Monday, November 23, 2009


Madeleine Brand has, as the kids say, "mad mass communication skilz." As an NPR journalist and LA Times podcaster, Brand balances the funny and the true with the deft touch and timing of a lifelong carnie. WMKAS is pleased as punch to publish her first-ever childrens' art review, below. To read and listen to more of Madeleine's fantastic body of work, visit

"IS THIS IT?" by L, Chicago (reviewed by Madeleine Brand)

“He who opens a school door closes a prison.” So said the French novelist Victor Hugo. Well, this miserable artiste cunningly opens the school in the prison, thereby deftly commenting on the extermination of free will our learning institutions are bent on carrying out. Could it be an accident that she has clad herself in prison stripes that also call to mind a French Querelle-ish tunic? And, la pauvre has no arms -- obviously a symptom of the passivity the state encourages -- Foucault’s panopticon internalized. But, wait! What’s that at the bottom of the work? The shoes -- are they not flowers blooming, ready to arch up and through the prison bars? Could it be that our petite Cosette is actually offering us poor, beaten down Jean Valjeans a ray of hope? J’espere...j’espere...


  1. Cheers to Ms. Brand for a spot-on critique. Lesser minds have crumbled under the intense glare that is the passionate daily readership of this blogmovement. Huzzah, MB! First of many, j'espere!

  2. What did the French student say to his classmate when he needed a pencil to take an exam?

    "A spare, j'espere."