Live With Art. It's Good For You. You can email me

12 Bicycle Drawings by Christine Berrie

This Week’s PairedChristine Berrie + Michael Donaghy


Dearest, note how these two are alike:
This harpsicord pavane by Purcell
And the racer’s twelve-speed bike.

The machinery of grace is always simple.
This chrome trapezoid, one wheel connected
To another of concentric gears,
Which Ptolemy dreamt of and Schwinn perfected,
Is gone. The cyclist, not the cycle, steers.
And in the playing, Purcell’s chords are played away.

So this talk, or touch if I were there,
Should work its effortless gadgetry of love,
Like Dante’s heaven, and melt into the air.

If it doesn’t, of course, I’ve fallen. So much is chance,
So much agility, desire, and feverish care,
As bicyclists and harpsicordists prove

Who only by moving can balance,
Only by balancing move.

Michael Donaghy

Just in time for the World Cup, 1998: The Great Zidane by Mark Ulriksen is back in stock + ready to ship!

Mark Ulriksen writes:
American Illustration is a highly respected international competition and for their 25th anniversary the organization commissioned 25 illustrators to do a painting about a particular year. My assignment was the year 1998. For a major soccer fan like me, this immediately brought to mind the World Cup final, where France defeated Brazil 3-0, thanks in large part to the two first-half goals by the great Zinedine Zidane. I wanted to portray more than this moment however, in summing up some events from 1998. All of the fans that are visible outside of the goal made news that year. The fans across the top of the goal are the significant people who passed away that year, beginning with Frank Sinatra on the far right. To his left are entertainers Sonny Bono, Flip Wilson and Henny Youngman, followed by politicians Barry Goldwater and George Wallace. The other two notable deaths were to cowboy singers Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. Next, David Remnick is passed the buck as the new editor of the New Yorker magazine by former editor Tina Brown. Special prosecutor Ken Starr has his binoculars aimed towards President Bill Clinton, below, enjoying the action alongside Monica Lewinsky. 1998 was also a record-setting year for home runs in baseball, between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. The Unabomber Ted Kaczynski says his particular brand of a greeting, while below him the presidents of the two World Cup teams, Brazil and France, cheer. Finally, screen star Leonardo DiCaprio is the little figure in the first row.

Insects and Myriapods at The American Museum of Natural History by Jason Polan

This Week’s Paired: Jason Polan + Oliver Wendell Holmes

To an Insect

I love to hear thine earnest voice,
Wherever thou art hid,
Thou testy little dogmatist,
Thou pretty Katydid!
Thou mindest me of gentlefolks,—
Old gentlefolks are they,—
Thou say’st an undisputed thing
In such a solemn way.

Thou art a female, Katydid!
I know it by the trill
That quivers through thy piercing notes,
So petulant and shrill;
I think there is a knot of you
Beneath the hollow tree,—
A knot of spinster Katydids,—
Do Katydids drink tea?

Oh tell me where did Katy live,
And what did Katy do?
And was she very fair and young,
And yet so wicked, too?
Did Katy love a naughty man,
Or kiss more cheeks than one?
I warrant Katy did no more
Than many a Kate has done.

Dear me!  I’ll tell you all about
My fuss with little Jane,
And Ann, with whom I used to walk
So often down the lane,
And all that tore their locks of black,
Or wet their eyes of blue,—
Pray tell me, sweetest Katydid,
What did poor Katy do?

Ah no! the living oak shall crash,
That stood for ages still,
The rock shall rend its mossy base
And thunder down the hill,
Before the little Katydid
Shall add one word, to tell
The mystic story of the maid
Whose name she knows so well.

Peace to the ever-murmuring race!
And when the latest one
Shall fold in death her feeble wings
Beneath the autumn sun,
Then shall she raise her fainting voice,
And lift her drooping lid,
And then the child of future years
Shall hear what Katy did.

Oliver Wendell Holmes