A few days ago I talked about two women I met in Atlanta that were working hard to make their dreams and/or business’ a success I have one more such story for you.

Last Friday was my final full day in Atlanta and as my wife and I didn’t have time go to the Coca Cola museum on Tuesday as we had planned (CNN took much longer than we expected) Vinnie, my wife and I found ourselves once again on MARTA on the way to Atlanta proper.

One of the great disadvantages of the cellphone age is that if you spend all your time looking down at the phone for fear of missing something on the net you can miss interesting people, things or events that happen around you that unlike the internet can’t just be brought up to view later.

Like Sekondi Landry

During our trip while Vinnie and I were gabbing away and DaWife was valiantly putting up with us a young man came onto the subway and stood by the front wall. He seemed no different than another other such young man we had seen except for the fact he didn’t have a wire coming out of his ear.

For 2018 that was a significant difference but a few seconds later he demonstrated what was really unique about himself when he reached into his bag and produced two drawings and placed them over the corner of a pair of advertisements on the train.

The first drawing on the right wasn’t bad at all but the drawing on the left I thought was really good and Vinnie agreed even going so far as to compare it to a certain one eared artist.

I was intrigued, and spoke to him. His name was Secondi he didn’t go to art school, in fact he was getting his GED but had been drawing since 10 and decided he was sick of the various ads he saw on the train and thought he’d put up some of his work.

I loved the idea as it contrasted from a graffiti artist who has to deface what already exists without permission. I pulled out my camera and talked to the young man and recorded a brief interview

So here was a nice little story about a young man He had a dream of being an artist, with a little of his work. a great little subway story to add to the site.

But the story wasn’t over

A few minutes later he switched out his drawings. The new on on the right was of a foot and sneaker and didn’t impress me, the one of the left however was, in my opinion at least as good as the first I admired and that’s when something extrodinary happened.

Another fellow came on the train, noticed the drawing and instantly took a liking to it and asked if he was interested in selling it. Sekondi was and out came the video camera.

Now I don’t know if Sekondi Landry will someday become a household word, or if his art will ever be famous or even if one of the many companies that put good graphic designers to use might someday snatch up Sekondi, or even if those who read this blog might disagree with my high opinion of his work but I do know this. On Sept 7th 2018 Sekondi Landry managed to prove that his artwork was good enough that someone coming on a subway presumably without the intention to locate or buy a drawing was impressed enough to pay cash for it.

That’s a real milestone that, no matter what the future holds can never be taken away and it’s a great American story.

Remember this signature, someday you might find it in a gallery near you.


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Deplorable Baskets are the coolest things that I have seen in a long time, and they are attached to neon green (my favorite color) rental bicycles! Via The American Mirror:

Just when you think Los Angeles street artist Sabo can’t top himself, he ups his game.

The artist recently posted several photos on Facebook showing his latest work: “Basket of Deplorables” branding on the front of rental bikes.

The ingenious art shows a skull smoking a cigarette with Donald Trump’s signature hair and “Trump 2020”:

“Basket of Deplorables” refers to the derogatory term Hillary Clinton used to describe “half” of Donald Trump’s supporters late in the campaign.

The term, which many saw as an unforced error, became a badge of honor for Trump supporters.

MORE

H/T: iOTWReport.com

Now, I am too old and crippled up for much bike riding, and I live in a rural area where bikes are salvaged from other people’s trash rather than rented from a city bike renting outlet (or whatever they call them), but, those bikes sure are pretty! I hope Sabo will put similar baskets up for sale somewhere and I can attach ’em to some of the wheeled things that we have hanging around ye olde woodland shack.

*******

MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals. 

John “Lee” Ruberry of Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent Seven.

By John Ruberry

Last week President Trump released his proposed fiscal 2018 budget. Not included in it was funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The left, which dominates the arts, responded predictably, acting as if art itself was being attacked.

Sit down and breathe deeply. Close your eyes. Now relax. If the NEA and the NEH disappear–there will still be art. Even after eight years of economic dormancy under Barack Obama, the United States is still a fabulously wealthy nation with plenty of disposable income, some of which will of course be spent on the arts.

Do you feel better now? Good. I knew you would.

Art is everywhere. In fact it’s right in front of you now–my post at Da Tech Guy and all of the others here are artistic endeavors, albeit not funded by the federal government.

