Thomas Houseago

Thomas Houseago, Masks (Pentagon), 2015, Tuf-Cal, hemp, iron rebar, steel, redwood. Installation view, Rockefeller Center, New York.

STYLE REFLECTS CHARACTER. It’s the aggregate of choices one has made, consciously or not, regarding art that came before.

I remember an episode of The Sopranos that goes something like this: Mobster Johnny’s life sentence just got a lot shorter. We see him in the prison hospital as he learns he has late-stage cancer. Tough break. The hospital orderly, also a lifer (played with touching eagerness by director Sydney Pollack), was an oncologist on the outside. The unlikeliness of the two men occupying the same room is heavy in the air. Patient and orderly start talking. Holding a mop in one hand, the doc looks at Johnny’s chart and offers a second, more hopeful opinion. The conversation turns to what the doctor is in for. “I shot my wife’s lover,” he says matter-of-factly. “Shot her too, and then a couple of other people.” Mobster Johnny’s incredulous: “That was stupid—why did

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