September 12. 2001

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     On September 12, 2001 I awoke a few hours after midnight.. Someone was yelling "Building fall down! Building fall down!" We had arrived in Saigon, the night before. On the tiny television mounted near the ceiling in the lobby of the little hotel, we watched the Twin Towers fall to the ground over and over and over.


     Eventually I walked outside into the cacophony of Saigon. The street was a madhouse. I was on the other side of the world. Here, in this city, once devastated by what they called "the American war", life surged with a vengeance.  

     We were unable to return to the States till the no fly ban was lifted. When we came back I went to ground zero. I had worked in 1 Bankers Trust when I was 20, the building right across the street from the World Trade Center.  

    BThe devastation was gargantuan, otherworldly . It looked like the day after a nuclear disaster ended the world. Enormous steel spikes, mangled pieces of the Tower's honeycombed facade, lurched upward, piercing huge chunks of former skyscrapers. Pieces of buildings were strewn about, as was endless rubble, dust, total chaos and a gaping, open pit. 

     I happened to be in New York City today. It's fourteen years after the devastation now. I wandered around Chelsea going to galleries. I saw an enormous amount of art, good, bad and otherwise. I marveled at the stunning building at the corner of 11th Avenue and 19th St, that Frank Gehry designed for Barry Diller. An extraordinary melange of modernist buildings have emerged in this neighborhood. It's been many years now since things have returned to normal.

    The life force predates humanity. The life force cannot be snuffed out. Whatever evil men do to one another, given time, light triumphs over darkness.


Above it All

 

"Blue Hole Belize", 18" x 20", glossy print on paper, $50.

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     I love to fly.  I get a window seat if possible.  I enjoy take off.  I spend my time gazing at the world below, savoring the fact that I am in the sky.  I find it relaxing to be so far above it all.  

     The aerial view of the Caribbean is otherworldly.  Vivid aqua, pristine, and mysterious. The Blue Hole is the most enchanting locus of it all.  I took this photograph on my way back from Nicaragua in early June.  

     If you'd like to have a moment above it all, order one for your wall.  A moment of such detachment can be useful.   If you'd like to have a print just reply to this email and let me know.  I hope you are savoring your summer and that it has been less busy and more relaxing than mine.        If you'd like to see more of my work, please go to www.amymarx.com.



Correction

 

"Interpenetration of the Worlds", 108" x 51", oil on paper., seen here on loan in an upper atrium at The American Association for the Advancement of Science.  This original oil painting on paper is available for $13,000.  The image is also available as a paper print for $25. on www.amymnarx.com.

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Just a correction from yesterday's announcement, The American Association for the Advancement of Science is located at 1200 New York Avenue NW at 12th Street, rather than at 11th Street as I wrote yesterday.

AAAS

 

Season of the Witch, 51" x 71", oil on paper.  The original painting, framed, is available for $7,500.  The image as a 14" x 17" print on paper is $25 at www.amymarx.com.  Pictured here on temporary loan to the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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     I am writing to let you know that I have loaned four of my large-scale tornado paintings to The American Association for the Advancement of Science.  The Association is housed in a spectacular building, located on Eleventh St at New York Avenue NW. Established in 1848, AAAS is the world's largest general scientific society.  I am honored to have my paintings hanging on the walls of this beautiful building for the third time.
   
     Pictured here is "Season of the Witch" which is hung in an upstairs atrium.  In another upstairs atrium is the nine-foot-tall "Interpenetration of the Worlds".  If you are interested in viewing these two pieces, please contact me and I will be happy to meet you at AAAS and show them to you.  "Icefield" and "False Evidence Appearing Real" are on the second floor outside of the conference room, and can be viewed during regular business hours by entering the building on the New York Avenue side.  Please feel free to stop by, have a look, and  let me know any thoughts you might have in regard to the work, the setting, or art in general.  You may do so by simply replying to this email.  The four paintings are on loan, but remain available for sale.  They are done in oil paint on very thick, handmade paper, and are mounted on painted mat board and framed with wide, black, wooden frames. These images have been featured in Art in America Magazine, Artist's Magazine, Weatherwise Magazine, City Paper, The Washington Post, The Hill Rag, The Weather Channel, WUSA TV in DC, WFAA in Dallas and Telemundo, among others.

     I hope you have a chance to see the work.  And I hope you are having a lovely summer,
all the best to you,
Amy

We Are Responsible to Our Brothers and Sisters

 

Let's put love first.

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  Recently Karen Momsen-Evers was on a Southwest flight sitting in her seat about to take off when she got a text message from her husband.  It said  “Karen, please forgive me for what I am about to do, I’m going to kill myself.”   She knew he had been under a great deal of stress and believed he meant it.  She tried quickly to call him, but the flight attendant wouldn’t let her.  “The steward slapped the phone down and said, ‘You need to go on airplane mode now,”  she said.  “I begged her.  I said ‘I’m sure somebody can go and make an emergency call’, I just wanted somebody to go and try to save him.  Nobody helped.”  She sat in her seat crying.  When the plane reached altitude, in tears, she tried again, explaining the situation to another flight attendant.  The other flight attendant also refused help.  When the plane landed she called the police in Milwaukee, where she and her husband had lived.  It was too late.  He was dead.  The representatives of Southwest airlines had refused to help save this man’s life.

