American Art – Part I of III: Kelly Mudge
Here is one writer describing the background of painter Kelly Mudge:
“Kelly Mudge has been working professionally in art since she received her BFA in Painting from Pratt Institute in 2001. Her work has been shown in several New York galleries, including Allen Sheppard Gallery and The Drawing Center, and is included in several private collections. Kelly lives and works in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and her English bulldog.”
“Sports is the toy department of human life.” – Howard Cosell, the most influential sports journalist and broadcaster of the second half of the twentieth century, who was born 21 March 1918.
In the words of one writer, “Here is how ‘The New York Times’ described Cosell’s impact on sports coverage: ‘He entered sports broadcasting in the mid-1950s, when the predominant style was unabashed adulation, [and] offered a brassy counterpoint that was first ridiculed, then copied until it became the dominant note of sports broadcasting.’”
Another quote from Howard Cosell:
“The importance that our society attaches to sport is incredible. After all, is football a game or a religion? The people of this country have allowed sports to get completely out of hand.
In the words of one writer, “Born in 1936, Suhas Roy studied at the Indian College of Arts and Draughtsmanship, Calcutta. In 1956, he travelled to France on a Government of France French Cultural Scholarship. In Paris, he studied at the Atelier 17 and the Ecole National Superiere des Beaux Arts.
Suhas Roy’s preoccupation is primarily with the female face and form, and his subjects are romanticized, inhabiting the dreamlike world between sensuality and innocence. His work is usually inspired by life around him, but his themes are as much influenced by the everyday world as they are rooted in fantasy.”
From the Music Archives – Part I of II: Johann Sebastian Bach
“There’s nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.” – Johann Sebastian Bach, German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist of the Baroque period, who was born 21 March 1685 (Old System).
From the Music Archives – Part II of II: The Beatles
21 March 1964 – The Beatles’ “She Loves You” single reaches number one on the American popular music charts and remains there for two weeks.
American Art – Part II of III: Edgar Jerins
Artist Statement: “My large, narrative drawings cover thematically dark subject matter. The subjects are facing various crises including addiction, divorce, alienation and violence. Recently I have been exploring mental illness in my work.”
“Storytellers are a threat. They threaten all champions of control, they frighten usurpers of the right-to-freedom of the human spirit — in state, in church or mosque, in party congress, in the university or wherever.” – Chinua Achebe, Nigerian poet, novelist, and author of “Things Fall Apart,” who died 21 March 2013.
Some quotes from the work of Chinua Achebe:
“While we do our good works let us not forget that the real solution lies in a world in which charity will have become unnecessary.”
“Nobody can teach me who I am. You can describe parts of me, but who I am – and what I need – is something I have to find out myself.”
“The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.”
“To me, being an intellectual doesn’t mean knowing about intellectual issues; it means taking pleasure in them.”
“We cannot trample upon the humanity of others without devaluing our own. The Igbo, always practical, put it concretely in their proverb ‘Onye ji onye n’ani ji onwe ya’: ‘He who will hold another down in the mud must stay in the mud to keep him down.’”
“There is no story that is not true… The world has no end, and what is good among one people is an abomination with others.”
“When suffering knocks at your door and you say there is no seat for him, he tells you not to worry because he has brought his own stool.”
“One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised. ”
“A man who calls his kinsmen to a feast does not do so to save them from starving. They all have food in their own homes. When we gather together in the moonlit village ground it is not because of the moon. Every man can see it in his own compound. We come together because it is good for kinsmen to do so.”
“People create stories create people; or rather stories create people create stories.”
“When we are comfortable and inattentive, we run the risk of committing grave injustices absentmindedly.”
“Privilege, you see, is one of the great adversaries of the imagination; it spreads a thick layer of adipose tissue over our sensitivity.”
“Some people flinch when you talk about art in the context of the needs of society thinking you are introducing something far too common for a discussion of art. Why should art have a purpose and a use? Art shouldn’t be concerned with purpose and reason and need, they say. These are improper. But from the very beginning, it seems to me, stories have indeed been meant to be enjoyed, to appeal to that part of us which enjoys good form and good shape and good sound.”
“Oh, the most important thing about myself is that my life has been full of changes. Therefore, when I observe the world, I don’t expect to see it just like I was seeing the fellow who lives in the next room. There is this complexity which seems to me to be part of the meaning of existence and everything we value.”
German Art – Part I of II: Edwin Scharff
Born 21 March 1887 – Edwin Scharff, a German sculptor who was influenced by Auguste Rodin. The Nazi Party classified Scharff as a “degenerate artist,” and so his work is obviously worthy of every intelligent person’s serious attention.
German Art – Part II of II: Walter Roos
“In Australia, not reading poetry is the national pastime.” – Phyllis McGinley, Australia-born American poet, author of children’s books, and recipient of the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (for “Times Three”), who was born 21 March 1905.
In the words of one critic, “(McGinley’s) poetry was in the style of light verse, specializing in humor, satiric tone and the positive aspects of suburban life.”
The first thing to remember about fathers is, they’re men.
A girl has to keep it in mind.
They are dragon-seekers, bent on impossible rescues.
Scratch any father, you find
Someone chock-full of qualms and romantic terrors,
Believing change is a threat –
Like your first shoes with heel on, like your first bicycle
It took months to get.
Walk in strange woods, they warn you about the snakes there.
Climb and they fear you’ll fall.
Books, angular looks, swimming in deep water –
Fathers mistrust them all.
Men are the worriers. It is difficult for them
To learn what they must learn:
How you have a journey to take and very likely,
For a while, will not return.
She said, If tomorrow my world were torn in two,
Blacked out, dissolved, I think I would remember
(As if transfixed in unsurrendering amber)
This hour best of all the hours I knew:
When cars came backing into the shabby station,
Children scuffing the seats, and the women driving
With ribbons around their hair, and the trains arriving,
And the men getting off with tired but practiced motion.
Yes, I would remember my life like this, she said:
Autumn, the platform red with Virginia creeper,
And a man coming toward me, smiling, the evening paper
Under his arm, and his hat pushed back on his head;
And wood smoke lying like haze on the quiet town,
And dinner waiting, and the sun not yet gone down.
Polish artist Kamil Smala employs linocut in his printmaking, which a variant of woodcut. He is also a painter.
From the American Old West: Ned Buntline
Born 20 March 1823 – Edward Zane Carroll Judson, Sr., known by his pseudonym Ned Buntline, an American publisher, journalist, writer, and publicist. In the words of one historian, “(Buntline) is best known for his dime novels and the Colt Buntline Special he is alleged to have commissioned from Colt’s Manufacturing Company.” Ned Buntline’s vivid literary imagination and impressive marketing skills are in some measure responsible for the almost mythic stature of Wyatt Earp and Buffalo Bill Cody in American history.
Above – Ned Buntline.
Below – One of Buntline’s dime novels; a Colt Buntline with 16” barrel; Ned Buntline, Buffalo Bill Cody, Giuseppina Morlacchi, Texas Jack Omohundro.
Arthur Lismer (1885 – 1969) was a Canadian artist and member of the Group of Seven, an association of landscape painters who worked from 1920 to 1933.
A Poem for Today
“Dinosaurs in the Hood,”
By Danez Smith
Let’s make a movie called ‘Dinosaurs in the Hood.’
‘Jurassic Park’ meets ‘Friday’ meets ‘The Pursuit of Happyness.’
There should be a scene where a little black boy is playing
with a toy dinosaur on the bus, then looks out the window
& sees the T. Rex, because there has to be a T. Rex.
Don’t let Tarantino direct this. In his version, the boy plays
with a gun, the metaphor: black boys toy with their own lives,
the foreshadow to his end, the spitting image of his father.
Fuck that, the kid has a plastic Brontosaurus or Triceratops
& this is his proof of magic or God or Santa. I want a scene
where a cop car gets pooped on by a pterodactyl, a scene
where the corner store turns into a battle ground. Don’t let
the Wayans brothers in this movie. I don’t want any racist shit
about Asian people or overused Latino stereotypes.
This movie is about a neighborhood of royal folks —
children of slaves & immigrants & addicts & exiles — saving their town
from real-ass dinosaurs. I don’t want some cheesy yet progressive
Hmong sexy hot dude hero with a funny yet strong commanding
black girl buddy-cop film. This is not a vehicle for Will Smith
& Sofia Vergara. I want grandmas on the front porch taking out raptors
with guns they hid in walls & under mattresses. I want those little spitty,
screamy dinosaurs. I want Cicely Tyson to make a speech, maybe two.
I want Viola Davis to save the city in the last scene with a black fist afro pick
through the last dinosaur’s long, cold-blood neck. But this can’t be
a black movie. This can’t be a black movie. This movie can’t be dismissed
because of its cast or its audience. This movie can’t be a metaphor
for black people & extinction. This movie can’t be about race.
This movie can’t be about black pain or cause black people pain.
This movie can’t be about a long history of having a long history with hurt.
This movie can’t be about race. Nobody can say nigga in this movie
who can’t say it to my face in public. No chicken jokes in this movie.
No bullets in the heroes. & no one kills the black boy. & no one kills
the black boy. & no one kills the black boy. Besides, the only reason
I want to make this is for that first scene anyway: the little black boy
on the bus with a toy dinosaur, his eyes wide & endless
Here is one critic describing the artistry of Italian painter Nicola Verlato: ”Nicola Verlato attempts to realize the “unreal” in his use of mythical references. Utilizing witches to explore the depths of sexuality, mysticism and power, the paintings are composed as conceptual cinematic storyboards and tell a story from multiple points of view. Invoking, at times, sexually explicit subject matter, the artist, who looks to a wide range of popular culture sources for visual inspiration including high-tech “first-person shooter” video gaming, renders a seemingly post-apocalyptic view of American society.”
Nicola Verlato lives and works in Brooklyn.
A Second Poem for Today
“Golden Gate Hank,”
By Jill McDonough
I wake up with a toothache, think I should write
about a toothache, make it somehow worthwhile.
It’s got everything: intimacy, decay, how the body’s
busy, night and day, doing you in. One of the hundreds
of jumpers’ corpses pulled from the bay had a note
in its pocket saying No reason at all except
I have a toothache. Josey’s grandfather
shot himself after his fifth sinus operation failed.
Josey says Empty Nose Syndrome and I get confused—
how can hollows be hollowed? But then I go to
emptynosesyndrome.org, cup my poor nose
in horror, grateful for all I take for granted, can’t see.
Golden Gate Hank hates his nickname.
If you wanted to be called Serenity Hank,
Ken tells him, you shouldn’t have jumped
off the fucking bridge. The ones that live
all say they changed their minds in the four seconds
before they hit, tried to land feet first and managed it.
Ken says don’t tell people I think every day
of how I wouldn’t kill myself, they get the wrong idea.
I think every day of how I’d save myself, save
Josey: stab the bad guy, fall feet first, punch the Great White
in his eyeball, play dead in the bullet-ridden mass grave.
From the back seat of the Suburban, I heard
my mother say to my father Driving across a high bridge
always makes me want to jump. You might live:
A seventeen year old boy hit feet first, swam to shore
and walked for help, saying his back was killing him.
Another guy realized he was alive and underwater, felt something
brushing his broken legs. Great, now I get eaten by a shark,
he thought. It happens. But this was a seal, circling,
apparently the only thing that was keeping me alive,
and you can not tell me that wasn’t God, because that’s
what I believe, and that’s what I’ll believe until the day I die.
American Art – Part III of III: Hollis Dunlap
In the words of one writer, “Born in northeastern Vermont in 1977, Hollis Dunlap is a painter living on the east coast of Connecticut in the USA. He paints modern paintings with a strong influence of old masters from Caravaggio to Vermeer. The color choices, brushwork, and compositions reflect the influences of various painters, from representational to more abstract in terms of composition and varying applications of paint.”