Sentient in San Francisco – 30 July 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 30 July 1956 – Soraida Martinez, an American painter of Puerto Rican descent: Part I of II.

Below – “Deja Blues”; “Speaking to the Labeled Kids”; “The Battle of the Rice and Beans”; “When Money Gets Ugly”; “I Found It Hard To Be An Individual”; “The Terror of Demasking Oneself.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 30 July 1945 – Patrick Modiano, a French novelist and recipient of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Some quotes from the work of Patrick Modiano:

“For a long time – and this particular time with greater force than usual – summer has been a season that gives me a sense of emptiness and absence, and takes me back to the past.”
“Nice is a city of ghosts and specters, but I hope not to become one of them right away.”
“But I am a patient man. I can wait for hours in the rain.”
“The more things remain obscure and mysterious, the more they interest me. I even try to find mystery in things that have none.”
“In the end, we are all determined by the place and the time in which we were born.”
“The doctor used to tell me that every person about to die becomes a music box playing the melody that best describes his life, his character, and his hopes. For some, it’s a popular waltz; for others, a march.”

This Date in Art History: Born 30 July 1956 – Soraida Martinez, an American painter of Puerto Rican descent: Part II of II.

Below – “Piano Man: The Survival of Hope”; “The Weeping Puerto Rican Cuatro Player”; “La Latina”; “Las Three Puerto Rican Hermanas”; “Puerto Rican Stereotype: The Way You See Me Without Looking At Me”; “Creativity.”


A Poem for Today

“The Pick”
by Cecilia Woloch

I watched him swinging the pick in the sun,
breaking the concrete steps into chunks of rock,
and the rocks into dust,
and the dust into earth again.
I must have sat for a very long time on the split rail fence,
just watching him.
My father’s body glistened with sweat,
his arms flew like dark wings over his head.
He was turning the backyard into terraces,
breaking the hill into two flat plains.
I took for granted the power of him,
though it frightened me, too.
I watched as he swung the pick into the air
and brought it down hard
and changed the shape of the world,
and changed the shape of the world again.

Contemporary Dutch Art – Jeroen Allart

Below – “Window Cat”; “Married Couple”; “Lux”; “Ship”; “Jerry”; “White cat.”

This Date in Entertainment and Art History: Born 30 July 1927 – Victor Wong, an American actor, artist, and journalist. Victor Wong was associated with the Beat Generation in San Francisco, and he was friends with Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Jack Kerouac. He appeared in many movies and television programs, but three of his performances are Neralich family favorites: his role as Chinese sorcerer Egg Shen in John Carpenter’s 1986 film “Big Trouble in Little China,” his role as Professor Howard Birack in John Carpenter’s 1987 movie “Prince of Darkness,” and his portrayal of storekeeper Walter Chang in Ron Underwood’s 1990 movie “Tremors.”

Contemporary German Art – Kevin Gray

Below – “Poppyfield 22”; “Earth”; “Blue Woods”; “From the Deep”; “Moonlight”; “Poppyfield #20”; “Green Path”; “TV.”

A Poem for Today

“Indian summer”
By Diane Glancy

There’s a farm auction up the road.
Wind has its bid in for the leaves.
Already bugs flurry the headlights
between cornfields at night.
If this world were permanent,
I could dance full as the squaw dress
on the clothesline.
I would not see winter
in the square of white yard-light on the wall.
But something tugs at me.
The world is at a loss and I am part of it
migrating daily.
Everything is up for grabs
like a box of farm tools broken open.
I hear the spirits often in the garden
and along the shore of corn.
I know this place is not mine.
I hear them up the road again.
This world is a horizon, an open sea.
Behind the house, the white iceberg of the barn.

Below – Kristin Whitney: “White Barn”

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