Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday Poetry Train - The Drowning

Brand spanking new - still needs edits but throwing it out there anyway.

The drowning

Face pressed beneath the water
Indulging in the sweet sips of your deceit
She dreamed in happy ever after fragments,
Of Ophelia softly singing
And she was kept…
quite willing to believe in anything.

The drip, drip of half-truths
Wrapped in heartfelt sincerity
Her self esteem eroded,
As the ripples of your duplicity
shudder onward, outward…
Dragging her down and down and down.

Heart beat flutters, much too fast
Cracking beneath the pressure
Of pretending her smile hasn’t fallen
Off the edge of the world,
While everything, oh everything is alright…
Trapped in the leaky vessel of her life.

Face pressed beneath the water
Tears dissolving in its watery embrace
Her choice remains steadfast and simple,
Lift herself up and out
or drink deeply of the sorrow…
That will fill her until she drowns.

Ride the Monday Poetry Train - share your links or just enjoy the read:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Have a Happy Thanksgiving

Getting ready to head into insane work day but wanted to give those of you in bloggyland a heads up that there won't be an Arts Day this week on the DAMage Report - however Johnny will be having his regularly scheduled show, so go ahead an enjoy some damaged news and humor. :)

I hope everyone in US has a good turkey day.
I'll be taking a short break over the holidays from the social networking (facebook) and the blogging. Have several projects to handle that i'll be focusing on.
Back on the air next week at regular times.
Eat some dessert for me - Kota

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

DAMage Report - Arts Day Article Link

Please click on the link above to read today's topic. I've created a blog just for the articles for those interested in following the show.

Join me today on the DAMage Report News Show at - 2pm PST/5pm EST/ 10pm GMT. Topic today is about the $43 million dollar Warhol - is it still art or just an investment stored in a safe?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


This week i resisted the temptation to be a diva, pack up my toys, and go home. I'm pretty sure though if i had, no one would have noticed.

I also resisted the urge to add an "S" to the church sign near my house that says "God, HE never fails."

Since i missed Tempting Tuesday last week y'all get a two-fer. :D
What temptation did you resist or give in to this past week?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hopping Back on the Monday Poetry Train

Fade Away Naturally

Color me with bold strokes

And outside the lines
of preconceived notions

For one day I will fade

And all that will remain
are dusty memories

Drifting in the wind


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

DAMage Report - When Art Imitates Art

The 1963 painting by Alma Thomas (to the right) is remarkably similar to a 1953 piece by Matisse (below it) and is causing an uproar of controversy on the topic of art and plagiarism. The painting was originally among the works selected by the Obamas to hang in the White House, but was returned - either due to the controversy or because it really didn't match the sofa. The reasons really are inconsequential. What is of interest are the heated debates over the differences between tribute art and outright theft of concept and/or visuals.

It is true that art imitates life. It is also true that in one way, shape, or form, art also imitates art. It can't be helped. Artists ARE influenced in their ideas and their forms of expression.

Picasso said "the bad artists imitate, the great artists steal."
In other words, to steal an idea you have to own it and make it your own.
To imitate, you merely need to copy it and put nothing of yourself into it.

On one hand, Alma's "Watusi" is an almost exact replica of Matisse's "L'escargot" with palette changed and shapes rearranged. On the other hand, it is well documented that Alma created the painting as a tribute, using it as a study of Matisse's techniques. She never hid the fact that it was directly influenced. Furthermore, her study of this particular work was apparently a turning point in her art. Everything that followed reflected the impact of Matisse on her paintings/concepts/approach. As Tilly Greene remarked yesterday, it would have been MORE interesting to see Alma take the influence to another level, rather than just remake Matisse's composition. But it should be duly noted that Alma probably had no idea that her painting would one day hang in the Hirshhorn Museum and be considered one of the great works of American art.

I've often wondered if Picasso and Matisse would roll over in their graves knowing that their napkin drawings are considered fine works of art. Nawwww - Picasso would love it, the arrogant old bastard!

The major difference between plagiarism and tribute seems to be credit given where credit is due. Trying to pass off copies of someone else's original concepts and work as your own is plagiarism, pure and simple. Utilizing the ideas and visuals of a "master" artist to create something new, or to study technique is tribute. All art is an imitation in one form or another, whether it is an imitation of something seen or an expression of an idea born within the mind of the artist. It is the process of communicating the ideas, the visions, the exploration that creates the art in whatever genre the artist chooses to express themselves in.

