CINDY SHERMAN MASTERS EMPATHY

CindySherman-Beauty-1-300

CINDY SHERMAN

ARTIST CINDY SHERMAN MASTERS EMPATHY

Actress? Impersonator? Multiple Personality? Story-Teller?  Cindy Sherman grew up in the 70’s and is one of my favorites from The Pictures Generation.  She is an artist whose subject is herself portrayed as a variety of people from fairy tales, to clowns, to high society women, to historical figures, to feminine stereotypes, to men and more. While these images are photographs of herself, she is the photographer who takes them. She builds the characters through dress and becomes them in a single photograph. She takes thousands of photos before she finds the right one that says it all.

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CINDY SHERMAN

Empathy refers to the capacity of understanding, perceiving and/or feeling another from their frame of reference. Cindy Sherman isn’t living these characters she personifies in these portraits, but she is imagining a relationship of herself and them in what it must be like. This is an act of empathy that comes with story-telling. The viewer too empathizes with these characters. Is it like  ‘dress up’ at home while alone with the TV? Yes and deeper. She gives these characters a chance in their ‘moment’ to live on, to be seen as human, to see ourselves in them and our differences from them. She has admitted to feeling  compassion for these characters and when you see them here you begin to understand why. It is like watching a tragedy and a comedy at the same time.

Let’s step out of this universe for a sec…don’t humans try and try after endless defeat after defeat? Living is a constant heroic act, is it not?. How we carry our trials and tribulations comes through in the way we dress and prep ourselves for the next new day. The breasts drop, the face gets tucked and mulled by make-up, the hair gets bleached young and perfected according to cultural norms of ‘beauty’. We work hard on ourselves despite the enemy of time. Living a long life of careful grooming or a fast, robust and furious one is still a tremendous achievement.

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CINDY SHERMAN

Back to reality.

Her work is mostly untitled because she wants the viewer to create their own narratives of these individuals. This feels like a Baroque oil portrait of a woman distraught by something that has just happened. We don’t know what happened but we can invent a story from the exposed clues of her body, her beautiful lace on the shoulders, the secrecy of the closed off curtain, she is half naked, was she desired or not treated right?… She is broken, vulnerable and appears to not know what to do next. I feel sorry for her. As a feminist artist Sherman hits the nail on the head with this one. She probes tragic realities that some women face all the time.

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CINDY SHERMAN

Rock on, love it, this woman is powerful, she rules. I know those shorts, the hair, make-up, the tattoo, the nails and rings, the perked lips, the way she sits, right? I bet she doesn’t have much to call her own, but her pride is there, she knows how to survive.

Despite the criticism around her work as ‘mockery’ of typing people, to place herself as these subjects isn’t a form of mockery at all.  It is as much about Cindy Sherman as those she portrays. She is a master of transformation, of sharing the world of people through trickery and artifice. The number of wigs, noses nails and eyes not to mention clothes and accessories stored in her studio is intriguing in itself. If you get a chance watch the video below and see more.

What makes her work profound for me is the fact that I feel I have seen or know these people somehow before, even though I obviously haven’t met them in real life. Do you? a little surreal, a deja vu perhaps… This makes sense to have seen these characters before because many of us grew up inundated with media and saw all walks of life through TV, film, the news… We travel and see this variety, we live in neighborhoods with other people who are different from and similar to us, we read about human cultures in books, we see them at the beach, strip bars, dance clubs, we walk our city streets and live next to the wild and crazy person up the road, or we know someone who knows someone who introduced us to someone who looks like this etc. It is easy to recognize ourselves but it is hard to empathize with those who are different from us. Our inner judge is a strong magistrate.

 

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CINDY SHERMAN

These characters are utterances of human culture regardless of era. They are iconic. We grow up with each other and ‘know’ people who could be close to a century older than us. For Cindy Sherman how the history of human life has been presented is of equal value to current mass-media representations of human culture, she researches her sources from everywhere.

Behind the furs, and silks isn’t a cool critic that manufactures identity, she sees and feels the human in everyone.

CINDY SHERMAN ON ART 21 roughly 25 mins

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Film Costumes to never forget

Period costume of Queens

Period Costume ‘Elizabeth’- Cate Blanchett

Elizabeth

Cate Blanchett- gorgeous yellow

Fashion is often set by the costume designers in the film industry which influences a culture’s style.  Sometimes ‘Film’ hires fashion designers like Jean Paul Gautier. Here is a list of extraordinary styles that don’t fit current fashion but at the time they were made bear iconic status.

