Body of Color

Naima Lowe’s Installation ‘Ropes, Pinks’ Uncoils Trauma in Pursuit of Black Freedom

Consisting of three lengths of cotton and hemp rope of varying thicknesses—200 feet in all—dyed in shades of pink, “Ropes, Pinks” is an installation work by artist Naima Lowe. This “body” changes each time it is installed, adapting to and challenging the space where it finds itself attempting to be at home. In so doing, it twines itself around and among questions of racist horror, gender, intimacy, vulnerability, history, and love.

Lowe has exhibited videos, performances, and installations throughout the United States and created the independent art and design imprint Trial …

How My Great-Grandfather Dealt With a Lout Named Jack London | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How My Great-Grandfather Dealt With a Lout Named Jack London

A Muralist Finds Herself Captivated by the Bay Area Writer, Crusader for Justice, and Drunken Brawler

Growing up in the Bay Area, I heard a lot of family lore about Jack London, and my great-grandfather George Samuels.

Samuels had been a district attorney, a police court judge, …

Just Before Madrid’s Quarantine Began, Getting a Last Look at Goya | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

A Letter from Madrid, Where Impending Quarantine Permits a Last Look at Goya

In Times of Uncertainty, Art Is a Reminder That Beauty Can Endure

The day the Spanish government announced a two-week closure of all schools and colleges in Madrid due to coronavirus, I was in Berkana, the city’s oldest gay bookstore, considering whether …

An Intimate Portrait of a Coronavirus | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

An Intimate Portrait of a Coronavirus

Biologist David Goodsell Uses Watercolors to Explore Viruses and Cells Molecule by Molecule

Humans have probably always known about what viruses can do: throughout the ages, people have endured the familiar sniffles of a cold, the tell-tale rashes of measles, the occasional devastation …

Auto Draft | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Picturing Blood and Kinship

After Eunice San Miguel Recovered From Cancer, She Painted Her Relationship to Her Family and Her Body in a New Way

On the morning of December 9, 2017, I was driving north on the 110 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles when I received a call. It was the doctor I had …

What Giacometti’s Obsession With the Color Gray Really Meant

When the Sculptor Turned to Painting, His Palette Expressed His Existential Yearnings

The Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966) is best-known for his lean, elongated sculptures that grew progressively taller and thinner over the course of his oeuvre. His lesser-known painted portraits, like …