Wandering in Woodacre – 16 December 2020

This Date in Art History: Born 16 December 1866 – Wassily Kandinsky, a Russian painter.

Below – “The Blue Rider”; “Couple on Horseback”; “Blue Mountain”; “Houses in Munich”; “Landscape with Two Poplars”; “Lyrical.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 16 December 1968 – W. Somerset Maugham, an English playwright, novelist, short story writer, and author of “Of Human Bondage” and “The Moon and Sixpence.”

Some quotes from the work of W. Somerset Maugham:

“Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.”
“To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.”
“It’s a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.”
“The secret to life is meaningless unless you discover it yourself.”
“Only a mediocre person is always at his best.”
“An unfortunate thing about this world is that the good habits are much easier to give up than the bad ones.”
“Why should you think that beauty, which is the most precious thing in the world, lies like a stone on the beach for the careless passer-by to pick up idly? Beauty is something wonderful and strange that the artist fashions out of the chaos of the world in the torment of his soul. And when he has made it, it is not given to all to know it. To recognize it you must repeat the adventure of the artist. It is a melody that he sings to you, and to hear it again in your own heart you want knowledge and sensitiveness and imagination.”
“The fact that a great many people believe something is no guarantee of its truth.”
“The complete life, the perfect pattern, includes old age as well as youth and maturity. The beauty of the morning and the radiance of noon are good, but it would be a very silly person who drew the curtains and turned on the light in order to shut out the tranquillity of the evening. Old age has its pleasures, which, though different, are not less than the pleasures of youth.”

This Date in Art History: Born 16 December 1937 – Edward Ruscha, an American painter, printmaker, and photographer.

Below – “Hollywood Study”; “Coyote”; “Mocha Standard”; “Ship”; “Burning Gas Station”; “Blue Collar Tires.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 6 December 1863 – George Santayana, an award-winning Spanish-born American philosopher, poet, essayist, novelist, and author of “The Life of Reason: The Phases of Human Progress.”

Some quotes from the work of George Santayana:

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
“A country without a memory is a country of madmen.”
“What religion a man shall have is a historical accident, quite as much as what language he shall speak.”
“Does the thoughtful man suppose that…the present experiment in civilization is the last world we will see?”
“Those who speak most of progress measure it by quantity and not by quality.”
“The dreamer can know no truth, not even about his dream, except by awaking out of it.”
“There is wisdom in turning as often as possible from the familiar to the unfamiliar: it keeps the mind nimble, it kills prejudice, and it fosters humor.”
“Wisdom comes by disillusionment.”
“There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.”

Contemporary Russian Art – Mila Kochneva

Below – “Girl With Yellow Lilies”; “Girl With Dalmatian Dog on a Blue Sofa”; “Girl With Rowanberry”; “Chilling Dalmatian”; “Fashionista. Prada Marfa, Texas”; “By the Swimming Pool.”

This Date in Entertainment/Cultural History: Born 16 December 1961 – Bill Hicks, an American stand-up comedian, social critic, satirist, musician, and one of the stars of the martial arts movie parody “Ninja Bachelor Party.”

Some quotes from the work of Bill Hicks:

“This is where we are at right now, as a whole. No one is left out of the loop. We are experiencing a reality based on a thin veneer of lies and illusions. A world where greed is our God and wisdom is sin, where division is key and unity is fantasy, where the ego-driven cleverness of the mind is praised, rather than the intelligence of the heart.”
“If you want to understand a society, take a good look at the drugs it uses. And what can this tell you about American culture? Well, look at the drugs we use. Except for pharmaceutical poison, there are essentially only two drugs that Western civilization tolerates: Caffeine from Monday to Friday to energize you enough to make you a productive member of society, and alcohol from Friday to Monday to keep you too stupid to figure out the prison that you are living in.”
“If you are living for tomorrow, you will always be one day behind.”
“No one can give you any answers. There aren’t any. You have to discover for yourself-you must learn to navigate the mystery.”
“It’s all about money, not freedom. If you think you’re free, try going somewhere without money, okay?”
“And on the seventh day, god stepped back and said and said, ‘This is my creation, perfect in every way… oh, dammit I left all this pot all over the place. Now they’ll think I want them to smoke it… Now I have to create Republicans.’”
“When you’re…stepping over a guy on the sidewalk…does it ever occur to you to think, ‘Wow. Maybe our system doesn’t work?’”
“It has become more and more obvious that there is one political party in America, and that is The Business Party.”
“Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Here’s Tom with the Weather.”
“The world is like a ride in an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills and it’s very brightly coloured and it’s very loud and it’s fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time and they begin to question: ‘Is this real, or is this just a ride?’ And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, they say, ‘Hey, don’t worry, don’t be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.’ And we kill those people.”

Contemporary French Art – Cecile Duchene Malissin

Below – “A shadow in my memoires III”; “Disappearance VII”; “Solitary Tree”; “Fragile memory II”; “Reflection 10”; “In my memories.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 16 December 2012 – Jake Adam York, an award-winning American poet.

by Jake Adam York

Forgive me if I forget
with the birdsong and the day’s
last glow folding into the hands
of the trees, forgive me the few
syllables of the autumn crickets,
the year’s last firefly winking
like a penny in the shoulder’s weeds,
if I forget the hour, if I forget
the day as the evening star
pours out its whiskey over the gravel
and asphalt I’ve walked
for years alone, if I startle
when you put your hand in mine,
if I wonder how long your light
has taken to reach me here.

Below- Ram Kuman: Untitled (Man and Woman Holding Hands)

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