Monday, May 07, 2007

I think I may be an alien

I think I may be an alien. Not an illegal one but, rather, an extraterrestrial one. Unaware, like those special Cylons on Battleship Galactica. Unaware, that is, until now.

The proof? Consider this:



Now this:



Can you see it?

The origin of the "Killroy Was Here" graffiti is commonly linked to US GIs overseas in the mid to late 1940s. But it is worth noting that in 1947, UFO conspiracy theories came to a head with what is often referred to as the Roswell Incident.



The timing, you have to admit, is spooky.

I finally put two and two together the other night while attending a house concert by my friend Don and, in a second set, his duet partner Jenny. There were portions of the event in which the audience--basically all friends of Don's or Jenny's or members of the sponsoring folk music club whose specific name escapes me--was asked to sing along. And it seemed like everyone did but me. And I wondered about that, and I felt a familiar sensation--the sensation of otherness.

I used to just chalk it up to the "smartest person in the room syndrome" (SPITRS--also colloquially pronounced "spitters") . By this I am of course referring to previous posts in which I've admitted that I almost always think I'm the smartest person in the room. Surprisingly, a lot of people experience SPITRS as either a chronic or transitory condition. Gaylord Perry certainly jumps to mind. Anyway, even though there is ample evidence to suggest that I am not always the smartest guy in the room (five such incidents I've specifically counted in the last year alone), I've still, pretty much, chalked this general sense of separation from mankind up to SPITRS.

But then, as I said, I put two and two together the other night (much the way the the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything is thought to be, in some circles, 42) and figured it all out.

I should add that the concert was absolutely lovely. I was particularly impressed with the open-tuned Scottish number, sung in a brough.

All this said, I don't believe my presumptive status as an alien renders my artistic efforts to be any less valid than, say, Willem DeKooning's later work, done under the influence of considerable dementia.

I like this DeKooning:



Wikipedia notes:
There is much debate over the relevance and significance of his later paintings, which became clean, sparse, and almost graphic, while alluding to the biomorphic lines of his early works. Some say his mental condition and attempts to recover from a life of alcoholism had rendered him unable to carry out the mastery indicated in his early works, while others see these late works as prophesizing the clean, surface-oriented painters of the 1990s and 21st century - and having a direct correlation to contemporary painters such as Brice Marden. Still others who knew de Kooning personally claim that his late paintings were being taken away and sold before he was able to finish them.
There is, actually, some room for the conspiracy theory approach. The shapes themselves do remind me of early DeKoonings. I mean, throw a bicycle or a half-nude woman into the one above and you've got your traditional product, more or less. Maybe they really did just grab the damned things before he was done with them!

This, of course, would be a classic Brice Marden.



This is another, titled something, something, something (I know there's something about "the muse." "Something, something, something...the muse" Something like that):



And I must admit, I only started to really give Brice Marden the love he deserves later in my life. Which isn't necessarily to say that one needs great artistic insight, or the wisdom of the years to appreciate the stuff. I just didn't get it.

That, I suppose, would be Incident # 6.

I also like this one:



It has a stained-glass-window-kind-of-a-feel.

Did I mention that the Episcopal Church in which my father's memorial service will be conducted has two--count 'em--TWO authentic Tiffany windows? They are something to behold.



This would be one of them.

This would be the other:

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