Friday, October 14, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
It's been almost a year since I was married to "Boar" by Gianmaria Buccelatti and I fully expected today to write a gushing description of my artistic attraction to this superbly crafted silver sculpture. I had planned to write a fascinated account of how each little hair on Boar's belly was somehow made to look lifelike in a sculptural medium that's generally used for jewelery and utensils. But that will not be happening today.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
When I first met you here, I wondered why you hung out with your neighbors. Now I've met some of them. The family just below you looks a lot like mine would if someone had made us all sit still for once and then turned it into a painting. I'm curious about those family-member-sized touchups I see.
And then I met your new neighbor. Hello there. I'll admit I'm tempted by this new Calder piece. It's so lovely and animated, it moves gracefully all on it's own. Untitled, I'm glad you've got a peer in your hall and hope your proximity to each other lets you trade tips on drafts and bald spots from your vantage point.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
As a co-worker of mine says, "I work in an art museum, I don't have time to look at art." How true. How true. I've been very negligent to my life-partner, Joseph Kosuth's Five Words in Orange Neon, but I'm turning over a new leaf, starting now. That isn't to say I've been completely absent. As I rush through the galleries, on some errand that doesn't involve mid-60s conceptual art, I find myself basking in the warm glow of orange neon, and pausing--if only for a moment--to reflect on our relationship.
Ours is a complicated partnership, involving both scorn and mutual admiration. While I'm often wracked with guilt for not visiting him nearly enough, my lover isn't without culpability for our strained relationship. His lofty position on the wall of the stairs on the fourth floor of the Contemporary galleries gives him a haughty and supercilious air, keeping anyone who wants to get closer just out of reach. Still, on this Valentine's Day Eve, I stop to remember and wistfully reflect on those heady days way back in September of 2010 when we first met and exchanged nuptials. It was a simpler time, a happier time, and I will never forget it.
Sunday, February 6, 2011
I am humbled to know that the original statue is one of the most celebrated works to survive the antiquity.
My beloved has languished a bit in the last few months. I am sorry dear one. I have no excuse, especially since it's a less than five minute walk from my "office" to your "office". Accept my apology? I will do better.
Dearest Western Motel, I wanted to see you today to share a photograph that reminded me of you...and of me...and of our connection to each other. Recently, I came across something of a sidewalk maxim on a journey home from the corner store. I stopped in my tracks to consider its words--"You Aren't Lost You Just Aren't There Yet.” I immediately thought of you, patiently sitting in your rocking chair, waiting for travelers to check in or check out as they make their way along the lonely stretch of highway outside. I thought this phrase, scrawled like a road sign beneath my feet, might resonate for you as it did for me. Whoever took the time to chalk it out is wise beyond their years. Like you, the person who wrote this understands the complex nature of our metaphorical journeys on this planet. Sometimes we find ourselves in the psychological equivalent of your motel lobby, wondering where on earth we are, and where we are headed? While some who come upon you may find little comfort in the seemingly depressing space you carve out for us--ratty, dusty, self-medicated, isolated--I am warmed by your mere presence, and the fact that you are always situated somewhere between the "here's" and the "there's" of my life. Thanks for keeping the light on for all us travelers.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
I lose myself in the depths of your darkness.
To be still in the simpler times of your life.
You speak to me of souls less polluted by noise and chemicals
And I am still too.
So I find myself,
Shining in your light.
You are my golden aura.
Yours Always, Cedar Rose
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
All my love, Scott
Friday, January 21, 2011
Monday, January 17, 2011
The powers-that-be are threatening to annul my partnership if I don't post a blog, so here it is. I do visit my partner regularly; both before and after our marriage. But, I have no desire/time/interest in writing about our powerful bond for the world. Sorry! Just don't annul us; you don't understand us.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Saturday, December 18, 2010
In my memory of it, in my mind, the image is transplendent, full of crisp lines that playfully and gracefully define and ornament the two metaphysical creatures located in a dark afternoon-like, almost subterranean environment.
Seeing it anew, I noticed more muck, more chaos. The two bodies were far less separate from their surroundings than I recall them to be. Their surrounding, far more mucky, more like ochre mucous, than my mental image would suggest. The purple stripes decorating the wings of the Sphinx look like day-glo acrylic paint. It's hard to believe Redon generated that color from the oil paint of his day. The disturbing little set of teeth (presumably the only part of Oannes that is identifiable) in the lower left corner is even less specifically attached to a body, than I recall. And most surprising, the breaking of that adage- "thick over thin." Redon painted several thin glazes of earthy-raw sienna over some very thick chunks of impasto smack dab in the middle of the painting.
