69. Not a tree

If Magritte can paint not a pipe why can't I photograph not a tree?  And why can't I ask Magritte that question?  I can imagine Magritte tipping his bowler hat and saying " 'scuse me while I kiss the sky."  Or not.  

I'm listening to Jeff Buckley's cover of "Hallelujah" while I post this.  I heard it for the first time today and is one of my favorite recordings ever.  It was number 1 on the Billboard chart 11 years after his death.  

Le Peyrou, Montpellier

Le Peyrou, Montpellier

65. Bustle Descending Staircase

OR: "Found art of a spinster stripped bare of her bachelors."  

Although one event has no direct correlation with the other, I did see the Bride Stripped Bare of her Bachelors a month earlier in Philadelphia.  

Montpellier

Montpellier

63. RUN

Anchored by a word, sized with perfect aggression (RUN!), with echoes (for me) of Rothko and Basquiat, not that I thought about any of this when I got excited by the gift in front of me.  

Montpellier

Montpellier

62. Intuition in the winter-light shadow of art historical reference

My recent visit to the Menil was powerful.  I spent a long time in the Cy Twombly gallery, almost always alone with the paintings.  It is a remarkable gallery and remarkably underpopulated.  The The Twombly viewing was in conjunction with the Menil's show of Picasso drawings ("The Line") and all the Rauschenberg work on display, and the show of West Coast Beats.  There was a cumulative impact of all these elements that still reverberates. 

(Regarding the Beat show, there were several George Herms pieces.  Back in 2007, George Herms led a children's art workshop at the Norton Simon that I took Dot to. To demonstrate how to make an assembly George took a plastic disc, pipe cleaner, and seed husk and instantly created an assemblage.  I quietly took it home after the class.  So I've got a clandestine, undocumented Herms in my apartment.)

There are many things I like about Twombly.  The images are sophisticated in a very non-slick manner.  There is a great balance to the imagery and yet they feel like assemblages.  They are like a painterly version of street photography.  Cy Twombly and Gary Winogrand are brothers.

These images from Montpellier are street photography. The human element is in the hands that played a part in creating and accreting these man-made images.

Seeing Ernest Haas' photographs when I was young had a big impact.  Haas had a great influence in that he used photography to capture and create abstraction.  Sometimes I feel a bit like an action painter when I seize upon these images in the street.

Montpellier

Montpellier

61. GAZ -- The Sequel

Wandering Agde in cold December twilight came across this GAZ, which in reflection yielded a discreet self-portrait --  the eye is easiest led to the ghostly orange Texas Longhorn baseball cap.  As this is France, the GAZ is likely neither Polish nor English slang, but on the empty street there was no one to ask.

Agde (France)

Agde (France)

60. Iceland: Gray Scale Rothko

I was struck by how this landscape of earth sea sky is purely on the gray scale.  It was as if the spirit of Ansel Adams had conjured a perfect Zone System image.  The full range of black and white tonality, that Adams wanted to get in an ideal balck and white image.  Here it is in nature.  I've seen grey sky and grey sea but never a black/gray beach.  Volcanos have a great sense of style.  

Letting the image drift a little out of focus then it seems sort of a Rothko image, spiritual blocks of tone, stacked atop each other.  

Iceland

Iceland

57. Portes de Carcassonne

These four images were shot one after another while perambulating the streets of Carcassonne.  That's never happened before, for a series to materialize by happenstance, without premeditation or editing.  I am drawn to traces of human habitation.  Traces, of something that has happened, or an image that conveys a sense of something about to happen. How the world inside the frame implies the world outside the frame.  In this case the traces of human habitation are traces of canine habitation, but I can imagine those dogs on end of a leash, in the slack hand of "The Owner."  There is a spatial consistency to where the artifacts have landed.  In terms of "something about to happen" noone has yet stepped in the traces of canine habitation.

Keywords (for all you internet robots): merge, shit, chien, dog, puppy, cute puppy, doorway, economic depression, South of France, American tourist, irony, disgust (of memories of stepping in dog shit in France).

Carcassonnne

Carcassonnne

Carcassonne

Carcassonne

Carcassonne

Carcassonne

Carcassonne

Carcassonne

55. Auschwitz

Visiting Auschwitz as a tourist, I try to imagine what it was like in 1943.  Unthinkable in 1943 that it would ever be a tourist destination.

Parking Lot, Auschwitz

Parking Lot, Auschwitz

Auschwitz

Auschwitz

Crematorium, Auschwitz

Crematorium, Auschwitz