October Offerings – Part XVI: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of III: David Gremard Romero

Painter David Gremard Romero (born 1975) earned a BFA in Interdisciplinary Studies from the Art Institute of San Francisco.
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“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde, Irish writer, poet, wit, and author of “The Importance of Being Earnest,” who was born 16 October 1854.

Some quotes from the work of Oscar Wilde:

“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”
“I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.”
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
― Oscar Wilde
“To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.”
“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.”
“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”
“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”
“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.”
“You can never be overdressed or overeducated.”
“Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood.”
“I don’t want to go to heaven. None of my friends are there.”
“A good friend will always stab you in the front.”
“Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”
“Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.”
“I am not young enough to know everything.”
“Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.”
“You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.”
“The heart was made to be broken.”
“A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.”
“I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.”
“You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.”
“Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes.”
“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”
“Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.”
“I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.”
“Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.”
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In the words of one critic, the work of Spanish painter Roman Frances (born 1950) “is characterized by its superb draftsmanship and the feeling of light that he manages to reflect in everything that inspires him. His paintings are employed lavishly, with dense buildups in the floral groupings and the landscapes surrounding the female figures which are the core and focus from which all else radiates.”
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16 October 1847 – Charlotte Bronte’s novel “Jane Eyre” is published.

Some quotes from “Jane Eyre”:

“I would always rather be happy than dignified.”
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
“Do you think I am an automaton? — a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God’s feet, equal — as we are!”
“Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste.”
“I have for the first time found what I can truly love–I have found you. You are my sympathy–my better self–my good angel–I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wrap my existence about you–and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”
“The trouble is not that I am single and likely to stay single, but that I am lonely and likely to stay lonely.”
“I do not think, sir, you have any right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.”
“I can live alone, if self-respect, and circumstances require me so to do. I need not sell my soul to buy bliss. I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights should be withheld, or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give.”
“I had not intended to love him; the reader knows I had wrought hard to extirpate from my soul the germs of love there detected; and now, at the first renewed view of him, they spontaneously revived, great and strong! He made me love him without looking at me.”
“But life is a battle: may we all be enabled to fight it well!”
“Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.”
“Flirting is a woman’s trade, one must keep in practice.”
“Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.”
“The soul, fortunately, has an interpreter – often an unconscious but still a faithful interpreter – in the eye.”
“All my heart is yours, sir: it belongs to you; and with you it would remain, were fate to exile the rest of me from your presence forever.”
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Born 16 October 1884 – Rembrandt Bugatti, an Italian sculptor known primarily for his bronze sculptures of wildlife subjects.

Below – “Two Jackals Face to Face”; “Cow Grazing”; “Mare and Foal”; “Two Large Leopards”; “Two Boars”; “Large Royal Tiger.”
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Nobel Laureates – Part I of II: Eugene O’Neill

“Censorship of anything, at any time, in any place, on whatever pretense, has always been and always will be the last resort of the boob and the bigot.” – Eugene O’Neill, Irish-American playwright, author of “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” (which won the 1957 Pulitzer Prize for Drama), and recipient of the 1936 Nobel Prize in Literature “for the power, honesty and deep-felt emotions of his dramatic works, which embody an original concept of tragedy,” who was born 16 October 1888.

Some quotes from the work of Eugene O’Neill:

