Sunday, December 18, 2005

New work:
Acrobat boys
pastel and pencil

Keywords: Artsist Paul Grant, Acrobat boys

'Audacious' theft of two-ton sculpture leaves art world reeling

Paul's comment: The police think this elaborite theft might be for the scrap value of this piece, is that because they don't see it's aestetic value being worth as much? For Moore (the artist) this was a change from curves to points, and for some that alone adds to it's value.

From an artist point of view this theft made me wonder: If an artist works for a long time on a piece of art and it turns into something that is not beautiful, don't they sometimes have to withold thier own judgement and think of the time invested and the fact that the piece has a `historic' ( read noval) value? Would he (Moore) have had the integrity and strength to destroy a piece that lacked inate beauty at it's completion? ( Do I?)

The theft gives this piece an added celebrity now, a sign about the theft might be placed on a neat stand beside the work after it's recovered. The reader might then ask themselves why would anyone want to steal this? Maybe for the scrap value? Or maybe the viewer might think: 'It must be valuable `art' if anyone would take all those pains to steal it.'

Big loss: Moore's bronze Reclining Figure is valued at £3 million.
Photograph: Hertfordshire Constabulary/ PA

'Audacious' theft of two-ton sculpture leaves art world reeling


NICKING a painting off the wall of a sleepy country gallery is one thing. Making off with an 11ft-long, two-ton bronze sculpture worth £3m is quite another.

In the biggest art heist in Britain for more than two years, thieves wearing hoodies and baseball caps have stolen one of the renowned British sculptor Henry Moore's most valuable works from an English country estate using a crane and open-back lorry.

In the completely unchallenged theft, the bronze, Reclining Figure, disappeared from a courtyard at the late artist's home in Much Hadham, Hertfordshire, on Thursday.
Police investigators believe the giant bronze may have been stolen for its scrap value. But art industry experts last night suggested the famous sculpture could have been stolen to order.

Dick Ellis, a former Scotland Yard detective and UK expert on art theft, said: "This sculpture has been taken because the grounds were open and it was easily available. The theft has been thought through and well planned but scrap would not be a good earner for the thieves. Henry Moore is a desirable artist and a highly saleable one. There is bound to be a bigger return for the thieves from an illegal buyer."

Gerald Laing, the Scottish-based sculptor and artist, said: "They must have taken it for a client. They are not hard to get at because Moore believed that his work should be openly exhibited. I suspect it will be in a box and heading abroad within days."

The theft from the open courtyard was captured on CCTV but police yesterday revealed only sketchy details, revealing that a red Mercedes flatbed lorry, fitted with a crane on the back, and an old-style Mini Cooper, had been used in the audacious operation.

The team apparently circumvented locked gates and an alarm system, while the sculpture was in the process of being moved to another location. One thief was described as wearing a hooded jacket and another a baseball cap.

Chief Inspector Richard Harbon said police classed the statue as a "national treasure" and a team of detectives was now working on a number of theories behind the theft. Work included liaison with the Met's Fine Arts Squad and Hertfordshire's own specialists.

He added: "It is a nationally-renowned sculpture and very, very difficult to get rid of. So, obviously, we are looking at all the possibilities, as I said, right from scrap metal right up to fine arts theft.

"This is not opportunist theft. These are people who knew what they were doing, knew what they were after. A very, very audacious theft."

A substantial reward has been offered by the Henry Moore Foundation for information leading to the statue's recovery.

Moore, who died aged 88 in 1986, crafted the sculpture in 1969 and 1970.

Gareth Spence, a spokesman for the Henry Moore Foundation, said it was the first such crime at the foundation, where there were gates, alarms, and a keyholder permanently present. "We don't imagine this type of thing happening. A combination of the gates and the location would seem to negate them [sculptures] being lifted out of the grounds and stolen. It is quite a daring thing to do, and it will cause a reassessment of our security process."

Spence said the statue represented a development into pointed shapes for the artist and was "an important piece", famous throughout the world.

"It is very representative of Moore. You automatically think of Moore's legacy. I think it would be very hard for anyone to sell. The recipient - where would they display it? It is meant to be displayed outside," he said.

Considered by many to be the most outstanding British sculptor of the century, Henry Moore was born the seventh of eight children, in the coalmining town of Castleford, Yorkshire in 1898. He began carving in wood and modelling clay at school and, after serving in the Great War, became the first ever student of sculpture at Leeds School of Art in September 1919 before winning a scholarship to London.

