Wednesday, December 21, 2011

no kisses for the beast

it's coming on new year's and once again i find myself thinking about the idea of resolutions. last year i felt keenly aware that i never keep new year's resolutions so i decided to just not make any. take the barbara covet approach: no change necessary. this year it feels more like no change possible. it's always the same. my pathetic struggles - to stop biting my cuticles. to eat well, meaning less sugar, more mindfulness, no swinging between overeating and following rigid, restrictive meal plans. keep my house clean and organized. then throw on top of that my wish to stretch and become very flexible, to floss every night and to spend more time reading and doing art.

i just don't understand how to implement these changes in my life in a lasting way. i can do it for a few days, weeks even, but then i just revert back to old patterns of behavior and then feel bad about myself. that's all. i simply do not know how to change. and i don't know if it's realistic to think i can. the beast that picks and slurps sweets and makes a disgusting mess of everything does not want to be tamed and refuses to submit to my demands.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

stephanie seymour

everyone remember stephanie seymour from that guns n' roses video? sure you do!

the sculpture below was one of the many pieces included in the maurizio cattelan exhibit at the guggenheim. it turns out that seymour's husband peter brant is a major art collector. he commissioned this portrait of his wife, which cattelan created in the style of a mounted deer and subtitled the piece "trophy wife." ha.

turns out this is only one of many portraits that grant has commissioned of seymour. the artists can do whatever kind of portrait they like. check out this list of those who have participated in the project:

Francesco Clemente
Julian Schnabel
David Salle
Eric Fischl
George Condo
Thomas Ruff
Maurizio Cattelan
Kenny Scharf
Piotr Uklanski
Enoc Perez
Jeff Koons
Urs Fischer
Karen Kilimnik

when the collection is complete, all the pieces will be exhibited. if i were a billionaire i hope i would use my money is such a fabulously narcissistic way.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

ben wilson

this artist paints on little dried wads of gum, ground into the sidewalks of muswell hill and the surrounding areas. he has done over 10,000 of them. he even accommodates special requests for his gum paintings, such as birth and death commemoratives. wilson says this of his work:

Kids are not allowed to feel any connection with where they live... They can't play in the streets because they are likely to get run over; then you have the national curriculum, and all this testing at school, and no opportunity to play or to make things, and everything you do outside is recorded on surveillance cameras. The only imagery that children see around them are billboards and TV; every part of their environment is out of bounds or sold off. That's why they don't care about their streets. This is a small way of connecting people.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

a notably bleak chronicler of the human condition

i've always been confused about francis bacon and i finally realized why - there are 2 of them! there is the francis bacon from the 16th/17th century who came up with the scientific method and may have in fact been shakespeare, and then there is the francis bacon who painted this:

this painting has done my brain in. wow wow wow.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


even better than learning about artists through adbusters is learning about them through patients! this week g. mentioned andrea mantegna. check out this astounding piece from 1490:

lamentation of the dead christ indeed! what an astonishing painting.

here is his st. sebastian:

samson and delilah in a rather post-apocalyptic color pallette:

and his madonna and child:

seeing this makes me wonder what motherhood was like for mary, if indeed there was such a woman. she was a single mother, which is interesting, since she is the most famous and celebrated mother. jesus' legs look a little like nolan's legs here. same goes for his hands. i love the feel of nolan's little arms around my neck. that expression, however, is not familiar to me. most of the depictions of baby jesus that i have seen do not look very babyish at all. the expressions of the faces in the background, however, are hysterical.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

maurizio cattelan


thanksgiving weekend, here we come! this will be a great first museum visit for the little bear.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

1, 2, 3 nolan

nolan had a rough rough day. another restless night, followed by a doctor's appointment. after being examined, he fell asleep in my arms, then woke up as needles were being pressed into his velvet thighs. we both sobbed. this evening he couldn't stand to be put down. i wrapped him in his moby, the carrier he used as a newborn, and he fell asleep as we danced to john lennon and cat stevens. my poor little bear. i hope he feels better tomorrow.

in the meantime, i am in one of those escape-fantasy moods. but as ronsard once said, le temps s'en va...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

my paintings are now invisible

every issue of adbusters is like an education in subversive art history. this last installment led me to yves klein, french nouveau realist artist, best known for his creation of the color 'international klein blue' (ikb). in addition to his monochrome paintings featuring ikb, he was also a visionary performance artist and conceptual musician. everyone knows about john cage's 4' 33" of silence, but several years before, klein put on a performance of his 'monotone symphony' - 20 minutes of a sustained chord followed by 20 minutes of silence. the piece was accompanied by naked models covered in blue paint using their bodies on canvases as "living brushes."

 as his career progressed, he got deeper into the metaphysical aspects of his work:

"Recently my work with color has led me, in spite of myself, to search little by little, with some assistance (from the observer, from the translator), for the realization of matter, and I have decided to end the battle. My paintings are now invisible and I would like to show them in a clear and positive manner, in my next Parisian exhibition at Iris Clert's."

 hilarious! what an exciting world we live in.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

delight is a secret

but more on that later...

