Archive for October, 2009

Chris & Don

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

A May-December love for all seasons

Within a year of living with Isherwood, Mr. Bachardy, who grew up in Los Angeles, had assimilated so many of his British mentor’s mannerisms that he had assumed Isherwood’s British accent and dry, precise vocal tone. One talking head observes that Isherwood had “succeeded in cloning himself in some weird way.”
After Isherwood, an ever-attentive father figure, noticed Mr. Bachardy’s talent as a draftsman, he sent him to art school, where he flourished. Had Mr. Bachardy not developed a successful parallel career as a portrait artist (many drawings and paintings of celebrities are shown), the relationship might not have endured.

Chris and Don by David Hockney

Here is another portraits of them by David Hockney in colors/

  • isherwood
    This pen and ink drawing by Don Bachardy was on the paperbook cover of “Christopher and His Kind’.

    More about Christopher Isherwood or his Berlin days..
    Christopher and his Kind
    (A book I read with much relish more than two decades ago.)

    Don Bacardy and Christopher Isherwood in Santa Monica

    Books, Botswana & Norman Rush

    Saturday, October 24th, 2009

    Bookshelf of hermandoll1 Herman Costa

    Here is someone who reads daily and write reviews. The 365 days project
    NYtimes covered her here)
    I noticed that she has not read Norman Rush. Will she read his novels one day?

    Happy Birthday Norman Rush!
    (I love his novel “Mating” which I read when it got published long ago. He writes slowly so his output is small. )
    Peace Corps Writers org

    BORN AND RAISED IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA, Norman Rush went to prison as a conscientious objector during the Korean War. After graduating from Swarthmore College in 1956, Rush worked as an antiquarian book dealer and college teacher.

    Mating and Norman Rush normanrush1 (via)

    In retrospect: a conversation with Norman Rush (bookcritics)

    What I wanted was a character who was irreverent, smart, adventurous, and intellectually adventurous, and who possessed a comic view of life. I wanted someone who would think, and say, almost anything. And for the plot, I wanted someone who was looking for a perfect mate. It took a while to find this voice.
    At some point, I’ll be right. It sort of goes like this: Mating is about courtship; Mortals is about marriage; Subtle Bodies is about friendship. Subtle Bodies is set in the Catskills on the eve of the invasion of Iraq.

    Bathroom wall Bathroom Howard Hodgekin by Fung-Lin Hall and my small mock Hodgkin painting.

    Interview of N. R by – National book org.

    I regard Mating as a true novel, but one that is essentially comic and based around a story of adventure and a passionate love relationship. That’s the vehicle I used to explore very important moral questions, like What is good life? What is a justified life? Why is there so much lying in society? Who are the liars, and how much lying is socially necessary? The idea was to use a story of adventure and an exotic setting and a character who was relentlessly questioning, as a framework for these other issues.

    Sheila loved “Mating” (Sheila’s Varieation)

    Salon personal best review of Mating by Cynthia Joyce.

    Botswana Blues – Orgies of talk in Africa – a review of “Mortals” by John Updike

    Nancy Spero R.I.P

    Monday, October 19th, 2009

    Nancy Spero images with Miles Davis soundtrack on youtube

    Nancy Spero – Aug 24 1926 – October 18, 2009

    Obit from Edward Winkleman

    Feminist art pioneer Nancy Spero passed away at NYU Hospital yesterday according to friends of the family. Having only met Nancy once (when she received the Visual AIDS Vanguard Award in 2007), she was always a more of a legend in my mind than personal acquaintance, and so I’ll leave the proper eulogies to those who knew her better and simply note that just the other day in conversation, discussing who should represent the US at the next Venice Biennial, she was the only artist we could agree on.
    My thoughts go out to her family and friends

    <> <> exposic-spero-bugThe bug helicoptor, victim


    Installation view from PBS Art 21 (via)

    Nancy golub and Leon Golub

    We Love Our Leader

    Nancy Spero – Artnet

    I have deliberately attempted to distance my art from the Western emphasis on the subjective portrayal of individuality by using a hand-printing and collage technique utilizing zinc plates as an artist’s tool instead of a brush or palette knife. Figures derived from various cultures co-exist in simultaneous time… The figures themselves could become hieroglyphs–extensions of a text denoting rites of passage, birth to old age, motion and gesture…Woman as activator or protagonist dancing in procession, elegiac or celebrator a continuous presence, engaged directly or glimpsed peripherally; the eye, as a moving camera, scans the re-imaging of women.”

    Her book nancybook

    Nancy Spero Astro Chart

    In Conversation – Nancy Spero at Brooklyn Rail
    (Don’t miss how Ivan Karp who worked for Castelli at that time insulted Nancy Spero when she showed her drawings to him)

    Nancy Spero, an American artist and feminist whose tough, exquisite figurative art addressed the realities of political violence, died on Sunday in Manhattan. She was 83 and lived in Manhattan.
    NYtimes Obit

    Nancy Spero’s death means the art world loses its conscience
    A vital, energetic artist who could be funny as well as macabre, Nancy Spero never lost her curiosity in the world – Adriane Seale

    R.I.P. Nancy Spero – We will miss you greatly.
    Husband and wife paint violence – that was how I described you, the greatest partnership in the history of art.
    You have re-imagined the feminist figures away from the convention.
    Thank you!

