Museum of Modern Women
I completely agree with you Kathryn about “the complex and interconnected narrative of female experience”, which by far surpasses the superficial male experience. In that “these bodies are also full of desire, power, and humanity” is what our fundamental core message is here, something all women can well relate to. I find it amazing that 50 women, perhaps also converted women, showed their works. We need to redefine what is female, especially considering our role in the art world and the importance shown so far. More!
Isolde Matthews 06/11/2019

Hi Kathryn, What is the contemporary notion of beauty in Polish society? Is it different from the contemporary notion of beauty in American society?
Adrian Connard 05/11/2019

Hi Kathryn, I wish you could write more on the “terrifyingly thin skin of shame” you write about in your conclusion. It highlights one of the hidden issues women face today; sometimes it takes a lot of courage to go out there and partake in what’s rightfully ours. Is the catalog of this exhibition available anywhere? I searched for it online, but didn’t find anything.
Eugenia Tattersall 25/10/2019

Open Letter to James Green
Editor, Last evening I attended the opening reception of the Italian Embassy in D.C., commemorating Leonardo’s 500 years of Italian Genius-Leading the Way in Technology, Culture and Innovation. Ha, chatting with a Chinese physicist, I learned Leonardo is the name for an international aero-space and defense industry, a kind of a military organization, a
few generals were present. An absurd replica of Leonardo’s flying machine was installed in the reception area, a wooden stage, unclear reproductions of Leonardo’s drawings and a unaesthetic representation of the real Leonardo sculpture.
Annie Markovich 23/10/2019

Editor, Well the heart and soul of Washington DC’s ethos was right before your very eyes… everything from the military industrial complex appropriation of Leonardo’s name to all the money that it is meant to be… all that money.
Al Jirikowic in Washington D.C. 01/11/2019

Hi Al, It all sounds a bit scary to me. Can you write more about this?
Thor Galloway 02/11/2019

Editor, Just a question about Ken Turner who writes here; is he the Ken Turner that BBC Spotlight interviewed this week? If so, could we possibly have a link to the interview?
Catherine Smithfield 13/10/2019

Hi Catherine, Thank you for your inquiry. Yes, it’s the one and the same person, Ken Turner. You may be interested to see on video his celebrated performance in St Ives. This performance has given extended meaning to the word “Codswallop.”
An added postscript to the above discussion. Why is the media in Cornwall oblivious to this important issue; are they ignorant? Probably keeping their heads down or buried in the sand. Oh, to be living in such dynamic times.
Derek Guthrie 10/10/2019

Editor, The breadth of thinking in this small corner of the world needs to be widened to allow people to critique these very structures you write about Mr. Guthrie. The illusions of power undercut truth.
Rob Daley 12/10/2019

Rob, We will see shortly whether thinking people can turn the situation around. The St Ives and the Penzance writers’ groups will be holding meetings. I do not know where you live, and if it is in Cornwall please attend, as your voice needs to be heard.
Derek Guthrie 12/10/2019

Editorial 6
Editor, The X Musuem of Y has named Z as its new deputy director and chief curator. Z is the one who said “no one knows what art is anymore”, and is a major promoter of artists who cut pictures out of art magazines or who destroy furniture and claim it’s a masterpiece. Z may occupy that position for decades. Z also hates my guts because of what I wrote, articles trashing A and B, two of its favorite artists. I’m ashamed for my country.
Ernest 31/10/2019

Ernest, For sure the spirit of generosity is fleeing American cultural discourse. The great contribution of Trump is his banality. He has made it clear the low life is not only with the low life, it is with the high life. So what is to be done if anything?
Derek Guthrie 31/10/2019

Ernest, You have written something I can clearly relate to, as we all can from wide and far. I think Thomas McEvilley covers this very well in the debate in the New York Times (October 12, 1997) led by Amei Wallach: ART; Is It Art? Is It Good? And Who Says So? Thomas, McEvilley, then Professor of art history, Rice University; contributing editor at the Artforum magazine wrote: The last time I was in Houston, I went to a place called Media Center, where someone had set up posts as in a back yard with laundry hung all over. I immediately knew it was an artwork because of where it was. If I had seen it hanging in someone’s yard, I would not have known whether it was art, though it might have been. It is art if it is called art, written about in an art magazine, exhibited in a museum or bought by a private collector. It seems pretty clear by now that more or less anything can be designated as art. The question is, Has it been called art by the so-called ”art system?” In our century, that’s all that makes it art. As this century draws to a close, it looks ever more Duchampian. But suppose Duchamp didn’t have Andre Breton as his flack; most of his work could be dismissed as trash left behind by some crank. What’s hard for people to accept is that issues of art are just as difficult as issues of molecular biology; you cannot expect to open up a page on molecular biology and understand it. This is the hard news about art that irritates the public. if people are going to be irritated by that, they just have to be irritated by that. https://www.nytimes. com/1997/10/12/arts/art-is-it-artis-it-good-and-who-says-so.html
Alan Peterson 31/10/2019

