Banksy and Sargent and Outlaw Art: Beyond the Pale

Madame X was pretty much outlaw art when she appeared.  
In the end, the painter thought it his best work ever. I can simply say that she literally took my breath away when I finally got to see her, and I stayed so long, in a sort of beauty induced shock (remembering to breathe, when I got dizzy), that the guards started eyeing me thoughtfully or curiously or warily or whatever. Who knows. All I know is her skin is pale, palest, lilac and you really can see where the strap was painted at first. If there be goddesses, she is one.

So, outlaw art. Last night, I read a bit of Banksy's "Wall and Piece." In it, he says:

The people who truly deface our neighbourhoods are the companies that scrawl giant slogans across buildings and buses trying to make us feel inadequate unless we buy their stuff. They expect to be able to shout their message in your face from every available surface but you're never allowed to answer back. Well, they started the fight and the wall is the weapon of choice to hit them back.

It doesn't matter whether you completely agree with Banksy on this, or disagree completely. 

What is critical in his statement is that one can hear the voice of everyman when he says "you're never allowed to answer back."  

Outlaw art. Brilliant artists seem to live at the edge--or beyond--the norms of society. Beyond the pale. Not big news there. 

But think about this, for maybe just a moment. 
When was the last time you thought something was beyond reason, pushing the limits, beautiful, and perhaps sane, but it simply wouldn't fit into your frame of "this is okay in my life?"
 Was that thing so dizzying or shock-inducing or truthful that it was, really, showing us the beauty of the future? 
The beauty that could exist now, if we let it? 
Just wondering. 


The Incomparable Topher Delaney: Land As Art

Taking design classes, a few years back, was fortunate enough to hear Topher Delaney speak. The occasion was, like the woman -- and her work -- memorable, remarkable, transforming. I was, before meeting her, aware of her landscapes and had seen them featured in a number of periodicals. But hearing her speak turned me into a true convert. It's wonderful to find that she has a blog.

Looks like, currently, she's working (with her wonderful team) on a fascinating project in Sweden; see blue & white cups, Gunnebo Garden To Go containers. (I'll take 6 dozen, thank you.)


Hot, Flat, and Crowded

This month, Wired magazine takes a look at Thomas Friedman's new book 
Hot, Flat, and Crowded. Looks like it's full of good thoughts on methods which might help us ease ourselves out of our "climate-destroying fossil-fuel age"...

"We need 100,000 people in 100,000 garages trying 100,000 things--in the hope that five of them break through." 

The battle over "green," he believes, will define the early 21st century just as the battle over "red" (Communism) defined the last half of the 20th.

Nice followup to The World is Flat

Perhaps, in a few years, he can write The World is Green.


Emily Dickinson: Brilliant Flowers for a Brilliant Friend

I send two Sunsets--
Day and I in competition ran,
I finished two, and several stars,
While He was making one.

His own is ampler--
But, as I was saying to a friend,
Mine is the more convenient
To carry in the hand.

Looking, this evening, for a way to send all good thoughts to the dearest of friends. There is a white pitcher painted with butterflies that has been waiting to go to her house, for days...with sunflowers in it, a note on it, thoughts of thankfulness for her friendship surrounding it. Until the pitcher gets to it's appointed home, this little poem by Emily might suffice.

Winston Churchill understood, too:

"Friendship," he said, "is the only cement that will hold the world together."