Sharing the work of (mainly) artists who lit me up. Occasionally not so nice people who were talented. Not necessarily an endorsement beyond the work.
“…and there, against the wall, without obstructing rag or leaf, you may look your fill upon the foulest, the vilest, the obscenest picture the world possesses–Titian’s Venus. It isn’t that she is naked and stretched out on a bed–no, it is the attitude of one of her arms and hand. If I ventured to describe that attitude, there would be a fine howl–but there the Venus lies, for anybody to gloat over that wants to–and there she has a right to lie, for she is a work of art, and Art has its privileges.
I saw young girls stealing furtive glances at her; I saw young men gaze long and absorbedly at her; I saw aged, infirm men hang upon her charms with a pathetic interest. How I should like to describe her–just to see what a holy indignation I could stir up in the world–just to hear the unreflecting average man deliver himself about my grossness and coarseness, and all that. The world says that no worded description of a moving spectacle is a hundredth part as moving as the same spectacle seen with one’s own eyes–yet the world is willing to let its son and its daughter and itself look at Titian’s beast, but won’t stand a description of it in words. Which shows that the world is not as consistent as it might be.”
1- The Entombment of Christ 2-Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy, 3-Crucifixion of Saint Peter 4-The Beheading of St John the Baptist 5-Judith Beheading Holofernes 6-Flagellation of Christ 7-The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew 8-Annunciation 9-Rest on the Flight into Egypt 10-Narcissus 11-The Raising of Lazarus 12-Saint Francis of Assisi in Ecstasy 13-Bacchus
What you are made of?
This very accessible, kid-friendly video is about understanding the Human Microbiome.
Your body is made of trillions of cells, specifically, human cells. Around the beginning of the 21st century, scientists learned that the human body contains many trillions more microbial cells. This is the microbiome: the collection of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, and other microbes) living in and on the human body. It has been part of us, evolving, interacting, and helping to determine our fate as organisms, since before the emergence of the human species itself. Scientists have known about the presence of microorganisms on and in the human body since the discovery of E. coli, but recognizing the importance of the microbiome is very recent.
There are 10 times more cells from microorganisms like bacteria and fungi in and on our bodies than there are human cells. Scientists increasingly recognize that these microorganisms have a huge influence on our health. An imbalance of unhealthy and healthy microbes in the intestines may contribute to weight gain, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and other disorders. We now know that gut microbiota also affects our mood, anxiety levels, stress resilience, and depression.
Besides general interest, this is about understanding your dual existence as 1. A singular person in the world, and 2. As a gigantic mobile colony made of millions of cooperating cells many of which are “guest workers” here to make a living, but not really part of you.
You are an ecosystem.
Credit to artist Ben Arthur by way of NPR
Joris Hoefnagel (1542, in Antwerp – 24 July 1601, in Vienna) was a Flemish painter, printmaker, miniaturist, draftsman, and merchant. He is noted for his illustrations of natural history subjects, topographical views, illuminations, and mythological works. He was one of the last manuscript illuminators.
Hoefnagel was a very versatile artist. He is known for his landscapes, emblems, miniatures, grotesques, topographical drawings, genre scenes, and mythological and allegorical drawings, and paintings.
His works exercised an important influence on the development of Dutch still life and naturalist art.
I recently encountered the art of Eric Gill for the first time and was blown away. He was a draftsman, engraver, and designer of fonts (e.g. Gill Sans) of just incredible talent. I gathered these images to share with you. It’s unusual for me to not dig in quickly to learn the story of an artist who excites me but only as I added this gallery did I pause to learn more about him. Along with a lifetime of extraordinary accomplishments, including rafts of popular writing, he was a fucking freak. He was a lifelong hot mess of edgy sexual experimentation that went wholly beyond the pale. Look it up if you want. It isn’t pretty.
It raises the whole question of what we do with the monsters. What do we do with incomparable genius in monsters, and what do we do with the work they leave behind? Before I knew the story I was electrified by his work…five minutes later it’s just tainted and impossible to celebrate. I leave it here for what I thought it was then, and whatever the hell it is now, ten or so minutes later.
from Michael Donaghy’s Collected Poems
For the present there is just one moon,
though every level pond gives back another.
But the bright disc shining in the black lagoon,
perceived by astrophysicist and lover,
is milliseconds old. And even that light’s
seven minutes older than its source.
And the stars we think we see on moonless nights
are long extinguished. And, of course,
this very moment, as you read this line,
is literally gone before you know it.
Forget the here-and-now. We have no time
but this device of wantonness and wit.
Make me this present then: your hand in mine,
and we’ll live out our lives in it.
Song by Jonathon Coulton, Typography animation by Andrewthevideo
There is a longer version of this wonderful song, very worth a listen, it just doesn’t come with this great animation.