|the artist acts like a mediumistic being who, from the labyrinth beyond time and space, seeks his way out to a clearing.|
|I want a trouble-maker for a lover,|
Blood spiller, blood drinker, a heart of flame,
Who quarrels with the sky and fights with fate,
Who burns like fire on the rushing sea.
From Rumi’s Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi
|Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.|
--W. H. Auden
|Do You Realize - that you have the most beautiful face|
Do You Realize - we're floating in space
Do You Realize - that happiness makes you cry
Do You Realize - that everyone you know someday will die
And instead of saying all of your goodbyes - let them know
You realize that life goes fast
It's hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun doesn't go down
It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round
Do You Realize - that you have the most beautiful face
|The best things in life are not things.|
In a business of massive ego and terrible behavior directed at slicing and dicing their competition, Leonard Nimoy was known as a total gentleman, a class act all the way and a consummate professional at every turn.
For several generations around the globe he will be forever “Mr. Spock,” the half-human, half-Vulcan first officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise, a United Federation starship exploring distant galaxies on television’s cult phenomenon, Star Trek (1966–69). His first autobiography was, “I Am Not Spock” (1975) and his second, “I Am Spock” (1995). Leonard Nimoy, who died today February 27, 2015, was both Spock and artist and so much more. His multi-faceted life in the arts reflected the 1960s–era of radical cultural flux and personal self-discovery that changed America and the world.
Star Trek was created and produced in the mid-1960s by Gene Roddenberry who, as a U.S. Army Air Force pilot in WWII, survived the crash of a B-17E Flying Fortress and flew 89 combat missions, earning him the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal. Star Trek would be one of the last pop culture entertainments reflecting America’s post-WWII public presumption that American intervention, even military, was always unquestionably a force for good in foreign conflicts worldwide. American science & technology, “enterprise,” democracy and basic goodness were on the march to save the world. The Vietnam War and Watergate scandal would soon shatter this grand illusion.
Nimoy’s “Spock” alter ego on Star Trek was of mixed heritage.
His mother was a human. His father was a Vulcan. In the world of Star Trek, the original main “tribes” of players were the humanoid good guys of the United Federation of Planets. The Vulcans were an alien race who had managed to suppress all emotion from their psyches as a way to avert destructive violence. The Vulcans were usually allied with the Federation. The Romulans originated as a rebel group of Vulcans who rejected the suppression of emotions. They shared the same ultra-logical, ultra-intellectual mindset as the Vulcans, but they could be politically devious and often went in and out of alliance with the Federation in the struggle to defend the universe against the Klingons, the pure evil nemesis race. Spock’s half-human/half-Vulcan no-nonsense personality, only occasionally evincing emotion in a rare moment of concern for Captain Kirk or an even rarer smile, made for moments of wonderful comic relief. Spock became an international pop icon of the scientific explorer leading humanity into the future.
After Star Trek’s cancelation in 1969 and before its resurrection in syndicated reruns and sci-fi conventions, Nimoy became a regular on Mission: Impossible and appeared in numerous other television shows.
He also won acclaim for his roles on stage, including productions of Vincent, Fiddler on the Roof, The Man in the Glass Booth and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
As an artist, Nimoy was not satisfied by only acting in only acting on television, in films and on stage, as well as directing other actors. He parlayed his fame as “Spock” into getting published as a poet and performing regular public readings of his poems. His final book of poetry, A Lifetime of Love: Poems on the Passages of Life, was published in 2002. Trekkies wanting to check out his poetry are encouraged to visit the online Contemporary Poets index of The HyperTexts. Nimoy’s poems are simple, accessible and mostly about moments in the experience of loving and being loved.
people we love
and strangers too
are shedding tears
sad and dusty streets
your hand touches mine
and comforts me
love is the beginning
and the end
Nimoy’s life-long interest in photography manifested itself in two controversial coffee table edition publications of his portraiture.
Shekhina, published in 2005 is a celebration of Jewish femininity and sensuality — Nimoy’s intent being to cut across stereotypes of “cold” Jewish women. Defenders of the faith seemed to be more offended by Nimoy’s acceptance of “Shekhina” as a legitimate goddess in the Jewish pantheon than by the nudity in most the photos. The Full Body Project (2007) took Nimoy’s objective of redefining female beauty to a new level with a series of portraits of full-figure females in classic nude poses.
