Saturday, September 18, 2010

Not an Artist but a Man of the World!

"I ask you to understand the word artist in a very restricted sense, and man of the world in a very broad one. By the second I mean a man of the whole world, a man who understands the world and the mysterious and lawful reasons for all its uses; by the first, a specialist, a man wedded to his palette like the serf to the soil. [...] Apart from one or two exceptions whom I need not name, it must be admitted that the majority of artists are no more than highly skilled animals, pure artisans, village intellects, cottage brains. Their conversations, which is necessarily limited to the narrowest of circles, becomes very quickly unbearable to the man of the world, to the spiritual citizen of the universe." (Charles Baudelaire in the Painter of Modern Life, 1858-9 Translated by J. Mayne. pp.6-7)

In the memory of Hannibal Alkhas who passed away a few days ago at the age of 80 and whom I heard once saying, "I would never wait for 'Lady Inspiration'*to mysteriously come to me through an open window, the life around me is what I need the most." (Hannibal Alkhas in a family gathering in 2000, Tehran.) For more check here and here.

Hannibal Alkhas 80-Year Retrospective, Tehran,
Photo Credit,

*The word for artistic inspiration in Farsi is Elham, which is also a feminine name. Mr. Alkhas played with the duality of Elham and ironically hinted on the historical use of female models in arts.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Reason Rained!

The pain didn’t begin when the cinnamon jar broke,
The pain didn’t begin when the sky turned gray,
The pain didn’t begin when that first cold breath was gasped,

The pain began with reason,
Then it rained and robbed me of the cinnamon scent!

Vasily-Kandinsky, Blue (N393), 1927