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

American Art – Part I of III: Arian

Artist Statement: “Art, for me is not only a means of self-expression, but a means of self realization and personal growth. I strive to express the eternal qualities of humanity that transcend our individual differences – the archetypal truths of love, peace and beauty that touch all of us. The greatest meaning I’ve found in my life resides within these basic truths and because of this, I want to convey them through my art.
There are times that I lose self-consciousness and just watch my hand moving in response to my oneness with the subject; that’s when magic happens, and I know that forces beyond me are working through my brush… these are the moments that I live for as an artist.”
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Italian painter Roberta Serenari (born 1957) lives and works in Bologna.
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From the Music Archives – Part I of IV: Claude Debussy

Born 22 August 1862 – Claude Debussy, a French composer.

Here is one critic describing the artistry of South African painter Floris van Zyl: “His subject is rendered in blocks and dabs of colour often built up layer upon layer achieving his intention of, “creating images that work at a distance but become even more rewarding at close range.
He explores these combinations of natural and man-made shapes in his portraits and figure studies where the human form is sometimes set against rigid formal structured shapes.
Inspiration comes from many sources: ‘I am influenced and inspired by my own life, also by observing the lives of other people,’ he says.”
‘Much of my work is expressive so there is always something new for the viewer to notice and discover, even after long inspection. My work is an ongoing process of self-challenge and evolution, I don’t like to get stuck on a recipe. I want to give people the opportunity to enjoy and interpret my work largely for themselves.’”
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From the Music Archives – Part II of IV: Delmar Allen “Dale” Hawkins

Born 22 August 1936 – Dale Hawkins, American vocalist, songwriter, and rhythm guitarist.

Here is the Artist Statement of German painter Marc Taschowsky: “All of my paintings are related to the world of media. The original pictures are taken from the Internet, TV, newspapers, or magazines. From these types of media we all know celebrities like politicians, actors, rock stars or even comic book characters. Their faces seem to be omnipresent and are part of our everyday life. Their images have been burnt into our collective archives. I’m not interested in this phenomenon as a sociologist or concept artist but as a painter. My work doesn’t mean copying and repeating media by simply depicting their pictures in paint. When painting I reflect on the translatability of well-known icons into painting. What do I need, what can I delete? It’s a process of abstraction consisting of layers and shapes that often lead to an unforeseen result. Therefore you wouldn’t be able to compare my approach with that of a portrayer. Not the personality of people and their individual or outstanding qualities are in my focus but simply their outer appearance and their recognition value.”
The person itself is not at all interesting to me; it’s rather finding a mode of painting, searching its practicability. In fact there are people that I’m not able to paint in my particular way, even though they might be very well known. If so, the outlines of the depicted person dissolve and change into somebody else. Then I repaint the canvas with the other celebrity. Neither politics, status, ethicality, nor personality influence my choice.
I take each painting as an individual piece, thus decisions about painting technique and composition are always taken for each individual canvas and are never related to other works of art. Nevertheless I like exhibiting these portraits in blocks or lines. I have a lot of them and I paint a lot of them and presenting them in that way implies that they are all of equal value to me. Also in the media you find this way of presentation. Here you find a celebrity and there on the next page you are confronted with a comic book character. I pay equal attention to all of them: Miss Piggy gets as much attention as Mrs. Merkel does. Presenting them in abundance I can show that it’s not the individual portrait that is important to me. Personalities are secondary. As commodities of the mass media they are mere material for my painting.”
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From the Music Archives – Part III of IV: The Supremes

22 August 1964 – The Supremes’ “Where Did Our Love Go” reaches #1 on popular music charts.

British painter James McDonald completed both his undergraduate and post-graduate studies at the Edinburgh College of Art.
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From the Music Archives – Part IV of IV: The Beatles

22 August 1969 – The Beatles record a video for “The Long and Winding Road.”

Iranian painter Katayoun Rouhi (born 1965) has lived and worked in France since 1985.
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“But the beginning of things, of a world especially, is necessarily vague, chaotic, and exceedingly disturbing. How few of us ever emerge from such beginning! How many souls perish in its tumult! The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation.
The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.” – Kate Chopin, American novelist, short story writer, and author of “The Story of an Hour” and “The Awakening,” who died 22 August 1904.

