Sentient in San Francisco – 23 March 2020

This Date in Art History: Born 23 March 1887 – Juan Gris, a Spanish painter and sculptor.

Below – “Portrait of Pablo Picasso”; “Harlequin with Guitar”; “Still Life with Checkered Tablecloth”; “Woman with Basket”; “The Reader”; “The Painter’s Window.”

Contemporary French Art – Fanny Nushka

Below – “Station Estrangin”; “Puffy Lavender Sleeve”; “Sucre Rose”; “Sorbet Cerise”; “Julia Down”; “La Nuit La Lune.”

This Date in Cinematic History: Born 23 March 1910 – Kurosawa Akira, an enormously influential Japanese film director and screenwriter.

Some quotes from Kurosawa Akira:

“It is the power of memory that gives rise to the power of imagination.”
“With a good script a good director can produce a masterpiece; with the same script a mediocre director can make a passable film. But with a bad script even a good director can’t possibly make a good film. For truly cinematic expression, the camera and the microphone must be able to cross both fire and water. That is what makes a real movie. The script must be something that has the power to do this.”
“The role of the artist is to not look away.”
“In a mad world only the mad are sane.”
“I am not a special person, I am not especially strong; I am not especially gifted. I simply do not like to show my weakness, and I hate to lose, so I am a person who tries hard. That’s all there is to me.”
“People today have forgotten they’re really just a part of nature. Yet, they destroy the nature on which our lives depend. They always think they can make something better… They don’t know it, but they’re losing nature. They don’t see that they’re going to perish. The most important things for human beings are clean air and clean water.”
“I suppose all of my films have a common theme. If I think about it, though, the only theme I can think of is really a question: Why can’t people be happier together?”
“Man is a genius when he is dreaming.”

Contemporary American Art – Isabel LeMay

Below – (hypercollage photographs) – “Prelude”; “Fusio”; “Natura”; “Tales from The green Room”; “Unity”; “Astral.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 23 March 1965 – Gary Whitehead, an award-winning American poet.

“A Used Book”
by Gary Whitehead

When I open its pages my dog stirs
from his repose on the couch beside me
to sniff at the spine and trim. His gray ears
lift to listen, and I hear what he hears:
traffic horns, a teapot’s whistle, the purrs
of the reader’s cats on her old settee.

What was she doing reading such heady
stuff so early on a Saturday—sun
not yet risen, her lover still asleep?
The book, I guess, her company to keep,
and the cats, while the light kept its steady
course across her floor. Paris or London,

I imagine, though it was probably
San Francisco, a streetcar passing by
and fog rinsing the morning air. A gray
day then, much like any other. It may
be that she, too, drawn irresistibly
to its place on a shelf in a nearby

shop, blew the dust and bought it second-hand.
And perhaps her cats roused when she opened
its cover, catching the vague scent of dog,
and she got no further than the prologue
before she was off to some other land
where a man held a page against the wind.

Contemporary Australian Art – Tony Belorajdic

Below – “Pandora II”; “Beach Boys”; “I am not from here, I am not from there”; “Not from Here”; “Young Man with Bow Tie”; “Meditation – a tribute to Rodin.”

A Poem for Today

by John Stanizzi

First day of February,
and in the far corner of the yard
the Adirondack chair,
blown over by the wind at Christmas,
is still on its back,
the snow too deep for me
to traipse out and right it,
the ice too sheer
to risk slamming these old bones
to the ground.
In a hospital bed in her room
where her bed used to be,
and her husband,
my Aunt Millie keeps reaching up
for the far corner of the room,
whispering ‘That is so interesting.
I will go now.’
In April
I will walk out
across the warming grass,
and right the chair
as if there had never been anything
to stop me in the first place,
listening for the buzz of hummingbirds
which reminds me of how fast
things are capable of moving.

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