Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Charlotte’s Web

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Magnum Opus - Garth Williams

 

Recently, some words from ‘Charlotte’s Web‘ surfaced from my unconscious. (If you’ve never read Charlotte’s Web, I don’t know what you’re doing here. We are probably from different planets.)

When Wilbur sees Charlotte’s egg sac, he asks if it’s a plaything. Charlotte replies:

“It is my egg sac, my magnum opus.” “I don’t know what a magnum opus is,” said Wilbur. “That’s Latin,” explained Charlotte. “It means ‘great work.’ This egg sac is my great work – the finest thing I have ever made.”

This is how I feel about my children, how I imagine all mothers must feel about their children. They were my gift to the world. And they are gone, one from the world and one from the nest.

At least Charlotte got to go first. That is the natural order of things. There is no consolation for me, but there is art.

What a wonderful book! It is so full of wisdom. I always thought it was about friendship, but it is also about death. I guess it’s about everything. When I read it to my kids, I remember feeling upset by Wilbur’s panic when he thinks that Charlotte’s children are leaving him.  It triggers my fear of abandonment.

Wilbur was frantic. 'Come back, children!' he cried.

Watching the last season of ‘The Wire’ the other night, I wondered if Templeton, the unscrupulous reporter, was an homage to E.B. White’s Templeton, a rat. Maybe all roads lead to Charlotte’s web.

Here is an excerpt from Eudora Welty‘s review of Charlotte’s Web, written in 1952 (which I found here)

What the book is about is friendship on earth, affection and protection, adventure and miracle, life and death, trust and treachery, pleasure and pain, and the passing of time. As a piece of work it is just about perfect, and just about magical in the way it is done. What it all proves–in the words of the minister in the story which he hands down to his congregation after Charlotte writes “Some Pig” in her web–is “that human beings must always be on the watch for the coming of wonders.” Dr. Dorian says in another place, “Oh, no, I don’t understand it. But for that matter I don’t understand how a spider learned to spin a web in the first place. When the words appeared, everyone said they were a miracle. But nobody pointed out that the web itself is a miracle.” The author will only say, “Charlotte was in a class by herself.”

~

*illustrations by Garth Williams

My Favorite Iggy

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

 

Iggy_Pop

 

I don’t like Iggy Pop, even though I’m aware of his importance to punk music. Doesn’t he sing the Passenger song? Whatever. He needs to put his shirt on but seems committed to showing off his stringy malnourished physique. Honestly, the man is an eyesore, take him away.

Whereas Australian rap artist Iggy Azalea is a goddess and my latest obsession.

iggy good

 

I could look at her forever. The first time I saw her video ‘Work,‘ I was unsettled by its raunchiness and her snarling nasal rapping. But I couldn’t take my eyes off her. Six feet tall with a blond swath of mermaid hair and a huge booty, the sight of Iggy Azalea in skintight white pants on the David Letterman show was mesmerizing.

Would Dave be able to handle a greeting? Would her camel-toe become even more pronounced? Would she give me a shout-out by name? For some reason my husband is immune to her effect, and I’ve stopped trying to make him look at her videos.  That’s cool. He can have Iggy Pop if he wants.

Let’s look at more Iggy Azalea:

Iggy-Azalea swimsuit-goddess

 

iggy red carpet small

 

People have accused Iggy of having butt implants but I believe this butt is god-given, the better to twerk (part of her stage-act for years, she has pointed out defensively.)

I wish we could be girlfriends and talk lipstick.  Meanwhile, I will worship her from afar. And don’t argue with me until you’ve heard her rap.

 

Douche Fest!

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Ricki-Hall-4

 

Ricki-Hall-by-Ram-Shergill-for-Ziad-Ghanem-Couture-AW13-3

Ricki Hall is a Douche Icon whose only true rival is Francois Verkerk.

francois verkerk perfect

 

How could you choose one over the other? Does Francois win because of his awful moustache? Or does Ricki’s full beard and grumpy scowl put him over the top?

douche tasticpierced douche 1

 

Compared with the two champs, the pair of douches above are neither here nor there. The huge ear hole wins points but otherwise, nothing.

movember-moustache-with-tatoos

 

This one could have reached Ricki/Francois status if he didn’t look so circusy.

The world of douches is a wonderful distraction that I urge everyone to explore and embrace. I wonder if they like each other or if they are arch enemies? When this douche thing is over, there will be thousands of dejected clowns roaming the earth, saving pennies for laser treatments.

Meanwhile, let’s rate them.

(c) Jonathan Daniel Price

Click on this guy above ( (c) Jonathan Daniel Price) and add up your points.

Hairdo
Facial hair
Earplugs
Septum ring
Chest tattoo
Backpack
Tearful expression

I’m willing to bet that he isn’t wearing socks, which brings his total to 8 out of 10.

Luz Del Fuego

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Luz Del Fuego was a fascinating woman who founded the first “naturist” club in Brazil in 1955, on the island of Tapuama. She was a dancer, activist and an icon of feminism.  Her murder in 1967 is still surrounded by controversy.

Pictures of Luz do not do her justice. This video has reawakened my interest in her. Don’t watch it if you have a thing about snakes.

 

Luz del perfect

 

Manifesto of Limitations

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

The Murays Midgets,7 tripplet brothers, age 19 yearsbutterfly-lady-new

I can only look at art or photography. But no nudes or kitsch. No cats, No pictures of food or girls wearing hats. No ironic memes. No selfies. I can no longer wear thongs or socks. I can only eat cookies.

I can’t sleep until I’ve watched two hours of ‘Morning Joe.’ Until Joe and Mika and Willie and their guests have deplored the state of things and gushed about yesterday’s football games.

