Gaudy Gods

Artemis and Me

In the Archeological Museum of Paros, there is a statue of Artemis from her sanctuary at the Parian Delion. It’s dated 360 BC and was discovered in 1899. And, like most all of the Greek statues I’ve seen, it’s white.

When thinking of classical antiquity, neon white marble generally comes to mind. But ancient Greek statues were actually polychrome and the color stripped away by time. Some of these statues were discovered during the Renaissance and were, obviously, colorless and white.  So Michelangelo and his contemporaries just assumed that the statues had been white all along. Thus Neo-Classical aesthetics were based on wrong assumptions. Art historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann helped to perpetuated this myth.  He wrote: “The whiter the body is, the more beautiful it is as well.” Later on, some art historians claimed that the statues were originally painted and, subsequently, were treated as quacky eccentrics.

In the exhibition “Gods in Color”, German archaeologist Vinzenz Brinkmann presents vividly painted plaster copies of famous statues to show how they were intended to be. Many people have difficulties accepting the color because, for many, white is elegant but color is kitsch. However, say Brinkmann, color gave the statues vitality and an erotic energy that the Greeks were seeking.

Sometimes, because we’ve based our ideas on misconceptions, we are not only disorientated by the truth but regard it with hostility. When paradigms are pulverized, we lose our balance. We prefer to continue with our old beliefs because it’s a stress to reconfigure mental habits.

The earth is still flat.


Related: True Colors…Archaeologist Vinzenz Brinkmann’s colored reproductions of ancient Greek sculptures +  Archaeological Museum of Paros + Black Athena by Martin Bernal

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I collect clippings.  Some are from my neighbors but most are secretly stolen from plants I see when taking walks….SNIP SNIP SNIP.  Maybe it is A Very Naughty Thing to do.  But I prefer to see it as a way of spreading beauty and joy.

The clippings are then placed in jars of water and kept on the front porch until they start to root. At present I’m rooting basil, sage, mint, honeysuckle, bougainvillea, pomegranate and jasmine.

The propagation of beauty shouldn’t be limited just to plants.

Smiles are like clippings that cultivate goodwill. The more you smile, the more others will smile in return.

So let’s take a walk in a garden of smiles!


Related: Bebina Bunny: Aphorism #1    +    The Untapped Power Of Smiling

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Apricots and Amaretto

Apricots and their Seeds

Apricot season has begun and my neighbor’s tree is full of fruit. We save the seeds so we can crack them open for the kernels that we then crush and add to sugar cookie dough. The famous Italian amaretto liquer and cookies are  made using these kernels. Apricot kernels are also used in soaps.

There is controversy as to the dangers of eating apricot kernels.  They contain amygdalin that can cause cyanide poisoning.  But research also indicates that the kernels help fight cancer.

As always, moderation is the rule.  So, with some self-restraint, we will continue to eat our amaretto style cookies!


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Critique Sheet #4 The Decisive Moment

Ζωοδόχου Πηγής

Identification of the Moment: in front of the Church Ζωοδόχου Πηγής (Zoodocho Piyis) in Parikia, Paros; May 2017

Description: a desaturated colored digital photograph of the church that faces the beach of Kato Yialo empty save for two children walking by.

Analysis: compared to color, black and white photographs facilitate concentrating on form and composition.  Because color demands a lot of attention.

Ζωοδόχου Πηγής

Interpretation: desaturation of the foto brought Henri Cartier-Bresson to mind as his photos were often of  people within a strong architectural context. Man made geometry has no meaning if it doesn’t include man himself.

Conclusion: like Cartier-Bresson, we need to select those Decisive Moments worth preserving  and, photographing them with our mind, help them last forever.


related: Iconic Photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson Takes You Inside His Creative World + Cartier-Bresson, Decisive Moments Catalogue + The Decisive Moment Article in International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies by John Suler · December 2012
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Critique Sheet #3

Horizon Line Paros

Identification of the Moment: Parian Coast, looking west, May 2017

Description: a digital foto taken of the horizon line as seen from the offing of Parikia.

Analysis: there are clouds and waves but the foto is dominated by the horizon line. The word “horizon” comes from the Greek verb ὁρίζω (orizo) meaning “to divide or to separate”.  It is an illusionary boundary that separates the sea from the sky. In fact, the picture is divided into two.

Horizon Line Paros

Linear perspective, so popular with Renaissance artists, used the horizon line as a point of departure. A vanishing point was established providing the juncture for  converging parallel lines. But  parallel lines by definition cannot converge. Thus perspective is a representation of reality but not reality itself…a lie meant to represent the truth.

Interpretation: The horizon symbolizes a far away destination many dream of reaching. But the horizon is an unkempt promise –it is only an illusion thus impossible to reach.

Conclusion: The horizon is a meeting place but also a boundary.

Distance distorts perception.


For further exploration:  For Nietsche, all horizons are man-made… The Horizon Concept in Nietzsche’s Philosophy +  Nietsche on Drinking Up the Sea


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Critique Sheet #2

La Sussurrata Terrace

Identification of the Moment: Morning view from bathroom window, La Sussurrata, May 2017

Description: A colored foto showing a bougainvillea and a naked pergola. The purple flowers dominate the picture.

Analysis: the picture was taken from inside a window.  However, there is another “frame” created by the walls, pergola and tree trunk. There is really no focal point unless you focus on the opening in the middle that is the point of departure for some radial symmetry.

La Sussurrata Terrace

Interpretation: we could say that this image is about furnishing the frame. About A Room With A View.

The view from a window can influence our mood. Because what’s outside the window is a promise of how we can interact with the world around us. And starting the day with the view above can only produce positive expectations.

Conclusion: the frame is a container waiting for you to decide if you’re are going to live inside or outside of it.


For an example of radial symmetry in a painting, see Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s Deutsch: Nollendorfplatz 

And many thanks to EVERLASTING BLORT for having named me Blort Site of the Day!

previous Critique:  Critique Sheet for Every Day Life

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Insect Repellent

Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis was published in 1915.  It’s  the story of Gregor Samsa who wakes up one morning and realizes he’s become a giant insect.  Before being a bug, Gregor provided for his family by working as a traveling salesman. Unable to work now, Gregor’s  famiy now sees him as a burden.

Gregor, now an insect, can no longer speak.  Unable to express himself, his way of thinking changes.  Realizing that he is unwanted, Gregor dies.  Kafka doesn’t explain what was the cause of this metamorphosis, but the reason why seems fairly obvious.  Gregor hated his life because it made him feel like he was worth little more than an insect.  So he was.

Your thoughts determine the life you have. Therefore, before turning into a giant bug myself, I’m going to initiate some  intentional transformations and will myself into being what I want to be—like being happy. More than something magical, often happiness is just a result of practicing the right kinds of habits. The standard blueprint towards any self-imposed transformation takes energy. And to have energy, one needs exercise, diet and enough sleep. Plus dancing daily helps, too!




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