Sunday, November 29, 2009


Here's a turned-around poetic version of the title of this post:

Art is fleeting, time is long,

And the grave is not my goal.

Since dust I am--to dust returning

First with words I save my soul

I don't know a lot about "Art" -- except my art -- dancing, writing, and acting.

But Tony Hawk, a skateboard artist, inspires me. What he does is an art, and a sport. I've seen the guys practicing in Union Square when, in the early evening, it's empty except for pedestrians cutting across the 50 by 150 foot empty area. (It's used for the out-door market twice a week).

Average kids, poor kids, old kids, young kids, all types, sizes, races, plug away at tricks, skids, hops, slides, turns, jumps, landings, leaps ... like dancers. Ouch! Ow! Curses, moans, in between over and over rehearsing, practicing to achieve.

Tony Hawk is forty-one. Skating, trying new skate board tricks, creating video games, reaching out and expanding what he loves and has been doing since he was nine years old -- that's art that I know and respect -- "Practicing to achieve," and expanding.

One of Frank Stella's son's, "M" went to school with my son; and was always practicing Origami sculptures, speaking in psychoanalytical jargon, the language of a fatherless, motherless, mixed-up child in and out of various therapies, who didn't have a safe home, a place where he felt he really belonged.

Frank Stella, one of the most successful new, young, American artists about forty years ago, was in his "shapes" period -- colorful triangles, squares, semi-triangular, semi-squares laid upon one another. I found it boring. Stella's work has changed over the years -- for me, it's a boring vision of un-interesting things that momentarily caught his eye.

Stella had three wives, and created quite a few brothers and sisters for M, but never made his son feel like the son of his real father. A 2009 article on Stella quotes him as saying" "Art made my life." I would amend that -- "Art unmade my son."

The first play I wrote is MY ART. It's titled -- "One Fine Morning in the Middle of the Night..." (the rest of the title is merely implied ... "Two dead boys got up to fight, back to back they faced each other, drew their swords and shot each other... ")

That first play of mine contains all the elements of what drives me to express myself -- the utter opposition within me -- to succeed, to fail -- to reach, not to reach -- to strive harder when I need to strive less. And in "One Fine Morning... " I created a character called "Artist" (a vision of what I didn't want to be) -- a blank-faced, toneless artist, who painted white on white shapes -- works of genius, that no one could see -- who also composed music with soundless chords -- who also danced with no movement, just stood there, stock-still.

Playwright Em was facetiously making her statement -- art is art, if it communicates.

Two major artists have been in the news.

Wassily Kandinsky, at the Guggenheim Museum, currently, creates abstractions that perhaps express his inner realities, fascinating assemblages of colors -- echoes of his dreams perhaps, but no hint of what the echo was echoing.

His paintings have never awakening much of anything in me, other than "Umm, hmm."

That is not the case, with Georgia O'Keeffe, at the Whitney Museum. Her colorful, textured, richly detailed curves, pistils, endless, dark, internal holes, mysterious tunnels mesmerized me, continue to mesmerize me.

Is it her sensuality? "She's Hot," said brash, clever, art critic Jerry Saltz, of New York Magazine. He ended his review, summarizing what her paintings represent in one small sentence -- "Fuck sex."

I guess it's Saltz's way of expressing his thrall with the woman, who connected so wildly, so passionately with the photographer, Alfred Stiegliz. O'Keeffe communicated, and continues to communicate.

Whatever paintings of hers you see, you have an adventure.

(What I'm saying -- the words make sense, but am I communicating what I mean about ART?)

Move me -- touch me -- reach me -- speak with or without words -- with sound, movement, brush strokes, shapes -- temporal or tangible, on any visible or invisible canvas ...

Tell me something -- with what you've created -- to me that is "Art."
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