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Posts Tagged ‘Video’

“Split the Darkness” -Part of the Kada Gallery Show

Well, the show is in place at the Kada Gallery and I can take a deep breath. Sensing the Unseen opens December 1, this coming Friday evening with a reception that runs from 6-9 PM.

I haven’t done a count but I’ve done a number of solo shows with Kathy and Joe DeAngelo at the Kada Gallery in the almost 22 years I have been showing my work with them. They were only the second gallery to take on my work those many years back and have always been strong advocates for my work so I try to go a bit extra for them. And I believe this show lives up to my wishes.

Here’s a simple slideshow of the show. Take a look and if you can, come out to the gallery this Friday. I look forward to talking with you.

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There’s a lot going on in the next few days, with Thanksgiving stacked on top of a couple of other things including getting work ready for my show at the Kada Gallery that opens next Friday, December 1. Everything seems to racing at a frantic pace around here.

But even so, I took a little time in the darkness of this early morning to stop and savor some work from the great Japanese artist Hiroshige, who lived from 1797 until 1858. Every time I look at his work it feels new and wondrous, with a quality of absolute calm that always soothes. The color is always gorgeous and harmonious while the compositions have an orderliness, even in his treatment of something like the chaos of sea waves, that has a way of setting the viewer’s own internal mechanisms in their proper place and order.

At least that is what it does for me.

Take a few minutes to watch this video of his beautiful work and allow yourself to slow down just a bit this morning.

Everything will find its proper place.

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“Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.”

George Eliot

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November 2 is Dia de Muertos, the Day of the Dead, in Mexico. Actually, it’s a multi-day holiday that spans from October 31 to November 2. It’s a holiday that has ancient roots dating back some 3000 years and was originally celebrated earlier in the year until the Spaniards conquered Mexico in the 16th century. They moved the date to fall in line with the Christian Allhallowtide.

Most of see the imagery that is associated with the Day of the Dead, such as the painted skulls like the one at the top, and automatically equate it with our Halloween. Spooky and scary. But it is a much more benign and pleasant holiday, a celebration of the memory and spirit of our deceased relatives, a day to travel to cemeteries to eat and drink at their graves. The ancient belief was that that on that day each year the spirits would come back to visit their worldly ancestors.

Being a person who loves to stroll through cemeteries  among the stones and monuments, it’s my kind of holiday, more so than our Halloween. I find the calm and quiet of cemeteries to be comforting and not spooky at all.

The names and words written about them on their stones give each the feel of a voice waiting to be engaged and I am often more than willing to stop to speak their name, especially the older stones where it is obvious that they are no longer visited by family members, if any remain at all. I get a feeling that simply speaking their name aloud once more brings them back to life in some small way, like a feint trace of mist appearing in the vast sky of our collected memory.

That may seem crazy but that doesn’t matter. Nobody gets hurt and it creates a little peace for myself. And I think that’s what the Day of the Dead is about.

That being said, here’s a video that might seem a little more Halloween than Dia de Muertos. But it is a song about love and attraction and that makes it more about this day. It’s Shakin’ All Over. I was going to play the original by Johnny Kidd and the Pirates or the great live version from The Who but settled on this version from The Guess Who, mainly because of it’s cartoon video with dancing skeletons.  Feels like a fitting song for Dia de Muertos.

Enjoy yours and remember the dead.

 

 

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“There is only one valuable thing in art: the thing you cannot explain.”

 — Georges Braque

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This is a quote from artist Georges Braque that I used on the first artist statement I ever wrote many years back. It still pops up in my mind on a regular basis, especially at times when I find myself looking at a just finished painting, wondering what is there that is triggering my emotional response to it.  These words from Braque reminds me that what I am trying to capture is not the subject matter, not a mere representation of reality.  I am trying to capture an indefinable feeling or spirit that is not calculable or even visible.

Definitely beyond the reach of my words.

It is the sum of color and light.

And texture and line.

And the spaces in between.

It is of the spirit and the life force.   When it is there, it is obvious and undeniable. And though I can’t explain it, I can see the purpose and value of that work.

