Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

A Swiss thread

June 19, 2018

Yesterday, in the posting “Return to the E. Zwicky grain mill”,

Kim Darnell has been preparing a Page on this blog linking to my postings about Switzerland and the Swiss. This has caused her to discover still more Zwicky-related sites — thus giving me still more things to post about. The great cycle of posting.

That posting took us to the Schweizerische Schälmühle (‘Swiss hulling-mill’) E. Zwicky and its muesli. Meanwhile, the Page on “Switzerland, things Swiss” is now finished and available for consultation.

And Kim has turned my attention back to another well-known Swiss firm, the Zwicky & Co. silk thread factory (Seidenzwirnerei), recognized to many people through Swiss artist Donald Brun’s elegantly playful 1950 ad poster for the company:

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The rose and the flames

June 3, 2018

(After some extended moments of reflections on religious belief, this posting will venture into the sexual wilds, and the later material will not be suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

Two design drawings by Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky (from a set available to the public in an Instagram file): one a rose window (alluding indirectly to such images at Stanford’s Memorial Church, which serve as potent Christian symbols); and one suggesting tongues of flame / fire (alluding to those that figure in the Christian religious holiday of Pentecost, which fell this year on Sunday, May 20th). Two religious symbols, with associated linguistic expressions (rose window; tongues of flame/fireto speak in tongues).

First, things: the rose, and flames.

Then, these things serving as symbols in Christian ways of thinking (actually, each can have several different symbolic values, even within this specific sociocultural context).

Then, these symbols, with these values, deployed in art, music, film, and fiction, and even in food and in plant names.

Then, the original things — rose and flames — serving as symbols in other sociocultural contexts: in particular, as sexual symbols, for body parts and for sexual acts.

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It’s alive!

May 29, 2018

(Flânerie, strolling from one thing to another in Victor Frankenstein’s neighborhood — and, as it turns out, in mine too.)

At the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford, the exhibition “Betray the Secret: Humanity in the Age of “Frankenstein””, 4/4/18 – 8/5/18, which I viewed yesterday, as a Memorial Day treat. The image for the show:


(#1) Beth Van Hoesen, Stanford (Arnautoff Class),  1945 (graphite and ink on paper)

Just one part of a larger Frankenstein celebration at Stanford.  A mid-sized show, easily graspable within an hour or so — the Cantor is very good at this — and, thanks to its dependence on existing collections at Stanford, offering many works and artists you wouldn’t have predicted and might never have heard of (I’ll write about one of these artists below). In any case, thought-provoking, in line with the Cantor’s mission as a “teaching museum”.

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The Zippyphone game

May 28, 2018

In today’s Zippy,  a recurrent theme in the strip: the game of Telephone, or Chinese Whispers:

(#1)

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bunny ears

May 21, 2018

It started with a candid photo of people at a social gathering, with one person making a V hand gesture behind the head of the person next to them, much as in this photo of pro tennis players:

(#1) Swiss jock jokery:  Stan Wawrinka doing the ‘bunny ears’ gesture behind Roger Federer

Bunny-earing someone is a prank (NOAD on the noun prank: ‘a practical joke or mischievous act’), pranks being a very culture-specific form of play + humor that deserve analytic attention that I’m not able to provide, but will just take as a cultural given here.

To come: a bit of the history of bunny-earing; senses of the expression bunny ears (illustrating (mostly metaphorical) sense developments in many directions); and uses of the V hand gesture (illustrating symbolic functions of many different kinds; the gesture itself is “just stuff”, without intrinsic meaning, which can be exploited for many different symbolic purposes). The act, the meanings of the linguistic expression for the act, the cultural significances (or “social meanings”) of the act.

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The 6-fold way

May 19, 2018

A fabulous design from Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky yesterday:

(#1) “6-fold” (or: “The 6-fold Way”)

To come. On 6-fold symmetry: snowflakes (natural and in paper), many monocot flowers, Kekulé’s carbon ring for benzene, the major colors of the color wheel (reproduced in the rainbow flag for Gay Pride).

Then on number, color, and gender parallelisms, which will give us 6 as purple and queer. And how the opposition of the secondary hues green with purple in #1 parallels the opposition of the primary hues blue with red (and, in the background of #1, the opposition of the primary hues red with yellow).

And on the name 6-fold way, adapted from the Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism and Murray Gell-Mann’s adaptation of the idea (under the name The Eightfold Way) to a theory organizing subatomic particles.

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Surreal beer

May 16, 2018

Today’s Bizarro/Wayno collaboration goes to the neighborhood taproom:

(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 4 in this strip — see this Page.)

There’s the question of why Toper 3 can’t find his beer. That has a simple answer: the apple obscures his vision.

Then there’s the claim that Toper 3 is a surrealist — but actually he’s a surrealist character, not a surrealist (an exponent of surrealism). That does make the cartoon surreal, bizarre, because it juxtaposes two ordinary topers at a bar with a fictional character (one from surrealist art, to make the scene more delicious).

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Gay butterflies

May 13, 2018

(Only the first image — daddy and boy in sexual medias res — is problematic; but it’s probably over the line for Facebook these days, and it might be for you too, even though it’s penisless. The penises are in an AZBlogX posting “Gay butterflies”, in three mansex collages with word play and butterflies.)

It started with a visual re-run yesterday in “Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar”:

A collage of mine (from my 10/21/16 posting “Another Spanish lesson”, with a Daddy / Boy scene illustrating el papá taking charge of the body of his boy:

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For Mothers Day

May 12, 2018

(Talk about mansex in street language, so not for kids or the sexually modest — or, for that matter, Facebook the Prudish.)

From the TitanMen gay porn studio, for Mothers Day this year:

(#1) Cropped ad; the full ad can be viewed on AZBlogX, in the 5/12 posting “Mothers / Muthuhs Day 2018”

That’s Dirk Caber and Daymin Voss in New Rules: two hot muthas, and muthas — a variant of the vulgar slang mothers, a clipping of the vulgar slang motherfuckers, an epithet that can be either deprecatory or (as here) celebratory — is the link to Mothers Day.

So we end up with gay porn for Mothers Day — a holiday I’m now tickled to think of, alternatively, as Motherfuckers Day. Or, possibly, Samuel L. Jackson Day, for the great cinematic motherfucker-wielder.

As a bonus, half the men in the cast of New Rules are not only mothers / muthuhs, but also daddies, in one of the gay senses of daddy:attractive older gay man’. In fact, they’re muscle daddies.

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Said the rapper to the geek

May 6, 2018

Today’s Rhymes With Orange, with a fine POP (of a nonstandard variety):

(#1) M.C. Hammer-Escher = MC Hammer + M.C. Escher

An M.C. Escher-style tessellation of images of the rapper MC Hammer — visually combining the elements that are combined linguistically in the portmanteau.

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