If you’ve read my first post on this blog — “Welcome to Artists, Lovers of Art, and Unknown Friends” — you’ll have a good indication of my intentions here. And if you’ve been here before, you may have noticed that I’ve upgraded the template for this site. But that was just a prelude to more significant changes, which I hope will bring you here again and keep you coming back here each month. I say “month” because I promise that if you come here on the first of each month, from now on you’ll find at least one new post.
I’m going to take my posts (including some audio posts) farther out and deeper in. I’m going to offer more of what I believe are keys to what can make life a grace – or, on the other hand, an almost unbearable curse. I believe that the best that I have to offer you is not what they teach, or want you to teach, almost anywhere in schools or elsewhere in this society. I’m going to write about the mysteries and Mystery in art, and about mystical experiences, intuitive strategies, social delusions – as they relate at ground level to our (all-too-often fearful) lives right now.
I want to write about what expands my soul or helps me lift my head when it feels like a nearly-insupportable dead weight. I want to give you clues, bread-crumbs to help lead you through the witch’s forest, The Matrix, to what is sometimes called satori or direct intuition of reality. I want to write about the reality of things like the “occlumency” that Severus Snape tried to teach Harry Potter, which was for me, in my childhood, a necessary weapon against madness that threatened me through long nights of waking, sweating terror. I want to write about the new retrospective book of Keith Carter’s photography as a fulfillment of what the poet Galway Kinnell called the central dream of art: tenderness toward all existence. And, yes, I’ll continue to give you samples, news and views of my own photography.
For me, this project is urgent, given how comparatively-little time either I or the rest of life on earth may have left — and given how increasingly I see us surrounded by real vampires and zombies, with poison and trash offered us as treasures, while the real treasures go neglected or undetected. I hope to help lead you to genuine riches, to what can console or delight or deepen us, in this shared and precarious — this finite and infinite — life of ours.
Was the Alfred P. Sloan Scholar for the Humanities at the University of Michigan. Obtained a Master of the Fine Arts degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where I was selected as a Writing Fellow in Poetry by the Program faculty. Have published poems, essays and reviews in many magazines, anthologies, reference works, and other publications, including The Nation, The Iowa Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Parabola, OMNI, and the exhibition catalogue for Art at the Edge of the Law at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. Received a law degree from the University of Michigan, and have changed the law and created educational programs in the fields of arts law, historic preservation law, and public construction and contracting law in the State of Connecticut. My photographs have appeared in international, national, regional and state juried exhibitions, and have been selected for awards including Honorable Mentions in the Architecture, Fine Art (series), Nature (series), Open Theme (series), Portrait, and Seascape categories from the international Fine Art Photography Awards, and an Honorable Mention in the Fine Art-Other category from the International Photography Awards. Photographs of mine have been selected for exhibition or publications by or in the 2019 International Juried Exhibition of the Center for Photographic Art (Carmel, CA), 2019 International Competition of The Photo Review, the 2019 Open Exhibition of the Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins CO, F-Stop Magazine, Shadow & Light Magazine, Black Box Gallery in Portland OR, Praxis Gallery in Minneapolis MN, the Darkroom Gallery in VT, PhotoPlace Gallery in VT, A Smith Gallery in TX, the New Britain Museum of American Art, and many other journals and venues. My work has also been selected for inclusion in the Flatfile Program of Artspace New Haven (CT). My photography website is at www.lawrenceruss.com .