26 December 2014

l'air de rien #194 (Marseille et Le Marais) Happy Christmas!

l'air de rien #194 (Marseille et Le Marais) from cloudsandsea on Vimeo.

Because of a new copyright issue I was not able to credit Keith Jarrett at the end of this little video as I normally do. So I acknowledge it in this space outside of Vimeo. Thank You Keith Jarrett for Don't ever
leave me.

22 December 2014


The apricot tree
Overloaded, and begging 
For Relief.

21 December 2014


Heres a prayer
For the mother whose small chicks
Fell from their nest.

16 December 2014

Jackson Pollock, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Ian Fairweather and John Olsen

Curious to say the least, looking at these images together. The top two are Pollack, the third is by Emily Kame Kngwarreye (who began painting when she was 80 years old) the next three paintings are by Ian Fairweather, and the last is by John Olsen. All these painters  are Australian except Pollock. 

Initially, I was interested in just placing two images (Pollock and Emily) but then one of my favorite of Fairweather crept in, then  another and another. Olsen was added at the end.

These are images which share a great reverence for spatial unity. This is a very 20th century idea but one which can also be related to many images from previous centuries but this is more complicated to explain.

In the meantime, enjoy!

15 December 2014

Thorsten von Overgaard in Rome with a Leica

A Life With Leica from Northpass Media on Vimeo.

on the contemplation of suffering

I met this poor dog in the heart of Katamandu a few years ago. And, I met some pretty sad-looking creatures there during that visit. Between all the apparent human suffering in Nepal it seemed almost ludicrous for me to focus on the dogs of Katmandu, but that is what happened. I ended up just taking photos of dogs everywhere. Not many people had much sympathy for them, probably because being a Buddhist country they believed that dogs were payback for earlier lives lived in sin or sumptuous decadence. In any event I became obsessed and was on the lookout for them. I heard of a western woman who had created a sanctuary for them but I never met her. My friend who lived in Katmandu told me that her house was teeming with all sorts of dogs and cats in various stages of hospitalization and recovery. Rolling her eyes, she described seeing one dog which was missing its back legs and was scooting around on a skateboard. 

This poor thing (pictured above) broke my heart completely. Two of its legs which had ben broken had evidently set at odd angles so it hobbled around in a kind of stoic daze. I managed to find a small 'store' and picked up boxes of dry crackers which I mixed with water in my hand to feed it. It was delirious with delight, but of course I had to walk away afterward, quietly weeping all the way back to where I was staying. 

Thus, I have never quite forgotten this little dog (his photos are on my desktop) which seemed to have accepted its own condition with stoic resolve. If only I could learn this for myself as I contemplate "my own suffering" and that of so many others around me in the western world. How does one survive the great pains of Life only to be swallowed up by our own suffering, and adding our own story to it, which as the old wise guys say, is optional.

Welcome to Christmas. 

12 December 2014

fire truck

The small girl in pink
Imitates the fire truck
Wa wa wa wa wa.

10 December 2014

Einstein on God

'I believe in Spinoza's God, who reveals himself in the lawful harmony of all that exists, but not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.

I am not an atheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must  have written those books. it does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't knowwhat it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws.'

07 December 2014

Katy Perry and Vincent Van Gogh!

I watched a documentary on Katy Perry this week and found myself bewitched by her crazy and likable personality. Yes, its bubble gum pop and show business but I understand why she has captured so much adulation with her young fans. She touches them. I cannot really judge the music as it is way out of my cultural realm but I am sure that she has enormous poetic talent. What intrigued me is that she is so successful precisely because she has touched so many young kids. She gets them, they get her. They love her just as much as they love her music.
And after watching this documentary I can understand. She is a live wire of eccentric joy and angst, an iconoclast in a conservative and conforming world. She is really unlike so much else out there, and she doesn't try to be anyone else like the corporate music industry demanded.

Anyway, I write about her because the 'commodity of her music' is the opposite of the commodity of the Contemporary Art market.
The people today who buy pieces (over a certain price) are only in it for speculation, and most  probably oblivious to, or uninterested in even liking the work itself. It is an object, 'a commodity', like a treasury bond; a bar of gold, certainly an asset class in itself. 

And, as a painter who travels alone in a world of  obsessional research, the work is often particular, and hopefully original. The audience for painting is tiny and limited to other obsessional people who wish to live with a pictorial poetry. Who really likes painting nowadays? Who needs painting? What is painting, in fact? And, who are the fans (to put it into laymen's terms)? The painter himself, cannot indulge in any illusions about his own social importance because there is none realistically speaking. He/(she) plods ahead like a poet to paper into the unknown guided only by the mysterious scent of possibility. For most there is no fan base. So, I return to my amazement at the way Pop works in our culture today. Katy Perry and her work are both adored.

04 December 2014

Judith Scott

I had never heard of this incredible little, stooped woman who died a few years ago. Her acceptance and success in the Art world asks many to think hard about what it means to 'be an artist' or 'to live creatively'. I haven't a clue, but I love that she made these strange and personal pieces, and I am moved by her. There is so much 'Art' made by so many 'overly-educated' yet, under-cultured and eager people wishing either to make a buck or find meaning for themselves in a complicated world. Judith was shielded by all those complications.