The following is worth the watch, do you agree with the pickings?

C’mon The Wizard of Oz? Really? Don’t think so people!

What’s your favorite of all time costume in film?

I might have to go with ‘to die for’ Brando’s sweaty tee…


Artist: Jordon Wolfson

JORDON WOLFSON

 This is mesmerizing, creepy, both male and female, looks at you and knows you are looking back. A little too real. Watch the whole thing, it is unforgettable.

 

Do you find it attractive in a dark kind of way? Do you have a voyeur in you? What secrets does it share with you?


BIRD’S EYE VIEW- birds in fashion

BIRD’S EYE VIEW

 Alexander McQueen Fall 2006 RTW, photos by Don Ashby/Style.com

Alexander McQueen Fall 2006 RTW, photos by Don Ashby/Style.com

Birds live all over the world, and have been around for millions of years. We go birding, pick up on their songs, they meet us somewhere on a hike, they pop by our house and hang out in our trees, they nest like us, live near or on the water, some hunt, dive, some feed on seeds, nectar, meat or fish. They soar, hide, lurk in the depths we most fear. Their razor sharp eyesight and sonar intelligence make them a remarkable part of the animal kingdom on this earth. And while we continue to learn about the diversity of species and their adaptive systems what impresses me most of all is that they know the skies like no other animal, or human. They are our link to a larger universe dark or bright.

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Alexander McQueen

Let’s take flight for a sec…

In terms of adaptive systems, the owl’s feathering allows them to camouflage in their environments for catching prey. In image of the dress of owl feathers, the models braided hair and light skin tones would camouflage similarly against the bark of trees. ‘Dress’ acts an intermediary between human and animal.

So why am I connecting fashion with birds? Because fashion reflects human desires, and the longing for a meaningful identity. Some of us turn to religion for example to meet a larger truth of that meaning we so desperately crave, while some turn to Nature for similar understanding and connection to a larger whole of who we are. To my mind birds by nature have a ‘birds eye view’ and fly around that ‘whole’ we seek. They mediate between earth and the unknown of the sky. Fashion designers and artists alike think deeply and act on that connectivity humans need for individual security. The imagery I have chosen to share here is visibly about ‘dress’  but dress that connects us to something larger than ourselves.

Owl illustration

Extinct birds wearing fashions from the year they went extinct- Laughing Owl, 1914, Brian Williams

I am not a fan of anthropomorphism because humans often fail to see animals as they are, we imbue them with aspects of ourselves rather than seeing the animal kingdom composed of distinct species of equal valuable to us. Sometimes we don’t get the message of atrocities like ‘extinction’ unless we imagine being in the same shoes as the defeated like in this illustration above. Is extinction a natural cause in evolution? The image is wonderfully ambiguous with multiple meanings. Is the owl living in our apparel or are we sporting an owl ‘head’ a marker of acute awareness?  Perhaps ‘Empathy gap’ between bird and human might be another way to put it, but the intention I think is to connect humans to a palpable loss of freedom and the constraints of living. The paradox between freedom (the symbolic nature of a bird ) and order (wearing a suit) is indeed standing proudly here.  Oh, too often human needs impose order of many kinds dictating our precedence over the impressive beauty such as the species of ‘Laughing Owl’ and that which surrounds us.

Bird's Eye View

Bizarre Bird- fashion editorial. The dead has plumage

For fashion designers the clothes carry the narrative, the story is in the clothes, and could go something like this: A dark princess went out hunting one day and comes face to face with the death of a bird. “Is she equipped?” and “what would you do in the same scenario?”. “Would its death have any impact on you? how so?”

owl headwear

owl taxidermy

This image is priceless. Taxidermy on the head. Me thinks she is hooting.

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The photo above pertains to some of my research as art director for an OWLMAN design I am creating for a movie called Joan in Owl Land. The film is directed by Martin Castaneda https://www.facebook.com/martincastanedayabar?fref=ts with cinematographer Carlos Diaz www.crd.carbonmade.net. Feathers, long black hairy furs, dark leathers, and barks are some of my materials to inspire me.

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Woman in Photography- unknown photographer

Birds connect us to the heavens, however the following designs show a subtler current in Nature and one that revolves around human’s affliction with our psychological underworld. Our feathered friends act as messengers between our unconscious and conscious selves. Nature and humans are inextricably linked.

