Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Two comics explained

June 20, 2019

First came the Frazz strip from yesterday, sent to me by John Baker because he thought it would be of special interest to me (for reasons that will quickly become clear):


(#1) Frazz, the school janitor who’s also a Renaissance man, copes with the puzzlement of one of the students

And then a visual composition with what is obviously a Magrittean disavowal — a visuoverbal humor form realized variously in (at least) paintings, drawings, cartoons, and web graphics (there’s a Page on this blog about it) — that appeared in numerous slightly different versions on Facebook recently, baffling me:


(#2) Ok, it’s not a moon, but what, I wondered, is it? And what does it have to do with the Magritte original?

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Portraits of Frank O’Hara

June 18, 2019

(Mostly about poetry and art, poets and artists, with some raunchy moments on men’s bodies and mansex, so kids and the sexually modest should steer clear, but not much about language, or for that matter music or plants or food — you can’t always get you want, but if you’re Frank O’Hara, you can probably get what you need.)

In the Village Voice on June 1st, a piece by by Peter Schjeldahl,”Frank O’Hara: He Made Things and People Sacred”, with the summary subhead:

In 15 years as a poet, playwright, critic, curator, and universal energy source in the lives of the few hundred most creative people in America, Frank O’Hara had rendered that world wholly unprepared to tolerate his passing [in a freak accident on the beach at Fire Island on 8/11/66, at the age of 40].

Schjeldahl’s appreciation will also let me cash in the promissory note in the Alice Neel section of my 6/6/19 posting “What makes the world go ’round?”:

The AZBlogX posting [of 6/6/19, “On the art patrol: Alice Neel, Larry Rivers”] has (in #2 there) a famously scandalous Larry Rivers painting of a naked O’Hara with a hard-on and workman’s boots and nothing else; I’ll get to it in a separate posting on O’Hara. Here, Neel’s takes on O’Hara, in two paintings from 1960 [a side view and a front view, both entirely SFW; with a quote from an O’Hara poem: “I was made in the image of a sissy / truck-driver”]

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Come frolic and cavort in the water

June 11, 2019

Today’s Zippy has our playful Pinhead frolicking and cavorting in the surf, on a water trike:

(#1)

In no particular order: the Aqua-Cycle water trike, seen above churning through the surf (and, quite possibly, several holiday-goers); the verbs frolic and cavort, great favorites of Zippy’s, which tend to come with a sexual tinge; the social custom of pleasurable frolicking and cavorting in the water, easily bent to homoerotic purposes, in displays of the body and playful contact between men; and one particular artist of that scene (from a great many), Keith Vaughan.

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What makes the world go round?

June 6, 2019

Today’s Zippy starts with Zippy and Griffy at Universal Studios Hollywood, reflecting on what is worthwhile in our lives:

(#1)

Griffy inventories some of his passions, in high culture and popular culture (including sports and food):

Beethoven, Alice Neel, Miles Davis, Tiger Woods, Ernie Bushmiller (the Nancy cartoonist), tuna melt

And Zippy, being a cartoon character,  follows with a catalogue of his own cartoon favorites:

Gerald McBoing Boing, Baby Huey, Yosemite Sam, Popeye the Sailor Man

Lots of stuff in these lists, but most of it is either in the cultural commons or treated in previous postings on this blog. The standout exception is the uncompromising portrait painter Alice Neel. She will lead us to a number of her subjects: the art critics Gregory Battcock and David Bourdon; the Greenwich Village eccentric Joe Gould; and the poet Frank O’Hara. It will end in naked men and some flagrant mansex, but I’ll warn you when this material looms.

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Learnèd cowboy joshing on the dusty plains

May 28, 2019

Cowboy cuisine you were probably unaware of, from the tv Western Rawhide S7 E8 “Damon’s Road: Part II” (first aired 11/20/64), in a short bit in which the drovers on a cattle drive are treated to a fancy brunch out on the dusty plains (literally on the trail), with the trail boss Gil Favor (played by Eric Fleming) getting his own table (white tablecloth, nice glassware, and all). The cook, assuming the role of a French chef, appears with a dish made specially for Favor: eggs à la Robespierre!. He removes the lid from the silver serving dish to reveal what Favor confirms is indeed eggs à la Robespierre, explaining wryly:

eggs in the shell with their heads cut off

(as I took the words down on the fly). And the brief scene comes quickly to a close, with everyone returning to the main story line. Nothing draws attention to the line, which goes by in an instant. Snap.

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The videographer

May 22, 2019

It came to me via Google Alert last week, another creative Zwicky: Denis Zwicky, videographer in Miami. At first, I guessed from his French first name and his fluent but non-native English that he was related to the Zwickys of Wallisellen, outside Zürich, of the Zwicky thread and yarn company and now the Zwicky Areal Facility, an exploration of urban development on the grounds of the thread factory:


(#1) Wallisellen: the old factory and a corner of the new development

Though they’re in German-speaking Switzerland, the younger generations of the family mostly have French names (I’ve written about Joelle); see my 6/27/18 posting “Three Züricher Peter Zwickys”, with a section about “Silk Peter” of the thread company and his four daughters.

But no, far otherwise. As I wrote in yesterday’s posting “Das Wappen”, Denis turned out to be one of the Slavic Zwickys (more in today’s posting “Tsviki from Belarus”). However, I’ll put this personal and family history aside for today, to report on Denis the videographer.

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Stravinsky’s 1970 Firebird and the Ghoulliard Quartet

May 20, 2019

Music, cartoons, and language play, plus Slavic folklore, Seiji Ozawa and his expressive hair, pony cars, symphony trumpeters, NPR, and Frankenstein’s monster. It starts with this wonderful cartoon by Jeffrey Curnow from the NPR site (hat tip to Virginia Transue):

(#1)

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Great twerks of the 19th century

May 19, 2019

In advertising for the Palo Alto Art Center’s exhibition Local Editions: A Celebration of Bay Area Printmaking 6/15/19 – 8/25/19, this arresting print by Judy Aoki:


(#1) (She) Twerkin’, 2014 stone lithograph with watercolor (on Aoki’s website under the title Dance Styles of the 1800’s, from her Museum of Historical Makeovers)

A note on the late 20th- / early 21st-century dance craze twerking, then more on Aoki and her work.

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Pooh’s honey pot

May 16, 2019

(Talk of men’s bodies and mansex, not appropriate for kids or the sexually modest.)

From several posters on Facebook, a raunchy fabric composition involving TopPooh, TPooh for short, and BottomPooh, BPooh for short (both of them from Ernest Shepard illustrations for the original Winnie-the-Pooh books), doing a standing doggy:

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The dragons of Homoland

May 11, 2019

The centerpiece:


(#1) “Rainbow Dragons” (for LGBT Pride 2018) by Ross Sanger, on Deviant Art (hat tip to Kim Darnell)

Two effects here. One, in popular culture, dragons are  tamed, almost to the point of cuteness; otherwise, they’re creatures of great power and potential danger (in Western traditions, active malevolence) — but here are cicurated (tamed, rendered mild or harmless), or even cutesified. And then, dragons have become loosely attached to gay culture; they’ve been homoized in some contexts — Homoland is, at the very least, congenial to dragons as symbols, perhaps as symbols of gay power, so that dragons and rainbows have come to have some affinity for one another, in draconical rainbows and arcipluvial dragons (like Sanger’s).

Especially in places where dragons bear some specific symbolic weight, gays and their rainbows are likely to follow: the red dragon of the Welsh flag; the logo of Dungeons and Dragons; and the dragon of Chnese astrology. But gay dragons, often in rainbow, might pop up anywhere (as in #1).

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