After its cancellation, Roddenberry continued to lobby Paramount for a revival of Star Trek as a feature film, pointing to the reruns’ success in worldwide syndication and then the Star Wars sensation in 1977. The success of Close Encounters of the Third Kind finally got Paramount to relent. Star Trek: The Motion Picture was a moderate success but suffered from a script that was a couple notches too “hard sci-fi” in plotting, dealing with an Earth-launched space probe that achieves full A.I. sentience. It seeks to return to its Earthly creator (as humans yearn to reunite with God?), and is killing everybody who gets in the way of this reunion. Nevertheless, the film did well enough to get a second one greenlighted – and Leonard Nimoy would return as Spock on the big screen in the six Star Trek sequels that featured the original TV series characters. Nimoy would direct two of these sequels as well.
When Paramount decided to “reboot” their Star Trek film franchise with new actors replacing the TV series’ iconic players, there was great trepidation about fan response. But J.J. Abrams managed to work his magic in capturing the tenor and excitement of the original shows – and the ghostly cameo of Leonard Nimoy as “Spock Prime” sealed the deal with fans, who gave their fulsome approval to the relaunch. The sequel, 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness, would again feature a “Spock Prime” cameo – and be Leonard Nimoy’s final appearance in a film.
Leonard Nimoy was an actor who never stopped pursuing other forms of artistic expression, most of which he had some success with. His singing career was ridiculed by critics and fans alike, but he persisted in trying, anyway. In the space of two decades between volumes of autobiography, he was forced to reconcile himself to his persona being, in fact, part “Spock,” forever, whether he liked it or not. The poet in him finally accepted and embraced the proposition.
He was a talented actor, director and photographer. He was an artist’s artist.
I have worn more masks than I can remember
I have been a face without a name
And when like you I ask the final question
Who on earth am I supposed to be
I always come full circle to the answer, me, only me…always me
Live long and prosper.
Jim Henson created the group of puppets back in 1955 for his first TV show, called “Sam and Friends.” Henson said the term Muppet had emerged from a combination of “marionette” and “puppet.” Henson’s wildly imagined collection of characters has been delighting children and adults with their absurd antics and comedic sketches ever since.
Muppets are not born in a day. They are carefully created through an extensive and creative process. Once the molding of the Muppet is complete, the real work begins. The puppeteers or “Muppet performers” can take up to a year to develop their characters and voices. A Muppet may be passed around to different puppeteers until they find their “perfect human–Muppet match.” You may have noticed almost all the Muppets are left–handed. That’s because the puppeteers operate the head with their right hand and operate the arm rod with their left hand.
Kermit the Frog started his life as a lizard and eventually his character evolved into a frog. Miss Piggy was based on the singer Peggy Lee. In 1979, Miss Piggy’s puppeteer Frank Oz opened up to the New York Times about her rough childhood. He stated “She grew up in a small town in Iowa; her father died when she was young, and her mother wasn’t that nice to her. She had to enter beauty contests to survive, as many single women do. She has a lot of vulnerability which she has to hide, because of her need to be a superstar.”
Other famous inspirations for the Muppets include The Who’s Keith Moon, whom Animal (the drummer) is based on, Elton John, who inspired Electric Mayhem leader Dr. Teeth, and even Mick Jagger’s lips, which served as the model for Electric Mayhem’s guitarist Janice. Dustin Hoffman’s character in “Midnight Cowboy” was the inspiration behind Rizzo the Rat.
Muppets “Statler” and “Waldorf” get their names from the New York City hotels The Statler Hilton (now the Hotel Pennsylvania) and the Waldorf–Astoria Hotel.
Fozzie the Bear was named after Fraz Fazakas, the puppeteer who helped create the system that allowed Fozzie to wiggle his ears. Rowlf the dog was originally created for a Purina Dog Chow commercial in 1962 and soon after rose to fame on The Jimmy Dean Show.
During his life Jim Henson created over 200 Muppets with several of those rising to celebrity like status. His other well–known Muppets have starred in Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock. While their creator is no longer with us, The Muppets will live on to bring joy to all who tune in for a Muppet show. It’s not easy waiting for the next Muppet installment so while you hold tight for their next adventure to be announced, enjoy this wonderful collection of Muppet fan art.
I don’t care what you think of me, unless you think I’m awesome. In which case you are right.”
Here’s some simple advice: always be yourself. Never take yourself too seriously. And beware the advice from experts, pigs, and members of Parliament.”
It seems the words on my coffee mug are right: ‘It is hard to soar with Eagles when you work with turkeys’.”
What should you do if someone gives you a large boulder as a present? Take it for granite! Wocka! Wocka!”
Oh, I tell ya, Camilla, great plumbers are born, not made! I’m the prince of plungers, fair maiden!”
