Sunday 21st of July 2024

the dollar dollop...


In 1913, Duchamp withdrew from painting circles and began working as a librarian in the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève to be able to earn a living wage while concentrating on scholarly realms and working on his Large Glass.


He studied math and physics – areas where exciting new discoveries were taking place. The theoretical writings of Henri Poincaré particularly intrigued and inspired Duchamp. Poincaré postulated that the laws believed to govern matter were created solely by the minds that "understood" them and that no theory could be considered "true". "The things themselves are not what science can reach..., but only the relations between things. Outside of these relations there is no knowable reality", Poincaré wrote in 1902. Reflecting the influence of Poincaré's writings, Duchamp tolerated any interpretation of his art by regarding it as the creation of the person who formulated it, not as truth.

In 1951, William F. Buckley, Jr.—then a newly minted 25-year-old Yale University graduate—published his historic God and Man at Yale, an indispensable founding document of modern American conservatism. In this, his first book, he argued that his long respected alma mater had, unbeknownst to the majority of its alumni, undergone a silent ideological revolution, while still presenting itself as the same institution it had been for generations. Yale performed this legerdemain, Buckley wrote, out of fear of alienating its alumni base, which was largely conservative and religious—an alumni base which had, for so long, been the university’s institutional and economic support.

Yale, he said, had quietly compromised its long-held moral and religious convictions in the pursuit of fashionable, progressive philosophies, and in the process had betrayed its alumni who, per the Yale charter, were the ultimate oversight authorities of the university. The alumni were being surreptitiously duped, Buckley argued, into supporting a liberalized, secularized college administration that did not share their fundamental convictions.



With these two incompatible ways to look at life we should try to understand better the process of “progressive” philosophies. At no stage are these “new” views “fashionable”. This is a word designed to belittle scientific investigation in order to promote “belief” in fairies. The Game of Throne being the proof of the pudding. The conclusion by Jack H. Burke is wishy-washy… The relative answers have long been provided by sciences, but few conservative minds want to accept the verdict of uncertainty. We rather “believe" in our right to be godly and fuck everyone else with hubris, despite the caveats of the US constitution. For example, today, 25 May 2019, Washington continues to amass forces in the Middle East as the Pentagon accuses Iran of an “ongoing threat” to US allies and interests. Iran has done no such threat, but the USA wants to destroy Iran. End of the fairy story. And we, the plebs, are made to accept this narrative through a compliant media.

So Buckley was upset about Yale buckling at the knee in front of sciences. Jack H. Burke, a former White House intern who served as a US congressional staff member, concludes:

Or is it, as Buckley dramatically said of his beloved Yale University in 1951, being “extraordinarily irresponsible” in doing so?

These questions must be asked, as the troubles that afflicted Yale in Buckley’s day are no longer confined to the realm of Western colleges and universities; they have spread into many of the West’s major and once Christian-minded establishments. We must understand the reality of these changes and begin thinking profoundly about what they mean, for it is now nearly impossible to escape their effects on society. “God and Man at Yale” is, indeed, now “God and Man Everywhere.”  


Where to from here for "god and man"??? While the others artists were inventing a new style through impressionism and expressionism, Duchamp was inventing a revolution. 

His was that of a moral revolution beyond art by a moral deconstruction of long accepted relative values in our erroneous interpretations of relations. He shook the meaning of life at the core in the same way Einstein did. 

But the "Arts Decoratifs” through other forms of new arts, such as impressionism, expressionism and abstractionism, that became mainstream and modern architecture, held fast to the bourgeois fortress. Cash and comfort reigned — rather than hard question and quest for enlightenment. It is easier to accept a lie rather than not knowing.

Today, most of us are still under the cash and comfortable misunderstanding of the value of life. Piece of cake. This easy route is chosen for us by the system, in which war is our governments' main occupation to provide us with more cash and comfort. We have to breed for "growth of the system", we need to believe in god, use guns and cultivate greed as our supply tools, rather than be enlightened to our origins and possible explore other options of survival in freedom. We are dependant on a certain level of accepted general ignorance and our heroes can dodge bullets without sufferance while "saving the world". It's all illusionary. This is why sciences have difficulty to exist without being applied to this comfort. This is where there is a parallel between Assange and Duchamp. Assange is using communications tools of encryption code-breaking to show how the establishment has been lying to us about its worth. The official narrative has been bunkum for the last 4,000 years.

Till today. Gaudi’s Familia Sagrada in Barcelona is a reminder of such concrete glorious application of the religious hubris. Artful, it is a masterpiece of realisation, but it is not asking questions except that of style rather than that of content and purpose.

Duchamp was a joker, but a serious joker. He was not sarcastic to be condescending. He was sarcastic with a purpose. His statements were to make people realign their accepted concepts of what is and what is not — or may be not. There was a lot of conventional bullshit used to prop up social norms, including the religious BS and the glory of wars. 

Many of Duchamp's contemporaries saw him as a serious genius. Still working as an employee in a public library, with his first five paintings in the style of Monet, Sisley, Pissaro, Duchamp had already solved the “trick of Impressionism" and he turned to sciences to develop his creative motivation — a creativity which was more like a confronting massive complex intellectual message board than a grand emotional output using paints. 

His Nude Descending a Staircase — picture at top — attracted derision and great laughter in New York, yet it is one of the best first abstract “paintings” showing an idea rather than a landscape or a real person. One wonder why this work had been accepted in this weird modernish US exhibition but it had been already exhibited in Switzerland. The naked woman was based on the images of the up and coming new art of cinematography, but Duchamp merged all the frames, removing the linear timeframe or the illusion of history and the body conventional shapes so well used by painters of "kings on horses". Time distortion was also at the core of Einstein revelations.
Despite the strong criticism, Duchamp was offered contracts by most of the major Galleries in New York's 59th Street. He refused any commission to protect “his freedom”. According to some literary journals, Duchamp became more famous than “Napoleon and Marshall Foch” and than the French song stars of the time… His genius was to be taken seriously because he did not take his views seriously, though in reality his stream of consciousness was extremely serious against the seriousness of our bourgeois dead-end in which we still wallow. 

