Sunday, February 24, 2013

Good and Evil

Standing on evidence matters in morality no less than for science. If one observes that the consequences of one's beliefs and practices create suffering and hardship for others--those beliefs and practices must change. Those who cling to the abstractions and hide from or rationalize the consequences, are wrong. Dead wrong. I can't for the moment think of an instance where this doesn't apply. No matter what you've been taught, what you've been brought up to believe--if you remain open to the real world consequences of those beliefs, have the capacity to empathize with those affected, you can change, you can become a better person. If there is such a thing as 'evil,' I would define it as a hardening of the heart, the refusal to exchange received notions and treasured beliefs, when evidence shows the suffering they will cause, if implemented. A person may be racist, misogynist, xenophobic--this in itself does not make them evil, if that is what they have been brought up to believe, if that has been their understanding of the world. But the first instance when they are confronted with evidence of the real suffering which those beliefs cause... if they do not begin at that moment, to change, to transform themselves... that is the beginning of evil. And with every denial, every hardening of the heart... they establish themselves ever further from the possibility of human redemption... that is... a place of justice and honor in the human community. Jacob the Elder

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Wells Fargo Trial

Trial is ON for Wells Fargo defendants. Municipal Court Bldg, 1301 Broad.
We want to fill the courtroom. We anticipate that the trial will run from 9am-3pm from Tuesday to Friday next week. The most important turnout days are Tuesday and Wednesday (we think.) A great time to come show support would be in shifts: 

Tuesday: 9-12 and/or 12-3
Wednesday: 9-12 and/or 12-3
Thursday: 9-12 and/or 12-3
Friday: 9-12 and/or 12-3

If you can attend for any part of the trial please RSVP! As little or as much time as you can offer is greatly appreciated! We need a consistent presence. 

ALSO keep an eye out on Facebook and twitter for changes to the schedule.

https://www.facebook.com/events/162437573906475/

Take Wells Fargo Back to Trial in Philly
February 26 at 9:00am
Municipal Court Building 1301 Filbert Street, Philadelphia

Thursday, February 14, 2013

You start from the bottom ...

I love this Nicolaides, The Natural Way to Draw… “ A tree does not grow from the top down but from the bottom up. Start then at the bottom, and in a loose, easy, tentative manner allow your pencil to move upward as you can feel that the tree moves up…
Yes! The tendency (even when you mark the proportions) to start drawing with the head (yeah… 1 head to the nipples, 2 heads to the navel…la la la..)  … think about it! The HEAD. The fucking BRAIN… that’s not seeing the BODY. Gravity matters! Start from the bottom… everything else must have its support from this base.

And yes (Nicolaides again, The Natural Way to Draw), it’s not about ‘parts’.. “Through your ability to grasp something of this, you will begin to understand other things like proportion and perspective, for the truth is that those things are caused by movement and are a part of it. It is far more important that your studies contain this comprehension of movement, of gesture, than that they contain any other single thing.”

It’s so obvious.. and so hard to grasp. Or rather—one has to overcome so much built in resistance to grasp it.

In my open studio sessions… I glance at how others are doing. I seem to be somewhere maybe a little over the average… which is encouraging, given than it’s been more than 40 years since I’ve drawn a human figure from life. Then I start thinking about the ones with significantly greater mastery… like text book illustrations. I respect the skills, the perfect shading, being able to render the forms… I mean, that’s what we’re all here for. But I know that’s NOT what I want to do. The easy rendering, yes.. .the understanding of anatomy, yes… but I don’t want to do ‘Illustrations’… or graphic comic figures (no disrespect here—any one of these graphic artists, their skills—proportion, anatomy, perspective, foreshortening… they can do ANYTHING! they are Amazing!) … but it’s not drawing as I want to make it—and Nicolaides is so liberating in that way.

Drawing… a feeling that I couldn't do it, that I wasn't good enough—even though I wouldn't admit it then, that’s what backed me off  of visual arts… step by step.   I see now how far I fall short  of what I want to do…but see my strengths now as I didn't before… or wasn't ready to trust--, and so much more clearly what I DON’T want, what I don’t need to emulate to justify myself as an ‘artist.’ 

Nicolaides is my ‘Spring and All.”  

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Modernism, visual and literary

Thinking about Josipovicii. ... his take on literature and Modernism... I'm doing assemblages, what amounts to abstract expressionist painting... primal late Modernist stuff. For Josipovici (literature), the Modernist experiment was cut short. Left unfinished... vistas unexplored. For very different reasons .. .I should write "reasons" ... in quotes. Visual art was cut off from that stream as well. Equally unfinished. The economics in each case were instrumental--but following a different thread. The strange intervention of the CIA promoting American art... and it's "freedom" versus... the cold war stuff, shot modernism into an economic ascendancy that eclipsed lts literary parallels... way ahead of popular acceptance. But what came after was along the same lines... in the visual arts, a comodification of modernist conventions ( you see them in every institution you walk into) ... and in literature... a limited use of modernist conventions in support of a wholesale retreat into pre-modernist illusionist 'Realism'... I'm so glad I've been straddling this divide... waking me up to what ALL the arts have in common.. I mean, all the artists (not the art) who don't want to pimp for our bloody Empire of Money & Death..

Friday, February 8, 2013

#104 Woman Ascending


11x23 acrylic, paper on composition board. $400

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Impulse to Anarchy

It would seem that it is the very nature of the State, that no matter how noble its founders intentions, no matter how lofty the principles assigned to its laws and institutions, over time, little by little, or in a sudden plunge into profligacy, the actions it takes up congeal more and more solidly and irrevocably around the absolute worst impulses of our species?

Mr. Joyce--thanks for having been here.


Up at 7 AM. Didn't even hurt much. Haven't seen 'em cause I haven't been there, but I know there's been flocks of robins on the lawns of SJU and Fairmont Park for at least a week now. Makes me think how words that might have passed away like extinct organisms hook themselves up to some phrase or idiom and survive, like the mitachondria in every cell in our body that once were independent organisms and still preserve their own DNA.

Harbingers.... as in, harbingers of spring. Robins. Don't know that I've ever heard that word in any other context. So maybe waking up at 7 AM, maybe that too is a harbinger of spring--the end of winter hibernation mode.

And by the way--happy birthday, Mr. Joyce. Died the year I was born. Born this calender day, 1882. I'm so glad you lived on this planet. Woulda been a sadder stay for me without you. Here's to your memory.