Friday, February 27, 2009

Ofer just posted over on Horses Think about a talk at the New School on the Obsolescence of the Photographic Object. This type of thing is great for those of us unable to attend due to geography or what have you.

This bit relates to an early post in which I posed this same question:

An interesting topic of conversation brought up by Mia Fineman, was a question related to the idea of collecting a digital file. Basically, when the Metropolitan buys a photograph today, they get two prints. One is for framing and display while the other, known as the reserve, goes into storage and darkness until the day that the original needs replacing.

Fineman wondered if the reserve print might be replaced by collecting a digital file instead. She took the idea a step further (and this is where it gets interesting, maybe scary) by wondering if maybe the museum of the future would only collect digital files and not the artwork itself. When a photograph was required for inclusion in an exhibition the museum could just have the image printed. Since there is a whole calibration system in place, the digital file could hold all the necessary information to present the work as the artist originally intended. This would probably save museums a ton of money since they wouldn’t have to pay for storage and for transporting photographs back and forth or around the world. In my mind an idea like that takes photography and puts it into the realm of video and how that is collected these days.

It seems to me that the idea of a foundation keeping this file would be safer than the museums keeping them, as output could be better controlled. All I know is I wouldn't necesarily trust that some intern or junior curator wouldn't walk in with a memory stick one day and print themself a million dollar photo the next.

Saturday artist talk - Jona Frank at Sherry Frumkin Gallery

Jona Frank will speak about her newest work, portraits of students at Patrick Henry College, considered to be the ivy league school of evangelical colleges.

In conjunction with her current exhibition Church & State, the gallery hosts a talk with Santa Monica-based photographer Jona Frank and art critic Jori Finkel, contributor to The New York Times, Art in America and ArtNews, among other publications.


3206 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica

Add to your RSS reader to receive their excellent weekly list (Thursdays) of art related happenings around LA over the weekend and into the week. A must for anyone looking to keep up to speed on art in Los Angeles.

From the site: is an Los Angeles-based art blog published by Bode Media Inc. Founded by Caryn Coleman, abLA was the first city-specific art blog born out of the desire to discuss and promote the vital, growing, and expansive art scene in Los Angeles. Since its beginnings in early 2004 posts on abLA have pertained to upcoming art exhibitions, reviews, interviews, artist features, and news briefings all with a strong editorial voice from selected diverse writers and guest bloggers. was voted a top art blog by Art in America in 2004, was added to Google News in early 2005, and included in Forbes Magazine’s Best of the Web 2005 in addition to being featured in the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Weekly, Magazine, amongst others.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

La Pura Vida Gallery opening tomorrow at 8pm

"A photography show examining the increasing phenomenon of photographers forced to set up print sales just to pay the rent, particularly in the online community."

La Pura Vida Gallery accepts submissions via it's flickr page and will be hosting it's first physical show with an opening tomorrow at L'KEG Gallery.


This has been commissioned by LACMA and will be the most expensive piece of art ever made...

From an article in the Times of London:

Now the American artist Jeff Koons is building one of the world’s most expensive artworks – a 161ft sculpture of a crane hauling up a reproduction steam locomotive.

In the March issue of The Art Newspaper, Koons is quoted as saying: “We’re talking of a $25m [£17.6m] work.” The cost of buying, building and constructing was confirmed by the director of the museum.

“This Koons work sounds absolutely extraordinary,” said Antony Gormley, sculptor of the Angel of the North, which cost just under £1m.

According to reports from Los Angeles, Koons has been inspired by the elegance of the old engine and “its sexuality”. This means the artist is keen for the train to “perform”.

Three times a day the engine will be started, steam produced and the wheels will start to move. “It will accelerate faster and faster until it reaches an orgasm,” said Koons. “Then, it will lose its speed while the last drops of steam come out.”

Feature: Peter McCollough - Veterans

Peter McCollough comes from the photojournalism side of things and is based out of Sacramento. Work from his veterans series really struck me. I recommend clicking on each image to view larger.

Collective Practices

I decided it would be nice to interview our very own local photo collective, From Here to There in the wake of Rob Haggart's post on their rise. I myself participate in an online collective where we have a monthly assignment to get us thinking in new ways, but which is not nearly as ambitious as what these guys are up to. Andy Adams graciously gave me a virtual introduction to Gilda Davidian, who was kind enough to answer some of my questions.