In 1910, when he visited the Salon de l”Aviation with Léger and Brancusi, Duchamp was transfixed by the engines and propellers as primitive as they were then and said to his friends, "Brancu, painting is finished!  Who [which artist] can do better than this prop? No-one! We are ended! Let’s throw ourselves in the River Seine!”

Yet the next day, he started painting his “Petite Soeur”, where the younger sister is decomposed through a prism, the famous Duchamp prism, with an extraordinary sense of composition and colours. He thus became the precise specialist of anachronistic symbols. 

His most anachronistic symbolism is the "Mariée mise a nu par ses Célibataires mêmes”. From left to right, we see the priest, the soldier, the cop, the hunter, the delivery boy, the undertaker, the servant and the stationmaster. The newly wed woman swings in a trapeze above them all and sends them a supreme bolt that start a crowd of interplanetary Opera dancers. It still is one of the most "modern" avant-garde artistic work of art in which the weird subject should make us think away from our petty comforts. Most modern art in 2019 blends in with our blancmange, because of "decorative" value on the wall next to the idiot box. This one Mariée does not. This was Duchamp last “painting”. The rest of his life played tricks with “objects found” that he made the world accept as work of art… and he played chess with his friend Picabia.

The fundamental religiousness of Yale had no choice but to give in to this confusing complex future of ideas, while keeping these ideas under control, like a horse is prevented from bolting — however uncertain as it could be under a non godly dictum, with a greater complexity. But Yale rehashed the new messages as to support its intrinsic capitalistic aims (rather than moral and religious contrary to Buckley's views), in the same manner as the Catholic Church often adopted pagan ideals and rights to prevent these from becoming mainstream competition… Meanwhile, the reality as defined by that giant intellectual man, Poincarré, has far more truth than any priest could muster from the pulpit, but his message was far more complex and precise than that of god creating the universe in six days and then having a nap on the seventh… Here we have to understand our genial animality rather than accept our fake status of sinners.

Mathematics are the tools of knowledge and imagination away from the misunderstandings of the errand people of the bible. And this could be why so many great scientists — at least those we are made to revere — and mathematicians came from a Jewish background, as a counterpoint to the religious bullshit — because despite their facile penetration of minds, religions are bullshit.


Euler was one of the most eminent mathematicians of the 18th century and is held to be one of the greatest in history. He is also widely considered to be the most prolific mathematician of all time. His collected works fill 60 to 80 quarto volumes,[5] more than anybody in the field. He spent most of his adult life in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and in Berlin, then the capital of Prussia.

A statement attributed to Pierre-Simon Laplace expresses Euler's influence on mathematics: "
Read Euler, read Euler, he is the master of us all."[6][7]

Yet Simon de Laplace was an atheist, while Euler was a religious man:

There is a famous legend[64] inspired by Euler's arguments with secular philosophers over religion, which is set during Euler's second stint at the St. Petersburg Academy. The French philosopher Denis Diderot was visiting Russia on Catherine the Great's invitation. However, the Empress was alarmed that the philosopher's arguments for atheism were influencing members of her court, and so Euler was asked to confront the Frenchman. Diderot was informed that a learned mathematician had produced a proof of the existence of God: he agreed to view the proof as it was presented in court. Euler appeared, advanced toward Diderot, and in a tone of perfect conviction announced this non-sequitur: "Sir, a + bn /n = x, hence God exists—reply!" Diderot, to whom (says the story) all mathematics was gibberish, stood dumbstruck as peals of laughter erupted from the court. Embarrassed, he asked to leave Russia, a request that was graciously granted by the Empress. However amusing the anecdote may be, it is apocryphal, given that Diderot himself did research in mathematics.[65] The legend was apparently first told by Dieudonné Thiébault[66] with significant embellishment by Augustus De Morgan.[67][68]

Thiébault was a lawyer who had left the Jesuits to become Frederic II’s right hand man in the king’s dealings with the scientific Academy of Berlin, and came back to France with a more down-to-earth idea of inventing insurance to pay damages in case of fire, which was too great a problem of statistics to make it profitable then. De Morgan was an atheist mathematician as well...

There is a word in our language with which I shall not confuse this subject, both on account of the dishonourable use which is frequently made of it, as an imputation thrown by one sect upon another, and of the variety of significations attached to it. I shall use the word Anti-Deism to signify the opinion that there does not exist a Creator who made and sustains the Universe.

— De Morgan 1838

Of course the "mathematics of god" by Euler were complete bullshit and he defeated his own argument by providing such, but people did not like atheists, because they upset the little religious bourgeois comforts of kings and would have stopped the hypocritical morality from absolving their grand desire to compete around the globe for plunder of richness through wars.

This of course still goes on with the way The Donald behaves (which would have been the same with Hillary) in regard to what the “deep state” has decided long ago — now being sweated through all pores of Bolton and Pompeo.

That Yale has not provided us with far better presidential material than Donald Trump shows a grand failure in the philosophical department in favour of “economics” which to a great degree has become the new religion: the Dollar dollop.

Gus Dollopsky Duchamp

before dali came duchamp...


moderne Zeiten...

