Spring 2012, Volume 12

From the Art Editor

An art video appears in Verdad for the first time because its maker, Sebastian Alvarez, does something still rare in video art: offers a compelling experience which is more than the sum of its parts.  His video grabbed me with an unusual scene, intrigued me with the feel of emotional truth via languages I don't speak, then contrasted that with the nitty gritty of speakers whose languages I do speak.  And then it implies a broader statement that seems right and true: all humans harbor regrets; they are not proud of them but are willing to confess—sometimes in an unexpected context!—and to try for a better relationship.   And thus me.  To whom do I need to apologize and how will it happen?

Peter Bonner's paintings root in narrative subjects he has plumbed his whole career: important people, animals, and landscapes especially of his native Australia.  The more literal images he once made are now yielding to a fiercely complete account, using color and visual texture, of how these things can affect a man's whole being.  Enjoy too, his written account of how a research visit to a small town of pilgrimage and great icon painting in Russia reenforced his being a painter—though a similar trip could easily prompt prose, poetry or religious practice in you.

Fran O'Neill paints abstract paintings that are uncommonly engaging because of her unique openness to intricacies of visual music, her rhythm appearing as marks and layers, her harmonies as families of color and tone, and her melodies a group of improvisations on an old story: the foreigner striving for all there may be in New York City.

One of Koo Schadler's images appears on the cover of this issue because it is a reason for a story.  I am astonished at how time stops in her very contemporary portraits made using an ancient technique, how her pictorial designs and aesthetics honor and update different parts of the history of painting, and how she seeks beauty in an era in which so many artists dismiss it.

                                                                                                 — Jack Miller