Book of Ruth: “Making the Hand Obey Another’s Psychology” – Interview with Robert Seydel

Saul & me & hare

Published on the Siglio Press blog on 02.26.2013 

This interview Savina Velkova conducted with Robert Seydel in 2010 is the only interview with Seydel before his sudden and unexpected death in January 2011. It reveals much about an artist whose own life and those of the personas he constructed were knitted in inextricable ways.

Seydel is the author of Book of Ruth (Siglio, 2011), an alchemical assemblage that composes the life of his alter ego Ruth Greisman—spinster, Sunday painter, and friend to Joseph Cornell and Marcel Duchamp. The collages, drawings, and journal entries from Ruth’s imagined life are conceived as a gathering of materials from the Smithsonian and a suburban family garage. They not only construct a mosaic portrait of a reclusive, unknown artist but reveal much about the tenuous creation of self. Continue reading


Frida Kahlo: Art, Pain and the Body

Raices (Roots), 1943

Appeared in an archived Pomona College online publication on 2.08.2011

The body weaves in and out of conversations more than many topics that Pomona students consider “important.” Intentionally or not, we constantly objectify ourselves and others in our attempts to experience, understand and explain the world. Yet, in many ways, the body remains taboo. Something that should be euphemized, transcended, or displayed at the right times, in the right ways.

Lately, I find myself looking for inspiration precisely in the body and in art that is concerned, more than anything else, with the body, its pain and suffering, its dimensions, limitations, connections and possibilities. Such an exploration is inevitably permeated with Frida Kahlo’s powerful, inspiring and equally jarring self-portraits and I couldn’t help but mention them here. Continue reading

Mmmm Fantastiche!

Photo: Fantastiche! facebook

Appeared in an archived Pomona College online publication on 5.01.2011

When Becky Karpovsky (SC ’11) realized she had seen a lot of burlesque and was completely enamored with the performative aesthetic, she thought, why not? She was drawn to the concept of burlesque as an opportunity to perform the body and identity in just the way the actor wants them to be seen and perceived.

The realization occurred right about the time when Julia Pashall (PI ’12) came back from a semester in Amsterdam, where she saw a lot of avant-garde performance and thought that the 5C cultural space had room for more experimentation and excitement. Continue reading

Figure Drawing

Published in The Student Life on 3.07.2008 

Figure Drawing
Sketch by Katherine Roy

My theater teacher once said that being naked on stage is the greatest challenge for the actor. From a logical standpoint, I found it strange that a person ready to reveal emotions and share intimate truths with the audience would be intimidated by nudity for the sake of inspiration and art. However, when the bold part of me asked the timid one, “Would you do it?”, I was not so sure.

I heard about the Figure Drawing club at the very beginning of first semester and was immediately lured to show up as a model. Excited to test my courage and confidence and to become part of one of the most beautiful forms of art, I talked to the president of the club and went to the meeting. Before the first pose of the other model was finished, I was already back in my dorm. Continue reading

James Hueter: A Retrospective, and the Life and Work of the Artist

James Hueter
James Hueter

Published in the Claremont Courier 2.25.2009

One of Claremont’s best-kept secrets has been revealed, and the public is fascinated. The exhibition James Hueter: A Retrospective, a chronicle of local artist James Hueter’s life-long journey through concepts and media, opened at the Claremont Museum of Art on February 21st with a lively reception for more than 200 people—family, friends, and anyone involved or interested in the Claremont art community.

Themed as a retrospective, the exhibition strives to tell the story of Mr. Hueter’s dynamic artistic development over the past 66 years. It is the artist’s hope that people will “look closely and see the connections” between the works, tracing change and growth of ideas and approaches. Continue reading

Don Juan – Theater review

Don Juan
Photo: A Noise Within

Published in The Student Life on 4.11.2008

Sensual, funny, and inspiring: welcome to Moliere’s Don Juan at A Noise Within Theater. The story is well known: Don Juan, an enchanting libertine devoted to the pursuit of sensual pleasures, leaves his wife in quest of fresh love adventures. While chasing a newly blossomed passion, an engaged girl about to be married, the notorious lover and his faithful and witty valet find themselves in a small seashore village where the gorgeous peasant girls are more abundant than the grains of sand on the beach. Of course, Don Juan does what he does best: charms, conquers, and leaves every beautiful creature that comes his way. Things, however, are bound to change. Continue reading

My Morning Jacket – Music review

Greek Theatre
Greek Theatre (photo: Greek Theatre)

Published in The Student Life on 9.26.2008 

Whether you have been a fan ever since the ’99 album The Tennessee Fire, listening over and over to songs like “The Bear” and “Evelyn Is Not Real,” or you have just discovered the still-warm release of Evil Urges, you simply have to see My Morning Jacket in concert. Part of the 2008 Evil Urges Tour, the 09/21 show at the LA Greek Theater proved that they are, indeed, fantastic live.

The concert started as any other. “Evil Urges” was a good warm-up opener for the substantial crowd filling the seats of the small but well-organized venue, immediately followed by “Touch Me I’m Going To Scream Part I,” another song from the new album. The Evil Urges string was often interrupted by older pleasures like “Off The Record,” “What A Wonderful Man,” and “Mahgeetah” from the most recent Z (2005) and It Still Moves (2003). Continue reading

Playback Theatre: Neighbors, Intimacy, and Stories

Playback Theater
Image: Ottawa Phoenix Playback Theater

Published in The Student Life on 4.10.2008

A modern recreation of the campfire tradition, and a theatre of neighbors, intimacy, and stories – this is how Playback Theatre was first described to the curious audience at the Pomona College Allen Theater on Saturday, April 4. The spectators were few, barely enough to fill the seats on one side of the small performance space, but they were diverse and invested: 5C students, families, and members of the community all eager to share and absorb experience and wisdom expressed not only through words, but also through movement, sound, and physical and spiritual interaction. Continue reading