If You Forget Me by Pablo Neruda

Verses Inked©

‘Bout the bard-

Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto, born July 12th, year 1904,
deceased on September 23rd, 1973. The man who first adopted the name for the sake of the page, and then assumed it with all legal formalities.  The man known as Pablo Neruda. The winner of the Noble Prize for Literature in the year 1971.

As a poet alone, he played many parts. From being a child prodigy at ten, popular as Pablo Neruda,  while still in his teens, a dirty lover to many, a chronicler of historic epics, a capable communist and a prosaic self portraitist, among others. The words of the bard however, ofttimes came down in green ink, which was his characteristic representation of longing and promise.

The year 1948 saw the then Chilean president Gabriel González Videla, abolish communism in the country. Neruda, who was then a member of the senate on behalf of the Chilean Communist Party, had an arrest warrant issued in his name. A period…

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Pop Art and Roy Lichtenstein

Pop Art looks out into the World. – Roy Lichtenstein

 Pop culture as a phenomenon is a product of the twentieth century west. It is a conglomeration of ideas, expressions and opinions that garnered enough public interest to be considered mainstream. Broadcast and publicity makes the phenomenon an integral part of common life. Muted down so could be heard, compromised so as to fit in, yet intricate, and exciting. In its finery to make a show out of life and how.

Pop art is here to stay, here to celebrate existence and meander away from the orthodox and assimilate the rebels into its ever swelling streams. Conceived by the west in the 1950’s, constructed from the essence of irony in the mundane necessities of life. Pop art presents itself to the audience as a celebration of the humdrum. Everyday objects like a tea cup or a refrigerator, peripheral sections of the newspaper like comic strips and advertisements create the reference image on which the artwork is elaborately based. The reproduction of the otherwise obscure imagery into something magnificent through the application of expert techniques, laced with generous overtones of irony. This is what makes Pop Art, the on your face, million dollar extravaganza that it is.

While other art movements from the 20th century like Dadaism, Expressionism and Surrealism, evolving from the aesthetics of cubism, impressionism and likes, now depended heavily on the contents of the artist’s soul, deriving from the elements of  the spontaneous sub-conscious, defeated conscious and meticulously dysphoric mind. Pop art, also a brainchild of the 20th century, in its modest ways begged to differ. Drawing life source from the forgettable, yet easily recognizable, everyday images in circulation. Comic strips and images from advertisement columns are of paramount importance in this regard.

In their selection of a materialistic medium as inspiration, pop art may have pursued the footprints of dadaism,a movement which preceded pop movement by a few years. Yet in its influence to the mass media, pop art surely went the longer distance.

Pop art like Abstract Expressionism was conceived on the bedrock of the post world war II civilization. Abstract Expressionism on its part drew from the psychological emptiness that was still prevalent among the population, while Pop art drank from the spring of industrial and commercial boom.

Thus pop art induces a rather interactive ambiance among a more varied audience compared to the other mentioned art movements which may attract the attention of few of the industry fanatics. Among other critical commentary on Pop art, it is often stated that the intentions of the artist is to strategically promote the cause of capitalism.

The ideals of Pop art may have surged across the common consciousness of different cultures at different points of time. Yet today what we speak of as Pop art is with respect to the American context.

Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, Tom Wesselmann, Claes Oldenburg among others are the American pop art masters.

Roy Lichtenstein and Pop Art:

 

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Roy Lichtenstein (Image:tate.org)

“ Pop Art looks out into the world. It doesn’t look like a painting of something, it looks like the thing itself. ” as quotes Lichtenstein.

Roy Lichtenstein was a creator of million dollar enterprises. His 1963 artwork, ‘Torpedo Los’, in the year 1989 fetched a modest $5.5 millions at an auction in Christie’s. A personal record for the artist in the time. The piece which now could be considered a pop classic was sourced from an image from DC comics, with necessary meaningful alteration made by the artist. From 2010 on wards, paintings of Lichtenstein have constantly crossed the $40 million mark, with pieces like – ‘Ohhh Alright’, ‘I Can See the Whole Room…and There’s Nobody in it!‘, ‘Sleeping Girl’ and ‘Women with Flowered Hat’ . In 2015 with the sale of, ‘Nurse’ to an anonymous buyer at an auction at Christie’s, for an astonishing $95.4 millions, the artist broke his previous record set by, Women with ‘Flowered Hat’ which sold in 2013 for $56.1 millions. All painstaking creations of pop art.

