Art: Ghosts at Noon

An old paddle steamer with high, spindly funnels lies composedly beached in a red desert. Saplings enclose it; years ago the river vanished. From a circus cage on wheels, a bearded paterfamilias glowers, serenaded by a man in tails (on cornet), a bus boy (French horn), a girl in evening dress (violin), and a child perched in a potted shrub, tapping on a drum. A scattering of vacant chairs inhabiting an empty, silent landscape marks the spot where a party died. Philip C. Curtis, 63, is possibly the only Surrealist now living in Arizona. But Surrealism is a term he uses...

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