Art · The Comfort Zone

Roy Lichtenstein’s “As I Opened Fire, 1964.”

Lichtenstein’s American Dream.

This is a large piece that is typical of Lichtenstein’s oeuvre. It is garish, blunt and has the occasional stroke of a paintbrush. Other than that, it was a case of masking it off and using carefully prepared rollers to fill in the poster-paint colours or to paint across a piece of serrated aluminium to get the impression of all the dots – these were not done individually in the way the experts at the Stedelijk suggest.

This is a large piece that is typical of Lichtenstein’s oeuvre. It is garish, blunt and has the occasional stroke of a paintbrush. Other than that, it was a case of masking it off and using carefully prepared rollers to fill in the poster-paint colours
This is a big painting. Really big. But big is the American dream, right?
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Permanent collection.

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Economics

Playing Chicken With Brexit

Who Will Blink First: Britain Or The EU?

There was a rather inflammatory article in today’s Guardian newspaper that suggested that the EU and Britain were playing chicken with Brexit.

There were several issues that the author didn’t mention, one being the thorny issue of a legally binding settlement. From the British, that is. Now to be fair, there have been murmurings that the British were actually going to produce something. However, thus far, the British have been very good at suggesting something might happen, in the way David Davis didn’t even think to write his impact report. In a democracy, this would have been enough to bring a government down: he had been ordered by the Speaker to present the report on the given date. All he could do was to turn out his pockets and say that the Russians had eaten it.

Or something like that, I can’t remember his exact words.

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A Sideways View · Economics

A Sidways Look At The Carillion Debacle.

It’s world news now: the magisterial beast of the British construction industry, Carillion, is dead. Only it is no living thing, there is no successor in the way we used to say, “The king is dead, long live the king.” With this death, there are only more problems to uncover, not solutions.

Carillion worked primarily in the construction industry, and having run a business that was part of this charade, I know one or two things about it that few financiers would. As usual, these are the more obvious elements of the job – and it is always the more obvious things that are the easiest to overlook.

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Art · Our Subconscious

What Do I Look For In Art?

De Pont in Tilburg, Review: 25th Anniversary.

a view of de ponts interior showing some of their artworks from the last 25 years
De Pont in Tilburg is an old factory. It’s huge, but for all that, welcoming. Mainly because it was so busy!

I din’t know it when I trotted off to Tilburg today, it was on a whim and mainly because they’d pulled up the tracks to Rotterdam which was my intended destination today. I rarely do any fact checking before leaving, but that’s part of the fun of having so many galleries to visit in the Netherlands. It was a small and little known painting by Hieronymous Bosch that I wanted to see in Rotterdam, or at least photograph. I saw it last weekend, but what with my capacity for forethought, I’d left my camera at home. Its only importance – the Bosch, that is – is that it contradicts something Rudolf Steiner said about Goethe’s Mephistopholes. Never mind that, it’s not for public consumption. My other thoughts about Bosch will be, but that’s for another of my fabled upcoming series. Anyway, I visited Tilburg, got lost, found myself again and having turned in the other direction to which I was merrily cycling, found the gallery.

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Our Subconscious · Reality

The Ascent Of The Literary Murder.

This was supposed to be a sort of review and reprise of George Orwell’s “The Decline Of The English Murder,” only my point of view is very different to his. Which makes his essays the more appealing to me. Add Orwell’s beautiful and evocative writing and you have a blissful read.

Not that murders are blissful, but that’s the point of murders – and the point of Orwell looking at their decline. Orwell’s books were written to be read by those who enjoy reading, those who read the story as much for the writing as the story itself. But that is what makes literature; if it’s only a story thinly interwoven by lumpy descriptions, it’s pulp fiction.

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