Jacob Mikanowski

  • Camera-phone Lucida

    Of all the social networks, it’s the easiest, the simplest, the least full of harm. Let’s put it a different way. Facebook is Sauron. It’s also your mom’s couch, a yoga-center bulletin board, a school…

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  • Stalin’s Finger

    In 1949, on the occasion of his seventieth birthday, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia decided to honor Stalin by building a monument to him in Prague. It was going to be the largest statue…

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  • The Art of Decay

    And so, from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe, and then, from hour to hour, we rot and rot; and thereby hangs a tale. — As You Like It One summer, my Polish…

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  • Noma

    May you grow like an onion, with your head in the ground. —Old Yiddish Curse This is how you cook potatoes the Noma way: Find an organic farm in the Danish countryside. Persuade the…

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  • Haters

    Karl Kraus was a terror. Scourge of the misplaced comma, bane of the sentimental or stupid remark, champion of linguistic purity and artistic rigor, destroyer of reputations, instigator of lawsuits and punisher of friends.…

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  • Mad Men

    Don Draper is watching his wife Megan get ready to film an ad for Baxter shoes. She’s dressed in a mock-European folk costume consisting of a canary blouse, scarlet dirndl and floral headdress. It’s…

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  • Spot Art

    No one commands higher prices than Damien Hirst, and nothing is more fashionable than to loathe him. Still, we can’t do without him. In his person and his work, Hirst embodies the current condition…

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  • Cloud Gate, Tilted Arc

    Anish Kapoor named his colossal sculpture Cloud Gate, but everyone in Chicago calls it the Bean. One hundred and ten tons of polished stainless steel, it seems to float above its cement plinth like…

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  • View From Above

    For over thirty years, the Düsseldorf School has been making photography safe for museums. Mostly they’ve done this by increasing the scale of their photographs while suppressing chance within their frames, as if the…

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  • After Arcadia

    Cy Twombly once said that if he could have been any other artist, he would have been Poussin. The Dulwich Picture Gallery in South London has used this odd declaration as a jumping off…

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