slightly wonky


mooning over de Kooning & de 4th birthday…

The birthday planning for my son’s 4th birthday party has given me several more gray hairs.  Today, during his bathtime, he was mad at me and told me that I was NOT to come to the party.  I was to stay home and feel awful.  Sheesh.  Who taught him such nasty mind games?  Do I say stuff like that?  I hope not…I might have been more subtle and not stipulated that the other person “feel bad”.  He’ll learn such subtlety in time…

I am attempting to keep this a fairly DIY party.  No, I’m not hand-making artisanal balloons or anything.  BUT, I’m making the cake, have baked cookies to go with the favors, and have scribbled together the decor.  The theme: construction site.  A week after deciding this theme, my son decided it should be pirates.  Too bad, I said.  That brought on another barrage of vitrol from him.

So, here is one of my scribbly signs for the party:

Isn’t it cute?  Just say it is to humor me.  Actually, you’re probably wondering when I’m going to stop blabbering about this party, and talk about de Kooning instead.  All in good time…

This is probably the last year that I can do anything DIY for a party.  Next year, he’ll want lazer tag with spiderman and Doc Octopus.  Ummm…yeah, I can’t do that with cardboard and markers.  I’d have to be some kind of hybrid between Martha Stewart and Stan Lee.   Hmm…disturbing.

The ornament situation in our house has gotten worse:

I have completely given up.

Okay, enough about my preschool-centric universe.  So, this past Saturday…I had the WHOLE day to myself.  No, I don’t just mean from around 11 am when my husband is done with his marathon bike ride, until 5 pm, when I’m needed to relieve him from being “on duty” with our son.  I mean the ENTIRE day.  What did I do?  I went to NYC for several hours!  Okay…for my friends who are in NY…PLEASE DON’T BE MAD.  I had to do a tactical strike.  I was on a mission to go to MOMA and see the de Kooning exhibit, which is only open until January 9.  I can do a social visit another time.

It was AMAZING.  So brilliant.  That man just oozes talent.  Or, I guess that would be oozed.  Seriously.  I loved his lines, his enormous swaths of color, his manipulation of the human form…

and this:

de Kooning, Untitled – 1961

and this:

Sigh.  You must see this show, if possible.  You won’t believe the scale of some of these pieces…their textures…their energy…so amazing.

When I was rushing through the rest of MOMA, I saw a crowd gathered around something.  Naturally…I was curious.  WHAT was it?

Really!  So interesting.  I am not a fan of Dali, but it was really fascinating to see what was a “celebrity”.  I just like other stuff…I nearly plowed through several people when my eyes locked with THIS from across the room:

Rauschenberg, Bed – 1955

Yes, I nearly became a linebacker in order to look at this old quilt with paint on it.  LOVE IT.  As the old adage goes…it was smaller in real life.  (no, not that it tastes like chicken…pay attention).  Really.  If I hadn’t spent so much time mooning over de Kooning (!), I may have had more time to see everything else.  One other piece struck me:

Wyeth, Christina’s World – 1948

Okay.  This is a VERY familiar painting.  Right?  I’m not savvy in the least, but this has to be one of Wyeth’s most famous paintings.  Anyway…it always seemed to me a very “romantic” picture…I mean the romance of the agrarian.  WELL.  I had a VERY different feeling when I was actually looking at the painting firsthand (which, by the way, was stuck in a  corner next to an elevator vestible and a cafe).  First of all…her hair is not the lustrous brunette of youth…but actually a  harried mix of grey and brown.  This is not a young woman at all!  She’s probably in her late 30s / early 40s…you know…way over the hill, like me.  In addition…her body is neither youthful, nor supple.  She actually appears frail…weak…half-starved.  If you look more carefully, her bent arm in the foreground is very thin…(and not in a Marie Claire sort of way).  She seems to be struggling to raise herself.  In addtion, her dress and shoes are not fresh and new…her shoes in particular struck me as very worn and old.   So ultimately, this painting had a desperate, bleak air to it.  WELL, if my art history class in college had covered anything within the past 300 years, then I MIGHT have known that:

Okay..am I the only person in the world who had an entirely different impression of this painting than is actually the case???  This long-winded story is basically remarking on how important it is to actually SEE artwork in person…not on a screen…not in a magazine…not on some crazy person’s blog…(are you still reading?  amazing!)

As a result of all of this art viewing / party planning…I have not gotten much work done.  Sigh.  I have one drawing to show:

closer:

No, I’m not done with this “line of exploration” yet.  If you get tired of my subject matter, please bear with me.  I’m trying to focus and stay on a path, and not flit around from project to project.

Wish me luck with the party extravaganza on Saturday!  I’m sure that I’ll be crying with frustration and relief at the end of it, and will be sent home in order to have a nap.



What’s wrong with collage?
July 19, 2011, 5:18 pm
Filed under: Collage | Tags: , , , , ,

Okay.  I know that many of you appear to be lukewarm at best towards collage.  This makes me sad!  I guess because I like doing collages…I’d like everyone to think that they are as super fascinating as I think that they are.  What about Kurt Schwitters?  Who’s that?  Well…only a super talented artist who did COLLAGES.  Take a look.  See?  No?  It doesn’t grab you? What about this one?

I also love Robert Rauschenberg.  A lot.  If anyone has one of his works that they are tired of, I would happily swap almost anything that I have for one.  So, take a look at this.  Or what about this?  I really love that last one.  If you happen to own it, email me to see if we would work out some kind of swap.

I think that most people think of collage as just stuff that one’s kid does in school.  Here is a collage that my son did:

Very cute, right????  I love it.  I also love how the kite is “upside down”.  But why not?  This often happens when flying a kite, right?  But I think that most of us would have oriented it differently.  I love that it’s upside down.

So, while I love looove this collage by my son…I do think that there is a difference between his collage, and the collages of Rauschenberg and Schwitters.  No?  I remember that Picasso has that famous saying, “I used to draw like Raphael, but it has taken me a whole lifetime to learn to draw like a child.”  Isn’t that brilliant?  Sigh.

Anyhoo, I have a woodblock class tonight.  Luckily, I have a new block to print!  I also did a collage today, which got me started on this whole topic again.  Comments anyone?  Thoughts?  Suggestions?  Likes?  Dislikes?  Are there any collage artists out there to add to this one-sided discussion?




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