American Art – Part I o IV: Carolyn Pyfrom
Here is one writer describing the artistry of New Zealand artist Paul Jackson: “Paul Jackson’s paintings present a distorted realism, utilising his considerable skills in precision painting and the grisaille technique to depict imagined subjects and still life scenes. He uses symbolism and historical referencing to express wider concepts, such as his concern for the land and customary rights of Maori and the history of human interaction in New Zealand. Now resident in Sydney, Jackson won the 2006 People’s Choice Award for the Archibald Prize for Portraiture.”
From the Music Archives – Part I of II: Walter Williams
Born 25 August 1943 – Walter Williams, American singer best known for his work with the O’Jays.
From the Music Archives – Part II of II: Elvis Costello
Born 25 August 1954 – Elvis Costello (Decian Patrick Alyosius MacManus), an English singer-songwriter.
American Art – Part II of IV: Mark Chatterley
In the words of one writer, “Mark Chatterley creates larger-than-life ceramic figures with lava-like glazes. Seeming to have emerged from the earth’s crust, the creations of a fire god millions of years ago, his sculpture possesses a primordial presence that transcends time and geography. One might expect to find a silent grouping of his work on a South Pacific island, in an African savanna, or perhaps atop an Irish knoll. The figures are not ‘pretty,’ and they sometimes have an edge of intensity. Yet, their power is expressed through an astonishing, primitive grace. After building a kiln to accommodate his seven-foot tall, one-piece, free-standing figures, he set himself free to explore ‘the archetypal images that go beyond culture and time that Jung wrote about.’
Chatterley has emerged as one of the strongest ceramic sculptors of our time. He has contributed to the force taking ceramics from the level of craft to that of high art. In recent years, he has cast several of his large works in bronze.”
“Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.” – Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, German philosopher, philologist, cultural critic, poet, composer, and author of “The Birth of Tragedy” and “Thus Spoke Zarathustra,” who died 25 August 1900.
Some quotes from the work of Friedrich Nietzsche:
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”
“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”
“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago.”
“The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.”
“In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.”
“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.”
“Faith: not wanting to know what the truth is.”
“Every deep thinker is more afraid of being understood than of being misunderstood.”
“Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings — always darker, emptier and simpler.”
“There are no beautiful surfaces without a terrible depth.”
“The higher we soar the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly.”
“A thinker sees his own actions as experiments and questions–as attempts to find out something. Success and failure are for him answers above all.”
“There are two different types of people in the world, those who want to know, and those who want to believe.”
“Art is the proper task of life. ”
“You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.”
In the words of one writer, “Chris Bennett is an Australian artist currently living in Hobart, Tasmania. He completed his Bachelor of Fine Art in 2006, and continued in 2007 to obtain first class honours at the Queensland College of Art in Brisbane. Chris has been developing his current series over the last five years, focusing on themes of urban alienation, entropy and social decay, and the slow death of personal aspiration.”
American Art – Part III of IV: Christyl Boger
Here is one writer describing the artistry of ceramicist Christyl Boger: “As an artist I have always been interested in the strange balancing act performed by the human animal; in our ongoing struggle between impulse and control, personal and communal agenda, and the desires of the animal body overlaid by a veneer of cultural constraint. Finding a physical form for these thoughts has involved two additional parameters, the first a concern for issues of representation and the second a commitment to the contemporary possibilities of clay as a medium. My intent has been to explore areas where these concerns intersect, and has involved confronting the complex historical associations of both ceramics objects and figurative sculpture.”
“Did you ever, in that wonderland wilderness of adolescence ever, quite unexpectedly, see something, a dusk sky, a wild bird, a landscape, so exquisite terror touched you at the bone? And you are afraid, terribly afraid the smallest movement, a leaf, say, turning in the wind, will shatter all? That is, I think, the way love is, or should be: one lives in beautiful terror.” – Truman Capote (born Truman Streckfus Persons), American writer, playwright, screenwriter, and author of “Other Voices, Other Rooms” and “In Cold Blood,” who died 25 August 1984.
