Tag Archives: art

Japanese zen art – just go away

Japanese zen spiral -- it's a cartoon about meditation. It looks like a monk and a spiral, and note that both ends point inward.

Japanese zen spiral — it’s a cartoon about meditation. It looks like a monk and a spiral, and note that both ends point inward. Cute.

The purpose of art is not generally to show the world as it is, but to show a new, better way to look at the world. As such, my take on Japanese zen art, is that it is a very cool, fun way to say “just go away.” What follows are some nice (to my eyes) examples, with my commentary.

As with most Japanese art, the zen art looks simpler and more free-form than western religious art. In a sense that is true: there are far fewer lines, but the paintings take as long to make, to a good estimate, since they only appear to have been made with casual ease: flicks of the wrist and waves of the hand. In actuality the artist had a vision of what he wanted, and then made free-hand waving copy after copy until he had some correct, free-looking ones ready for delivery. Because of this, you can look for a meaning in every wiggle — something that you would not do with US free-form abstracts, or with religious paintings of the 1600s. Take daVinci’s last supper — the grand layout is clearly planned and meaningful, the details of the wrinkles, not really. With these, though, no detail is accidental, and the non-accidental sense, as I see it, is “just go away.”

Buddhist Master. I can imagine this work is effective at keeping guests from over-staying their welcome.

Buddhist Master. Art like this keeps away guests.

Take the spiral at left. It’s sort of cool, and claims to be an allusion to meditation. Mystic, no? As I look carefully a the spiral, the first remarkable thing I see is that it circles in on itself at both ends. At a simple level, I think that’s an allusion to the inward nature of meditation, but note that, at the top end of the coil there’s a wiggle that looks like a face. I take that to be a monk’s face, looking away. The geometry of the coil then suggests the legs and thighs of the rest of the monk (sitting?). If that’s the image (and I think it is) the fact that the monk is facing away from you, leaving you behind suggests to me that the owner has no desire to have you join him. I see nothing in this that would cause another person to want to meditate either. There is nothing attractively persuasive as in western religious art. Here’s an essay I wrote on meditation.

Perhaps it’s just me, but I also imagine these artists living on an industrial treadmill, making painting after painting in his shop and throwing most away because, for example, the monk’s back extended past the paper. Western expressionism also sometimes puts many paintings on a single canvas, but the hidden image stays, at least in a sort-of half shadow. And the wiggles strive to be less learned, even if the faces of some western religious art is distant –even more distant often. At right, above, you’ll find another popular zen-art approach. It shows a zen master in nearly full face. As with most zen art, the master (Buddha or a disciple) looks calm -ish with a sense of the put-upon, as if he were Christ carrying the cross of you being there. Perhaps the intent was to make you go off and meditate, or to see society as worthless, but I think the more-likely message in the master’s look is “why me Lord.” The master looks like he isn’t unhappy with life, just unhappy with you being there. I imagine that this work was placed in a noble’s living room or study for the same reason that many American today put up a picture of Yosemite Sam, sometimes (for those who don’t get art) “Keep Out! This means you.”

A monkey looks at the moon in a well. Don't touch, the moon seems to say.

A monkey looks at the moon in a well. Don’t touch, the moon seems to say.

As with the Warner-bros. classic, there is a flowing look to the brushwork, but a fair amount of detail. As with the Warner Bros. cartoon, the casual lines seem to serve the purpose of keeping the viewer from taking offense at the message. Sort of like, “Don’t go away mad, just go away.” Cool, but I also like Western cartooning.

As one last example, at left you’ll see a painting illustrating a zen parable. in this case it’s the parable of the monkey’s and the image of the moon. Shown is the moon’s reflection in the water of a well — moon is that big round face. A monkey is about to touch the moon-image, and as we can expect, when the monkey touches the image, it disappears. There are several understandings to be gained from this, e.g. that all is illusion (similar to Plato and his cave), or suggesting that it is better to look at life than to interact with it. Which is the main meaning? In this picture, my sense is that the moon seems put-upon, and afraid. Thus, the lesson I take from the picture is one of inaction: “don’t touch the reflection.” Once again, the choice to depict a frightened moon rather than an impassive one, seems to be the painter’s way of saying “please go away.” Very cool image, but as messages go, that’s the one I see in most Japanese zen art.

