Posts from the ‘art’ Category

And SO! x 2

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I hate to see it go as it IS one of my personal faves:  but it is going.  And gone.  That is acrylic in a water colour technique, finish depending on the “tooth” of the canvas board.

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Another of my personal faves, shipped out, and gone.  The empty spaces on my walls…  Like a lot of things going on around here.  Thank goodness for Nadja, there in the blond hair, she’ll keep a close eye on things.

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Going back to the MET:  that story…  of me walking in there, stone aged, and seeing this!  Have mercy: I’m going to see a quack.  Hopefully we can sort out the weird-ness of what… what is this weird attraction?  The quack is also an art historian (hobby horse!) and knows a thing or two about the Indians and land reserved for Indians.  Plus…  she IS pretty attractive dot dot dot…

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Other MAD scenes in the MET:  this was actually in there, in the MET, on a Thursday afternoon in December…  (kooky…  )

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Check out the date:  March 10, 1995.  My how some drawings tell the tale!

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Flash Back!  May 1991.  That’s me, in Belmont, Manitoba on a Saturday afternoon.  We’re on the road to Whitehorse, a well oiled machine, show bizz, rock and roll.  But on this afternoon I had to get the van serviced so I took off alone, left the apes in Brandon, and found myself in Belmont.  Put the van in the line  up and started walking through this one horse town.  Took lunch at the diner, fresh, old time sandwiches made while you wait.  Wrote a letter to my sister. Thought about “her”.  Imagined myself back home, swimming in the warm waters off the south end of the island.  Tanned my feet both front and back.  Read the NY Times, the paper was at least 12 years old.  Drank a sweet fifth of Hoola, with a cut of water.  Rolled in the sunshine.  Imagined the war: on going, in lands far away.  Smoked home grown.  Wore my black bikini.  Settled under the sun.  Drove the island roads with the window down, my left arm hanging out the window.

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When I got back home from Scotland the lawn was a mess!  Lucky for me we had a suitcase filled with 20 dollar bills.  So I fired up the lawn mower and tried to rescue my lawn.  This is 10 days into July, 2018:  I was out there alone.  The girls were on the road.  What madness went on and off and out and in.  I snapped this photo of the crib at sunrise and remembered when I was over there, all I could think about in those final hours over there, was getting back home.  And surprise!  There I was.

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Sunrise in summer:  on the range.  This was in July 018, smoking hot and super dry!  I was there and I was thanking my lucky stars I’d made it home!  I was VERY happy being there in the summer of 018.  Wonderful memories.

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Middle

In the grand and glorious summers of the past, this one in August 014, we see many a grand and glorious scene:  this one looking due north, out where the horses are.  We were in the house and noticed the wind had changed so we went out for a looksie and saw the north sky had turned to a boiling thousand shades of grey!  Fantastic!

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On stage with NR back in 017:  We need to get the band back together.

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Sister JEN!  Working the magic.  She owns the show.  Summer of 017.

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Before the gig:  we might look cool but we’re not!  We’re both scared.  It is show business.  And no matter how many times you do the show, rehearse the show, when you put a crowd of folks out there, you’ll have butterflies deluxe.

Mask making with Mark!

Mask making with Mark!

Mask making:  that hand design… We’ve alway been ahead of the curve.  (the mask making exercise is SOLID GOLD real estate.)  All ages, no matter where.

Closing poem:

CRUSING BACK THE RANCH WITH MY YOUNG FRIEND

to see what we can see
come night time in a room
full of books, paintings, feathers and bones
the window wishes west
while the sun is arriving
at six in the summertime
she sleeps above the trees
below the stars
not a second close
enough to please me even mildly
in a red willow wind
curtains whisper quiet sins
moon
the island still
silent stars
the way she was stolen
by your quiet smile
into the night
when the drums are distant
shadows of the pines
cooling dew grass
the fringes on her shawl
the ferns are spooky
barefoot during the night
the feathers and bones
of a crooked crow dying
modern day pow boy
wishing well into the night
think about the moons you have missed
treating your life like you had nine
words by mark seabrook

 

 

Saturday Night Blizzard!