Simone de Beauvoir called its Sunday afternoon editorial meetings “the highest form of friendship”, but after 74 years Les Temps Modernes, the monthly journal she founded with Jean-Paul Sartre, has closed.
The death of its last editor, Claude Lanzmann, last July made the decision by its French publisher, Gallimard, to shut the magazine almost inevitable. Lanzmann, an early contributor and student of Sartre, had taken up the baton from De Beauvoir, a former lover, when she died in 1986. His passing broke the magic circle of history. Besides, who could today measure up to those three intellectual heavyweights?
Reading issues from its first decade feels as novel today as it did then. Its tone is original, the reportage reads like literature, the style is uncompromising, and the analysis combative. New Journalism is often considered to have emerged in New York in the late 1950s. But it could be argued it came from Paris in the late 1940s with Les Temps Modernes, which was among the first to break down the divide between literature and journalism.
The first issue in October 1945 provoked a big bang in journalism and politics, and not just in France.
Its manifesto was translated and published widely, including in Cyril Connolly’s Horizon in London. It read: “Every writer of bourgeois origin has known the temptation of irresponsibility. I personally hold Flaubert personally responsible for the repression that followed the Commune because he did not write a line to try to stop it. It was not his business, people will perhaps say. Was the Calas trial Voltaire’s business? Was Dreyfus’s condemnation Zola’s business? We at Les Temps Modernes do not want to miss a beat on the times we live in. Our intention is to influence the society we live in. Les Temps Modernes will take sides.

The present near equivalent to these Les Temps Modernes in Australia is the Saturday Paper. It tries to have class and high intellectual values of news, as well as being engaged with a certain purity of thought, though not of the left exclusively. It’s like sipping a superior caffe latte on a contented contemplating quiet morning under a blue sky by the seashore in which seagulls do their things. The SP presentation is spartan, clean and advertising design savvy. We personally would like to see far stronger defence of Assange in this Saturday Paper, but then, yet again, Assange is not the flavour of the month in most western news outlet — and the Saturday Paper is a cautious bourgeois paper on this issue, presented as "complicated" by The SP, despite trying to be enlightened.

The opposite is the brutal Daily Telegraph which is more like stuffing one’s face with a soggy triple burger, inside a pub the carpet of which has been stained with rancid old beers for yonks, on a wintry day — while wearing shorts. The DT is the paper for the lower class who are taunted to be middle, despite resenting the middle class for being snooty. It’s the paper of the right wing, ant-union and pro-capitalism, to make sure the proletariat develops unfulfillable dollop-ambitions, as not to quit its working class status, but vote against itself to favour the upper echelons… because one should dream of making more dollop than the other man.

In the dissertation at top about Duchamp, we not so subtly deliberately misrepresent the bourgeoisie. We have to see that there are many sides to the bourgeois attitude — in which the search for comfort is more essential than universal comprehension — leading to a form of pleasing insularity, to restrictive but accepting loving happy-clappy groups and sometimes to selfish desires.

The general attitudes — to money, to other people who have been struggling, to rich people who rort the system, or resentful of “different" people who try hard to survive and fail to climb the ladder in a hostile environment — define the bourgeois moral values, with some cute family ties, of amusing/angry kids and low brow heartaches, regulated by death and taxes. The bourgeois are often removed from what philosophy can offer. Philosophies are about why, and this (hard) question is often solved in bourgeois circle with a spoonful of belief in religious dogma in various doses — to the point of “not wanting to know”. Or becoming evangelical like our Scummo... This is the pits of idiotic beliefs.

Our governments will organise roads, trains, control civil aviation and will often promote civic activities around the glory of self-importance, salted with ideas of war and peace which act like a gel to make people believe in the same goals, while all being proud to be “individuals”. 

But the strongest element of unity is based on the economy illusion. The dollop. "Work hard and collect your deserved dosh" is the motto (the “ethic”). Then as you spend your dollop, you can decorate your home in harmony with the latest fashion experts of glossy magazines dedicated to make your house and garden pleasant till you die or get moved to a retirement village. 

Your work involves little till-accounting operation like that of a grocer, up to the higher flair of doctor-ship where we want to be paid for insured services, while other lazy bastards are not really “working” but are having fun being “artists”… Yes we know, there is a lot of cash to be made for the chosen few who can sing. We could not draw a flower for the life of us… nor have the imagination. We need to be entertained, but we don’t need to be explained… Capiche?

Providing the comfort we can get from each other and from the planet itself is complex and often confused in various opposing/converging views about the dollop (what we get from the "economic systems"). Amongst all this also gravitate the religious question which of course invites the refugees of different persuasion controversy: they will steal our jobs and don’t pray to the same god — though they will use the dollop, sometimes better than we can. Refugees get government benefits we never had. We might resent this. Then there is sex… We feel as if the “others” are selling their young girls too soon without romance. We love a good love story, don’t we? Romeo and Juliet? Remember? They died...


Naomi Wolf argues in her forthcoming book, Outrages: Sex, Censorship and the Criminalisation of Love, that the Victorians sentenced dozens of men in consensual homosexual relationships to death. Not so, argues Matthew Sweet. Not one was put to death, and many of the acts were not consensual at all but cases of rape.

Meanwhile the politics of the middle class for all, are defined in the DNC as:

• Jobs and income equality

• climate change

• Immigration

• health care

• Education

• gun violence prevention

• Civil rights

• college affordability/student debt

• Women’s reproductive rights

It is incredulous that foreign policy and war, among other vital issues, are completely absent from the DNC list thereby confirming how deeply out of touch the party is with political reality. To not recognize that the country is in an existential crisis; that there is no ‘normal’ and that a deep cultural and political realignment is underway, is to live in a cave.

This is a harsh critic of the DNC limited effort to save the world, in the same wars than Donald. This could be why they resent him.

