Sunday, December 8, 2013

life drawing

last session of the year.
i still haven't the stamina to stay
for both 2 hour sessions (4-6 and 7-9)
happy with two hours worth
although i do believe my fellow artists
who say the work gets better in the
second hour. maybe next year.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

at the rubin museum

yes there was that, um, incident... but i still have a certain attachment to the place. and on the first monday of each month admission is free to museumgoers of a certain age.
for a couple of hours in the afternoon there's a writing workshop involving (for me at least)  deep observation of a single work, distraction, scribbled impressions and attempts to distill the impressions into an intelligible whole.

ive attended two of these workshops and i've been pleased with what i've written. i seem to be getting the same message from each object. any pretensions obtain to my work not to the objects themselves.

both are from the exhibit from india east: sculpture of devotion from the brooklyn museum on loan while the brooklyn museum undergoes renovation.

the first is this medicine buddah (photo from the brooklyn museum website)

his almost abstract quality drew me, also his being unlike anything else in the exhibition. he was carved by the japanese buddhist monk and sculptor enku (1632-1695) who wandered throughout japan helping the poor and carving some 120,000 statues. many were crudely carved from tree stumps or scrap wood with a few strokes of a hatchet. some were given to comfort those who had lost family members, others to guide the dying on their journeys to the afterlife

medicine buddah

hewn rough,
stern yet smiling sideways,
simple form
hides power. this
healing buddah -
where has he been?
whose hands held him fast,
stroked his coarse angles.
whose hands, clasped,
asked what form of solace?
serene, even trapped
in a dim room in a
plexiglas box,
grinning, still,
his secrets still safe.

hinting at knowledge
freed from wood,
see beyond my simple bearing
he implores, see me bearing a gift
for you alone to know,
the gift of knowing
yourself alone.

seated buddah
sri lanka, 7-8th century chosen, again, for his simplicity among far more elaborate and decorated figures.

seated buddah

i will lend my serenity.
solid, green, weathered bronze,
i am slender and straight.
approach. i smile only
at my own simplicity.

right leg over left,
the vira asana,
my hands at rest
in meditation pose.

i have sat this way
for a dozen centuries.
i know what i am.
if you sit, calm, with me
this moment, ours,
is perfect
as you, as i


have you noticed that it has become
a thing
that, when asked a question
(i'm speaking, especially,
of folks being interviewed on
tv or radio)
the answer frequently begins: 

listen for it.
Sentences should not begin with
just sayin'.

language curmudgeon out.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

sexy pair

oh, sorry, i meant pear. sexy pear

Saturday, November 23, 2013

life drawing

it's been more than 40 years
since i sat in an art school studio
sketching a nude model.

as i drew last night i kept wondering
why my art school education
didn't include anatomy.

i realized that my recent experience
with clothed models, while satisfying,
is scant preparation - the contours of
fabric are forgiving in ways that
the contours of the human body are not.

no more excuses...

Friday, November 15, 2013

jean paul gaultier at the brooklyn museum

if there had never been an
alexander mcqueen show
at the metropolitan museum two years ago
the current exhibit at the brooklyn museum,
the fashion world of jean paul gaultier:
from the sidewalk to the catwalk

might have felt more special.
it's too bad that it suffers in the inevitable comparison
simply because the mcqueen show was a
tour de force, the one of a kind, maximal display
of the work of an artistic genius.

the gaultier is a very cool show, don't get me wrong:
exquisite garments wonderfully displayed, lots
of multmedia: photographs, videos, sketches,
cool lighting, and an eerie effect as some of the
mannequins have video faces projected onto them talking,
singing, seemingly making eye contact. a mannequin/video
of gaultier himself welcomes you to the show.
it's great fun and definitely worth seeing especially if
you  never got to mcqueen. it's not 
crowded and photography is permitted.
all photos except the full color taken on iphone,
hipstamatic app, helga viking lens, d type plate film

Friday, November 8, 2013

on the bus

crosstown, 14th street
dramatic dark & light
shot without looking

Friday, November 1, 2013

the last wednesday sketch, 2013

it was chilly.
leaves, shadows and
regina in a big coat that
looked alternately like
a bathrobe or a fur...

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