Sunday, April 18, 2021

On Blog Connects, Considerations of Unfairness, Boundaries and Borders, Mentions of Heaven and Hell, and The Ways Things Go as Time Moves On

 

Under the way things go, coming across a mention a year ago at the Althouse blog of a book that had just been published prompted me to order a hard copy.  And that resulted in, How to be an Artist, by Jerry Saltz, arriving to reside in my art studio as part of a stack of books I randomly pick up to read before I begin painting.  It’s also how the photo a-TOP this post came to be here as part of my ongoing Considerations of Unfairness, stirred by a recent post on the subject at Levity.


On the Good Friday before Easter (and the Advent of the Second Great Comment Shutdown at the Motherblog), I happened to sit down in the afternoon (after reading TY’s post on Unfairness as the Word of the Day) to open the Saltz book to a chapter entitled, “Picasso and Matisse at the Border”. In doing so I was exposed to something I hadn’t seen before, which involved the two different approaches to borders revealed by those two artists in their paintings. In Saltz’s words, subjects in Picasso's paintings “don’t run off the canvas. His figures and faces aren’t cut off.  Almost every shape, body, plane, line, breast, anus, face, or form he painted fits within the four sides of the canvas.

His friend and rival, Henri Matisse followed no such classicism. In his paintings "legs and feet go off canvases, heads are cropped willy-nilly, elbows are cut off.  Patterns shoot right past the edges of his work.”


Also mentioned was the painter Eric Fisch (whose work I hadn’t seen before), who describes “heaven” and “hell” compositions like this: “In heaven compositions, things are orderly, homogeneous. Priority is given to the whole over the parts. Hell composition is marked by chaos; it’s emulsifying, broken, textural and it can veer to extremes.”


Curious as to what types of compositions Fischl put together and painted,  I looked him up on my phone to find numerous paintings of differently sized men and women in differently sized bathing gear, before landing on the painting posted at the head of this post.  And when I did, I sat there sort of stunned for a moment.  I felt intrigued and amazed, and a smile of wonder started to form as it dawned on me, I’d landed on an unusual and unique representation of unfairness that covered (and uncovered) a whole lot of ground!  Ground that extended beyond the more obvious young to old man comparisons, and the loss of standing, vitality, potency and naivete that life and time (as evidenced by the worn watch?) can bring.  


Painted in 2016, and entitled “Late America” that painting by Fischl was part of a collection supposedly done to invite awareness, or perhaps skewer or provoke a response regarding Trump- era Privilege.   Five years later, when looked at in light of what’s transpired to bring us to 2021, an even later view of America can be considered with a touch of irony .  Making me wonder what can be seen inside the border and what might be standing outside the border?  A female Secret Service agent?  A nippy dog?  A seemingly endless line of  undocumented immigrants awaiting for their chance to clip more hedges, straighten more pool chairs, or serve as paid-under-the-table care givers to children with teddy bears?

I had fun with this painting, enjoying the opportunity to consider the way one artistic representation can serve multiple purposes.  And I wondered, "What do others see happening?  What thoughts and/or feelings might this scene provoke or bring up today with regard to Late America in 2021?"  

45 comments:

Amartel said...

Dad is naked and insane and mom is out of the picture.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

It could be a belly button.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

The sky is wide open for a brave artist to mock the Joe and the Hunter.
We get some cartoons - but imagine an artist taking on Hunter's drug and porn and fancy car/hollywood home lifestyle - all paid for by washed American tax dollars.

nah. Pravda rules.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

and yes - the border crisis and all that entails.

What type of paint do you use, MamaM? How long have you been painting?

Amartel said...

Also, the contrast in towel designs: The child is covered by a USA flag towel and the man’s yellow towel has fallen away leaving him exposed

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Trump is soaking up the vitamin D... and aching from the covid. The little boy is clearly racist.

Amartel said...

How long will the gardeners continue to maintain the illusion which surrounds this dysfunction? THey are already fading from view.

Or maybe the gardeners were always "out of focus" to the dysfunctional people.

Perspective.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

The tan line tells us he doesn't were long shorts - instead, something like a speedo.
That's fake news.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

what is kid holding?

Shouting Thomas said...

Speaking of Althouse, she’s gone nuts bitching about her bullshit feminism.

That woman is rich and she’s had her ass kissed for decades and she can’t stop bitching. Her son grew up in a rich fag hag household in Madison where he always got his ass kissed for being gay, and the kid is trying to make a career out of bitching about homophobia.

My kids and grandkids get Althouse’s fucking feminist religion shoved down their throats in school, where any mention of Christianity is prohibited.

What in the hell would satisfy that greedy bitch?

Amartel said...

I think the kid’s holding a teddy bear

Amartel said...

Something about the juxtaposition of the kid to the man is oddly purposeful
X and Y axis?
At his knee?

Amartel said...

Whatever. I think maybe the artist inadvertently stumbled into some truth while trying to bag on Trump.

bagoh20 said...

Reliving the leg hair, lap sitting, halcyon days of old.

Trooper York said...

What a great post! Thank you.

Trooper York said...

This has a Norman Rockwell element.

If Norman Rockwell was a Scoutmaster or Parish Priest.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

I love art and art history. This guy brings it all to life. Waldemar Janus... bunch of C's and x's and z's
The impressionists.
Roccoco before bedtime
The Renaissance unchained...

and more.
so great.

ndspinelli said...

Or Penn State football defensive coordinator.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

'How long will it take a fat lump like me to show you around London?'

LOL - I love that guy.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

some of you might not be old enough to watch. tall enough to ride.

ndspinelli said...

TOP is calling out Troop w/ a Lena Dunham post.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

I doubt it. Ann like Lena Dunham for some reason. She's a fan.

