Sunday, June 17, 2007

Life as Art

If you were shopping for great art to spend your next 10,000 years in, would you snug yourself within, say, Guernica?

My own life is almost literally stuck in Grant Wood. I commute down Iowa Hwy 1 each morning, through scenery which Wood knew well and painted, if not lovingly, at least with a fey sense of banal green and overtly mammary landscape, his grudging tribute, perhaps, to the tenured Freudian quacks who were obfuscating the arts with their own odd obsessions back in the Fifties and Sixties.

I wonder if Wood was nuts, or just angry at his inability to accomplish anything profound? His is the landscape of middle age, and a melancholic self-abasement so obviously understated, so bald and satyr-like, it invites comparison to the bowel, not the belly, to the grave, not the gravid — to centuries, that is, of slow digestion in the rumbling paunch of Iowa, that pipsqueak leviathan.

Sesshu is not really my cup of tea, either. This one is just here as a souvenir, like a stump. Or toilet paper, for when I'm done with Iowa.



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