member of:Observers of the Interdependence of Domestic Objects and Their Influence on Everyday Life

This group has been active for a long time and has already made some remarkable assertions which render life simpler from the practical point of view. For example, I move a pot of green color five centimeters to the right, I push in the thumbtack beside the comb and if Mr. A (another adherent like me) at this moment puts his volume about bee-keeping beside a pattern for cutting out vests, I am sure to meet on the sidewalk of the avenida Madero a woman who intrigues me and whose origin and address I never could have known...
--Remedios Varo

(Slideshow is of Artwork by Remedios Varo)
By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.
--Franz Kafka

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lucy's Eyes

“I do not think that 70 years is the time of a man or woman, nor that 70 millions of years is the time of man or woman, nor that years will ever stop the existence of me, or anyone else.”
—Walt Whitman

Saint Lucy decided at an early age that she did not want to be with a man; she preferred to give her self completely to God, though she lived in a time when it was not permitted to follow Christian beliefs. To deflect the attentions of a suitor who was captivated by the beauty of her eyes, she carved them out and sent them to him. Miraculously, she was still able to see—whether with new eyes that God gave her, as in some stories, or by some higher sight, as in others. I have chosen something along the middle path here, giving her the many eyes of a peacock’s tail, which serves also as a sort of halo. Lucy also faithfully braved the dangers of guilt by association, regularly taking bread to the Christians that were already in hiding from the authorities. Eventually, she was denounced as a Christian by another spurned suitor, and after various failed attempts, the Roman soldiers succeeded at killing her.

The idea of sight coming from somewhere other than the eyes is one that can be found in many fables, tales, myths, and religions. There are those even in the current scientific community who spend their lives seeking out and testing those who claim to have some other sort of sight—into the silent thoughts of others, into the future, across great distances, or into other realms where ghosts, angels, and demons reside. It is suggested that the earliest mention of such abilities is found in the Odyssey, but second sight is very common to the lore of the Scottish Highlands and the Icelandic sagas, and precognition is widely accepted among the Native Americans as well as tribes across South Africa and New Zealand.

In The Holographic Universe, Michael Talbot tells the following story about an event concerning a hypnotist his father had hired to entertain at a party and a family friend, named Tom, who agreed to play guinea pig for the evening:

“Tom proved to be a very good subject, and within seconds the hypnotist had him in a deep trance. He then proceeded with the usual tricks performed by stage hypnotists. He convinced Tom there was a giraffe in the room and had Tom gaping in wonder. He told Tom that a potato was really an apple and had Tom eat it with gusto. But the highlight of the evening was when he told Tom that when he came out of trance, his teenage daughter, Laura, would be completely invisible to him. Then, after having Laura stand directly in front of the chair in which Tom was sitting, the hypnotist awakened him and asked him if he could see her.

Tom looked around the room and his gaze appeared to pass right through his giggling daughter. ‘No,’ he replied…Then the hypnotist went behind Laura so he was hidden from Tom’s view and pulled an object out of his pocket. He kept the object carefully concealed so that no one in the room could see it, and pressed it against the small of Laura’s back. He asked Tom to identify the object. Tom leaned forward as if staring directly through Laura’s stomach and said that it was a watch. The hypnotist nodded and asked if Tom could read the watch’s inscription. Tom squinted as if struggling to make out the writing and recited both the name of the watch’s owner (which happened to be a person unknown to any of us in the room) and the message. The hypnotist then revealed that the object was indeed a watch and passed it around the room so that everyone could see that Tom had read its inscription correctly.” (141)

So, what was Tom seeing the watch with, then? Was he really seeing through his daughter? Or was he seeing the watch by seeing the thoughts in the hypnotist’s head? What is that?

While working on this painting, I came across yet another story, this one about an autistic girl, who has of course been subjected to many recorded medical studies since her abilities were noticed. Blind from birth, this girl wanders around by herself without running into things by making little chirping noises which somehow act as a sonar, as in the case of bats. She also always knows what time it is, though she has never seen a clock…

In this icon of St. Lucy, I have chosen time as that which is being re-envisioned, or seen new. The various clock pieces come apart, reconfigure, and tumble about through space; some of them are organic, forming the labyrinths where the Christians Lucy must feed hide from the monsters, requiring her to find her way by following an inner radiance and sureness of step, that is, by faith and by transcending (thus the birds) her physical handicap.

(Two heavy influences on my thinking about this work: Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius by Jorge Luis Borges, and How to Create a Universe that Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later by Philip K. Dick).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Just Fly, Baby


come on
your wing

the gravity
with your
lovely personality

don’t feed
the fear
not even
with a bite
just fly baby
enjoy the flight

poem by Vesna

Here are the ladies, brewing the birds….cooking them up via magic :)
And here is the black ink version.

This poem by Vesna also had a heavy influence on the painting:

In this dream
we both dream the same dream at the same time.

In this dream
we are the trees and our roots touch.

In this dream
when we are the trees and our roots touch
the leaves on our branches start making the music.

