Sentient in San Francisco – 14 May 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 14 May 1905 – Antonio Berni, an Argentinian painter, illustrator, and engraver.

Below – “Fishermen”; “Ramona en el Moulin Rouge”; “Meditando”; “Niña con jarra”; “Juanito y sus amigos”; “Female Figure.”


This Date in Literary History: Died 14 May 2018 – Tom Wolfe, an American author, journalist, and recipient of the National Book Award.

Some quotes from the work of Tom Wolfe:

“Everybody, everybody everywhere, has his own movie going, his own scenario, and everybody is acting his movie out like mad, only most people don’t know that is what they’re trapped by, their little script.”
“A cult is a religion with no political power.”
“Sherman made the terrible discovery that men make about their fathers sooner or later… that the man before him was not an aging father but a boy, a boy much like himself, a boy who grew up and had a child of his own and, as best he could, out of a sense of duty and, perhaps love, adopted a role called Being a Father so that his child would have something mythical and infinitely important: a Protector, who would keep a lid on all the chaotic and catastrophic possibilities of life.”
“The surest cure for vanity is loneliness.”
“You never realize how much of your background is sewn into the lining of your clothes.”
“Put your good where it will do the most!”


This Date in Art History: Died 14 May 1953 – Yasuo Kuniyoshi, an American painter and photographer.

Below – “Swimmer”; “Strong Woman with Child”; “Festivities Ended”; “Fish Kite”; “Little Joe with Cow”; “Self-Portrait as a Photographer.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 14 May 2015 – Franz Wright, an American poet and translator.

“To Myself”
by Franz Wright

You are riding the bus again
burrowing into the blackness of Interstate 80,
the sole passenger

with an overhead light on.
And I am with you.
I’m the interminable fields you can’t see,

the little lights off in the distance
(in one of those rooms we are
living) and I am the rain

and the others all
around you, and the loneliness you love,
and the universe that loves you specifically, maybe,

and the catastrophic dawn,
the nicotine crawling on your skin—
and when you begin

to cough I won’t cover my face,
and if you vomit this time I will hold you:
everything’s going to be fine

I will whisper.
It won’t always be like this.
I am going to buy you a sandwich.

This Date in Art History: Died 14 May 1957 – Marie Vassilief, a Russian-French painter.

Below – “L’amour”; “Exotic Animal”; “Lovers”; “Still Life with Masks in a Window”; “Mademoiselle Côte d’Azur”; “Nude with Two Masks.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 14 May 2006 – Stanley Kunitz, an American poet and translator: Part I of II.

Some quotes from the work of Stanley Kunitz:

“The universe is a continuous web. Touch it at any point and the whole web quivers.”
“When you look back on a lifetime and think of what has been given to the world by your presence, your fugitive presence, inevitably you think of your art, whatever it may be, as the gift you have made to the world in acknowledgment of the gift you have been given, which is the life itself… That work is not an expression of the desire for praise or recognition, or prizes, but the deepest manifestation of your gratitude for the gift of life.”
“We have to learn how to live with our frailties. The best people I know are inadequate and unashamed.”
“Poetry is ultimately mythology, the telling of stories of the soul. The old myths, the old gods, the old heroes have never died. They are only sleeping at the bottom of our minds, waiting for our call. We have need of them, for in their sum they epitomize the wisdom and experience of the race.”
“I can hardly wait for tomorrow, it means a new life for me each and every day.”

Contemporary Italian Art – Cecchin Liliana

Below – “The red bicycle”; “Gruppo in fugue”; “Duomo 3”; “The ghosts”; “Paris Underground”; “Freccia rossa al binario 12.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 14 May 2006 – Stanley Kunitz, an American poet and translator: Part II of II.

“The Layers”
by Stanley Kunitz

I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
“Live in the layers,
not on the litter.”
Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.

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