And laid down in the bitumen.
You have tried your best to please everyone.
But it just isn't happening.
No, it just isn't happening.
from Black Swan, Thom Yorke
Note: Perhaps of interest, the black swan theory is a metaphor that describes an event that comes as a surprise, has a major effect, and is often inappropriately rationalized after the fact with the benefit of hindsight. The term is based on an ancient saying which presumed that black swans did not exist, but the saying was rewritten after black swans were discovered in the wild. The theory was developed by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder (Wikipedia) This is a book which has fascinated me for months now.
I got up early, ran a few errands and came to the gallery to work a couple of hours before opening time, because it is quiet and raining. One of the places I went this morning was the post office to pick up a couple of packages. One of the packages was this book: The Art Spirit by Robert Henri.
"There are moments in our lives, there are moments in a day, when we seem to see beyond the usual. Such are the moments of our greatest happiness. Such are the moments of our greatest wisdom. If one could but recall his vision by some sort of sign. It was in this hope that the arts were invented. Sign-posts on the way to what may be. Sign-posts toward greater knowledge."
And as I am reading this, there is an art installation in the making that is hovering over my right shoulder. Hmmmmm.....
Having thought that I was not particularly familiar with the paintings of Robert Henri, I was surprised that I did indeed recognize a few of them. And though as an artist, I do experiment in a lot of genre's, I think of myself primarily as a portraitist, so I was definitely drawn to Henri's faces.
With regard to Henri's portraits, I am in thrall with the looseness of his painting style and hope to impact my own work in this manner. For example, I started a portrait of JFK today. It is a commission which will be created from the text of Profiles In Courage and is based on this photograph.
And since I am already cutting up the book, and since the next show at Gallery 211 is "All American," I have decided to create an additional painting of JFK. The second one will be in color. Here is an example of my last JFK portrait during its various stages of completion:
Today, while listening to Radiohead on Pandora (which is where the lines from Thom Yorke came from to start my blog today), I came across Telepopmusik. You are probably familiar with this song of theirs:
And Finally, the Challenge
I will close today with two things, and neither of them is a challenge, per se. First is a recording of Billie Holiday singing "The End of a Love Affair." If there is a challenge here, it is that the recording is almost ten minutes long. That is because, as Holiday gets going, it becomes clear that she is somewhat inebriated and having trouble staying in synch with the music. Apparently this was the last song of the day's session and she had been drinking a clear liquid all day, thought to be water, which was in actuality vodka. This album, which was re-released in 1997, is considered to be one of her best. I am not suggesting that her use of alcohol was the reason for the album's success. I find it to be amazing that she could function at all under the circumstances and I am enthralled by the music. You won't regret listening to it.
"I grew up where, when a door closed, a window didn't open. The only thing I had was cracks. I'd do everything to get through those cracks--scratch, claw, bite, push, bleed. Now the opportunity is here. The door is wide open, and it's as big as a garage."