have seen or read their work – include: Dr. José Rodeiro (Art); Monique Gagnon German (Copy Editor); Rhonda Branca (Flag Waver, until she has time for something more); Scott “Galanty” Miller (Columnist/re-Tweeter-ist)and Nadja Asghar (Illustrator). Metta Sama, our fiction editor for the past few years, is stepping down. She tried to quit once before, but we wouldn’t let her. Metta’s selections will run through the January-February 2013 issue. We wish her well in her new ventures, and the chances are good you’ll be hearing from or about her here again. Joe Weil will be picking up as fiction editor where Metta leaves off – with the March-April 2013 issue. Joe, a long-time Ragazine supporter, was poetry editor early on and we’re glad to have him back in this new role. You can read more about them all in About Us.

What in store with V8N4? Where to begin?

* An interview with Cuban artist Raul Villarreal, who co-authored a book with his father Rene Villarrealmajor domo at Ernest Hemingway‘s Finca Vigia estate outside Havana. Villarreal’s paintings embody the culture and sentiment of the disenfranchised who left the island nation after Fidel Castro rose to power. The article appears as Hemingway scholars recall the author on his birthday, July 21, 1899.

Poets Chelsie Malyszek; Alfred Corn; Melissa Schwalm and  Nicole Santalucia appear along with a review of Maria Mazziotti Gillan‘s forthcoming “The Place I Call Home” by poetry editor Emily Vogel.

* Politics editor James Palombo offers a snapshot of Harlem from a visit to the Maysles Theater for presentations of Stain – Changing Lives After Incarceration, and “OWS,” a series of shorts on the Occupy movement.

* On the side of Art, we have an interview with collage artist-photographer Marcin Owczarek, whose piece, “Consumption,” leads this page. Owczarek’s work intrigues and mystifies at once. And get ready for a leap of faith with José Rodeiro‘s exuberant review and analysis of Christie Devereaux’s latest show, which opened at The Treasure Room Gallery in New York at the end of June. Find out what drove Devereaux to make ART in an accompanying interview.

* The Fiction roster lists Rosebud Ben-Oni‘s short story, “As the Twig Is Bent,” and flash fiction from Hermine Pinson, “The Cat and Mouse and the Shoe.” Creative Nonfiction by Paul Sohar, “Worm Dialog,” recounts an endurance run on a trans-Atlantic flight with a fellow traveler who thinks he’s identified the leading actors in the space-time continuum.

Photography highlights include an interview with French photographer Pierre Corratge. Corratge practiced medicine for 30 years before turning his energies full time to the camera. Find opposite points of view in interviews and galleries from DJ Pierce and Dennis Maitland; and, find out what ticks in “the Photo Editor’s Choice,” selections by Chuck Haupt with “the story” behind each piece from the photographers.

* On the Humorous side, read what Mark Levy in Casual Observer has to say about “Bobs”, and be bitten by the satire of Galanty Miller‘s re-Tweets.

* Did someone say “Music“? If you’ve been following our friend Jeff Katz‘s articles, you know he has wide-ranging tastes and angles. This issue he sets up a bunch of friends to go toe-to-toe on “Beach Boys vs Beatles,” while Fred Roberts puts into words the rapture he felt listening to singer-songwriter Maia Vidal in a Barcelona bistro.

* Finally, a visit to Haiti to teach batik takes Jonathan and Beth Evans to Gonaives. There the travelers find themselves face-to-face with a culture unlike any other, as they bring their art to a community where it just might take root and grow.



 Thanks for reading!

 − Mike Foldes


Old stuff:


Follow @ragazinecc

Material that appears in is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page. All rights reserved.
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

Good god, we even  tweet: ragazinecc



Volume 8, Number 3, May-June 2012


Real Dreams

I’ve had some strange dreams lately, and not a few had to do with Ragazine. Indirectly, of course, but somewhere in those thoughts, twisted like brambles in a centurion hedge, the trail led back to the Rag. Because that’s where the creativity is. Look at the work represented in these cyberpages, most obviously, perhaps, the Art and Photography, because for those of us with eyes that can see, the visuals are an immediate challenge to fathom, if not believe. The Poetry, the Fiction, the Creative Nonfiction, Music Reviews, Political Commentary and other literary bytes are harder to comprehend; they have to be taken in word by word, line by line, page by page. Only by diving deeper into the heart of these ideas can one hope to grasp their meanings. Reading, however, takes time and concentration, two things too often in short supply. We trust this issue of Ragazine will awaken your inner self, derail the Daily You long enough for the Real You to resurface — without a slap in the head from Larry, Curly or Moe.

* * *

Art-heavy, we are, and internationally so. Briton John Tierney‘s paintings have been likened to David Hockney and Edward Hopper, but he retains his own unique style in bringing scenes to life on canvas. In an interview, the retired criminology professor discusses his work,  ”nature vs nurture,” and whether he would  travel the same road the same way again.

“Three Hot Brazilian Artists” – Priscila De CarvalhoDuda Penteado and Gersony Silva – are introduced to Ragazine readers in an article by Dr. Jose Rodeiro that includes galleries showcasing the work of each. The artists and the article’s author have been instrumental in promoting WE ARE YOU Project International, furthering the cause of equal rights and immigration reform as it affects the growing Latino community in the United States (

Canadian Xavier Landry savages contemporary society with the same sharp wit as Lenny Bruce, only on canvas. In an interview, Landry explains how current events, fast food and historical personages figure into his world of Cabbage Patch Kids grown-up. Perhaps as fitting to say, “What Alice didn’t find when she fell down the rabbit hole….”

Danish-American artist Hanne H7L‘s surrealist imagery will teach you not to crack your knuckles. In an interview, H7L talks about her methods, her vision —  including the complex layering of photographic images in ghostly procession – and her artistic influences, among them Henry Buhl and Yoko Ono.

The curative power of art is found in an article from Rose Robin about the recently popularized Mexican fishing village of La Paz, Mexico. Development in La Paz has displaced many of the original residents. Robin organized Painting Pirates to give impoverished children a positive outlet in otherwise bleak lives, imbuing them and their families with hope for better days ahead.

Rounding out the this issue’s art assemblage is the work of Tuten Hiromi Sakurai, aka Tuten, whose vibrant expressionist paintings resonate wildly, at the same time they break with what we in the West might see as Japanese painting tradition.

Poetry editor Emily Vogel has selected the work of five poets for this issue:  Monique Gagnon German, Kathleen Keough, George Moore, Juan Soler and Barbara Sue Mink Spalding. Great coincidence that with so much poetry as National Poetry Month winds down, we’re also showcasing an Anti-Poetry-Month essay by Charles Bernstein on the News & Haps page. It’s a good bet this essay will appear yearly in April (somewhere) as surely as a letter to Virginia appears on editorial pages in newspapers across America at Christmas time.

Creative nonfiction editor Leslie Heywood brings to the fore thoughtful stories by Carol Sanford and Alexis Paige that explore finding the perfect “Now” in the perceived wilderness of rural America. Fiction from Beth Couture traces the path of curious girls and the risk one of them takes that carelessly puts a man’s life on the line. Fiction editorMetta Sama comments, “Hot damn! This is a great story. Creepy. Desperate. Sad. Honest. Familiar. Reminds me, in parts, of the wickedness Alice Munroe can write out.”

In our regular features, Politics editor Jim Palombo, who spent the winter in San Miguel Allende, points to environmental concerns that should be forefront (even if they’re not) at the upcoming G20 meeting in Mexico. Music editor and Cooperstown’s new mayor Jeff Katz reviews Blue CheerCWB and Bruce Springsteen’s  Wrecking Ball.  Casual Observer Mark Levy  returns with a positive take on getting older… sage advice on saving from a new Floridian. Welcome to illustrator Nadja Asghar, whose work appears as one of our rotating headers, and ‘inside’. Last but not least by any means, as you can see when you browse our pages, Photo editor Chuck Haupt has selected five memorable images with photographer statements for this issue’s the PHOTOGRAPHY Spot.

Ragazine.CC. Miss it and miss out.

Thanks for reading!

 − Mike Foldes


Old stuff:


Follow @ragazinecc

Material that appears in is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page. All rights reserved.
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.


Free as always — But you can still contribute!

If you like this site, please tell your friends about us! Thanks!



Volume 8, Number 2, March-April 2012


Party On

Let’s hope the worst is over with the GOP Presidential primaries. This is not a political statement. Just the sad fact that so much money is being wasted by also-rans. They’d likely win more votes by contributing the millions they receive in SuperPAC money to help satisfy global needs for food, clothing, education, shelter and medicine. Instead, in the relentless pursuit of a seat at the table with Really Big Poobas, the most resilient candidates settle for a sustained diet of rubber chicken dinners, the style and class of sweater vests, and vain efforts to seat themselves a little closer to their makers, both in heaven and on earth. Why are these losers still in the race? What did Newt do for that special someone in his life to contribute millions to a campaign going nowhere? What will happen to the treasure chests when the dust settles and it’s time to regroup until the next campaign? Go into treasury funds?

It’s a sad day for America when “freedom for all” gives way to parochial interests. But that’s what 2012 is shaping up to be. Now on to more satisfying things.

There’s a load of great stuff in this issue of Ragazine, including much better fiction than I offer, from professor and artist Steve Poleski;  creative nonfiction from Jennie Case exploring community gardens; the inimitable cityscapes in the photography of Martin Stavars; and an incredible look into Mumbai’s dhobhi ghat from Adeel Halim, street photographer extraordinaire, whose photograph of Mumbai’s open laundry tops the Welcome page .

Politics Editor Jim Palombo takes a more serious and encompassing look at the political scene in his “Primer to the Primaries – and Beyond.” With a clarifying review difficult to locate anywhere, Jim presents political, economic and social considerations which in turn affect concerns around the globe. This unusual piece will definitely speak to bettering your ideological acumen, which in these turbulent times, is something to be looking towards.

Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the death of author John GardnerJoel Gardner discusses his father’s work with contributing editor John Smelcer.  Poetry offerings include work from Claudia SereaAlan BrittCarol DineEvan Hansen, and poems from 14-year-old Carly Gove. We round things out with a meditation jointly composed by Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso and Smelcer, and illustrated by Micah Farritor.

Music editor Jeff Katz offers his usual eclectic mix of reviews and opinion turning his practiced eye on the Avett Brothers, the classics of the Jet Set, and his own favorite first tracks of debut albums.

Tara Dervla deconstructs the painting Hips Don’t Lie, from José Rodeiro, art professor at New Jersey City University;  contributing editor Miklós Horváth interviews the worldly performance and visual artist Murray Gaylard; and John Kelly exalts in The Art Museum, a recent release from Phaidon publishing. Indigenous art lovers will appreciate Images from Injalak, a project of the indigenous people of Australia working with Melbourne-based artist and printmaker Andrew Sinclair, with an informed introduction by Marguerite Brown, exhibition curator.

I can’t think of a better way to slide into spring and away from the cacophony of current events than to spend a little more time with us than usual. As for those of you in Southern Hemispheric temperate climes, it’s time for tea and honey.

Thanks for reading!

 − Mike Foldes



Material that appears in is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page. All rights reserved.


Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.


Volume 8, Number 1, January-February 2012


Reader’s Challenge Issue

Fun Food For Thought

Civil society in America is evolving faster than anywhere else in the world. The Middle East, China, Africa, South America will catch up and possibly surpass us well before the end of this century in total economic output, but by then the rules of civil society will have changed dramatically. The economic and even political rules America and the world play by today have roots in the 19th Century. The developing world is doing what we have been doing for 150 years or more, and in some ways doing it better. But better is not going to be good enough. By the time the developing nations catch up, one would hope we will have further evolved into a society that breaks down barriers between humanity, technology and bureaucracy so that corporations — as governments — no longer are regarded as “persons”, but as constructs devised by people to realize human goals — and nothing more.

We hear a lot of complaints these days about what people don’t get in the way of intellectual stimulation from newspapers, magazines, or  television news shows.  “You give us twenty-two minutes and we’ll give you the world,” proclaims the most listened to station in the nation, and that’s great when you’re driving to work in the morning, but not if you want to begin to understand  the “Whys” and “Hows” behind the “Whats”.   Happily, and in a completely random fashion, this issue of Ragazine.CC brings together a banquet of food for thought about relational changes taking place in the biosphere.  We call it the “Reader’s Challenge Issue,” because you’re going to have to read a lot — and think about it —  to see how it all fits together.