Yes, the NEA and the NEH, as far as I know, no longer funds exhibitions of Robert Mapplethorpe photographs showing genitalia of pre-pubescent girls or a display of Piss Christ, but this Great Society mutation of royal patronage of the arts–didn’t we fight a revolution against a king?–makes little cultural or economic sense, as George Will explains.

David Marcus, artistic director of a Brooklyn-based theater project and senior contributor to The Federalist, says the NEA produces “perverse market incentives” that explain why many arts institutions “are failing badly at reaching new audiences, and losing ground.”

“Many theater companies, even the country’s most ‘successful,’ get barely 50 percent of their revenue from ticket sales. Much of the rest comes from tax-deductible donations and direct government grants. This means that the real way to succeed as an arts organization is not to create a product that attracts new audiences, but to create a product that pleases those who dole out the free cash. The industry received more free money than it did a decade ago, and has fewer attendees.”

The arts community is incestuous, especially within its foundations and boardrooms. You scratch my Cubist back and I’ll massage your western yodeling feet. You’ve heard of crony capitalism. There is also crony arts.

As usual, I don’t have to look beyond my own grossly mismanaged state of Illinois–when we had budgets they made about as much sense as a Jackson Pollock painting–to find an example of cronyism in practice. The Illinois Arts Council Agency, which as you can tell by its name, is a state agency and it is a recipient of National Endowment for the Arts cash. It was founded in 1965, which not coincidentally, was when the NEA began. The chair of the Illinois Arts Council Agency is Shirley Madigan, the wife of state House Speaker and Illinois Democratic Party Boss Michael Madigan. Their daughter is Lisa Madigan, Illinois’ attorney general.

The Illinois Arts Council Agency boasts that nearly 100 percent of the state’s legislative districts receives some IACA funding. It’s all about spreading the wealth around. As for those legislative districts, the geographic contortion created by Michael Madigan’s gerrymandering just might be worthy enough to be put on display at the Art Institute of Chicago adjacent to those Pollock-esque state budgets, but that’s another matter.

The NEA and the NEH also operates under the same spread-the-favors-around–I mean wealth, mindset–which is why defenders of these groups cite federal funding for events such as the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Nevada and the Hip Hop Initiative in North Carolina as justification for these agencies.

Blogger on a self-funded trip to the Vicksburg battlefield

The NEH provided funding for Ken Burns’ acclaimed 1990 Civil War documentary that was broadcast on PBS, which is another success boasted by supporters of the NEH. Oh, Trump’s budget wants to eliminate for that network as well as NPR. Have you seen Burns’ Civil War? It’s fabulous. But what of the money for sales of Ken Burns’ Civil War book, or the Civil War DVDs and CDs? Or Civil War digital downloads? How much does the federal government get from those sales?

How much does Ken Burns collect?

Sure, NEA and NEH funding is a very small piece of federal spending–$148 million is the expenditure for this year. But proper budgeting means saying “No” a lot. America is wealthy–but not infinitely so.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

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Back in the late 1920s, René Magritte painted a smoking pipe, and under it, in neat calligraphy, wrote, “Ceci n’est pas une pipe.”, French for “This is not a pipe.”

He titled the painting La trahison des images (The Treachery of Images), meaning that it is a painting of a pipe, not an actual pipe you can smoke from.

Well enough.

From the curator’s note at the LACMA (emphasis added),

Magritte’s word-image paintings are treatises on the impossibility of reconciling words, images, and objects. La Trahison des images challenges the linguistic convention of identifying an image of something as the thing itself. At first, Magritte’s point appears simplistic, almost to the point of provocation: A painting of a pipe is not the pipe itself. In fact, this work is highly paradoxical. Its realistic style and caption format recall advertising, a field in which Magritte had worked. Advertisements, however, elicit recognition without hesitation or equivocation; this painting causes the viewer to ponder its conflicting messages.

I emphasize “this painting causes the viewer to ponder its conflicting messages,” because now, in our politically correct times, we are challenged to do exactly the opposite: To ignore conflicting messages, ponder nothing, and instead to blindly accept pernicious behavior for the sake of diversity.

One instance I came across recently is the middle-aged guy, father of seven children, from Toronto who does not “want to be an adult right now”, living instead as a six-year old girl.