Well maybe it “aint no” blizzard like the folks in NFLD whooped through in the past 24 hours but here in O’sville, outside, now, 6 p.m., it aint pretty.  And it IS ice Flipping cold!  that is why I’m tucked away in here, in the crib, with the fake fire going, fake fireplace on the TV, 2D logs burning bright, warm as toast, snug as a bug, nestled up next to a Henschke Cyril Henschke Cab slash Sauv slash Franc slash Mer mixarama.  The folks are pitching it as extra dry but I’m telling you right now its twice the sweet as I like them.  Ah well.  It IS a snow storm out there.  And those Australian Vins on a cold winter night are something to write home about.  I’d write home if I had one…

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And so!  It IS a blizzard, I’m in for the evening with the vin and a book.  Thought I’d re read the “CLASSIC HORROR STORY” by kooky Sinclair Ross:  The Painted Door.  Of course when I was sporting, many moons ago, we’d make that trip, a mile anyway…

Things have changed since then.  Now, as an old man, we don’t need to wade through classic Canadian horror stories as we have enough of them stowed in our own story telling departments: if it were a library, a mighty library it would be as some of us did!  I was reminded of that when I crossed paths with an old soldier today:  same age as me!  We laughed and cackled our way through stories about the ages, old names, old places, now all dead and gone.  Yet we remain: Two Anishnabe, from the same year, many times in the same places, with the same people, yet never crossing paths until today.  Slick stuff.

We got to that story sharing place where I told him about that night at the International on Kathleen Street, N’Swakamok, summer of 1995:  I was in there with one of the killers, as back up.  He was in there looking for someone but he never told me why he was looking for this person.  We sat ourselves down at a table and ordered drinks and pretty soon this young Anishnabe dude came along and sat himself down at our table.  This dude knew the killer and they were chatting up a storm, going on about “stuff”.  Well I’d heard enough after about 20 seconds and said to the killer:  Is this the guy?

As I said that I was reaching inside my coat with my right hand and the dude FREAKED!  He put his hands up right away and said Hey Man!  I didn’t do anything!

Of course he was right.  I was just reaching into my coat pocket to get my cigarettes, to see if he wanted a Marlboro Red.  Back in those days you could smoke in the bar.  It was kooky to see though how that dude nearly shit his pants when I did that.  Ha ha.

It has been one of those winter days.  Cool too though when you cross paths with folks of the same vintage.

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Girl From the North Country, Found Poetry, Book 5, a work in progress.  Drawing by Mark Seabrook, Anishnabe artist.  Truth is I have NOT been drawing over the past few or several years and…  They were right.  It does go away if you don’t keep at it.

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Anishnabe Kwe, Found Poetry, book 5.  So yes, we’re still working at it.  The book is 400 plus pages and the story is INSANE!!!  So we’re mostly painting over the pages of text and making this one into a book of drawings.  There are a few poems in there but not as many as in the past books.  The drawing practice has been good for this old boy.

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Ed Hopper at the MET.  Remember how I was going on about that meltdown at the MET, back in December?  Well here we are a long way from, and here they are in no particular order, the paintings that brought on the meltdown…

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Have mercy.  You can read a ton of books about this one but when you’re standing where he once stood:  the same distance away I mean, there is a fine line between living out your dream and shitting your pants on the NY subway.

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Good Wowza.  If you are a visual artist, and you walk into a room and see this…  Well lets just say this:  I was in there looking at this and wondered if maybe it might have been better had I been KIA in the Great Hay Wagon Disaster of 78.  (If you don’t know what that is, scroll back through a few blog postings…  )

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Good Gawd!  Anyone out there reading this:  are you a painter?

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Jeepers H. Mary and M.F. Joe!  You read about it.  You see a small picture in an art history book text.  But then there it is.  Wowza x 2.

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Stop.  Stand.  And Stare.  Holy chocolate wagon wheels someone actually created this with their bare hands…  (Q. And what am I doing?  A.  A GREAT BIG FAT NOTHING.)

