My husband classical figurative sculptor Sabin Howard and I have been acquainted with Jim Cooper for many years. Jim is the editor and publisher of American Arts Quarterly, a quarterly arts magazine published by the Newington-Cropsey Cultural Studies Center. The magazine has published several articles about Sabin through the years, my favorite of which is “Recovering Beauty in Bronze,” in which Jim writes,
Howard’s sculptures have content as well as exquisite form. All art is about art, even with a recognizable subject, and Howard clearly states the importance of Michelangelo to him. Each of the bronze sculptures in his studio has a theme; many are inspired by Greco-Roman mythology. Others are intense psychological portraits. He subscribes to the literal translation of psyche logos, which means the study of the soul, psyche and anima.
Jim Cooper is an art critic who holds my husband in high esteem, for which I am grateful. To be candid, I think Sabin deserves it. In my opinion, Sabin is the finest figurative sculptor in centuries. I believe in Sabin and so I have supported him in his work, building his websites, providing tech support for his webinars, and writing books with him; Sabin and I have a partnership. I am grateful to say that Jim respects this partnership and, moreover, he’s willing to acknowledge it. Cooper wrote in that same article, “He [Sabin] credits his wife, writer Traci Slatton, for giving him the language and ideas to understand the deeper implications of his art: “She gave me a vocabulary to be able to talk about issues of closed energy systems, which is basically a modernist system, and an open energy system.””
So Jim and I keep in touch. A few months ago, I emailed to tell Jim about how Facebook wouldn’t let Sabin ‘boost’ an advertisement about our sculpture book, The Art of Life, because of the nudity on the cover of the book. Jim was intrigued and we exchange emails and a phone call. Our discussion resulted in Jim’s splendid new article, “The Classical Nude, Pornography and the New Philistines.”
Check out the Spring 2016 issue of American Arts Quarterly, Jim’s article is beautifully written and thought-provoking. I especially appreciate the nod Jim gives to me, calling our book “superb” and later on, noting that “Traci is a historian, a graduate of Columbia and Yale, and has written several novels, while covering cultural issues for The Huffington Post.” This business of making art and of being married to an artist in today’s world is fraught, and I’m grateful when an art critic of Jim’s standing honors the work we do.