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You can parse and pontificate at length on the sculptures and installations of Matthew Ronay, but the bottom line is the sense of joy and delight that his work offers. Colorful, imaginative, playful - these are the gifts that Ronay brings to his audiences. I am reminded of the joyful sculptures of Niki de Saint Phalle.

In 1985 I created a series of black and white photographs called Coal Dust and Diamonds, shot with a 35mm Canon F1 SLR camera. Among the pieces were shots taken at a duck slaughterhouse in Los Angeles. Now comes a completely different take on animals about to be killed for the benefit of humanity. The first photos here treat the chickens as some sort of celebrity portrait, waiting to be framed and admired. These are then followed by interior shots of the facility. The underlying message of both series is the same.

After seeing the work of Chinese artist Cao Hui I may never look at a chair the same way again, or a jacket, or a pair of gloves for that matter. Hui's transformation of ordinary objects into confrontational works forces us to think about who we are and how we occupy the spaces around us. When he slowly takes apart what appears to be a classical bust to reveal its raw meat components we are brought up short.

Matt Calderwood's sculptures live in an off-beat space which he characterizes as "Not Everything Unbalanced is UnBeautiful". It is almost impossible to resist moving in close to the works in order to figure out how they stay up, an action that makes us inevitably part of the sculptural experience. Calderwood, an artist from Northern Ireland, first came to the public's attention when he built a piece of rope from 50 rolls of toilet paper. His preoccupation with risk-taking can sometimes be taken to extremes, like the time he climbed a ladder while chopping off the pieces beneath him.

If you are a lover of jazz this site from NPR offers many hours of happy listening. From piano jazz to melodic drum, combining Indian jazz and classical music, afro-cuban jazz, and a dynamic performance by Tank and the Bangas' at the Pickathon Music Festival there is joy here for every music lover.

CES, the block-buster Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, treats us to the bold, imaginative thinkers looking at tomorrow's world. The Smithsonian magazine highlights their 7 choices for most inspiring innovations. You will see suitcases that follow you around, robot-made fresh bread, a gluten-free "impossible burger", an air taxi and more.

Anthony Braxton, a MacArthur Genius and NEA Jazz Master, is writing an opera that may never be performed, but if it is will take 5 days. One of his previous works, "Ghost Trance Music", arose from native American rituals, and showcased one-line melodies that seemed to wander aimlessly. Braxton's notations are known to feature color-coded ideas and "secondary material" shown at the end of a piece that could also be inserted into other sections of the music.

Lucy Dyson's latest work is titled "As much to tomorrow as to the past". Showing in Berlin at Michael Reid, Dyson has a distinguished background, including animations for Beyonce's Formation World Tour. Her collages take us into a fantasy world where the ordinary flirts with the impossible.

A recent London show of menswear wanders far from the guys at the supermarket to some colorful suggestions for creative men. Apart from the obvious man-spreading used by some of the models, there are clothes here that women might wear just as comfortably as men. All in all an interesting collection. Note: if you scroll down at this site you will find some additional styles from London Fashion Week.

The paintings of Ginny Sykes hark back to alchemy and transformation, with a touch of Jackson Pollock as seen through the sensuality of Georgia O'Keeffe. Look also at her works on paper. All of her work flows and swirls in graceful exuberance.

A book titled "Recipes for Good Luck" looks at some of the rather unusual rituals of creative minds. The author and illustrator, Ellen Weinstein, treats us to tidbits like Beethoven counting coffe beans and Picasso hoarding his fingernail clippings because they might hold his "essence". You might not want to copy Benjamin Franklin's early morning ritual, though, of standing in front of an open window on the ground floor reading or writing buck naked.

Nicola L., who died in December at age 81, created anthopomorphic sculptures with a sense of humor and a touch of wackiness. Her female body furniture is both functional and playful. She also loved to blur the line between furniture and fantasy.

The Guardian treats us to a visual tour of beautiful art-deco buildings around the world. Photographed by film-maker Arnold Schwartzman, we move from a butcher shop in Paris to a theater in Lisbon.

With a touch of the absurd and a penchant for abstraction, two artists known as Studio Giftig have vibrantly altered the interior of a baroque Dutch building, covering the walls with evocative fantasies. The restaurant/bar, called Cafe Thomas, has surrendered its classical ethos to demanding swirls of color and bodies. You might not dine here for tranquility but you would certainly emerge stimulated and revived.

c. Corinne Whitaker 2019