Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Venn Vello

Venn Vello, via 50 Watts

Oh man.

"She's in a meeting in the mansion." --the words around me

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Rousseau Crow

Boy on the Rocks (1895-7)

Girl with a Doll (1905)

I just read that Boy on the Rocks might be a painting of a dead boy. Somebody may have commissioned Rousseau to paint their dead child. Rousseau painted a tiny man in the flower of early adulthood preparing to flip over these medieval cliffs (the kind that may crag through the wilderness of St. John the Baptist in much older paintings) into eternity, like a fish. Like how Caillebot's zombies (1876-77), strolling in black over gray stones, are really nothing but fish. Rousseau saw them and sent them to heaven in little bodies,

which Balthus, that deviant, tried to return right into his mouth (1949):

I'd like to invite another world to the cacophony, for comparison, from the Rococco Jean-Etienne Liotard (1765):

Look at Rousseau's girl. I'm sure you've noticed she has no legs (mermaid, lobster); the grass may be tall and or it is solid, she may be sitting, she may be floating--

but what legless thing is she holding?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Platonov Drawings

This is a fairy tale by Andrei Platonov. It's called "The Armless Woman." It is about a woman whose brother cuts off her arms and sends her away to go where her eyes lead her. She wanders through the forest until she comes upon an apple orchard. She steals two apples with her mouth, not daring to eat a third. Nevertheless, she's caught by the groundskeeper. Luckily, on her way to another dire punishment, the son of the orchard keeper intercedes upon seeing her face, which has become beautiful on account of her suffering. He's disappointed, but ultimately does not mind that she has no arms. They marry and he goes off to war. She has his child.

Evil befalls her once again, and she is sent wandering through the woods, this time with her baby. They come upon a well and she drops him. "Oh Woe! I have no arms with which to save my child!" she cries, then magically grown arms. They disappear as soon as the babe is saved.

The final drawing in this set depicts the self-inflicted fate of her brother and his wife. This is how the story ends.

Read it in Russian here:

Beautifully scanned by Matt Tracey.

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