Reading symbols

A short note on Goya’s “Red Boy” Portraits of children accompanied by animals have a long tradition in Spanish painting. Outfitted in a splendid red costume, this young boy, the son of the Count and Countess of Altamira, is shown with a pet magpie (which holds the painter’s calling card in its beak) a cage…

some days …

Even in Kyoto —hearing the cuckoo’s cry —I long for Kyoto. Matsuo Basho (tr. Robert Hass) Matsuo Basho

What art can do …

Good art activates both heart & mind. Its a dualisme not always well reflected in contemporary conceptual art. We often see art drowning in its own philosophical – or; as is more & more the case today – political slogans. I do definitively understand the need for political revolt; but for the artist the uttering…

The Odyssey of a Painter

Not necessarily because he is a favourite painter of mine, but because his meditations on making art is just wonderful And obviously; he also is a great painter The Bench Painting series (1989–2009), was originally conceived as an homage to the Italian Renaissance philosopher Giordano Bruno. Burnt at the stake for heresy in Rome in 1600, Bruno…

Picture this

– the making of a found image collage Or: How to reconstruct a face The text, also stolen, reads: The story told me By a woman going blind What is Shrouded Is Also magic

Looking at boulders

There are few things I like better than a great ekphrastic poem: Adjacent,Against, Upon Rick Barot —after Michael Heizer I may be looking at the set of boulders that is now in front of me, but it is you I am addressing. You are near or you are far, depending on the accuracy of the…

Can or can’t see the word for the trees …

“Trees” (1913) I think that I shall never seeA poem lovely as a tree. A tree whose hungry mouth is prestAgainst the earth’s sweet flowing breast; A tree that looks at God all day,And lifts her leafy arms to pray; A tree that may in Summer wearA nest of robins in her hair; Upon whose…

Learning by heart

Art does not reproduce the visible, but makes visible that which is not easily seen. — Kimon Nikolaides I’m reading Corita Kent’s: Learning By Heart and today her teaching made me think of Yoko Ono. from Grapefruit an artist’s book written by Yoko Ono, originally published in 1964. From Learning by Heart: … when we give names to things,…

“We have no art. We do everything as well as we can.”

She probably wouldn’t like me saying this, but there is something almost otherworldly about Corita Kent. Corita Kent (1918–1986) was an artist, educator, and advocate for social justice. At age 18 she entered the religious order Immaculate Heart of Mary, eventually teaching in and then heading up the art department at Immaculate Heart College. Her…