Robert Buxbaum, August 17, 2017. I’ve also written on surreal art (I like it a lot, and find it ‘funny’) and on Dada, and conceptual (I like it too, playfully meaningful, IMHO). If you like zen jokes (and who doesn’t) here’s a story of the Buddhist and the hot-dog vendor, and how many zen Buddhists does it take to change a lightbulb? Four. See why.

Edward Elric’s Flamel

Edward Elric, the main character of a wonderful Japanese manga, Full Metal Alchemist, wears an odd symbol on his bright-red cloak. It’s called a Flamel, a snake on a cross with a crown and wings above. This is the symbol of a famous French author and alchemist of the 1300s, Nicholas Flamel who appears also, tangentially, in Harry Potter for having made a philosopher’s stone. But where does the symbol come from?

Edward Elrich with Flammel on back.

Edward Elric wears a snake-cross, “Flamel” on his back.

s03_ama

Current symbol of the AMA

A first thought of a source is that this is a version of the Asclepius, the symbol of the American Medical Association. Asclepius was an ancient Greek doctor who, in 85 BC distinguished between chronic and acute disease, developed theories on diet and exercise, and cured parasitic snakes under the skin by wrapping them around a stick. In mythology, he was chosen to be ship’s doctor on Jason’s voyage, and was so good at curing that Hades told Zeus he revived the dead. Zeus then killed him and set him among the stars as a constellation (the snake-handler, visible in the winter sky between Scorpius and Hercules). Though the story shows some similarities to Full Metal Alchemist, the Asclepius symbol don’t look like Elric’s Flamel. Asclepius had two daughters, Hygeia (hygiene), and Panacea (drugs?); the cup of Hygeia, below, is similar to the Asclepius but not to Ed’s Flamel.

The cup of Hygia, the symbol of pharmacy.

The cup of Hygeia, the symbol of pharmacy.

Staff of Hermes, symbol of the AMA till 2005

Staff of Hermes, symbol of the AMA till 2005

Another somewhat-similar symbol is the Caduceus, symbol of Hermes/ Mercury, left. It was the symbol of the AMA until 2005, and it has wings, but there are two snakes, not one, and no cross or crown. The AMA switched from the Caduceus when they realized that Hermes was not a god of healing, but of merchants, liars, and thieves. Two snakes fighting each other is how the Greeks viewed business. The wings are a symbol of speed. The AMA, it seems, made a Freudian mistake picking this symbol, but it seems unlikely that Flamel made the same mistake.

The true source of the Flamel, I think, is the Bible. In Numbers 21:8-9, the Jews complain about the manna in the desert, and God sends fiery serpents to bite them. Moses prays and is told to put a bronze snake on staff as a cure – look upon it and you are healed. While one might assume the staff was a plain stick like the Asclepius, it might have been a cross. This opinion appears on a German, coin below. The symbol lacks wings and a crown. Still, it’s close to the Flamel. To get the crown and wings, we can turn to the New Testament, John 3:16-17. “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of man must be lifted up … “that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life.” The quote seems to suggest that the snake itself was being lifted up, to holiness perhaps or to Devine service. In either case, this quote would explain the crown and wings as an allusion to Jesus.

German coin, 1500s showing Jesus, a snake and cross on one side. Christ on the other. Suggests two sides of the same.

German “taller” coin, 1500s showing Jesus on the cross on one side, a snake on the cross on the other. Suggests two sides of the same holiness.