     Incensed, upon seeing this story on CNN online, I called the public relations department at Southwest to see what their official statement on the matter was.  The representative I spoke with told me there was none.  Later, from the news I learned that their official statement was “The Southwest family continues to extend our deepest condolences to Mrs Evers.  Our flight attendants are responsible for executing safety procedures to prepare a flight for departure and arrival, in accordance with FAA regulations, while assisting the up to 100 plus passengers with life events.  Our employees utilize their training to handle each situation to the best of their ability and have a 44 year history of caring for our customer as if they were a part of the Southwest Family.  Again, our hearts go out to Mrs. Evers and her family during this difficult time.”   An emergency phone call to an airline official in the airport who could have then placed a call to the Milwaukee police, could not have taken more than a few minutes and surely would not have interfered with FAA regulations.  After all, if these regulations do not exist to protect lives, then what is their purpose?  Clearly, this is what caring means to Southwest, not helping save a life at the moment of need.   

     My personal belief is that it is very important to live our lives with our priorities in order.  I was raised with a hierarchy of values in which we are responsible first to God, then to our loved ones, and then to our brothers and sisters with whom we share this world.  Much further down the list is our responsibility to our employer to follow our employers rules.  No doubt the flight attendant was following Southwest’s rules about the use of cells phones prior to take off.  Clearly these employees did not recognize the responsibility which, at that moment, lay in their hands.  They had a responsibility to do what they could to place a simple phone call to save a life.  

Lemon-Lime

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Lemon-Lime.  This image can be ordered in any size on paper or canvas.  But for our purposes today it is 18"x18", $50 on paper. 

      Now I'm going to talk about lemons.  So it's a lime, not a lemon, but it is all I had. As in Apple-lemons.  As in my Apple iPhone 6+, which enables me to create awesome artwork in minutes, but cannot be used to make a decent phone call.  As in my Macbook pro which ceased to function a couple weeks ago, when my husband/boyfriend Dennis's iPhone 5 was knocked off the desk by our kitten- cat Winky Doodle, creating a gorgeous psychedelic abstract in the lower-left below the diagonal crack on the screen, thereby leaving only the upper-right half functioning, leaving me stranded when I ran out of gas on 495 because my gas gauge had broken, unbeknownst to me. So with a triple Apple breakdown (though with gas in my own car thanks to our room-mates functioning iPhone and my subsequent rescue by Dennis), I set off on a road trip with my awesome friend Pam Skarda, in her car, helping her move to Kansas City where she could be with her dad and help him see out the last year of his life.  I just thought that was so beautiful a gesture in these narcissistic times, that I just had to help her move.   So the newsletter had to wait because I didn't  have access to a computer while on the trip.
     We went through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas.  I got to see the very room on the top floor of the house in which I spent the first year of my life in Iowa City!  We moved when I was one year old, so I had never  seen it, though I guess you could say I saw it at one year old.  We were there because my father was in the Writer's Program at the University of Iowa.  He is still sharp as a tack, writing and publishing and being interviewed at 85!! (He also does 40 push ups a day!)  The house is now a party house full of cute, polite and cheerful young men,   typical of the Midwest, which I love.  One lay in his bed, nonchalant, checking his iPhone as I snapped photos of the room.  I had planned to write a newsletter upon my return, about this blast of a trip.  I had it written in my head, but alas, that was not to be.  I returned home to the triple Apple breakdown I had fled.  However, I took a lot of lovely photos which I posted on Facebook   If you'd like to see them just go to my page, "Amy Marx".  Or friend me if you need to.  If you'd like details on why you should run, not walk away from an iPhone 6+ I will be happy to share those with you if you reply to this email.  Otherwise I won't bore you with them.  I have missed you.
     On Tuesday, May 26 I leave for Nicaragua for a week.  I will be the guest of my dear friend David who has survived colon cancer and whom I wrote about in the "Miracle" newsletter in January.  If you weren't a recipient of these back then and would like to see them, just let me know.   I won't bore you now with the gory details of why you should run, not walk, from the iPhone 6+.  If you'd like the details just reply to this email.  I won't be able to send a newsletter next week because I will be away from my computer.  Oh, also, the Saturday before last I attempted to lift and carry my large, ungainly bin of my art prints when I was packing my item at Eastern Market, while on platform sandals.  I fell over on "My Left Foot" and now I am on crutches.  but hey, I'm doing great nonetheless and looking forward to my trip!I can only pray Mercury is not in retrograde in Nicaragua!
 Thanks for taking the time to read this. 
As always,
I remain,
Amy

 

Eastern Market

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     Through a Glass Brightly, 14"x 18" print $50.  This is an experimental piece made on my iPhone 6+.  It began with a photo of the inside of a glass which I then photoshopped on the phone, completely altering the original until it became a psychedelic abstraction.  If you'd like a print please just reply to this email.  It is not available on my website.View this email in your browser

     I've been extremely short of time lately, certainly with no time to paint perfectionist, detailed oil paintings.  So I've been using my incredible iPhone 6+ as a tool to make art.  I snap  a photo of anything that interests me visually and then photoshop the image using the incredible array of features available by hitting "edit".  The results can look so far afield from the original image that one would hardly guess what the original subject of the image was.  I've begun posting my results on Facebook and am often asked "what is this?'  My former self was a stickler for detailed realism.  No more.  I'm having a blast with this process and I dare say it's so much fun to make art in a matter of minutes rather than months!  You can see more results by friending me and looking on my Facebook page under "Amy Marx".  If you'd like to purchase any images that you find there just reply to this email.  Any size can be accommodated.  I'd be very curious as to your thoughts.  I haven't given up painting permanently, but I must say, this is awfully fast and fun!    

all the best to you,

Amy

 

Jesus Returns to the Lord

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"Jesus Returns to the Lord," a photograph I created Easter.