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OFMFGF.  We went over this in art school for days.  Detailing it, went over it, shoulder to shoulder on our hands and knees, going over every inch of the details with an extremely powerful art history instructor.

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Yup!  I was nearly a sobbing wreck by this point.  Just like that time I watched the first 5 minutes of the movie:  UP.

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Okay.  No words.  There it is.

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Have mercy!

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Absolute melting point:  if you’re an art enthusiast and dreaming…  If you see something like this, in the MET, after all these years…   (Well lets just say it will be the crows nest for me.)

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Here though:  something turned.  I may have rounded a corner with this one.

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Stopped and stared.  Imagined Mr. R. standing there too, cigarettes in hand…  ages ago.

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K.M. in his gear, making the presentation on Thursday night to a darn near a sold out show.  He had his book, getting his words straight, but what I was worried about is that he was going to fall off those great big high heels he was wearing!  He didn’t fall off his shoes and it was a great performance, and a great show:  glad to be there and see it first hand.  That painting of course, if you scroll back through the blog, you’ll  see it up close, from that night long ago…

And so the snow storm continues.

alone at Carter's Bay in a long ago summer time

alone at Carter’s Bay in a long ago summer time

I dream about the beaches back home: the wind and the waves, the sun, the earth, the sky.  The blue and green.  And yes:  The sienna, the gold and silver.

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Oh la la!  There will be time to get back to those water falls and that river where I call home.  I usually travel at night.  I’ll arrive at sunrise!

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When you live a bit, silly things like a snow storm are nothing.  Rooms in a house, the “Famous Cockroach Incident”, a thousand mile drive at a hundred miles an hour, the summer of 1995, the lawns between her house and mine at age 12, her red jacket…

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I’ve got a home waiting for me.  Yes I’m the road now but I’ll be home soon.  For now though, we have the art, the road, the snow storm, the flash Australian Vin, and the stuff not worth mentioning out the front window, the back window and the side windows:  life i the city in mid January.

Keep on keeping ON!

 

 

For You: Sahara

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Power Bird:  Carry On.  Acrylic on gallery canvas, 24×36 inches.

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Power Bird:  Rolling Up on Winter.  Acrylic on .75 canvas, 18×24 inches.

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Power Birds: October 23rd.  Acrylic on canvas board, 8×10 inches.

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Power Birds: November 5th.  Acrylic on canvas board, 8×10 inches.

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Raven on the Range: April 19th.  Acrylic on canvas board, 5×7 inches.

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Ravens on the Range.  Acrylic on canvas board, 5×7 inches.

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Power Bird: No. 5.  Acrylic on canvas board, 8×10 inches.

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Woodland Raven with Teachings.  Acrylic on canvas board, 18×24 inches.

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The Starlight Tours: The Early Years.  Mixed media, hacked painting, on canvas board, 8×10 inches.  (2nd in a new series.)

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We acknowledge we are living on unceded Algonquin Territory, Trail of…  Mixed media, hacked painting, on canvas, 16×20 inches.  (First in a new series.)

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New Moon on February 14th.  Acrylic on canvas board, 14×18 inches.  (Brighter in this photo as the summer sun is blazing down on the scene.)

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Raven Moon.  Acrylic on canvas, 8×10 inches.

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I Miss You.  Acrylic on .75 canvas, 18×24 inches.

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TV Reception on a Remote Indian Reserve: 60’s Scoop.  Acrylic on .75 canvas, 36×48 inches.

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Happiness is Big Bucks.  Acrylic on canvas board, 5×7 inches.

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Messenger Bird.  Acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches, not framed.

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Raven on the Range: October 20.  Acrylic on canvas board, 9×12 inches, not framed.

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Ravens on the Range: October 18th.  Acrylic on canvas board, 9×12 inches, not framed.

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True Story.  Acrylic on canvas board, 9×12 inches.

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Power Bird: October 1st.  Acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches, not framed.

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4 Directions.  Acrylic on gallery canvas, 22×28 inches.

