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WELCOME To THE NEWEST Literary 2016 SPECIAL Edition of BUREAU of ARTSand CULTURE MAGAZINE. EXCLUSIVE  LITERARY  INTERVIEW  with NOVELIST :Irvine WELSH,  This New 299 Page Edition Contains The BUREAU ICON Essay on :John STEINBECK, The BUREAU GUEST Visual Artist New YORK City PAINTER:Nathan WALSH Cinema: AMERICAN Director  Hal ASHBY & The CLASSIC FILM "BEING THERE," ART Reviews: Emilie CLARK . Michael KAGAN . The Max GINSBURG LECTURE . San FRANCISCO : Photographs  Roman VISHNIAC . Bill GRAHAM at The CJM The SouthWest Photographic Essay Winner Rich HELMERPlus Diane ARBUS . NEW FICTION ENCORE: They CALL IT The CITY of ANGELS Selected Chapters INTERVIEWS: Sandy SKOGLUND  . Shaun HUSTON on Library Comic BOOKS . MUSIC: The MALLETT Brothers Band . Kehinde WILEY at The SEATTLE Museum . Museums : Arizona . Oklahoma . San Francisco .  ART By John MELLENCAMP . BOOKS : ALI & Malcolm X . SPRINGSTEEN . Literature by U.S. Military Veterans . The SEATTLE Photographic Essay and The FIVE Best Bookstores in BERKELEY . LITERARY Events 2016  S.E. Hinton's The OUTSIDERS + WOMEN Writers RULE : RESOURCES with Info and Email Links to 100's of  Magazines, Publications and Literary Organizations around The World. 

                  image: BUREAU ART DEPARTMENT

                                                                                                    By Joshua A. TRILIEGI 

Question : What is it,  that makes a good writer ?  There are over a million answers to that question, simply ask a million writers. Each have their own rules, codes and exercises. John Updike adhered to writing three pages a day, before lunch. Charles Bukowski enjoyed a nice bottle of wine and the peaceful patter of classical music, deep into the night. According to John Steinbeck, in his Nobel Prize winning speech, there are many things a writer cannot think, be or do, to be considered, one of the gang. 1-You may not be Exclusive. 2-You may not be Separate. 3-You may not lack passion.  A good many people write books about people who have written books. John Steinbeck, to my knowledge, never did such a thing. He did not have to do such a thing. Riding on the backs of previous authors, telling the reader what this means, what that means, defining the minds of the young, before they even have time to decide what they think for themselves. We, here, at BUREAU of Arts and Culture do not suggest that you buy any books by people who write books about people who write books. As long as you can read the author directly, there is no reason whatsoever to buy a book by someone else. John Steinbeck's Literary work is often challenging. Either for it's length such as, "East of Eden." Or for it's tragic consequence, as in "The Pearl," and "Of Mice and Men." Other times, for its sheer breadth of reality, as in his masterpiece, "The Grapes of Wrath." John Steinbeck probably worked harder than most do at his craft. He also had a deep concern for everyday people. At the same time, Steinbeck was willing to look back and admit, that, whatever his views had been, during a particular time and place, the ideas that may have shaped his books, that many of those views had changed on reflection. The books remained the same, the man, did not. 

 "I hold that a writer who 
                  does not passionately believe 
                         in the perfectibility of man, 
                             has no dedication nor any 
                                 membership in literature."  

- John Steinbeck

Since we are a generation very influenced by Cinema, many of us have seen The Films and we now implore you to, pick a favorite, and read the book. East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath, The Pearl, Of Mice and Men, Cannery Row, to name a few. John Steinbeck's best works come from reality, the people he met, the jobs he endured, the folks he interviewed, the wars he witnessed, the losses he experienced and above all, the empathy he owned. Quoting from his speech of 1962, "I hold that a writer who does not passionately believe in the perfectibility of man, has no dedication nor any membership in literature." The first of several declarations that were meant to knock you, the reader, on your ass. By this time, he is a championship fighter, with about two dozen works of importance under his belt. And  ,only four more years of life on this planet. But don't despair dear readers, no one need mourn the death of John Steinbeck.  Men such as he, do not die, they do not wither, they do not drift aimlessly across the plains of this great nation, they do not sit like so many monuments across the deserts of this beautiful planet, nor do they flash and blink and rust and corrode, like some long lost forgotten neon sign on a lonely stretch of highway, like just so much dust, in the wind, scattered here and there. Men such as he, are noble, they transcend the critics, they overshadow the cowards, they eclipse the fakes and they inspire the weak, the broken, the battered, the downtrodden and the forgotten. As he stated so concisely, over sixty years ago, "I am impelled, not to squeak like a grateful and apologetic mouse, but to roar like a lion out of pride in my profession and in the great and good men who have practiced it through the ages." I could not have said it better. That is why, on this day, we honor and celebrate, the greatness that is, was and will always be : John Steinbeck. 



Somewhere between the very concise, concrete and physical realities of time and place in locales like San Francisco, New York City, Chicago and the Ideas of a Utopian Eye of the Mind, The Painter, Nathan Walsh has produced a series of large scale, time intensive works that equal, in counterpart, in scope, and in end result, the works of a master Novelist, Filmmaker or Architect. Nathan Walsh, is setting the bar, so high, on the painters of his generation, and those who actually have, and will, in the future, participate in this publication, that we here, are now becoming concerned for everyone else. The scale, the vision, the intricacy, the colors, the patterns, the schematics and the overall attention to detail is, absolutely, some of the best artwork we have ever seen:  Now, Before and Since. His draftsmanship skills are up there with the best of the architects: Frank Lloyd Wright. His paranormal and somewhat panoramic views of intricate cityscapes rival the classicist photographers: Edward Steichen. His vibrant and variable color choices are as good or better than some of the best comic illustrators alive: Daniel Clowes. 

Nathan Walsh is doing something quite different, at a magnitude and an altitude of dizzying heights. That all said, the works are mature, whilst still being fun. They are pleasing without losing anything to  complexity. They are light sensitive, while still achieving refracted objects in detail. And all the while, they are somehow mathematic, without lacking the very soul contained within all truly great art. The entire body of work contains a strange balance between the sober documentation of an actual reality and an impressionistic and stylized view of a world interpreted by a rather scientific minded work-a-day, no nonsense technician. These days, in the so-called, 'Modern Art World,' becoming a house hold name, often registers automatically, due to a happenstance moment in time or place. A sex tape is revealed, an actor turns artist, a war between two parties creates a stir, an artist pushes a political or allegoric analogy, or the big end all, an artist dies, at the hands of themselves or someone else. The media or the name gallery, or the collector, rushes in and, 'Boom,' fame is bestowed upon and forever tied to the art, the artist and the story therein. Nathan Walsh is going about his business in a manner, a style, a breadth, and a fidelity to excellence, based on his own vision and expectation, that, whether any of the usual art world accidents ever do, or do not occur, he is assured a future. And we here, are proud to have him, in the present,  front and center,  our Guest Artist for this,  our Newest Edition.   

 CHICAGO IN THE RAIN  [ Drawing ]     Nathan WALSH   BUREAU Guest Artist SPRING LITERARY  

Joshua TRILIEGI : Photography plays some key role in your style, could you discuss how you utilize the Images from photographs ?

Nathan WALSH : Whilst my paintings are very much the product of studio activity they are also closely associated to the experience of being at a particular location for a period of time. They make direct reference to photography and the photorealist movement of the 1970s. Photography does play an important role in my process but not to a point where I am dependent on it. On a practical level, it is the most effective way of gathering a large amount of raw material when I am visiting a new country or city.

However Instead of a painted photographic record or recreation of my memories of the location, my work exhibits an independent logic and exists solely on its own terms. It's aim is not to mimic our own world and the laws within it but to suggest a different world with it's own parameters. Like a lucid dream or hallucination it aims to describe this world with a precision and clarity equal to photography.     [ cont - ] 


Nathan WALSH : [ - cont  ] To be fully appreciated the first and perhaps most inventive generation of photorealist artists need to be viewed in real life. I think part of the problem with the work that has succeeded it or been inspired by it has been based on viewing it in reproduction. For example Richard Estes and John Salt were painters first and foremost, the strength of their work rooted partially in the personal exploration of methods and materials. Their work is dependent on expressive mark making and creative thinking, too close an adherence to photography or digital imagery I believe can lead to overly mechanical and artificial outcomes. When I make work I understand that the success of a particular painting will be dependent on my decisions not the solutions a camera or software package might offer me. The more it becomes about my decisions the more it moves away from objective reality, not perhaps where it becomes dreamlike but certainly the best work I’ve made has a hallucinatory quality. Most art movements start out as radical but over time become increasingly conservative. If Hyper / Photorealism is to remain interesting, then its practitioners must find ways of extending its parameters in new and unexpected ways, technical proficiency is a given and not enough to mark an artist out as significant. It will be interesting to see where this new exploration leads us, there are certainly signs over the past couple of years that some artists are making leaps forward.

Nathan WALSH in Studio Creating Drawing 59Th Street    BUREAU Guest Artist SPRING LITERARY

Joshua TRILIEGI : Your paintings shift between exacting photorealism and abstract animation, explain how you, 'design,' an image.

Nathan WALSH : People often assume my work is an accurate description or document of a specific location or recreation of a view. In actuality this is very far from the case, all pictorial elements are subject to change whether it be their inclusion or omission from a painting or their relative size or position within the composition. So in essence they are an abstraction from reality, I pick and chose what information to leave in and what to leave out. As you have noted this leads to an extended or heightened sense of the world we live in, different views get combined together, colours become accentuated and the paint itself as physical material is explored. I still want the viewer to be convinced by this new world and imagine they could inhabit it but fundamentally its a construct based on my decisions. In the future I can imagine this being extended further leading to the work becoming increasingly divorced from our own world. 

Nathan WALSH  59Th Street      BUREAU Guest Artist SPRING LITERARY

Joshua TRILIEGI : The drawings that prep each painting, to me, are artworks unto themselves, its really an amazing process, share that early work with readers. 

Nathan WALSH : Experiencing the city as a human being is an immersive experience. I wanted to find a way of translating that experience in a convincing way which removed the detachment involved using a camera. My approach to drawing explores this is hopefully sympathetic to this idea, allowing the viewer to see not just what's in front of them but whats around them. 

Drawing allows me to make human pictorial decisions instead of relying on the mechanical eye of a camera or software package. This process is open ended and changes from one painting to the next. Whilst I employ a variety of perspectival strategies, these methods are not fixed or rigid in their application. Working with a box of pencils and an eraser I will start by establishing an horizon line on which I will place vanishing points to construct simple linear shapes which become subdivided into more complex arrangements. By using simple mathematical ratios I can begin to describe concrete form within my picture plane. Over a period of time I will draw and redraw buildings, manipulating their height, width or nature in relation to other pictorial elements. By introducing spatial recession to these elements I aim to present a world the viewer can enter into and move around.


Joshua TRILIEGI : The size of your landscapes are rather healthy, is this due to the amount of visual information you wish to provide ? Explain scale and perspective, in your work.

