Friday, January 04, 2008

Frida and me.

I finally got to view the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the Walker.

I completely forgot how hot the Walker is... I kept thinking to myself, 'I cannot believe how warm they keep the galleries!' The new galleries are so cramped and IMO, poorly lighted; Kahlo's work was difficult to see, especially since the exhibit was so crowded. There were at least 3 docents conducting small group tours at once. They are always fun to listen to, because they so often get things wrong - either about the art or the painter. No doubt, I would be a very fun tour guide - let me tell you.
"Yes, this was painted when she was sleeping with..."
Viewing Frida's work was like visiting an old friend I never got along with, yet loved dearly. Everything was fine if I always told her what she wanted to hear. With Frida one has to listen to her go on endlessly about Diego and listen to the story of her traumatic injuries and surgeries - over and over. It would be okay if you could drink and smoke while you are with her, but you want to get away quickly before she insults you. That is pretty much Frida Kahlo.
Misery loves company.
I discovered Frida around 1990. I had finished a major work entitled "The Descent Into Hell" - it was a painting I made - "with scenes from the life of" - that is, it contained a central panel of the descent of Christ into hell, with scenes from my life in 15 little boxes. I did it as an altar piece with trompe-l'oeil niches on either side containing painted statues of saints. (No - there is no photo available.) I only tell you about it because it was the first time I combined icon-style painting with my Latino style retablo, in a trompe-l'oiel composition. Each vignette carried a scroll with verses from the Abbey-Road album by the Beatles. I kept the piece hidden until a friend told me it reminded him of Frida Kahlo's work and I ought to exhibit it. (Long story short - I exhibited it and it was sold.)
Painting a life.

I soon investigated Frida and was astonished how closely my work fit in with some of her pieces. Before discovering her art, I thought my blend of religious style art with secular themes was almost sacrilegious. I understood her work, and yet I was repulsed by some of it. In some cases, such as "A Few Small Nips" and "The Suicide of Dorothy Hale" (two of my favorites) one can have the experience of looking at crime scene photos. While some of her surgical paintings can come off as metaphysical x-rays of the artist.
Almost immediately I understood that what Frida had been doing in her art, was documenting her life, as well a few well chosen significant events outside of her immediate experience, which resonated with her. Her work, no matter how self-absorbed and dolorous, exists as valuable documentation of a person - indeed, a personality - living during the chaotic epoch that was revolutionary Mexico. Her art mirrors the cultural malaise that Mexico experienced within her lifetime.
I was not at all surprised - nor enlightened by the exhibit - as I said, it was like going to visit an old friend. Which is why I avoided the photography exhibit, I didn't need to be reminded of how tragic her life had been... Her paintings say enough about that.
[Art: Top - "The suicide of Dorothy Hale" Middle - "A Few Small Nips"]

The writer's strike.

The only good thing about it is that I watch much less TV since all the shows are reruns. But it is very bad for all those affected by the strike - not just the writers - but set people, camera people, lighting people, everyone involved in a television production. Don't forget the advertisers... it all has an impact... you know - the economy stupid.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

My patron for 2008...

St. Peter Chanel
The saint chosen for me to be my patron this year is St. Peter Chanel, and the devotion chosen for me is the devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus - which is a sinner's delight, let me tell you. I know who St. Peter is, and I have devotion to the most Precious Blood, which I will renew with the help of His grace. But I will have to examine the life of St. Peter more closely to determine why he chose me.

My thanks to Angela for orchestrating all of these graces for me.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Celebrity look-a-like bloggers.

I told Vincenzo that I thought Cathy of Alexandria looks a lot like Kathy Najimy - actually, I think they are one and the same. Vinny and Cath had been discussing who Fr. Z looks like - Bobby Darin or Kevin Spacey. (I could go either way - whatever - Father looks very cool in shades and his cassock.) I love to pick out celebrity look-a-likes. I'm often told I look like Aaron Eckhart - but I don't really see the resemblance myself.

Maybe I'll do a post on what celebrities my other favorite bloggers look like - don't steal my idea now!

What I really think... and other New Year's resolutions.

Wouldn't that be a great post - or series of posts? "What I really think..."
I want to do it - you know, how I'm always critiquing Spirit Daily - I could do the same thing with other blogs. But my New Year's resolution is a restraining power and that means I am going to try and stop saying (writing) and posting inappropriate things. I'm going to try really hard to be nice to people and say good things, things people need to hear, things that will really help them. I noticed when another blogger linked to a post I did, he felt the need to add the following cautionary statement - "Be forewarned, Terry sometimes writes things that may offend some people." (I had no idea I did that. No wonder certain blogs I respect do not link to me, and those who once linked, no longer do so.)

