Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Motohiko Odani

Sometimes an artist’s description by others is as mesmerizing as their art.

Motohiko Odani (1972-) was born and raised in Kyoto, Japan, and received his MFA from Tokyo University of the Arts in 1997.

According to one creative description, “Odani, who possesses a keenly critical understanding of sculpture, has resisted (or taken advantage of) the medium’s conventional image of weightiness or substance.”

“Instead, he has given physical representation to ‘phantoms’ – entirely ephemeral sensations or amorphous phenomena.”

Odani’s works are comprised of complex layers of meaning that defy a singular interpretation, as the artist draws inspiration from various sources including horror and sci-fi films, Japanese folklore, Buddhism, and Futurism.

This last description matches Motohiko’s intrinsic art:  “With Odani’s artworks transcending the conventional idea of sculpture and seeking to give visual representation to existence itself, this exhibition pursues new possibilities for artistic expression.”

I think that’s a perfect description.

More of Motohiko Odani‘s amazing art can be found at http://www.phantom-limb.com/ and http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2011/01/motohiko-odani/.

The Direction of Choice

There was a time
The universe expanded before me
Choice was a luxury
Youth my companion
Direction meaningless
Lost in the sparkle of the stars

Lately the vastness of that universe
Has shrunk before my eyes
The galaxies of choice
Have turned to
Cold hollow moons
Planets of necessity

Funny how small
My world has become
The luxury of time
Exists on fewer and fewer
Planes of existence
In this world and the next

The choices are not the same
As in the days of
Gauzed-wrapped visions
Candy-sweet dreams
Jobs and friends and goals
Now have razor edges

Options have narrowed
Doors once open
Now request verification
Of paths followed
And stars wished upon
In duplicate form

I can no longer shuffle the cards of
Destiny and Delusion
The games have been chosen
Hands have been dealt
Bets are hedged
The world is keeping score

I must play the hand dealt
Watch the glow of dawn
Twist into curls of dusk
Time no longer my friend
Its shadow the scent of musk
Choice is mine no more

My vision has become blurred
Memories have faded
My heart has been broken
By limitations of my body
And the changing of the guard
As they march into the fog

I never forget my heart
The journey that brought me here
I love and I cherish
I live and I learn
But cannot go back
To the land of never was

Even though hope fades
In the emptiness of dawn
And space of my soul
Reality bounds from the sky
Our star’s blinding glare
Reminding me of the truth

All I need to do is breathe
The universe, the stars
Will point the way
And the world of choice
Will open its doors
Once again.

                   Claudia Anderson, 2013

The Life Or Death Happy Happy Flim Flam Sales Man

My muse was at it again.  I was standing in the shower, trying to remember what was still clean that I could wear to work, mentally making a grocery list, and trying to remember to bring a pair of scissors to cut flowers by the roadside, when my spicy Irish muse jumped into my head with a great idea for a short story. 

With barely enough time to brush my teeth and curl my hair, I asked her to come back later when I had more time to listen. That evening she returned, but I couldn’t hear her, as I was thrown off by the barrage of super-loud commercials in the background. Once again I was interrupted by the Life Or Death Happy Happy Flim Flam Man.

Every day we are bombarded with advertising, advice, inspiration, and warnings. We are overweight, wrinkled, and messy.  Our bodies are toxic and we have yellow teeth. We don’t have time to sort, exercise, chop vegetables or play with our kids.  But there is a cure for that ― just ask the Info Man.

The other day on the radio I heard that the infomercial business is a 30 billion dollar a year enterprise.  Just think — 30 billion dollars spent a year on ways to clean-up, tighten-up, and detox-up our bodies and our minds.  Not only can we firm our thighs and flabby under arms, but we can buy bling from movie stars while we’re firming. We can organize our closet, scrub up doggie accidents from the carpet, and slice up vegetables in one swoop.  

How did we ever survive this long on our own?

 Most of us wouldn’t mind being a little thinner or have beautiful hair or be able to drain spaghetti in the same pot as the drainer. But these informercials know just how to tap into our low well of confidence. Advertisers do such a good job of pointing out our inadequacies that we buy improvement on the spot without having to think about it or leave the comfort of our sofa. What a convenient way to get better!

I’m not against advertising.  I learn about a lot of new products every time I watch TV or read a magazine or walk through the grocery store. I get tired of cleaning up spills on the carpet, and I keep thinking I’m too old for pimples. But finding a solution to my mini dilemmas should be fueled by my judgment, not advertisers. We shouldn’t let our insecurities rule our self-worth. We shouldn’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to feel better, think better, be better. 

We have the capacity for unbounded love, compassion, and understanding.  From astronomy to astrology, we have the power to discover magic both inside and outside of ourselves.

And discovering the magic doesn’t cost a thing.    

There is something wrong when we are told how messed up we really are and how that can be changed with a quick purchase off the Internet. To believe that the answer for happiness and peace of mind is outside of us is playing into the hands of marketers and profiteers who take our money and our trust and leave no instructions behind ― people who have never met us, never sat at our dinner table, never took the time to find out why our closets are so disorganized in the first place.

