Sunday, March 30, 2014

Dragon & Clouds

The lobster and the canary are too busy at present to do more than point to beauty and wonder that inspires them, such as Dragon & Clouds, a painting on sliding doors (fusuma) by Soga Shohaku.  Made in 1763 CE, the work has just returned from Japan to the MFA in Boston.  If the lobster were still in Boston, he would go see this, dream himself out of the water and into the swirling clouds, with the canary perched on the dragon's crest.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

"Throwing The Ink": Pat Steir's Gestural Genius

[All artwork and images copyrighted to Pat Steir and/or her representatives; no infringement intended; images used here solely for non-commercial purposes, i.e., for commentary]

Pat Steir is an artist whose work deeply informs my own thinking about gesture, disciplined spontaneity, form and field.   (Click here for her bio).

In an excellent interview with Phong Bui  in The Brooklyn Rail (click here), Steir says that she was told thrown-ink painting began in the third century:  "I looked everywhere for it, I didn't understand what it was because I couldn't find it.  That was because thrown ink meant broken line, not traditional painting.  The artists did not actually throw the ink.  I was influenced by the idea of throwing the ink but it was just a misunderstanding.  I think a lot of art comes about through misunderstanding."

I just love that, the idea of misunderstanding yielding meaning and beauty.  I think the misguided search applies to life much more broadly.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

come celebrate with me: The Work of Lucille Clifton

The lobster & canary last wrote about Lucille Clifton upon the sad occasion of her death:  click here.

Yesterday, at Poets House in NYC, we spent time at the special exhibition come celebrate with me: The Work of Lucille Clifton.   Curated by Kevin Young, with Amy Hildreth Chen and Lisa Chinn, the collection of Clifton's books, notes, manuscript drafts and other ephemera stems from Emory University's libraries & archives.  

Click here for more.

Her voice is in our head forever.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Fund science (thank you Neil deGrasse Tyson)

The wisest statement I read this week is a singularly compelling and important point that astrophysicist & public intellectual Neil deGrasse Tyson makes in an interview in the current issue of Wired magazine:

" least in America, science has been treated sort of cavalierly, not only by the public but also by government.  The idea that science is just some luxury that you'll get around to if you can afford it is regressive to any future a country might dream for itself.  Innovations in science and technology are the engines of the 21st-century economy; if you care about the wealth and health of your nation tomorrow, then you'd better rethink how you allocate taxes to fund science.  The federal budget needs to recognize this."

For more in this vein by deGrasse Tyson, click here.