And that is a good day…

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I have never really focused here on the work of George Braque (1882-1963) who is mainly known as one of the major artists, along with Picasso, of the Cubist movement. His work, through all the differing phases of his long career, is always impressive. I thought I’d share the video slideshow below of his work. It’s set to Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21, better known as the Elvira Madigan concerto, which makes it a most pleasant and calming thing to spend a few minutes with on the first cool morning of November.

 

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I am running late this morning and there’s a long to-do list of things waiting for me. But I definitely wanted to get out a little music for this Sunday morning. Here in the northeast, it’s rainy, dark and gray. It would be easy to gravitate towards music that reflects that mood but I think I am going to go the other way.

Bright and light. Pop.

So I am going to play a song written and released by Cat Stevens in 1967. The British group the Tremeloes also released the song that same year.

It’s hard to believe that this song is 50 years old. It feels like a perfect pop song. It’s bright and clean and doesn’t feel dated in any way. If you’re a fan of Wes Anderson films, you probably will remember the song ( the Cat Stevens version) from Rushmore.

I like both versions but slightly favor the Tremeloes version which is the one I am showing here today. Plus it has a neat live video of the era, which is always fun to see. It’s a little unusual in that it focuses on the band without the usual go-go dancers from TV performances of that time. Hope it brightens your day.

Have a great Sunday.

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I ran the post below a few years back, mainly about the quote in it from Fauve painter Maurice de Vlaminck. His attitude as expressed in those words really resonates with me. I, too, find myself not giving a second thought to anyone else’s work when I am in my own. The only concern then is filling my space, creating my own new world. His words are in my mind this morning so I thought today would be a good day to replay this short article with the addition of a video of de Vlaminck’s work and a few more images.

Maurice de Vlaminck- Houses at Chatou 1905

 

When I get my hands on painting materials I don’t give a damn about other people’s painting… every generation must start again afresh.

— Maurice de Vlaminck

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I have to admit I don’t know much about French painter Maurice de Vlaminck (vlah-mink)  who lived from 1876 until 1958.  His work is best known for a short period  in the early years of the 20th century when he was considered one of the leading lights, along with Andre Derain and Henri Matisse, of the Fauvemovement.  Fauve translates as wild beast and the style of these painters was very much like  that to the sensibilities of that time.  It was brightly colored with brash brushwork and little attention paid to detail.  It was all about expression and emotion.

I recognize some of his early Fauvist work, mainly for the obvious influence ofVincent Van Gogh  it exhibits, and none of his later which becomes less colorful and exuberant, perhaps shaped by his experiences in WW I.  But his name is one that I have often shuffled over without paying too much time to look deeper.

Maurice de Vlaminck- At the Bar

But I came across this quote and it struck me immediately.  It was a feeling that I have often felt  when I immerse myself in my work.  All thoughts of other painters– of their influence, of comparisons and artistic relationships– fade into nothing.  It is only me at that moment faced with the task of pulling something new and alive from the void.  I can’t worry myself at that moment about what other painters are doing.  Their whats and hows and whys  are all moot to me then because I am only trying to express something from within.  It might only exist and live for me in that instant, though I hope it transcends the moment, but that is the whole purpose and all of the works of all the painters throughout time can’t change this singular expression of this moment.

This single, simple quote brought me into kinship with de Vlaminck and made me promise myself to explore more deeply into his work and life so that when I come across his name in the future I don’t simply skim past without a thought.  But when I am painting, rest assured I will not be thinking of Maurice de Vlaminck.  And that is as it should be…

Maurice de Vlaminck-The Blue House

Maurice de Vlaminck- landscape with Red Roofs

Maurice de Vlaminck- Landscape of Valmondois

Maurice de Vlaminck- The Gardener

Mauirice de Vlaminck – La Partie de Campagne

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Have a lot on my plate this morning, a lot of things needing to be done. But I came across this video by one of my favorite singer/songwriters, the late Townes Van Zandt, and thought I would share it. It’s called Big Country Blues and the video features the photos of primarily working class Americans from the great Richard Avedon.

It’s a compelling video, given this time in this country. I watched it twice this morning just to fully take in the imagery and Townes’ music never lets me down. I wish he were around just to hear his take on these times. He could write some sad songs, after all.

Give it a look and a listen.

 

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