American Art – Part I of V: Lee Bogle
According to one writer, “Lee Bogle can’t remember when he wasn’t an artist. Drawing, painting, and picturing life are among his earliest memories and have always been more than a pastime. For many years he has described his art, prints and posters as a passion. ‘Painting defines me,’ he says from his home in Kirkland, Washington, where he lives with his wife, Sherri, and their two sons. ‘It’s who I am, not just what I do.’”
Died 10 October 2003 – Eila Hiltunen, a Finnish sculptor.
Below – “Sibelius Monument”; “Polyfonia”; “Musicians”; “Persia”; “Actor.”
A Poem for Today
By Charles Simic
One day, chasing my tail here and there,
I stopped to catch my breath
On some corner in New York,
While people hurried past me,
All determined to get somewhere,
Save a few adrift like lost children.
What ever became of my youth?
I wanted to stop a stranger and ask.
“It went into hiding,” said an old woman
Who’d read my mind.
“Swimming with sharks,” a drunk concurred,
Fixing me with one bloody eye.
It was summer, and then as quietly as a bird lands,
The sidewalks were dusted with snow
And I was shivering without a coat.
I had hopes we’d meet again, I told myself,
Have a drink and recall the nights
When we used to paint this town red.
I thought you’d be in a straightjacket by now,
You’d say to me,
Making funny faces at doctors and nurses.
Instead, here you are full of fleas,
Dodging cars and buses
To follow a pair of good-looking legs home.
“And you, Judas,” I summed the strength to shout,
“Will you be coming to my funeral?”
But he was gone already. It had gotten late in the day,
Very late—and since there was nothing
That could be done about it—
I thought I’d better toddle along myself.
Italian Art – Part I of III: Federico Pillan
From the American History Archives: The Panama Canal
Italian Art – Part II of III: Luigi Volpi
Luigi Volpi (born 1937) studied at both the School of Art of Castello Sforzesco of Milan and the Academy of Brera. He lives and works in Lodi.
Italian Art – Part III of III: Silvia Fasano
In the words of one critic, “Born in 1971 in Rome, she (Fasano) has completed her bachelor degree at the School of Art and has graduated at the Academy of Art of Lecce specializing in painting techniques with full marks.
She has been painting from the early age of six when she began studying the language of classical historical techniques in figure painting. From 1994 she has been taking part in some personal and group exhibitions all around Italy and abroad.
Her expressive compositions amaze for the technique perfection and psychological force of the basic themes.
She lives and works in Bristol, England.”
From the Movie Archives: Chiaki Kuriyama
“I loved playing Gogo (Yubari), because the character’s so extreme. And she’s pretty close to my real character. Especially the fact that she liked her sword and lots of accessories.” – Chiaki Kuriyama, Japanese actress, who was born 10 October 1984, discussing her role in “Kill Bill: Vol 1.”
“Neighbors in October,”
By David Baker
All afternoon his tractor pulls a flat wagon
with bales to the barn, then back to the waiting
chopped field. It trails a feather of smoke.
Down the block we bend with the season:
shoes to polish for a big game,
storm windows to batten or patch.
And how like a field is the whole sky now
that the maples have shed their leaves, too.
It makes us believers—stationed in groups,
leaning on rakes, looking into space. We rub blisters
over billows of leaf smoke. Or stand alone,
bagging gold for the cold days to come.
From the Music Archives – Part I of II: The Zombies
In the debate over which sort of zombies are more dangerous – the slow or the fast – everyone seems to have forgotten about these Zombies:
“I mean, don’t forget the Earth’s about five thousand million years old, at least. Who can afford to live in the past?” – Harold Pinter, English playwright, screenwriter, director, actor, author of “The Birthday Party”, and recipient of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Literature (According to the Nobel Committee: “In his plays (Pinter) uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression’s closed rooms.”), who was born 10 October 1930.
Some quotes from the work of Harold Pinter:
“There are some things one remembers even though they may never have happened.”
“I know the place.
It is true.
Everything we do
Corrects the space
Between death and me
“There are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both true and false.”
“I think we communicate only too well, in our silence, in what is unsaid, and that what takes place is a continual evasion, desperate rearguard attempts to keep ourselves to ourselves. Communication is too alarming. To enter into someone else’s life is too frightening. To disclose to others the poverty within us is too fearsome a possibility.”
“The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law.”
“You wouldn’t understand my works. You wouldn’t have the faintest idea of what they were about. You wouldn’t appreciate the points of reference. You’re way behind. All of you. There’s no point in sending you my works. You’d be lost. It’s nothing to do with a question of intelligence. It’s a way of being able to look at the world. It’s a question of how far you can operate on things and not in things. I mean it’s a question of your capacity to ally the two, to relate the two, to balance the two. To see, to be able to see! I’m the one who can see. That’s why I can write my critical works. Might do you good…have a look at them…see how certain people can view…things…how certain people can maintain…intellectual equilibrium. Intellectual equilibrium. You’re just objects. You just…move about. I can observe it. I can see what you do. It’s the same as I do. But you’re lost in it. You won’t get me being…I won’t be lost in it.”
“When you lead a life of scholarship you can’t be bothered with the humorous realities, you know, tits, that kind of thing.”
“The speech we hear is an indication of that which we don’t hear. It is a necessary avoidance, a violent, sly, and anguished or mocking smoke screen which keeps the other in its true place. When true silence falls we are left with echo but are nearer nakedness. One way of looking at speech is to say that it is a constant stratagem to cover nakedness.”
“I hate brandy…it stinks of modern literature.”
“I’ll tell you what I really think about politicians. The other night I watched some politicians on television talking about Vietnam. I wanted very much to burst through the screen with a flame thrower and burn their eyes out and their balls off and then inquire from them how they would assess the action from a political point of view.”
“It’s very difficult to feel contempt for others when you see yourself in the mirror.”
American Art – Part II of V: Nanci France-Vaz
In the words of one critic, “Nanci France-Vaz is a progressive realist that creates paintings filled with drama, light, color, and a life like quality. Her background in acting, dance, and special effects film is evident in all of her compositions. She is the director of her own film through the medium of painting. Each subject has a unique presence in the environment with dramatic light and atmosphere.”
Artist Statement: “As a painter, my greatest desire is to combine the style of a modern cinematographer with the classical style and techniques of the old masters. Painting in the 21st century should not be a replica of the classical art of the past, but a progressive modern version utilizing the techniques and information of the past with the technology of the future.”
“I like spring, but it is too young. I like summer, but it is too proud. So I like best of all autumn, because its leaves are a little yellow, its tone mellower, its colours richer, and it is tinged a little with sorrow and a premonition of death. Its golden richness speaks not of the innocence of spring, nor of the power of summer, but of the mellowness and kindly wisdom of approaching age. It knows the limitations of life and is content. From a knowledge of those limitations and its richness of experience emerges a symphony of colours, richer than all, its green speaking of life and strength, its orange speaking of golden content and its purple of resignation and death.” – Lin Yutang, Chinese writer, translator, and author of “The Importance of Living,” who was born 10 October 1895.
Some quotes from the work of Lin Yutang:
“If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live.”
“Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.”
“There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life.”
“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.”
“The wise man reads both books and life itself.”
“What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child?”
“Those who are wise won’t be busy, and those who are too busy can’t be wise.”
“The man who has not the habit of reading is imprisoned in his immediate world, in respect to time and space. His life falls into a set routine; he is limited to contact and conversation with a few friends and acquaintances, and he sees only what happens in his immediate neighbourhood. From this prison there is no escape. But the moment he takes up a book, he immediately enters a different world, and if it is a good book, he is immediately put in touch with one of the best talkers of the world. This talker leads him on and carries him into a different country or a different age, or unburdens to him some of his personal regrets, or discusses with him some special line or aspect of life that the reader knows nothing about. An ancient author puts him in communion with a dead spirit of long ago, and as he reads along, he begins to imagine what the ancient author looked like and what type of person he was.”
“Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.”
“There is so much to love and to admire in this life that it is an act of ingratitude not to be happy and content in this existence.”
“This I conceive to be the chemical function of humor: to change the character of our thought.”
“The purpose of a short story is … that the reader shall come away with the satisfactory feeling that a particular insight into human character has been gained, or that his (or her) knowledge of life has been deepened, or that pity, love or sympathy for a human being is awakened.”
“For a Westerner, it is usually sufficient for a proposition to be logically sound. For a Chinese it is not sufficient that a proposition be logically correct, but it must be at the same time in accord with human nature.”
“Probably the difference between man and the monkeys is that the monkeys are merely bored, while man has boredom plus imagination.”
“And if the reader has no taste for what he reads, all the time is wasted”
“When Small men begin to cast big shadows, it means that the sun is about to set.”
