GreenasSky A gambol in the goodies by Sloan Nota

Gaea Art

The Sea Between Us by Alena Matejka. Cast glass and granite.

The Sea Between Us by Alena Matejka. Cast glass and granite, Unique copy of Mesozoic seabed surface.

Antaeus is the bloody human-killing giant from Greek mythology, son of Poseidon and Gaea, or of the Seas and the Earth.

He was indefatigably strong as long as he remained in contact with the ground (his mother earth), but once lifted into the air he became as weak as other men.                               Wikipedia

Certain contemporary artists create works that connect me with a sense of the elemental, non-geographical Earth.  I call this work Gaea Art.   Alena Matejka’s glass and granite work (above) is one — mold melted and hand polished glass with a granite base,  206 cm diameter [81 in], 82 cm h [33 in].

This Czech sculptor worked from a casting of seabed from which she then cast a large and unique form in glass.  You see the imprint of a patch of actual sea floor — a Mesozoic formation over which a Plesiosaurus may once have paddled.  [I find no information on the who-when-how of the seabed casting. Please let me know if you can fill in some blanks.]

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I’m not suited to deism.  Nothing will convince me that God’s a bearded white guy in a toga.  Nor that she’s blue and has multiple busy arms.  But I recognize an emotion, maybe awe, around life’s mysteries.  A palpable feeling like sensing someone behind you in a room.  Do you remember the Peter Shaffer play Equus?  The boy sees gods where others see, oh, rafters, gateposts, roofs. You’re left to determine — is the child is mad or inhumanly gifted?

Gaea Art reminds me that feeling wonder may be unique quality of humans.  A touchstone to what keeps us wise.

Some other Gaea artists you may want to investigate:

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Below is a painting of the Antaeus myth from 1690 that seems to me to bobble the mythic fundamentals. Begging the pardon of my male readers but this seems a male fantasy of personal combat and triumph.  The mythos — the wonder — wrung from it with Herculean hands and the mystery drowned in brawn.  It’s very much about sweaty men, not a bit about forces that humans can’t grasp.

Hercules and Antaeus (1690), by Gregorio de Ferrari

Hercules and Antaeus (1690), by Gregorio de Ferrari.

 

I briefly tried locating a CG graphics version of future personal combat. Couldn’t. The Hercules’ of the future are megalithic composites of armor and weaponry, some without even the hint of human presence within. They come at you in twos, threes, armies, weapons firing. It’s possible they’re too cumbersome for physical combat and must sacrifice the primal satisfactions of bare hands. They must win as machines not as men — Antaeus’s feet need never touch Mother Earth again.

As we search for “better Earths” orbiting other stars.

Categories contemporary art, Gaea, new media, Pinterest, science, nature, specific Pinterest boards, technology | Leave a comment

A Gorgeous Inaugural Silk Scarf

Wiggle Room silk scarf by Sloan Nota

Wiggle Room, silk scarf by Sloan Nota. Printed by Print All Over Me

My new silk scarf came today and I’m one happy human.  Glorious color, true to the image above. Swashbuckling size, a lovely hand (feel) to the fabric, and so far the only one on Earth.  I designed it and I’ve been well served by Print All Over Me (PAOM), a Print On Demand (POD) service that is set to take off.  As a business and as a business model.

I’d been testing the waters with another POD service but PAOM offers the scale and brio that I’m most comfortable with. And silk proves the best substitute for my favorite medium, pixels.

Sloan Nota scarf & swimsuit

Two Print All Over Me templates featuring the same artwork, Three CLEs by Sloan Nota,

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PAOM craves the new flamboyance — hip-hop inspired, bumptious, thrumming with visual energy. Here’s a sample outfit:

I’m wild about this new fashion but it belongs to today’s cohort.  My cohort trucked through beads-and-denim hippiedom. Tom Wolfe called us Beau Brummels and I suspect he’d dub today’s new gonzo stylers the same.

OK I get the look but I can’t wear that look to the grocery store.  Not all at once anyway.  Say one t-shirt at a time.

Print All Over me cotton tshirt.

My Mario Bros Tshirt from Print All Over Me .

However I can flaunt my hoary wisdom and pair the Mario Bros with a gold-toned silk jacket from my closet.  Tried it a few times. Packs a wallop.

Combine Tshirt + silk jacket

Mario Bros Tshirt plus arty crushed silk jacket from my closet.

It would be excellent if I could direct you to my PAOM store but their coders lag far behind the curve.  The website sucks. There’s a new version supposedly in the wings but  but but.  When that kink’s smoothed out and I have an organized store I will let out a shout that you will hear.

 

Categories design, PAOM, productize, Sloan Nota art, technology | Leave a comment

The Possible Beauty of Warthogs

Nick Mackman warthog sculpture, raku-fired ceramic

Nick Mackman warthog sculpture, raku-fired ceramic

You’ve heard of the elephant in the room.  This post is about a warthog in the room. Ugly name, off-putting face, ignoble proportions — standing right here on the carpet. Maybe it snorts.  Well this blog’s the room and the warthog — whom many find repellent — is Pinterest. Before you groan and lose interest please question whether your knee just jerked. Keep an open mind and listen a bit.