     In the course of cleaning and organizing my house I came across a crucifix.  I laid it atop a table I had bedecked in an Indian wedding shawl.  In a local party store there appeared a butterfly garland.  It came home with me.  Having it in my hand as I walked past the crucifix I draped it around Jesus to lighten his mood.  On Easter I came home with lavender hyacinths and was bringing them to my bedroom to perfume the room.  Passing the table it occurred to me that their divine scent would be a lovely celebration of his resurrection on this, the most important day of the Christian calendar   And so I came to snap the first picture.  A little photoshopping on my fantastic iPhone 6+ and here you are.  A happy celebration of Jesus's return to the Lord.

       If you are interested in obtaining a 16"x 20" print on paper it is $50 and can be ordered by responding to this email. It can also be printed on more beautiful watercolor paper or canvas in any size. 

     The Pathwork, the spiritual path of transformation that I have followed and studied, says that Jesus opened a way for human beings to find their way out of the darkness of the lower self to unification with God, and a life lived from the higher self.  Though I am a Jew and not a Christian, this understanding has been of great help to me.  In Pathwork lecture 248 is stated:

 . . . When Christ manifested as man, thus being both divine and human, he accomplished the greatest feat imaginable.  He proved that it was possible to remain true to God, true to truth, and not succumb to the strongest of influences and temptations that the personification of evil could unleash.  Through this tremendous act of steadfastness, the man who was God manifest and the God who had put on human nature opened the doors in the souls of all created beings.  He forged ahead, enabling those who were submerged in darkness to gradually find their way back to light.  Jesus Christ has saved every single entity who was ever created, and every particle of consciousness and energy that ever manifested and will manifest as personality.  Since he came to earth the great light is always available for the building of a tunnel to the world of light.  

     You can read this lecture here: http://pathwork.org/lectures/three-principles-of-the-forces-of-evil-personification-of-evil/

     I apologize for the gap in my writings. Circumstances prevented me from keeping up with the weekly writing schedule and I feel remiss in posting these images so long after Easter.  But the meaning of Easter has no expiration.  If you'd like to respond please just relpy to this email.  I am sure that many of you have much to say on this vast subject. 

     If you are interested in viewing more of my artwork you can do so by clicking here:  http://www.amymarx.com

     Thank you for reading my email.  I appreciate your giving me a few minutes in your precious life.  I look forward to hearing from you if you'd like to communicate with me.

All the best to you in your own return to the world of light,

Amy 

 

Gods of War

 

Pictured below is "Chronicles of War, Saints and Martyrs," 2007, by Phyllis Plattner, oil and gold leaf on linen on panel.  It is one of 23 works which comprise "Gods of War!" at the Katzen Center at American University until March 15.  My review of her show which will also be featured on DC Art News.Blogspot.com,  follows.

 

      In 1770 Edmund Burke said, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."  These words are as relevant today as they were then.  There are, in the history of the visual arts, many examples of artists "doing something", speaking in images rather than words.

     In 1830 Eugene Delacroix painted "Liberty Leading the People."  He renders "Liberty" in female form leading the people over the dead bodies of the old order, in one hand holding aloft the tricolor flag of the French Revolution, the epic gruesome battle for freedom; in the other hand she carries a bayonetted musket.  This iconic painting of the July 1830 Revolution depicts the overthrow of King Charles X of France.  Delacroix wrote his brother:  "If I haven't fought for my country at least I'll paint for her."

     In 1814 Francisco Goya painted "The Shootings of the Third of May 1808 in Madrid."  It is a gut-wrenching portrayal of a man with arms upraised before a firing squad.  He has an expression of horror on his face.  His comrades lie in a bloody heap at his feet.  Goya's emotionally charged depiction of this man's last minutes of life was unprecedented.  The painting graphically illustrates the Spanish resistance to Napolean's invasion and occupation in the Peninsular War.  Art historian Kenneth Clark has said this is "the first great picture that can be called revolutionary in every sense of the word, in style, in subject, and in intention."

     In 2007 Phyllis Plattner began the creation of a series of artworks in which she made meticulously rendered copies of art historical paintings in the style of the original artist, and photographs culled from newspapers and magazines.  In "Chronicles of War, Saints and Martyrs" (2007), she utilized Goya's historic painting, mentioned above, and amplified its effect.  She placed Goya's painting in the center of a seventeen-paneled piece.  To the left of Goya's work is the arrow-pierced Saint Sebastian, an early Christian martyr (288 AD) from "The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian" by Andrea Mantegna, (1480).  On the right is Christ, blindfolded and bound, about to be scourged, painted by Van der Weyden, (1450).  Further heightening the effect of "Chronicles of War, Saints and Martyrs" is a horizontal row of images along the bottom, a format known as predella panels.  From left to right are painted the following: The Twin Towers ablaze on September 11, Christ's feet nailed to the cross, the well known image of an inmate in Abu Ghraib, a survivor of World War II with two prosthetic legs, and finally the tangled heap of stainless steel, a ghostlike cathedral, the remains of the World Trade Center.  A cherub from Raphael's Sistene Madonna glances heavenward atop all of this with additional angels astride.  And there's more, even in this one piece.

