Monday, June 17, 2013

Sexy Old Guy

So, for those of you who follow me on facebook, you may notice I change my profile picture often.  Sometimes back around to the same image that I had from a previous time.  There's no real rhyme or reason it seems from the surface; however, I will safely and without offense, assume that most people probably haven't noticed because, "why would you?" Right?
I will outrightly state this is not a narcissistic blog about my facebook profile pictures, so don't worry... I haven't lost it.  It's actually a blog about the primarily French Painting movement of the 19th Century, Neoclassism.  See!  Isn't that LOADS more interesting? I bet you can't wait!
To tie these two ideas together, on occasion I'll post this picture:

Why?  Why in the world would a young married woman post a picture of a 200 year old drawing, self portrait of this old (admittedly "sexy") guy?  Well trust me, it's not just because he's sexy... it's because of what he represents.

This is a portrait of the French Painter and Revolutionist, Jacques Louis David (August 30, 1748 - December 29, 1825).  

To me, he's the fucking shit of artists.  He manipulated art as a tool of higher propaganda, using it as a real means and a fuel source that helped to incite an entire revolution.  He founded one of the most famous art schools in history, ate sandwiches on his paintings, got in sword fights, terrified his "peers" (what the hell, he had no peers!), hung out with Napoleon, Poodle-Hair Voltaire, threw a massive death parade, drew the miserable Marie Antoinette (one of my favorite illustrations ever) just before she was beheaded, and then ironically became a door-to-door guillotine salesmen.

(I love this image because you can really feel his apathy and simultaneous disgust for this woman in the intentional, slack line-work.)

What I also appreciate about this man is that after Napoleon was exiled for the final time, he retreated out of the political scene (of which he was also heavily involved) to paint mythological antiquities, with his own personality.

In this depiction of Cupid and Psyche (my all-time favorite work of his) I just freakin' love the sense of humor he has in Cupid's overt attempt to be covert.  I've looked at a vast amount of his works and what I find curious about this is the consistency in which he portrays character. As an artist who claimed to be a study of human character before all else, felt that to capture the expression correctly is to capture the person to a much purer degree than to just simply copy their features in as non-objective of a manner as one can.  This character's expression is only consistent with one portrayal of the same person, himself...
Judging that he spent the last of his life in Brussels, it leaves me imaging this is a humorous self-reflection of his youth.

Speaking of which...
This guy does not crack! He's younger here, but he's still 41.  Unfortunately, David seems to be a soul stealer as the same can not be said for his most famous, and talented pupil Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres:
I mean, I kind of feel bad for the guy:
This portrait is by David of Ingres not long after he initially joined David's studio...
Look at him, youthful, aspiring.  He has so much life to his eyes... and then...
Oh my...  Poor guy.  Looks like "the war" got the best of you.  I will say though he maintained most of his dignity and was a very outstanding artist.  He was the initial artist that caught my attention to take a particular interest in Neoclassism purely for his technical ability alone:
This use to be my favorite painting in the whole wide world until I realized how honestly dull and non-dynamic I find his use of color to be and, he tends to repeat himself:

However, the main lesson that is to be learned here today... is that David was the Father of Neoclassism, without whom it's relatively safe to say, dramatically changed the course of Western art history forever, and undeniably just history itself... but what is art anyway?  Even more important than that, if you're going to be the "Daddy" of a movement in a time when it smells like Rococo (how rancid) all over again, you need to make sure you have swag.  Do you have swag?

-Space Ichijouji <3

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Writing, on writing

    How funny it seems as of late the frequency in which the subject of "writing" has been on the minds of a significant few that have been of recent contact.  It's taken me several days to be able to concisely convey what I hope will connect with all of the individual concerns expressed.
    Putting words on a piece of paper, or at a greater level of disconnect -a computer moniter, etc.- is a simple act.  There's usually a basic, fulfilling purpose or need:  accounting, schooling, texting, grant/business proposals, grocery lists...  So few of us write for abstract purposes.  There's the occasional "love letter", if those even exist anymore, but that's hardly the sort of abstraction I'm implying (although many delusions of love are typically very abstract).
    For those bold enough to venture into the lands of journaling, poetry, prose, short stories, and novel we eventually discover that writing is a relationship.  Whether we consciously acknowledge or even realize this is unimportant but what is, is whether we decide to engage in that relationship or not.

    I have come to find that writing is no more than a physical manifestation of our relationship with ourselves. It's not to say that non-writers will never know themselves but I also won't say whom I find has the advantage.

    What you're writing isn't so much important as why.  No matter what it is (even if it's nothing at all), "why" will only provide you with insight.  Since one of the biggest issues any writer faces is not writing; truthfully, the only issue, I'll delve a bit deeper into my concise opinion on the subject.
    It's a good gauge for denial if you're an active writer who, "hasn't gotten around to it in a while" or "I just haven't had anything to say."  Can we take a moment to consider why we have nothing to say and what's getting around to something that always requires effort anyway?  When answering those sorts of questions it will only benefit you if you don't bullshit yourself.  As obvious as that may seem, b-s-ing yourself is a refined, subconscious artform and you're probably better at it than you're willing to give credit.
    Sometimes we just can't bring ourselves to write no matter how badly we want to because we just aren't inspired.  This is one of my biggest issues and I finally realized that that answer in itself is bullshit.

    What inspires me to write, is my writing.  Seeing my thoughts, ideas, fantasies, emotions, transformed into something tangible is why I desired to write in the first place.

    So if I enjoy it so much, then why would I deny myself the pleasure of performing it?  This is the point that if you haven't de-railed already, begin preparing for it.  Life happens and is always a perfect excuse.  I actually couldn't be more sincere about that last statement.
    Life happens to me constantly.  In fact, I really couldn't think of a whole number of people (actually I can't even think of that many) who have quite the daily ride that I do, so I am most sympathetic... but we have to fight to write.  When you get down to it, no amount of preparation, meditation, cleanliness of space, emotional stability, time, etc. is going to send you over that edge.  That is all you.
    The key to keep in mind is knowing you will get off track, you will lose sight and focus.  Count on it.  That way you don't send yourself leagues back on your own progress because you can't get over the fact that you fell off the train to begin with, for whatever reason.  Get over it and get back on it and never forget why you write.

   Even if we only take one step a day to get to where we're going, after 100 days, we will have progressed 100 steps.  If we grew tired and only made it to 74, at least we're 74 steps ahead of the guy who never took one.

    That being said, I have work to do.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Blogger wouldn't let me title this the way I wanted, so the title is below:

Fly. Twitch<Twitter

Dance because I wanna.
Dance because I gotta.

The specificity of my life is of no consequence to be heard or understood.

Fly swiftly.  Away from this place.  I already have.