Genderless Faces
Hello Patricia, Just as the images you wrote about were “full of contradictions and ambiguities, but this is their attraction”, so in our society today which is full of contradictions and ambiguities. Frankly, I am fed up with not being able to call a she a she and a he a he, but have to go about delicately like walking on eggs for fear of offending, or worse, losing my job because I might possibly mix up a he with a she and an ex-she with a he and vs. I find it all so pathetic. However, your review was well written, so please don’t take offense from my comment in this world of undefined sexes.
Corey Davidson 08/11/2019

Venice 2019
Hello Liviana, You wrote a very good review of the Venice Biennale, but I had hoped to also read about the Chinese pavilion with its powerful message about connecting. The city of Venice is about bridges, about connecting people who would otherwise be isolated on individual islands, like we are all over the world, while it’s the machine or the internet that is connecting us all. Fei Jun’s installation “Re-Search” through an app leads people on a search for the bridges in Venice that are similar to the antique bridges in China. Just as the artist Chen Qi said at the opening ceremony of the Venice Biennale, “Art is a form of wisdom to resolve social conflicts and contradictions.” We need more wisdom (and art!) today in these ever more frightening times
Rose Bennett 17/09/2019

Daxiliu Art Musuem Gets a Shock
Lily, The response the New Art Examiner is gathering is significant The numbers are good, but more important the New Art Examiner is driven by individuals who care for art outside the political/cultural box, the Museums’ academia and investors who work through these institutions. The New Art Examiner has relied on people power or the natural intelligence of committed individuals; the official art world is well known for lying down to PR. See the recent article on Bernays: cultural-conspiracy/ This is not to say there are individuals who work in Museums who do struggle for integrity and freedom, who defy the trendy art fashion. The New Art Examiner has tried to steer a course of independence; we think art criticism has to be free. Therefore we are regarded by some as dangerous. We invite all free-thinking individuals to share their views irrespective of location.
Derek Guthrie 10/10/2019

Hi Lily, We have all been pretty amazed at the number of readers your review has had to date, at this moment over 14,000! Only Ken Turner received a similar number with his Speakeasy over a course of a few months. We wish to welcome our numerous Chinese readers, as we look forward to a series of articles and reviews in Chinese that will also be in English, starting with the November/December issue of the New Art Examiner.
Pendery Weekes 10/10/2019

Editor, It’s so fantastic that the New Art Examiner has published an article in Chinese; I hope this trend continues. It would be interesting to read about what it is to be an artist in New York, Miami, San Francisco, Stockholm, Shanghai, Tokyo, Singapore, Cape Town, Paris, Madrid, and so on. I’m in Iceland, literally and figuratively, but it’s through this magazine that I feel I am connecting to the rest of the art world.
Jon Olafur 23/09/2019

Editor, 非常好用中文写关于艺术世界。中国 有13亿以英语为母语,但只有3.79亿母 语为英语。我不是中国人,而是来自韩 国。我试着用你的语言给你写信。 (translation) It is very good to write about the art world in Chinese. There are 1.3 billion native English speakers in China, but only 379 million native speakers of English. I am not Chinese, but from South Korea. I tried to write to you in your language.
Michael Jeong 03/09/2019

Editor, 谢谢你的中文文章。我希望将来会有 更多 (translation) Thank you for your Chinese article. I hope there will be more in the future.
Sandy Zhao 02/09/2019

Cultural Conspiracy
Hi Al, The fact that one decides to become an artist and not a plumber, a gardener, a lawyer or a doctor for example, is due to the fact that most artists don’t fit, nor do they accept, the pre-formed mold that society expects of them. They are a less manipulative category of individuals, even though many do sell out in order to survive.
Inside they remain independent creatures, somewhat uncomfortable for society to manage and live with. I disagree with you on your saying that artists have always accepted this “drubbing”, as you call it. They always remain different from your local pharmacist, newsagent, restaurant manager, and so on. Vive la différence!
Caroline Daniels 15/09/2019

