Mud people (excerpt from Gargoyle)

fullsizeoutput_b93 The shallow hole the boy had dug became deeper with time as he scooped out the red colored clay the ground was made of. He filtered it through his hands, taking out stones, sticks, decomposed leaves and roots. Punching and smoothing it he compacted the clay to one block, thus slowly building up a monolith from clay. He devoted great care to this process, making sure that he would have a structurally sound mass with which to work. Over the course of building hundreds of small people from mud he had gotten quite skilled at this craft. Only when he was content with the sound that a slap against the block produced, a deep, saturated thud, would he proceed to sculpt. With deliberate slowness he worked from the general form to the details. Many times a form had collapsed when he had tried to overemphasize a movement or had placed the limbs too far outside the center of gravity. In the beginning he had tried to use sticks to support an arm reaching out or a leg stepping forward and though technically that solution had worked he didn’t like that the figure now seemed to defy the laws of gravity that nature put on the material and form. It was thus almost impossible by the mere use of sticks and clay alone to sculpt an outreached limb that looked natural. So he had returned to work from the inner core of the material and to rather hint at a movement that – though invisible – the eye would project into the empty space. He was always intrigued by what he could see without seeing it. He liked the way his sculptures randomly related to one another, all he had to do was to quietly look at both sculptures and discover this relationship of forms. Something deep inside him stirred when he looked at his creations and their silent endurance. He could see the form of the space in between two physical forms, it was nothing and yet visible if one cared to look, it changed constantly, stretched and diminished, even disappeared. It was actually easier for him to comprehend the properties of this in between space than the form itself. You could get out of the trajectory of any moving object if you controlled that space. If you made that space in between adhere to your inner voice you did not need sticks to build a figure. Why, you barely needed your hands, all you had to do was to look long and hard, look at the clay monolith and make some slight adjustments. Soon his people were crouching, stretching, running, turning. He took great pleasure from this.

His father began to take notice too. One night when he had returned home from the workshop the little garden patch had first caught his attention. In the twilight the clay sculptures his son had build in the afternoon had a strange quality of perfection. There were seven fresh sculptures, six of them crouching on the ground, the seventh a small figure in flight, emerging out of a block of brick-colored earth, running.
From a distance it had seemed that all sculptures possessed distinct personalities and bore individual facial features. Something about these features seemed oddly familiar to the stonemason. Upon closer inspection he realized though that the impression of an actually sculpted face dissipated from a nearer perspective – but reinstated itself the moment he stepped back like a magical trick. The inability to confirm his initial finding, to come closer to the truth, was intriguing to him. He asked himself how a not yet six year old child could have created such a sophisticated illusion. He didn’t ever doubt that the impression was created deliberately. He studied the people his son had made for a long time. Inside the house the light from the boy’s bedroom shone dimly through the drawn curtains.

autocorrect

When she was ready to write, the first word that presented itself was: nocolor. Autocorrect corrected it three times over. Autocorrect wrote: “No color”. The word as it needed to be was: nocolor. She knew what it meant. It was … Continue reading

Alternative pathways to the primary visual cortex

He turned around and looked in my direction, his dark glasses reflecting the library lights like distant stars. Then he smiled. Automatically I smiled back at him, but then I remembered that he was blind, and my smile froze. I … Continue reading

One second of eternity at Lake Willoughby

IMGP1041Lake Willoughby, grated into plutonic rock by a deep glacier, is a 300 feet deep, water filled scar between two mountains with biblical names, Mount Hor to the West and the Eastern Mount Pisgah. If you stand on the North Shore of the lake, it actually has the appearance of a deep fjord, though there is no outlet to the sea. Instead there is said to be an underground aquifer connecting the basin of Lake Willoughby to that of another eerie body of water beyond Mount Hor, Crystal Lake. In my mind that acquifer had the form of a water filled cathedral, in my mind I saw swimmers gliding swiftly through a space abandoned by a people even older than they were. There was an incredible, inexplicable light the way I imaged this. You have to keep in mind that I imagined this within a dream without actually seeing it, two steps down and under. Even though my sober mind took offense with the inexplicability of the light.

While I was thinking and conjuring up images within the dream I stood at the waters edge of the lake as I had done many summers and the water exactly like the water of lake Willoughby as I remembered it acted like a mirror. The surface seemed to be like a sheet of glass of finest quality, separating the clearly visible underneath from the still world above, and the mirror image of this world like an incomprehensible fourth dimension in between both worlds. Again I saw the forms in the distance, gathering around precariously piled up, submerged boulders. Each winter these boulders avalanche down Mount Pisgah and roll into the lake to form the outline of an inaccessible stone city, creating an intricate mountainous terrain. I wondered how long it would take to fill the deep ravine of the lake with boulders and fleetingly thought of the old story about the small bird wearing away a mountain with his beak to mark the passing of the first second of eternity. In my dream I had this thought.

