LOUISE BOURGEOIS – documentary on a modern artist

Louise Bourgeois


Best known for her large-scale sculpture and installation art, Bourgeois was also a prolific painter and printmaker. She explored a variety of themes over the course of her long career including domesticity and the family, sexuality and the body, as well as death and the subconscious. Although Bourgeois exhibited with the Abstract Expressionists and her work has much in common with Surrealism and Feminist art, she was not formally affiliated with a particular artistic movement.

This biography is from Wikipedia under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License.

“Louise Bourgeois was a significant artist of the last 50 years,” Schnitzer said. “She burst through a lot of glass ceilings.” – East Oregonian


The Monday Poem – Chance Varies by the Philosophical and Religious

Chance Varies by the Philosophical and Religious


A dictionary can tell us that

views of luck can be

popular and chance

appears comparatively late.

During love, this applies to a beating heart.

The mind is

out of control, with thoughts

that wishes or her luck commits the totally affected to

God its

order of the universe, in the same way that in luck has more to

do with games and the best.

Leaving it to fate.

Triskaidekaphobia has four basic principles.

This kind of behaviour shows us the


and it has been recorded as having said the following about selling luck:

involves two

Him allowing

any of us to supplicate all

else related to luck, as it is classified Good

to be created by a flower, but to be unprepared for

Robert is

a game we may call Jinx.

a Fluxus poem using chance methods. I hope you enjoyed it.

The Fantastic Bridget Bate Tichenor


Let’s have a look at the work of Mexican Surrealist (yes, another one!) painter Bridget Bate Tichenor (1917-1990). If you had shown me the painting above before I knew about this artist, I definitely would have thought it was a Leonora Carrington piece.

Knowing that it is in fact by Bridget Bate Tichenor, the main difference between the two artists’ work for me is the spiritual feeling of their pieces. Both artists produced work with a profound spiritual presence, but Leonora’s seems more personal and delicate, whilst Bridget’s is comparatively universal and bold.

Needless to say, I love both! I really must go to Mexico one day – it clearly brings out the artist in a woman. I just need to figure out the coldest part and time of year…


Above: Portrait of Bridget Bate Tichenor by George Platt Lynes, New York 1945.

Education Slade School of Fine Art, École des Beaux Arts, Art Students League of New York
Known for Painting, Fashion editor
Movement Surrealism, magic realism


Born in France and of British descent, she later embraced Mexico as her home… She was the daughter of the Virginia born American NBC, World War I correspondent Frederick Blantford Bate and Sarah (Vera) Gertrude Arkwright Bate Lombardi, who were married after Bridget’s birth in 1919. Chisholm Gallery


Bridget Tichenor’s mother, who was reputedly a well-connected descendant of George III, was the public relations liaison to the royal families of Europe for Coco Chanel. After an arranged marriage Tichenor moved to New York, where she attended the Art Students League of New York. In 1945, after the divorce from her first husband, she married Jonathan Tichenor, an assistant of photographer George Platt Lynes. Huffington Post


She was among a group of surrealist and magic realist female artists who came to live in Mexico in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Her introduction to Mexico was through a cousin she had first met in Paris in the 1930s: Edward James, the British surrealist art collector and sponsor of the magazine Minotaure. James lived in Las Pozas, San Luis Potosí, and his home in Mexico had an enormous surrealist sculpture garden with natural waterfalls, pools and surrealist sculptures in concrete. In 1947, James invited her to visit him again at his home Xilitia, near Tampico in the rich Black Olmec culture of the Gulf CoastGood old Wikipedia

The People Who Wear Black

The People Who Wear Black

Mike Russell

Sometimes things are naughty. They do things they’re not supposed to. They appear and disappear and fly around all by themselves. Things aren’t supposed to appear and disappear and fly around all by themselves. Once I saw my dolly do it. She flew around my room. It was night time. Of course it was. We sleep in the daytime. Daddy says it’s better that way because daytime is too bright. I had my candle lit. So I could see her. Flying around my room. I wanted to light another candle so I could see her better but Daddy says we must only have one candle lit in a room. We don’t have any electric lights in the house. Daddy says they’re too bright. Sometimes I think Daddy is scared of seeing something. I wonder what it is that he is scared of seeing. Dolly flew around my room then she disappeared. Daddy found her in his bed.

‘What’s your dolly doing in my bed?’ he said.