In this dream
when we are the trees and our roots touch
and when the leaves on our branches start making the music
the silence is broken.

In this dream
when we are the trees and our roots touch
and when the leaves on our branches start making the music
and when the silence is broken
a new world is born.


Here, the tree hollows out and extends impossibly in the distance, and a single root lightens and takes the color of the blond girl's hair, and she mixes together with the essence (root) of the watery figure, and the dream begins. There are no leaves in the painting, but the idea is that the birds take their place--and become the music-makers which break the silence.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Slow Down

These are the gifts of patience, love, and an attentive eye that Dalton Ghetti gives away to his friends (he does not sell them). By day, he is a carpenter.

The above image is carved from one pencil, and took him about two years.

“The pencil tip is great; it’s like a pure, very homogenous material...It cuts in the same direction, not like wood, which has a grain. But when I tell people how long it takes, that’s when they don’t believe it. That’s what amazes people more, the patience. Because everything nowadays has to be fast, fast, fast." (source)
(Yes, that's Elvis)
“I have an interest in small things in life—insects, moths, spiders. I spend a lot of time observing them. There’s a whole microscopic world out there that people don’t even notice....People look at my sculptures and then they look again, more closely, and they say, ‘Oh, there’s something in there.’ We’re a fast-paced society, and people don’t have time to stop and reflect–it’s all go, go, go. Hopefully these pieces make them stop and realize there is beauty in small things.” (source)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Some Excitement

Two of my images were included in this month's issue of Pink Panther Magazine.

The focus this month is on domestic violence. My ink drawing of St. Rita, the patron saint of abused women, whom I have blogged about before here, is on page 80:

and "Lost Race Found" is also in there:

The magazine is really beautifully done; they have a gorgeous layout, interesting articles, and a lot of beautiful artwork. You can read it on their website, linked above.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Recreating Reality

Catrin Weiz-Stein is a graphic designer living in Switzerland. Like the last amazing artist featured here, she specializes in collage using vintage photos, but her work takes place in Photoshop. She says she loves taking images apart and putting them together again her own way.

Family Portrait

So, the first thing I have discovered in thinking about collage is how difficult it is to put strange, unexpected things together, and not have them look like you just glued a pile of your favorite photos on the same page. And the images in this post all have the smooth, painstakingly-layered effect of oil paintings--which comes from the painstaking process of layering in Photoshop.
In Family Portrait, the husband’s jacket is open to reveal the feathers of his chest, the beautiful siren on his arm wears a flower-lined hat of wings, and they pose together with two children and a third on the way. On the way. The absurdity and surreal qualities of the family somehow blend right into the Renaissance style of the scenery and of the Siren’s face.

The siren wife and mother looks quite poised, very upstanding. But in mythology, it’s not the kindest women who take that form. Perhaps the to me obviously rakish personality of her husband led some poor maiden to call upon the power of a siren to take him in and destroy him. Though, in this portrait, he seems quite unaware of his dark fate.

So, maybe she really has settled down? Maybe she isn’t bent upon his destruction? The (hysterical) poem by Margaret Atwood seems apt here--or at least, I never miss a chance to pull it out:

Siren Song

This is the one song everyone
would like to learn: the song
that is irresistible:
the song that forces men
to leap overboard in squadrons
even though they see the beached skulls
the song nobody knows
because anyone who has heard it
is dead, and the others can't remember
Shall I tell you the secret
and if I do, will you get me
out of this bird suit?
I don't enjoy it here
squatting on this island
looking picturesque and mythical
with these two feathery maniacs,
I don't enjoy singing
this trio, fatal and valuable.
I will tell the secret to you,
to you, only to you.
Come closer. This song
is a cry for help: Help me!
Only you, only you can,
you are unique

At last. Alas
it is a boring song
but it works every time.

“Will you get me out of this bird suit?” she asks. Well, it seems like something this lady might say.

The Wishing Seat

The Wishing Seat takes us out of the sky and into the depths of the sea, where, in mythology, there are other ladies singing dangerous songs and reaching up from the depths to grab those sailors. This maiden, however, with her octopus tresses, seems happy to dream of her hero--to dream him (or her) into existence. I’ll just note here that when my hair does that, the effect isn’t half as beautiful.
Catrin has made several ladies who can create the whole world on their own:

The World
(The above image has been made into a Tarot card. Catrin says: “The woman symbolizes the world and the universe. She is a dancer, almost weightless and in harmony with her life.”)

Her Garden

The Voyage.

The Voyage was born from an old postcard of a child holding a drum which sparked her imagination. She replaced the face of the child, which she says represents the child inside all of us, added the bird, to represent opportunity, and created the rich colors. Then she filled the drum with life, experiences, possibility. Again, the creative power of dreams, the endless possibilities of the world...


Getting Wet

Catrin’s gorgeous works can be purchased on Red Bubble and Squidoo, and she was just featured in the May 2010 issue of Pink Panther Magazine.

Last Night, in My Dreams