“Dead Treez” at the MAD Museum & one more for the Weekly Photo Challenge:Dance

Here’s a detail from the Ebony G.Patterson exhibit Dead Treez at the Museum of Art and Design (MAD) in New York City —

MAD museum Ebony Patterson - Root and Shrub, 2014 - detail

Detail with a dancing boot, from “Root and Shrub, 2014” –  (mixed media jacquard photo tapestry with embroidery, glitter, cup and saucer, toy gun, and other embellishments)

MAD museum, Ebony Patterson, Root and Shrub

Backing up for some perspective… it’s a floor tapestry.

If it looks like a murder scene, yes, it’s that too.  The busy and glittery surfaces are a takeoff on flamboyant clothing from dancehall culture in Jamaica, and “inspired by reports of violent fatalities she sees circulated on social media.”

MAD museum Ebony Patterson Knowing nothing about all this, I needed to read all the notes to get an appreciation of what was going on.  In this case it may just be culture clash and my own myopia, but without the posted explanations, I’m afraid I would have thought “Oh, shiny,” and walked on by.

Here’s what the artist had to say –

I’ve been thinking about visibility and the internet in terms of bee-and-flower syndrome. The bee is attracted to the flower because of its coloring, because of it’s beauty, and it isn’t until the bee gets in that he discovers that the flower has the nectar that he wants. So you are attracted to the work because of its shininess, because of its prettiness, but it’s not until you get into the work that you start to realize that there’s something more.      — Ebony G. Patterson, Dead Treez

For me, it was the words rather than the surface that drew me in…What do you think?

More on the exhibition at MAD

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Dance


A Dancer in Central Park, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Dance

Walking through the park one evening a couple of weeks ago, we happened to see this dancer performing —

Ballerina in Central Park

See that little pink jacket entering from the left?

Ballerina in Central Park

Little Pink Jacket joins in — I think we have a future ballerina here.

Backing up for a long view, just to put this in perspective —

Ballerina in Central Park

Early Spring evening…

As much as I loved taking a travel break, not to mention getting my yearly New York art-fix, at first I felt a little guilty about running away from my house-tasks. The great sorting-out of “stuff” weighs heavier as time goes by. But, backing up for a little perspective on that issue too — traveling helps me remember that life is not about the “stuff”.

I’m finally acknowledging that it’s taking me way too long to dig out, so I’m doing what I can to speed up passing out the stuff, and free up life for living.

I think that’s worth a happy-dance of my own, don’t you?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Dance

The Whole Earth, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: One Love

Spring is coming, and I’m sorting out more books this week. What do those two statements have in common? — In the season when we love and appreciate our earth the most, I’ve found yet another copy of the Whole Earth Catalog. The back cover says it all —

Back cover: The Last Whole Earth Catalog

Back cover: The Last Whole Earth Catalog (I’ve already sold my copy, plus my Last (Updated) Whole Earth Catalog. This one was Bob’s. I’m ashamed to say how much I’m tempted to keep it.

Earth day will be here soon — lets’ get ready to show our planet some love.

And by the way, here’s another fine orb on view this week —

Moon and Pear Tree

Moon and pear tree — yesterday afternoon’s walk.

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: One Love

A Walk in Central Park (and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Harmony)

Here’s what I was looking at this time yesterday –

Central Park - view toward Midtown

Harmony of design in New York City: Central Park, looking toward Midtown

We’re still drawn to parks for a quiet moment, even when we love busy cities. Central Park was designed in 1858, the first landscaped park in the U.S.

Landscape planning is design in 4D. It seems to me it would be impossible to visualize what that extra dimension — time — would add to the composition. I wonder what Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, architects of Central Park, would think if they could see it today, with the city grown up like crystals around it.

Here’s the evening before, Sam walks up to check out the view while I fumble with my camera –

Central Park toward West Midtown

Skaters and Central Park DSC02902

And a closer look —

Snowdrops in Central Park

Snowdrops – we had real snow a few days ago – it’s just beginning to be spring.

But now I’m home and back to improving my own harmony by getting some work done today. Maybe I’ll start with the back yard…

What’s your favorite park?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Harmony

Forever Downsizing, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: State of Mind

It’s not just me: everything is downsizing. In a recent turn through the basement, I found a Wall Street Journal from the late ’90s. I’m comparing here to an Atlanta Journal Constitution, but they’re all smaller now, and a modern WSJ is the size of this AJC…

1990s WSJ versus 2016 AJC

Shrinking newspapers, and my State of Mind on downsizing.

Along about 2006 or 2007, newspapers changed, one-by-one, to the square format.  They’re thinner now too. I know it’s good to be using fewer trees, yet I also have a fear that the “news” as we have known it is downsizing too, and not in a healthy way (but I’ll keep that rant or another time).

1999 WSJ Year-End Review

One more oldie — here’s the 1999 WSJ Year-End Review. Remember Y2K? Other than that, some of the players have changed, but we still have Star Wars.

As for downsizing in general: I remember a Kurt Vonnegut story with a subplot in which the Chinese were working on solving over-population by making people smaller and smaller, so we’d use less space and consume fewer resources on the planet.

The last time I thought of that was on a sweltering summer day in Manhattan, when I felt like I was boiling just walking down the street. I looked at the trees: small. I looked at the buildings: large. “We need to shrink ourselves,” I thought. “Either that or make trees larger, so cities could fit under them and be shaded. Oh wait… Vonnegut already thought of that.”

I did a quick google to find out what story the shrinking people were in, and found this instead. Here’s a quote from this link

When Arne Hendriks, a 6” 4’ Dutchman, faced audience members at TEDxBrainport in 2012, he smiled apologetically. “I have some bad news for you,” he said. “You’re not short enough.” Hendriks believes that the planet’s growing population—currently at 7 billion—is unsustainable. His solution? We should shrink ourselves to 50 cm, around the height of a chicken. “I think we can actually achieve that,” he says.

But back to Vonnegut (and newspapers) I still don’t know which story has the shrinking people, but I found this in a 2007 NYTimes article:

But the time to read Vonnegut is just when you begin to suspect that the world is not what it appears to be. He is the indispensable footnote to everything everyone is trying to teach you, the footnote that pulls the rug out from under the established truths being so firmly avowed in the body of the text.

I’ve found copies of nearly all Vonnegut’s books as I sorted through my shelves and Bob’s boxes. I reread Cat’s Cradle not long ago and yep, still loved it. Maybe my State of Mind is extra goofy this week, or maybe I’m just one of those people who still suspects the world is not what it appears to be, even in the newspapers.

Are you?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: State of Mind