Some quotes from the work of Kate Chopin:

“Perhaps it is better to wake up after all, even to suffer, rather than to remain a dupe to illusions all one’s life.”
“The bird that would soar above the level plain of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings. It is a sad spectacle to see the weaklings bruised, exhausted, fluttering back to earth.”
“She was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world.”
“There were days when she was very happy without knowing why. She was happy to be alive and breathing, when her whole being seemed to be one with the sunlight, the color, the odors, the luxuriant warmth of some perfect Southern day. She liked then to wander alone into strange and unfamiliar places. She discovered many a sunny, sleepy corner, fashioned to dream in. And she found it good to dream and to be alone and unmolested.
There were days when she was unhappy, she did not know why—when it did not seem worth while to be glad or sorry, to be alive or dead; when life appeared to her like a grotesque pandemonium and humanity like worms struggling blindly toward inevitable annihilation.”
“She turned her face seaward to gather in an impression of space and solitude, which the vast expanse of water, meeting and melting with the moonlit sky, conveyed to her excited fancy. As she swam she seemed to be reaching out for the unlimited in which to lose herself.”

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Spanish Art Part I of II: Gabriel Moreno

Illustrator, engraver, and painter Gabriel Moreno graduated from the Department of Fine Arts in the University of Seville. He lives and works in Madrid.
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Spanish Art – Part II of II: Isaac Cordal

In the words of one critic, “Spanish artist Isaac Cordal has an unconventional approach to public art. While most street artists seek to work on an increasingly larger scale, painting the facades of buildings with the aid of cherry pickers, Cordal builds miniature sculptures that he hides in unexpected places. A critique of capitalism (in Cordal’s native country, the world-wide economic recession hit especially hard), Cordal’s work focuses on the mass-produced quality of today’s society. Miniature businessmen in suits are found in forgotten corners of urban sprawl. Cordal uses his environment to stage poignant scenes with the sculptures as his protagonists.”
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“Man is unique not because he does science, and he is unique not because he does art, but because science and art equally are expressions of his marvelous plasticity of mind.” – Jacob Bronowski, Polish-English mathematician, biologist, historian of science, poet, dramatist, inventor, and author of “The Ascent of Man” (both the book and the BBC television documentary series), who died on 22 August 1974.

Some quotes from Jacob Bronowski:

“Man masters nature not by force but by understanding. This is why science has succeeded where magic failed: because it has looked for no spell to cast over nature.”
“Dissent is the native activity of the scientist, and it has got him into a good deal of trouble in the last years. But if that is cut off, what is left will not be a scientist. And I doubt whether it will be a man.”
“Has there ever been a society which has died of dissent? Several have died of conformity in our lifetime.”
“It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it.”
“To me, being an intellectual doesn’t mean knowing about intellectual issues; it means taking pleasure in them.”
“No science is immune to the infection of politics and the corruption of power.”
“That is the essence of science: ask an impertinent question, and you are on the way to a pertinent answer.”
“Science has nothing to be ashamed of even in the ruins of Nagasaki. The shame is theirs who appeal to other values than the human imaginative values which science has evolved.”
“The values by which we are to survive are not rules for just and unjust conduct, but are those deeper illuminations in whose light justice and injustice, good and evil, means and ends are seen in fearful sharpness of outline.”
“You will die but the carbon will not; its career does not end with you. It will return to the soil, and there a plant may take it up again in time, sending it once more on a cycle of plant and animal life.”
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Chilean Art – Part I of II: Gustavo Schmidt

Artist Statement: “I use representation of ordinary elements as symbols, chosen from a psychological context thus causing a sense of tension, intrigue and dialogue among them. When staging still life my preference is to use objects arraigned as if in altars or theatre, distorting or placing elements in unexpected areas, to set a juxtaposition statement of my own perceptions and experiences. In intending to transfer the sensations left from my dreams or meditations, I maximize the use of personal painting methods of the classical oil on linen traditional techniques. I create my own mixture of Flemish, Renascence and French methods, using layers of glazing wet and dry over impastos, giving a special treatment to the textures of the objects, lights and shadows, by which the paintings will achieve their three dimensional quality. I am doing this in order to create a contradiction between what is real and what’s not. With this thematic concept but avoiding the ‘Trompe L’oeil,’ I carry a premeditated intention as to induce the viewer into a deeper sense of reflection, a meta-language, a non verbal form of awareness, a passive, contemplative silent state of presence, in which reality is used to create unreal or improbable scenarios.”