In 1992 Moore's collection of 666 sculptures, 3,000 drawings and 8,000 prints was valued at £130m

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The big bang theory of art

Opinion - Ben Macintyre

The Times December 02, 2005

If we think poets and painters have better sex lives, it may be that they are good at persuading us.

“SEX AND ART are the same thing,” declared Pablo Picasso; this was one of the greatest chat-up lines ever, from a master of the art.

Finally, a scientific survey has proven what everyone has long suspected (which is what scientific surveys ought to do): creative artists, it appears, really do have more exotic love lives than the rest of the population. The new study, published this week in Proceedings of the Royal Society, suggests that artists, from poets to painters to puppeteers, have, on average, twice as many sexual partners as non-artists.

Promiscuous Picasso, Lord Byron the philanderer, Dylan Thomas the boozy womaniser: these were not simply bonking Bohemians, it seems, but artists doing what their genes told them to do. According to the researchers the greater the artistic endeavour, the larger the sexual appetites. (There are some obvious exceptions to this rule: Julio Iglesias once boasted that he had had sex with 3,000 women, but has never yet sung a decent song.)

The authors of the study, also suggest a link between artistic sexuality and schizophrenia. The genes linked to schizophrenia appear to be particularly common among poets and artists: the illness may contribute to artistic individuality and a uniquely imagined view of the world, but it may also explain the attractiveness of artists to others, and thus why those traits have been passed on.

Indeed, artistic ability may have evolved as a form of mating display, a courtship technique to attract partners. In his 2001 book The Mating Mind, Geoffrey Miller argued that intellectual and artistic ability were a form of human plumage, designed to entice sexual partners. “Come up and see my etchings” may be a central statement in human evolution.

Artists have more sex, of course, because that is what they are expected to do. As rule breakers, they are assumed to act on impulse, unconstrained by the mores that apply to the rest of society. When Lucian Freud (83) is discovered to be stepping out with yet another nubile lovely, even strait-laced Middle England bottles its outrage, accepting this side-effect of genius.

Artists (Freud excepted) also tend to die young, making it imperative that they gather ye rosebuds while they may. Poets, in fact, die younger than any other sort of artist, and younger than almost any other type of professional, including deep-sea divers.
When Andrew Marvell wrote To his Coy Mistress, he was speaking for all artists who sense Time’s wingéd chariot hurrying near, and want to get laid, a lot, before it runs them over:

Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, Lady, were no crime.

Artists are not only expected to have sex more, but also to write, paint, sing, compose and talk about it, endlessly, preferably in smoky bars. For Picasso, sex was a prevailing theme: a recent exhibition in Paris, Picasso Erotique, displayed no less than 330 paintings, drawings, engravings and sculptures portraying sexual congress, or what Gertrude Stein called Picasso’s “dirty side”. Picasso was genuinely interested in sex, all his life, but most modern artists feel obliged to include sex in their portfolios, as a matter of form. Tracey Emin’s installation Everybody I’ve Ever Slept With: 1963-1995 is a very good joke, but also a wry reflection on the modern artist who is obliged either to celebrate sex or to fake it. The Bad Sex awards, presented annually to the most embarrassing description of the sexual act, is never short of contenders.

Artists may not actually have wilder sex lives than mere mortals; they may simply be better at misrepresenting what they do in bed. Jerry Seinfeld once remarked: “Everyone lies about sex. People lie during sex. If it weren’t for lies, there’d be no sex.”

And artists, being imaginative types, can lie better than anyone else. On the other hand, it is de rigueur for a great artist to claim that sex is boring (“The biggest nothing” — Andy Warhol), thus implying that they are at it like rabbits.

D.H Lawrence

“Nothing nauseates me more than promiscuous sex in and out of season,” wrote D. H. Lawrence, simultaneously yawning and panting, to Lady Ottoline Morrell.

The portrait of the artist as a young stud-muffin may have some scientific basis, but it is also a long-running conceit, based largely on wishful thinking. As the artist Dinos Chapman pointed out this week: “The truth is that artists aren’t that special. People just like to think so — especially artists.” But the legend of the artistic and literary libido refuses to die, perhaps because for many people sex has become so desperately cheapened and unromantic.

On the day the sex lives of the artists was unveiled, another, much grimmer report appeared under the less than enticing title Who Pays for Sex? Based on a survey by the Medical Research Council, this showed that the number of men paying for sex has doubled over the last decade, with nearly one in ten of all males admitting that he had done so during the previous five years. The rise of sex tourism, access to sex via the internet, migrant sex workers and rising divorce rates have all contributed to a massive growth in commercial sex. London alone now has an estimated 4,000 massage parlours and escort services. Pornography remains the single most heavily researched subject on the web.

