Tag Archives: art

Great New York City Architecture on the Upper East Side

I work on the Upper East Side in New York City, and as part of my job take a walk — sometimes twice a day, when necessary — to the main building of Weill Cornell Medical College, to pick up and drop off mail at the mail room and to pick up and drop off any deliveries that may be needed among the various departments of the College. It is quite a pleasant walk, chiefly because of all of the sights that I am fortunate to see, and the beautiful architecture I can enjoy daily.

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The Motorcycle as a Two-Wheeled Moving Art Exhibition

Since the day that I read the article The Mechanist on Not Being an Artist, I have often thought back to it, particularly when I am walking to my office and I pass what I consider to be the most elegant yet dangerous mode of street transportation — the motorcycle. I have given it much thought because every time I see a well designed and built motorcycle, my first thought is that I am lucky to have come across it and that it is as if I have entered a museum — only that I am clearly the sole visitor to the museum, and there is no admission fee.

Recently, I came across a motorcycle that was so lovely that I had to take a picture of it with my phone to share with you. Here it is in all of its glory.

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Betraying the Wishes of Charles Schulz

When I was a child, Peanuts was one of my favorite comics in the Sunday newspaper — for that was the only day of the week that my father bought the newspaper, as it had plenty of coupons for our bi-weekly grocery shopping trips. I also got collections of the comic from when my father would go to garage sales — so even well before you could find hundreds of the comic online for free, I had access to strips from the fifties and sixties.

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The Mechanist on Not Being an Artist

I live my life trying to create Art and Beauty in all conditions and I also do my best to recognize and celebrate Art and Beauty in others — even if they do not recognize those gifts in themselves.  I know a sandwich maker can be an Artist.  It’s all about intention and the cut of the knife and the slice of the bread and, of course, choosing just the right condiments.  While an Artist can create a sandwich, a sandwich is never really a piece of Art because Art — in its essence — must have the capacity to endure.  Sandwiches, by their very nature, are crafted to be temporary and dissolved. Albert Einstein was an Artist as was Alexander the Great.

Imagine my surprise the other day when a new online friend sent me a gift — something he’d made with tools and machines he’d created in a faraway land — and I wrote him an email to thank him and celebrate his talent and my “You’re an Artist!” compliment was wholly rebuffed.  I’d unwittingly insulted The Mechanist by identifying his keen aesthetic.

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Attacking the Common Core: Building a Nation of Illiterate, Xenophobic, Non-Mechanical, Artisans

We’re in trouble in the good ole USA.  Our academies of higher learning are giving in to the bad behavior of the students seeking to earn diplomas from their educational institutions.  Our values as a civilization are under attack by leading educators who wish to dumb-down the curriculum to better suit students who are applying to colleges stupider, less talented, and much more self-interested than ever before.  The disconnect between classroom realism and real life reality is enough to make your brain explode in flames as you come to realize our great nation of minds is quickly decaying into a leveling pit of repurposed mediocrity:

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LeRoy Neiman Blended Business with Brushstrokes

LeRoy Neiman was — more than anything — a businessman.  He knew how to make money with bright colors and call it “art.”  I don’t really consider LeRoy a True Artist — and I don’t think he did, either — because he was sort of cynical about the Art Game and he played the corners and surrounded the edges of the business of squeezing as much profit as possible from his palette of colors.  He was more publisher than painter.  More printmaker than trailblazer.  Yesterday, LeRoy Neiman died rich at age 91, and the Art community is left behind to struggle with the aftermath of his legacy of commerce over providence and the fact of how the bottom line can mockingly override original intention.

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Is Copying the Mona Lisa Inspiration or Stealing?

On October 26, 2007 in our WordPunk blog, I wrote an article — Is Stealing Ever Good? — advocating the theft of inspiration as a qualified original intent:

Some call stealing inspiration, but if you see or experience something and then change or employ those experiences in your life — you have effectively borrowed and stolen the thoughts of others and I wholly encourage that effort.

I am not condoning plagiarism, but I am supporting the opportunity to consider and use ideas that are not your own because there are no original thoughts left in the world.

Over the weekend, I read a fascinating article in the New York Times indicating that the world-famous “copy” of the Mona Lisa was probably actually sanctioned by the great Leonardo da Vinci himself:

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