“When one’s thoughts and experience have not reached a certain point for reading a masterpiece, the masterpiece will leave only a bad flavor on his palate.”
“The passion fades, the remorse is eternal.”
“Reading books in one’s youth is like looking at the moon through a crevice; reading books in middle age is like looking at the moon in one’s courtyard; and reading books in old age is like looking at the moon on an open terrace.”
“Anyone who reads a book with a sense of obligation does not understand the art of reading.”
“The outstanding characteristic of Western scholarship is its specialization and cutting up of knowledge into different departments. The over-development of logical thinking and specialization, with its technical phraseology, has brought about the curious fact of modern civilization, that philosophy has been so far relegated to the background, far behind politics and economics, that the average man can pass it by without a twinge of conscience. The feeling of the average man, even of the educated person, is that philosophy is a ‘subject’ which he can best afford to go without. This is certainly a strange anomaly of modern culture, for philosophy, which should lie closest to men’s bosom and business, has become most remote from life. It was not so in the classical civilization of the Greeks and Romans, and it was not so in China, where the study of wisdom of life formed the scholars’ chief occupation. Either the modern man is not interested in the problems of living, which are the proper subject of philosophy, or we have gone a long way from the original conception of philosophy.”
“Sometimes it is more important to discover what one cannot do, than what one can do.”
“The moment a student gives up his right of personal judgment, he is in for accepting all the humbugs of life.”
“There are no books in this world that everybody must read, but only books that a person must read at a certain time in a given place under given circumstances and at a given period of his life.”
“There is no proper time and place for reading. When the mood for reading comes, one can read anywhere.”
From the Music Archives – Part II of II: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
American Art – Part III of V: Debra Fritts
In the words of one critic, ”Ceramicist Debra Fritts consecrates the rawness of earth and our deep primal connections with it through her hand-built female forms. ‘The need to express the female figure has visited cultures from the beginning of time and has continued to appear in my studio,’ Fritts explains. The rough texture and warm tones of each piece emphasizes its materiality, and reaffirms humanity’s physical bond to the clay of the earth; the serene facial expressions and underlying spirituality pull the viewer’s mind and soul back to its placement within the collective unconscious.”
“He Bids His Beloved Be At Peace,”
By William Butler Yeats
I hear the Shadowy Horses, their long manes a-shake,
Their hoofs heavy with tumult, their eyes glimmering white;
The North unfolds above them clinging, creeping night,
The East her hidden joy before the morning break,
The West weeps in pale dew and sighs passing away,
The South is pouring down roses of crimson fire:
O vanity of Sleep, Hope, Dream, endless Desire,
The Horses of Disaster plunge in the heavy clay:
Beloved, let your eyes half close, and your heart beat
Over my heart, and your hair fall over my breast,
Drowning love’s lonely hour in deep twilight of rest,
And hiding their tossing manes and their tumultuous feet.
American Art – Part V of IV: Andrew Sterrett Conklin
Andrew Sterrett Conklin (born 1961) is a figurative painter who has a BFA from the American Academy of Art and a certificate in painting from the National Academy School in New York City.
Below (left to right) – “Venetian Hotel Room”; “Students with Laocoon”; “Blue Paper”; “Venetian Ball”; “Artist and Model I”; “Venetian Dress Shop”; “Gourmet Garage”; “Oyster Bar”; “Artist and Model IV”; “Students with Night.”
“My Autumn Leaves,”
By Bruce Weigl
I watch the woods for deer as if I’m armed.
I watch the woods for deer who never come.
I know the hes and shes in autumn
rendezvous in orchards stained with fallen
apples’ scent. I drive my car this way to work
so I may let the crows in corn believe
it’s me their caws are meant to warn,
and snakes who turn in warm and secret caves
they know me too. They know the boy
who lives inside me still won’t go away.
The deer are ghosts who slip between the light
through trees, so you may only hear the snap
of branches in the thicket beyond hope.
I watch the woods for deer, as if I’m armed.
(Note: Bruce Weigl is a combat veteran of the Vietnam War. In his words, “The paradox of my life as a writer is that the war ruined my life and in return gave me my voice.”)
American Art – Part V of V: Clarissa Kock Aroi
Artist Statement: “At present I am drawn to silence and contemplation in my work, which often deals with single figures deep in thought, in their own world. I have been attracted to painting by the images of the great masters of the past and my interest lies in the craft of being a painter.”