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Art Criticism: How About That Putin Fella?

I don’t criticize every piece of art that I see, or even every piece of art that needs criticism.

I should clarify that. I don’t criticize every piece of art that I see, or even every piece of art that needs criticism, as far as most of you know. After spending a day with me, you’d know that I have something to say about most art. I save my written critiques for truly special works.

There really isn’t art that is more special than the pieces created for an exhibition honoring Russian president Vladimir Putin’s sixty-second birthday. These paintings, produced by artists who chose to remain anonymous, depict Putin as a Herculean character taking on modern issues facing his nation. I’ll be discussing my impressions of these pieces for your benefit. I’m also hoping that my criticism will help the artists who produced these paintings be better artists by Mr. Putin’s sixty-third birthday.

Painting One

(artist unknown, photo credit – BBC)

The first painting depicts Mr. Putin fighting Terror. He is literally in a fight with Terror. Putin doesn’t care for metaphors; when it is time for a fight, he’s going to fight. Read the rest of this entry »

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What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Take a look at this photo. Yes, that’s me, without a hat or sunglasses. I do come from attractive parents; apparently the attractive genes are recessive. But anyhow, look at the photo.

Can you tell me what’s wrong with it?

IMG_0661.JPG

Yes, it’s a little out of focus and there are shadows. The original doesn’t have those problems. Why are you so picky?

If you said anything like “I don’t like your stupid smirk” or “you’re so old; what’s with the faux-hipster goatee?”, you’re right. Those closest to me might also add that the blank background does not give adequate perspective to let the viewer know how truly large my cranium is. Read the rest of this entry »


I’ve Been Meaning To Talk To You About Him…

omawarisan:

My campaign against Pumpkin continues over at Long Awkward Pause…

Originally posted on Long Awkward Pause:

He’s back.

All of us, your friends, knew he’d show up. We all remember how crushed you were when he left; when was that – last year? Yeah, and the year before.

Look, it’s nice to see you smile. It’s what that smile costs that I have a problem with. You don’t want to hear it and I feel mean saying it, but he’s already looking at the door. What’s it been, a month? No, I know you think it’s going to be different this time.

Pumpkin. He’s using you, girlfriend. We all know it. (image via preciousjalisa.wordpress.com)

You thought he’d change last year. Where’d we end up? Sitting in this coffee shop with you crying on my shoulder about being here without him, just like the year before. That’s why I asked to meet you back here.

I should have known that you’d be sitting with him when I…

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Fifty Is The New Twenty

I did a little travel last week. Time away from home with the most important people in my life is good for my soul. I love driving and seeing the countryside go by. But I learned something too.

What Sauvignon Blanc looks like before it goes to the store. (image by Agne27, CCby SA 3.0)

I recognized that being in my fifties has its privileges and burdens. That’s not so different than any other age. So, in the way that so many have declared so many things the new something else, I am declaring that fifty is the new twenty.

There came a time in the trip where a bottle of wine was just what an unremarkable hotel room needed. I stopped by a grocery, grabbed a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and headed for the check out lanes. The self check out scanner line was short. I scanned the bottle, the price came up on the screen, followed by a prompt to show my identification to the cashier.

Now, I think I already established that I’m a bit older. No one is going to mistake me for a twenty-one year old. I understand the liability issues that force stores to confirm that every one who buys a bottle of wine is over twenty-one; I just happen to believe there is room for common sense in that confirmation process. Read the rest of this entry »


A Guy Walks In To A Bar

Don’t start anything in here (image by Querren, CCbySA3.0)

I’m a guy. In fact, I’m a guy who has been known to walk in to a bar.

A guy walks in to a bar. He is carrying jumper cables. The bartender says “hey man, don’t start anything in here.”

“A guy walks in to a bar” is the start of so many good jokes. The guy walks in and the joke lies in his interaction with the bartender. When the guy in the joke changes into a group of stereotypical characters or even an animal, walking in to a bar is still what makes the magic happen.

Ebola walks into a bar. Bartender says “we don’t serve infections viruses in here”. Ebola says “you’re a lousy host”. Read the rest of this entry »


Where Is The On Ramp To The Yellow Brick Road?

omawarisan:

I just heard that The Wizard Of Oz premiered 75 years ago today. That’s one more year in the books for my streak…

Originally posted on Blurt:

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

You can't plant him in your penthouse, he's going back to his plough (Image via Wikipedia)

We call songs that are a part of any serious music collection standards. Films that everyone should see are classics.

These classics and standards not only entertain us, they provide common language reference points for us. We refer to lyrics, movie lines, or even entire scenes in casual conversation. They become part of the repertoire of dialogue that we use without thought and interpret without effort.

But what happens if a person hasn’t really seen or heard one of these icons? How are they affected?

I can tell you from personal experience.

I’ve never seen The Wizard Of Oz.

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The Greatest Tattoo, Ever

omawarisan:

So today’s post is written as if I was telling you this while we were having a beer. Significantly, it is the true tale of something that happened while I was having a beer.

Originally posted on Long Awkward Pause:

Field Of Dreams is one of my favorite movies. And one of the greatest lines in the movie is delivered by Dr. Archibald Graham – “You know, we just don’t recognize the most significant moments of our lives while they’re happening.” I’ve found that Moonlight Graham was right; I often miss the significance of the big moments of my life as I’m in them.

But that’s not always true. Sometimes I know those big times when they happen. This is about one of those times. But to describe the greatness of that moment, to share with you what I was able to photograph, I have to go on a tangent.

Let’s talk about Herve Villechaize.

Yes, That Herve Villechaize

Herve Villechaize (public domain)

Herve Villechaize was an actor who happened to be a dwarf. You might remember him from his role as the henchman named Nick Nack in the James…

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