I can’t stop playing with my hair. I cut my split ends in the car. Not when I’m driving. I can’t pass a mirror without checking to see if my hair is okay. I can barely see because my glasses are too old.

I can only enjoy reruns of Breaking Bad or crime TV. I can only read the New Yorker and The Atlantic. When I hear someone on TV use the wrong word, I am incensed. “It’s ‘repentant’ not ‘pentent’, you stupid cunt!”

None of those Affirmations about how to live apply to me. I have already fucked things up.

But. I am comforted by coffee, jewelry, lipstick, midgets, showgirls, nuns, Indian and Persian Royalty, Cuban and Peruvian photographers, Victorian acrobats and cross-dressers.

I love my bed! If only I could sleep forever and ever.

Beautiful Leg

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Kiera Roche - floral leg

 

Before today, I have felt offended by images of prosthetic limbs that seemed to fetishize amputees.

Even though it’s none of my business what people fetishize, I will always remember the doctor who told Max to consider having his leg amputated. Max was visibly upset, but somewhat resigned. Everything was as bad as it could be for him, so why not this new development, too. As it turned out, his surgeon disagreed. Further surgery and physical therapy could save the leg. But pictures of prosthetic legs continued to fill me with anger and despair.

Losing a leg seemed indescribably horrible and unfair. But it happens. And clearly there are plenty of people who cope with this loss and don’t let it ruin their lives.

Kiera Roche is a strong-willed amputee who has challenged herself with cycling and hiking. She has struggled with ideas of ‘normal’ and looking different. She loves her beautiful new floral leg, and I love it too.

Kiera and Anna

 

Keira and her beautiful leg have changed my thinking about amputees. I am grateful to have come across The Alternative Limb Project. I feel enlightened on a subject where my mind was once closed.

~

photos (c) the alternative limb project

Fear of Old Ladies

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Top Of The Lake

 

It has taken several days to emerge from the spell cast by Top of the Lake. I miss the weird atmosphere and the intensity of the relationships.

Now that I’m back in my own world, I’m preoccupied by the creepiness of women who look like old ladies.

I know how wrong this is, believe me. My husband always encourages me to embrace growing old. I know it happens to everyone, you can’t stop time, blah blah blah. And yet it’s so creepy.

Look at Jane Campion and Holly Hunter, 59 and 55 years old, respectively. They are dynamic, vibrant woman and Holly’s hair isn’t really silver in real life. But still. The old ladiness bothers me.

On the other hand, I’d be mad at them if they tried to be sexpots with bursting faces like Madonna. I can’t find a way to be an old lady that doesn’t feel tragic or enraging.

What do you think of Jane and Holly? Is it the androgyny that’s bothering me? They project a ‘Fuck You if You Don’t Like it’ attitude, which I normally admire. Are they saying that they don’t care about being attractive, or are they attractive in a way I don’t get? Would they look better with dyed hair, or is it the length that brings to mind wrinkly old wizards?

I have a week left before I turn sixty. I am disgusted by how shallow I am, but still. I can’t handle it.

An Artist to Love

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Matjames art

 

Matjames Metson is a self-taught artist whose work needs to be seen in person to be fully appreciated.

Each piece is complicated but deliberate, and full of hidden delights. His art is personal but resonates with wonder and mystery.

I met him at his studio and fell in love with him, as did my companions. Matjames is fucking adorable. He told us about his experience of Hurricane Katrina, and showed us the graphic novel he is working on. Each page is a mini-masterpiece of emotion, beautifully crafted with a black Sharpie. He told us about the Sharpies he acquired in the chaos of Katina, when he walked through a looted store where everything was gone but the school supplies.

I can’t wait for his book to be published. Meanwhile, his art is available for sale right now, and will be on exhibit next year at the Fowler Museum in Los Angeles.

Here is a video where you can see Matjames in his studio. Here is an album of his work on Facebook. Here is his website.

If you collect art or know someone who does, a piece by Matjames Metson will be something to treasure. I really believe that art elevates the soul. My soul was enriched by the radiant sweetness of this talented artist and yours can be too!

avoidance small

 

(c) Matjames Metson

The Crash Reel

Monday, July 29th, 2013

hbo

 

Once in a while, I see a film that is so transformative, I wish I could make everyone watch it. The Crash Reel is exactly that. It is a fucking gem in every way and I want you to make every effort to see it.

The Crash Reel is a documentary about a fearless young snowboarder, Kevin Pearce, who has a terrible wipe-out just before the winter Olympics in 2010. The accident leaves Kevin with a traumatic brain injury and limitations that he refuses to accept, but ultimately lead him to advocate for people with brain injuries and other disabilities.

It’s a riveting, emotional and thought-provoking film, beautiful to watch, and filled with heart-wrenching moments that compel you to think about your own family and your own reactions to adversity.

I watched The Crash Reel twice: alone the first time, and then with my husband. The first time, I was overwhelmed by all the emotion but uplifted by all the palpable love on display. The next time, I found too many parallels in my own situation as the mother of both a dare-devil and a child with special needs. I wished that my own story was more positive. I wished that our love could have triumphed over everything.

But still, seeing that there is satisfaction in helping others is inspiring. Seeing a family pull together like this one is beautiful beyond words.

Finally, apart from all its artistry, this documentary is an effective discourse on head injuries. Be careful, and #loveyourbrain!

infographic

 

Amanda To The Rescue

Monday, July 15th, 2013

It has been a heartbreaking weekend. God bless Amanda Palmer for cheering us up.

** If you don’t see a picture, go here.