Nathan WALSH : My paintings are large because I want the viewer to relate to them in a physical way. I want them to function almost as alternative realities where whoever is stood in front of them feels they can almost enter into the world I’ve created. There is a huge amount of visual information contained within the paintings but hopefully there is also space and air for that information to be read effectively. I try to use perspective in a creative and fluid manner. I don't follow any particular strategy nor concern myself too much with making something that is mathematically correct. I combine and use traditional techniques with digital software in an attempt find new ways of describing space. Each new drawing or painting I make is a development from the last, in an attempt to make more complex and convincing scenes based on the world we live in. As an artist I use perspective simply as a tool to be played with not something to stick rigidly too at the expense of pictorial invention.


Joshua TRILIEGI :  Lets discuss time and investment in each painting. Walk us through the process of  your Painting entitled: TransAmerica .  

Nathan WALSH : In 2011, I made a three week trip from the West to East Coast of America, which included 4 days in San Francisco. Before I visit a city I tend not have a clear idea of what I’d like to paint, I just tend to amble around, very much like a Flaneur waiting for something to connect with. When I do find something of interest I’ll take numerous photographs of a location and normally a series of thumbnail drawings in a sketchbook. Back in the UK I will sift though the raw material I’ve collected and make a series of postcard sized drawings which suggest potential paintings. I pin these to the studio wall and live with them for a while, most get rejected but whichever one I eventually chose must have the most visual potential to make a dynamic full scale painting. Once I’ve decided on the size of the painting I start to draw elements in a fairly loose and organic way.   [ cont - ] 


Nathan WALSH : [ - cont ]  This drawing stage can take up to a month for a large painting, In some ways it could be argued as the most creative part of my activity. Once complete I brush over a glaze of oil paint and begin blocking areas of colour with heavily diluted washes of paint. Over the subsequent months paint layers are built up and sanded away. The goal is not to mimic the flatness of a static photograph but to make reference to a rich linage of European and American painting, seeing my work up close reveals a personal system of mark making and investigation of the physical properties of oil paint. Surface and texture has becoming increasingly important to me, finding new ways of applying and manipulating paint leads to richer and unexpected outcomes. 

‘Transamerica' Is a reflected view of a San Francisco street seen through a Chinese gift shop. Instead of a real reflection I have 'sandwiched' together photographs taken in front of me with shots taken directly behind. By describing a series of layers of information some opaque, others translucent the intention is to suggest a heightened reality, one we could not experience in the real world.


Nathan WALSH : [ - cont ]  I like the idea of dipping into the resources and technology that are available in a fluid and open ended way. The ‘Transamerica’ was a composite of information, part photographic, part observational drawing,  part vector based artwork that I’d downloaded then mapped to my preparatory drawing.  Many of the objects including the Chinese Dolls in the foreground were bought in the UK and painted from life in the studio. Using Don Eddy and Tom Blackwell’s window paintings of the 1970’s as a point of departure the painting became a palimpsest of cobbled together information.  The challenge then of course is get these different types of information to function together in a coherent way. Whilst in essence the painting is a fantasy my aim was still to make it a believable one.

The methods that I’m adopting are in part a conscious attempt at avoiding the numerous pitfalls open to contemporary realist painters.  Instead of employing a ‘catch-all’ strategy for making work I’m accessing different approaches in an attempt to reveal new ways of depicting the world.


Joshua TRILIEGI :  Where did you go to school and how did that particular experience make up who you are as an artist, site influences. 

Nathan WALSH : I followed a fairly typical art education in the UK, an interest in art at school led to undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at University. I studied drawing, painting, printmaking and typography all of which have left a mark on my current activity. People often assume that I’ve had some formal architectural training but this isn’t the case. Whilst realist painting is not particularly popular in the UK ,I was fortunate on my Masters degree to be taught by two exceptional realist painters, one of whom, Clive Head I have remained in dialogue with till today. Head is one of the most significant contemporary figurative painters and his works and writing have been a significant influence on me.

Joshua TRILIEGI :  Do you actually use projection when creating the original impetus, if so explain, if not explain ?

Nathan WALSH : No, freehand drawing is fundamental to all of my work allowing me to take full ownership of  photographic material. Rejecting the mechanical transfer of imagery forces me to construct each object from scratch and allows for a fluid and inventive approach. Fixing pictorial elements to separate vanishing points allows the construction of a space independent of both reality and any photographic record of the scene. A shifting horizon line allows to viewer to look up and down into the space, and question their position in relation to the scene. I have nothing against the use of projection as part of an artists methodology, but for me its a limiting activity and would lead to predictable results.


Joshua TRILIEGI : Can you recall an early painting influence, visit to a Museum, art book, etc ?

Nathan WALSH : I started collected art related books as a student. This has served as daily form a of inspiration and guidance for my own practice. Looking at significant artists and paintings of the past can often be intimidating but can also suggest ways forward. My inspirations are numerous and varied from Piranesi’s engravings to the decorative tiles of William De Morgan. What connects all of these interests is a strong sense of structure and pattern. Most of the artists and designers I admire had or have a rigorous approach to composition and commitment to process perhaps more than outcome. I often think my own work as “sampling” these inspiring figures, whether it be the palette of Bonnard or the dynamism of a Bernice Abbott photograph. 

I also have quite a close network of artist friends which serve as quite a supportive network whether that be through email dialogue or visiting each others studios or exhibitions. Painting by its nature is as a solitary activity so the sharing of ideas and experiences with other like minded individuals is often a healthy exercise.

Nathan WALSH     DETAIL of  Drawing for  Z BAR  BUREAU Guest Artist SPRING LITERARY

Joshua TRILIEGI :  Does music or literature or film help you in your process, if so please site examples ? 

Nathan WALSH : Film is probably the most important of the three in terms of an influence on my studio life. I’m not that interested in narrative, more visual language and spectacle. To give you a taste here’s a list of films that I’ve connected with: Alphaville, Koyaanisqatsi, Bladerunner, Man with a Movie Camera, Inception, 2001: A Space Oddyssey, Metropolis, Stalker, Solaris, Brazil, Her, The Seventh Seal, The Cabinet of Dr. Calgari, Synecdoche New York, The Holy Mountain, The Master, Videodrome. 


Joshua TRILIEGI : What drives you to commit to each painting and then to actually persevere ?  

Nathan WALSH : I believe some people are born with a desire to respond to their environment by making things. This might be a piece of furniture or jet engine, but the initial impulse is the same. I’m not sure I ever made a conscious decision to try and become a full time artist, but I certainly had a desire to develop and improve the paintings I was drawn to make. The notion of improvement is essential to my activity in that its very difficult to justify spending time on something which I already know how to do. Although many artists have a successful formula for making work the idea of doing the same thing over and over again doesn’t appeal to me. I’m excited to see how far ideas can be explored and how I can find more elegant and complex solutions to visual problems. The paintings are very labour intensive and dependant on their size and complexity I might only make two large works a year. Sometimes I’ll make a smaller work but I find myself drawn to making increasingly larger and more complex work. I usually paint six days a week but often that can turn into seven as one week blurs into the next. My day follows a fairly fixed pattern. I leave the house at 7am and arrive at the studio for 7.30. After cleaning my palette from the day before I start painting at 8 o’clock. I’ll work through till 12, go and have lunch then return for 1. I’ll normally work till 6pm but the afternoon painting session always seems tougher than the morning. This daily ritual is crucial for the work to progress in any reasonable fashion. Painting full time is rarely a physical job but a long day of concentration often leaves you exhausted. There are many potential distractions but in time you learn to ignore them and focus on the ever present problems of painting.

Bernarducci Meisel Gallery  
37 W 57th St #3, New York, NY 10019 

THE BUREAU GUEST ARTIST : NATHAN WALSH is Represented in New York City By The Bernarducci Meisel Gallery at 37 West 57 Street at 5th Avenue  A long established crossroads of the art world. The focus is the presentation of the finest contemporary realist art including established and emerging artists of the genre. Since the Gallery's inception, our artists have exhibited both nationally and internationally and their work has been included in important museum surveys and featured in solo museum exhibitions. In 2010 the Gallery expanded from 3,000 to 6,000 square feet at 37 West 57 where we now occupy the entire third floor. In addition to greater visibility, this larger space gives us the ability to present more comprehensive exhibitions, now and in the years to come. Our goal is to provide the foremost opportunity for the world's leading realist painters and sculptors.

                 The Artist :

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It is rare, in today's modern art world, to view an artist's work, that is new and refreshing, stimulating and advanced by the works of scientist's from the 1800's.  Emilie Clark has been creating a refreshing series of watercolors over that past few years that have caught our eye. A balanced mix of botany, zoology and eco - friendly feminism that carries none of the dogmatic baggage that often aligns itself with movements, theories and schools of thought.  The works are detailed like lovingly woven tapestries of an overgrowth of ideology that reminds one of the great garden of life itself. The artist explains, "I wanted the drawings to feel like one was within the composting process - the process that is so eloquently spoken about in Walt Whitman's, "This Compost," - "Such Sweet Things are Made of Such Corruptions," and indeed, the goal has been achieved. As if we have walked in the forest, among the fallen leaves, the wandering rivers edge, within the mud and guts of life's true force, during a torrid rainstorm, and suddenly, the sun begins to part through the clouds, the birds and other creatures emerge and quite miraculously reveal a fecundity abound.       

" If air, water and food are what biologically 
              make up the earth's household, one is faced 
                                     with the overwhelming reality that 
                                                        that is literally everything. " 

                                                                                                             - Emilie CLARK / Artist

Culling inspiration from Martha Ann Maxwell, the first female field naturalist, vegetarian and taxidermist, has empowered and informed the visual style of the watercolors, as well as the various installation works that often accompany Ms. Clark's exhibitions. All of this background information is well and good, but, more to the point, the artworks themselves actually transcend all of the education. Too often, we are either dealing with, an artist with a whole gang of education and not enough technique, or a great efficiency and mastery of form, and a lack of honest knowledge. In this case, the stimulus does not override the end product, and for that, we need be grateful to this great body of work and the artist. The artwork itself also begs a much larger and more important question: Who actually created all of this gorgeous grandeur, this magnificent madness of life ?  And if Women are the only human beings actually entrusted to carry the children into this world: Plant, Animal, Mineral and Human, than why is God, if there is one, always called a HE ? Ms. Clark's bewitching works have me thinking otherwise, neither bothered nor bewildered: simply blown away.  

By  J.  A.  TRILIEGI   for  BUREAU of ARTS and CULTURE  Magazine

Long before Brooklyn based painter, Michael Kagan was born, in 1980, the   television told us, through original airings and constant re-runs, that,"Space," was, "The Final Frontier …" Man's obsession with the machinery of morrow and yore have always played a key role in the arts and in history, be it mythological or otherwise.  When Louis and Clark set out to document The America's, they utilized a simple vessel, armed with paper, pencils, pigments. We see their journey through maps, through drawings and documentation. 

Man's journey to the moon, utilizing a much more complicated device, is a touch more challenging in it's documentation. The power of images on reflection are often uber-fascinating to those of us un-born during the battles. A good many of us have seen how a canoe floats upon a body of water, carrying people and parcels, to and fro. Water, fire, air and earth are trustworthy elements, difficult to deny.  Add to that, Gravity, and you know exactly which side is up. In Space, that particular aspect of register is denied and so we must constantly ask ourselves: Where are we and which side is up ? It is one thing to hurl an object through space, it is another altogether, to land it properly, be it on the side of a flowing river, or on a far off, distant planet. 

