Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Taboo book notice

December 13, 2018

… that is, a notice of a book on taboo language: The Oxford Handbook of Taboo Words and Language, ed. by Keith Allan, publisher’s site here.

Cover art: Namarrgon the Lightning Man (aboriginal rock art from Western Arnhemland); he comes to earth as a lightning strike and brings the fierce tropical storms in Western Arnhemland during the monsoon season (notable testicles are a common feature of representations of him)

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The corten zoo of Fernando Suárez Reguera

December 13, 2018

A follow-up to yesterday’s posting “Three artists” (Franz Marc, Odilon Redon, Dale Chihuly): more art posted by Joelle Stepien Bailard on Facebook. Works by Spanish sculptor Fernando Suárez Reguera, in particular some of his corten steel animal figures, simultaneously impressive and charming.

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Three artists

December 12, 2018

(About art rather than linguistics. Well, Joelle Stepien Bailard is a lawyer specializing in international law and mediation, but she’s also a PhD in linguistics from UCLA (1982), though that doesn’t seem to be relevant to this posting.)

In recent weeks on Facebook, Joelle has been providing a pleasurable counterforce to a stream of news liable to provoke dread, despair, or rage: a counterstream of reproductions of art works in various media and genres, some of them familiar (Manet’s Olympia came past a little while ago), many by artist X before X became X (before X developed the recognizable style X is famous for), many that are simply little-known works by well-known artists, and many from artists you’ve probably never even heard of. Delightful.

Two of the artists — Franz Marc and Odilon Redon — are old favorites of mine. And a third, the currently very visible glass sculptor Dale Chihuly, appears here through a sliver of connection to Redon.

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News for bears: cities of bears

December 8, 2018

On the 5th here, postings on the patron saint of bears and on Swiss saintly dogs (with a bow to the city of Bern(e)). Now: more on Bern; on the movie BearCity; and on two California cities of bears, Big Bear City in San Bernardino County and Los Osos in San Luis Obispo County.

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News for bears: St. Corbinian

December 5, 2018

Recent news flashes for bears: the 11/17/18 posting “Teddy Bears’ Picnic Day” (with the customary bow to possible gay subtexts); and the 12/4/18 posting “Santa Barbara: smite him with lightning”, with image #2 — Corrado Parducci’s Horace Rackham Fountain at the Detroit Zoo (1939), featuring a pair of sculpture bears. Now, continuing the lives of the saints theme, but disregarding the many saints named Ursus or Ursula, we come to St. Corbinian, the patron saint of bears (thanks to the 8th-century Miracle of the Bear).

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Santa Barbara: smite him with lightning

December 4, 2018

Today is Saint Barbara’s feast day. Draw near and sit with me, for today’s telling of the lives of the saints. There will be miracles.


(#1) St. Barbara as envisioned by sculptor Corrado Parducci at St. Barbara’s Church in Dearborn MI

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A morning in the Blue Period

December 2, 2018

That morning was 10/29, and the morning name then was Paloma Picasso: an alliterative double amphibrach. Bringing with it an allusion to her fashionable clothes and accessories, and to her father’s paintings.

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Green flowers

November 30, 2018

It starts with this design by Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky on her Instagram account on the 8th, with her comment “Not sure why I keep making flowers green”:

(#1)

And then it leads all sorts of surprising places, botanical, cultural, and linguistic.

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Swiss Tasmania

November 29, 2018

The raw material: a poster on Pinterest, which led to photos of a quaint village:


(#1) Mt. Ida and Lake St. Clair, in the highlands of central Tasmania


(#2) The faux-Swiss village of Grindelwald, near Launceston, TAS

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A grotesque word

November 29, 2018

Tuesday’s Zippy:

(#1)

Another chapter in word attraction: Zippy’s (and Griffy’s) enjoyment of “funny words”. Here, gargoyle, which Zippy, absurdly, analyzes as a compound of the nouns gar (referring to a kind of sharp-toothed fish) and goyle (a rare, mostly dialectal, term for a deep trench) — so, roughly ‘fish ravine’. Turns out the actual etymology of gargoyle is entertaining enough on its own.

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