How did From Here to There come about? What was the impetus for starting the collective. Who decides on members?

Here is how the collective started: A little over a year ago, I started reconnecting with friends from my undergrad program and kept on hearing the same thing from everyone - how they wanted to meet, talk about projects, be inspired and make work. It had been about a few years since everyone had graduated and everyone seemed to be looking for the community and support-system that was available to us in school. I started emailing a few people I knew were interested and a handful of us decided to meet one Sunday afternoon last January for an informal crit/discussion. And that's how things started.

The impetus was to have a committed group of people who wanted to get together and talk about photography and art and have a group to critique and show with.

The membership process was very organic. We started off with 6 or 7 interested individuals and added a few more people who heard about the group and wanted to be part of it. Most of us are photographers but we all work in varied mediums and have different strengths and abilities we bring to the collective. We decided in December to not accept any new members but have visiting artists on a project to project basis.

So is there any type of similarity between the work of the members? In other words, do you feel there's a theme or aesthetic running across the work of the photographers in the collective, or is it more about just a group of people who are dedicated and interested in photography? You said it was organic, so I imagine it's the latter? Can you tell me more about these projects and what they entail and maybe detail the last/most current one?

I can't say that there is an obvious similarity between the work of our members, and I would go as far to say our work is all pretty different. What connects is are the projects that we do, the themes that we work around, and our desire to keep working. The work we do with the collective is in conjunction to our individual practices and one of our aims is to strengthen our own work through this experience. I think it's important to note that not all of our members participate in every single project. People choose to opt out of projects for a variety of reasons.

The last project we did was called Rearrange. We were contacted by the owner of the Lawson-Fenning store in Silver Lake after he saw our installation in the empty lot at Sunset and Micheltorena back in September. He offered us his storefront window for a project. We decided we wanted to make work related to the space and the idea of furniture, transference, and the city. We ended up building an installation with found furniture. We collected furniture from all over the city, documented it where we found it, painted it all white and installed it in the space. At the center of the installation is a TV monitor displaying images of the furniture in its original state and location.

Here's a tidbit from the show's press release: "Our aim was to create a site-specific piece that examines the reuse of discarded furniture through rearrangement and re-appropriation. The inclusion of found furniture speaks to the social and communal exchange of household objects and also functions as mapping points to reference various parts of the city. The transformation of functionality was highlighted through the repainting of each piece and the restructuring involved in installation. Rearrange is an homage to the process of social and physical transference that occurs daily throughout the city."

This was a very important project for us because it was the first single project that we all contributed too together (as in, we did not each show one piece from our own portfolios). The piece is still up if you want to see.

Currently we are taking time off from group projects to concentrate on making work for an exhibition we have coming up in September at Synchronicity Gallery in East Hollywood. We picked a general theme for the show and are making work around that. We are starting critiques about the work and tracking what direction it will go in.

So one of the main benefits of the collective is to think outside your individual boxes and work on things or shoot in ways that you might not otherwise. Another I see is the greater ease in which you are able to sucure shows and get your work out there. What other benefits do you see in forming / being part of a collective? Have any other collectives done projects you've admired and might like to emulate?

I asked some of our members to respond to this one and here is what they said:

The major benefits of working collectively are for inspiration, exposure, experimentation, and support. The collective creates space for opportunities that we would not invest in by ourselves. It is a creative and economical method of making art that allows for greater opportunities. It's our way of avoiding over-classification and branching out into arenas that our individual practices wouldn't necessarily lead to.

Here is a quote from Alan Moore's essay, General Introduction to Collectivity in Modern Art, that mirrors our perspective:

“Art starts from groups. Collectivity is the basis for artistic production. Special forms of social relations are the soil in which artists are rooted. From this soil the flowers of art bloom, are cut, and carried to the vases in arrangements … they may be understood as emblems, as a language of flowers, speaking universally, as if to everyone, above and beyond their origins."

Thanks, Gilda!

From Here to There will be participating in the 100 show at Sugar and the East Hollywood ArtCycle this weekend.