Now, Michael Kagan has taken the stuff of young men's obsessive imagery of a popular variety, Astronauts, Race Car Drivers, Cock Pits and The Concord Mountain, to encapsulate some idea of reaching the top. His oil on linen, application and techniques are laden with a fine art style, loosely and abundantly applied brush strokes that create a final result which, in scale and in form, are indeed impressive. The full size painting, entitled,"There Is No End," which measures 96" x 72", serves as the  frontispiece of a recent exhibit, his second one man show at the Joshua Liner gallery in New York City. . Kagan, who is in his mid thirties, has already worked with the Smithsonian, collaborated with cultural mastermind Pharrell Williams and received recent large scale commissions: he is headed toward the top. Of course, for those who race the cars, drive the planes, climb the mountains, there indeed, is and End. Just as every writer, eventually meets the bottom of the page: Happy Landing.   

Michael KAGAN : Lights OUT  / Paintings Recently Exhibited at  The Joshua LINER Art Gallery
540 W. 28th Street  NY, NY 10001 /   Tuesday – Saturday 11 am - 6 pm  /  


The American Film Director, Hal Ashby, created a series of groundbreaking and wholly original, cinematic gems, throughout his life. Each are deeply rooted in a darkly humanist, yet extremely touching mode of thinking. Since that time, few directors have ever been able to emulate, let alone imitate his contribution. Born on a farm, in Ogden, Utah, to a father who refused to modernize the family business, leading to financial disaster and eventually suicide. In 1941, at twelve years of age, young Hal Ashby is scarred deeply by his fathers death. Americans enter into World War II and young Hal identifies the war machine with the loss of his father. He will forever become a peace activist, the rest of his life. Hal works his way up from office boy at Universal Studios to Apprentice Editor at Republic Pictures, to Assistant Editor for some of the Best directors in the business, including, George Stevens and William Wyler. In those days, not unlike these days, one had to choose projects that might help one rise to position. Ashby had to quit working for Steven's, in the middle of a production of, "The Greatest Story Ever Told," released in 1965, to take over on a new project for Wyler, and the rest is history. Hal became Chief Editor, which led to an Oscar Award by The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in 1965 for, "In The Heat of The Night," starring Sidney Poitier, directed By Norman Jewison, with a highly sensitive, race related screenplay. One can imagine George Steven's reaction, as Hal Ashby, his former assistant editor, received the Academy Award for work as Lead Editor the same year Steven's four and a half hour epic project was released. Ashby's collaboration with Jewison eventually leads to a directorial debut, five years later, with, 'The Landlord.'  A comedy about a wealthy young white boy, thrust into owning and managing an apartment building, in the heart of New York Cities urban life, during the rise of black power groups, such as The Black Panthers. The film stars a young, wide eyed, Beau Bridges and is available for viewing on you tube, in its entirety. A hilarious, and most likely, self referential project, possibly describing Ashby's own journey from farm to city, from innocence to experience, from Utah to Hollywood : The Truly, 'Cultural Education,' that no simple degree from any major or minor university can ever hope to provide

Throughout the decade of the 1970s, Hal Ashby will create a hand full of films that break genres, make genres, and in general, piss off the critics and win over a youth culture that will eventually become the group of people, here in America, that are now in their sixties. Harold and Maude, The Last Detail, Coming Home, Shampoo, Bound For Glory and to this writers mind, his masterpiece, entitled, "BEING THERE". Starring Peter Sellars, as described by David A. Cook, "An idiot savant gardener, whose knowledge of the world comes exclusively from television." During the same year that films such as, "The Jerk," with Steve Martin, Woody Allen's, "Manhattan," Monty Python's, "Life of Brian," and more serious toned projects like, "Apocalypse Now,"  "Norma Rae," and, "The China Syndrome," are released, Hal Ashby's North Star productions releases: BEING THERE. Another notable film, in that year of 1979, one that actually gains momentum from Ashby's style and tone, would be the fabulous look at life on the road as a rock and roll singer with Bette Midler's debut film, "The Rose," possibly, and still to this day, one of the greatest and most authentic takes on The Rock and Roll Lifestyle, which Ashby had also experienced first hand, while creating a Documentary on The Rolling Stones. Ashby did not just document, he actually lived the lifestyle and, it is reported, that he overdosed while doing so. He should not be judged too harshly in this regard. Laurel Canyon, where he resided, was a seriously saturated scene of hipsters, of a wide variety. Ashby had been very good friends with Jack Nicholson since their days at Metro in the mid fifties. He lived next to Carol King, just across from Spielberg and around the corner from Fleetwood Mac and Alice Cooper. Hal's producer Charles Mulvehill, is actually referenced in the Nicholson, Classic Film Chinatown, directed by Roman Polanski and produced by Robert Evans. These were heady times in Hollywood and the power base, the political expression and the artistic purity has never been so intertwined, before or since that time. Warren Beatty may not have ever directed the epic production of REDS, had it not been for Hal Ashby, and their work on SHAMPOO. Hal Ashby made directing films look easy, I can assure the reader that, directing a major motion picture, is Anything Except: EASY.

The most important aspect of filmmaking is collaboration and Hal Ashby, over his entire career worked with six of the best Cinematographers in the business, including : John Alonzo in Harold and Maude, Gordon Willis in The Landlord, Michael Chapman in The Last Detail, Haskell Wexler in both, Bound For Glory and Coming Home and finally, Caleb Deschanel in Being There. All six went on to make a roster of classic films and many still around, doing the best work in the business. During the filming of Coming Home with Jane Fonda, Bruce Dern and Jon Voight, Haskel Wexler's son, who had been working in the sound department, expressed his concerns about Mr. Ashby's direction, to his father. According to Peter Biskind, in his classic book, "Easy Riders and Raging Bulls," Wexler's son told Haskel that, "Were in big trouble," describing the now classic scene where Jon Voight, a returned and handicapped Vietnam Veteran talks to a young group of students about joining the armed forces. "It just doesn't work," he explained, describing the days shoot, Hal, it appeared, simply allowed Jon to ramble on, allowed for improvisation and it seemed muddled. Haskel Wexler, knowing very well that Ashby, having once been one of the best film editors in the business, would simply make it happen, in the editing, responded accordingly, "Give it a chance, you know the way Hal is in the editing room," Sure enough, he put a great scene together, and to quote Biskind, "… Probably won Jon [ Voight ] the Oscar." It is rumored that, the film, "Being There," may have actually been taken away from Hal Ashby, halfway or three quarters of the way through the production, either due to his health, or due to other power scrambling reasons. Because of the connection between actor Peter Sellers, who also worked very closely with Stanley Kubrick, it is said, among Hollywood circles, that Kubrick may have stepped into the production, and or had a hand in somehow assisting the production along. These facts are difficult to verify, but definitely worth noting. Especially since Mr. Kubrick, who worked closely with NASA, and is indeed credited with assisting the United States Government of the late Nineteen Sixties, with propagating and creating a vision of a moon landing that has, to this day, been questioned and denied, in circles of science and theory, as much as Global Warming is today. In many power circles, the deaths of Hal Ashby, Stanley Kubrick and the writer of "Being There," Novelist Jerzy Kosinski, have been pondered, questioned and theorized.  Jack Nicholson would go on to work for Kubrick the following year in, "The Shining," and did not at all enjoy the process. When asked what it was like to work for Kubrick ? In his trademark style and grin, Jack famously paused, then wryly remarked that, working with Stanley Kubrick, "Brings New Meaning To The Word : M-e-t-i-c-u-l-o-u-s."  

The Shining Film Production itself, according to film analysts and theorists, is a project which is supposedly packed with coded messages of a wide variety,  and, on second look, there are many. Rubric's constant references to his involvement with the controversy surrounding his relationship with NASA and the original filming of his classic space film, "2001 : A Space Odyssey," loosely based on the book by Arthur C. Clark, are peppered throughout, "The Shining". The young boy, haunted by ghosts, wears a NASA space ship on his sweater. Thus symbolizing Rubric's history with the space myth, that he may have helped to propagandize. Kubrick, who had risen from Life Magazine photographer to someone who had been used by the power base to create an image that would eventually end up on the cover of LIFE, The Special Edition, with Buzz Aldrin and the phrase in bold capitals: To The Moon and Back. The few astronauts who have been given a chance to speak on the matter, have too, recently made statements that appear to be coded with regret and inference to the possibility that something, indeed was not correct about the journey and or the official story. The only image in US history that has been scrutinized more than the Life Cover Image is the Other LIFE Cover of the false shadowed image of John F. Kennedy's so - called lone assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. In, "The Shining," the two girls haunting the young boy in the hallway are meant to represent two particular sides of a single event, the real story and the official story, the elevator representing the spaceship. Since our publication also celebrates great photographers, this would also be a good time to credit Diane Arbus, whose original series on Twins obviously inspired Stanley Kubrick. In  "2001: A Space Odyssey," The astronaut is forced to fight with the machine, after several of his space mates have died, his main goal is to turn off the machine, which is named, HAL. It has been stated that Kubrick had originally meant to utilize the initials from the leading technology company of the time, IBM, and transformed or coded those initials by simply adjusting each letter, one step closer to their previous letter in the alphabet, thus I becomes H, B becomes A, and M becomes L, I-B-M turns into H-A-L. Though, those who like to consider circles of power, have made intimations of another variety concerning Kubrick, who had moved to the Empire of England, and his relation and or ideas about Ashby, who was a stone cold American liberal, with his heart firmly rooted in humanist, films, ideas and causes. Throughout his lifetime, Hal Ashby stood strong for values of freedom of expression, and was always on the side of the underdog, politically speaking. Hal Ashby had met with Cesar Chavez, he had attended Martin Luther King's funeral and upon receiving his Oscar, simply wished for peace to prevail and walked off with a Thank You.  

The reader should re-look at the afore mentioned films and decide for yourself, if indeed, Stanley Kubrick attempted to share with the viewer, his personal history. It should be noted that filmmakers of this period, were very aware of each others work, and Nicholson's scene, early on, in "The Shining," where he sits in the office, discussing the new job opportunity, is a replica of his scene, entering the insane asylum, in his award winning film, "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest." Possibly Kubrick's in joke, that this particular production, was going to drive the actors crazy, and on reflection, many did feel that Rubric's methods were unsound. Speaking of films of the year Nineteen Seventy-Nine and unsound method's, is, "Apocalypse Now," referencing anything in this regard when Willard, played by Martin Sheen, explains to his fellow marines, describing Marlon Brando's dictatorially position in the jungles of Vietnam, "…Method ? I don't see any Methodat all ?"  

"… No matter the darkness of their lives, 
            no matter the times they endured, 
                  the ways in which they lived or the 
                            power circles they travelled in, 
                               we as purveyors of fine culture, 
                                                 must honor those works."

It is well known that Coppola needed Brando's participation and ended up paying out an exorbitant daily rate, for what had been an unprepared performance.  It should also be recognized that both Francis Ford Coppola and Robert Altman, two of the strongest directors to emerge from the 1970s, were ten years younger than Hal Ashby and according to writer Joe McBride, "Ashby deserves to be ranked with [ them ]." We agree. However and whatever the facts may be, the films and works of art these men made, no matter the darkness of their lives, no matter the times they endured, the ways in which they lived or the power circles they travelled in, we as purveyors of fine culture, must honor those works. And so today, on the eve of a national election, we take another look at Mr. Hal Ashby's political fairy tale,  "BEING THERE." 