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twinravens in June.  Acrylic on .75 canvas, 16×20 inches.

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twinravens on August 5th.  Acrylic on .75 canvas, 16×20 inches.

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Your Artist!  Mark Seabrook, Spanish River Indian Rez, home on Manitoulin Island, temporarily in the town of Ottawa!  At your service.

The Inner Me

“I never travel without my diary.  One should always have something sensational to read in the train.”  – Oscar Wilde

Cue this music up before reading further:

And so here we are at the end of another year…  Tomorrow night’s party scene is still up for grabs, we haven’t booked any seats at any shows, so the what have you is mightily up in the air.  New Year’s Eve…  and standing on the doorstep to another whole DIFF decade.  As my dad would say:  after we figured we’d lived through the war we started watching our step a bit more in detail.

Well I’m not in where the bullets are flying and the bombs are going off, but I’m out here alone, my 3 older brothers are dead, my 3 younger ones missing.  I would have liked to have spent at least an hour with them over the holiday season but none of that came to pass.  Instead I’m alone here in my crib.

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Bright eyed and bushy tailed: but a castle aint no home when you’re always in it alone.

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I always wonder where they are: in heaven or in hell.  I’m not a christian like them so I don’t know nothing much about it.  All I know is I joined the resistance when I was age 13 and I’d like to entertain them here at my place, all these years later.

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They always said I’d likely go far, after we were reintroduced, all of us, in our very early 20’s or late teens, I was only 18 at the time and hadn’t seen any of them since 1969, or was it 1971?  All I know is when I saw them again, I knew I didn’t want to be like them.  I’d been away far too long and after sitting with them, I knew I’d likely never be going back.  Little did I know, at that time, they were all trauma survivors with this thing they call in mod times:  PTSD.  They didn’t get the special jungle training that I got and they didn’t have a Major like I had.

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I’ve sat here alone for quite some time, wondering about that shack in the woods, back on the blacker side of the rez, back in the mid to late 60’s.  I know we had a wood stove in there because I remember hauling wood back to the house and I have this vague memory of my mom standing there with an arm load of poplar, cut yes, but not split.  When was my dad planning on doing that?

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In the past decade I’ve been there myself, on my own paradise on the range: hauling wood, poplar too, but doing it the old fashioned way, bringing it out one load at time, using a wheelbarrow, and getting a pretty decent work out along the way.  Of course the road out of the back woods was a 2% decline back to the house, so it was easy rolling out those 12 cords.

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In mod times, like here and now, I wonder, how warm those rooms could have been at night, back in 68: who was up tending the fire?  If memory serves, the upstairs had 2 little bedrooms with old mattresses that were falling apart and coming undone and who knows what kind of hell went on up there…  I was going to ask my older brother about it.  I came up with the idea in a July, a few days later he fell over dead and took the stories with him. He’s been dead now, has it been 5 years?

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When I was in university ages ago, an old Indian man sat us down and he said you boys have nothing to worry about right now, but if you have the good fortune of getting as old as me, down the road in those days you’ll be visited by many an old memory, things you’d left alone up until now, as an old man.  I silently and invisibly scoffed at the idea, I was only 22 at the time.  Pretty soon an Anishnabe Kwe walked in and she gave us the Sweetgrass teaching.  She was working on a braid and explaining things to us and she looked at me and said:  if you reach the age you’ll find yourself going through some strange times and maybe seeing some strange things, either here or over there.  Once again I, to myself, scoffed at the idea and I remember it well:  It won’t happen to me.  That is what I said, back when I was 22, when I was as terrible as an army poised for battle.

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But here we are, like they said, at that time, the empty nest looming like never before.  And all of the brothers now long gone.  I have no idea where the survivors are, how they’re doing, what is going on south of us.  South of me.  There is no “us” anymore.

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Me too, chief.  We’re starting to get there!  I see young whippersnappers all the time and I know I am no longer them!  No middle age either!  Nope.  We’re off to another place, if all goes well, with a wee spot of wisdom or a splash of education, maybe we can get through this.  My dad has been gone a long time but I sure do hear his voice these days, telling me what to watch out for, to watch my step, and above all, what to be thankful for.