A good starting point would be Eleanor Goldfield‘s article about the “Move to Amend” effort in Los Angeles that resolves that corporations should not enjoy “personhood”. Follow that with Scott “Galanty” Miller‘s piece based on his sociology class lectures − a discourse on how corporations, the internet, and technology in general, drain the individual of empathy, sympathy and, in turn, humanity, turning them, he laments, into “F**king A**holes”.

After these, you might want to dive into politics editor Jim Palombo‘s follow-up report on his visit as Ragazine envoy to the Rhodes Forum in Rhodes, Greece, where delegates from around the globe shared their world views on political, economic and social issues of the day. Jim also weighs in the OWS crowd. Not enough? Flay yourself further reading a moderated interview by Rosebud Magazine publisher and Binghamton University professor John Smelcer with Donald Pease, of Dartmouth University, and Robyn Wiegman of Duke University, as they discuss the present state and direction of American Studies.

Garnish this with dynamic portfolios from photographer Olaf Heine; the surrealistic comic bookish fine art of Fernando “Pulpo” Hereñu; fiction from Ann Bogle; Bengali poetry in the original and in translation from Masud Khan; poems by American poets Gail Fishman, Gillian Brall, Myron Ernst and Dwyer Jones; music reviewer Jeff Katz‘s annual TOP TEN Not-All-New picks from 2011; Mark Levy‘s “Casual Observer,” and more.

Just look inside to find it.

Thanks for reading!

− Mike Foldes


Material that appears in is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page. All rights reserved.
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.


Volume 7 Number 6, Nov-Dec 2011


Mr. Hyde, Dale Grimshaw

Occupying Wall Street

(This is not a potlatch)

The periodic redistribution of wealth by some Northwest Coast native American tribes is a great example of what was done at one time to ensure that everyone got an equal chance at a better life. Those “who have” were called upon to give much of it away. The same was expected of others in following years,  as they managed to amass material wealth. The honors went to those who gave away the most. What one accumulated was shared, a reminder we share the earth.  It was called potlatch.

The 99% sitting in at Zuccotti Park are not asking that the 1% give everything away; they’re asking for long-overdue reform of what is euphemistically called a profession, but which in Christ’s time would have been called something worse than “money changer”. It’s one thing to invest one’s own drachma in a venture, on-going or new, and another to skim the cream then spill the milk. That mark of greed coating the lip of the fat cats is a slap in the face to anyone who’s lost a job in the last five years, or who just graduated from college and can’t find one, or who’s working two or three jobs to make ends meet, where one used to be more than enough.

It’s too late to say that if all the money spent in the past ten years on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and misspent by investment banks and brokerages on Wall Street and other financial centers around the world, were invested more wisely in education, health care, infrastructure and the humanities, we wouldn’t be living in this sad state of affairs. And it hasn’t stopped, as shown by recent charges against former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine, who allegedly bled MF Global of hundreds of millions of investors’ dollars. Since we are against the wall, it’s up to us — and the 1% in power who have a conscience — to help clean up the mess. Not the petty mess some point to as the “fault” of a group of urban campers, but the mess the financial and political ruling classes made tripping over themselves to feed at the brimming Wall Street trough. Photos from Occupy Wall Street appear here: ‎

* * *

We’ve got another astounding issue covering subjects and events as diverse as the work of Dale Grimshaw, whose painting “Mr. Hyde” is the cover of this issue, to the overlooked beauty of the Pakistani countryside in a travel piece by Zaira R. Sheikh, to the photography and haiku of Sean Lotman.  If you like poetry, you’ll love the work of the five other poets in this issue, Lyn Lifshin, Bianca StoneEsta Fischer, Pamela Uschuk and Ann E. Michael. In the realm of creative nonfiction, Joe Weil writes of “Fishing in a Filthy River,” and its undertow of memories, while Kimberly Dark recounts her unique acquaintance with Greybeard, a down-to-earth neighbor in Hawaii.

Music editor Jeff Katz recounts the “Sad Journey of Gene Clark”; Beth Timmins, resident writer with Giffords Circus, gives a peek under skirt of the Big Top;  Mark Levy, back after taking a break during which he moved to Boynton Beach, Florida, from Binghamton, New York, delivers his “Casual Observer” column, and his “Feeding the Starving Artist” pro bono legal series with a look at the new Patent and Trademark law.

Politics editor Jim Palombo gives an overview of his preparations for the annual Rhodes Conference in Rhodes, Greece. Jim, as an envoy from Ragazine, was one of only a few Americans at the event, which he plans to report on in our January issue.

Maile Colbert‘s “Letter to the Editor” ponders capital punishment with subtle eloquence; Sridala Swami’s short short stories will stay with you much longer than the time it takes to read them. And don’t miss Anthony Haden-Guest’s cartoon panel,  hidden somewhere in the gray matter within these e-pages. If you’re looking for something to do, check out the Events page for ideas about places and events where you’re likely to find like-minded Ragazine readers.

Thanks for reading… And thanks especially for passing it on!

— Mike Foldes


Material that appears in is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page.
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.


Free at last — But you can still contribute!




September-October 2011, Volume 7, Number 5

Big Apple Bites Back _ Walter Gurbo

Back to Basics

This issue’s cover art comes compliments of Walter Gurbo. If you were in New York back in the day, and read The Village Voice, you’ll remember Gurbo’s “Drawing Room”, superb panels of surrealistic images surrounded by sexed-up ads on the tabloid’s back cover. Always new. Always sure to stretch the imagination beyond the bounds of decorum. See for yourself in our recap of July’s retrospective at the Brunelli Gallery in Binghamton, New York.

Politics editor Jim Palombo interviews singer-songwriter Eleanor Goldfield, founder and lead singer in the band Rooftop Revolutionaries. Palombo explores and Goldfield explains with refreshing intellect how she reconciles making money and making change in a convulsing world.

John Smelcer offers an intriguing memoir of his acquaintance with Britain’s then poet laureate, Ted Hughes, and a subsequent friendship with Hughes’ and Sylvia Plath’s son,Nick. Smelcer includes a poem co-written by him and Ted Hughes as a bar “game” more enduring than darts.

Don Ruben, lawyer and long-time friend of Ragazine, interviews Drug Policy Alliance’s Tamar Todd on obstacles to legalizing medical marijuana nationwide, including conflicts with federal law in states that have already legalized it, and President Obama’s failure to follow through on pre-election hints he would work to decriminalize the herb.

Adding food for thought to the article on DPA, we’re pleased to offer the first of four panels contributed to Ragazine by noted author and cartoonist Anthony Haden-Guest.Subsequent panels will appear in the next few issues, where you will find them strategically placed to challenge your senses of self and humor.

Music editor Jeff Katz hooks up, so to speak, with Eilen Jewell, at the Oneonta Theater in Oneonta, New York, where the “turbocharged kewpie doll” and her band played in August to a country-loving crowd.

Welcome – in some cases, welcome back – to poets Hal SirowitzJohn Richard Smith,Laura Close; to poet-photographer Jeanpaul Ferro,  short fiction author Carlo Matos, and collage artist Joseph Bowman.  And if you have a few minutes more, check out the books and reviews, and Zaira Rahman’s Islamabad tripper’s diary.  Special thanks to Hala Salah Eldin Hussein who filed a story on the situation “on the ground” in Cairo, Egypt, that posted in mid-August.

Kudos to the editors and contributors who help bring Ragazine to the stage every couple of months,  and to the thousands of readers who give us the motivation to labor on again and again, year after year… We trust you’ll find plenty to enjoy!

Thanks for passing it on.

– Mike Foldes


Material that appears in is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page.
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

Welcome: July-August 2011, Vol. 7 No. 4


From the 9/11 obsessions of Ultra Violet

The Good, the Bad …

and the Way It Is
Who can forget Nine Eleven? It carries the same tune as Sarajevo did for the generation that lived through World War I, and as Pearl Harbor did for the generation that fought and lived through World War II. It’s historical significance as the start of the War on Terrorism is established, but the lessons learned are indeterminate. The recent art of Ultra Violet explores the cause and effect of Nine Eleven in a variety of media from drawings, to prints, paintings and sculptures. It’s serendipitous that our interview with Ultra is running in this issue, even as the 10th Anniversary of Nine Eleven looms. And ironic that one of the icons of the aesthetic nihilism endemic in the New York City art scene of the Sixties and Seventies is now among those who lead the chorus calling for acceptance and understanding from both sides of a widening gulf between the Ancient and Modern worlds, to help ensure nothing like Nine Eleven ever happens again.
Moving right along …
We think you’ll find this issue of Ragazine especially challenging throughout. Rebecca Young finds out for herself and shares with all, what goes into the factory-like food chain that puts meat and potatoes on the table at a price almost everyone in America can afford — but at what cost?
Join noted author Cris Mazza and interviewer Kristin Thiel as they discuss Mazza’s writing and her recently published book, “Various Men Who Knew Us as Girls,” a woman’s disturbing trek along a path of sexual abuse, and her attempt to climb out of the psychological hole it puts her into.
Artist Shawn Huckins explains in an interview the motivation behind his “Revolution Revolution … ” series, which we think you’ll find surrealistically amusing. Hungarian writer Miklòs Horvàth comments on the recent Gauguin exhibit at the Tate Modern in London, with an examination of why his art was not as well received in Belgium in 1889 as it is today. What a difference a century makes!
Rounding out the art bubble, in a somewhat unusual fashion, Leon Tan in our Politics section brings to the table the ongoing political and legal debate over “Darfunica,”  a painting by Nadia Plesner on the order of Picasso’s infamous “Guernica” that challenges the complacency of the civilized world in the face of constant depredation in the widely ignored African nation, Darfur. Louis Vuitton found it so offensive they instituted a lawsuit against its content.
On the literary front, we’re pleased to have the poetry of Jennifer Diskin, D. Alexander Mosner and Charlotte Lowe; an amusing “mystery” from Pedro Ponce; a short short story of awakening by Racquel Goodison, and our regulars are back: Jeff Katz’s top ten failed musical partnerships, and reviews of Bowl Soup and Vol. 2 of The Baseball Project; Mark Levy reflects on the simplicity of life in the Amazon, and he and Nick Andreadis look YouTube in the face.
As always, your comments are welcome and appreciated. You’ll need to sign in to comment, but don’t let that stop you! And if you like what you find, please let your friends know we’re here. Lots of Summer Reading “Inside”.
Thanks for reading.
— Mike Foldes



Welcome: May-June 2011, Vol. 7 No. 3


the less said, the better. Tempting it is to let the statement stand alone. But that would would be to overlook the hard work and contributions so many people have made along the way to get us to this May-June issue of Ragazine, and the start of the summer reading season. With that in mind, take us to the beach on your e-reader, tablet or laptop…

On the docket this time around:
  • An interview with NYC artist Karen Gunderson and a gallery of her black paintings;
    the photography of Slovenian photographer Janez Vlachy, whose photo is on this issue’s cover;
    an interview with veteran Hollywood Cartoonist Herb Moore, and an introduction to his new series, “Duffy MacTaggart, Scotland’s Greatest Golf Teacher”;
    A report from Pakistan by Zaira Rahman on the unsettling deaths and lynching of two boys in the wrong place at the wrong time, and their family’s quest for Justice;
    interviews with, and poetry from, acclaimed poets Maria Mazziotti Gillan and Lyn Lifshin, and additional poetry from Steve Oldford, Svea Barrett and Emily Kagan Trenchard;
    Chris Mackowski’s account of a winter trip to the barrens of his native Maine;
    fiction by John Palen and Eric Bennett;
    a video trailer for a film by Eliane Lima, and a profile of the filmmaker;
    and, all the regular sections: Music comment and reviews by Jeff Katz; free legal advice in “Feeding the Starving Artist” by Mark Levy, who also writes “Casual Observer”; the value of education in “Politics”, from editor Jim Palombo and contributor Frank Gaydos; and more…
We trust that lineup will float your boat, whatever shining sea you’re in. Enjoy!
And thanks for reading.
– Mike Foldes





Volume 7, No. 2.5

April 2011

© Guenter Knop

What in the World …

Earthquakes, tsunamis, meltdowns, no-fly zones … you’d think the world would be a better place, but hard as we try, there’s always something standing in the way.