The first words spoken by a human being in the film production of, "Being There," are whispered by a black maid, into the ears of our hero: Chance. Played brilliantly by actor Peter Sellers. "He's dead Chance, the old man's dead…" She delivers the line like the blues singer, Nina Simone, whispering in the show tune, 'Pirate Jenny,' that a death has occurred, over night, and nothing will ever be the same again. "What are you going to do now, " she asks Chance ?  And his simple reply, "I'm going to work in the garden." And thus begins the strange, fairy tale-like journey, from the hermetically sealed life of a simple, child-like man, once cloistered in the small garden of a private home in Washington D.C. for all of his known life, now released into the world, simply by accident, or so it would seem. 

"Chance's Journey Takes us Deep Into the 
     Worlds of   Symbolic Power, the Influential 
            Halls of Government  and Quite Possibly 
                                    into the Presidency of  The USA."

Chance's journey takes us deep into the worlds of symbolic power, the influential halls of government and quite possibly into the Presidency of  The USA. Louise the maid continues, "You ought to find yourself a lady, Chance…  You always gonna be a little boy ain't you ? "  As the body of The Old Man is carried out on a stretcher, the maid, who has taken care of Chance all his life, says good — bye, she appears surprised that he has no ability to express his feelings, regarding her leaving, or the old man's death. As the body is carried out, she insists on leaving before the remains of her employer does, and, her parting comment, while looking at the body, covered by a white sheet, "… He used to be a big man, suppose he waisted away to nothin'." As she walks out the front door, leaving Chance alone, in the home, for the first time in his life. 

Televisions surround the entire home, one in the kitchen, one in the bedroom, even a television in the garden. Chance consistently mimics the activities that he views on the little television box of images with and endless barrage of gestures, sayings and rituals. If the lady in tights exercises, than Chance exercises.  If the driver of an old horse and buggy tips his hat, than Chance too, tips his hat. If the president shakes hands by holding both hands to a guest, than Chance too uses both hands.*  In the scene following Louise and the Old Man's exit, two lawyers, using their own key, a man and a woman, enter into the Old Man's home, unbeknownst to Chance, who sits quietly, watching television, as he has most likely done for the past few decades, untouched by the outside world. 

"Chance will utilize an activity, a phrase, a ritual, 
        a gesture, a term, and it shall be interpreted 
                                in a much wider variety of  ways, 
                                               than he may have intended."

They introduce themselves as the Old Man's lawyers, his estate is to be settled.  "Were with Franklin-Jennings and Rogers, the firm handling the estate." Chance answers, very casually, "Hello… I'm Chance the gardener." And indeed, he takes their hands, as he saw The president do, and greets them accordingly. They are both taken aback by the gesture. This will be the first of many such incidents throughout the film. Chance will utilize an activity, a phrase, a ritual, a gesture, a term, and it shall be interpreted in a much wider variety of ways, than he may have intended. Chance is an open slate for the projection of the beholders perceptions, experience or intentions, be them good, bad or indifferent.  And throughout the journey, he meets them all. 

*A historical note, Writer David A. Cook, describing the film and its context, reminds us that in the 1970s the average viewer watched seven hours a day of television, the public dilemma was so pervasive that the problems of American's addiction to watching television had actually been debated throughout the very halls of public policy. To use a phrase that was commonly blasted across advertising billboards during that time, "We've Come A Long Way Baby." These days, in 2016, those in power, actually hope we all just sit on our asses and watch television. The populist's participation in the Nineteen Sixties scared the hell out of those in government, and these days, they are indeed pleasantly satisfied that a good majority of Americans care more about awards shows, sports games and the private lives of entertainers, than protesting an issue, voting and getting directly involved in local, state and national dissertations in USA.

The male lawyer, Thomas, who is obviously perturbed by the presence of an unexpected individual, eventually loses his patients, "All kidding aside, Mr. Chance, may I ask what you are doing here?"  Chance, in all his simple and honest, open faced sincerity responds, quite simply, "I live here." Thomas, looking over his papers replies, "There is no mention of a gardener… Just how long have you been living here, Mr. Chance?" Now the female lawyer, Miss Hayes, has become intrigued by the situation.  "Ever since I can remember," Chance explains, "Since I was a child. I have always worked in the garden."   "Than You really are a gardener," She delves? "Yes," Chance replies. By this time, Thomas, is visually flustered, "We will need some proof of you having lived resided here, Mr. Chance."  He smiles, "You have me, I am here. What more proof do you need," Chance asks? Their conversation eventually reveals that not only has Chance never driven a car, he has actually never been allowed outside the house. He is the symbol of a baby having not been born yet, a pure product, educated almost entirely by television, with the exception of a few servants and the occasional visitor. He has no identification, he has no bank account, he does not exist on paper. The repartee continues in this vein until, eventually Chance understands that he must leave home

                      " My Plans are to Work in My Garden."
                                                 Chance The Gardener / Being There   

When asked, what he will do, what his 'Plans,' are ? Chance answers with the only plans he has ever had, the only thing he knows, "My plans are to work in my garden." There is a deep and arching idea of the existence of god throughout the film. The use of the music, "Thus Spoke Zarathustra," also utilized in, "2001: A Space Odyssey," is used again here, but this time, the very urban and hip version.  On the one hand, this film attempts to level the playing field, at the same time, it's direct use of the most basic and oldest power symbols, poke fun at both the populist and the politicians alike. As Chance enters into society, he speaks to the locals about tending the garden. A group of young urban kids, threaten him, he senses the danger, yet does not panic. He see's a women who looks like Louise and asks her for lunch. Eventually, Chance gets distracted by his own image on a television that sits in the window of a store front, while he attempts to cross the street, he is pinned between a limousine backing up and a parked car. Formally dressed, in the old man's suit, hat and umbrella, and, taken for a Washington DC gentlemen of power and stature, he is invited inside the limo, so a doctor can check his leg, and thus begins the journey, into the houses of power.  And at this juncture dear reader, I leave you wondering what happens next. In hopes that you will watch this fine piece of Cinema as soon as possible. As well as any film by director Hal Ashby.

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In The Studio, at The Table, and On The Road with This Maine Family Band

BUREAU :  What is the impetus, would you say, for writing a song ?

Luke: I like to think of the song itself as the impetus, or some part of that song. It can be a melody, a line, a title, a feeling or even a broader concept. When you're lucky an idea will stick with you, and start to snowball inside your head and you have no choice but to see it through, and hold on for the ride. These are the dust-like particles that artists, of any medium I think, seem to pluck right out of the air. The seeds of creativity. The songs don't come from a writer but through a writer, because all inspiration ultimately comes from something outside of ourselves. We are all filters for reality, whatever our medium of choice may be. The driving force behind any song, then, is to get it out of your own head. To finish it. It's kind of an irrational need that artistic minds share. Say there's a particular metaphoric line that gets stuck in your head like a grain of sand in an oyster. It rolls around and around in your head, getting bigger and growing layers, smoothing itself out until it's finished. They're not all pearls either, but I guess the pearl isn't the point so long as the grain of sand is gone. The real joy for myself comes from moving on to the next idea before it flutters away.

BUREAU :  Give us an example of a song you have written  and describe the real life circumstances, event and happenstance that inspired that tune ?   

Luke:  "Late Night In Austin" (, released as the first track on our 2015 release "Lights Along The River" is a song that blended experience and imagination. In March of 2013 we made our first trip out to Texas. SXSW was happening, and Texas being the heart and soul of so many of our musical heroes, it was a big deal for us to be there. We were at the Continental Club on a night off, a room which we would be honored to play on later tours, to see James Mcmurtry play a solo set in the Gallery upstairs. The first lines of "Late Night In Austin" are "One late night in Austin, saw an old man dancing by himself. He was drunk half to death, and I knew just how he felt." The tiny old man wore a battered fedora, a dirty suit but a suit none the less, and a pair of shiny dancing shoes. He was there to use them. It was like being in a movie, watching this odd and obviously very imbibed man spin, slide, and swing his arms around on a dance floor all of his own. The packed room became even more dense as the crowd parted before him. He mouthed the words to the songs, although he obviously didn't know them, and at times clenched his eyes closed, opened his mouth and silently screamed at the ceiling as if his performance was causing him pain. McMurtry is one of the greatest songwriters alive today, in my opinion, but after that night the image of the old gentleman was what had seared itself into my brain. It wasn't until 2 years later, on our 3rd trip to Texas I believe, that the song was finally given life. In 2 years I hadn't been able to shake the images of that night, and it was time to write it down. The second verse is more of a generalization, a sweeping idea of what Austin during SXSW feels like. Music everywhere, bands and fans, parties and high hopes. Some triumphs and some regrets I would have to imagine. The first verse brings me back to a specific moment, while the second conjures a general familiar feeling for me. I like being able to put these two different kinds of thought processes together.

BUREAU :  Once a song has been put on paper, walk us through the process of bringing those words to your Band members  ?

Luke : The process for each song is different, just as the process for every writer is different. As I said before, a song for me can grow out of a line, a melody, or a concept. Nearly all of my songs are brought to the band as a skeleton, or a shell, and I rely heavily on the guys in this band to make it a TMBB song. I think we're lucky to be in a group that works this way. We often come into rehearsal and say, "who's got secret songs? Who's got something new?" And often times that will lead to something more tangible by the end of the day. Maybe the most important step is bringing the idea to the stage, and letting it make it's final evolution in front of a crowd. One thing we take a lot of pride in is the live show, and that to me ultimately shows what the song was meant to become.

BUREAU :  How long have you or your bandmates been writing original works and explain how The Band was originally formed ?

Luke:  The Mallett Brothers Band began in late 2009, and we drew from every corner of the Portland Maine scene. Myself, Nick Leen and Nate Soule had recently come out of another project together, but it was the arrival of my brother Will to Portland that lit the fire. We had some song ideas, we had a vague direction we wanted to head stylistically, and we had no idea that this would become a driving force in our lives. Wally Wenzel and drummer Brian Higgins, who had also worked together on other projects, came into the picture shortly there after and from the very first rehearsal we were all hooked. There was a certain chemistry, and a sense of how much fun we could have immediately. Our first time on stage together cemented the deal. Though the line-up has changed over the last six years, the electrifying feeling of being on stage together hasn't changed a bit. As it stands today on stage you will see myself and my brother Will on most lead vocals and guitar, Nick Leen on bass and good vibes, Wally Wenzel on dobro telecaster and vocals, Adam Cogswell on drums, and Andrew Martelle on fiddle and mandolin. "Lights Along The River" also featured our childhood friend and Nashville native Matt Mills on pedal steele, banjo, guitar and vocals, as well as me and Will's little sister Molly on vocals and even our father (and intimidating songwriting magician himself) David Mallett, who just released his 17th studio album this month. We strive above all things to enjoy this thing that we have given ourselves completely over to. When you invest nearly all of your time, energy, heart and soul in something you better have fun while doing it. "Too much fun" has become our mantra.

BUREAU :  Discuss the new music, the new tour and what has inspired the latest batch of songs. 

