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.

Articles by W.S. Di Piero

A certain kind of God

A full-body hit of the gorgeous agressions of late 19th and early 20th-century art.

A certain kind of God

Burgled secrecies

The shots are exposures of exposure, sometimes detailed with bite marks, scars, bruises, and burns.

The first photograph I saw by Brassaï, many years ago, was a 1948 portrait of Jean Genet. Hands in pockets, slight of form, his face an ambiguous index of skittishness and cunning, Genet offers and ...

Beauty built on blood

Teotihuacan 2003 finds at L.A. County Art Museum

In 2003, an archaeologist digging near the Feathered Serpent Pyramid, one of the grand structures at the ancient city of Teotihuacan in Central Mexico, felt a soft spot in the earth that turned out to ...

Familiar muralists, but a lot unfamiliar

The uncanny in Balboa Park

One pleasure of anthology exhibitions is discovering pictures by unfamiliar artists. The English-born artist Leonora Carrington was new to me when I saw a small picture by her in Modern Masters from Latin America, currently ...

Deep, unusual Mexico in photos

Our Lady of Guadalupe, drug-war dead, the border from above, filthy rich girls

Modern Masters from Latin America reminds us, if we need to be reminded, that Modernism knew no borders. Point/Counterpoint, a compelling selection of 19 contemporary Mexican photographers currently at the Museum of Photographic Arts, has ...

Twelve Bellini holy pictures at the Getty

A precious event so close to San Diego

Pictures sometimes become devotional objects or pilgrimage destinations. Their contents have the feeling of secular-sacred spaces. The room called the Living Hall in New York’s Frick Collection houses several robust portraits, Titian’s force-of-nature Pietro Aretino ...

Kerry James Marshall addresses the absence of blackness

We’re the violators of their culture of leisure.

Slinky, unfurling forms run around and through many of Kerry James Marshall’s paintings. They frame individual pictures’ contents and rope together serial canvasses into a narrative of styles and scenes. In his 1993 De Style, ...

Artifacts of the cult

The Reformation was heaven for haters.

Tension between Death and the woman is as wiry and volatile as the religious tension of the times.

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 ...

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