Does Watusi deserve to be considered a great work of art, given that it is a tribute piece? It depends on who you talk to. Personally I think it is confusing and blurs the already subjective lines of what constitutes "masterful" art - art that rates hanging in the top museums of the world. Does Alma Thomas deserve the scathing disregard for her work that is currently being bandied about? Absolutely not. However, on the bright side - more people now know her name and have looked at her paintings. Bad P.R. is better than no P.R. type thing.

Art is once again the heated topic of discussion - replacing whatever was on television last night as the topic of choice.
Well, for some people anyway.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

DAMage Research - Plagarism or Tribute?

The 1963 painting by Alma Thomas (to the right) is extremely similar to a 1953 piece by Matisse (below).

it would be interesting to find out what the Hirshhorn Museum paid for Watusi.

Thomas's painting was first exhibited in the '60s. At that time, you could no more plagiarize a Matisse collage such as "The Snail" than you could pass off the "Mona Lisa" as your own.

Elaborations on earlier artists' work, even full appropriation, have been common practice in art for hundreds of years. Artists long learned their craft by copying the works of older masters; even among high artists, it was standard.

the 73-year-old artist found herself staring at the hollyhock shadows she had known her entire life and calculating

how to use them in her paintings. A year earlier, she had seen the late Matisse cutouts at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Matisse's work had prompted her to paint an acrylic-on-canvas version of his collage The Snail (1953), in which nearly all the original colors were reversed. Thomas named her painting Watusi (Hard Edge), after Chubby Checker's dance hit "The Watusi." As well as marrying high modernism with the popular culture of black America--then entering the American mainstream--the title she chose noted Matisse's debt to African art.

Pablo Picasso that, "the bad artists imitate, the great artists steal." Thomas' work here is a transformation of the Matisse painting. There is power in the decision to reverse colors and to change perspective from "L'escargot,"giving "Watusi" integrity to stand on its own as a distinctive piece.


illegitimate copying is real. Both Richard Prince (See VR’s “Prince of Pilfer”) and Jeff Koons have been sued by photographers for incorporating copyrighted work into their own. Koons lost the Rogers v. Koons case, but won a more recent suit under the “fair use” doctrine. Readers will remember that earlier this year Damien Hirst threatened to sue a 16-year-old over his use of an image of Hirst’s diamond-incrusted skull, in the process demanding royalties.

Thomas always credited Matisse for the inspiration that produced Watusi. It is obvious that the work launched her on a journey of artistic discovery that produced her unique and forward-looking (if not radical) mosaic style.

To assert that Thomas was “simply copying” Matisse would be to deny the rich and varied underpinnings of her work. Thomas was deeply impressed by the colors and patterns of the natural world around her.

**Credit to Venetian Red Contributors Christine Cariati and Liz Hager for excellent arguments and research

Friday, November 6, 2009

No Jobs and Everything Costs More - 2005 to 2009 costs of Eggs, Bread, Milk and Gas

I found it positively disgusting that i couldn't find these numbers quickly, easily, or in layman terms after spending over half an hour searching the web and online news. I don't have a degree in economics or finance. PPI numbers and CIS numbers and acronym fill in the fucking blank numbers mean nothing to me. It doesn't translate to instant comprehension. All I wanted was the freakin average prices of some consumer goods. Not the increase percent, not the decrease projections. Just. The. Price. I ended up searching item by item, year by year. >_<

it wasn't easy getting verifiable #s - they vary ridiculously. Oh and Wikianswer is a freakin joke - their numbers aren't even realistically close to the statistical documents

In four years...
Dozen Eggs: 2006 = $1.45 / 2007 = $1.56 / 2008 = $2.18 / 2009 = $2.89
White Bread: 2006 = $1.05 / 2007 = $1.25 / 2008 = $1.28 / 2009 = $2.79
Gallon Milk: 2006 = $2.40 / 2007 = $3.13 / 2008 = $2.74 / 2009 = $3.53
Gas: 2005 = $1.78 / 2006 = $2.57 / 2007 = $2.81 / 2008 = $3.55 - $4.10 / 2009 = $2.90

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

DAMage Report - All that Glitters Might Be Crap

President Obama's Committee on the Arts and Humanities has selected some shiny, Hollywood Stars to be on the PCAH committee including top-tier actors such as Forest Whitaker, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alfre Woodard, and Edward Norton. Other high profile personalities include cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Teresa Heinz (wife of John Kerry), Senator Dick Cohen and of course First Lady Michelle Obama, as the committees chair.

