Mags Loves Jimi

“They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn't. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.” ― Frida Kahlo

Category: Musings

Mastering Myself | Note to Self


Ever tried searching for something you already found? That’s what my 20s have been like. You look for it in others. You look for it in places. You look for it in song and prose and purpose. But the truth is; it was never lost. 

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Des|i|re

“An honorable human relationship … in which two people have the right to use the word ‘love’, is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they can tell each other.” – Adrienne Rich

Further reading:

Brain Pickings – Alain De Botton / The Course of Love

Sending Signals

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All journeys are solitary. For me to say I need you to come along is misplaced faith. You don’t meet people on your journey, you meet them in theirs.

50 Reasons Not To Date A Poet | As Told By…

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It may sound romantic, but in search of that elusive metaphor, poets can be somewhat  “eccentric.” If you date a poet everyone will think you are the jerk they are writing about. You wi…

Source: 50 Reasons Not To Date A Poet

*Unconsciously Graceful | Spotlight on Lillian Bassman

“I am completely tied up with softness, fragility, and the problems of a feminine world.” – Lillian Bassman

I dabble in photography. You could say I have a good eye. The eye is a strange thing isn’t it? A part of the body that speaks the most kindly and yet ferciously. My eyes have seen a lot. Good, bad, yes’s and no’s. I have soaked in life on more than one occassion. I stumbled aross Lillian Bassman’s fashion photography when researching graphic designers. A simple enough search. When I saw Lillian’s works – vignettes of memory and exposure – there was definitely a sense of mystery. A gracefulness that is instinctive.

“For more than 80 years, Lillian Bassman defined, not only fashion, but the role of a fashion photographer.”

Source: Unconsciously Graceful: Lillian Bassman

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By Night, Shining Wool and Towering Heel, Evelyn Tripp, Suit by Handmacher, New York, Harper’s Bazaar1954

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The Little Furs: Mary Jane Russell in a cape-jacket by Ritter Brothers at the Essex House, New York1955

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Tra Moda e Arte: Teresa in a gown by Laura Biagiotti and shoes by Romeo Gigli1996

 

 

E|x|otic

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The daily dread of being judged, of being measured and found lacking in some way, no matter how small, was a burden she carried, compact and profound. It was a too-heavy purse, worn and comfortable on her shoulder, which she did not know the weight of until she set it down.
Lynda Cohen Loigman

“I lift my lids and all is born again…” | In Response

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I lift my lids and all is born again…

I sing to fit into notes –

letters of stories I have yet to forget.

Yes, I lift my eyes and paint your breath.

Wet with pigments of paper-made memories;

I write your name with brittle brushes

left to dry

in a room with little light.

Can I stay in slumber against you

once more my love?

*

#Kaafiyamilaao

Good Advice (Love, and other Notes)

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Belle De Jour’s Guide to Men

Today I Am | #Grateful

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| Today I am grateful for… |

15/7/2016

1) My Family (the blessing of people to whom I can call my own)

2) My God (for showing me the power of humility in the midst of consequences, no matter how big or small, within the chain of humanity and the spiritual laws)

3) My Friends (the blossoming of maturity – to those who propel us and those who offer parachutes)

4) The Past (the errors in judgement, the deliberate refusal to be still again. The muddy waters. The clear springs)

5) The Present (the missteps, shuffle-hustle, footloose freedom of choice, intention and traction)

6) The Future (the ‘could be’s’, ‘should be’s’ and ‘would be’s’ come to rest in this space, finally unraveling with divine intervention).

Majesty and Meekness | The Myth of the Tortured Artist

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Illustration by Alessandro Gottardo

While writing my next article on the introduction of TEXTALYSERs in Australia (this is due to high mobile-phone related deaths on the road), I naturally gravitated towards tangents whenever possible (self-indulgent I know), which brought me to reference the ‘tortured artist‘ myth. I did a bit of a gooble (pronounced GOO-BELLED – the portmanteau of google and stumble… I’m not sure if it works as well out of my head as it did in *cheeky sigh of resign* I tried…

Perhaps goobling this article was meant to be? I think being a tortured artist, as I wrote in my interview with the renowned artist and loving father Gav Barbey; is a great sales pitch with potent ROI if governed by a steady sense of self and proportion.

Gav is a Painter, Film Maker, Sculptor, Fine Art Artist (he was trained at the prestigious NIDA) and a writer. “The ‘tortured artist’ thing adds to this drama – it’s a great sales pitch, isn’t it?” I have to agree, as an artist myself, it does concocts a mysterious and dangerous element to an otherwise romantic and established medium of presenting life as we know it with life as we wish to see it.

You can watch Gav’s enriching Tedx Talk here: How to draw like a child | Gav Barbey | TEDxUniMelb

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“These rituals around Artists are a bit funny.” I ask him if everyone is an artist; “This argument has been held in deep discussion since day dot. The word “art” has fucked everyone – art is decorative. Art is decorative to push an emotional understanding to the masses.” Gav maintains Picasso was just having fun, not reveling in his torturery but enjoying the freedom to move from style to style which is something we shun now. Pigeonholing is a key factor to the slow financial progress of the Artist. “This is what Picasso is saying: I want to experiment! He knew a lot of disciples and that translated as his best work.”