Some British bloggers have referred to me as "off-the-wall" and I believe one even suggested I was eccentric. Now that is coming from British bloggers and you know how fond British people are of their eccentrics - like the Royals! (Also, keep in mind some of the British TV reality shows, such as, Absolutely Fabulous, Faulty Towers, Keeping Up Appearances, and others like them which document normal life in the UK. Yeah - really normal all right. And yet they think I'm eccentric and off-the-wall - I don't get it.)
So from now on, I'm going to try and be normal.
(Photo: Homely, old, fat-lady blogger who failed in her New Year's resolution to lose weight and bought a corset instead. - - - What?)

Monday, December 31, 2007

My last post for 2007...

Happy New Year everyone!

Photo: "Ride of my life!" The boy whose wheelchair got stuck on the front of a semi and was pushed miles down the freeway before the unsuspecting driver was flagged down. The boy never even spilled his soda.

My predictions for 2008!

Every New Year's Eve I do my psychic thing and lay out my predictions for the coming year. This is the first year I am publishing the predictions however, and I hope they get picked up by Spirit Daily and a few other webloids. My accuracy has been about 99% in the past. (Everyone around Minneapolis will remember how I accurately predicted the name of the new coadjutor archbishop to replace Harry Flynn. I also foretold how Cathy and Adoro would both find new jobs this past year. And don't overlook the fact I foretold how Our Word blogspot would makeover their website. So here goes with my forecast for 2008... drum roll please!)

1) To start, what everyone is anxious to know, Hilary Clinton will indeed be elected the first female president of the U.S. and Obama will be the first black vice-president in history.

2) Oprah will be ordained as a minister and start her own Church where everyone just loves, eats, and prays.

3) The David Letterman Show will be cancelled because it is boring.

4) Elizabeth Taylor will pass away of natural causes.

5) Jon Lovitz will make a dramatic comeback reprising Ernest Borgnine's role in the 1950's film, Marty.

6) Madonna will return to the Catholic Church after visiting Lourdes (with her daughter Lourdes) for the 150th anniversary of the apparitions.

7) Many people will die throughout the world each day during 2008 - and only those closest to them will know about it.

8) Rosie O'Donnell will split up with her partner, and one of her children will write a tell-all book, similar to Mommie Dearest, and Rosie will play herself in the film.

9) The first arrests of bloggers on the grounds they committed hate crimes with their blog-postings will take place shortly after Hilary is elected president.

10) The situation in Pakistan will worsen when an as yet unknown man, with close ties to bin Laden, takes over the government in early summer.

11) The New Madrid fault will erupt near Memphis and swallow up Elvis' Graceland.

The rest is too horrible to reveal.

Gettin' ready for New Year's Eve...

An unidentified Twin Cities blogger practicing for her New Year's party.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Why I don't go out much...

These creatures are always following me.

When your secret is all found out...

When there are no more lies they can tell...

This morning I watched Sunday Morning on CBS - along with 60 Minutes, it is my favorite news show on television. They did a 12 to 15 minute segment remembering all of the notable people who died in 2007 - it was a long list of saints and sinners.
What became apparent throughout the montage of personalities, was the fact that all of these dead people, despite wealth, fame, accomplishment and so on, left everything we esteem important behind. The jaded Queen of Mean, Leona Helmsly, and the sweet sinner-convert-holylady televangelist, Tammy Faye, disappeared into the shadows of death. Death seemed to neutralize their reputations, and I simply felt sorry for them. They left everything behind. Despite their fame, they may not even garner a memory, save as a footnote in history. The inventors and sports figures who died perhaps left a more lasting legacy, as had entertainers such as the powerful Merv Griffin, and in comparison - the lowly Charles Nelson Riley. Yet remembered after death or not, their memory is but a shadow of the illusion their lives became for us.
The saying is cliche, yet true, death is the great equalizer. Again, Sting's lyrics come to mind:
"When the doctors failed to heal you

When no medicine chest can make you well

When no counsel leads to comfort

When there are no more lies they can tell

No more useless information

And the compass spins

The compass spins between heaven and hell" - "Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot" - Sting

Taking flight...

You know - the child Jesus may have been about two years old when the Holy Family took flight to Egypt.