The weather in Brooklyn turned seemingly quickly and we’re well on our way into winter. The semester is winding down and I’m looking forward to taking some time off between semesters to finally spend some time painting, researching for upcoming projects, and generally moving a bit slower. I mean that literally btw. I’m a fast walker; always have been. I’m never actually running late but I walk like I am, like I have a million places to be. One of my goals for next year is to slow down a bit, enjoy the walk, take my time. That applies to walking but, yeah, it’s also life in general.
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The best dish I made this month is this vegetarian chili that has all the usual suspects but also includes — wait for it! — pumpkin puree and CHOCOLATE! It sounds weird but, man, I’ve been trying to find a good veggie chili for years and this one is exactly what I’ve been waiting for.
Back in September, I was in Boston for the weekend for Design Observer’s The Design of Business | The Business of Design conference. All the photos in this edition of the newsletter were taken during those few days.
In addition to that chili, in the last few weeks I:
In other work news, I’m excited to announce that in addition to teaching at Parsons and Pratt, I’m also going to be teaching a portfolio course at Rutgers in the Spring! I’m excited!
I watched the newish documentary Garry Winogrand: All Things is Photographable a few weeks ago that felt like rediscovering one of my favorite photographers. Historically, I’ve always put my own photography in the street photo tradition of people like Winogrand, Robert Adams, and Elliott Erwitt but hadn’t spent much time with Winogrand’s work in recent years. Watching the documentary reminded my why I fell in love with his work all over again: the humanism, the colors, the energy, the landscapes.
Coincidentally, the Brooklyn Museum has a wonderful show of his work up right now — only two more weeks! Catch it while you can! — and I spent a Friday afternoon in it last week. The show is a survey of Winogrand’s color work and stages them in a unique way — instead of framed photographs on the wall, images are projected, using a series of large slide projectors, inside an empty, dark space where you can sit and watch the slideshows as long as you want.
If you read one thing about the show, make sure it’s Leslie Jamison’s essay in the latest Atlantic. My former professor Ian Bourland also wrote about it for Frieze and Hyperallergic has a nice review of the show.
I finished Ben Lerner’s latest novel, The Topeka School a few weeks ago but it keeps creeping back in the front of my thoughts. Thoughts about masculinity, thoughts about language, thoughts about debate, thoughts about “the spread”, thoughts about how we got here. I recommend it. It might be my favorite book of the year. Now I’m reading the debut novel from Taffy Brodesser Akner, Fleishman is in Trouble and, while I’m only half way though, it’s up there with Lerner’s as a favorite of the year. All I’ve wanted to do the last few days is read more of it.
Akner, of course, is the excellent essayist for the New York Times, most known for her brilliant — and brilliantly funny — profiles of people like Marianne Williamson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jonathan Franzen, Ethan Hawke, and Bradley Cooper. Her most recent piece, out last week, is a profile of Tom Hanks that I promise will make you feel a little better about the world.
I will listen to every interview with Errol Morris so I loved these two recent ones, in support of his new movie American Dharma: one with The New Yorker and one on the Longform podcast.
Here’s Zadie Smith defending the role of fiction for The New York Review of Books and here are some stunning photographs of the construction of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum that I’d never seen before. You should definitely read this Fast Company profile of Anand Giridharadas, whose new book, Winners Take All is sitting next to my bed right now and will make you much, much more skeptical of billionaires (if you weren’t already.) You’re watching HBO’s Watchmen, right? You should be. It’s easily the most exciting, confusing, and thoughtful show on television right now.
As always, I’d love to hear from you, just hit reply. It’s Friday night and I’m getting a glass of wine to settle into the weekend. Enjoy the holidays.
Until next time,