A Beautiful Heartache: Desperate for Love

A Beautiful Heartache: Desperate for Love

Desperate For Love is a lush animated short-film composed of six parts that are produced in various styles by by different directors. Computer animation, live action and stop motion pieces come together with surprising ease to comprise an exquisite film merged by the soundtrack of Over the Rhine’s aptly titled song Desperate for Love. The pervading mood of the film is one of sadly unrequited yearning, which is conveyed with an underlying sense of luxurious melancholy.

A Beautiful Heartache: Desperate for Love

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Giorgio Morandi’s Brownfields: The Artist as a Seductive Sneak

Giorgio Morandi’s Brownfields: The Artist as a Seductive Sneak

Art That Seems to Do Nothing

By the time Giorgio Morandi had really discovered himself as an artist at the age of thirty-two, his artistic universe was reduced to a handful of simple objects, primarily bottles, tins, jugs, vases, and a few bowls. When necessary, Morandi was perfectly content to make do with just two tins and a vase. He would arrange the three things and then paint them. Generally he stuck to a subdued, understated range of coloring: grays and beige, with an overall dominance of browns. Even when Morandi did use brighter colors they still seemed like brown dressed up in drag for the moment. His paintings do the opposite of pop art, the startling forms and bold colors of which fairly scream out at the viewer for attention. Morandi’s paintings, on the other hand, seethe beneath their outer bland, mundane veneer. They patiently wait for the viewer to come to them.

If Morandi painted his two tins and vase in an arrangement one day, the following day he would move the vase a few inches and then paint them afresh. These minute transformations amazed Morandi. He didn’t need anything more. The smallest change in the lighting, a subtle shift in direction, and his world of three things was forever fresh and new. By all rights, these should be some of the most boring paintings in history. Nothing happens in them. Morandi was happy to do as close to nothing as a painter can manage to do. He sat at his easel, year after year, shifting his two tins and the one damn vase, and then painting the scene in his own special vision of muted brownness.

Yet, these are extraordinarily beautiful and moving paintings. That’s the shock of it all. Viewing some of Morandi’s paintings in the current retrospective of Morandi’s work currently on exhibition at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, one is initially left feeling quite puzzled. One wonders about just how on earth did this homely and private Italian fellow managed to pull it off?

Morandi as a Sneaky and Seductive Liar

Some art critics have proposed that Morandi is exciting because he is both sneaky and a liar. He pretends that he’s just a modest man letting objects be objects and letting nature be nature. His pastels and repertoire of browns dull the senses and draw you into his seductive web, and once you’re in, Morandi has you. Once Morandi’s captured your attention, his seemingly dull paintings take you through a nearly infinite set of examples of how much control he exerted over the very objects that normally mark our limits as human beings. Every day we are impinged upon and forced to serve the mute indifference of things, the many parts of our world that seem out of our control.

Morandi reduced his artistic world down to just a few of those things, to the minimum. He eliminated the background and foreground. He shifted everything into a color spectrum of his own choosing. Things, objects, in his universe come to to play by his own rules. Thus Morandi’s obsessiveness demanded that objects conform to his vision, while still portraying them as real objects.

So he arranged his bottles and tins and vases in one way and then he arranged them in another. He painted them in the morning and the evening and at night. He observed them through shifts of light and color and position. And for 25 years Morandi painted canvas after canvas using the same handful of tins and bottles and vases, sometimes shifting their position no more than an inch or two. He painted his little vases and tins not as they are really found on an actual kitchen table, but as Morandi would have them be.

It is soothing and rapturous to stare at that painting, to know it exists, to realize that one man was so able to master the world immediately before him, calmly, surely, on his own terms and none other. So, in a sense, Morandi was another great egotist of 20th-century art. The modest scale and subject matter of his paintings tricks us into talking about Morandi as a painter of humility and small gestures. But that is wrong.

He chose his own field of battle, the kitchen table and the handful of small objects that he arranged and rearranged upon it, and he waged war on all those material things that resist our attempts to understand them. We may never understand them, say Morandi’s paintings, but we are able to make of them something that is grand, something brown and something completely our own.

Brownfields: The Artist as a Seductive Sneak

Thanks to: 3 Quarks Daily

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Barack Obama: American Stories, American Solutions

Barack Obama: American Stories, American Solutions

Barack Obama: American Stories, American Solutions

Later Tonight: Pres. Clinton Campaigned with Obama in Florida

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Photo of the Day: UPS-Taxi

Photo of the Day: UPS-Taxi

Photography by: Joseph O. Holmes, NYC

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Day unto Night: Haunting the Metropolis

Day unto Night: Haunting the Metropolis

“When haunting a giant metropolis, I stay awake all night, although I’m not a sleepwalker, nor an insomniac, nor a night-clubber. I’m attracted to artificial lights, a reflection on a face, a silhouette projected on a wall that turns it into a screen.”

Patrick Zachmann

Day unto Night: Haunting the Metropolis

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Hi, It’s Edd. Nice to Meet You.

Hi, It’s Edd. Nice to Meet You.

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Boy’s Body Found: Identified as Jennifer Hudson’s Missing Nephew

Boy’s Body Found: Very Likely Jennifer Hudson’s Missing Nephew

It was reported on Friday that the mother and brother of Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Hudson were found shot to death inside her mother’s house on the South Side of Chicago on Friday afternoon, and that the police were said to be looking for her 7-year-old nephew. Police had confirmed that Ms. Hudson’s mother, Darnell Hudson Donerson, 57, was one of the victims, and that the other victim was identified as Ms. Hudson’s brother, Jason S. Hudson, 29.

The body of a young boy was found Monday morning on Chicago’s West Side. He was found inside a white SUV that is registered to Jennifer Hudson’s slain brother, Jason Hudson. The body was of a black boy, about 7 years-old. Although final identification of the boy had not been made, it is very likely that the child is 7-year-old Julian King.

Boy’s Body Found: Very Likely Hudson’s Missing Nephew

Update: Top FBI officials have confirmed that the body discovered in an SUV in Chicago is indeed that of Jennifer Hudson’s missing 7 year-old nephew, Julian King.

Chicago police brought Julian’s body to the medical examiner’s office shortly after noon today. Jennifer Hudson and other family members arrived about three hours later, said office spokesman Sean Howard. When the group entered a viewing room at the office Ms. Hudson held her head down, as if praying, he said. The family then identified Julian via a video screen mounted on a wall that showed his face. The family chose the video screen option rather than looking directly at the body, Howard said.

The family was “obviously distraught,” but Howard said Hudson “remained strong for her family. It was very clear she was the leader. She held hands with her family. It was obviously a very emotional moment.” When they saw the boy’s face on the screen, Hudson told investigators, “Yes, that is him,” Howard said.

Chicago Police Department: Body is Julian King, Ms. Hudson’s Nephew

Later News Reports and Community Reactions to Julian’s Murder

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