Saturday, January 22, 2005

Surrealism...

Surrealism, strategically at this point in my life, has fascinated me. In order to understand this style of art making, I decided to visit the Salvador Dali Museum back in 2001.

That museum is located in Saint Petersburg - USA, the city where I used to live in the USA.
The Salvador Dali Museum is a fantastic place that everyone must visit. It has the world largest permanent collection of Dali’s paintings. It helps us understand how the surrealists depicted things from the artist personal life, historical facts or everyday situations and their connection with psychoanalysis studies.


Surrealism is an important movement in modern art and literature, which started between the wars, mainly in France. The idea was to free the artist from the demands of logic and to penetrate beyond everyday consciousness to the “super-reality” that lies behind. Dali was not alone in this movement. Magritte and Tanguy are also famous painters who used the distorted way to register the reality.

Surrealist artists wanted their work to be a link between the abstract spiritual realities and the real forms of the material world. To them, the object stood as a metaphor for an inner reality. Through their craft, whether it be painting, sculpting or drawing, artists could bring the inner realities of the subconscious to the conscious mind, so that their meaning could be deciphered through analysis.

Salvador Dali was born at Figueras in Spain. He studied in Madrid and moved to Paris later, where he joined the surrealists and became one of the principal figures of the movement. In 1940 he settled in the USA with his wife Gala, and devoted his art to symbolic religious paintings. Dali became also a wealthy man through commercial works in design and advertisement fields.

My visit at the Salvador Dali Museum made me realize how connected Freud’s theories and his paintings are. However, Dali experienced different genres and perspectives in his works, from impressionist to
classical surrealist . The galleries of the museum are divided by these genres (or art periods): “portraite”, “landscape painting”, “the figure”, “still life”, “the grotesque”, and his huge “masterworks” – also known as the classic period.

The division in his works in these six categories allows us to visualize the full development and diversity of Dali’s creativity from 1914(age 10) to 1980.


His classic phase impressed me the most. It is located in time from 1948 to 1970. During this period, he executed eighteen large oil canvases that are now called the “masterworks”. Some of the titles are “The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus”, “The Ecumenical Council”, and “The Hallucinogenic Toreador”. Dali became more interested in religion, history and modern science during that time. Diego Velazquez and Raphael had influenced him mainly.


As an artist, Dali was complete. He painted, sculpted, designed jewelry, clothes, accessories, furniture, and turned himself into an icon. He made his living with his inspiring artwork. He became famous when still alive. Salvador symbolizes the surrealist movement. His contribution to the modern visual arts is infinite.

Visiting the Salvador Dali Museum I could verify his excellence as a creative (almost crazy) painter that will influence art genres of artists still to come.



My personal impression about surrealism:>
Don't know yet whether I am influenced by this style. What I know so far is that artists such as Magritte and Dali have encountered power and madness through their strokes on their canvases that can modify people's deep concepts of life and the world. The thing is that I deal with language and I haven't learned how to give to it a surreal feature.
I haven't been able to declare to all men that that style is the only possible way of making art so that he/she may make a fully Surrealist use of it. To the extent that I am expect to make me understood, I try to offer in my writings an ability to the reader for speaking my poetry, as he/she would be reading a letter, or providing him/her written images to carry on a conversation (for the pleasure of conversing) with someone (with me)...
LONG LIVE SURREALISM!!!


Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Adrienne Rich

Love discussing literature with friends.

Having this talk to Andréa Martins, one of my long-term friends who happens to be a writer and an advertiser too, I had this insight to go back in writing in Portuguese as well. That made me conclude that a good thing would be to start a new blogg entirely in that language.

Don't know whether I can digress powerful texts in my own language as I used to. However, that is some kind of ability that we don't lose as it would be a material gain. It is a talent that is conquered, that can be modeled, remodeled, painted, vanished, polished. It's never gone. It just stays there asleep prostrated in some corner of our unconscious.

Gotta wake it up and it will come up as a brand-new force on me.

