Saturday, April 16, 2011

Last Night at Reggio's

Last night I preformed a poem at the Cornelia Street Cafe Son of a Pony poetry series. I had been away from the venue for a few months, and it felt good to return again. I put in a strong showing, as did my dear TC, who read as well. In high spirits, we felt up for a little celebrating before heading home. (By chance, it also happened to be the one year anniversary of when she moved into her current apartment). Without much difficulty, we settled upon Cafe Reggio's for our simple, though no less tasty, feast. I snapped a few photos of the Village at twilight, some of which, I may post on another occasion. For now, however, I shall focus on the pictures I took inside the cafe. Cafe Reggio's is an establishment with much of what is usually referred to as character, which in this case consists of many antique art objects densely installed throughout the space.  In theory this might sound claustrophobic, but, in practice, it is not, creating instead a favorable atmosphere for their good food.  I did not chose to take any photos of this overall effect though, as my taste in framing tends more towards details than the overall picture. I sometimes suspect that it is so that I might focus in on an object, in an attempt to capture more fully a sense of mood or personality: 

photo by creighton blinn, all rights reserved


photo by creighton blinn, all rights reserved

There was a melancholy feel to these two pieces, which were placed near our table, especially the top one, as if the bust were of a saint silently accepting the beatings inflicted by the not so innocent seeming coat rack.  Indeed, the shape of the figure suggests to me a reliquary of martyr as much as the portrait bust of a young noble.  Meanwhile, his lady watches apprehensively, near at hand, yet still, powerless . . . 

Then there was this plate with its ghostly glare about it: 
photo by creighton blinn, all rights reserved

Of course, I do not always need to read a narrative into an image; I can also simply enjoy the beauty of pools of lights:

photo by creighton blinn, all rights reserved
photo by creighton blinn, all rights reserved

All in all, a good end to what had been a rather hectic week, as well as a good start to the weekend. 


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Poem/Painting Pairing

I have some more verses for you this evening. Tonight's piece has been previously published in the Irish journal Census. The poem runs as follows:

My Aunt Asleep

My Aunt is a rather proper woman:
Her hair always so neatly coiffed
That every strand stays in its prescribed place,
Matching the distinct modesty of her dress,
Plain garments of perhaps a generation ago,
Which declare her a lady
Uninterested in all that “nonsense,”
A verdict proclaimed in that voice of calm reason
With which she so typically speaks.

Yet if you observed her in her slumbers,
You might glimpse a hint of something else:
Visions haunting her senses,
Filling her mind with wild thoughts
Of caution tossed to the wind,
Reveling in the charm and humor of that old family friend,
Dear Mr. Reynolds,
Who no longer acts the pure gentleman,
My Aunt no longer holding her tongue,
Or acting in decorum,
Her body shifting restlessly in her sleep,
A smile spreading across her face,
Signs which will immediately vanish
Upon the light of dawn . . .
*   *   *

I often find my inspiration within a diverse set of disciplines, including the graphic arts; indeed, one of the projects I am working on at the moment draws from seventeenth century painting and sculpture. The specific spark in this case was a figure from a more recent century: James Ensor. I shall confess that I first met Mr. Ensor through a They Might be Giants song (more interdisciplinary overlay). However, the more I have seen of his art over the years (especially superb shows at the Drawing Center & MoMA this past decade), the more my fondness for the artist has grown. This poem came out of my first of two visits to MoMA's exhibition in 2009. There is also a second piece from, you guessed it, my return trip to the galleries, though, while I have been working at it again, the poem still has not been revised into an entirely satisfactorily form. As for "My Aunt Asleep," I do not claim that it is either "about" or an explanation of Ensor's drawing, as much as an articulation of the images that his picture conjured in my mind . . .

James Ensor, My Aunt Asleep Dreaming of Monsters, c1890

 . . . still, I do believe that the theme of repression/duality is common enough in his output to link together the two pieces. 


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Drifting through the Evening

I was in St Martin (French side, merci) recently.  I had never been there before, but had a great time.  I brought my camera with me on the beach a couple days and got some good photos of the scenery(land & skyscapes) as well as the passersby.  For tonight, I shall offer up a few pictures featuring clouds.  For a long time now, I have found clouds particularly lovely, and can be counted on to snap pictures of them whenever possible.  Also, as the sun gets ready to set over Brooklyn this Sunday evening, it seemed appropriate to turn my sights to the sky. Enjoy.

Grand Case Beach, St. Martin March 2011
photo by creighton blinn, all rights reserved

Grand Case Beach, St Martin March 2011
photo by creighton blinn, all rights reserved

Grand Case Beach, St. Martin March 2011
photo by creighton blinn, all rights reserved

Grand Case Beach, St. Martin March 2011
photo by creighton blinn, all rights reserved
Good evening all.