Perspectives

Perspectives is the Violette de Mazia Foundations online source for intelligent discussion about the arts. Perspectives presents an ever evolving dialogue regarding our experience with the arts and the important role they play in our everyday lives.  Perspectives will offer readers food for thought but the heart of the site is an ongoing engagement with the art experience through reviews, essays, and reflections. Submit a comment on any of our Perspective material and become part of the conversation.

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Feature Title Feature Type Description
Trouble in Paradise and Absolute Recoil by Slavoj Žižek Reviews

Like Socrates on steroids: Žižek is both breathtakingly perceptive and outrageously irresponsible. Is he just out to scandalise?

The Art of Attention Articles

The peculiar vividness of the world becomes clear when we slow down and attend, learning to see all things anew.

Poetry and Catastrophe Reviews

Poetry has long been enlisted as a witness in dark times, a tonic for forgetfulness. But what happens when it’s as much evidence as art?

Harry Sefarbi: Artist and Teacher Exhibitions

To discuss a painting with Harry Sefarbi, whether his own or another’s, was to have a tutorial in the traditions of art.

Practitioner of the Dark Arts - David Lynch: The Unified Field Reviews

Some people are born to be artists, as if the impulse to draw, paint, sculpt, write, compose, make films or photographs were not a choice but hard-wired—a destiny.

Confessions of an Aesthete Articles

To be an aesthete in an idea-driven age is to risk being dismissed as irrelevant. Ask Terry Teachout...but don’t call him an intellectual.

With so much “stuff” out there in the world, can we still tell what is art and what isn’t? Articles

Ever since Duchamp’s “readymades,” things have invaded the realm of art. But does presence alone signify aesthetic merit? From U2’s forcedly ubiquitous new album to “rediscovered” paintings from centuries ago, we are surrounded by things that lose and gain artistic status according to their context.

Not So Foolish Articles

Behavioral economics has taught us to be wary of our own cognitive biases. But placing too much faith in our own irrationality is itself irrational.

Deep into Green Reviews

How can one shade evoke sickness, hope, hazard, the supernatural? Colors are uncertain things, green not least among them.

Creativity Creep Articles

How did creativity – a contemporary obsession – change from a way of being to a way of doing, from a sense of liveliness to a compulsion to make things?

What Jeff Koons Has Wrought Reviews

Jeff Koons is an entrepreneur, not an artist. A Wall Street guy who forever changed the art world. His formula for success: size + garishness = big money.

In Montmartre: Picasso, Matisse and Modernism in Paris, 1900-1910 Reviews

You Might Need Sunglasses - Life in Montmartre for Picasso and Matisse was deep blues, green skies, and chaos--all scented with musk and patchouli.

Against Happiness: Why We Need a Philosophy of Failure Articles

The cult of happiness – the very idea that happiness is actually attainable – has more and more of us depressed. What we need is a decent philosophy of failure. We are now suffering the Hawaiianisation of everywhere.

Solitary Pursuit: What Do We Want When Confronting Great Art? Articles

In the modern museum, moments of solitude and deep contemplation are rare, but when we find one, it is worth savoring.

Content and Its Discontents Reviews

Artists once sought institutional acceptance. Now they just want to go viral. Is technology destroying the culture industry?

How Did Cool Become Such a Big Deal? Articles

What began as a word evolved into an attitude and then a way of life. Yet a question endures: What makes cool cool?

The Birth of Bad Taste: Why Italian Mannerists like Rosso Fiorentino were Painting’s First Avant-garde. Reviews

It happened in Italy in the early 16th century. The details are sketchy, but the culprits are clear: two Tuscan painters, Rosso and Pontormo.

Reality Hunger: Pasolini's Seductive Utopian Vision Articles

Filmmaker, novelist, polemicist: Everything Pier Paolo Pasolini did, he did as a poet – a strange and brilliantly melancholic poet.

Ives Wins! Reviews

Charles Ives vs. classical music. The insurance tycoon-turned-composer was accused of amateurism and eclecticism. His work prevailed...

The Urge to Strangle - Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs Exhibitions

“In pictures I can only go back over the same ground,” Matisse said in 1945. “Paintings seem to be finished for me.” He turned to decoration.