Perhaps that’s why the articles in this interim issue of Ragazine, our first attempt after seven years of bi-monthly issues to produce a monthly, are as divergent as they are — our attempt to bring things together in the face of greater odds. And, as interesting (yeah, we know, that’s subjective. So here’s the Challenge: Read on, and decide for yourself).

Here’s what we’ve got: A street-level, local report from Egypt covering not menacing tanks or burning cars, but graffiti on the walls of Cairorecounting the effort and pronouncing the people’s victory over tyranny (Hala Salah Eldin Hussein); a Pakistani reviewer’s take on Dobi Ghat, a Bollywood indie film that took honors in film fests around the world for its look at the effects of caste on four main characters (Zaira Rahman); poetry by Martin Willitts, Jr.; Land Art installation by an American artist (Jody Joyner) working on the grounds ofSoekershof, a botanical paradise in southwest South Africa; life studies of women by a German-born artist (Guenter Knop) who makes his home in New York City; the translation of an excerpt from aRomanian novel, along with the original language text (Daniel Dragomirescu); an interview with the Alaskan writer some have called “a  modern-day Jack London” (John Smelcer); an interview with photographer Michael Eastman, whose unmatched images of Havana capture the color and life of the city and its history (as he does all of his subjects) with surreal accuracy; a look at Ghanathrough the eyes of two travelers (Roscoe Betsill & Steven Keith) who came back to the States with a far different understanding of the country than they went away with.

Speaking of understanding: An American ex-pat group is forming in San Miguel Allende, Mexico, to educate Americans in particular to what their real place is in this world…. Talk about an uphill climb.

As if that’s not enough, reach inside for Jeff Katz’s remembrance of singer/songwriter Marvin Gaye; book reviews; the foodie’s Kitchen Caravan; and thePHOTOGRAPHYspots (Albert Dorsa/translation page & Chuck Haupt/politics page).

Comments, by the way, are much appreciated. Don’t be shy. Let us have it, good, bad or indifferent. We thrive on feedback. And please, ”Pass it on ….”

Thanks for reading!







Volume 7, No. 2

February-March, 2011

“The Millinery Studio”, Acrylic on canvas, 14″ x 20″, 2010

Amy Kollar Anderson


So much to see, so little time …

Science Fiction turned to fact in February when an IBM supercomputer named “Watson”visited upon earth, defeating two heralded champions in a “Jeopardy” smack down decades in the making. We’re not running an article on this noteworthy event, but it says here Watson, named after the company’s founder Thomas J. Watson, will be among the finalists (if not the Chosen One) in Time‘s Person of the Year award selection come December. What makes this all the more special, in a way, is that Ragazine publishes from the Greater Binghamton area of Upstate New York — home of IBM (aka, International Business Machines), and once the stomping grounds of “Twilight Zone” creator Rod Serling. The area always has been culturally and socially influenced by a mixture of science fantasy and fiction. You might say, we’ll believe anything, even that a tsunami of peaceful revolution could irrigate the monarchies and dictatorships of the Arab world, re-making it as a cradle of shared prosperity and humanistic reason. So, let it be known, “Another King is dead. All hail the Thing.”

Of course, there comes a time in everyone’s life when a little fantasy will do you good. Sometimes even better. Fortunately for us, the talented Amy Kollar Anderson came to the rescue, as you’ll see from a thorough look at her work in the galleries embedded in these pages. And for those of you with short attention spans, check out Amy’s captivating time-lapse video that condenses 50 hours of painting into  less than three minutes, backed by the music of Dayton, Ohio, super-group Ape the Ghost.

The horizon doesn’t end there. Check out Ellen Janten‘s photographic essay “Losing Reality; Reality of Loss — 2011”, an exploration of the diaphanous layers between the free-standing worlds that separate life and memory. Internationally recognized architect and artist, Michael Jantzen, Ellen’s husband and model for many of the images in her work, shares his visions for The Sounds of the Sun Pavilion, a curvilinear approach to sustainable living in which solar energy powers a community where there’s literally music in the air.

Other visual delights include the work of John Dobbs, whose recent show at ACA Galleries in New York City closed in February, but you can get a taste of it here. Elizabeth Cohen returned from a recent trip to Gallup, New Mexico, with a packet of cell-phone photos, and an accompanying essay about an Old West indulged by sentiment and confused by age. If you can accept there is sometimes poetry in the subtlety of photographs, see Ida Musemic‘s images that appear following John F. Buckley‘s poem. And don’t be surprised if you find a few more images bringing color to otherwise gray pages in thePHOTOGRAPHYspot, strategically placed by photo editor Chuck Haupt.

Literary complements include short fiction by Ian Williams; an excerpt from R. J. Dent‘s recently published translation (with the French original) of  The Songs of Maldoror, fittingly accompanied by an other-worldly portrait of Salvador Dali by contributing photographer Valerie Brown; and poetry from some of the best emerging and established poets working today, including Buckley, Ann Clark, Micah Towery, Katie Hogan and Florence Weinberger.

Music editor Jeff Katz takes a look at the documentary “LennonNYC”, and sings praises for the library of great releases from Sundazed Music. And while you’re online, have a look at Jeff’s site, “Maybe Baby….”

Politics editor Jim Palombo and guest contributor Professor Randall Sheldenexamine the escalation of force used in the ongoing, increasingly costly (in both lives and money) drug war between the United States and Mexico, leaving even the most jaded among us to question, “Is it worth the price?”

In Feeding the Starving ArtistMark Levy, an intellectual property lawyer, providespro bono advice for wedding and events photographers to protect themselves and their clients against one another, and sometimes even from the guests. Levy, also Ragazine’s Casual Observer, offers his take on moving up to modern appliances — he’d take a washing machine over a washboard anytime.

If you, or someone you know, has work that will fit Ragazine’s eclectic collection of creative content, see and share our submission guidelines. We’re always looking for new artists, illustrators, writers, musicians, poets, travelers, thinkers and others, to collaborate with. It’s a great way to know, and get to know… Likewise, if you have events you’d like to publicize, share the news by adding a comment on the Events page. Keep it short and sweet: Time, Date, Place, Description, Contact Info; nothing more than 45 days in advance, please. As always, Comments are welcome on any or all of our pages; shed a little light while we stumble around in editorial darkness.

For those of us up North, Spring is on the way. For you south of the Equator, well, good luck with that, too!

Thanks for reading.



Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience.

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Volume 7, No. 1

January 2011


Dancing with Dragons

Putting out a magazine is like dancing with dragons and letting go genies…. You struggle to pull things together without knowing what kind of animal you’ll deliver until the things – the issues — are out of the bottle. We’re doing our best to see that what you take the time to look at and read in Ragazine will add something measurably more memorable to your day than the daily dose of dumbed down pablum delivered by mainstream media to a mind-numbed populous.  Let us know if it’s not and we’ll kick ourselves in the shins, scream “Sakai,” and pay homage to the gods of wind feces (snow), until we get it right.

For those of you ready to dive in now, there’s plenty to break your fall:

The Ragazine cover this month is contributed by New York photographer Gabrielle Revere, whose work reveals the youth and beauty of a new generation. An interview with Revere shows she’s well aware not everyone in the world is so lucky. Our associated galleries include shots from her documentary series, “I only have eyes for you,” which captures the ice-cold irony of the beauty of children living in the midst of oft-neglected poverty.

Photographer Josephine Close explores the world of the psyche in the shadows, a journey into what lies within and beyond the visual field one sees through the camera’s eye, what evolves in the darkroom (or on the computer), and comes to life in the print. Close, in her own words, undertakes the pursuit in “… seeking to illuminate the magic in my life.”

On other fronts: A surreal love story from Stephen O’Connor/Fiction; Michael Parish’s Vignettes/Creative Nonfiction,, which CNF editor Leslie Heywood describes as a “series of vignettes on our strange contemporary relationship with the natural world.  There’s the poetry of John F. Buckley, Anne Babson and John Richard Smith; Jeff Katz’s unusually broad Top Ten music picks of 2010; Mark Levy’s eye on life as theCasual Observer, and his pro bono legal advice column for creative types in Feeding the Starving Artist.

From deep in the heart of Mexico, San Miguel Allende to be exact, politics editor Jim Palombo and guest contributor Horace Whittlesey comment on the effects of modern day prohibition and the unfulfilled promise of California’s recently defeated Proposition 19.

There’s more, of course, including illustrations, book reviews, a couple of events that caught our eyes, and more. … Such As —


Water, from Cecelia Chapman’s Video series

This is the first video we’ve run in Ragazine, but we’ll have more, soon. We are looking for original short videos (approx. 2 minutes) that have not been posted elsewhere, but we’ll sometimes take them if they have. They’ll run in a window on Ragazine, without redirects to other sites, but we will include the videographer’s site references with the piece. E-mail to, as attachments, with a still from the video.

So, while we close out 2010 dancing with dragons, and let the genie out of the bottle with VOLUME 7 Number 1, we wish you a healthy and progressive new year.

As always, thanks for reading.

— Mike Foldes

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Volume 6, No. 6

November-December 2010

©Aline Smithson

Arrangement #3

Aline Smithson: The Photographer’s Mother


The Art of Being Modern

Hello, again. Thanks for coming back. We know it’s not easy to take a few minutes out of a busy day for an “arts’ breather,’ but we’re glad you did.
The beauty of the web is also the spider at its center, that being people’s ability to spin whatever yarn they like and put it out in cyberspace. Everybody gets a shot. It used to be there were so few people with sites that it was a small community, many of whom knew one another, often righteously so. That community has grown so that now we’re not just a city, not just a nation, and each site has become one in a million. Or more likely, one in a few hundred million. The web, like the universe, is expanding exponentially, and it’s our challenge to keep up.
The New York Times newspaper is a great example of meeting that challenge. The gray lady may not be at her best these days, circulation and advertising revenue-wise, but she hasn’t lost her touch with news, features, reviews, opinion and leading edge journalism. Say what you want, but take a Sunday morning and afternoon off to read the Times cover to cover (if you can) and you’ll see what I mean. Don’t just take it for granted, because of the paper’s reputation, or because it’s been quoted from or talked about in news and movies since you were two. Read it once cover to cover and deny you’re less of a person than you were hours before when you picked it up — all two or three kilograms! (Sorry, tree people.)
I used to work for a newspaper conglomerate that published News Lite. The managers of the empire knew that busy people didn’t have time, and many didn’t have the interest — to read anything “in depth”. And in order to deliver bite-sized morsels of information people could digest, they peeled the onion until there was little left to eat. Reading theTimes on Sunday is like going to a farmer’s market in September. Two-page spreads on the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan, who too few Americans really know about, and fewer understand. Interviews with Centenarians who too often are passed over in favor of attention to youth culture. Articles on youth and growing up in America, the cost of education, and the more exorbitant costs of not having it. Political coverage by international correspondents who live and work close to the ground they cover. And, of course, so much more.No paper, of course, is perfect, and I’m in no position to tear wings from the dragon. But so much of what we see and hear on the web these days is a mirror of what the least-common-denominator print publishing offerings give us, that it’s a blessing the Times is still with us — and a sad fact of life that so many other great papers have died, not all of them with their boots on.
This issue of Ragazine has a lot to offer, too. We’re not just a Sunday read; we’re here two months at a time, and it’s OK to come back — again and again, we hope — until you’ve read us “cover to cover”.  Poetry, art, interviews, photography, fiction, creative non-fiction, music, reviews, travel and more, from around the world.

November-December 2010 brings you the photographic series by Aline Smithson, taken of her mother in a variety of poses, including the one at the top of this page; poems by Hannah Greenberg; Farsi poetry by ex-pat Iranian poet Ali Abdolrezaei in the original and in translation by Abol Froushan; an interview with Belgian-American artist Amy Swartelé; fiction by Paul Lisicky and Sarah Sarai; music columns byJeff Katz; a take on illegal immigration by politics editor Jim Palombo and guest writer Robert Murray Davis; a story of reconciliation with the harsh reality of a child’s death in creative non-fiction by James Benton; the Casual Observer followed byScott Hardin’s pane;our legal advice column for creative types, Feeding the Starving Artist; and, from Colorado, Art & About, where Jonathan Evans explores a bit of the blues.

There’s more, of course, but you’ll have to find it. And again, thanks for reading!






