I decided to explore a bit much the field of Graphic Novels. I don’t really read comics but I own some “milestones”, like Spiegelmann’s Maus, Clowes’ Ghost World and Burns’ Black Hole.
So I found some Chris Ware (I bought Rusty Brown, and ordered Building Stories). I downloaded things and read a 21 pages chapter of Building Stories – (“(god…) Sometimes I Really Hate It Here“) and I’ve been flabbergasted.
Not astounded with virtuosity or avant-gardy marvels, but by the profound understanding of human life, the delicate way of showing body postures, the smart page layout (which loses you just a bit, enough to keep you focused). So, like with Chekhov’s short stories, I feel like… poisoned by the intelligence of it all and deeply touched by the facets of humanity in it.
Yeah that’s toxic, delightfully toxic. I read a little about Chris Ware (who is my age), and also found a multi-authors book named “The Comics of Chris Ware – Drawing Is a Way of Thinking“, which makes me smile, and then I smiled more, because of this “Introduction: Chris Ware and the “Cult of Difficulty”. Awww!
It’s slow reading…
Attacking Mazzuchelli’s Asterios Polyp. The character is an architect. We see him teaching something about “Linéaire/Plastique”, and my jaw opened, because I read the same day an article about Linéaire/Pictural, a fondamental opposition in Arts (I screenshot both books down there).
It’s clearly a good seed. It’s an art historian named Wölfflin who wrote 5 “principles” in arts, the first being : From linear (draughtsmanship, plastic, relating to contour in projected ideation of objects) to painterly (tactile, observing patches or systems of relative light and of non-local colour within shade, etc) -> Wiki.
You can google “linear painterly” and play – you find these facets :
- the artist showing reality/the artist showing his idea of reality
- Classic (the object as it is)/baroque (the object as it appears)
- things as they are/things as they become
- to draw/to think
Yeah, good seeds for conversations lovers…
On Belgian radio I heard about Daniil Trifonov, a young and intense Russian piano player (I heard about him many times before), and I thought about “crazy artists of today”, like these graphic novels writers. Introverts, lost in their own minds, something like “too intense”, overthinking and working, therefore secreting marvels and “different” things instead of becoming alone and silly.
Here he is with Gergiev in an always-modulating shostakovich concerto :
Yesterday at work I talked with a thirty-something woman about her career : studying arts, working in interior design, feeling bored about all of it, and working, then, in food business…
Eventually, recently she helped friends to move and to… decorate their home. BUT this time she was not in front of ideas and pencils and computers, but with her hands, doing/making things. An epiphany! And we laughed, because she was coming back to the beginning, but in another way, understanding by doing – like some scholar finding concepts fixing motorcycles!
All this is chekhovian and about the previous article of this blog (returning to things): Life’s not easy but we can/should stand up – it’s the subject of “(god…) Sometimes I Really Hate It Here” and of Asterios Polyp.
The artists and the pianists work like crazy and produce big things, all with their… hands.
Have a nice day! Thanks for reading!