100 Show:100 L.A. based artists showing 100 pieces of art for under 100 dollars.
Feb. 27 - March 24, 2009
Opening reception:Feb. 27, 20097 - 11 pm
DJ sets by:Bebe Deer / Katie Byron / Oonceoonce
Sugar3022 Sunset Blvd.Los Angeles, CA 90026

Gilda is in a group exhibition called "Women Artists on Immigration" that opens at the Korean Cultural Center this Friday, Feb. 27 from 7 - 9 pm.

"Women Artists on Immigration examines social, political and cultural issues related to the dynamic topic of immigration. Each subtopic — Crossing Borders, Confronting Barriers, Bridging Identities — is amplified by the diverse perspectives of the contemporary works by the women artists in the show. Together, they inspire an ongoing conversation about our cultural, political and personal identities."


Monday, February 23, 2009

Photo fun in the LBC

The 2nd Annual Long Beach Photo Fest will take place at Long Beach City College on April 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. There will be workshops, talks, portfolio reviews, and exhibitions. The best part? They're all free. I'd head over and register now, as I imagine they will go quickly.

Here's an example of just one of the days:


8:00 - 10:00 PM
Films by Photographers in Dyer Hall
We've got a selection of films made by photographers. Screening information will be posted outside the hall.

9:00 AM
Applying for Grants and Submitting Portfolios presented by Sarah G. Vinci
This workshop will offer an introduction to applying for artists grants, submitting portfolios for on line zines, and portfolio reviews. The session will cover artist statements, resumes, and preparing the necessary files for submission. Samples of successful packets, and a list of organizations and url’s to get you started will also be covered.

Photogram - Painting with Light presented by Victoria Sanchez
A hands on darkroom workshop. Photograms are images made without camera or film. In the darkroom we will place “found” objects such as leaves, flowers, tissue and fabric over light sensitive photographic paper. Using the enlarger as a light source, solid items will appear white against a black background, while translucent objects will appear as shades of gray.

Developing a Photo Project a presentation by Douglas Stockdale
Fine art photographic exhibitions and books are increasing project or series oriented. Attend this interactive workshop to help learn the essence of developing a photographic series that will further propel your creative career.

11:30 AM
Portfolio Walk
The Portfolio Walk is an informal art exhibit that lets YOU show your portfolio to the rest of the PhotoFest attendees. Sign up for space to show your work, or just stop by to see the show during the event. Open 11:30 am to 1pm.

1:00 PM
Establishing An Effective Online Presence for Artists presented by Craig Havens
A comprehensive overview of beginning and advanced strategies for promoting your work online. Includes basic tutorials in uploading work to free online presence providers as well as exploring the process of reserving a URL, selecting paid web host services, and designing and programming effective personal photographic website.

Split Toning in the B&W darkroom presented by Ray Carofano
Students will learn how to add richness and luminosity to there prints using sepia and selenium while at the same time making them archival. They will have the opportunity to experiment and create their own personal look.

6:00 PM
Keynote Event: Making a Living as a Commercial Photographer
What does it take to make a living in Photography? In this event a panel of photographers will discuss their careers and fields of expertise in the photographic market.

Matt Armendariz Based in Long Beach, California, Matt Armendariz is an art director and photographer that specializes in all things food. He loves to eat.

Randall Slavin
A chance meeting with Helmut and June Newton while working at the family gas station led Mr. Slavin to buy his first camera. He hasn’t put it down since. Randall Slavin’s work has appeared in Esquire, Rolling Stone, GQ, Black Tail and FLAUNT, among others.

Kwaku Alston
After several years in New York shooting for the NY Times Magazine, Sony Music and Rolling Stone, Kwaku moved west to Venice, California and opened his own studio. Recently, he has taken portraits of Barack Obama, Jenny McCarthy, Halle Berry and Tiger Woods.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Wang Qingsong at the Hammer

Copyright Wang Qingsong

Wang Qingsong is about as big a Chinese photographer as you'll find, specializing in large scale theatrical tableaus.

From the Hammer website:

Wang Qingsong is an important contemporary Chinese artist known for his large-scale photographs which explore the political, social, and cultural issues of a rapidly changing China. The Hammer is pleased to present Wang’s newest work and his first video entitled Skyscraper (2008, 35mm, 5 minutes). Over the course of a month, employing 30 scaffolding workers from the poor countryside outside of Beijing, Wang built a 35m high “skyscraper.” Using stop-action 35mm film he captures the entire process but without the workers visible. You will be witness to a gleaming golden structure rising, as if by magic, out of a barren landscape reaching for the ever-shifting blue sky.

