Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792)
“Cupid as a Link Boy” (1774)
Located in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, United States

A link boy was a boy who carried a flaming torch to light the way for pedestrians at night. Linkboys were common in London in the days before street lighting. The torch was often made from burning pitch and tow.

James Tissot (1836-1902)
“A Woman of Ambition” (1885)
Oil on canvas
Located in the Albright–Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, United States


Francis Bacon: Paintings from the 1950s
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, May 4–July 29, 2007

Francis Bacon: Paintings from the 1950s highlighted the decade in which Francis Bacon (British, 1909–1992) experimented with a wide range of complex themes and the haunting images that became his hallmark iconography—screaming heads, popes, caged animals, and distorted and isolated figures. Bacon was known for taking risks, not only in his art, but in his daily life as well. His life in the 1950s was consumed with destructive romantic relationships, gambling in Monte Carlo and Tangier, among other places, and general overindulgence of all kinds. A flamboyant homosexual with an appetite for danger and luxury, Bacon traveled in many social circles of extreme contrast—from a ritzy gathering at a four-star restaurant to gambling parties with vagrants. Experiencing and observing the human condition in its many guises was Bacon’s forte, and he set out to expose the visceral content he envisioned behind social and emotional veils.

Bacon made ambitious strides during the 1950s. His work from this period has a raw sense of immediacy. Provocative and mysterious, it reflects a variable and creative mind unbound by social and artistic conventions. 

Content and images courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection and Archives, Buffalo, New York. Photographs by Tom Loonan. © 2016 Albright-Knox Art Gallery


Of Our Time and Time Again

Capital construction at the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, New York, is practically a once-in-a-lifetime event. The renowned art museum opened its first permanent building to the public in 1905, and it didn’t complete its first expansion until 1962, when it inaugurated a new south wing designed by SOM’s Gordon Bunshaft. The famous architect’s mid-century scheme meditates on past and present. If the first story of the 30,000-square-foot addition appears as a continuation of the original Beaux-Arts building’s basement-level marble wall, then the auditorium sitting atop that base could not be more distinct. This steel-structure box, clad in 40 deeply tinted glass panels, is a sleek counterpoint to the colonnaded marble volumes of the original. How will Albright-Knox mark the passage of time, architecturally, for the next generation? It began public dialogue about a second major expansion earlier this year.


It’s October 1st 2014, and my new homemade DeeBeeCaster™ in “surf green” seems incongruous with impending wet and chill of autumn.

Oh, and I have been running around telling everyone it weighs 5 pounds 3 ounces…but I was mistaken.  I must have measured it before it had strap buttons and stings or something because the ACTUAL final weight is 5 pounds, 14 ounces.  I am extremely happy when a guitar weighs between 6 and 7 pounds, so anything under 6 lbs makes me happy!

PS:  The other photos were taken in Sydney, Nova Scotia a couple of weeks ago during my holiday on Canada’s East Coast.  They were done from inside my car…the camera is focused on the rain on the car windows rather than the scenery behind it.

PPS: the book in the guitar photos is about American painters of the 20th Century, published by Time/Life Books in 1969 - so the book itself is “vintage”!  It is showing one of my favourite paintings of all time by Jasper Johns called “Numbers in Colour” (1959).  I have actually seen this painting in person because it hangs in the Albright-Knox gallery in Buffalo NY, which is under two hours drive from Toronto.  Jasper Johns also did one of the coolest Simpson guest spots ever.  :D