Where text meets image. Where the visual intersects the literary. Often posting 1st drafts and editing in (almost) real time.

Tag: art history

When the Abstract Expressionists

When the Abstract Expressionists

went to the moon

and discovered

the Expressionists

had left an egg

rolling to a standstill

for them to discover.




The egg comes from a painting of mine.

The bird imagery comes from digital experimentation.

The idea about the Abstract Expressionists

and Expressionists

and moon travel (involving an egg)

came in a humorous flash.

Cubism, Juan Gris & Ancient Iran

Collage and Concept Steven McCabe

Something connected these two works spatially and visually in my imagination. Maybe at first the subtle earth tones. I must have made three dozen digital collages for the GIF. Used many.

Pottery Vessel in the Form of a Ram, Unknown artist, Western Iran, 1350-800 B.C., Ceramic Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Juan Gris, 1912, Still Life With Flowers, oil on canvas, 112.1 X 70.2 cm Museum of Modern Art

John Heartfield & Big John

When I was a boy the radio played a country music song called Big John.

A song about a large miner. He was both ominous and mysterious.

He did not spend decades designing for the theatre.

One day deep underground Big John saved many miners when timbers collapsed.

Through the dust and the smoke of this man made hell
Walked a giant of a man that the miners knew well
Grabbed a saggin’ timber, gave out with a groan
And like a giant Oak tree, he just stood there alone, Big John

He did not save himself.

Like a giant oak tree he stood there alone.

Singer songwriter Jimmy Dean performs Big John on live TV. Note the social realism stage design.

Big John was popular when the folk music revival was reaching its crescendo.

Country music and folk music both express blue collar or working class themes.

Nobody confused Big John with anti-fascist, anti-war German Dada artist & creator of photomontage, John Heartfield.

Heartfield survived the war and spent decades designing for the theatre.

Stage Set Design for David Berg’s ‘Mother Riba’ (Berlin, 1955)

The johnheartfield.com website is both exhibition and biographical historical document.

Heartfield moved through artistic phases and spent decades designing for the theatre.

Heartfield Art. Dada To Graphic Design To Anti-Fascist Antiwar Images To Theater Set Design

John Heartfield was never a miner. He did not work in a mine.

He did not create the stage design when Jimmy Dean performed Big John on live TV.

He spent decades designing for the theatre.

GIF Experiments: 30 (Carnival of Shadows 1, 2 & 3)

I created these three GIFs before my Photoshop 5 program became unworkable. A face in Art History seems out of context yet provides commentary, a touchstone. I remind myself, in various ways, of this day when the carnival came to town. A long car driving through shadows into the sun of art history.

I walked past the row houses where I spent my childhood, stepping over syringes, watching for wild dogs, hearing hammering & avoiding ladders leaned against altars in late-afternoon shadow. The wind blew a torn page to my feet: Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. Without understanding why, I put the folded paper in my jacket pocket. A touchstone.

‘Three Pots for the Poorhouse’ Action by Joseph Beuys

f ball storynew whitelg new city orbm

Poetic testimony a’shifting 

mother barely

 threadbare stirring

peas & porridge nine days old in the pot



golden vibrations overflow



three places

the oak  the stag


e ball

  Black and white images influenced by readings of Ferdinand the Bull as a child

Ferdinand’s delight inhaling perfumed flowers beneath a gnarly tree

papery Spanish ink ascribing metamorphosis to performance 

  in emanations of the ancient, kinetically flowing spine

in rainfall of visionary code addressing wounds

strenuous chalking of shamanic timelines

 body politic of dreamtime silence

battery pack wire testimony

pale butcher’s twine

binding frayed


mountain road

June 10, 1974

 Edinburgh, Scotland

three pots

Joseph Beuys:

Blackboards and drawings of pots from

Three Pots for the Poorhouse Action

Photo credit: Richard Demarco