Pinterest’s a tool.  Facebook, Vimeo, WordPress: tools.  No different than Photoshop in that you learn the rules and then create within them.

I believe that humans can turn anything into art.  (Also that humans can turn anything into evil — but let’s not go there today.)  Once at Leo Castelli’s gallery I saw a humungous rubber band stretched from the wall to a spot out on the floor.  Mr. Castelli was saying he thought the rubber band was art.  Leo Castelli who discovered and nurtured Warhol, Rauschenburg, Rosenquist.   I never twanged for that rubber band but there it was.

So Pinterest.  I began using the site as a convenience but they keep showing you these images when you log in.  Screenful after screenful. And those images start nudging each other, forming what turn out to be thoughts.  When it felt like an intriguing thought I made a board [folder] for it.  The boards of course were soon forming meta-groups and I found myself writing about the process.  Trying to understand what some of me was doing without informing the rest of me.

Pinterest has allowed me to form questions I never could have articulated in words.  The goal seems to be a coherent accounting of a lifetime of having ideas.

If those ideas and images give you ideas, welcome aboard.

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Warthogs.  I read that they’re quite lazy, loving to loll in the sun and squirm in a mud bath.  Also so stupid that they’re known to forget that they’re running from a predator and stop to graze again.  Alas.  I love them because they carry their tails at such a jaunty angle.  The warthog artworks pictured here all feature it.

These examples are from my Pinterest board African Animal Forms by Humans.   A vital part of my Pinterest page has this triumvirate of ideas: actual nonhuman lifeforms, actual humans, and artworks of both, necessarily by humans.  The world we’re in and how we depict it to ourselves.  The physical world and the abstract.  The world as it is, the versions humans project out into it.  The sleeping giraffe, the sleeping human, ancient rock engravings featuring giraffes.   Or jitterbugging humans, thirsty animals, Jeff Koons’ Balloon Dog.

Our leading warthog here is by Nick Mackman.  A raku-fired work in clay, which conveys the animal’s brute physicality.

Warthog from car parts by James Corbett

Warthog from car parts by James Corbett

Another aesthetic, diametrically different medium.  James Corbett‘s warthog — built of car parts — bristles with energy and purpose.

Warthog recycled sculpture by Ocean Sole

Warthog recycled sculpture by Ocean Sole

 

Warthog #3 is by the Oceanic Society’s Ocean Sole project, an ingenious undertaking which teaches Kenyans to make and sell sculptures made of discarded flipflops.  Each sculpted African beast is unique.  I prize that humans have such gorgeous scope in their vision and I follow those visions on Pinterest.

 

 

Categories contemporary art, Gaea, Pinterest, science, nature | Leave a comment

Questioning the Screw-Head In the Leg

Detector lock with key, John Wilkes (slotenmaker), c. 1675 - c. 1700 iron, h 11.9cm × w 16.2cm × d 2.9cm. More details The keyhole for this lock is concealed behind the man’s left leg. The lock opens and closes when the key is turned twice. With two complete turns of the key, the dial at which the man’s stick is pointing rotates. This records how often the lock has been opened. The doorknob is released when the man’s hat is pushed aside.

Detector lock with key, John Wilkes (slotenmaker), c. 1675 – c. 1700 iron, h 11.9cm × w 16.2cm × d 2.9cm.  The keyhole for this lock is concealed behind the man’s left leg. The lock opens and closes when the key is turned twice. With two complete turns of the key, the dial at which the man’s stick is pointing rotates. This records how often the lock has been opened. The doorknob is released when the man’s hat is pushed aside.

Rijksmuseum

Looking at this admirable security device from the 1600s I’m questioning why a screw-head on one leg, a rosette on the other?  So I look up the reference. Nothing about the screw but way more than I’d imagined about the vaguely mail-boxy looking plaque. James Bond and Q could admire it.

How common it is for us to know too much and fail to question.  We think we know what we see — sure, sure — and gallop on to the next featureless blur.  A road direct to boredom.

Isaac Asimov  said

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ but ‘That’s funny…’  

Let your eyes ask that same question as you locomote through life.

I’m reinventing my blog Green As Sky because I love the breadcrumb trail.   Maybe it takes you inside an ingenious clockworks. Maybe it leads to a bear scooping honey from a tree.  Questioning definitely draws you further into life than a brief blank stare.  And it may take you into delightful territory you never set out to view.

Why a screw?

This new blog will attempt to be more about ideas and less about formatting.  Will be less of a link-heavy reference.   And will feature short as well as long posts.  If you care to investigate or refresh, some of my favorite earlier posts are listed below.

Wood

Catching a Wave — With a Camera 

Art in Sacred Spaces

A Trail of Herrings

Smithereens, part 1 — Kintsukuori & Wabi-Sabi

Smithereens, part 2 — Breakage and Contemporary Suchness

Categories design, history, science, nature, technology | 2 Comments
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