Clock by ArtotemArt
A statement about the modern world's fixation with time.
Art produces ugly things which frequently become more beautiful with time. Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time.Jean Cocteau
Pastel On Business Card Stock
If you have a business you are handed a business card on a regular basis. In turn you do the same. Where does your card end up? Is it saved? It is it lost in the laundry? Does it end up in the trash? Who knows?
Business cards communicate a lot more than your contact information. The feel and visual aspect of the card indicates something about who you are and what matters to you.
I save business cards in a handy antique wooden box. Some are quite interesting. Others no so much.
I started playing around with creating art on blank business cards a few years ago. My cards were done in pastel. I liked the challenge of creating something on such a small space. It was really just an artistic experiment.
I then decided to do a test with the cards. I wrote the contact info and title of the work on the back side. As an experiment I started giving a few out to see the reaction. People were surprised and sometimes delighted when they realized they were original handmade works. I have no idea if they were kept or tossed but it was a fun experiment.
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Individual Photography Cards - Printed
Recently I started using my travel and art related photos on square business cards that were printed. Each card has a different image and the receiver of the card gets to choose which one they like. The same contact info is on the flip side of all of them. Needless to say this is a much easier process than the one above. For the most part this has been a resounding success. Giving people a choice appears to offer a sense of individual preference that people appreciate.
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In November 2016, we teamed up with the International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction to celebrate the one hundred year anniversary of Dada and the coming Day of the Dead, November 2.
We met the owners of the museum, Cecil Touchon and Rosalia Touchon in October, when we realized our shared interest in Dadaism, collage and Day of the Dead. As I had co-owned a gallery in the past, and done a show specifically pertaining to the celebration of Day of the Dead I was excited to participate in yet another one. We then collectively came up with the idea of the exhibit to merge the celebrations into one experience, hence an artistic meaningful mash up. A celebration and honoring of an art movement that had put aside the norms of art’s past and a celebration and honoring of those who came before us.
Santa Fe being what it is, with it’s Hispanic/Spanish history and a city mostly known for its artistic nature was the perfect location for the exhibit. We named the exhibit Dada Centennial / Day of the Dead.
With just a little over a month to put the exhibit together we all intensely focused on the planning. Thanks to Cecil’s connections around the world the submissions to the show poured in. By the time the exhibit opened we had over two hundred submissions. Mari and I developed and sent out the invitations through every means possible. Cecil and Rosalia expertly hung the show and the opening day arrived. We were ready.
Bang! The event was a huge success. The combination of the two concepts melded together perfectly. Many of the audience were artistically dressed for Day of the Dead. As the night went on and closing time neared, people simply didn’t want to stop. Mari and I ended up with a house full of extraordinary visitors until the wee hours of the night.
The Altar to Kurt Schwitters
Note - Artomen is on the left.
The Book - Created by Cecil Touchon
Years ago I read my first book by José Saramago, “Blindness”. I was hooked from that point on. His characters leapt off the pages into my mind’s eye and elicited real empathy in me as they experienced extraordinary circumstances. I didn’t stop reading Saramago, I have read everything he wrote that has been translated into English and I have never been disappointed.
Unique Writing Style
If you choose to read a Saramago novel you will quickly realize his use of punctuation is sparse. You may at first be a bit flummoxed by this, however after a few pages in you will wonder why writers choose to use so many interruptions in the form of punctuation. In his case a dialogue can become a page and a half. Just commas and little else. No need for “He said” or “She said” because the characters are distinctive and realistic.
Confronting the Surreal In a Real World
“Saramago’s novels often use the supernatural, allegorical, paradoxical and irrational to address questions of faith and existence.” – The New York Times
In most of his novels average people are confronted with surreal experiences they are unprepared to deal with and yet they must cope with them in realistic ways.
Saramago clearly rejected the idea that his work was related to Latin American ''Magical Realism”. I agree with Saramago. His work is straightforward, compassionate, and relatable to all of our human concerns and condition without attempting to be magical.
His work for me is a word collage of ideas and mental images in the form of a story. He was an artist using words and concepts to impact our view of our own experiences and beliefs and to inspire us to a greater understanding of ourselves. His writing is like no other.
Noble Prize in Literature
Saramago won the Noble Prize for Literature in 1998
The Swedish Academy praised Mr. Saramago ''who with parables sustained by imagination, compassion and irony continually enables us once again to apprehend an elusory reality.''
Small talk is not my thing.
I ask questions and I listen. There's a name for it, "Active Listening". I am curious and I know I can learn a lot from others.
After years of working as a therapist I still communicate as if I am a therapist which means I still ask and listen. That's not to say that I pry. I explore.
I am simply interested in what others have to say. I'm interested in the variety of experience people bring to the conversation. What matters to you? What makes you happy? What bothers you? What do you mean by that? How did you do that? In other words... Who are you?
So often we meet people who simply don't listen. They talk. You know what I mean. In those circumstances I still ask questions. People love questions and sometimes those questions elicit listening from them. Communication!
What is Active Listening?
Active listening means, as its name suggests, actively listening. That is, fully concentrating on what is being said rather than just passively ‘hearing’ the message of the speaker. Rather than simply waiting for someone to finish what they are saying you very deliberately listen and process what is being said.
You may say, "What questions do I ask?". When you actively listen to someone the questions are evident. Give it a try.
By Jed Rasula
Excellent read on the beginning of Dadaism. Rasula truly brings the individuals to life in ways I have never read in any other book concerning Dadaism. Characteristics of both the human element as well as the surroundings in which things occurred are clearly explored.
A must read for those interested in this art movement that can speak to even our time.
Jed Rasula is Helen S. Lanier Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Georgia. He is the author of Destruction Was My Beatrice: Dada and the Unmaking of the Twentieth Century, Modernism and Poetic Inspiration: The Shadow Mouth, and Syncopations: The Stress of Innovation in Contemporary American Poetry, among others.
We had a primary mission in visiting Zurich, Switzerland, to visit the Cabaret Voltaire.
Founded in 1916 by Hugo Ball, Cabaret Voltaire was literally the birthplace of Dada, the art movement, or more accurately, the anti-art movement that turned into a crucial statement and artistic outcry predicated on a protest against the horrors of World War II. The world was stunned at the carnage of the war and the Dadaists responded.
"”The war is founded on a glaring mistake, men have been confused with machines."
Other founding members were, Tristan Tzara, Richard Huelsenbeck, Marcel Janco, Sophie Tauber, and Hans Arp.
Dada was art, performance, politics, poetry, happenings, and so much more. Its impact is still being seen in the art world and Neo Dadaism is alive and well.
Cabaret Voltaire is still there and still pushing the boundaries of art, music and performance.
On a September night Mari (also an art lover) and I sat drinking beer listening to music that fit perfectly with the atmosphere in this important landmark of art. The crowd was a mixture of older and younger people. All appeared to know just how important the place they were in was. For me it was a visit that checked off an important life-list activity. Being a part-time artist who occasionally creates Dada related work, this visit was truly thrilling. The history enveloped us and it glowed in a magical way. Dada!
The exhibit at the time we were there was by Mexican artist, Carlos Amorales, a multidisciplinary artist who studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam.
Learn more about Dada
List of Dadaists - Go Here
Cabaret Voltaire Video
Art, Music, Books, Inspirations and a few psychological and philosophical musings.