Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

The world out my front door

April 20, 2018

I post a lot about the world out my front door: what can be seen and appreciated within a few blocks of my house on Ramona St.: buildings, businesses, public art, parks, food, and (especially) plants.

“The world out my front door” is an allusion to the wonderful 1978 book of photography by Ruth Orkin: The World Through My Window:

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What’s out my front door is downtown Palo Alto, and at somewhat greater distance, Menlo Park, Stanford, and the Professorville, Old Palo Alto, College Terrace, and California Ave. neighborhoods of Palo Alto. What was out of Ruth Orkin’s window (on Central Park West in NYC) was Central Park, which she captured in photographic images (mostly in color) that have become iconic. Central Park in mist and haze, Central Park in the snow.

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Moments of color

April 12, 2018

From Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky, on her Instagram site, a flaming script Z; and from colorcompanion @alphafoodie, a stunning rainbow sandwich:

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The gay world of Yvon Goulet

April 9, 2018

(It’s art, but about male bodies and often about mansex, so not for kids or the sexually modest.)

Original alert from Daniel MacKay on Facebook, about a work that’s far from X-rated (no sexual bits at all) but is nevertheless steeped in a ritual of mansex, t-room cruising, in this case at the urinals:

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Watercolor journeys

April 3, 2018

Yesterday morning, a visit to a specialized museum in the far south of Palo Alto: The Foster Watercolor Exhibitions of Wilderness Journals. Open to the public, free, with generous daytime hours.

Bonus: a free-standing mosque in the neighborhood which opened in 2015. I had been unaware of the Foster and also of the mosque.
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Easter Anthem: the text

March 31, 2018

In between crucifixion and resurrection, a moment to consider the Sacred Harp song “Easter Anthem” (236 in the 1991 Denson revision of the Sacred Harp), tune by William Billings (1787). I posted the music on 4/20/14, along with a link to a video of the song at the Kalamazoo MI all-day singing on 7/20/09.

Now about the words, by Edward Young (1681-1765). The scriptural basis for the text:

But now is Christ risen from the dead,
and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
– I Corinthians 15:20 (KJV)

Now the SH text, and its source, in an intense, visionary poem by Young.

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Pride Time #5: on Barceloneta beach

March 30, 2018

(From June 2017. Underwear men, Catalonia, gay life, Barcelona beaches, art and architecture, and, eventually, food. First, underwear with my captions.)

The saints of Catalunya
Pretty in purple and pink

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Sant Jordi the savory in heat
Stretched out on rocks
Homage to Barceloneta
Between sail and fish

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Sant Joan the sweet
Celebrant of gay pride
Summer solstice confection
Of fruit and nuts

It’s all about Barcelona, the beach, and swim briefs.

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Deviant Last Suppers

March 28, 2018

Tomorrow is Maundy Thursday, commemorating the Last Supper (of Jesus and his apostles) in Christian tradition, most famously represented in a late 15th century mural painting by Leonardo da Vinci — a painting often parodied, in playful, pointed, and deliberately sacrilegious ways. Including many turning on gender and sexuality. For instance, this 2017 Italian gay male version:

(#1) The Salerno outrage

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Art objects and utilitarian objects

March 25, 2018

Today’s Zippy, on the relationship between the two:

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In brief: utilitarian objects can be aesthetically pleasing — can be seen as art objects — without any conscious intention on the part of the designer; or they can be created with an eye towards pleasing design; or they can be self-consciously designed as objects to view (because they are pleasing or playful or both) as well as objects to use. Above: type 1.

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nameless sodomites

March 21, 2018

(There will some be free verse that is flagrantly sacrilegious and violently carnal, and there will be some outrageous art, and, yes, this posting’s about oral and anal sodomy between men, though with a mostly historical and literary cast  — so you might want to exercise your judgment.)

It began with Penn State academic librarian (and my friend) Christopher (Xopher) Walker coming across a Facebook posting that began with the words “nameless sodomites”, which seized his attention. It was a publisher’s blurb for a new book in Italian on men’s sexuality and criminal behavior:

When I searched for the expression, I unearthed a reference (by the Cambridge Medievialist William Burgwinkle) to (Saint) Peter Damian seeing nameless sodomites through the confessional curtain. I then suspected that the phrase might have had some currency as a fixed expression — but in any event it’s a poetically arresting phrase, with the rather antique sodomite paired with an allusion to the medieval custom, in some places, of burning sodomites at the stake after priests had taken anonymous confessions of their mortal sins. Later custom, in the U.K. and the U.S. at least, was for sodomites to be named and shamed in court and then publicly hanged.

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Divine Bodies

March 20, 2018

At the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco:

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