Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Eye Candy Friday: Priming One's Appetite

Well, it's been all Cy Twombly all the time here at Kamp Maykr for the past few days.  Since the artist's death on Tuesday, I've been prowling through the internet, following wormholes of information and personal reflections on the man's work and taking measure of my own feelings about his work.  I had the thought today that I'd gladly agree to submit to some experimental scan of my brain to determine what goes on in there when I see a work by Twombly, be it a painting, drawing, sculpture.  His photographs are knockout images their beautiful, rich in a dizzy worn out way.  They are heavy in their own way. 
 A's brochure from the Museum Brandhorst exhibit.

But I receive them in a slightly different manner than the other works.  Angellika, who's in Berlin at the moment emailed the image above (and another less clear detail image) to me today just after her trip to the Hamburger Bahnhof (she was graced with the luck last week to see an exhibit of 120 of his photographs at the Museum Brandhorst in Munich).  Upon simply clicking to enlarge the detail jpg I discerned an immediate increase in the amount of saliva in my mouth.  Pavlovian, for sure.  I don't remember when I first discovered Twombly.  I do know that I was first introduced to his "chalkboard" paintings and I was immediately drawn in by them.  There's some sort of hard wiring in my reaction when presented with the majority of his works.  I must say that it has taken longer for me to warm up to some of the large ginormous flower works in recent years.  One thing that was clear to me from early when viewing his works is the recognition that  I was and am utterly incapable of creating paintings such paintings. I'm so grateful that he's been able to make such paintings.  I think his work has been instrumental in getting me to make the work that I do make now.  (I'll let you, Dear reader, determine what that says about me....or him).  It's heartening to see the volume of personal statements of appreciations that have bloomed on the web in recent days. 
Some roses at Museum Brandhorst in Munich.

 Some of this scrambling around online has been prompted by trying to rouse some content and chase down interviewees for the Dead Hare Radio episode devoted to Twombly we'll be airing on WVKR on Tuesday at 5pm (don't forget it's archived as a podcast too).  I admire journalists who do this kind of work regularly.  Pressures of a deadline, cramming in as much research and reading as possible while reaching out to possible interview subjects, hoping they'll respond in a timely manner is all interesting but wearing, and that just gets you to the point of starting the difficult part: interviewing.    I find it nerve racking.  It can be very rewarding, but I have certain anxiety issues that seem to respond robustly to the prospect of speaking with a knowledgeable stranger and trying to render myself an utter rhube.  A bottle of cold beer has joined my recording equipment as requisite implements in my interview toolkit.  I realized this afternoon that an interview can at times be exactly like a blind date.  I was on a blind date once where I somehow felt comfortable talking about my (minor - and since passed) fascination with cannibalism.  I won't go into details.  It seemed to be going well, yet when that second date just never materialized after repeated attempts to make it happen, I could only think it might have been that cannibalism talk sealed that particular bit of my fate.

The reward of pushing through that personally held anxiety (and this has been true of much of our 4 months of making Dead Hare) is being able to be witness to the insights of some very intelligent and thoughtful folks.  For this Twombly episode, I've been privileged to speak about Twombly with David A Ross, Tyler Green and John Waters.  Their willingness to share their time is greatly appreciated.

I'll just say there's much too much more reading and exploring to do; so much information related to Twombly that I haven't been able to do much more than cursory perusing before bookmarking for a follow up.  And that's just online.  I still have yet to make my way through most of the GIANT volume of writings on Twombly that's sitting here next to me.  It's a good chance for reverie.
In case you are new to Twombly, there is even a 5 step instructional lesson on How to Spot a Painting by Cy Twombly on  This task is rated moderately easy.

Ok, so for a little candy:
This post on pairing paintings by Twombly and runway designs by Dian Von Furstenberg features some amusing rhymes.

And talk about Candy.  There's nothing sweeter than the classic series of photos taken of Twombly and his home by Horst in 1966 for Vogue.  The Holler and Saunders blog has the most complete set of these images online that I've seen yet.

There's much much more out there to see....not just candy, but a full meal of visual pleasure.  Try to do it in person, though, if you can.

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