I have a thing for the year 1933. It was an eventful time for sure, but mostly it's just fun to discover things. Like the artist, Martin Lewis
Lewis did many nightime urban scenes. He was a contemporary of Edward Hopper, of Nighthawks fame. Lewis is mostly forgotten now, and I think I know why. The mystique and sex and danger he captured in his work in the 20's and 30's was absorbed and embiggened by film noir.
Maybe Martin should have moved back to L.A.
Chocolate Covered Rusty Buckets
Just came across this show from 1985. It's a band at their peak, probably.
America's The Who
Here's the latest in the ongoing process of tuning and recording my new/old drum kit.
My parents were born in the sticks. Dad in Victoria, Texas, mom in Pembroke, Ontario.
The Depression and WWII shortened those 1,955 miles.
This book had been in the family for years by the time I came along in 1955. According to the preface, "Life's commissioning of these paintings... has made (Life Magazine) the most significant single force in the appreciation of art in America."
Fine words. For people from the sticks, this was likely their only exposure to this stuff. I spent many hours paging through it- like a kids' "picture book".
This one, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, made a big impression. I was terrified by that red devil, and maybe that's why the page is torn just there. The symbolism behind the allegory was lost on me, but I got the message alright, like some peasant in the Dark Ages.
Even after I learned to read, the title Noon didn't help me make sense of this scene. OK, so she brought lunch, shouldn't she be getting back to the farmhouse now? Well, by the time I heard the phrase "a roll in the hay" I knew what it meant... sorta.
Not every picture had such obvious appeal.
It could be the odd little boat, but I don't think that's it. I'd seen sculling on TV after all. Here, there is no race. Max just sits there looking at you. Could that be the reason for its power?
Another guy in a boat. Action!
What happened to My Old Kentucky Home???
Some of these paintings were interesting because they didn't make sense.
Like, for instance...
Diego Rivera was Mexican, so he had no place in this book, but this work primed me for his murals. Mexican themes did appear, sort of...
Some ugly-looking folks in there! This picture completely baffed me, but it impressed me too. People of these shapes and colors were all over the book.
This was a lot of fun for a kid- all those fleshy butts! I wonder if R. Crumb liked it?
It wasn't all fun and games...
I hadn't known it then, but this was a part of my dad's upbringing. He escaped from it, though I think it haunted him.
The stuff I really came to like was cleaner somehow. This one grabbed me, and just took me out.
This one too, in a different way.
As for this one, all I can say is "God bless Modern American Painting, and God bless you, Mr. Luce!"