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Articles tagged "Painting"

The Visitor Edward Hopper Received Two Years Before His Death

Fifteen years ago I moved from my native Rome to this small town embedded on a hill called Anticoli Corrado. I left Rome not in search of a calmer life but because the daily contrast with the greats of the past pained me. Accepting one's own mediocrity does not mean having to see it reaffirmed at every step one takes, we can agree on that. Another factor was that living in Rome was very expensive for a man like me, not exactly poor but of limited means. How would I describe Anticoli...

From “Ayer”

The bronze bells of Los Jeronimos tolled the noon hour. We were hungry. We headed for the Basilica restaurant, which was the closest, and sat down at a table.  My wife ordered:             Pickled Duck.             Goat casserole.             Blood pudding with mashed potatoes....

Reflections

Penetrate it and you'll better understand: life is revealed to us in a painted reflection.   Last night I killed my son Mauro. OK, it wasn't exactly me who did it. All I did was give the VIP executive the order to finish him off, once and for all. And of course, it wasn't my son, either. He'd lived in our house for a few years and I guess that was enough to make me feel bonded to him. Truth is, it's not really all that clear. I should have finished with him...

From Ball Lightning

The descriptions in this book of the characteristics and behavior of ball lightning are based on historical records. Prelude I only remembered that it was my birthday after Mom and Dad lit the candles on the cake and we sat down around fourteen small tongues of flame. The storm that night made it seem as if the whole universe held nothing but the rapid flashes of lightning and our small room. Electric blue bursts froze the rain into solid drops for an instant, forming dense strings...

An Interview with Wu Wenjian

From the series "Eternal Sorrow," by Wu Wenjian With the help of two artist friends, I recently met Wu Wenjian, a worker-turned-painter, at the 798 Arts Factory, a thriving colony of studios and art galleries converted from old factories and warehouses, in Beijing's Chaoyang District. It was a sunny day. Wu was dressed in a blazing red shirt and seemed to be in high spirits. After a brief chat, we went to a nearby restaurant that served food from Northeastern China to conduct the...

Feminine Spirit, Unreconstructed

I first got to know Wang Jianan and Cai Xiaoli when I was in England. Wang Jianan can't stop talking, life in his mouth becomes a joke. Cai Xiaoli, on the other hand, hardly speaks at all, and doesn't spend much time contemplating life. She comes from an artist family and the only thing she cares about is her art; in dealing with people, she is totally straightforward. They graduated from the Fine Arts Academy at the same time, got married, and had a child. It is said that when...

A Witness Disappears

The more she spoke, the darker it became. She plunged into the forest everywhere and she saw the sea. Busy holding on to my thoughts, I can't think, nor can I prevent the images. —Oyster disgorger. "They take them out of the sea and put them in basins, so that they will be less natural." He had struck her. She had remained alone in the company of her wound, not wishing to die. —A port being cleared of sand. "As for the animals, there's nothing to do but eat...

Ten Short Pieces

The Artist's Likeness Is Like an Artist This tale is rather old: Two painters wanted to see which of them could paint the painting that best imitated reality . . . One of the painters painted the front of a house, and the illusion was so perfect, so exact, that at first his competitor believed he had lost, but then understood that he simply had to enter the painted house and hang the painting that he had painted on a wall inside. The Angel Who Photographed God Who, these days,...

Self-Portrait, 1925-1930

  On the spot where I write all this hodgepodge of verses stands Edward Hopper, in fact, who engenders them and who, neatly transcending space-time, sends me the signals.   His self-portrait is, as would delight the fantasist Borges, a mirror that reproduces not so much the painter's face as the static reflection of my image. Make no bones about it: Hopper and I form a single person.   His pose, untroubled and...

from Framed

Thirty-five paintings, practically all the same: indescribable black scribblings on a black background. Obsessive, sick. The day they arrived at the gallery I unpacked them one by one, going faster and faster, wanting to see the surprise and the splash of color. At first glance everyone thought they were sinister. Even Jacques, my colleague. He's the master picturehanger; I'm just his apprentice. "We're pushed for time, kid. Doors open in twenty-five minutes!" The...

Two Poems

For the Scottish Gaelic originals, please click here. The Chinese Beetle In a certain region of China, in the southwest, not far from the mountains of Yunnan, a kind of apple is to be found with such an exquisite flavor that in ancient times the emperors would spend their gold to buy them, and offer them at feasts and banquets in the great palace. But they didn't actually taste like apples. I read that this was because of a beetle which is only found on the trees...

Two Poems

For the English translations, please click here. An Daolag Shonach Ann an ceàrn àraidh de Shìona, san iar-dheas, chan fhada bho bheanntan Iunnàn, tha seœrsa ùbhlan rim faighinn a tha cho anabarrach taitneach 's gum biodh na h-ìompairean o shean a' cosg an œir rin ceannach, is gan tairgse aig fèisdean 's cuirmeannan san àros mhœr. Ach cha robh dìreach blas nan ubhal aca. Leugh...

from “Lepanto’s Other Hand”

The story of the Juan Latino's portraitist, Esteban Luz, who enters this story when Don Juan of Austria visits Granada during the Alpujarras War (1568-70), otherwise known as the Civil War. Near the city of Grenada, in a village whose name has been forgotten--it was one of those Moorish villages wiped out during the war--a boy with an astonishing gift was born. He became a painter, an excellent one; he executed portraits that were both more faithful and inspired than any of his...

from “Ivy”

1. Accidental Colors That winter our lives would become entangled with disasters and iniquities like creeping ivy. While we were unaware of each other's existence, chance events would bind us together. Our loves, sorrows, losses and desires would intertwine like thin, persistent ivy stems. Not because I keep thinking such nonsense as coincidences being the atoms of life, but because I shaved my head three days ago and my bristly gray hair is trying to pierce through my almost...

Squirrels

If the squirrels were to devour your eyes Modigliani would bring you to life in one of his paintings. For the next poem in this sequence, click here.

The Color Black Has a Huge Mouth

The evening heat was humid, heavy. Henri stopped for a moment to examine, one by one, the reproductions of photographs he had clipped from various sports newspapers and pinned on the walls, after going over them in color: brawls among soccer players, red lines against cerulean lines, mustached pugilists, rectangular fields crossed by a rugby ball's path. Henri often used photography to work on his paintings. For example, every detail of the grocer's family portrait, which was...

Puerta de Alcalá

It loved to happen. -Marcus Aurelius (Written over the doorway to Seymour and Buddy Glass's bedroom in J. D. Salinger's Franny and Zooey) He had always heard that to name disasters was sure to make them happen. And now, once again, the Jornal de Angola was announcing an imminent South African invasion. Every week the same announcement was repeated with absolute certainty along with irrefutable evidence, logistical facts and government statements. Nevertheless, despite the fact...

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