It looks good, smells good... but really - how effective is a star-studded committee going to be. If this were simply a matter of finding some recognizable faces to endorse the arts and put a little P.R. spotlight on awareness, that would be one thing. However, the President's Committee for Arts and Humanities is SUPPOSED to be a functioning committee with goals and a definative impact on the weakening state of the arts in our country.

Right now, at this very moment - city, county and state funding to the arts is being ruthlessly slashed. The blows are coming down hard and will definitely cripple, as well as outright kill, many arts organizations. This includes the few struggling arts education programs. The Georgia Council for the Arts has eliminated all funding for arts education, I was told last week by an after-school program. Certainly this is reflected in other states. In our local government, an additional 25%-50% cut in arts budgets are occurring. This impacts not only arts organizations but local after-school arts programs. For some, the death knell has begun to toll. Because the only other avenue of funding - corporate sponsorships - have dropped as much as 50-75% this past year.

People, we don't need a pretty committee of Hollywood A-listers posing for the media. We need a committee compromised of dedicated individuals, with experience in arts education and arts support, who are willing to work their asses off to save the arts in this country. We need people who are in the trenches, who are going to follow through with the campaign promises the President made to the arts. Pretty words and pretty faces and glitzy photo-ops just aren't going to make one damn bit of difference as our country's arts, artists, and cultural richness dies away.

A quote from a speech made yesterday has Mr. Obama saying, "When I was running for President, no one knew exactly what 'Change You Can Believe In' meant. One year later, I am proud to say that that is still the case." (Reference:

Is it just me, or is this all kinds of wacked? The President is PROUD that no one can define changes made? Changes that could be embraced, celebrated, and believed in? In other words, pride in remaining undefined, particularly in relationship to what the citizens assumed were positive changes to "be believed in" seems somewhat contrary. It doesn't indicate strong leadership. Rather, leadership that attempts to get away with the least amount of feather-ruffling. That is not a circumstance that lends itself to change and certainly doesn't bode well for support of the arts.

I may be doing the new PCAH committee super stars a disservice - they may be determined to really provide solutions and save arts and arts education before it is too late. But I have a sinking feeling...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

DAMage Research - tomorrow's topic - PCAH

President Obama has named his appointees to his Committee on the Arts and Humanities. The names include actors such as Forest Whitaker, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alfre Woodard, and Edward Norton, as well as the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue magazine, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, philanthropist (and wife of John Kerry) Teresa Heinz, and our own Senator Dick Cohen. Firlst Lady Michelle Obama serves as the committee's honorary chair.

PCAH - Coming Up Taller

The President has promised America the following:

- To reinvest in arts education, by expanding public/private partnerships between schools and arts organizations. He also, based on his work in Chicago, promised to create an "artist corps" consisting of of young artists trained to work in low-income schools and their communities. And he promised to be publicly champion the importance of an arts education.

- To support increased funding for the NEA. (Did that - restored NEA funding to its highest level since 1992 when he signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in February)

- To promote cultural diplomacy. By that he means put more money into U.S. embassy programs that send American artists on tour around the world.

- To attract foreign talent. Since 9/11 it's been difficult, if not impossible to get a visa to perform in the United States. President Obama has promised to streamline the visa process so artists and art students can make their way here more easily.

- To provide affordable health care to artists. (Because if you provide affordable health care to everybody, that includes artists. Two birds, one stone.)

- To ensure "tax fairness" for artists. Candidate Obama said he supports legislation that would allow artists to deduct the fair-market value of their work, rather than just the costs of the materials, when they make charitable contributions.

LA-LA-LA-Los Angeles Here I come!

Flight booked for January. Doing DAMage Report Show from the studio on the 29th. How much fun and activity can I cram into four days. I'm thinking sleep on the plane there and back and no sleep inbetween. :D

Now if only I can convince Miz Andel to join me.... LA will never be the same. BWWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!


TEMPTATION TUESDAY: i resisted the lure of tootsie rolls yesterday... but the twizzlers did me in.

(What was your temptation this past week?)