American Art – Part I of V: Jay Davenport
According to one critic, “Jay Davenport (born 1972) has always been interested in and excited by fine art, especially, animals and wildlife. With an encouraging push from his grandfather, he began private instructions at an early age.
His enthusiasm and education in arts continued as he later earned an Associates Degree in Painting/Illustration. His passion for Realism and Trompe L’Oeil led him to an apprenticeship at The Waichulius Studio.
With his strong foundation in representationlism, Jay’s desire to paint the funny and humorous side of animals and how the different things they do relate to human life, if we would only step back once and awhile and observe and even laugh at ourselves occasionally.”
Here is the Artist Statement of Canadian sculptor Dale Dunning: “When it comes to writing about my work I experience a certain reluctance. Words tend to define and nail down ideas and to quote Nietzsche ‘words make the uncommon common.’ My sculptures are objects of reflection and contemplation. The head that I employ in most of my work is generic, non-specific, genderless, egg-like in form and intention. I look on them as a mirror which reflects back the observer’s experience in new combinations and associations. The works are open ended with no didactic intent other than to see new possibilities.
I work in metal because I love the physical tactility of it and the processes involved in making a sculpture.”
“Too much sanity may be madness. And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be.” – Miguel de Cervantes, Spanish novelist, poet, playwright, and author of “Don Quixote,” who was born 29 September 1547.
Some quotes from the work of Miguel de Cervantes:
“All I know is that while I’m asleep, I’m never afraid, and I have no hopes, no struggles, no glories — and bless the man who invented sleep, a cloak over all human thought, food that drives away hunger, water that banishes thirst, fire that heats up cold, chill that moderates passion, and, finally, universal currency with which all things can be bought, weight and balance that brings the shepherd and the king, the fool and the wise, to the same level. There’s only one bad thing about sleep, as far as I’ve ever heard, and that is that it resembles death, since there’s very little difference between a sleeping man and a corpse”
“Time ripens all things; no man is born wise.”
“Virtue is persecuted by the wicked more than it is loved by the good.”
“Drink moderately, for drunkeness neither keeps a secret, nor observes a promise.”
“‘Destiny guides our fortunes more favorably than we could have expected. Look there, Sancho Panza, my friend, and see those thirty or so wild giants, with whom I intend to do battle and kill each and all of them, so with their stolen booty we can begin to enrich ourselves. This is noble, righteous warfare, for it is wonderfully useful to God to have such an evil race wiped from the face of the earth.’
‘What giants?’ Asked Sancho Panza.
‘The ones you can see over there,’ answered his master, ‘with the huge arms, some of which are very nearly two leagues long.’
‘Now look, your grace,’ said Sancho, ‘what you see over there aren’t giants, but windmills, and what seems to be arms are just their sails, that go around in the wind and turn the millstone.’
‘Obviously,’ replied Don Quijote, ‘you don’t know much about adventures.’”
“Poetry might be defined as the clear expression of mixed feelings.” – W. H. Auden, Anglo-American poet, who died on 29 September 1973.
“Musee des Beaux Arts”
About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer’s horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.
In Breughel’s Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.
“All works, no matter what or by whom painted, are nothing but bagatelles and childish trifles… unless they are made and painted from life, and there can be nothing… better than to follow nature.”- Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, influential Italian painter, who was born 29 September 1572.
Below – “The Calling of Saint Matthew”; “The Musicians”; “The Fortune Teller” (second version); “Bacchus”; “Cardsharps.”
29 September 1955 – The television program “Sergeant Preston of the Yukon” debuts on CBS.
I used to watch this show when I was a boy, and after viewing the video linked below, I have decided to change my name to Preston Yukon King and light out for the Klondike Territory at the earliest possible moment.
American Art – Part II of V: Stephen Hall
In the words of one writer, “Born in Aberdeen, Scotland, Stephen Hall moved to New York in 1978 and began exhibiting his work in the East Village in the early 80’s. Since then his work has been featured in exhibits throughout the US, as well as in India, Japan, Korea and Mexico. In addition his work is part of numerous corporate and private collections and has been featured in various well-known films, music videos, and magazines and has illustrated many book covers for internationally published authors.
Images of abstract shapes, still life forms or surreal figurative motifs are rendered as symbolic metaphors, contextualized as such by the use of intense vibrating colors, ambiguous light sources and spatial dynamics.”
“There’s nothing that makes you so aware of the improvisation of human existence as a song unfinished. Or an old address book.” – Carson McCullers, American novelist, short story writer, playwright, and author of “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter,” “”The Member of the Wedding,” and “The Ballad of the Sad Café,” who died on 29 September 1967.
Some quotes from “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter:
“I do not have any home. So why should I be homesick?”
“Next to music, beer was best.”
“Maybe when people longed for a thing that bad the longing made them trust in anything that might give it to them.”
“How can the dead be truly dead when they still live in the souls of those who are left behind?”
“In his face there came to be a brooding peace that is seen most often in the faces of the very sorrowful or the very wise. But still he wandered through the streets of the town, always silent and alone.”
“All we can do is go around telling the truth.”