I should mention that Flamel’s house is the oldest still standing in Paris, and that it contains a restaurant — one that would be nice to visit. Flamel died in 1418. His tomb has this symbol but was found to be empty. A couple of other odds and ends: the snake on the cross also appears in a horror story, the curse of the white worm, by Bram Stoker. In the story (and movie), it seems there are serpent-worshipers who believe it was the serpent who died for our sins. If you re-read the lines from John, and take the word “Him” to refer to the serpent, you’d get backing for this view. Edward might have adopted this, either as part of his mission, or just for the hell of it. The following exchange might back up Ed’s desire to be controversial.

Roy: I thought you didn’t believe in gods, Full metal.

Edward: I don’t. That’s the thing. I think they can tell, and it pisses them off.

salvation-army

As for the color red, the color may allude to blood and or fire. In this direction, the Salvation Army symbol includes a red “S” on a cross with a crown and the words “Blood and Fire.” In the manga, life-blood and fire appear to be the ingredients for making a philosopher’s stone. Alternately, the red color could relate to a nonvolatile mercury compound, red mercury or mercuric oxide, a compound that can be made by oxidation of volatile mercury. Flamel claimed the symbol related to “fixing the volatile.” Either that’s making oxide of mercury, or putting a stop in death.

Robert E. Buxbaum, February 9, 2017. I’ve also opined on the Holy Grail, and on Jack Kelly of Newsies, and on the humor of The Devine comedy. If you have not read “Full Metal Alchemist,” do.

Cornwallis attacks. Washington goes to Princeton.

In the previous post, I asked what you would do as a general (Cornwallis), December 27, 1776. You command 30,000 troops, some 12,000 at Princeton of at total 50,000 against Washington’s 3500. Washington is camped 12 miles to the south just outside of Trenton with a majority of his men scheduled to leave in three days when their enlistments expire.

In fact, what Cornwallis did, is what every commenter recommended. He attacked at Trenton, and lost New Jersey. Cornwallis left 2-3000 troops at Princeton and marched south. Despite fallen trees, swollen rivers, destroyed bridges — all courtesy of Washington’s men –Cornwallis reached Trenton and attacked. By the time he got there, 2000 of Washington’s men had left, partially replaced by untrained militia. After a skirmish, Washington set up 400 militia to keep the fires burning, and without telling them where he was going “Fall back if the British attack”, he took the rest of his forces east, across frozen fields and swampland, then north to Princeton along the Quaker-bridge road. He later said the reason was to avoid looking like a retreat.

He split his forces just outside of Princeton, and a detachment, led by Hugh Mercer and 350  regulars had the first battle as they ran into the 17th and 55th British regiments as they prepared to escort supplies to Trenton. The British commander, Lt.colonel Mawhood, seeing how few men he faced, sent the 55th and most of the supplies back to Princeton, and led his men to shoot at the Americans from behind a fence. Mercer’s men fired back with rifles and cannon, doing little. Then, the trained British did what their training demanded: they rose up and charged the rebels with fixed bayonets. Mercer, having no bayonets, called “Retreat!” before being stabbed repeatedly, see painting. Mawhood’s men seized the cannon, turned it on the fleeing remnants of Mercer’s men.

General Mercer defeated at Princeton, as Washington shows up.

General Mercer defeated at Princeton, as Washington shows up.

It looked like a British victory, but then General Nathaniel Greene (the fighting Quaker) showed up with several hundred Pennsylvania militiamen. The militiamen had never seen battle, and many fled, after shooting into the British lines with rifles and another cannon and grape-shot. At this point it looked like a draw, but then, Washington himself joined the battle with two brigades of regulars: Hitchcock’s 253 New Englanders and Hand’s 200 Pennsylvania riflemen.

Washington managed to rally the fleeing Pennsylvanians; “Parade with us, my brave fellows! There is but a handful of the enemy and we will have them directly!” And Mawhood, now without most of his officers, ordered a last bayonet charge and fled down the Post Road to Trenton. Washington rode after for a bit “It’s a fine fox chase, my boys!”

