Post image for Why Refusing to Pay Federal Taxes Is an Ineffective Protest of Trump

Frustrated with President Donald Trump’s first four weeks in office? So far, he’s rolled out a sloppy and disgraceful travel ban on Muslims (notably omitting countries he has business ties to), and used taxpayer money to pay for his sons’ jaunts to other countries to promote Trump family businesses. His presidency has been rife with conflict of interest but he has not released his taxes, so there remain few ways to prove it.

It’s not surprising, then, that a lot of talk has surfaced among artists and progressives about not paying income tax this year in protest of the Republican administration’s policies. Is this a good idea?

The short answer is, “No.”

Post image for An Interview with Painter Trudy Benson: Loving The Smell of Paint

Trudy Benson is a force to be reckoned with. Her painting upon painting upon painting leave artists and casual observers alike gazing in wonderment at the layers in her work. Her best abstractions demonstrate a masterful handling of patterning and color and seem to vibrate on the wall.

This week, I sat down with New York based painter, Trudy Benson on the occasion of her two concurrent solo shows at Ribordy Contemporary in Geneva and Galerie Bernard Ceysson in Paris, both opening at the end of March. We nerded out. We discussed the influence of experimental film on her newest body of work, as well as the evolution of her richly painted, lyrical oils.

Post image for This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Happy Not-My-President’s Day

Kick the week off with the closing reception of an anti-Trump poetry show at EIDIA House, part of their “Plato’s Cave” exhibition series. Tuesday, artist Hakan Topal and curator Joanna Lehan talk about representations of refugees at CUNY’s Graduate Center, and Wednesday two artists plunge into the aesthetics of capitalism and consumption at respective openings downtown.

Things lighten up a bit starting Thursday. We’re looking forward to the NYC debut of North Carolina artist Carmen Neely at Jane Lombard Gallery and Monica Bonvicini’s oddly sexy work at Mitchell-Innes & Nash. On Friday, AFC friend Saul Chernick is opening a collaborative show at NURTUREart in Bushwick, and Saturday Liinu Grönlund’s rat-centric video work goes live at Open Source Gallery. End the week with a timely show about barriers and portals from A.K. Burns at Callicoon Fine Arts.

Post image for Doomed Capitalism And Psychedelic Escape In David Spriggs and Matthijs Munnik’s “Permutations of Light” at Pittsburgh’s Wood Street Galleries

Before the election and the daily drama of Trump’s administration, I never fully understood just how important the current sociopolitical state is to the success of an exhibition. Of course, I was aware that timeliness could make or break a show. But, less than a month into Trump’s presidency, work that normally wouldn’t interest me in galleries I typically bypass have taken on new meaning and resonance.

The latest project to remind me of art’s dependence on its political context is David Spriggs and Matthijs Munnik’s dual exhibition Permutations of Light at Pittsburgh’s Wood Street Galleries. The show presents two large-scale immersive installations, Spriggs’s Gold and Munnik’s Citadels, on separate floors of the gallery. Concentrated on formal aspects of light, color and form, this type of experiential installation (which are often associated with Wood Street Galleries’ programming) have become so commonplace that they seem, at this point, like a crowd-pleasing cliché. But, when viewed in the context of our surreal times, Spriggs’s critique of capitalism and Munnik’s escapism feel surprisingly relevant.