Volume 6, No. 5

September-October 2010

©Albert Watson

Taking the best shot yet

Welcome to another killer issue of

Photographer Albert Watson,  in an interview at his NYC studio, discusses aspects of his craft, the evolution of his career, the equipment he uses to produce his prints, and more.  Referred to byPhoto District News as “one of the most influential photographers of all time,” Watson generously allowed to reprint an extensive portfolio of images, many of which you’ll no doubt recognize from the covers and pages of Vogue, Rolling Stone and Harper’s Bazaar.  Showing no sign of slowing down, Watson has two book collections coming out this fall from PQ Blackwell publishing company, a solo show in Chelsea opening in October, and more than one project in the works.

Sara Ellison Lewis tells what it’s like for her to be a photo stylist in New York. Brookly-based sculptor Miya Ando explains what it means to her “to do good” in the world, a task that merely begins with making art. The cast and crew at Spool MFG, a gallery-performance space in Johnson City, New York, share part of their group’s latest production,Ampersand, a collage-like assemblage of history, poetry and art.

In Music, Jeff Katz reviews the latest musical offering from Eli “Paperboy” Reed, and looks back on 30 years of Paul Simon’s “One Trick Pony“. Jonathan Evansremembers Bob Marley a full 19 years after the reggae legend’s death. And, in Politics, San Miguel Allende, Mexico-based writer Lou Christine recounts his impressions of a 2007 trip to Havana that ring true even today.

On the literary front, there’s the Poetry of Emily Vogel, Tony Gruenewald, J.P. Smelcer and Rob Mustard; the Creative Non Fiction (CNF) of Marissa Fielstein, Fiction from  Mira Martin Parker and Jessie Carty; a book review of  Ted Greenwald’s 2008 volume “3″ by Kayleigh Wanzer, and the wry commentary of our Casual Observer Mark Levy. Levy also weighs in this month withShaun Vavra, offering legal advice in “Feeding the Starving Artist” — “Wait, Wasn’t That My Substantially Similar Idea?”

Rounding things out is the new strip from editorial cartoonist Jeff Hardin, whose first appearance in anchors the Casual Observer.

If all that’s not funky enough for you, we’ll just have to keep trying.




Thanks for reading!

August 26, 2014   No Comments

Gabriel Navar/Art-Interview




The Obsessions

of Gabriel Navar

Interview with the artist

by Mike Foldes

Q) Gabe, we first met a little more than a year ago at the closing party of the We Are You Project art exhibit at Kenkeleba on the Lower East Side of New York. You and your mentor, Mel Ramos, both have pieces in that traveling exhibit. How did you happen to get connected with WAYP?

A) We became involved because I responded to an exhibition (We Are You Project)  opportunity that sounded intriguing….  I sent an image and corresponded with the exhibition members, mainly Dr. José Rodeiro; he was (and is) very gracious and accommodating!

Q) Can you tell us a little about your background, where you grew up and went to school?

A) I grew up, primarily, in California; but more specifically, in Oakland, CA. I went to school at St. Elizabeth Elementary and High School. Then, I attended Encinal High School  (as a Junior and Senior) before attending College of Alameda (CA), where I earned an A.A. Degree in Social Sciences (1990), California University State University, East Bay (Hayward) (1992); and, finally, San Jose State University (MFA, 1997)


Gabriel Navar V9N6

Interview and gallery V9N6 2013


Q) Were your parents artists? Who encouraged you to pursue art as a livelihood? Couldn’t you have picked a more difficult career path?

A) No… My parents were not artists…. not sure how I became interested in art… must have been the local Catholic church, tv (cartoons, mainly) and/or the graffiti street walls… I remember enjoying crayons, “finger” paints, and spray-paint cans as a young(er) person.

Q) For the past year or so, at least, you’ve been generating a compendium of images featuring smart phones.  For awhile, I thought you were too much engaged with that core, but then I realized everywhere I walk, in New York, in Binghamton, Washington…. everyone is carrying on a romance with his or her phone. It’s frightening. Yet, your paintings go beyond just the image of a person with a phone to mix classical poses and pop articles, all representative of a special time, a peculiar renaissance of the 21st Century. How did you happen to become so obsessed? Did you have a series in mind at the beginning

A) Great observation…. I am not so sure that I am obsessed as much as what may be observed (in terms of obsessions… better stated as “addictions” to texting, facebooking, tweeting, blogging, and so on)… My paintings are,  more than anything, observations (even while observing my own obsessive “addictions”)… therefore, my work reflects not necessarily critiques, but, more specifically, observations and, in most cases, celebrations, critiques and  disappointments. By the way, I rarely think about a series in the beginning… I simply go with the flow and try to observe a connection in what I have been working on after a while (that means, for me, after perhaps 3-5 paintings).

Q) What is your preferred medium? What is it about that medium that “says it” for you?

A) My preferred medium is acrylics and pencils…..  the main reason for my interest in acrylics is that they dry relatively quickly and I am able to work and layer quickly…. I don’t have too much of an attention span ( I often am ready to move on to other ideas), patience and allergy-intolerance for oils…  I often use oil paints mostly for finishing glazes and details (due to my allergic reactions to them).

Q) I understand you recently moved and that it was quite a stressful time. What’s it like working in the new studio, compared with the old one

A) Fortunately, my new studio is just about the same (actually a bit bigger in square footage) than my former studio; therefore, moving studios is a sort of “non-issue.”

Q) How much has your heritage influenced your life and work? Do you consider yourself American-Hispanic, Hispanic American, Hispanic or American? Or, “None of the above.

 A) First and foremost, I simply consider myself a “citizen of the earth” and, simply put,  an artist. Any “heritage” influence is, of course, absolutely welcome and I am extremely proud (because it is “in my blood,” so to speak). Regarding “labels” and stereotypes (or, tragically, pigeon-holing), I only consider myself a Hispanic-American or a Californian, or an American artist for “marketing” and exhibition purposes, because, for an artist, being part of a group (or “clique”) may at times be beneficial.

Q) You also write poetry. Do you find the motivation or inspiration to write or paint are much the same, or is it a different force that steers you in one direction or another

A) Painting and writing have been a part of what I do for many, many years. However, I have been more enamored with painterly materials – more so than pens/pencils have been for writing.



G Navar 2


Q) What advice would have to offer a younger person considering a career in the arts?

A) The main thing that I would offer anyone considering a career in the arts is to pursue the arts not necessarily as a career, but as a life decision where one must see art and culture as a passion to pursue wholeheartedly (for life… not as a vocation or as a career).

Q) If you had to “do it over again,” would you take the same path? If not, what would you have done, or do, differently? 

A) My immediate answer is, no regrets! My only “stumbling area” is that I wish I would not have purchased a house at the “wrong” time” (in 2005, before the housing “bubble burst”), and not have taken a full-time teaching job that same year in a town so far from my beloved SF/Bay Area.  In retrospect, I should have stayed in the vibrant, energizing, culturally-rich and diverse SF/Bay Area and not moved to the Central Coast. On the plus side, since the Central Coast is very mellow, I have been able to concentrate and focus on developing my artistic “voice” without too many distractions. I am, by the way, still “searching”…. (it’s part of the fun creative challenge that I live for as an artist).

Q) Anything we didn’t touch on you’d like to comment about? 

A) No… but, perhaps, I’d like to say that I absolutely love what I do as an image-maker (whether it is through painting or through words).

Thank you very much!


Artist’s note:

“Regarding my wife, Heidi Schmitt…. she has been in my life for many years and has been not only an inspiration but also a great supporter and ally… there is much that may be said here, but the main things I wish to state is that she has not only been a muse, model, photographer, but also a web-site guru and mastermind (for, as well as social media comrade (mainly for facebook, twitter, tumbler, twitter, pintrest and wordpress)…. Regarding my parents, well, they were always pleased as long as I “stayed out of trouble” and pursued my education…. no matter what the subject (they, once again, were not exposed to “art”). Regarding my writing, I’ve been doing it as long as my poainting (the late ’80’s)…. however, I have not had the same discipline for writing as I have had for drawing and painting. As far as teaching is concerned, it may be fun at times… I’ve been teaching since the Summer of 2000. ) I’ve been teaching at the College level courses that include Painting, Drawing, Art Appreciation/Survey, Mexican Art History, Design, Color Theory… teaching is inspiring for me because it is usually and often a stimulating and inspiring opportunity to not only learn something new (from history, current-events, students, etc.), but also an opportunity to engage with a handful of up-and-coming, moitivated individuals who are absolutely interested in pursuing art! This milieu is invigorating to me!”


sky’s streams

swim, swim open flow
wavy stream dizzy streak
wet, lazy lake throw
moon beam goose beak

gravy stream fashions crow, so sleek!
Pleiades-gleam, life-tree freak
crocodilian, red-eyed, red-lined escrow
moss-pebbled twigs, mud-creeked, gray-slicked
tumbled, liked, un-liked, poked, tweeted, pinned, googled, youtubed,
huddled-down, heavy rain, perpetual seeking,

yet unsought, fleeting thoughts,
but not lost, just unrest…
when lost, though, found,
then lost again

words are seedlings, forests over forests

a sea inside claws away
at the belly, the cheeks
tongue licks the eyes, wandering pink
swim stream dizzy, night’s thousand creeks

sky screams
blue then white then gold
swim swim, flow moon’s hold
sing, muse, sing love-long beams
string string along life-strong dreams

strong dreams…
app 4 better days

the dream I swim is a moonless
marmalade of purple hues,
a limp proxy for night,
shove down the cave-throat
of a day dried weary…

throw a color-bomb at me, yes !
directly at my rain-craved brain,
because these days have been khaki-washed,
graffiti-less and chewed,
not unlike decayed, carved pumpkins…
pale-orange, gray and dreary…

drenched and stormed under
a star-rise spell, twitter-ville
is streaming, spinning, new bull-shit
has gone viral,
shoved down the cyber-throat
of consciousness gone
humorously eerie…
© G. Navar 


About the interview:

This interview was conducted via e-mail in September and October 2013. Mike Foldes is founder and managing editor of Ragazine.CC. You can read more about him in “About Us”.



November 2, 2013   1 Comment

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September 1, 2013   No Comments

Pay It Forward

Reese's-Rosie, by Mel Ramos

Reese’s-Rosie, by Mel Ramos



Mel Ramos and Gabriel Navar

By    Dr. José Rodeiro,

Coordinator of Art History,
New Jersey City University, Jersey City, New Jersey.

The “Pay It Forward” art exhibition is an inspiring look at a remarkable mentor/mentee relationship initiated in 1991, when Gabriel Navar enrolled in Mel Ramos’s “Painting 1” course at California State University, East Bay.  Additionally, the show provides insight into the California School’s stylistic legacy: a continuum from one generation to the next, charting an art historical trajectory marked by the four great sequoias of Bay-Area painting: Richard Diebenkorn, Wayne Thiebaud, Mel Ramos and Gabriel Navar.  Thereby acknowledging “a” generous artistic inheritance genially passed down from Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993) to Wayne Thiebaud, and then from Thiebaud to Ramos, and manifesting in the 21st Century in Navar’s oeuvre.


Express Nonsense 2, Gabriel Navar

Express Nonsense 2, Gabriel Navar, 2012

Since the 1960s, Ramos (more than any other US-artist) vividly envisioned imaginative Pop Art fantasies (which in truth) pioneered an early groundbreaking form of radical-Postmodernism.  This merger of Pop Art with radical-Postmodernism is evident in his images that ingeniously reference the old masters (i.e., Botticelli, Velazquez, Boucher, David, Ingres, Manet, Bonnard and Modigliani). In fact, not since Modigliani and Matisse has a painter so appropriately apprehended the sublime sensuality of feminine beauty as Ramos has.   Ramos’s signature Pop Art style consistently depicts sensual female subjects posing (in pin-up poses) alongside icons of “The America Dream” (i.e., commercial products, groceries, animals, and other mass-media props).  A sublime Neo-Classicist unconsciously inspired by muses (especially Erato, the muse of sexuality and music), his art is simultaneously lyrical and monumental; these marvelous contradictory aesthetic tendencies are also apparent in all the great California Rock ‘n’ Roll songs generated by The Beach Boys, The Mamas & the Papas, The Grateful Dead and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.   Ramos is unquestionably the only contemporary visual artist that has boldly endeavored to metaphorically portray the Jeffersonian “The Pursuit of Happiness,” while symbolically approximating or pursuing (via his art) an authentic and unfeigned California-version of “The American Dream.”