Luke : While "Lights" was a collection of songs pulled largely from the road, the next project we have our eyes on will be a collection of Maine logging, fishing, and trapping songs from the 1800's. Will discovered a book in our mother's library of all these forgotten folk tunes from the very woods that we grew up in, and we've been setting the words to our own music. History is important to us, our home state of Maine is very important to us, and this next project combines these things with the music that is so important to us. A few of these have been working their way onto the setlist as of late, and the feeling of bringing these forgotten words back to life is amazing. We're excited to continue making music that captivates us as well as fans. No definite release plans as of yet. Look for some of these new tunes on the stage. Tour is never ending. 

Contributing Editor Alex Harris recounts his early years as a fledgling photographer, remembering his experiences in North Carolina in The 1970s, purging his influences and discovering the process leading to  his own Visual Style. He is a Guggenheim fellow & currently a Teacher at  Duke University.

image: ©Alex Harris Rubenstein Photography Gallery Duke University through  June 26th, 2016

In the fall of 1971, I was just out of college and beginning my second education as a photographer. For one year, I traveled throughout North Carolina with my Nikon camera and Tri-X film. I had an assignment from the newly formed public policy program at Duke University to photograph substandard housing and living conditions in the state. This was an opportunity for a young, Atlanta-born southerner to become aware of something about the South beyond the suburbs by looking in depth at one southern state, by meeting, photographing, and getting to know people in their homes and dwellings, and at work in the fields.  Every photographer hopes to create a distinctive body of work, no matter at what stage in a career, to discover a way of seeing and photographing that is uniquely his or her own.  But none of us can avoid the pictures we carry with us in our minds from photographers who have come before. As I wandered around North Carolina, I was fortunate to have good influences.  On Wolf Mountain near the Tennessee border, Dorothea Lange’s driver “Ditched, Stalled and Stranded” in the San Joaquin Valley of California in 1935 appeared to me in form of a young man posing on the hood of his jeep. His home had burned down the week before.  A group of migrant workers throwing horseshoes on a summer evening after picking potatoes near the Carolina coast might have stepped off the joyful pages of Eudora Welty’s 1930’s Mississippi in One Time One Place. Not far from that game of horseshoes, I found Robert Frank’s Beaufort, South Carolina jukebox from The Americans. But instead of Robert Frank’s child on the floor, a young man peered in the open window just as I took the picture. The day I framed the tired, lined face of a Sampson County field worker staring back at me below the brim of his upturned cap, Walker Evans was looking over my shoulder. And who would have guessed Gary Winogrand’s street smarts would come in very handy as I photographed farmers at an auction in Sampson County in the summer of 1972. Later that summer I made a photograph I can’t trace to anyone else. The house was wood framed, dirty white wall boards, patched vinyl chair, refrigerator with door ajar and guts displayed, oil stained porch floor – the whole structure, past its prime, held up by cinder blocks, stones, and a few rough sawn beams. 

image: ©Alex Harris Rubenstein Photography Gallery Duke University through  June 26th, 2016

The young lady couldn’t have been more than eighteen years old, nineteen tops, brown hair, square jaw, clear skin, in a long, daisy-patterned cotton dress, cat-eye glasses and sandals. She listened patiently, holding her toddler boy – the youngest of three children – on her hip, as I explained why I was there.  “I am working on this project, making photographs of the kinds of houses a lot of people in North Carolina have to live in…”  While I spoke she glanced back at her house and at her other son and daughter playing with the dogs by the wide-open front door. She seemed to be considering if she lived in the kind of run-down house I was describing. When I paused she looked back at me, eyes squinting in the noon North Carolina sun, and said, “Ok if you want to take pictures, go ahead.” So I did. I took a few shots that went nowhere. I had been counting on the family to stay close together there on the porch, but after a few minutes, the other children wandered inside and even the dogs abandoned the scene. At the time, I didn’t have much experience as a photographer, but I knew when the pictures weren’t going to get any better. I thanked the young woman and said goodbye. As she turned, still holding her son, I lifted my camera and made one more exposure. This one is like a dream. It’s a southern dream any of us could have. It is the bare bones of a story we can only imagine. A woman of indeterminate age strides towards an open door. She walks with purpose and grace – left foot forward and poised above the floor, her child hidden from view but there in her tight embrace. She is our mother, perhaps the Madonna protecting the child that will one day save us all. But for now she is walking past a large spray-painted letter, a black cursive R. R for Reap, Rejoice, or Repent? Below that R, an old brown chair radiates so much personality its three buttons form the eyes and nose of a face, with a dark smiling mouth in shadow below. A benevolent God in disguise? Perhaps that was R for Rapture? She is walking from light into near darkness. Three strides beyond is second door where we see framed dog, a junked car, and part of a tree shading a dazzlingly bright yard. From light to darkness and back into the light. This is my own moment; perhaps the first time my camera pointed me towards thrilling possibilities of photography to connect with our unconscious minds, to suggest knowledge beyond words. For the last four decades I’ve searched for these moments, never anticipating when they might materialize, the kinds of rare moments that appear only in photographs or in dreams. 


An Introduction of  Max GINSBURG

Max Ginsburg is a Master Oil Painter with the Techniques of a Classicist and The Heart of an American Rebel. He teaches, shares willingly and has a breadth of knowledge that goes far beyond Art Theory. Ginsburg's paintings vary from subject, year and style, all retaining a quality that is undeniable. He clearly cares deeply about Social Issues, is an avid Man of Peace and has no problems, whatsoever, relating those concerns through his Many Decades of Dedication to the Medium of Painting. We warn the viewer, Max Ginsburg will take you to the War in Iraq, you will have to view the kind of scenes that will make you reconsider going to war. The average American viewer will have to go beyond flags and bumper stickers that exclaim, "I Support The Troops," his work will make you rethink policy and truly support the troops, by protecting them, giving them over time and ensuring, they return home.    

Max GINSBURG : We are born with our "eyes wide open" and as we grow up, many of us see selectively avoiding the realities of the world.  My parents taught me that you must confront the social realities in life and, as artists, in art too.  I grew up during the Great Depression and World War ll.  I felt the injustice of hard times, the horror of anti semitism, as a child, in my Brooklyn neighborhood and the fear of Fascism where so many of my relatives were murdered in the concentration camps.  And, when I was in the U.S. Army I saw how Black G.I.s were prevented from using facilities that German prisoners of war were allowed to use.  My Civics class in school taught me about the Declaration of Independence, about Equality and the right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness for all.  There were books and movies that influenced me such as John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath" and of course many Social Realist painters among the Ash Can School and the American Scene painters were addressing the very social conditions I had been witnessing.   

Max GINSBURG : During   the second  half  of  The 20th Century,  the  art  world  shied away from expressing social issues and became more and more introspective, narcissistic, and abstract.  So it was like going upstream to develop as a social realist artist.  In addition to the social realist concepts I was also trying to develop my skills as a realist painter. This was important to me, aesthetically, and for the communication of my message.  For the most part, art schools and colleges were not teaching realism and the galleries were favoring only modern trends.  Opportunities for realists were denied, or severely limited. The reason I was able to develop as a realist is because I saw my father painting. He was a portrait painter, who studied in 1918 - 1922 at the National Academy of Design, where traditional realism was then being taught. Later, when I was teaching at the High School of Art & Design I started a drawing and painting group for students to develop their realist skills, which was not taught in the regular school curriculum.  As a result I too was able to develop my own skills to paint realistically. In addition there were two galleries that sold my work in the 1970's and this was encouraging. 

Max GINSBURG : In 1980 I started to do illustrations, primarily book covers for romance novels. Suddenly my concepts changed.  They were vacuous, overly sentimental, and not like the reality of my fine art.  But I continued to paint romance cover illustrations because it provided a good income.  In 2,000 I decided to get back to painting reality and finally stopped illustrating in 2004. At first I resorted to continuing my use of photography, as I had done in illustration, but now it was to capture the reality of the streets instead of the fantasy fiction of the romance covers.  I also began to work more from life as I had done before 1980.  In more recent years I have painted more multifigure paintings as I had been doing in the 1970's.  Many are street scenes concentrating on the social conditions of our times wile others take on epic themes like War & Peace, Torture and the growing social and economic injustices.  I chose to express these themes directly, not as a metaphor.  And I chose to paint realistically, inspired by the Old Masters, so that my ideas communicated strongly and to a wider audience. Communication is important to me.  I am not an ivory tower artist.  So I have been seeking public venues to reach a wider audience.  In 2008 I showed at 1199, The Hospital Workers Union in New York, in 2011 I had a Retrospective at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, OH, & Salmagundi Club in New York.                     

                                   PHOTOGRAPHIC ESSAY  BY  WALTER ROTHWELL                                                                                                 


BUREAU : Can you remember the first time you decided to actually write phonetically ? There are certain languages that seem almost necessary to represent artful authenticity. I believe Alice Walker did so with, "The Color Purple," and you with, "Trainspotting."

IRVINE WELSH : It was with “Trainspotting”, which was my first novel. I’d written passages from what would become that book in standard English, which was how I was taught at school. The problem was that they were flat and dull, and didn’t bring the characters to life. I tried to give it a street slang mix, using the distinctive Edinburgh working-class voice that is a mixture of gypsy and Lalans, but it still wasn’t working for me. That was when I started to write it phonetically. Scotland is part of a Celtic oral tradition, where literature is essentially performed rather than written. I think some books have to be almost sang rather than read.

BUREAU : Discuss how this decision effected your style.

IRVINE WELSH: I was very influenced by music, particularly the dance music of the acid house and rave culture that was bombarding the UK when I started writing “Trainspotting” and “The Acid House”. It seemed there were two essential elements that I wanted to replicate from that style of music, to get them into my writing. The first was the 4 x 4 beat of dance music, and I used the more performative phonetic-slang to approximate that, as discussed above. The second key feature, as I saw it, were the wild FX that sat on top of the beat. These I tried to convey a sense of through experiments with typography; different fonts, having words fall off the page, that sort of thing. I had read a lot of novels where people talked glibly about ‘capturing the energy of youth’ and I was invariably unimpressed. I would ask myself why such novels so often failed to do this, other than the most clichéd of ways (youthful, anti-establishment, ‘rebellious’ protagonists) and I always came up with the same conclusion: the tools, or the literary aesthetics weren’t present. The writer was essentially pitching to a notional reader who was white, male, old and upper-middle-class, namely a critic, rather than to the culture they were meant to be writing about.

BUREAU : There are writers who immediately enter the arena with a pugnacious and bad boy flare: Norman Mailer, Nelson Algren and Bill Burroughs for instance. How do you transcend that expactation and continue to put out quality work with an edge ?

IRVINE WELSH : Fiction is always, first and foremost, about character and story. If you take the eye of that ball, then all the other stuff like my aforementioned experiments become irrelevant. It is all built of that bedrock. (Okay, maybe we’ll ignore Burroughs here, but every rule has its exceptions.) It’s all very well (and highly noble) to want to push the envelope out, kick society in the teeth, shake things up – it’s the artist’s job - but you do it from that base. You neglect that at your peril. Another key thing is to be sure of your place with regard to the novel. If you are too much of the self-conscious ‘bad boy’ – speaking through yourself and not your characters - it becomes empty, tiresome posturing. A novelist has to be both present in their work, but also strangely removed from it. If you can’t get past yourself, you’ll never actually get to the novel. 

 BUREAU : Who might you credit as your Doctor Frankenstein when it comes to honoring your influences ?