    Fais Vite

    Thursday, October 15th, 2009

    Driving past the Painted desert last July.

    Friends from France made this neat video.
    Nod le Fou, Ivan Régina, juillet 2009

    From Jurgen. Francisco 707

    <> francisco961
    Super Duty 961

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    Santa Monica August 2008

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    See the finished walls Walls from blu blu org.

  • Anis Losinger and Don Li

    Sunday, October 11th, 2009

    <> <>

    This unique instrument was created in 1998/99 by dancer and music performer Ania Losinger in cooperation with inventor and instrument designer Hamper von Niederhäusern.

  • XALA – Aschenputtel 2

  • Irving Penn R.I.P

    Wednesday, October 7th, 2009


    Irving Penn

    Claude Levi Strauss claudelevi

    David Smith <> <>davidsmith

    Colette <> colette

    Ingmar Bergman ingmarb1

    Jean Cocteau jean-cocteau-irving-penn-1950
    Above images via Irvin Penn Facebook

    Irving Penn, a grand master of American fashion photography whose “less is more” aesthetic combined with a startling sensuality defined a visual style that he applied to designer dresses or fleshy nudes, famous artists or tribal chiefs, cigarette butts or cosmetics jars, many of them now-famous photographs owned by leading art museums, has died. He was 92.

    View Picasso, Francis Bacon..etc. here <> <> Jasper Johns <> <> Woody Allen as Chaplin

  • <> <> <> <> barcode09 Google celebrates Bar Code day

    The Dark Brain of Piranesi

    Sunday, October 4th, 2009

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    Piranesi from National Gallery of Art

    <> <> <> pinranesi

    Fireworks pirafire by Son of Piranesi
    The Girandola at the Castel Sant’Angelo, ca. 1783
    Francesco Piranesi (Italian, 1756–1810) and Louis-Jean Desprez (French, 1743–1804)
    Etching with colored washes

    The Dark Brain of Piranesi by Marguerite Yourcenar
    (M.Y is known as Madame Bibliotheque – I would like to read her essay on Prisons of Piranesi’s etchings)

    Aldous Huxley on Piranesi’s Prisons

    The raw material of Piranesi’s designs consists of architectural forms; but, because the Prisons are images of confusion, because their essence is pointlessness, the combination of architectural forms never adds up to an architectural drawing, but remains a free design, untrammelled by any considerations of utility or even possibility, and limited only by the necessity of evoking the general idea of a building.

    <> <>

    This discussion must have taken place at this Farmhouse.

    Huize Piranesi
    The history of Huize Piranesi is the transition of a farmhouse where the peasant family and their livehood used to live together under one roof, into a family house with space for performances.
    In the beginning of the seventies, the house welcomed the philosophers Noam Chomsky and Michel Foucault, Leszek Kolakowski, Arne Naess and Karl Popper.

    Farmhouse build on the inspiration of Piranesi.

    Matt Janovic

    From what I could see, Chomsky kicked his bald ass all over the stage.

    John Haber

    Nice pairing. Two totally annoying know-it-alls that I’ve learned something from.
    I do have to admit that the clip shows Foucault at his most dogmatic, while Chomsky is actually asking for support for creative activities outside his usual focus. Foucault focuses so much on established government institutions, as makes sense for his great work on the Enlightenment, as if Obama had more power than the banks too big to fail, that he could drive me to become a dogmatic Marxist.

    (The above from Facebook discussion on occasion of Giovanni B. Piranesi’s birthday – Oct 4)

    The End of An Affair – Graham Greene

    Friday, October 2nd, 2009

    Directed by Philip Noyce and cinematography by Christopher Doyle.

    Disease is also a material

    Paul Theroux once reflected that Greene’s letters had “the tone of a lost boy”.

    He didn’t care much for nature. From Kuala Lumpur, where he had gone to investigate the communist insurgency, he wrote to his French agent: “Nature doesn’t really interest me – except in so far as it may contain an ambush – that is, something human.”

    Graham Greenegreene
    Greene was born on Oct 2, 1904, 105 years ago today.

    The End of an Affair endoftheaffair1


    The British author Graham Greene (1904-91) had a unique and enduring relationship to the movies. In the 1930s he worked as a controversial film critic, and he maintained a steady sideline as a screenwriter throughout his long and prolific career as a journalist and novelist. The pinnacle of his screenwriting came just after World War II when three of his works—BRIGHTON ROCK (1947), THE FALLEN IDOL (1948) and THE THIRD MAN (1949)—proved seminal for postwar British cinema.

    Alida Valli from the Third Man <> Alida Valli (May 31, 1921 – April 22, 2006)

    Many images from the Third Man are arranged creatively on this web page below.
    Closure in The Third Man: on the dynamics of an unhappy ending the trailer of The Third Man here (youtube)

    “If you have abandoned one faith, do not abandon all faith. There is always an alternative to the faith we lose. Or is it the same faith under another mask?” – Graham Greene
    W/thanks to Jude Nagurney Camwell for this quote