1. clean up the kitchen
2. prep lunch and bags for tomorrow
3. get email down to 10

my gorgeous little bear at 2 months:

Delight is a secret. And the secret is this: to grow quiet and listen; to stop thinking, stop moving, almost to stop breathing; to create inner stillness in which, like mice in a deserted house, capacities and awarenesses too wayward and too fugitive for everyday use may delicately emerge. Oh, welcome them home! For these are the long lost children of the human mind. Give them close and loving attention, for they are weakened by centuries of neglect. In return they will open your eyes to a new world within the known world, they will take your hand, as children do, and bring you where life is always nascent, day always dawning. Suddenly and miraculously, as you walk home in the dark, you are aware of the insubstantial shimmering essence that lies within appearances; the air is filled with expectancy, alive with meaning; the stranger, gliding by in the lamp-lit street, carries silently past you in the night the whole mystery of his life…

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"you need to get your act together, al!"

i don't seem to blog anymore, but this evening i return to a sad way of blogging which we can call incentive blogging, or motivational blogging. in other words, my house is a mess, i have a million things to do and i'm exhausted, so i'll use my blog to keep me on track.

my method: set a goal, reach that goal, then post a cute picture of nolan. here i go.

the time is 8:14pm. my first task: clean up the kitchen and prepare lunch for tomorrow.

8:45 - done.

now... bake this pie for luca for his birthday tomorrow.

ok. 9:34. pie is baking and tofu is marinating. nolan:

next: clean up the dining room and at some point flip the tofu.

it's 10:06. the pie is baked. the tofu is in the fridge. the dining room is sort of cleaned up. not completely. but i still need to shower and clean up upstairs a bit, so i'm calling that one. nolan:

a brief, easy challenge: there are 48 messages in my inbox, mostly junk. get that down to 20.

ok, time to go upstairs. 10:20. naked nolan, en route to the bath:

my plan is now as follows: put a note next to the pie for luca. bring stuff on stairs upstairs. clear off the bed and the window seat. lay out clothes for tomorrow. brush and floss teeth. shower. post final pic of nolan for the night and fall asleep watching kristin wiig do her thing.

11:04. wow, i actually did it. goodnight, nolan!

god, i love him so much it feels like my heart could explode.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


i am so in love with my son today.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


whenever i read jungian theory i feel like i'm discovering the mysteries of the universe, always on the brink of something. dr. h. recommended the hero with a thousand faces to help in my work with a patient who is stuck and needs an adventure. this was right on the money. the jungians have it:

"...there is something in these initiatory images so necessary to the psyche that if they are not supplied from without, through myth and ritual, they will have to be announced again, through dream, from within - lest our energies should remain forever locked in a banal, long-outmoded toy-room, at the bottom of the sea."

and check out this turn of phrase:

"...still on the search for love - which can come to them only from the centaurs, sileni, satyrs, and other concupiscent incubi of the rout of pan, either as in the second of the above-recited dreams, or as in our popular, vanilla-frosted temples of the venereal goddess, under the make-up of the latest heroes of the screen."


"the inflated ego of the tyrant is a curse to himself and his world - no matter how his affairs may seem to prosper. self-terrorized, fear-haunted, alert at every hand to meet and battle back the anticipated aggressions of his environment, which are primarily the reflections of the uncontrollable impulses to acquisition within himself, the giant of self-achieved independence is the world's messenger of disaster, even though, in his mind, he may entertain himself with humane intentions."

take that, ayn rand!

anyway, reading just the first chapter of this masterpiece fills me with desire and energy to learn all of mythology, psychoanalytic theory and art. no point in underlining here.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

all morning, in my head...

they tried to make nolan go to rehab
but he said, no no no
yes, he's been black but when he comes back
they won't know know know

he ain't got the time
and if his daddy thinks he's fine
they tried to make nolan go to rehab
but he won't go go go

the man said, why you think you're here?
nolan said, i got no idea
i said i'm just a baby!
that's why i always keep a bottle near

Monday, August 1, 2011

goodnight gorilla

one aspect of motherhood that i am totally psyched for is reading lots of children's books to nolan. tonight we read alligators all around by maurice sendak and goodnight, gorilla, which i remember from my childhood. any great book recommendations?

last night i did not work on the house. last night i watched a documentary about world of warcraft called second skin. it was pretty enlightening. was anyone else aware that there are 100,000 gold farmers in china? those are workers that play warcraft to accumulate warcraft gold for players in the u.s. or elsewhere who pay real cash for their services. they are like factory workers, but instead of sewing garments, they play hours and hours of warcraft. it is messed up. whoa! there's a documentary about it! i'll have to watch that some time this week. but tonight we're watching a doc about amy winehouse. that is the treat. nolan goes to bed between 8 and 9, i work on my stuff for an hour or so and then we watch a movie.

my mission tonight is to go through the bag of art supplies that was salvaged from the flood and put everything away. then comes a picture of nolan.

as promised:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

bird by bird

it's 9:35pm. a little time to work on house stuff before indulging in chocolate hemp milk (seriously the best chocolate milk there is) and james franco.