IRVINE WELSH : There are quite a few, and the interesting thing is that you never really know. As a young writer I was always much more motivated by reading work I regarded as unsuccessful in certain ways. It made me think why this book wasn’t working and what I’d have done differently if I was the author. The writers I admire tend to intimidate as much as inspire. Evelyn Waugh was a big writer for me; from a completely different social milieu, but I instantly loved the way he dealt with the underlying competitiveness and schadenfreude inherent in male relationships. Burroughs was a breakthrough; both as a stylist and as an incendiary figure who saw literature as existing in a whole apparatus of cultural control. James Kelman, Allistair Gray and William McIllvanney; such giant figures to be living on your doorstep when you started writing. And of course, there was Orwell. I doubt if there has ever been a working class British fiction writer of the post-war era who wasn’t influenced by him. 

PETER at CITY LIGHTS BOOKSTORE in SAN FRANCISCO : Nearly twenty years have gone by since you read at City Lights for the first time. It seems like centuries ago. Your work has progressed through various twists and turns. I see you fundamentally following in the tradition of Burroughs and the Beats, the 20th century Euro-Russian writers that laid bare the human condition, and the decadents of the previous century.  Where do you stand in relation to writing, now, 20 years later?

IRVINE WELSH : I’m much more passionate than I was then, primarily because I’ve accepted that I’m a natural writer; that it’s the one thing that comes easy to me, and which I also enjoy. Because I wanted to be a musician and have always been a social animal, I had assumed that my creative life would be undertaken with other people; jamming in a basement, messing around in a studio, playing clubs etc. It came as shock to me that I was so comfortable in my own space, with my own head, undertaking what is probably the most solitary creative pursuit. I’ve learned to accept what it taught me about myself, and therefore I enjoy it more. 

PETER AT CITY LIGHTS BOOKSTORE IN SAN FRANCISCO : What is the experience like for you at present?

IRVINE WELSH : One of the things that happens with success is that you need to balance being a writer with an author. Writers write, while authors promote and talk about their work. So you learn that you have two jobs, which generally compliment each other, but can often get in each others way. This confusion is compounded by me working in film and TV; you need to think differently on screenplay as you are an architect rather than a builder, and once a work goes into production, you (appropriately) fall quite far down the food chain. So I now wear different hats, which I usually like –life gets boring doing the same thing. I doubt that there is one screenwriter working in Hollywood who doesn’t fantasize about writing their novel from a windswept cottage in Cornwall. Conversely, everybody working on their book dreams of selling the movie rights to a serious player. I’m very lucky to be in both camps.

PETER AT CITY LIGHTS BOOKSTORE in SAN FRANCISCO : What holds your interest these days?

IRVINE WELSH : I love the tactic conspiracy that politicians of the right and left have, in pretending that we in the west can go back to a full-employment, high-wage, post-war type of society. Our economy and technology just haven’t developed in that way. We are heading into a world without work, and without the opportunity to make private profit. Capitalism and socialism –those industrial revolution bedfellows- are both, at least as traditionally conceived, dead in the water. Yet we have this whole propaganda system telling youth, ‘there will be plenty of jobs, keep running up huge debts to get worthless degrees at college, it’ll be okay.’   You can already see how people are wising up to the banks-government-business-colleges scam. I’m expecting Universities to close at the rate of pubs and churches over the next decade.

BOOK PEOPLE BOOKSTORE IN TEXAS : When writing for morally ambiguous characters such as Mark Renton or as Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson are you drawing from actual people you've encountered or are they purely fictitious depictions ?

IRVINE WELSH : I think people are made to be morally ambiguous by modern life. We function in a social and economic system where greed and selfishness are seen as virtues, and we all can’t help to be effected by that to some extent. I think it does kill us spiritually; it drip-feeds a poison into our souls that we can’t get rid of until we opt out completely. I see that as the big background: trying to do the right thing when circumstances compel different courses of action.  However, I’m also fascinated by such characters, as I think they are too cynical not to see through all this, but have that sense of survivor’s self-preservation. We’re all like polar bears in the enclosure at the zoo; I think we’re going slightly psycho living in this strange prison we’ve constructed for ourselves.  Regarding that characters, they tend to be composites of different people and suppressed aspects of myself


IRVINE WELSH : Well, creating such characters on the page for me is about generating backstory that you’ll never use in the novel, or at least use sparingly. It’s all about parents, neighbors, friends, school, traumatic incidents, hope and dreams. I like my characters to be spoiled idealists. Fundamentally, however you get them down on the page (I make up a playlist for them all, which helps) they have to work there, not just in your head. So rewrites, rewrites, rewrites.

KIRSTY ALLISON [ Ex Band member of Music Group Including Irvine Welsh ] : If you had joined the 'dead at 27 club', who would you like to have gone as ?

IRVINE WELSH : I’m not sure I’d want to go as any of them. Like many people, I never saw myself living beyond 30. This wasn’t just some rock n roll romance trip, all the men on my dad’s side tended to die young. It was often misadventure and just bad luck, but there seemed to be a genetic component. They were like flies: lived long enough to breed and that was it. So when I found myself at 30 still functioning, I thought: Fuck. What am I going to do for the rest of my life? Now I feel myself thinking about people like Jim Morrison, and wondering what more they might have done? What I didn’t factor in was the men on my mum’s side - those guys just live forever. But if I take after them, all good and well. I quite like it here, I’m in no big hurry to leave.

KIRSTY ALLISON : What book would you like to have written (any ever published) ?

IRVINE WELSH : I’m not being facetious when I say this, but probably something like the “Di Vinci Code”. Something that’s utter nonsense but makes you so off-the-scale rich that you know you are really doing the next book because it’s what you really want to write, rather than trying to get to the end of the next publishers contract. 

DANNY BOY : What do you make of the notion that it will be more and more difficult to call prose fiction 'art', and what do you reckon will take place of the novel ?  

IRVINE WELSH : I think some of the best modern fiction writing (and some of the worst) is now happening in the premium cable TV series. I saw an interview with Quentin Tarantino the other day, where he was saying that he wanted to make two more movies, then switch to writing novels. Some people might find that strange, but I think that it’s basically all about storytelling, and whatever you choose to do it in; book, stage, film, TV series, web series (or all of them) will become less relevant. So I can see how he might want to mix it up.  It won’t be replaced completely, but it has dug itself into a hole through it’s slavish devotion to ‘literary giants’ of the past. It is policed by critics who see themselves as curators of this ‘celebratory’ culture. But that sort of thing will increasingly become a private party, with few other people having any interest: it’s the fag-end of a scuzzy heritage and tourism industry. 

So I think the total number of people reading novels will shrink further. Compared to when I started it seems an easier game to get into, but harder for younger writers to make money from. If you get an older and more conservative crowd reading books, they will just want the same crap again and again. The bourgeoisie look down on the proles going into the multiplex to watch the latest Marvel Superhero remake, while attending their fifth production of “The Cherry Orchard” that year.However, I think some people will always want to read novels and continue to see them as one of the main places where story-telling ideas originate. My agents in Hollywood are always on the phone asking me about books to option. The writer has the luxury of producing something both definitive and innovative in a way that’s more difficult with cinema and TV, as you have to be more aware of an audience. It offers the reader the great freedom to make your own movie/TV show of the book in your head, and, of course, that one is always going to be better than any filmmaker’s adaptation, no matter how good. 


THIS  PAGE DISPLAYS A FEW SAMPLES FROM THE ACTUAL 299 PAGE MAGAZINE WHICH IS AVAILABLE AS A FREE DOWNLOAD at The Link Below, Simply, Tap the Link and Download The Hi Resolution Version NOW. It may take a Few Minutes, Though well worth The WAIT hundreds of images and links to events relating to each article and interview, many of which do not appear on this page: 

   Part One : The Painter from Lowell Massachusetts Discusses His Art

Bureau Magazine : You searched around the visual arts for a few years before finding Painting,  Discuss that Journey.

Todd M. CASEY : It has been quite a journey. It started with me going to school in Boston MA where I studied Illustration for my BFA. I then moved to NYC to pursue a career as an illustrator and it didn’t take me very far. So, I decided to move to San Francisco to pursue a master in Animation. Through the foundation classes at the Academy of Art University I met Warren Chang, a realist painter in Monterey CA. Warren introduced me to the works of Max Ginsburg (his teacher), Jacob Collins and more New York City artists. He encouraged me to reach out to these artists if I were to go back to the East Coast, and I eventually wound up back in NYC. Then I reached out to Max and Jacob and studied with both at the same time.  

Bureau Magazine : Much of your still life work is designed around a particular object, describe how the energy of an object will attract your attention.

Todd M. CASEY : I’ve always been keen on building a story and making it as authentic as possible. My inspiration usually starts with a song, a book or just being captivated by an object. I’d say music inspires a lot of my work as most of the titles of my paintings come from songs that I obsess over.  Like a recent painting “Another Story”, was inspired by a song from the group called “The Head and the Heart” or the Vanitas painting I did while listening to the Beatles song “Live and Let Die”. The larger paintings are also multi layered built around a narrative with a lot of symbolism in the objects. To quote James Joyce “I’ve put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant”.

Bureau Magazine : From what Artists do you find inspiration, and why, Historically speaking ? 

Todd M. CASEY : I find a lot of my inspiration in looking to the past, especially in the masters’ work in museums. I wouldn’t say that I’m limited to one movement, as I find inspiration in all forms of the arts and in nature, and especially in books. I’ve always been drawn to the works of Edwin Austin Abbey, Dean Cornwell, Harvey Dunn and Howard Pyle. These artists had such a knack for the narrative and their paintings are not over rendered. I don’t have a problem with over rendering as I love the work of Hans Holbein and a lot of Dutch still life painters like Jans Claesz. I would like my work to move closer to the works of Andrew Wyeth, Antonio Lopez Garcia and Odd Nerdrum moving forward, or at least that is my goal. I obviously marvel visually what someone can make on canvas but I’m always striving for a deeper meaning in my works. Nerdrum is a great example as his works are tied to his dreams. I feel that the masters had a deeper understanding of the subjects and objects they painted. To quote John Ruskin, “All great art is the work of the whole living creature, body and soul, and chiefly of the soul”.

Todd M. Casey is Represented By The REHS ART GALLERY images Courtesy of REHS and The Artist. Look for a continued Conversation in The Following Editions. 


BUREAU of ARTS and CULTURE Contributing Artist IRBY PACE

An Artist most well known for photographs of hand made elaborately complicated sets or tableaux. Skoglund attended graduate school for painting and graduated in 1972, after graduate school she began to teach herself the photographic process as a means to document her creative endeavors which she details in her preceding interview. One aspect of her work that has always fascinated me is her ability to make these imaginary worlds much like a painter would approach a canvas. Looking back through her archive of photographs, one can make connections between “Knees in Tub” 1977 to her most well known pieces and the beginning of the vibrant colors she now utilizes in The Tableaux Images. 

Irby Pace: Sandy, your early photographic work in the 1970s begins to show early signs of you working through spatial dynamics and color theory that you would eventually be known for in your installation based photographic series. Can you describe the turning point in your creative process that took place, which led you to create the installation work and what would you say to those that are on the cusp of a creative breakthrough?