From among the author’s body of work, special mention must be made of:  ‘ Whaam’ – 1963 Tate Modern Art, London; ‘ Downing Girl ’ – 1963, Museum of Modern Art, New York; ‘Look Mickey ‘ – 1961, National Gallery of Arts, Washington DC. Pieces which paved the way for the artist’s fame and are considered absolute corner-stones in the pop art repository.

Among other prominent artworks by Lichtenstein is the ‘Brushstroke Series’. A series of paintings embarked upon and accomplished by the artist in 65/66, which depicted in different ways the artistic rendition of a brushstroke. Imagery on the lines of Abstract Expressionism. A homage to the brushstroke, with its bold outlines, Ben day dot mastering, meticulous presentation and comic book inspiration, the smoke is all about Pop Art.

A true Pop artist at soul, who understood his creations, Roy Lichtenstein also showed artistic bias towards the mirror, late in 60’s. As counter culture was approaching its peak, while art critics still received their paychecks, it was the artist’s attempt at surrealism.

Born in a well to do Jewish family, Lichtenstein was first introduced to art and graphics in school. Through out his life he remained a student of the subject, with reproductions been the driving element of his body of work. His rendition of Van Gogh’s, ‘Bedroom at Aries’, in the early 90’s, more than a hundred years after the original was painted, through its bold outlines, bright colors and an overall remastering appeal, depicts organization, efficiency and evolution of the arts.

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Desk: Wheat-field with Crows’ – Vincent van Gogh -Art Discourse.

Wheat field with Crows by Vincent van-Gogh

This is Verses Inked, for now and forever, as much elaborate, as is ambiguous.

To elaborate is to explain, understood. Yet Ambiguous!, about what, still ambiguous. Meet Monsieur Mystery alias Dr Dilemma.Call them indecision, uncertainty, and some more words worth their weight in nibbles of information across some far flung data channel.

As and how suits the drive towards existence, accordingly perhaps, ambiguity as well defines itself . For instance, what drove the ducks elsewhere. Them ducks from central park, NY, of the Catcher in the Rye. The ducks who went some place warm every winter.

Ambiguity lingers on, perhaps like death, or perhaps as would some pagan belief, or a creative expression- a piece of creation, albeit thought have it, like the messengers of death – Crows. Ain’t the Lord made them ambiguous.At least of speech and composition. At least when you judge them like an anthropology nerd. They are indeed everything ambiguous,as is your faith in the judgment. Much like when a body catch a body coming through the rye, and perhaps not merely meet each other.

Explains of a difference in between two potentials, rather than simple serendipity. As would the teenage protagonist of the, ‘prosaic’, piece of literature have it, rather than the ephemeral musings of a troubadour. Ambiguity settles into the minutest of crevices. The thin line in between catch and meet, and an entire universe is set into motion.

George R.R Martin – “ And the crow once called the Raven black. Ambiguity, presides, settles in. This particular case of grays. Who knows black or white, or how much of either and each.

Here we have this very interesting case of, ‘The wheat field with crows’. Excuse the authorship,if you may of the elaboration. In Discourse is not just any humble wheat field, spotted by a murder of crows participating in perhaps some hobbit philosophy. Modest pride, for those who realize it, is what brings to you, this most glorious wheat field, brought to life by the brushwork of the post-impressionist master, the one, the only, Vincent van-Gogh.

Atop the produce, is this flock of birds. These crows, in flight, some in their mutual arrangement of their travel together are more nigh to a bevy of migrating swans, than any species of their own kind.The freedom in expression, that creation demands,if you may say so. Rather thank god so, the authorship agrees. Yet ambiguity prevails, as some credible van-Gogh critic would have had rather visualized the birds, in flight, in disarray. The authorship laments, and thus chooses not to contemplate over the intellectual projections of the road, or the simmering tumult waiting to explode, from within the very breasts of the sky.

The piece as a whole , including all accounts is and must be considered an emblematic creation, of the the post impressionist influence. Similar brush strokes constitute the wind sweeping over the wheat crops, as well as the mysteries within the depths of the sky. The objective of the post impressionists,as we must believe, was to move on ahead from under the shadow of the impressionism and its obsession with reality. In that glorious case dear readers, the rest as we know it as, is just history, and heroine. Taking it all the way down to the bone yard. Thus while imagined slightly skewed on the horizontal plane, the crows assuredly appear to be in array like the swans, albeit slightly messy. Ambiguity somewhat abates. There is no questioning a mind fried on opiates.

Yet ambiguity reigns supreme, as the piece in discussion is sighted by some to be the last painting to have graced the artist’s lifespan. The list of contenders is long when it comes to be exclusively anointed as the last painting of the master. Time is all we have, and we rather choose to be ambiguous, and thus conclude this particular discussion without any prior notice. Until next time.

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