Po Tolo

“My grandfather, your great-grandfather, believed that there is life in the Sirius system. The Dogon, an African tribe with very acute astrological knowledge, have believed for centuries that there is life out there as have the ancient Egypts and the … Continue reading

The Twelve Nights of Christmas, the journey concluded: Night 12, the Mechanics of Longing

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The title came as swiftly as the image and the artist obeyed both. The Mechanics of Longing.

This drawing concludes my twelve night drawing meditation. As the new year is already starting to make its demands, these drawings carry with them 12 nights of focus on a non-revealed question. Sometimes during those twelve nights I felt I could catch a glimpse of things yet to be. Now there will be time to look at these pieces for a while, maybe polish them a bit.I’ll keep you posted.

New artistic challenges are ahead for the year.

January 15th is the deadline for another Sketchbook Project of the Brooklyn Art Llibrary, check out the website if you haven’t yet. Their digital library is stunning.

http://www.sketchbookproject.com/library/13754 The link will take you to my previous year contribution “The Whisper”, a simple, wistful story about a childhood memory.

My new book, a young adult science fiction novel, is about to be finished and another one waiting to be continued on my desk.

In Fall I hope to open an exhibition of 41 canvases, acrylic on raw jute canvas (aka coffee and chocolate bags) in Berlin, 30 of which are finished by now. The 12 nights have strengthened my will to continue living in multiple universes.

Thank you for following my blog, this certainly  is the day to acknowledge that my readers are an important part of my creative discipline. It is a good thought that someone may be going to weigh the outcome of a night’s work and maybe find some use for it, if only in the fleeting way that art, all art, can enrich a moment.

I am wishing you, my readers, all the courage, health and gladness necessary to live a meaningful New Year and if you should be lacking any one of these for some of all of the time the will to give it your best shot anyways! 

The Twelve Nights of Christmas, night 9: A rip in the fabric of the universe reveals the true nature of time

It is Borges’ library that makes another appearance in this drawing meditation. One of the themes that is never far off my mind. How does our mind chooses the images that are essential for its own comprehension of the world? How come an image such as Borges library can be so powerful that it assumes an reality of its own, in an alternate universe not so far of our own house number? Just try a different key, open a small door you have never quite paid attention to before and beyond you will find the octagonal library with all possible version of all possible books, written and unwritten … my kind of paradise.
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everywhere and nowhere – a trip to berlin and back

 

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black ball pen, anywhere paper. while working as a lawyer specialized on the representation of visual artists, sometimes the time in between, travel time, waiting times, coffee breaks during a conference turns out to be a creative space in which not just some kind of creative maintenance seems to happen but actually – while I am using readily available art supplies like note paper and ball pens provided at said conference – something interesting, some original kind of work or an idea that will be worth developing. like this weekend. i added to my to do list for the day: buy plenty refills for black ball pens. something’s coming.

thou shall not confuse night with darkness

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After all those years of quiet desperation spent in the library it finally occurred to them that the meaning of the phrases they had taken to be metaphorical actually was to be understood literally. One of them said it, said it twice as if a discovery this horrendous and yet simple and elegant, had to be given a reflecting twin to cast light into the darkness of their ignorance. One of them instantly began to tear at the fine web of cross references and foot notes he had been weaving patiently for years and without ever questioning the worthiness of this pursuit, but they were like angel hair or glass wool and cut his hands with fine sharp lines out of which blood emerged like red pearls on a string. “I shall not be told convinced” he blurted out, not holding back now, “All those weeks, months, even years, sitting in the dark like a toad, with my skin starting to resemble the parchment  of the oldest books we had delivered from unknown depths of the library, all that knowledge I have assembled in my humble brain that has me compete with the most elaborate encyclopedias of this library, all this weaving and threading of letters, words, meaning, phrases is to be ridiculed by a simple, single and singular shining truth. What of the darkness that we have illuminated with stray thoughts of meaning, what of the wondrous glimmer of an insight long desired and yet so small that it is like a single candle flicker in a great hall. What of its beauty and possibilities? Look at your single truth that already shines into every corner now that you have unlocked its secret, that leaves no shadow, no desire, no discovery, no randomness and outshines all my small beautiful candles. How am I supposed to live with something so simple and shining when I have dedicated my whole life to the complex, hidden, wondrous discovery of paradox answers, when I love the darkness in which a single light shines, when i am a creature of the night and dedicated to a pursuit without hope? How am I to rise out of my darkness into this shining, merciless light?” And he began crying miserably, holding his bloodied hands out as if he was asking for a charitable donation, and the others looked on in silence.