Monday, August 23, 2010

A dialogue of need and nourishment

Victoria Thorne has published this extremely wonderful photograph in passing along advice on gracious compliments, which I disallow myself in public as suspiciously tinged with self-promotion - or worse, with the venial sin of soliciting. It seems to me that a blog can busy itself with only so much advice at one time, and we have chosen ours. But she did find this screaming masterwork and I did not, so that's that
One has been surprised by these fusiliers before, and can well sympathise with the torsion exhibited here, to say nothing of the confession stenciled so eloquently between the shoulderblades. On the placement of the hands, the solar plexus is our source. 

But this is a rare occasion of modesty, is it not; and I was rather hoping that anyone despairing of this space's intermittent allusions to guytummy, would get the word out that there is no such thing in this entire entry. No tendentious hammering on that tympanum of virtue, that escutcheon of discipline, that catapult of genius, that fulcrum of fluency, that funnel of fecundity, nor indeed that resort of empathy. On the contrary; we are safely restored to the resort of art at its most transparently beholden. Seldom have we encountered a genius who so implores us to look at him, his need projected as our nourishment, for all our curiosity about what he might have wrought.

But I stray. A blog on the matter of nourishment can scarcely not indulge a pause before this work. Is one alone in suffering a frisson of disillusion, though, in the manner and mode of attending to the soup course suggested here - never forgetting for a moment, that often the most eligible dining companion is discovered in just this concentration?

Now, you may say this is rank subject-changing, and you'd be right; but in that low association of ideas where we began, the shift is commensurate with the rapt attention of the viewer. At last the gaze can rest upon something having to do with nourishment, the unaccountable solace for which this vacant space has been exposed. So now you have met him, and his name is Whit.


  1. i fear i must say, now, a certain number of hail mary's

    and think twice next time, in ref. to self-promotion (which i believed i was allergic to; perhaps that is the itch? soup for thought)

    you've made me smile, having found the confession (so easy to not see things, isn't it? so much better when we do. & such a delight when a friend finds the key)

    happy you saw, and please know previous gracious compliments have been offered in honest wonder

    'tho i still probably owe mary some hailing (for something or other)

  2. Awfully early out there, to be nosing around this dive, Victoria. Still, great to see you. I actually stamped that T-shirt in Fritz Lang's style with "M," to warn people about this art enthusiast. No wonder, you hadn't seen it.

    As to your politeness, kindnesses and generosities, I'm afraid I've heard so much fulsomeness in my present zone of habitation to have evolved this care not to voice my thanks except by demonstration. I hope you like the posting! :)

  3. loads to think through-alphabet soup. & the continued photographs of the handsome Whit can be a distraction-post away. I come here to be nourished, humored, inspired and challenged-that is fact, any post could send me rushing to merriman webster-at a given moment. It takes me a while to get it all and I still don't-but I still come back to feast. pgt

  4. I did not create this posting, LA, I flushed it out, to do my best to reconstruct the "irrational exuberance" of my delight to discover this excellent picture, which VT had embedded in a broad black frame, and which probably set it off materially better.

    I still have a very vigorous attachment to it, and so I will tell you why. It captures my own original awareness of being gainfully confused, in the presence of something profoundly important when I met this work, in a setting analogous to that of the altar Rubens at Kings, or the Rembrandt at the top of the stairs in Chicago (can you stand it). But, laying that setting aside, to me, this picture's excellence lies in portraying the half-defensive, half-subconscious half-pirouette of the active mind, getting whacked by raw and seething (and hungry) inspiration. The hands at the solar plexus are exactly positioned. The shirt was certainly stenciled for this portrait.

    All this picture needs is an architect, and we know who that was. Now, do not anticipate my Biography of a Chair, or you will be very naughty.

  5. awfully early because addictions are hard to manage, as mentioned in an earlier missive

    (although an addiction to beauty must be somewhat akin to an addiction to truth; can it really be all that bad?)

  6. And here I thought you had come to take shelter from restaurants!

  7. I was just at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, KY last weekend and I saw a collection of Warhol's prints done late in his young life, (early 1980's, I think). He only made ten, and they were mostly of fictional icons: ie. Wicked Witch of the West, Superman, Howdy-Doody, and one of himself. What was remarkable about this small set of prints was that he trumped his earlier work by leaps and bounds. As if he hadn't done enough already to broaden the category of high art, (or bastardize it, based on the critic), he added diamond dust to the negative space of his images. This was years before Damien Herst, (my generation's Andy Warhol), encrusted a skull with diamonds. We will talk about this more, as I have time to think about it.

  8. Glad to know you could get there, sorry to have missed you! Did you happen to get any good soup; or were you there just to pet a puppy?