The Hammer is free on Thursdays.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

On Statements

Joerg posted the following today:

"Lotte Reimann's website is pretty bare bones, so it's hard (if not impossible) to tell what they series are about; but the work is quite interesting."

I would argue that the work is about whatever you'd like it to be about. An artist can have intent for sure, but you can never force someone to have the same emotions, understanding of, or response to your work as you might like or anticipate. One hundred people can see the same work and have 100 different reactions (all different than the artist's) and this is the beauty of art. It belongs to the viewer as much as to the creator.

Decisions, decisions...

So tomorrow offers you two excellent (and free) photo related options and you will unfortunately have to decide between the two.

Option one is the opening reception for Tierney Gearon's newest series, Explosure, which will be shown at ACE Gallery. Sure to be a great opening from 7-9pm. Invite here. These are evidently double exposures done in camera (no PS) and while I can't quite grasp how this is the case after having seen some of the prints at Photo LA, the work is quite impressive.

Copyright Tierney Gearon

Option two is a conversation between Charlotte Cotton, photography curator at LACMA and Michael Fried, influential art critic, historian and professor at Johns Hopkins. They will be discussing Fried's important new book, Why Photography Matters as Art as Never Before.

7pm Bing Theater - Free

One has to choose so I'll be at option two. If anyone would like to say hello, just drop me a line.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Same but different?

Joerg posted today about a critic calling a photographer's series "irrelevant and a calculated provocation." I'm not sure I entirely agree with that assessment (and besides, isn't a great deal of art a calculated provocation?), but she may have gone a bit far with this image's similarity to one of my favorite (and a quite well known) Tierney Gearon images:

Copyright Tierney Gearon


Copyright Katharina Bosse

Quote of the Week

This relates to a post last week over on Brian Ulrich's Not if But When blog titled, "Where is the Crisis" in which he asks why more photographers aren't making work about the current crisis (that's what they call it in Spain and it seems pretty fitting to me). After seeing the current Art of Two Germanys show at LACMA a couple of times, I was taken aback by how incredibly political art was in postwar Germany, as artists and the country tried to come to grips with Nazism. It does seem to me at times that we have become a bit complacent. Maybe it's in part due to the optimism of the Obama election but I'm also wondering why the horrors of the Bush years weren't tackled more by artists (of course, there was excellent photojournalism going on during this period abroad).

From an article titled Tough Times Call for Shrewd Artists by Dorothy Spears in the NYT:

Anne Tucker, the curator of photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, said it will be interesting to see whether, in an era when documentary photography is no longer embraced by the art world, the current hard times will prompt artist-photographers to document human suffering — and endurance. “When the chips are down, she said, “there’s much more receptivity to it.”

Monday, February 16, 2009

Re: The Boom is Over. Long Live the Art!

My response to a very interesting piece in the NY Times by Holland Cotter about the current state of the art market and where it might be going - perhaps the most interesting piece on art I've read in a long while:

1) Cotter's mention of the artists doing everything in terms of media is interesting. William Lamson's video pieces come to mind, which have gained prevalence on his website (and are a joy to watch). Is being a photographer alone not enough anymore? Was it ever?

2) I found the bit on the gatekeepers and figurative circle jerk fascinating (in the sense that someone dared mention it) especially in contrast to traditional business and how this would never fly in other industries for obvious reasons.

3) "Students who entered art school a few years ago will probably have to emerge with drastically altered expectations. They will have to consider themselves lucky to get career breaks now taken for granted: the out-of-the-gate solo show, the early sales, the possibility of being able to live on the their art."

- How is this significantly different from the boom times?

4) Using Henry Darger as an example of an artist with a day job? He was an outsider artist who never intended his art to be seen and was blown away when his landlord mentioned having seen it and it's potential worth on his death bed.

Do yourself a favor and order In the Realms of the Unreal immediately if you haven't seen it yet.

5) Aside from the Darger mention, entirely true (and I hope the art world comes to accept this):

"It’s day-job time again in America, and that’s O.K. Artists have always had them — van Gogh the preacher, Pollock the busboy, Henry Darger the janitor — and will again. The trick is to try to make them an energy source, not a chore."

6) "But with markets uncertain, possibly nonexistent, why not relax this mode, open up education?"

