Ogni dettaglio ogni sfumatura fa di me ciò che sono, non posso sfuggire alla realtà.
A watercolor still life on paper by me 🖌🎨👨🎨
Fictional art…exists only in the mind of the reader. All work © simianAmber
Lithograph on paper
30 x 22 in. (76.2 x 55.88 cm)
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, USA
L’enfant Aux Héliotropes (The Child With Heliotropes), 1963
La Mariée (The Bride), 1963
Safia Farhat Mère et Enfants (Safia Farhat Mother and Children), c. 1970
Safia Farhat (born Safia Foudhaili) was an artist, educator, and political activist. In 1956, she founded Faïza, Tunisia’s first magazine dedicated to women’s issues, and in 1966 was appointed the Republican era’s first director of the Tunis Institute of Fine Arts. Throughout her artistic career, Farhat keenly advocated for the preservation of North African cultural heritage, and in her own work often experimented with ceramics, stained glass, and woven tapestry.
source: barjeel art foundation
“Of Mice and Memory.”
Includes spoilers, because I still haven’t mastered the art of reviewing something without spoiling anything, because I am a dumbass.
It is with great trepidation that I step on my soapbox for this book, partly because I don’t want to be Sandra the Soccer Mom at a modern art exhibition who eyes the work with a disdainful sniff and, “My Bobby could do better than that with Crayola and construction paper!”, partly because too many people like this book for me to be comfortable with dragging it through the mud. Not that I particularly hated it; I view The Goldfinch with the same detachment I reserve for vanilla ice cream and jazz music: it exists, and some of it is good, but it’s not something that has me frothing at the mouth.
Having read (and loved) The Secret History, I was expecting beautiful writing, excessively dramatic and melancholic characters that I will hate with every fiber of my being, and a plot that will keep me hooked till the end. Having read The Goldfinch, my sentiments can be summed up in nine words: when you order a Coke but get a Pepsi.
insufferable, pretentious and just an overall boring protagonist. I’ve read
books with main characters I hate (*cough* Gone Girl *cough*), and I can
tolerate arseholery, as long as it’s interesting arseholery. Theodore
Decker couldn’t do me the courtesy of doing even that. That last monologue of
his? Skimmed over the entirety; I couldn’t be fucked to go through pages’ worth
of introspection and Analyses of Life. RIP to Theo and his sad boi hours, but I
guess I’m just different. Almost everyone else in his life is far more
interesting than him-
Hagrid Hobie, Boris, Mrs. Barbour, Kitsey- hell,
even Andy the Weeaboo.
Pippa’s essentially a watered-down version of Camila. I don’t have much to say about her except: :/.
And then we have Boris. A caricature if there ever was one- the over-glorified alcoholic, the drug-addicted genius. Utterly cartoonish. Draco in sparkly leather pants, but not too sparkly, because our man’s Heterosexual.
I’m assuming Hobie was supposed to be the big, loveable gentle giant- the one character we all loved no matter what, the only saving grace- but he falls short. Again, Hobie’s painfully boring and I couldn’t bring myself to care for him.
The beginning is one whiplash after the other- we go from adult Theodore to young Theodore after he has a dream about his mum (who I became fond of, for some reason), to his first encounter with Fabritius’ painting that sets off this series of very improbable events, to his mum being blasted to smithereens (RIP Mrs. Decker, I liked you), to Welty giving him the painting- which, now that I think about it: how did Welty take the painting in the first place? He obviously obtained the painting before the bomb went off, but given that the story takes place in the twenty-first century and they’re in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, you’d think there’d be tighter security. And where was Pippa in all of this (the book might’ve mentioned why she wasn’t with Welty at the time of the explosion but I’m not about to leaf through eight-hundred pages to find out)?
The part where Theo waits for his mum to come home is genuinely painful. My heart hurt for him and his mum; in other words, it made me Feel Sad Things, and I respect a book which can make me do that.
But the fact remains that most of Theo’s problems could’ve been avoided if he did away with the fucking painting. At first, I assumed that Welty’s instructions to find Hobie meant that they were both part of some art smuggling gig. Why did Welty give Theo the painting in the first place? What was he supposed to do with it?
Theo had plenty of opportunity to hand over the fucking thing- he’s thirteen, just barely a teenager, and admittedly I didn’t make the best of decisions at that age (that’s an understatement), but allow me to say this: Theodore, you fucking dumbass.
What’s even worse is that at the end, that’s all that happens. They hand over the painting, get half a million dollars, and that’s it. And I get that if Theo had done that in the first place, that would mean no story, but if your character has to make the dumbest decisions to move the plot forward, maybe you should reconsider.
There’s of course the argument that Theo’s attachment to the painting has to do with his mother’s love for it, and him holding onto that last memory of her, but it’s not like he’s holding onto her favorite necklace or her diary, or something she owned. I dunno, it just doesn’t make sense to me. I just can’t get over the fact that he just hands it over and walks away unscathed at the end- it makes zero sense to my reptilian brain. To describe what I felt after that anticlimactic conclusion: much like I did at the end of Guy de Maupassant’s The Diamond Necklace, only far less entertained.
The plot drags on for far too long, not to mention there’s large chunks of it that could be lopped off. The large section of the story that takes place in Vegas- easily disposable. Boris is the only catalyst to the plot that comes out of it- Xandra and Theo’s dad are pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
And then, near the end, much of the actual story is crammed into a relatively small number of pages. And this is going to be nitpicky, but by the time that rolled around (reuniting with Boris and the sequence of events afterwards), I was… pretty fucking bored. So instead of turning the last page with the euphoria that ending should’ve warranted (minus Theo’s #deep life analysis), it was more of a ‘thank god THAT’S over!’
The final few pages- oh, fuck, no. It’s the sort of angst-riddled pretentious bullshit people write in English Lit. It reads like the musings of that one weepy drunk uncle who stays way past he’s invited at family reunions and goes off on tangents about Life and His Experiences and the World and the Futility of Human Existence and Nature and Death. In other words: it’s fucking boring. No one cares, Theo.
Going through this might make it seem that I strongly dislike The Goldfinch. I assure you that’s far from the truth; it’s wonderfully written, and a decent read if you’ve got time to spare. I just tend to rate a book based on whether or not I would reread it, and I doubt I’ll ever reread The Goldfinch. It made me Feel, and there were parts of it that I want to frame and hang on my wall, or make a throw pillow out of. The book just wasn’t to my taste, overall
Kate Magee, from the human sculpture series I’m laboring over in Photoshop. Oh the freggen dust from miss handled negs. Mamiya C330, 65mm. Ilford 3200. NIK Silver Efex Pro
Kate Magee human sculpture series. Cleveland, OH. Mamiya C330, 65mm. Ilford 3200. NIK Silver Efex Pro
Kate Magee human sculpture series. Cleveland, OH. Mamiya C-330, 65mm. Ilford 3200. NIK Silver Efex Pro
“pink ribbon”, 2006 by Norman Engel
Acrylic Abstract Painting, Original artwork created by Ronald Hunter. Colorful artwork created in layer of acrylic paint, in a graphic …
Acrylic Abstract Painting, Original artwork created by Ronald Hunter. This painting combines structure layers combined with acrylic paint, this gives …