I love it. I love how he broke the rules in such a clunky way. I love the inexplicability of the foreground, wide irregularly shaped swaths of the ugliest green which somehow add up to a comprehensible space. Utterly brilliant.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
- Juliette Harding
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Such pinings are silly. It's just a painting, right? But I felt loss...people loss. And as I write this I suddenly remember a conversation I had with the painter Carl Hall in 1984, as we looked at some pictures in a show at Willamette University where he was my teacher. I had asked him to help me understand some paintings that were obscure to me. "Paintings are people," he said.
At the time I thought he meant that they contain bits of the artist, that aspects of personality rub off in the work, or that you need to pretend that paintings are people so that you can behold them as individuals without the judgement of comparison. But with this recent experience I wonder if he didn't mean something deeper. The sensation of loss I had, of disappointment, was a human response, the kind I would have had if I had lost another human being, as if a friend suddenly disappeared without notice.
I admit this with some embarrassment, as it seems full of drama, especially when I normally view the whole process of art coming into the world from the point of view of one who makes it. But I would not feel this way about a familiar mass-produced object that disappeared from the landscape.
As art involves magic, attempting portals through which willing participants can pass to transformed states of being, its potential may be more powerful than I thought. Instead of merely evoking love; it might create it.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
It was an instant attraction, possibly a bit too physical at first, perhaps a little rushed...
But an itch like that needs to be scratched as soon as possible for the good of both parties.
What a relief!
I'm not sure what took us so long. It may have been that post-nuptial buyer's remorse that grips some of the recently espoused. Or my companion's rigid, quadrilateral disposition. Or my own fear of liking Matisse.
Either way, I have found endearing qualities in my companion, and they aren't ALL bare bottoms and garters.
May our visits be frequent and long.
May she understand if I'm not entirely monogamous.
And may beauty always be in the eye of the beholder!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Needless to say I am stoked! With our marriage, and now the approval of our families, out of the way... looks like it's time to start dating.
George Washington, by Rembrandt Peale
The truth of the matter is that I have a special relationship with George. It is not that he was the richest guy in the Colonies, not that he was a leader among men (women didn’t count for much those days, and some say he had more luck on his side than strategy), not that he was even a president, but that he was self-possessed and simultaneously modest.
It was the embodiment of what came to be known as the American spirit, or American values that makes me love him. When you look at George, he wears no decorations of rank or status. All military men of some standing wore shoulder macaroni, as did he. He also wore a simple stock around his neck, and a clean but modest garment. There are no metals plastered or pinned to his chest or badges of honor. There are no sashes defining to which club he might have been a member. He is just there, stately and ruddy-faced, with a relatively un-handsome big nose.
I always interpret the wooden oval around his portrait as the rough-hewn material from which he had emerged, although I am told that it indicates that by the time Rembrandt Peale made this portrait, George was dead.
One ought not leave out the painter Rembrandt Peale in all of this. He is one of our early geniuses, and it is a welcome and cherished gift that the Portland Art Museum is the recipient of a piece of his work.
My family came to America long after Washington and Peale had died. But it was easy to adopt George and the mythology around him as our own. He stood for the best in all of us. Modest, smart, enterprising, but with the wisdom to know when to step down and pass the mantle of power.
When touring students at the art museum as I do, I look for an opportunity to have those students say, “Hello, George.” And if we have time, we pull out a dollar bill and compare portraits, and we talk about transmitted values. Civic pride ought not be overlooked just because art is our major topic.
Carol Isaak, Portland Art Museum docent
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
I was visiting the art museum with friends and we were meandering around when I ran into Boar quite literally. I was walking backwards talking and bumped into him. I remember being fascinated by the detailing involved in the piece. I can only imagine the time involved in creating this amazing work.
When I heard about the ability of being married to a work of art I immediately thought of my beloved pal and signed up right away! Luckily I happened to be just in time to be the last one to be married that night by my "Justice of the Peace".
Vows commenced. We kissed. (Insert photo op here)
I'm looking forward to my next visit with Boar. Hopefully that will be soon :-)
"...to spend that much time in front of an artwork, you have to be in dialogue with it. You have to listen to it, and think something in response, and look again, and see how the work has changed. You have to believe that you can have an ongoing, evolving relationship with something that is unchanging. Many people might say that is impossible."
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Sonnet to a "Western Motel "
By Margaret Kieweg, Portland Art Museum Docent
In honor of the art/life partner-commitment made by Stephanie Parrish on October 15, 2010
Art thou a lovely work of art?
Entombed within museum walls
How capture thus a maiden's heart
While yet thou makest my skin crawl!
The dirt and grime are shine enshrined
Old shoes or slippers over used
Alas the ice cream smears are primed
Liquor bottles strewn, confused
The soft red neon makes the plea
A vacancy is there within
My heart is cold, desires to flee
Or grab a mop, paint brush and bin.
Despite my own reluctant dread
She makes her vow, “Motel” to wed.