The general devaluation of sex surely explains why, more than ever, we need to associate sex with art, glamour and the carefree misbehaviour of a Picasso or, for that matter, a Kate Moss.
Lord Byron

Three weeks after Byron died in 1824, The Times declared him “the most remarkable Englishman of his generation”; this, it should be remembered, was an Englishman who had rogered practically anything with a pulse, including boys, various grandes dames and his own half-sister. He was mad, bad and dangerous to know; and, as an artist, he was fêted for it.

The image of the artist as Don Juan, glamorous and faintly unhinged, with a tangled and athletic love life, owes more to myth than science, but it is one of the oldest and most cherished of our cultural stories. This may be no more than escapism; but so is art.

Keywords: SEX AND ART , Pablo Picasso, Lord Byron, Julio Iglesias, Dylan Thomas sexual appetites,. The Mating Mind, Geoffrey Miller, Lucian Freud Andrew Marvellbut world enough, and time,. Tracey Emin, Andy Warhol, D.H Lawrence, Lady Ottoline Morrell, Dinos Chapman, Kate Moss, Don Juan, Paul Grant,

Sunday, December 04, 2005

'Lewd rubbing' shuts Paris statue

Is this strange or what?

Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris has fenced off a famous tomb to prevent lewd acts being performed on a statue.

The effigy of 19th Century journalist known as Victor Noir has long been popular with women visitors.

This is partly due to his reputation as a romantic figure, and partly because of the effigy's design.

Officials concerned about damage to the icon's groin area have erected a fence around the grave, and a sign prohibiting indecent rubbing.

Noir - whose real name was Yvan Salman - was killed by Pierre Bonaparte, a great-nephew of the Emperor Napoleon, after bearing him a challenge to a duel.

According to the story, he was due to get married the day after he was killed.

The statue shows Noir in a frock coat and trousers lying flat on his back, with a distinct enlargement in the groin.

The effigy has been held as an aid to love or fertility.

It is said that a woman who kisses the lips of the prostrate statue and slips a flower into the upturned top hat will find a husband by the end of the year.

The new sign warns: "Any damage caused by graffiti or indecent rubbing will be prosecuted."

Story from BBC NEWS:

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Who will pass the test of time?

The Virgin Mother by Damien Hirst

From an interview with Charles Saatchi

Who has been described both as a 'supercollector' and as 'the most successful art dealer of our times'.

Looking ahead in 100 years time, how do you think British art of the early 21st century will be regarded? Who are the great artists who will pass the test of time?

CS: General art books dated 2105 will be as brutal about editing the late 20th century as they are about almost all other centuries. Every artist other than Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Donald Judd and Damien Hirst will be a footnote.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Searching for this book:

Keywords: Paul Grant, wk12, wk12.3, W&K12.3, Wieden & Kennedy, Jelly Helms

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Stealing my heart

by paul grant (follower of Basho) pastel

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Artist Focus: Luc Tuymans

Luc Tuymans is considered one of the most significant and influential contemporary painters working today. He is one of the key figures of a new generation of figurative painters who have continued to paint during a time when many believed the medium had lost its relevance. In the context of the new information age, many artists felt that painting was a deeply conservative form of expression which did not match the heterogeneous nature of contemporary experience. Tuymans' work specifically addresses the challenge of the inadequacy and 'belatedness', as he puts it, of painting.

Tuymans was born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1958 and began to study fine art in 1976. He concentrated on painting but in the early 1980s he lost faith in the medium and gave up for two years. During this time he worked as a film-maker, and when he returned to painting in the mid-1980s, he introduced new techniques such as cropping, close-ups, framing and sequencing, which remain key elements of his work today.

Tuymans' work is a vast repository of data, drawn from photography, television and film, combining a range of different styles and subject matter. His subjects range from major historical events, such as the Holocaust or the politics of the Belgian Congo, to the inconsequential and banal - wallpaper patterns, Christmas decorations, everyday objects There are also paintings which express abstract emotional states, titled 'Embitterment' or 'Insomnia', which imply existential or philosophical responses to the human condition.

Tuymans' range of imagery deliberately resists categorisation. Events and ideas are not expressed explicitly, but implied through subtle hints and allusions, creating an ambiguous collage of disconnected fragments and details. Tuymans has extended this approach in the exhibition hang at Tate Modern. He has chosen to present individual paintings from various bodies of work, bringing together disparate images from different points in his career. This approach signals Tuymans' belief that representation can only be partial and subjective, and meaning must be pieced together, like memories, through isolated fragments.

