children's museum of art

Keith Haring, as rendered in Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing, a new children’s book by the artist’s sister Kay. We’re celebrating its release tonight at the Whitney Shop. Then check out Haring’s work on view in Fast Forward: Painting from the 1980s!

  • I'm reading a book to two 5-year-old twins (boy & girl) and their 7-year-old sister.
  • It's an Olivia the Pig book and she's looking at a painting in a museum.
  • 5yo girl: Is that a Jackson Pollock?
  • Me: Wait, I'm sorry, WHAT?
  • 5yo girl: Is that a JACKSON POLLOCK?
  • 7yo girl: Yeah, it is.
  • Me: What.
  • 5yo boy: JACKSON. POLLOCK.
  • Me: I know, I know, I was just surprised! Do you guys go to the museum?
  • 7yo girl: Yeah...but not often.
  • Me: Why?
  • 7yo girl: Because one time we went and I farted really loud and we haven't been back since.

Everyone who likes that Regional Gothic meme should just go read Steven Millhauser’s entire body of short fiction, because he does this thing where he takes an ordinary concept we’re all sort of familiar with, like fashion or art or children’s games or museums or miniatures or Saturday morning cartoons, starts us out in comfortable territory and pushes it into a fever pitch of surreality so slowly and gradually that we don’t even know the temperature has risen until we’re boiling to death. 

He’s got a number of books, but the one I’m talking about right now is Dangerous Laughter and I just spent actual money on an actual copy of it because I knew it was either that or take it out of my school library repeatedly for the rest of my life. 

He’s also about to release another collection, Voices in the Night, in just a few days! (In fact, I thought it was out already. That’s why I couldn’t find you at the bookstore, sneaky book.)

Also, his short story “The Sisterhood of Night” was the inspiration for the new movie of the same name (that one, I believe, is collected in The Knife Thrower).