Richard Diebenkorn's  "Cityscape", 1963

Richard Diebenkorn’s “Cityscape”, 1963


Unlike Ramos, muses do not inspire the disturbing and bizarre images of Gabriel Navar, whose motivation, according to Federico Garcia Lorca’s essay The Play and Theory of the Duende (1933), probably derives from a confluence of angels/devils.   Yet, despite Navar’s obvious fascination with the apparent (although poorly veiled) underlying Gothic horror of American life, which is described throughout US literature, i.e., Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allen Poe, Henry James, Edith Wharton and John Updike; Navar’s  viewers must be warned that (like a cobra) he captivates his audience with shocking images that intrigue, and then, unexpectedly forces unsuspecting viewers to confront their deepest fear(s).  Via Youtube™ references and “platforms,” he generates innovative and new “push/pull” effect(s) that satirically afford an iconological critique leveled against high-tech media-culture with its glut of visual information, intending to brainwash, control, side-track, seduce and/or sell something to intended audiences.  Navar’s Web-based imagery examines 21st century technophilia, which utterly permeates contemporary social-consciousness, manifesting as web-surfing; participating in numerous social networking sites, enjoying chronic Youtube™ viral-phenomena, or roaming through the vast world of “apps.”


Pay it Forward

Pay It Forward

If Ramos is lyrically (musically) and harmoniously painting the “American Dream,” then Navar is poetically depicting the “American Nightmare.”  By analyzing 21st Century digital communication, smart applications, and other Habermasian ideal-communication EtherNet intrusions, Navar offers a techno-world where sadomasochistic self-victimization and hyper-alienation accentuate isolation and paranoia, similar to the prophetic Mexican Surrealist poems of Octavio Paz, Juan Rulfo, or the Italian Metaphysical School paintings of Georgio DeChirico, as well as is evident in Diebenkorn’s lonely and abandoned stark California coastline vistas.   Thus, the California School is split between the bright hopeful optimism of Ramos and Thiebaud; and the empty tragic despair that haunts the paintings of Diebenkorn (conveying distant vast sociological alienation) or Navar’s panache for dramatic confrontation (devising and divulging intimate domestic psychological alienation).



app_4_beingdistrac2, Gabriel Navar, 2011

Notwithstanding their clear distinctions, Ramos and Navar have numerous things in common, e.g., they both challenge innate US-Puritanical-conservativism; both create prolifically with an energetic inborn work-ethic;  both utilize “high-key” clashing, pulsating, and intense “punchy” chroma; both predominantly employ human figures in their work (unlike  Diebenkorn with his vistas and Thiebaud with his bodegones), Ramos and Navar exploit advertising, billboards, logos, products (subliminal merchandise sales-strategies) and their art is constantly alluding to pop-culture.  Their formal compositions rely generally on “centralized” monumental heroic figural images, replete with subtle or abrupt emblematic iconology (for Ramos, sexuality, sensuality, seduction and erotic-fantasies are key elements); while Navar transmits, in a “tongue-in-cheek” manner, prospective horror-film-scenes, which capture both sinister and, at times, comical human dramas.  These Navarian dramas are disturbing scenes from a “new” hyper-technological Neo-Theater of the Absurd, signifying irrational, nihilistic, and anxiety-ridden Post-Information Age vignettes that fosters alienation, and “Neo-neosurrealism.”

* * *

406  14th Street.
Curated by Eric Murphy and Woody Johnson
June 1- July 28, 2012OPENING RECEPTION: June 1 (6:00 PM- 9:00 PM)
Contact:   Eric Murphy, 510-465-8928
Gabriel Navar interviews mentor Mel Ramos!

May 25, 2012   1 Comment

Latin in America

“WE ARE YOU Project” 

in Poetry and Art

 Wilmer Jennings Gallery at Kenkeleba

Editor’s note: The following poems were read at the recent WE ARE YOU Project International reading that took place April 7, 2012, at Wilmer Jennings Gallery (219 E. 2nd Street, NYC), amid a select exhibition of more than 30 artists who each contributed a single piece they felt best addresses the WE ARE YOU Project theme.

We Are You Reading at Wilmer Jennings


The theme, as described by Dr. Jose Rodeiro in an essay that appears on the Project’s web site  is this:  “The We Are You Project International represents the first comprehensive 21st Century coast-to-coast exhibition depicting current Latino socio-cultural, political, and economic conditions, reflecting triumphs, achievements, risks and vulnerabilities, confronting and affecting all Latinos “within” as well as “outside” the USA. The primary concerns of this exhibit are: 1). Latino immigration, 2). Latinization, 3). the current Anti-Latino backlash, 4). the rise of Pan-Latino transculturalism, as well as 5). investigating diverse Latino identities in the 21st Century.”

Our thanks to Dr. Rodeiro for helping to collect these poems and secure permissions from the poets for publication in Ragazine.

* * *


We Are You Project International

Front row (L to R): Pablo Caviedes; Gabriel Navar; Carlos Chavez; Carmen Valle; Carmen D. Lucca; Duda Penteado, and Raul Villarreal. Back Row (L to R): Raphael Montañez Ortíz, Josephine Barreiro, Alan Britt (aka “El Alambre”), Dr. José Rodeiro, and Nelson Álvarez. On the floor: Dr. George Nelson Preston.

* * *

ALAN BRITT (“El Britto”) (aka: “El Alambre” “the Wire”)

Considered one of America’s most published poets, the Cherokee poet Alan Britt teaches English/Creative Writing at Towson University. His recent books are Alone with the Terrible Universe (2011), Greatest Hits (2010), Hurricane (2010),Vegetable Love (2009),Vermilion (2006), Infinite Days (2003), Amnesia Tango (1998) and Bodies of Lightning (1995). Essays recently in The Cultural Review, Clay Palm Review and Arson. Interviews and poetry (selected) recently in Steaua (Romania), Latino Stuff Review and Poet’s Market. Other poems (selected) in Agni, The Bitter Oleander, Bloomsbury Review, Bolts of Silk (Scotland), Christian Science Monitor, Cider Press Review, Cold Mountain Review, Comstock Review, The Cultural Journal, Darkling Magazine, English Journal, Epoch, Fire (UK), Flint Hills Review, Fox Cry Review, Gallerie International (India), Gradiva (Italy), The Great American Poetry Show, Greensboro Review, Hecale (UK), Kansas Quarterly, Karamu, The Kerf, (Chile), Magyar Naplo (Hungary), Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Midwest Quarterly, The Minnesota Review, Pacific Review, Pedrada Zurda (Ecuador), Puerto del Sol, Queen’s Quarterly (Canada), The Recusant (UK), Revista Solar (Mexico), Rosebud, Second Aeon (Wales), Sou’wester, Square Lake, Strangeroad, Sunstone, Tulane Review, Writers’ Journal, plus the anthologies: Emergency Verse: Poetry in Defence of the Welfare State, by Caparison an imprint of The Recusant, United Kingdom: 2011;The Poet’s Cookbook: 33 American Poets with German Translations, Forest Woods Media Productions/Goerthe Institute, Washington, DC: 2010; American Poets Against the War, Metropolitan Arts Press, Chicago/Athens/Dublin: 2009 and Vapor transatlántico (Transatlantic Steamer), bi-lingual anthology of Latin American and North American poets, Hofstra University Press/Fondo de Cultura Económica de Mexico/Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos de Peru, 2008; Fathers: Poems About Fathers,St. Martin’s Press: 1998, and La Adelfa Amarga: Seis Poetas Norteamericanos de Hoy, Ediciones El Santo Oficio, Peru, 2003.



We rise on jaguar wings orbiting

a bronze waist before crossing

the torch of Liberty.


We sling ruthless reds, bruised

golds & tropical greens across

hurricanes chewing the Atlantic

coast off Cuba.


We surface the Amazon

with webbed toes.


Freedom’s eyeglasses fogged we

enter each holy house as though

entering a proverbial hall of mirrors,

aware the moon nursing Manhattan

skyscrapers also splinters the icy peaks

of Peru, ignites Caymans in Columbia,

the Quichua in Ecuador, yucca lightning

in Mexico, plus Bolívar’s bones in Venezuela.


We chase amnesia thermals, sometimes,

but mostly we prefer heirloom tomatoes,

lean meats, exotic spices, multigrains

& a dozen-year-old California Syrah

after an exhausting day of painting our

dreams across a canvas called America.


 © Alan Britt



Born in 1971 in Cotacachi, Ecuador, Caviedes has been exhibiting his work for the past twelve years in Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Washington DC, New York, Colombia and various cities of Ecuador. He is known primarily as a visual artist; but, his forays into poetry are always brilliant.  He studied at the Art Institute in Paris and at the College of Plastic Arts In Ecuador under Daniel Reyes. He won the 1994 ¨Paris Prize.¨  In 1998, in Paris, France, he was selected for ¨Emergent Artists of Latin American and the Caribbean¨ exhibition: A new generation of Artist.  In 2002, in Barcelona, Spain, he obtained honorable mention at the Second Biennial International of Painting ¨Vilassar del Mar.¨

In 2004, he exhibited in ¨Art in a Bottle¨ at the Agora Gallery, New York City.  In 2008, he was selected in the 31st Small Works Art Competition (NYU).  In 2009, he exhibited in Fusion: American Classics Meets Latin American Art, at the Biggs Museum of American Art, Dover, Delaware.  Also that year, he was selected for the show: ¨Ecuadorian Contemporary Art¨ at United Nations, New York.   Just recently he showed his art at the group exhibition: ¨Ecuadorian Renaissance,” Queens Museum of Art, New York, and also in the Second Bronx Latin American Art Biennial, New York.



Por las familias divididas,

por los hijos de los sin papeles,

por los que pagan más por menos derechos,

por los que trabajan mucho y consiguen poco,

por los de pocas oportunidades en el país de las oportunidades,

por los explotados y marginados del ayer, de hoy y de siempre,

por los que vinieron por el sueño americano y encontraron pesadillas,

por los expatriados que aguardan su patria para un mañana,

por los que mueren en el intento, y por los que cruzaron ya la frontera,

por los que viven en las sombras a pesar que el sol es para todos.

Por todos y cada uno de ellos….

Queremos un país con rostro más humano.

We are you!


© Pablo Caviedes. New York 2011




For the separated families,

For the children of undocumented workers,

For those who pay taxes yet enjoy no rights,

For those who work hard and get nothing in return,

For those who don’t get a break in the land of opportunity,

Fort the exploited and marginalized of yesteryear, today, and forever,

for those who sought the American dream and encountered many nightmares,

for the expatriates who await to regain their motherland in the near future,

for those who died trying and for those who managed to cross the border,

For those who live in the shadows despite the fact that the sun shines

for everybody.

For each and everyone of them…

We want a nation with a human face.

We are you!


© Pablo Caviedes. New York 2011




Born in Puerto Rico, Carmen D. Lucca is a bilingual poet, author-translator  of the first collection of Julia De Burgos’ poetry. Ms. Lucca, whose poetry has been published in Ireland, Latin America, Puerto Rico and the United States, is listed in the Directory of American Poets & Writers. Her awards include the Palma De Burgos, a Silver Medal from the Academie des Arts, Sciences et Lettres, Paris, France, a 108th Wing Essential Piece  for her contribution to the National Hispanic Heritage Month events honoring Julia De Burgos at McGuire Air Base, and a Disney Teacher-Award nomination. Ms. Lucca’s most recent poetry book is The Sunset Watcher, a collection of poetic meditations based on her observations of life.



Because Law SB1070 threatens my Fourth Amendment rights,

I won’t  go to Arizona,

I won’t  go to Alabama,

To Utah, I won’t go!

Because I could, with my Latino looks, catch the eyes

Of  despots or state officers with power to harass me,

I won’t go to Alabama,

I won’t go to Arizona,

To Georgia, I won’t go!


Because the terrifying Tea Partiers have joined hands

With the rabid Right Wingers to monger fear across this land.

I won’t go to Arizona

I won’t go to Alabama,

To Indiana, I won’t go!


Because I dread the re- incarnation of the fetid Jim Crow,

And any law resembling the Black Codes of the South

I will not go to Arizona

I will not go to Alabama

Or to Utah …

I will not go to Georgia

I will not go to Indiana

Or to South Carolina.

