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June 22, 2006


Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* Laurence Auster wonders why the cultural neocons at the New Criterion are so attached to modernism -- and comes up with a convincing answer. Some of Laurence's readers pitch in here.

* Where did the absorption with the Self so characteristic of artists originate? We can blame it on the Romantics.

* All that said, I do like a fair amount of modernist art just fine, including some paintings by the Brit Howard Hodgkin, who has a big new show up in London. Online repros of some of Hodgkin's work can be eyeballed here, here, and here. Dig the way those colors vibrate!

* The sly and witty Bluewyvern has put up a a posting of links to some amazing photography sites.

* Did you know that only two biographies have ever been published of the painter John Constable? He does seem to have led a very boring life ...

* Rick Darby reads an article in the Orange County Register and thinks he may be seeing a little progress. Rick's blog now features a beautiful new banner headline, made for Rick by Daniel of Westgate Necromantic. Daniel is the sweet and heroic webguy who has been tech angel for 2Blowhards. Daniel's a joy to work with -- as well as (shhh!) very reasonable.

* Although I've paid for Apple's .Mac service for a number of years, I have yet to make any real use of it. I see I'm not alone in wondering if .Mac is just a big waste of money.

* In his explication of the Aussie slang word "bogan," Dirk Thruster lets fly with a lot of shrewd (and earthily-stated) good sense.

* Design Observer's Adrian Shaughnessy raves about the German obsessive-mystic movie director Werner Herzog, one of The Wife's favorite filmmakers. DO's Michael Bierut links to a Wes Anderson American Express commercial that confirms me in my conviction that Wes Anderson deserves an Oscar for Most Annoying Filmmaker Ever. It's good to see that DO has given its own visuals a classy upgrade.

* Lynn wouldn't mind living in a big Victorian house, or in a spacey bionic structure either.

* Recently I put up an enthusiastic posting about the neo-Oakeshottian English philosopher John Gray. It's evidently his moment.

* Pistol-packin', red-blooded George Bush has been the wussiest of weenies when it comes to his own country's southern border.



posted by Michael at June 22, 2006


Artists are supposed to lead boring lives. Exciting lives (like those of Benvenuto Cellini) usually end up with people thinking, "How much more good stuff he could have produced if he wasn't wandering around getting thrown into jail." Hugely productive artists of the first rank, like Rubens, achieved that by working 14 hour days, six days a week, year after year, pausing only to crank out a few children. (Well, okay, so even Rubens got a bit distracted by diplomacy, but he still managed to paint hundreds of canvases on his missions and returned to his day job as quickly as he possibly could.)

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on June 23, 2006 2:54 PM

And then there was Caravaggio who seemed like he'd rather brawl than paint.

Posted by: Donald Pittenger on June 23, 2006 3:27 PM

Which is why he (that is, Caravaggio)died at the ripe old age of 37. Think of what he could have painted had he lived as long as Titian (91 boring years) or Giovanni Bellini (86 boring years).

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on June 23, 2006 4:58 PM

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