Court Lurie

Court Lurie, Nexus #8, courtesy of Russell Collection, Austin, TX

We think we see with our eyes. We don’t. We see with our expectations.

So I like Court Lurie’s art because there is no expectation of narrative or story structure. Narrative gets spooned to us all day long framing our view, pulling about our emotions, puppet-stringed by the story teller. Ourselves perhaps.

We don’t just “do the dishes” —  we slog through dishes for the two hundredth time for our self-absorbed roommate, who only thinks of herself, just like when as a kid, latch key in hand, made supper and scrubbed through chores until the parents got home. Right now the dishes are little injustices we’ve hauled around through the timeline titled, “my life as a loner.” Suddenly a red plate goes crashing.  Or a mug rage-tossed over the balcony. Leaving a pottery shard pattern on the sidewalk.

These implicit historical narratives wriggle into the everyday, drip and eddy around. Wordless tangles of old tapes playing almost inaudibly in the background. Stories about everything we do. If you start to get emotional about picking out your outfit, or why the stapler is missing, or why you have to pick up those legos again, or why your boss is mean to you — search for the narrative you are telling that colors the event, that nets around and crumples you into an emotional wad.

What if we “un-story?” What if the boss is a bitch, because the boss is a bitch. What if we pick up the legos, because we are picking up the legos. What if our actions and events are not representative of a multilayer narrative that started in vitro?

If the roommate is a lazy ass-moocher, kick ’em to the curb. Lose the roommate, lose the self story.

Pick up a Court Lurie at the Russell Collection, April 6 – May 5, 2013.

Definitely a better roommate, but doesn’t do dishes either.

Starry Starry Night

I rounded a corner on the fifth floor of the MOMA and low and behold what did I spy with my little eye?  Van Gogh’s The Starry Night.  Blinked my eyes twice and yes it was still there.  Heard a woman ask a proctor “Is this the real thing?”   Yes lady it is.

This painting moves you; it sweeps you up in its staccato paint strokes and deposits you well above this mortal plane.  Vincent Van Gogh is in certain angst, having committed himself to a mental institutional at this time.  He hasn’t sold paintings.  His  failures overwhelm him and he struggles alone with mental illness.  Yet in the middle of this swirl of a breaking mind and heart you get this.  It’s a testament to any of us rising above our crazy mental state and creating something beyond.

“Sometimes moods of indescribable anguish, sometimes moments when the veil of time and fatality of circumstances seemed to be torn apart for an instant.”  Van Gogh’s own words at this time in his life.

I don’t recall too many impressionists trying their hand at night scenes, being mostly obsessed with the light and all. So I am fascinated with this night time landscape which creates so much drama.  This sleepy scene is anything but peaceful.  The stars pulsate, the wind howls and the cypress tree writhes upward from the ground. We are swept into the sky.

Instead of succumbing to this madness however,  I succumb to the beauty.

His paintings along with Picasso’s have garnered the most money.  The last one privately sold for over $90 millon.  He shot himself in the chest and died in 1890.

The Starry Night Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890)  Saint Rémy, June 1889. Oil on canvas, 29 x 36 1/4" (73.7 x 92.1 cm). Acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest, MOMA, NewYork

The Starry Night Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890) MOMA, New York