American Art – Part I of III: Richard Diebenkorn
Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993) was an abstract expressionist painter.
Below (left to right) – “Cityscape 1”; “Ocean Park No. 67”; “Ocean Park No. 129”; “Seated Nude. Hands Behind Head”; “Bottles”; “Girl in White Blouse”;
“Seated Woman”; “Invented Landscape.”
In the words of one writer, “Born in 1954, Masahiro Arai received a Bachelor of Law degree from Toyo University in Tokyo in 1977 and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of New Orleans in 1992. Arai uses lithography to subtly interpret his immediate surroundings, transforming domestic interiors, still lifes and architectural details into magical settings flooded with sunlight.”
“I, my own damn self, am not a Tea Party supporter. I disagree with them on social liberties, our overseas wars, Obama’s birthplace, Sarah Palin, and the conspicuous absence of tea at their rallies.” – Penn Jillette, American illusionist, comedian, musician, inventor, actor, atheist, libertarian, writer, and author of “God No!,” who was born 5 March 1955.
Some quotes from the work of Penn Jillette:
“I don’t think anything gives your life joy and meaning. I think your life simply has joy and meaning. The love for my children, the love for my parents and the love for my friends is the end in itself. The meaning is life.”
“Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby.”
“If there’s something you really want to believe, that’s what you should question the most.”
“You don’t have to be brave or a saint, a martyr, or even very smart to be an atheist. All you have to be able to say is ‘I don’t know.’”
“Luck is statistics taken personally.”
“The only difference between Obama and Bush is that Obama is killing more people. He’s about double the numbers now. Can you imagine if McCain had won and did precisely what Obama has done, with every speech and every political maneuver overseas? There’d be riots in the streets about the people we’re killing. And yet because it’s Obama, and he’s better looking and better at reading the teleprompter, we let him get away with it.”
“Every time something really bad happens, people cry out for safety, and the government answers by taking rights away from good people. We have no proof that the bad, stupid crazy people who have planted bombs in the past few years used the phone much for their stupid bad crimes, let alone logged on the Internet. Yet when those kind of bad things happen nowadays, the government tries to do bad things to phones and the Net. The phones and the Internet are just good smart things, and the government should leave them alone. You have to watch the government all the time on everything. Thomas Jefferson didn’t say that, but he said something very close to that.”
“It’s fair to say that the Bible contains equal amounts of fact, history, and pizza.”
“My favorite thing about the Internet is that you get to go into the private world of real creeps without having to smell them.”
“If every trace of any single religion were wiped out and nothing were passed on, it would never be created exactly that way again. There might be some other nonsense in its place, but not that exact nonsense. If all of science were wiped out, it would still be true and someone would find a way to figure it all out again.”
“Proselytizing is a moral imperative and feeds the marketplace of ideas. I want to hear everyone tell the truth as they see it. I want to learn from everyone.”
“Read everything and be kind.”
Spanish Art – Part I of II: Alberto Mielgo
Spanish Art – Part II of II: Daniel Coves
From the Music Archives – Part I of III: Sergei Prokofiev
Died 5 March 1953 – Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev, a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor.
From the Music Archives – Part II of III: The Beatles
5 March 1963 – The Beatles record “From Me to You.”
In the words of one writer, “Montenegrin painter Boris Dragojevic (born 1956) graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade in 1983 and earned a Masters Degree from the Department of Painting in 1986.”
Here is the Artist Statement of Yemini painter Mazher Nizar (born 1958): “Divided between two cultures, it has been two decades ago since I came from India back to Yemen. Yemen has always inspired me since 1985 especially the old city of Sanaa where I have been painting views and veiled women. The rich history and culture of Yemen allowed me to work with Queens and women of this beautiful country.
These are my recent works on canvas, mostly untitled, but women remain the major subject in my abstract compositions, sometimes combined with fragments from the old city of Sanaa.”
From the Music Archives – Part III of III: Patsy Cline
“Trouble ‘n’ honey.” – Patsy Cline (born Virginia Patterson Hensley), American country music singer, who died 5 March 1963, on what someone who’d never seen her would think she looked like.
Here is the Artist Statement of Peruvian painter Fidel Ponce Ccana: “During my childhood I have grown up with the Andean culture, trough the education that my parents have given me, and the western culture that was received through the educational system and the media of communication. Since then I have dreamed to express and to show through my work this half-cast that it typical of my country. Through my work of medium and large sizes, the human figure is the principal element to express existentialism situations: empty bodies surrounded by pre-Hispanic symbolism, geometric and linear like architectonics structures solid and spatial. Small formats are also inspired by nature mort and with the same style.
All the elements in conformity of my work are expressed with colours inspired by day living of our days to day living of our days: like neon lights, discotheques, internet, television, etc…And the entire modern means that are offered are expressed with subtlety and abounded materiel. The aim to find a language in which to translate a plastic encounter between the ancient and the modern, the tradition and the modernity of our days.
The research of a personal and sincere language in the painting that leads us to observe our surrounding and understand our roots and in own existence. The historic tradition, the western culture and all cultural manifestations that converge in Latin America give us a language engaged with our history and society.”
Here is one critic describing the artistry of Chinese painter Xue Mo: “Her portraits of Oriental women are more than representations of female beauty. Xue Mo’s premise is that the composition of these paintings act as a focal point for meditation on such concepts as virtue, beauty, serenity, benevolence, and tranquility.
Variously described as ‘Renaissance,’ ‘Chinese Vermeer,’ or ‘Medici- like portraiture,’ Xue Mo’s paintings evoke a timeless elegance and a return to pure painting. Critic Katherine Wilkinson has written, ‘In the 20th Century, many Asian artists have sited, in the human figure, the portrayal and exploration of their own and their society’s identity and history and its changing relationship with other nations and a global culture…Xue considers her work deeply affected by old Chinese culture, its traditional music, calligraphy and early portraiture.’”
“The eternal raison d’etre of America is in its being the ‘sweet land of liberty.’ Should a land so dreamed into existence, so degenerate through material prosperity as to become what its European critics, with too much justice, have scornfully renamed it the ‘Land of the Dollar’ – such a development will be one of the sorriest conclusions of history, and the most colossal disillusionment that has ever happened to mankind.” – Frank Norris, American novelist and author of “The Octopus: A Story of California” and “McTeague,” who was born 5 March 1870,
Some quotes from the work of Frank Norris:
“Always blame conditions, not men.”
“I never truckled. I never took off the hat to Fashion and held it out for pennies. I told them the truth. They liked it or they didn’t like it. What had that to do with me? I told them the truth.”
“Wait till you see-at the same time that your family is dying for lack of bread-a hundred thousand acres of wheat-millions of bushels of food-grabbed and gobbled by the Railroad Trust, and then talk of moderation. That talk is just what the Trust wants to hear. It ain’t frightened of that. There’s one thing only it does listen to, one things it is frightened of-the people with dynamite in their hands,-six inches of plugged gaspipe. That talks.”
“The People have a right to the Truth as they have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
“He strove for the diapason, the great song that should embrace in itself a whole epoch, a complete era, the voice of an entire people, wherein all people should be included—they and their legends, their folk lore, their fightings, their loves and their lusts, their blunt, grim humour, their stoicism under stress, their adventures, their treasures found in a day and gambled in a night, their direct, crude speech, their generosity and cruelty, their heroism and bestiality, their religion and profanity, their self-sacrifice and obscenity—a true and fearless setting forth of a passing phase of history, un-compromising, sincere; each group in its proper environment; the valley, the plain, and the mountain; the ranch, the range, and the mine—all this, all the traits and types of every community from the Dakotas to the Mexicos, from Winnipeg to Guadalupe, gathered together, swept together, welded and riven together in one single, mighty song, the Song of the West.”
American Art – Part II of III: Joseph Alleman
In the words of one writer, “For artist Joseph Alleman, an important motive to paint lies in understanding his surroundings. ‘I’m visually compelled by various forms of shape, value, pattern, etc. Through the process of painting, I gain new and deeper insight into my subject and its surroundings as these elements combine and communicate.’
Working in both watercolor and oil, Joseph Alleman’s paintings have become highly recognized and collected for their visionary portrayals of the West. As a signature member of both the American and National Watercolor Societies, he exhibits regularly through gallery, juried, and invitational shows, and has been a featured artist in the majority of contemporary fine art publications.
Residing in Northern Utah, Joseph finds a great deal of inspiration in the regions land, towns, and people which make it unique. ‘There is a beauty within the everyday and ordinary that only painting can reveal. I’m drawn to these subjects in hopes of making and sharing such discoveries.’”
A Poem for Today
“Trail of Tears: Our Removal,”
By Linda Hogan
With lines unseen the land was broken.
When surveyors came, we knew
what the prophet had said was true,
this land with unseen lines would be taken.
So, you who live there now,
don’t forget to love it, thank it
the place that was once our forest,
our ponds, our mosses,
the swamplands with birds and more lowly creatures.
As for us, we walked into the military strength of hunger
and war for that land we still dream.
As the ferry crossed the distance,
or as the walkers left behind their loved ones,
think how we took with us our cats and kittens,
the puppies we loved. We were innocent of what we faced,
along the trail. We took clothing, dishes,
thinking there would be something to start a new life,
believing justice lived in the world,
and the horses, so many,
one by one stolen, taken by the many thieves
So have compassion for that land at least.
Every step we took was one away from the songs,
old dances, memories, some of us dark and not speaking English,
some of us white, or married to the dark, or children of translators
the half-white, all of us watched by America, all of us
longing for trees for shade, homing, rooting,
even more for food along the hunger way.
You would think those of us born later
would fight for justice, for peace,
for the new land, it’s trees being taken.
You would think
the struggle would be over
between the two worlds in this place
that is now our knowledge,
our new belonging, our being,
and we’d never again care for the notion of maps
or American wars, or the god of their sky,
thinking of those things we were forced to leave behind,
living country, stolen home,
the world measured inch by inch, mile by mile,
hectares, all measurements, even the trail of our tears.
With all the new fierce light, heat, drought
the missing water, you’d think
in another red century, the old wisdom
might exist if we considered enough
that even before the new beliefs
we were once whole,
but now our bodies and minds remain
the measured geography.
American Art – Part III of III: Dana Tiger
Artist Statement: “By drawing on the strength of the women of my Creek Indian ancestry, I am better able to portray the dignity and determination of contemporary women.”
Below – “Cherokee Basket”; “From the Four Directions”; “From You I Learn Many Things”; “Quest for Peace”; “Gathering Strength”; “Thinking It All Over”; “Ritual Traditions of the Human Woman”; “In Balance.”