Oh you Monday. With your redrush urgent,
your orange streak, next-in-line, get-it-done-before-lunch.
I’m yellow drifting in a little late, weekend hung over
deskchair heaped, haven’t checked emails yet.
your high hot list, citadel efficiency
Staff mtg doesn’t start for another 5 min.
I love this old German. The ballsy dedication of one’s life to the Great Squeegee. He creates world renown kick-ass art with it. And he’s 80. Currently he’s the top grossing artist in the world.
The dragging, adding, the taking away again. The adding, the taking away.
Smear on. Redact. Smear on. Redact.
And I find myself mesmerized. Its existential process draws me in. The way this paint pulls me apart and puts me back together. A surreal humptydumpty life.
what’s surface? what lies beneath? occupies the same plane.
What you are when your “title” is taken away. Who you are on your new business card. You, in juicy given youth, who you are as gainsaid, it peels away. (A forty-year-old anachronism) The email in your inbox – gives you hope, a slightsound of paper handed – takes it away.
Can the senselessness of the giving and taking away – can it be lovely? Can I, by some craft of hand or soul make it so?
Click above link to watch him in action.
Ninety Freud paintings at the Modern FW devoured me. But I live to tell the tale.
And yes, I was very inappropriate at the museum.
“He’s such a virtuoso with the texture here,” I pointed out to a young man. It was kinda uncomfortable because we were discussing a penis juxtaposed with a rat’s tail. And I was using nice museumy language to soften the image of rat tail and penis laid together, side by side, central to the painting. The young man winced as a woman walked up to him. I laughed (inappropriate).
“You brought your mother to the Freud exhibit?” (Very inappropriate) They walked away.
I didn’t mind, we all skulked around, eviscerated, swallowed in a flesh sea. Stunned looks and furtive eye contact, what the hell is this? Too big heads, too little heads, too big hands, too big eyes. Contortions and legs, naked, bare. A flesh-eating exhibition pulling no punches. Clashing angles pushed hard against each other and bodies truncated, not fit in their painted rooms. As they did not fit into my head.
I approached the teenage docent, “So are you shell-shocked?”
“It was hard the first week,” he admitted. “They started to rotate us, so I’m ok now.”
My favorite – the last painting of the show. The unfinished one of Freud’s assistant David.
“Disturbing,” murmured a passing Dallasite.
Damn right and it should be. Why be subjected to these horrors of flesh? Because I extrovert beauty and introvert truth. It’s too bright, too hard, too loud, too flesh. I admire Freud for drawing me in with beautiful paint strokes, daring emotion and pushing me away with awful contortions and rooms that defy balance. It’s the pushpull between loveliness and grimy street truth. It’s unfinished business for me.
Move along people, nothin’ to see here. Another Dutch painting sans still life.
Wait, the Dutch and Flemish – weren’t they the painters that elevated still life to legendary status. Now MIA. Missing flowers, missing fruit, no pitcher, no half-eaten meat. All in absentia.
Which begs the question, why missing? What am I not seeing, my blind spots? In art, in life.
The answer – plenty.
Richard Wiseman at the University of Herfordshire shows us in his study of self-proclaimed “lucky” and “unlucky” people. He told them all to look through the newspaper (specially designed) and count the number of photos. The “lucky” people found the number almost immediately. The “unlucky” people took quite a long time and came up with wrong answers. Why? What did the self-proclaimed “unlucky” people not see? The answer – written bold, in two inches high letters, inside the front page.
Half-way through the special newspaper, the message “STOP COUNTING, TELL THE EXPERIMENTER YOU HAVE SEEN THIS AND WIN £250” also in two inch high letters. How many “unlucky” persons got the cash? Not one.
So the queen bought the Warhols, but how about the Lucian Freud?
Just to give you some back story – Lucian Freud is the greatest figurative painter of our time. Passed away July 2011. Yes, he’s the grandson of Sigmund. Draw your own assumptions.