James Peale, 1783. John Sullivan and his forces at Frog Hollow. Battle of Princeton

James Peale, 1783. John Sullivan and his forces at Frog Hollow. Battle of Princeton

The rest of the British along with Mawhood, met the rest of Washington’s men, lead by John Sullivan, at a place called Frog Hollow, near where Princeton Inn College (Forbes College) now stands. The Americans opened with grape-shot and the British put up little resistance. Those who did not surrender were chased into town, taking refuge in Nassau Hall, the central building of the university. Alexander Hamilton’s men (he’d been rejected by Princeton) took special enjoyment in shooting cannon into the building. A hole remains in the college walls and a cannonball supposedly decapitated a portrait of George II. About then the New Jersey militia broke in a door, and the British surrendered.

Washington had captured, killed, or destroyed most of three English regiments, took a wagon train of supplies, and left going north following a bit of looting. “Loyalists” were relieved of coins, liquor, shoes, blankets. They ate the breakfast prepared for the 40th, and were gone by 11 AM, heading north — to where?. Cornwallis returned before noon “in a most infernal sweat — running, puffing, blowing, and swearing.” His men looted the town again, but now what?

Was Washington headed to New Brunswick where a handful of British soldiers guarded Cornwallis’s supplies and a war chest of £70,000? He didn’t go directly, but perhaps by a circuitous route. Cornwallis went straight to New Brunswick and jealously guarded the place, its money and supplies. Washington meanwhile ran to safety in the Watchung Mountains outside Morristown. Cornwallis’s 17th claimed victory, having defeated a larger group, but Cornwallis gave up Princeton, Trenton, and the lives of the New Jersey loyalists. Rebels flocked to Washington. Loyalists were looted and chased. Hessians were shot in “a sort of continual hunting party.” Philip Freneau expressed the change thus:

When first Britannia sent her hostile crew; To these far shores, to ravage and subdue, 

We thought them gods, and almost seemed to say; No ball could pierce them, and no dagger slay.

Heavens! what a blunder—half our fears were vain; These hostile gods at length have quit the plain.

 

Robert Buxbaum. December 21, 2016. So now that you know what happened, what SHOULD Cornwallis have done? Clearly, it’s possible to do everything right militarily, and still lose. This is an essence of comedy. The British had a similar Pyrrhic victory at Bunker Hill. I suspect Cornwallis should have fortified Trenton with a smaller force; built a stockade wall, and distributed weapons to the loyalists there. That’s a change in British attitude, but it’s this dynamic of trust that works. The British retreat music, “the world turned upside down“, is a Christmas song.

Marijuana, paranoia, and creativity

Many studies have shown that marijuana use and paranoid schizophrenia go together, the effect getting stronger with longer-term and heavy use. There also seems to be a relation between marijuana (pot) and creativity. The Beetles and Stones; Dylan, DuChaps, and Obama: creative musicians painters, poets and politicians, smoked pot. Thus, we can ask what causes what: do crazy, creative folks smoke pot, or does pot-smoking cause normal folks to become crazy and creative, or is there some other relationship. Dope dealers would like you to believe that pot-smoking will make you a creative, sane genius, but this is clearly false advertising. If you were not a great artist, poet, or musician before, you are unlikely to be one after a few puffs of weed.

The Freak Brothers, by Gilbert Shelton. While these boys were not improved by dope, It would be a shame to put the artist in prison for any length of time.

The Freak Brothers, by Gilbert Shelton. What’s the relationship?

When things go together, we apply inductive reasoning. There are four possibilities: A causes B (pot makes you crazy and/or creative), B causes A (crazy folks smoke pot, perhaps as self medication), A and B are caused by a third thing C (in this case, poverty culture, or some genetic mutation). Finally, it’s possible there’s no real relationship but a failure to use statistics right. If we looked at how many golf tournaments were won by people with W last names (Woods, Wilson, Watson) we might be fooled to think it’s a causal relationship. Key science tidbit: correlation does not imply causation.