1) change the laundry and finish cleaning up the kitchen.

done. obligatory adorable picture of nolan:

2) select several things from the dining room to organize/put away.

hmm, went through a few things, but my to do list just gets longer and longer. that's why i take it bird by bird. and post another pic of the cub:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

tonight's awful checklist

tonight's awful checklist is going to require some playful arranging. because the contractor who created our kitchen used crap tubing on the ice-maker, the cap popped off on thursday night causing a flood in our kitchen. because there was a flood in our kitchen, water poured down into the garage and the side of the dining room adjacent to the kitchen. because all of these areas got soaking wet, our insurance company sent people over to tear out the kitchen floor and part of the ceiling in the garage and set up dryers and de-humidifiers that are loud and heat-producing. because they had to tear out the floor, we have to get a new contractor to make a new floor for us and repair the cabinets. because the garage is still drying out, all of the items in the garage that were not destroyed got put into my art studio, which i had just about finished setting up. because i have a patient coming for a session tomorrow night, i am once again trying desperately to set up my studio. the rug is smelly, the art table is missing pieces of hardware and there are random things like toddler car seats, little christmas trees and boxes of tools and loose cds all over the place.

my mission is this: set a goal for myself and then post a cute picture of nolan on my blog. when i am done everything that i set out to do, i will have some peanut butter with chocolate chips (or chocolate chip, as the heat from the dryers in the kitchen melted them into one big chip which is chilling in the fridge), and a glass of vanilla rice milk. i am not a happy camper.

1) finish assembling the art table. listen to amy winehouse while doing so.

9:34pm disaster! i noticed last night that there were 2 angle brackets missing from the hardware that came with the table, so i stopped by killian's after work to get additional ones but they are not the same!! this means that i am at stuck on step 14 out of 26 until i get the proper hardware from the manufacturer. this means i have no art table for my patient tomorrow night. this is just terrible. what i want: to break something and scream expletives. what i need: to keep going. here is an early picture of luca carrying nolan in the moby wrap:

2) put everything that doesn't belong in the studio in either the garage or some other unseen place. listen to gesualdo while doing so.

10:02pm done. not too bad. here is another early picture of cousin aly holding nolan. so sweet how he is touching her heart:

3) clear out everything from around the stairs so it looks neat and tidy. listen to michael jackson while doing so.

10:34pm did as much as i can possibly do tonight. there's still some crap that i can't currently fit into the garage and the whole floor is in major need of a sweep, but michael helped, luca helped and i'm thinking there's a very small chance that i can actually finish putting the table together tomorrow after work. it just means less time with sweet sweet nolan:

keep the faith!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011

more firsts

~first time splashing water in the bath
~first time holding pacifier with own hand
~first time sleeping for 5 1/2 hours straight!
~first time sucking on mommy's cheek (hysterical)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

nolan inspires greatness!

many firsts today for nolan - first shots (ouch!), first roll from tummy to back (a 4 month milestone at 2 months!) and first bloomsday! happy bloomsday nolan! down on delancey street, nolan was a great sport. he slept for most of the afternoon and when he wasn't sleeping he was amazingly calm. i had to nurse him just as the blind twins were finishing their sleepy reading from the end of ithaca. when we came out of the museum we passed drucie mcdaniel, who smiled when she saw nolan. after her awe-inspiring performance of molly bloom's soliloquy, she told us that seeing nolan inspired her, since her children are grown and the loss of molly's son is so present in her words. only 2 months old, and already nolan is doing great things!

there's drucie in the background! we also got a picture with her, but it's not such a great shot of nolan, so i will refrain from posting it.

why didn't i think of this until yesterday?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

thomas quasthoff

this morning luca introduced me to the vocal stylings of mr. thomas quasthoff, a star baritone who was born with birth defects due to the infamous thalidomide disaster of the 50's and 60's. he's quite captivating and sings a wide range of music.

here he is with daniel barenboim singing schubert:

performing with bobby mcferrin:

and here is my darling nolan:

crying for wendi tonight and so blessed for my home and my family.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

nolan rainer brasi

i have a new computer and a new son. both are lovely. i may even be ready to start blogging again. we'll see.
with a happy heart,
zoe b.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

5 days: stress strikes again!

but never mind that, here is some environmentalist art. not sure these artists would necessarily want their work to be identified that way, but it's all about landscape in the age of over-consumption.

here are some works by master photographer edward burtynsky:

he really understands the color red.

this is chris jordan's stuff:

he also did a performance piece where he burned all of his possessions.

these are ha schult's trash people: