American Art – Part I of II: R. E. Roberts
Artist Statement: “We are solitary travelers in a vast universe, consulting maps, looking for signs, hoping to figure out what it’s all about. We can only be the sum of our experiences, large, small, funny, terrifying. Existence itself is surreal and precarious and exalting and tragic. We cannot see ahead. But all creatures large and small proceed through it, even though each knows instinctively that an end is coming. It is in how we proceed through existence that counts.
Initially, I painted objects. Now I try to paint ideas.”
The paintings of Indian artist Nitin Utge have one many awards. In the words of one critic, “He creates a world that focuses on children from all strata of society, his two most popular icons being the child worker and the child clown. He is drawn to world of these characters, where the innocent young children are depicted in a cheerful light.”
From the Cinema Archives – Roberts Blossom
“I saw Bigfoot once!” – Roberts Blossom, American theater, film, and television actor and poet, who died 8 July 2011, portraying a farmer in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”
Roberts Blossom is known for his roles as Old Man Marley in “Home Alone” (1990) and, for fans of John Carpenter movies, George LeBay in “Christine” (1983). Blossom spent the final years of his life writing poetry in Berkeley and Santa Monica.
In the words of one writer, Italian sculptor Matteo Pugliese “was born in Milan on the eighth of November 1969. After a long period spent in Sardinia, in 1996 he graduated from Milan University in Modern Literature with a thesis on art criticism regarding the world of comics.”
Canadian Art – Part I of III: Thomas John “Tom” Thomson
“All nations teach their children to be ‘patriotic,’ and abuse the other nations for fostering nationalism.” – Richard Aldington, English poet, novelist, and soldier during World War I, who was born 8 July 1892.
Four days the earth was rent and torn
By bursting steel,
The houses fell about us;
Three nights we dared not sleep,
Sweating, and listening for the imminent crash
Which meant our death.
The fourth night every man,
Nerve-tortured, racked to exhaustion,
Slept, muttering and twitching,
While the shells crashed overhead.
Canadian Art – Part II of III: Alfred Joseph Casson
“Woman thick with hours
and yellow with fruit
like yesterday’s sun…” – From “Autumn,
by Gerardo Diego Cendoya, Spanish poet, who died 8 July 1987.
At night the sea returns to my room
and the freshest waves die on my sheets
No one can doubt
the angel poised for flight
nor the spout of water heart of the Pianola
A butterfly flits out of the mirror
and in the light beaming from the daily paper
I don’t feel old
Under my bed
flows a river
and on the pillowed sea
the hollow shell has stopped singing
Canadian Art – Part III of III: Pascal Roy
In the words of one critic, “’The Surrealistic painter of Canadian origin Pascal Roy (born 1963) decided to live in Cuernavaca; perhaps the benign climate and natural beauty of the landscapes have become an incentive for its hedonism since the main purpose of Roy’s work of is to create a world of undeniable beauty. Surprising task that requires a strong dose of valence when all his contemporaries appear to have proposed a creation based on the dark side of life and an obvious lack of interest in technical plastic.”
From the American Old West: Soapy Smith
Died 8 July 1898 – Jefferson Randolph “Soapy” Smith, an American con artist, saloon and gambling house proprietor, gangster, and crime boss in Denver, Colorado, Creede, Colorado, and Skagway, Alaska.
Soapy Smith had a fascinating career, during which time he managed to swindle large numbers of people, and he was able to avoid prosecution by paying graft to police, judges, and politicians. Smith met his end in a way commensurate with his wide-ranging criminal ambitions. Following the Klondike Gold Rush, Smith moved his operations to Skagway, Alaska, where he opened a saloon. After cheating a miner out of his gold, Smith was ordered to return it by local law enforcement officials. He declined, and a gunfight (known locally as the “Shootout on Juneau Wharf”) began unexpectedly, and Smith and a guard were fatally wounded. In the words of one historian, “Soapy Smith was buried several yards outside the city cemetery. Due to the way Smith’s legend has grown, every year on 8 July, wakes are held around the United States in Soapy’s honor. His grave and saloon are on most tour itineraries of Skagway.”
A Poem for Today
by Denise Levertov
The red eyes of rabbits
aren’t sad. No one passes
the sad golden village in a barge
any more. The sunset
will leave it alone. If the
curtains hang askew
it is no one’s fault.
Around and around and around
everywhere the same sound
of wheels going, and things
growing older, growing
silent. If the dogs
bark to each other
all night, and their eyes
flash red, that’s
nobody’s business. They have
a great space of dark to
bark across. The rabbits
will bare their teeth at
the spring moon.
American Art – Part II of II: Kamille Corry
Artist Statement: ”The human figure, in all its infinite beauty of rhythm, expressiveness, anatomical structure and design, is inexorably infused with the most complex of features: the individual soul.”