Yes, even a fly will shit on a Merc. Art has been the poor marker of our plodding bourgeois social state. There will be art for bourgeois: the wallpaper. And there will be art for artists with ideas that are contrary to the bourgeois state. These artists live in poverty, until they die and become famous for having asked the philosophical question, in revolutionary styles that often become mainstream by over-exposure and complete misunderstanding. We love the pretty colours...
Progressively evolving is a new information-age plausible global culture of Thinking of One Humanity and a new proactive civilization of strong bonds and affinity of people to people cultural communications - global citizenry participation in social, economic and political Thinking and Globalization - man in one part of the world feels, thinks and acts-reacts to what happens to any man in another remote corners of the globe. Mankind is neither blind, nor inept, it defines its own purpose, meaning and identity for peace and harmony that the established institutions of governance - be it in America, the Middle East or Europe or elsewhere miserably failed to recognize or value their importance in global political affairs. Paul Craig Roberts (The Next War on Washington's Agenda."), had a rational thought to ask the right question:

We, as Americans, need to ask ourselves what all this is about? Why is our government so provocative toward Islam, Russia, China, Iran?  What purpose, whose purpose is being served? Certainly not ours............Where do we go from here? If not to nuclear destruction, Americans must wake up. Football games, porn, and shopping malls are one thing. Survival of human life is another. Washington, that is, "representative government," consists only of a few powerful vested interests. These private interests, not the American people, control the US government. That is why nothing that the US government does benefits the American people. 

See more at


We hope for better? Then we wallow in our own blood...
The contrarian views of the writer Germaine Greer added zing to an event on Monday at the Hay festival in Wales, celebrating the 500th anniversary of the death of a man considered the greatest polymath of all time.
Greer said she was repeatedly “disappointed in Leonardo as an artist”. On the Mona Lisa, she said the painting was typical of Venetian art in the period.
“The most important thing to me about this bloody picture is that this woman looks as if she is already dead,” said Greer. “As for the famous smile, this is what I call the Leonardo smirk. You find it everywhere.”
She pointed to his painting of St John the Baptist in the Louvre – “smirk” – and his drawing The Incarnate Angel: a boy “stark naked with a roaring erection … terrific”, she said dismissively.

One could speculate about the old chook Greer  being paid by the kilogram of controversy by the curator of a second rate dying festival in need of champer bubbles. Or had our Germaine forgotten her pair of glasses? As a Venetian work of art La Gioconda could be the sublimest and finest in its details. And the smirk is that of many people who could be internalising a joke. A French king, François Premier, would not pay 15 kilos of gold for La Gioconda if it had been crap, would he? This painting was at the avant-garde of modern times then. Here the John the Baptist could be an underaged homosexual — or a practical joker like Till Ulenspiegel… 

Democracy — the Enlightenment political project par excellence — has landed us with Brexit, an extreme-right surge across Europe and beyond, and an orange-hued reality TV star in the White House. 

Two centuries on from the Industrial Revolution we appear to be cooking ourselves alive, and communications technology has birthed a writhing subculture of trolls and conspiracy theorists who appear more and more mainstream with each passing day.

To be sure, these are not the only fruits of the Enlightenment, which has also given many of us a measure of health, wealth, freedom and security that would have been unimaginable to our pre-modern ancestors. 

But the question remains: if Western culture is so deeply and firmly rooted in reason, why do things feel so crazy?

One answer lies in the famous claim that "Enlightenment reverts to mythology". 

This is the take-home message of Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, Jewish academics who left their native Germany for America in 1934, and who published their classic 
Dialectic of Enlightenment in 1944 as the murderous insanities of Nazism were being laid bare.

The book describes a historical tendency of modern political orders to experience outbreaks of what appear to be the opposite of modern political values.

Sure, but amongst all this, the "sensible middle”, say the “bourgeoisie” or the “middle class" to describe as accurately this vacuous pleasant space, is steadfast surviving in the middle of the political chaos. The art of the “sensible middle” is to ask no questions and to “earn a living”. It’s the art of the dollop-making. Some people will fall through the cracks, sure, and end up living in the streets or get fed by charitable enterprises, but most of us will contend with the cash to make our lives happy with choices of delusions that will not make any impact on the price of cheese — as long as the political liars keep buttering our wallets with facile credit. 

We will make a happy barbecue occasion. 

We will like the Kingsley labels on touristic spoons even if they are to remind us the royals exist on our behalf. 

Many bourgeois have adopted in their homes the work of artists they did not try to understand nor fully know the life thereof. We love a Toulouse-Lautrec print in our dunnies. It’s even used on drink mats. The appreciation of the modern "middle" has been shaped by the media and the industry of reproductions, of vinyl records and now of the internet which could challenge the status quo of the fake but it really won’t. Why not? Because at the core of the matter, the easy dollop with no hard question is what shapes the tastes of the majority rather than the artistic value that introduces a necessary unnecessary revolution. This revolution is thus absorbed like a bourgeois macrophage eats a socialist microbe. 

This is the moderne Zeiten — the modern times vortex that left the “golden age” of art revolution be absorbed by its own petty second rate dollop dilution.

drowning kittens...

The 5th International Figure Painting Competition is now calling for entry!

The International Figure Painting Competition is one of a series of competitions held by NTD Television. It is a platform for artists all around the world, to showcase their talents and jointly revive the traditional art of realistic oil painting.
This competition calls for works of figure painting created around a central theme: pure truth, pure kindness, and pure beauty. Contestants must present authentic academic realism painting techniques through works of human figure oil paintings. Submissions must convey positive ideals such as righteousness, compassion, and beauty, and harness the power of traditional values.


