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Rene Magritte painted his Homage à Alphonse Allais in tribute to the French writer known for his witty anecdotes and bon mots.  This extract from the surreal 'fish out of water' image highlights the unexpected and mysterious nature of life and art. Magritte painted three versions of this fish, this one, the most alluring, a female fish wrapped in pearls 'which suggests 'the subject's skill at storytelling, as a stringer of tales.'*

I like to think of myself as a storyteller who helps find the narrative in culture and hope you'll find my site has many '[Cultured] Pearls' about art, architecture and design, travel, contemporary dance and ballet, film, fashion, literature, interviews with notable artists and writers like Julian Barnes, Frank Gehry, Dana Spiotta, Jennifer Egan, and Gustavo Dudamel, essays on women in the arts and politics, and the behind-the-scenes of the creative process.

Stay in touch with me as I expand the scope of my reporting by signing up below for the CultureZohn blog and catch up with my many columns for HuffPost and stories for Wallpaper, Vanity Fair, and other publications in the Writing Archive.