Well, how do you like the film?
I’ve seen detergents that leave a better film than this.”
Fans sadly bid adieu to the The Legend of Korra series as its run on Nickelodeon came to a close this past December. A sequel to the popular Avatar: The Last Airbender, the series takes place 70 years after Avatar and follows 17 year old Korra as she tries to master the last element needed to become a full Avatar.
The Legend of Korra debuted in 2012 and pushed the boundaries of children’s television by featuring more mature topics touching on violence, race, sexual orientation, and politics.
In the show’s very first season a character was killed on screen in the season finale, leading to it being pulled from the Saturday morning lineup for being too dark.
Our lead character, Korra, is a strong, brave heroine of color — something still not all that common in film or television. And while the show doesn’t take place in our world, it still incorporates Eastern influences and ideas from other cultures.
The once romantic rivals Korra and Asami, whose relationship had evolved over the course of the show, are shown holding hands in the exact same pose as Aang and Katara kissing at the end of The Last Airbender. While the showrunners didn’t go that far, it was clear that this pair was more than just friends — something no other children’s show has been as explicit about.
From a political side, through its storylines the show has tackled fascism via Kuvira and weapons of mass destruction via the Spirit Weapon, among other topics. Keeping with its Eastern influences, The Legend of Korra, while not mentioning religion, does foster the values of balance and mindfulness.
All of these are very serious topics for a child–oriented show and have definitely pushed the boundaries of where children's programing can go. The Legend of Korra ultimately taught us through Korra’s journey about embracing the sides of ourselves that are awkward and that we may not be comfortable with. The lesson is about self–acceptance.
While The Legend of Korra series may be over and the future of more Avatar series is still uncertain, we can still enjoy these beloved characters in the flesh. Cosplayers from around the world have joined their talents to bring the world of Avatar to life. So whether you’re a fire bender, water bender, earth bender, air bender or a full avatar, get ready to enjoy a gallery of Avatartastic cosplay.
It’s all right. People usually assume that I’m daddy’s helpless little girl, but I can handle myself.”
We are perfect for each other! She’s strong, I’m strong. She’s fun, I’m fun. She’s beautiful… I’m GORGEOUS!”
I’m impressed. No one has ever gotten the better of me like that. It is almost a shame to take the bending of someone so talented. ALMOST.”
The key is to be like the leaf, flow… with the movement of the gates. Airbending is all about spiral movements. When you meet resistance, you must be able to switch directions at a moments notice.”
Yeah, but I don’t know why. The other elements came so easily to me, but every single time I’ve tried Airbending [sticks out her tongue] nothing.”
I’m happy to help any way I can. I want these Equalists to pay for what they’ve done.”
And now for the grand tour! The Flying Bison sleeps in those caves down there. And that’s the temple grandpa Aang built. And that’s the green house that we grow the vegetables we eat.”
They knew there would be no escaping the security measures of the Arizona “llama ranch” where they were incarcerated, spending their days growing out their woolen coats, greatly valued by hipster trendsetters. They received no benefit from their wool, expropriated with no recompense by their rancher overlords. They were allowed to live so long as the quality of their wool remained high. But there would be no stud farm retirement. Just a visit from the llama meat vendor.
So the break for freedom would have to happen at the weakest link in “llama control.”
The three comrades feigned illness to get loaded onto the trailer for a trip to the “animal therapist.” Nights had been spent sneaking into the barn to chew on the trailer door lock, weakening it enough to be busted open with a single mighty llama kick. At Third and Main, Bennie kicked open the door at a red light. He and Che then hit the asphalt running. But Larry froze with fear, cowering in the trailer. The plan was to follow the freeways after dark into Mexico, and then continue south, eventually hooking up with the L.R.M. (Llama Resistance Movement) in the mountains in Peru. It was not to be. Dozens of Llama Patrol special agents appeared and converged on the rebel runners.
Bennie and Che failed this day. But their cause lives on. Their few moments of freedom in the sun will long be recounted around llama campfires.
Back in our early days supporting application skins, staff and superdeviants also spent time on Winamp, which, historically, really whips the llama's @$$. The whimsical, woolen creature easily made its way into DeviantArt's farmland, and the rest is history. In 2005, an oversized llama emoticon burst dramatically on the scene when it was added to our chat network. Everyone either loved or hated it, but one thing became clear: DeviantArt has a weird thing for llamas.
In 2010, an April Fool's event kicked off the ability for deviants to gift llama badges unto each other, because why not? Llamas have been spitting their way into the hearts of millions ever since.
