Sunday, July 31, 2016

Collage July 2016.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Alan Van Every 1959-2016

Sorry to note the passing of the painter Alan Van Every. I only knew him from fb, where after seeing his work I said I have to friend him. His work was quirky, crowded colorful & wonderful. it always pains me when we loose an artist.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Jack Davis 1924-2016

Only angels have wings 1939


              Lost in the shuffle of Hollywood’s golden year was Howard Hawk’s beautiful movie about airfreight pilots working in a banana republic’s isolated port of nowhere, Barranca. The opening of the film flows across the nice Columbia back lot set following two of the pilots played by Noah Berry Jr. and Allyn Jolyson, both sharky, smart and terrific as they come across Jean Arthur a cabaret singer tearing down the runway of a freight ship and immediately start hitting on her.
             The dialogue like many of Hawk’s films comedy or drama is fast, loose and overlapping and much of the credit must go to his frequent collaborator the great screenwriter Jules Furthman whose impeccable scripts dot the Hollywood landscape from the 20’s right up to the late 50’s. 
               Arthur is not interested in them and there is the black eye worn by the captain of the ship that attests to her feistiness and her no fooling around with fools. She changes her tune or at least her attitude towards them when she finds out that like her they are Americans and off they go to the local cantina for a few laughs and drinks.  The cantina located in a low decor hotel is run the a Dutchman who is also the owner of the rundown and last legs airways, and is played by the great and wonderful Sig Ruman who brings depth and feeling to his small but potent role.
               The boss of the operation is Geoff Carter played by Cary Grant who a few minutes into the film makes his entrance through a door in the cantina and it is a startling entrance because he is so striking in his male beauty that he takes your breath away. Hawks loved making movies with him, and treats him as lovingly as a female movie star, maybe even more so, and there is no doubt (certainly in my mind) that he was the most beautiful male star ever to appear in films.
                 He’s like a rich expensive delicious desert and  Arthur of course immediately falls head over her heels for him.  Dressed in a silly gaucho hat and baggy pants, it makes no difference he controls the movie from this moment on. The film is so enjoyable and tangy that it will curl your toes, even though there are some dead spots and the film’s special effects including the models are cheap looking but charming, they’re like a model railroad setup.
                 Columbia who made the film was finally rising out of property row, (the film opened at Radio City Music Hall and was big hit) and was now posed to take its place with the other major studios. Hawk’s themes here male bonding, courage under fire, faith and bravery were common themes in his films, and added to his mix was the woman intruder into the male universe who usually proved herself as tough and courageous as the men. It’s vivid here with the great Jean Arthur who shows her soft feminine side (we need that) but is also as strong as the men who come to love and respect her which is another common thread in Hawk’s films.
              Arthur who began making movies in the silent period was known to be a difficult co-player, but she was also one of the unique actresses ever to appear in films. Maybe it was her voice (they had voices then), or her off kilter beauty that attracted and appealed, I always adored her discovering her in my childhood in the forgotten little gem “The Devil And Miss Jones” that played on the early show, a local movie program that played old movies which were generally butchered and cut to fit in the one hour time slot.      
                       Also in the great cast is Thomas Mitchell as Grant’s once star aviator now winding down his flying days because of his failing eye sight.  Mitchell unbelievably  appeared in five films in 1939 winning a best supporting actor Oscar for “Stagecoach” but he could have easily won for this film as well.  Playing Kid Dabb he’s part of a coincidence plot twist that also features the once big silent screen star Richard Barthelmess and the young and beautiful Rita Hayworth who finally started to hit it big with this film as his Barthelmess’s troubled wife. Controversary was no stranger to Hawk who was known as a man’s man director and was accused by Lauren Bacall as being an anti-Semite and a homophobe but who pepped his films with homoerotic images and scenes. The Criterion transfer is stunning, with crisp and atmospheric cinematography by the great Joseph Walker.  

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


Oddball has just posted a recent notebook drawing of mine along with a poem by Lea Maughan.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The American Friend. 1977

A film looking for a plot and an audience. I first saw it in its initial release in 1977 at the Film Forum (where else) and was not whisked away by its obtuseness no matter how colorful and strange it all is. By way of a story it’s based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith and uses her famous character Tom Ripley who has had about as many lives on film as a cat.
The most memorable and important appearance of him was in “Purple Noon” and some years later in “The Talented Mr. Ripley”. In this film Ripley is played by Dennis Hopper who is not as crazy as he usually was in films but he's still dangerous in his cowboy hat, a lonesome cowboy.
Ripley/Hopper dabbles in art dealing and other schemes a little bit more dangerous than selling forged insipid paintings by a dead blue chip painter that are painted and is played by the eye patched exiled director Nicholas Ray who is holed up in his Soho late 70's loft, which I think was actually Ray’s home.
The film which was directed by Wim Wenders focuses on the soulful and wonderful Bruno Ganz who is a picture framer in Hamburg and is dying of a strange blood disease (and I thought Cologne was dismal) who has a jittery wife and a sweet boy child. One day Gérard Blain who plays a gangster and brings references from the French New Wave to this film of the German New Wave enters the shop and out of the blue wants to hire Ganz to murder some other gangsters and this is blurry and sketchy at best. Blain offers Ganz a lot of money and a visit to the American Hospital in Paris for a through medical examination in return for his taking on this job. I'm not making this up.
Ganz takes the bait (he wants to leave his wife and child money for security after he dies) and there are two killer thriller sequences on the metro and a speeding railway train that commands attention but there are also deadly patches of incoherence plot twists and threads that go nowhere. This is also a film about films and movie making and several directors make appearances all playing criminals including the already noted Nicholas Ray and Gerard Blain and also Daniel Schmid, Jean Eustache and most memorably Sam Fuller with his ever present stogie stuck in his mouth playing a creepy pornographer. The film is simply gorgeous to look at with color drenched cinematography by the great Robby Muller, and is presented in a terrific transfer by Criterion which makes it if nothing else a wonderful visual feast but definitely not for everyone’s taste.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The final postcard in the series

journal of compressed creative arts

Here is postcard no. 11 in the series of 12 that Journal of Compressed Creative Arts has been posting for the last 11 weeks.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Repulsion convention