The most likely option, I suspect is that some of all of the above is going on here: There is an Oxford University study that THC, the main active ingredient in pot, causes some, temporary paranoia, and another study suggests that pot smoking and paranoid insanity may be caused by the same genetics. To this mix I’d like to add another semi-random causative: that heavy metals and other toxins that are sometimes found in marijuana are the main cause of the paranoia — while being harmful to creativity.

marijuana -paranoia

Pot cultivation is easy — that’s why it’s called weed– and cultivation is often illegal, even in countries with large pot use, like Jamaica. As a result, I suspect pot is grown preferentially in places contaminated with heavy metal toxins like vanadium, cadmium, mercury, and lead. No one wants to grow something illegal on their own, good crop-land. Instead it will be grown on toxic brownfields where no one goes. Heavy metals are known to absorb in plants, and are known to have negative psychoactive properties. Inhalation of mercury is known to make you paranoid: mad as a hatter. Thus, while the pot itself may not drive you nuts, it’s possible that heavy metals and other toxins in the pot-soil may. The creativity would have to come from some other source, and would be diminished by smoking bad weed.

I suspect that creativity is largely an in-born, genetic trait that can be improved marginally by education, but I also find that creative people are necessarily people who try new things, go off the beaten path. This, I suspect, is what leads them to pot and other “drug experiments.” You can’t be creative and walk the same, standard path as everyone else. I’d expect, therefore, that in high use countries, like Jamaica, creative success is preferentially found in the few, anti-establishment folks who eschew it.

Robert E. (landslide) Buxbaum, September 4, 2014. The words pot, marijuana, dope, and weed all mean the same but appear in different cultural contexts. To add to the confusion, Jamaicans refer to pot as ganja or skiff, and their version of paranoid schizophrenia is called “ganja psychosis”. I’m not anti-pot, but favor government regulation— perhaps along the lines of beer regulation, or perhaps the stricter regulation of Valium. My most recent essay was on the tension-balance between personal freedom and government control. I was recently elected in Oak Park’s 3rd voting district. My slogan: “A Chicken in every pot, not pot in every chicken”. I won by one vote. For those who are convinced they’ve become really deep, creative types without having to create anything, let me suggest the following cartoon about talent. Also, if pot made you smart, Jamaica would be floating in Einsteins.

Dada, or it’s hard to look cool sucking on a carrot.

When it’s done right, Dada art is cool. It’s not confusing or preachy; it’s not out there, or sloppy; just cool. And today I found the most wonderful Dada piece: “Attention”, by Gabriel -Belladonna, shown below from “deviant art” (sorry about the water-mark).

At first glance it’s an advertisement against smoking, drinking, and eating sweets. The smoker has blackened lungs, the drinker has an enlarged liver, and the eater of sweets a diseased stomach. But something here isn’t right; the sinners are happy and young. These things are clearly bad for you but they’re enjoyable too and “cool” — Smoking is a lot cooler than sucking on a carrot.

Dada at it's best: Attention by Mio Belladonna. The sinners are happy.

Dada at it’s best: “Attention” by Dadaist Gabriel (Mio) Belladonna, 2012; image from deviant art. If I were to choose the title it would be “But it’s hard to look cool sucking on a carrot.”

At its best, Dada turns advertising and art on its head; it uses the imagery of advertising to show the shallowness of that, clearly slanted medium, or uses art-museum settings to show the narrow definition of what we’ve come to call “art”. In the above you see the balance of life- reality and the mind control of advertising.

Marcel Duchamp's fountain and "Manikken Pis" Similar idea, Manikken is better executed, IMHO.

Marcel Duchamp’s fountain and “Manikken Pis.”

