Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A Classic Poem: Fire and Ice, by Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favour fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Pictured above is a little item I found on my bedroom floor. At first I thought it was a leaf. I swear my house is not a pit, so it is strange that something like this would appear. We looked it up on the computer and it is, in fact, a dried baby mouse carcass. I have no idea where it came from or how it avoided be swallowed whole by one of my two cats, if it came in on some thrift items we bought, or whether it had been hiding all along and been there since before I moved in. It is a mystery. Still, as disturbing as it is, there's something aesthetic about it. Don't you think?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

This Does Not Give Me Hope

Feel like ending women's suffrage? These ladies do.

suffrage: def. the right to vote in a political election or the exercise of this right.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Slides and Prejudice

Richard Estes

Click on the title of this entry to read the article referenced in this blog entry.

Just so you know my thoughts up front, photorealism is a legitimate art movement. It is not the ONLY art movement, however. PhotoREALISM is also a misnomer. There is no more reality in a photograph than there is in my dreams at night (but that's a philosophical discussion for another time).

This article addresses the 100+ year old debate about whether it is kosher to use photographs to make paintings. Some artists are called photorealists because their whole purpose is to mimic the vestige of a photograph. Other artists use photographs as points of departure (which I personally prefer when I use them) for compositional experimentation and abstraction.

It always fascinates me how people will mislabel their emotions about things. Under every presenting or stated emotion is the REAL emotion. Some people in this article referred to "guilt" about "cheating" with using photographs as source material for their paintings. Perhaps what they are really feeling is a certain malaise over the limitations of the human imagination, or the West's obsession of "realism" in art, which is shared by almost no other cultures who are not afraid to explore pattern and invention and abstraction. Those things have always been at the bedrock of those cultures' histories of art-making. Those cultures' artistic expressions have also pushed themselves into the West's awareness as the world has shrunk to the present day. Maybe what today's artists are feeling is a certain redundancy and irrelevance and Sisyphian-like cycle of pushing the rock of "copying" up that hill, only to do it over and over and over again -- to the oooohs and aaaaahs of the intoxicating accolades of people who are wowed by what is perceived as sterling perfection of technique.

No, I don't think photorealists or people who use photographs should feel guilty. I adore photorealists like Richard Estes and Audrey Flack, amongst others. Artists have used "optics," as the article stated, for a very long time. Artists have "tricks of the trade" and tools and aren't afraid to use them. Perhaps it is just that photorealism itself has worn out its welcome in the age of Photoshop. Perhaps the artists themselves are tired of it and are afraid to change for fear of losing popular acclaim. Perhaps they are becoming more aware of the inventive movements exploding on the art scene right now and they feel a little backward. Guilt? No.

What do you think?