‘She got there by magic,’ I said.

‘Tsk,’ he said, which is what he says when he is grumpy about something.

‘I saw her fly around my room,’ I said, ‘then she disappeared.’

‘Tsk,’ Daddy said, ‘things don’t fly around all by themselves or disappear or reappear. There are laws against it.’

‘But laws don’t stop people doing bad things do they?’ I said. I know that because Daddy told me it when I asked him what happened to Uncle Tom. ‘So laws against things flying by themselves or disappearing or reappearing won’t stop things from flying by themselves or disappearing or reappearing,’ I said.

‘Tsk,’ said Daddy.

‘Will Dolly go to prison?’ I said.

‘Don’t be silly,’ Daddy said. Then he told me about The People Who Wear Black. ‘They wear black so you can’t see them,’ he said. ‘They wear black shoes and black trousers and black jumpers and black gloves and black balaclavas. And they creep around quietly in the dark. And they pick things up so it looks like the things are moving all by themselves and they cover things up with black cloths so it looks like the things have disappeared then they uncover them again so it looks like they have reappeared. It’s The People Who Wear Black that make it look like magic happens. It doesn’t really.’

‘What about when magic happens when it’s light?’ I said, ‘Nothing that looks like magic ever happens in the light,’ Daddy said.

‘How do you know?‘ I said.

‘Tsk’, he said.

‘I’m not sure I believe in The People Who Wear Black,’ I said, ‘I think magic does happen! And I think you keep me in the dark so I don’t see magic happening because I think you don’t like magic!’

‘Tsk!’ he said then he went into his room then came back out again with an electric torch and gave it to me. I didn’t know he had a torch.

‘Next time you think some magic is happening,’ he said, ‘switch this on and see what you see.’

‘Alright then, ‘I said, ‘I will.’ Then I went to bed.

The next night, my dolly started flying around my room again. She wasn’t as graceful as before but she was definitely flying. She flew over the bed and over the toy-box and over the candle. I switched on the torch. There was a man dressed in black standing in front of me. He was holding Dolly in one of his black-glove covered hands, moving her about above his black-balaclava covered head. He was about the same height as Daddy. I screamed because he looked frightening then I pushed him and he stumbled backwards and tripped over and fell on the floor. When he fell he said ‘Tsk’ like Daddy does. I was glad he fell over because he was horrible. Then he stood up and ran out of the room. I picked up Dolly then I shouted:

‘I saw one! I saw one!’ Then Daddy came in and he held me as I cried and he seemed really happy.


Mike Russell has published two anthologies of short stories: Nothing Is Strange and Strange Medicine.

Josh Kirby

Josh Kirby – The Man With the Whole of the Discworld in His Head

In 1990, when he illustrated the Discworld story, Eric, he not only shared cover credits with Pratchett but received a percentage of the royalties. Commissioned by Weekend Guardian in 1993, he produced portraits of Pratchett, including one tattooed with characters from Discworld, and another showing the author as a wizard flying across the world on a carpet of Discworld figures. Fourteen years earlier, Kirby had designed the poster for the Monty Python film, Life Of Brian, as a homage to Pieter Brueghel’s Tower Of Babel. He packed in so many scenes from the (uncut) version of the movie that the distributors refused to use it… He applied for – and got – a job, arrived at the studio, and worked until lunchtime. But, having disliked the morning so much, he never went back, and, ever after, worked as a freelance. His routine as an illustrator never varied: with the synopsis or text, he prepared three or four pencil roughs of ideas, before painting the chosen one, usually in oils and sometimes only slightly larger than book size. Later, the sizes grew – his largest painting covered a canvas 8ft by 6ft. Later, he worked for NEL/Mayflower on titles for the Edgar Rice Burroughs and the Alfred Hitchcock Presents series. Following exhibitions at the Portal Gallery and the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, and in Berlin, he took on work from other paperback imprints, including Ace, Pan and Ballantine. The Guardian

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Stand By Me (1986)


8/10 IMDb

Writer:  Stephen King (novel), Raynold Gideon (screenplay), Bruce A. Evans (screenplay)


Last night I watch the nostalgic classic Stand By Me for the first time! It’s apt, as the film is two days older than I am and turns the big 3-0 next month. Although the actors playing the lead roles were only aged 11-13 when the film was made, Stand By Me has an age certification of 15. This seems mostly due to strong language and a dead body.

