This Date in Art History: Born 27 July 1939 – William Eggleston, an American photographer who, in the words of one writer, “is widely credited with increasing recognition for color photography as a legitimate artistic medium.” As Eudora Welty noted, “an Eggleston photograph might include “old tyres, Dr Pepper machines, discarded air-conditioners, vending machines, empty and dirty Coca-Cola bottles, torn posters, power poles and power wires, street barricades, one-way signs, detour signs, No Parking signs, parking meters and palm trees crowding the same curb.”
Below – Untitled (Upside down chair, Mexico); Untitled; Untitled; Untitled (stop sign); Untitled; Untitled (Torch Cafe Billboard, Mississippi).
This Date in Literary History: Died 27 July 1946 – Gertrude Stein, an American novelist, poet, and playwright.
Some quotes from the work of Gertrude Stein:
“Every day is a renewal, every morning the daily miracle. This joy you feel is life.”
“Love: the skillful audacity required to share an inner life.”
“Coffee is real good when you drink it; gives you time to think. It’s a lot more than just a drink; it’s something happening. Not as in hip, but like an event, a place to be, but not like a location, but like somewhere within yourself. It gives you time, but not actual hours or minutes, but a chance to be, like be yourself, and have a second cup.”
“Whoever said money can’t buy happiness didn’t know where to shop.”
“It is awfully important to know what is and what is not your business.”
“One does not get better but different and older and that is always a pleasure.”
Below – Pablo Picasso: “Gertrude Stein”
This Date in Art History: Died 27 July 1942 – Karl Parsimagi, an Estonian painter.
Below – “Un hate dans la lune”; “Femme lisant”; “Interieur”; “Femme japonaise”; “Dans le parc”; “Nu.”
This Date in Literary History: Died 27 July 2016 – James Alan McPherson, an American short story writer, essayist, and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.
Some quotes from the work of James Alan McPherson”
“I think that love must be the ability to suspend one’s intelligence for the sake of something. At the basis of love therefore must live imagination.”
“Sometimes, in the night, it is expectant and therefore eager to be out. It has slept too long and is restless, fighting the force that keeps it patient. Years of internal slumber has drugged it, but not decisively, so that, once slightly touched, it starts and quivers and attempts to announce itself so strongly that, occasionally, a man’s mind will wake in his bed and ask itself: ‘Who is there?’”
“He still thought I was accusing him or calling him to account. He said, ‘People do grow. You may not think much of me, but my children will be great!
I said , ‘They will be black and blind or passing for white and self-blinded. Those are the only choices.’”
“It has to be readable. If the writing is awkward, jargon ridden, narrow, if the prose is dull or dead, then people aren’t going to read it.”
“I believe that if one can experience diversity, touch a variety of its people, laugh at its craziness, distill wisdom from its tragedies, and attempt to synthesize all this inside oneself without going crazy, one will have earned the right to call oneself ‘citizen of the United States.’”
Contemporary Croatian Art – Natasa Bezic
Below – “Zhenya”; “Landscape 1”; “Relax”; “In The Vortex”; “Light My Fire”; “Katy”; “La Primavera.”
This Date in Entertainment and Literary History: Died 27 July
2017 – Sam Shepard, an American playwright, actor, author, screenwriter, director, and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.
Some quotes from the work of Sam Shepard:
“Love is the only disease that makes you feel better.”
“Character is an essential tendency. It can be covered up, it can be messed with, it can be screwed around with, but it can’t be ultimately changed. It’s the structure of our bones, the blood that runs through our veins.”
“This isn’t champagne anymore. We went through the champagne a long time ago. This is serious stuff. The days of champagne are long gone.”
“It’s one of the great tragedies of our contemporary life in America, that families fall apart. Almost everybody has that in common.”
“I had a definite sense of somehow being a passenger in an evil vehicle cruising through Paradise.”
“There’s no way to escape the fact that we’ve grown up in a violent culture, we just can’t get away from it, it’s part of our heritage. I think part of it is that we’ve always felt somewhat helpless in the face of this vast continent. Helplessness is answered in many ways, but one of them is violence.”
“When you’re looking for someone, you’re looking for some aspect of yourself, even if you don’t know it … What we’re searching for is what we lack.”
“I feel like I’ve never had a home, you know? I feel related to the country, to this country, and yet I don’t know exactly where I fit in… There’s always this kind of nostalgia for a place, a place where you can reckon with yourself.”
Contemporary French Art – Anna Madia
Below – “Métamorphose (Night blooming flower)”; “Aletheia”; “Primavera”; “Silent mirror”; “Saturnine”; “Midnight”; “The Rituel (homage to Isadora Duncan).”
A Poem for Today
“The Paleontologist’s Blind Date”
by Philip Memmer
‘You have such lovely bones,’ he says,
holding my face in his hands,
and although I can almost feel
the stone and the sand
sifting away, his fingers
like the softest of brushes,
I realize after this touch
he would know me
years from now, even
in the dark, even
without my skin.
‘Thank you,’ I smile—
then I close the door
and never call him again.