Interview with Brad Downey

When did you start making work in the street? How did that progress over time? Did you ever paint murals or more representational work?

In 1999 when I was kicked out of school in Atlanta, I carried a ladder and rubber hammer from my father’s garage to my local Shell station and smashed the “S” out of the large, lit up sign. That was maybe my first serious public artwork.

A few years ago I was commissioned to make a mural for the "Big City Life" project in the government housing project Tormarancia in Rome. Instead of painting, I knocked on the doors of the families that lived in the building and asked them if they had any problems or uncompleted repairs in their apartments. Eventually, I decided to use my mural budget to solve these problems and make these repairs. The exterior wall was left blank. I titled the work "Fiscal Shifts and Problem Solving as Mural.”

from Juxtapoz, with the publishing of Downey’s new book Slapstick Formalism.



When I saw an email in my inbox earlier this week from Will Shortz, I assumed it was a form letter. When I opened it to see this Sunday’s date and the upcoming puzzle, I thought somehow the email had inadvertently been sent to me.

And then I realized it was one of my puzzles – the first one I’ve ever had used on the NPR Sunday Puzzle.

This week’s challenge: This puzzle also involves rhymes. It comes from listener James Matthews of Little Rock, Ark. Think of a common 7-letter word. Drop its second letter, and you’ll get a 6-letter word that does not rhyme with the first. Alternatively, you can drop the third letter from the 7-letter word to get a 6-letter word that doesn’t rhyme with either of the first two. Further, you can drop both the second and third letters from the 7-letter word to get a 5-letter word that doesn’t rhyme with any of the others. What words are these?

'Sending Out a Signal' – Kara Walker & Jason Moran

Episode #258: In a candid one-on-one conversation, Kara Walker and composer/musician Jason Moran discuss their collaboration for the Prospect.4 triennial in New Orleans, "Katastwóf Karavan" (2018). Installed at Algiers Point on the bank of the Mississippi River and activated daily across three days in February 2018, the work featured a thirty-two-note steam calliope performed by Moran and housed in a wagon developed by Walker.