Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Our umpteen thousandth trip to Corning yesterday, every time is amazing. The place rocks. Rockwell Museum of American Art (a Smithsonian affiliate), Corning Glass Museum, kick-ass restaurants, three amazing art galleries and a very cool assortment of artisan shops, antique/vintage shops, and assorted touristy places.
Plus, it's close enough to the Finger Lakes region to keep all you oenophiles happy.
Plus, a lot of picturesque architecture in the downtown area with a deep sense of history.
Plus the Glass Museum gift shop/bookstore. I could go bankrupt just buying the coffee table books they carry.
Plus (a big plus), the new contemporary glass art wing of the museum, which I've written about here before.
I haven't ingratiated myself enough (i.e. annoyed others) to find out what kind of writing community they have yet. Maybe someday.
A big plus is that the art community seems to be almost entirely made up of artists and those who appreciate art. I haven't seen a large hipster presence in town. Knock on wood.
Warm Welcome, 2015
Paper burned by glass
90 x 45 inches
Monday, January 16, 2017
Part of the Contemporary Art Gallery in Corning. An awesome piece, described and explained best by the artist herself:
"My art is about my life. Everyone has anxieties and fears, and I try to resolve some of these feelings in my work. It's Raining Knives could be any suburb. The piece is about us, and family, and what is happening now. We may feel safe and secure in our houses, but the truth is that we can never be sure. Glass is not a neutral material, but a very powerful medium of communication. I see it as a metaphor for transparency, for feeling and revealing emotions. It is a wonderful material that is both beautiful and treacherous. I use knives and scissors in my work because they are ordinary, everyday objects that can suddenly become dangerous. For me, knives symbolize the possibility of violence, rather than violence itself." Silvia Levenson was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She fled the military dictatorship of Gen. Jorge Rafaél Videla, and she moved to Italy with her husband and children in 1981. Videla, who rose to power amid Argentina's political and economic unrest in the 1970s, led the military coup that deposed Isabel Perón on March 24, 1976. He retired as head of the military junta in 1981, but civilian rule was not restored in Argentina until 1983. Thousands of Argentineans were imprisoned, tortured, and murdered during Videla’s dictatorship. Levenson, who was a political activist, remembers this period of her life as being very intense and frightening. “Thirty thousand people disappeared during the dictatorship,” she says. “Two of my cousins and my uncle’s wife disappeared, and my sister was imprisoned.” Much of Levenson’s art is an attempt to resolve the difficulties of living with threats of violence, both political and domestic, that are out of our control. The installation, It’s Raining Knives, was conceived in 1996 in response to Levenson’s personal experiences during the Videla dictatorship. It has since become a thought-provoking commentary on the threat of terrorism in general, and on the culture of fear that has rapidly spread in the United States and abroad since the events of September 11, 2001. It’s Raining Knives “is not supposed to make people feel anxious,” Levenson says, “but to make them feel better.” Rather than making a political statement, her art work is about coming to terms with fear by revealing and facing our most uncomfortable emotions.
Sunday, January 15, 2017
or wolves in the frozen sunlight at
the forest’s edge gnawing on
or the delicate lattice of frost
spun across the flowers that
grow in the shadows there
and then the next
time set aside to bury the bodies
to bulldoze them into
and the children waving flags die
just as easily as their mothers
and it’s important to remember
in this age of enlightenment and greed
that someone, somewhere, felt
these deaths were absolutely
necessary for a brighter future
felt that the book sales would justify
them or that box office success
and so i kissed her breasts in the
silence of some grey tuesday morning
while she made small sounds
against the frozen air
ran my lips up the insides of
her thighs and
confused desire with truth
felt the warmth of hope replaced
by the fear of loss
knew right then how fucked up
this would all be in the end
A little pricey, what with the international shipping costs and all, but a whole lot of kick-ass clothing, including the best paisley shirts I've seen in a long time. I got my Chelsea boots at a different store, I don't think AUL carries them, but what they do have is VERY nice......
In case you happen to stop by and visit this blog periodically, thank you to the latest person to purchase one of my Lulu books. Free poetry is so easy thanks to the internet these days, it's always nice to see someone willing to invest some heard-earned money in it. Unless you robbed a bank to get the money, but that's cool, too.....
Saturday, January 14, 2017
Man, these grey winter days fucking kill me......
Luckily, I've got this new series of painting to entertain myself with, altho Dawn seems sort of guardedly non-committal about them. Oh well.
Also time to put a few manuscripts together for the latest season of book submissions.
Plus, I've got to finish up a letter to the high school principal. There's some Psychology teacher there who's spent part of this last week explaining the white students that white guilt is a necessity in their lives, that it's not just some social theory that you can choose to feel or not but that it's some sort of TANGIBLE TRUTH that cannot be denied and must be experienced by whites everywhere. I think someone in administration needs to explain the difference between teaching and soapbox proselytizing to him. It's a good letter, I've refrained from stooping to cursing and insults so far.
Thursday, January 12, 2017
I think I've finally gotten to the point where I no longer want to read any extensive "rock history" nonsense. It's all been said, you know? Stones, Beatles, Doors, Bowie in Berlin, Dylan's '66 UK tour, Barrett's days in Floyd, the Pistols' US tour, yadda yadda. I used to love all those long, thoughtful, insightful, but I think I have now officially read it all.
Maybe there's still some room in the UK post-punk scene (lots of obscure bands there that I love) but, really, let's just give the rest of it a rest.
I blame my dying enthusiasm on the UK fan-boy magazines that I always see at the bookstore, writing stories about the same 2 or 3 dozen bands ad infinitum. I've been hearing these same stories most of my life from 40, 50, 60 and 70 years olds, and now I'm hearing them again from 20 and 30 year olds.
Dammit, tell me something I don't know.....
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Started painting again last fall, after taking many years off. Did a few awkward pieces that I convinced myself I liked, then a few pieces that I actually DID like, then bought a big length of raw canvas and tore most of the completed pieces off their stretchers to start again. Sat around for a few months doing nothing, figured it was time to quite while I was ahead, then had a minor epiphany or a slight aneurysm, or maybe a bad reaction to something I ate at the Thai restaurant. Something like that. Except for the Thai thing, cuz the food there is fucking awesome. Anyway, I'm coming at things from a more minimal point of view now, finally managed to paint a keeper. Until I changed my mind again.