This is my official return to the blog.
(pause for applause.)
1) Our house is on the market now and we’ve had some stong interest already. I’ll post the MLS listing as soon as it is available.
2) I came across the painting below, Gasthof zur Muldentalsperre by Peter Doig, in an old issue of Harper’s that had been lying around for a few months. I reminded me a bit of some of Ned’s work. Especially Concrete Cabin. I’ve had some Doig’s images on my computer desk top for a few weeks now. I think they’re in my dreams now.
3) Here is another modern use of the pipe organ: Megalomania from an early Muse album, Origin of Symmetry. And another track thrown in for good measure: New Born. My guess is that Muse is a bit too bombastic for the tastes of the Hollow Men brothers but I like their baroque operaticism. Their newer albums are more refined but, sadly, they don’t feature the pipe organ. Some people say Muse sounds like Radiohead but a close listening will reveal that Muse is much more romantic and hot-blooded than the ultra-cool Radiohead. Perhaps Muse could be described as a blending of the best of Radiohead and Queen.
4) I am currently reading The Mill and the Cross: Peter Bruegel’s “Way to Calvary” by Machael Francis Gibson — very well written art history. Reading one book about one painting is very enjoyable. I only wish I could see the painting first hand.
I spent last week in NY on a University sponsored art trip; so I’m just now reading some of this stuff. I have admired Peter Doig’s work for some time. I don’t know if you’ve seen his recent stuff, but he’s doing these text paintings now. I understand the need not to feel static as an artist, but I was less interested in his newer work. I saw a lot of great art while in NY, particularly a show on the “disappeared” in South America. Luckily for Shotts, it is coming to the Weissman (sp?). Unfortunately, I think it arrives 2010. Good luck with the house.
What’s with the sudden burst of interest in art history. I thought it was funny when you posted the book on Caravaggio, because I had just opened it myself. Now you’ve beat me to the Brueghel book as well. I’m still on the first pages of the Harr.
The sudden burst in art history is a manifestation of one of my chief artistic weaknesses. That is, intense interest in a variety of subjects for a short period of time and the expense of focusing on any one subject long enough to be proficient or knowledgeable. This schizophrenia includes intellectual as well as craft energies. I have some hope that all of my interests continue to have a conversation and that eventually they will speak with one voice but most of the time I bounce from one subject to another every few months.
My interest in Bruegel started in Toronto in 2005 when I saw a painting by Peter Brueghel the Younger called â€œNine Proverbsâ€ depicting northern European moralism on a square panel divided into nine sections. I couldnâ€™t make sense of most of the proverbs but for some reason it struck a chord in me. The opacity of the meaning sort of knocked me off balance. I was intrigued by the mystery of it.
So I got back to Texas and checked out some books from the library and learned more about Peter Bruegel (the elder). Which led me to Sebastian Brantâ€™s 1494 book, â€œThe Ship of Fools.â€ Which inspired me to make the wind machine below. It’s not finsihed and Iâ€™m not satisfied with the execution thus far so and Iâ€™m in the process of figuring out what to do next with it.
Iâ€™m attracted to Bruegel because he and I seem to share a common perspective of life on earth. With Bruegel there is always lots to see; lots of complicated people with complicated problems but he never gets too close to the action, giving equal or often lesser attention to the subject of the painting. Finding Christ in the â€œWay to Calvaryâ€ or Icarus in â€œThe Fall of Icarusâ€ is the Whereâ€™s Waldo? of art history. Likewise, my temperament has always been to see more forest than trees.
Anyway, the latest burst of energy in the direction of Bruegel comes from selling eight dollars worth of books at Half Price books and finding $30 of books to buy while waiting for my offer.
I think Toby is the one reading about Caravaggio. I havenâ€™t figured out how to post anything in the â€œNow Readingâ€ side bar.
I saw a large show of Peter Bruegel (I get confused about the spellings) the Younger, along with some of the elder’s work at the Met while I was in NY. Truly a master of human observation and depiction. The former professor of illustration here, Anders Shaffer (Andy), did a children’s book on him and actually traveled to Europe to follow the trip he took to study in Italy.
P.S. I love the wind machine. I would like to see some color in it, though.
The elder dropped the “h”; the younger took it back.
Yes the plan is to use a light color wash on the wood. However, as I mentioned, I’m in the process of rethinking this. Baltic birch plywood is just not durable enough to take any weather (hot sun and wet rain). Also, I think the piece is too big I’m thinking of scaling it down by half and constructing it almost entirely from enameled brass.
But first I need to learn how to enamel. I’ve signed up for a class in jewelery early this summer. Hopefully I can get some instruction in enameling.
I have seen J. E.’s wind machine at work in person: it is very impressive, for the odd collision of whimsy and apocalypse. Funny how the two go so well together.