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Tag: Andy Warhol

Piano Concerto no 2 in G major, opus 44 -Tchaikovsky


    Beech Grove I (1902) 

           Gustav Klimt


if a sonata, or any composition for one 
instrument, is a meditation, a rumination,
an introspection, a concerto is its entire
opposite, it’s a declamation, a very 
harangue, the performer is not only 
before an audience, but before an
orchestra, before the conductor of that 
orchestra, that soloist had better be, 
therefore, something

Tchaikovsky’s 2nd Piano Concerto 
hasn’t cut the cultural mustard, you’ve
probably never heard of it, never mind 
heard it, not even in the miasma of our 
collective unconscious 


who knows, it’s magnificent

I suspect that Moscow’s distance, 
St Petersburg’s, might’ve had something 
to do with it, Russia would still have been 
a backwater to Europe, regardless of what
Catherine the Great might’ve done for its
intellectual edification, indeed a veritable 
Elizabeth the First, Queen of England
she, in her sponsorship of the arts

something like that happened, but in 
reverse, to Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele 
in art, SchoenbergBerg, Webern, the 
Second Viennese School in music, in 
literature, Robert Musil, his The Man
Without Qualities very rival to 
Proust‘s epic trip down memory lane, 
Remembrance …“, when the centre 
of gravity for the arts moved from 
Vienna to Paris in the late 19th 
Century with the advent of 

France had entered its Fourth
Republic by then, was to finally 
entrench its democracy, and we got 
MonetDebussy, and indeed Proust 
instead, not to mention all of that 
city’s celebrated others

leaving creative Vienna, meanwhile,
the undisputed engine of the Zeitgeist
the spirit of the times, for over three 
quarters of an earlier century, thereby,  
in the dust

New York would take over in the 
1950s, similarly, for a time, Andy
Warhol and The Factory, eclipsing 
any other town

in other words, location, location, 
location, in tandem with historical 

R ! chard

on art, its purpose


                                Poet With Flower (2008)

                                          Stefan Caltia


wherefore art, I’ve long and often wondered,
with only a wink to Juliet’s Romeo, for my
question dug deeper, why, indeed, itself art

we build our souls on the stories we’ve 
heard, the impressions we’ve received
from voices that spoke directly to our 
senses, painters with paint, musicians
with music, writers with words, poets 
with poems

it started with fairy tales, which told of
right and wrong, good and bad, courage,
kindness, responsibility, and dire 
consequences for discord

Biblical stories also took up a lot of my own
childhood, Jesus, Adam and Eve, Moses
and the Ten Commandments, this last 
reinforced by Cecil B. DeMille’s epic

but soon enough it was Oliver TwistLittle
Nell, and by an inescapable authorial leap, 
since these were all by an irresistible 
Charles Dickens for a guy my age, Sydney
Carton, who valiantly stands in for his
friend, Charles Darnay, at the guillotine, a 
quantum, even existential, leap from 
Peter Pan and Mary Poppins 

though I had the good fortune to learn to 
read and write music as a boy, play music, 
learn about Bach, Brahms and Beethoven, 
it didn’t take anyone else much more than
their enthusiasm to see what the Beatles
were similarly doing, the Rolling Stones, 
the Supremes, they were not only singing, 
but making history, shaping it, and us, we 
followed the questions they rose, their 
responses, the effects upon ourselves
for nothing is considered until it’s 
mentioned, spoken, made clear, and they
were those prophets

the same goes for art, we see as we see
cause Monet, Picasso, Warhol showed 
us how to see, what to look at

and of course poets, Shakespeare, 
RostandDanteGoethe, to inform, each,
their individual language, and culture

I have been Philip CareyScarlett O’Hara, 
Blanche DuboisGary Cooper in High
Noon“, both Martha and George in 
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf“, lately 
I’ve been even Hank Williams

as Babette would say, a French doll who 
gets abducted in Raggedy Ann and Andy:
A Musical Misadventure“, an animated 
movie from the Seventies, – oo aahrr yoo 


psst: all of them have been me too,

parsing art – John Caged‏

Fernand Léger - "Les éléments mécaniques"" (1920)

Les éléments mécaniques (1920)

Fernand Léger


more John Cage, if you dare

just click

with, if you can believe it, Garry Moore,
I’ve Got a Secret“,
a trip down memory

also ads for Winston, and Bufferin, very
Andy Warhol, thrown in, entirely the


parsing art – David Hockney‏

David Hockney - "Rubber Ring Floating in a Swimming Pool"

Rubber Ring Floating in a Swimming Pool (1971)

David Hockney


in responding to the powerful dictates
of Abstract Expressionism, dominant
in mid-Twentieth-Century art, its return
to essentials, the technical elements
of the medium – as indeed was taking
place in music and literature as well
during that period, see John Cage,
or Samuel Beckett, for instance, if
you dare – David Hockney, as well
as other related artists at the time,
were, it would seem, looking to
reconnect with a more general public,
their, after all, burgeoning market in
the post-war rise of the Middle Class,
not only with objects it would find
familiar, even iconic, Campbell Soup
s, Marilyn, but with outright fun,
a not inconsequential attribute

out with ontological musings, they
were saying, dry taxonomy, and in
with, as it were, the bomp sh’ bomp
sh’ bomp

or Pop Art

noteworthy for its sense of
outrageousness, levity

and fashion, incidentally

not either inappropriately, fashion
was what the popes had been doing,
after all, adorning the Sistine Chapel