 

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yiqing-yin-couture-fall2012-04

Clothing that circulates and expands into web and trap.

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Alexander McQueen

Self-destruction

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Anglomania at the Met- John Galliano

Birds that take us into mourning

 

Alexander-McQueen

Alexander McQueen- Birds of Paradise

Feathers that keep us protected, cool and detached.

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Alexander McQueen – Savage Beauty

And feathers that make us bleed in our wounds.

To an ancient Chinese proverb:

          A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.

 


ON THE STREETS

 ON THE STREETS

Street Performer Statue

Street Performer Statue

Street Magic

Dolly Mix

Dolly Mix

 Street fashion as performance

Elena Perminova

Elena Perminova

Street fashion as… the beautiful shawl (wear yours this summer ladies)

 Os Gêmeos GRAFFITI, Dewey Square, Boston, 2010

Os Gêmeos GRAFFITI, Dewey Square, Boston, 2010

street art as play and feeling

Brazilian graffiti artists

OSGEMEOS- twin brothers

…as…street culture that kinda feels like one can get squeezed out by people, and compressed into places and spaces never considered before (like the concrete silos on Granville Island in Vancouver)

London faces

London faces

 and street theater releasing the emotional intensity of living.

Street life heals the spirit. Thank god we can get wonderfully crazy.


WHAT IS A DRESS?

WHAT IS A DRESS?

WHAT IS A DRESS?  must it surprise? must it make you confident? must it re-configure the mundane? Rei Kawakubo knows.

REI KAWAKUBO

REI KAWAKUBO

When you think you know what a dress is, Rei Kawakubo and her brand Commes des Garçons makes you re-think about dresses that are “beautiful”, “kool”, “interesting”, and “weird” and in a twisted wonderful way she is all of that ‘personified’…

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Love love love her work. Totally unexpected, she tears down typical garment construction.

White dresses you have never seen before

White dresses you might not have known were invented

WHAT IS A DRESS?

WHAT IS A DRESS?

I would say a dress when interpreting Kawakubo is experimental, refreshing, abstract, colorful, and an artificial independent world. Dresses aren’t about female sexuality or pleasing the desires of your man.

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The body isn’t important. Ok it is for health reasons, but the chic of Commes des Garçons is also healthy. Never mind how young or old we look, let’s make sure we are draped, sculpted by garments and perceived as a walking canvas of self-expression. She reminds us we are ideas not cultural stereotypes, nor do we have to dress like our biological sex or gender.

What is a dress?

Color, risk and feeling. I would like to step into that, and you?


FASHION CRACK

FASHION CRACK

 

 The Bride Stripped By Her Bachelor's, Even

Marcel Duchamp, The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelor’s, Even, 1915-23

Elizabeth Hawes was a fashion designer and critic of the 30’s, 40’s and well into the 20th century who wrote a book called “Why is a Dress?” and is known for a particular quote that reads

“It is impossible to be completely abstract about clothes because they have no life unless they are worn. They must fit onto a body or they do not exist.” 

 I thought I would respond with showing you fashion designer Lee McQueen creating a wedding dress through a process of deconstruction in his signature style while Nick Knight films him. Contrasts abound of the sinister in white. Materials get stripped down to a lonely affair of imprisonment and loss. Very powerful, darkly poetic, removed from typical wearable constructs and expressive through and through. The title of Lee’s piece The Bridegroom Stripped Bare is in reference to Marcel Duchamp’s the hard- to- decipher The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelor’s, Even done between 1915-23 which can be analyzed in the category of  male and female sexual conflicts. (see first image above)

 

Dark or light the power of deconstruction in design can inform the artist on how to construct new design. It is a very useful strategy for shaping and arranging form towards innovation.

Stay tuned for more on “Why is a dress?”


WYLIE SOPHIA GARCIA

Wylie Sophia Garcia

10 Chameleon

WYLIE SOPHIA GARCIA

Describe your first experience with fabric and sewing? Is it a distinct memory that influenced and informed your creative practice today?

My first experience with fabric and sewing came from an Ann Hamilton Exhibition titled “Kaph” at the Contemporary Art Museum Houston http://www.annhamiltonstudio.com/projects/kaph.html. I was seventeen.  It was the first time I walked into an installation and felt like it sucker punched me in the gut.  She had made these curved walls that were sweating water and leading you like a cow to the slaughter.  There was a lone trapeze squeaking overhead making the whole journey through the space very anxious.  Finally, when I turned the last curve there was a woman sitting with a embroidered silk gloves and a seam ripper.  The woman was ripping apart the embroidery and it was in that moment that the anxiety within me released.  I don’t know what it was about that act, about what it was intended to symbolize, but I related to it.  I went back and saw that installation ten more times.

