artist


Robert Rauschenberg, Titan of American Art, Is Dead at 82 – New York Times

I know, why do I keep blogging obituaries? I only pick people I think are interesting or important to me. Rauschenberg is important — to me. His work has always fascinated and intrigued me and sometimes repelled me. Painter, printmaker, sculptor, and photographer – he did it all and combined it all. He broke rules right and left and I loved him for it. Break the boundries, blur the lines and accept accidents and inspirations.

“I usually work in a direction until I know how to do it, then I stop,” he said in an interview in the giant studio on Captiva in 2000. “At the time that I am bored or understand — I use those words interchangeably — another appetite has formed. A lot of people try to think up ideas. I’m not one. I’d rather accept the irresistible possibilities of what I can’t ignore.”

He added: “Anything you do will be an abuse of somebody else’s aesthetics. I think you’re born an artist or not. I couldn’t have learned it. And I hope I never do because knowing more only encourages your limitations.

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NPR : Artists of Battlefield Deception: Soldiers of the 23rd

Another great NPR story of the day! This week they are runnning stories on WWII to coincide with the Ken Burns documentary on PBS.

The art of deception has been part of warfare since its beginnings. There is no more famous example than the Trojan Horse.

But few people know much about the deceptive role the U.S. Army’s 23rd Special Troops played in World War II.

That’s because their work was kept secret until 1996. The mission of the 23rd — made up largely of artists, designers, architects and sound engineers — was to deceive the enemy by drawing their attention away from real combat troops.

Their weapons? Inflatable jeeps and tanks, acting, sound recordings and plenty of imagination.

Among it’s members were Ellsworth Kelly (abstract expressionist painter) and Bill Blass (fashion designer). Check out the article and/or podcast which has much more information. Hey – I would join the army if I could do this kind of work.

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Marcel Marceau, mime artist, dies aged 84 – Times Online

The mime artist was born Marcel Mangel on March 22, 1923, in Strasbourg, France. His father, Charles, a butcher who sang baritone, introduced his son to the world of music and theatre at an early age. The boy adored the silent film stars of the era: Chaplin, Buster Keaton and the Marx brothers.

When the Germans marched into eastern France, he and his family were given just hours to pack their bags. He fled to southwest France and changed his last name to Marceau to hide his Jewish origins. In 1944, Marceau’s father was sent to Auschwitz, where he died.

There are several articles out today but I like this one. The quote in the title is great. The New York Times article mentions that he had a role in the classic french film “Les Enfants du Paradis” (The Children of Paradise) with another acclaimed mime, Jean-Louis Barrault. It is an excellent film – rent it if you can. He also had a speaking role in Mel Brooks “Silent Movie.”

What amazes me most is the length of his career – over 60 years. The picture above is from 2005!

“I want to be a man who will represent as an active witness my time, and who wants to say, without words, my feelings about the world.”

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Ingmar Bergman, Famed Director, Dies at 89 – New York Times

On my first date with the man that I would later marry, he took me to see Persona and another film that I can’t remember but it was equally depressing. I remember wondering if my date was clinically depressed. Fortunately, he wasn’t.

I was a bit intimidated by Bergman after that but later we went to see Fanny and Alexander and I loved it. It also helped that I knew my guy better and had met his Swedish-born mother by then so I was more knowledgable of the Swedish sensibility.

For an intro to Bergman, I recommend Fanny and Alexander, Wild Strawberries or The Magic Flute. After those, then try Persona or Seventh Seal.

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