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Showing posts from September, 2017

Me Talking About Alexander Calder

In the first years of this blog, in 2010-2011, I created a series of 100 short illustrated talks on art that I called Meditations on Art. There is a page on this blog linking to a complete playlist . I remember, about a year after I completed the series, checking in via YouTube and seeing that one of them had passed 1,000 views. An insignificant number compared to your average viral cat video, of course, but considering I made these little videos mostly for my own amusement, it still amazed me that one of them would get 1,000 clicks (whether they were purposeful or accidental). Well, I just looked at the stats again, and I am amazed to find that one of these videos, the Meditation on Alexander Calder, has now surpassed 18,000 views. Here it is:

Student Work

I've been busy teaching recently, with four classes a week keeping me occupied. Here are some images by participants in the classes: linocuts, etchings, handmade books, and drawings.

Gauguin the Alchemist

When I read a biography of Paul Gauguin a few years ago, one of the many stories that stayed with me was from his time in Tahiti in the late 1890s. A legend has grown up that Gauguin was a sympathetic traveller to the Pacific islands, paying respect to the cultural traditions of the people who lived there even as he borrowed their iconography and symbols for his paintings. The biography related that he shacked up with a teenage girl, in a relationship that looks uncomfortably like a modern-day sex tourist's in places like Thailand and Cambodia. And in terms of his art, this is the kicker: apparently there was a celebrated old indigenous artist living quite close to Gauguin, but the Frenchman never once visited him or showed the slightest interest in seeing what the art produced by real "natives" might actually look like. I'm not one to hold an artist's biography against him/her when I consider their work (see my last blog post), and I don't really dislike