July Offerings – Part XXII: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of II: Alexander Calder

“My fan mail is enormous. Everyone is under six.” – Alexander Calder, American sculptor best known as the originator of the “mobile” (a term coined for Calder’s kinetic sculptures by Marcel Duchamp), who was born 22 July 1898.

Below – “Big Red”; “Canine”; “Eagle”; “Flamingo”; “Triumphant Red”; “Frank Crowninshield” (wire sculpture); “Vortex.”

“When one realizes that his life is worthless he either commits suicide or travels.” – Edward Dahlberg, American novelist and essayist, who was born 22 July 1900.

Some quotes from the work of Edward Dahlberg:

“Nobody heard her tears; the heart is a fountain of weeping water which makes no noise in the world.”
“Ambition is a Dead Sea fruit, and the greatest peril to the soul is that one is likely to get precisely what he is seeking.”
“Woman is the most superstitious animal beneath the moon. When a woman has a premonition that Tuesday will be a disaster, to which a man pays no heed, he will very likely lose his fortune then. This is not meant to be an occult or mystic remark. The female body is a vessel, and the universe drops its secrets into her far more quickly than it communicates them to the male.”
“Nothing in our times has become so unattractive as virtue.”
“Genius, like truth, has a shabby and neglected mien.”
“It takes a long time to understand nothing.”
“Man hoards himself when he has nothing to give away.”
“The ancients understood the regulation of power better than the regulation of liberty.”
“Men are mad most of their lives; few live sane, fewer die so. The acts of people are baffling unless we realize that their wits are disordered. Man is driven to justice by his lunacy.”
“So much of our lives is given over to the consideration of our imperfections that there is no time to improve our imaginary virtues. The truth is we only perfect our vices, and man is a worse creature when he dies than he was when he was born.”

French painter Jean-Pierre Cassigneul (born 1935) had his first one-man show in Paris at the age of seventeen, and since then his work has been exhibited in galleries around the world.

From the Music Archives – Part I of II: Estelle Bennett

Born 22 July 1941 – Estelle Bennett, an American vocalist who, along with her sister Ronnie Spector and her cousin Nedra Talley, was a member of the group The Ronettes.

British painter Michael Taylor lives and works in the Dorset Village of Childe Okeford.

From the Music Archives – Part II of II: Don Henley

“Bring your alibis.” – Don Henley, American singer, songwriter, drummer, and a founding member of the Eagles, who was born 22 July 1947.


Painter Baldomero Pestana (born 1918 in Italy) moved to Argentina in 1923. In 1957 he acquired Peruvian citizenship, and in 1967 moved to Paris. He spent his final years living and working in Spain.

“I teach a course in screenwriting at Columbia, but I’ve never taken a course and I’ve never read a book about it!” – Paul Schrader, American screenwriter, film director, and film critic, who was born 22 July 1946.

Paul Schrader co-wrote the scripts for Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull,” but my favorite Schrader screenplay is the one he helped create for “Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters.” Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas served as executive producers for this brilliantly crafted movie, Ken Ogata delivers a riveting performance in the lead role, Roy Scheider’s narration is impeccable, and cinematographer John Bailey, production designer Eiko Ishioka, and music composer Philip Glass won an award at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival for “Best Artistic Contribution.”

Korean Art – Part I of II: Ho Ryon Lee

Artist Ho Ryon Lee has a B.F.A. in Painting from Hannam University and an M.F.A. from the Graduate School of Painting Department of Hoingik University.

From the American History Archives: Preparedness Day in San Francisco

22 July 1916 – A bomb explodes during a Preparedness Day parade in San Francisco.

In the words of one historian, “The Preparedness Day Bombing was a bombing in San Francisco, California on July 22, 1916, when the city held a parade in honor of Preparedness Day, in anticipation of the United States’ imminent entry into World War I. During the parade a suitcase bomb was detonated, killing ten and wounding forty in the worst such attack in San Francisco’s history.” The identity of the bomber or bombers has never been precisely determined.

