A New Year: After NYC

A long weekend can help clear out your head, after a concentrated period. What better way than to see family and find your way into major museums? Then I wonder, no wonder I don’t get any hits on this thing!!!

I loved the above image coming back to Orlando: the sculpture covered in cobwebs at the baggage claim. There is still a love for Halloween here, one which even the religious right wing could not eradicate twenty years ago.

Before I left for NYC, I put together a piece on Käthe Kollwitz, the wonderful German draughtsman/printer. I believe she is truly one of the greatest draughtsman, along with Matisse and Picasso, and THE greatest draughtsman of the twentieth century in value. No one can hold a piece of compressed charcoal next to this woman. I am not one for putting in “unnecessary” feeling into artwork, it is either in there or not. It is not to be faked, but Kollwitz naturally reports images in a similar way that Arbus sometimes can, but with great compassion. It is her images that give a face to post-WWI Germany, where people literally starved to death. Unrealistic and vindictive reparations by the West, set the scenario for the fall of the Weimar government, as Nazis set up soup kitchens in failed towns gaining favor and future political capital.

No one see the insidious face of war like this woman. All National Geographic photographers melt away next to one image of this woman’s. And I notice that even the great worldly Sebastião Salgado, the reknowned Brazilian photographer, has learned from Kollwitz. It is no wonder the Nazis banned her from working. What heartbreak in her final years to resee war, through the horrors of World War II, and be able to do nothing. Cassandra revisited, with the same results.

Originally, I wanted to use music by Wagner, but I had heard the wonderful soundtrack that Pabst had used for the Brecht/Weill Die 3-Groschen-Oper (Three Penny Opera) on you tube, and it worked well. Viva the 21st century, everyone becomes a filmmaker.

How we have failed over half a century after Kollwitz. No wonder our culture has such a fascination for the death and bloodlust. In what other decade could a popular television, Criminal Minds, dedicate itself primarily to serial killers—weekly!

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