The large majority of his pieces are recreations on canvas of images already "recorded" in photographs and magazines from our everyday world. Tuymans' works take a stance that everything has already been painted, so reproduction is the only route forward. They are formed from extremely simplified scenes, drawn to shut out and exclude all traces of psychological description. Their topics are things like unoccupied rooms, a small child's torso without the limbs, or a human figure drawn as an object. Something in the surface of these works feels desolate, sometimes capturing our dull sense of anxiety, or sometimes, under the cool gaze of the artist, depicting with emotional detachment compelling aspects of history and politics that involve each and every one of us. They would penetrate deeply into our subconscious minds to leave dramatic impressions and unforgettable images.

Book about Luc Tuymans:

The Psychoanalytical Illuminations of Luc Tuymans, J
Reviewer: A reader
This book on Luc Tuymans is an excellent introduction to the strange world of this internationally reknowned Belgian Painter. What is it that stirs up the bizarre fascination of cognoscenti for this artist? At the very least, it is attributable to the deeply psychological expression that this artist conjures from his sometimes murky palatte, as well as his subject matter. He addresses these ideas in relation to living as an artist in this modern world and a Freudian psychoanalysis of history that seems all to prevalent in this information age; including, everything from the New York art world as evidenced in his painting "Heritage", which alludes to Jasper Johns flag painting and the Holocaust in paintings like "Our New Quarters". This artist also takes these issues to subjects like the body, which through his investigation and isolation of its various parts he formulates the queerness that follows a banal rendition of the functions of that space. In addtion, as a psychoanalytical historian this artist attempts to fuse the mundanity of the conscious world with the fanatsy of the world of dream, which always seems to be off center, and could be related to the work of Alex Katz and Robert Gober. At any rate, this book provides an excellent insight into the world created by Luc Tuymans, and comes highly recommneded by art lovers and aficianados alike.

Keyword Links: Luc Tuymans images , Guide to pictures of works by Luc Tuymans in art museum sites and image archives worldwide , Other Artist focused on in Art Talk (our Art Talk Index)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

bad news for artist

Islam tells us that on the unappealable Day of Judgment, all who have perpetrated images of living things will reawaken with their works, and will be offered to blow life into them, and they will fail, and they and their works will be cast into the fires of punishment.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Pictures shown at Northstar November 2005

Lincoln Park Lagoon
3' 6" wide by 2' 7" tall

Lincoln Park Lagoon:
color photograph

It was in October of last year, I was walking (exercising) after having a gluttonous meal at Mona Ami Gabi (a Bistro on Lincoln Park West). I headed east toward Lincoln Park and then North. I was living near Addison and Broadway at the time. Anyway, I happened upon a ringing cell phone. So foolishly I answered it.

"This is not my cell phone." I said to the caller.

"I know, I know." The caller said in a breathy voice. "I left that phone there because I need help. I need five dollars. Can you spare five dollars?"

I found the situation to be questionable, but I had had several cocktails and a half bottle of wine only moments earlier. The caller said that he needed the money put into a Dr. Pepper can that was hidden in the bushes a short distance down the path. I told the caller I could do it. He told me to put the phone back down on the ground where I had found it.

I went to the bushes where the can was supposed to be. Instead there were three thugs. They pulled me deeper into the bushes and one of them put duct tape across my mouth. Then they took my wallet. They all seemed to be getting quite a kick out of their exploits. One of them suggested they should strip me and leave me naked. So they did.

There I was, naked in Lincoln Park with duct tape on my mouth. I had to make my move. Taking the duct tape off my mouth almost took off my lips. Walking out from the bushes naked I came across a young man walking two very small dogs. He looked at me quizzically, but did not seem too surprised. "I was mugged." I told him. They took my clothes."

He laughed. Finally he took off his white T-shirt revealing a finally defined torso with a six pack and pecs to make any gym rat drool. I put the t-shirt on, but it didn't stretch far enough down to cover the essentials. He suggested I put my legs through the arms and wear it like shorts. I did, thanked him and made it home.

The next day I took my camera and photographed the crime scene. I showed the pictures of the crime scene to my friend who could only remark - "Wow this is really a nice picture."

That picture is this picture.

Red Hand Series
2' 6" tall by 1' 8" wide


One day, without explanation, I took a piece of wood and painted a red hand on it. I started carrying it around looking for a place to take a picture of it.