Below – The corner of Market and Steuart Streets moments before the bombing (The arrow points to what some think may have been the actual bomber.); the site of the explosion.

Korean Art – Part II of II: Park Min-Joon

Artist Park Min-Joon (born 1971) has a both a B.F.A. in Painting and an M.F.A. in Painting from Hoingik University.

“If little else, the brain is an educational toy.” – Tom Robbins, American novelist and author of “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues” and “Still Life with Woodpecker,” who was born 22 July 1936.

Some quotes from Tom Robbins:

“When we’re incomplete, we’re always searching for somebody to complete us. When, after a few years or a few months of a relationship, we find that we’re still unfulfilled, we blame our partners and take up with somebody more promising. This can go on and on–series polygamy–until we admit that while a partner can add sweet dimensions to our lives, we, each of us, are responsible for our own fulfillment. Nobody else can provide it for us, and to believe otherwise is to delude ourselves dangerously and to program for eventual failure every relationship we enter.”
“The unhappy person resents it when you try to cheer him up, because that means he has to stop dwelling on himself and start paying attention to the universe. Unhappiness is the ultimate form of self-indulgence. When you’re unhappy, you get to pay a lot of attention to yourself. You get to take yourself oh so very seriously.”
“It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.”
“The highest function of love is that it makes the loved one a unique and irreplaceable being.”
“Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business.”
“Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words ‘make’ and ‘stay’ become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.”
“Our lives are not as limited as we think they are; the world is a wonderfully weird place; consensual reality is significantly flawed; no institution can be trusted, but love does work; all things are possible; and we all could be happy and fulfilled if we only had the guts to be truly free and the wisdom to shrink our egos and quit taking ourselves so damn seriously.”
“When two people meet and fall in love, there’s a sudden rush of magic. Magic is just naturally present then. We tend to feed on that gratuitous magic without striving to make any more. One day we wake up and find that the magic is gone. We hustle to get it back, but by then it’s usually too late, we’ve used it up. What we have to do is work like hell at making additional magic right from the start. It’s hard work, but if we can remember to do it, we greatly improve our chances of making love stay.”
“Just because you’re naked doesn’t mean you’re sexy. Just because you’re cynical doesn’t mean you’re cool.”
“We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.”
“There are many things worth living for, a few things worth dying for, and nothing worth killing for.”
“If you believe in peace, act peacefully; if you believe in love, acting lovingly; if you believe every which way, then act every which way, that’s perfectly valid – but don’t go out trying to sell your beliefs to the system. You end up contradicting what you profess to believe in, and you set a bum example. If you want to change the world, change yourself.”
“A sense of humor…is superior to any religion so far devised.”
“There is no such thing as a weird human being. It’s just that some people require more understanding than others.”
“So you think that you’re a failure, do you? Well, you probably are. What’s wrong with that? In the first place, if you’ve any sense at all you must have learned by now that we pay just as dearly for our triumphs as we do for our defeats. Go ahead and fail. But fail with wit, fail with grace, fail with style. A mediocre failure is as insufferable as a mediocre success. Embrace failure! Seek it out. Learn to love it. That may be the only way any of us will ever be free.”
“Love easily confuses us because it is always in flux between illusion and substance, between memory and wish, between contentment and need.”
“You should never hesitate to trade your cow for a handful of magic beans.”
“Our individuality is all, all, that we have. There are those who barter it for security, those who repress it for what they believe is the betterment of the whole society, but blessed in the twinkle of the morning star is the one who nurtures it and rides it in, in grace and love and wit, from peculiar station to peculiar station along life’s bittersweet route.”
“Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature.”
“There are only two mantras, yum and yuck, mine is yum.”
“Curiosity, especially intellectual inquisitiveness, is what separates the truly alive from those who are merely going through the motions.”
“In the haunted house of life, art is the only stair that doesn’t squeak.”
“You’ve heard of people calling in sick. You may have called in sick a few times yourself. But have you ever thought about calling in well?
It’d go like this: You’d get the boss on the line and say, ‘Listen, I’ve been sick ever since I started working here, but today I’m well and I won’t be in anymore.’ Call in well.”
“You risked your life, but what else have you ever risked? Have you risked disapproval? Have you ever risked economic security? Have you ever risked a belief? I see nothing particularly courageous about risking one’s life. So you lose it, you go to your hero’s heaven and everything is milk and honey ’til the end of time. Right? You get your reward and suffer no earthly consequences. That’s not courage. Real courage is risking something that might force you to rethink your thoughts and suffer change and stretch consciousness. Real courage is risking one’s clichés.”
“My faith is whatever makes me feel good about being alive. If your religion doesn’t make you feel good to be alive, what the hell is the point of it?”
“Oh God, are there so many of them in our land! Students who can’t be happy until they’ve graduated, servicemen who can’t be happy until they are discharged, single folks who can’t be happy until they’ve found a mate, workers who can’t be happy until they’ve retired, adolescents who aren’t happy until they’re grown, ill people who aren’t happy until they’re well, failures who aren’t happy until they succeed, restless who can’t wait until they get out of town, and in most cases, vice versa, people waiting, waiting for the world to begin.”
“Albert Camus wrote that the only serious question is whether to kill yourself or not.
Tom Robbins wrote that the only serious question is whether time has a beginning and an end.
Camus clearly got up on the wrong side of bed, and Robbins must have forgotten to set the alarm.
There is only one serious question. And that is: Who knows how to make love stay?
Answer me that and I will tell you whether or not to kill yourself.”
“Who knows how to make love stay?
1. Tell love you are going to Junior’s Deli on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn to pick up a cheesecake, and if loves stays, it can have half. It will stay.
2. Tell love you want a momento of it and obtain a lock of its hair. Burn the hair in a dime-store incense burner with yin/yang symbols on three sides. Face southwest. Talk fast over the burning hair in a convincingly exotic language. Remove the ashes of the burnt hair and use them to paint a moustache on your face. Find love. Tell it you are someone new. It will stay.
3. Wake love up in the middle of the night. Tell it the world is on fire. Dash to the bedroom window and pee out of it. Casually return to bed and assure love that everything is going to be all right. Fall asleep. Love will be there in the morning.”