To those states , inclined to spit on the Bill of my Rights,

I won’t go. I won’t go!

©Carmen D. Lucca



Porque la ley SB1070 amenaza mis derechos bajo la Cuarta Enmienda,

No ire a Arizona

No ire a Alabama.

A Arizona no ire!.

Porque  mi presencia Latina podria atraer la atencion

Del despota oficial de policia estatal con poder de hostigar,

No ire a Alabama,

No ire a Arizona,

A Alabama no ire!

Porque los furibundos Festejantes del Te van de la mano

Con los rabiosos de la Extrema Derecha  promoviendo  temor por el pais.

A Alabama no ire,

A Arizona no ire,

No ire. No ire!

Porque me aterra  la re-encarnacion del  fetido Jim Crow,

Y  cualquier ley parecida a los Codigos Negros del Sur,

No ire a Arizona.

A Alabama no ire.

No ire a Utah,

No ire a Georgia,

No ire a Indiana

Ni al Sur de Carolina

A esos estados,  dispuestos a escupir  la Carta de mis Derechos,

No ire. No ire!

© Carmen D. Lucca



Gabriel Navar, a California Latino, has always enjoyed making images not only through drawing and painting, but also with words. He has been writing in a sort of “stream of consciousness”, “automatic writing” approach for many, many years. It was not until the late 1980s-early 1990s, however, that he started to write seriously and began organizing his writings into notebooks. Furthermore, while an undergraduate at Alameda College, in California, he considered majoring in writing. Through high school and into college, his initial influences were writers that include literary giants such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Edgar Allan Poe, and Ray Bradbury. When he was encouraged (by his painting instructor, mentor and long-time friend, Mel Ramos) and decided to pursue visual arts (specifically painting) as a major in college at California State University, Hayward (now known as CSU, East Bay), he continued to pursue writing alongside his painting. He went on earn his MFA at San Jose State University (in California) because he had developed a passion for image-making…. It was a great time!

To this day, he continues to create poems that inspire his paintings, and vice versa.

So…  what “triggers” a poem for him? It could be a great number of things including a random word or memory that “pops” into his mind (and resonates, for one reason or another), images from a dream, thoughts that stay with him after having listened to the latest headlines on CNN or public radio, or colors that linger in his mind after having experienced them in the morning or evening sky. Navar has had the great privilege of collaborating with Dr. Paul Basler, Professor of Music, University of Florida, Gainesville, on three sets of song movements (involving Navar’s words, music and choral singing) titled Cantos Alegres, Dias Divinos and Embrace Creation. The poem, song and music collaborations have been published and performed internationally for over 10 years.


a walk with Carmen 


after having completed chores around the house and shutting off the television….

… tired of hearing those news channel talking heads chatter about

Arizona’s then Oklahoma’s then Connecticut’s anti-immigrant rhetoric,


she decides to go for a walk and enjoy the gorgeous gray overcast afternoon…

soft patches of violet-blue slowly poking through like widening eyes in the heavens

reawakening to shower sun-mist…. it’s always majestic


oh yes, what a beautiful Saturday, she thought, walking through sleepy streets,

lawns trimmed, jasmine bushes poked by hummingbirds, blond children chasing one another

while grown-ups gossip amongst themselves, some frowning, some grinning


after having walked for about thirty minutes or so,

she notices screeching sounds emerging from the increasingly darkening sky

now turned into a deafening orange – blinding and hollering…


out of the corner of her eye, a middle-aged, self-entitled man with an unjustified ego

swings a blunt object at a green being….

his thoughts, his words resonate and hardly fade:

“go back to where you came from, alien!”

© Gabriel  Navar  2012



Raphael Ortiz is Director of Visual Arts (Mason Gross, Rutgers University).  He founded and was the first director of the El Museo Del Barrio in New York City in 1969. His sculptures are included in many museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, where he has twice been included in the Whitney Biennial. He has created mixed-media ritual performances and installations for museums and galleries in Europe and Canada and throughout the United States. His computer-laser-video works are in numerous museum collections, including the Ludwai Museum in Cologne, Germany, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. His video Dance Number 22 won the Gran Prix at the 1993 Locarno International Video Festival of Switzerland. He is considered one of the USA’s most creative visual artists, performance artists, and poets.



(The Emma Lazarus’s “New Colossus” Variation)

























© Mr. and Mrs. Raphael Montañez Ortíz



Duda Penteado was born in São Paulo in 1968, and studied at FIAM – SP.  Throughout the 1990s, he  exhibited in Brazil, then moved to New York City where he obtained a position at Muriel Studio in Soho, NYC, as an assistant to Sheila Marbain, the inventor of a new “silk monotype” technique, which was employed by many leading contemporary artists.  Active in Brazil and the USA, as well as in Europe throughout the late-1990s and the early 21st Century, he showed in The Jersey City Museum, Jersey City, N.J.; Biennale Internazionale Dell’Arte Contemporanea, Florence, Italy, 2009; Monique Goldstrom Gallery, NYC; The Museum of Art and Origins, Harlem, NYC (NY); BACI-The Brazilian American Cultural Institute, Washington, DC; Museo de Las Americas, Denver, CO; CITYarts 272nd Mural, “Nature is Love on Earth”, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, The St. John’s Recreation Center, Crown Heights, Brooklyn, NYC, 2008, 2009; Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY, New Jersey City University, Jersey City, NJ, Kean University, Union, NJ; Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ; Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ; Drew University, Madison, NJ; Middlebury College, Vermont; UFES- Universidade Estadual do Espírito Santo, Vitoria, ES; UNESP-Universidade Estadual Paulista, SP, and SESC – SP.

He was President of the Artist Certification Board, Jersey City, NJ, until 2010. His  awards and recognition from various institutions in the United States include: Urban Artist Fellowship Award, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT; Goldman Sachs Student Art Project Grant, Jersey City, NJ (2006, 2007, 2008); Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; The Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, Claremont, CA; Special Guest for Artistic Achievement & Commitment to YMCA Greater, NY-Youth, NYC; American Graphic Design Award, Interactive Multimedia Installation, NYC; Humanitarian Award from the Hudson County Chapter of the American Conference on Diversity, Jersey City, NJ, and received a Kappa Pi International Honorary Art Fraternity Award, Eta Rho Chapter, New Jersey City University, Jersey City, NJ.  Along with Mario Tapia and Dr. Carlos Hernandez, he has been at the helm of the We Are You Project since 2005.   For more about Penteado art and career explore this URL:



America, America…
At the turn of the millennium…
Still cries…
Still fights…
Still ignores…
Still sounds… in the four corners of the earth.

America “MADRE” America.

Not longer, white, blue and red …
A new sound…
A new color…
A new brush stroke…
yellow, mahogany, purple, scarlet, gold…

No longer only hands of hard labor…
But !!!!!! Lawyers, Judges, Doctors, Educators…
A Senator…
A Governor…
A voice shaping a new culture…

Latino, North America…
America Latina…
We are you…
We are Americans !!!!!!



América, América…

En el cambio del milenio…

Todavía llora…

Todavía pelea…

Todavía ignora…

Todavía suena… en las cuatro esquinas de la tierra.


América “MADRE” América.


Ya no, blanco, azul y rojo…

Un nuevo sonido…

Un nuevo color…

Un nuevo toque de pintura…

amarillo, caoba, púrpura, escarlata, dorado…



Ya no sólo manos de trabajo duro…

Sino!!!!!! Abogados, Jueces, Médicos, Educadores…

Un Senador…

Un Gobernador…

Una voz moldeando una nueva cultura…


Latino, América del Norte…

América Latina…

Somos ustedes…

Somos Estadounidenses!!!!!!


©  Duda Penteado  2005


George Nelson Preston was born in NYC on December 14th, 1938, into an art and music family. Preston’s poems have appeared in journals such as Beat Coast East, Black Renaissance Noire, and Dialectical Anthropology. His “Oda a Nelson Mandela” was solicited as the keynote poem at the opening of the Festival Mandela in Santo Domingo 2010.

Dr. Preston earned the Ph. D. in Art History from the Faculty of Pure Science and Philosophy, Columbia University in 1973.   His career in art history and criticism includes installation of the African Hall of the Brooklyn Museum in1968; Curator of the America 500 exhibition for the government of Argentina in 1992, in which he replaced the usual critical catalog essay with Belle Lettre style poems for each work of art. He is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Florence Biennale; and, he has written several books, articles and reviews on contemporary and African Art. Most recently Preston was on the planning committee for The Primero Encontro AfroAtlantico at the Museu AfroAbrasil in São Paulo in 2011.  Preston is a recipient of the prestigious “Editor’s Choice Award for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry.”

Preston is co-founder of the Museum of Art and Origins, an affiliate of AMAFRO, Salvador da Bahia and Museu Céu Aberto, São Paulo. His career in poetry started with his founding of The Artist’s Studio.  In the book Kerouac and Friends, the photo journalist Fred W. Mc Darrah wrote the following:

“George Nelson Preston had a storefront “Artist’s Studio” at 48 East 3rd Street where he orchestrated the most important poetry readings ever held in New York. One historic program on Sunday February 15, 1959, included Kerouac, Ginsberg, Corso, Orlovsky, LeRoi Jones, Garcia Villa, [and] Ted Joans.”

Norman Mailer, Paddy Cheyevsky, Seymour Krim, Larry Rivers and Frank O’Hara were also frequent readers at the Artist’s Studio.


It Was 1965, Summer and Hot


flashes kinky-curled-up our hair

and Diana just out of London,

lissome –  as in taught – lycurve

dandauburn hair guilded in tremolo sunlight

our newly whet ardor quaking our clothes.

She was touring and heading for the Alamo

with no more moments to linger in Manhattan


where weʼd met on Broadway

right in front of College Walk and I said

“letʼs meet, go down to Mexico.”

And she took off her panties right there,

“Give these to me

when we get down

south of the Border, George.”


So! You think this is cool?


And before the sun was under

the cliffs across Broadway

over Henrik Hudsonʼs River

I was gone from my job

at the embroidery design factory

wayupintheBronx under the L


! And why, I donʼt know why,

! but I thought about this movie I saw in 1966,

! and who the hell was Porfirio Diaz? But anyway…


So! You think this is cool, huh?

So did I —until we saw a statue

of Lord Tlaloc. He had telescopic eyes,

behind them lurked a million lacrimal glands

presumed to turn prayers to abundant rain

and a coronary problem fed by sacrifices

of conch shells, whole jaguars, jade celts, sting ray spines

and woe made of palpitating ripped out human hearts.


The campesinos ….uh, the line when the hancendero

 asks, “what did you say your name…” and he says,

“Zapata. Emiliano Zapata.” Alright. So the campesinos…


they were the bleakest clothed trees I could imagine.

Sleeves turned inside-out by humanityʼs void


and so we read the ancient way of writing

on the battered parapets of Quetzalcoatlʼs temple at Teotihuacán

and in the chiseled embroidery of Lord Chaacʼs stony poncho

further South at Chihén Itzá and the campesinos

being suitors of bare lives,

they chased the currents of Godʼs tears….

(gun shots) No, the horse!

! Get the horse! Kill the horse,

! donʼt let the horse escape,

no dejalo escabillerse ….kill his horse…


©George Nelson Preston, Atzcapotzalcualco, Mexico and NYC. August, 1965   



Carmen Valle is the author of nine books of poetry, among them Trashumante, Haiku de Nueva York and Esta Casa Flotante y Abierta. She also published a book of short stories Diarios Robados and a novel Tu Version de las Cosas. She has a doctorate in Latin American Literature and teaches at City Tech (CUNY).




Anémona, pulpo, dulce tortuga,

desértico lagartijo, taladro en busca de agua

escorpión militante de las dunas,

brizna de hierba, maguey.

Amapola de las carreteras,

gardenia del jardín oculto,

gomera hecho de leche,

árbol de lilas, limonero.

Guayabas, guanábanas goteadas,

liana aviadora en la jungla,

cebra en la planicie,

flamingo y águila suntuosa,

nube ballena antes del aguacero,

cometa escurridizo en tránsito

al planeta inexplorado.

*De “Esta casa flotante y abierta”, Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, 2004.

