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David Coggins
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Blog Entries by David Coggins

In Plain Sight: Rare Vision in 2012

(1) Comments | Posted December 28, 2012 | 1:21 PM

This year, politics consumed the culture and attack ads became common currency. That makes it hard for the creative class to decide where to reside: Make work that engages the white hot topical moment or run for the hills seeking wisdom above the fray. Against long odds, the cultural highlights...

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Failing Upward: An Interview With the Indispensable George Gurley

(2) Comments | Posted April 24, 2012 | 11:56 AM

New York is running out of people like George Gurley. He's a journalist at home uptown and down, a committed drinker with a muckraking streak, and in possession of an unrivaled sense of humor. Gurley's won a devoted following through his columns at the New York Observer. His dispatches from...

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Occupational Hazards: The Cultural Dissonance of 2011

(0) Comments | Posted January 12, 2012 | 11:41 AM

2011 was a year of friction -- people demanded to be heard and if they weren't heard, they occupied. They physically made themselves part of the conversation, taking the narrative into their own hands and putting voice to visceral disagreement. Political debates devolved into jabbering about fiscal fictions divorced from...

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Voice of Reason: The Robert Feintuch Interview.

(1) Comments | Posted April 6, 2011 | 2:13 AM

Robert Feintuch is that rare thing: a serious painter and a reasonable man. His work is figurative but is neither radical nor reactionary. It's marked by painterly concerns--incredible luminosity and complex explorations of perspective. His influences range from Fra Angelico to Philip Guston. His current exhibition at

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Fear And Clothing: Cintra Wilson's Fierce Fashion Prowess

(19) Comments | Posted April 5, 2011 | 11:37 AM

Hiring Cintra Wilson was perhaps the best thing to happen to the NY Times since they added color photography. Wilson's sociological insight and wicked humor transformed the Critical Shopper column into a perverse pleasure even for those with no intention of visiting uptown boutiques or downtown thrift stores....

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Stranger Than Fiction: The Fantastic Worlds of Marcel Dzama

(3) Comments | Posted March 1, 2011 | 10:02 AM

Marcel Dzama is the most renowned draftsman of his generation. But that distinction is not enough: he also makes sculptures and dioramas, directs music videos and short films. Behind Every Curtain, his current show at David Zwirner, features his longest work yet, A Game of Chess,...

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All Things Considered: The Many Talents of Wesley Stace

(3) Comments | Posted February 1, 2011 | 10:55 AM

Wesley Stace's eclectic talents make him a hard man to pin down. For over 20 years he's recorded highly literate folk music under the name John Wesley Harding. He also oversees The Cabinet of Wonders, a downtown variety show featuring a roster of accomplished musicians, writers, comedians, and...

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The Furthest State: Elemental Satisfactions of 2010.

(2) Comments | Posted January 6, 2011 | 12:55 PM

In a year where the public narrative threatened to veer off the tracks, cultural satisfaction could be found far from the glare of the media fire. It was a relief to turn away from celebrity self-immolation, box office speculation, and aggrieved political posturing. If the public sphere often disappointed, the...

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Open to Interpretation: The David Humphrey Interview

(2) Comments | Posted December 6, 2010 | 11:34 AM

David Humphrey is voracious. The relentless artist is on an endless quest for imagery, high and low, and for sensation, strange and familiar. His curiosity shows in his paintings--he easily references Eisenhower and naughty cats, de Kooning and bestiality. It's no place for the timid, but somehow it all comes...

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Dispatch From Siberia: The Ian Frazier Interview

(1) Comments | Posted October 28, 2010 | 11:36 AM

Ian Frazier balances a profound sense of curiosity with an equally profound sense of humor. He's as comfortable writing about Russian literature as he is writing about getting plastic bags out of trees. He's written about the Sioux, about silver carp, about walking to Queens. Hired by the New Yorker...

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Definitive Ironist: The Stephen Malkmus Interview

(6) Comments | Posted October 11, 2010 | 6:29 PM

Stephen Malkmus is the slacker king who can't help it. That he's not even a slacker makes his elevation more remarkable still. He's knowing in the extreme, given to sly humor, and expert at carrying himself with a detachment that's almost aristocratic. His songs embrace irrepressible rock but can quickly...

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Magnanimity Under the Sun: A Case of Corporate Good Intentions

(0) Comments | Posted September 28, 2010 | 8:17 PM

It's a sign of the jaded modern sensibility that when a corporation does something charitable, even if it's downright enjoyable, we respond with minor suspicion -- just what do they want from us? We seek the rub somewhere, certain that it's lurking around the next corner. In the case of...

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Full Frontal: An Interview With Les Rogers

(7) Comments | Posted July 29, 2010 | 1:42 PM

Les Rogers comes right at you with big paintings: nudes, abstract, landscapes--he paints everything and leaves you to figure out what kind of artist he is. What type is that? Searching, talented, attracted to vibrant physical marks and dramatic cropped imagery. You can see his work in a new show...

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LeBron Takes His Talents To The WWE

(3) Comments | Posted July 21, 2010 | 5:42 PM

The peculiarity of the LeBron James reality show has settled, and he's been expertly criticized and mocked in equal measure. The outcry has been negative in all precincts outside Pat Riley's beach house. Team LeBron tried to convince the public that the surrounding speculation...

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Jay Batlle's Best Revenge: An Interview in Five Easy Pieces

(1) Comments | Posted July 21, 2010 | 1:09 PM

Jay Batlle loves German art, French food, and English women, though not in that order. The 33 year-old artist is currently in fine form--his work can be seen in Swell, a sprawling group show about surfing since 1950, now on view across Chelsea, at Nyehaus, Friedrich Petzel, and...

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Nike Curses: The Dark Side of Marketing Brilliance

(4) Comments | Posted July 15, 2010 | 5:44 PM

To see Nike's World Cup ad (or 'film' in the company's parlance) is to enjoy it. And why not? It's funny, knowing, and global in the best sense. But as we get to the business end of the great tournament it's time to face the fact that every...

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Lionel Messi: The World's Greatest Sportsman?

(1) Comments | Posted June 23, 2010 | 12:54 PM

For those of us in the throes of World Cup fever -- dutifully waking for morning matches, even those featuring the woeful French -- is there a more joyful sight in sport than Lionel Messi? Messi, the Argentinian maestro is a marvel that never ceases to amaze: he dashes with...

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Getting To Know Ben Greenman In Five Easy Pieces

(1) Comments | Posted June 20, 2010 | 4:49 PM

Ben Greenman is an editor in good standing at the New Yorker. You may not know that because they don't publish a masthead--but you see his pithy record reviews in the front of the magazine (he's partial to the highs and lows of the 1970's, incidentally). But Greenman's good deeds...

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