     This is one of twelve complex pieces that make up "Chronicles of War", the epic two-part show at the Katzen Center at American University.  The other half is entitled "Legends."  The two together form "Gods of War!"  "Legends" details the Zapaista uprising in San Christobal, Chiapas, Mexico, which Plattner witnessed.  She and her archeologist husband later lived in Italy.  She tells the story of the Zapatista uprising and utilizes Italian Renaissance paintings, substituting Zapatistas for the saints and apostles.  For example, "Legends, Deposition" is after a painting by Caravaggio (1585), and "Legends, Mary Magdalene in Glory," is after a painting by Domenichino (1600).  The succession of places in which she lived is reflected in the subject matter, style, and technique.  Italian Renaissance meets Liberation Theology.

     The soft-spoken, long time professor at The Maryland Institute College of Art is profoundly anti-war.  In order to speak against war and violence she employs images of violence.  Though the images are horrific the overall effect is beautiful.  "Chronicles of War" is a pastiche of images of human violence across cultures and across time.  She juxtaposes violent images with the bucolic and the divine, skies at sunrise and at sunset, cherubs and puttis and angels, Jesus and Mary.  Eight or more panels are assembled into one artwork.  She also adds borders of gorgeous motifs from a multitude of cultures and intricately carved and gold-leafed frames and borders.  The overall shape of each work are based on Renaissance altarpieces, copied directly from the Italian in the "Legends" half of the show, and more loosely based on Asian, German and Italian altarpieces in "Chronicles of War."  Plattner has done all of this work herself.  It is a fourteen year project, to which she plans yet to add.  It represents an immense labor of love.

     Plattner enumerates the vast array of violence throughout human history.  From the guillotine to napalm, to a pyramid of human skulls, from child soldiers to suicide bombers, from Napolean to the Samari, from Guernica to the Mayan Bonampak murals in Chiapas, Mexico.  Could there possibly be something she has left out?  Plattners work has a continuing relevance to our present condition as the world is menaced by ISIS.

     One might say that the destructive history of all humankind is represented here.  The forms of destruction are assembled by type of destruction so that each artwork has a theme.  In "Chronicles of War, Head and Hands," 2008, the subject is beheadings.  In "Chronicles of War, Swords and Lances," 2008, a pastiche of death by blade, the central image is the "Battle of San Romano" by Paolo Uccello (1432).  Above fourteen panels of death and destruction, cherubs alight in the vault of heaven.  With fist-fulls of flowers they rain rose petals over the bloody folly of humankind. 

     The last day of this show is March 15.  I regret not having gotten this review out sooner.  I do hope you have a chance to see it.  Please feel free to reply directly to this email with your thoughts.  If you'd like to have a look at my work you can do so by clicking www.amymarx.com.

Sincerely,

Amy Marx


Infinity and Beyond

 

Now for something new and completely different.  The painting below is the first start on a painting of the Andromeda Galaxy, the nearest large galaxy to our Milky Way.  It's in oil paint on masonite board, a surface I am experimenting with



      Last week I wrote about ISIS’s destruction of ancient Assyrian antiquities in the Museum of Mosul.  Today it’s their attack on and destruction of an ancient archeological site in the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrod, founded by King Shalamansar in the 1200‘s BC.  “Ihsam Fethi member of the Iraqi Architects Society called [this site] . . .‘one of the most important sites in the world’.”  (From Anne Barnard’s article in todays New York Times.)  Most impressive at this site in Nimrod are (or God forbid, were), the “lamassu”, enormous statues of mythological creatures, lions and winged bulls with bearded human heads.  The full text of the article can be viewed here:  http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/03/06/world/middleeast/isis-attacks-iraqi-archaeological-site-at-nimrud.html?_r=0

 

     This planet on which we live sometimes seems so troubled that it is nice to remember the big picture I recently began a painting of the Andromeda Galaxy, the nearest large galaxy to the Milky Way.  My beginning attempt is pictured above.  I am not in the habit of showing anyone my work before it is finished.  However I have recently been advised to do so, and upon consideration have decided that, if the phenomenal artist and friendly acquaintance, Don Eddy can post his paintings in process on Facebook, as he has very generously been doing of late, then I too can give this a try.  I consider Don Eddy to be one of the very best artists in the world, in any age.  You owe yourself the favor of becoming familiar with his work.  You can do so by clicking here:  http://www.doneddyart.com

 

      The Earth holds an infinitesimal (though crucial) place in the larger universe.  Beyond our troubled world is the vastness of the cosmos.  We are told that our universe is infinite.  In thinking about escaping into the great beyond, the following questions occur to me:    

 

     How big is infinity?  What is beyond infinity?  What does infinity really mean?  Is this something the human mind can even comprehend?  What if we look inside into the vastness of our own inner selves, where does that infinity end?  There is an endless vastness inside our selves; there is an endless vastness outside of ourselves.  Here on this physical plane, here on this troubled planet earth, look at anything, anything at its smallest level.  Look at an atom.  What is it?  Electrons zipping around protons.  But what are they?  We are told they are particles, and at a smaller level particles are really waves.  And what are waves?  Waves are just energy.  Electrons spinning around protons are really energy zipping around energy.  At the micro-cosmic, most infinitesimal level what we know as physical matter dissolves into energy.  There is no actual physical.  Just energy.  Our reality is a hologram.  Nothingness.  Consciousness. 

 

     Have I lost you?  If so, please write and tell me your thoughts on the subject.  If you’re with me, please let me know.  You can reply directly to this email.  