I could have looked for interesting `touristy type spots', but instead I chose to focus on singular ideas, and tried to feel out a picture that would respond to that idea. The idea for this picture is courage. It was inspired by a quote I liked by Teddy Roosevelt:

"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

Now, when I look at this picture, I think about that thought – but another viewer looking at the same picture might think about something totally different. If I tell them about my intention it does not guarantee their acceptance of it. But on the other hand, unless I tell them of my intention they might never have shared that thought.

`And some of them learned
If they could get
between their thoughts
would be of the same mind'

boy's shoes
9" tall by 7" wide

boy's shoes:

This was taken after a pride parade, at one of those speaker's events held afterward in the park. The feet don't do this boy justice. He was beautiful. But I couldn't bring myself to take a picture of him. I got up next to him and played with my camera, and then seemingly accidentally, I took a picture of his feet. He noticed and smiled.

"Did you just take a picture of my shoes? he asked, still smiling but making his eyebrows arch in a questioning way.

"Yeah, I think so." I said. I called up the image to the screen on the back of the camera and showed it to him. He took the camera to get a better view. Just then I remembered the Buddhist `wish' chant, and slowly whispered: " Nam Myho Renge Kyo".

As if by magic he leaned towards me, bringing his face to mine, bringing his lips to mine, and putting one hand behind my neck, pulling me forward into his explorative kiss.

Then someone called out something, his name probably. He broke the kiss as though suddenly awakened from sleep. He gave me back the camera and said: " See you." And then he left.

I kept his shoes.

Words We dare not speak
2' 3" tall by 1' 10 wide

Words we dare not speak
pastel on board

I met this high school kid who worked for me. He was quite unique. He was very innocent. And most importantly, he and I had the ability to read each others thoughts. I don't mean mind reading, I mean, more like, hyper fast anticipation of each others moves. I had never worked with a person quite like that before.

He was very straight. He told me early on that he thought a friend of his might be `turning'. I asked him what he thought about gays and he said his dad told him gay people were cool because you couldn't get them pregnant. (?) But still he didn't want his friend to `turn'.

He didn't know that I was gay at first, and after he was told by someone else, he asked me. I told him I was, and he seriously asked: "You're not going to attack me sometime are you?"

I was going through bit of depression at that time and had read about a weird technique whereby you try to continually mumble to yourself, until by accident, or chance, or fate or whatever - you come across the secret code of syllables that allow you to self combust.

One day my young friend asked me what I was saying when I talked to myself. I told him about the mumbling technique. He asked: "You want to kill yourself?"

I explained that self combusting using the technique was not technically killing yourself - you still could get a church burial.

He looked at me with a both serious and sad face and said in a gentle voice: " Man it would be negative for me if you did that."

So I stopped.

#7 boy with a rubber band
2' 1" wide by 2' 6" tall

boy with a rubber band
Pastel and Ink

This is a picture of an autistic boy named Donny. He was in my group (B2 Boys) when I worked at Misericordia (Devon & Ridge). He was not one of the staff's favorites because of his habit of splatter painting rooms with his feces. He was disobedient, rebellious, and had a very bad temper. (This was on top of being a very low functioning autistic child.)

One day I caught him with a rubber band. It was the type of thing that a girl uses to tie up their hair. The kids, of course, were not supposed to have anything that they might swallow. I saw him playing with it peacefully. He had it stretched between two fingers and then in a repetitive motion he pulled it back- two long pulls followed by one short pull. He did this over and over, quite pleased with himself. I went over to him and gently took the rubber band away. He screamed a mind piercing bellow. I was in such shock by his cry that I tried to give him back the stupid rubber band. But he didn't want it. He stood and stormed away crying. I felt really bad.

On my last day at work, my co-workers threw a party for me. Sometime during the cake and lemonade Donny attached himself to me lower leg. I pretended not to notice. Before I left I made a point of looking in every room saying "Donny, where are you? Donny, where are you?" Finally at the end of my shift two other workers pried him off of me. He didn't scream. He just scurried away.

He didn't have a family. He was a ward of the state. His future prospects weren't good. And though he could be a little tyrant, there was something quite loveable about him.

# 10 Phenomenon of Rising
1' 8" wide by 1' 4" tall
(Not Shown)

Phenomenon of Rising
1' 8" wide by 1' 4" tall

There is a phenomena in the shared mythological psyche of all people, where a hero is captured or oppressed and seems to be in a state
of living death until it seems all is lost when miraculously they are saved.

