When Did Architecture’s Top Prize Become So Predictable and Boring?
July 02, 2011

Recently, the Pritzker Committee held the award ceremony for its annual prize, which this year went to Eduardo Souto de Moura, a Portuguese architect revered among architecture’s global, academic elite and virtually unknown to the public.

Low Life, High Art
December 08, 2010

I. Some years ago I watched Derek Jarman’s film Caravaggio, starring Nigel Terry in the title role. As entertainment I am sure it has its fans, but I cannot recommend it to anyone interested in an art-historical shortcut, a crash course on this most popular Old Master. Jarman’s view of life in Rome in the seventeenth century is a combination of Fellini’s Satyricon and the soap opera Days of Our Lives, and his sense of artistic life must have derived from his personal knowledge of the scenes in London and New York in the 1980s. I did a lot of fast-forwarding.

Swimming With Sharks
July 01, 2010

From a list of the most dangerous sites in the world for shark attacks. Recife, Brazil: The trouble started in the 1980s, when Porto Suape was constructed to the south of Recife. The construction sealed off two freshwater estuaries, which had served as the birthing waters for many bull sharks. When the estuaries were closed, the sharks went to the next estuary, which happens to discharge right into Recife's waters. A nearby channel used by surfers became these sharks' new feeding grounds.