W.S. Di Piero

W.S. Di Piero

W.S. Di Piero is a recipient of Guggenheim, Lila Wallace-Readers Digest awards, and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. He lives in San Francisco and is the author of numerous books of poetry and essays. He wrote an essay on his father in June of 2000.

His recent books include Nitro Nights (2011, Copper Canyon) and TOMBO (2014, McSweeney's). Prior to that was When Can I See You Again: New Art Writings (2010, Pressed Wafer), which contains many of his Reader columns.

Latest Articles

Life as meat

Post–World War II London artists dabbled with expiration date

In the years following World War II, the biggest art conversation was about abstraction and what to do with it. The critical center was New York and the artists in question were Pollock, Rothko, de ...

Beautiful disgusts after some masterpieces

By the 18th Century, mighty Venice had become what Goethe called “the drawing room of Europe.”

Many of us seek and cherish essences when traveling to foreign places: a food, a shop, a fall of light, an open-air market, the peculiar curve or steep of street or hillside, the play of ...

Bawdy shots

Mapplethorpe’s work “moves toward a kind of perfection — it’s just a matter of refining.”

I was 11 or 12 when I befriended an older neighborhood boy who was a fanatical bodybuilder. Johnny pumped iron in the basement and would interrupt any conversation to do handstand pushups against a wall. ...

German art right before Hitler

How it was, how it is

In many of these photos, things have an existential aura of their own and seem to be observing us.

Passionate energy just this side of anarchy at San Diego Museum of Art

Coney Island was designed to overcome

Coney Island: Visions of the American Dreamland, 1861–2008 is a game, splashy exhibition.

Sparky, hectic, unmediated inventiveness on display

This way to Radium Girl!

The Self-Taught Genius exhibit at the Mingei, artifacts from their conversation with the world

Stunning but remote physicality in Essaydi’s women

The poses matter.

Essaydi’s women don’t “present” to the viewer: each has an inner life made visible but unavailable to us.

Turner set free

Nature as roughhouse theater

JMW Turner: Painting Set Free at the Getty through May 24.

Koudelka was into enormity

History happens

An enormous crowd pushes against an advancing tank, as if to deny its force.

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