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No Idiots Today

I couldn’t write a post yesterday and to be quite honest, I don’t want to write one today.

I am tired. Tired of so many things but mainly of one thing in particular.

Idiocy.

The sheer unabashed idiocy of those who cling to the idea of some fantasy land of racial and ethnic purity, who wave the flag of a failed and misguided revolt as a symbol of their stupidity. Idiots who have enjoyed a life of relative entitlement and opportunity simply due to the color of their skin then whine and cry and lash out when others seek a level playing field.

And even more than that, I am tired of the idiocy of those who seek to rationalize and sanction their words and actions, who seek to find some sort of equivalency in the actions of those who stand against these purveyors of hatred. It’s an idiocy that blinds them to their own lack of moral and ethical decency, leading them to believe that this pouting weakness is somehow a strength or is right in some way.

It’s the same idiocy that failed to see the events of this past weekend ( and most likely many more similar events to come) was an inevitability when they voted for a man lacking any moral or ethical compass, a creature who would exploit anything in order to achieve his desired selfish ends, to act as the de facto leader of this nation. The same idiocy that sees his fake tough guy act as strength when it has been glaringly apparent for decades that he is an absolute weakling in so many ways, someone who constantly portrays himself as a victim, who whines incessantly and can’t tolerate criticism of any kind.

I am sick and tired to death of the idiocy of those fools that thought a man-baby who refuses to accept any responsibility for any action could somehow bring this country together or solve anyone’s problems. He will discard people and step over any number of bodies to keep his head above water.

Unfortunately, he is the perfect leader for the white supremacists– spoiled, intellectually weak cry babies who shun responsibility for anything they do or say and whine that are entitled to any and all built in advantages.

I am tired of dealing with the idiocy of young white men who somehow feel they are victims, that they are being shortchanged in some way, that others are responsible for their shortcomings, that others have in some way taken away a birthright to which they alone are entitled.

I am tired. Jesus, I am exhausted from witnessing these idiots. But even so, I know that can’t keep me from maintaining a vigilance and standing actively opposed to these hate-filled idiots.

That is a responsibility we all must take upon ourselves.

After the election, I saw several people, including some I know personally, write that they supported the person who won the election but was appalled that anyone would think that their endorsement in any way meant that they endorsed racism, homophobia or xenophobia in any way. They claimed that they would stand opposed to any of these things if they arose during his presidency.

It is time for these people to step up the plate. This is not a time to remain quiet, to shrug it off and pretend it isn’t part of your world. Silence sanctions more of the same and soon, whether they like it or not, it will soon be at their door. And then it will be much too late.

I know this doesn’t mean anything, doesn’t change a thing with so many words being written, spoken and screamed. No, this was just written for me. So if you’re one of those idiots and you think I am not being fair to you, keep it to yourself.  If you can’t see the lack of morality, decency and humanity in the actions of the white supremacist morons or this so-called president who readily endorses them with his actions and words — or lack of words– then it’s not my responsibility to convince you.

You are responsible for who you are.

 

 

Let Us Now Praise...

 

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

      – Thomas Edison

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I was going through old blog posts recently and I noticed that I had used the painting above a number of times in my earliest posts. It’s part of my Exiles series from back in 1995 and is titled Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, borrowed from the title of a group of Depression-era photos of sharecroppers in the American dust bowl shot by photographer Walker Evans.

I never really wrote about this painting except in what I saw as it’s similarity to what I saw in those photos of Depression era workers. I always felt a connection to this piece but thought it was an outer connection, one that simply had to do with my reaction to form and color and not with anything I might see of it in myself.

Maybe that was my hope.

But it is a painting that I find has more meaning for me than I might want to let on. It’s a piece to which I always return, again and again, to study closely. While I sometimes see it as apart from me, more and more as I live with it, part of me feels like I am that man, standing alone in his landscape.

A sometimes self portrait.

It’s not a flattering self portrait. I used to see this figure as sad or regretful, world weary. But that has changed over time.  There is some sadness, some regret but more than anything, I now see him as resigned, neither happy or sad. He is in his place with work behind him and much more work to do. It still has a weariness in it, but not from a physical standpoint. It is more a sense of tiredness from working to stay ahead of the world’s constant encroachment, the world’s constant erosion. But while it appears tired there is also a sense of implied strength and determination to stay on task.

The hand here is important to me, a symbol of the bond of a working mind and working hands. Ideas set in motion and realized.

It’s a painting that means more and more to me as times passes and the world works its erosive qualities on my self and my world, my landscape. Maybe I am that dirt farmer, looking back with pride in his work along with an apprehension that it will someday be carried away like dry soil in the wind.