Sandy Skoglund: I think the turning point came for me when I realized how interesting and artificial still photography is. I had never taken courses in photography, so the field was an open door to walk through with no inhibitions. The camera became a way to limit my enthusiasms and contain wildly different kinds of materials. I was also heavily influenced by commercial product photography at that time. In the 70’s commercial photography had a distinctive look and feel that was riveted on the physical beauty of the product.I felt this was lacking in fine art photography of the 70’s, so I worked to include a kind of pictorial, detailed rendering of surfaces and textures in my work. For example, I studied the techniques of photographing silverware, which is very demanding and specific in terms of lighting and reflections.

Irby Pace: In your work you’re creating the sets, painting spaces, and sculpting the objects and eventually photographing the spaces, but the inclusion of real people seems to be one of the most important factors to the work. Do you feel that the spaces need the human connection to make the fantastical seem more real or do you think that they can function without that human presence?

Sandy Skoglund: I do think that the inclusion of real people is important. Without real people in the set, the scale is lost because the set is so confusing. Of course, the confusion is deliberate. Once something is photographed, there are a lot of things left out after the actual subject is detached. 
I am always thinking that the photograph will be the thing that is left and not the set or the objects that are photographed. I like the way living people contribute a moment of ephemeral timeliness into the static sculpture of the set as well.

Irby Pace: Viewers that appreciate your work will notice how important color theory is to your series’ continued success and popularity. What leads you to the color choices that you make for your installations and would you like to share any symbolical meanings for some of these choices?

Sandy Skoglund: I love feeling my way through color as I work on the structures of a piece. Sometimes the color is already dictated by the materials, as in the case of popcorn or cheese doodles. In other cases, the color might be important for the overall mood of the piece. In that case, I might have a choice of hot and cold colors, as well as pastels vs. primary colors. It is also fun to eliminate all color and just go completely monochromatic, as if the image were photographed in black and white and then colorized. Most of all, I analyze my way through the color over a long period of time when working on a piece. Part of the pleasure of working with color is being able to take the time to feel my way through it.

Skoglund currently teaches photography and installation art at the University of Rutgers  Newark, Jersey City, New Jersey. Her works are held in multiple collections throughout the United States and the world. She takes responsibility for what she points her lens at and creates her spaces with the resulting final photograph in mind. Skoglund's work has the influential ability to inspire young minds to think about the creative aspirations one can achieve with their own work. Visit her Site Link at  

THIS  PAGE DISPLAYS A FEW SAMPLES FROM THE ACTUAL 299 PAGE MAGAZINE WHICH IS AVAILABLE AS A FREE DOWNLOAD at The Link Below, Simply, Tap the Link and Download The Hi Resolution Version NOW. It may take a Few Minutes, Though well worth The WAIT hundreds of images and links to events relating to each article and interview, many of which do not appear on this page: 

Roman Vishniac Rediscovered:
NOW through May 29, 2016

More than any other photographer, Roman Vishniac’s images have profoundly influenced contemporary notions of Jewish life in eastern Europe. Vishniac created the most widely recognized and reproduced photographic record of that world on the eve of its annihilation, yet only a small fraction of his work was published or printed during his lifetime. Known primarily for this poignant record, Vishniac was in fact a remarkably versatile and innovative photographer. His body of work spans more than five decades, ranging from early engagements with European modernism in the 1920s to highly inventive color photomicroscopy in the 1950s and 60s. Roman Vishniac Rediscovered introduces a radically diverse body of work—much of it only recently discovered—and repositions Vishniac’s iconic photographs of eastern European Jewry within a broader tradition of 1930s social documentary photography. Roman Vishniac Rediscovered is a comprehensive reappraisal of Vishniac’s total photographic output, from his early years in Berlin through the postwar period in America. The exhibition is drawn from the Roman Vishniac archive at ICP and serves as an introduction to this vast assemblage comprising more than 30,000 objects, including recently discovered vintage prints, rare moving film footage, contact sheets, personal correspondence, and exhibition prints made from his recently digitized negatives.

Roman Vishniac Rediscovered   NOW through  May 29, 2016 Courtesy Of CJM San Francisco CA USA

Contemporary Jewish Museum 736 Mission Street San Francisco
      1 . 415 . 655 . 7800   THU 11am - 8pm    FRI - TUE  11am - 5pm 

Deborah Kerr + Burt Lancaster in, " From  Here To Eternity," (1953) Directed by Fred Zinneman Book By James Jones


From Here to Eternity, The debut novel of Author James Jones, published in 1951. The novel focuses on a U.S. Army infantry company stationed in Hawaii in the days leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Based on Jones' time as a soldier in the pre-World War II Hawaiian Division's 27th Infantry and the unit in which he served, Company E, Also known as The Boxing Company, where, If a guy can kick some ass, he can, get a few perks along the way.  From Here to Eternity won the National Book Award, was named one of the 100 Best Novels of the 20th century by the Modern Library Board.[2] The book was later made into an Academy Award-winning film starring Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift and Frank Sinatra as well as two television adaptations and a stage musical.

Originally published: 1951  Author: James Jones   Genres: War novel  Adaptations: From Here to Eternity (1953)  Publisher: Charles Scribner's SonsAwards: National Book Award for Fiction


The Thin Red Line is James Jones's fourth novel. Based on the Battle of Mount Austen during World War II's Guadalcanal campaign. Originally published in September 1962, The continuing saga, with Jones's other two World War II novels.  The novel depicts battles realistically in all their details.


A Soldier's Play is a drama by Charles Fuller. The play utilizes a murder mystery plot and structure to explore the conditions that many African Americans experience and went through while serving in the US Army. The story takes place in Louisiana in 1944. Captain Davenport, a black Army officer, has been sent to investigate a killing. Initially, the primary suspects are local Ku Klux Klansmen. Later, bigoted white soldiers fall under suspicion. This play is somewhat influenced by Herman Melville's novella Billy Budd. Fuller became a dedicated writer after noticing that his high school's library had no books by African Americans. In 1969, he wrote The Village: A Party, a drama about racial tensions between a group of mixed-race couples. He later wrote plays for the Henry Street Settlement theatre and the Negro Ensemble Company in New York.  

"Fuller explained that it never played on Broadway, because he refused to drop the last line, "You'll have to get used to Black people being in charge." 

His 1975 play The Brownsville Raid is based on the Brownsville Affair, an altercation between black soldiers and white civilians in Brownsville, Texas, in 1906, which led to an entire black regiment being dishonorably discharged though later pardoned in 1976. He won an Obie Award for Zooman.  Zooman presents himself as a helpless product of his society, but his victim's father convinces their neighbors that they need to stand together and achieve justice. His next work, A Soldier's Play, enjoyed a long run. Fuller explained that it never played on Broadway because he refused to drop the last line, "You'll have to get used to Black people being in charge." Something that apparently The GOP Congress and Senate have yet to accept.  It nevertheless was a critical success, winning Fuller a Pulitzer in 1982, and being produced as the 1984 film A Soldier's Story, for which Fuller himself wrote the screen adaptation. His screenplay was nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Writers Guild of America Award, and an Edgar Award. 

JARHEAD : A Marine's Chronicle 
of  The Gulf War and Other Battles

Jarhead recounts Swofford's enlistment and service in the United States Marine Corps during the Persian Gulf War, in which he served as a Scout Sniper with the Surveillance and Target Acquisition (STA) Platoon of 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines. A narrative that focuses on the physical, mental and emotional struggles of the young Marines.This is a book about how young soldiers were actually kept away from battles that they wished to fight, due to the Gulf War approach to army air strikes. 


Steinbeck in Vietnam: Dispatches from the War

According to Mr. Jon Guttman. at  AKA / Mr. History : In 1966, John Steinbeck, America’s best known and most widely read author, chose to hurl himself into the maelstrom of Vietnam. At age 64 and in failing health, he risked his reputation and his life to report on the controversial war. It was a bold move near the end of a brilliant career. Winner of the Nobel Prize for literature and a Pulitzer for his novel Grapes of Wrath, he was no stranger to war. He had served as a war correspondent in North Africa in World War II for The Herald Tribune. Vietnam had become the nation’s top news story and controversy, and Steinbeck’s friend, President Lyndon Johnson, pressed him to go to there as a U.S. government observer. Steinbeck declined. Although he supported LBJ’s conduct of the war, he preferred his independence, so Steinbeck arranged to write a series of columns for Newsday and planned a five-month tour of Southeast Asia, with six weeks in Vietnam. It also afforded him and his wife a chance to see their 19-year-old son, John Steinbeck IV, who had been drafted and was serving in Vietnam. 


Research and Information provided and edited from Wiki-pedia . Amazon Books  +  



Sat Feb 27
Kehinde Wiley Family Day Celebration 10 am - 3 pm Seattle Art Museum
Spend the day exploring our new exhibition with a day full of live performances, music, art making and tours for all ages inspired by this groundbreaking exhibition. Admission to the exhibition is free for kids under 12 and with a paying adult. RSVP 

Thu Mar 3, Apr 7, May 5 
A New Republic: Drop-In Drawing Sessions 6 – 8 pm Seattle Art Museum Visit SAM on First Thursdays during the exhibition for a free drop-in drawing session.

Sat Mar 5
Educator Workshop: Art and Race 10 am – 4 pm  Seattle Art Museum
In this interactive workshop, participants will use Wiley’s paintings as inspiration to explore complex questions relevant to every student and teacher. Open to educators of all levels and subjects. Tickets include free resources, entrance to SAM’s galleries, and six (6) Washington State Clock Hours.

Fri Mar 11
SAM Remix 8 pm – midnight Seattle Art Museum
#SAM Remix returns for a full evening of performances, tours, dancing, and more at this late-night creative explosion inspired by our special exhibition. More details announced soon.

Sat Mar 19
Family Fun Workshop 10 am – noon Seattle Art Museum
Introduce your family to a variety of cultures and artistic traditions designed to engage both kids and adults in two hours of learning and creating together. Designed for children ages 5-12 and their caregivers.

Fri May 6
Teen Night Out 7 – 10 pm  Seattle Art Museum
Calling all high-school aged teens! Take over the museum and get loud at #SAM Teen Night Out with incredible DJs, teen art tours, and art making workshops led by Seattle’s hottest contemporary artists. #SAMTeenNightOut

In response to this exhibition, Seattle-area community partners are highlighting events and performances focusing on themes found in Kehinde Wiley’s work. Their programs, along with those of SAM, can all be found on our detailed New Republic Events calendar. Registering and Purchasing Tickets for SAM Programs: Advance registration or ticket purchase is required for SAM public programs. To register or purchase tickets, visit or call the Box Office at 206.654.3121. Event tickets may also be purchased at two of SAM’s sites: the Seattle Art Museum and the Asian Art Museum. The exhibition is organized by the Brooklyn Museum.

   By BUREAU Contributing Writer Shaun HUSTON

Libraries are sites where social anxieties and fears about the direction of American culture have often been expressed and contested. Whether dealing with their openness, which allows the homeless and the mentally ill to read alongside children and their nervous parents, or controversies about the ‘waste’ of spending resources on DVDs and video games, or widening access to the internet and its bevy of ‘objectionable’ material, libraries frequently test people’s commitments to values like equality and freedom. As comics, that great corrupter and retarding influence on youth, have become more mainstream, and a generation of librarians raised on comics has entered the profession, their efforts to build collections of comic books in libraries have illuminated a number of key tropes in popular discussions and attitudes toward the medium.