‘Tortured’ is a strong word… maybe we’re all ‘indecisive artists’,’confused’, ‘perplexed’, ‘vexed’ or just plain ‘not-happy-jan‘. Whatever you call yourself, the myth of the tortured artist is one of intrigue with many insights into the world of creativity and chaos.


I did not write this article. All credits go to Huffington Post + writer Christopher Zara.

 


The Myth of the Tortured Artist — and Why It’s Not a Myth

06/18/2012 03:46 pm ET | Updated Oct 15, 2012
  • Christopher Zara Media, Culture, and Arts Journalist
  • It’s always been my belief that all great art comes from pain. Van Gogh painted The Starry Night while in emotional torment; Lennon and McCartney forged their creative partnership following the death of their respective mothers; Milton pennedParadise Lost after losing his wife, his daughter, and his eyesight. Such unremitting grief would send even the most grounded among us into a frenzied Xanax binge and associated fetal position, but these celebrated artists chose not to recoil in passive suffering. Instead, they turned their sorrow into something the world would cherish.

     

    The idea of the tortured artist has long been debated in our culture, but to me it always seemed a self-evident truth. Art is a reflection of humanity, and humanity’s greatest virtue is its ability to overcome adversity. Why shouldn’t that same adversity inspire our greatest art? In fact, it’s a topic that fascinates me so much, I wrote a book about it, aptly titled Tortured Artists, which takes an admiring yet irreverent look at the link between creative genius and personal adversity. Did you know that Picasso nearly died in an earthquake at the age of three? Or that Frankenstein was inspired by a volcanic eruption? Or that Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse as an act of revenge?

     

    Although my book approaches the subject matter in a fun way, it centers on a weighty idea: the idea that suffering does not happen in vain. Van Gogh may have suffered from anxiety, absinthe addiction, and debilitating seizures, but his suffering gave him insight, and that insight, in turn, gave the world a new kind of art called Post-Impressionism. Such poetic symmetry is enough to convince even the stodgiest fatalist that the universe is not as cold and random as we perceive it to be, which is why I’ve always found the notion of tortured artists so appealing.

     

    But not everyone shares my zeal. In fact, the more I speak about tortured artists at author events and in interviews, the more I realize what a polarizing topic it actually is. Some folks seem to consider the primary thesis in Tortured Artists — that pain is a requirement for producing great art — a biased assessment of the creative process.

    However, I never claimed that art cannot be produced without suffering, only that art produced without suffering is not likely to be very good. Why? Because the central function of an artist is to convey an idea. That idea can be visceral or intellectual; it can be conveyed through a painting, a song, a poem, or a guy dancing around in a moose costume. The method doesn’t matter. Artists, both brilliant and hackneyed, create out of the same basic desire to communicate. But it’s we art lovers who invest our attention, our time, in their creations. Why should we invest in a work of art that was created without conflict, or struggle, or pain? Where is the challenge?

     

    Of course, I always knew there would be people who wouldn’t buy the tortured-artist concept, but what I find most surprising is that the people who are least likely to subscribe to the idea also happen to be artists themselves. Indeed, many creative types are simply fed up with what they see as a baseless falsehood perpetuated by romantic tales of Kurt Cobain blowing his brains out and Sylvia Plath putting her head in the oven. In a 2011 interview, the indie rocker Jeff Tweedy, of Wilco fame, called the concept of the tortured artist a “damaging mythology,” one that impeded his own battles with addiction, anxiety, and depression.

     

    And Tweedy is not alone in his hostility. In speaking publicly about tortured artists, I’ve been accused of suggesting that drug addicts are better off high and the mentally ill should not seek help, if only because such impediments, by my estimation, help them produce better art. But calling John Belushi one of the greatest comic performers of the 1970s is not the same as condoning his excessive drug use. Even if we ignore the fact that few performers were not on drugs in the 1970s, we needn’t see Belushi’s brutal addiction as having caused his talent. Rather, it was a symptom of the same insatiable void that drove his need to perform. You might say that void tortured Belushi; you might also say it’s what made him great.

     

    So why, then, are so many artists still turned off by the tortured-artist concept? For some, I suspect, it simply hits too close to home. Consider the wedge it creates between two fundamental desires: the desire to be happy versus the desire to produce great art. The stereotype of the tortured artist as a long-suffering creative genius suggests that those two states are mutually exclusive — and that’s an unsettling thought for anyone who practices a creative craft. But even those of us who don’t have the wherewithal to choose between happiness and being a great artist can take comfort in knowing that the former is within our grasp. Let’s leave the suffering to the geniuses. It’s what they do.

    Further reading:

    Scientists: The ‘Tortured Artist’ Is a Real Thing via Mental Floss