Wednesday, June 25, 2008

waterfalls in manhattan!

It's true. The "Waterfalls" are coming! The $15 million public art project by the Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, is New York’s biggest art installation since “The Gates” and seen here in top secret, clandestine preview photos shot in the pre-dawn light yesterday. Opens tomorrow and runs through Oct 13th. How cool.

Read more here.

Mako Fujimura: Beauty and Brokenness

Destruction and Light. Grace through Suffering. Art as Prayer. Just some of the words people use to describe the powerful work of New York City painter, Mako Fujimura.

Mako uses extravagant materials: precious metals, handmade paper, pigments made by hand by grinding minerals with stone.

Mako says: "I spent six-and-a-half years studying the art of Nihonga in Tokyo, which is a thousand year tradition that uses minerals, gold, silver and sumi ink on Japanese paper or silk. I discovered, though, as a Japanese American, I could meld these influences into what I had experienced in 20th century art of Rothko, Gorky and the abstract expressionists. So I hope to create works that are new and old at the same time.

"I became interested in creating space that is both flat and spatial at the same time. Gold is that paradox: it creates space (by being semi-transparent) and remains flat (by being mirror-like) at the same time. Perhaps the only way that an "essential flatness" can be full of created space is by using gold.

"Gold, in all civilizations, symbolizes divinity. The act of layering gold, to me, is to pray for the divine New Reality (multi-dimensionality) to break into our broken (flat) reality. Charis, the Greek word that St. Paul used for "grace," is shorthand for the word "charisma," which means gift. Art is a gift, and essentially, art is grace. A "grace arena" is created in the layered gold and minerals. The more I journey deeply into the effects of gold and mineral pigments, the more I am taken by the refractive possibilities of the materials, while at the same time unable to contain, and control, the glory built into them. Glory spills out, like the golden aura we stand under - a tabernacle of hope."

Charis Exhibit to open at Dillon Gallery (555.W.25th Street, between 10th and 11th Ave.) July 2nd (opening from 6-8:30pm) to August 2nd (closed on Mondays)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

writing the best that you can

"For a long time now I have tried simply to write the best I can. Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can."
Ernest Hemingway (1899 - 1961)

Monday, June 23, 2008

The King's English and the shorter, concrete, familiar, single best word

Lexicographer Henry Watson Fowler, born in Tonbridge, Kent, England (1858-1933), studied at Oxford and taught Latin, Greek, and English at a boy's school in northwest England for 17 years, before resigning and moving to a tiny island in the English Channel (Guernsey), building himself a one room cottage, and turning into a hermit.

There he spent all his time writing enough essays to fill two book length manuscripts but he couldn't get them published. Until one day he had an idea...

He would write: "a sort of English composition manual, from the negative point of view, for journalists & amateur writers." So, collaborating with his brother, he wrote The King's English (1906), published by Oxford University Press. It begins:

"Any one who wishes to become a good writer should endeavour, before he allows himself to be tempted by the more showy qualities, to be direct, simple, brief, vigorous, and lucid."

The first chapter, entitled "Vocabulary," lays out the following principles:

"Prefer the familiar word to the far-fetched.
Prefer the concrete word to the abstract.
Prefer the single word to the circumlocution.
Prefer the short word to the long.
Prefer the Saxon word to the Romance."

The book was a success and he was commissioned to produce more. His biggest success was A Dictionary of Modern English Usage (1926), a collection of common mistakes in English, organized into categories. Things like: "Battered Ornaments," "Love of the Long Word," "Sturdy Indefensibles," "Swapping Horses," and "Unequal Yokefellows."

T. S. Eliot said, "Every person who wishes to write ought to read A Dictionary of Modern English Usage ... for a quarter of an hour every night before going to bed."

So there.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

no fans, none

here's the good news: I just set up a public facebook page where anyone can check out my books, upcoming events, reviews, blogs, etc.

here's the sad news: I don't have any fans


not one single one


so I thought I'd better just alert you
incase you felt sorry for me
and (if you felt like it
or could even be bothered)
and wanted to put me out of my misery
knowing you'd be putting an end to a rather pathetic situation

(reason i set it up is because it's a handy page for alerting people about upcoming events, new books etc.)

but right now it's a bit sad

I'd become a fan except that would be really sad.

where AM I?

back to my site?
back to twitter?

back to my super duper blog?
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