Showcase: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was a French painter, printmaker, draughtsman, caricaturist, and illustrator whose immersion in the colourful and theatrical life of Paris in the late 19th century allowed him to produce a collection of enticing, elegant, and provocative images of the modern, sometimes decadent, affairs of those times.

Are You In Love With Your Own Writing?

“A word after a word after a word is power.” Margaret Atwood

There’s this thing called verbal narcissism. It’s pretty much the ability to game a wall, if it comes to that. To sell sand in the Sahara Desert.

It also means to be so in love with your own words that it could mean talking on and on about things that few people ever care about. Or it could happen that you do deliver a strong message, but you’re using so many words to do so, that it’s all distilled to the point of making people want to smack you over the head with their keyboards. Continue reading Are You In Love With Your Own Writing?

You’re No Leonardo DaVinci and That’s Okay

I was doing a bit of research into Pablo Picasso for the showcase of his earliest works, and I read that he created some fifty thousand works during his life. Fifty thousand. If you were to do one per day, it would take you some 136 years. A hundred and thirty six years…

Do you understand the level of commitment that is required of one if he desires to become phenomenal? One of the best? To be considered a genius by his peers? You literally have to break yourself in half. To be so obsessed about whatever it is you’re doing that you end up sacrificing a lot of other stuff.

Yes, you can have anything you want, but you’ll have to give up on (almost) everything else to get it.

Now, Leonardo DaVinci.

Areas of interest: invention, painting, sculpting, architecture, science, music, mathematics, engineering, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, writing, history, and cartography. The father of paleontology, ichnology, and architecture. One of the greatest painters of all time. Credited with the invention of technology we never properly developed until hundreds of years after his death, such as the helicopter, the parachute, or the tank. Continue reading You’re No Leonardo DaVinci and That’s Okay

Art and Hope

To those of you who don’t know me well enough, I say this: My name is Cristian Mihai. I’m 28 years old. And I have been writing for fourteen years.

I make art. I aspire to create beauty.

I wrote because I was broken, felt alone, different, too weak to even matter in a big and cruel world.

It made me feel less awful.

It made me feel as if I was kind of good at something.

Isn’t this what truly matters? How you’d define passion? To be kind of glad you’re kind of good at something. Continue reading Art and Hope

Book Review: Kolyma Tales by Varlam Shalamov

From Amazon.com:

It is estimated that some three million people died in the Soviet forced-labour camps of Kolyma, in the northeastern area of Siberia. Shalamov himself spent seventeen years there, and in these stories he vividly captures the lives of ordinary people caught up in terrible circumstances, whose hopes and plans extended to further than a few hours.

Feeling depressed? Feeling as if life’s unfair? Hard? People are mean? Read Kolyma Tales. That should make you feel better.

Don’t believe me?

“The men were not shown the thermometer, but that wasn’t necessary since they had to work in any weather. Besides, longtime residents of Kolyma could determine the weather precisely even without a thermometer: if there was frosty fog, that meant the temperature outside was forty degrees below zero; if you exhaled easily but in a rasping fashion, it was fifty degrees below zero; if there was a rasping and it was difficult to breathe, it was sixty degrees below; after sixty degrees below zero, spit froze in mid-air. Spit had been freezing in mid-air for two weeks.”

Continue reading Book Review: Kolyma Tales by Varlam Shalamov

TMM: Sex and Art

Life and art are incredibly close to one another. Almost identical, but not quite. Like a parallel dimension, like an alternate universe, art has always been the number one destination for those who cannot find a place in a certain society.

But art and sex? Continue reading TMM: Sex and Art

(Dis)comfort

“The poet’s, the writer’s, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past.” – William Faulkner

Nothing is as beautiful as we can imagine it. Yet, there would be nothing unless we’d imagine it first.

That’s the thing… the constant aspiration towards what doesn’t exist…yet.

Frustrating, indeed.

We are who we are because we spend most of our time dreaming of becoming much, much more.

And art has the habit of showing us what is possible. Continue reading (Dis)comfort