I myself cannot stand Lena, the fashion industry, the Kardashians, fashion magazines, elite lefty white jerks named Madonna. etc...

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

likes

chickelit said...

Inequality is a fundamental tenet of the physical world. If all like things were truly equal, things would quickly grind to a halt. The elements juxtaposed in the painting are not at all relevant to inequality because they untenable.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

who golfs in a speedo? no one.

ndspinelli said...

French Canadians golf in speedos. They love speedos. And I too hate Dunham and all others you called out.

chickelit said...

I just heard that Chip Ahoy passed away.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Chip Ahoy passed away? oh no.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

I never reached out to him. I suck.

ampersand said...

Anyone know what Chip was suffering from? I was surprised to learn I am only two years older than him. Things are starting to go south for me too.

ampersand said...

This artist didn't seem to make much of a splash if he was going for anti-Trump stuff.
Hard to get noticed with all the noise back then. Seems a cliche to point out Americans are lazy and the honest foreign proletariat are here to save the day, but that plays big in his circles.

BTW it looks like 'W' has been fully rehabilitated. He is no longer literally Hitler and is now featured alongside Obama and Clinton in new PSAs for the Wuflu vaccine.

Sixty Grit said...

I am sorry to hear this, but given his dire condition I am not surprised.

He had a number of physical and neurological conditions, I don't think he was too specific partly because the docs couldn't pin it down to one thing. As with all of us those things pile up as we age and eventually we all leave this vale of tears.

Godspeed to you, Chip, you did some good in your time here.

Mumpsimus said...

Well, that really sucks. So long, Chip.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

I wasn't and have not paid any attention to the side bar of people and links.
Just noticed the one way at the bottom. It sounds like a lot of organ failure all at once.

His name was Robert? I had no idea.
Rest in Peace, sweet Robert.

Sixty Grit said...

He went by Bob or Bobby.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

I'm going to re-post his last comment on "Things wot I made then ate"
Ok? ok.


"St. Joseph's"

"I am in hospital. Intensive care for right now. Little problem with heart, lungs, kidneys. They all failed together. Heart surgery tomorrow.

I told the ambulance crew, the emergency crew, the intensive care crew that I am terrified.

They said, "You are a seriously complex case, in need of deep sorting. Please do not be filled with worry. We got this. By the way, who is your next of kin? What is their telephone number?"

Now see, that right there doesn't match.

This isn't my first time. I've been in this hospital at least fifteen times. The entire building has changed. I've avoided for a very long time. I see improvements in every single aspect of this experience. So much more is now automatic.

I notice, the communication between crews is outstanding. To a person, everybody is much younger than myself. Every single person I've encountered is outstanding. Believe it or not, the food is excellent. Except mine doesn't have any salt. Otherwise, very good cooks. I just now had the most delicious meal ever. But I can only take one bite of any given thing. Still, quite impressive.

The equipment is all upgraded. All of it. Splints on both legs squeeze continuously. The bed shifts position slightly continuously. Blood pressure taken every 15 minutes automatically. The strap is left on and it squeezes hard in cycles. Urinary catheter, lines into both arms, pulse oximeter on finger opposite hand. I am well and truly wired to fixed in place with minimal movement.

The young people as teams are most impressive. I tell them that. Very much like professional adults and very much like children they each have told me how important that is for them to know. Apparently patients don't bother mentioning. I tell them the differences between them and everyone who preceded them. And they are each extremely thankful to hear it. "

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

I am heart broken he was terrified. I hope his family were close by. I am sure they were. I recall he was close with his family.

ampersand said...

With a few changes Voila! A travel poster to Epstein Fantasy Island

ampersand said...

There's a link to an obituary in the comments there, April, but it doesn't have much info..

https://www.legacy.com/funeral-homes/obituaries/name/robert-ure-obituary?pid=198278545&v=batesville&view=guestbook

Was anything in the Denver papers?

Amartel said...

Everything’s fine. Who are your next of kin?
Well, that’s gotta be dispiriting. Nice bedside manner.
So sorry to hear of Chip’s passing. He was quite a character which is saying a lot given that I only “knew” him via the internet. It’s hard to make an impression in electronic space but Chip did. RIP.

chickelit said...

I'm still touched that Chip liked my gift and said it out loud: link.

Never pass up the opportunity to reach out to a stranger. It brings good luck. I have recently run into a spate of good fortune. Instead of falling down I have the distinct feeling of falling up. I know it can't last so I'm milking it.

ndspinelli said...

chick, Thanks for the link. You have a good heart.

ndspinelli said...

It would appear Chip died shortly after his last post. I know he's at peace now.

MamaM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MamaM said...

When I returned home last night to find 43 comments lined up for reading, I was initially impressed by the power of art to draw a crowd. That, however, was before I found the sad news of ChipAhoy's death mid-thread, and felt the weight of that reality descend on me and touch the community of commenters who came to know and appreciate him and his gifting through his numerous online contributions, at Althouse and Lem's Levity.

Re-reading through this thread again today, I realized in retrospect that it really did testify to the power of creativity, art, satire, and the use of story and imagery to invite consideration and response.

ampersand's Voila! travel poster was very much in the same vein as some of the images ChipA would put together and post. As was the humor and diverts in some of the comments offered.

Thank You, AprilA (how I came to know you before the Bits were Bleached and the Can of Cheese was opened) for your art link. That too was something he opened to others.

One of the odder stories he shared several years ago, involved his recounting and attempt to express the strange encounters/experiences he had with mysterious, sort of angelic type entities/beings who stood present with him and attended to his healing when he was in the hospital experiencing a serious illness earlier in his life. What he shared sound in some ways similar to other accounts I've read of NDE's (Near Death Experiences). Enough for me to hope the same goodness he talked about experiencing then was present once again with him again in his passing.