I am not going to be around Sunday so here’s a little music for the morning, a day early. It fits pretty well in tone and substance to the painting above. It’s the immortal Otis Redding with I’ve Got Dreams to Remember.

Have a good weekend.

 

 

 

Loving Vincent

There is a film coming out in September that deals with the death of Vincent van Gogh. Called Loving Vincent, the film has been in the works for several years and features several high profile actors–Chris O’Dowd, Saoirse Ronan and Aidan Turner  as van Gogh.  It tells the story of the artist’s sudden death as a sort of mystery/detective tale with one of van Gogh’s portrait subjects as the narrator. The characters move through scenes and locales easily recognizable to fans of van Gogh.

But what makes this project truly interesting is the manner in which the story is told on film. It is supposedly the first completely hand-painted feature film. I guess they somehow distinguish between this and the drawing/painting of features such as Disney’s Snow White.

Maybe it’s in the manner of painting. They used a team of 125 artists specifically trained to emulate the thick, vibrant strokes of van Gogh, which seem well suited to film with their rhythmic, vibratory qualities. Even as paintings there is a sense of movement.

I thought I would share the trailer to give you an idea of how this looks.


 

Rouault

Georges Rouault -Christ in the Suburbs 1920-24I am a believer and a conformist. Anyone can revolt; it is much more difficult to obey our inner promptings.

Georges Rouault

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I’ve been a big fan of French painter/printmaker Georges Rouault  (1871-1958) from the moment many years ago when I stumbled across Miserere, a book of of his deeply expressionistic etchings.  The title translates as Mercy and it contained raw and expressive work that dealt with deeply  personal and religious themes along with those inner promptingsas he calls them in the quote above. It was  a work that was very influential on my early Exiles series.

His entrance into the world of art was serving, at the age of fourteen, as an apprentice glass painter and restorer which shows itself in his mature work which resembles leaded glass windows with its dark dividing lines and glowing colors that feel sometimes as though they are lit from behind with the light shining through. Both are qualities that excited me and made me want to emulate in my own work. Not to mention the purity a of the emotional feeling throughout.

Now, if only I can obey my own inner promptings…

This is kind of a replay of a blog entry from a couple of years back. I changed some of the wording and added a video that better shows the work of Rouault. Here is that video with more of his work:

Georges Rouault Sunset 1937georges-rouault-christ-and-the-fishermen-1939-Georges Rouault The Old King

Golden Beacon

Logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools and the beacons of wise men.

–Thomas Huxley

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This painting, Golden Beacon, was an addition to my current show at the West End Gallery that got its first showing at the Gallery Talk on Saturday. I am pleased to say that this piece found an adoring home in the aftermath of the talk.

I spoke with its new caretaker for a while after the talk, describing what I saw in this painting and how it differed in feeling from a similar painting hanging in the show that I wrote about in an earlier post. That painting, The Center Holds, was about the individual holding strong to its beliefs and core values as the chaos of the world swirled threateningly above and below.

I see this piece in a slightly different light. It is still about strength, still concerned with perseverance and staying true to inner truths. But it is also about how that type of behavior acts as an example for others to follow. Standing up to the fear, anger and hatred that is so often sowed by agents of darkness serves as beacon shedding broad beams of light that guide others past those perils.

I see a calmness in this painting that is based on a belief in logic, knowledge and truth. And in the glow of that light, the darkness separates and flees.

I think this piece is about both finding a source of light and calmness to guide you through times of darkness and, in turn, becoming a beacon to others. My hope is that the new owner of this painting sees this as such an inspiration. I know that it will always live that way in me.

Talk/ Thanks

I may be an admitted liar but I swear this is the truth: I had a good time at yesterday’s Gallery Talk at the West End. Plus, I think most everybody there did as well. At least, nobody threw anything or cursed at me or stormed out of the gallery. But even beyond those low standards, most everyone seemed pleased with what I will label as an enjoyable hour or so spent talking about art and other things.

It was a great turnout and it was good to see so many old friends along with many new faces. I want to extend a very heartfelt thank you to all in attendance. I know that there are a lot of other things that you could have been doing on a nice summer weekend day and the fact that you chose to spend it listening to me blather on is something I do not take for granted.

Thank you for your great warmth,openness and acceptance. And your great questions and observations. These are things that make standing up there in front of you much easier even in those moments when I am struggling to say something.

I hope you found it worth your time and hope that you will come back again next year.

I will work on new material. A little hint: it may involve tap-dancing.

Or not.

Thank you.

Okay, let’s have this week’s Sunday Morning Music. I have chosen an old Kinks song from back in 1968 that I think fits today’s entry. It’s their classic Days.
Have a great day of your own.

 

 

 

Just a reminder. 

Hope you can make it to the West End Gallery today —  and maybe win a painting.

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