Caroline, When artists sell out they are no longer independent creatures and have lost authenticity. Identity politics is the great issue of today. Race and gender have entered into the mainstream discussion with some urgency, art has not. I do not see much comfort in the fact that artists are oddballs and natural eccentrics.
Derek Guthrie 15/09/2019

Thanks for the questions. DIFFERENTIATION: I am definitely an odd ball. I think art history has little if anything to do with weeing art. For that reason I avoid reading labels when I am in a museum. Of course, some things are immediately recognizable because of what I know about history, but I still distance myself from everything I can, except the art itself, situating myself in a “cloud of unknowing”, a timeout from life zone, where taste and aesthetics can best thrive (I have found). I don’t “differentiate” the good from the bad, the art does that for itself. All I do is notice it. AVANT GARDE: Art history is relevant here, but on an elemental basis. If there is a huge contingent of artists employing the same codec at once (which is a matter of fact and therefore subject to art history), then they can’t legitimately be called “avant garde”, or “leading edge”. Instead they are a “herd” that is plowing and replowing the same old ground that dominates the “temper” of their own time
contemporary art, in other words. Curiously, few art historians appear to recognize this. I remain mystified why. COONSKINISM: Rosenberg used this term to cast light on what is quite specific about the New York School, namely, that there is little the various artists have in common stylistically. Like the colonists, they each sat in a place outside the regular designated battlefields and picked away at the massive British armies as the Brits marched toward what they regarded as the proper place to do battle. I certainly prize such individualism, both in the making and the appreciating of art. Art, as art, is experienced directly, without mediation from the intellect or memory of the past, in an eternity of the present. To get its gift, if it is good enough to offer a gift, you must do it for yourself. The moment you tie your taste to what someone else tells you that you should or should not like, you are losing part or all of your connection to the art itself, which eats at the”validity” of your experience.
Like I said, I am an odd ball. I’m comfortable with antiquated terms like “beauty”. In fact, I am uncomfortable with discussions about art that do not use it or one of its equivalents. Without beauty having its place, it would be like discussing food and deliberately leaving out any reference to its flavor.
But that discomfort seldom prevents me from enjoying the argument itself. It is one of the best ways to grow.
John Link 20/09/2019

1 thought on “Letters

  1. I’m pleased to have this new connection, upon reviewing some of the content regarding the Museum of Modern Women , I would like to connect as I have a complicated new body of work, which addresses distorted ideals of femininity and beauty relative to female identity, desirability in contest with objectification, self representation all in the context of social media. The exhausting though perpetual conflicts in line with male fantasies juxtaposed with a complex array of issues including how women often capitulate or succumb to their own marketability relative to the gaze, becoming our own manufacturers of complicated and conflicting versions of ourselves, simultaneously objectified while a dualistic competing desire to be seen through the male lens while accompanied by male approval. Concurrently, at the same time dealing with our own sense of self esteem and identity independent of male approval, our images still exist in a sea of virtual reality and image driven content where conflicting narratives are at odds. Do we succumb to male fantasies? or are we instead mockers of our own objectification?These contradictories coupled with an era of visual self promotion and capitalistic idealism (as the new millennial norm, we find ourselves saturated by page after page of Instagram images of sexualized women and men, self revealing and self promoting . Where do women find themselves, or define themselves and on what basis or on what social norms are we catering to? On my series “Selfies”, I examine these questions within a culture where women as subject/object gaze back in gruesome response to accentuate our own distorted and conflicting desires and self reflection, through the ageless lens of the male gaze to contemporary representation of self and other. Though in this series, women define who is spectator and who is spectacle, thus tossing back the male gaze to it’s self positing , where women are the manufactures and directors of the male viewers sexual fantasy and desire in a state of their own humiliation. I play with text directing the viewer to polemical narratives employing controversial voice overs and address problematic narratives, which provoke and examine the complicated lives of women and our own conflicting desires to be both visually appealing, available, desirable, yet in Selfies, through applied facial distortions indicating knowledge of our own objectification, we get the last laugh. In other words We Were Watching You Watch Us. For a glance into this new body of work please visit or if anyone is interested in my more well known work visit or Google Camille Ross Photography. Cheers! Camille

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