Croatian painter Izvor Pende (born 1976) lives and works in Dusseldorf.

A Poem for Today

“When I Met My Muse,”
By William Stafford

I glanced at her and took my glasses
off–they were still singing. They buzzed
like a locust on the coffee table and then
ceased. Her voice belled forth, and the
sunlight bent. I felt the ceiling arch, and
knew that nails up there took a new grip
on whatever they touched. “I am your own
way of looking at things,” she said. “When
you allow me to live with you, every
glance at the world around you will be
a sort of salvation.” And I took her hand.

Below – William-Adolphe Bouguereau: “Art and Literature”


American Art – Part II of II: Edward Hopper

“If you could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.” – Edward Hopper, American artist, who was born 22 July 1882.

Rather than post some of Hopper’s famous paintings, as I have on previous occasions, I will offer a few works from his artistically formative years, 1899 – 1924, many of which offer glimpses of the greatness to come.

Below – “Study of a Seated Woman” (1899); “Model in Towel, Sitting on a Box” (1902); “Self-Portrait” (1903); “Stairway at 468 rue de Lille Paris” (1906); “Railroad Train” (1908); “Summer Interior” (1909); “Road in Maine” (1914); “Soir Bleu” (1914); “Blackhead, Monhegan” (1918); “American Landscape” (1920); “Evening Wind” (1921); “Moonlight Interior” (1921-1923); “New York Restaurant” (1922); “Apartment Houses” (1923); “House at the Fort, Gloucester” (1924).

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