It was directed by Rob Reiner, written by Stephen King, narrated by Richard Dreyfuss, and stars Will Wheaton, the late River Phoenix, Corey Feldman and Jerry O’Connell. You may argue that Stand By Me is not strange enough for this blog and you’d be right, but it’s still Stephen King and I like it.

The film also stars the excellent Kiefer Sutherland, playing almost the same character as he does in Lost Boys. I think I’d say I like Lost Boys more than Stand By Me, but they’re extremely different films (sincerely). The latter contains no form of the supernatural, but it makes a good effort into delving in to the special friendships that most people only seem to experience at the age of ten to fifteen. I don’t know if it’s the same for kids now, not being one or having one, but I hope it’s still the case.

My DVD has a pretty good “behind the scenes” documentary in the extras, featuring interviews with Reiner, King and the three living boys (in their late twenties or so). It was filmed after the death of River Phoenix. It’s worth a watch, which makes a change from most DVD extras.

Countless King adaptations have left audiences affronted – The Graveyard Shift languishes on IMDb with a score of just 4.7 and The Mangler has accrued just 3.9 – while other adaptations like Christine and Cujo have merely disappointed. But when King’s work is adapted with faithfulness, skilfully compressing all of its complexity into the limited run time offered by film, it can result in some of the world’s most adored and acclaimed cinema; look no further than Carrie(1976), The Shawshank Redemption (1994) and The Green Mile (1999). Writer Loves Movies

The universality of childhood adventures (or misadventures), the struggles of growing up and a cast that Hollywood execs must have congratulated themselves on for decades. ‘Stand by Me’ launched the careers of so many of its actors: Wil Wheaton, Jerry O’Connell, John Cusack, River Phoenix and Kiefer Sutherland all appeared in the film. SF Gate

3 Random Books from My Shelves

  1. Neil Gaiman – Fragile ThingsgaimanI’m not really sure what to say, as I would imagine most people who visit Examining the Odd have read some or all of Gaiman’s work! Since this book is a collection of short stories (and wonders!), I decided to randomly choose one of the pieces too. The chosen piece was The Fairy Reel, one of the “wonders”, since it is a poem rather than a short story. I’ve heard people liken this poem to a Keats ballad.


So plaintive and so wild and strange that all who heard it danced along

And sang and whirled and sank and trod and skipped and slipped and reeled and rolled

Until, with eyes as bright as coals, they’d crumble into wheels of gold…

I’d love to know which Gaiman piece is your favourite, from Fragile Things or elsewhere. People often say he’s hit or miss for them, but he’s all hit for me.

2. George Orwell – Nineteen Eighty-Four1379095168358.cached Ah, the number one dystopian novel.

1984 is set in Oceania, which includes the United Kingdom, where the story is set, known as Airstrip One. Winston Smith is a middle-aged, unhealthy character, based loosely on Orwell’s own frail body, an underling of the ruling oligarchy, The Party. The Party has taken early 20th century totalitarianism to new depths, with each person subjected to 24 hour surveillance, where people’s very thoughts are controlled to ensure purity of the oligarchical system in place… But Winston believes there is another way… “He who controls the past, controls the future” is a Party slogan to live by and it gives Winston his job, but Winston cannot see it like that.Online Literature

It made me laugh that this book was randomly chosen right now (I live in the UK).

The conditions of government repression, censorship, and mass surveillance Orwell foresaw have seemed imminent, if not fully realized, in the decades following the novel’s 1948 publication, though the adjective “Orwellian” and many of the novel’s coinages have suffered a good deal through overuse and misapplication. Just as the first radio play of 1984 warned of a “disturbing broadcast,” this 1965 version begins, “The following play is not suitable for those of a nervous disposition.” Open Culture (hear the play in full)

Behind Winston’s back the voice from the telescreen was still babbling away about pig-iron and the overfulfilment of the Ninth Three-Year Plan. The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously.

3. Ann Leckie – Ancillary Justice9780316246620_custom-1b8a3367be3348eb1c36a41bd0e8c2563decdbfa-s99-c85

A space opera that skillfully handles both choruses and arias, Ancillary Justice is an absorbing thousand-year history, a poignant personal journey, and a welcome addition to the genre. – NPR

Justice of Toren is one being who gets caught up in political crossfire and finds herself reduced to a fragment of what she was: a lone human body, limited and alone. The first part of the book alternates between present and past, plunging the reader into the story and slowly providing the background. This is not a book you should try to skim.Jim C. Hines

Here it was, the moment I had worked toward for twenty years. Waited for. Feared would never come.