 

More of my work, finished paintings only, can be seen and purchased by clicking here:  

http://www.amymarx.com

 

I wish you only the best in your travels,
Your fellow traveler,
 

Amy

 


Using Our Voice

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The painting above is entitled "Season of the Witch".  I borrowed the title from the 1960's singer Donovan, my first love.  The title seemed to fit the image, but also, today seems fitting to the era we are in.  The painting is after a photograph in the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration archives.  It is 51"x 71", oil on thick handmade paper.View this email in your browser

      I awoke this morning, to the news that ISIS had destroyed ancient antiquities, remnants of the ancient civilization of the Assyrians.  The Assyrian Christians are a people whose ancestry goes back to pre-Christian times.   They have survived centuries.   The art that has been lost is pre-Islamic, pre-Christian, pre-Judaic.    This is a loss for all mankind.  In an article in the New York Times, Anne Barnard writes:

     “An Islamic State video showed the militants smashing statues with sledgehammers inside the Mosul Museum, in northern Iraq, that showcases recent archaeological finds from the ancient Assyrian empire. The relics include items from the palace of King Sennacherib, who in the (Lord) Byron poem ‘came down like the wolf on the fold’ to destroy his enemies.

     'A tragedy and catastrophic loss for Iraqi history and archaeology beyond comprehension,' Amr al-Azm, a Syrian anthropologist and historian said."

     I watched with horror as members of ISIS viciously attacked, with glee, beautiful sculptures and bas reliefs; remnants of an ancient civilization turned to dust, set to the melodic chanting of a choir.  I recalled that the Nazis only confiscated precious art.  What they deemed degenerate they stole and stashed, but did not destroy.  As of yesterday, this art is now gone for ever more.  It has been pulverized--- lost to eternity.  

    In my head echoed “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,”  words attributed to Edmund Burke in 1770, equally relevant today.  And I thought, “What am doing to stop this?  How can I protest this evil?  What can I do?  I’m an artist, and now, I suppose, a writer.  What can I actually do?”

     The following are examples of what great artists have done in protest of evil.

     In the history of the visual arts we find many examples of artists speaking through the visual, in images, rather than words.  During the French Revolution, another epic battle for freedom, Jacques-Louis David, a key player, painted “The Death of Marat”, about the murder of his friend and compatriot, Jean-Paul Marat, in 1793.  This from Wikipedia: 

     “It is one of the most famous images of the Revolution. David was the leading French painter, as well as a Montagnard and a member of the revolutionary Committee of General Security. The painting shows the radical journalist lying dead in his bath on 13, July,1793 after his murder by Charlotte Corday. Painted in the months after Marat's murder, it has been described by T. J. Clarkas the first modernist painting, for ‘the way it took the stuff of politics as its material, and did not transmute it.’ ”

     And then there’s the equally important “Liberty Leading the People”, 1830 by Eugene Delacroix.   Again from Wikipedia:  “Delacroix painted his work in the autumn of 1830. In a letter to his brother dated 21 October, he wrote: . . .’ if I haven’t fought for my country at least I’ll paint for her.‘   

     The painting commemorates the July Revolution of 1830, which toppled King Charles X of France. A woman personifying the concept and the goddess of Libertyleads the people forward over the bodies of the fallen, holding the flag of the French Revolution . . .  in one hand and brandishing a bayonetted musket with the other. The figure of Liberty is also viewed as a symbol of France . . . both an allegorical goddess-figure and a robust woman of the people. The mound of corpses acts as a kind of pedestal from which Liberty strides, barefoot and bare-breasted, out of the canvas and into the space of the viewer. “  

     There is also Goya’s “The Third of May 1808 in Madrid”, a painting of a firing squad completed in 1814. Again from Wikipedia:  "In the work, Goya sought to commemorate Spanish resistance to Napoleon's armies during the occupation . . . in the Peninsular War.  The painting's content, presentation, and emotional force secure its status as a groundbreaking, archetypal image of the horrors of war. . .  it has no distinct precedent, and is acknowledged as one of the first paintings of the modern era.  According to the art historian Kenneth ClarkThe Third of May 1808 is ‘the first great picture which can be called revolutionary in every sense of the word, in style, in subject, and in intention.’ ”

     In the visual arts a shift in focus has taken place.  In modern times artists have focused on the “formal aspects” of art; art has been deconstructed and abstracted and frequently made non-objective.  Many of us have found ourselves led away from the notion of using our art as a voice with which to speak on the important topics of our time.  As a result we artists have, in a sense, forgotten the potential power that we could have. Yet there is so much to say about what is currently happening in our world.  Perhaps it is time again to use our art to speak.

     As always, I welcome your thoughts and feelings in response to what i write.  Please feel free to respond directly to this email.  Thank you for taking time from your busy life to read this to the end.

As always, I remain,

Amy

ps  My paintings may be viewed and purchased by visiting www.amymarx.com

 

Your Ideas

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Pictured above is my painting "The Dark Fantastic".  The original is 51"x 75", oil on thick, handmade paper.  It was painted freehand while looking at a photograph taken by professional storm chaser, Gene Rhoden, used with permission.


     One of the most enjoyable aspects of writing these weekly emails is reading the responses I receive.  Last week I talked about how artists employ visual metaphor.  But artists don't always know how to translate into words what they have said in images.  So I discussed my own experience of the perils of not being able to come up with this translation, and of eventually finding my way to the precise and accurate thought.  I am very happy to be able to discuss ideas about the realm of the visual and the realm of art and to converse with those of who  are  willing to share your perspective.  In the interest of making this more of a two-way street, rather than just you, the reader, reading what I have to say, I am now going to share with you a few of the trenchant responses which I had the privilege to receive.

