Collage made of the print I made on the color copier. I don’t think this is done yet but haven’t posted anything so I thought I’d put this up. Don’t really know where this came from. The ethernet, I guess.
Some artists overwhelm you with their color and form. Some make you think. Even at her most beautiful, Nancy Spero is political. She bears witness.
When she and her family returned to the United States from Paris in 1964, Spero was angry. She felt marginalized as a woman and figurative artist in the abstract expressionist art world. Her arthritis was making it increasingly difficult to paint. She needed to “balance” her art and the needs of a husband and three children. And the United States was mired in Vietnam.
Spero abandoned the grandness and epic aims of oil painting and began to work intimately with ordinary materials: paper, pencil, pen and ink, collage , gouache. “The War Series” was an early result.
Are Spero’s images uncomfortable? Yes, and they are meant to be. No matter your beliefs, if you lived in the United States in the 1960’s, you could not escape the war.
These works are reflective, suggestive, and inspirational to me. My collage “Our Flag Was Still There” (above) was directly formed by Spero’s “War Series” work.
Her impassioned distress encompassed all armed conflict.
Her work forms the backbone of my collage “All Blood is Red” as well.
Visiting the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC for the first time a few years ago was a very intense experience; you could see it reflected on everyone’s faces. It remains an unfinished piece of our lives.
“There is no glory in battle worth the blood it costs.”
–General Dwight D. Eisenhower
With a 10 foot wingspan, condors are among the largest flying animals on earth. Scavengers, they are often poisoned by eating dead carcasses killed by humans. They are also threatened by habitat loss and hunting. Only a few thousand survive in the Andean region of South America.
Condors have been revered for centuries and have been represented in Andean art since 2500 BC. The national bird or symbol for many South American countries, they are believed to be immortal, like the phoenix rising from symbolic death to live again. The condor is also associated with the sun deity, and acts as a messenger to the gods. Because they are thought to have special healing powers, condors are often killed for their bones and organs. Live birds are also used in religious ceremonies.
Some think the shape of Machu Picchu as seen from the sky resembles a flying condor.
Another color copier effort. In effect I’ve created a textile design but with no repeat. This is going to be measured off and some will be mounted on a greeting card for my semi-ironic, going back to the ole cards which actually were good. With the ability to copy and repeat I may come up with some good abstractions out of these.
I’ve always done greeting cards. I used to do ones from photos people would give me and do a little artwork with it. Now it’s all digital…which means I can now do good copies of my own work for use as greeting cards. The two odd ones shown were just two of many designs. I do intend to paint these in actual paint and then see what kind of copies I’d get. This would allow me, if one were really special, to reserve some.
Not to be avaricious but I’d like to sell some of these cards. Will talk to my two places, maybe do some good holiday cards. I still have the good acetate card holders.
Now I just need to get to work.
I’m on the Notify NYC email list. They send out “Silver Alerts”: these are elderly people, usually with dementia, who have gone missing.
The photos attached, obviously unprofessional, often unfocused, probably taken by family or friends, made me think. Older people, particularly those with dementia, are hidden and invisible to most of us. We don’t see them; we don’t want to see them.
I hope they will not continue to be lost: they will be seen. They will be found.