Wow!!!!! What does this mean? WHAT ARE TRADITIONAL VALUES FOR Falun Gong? Are they Western values which NEVER were tenets of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance, but those created to deceive the plebs into believing that Kings or Emperors were anointed by the popes of a cloud-sitting deluded god? Or are they the fine techniques of Ingres who made the brothels of the Middle-East palatable? Or are they wafting like perfumes from possibly the best nude ever, standing on a 260 by 139 cm oil canvas — Chloé — a young Parisian girl painted by Jules Joseph Lefebvre, in 1875? This amazing work is in the upstairs bar of the Young and Jackson Hotel in Melbourne, Australia, where it has been since 1909. Chloé is known as the "Melbourne Icon" and is the mascot of HMAS Melbourne. The model who had posed for the painting and who was in love with the painter committed suicide because he married her sister… Ouch.

Can we better these? Can we do better than Jacques Louis David with Napoleon's investiture as the European honcho before a bad Russian adventure? What would this mean?

So where do we go from here. Oh, I know, we go to the most famous ugly representation of Christ: The Light of the World (

And by the way, our own competition for the best blancmange portrait, the Archibald prize, has reached rock bottom this year, with a winning painting that would fit the Falun Gong brief of meditation, if a bit more reality/likeness had been instilled in the toilet brush strokes? Am I being toooooooo sarcastic? Who cares, because we have the Bold Archies, which this year were also quite poor — possibly due to the lack of personality in the current political awful personnel — and also the Moran Prize with similar CONservative values to the right-wing Ramsay Foundation and to the NTD (no, it’s not a disease)…

Why not take a photo of someone sitting on a throne next to a basket of fruit? I can imagine a portrait of Emperor Trump smirking at a pear in the shape of Mueller and a few rotten apples with Joe bidden and Bernie's faces… Are we going to reject over one hundred years of edgy imaginative revolution? Are ideas dead?… Hum... Yes, I'm afraid we’re going to drown our Gauguin kittens with precision….

Read from top.

RED WINE! Underlined three times…

reims cathedral on fire

Reims cathedral on fire (1914), reminiscent of Notre Dame's, for different reasons... Maurice Utrillo.

In this series on art and society, where we study the way "the artistic revolution did not change a thing — unlike the invention of bakelite" (art did but was soon absorbed by the bourgeois mentality, for entertainment a bit like pop music and TV cop shows), before investigating the Spanish artist, Picasso, we should look at Utrillo...



Maurice Valadon-Utrillo

Maurice Utrillo (French: [mɔʁis ytʁijo]), born Maurice Valadon (26 December 1883 – 5 November 1955), was a French painter who specialized in cityscapes. Born in the Montmartre quarter of Paris, France, Utrillo is one of the few famous painters of Montmartre who was born there.
This is the official version…

According to this said official version, Maurice Valadon became Utrillo when a Spanish painter, Miguel Utrillo y Molins, signed a legal document acknowledging paternity, although the question remains as to whether he was in fact the child's father. 

Miguel Utrillo y Molins was not Maurice's dad. Utrillo was the son of the artist Suzanne Valadon (born Marie-Clémentine Valadon) and most likely that of a young amateur painter named Boissy, as told to Maurice by his mum: "see, this man there, he is your dad"... Boissy was also a severely deranged piss-pot, who had cash, often seen staggering drunk in the streets of Paris. Maurice was born when his mum was barely 18.

Way before he reached his teens, Maurice was already a serious alcoholic. He skipped school to visit bars after bars in Paris. By age 16 he nearly completely destroyed the inside of his mother’s house in a fit of rage. He was soon interned in an Asylum for mad people.

Upon his release, his mother who selflessly dedicated her life to him, gave young Maurice an ultimatum: start painting or go back to the asylum… With bars and mesh, and locks on windows and doors, Maurice could not escape — and thus painted and painted. It is to be said, his mum was a great looking woman of strong positive character and powerful intellect. She had posed nude for many of the famous painters — including Berthe Morisot, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Edgar Degas — after surviving a bad fall from a trapeze, as a 16 year-old circus acrobat. She was also a survivor. 

Maurice Utrillo became famous for his cityscapes, especially those of Montmartre. He was the right artist at the right time when the Paris bourgeois, already softened by the artistic revolution of the plain-air impressionists, bought his semi-naive work by the truck load. Marketing was on. Between you, me and bottles of turps, his mom was far more an artist than he was. She was intelligent, philosophical, emotionally targeted and made some fantastic paintings — images that reflected freedom, invention and sensibilities on par with, or better than, Picasso and Renoir. 
Young Maurice’s work was passable but extremely suitable for the unchallenged buyers of the time. It did not reflect any intellectual vigour nor great artistic invention. Most of his work use faded ("light") colours with lack of shadows, easy lazy brush strokes, and a sunless imagination of what could be possibly ordinary — often extrapolated from postcards — as he was rarely allowed outside. (Gus was painting like this, aged 5).

The one thing that can be said in favour of Utrillo's style, is that it reflected a nearly-retrospective romantic sad evaporating charming sweet infantile imagery in which madness was contained, rather than used like in the explosion of light and the vibrancy of a Van Gogh… 

The Utrillo-scapes do not challenge the Bourgeois status quo, while harmoniously decorating the drawing rooms with a discreet imprecise escapist hole in the wallpaper. Photographs would have been too harsh, too dated with grandma and grandpa — and too contrasted. 

And this is where the genius of Utrillo resides. His paintings were soft and padded like cushions for the lost mind in search of a resting bench, in a world where things already started to be frenetic. 

Enough with the grandiloquent kings on horses in battlefield scenes. 

On with the lazy sunless Sunday afternoons. "His churches are unlike those of other artists” commented his atheist mother. It is likely that Maurice was not a believer either. When his mother died, in 1934, he became distraught. She had been his guiding light. But his mother, who had a 20 year younger lover at the time, had organised a young woman, Lucie Valore, to “look after him”. Lucie and Maurice got married after an acrimonious fight with his mother’s lover (Utter) and hid in the country, near the town of Angoulême. 
At stake was the huge amount of cash that Maurice's paintings were bringing into the household. Unlike Van Gogh, Utrillo was famous and selling paintings like hot cakes. He sometimes painted more than two a day.