 So go out and buy that great pair of jeans or that diamondish necklace or those celebrity-endorsed pots and pans.  But realize that you are just as fantastic in those beat up jeans with the elastic waist, and that your homemade lasagna will taste just as good in your worn out baking pan as it will in the latest non-stick wonder.

Sparkle is free. The fire inside of you is free. Everything else is just hype. 

The only infomercial that matters is the one that broadcasts in your heart.

Sunday/Monday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Alain Delorme

Inspired by the men on bicycles toting impossible mounds of objects he witnessed in Shanghai, French photographer Alain Delorme defies physics with his “Totems” series.

Delorme creates colorful, stylized works that play with our notion of photography as an objective medium.

His series “Totems” surprises with its bright comic book colors and shapes, and ‘can you believe it?’ effect.

The viewer is emerged into a world of exaggerated accumulation, of both everyday objects and towering buildings, an accumulation that has rendered society a slave to the objects it has itself created.

Alain has captured the physical, city translation of the economic growth Shanghai is presently undergoing, in the skyscrapers shooting up in the background, while not forgetting to qualify its success with the walls separating a large part of the population from it.

More of Alain Delorme‘s amazing photography can be found at https://www.alaindelorme.com/.

Thursday Evening Art On The Veranda — Giant Statues

Some may be able to recite the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

One was the Colossus of Rhodes, the other the Statue of Zeus at Olympia.

 

Although those statues are long gone, there are still many who want to take their place.

Around the world there are a giant statues still trying to touch the sun

And to be remembered as he who watches all

As long as man can build statues to honor and to hope

There will be giant statues

And giant dreams

Grammar Is Your Friend

We all have our pet peeves, don’t we?

In an irritating society there are plenty of irritating habits that make your skin crawl and your patience disappear. People chewing with their mouth open, snorting, sniffing, coughing, talking, squeaking…I can go on and on. It just depends upon your tolerance level.

But there is something lately that grinds me even more than all those body noises.

Bad Grammar.

Perhaps it’s because I’m a writer/proofreader/editor it grinds me a bit more than you.  But I can’t help but wonder what ever happened to teaching correct grammar — spelling and speaking.

With auto-correct and word anticipation on every computer on the planet, you would think the correct words would just appear. But even auto-correct can’t help with the wrong choice of words. Auto-correct can’t help those who guess at the wrong word or the wrong version of a word.

Grammar isn’t rocket science.  It’s common sense. Something that many people lack.

It’s one thing if you type the wrong word. In my haste to get something written, at work and at home, I have picked the wrong form/spelling/tense. Almost always I catch my mistakes in proofreading. But I’ve come across some people — professional people — who consistently misspell, misrepresent, and actually mangle the English language. And often these are higher-ups — vice presidents, executives — people who should know better.

Today a “sponsored” post on my FB account called Grammarly said, “Sick of making grammatical and spelling mistakes? Perfect writing is a click away!” So now there’s another automatic corrector out to help make sense of your nonsense.

I know I sound like an old lady, but at least I am a grammatically correct old lady. They aren’t teaching cursive in schools these days — but have they given up on grammar too? I hear a lot of lazy English these days — hip language, slurred consonants, half words. I suppose most of that is on purpose. Whether that will get the speaker far in today’s working world only time will tell.

But lazy writing will be the death knell.

I know English is one of the most confusing languages around. I mean, how many ways can you spell where? Wear? Ware? But in today’s world that’s not an excuse. When I see a professional letter start out “Goof Morning,” I have issues. It’s one thing to text “you are my breast friend” instead of “you are my best friend,” but not in an letter to the president.

Not everybody is a writing scholar. I know I’m not. But I’ve practiced. I’ve learned. You owe it to yourself to take your time and reread what you write.

After all, not everyone is Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy. Not everyone is cute and furry and can get away with saying, “Well he don’t know talkin’ good like me and you, so his vocabulistics is limited to ‘I’ and ‘am’ and ‘Groot,’ exclusively in that order.”

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Lorraine Corrigan

These gorgeous papier-mâché dogs are made by UK-based artist Lorraine Corrigan in Hounds of Bath.

Lorraine adores sight hounds with their sleek lines, grace and elegance.

She loves to introduce the surprising concept of rolled paper art to those who have never seen or heard of quilling.

Lorraine began sculpting dogs with paper around four years ago and has now developed a sophisticated technique using wires and layers of fine papers from recycled books.

Each piece is individually made to order and develops a unique personality as the finishing touches of the expressive eyes and fine ears are added.

At the end process, due to the use of the text, the piece is almost stone-like in texture.

Each piece is then finished with two layers of sealant wash to preserve it for many years to come.

More of Lorraine Corrigan‘s amazing art can be found at All Things Paper and http://houndsofbath.tumblr.com/.