“…to our program already in progress:”
...as I was saying, it’s been a busy year. The most interesting part, though, was the . . . “interesting” part: the revelation of an off-the-grid distant relative from Mississippi, one R. A. Smith, who also happens to be an artist. This connection has led to an ongoing, very stimulating, and challenging mixed media collaboration. It has transported me to a variety creative zones -- some of them new, some of which have only been dormant. Communicating as we do via old-school processes might seem to slow things down yet with many concurrent pieces in the pipeline there’s actually an exciting amount of productivity going on. One of the early efforts is shown above.
Here’s a couple of things I’d like to pass along:
Probably the most influential cultural experience I so far in 2018 was a deep re-entry into the world of David Lynch this year. At some point in the winter I binged on TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twin_Peaks_(2017_TV_series). I’ve always been a fan but this collection exploded my thinking -- it has a very slow start (like 3 episodes worth) but it’s worth the wait. Several episodes feature some of the most incredibly original, cinematic expressions of the surreal I’ve ever witnessed. Naturally, this led me back to rewatch all of the original TWIN PEAKS tv series (and finally finish the second season which wasn’t as bad as recalled) as well as FIRE WALK WITH ME which has aged like a fine wine with layers previously unnoticed. Tumbling further down the rabbit hole I rewatched MULHOLLAND DRIVE (truly brilliant) as well as the incredibly visceral mobius strip that is LOST HIGHWAY. All of these are highly recommended. If I get started on BLUE VELVET or I’ll be here for days.
For all you artists out there, Lynch is also the subject of a documentary THE ART LIFE. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Lynch:_The_Art_Life. If you’re someone like me who wonders why it can’t “just happen”, well, take heed: there are some good lessons here.
Speaking of the artists in documentaries: AMERICAN MASTERS http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/ has four new ones on Eva Hesse, Elizabeth Murray, Andrew Wyeth and the guy who gets my vote for one of the great geniuses of art in the 20th Centure, Jean-Michel Basquiat. Which circles me around to last September’s BDay when on a trip to LA and the Broad Museum I had my first real face-to-face encounter with the work of Basquiat. https://www.thebroad.org/art/jean%E2%80%90michel-basquiat/untitled. I checked to make sure there hadn’t been an earthquake or tremor because the ground shook under my feet. I’ve been gulping down all of the info I could get on him ever since. It’s taken this long because, probably like many, during his lifetime I was buried under the onslaught of absolutely racist BS that substituted for art criticism of him and his work during his lifetime. In truth, the man was an incredibly knowledgeable and deliberate artist of great depths and complexity whose output in such a short span continues to astonish. The only disappointment is that we’ll never know what he might have done in later years.
‘til next time, you can find me in the Black Lodge.