     I know that our lives vary greatly, as do our points of view.  The human race is infinitely vast in its multiplicity of both experience and thought.  Here are an array of responses from people inhabiting very different lives:

     On the subject of visual metaphor Bob Russo, an IT Software Development Project Manager, who owns a large canvas reproduction of my painting,  “The Dark Fantastic”, wrote:

     “I have not seen the videos yet. I will when I have more time. However, I did read your article. It gave me great insight into you as an artist and great insight into me and why I am attracted to your work on tornados. I always get asked that question  "Why do you have a picture of a tornado". Until now I have only said, “Because I like it.”  But you are making me dig deeper into my connection with the piece. 

     I remember the awesomeness of the original when I first saw it.  And that connects with your discussion of the metaphor for the awesomeness of God or the universe. Tornados represent the magnificent forces within our lives that can turn around our fate in a moment.  The universe can send terrific forces our way, with little notice, that can change our lives forever.  Sometimes those forces only do crop damage and at other times they can be devastatingly life altering. You have helped me see the metaphor.”

     Beverly Tadeu, whose delicate jewelry rises to the level of fine art wrote the following: 

     “Life force, yes.  My work is about fragility and strength, and in some ways, your work is, as well.  The strength of the storm, the fragility of life and nature in its wake.  I've also heard your work (the whole tornado theme) described as sensual.  I always wondered if that was your interpretation, as well, or the viewer's.  That's what great about art, isn't it.  The artist has one meaning and interpretation, but there are many others as seen through the viewer's eye.”

     You can check out her work here:  www.beverlytadeu.com

     The psychic, healer, artist and writer Dorothy Kadosh wrote:

      “I, myself often wondered what made you do a painting of a storm and it was important to hear from you, why.  The storm we are having now brings special information to each one of us.  For each, it is different.  For some it is the chariot that carries their loved one into the other worlds.  For others it is the harbinger of sweeping changes in a worthless circumstance.

     Storms, as you say, are unseen forces at work.  The breath of God!  I have been through many storms and remained untouched.  This made me know that storms are intelligence at work.  A conscious force, awesome to behold, and you have captured it on canvas.  You are a remarkable person to have done such a thing, while others are painting the more mundane or the more beautiful superficially.  You went deep with your paintings of storms.  Thank you for making us think, even the person who said “who would want a painting of a storm?” You have made an opening in his consciousness and now he is asking “who?”

     Dorothy is a compatriot of mine at Eastern Market, if you would like to consult with her.

     Patricia Daly-Lipe, an artist and author wrote the following:

      “Amy, my new extended version of my book ‘MYTH, MAGIC and METAPHOR, A Journey into the Heart of Creativity’ is going through editing right now.  But when it does come out, this is the book for you!  (By the way, one of my paintings is on the cover.  So yes, I understand what you have written about your art.)  Please visit:  www.literarylady.com

     And finally, my paintings will now be utilized to illustrate ideas about sexuality elucidated by Amy Jo Goddard, the Sexual Empowerment Coach, in her weekly Ezine. With a readership of 7000, it represents a fascinating point of view and packs a powerful punch.  More about her can be learned by clicking here:  www.amyjogoddard.com.   Elise Bish, the Executive Assistant at Amy Jo Goddard Enterprises wrote:

     “Your work is powerful! I actually put to together all of the imagery for our blog posts and articles, and I think we could definitely work together.  If you give me permission, I would love to work your art into our writing pieces.  I spend a decent amount of time trying to find beautiful, relevant images to capture the theme of each post, and we talk a lot about nature and the creation/destruction cycle of life.  I think your work could easily and beautifully represent our messages.”

     If you would like to participate in this conversation please feel free to respond with any thoughts and suggestions.  You might start by asking yourself how the metaphor of the storm has shown up in your own life.  I’d be most interested to hear.

As always,

I remain,

Amy

ps  More of my artwork can be viewed by clicking here:  www.amymarx.com

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"Crop Damage", 11"x17"print $20

"Crop Damage", 11"x17"print $20

     Pictured hereis my painting entitled "Crop Damage".  It is based on a photograph taken by E A Otto as she stood at the back door of her home in North Dakota after the storm had passed.  she told me the storm did only "crop damage" as she put it.  Some people have told me that they see many images in the storm cloud.  These arrived unconsciously, but, I feel, add to the interest of the piece.


