Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:48 am
Can there be any experience more kaleidoscopic in its emotions, more full of hopes and fears and just plain confusions, than that of coming to America? I'm no expert, certainly — but my research on immigration for my recent novel, as well as my own family history, points to a process of continual surprises, endless adjustments, and, at times, exhausting isolation. Old habits crash up against new ideas; the desire for a "clean slate" is betrayed by the inevitable baggage of a former life.
Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 5:20 pm
The raucous comedy Austenland, in theaters this week, pokes fun at Americans' reverence for what they have been taught to see as a gracious British heritage — muslin, bonnets, tea time at the stately home with the blue-bloods, good manners.
As well it might. For most of the English 99-percenters I grew up with, heritage meant feet up in front of the telly, watching Top of the Pops.
Ushio Shinohara is best known for his "boxing paintings" — performance pieces often created for an audience, in which he strikes at his canvases with gloves dipped in pigments — and for his fanciful, brightly colored <a href="http://artasiamerica.org/works/6024/68">sculptures of motorcycles</a> adorned with all manner of extras.
The small-scale intimacy of the documentary <em>Cutie and the Boxer </em>belies the outsize creativity of its Brooklyn-based subjects: the artists Ushio and Noriko Shinohara. He made his name as a bad-boy rebel beginning in the 1950s; she's only recently emerged from his professional shadow.
Noriko Shinohara, known to friends and audiences alike as Cutie, paints sprawling comic-style narratives on the walls of the galleries where she's invited to exhibit. They chronicle the adventures of a couple called Bullie and Cutie, who may or may not be reflections of her and her husband.
Japanese painter and sculptor Ushio Shinohara was the bad boy of the avant-garde when he came to the U.S. more than 50 years ago. He knew Andy Warhol, hung with Red Grooms and polarized audiences with his vivid work.
And Ushio met his wife, Noriko Shinohara, not long after arriving here. She's an artist, too, but she's spent most of her career living in his shadow.
Less so recently, though. Noriko is coming into her own. And now the story of their life together is the subject of an intimate new documentary called Cutie and the Boxer.
Tales of Jesse James's exploits have grown to almost mythological proportions since the actual man and his gang galloped over the plains stealing horses, holding up trains, and robbing banks in the years after the Civil War. Shot All To Hell: Jesse James, The Northfield Raid, and the Wild West's Greatest Escape is a new book about the legendary man.