John Portman, Architect Of Soaring Hotel Atriums And Transformer Of Skylines, Has Died At 93

Portman's buildings "often evoked oohs and aahs from the public, but were not always a hit with critics, who called them concrete islands, self-contained cities within cities — serving their patrons yet insular, even forbidding to outsiders. But by combining architectural talents with the savvy of a real estate entrepreneur, Mr. Portman was hugely successful and a rarity among contemporaries: both an artist and a tough businessman."

Top AJBlogs Posts From The Weekend Of 12.31.17

What We Liked in 2017
When Doug McLennan asked me to write a description for my blog that ArtsJournal would begin hosting in 2017, I thought about the topics which move me to spend time writing—the things that I feel ... read more
AJBlog: The Bright RidePublished 2017-12-30

Recent Listening And Viewing: Ernie Watts
Ernie Watts, Wheel Of Time (Flying Dolphin) From his years with Buddy Rich in the 1960s through his long membership in the late bassist Charlie Haden’s Quartet West and for years since, ... read more
AJBlog: RiffTidesPublished 2017-12-30

Some Home Thoughts from Abroad as Hurricane Hamilton Hits Britain
The hoop-la surrounding the London staging of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton is almost as interesting as the musical itself. The ticket-tout-defeating instructions for admission to the Victoria Palace Theatre that came with my pair of ... read more
AJBlog: Plain EnglishPublished 2017-12-30

The Australian True Crime Writer Who Says She Can Now ‘Die Happy’

Helen Garner, after James Wood praised her in The New Yorker: "I used to have all sorts of secret, spiteful feelings because I never won any prizes in Australia for my non-fiction. I put a lot of energy into acting like I didn’t care. I did, quite a lot. It has literary value and I have worked on it as hard as any fiction I’ve written. So I felt deeply gratified and relieved of enormous amounts of anxiety and mortification."

Go See This Mural Before The Artist Destroys It (Bit By Bit)

The artist, Hugo Crosthwaite, wore a shirt that made him more approachable - more like a sign painter, less like an artist - and hoo boy, was he ever approached. His interactions with people changed the huge mural. "The mural, created in partnership with the California Historical Society, features a singular mix of images — rendered in the artist's preferred black and white — inspired by Mexican pulp comics, 19th century French illustration, Southern California visual iconography and current political events. It also features elements drawn from the artist's dialogues with the hundreds of people that stream through the space on a daily basis."

These Comics Redefined Hinduism – And Reinforced A Lot Of Prejudice Along The Way

The comics Amar Chitra Katha (or The Immortal Stories) got started when a newspaper executive watched a quiz show where kids knew little to nothing about the Hindu epic The Ramayana. Now ACK has been a kids' entertainment empire for decades - but it's an empire built on bigotry: "ACK’s writing and illustrative team constructed a legendary past for India by tying masculinity, Hinduism, fair skin, and high caste to authority, excellence, and virtue. On top of that, [the] comics often erased non-Hindu subjects from India’s historic and religious fabric."

These Comics Redefined Hinduism – And Reinforced A Lot Of Prejudice Along The Way

The comics Amar Chitra Katha (or The Immortal Stories) got started when a newspaper executive watched a quiz show where kids knew little to nothing about the Hindu epic The Ramayana. Now ACK has been a kids' entertainment empire for decades - but it's an empire built on bigotry: "ACK’s writing and illustrative team constructed a legendary past for India by tying masculinity, Hinduism, fair skin, and high caste to authority, excellence, and virtue. On top of that, [the] comics often erased non-Hindu subjects from India’s historic and religious fabric."