“I am so far from being a pessimist…on the contrary, in spite of my scars, I am tickled to death at life.”
“Curiosity killed the cat, and satisfaction brought it back.”
“None of us can help the things life has done to us. They’re done before you realize it, and once they’re done they make you do other things until at last everything comes between you and what you’d like to be, and you’ve lost your true self forever.”
“It was a great mistake, my being born a man, I would have been much more successful as a seagull or a fish. As it is, I will always be a stranger who never feels at home, who does not really want and is not really wanted, who can never belong, who must be a little in love with death!”
“There is no present or future-only the past, happening over and over again-now.”
“Obsessed by a fairy tale, we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a lost kingdom of peace.”
“Man’s loneliness is but his fear of life.”
“We are such things as rubbish is made of, so let’s drink up and forget it.”
“The fog was where I wanted to be. Halfway down the path you can’t see this house. You’d never know it was here. Or any of the other places down the avenue. I couldn’t see but a few feet ahead. I didn’t meet a soul. Everything looked and sounded unreal. Nothing was what it is. That’s what I wanted—to be alone with myself in another world where truth is untrue and life can hide from itself. Out beyond the harbor, where the road runs along the beach, I even lost the feeling of being on land. The fog and the sea seemed part of each other. It was like walking on the bottom of the sea. As if I had drowned long ago. As if I was the ghost belonging to the fog, and the fog was the ghost of the sea. It felt damned peaceful to be nothing more than a ghost within a ghost.”
“Suppose I was to tell you that it’s just beauty that’s calling me, the beauty of the far off and unknown, the mystery and spell which lures me, the need of freedom of great wide spaces, the joy of wandering on and on—-in quest of the secret which is hidden over there—-beyond the horizon?”
“To hell with the truth! As the history of the world proves, the truth has no bearing on anything. It’s irrelevant and immaterial, as the lawyers say. The lie of a pipe dream is what gives life to the whole misbegotten mad lot of us, drunk or sober.”
“And several other times in my life, when I was swimming far out, or lying alone on a beach, I have had the same experience, became the sun, the hot sand, green seaweed anchored to a rock, swaying in the tide. Like a saint’s vision of beatitude. Like the veil of things as they seem drawn back by an unseen hand. For a second you see, and seeing the secret, you are the secret. For a second there is meaning! Then the hand lets the veil fall and you are alone, lost in the fog again, and you stumble on towards nowhere for no good reason.”
“Life is a solitary cell whose walls are mirrors.”
“Why can’t you remember your Shakespeare and forget the third-raters. You’ll find what you’re trying to say in him- as you’ll find everything else worth saying. ‘We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with sleep.’”
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According to one writer, Polish painter Eugeniusz Stemplowski (born 1954) “is a self-taught artist who has a unique talent to capture movement and atmosphere in his beautiful vibrant and colourful abstract creations.”
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Nobel Laureates – Part II of II: Gunter Grass

“Information networks straddle the world. Nothing remains concealed. But the sheer volume of information dissolves the information. We are unable to take it all in.” – Gunter Grass, German novelist, poet, playwright, illustrator, graphic artist, sculptor, author of “The Tin Drum,” and recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Literature for the way his “frolicsome black fables portray the forgotten face of history,” who was born 16 October 1927.

Some quotes from the work of Gunter Grass:

“Because men
are killing the forests
the fairy tales are running away.
The spindle doesn’t know
whom to prick,
the little girl’s hands
that her father has chopped off,
haven’t a single tree to catch hold of,
the third wish remains unspoken.
King Thrushbeard no longer owns one thing.
Children can no longer get lost.
The number seven means no more than exactly seven.
Because men have killed the forests,
the fairy tales are trotting off to the cities
and end badly.”
“Even bad books are books and therefore sacred.”
“An empty bus hurtles through the starry night
Perhaps the driver is singing
and happy because he sings.”
“Today I know that all things are watching, that nothing goes unseen, that even wallpaper has a better memory than human beings.”
“On sorrow floats laughter.”
“The job of a citizen is to keep his mouth open.”
“Love
That’s it:
The cashless commerce.
The blanket always too short.
The loose connection.

To search behind the horizon.
To brush fallen leaves with four shoes
and in one’s mind to rub bare feet.
To let and rent hearts;
or in a room with shower and mirror,
in a hired car, bonnet facing the moon,
wherever innocence stops
and burns its program,
the word in falsetto sounds
different and new each time.
Today, in front of a box office not yet open,
hand in hand crackled
the hangdog old man and the dainty old woman.
The film promised love.”
“When Satan’s not in the mood, virtue triumphs. Hasn’t even Satan a right not to be in the mood once in a while?”
“We struck up a conversation, taking pains at first to give it an easy flow and sticking to the most frivolous topics. Did he, I asked, believe in predestination? He did. Did he believe that all men were doomed to die? Yes, he felt certain that all men would absolutely have to die, but he was less sure that all men had to be born.”
“Translation is that which transforms everything so that nothing changes.”
“After the collapse of socialism, capitalism remained without a rival. This unusual situation unleashed its greedy and – above all – its suicidal power. The belief is now that everything – and everyone – is fair game.”
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American Art – Part II of III: Gail Postal

According to one critic, “Gail Postal is creating a body of contemporary ‘icons.’ Her mixed media works (graphite and oil) begin as drawings from live models. An empathetic person by nature, Postal frequently befriends the models, learning their stories, hearing their laments and ambitions without judgment or prejudice. She then brings the drawings to her studio and begins to transform them into beautiful paintings, frequently dressing them in colorful, patterned raiments. Postal was inspired by a recent trip to Russia, deeply moved by the icons she encountered there. While admitting that the individuals portrayed are perhaps not saints, Postal believes that the possibility of the individual to inspire others to persevere, to provide comfort, to illuminate opportunities, to give emotional sustenance is what makes them worthy of a moment of reverence.”
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“I would place all the Indians of Nevada on ships in our harbor, take them to New York and land them there as immigrants, that they might be received with open arms.” –
Sarah Winnemucca, a Native American activist, educator, and author of “Life Among the Piutes: Their Wrongs and Claims,” who died 16 October 1891.

Some quotes from the work of Sarah Winnemucca:

“For shame! For shame! You dare to cry out Liberty, when you hold us in places against our will, driving us from place to place as if we were beasts.”
About Reservations: “If this is the kind of civilization awaiting us on the Reserves, God grant that we may never be compelled to go on one, as it is much preferable to live in the mountains and drag out an existence in our native manner.”
To an Indian agent: “Hell is full of just such Christians as you are.”
“If you make fun of bad persons you make yourself beneath them. … Be kind to bad and good, for you don’t know your own heart.”
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From the Music Archives: Nico

Born 16 October 1938 – Nico (born Christa Paffgen), a German singer-songwriter, lyricist, composer, musician, fashion model, and actress best known for her collaboration on the Velvet Underground’s debut album, “The Velvet Underground & Nico” (1967).

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In the words of one writer, “Well-known Chinese watercolorist Zhou Tianya was born in Jingzhou city, Hubei Province. He is currently he Curator of the Shenzhen International Watercolor Biennale Exhibition. As a watercolorist, art educator and editor, he lives in Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, China, with his wife and daughter.”
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“As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air – however slight – lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.” – William O. Douglas, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (1939-1975) and author of “Of Men and Mountains,” who was born 16 October 1898.

Some quotes from the work of William O. Douglas:

“Only when there is a wilderness can man harmonize his inner being with the wavelengths of the earth. When the earth, its products, its creatures, become his concern, man is caught up in a cause greater than his own life and more meaningful. Only when man loses himself in an endeavor of that magnitude does he walk and live with humanity and reverence.”
“The framers of the constitution knew human nature as well as we do. They too had lived in dangerous days; they too knew the suffocating influence of orthodoxy and standardized thought. They weighed the compulsions for restrained speech and thought against the abuses of liberty. They chose liberty.”
“The right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedom.”
“Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.”
“Big Brother in the form of an increasingly powerful government and in an increasingly powerful private sector will pile the records high with reasons why privacy should give way to national security, to law and order […] and the like.”
“Once the government can demand of a publisher the names of the purchasers of his publications, the free press as we know it disappears. Then the spectre of a government agent will look over the shoulder of everyone who reads. The purchase of a book or pamphlet today may result in a subpoena tomorrow. Fear of criticism goes with every person into the bookstall. The subtle, imponderable pressures of the orthodox lay hold. Some will fear to read what is unpopular, what the powers-that-be dislike. When the light of publicity may reach any student, any teacher, inquiry will be discouraged. The books and pamphlets that are critical of the administration, that preach an unpopular policy in domestic or foreign affairs, that are in disrepute in the orthodox school of thought will be suspect and subject to investigation. The press and its readers will pay a heavy price in harassment. But that will be minor in comparison with the menace of the shadow which government will cast over literature that does not follow the dominant party line. If the lady from Toledo can be required to disclose what she read yesterday and what she will read tomorrow, fear will take the place of freedom in the libraries, book stores, and homes of the land. Through the harassment of hearings, investigations, reports, and subpoenas government will hold a club over speech and over the press.”
“We are rapidly entering the age of no privacy, where everyone is open to surveillance at all times; where there are no secrets from government.”
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Here is one critic describing the background of Argentinean painter Oscar Casavalle: “Born in Buenos Aires, Casavalle studied design at the “Escuela Panamericana de Arte”. In 1980 he started his first steps in a group called Friends of Performing Arts courses there with Manuel Fifth, the artist Tita Lemus and Professor Carlos A. Amico.”
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A Poem for Today

“Curse of the Cat Woman”
By Edward Field

It sometimes happens
that the woman you meet and fall in love with
is of that strange Transylvanian people
with an affinity for cats.

You take her to a restaurant, say, or a show,
on an ordinary date, being attracted
by the glitter in her slitty eyes and her catlike walk,
and afterwards of course you take her in your arms
and she turns into a black panther
and bites you to death.

Or perhaps you are saved in the nick of time
and she is tormented by the knowledge of her tendency:
That she daren’t hug a man
unless she wants to risk clawing him up.

This puts you both in a difficult position–
panting lovers who are prevented from touching
not by bars but by circumstance:
You have terrible fights and say cruel things
for having the hots does not give you a sweet temper.

One night you are walking down a dark street
And hear the pad-pad of a panther following you,
but when you turn around there are only shadows,
or perhaps one shadow too many.

You approach, calling, “Who’s there?”
and it leaps on you.
Luckily you have brought along your sword
and you stab it to death.

And before your eyes it turns into the woman you love,
her breast impaled on your sword,
her mouth dribbling blood saying she loved you
but couldn’t help her tendency.

So death released her from the curse at last,
and you knew from the angelic smile on her dead face
that in spite of a life the devil owned,
love had won, and heaven pardoned her.

Below – Simone Simon portraying Irena Dubrovna, panther-woman, in “Cat People” (1943), directed by Val Lewton.
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American Art – Part III of III: Guy Bell

Here is the Artist Statement of Arkansas painter Guy Bell: “Art is not merely a noun. It is a living language. It is meticulously designed to express something that transcends the abilities of all other language to define. Through creating art, I hope to contribute to the great dialogue of the human experience.
My work is grounded in the understanding that it is only through resolution of visual conflict that harmony is created. I begin each piece with elements possessing disparate properties. Resolution of the conflict (visually and psychologically) between these elements constitute the subtext of the painting. My work is not created merely to document a specific event or place, but to reinforce a bond that is rooted in the conscious and unconscious experience between viewer and the work.
My recent work explores our quixotic fascination with the of the idealized natural landscape in juxtaposition with the artifacts of mans real effect on the natural world. Humans are bound by the technologies of modern civilization, yet we continue to perceive essential natural beauty to exist only in their absence. In my reality, human constructs are as much a part of our world as are the forests and mountains that dot the landscape. In essence, I believe we endeavor to deny ourselves the reality of our visual impact on the world we inhabit.
Due to technological progress, we search for spiritual inspiration despite an ever-diminishing catalog of the untarnished and the inexplicable. I create art in order to restore magic to the things that our cynicism would have us believe are devoid of wonder.”

Below – “Sandhill Road”; “Ambush”; “After the Rains Came”; “Thought Progression 2”; “The Rise of Icharus”; “Refusal to Acknowledge a Dunce”; “Cat Nap”; “The Road.”
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