Clarence John Laughlin

21 03 2011

He was called the first surreal photographer in America. Most of the collages are staged and then photographed. It makes for some very interesting work.

Guelph Jazz Art Auction

19 03 2011

The Guelph Jazz Art Auction.


Day Shift – jazz novel

18 03 2011

The first of three jazz novels has been released. It is called Day Shift. The idea of jazz novels came to me while listening to CDs from the swing, big band eras. Previously I had written a group of poems/illustrations called The Saints of Jazz. These jazz novels work on 3 levels. The interlocking stories do not follow a straight A to B to C format. One story works off another, some times repeating portions of a previous story line. The images in the story are not consistent. They will take root in the moment, (my drifting th oughts) or they will come from another source (i.e. a jazz tune). The rhythm of the sentences is jazz like. The line breaks are based on the beat of the story. I decided to break all the rules of grammar I knew while retaining enough structure to make the stories readable and enjoyable.

William Mortensen

18 03 2011

William Mortensen seems preoccupied with sexual themes in his work. He is often contrasting ideal beauty with ideal ugliness. In my view he is contrasting a kind of idealized existence that humans imagine themselves living in against the real ugliness and indifference of life. His work is arresting. And there is a voyeur aspect to it. And in that sense we are on the outside looking in. The viewer is not part of either of Mortensen’s views (beauty/ugly) (madonna/monster). Mortensen’s work is all photographic. By that I mean he doesn’t appear to use cut and paste.

Herbert Bayer

17 03 2011

One of the last members of the Bauhaus group, Bayer had a very productive life in America. I have a mixed reaction to his work. I like his collages but find myself disinterested in graphic work, Mayer’s or anyone else’s.

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy

15 03 2011

László Moholy-Nagy was a Hungarian artist, painter, photographer, part of the Bauhaus group. He was  a “a strong advocate of the integration of technology and industry into the arts”. He was influenced by constructionism, a mode of thought that came out of Russia. It thought that the artist should concern himself with social issues rather than personal ones. I’m not a big fan of these collages. They seem sterile and humorless.


14 03 2011

I have just become aware of this Czech group, the Devetsil.  Because of the Iron Curtain they remained almost  unknown in the west. I see this work as primitive. Simple and straightforward. They are the kind of collages that everyone thinks they can do. And maybe they are right.

“The first manifesto of Devětsil urged new artists to look deeper into ordinary objects for poetic quality. Skyscrapers, airplanes, mimes, and poster lettering were the new arts. Inspired by the Berlin Dadaists, Seifert claimed “art is dead.” Following him, Teige remarked, “the most beautiful paintings in existence today are the ones which were not painted by anyone.”