November: eye candy and brain food for you this month:

The Peninsula Museum of Art has produced a series of four You Tube videos of conversations between Whitaker and DeWitt Cheng, Curator of the "No Rules" exhibit of Whitaker's work. The pieces, with new ones added, are now on exhibit at Stanford University in Palo Alto as part of Stanford Art Spaces. They will be on view at the CIS (Center for Integrated Systems)/Paul Allen Building through November 19.

Christie's Auction House has produced an interesting article titled "Three Sculptures. Three Ways of Seeing". On discussion are works by Archipenko, Matisse, and Mitoraj in an exhibit/sale called "Small Is Beautiful: The Art of Sculpture".

Roberta Loach has titled her newest series "Artists and Lovers". Loach is a native Californian, working in a variety of mediums. She tells us that she has pioneered "waterbase monotypes with the use of the silk airpen". Her paintings are dynamic, vibrant, and demanding of our attention.

In a piece titled "The Young Survivors of Boko Haram", the New Yorker magazine presents the work of New Zealand photographer Ruth McDowall, who has been in Nigeria for several years. McDowall became interested in the young women who had escaped the clutches of their kidnappers and was able to interview and take photographs of nine who had survived.

The Guardian introduces us to giant street art around the world. You will find a variety of techniques here, some of which are quite startling.

Kenneth Goldsmith sat down with two other poets in 1997 or 1998 to start a movement called "Uncreative Writing". The two other poets had driven down from Canada to hear Goldsmith read from a selection of his poetry titled No. 111 2.7.93-10.20.96. You begin at Chapter 1, with a group of one-syllable words. The final chapter claims to contain seven thousand two hundred and twenty-eight syllables. Goldsmith claims that he doesn't have a readership - he has a thinkership. He describes himself as a conceptual poet. But I don't want to spoil it for you: read the article and find out more about this amazing mind.

The Paula Cooper Gallery is showing the work of Christian Marclay, a sound and installation artist. Called "Surround Sounds", it is described as "four silent synchronized projected animations". Marclay has spent a lifetime investigating the relationship of sounds and music to solid visible forms. Influenced by Marcel Duchamp, the composer creates a "theater of found sound". More information can be found at the Fraenkel Gallery site.

"Lucien Freud Teenage Love Letters" looks at the early writings of the artist to discover whether he was gay or rather fascinated by the body human in all of its manifestations.

If, like many of my viewers, you are partial to old movies and particularly to the very special ones, you will want to read "Movies for All Seasons". Miles David Moore takes us on a tour of his favorites flicks, and reminds us of what classics lie in wait for our viewing/renewing pleasure.

Are you old enough to remember the music of the Buena Vista Social Club? If so you will be pleased to hear that, after 18 years, an album has been released with previously unheard music. The group is credited with reviving interest in the music of Cuba. The original album sold over 8 million copies and inspired an Oscar Award-winning documentary film.

Sculptor Alina Szapocznikow's sculpture has an unsettling and dramatic impact. The artist, who died of cancer in 1973, was a Holocaust survivor who first worked in the People's Republic of Poland. Eventually she began using polyester resin along with molds made from human body parts, specifically her own, to produce these startling pieces. Works like Petit Dessert and Stele are procative indeed.

"Shadow Boxing with Joseph Cornell" takes an intriguing look at the artist's shadow boxes, variously filled with sea shells, pipes, maps, dried leaves, rhinestones, and film stills, done in the 1930's. The article harks back to a surrealist manifesto which read, "beautiful as the chance meeting on a dissecting table of a sewing machine and an umbrella". Although Cornell claimed not to be a surrealist, he managed to convey a sense of mystery and dark romanticism in his boxes, shown in an exhibition at the Royal Academy.

Giraffes as a species have been seriously decimated, resulting in a 40% decline in population over the past 15 years. Calling it a "silent extinction", Julian Fennessy, executive director of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation tells us that giraffes have already been wiped out in over 7 African nations, whereas there were more than a million of them two centuries ago. Unfortunately they have become targets for hunters, who can get almost 600 pounds of meet from one animal. To paint the picture more forcefully, animal welfare officials say that over the past 40 years 39% of terrestrial wildlife has disappeared, 39% of marine wildlife, and a staggering 76% of freshwater wildlife. Will Gartshore of the World Wildlife Foundation comments, "We're denuding the forest and savannahs of our fellow-travellers, our fellow-creatures. Wildlife is losing its battle with humans".

The Whitney Museum of American Art is featuring the paintings of Stuart Davis through Oct 10, 2016. This is said to be the first major exhibition to place later works alongside earlier ones. Davis combined the energy and vitality of pop art, advertising, jazz and Cubism into his canvases. The show is called "In Full Swing".

An article titled "Why Jackson Pollock Gave Up Painting" focuses on the later "black pour" canvases and contrasts them to the earlier Jack the Dripper paintings. Addressed is the question of how genius and sex interrelate and affect each other. Another reviewer describes the works as "this is art as nervous breakdown...and it's majestic". The works are also called "drunken monuments to pain and self-pity".

A photographer on the International Space Station has captured an eerie view of the Kamchatka Peninsula in far easter Siberia, showing a magnificent snowy vision of volcanos some of which appear to have erupted only recently.

I have long admired the poetry of Wallace Stevens although I rarely see anything written about him. Here is an article called "Reclining Beneath a Palm Tree on the Edge of Space", which quotes several elegant lines and reminds me of why Stevens speaks so eloquently to so many of us. How can you forget "Complacencies of the peignoir..."

Yayoi Kusama continues her absorption with the polka dot as environment as she sets up an "all-incompassing installation" at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Included are mirrored living quarters, inflatable furniture, and, of course, polka dotted rooms. The site also offers links to other projects of hers.

If like myself you love a gripping adventure story, then you will want to read this article from the New Yorker, detailing the attempts to find the Lost City of Z in the Amazon Forests. Be prepared: you won't be able to put it down.

"Punk with a Paintbrush" examines closely JMW Turner's painting "The Battle of Trafalgar". Originally thought to glorify Britain's naval supremacy, in fact it appears to portray the horror of war, and the tragedy of death for both victor and loser. The writer concludes, "War is chaos, it is a nightmare". Readers of my books will recognize the feeling, although our species does not seem to recognize the reality.

c. Corinne Whitaker 2015