     Throughout the course of time artists have employed metaphor to communicate what they want to say through the use of an image.  They will, for example paint a painting of something, intending to convey something more.  I'm no exception.  When I began painting storms I knew I was onto something.  But it took me years to understand what I was onto.  I had already begun exhibiting the tornado series widely and yet still hadn't figured this out.  This played out in an embarrassing moment when a television reporter In Ft. Worth, Texas asked me what the paintings were about and I told him that they were really a metaphor.  So the reporter naturally asked, "A metaphor for what?"  I stumbled, I didn't know what to say!  I had set myself up for that one!  I think I said, "You know, that's a really good question!"  Yikes.  Oh well, what could I do?  The moment had already happened.  Fortunately for me, that moment wasn't  used in the broadcast piece.  If you'd like to see what was used you can click on here on here:  http://www.amymarx.com/appearances/
It's the bottom video, and the specific piece within the reel is at 5.25.  While we're on the topic of embarrassment, a question that was actually used, that I also didn't have an answer to was "Why would somebody want a painting of a tornado?"  That question is put to me at 7:36.  it has been put to me many times.  Perhaps you, who are reading this, might have an answer for me!  If you do, please let me know.
     Getting back to the question of metaphor, I finally had to come to terms with what I had been mulling over in my head for years when I had a show at The American Association for the Advancement of Science In Washington, DC.  (The televised interview that went with that show is also in this reel.  It's the first one, at 0.00.  Ironically it's with Topper Shutt, on the very same "weather terrace" on the very same channel where I had already been interviewed talking about the very same paintings with Doug Hill (who had since moved to a different network), just a few years before!  The one with Doug  follows the one with Topper.  I  figured, if no one at the channel was astute enough to notice the repeat, I certainly wasn't going to let on!)  But I digress.  Again, back to the question of metaphor.  So at the AAAS show I was finally asked for an artist's statement.  It now seems hard to believe that I had made it this far without having had to provide this, but now the gig was up.  So what was it that I was really talking about in my work besides the obvious drama of the tornado?  With the help of my brilliant and long-time spouse, (a real estate investor with the soul of an artist, whose talents, I feel, are misapplied),  I was able to discern that what I was really meaning to convey was what underlie the drama of the tornado.   It was the energy which underlies all of life itself, that which is responsible for the magnificence and the intelligence of the astounding universe in which we all live.  I was really talking about the animating force.  You could call this God.  I actually do call it God.  But in the secularized age in which we live, it seems that one can't talk like that.  Certainly not publicly and professionally.  So we did the next best thing.  We came up with this line:  "I am attempting to convey, the invisible animating force of the universe."  This became a kind of signature line, and I was able to end the Weather Channel piece with it.  This piece accompanied the show I had at OK Harris Works of Art in New York City.  This iconic gallery, owned by art historical figure, Ivan Karp, is now closed, in compliance with his wishes upon his death.  I was truly honored to have shown there and to have gotten to know this great man who made such an immense contribution to our culture.  You can watch that piece, if you'd like, it's the video at the top of the same page.
     I'd be most interested in hearing your thoughts.  I have been thrilled to have begun a dialogue with some of you.  Thank you for taking the time to read to this point.  I know that we all have way too much to get done each day and I really do appreciate your taking a few minutes out of your busy day to read my writing.  It is most gratifying for me to write these weekly pieces and receive replies.  Writing is new to me, and though I resisted doing this for years, it has proven to be really fun and has caused me to stretch myself in ways that I could not have imagined.  So please let me know  what you think!
     If you'd like to see more of my work you can go to: www.amymarx.com.  
As always, I remain,
Amy

    
   

Who Knew

 


    As those of you who have been reading my weekly emails know, last week I wrote about seeing the movie "Mr. Turner" and the influence his work had on my work, having first seen his paintings at MOMA as a child. The response to this email took me quite by surprise. Lenny Campello, who has been publishing the blog "DC Art News" for the past twelve years, asked to publish the piece. It went up Tuesday and if you like, you can go to www.dcartnews.blogspot.com to have a look. My confidence peaked! I wondered who else might like the piece. My father, a writer, still writing and publishing and sharp as a tack at 85 (lucky me) suggested I submit it to "Lives", the back page feature of The Sunday Magazine of The New York Times. In order to do so I have re-worked the piece to make it more personal, which seems to be the thrust of what has been published there. For those of you who are interested, you can read the piece by clicking on the link at the very bottom of this page.  
     Witnessing this string of events, the painter, Phyllis Plattner asked if I knew how her current show might be reviewed on Lenny's site. And then asked if I might write it. So I asked Lenny and he said "Do it!" So here I am, about to write my first art review with a place to publish it to boot! Truth be told, I did write art reviews for The Antioch Record when I was in college.  But that was many years ago. I won't say how many! The best moment of that gig was when I asked my fellow student and artist Joe Hart if he wanted to have a link to his audience. He replied "Links?!? Links?!! Links remind me of chains!!!" For me this summed up perfectly everything wrong with the Modernist art ethos with which I was at war.
     Phyllis Plattner's show is at The Katzen Center at American University. Her work is top notch. It is  particularly timely as we witness the near daily, ever escalating barbarity of ISIS. Her art can be viewed here:  http://www.american.edu/cas/museum/gallery/2015/plattner-gods.cfm  She is a long time professor at The Maryland Institute of Contemporary Art in Baltimore, and in my humble opinion, way under-recognized.  
     Had my friend with whom I saw this movie last week, chosen to see "American Sniper", my other suggestion, instead, none of this would be happening!
     Please feel free to respond to this email with any thoughts you might have in response to this writing. I am very grateful to those of you who are reading this, clicking through to the links, and replying to me. It is my intention to create a meaningful dialogue with you, hoping you will feel glad that you bothered to open this email. I know for all of us, our inboxes are, inevitably, very full.  
In gratitude I remain,
Amy
ps  My own work is also available and can be seen be clicking here:   http://www.amymarx.com                                      
     The full text of my Times submission can be seen by clicking here:    https://gallery.mailchimp.com/c6955b466345466495b50be70/files/Turner_final_cut.pages

On Seeing "Mr Turner"

 

