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

American Art – Part I of VI: Mark Hiles

Artist Statement: I am always searching for subject matter that gives a view into the beauty of nature; this beauty can be displayed in landscapes, but also in the figurative expressions of the human form and natural beauty of fruits, vegetables and flowers.
I also recognize the importance of artists as recording history in time. The artwork we create show what a person or place was like in this particular time. As things in life and nature constantly change, the artist is there to record that moment in time as it may never be the same ever again.”
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Born 30 August 1866 – Georges Minne, a Flemish sculptor and artist.

Below (left to right) – “Kneeling Youth with a Shell”; “Bather”; “Man and Woman Kneeling”; “Eve III”; “Mother and Child.”
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“Nothing should be overlooked in fighting for better education. Be persistent and ornery: this will be good for the lethargic educational establishment and will aid the whole cause of public education.” – Roy Wilkins, American civil rights activist and a leader of the NAACP, who was born 30 August 1901.

Two quotes from the work of Roy Wilkins:

“President Eisenhower was a fine general and a good, decent man, but if he had fought World War II the way he fought for civil rights, we would all be speaking German now.”
“The talk of winning our share is not the easy one of disengagement and flight, but the hard one of work, of short as well as long jumps, of disappointments, and of sweet success.”

Here is the Artist Statement of South African painter Anny Maddock: “I grew up in Durban in the 50’s and as far back as I can remember, I have always loved drawing and painting. After completing a B.Sc Degree at the University of Kwa Zulu Natal, I moved to Cape Town where I obtained a Diploma in Medical Technology and thereafter worked for some years in the Department of Microbiology at Medical School, Cape Town. My husband and I decided to settle in this beautiful city and after many years of nurturing a young family, I have only recently been able to devote more of my time to painting and art education.
I do not have any formal art training, but am fortunate to have been guided and inspired over the years, by wonderful teachers and mentors, whose knowledge and expertise continues to influence and inspire me.”

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Nobel Laureates – Part I of II: Naguib Mahfouz

“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” – Naguib Mahfouz, Egyptian writer and recipient of the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature for being a writer “”who, through works rich in nuance – now clear-sightedly realistic, now evocatively ambiguous – has formed an Arabian narrative art that applies to all mankind,” who died 30 August 2006.

Some quotes from the work of Naguib Mahfouz:

“It’s a most distressing affliction to have a sentimental heart and a skeptical mind.”
“It’s clearly more important to treat one’s fellow man well than to be always praying and fasting and touching one’s head to a prayer mat.”
“I defend both the freedom of expression and society’s right to counter it. I must pay the price for differing. It is the natural way of things.”
“Today’s interpretations of religion are often backward and contradict the needs of civilization.”

In the words of one critic, “Miguel Tió, a native of the Dominican Republic, began his painting studies with the artist Elias Delgado while also attending the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Santo Domingo.
His interest in Publicity and Graphic Design led him into continuing studies at the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo.”
Since 1994, Miguel Tio has lived and worked in New York City.
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Nobel Laureates – Part II of II: Seamus Heaney

“I can’t think of a case where poems changed the world, but what they do is they change people’s understanding of what’s going on in the world.” – Seamus Justin Heaney, Irish poet, playwright, translator, lecturer, and recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature “for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past,” who died 30 August 2013.

“Follower”

My father worked with a horse-plough,
His shoulders globed like a full sail strung
Between the shafts and the furrow.
The horse strained at his clicking tongue.

An expert. He would set the wing
And fit the bright steel-pointed sock.
The sod rolled over without breaking.
At the headrig, with a single pluck

Of reins, the sweating team turned round
And back into the land. His eye
Narrowed and angled at the ground,
Mapping the furrow exactly.

I stumbled in his hob-nailed wake,
Fell sometimes on the polished sod;
Sometimes he rode me on his back
Dipping and rising to his plod.

I wanted to grow up and plough,
To close one eye, stiffen my arm.
All I ever did was follow
In his broad shadow round the farm.

I was a nuisance, tripping, falling,
Yapping always. But today
It is my father who keeps stumbling
Behind me, and will not go away.

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Born 30 August 1748 – Jacques-Louis David, a French painter in the Neoclassical style.

Below – “The Death of Socrates”; “Oath of the Horatii”; “The Death of Marat”; “Napoleon at the Saint-Bernard Pass”; “Self-Portrait.”
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Dutch sculptor Rob van Bergen (born 1952) studied at the Academy of Visual Arts in Amersfoort from 1972 to 1976.
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“I like coffee because it gives me the illusion that I might be awake.” – Lewis Black, American comedian, social critic, author, playwright, and actor, who was born 30 August 1948.

American Art – Part II of VI: Robert Crumb

“At least I hate myself as much as I hate anybody else.” – Robert Crumb, American cartoonist, comic artist, and musician, who was born 30 August 1943.

