imaginary outfit: artful dodger

imaginary outfit: artful dodger


Winter is not winter and spring is not here, and I while I relish any opportunity for bare ankles, permafrost is melting and Antartica is cracking and February was too warm.

Trying to keep up with the news is like dropping handful after handful of steel ball bearings on a highly-polished concrete floor. Noise, confusion, and the uneasy awareness of the increasing risk for catastrophic slips and falls.

I keep thinking of the witch in The Wizard of Oz, moaning 'What a world, what a world," as she melted.

Craving temporary escape, I'm imagining an impossible feat of gallery hopping (in excessively impractical shoes): a morning in New York to take in the Vija Celmins exhibit at Matthew Marks, and an afternoon in London to see the David Hockney retrospective.

Both are artists I love very much — so much so that not being in NYC to see the show at Matthew Marks is a little daily pang (though I hope to catch the larger Celmins retrospective being curated by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and I am plotting a trip to NYC to see the Hockney exhibit at the Met next winter).

To see a Celmins print or painting is to be knocked flat by by time and space in two ways: the intensity of process to create the image (which is immediately obvious and beautifully intimidating), and the fact of time captured in the subject itself. Fields of stars, moonscapes, waves, spiderwebs — all the meaning is in time and space, either infinite or ephemeral. Each work is a discrete object of concentrated wonder.
I guess my work sometimes confuses people, because I really have nothing to say about the ocean, or the sky, or the moon. It’s more about the feeling of the magic of making things I could never have mine: my airplane, my ocean, my sky.
To keep my mind reeling, I'd sneak a visit to the Morgan Library to see works by another artist whose subject is infinity.
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Duly dazed, it's time to cross the ocean, looking to London for exuberance and color and the earthly delights of David Hockney.

My favorite Hockney video shows him painting en plein air. Every time I watch it, I feel startled by the way the lines become branches and the way unexpected colors are perfectly right and by the realization of how much there is to see in the world if you have the eye to look.
I do get a deep pleasure from looking. I mean, I can look at a little puddle on a road in Yorkshire and just have the rain falling on it and think it's marvelous. ... I see the world as very beautiful.
I'd get lost in Bigger Trees Near Warter and crash at Betjemen's home, Cloth Fair (Betjemen wrote the picture book I loved the most as a child, and as long as I am in London, I might as well make the pilgrimage.)

And then ... back to reality (or unreality).

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In the collage: coat / top / pants / shoes / earrings / bag / ring / notebook / pencils / pen

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Also: 'love and best wishes for the 2nd of March'