No, no, no. I won't give up writing in English. I will not kill this blogg. I am going to have to sort out my collectible vocabulary and previous learned writing skills for both languages. There will be another challenge to me. I love being dared. I was born to it.

Meanwhile, I have read a terrific female American poet called Adrienne Rich. She has done prose and poetry. To read and understand her, it is something that has to be appreciated as a continuous process, just like any other good famous writer. What I love most about her is that she shows us a clear poetic vision through powerful and simple words.

I try to write following the same style. Wait a minute there! I am not comparing her to my writings because that would be way too pedant. Quoting a book about her: " reading through her poems we may sometimes wish for more relaxation and playfulness, for a liberating comic sense of self almost never present in her work. What we find, however, is invaluable - a poet whose imagination confronts and resists the harsh necessities of our times and keeps alive a vision of what is possible."

Here it is my favorite of her poems...


PLANETARIUM

A woman in the shape of a monster

a monster in the shape of a woman

the skies are full of them



a woman 'in the snow

among the Clocks and instruments

or measuring the ground with poles'



in her 98 years to discover

8 comets



She whom the moon ruled

like us

levitating into the night sky

riding the polished lenses



Galaxies of women, there

doing penance for impetuousness

ribs chilled

in those spaces of the mind



An eye,

'virile, precise and absolutely certain'

from the mad webs of Uranusborg

encountering the NOVA

every impulse of light exploding

from the core

as life flies out of us



Tycho whispering at last

'Let me not seem to have lived in vain'



What we see, we see

and seeing is changing



the light that shrivels a mountain

and leaves a man alive



Heartbeat of the pulsar

heart sweating through my body



The radio impulse

pouring in from Taurus



I am bombarded yet I stand

I have been standing all my life in the

direct path of a battery of signals

the most accurately transmitted most

untranslatable language in the universe

I am a galactic cloud so deep so invo-

luted that a light wave could take 15

years to travel through me And has

taken I am an instrument in the shape

of a woman trying to translate pulsations

into images for the relief of the body

and the reconstruction of the mind.


Friday, January 7, 2005

I LOVE THE WORLD

Today, while talking to some friend over the web, I discussed that when I truly appreciate some work of art, I tend to identify with it so much. My connection with the piece sometimes goes beyond admiration that I feel like having made it. I wonder how it'd be to walk on that artist's shoes or even better, how it'd be to be in that person's brain... This thing happens to me when I read those lyrics that I typed right below... It's one of the songs of New Model Army...


I LOVE THE WORLD


The roll of distant thunder breaks, the afternoon of silence wakes
They hurry through from Petergate as if they know this dance
In fury blind, I drive at night across the moors, the open roads
Beneath the freezing starry skies, racing in some trance
These cities are illusions of some triumph over Nature's laws
We've seen the iron carcass rust and buildings topple into dust
And as the waters rise, it seems we cling to all the rootless things
The Christian lies, technology, while spirits scream and sing
Oh God I love the world


Well I never said I was a clever man but I know enough to understand
That the endless leaps and forward plans will someday have to cease
You blind yourselves with comfort lies like lightning never strikes you twice
And we laugh at your amazed surprise as the Ark begins to sink
This temple that is built so well to separate us from ourselves
Is a power grown beyond control, a will without a face

And watching from outside
I wish that I could wash my hands of this

But we are locked together here, this bittersweet embrace
Oh God I love the world


And if one day the final fire explodes across the whitened sky
I know you've said you'd rather die and make it over fast
With courage from your bravest friends, waiting outside for the end
With no bitterness but an innocence that I can't seem to grasp

I know somehow I will survive - this fury just to stay alive
So drunk with sickness, weak with pain,
I can walk the hills one last time

Scared and smiling, dying slow,
I'll scream to no one left at all told you so, I told you so, I told you so . . .
Oh God I love the world

Wording Tuesday

scaf·fold·ing ˈskafəldiNG/ noun a temporary structure on the outside of a building, made usually of wooden planks and metal poles, used b...