David Hockney here takes colour field
– flat, undifferentiated areas of a single
colour, a founding element of Abstract
Expressionism – and applies it to a
recognizable surface, which,
incidentally, he insists in his very title,
is not “Abstract”

we delight in the ingenuity of this
conjunction, form has become
function, or the reverse

and note furthermore the aptness
of other painterly preoccupations,
texture, a consideration that goes
back to Vermeer, and further

dimensionality, there is no horizon
to force representation of a third
dimension, which nevertheless
ingeniously doesn’t obliterate
clear three-dimensional

geometry, a hats-off to Mondrian
perhaps, and Cubism, though
we’ve come a long way from the
more diaphanous and shimmering
Cubism, just click

in fine, I’m impressed by the manner
in which this painting, despite its
naked and overt representation of
its subject, devoid of any context,
urges a more theoretical
consideration than substantial,
indeed “Abstract” rather than
grounded, rock, materially
speaking, solid

does Rubber Ring Floating in a
Swimming Pool
inform the form,
in other words

or does the form inform the
Rubber Ring Floating in a
Swimming Pool

is this grammar or a poem

you tell me


a reply to BookInhabiter, a.k.a. Brain (2)

Wolf Kahn - "Orange Cloud Over the Adriatic Sea" (1996)

Orange Cloud Over rhe Adriatic Sea” (1996)

Wolf Kahn


a reader writes, about “Poème d’amour“,
Hans Hofman

“This is a bizarre painting. It bewilders me. I can’t make sense of it. But maybe that’s the point.”

below is my answer



with the invention of the camera, Brain,
representational art became irrelevant,
unable to present the accuracy a
photograph would it had to discover
for itself an alternate purpose, which
is to say, reinvent itself

the medium became the message,
as Marshall McLuhan would’ve
put it, art began to study itself, it
reached for its sinews, arteries,
its colours, textures, its planar,
dimensional, limitations, limits

its form, in other words, was
becoming its substance

Abstract Expressionism was the
nadir of this movement, after the
less ethereal, more visceral,
German Expressionism, and up
to Andy Warhol, who brought us
back down to earth again with
pictures of Campbell Soup cans,

more matter, less theory

note the residual attachment to flat
colour fields nevertheless

that said, what part of Hofman‘s
Love Poem is indeed a love poem,
search me, I think it’s just pretentious,
failed Miro

but do read the sidebar on the upper
left at the site for less partisan perhaps
insights, just click “Show details” there

I don’t either much like Schönberg,
who did the same kind of thing to
music, eviscerated it, I want to see
the body, not the entrails, these
should be studied at art school,
the conservatory, creative writing

but that is of course just what I think

Schönberg and Abstract Expressionists,
however, have left their indelible marks
on art history, commendable marks for
their theoretical underpinnings, rigours

see for instance the marvellous Wolf
Kahn above
for the evolution of these
ideas, you get it in less than a minute,
and delight in it

that is what real art does

thanks for asking


psst: Wolf Kahn was a student of
Hans Hofman, incidentally, he
just put everyday references
back into the picture, I call it
heart, something organic

“Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs”‏

enchanted movie for children of all ages, that
means especially you, Manolito, that means
especially you, Aidan
you might however notice, in a more analytical
vein, the introduction of German Expressionism
already in more popular culture, Nolde, Kirchner,
even some Edvard Munch, the Norwegian, in the
bold, garish colours that expressed horror and
perversion for them following the First World War,
and did the same for Walt Disney later if you’ll
consider the evil queen’s mirror and mask, or
van Gogh branches in the threatening forest, flat
surfaces, notably on faces for instance, touched
with only daubs of colour for only perfunctory
shading and character, prefiguring incidentally,
Andy Warhol‘s Pop Art
artists talk to each other
musical atonalities, also, show up, to attest to
modernity, in the music tooted out by the pipe
organ, delivering ornery pipes and a climactic
cuckoo who can only emit a shrill, discordant 
screech, we can thank especially Prokofiev,
the popinjay among the atonalists, for that,
with necessary nods to, for their more
theoretical groundwork, the more exacting
Stravinsky and the too dour, not to mention
for many too dire, Schoenberg  
Walt Disney was introducing modern art not so
surreptitiously at all to the larger popular culture,
acclimatizing children especially to the new
upended and revolutionizing art, crayons at
the behest of individuality 
you’ll also find interesting that Snow White 
succumbs to an apple, much like Mother Eve, 
both of whom are absolved, it’s worth pointing 
out, by nothing other than transcendental,
transformational, regenerative and ever
inspirational, Love
think about it  

Venus of Willendorf

              File:Venus von Willendorf 01.jpg


                                Venus of Willendorf 
                          (24,000 B.C. – 22,000 B.C.)
by giving it prominence in a work of art an artist by definition
idealizes a figure, gives it stature, Andy Warhol did that to our
own cultural overlord, Commerce, with his soup cans, putting
them right up there where altarpieces used to be, these icons 
are even in financial institutions now in fact instead of churches,
supplanting thereby the earlier Christian message, which you
don’t see represented very much in art anymore incidentally,
our present culture not finding much of an even metaphorical
call for it any longer it would appear 
Marilyn” (1960s)
Mickey Mouse” (1981)
the Venus of Willendorf (24,000 B.C. – 22,000 B.C.)
Benefits Supervisor Sleeping” (1995)
these last two upending what is in fact only an arbitrary
cultural notion of svelte and silken beauty ever, though
often vigorously held