- When will art education ever be "opened up" with it's time and monetary restrictions? Is 120k really the buy-in price to be considered a "legitimate" artist or for having doors opened for us?

7) "Why not make studio training an interdisciplinary experience, crossing over into sociology, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, poetry and theology?...My guess is that if you did, American art would look very different than it does today."

- Ed Winkleman recently posted something about not listing unrelated education on an artist resume. I respectfully find fault with this. Should not an artist have knowledge of an array of topics which then infiltrate their art, whether directly or indirectly? Why not an educated artist, outside the traditional gatekeeper mode? Doesn't Roger Ballen have a PhD in Geology? Does this make him more or less "valid?" Does it influence his art in a unique and positive way or negatively?

8) "But there will be many, many changes for art and artists in the years ahead. Trying to predict them is like trying to forecast the economy. You can only ask questions."

- This is what I've tried to do with this post - ask questions. I invite you to ask your own.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

DRKRM Gallery Opening tonight - Joseph Rodriguez is pleased to announce the first Los Angeles exhibition of Flesh Life: Sex in Mexico City, the work of New York-based photographer Joseph Rodríguez, from February 14 through March 15, 2009, with an opening reception on Saturday evening, February 14, from 7-10 p.m.

From Nezahualcoyotl, the largest working-class suburb on Earth, to La Condesa, Mexico City’s hipster hangout, putas and putos stroll the streets, cruising for johns and surviving on their wit, born out of true desperation. These men, women, and everyone in-between are sex-workers in a country where extra-marital sex is considered a mortal sin, and, confoundingly, where they ply their trade without official reprisal. In Mexico, macho husbands consort with other men, and virgencitas are anything but.

Friday, February 13, 2009

FlakPhoto showcases LayFlat

FlakPhoto will be showcasing selections from Lay Flat 01 over the coming weeks. If you aren't aware of FlakPhoto, head over for a peak or just trust me when I say you'll want Andy Adam's impeccable taste to appear on your blog reader on a daily basis and add it now.

Lay Flat 01: Remain in Light contains a number of articles and 20 unbound works by emerging photographers and was co-curated by Shane Lavalette and Karly Wildenhouse who, judging by the first two selections on Flak, have excellent taste also. Shane's blog/journal is not one to miss either.

Ignoring the articles, photos come out to $1.25 each, which is a pretty good deal in my book. Get yours now.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Garden Party at Edgar Varela Fine Arts - Thursday

Think of it as an after party to the monthly Downtown Art Walk in that you'll have to head over in your car unless you like the prospect of walking through Skid Row and back.

9pm to 2am - drinks will be had, music will be played and work will be shown, including photos by Jennie Warren with whom I shoot for a photo collective. I actually saw this print at the art walk a while ago before knowing who Jennie was and it blew me away. Sounds like a good time. $5 cover.

More info via the LA Times here.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Off topic wow factor - Lieko Shiga

Not at all L.A. related, but I came across the work of Leiko Shiga, who's won the ICP's Infinity Award for best young photographer (28 years old). I like work that confuses me a bit. Lieko's work feels like a bit of a mix between Ryan McGinley and Bill Henson with some mysticism thrown in. She definitely has something unique, dreamlike going on.

This is my forerunner for favorite find of 2009 thus far. A taste of her work below but I highly recommend a visit to her site.

All works copyright Lieko Shiga

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Photo España - Descubrimientos 2009

So I try not to talk about my own work very much on here, with the intent that the blog be greater than myself and focused on West Coast photography and LA in particular, but I can't resist today. I just found out I was selected for the Photo España Descubriemientos reviews/contest so my work will be reviewed by what I think is the most impressive panel I've seen yet and one of my photos will be part of a group show that is part of the festival.

Having lived the past 3 years (and 4 total) of my life in Madrid, I'm super excited to be going back and to be part of this amazing celebration ofo photography, which I've immensly enjoyed over the years.

Head over to website to view the other photographers participating in Descubrimientos.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Feature -Patrick Romero

Patrick Romero is an LA-based photographer I found via his Flickr stream (I strongly disagree with those who think good photography cannot be found on that site).

Patrick was in the Tim Barber curate show, "Various Photographs" and has a photo in the Humble Arts online exhibition #23.

