Art

Art, Sketch — June 27, 2018, 11:15 am

The Lesser of Two Evils

The devil you don’t know: on Central American violence and the United States’ stance on the undocumented

Art — May 29, 2018, 10:19 am

Roosevelt, Arlington National Cemetery

“Roosevelt, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA,” a photograph by Charlotte Dumas from her series Anima, which portrays the burial horses of Arlington National Cemetery. Dumas’s work is currently on view at the Chrysler Museum of Art, in Norfolk, Virginia. Credit: © The artist. Courtesy Julie Saul Gallery, New York City

Art — January 16, 2018, 4:04 pm

Motherhood, 1938

Caption: "Motherhood, 1938," a photograph by Boris Ignatovich, whose work is on view this week at Nailya Alexander Gallery, in New York City. Credit: © Boris Ignatovich. Courtesy Nailya Alexander Gallery, New York City

Art — December 5, 2017, 12:22 pm

Huisache Tree, Mexico

“Huisache Tree, Mexico,” a hand-colored photograph by Kate Breakey, whose work is on view through January 13 at Littlejohn Contemporary, in New York City

Art, Photography — September 12, 2017, 5:48 pm

Volunteer Army

On August 25, Hurricane Harvey made landfall in southern Texas. The Category 4 tropical cyclone caused widespread flooding in the greater Houston area, killing at least seventy people and driving 30,000 from their homes. On September 3, photographer Balazs Gardi followed an armed group of local volunteers as they delivered supplies to flood victims in the rural towns of Vidor and Mauriceville. View photos...

Art — September 6, 2017, 11:33 am

Lacs de Montagne

Lacs de Montagne, engraving, etching, aquatint, and drypoint, by Louise Bourgeois, which will be on view as part of the exhibition Louise Bourgeois: An Unfolding Portrait at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, from September 24, 2017, to January 28, 2018. Courtesy the Museum of Modern Art, New York City. Gift of the artist. © 2017 The Easton Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York City

Annotation — August 29, 2017, 1:24 pm

Trumpeter Storm

1: As 12,000 members of the National Guard rushed to the scene and hundreds more volunteers joined the relief efforts, President Trump tweeted: “Thanks!” Read more...

Art, Sketch — August 9, 2017, 2:05 pm

Capitol Punishment

An artist’s rendition of a closed session of Congress.

Art — June 27, 2017, 3:24 pm

Rollercoaster

Rollercoaster, a collage created using oil-painted paper and vintage magazine clippings by Cheryl Molnar, whose work is on view this week at Wave Hill House, in the Bronx, New York. Courtesy the artist and Wave Hill

Art — April 25, 2017, 11:47 am

Portrait

"Portrait," a photograph by Louise Lawler, whose retrospective WHY PICTURES NOW opens on Sunday at the Museum of Modern Art, in New York City © The artist. Courtesy the artist and Metro Pictures, New York City

Art, Sketch — April 18, 2017, 5:49 pm

Same Old, Same Old

Palestinian-Americans on the meaning of Donald Trump’s presidency. Read more…

Annotation — April 6, 2017, 6:10 pm

Dressed to Kill

Jared Kushner goes to Iraq

Art, Caption — March 24, 2017, 4:52 pm

Ups and Downs

Pictured here is a thumbs-up paired with a frown. Read more…

Art, Sketch — March 9, 2017, 10:00 am

No Place Like Home

Illustrations depicting the lives of children living in Honduras, which has one of the highest murder rates in the world. Thousands of young Honduran refugees have fled the country’s chronic poverty and violence for the United States and Mexico, where they are often turned away. According to Amnesty International, the number of asylum applications filed worldwide by Hondurans in 2015 was 16,473, a 700 percent increase from 2011. See more...

Art, Sketch — January 30, 2017, 10:00 am

Hawks and Doves

Scenes of family detention centers in the United States juxtaposed with illustrations of mourning doves migrating from Central America to Canada.

Art, Photography — January 22, 2017, 12:28 pm

The First Day

Scenes from Donald Trump’s inauguration in Washington, D.C. All photographs by Philip Montgomery for Harper’s Magazine.

Art, Sketch — January 20, 2017, 12:01 pm

Cut and Fold

A family detention center playset

Art — January 3, 2017, 5:00 pm

Betty at Port Glasgow Town Hall Xmas Party

“Betty at Port Glasgow Town Hall Xmas Party,” a photograph by Mark Neville, from the monograph Mark Neville: Fancy Pictures, which was published last month by Steidl. Image © Mark Neville. Courtesy Steidl

Annotation — December 23, 2016, 12:43 pm

The Trumptini

Drinking in Trump’s America

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Common Ground·

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Thirty miles from the coast, on a desert plateau in the Judaean Mountains without natural resources or protection, Jerusalem is not a promising site for one of the world’s great cities, which partly explains why it has been burned to the ground twice and besieged or attacked more than seventy times. Much of the Old City that draws millions of tourists and Holy Land pilgrims dates back two thousand years, but the area ­likely served as the seat of the Judaean monarchy a full millennium before that. According to the Bible, King David conquered the Canaanite city and established it as his capital, but over centuries of destruction and rebuilding all traces of that period were lost. In 1867, a British military officer named Charles Warren set out to find the remnants of David’s kingdom. He expected to search below the famed Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif, but the Ottoman authorities denied his request to excavate there. Warren decided to dig instead on a slope outside the Old City walls, observing that the Psalms describe Jerusalem as lying in a valley surrounded by hills, not on top of one.