To do this, visit the Profile Page of the deviant of your choice, click “Give” in the top right corner, and select “Give a Llama Badge.”
You might think that the two artists, who both lived in Florence in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, could’ve learned from one another, shared secrets, or otherwise bonded over their mutual passion. Instead, each thought of the other as inferior. An anonymous Florentine author, known as the Anonimo Magliabechiano, observed a tense interaction between them that left an impression. Supposedly, some men were gathered debating a passage from Dante when they spotted Da Vinci walking by. The men waved Da Vinci over to them, his reputation for intelligence preceding him. As they began to pose their question about the writing, Michelangelo came passing by.
What happened next (and whether or not it happened at all) is up for debate, but the writer maintains that Da Vinci pointed to Michelangelo and said that he could explain the passage. Michelangelo, perceiving a slight, offered a gruff rebuttal: “You explain it yourself, you who designed a horse to be cast in bronze but couldn’t cast it and abandoned it in shame.” For the sake of charity, let’s assume that some of the humor of this exchange gets lost in translation; either way, it proves that neither of the artists were gifted insult comics.
Despite the wildly tangential nature of Michelangelo’s retort, it seems to have hit Da Vinci where it hurt. The writer: “Leonardo remained there, his face turning red.”
Whether or not this exchange took place, it is meant to be an emblematic example of the uneasy relationship between the two men. Moreover, there is plenty of compelling historical evidence that the feud between the artists was widely known. Case in point, the Florentine government commissioned Da Vinci and Michelangelo to paint frescoes at the Council Hall of the battles of Anghiari and Cascina, respectively, in the same year. Giorgio Vasari, a major historian from the era, makes it clear that this was meant to be a contest. Jonathan Jones, author of a book on the rivalry between Da Vinci and Michelangelo entitled The Lost Battles, illustrates this point. The Florentine government was betting that both artists would seek to outdo the other, and that the city would reap the benefits in the form of great civic artwork.
This one was unspoken, and the title at stake was Most Realistic Work of Art. This contest pits Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa up against Michelangelo’s David. Modern viewers have to make some allowances on Da Vinci’s behalf. Though it has been faded and damaged over time, Mona Lisa was making Da Vinci famous from the time that it was just a drawing. Many of his contemporaries hailed it as the most realistic painting ever created. On the other hand, even amateur art historians know the significance of David where lifelike sculptures are concerned. Jones never declares a winner between the two masters or their works. He simply points to the historical outcome.
Two years after being commissioned to paint the council hall in Florence, Michelangelo was invited to Rome to assume patronage under Pope Julius II.
This invitation would lead, conspicuously, to Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling paintings, as well as many other prominent works. One account had Michelangelo burning all his initial sketches for the Sistine Chapel, wanting people to think that what they were seeing was his improvised first draft, his every brushstroke guided by angelic agency. Meanwhile Da Vinci kicked around northern Italy before moving to France to live out the last years of his life, never having completed the Mona Lisa or his Council Hall painting to satisfaction.
The Feud between Da Vinci and Michelangelo seems frivolous at best, especially when you consider that the contest it inspired didn’t lead to a single viewable work of art (the closest today’s art connoisseur can come is seeing copies of the concepts made by Peter Paul Rubens and Bastiano da Sangallo, respectively). That being said, rivalries between prominent contemporary artists are extremely common throughout history, and it’s impossible to quantify the extent to which competition has fueled or inspired new work.
But imagine, just for fun, what if Michelangelo and Da Vinci had been friends instead of rivals. You might reasonably conjecture that they’d have been commissioned to paint their Battles as partners instead of in competition. And perhaps we’d have one spectacular fresco, still intact in Florence, rather than the two incomplete, failed paintings that exist only as stillbirths crippled by vanity and jealousy.
Current Residence: A Peaceful State|
deviantWEAR sizing preference: L
Print preference: As Big As Possible.
Favourite genre of music: Rock. Jazz(Hard Bop). Blues. 80's Metal. Tribal(Aboriginal thru Electronic). Classical.Troubado
Favourite photographer: Sebastio Salgado. Richard Mapplethorpe. Walker Evans. Weegee.
Favourite style of art: Post-impressionist. Abstract-expressionist. The New Digital Vanguard. Contemporary fantasy.
Operating System: OSX
MP3 player of choice: Shuffle
Shell of choice: Any Conch will do.
Wallpaper of choice: French Louis XIV Rococo Style
Skin of choice: Thick enough to persevere and thin enough to feel.