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Chilean Art – Part II of II: Boris Correa

Artist Boris Correa (born 1981) studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Chile, and then continued his studies in London.

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“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” – Ray Bradbury, American writer of fantasy, science fiction, horror, and mystery and author of “Fahrenheit 451,” “The Illustrated Man,” and “Dandelion Wine,” who was born 22 August 1920.

Some quotes from the work of Ray Bradbury:

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”
“If we listened to our intellect we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go in business because we’d be cynical: ‘It’s gonna go wrong.’ Or ‘She’s going to hurt me.’ Or, ‘I’ve had a couple of bad love affairs, so therefore . . .’ Well, that’s nonsense. You’re going to miss life. You’ve got to jump off the cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down.”
“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.
It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”
“With school turning out more runners, jumpers, racers, tinkerers, grabbers, snatchers, fliers, and swimmers instead of examiners, critics, knowers, and imaginative creators, the word ‘intellectual,’ of course, became the swear word it deserved to be.”
“Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it.”
“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t ‘try’ to do things. You simply ‘must’ do things.”
“A good night’s sleep, or a ten minute bawl, or a pint of chocolate ice cream, or all three together, is good medicine.”
“The books are to remind us what asses and fools we are. They’re Caesar’s praetorian guard, whispering as the parade roars down the avenue, ‘Remember, Caesar, thou art mortal.’ Most of us can’t rush around, talking to everyone, know all the cities of the world, we haven’t time, money or that many friends. The things you’re looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine per cent of them is in a book. Don’t ask for guarantees. And don’t look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore.”
“If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you’ll never learn.”
“I still love books. Nothing a computer can do can compare to a book. You can’t really put a book on the Internet. Three companies have offered to put books by me on the Net, and I said, ‘If you can make something that has a nice jacket, nice paper with that nice smell, then we’ll talk.’ All the computer can give you is a manuscript. People don’t want to read manuscripts. They want to read books. Books smell good. They look good. You can press it to your bosom. You can carry it in your pocket.”
“We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.”
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American Art – Part II of III: Virginia Derryberry

In the words of one critic, “Virginia Derryberry’s work is shown regularly in exhibitions throughout the United States in such venues as the Carnegie Museum of Art, Forum Gallery, NYC, the London Institute of Art, the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, DC, the Gelb Gallery at Phillips Academy, MA, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, the Morris Museum of Art, the Erie Museum of Art, and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art.”
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A Poem for Today

“Boats in a Fog,”
By Robinson Jeffers

Sports and gallantries, the stage, the arts, the antics of dancers,
The exuberant voices of music,
Have charm for children but lack nobility; it is bitter earnestness
That makes beauty; the mind
Knows, grown adult.
A sudden fog-drift muffled the ocean,
A throbbing of engines moved in it,
At length, a stone’s throw out, between the rocks and the vapor,
One by one moved shadows
Out of the mystery, shadows, fishing-boats, trailing each other
Following the cliff for guidance,
Holding a difficult path between the peril of the sea-fog
And the foam on the shore granite.
One by one, trailing their leader, six crept by me,
Out of the vapor and into it,
The throb of their engines subdued by the fog, patient and
cautious,
Coasting all round the peninsula
Back to the buoys in Monterey harbor. A flight of pelicans
Is nothing lovelier to look at;
The flight of the planets is nothing nobler; all the arts lose virtue
Against the essential reality
Of creatures going about their business among the equally
Earnest elements of nature.
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American Art – Part III of III: Chelsea Gibson

Artist Statement: “I observe human forms and relationships with fascination, awareness, empathy, and frustration. The human figure allows me to use my painterly hand and see more abstract forms – making it possible to paint with other issues in mind. A bunch of triangles becomes an arm; wallpaper becomes scribbles; a knee a line. Objectivity creates intimacy and distance simultaneously. Seeing subtle formal phenomena and having a very accurate imagination play a large part in my painting how a person is. My hope is that even a stranger can become intensely known to the viewer.”
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