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I’m not much of a Christmas person, like I said, I’m not a christian, and I don’t buy into how they sell it: that long ago story from overseas.  It makes for a great cash grab yes, in these mod times, but I’d rather give them the cash than to some corporate who ever and so that is what we do.  I’ve never been one for standing in a line over there at the mall.

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Xmas eve has come and gone.  Xmas day is here and been.  Boxing Day I was in the car, alone, and coming back to here.  And through those days I never heard from any of them.  The survivors I mean.

We haven’t booked any seats at any shows for tomorrow night but I hear it and see it all around:  2020:  The Roaring Twenties!  I guess they are.  And they surely were!  I don’t plan on wandering around these empty rooms on such a night, so if you don’t hear from me between now and then:  Best wishes and I hope you have a happy new year, and I hope this time, 12 months from now, we’ll be sharing a few more stories!

 

At the MET, New York City

After Thursday’s serious meltdown cruise through the Modern and Contemporary Art rooms, the European Paintings 1250 to 1800, and the 19th and Early 20th Century European Paintings and Sculptures (that’s the room that did it on Thursday…  ) I took the evening off, swam around with a few of the local suds, and pondered the almighty: why? (So dumb!!!)

Fresh as a spring rain, I went back in for a 2nd look, Friday morning and made it to around 3 p.m. before the inevitable happened yet again.

I’ll get to the paintings when we have more time, today we’re bugging out, but I had to share a few of the super heavy 3D items I saw along the way.

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Love those shoes:  German bizz, tucked inside a glass case.

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Prisoners of war:  Shield, Standing Rock Rez, c. 1885, Joseph No Two Horns, Hunkpapa Lakota/Teton Sioux, 1852-1942.  Also tucked inside a glass case.

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Fun boy:  that’s nice work in the lighting department!

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This one reminded me of the good old days:  summers back home on the shores of Lake Mindemoya, back when I was young and my heart was an open book…  (oh my goodness how I was an exhibitionist back in those days…  )(ha!)

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This is the one that did it for me:  Stole the Show!  Winter, Bronze, Jean Antoine Houdon, 1741-1828, French, (Paris), 1787.  This one stopped me in my tracks in the same way Brancusi’s Bird in Space (1923) did.  I walked around this magic for almost an hour.

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I have no words.

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Wow.  That is the best I can do for now.

So hey.  I’m being told that it is time to GO!  Time to get back in the limo and hit the open road!  We’re going back by way of Buffalo, hopefully to see what we missed when we rolled into town (it was dark).  Looks like a great day for a drive.  We’ll chat with you at the other end!

In peace.

 

 

Walking 5th Ave, New York City

What a day: started at Time Square via the subway and the info lady over there replied: the Met?  Oh my goodness that’s 40 blocks from here, you’ll never make it!  But I checked the over head on Google and it was reported at a measly 2 miles away.  That aint nothin!  So I started out, wearing my HBC CANADA hoodie, advertising.

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Heavy duty Charles Scribner’s and Sons on 5th and East 48th: I thought about the wild writer characters who walked in and out that joint, in days of old.

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Super heavy duty spook house on 5th and East 50th, St. Pat’s big house and there were people using it!

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The Peninsula, swank crib on 5th and West 55th: you need 4 dollar signs in your wallet to walk rightly into that lobby.

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Ah yes…  The Met.  Last time I walked up those steps: April 1985.  It was art school, year one, many moons ago and with every step climbed yesterday, I said: Chi Miigwetch.  Nice to see you again.

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In the great hall, just inside the entrance:  BOOM!  There is a brand new, just installed on Monday night, Kent Monkman actual!  Wow!

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There is the other one, freshly installed on Monday night, December 16th, great hall, the Met, NYC.  Wow.  Kent Monkman went the distance with those ones!

And so: I paid my 25 bucks and walked in.  The gal at the counter was super helpful, I asked:  where are the Pollocks?