When I think about how this memory has influenced my creative practice I can’t say that there is a direct connection, like a literal connection.  It is more of a metaphysical connection; like how an action as simple as seam ripping embroidery on a silk glove can singly deflate the enormity of an overbearing experience.  I think of my art as a symbol or metaphor for experience.  In 2013 I had the opportunity to see a textile inspired exhibit called “SPUN”at the Denver Art Museum.  Ann Hamilton’s silk gloves from “Kaph” were there on display.  I cried. It was the first time I have ever been moved to tears by a work of art and not because of the art itself, but because of the experience it conjured up.

Is sewing ( hand or machine) therapeutic, contemplative, a break for you from bustling busy life?

No.  It’s a full contact sport.  It is contemplative, but more of a combative contemplative battle of wills between what my brains want to do and what my hands want to do and what the fabric wants me to do.

Your fabrics are like differing terrain or territories that you journey over and through with thread by hand, is this kind of mark making reflective of where you live in Vermont or other places in any way or are you following a particular concept and technique to achieve an effect? Explain

I have lived in Burlington, Vermont for 11 years.  I grew up in Houston, Texas.  Both of these places have very specific terrains that are so unlike the other.  I have no idea if the Vermont or Texas landscapes are playing a role in my art, but only because I don’t pay attention to the place itself as much as the people in it.  There is this Kant quote that has permeated my personal philosophy since college.  “Human beings are not placed, they bring place into being.”  I used to think of that as meaning that human beings ascribe meaning to objects to make them create a place of familiarity.  But now as I am older I realize it’s not about the objects, but about the people; people make places familiar, comfortable, home.

How does this relate to my mark making?  Well, when I am sewing I like to think about the people I know.  Those memories or conversations are what drive the “terrain” like mark making.  I may set off in one direction but change course, much like a conversation.

Can you elaborate on the specific kinds of historic textile techniques that you use in your installations and dresses?

Yes.  I use a lot of trapunto which is a traditional quilting technique.  Trapunto was intended as a way to create a decorative raised surface in quilting. It involves stitching a design and stuffing it with fiber fill.  The master trapunto crafts folk could do this without making an incision on the back side for stuffing. They would simply make a hole in the fabric by moving the threads out of the way and moving them back.  I make an incision.

Cloaking Device Front

Cloaking Device– Hand Needle, Felted Wool and Spandex, 2013

 

Cloaking Device Closeup

Cloaking Device, (detail) Hand Needle, Felted Wool and Spandex, 2013

 

Cloaking Device Back

Cloaking Device (back view), Hand Needle, Felted Wool ans Spandex, 2013

 

Land and the female form appear to be significant in your dresses, sometimes taking the viewer into a visceral, vascular, cellular realm as well as a topographical mapping of land patterns. Is there a relationship you are intentionally constructing that speaks to this in the underpinnings of your work? Can you illuminate what this might be?

The female body is very visceral by design.  It bleeds, It makes milk, it secretes fluids.  It is given organs that make life, support life, spark life, and seduce life. It is fascinating in all the shapes it can transform into and from, again and again as it reinvents itself physically through age and time.   I am a new mother, again.  And I approach this question from my own experience of having a body that has a mapped landscape of motherhood, stretchmarks, sags, pucks,and bulges.  The female body is a powerful landscape, not always beautiful or stoic.  It is an expression of change and comfort; a duality of strength and softness.  It is also biology, a collection of cells and information strung together to make us human, gendered, and a tangle of neurological information.  This information is also interesting to me.  Alongside the physical is the psychological which may or may not be born out of the physical (depending on what you believe spiritually), and I kind of sit in the middle of this in between place and hang out drawing inspiration.

Mothra, 2009

Mothra, Cotton, Wool, Thread, Sequins, 2009

 

How do you find your materials? are they found? have personal significance? bought specifically around the concepts of your individual dresses?

