This is a picture of my father, Dr. Jose Manuel Garmendia Socarras. He was a doctor. An idealist and romantic, he stayed in Cuba after everyone else in his family had fled because he wanted to heal the poor and build a just society in his homeland.
He was tortured by Fidel Castro’s secret police, the G-2, for his good deeds. He died at 36 years old. Fidel died yesterday at 90. Don’t blame me for banging on a drum and dancing La Conga while chanting “At last, Cuba Libre!”
Ever feel like you’re frozen? Just got home from teaching and am tumbling back under the covers to fend off the chills.
Autumn fevers are the worst!
I love this painting by Andrew Wyeth. Although it is entitled “Spring” (which sounds all sunny and flowery to me), I love how the whole world seems to have thawed out but this old man (Old Man Winter?)Â is downright frozen to the spot. It’s how I feel right now!
Love Wyeth. All his work is soÂ sun drenched. Got a chance to see his Helga paintings when they came to SAM. OMG, they’re so sensual!
Right around the corner from his erotically charged Helga paintings (Just look at how he recorded the light glinting off of Helga’s pubic hair), there was this one portrait he painted of his wife lying in a field, with a HAT on her face.Â He pretty much spent more time depicting the dog than his wife!
I kept comparing the way he depicted them. How does the song go? “Things that make you go Hmmm.”
I compared his paintings andÂ thought, Whoa, his wifeÂ was wayÂ more civilizedÂ than me. I would have whopped the side of his head with a cast iron pan!
Last March I was reading the latest issue of Marie Claire, a fashion magazine. In one article I was horrified to read about a boat that sank with 850 Syrian refugees aboard. I was struck by the distance between the advantaged life of the journalâ€™s readership and the desperate immigrants seeking asylum. In remembrance, I made a cilice embellished with 850 teardrop briolettes, each marking a drowned refugee.
A cilice is a horsehair garment worn next to the skin for the mortification of the flesh in penance.
This is Somnambulist #3, the third self-portrait I’ve done wearing the cilice in my studio. Sometimes I feel like a sleepwalker unable to awaken and change the world in any significant way. It’s all so impossible. So I seek my easel.
OMG…after all the presidential votes are counted today we’ll either wanna kill ourselves or breathe a sigh of relief.
In case you’re still breathing on Thursday…come to the opening of Small Works at Dendroica Gallery on Capitol Hill. I have two self-portraits from the Migrations series. Looks like I’m drowning in both of them. You’ve seen the news lately… Can’t blame me, eh?