I have been in such situations and this is about that..

Knight riding backward
2' 8" tall by 2'1" wide

Knight riding backward
pastel on board

I gave my friend Eric this picture (after he asked me for a picture). He returned it the next day saying it just wasn't right. He said that he felt there was something seriously wrong with me if I thought he and his cheerleader wife would like it. He asked if I could just do a picture of a sailboat or a race car for him.

Eric and I grew up neighbors. We ended up at different colleges, and when we met years after graduating, I could see how much he had changed. And it wasn't just the fact that he was married. It was as though he had become serious (and I hadn't). I know that I blamed his wife for this unfortunate turn of events

My friend Nancy took a photograph of this picture to her psychic who reported that the real meaning of the picture was the little man on the horse in the bottom right hand corner riding backward. That, the psychic said, represents the animus of the artist. Your friend, she said, must ask if his energy is helping or hurting his old friend. And then he must ask himself why he feels the way he does.

I decided maybe I should avoid Eric (and Nancy) and focus more on my work and let the past float away behind me.

I personally have no idea what the meaning of this picture is.

#15 Shiva on my shoulder
2' 8" wide by 2'1" tall

Shiva on my shoulder
pastel on board

When I was in school I started studying Hinduism in a comparative religion class. I even went to some Hindu temples. Somewhere along the line, probably because of my constitution, the God Shiva decided to hang out with me.

Some people believe that they have an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, both whispering into their head differing instructions. I have it worse. Shiva is the destroyer. And ever since Shiva decided to play with me, my life has been in chaos.

For example, I was driving on Lake Shore when this car filled with Albinos pulled up next to me. Their window rolled down and two of them stuck their bleach white heads out at me – taunting me. Then they were pointing a gun at me and taking pot shots at my front tire. They hit the car but not the tire and peeled out ahead of me. Consciously I knew I should not pursue – but Shiva gave the orders. I was going about 120 when a cop ended up on my tail with lights flashing and a bullhorn instructing me to pull over.

The cops wanted to know if I had been drinking or doing drugs – both of which I denied. One of the cops mentioned that my story didn't seem plausable because the bullet holes in the front panel of my car had already begun rusting – so it couldn't have just happened.

Luckily the cops got an emergency call, something about a blue van and a code 420. So they instructed me to drive slower and to head home. When I arrived home I locked my keys in my car- both my house and car keys. I was sitting on the back porch having a pity party for myself when a black and white striped cat walked up ( I live on the third floor.) The cat walked right past me and started clawing at my door. I told the cat I was locked out, but it continued pawing. So I got up and tried the door again. Surprise, surprise – it was open.

Later the cat wanted to sleep in bed with me – under the covers! I knew I had no choice. In the morning the cat was gone, and on the side of the bed where the cat had slept was a t-shirt (not one that I owned) that was soaked in blood.

Such is my life with Shiva on my shoulder.

# 16 Boys on a raft
1' 4" wide by 1' 6" tall

Boys on a raft
pencil on paper

There is a difference between falling in lust and falling in love.

There was this guy named Adam. His family used to have a summer home in Michigan near my families place. I met Adam, who was my age, probably when we were six. And from then on I saw him for one week a year until I was fifteen.

There was a river near where we stayed and there was an island in the middle of the river. And sometime around when we were nine we built a raft. And we used that same raft, which we would improve every year, for the next six years as our mode of travel to the island. And sometimes we would just raft down the river and stop here or there to explore.

We were very competitive. Often a playfully splash would turn into a `live or die' wrestling match. We always got over our fights though because we were the only two young people around.

We would do stupid things together. We would try to catch animals- especially snakes to taunt each other with. We liked to make fires and tell weird stories to each other. He was actually a little bit better in every way then me. He was stronger, taller, had better reach, better balance, was a better swimmer, and according to him a better student. I had him beat only in looks.

We found this deep part of the river where there was a tree close enough to dive from. So we started from the low branches to drag the day out, and ascended by useable branches upward. We got, I tell people, close to the clouds. He told me that his branch had been weak and it was too dangerous for me to try and top him. But I couldn't have stopped that part of myself that had something to prove - not just to him - but also to myself.

The branch broke and I fell like Icarus from the sky. My fall entailed passing through, or being hit by all of the branches below. When I hit bottom I had broken six bones - my nose, my left arm, my right leg, two ribs, and the small toe on my left foot. We were way down the river in a deserted area and I needed an ambulance. Adam just picked me up and got me on the raft. He paddled the thing back which took forever. I was in shock and I think I passed out a bit.