Dear Friend,
     Last night I saw the film "Mr. Turner", a sweepingly beautiful film about the great master painter of storm and sea and steam.  I hadn't known much about him as a human being and it was rewarding to learn more about his life and character.  It was also very interesting to see John Ruskin brought to life as a young man, though I question the accuracy of this portrayal.  England's greatest art critic was also a wonderful artist in his own right and much more.  About Turner he wrote that his paintings "move and mingle among the pale stars, and rise up into the brightness of the illimitable heaven, whose soft, and blue eye gazes down into the deep waters of the sea forever."    
     When I was in second grade my father took me out of school one day and the two of us drove from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where we were living, to Manhattan.  He took me to The Museum of Modern Art to see an exhibit of Turner's paintings.  It was 1964, a year my father later characterized as the worst of his life.  This period was dominated by my mother's hospitalization for schizophrenia .  This trip to MOMA was a brief respite into another universe.  I absorbed the art like a sponge, as one does at that age.  My mother had started me  painting at three, so by this time I was accustomed to seeing the world through the eyes of an artist.  In the film there is a scene in which Mr. Turner is lashed to a pole.  The snow is driving down.  The camera pulls away and you see that he is standing in the crows nest, way up high atop the masthead of a ship at sea, like Ullysses.  He does this in order to experience the  terror and the wonder of the manifestation of the cosmic forces.  For the same reason I have stood in the open in a field in a storm.  The veracity of ones experience imbues the art created.  It is the portrayal of the numinous which is the true illumination of Turner's work and is what I have alway sought to convey in my own paintings.  Though I would never deign to compare my work with Turner's, and though my work looks nothing like Turner's, the truth I absorbed at seven looking at his work has influenced my work ever since.  Please feel free to respond directly to this email with any thoughts you may have in response to these words.  I appreciate your time in reading what I write.  I am most grateful to those of you who have let me know what you are thinking.
I remain,  
Amy  
ps  the painting above "Strange Days" is in the collection of Janice Huff, TV meteorologist at NBC, NY.  More work can be seen by clicking here:    http://www.amymarx.com/#/try-again/


The Mystery of it All

 

Dear friend,
     For those of you who have been following my writing in recent weeks, my friend who had colon cancer, stage 4, has now been released from the hospital and sent home.  Two weeks ago we had been afraid that he was going to be sent home to die.  The operation to remove the tumor complete, two weeks of recovery later, the doctors have scanned his body and found that there is now NO CANCER!!!  I feel as though I have been participating in a miracle, though one could say it is just the effectiveness of Western medicine at work.  My life experience over the past month has been such a reminder that we never know how life will unfold and that at the heart of all life is mystery.  I have often tried in my work to evoke an experience of the mysterious in my viewer.  Do I succeed?  Please have a look here and let me know:  

http://www.amymarx.com/#/try-again/
I'd be most interested in any thoughts you have.  Please just reply to this email and let me know what you think.  
yours,
Amy Marx
ps  As always, my artwork is available for sale.

 

Life is Such a Mixture

 

"There is Dark and There is Light" . 11"x17" print $20   Dear Friend,      As I wrote in last weeks email, a dear friend with colon cancer stage 4, who we thought was about to die, had surgery last Monday.  The tumor was removed, and now he is going to live!!!  We are overjoyed.  It is now eleven days since the operation and my friend remains in excruciating pain.  No one knows how long this pain will last.  At the same time that I feel  joy  about my friend's new lease on life, I am also experiencing anguish as he continues to be in agony.  This mixture of awe at the magnificence of grace is sometimes experienced simultaneously to experiencing  the horrors which life can entail.  It is this holding of the polarities of life on earth that I was expressing when I painted "On Earth As It Is", pictured above.  Art works as a visual metaphor for experience and can express subtle nuances sometimes impossible to capture in words.  You can own an artwork that explores the polarities of life as illustrated in nature by clicking here: www.amymarx.com      Please feel free to reply to this email with any thoughts triggered by my words.  I welcome your comments and your continued interest. All the best, Amy 

"There is Dark and There is Light" . 11"x17" print $20

 

Dear Friend,

     As I wrote in last weeks email, a dear friend with colon cancer stage 4, who we thought was about to die, had surgery last Monday.  The tumor was removed, and now he is going to live!!!  We are overjoyed.  It is now eleven days since the operation and my friend remains in excruciating pain.  No one knows how long this pain will last.  At the same time that I feel  joy  about my friend's new lease on life, I am also experiencing anguish as he continues to be in agony.  This mixture of awe at the magnificence of grace is sometimes experienced simultaneously to experiencing  the horrors which life can entail.  It is this holding of the polarities of life on earth that I was expressing when I painted "On Earth As It Is", pictured above.  Art works as a visual metaphor for experience and can express subtle nuances sometimes impossible to capture in words.  You can own an artwork that explores the polarities of life as illustrated in nature by clicking here:
www.amymarx.com
     Please feel free to reply to this email with any thoughts triggered by my words.  I welcome your comments and your continued interest.
All the best,
Amy 

Miracle

 

Lately I've been involved in the care of a dear friend.  He has colon cancer, stage 4, and has been in tremendous pain for months.  Two weeks ago he told me he was ready to transition.  He bought an extremely expensive sweater to wear for eternity.  The tumors had spread and we feared that when he was opened up during the upcoming surgery  the doctors would determine that they were too vast and would close him up and send him home to die.  I lost three friends in this manner last summer and I was coming to terms with the fact that I might be about to lose a fourth.
 On Monday he had the surgery. It lasted ten hours.   The doctors were able to remove the tumors.  They also had to remove a couple of organs.  My friend is going to live!!  Let's hear it for Western medicine!  Sometimes life takes on a dramatic intensity.  Dramatic intensity is an undercurrent in my art.  Art can convey a sense of heightened reality which is how we sometimes experience life.  You can see what I mean by clicking here:   http://www.amymarx.com/#/try-again/
All the paintings you see here are available.  Please feel free to reply to this email with any response to my work or thoughts you'd like to share.  Thank you for opening this email.  Be well.
All the best,
Amy