25 October 2014

Hokusai and Hiroshige forever

“From the time that I was 6 years old I had the mania of drawing the form of objects. As I came to be 50 I had published an infinity of designs; but all that I have produced before the age of 70 is not worth being counted. It is at the age of 73 that I have somewhat begun to understand the structure of true nature, of animals and grasses, and trees and birds, and fishes and insects; consequently at 80 years of age I shall have made still more progress; at 90 I hope to have penetrated into the mystery of things; at 100 years of age I should have reached decidedly a marvelous degree, and when I shall be 110, all that I do, every point and every line, shall be instinct with life — and I ask all those who shall live as long as I do to see if I have not kept my word.”
A friend in Paris told me there is a large show at the Grand Palais of Hokusai's work which is up till January. This quote (above) of his came from a NYTimes article from this morning which celebrates the work of artists who do not retire but flourish in their golden years. I admire the work of Hokusai but I really love Hiroshige.

17 October 2014

Fog horns

Fog horns!
Each morning I hear them:
The neighbors' cows.

16 October 2014

04 October 2014 (Philipp Glass)

150 X 150 cm
Here is a (sort of) new painting reworked 2 weeks ago. I wasn't happy with its corners so I created those blue edges. I rather like now. It is from a series done a few short years back when I was looking kind of calm image of meditative substance; nothing special, just a backdrop sort of experience, a bit like listening  to Philip Glass in the aftermath of sunset. It is a bit odd that he, who makes music like molten glass, should have a name such as he does, non? I am suddenly reminded about such people, and such names; there was a curator in the Medieval Armory wing at the Metropolitan Museum a few years ago; and his name (I swear it) was Helmut Nickel!

09 October 2014

Dumber and dumber still (ha ha)

More and more, I find myself surprised at the nonchalant destruction of grammar and syntax in our great language. It seems so prevalent, and it drives me crazy. The most obvious misuse of tense involves inserting the third person single into a sentence when its the third person plural which is called for. Everyone does it these days and it can be heard both on the street and on television. George Bush famously mangled his sentences (there's,.. you know,.. whole terrorists out there that'll try and kill us, you know.. over here)

We were taught (some of us anyway, and I didn't go to Harvard) that nouns like books or terrorists (with an s) are plural and should be used in the third person plural. (i.e. Here are the books.... there are the terrorists) We live in a world where it seems perfectly normal to say: 
Here's the books,,, there's the terrorists
instead of the correct: here are the books, and there are the terrorists.

I confess that it drives me CRAZY....
But even worse, people no longer correctly understand the use of direct or indirect objects, and don't even don't really care. So, when I tried to watch a video of an interview with a successful artist (who got an MFA from Yale University b.t.w.), I was astounded by his incoherence. Here is just a fraction of an idea, (and actually, even if his grammar was correct (and his verb tense was right), I still wouldn't have a clue what he was trying to say.) 

here it is (verbatim):

the successful artist:"I don't draw,,,, I've always done collage instead of doing drawing ...and,,,  photography ... I was looking at this photography book that was a photographer who had went to India and had photographed Indian prostitutes and Indian Brothels and ..ah,,,and the photographer was an American...... and that sort of objectification,... we don't do really do in painting anymore like since Gauguin or something, right,,,ah...but we used to do it,,,but we don't do it in painting anymore so in painting now,,,,, if you see a painting of an Indian woman,,, its a good chance that an Indian woman actually painted it...ah... so I was interested in what we might have lost in painting by rejecting that idea of objectification...

interviewer: mmn...

the successful artist: ah,,, and I guess in painting we have more self-objectification where I make paintings of people just like me....


08 October 2014

Imran Qureshi

'And they still seek the traces of blood,2014 (Site specific Installation/Performance at Bibliotheque Sainte Genevieve) 

These photos were sent to me by my friend Virginia Whiles. This is 'in your face Installation' which somehow finds a perfect home in the Bibliotheque Sainte Genevieve. in the very center of Paris. I cannot count on my left hand just how many cities would welcome such a piece.

04 October 2014

sand and wind alone

I came across this old photograph from the late 1970's of a very small painting I had made on South Beach at Fisher's Island NY circa 1975. Actually, I think I gave it to François de Asis shortly thereafter. What surprises me is that in it are essential elements of what I am still after 40 years later. It is a surprise to see that I was as interested in a kind of 'emptiness' then, as now. Actually, in those days, I felt invisible in my personal life, so it is not surprising that it 'fit ' with my growing obsession of unobtrusive images. It isn't just made up of such minimal means of paint. But too, a drawing which appeared like a phantom made of just sand and wind alone. It is a dune with a small jetty at the end which separates it from the palest of skies. The 'light' in the sand just below the accent of the jetty is stronger than the pale sea and  heavy sky hanging overhead which giving it tension. Funny that I not only like this small painting, but I am moved that it was given to me to make.

03 October 2014

die and fall

Its October; the season when things die and fall to the ground.

01 October 2014

plus que ça change,.....

Some friends of mine made this years ago, it has, ahem... an eternal quality about it.

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