Saturday, April 20, 2013

Message to Terrorist #2 (the one in the white cap)

Your terror spree was so short. Did you really believe you could affect America; Americans, for any extended amount of time. You and the others like you who think your brief moments of terror can stop us from being a free nation, a free people who will not bow to your acts of senseless and a most brutal, depraved violence. Your crimes, your self-serving acts were truly acts of cowardice. You chose to attack innocents when they were at their most vulnerable. You disgraces and dishonor whatever sick cause you believe you represent. The only truth is that you ultimately failed because your cause is a cause built on lies with a foundation of sand.

We continue to rise up against you as we try to come to some understanding of your sickness. Why did you do this? This is not for your benefit but to help prevent the next depraved person, pair or group that wants to inflict pain on those they see as weaker. We will do whatever it takes to bring you and others like you to justice, we believe firmly in that too. You will be granted a fairness you never granted you victims. We celebrate that you were brought down, you will never harm another and there are runners across the nation and around the world running today, running in marathons without fear and completely devoid of terror.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Kiki Smith and Her Drawings

Kiki Smith arrived on the major art scene in the nineteen nineties with an exhibition at MoMA and became an immediate star. She is richly deserving of her following and her works are of a nature that is striking, compelling and thought provoking. Kiki works in many mediums and is most famous for her sculptor. It darts and dives, hangs from ceilings, attaches to walls and sometimes is disjointed and scattered across the floor. This all from what is largely the female form, plaster casts taken from her own body. Her work is feminine in theme and content but she is not a feminist of the traditional definition.  Her work is far too outreaching to be limited to a genre, too immense to be bracketed in terms. She is possessed of a marvelous, mind and creative spirit. Her work is adventurous and lively; a world treasure.

Kiki comes from one of the most artistically creative families in the country. The only other major American family that might be more artistic would be the Wyeths. The two families’ approaches to art are very dissimilar but they both are completely saturated with the bug. Kiki’s father; Tony Smith was a celebrated for his minimalist sculptures. Her mother was an actress and opera singer.

Her sisters; Seton and Beatrice, photography and theatre were their interests respectively. Beatrice died young but Kiki and Seton continue to work and support each other. The girls didn’t attend school and really had little other career choice but fortunately were gifted and internally inclined for the arts.  

The mind, body and spirit were central elements to Kiki’s original pieces. She continues to grow as an artist and her works including her sculpture have become more narrative in nature. Myth, folk and fairy tales have become central to many of her new works. These are especially evident in her graphics and drawings. “Red Riding Hood” and “Alice in Wonderland” are among her inspirations. At times she creates what could well be and truly are beautiful illustrations. These coupled with unique works that turn the myths inside out, upside down with a complete interchanging of metaphor. Her works and vision is totally original and a leap forward into unexpected places.

There is an unrefined quality and freedom to the drawings of Kiki Smith that is reminiscent of earlier artists like Marc Chagall and the more contemporary Leon Golub. Her lacking of a true academic technique adds to the charm and whimsy of her concepts in a way a more serious and structured style would only serve to distract. The over-all impact of the pieces is dominant in an illuminated text manner. Kiki is one of the most unrestrained artists working today and there is a timeless quality to everything she touches. The mystique and allure of Kiki Smith will only grow given time.

“It's really special when you share history with people and are in the same field. We come from a background where it's completely natural for someone to devote their life to a vision. It's an unsaid vision, one that's constantly moving and falling apart, and sometimes there are really still periods. Artists live in unknown spaces and give themselves over to following something unknown. I see that in Seton's work and in mine.”

Kiki Smith


Monday, April 1, 2013

San Jacinto

8,500 ft. plus above the Palm Springs desert floor the San Jacinto Mountain Range rises. A glass tram take visitors almost straight up beginning a spectacular journey into nature and the splendor of creation. I was able to spend a cool morning romping, climbing and photographing a portion of this spectacular California State Park.
People from all over the world and across the country were sharing this miracle of nature. The lighting that morning was just about perfect and the air crisp.
There were boulders balanced on boulders and fallen trees that appeared to be prehistoric gargantuan beasts. Many of these things seemed as if placed by some gigantic hand or set designer.
The morning found experienced climbers, novices and families enjoying the snow on the higher peaks. Some of the most amazing views to see anywhere on the planet surrounded we journeymen travelers through time.
There was a sense of accomplishment in just climb, sitting and looking out at a thing larger and greater than one person could ever be. These sensations accompanied with a feeling of belonging and being part of something tremendous, grand and timeless.

San Jacinto is exhilarating, inspirational and addictive in the most positive way. These are photographs from my “Excellent Adventure.” They give a hint of the greatness of these moments.