Some quotes from the work of Robert Crumb:

“I felt so painfully isolated that I vowed I would get revenge on the world by becoming a famous cartoonist.”
“Everything that is strong in me has gone into my art work.”
“Killing yourself is a major commitment, it takes a kind of courage. Most people just lead lives of cowardly desperation. It’s kinda half suicide where you just dull yourself with substances.”
“I guess I didn’t enjoy drawing very much. It was like homework.”
“When I come up against the real world, I just vacillate.”
“I moved further and further away from mass entertainment. The sexual element became increasingly sinister and bizarre. Don’t blame me! The bastards drove me to it! They all backed off after that!”
“When people say ‘What are underground comics?’ I think the best way you can define them is just the absolute freedom involved… we didn’t have anyone standing over us.”
“Most of my adult life I had this towering contempt for America.”
“Oh, yes. I knew I was weird by the time I was four. I knew I wasn’t like other boys. I knew I was more fearful. I didn’t like the rough and tumble most boys were into. I knew I was a sissy.”
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German painter Silvia Willkens (born 1953) earned a B.A. degree from the Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart and an M.A. degree in Art and Design from the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz.
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“I keep remembering — I keep remembering. My heart has no pity on me.” – Henri Barbusse, French novelist, soldier in the French Army on the Western Front during World War I, and author of “Under Fire: The Story of a Squad,” who died 30 August 1935.

Some quotes from the work of Henri Barbusse:

“I am more sensitive than other people. Things that other people would not notice awaken a distinct echo in me, and in such moments of lucidity, when I look at myself, I see that I am alone, all alone, all alone.”
“They felt that everything was fleeting, that everything wore out, that everything that was not dead would die, and that even the illusory ties holding them together would not endure. Their sadness did not bring them together. On the contrary, they were separated by all the force of their two sorrows. To suffer together, alas, what disunion!”
“Let everything be remade on simple lines. There is only one people, there is only one people!”
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Here is how contemporary Tibetan artist Tsherin Sherpa describes some of his paintings: “The group of works which form Golden Child/Black Clouds continues my exploration of our perception of the sacred and mundane in everyday life. Originally, the focus of a previous series, Tibetan Spirit, showed figures that were half human/half deity enjoying the playful discovery of all the beauty and trappings of the modern world. While such hybrid Tibetan Spirits are still witnessing all that is unfolding, in these new works a human child is now placed in the foreground as if he or she should be contemplated like a deity. It is an attempt to look at world events through the eyes of these metaphorical images of Tibetan children.”
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American Art – Part III of VI: Casey Krawczyk

Painter Casey Krawczyk (born 1978) has a BFA with a major in Painting from the University of Wisconsin in Superior and an MFA with a major in Painting from the New York Academy of Art in New York City.
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“Hard work is damn near as overrated as monogamy.” – Huey Long, 40th Governor of Louisiana, United States Senator from Louisiana, and left-wing populist, who was born 30 August 1893.

Some quotes from the work of Huey Long:

“They’ve got a set of Republican waiters on one side and a set of Democratic waiters on the other side, but no matter which set of waiters brings you the dish, the legislative grub is all prepared in the same Wall Street kitchen.”
“They say they don’t like my methods. Well, I don’t like them either. I really don’t like to have to do things the way I do. I’d much rather get up before the legislature and say, ‘Now this is a good law and it’s for the benefit of the people, and I’d like you to vote for it in the interest of the public welfare.’ Only I know that laws ain’t made that way. You’ve got to sometimes fight fire with fire. The end justifies the means. I would do it some other way if there was time or if it wasn’t necessary to do it this way.”
“I can frighten or buy ninety-nine out of every one hundred men.”
“You will find that you cannot do without politicians. They are a necessary evil in this day and time. You may not like getting money from one source and spending it for another. But the thing for the school people to do is that if the politicians are going to steal, make them steal for the schools.”
“A perfect democracy can come close to looking like a dictatorship, a democracy in which the people are so satisfied they have no complaint.”
“I would describe a demagogue as a politician who don’t keep his promises.”
“We do not propose to say that there shall be no rich men. We do not ask to divide the wealth. We only propose that, when one man gets more than he and his children and children’s children can spend or use in their lifetimes, that then we shall say that such person has his share. That means that a few million dollars is the limit to what any one man can own.”
“God told you what the trouble was. The philosophers told you what the trouble was; and when you have a country where one man owns more than 100,000 people, or a million people, and when you have a country where there are four men, as in America that have got more control over things than all the 120 million people together, you know what the trouble is.”
“Before this miserable system of wreckage has destroyed the life germ of respect and culture in our American people, let us save what was here, merely by having none too poor and none too rich. The theory of the ‘Share Our Wealth Society’ is to have enough for all, but not to have one with so much that less than enough remains for the balance of the people.”
”But in the name of our good government, people today are seeing their own children hungry, tired, half-naked, lifting their tear-dimmed eyes into the sad faces of fathers and mothers, who cannot give them food and clothing they both need, and which is necessary to sustain them, and that goes on day after day, and night after night, when day gets into darkness and blackness, knowing those children would arise in the morning without being fed, and probably go to bed at night without being fed.”
“Not a single thin dime of concentrated, bloated, pompous wealth, massed in the hands of a few people, has been raked down to relieve the masses.”
“We shall have to say right here and now that the hand of imperial finance shall not go farther into its strangulation of the American people and that the hand of imperialistic banking control shall be decentralized instead of centralized in America.”
“We ought to take care of every single one of the sick and disabled veterans. I do not care whether a man got sick on the battlefield or did not; every man that wore the uniform of this country is entitled to be taken care of, and there is money enough to do it; and we need to spread the wealth of the country, which you did not do in what you call the [National Recovery Administration].”

