Why Women Are Drawn to “Bad Boys”

    “Why do women always go for the arrogant jerks?” Implicit in my husband’s exasperated question: Why is steady virtue not sexy? I shrug, as though this propensity is just as odd and puzzling to me, and point out that his steady virtue has delighted me for thirty years now. I do not mention […]

Do We Have to Monetize Everything?

    It is the nicest apology I have ever received. “Babe,” my husband says, “I am so sorry. I watched you paint and said, ‘You could sell these!’ But last night I heard somebody on the radio saying that nobody can just have a relaxing hobby anymore because if you’re any good, people start […]

Moths Are Not Romantics

    Humans are the ones who fly straight into the flame. Lost causes, unrequited loves, crazy gambles, consuming addictions, dangerous exploits—we live bent, one would guess, on self-destruction. All the poor moths want to do is set a flight path. When their light sources were the moon and stars, all went well. But our […]

Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping Have Evolved Yet Again

    When my kids were little, we used to snuggle up to watch videos before their bedtime. I joked it was rock appreciation and theory class, but the music ranged beyond The Beatles, Creedence, and Talking Heads to Schumann’s “Träumerei,” Ray Charles’ “Heaven Help Us All,” and The Gregory Brothers’ political satires. Often we […]

Anselm Kiefer’s Appetite for Destruction

        Of all the works currently on display at the Saint Louis Art Museum we can be surest that Anselm Kiefer’s Burning Rods will never be printed for postcards in the museum’s gift shops. A massive painting that stands about 11 feet high and stretches just beyond 18 feet wide, this dark […]

What Miniatures Can Reveal

      You were expecting fairy houses? Look elsewhere. For her MFA thesis, Amanda Kelly has been miniaturizing hoards. Spinning wee vases on a tiny pottery wheel, carving bevels with tiny woodworking tools, painting minuscule, perfect letters with a two-haired brush. With surgical focus, she creates little worlds that render chaos safe. You can […]