THIS IS THE PLACE FOR DISCOVERIES AND DISCUSSIONS OF THE MOST INVENTIVE ART FORMS – ALL KINDS OF ART THAT IS FAR-OUT, FANTASTIC, FREE-SPIRITED, FUN, FUNKY, PHENOMENAL AND GOOD FOR THE SOUL. (MAMA CALLED IT SUI GENERIS)
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AS THE DIFFICULT AND CHALLENGING — HOW’S THAT FOR PUTTING IT MILDLY? — YEAR 2022 COMES TO AN END, AND 2023 BEGINS, WE’RE REMINDED BY THE LATE JAZZ SINGER SHIRLEY HORN ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF MOVING FORWARD AND NOT GIVING UP. IN HER SIGNATURE SONG, “HERE’S TO LIFE” (MUSIC: ARTIE BUTLER; LYRICS: PHYLLIS MOLINARY), HORN SANG: “AND WHO KNOWS WHAT TOMORROW BRINGS OR TAKES AWAY[?] AS LONG AS I’M STILL IN THE GAME, I WANT TO PLAY. FOR LAUGHS, FOR LIFE, FOR LOVE.”

IN THIS ISSUE, DON'T MISS THESE FEATURES
Editor’s Letter
What the heck is brutjournal?
by Edward M. Gómez
Music and art
Shane MacGowan is best known as the frontman of the band The Pogues, but as a recent solo exhibition in London and a related new book have shown, visual art is another outlet for his creative energy
by Luciano Oltramari
“Coping Mechanisms”
The British-Canadian artist Pandora Vaughan uses needlepoint to depict prison floor plans and sewing and fabrics to create works of art that disarm their emotionally and psychologically heavy, daunting subjects with the delicacy of their craftsmanship.
from London, Cathy Ward reports
Japan
The young painter Shinpei Okawa has developed his own approach to Surrealism-inspired painting that packs his compositions with a wide range of subjects, from wild birds to young kids resembling comic-book characters.
by Edward M. Gómez
THINKING ABOUT FRAMES AND FRAMING
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DAME VIVIENNE WESTWOOD (1941-2022), R.I.P.: A REMEMBRANCE BY HER FRIEND, ROGER BURTON
When the British fashion designer and activist Vivienne Westwood died at the end of December at the age of 81, the world lost one of the main creators of the punk movement’s look, aesthetic, and ethos. Roger Burton, the founder-director of The Horse Hospital, an arts center in London, remembers his friend and former collaborator. Free-access article.
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MICHEL THÉVOZ: EXAMINING THE “PATHOLGY OF THE FRAME” IN WORKS OF ART
The Swiss art historian Michel Thévoz’s 2020 book Pathologie du cadre: Quand l’art brut s’éclate (Pathology of the Frame: When Art Brut Explodes) served as the basis of an exhibition at the Collection de l’Art Brut in Switzerland. We offer some excerpts, in English, from his illuminating study of artists’ modes of framing their own compositions. Coming soon.
SHINPEI OKAWA’S PAINTINGS: SURREALISM REVISITED
The young Japanese artist Shinpei Okawa recently showed his new paintings at Niche Gallery in Tokyo. Inspired by Surrealist ideas and executed with fine technical skill, his image-packed compositions serve up otherworldly scenes in which time and memory float freely, and surprises abound.
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ON VIEW IN L.A.: AN ART OF PURE TRANSCENDENCE
Another World: The Transcendental Painting Group, 1938-1945, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, examines a modern-art movement that is not widely known. Sarah Fensom, brutjournal’s L.A.-based U.S.A. West Coast bureau chief, reviews this meditative survey.
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A LOOK INSIDE THE ORIGINAL “MAN CAVES”: MEN’S BARBERSHOPS
Traveling around the American South at a time of evolving ideas about gender roles, the Texas-based cultural historian and photographer David Ensminger has documented those bastion-symbols of traditional masculinity: barbershops. A photo portfolio and essay.
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