© Carmen Valle 2012


April 14, 2012   Comments Off on Latin in America

Art of Chuck Plosky/Interview


A clay mask made by Chuck Plosky


An Interview with


By Dr. Jose Rodeiro

Art Editor

Within New Jersey City University’s labyrinthine, energy-filled ceramic studio, RAGAZINE art editor, Dr. José Rodeiro, sat down with renowned ceramicist Chuck Plosky for an insightful conversation concerning Plosky’s extensive (seven-year-long), stimulating and affable association with a vibrant ceramics community in Tonalá, Jalisco (Mexico).  This community strongly affected his new, distinctive and expressive shamanic oeuvre, especially his spectacular synesthetic Whistles and Flutes, the Instrumentos Series, created during Plosky’s Fulbright Fellowship Year (2012) in Mexico

The interview provides a clear window into Tonalá, center of Jalisco’s current ceramic art scene, as well as furnishing insight into Mexican cultural life.  Notably, it explores the creative spirit of a master ceramicist, exploring his inspiration(s) and aspiration(s).  In describing his art, two terms, shamanic and synesthetic, are mentioned, because both reveal Plosky’s inimitable 21st Century trans-cultural contributions to contemporary art.  At their artistic core, his current series of Whistles and Flutes are shamanic because they visibly “shape-shift.”  When played, they dynamically metamorphose,  transmogrify, by altering inanimate artifacts (i.e., musical instruments) into living animist hybrid animals, each with a unique personality, resonance, timbre and voice (“sounds”).  

The very idea of a visual artifact emitting sound is synesthetic — a term whose prefix derives from the Greek “syn” connoting  fusion, the ability to connect discordant things, permitting them to unite  or “come together.”  The term ends in  a composite-suffix “aisthesis” or “aesthesis,” which signifies  “perception” or “experience.”   With these definitions in mind, Plosky’s Whistles and Flutes amplify each creation’s shamanic, poetic and animistic “seen/sound.” This rare capacity for visual and auditory transmutation permits an artistic and creative psycho-metamorphosis magically capable of transferring one sense into another (e.g., sounds heard by the eyes, or hybrid-animal forms seen by the ears). Plosky’s recent clay sculptural creations reveal a genuine synesthetic “visual/audible” artistic power, which is primal (primitive), folkloric, childlike and sophisticated. As such, these Instrumentos are reminiscent of such elite creative veins (or the rarefied stratospheres) of Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Joan Miro and Jean Dubuffet, as well as other masters mentioned throughout the interview.


Chuck Plosky demonstrating in Zacatecas, México

JR:  Throughout your artistic career you have visited several foreign places. Yet, in recent years, Mexico persistently has become a prevailing focus for artistic inspiration.  Why?    What first attracted you to Mexico and why are you repeatedly drawn to Jalisco in particular?

CP:  I’m particularly interested in Tonalá, Jalisco, México. It’s a magical place where artisans/artists use their work in clay to tell stories, histories and express personal and societal visions. I learned of Tonalá after visiting an exhibition of Mexican popular art at The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian–New York .  The show presented work in all media, from each of the 31 Mexican states and the capital.  I was fascinated by the strength of the forms and the intensity of the images exhibited from Tonalá.  I visited that show at least six times.

Chuck Plosky with artists in Tonalá, Jalisco, México

Chuck Plosky with artists in Tonalá, Jalisco, México

For the last seven years I have lived in Tonalá for four months each year and have come to realize what is most special for me are the people and their connection to ceramics, their intense emotional attachment to the techniques and imagery of the generations of Tonallan artisans/artists that preceded them.

As I learn the local ceramic techniques, the workability of the local clays, the local brush making skills, and the use of the brush made from cat, dog and squirrel hair, the preparation of colorants and firing techniques; I find myself deeply connected to Tonalá and its people as though I’ve been here for centuries. The imagery seeps into my bones.  I became familiar with the “Nagual (also spelled “nahual”), an important creature in the local mythology.  He/she/it is a trickster, a shape-changer like “coyote” among the peoples of the southwestern USA.  Although stories of the Nahual are not always easy to understand, they provide opportunities for humans to examine their lives and their community.

JR:   Concerning your new musical instrument (flutes and whistles) series, explain the creative and technical process which you employ to appropriately merge (or match) your aesthetic concerns with each item’s sound-making capabilities.   How do you ensure or maintain their unique ability to convey sound ?

CP:  I began making whistles and flutes while working as a Fulbright Fellow in Tonalá.  There was not much time to focus on my large pieces and it was my good fortune to meet Maestro Martin Ibarra at the festival/exhibition known as “Feria de los Maestros del Arte” held annually at Lake Chapala, Jalisco.  Maestro Martin is highly respected for his incredible skill as artist/craftsman for the beautifully designed and executed Virgins which symbolize various cities in México. While Sr. Martin Ibarra was standing near his work at the Feria, he was making whistles, which he says are his “diversions.”   He responded to my “how are these sounds developed?”,  by spending the next five hours showing me how to make whistles and demonstrating how sound changes as the form changes.   Later, I again was very lucky to meet Don Moises Rosas Gálan, who taught me how to make flutes.  Don Moises is recognized as the person who proposed a strategy to rescue the art of making and playing the chirimia, an oboe-like instrument made of clay or wood.  Don Moises also showed me how to alter the sounds in the whistles.  I am constantly learning through experience how the sound chamber, wall thickness, and placement of holes can develop character or voice in the instrument. My most recent instruments produce two or more sounds at the same time almost like a harmonica.

The imagery sculpted, drawn and colored derives from my joy in being a part of Tonalá, where the people affectionately introduce me as “a Tonalteca without legal papers.”



fluteA clay whistle made by Chuck Plosky in Tonalá, Jalisco, México[jwplayer mediaid=”13650″]

Using pre-hispanic techniques including BARRO BRUÑIDO (polished clay “TERRA SIGILLATA”), BARRO NEGRO (clay impregnated with carbon) BARRO ENSEBADA (clay polished with fat before painting and firing). These clay whistles and flutes were made by Chuck Plosky in Tonalá, Jalisco, México.


JR:   Within your recent visual art, why has sound or music become a major interest or aspiration?

CP:   Sculptural commentaries on the beliefs and societal structures drove much of my earlier work in Tonalá. The goal of my early work in México had been to use traditional imagery to comment on México and the strictures placed on Mexican society by Spain.  My point of view was as a fly on the wall seeing what is going on, while still being an outsider examining another reality.  I used local myths, history, architecture, celebrations and things that were discussed in the street and homes as my points of departure. In Tonalá, the most common shape of the “Nahual “ is feline, often a lion.  As the whistles and flutes developed, I visualize this shape changer and I allow “this” vision to become the character of the instrument.

Sound has become important because each of these mythical creatures have their own distinctive voices.  As I answer your question, I am suddenly aware that my interest in making whistles and flutes that have a voice may be my response to a problem in Tonalá.  Many citizens feel the government “does not know the people have a voice.”  The problem has gone on for so long that most people have given up trying to voice their needs and opinions.

JR:  When, I look at your new work, I immediately think of Modern artists, who courageously emulated the art of children, e.g., Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Joan Miro, and Jean Dubuffet, as well as others.  Do you see these (or any other) art historical allusions — as well?

CP:  This question is very interesting especially in regard to the instruments. When I look at the completed instrument, I can see what you mean about childlike, but when I work on them I feel that I’m in a conversation with each creature as its full-realization of itself emerges.  I’ve shown these to artist friends and they say, “I saw these in Russian “folk art” or “I saw these in Italian folk art.”  Most Mexicans say, “Oh that is a Nagual or other creature from Mexican popular folklore. In retrospect, I feel I’m working at a level of reality where cultures merge. When my training as a visual artist imposes itself on the work in a good way, it makes the image stronger; but sometimes it works to the detriment of the basic image: like being “profound” when a sigh would suffice.


Chuck Plosky / Pottery


JR:  In the 20th and 21st Century, what inherently motivates artists to reexamine the art of children?

CP:  Artists of the 20th and 21st century’s have studied the art of children, primitives, and the mentally different (ill) because by the end of the 19th century “adult” “rational” “academic” ways of making art seemed to have reached a technical and societal dead-end. The search continues for a way to express (depict) the horrors of war and a world where scientific reality is so un-real?

JR:   Who are the most important 20th and 21st Century ceramists that have inspired your current aesthetic or visual direction?

CP:  My regular work in clay covers many forms from furniture to large-scale studies of the architecture of ceramic vessels (  I am aware of the history of art and architecture, and the development of three-dimensional imagery on computers. The most forceful multifaceted artist/architect is Antoni Gaudí. Some of the visual artists whose work has affected me include Picasso, Ingres, Chagall, Durer, Bosch, Barbara Hepworth, David Smith, Jacob Lawrence, Cycladic Figures, Mexican muralists, Marge Israel, Anton Pevsner, Kitaoji Rozanjin, Richard Diebenkorn, and several styles of Chinese calligraphy.

Woops , sorry. My mind went to the important influences.  For ceramists,  Peter Voulkos, Tony Hepburn, Marge Israel, Mary Frank, Peter Gourfain.  Stephen De Staebler, Gertraud Möhwald, Richard Hirsch, David MacDonald, Robert Sperry, Fred Bauer, Robert Winokur, Rudy Autio, Graham Marks, Shöji Hamada, William Daley, Ruth Duckworth, Carlo Zauli, Picasso, Elsbeth Woody, Rosanjin, many periods of Japanese, Chinese, and Korean ceramics especially those where clay is treated as visually and tactically important.   Currently, I’m interested in Korean 15th and 16th Century Buncheong ware and the vessels of Tonalá, Jalisco, from the stately beautiful drawn images, to the fantasy sculptural images by the Medrano family.  Tonalá is a place where almost everyone is doing the same thing differently.  The trail of these differences is the art of Tonalá evolving; perhaps this is part of the magic of Tonalá.

Going to art school gave me instant access to centuries of experience shared by the academic community, including fellow students. I’m grateful for the easy access to museums, galleries, incredible libraries, and most of all the many reasonably priced books being published with superior images.

JR:  The earlier black creatures that you created in the 1990s are among my favorite works by you.  I think that those works have what Federico Garcia Lorca called “duende” ( What artistically or psychologically roused the creation of the black creatures?

CP: The black figures resulted from an earlier series in which I tried to capture the essence of people I knew.  I felt body language (posture) of a figure contained its essence. The figures averaged thirty-five to forty inches tall and were greatly influenced by visual language of highly compressed forms seen in Cycladic figures.  As I worked on the Cycladic series, suddenly, and against my will, the forms began to gain volume. I could not accept the more volumetric images. I destroyed many of them. Finally, in order to continue working I was forced to have a conversation with the figures. They began to be more about figures interacting with objects and ideas and less about the essence of a personality. As I thought about the emerging figures I saw them as though they were cast in metal, hence the black multi-glazed surfaces.  This series eventually evolved into complete stories that were finished in copperleaf with patina.

Equally important in my development was the architectural grid series, which emerged ten years after a trip to China.  When I returned from China many people asked me how having visited China affected my work in clay.  Initially on my return, I was preparing for an exhibition of the figurative work — so China had little direct influence on the exhibition.

I returned to my studio after the exhibition with no idea of how to deal with my powerful China experiences. For ten years, I could only say that the sites in China were incredible for the scale of the work and the techniques employed. Then I visited England, and saw the early church architecture and the enormous force of the columns pressing down on their bases. Somehow that triggered an understanding of the power of the massive forms of the Chinese storage vessels. I began to try to make vessels that were equally strong in their forms. After building several, I studied my drawings and saw the lines I had drawn as representing the grid or mesh structure of the vessel forms. I thought to play the open grid against the enclosed form of the vessel. This highly analytic double structure needed a surface that would be as rich and basic as the form. I developed a torn, burnt surface that helps me feel the grid and the full vessel interacting with each other and with the space captured within the grid.



Chuck Plosky / Furniture Series


JR:  Among your most revolutionary and innovative works have been your Furniture Series.   Explain the method used to create those epic and intricate works? What prompted their creation?

CP:  After training at Pratt Institute in painting, drawing, etc., I began my training in ceramics with Teruo Hara as my primary teacher. I learned to make functional objects with an emphasis on a Japanese aesthetic.

Over the next ten or fifteen years there was a struggle to integrate what I had learned in art school with my studio potter training. There came a day while building a large piece of “sculpture” I realized I was thinking as a student doing a design project. I was having trouble resolving the form as meaningful sculpture. Suddenly I saw an alternative; I could make furniture whose functional forms had solid sculptural presence.