But I clearly remember that after we got back to our little landing - instead of going up to the parents for help, he carried me in his arms. I woke up in his arms. That was our last summer together.

Sometimes when I dream about him my heart actually aches.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The subject of Ganymede

Ganymede, the youngest son of Priam, was said to have been the most beautiful of mortals, and his beauty fired Zeus with love. Zeus in the shape of an eagle carried him off and took him to Olympus. On Olympus Ganymede served as a cup bearer. He used to pour nectar into Zeus’ cup and he replaced Hebe, the goddess of Youth, in this service.

Here is a comparison of four pictures based on him as a subject.

Above a picture an earlier work by myself.. At the bottom is a figure of a male in the water, playing on the idea that the boy had a relationship with Poseidon God of the sea, brother of Zeus and Hades - the second most powerful of the Olympian Gods. Zeus was jealous of Poseidon's relationship and the only way to end it was to take Ganymede away.

The above is Peter Paul Rubens. The Abduction of Ganymede. Oil on canvas. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain. One reviewer wrote about it: "Zeus took a liking to the pretty boy Ganymede, he came to Earth as an eagle endowed with sharp talons that drew blood from the young man's naked body. The Marquis de Sade would have enjoyed this tense flurry of feathers, talons, naked flesh and skin wounds. The hint of anal sex is, as it were, a paid extra."

This by Rembrandt. The Abduction of Ganymede. 1635 Oil on canvas. The Dresden Gallery, Dresden, Germany. Note the Rembrant darkness with the brightest spot in the center. Note also that the baby boy doesn't appear to be so attractive.

This by Correggio. The Abduction of Ganymede. c.1531-1532. Oil on canvas. The Louvre, Paris, France. Absolute beautiful use of color.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Hodler: his beloved Valentine Godé-Darel before, during, and after her illness.

While doing some research on the Swiss painter Ferdinand Hodler (1853-1918) I came across an artical aimed at Oncologist (Cancer doctors) that Hodler made of his beloved Valentine Godé-Darel before, during, and after her illness. Below are the highlights of this unusual subject.

In January 1914, only 3 months after the birth of their daughter, Pauline, Godé-Darel had an operation for a gynecologic cancer, from which she died 1 year later. Between 1912 and 1915, Hodler painted her many times. He documented her wasting and eventual extinction without mercy and yet with intense sympathy. He created a series of paintings that force the viewer to face the process of dying. It may be helpful to an oncologist to sense his or her reaction to these visual stages of suffering. Figure 1, the youth. This portrait in shades of red from 1912 shows Godé-Darel as a beautiful, healthy young woman.

Above is the agony. One day before her death, the patient has lost consciousness. The mouth is wide open; one imagines hearing a loud rattle. During this phase, it becomes impossible to communicate with the dying person. If it lasts a long time, death usually comes as a relief for the family and the nursing staff.
This is the last painting of the dead Godé-Darel. In this painting, made on January 26, 1915, day after her death, Hodler symbolically transforms the image. It is dominated by many horizontal lines. The blue stripes at the top appear to symbolize heaven, where the soul will disappear. The dark base of the bed points to an underground world. The header and the footer of the bed do not seem to be made of wood. Rather, the two brushstrokes may symbolize the measures of time, the beginning and the end.
Sunset at Lake Geneva, 1915.
Hodler repeatedly painted this view as seen from the place where Godé-Darel died.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Artist Amy Cutler on her quiet magic realism.

The above picture byArtist Amy Cutler is titled Safekeeping and it's about feelings of stagnation.

I found her `artist explination' in an online magizine called Walrus.

This is what she wrote:

Originally, I painted just a couple of women hidden behind the trees. Then I started to make them appear and one ended up at the tree that has a cabin at the top and a pile of cakes at the bottom. The cake is a celebratory marker and these women visit the tree and dump their cakes because they aren't into celebrations or into traditional routines; they feel disconnected from their surroundings. There's actually a woman buried beneath the pile, her feet are sticking out near where the woman is standing.

'I am the result of the feminist era. My parents divorced early and I was raised by my mom. That definitely changed the course of my thoughts, but I've never studied feminism, so I'm hesitant to say my work is feminist, even though writers have described it that way.

'Safekeeping is similar to a miniature painting. It's like when you whisper, it's intended for smaller groups of people to hear. They're very private moments. I don't always fully understand everything I'm painting, and I doubt I would be motivated to make them if I knew exactly what they meant. It takes me about a month to finish a painting and there are a lot of changes from the time I make the first sketches in my notebook to the final image.'"