He just did a final post expressing his frustration with the fine art world on his blog, which has caused him to turn his focus to editorial work, which is fine and the editorial world is respectable indeed and could benefit from his perspective but a part of me is sad when I see these frustrations lead to a good photographer turn away from fine art. The internet and blogosphere was supposed to democratize things a bit more, but sometimes it feels like we've just added a few more gatekeepers, which is why I have an overwhelming 40 or so blogs on my reader to try to absorb as much as I can, though we all know the ones that "count."

F-ing Brilliant

I need to ask this guy to write my artist statements.

A gem in today's Los Angeles Times:

The artist as a young boy

Everyone’s an art critic. And some critics, when they answer to Dad, are also big fans.
By Jordan Rau
February 1 2009

To: Director, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Re: Potential exhibition

I am writing to renew my offer to let you exhibit recent artistic compositions by my 3-year-old son, Zachary Rau (2006- ). As I previously detailed, Zachary's creativity at Hansel-Gretel Pre-Kindergarten has received lavish praise not just from his teacher, Ms. Jandy, but also from our relatives, friends and neighbors.

Employing the most rudimentary tools, including Q-tips for brushes and paper silhouettes of animals, rockets and choo-choo trains, Zachary has distinguished himself as a pioneering talent of his generation.

Because I have not heard back from you despite repeated e-mails, telephone calls, registered letters and unannounced visits to your office and home, I have taken the liberty of providing, below, interpretive text to help your curators better understand Zachary's inimitable takes on teddy bears, fire engines and the human condition.

"Cosmos" (2007)

In this typically irreverent handiwork from Zachary's early period, colorful plastic gems affixed to a spaceship celebrate earthly pleasures. The artist's deliberate placement of several luxurious jewels in an upside-down position represents an implicit critique of materialism. The inclusion of ample epoxy, uncommitted to bonding any material, invites us along on this uplifting voyage through contemporary existence.

-- Elmer's glue, sequin and putty on construction paper. (On loan from the Rau Family refrigerator door.)

"Untitled #24" (2009)

Through prodigious use of red glitter, the color of deficits, the artist appraises the economic devastation wrought by the modern Gilded Age. The abandoned Q-tip satirizes the establishment's failure to clean up Wall Street. On a subtler level, this archetypal, inadequate instrument of the country's dysfunctional healthcare system lampoons the shortcomings of government bailout efforts, particularly with regard to the auto industry, of which the artist has been a zealous advocate since the acquisition of his first Hot Wheels.

-- Tinsel, swab and drool on manila folder. (On loan from the Hansel-Gretel Pre-Kindergarten wall.)

"Extinction" (2007)

The vulnerability of childhood is a recurring theme in the artist's work, nowhere more so than in this melancholy depiction of a green dinosaur. A cogent metaphor for annihilation, the beast's emotional palette decries youth's inevitable passage. The red scrawl conjures blood, the purple embodies bruises and the yellow evokes the flame of existential pain. An ominous black cookie crumb completes this apprehensive self-portrait of the artist as fragile thunder lizard.

-- Crayon and Oreo on reverse side of interoffice memo. (On loan from Grandpa's bottom desk drawer.)

"Bell" (2008)

During the Bush years, the artist ardently condemned not only the "war on terror" but also anything remotely frightening, including Halloween masks, monsters under beds and "Disney on Ice." In this passionate censure of the Patriot Act, the outline of the bell -- that inviolate national symbol -- is traced unsteadily, suggesting the irreparable distortion of our civil liberties. Red, white and blue star stickers, strewn as if by random, represent the desecration of the American flag. But there is hope as well. Splotches of purple paint and a discarded Band-Aid allude to the artist's heartfelt belief that the country may yet transcend the ideological divide of red and blue states. And the signature motifs of kitty cats and smiley faces beseech the citizenry to resist despair in these bleak times.

-- Decal, washable finger paint and frayed bandage on day-care tuition bill. (On loan from the estate of Great-Grandma Rau.)

Your curators are welcome to install these interpretive passages alongside Zachary's collection. I would write more, but Lena, my 5-year-old daughter, has offered a compelling exegesis of "Little Red Riding Hood" as a vegan manifesto, and I must determine when UCLA's literature department has its next open tenure-track position.

Jordan Rau is a reporter in The Times' Sacramento bureau.