My materials come from all over the place.  I usually use what is donated to me or what I have personally in my own fabric collection or closet.  I no longer buy materials because I feel like I am more interested in the story old materials can tell.  Also the textile industry is very damaging to our environment.  Also, as a mother and half of a struggling artist duo (my husband, Clark Derbes http://www.clarkderbes.com is also an artist) I try to be as fiscally responsible as possible to my family and not overspend on art supplies. Also, I have a lot of clothes and when I feel that it is time to purge those clothes, they just get made into art, much like the Amish quilters or Gees Bend Quilters http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Quilts_of_Gee’s_Bend or old New England Braided Rugs… I think there is a whole historical concept of recycling clothes into something practical, beautiful and meaningful.

Your dresses feel as though they are characters, have roots with specific stories or people in your life, can you describe the relationship between your titles and female materiality?

The titles come as the dress is being made. When I did “The Dress That Makes The Woman Project” where I worked on and wore the same dress everyday for a month and then, in turn, did so for a year yielding 12 dresses, each dress embodied a certain persona by the end of each month.  So I tried to make the name reflect the personality. An example of this is the dress “Cupcake” http://www.wyliegarcia.com/#!Cupcake/zoom/c1k7w/image1u6i.  Every time I put the dress on I felt like a confection.   I also have to admit to referring to my dresses as individuals. I give them pronouns such as “she” and “her.”  They feel like specific people to me, especially when I am exhibiting a bunch of them in one space.  Then it feels like I am in a room full of my split personalities; it can be overwhelming at times and other times really funny, like being at a party or fancy social gathering.

How did you arrive at your signature style of staccato mark making, by accident or exploration to then choice?

It happened by accident.  I was working on my first dress for the Seven Below Residency here in Vermont.  I was under deadline to finish the piece because I wanted to display it for my MFA Thesis Show in Provincetown, MA.  I had a lot of ground to cover and needed to do so quickly and efficiently, so I just started sewing in these rows, which became patches, which would then switch direction when I became bored of the repetition.  When I was done it was like an “aha” moment for me.

How do you see the role of the artist today?

I have no idea how to even begin to answer this question.  I don’t think artists have a role anymore in the traditional sense of internalizing an aspect of the world and translating it into something aesthetic.  I don’t even know if they have the same responsibilities we once associated with being an artist.  Artists make art.  Some times  it is beautiful, sometimes grotesque, sublime, interactive, clever, political, and easy.  I find myself asking this question a lot though: why do I make art?  And I still don’t have an answer.

What strategies do you use in your practice that keep you on track?

Discipline and Rhythm.  I work every day if I am able. As the seasons change so do my priorites.  When it’s December it’s time to look at residency applications. In the spring I book shows. In the summer I work work work.  In the fall I exhibit and brainstorm new ideas.  In the winter I research and work work work.  Having kids makes it easy to work, I get to work soon as I have an hour or so to spare and immediately after bedtime.

You perform in your garments thus appearing to be the subject of your work – is it important that you are the content or are you a vehicle for the ideas behind these performances?

Yes, it is important that I am a part of the content and context of the work, especially in performances.  My art is personal. There may be times when certain tropes can be universalized, but I am primarily telling a narrative from my own point of view and I just don’t trust a stranger or performer or actor to tell my story in the same way I would.  I once hired a group of people to help me with stitching. They did an amazing job at helping me finish a huge installation, but since the mark making is not my own, I felt like there were parts of the overall piece that stood out. Never underestimate the visual power of one’s own faulty mark making.

Your 2D works remind me of a state of betwixt and between where veils of semi transparent materials hide in lurking spaces, paths and shadows form in a layering effect, which brings about a real state of impermanence or ambiguous temporality. Can you illuminate the trajectory of your new staccato works?

When I set out to make these works I knew that I wanted to shift from working with just the veneer or surface of the material.  I wanted the work to have a greater depth of vision and a saturated quality that really makes an audience spend time with it and look at all of the different layers.  I was also feeling ready for a pause with working in fabric.  I am still using fabric and layers as a theme, but using gouache and ink and graphite upon wooden panels instead.  As a surface, the wood has a feel similar to fabric and has the possibility to create great depth and layers.  As for a trajectory for the new works, that is hard to say because it is all still so new to me.   I can tell you what has changed and that is showing the work.  The fabric pieces were primarily shown in museums, art centers, and academic institutions.  The Ink Drawings are now finding homes in galleries and then in turn finding homes in homes of collectors.

