by Charles Mahoney
From the moment we wake up in the morning to the second we go to bed, we are surrounded by art. Music blares out from every car stereo. Televisions play in every room. Films are being shown every other street corner. Books fill our classrooms. And whatever time we have left, we can take to play video games.
But in this torrent of images, it is often difficult for us to determine what exactly we are looking at. Is the new Lupe Fiasco album a bold new direction for an ever-changing artist or corporate sponsored cash in on new trends? Is the newest Quentin Tarantino movie an introspective look at an old genre or a recursive navel-gazing with pretentions of art? Is the newest Call of Duty game really all that new or is it just a rehash of old shooters? At the Washington Square News’ Art desk, these are the questions we set out to answer. Through intense scrutiny of various pieces of art, we provide our readers with a complex picture of our culture’s artistic landscape.
We do this in two ways. First, the arts section of WSN publishes in print twice a week, every Tuesday and Thursday. You can check out our home page here to see an online copy of our print coverage, as well as other special features. But two days is simply not enough time to properly analyze New York City’s vast artistic output. We need to provide daily reporting if we hope to keep track of entertainment news.
That’s where The Highlighter comes in. Throughout the day, every day, we will be posting exclusive features, reviews, and analysis so that our readers will be provided with a full picture of NYC art. We cover a wide variety of interests here, from indie concerts to mainstream TV shows. Whatever your cultural obsessions are, we’re sure to have something for you.
Art surrounds us every day, and it can often be overwhelming. But the shear breadth of art does not mean that it is unmanageable. Indeed, the complexity of the indie rock scene makes us love to listen to bands like Arcade Fire and The Rapture. The beauty of television like Mad Men is that it never lets up, twisting and developing over time as the characters and themes play against each other. And if great authors like Jonathan Franzen or great directors like Christopher Nolan ever made their work any easier, we’d stop caring. On The Highlighter, we plunge into art with an open heart and a critical mind, praying for a challenge. We hope that you’ll come with us too.
Charles Mahoney is arts editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org