The studio has a mascot! This WWI fighter plane reproduction was a gift of my dear friend, novelist, and art history/ literature teacher James Wylie of New York City. James teaches at The Cooper Union (my alma mater), and it was he who introduced me to the wonders of the Ibo and Dan masks of Nigeria, and books like Frobenius’ African Genesis and poet Aimé Césaire, through his courses. He is extremely knowledgeable about the World Wars (as exemplified in his novel The Homestead Grays), and also collects trains and planes of the period, so this was a particularly great gift to have for the new space. The symbolic value is immense: As a plane takes flight, so will my imagination, with a desert below and stars above.