Garcia_Dust Bunnies By The Lake_gouache graphite acrylic on carved wooden panel_30x114_$2400

Dust Bunnies by the Lake-ink, graphite, gouache and acrylic on carved wood panel, 2014

 

Garcia_A Trunk and A Little Hill_ gouache graphite acyrlic on carved wood panel_24x16_$2200

A trunk and A Little Hill– ink, graphite, gouache and acrylic on carved wood panel, 2014

 

Topography III

Topography III– ink, graphite, gouache and acrylic on carved wood panel, 2014

 

Does your 2D practice inform your garment constructions or performances? or are they separate?

They are related.  I make copious notes and drawings in notebooks and on the backs of envelopes or on scraps of paper about future ideas or about current motifs I want to further explore. Sometimes a drawing brings about the creation of a dress and sometimes a dress gets deconstructed into a drawing.  Regardless, it is all about the fabric and the way it moves and flows, whether in real space or as part of a 2D surface.

Are there particular historical or contemporary female figures that inspire  work?

Sharon Kopriva

Helen Miranda Wilson

Laura Letinsky

Kelli Scott Kelley

These are all contemporary hard working women who keep pushing boundaries.    I happen to know each of them and I am inspired by the ways in which they tell a story, play with the boundaries of image making and space/place making, as well as have the ability to make their audience “dig deep” when viewing their work.

 

All images are the property of Wylie Sophia Garcia. For more info visit Wylie at http://www.wyliegarcia.com 

 

 

 

 


…OF ROYALTY

Peter Breugel the Elder, 1520-69

Peter Breugel the Elder, 1520-69, The Adoration of the Magi

 

While I have just stepped into examining KINGS already there are more than a few to admire. One of my favorites is  Peter Breugel the Elder, 1520-69, The Adoration of the Magi. The Magi are presented here as individualistic, peculiar, grotesque and sophisticated all at the same time. Hieronymous Bosch lurks in the postures. They are exaggerated in an illustrative way; elongated, appearing wise and carrying peasant worn faces of the Flemish Renaissance.  Robed in their own elegant style, their dignity overrides the bustling younger community around them.  Mary caped in sky blue welcomes the 3 strangers with open arms, as she clearly knows they have traveled to Bethlehem following a miraculous star, which has lead them to this nativity scene. Jesus is indulged by their presence and smiles back at them. Their fashion flows between jester, royalty and native non-western ceremonial attire painted in the classical palette of reds, blue, van Eyck green and soft warm whites. Within the ordinary the extra-ordinary (our ‘star’)  guides us. How would you cast the remarkable in your life?

Catherine the Great of Russia

Catherine II by J.B von Lampi 1780

Voltaire called her “STAR OF THE NORTH”. Catherine the Great was a strong proponent of European culture, of art, literature, the education of women and expanded the Russian Empire in western ways. My kind of King in Queen form. Gorgeous decadent color combinations in her attire. However, in her own words on fashion “I did not make beauty or finery the source of my merit, for when one was gone, the other became ridiculous, and only character endured.”  I get it but my mum was ‘royal’ and to her from style your character was born so I will lovingly disagree.

Diego Velasquez- Philip IV in armor

Velasquez- Philip IV in armor

 Look at his unusual  luscious lips, boyish hair and significant nose! A dandy underneath hard exteriors. Mean to Jews, expelled them from France, a nepotist, not a big fan. A fabulous portrait of light, flesh and color, however. Say no more.

Ferdinand VII by Goya

Francisco Jose de Goya y Lucientes
portraiture of the King of Spain- Ferdinand VII

Something went wrong here. Head and body aren’t connected, his flesh discolors from face to hands, feels like he hopped into some fancy clothes without showering. Can smell his odor, even. Better to have a standin. The formalities of duty call for the ‘pose’ and back to  lordship we go. The background seems unfinished, the legs of the horses on the right are cut off, perhaps two paintings merged into one? Bloated with conceit Ferdinand loves himself, a power that had to pop. Definitely disconnected from his environs. Not impressed.

Portrait of a King- by sam tk

Portrait of a wounded king- by sam  tk

So forget all the grand posturing, really, who are we kidding? I protest! Acknowledge all the wounds that lie herein, I bring thee the opportunity to face them. Yes, we are wounded by our histories, of all our failures, of all our melancholia that forced us to bore into the earth and retrieve something new over and over again. All strata of society and culture need a cathartic release from all this bruising. Let time collapse our tragic past from all kinds of domination.

Instead, let’s turn towards the royalty we are. Inhabit our grandeur within, sing to it with all our heart, let it store within us like a long lasting preserve, a delicacy of profound sweetness. Measure ourselves with the grace of the small, for they smooth all our hard edges and ask us to dance with the gods.