For the multi-culti enlightened Liberal, any of us who are appalled/revulsed/disgusted at the spectacle, are bigoted, anti-LGBT homophobes. As such, we are to be censored, derided, shunned, muted. Our rights to freedom of thought and expression do not exist.

A few months ago, Stuart Schniederman, of the perfectly-named Had Enough Therapy? blog, stated,

To believe that Caitlyn Jenner is all-woman is to take leave of one’s rational faculties and dispense with all concern with fact… and with freedom.

As a free woman, I will stand out and exercise my right to free expression, and not only will I say that there’s a lot very wrong with the Toronto guy and his enablers, I, like Magritte, will go on pondering the conflicting messages bombarding us.

I invite you to do the same.

(Please also read my prior post on culture this week, The dark Satanic Mills)

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

Caecilius: Modern art. Out of the way, that’s it. Oh, Rombus, I’m a little bit peckish. Get me some ants in honey, there’s a good lad. Ooo, maybe a dormouse? What do you think?
Metella: You call it modern art, I call it a blooming great waste of space.

Doctor Who: The Fires of Pompeii 2008

Let’s say it bluntly, most modern art is junk and the people who choose to buy it are suckers. A great example of it is the sculpture The Queen’s Vagina:

qvma

That’s this monstrosity is considered art is bad, that it has been placed on the incredible grounds of Versailles (which are a work of art in themselves) is an offense against aesthetics and caused some fuss at the time of its installation. That people have decided to physically attack it however is an offence against property rights.

The “sclupture” was defaced (I use the word “defaced” loosely, since it’s hard to “deface” a piece of junk) by graffiti once but was cleaned, now it is has been hit for a 2nd time:

Phrases such as “Queen sacrificed, twice insulted” and “the second rape of the nation by deviant Jewish activism” covered the sculpture by the British-Indian artist.

However in the ultimate irony Mr. Kapoor has managed to use this event to transform his piece from the joke that it is to something more.

the 61-year-old British-Indian artist told the daily Le Figaro he would not restore the work as he did the first time, and instead would keep the “abominable words” as part of the sculpture.

“I had already questioned the wisdom of cleaning it after the first vandalism. This time, I am convinced that nothing should be removed from these slurs, from these words which belong to anti-Semitism that we’d rather forget,” Kapoor said.

“From now on, in the name of our universal principles, these abominable words will become part of my work, they will overlay it and stigmatize it.”

Congratulations Mr. Kapoor, you’ve managed by this gesture to transform a piece of junk into a statement about both freedom of expression and against anti-Semitism.

I still have no respect for you as an artist, but I have tremendous respect for you as a man.

Well done!

I speak to Ruthie Catino of Look Above / Canning Hunger at the Catholic Marketing Trade Show

Canning Hunger’s web site is here, their facebook page is here, their youtube page is here. If you want to order the sculpture in the video email them here.

The Canadian kid goes to Bogota, Colombia, indulges in misbehavior, gets away with it, and now the locals want to, too:  Justin Bieber’s visit to Bogota opened doors for Colombian graffiti artists. Well, pardon my old-fogieness, but “graffiti artist” is an oxymoron. Vandalism is what comes to mind. But, when you’re a celebrity who gets paid thousands of dollars, you get away with it,

The 19-year-old Canadian heartthrob gave a concert on an October night and then took to the streets of this capital, wearing a hoodie and spray-painting a Canadian maple leaf atop a marijuana leaf alongside a tribute to his dead hamster, Pac. It all happened under the watchful eye of the metropolitan police, whose officers served as security detail.

Now the Colombian authorities have to deal with hundreds of “street artists” doing their thing not only in Bogota, but also in Cali, Medellin and other big Colombian cities – with others in smaller cities sure to join in.

What happened next? For one, Bogota outlined sanctions for defacing public property.

And Justin, who was told that, when he returns to Colombia, he may have to give a free concert for children (so the little kids may get to see him up close as a role model?), went on to Brazil, where he spray-painted the walls of Rio de Janeiro’s Hotel Nacional:

At this rate, he may get a show at the Whitney Museum in New York.

I approve.

A great nation should be able to bluntly say things as they are, and describe the past as it was. Rockwell’s painting did so.

Of course, somebody needs to tell Joe Biden that this whole “saying things as they are” bit also applies to our rivals, friends and enemies as well.