Any mention of dada should also, I suppose, mention Duchamp’s fountain (at right, signed fancifully by R. Mutt). In 2004, fountain was voted “the most influential artwork of the 20th century” by a panel of artists and art historians. The basic idea was to show the slight difference between art and not-art (to be something, there has to be a non-something, as in this joke). Beyond this, the idea would be that same as for the Manikken Pis sculpture in Brussels. Duchamp’s was done with a lot less work — just by signing a “found object.” He submitted the work for exhibition in 1917, but it was rejected as not being art — proving, I guess, the point. Fountain is related to man: his life, needs, and vain ambitions; it’s sort-of beautiful, so why ain’t it art? (It has something to do with skill, I’d say.)

Duchamp designed two major surrealist exhibitions — a similar approach, but surrealism typically employs more skill and humor than Dada, with less shock. Below is another famous work of dada, Oppenheim’s fur-lined tea-cup (Breakfast in fur — see it at the Modern Museum in NYC) compared to a wonderful (and in my mind similar) surreal work, “Ruby lips” by Dali. Oppenheim made the tea-cup and spoon disgusting by making it out of a richer material, fur. That’s really cool, and sort-of shocking, even today.

Duchap's tea cup (left), and Dali's ruby lips (right). Similar ideas treated as Dada or Surreal.

Meret Oppenheim’s fur tea-cup (Breakfast in fur) and Dali’s ruby lips; the same idea (I think); dada vs surreal.

Dali’s “ruby libs” brooch took more skill than gluing fur to a cup and spoon; that adds to the humor, I’d say, but took from the shock. It’s made from real rubies and pearls: hard materials for something that should be soft; it’s sort of disgusting this way, and the message is more or less the same as Oppenheim’s, I’d say, but the message gets a little lost in the literal joke (pearly teeth, ruby lips…). I could imagine someone wearing Dali’s brooch, but no one would use the fur-lined cup. 

There is a lot of bad dada, too unfortunately, and it tends to be awful: incomprehensible, trite, or advertising. An unfortunate tendency is to collect some found pieces of garbage, and set it out in an attempt to scandalize the art world, or put down “the man” for his closed mindset. But that’s fountain, and it’s been done. A key way to tell if it’s good dada — is it cool; is it something that makes you say “Wow.” Christo’s surrounded islands certainly have the wow-cool factor, IMHO. 

Christo's wrapped Islands. Islands near Miami Beach wrapped in pink (fuscha) plastic.

Christo’s surrounded Islands: Islands near Miami Beach wrapped in pink (fuchsia) plastic.

A nice thing about Christo is that he takes it down 2 weeks or so after he makes the sculptures. Thus, the wow factor of his work never has a chance to go stale. Sorry to say, most dada stays around. Duchamp’s “fountain” sits in a museum and has grown stale, at least to me and Duchamp. What was scandalous and shocking in 1917 is passé and boring in 2014. The decline in shock is somewhat less for “breakfast in fur,” I think because the work is better crafted, a benefit I see in “Attention” too; skill matters.

Paris Street art. I don't know the artist, but it's cool.

Paris Street art; it’s just cool.

At the height of his success, Duchamp left art for 30 years and played chess. He became a chess grand master (life is as strange as art) and played for France in international tournaments. He later came back to art and did one, last, final piece, a very fine one, seen only through a peephole. Here’s some further thoughts on good vs bad modern art, and on surrealism, and on the aesthetic of strength in engineering: what materials to use; how strong should it be, and on architecture humor

Robert E. Buxbaum. April 4-7, 2014. Here is a link to my attempt at good Dada: Kilroy with eyes that follow you, and at right some Paris street art that I consider good dada too. As far as what the word “dada” means, I translate it as “cool,” “wow,” “gnarly,” or “go go.” It’s dada, man, y’ dig?

Be Art

You are your own sculpture; Be art.

Here I am wearing a sculpture I made, called Gilroy. The Idea is based on the drawings of Kilroy made during WW2, but to make things spookier the eyes follow you as shown in this video. I suspect that the original drawings were made to discredit the Nazi’s by undermining the sense that they brought order and were the inevitable power in the area.