Some quotes from the work of Truman Capote:
“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”
“Good luck and believe me, dearest Doc – it’s better to look at the sky than live there. Such an empty place; so vague. Just a country where the thunder goes and things disappear.”
“Life is difficult enough without Meryl Streep movies.”
“I love New York, even though it isn’t mine, the way something has to be, a tree or a street or a house, something, anyway, that belongs to me because I belong to it.”
“The brain may take advice, but not the heart, and love, having no geography, knows no boundaries: weight and sink it deep, no matter, it will rise and find the surface: and why not? any love is natural and beautiful that lies within a person’s nature; only hypocrites would hold a man responsible for what he loves, emotional illiterates and those of righteous envy, who, in their agitated concern, mistake so frequently the arrow pointing to heaven for the one that leads to hell.”
“But we are alone, darling child, terribly, isolated each from the other; so fierce is the world’s ridicule we cannot speak or show our tenderness; for us, death is stronger than life, it pulls like a wind through the dark, all our cries burlesqued in joyless laughter; and with the garbage of loneliness stuffed down us until our guts burst bleeding green, we go screaming round the world, dying in our rented rooms, nightmare hotels, eternal homes of the transient heart.”
“Let me begin by telling you that I was in love. An ordinary statement, to be sure, but not an ordinary fact, for so few of us learn that love is tenderness, and tenderness is not, as a fair proportian suspect, pity; and still fewer know that happiness in love is not the absolute focusing of all emotion in another: one has always to love a good many things which the beloved must come only to symbolize; the true beloveds of this world are in their lovers’s eyes lilacs opening, ship lights, school bells, a landscape, remembered conversations, friends, a child’s Sunday, lost voices, one’s favourite suit, autumn and all seasons, memory, yes, it being the earth and water of existence, memory.”
“Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act.”
By Matthew Shenoda
For those of us young
we will face the mourning of our elders.
Bury them beneath
And for those of us
who believe the living
we will stand by the graves of our teachers
and know that we
like those we’ve buried
are living ancients.
A Second Poem for Today
“Love the Wild Swan”
By Robinson Jeffers
“I hate my verses, every line, every word.
Oh pale and brittle pencils ever to try
One grass-blade’s curve, or the throat of one bird
That clings to twig, ruffled against white sky.
Oh cracked and twilight mirrors ever to catch
One color, one glinting flash, of the splendor of things.
Unlucky hunter, Oh bullets of wax,
The lion beauty, the wild-swan wings, the storm of the wings.”
—This wild swan of a world is no hunter’s game.
Better bullets than yours would miss the white breast,
Better mirrors than yours would crack in the flame.
Does it matter whether you hate your…self? At least
Love your eyes that can see, your mind that can
Hear the music, the thunder of the wings. Love the wild swan.
American Art – Part IV of IV: Josh George
In the words of one critic, “Josh George has always been attracted to the urban landscape. ‘It holds a different kind of beauty,’ says the artist. ‘The decaying masonry work of time tested dwellings and the dismal skies that surround them. Quilt like patterns are revealed when you view through these arrangements. Shadows that cast on withered walls display individual windows where people go about their routine lives.’ The people in Josh George’s paintings are engaged in static acts of everyday locality. They drink coffee, they smoke or stare at beer. They stroll about town hearing the urban world, but not quite listening. Everyone simply exists. ‘I use a barrage of materials to record these scores and a lot of fat paint knifed over torn strips of wallpaper and ugly product labels. The piece is finished with a delicate brush to define a street sign or a highlight on someone’s wine bottle.’”
Next month I am going to visit my youngest son in San Francisco, and during my stay I will go to the de Young Museum to see the exhibit “J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free.” I have posted below five paintings from this wonderful show.
“The Sun of Venice Going to Sea”; “Fishermen on the Lagoon, Moonlight”; “Rainbow Among Purple and Blue Clouds”; “Venice: Santa Maria della Salute, Night Scene with Rockets”; “Snow Storm – Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth.”