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There she is:  Autumn Rhythm (Number 30), 1950.  Seems like I crossed an ocean of time to see this.  I saw it as a 19 year old dumb ass, had no idea what I was looking at.  Thank the almighty I got back yesterday, not as a snot nosed boy art student but as a man whose seen a lot of action and been a bit or two.  Whew!  What an hour.

I walked through some of my fave rooms and saw big time art (painting) history, the work that went straight to my core back in high school, and stayed there!  In no particular order: Franz Kline, Amedeo Modigliani, Edward Hopper, Marsden Hartley, Salvador Dali, Yves Tanguy, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pablo Picasso, Paul Cezanne, Henri Matisse, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Honore Daumier, Jules Breton, Joseph Mallord William Turner…  And not just one piece from each artist, they had several of them lined up, a magical tour, a feast for the senses, and eventually an over load!

There came a point in the afternoon where my brain really did experience a meltdown.  And I don’t mean a wave of something overcoming me, I mean an actual brain turning to grey, molasses like goo and oozing out of my ears kind of meltdown.  The eyes have seen enough!  The brain, the poor fuckin thing, is on over load, maximum capacity, burning red hot!  STOP!!!  Pull over!!!

I scrambled for an exit, semi wondering if I’d gone completely wimpy, soft and gooey, and wondered too if anyone else had experienced such a thing and saw this:

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That aint no installation chief!  That aint no set up shot either.  That’s an actual human being, a woman, sitting there with her head up against the wall:  cooling the frontal lobe!  Either that or the marbles have come undone and she’s waiting for the boys in white to haul her off to the funny farm!

I could relate.  I was in meltdown mode myself.  I needed a four fingers drink or some fresh air or both!  And I was lost in there, lost in that maze of big rooms filled with big pictures, scrambling towards an exit.

Then the unthinkable happened:

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Like the apes in 2001: A Space Odyssey, I came across THIS!!!  I stood there, gawking, mouth breathing, I could almost hear that rumbling choir from the movie soundtrack rolling up on me as I walked around it, numb, knuckle dragging.  Something from childhood started to smoulder, a memory, an image, something not yet worked through, slowly started smoking…

I ran like hell, straight out of the Met, going north bound on 5th, steaming!

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Flew past this place, didn’t even stop!  Kept right on going back into the Upper East Side, into the shadows down along 1st and 92nd…

We’re going back in there today, hopefully with a refreshed mind, the marbles securely stowed, the shoes laced up tight.

When I get back to the swanky 9th, I’ll post a few photos of the super heavy duty that we crossed paths with along the way.

More to come.

 

Upper East Side, New York City

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Woke up in the Upper East Side, NYC, this morning, came downstairs and saw this.

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After the drive:  Toronto to NYC via Buffalo, and after the car was parked, we hit the streets and it wasn’t a block from here when we saw this!  ha!  (of course i don’t give a damn about politics here, back home or anywhere for that matter.  as an Indian living under the big boot Indian Act:  we’re used to dealing with mice, going on 150 years now, or more.)

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The Drunken Munkey looked good to us!  And it was quite alright, “Indian” menu, local beers, a table for two, but a third glass of, would have settled the issue.

So I’m back in town specifically to see some Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko paintings.  It’s been 34 years since I last walked through the front doors at the Met.  Last time, I was just like that drunken monkey:  in body, mind, spirit.  Last time I had no idea what I was looking at.  This time we’re going in with a bit of an education and I hope to enjoy the pictures uninterrupted.

While we’re here we’re going to see that Kent Monkman thing happening tonight at the Met.  I hope to visit the Guggenheim tomorrow.

Temperature at 6 a.m., minus 8.  Sun in the forecast.  Big suits in the lobby, short haired or bald, big fat guts sticking out pushing their ties to a 45, all of them wanting a kiss and a hug from a blond, also in a suit, out they all go, in a New York minute.  CNN with the big headline flashing:  Trump impeached.  Christmas music piped in.  Day 2 on the road.