JR:  After years of creating so many monumental and complex works in clay, you set off on a radical new and more intimate direction with your highly inventive musical instruments.    How does the new body of work relate to your previous oeuvre?   What ultimately (at its root) ties all your artistic endeavors together?

CP: I have always wanted to make things that don’t appear to be made academically. I wanted to make things that existed because they exist, not because I made them. These whistle and flutes must be moving in the correct direction, if people can say the objects are like the folk art of Russia, of Italy, of Mexico. Maybe the work is less about art and art school and more about the joy of being.  Some of the recent flutes have more complex sounds including multiple sounds like a harmonica, some sound like drone instruments. Someday I’d like to capture the character of a Gregorian chant or the sound of a forest full of birds and animals; possibly on one instrument or with several people playing individual instruments.

JR:    Recently, you jumped in with both feet trying to help Mexico’s visual art, fighting for it to be better appreciated by 21st Century Mexican officials?   Please, comment on Mexico’s recent political struggles that are currently impacting art, artists, and art institutions in that nation.

CP: Although in many countries the governments say the work of the traditional artist is the patrimony of the country, there is minimal support, sponsorship and promotion of the traditional artist/artisan. When I arrived in Tonalá I had no thought of being more than an observer and maybe a visual thief. But suddenly one of the recognized artisans offered me a studio and materials to work alongside his family. Every evening after the family had finished their days work, he would watch me work and tell me stories of Tonalá, local personalities, myths and ceramics, etc. Eventually I was invited to work in another studio and participate in the activities of an artist community that was just forming. As I listened to their struggles and general lack of support from local, regional, and federal governments I became increasingly a part of the community and my commitment to work with them seemed to know no bounds.

Maestro Ángel Santos Juarez and I curated several exhibitions of the work of Herencia Milenaria, a group of 26 artists/artisans. We included the work of artists outside the group to better represent the scope of the work being done in Tonalá.  The first of these exhibitions was selected as one of sixty exhibitions invited to participate in the “International Celebration of Clay: All Fired Up,” in Westchester County, New York, in 2008. To transport the exhibition to the USA, the local government in Mexico provided some financial support. And Clara Torres of the Mexican Tourism Board in New York City arranged for the Mexican consulate to co-sponsor the exhibition both in Westchester County and later at New Jersey City University (  Subsequently the Mexican Consulate in Denver, Colorado, asked for an exhibition in 2010 to celebrate the anniversary of Mexico’s independence (1810) and Revolution (1910). These events are helping reintroduce American audiences to the richness and diversity of Mexican ceramics. The exhibitions also provided opportunities for Mexican artists to visit the United States to demonstrate their techniques and explain their ideas about ceramics, art and design, and to begin a long overdue dialogue between the arts communities of the two nations existing next to each other in North America.

Although there was some economic support for the exhibitions, there is still little respect by the governments, neither for the individuals who produce the work, nor for the value of the work as objects worthy of study. The current government in Tonalá recently proposed a sale at auction of 200 to 300 pieces from the national collection to purchase trucks for the town. For possibly the first time, artists/artisans joined with local and international supporters to use their collective “voice” to say “NO” with letters, E-mail, and attendance at a meeting attended by officials of the newly elected president of the municipality. The latest word is that it was all a misunderstanding and only donated works will be sold at auction with written approval of the donating artist/artisan. The positive note is that some local citizens are realizing that they do have a voice and they can use it if they join forces.

It is my hope that the example of the group “Herencia Milenaria” (Heritage of a Thousand Years) will point the way for the development of an umbrella group or association under which various special interest groups can meet to participate and promote the past, present and future of México’s thousand-year heritage (Herencia Milenaria). Under this umbrella they may also meet to teach, exchange ideas, buy materials in bulk, invite artists from other countries to participate in international exchanges, arrange exhibitions or meet for any activity their sub-group believes fits under the umbrella of the Herencia Milenaria Tonalteca. They will meet for benefit of the patrimony of Mexico to promote a greater awareness of the Herencia Milenaria for their fellow Mexicans and for the international community. They will meet to reinforce their connection to the Herencia Milenaria Mexicana. In this I’m not referring to the eponymous group, but to the all-inclusive cultural and artistic heritage Mexico has to offer its own citizens and peoples of other countries.

JR:   As you described above, you organized a major Mexican touring ceramic exhibition, which has generated great interest.  Can you elucidate the goals of this exhibit, and mention some of the selected artists, in terms of what their art aesthetically supplied the exhibit?

CP: Tonalá has been a center of ceramics since early pre-Hispanic times. Located at what was once a major trade crossroad, its wares were transported all over México. When the Spanish arrived in Tonalá they appreciated the high quality of the ceramics and transported them to Europe. The work today in Tonalá incorporates indigenous design elements and techniques as well as designs and techniques brought by Spain during the 300 years it ruled Mexico. Included were European, Asian and North African designs and techniques. Many of them derived from Spanish trade in Asia and its 800-year experience under Moorish rule. Before the Mexican Revolution indigenous peoples including artists were held in low esteem, while things European were culturally relevant. After the Mexican revolution, Dr. Atl (Gerardo Murillo 1875-1964) an artist central to development of the idea of Mexican Popular Art and teacher of Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orazco and David Alfaro Siqueiros, wrote a critically important two-volume book “Las  Artes Populares en México” (Mexican Popular Art) in which he stressed the aesthetic and cultural importance of Tonalá ceramics. Most importantly he promoted the phrase “Mexican Popular Art,” giving definitive recognition to the traditional artisans and acknowledging the cultural contributions of their work.

Finally to answer your question regarding the goals of the exhibitions we brought to the USA. The curators’ statement presents our goals:

“Herencia Milenaria: Craftsmen in Evolution is a cultural project organized by recognized craftsmen, proud of their traditions. They are committed to research and the diffusion of knowledge of materials, techniques and aesthetics.  Their efforts give continuity to the ceramic arts as cultural legacy, with respect for the natural beauty of their surroundings.

The exhibitions… will restart a dialog between the artists of Mexico and those in the USA.  It is also an opportunity for lovers of beautiful things to study superior examples of Mexican ceramic art and to re-evaluate the Spanish word “artesania” (handcraft). The marvelous works in this exhibition are truly ART with capital letters made by artists who use their hands and hearts and minds to create brilliant and beautiful statements in an ancient material.”

Working with the group, Herencia Milenaria, I arranged exhibitions of their work in the USA.   The group sent the work of artists including Florentino Jimón Barba, José Ángel Santos Juarez, and first president of Herencia Milenaria, José Ramos Medrano. Also, Luis Cortez Hernandez; current president of Herencia Milenaria Fernando Jimón Melchor; past president of Herencia Milenaria, José Isabel Pajarito Fajardo; Juan Modesto Peña Castro, Benjamín Olvera Nogal, Sergio Pérez Arana, Antonio Mateos Nuño; past municipal President, Javier Ramos Lucano (one of his pieces was selected by the Mexican government as a gift to Juan Carlos of Spain in honor of his inauguration as King of Spain), José Antonio Mateos Suárez, José Isabel Pajarito Fajardo, and Daniel Aguilar Benítez. Included in this group are well-known artists whose work is collected internationally and artists with growing reputations. The group members are using the experience generated by the exhibition with confidence to develop additional exhibitions in the USA. They are preparing for their sixth US exhibition, having just signed a contract for an exhibition at the Museo de las Americas in Denver, Colorado.

Taking advantage of the contacts I have developed as a Fulbright Fellow, we invited US consular officials and staff to come to Tonalá for tours of group members’ studios. In appreciation, the US consulate invited the group to exhibit in the consulate offices in Guadalajara.  In these economically difficult times we are working to educate and thus develop an audience for the work of the member artists, and for other artist/artisans of Tonalá.

JR:   Since, so much vital ceramics creative energy is occurring in Tonalá, which artists/artisans of Tonalá have earned the most recognition and awards in competitive exhibitions on a national or state levels?

CP:   That is a great question, because these Tonallan artists sincerely deserve acknowledgement.  Luckily, in my research for this interview, I acquired a list showing artists/artisans from Tonalá who won the highest possible award presented annually at the National Ceramics Competition. (Ganadores del  “Galardón Presidencial a la mejor pieza dentro del Premio Nacional de la Cerámica).

1980   Jorge Wilmot                                            Tonalá, Jalisco
1981   José de Jesús Álvarez Ramírez               Tonalá, Jalisco
1984   José Álvarez Ramírez                              Tonalá, Jalisco
1987   Juan Antonio Mateos Nuño                      Tonalá, Jalisco
1990   Juan Antonio Mateos Nuño                      Tonalá, Jalisco
1998   José Rosario Álvarez Ramírez                 Tonalá, Jalisco
1999   José Rosario Álvarez Ramírez                 Tonalá, Jalisco
2002   Nicasio Pajarito González                        Tonalá, Jalisco
2005   Ernesto Basulto González                        Tonalá, Jalisco
2007   José Tomás Esparza León                       Tonalá, Jalisco
2009   Juan Fco. Basulto González                     Tonalá, Jalisco

2012   Gerónimo Ramos                                      Tonalá, Jalisco

I also have a list of the recent winners of the “Angel Carranza Award” recognizing a distinguished career at the state level, which is presented annually at the National Ceramics Competition.                                                                                                                        (Ganadores del Galardón  “Ángel Carranza”  a la trayectoria más destacada a nivel estatal, dentro de Premio Nacional de la Ceramica.)

1988  Emilia Ravelero Medrano            Tonalá, Jalisco
1989  José Bernabe Campechano            Tonalá, Jalisco
1991  María Isabel Coral de Pajarito            Tonalá, Jalisco
1992  Simeón Galván Frías            Tonalá, Jalisco
1996  Juan Antonio Mateos Nuño            Tonalá, Jalisco
1999  Salvador Vázquez Carmona            Tonalá, Jalisco
2000  Jorge Wilmot            Tonalá, Jalisco
2003  José Bernabe Campechano            Tonalá, Jalisco
2005  María del Rosario Jimón            Tonalá, Jalisco
2007  Juan Modesto Peña Castro            Tonalá, Jalisco
2008  José Rosario Álvarez Ramírez            Tonalá, Jalisco
2009  José Ángel Santos Juárez            Tonalá, Jalisco
2010  Fernando Jimón Melchor            Tonalá, Jalisco

2012  Teresa Duran                                       Tonalá, Jalisco

JR:   As an artist, working in both the USA and Mexico, can you venture what will be the cultural and artistic relationship between both nations?  And, will Mexican art (in the next decade(s)) possibly re-attain the type of global prominence that it possessed throughout the first half of the 20th Century?

CP: Mexican art from the muralists to the artist/artisans in Tonalá have been using visual language to express things that are important to them. Many of the things expressed are important universal issues that pertain to other human beings living on this planet at this time. I hope we will learn to accept each other and appreciate the treasures we can share with each other.

It is important for the Mexican Government to promote and nurture Mexican culture and its visual language by disseminating with pride the work of artists/artisans. It is important for Mexicans to be exposed to and acknowledge the magic of their heritage just as it is important for all peoples to share their cultural treasures. These treasures must be nurtured if they are to continue to exist even as they evolve.  And for Mexico, the economic value of its art and culture is well known but often minimally nurtured.

I’m not sure whether in these days people are visually or intellectually geared to read the language of the early 20th century muralists or if they are desirous of having such forceful images plastered in front of them.  I think another more subtle side of the Mexican culture has things to offer people of other lands as well as contemporary Mexicans.  Some of those things include personal warmth, an appreciation of the role death plays in life, the experience of public pageantry that is participatory rather than staged for observers, and the warmth of greetings as strangers pass each other while walking through town or eating in a restaurant.

I am proud to be acknowledged as a member of the Tonallan community.


About the interviewer:

Dr. Jose Rodeiro, Ragazine.CC art editor, is an award-winning painter and recipient of major art fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1986-87); the Fulbright Scholars’ Program, CIES (1995); The Institute for International Education: Oscar B. Cintas Foundation (1982); the Inter-American-Development Bank, BID (1991), and other grants. He has held official artist-residencies in Maryland and Florida. He is a professor in the Art Department, New Jersey City University, Jersey City, N.J., and active in the We Are You Project International. For more information, please see

March 2, 2013   Comments Off on Art of Chuck Plosky/Interview