Maurice loved his wife who he said saved his life. Not really religious, he kissed the feet of iconic Virgin Mary statues before going on painting like a quiet mad-man. He got irate one day, when a newspaper writer wrote about his alcoholism and his addiction to wine and spirits… In a strongly worded letter, Maurice argued vehemently that he only drank RED! RED WINE! Underlined three times

His sweet wife, knew how to keep his addiction under control. She had an impeccably dressed servant ritually give him his daily ration of red ned, cut with water to the right dosage, served on a silver platter as a blessed recognition of his existence and love. He had written on the lounge room wall:

When God created Lucie, God created my happiness...

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three musicians

So much has been spewed about Picasso that, here, we only present an esquisse of the man and the associated changing times. 

Picasso was lucky as well as talented. He could paint in a day what others would take a month. At the boarding “Maison du Trappeur”, he was painting by gaslight at night in his room. With little cash, he could barely buy a loaf of bread for dinner. 
In Paris he had been starving… Though he had already won drawing prizes in Catalonia, in Madrid and Malaga — he wanted to be amongst the Renoirs, the Degas, and the Toulouse-Lautrecs. This is why he had come to Paris in 1900… 
In 1904, Picasso's Parisian misery was to end with the visit of Max Jacob. Max was one of his first friends in Paris. They had met in the summer of 1901, and Jacob had helped Pablo learn French. They remained lifelong friends (Picasso included Jacob in his work Three Musicians). In 1904, Jacob was writing for one of the many Parisian newspapers. Max decided to change the name of the squatting squalid abode “Maison du Trappeur" to that of "Bateau-Lavoir” in his article. Why? More romantic? This is a bit in line with the famous Yellow House in Sydney…. Why not the red, blue or green? A bateau-lavoir was like a laundry ship on the river. The Bateau-Lavoir became thus the nickname of this decrepit building in Montmartre. It was the residence and meeting place for outstanding early 20th-century artists, men of letters, theatre people, and art dealers. Located at 13 Rue Ravignan, Place Emile Goudeau, just below the Place du Tertre., it had been divided into twenty small workshops in 1889. The small rooms were without heating and only had a single point of water. This dark and dirty building thus became the “Bateau-Lavoir”... 
A few days later, a navy-guy “lodges" at the Lavoir. He has many African stories to tell the residents, including a funny joke about black people that made no-one laugh. Picasso though is intrigued and the next day he goes to a few friends places to see some African “fetishes"… His mate Derain has an African mask. This inspires Picasso. Within three years, Vauxcelles, an art critic who had already defined the “Fauvism” movement, defined the new look exhibition at the Khanweiler Gallery as “paintings made of small cubes”. Picasso and Braque had mixed still-life with negro-art. Cubism had seen the light. It took off.

Here we can see the ebullient world, now full of steam engines and early cars, in search of “inventionism” in its art. The call of the new. The new way of seeing things. By then Einstein was presenting his mind-boggling theories and no-one could escape the newness of all this, even if they did not understand the theory, nor the massive intellectual change associated with it. This was a revolution of understanding things differently.

Some people saw money in the art of it. They wanted to cash in with progress, by being promoters of such new thinking. It did not matter whether one understood or not the meanings nor the future of what was incoming. What was important was the realisation that what was known and the old traditions that we had long plodded with, were only illusions of interpretation. All fakes. Americans loaded with cash thus wanted in on the new, which at the time was mostly coming from Paris. They knew this was the future in flux. The old ways were condemned to die. 

These old ways are still dying more than 100 years later.
They are very resilient, despite being tired and erroneous. They are mostly fiercely religious, indoctrinational — and the doodahs and their mercantile priests are not ready to give them up. These guys invent more reasons to hold on to these silly dusty stupid traditional dogmas and hang on to their flat-earth disciple.

These days they are the happy-clappy churches of cash and Jesus, soaked with the morality sauce, and some of their adherents of the Noah’s Ark society become primal Minister of Australia. It’s a pissy shame. Picasso died in vain. Millions of people died in vain. See: and more on this secular site...

Back in the early 1900s, in Paris, many newspapers employed their own journalists who competed for stories. They also relied on the Agence Havas (now Agence France-Presse), the telegraphic news service with a network of reporters, and contracts with Reuters to provide world services.

Meanwhile, the Roman Catholic Assumptionist order revolutionised media with its national newspaper La Croix (The Cross). It vigorously advocated for traditional Catholicism while at the same time using the most modern publishing technology and distribution systems. 

Secularists and Republicans saw La Croix as their greatest enemy, especially when it took the lead in attacking Dreyfus as a traitor and stirred up anti-Semitism. When Dreyfus was pardoned, the Radical government in 1900 closed down the Assumptionist order and its newspaper. Yet La Croix still survives today.

Meanwhile, businesses and banks paid moneys under the table to some newspapers to promote their financial interests, and cover up banking malpractices. Publishers took payments for favourable notices in news articles about commercial products. This is still called “advertorials". Sometimes, newspapers would blackmail a business by threatening to publish unfavourable information unless the business started advertising in the paper. Hum, did I see this recently?...

Foreign governments, especially Russia and Turkey, also paid hundreds of thousands of francs a year to the press to guarantee favourable coverage of the bonds they were selling in Paris. Remember the Russian Railway Bonds? They tanked with the revolution… When the news were bad about Russia, as during its 1905 Revolution or during its war with Japan, Russia raised the bribes to millions of francs.

