Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Player's Choice

There are so many more pictures I could edit from Artica but I have to wrap it up sometime and get to the closing bonfire. For today, a couple more unusual sculptures. The top one seems to be aimed at attracting children, the bottom one gamblers. Nothing is for sale at Artica, so you couldn't start a giant craps game in that field.         

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Greater Good

Doors to . . . where? The old wood and Gothic lettering suggest a church entrance but then what lies behind? The words scattered on the ground may suggest an answer. There is a lot going on in this world to be afraid of.       

Monday, October 16, 2017

Light And Dark

More cruising the work on display at Artica. 

The figures above have words torn into the green fabric but even up close I couldn't read much of it. 

The diptych in the second photo represents the scene right behind me as I took the shot - grassy fields with the wooden structure of Our Lady of Artica (more about which soon), a single Doric column standing there for god-knows-why and the old Cotton Belt Railroad freight terminal, whose long east wall has been turned into a mural by Artica founders Hap Phillips and Nita Turnage. Looks quite Fauvist to me. 

The last is the hardest to understand.It brought back hazy associations with some Japanese cemeteries I've seen.       

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Who Put The Art In Artica?

Finally, a post going up on time. It seems to take a quiet Saturday evening to get it done (except that Madeleine is on the floor next to me banging on her toy xylophone).

The Artica festival had music, performance art, some painting and a lot of sculpture. I get so fixed on cruising the area for images that I don't talk to the creators enough, missing out on titles and interpretation. The piece above is intriguing. Never seen a figure in a lotus position with up-stretched arms before. See what you like in the colors and symbols on the mannequin. The second photo is, literally, a bed of crutches. Someone said they were going to burn it after the main bonfire Sunday night. I wasn't out that late.      

Saturday, October 14, 2017


It's been a bad week for posts. New dimensions in overwork and several other attention-suckers. I would so like to cut back but it's not easy.

Anyway, back at Artica, crickets were all over the place. A boy got one to rest on his wrist. He was fascinated but worried that the bug might bite him. Do crickets do that? No harm came to anyone.  Oh, and if you don't recognize the title click here.

PS: I am told on good authority that this is a grasshopper, not a cricket. I'm a city kid. What do I know?

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Artica: Dangerous Clown

Performance art, I suppose. In a corner of the Artica field, a young man wore a collared shirt and skinny black tie, a bowler and clown makeup. He wielded a chainsaw and a machete, sometimes striking statuesque poses, sometimes attacking small logs at his feet. The clown never spoke. It was all very postured and, I must say, a bit puzzling. Maybe that was the idea.    


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Artica: Give Us Your Tired, Your Poor

So there was this woman at the entrance to Artica dressed as a shabby Statue of Liberty. She had the torch and the tablet like the real one, some Americana bric-a-brack and a large artist's sketchbook. I asked her what she was doing. She asked people to stop for an interview about their fitness to enter the country. At the end you got a hand stamp that said either Retained (in the US) or Detained (sent to immigration jail, a square of grass marked off with yellow tape). I was retained.

The interview was interesting. Being an old guy, she let me sit in a lawn chair and put the torch in its cup holder rather than stand with my arm in the air. Some of the questions were odd:

Q: What is your heritage?
A: Irish and Polish. Very pale. 

Q: What is the most exotic place you've ever been to?
A: Mt. Everest.

Q: Did you climb it?
A: Oh my god no. The air at base camp was thin enough. I got bad altitude sickness.

Q: Of all the places you've been to, where would you least like to live?
A: Cambodia. Never seen anyplace so poor although I'm sure there are worse.

Q: Coke or Pepsi?
A:  Well, I don't drink soda. But I worked a couple of summers delivering Coca Cola and hated it. My father was in the commercial sugar business and he sold Pepsi all their sweetener back in the day. So Pepsi.

Q: Are you from St. Louis?
A: No.

Q: How did you get here?
A: St. Louis U. was the college farthest away from my father that let me in.

Q: Hammer or nail?
A: Hammer. I don't respect authority very well.

And so on. Turns out she was an actress. She and a colleague were working on a play that includes this concept to be performed in New York, where they live. Some people had problems with the interview, others not. I thought it was fun.