I'm not watching the Repulsive convention, getting few snippets here and there and dipping into the Colbert show. Here is an ex mayor of my city who sounded absolutely deranged in the clip I
saw of him saying what he did to new york city donald trump will do to the united states. Yes I know I changed it a bit, but you get my drift. Even Rudy's children hate his guts and after two terms of him I of course understand their disgust. I just can't bare looking at those creeps like Tom Cotton or Sessons, horrible people and I know it will get even worse and that clip of Trump in shadows coming out to the podium all dark with his pumpkin face in shape and color to introduce his disgusting wife. Oh the horror of it all.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Two clowns

Just watched these two clowns on 60 minutes. How anyone in their right minds could ever ever vote for these two piles of dung is beyond me. Seeing trump up close reveals his orange face even more clearly. More horror how did we get to this? What kind of a place is this? Pence comes off as Trumps dummy, his punk, his gunsel. And Leslie Stahl came off as weak and foolish. Man she needs to be replaced she did ask some tough questions, but nothing on gay rights which the right wing Pence stands against, and she allowed Trump to walk all over her, all along keeping that stupid smile on her mug, maybe her idea was to let these two pigs hang themselves, but that is not enough. Trump gave his usual sound bites the usual shtick that Clinton will shove it back to him in a debate. These two creeps need to be taken on by a tough reporter, I would love to see Chris Cuomo, George Stephanopoulos, or Anderson Cooper take them on. I'm disgusted with my country.

Summer 6. July 2016

Thursday, July 14, 2016


Ceramic Plate. Collection of the Everson Museum of Art. I did this plate when I was visiting artist at Ohio State. A grad student in ceramics designed the plate and asked me if I would like to decorate it. I did a set of them in black and white also.

Hector Babenco 1946–2016

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Lost and then found and then found again

Been going through stuff and found these photographs that I originally found some years ago in an x-rated dvd case. I wonder who these unnamed handsome young men were, are they still walking this earth? No identification just there.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Notebook drawing July 2016

Moholy-Nagy at the Guggenheim Museum

I pretty much swooned my way through this magnificent exhibition of over 300 things made by Moholy-Nagy during a lifetime of being an artist. The exhibition is striking in its design and installation featuring his abstract paintings from the 20's that are strong and subtle, constructions photographs, drawings, posters, covers for magazines and more. A darling of the Bauhaus he lived and worked all over the world including Chicago where he had his own school for a while. He also played around with materials that were never used for art including plexiglas that he used in sculptures and mobiles. The word unconventional is used a lot to describe him and his work. This is a show I can easily see again. It runs through sept 7th.

And Then There Were None. 2015

Watched the latest version of this everlasting classic Agatha Christie mystery the other night. Its a 3 hour BBC adaptation and I knew the ending from having seen several other versions over the years, most notably the Rene Clair 1945 film. Still even knowing how it all turns out the film was lavish brutal, gory and harsh, much more so than any of the previous versions. The stellar cast of course helped make this a compelling view what with Miranda Richardson, Charles Dance, Sam Neill, Anna Maxwell Martin and several good actors I had not seen before in the ensemble. There were some extras included and here I was expecting to hear some comments on the thorny topic of its original title which was shockingly racist even in 1939 and was changed for the publication in the United States. The story is typical Christie, various people are invited to an isolated mansion on an island for a house party and one by one they are knocked off, that's all I'm saying. I was also thinking that maybe someone would raise the topic of Christie's alleged racism and anti-Semitism that has been poking its ugly head for years. To be fair there are many defenders of her along with her detractors and both sides can be found in ample supply on the net. My point of course is that not one word, sentence or comment was raised in any of the interviews concerning the controversies including one with her grandson, which led me to believe that the Christie foundation put its very influential foot down. So yes I will say see this version especially if you've never seen one of the previous films and for any of the backstory and controversy google baby google.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Journal of compressed arts

has just posted the eleventh postcard in a series of 12. You can see the latest one and all the others at this link.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016


Has just posted one of my photographs from my series I did in Coney Island a few years back to go with this poem by Sarah Dickenson-Snyder.

To Be Continued on Youtube

Robbi Nester has just posted a video on Youtube of her reading her poem to be continued which has my art that I did for the poem illustrating the video. Very nice. You can see it at this link.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Notebook drawing July 2016

To Be Continue a collaboration

Wow never give up. In 2013 the poet facebook friend and sometime collaborator asked me to do some collages for her poem "To Be Continued" which is inspired by the life of the explorer Shackleton. Well today three years later the poem and 7 of my collages that I did for the poem have finally appeared on the website Life and Legends. Please view the poem and all seven of my collages at this like. And a big thank you to Robbi.…/

Monday, July 04, 2016

Abbas Kiarostami 1940-2016

Compressed Journal

The 10th postcard in a series of 12 has just been posted by the Compressed Journal. You can view it and all of the postcards at this link.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Michael Cimino 1939-2016

I don't care what anyone thinks, for me Heaven's Gate is a masterwork

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