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.
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.
The johnheartfield.com website is both exhibition and biographical historical document.
Heartfield moved through artistic phases and spent decades designing for the theatre.
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.