This book is actually from my to read pile, so I can’t give you my own opinion yet! I’m really looking forward to it though – I love books that span a huge amount of time.

5 DAYS OF PHOTOGRAPHY. 2: Sasha Kurmaz (1986-current)

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Yesterday we looked at Man Ray. Today is day two of 5 Days of Photography and we’re looking at Kiev photographer, (spray) painter and video artist Sasha Kurmaz. We often look at people who are long-dead on Examining the Odd, so it’s nice to look at a fresh, living artist! By the way, if you’re a fresh, living artist or writer and would like to see your work on the blog, please get in touch.


Sasha uses his work to highlight current political struggles in Ukraine, urging for civil rights awareness. He also travels the world, collaborating with other artists. As well as being an exhibiting artist, Sasha has also taken pictures for numerous magazines, including Vice and Disturber.

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No one can deny that 27 year old Sasha Kurmaz as a hard working and versatile, successful artist. His realistic, and by times shocking way of making people into objects is just as interesting as the brain behind the operation. A Virtual Aesthetic


Kurmaz pinpoints precise episodes from his personal life, mapping both the material world and ephemeral events through his image streams. In the process, he pushes at the boundaries between society and the individual, questioning how such affiliations are expressed. While fully capable of operating autonomously, his photographs take on new connotations and narrative continuity within the artist’s combinations and sequences; each image appears as a continuation of the previous one, building into a larger whole the way a house is built of single bricks, or a book from pages. The artist’s primary objective is to uncover the process through which identity is formed, and social connections and relationships are forged between the younger generations in post-Soviet society… Among the most significant events in his career there is his participation at Pinchuk Art Center Prize exhibition in 2013, when he was selected as a finalist. – Gallery Triangle



Above: 48 Hours in Kyiv By Sasha Kurmaz By Eytys


It amazes me how different Sasha Kurmaz’s work can be! The strength of colour ties them all together though. During my research for this post, I don’t think I saw a single image duplicated!


“Even the normal world is ‘super natural’ to me. Look at the sun, what a miracle every day! It sounds cliché but I love to look at the stars and the moon, listening to the song of silence. I also think all the prosperity is ‘super natural’, we just don’t realize it. We lost the ability to see it and appreciate it… I just think my work has a expiery date, a very short one. I actually need to update it again soon but I am to busy all the time… My work is a tool for everything I want to show. I think today people are starting to realize the don’t have to take in everything from the government, people start to speak up… I liek to be alone and listen to the sounds of space. You have to try it… Travel as much as you can, that is the best inspiration… Watch the ‘Paradise Trilogy’ by Ulrich Seidl. It’s absurd and realistic at the same time. It intreges and inspires me endlessly at the moment.” – Sasha Kurmaz in an interview with A Virtual Aesthetic


Above: © Sasha Kurmaz 2010/11. Untitled, from the series “red constructor”

Sasha Kurmaz has a book called Nude Sensitivity, published by Atem Books in 2011.


Above: Sasha Kurmaz: “red constructor” (2010/11)



Above: © Sasha Kurmaz 2011 “sweet soviet candy”

Ethel Le Rossignol (1874-1970)

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Ethel Le Rossignol believed that she received information from the spirit world in the form of beautiful paintings and drawings. She did have some formal art education in London, having moved from Jersey. After the war, Ethel turned to the world of spiritualism, eventually becoming a medium.

In 1920, she started channeling a spirit simply known as J.P.F. and producing paintings for which she claimed no credit, insisting that J.P.F. was the real author. J.P.F. also transmitted to Ethel the teachings of a group of advanced spirits, who explained the meanings of the paintings. These teachings were collected in 1933 in the book «A Goodly Company», that Ethel self-published under the imprint The Chiswick Press. Cesnur

A Goodly Company (1958): A Series of Psychic Drawings Given Through the Hand of Ethel Le Rossignol as an Assurance of Survival After Death; this Sequence of Designs is Shown to Open the Eyes of All Men to the Glorious World of Spiritual Power which Lies about Them