On a Monday morning earlier this year, I walked from the Old City’s Muslim Quarter to the archaeological site that Warren unearthed, the ancient core of Jerusalem now known as the City of David. In the alleys of the Old City, stone insulated the air and awnings blocked the sun, so the streets were cold and dark and the mood was somber. Only the pilgrims were up this early. American church groups filed along the Via Dolorosa, holding thin wooden crosses and singing a hymn based on a line from the Gospel of Luke: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Narrow shops sold gardenia, musk, and amber incense alongside sweatshirts promoting the Israel Defense Forces.

I passed through the Western Wall Plaza to the Dung Gate, popularly believed to mark the ancient route along which red heifers were led to the Temple for sacrifice. Outside the Old City walls, in the open air, I found light and heat and noise. Tour buses lined up like train cars along the ridge. Monday is the day when bar and bat mitzvahs are held in Israel, and drumbeats from distant celebrations mixed with the pounding of jackhammers from construction sites nearby. When I arrived at the City of David, workmen were refinishing the wooden deck at the site’s entrance and laying down a marble mosaic by the ticket window.

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A documentary about climate change, domain names, and capital

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The Black Axe·

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Eleven years ago, on a bitter January night, dozens of young men, dressed in a uniform of black berets, white T-­shirts, and black pants, gathered on a hill overlooking the Nigerian city of Jos, shouting, dancing, and shooting guns into the black sky. A drummer pounded a rhythmic beat. Amid the roiling crowd, five men crawled toward a candlelit dais, where a white-­robed priest stood holding an axe. Leading them was John, a sophomore at the local college, powerfully built and baby-faced. Over the past six hours, he had been beaten and burned, trampled and taunted. He was exhausted. John looked out at the landscape beyond the priest. It was the harmattan season, when Saharan sand blots out the sky, and the city lights in the distance blurred in John’s eyes as if he were underwater.

John had been raised by a single mother in Kaduna, a hardscrabble city in Nigeria’s arid north. She’d worked all hours as a construction supplier, but the family still struggled to get by. Her three boys were left alone for long stretches, and they killed time hunting at a nearby lake while listening to American rap. At seventeen, John had enrolled at the University of Jos to study business. Four hours southeast of his native Kaduna, Jos was another world, temperate and green. John’s mother sent him an allowance, and he made cash on the side rearing guard dogs for sale in Port Harcourt, the perilous capital of Nigeria’s oil industry. But it wasn’t much. John’s older brother, also studying in Jos, hung around with a group of Axemen—members of the Black Axe fraternity—who partied hard and bought drugs and cars. Local media reported a flood of crimes that Axemen had allegedly committed, but his brother’s friends promised John that, were he to join the group, he wouldn’t be forced into anything illegal. He could just come to the parties, help out at the odd charity drive, and enjoy himself. It was up to him.

John knew that the Black Axe was into some “risky” stuff. But he thought it was worth it. Axemen were treated with respect and had connections to important people. Without a network, John’s chances of getting a good job post-­degree were almost nil. In his second year, he decided to join, or “bam.” On the day of the initiation, John was given a shopping list: candles, bug spray, a kola nut (a caffeinated nut native to West Africa), razor blades, and 10,000 Nigerian naira (around thirty dollars)—his bamming fee. He carried it all to the top of the hill. Once night fell, Axemen made John and the other four initiates lie on their stomachs in the dirt, pressed toge­ther shoulder to shoulder, and hurled insults at them. They reeked like goats, some Axemen screamed. Others lashed them with sticks. Each Axeman walked over their backs four times. Somebody lit the bug spray on fire, and ran the flames across them, “burning that goat stink from us,” John recalled.

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Who Is She?·

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I couldn’t leave. I couldn’t get up—­just couldn’t get up, couldn’t get up or leave. All day lying in that median, unable. Was this misery or joy?

It’s happened to you, too, hasn’t it? A habit or phase, a marriage, a disease, children or drugs, money or debt—­something you believed inescapable, something that had been going on for so long that you’d forgotten any and every step taken to lead your life here. What did you do? How did this happen? When you try to solve the crossword, someone keeps adding clues.

It’s happened to us all. The impossible knowledge is the one we all want—­the big why, the big how. Who among us won’t buy that lotto ticket? This is where stories come from and, believe me, there are only two kinds: ­one, naked lies, and two, pot holders, gas masks, condoms—­something you must carefully place between yourself and a truth too dangerous to touch.

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Murder Italian Style·

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The Catholic School, by Edoardo Albinati. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 1,280 pages. $40.

In a quiet northern suburb of Rome, a woman hears noises in the street and sends her son to investigate. Someone is locked in the trunk of a Fiat 127. The police arrive and find one girl seriously injured, together with the corpse of a second. Both have been raped, tortured, and left for dead. The survivor speaks of three young aggressors and a villa by the sea. Within hours two of the men have been arrested. The other will never be found.

Cost of renting a giant panda from the Chinese government, per day:

$1,500

A recent earthquake in Chile was found to have shifted the city of Concepción ten feet to the west, shortened Earth’s days by 1.26 microseconds, and shifted the planet’s axis by nearly three inches.

A federal judge in South Carolina ruled in favor of personal-injury lawyer George Sink Sr., who had sued his son, George Sink Jr., for using his own name at his competing law firm.

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