Sentient in San Francisco – 23 August 2019

This Date in Art History: Died 23 August 1944 – Stefan Filipkiewicz, a Polish painter and illustrator.

Below – “Meadow”; “Winter”; “Wood Creek”; “Tara Mountains at Dawn”; “Peonies in a Vase”; “Early Spring in the Mountains.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 23 August 1884 – Will Cuppy, an American humorist, literary critic, and author of “The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody.”

Some quotes from the work of Will Cuppy:

“Intelligence is the capacity to know what we are doing and instinct is just instinct. The results are about the same.”
“A few alligators are naturally of the vicious type and inclined to resent it when you prod them with a stick. You can find out which ones these are by prodding them.”
“We all make mistakes, but intelligence enables us to do it on purpose.”
“Just when you’re beginning to think pretty well of people, you run across somebody who puts sugar on sliced tomatoes.”
“Never call anyone a baboon unless you are sure of your facts.”
“A hermit is simply a person to whom civilization has failed to adjust itself.”
“It’s easy to see the faults in people, I know; and it’s harder to see the good. Especially when the good isn’t there.”
“He had also learned that there is no use murdering people; there are always so many left, and if you tried to murder them all you would never get anything else done.”
“Aristotle was famous for knowing everything. He taught that the brain exists merely to cool the blood and is not involved in the process of thinking. This is true only of certain persons.”
“Armadillos make affectionate pets, if you need affection that much.”
“Ah, well! We live and learn, or, anyway, we live.”

Contemporary American Art – Emily Lovejoy

In the words of one writer, “Emily Lovejoy is contemporary portraiture painter. Her work has modern photographs juxtaposed on top of her subjects, faintly hinting at the signs of the times and how these images have an affect on identity, as well as on how others see us compared to how we see ourselves.”

Below – “Lost in Translation”; “Y2K-Esque”; “Feels”; “Read Her Advise Her”; “Ideal”; “Stronger Together”; “Assorted Emotions.”

A Poem for Today

“Corned Beef and Cabbage”
by George Bilgere

I can see her in the kitchen,
Cooking up, for the hundredth time,
A little something from her
Limited Midwestern repertoire.
Cigarette going in the ashtray,
The red wine pulsing in its glass,
A warning light meaning
Everything was simmering
Just below the steel lid
Of her smile, as she boiled
The beef into submission,
Chopped her way
Through the vegetable kingdom
With the broken-handled knife
I use tonight, feeling her
Anger rising from the dark
Chambers of the head
Of cabbage I slice through,
Missing her, wanting
To chew things over
With my mother again.

Contemporary Belgian Art – Peter Seminck

Below – “Colores del mundo”; “End of Season”; “Walking into the tunnel”; “Speak no evil”; “Santa overlooking the workload”; “Coming…?”


This Date in Intellectual History: Died 23 August 1989 – R. D. Laing, a Scottish psychiatrist and author of “The Politics of Experience and The Bird of Paradise” and “The Divided Self.”

Some quotes from the work of R. D. Laing:

“Life is a sexually transmitted disease and the mortality rate is one hundred percent.”
“Whether life is worth living depends on whether there is love in life.”
“Insanity — a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world.”
“What we call ‘normal’ is a product of repression, denial, splitting, projection, introjection and other forms of destructive action on experience. It is radically estranged from the structure of being. The more one sees this, the more senseless it is to continue with generalized descriptions of supposedly specifically schizoid, schizophrenic, hysterical ‘mechanisms.’ There are forms of alienation that are relatively strange to statistically ‘normal’ forms of alienation. The ‘normally’ alienated person, by reason of the fact that he acts more or less like everyone else, is taken to be sane. Other forms of alienation that are out of step with the prevailing state of alienation are those that are labeled by the ‘formal’ majority as bad or mad.”
“We live in a moment of history where change is so speeded up that we begin to see the present only when it is already disappearing.”
“Human beings seem to have an almost unlimited capacity to deceive themselves, and to deceive themselves into taking their own lies for truth.”
“Our ‘normal’ ‘adjusted’ state is too often the abdication of ecstasy, the betrayal of our true potentialities.”
“The condition of alienation, of being asleep, of being unconscious, of being out of one’s mind, is the condition of the normal man. Society highly values its normal man. It educates children to lose themselves and to become absurd, and thus to be normal. Normal men have killed perhaps 100,000,000 of their fellow normal men in the last fifty years.”

Contemporary British Art – Phil Tyler

Below – “The beaten generation”; “The meaning is lost”;“Red Silence”; “Triange”; “Laura sitting up”; “Lyndsey lying down”; “Barely Touching.”

A Poem for Today

by Cecilia Woloch

Didn’t I stand there once,
white-knuckled, gripping the just-lit taper,
swearing I’d never go back?
And hadn’t you kissed the rain from my mouth?
And weren’t we gentle and awed and afraid,
knowing we’d stepped from the room of desire
into the further room of love?
And wasn’t it sacred, the sweetness
we licked from each other’s hands?
And were we not lovely, then, were we not
as lovely as thunder, and damp grass, and flame?

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