Some years ago, I participated in a day-long discussion of comics and libraries organized by Sara Ryan, Teen Services Librarian for the Multnomah County Library system in Portland, Oregon The stories told by public and school librarians, most dating from the early 2000s, about their efforts to integrate and organize comics within their collections were both specific to their institutional contexts and revealing of wider issues in the public reception of comics. One issue that librarians addressed was fear: fear of patron reaction to a growing collection of comics at their library. Everything bad that people think about comics—that they expose kids to sex and violence and freaks, that they keep kids from learning to reading ‘real’ books, that they are junk food for the brain—becomes a potential protest to their inclusion on the shelves. Not only do librarians need to be prepared to answer such objections, but those who see a place for comics in the library need to address the fears held by some of their colleagues.

While the stereotype of librarians as uptight, conservative-minded shushers is, at best, antiquated, there are individuals who see their jobs in high culture terms, and who have romantic notions about literature and books, and see what they do as properly providing an antidote to popular media like TV. Whether dealing with the feelings of other librarians or those of patrons, librarians interested in seeing more comics in the library have had to conduct their negotiations both within and outside of their profession.What makes these negotiations necessary is the very publicness of libraries. Parents who don’t want their kids buying comics at the local Borders or nearby comics shop or grocery most likely see that as a domestic problem. Few would bother to protest the presence of the presumably offending material in the store. If a shop owner or company wants to make money selling comics, that’s their business. It’s my job to keep my kid from taking her allowance down there if I don’t want her buying comics.

At the library, my kid doesn’t have to buy comics; she just has to find them. Even if she isn’t of an age when she can check them out herself, she can still sit and read them in the library without anyone telling her to put them back if she isn’t going to buy them. Not only that, but directly or indirectly, the comics she finds were paid for with my tax dollars! The choice to sell comics in a store is a private decision; housing them in a library is a public one. As a result, it’s a decision that opens up discussions of what comics mean, with regard to their literary merit. Are they art or literature? Trash or treasure? Ennobling or ignoble? For many librarians, how such questions are answered is not really relevant. Whether motivated by their own love of the medium or by the interest of patrons, providing access to comics, and to information in whatever form, is central to what they do.

" If it were already widely accepted that comics are not just aimed at young readers, then there would probably be fewer concerns or questions about their inclusion in library collections. "

However, addressing that issue of access opens up a range of other questions about what comics mean to society. Another twist: it’s easy to assume that cataloging, how to classify and shelve the items in a collection, would be a dry and esoteric subject. In practice, how items are cataloged both reflects and shapes how people think about and relate to media. Last month, I considered the complexities of authorship in comics and those complexities certainly complicate the problem of how to categorize comics. If the writer is listed as ‘author’, and comics are shelved by an author’s last name, that doesn’t help someone looking for a book penciled or inked by a particular artist. Fundamentally, this brings one back to the question of who is the author, and what kind medium comics is. The openness of the answer may explain some people’s unease with featuring such books in the library.

Typically, in comic book stores, comics are shelved not by creator, but by publisher, at least until you get to really small presses and self-published works. Major comics publishers all have distinctive designs for their book spines that make them easy to identify on a shelf. While this facilitates browsing for avid fans and readers of, particularly, the Marvel and DC universes, it also lends itself to criticism of comics as ‘product’ rather than ‘art’ or ‘literature’. Regardless of how to interpret different ways of categorizing comics in a library, what underlies such questions is how readers read, and what comics means to them. Do they follow writers (what one librarian at the session I was at called the “Neil Gaiman problem”)? Do they follow publishers ? Do they follow pencilers (or some other artist)? Do they follow a particular character (what another librarian called the “Wolverine problem”)?

" The different reasons that people seek out different comics is a sign of what makes the medium unique, not a lesser form of expression. "

There is no single way to answer these questions, but the fact that one has to ask them in the first place is revealing about the many ways that people relate to comics. For some, the idea that someone would read anything about one character, regardless of author or artist, suggests much about the low nature of so many comics, proving that they are more about corporate properties than artistic or literary expression. For others, such questions are reflective of the deeply fannish nature of comics reading, and the diverse nature of that fandom. The different reasons that people seek out different comics is a sign of what makes the medium unique, not a lesser form of expression. Working through the cataloging issues for comics in libraries is a tension between thinking of comics as belonging to particular genres of art or literature and thinking of comics as an independent medium. 

To see comics as an independent medium, is to argue for shelving them on their own, however else you wish to categorize them once you do. Librarians who have decided to do this have done so largely in response to patrons who simply want to find comics without having to sort through multiple shelves of books in different parts of the library. This approach suggests that, yes, there is something different about comics—they aren’t ‘normal’ books. However, that is precisely why people want to read them, and not why they avoid them. To see comics as belonging to the larger category of ‘books’ is to argue for shelving them alongside other books of the same type. Superheroes with science fiction or fantasy. Memoirs with memoirs. Historical fiction with historical fiction, and so on. Before librarians became actively interested in cultivating comics collections, this is how comics, to the extent that they were in libraries at all, were shelved. Arguably, this way of categorizing comics sends the message, “don’t worry, they’re just books like any other”. From an advocate’s perspective it also facilitates discovery on the part of those who may not know they are looking for a comic when they first enter the library, but that’s what they end up with. It’s notable that many of the fears that run through people’s feelings about libraries are about children. The presumption that comics are for kids is a persistent idea in American culture and it fuels anxieties about having comics in the library, as well as creating one of the biggest problems for librarians, which is educating patrons in the range of subjects covered by comics.

If it were already widely accepted that comics are not just aimed at young readers, then there would probably be fewer concerns or questions about their inclusion in library collections. It isn’t hard to see how parents may not be thrilled with their ten-year-old coming home with Charles Burns’ Black Hole (Pantheon, 2005) or a book from Marvel’s Max line, but such books aren’t made for that reader any more than D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover is. As professionals, many librarians see the need to educate themselves about comics, regardless of their own reading preferences. Few patrons or parents of patrons feel the same obligation. The position of comics as a source of social fears and cultural anxieties undoubtedly plays a role in justifying such disinterest, not matter how useful it might be for understanding what their kids should or should not be reading and why their local library has a comics section. The history of American libraries is, in some ways, a history of giving people access to ‘dangerous’ books and information. What people think of as dangerous, and what they accept as safe, says much about their values. The creation of comics sections in libraries points to changing attitudes about the form, even if such change does not always come easy.

Shaun Huston is a Professor in Geography and Film Studies at Western Oregon University, where he primarily teaches courses in political and cultural geography. He also makes films, includingComic Book City, Portland, Oregon, USA (2012), a documentary on the community of comics creators in Portland, Oregon. Article Reprinted by Permission of The Author + Originally Published at POP MATTERS Site. 

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BUREAU Book Review : “Vegan with a Vengeance”  10th Anniversary Edition
Book By Isa Chandra Moskowitz  Reviewed By Maria Francesca Triliegi

Isa Chandra Moskowitz is the bestselling author and coauthor of eight vegan cookbooks.  She has been named a favorite cookbook author by VegNews magazine for seven years running.  She recently opened her first restaurant “Modern Love” in Omaha, Nebraska.

As an Italian Goddess with an ancestry of gourmet cooking and an avid interest in creating vegetarian meals that are tasty; I found “Vegan with a Vengeance” creative as well as refreshing.  The photos as well as the “Fizzle says” sidelines giving extra information and support to the recipes makes them especially  interesting.   Each of the recipes have a, 'specialness,' to them.  The Publication is as viscerally fascinating as the actual recipes and writers down to earth style. This cookbook gives us plenty of “look see,” alongside the ingredients and, 'how to,' recipes. Isa’s personal notes, at the beginning of each section, which cover whatever food you are looking for, from main entrees, to vegetables, to breakfast items and onto desserts, are sweetly and delicately described, they encourage each reader to create their own masterpieces.  

" Isa’s personal notes, at the beginning of each section, which cover whatever food you are looking for, from main entrees, to vegetables, to breakfast items and onto desserts, are sweetly and delicately described, they encourage each reader to create their own masterpieces."

As this is an Anniversary Edition, there are many new formulas that are easy to fix, with a wide array ingredients that are inexpensive.  In this new world of organic foods, many of us may not be able to afford; Isa has made it simple to be a vegan, or at least add vegan style recipes to your food library. I especially enjoyed the various sections with quick add-ons of lovely vegetable based ingredient, to put together a better meal. The cookies, nutrition bars and overall sweet pies and cakes are divinely inspired. Back in the day, it was challenging to find good recipes where the sweets actually tasted like sweets should. Isa’s recipes have ingredients easy to find, like using almond milk instead of regular milk. As I am dairy intolerant, I was excited to make the raspberry blackout cake with ganache. Muy Delicioso! Most vegetarian cookbooks do not hold interest, they seem dry and somewhat boring. Isa has added just enough spices and other ingredients that make the recipes pop with delight.  We love the variety of food items in this publication. I am pleased to give this brilliant book a top ten slot and will indeed be keeping it in on the top shelf in my kitchen library. 

Maria Francesca Triliegi is The recent Author of “ Life is Good :When You Do the Work,” a new book out By BUREAU BOOKS and an upcoming cookbook of Italian Ancestry with stories, recipes and anecdotes on growing up Italian. She is a Master Chef of Pies, Sicilian Pastries and Platters and a Life Coach with decades of experience in the field of Recovery, Relationships and Metaphysics. LIFE IS GOOD : WHEN YOU DO THE WORK

What Do Mark  Twain, Joseph  Campbell,  William Burroughs,  Lady  Ga Ga,  Confucius,  John  Mellencamp,  Andy  Warhol  and  Einstein, All have in Common ?  Order Our New Paperback Edition of LIFE IS GOOD: When You Do The WORK By Author & Noted Life Coach, Maria Francesca Triliegi for Only $20.00 +Find out Now. Includes Shipping and Handling Direct from Us To Your Front Door. Original Art Illustrations By BUREAU Artist Christina Habberstock.        Visit The Site Now: 

 Fifty Years Ago An American Author wrote One of The Best Stories Ever Told. 

" I was actually fifteen when I first began it. It was the year I was sixteen and a junior in high school that I did the majority of the work (that year I made a D in creative writing). One day a friend of mine was walking home from school and these "nice" kids jumped out of a car and beat him up because they didn't like his being a greaser. This made me mad and I just went home and started pounding out a story about this boy who was beaten up while he was walking home from the movies--the beginning of The Outsiders. I was just something to let off steam. I didn't have any grand design. I just sat down and started writing it. I look back and I think it was totally written in my subconscious or something. "    

“If you want to be a writer, I have two pieces of advice. One is to be a reader. I think that’s one of the most important parts of learning to write. The other piece of advice is ‘Just do it!’ Don’t think about it, don’t agonize, sit down and write.”   
   - S. E. HINTON / American Author

S. E. Hinton is the recipient of the American Library Association’s first annual Margaret A. Edwards Award, which honors authors “whose books have provided young adults with a window through which they can view their world and which will help them to grow and to understand themselves and their role in society.” She also happens to be a WOMAN. 


THIS  PAGE DISPLAYS A FEW SAMPLES FROM THE ACTUAL 299 PAGE MAGAZINE WHICH IS AVAILABLE AS A FREE DOWNLOAD at The Link Below, Simply, Tap the Link and Download The Hi Resolution Version NOW. It may take a Few Minutes, Though well worth The WAIT hundreds of images and links to events relating to each article and interview, many of which do not appear on this page: