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

American Art – Part I of V: Olga Noes

Artist Statement: “I’m a self-taught portrait artist by trade, with my primary fuel for creativity being juxtaposition. The marriage of beauty and tragedy is uniquely appealing to me in prose, paint and life in general. I aspire to join these two components in all my work, primarily using the female form and portraiture as my medium.”

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Here is the Artist Statement of painter Adriana Mufarrege: “I was born in Córdoba, Argentina, on July 16th 1962.
My father’s parents were Lebanese, born in Bishmezzine. My mother’s family arrived to Santa Fe plains from Switzerland about 1850. I spent my childhood and adolescence in Santa Fe. Since 1980, I have lived in Córdoba.
I started painting in 1981 under the guide of artist Marcos Milewski. Then I entered the School of Arts at Córdoba National University. In 1987 I got my degree as Superior Professor in Art Education.
I spent many years far from painting, but restarted in 1995. Since then I’ve made four solo exhibitions.
Nowadays I work as an art teacher in primary schools. I also design web sites for artists and I’m always involved in creative activities. I’ve done artistic screenprinting, I’m an amateur singer and an English language lover. This year 2009 I started illustrating books for children. I consider art a spiritual and inner journey.”
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From the Music Archives – Part I of II: Ringo Starr

16 August 1962 – Richard Starkey, better known by his stage name Ringo Starr, replaces Pete Best as the drummer for The Beatles. Pete who?

American Art – Part II of V: Lydia Field Emmet

Died 16 August 1952 – Lydia Field Emmet, an American painter best known for her work as a portraitist.

Below – “The Brothers”; “Miss Ginny and Polly”; “Portrait of a Girl”; “Portrait of Mary Callery”; “Self-Portrait.”
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From the Music Archives – Part II of II: Robert Johnson

Died 16 August 1938 – Robert Leroy Johnson, an American blues singer and musician. In the words of one historian, “His landmark recordings in 1936 and 1937 display a combination of singing, guitar skills, and songwriting talent that has influenced later generations of musicians. Johnson’s shadowy, poorly documented life and death at age 27 have given rise to much legend, including the Faustian myth that he sold his soul at a crossroads to achieve success. As an itinerant performer who played mostly on street corners, in juke joints, and at Saturday night dances, Johnson had little commercial success or public recognition in his lifetime.”

Here is the Artist Statement of Canadian painter Angela Bandurka: “Paintings are much more than simply a likeness, they are an opportunity to capture a moment. I am drawn to painting the portrait, as I enjoy the passive and active roles I can have in people’s lives while painting them. I tend to treat all my studio work like a portrait, cropping in close. Whatever the subject matter, my first step is to achieve a good drawing. Value, light, and colour are strong elements in all my work, with composition an important factor as well. I try to paint the world as I see it, or as I would like to see it.”

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American Muse – Part I of II: Charles Bukowski

“We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.” – Charles Bukowski, German-born American poet, novelist, and short story writer, who was born 16 August 1920.
Two critics commenting on Bukowski: First, (He is) “a laureate of American lowlife.” Second, “The secret of Bukowski’s appeal. . . (is that) he combines the confessional poet’s promise of intimacy with the larger-than-life aplomb of a pulp-fiction hero.”

“a 340 dollar horse and a hundred dollar whore”

don’t ever get the idea I am a poet; you can see me
at the racetrack any day half drunk
betting quarters, sidewheelers and straight thoroughs,
but let me tell you, there are some women there
who go where the money goes, and sometimes when you
look at these whores these onehundreddollar whores
you wonder sometimes if nature isn’t playing a joke
dealing out so much breast and ass and the way
it’s all hung together, you look and you look and
you look and you can’t believe it; there are ordinary women
and then there is something else that wants to make you
tear up paintings and break albums of Beethoven
across the back of the john; anyhow, the season
was dragging and the big boys were getting busted,
all the non-pros, the producers, the cameraman,
the pushers of Mary, the fur salesman, the owners
themselves, and Saint Louie was running this day:
a sidewheeler that broke when he got in close;
he ran with his head down and was mean and ugly
and 35 to 1, and I put a ten down on him.
the driver broke him wide
took him out by the fence where he’d be alone
even if he had to travel four times as far,
and that’s the way he went it
all the way by the outer fence
traveling two miles in one
and he won like he was mad as hell
and he wasn’t even tired,
and the biggest blonde of all
all ass and breast, hardly anything else
went to the payoff window with me.

that night I couldn’t destroy her
although the springs shot sparks
and they pounded on the walls.
later she sat there in her slip
drinking Old Grandad
and she said
what’s a guy like you doing
living in a dump like this?
and I said
I’m a poet

and she threw back her beautiful head and laughed.

you? you . . . a poet?

I guess you’re right, I said, I guess you’re right.

but still she looked good to me, she still looked good,
and all thanks to an ugly horse
who wrote this poem.
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American Art – Part III of V: Johanna Uribes

Artist Statement: “We moved often during my childhood and mostly lived in small town America. My parents finally stayed in one place when I entered middle school. This settling process allowed my creative talents to flourish. The rural landscape created an isolation that pushed me to concentrate on my artistic practice. Despite the striking, naturalistic surroundings we lived in, my interest always centered on the human form.”

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American Icons – Part I of II: Babe Ruth

“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” – George Herman “Babe” Ruth, Jr., baseball outfielder and pitcher, who died 16 August 1948.

In the words of one historian, “Franz Xaver Messerschmidt (1736 – 1783) was a German-Austrian sculptor most famous for his ‘character heads,’ a collection of busts with faces contorted in extreme facial expressions.”

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American Icons – Part II of II: Elvis Presley

“I don’t know anything about music. In my line you don’t have to.” – Elvis Presley, singer, musician, actor, and “The King” (of Rock and Roll), who died 16 August 1977.

Here is one critic describing the artistry of Dutch painter Iris Frederix (born 1981): “Human drama and comedy are the primary source of inspiration for her work.
The urge to submerge herself thoroughly into her chosen subject usually results in a series of particular works.”

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From the Movie Archives: Bela Lugosi

“I guess I’m pretty much of a lone wolf. I don’t say I don’t like people at all but, to tell you the truth I only like it then if I have a chance to look deep into their hearts and their minds.” – Bela Lugosi, Hungarian-American actor best known for portraying Count Dracula in the original 1931 “Dracula” movie, who died 16 August 1956.

Italian Art – Part I of II: Giovanni Faccioli

Artist Giovanni Faccioli (born 1942) spent years studying painting and engraving with Dante Broglio in Verona.

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“Wisdom demands a new orientation of science and technology toward the organic, the gentle, the elegant and beautiful.” – Ernest Friedrich “Fritz” Schumacher, British economist, statistician, and author of “Small Is Beautiful: “Economics as if People Mattered” (which won the Prix Européen de l’Essai Charles Veillon), who was born 16 August 1911.

Some quotes from the work of E. F. Schumacher:
“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.”
“If greed were not the master of modern man–ably assisted by envy–how could it be that the frenzy of economism does not abate as higher ‘standards of living’ are attained, and that it is precisely the richest societies which pursue their economic advantage with the greatest ruthlessness? How could we explain the almost universal refusal on the part of the rulers of the rich societies–where organized along private enterprise or collective enterprise lines–to work towards the humanisation of work? It is only necessary to assert that something would reduce the ‘standard of living’ and every debate is instantly closed. That soul-destroying, meaningless, mechanical, monotonous, moronic work is an insult to human nature which must necessarily and inevitably produce either escapism or aggression, and that no amount of of “bread and circuses” can compensate for the damage done–these are facts which are neither denied nor acknowledged but are met with an unbreakable conspiracy of silence–because to deny them would be too obviously absurd and to acknowledge them would condemn the central preoccupation of modern society as a crime against humanity.”
“An attitude to life which seeks fulfillment in the single-minded pursuit of wealth – in short, materialism – does not fit into this
world, because it contains within itself no limiting principle, while the
environment in which it is placed is strictly limited.”
“Anything that we can destroy but are unable to make is, in a sense sacred, and all our ‘explanations’ of it do not really explain anything.”
“Call a thing immoral or ugly, soul-destroying or a degradation to man, a peril to the peace of the world or to the well-being of future generations: as long as you have not shown it to be ‘uneconomic’ you have not really questioned its right to exist, grow, and prosper.”
“I certainly never feel discouraged. I can’t myself raise the winds that might blow us or this ship into a better world. But I can at least put up the sail so that when the winds comes, I can catch it”.”

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Italian Art – Part II of II: Imma Visconte

Painter Imma Visconte (born 1974) lives and works in Milan.

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American Muse – Part II of II: Lew Welch, Jr.

“Looking for enlightenment is like looking for a flashlight when all you need the flashlight for is to find the flashlight.” – Lewis Barrett “Lew” Welch, Jr., an American poet associated with the Beat generation literary movement, who was born 16 August 1926.

“Springtime in the Rockies, Lichen”

All these years I overlooked them in the
racket of the rest, this
symbiotic splash of plant and fungus feeding
on rock, on sun, a little moisture, air —
tiny acid-factories dissolving
salt from living rocks and
eating them.

Here they are, blooming!
Trail rock, talus and scree, all dusted with it:
rust, ivory, brilliant yellow-green, and
cliffs like murals!
Huge panels streaked and patched, quietly
with shooting-stars and lupine at the base.

Closer, with the glass, a city of cups!
Clumps of mushrooms and where do the
plants begin? Why are they doing this?
In this big sky and all around me peaks &
the melting glaciers, why am I made to
kneel and peer at Tiny?

These are the stamps of the final envelope.

How can the poisons reach them?
In such thin air, how can they care for the
loss of a million breaths?
What, possibly, could make their ground more bare?

Let it all die.

The hushed globe will wait and wait for
what is now so small and slow to
open it again.

As now, indeed, it opens it again, this
scentless velvet,
crumbler-of-the-rocks,

this Lichen!
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Here is the Artist Statement of Mexican sculptor Rodrigo Lara:
“The human figure is the meeting point of the gravity of the matter and the ethereality of the emotion. I portray emotion and psychology as they course through, and alter the form of, the mundane human body. Many of my works explore the fact that fear and love affect the body with similar intensity.”
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From the American History Archives: The Gold Rush

16 August 1896 – Gold is first discovered in the Klondike, at Bonanza Creek, Alaska. In the words of one historian, “On August 16, 1896, an American prospector named George Carmack, his Tagish wife Kate Carmack, her brother Skookum Jim and their nephew Dawson Charlie were travelling south of the Klondike River. Following a suggestion from Robert Henderson, another prospector, they began looking for gold on Bonanza Creek, then called Rabbit Creek, one of the Klondike’s tributaries. It is not clear who discovered the gold: George Carmack or Skookum Jim, but the group agreed to let George Carmack appear as the official discoverer because they feared that mining authorities would be reluctant to recognize a claim made by an Indian.”

Below – George Carmack; Kate Carmack; Skookum Jim; Dawson Charlie; Bonanza Creek today.
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American Art – Part IV of V: Sonya Fe

In the words of one writer, “Sonya Fe, an internationally known artist, was born to be a painter. She learned to draw before she could walk and talk. When she was a little girl her mother encouraged her to draw on the cement floors of their home, only to see her chalk drawings get mopped clean every night. Her father took her on outings where she drew buildings, trees, people, and animals. Sonya used her artist talents to excel in school. At age thirteen, she won her first scholarship and was invited to participate in a summer program at Ottis Art Institute in Los Angeles. She received her formal art education and earned a B.A. degree from Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. Sonya’s art is laced with her rich Semitic, Mexican, Narragansett, and Russian cultural background. Every generation has had influential artists whose work has brought about social change. Sonya Fe is one of these rare individuals whose art will evolve our culture from the inequities of gender and racial bias to a renaissance of human thought and global community. Art collectors recognize Sonya as an international master of the arts.”
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A Poem for Today

“The Place For No Story,”
By Robinson Jeffers

The coast hills at Sovranes Creek:
No trees, but dark scant pasture drawn thin
Over rock shaped like flame;
The old ocean at the land’s foot, the vast
Gray extension beyond the long white violence;
A herd of cows and the bull
Far distant, hardly apparent up the dark slope;
And the gray air haunted with hawks:
This place is the noblest thing I have ever seen.
No imaginable
Human presence here could do anything
But dilute the lonely self-watchful passion.
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American Art – Part V of V: Gianni (John) Monteleone

In the words of one critic, “Gianni Monteleone was born in the New York City, where he still lives and works. He first studied painting at age 16 under the instruction of his grandfather, Franco Monteleone, a successful illustrator and wood grainer. Academically trained in painting, Monteleone holds an MFA from Manhattan’s School of Visual Arts, and also has received ongoing training with the Art Students League of New York. He has taught drawing and painting at the School of Visual Arts.”
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