. . .In dejection from all the awful and discouraging news about reactionary political victories, rampant viral sub-variants, catastrophic droughts, and increasing violence (as well as, for me, unhappy views about my own self), I found myself doing something that I’ve done on occasion over the years, especially under stress: I was hand-writing, long past midnight, a list of my favorite artists and mystical writers. That exercise can calm and comfort me. not just as an obsessive-compulsive ritual, but as a reminder of real treasures that I’ve been given, for inspiration and illumination.
In my last post, I made some remarks about the falsity of calling certain artworks “surrealistic.” I want to pursue that further here. Am I saying that we should never use the words “surreal” or “surrealistic”? No, but. . . .
As the title of this post promises, here is the photograph that just last week joined my ongoing, award-winning “Marion under the Moon” series. Its title is “Dream of the Playground Melting into Night.” Several friends of mine, seeing it for the first time, have ha wildly differing emotional reactions to it . . . One male friend said that the image provides “mysteries upon mysteries”. . . .
All of the people who know me pretty well know that I adore my wife, Marion. It’s a central fact of my person and my life. You yourself may, just possibly, have gathered this from my earlier post, “The Heroines’ Unpinned Hair” (posted February 13, 2013) https://lruss.com/2013/02/15/the-heroines-unpinned-hair/ . If you didn’t guess it before, you’ll likely guess now that she’s the model in all the images in my “Marion under the Moon” series, which began with the photograph (above) of that name. . . .
It’ll be tempting for me at times to get lost in exposition or explanation, but I want to stick as much as possible to what’s central to this series of posts: an experience that I had some years ago on August 28 in Israel that suddenly came to mind as I was looking at Keith Carter’s Fifty Years and thinking about his use of shallow focus.
“. . . there is only one thing valuable in art and that is the bit that cannot be explained. To explain away the mystery of a great painting – if such a feat were possible – would be irreparable harm . . . if there is no mystery then there is no ‘poetry,’ the quality I value above all else in art.”
[The ink painting above, by Sengai, pictures a scene from the famous Zen koan in which the Zen teacher, Nan-ch’uan, tells his students that he will chop the kitten in … Continue Reading Alligator Intellect
I don’t know how many “favorite” photographs I have, but I know that one of the frames in my sanctum of photographic love holds Imogen Cunningham’s “The Unmade Bed.” It’s clicheish to … Continue Reading The Heroines’ Unpinned Hair