As well, each French ministry in Paris had a group of journalists whom it secretly paid and fed stories… Hello?

Does this sound familiar? These days, it’s the USA that mostly threatens the world with “tariffs, sanctions and whatever” if you don’t follow the tune. The roles seem to be reversed. The "liberal" media "is the enemy" to Trump, though it depends on the crumbs from the US government and no media will rock the boat... See the way Assange is treated...

Whistleblowers tell you about the corrupt behaviour of governments — and they get hammered. Not an inch of support from the media — a media that seems to only survive by being part of the deception. Whether it’s Murdoch who supports the Conservatives or Soros who supports the Democrats, the media and the governments are all corrupt, in the SAME whitewashing boat (the Bateau-Lavoir)... 

So these were the changing times in which Picasso and Duchamp operated, with their new ways of seeing things and selling things. By the 1920s, the name "Pi-cass-o" was like that of Jesus Christ around the “new” Western world — and possibly in the communist world, where philosophy was making strides. 

From his collaboration with Diaghilev, Picasso found the Russian ballerinas quite attractive. Diaghilev told him to be “careful” as “Russian girls — one has to marry them" for love. Picasso married Olga Koklova.

Meanwhile, he paints about two works a day, over 12 hours in his new abode. He "visits Michelangelo" in Rome and Picasso's subjects are painted with big wide eyes. He paints big canvases, making his subjects take the whole of the space. He distorts the faces:

"My portraits are not good likenesses but their subjects eventually look like my portraits” he tells the adoring public…

In 1936, the Spanish Civil War blows up. For the Spanish pavilion of the Paris exhibition 1936, Picasso paints a gigantic canvas, with woman carrying dead child, man shot down, horses, bull that walks upon guts and more. Its the bombing of Guernica by the Germans. During the German occupation of France, Otto Abetz sees the work and asks Picasso:

"Did you do this?” “No", answered Picasso, “you did”…

And later on, as he pushes on with his crazy bold clever ideas, a woman of the world asked him:
"Master? What is art?

to which he answered:
Madam, what is not art?” Looking at a magnificent sunset, he adds: “this would be beautiful for someone who would pretend to be a painter"

In one charcoal stroke, he could draw the dove of peace…

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de verwoeste stad...


This is the last instalment in this series "why art failed to contained the bourgeois smugness, as the invention of plastic made progress possible”. In short it’s about ruthless politics and art’s impotence — as the revolution of art gets remoulded into vague acceptance to reinforce the greater glorious general ignorance. Amen.

The writer, David R Hoffman, of the Pravda Report, presents with confidence reasons why Donald Trump should be impeached. First, he says:

I have said it before, and I will say it again:  Politicians are some of the most venal and treacherous life forms on the planet, and perhaps even in the universe.  In America, particularly after the Supreme Court's egregious Citizens United decision, all that one needs to be "qualified" for political office is to promise favors to a bunch of wealthy "campaign contributors," and to dupe the clueless and the gullible into voting for them.

But, if the truth be told, this vileness should not be unexpected.  The very nature of politics is such that it automatically repels people with consciences and integrity.

Soon after this definite beginning, he starts to divide politicians between those who do good things and those who do bad stuff. Houston, we thus have a problem with Hoffman’s beginning and end. He contradicts himself by suggesting that there are good pollies thus impeachment of Trump should be de rigour. 

My personal view on this is that considering Hoffman’s position that ALL POLITICIANS are crooks, where would this cascade of crap impeachment lead? Should artists be in charge of politics to stop the rot?

And have we got enough proof to show that Putin and co interfered with the 2016 US Presidential elections? Not a skerrick of proof. Nothing. Nada. What has been redacted in the Muller report could be extracts from “How to Care For Your Petunias Manual”. Or basically fake information from the likes of Mr Steele, who was deviously employed by the DNC to sink Trump’s chances, while Wikileaks exposed Madam Clinton as a smelly double-dealer with irrefutable unredacted documentation. And this is why Assange is in prison. I do not want to preempt this situation outcome, but despite the CIA and other US agencies having exposed some of Assange (Wikileaks) sources, we have not heard the end of it. The truth is out there, in the ether. It will be outed, but our media in the pocket of government are as crooked as the pollies of whatever colours — as long as the dollar dollop reign supreme.

So, De Verwoeste Stad (The Destroyed City) is a massive bronze sculpture in Rotterdam. It commemorates the German bombing on 14 May 1940, which destroyed the old centre of this Dutch City. Unveiled in 1953, it has been designated as a Dutch national monument since 2010. It is the largest sculpture by the Russian-born sculptor Ossip Zadkine, his best known work, and the best known sculpture in Rotterdam. But it took a while for De Verwoeste Stad to be accepted and it seems it is still controversial. 
Zadkine chose to work in France, inspired by Rodin and by Cubism — contradiction in styles. He had the idea of The Destroyed City sculpture shortly after the end of the Second World War when his train passed through the flattened centre of Rotterdam while going from Paris to Deurne, to visit a friend, Hendrik Wiegersma.

Inspiration is a strange cascade of puzzlements for artists. It often relies on what we already have done and know, tacking on what we see anew. Suddenly an image or a song appears. It may mean nothing or something. For the “untalented” fish (Einstein: “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”), this impression could be soon forgotten. For the committed artist, this becomes an obsession with twists and turns that are often far more exciting than the finished product. Zadkine's style was not Rodin’s. Rodin’s expression was malleable, organic and emotional — everyone (some people don’t but they should) know The Kiss or the The Thinker, while Zadkine was more industrial and abstract — and to some extend, despite the French influence, his work was strongly Russian. This could be where there was objections to the sculpture. 