American Art – Part IV of VI: Natalia Fabia

According to one art historian, “Natalia Fabia is of Polish descent and was raised in Southern California, where she graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Inspired by light, color, punk rock music, hot chicks, and sparkles, Fabia is fascinated with ‘hookers,’ which fuels her paintings of sultry women.”
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“Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please pay attention.” – Mary Tyler “Molly” Ivins, American newspaper columnist, author, political commentator, and humorist, who was born 30 August 1944.

Some quotes from the work of Molly Ivins:

“I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil. And that no one knows the truth.”
“When politicians start talking about large groups of their fellow Americans as ‘enemies,’ it’s time for a quiet stir of alertness. Polarizing people is a good way to win an election, and also a good way to wreck a country.”
“What is a teenager in San Francisco to rebel against, for pity’s sake? Their parents are all so busy trying to be non-judgmental, it’s no wonder they take to dyeing their hair green.”
“I dearly love the state of Texas, but I consider that a harmless perversion on my part, and discuss it only with consenting adults.”
“What you need is sustained outrage…there’s far too much unthinking respect given to authority.”
“There is no inverse relationship between freedom and security. Less of one does not lead to more of the other. People with no rights are not safe from terrorist attack.”
“As they say around the Texas Legislature, if you can’t drink their whiskey, screw their women, take their money, and vote against ’em anyway, you don’t belong in office.”
“Politics is not a picture on a wall or a television sitcom that you can decide you don’t much care for.”
“One function of the income gap is that the people at the top of the heap have a hard time even seeing those at the bottom. They practically need a telescope. The pharaohs of ancient Egypt probably didn’t was a lot of time thinking about the people who build their pyramids, either.”
“It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America.”
“So keep fighting for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don’t forget to have fun doin’ it. Be outrageous… rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through celebrating the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was!”

In the words of one critic, the paintings of Caribbean artist Antoine Molinero “radiate a tremendous feeling for atmosphere and people.”
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A Poem for Today

“Winter Landscape,”
By John Berryman

The three men coming down the winter hill

In brown, with tall poles and a pack of hounds

At heel, through the arrangement of the trees,

Past the five figures at the burning straw,

Returning cold and silent to their town,

Returning to the drifted snow, the rink
Lively with children, to the older men,
The long companions they can never reach,
The blue light, men with ladders, by the church
The sledge and shadow in the twilit street,

Are not aware that in the sandy time
To come, the evil waste of history
Outstretched, they will be seen upon the brow
Of that same hill: when all their company
Will have been irrecoverably lost,

These men, this particular three in brown
Witnessed by birds will keep the scene and say
By their configuration with the trees,
The small bridge, the red houses and the fire,
What place, what time, what morning occasion

Sent them into the wood, a pack of hounds
At heel and the tall poles upon their shoulders,
Thence to return as now we see them and
Ankle-deep in snow down the winter hill
Descend, while three birds watch and the fourth flies.

Below – Pieter Brueghel, “The Hunters in the Snow” (1565)
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American Art – Part V of VI: Richard Piccolo

According to one writer, “Richard Piccolo was born in 1943 in Hartford Connecticut, but has deep roots in Italy, and has made Italy his home since the early 1970’s, with residences in Rome and Umbria, where he has renovated a farmhouse in the rolling hills of Umbertide. He received his BID from Pratt Institute, and studied at the Art Students League before receiving his MFA from Brooklyn College in 1968.
Piccolo is a renowned expert on Italian engraving as well as a respected professor at the various University foreign study programs in Rome, and he was the director of the Pratt Institute Rome Program from 1978 to 1995.”
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A Second Poem for Today

“School,”
By Daniel J. Langton

I was sent home the first day
with a note: Danny needs a ruler.
My father nodded, nothing seemed so apt.
School is for rules, countries need rulers,
graphs need graphing, the world is straight ahead.

It had metrics one side, inches the other.
You could see where it started
and why it stopped, a foot along,
how it ruled the flighty pen,
which petered out sideways when you dreamt.

I could have learned a lot,
understood latitude, or the border with Canada,
so stern compared to the South
and its unruly river with two names.
But that first day, meandering home, I dropped it.
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American Art – Part VI of VI: Robert Cottingham

Artist Statement: ‘Printmaking is an alternative art world. For me, it provides a perfect opportunity to escape the solitude of the painting studio. I relish the spirit of collaboration and experimentation of the print shop, the trial and error procedures, the happy accidents, and the inevitably unpredictable results that this process offers. In addition to all this, printmaking makes visual ideas more accessible.”
In the words of one critic, “Robert Cottingham was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1935 and received his B.F.A. from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY. Cottingham is a painter best-known for his photo-realistic depiction of signs, storefront marquees, railroad boxcars, letter forms, and recently, cameras and typewriters.”
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