the 2019 whitney biennial roster was recently released and there’s already controversy. why does the whitney seem to draw more criticism than other institution? this year artist Michael Rakowitz declined to participate in the exhibition due to boardmember warren kanders’ “role as board chairman and owner of Safariland, the manufacturer responsible for the tear gas used by US Customs and Border Patrol against migrants who attempted to cross the Tijuana-San Diego border on November 27.” there are 75 artists, 50% of which are women, 20 under the age of 33, 5 artist collectives, 8 from Los Angeles, 11 from outside the US, and 2 born in birmingham, alabama — joe minter and sahra motalebi. this shocked me. i don’t remember seeing anyone born in atlanta, nashville, phoenix, denver but two from birmingham. there is something creative about this city. not in a warm cozy vibrant thriving art scene gentrified coffee shop loft gallery creativity but instead a suffocation. an impenetrable wall separating all of the population from any sort of conversation that drips over every mid century brooklyn manhattan culver city west hollywood chelsea table. it’s within this pit that we claw and look out for each other ourselves and complain and convince ourselves that we know more and doggone it’s the truth. we do know more about the things we look at for hours and we do know more about the things we wished we could talk about with anyone also ordering the daily unnecessaries.