PRINT December 1993


“Is this a bed or a cloud?” sighed John. “Percy, Percy—before you go, I want to apologize.”

“For what?”

“For doubting you when you said you had a diamond as big as the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.” Percy smiled.

“I thought you didn’t believe me. It’s that mountain you know.”

“What mountain?”

“The mountain the château rests on. It’s not very big for a mountain. But except about fifty feet of sod and gravel on top it’s solid diamond. One diamond, one cubic mile without a flaw”

—F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Diamond as Big as the Ritz, 1922

We may no longer understand how to look at Stephen Tashjian’s paintings. We are so accustomed to complicated forms of pleasure, having to dig for the bone, that simplicity may throw us off. In a time when one asks art to mean so much, some may be unable to form a connection with works that offer up no complex agendas or sleight-of-hand.

The paintings are simply unafraid. Popsicle

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