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Art informs art

My friend Ira Berkow visits art galleries in New York, where he lives and writes, and in other cities when he travels. But Ira is no dilettante. When he looks at a canvas, he distills what will help him on the page.

“A painter can convey a lot with just a brushstroke,” says Ira, a former New York Times columnist, Pulitzer winner, and author. “Once I saw a Rembrandt at the Cleveland Museum [of Art], and there was an old man in the distance in the painting, and what said ‘old man’ was the prominent veins in his hands.

“But as I got closer I saw that not each vein was painted—there were just brushstrokes—but they made it seem like each vein was painted separately.

“What it told me,” says Ira, “was that less really is more, that you should think about writing something in a sentence instead of a paragraph.”

Read the rest of The Loft Literary Center’s article here.


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