About Me

Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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    By kyle | April 5, 2012

    Great works of art (and Shepard Fairey) reimagined with cats. I’d vote for this cat over Obama any day.

    Topics: Art | No Comments »

    Review: “The Art of the Steal”

    By kyle | February 26, 2010

    My review of the art-world documentary “The Art of the Steal” is up.

    Topics: Art, Movies | No Comments »

    Review: “The September Issue”

    By kyle | August 27, 2009

    Vogue editrix Anna Wintour evidently consented to have a documentary filmed around her to counteract the frightening image of her in “The Devil Wears Prada.” R.J. Cutler’s doc “The September Issue” opens this weekend. My review is up.

    Topics: Art, Fashion, Magazines, Movies, New York City | No Comments »

    NEA to Artists: Flog Obama Policies, Please

    By kyle | August 27, 2009

    Wow, the Obama administration is really getting desperate. They actually think getting NEA-funded artists to shill for their health care and energy bills is going to make them more, not less, mainstream. Let’s wait and see how loudly and angrily the artists proclaim that they must be left independent of all politicking as they cash their government checks.

    Topics: Art, Barack Obama, Politics | 9 Comments »

    “Margaret Thatcher Did a Lot for Art”

    By kyle | July 4, 2009

    So say gay Brit artists Gilbert and George, who point out that socialists want everyone to be the same but “we want to be different.”

    George always votes Conservative and claims never to have been anti-establishment. “You’re not allowed to be Conservative in the art world, of course,” he says. “Left equals good. Art equals Left. Pop stars and artists are meant to be so original. So how come everyone has the same opinion?

    And at the same time, “Margaret Thatcher, Revolutionary” is the Weekly Standard cover story:

    The New Statesman’s explanation was accurate but astounding: “When Margaret Thatcher was asked what she had changed about British politics, she answered, with uncharacteristic immodesty, ‘Everything’–and it was true.”

    It praises this remark by the author Claire Berlinski from her book “There Is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters”:

    Yet one of Thatcher’s deepest beliefs and main achievements–her hostility towards, and defeat of, socialism–is suddenly both topical and contentious again. Though Berlinski was writing before the financial crisis got into full swing, she argues that socialism has been “buried prematurely,” that it is “on the ascendant” in Latin America, “on the march” in Europe, is “the real message” of the antiglobalization movement, and that it would be “the fault line of the coming century” in politics, as it has been since the French Revolution. Thatcher’s great historical significance was that she had “perceived these forces, and for a time mastered them.”

    Topics: Art, Europe, Politics | 3 Comments »

    Obama in Crayola Colors

    By kyle | March 11, 2009

    Who says every cool domain name is taken? Check out Hit refresh to see the next bad painting.

    Topics: Art, Barack Obama, Comedy | No Comments »

    Postmodernism In the Nursing Home? Donald Barthelme Reconsidered

    By kyle | February 21, 2009

    Today in the Wall Street Journal I write about Donald Barthelme, the subject of the admiring (and engrossing) new literary biography “Hiding Man” by Tracy Daugherty. Barthelme was a highly inventive writer, and some of his famous stories exhibit a marvelous sense of weird. Barthelme inspired many imitators. (The definitive collection is his “Sixty Stories.”) But is postmodernism today just another faded fad?

    Topics: Art, Books | 1 Comment »


    By kyle | January 16, 2009

    A strange New York Times obit on Andrew Wyeth is mostly concerned not with Wyeth, but with the allegedly vital critics who didn’t like him. Are critics really more important that artists? That’s a bit like saying barnacles are more important that the ship. Art critics in particular are of little interest since ordinary people have long since stopped reading what they have to say. For me, “Christina’s World” is a devastating portrait of loneliness that is the equal of anything in Hopper, another great painter.

    Topics: Art | 11 Comments »

    Michelangelo’s Secret Messages

    By kyle | November 15, 2008

    When painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo worked in references to Kabbalah, paganism and his own sexuality (gay). He also included characters who are giving the finger to Pope Julius II….if you look closely you can also see the words, “I bury Paul.” Or is it So Dark the Con of Man?

    Topics: Architecture, Art, Europe, History, Religion | 2 Comments »

    Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain

    By kyle | May 18, 2008

    In my Sunday column I talk to Michael Ramirez, a guy whose incendiary cartoons have gotten him sweated by the Secret Service and targeted with death threats.

    Topics: Art, Comedy, News, Newspapers, Politics | No Comments »

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