Where does a jaded New Yorker find relief for a bum knee in Hong Kong on a Sunday morning? Not in the most likely place, a Chinese apothecary. In The Patella, The Sea Urchin Needle, and A Cuppa' Java, the cure comes in the strange form of a strong cup of coffee, whence the traveler's real journey begins.
Ann D'Antonio turns a cuppa' Java into the vehicle for mystic and magic and wonder. In the process she transports the reader to the realm of ancient Imperial China as embodied in the old soul of a young barista at McDonald's.
In few strokes D'Antonio illustrates the power and rigor of the Very Short Story form, juxtaposing the streets of modern Causeway Bay against the opulent courts of Cathay as the lame protagonist searches for pain relief. When she happens upon the most un-magical basement of a fast-food joint, she finds not only relief but wisdom of the ages.
In Big Pink Ann D’Antonio takes us into the world of a prep school girl who comes of age one summer at the Jersey Shore. She endows her protagonist with a droll and perceptive voice that reminds all of us what it felt like to be an intelligent teenager trying to make sense of a histrionic family in an expanding world
Poignant and comical, D'Antonio's story earned Honorable Mention in the November 2007 Short Story for New Writers competition held by Glimmer Train, one of the most respected short story journals in print.
Meet Alfredo Consiglio, the expatriate con artist who confuses forgery with raw talent. Watch him peddling his fakes as masterworks on the Princeton cocktail party circuit. Witness his undoing when one painting in particular, his big lie, gives the lie to his life. Now who's the fool for art?
D'Antonio employs her knowledge of painting and art history in this nightmarish tale of deception. She brings alive the sights and smells of a working painter's atelier, the greed and inferiority of the forger, the shallowness and arrogance of the ignorant buyer. As an art historian, D'Antonio is ever amused by the sheer number of forgeries that hang in the world's great museums and homes of self-proclaimed connoisseurs. Fool for Art is a tale of condemnation of both.
Inspired by an interview with one of only two women on Death Row in New Jersey in the 20th Century, The Color Red takes us into the mind of a mother burdened by too many children and not enough help who slips in and out of madness. In the Afterward, Ann D'Antonio relates the chilling details of her magazine interviews with prison inmates on Death Row and supplies the facts and figures behind the real murderer and her victims. The Color Red centers on a woman who killed for the joy of it bare handed, not by the poisoned porcelain teacup.
D'Antonio's story earned Honorable Mention in the December 2011 Fiction Open competition held by Glimmer Train, one of the most respected short story journals in print.
"Keep out" means nothing to teenagers, especially when it comes to swimming on a hot summer's day. When the black depths of the town reservoir seduce a rule-breaking man-child to dive in, a deadly confluence of misbehavior and Nature's caprice turn brutal.
Ann D'Antonio transforms a great tank of municipal water into an inhuman creature whose thirst for destruction will not be slaked. It twines and torques and finds its end in a river gripped by a flash flood, filling the lungs of swimmers and the man-child, who will never find air.
The Good Priest wrestles with the poverty of the Church to alleviate one woman’s suffering in the face of her mother’s dying. Ann D’Antonio writes a compelling story placing the reader squarely inside the moral crisis of euthanasia through the eyes of a reluctant daughter whom God has forgotten.
Is mercy killing in fact merciful? Or is it murder? These questions propel the reader to the heart of the matter as D'Antonio depicts the conflict of dilemma and the tear of pending loss. The Good Priest is an hommage to the search for existential meaning and the fear that meaning, at the end of a life, does not exist.
The art we encounter and the art we interpret (and which interprets and changes us) is the product of artist and curator. In Curating in the Gloobalsphere journalist and art historian Ann D’Antonio portrays with sparkling penetration this triangulation of viewer/curator/artist against changes taking place in the traditional viewer/museum/gallery encounter.
Artists are increasingly curating their own gallery space and reconstructing the viewing experience. This practice originated in the early 20th Century with Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc’s avant-garde First Blaue Reiter Exhibition (1911) and Alfred Barr’s creation of the White Cube model at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (1929). Marcel Duchamp furthered experimental curating with his miniature museum in a suitcase and his wild First Papers of Surrealism exhibit in New York in 1942.
Curating in the Gloobalsphere illuminates Frederick Kiesler’s groundbreaking Art of This Century exhibit (1940), sponsored by Peggy Guggenheim, which took art and display off the wall and unsettled the viewer. Guggenheim herself was famous for her iconoclastic exhibitions of then-unknown artists like Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg. D’Antonio covers Willem Sandberg, the Dutch typographer who curated artists as much as he did the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam when he launched the emerging CoBRA group in 1948.
Practitioners in the here and now around the globe, like the six installation artists who created and curated The Unwanted Land in The Hague in 2010, are liberating visual culture from its spatial dimensions of frame and wall, and transforming the gallery itself into a meta-exhibition. Viewers themselves are becoming de facto curators through Google Art Project, creating personal collections from home on their laptops. And artists as renown as Frank Stella are replicating their work through the magic of 3D printing technology, no longer solely in the service of industry.
Curating in the Gloobalsphere studies the turn that art, display, and displayer are taking into the realm of 1s and 0s. In the end, however, curating in cyberspace is virtual and cannot recreate the ambiance of the museum nor the heart and soul of a living, breathing work of art. D’Antonio’s writing is as thought provoking as it is readable and re-readable. The book is a de rigeur text for college and grad students for its scholarly bibliography, meticulous reference list, unusual archival photographs, and original illustrations.