Quick Reads: “What Are You Looking At?” by Will Gompertz

What Are You Looking At?: The Surprising, Shocking, and Sometimes Strange Story of 150 Years of Modern Art

By Will Gompertz

DUTTON

If you’ve ever wandered into a contemporary art gallery with hope and left with a headache, BBC arts editor Will Gompertz may be your savior. His funny, straight-talking guide to the past 150 years of modernism contextualizes lofty art-speak—neo-plasticism?—using colorful anecdotes, Monty Python and Spice Girls references, and a master’s grasp of history. He’s not afraid to call bollocks on the art world, either. From Marcel Duchamp’s famed urinal to Damien Hirst’s dead shark, this book is an engaging tour of art’s most radical innovations.

This review originally appeared in our November/December issue of Mother Jones.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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