[Journal Menu]

[Home Page]


[100 Books]

[Other Sites]

Art & Life

Today at the pump

The Sole Prop's Sister?

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by


Under here.

August 26, 2009

Talking Of
Wednesday. To bed at eleven, up for an hour of coughing at two-thirty, up now at eight-thirty in the morning, so I guess I haven't quite gotten my cough or my schedule together. A two hour documentary on Andy Warhol on public television last night, nine to eleven, so that accounts for the “late evening”, but let's just say this is an improvement, the lungs are making progress and I got eight hours of sleep. Close enough. It's nine as I write, there's an hour long Korean soap I like to watch coming on at nine forty, maybe stay to watch it and take another late breakfast, let the day essentially start after my morning routines are finished at noon.

Later. A walk to breakfast after the Korean soap, eggs Benedict this time with a half order of hash browns and coffee taking a bus that just happened to be passing as I left back to the apartment. What to do?

I did get on the scale this morning, the weight is still coming off, but at the rate of about a pound, maybe two pounds a month. Anyway on an impulse I tried on the bought in the mid 70's Halston black suede jacket and it fit. It fit in the sense it didn't quite tug when buttoned and the front of the jacket lay pretty much flat, but it was clearly at the edge of the fitting envelope. One ounce heavier as in say eggs Benedict for breakfast and all bets would be off. So, progress.

I have no idea how long this will go on, but I suspect until these two jackets fit, one way or another. Good, bad? Who knows? I feel good for it, but it's a little strange to have this happening without much in the way of effort. Maybe a self portrait later this afternoon wearing the damned thing. Maybe I'm off the mark in saying it “fits” yet, but who knows? We are in a positive mood. Maybe it's the eggs Benedict (for breakfast).

Later still. I mentioned I watched Ric Burns' American Masters profile of Andy Warhol last night on public television. Warhol, his career, how he appeared, what it was he did to revolutionize art; all became somewhat clearer, clearer in the sense of what an “art market” is, clearer in how he came to his particular vision and pre-eminence. And I have no debate he was an artist, perhaps “the” artist for and of his time, but boy-howdy would I not want to have lived a life the way he had to live the life he was dealt to achieve his particular mastery and vision.

They talk about the “anguish” of the artist, the anguish feeding the creative fires. I think I understand the dedication to craft - a dedication I share in the sense of a pale slothful shadow, a cartoon version of craft - but does it have to come through psychological ruin? Running away from (or to these) out of control demons? I mean Demons! with an italic capital “D!!!”. Suicide or fame? Both?

There are other less exotic examples.

I suspect there are, although I don't think it comes without dedication and passion, single minded following of whatever the vision. I'm just looking at it from a distance here, some appreciation after sixty years of looking in from the outside. The art critics were universally less than amused by Warhol's Campbell's Soup exhibition in Los Angeles. After his second exhibition in New York City he was hailed as the pre-eminent of the Pop Artists, the leader of an art revolution. Would I at the time have seen anything in that Los Angeles exhibition? Hell no. Dumb post I. Dumb post I still, even these forty years later. But again, it was interesting to see and hear the commentary of the documentary “experts”, they gave some form and understanding of what seems to have happened. That and a couple of dollars will buy you a cup of coffee at a Starbucks, of course, actual change from a five dollar bill. Nothing to sneeze at.

Still again, watching Warhol was like watching one of those Medieval Saints in the making. He wasn't burning on a cross yet, but he was due real soon. Religious passion, out in a desert looking for Jesus passion, is that what's required for truly unique artistic expression.? David Foster Wallace? Mind bending demons driving him to suicide? I'll happily take the common ticket, have an habitual breakfast in the mornings at the same restaurant (the works of local artists hanging on the walls, most of their work more original than mine), pontificate in my own online hobby here and pop a few pictures. But not push it, you understand, approach it with discretion, have long conversations with self about frivolous topics and hope my health insurance, Korean soaps and bank account last longer than I'll need them.

And so?

“In the room the blogger sneezes
Talking of Warhol and of Jesus.”

The photograph was taken at the Oakland 2009 Chinatown Streetfest with a Nikon D2X mounted with a 180mm f 2.8 Nikkor lens at f 2.8 at 1/360th second, ISO 100.