This morning at 3:10 A.M. I was awoken by the sound of my son singing/groaning, and I quickly realized that he was performing a startlingly faithful rendition of the repeating vocal sample used in the classic Arrested Development song “Mr. Wendal.” I went in and there he was, happily sitting up in his crib awake, continuing his homage to that great philosopher-hobo. It sounded exactly like this:
In our family, we also make it a practice to slightly modify the lyrics of “Mr. Wendal” to refer to one of Virginia’s heroes, Sister Wendy. Perhaps this is how the young lad has developed such a love for the song.
Banksy (British, 1973?- ). Untitled, 2010. Stenciled spray paint on stuccoed wall. Java Cow Coffee, Park City, Utah, USA.
Henri Rousseau (French, 1844-1910). War: The Ride of Discord (La Guerre: La chevauchée de la Discorde), 1894. Oil on Canvas. 1.14 x 1.95 m. Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France.
Some day I am going to write a novel based on this painting.
(This is another one that I saw at the Musée d’Orsay’s travelling post-impressionism exhibition at the De Young Museum in San Francisco, California.)
“La guerre ; elle passe effrayante laissant partout le désespoir, les pleurs, la ruine.”
James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). A Little Nimrod, 1882. Oil on canvas.
This is just a little counterpoint/comparison to La Guerre.
Vincent Van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890). Starry Night Over the Rhône (La nuit étoilée), 1888. Oil on canvas. 0.73 x 0.92 m. Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France.
As a teenager, Van Gogh was my gateway into the world of art, and he remains my favorite painter. This particular painting quickly became one of my favorite paintings by my favorite painter. I think my need to champion the underdog and embrace the-lesser-known made me champion this work over the other super-famous, neck-tie-and-coffee-mug-adorning, but nonetheless completely awesome Starry Night that Van Gogh painted a year later.
Last October, we visited my wife’s awesome aunt who lives in the Oakland Bay area, and she took us to the De Young Museum in San Francisco to see the exhibition Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay. As we entered the gallery where the Van Goghs were displayed, lo, here was one of my most longtime favorite paintings, something I thought I would have travel to Europe someday to see. I didn’t even know I was going to get to see it on my little California trip, so that made the experience even better. In my opinion, seeing a Van Gogh in person totally lives up to the hype, and is unlike anything else, even the paintings of other great artists. Still, I couldn’t resist trying in vain to capture and commoditize the magic, so I bought a small print of the painting and it is propped up on a bookshelf in our living room right now, where I look at it all the time.
Vincent Van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890). The Café Terrace on the Place du Forum, 1888. Oil on canvas. 80.7 × 65.3 cm. Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands.
I SO WANT TO EAT AT THIS PLACE SOMEDAY.
Vincent Van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890). The Starry Night, 1889. Oil on canvas. 73.7 x 92.1 cm. Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA.
It’s becoming clear to me that I take a great liking to paintings with stars, and it all probably comes from Van Gogh, so I might as well get his three great star-infused paintings out of the way right now.
Brian Kershisnik (American, 1962-). Young Astronomer, 2009. Oil on canvas, 66 x 84 in.
Here’s a painting that pretty much depicts where my mind is at right now. I saw this painting a year or two ago at one of Kershisnik’s shows at Dave Ericson Fine Art, an art gallery in an old house in downtown Salt Lake City. I’ve been to these shows two or three times, and every time there seems to be one or two impressively large paintings that serve as the centerpiece of the show. This was one of those paintings, and it has entered my imagination and been amongst my most favorite pieces ever since. I assume someone purchased this painting at the show; at any rate I have no idea where it now resides. Maybe this should go without saying, as it is true of most art, but this small digital image does little justice to the almost mural-sized original oil painting. I should also mention that the last time I wrote about Brian Kershisnik on this website a few years ago it led to me meeting my wife, so his art is pretty special to our family.
You can see much more of Brian Kershisnik’s art and learn more about him at his website.
It comes with an emergency ejection system, parachute, rocket pack, regenerative environmental control and life support system (for extended space travel), and an iPod dock: pretty much everything he will need if our planet Crypton is ever destroyed. Unfortunately, it doesn’t breastfeed or change diapers.
I have to confess that this cute red bear suit with its criss-cross pattern has always secretly reminded me of Radiohead’s bear icon (courtesy of their longtime album art collaborator Stanley Donwood, I think.)
Wassily Kandinsky (Russian, 1866-1944). Color Study, Squares with Concentric Rings (Farbstudien, Quadrate mit konzentrischen Ringen), 1913. Watercolor, gouache and black chalk on paper. Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau München
My wife bought some cool fabric to make bumper pads for our forthcoming baby’s crib; it reminds me a lot of this painting by Kandinsky. And this isn’t anywhere close to my favorite work by Kandinsky, so you’ll likely be seeing a lot more of his stuff here at the Froz-T-Freez Gallery in the future.