As a rule, I don’t find much compassion for the rich and famous. But here I feel the ruthless sting of mortality. Fatal age is coming for her too, despite her sovereign-dom. Despite the pearls and diamonds. She is a commoner, sharing the same fate as I. It’s a deft touch is that Freud evokes this common cord while juxtaposed with the Diamond Diadem (Freud’s specific request).
He painted this portrait gratis so she could not influence the image. Imagine the conversation in the room as she sat for him. I bet she did not go lightly into this dark night. “Really Lucian, must you go sooo deep into the wrinkles?”
The hairdo really suffers. That would bump it out of Royal Collection for me. I’m sure she (and a stylist team) works very hard to get it that way. The crown jewels got lucky. They actually look valuable in a faded postcard sort of way.
If your know his work, you will realize he was actually quite kind to her.
Recoil at one of his greatest portraits, the Benefits Supervisor Sleeping. Sold in 2008 for $33M.
“I paint people,” Freud said, “not because of what they are like, not exactly in spite of what they are like, but how they happen to be.”
Interested in seeing more? His only exhibition is in Texas at the Modern in Fort Worth until Oct. 28, 2012.
Many Brits wanted to send him to the tower for painting such an unflattering, de-powdered monarch. But in the end, she did acquire it for the Royal Collection. Bully that!
(overheard – Queen Elizabeth II on cell talking to her stylist of eleven years, Stewart Parvin about the acquisition of the Warhol prints)
Stewart, when you come up, bring a gin and that beastly pillbox.
Yes, yes. I’m fine. Just reading up on reviews of my Diamond Jubilee. It’s just the bees knees. Don’t you think it’s gone swimmingly so far? The paracute out of the plane at the Olympics was genius. And that Daniel Craig – brill.
Don’t forget the updated wardrobe spreadsheet. I need to approve next month’s ensembles. I do believe we forgot to log the Hermes scarf I wore yesterday. Bollocks – these readers!
I saw it on the tele, yes – I’m absolutely cheesed about Harry’s naked bum pictures and Kate’s as well. Brings down the Royal brand, of course. PR is casting about for a new image to release for the media to bandy about. Preferably one that’s clothed.
Oh the Warhol prints? Those were ages ago – 1977 as I recall. My he was a cheeky monkey.
I don’t know, Stewart. I think the colors are quite too garish. Do you think the public will like to see them at Windsor?
But I’ve run through my art allowance this year. I could approve a petty cash expenditure.
Oh, alright, they are modern, sigh. Send up the Royal gallerist.
Don’t forget the gin. And Stewart, I won’t wear the cornflower blue pumps until Lilly breaks them in again. They still pinch.
You know she’s gonna run you over.
Drive you to the edge.
You know she will cost you.
And you bite your lip for that green Bugatti.
“If it were not for art, I would have killed myself a long time ago.” Yayoi Kusama
On the subject of being crazy and creating mind-blowing art let’s talk Yayoi Kusama.
She came to prominence in the 70’s when she staged Body Festivals – naked people walking around clothed only in painted polka dots. And since then the dots have not stopped.
Polka dots are a way to infinity. Yayoi Kusama
Kusama leads the avant-garde contemporary art world. She checked herself into a Japanese mental institution in 1973 and since 1977 has called it home. She is escorted each day to her studio and is walked back to the hospital at night.
The Whitney now features an eye-popping retrospective of her work which you can browse when you click the picture above. She’s a published poet and novelist. Louis Vitton partnered with her to make this fall’s hottest, spotted accessories.
Her latest work sold for $5.1 M, the highest amount for a living female artist.
Don’t know about you, but that doesn’t seem too crazy to me. Just badass.
If I could find myself here today, it would be a talisman. To protect me from evil. From my greed to be something more than what I am.
If I could walk this path of yellow it would surround me with its bright shield. A place of refuge to look upon the water and see the reflection of the sky. Of me. Of the things that were and the things that were not.
To divine between solid and spirit and find somewhere a sign. A chill breeze brushes my skin. The haunting loveliness of life. Gold leaves fall around my fingers and summer’s memory washes away.
Come Fall with your earth-bound wand and sweep away the summer. Fold me into your apron crisp and cool. Bury me in leaves.