Famous for his works before the war, Zadkine created a 70 cm high model in terracotta, for a memorial to the victims of war, exhibited in Berlin and Prague in 1947. He would have made sketches to show the three dimensions, so when this model was damaged in transit, Zadkine created a new model in plaster about twice the size, which was exhibited in Brussels and at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in 1948. 

Zadkine was then commissioned to create the 6.5 metre full-size sculpture in bronze by Gerrit van der Wal, the managing director of the De Bijenkorf chain of Dutch department stores, whose Rotterdam store had been destroyed by the German bombing. 

A smaller bronze model was exhibited at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam in December 1949.

The sculpture was strongly objected by the director of Rotterdam's Department of Public Works, who published an article/letter in the Katholiek Bouwblad (Catholic Building Magazine). He wrote that it was a "madly demonic scourge" that would "paralyse the heart of my city forever". Despite his official objections, the gift (at the time anonymous) was accepted, and someone else designed the plinth.

The sculpture depicts a cubistic human figure leaning against a tree stump. With both hands aloft, and its head thrown back crying in grief, there is a gaping hole in its chest. The absence of a heart symbolises the destruction of the centre of Rotterdam. Zadkine described it as "A cry of horror against the inhuman brutality of this act of tyranny”. 

The sculpture has been compared to the figure with arms raised in terror on the far right of Picasso's painting Guernica. It stands on a tapering large plinth of Labrador granite blocks that had probably been intended for a sculpture of Adolf Hitler in Berlin. It is presently standing on the North side of the 17th century dock basin of Leuvehaven in the centre of Rotterdam, after “having been moved a few times” for various reasons.

The full-size bronze sculpture was cast by the Susse Frères foundry in Paris. It was presented to the City as an anonymous gift, unveiled by the mayor or Rotterdam, Gerard van Walsum, on 15 May 1953, where it stands outside the Maritime Museum Rotterdam, on condition that its location should be chosen by Zadkine, and it should remain permanently in place...

It was moved approximately 60 metres from its original position in 1975. It was restored while temporarily removed in 2005 to allow construction works, and returned to its place in 2007. It was registered as a Rijksmonument (number 530902) in 2010. A proposal made in 2014 to move the sculpture again to a prominent position outside the new Rotterdam Centraal station was abandoned. 

De Verwoeste Stad is still not fully loved or appreciated for its beauty. It has received many nicknames from the residents of Rotterdam, including "Stad zonder Hart" (City without a heart), "Zadkini", and "Jan met de Handjes" (Jan with the little hands). Like most of Zadkine works, it is stark, heavy, anchored, fat and angular. Nothing wrong with this. It is not supposed to represent “we love the bombs” but a permanent distress…

This could be challenging for the lovers of bourgeois glory.

Any intelligent kid would see a Transformer coming to life...

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no one has done better, subjectively....

Hating Renoir: For many critics, the artist “is awful. Hideous. Beyond the pale. Asked for her take on Renoir, a discerning friend replied that his works provoked ‘visceral disgust.’ His canvases, she said, were ‘like a painted version of Sweet’N Low’. . . The problem with hating Renoir is simply this: Why, if he was so terrible, did Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Pierre Bonnard revere him? Why was Renoir so admired by Berthe Morisot, Claude Monet and Paul Cézanne? Why did his obituary in the Guardian conclude that ‘probably it will be the verdict of posterity that Renoir was the greatest painter of the nude of his time.’ And why did Matisse describe them as ‘the loveliest nudes ever painted: no one has done better — no one.’ To suggest Matisse didn’t know what he was talking about when it came to the nude is like saying Einstein had a flimsy grasp of physics. So, what gives? Hating Renoir (if you do) is more than an aesthetic judgment. It is a neurotic affliction. I know, because I have suffered from it. It is rooted, I think, in a justifiable instinct: the feeling that a modern nude should express some convincing quotient of reality, be it psychological, social or simply physical. Renoir’s nudes don’t really do this.”


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Some of Renoir's contemporaries were not impressed either:


Just try to explain to Monsieur Renoir that the torso of a woman is not a mass of decomposing flesh, its green and violet spots indicating the state of complete putefraction of a corpse.

                                  Albert Wolff  in the Figaro


Note: there is a Duchamp exhibition at the AGNSW....

mona lisa by cosmetic surgery...



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is gauguin no good?

The New York Times proposes to ban an exhibition dedicated to the French painter Paul Gauguin. In this case, because of the pedophilia of the artist, who married Tahitian minors, and of his alleged racism.
Should we dissociate the work of the artist? The question arises today more than ever: after attempts to ban projections of the new film by Roman Polanski, The New York Times proposes to cancel purely and simply a retrospective devoted to Paul Gauguin, currently taking place at the National Gallery of London.
Asked by the NYT in an article titled "Is It Time Gauguin Got Canceled?", the co-founder of the online museum girlmuseum Ashley Remer, believes that Paul Gauguin is nothing less than an "arrogant pedophile, overrated and condescending".
French impressionist painter fascinated by the myth of the good savage, Paul Gauguin notably lived in Tahiti between 1891 and 1893.

Pedophile and colonialist
The island of Polynesia where Gauguin had pedophile relations — some of his partners only thirteen and fourteen years old — had an influence on his work. "Gauguin has had repeated sex with girls, marrying two of them and fathering children," the New York Times says in his article.

To know more about RT France:

Translation by Jules Letambour...

You naughty people — all having a faded print of Gauguin's paradises in your dunny...

Definitively not approving of Gauguin's bad behaviour, we should mention George W Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard who killed thousand of people and are still "honoured". The New York Times should demand their arrest, trial and imprisonment. Soon, we will be more realistic about who does the most damage to humanity under false pretences... including Obama-the-saint (with his mate, Sarkozy) who helped the destruction of Libya and that of Syria under false pretences as well. 

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