Simon Wu

  • View of Argentina’s Cueva de las Manos, which dates back to 13,000 years ago. Photo: Pablo Gimenez/Wikipedia Commons.
    books January 13, 2022

    Breaking Dawn

    THE DAWN OF EVERYTHING, BY DAVID GRAEBER AND DAVID WENGROW. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2021. 704 pages.

    ONE OF THE MAIN PROPOSITIONS that David Graeber and David Wengrow put forth in The Dawn of Everything, their bracing rewrite of human history, is that the ancestors of our prehistory were not simple, unthinking clods, but rather self-conscious, idiosyncratic social organizers, living through a “carnival parade of political forms.” Today we might use words like “anarchist,” “communist,” “authoritarian,” or “egalitarian” to describe their activity, but that language fails to represent

  • Salman Toor, Bedroom Boy, 2019, oil on plywood, 12 x 16".
    picks December 28, 2020

    Salman Toor

    Gaga, Carly, Robyn, Britney, and Madonna: I can almost hear Salman Toor’s paintings before I see them. Through their acidic green patina, anthems of glamorous loneliness seemingly emanate from the artist’s depictions of young, queer, Brown men, be they intimately gathered on a dance floor or smoking outside of a bar. The show’s title, “How Will I Know,” draws from Whitney Houston’s 1985 ode to crushing, and it casts a palpable air of longing and elation over everything. In Four Friends, 2019, the first painting you see upon entering the exhibition, two boys dance together in a small living room