Keyword Links: Amy Cutler, magic realism, Featured Artist on this Art Talk Blog

Each day they tell each other that they are one day closer to death

Pastel on Paper
by Paul Grant (follower of Basho)

Monday, September 12, 2005


Gustav Klimt – “Anyone who wants to find out more about me – as an artist, which is all that’s of interest – should look attentively at my pictures.

”Geothe – “If the totality of a colour is presented to the eye from the outside in the form of an object, it will be pleasing to the eye, because it thereby encounters the sum of its own activity as reality.”

Claude Monet – “Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.”

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Plum Blossoms by Matisse now at MOMA

MoMA Acquires a Mystery Matisse

By VERENA DOBNIKAssociated Press Writer
September 9, 2005,

NEW YORK -- The case of the mystery Matisse last seen in Paris more than three decades ago has been solved.

"The Plum Blossoms," a major painting by the French master, has resurfaced as a new acquisition of the Museum of Modern Art. The painting is likely worth at least $20 million.

"For our 1992 retrospective of Matisse, I'd traveled from Japan to Australia to Mexico to the Soviet Union -- and could not find this painting. So this summer, when the call came, I said, 'How could it be?'" John Elderfield, the museum's chief curator of painting and sculpture and a Matisse expert, said Thursday.

The work Henri Matisse created in 1948 was purchased for MoMA by the museum's new president, Marie-Josee Kravis, and her husband, financier Henry Kravis. One of the artist's late works before his death in 1954, it was last publicly displayed in 1970 at the Grand Palais in Paris and was then sold to an unidentified buyer, Elderfield said.

This summer, MoMA was approached by a New York dealer on behalf of a European collector who did not wish to be named. The price was not disclosed, since the transaction with the Kravises was private. But works of this artistic caliber generally go for tens of millions of dollars.
Although MoMA owns about 50 canvases and sculptures by Matisse, the museum did not have any of his late paintings.

In brilliant hues of red and orange, "The Plum Blossoms" shows a woman with a blank, featureless face sitting at a table, with a huge vase of flowers in the foreground. Matisse's aim in leaving the face blank was "to encourage you to look all over the surface of the painting," said Elderfield. "He realized we are biologically constructed to focus on faces more than anything. So he came to the conclusion that the way to make the eyes circulate freely in the space was not to paint the face."

"The Plum Blossoms" is one of seven interiors Matisse painted at his studio in the South of France, in Vence. The other six are owned by various museums and foundations.

"After this series, he really stopped painting," Elderfield said. In his 70s, Matisse ended his life's work by creating whimsical paper cutouts. He had kept "Plum Blossoms" after painting it, and it passed on to his heirs.

Elderfield said the work is in exceptionally fine condition.

"Paintings age, and the more they travel, the more they age," he noted. "This one hasn't traveled for a long time. The surface is so pristine, and the canvas so brilliantly white. It remains untouched."

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Hanging the Boy on a Hook:

Artist note:

On: Put the boy on the Hook:

What does it mean? I have no clue.

I started with a square and then many hours later a picture was forming. I do ask myself what is happening, as I go along in the process. I did wonder why the picture inside the picture was a head of a boy facing up. And I questioned the hook - is that what the two naked guys are trying to attach the picture too?

Is there a subtle Christian thing going on with the idealized figure hung?

I tend to do pictures that are meditations. The colors mean something - they are like musical notes. The picture can be seen as a song.

Not actual size

Will be auctioned on Ebay starting today, ending next Sunday. We will see how this goes.

An original photographic Montage by American Artist Paul Grant
Suffering for us
A small framed edition of this print was put on ebay.

Artist note:
On the picture: Suffering for Us:

As the country recovers from the disaster in New Orleans, we sometimes forget the suffering going on in other parts of the world, whether that be our soldiers or civilians.

The Abu Ghraib Prison is a shameful testament to human cruelty. Hooded, humilified, in some cases sadistically tortured and sexually abused- this was done all in our name.

The people who committed crimes upon the prisoners, did so as representatives of us.

We share in the guilt.

This little picture is just a reminder. By reflection on the darkest of humanity, sometimes, we appreciate the goodness in our lives, and the needto do something in positive directionto help make the world a better place.

-paul grant Memorial Day 2005

*If you would like an 8 x10 print of this for $10.00 please email me at

(Thanks for supporting the arts)

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