Feb. 2013 – March, 2015

Surrealists art joke

How many surrealists does it take to screw in a lightbulb.

 

The fish.

 

Surrealism aims to show the reality that exceeds realism; the dream-like absurd that is beyond the rational, common-sensical and practical. Beyond control engineering.

And you know “How many engineers would it take to screw in a lightbulb?” —- “Minimally two, and it would have to be a very large lightbulb.”

Even if the insights of surrealism are common-place, for example, that the eye is a false mirror of the world, I like is that they become real (if the surrealist is talented.)

False Mirror by Magritte; The idea, I suppose is that the eye is a false mirror of the world, seeing what's already within it.

False Mirror by Magritte; the idea, I suppose is that we see what’s already within us.

“The greatest obstacle to discovering the shape of the earth, the continents, and the oceans was not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge.” What I particularly like is the falseness of the mirror is shown as both false and true. The world is rarely this or that. Another insight / joke.

We all have masks, especially with those we love.

We all have masks, especially with those we love.

I imagine most I could make second-rate surrealistic works. The way to know your work is second rate it’s beautiful and insightful, but not funny.

Creation of Man-the-militant in the style of Michelangelo

Creation of Man-the-militant. Kuksi. It’s well done, and interesting (a retake on Michelangelo), but it’s not funny. See my cartoon in mechanical v civil engineers joke.

And then there is bad modern art. You could argue that this isn’t surreal, but some sort of other modern art, or post modern art. But that’s all false: it’s just bad art.

Bad modern art: little skill, little meaning, no humor. If you have to ask: "is it art?" It usually isn't.

Bad modern art: little skill, little meaning, no humor. If you have to ask: “is it art?” It usually isn’t.

If you buy something like this, and put it in your corporate headquarters lobby, the joke’s on you, and the artist is laughing his or her way to the bank.  Here is a link to why surrealism should be funny, And why architecture should not be (someone’s got to live in that joke).

R. E. Buxbaum, August 5, 2013

Surrealism Jokes

What is it that is red and white, polka-dotted, filled with moisture, and hangs from trees in the winter?

 

Unity

 

Is funny because …… it’s more true than truth. Whatever claims to be unity must include the red and white, polka-dotted, moist items that hang from trees. Otherwise it wouldn’t be unity. Surrealism jokes should not be confused with Zen Jokes. Eg this. and that.  As a practical matter, you can tell surrealists from Buddhists because surrealists are drunks and have hair. And you know why Dali wore a mustache?

 

To pass unobserved

Dali's mustache without dali; notice how the mustache obscures the man.

Dali’s mustache without Dali, from Dali’s Mustache, the only book (to my knowledge) about a part of an artist. There are many books about Picasso, for example, but none about his left foot.

See how it’s true. The mustache takes the place of the man, standing in for him, or here the lack of him. Surrealism sees the absurd dream realism that is beyond the surd. “If you act the genius you will be one.” See? It even speaks for him, when needed.

Dali and his mustache agree, they love art for art's sake.

Dali and his mustache agree, they love art for art’s sake.

So how many surrealists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?  The fish.

by R. E. Buxbaum, June 14, 2013

Tiger Sculpture at REB Research

Here’s the latest REB Research sculpture: a saber-toothed tiger:

Saber-toothed Tiger sculpture at REB Research; the face follows you (sort of). Another sculpture, a bit of our 3 foot geodesic is shown in the foreground.

Saber-toothed Tiger sculpture at REB Research; the face follows you. A bit of our 3 foot geodesic dome is shown in the foreground.

It’s face follows you (somewhat); It was inspired by my recent visit to Princeton Univ — they had lots of tiger statues, but none that looked eerie enough as you walked by. Click here for: YouTube movie.

Normally, by the way, REB Research makes hydrogen generators and other hydrogen stuff. May 1, 2013