“But look what the Church has done to Jesus during the last two thousand years. What they have made of Him. How they have turned every word He spoke for their own vile ends. Jesus would be framed and in jail if he was living today.”
“Wherever you look there’s meanness and corruption. This room, this bottle of grape wine, these fruits in the basket, are all products of profit and loss. A fellow can’t live without giving his passive acceptance to meanness. Somebody wears his tail to a frazzle for every mouthful we eat and every stitch we wear—and nobody seems to know. Everybody is blind, dumb, and blunt-headed—stupid and mean.”
“I’m a stranger in a strange land.”
“The Heart is a lonely hunter with only one desire! To find some lasting comfort in the arms of another’s fire…driven by a desperate hunger to the arms of a neon light, the heart is a lonely hunter when there’s no sign of love in sight!”
Here is the Artist Statement of Korean painter Tae Park: “Painting is a doorway into another world. A gateway to another reality. It is not only an illusion of three dimensional space, but a reflection of the world that exists within me. This inner world that I paint is partly based on reality, but it is an idealized reality. It is a place of calmness that exists in fleeting moments of time. With painting, I am able to capture these serene moments.
The people, place, and events that I paint are frozen in a moment of time and reality that may not have existed in the material world.”
“There was a ship . . .”
29 September 1960 – The program “My Three Sons” debuts on ABC, starring Fred MacMurray as the father, Steve Douglas. I maintain that there has never been a television show before or since that is so filled with detestable falsehoods, and I will offer evidence in support of that claim – evidence based on bitter personal experience. The three sons on the program – Douglas, Mike, and Robbie – treat their father with courtesy, deference, and respect. I strongly suspect that never in the history of the United States have three such implausibly perfect male siblings existed, whereas the reality of the Three Brothers Syndrome is grim almost beyond imagining, at least for fathers. For sad example, I have always been a kind, soft-spoken, invariably beneficent parent (much as Steve Douglas is on the show), and my three sons – Jonzing, Dugan, and the other one – have consistently repaid my generosity of character with scorn, insolence, and contempt.
I urge single (by which I mean “happy”) men reading these words to heed my admonition: Do not marry, but if wed you must, never have children. Above all, in no case listen to the partisan propaganda of any mother of sons, since the brutes will invariably be momma’s boys, and unless you want to be outvoted four-to-one in all family decisions (such as, in my case, “Should we let Dad sleep indoors on this rainy night?”), embrace the joys of your bachelor life.
Herein ends my tale of woe.
The Ancient Father
Born 29 September 1910 – Winslow Homer, landscape painter and printmaker best known for his marine subjects.
“Love is the child of illusion and the parent of disillusion.” – Miguel de Unamuno, Spanish essayist, novelist, poet, playwright, philosopher, and author of “The Tragic Sense of Life,” who was born on 29 September 1864.
Some quotes from Miguel de Unamuno:
“Only in solitude do we find ourselves; and in finding ourselves, we find in ourselves all our brothers in solitude.”
“There is no true love save in suffering, and in this world we have to choose either love, which is suffering, or happiness. Man is the more man – that is, the more divine – the greater his capacity for suffering, or rather, for anguish.”
“Faith which does not doubt is dead faith.”
“Some people will believe anything if you whisper it to them.”
“The skeptic does not mean him who doubts, but him who investigates or researches, as opposed to him who asserts and thinks that he has found.”
“That which the Fascists hate above all else, is intelligence.”
“What we believe to be the motives of our conduct are usually but the pretexts for it.”
“My religion is to seek for truth in life and for life in truth, even knowing that I shall not find them while I live.”
American Art – Part IV of V: Ira Upin
Artist Statement: “I was born in Chicago, IL, USA in 1948, went to college in Illinois and Maryland and settled in Philadelphia, PA in 1973 and stayed. Over the last 35 years I’ve gone back and forth between working at construction and working in my studio. At age 57 I decided to spend the rest of my time in the studio.
The two constants in my work have been the narrative and the intensity of the visual. I want the viewer to be intoxicated and perplexed by how I make my paintings and intrigued by the stories I’m trying to tell. I’m interested in human dynamics whether they be social, political, or emotional.”
A Poem for Today
“Flying at Night,”
By Ted Kooser
Above us, stars. Beneath us, constellations.
Five billion miles away, a galaxy dies
like a snowflake falling on water. Below us,
some farmer, feeling the chill of that distant death,
snaps on his yard light, drawing his sheds and barn
back into the little system of his care.
All night, the cities, like shimmering novas,
tug with bright streets at lonely lights like
American Art – Part V of V: J. D. Challenger
In the words of one writer, “J.D. Challenger was born in Oklahoma with a creative fire that first began to smolder when he was a very young child. After moving to Taos, New Mexico, Challenger enjoyed success as an artist painting landscapes. Privately, he continued to draw and paint as he was learning about Native Americans. He was reluctant to show his paintings in public for fear of offending a people he greatly admired. Working in oils and acrylics on canvas, as well as watercolor, Challengers’ style continued to emerge and his passion grew. J. D. Challenger paints the story of a people rich in heritage and traditions; stories sometimes poignant, often angry… but always powerful and demanding to be told. Each portrait speaks its own truth.”