Monthly Archives: August 2013

Shoes for Walking the Opposite Way

The Daily Prompt today is about Shoes and walking. Here is a pair of shoes, which tell a story goes against some established values.  I included a little paragraph which explains what I had in mind when I created the piece.

Image

Blind Date

The absurd Barbie-pink stilettos made of paper can provide no support. Stability is out of the question.  They are as desperate as the hope of their wearer and as fragile as her confidence. Her acute self-consciousness, is suggested by the mirror reflecting her every step.

This is a piece about hope, loneliness, insecurity and a forlorn desire to fit in a world where appearances matter more than substance. Although the wearer of the pink stilettos is not visible, she is intensely present. 

Blind Date was first shown in an exhibition loosely themed around Love to coincide with Valentine’s Day.

I strongly dislike Valentine’s Day, not only for its ugly commercialism. I dislike it because it is smug and insensitive to all the lonely people out there. The management distributing red roses to all girls on the floor (so that the ugly ones also get something) only makes it worse.   And no, I am not a frustrated single middle aged woman. Quite the opposite – I am a happy middle aged woman, who feels loved 24/7. Just  that Valentine’s Day has nothing to do with love.

Wonder Why He Cut Off His Ear?

Vincent_van_Gogh_-_Self_Portrait_with_Bandaged_Ear_and_Pipe

I don’t know how but suddenly my profile photo on Facebook,  became popular and generated 28 likes and 17 comments. A shot of me, a bit better than a passport photo, has been there for months. It is the same I use in WP in case you are curious.

At the same time, my post Eros and Thanatos, which I personally consider the best thing I’ve ever written, generated nothing.

I have 152 followers on my Facebook art page and I am positive that at least half of them are seriously intelligent and well read people, who know what Eros and Thanatos mean.  Silence.  While my dumb smiley photo received 20+ compliments. I shall not elaborate on which segment of my audience they came from ‘coz it hurts’.

You wonder why the guy cut off his ear? I bet it was because  people around him saw his self portrait and said that he  looked terrific for his age. And gave him a Like.

What the hell is wrong here? Is it me or is it my judgement for people? Either way I feel like an idiot. I want to quit FB and the whole nonsense –  not for the first time at that.

Here is what Jean Dubuffet said in an interview with Michael Peppiatt: After all real artists are antisocial people – they go against received ideas and mental habits. If they invent, it is because they are not content with what’s already there. And it’s just that discontent – being angry and dissatisfied with what other people have made – that forms the lifeblood of creativity’.

Quit Facebook? – I see the good authors of ‘how to sell your art’ books leap from their chairs – nowadays social media is everything. If you are not connected, you do not exist.

Reader, social media or real artist?

Back to Dubuffet. Before turning to art in his forties, he was a successful wine merchant, so he must have known something about marketing. Here is what he had to say: ‘The trouble is that nowadays (the interview was taken in 1977 – B.K.) (…), artists have become more concerned with presenting their work than creating it. They’ve got two quite separate functions muddled up. Creating is antisocial, swimming against the tide of what is already accepted and admired, but the whole business of presenting one’s work to the public is a highly social activity. And when you mix the two you get something inferior, like a wine that’s been cut with a bit of this and a bit of that.”

Dubuffet or the marketing gurus?

I haven’t quit Facebook yet. I haven’t cut off my ear either – just replaced my profile photo with a photo of Kim Kardashian, which is just as bad thing to do to oneself, but not as irreversible:

Kim-Kardashian-birthday

And here comes the worst part: since I did it, it has been raining Likes.

You still wonder why the guy cut off his ear?

Eros and Thanatos

One day Man went to God and said: God, death sucks. Please remove it.  I dread it, I fear it, it brings pain, grief, loss – the worst things in life.  People use fear of death to manipulate, threaten, blackmail each other. In fact, when you think about it, Man went on pontificating, death is the cause of corruption, inequality and poverty. People want power and wealth, out insecurity – and what is insecurity if not, ultimately  fear of death?  Death is the source of all evil. I don’t want to die. I want to be immortal.

God said  fine, but then you will have to stop procreating, because if you continue, the world will become overpopulated and you will  run out of space and resources. It made sense of course.

So from that day on people stopped dying.  They did not die from old age or illness, nor  from wounds and injuries caused by accidents. They didn’t die even when  they did to each other the horrible things that used to kill them before.

They stopped procreating either. No new humans were needed, no babies had to be born anymore.  People continued copulating out of habit and it was OK but the infatuation, the burning desire, the throbbing heat of passion, seemed to be fading.  All that was obsolete. People did not have to be blinded by passion and break social conventions, prejudice and barriers, in order to mate in the most improbable and combinations. They did not elope, give up kingdoms, fame and fortune for love. Nor did they promise each other the moons and the stars, write poems and sing love songs.  That was before, when the whole carnival was needed to secure the continuation of mankind as a whole, not the immortality of the individual.  Love was replaced by the comfort of docile affection. All was good.

Gradually, humans grew less and less interested in sex.  Since nobody died anymore, after some time everybody knew everybody else. The immortal human brain had learned to use its untapped resources including its vast memory.  All immortals had met,  fallen in and out of love with each other in the distant past, had moved on and forgotten about it. But not about each other.  Everybody was old news to everybody else.  The thrill of novelty was gone too.

The immortal world  grew  tired and bored with itself to … what, death? Well, no. Death had been long gone, it was not even in the vocabulary. It was not there to complain about, to blame for all evil – not there even as a figure of speech.  Frustration crept in and started turning into anger.  Anger turned into rage, rage into violence.  Endless  violence, because death as  salvation was not there anymore.  It was ugly, stifling, unbearable – the world was on the verge of imploding. And this was bad.  So bad, that explosion seemed like a blessing. There was only one hope.

Man ran to God once more. The path was so overgrown he could hardly find his way. He arrived at the door.  It was locked and there was a faded sign on it:

You traded immortality for love.

That was me.

Too late, mate.

*  *  *

Eros and Thanatos, 2014, Pastel and Acrylic on Canvas, 47 x 39″

A Sea Painting As Promised But Not As Anticipated

Elements Large low res

I start every day with an hour on Taino beach. Tough life, I know.

It is my very own thinking time because the beach is just as empty as you see it.

And instead of thinking of the beauty of God’s creation, here is what goes in my wicked mind:

Behind the idyll of this perfect Caribbean paradise, there is a sinister force eating away this and many other beaches. Coastal erosion is an ongoing natural process, which has been intensified dramatically by human activity and climate change.

Did you know, that dry land – the islands and continents which we inhabit, is a result of volcanic activity of earlier geological eras. The erosion of the coastline has been going on ever since the continents emerged.  However hardly any new land is being formed. At the same time, human population is growing exponentially. It simply doesn’t add up.

Back to my beach. Behind the photographer, who has taken the shot there is a different picture, which is just as spectacular. The carcasses of huge trees which have collapsed when the sea has eaten away the land beneath their mighty roots. They are dead, fallen, yet not defeated. Waves crush over them, tides come and go but they stay unmoved, sinking stubbornly deeper in the sand.

Looking at them, I couldn’t stop thinking of the titanic struggle between the elements of our planet and how petty and transient we are as a species.

This is the story of Taino beach which I wanted to tell with my painting. Sorry if I spoiled the touristy wonderland for you.

😉